8 Middlesex Regiment - I've just got my fathers service records - please help

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by kazzo1, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. kazzo1

    kazzo1 New Member

    Hello i recently got my fathers (Charles Edward Moy) army records and while i can make out some of it i'm having trouble understanding it all and was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to help me out with it.

    I'd like to know which units he was in, what roles/positions/ranks he had and where and or how he was injured by shrapnel and if possible what battle or place it might have been in at that time for the unit he was in, but any other information would be interesting too

    I know he wanted to be in the Buffs but i think he went to another regiment, i know he became a cook, he was injured and at some point was a w/cpl in the acc but not sure exactly oh and i think he left in 1947

    My son has scanned the forms and added them to this for anyone to look at, any help and light anyone can shed on this i'd be very grateful for as it's very difficult for me to get my head around.

    Thank you all very much for any help you might give

    Part I.jpg
    Part II.jpg
    Part VI.jpg
    Service and Casualty Form 1.jpg
    Service and Casualty Form 2.jpg
    Service and Casualty Form 3.jpg
    Service and Casualty Form 4.jpg
    Service Card 1.jpg
    Service Card 2.jpg
    Military history Sheet.jpg
    Notification of Impending Release.jpg
  2. borneo72

    borneo72 Junior Member

    Some bits which I can make out:
    01 Apr 43 - Enlisted to A Company Middlesex Regiment.
    23 Apr 43 - Granted acting unpaid Lance Corporal.
    10 July 43 - Relinquish rank on posting to Chingford - 8 Battalion Middlesex Regiment.
    12 Oct 44 - Shrapnel wounds both legs. Admitted to 213 Field Ambulance.
    08 Nov 44 - Back to 8 Middlesex Regt.
    31.8 45 - Passed trade training as cook and transferred to Army Catering Corps.
    07.03.46 -Taken on strength of 2 Company,Royal Army Service Corps.
    25.9.46 - Admitted to 29 (British) Military Hospital.
    04.10.46 Discharged from hospital.
    17.10.46 - Granted Paid/Acting Corporal.

    A well respected Cook by all accounts. Hope this goes some way to help.

    Regards, Dave
  3. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    I'm not a particular expert on service records but presume that you can see the following on the fifth page:

    Your father was posted as a driver to 70th Battalion (Young Soldiers) Middlesex Regiment on 16/12/42.

    Various roles (including A/U/L/C - Acting Unpaid Lance Corporal) until he was posted to 8th Bttn Middlesex Regiment on 10/7/43.

    Embarked with 8 Middlesex Regiment for North West Europe (ie Normandy) on 17/6/44 - 8 Middlesex Regiment were the machine gun unit attached to 43 (Wessex) Infantry Division.

    He was wounded on 12/10/44.

    And many other entries as above..

    I would suggest reading up about 43 (Wessex) Infantry Division/8 Middlesex Regiment - the war diaries or official histories or links elsewhere on this forum to get an idea what was happening to the unit in France in 1944..

    good luck
  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    bexley84 likes this.
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    the only thing I find as being odd is his number of 144***** as I joined the GSC a month later with the number of 1437**** otherwise all as outlined by Borneo and wise words from Bexley as

    many cooks were wounded by shellfire - by the enemy and not too many from "friendly" fire...

  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thinking back to my own experience of the cook's role in making service in the line tolerable, i discovered one very important truth.

    The best cooks were invariably grabbed by the more senior officers and therefore one ate better at RHQ than one did at BHQ.

    This, of course, only applied to my LAA unit ....... In the 4th QOH I found myself ccoking for two tanks and if the food was bad it was strictly my own fault :)

  7. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    As an example of what cooks had to face, here is the citation for one of the Faughs' ACC men, who was awarded an MM in 1944

    "On the evening of the 27 May 44, the area of the Administrative Point in the woods NW of the MELFA crossing under exceptionally heavy shell fire and several cooks who were preparing the evening meal were either killed or wounded. Sgt Bunting, on hearing this came forward and cooked two company meals under continuous fire. Finding that the CQMS of D Company had been wounded, Sgt Bunting made himself responsible, taking forward the company’s food. On the route forward the driver of the jeep was wounded and although lacking knowledge of driving Sgt Bunting too over the wheel and drive the vehicle under fire up an extremely bad track towards the company position. Finally having ditched the jeep, he hurried forward and organised the carrying of the food by porters. The importance of this meal to this forward company after a hard day cannot be over emphasised. Sgt Bunting through his coolness and fixity of purpose showed courage and devotion to duty of the highest order." (WO 373/8).
  8. kazzo1

    kazzo1 New Member

    Wow, thank you all for such a great response. I'm so happy to understand some of the details of what he did as he died in 1976 and i never got to find out too much about his time in the war.
    There's lots to go through and follow up with those leads will keep me busy.

