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Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment was known as the Bedfordshire Regiment until 1919. It was an infantry regiment in the British Army from 1881 to 1958. The 16th Regiment of Foot, (first raised in 1688) was joined with the militia regiments and rifle volunteer corps of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The two English counties which had kept the ranks of the Bedfordshire regiment filled during the 1914-1918 War were Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. On July 29, 1919 the Bedfordshire regiment was renamed the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, to honour the great contribution of the regiment from Hertfordshire. In 1958, the Beds and Herts Regiment was merged with The Essex Regiment to form the 3rd East Anglian Regiment.
Battalions during the Second World War.
- 1st Battalion
- 2nd Battalion
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List of those who served with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment during The Second World War
Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.
- Charles Freddrick "Wag" Cox Read his Story.
- Lt. Robert Kenneth Danks Read his Story.
- Corporal Lionel George Degenhard 1st Battalion Read his Story.
- Corporal Lionel George Degenhard 1st Bn. Read his Story.
- Pte. Ernest Joseph Feasey 10th Btn. Read his Story.
- Pte. Leslie Albert Fensome Read his Story.
- Pte. Arthur William Johnson 5th Btn. D Coy. Read his Story.
- L/Cpl. William Bert Lewington 1st Btn. Read his Story.
- Pte. Reginald Alban Smith Read his Story.
- Joseph Alec Wells Read his Story.
Joseph Alec Wells No: 6 Commando
I would like any information with regard to my fathers military career I think he enlisted in 1938 possibly in the Royal Engineers transferred to the commandos. Eventually he was commissioned and joined the Beds and Herts Regiment as an Officer serving in Italy & Greece & possibly Yugoslavia. After the war he seved till 1949 in Q section? BAOR.
Corporal Lionel George Degenhard 1st Battalion Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
My father, Lionel George Degenhard, was Corporal with the 1st Btn. Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment. He never wanted to talk about the war but has left a great memento in the form of a handwritten collection of experiences bound between the covers of two pieces of Red Cross cardboard.
Lionel George Degenhard, Corporal, 1st Btn. Bedfordshire & Hertforshire Regiment
Captured 28 April 1941 in Greece, liberated 2 May 1945.
He was stationed in the following four POW camps:
Stalag 357, N.C.O. Lager, Thorn Sud, Poland Stalag XV111 A, Wolfsberg, Austria Stalag XV111 A Zweilager, N.C.O. Lager, Spittal - Drau, Austria Stalag 357, N.C.O. Lager, Fallingbostel, Hannover, Germany
The following is an extract from his personal handwritten exerpts titled 'Camps I have worked at in Austria':
Klagenfurt - Canal Work - July to Sept 1941 Dachstein Obertraune H.V. 75 - Barrack Building - Sept to Nov 1941 Kleine Glodnitz A/13001/L - Road Making - Nov 1941 to Mar 1942 Huttengerg A/11205/L - Sawmill - Mar 1942 to August 1943 St Veit 11093/GW - Building - Aug to Sept 1943 Reichendorf A/550/L - Farm work - Oct 1943 to Jan 1944
I would swear it is him in the first photo, 2nd from left on back row, on The Wartime Memories Project - STALAG XXA POW Camp (357, Stalag Kopernikus) Page 2.
I am trying to locate all the camp sites in order that I can visit as many as I can this year. If anyone could help I would be so grateful. Thanks a million.
Corporal Lionel George Degenhard 1st Bn. Beds & Herts Regiment
My Dad, Lionel Degenhard was shot in the leg and captured at the battle of Kalamata, Greece on 28 April 1941 and was liberated from Stalag 357 NCO Lager, Fallingbostel on 2 May 1945.
He had been transfered there when Stalag 357 was moved from Thorn (Torun) Poland. Prior to that he had been imprissoned at Stalags 18A (Wofsburg) and 18B Zweig Lager (Spittal - Drau)Austria.
