Frank Barratt, MID. 56 Recce

Discussion in 'Recce' started by 4jonboy, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    My husband spotted this article in the Daily Express today. Hoping that there is a 56 Recce living close to me. :)

    I have looked at the names in the Appendices in the 56 Recce war diaries and he is listed in C Sqn as Tpr F Barrett, although the surname in the article is Barratt.

    Looking for an address and contact number for Frank Barratt, lives in Hull. If anyone has access to or lives in Hull who can help me, could they please send me a PM.

    Looks like this chap served in the same Squadron as my father :) . I would love to get in touch with him and maybe visit.

    Thank you in advance


    Edit: found this news report, seems he lives in Ellerker near Hull.

    Edited 20/11/14, altered title to correct spelling of surname

    Attached Files:

    Buteman and Smudger Jnr like this.
  2. CL1

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

    pm sent
    Buteman and 4jonboy like this.
  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Spot on Clive, thanks ever so much :)

  4. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  5. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Lesley thanks for posting.

    Frank Barratt Remembers .....

    "Ron was a brilliant war time leader and map reader which was very important as we sometimes had to bring gun fire down only a very short distance away from us. This was from guns probably ten miles behind us, so you see that the map reference had to be spot on otherwise the shells were on us instead of the Germans.I remember one occasion in North Africa we were somewhere in no mans land: -

    It was dark and I believe we were in and around this big French house with the 2 or 3 light armoured cars camouflaged nearby. Suddenly we heard German voices coming towards us. Ron put his hand up as an indication for everybody to keep quiet. They got to about 20 yards away from us when Ron called out in his best German asking them who they were. They answered back and kept coming forward, - we very quickly surrounded them with our M3's at the ready.

    We took them them prisoner and went back into the house. We were all very happy, but being typically British, we were prepared to share food with them as they had indicated that they were hungry as well. We had blacked out the windows in the room we were in and were heating the tins of food when suddenly 2 or 3 shells crashed near us,... afterwards we realised
    there must have been another patrol following the one that we had taken prisoner. Needless to say, we got out of the house pretty quickly, as the shells would soon have blown the house sky high, taking the prisoners with us.

    In keeping with the title of Richard Doherty's book, 'Only the enemy in Front', - we were known as the eyes and the ears of the Army. Just imagine the scene,... Ron and his crew of three in an LRC, (Light Reconnaissance Car), moving slowly forward up this road with orders to locate the enemy. Behind Ron's car are probably 2 or 3 heavy armoured cars and one more light car, all about 70 yards apart. You know that somewhere out there the enemy is waiting to blow you to kingdom come, but the wireless operator is receiving messages ordering you to push on. As you can imagine, your heart is beating pretty quickly at the thought of going to Heaven fifty or sixty years too soon!

    Ron was absolutely brilliant at this; I can picture him now with his binoculars scanning each side of the road and the surrounding houses, trees, etc... Not only that, but later in the war the Germans laid hundreds of mines as they retreated. These were very hard to see on some of the minor roads in Italy. As a matter of fact we lost a few cars and crews in this way.

    I always thought Ron should have had a bravery medal for the many times he was lead car. He was so good at leading and I think this was the reason he got the job so often. He brought his own crew, (and consequently the rest of the troop), through most times unharmed, even when the worst danger was staring us in the face."

    Frank Barratt

    56th Recce Reg't Veteran and wartime comrade of Ron's. (October 9, 1997)

    From Ron Tees web site

    4jonboy likes this.
  6. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Thank you Paul for posting.
    Hoping to get in touch with Frank later this week.

  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I hope all goes well for you and you get to meet Frank personally.

    You will have to invite him to join the Forum. :)

  8. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Wonderful news :)
    I received a telephone call from Frank this morning. He remembers my father and spoke about him as he was also in C Sqn, 15 Troop. He can also remember the names of quite a lot of his mates too.

    I hope to meet Frank in the next 2 to 3 weeks so we can exchange photos and I will try to put more names to the faces on the photographs in my Gallery.
    I'm so lucky to have spoken to someone who served with my father and remembers him very well.

    56 Recce's watch this space :biggrin:

    Paul Reed, Owen and CL1 like this.
  9. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    That's great news Lesley. Will be watching this space

  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Like you I was lucky to be able to speak to an ex Recce Trooper (4th) who served with my father in Italy and Greece, but Jack sadly passed away soon afterwards.

    I will always remember that he was a good friend of my late Father.

  11. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I had a lovely meeting with Frank and his wife yesterday. They were very welcoming and had put on a buffet lunch for myself and my husband, followed by homemade-made apple pie and custard :) .