    It's interesting what you said about his service number as a friend has said a similar thing to me before so i wonder if i'll find out what's going on there.

    Once again many thanks to all of you, i'll be off to check it all out and see what else i can find out about his time in his particular regiments and who knows there might still be someone out there who remembers him

    thank you and god bless you all :)
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Here's the regiments war diary refs at Kew

    WO 166/12630 8 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1943 Jan.-Dec.
    WO 171/1347 8 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 171/5244 8 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1945 Jan.-Nov.

  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  11. Tess Moy

    Tess Moy Member

    Hello to all!
    I am not sure if I am on the right forum,as I am new to this.

    My father was in the 8th battalion Middlesex regiment, wounded in October 1944 , I have no idea where he was,he passed away many years ago.I wonder if anybody out there could enlighten me.

    Thank you
  12. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Tess,

    welcome to the board (me & links don't work), but it would be wise to apply for your farther's service records to start with. Some smart chap, or lady will come along with a link for you to apply. It will cost you about £30.00 if my memory is correct? You may already have them? If you do, then please do show them?

    There are two books that you could try & obtain in the future: 1) The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1919-1952-
    written & Edited by Lieutenant-Commander P.K.Kemp: 2) The 43rd Wessex Division at War 1944-1945. Complied by Major-General
    H.Essame. It would be interesting to know how you have gleaned that your father was in the 8th MX. I do have a soft spot for all of the battalions of the Middlesex regiment.

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
    Tony56 likes this.
  13. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    There were two 8th Battalions Middlesex Regiment that served in WWII. They were the 1st/8th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) M-G (T.A.) and the 2nd/8th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) M-G (T.A.). The 1st/8th Battalion saw combat service but the 2nd/8th Battalion remained in the UK. Here is a summary of service of the 1st/8th Battalion, which was probably the one you are interested in reviewing:

    1st/8th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) M-G (T.A.)

    East Anglia Area, Eastern Command – 3 September 1939 to 6 October 1939
    The 8th battalion doubled in size based on the decision to double the Territorial Army earlier in 1939. On paper it was titled the 8th Battalion until March 31st, 1939. On that date, the battalion area was split on the line of the Great West road, with the 1st/8th retaining the Drill Halls at Hounslow, Hampton, and Staines. The 2nd/8th Battalion took over those at Uxbridge and Ealing with its HQ at Northolt. The 8th Battalion was mobilised at Hounslow on September 1st, 1939. Orders for the battalion to split arrived on September 4th and the 8th Battalion was finally split into the 1st/8th and 2nd/8th Battalions. The 1st/8th Battalion immediately moved its headquarters to Ealing. For the first four weeks of the war, it did police duties in aid of the civil powers. These duties were given up on October 1st.

    6th London Infantry Brigade – 6 October 1939 to 18 October 1939
    It came under the command of the 6th London Infantry Brigade on October 6th, 1939. The battalion did some routine training in the battalion area.

    2nd London Division – Attached – 18 October 1939 to 28 November 1939
    It came under the command of the 2nd London Division on October 18th, 1939 and continued training in the battalion area.

    50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division – Attached – 28 November 1939 to 19 January 1940
    It left the battalion area on November 28th and moved to Malvern Link, where it came under the command of the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division. At Malvern Link it was brought up to full war establishment by drafts from the ITCs. Early in the New Year, the battalion was warned for duty in France and was inspected by The King on January 17th. The 50th Division left for France on January 19th, 1940.

    GHQ Troops, BEF – 20 January 1940 to 29 February 1940
    On February 16th, 1940 it entrained for Southampton and crossed to Le Havre on the 17th. On arrival it moved to St. Arnault and Villequier where it was temporarily accommodated until the muddy roads became clear. It left St. Arnault on February 28th and two days later it arrived at Perenchies, in the Armentières area.

    5th Infantry Division - Attached – 1 March 1940 to 20 April 1940
    On arrival at Perenchies the battalion came under the command of the 5th Infantry Division.

