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The 9th Btn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

The 9th Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was raised in 1939. They undertook training in the UK and formed part of the UK defensive force. They joined the 46th (Highland) Infantry Brigade on 28 December 1942 and began ttraining and preparations for D-Day.

The 9th Cameronians set sail for Normandy, France on 17 June 1944, they did not land until 23 June, as their motor transport was delayed due to a storm. They finally disembarked at the British Mulberries at Arromanches. Their first objective was the village of Haut Du Bosq, which was captured on the 26th of June.
The Cameronians Regiment page

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List of those who served with the 9th Btn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) during The Second World War

Select a story link or scoll down to browse those stories hosted on this website

  • Rifleman Stanley Fredrick Archer 9th Battalion (d.30th Apr 1945) Read their Story.
  • Rfm. Ernest Bates 9th Btn. (d.16th Feb 1945)
  • Leslie Chapman 9th Btn.
  • William Charles Read their Story.
  • Sgt. Thomas Fisher Churchill 9th Btn. (d.26th June 1944) Read their Story.
  • Rfm. Charles Coleburn 9th Btn. (d.24th Sep 1944)
  • Rfm. John Dawson 9th Btn. (d.6th Aug 1944)
  • Sgt Patrick Dempsey 9th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Sgt. Patrick Dempsey 9th Btn.
  • Rfm. Frank Gibbs 9th Btn.
  • Rifleman Frank Gibbs 9th Battalion (d.11th Apr 1945) Read their Story.
  • Pte. Ronnie Hughes 9th Btn.
  • Cpl. Benjamin Charles Jackman 9th Btn. (d.16th Jan 1945)
  • Gerald Jeffrey 9th Btn. D. Coy Read their Story.
  • Rfm. Andrew Scoular Neilson Jess 9th Battalion (d.7th Sept 1944) Read their Story.
  • Cpl. John Lawlor 9th Btn. (d.27th Jun 1944) Read their Story.
  • Rfm. Frank Norman Lewis 9th Btn. (d.30th Apr 1945)
  • Sgt. Ronald Bernard Loftus 9th Btn. (d.7th Sep 1944)
  • Rfm. Andrew McLean 9th Btn.
  • Rifleman Thomas " " Melvin 9th Battalion (d.26th June 1944) Read their Story.
  • Rfm. John Gerald Oliver 9th Btn. (d.26th Sep 1944)
  • Cpl. Edgar George Price 9th Btn.
  • Cpl. Edgar George Price MID. 9th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Rfm. John Ritchie 9th Btn.
  • Rfm. Robert Turnbull 9th Btn. (d.28th Nov 1944) Read their Story.
  • Mjr. Lance Greville Warrington MC. (d.20th Nov 1944) Read their Story.
  • Lt. Frederick William James Welch 9th. Battalion (d.1st July 1944)
  • Rfm. Walter Welton 9th Btn. Read their Story.

Gerald Jeffrey 9th Btn. D. Coy Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Soon after my 18th birthday I was conscripted into the Army and had to report at Carlisle. Later I was transferred to Ballykinla in Northern Ireland to undergo about 10 weeks training with the Royal Ulster Rifles. On completion I was then posted to Keighley to join the 9th Battalion "Cameronians" (Scottish Rifles), D Company.

As the time drew close to the D-Day landings, we were moved to Hove to be part of the build up to the landings. However, we did not join the actual invasion itself, but arrived on the 17th June 1944 to support and relieve the initial forces. The first on-going battle after the landings was known as "OPERATION EPSOM" which began on 26th June 1944. I think it was said that about 60,000 men took part with an enormous support barrage by the Royal Navy and Royal Artillery. Our company joined the start line and around 7.00am we moved across a corn field to commence our engagement with the enemy. It wasn't too long before we encountered cross-fire from the Germans in hedges either side. We were each given 3 or 4 hand grenades to lob in trenches that we saw ahead as we progressed. In my next move there was a trench, but not wanting to waste it, I tore past without using the grenade. However there were 3 Germans in it, whereupon I shouted to the men coming up from behind, and the next thing was the Germans had emerged and surrendered.

