Roll of Honour of Officers of the Gloucestershire Regiment

Who Died in the Second World War

 

(Roll of Honour of Officers of the Gloucestershire Regiment Who Died in the Great War can be viewed here)

 

 

Welcome

Thank you for visiting this site.   The information presented on this site has in the main been obtained from the public domain and is therefore freely available to all who wish to copy material from it.   The author is solely responsible for its content and every attempt has been made to ensure its accuracy.   The site should be considered as a living document since information is constantly being expanded and updated. This site was first posted to the internet 1st October 2012, was last significantly updated in October 2015 and completely overhauled in September 2017.

 

Site Author

The site author can be contacted here:    webmaster@remembering.org.uk

 

Copyright

Crown Copyright material is reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.  

 

Aim of the Website/Project

The aim of the website is simple.   It is to collate into one place an accurate record of the service and death of the 62 officers of the Gloucestershire Regiment who died in the Second World War and to make a permanent record of their sacrifice.   These officers served and died for their country on land and sea.   To complement the Roll of Honour, a separate part of this website is devoted to listing the individual units of the Regiment and units of other Regiments and HQs in which these officers were serving when they were killed in action, died of wounds or illness, or were accidentally killed whether on active service or not.   A detailed statistical analysis of these 62 officers can be viewed here.

 

Research

Research is continuing for further information which will be posted on the site as soon as it can be checked and confirmed.

 

Navigation

Click on the appropriate heading at the side or foot of this page, or on appropriate hyperlinks within the text of this page, to gain access to the page you want to view.   A comprehensive site map can be seen here, to assist in navigating around the site.

 

Site Development

An enormous amount of information is available through the following organisations and publications:

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)

  • Army Roll of Honour 1939 - 1945

  • Army Casualty Lists 1939 - 1945 (Catalogue WO 417 at The National Archives)

  • British Army Operations in the Second World War (National Archives Documents)

  • "Cap of Honour - 300 Years of the Gloucestershire Regiment"  -  David Scott Daniell

  •  Soldiers of Gloucestershire Military Museum

  •  Index To War Deaths 1939 - 1946 (Army Officers).

  •  Army Lists (1939 - 1946).

  •  Battalion War Diaries (Catalogue WO 168 et seq at the National Archives).

  •  Local contemporary press.

  •  The Times Digital Archive 1785 - 1985.

  •  The London Gazette.

  •  War Memorials and commemorative plaques.

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

There are some apparent anomalies in the individual records in the Debt of Honour Register maintained by the CWGC and these are listed here with the suggested corrective action to be taken, and the long term aim is to correct all of these inaccuracies.

 

Accuracy

The author has taken every reasonable care to ensure that the information on this website is as accurate as possible.   Please contact the author should errors or omissions be discovered by visitors to the site in order that corrective action can be taken.   Contact details are shown above.

 

Intended Viewers

The site is intended for researchers, military and family historians and anyone who is keen to discover this all too significant history of the Gloucestershire Regiment.

 

The Gloucestershire Regiment

During the Second World War the Gloucestershire Regiment was organised into Regular, and Service Battalions as described here.  

 

Facts and Figures

A total of 62 officers of the Gloucestershire Regiment (and 19 of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, listed separately here) lost their lives in the Second World War and a detailed analysis of these casualties can be viewed here.   These officers are buried as war casualties in military or civilian cemeteries or commemorated on Memorials throughout the world.   Of these, 10 officers are buried in France, 9 are buried in Burma, 7 in the UK, and 7 in Italy.   Officers who were killed in battle and have no known grave are commemorated on Memorials To The Missing.   There are 10 officers who are commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial in Burma and 1 on the Dunkirk Memorial in France.   1 officer was lost at sea.

 

There are 7 officers who are buried in the UK including Officer Cadet K B Tyndall, whose grave in St Philip and St James' Churchyard, Hucclecote, Glos, was only found in October 2015.   Previously he was commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial.