    50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division – Attached – 20 April 1940 to 10 May 1940
    It moved to Noeux les Mines on April 20th and became the support battalion for the 50th Division.

    4th Infantry Division – Attached – 10 May 1940 to 19 May 1940
    On May 10th, 1940 it was placed under the command of the 4th Infantry Division. It left Noeux les Mines on May 13th and moved up to Turcoing. From there it moved to Alost and Dries under air attack. It spent two days at Dries before the orders were received on the 17th to continue the advance into Belgium and take up defensive positions around Brussels. Twelve hours after reaching Brussels, on the night of the 17th, the battalion was ordered to withdraw to new defensive positions behind the River Dendre. Two days later orders for a further withdrawal came, this time to the River Escaut. It joined with the 2nd and 1st/7th Battalions under the CO of the 2nd Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel B. G. Horrocks, to protect the left flank of the BEF and hold the line until the infantry withdrew across the river. It held the line throughout the 19th as the 3rd Division moved back through the battalion.

    44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division – Attached – 19 May 1940 to 30 October 1940
    Once clear, the battalion withdrew the same night to Knock and came under the command of the 44th (Home Counties) Division. ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies were attached to the 132nd and 131st Brigades respectively, which took up defensive positions to meet the Germans as they crossed the Escaut River. The enemy was engaged on the 21st by ‘A’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies and continued through the 22nd with ‘B’ Company entering the fight. That night the battalion withdrew to Herthoek and had a quiet day on the 23rd. Here it was reorganized due to losses taken at Knock, where twenty-four guns were taken out by shelling. ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies remained as machine-gun companies while ‘A’ and ‘C’ were amalgamated into a regular rifle company with one machine-gun section.

    On the evening of the 24th, the battalion moved to La Tache and came into III Corps reserve, while still being attached to the 44th Division. The division was ordered on the 24th to put in an attack on a German mechanized division threatening Boulogne. ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies with the 132nd and 133rd Brigades took up a defensive line from Aire to St. Omer along the canal, while the rest of the battalion proceeded to Baileul. As the situation became critical when the Belgian 1st Army laid down its arms on the 27th, the Battalion HQ, HQ Company and Composite ‘A’/’C’ Company moved to Doulieul. The same night it withdrew to Merris, where the Composite Company joined the 133rd Brigade in the line. Confused fighting continued the next day as the battalion helped hold the line. The final capitulation of the Belgian Army forced a large withdrawal to the Mont des Cats hill to the north. During the withdrawal the three companies withdrew with their brigades and began to split into small parties, not reforming as a unit until it reached England. Unable to hold the hill the next day, the 44th Division was ordered to withdraw to Dunkirk through Poperinghe. By the 30th, the small parties of the battalion had reached the coast and made their way to the dunes at Bray, where the 44th Division was embarking for England.

    A camp was set up at Bridstowe in Devon on June 5th, 1940, where the battalion would concenrate as the small parties assembled from France. Also in the camp were the 2nd and 1st/7th Middesex Regiment along with the 2nd, 4th and 7th Battalions of the Cheshire Regiment. Parties kept arriving through the 14th with each being sent on home leave. On that date, the battalion moved to Holyhead and was built up with drafts from the Depot at Mill Hill to a total strength of 18 officers and 522 other ranks. When the men returned from leave, the battalion was billeted in the town and later in the month it took over defence commitments in the area. The battalion was requipped to its full establishment in machine-guns by the end of July, when it moved to Liverpool to take over the defence of the area against parachutists. Brigade and divisional exercises were begun during July. Only two companies were needed to man the neighbourhood posts so two were able to train while rotating with the other companies.

    38th (Welsh) Infantry Division – Attached – 30 October 1940 to 18 November 1941
    At the end of October, the battalion moved to Hartley Wintney in the Aldershot Command area and came under the command of the 38th (Welsh) Infantry Division. After two weeks of individual training the companies were allotted to the brigades to train as groups with ‘A’ Company coming under the command of the 113th Brigade, ‘B’ under the 114th Brigade, and ‘C’ under the 115th Brigade. At the start of March 1941, it took place in an IV Corps exercise and at the end of the exercise the battalion moved to Camberley. It moved to Haywards Heath in May in a coast defence role on the Sussex coastline. It moved to Steyning on June 28th and took over from 2nd/9th Manchester Regiment on coast defence duties over an area of forty miles of coast. It left the 38th Division in November for the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.

