99801 2nd Lt W R Cresswell MC and a Blockhouse

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

     
  2. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    I have been in communication with the French lady (Stephanie) that is involved in restoration etc of the block house and provided her with information about my Dad, including pictures of him, she said that I will get an invitation to the ceremony when it is organised. :)
     
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  3. ChrisBa

    ChrisBa Member

    Hello everybody,

    I am new to the forum and I start with a question.
    Is it known when Lt Cresswell wrote this account? As he went into captivity on 30 Mai 1940 I assume he was a POW until the end of the war. So I assume this account was written some time after the events he described - either in captivity or after the war.
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Hi ChrisBa and welcome,

    I’m not sure when it was written but most of the Glosters Officers were held in the same POW camp. The CO Lt Col Gilmore directed that detailed records of everything f that happened should be made. They got to together and produced this and a lot of other accounts. Sadly the account were discovered by the Germans twice and it was the third time that they were written that is what we have today. I think it was Capt Eric Jones who was responsible for these records and he did say that they could be mistaken as it was some time later when they wrote the last copy.
    That said, some of the maps they produced were astonishingly accurate considering they were only Cassel for 4/5 days and most of it was fighting!
    Can I ask if you have a personal link?
     
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  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    You never told me that :lol:
     
  6. ChrisBa

    ChrisBa Member

    Hello everybody!

    Dave, thank you for the info.
    I have got no personal link. I just discored my interest in the "Westfeldzug". I got my hand on a photo of a bunker with "Cassel" written on the back and did some research which brought me here.
    I am surprised about the importance the battle for Cassel has for the Brits. Somewhere I even read a reference to "Alamo". I'd say this battle is totally unknown in Germay. Now I want to do more research on this.
     
  7. John West

    John West Active Member

    There's no doubt that the 145 Brigade's Defence of Cassel was a significant factor in delaying the German advance towards Dunkirk. Probably more than the sacrifice that took place at Calais. In his Forward to Underground from Posen by one of Brigadier Nigel Somerset’s fellow Gloustershire Regiment Officers, Lt Col Michael Duncan, published in 1954, Somerset wrote:

    ‘….Practically all of those who fought through the retreat and rear-guard action at Cassel in May 1940 were either killed or spent the rest of the war in captivity, thus deprived of freedom, family and fame. That this force received scant recognition there is not the slightest doubt. That but for the stand at Cassel and Hazebrouck many units of the British and French that were evacuated to the UK would not have reached Dunkirk or any other beach, there is also little doubt…….. ‘
     
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Well you will find lots of info here, Drew5233 started the thread and myself and John West have a fair amount of detail so ask any questions you like.
    Do you think you could share the picture you have? I’m not sure I’ve seen that one.
     
  9. ChrisBa

    ChrisBa Member

    Hi Dave,

    thank you very much. I'll certainly have questions in the future.
    I am a starter with a subject I never heard of before and feel a bit overwhelmed. I only have basic knowledge about the battle for Dunkirk. For the start I have just received "Cassel and Hazebrouck 1940" from Jerry Murland which may already be a bit too specific. So I'll be happy to hear other book suggestions.

    I'll glady share the photo. May take a few days though.
     
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  10. ChrisBa

    ChrisBa Member

    Sorry John,
    I forgot to thank you for your post. Thank you for your info on the 145. Brigade too!
     
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  11. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

  12. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Any chance of uploading the image of the Bunker Chrisba?
     
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  13. Hi Every one , we still hope to open the bunker on may- if you have any information or picture which could be in coherence with exhibition inside the Block please let me know stephanie.colart@coeurdeflandre.fr we are doing our best
     
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  14. ChrisBa

    ChrisBa Member

    Hi Dave,
    Sorry for letting you wait. Here is the photo.
    Sadly my memory served me wrong. On the back there is not written "Cassel" but "Nordpeene" which is in the area of Cassel. This is probably not Lt Cresswell's blockhouse as it shows no battle damage.

    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. John West

    John West Active Member

    This is the bunker at Le Pequel taken in 2019, complete with battle damage, it looks mighty similar! Will await Dave H's verdict....
     
  16. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    I agree, I believe it is Le Pequel, probably days before 8 Plt Moved in. I’m not aware of another at Nordpeene but frenchflanders would know........
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Chrisb
     
  18. John West

    John West Active Member

  19. The same constructions in each village Noordpeene, ochtezeele, Zermezeele...
     
  20. ChrisBa

    ChrisBa Member

    Hey guys,

    if I understood you right John's photo shows the blockhouse north of Cassel (near Hardifort).
    Mine is obviously not the same. But I understand there exist several bunkers of the same type. The Germans had "Regelbauten" (standardised types of bunkers) and the French and British obviously too.

    I cannot find a place with the name "Le Pequel" via Google maps can you help?

    Is there a map existing that shows the locations of these bunkers in the area around Cassel? I found it hard to find the one north of Cassel using the satelite mode of Google maps.

    All the best
    Christian
     

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