Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Aug 13, 2011.
James hello and thank you Drew will be along soon
Thank you for posting, James. I suspect it's true to say that may of us remain very much interested in the details, perhaps hoping to make sense of the big picture. Your provision of the batman / driver's name is most helpful.
It may be that Randall completed a POW questionnaire which will help to fill in some more detail.
According to Father Podmore's father, Randall the batman and Father Podmore were out of the car and took shelter in a ditch before Father Podmore was hit. Randall and two Frenchmen then buried Father Podmore, Randall was taken prisoner. This information is in the August 1946 CE together with a copy of a letter from E. Mathon, Chief Engineer of Mines who tells us that Father Podmore was killed in front of his house. He also names the batman ... George Randall or Randell.
If anyone finds anymore information, I'd be glad to hear.
Wonderful....Thanks for posting James.
Please post/share what you have. Now I know the Batman's name I'll see if he completed a Liberation Report at the end of the war.
Is it fair to conclude that the SS unit in the original thread title was incorrect?
It reads very much as if it was felt to be a War Crime with the SS standing around waiting for the Chaplain to die from blood loss from having his legs severed....
I'm no soldier, but surely it takes quite a few bullets aimed directly to sever limbs?
If that was the case, why let his driver survive, as a witness. After all, killing one, killing two, what's the problem?
Let's assume they were in a British RHD vehicle, a German unit would tend to fire at what they would believe was the driver on the LHS, in order to stop it.
Now it seems they were out of the vehicle when Father Podmore was wounded and subsequently died.
It now sounds more like one more incident of German troops firing at British but not cold bloodedly executing a Chaplain. God knows there's no shortage of atrocities in WW2 etc but is this one?
For some reason I can't cut and paste what I have onto this, but I can add a bit more.
He was born in Northamptonshire in 1902. His father was the Rector of Broughton Parish. He originally studied engineering at the University of Leeds, but then felt called to the priesthood. He graduated from Keble College, Oxford and Ely Theological College and was ordained in the Diocese of Ripon in 1927 after which he served in the parish of All Souls', Leeds. He came to our community (Society of St. John the Evangelist also known as 'SSJE' or the 'Cowley Fathers') at the Mission House in Oxford in 1931 and made his life profession in 1933. There he worked mainly with the boys and young men who came to our church and school. In 1938 he was sent to our house in London, St. Edward's House, on Great College Street. Shortly after the War began he volunteered to serve as a chaplain.
You know the rest.
If you can get hold of the 1939, 1940 and 1946 Cowley Evangelist you will find letters from him, as well as notices about him being missing, and then the announcement of his death. The 1946 CE included the letter describing in part what happened as well as the name of the batman.
In the Lady Chapel of the Mission House (now St. Stephen's House, Oxford) has a Memorial Board with all the names of members of SSJE who have died. You can see a picture of his name at www.thecowleyproject.wordpress.com
Cheers, James SSJE
James maybe you could try this little fix to see it helps.
Look at the reply window at the bottom of the thread (if not visible, click on your cursor while over the text space.). Find the 'switch' icon, which is on the very top, left-hand corner and click that.
Then paste in the text and see if it submits correctly after clicking the "Post" button.
Refer to the latest post on www.thecowleyproject.wordpress.com for more on Father Podmore.
Rather peculiar to say the least that the writer of this article would suggest that M. Mathon, who demonstrated his courage so remarkably, and who went to such trouble to notify the Fr.'s relatives etc., would exaggerate or invent in regard to his own role! I don't know who "Serenheadjames" is, but rather than ascribing error or self-aggrandizment to M. Mathon, that person should have done a bit of research, or else kept silent.
The burying of Fr. Podmore was most likely carried out by Wehrmacht troops advancing behind the SS. As in the Wormhoudt Massacre, the behaviour of the Wehrmacht at that time was far more soldierly and correct than the scum in black. The SS obviously were not burying anyone, then or later.
After three hours with his son's batman, Fr. Podmore's father likely knew what had happened, but perhaps forbore to go to into details in print. He may not even have shared those details with his own family to save them anguish. He may also have felt it would be best not to publicize them in the interest of post war reconciliation, if he thought that would be his son's wish.
Where would the story of his being left to die originate if not with the batman or M. Mahon?
We might even reasonably conclude that the batman had reason to believe that no aid was given by the SS for the reasons mentioned. Or are we to believe he perhaps invented it out of boredom to while away the time in POW camp??