Our objective at Haut-du-Bosq was reached later that day. En route to Grainville-sur-Odon we had a bitter fight with the enemy, where I witnessed many men shot and wounded together with many falling dead around me. The cause of this was a sniper hiding out in a church. Having had to withdraw from that encounter, we sought to move forward again next morning. I was required to recover the dead body of an officer which was in a farmyard area and could be still under enemy fire. On his recovery to put him alongside other dead people, I saw many men who had suffered death by being charred by flame throwers. Other casualties had horrendous wounds including limbs blown off. After the battle there, we continued towards Grainville-sur Odon and were expecting to be relived for a rest and return to Mensil Patry. However, before that, 10 men were required to go on a night fighting reconnaissance into enemy territory.

Having infiltrated the German lines and being unable to find the enemy, our officer decided to call it a day and return back. At that point we came under attack and fell to the ground instinctively. Our officer, bren gunner and NCO were able to return fire and were able to flee the area. Unknowingly I was unaware I had been hit. With the Germans at the hill-top in the field, their fire towards us was clearly visible from the flashes from their weapons. Being very dark at the time (early hours after midnight) the remaining 7 of us huddled together along the hedgerow. Obviously the Germans knew we were somewhere there, and began scanning for us the other side. It didn't take them long to guess where we were, and began lobbing stick grenades over the hedge. In no time everyone was wounded in one way or another, and one named Allan Strathan Watson No 14515884 was severely wounded by shrapnel and died during that first night of captivity.

We had no hope of returning to our unit and so we decided to surrender, shouting out " Kamerad, Kamerad" we were dragged over the hedge where I collapsed with my injured foot. Immediately a pistol was put to my head by a German whereupon I screamed "Kamerad" at him. Another German spoke to him and he put the pistol away. Taken up to a farm out-building my boot was taken off while I was in great pain and screaming to stop. The bullets had entered my foot and ankle taking the sock and part of the boot as well. After spending 3 days at the front with the Germans they placed me on a pole-seat and took me to the roadway where a kind of jeep took me to be interrogated by a German officer. He insisted I told him the purpose of our patrol, who was on our left and right flanks and which regiments in the area were taking part. For my part I was completely ignorant of the answers, as we really did not know anything, so I was somewhat relieved not to be pressurised into telling him. However, after that I was placed in a field among many Hitler jugend members of the 12th SS Panzer Grenadiers where I was subjected to much verbal abuse.

Later I was placed in an ambulance along with 4 German wounded, but as there was no more stretcher room, I had to crouch at the rear, to suffer agonising pain with my wounded foot. The ambulance set off that night, but en route to its final destination, I was taken out of it and placed in a classroom at a school and left there alone and in pitch darkness. The next day I was taken to Rennes where it seemed a local school was being used as a hospital. I was in the hospital for the remainder of my captivity, not having any treatment whatsoever, save for the Nuns coming in to dress my wound. As the war progressed the American Army was getting nearer to the hospital, for we could hear gunfire in the distance. The Germans threatened us that anyone looking out of the window at the planes would be shot, and anyone able to escape, there would be 10 of us shot for their daring. As a bed patient I was naturally very concerned.

When eventually the American Army over-ran the area, I was taken to their field hospital and had penicillin pumped into me at regular intervals during the night. I was soon taken to Cherbourg to be taken by landing craft and on to "Blighty". In taking details of everyone wounded and going home the American soldier with his clip-board, shouted out pointing to me, "This is one for the Poiple Heart" ( The Purple Heart was a medal issued to American soldiers for getting wounded). Of course I had to correct him that I was not entitled to it. I arrived back in Weymouth and taken to Winford Hospital near Brisol. Eventually I was discharged from the Army being medically unfit. All this happened between December 1943 until January 1945 and with only 9 months actual military service. I was still only 18 years old to the time I was released as a P.O.W.

Gerald Jeffery

Rfm. Robert Turnbull 9th Btn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (d.28th Nov 1944)

I'm looking for information on the rifleman Robert Turnbull number : 3863491 who served on the 9th Bn., Cameronians ( Scottish rifles ) and was killed on 28th November 1944 in Lottum/Grubbenvorst in Holland.

Mick Kurvers

Mjr. Lance Greville Warrington MC. South Staffordhire Regiment (d.20th Nov 1944)

Mjr Warrington was attached to the 9th Btn of the Camerionians (Scottish Rifles) when he was killed. He was 31 years old and was married.

Rfm. Walter Welton 9th Btn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Rifleman Walter Welton served in the 9th Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). He fought from Hout Do Bosq, Eterville. Lost a lot of comrades at Paderbourn (Germany). Did some serious street to street fighting in Celle (Germany). He also remembers going through Keel, Cleve? (Germany).

