6898432 Lance Corporal Leonard F. Webber, 2nd Battalion, Queen Victoria's Rifles, KRRC.

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  2. Tom Buck

    Tom Buck Junior Member

    Riflemen from the 7th and 8th KRRRC volunteered to serve with both the KRRC and QVR battalions sent to Calais in May 1940.

    Re-roled from motorcycle recce to a rifle battaltion the QVR were the first to arrive in Calais. As part of their first task, C Company, were sent to the east of the town to screen the main road to Dunkirk.

    Their mission was never really defined and changed many times after their arrival in Calais. At one point an attempt was made to send a ration convoy through to Dunkirk. This never made it as it ran into the lead elements of the German advance heading towards the coast.

    As the battle for Calais entered its final stages a mixed force of QVR and RB tried to stop one of the wings of the German force moving through the sand dunes. Very little is known about those who survived this battle, but it was generally known that after the fighting ended on the 26th May the route of escape was to be towards Dunkirk.

    A number of patrols were also sent inland by the brigade, many of which simply disappeared. It is possible that he was involved in one of these.

    1 & 2 QVR were also known as 7 & 8 King's Royal Rifle Corps. There is next to no mention of 2 QVR / 8 KRRC in the regimental history, save for a note that 8th Battalion remained in England until 1944 when it was disbanded for reinforcements.

    The mystery is: what were elements of 2 QVR doing in France? 1 QVR went to Calais as part of the garrison. Did elements of 2 QVR go with them and, if they did, how did they get out of Calais and end up in the Esquelbecq area?
    ritsonvaljos likes this.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Tom this chap wasn't part of the whole Calais thing-He was attached to a Military Mission way before the whole Calais thing. I'd have to pull the file to check but I think a whole Company was attached to Hopkinson's Mission with a portion of the 12 Lancers.
  4. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    From 2 QVR’s War Diary (WO 166/4380):

    3 Jan 1940. Lieut-Col BUTLER informed verbally by War Office that special platoon would be required for service overseas with 10th Military Mission under formation at ALDERSHOT on or about 17 Jan 40 and to proceed overseas on or about 7 Feb 40. Strength 1 Officer and 33 OR. 2nd Lt J MORGAN was detailed as Officer i/c.

    8 Jan 1940. Platoon was granted 1 week’s leave before proceeding to ALDERSHOT.

    23 Jan 1940. Platoon for 10th Mil Mission left for WILLEMS BARRACKS, ALDERSHOT. See Pt II Orders No 23/40 29 Feb 1940 attd. (Appx 11).

    1 Feb 1940. 17 additional OR detailed for 10th Military Mission. See Appx 11.

    18 Mar 1940. Letter received from 2/Lt MORGAN giving information that Rfn DUTTA had had his leg amputated as a result of a collision when the 10th Mil Mission was carrying out night operations. See letter attd. (Appx 23).

    Before you ask Andy, no I don't have the appendices. Sorry.


    Drew5233 likes this.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Reading my mind like a book Richard-Think I'll have to get the file now.

    Cheers for the post
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Visited their graves again in September 2015. One day I hope the evidence turns up to get Lt. Edgcumbe's name engraved on the headstone
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Since this thread was started, CWGC have added copies of their registers to the web site. There is no concentration file but as confirmed by Guy Rommelaere, the bodies were moved from Zegerscappel to Esquelbecq during the occupation so were not overseen by CWGC.

    Webber Edgcumbe.JPG

    ...and to tidy things up a little, this image shows the burned Guy Armoured Car outside 'Au Repos des Chasseurs' ('At the Hunter's Rest') Café
    The armoured car could have been damaged later or it could be that they had taken refuge in the building after the vehicle was hit.

    Guy Armoured Car destroyed in France cropped.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Sadly after having been informed today by my best mate that someone else is blatantly claiming to have identified who the Unknown Officer is as their own work, when it was my research after reading a random post by Paul aka Reccemitch on here 8 years ago that led me to put two and two together and get four with the help of some other forum members and the National Archives, me and Rich will no longer be posting any updates on here until a report has been compiled and filed to the MOD and CWGC for their perusal to see if they accept who I believe to be buried in the unknown grave.

    If anyone has anything to share with us regarding this post of LCpl Webbers feel free to send us a private message.

  9. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    I came across this piece in History of First SS Division (ie SS LAH) by Rupert Butler. Could it have anything to do with the above?

    Death British major3.jpg Death British major3.jpg
  10. idler

    idler GeneralList

    'Full military honours' doesn't quite tally with the scene found at Le Repos de Chausseurs...

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