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Border Regiment in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Border Regiment

   In 1939 the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment, left their Aldershot barracks for France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. The 1st Borders played a part in the desperate rearguard action towards Dunkirk in May 1941. After Dunkirk, 1st Battalion Border were converted to glider-borne troops. They landed in Sicily in July 1943, although many gliders had crashed into the sea. The heavily depleted battalion was moved back to North Africa later in July, leaving the Battalion's equipment behind when they were evacuated from Sicily. Reinforced, the 1st Battalion fought in Italy with the 1st Airborne Div. and in 1944, fought at Arnhem.

   In mid-late 1942 2nd Battalion Border Regiment was in training for jungle warfare in Horana, Ceylon. In January 1943, the Battalion was posted to Kandy and in June that year became part of the 100th Brigade within the 20th Indian Division. In October 1943 the Division moved to a camp in Burma near to Imphal where there was fierce fighting with the Japanese who had laid a heavy siege upon Imphal. The successful counter-attack to relieve this siege began in early June 1944.

   After the Dunkirk evacuation, two divisions remained in France in battle with the Germans in Picardy, Artois and Normandy. The 4th Battalion The Border Regiment was part of the new 23rd Brigade attached to the 1st Armoured Division. The 4th Border captured three bridges on the River Somme, a reprise of the actions of their regiment in the Great War. Under the 10th French Army the 4th Border cleared German-held Basse Forêt d'Eu and relieved the Black Watch at Incheville. Supporting the 5th Sherwood Foresters, both were driven back by heavy shelling, and eventually many were killed or captured. After withdrawal the 4th moved north towards Fécampe where it met the 7th German Panzers and then withdrew to Le Havre where the 4th Battalion went by ship to Cherbourg. It then moved to Rennes and on to Brest, boarding ship for Southampton on 18th June 1940.

In March 1941 the 4th Battalion left for Suez and on to Sidi Barrani, supporting Wavell's offensive in Syria. The battalion, based in Kiam, patrolled the central sector generally under continuous shelling. As part of the 6th British Division, the 4th returned to the Western Desert, going by destroyer in October 1941 to Tobruk and relieving Australians besieged there since April. During the siege, the Western Desert Force became the 70th British Division, the only British Division of infantry in the Middle East at the time. The eventual taking of Tobruk signalled the second defeat of the German land forces.

The 70th Division, including the 4th Battalion, was sent to India and Burma, becoming part of Wingate's Long Range Penetration groups and remaining there until the end of the war.

   The local Territorial Army for West Cumbria was the 5th Battalion, the Border Regiment

   The 6th (East Cumberland) Battalion of the Border Regiment was reformed for World War II, stationed at Carlisle Castle, Cumbria.

In the late summer of 1943 the 6th Battalion of the Border Regiment was posted to Gailes Camp in Ayrshire, training as a Beach Group. The role of Beach Groups was to land with the first assault troops, organise the landing beaches and establish supply dumps for the other troops. Training continued in Ayrshire through late 1943 and early 1944; in February 1944 there was a major eight-day exercise at Gullane on the east coast of Scotland near Edinburgh. Shortly before D-Day, the Supreme Commander of the Allied troops, General Eisenhower, carried out an inspection at a Divisional Parade.

   8th (Service) Battalion, Border Regiment was formed in Carlisle in September 1914; attached to the 75th Brigade of the 25th Division; served in France from the 27th September 1915 to 7th July 1918 when the battalion was disbanded.

In the summer of 1939, the Territorial Army Association began to enrol old soldiers over 45 years of age to form a National Defence Corps. In the winter of 1939, the ‘Group 100 National Defence’ became 8th (Home Defence) Battalion, the Border Regiment. Most of the fellows serving in the 8th Battalion had previously been old soldiers of the Border Regiment. In 1940 the Battalion was reinforced with younger volunteers, so part of the role of the older soldiers was to guide the younger recruits through their early training to build up the army.

In the second part of the war, in 1941, the 8th Battalion was renumbered and its role changed. It was ultimately disbanded in the autumn of 1942 and younger servicemen were transferred to other units.

