Albert James Jones 5th bn the Wiltshire Regiment

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by AJ Jones, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    The stripes on the left arm are Good Conduct Stripes not a Corporal's chevrons. Have you obtained his Service Records as per Post 2? Waiting time is now down to about 6 weeks.

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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Further to TD's Post you should also note that the Dunkirk Medal is an unofficial commemorative medal and should not be included on the bar of his official Service Medals. No Dunkirk Medal was issued by the UK Government.

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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    2nd Wilts were in the BEF & were evacuted .

    War Diaries - The Wardrobe housing The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  5. AJ Jones

    AJ Jones Junior Member

    Hi Tim,
    thank you for clearing this up, I have applied for his records but haven't received an answer yet.

    Could anyone shed some light on the photos though? Do you recognize the other soldiers' units? Or the places that the photos were tanken in? Has anybody heard of this Mr Fagan ? I'd be really interested in finding out more.
  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    There is a Pte T B Fagan, 5572378, Wiltshire Regt (Battalion not shown) listed as Wounded DNR (Date Not Reported) on Casualty List 1514 dated 2 Aug 44.

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  7. Jonathan Webb

    Jonathan Webb New Member

    My father and uncle were in A company of the 5th Wilts and fought at Vernon. I know this photo well. We are fairly sure that the guy carrying the rifle with bayonet fixed is my uncle Tom Wright. My father is still alive (98 years old) and I will give him a call to see if he remembers your great granddad.
    BTW I think the wall in the background was an orchard. The company had made their way through Vernon and peeked through a door in the orchard wall. They were somewhat daunted by the vast area of open ground they would have to cover on both sides of the river, never mind the river crossing and the machine gun fire coming from the tree line on the other side.

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  8. Jonathan Webb

    Jonathan Webb New Member

    I have spoken to my father and unfortunately he doesn't remember your Great-Granddad. This was due to the fact that he had only joined the 5th Wilts 18 days before. He had landed on D-Day with the Royal Berks but by August so many regiments had suffered such terrible loses his battalion was disbanded and sent to re-enforce these regiments. On joining the Wilts he was coldly told he would probably only last 21 days as that was the life expectancy for men in the regiment at that time! As it was he only made 18 days. After the disastrous crossing at Vernon A Company was decimated and abandoned by the high command. They fought until they were out of ammo and had only 4 uninjured men left before surrendering. My Dad thinks he might have a list of the men he was captured with. If he finds it I will let you know.
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  9. Jonathan Webb

    Jonathan Webb New Member

    Also ask him about why your Great-Granddad might have been carrying a Sten. He said it was common for specialists such as members of a Bren Gun team, Radio operators and even the officer's bat man to have Stens.
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  10. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    My 1st cousin 1x removed was Private James Henry Grace who served with the 5 WR in 1944. He was KIA on November 25 1944.

    Service Number 5348052
    Died 25/11/1944
    Aged 31
    5th Bn
    Wiltshire Regiment
    Son of William Henry and Florence Jane Grace; husband of Ellen Grace, of Whetstone, Middlesex.

    I have seen the WD entry for this date and suspect he was one of the 10 men from B Company who were held prisoner by the Germans in a barn that day.

    Family stories about him indicated he was wounded and captured and later died of his wounds.

    Regiment. 5th Wiltshire
    Location Bauchem, Germany
    Entry: 0705hrs. Large fighting patrol from "B" Coy goes out to clear houses. 0735hrs. One House reported taken. 0800hrs. En still hold Houses to WEST of ROAD. Arty, 4.2in and 3in mor fire put down. "B" Coy to reorganise attacking force (approx Pl str) and attack to clear left hand houses at 0905hrs. 0935hrs. "B" Coy report attack going will, one barn at extreme NORTH WEST of TRIPSRATH still to be cleared. 6 PW taken - identified as 1 Coy 104 Regt Pz Gren. "B" Coy cas - five (incl one killed) 1030hrs. "B" Coy report very heavy shelling of Coy area. 1215hrs. "B" Coy ask for help from one Pl "C" Coy to be held in reserve. En believed to be holding ten "B" Coy PW in barn. "B" Coy still in original objective, but pinned down by SA fire. En counter attack (str approx 50) seen forming up by tanks, who engaged and apparently dispersed it. 1240hrs. Very heavy shelling of "B" and "C" Coy areas continues. 1700hrs. Six PW taken at start of "B" Coy attack state that they were among 70 reinforcements who arrived for 1 Coy 104 Regt Pz Gren night 24/25 Nov. PW gives location of their Bn HQ as 866688. 1700hrs. "B" Coy now back in original posns. Actual time of withdrawal 1430. Five wounded and evacuated, ten "B" Coy still missing. One Tp Tks (13/18 Hussars) moved up on left flank to engage barn held by en in TRIPSRATH. 2209hrs. "D" Coy move to "C" Coy locn in TRIPSRATH. Move complete at 2209. "C" Coy move to assembly area between "D" and "A" Coys in preparation to attack NORTH WEST end of TRIPSRATH.

