The 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in Norway April 1940

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Steve Foster, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Hello Nicklas,
    I hope you continue to recover from your operation. Thank you for all of the work you are doing on behalf of the British who lie in Lillehammer cemetery, it is really appreciated by myself and Col Sneath of the Sherwood Foresters Association. He is trying to find relatives of the dead and is particularly interested in one who has the same name as him.
    Another Forester who died was Lt John Esam. He was a good friend of my father; John was a Solicitor from Newark and my father was a solicitor's clerk who worked with him. Lt Esam, sadly, was shot in cold blood whilst surrendering when in charge of the Rearguard in the northern outskirts of Tretten. A voice from a panzer told the rearguard to come out of cover and surrender and that it would be "alright". John walked forward and was shot down with his hands up, the battalion medical officer, Lt McConnell, rushed to help and he was also shot and killed.

    I knew my father had fought at Rindheim but was not aware that he was also in the Rearguard. However, I recently found all of the letters he wrote to my mother as a POW and have attached two. One is his first letter from Norway as a prisoner dated 28 April saying he had fought and been captured but that he was OK. He lied about not being wounded as I saw his scars! The second is part of a letter, written in 1942, from his camp in Poland when he was having "flashbacks" about the fighting. He wrote that he was near a "Young Solicitor" when he was killed. Lt Esam was the only solicitor to be killed from the battalion so dad had to be near him when he was killed. Very sad. I have attached a page from the "Regimental History" which explains how Lt Esam died.

    So Lt Esam is of particular interest to me as he died from a German war crime, and I and Colonel Sneath will try to find any living relatives in the Newark area.

    Thank you for offering to look into the case of my medal application. i have attached one more letter which I wrote in 2014 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking them for progress. They did not reply. Any help by you would be appreciated but I have been told that you have to prove particular bravery for the award to be made. unfortunately, I have no proof that my father was any more brave than the rest of his battalion.

    I wish you luck in finding relatives and I wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas. Steve

    Attached Files:

    JohnH likes this.
  2. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    The diary of private Leeson of the 5th Leicesters which is worth a read. The German panzer soldiers were brutal with their prisoners. I think this is the same incident when Lt Esam was shot.

    Attached Files:

    JohnH likes this.
  3. We had a cermony at the commonwelth graves in Lillehammer the day after christmas here(boxing day?).

    35 candles where put out, one on every each grave.

    And we gave every single stone 1 minute of our thoughts, respect and most humble thank you! Thank you for your sacrifice, and that we still are aloud to live here in such peacefull surroundings.

    Thank you from all Norwegians living here around Lillehammer.
    A5FCCEDB-F11E-446F-8AE5-CC903D2618F7.jpeg 1D81DC83-DBBE-4937-9625-D791C1576531.jpeg 7843BC12-F1F5-4B4E-9E09-AACE698BEB70.jpeg
    Steve Foster and JohnH like this.
  4. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    As the son of a soldier who fought there, thank you very much for all you have done. Steve
  5. To No

    To No New Member

    I am new to this page, but having grown up in Tretten its quite interesting to read about the Sherwood foresters. I have just finished a film showing an interview with Ole Holmen who took part in building the Rinheim position in 1940. The film is in norwegian I will not post it here. But on working with the film I found som footage in a german film that I think shows british soldiers being captured near Rinheim. Its about 12.15 into the film. I dont think this has been posted here before:
    ltdan, Steve Foster and Owen like this.
  6. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Thank you very much for posting To No. I have looked carefully at that footage from 12.15 but I can't see my father who was captured at Rinheim.
  7. To No

    To No New Member

    Sorry that you did not find him. Have you listened to the oral storys on IWM? Told by soldiers who were there in Tretten i 1940? Perhaps your father is mentioned by them? Search our collection | Imperial War Museums
  8. Marilin

    Marilin New Member

    I am new to this forum, and I can see this thread is a couple of years old but it seems the right place to comment.
    My Grandfather Pvt Jack Rooke served with the Territorial 8th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters and I am starting to research what happened to him in more detail. He told my father stories about his escapes, conditions as a prisoner of war and what I believe was a march at the end of the war, but we don't know a huge amount about the fighting his battalion would have taken part in. Does anyone have more information about his particular battalion?
  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Welcome aboard. If your research is limited to the Norway fighting this thread might be the right place. If it is wider then there is a better place on the Forum: Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy. Some users focus on their interests and not individual experiences.