   The 9th Battalion, the Border Regiment was formed in June 1940 in West Cumberland as a holding Battalion providing reinforcements for existing regular territorial battalions. It consisted of a few regular, reserve and territorial officers and senior ranks, and drafts from Carlisle of newly enlisted men aged 25 and 27 years. By February 1941 the Battalion was sufficiently trained to man beach defences on the Northumberland coast, also taking part in exercises up to Brigade level. By April 1942 it was officially recognised as an efficient Service Battalion and was one of the few newly-formed wartime units to be selected for Service Overseas.

It went to Calcutta in August 1942, becoming a garrison battalion on internal security duties, gaining useful grounding in jungle warfare. It joined the 17th Indian Light Division (the Black Cats) composed mostly of Gurkha Regiments that had been fighting in Burma for the previous eighteen months. The role of the Light Division was to fight in difficult mountainous terrain. It became part of the 14th Army in the Chin Hills, patrolling mountainous Burma jungle tracks.

Early 1944 the Japanese began their offensive to capture the main railway line in northeast India crossing the Imphal Plain. By July they withdrew to Burma after several months of heavy fighting. The 9th Battalion took full part in these operations with heavy losses, requiring a period of rest in Ranchi for the training of reinforcements. January 1945 the 9th Battalion was full strength and working as motorised infantry with Probyn's Horse of 255 Tank Brigade. With the objective of Meiktila across the Irrawaddy, severe fighting ensued ultimately cutting off Japan's communications with Mandalay. The 9th Battalion The Border Regiment took part in actions at Wetlet, Yindaw, Kinde and Pywabwe. In August 1945 when Japan surrendered, the 9th was stationed at Waw, west of Sittang River. The Battalion began the task of disarming some 2,000 Japanese and controlling the activity of dacoits on the Mokpalin and Bilin areas. On the 1st December 1945 the Battalion amalgamated with the 4th Battalion, taking on the name of the latter.

18th Jan 1940 Reliefs

21st Jan 1940 On the March

If you can provide any additional information, especially on actions and locations at specific dates, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

Border Regiment

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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There are 3 pages in our library tagged Border Regiment  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

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William Hewer Border Regiment

My Grandad was William Hewer, and he was in the Border Regiment. He joined the regiment in 1937 and was one of the first soldiers to be sent abroad when the second world war broke out. He was sent to France to set up ammunition dumps and by 1940 he was serving on the front line in France. He was taken prisoner and was marched through Holland and Belgium to the Stalag camp. He was moved from one Polish Prison camp to another for almost five years.

I do know that he learnt how to cut hair while he was a POW and used to regularly cut the other POW hair (I also heard that he used to cut the guards hair too - but I don't know how much truth there is in that).

My Grandad, as many, had a difficult time during those years and seldom spoke to his family about that time. Because of this, the information that I have is limited. On his death, I was given his Dog Tag, which states "Stalag XXI B No. 7328.

Carol Slater

William Hewer Border Regiment

My Grandad was William Hewer, and he was in the Border Regiment. He joined the regiment in 1937 and was one of the first soldiers to be sent abroad when the second world war broke out. He was sent to France to set up ammunition dumps and by 1940 he was serving on the front line in France. He was taken prisoner and was marched through Holland and Belgium to the Stalag camp. He was moved from one Polish Prison camp to another for almost five years.

I do know that he learnt how to cut hair while he was a POW and used to regularly cut the other POW hair (I also heard that he used to cut the guards hair too - but I don't know how much truth there is in that).

My Grandad, as many, had a difficult time during those years and seldom spoke to his family about that time. Because of this, the information that I have is limited. On his death, I was given his Dog Tag, which states "Stalag XXI B No. 7328.

Carol Slater

Frank Heyes Border Regiment

A Christmas Card Frank sent from Stalag VIIIb

My uncle, Frank Heyes, The Border Regiment, was taken prisoner between 6/10 June 1940 at Fecamp. I have the letters and cards he sent home during his internment and his POW ID tag. He started captivity in Stalag XX1 B and sent a card dated 14 July 1941 from Stalag VIII B. The last card I have is dated 28 June 1944 and he arrived back in the UK 16 May 1945.

This Christmas Postcard was drawn by my father Kenneth (Ken) V F Wood in a competition. The J.H. on the base drum is for Major Jimmy Howe who later became the Musical Director of the Scots Guards. My Father died in 1980 but I have several photographs including the cobblers shop where my father was part of a small team under Arthur Weston making artificial legs.