B. Archer

Rifleman Stanley Fredrick Archer 9th Battalion Cameronian Scottish Rifles (d.30th Apr 1945)

Hello trying to trace any imformation re my husband uncle killed on the river Elbe,would like to know what fighting he would have been engaged in as it was almost the end of the war in europe. Some years ago we did visit his grave in Hamberg Cemetery and there were about eight more graves along side all from the same reg we assumed they may have all died in the same conflict. Stan had only been married ten weeks his wifes name was Jean and lived in Shields.Len my husband was thirteen when Stan died so looked on him like a brother never forgot him and often speaks of him so it would be great if someone maybe remembers him or what really happend him. regards.

marie doughty

William Charles Durham Light Infantry

My dad was no-one special to anyone but his family. He was of the Old School – boss in his house, Ma got a share of his wage if he was working, but only as much as he chose. She worked wonders with the pittance he gave her, and she brought up two kids, my sister Jean, and myself, Jim. He would be in the bar, or later the Club almost every night, he was a Committee Man, at times a sponger, at times totally stubborn, would not back down to anyone, and had an opinion on just about everything. My sister and I were afraid of him until he died, alone, probably bitter, but reaping, as he had sown. BUT, He was MY DAD, and when I was a young lad, and asked, “What did you do in the War da?” he told me. He later told more tales, some true, some jokey and some plain daft. This little attempt at literature is to give him some pride back. He said he would do it again, with the same lads, said National Service should never have been withdrawn, that I had missed it and sometimes, when the pints were flowing and he was in a good mood, he and some of his mates would draw me into that special circle, to listen, in awe, at ordinary men, men I knew only as middle aged and sometimes grumpy. But then I noticed the blazers they wore. On the breast pocket was a badge, usually in gold, or silver thread, and there were many different ones, and then a special look came over their faces, they were back in uniform, remembering, and by the end of the night, I appreciated them and Dad a lot more.

Of the badges, there was a hunting horn with DLI under it, the same as Dad's badge in pictures I’d seen. There was a Cannon with a pointing barrel, GR in big letters, a WW1 Tank Corps, but one I knew was missing. I remember my Ma saying it was the best looking badge in the Army, it had a star, a wreath, and a hunting horn, now who was that? No one wore that one in our local club, but I had seen it but where? Then it hit me, it was in a picture of Dad in uniform, so questions asked when I was small, were asked again. This is a way to pass on to my nephew, and his sons, and even my son, and his son, a small record of what my dad did in the War so for them and to them, I rack my memory for some war stories of Billy Charles, of Birtley, England, near Newcastle upon Tyne, an ordinary soldier. His war service began in August 1939, when his TA unit, Durham Light Infantry, was embodied into the Army; the war was just a couple of weeks away but the call up was in effect before September 3rd. He had hurried home from the brickyard where he worked with his father, he was going to take his girl Jane to Newcastle to see a new film, as he was washing up, his mother said someone was coming to the door with a blue envelope. Dad knew what that was, so he told her to say he’d gone out, and to come back tomorrow, But, the messenger told Nana the lads were meeting in the William, a pub in Birtley. After discussing what was happening with Jane, they decided to go to the pub and see what was up.

It seems that many a pint was drunk that night, as the lads in uniform were told to report to the drill hall, now! Being the true soldiers they were, hardly anyone turned up that night, but next day, with thick heads, dry mouths and a following crowd, the unit formed up in the drill hall. They were tasked with digging holes in the farmer’s field next to the hall; dad had a rifle and two bullets, and said, “If I fire these, can I go home again as there are no more?” He was on night sentry and only had a couple of curious dairy cows snuffling around for company. Next night they were allowed home, but had to be back the following night to be moved to parts unknown. As was related to me by both Mam and Dad, “you could have sailed a ship down Harras Bank that night” women crying, old timers like my Granddad asking to be allowed to go, as they had been there before, and all the while, drink flowing from the pub, the landlord was losing a lot of his best customers that night.

Eventually the buses, not trucks, set off, no one knew where to, and hours later they were in a strange part of England, with no means of letting anybody know they had arrived safely. At least that’s what the officers and NCOs thought. A bright lad had stuffed a couple of his champion pigeons in his kit bag, and he sent one home now, they were in Oxfordshire for Home Defence, and the people in Birtley knew before anyone else.

