Names in my Grandfather's war diary, Lamsdorf: 3 Coldstream Guards, etc.

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by NG93, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. NG93

    NG93 Member

    As part of searching my family tree, I have been looking into my grandfather's military past, including time in the coldstream guards and as a POW in Stalag 344.

    I've come across his war diary from his POW days, which he apparently never spoke about, apart from to joke about how most of his comments were about the lack of food! In the back, there are several names of what appear to be military men as they all have numbers next to them. I would like to know if any of these seem familiar to anyone as they must have had some sort of meaning to him to write them in his diary.

    The diary is marked 1944 on the front and he mentions each place they passed on a march starting at Lamsdorf which was often 30 km a day, stopping in churches etc from january to march, with then a gap and a single "flew home" comment in april which I would assume to be his liberation! I'm wondering if this is the "death march" that I've seen mentioned. If anyone would like more details I'd be happy to share pictures of the diary, and he has a couple of photos, including a large group one stamped with stalag 344 on the back, he mentions leaving 8A and arriving at 9A which I would imagine are parts of POW camps.

    He was in 3rd battalion cold stream guards and went to Palestine in 1936-39 and from his medals I can also see he went to africa (I believe, Egypt).

    If anyone has any more information about his battalion I'd be grateful.

    My grandfather is Alfred Thomas and the number he gives is 30702

    The other men listed (may be slightly different spelling, his handwriting is tricky to read) are:

    G Heathcote 55143

    Doyle 55255

    W Causius 28201

    R. L Evans 17634

    C. I Ranswick 28282

    W Robinson 33267

    E Goole 10343

    W Robbins 31127

    I've found doyle and heathcote on a thread about Grenadier guards that were also POWs at Lamsdorf.

    [edit by dbf: title to include camp/regiment]
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hello and welcome

    Firstly I checked the names and the POW numbers you gave and found likely matches via Ancestry which has an online database for British POWs ...
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  3. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum NG93, good luck with your research.

  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    NAME: A Thomas
    RANK: Serjeant
    ARMY NUMBER: 2656222
    REGIMENT: Coldstream Guards
    POW NUMBER: 30702
    CAMP TYPE: Stalag
    CAMP NUMBER: 344
    CAMP LOCATION: Lambinowice

    Secondly, using his army number, you can apply for copy service records from RHQ Coldstream Guards at Wellington Barracks. See post no. 2 on this link for details. Proof of death and a standard fee are required.


    The POW database only gives one camp, but usually men were at different camps and split into work camps. So not a complete picture

    There is a chance that he completed at POW Liberation report. These are held at The National Archives at Kew. You would need to either go there yourself to search them or ask someone to do this for you. (We have a couple of researchers who do this for a small fee, or other members might volunteer to check the files when they are doing their own work...)
    These questionnaires contain info such as date/place of capture, camps/work camps with dates, escape/sabotage attempts, illness/injury while POW and were completed by the men themselves.

    Also, the ICRC hold POW records and they are currently digitising WW2 papers. However, they will process applications for copy records from family. It's worth trying to get both these records as well as the liberation report.
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    It's possible that now the full details are up on the thread, relatives of the other men might wish to get in touch. Fingers crossed.

    Yes, this would be ref to a death march.

    It'd be great if you could share either images or text of the diary and any photos you might also have. Try uploading to our Gallery...
    Is there perhaps a training squad photo from when he passed his basic training?

    As for researching his service with the regiment / battalion, it'd be best to get copy records first. They will give date of enlistment, training, battalions, embarkation etc. Armed with that you can best target which war diaries would be relevant to his time in the regiment, should you wish to continue down that path.
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I'm assuming you're conducting your own research into family tree details, so again via Ancestry, from TNA's WO 100 medal roll series, some more info pertinent to his service only:

    Confirmation of award of General Service Medal, Palestine Clasp 1936-39
    A Thomas
    Campaign or Service: Palestine
    Service Date: 1936-1939
    Service Location: Palestine
    Regiment or Unit Name: Coldstream Guards
    Regimental Number: 2656222
    Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 13.38.09.png
  7. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum

    My father served 3rd CG Jan 1937 till his capture in Libya December 1941. He is seated left in my avatar in Palestine 1938.

    Have you obtained your gf service records from RHQ, CG, Wellington Barracks?

    You could look for his POW post liberation questionnaire at the National Archives - members here offer a look up service.

    Keep an eye on the International Red Cross (ICRC) website. They are part way through digitising WW2 POW records for free internet access - as they did for WW1 papers released to internet Aug 2014.

    Try and order a copy of the book "No Dishonourable Name" by D. C . Quilter ( Captain 2nd CG) from your local library. It is an informal history of 2nd & 3rd CG 1939/45 with loads of photographs.

    The official CG WW2 history by Howard & Sparrow is also worth having sight of.

    Good Luck

    Steve Y
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  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive


    Do you know the date your father was captured?

  9. NG93

    NG93 Member

    Thanks for the responses, I haven't requested any documents yet, but I'll be looking into it, I've heard of the wellington barracks as a family member sent a picture in there so we have letters from them and a contact, so maybe I'll get in touch.

    I've been asking for pictures from family and my grandmother (his wife) has dug out two old photo albums, they have lots of photos from his time in the army, some from after the war, when he was in korea and nigeria, but there are several marked with germany, and some from palestine, I'm in the process of transferring them to the computer, so I'll upload them here soon. I hope people who knew these men get in touch as they may be able to identify them in his pictures.

    He was given an mbe later on in life, and I know this isn't really ww2 but I'm wondering how I'd go about finding exactly why he was given it, I've only got the medal, no paperwork or anything, his war things were split between his children when he died so I'll have to do some digging around and see if I can find anything else. Thanks again!
    dbf likes this.
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    This is a link to the National Archives site.
    If you follow the instructions, you will be able to download a copy of the recommendation. It should be about 2 pages and costs £3.30. This will detail reasons for the award of the MBE.
    I'm sorry I don't have a copy of these particular files, i.e. postwar.
    and this is the page from The London Gazette , see bottom of left-hand column.
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  12. NG93

    NG93 Member

    This has been really helpful, thank you!
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    You're welcome, I look forward to seeing any photos you might want to share.
  14. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    I have a little bit of information about four of the men from your list:

    COUSINS William Gunner 805442 Royal Artillery originally enisted in 1930 and then re-enlisted in 1940.

    EVANS David Lewis Gunner 790227 Royal Artillery enlisted in 1929.

    O'TOOLE Eric Vincent Driver 137237 RASC
    Born : 8/4/1919
    Died : 4Q 2002 Birmingham

    RENWICK Cecil Imison Pte. 6025357 Essex Regiment
    born : 23/6/1912
    died : 3Q 1990 Carlisle

    The Chelmsford Chronoicle 4/12/42 reports that he is now a POW.


    Attached Files:

    dbf likes this.
  15. Heathcote27

    Heathcote27 New Member

    My grandfather is George F Heathcote otherwise known as Fred to us and he is the grenadier guard in your grandfathers book. Sadly he passed away in 2009 and didn't talk about WW2 but he too wrote a diary whilst a POW. I would be very interested in seeing the picture you have and I'm happy to share information of his diary too. I hope this helps!
  16. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum Heathcote27

  17. NG93

    NG93 Member

    Hi, I'd be really interested in seeing the diary or a transcription of what's in it, I am in the process of scanning his old photos and his diary. He has a lot from before the war, but there are only a couple from during the war, mainly from lamsdorf. I have a few that are kept with his medals, that I've already got on the computer, I wonder if your relative is in one of these? (My grandfather is the one in the middle in the first photo)



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