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

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Dorsetshire Regiment

   In 1939 The lst Battalion of the Dorset’s were sent to Malta to garrison the strategically important island in the middle of Rommel's Africa Corps supply route. Along with the 2nd Devon’s they endured the bombing by the Luftwaffe on the besiged island and shared the suffering of the Maltese people, until the Allies gained superiority in the Mediterranean in 1943.

When the Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943, The Dorset’s alonside The Devon's took part in their first amphibious assault landing. A second landing followed this on the mainland of Italy at 'Porto Venere' on 8th September 1943. The stay in Italy was to be short lived, the two battalions were brought home, thier experience of assault landings was to spearhead the D-Day invasion of France as part of the 50th Division. Having landed slightly to the east of their objective at Le Hamel, on a beach that was still under enemy fire, they made thier way inland and by night fall were in and around the village of Ryes. The Dorset’s then advanced towards Bayeux.

The lst Dorset’s also took part in the battles fought around Tilly, Hottot and the Falaise Pocket. The 43rd Wessex Division carried out an assault river crossing of the Seine and by quickly advanced across Northern Franch. The lst Dorset’s and 2nd Devon’s fought their last battle together at Aam, Holland.

In 1958 The Dorset Regiment amalgamated with The Devonshire Regiment to become the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment

   The 2nd Dorset’s joined the British Expeditionary Force and were sent to Flanders, where they remained until they were drive back to Dunkirk by the advancing Germans. The 2nd Battalion had a lucky escape from the beaches of Dunkirk in the famous `little ships', loosing all its heavy equipment in France. They were to be in the thick of battle again in 1944 when alongside the 1st Devon's, the 2nd Dorsets were part of The 14th or Forgotten Army who were forced to withdraw over 1,000 miles, across the jungles of Burma to the borders of India, pursued by Japanese forces. They were involved in the famous battles at Imphal and Kohima, which helped to turn the tide in the Far East.

   After home defence duties, guarding the airfields of the south east, the 4th and 5th Territorial Battalions of The Dorsets landed in Normandy with XII Corps and 43rd Wessex Division. Fighting their first battle against the Waffen SS of 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions on the slopes of Hill 112 as part of the 43rd Wessex Division. The 5th Dorset’s were sucessful in attacking Chateau Fontaine Etoupfour. The 4th Dorset's attack on Etterville, was met with stiff opposition and heavy mortar fire, but was also successful. However during the final phase of the attack in Maltot, a battalion of German Tiger tanks separated the British infantry from their tanks, the 4th Dorset’s reduced to little more than a company in strength.

In 1945 The 4th and 5th Dorset’s crossed the Rhine by assault craft supported by the 7th Dorset’s (by now renamed the 94th and 110th Lt Anti Aircraft Regiment) with their 25 pounder guns. Having crossed the River Waal at Nijmegen the 43rd Wessex Division lead the advance to the Rhine at Arnhem. The 4th Dorset’s were to cross the Rhine to reinforce the airborne troops but the current was too strong and they were dispersed along the enemy beach. Again the 4ths suffered many casualties with three hundred either killed, wounded, missing or taken prisoner. The final drive of the War took the Dorsets across Northern Germany to Bremerhaven on the North Sea coast.

   The 7th Dorsets were renamed the 94th and 110th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery and were equipped with 25 pounder guns. In 1945 they supported the 4th and 5th Dorsets as they crossed the Rhine by assault craft