After some to-ing and fro-ing as a prisoner escort, back home some nights, but all over the country with his mate Bob Elliot, Dad was settling into wartime life. He was trained on the PIAT, and until he died he had a scar over his eye, where the “bugger hit me”. He swore he could tell a PIAT man by that scar, and he did a number of times.

All good things come to an end, some of the Battalion had been sent to France, some would die, and some escape from Dunkirk, some were captured, to spend almost six years as prisoner, and some simply disappeared. Dad was posted to Iceland, he spent eighteen months there, coming back for invasion training, late 1942 I believe. He was trained to drive a Bren Carrier, and loved it. Many years later I took him to the DLI Museum in Durham, and he literally taught me to drive a carrier, there in the museum. The guard was about to say something until dad told him he was an ex-Durham, and an ex-carrier driver. He showed us some places that only those crews knew….

I could retell some tales from his training days, but this is about his Cameronian days, so we’ll skip to June 1944, not D-Day, but D+6, when Billy Charles invaded France, was told to drive his carrier into that field, park it that side, then get a cup of tea. Not a bad start? Then he’s told to drive out again, through that gate, and now, by the way, you are re-badged as Cameronian. Being rebadged to the Cameronians occurred either during, or just after the Battle of Caen. The DLI and the Cameronians had taken a good hiding and it was decided to consolidate, so he and others were told to report into a certain field, as he said, “I was told to drive into this field, told to wait, have a cup of tea, then report to an Officer. He told us we were now in the Cameronians, and God help anyone who said Camerons!, so get your transport and prepare to move".

I asked about the pipes, “Fine music, stirs the soul, but when you see the Scots charging, it’s not the Germans they want, it’s the guy playing those bloody things”. I asked about the kilt: “We could wear trews, tartan just the same, and as easy to start fights” and of course “What’s worn under the Kilt?, “Absolutely nothing son,- It’s all in first class condition.” Oh yes, Dad took to his new regiment with great spirit, and that spirit went with him through Belgium, Holland and into Germany, to be drunk when it was all over, but that was a way away just yet.

He landed at Arromanches about D+6, driving his carrier over the Mulberry Harbour, a marvel of engineering, but he was glad to get to firmer ground, he was no great swimmer. I’m not sure if they went to Bayeux from here, or what happened, I’d love to know from anyone else who was re-badged. He travelled to Villers Bocage, it was here he came under fire for the first time, at least it was here he “heard and felt somebody was trying to kill me”. He recalled how he was in a field, a Spandau opened up from another side, and he could see the trail of tracer and earth as it was spurting up. He dived to the ground and found great relief to be behind a blade of grass, “as thick as a tree trunk” it was amazing he said, how anything, no matter how small, could be as big, as to hide behind when the bullets were flying. That was his baptism of fire. He was scared, feared for his life, but lived to tell the tale, with a glint in his eye. Villers Bocage was a fierce battle. I’m sure all who were there do not need reminding of that fact, I have read the tales of it, and am proud my Dad was there.

As the carrier driver, he became a shell carrier when his team was ready to start a mortar shoot. He used to laugh as he retold how when he pulled up somewhere, the regular Infantry would call him names, and tell him to go elsewhere, because as soon as they’d fired off a few rounds, the Germans would reply in kind, by which time S Company was on its way somewhere else, “thereby missing that which we had sown”.

He never spoke much of France, except to say he’d like to see parts of it again, like Bayeux (he’d seen the Tapestry), and while sitting in a shell hole from WW1, he wondered if he was sitting where his Father had been.

After France was Belgium, and some fun times: he told of the Union Jack club in the main square next to the railway station. He said he had some good times in there. He loved Brussels, some things he would not share, like a certain sergeant who was famous for his dancing and that was all I got on that subject. He also told me how he met up with a big French Canadian, and they became friends, bumping into each other now and again up until the end of the War. One story was that he and Frenchy were in a bar in Brussels when a Yank started to become “aggressive and argumentative” and was about to fight any and all comers. He pulled a flick-knife, to which Frenchy pulled a hunting knife from his boot, threw it so it landed on the table, and told the Yank to be quiet. He was, and Dad was happy Frenchy was his friend.

Again I must say I am not sure of any timeline to these recollections, I wasn’t there, and Dad didn’t elaborate. He would just say something like “One time in Brussels…” or something along those lines. But I can recall how he told his stories, and how he enjoyed his war.