Tony Wood

Kevin Heyes

A/LCpl. John "Jack" Thwaite 2nd Btn. Border Regiment

My Dad Jack Thwaite joined the TA in March 1933 serving with 7th Bn Duke of Wellington's Regt hence his Regtl number. He joined the Regular Army in Nov 1934 at the age of 20. Initially he served with 1st Border in Belfast then with 2nd Border in India from 1935 to 1943, including service on the NW Frontier with another Btn as a reinforcement.

He returned to the UK in 1943 & was posted to 6th Border. He landed on D Day 6 Jun 1944 with this Beach Group Bn. He transferred on breakup of the Battalion to the Lancashire Fusiliers, East Lancs and finally 7th RWF. He was wounded in action on the 18th of September 1944.

Martin Thwaite

L/Cpl. John Hudson 4th Btn. Border Regiment

Alan Braithwaite

Capt. Horace Wallace Ashton MC. Durham Light Infantry

My father, Horace Ashton married Catherine Watt Gilstin of Sunderland, Co. Durham (now Wearmouth) at High Lane. He volunteered for the Army in 1939 and rose to the rank of Captain. He was a proud and private man and although he talked about the Army as he grew older, we the family never really knew why he was awarded the MC. besides several other medals.

He had three children and became an Overall Manufacturer mainly for the Ministry of Defence. He was a founder member of High Lane British Legion and died in the late 1990's.

I am now 72 and am anxious to find what he was awarded the M.C for, I have a copy of a letter King George sent him from Buckingham Palace but nothing more.

Patricia Ayres

Pte. Harry "Dusty" Rhodes 1st Btn Border Regiment

My father Harry Rhodes joined the Border Regiment at Carlisle in 1941. His actual d.o.b. was 11/3/1925, but army records have it as 11/3/1923, so he would have been 16 when he joined up.

He was sent to North Africa and took part in the longest towed glider flight from, I think, Casablanca to Tunis. In 1943 he was stationed at or near, -- where his glider was released early and crashed in the sea. Several of his platoon were drowned. The remainder of the Battalion served in southern Italy around Taranto and guarded prisoners there. On the way back to England their troopship collided with an American Cruiser and was badly damaged. They docked at Malta for a time.

When they returned to the U.K. they were based in Staffordshire training and for a time at Drem airfield in Scotland. They left for Arnhem from Aldermaston. I think and his company held positions near a farm on the northwest side of the Oosterbeek perimeter. His company commander was Charles Breeze who was wounded, but escaped capture. I have a letter from Lt. Col. Breeze to my Grandmother dated Nov 1944 when he had recovered from his wounds. It states that my father was unhurt on the afternoon of the 25th Sept, but he was wounded, as many were, by mortar fragments whist in a slit trench on the forward perimeter. He was kept in the cellar of the farm until the Germans arrived. He was taken to the local hospital and was operated on by a Waffen SS doctor who was a dental specialist before the war. My father thought he was the brother of Rudolf Hess, the infamous concentration camp commander. When they were fit enough to travel they went to Germany by train and were shot up by allied aircraft on the way and made to clear bomb rubble off the tracks in one city they passed through. I think he was held in Stalag Luft 1X for a while but then moved further east. They worked unloading sugar beet barges and later in a mine where they were liberated by the Russians in May 1945. No one tried to escape as they were so far east, but they did go through the wire to collect vegetables from the nearby fields to supplement their rations.

They had all lost so much weight that the authorities sent them to a camp in Denmark I think called Lildelhalle to be fattened up before they could be repatriated. My father said his glider weight was 12st 2lbs at Arnhem and was down to 8st 4lbs when they arrived in Denmark. They were flown into Finningley Yorks in Sept 1945 to be met by customs officers checking what they were bringing back in case duty was due. The whole group smashed their bottles of schnapps and brandy on the hangar wall rather than pay. Some welcome home! He finished his army career guarding No 3 civilian internment camp near York and was discharged in October 1946.