In a handwritten log he recalls the following camps where he was forced to work:
- Klagenfurt - Canal Work - July to Sept 1941
- Dachstein Obertraune H.V. 75 - Barracks Building - Sept to Nov 1941
- Kleine Glodnitz A/13001/L - Road Making - Nov 1941 to Mar 1942
- Huttengerg A/11205/L - Sawmill - Mar 1942 to August 1943
- St Veit 11093/GW - Building - Aug to Sept 1943
- Reichendorf A/550/L - Farm work - Oct 1943 to Jan 1944
The log is a precious keepsake in an old school exercise book sewn between cardboard covers made of Red Cross packages. He lists friends, recalls poetry and songs, friends have written personal notes, he has drawn pictures and has included a comparison between what Canadian Red Cross sent their soldiers and what the European Red Cross sent the Brits. He implied the Canadians got more interesting contents. The references he recorded about their pantomimes and games really bring the experiences to life and the three real Gutschein uber Reichsmark and Reichspfennig POW money notes stuck to one of the pages remind me how real his experiences were. I have several photos which I will try to add later.
Dad died at the St David's Roman Catholic home for military personnel in Ealing on St Valentine's Day a month before his 90th birthday, 2006.
Pte. Ernest Joseph Feasey 10th Btn. Beds & Herts Regt.
I enlisted at Bedford on the 29th of Jul 1941, attended Basic Training and served with 10th Bn, until I transferred to the Royal Signals on the 1st of Sept 42. I then served with 47 Div Sigs, 38 Div Sigs, 2 Corps Sigs, 39 HQ Sigs, 3 GHQ Sigs in the UK, MELF & Italy. I was discharged on the 15th of December 1946.
Pte. Arthur William Johnson 5th Btn. D Coy. Welch Regmentt
Bill Johnson was my father and the reason why he did not enlist until 26/2/1942 was that he was a bricklayer by trade. Until then he was "sent to Coventry" and labelled a coward despite the fact that he was doing his job. He could have stayed a civilian but could not take being labelled a coward so joined up.
He was posted in the first instance to the General Services Corps and then to the Beds & Herts regiment. On 22/12/1942 posted to 15th Med R.A and later to 'D' Coy 5th Battn Welch Regt then from 13/10/1944 posted to N W Europe. He was discharged 12/12/1945 and resumed his bricklaying. His army pal was Roland Brace who I think was in the same unit. Both have since died.
Charles Freddrick "Wag" Cox No 7 Commando
HI, This is my late grandad. He joined the T.A in 1939 Beds and Heart regiment becoming 590061 Private Cox as an Infantryman. He later joined and become a trained Commando.
He was part of the rear guard in Crete where he was taken prisoner and taken to Stalag 4a Hohenstein and was known as 59851 Cox. He was a P.O.W from 1941-1945 he told me about some of the "goings on" such as escapes and taking part in wrecking a German supply train. Was hoping that there maybe someone who knows or was in the camp the same time as he was or has a relative that recognises his name.Would like to know any info about his time in the camp or his commando history as not much was said . Many thanks
Pte. Reginald Alban Smith Beds & Herts Regiment
My Father, Reginald Smith was taken prisoner at Dieppe 19th August 1942 and spent the remainder of the war in Stalag 8b (334) Lambinowice, Poland POW number 26450.
L/Cpl. William Bert Lewington 1st Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment
My Dad's name was William Bert Lewington, he was captured at Dresden and marched to Stalag XII-A where he was a prisoner of war until march 1944. I don't know a lot about his life as a prisoner as like many of our hero's they didn't want to talk about it. As he was a cook he was sent to either Berge-Belsen or Auschwitz to help feed the interns of the camps. I remember him saying he lived on potato soup and had a very bad case of dysentery when he was released. As he was an enlisted soldier firstly in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment prior to being captured, on re-joining the army he was transferred into the 1st battalion of the Dorsets.
Like many others it did effect their life after the war. I was 11 years old when he died so I would really like to find out more about his life in the army. If any one could help me in this quest I would be grateful.
Lt. Robert Kenneth Danks Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
My father Ken Danks served from 1939 to 1946 and saw service in North Africa, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, and Palestine. He told me a story of when he was in Kenya. He was moving between stations on a motorbike, using a game trail, the nearest thing to a highway in those days. As he was travelling along he heard a rumble behind him and turned to see a Rhino charging him, and no matter how fast he went the Rhino seemed to be catching up with him. For some reason the Rhino eventually gave up and my father reached his destination safely, although still slightly shocked.
Pte. Leslie Albert Fensome Beds and Herts Regiment
My Dad, Leslie Fensome joined the army in 1939. He was 19 years old. I don't know much about his army career as he never liked talking about it. He was in the Beds and Herts Regiment and the Green Howards, that is all I know. If anyone remembers him please get in touch.
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