Sunday 6 January 2008

49th (West Riding) Division

A belated Happy New Year to anyone who cares to listen. Not much has been happening over the “Festive Season” in SA, but then nothing usually does as the whole country appears to shut down for four weeks…I’m not complaining either.

My university registration has been completed for the first semester of ’08, finished today to boot. It looks like a mix of Ancient History, Anthropology, English and Psychology…and wargaming and painting, hopefully! Two more years to go…

Still painting like mad, having finished a British 3” Mortar Platoon and a platoon of Vickers MMGs and a few assorted command pieces. Nearly done the two Crusader IIs, then more infantry, the Cromwell Squadron, LotR Gondorians and 28mm Crusaders…why did I get myself into this?!?

In future I’m going to track my painting progress and post a monthly list of what I have (or, as the case may be, have not) painted in the last month. Thing might not be pretty, so consider yourself forewarned!

I’m also trying to get my grandfather’s records of the Second World War, but the extended family and co. seem reluctant to part with them for some reason I cannot fathom, especially since none of them know anything (and I do mean ANYTHING) about the Second World War. My grandfather died nearly 11 years ago and he never spoke much of the war from what I can gather from my father and uncles. Apart from knowing that he was in the 2nd Battalion, the Essex Regiment, in 56 (Sphinx) Infantry Brigade in 1944-45, I know little else. Initially 56 Brigade was attached to the 50th (‘Tyne Tees’ or Northumberland) Infantry Division until August 1944, also coming under command of the 7th Armoured Division and the 59th Division for periods, when they joined the 49th (‘Polar Bear’ or West Riding) Division. In terms of histories I have Patrick Delaforce’s Divisional Histories on the 50th and 49th Divisions, but the former makes little mention of 56 Brigade while the latter is of course concerned with August ‘44 onwards. Thus, from June to August 1944, I know nothing save for this comment is Delaforce’s “The Polar Bears: Monty’s Left Flank” which says:

‘The Pompadours’, the 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment, were raised in 1755 and took their name from the deep purple facings of their eighteenth-century uniform. From 12 June the wood near the village of Verrières was known as ‘Essex Wood’, where Tiger tanks took an appalling toll. A week later the Pompadours took part in the three-day battle for Tilly-sur-Seulles against the Panzer Lehr Division. Again casualties were heavy, and after 16 days in action they were a very, very tired battalion. Lt.-Col. G.G. Elliott had taken over from Lt.-Col. Higson after the 12 June battle. For most of July the 2nd Essex were at Parfouru l’Eclin, under most vicious stonking from Launay Ridge. Then, from 8 to 17 August under the command of the 59th Division, after several daring night marches they captured Forge-à-Cambro east of Thury-Harcourt. Brig. Ekins commanded the well-respected Sphinx Brigade when it joined the Polar Bears at Pedouze on Saturday 19 August.”

(From The Polar Bears: Monty’s Left Flank, Chapter 25, Pg 126)

Not much prior to August ’44 then, so I’ll have to keep looking.

49th (West Riding) Division Order of Battle, June 1944

(This is merely a provisional OOB, as I find more information I will update it. Any information is welcome)

70th Infantry Brigade

10th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
11th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
1st Battalion Tyneside Scottish

146th Infantry Brigade

4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
1/4th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Hallamshire Battalion

147th Infantry Brigade

11th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers
6th Battalion Duke of Wellingtons
7th Battalion Duke of Wellingtons

Divisional Artillery

69th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
143rd Field Regiment Royal Artillery
185th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
55th Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery
89th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery

Divisional Engineers

289th Field Park Company Royal Engineers
294th Field Company Royal Engineers
756th Field Company Royal Engineers
757th Field Company Royal Engineers
23rd Bridging Platoon Royal Engineers

Divisional RASC

460th Company Royal Army Service Corps
482nd Company Royal Army Service Corps
483rd Company Royal Army Service Corps
118th Divisional Company Royal Army Service Corps

Divisional RAOC

49th Ordnance Field Park Royal Army Ordnance Corps
49th Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit

Divisional REME

70th Infantry Brigade Workshop
146th Infantry Brigade Workshop
147th Infantry Brigade Workshop

Royal Army Medical Corps

146th Field Ambulance RAMC
160th Field Ambulance RAMC
187th Field Ambulance RAMC
16th Field Dressing Station RAMC
17th Field Dressing Station RAMC
35th Field Hygine Section RAMC

Machine Gun Battalion

2nd Battalion Kensington Regiment

Other Units

49th Recce Regiment RAC
49th Provost Company CMP
49th Divisional Signals Royal Corps of Signals
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...