18th Jan 1940 Reliefs

6th Jun 1944 1st Dorsets land in Normandy

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

Dorsetshire Regiment

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Bagnall David Ernest. WOII.
  • Baker Edward Benjamin. Cpl
  • Barlow Joseph Dominic. WOII/CSM (d.2nd December 1940)
  • Barnes . Cpl.
  • Bealing Edward William Robert.
  • Berry Dennis Lionel. Cpl. (d.27th Apr 1944)
  • Billingham Norman.
  • Bowles Thomas Joseph. Pte.
  • Broom Edward George. Pte. (d.11th Jun 1944)
  • Clarabut Robert William . Pte. (d.6th Jul 1943)
  • Clark Frank Allen. Pte. (d.27th Apr 1944)
  • Cole Henry Thomas. Sgt.
  • Collet William P.G.. Lt.
  • Connolly John. Spr
  • Connor Peter Anthony. Pte. (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Crookes .
  • Cuthbertson Malcolm.
  • Dale Peter Ernest. 2nd Lt. (d.12th July 1941)
  • Eary James Richard. (d. )
  • Eary James Richard .
  • Gatehouse Leonard Charles. L/Sgt (d.30th July 1944)
  • Godwin Harry.
  • Green John Charles. Pte. (d.11th Jun 1944)
  • Green John Charles. Pte. (d.11th Jun 1944)
  • Harris William Ralph. Pte.
  • Hazell Laurence Edward. Pte.
  • Hermitage Frederick Robert John. Pte.
  • Hutton Harry. L/Cpl. (d.10th July 1944)
  • Hyder Henry Thomas. Cpl.
  • Kerle Frank Tom.
  • Kilcar Stephen. L/Cpl. (d.19th Nov 1944)
  • Kirby Fredrick. Pte. (d.14th Nov 1943)
  • Leftley William Victor. Lt.
  • Lewington William Bert. L/Cpl.
  • Lovell Cecil George. Cpl.
  • Meredith Kenneth Evan. T/Majr. (d.11th July 1944)
  • O'Brien Gerald. Pte. (d.10th July 1944)
  • Porter Frank Edward. CSM.
  • Pratt Stephen Henry.
  • Purser Richard Lydmar Moline. Capt. (d.7th June 1944)
  • Skeggs Walter Thomas George. Pte.
  • Townsend Frederick Charles. Pte. (d.3rd August 1943)
  • Turner William Francis. Pte. (d.29th June 1944)
  • Watt Robert. Captain (Chaplain)
  • White Edward. Pte.
  • Whymark George Roy. Pte. (d.10th July 1944)
  • Wickings Frederick William. Pte.
  • Williams Richard.

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

Access our library

Frank Tom Kerle Dorset Regiment

My father, Frank Tom Kerle, served with the Dorset Regiment from approx 1939 to 1945. When alive he often reflected on his sentry duties and Wyke Regis and along the Kent coast. He took part in the D-Day landings and helped as a stretcher bearer and was injured undertaking these duties. I would love to find more details about my late father's war years.

Peter Owen Kerle

Cpl. Barnes 1st Btn. Dorset Regiment

The Dorset Regiment group at Buckingham Palace, for the presentation of their medals.

I am sorry to say that my father passed away 10 years ago and, like many of his generation, did not talk about what he went through, except in the company of, “Those who were there.” I do know that he was on Malta during the siege and was part of the 1st Battalion. It was given the title, “1st Malta Brigade” along with, "2nd Devons" and, "1st Hampshires"., and as such my father wore the Maltese cross on one sleeve, below any other brigade insignia. For most of the rest of the war that was 50th Division, (231st Infantry Brigade). The Dorset Regiment, (Malta Brigade), took part in the landings in Sicily, Italy and D Day, and was involved right through to “the Island”, before the battalion was returned to England as a training battalion.

The preface of the Dorset book, “Three Assault Landings”, pays tribute to all “footsloggers” with the verse by "A. P Herbert"

New men, new weapons, bear the brunt;

New slogans gild the ancient game

The infantry are still in front

And mud and dust are much the same

Hail, humble footman, poised to fly

Across the West, or any, wall

Proud, plodding, peerless P.B.I.

The foulest, finest job of all!

Amazing how nothing has changed in 60 odd years

Cpl. Barnes, Dorset Regiment, revisits Normandy 50 years after D-Day.

Malcolm Barnes

Crookes 1st Btn. Dorset Regiment

My grandfather served in the Dorsetshire Regiment in the 1930s and again in WW2. I have a nice named group photo of "A" Company, No.2 Platoon, 1st Battalion The Dorsetshire Regiment taken in India in 1933. Although strictly speaking, not wartime, I'm sure many of these young men (like my grandfather) saw service in WW2. I am happy to send copies to any relatives of the men in the photo. They are: Ptes Gibbs, Higman, O'Dare, Hennessy, Pengelly, Fuguill, Gillard, Vaughan, Allen, Jayes, Siggins, Male, Bennett, Lofting, Kimber, Marsh, Lee, Mogg, Dobbs, Rawles, White(my great uncle), Wharton, Harlow, Mills, Coombes, Fotherby, McDermott, Griffiths, Ratchford, LCs Hutchings, Crookes(my grandfather), Paine, Blake, Sgt.Mills and 2/Lt Warden. Unfortunately there are no initials listed.