In the heat of battle some strange tales emerge. He recalled the time when he and some mates were in a farmyard and found some edible eggs, some potatoes, and decided to do some egg and chips, except they had no fat, so on searching again, found a jar of honey, decided this would do, and fried the eggs in the honey. He never said if they did the chips, but he did say the eggs were different. Another time they had real fresh pork after spending a lot of ammunition and a very long time trying to shoot this pig. “It just would not die", he said.

Driving the carrier, he was used to doing the Dixie run to outlying positions, so the lads could get a hot meal. He told of one time he was taking a hot box to a sniper lying up in a barn. Dad and his friends knew this guy, and they all had agreed they could not do his job. It was a quiet approach to his spot, Dad walking the last few yards so the enemy not too far ahead would not hear the sound of the carrier. He went in the barn, up the stairs, and was watching the sniper work. A German moved away from his group, to relieve himself behind a tree, but in view of the sniper, who offered Dad a look through his ‘scope. Dad saw the German was indeed “Havin’ a good un” and asked the sniper if he was going to shoot him. The sniper looked through his sight, shook his head and said not yet. They waited until the German had finished, pulled up his trousers, fastened his belt, and was starting to walk away. Then the sniper shot him, clean as a whistle. Dad asked “why the wait”, the sniper replied, "I’m not that hard hearted I’d shoot a guy on the toilet. He died happy, with nothing on his mind”. Dad swore that this story was true I have to believe it. All was not fun, and laughs I’m sure, but there must have been instances that broke through the seriousness.

He was driving his carrier and he caught an infection in his thumb. It swelled so badly and was so full of poison that it was touching the palm of his hand. He had to go back down the line to an aid post to have it lanced, when he got back, it was to the tail end of the Gheel battle. He was not happy to be sent backwards when his mates were going forward, but he was ordered to go, as he could not grip because the thumb was touching the palm of his hand, he told his Officer he would just burst it by driving, but the officer would have none of it and sent him back. I believe this officer was killed near Gheel, when he dived under a carrier to escape shelling, only to have blast blow under the carrier he was under.

Dad said all in all his Officers weren’t too bad. I’m not sure if one was a Captain Jurgensen, he may have been DLI, and he got on okay with them. One day toward dusk an officer came to Dad and his pal, another carrier driver, and asked if they would “Dash down the road to that Villa thing, load up with as many wounded as possible and get them back to the R.A.P.,” It was also pointed out that the road was under observation, and any dust brought forth some "nastiness that we didn’t want too near to us”. He and his pal set off, the Officer in Dad's carrier, until they were almost at the gate, “Turn Now !!!” and the gate post was demolished. “That made it easier for my pal to get in the drive” said Dad. Loading up with stretcher cases first, and doing a number of runs until it was just too dark to see, the two carriers did sterling work. Other drivers had "not exactly refused, but…” and the Officer told Dad, “You will hear more for this night’s work”. Alas, he was killed just a few days later, so no more was heard. Dad wasn’t bothered; he and his pal were just pleased to help other pals.

Leave came around, but so did the Battle of the Bulge and hardly had the lads got their boots off, than they were back to help the Yanks. This was not a pretty site he recalled, young men hanging from tank guns by wire, or their dogtags, and yet the one thing that stuck in his mind, was the fact that there was cake, and soda pop, and decorated trees. He always said the Yanks were not concentrating and were caught out because their troops were not as disciplined as ours. During this period, he and his mates were trying to sleep in a farmhouse, but just outside was the body of “The biggest bloody Jerry” he ever saw, and no-one could sleep just thinking of this poor man, so in the middle of the night, they had to bury him, so they could sleep. I asked if they marked the grave, so his family would be notified, “Nope” and that was that.

Eventually he came to “The land of clogs and windmills”. That got past the censor, so Mother knew where he was heading, and she kept that letter for years. Market Garden, a mad dash to a sudden stop – he couldn’t explain why XXX Corps or the Second Army never pressed on. He felt they should have. Nijmegen and the flat tops of the Dykes, the bridges, being told by a Tankie to get that effing mess tin out of his way, or he’d be run over. Then came Tilburg, I have a picture that says “with the first troops to liberate Tilburg” it's dated, and I would love to go over there and find the house in the picture and some friends of Dad's; it may happen.

