5th Bn Durham Light Infantry (Territorial)

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Penzance Bill, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Penzance Bill

    Penzance Bill Member

    I know that the 5th Bn DLI was split into 1/5th and 2/5th and became searchlight regiments in October 1938. Before this change came about the battalion had attended TA training camps during the summer. I know it was near Whitby in the summer of 1937 and am trying to establish where the camp was in the summer of 1938. Any suggestions as to where I might find this info?

  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Just a quick look on google and brings this up from the IWM-Interview with Walford David de Guise an officer. There looks to be 6 reels to listen to but in the synopsis it mentions the annual summer camp at Whitby. Maybe it mentions exactly where they were? Might be interesting to hear it all the same.
    Walford David de Guise IWM interview (21797)

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  3. Penzance Bill

    Penzance Bill Member

    Thanks Lesley

    I've already listened to all 6 reels of this interview - that's how I know the annual training camp was near Whitby in 1937. Unfortunately the gentleman being interviewed doesn't mention the training camp in 1938. The DLI museum might have been able to help but this has closed and their archive has been deposited with Durham County Record Office. I've searched their catalogue online but haven't found an answer.

  4. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Me again, Bill...

    'The DLI At War' (Rissik), Page 305, mentions that there was an Annual Camp in summer 1938 and the 5th Bn had preliminary training with its (new to them, but) inadequate equipment. It doesn't say where though.

    I have looked in my other 'Durham's books and again, no luck...

    If anyone knows it will be, either Jim or Harry Moses. I suggest you first try Jim (an ex-forum member); link: Home - his contact e-mail addresses are on the Home page.

    Please say 'Hi' to him from me...

    If Jim can't help, come back to me and I will get Harry involved!


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  5. Penzance Bill

    Penzance Bill Member

    Many thanks Steve

    You will have guessed that my father in law was in the 5th Bn DLI (TA) before he became a member of 6th Bn Green Howards.

    I've e-mailed Jim and blamed you:)


  6. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    The 5th Bn DLI had been in 50 Div before the 1938 reshuffle, with Brigades reducing from 4 to 3 battalions. The 5th Bn DLI converted to a searchlight battalion...

    If he was young and fit they would probably have moved him out to a front-line or potential front-line unit...
  7. Penzance Bill

    Penzance Bill Member

    Yes - I knew about the conversion to a searchlight regiment and yes he was young and fit. It makes me wonder how different my wife's family history might have been if her father had remained with the 54th searchlight DLI.

  8. Penzance Bill

    Penzance Bill Member

    Hi Steve

    Jim Tuckwell has got back to me and I now know exactly where near Whitby the 5th Bn DLI were at annual camp in 1937 - they were on Skelder Moor. I also know that they were at Alnwick in Northumberland in 1938. Thank you for the link to Jim's excellent website.

    Jim asked me to pass on his very best wishes to you.



  9. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Bill,

    Jim's a good bloke and he is the expert on the Durham Light Infantry in WWII (well, him and Harry Moses). We overlapped in our interests because the 6th, 8th and 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry, who were in the 151st Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

    Much as I love Whitby; holidayed there with kids and grand-kids for a week last year and spent a day there on the way back from visiting family in Northumberland last month, I actually hail from Northumberland. Don't know if you know the area, but just in case... Alnwick's surrounds has a lot of similar countryside to North Yorks. In some ways, not that different from heathland in Cornwall and Devon.

    Alnwick Castle is where the Royal Northumberland Fusliers museum is situated and is in Harry Potter terms, 'Hogwarts'.

    Anyway, glad you connected with Jim and that he was able to help you...

    I like the journey you are on!


  10. Penzance Bill

    Penzance Bill Member

    I'm enjoying the journey too Steve - loving it in fact!

    I know Northumberland quite well - both my son and daughter went to university in Newcastle and my son never came home. He married up there and he and his wife have 4 children. For a long time they lived at Bellingham and my wife and I visted regularly. I know what you mean about the similarities between the countryside around Alnwick and Cornwall but for me the most striking part of Northumberland is the coast - towering cliffs, castle after castle and of couurse Lindisfarne. I also have a personal family history interest in Alnwick - one member of my Burnett family tree became the land agent for the Alnwick Castle Estate and his descendants still live in that area.


  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    So, both sides of your family have roots in the north east? Brilliant...

    I moved away from the north east 32 years ago and like very much where I live now, in the south east of England, but I still love 'home'. I know what you mean about those castles and the coastline; awesome. My favourite is Bamburgh, not far from 'Holy Island'. If they had good weather up there it would be a massive holiday destination.

    My daughter was born in Hexham and lots of my family, living and the now dead, are/were from around there. As you know, Bellingham (Belling-jum) is just up the road. A few lads and lasses from there were bussed into the 'Big school' I went to. I had classmates that travelled all the way in from just the English side of the Scottish Border, and other reaches of Norhumberland. One of my now brothers-in-law travelled in from Otterburn.

    Memory lane well and truly revisited. Thanks for that!


    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  12. My dad was in the 5th D.L.I and I remember hiM mentioning he was at camp at Danes Dyke in Bridlington but not sure which year.
  13. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hi Paul,
    Bridlington I am told was 1935 prior to conversion I think>

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  14. My dad was in the 5th D.L.,I Territorials, in 1940 was transferred to the royal artillery 413/52 regiment. does anyone know how I can get the rest of their journey through the war. I remember him saying for a time he was attached to a field hospital where pox was rife and touched on events near a concentration camp. he also mentioned how they had to search houses looking for photos and evidence of S.S troops who were trying to disguise themselves as a normal German soldier.

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