Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Topics about the Regiment during the Second World War.

Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby plbramham » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:01 am

Many people believe that the Border Regiment “glider badge” was awarded for Arnhem – not so, the motif was granted to the 1st battalion (and to the South Staffordshire Regiment) for their airborne landings during “Operation Husky” the 1943 invasion of Sicily.
This followed the successful conclusion of hostilities in North Africa and was a prelude to the invasion of mainland Italy.
During the initial assault on 10th July 1943, gales caused more than half of the 140 gliders to be blown off course or to crash into the sea drowning those on board, but the remaining airborne troops landed South West of Syracuse, capturing and holding their vital objective, the Ponte Grande bridge over the River Anapo.
Combined with the airborne attack, Montgomery’s 8th Army and Commonwealth troops (notably Canadians) came ashore in the South East of the island between Pachino and Syracuse, while Patton’s 7th American army landed at Gela, the two armies, totalling 160,000 men, joined up at Messina on August 17th having captured the island in 39 days. ( Messina was the heaviest bombed Italian city during WW2 owing to its location on the North East tip of Sicily just approximately six kilometres across the straits from mainland Italy)
There are two CWGC cemeteries on Sicily ( see photos below)
Syracuse: 1059 burials (18 Border Regt.) Mostly those who died on 10th July when the airborne troops landed, or in the early stages of the campaign. Border casualties according to CWGC:
BRETT, TOM TALBOT
Private 3605419 died 10/07/1943 aged 21
EAGLES, ALBERT
Private 3772549 10/07/1943
HULME, HERBERT HENRY
Private 3451927 10/07/1943 24
MOLLAN, THOMAS WILLIAM
Private 3602982 10/07/1943 28
PRYOR, WILLIAM JOSEPH
Private 3606368 10/07/1943 19
WALMSLEY, JOHN
Private 3783911 10/07/1943 19
WARDLE, RONALD
Private 5059035 11/07/1943 22
WHITE, FRANCOIS SAMUEL FERNAND
Private 3596657 10/07/1943 27
GARDNER, GEORGE WALTER
Warrant Officer Class I 3594598 10/07/1943 37
PARKER, PETER
Lance Corporal 3602870 10/07/1943 23
POOLEY, DEREK
Private 4547101 10/07/1943 19
WATT, JAMES
Private 3599143 10/07/1943 26
CANNON, RAYMOND
Private 4207070 10/07/1943 22
FINERON, FREDERICK WILLIAM
Major 56329 16/07/1943 34
LANE, HARRY
Private 4465294 10/07/1943 30

PARTINGTON, ALFRED OWEN
Private 3607120 10/07/1943 20
STUBBINS, JOHN ARTHUR
Lance Corporal 3603399 10/07/1943 28
TIMMINS, ALBERT HEWITT
Lance Corporal 3596791 10/07/1943 30

Catania: 2135 burials ( 3 Border Regiment) Lying under the impressive backdrop of Mount Etna, this cemetery mainly contains burials from the later stages of the campaign ( although the three Border casualties are from the first week), including those killed in the fighting on the Catania plain and in the battle for the Simeto bridgehead. Border casualties according to CWGC:
MAUGHAN, EDWARD
Private 3604761 10/07/1943 24
MOUNSEY, NIGEL DERRICK WALTER
Lieutenant 237910 18/07/1943 21
MOORE, LESLIE HUGHES
Private 3606349 10/07/1943 21

Canada also has its own CWGC cemetery at Agira (captured by 1st Canadian division on 28th July 1943) containing 490 burials of their countrymen killed throughout the campaign.
I have individual photos of all the Border Regiment headstones. If anyone wants a copy of a specific gave (free of charge), send me your e-mail address and the relevant soldier’s name.
Paul
Attachments
Catania 1 CWGC.jpg
Catania CWGC Cemetery with Mount Etna in the background
Mounsey 1 Catania.jpg
Lt. Nigel Derrick Walter Mounsey
Moore & Maughan 1 Catania.jpg
Privates Edward Maughan and Leslie Hughes Moore (left)
syracuse1 CWGC gate.jpg
Syracuse CWGC cemetery
Gardner grave1 Syracuse.jpg
RSM George Walter Gardner of Bowness on Windermere
Cannon grave 1 Syracuse.jpg
Private Raymond Cannon of Ulverston
Timmins1 Whitehaven.jpg
Lance Corporal Albert Hewitt Timmins of Whitehaven
User avatar
plbramham
General
General
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:49 pm
Location: kendal