The War was winding down now, he was either in Kiel, watching over SS officers in the prison, “Several slipped on occasion, those uneven floors”. He met a cousin somewhere in a prison camp who begged him for a loan of his rifle as he had a score to settle. He was not overly impressed with the conditions the Germans had to live in, as they denied ever knowing about concentration camps nearby… so let the “buggers starve”.

He made another trip home just as the war was ending; in fact the war was over and by the time he got back to Newcastle the news was just breaking there. When a guard told him the War was over, he smiled and said I know. Leave over, War over, but he had to go back to Kiel, the picture there is dated June '45. He met a friend of his being de-mobbed, and they drank that spirit he had carried since landing. Swaps were made, another town was driven into, a manicure set was thrown at him, incomplete, but I have it still.

Werewolves as they called the German Underground were still active, and he was in on the hunt. One night, on returning to barracks, one of the new boys was playing cowboy with his pistol, a chip flew up and hit Dad over the eye, so now he had two scars, one from a PIAT, and one from “after the war”.

Now it was time to clean off the Carrier and park it for the last time, check the oil, redo the tracks, grease it, wash it, and say bye bye to a good friend who had saved “me walking all that way”. He missed that Carrier, and many years later in the DLI Museum in Durham, he showed me how to drive it. I’d love a real go at one, I’m sure he was a good teacher that way.

When the Surrender was signed, I believe he was on the banks of the Escaut Canal, when I asked how he felt, I was told this, “ I felt relief, a sadness at friends lost, I felt I needed to thank God I was in one piece, I kneeled and prayed, then we laughed, had a drink, and were very very careful, we wanted to be sure the guys on the other side knew it was finished too. There was also a sense of something ending, I would be going home to Birtley, the lads would be splitting up and going their own ways. Reunions were talked of, but I never went to any, except one of the DLI where I was told I could pick the best carrier they had, then I found out that it was a recruiting drive, not a reunion. I lost touch with the lads I served with, but if I could go back, would I? You bet I would, we had some good times, and I had some great pals”.

After his de-mob, he gave a load of his souvenirs to a relative, who in turn sold them, all that was left was a very small selection of pictures. My Grandmother wanted only his Cameronian cap badge, she got it, but on her passing, it was lost.

When I was old enough to ask about his war, he related these tales here, but in his style, eyes twinkling, a memory stirring, a thought of someone, somewhere I never would know, something he would not tell me about just yet, but that tale went untold, it had to do with a sergeant, and his “talent” it involved “dancing too” I never did get that one. As I said, I loved to hear the guys in the Club telling their stories, Tankies, Sloggers, Drivers, each a joy to my ears, I wish I could have written them all down, or recorded them. Time is passing, I hope someone reads this and recalls my Dad, but also I hope he recalls some of his own stories, and someone writes them down for him. It’s a legacy to be proud of, we need to have the Ordinary side heard, not just the medal-winning hero though that has its place, but also the guy who all he got was two Stars and two round ones, as Dad called his medals. Alas I stand guilty of playing with them and losing them.

So in ending, I thank all who served, I hope I hope I can meet some of you sometime, and listen to your stories. The last word of course is Dad’s, when he was talking to his best mate from before the war, in the bar sometime after it was all over:

“Colin, you flew in Lancs and bombed Kiel didn’t you?”

“Yes“ was Colin’s reply, “why?”

"What were you aiming at?”

The harbour he was told, “again, why?”

“Cos you hit every bloody thing but.”

Goodnight Da, sleep well, and I promise I’ll find that someone in Tilburg and we’ll meet, sometime. God Bless.

Jim Charles

Rifleman Thomas " " Melvin 9th Battalion Cameronians (d.26th June 1944)

My father, Thomas Melvin was killed before I was born. I believe he could have been killed at Haut du Bosq after having only been in France a matter of days, if anyone has any information on the regiment at that time or possibly a regiment photo I would be glad to hear from them. My mother died when I was 9 months old so I have never known very much about him. I try to build a mental picture of him in my mind, I am now 63 but think of him often and what my life would have been like if he had returned home from the war.

Hazel Slack

Rifleman Frank Gibbs 9th Battalion Cameronians (d.11th Apr 1945)

My Dad, Frank Gibbs was a rifleman in the 9th battalion of the Cameronians. He landed in Normandy in June 1944 and made it all the way across Europe to Germany. On April 11th 1945 he was shot by a sniper and killed in Celle. The war finished in May 45 and I was born in June 45. My Mum never got over his death or the war and never married again. I was named Frank after him and was their only child.

