PTE. Richard William Oliver, service number 4975331

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Crow2021, May 31, 2021.

  1. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    I'm currently looking into the history of my grandad (PTE. Richard William Oliver, service number 4975331) who served in the Sherwood Foresters in WW2. I know from his medals and little information i have that he would have joined in 1938 at the age of around 17 and went through Dunkirk. He also has medals for Italy and Africa (1st army). I cant find much more on which part of the regiment he was in or specifics about what he did, any help would be greatly appreciated by me and my family.
     
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Crow

    The very first step will be to obtain his service record and these are only held and available from the MOD - the forms you need are here Request records of deceased service personnel you will also need a copy of his death certificate unless he died in service and is on the CWGC database

    If you need help finding his death details just come back here and ask, but please provide what details of him you know

    TD
     
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Is this him - family tree on Ancestry

    Birth 15 Feb 1921
    Marriage Jun 1946 Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
    Death 8 Sep 2017 Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
    Father Harold OLIVER (Born 1874)
    Mother Eliza BURTON (Born 1895)
    Spouse Audrey Claudia WEALTHALL (1925-2000)

    England and Wales, Death Index, 1989-2019
    Name: Mr Richard William Oliver
    Gender: Male
    Last Residence: Nottinghamshire, England
    Postal Code District: Ng15
    Death Date: 8 Sep 2017

    TD
     
  4. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    Hi thanks for the quick reply, yep that's him. Il take a look at that request of records link shortly. In the last few hours i have managed to find a number of other documents that he held including his service book which has given me some more information. It seems he may have known a LT Wilfrid Lyonel Miron as we have a card from him addressed to my grandad thanking him for his service among a few other things.

    Also found some pictures of him and a few others in service which may be helpful seeing if anyone knows of him from stories of veterans. Thanks for the help already though.
     
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Seriously - you really need to get your hands on a copy of his service records - the other documents are helpful but not as helpful as the service record

    TD
     
  6. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    Okay I will go and look at that now
     
  7. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    Just to ask, can I send this to the MOD online or does it need to be via post?
     
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If you read the forms it states

    When this form has been completed it should be returned to the address below:
    The Army Personnel Centre
    MS Support Unit, P & D Branch
    Historical Disclosures, MP 555
    Kentigern House
    65 Brown Street
    GLASGOW G2 8EX

    I dont see an email address but try if you like

    TD
     
  9. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Crow2021.

    If he was at Dunkirk, North Africa and Italy, my money is on him being in 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters. The battalion was in 3 Infantry Brigade with 1st Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and 1st Battalion King’s Own Shropshire Light Infantry. 3 Infantry Brigade were part of 1 Infantry Division.

    The battalion fought in the Tunisian Campaign in 1943 before deploying to Anzio in Jan 1944. Here they stayed until the breakout in May 44.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  10. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    Hi Frank.

    That was one of my initial thoughts aswell however he trained in the 8th apparently? not sure if thats just trained and then was transferred out or if he stayed with them. im assuming the first due to the fact that as you said the 2nd went to all the places he has medals for
     
  11. Gelert

    Gelert Member

    Re his enlistment date, closest I have noted is 4975349 Hollingsworth, part of a block allocated to the TA, enlisted 3rd November 1937.

    Your grandad was a Territorial, being awarded his EM(T) under Army Order 20/46 in January 1946. With the other medals you have mentioned he therefore served in the 2/5th Bn rather than the 2nd Bn.
     
  12. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    Hi Gelert

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Okay, so that fits quite close with what i have so far, I really don't know much at all about the 2/5th other than they had serious losses in Tunisia. Do you have any other info on them or anything that could give me more clues as to what my grandad did with them?

    Yesterday I did find his 'soldiers service and pay book' I'll attach a picture of the page with the enlistment date that I found, not sure if any of that will help to work any more out but you guys all know more than me. (I should note it the page seems incomplete its because this is a copy of the original which apparently got badly worn out so I don't have access to it as I think its lost.)

    upload_2021-6-1_7-17-38.png
     
  13. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Crow2021.

    2/5 FORESTERS - or 5 FORESTERS as they became known officially in 1943, were in 139 Infantry Brigade along with 2/5 LEICESTERS and 16 Durham Light Infantry. 139 Infantry Brigade were part of 46 Infantry Division.

    46 Infantry Division were at Dunkirk, in Tunisia and in Italy. In Italy, the Division was one of two British Divisions - the other being 56 Infantry Division, who landed at Salerno on 9 Sep 43. From here, they fought north and crossed the River Volturno north of Naples on 15 Oct 43. Pushing slowly north under terrible conditions, the Division took part in the Second Battle of Camino in Dec 43 before pushing on to the outskirts of Cassino in Jan 44. Once the Garigliano was crossed on 17 Jan 44, they moved across too and into the mountains south of Cassino where they stayed until Mar 44. The conditions were dreadful with lots of snow. The Division was then withdrawn to North Africa for rest and refit in Mar 44.

    46 Infantry Division returned to Italy for the Sep 44 assault on the massive Gothic Line and fought in the appalling battles for the village of Gemmano. The Division was then sent to Greece to put down the Communist Insurgency before returning to Italy in the dying days of the war.

    He had a busy war.

    Hope that helps.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  14. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member


    Wow. okay I did not know most of that, thanks a ton.
    I'm gonna request his service records from the MOD in a few days so hopefully that will give me some more insight aswell.
     
  15. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    MOD request just got sent off so hopefully that can bring light to some more things, i also just got told by another family member that apparently he caught some form of skin disease and was sent back to a field hospital for a time. Not sure of the timeframe or if anyone else might have some extra info on that though.
     
  16. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    His time in the Field Hospital will be shown on his Service Record if he spent any time there.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  17. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    Got it, thanks again Frank.

    So how much is known about the 2/5ths involvement in Dunkirk cause i cant find much about it?
     
  18. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Sorry, I cannot help you there. My interest is the Italian Campaign.

    Worry not though. Plenty of others on the site are gurus when it comes to all things Dunkirk.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  19. Crow2021

    Crow2021 Member

    Okay very strange question and a massive long shot i know but while looking into the campaign have u ever seen this guy?

    This picture was with the rest of my grandads things but i have no context to it or anything, i worked with some friends and we THINK he was some kind of Italian artilleryman?
    upload_2021-6-1_18-48-13.png
    [​IMG]
     
  20. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Yes, Italian Artillery think. Date is interesting because on 15 Aug 43, Italy was still allied to the Germans. 46 Inf Div were not in Sicily which is where the Allies were at the time.

    F
     
    Crow2021 likes this.

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