Missing personnel file / KIA/ WIA enquiry.

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Mortarss, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. Mortarss

    Mortarss Member

    Hi chaps,

    Does anyone have any missing personnel files / wounded/ killed in action files of the 7th Armoured division during September 1944?

    To be exact, on the 7th or 8th of september 1944.

    There is an unknow soldier burried not far from where I live ( Destelbergen, near Ghent), and the 7th Armoured division was operating around Ghent at that time.

    Perhaps there is a mentioning of a soldier missing during that period?
    It's a long shot, but it's worth a try!

    Thanks in advance!


    Edit: Perhaps it would have been better to have posted this in the "General allied units" section?
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    There are no divisional missing men files...You need to scale down to a regiment but then you are only looking at Infantry or armour. All other units are clumped together by cap badge.
  3. Mortarss

    Mortarss Member

    Armoured units would be:

    1st & 5th RTR
    5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards
    8 & 11th Hussars
    And perhaps the 1st Rifle brigade as well since they were a part of 21st Armoured brig.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Another angle is to identify where the 'no known graves' from that area/period are commemorated and work back from the names/units on the memorial.
    dbf likes this.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    WO 361/549 North West Europe: 5th Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps; missing personnel

    WO 361/555 North West Europe: 1st Battalion Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps; missing personnel

    WO 361/550 North West Europe: 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, Royal Armoured Corps; missing personnel

    WO 361/534 North West Europe: 8th Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps; missing personnel

    WO 361/539 North West Europe: 11th Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps; missing personnel

    WO 361/584 North West Europe: Rifle Brigade; missing personnel
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  7. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad


    Photo credit Nele De Moor

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
    Owen likes this.
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I agree, the easiest way to start.
    (But I know of one, and was told about another case of men being on incorrect memorials. Dates have been known to be inaccurate as well, or at least a day or two out.)

    Using Geoff's search engine, to begin with:

    Groesbeek, UK, 7 & 8 September 1944 -

    001 CAMPBELL RC 2700811 ATTD 1ST BN 07/09/1944 SCOTS GUARDS

    002 COCK WE 7666188 3RD BN 07/09/1944 MONMOUTHSHIRE REGIMENT

    003 COHEN B 14399411 1ST BN 07/09/1944 DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT

    004 COTTON K 2665586 1ST BN 08/09/1944 COLDSTREAM GUARDS




    009 SMITH JG 7952211 5TH 07/09/1944 ROYAL TANK REGIMENT, R.A.C.

    008 REDMAN GF 2736150 1ST BN 07/09/1944 WELSH GUARDS

    010 THOMAS C 2736073 1ST BN 07/09/1944 WELSH GUARDS

    011 VEASEY AH 2734562 1ST BN 07/09/1944 WELSH GUARDS
  9. Mortarss

    Mortarss Member

    Thanks for all the replies !

    It's great to see people wanting to help with these matters.

    That is indeed the headstone of the soldier in question.

    @ Drew: Are those search terms I need to enter somewhere or request via PM thru you?

    @ DBF: 009 SMITH JG 7952211 5TH 07/09/1944 ROYAL TANK REGIMENT, R.A.C. does correspond with the dates on the headstone. Weird that he ( and the others) are burried at Groesbeek, as the 7th Armoured didn't enter Holland untill after Market Garden. They weren't even near Groesbeek up untill the end of October / December.
    Nor were the Guards Armoured for that matter.
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The date corresponds simply because I used the same dates on headstone for the search of those named on the Groesbeek Memorial and just to clarify - they aren't buried there, merely commemorated, as this is the main memorial for that stage of the war in NWE.
    'End of August to end of the war'

    Officially establishing identity, if that is what you are attempting, would require more than a probability that it could be someone from units in the area at the time, and matching up date. I realise you said it was a long shot, but following up one strong possibility won't rule out others, if you know what I mean.
  11. Mortarss

    Mortarss Member

    Ah okay, sorry, that clarrifies it for me :).

    Was a bit confused at first but, yeah, than it would indeed make sense that his name would be on there. Thanks!

    I would indeed need some strong evidence, to make that happen. IF it is even possible to begin with.

    But it's a start at least. Best case scenario: his name appears somewhere on the Missing Personnels list if I request them.
    If not, the research continues!
  12. Mortarss

    Mortarss Member

    Oh, and thanks for the help so far!
  13. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Kenneth as the grave is the only CWGC grave in the civilian cemetery at Destelbergen could I suggest that you look at the local cemetery records to see what information they may have recorded about the original burial of this person. It may be that the body was found and buried by the local population and, as such, there may be a local Police report. Often such graves were adopted by the CWGC post war and their headstone erected to replace the original grave marker.
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    This is good advice - I'm currently doing the same for a 1940 chap in France that I'm trying to find. It's also worth mentioning that CWGC will be releasing more info on the website next month regarding all the graves in their care on the anniversary of the end of WW2. You may find a clue there to.
  15. Mortarss

    Mortarss Member

    Good idea, I'll get into that as well.

  16. David Ryder

    David Ryder New Member

    Hi Kenneth,

    I have a bit of circumstantial evidence that it might be Tpr Smith of the 5th RTR. He was in the same tank crew as my father, and their tank was destroyed at around 2:00 am on September 7th 1944 just south of Ghent. The tank commander escaped, my father and one other were wounded, given first aid by the Germans and then left behind later in the day as the Germans retreated. However Tpr Smith and another crew member were taken prisoner. Tpr. Smith was never seen again, so is recorded as having died that day. However, there was some confusion about his fate soon afterwards. The attached document shows that in November 1944 it was believed that he was alive but wounded. That possibly implies that someone else had been wearing his ID tag. I remember my father (sadly passed away in 2000) mentioning that a fleeing German might have taken his tag to avoid capture or recognition for some reason. If that was the case, it would mean that Tpr Smith would have been without his ID when he died and could be your unknown soldier.

    i realise you posted this some time ago, so hope my reply reaches you.



    Attached Files:

  17. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    The three casualty lists for Tpr Smith (I replaced the broken photo links in my earlier post too)
    GBM_WO417_096_0518.jpg GBM_WO417_084_0076.jpg GBM_WO417_082_0549.jpg

    Family took out ads in the personal column throughout May 45 this one is from;-
    Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer 05 May 1945

    personal smith.jpeg
    Smith-Missing in September 1944 North-
    West Europe. Trooper Joseph Gordon
    Smith 5 RTR. Any Information please to
    Smith, 1 Moor View, Town Street, Leeds
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  18. David Ryder

    David Ryder New Member

    Many thanks.

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