Escaut Battle In Petegem On 18/20 May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Herbert, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Zeppman

    Zeppman Member

    PM with address sent. Thank you.
  2. Zeppman

    Zeppman Member

  3. JackW

    JackW Member

    Jack my father was in Stalaag XXB, Marienburg, he worked on a farm at Rosenburg, he was sent too to Gotenhafen. I have his war diary that for whatever reason the Army had typed up at the end of the war. I'll scan it to the forum for you guys to have a read. The dates are a bit of guess work apparently but accurateish if not a complete contradiction!

    Hi Dave,

    Pte KH Warner 6288126 - 5Bn The Buffs
    POW No 611


    XX1B Schokken May 40 to Aug 42
    XXB Marienburg Aug 42 to Jan 45

    Work Camps:

    F3 and 362 from Aug 42 to Jan 45

    All in Poland

    Then on the march 25/01/45 to 26/04/45

    It would appear that they were together for a couple of years.
    Unfortunately, my dad died in 1972, all the details we have gathered together are from Kew Archives, and some history from the late Lt. Horace Cook whom my brother managed to locate locally who was with dad at Boulogne.

  4. Zeppman

    Zeppman Member

    Extracted from separate diary, Joe Chamberlain , The Buffs:

    Italics are my additions / explanations.

    Rosenburg, Prussia
    March began Jan 21st 1945 at 14:00 hours
    March ended March 31st 1945 at 12:00 hours
    Established Stendall (where march ended) as Stalag 11A
    Hard work on railways. Aeros damaged by our planes. I believe this was the location of a railway goods yard my father told me about the Allies bombed causing the sleepers to be blown across the whole town causing more damage than the bombs. Rations 200 g bread, 3/4 litre of soup (so called) 15 gms arg.
    Liberated April Friday 13th by 9th Spearhead Armoured A Division.
    April 14th at 18:00 hours: Transported to base. Trouble on way in village with SS. Lorry overturns. One man hurt. Walk 5 km.
    April 15th: Further transport to Hilderheim.
    April 16th-27th: In camp.
    April 22nd, 17:00 hours: Transport by plane to England. Arrive at 22:40 hours RAF reception camp.
    April 22nd-May 7th: Blank, probably hospital as that is where he went on arrival weighing 6 stone and not expected to live. Slept for 3 days.Suffered with TB, Dysentry, passing of blood
    May 8th-May 11th Stayed with family:- Miss Peggy Holdstock 117 Chalmont Road, Tooting SW17. This was a form of resettlement before being sent home to own family.

    The story recounted to me by my father was that when the Americans arrived their SS Guards had fled. An American jeep drove into their compound and hit the flag pole head on deliberately to knock the German flag over. Later recounted by my Uncle after my father's death was that the Americans were so appauled at the condition of the men they found they chased after the SS Guards who were hiding in a local wood and surrounded it with flamethrowers to burn them dead. My Uncle told me that before the war my father was happy go lucky but he was much less so after!
  5. Zeppman

    Zeppman Member

    JackW I will look out to see if that name appears in my Father's address book.
  6. RupertPearson

    RupertPearson Junior Member

    DoW 21/22 May,'40. Was in 2nd Bat 'The Buffs', & at Petegem. Buried at Esquelmes. Any detail/info welcomed.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Rupert and welcome to the forum.

    Here is his CWGC details:
    CWGC :: Casualty Details

    Do you know when he joined the battalion? I can only find him listed on the May Officer Field Returns.

    The units war diary has him down as died of wounds on the 21st May 1940. If you look at the map above from the diary he appears to be 8 Platoons Commander.
  8. kiwi craig

    kiwi craig Member

    I have just found this thread.
    The map is from WO167/485, the war dairy of the 57th Field Regiment RA. According to what I have put together, the 57th Field and the 2nd Btn of the Buffs were a part of the 44th Home Counties Div. The 2nd Buffs were a part of the 131 Inf Bde. Petegem is at GR057566. In the diary there were map overlays, which I did not copy. At Gr065525 their is a pencil location which I interpreted as "131 CP"


    The War Dairy of the 57th makes reference to the Buffs.


    I hope this helps,
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Found some more info-You should be able to pin point his final movements using the sketch map in post 15 and the report below. With the sketch map, they list together where he was fighting, where he was wounded and where he died:

  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Some more detailed information from the Commanding Officers Diary. It seems he was hit by a bullet that exploded a hand grenade he had attached to his chest. Either way he was involved in some serious fighting !

  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  14. RupertPearson

    RupertPearson Junior Member

    Re page 3, if it was Major Erracht Bruce, who was riddled etc, he in fact survived & was nice/well enough in December 1940 to write to my grandfather from 'Gefangenennummer 402', about my uncle, Denis.
    Thank you Drew 5233, & Kiwi Craig. A great help.
    Denis was at Sandhurst in38/39 & was among the last to be gazetted ahead of the ...war. (His driving license has him as 2nd Lieut by July 39).
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Rupert,

    Any chance you can share what Major Erracht Bruce wrote? Do you have any pictures of Denis you could share?

  16. RupertPearson

    RupertPearson Junior Member

    Hi Andy,
    Yes I have a photo, but not a scanner for the moment! Ditto re letter{s), which is in v small hand & faded pencil....Major Bruce does say Denis joined him in April having missed the move to France from Pembroke Docks, which could explain your query about his joining time?
    Regards, Rupert.
  17. RupertPearson

    RupertPearson Junior Member

    This is from Major Bruce's letter of 17/12/40,

    '....the company was attacked from the flank and Denis and his platoon caught the first knock. However, we straightened out that alright and it was not 'til long after this when we were reforming to make another counter-attack that I heard the explosion of a grenade and a shout and somebody told me Denis was badly wounded. I did not have time to go and see him myself, but Edlmann, who is here now, tells me he was standing by him when it happened and he thought it was a stray bullet which had exploded the grenade in his haversack.'
    Drew5233 likes this.

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