    Frank is one of the original 100, 56 Recce recruits who were called up in January 1942, along with my father. He told me they were called the ten-sixty boys, a name which always stuck with them (their army numbers began with 1060....). They all travelled to Colchester, and were transferred to Chadacre for their initial training.

    Frank initially was a driver too in the ARC's, then became a Troop Sergeant. He was also mentioned in a despatch for distinguished service.

    He was great friends with Ron Tee and visited him in Canada after the war. Ron also visited Frank and his wife in Hull. Sad to hear that Ron passed away a couple of years ago.

    He managed to put some names to the faces on the 56 Recce group photos I posted and I will post them on the appropriate thread soon.

    The group photo was taken in Scarbrough in 2000. 2nd from left is John Gowan, 15 Troop. Abe Bates, 17 Troop, Frank Barratt and finally "Nobby" Clark, 17 Troop.

    Photo of myself trying on Frank's 1940 Pattern, battledress blouse :biggrin:

    I had a wonderful day and very fortunate to have met a lovely Veteran of 56 Recce who knew my father very well and who confirmed that my father was indeed a Bren Carrier driver.


    Frank Barratt meeting 002.JPG Frank Barratt meeting 021.JPG Frank Barratt meeting 005.JPG Frank Barratt meeting 018.JPG

    Attached Files:

    RosyRedd, Paul Reed, Drew5233 and 5 others like this.
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Fantastic result and photos !
    Very pleased for you Lesley. It's great to see your determination, to research as much as possible about your father and his unit, rewarded with such an opportunity.
  13. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Lesley great that you were able to talk with someone who remembered your father & was able to provide you with some information about him.

    From the War Diary Jan 1942


    Lieut Hodsoll and 2/Lieut Schofield proceeded to Colchester to collect the 100 men of the Army Class Intake arriving at the Divisional Reception Centre. All men were of the 19 years of age Group and had been Matrix tested before joining; the grading of the men was on the average, in comparison with other units, high.
    They arrived at the camp in two batches, the first of 16 and the second of 74.
    Battalion Orders Part 1 published 121-130


    Seven more men of the Army Class were received making a total of 97 out of 100 reported of which the three others were accountable for.
    The first days arrivals had all their particulars documented and kit to Home Service Scale issued.
    Four officers of the unit attended a lecture at Colchester on “The Political Outlook”
    The Chief Chaplain at Division visited the unit.
    Captain Wray, who was to be unit chaplain, reported for duty with the unit.
    The War Office, D.S.P, testing personnel under Captain Massey arrived to carry out the Matrix testing of the battalion.
    Battalion Orders Part 1 published 131-140

    Owen and 4jonboy like this.
  14. sanchez

    sanchez Patron Patron

    hi Lesley ,
    what a brilliant day that must have been , meeting someone who served with with youre dad and remembers him . plus he lives in the same county . I wondered if anyone was still alive from the 56th who could still recall all the events and here is one in frank who is in the same troop as youre dad and same sqn as both youre dad and mine . please keep us updated with any more info frank gives you and when you see him again pass on my regards .
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Proper chuffed for you Lesley !
  16. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Thanks to everyone for their kind comments.
    Andy-I'm well chuffed too :)

    Drew5233 likes this.
  17. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    London Gazette 23/09/1943 Page 4229


    Attached Files:

    4jonboy likes this.
  18. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Superb thread!
  19. Plantymon

    Plantymon Member

    Congratulations Lesley it must have been a wonderful experience.
  20. bookwormwmb

    bookwormwmb proud daughter of a 56 Recce/78 infantry vet

    hello, Jane here. i don't have a photograph of my dad Frank De Angeli in Recce uniform. the avatar is him in the 12 Royal Lancers . My father says the younger 56 recce were put into 12 Royal Lancers and sent first to Egypt and then Palestine. He began the war in the Pioneer Corps as he was born in Rome he was an enemy alien. eventually these loyal enemy aliens were allowed to enlist in a fighting unit and he entered the Recce. he came into Italy after Monte Cassino. He said he saw it on the way to join his unit. when he got to his unit, remarkably he met a Lt. John K. Edwards who was at school with my uncle Rico De Angeli (Paratrooper injured out at Pegasus Bridge on D Day). Lt Edwards took Frank into his unit. Frank said that Lt Edwards was a real hero, and in fact Lt Edwards was awarded a Military Cross and a Silver Star. the MC Citation was posted elsewhere on this site. as i said i don't have any photos of my father Frank but recently he gave me a letter he had mailed to my grandfather while he was with the Recce. It is dated Jan 5 1945 and is sent from the RACTD, the training area at i think it is Rieto. in the letter my father gave his number as #13118381 and wrote "5 Squadron" . i find this puzzling as elsewhere the squadrons have letters. any ideas about a 5 Squadron?

Share This Page