My Grandfather - Somerset Light Infantry

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by KentMunich, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    Hi all
    I don´t know where to start to find out more about him.
    I would really like to know a little more.

    Hopefully someone can help

    Name - Whitehorn (so unusual)
    Colour sargent - Somerset Light Infantry
    Landed D Day + 4/5/6?

    He was in the room next door when Himmler commited suicide
    So was in Luneburg late May 1945

    And that is all I have to go on.

    An idea of which unit he was with and their basic movements would be really interesting.

    Thanks and best wishes
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'd say he was either 4th or 7th Bn SLI.
    Both in 43 Wessex Div.
    Bn histories both available from Naval & Military Press.
    I have both upstairs.
    Have you any photos of him in uniform at all ?
  3. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Steve, what was your grand fathers 1st name/s and year of birth? Were there potentially other relatives of yours in WW2?

    Only reason I'm asking is when I searched the name Whitehorn at the britishnewspaperarchives an A. C. Whitehorn, Devonshire Regt is listed in an Army Casualty article in the 18 Jan 45 edition of the newspaper Western Morning News.

    The only A.C. Whitehorn I could find on Ancestry was a Private, Service No. 6140137, born in Surrey, died 9 Aug 44, Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) who is buried at Department du Calvados, Basse, Normandie, France.

    Is this just a coincidence?
  4. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    Thanks Chaps
    Owen - I have no photograph of him. Are you able to list some basic movements of these units during this time. Greatly appreciated
    Amberdog - I think this is coincidence, as he survived the war. But I never knew much about him

    I only ever knew his as a kid by his nick name ´´bun´´ and he had SS items he had brought back.
    I will see if I can get any more information on him right now. Birth date ect

    Thank you for your help so far
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Attached Files:

  6. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Steve, can you check with relatives whether your grandfather had cousins/brothers/uncles called Alfred? With your saying the name Whitehorm was unusual, I just thought it too much of a coincidence that a rare name and the same regiment might have had 2 Whitehorns.

    I like the Himmler twist to this tale. This is going to be an intersting thread.
  7. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    Hi Amberdog
    I will check the Alfred connection out now at my end.

    All my father knows about his fathers service is this
    In his own words

    ´´My dad was born on 14 Aug, 1908. Drafted 1939 or 1940 into Somerset Light Infantry.
    D-Day+6 to Holland and Germany. As you know, he was at Luneberg Heath. Ended
    as colour sergeant. Demobbed 1946, probably end of? (But if so why so long after
    war ended?) I tried to find out more on an internet Ancestry site, but no luck.´´

    D day +6 - should include France as well of course
    Thanks for you help so far

    I will look at those histories now Owen. Many thanks
  8. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    Just had a look at the map. Thanks, great stuff.
    It gives me an idea of loosely where he went.

    If we can narrow him down to either 4th or the 7th
    I will buy the relevant book x2 - one for my father (ex - Royal Lanc Fusiliers)
    And one for me
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    During May 1945 the 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry was at the following locations according to the battalions war diary:

    2nd May = Ostertimke

    8th May = Barskamp

    14th May = Riestedt

    15th May = Bevensen

    The Battalion stayed in Bevensen beyond the month of June 1945.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I still suggest sending off to MoD for service records & then you'll know exactly who he was with & when.

    edit: also contact the regimental museum.
  11. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    I have emailed the regimental museum just now, with what little is known.
    I am getting quite excited about this. But must not build my hopes up.

    He died when I was in my mid 20s and like many of his generation never really spoke about the war.

    My father is now in his late 70s, and was BAOR, and has started to also wonder where his father was during 44/46
  12. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    I can confirm his first name was George
  13. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Thanks go to Drew5233 for the 7 Bn locations


    My post May 45 research can confirm 4 Bn and 7 Bn merged by Jun 46 and moved from 43 (Wessex) Inf Div to 6 Guards Bde of Guards Div stationed at the Marine Barracks in Buxtehude

    Best of luck with your research
  14. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    Thanks for the info Steve
    I now have the forms printed out to send to MOD for his service record - so we shall see.
  15. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    Hi all
    To reserect this...
    I am off to Normandy in a few days and a guide is going to show me the route the somerset Light Infantry took. So that will be quite poignant.

    I do not have his death certificate or service record. So I still do not know if he was 4th or 7th battalion.

    I bought the seventh battalion book.
    But there is no mention of him in there.
    Fredrick George Whitehorn - Nickname 'Bunny'
    He was a colour Sargeant by 1946. But perhaps he did not hold this rank in 1944?

    It looks like that the 4th and the 7th Battalions followed loosely the same route.
    Before I depart. Has anyone reading this got the 4th Battalion book to hand. And if so can you see if there is any reference to him, especialy in the back where the colour Sargeants are listed

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Steve

    If you need a copy of his birth cert then apply to the district mentioned below:

    England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 about Frederick George Whitehorn
    Name: Frederick George Whitehorn
    Birth Date: 14 Aug 1908
    Date of Registration: Dec 1991
    Age at Death: 83
    Registration district: Thanet
    Inferred County: Kent
    Volume: 16
    Page: 1817

    with this you can apply for his service records

  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just out of interest - it seems he was born in the Army, as his father was already in it (also note that there is a slightly different spelling of the surname - an 'e' at the end) :