Steve Crookes

Cpl. Cecil George "Jim" Lovell 4th Btn .`C` Coy. Welsh Regiment

My father is third in from the left , second row down.

My father, Cecil Lovell, did his basic training with the Dorset Regt. As a native of Weymouth, he enlisted in Dorchester on 11 September 1942, aged 18yrs. After basic training he was transferred to the Welch Regiment, 4th Battalion, `C` Company. He served throughout the Northern Europe campaign and was demobbed on 17th August 1947. I have photos of two of his friends, a D.Forbes and W.Carter

Steve Lovell

Pte. Robert William Clarabut 1st Btn Dorsetshire Regiment (d.6th Jul 1943)

My Grans brother died in the war, aged 21. His name was Robert W Clarabut, I'd like to find out more about him, is anyone still alive today who knows of him?

Lee Saunders

Pte. Edward George Broom 1st Btn Dorset Regiment (d.11th Jun 1944)

Hello I am looking for any information on my Uncle Edward Broom who was in the First Battlion the Dorset Regiment. He died in the fighting for Tilly Sur Seulles on the 11th June 1944.

He joined the army in the 30s and spent time in the Kyber Pass and India.During the war he was in Malta.

I would like to talk to anyone who may haved served with him, or anyone whose relatives my have known him.I hope someone can help. Many thanks

S Bisley

2nd Lt. Peter Ernest Dale 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment (d.12th July 1941)

My Uncle 2nd Lieutenant Peter Ernset Hay Dale of 1st Battalion Dorsets, born Kampala, died on his 21st Birthday during the seige in 1941 as a result of being shot up by the Luftwaffe

Peter Dale

Captain (Chaplain) Robert Watt 1st Dorsets

My father, Rev Robert Watt was the Chaplain on D day to the 1st Dorsets landing on Gold Beach.

He was born in Helensburgh on 5th Jan 1917. He was a member of the Helenburgh Amateur Swimming Club which stood him in good stead when his landing craft was hit as it approached the beaches. When asked later if there were any atheists aboard his landing craft he said certainly not on that day!

The funniest story Dad told me was when he went out to do a burial and he slipped and fell into the grave. His sergeant laughed and told him that he better get out and don't lose the Union flag!

Dad told me of another time when he "captured" some Germans. He was out on a burial patrol when he was suddenly surrounded by 40-50 Germans. Dad thought, "oh no that is me captured" He went up to the German officer but before he could surrender the German surrended his soldiers to Dad! The padre then marched them back to base!

Dad went on to be part of the team who liberated Brussels. He ended up in Luneburg. After Germany he served in India and in the early 50's in Malaya with the Cameronians.

In 1952 he left the Army and was a Church of Scotland Parish Minister in Fife, then Perthshire and finally in Aberdeen.

Dad died in Bannockburn Hospital on Boxing Day 2008. As his son I am proud of him and all his fellow soldiers who helped liberate Europe on 6th June 1944.

I was in the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service in the Cold War Years and I proudly wear my medal with those that Dad and others so gallantly earned all these years ago.

Tom Watt

Cpl Edward Benjamin Baker Dorsetshire Regiment

My Dad, Edward Baker was called up in 1939 and demobbed from BOAR in 1946.

During the Blitz dad and his mates scrumped apples from an orchard and caught a rabbit on their way to London with a convoy. He was offloaded in Gibraltar from a troopship to Malta with yellow jaundice and broke his little finger driving a three tonner across a pontoon on the Rhine. He missed a rocket bomb in Brussels and that is all that we know of his six years in the Dorsets.

We lived in a Regiment house with three other London families to avoid the rockets and watched the build up for Normandy. We could hear the sounds of battle on D-day. What more can you tell us, anybody?

Jack Baker

James Richard Eary Royal West Kent Regiment (d. )

I met James Eary while the Royal West Kent Regiment was stationed in Malta. I believe he was transferred to the Dorset Regiment on 06.03.44. but was not heard of since.

