Carriers, 2 Foresters

Discussion in '1940' started by Dirk, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Dirk

    Dirk Member


    Any idea how many Bren Gun Carriers can be seen in the German photograph attached? The photo was posted in 2011 by Rich Payne in Markings and Insignia for Armour in the BEF.

    It shows several Bren Gun Carriers of 2 Foresters and was taken in a wood situated in Sint-Agatha-Rode (Belgium). The wood itself is called Sint-Agatha-Rodebos, and is situated halfway the River Dijle and the River Laan.

    The Carriers were lost during the withdrawal in the night of 15/16 May 1940 when the BEF swung its right behind the River Laan.

    From the War Diary of 3 Infantry Brigade Headquarters: "16 May — HULDENBERG. The withdrawal was completely successful except that 2 Foresters lost a Sec. of Carriers in a bog."

    According to several villagers 6 Bren Gun Carriers were left behind in Sint-Agatha-Rodebos.

    In other words not a Section of Carriers but two Sections of Carriers were lost at this spot.

    The German occupier did not recover them. In 1978 there were still 6 Carriers in situ. A few years later only 3 were left. Around 2000 the 3 were salvaged by the Belgian Royal Museum for the Armed Forces and Military History (Brussels) and stored in their depot in Kapellen. Finally, they were scrapped by the same Royal Museum after they had asked the Imperial War Museum for advice.

    Any idea how many Carriers can be seen? One can clearly distinguish 3 Carriers (I've marked these 1, 2 and 3). What about numbers 4 and 5? Are these objects also Carriers (hard to tell because of the low resolution and the angle of perspective)?

    The photographer probably took the photo while standing on top of one of the Carriers in front of this row. His eyes are at the same level as these of the soldier on top of the first Carrier, named Friar Tuck.

    Any help is most welcome.


    Attached Files:

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Good old IWM :lol:

    2 Sherwood Forrester's war diary has their Carrier Platoon under the command of 1 DWR who were acting as rear guard for for the brigade..
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Just checked 1 DWR for you and the diary records loosing three carriers to a British landmine
  4. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Hi Drew,

    Thanks you very much for your answer.
    The Carriers of 2 Foresters were lost in Sint-Agatha-Rodebos during the withdrawal in the night of 15 to 16 May 1940.
    It was in the morning of 17 May 1940 that the Carrier Platoon of 2 Foresters came under the command of 1 DWR who were acting as rear guard for the brigade.

    So on the one hand 2 Foresters kept silent in their war diary about several of its Carriers being lost in a bog during the night of 15 to 16 May, and on the other hand they state that in the morning of 17 May 1940 their Carrier Platoon (or what was left of it) came under the command of 1 DWR.

    Could it be that the original War Diary of 2 Foresters for the period of May 1940 was lost during the withdrawal towards Dunkirk, and that the war diary kept by the National Archives is in fact an account compiled from memory and documents that survived the withdrawal?

    Any idea whether 2 Foresters lost its original war diary?


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