Sunday 17th September 1944

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by Tom Canning, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    As I recall - the start of the Infamous Ahrnem battles which virtually destroyed the 1st British Para

    division - and put paid to five of the six Churchill Tanks sent in to support the Seaforth Highlanders of

    Canada in their attempt to conquer the village of San Martino on the Coriano ridge of Northern Italy.

    Whilst it took some nine days of battles to destroy the Paras - it only took roughly 20 minutes to destroy

    25% of "A " squadron of the 145th RAC with two dead and about seven severely wounded.

    Just mention that as it is now 70 years since that day and we are thankful that we survived to raise and

    watch a family progress successfully through their lives - remembering Lt. Graham Douse and Sgt Trevor

    Williams with great respect…

    Tom Canning
    canuck, CL1, Owen and 1 other person like this.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  4. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    tsja..what can one say, or add ?

    well, this:

    The Battle of Angaur was a battle of the Pacific campaign in World War II, fought on the island of Angaur in the Palau Islands from 17 September—22 October 1944.
    Casualties and losses USA : 260 killed 1,354 wounded...

    Peleliu 1944: The Forgotten Corner of Hell

    I am sure there were particular casualties in the over 200 concentration camps on sept 17th 1944 as well.
    Unfortunately, they did not have the luxury of individual records administration.

    To everyone deceased the appropriate respect.
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Would agree that probably thousands died on the 17th September 1944 as our battles on Coriano Ridge at that time was

    suffering 150 KIA per day in the total of 14,000 for the whole month - only reason that I mentioned just two is that Lt. Douse

    was my Troop Leader and Sgt Williams - my Tank Commander and I knew both very well…

    gpo son, CL1 and Steve Mac like this.
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron


    Tom used the post to acknowledge this particular day in WW2 and used Arnhem as an example and his real time Remembrance of the battle he was involved in and the the pals he lost on this day.
    This does not disrespect any casualty of any conflict.
  7. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Like Tom, I'm remembering what happened elsewhere around the time of OMG. I've just arrived in Northern Belgium to celebrate and commemorate the coming 70th Anniversary of the 49th Division's successful crossing of the Antwerp-Turnhout Canal at Rijkevorsel on the night of 24/25 September 1944. It's just as important to remember that events were taking place elsewhere during WW2.
  8. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Tom,

    I have previously read your posts about the loss of Lt. Douse and Sgt. Williams, albeit I didn't know their names or the date of the action in which they died.

    I am not yet 70 years of age and can't reflect that far back - for an obvious reason. However, there are no doubt things I did yesterday that I don't remember and things that I did/or happened when I was four years old about which I have a very good recall. No doubt the death of your comrades loom large like they were yesterday for you. What can I say, except remember the good times...

    RIP. Lt. G Douse and Sgt. T Williams.


    4jonboy and CL1 like this.
  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

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  10. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    I reminded my Father that today was the 70th anniverasy of the first drop at Arnhem and we both agreed we would love to be there to experience the commemorations as we have done several times before.
    Unfortunately my Father is currently in Hospital in Chelmsford and has has the front half of his right foot amputated due to cancer. We both happily racalled previous visits to Arnhem and the great reception from the Dutch locals, the 1944 veterans and the British troops who visit during the commemorations. Great times and I hope I can take my Father to future anniversaries.
    canuck likes this.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Here you go Tom, From the Duke of Boots history by Barclay:

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  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Very many thinks for that extract from the Duke of Boots history - with just a few little inconsistencies such as We in Sg

    Williams Tank - were knocked a few minutes AFTER Lt Douse was killed - Major Ingram was killed on his take over of "B" squdn

    Newton-Thompson had been our 2i/c and was promoted to "C' Squdn - died in his hometown of Cape Town - a few years ago - still limping

    we lost many officers making me pleased that I failed the wosbie interview as four of the six potentials were lost. Major Lusted had

    an Auto supply business in Dorking and I often stopped by to see him - LT. in 4th Troop became Chairman of the Big Lock people in

    Wolverhampton - talented bunch of chaps - biggest loss was Graham Douse - had he finished at Oxford - could have been anything…

    Cheers -and again - many thanks….

    stolpi likes this.
  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    AS a PS -the only Seaforth infantryman to be awarded the that area was "Smokey" Smith of "C " Company and this was up

    near Cesena in the October - the one before that was Captain of the New Westsminsters down in the Liri Valley in the may '44-

    - just another inconstancy… so many of the killed had I known - Ronnie Quin- Harry Broadhurst- Norman Ingram - Xaviar -

    way too many

    stolpi likes this.
  14. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    I remember visiting the cemetery during my tour of the Gothic Line. Row upon row of headstones which showed the tremendous losses incurred to clear the Germans from the ridge.
    I trust you have photos of the headstones for Douse and Williams?
  15. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    That cemetery at Coriano holds 2000 graves of many who fell on the ridge - including ONE Russian - how he got there is a bit of

    a mystery - I do have the headstone of most of my squadron -somewhere - haven't seen them in yonks - including Gerry Chester's

    CO. Baron O'Neil and his Troop Commander Major McKeane - there is apparently some seven cemeteries in the Ridge area - as we

    suffered some 14,000 KIA's in that month making it - as some held - worse than Cassino. One notable grave is that of Mike

    Azzopardi- who was the other failure of the famous Wosbie that rejected me - big shock to see his name…

    gpo son likes this.
  16. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    Tom thanks for sharing your story with us they must have been good men.
    14000 is a shooking number for a little bunp facing away from the line of advance.
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    we fought over smaller bumps but they were always a good defence to slow us down - this Coriano Ridge held us up for three weeks

    so it was not that small and it held all 6 infantry divisions - 2 Armoured Divs - 2 Armoured bdes - and a Greek Inf Bde -from

    which the 14,000 Kia's came from - we failed of course as the weather set in and we didn't get too far after Rimini…

  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thinking about the reference in the Boots History of Fr Higgins - our Padre - after the war he went back to his Diocese of Newcastle

    on Tyne - and served there until retirement - unfortunately his Bishop refused him a pension has he hadn't served long enough -

    so all the officers of the 145th RAC clubbed together - Catholics and Protestants - to buy him a reasonable pension…that's how much

    we thought of him…I can still see him and the MO Captain Webb sitting on top of the Daimler scout car rushing in under fire to help

    the wounded from a knocked out Tank..laughing and joking…

    Owen likes this.
  19. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    Maybe you can tell; the germans on photo 4 (on their arm a black diamond shape? with coloured (orange?) dot): who are they : Are these dutch SS that escaped from Zeeland ?
  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Have a look a Waffen-SS ranks.

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