    43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division – 18 November 1941 to 1 October 1942
    It joined the division at Otterden in Kent in November 1941. During February 1942 the division moved from the reserve area of XII Corps to the left forward area and the battalion replaced the 6th Cheshires at Minster. At the end of May, the battalion moved from Minster to the Old Park Barracks in Dover. At the end of September, the battalion moved to Broadstairs, Kent.

    43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division – Attached – 1 October 1942 to 30 September 1943
    At Broadstairs, the battalion began to convert from a machine-gun battalion to support battalion and one company was issued with the new 4.2-inch mortars. Early in 1943, the regiment changed its name from the 1st/8th Middlesex Regiment to the 8th Middlesex Regiment, since the 2nd/8th Battalion had gone into suspended animation in May 1942 to reform the 1st Battalion. From March 3rd to 12th, 1943 it took part in the GHQ Exercise Spartan, for the first time operating as a support battalion. The battalion left Broadstairs in May 1943 and moved to Margate to continue training on the 4.2-inch mortar. It took place in another seven-day divisional exercise after it arrived at Margate as well as an amphibious exercise off Selsy Bill.

    43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division – 1 October 1943 to 31 August 1945
    At the end of 1943, the battalion was at Folkstone and took part in divisional Exercise Vulcan. On February 28th, 1944, it gave up the group organisation of a support battalion and reorganised with ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ Companies with machine-guns and ‘D’ Company with heavy mortars. It continued training in its new role through the end of May 1944. The battalion left Coghurst Park, Hastings on June 13th and 14th for the marshalling area at Purfleet Ranges in Essex. It spent three days at Purfleet and then moved off on the 19th for embarkation at the West India Docks. By the evening of the 20th, it was anchored off the landing beaches of Ouistreham in Normandy. Because of heavy seas, it remained on board ship for three days.

    The battalion landed on the 24th and moved off by companies to the divisional concentration area north of Bayeux as the 43rd (Wessex) Division joined VIII Corps. The division moved to area of Brecy to support the advance of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division. The VIII Corps’ objective would be the capture of Cbeux and St. Mauvieu, the taking of the River Odon crossing to the south and the occupation of the high ground between the Odon and the Orne overlooking Caen. The 43rd’s role would be to take over Cbeux and St. Mauvieu from the 15th Division and mop up. The 8th Battalion concentrated on on June 25th. Because ‘C’ Company was late landing, the companies were reassigned with ‘A’ under the 129th Brigade, ‘’B’ with the 214th, and ‘C’ with the 130th. This temporary shift in assignment became permanent in the upcoming campaigns. After the 15th Division’s assault took its first objectives on the 26th, the 129th and 214th Brigades with ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies took over Norrey-en-Bessin and St. Mauvieu and were support by Nos. 14 and 15 Platoons from ‘D’ Company. The Corps advance continued on the 28th across the Odon and the next day the 129th Brigade cleared the wooded area east of Tourville and south of Odon with some fires from ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies.VIII Corps paused on the 30th to repulse some enemy counterattacks that continued through July 2nd. After that the division a few quiet days in preparation for its next brakout attack on the Odon front. The artillery barrage began on the morning of July 10th and included the 4.2-inch mortars of ‘D’ Company. The 130th Brigade reached Maltot but was thrown back by counterattacks while the 129th Brigade came up short of Hill 112. Enemy attacks continued into the 11th thus ending the offensive for the division. Enemy fire and two assaults had so far caused casualties of 14 killed and 99 wounded since the landing. On the 15th, ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies provided fire support as the 15th Division attacked through the 43rd against Hill 112. The division then continued to hold the line until July 22nd, when the 129th Brigade with ‘A’ Company took the village of Maltot. A follow-up attack by the 214th Brigade on a salient east of Maltot was not as successful as the brigade withdrew after a brief possession.