I wish to find out if he survived WW2 and if so I would love to contact him. However, if deceased I would like to contact any of his surviving family. Last but not least, if at all possible, I would like to see his photo. Any help will be truly appreciated. Thanking you in anticipation.,

Joe Farrugis

Sgt. Henry Thomas Cole 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

My Father, Henry Thomas Daniel Cole was a regular soldier serving with 2nd Dorsetshire Regiment. In May 1940 he was at Dunkirk and swam one mile fully clothed in order to board a rescue ship "Icenic". In October 1940 his wife, Edith aged 33yrs and his sons Terrence, 5yrs and Alan, 9mnths were killed in an air raid shelter in Cottons Recreation ground, Romford, when a German bomber loosed off its bombs before returning to Germany.

On the 16th of October 2010, to mark the 70th anniversary, a memorial service was held in Cottons recreation ground. As a result of finding relatives of Edith, two sisters, Elsie and Gladys and her brother Chris, I was invited to attend the Ceremony along with them and their families. Friends of Cottons Park made this ceremony possible.

Mary Legg

Lt. William P.G. Collet Dorset Regiment

I found a metal footlocker which has the name W P G Collet Dorset Reg, Service number 189390 and an address: The Rectory, Tredington, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire on it. I Googled his name and an article in the London Gazette lists this person and service number to match the footlocker as a newly commissioned officer 2nd lieutenant. Can anyone help me with any info.?

Shane Elphick

Pte. Laurence Edward "Monty" Hazell Dorset Regiment

My father, Lawrance Hazell, served in the Dorset Regiment from 1944-1947. Like many others, he did not talk much about his experiences but I know that the war and the friends he made and lost lived with him all the time. We returned to the war graves shortly before he passed away and the image will last with me forever.

Even though his name is Lawrance Hazell, his nickname from the war was "Monty", he told me that the "boys"(the guys in his regiment), had given him this name due to his likeness to Montgomery ", however that's my dads story! I have one picture of my father in his uniform but sadly do not know the names of the men who are with him.

I would love to hear from anyone who knew my dad, to tell me stories perhaps that he was unable to tell. I would love to see pictures of that time that relate to his time to be able to pass onto my children and grandchildren. I don't want them to forget what so many had to go through.

Diana Kirby

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.

Eve Bailey

Pte. Frank Allen Clark 2nd Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment (d.27th Apr 1944)

Frank Clark was my grandmother's cousin. He was born in Swannage, Dorset in 1918, but moved to Weymouth after his father died when Frank was only 7. He joined the 5th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment on 4/5/1939 as a 'Lift Boy'. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion on the 21/3/1942 and was sent to India on 10/4/1942. Frank sadly died of his wounds at Kohima, on 27/4/1944.

Would like to hear from anyone (or families of persons) who may have served with Frank or have any photos, (groups or battalion etc) that Frank could be on.

Barbara Wheeler

WOII. David Ernest "John" Bagnall MID 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

My Father David Bagnall never spoke about the war. We found out he'd changed his name to join up, and was known as John, though his name was David. We know he was in the Dorsetshire Regiment. He was at Dunkirk, in Burma, and after the War was in India, from that I think he must have been in the 2nd Battalion. We know he was twice Mentioned in Dispatches, because he had 2 oak leaves on his medal ribbons, but other than that we know nothing of his time in the Army. My brother and I would love to know some of his story, and if anyone has any information, we would be very grateful to hear from you. My Mother had a book with photographs of him with Lord Mountbatten, and I think, General Slim.

Jennifer Osborne

L/Cpl. Stephen Kilcar 5th Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment (d.19th Nov 1944)

My uncle, Lance Corporal Stephen Kilcar, fought and was killed in action with the 5th Battalion Dorsetshire Regt. at the Battle of Geilenkirchen. He was wounded, we think, on the 18th of Novenber 1944 and succumbed to his injuries the next day on the 19th. My Father recently visited his brother's grave in the Reichwald War Memorial Cemetary. He is the first member of our family, and as far as I know the only member,to visit the grave site. What makes this even more touching for my Dad is he was the last one to see my uncle alive, walking him down to catch the bus back to his regiment after a well earned leave of absence. The reason I am writing is my Dad is 78 now and would like some closure on how his brother was killed.

I know it is a big ask for information regarding these matters but if someone could provide me with any information regarding this matter it would be greatly appreciated. I know there is a book named, "The Story of the 5th Battalion Dorsetshire Regt. in N. W. Europe" and I do believe that my Dad has a copy of that book. What I would really like to know is if any of the Officers who wrote that book are still alive and if they are is there any way of contacting them? Any information you can pass on to me would be greatly appreciated as I promised my Dad I would help as much as I could in this matter.