It was the SS-Totenkopf Division and not the Leibstandarte.
The TK was the most notorious of the SS-Divisions. The Commander, Theodor Eicke, was a staunch Nazi and also the "inventor" of the concentration camp terror against prisoners (Dachauer Schule).
The SS was also eager the prove itself as Front line unit besides the Wehrmacht - and as a superior one
But the TK Division faced a severe blow to this Attitude at 21. May at Arras where these super germans ran like rabbits when clashed by units of the 7 RTR: 3rd SSTK evidently abandoned its positions in Wailly and showed 'signs of panic' (Guderian)
Eicke was furious and "his" TK was more than eager to make good this loss of face. In the aftermath the TK troops fought merciless without regards to own losses - and also shoot POWs en masse (Much the the utmost revulsion of the old fashoined prussian Wehrmacht)
It seems the SS shot also two civilians at Divion at 25/4/40:
Padre Podmore was attached to the 3rd Ammunition Park, that serviced the 3rd Infantry Division. He had gone back to a previous base to obtain NAAFI supplies for the troops and the LSSAH had advanced further and faster than he had been told and he and his driver were ambushed. However, his driver was not hit and ended up a POW.
Many thanks. Can you check the unit for me. There's no 3 Ammunition Park listed amongst the BEF war diaries. There was a I Corps 3 Ammunition Sub Park but their Padre isn't called Podmore. Also checked the 3 Division's Padre's and Podmore wasn't one of the three listed.
Father Podmore was shot in the legs in the ambush, but... based on a letter sent to the SSJE after the war, the SS did not leave him to die. They called up their ambulance, but it was stuck in a huge traffic jam and did not arrive in time. Padre Podmore was moved to the mine manager's home, where he died soon after being wounded. His batman Put Randall, and some SS troops buried him in the garden of the mine manager's home. His vestments and his military equipment as well as some of Pvt Randalls' was hidden by the mine manager, but they were denounced in 1942, and a search of the manager's home uncovered the equipment, and the mine manager and his family were arrested. However, the mine workers immediately went on strike and refused to work if the manager and his family were not released, so the Germans backed down, as they needed the coal from the mine. Padre Podmore's vestments had not been touched by the Germans, I presume because they did not realise what they were, and were returned to the Cowley Fathers Priory in 1946.
James, you would not happen to have a photo of Padre Reginald Podmore in your archives would you? I am writing a book on the Allied Chaplains killed in Europe in WW2 and have not been able to source a photo of Father Podmore anywhere. Thanks, Tom
I dont know if the Liberation questionaire ever bore any info on the incident or if `Randall` was ever narrowed down but with new files available since the enquiry was made there is a T128827 Dvr G D Randall RASC missing (date not specified) 1940 and later confirmed a Prisoner of War released/liberated 1945 ? Only one from RASC listed for 1940? The book `
The Cowley Fathers, A History of the English Congregation of the Society of St John the Evangelist by Serenhedd James gives the initials G.W ( but theres only a G.D Listed)
Extract from Randalls letter:-
"I regret to inform you that this officer is dead. He was in a British Army car, driven by myself on the morning of May 23rd, 1940, he had just passed Bruny, travelling towards St. Pol, Pas de Calais, when we ran into a German machine gun ambush. The Padre was hit four times in each leg, and, in spite of all efforts by the German stretcher-bearers (their Ambulance which was immediately sent for was delayed by other German transport blocking the road and arrived too late) died four hours later from shock and loss of blood. He was conscious for the first hour only, and then passed peacefully and imperceptibly from coma to death. I buried him myself with the aid of two French civilians. A German officer later told me that he believed us to the start of a British attack; had he known it was a Chaplain his men would not have fired"
The French correspondence giving a slightly different description of the burial and the assumption that the driver escaped?
Hello all, I am working on the British Chaplains killed in the retreat to Dunkirk, and with regards to Padre Podmore, he was shot when his car was shot up by SS troops, who had advanced much further than the British thought. However, I believe it was Allied propaganda that indicated the SS did not try to help Padre Podmore. There are accounts that say they called their medical staff, including an ambulance forward to help Padre Podmore, but that it was held up in the mass of French clogging the roads trying to escape the Germans, and did not reach Divion in time to safe Padre Podmore. A question for you all, does anyone have a photograph of Reg Podmore? I have been unable to locate one. Thanks all!
Separate names with a comma.