    On July 28th, the 43rd Division was relieved in the line and moved back to rest at Chouen. The rest was only for a short time, since the division was unexpectedly called back into the line on the 29th. The 8th had already moved to its concentration area northwest of Caumont on the night of the 28th. It then moved forward to La Paumerie on the 30th as the 43rd Division with the 8th Armoured Brigade prepared for a new breakout attack under XXX Corps. The division was to take the high ground to the east of Bois de Homme with an opening attack by the 130th Brigade on Briquesart and Cahagnes. With the support of the battalion, the initial objectives were taken on the 30th. The 214th Brigade then successfully attacked the Canteloup feature on the 31st and opened up the flank of the division at Arnayesur-Seulles. On August 1st, the 129th Brigade took over and cleared the Bois de Homme with the battalion still in support. The 130th Brigade came up against heavy resistance on the 2nd so two days later the 214th Brigade adved toward the Bois de Burn supported by the fire of all three machine-gun companies. After the capture of Ondefontaine by the 130th Brigade and La Cabosse, Les Maisons, and Le Mesnil Azouf by the 214th Brigade, the machine-gun companies returned to their respective brigades. ‘A’ Company helped ferry the 129th Brigade toward St. Jean-leBlanc on the night of the 4th/5th and on the 6th supported the 214th Brigade’s attack on Mont Pincon. ‘B’ took over on Mont Pincon on August 7th while ‘D’ Company’s mortars supported the 130th Brigade.

    The offensive then passed to the Canadians on the left and the Americans on the right but ‘D’ Company continued to provide heavy fire concentrations on the 9th. The 43rd still kept up pressure on its front as the Falaise Gap was narrowed. The division began an advance across the Orne on Condesur-Noireau and the 214th Brigade crossed the Norieau while the 129th Brigade advanced on the Athis feature. During this rare period, the CO of the 8th Battalion controlled all of its companies. With the 129th Brigade established at St. Honorine-le-Chardonne, and with ‘A’, ‘D’, and one part of ‘B’ Company across the river at Berjour, a halt was called since division’s immediate task was now complete. The battalion now had two to three days of rest as the Germans retreated from Normandy.

    The advance was resumed on August 22nd as the 129th and 130th Brigades, with ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies moved to the Forêt de Gouffern area to protect XXX Corps’ flank during its advance on the Seine. The following day the 214th Brigade and ‘B’ Company moved throught the 130th to Croiselles. On the 24th, the division advanced toward Vernon to secure a crossing over the Seine. The 129th Brigade with ‘A’ and ‘D’ Companies reached Vernon and forced a crossing with the help of DUKWs. The other two brigades moved up to the Seine west of Vernon the following day while the following day ‘A’ and ‘D’ Companies continued in action with the 129th Brigade. The Battalion HQ was used to provide traffic control across the Seine. After a Class 40 bridge was completed, the 11th Armoured, Guards Armoured, and 50th Infantry Divisions passed through the 43rd’s bridgehead to exploit toward the Belgian border.

    The division remained at Vernon as the front moved to the Somme and toward Belgium. The battalion was able to assimilate a large number of reinforcements. It was not until September 14th that the division left Vernon for the Meuse-Escaut Canal bridgehead for its next operation. It would be part of the XXX Corps advance to seize the Rhine bridges as part of Operation Market-Garden. XXX Corps’ objective was to move north through Eindhoven, Nijmegen, and Arnhem to the sea at Nunspeet following the lead of the Guards Armoured Division. The 43rd Division’s objective was the high ground running north of Arnhem to Apeldorn and the crossings of the Ijssel at Deventer, Zutphen, and Duesberg, with the possibility in addition of being called on to force crossings of the Meuse, Waal, and Nederrijn, a very ambitious plan as it turned out. In preparation, on the 16th, the companies reverted from battalion control to their respective brigades, with ‘D’ company split between the 130th and 214th Brigades. Although the operation began on September 17th, it was not until the 20th that the 43rd Division was able to advance. Due to congestion in the corridor, the advance was slow and the division did not reach a concentration area around Nijmegen until midnight on the 21st. On the following day, the push began with a two-brigade advance by the 214th and 129th Brigades that reached the banks of the Nederrijn opposite the 1st Airborne Division’s bridgehead. The 130th Brigade reached the river the following day and made contact with the airborne troops while the 214th Brigade battled for Elst. Due to the terrain, the machine-gunners had no opportunity for engagement. On the 24th, the 214th continued to battle for Elst and cleared half the town while the 130th Brigade extended their hold on the south bank of the river west of Arnhem. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies had opportunites for observed shoots. The 4th Dorsetshire Regiment of the 130th Brigade managed to get a foothold across the river on the night of September 24th/25th while the 214th Brigade completed the occupation of Elst with both operations support heavily by the divisional artillery and the 8th Middlesex. Unfortunately, the airborne bridgehead aided by the 4th Dorsets was not viable and all troops were withdrawn back across the river the following night while ‘A’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies assisted in a covering fire plan between Renkum and Doorweth. On the 27th, No. 12 (Mortar) Platoon helped the 7th Somerset Light Infantry reduce the size of a small enemy bridgehead at Randwijk.