Ian Kilcar

Pte. Edward "Chalky" White Dorsetshire Regiment

My father, Edward White joined the Dorsetshire Regiment in 1936. He went to India in September 1937 and served there until June 1939. He was then posted to Malta in June 1939 and was there until November 1943. In that time he met my mother. They were married in 1941. His witnesses at the wedding were Lance Corporal Charles Edwards and Private Carl Wilson.

Sadly, he became ill in 1943 and was transferred to the UK and I understand he spent some time in hospital. My mother and two very young sisters travelled from Malta to be with him. They lived in London for about four years and then returned to settle in Malta sometime after 1947. I was born in Malta in the late 50's. My father didn’t speak much about the war and I was very young when he died in 1967. I would appreciate any contact from anyone who served with him.

Patricia Stout

Pte. Fredrick Kirby 2nd Battalion Queens Own West Kent (d.14th Nov 1943)

My uncle, Fredrick Kirby, died in 1943. He was a Lance Corporal in the 70th Dorsets and in the Summer of 1941 boxed for the Regiment as bantam weight and won a trophy. He could have a good career but transferred himself to active service as a private in the Royal West Kent. He died in action on the 14th or 15th of November 1943. He is remembered in honor at Athern Memorial. I wonder if anyone has any informaton about him?

Michael Kirby

CSM. Frank Edward Porter MID. 4th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

Frank Porter served with D Coy, 4th Battalion, the Dorsets from early 1930 thro'to 1945.The 4th were a Territional Regiment of volunteer soldiers.

Prior to D-Day+4 he trained with his men around bases in the South of England. The main and final camp was at St.Martins Plain,Folkstone,Kent. Invasion for them was at the time of the "Great Storm" in the Channel just before the break-up of the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanche. Just the first of many hair-raising exploits I was to find out over time in the war over Europe. Wherever the fighting was the hardest the 4th Dorsets were in the thick of it!! But Old Frank made it through. The toughest test was in September 1944 at a small Dutch town call Arnhem. The 4th were, as in army parlance "volunteered", for the suicidal rescue of the remaining Parachute Brigade. No words could convey the horrors or the heroism of that night of all who took part in the action. Frank said "It was down to a tin of bullybeef and some fags". He forgot to mention he was Mentioned in Despatches for what he alone did.

The heavy fighting continued right to the very end of the war with no let-up and a great many casualties.Frank's re-enforcements were largely 18-19 year old "Brummies", Dorset dialect and Birmingham accents!! Bet that confused the "Jerry".

The post-script to Frank's military career was on Lindenburgh Heath with the Battalion lined-up to give him a "Military General Salute" and a rousing farewell. Frank and Lil (his devoted wife) supported the RBL and attended all Regimental Re-unions until his death.


Pte. Peter Anthony Connor 5th Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment (d.30th Jul 1944)

Peter Connor was my uncle. I have no memory of him as I was only 18 months old when he died. I have visited his grave in Hottot-Les-Bagues Cemetery, but have no details of exactly where and how he died. Any information would be gratefully received.

Joe McKeown

Pte. Thomas Joseph "Toenails" Bowles Dorsetshire Regiment

My father served during WW2. He joined the Army in 1938 and went to France with the B.E.F in 1939 with the Manchester Regiment. He was a machine gunner. He was lucky enough to escape from France on the last warship H.M.S Shikari. Sometime between 1940 & 1942 he transferred to the Dorsetshire Regiment and stayed in the UK for home defence.

In 1944 he went to Normandy and went ashore on Mulberry. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Caen. He told me that he was held in cattle trucks in terrible conditions for a few weeks. He was sent to Stalag 4B and then to Stalag 4G where he worked in the gasworks in Leipzig. I don't think he was treated too badly but he said the Russians were treated dreadfully but he never gave any details. He was also, I believe ,on the great march and suffered badly eventually being liberated by the Americans. There are many details I don't know but my dad has passed away so I am lucky to have this bit of information

Brian Bowles

Capt. Richard Lydmar Moline Purser Dorsetshire Regiment (d.7th June 1944)

Dick Purser was an uncle I never knew, and about whom my father very seldom spoke. Born about 1911, he joined the army and was a captain in Dorset Regiment in Burma - presumably about the time of the battle of Kohima. A jingoistic newspaper report described him as generally 'Bagging a Jap before breakfast' but he was shot from an ambush, and died there.

