Pte G W Cope & Stalag XXA, Thorn/Torun (B.A.B 20), XXB Marienburg/Malbork (B.A.B 84) & VIIIB Teschen

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by LCpl Lee Cope, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    HAHA! Nice one!

    But maybe RSM Harold Edwin Beesley was posted to Derby and was living in a camp or some sort of accommodation there before deployment.

    It's a very small photo, so I can imagine George either kept it as a keepsake after it was taken or would have taken it from Henry's pocket after death, and wanted to post it to the address that he wrote upon the back of the photo.

    But again, it was never posted.

    Maybe George and others heard Harold talk about living at that address in Derby and thus they assumed that his family were there, or that someone there would forward the photo on.
     
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I would have assumed that if he was posted to a camp then the address would be 'more' official rather than a street address, and I would suspect that as an RSM he would have 'lived' on camp and not off it. Perhaps seeing if there was some sort of camp in that vicinity may help. Also as is probate states Staines, I (and its my opinion) would expect that that is where his wife and family (if he had some) lived.
    For me there are too many maybes to be certain, but its your research.
     
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just found something this morning in my notes for POW's repatriated via Odessa:

    RSM Beesley - 3rd Commando was on a train from Czestokowa (departed 6 Mar 1945) to Odessa (arrived 14 Mar 1945). This train had an accident on the 10th March near Rudawa in which 8 ex POW's were killed and 33 injured. The dead were held in the morgue of Cracow Hospital.

    TD
     
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The chap annotated in post #59 appears to have a crown above three stripes (CQMS or Staff Sergeant) rather than the RSM's Royal coat of arms lower down the sleeve.

    This thread might now be better served my being moved from '1940' to 'POW'.
     
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  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    good idea, moved to pow section of forum.
     
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  6. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    I was going to mention that the other day as this quest originaly began as a 1940 interest, but as we have progressed it's began to turn into very much a bigger POW story.

    So thank you for moving the thread to the POW section.
     
  7. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    That's correct RP!

    I should have seen that myself! But I can see it clearly now that it's pointed out.

    I wonder if we have the wrong guy then? Or maybe he's wearing someone elses uniform?

    This will require further investigation...

    When WO1 RSM Harold Edwin Beesley died he was aged 39 years old.

    At the time of Henry's death Pte George William Cope would have been 25 years old, and due to the address being upon the rear of the photo I'm assuming that H E Beesley is in the image.

    Clothing was distributed and mixed up and even none existant sometimes, so I guess the men would have worn whatever they could get their hands on at the time.

    The Derby part of the address on the photo is also cause for more investigation.

     
  8. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    TD... I got it so wrong!

    I've had another play with an online photo editor today and managed to clear the image up some more.

    I think you will agree that this is a by far more clearer image.

    H. Beastall
    76 Birchwood Lane
    Somercotes
    Near Alfreton
    Derbyshire
    DE55 4ND.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    WE?? got it so wrong! - I think I need to refer you to posts # 60, 62 & 63


    Anyway this COULD be the man:

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 about W H Beastall
    Name: W H Beastall
    Rank: Private
    Army Number: 5887698
    Regiment: Northamptonshire Regiment
    POW Number: 12998
    Camp Type: Miscellaneous Establishments
    Camp Number: BAB 20
    Camp Location: Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland
    Record Office: Infantry Record Office, Warwick
    Record Office Number: 21

    TD
     
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  10. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    Yes, I corrected that as it did make me laugh as soon as I saw you're response... :biggrin:

    Thanks a lot TD, I came across that chap on Ancestry just a moment ago. He's the same regiment as George and his regimental number was 5887689.

    George's regimental number was 5887506 so they are very close, but need to find out how close his camp was to Stalag XXA Thorn/Torun which was Georges first POW camp.

    Do you think Camp B.A.B 20 was a sub camp of Stalag XXA?

    Just found out!

    [SIZE=medium]Also known as Work Camps or Arbeits Kommandos (Kdo) or B.A.B. s. In The Clarion they are invariably referred to as Working Parties.[/SIZE]
    Many of the men held in Stalag 8b were not in the main camp but in smaller work camps known as arbeits kommandos.
    The "E" prefix stands for English, but POW's from many Commonwealth countries worked in these camps.

    Courtesy of the:
    Lamsdorf: Stalag VIIIB 344 Prisoner of War Camp 1940 - 1945
    http://www.lamsdorf.com/working-parties.html

    I found this too:

    "We labored in gravel pits, broke up brick rubble for road building within the training area and "filled in" shell holes on the artillery ranges. We were made to collect the "heads" of sunflowers grown on acres of land.

    courtesy of:
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/6243/message/1162211541/Blechammer+E794+BAB+20

    It all falls into place now. Camps, work parties and what they were all doing.
     