The Gloucestershire Regiment After The Great War

Following the Great War millions of men were discharged when the war was officially ended in early 1919, and New Army "Service" Battalions were continued to be disbanded after the first wave in February 1918 and the Regular and Territorial Battalions were re-equipped, brought up to strength and prepared for peace-time duties.

In this respect the Gloucestershire Regiment was no different to other Regiments of the line and saw its Regular battalions re-constituted with the 1st Battalion re-formed at Catterick and the 2nd Battalion re-formed at Chiseldon, both in 1919.   The 4th and 6th Territorial Battalions were re-formed at Bristol and the 5th Territorial Battalion re-formed at Gloucester, again in 1919.

Between the wars, the Regular Battalions served on garrison duties in India, Ireland, Germany, China, Egypt, Singapore, the UK and Burma whilst the Territorials remained in the UK and trained for Home Defence duties.   The 4th and 6th Battalions were converted to other operational duties in 1938 and their long and honoured association with the Regiment gradually ceased.

A full and detailed Regimental order-of-battle during the inter-war years and afterwards can be viewed here.

The Second World War proved very different from that fought in the Great War.   Following the Blitzkrieg and the miraculous evacuation from Dunkirk, large numbers of troops had to be retained in the UK as a safeguard against possible German invasion.   Furthermore, the requirement for infantry was not comparable, since there was no trench warfare or mass slaughter.   Nevertheless, nine Battalions of the Regiment were actively involved in the war.

The 2nd and 5th Battalions helped to hold the Dunkirk outer perimeter as Cassel and Ledringhem in May 1940, fighting with great determination for four days.  The 2nd Battalion was effectively annihilated.   Both Battalions were able to pay off old scores during the invasion of Normandy four years later, although by then the 5th Battalion had been converted to a Reconnaissance role in the 43rd (Wessex) Division.

The 1st Battalion had moved to Burma from India in 1938, and was stationed a few miles north of Rangoon when the Japanese invaded.   Ill-suited to jungle warfare, the army in Burma was forced to withdraw to the Indian frontier.   Throughout the long retreat the 1st Battalion was almost continually in contact with the enemy, and performed extraordinarily well in its unenviable task as rear guard.   They did not take part initially in the re-occupation of Burma in 1944/45, but the 10th Battalion did so, winning Battle Honours at Pinwe and Myitson.

In Europe, the 2nd Battalion felt a grim satisfaction.   It had been savaged and over-run at Cassel in 1940, but from D-Day onwards in 1944, it had fought its way across France, Belgium and Holland to Germany, and by August 1945 it was based in Berlin.

The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH) After the Great War

Following the Armistice the British Army underwent substantial reduction from which the RGH was not immune.   By 1921 the Regiment had been reduced to a single armoured car company of the Royal Tank Corps, later the Royal Tank Regiment.   Initially equipped with Peerless armoured cars the unit gradually expanded to regimental strength and was provided with Rolls Royce armoured cars.

In 1938, with war once again imminent, the Regiment resumed its original title and recruiting proceeded so successfully that it was soon able to form the 1st and 2nd Regiments.

1st RGH was destined to remain in the UK throughout WW2 as a Home Defence and Training regiment.   In 1946, it was moved to Austria as part of the occupying force.

2nd RGH embarked for Egypt in 1941 to join 8th Army.   Here, to begin with, it crewed Crusader tanks.   During the desert campaign against Rommel that followed, the Regiment had to convert to US "Honey" and "Grant" tanks.   Fortunes fluctuated and the Regiment distinguished itself on numerous occasions but suffered heavy casualties in the process.

On 6th June 1942 it fought its final battles as 2nd RGH at the feature known as the Cauldron, south of Tobruk.   Thereafter it fought as squadrons of other armoured regiments and then, when finally disbanded, its personnel were reluctantly transferred to other regiments, such as 4th and 8th Hussars, the Royal Wilts Yeomanry and the 5th Royal Tank Regiment.   With these regiments, RGH personnel fought their way into Italy, France and, ultimately, Germany.

 

 

Page last updated:  14th November 2017

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