    I wonder if he had any mention in the regimental books mentioned in this thread and if any members could have a quick look if they have these books.

    I do not have his service records yet so don't know when he enlisted and if he served with 5 WR in 1940.

    Any info would be much appreciated.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    According to the history by Kenrick 'The Wiltshire's fought no major battles between October, 1944 and January, 1945'. That's all you get !
  12. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Actually the information is not for me but for my sister who is doing a battle field tour in June and visiting graves and memorials for fallen family members.
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  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Hope u can read this. Photo on phone of page 62 of the reprinted McMaths battalion history. Says 9 of the 10 men escaped.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    5348052 is a Royal Berkshires number. 5th Wilts was made up to strength with a large draft from 5th Royal Berks including Chris Tarrant's Dad.
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  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  16. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Owen, thanks for this information. Yes I spotted that last point regarding 9 of the 10 men in the barn/house making it back. So I originally assume the one that didn't was J.H. Grace who perhaps was mortally wound and not able to escape.However the WD for 26/11/1944 indicates one missing man from B Company turned up safe (perhaps the 10th fellow from the barn/house)..... so not sure if it was him involved.

    Regiment. 5th Wiltshire
    Location Bauchem, Germany
    Entry 0900hrs. Nine men "B" Coy, one slightly wounded, withdrew from en occupied area of TRIPSRATH overnight and rejoined Coy. "H" Hour for "C" Coy attack 1600 hrs. 1545hrs. Two Tps 13/18 HUSSARS move up en left flank to engage en occupied farm in TRIPSRATH. 13/18 HUSSARS, 5 Pls Regt RA and one Med Regt RA, 4.1in Mor and Pl 8 Mx 3in Mor Pl 5 WILTS and 4 WILTS engaged in attack. 1600hrs. "C" Coy Comd - Maj E.R.B. Field, now with "B" Coy Comd, Maj M.G.H. Henley. Tanks still engaging targets. All sp arms now engaged. Arty "saturating" gun areas and screen attack from en observation by smoke. 1606hrs. "C" Coy cross start line. 1620hrs. Attack going well. Hostile Arty active. Sp fire on en gun areas intensified. 1630hrs. En arty still active. Right hand houses reported clear of en. 1633hrs. "C" Coy report very heavy shelling. 1640hrs. "C" Coy report all objectives taken, with 60 PW (final tally 55). 1715hrs. Arty fire to be continued throughout night to discourage en counter attack. 1840hrs. "B" Coy report one man missing from previous days attack, discovered safe, after "C" Coy attack, together with some equipt. 1930hrs. PW taken in "C" Coy attack, identified as being from 1,2 and 13 Coys 104 Pz Gren Regt. They include two Offrs, one WO, 8 NCOs and three POLISH ptes. 2125hrs. CO decides to relieve "B" Coy with "D" Coy, one Pl of "B" Coy to remain in posn. Carrier Pl to be moved to right rear of "C" Coy.

    Did McMath's book have a roll of honour or KIA list and if so was J.H. Grace mentioned? CWGC has him KIA on 25/11/1944 and memorialize on Panel 5 at GROESBEEK MEMORIAL. CWGC also lists several other 5 WR men KIA on 25/11/1944. Great that you spotted his service number indicated he was at one point in the Royal Berkshires which opens up a lead to further research.

    Cheers Steve
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Yes he is listed on page 113 of the reprinted McMath's history in the roll of honour in the list for those who died of wounds. No dates or other info given except rank.
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I have the reprinted history so the page numbers are different to the orginal which I also have on disc that nicks kindly sent me years ago.
    Here's a few pages for the 25th/26th November 1944 & the Roll of Honour page he's listed on.

    Attached Files:

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  19. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Owen, most helpful, thank you. I rechecked CWGC and they have the following KIA from 5 WR:

    24/11/1944, 2 KIA
    Private W. O'Driscoll
    Private W.A.J. Newport

    25/11/1944, 8 KIA
    Sgt. S. Byng
    L/Sgt. G.A. Payner
    L/Cpl. F.E. Thompson
    Private C.E. Cook
    Private J.H. Grace, DoW
    Private C.F. Hardy
    Private S.C. Hawkins
    Private J.H. Parrott

    26/11/1944, 1 KIA
    Private W.E. Holland ( the signaler attached to A Company mentioned on p 71) DoW

    McMath's history describes an attack by C Company with covering fire from B Company at 1545 hours on 26/11/1944 and notes 5 C Company casualties. This must be the men listed by CWGC as killed on 25/11/1944, although CWGC has 8 KIA. Seems more likely he was in C Company and was mortally wounded in this attack but not nailed 100%.

    Thanks again for the assist. My sister says "Brilliant" and sends her thanks.
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  20. JulianMHall

    JulianMHall Junior Member

    Hi Chris,

    You're right that a corporal could be a section commander. I found a couple of the Wardrobe links failed; this one takes you direct to the War Diaries page, so you can enter the regiment (i.e. 5 Wiltshires), day, month and year.

    War Diaries :: The Wardrobe

    That may help you shed some light on the Dunkirk element.

    Kind regards,


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