Trying to identify 16 unknown soldiers

wartime
ww2
military

(Judy Mansfield) #1

.... who died liberating our small village in Normandy. The maire has asked us to help. I have very little information apart from dates and a possible regiment. No names. But if we manage to track down who they are, the commune will pay to get their names added to the war memorial.



I have sent information to an historian at Sandhurst, but he has done nothing with it (I think he is more interested in US history)... tried military museums etc. Nothing.



If anyone is interested in helping with this, then do let me know!


(Norman Montefusco) #2

There most certainly are Judy. I am ex parachute regiment as are a few others in my area along with a smattering of other units. Good luck with your research I hope you finally are able to ive these men the recognition they deserve.


(Judy Mansfield) #3

Thanks very much David. I'm very excited with how this enquiry is moving on. If we can get the names verified, it means that these 16 men will be honoured for making the supreme sacrifice. Any additional detail would be lovely; it would really personalise the details.

My husband is ex-military (RAF Engineer) - there are a few of us on SF now, I think.


(Graham Dooley) #4

Judy

OK Judy I think I have cracked it

I have sent you a message -


(Graham Dooley) #5

Do I get an invite for aperos !

Just a coincidence and a bit off Déjà Vu however I stayed in the area around 1985 and was told of a large battle between the Germans on one side of the road and the British and Canadians on the other. Literally meters apart. It may have been the same ! I cannot remember the village I stayed in - old age setting in.


(Judy Mansfield) #6

I can send you a translation of it Graham - it’s a fair few pages. I’ll see what photographs I can gather together of the area too. I’m minded to invite some of the villagers round for aperitifs so I can get more information. We are going to the Roi de Galettes and champagne soirée on Saturday, so I’ll ask a bit more then.


(Graham Dooley) #7

I am not the best translator in the world and usually pay for a professional service ! How long is the document ? Just send it and I will take a look. I might have located someone whose father possibly took part in the battle ?


(Judy Mansfield) #8

Hi Graham, The Maire (now the ex-Maire!) wrote a tract on this as aprt of a village document, which I sent to Dr Trew at Sandhurst. However, I should be able to scan our copy and e-mail it later this week, as I'm on Day One back to work today, so my inbox is bursting!

The info is all in French - is that a problem for you? I can probably translate it, tho that would take me another week or so to do.

Very grateful for your interest :)


(Graham Dooley) #9

Judy

Can you send me all the information you have in a pen picture form. I am now receiving some replies on the matter and we need everything you have.

email address is graham.dooley@gmail.com


(Graham Dooley) #10

Judy

I assume you are collating the information you have to date - I would like as much as possible. In order that we do not duplicate I have today sent a letter to the following concerning your enquiry.

Northamptonshire Regiment and Northamptonshire Yeomanry Collections

Northamptonshire Regiment and Northamptonshire Yeomanry Collections

Facilities

YesCoach Parking
YesCar Parking
YesRestaurant/Cafe
YesToilets
YesLecture Room
YesShop

Other: Disabled access. Parking nearby

How to get there:
On the outskirts of town, off the A4500 Wellingborough road.

The Regimental Collection traces the history of the County Regiment from its formation in 1741 to its amalgamation in 1960. Items include uniforms, prints, pictures, silver, medals and other items of regimental significance. Uniforms and medals form the core of the Yeomanry Collection. Records relating to The Northamptonshire Regiment can be seen by appointment (telephone 01604 83780 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01604 83780 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. The Yeomanry archives are held at the County Record Office (01604 762129 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01604 762129 end_of_the_skype_highlighting).

Royal Anglian Regiment, Northamptonshire Regiment, 48th (or the Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot, 48th Regiment of Foot, Colonel Chalmondeley’s Regiment of Foot, 58th (or the Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot, 58th Regiment of Foot raised by Colonel Robert Anstruther as 60th Foot, Northamptonshire Yeomanry

Opening Hours:
Open: April to October Thursday - Sunday 1-5pm Bank Holiday Mondays 1-5pm. Closed: November to March

Address:
Northamptonshire Regiment and Northamptonshire Yeomanry Collections
Abington Park Museum,
Abington Park,
Northampton,
NN1 4LW

Tel: 01604 838110begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01604 838110 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Fax: 01604 838720

Email:
abingtonmuseum@northampton.gov.uk

Web:
www.northampton.gov.uk/museums

Curator:
Peter Field

Admission charges:
Adult: Free
Seniors: Free
Groups: By appointment
Children: Free
School Parties: By appointment

Others:
By appointment


(Graham Dooley) #11

Judy

I am back in the "rat race" having had a lovely Xmas break. I have sent the enquiry regarding the search for soldiers to my professional forums on the ABI and EPIC in the hope we can produce some contacts for you.


(Judy Mansfield) #12

Thanks David - no, there are no graves. The bodies were moved, but details are sketchy. I was in MOD, so have tried via my contacts to no avail.

My husband (who was in the RAF in his UK life - I was in MOD) has done lots of work with The War Graves Photographic Project, who are working alongside the War Graves Commission, and doing a sterling job photographing every single war grave... fascinating work.


(Judy Mansfield) #13

Apologies for delay in responding on here!

The information I have is part of a thick booklet, so I would need to scan and e-mail it, or pop it in the post. It was all written by the Maire of the commune. The road past our house (the D511 from Lisieux to St Pierre sur Dives) was the only road open for some weeks during that period. People from the villages and from Lisieux took refuge in stone quarries for weeks during the bombardments.

Reading this thread, and also the e-mails I had, I am now not sure where we are, and who is speaking to whom!

I am very grateful for the interest shown; I am very keen to help our village honour these brave soldiers... and for the record, I am not expecting work to be done for nothing! I will pay out of my own pocket if needs be.


(Graham Dooley) #14

I think this thread caused me to watch the complete DVD collection of “Band of Brothers” again ( for the 4th time ) - or was it the snow !!! I try and imagine what it was like for those soldiers - I dont think I would have made it. An interesting collection of images below. The “Bastogne Battle”.

http://www.google.com/images?q=bastogne+battle&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=jwQNTcfwEZKU4Qak-uGGAg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=3&ved=0CDoQsAQwAg&biw=1616&bih=855


(Graham Dooley) #15

Judy

I do this for a living but I am willing to assist in this matter. Send me as much details as you can and I will probably confer with Stu to avoid treading on his toes.


(Valerie Levy) #16

Judy, would the National Archives at Kew be of any help? There is a list of military historians on their site who might be more effective, and willing to help. eg http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~searcher/

Good luck with this. Val


(Judy Mansfield) #17

Hi Stu - I can forward details (a huge amount, tho the details are vague, and all in French) to anyone who can take this forward. But briefly, the soldiers were British Infantry, from - we think - the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, which may have been part of the 51st Highland Division. They liberated St Julien le Faucon as well as Le Mesnil Simon in August 1944. This was as part of pushing the Germans east and north, after closing the Falaise Gap pocket.

We don't have much more than that - this is what villagers know happened. We could try and talk some more to older villagers and see what we can find out. I just thought I'd try from the military angle to see if anything was forthcoming.

Hope that helps!