Dick was raised in an army family; his father, Lydmar Moline Purser was a Surgeon Col. who lost a foot on the Somme - but his boot was found, and returned!. My grandmother received a telegram saying "Col Purser slightly injured." - well, it is all relative. He was permitted to stay in the army with only one leg, as he could still ride a horse! Dick's elder brother, my father, William Alexander, was a Lt. Col. in the Royal Signals and retired in 1955 to sail for a living, and died in 1993; his much younger brother John Inglis Purser fought in Germany in the Royal Engineers and retired as a brigadier; he died in 2013.

Dick's family home was Bosham, near Chichester, and a family anecdote tells how he was bored one day and dug a 14ft deep hole in the garden for fun (I doubt the veracity of that, unless he dug very quickly, at low tide!). Before going overseas he married, but was divorced shortly afterwards.

Editor's Note: a search on Ancestry and the Internet shows that Dick was 26 when he died on 7th Jun 1944 and that he was actually born on 11 Jan 1918 in Woking, Surrey. He was the husband of Vera Florence Purser. He enlisted in the Infantry and was in the Dorsetshire Regiment at the time of his death. He died of wounds on the Assam-Burma frontier. He is buried at the Imphal War Cemetery, Imphal, Manipur, India.

A link has been added to the following: "Captain Richard Lydmar Moline Purser, The Dorsetshire Regiment, Hill 1931 to 1936, was wounded in the head while leading a special "tough" guerilla platoon in an attack on Dyer Hill two miles south of Kohima. "He was absurdly brave," wrote the Battalion Chaplain. His Commanding Officer sent these further details. "When his Company Commander was wounded Dick took over, straightened out rather a nasty mess, handled the company magnificently and held this vital ground with a handful for several days."

Michael H Purser

James Richard Eary 2nd Btn. West Kent Regiment

The 2nd Battalion Queens Own Royal West Kents were billeted across the road from our residence at Tarshen, Malta. Being 6 years of age then I still recall the day WW2 started in Malta. Through the ensuing years I clearly recall a few soldiers that for us, were much like family. One in particular I well remember is James Eary, wearing a Red Cap. I would love to read a brief of his whereabouts after this regiment left the island. I believe he was transferred to the Dorset Regiment on 6th March 1944, but was not heard of since.

If at all possible, a photograph would truly put the icing on the cake for me and my family. I turned 80 in October 2013 and I would truly love to receive this information before father time beats me to it. Please, could you help or perhaps you may wish to pass this on to the correct source for me?

Joe Farrugia

Edward William Robert Bealing 4th Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment

My grandad Eddie Bealing died in 2014. He was born in 1921 in Gillingham Dorset and served with the Dorset Regiment. I am looking for information on his war record.

Amanda Day

Pte. William Francis Turner 1st Btn Dorsetshire Regiment (d.29th June 1944)

Uncle Bill Turner (dad's brother) was killed on D-Day. He was hit in the back, leg and shoulder and a bullet passed through his wallet. He was buried in a hospital cemetery 13.5 miles west of Caen and is remembered in the Bayeaux war cemetery. Major Dartnall fought with him and was also hit by shrapnel. In his letter to grandma he stated that Bill was a credit to his unit and to any British family. We also have the letter of condolence from the King

Sylvia Turner

Cpl. Dennis Lionel Berry 2nd Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment (d.27th Apr 1944)

Dennis Berry was the youngest son of Frank and Lulu Berry and was born in Taunton, Somerset. He was killed at the battle of the Tennis Court, Kohima on 27 April 1944, aged 26. He came from a keen sporting family and was a talented cricketer along with his two brothers Ken and John (who also played football for Taunton Town FC).

Peter Berry

Norman "Bill" Billingham Dorset Regiment

Does anyone remember Norman Billingham, known as Bill or William, who served with the Dorset Regiment in WWII?

John Billingham

Malcolm Cuthbertson 4th Btn Dorset Regiment

I am looking for information about my father who was a POW at Stalag XIIA. I gather that he must have been captured during the 4th Dorset's crossing of the Rhine in September 1944. He was previously of the King's Regiment Liverpool, serving in the UK and Gibraltar. Anyone remember him?