    It could be a long time to get a satisfactory answer, especially if you need to get your grandfather's official service records. PM to come in a moment on tips.

  10. Marilin

    Marilin New Member

    Thank you very much
  11. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Any details on Cpl George Cordon with his date of death according to the CWGC being in June. Died of wounds or body recovered then?
  12. DaveF2

    DaveF2 New Member

    Hello everyone. I have just found this thread (indeed this Forum)

    My Great Uncle was Lt Col Tom Ford, so he was my father's uncle. I have seen a few family photos of him but the ones in this thread are (I think) new to me.

    I knew he was captured in Norway and was then in German prisoner of War camps but the rest is news to me. Sadly Dad never told me much about his uncle, I don't think they had been very close but they were in the same regiment - Dad ended up in India.

    My mother died recently, while clearing her flat I came across a lot of items from Dad's family as well as hers. They include various items which seem to have come from Tom Ford, including a few things relating to his time in prisoner of war camps, but I have not yet started sorting through them.

    I know I met him at least once, but I would only have been a few weeks old so do not remember it!. He died late in 1949, I was born in August of that year.

  13. Tony Mellors

    Tony Mellors New Member

    I am grateful for the amazing information provided in this extensive post . Thanks to all.

    We visited in September the grave of my uncle Pte Lewis Thomas Mellors in Lillehammer. He was with 1/8th Foresters. He died on 23rd April 1940 of wounds sustained on 21st or 22nd. Through family history and records we know most of the details of his action in B Coy of the 1/8th.

    But strangely in a way we don’t know the details of my father’s experience. He was Pte Harold Ward Mellors, younger brother of Lewis and also with the 1/8th. We know he was billeted in Shildon prior to going to Norway, but cannot pin down exactly his service there. The line his sons had remembered was that he had arrived in a second wave, but on arrival he was told it was all over and it was every man for himself to reach a port in 2 days ( or 2 weeks?) where a ship would pick up any soldiers. He and a comrade may their way and he was repatriated, retrained in N. Ireland, before entering the North African and Italian Campaigns with the 1/5th from 1943. He survived (or I would not be writing this!) and passed away in 2009, before any of us had the sense to ask questions.

    When in Norway we also stayed in Aandalsnes, and have read Joe Kynoch’s The Forgotten Campaign, and Jack Adams The Doomed Expedition, and our conclusion is that there wasn’t a second wave of the 1/8th arriving in Norway, but that dad must have been in a different company to Lewis, and probably in the A or D company who were in West Force where Lewis in B Coy was in East Force. Dad did not learn that Lewis had been wounded and died until his return to UK. All the 1/8th Coys came together again at Tretten, and it is at this point I think that Dad would have been told that it was every man for himself. He may have reached Aadalsnes to be taken on the Manchester, Sheffield or Birmingham, or if he missed that would he have been able to get to Namsos for another collection?

    If anyone can help with any confirmation or thoughts we would be extremely grateful. Thank you
  14. Tony Mellors

    Tony Mellors New Member

    Further to my post above, I have justt found an entry in Dad's diary of June 27th 1944 when he was leaving Port Said for Naples " On to the Boat " Sobieski" The very same boat I goy home in 1940 ( Norway) "
    In one of Poor Old Spike's early posts there is a photo of the Sobieski en route to Norway with the West Riding Duke of Yorks regt who went into Namsos.
    Does anyone have any record of the Sobieski bringing troops back to UK please? Thanks again
  15. Tony Mellors

    Tony Mellors New Member

    And another: Thanks to Clive 7 and his post with letters of Lt Guy of 5th Leicesters. Lt Guy tells the story of reaching Aandalsnes after battle of Tretten and eventaully being taken by HMS Sheffield, transferring to Royal Scotsman and Sobieski, so I think it reasonable to assume my father Harold made a similar journey.
  16. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Amazing and interesting how much British and German history there is in different parts ofNorway.
    We were on a round trip in Norway some weeks ago and found out about another amazing event at Geiranger Fjord.
    Please google the movie "Into the white"

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2022
  17. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

  18. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

  19. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    It's a film about an RAF crew and Luftwaffe crew that end up in the same shelter during a white-out after being shot down.
    Lindele likes this.
  20. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Hi noggin1969,
    is it a good and true story and did you see the film?

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