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby IanT » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:54 pm

My Dad was one of those that finished in the Med, clinging to a bit of floating glider wreckage for several hours before being picked up.
Ian
IanT
Major
Major
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby plbramham » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:11 pm

How interesting - did he go on to serve at Arnhem? I'm afraid that the Italy campaign - as with Burma, is a "forgotten war" as all the WW2 attention seems to be focussed on D Day/Normandy.
Are you aware of "Operation Mincemeat" - the inspiration for the film "The Man Who Never Was" in which a body was deposited into the sea bearing false documents to make the Germans believe that Sicily was not the objective for the allies forthcoming strike from North Africa?
Regards Paul
User avatar
plbramham
General
General
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:49 pm
Location: kendal

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby IanT » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:17 pm

Yes, he was also at Arnhem, thankfully surviving both it and Sicily, else I wouldn't be here!!
I knew about the decoy body but not the name of the operation.
Ian
IanT
Major
Major
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby plbramham » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:58 pm

What a record! You must be proud. Did he serve post WW2? (e.g. Palestine). Perhaps you could post a photo, I'm sure we'd all like to see him.
My great uncle was a para due to go to Arnhem, but his appendicitis ( not sure if that is spelt correctly?)burst and he was rushed into hospital. Because of the communication blackout the family did not know if he was missing or killed, but rather that he was safe in hospital in England! Perhaps his appendicitis saved his life?
Regards Paul
User avatar
plbramham
General
General
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:49 pm
Location: kendal

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby IanT » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:18 pm

He was in Palestine pre-WW2. Post WW2 he was in the reserves for a year (1946) then rejoined the regt. From about 1951 to 1955 on attachment to East Lancs in Chester, then back with the regt in Carlisle, Goettingen & Berlin. There are photos of him in the gallery ("Chris" Thirlwell).
Ian
IanT
Major
Major
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby plbramham » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:21 pm

My grandfather was in Palestine with the RAF during the Arab revolt pre WW2 at the same time as The Border Regiment, in fact my mother was born in Jerusalem in 1939!

My grandmother revisited in the 1980s and upset a few people by insisting on calling it "Palestine" rather than "Israel" The tour guide was horrified when she went off by herself into the market. She said "Young man, I was perfectly safe,I was here 50 years ago when bombs were going off. " A quite feisty and admirable lady!
Paul
User avatar
plbramham
General
General
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:49 pm
Location: kendal

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby IanT » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:33 pm

There's a series of photos from pre-war Palestine in an album in the gallery. This was well before my parents met, not sure exactly when, but they married in Dec 1944.
Ian
IanT
Major
Major
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby plbramham » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:24 pm

There is a TV programme on BBC4 at 8pm on Tuesday 22nd October about "Operation Mincemeat" - the decoy body operation before the invasion.
Paul
User avatar
plbramham
General
General
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:49 pm
Location: kendal

Re: Operation Husky – invasion of Sicily 1943

Postby kerchi » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:45 pm

As always, great photos Paul. ;-)

Fantastic to see the headstones of these chaps from, as say the "forgotten war", which does seem to get left by the wayside when compared to, or generally talked about, other aspects of the Second World War.

I enjoyed looking at the Operation "Husky" photocopies you did for me from the Border Magazine from March 1950. Great stuff! I admire your passion about the doings of the Border Regiment of every aspect from BOTH wars, not just the First World War. I wish I had your knowledge ::)
In memory of John Bardgett (15309 L/Cpl.), 11th Border Regiment who died 1st July 1916.

Any problems, comments or questions about the forum? Contact me at: admin@border-regiment-forum.com
User avatar
kerchi
Field-Marshal
Field-Marshal
 
Posts: 2160
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:36 pm
Location: Padfield, Derbyshire

Next

Return to World War Two

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

About Us

The Border Regiment Forum is a small and friendly community for anyone with an interest in the British regiment throughout its long and colourful history. The forum was set up first and foremost to bring together those with an interest and passion in the Regiment; to ask questions, share stories, provide knowledge and post photos relating to the regiment during the various conflicts and peacetimes it bore witness to.

  -  Cumbria's Museum of Military Life
  -  5th Border Regiment War Grave Project and Roll of Honour
  -  7th Border Regiment War Grave Project and Roll of Honour
  -  8th Border Regiment War Grave Project and Roll of Honour
  -  11th Border Regiment (Lonsdale) War Grave Project