A Roll of Honour – To fallen & past Grenadiers
The information contained on this website is based upon my father’s efforts during the late 1980’s, during which he set about creating a list of fallen Grenadier in the 2nd world war. With the absence of today’s technology it was all done by hand resulting in piles of book, documents and letters and entered long hand into a ledger. My father was fortunate to remain in contact with many ex-guardsmen as Windsor had a purpose built Grenadiers Guards club, at Clewer in Windsor. The ledger was loaned to the club and viewed by members and visitors alike, and was a source of much reflection of those war days.
In my father’s declining years I suggested that his efforts be converted to a digital format and be made visible to all, through a web-site. We were very fortunate to live not far from The Commonwealth War Graves Commision, in Maidenhead. The CWGC appreciated his past efforts and understood our intentions, and very kindly assisted us in the task.
As a result of the CWGC help we undertook to include Grenadier Guard losses in the 1st World War, and loses from troubles and conflicts since those WW days. The result of which is what you see today, the site has recently gone through technology changes, and been off-line We are now in the process of rebuilding it, should you have any comments and/or information you wish included please contact.
A brief synopsis of My father:
He volunteered for military service on the 4th November 1942 at Lady Lane recruiting centre, Templar House, Leeds, at the age of 18 .
He asked to join the Grenadier Guards and his attestation was forwarded to the Commanding officer, Grenadier Guards, Birdcage Walk, London SW1, on the 5th November 1942 and read’s: ‘A smart man, wishing to serve on a normal engagement (7 & 5), will you accept’.
The commanding officer at Birdcage Walk responded on the 6th November 1942 saying ‘I will accept’.
He was posted to the Guards Depot Caterham, Surrey on the 11th November 1942, and joined Corporal S. Lawrence squad for basic training.
Following basic training my father become part of the 6th Armoured brigade and trained as a tank crew, which I believe was on ‘Matilda’ tanks and would later form part of the invasion of Sicily campaign.
Whilst in Sicily he suffered a injury, losing the end of his left index finger. The injury occured when the tank hatch cover was accidentally kicked shut on his outstretched hand by the forward exiting crew member, when they were forced to leave their shell damaged tank in haste.
During his period of rehabilitation which he always said ‘was not very long‘, he became a ‘Classified Signaller‘. He was then posted forward to join the battle for Rome and saw conflict in the Garigliano valley, and then the fierce fighting during the battle of Monte Cassino.
During this period he became attached to a group of Polish soldiers, or they to his group. This was something of a dark period as he would never speak of it, other than to remark that ‘The Polish were fighting a different kind of war’. Whatever it was, he was later awarded the ‘Polish Cross of Freedom & Independence, with Swords’ at the Polish Embassy in London.
My father returned from Italy on the 2nd of January 1946 and was posted to Victoria barracks, in Windsor, Berkshire. I believe he found his time at Windsor barracks less than fully interesting, following his active service in Italy, and was demoted from Corporal to Guardsman by the time his service ended.
Whilst in Windsor he did meet and marry my mother (Ruth) whilst regularly carrying out guard duties at Windsor castle, and Buckingham Palace. He his platoon were often required to march the 26 miles between the Royal locations, and he was actively involved in recruitment drives until his demob on the 16th November 1949.
A Roll of honour