Cyril Douglas Langdon

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Ben Girling, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. Ben Girling

    Ben Girling New Member

    Hi all,

    Tracing what I can about Cyril Douglas Langdon now until I get the service records (which I understand might be a while!) He was my great Uncle.

    Service number 6146181, he served in the 5th Battalion of the Buffs and died on the 5th November 1943.
    He is buried in the Sangro river War cemetery, my mother has been fortunate enough to have visited.

    From what I have read (mainly on these forums) this means he would have been fighting at the time he died as part of the 78 Division? Is anyone able to tell me roughly what the 78th Division would have been doing at this time?

    Im planning on getting me a copy of Keith Fords Battleaxe Division Book.

    Also, from what I have read, being part of the 5th The Buffs. I would have expected his service number to have started with 62 rather than 61. Does this mean he served elsewhere before?

    Thanks to all!
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    You require the war diaries which you can get copied for a reasonable price from a few forum members

    From Ron Goldstein

    Thought this might help in showing 78 Div movements between April 1943 and December 1944.

    October 1942 to March 1947

    Oct ‘ 42 Bury St.Edmunds, Called up on Thursday Oct 1st, aged 19, and posted to 53rd Primary Training Wing for 6 weeks basic training.
    Nov ’42 Whitby, Yorkshire. Posted to 52nd Anti Aircraft Driver Training Regiment, R.A to be trained for 12 weeks as a Driver/Wireless Op.
    Dec ’42 Training at Whitby
    Jan ’43 Training at Whitby
    Haltwhistle, Northumberland. Posted to 112th L.A.A. Regiment.
    who were just starting a 2 week’s battle training course.
    Mar’43 Hove, Sussex, Congleton, Cheshire. our Bty guns were protecting the Hove coastline. Then taken off strength of 112 Rgt and posted to Congleton where the overseas draft REAYK assembled. Posted to Woolwich and sent home for 7 days embarkation leave.
    Apr’43 Liverpool, Embarked on S.S.Frankonia, the troopship that took us to North Africa. Algiers. Posted to 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt, stationed at Tunis
    May ’43 War ends in North Africa on May 13th.
    June ‘43 Carthage, Guelma, Hammamet. Boarded ship for Sicily.
    July’ 43 Syracuse, Bronte, Adrano, Messina.
    Aug ’43 Sicily
    Sep’43 By landing craft to Reggio di Calabria, then onto mainland Italy, Crotone, Bari, Foggia, Termoli.
    Oct ’43 Italy
    Nov ’43 Italy
    Dec ’43 Carovilla, Cantalupo, Agnone, Riccia, Campo Basso, Bagnolia.
    Jan' 44 New Years Day 1944 Snowed in at mountain village of Carovilli.
    Feb ’44 Ortogna, Mignano, Cassino (Regiment responsible for smoke laying beneath the monastery), Caserta, Afragola, San Vittorio.
    Mar ’44 Two weeks in dock in Naples and not a wound to show for it
    Apr’ 44 Vanairo, Vanafro, Ceprano, Lake Trasimeno, Rome.
    May ’44 Italy
    Jun '44 Day leave in Rome
    Baschi, Tiber, Frosinino, Taranto. Pulled out of the line. 78th Div goes to Egypt to re-fit and re-form. S.S.Empires Pride (Ship that took us to Egypt).
    Jul’ 44 Alexandria,(Egypt), Cairo, Ishmalia, Amiryah. S.S.Homer Lee The American ship that took us back to Italy. Augusta, (Sicily) Assisi (Italy), Vasto,Termoli, Sangro, Pescara, Scarperia, Florence, Firenzuolo.
    Aug ’44 Italy
    Sep ’44 Italy
    Oct ’ 44 Sienna, Tavernelle, Naples, Ancona.
    Nov '44 Firenzuola
    Dec’ 44 The 49th LAA Rgt. disbanded and I was posted to Royal Armoured Corp Training Depot at Rieti for 12 week's re-training as a Tank Loader/Operator.
    Jan ’45 Training at Rieti
    Feb ’45 Training at Rieti
    Mar’ 45 Posted to “A” Sqdrn 4th Queen’s Own Hussars as SSM “Busty Thomas’s Loader/Wireless Op. Gubbio, Ravenna, Rocciano, Rimini.
    Apr’ 45 Comacchio, Traversare, Ferrara, Lugo, Santerno, Reno.
    2-4th April Operation “Roast”, Ray Jefford gets his MM
    May’ 45 War ends in Europe on 8th May. Venice, Ferndorf,(Austria). Set up a POW camp for SS Cavalry Division, Lienz, Spittal Paternion, Grafenstein, Trieben,Villach,
    Jun ’45 Austria. Unit involved in rounding up War Criminals
    Jul’ 45 Velden, Klagenfurt,Salsburg,
    Aug’45 Munich, Ulm in Germany. (One month running staging camp for troops going home on leave under LIAP. LILOP & PYTHON.
    Sep ’45 Opicina, in the hills above Trieste
    Oct ’45 Peacekeeping between Italians & Yugoslavs in the Trieste area.
    Nov’45 Udine, Milan, Brig, Calais, Folkestone,London, (First home leave since Apr’43) Folkestone, Calais, Milan, (Italy) Palmanova, Trieste,
    Dec ’45 Peacekeeping at Trieste
    Jan ’46 Peacekeeping at Trieste
    Feb ’46 Peacekeeping at Trieste
    Mar ’46 Trieste . Now “A” Sqn Tech Cpl.
    Apr ’46 Trieste
    May ’46 28 Days home leave (LIAP)
    Jun’46 Milan, Calais, Folkestone, London, (My second home leave)
    Trieste, (Italy) Monfalcone. Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946
    Jul ’46 Monfalcone
    Oct’ 46 Now full Corporal in charge of “A” Squadron Tech Stores
    Milan, Dieppe, Dover London, Dover, Dieppe, Trieste (Regimental re-union with the Colonel , Winston Churchill in attendance)
    Nov ’46 Monfalcone
    Dec'46 Monfalcone, Our first Post-War New Year's Eve
    Jan’47 Back to the UK to prepare for Demob. Milan, Calais, Dieppe, London, Barnard Castle(Worst winter in the UK in living memory)
    Feb ’47 Barnard Castle
    Mar ’47 Received notification of impending release
    Apr ‘47 Released from RAC Depot, Barnard Castle, York and finally demobbed at York !. Home is now 16a Manor Rd., London N16
    Jul ’47 Transferred to Army Reserve
    Aug ’53 Taken off Army strength, I am now aged 30
    78th British Infantry Division - "The Battleaxe Div"
    Tony56, Tricky Dicky and ozzy16 like this.
  4. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron


    I think you are aware that the 5th Bn Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) were part of 36 Infantry Bde in the 78th (Battleaxe) Infantry Division. One of the divisional troops of the 78th was the 56th Reconnaissance Regiment, as well as operating independently, squadrons were also often attached to one of the 78th's three infantry brigades.

    56 Recce diaries for 5 November 1943 state:

    "C Sqn, in front of 36 Bde, recce forward into Vasto. Enemy Armd Cars and infantry engaged 1/2 mile North of the town and forced back".

    resized P2000073 | WW2Talk

    There is a more comprehensive report by C Sqn's C/O here:

    resized P2000093 | WW2Talk

    Slightly difficult to read in places and this is my attempt at transcribing:

    5.11.43 Under comm'd 36 Bde. Ordered to exploit to Vasto & beyond. 2 Trps up. Entered Vasto 09.00 via main road & down country to coast road. Mines & demolitions on coast road. Enemy had evacuated town. RWKs occupied Vasto. Contact found(?) half mile North of town. Enemy force consisting of several Arm'd cars & mobile infantry. Continuous local scrapping within(?) all ? in extremely close wooded country. Enemy forced back four miles, impassible even with tanks to get behind him & cut him off. Patrol sent during afternoon from Vasto via track NW of town to Pt 168 (55.91), no contact by dusk, track in good condition & decision made to use it as main axis for next days ops.


Share This Page