    The division assumed a more defensive posture for the next three days with the Battalion HQ controlling the companies under each brigade in an offensive fire plan. The enemy became more active on October 1st against the division’s eastern and northern flanks and the companies were used defensively near Bemmel, Elst and Elden. The attacks continued until the end of October 3rd, when the 101st US Airborne Division relieved the 43rd Division. The 43rd moved back to a concentration area west of Nijmegen for maintenance and rest. However, on the 8th, the 43rd relieved the 3rd Infantry Division in the Groesbeek-Mook sector, south of Nijmegen. This period in the line was relatively quiet for the division except for October 13th, when ‘D’ Company was required to lay down a fair number of smoke concentrations.

    The division was relieved by the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division on November 9th, 1944 and moved to the Geilenkirchen area to prepare for the next offensive, part of a major offensive to clear the enemy from all of Holland up to the Rhine. The division was in the southernmost position in the British line next to the Americans and prepared for operations, which were to begin on the 16th. In preparation for the attack, the battalion fired into the area of Bauchem, Tripsrath, Neiderheide, Straeten, and Waldenrath almost continuously for two days. This was to neutralize the area of the 214th Brigade’s attack and the area of Bauchem. The 214th’s attack began on the 18th and by last light had reached the objectives of Bauchem, Tripsrath, and Bruggerhof and cleared them the following day with the help of ‘D’ Company. Although the 130th Brigade followed through on next day, the attack was halted due to strong resistance, which meant the three machine-gun companies were emplaced to discourage any counterattacks.

    The divisional front remained static for the next month until December 19th, when the division was relieved and moved back to Tilburg for an extended period of rest with the battalion located at Hasselt and nearby villages. On January 4th, 1945 the division returned to the line under the XXX Corps and took over its old Geilenkirchen front. Some platoons were in action for the first time in the New Year in shoots at Kandorfhoven and Waldenrath. A ‘pepperpot’ battalion mass fire on January 22nd allowed the villages of Schiefendahl, Erpen, and Schleiden to be easily captured the following day. Following a similar pattern of ‘pepperpot’ fire, Schleiden and Uetterath were taken on the 24th as well as the following two days objectives. By midday on the 26th, the division had reached the River Roer line on the entire divisional front. At this point, the battalion was temporarily placed under the 51st (Highland) Division for a large-scale ‘pepperpot’ shoot with the 1st/7th Middlesex to support the division’s attack south of Groesbeek.

    After this, the 43rd Division came out of the line on January 27th, 1945 and battalion moved back across the Mass for the start of Operation Veritable, the Rhineland operation. It arrived in time for the start of the artillery barrage on February 7th. As soon as the fire plan was complete, the 8th Middlesex moved back the Nijmegen area and rejoined the 43rd Division. All the companies were then brigaded, with ‘A’ Company and one platoon of ‘D’ Company with the 129th Brigade, ‘B’ Company and one platoon of ‘D’ Company with the 214th Brigade, and ‘C’ Company with the two remaining platoons of ‘D’ Company with the 130th Brigade. The division would advance along the main road north of the Reichswald and then move south before it reached Cleve to attack Goch. The 129th and the 214th Brigades moved out on February 9th with a last minute change that would send the 129th to capture Cleve, which was taken by the 11th. The 214th Brigade had, meantime, attacked Materborn with the excellent support of ‘B’ Company. As the division advanced out the escarpment overlooking Goch, the majority of the battalion set up a “pepperpot” fire on the 16th targeting the eastern edge of the Cleve Forest, which was then taken with little difficulty. At this point the 15th (Scottish) Division passed through and took Goch.

    The battalion had a quiet time over the next few days as the 43rd acted as a flank guard for the continued drive of the XXX and II Canadian Corps. By March 3rd, the area had been cleared and the Germans had retreated across the Rhine. Only a bridgehead across the river north of the Roer at Wesel remained requiring the capture of Xanten. The 129th Brigade with ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies was lent to the Canadians on March 8th and 9th. The companies fired “pepperpots” on both days culminating with the capture of Luttingden and the enemy’s withdrawal across the Rhine.

