The Glorious Glosters, Cassel 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    In the thread above there is mention of the death of Lt Richard Francis OLIVE of 2nd Bn Gloucester Regt. The CWGC has his death as 31st May 1940 which suggests it was during the breakout from Cassel. I am trying to find out more about the circumstances of his death and particularly the likely location. Drew mentions a ten page report of Lt Fane's escape but this is no longer available - does anyone have a copy of this as it may hold the answer.

    Thanks in advance
  2. neil hunt

    neil hunt Member

    I have recently been sent a copy of Lt Fane's Account...Please send an email address and I will forward this to you.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  3. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member


    My father Albert (Bert) Comley was captured on 30th May 1940 at Cassell, he was in the 2nd battalion Glosters, he spent the rest of the war years as a POW, due to his date of capture I assume that he was one of the 14 men captured at the blockhouse.

    Is there anyone out there that has any more information about these 14 members of the Glorious Glosters?
    John West likes this.
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Do you have the account from Lt Cresswell? I have done a lot of research into the Gloucesters in Cassel and I saw your uncles name on a pay roll form 1940 which stated he was A Coy.
    Most of A Coy (7 Plt & 9 Plt) were moved to Zuytpeene on 27 May and it was here that they were overrun by the Germans late the same day. Most of the Coy were killed or captured there. Meanwhile, 8 Plt had been sent to the Blockhouse on the 26th which they held until the 30th. As you said your father was captured on the 30th May then it is feasible he was in the Blockhouse with 8 Plt. Do you have any recollections from him at all?
  5. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    Thanks Dave,

    No my Dad (not uncle) talked very little about his experiences in the war, particularly to me (being a youngster born in 1946) now and again he may say something about his 5 years POW experiences to my mother and his father (then when I was older my Mum told me some of it). As a youngster I did ask questions about the war but always got negative answers, as he didn't want to talk about it.

    When he was in a hospital just before dying, the doctors nurses asked me why he was shouting out in German, a language I never heard him use?
  6. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    I have also found out from his service records that he was in a Lille civilian hospital in early 1940 (don't know which one, but have email an organisation in Lille to find out if they can help with any old records), he was then granted 10 days furlough in the UK, so it must have been serious?
  7. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Hi Gordon,

    Obviously we don't know the severity of your fathers illness. However, the Bn did embark on a programme of leave for all the soldiers who had been in France since October 1939. Infact some soldiers were on leave when the main German Offensive started on 10 May. So it is likely that your father was due to proceed on leave anyway, he may have even had his leave postponed whilst he was in hospital and then sent straight on leave once he was released.
  8. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    Thanks for that info Dave. It explains why there was a few days between hospital discharge and start of furlough.

    I have emailed an organisation in Lille to try to find the hospital he was in and if there are any records of his reason for being there, I do not anticipate getting that information though.
  9. John West

    John West Active Member

    Dear Gordon
    I had a very similar experience, one day when I was a teenager, my Dad helped out a German couple who were having difficulty making themselves understood in our hotel. The sudden flow of fluent German took my breath away! He had worked as a translator in E72 work camp in Silesia, having also been captured at Cassel. I never heard him speak German again, and he also only gave away tiny snippets. His story is here 140th (5th London) Army Field Regiment, Royal Artillery – Their story between the 10th and 31st May 1940
  10. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    The guys kept a lot in after the war. Thanks John

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