He returned to Oldham and eventually joined the Police force in which he served until 1981. He died in January 1988 aged 63. He never returned to Arnhem, but did visit Sicily for a holiday in the 70's. I went to the 60th anniversary celebration at Arnhem in 2004 and was overwhelmed by the Dutch people's kindness and interest in my father's story. We visited the woods and the farm which we think was the company position and also the cemetery and the John Frost bridge in Arnhem. I still have the letter and my father's Borderers' cap badge which are my prize posssesions. David Rhodes

David Rhodes

Sgt. Philip William Joseph Beckett Border Regiment

My Dad, Philip Beckett, having been recalled to the colours was with the BEF in Belguim where he was wounded in the lower back by German Machine gun fire. He was then carried on a stretcher all the way to Dunkirk, where he was taken into the care of a French medical unit. He was eventually removed back home via the famous mole, being literally thrown onto a Navy vessel which lay to for barely a minute. He spent over three months in an Edinburgh Hospital before returning to his units HQ at Carlisle Castle; there he met my Mother Sally Gallefor who was working in the Irish Gate Tavern.

Terence Beckett

Sgt. Thomas Watson B Company 14 Platoon Border Regiment (d.21st Sept 1944)

My dad was Sgt Thomas Watson from Blyth, Northumbland. He served with the 1st Airbourne Divison in the Border Regiment. He was killed in action near Driel Ferry and was buried there on the 21/9/44. He was later reburied in Oosterbeek War Cemetery. I didn't know him as I was born Oct 44. If anyone has a photos of Border Regiment or knew him any info would be greatly received. Thank you.

Irene Thomson

Spr. Isaac Lewthwaite Border Regiment

My Great Grandfather's brother Isaac Lewthwaite, of Whitehaven, Cumberland, served with the Border Regiment. He came back a broken man, he did not go back to his wife, before the war he had married into an Italian family, but due to his experiences as a POW, he said that the Italians were a cruel breed of people and would never forgive them for the way they treated them. He moved in to live with his brother David but became troubled and he drifted. His wife use to go looking for him, no one had seen him for about 2months then they found him dead in a derelict building, that was about 1947. Ive being doing my family tree and am finding snippets of info, to put a picture to the man.

Lorraine Fleming

L/Cpl. Septimus Tweddle 9th Btn. Border Regiment

My father Septimus Tweddle served in Burma from 1942 to 1946 he took part in the battles for Kennedy Peak and Imphal. He later fought the Dacoits. He also assisted in the rescue of POW's on the Burma Road, one of them being a fellow Geordie who was his local barber back home. During his time in Burma he told me his patrol got shot up and they scattered. My father got lost and was missing presumed dead, my mother was informed. His account was as far as I remember was that he was missing a long time. He eventually was picked up by a British patrol and returned to friendly lines for interegation regarding his survival whilst missing.

Alan Tweddle

Cpl. James Mossop Rothery 4th Btn. Border Regiment (d.Nov 1945)

My Grandfather, James Mossop Rothery, served in the 4th Battalion The Border Regiment from 1940 - 1941. He was an iron ore miner in Bigrigg, Cumberland and died at the age of 41 in November 1945.

David Rothery

Gordon Ennion 1st Battalion Border Regiment

My uncle, Gordon Ennion, served in the 1st Airlanding Brigade in WW2 - as part of the 1st Border Regt. He never spoke much about his army service but I know he 'escaped'from a Germao POW camp after Arnhem and actually made his way back to England. He also, as a glider anti-tank man, suffered the chaos of Sicily when many of the Brigade actually drowned. I know my uncle swam to shore when his glider broke up. He was taken prisoner at Arnhem and it seems was inprisoned in Hohenstein POW Camp, from which he somehow escaped. Such people are heroes and what they did should never ever be forgotten. My uncle Gordon is worth ten of me - and of everyone I know.

Frank Jones

L/Sgt Stanley Sears 1st Btn. Border Regiment (d.18th September 1944)

As a small boy I was a neighbour of Sgt Stanley Sears. Yesterday I visited one of his sisters and and she told me that the family never received any information about how he was killed at Arnhem. His family knows nothing of his war record at all.

His four sisters are still alive some in their nineties. They are trying to find a photo of him. I would be pleased if you could shed some light on it. Many thanks.