    The division moved south to the Hasselt area on March 21st and 22nd in prepartion for the assault across the Rhine. The battalion would fire its first cross-river “pepperpot” under the command of the 3rd Division’s machine-gun battalion, the 2nd Middlesex. After it rejoin the 43rd Division, which would cross the Rhine in the second wave. The shoot on the 23rd was successful and the battalion began crossing with the 43rd Division on the morning of the 25th following the 51st (Highland) Division. By the 27th, all companies had crossed and were in action at Millingen (‘C’ and ‘D’), Arnholt (‘A’) and Gegchelen (‘B’). Over the next three days, it was involved in a number of fire missions particularly at Arnholt on the 29th and the crossing of the Ijessel on the 28th.

    The battle for the Rhine bridgehead was over by the 30th, and the entire XXX Corps was prepared for the breakout led by the armour. The 43rd Division with the 8th Armoured Brigade spearheaded the left of the advance with the 129th Brigade leading followed by the 214th then the 130th Brigade, each with a machine-gun company and a mortar platoon under command. Varsseveld was reached on the 30th and the Zutphen-Hengelo canal the following day as the 214th Brigade took over the lead. The 130th Brigade then shifted east and doubled back to attack Hengelo with the support of No. 15 (Mortar) Platoon. The division paused at Hengelo for two days, then moved off again on April 5th with the ultimate goal of Bremen. It reached Oldenzaal on the 5th, Lingen on the 7th, Bawincknel and Hamm on the 8th, and Haselunne and Eltern on the 9th. It continued on against scattered resistance on the 10th and 11th with the 129th Brigade just short of Wachtum and the 129th Brigade taking Loningen. A fierce fight took place at Kloppenburg on April 15th involving the 214th Brigade supported by ‘B’ Company and No. 15 (Mortar) Platoon winning a Military Cross for ‘B’ Company’s commander. The division rested at Kloppenburg in preparation for the final assault of Bremen although the battalion was still being called out for mopping up tasks.

    The move on Bremen began on April 22nd as ‘C’ Company assisted the 52nd (Lowland) Division’s attack on Achim. The company then rejoined the 130th Brigade and crossed the Weser and Aller to an area north of Verden, near Bremen. ‘B’ Company with the 214th Brigade crossed the Adler to move into the right of the 130th Brigade. The division’s attack on Bremen came from the east while other divisions moved on Breman from the south. The attack on Bremen went in on the 23rd and after some opposition it was captured by noon on the 27th. The division was then ordered to advance northeast of Bremen to capture Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven. The division continued a cautious advance until news of the surrender of Germany was announced on May 2nd. It remained on occupation duties in Germany with the division until the end of the war.
    stolpi and Tony56 like this.
  14. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.


    It would have have taken me longer to scan the certain pages of either book than its taken you to type all of the above. How did you manage that? Top chap. Tess has got the full SP if you ask me.

    Stu. Edit, you must have a memory of a elephant.:D
  15. Tess Moy

    Tess Moy Member

    Thank you so much Stu
    Thank you!
    I shall enjoy reading the information you have kindly taken time to send.

    Thumbs up to you and Stu
  16. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member


    I have a digital copy of the Middlesex Regiment history. I fed the information into my battalion summaries a number of years back.
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    If you can tell us his name someone can look him up in the casualty lists as you say he was wounded.
  18. Tess Moy

    Tess Moy Member

    Hello Owen,
    His name is Charles Edward Moy enlisted in 1942, I know he was injured in October I
    believe1944 , he trained as a Cook in 1945 and stayed in the army untill 1947.
    My father became very ill in 1966 with a brain tumour and at the time we didn't ask questions about the war( probably weren't interested at that time) he died in 76 ,my sister remembers odds and sods,she may even have been on here at some point ,bu, she too has passed away and I don't know if she got anywhere.

    Thank you very much for any help, it's much appreciated.
  19. Tess Moy

    Tess Moy Member

    Hi Owen, I know that he had shrapnel wounds to his legs as my mother had the letter sent to his mother and father stating that on the 12th October he suffered shrapnel wounds.
  20. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    British Army Casualty Lists 1939-1945:

    CL1, stolpi and Owen like this.

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