  11. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    This could be likely... "South Wigfield" is literally right next door to "Somercotes".

    It would make William H Beastall about 40 years old at the time of capture.

    Name: William H Beastall
    Age: 8 Months
    Estimated birth year: abt 1900
    Relation to Head: Son
    Gender: Male
    Father: William Beastall
    Mother: Susan Jane Beastall
    Birth Place: South Wingfield, Derbyshire, England
    Civil Parish: South Wingfield
    Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints
    Town: South Wingfield
    County/Island: Derbyshire
    Country: England
    Street address:

    View image
    Registration district: Belper Sub-registration district: Ripley ED, institution, or vessel: 17 Neighbors: View others on page Piece: 3231 Folio: 104 Page Number: 8 Household schedule number: 48 Household Members: Name Age William Beastall 38 Susan Jane Beastall 32 Edith M Beastall 6 Doris E Beastall 4 William H Beastall 8 Months
     
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 about William H Beastall
    Name: William H Beastall
    Birth Date: abt 1901
    Date of Registration: Sep 1950
    Age at Death: 49
    Registration district: Belper
    Inferred County: Derbyshire
    Volume: 3a
    Page: 50
     
  13. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    Tomorrow I am going to return all the WW2 POW photo's that I received from my cousins in the North.

    These images have roused so much interest about my granduncle and along the way I've found a few names of soldiers who fought alongside him that I've not even mentioned yet.

    This was just meant to be a homework project for my eldest daughter, but now I think it's become a lot more than that.

    There is still so much to find and I recon with all you're help I'll carry on!

    Many thanks to all who have helped and the WW2 Talk community!
     
  14. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    So far connections have been made to the following men:

    Pte George William Cope - witness to the death of Pte Henry H Chapman.
    Regiment: The Northamptonshire Regiment
    Reg#: 5887506
    Pow#:12940

    Pte Henry H Chapman,
    Regiment: The Green Howards
    Reg#: 4393691
    Pow#: 33362
    Date of death: 11 Apr 1945 - died as a result of an air raid upon The Long March.

    Pte William Henry Beastall,
    Regiment: The Northamptonshire Regiment,
    Reg#: 5887698,
    Pow#: 12998.

    Ssgt L Whithead,
    Regiment: ?
    Reg#: ?
    Pow#: ?
    NOK: I L Johnson, 34 Albert Street, Windlestone, Chilterns, Ferry Hill, Durham.

    Gunner H Barrett - witness to the death of Pte Henry H Chapman.
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    Reg#: 1514881,
    Pow#: 16480.

    Pte L G Kerswill - witness to the death of Pte Henry H Chapman.
    Regiment: The Royal Berkshire Regiment,
    Reg#: 5340407,
    Pow#: 13830.

    I've constructed a small family tree upon Ancestry.com for Chapman, Beastall, Barrett & Kerswill in the hope that family descendants who, like me are looking for answers and photo's will come across them.

    I'll do the same for any others that I find.
     
  15. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    This is Ssgt L Whitehead.

    I have this image (front and back).

    The rear show's his rank/name & NOK address, this is where the photo was meant to be posted too.

    Does anyone recognize the uniform? Is he also a Northamptonshire Regiment lad?
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    From Ancestry a possible for Whitehead - the only Sgt I came across:

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 about L Whitehead
    Name: L Whitehead
    Rank: Serjeant
    Army Number: 4736637
    Regiment: Royal Engineers
    POW Number: 15278
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland
    Record Office: Royal Engineers Record Office, Ditchling Road, Brighton, Sussex
    Record Office Number: 9
     
  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Kerswill:

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 about L G Kerswill
    Name: L G Kerswill
    Rank: Private
    Army Number: 5340407
    Regiment: Royal Berkshire Regiment
    POW Number: 13830
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland
    Record Office: Infantry Record Office, Warwick
    Record Office Number: 21
     
  18. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    Thx TD!

    I managed to find that Whitehead in the RE too, but the LG Kerswill one was proving harder for some reason! Well done! :)
     
  19. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    Great news! Pte George William Cope's daughter & eldest child has found George's Army Paybook!

    I cannot wait to see it. Obviously it contains George's wages, but this will be my first time of looking at such a book.

    What other information will it contain?

    And...

    It's official!

    Today I posted our application & a £30 cheque off to Glasgow to get George's Service Record.
     
  20. LCpl Lee Cope

    LCpl Lee Cope Active Member

    This is George's original Northamptonshire Regiment Cap Badge from WW2, and it's as shiny as a button!
     

    Attached Files:

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