Bill Pitkin

Pte William Hopper 2nd Batallion Border Regiment

Bill Hopper was born in Hauxley, Northumberland in Jan 1912. He enlisted in the Border Regiment at Workington 1st Jul 1940, from his Regimental number 3605239, the 2nd Batallion, as a driver. Almost nothing is known of his wartime service other than he served in Burma. He rarely, if ever, spoke of his time there, the few pieces of conversations remembered by his surviving family mention pack mules, Imphal, and the release of POW's from Changi. He also said that he one day he would like to go back and visit Rangoon. Unfortunately, this didn't happen, he died in 1964.

David Forsyth

Pte. Thomas Wilson "Tucker" Elliott 3 Commando

My father enlisted in the Border Regiment on 2nd March 1938 at Whitehaven, Cumbria, aged 17 years, having lied about his date of birth. He saw action in Dunkirk, Norway, Dieppe and other locations marked 'special services' on his army records. He was captured at Dieppe and incarcerated in Stalag V111-B, suffering from bullet and shrapnel wounds. In 1945 he was forced onto one of the notorious death marches from which he made his escape and was eventually picked up by American forces in Czechoslovakia. Like so many others, he never spoke about his wartime experiences although there are one or two that we have picked up from others along the way. At Dieppe he was part of the 'Yellow Beach' offensive, alighting at Dieppe and scaling the cliff at Bernaval. As Dad and his comrades scaled the sheer cliff face, German gunners were in position and waiting. This is when Dad suffered his injuries and he was captured in a corn field at the top of the cliffs. Whilst in Stalag V111-B he managed to steal a baked potato and when challenged by a guard promptly hid the contraband in his clothing, the guard pinned him up against a wall severely burning his chest. He treated his own infected wounds with maggots and on repatriation to the UK he was severely malnourished. I am forever in his debt and very proud to say he was my Dad.

Christine Elliott

George William "Geordie" Wombwell 1st Btn. Border Regiment

My Grandad George William Wombwell, was a prisoner of war at Fallingbostel Lower Saxony in Germany. I would love to know if anyone remembers him or can tell me more about there time there. He never talked about his time in World War 2 or the Korean war.

Pte. William Hall The Border Regiment (d.28th Dec 1941)

William Hall who died aged 34 was born in Jarrow in 1907. He was the son of Joseph and Isabella Hall (nee Wilson) of Jarrow.

William is buried in Jarrow Cemetery and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen

Fred Hodges D Company Border Regiment (d.18th Sep1944)

My father, Fred Hodges, also served with 20 Platoon of The Border Regiment D Company at Arnhem. I came across the comment about Stan Sears on your website in which the writer said that no information was known about the death of Sgt. Sears at Arnhem on 18th September 1944. On our occasional visits to Arnhem he did mention Stan and talked about the circumstances of his death. On the second day of the battle the Company was moving to new positions by the village of Heelsum. Germans were spotted moving on the other side of a shallow cutting. It is apparent that the Germans has also spotted the British troops and they opened fire, killing Pte. Joe Walker. My father then said that Stan had to put himself in harm's way to find out where mortar and rifle fire should be targeted. It was in doing this that he was shot and my father believed that he died almost immediately. My father spoke of the bravery of Stan in doing the job that had to be done.

My father and I visited Heelsum some years ago and he recognised where the action had taken place. The locality between the two lines is now occupied by a school. It is a quiet and peaceful place, in stark contrast to those fateful days in 1944. I hope that this gives some comfort to the relatives of Sgt. Stanley Sears.

Ron Hodges

Pte. Richard Walter Meadows Seaforth Highlanders

My Dad Richard Meadows's Notes: I was 16 years old when this was taken at Cartmell in 1930. I was at camp with the 5th Manchester Regiment Territorials which I joined in 1930 because I had a row with my step father. I gave my wrong age so that I could join up. I said I was 18 years old. We had to attend the Drill Hall in Greenough Street Wigan two nights a week until we had a good idea how to drill with a rifle, and then we went to a place called Cork in Cartmell for two weeks camping where we had to do route marches till we had got hardened to a Soldier’s life. This was taken at the Border Camp Harts. I transferred to the Regular Army after we came back from camp. I was sent to the Castle Carlisle for 6 months training. When the 6 months training was over I was posted to Guadaloup Barracks Border Harts. This photo was taken outside the Barracks Room. I did 6 months and then I was posted to Palace Barracks Holywood Northern Ireland when I became a drummer in the band, and while I was there trouble broke out, but it was not as bad as it is now. Although there was a curfew on and we had to patrol the streets at night to see that everyone stopped indoors. The badge on my collar representing a battle, however, before my time.

