Guardsmen Fenwick and Seymour, 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards, 14.05.1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Dirk, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Also in this clip. There are several soldiers inside a building that has got bomb damage. Could this be the cookhouse? The camera films a bit of the inside building after the men have left. It might be me but is it filming a body? It looks like a leg and foot can be seen.

    It's the detail that makes it interesting isn't it , Alex ?

    The census number does indicate a 1939 contract but I'd guess fairly early in 1939. Too early, I think, to be a panic contract of civilian stock on the outbreak of hostilities. A quick look at the list shows it was only a very small contract - 35 vehicles so it's perhaps not surprising that there is little surviving photographic evidence.

    Contract V3332 - M392353 - M392388 so this one (M392387) was the penultimate build.

    If the triangle is indeed a dirtied-down 1st Div sign then the '14' (on red) indicates 2nd Btn. Coldstream Guards. They could well be Guardsmen. They're big enough.

    It looks as if a casualty is being moved to the Humber from the building with a Union flag. The bonnet looks to have been peppered with fragmentation.


    I suspect from the other films and the scenery that it's probably between Leuven and Brussels.
  2. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Drew- I thought that was the bombed cookhouse as it seems to be some sort of bar/cafe and the soldiers are searching for gear. I lalso thought that may be the other body but its very blurred ,however the way the greatcoat is draped over the upper part ?
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Detail from photo mentioned by Rich:

  6. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    The location is indeed Leefdaal!!!

    The images were shot at the junction of the streets named Dorpsstraat and Korbeekstraat. The house standing in the corner of the road junction used to be café. It is the house where all the guardsmen are gathered and where the Humber is parked. Behind the café was a dance hall. On 14 May 1940 the dance hall was hit by a German bomb.

    Two guardsmen are shown in the Pathé film going through the ruins of the dance hall.

    In 1939-1940 the dance hall was used by a Belgian Air Force unit named: 2e Peleton Automobile de Munitions Aériennes / Service de Ravitaillement et de Dépannage Aérien (abbreviation: 2e P.A.M Aé/ S.R.D.Aé).

    In May 1940, four Belgian soldiers were left behind to guard the ammunition in the dance hall. By the way, a Belgian soldier wearing spectacles and talking to a Guardsman is shown in the Pathé film.

    At the front door of the café lie several wooden boxes (ammunition boxes?).

    It is my assumption that the dance hall was used by the Guardsmen as a billeting place and cookhouse.

    Here is a picture of how the house looked in the 1930's when it was a diary and pub "Laiterie & Café".
    Thanks to all,

    Attached Files:

    dbf and Rich Payne like this.
  7. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Here is some visual proof.

    The building have changed a lot. Except for a few ones.


    Attached Files:

    Drew5233 likes this.
  8. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Here is a second batch of images to proof the location "Then and Now".


    Attached Files:

  9. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    I see Dirk , the 'Stella Artois' bar in the new picture is the building with the white brick bands behind the lady with pram in the old . ( I think!)
    Great detective work everyone.
  10. Dirk

    Dirk Member


    Here is the location of the Stella Artois bar in the old picture.


    Attached Files:

  11. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Hi Andy,

    Does the War Diary of the 2 Bn. Coldstream Guards holds a list of all the Guardsmen that went overseas to France in 1939-1940?

    Company Quartermaster Serjeant John FENWICK (Service No: 2655394) must have been with 3 Coy. He died at the east side of the village of Leefdaal, where 3 Coy held a position.

    What about Guardsman SEYMOUR, what company did he belong to?

    According to an eye-witness, Guardsman Seymour was killed at the west side of the village that same day. He died of a shrapnel wound in the neck, caused by a German bomb dropped by a German bomber.

    If Seymour died at the other end of the village, he would have belonged to another company.

    Any list in the war diary that might proof that Seymour was with a different company?

  12. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

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