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:

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  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:

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  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
     
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  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:
     
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  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
     

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