    British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920 about Frederick George Whitehorne
    Name: Frederick George Whitehorne
    Birth Date: 14 Aug 1908
    Birth Place: St Pancras
    Document Year: 1915
    Relationship to Soldier: Child
    Form Title: Descriptive Report Enlistment
    Other Records:
    Family Members:
    Name Relation to Soldier
    Henry William Whitehorne Self (Head)
    Louisa Alice Sullivans Spouse
    Arthur Robert Whitehorne Child
    Kathleen Mary Whitehorne Child
    Mabel Dorothy Whitehorne Child
    Edith Ruth Whitehorne Child
    Frederick George Whitehorne Child
    Ena Emily Whitehorne Child

    British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920 about Henry William Whitehorne
    Name: Henry William Whitehorne
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: abt 1873
    Age at Enlistment: 42
    Marriage Date: 22 May 1894
    Marriage Place: Reg Off St Pancras
    Residence Place: 15 George St, Hampstead Rd N W
    Document Year: 1915
    Regimental Number: 123575
    Regiment Name: Army Service Corps
    Number of Images: 25
    Form Title: Short Service Attestation
    Other Records: Search for 'Henry William Whitehorne' in other WWI collections
    Family Members:
    Name Relation to Soldier
    Henry William Whitehorne Self (Head)
    Louisa Alice Sullivans Spouse
    Arthur Robert Whitehorne Child
    Kathleen Mary Whitehorne Child
    Mabel Dorothy Whitehorne Child
    Edith Ruth Whitehorne Child
    Frederick George Whitehorne Child
    Ena Emily Whitehorne Child

  18. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    That is him :)
    Thanks so very very much for putting the effort in to dig up that information
    It is of great help.
    Best wishes
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Steve

    You can see that his fathers records for WW1 are available (I dont recall how many pages it is though) - if you want them send me a PM and I can copy and send them via an email (dont forget to include that in the PM)

  20. KentMunich

    KentMunich Junior Member

    Hello all
    I finally managed to get hold of his records. They were hard to read so I typed his service record out.
    It seems he enlisted in November 1940. Ended up in the 7th battalion.

    And by the time 1944 came around he was a clerk in 32RHU
    (He was exceptionaly good with figures so perhaps that was why)
    It seems he disembarked for Normandy on the 15th of June

    Can any one tell me what 32RHU was?
    What its purpose was and where it would have been located in relation to the front line ect?
    Or any other information that you notice of interest in his service record that I list below.

    All your help so far has been greatly appreciated

    Below is the two word document pages that I typed out from his service records.
    Because I have copied them from word the format will be all over the place I guess but it will give you an idea of what they say.

    Service and Casualty Form

    Corps – Somerset LI Army No - 5681194
    Unit – 32 RHU Date of Enlistment - 14 Nov 1940

    15/11/40 I.T.C Som L.I. Posted as Private Taunton Pte 14/11/40

    294/40 I.T.C Mustered as Clerk Class III Group C “ 14/11/40

    ?94/40 I.T.C Posted to 7/som L.I.Authy “ 16/7/41
    O I/C records 13/TT dated 9/7/41

    161/3 ?5?? Admitted CRS Weston S Mare 27/10/41
    164/2 “ Discharged “ 31/10/41
    “ Granted Leave 5-6/9/41 ???? 5/9/41

    4 9/43 “ Medically examined and placed in - -
    Army medical category “B.1”

    - - Posted to 30 Som LI Authy: O i/l Inf Rec 11/May43
    - - Letter 5/984 dated 8th Jan 41
    - - Demustered as a clerk class III group C 11/May43
    - - On posting retains tradesman rates of pay
    - - For a period of six months from date of posting

    O i/L recordsCRB Posted? To IOW ?????????????? ????? Portland 11/Aug 43
    188/283 Aug 43 - - - -

    PT III no 5 32RHU T.O.S of 101 RHG & PA/WE W.E.F 10Aug43Aldershot 20/8/43
    Dated 20th Aug 43

    PT III no 12 32RHU Absorbed within the W/E of 32RHU as
    Clerk ? “C” Class III to fill authisises vacancy of clerk
    2??? 10/Aug/43

    7/44 32RHU To X (I) Cist w.e.f Field 1Jan 44
    101 R G

    X139/44 “ Passed T.T. as Clerk ?? C´Cl. II - -
    - - re-clefd useof 6sept 44 - 6/9/44

    X157/44 32RHU Apptd U.A. Cpl within WE (Clerk) - ?/10/44

    160/44 32RHU Appld Paid NWE A/Cpl 30/10/44
    22/45 32RHU Promoted War Subs NWE CPA 28/1/45
    X37/45 “ Posted x RHU “ “ 28/1/45
    X37/45 “ Appt Unpaid &paid “ L/Sg´t 3/3/45
    X40/45 X RHU “ “ “ “ A/C Sg´t 31/3/45
    X138/45 X RHU Promoted War Subt Sgt NWE W/sgt 27/9/45
    „ - Promoted War Subt Sgt NWE W/C/Sgt 27/9/45
    X159/45 X RHU Medically Examined FIT Cat B1 NEW C/Sgt 21/10/45

    X/177/45 X RHU ??? UK for NWE UK W/Sgt 15/6/44
    _ - Disembarked NWE NEW “ 15/6/44

    X180/45 - Awarded 1939/45 Star “ “ 11/12/45
    Awarded France and Germany Star

    X182/45 - Proceeding UK for Class A Release “ “ 5/12/45
    SOS BAOR Embarked NWE

    Discharged on completion of engagement: 10Feb 1954

Share This Page