The photo 1941 Corporal Meadows with his drummer - This was taken at Fort Widley near Portsmouth. In the meantime I had been promoted to Corporal to form my own pipe band out of the conscripts. We were practicing marching while playing for the church parade on the Sunday. It was whilst I was there that we were given instruction to train for active service in the Middle East and I found out that I would be expected to lead 35 men into Battle and I felt I could not take the responsibility for so many lives and I gave up my stripes and became Private Meadows again, and having been on active service I am glad that I did. I was transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders for the purpose of going into battle at El Alamein and I was wounded on the first push on the 10th of November 1942, about the same time our Alison was born. I was in hospital for 2 years and had 4 operations then I was sent to arrest camp prior to coming home.

I had been at the rest camp for 3 months when I got a letter from your mam… she thought I wanted to stay out there. The reason was that one of the chaps that was in my ward had been posted home. He had the same injury that I had and when he came home he was a traveler for Coleman Mustard. He knew my address because he had written a few letters for me when I was unable to write after my operation. He told your mam that I should be home as the medical officer had told him I was due for discharge. I wrote to the Medical Officer myself and I got a letter back telling me to report to the 15th Scottish Hospital Cairo. I had an interview with the O.C. of the next camp and explained about the letter but I was told off and told I would be in trouble when I got back for not going to the OC in charge of the rest camp. When I got to the 15th Scottish I told the Medical Officer I was in for trouble when I got back but he told me to forget it as I was going home after having another operation, which I did.

Vera Meadows Entwistle

Pte. William Pettigrew Border Regiment

This image is of my Grandad William Pettigrew 's WW2 army unit and part of tracing his history is identifying his unit. I believe this to be a photo of the 'Border Regiment' but would like if possible for this to be confirmed. On the back of the original photo is a pencil note that just reads: '8PT' or '8FT' I don't know if this helps identify a sub unit or platoon etc.

Richard Pettigrew

Pte. Edwin "Peter" Metcalfe 1st Btn. Border Regiment

Questionnaire for Ex POW's Pg 2

Questionnaire for Ex POW's Pg 3

Edwin Metcalfe

My grandfather Edwin Metcalfe was a member of the 1st Airborne Parachute Regiment. He was injured whilst parachuting into Arnhem during operation 'Market Garden'. On the 22nd September 1944, whilst being attended to at a medical station, it was captured by the Germans and he was sent to a POW camp. Initially he went to Dortmund and then to Stalag X1-B and finally to Ulzen. As the Allies approached the camp the Germans tried to move approximately 500 prisoners away from the camp. It was during this that my grandfather and three of his colleagues made their escape.

Paul Bellis

Norman Key Border Regiment

Norman Key was held at Stalag 383, Hofenfels, his prisoner number was 12695.

He was married to my mother on 23rd December 1939, and was in the first wave of the BEF to land in France. He was captured in Tournai on 22nd May 1940. He was shot, but recovered and was held prisoner in Thorn, before being transferred to Stalag 383. I have a beautiful drawing of my mother drawn and signed by (M. Bogaert, Thorne 1e. 11.3.42.) I have tried to find M. Bogaert on the prisoner records with no luck. My dad must have traded something for this portrait to be done from a picture of my mom.

The one and only story he ever told, one day I came home (when I was about age 10, in 1956 ) to my dad frying me potato skins. I was horrified, and screamed I wasn't going to eat them. He then told me it was all he had to eat in the camp for years. Then he said, "they went well with the cat I skinned and ate!" So it was funny when I read somewhere on a site about Stalag 383, that someone in the camp lost their pet cat, and suddenly I thought "I wonder???". It must have been true. Apart from that day he never spoke of the war, ever, so it was really interesting to read other stories and I have been able to read and fill in the gaps of what happened to him. So thank you to those who recorded their memoirs, and photos. I only have one faded photo taken in the camp with a message on the back to my mom.

I visited Hofenfels last year. The camp is now a military base, and no one is allowed anywhere near it, but it was nice to be in the actual area and visit the little village of Hofenfels and the church, where I know he visited, how I don't know.

