Devonshire Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by reddevon, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Alexandra

    Alexandra New Member


    I'm wondering if any of you can help me. My grandad served in the 2nd Battalion, and I really wanted some information or even a photo of his battalion for my dad. We know quite a lot of where he fought but wondered if you can get service photos? His name was Mervyn Cooper.
    My great uncle also glided in, I only know him as Mac any information on him would be great.

    Thank you
  2. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    Hi Alexandra,i have seen quite a lot of photos of the 2nd Devons while they were in Malta (1939-43) a few from Sicily 1943, none from their time in Italy and a few from the UK (late 43 - June 44) and some from Berlin Victory parade in 1945, most of the photos i have of the Devons have come from various books and a few from families of veterans that served with the Battalion. What period did he serve with the 2nd Devons?

    Was your uncle in the Devons when he glided in? i could check with the nominal roles i have for the 12th Battalion and find his service number.
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi All,

    From an enquiry on another related forum, has anyone come across an officer with the Devons by the name of Lieut. J. Coode?
    Any information on him much appreciated.


  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    A polite bump for this one. :)
  5. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    Sorry Steve, I have got no mention of this officer, do you know what Battalion he was in?
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Tony,

    I'm afraid I've got nothing on him. I was really only trying to help out an enquiry from the British Medal Forum in regard to his WW2 involvement. I think he had been picked up in the 1940 Army Lists, but that is about it.

    Thanks for looking for me.


  7. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Steve, much appreciated.
  9. nobby1922

    nobby1922 New Member

    Hi, I would like to try to find out some more information about my Granddads service during WW2. His name was Frederick George Henry Clarke (aka Nobby). I know he was in the Devons, I think it was the 4th. From what I have read on here, it seems to match up.
    I know some things as he used to talk about his time in the army, but I think there is a lot he didn't mention.
    He signed up in Exeter in 1939. Eventually sailed from Liverpool to Cape Town, then up to Malta, where he said he stayed for 3 years.
    He said he was part of the invasion of Sicily, came back to the UK and was then in the second front going to France. Made their way to Holland, which was where he stayed until the end of the war.
    He often talked about his time in Malta, though again only really the nicer moments, but he never talked about Sicily or France.
    He also said he was 'mentioned in dispatches' while in Malta.
    I know he was in Malta when HMS Illustrious was there, as his Uncle Fred Hodges was onboard and he met up with him.
    I would really like to be able to find out more about the time he spent in the army but didn't talk about, and it would be great if I could find a record of his mention in dispatches, though I know this is unlikely, as records of this weren't always kept.
    Any help or information will be greatly appreciated.
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, nobby1922.

    From your write-up your grandad almost certainly served with the 2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment. See Message No. 1...

    The 2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment was part of the Malta Brigade, with the 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment and 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment from mid-1938 to late-1942. The Malta Brigade was redesignated as 231st Infantry Brigade and took part in Operation Husky/Sicily campaign as an Independent Infantry Brigade. At the end of the Sicily Campaign the Brigade joined 50th (Northumbrian) Division as its new third brigade.

    NB. It was also briefly involved in the Italian landings/campaign.

    As part of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, the Brigade returned to the UK and took part in the Operation Overlord/Normandy landings as an assault brigade on Gold Beach, with the 2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment being the reserve battalion of the Brigade. It fought throughout the Normandy campaign and all the way through to The Island in The Netherlands (just short of Arnhem), including Operation Market Garden. At the end of November 1944, 50 Div was returned home as a training cadre - it being the most battle hardened and experienced British Infantry Division it was being stood down as it had done enough.

    However, the 2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment stayed on in NW Europe, joining the 131st Infantry Brigade, 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) as lorried infantry, fighting all the way through to Germany and VE Day.

    As Andy suggests, you really should apply for your grandad's service records to make certain though.


  12. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    Welcome to the forum Nobby1922
    I have a little booklet written by Lt.Col.A.W.Valentine (C.O. of the 2nd Devons during Malta, Sicily and Italy) in it he writes about the Battalions time on Malta with all the bombing raids, the Battalions adventures and hard fighting in Sicily including the bitter fighting around Regabulto Ridge, he also writes about their adventures in Italy.
    The following are the front cover, inside cover and the awards given to all members of the Battalion.




    CL1 likes this.
  13. JennyC

    JennyC New Member

    My grandfather was in the Devonshire Regiment Band during WW2. He was at the Victory Day in Berlin, July 1945 so I understand he may have been attached to the 2nds. I am trying to find information about his band and where they went during WW2. I am not sure when he joined them as I can't find any details of his enlistment. I have his cap badge and also several items he picked up from Hermann Gorings office at his Barracks in Berlin (cap badges, medals, arm band, cigarette case & cuff links). He also wrote a small diary of his tour to Germany between May 11th and August 14th, and took photos while in Berlin. Where can I find more information on the bands? Thank you.
  14. H. Derpington

    H. Derpington New Member

  15. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    This Jimmy Jewell of the 2nd Battalion. The first photo is of him in service dress while being driver for Lt. Col. A. W. Valentine. The second photo is him in battle dress in Germany 1945

    Attached Files:

  16. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    CSM Reginald Bolland MBE DSM of the 2nd Devons

    Attached Files:

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