He is buried in Hanover War cemetery and last year my son and I visited his grave. We both found it a very moving experience. Even though I never knew him I felt so proud of the fact that he had laid down his life for his country. I would love to hear from anybody who knew him.

Frank Gibbs

Sgt Patrick Dempsey 9th Battalion Cameronians

My father Patrick Dempsey was a soldier in the 9th Cameronians and fought at Cheaux. His friend Ronnie Hughes was wounded and left for dead but I believe that my dad saved him. Due to the large number of casualties he was promoted in the field. Ronnie Hughes (known as Huggers because the Scots couldn't pronounce Hughes) died recently. Any information on either of these fine men would be greatly appreciated.

Eric Dempsey

Sgt. Thomas Fisher Churchill 9th Btn. Cameronians (d.26th June 1944)

Sgt Thomas F Churchill, died 26th June 1944 - I have just returned from holidaying in Normandy, France where I was able to locate my uncle who was killed on 26th June 1944.

He lies in peace at the British War Cemetry in Bayeux. He was 22 years old and with him lie two other soldiers from the same Regiment who also died on the same day, one of the soldiers is 'known only unto God.' I would like to find out more about the circumstances that lead to his death if possible. I'm curious that three soldiers who lie together, having died on the same day, possibly were fighting together when they met their demise. I know nothing of how he came to be there and with his brothers and sister also now gone,there is no-one I can ask. If anyone recognises my uncle's name, I would love to hear from you. He was only one of many who lost his life but also, too young to die. Kind Regards

Gillian Carpenter

Cpl. John Lawlor 9th Btn. Royal Cameronian Scottish Rifles (d.27th Jun 1944)

Jack Lawlor was my step father. He died 27th June 1944 around Haut du Bossq. My mother was told via someone else that his commanding officer was killed and he was next in command and died on the roadside. Does anyone remember him or know if this was correct? He died before I was born, but I would love more information for his daughter who was a baby at the time.


Rfm. Andrew Scoular Neilson Jess 9th Battalion Cameronians Scottish Rifles (d.7th Sept 1944)

Andrew Scoular Nelson Jess was my Husbands Uncle. He was killed in Action on 7th September, 1944 and is buried in Leopoldsburg War Cemetary, near Limburg, Belgium. The family believe he was killed in the run up to Operation Market Garden. We believe he was a casualty of the battle to secure the Albert and the Meuse-Escaut Canal. The family would love to learn more about this if anybody can tell us. Andrew was just 20 years old when he was killed and in common with other families who sufferred such a loss, his death left a hole in the hearts of the Jess family which remains till this day.

Andrew Scoular Neilson Jess was the youngest son of Samuel and Agnes Jess. The Jess Family were originally from Dromore, County Down, Northern Ireland. They were a devout presbyterian family and Andrew was proud therefore to serve in the Cameronians Scottish Rifles with its Covenanting History.

His older brothers were all away to serve in the war and no doubt this motivated his decision to join up. Joseph his eldest Brother served in the Parachute Regiment, Samuel was in the Dumfries and Lanarkshire Yeomanry and was a Prisoner of War with the Japanese. James Jess was serving with the RCT and was attached to the Tank Corps. The original Dessert Rats. Therefore all the Jess boys were serving in the armed forces.

Janet H. Jess

Cpl. Edgar George Price MID. 9th Battalion Cameronions

Cpl George Price was posted to the 9th Battalion 25 July 1941 and served active service in France landing in Arramanche (Mullberry Harbour)16th June 1944 then as a LCpl appointed Acting Cpl 13th July 1944. He was involved in close hand battles against the Germans until he was badly shot and wounded by shrapnel on or near the railway line in Best near Eindhoven, Holland. He was disharged because of injuries sustained 12th July 1945. Awarded the Oak Leaf on his medals (MID) and was proud to be a Cameronion. He never really talked about the war only on the odd occasion when triggered by events. He suffered paralysis down his right side through his injuries. He died in October 1992 leaving two sons and two daughters. Myself, being the oldest son, joined the REs and researched his wartime history from his service records and a day by day account of the 9th Cameronions in WW2 from a book on the History of the Cameronions after his death and also claiming his medals which he had left unclaimed. I am submitting this passage in respect of his memory and sacrifice.

A. G. Price


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