Janet Key

Thwaite Jack John Border Regiment

My grandad John Thwaite was in the Border Regiment. He landed in the assault wave on Gold Beach on D-Day, 6th of June 1944. My dad has told me about the terrible things he saw when they hit the beach that morning. He landed with 231 Infantry Brigade. He also fought in Caen and finally in Belgium, where he was wounded while firing his Bren. He had been hit by either a German mortar or a grenade. He went deaf in one ear and was virtually paralysed on one side, but he still held his ground and managed to lay fire down on the advancing Germans. He was then sent home wounded.

James Thwaite

Albert Ashbridge 1st Btn., B Coy Border Rgt.

My uncle, Albert Ashbridge, was in the 1st Btn Border Regiment, 13 platoon, B Coy. He was captured during the airborne landings at Arnhem, sometime during September 1944. He was imprisoned at Stalags 4b and 4f.


Lancelot Robert Marshall 4th Btn. Border Regiment

My father, Lance Marshall of the 4th Battalion Border Regiment was captured at Incheville on 14th June 1940 and was a POW at Stalag 8B until the end of the war in 1945. His prisioner number was 16641. He would never speak about his time in the war and I am now trying to find some information about his time there for his grandson.

Alison Stamp

Joe Maguire attch. 1st Btn Border Rgt., D Coy Royal Corps of Signals

I am very interested in Stalag 4B because my dad, Joe Maguire HQ Co., Signals Pltn., att. D Coy., 1st Btn. Border Regt., 1st. Airborne, was in 4B. I know that he was at Dresden during the bombing as well, and probably in 11A. Any information will be appreciated. I know that on being liberated he and some others secured a German Merc and travelled back until the Americans forwarded them to the British Army. His POW number was 24938.

Chris Maguire

Lt. Peter MacDonald Border Rgt.

My father, Lt Peter MacDonald, was caught at Dunkirk and spent the rest of the war in the above camp. He was in the Border Regiment. I am trying to learn of his experiences and would like to hear of anyone who was in this camp or relatives of men who were interned.

Christopher MacDonald

Jack Heap Royal Border Regiment

Jack Heap was in the Royal Border Regiment. He was a POW from June 1940 to Janury 1945 in Stalag VIIIB. Does anyone remember him?

Les Murray

L/Cpl. John Wilde Border Regiment

Jack Wilde served in Britain as a motorcycle dispatch rider and driving instructor with the Royal Army Service Corps and the Border Regiment.

Jeff Wilde

Pte. Robert Aitchison 1st Btn. Border Regiment

My grandad, Robert Aitchison served with the 1st Border Regiment during WW2. I don't know much, as he never spoke of the war. All I know is that he was captured just outside Dunkirk, then made to walk 1000 miles to a prisoner of war camp, where he lived till the end of the war.

Pte. James Walker Serginson Border Regiment

James Serginson was a POW (Number 7213) at Torun, Poland in Stalag 20a after the fall of Dunkirk.

Marianne Martin

Pte. Leslie Wain 2nd Btn. Border Regiment (d.3rd Feb 1945)

My great uncle, Pte. Leslie Wain, was killed, aged 28, by a Japanese sniper on 3rd February 1945. We knew he had been killed in Burma, but until last week we had no idea where he was buried. Now we do, in the war cemetery in Yangan (Rangoon).

My mum, his niece, remembers him with great affection, but unfortunately has no photo of him, nor do any of the surviving family. My mum is 86 this year and the best present she could have would be a photo of him or his regiment so she can pick him out.

Beryl Jones

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

The Story of the Border Regiment, 1939-1945

Philip J Shears

When Dragons Flew: Illustrated History of the 1st Battalion the Border Regiment, 1939-45

Stuart Eastwood, Charles Gray & Alan T Green

This is a truly stunning book. Over 230 glossy paper pages loaded with both colour and black-and-white photographs, many of them meticulously researched to provide additional explanations, down to who actually features in those photographs. The book details the 1st Borders' run up to Operation Market-Garden, and it's participation in and around Arnhem and Oosterbeek in September 1944, the latter done on a day-by-day basis. This written account features and names many of the characters within the battalion, and the part they played in the fateful battle

Border Regiment Roll of Honour 1939-45

RR & JM Walsh


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