Sandra Hughes

Pte. Gerald O'Brien 5th Btn. Dorsetshire Rgt. (d.10th July 1944)

Pte O'Brien was killed on 10th July 1944 near Caen at Hill 112. He is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial, Panel 15 Col. 3.

Chris McKay

L/Cpl. Harry Hutton 5th Btn. Dorsetshire Rgt. (d.10th July 1944)

My cousin, L/Cpl Harry Hutton, was killed on 10th July 1944 at a place unknown. He has no known grave but is commemorated on Panel 15, Col 2 of the Bayeux Memorial. Harry was 22 when he was killed on his birthday.


WOII/CSM Joseph Dominic Barlow Dorset Rgt. (d.2nd December 1940)

My great uncle Joe Barlow was a POW in WW1 and WW2. He was a medic in the Dorsets. Sadly he died and is buried in Krakow Rackovicki Cemetery in Poland. I would like some information on where he was held as a POW. Does anyone remember him?

Veronica Doggett

Stephen Henry Pratt 2nd Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment

Stephen Pratt centre wearing V necked jumper

Stephen Pratt was my maternal grandfather; it would appear from the photographs I have that he was in the Dorsetshire Regiment. My father tells me that Stephen was at Dunkirk, so if he was indeed Dorsetshires this would make him 2nd Battalion. I would love to know if anyone can date the photos and confirm if it is the Dorsetshire Regiment.

Adrian Goodwin

L/Sgt Leonard Charles Gatehouse 5th Btn Dorset Regiment (d.30th July 1944)

Charlie Gatehouse as he was known to his family was my uncle, my mother's brother. He is buried in Bayeux War Cemetery. I am lucky enough to still have the last letter he wrote to his mother and the photograph of the wooden cross placed on his grave which was sent to her. I am just looking up the history of his short fighting career in Normandy.

Sheila Lockett

T/Majr. Kenneth Evan "Bill" Meredith MiD. 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment (d.11th July 1944)

Kenneth Meredith, known as Bill, served with the 1st Battalion, Dorset Regiment.

Sara Broadbent

Pte. Frederick Robert John Hermitage 7th Btn. East Kent Regiment

My father, Fred Hermitage, joined the 7th Buffs and was transferred to the 11th Battalion Durham Light Infantry on 7th July 1944. The 11th DLI was posted to the 1st Dorset Regiment on 26th August 1944 and dad was finally posted to the 4th Dorsets at Kemmel on 10th December 1944. He remained with them, ending his war in Soltau, Germany from where he was posted home on 30 November 1945.

Mark Hermitage

Pte. Walter Thomas George Skeggs 2nd Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment

I have found two records showing my father, Walter Skeggs, as missing in action and then as a casualty in June 1940, so possibly from the evacuation at Dunkirk. I have also found notes saying that he was a commando and, I believe that this may have been 5 Commando as 5 Commando were formed in Bridlington, East Yorkshire around the time that the Dorsetshires were guarding the East Yorkshire coast prior to their deployment to India.

Allan Skeggs

Pte. George Roy Whymark 5th Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment (d.10th July 1944)

George Roy Whymark (listed by the Army as George 'Robert' Whymark) was killed in action as a member of the 5th Dorsetshire Regiment on 10th July 1944. He is buried, alongside others of his regiment who are listed as being killed in action on the same day, in the Saint Manvieu War Cemetery Norry, Department du Calvados, Basse-Nomandie, France. In memory of an uncle I never knew and who died so young.


Pte. William Ralph Harris 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

My grandad, William Ralph Harris, was born in West Ham on 20th May 1925. He died in December 1982 at the age of 57. At the time I was only 9 years old. I knew at the time that he had been in the Army during the 2nd World War but was obviously a bit young to understand what that meant. He was a brilliant grandad, but when he was gone I couldn't learn about what he had been through.

I know that he was in Italy at some point and that he was at Gold Beach on D-Day. God only knows what he went through that day. I believe he was wounded twice as I have found 2 Casualty Lists. The first one is Casualty List Number 1531, the date of incident was 11th of July 1944. The second is Casualty List Number 1542, date of incident was 4th of September 1944. I don't know what these injuries were. I have spoken to my mum and she didn't really know what the injuries were although she was aware that he had been injured. She said that he suffered with ill health for the rest of his life after the war, but like many, he didn't really let much out about his experiences during the war.

If anybody knows of any stories about his time I'd love to hear them. Thank you


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