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

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- East Yorkshire Regiment during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

East Yorkshire Regiment

   1st Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment was stationed in India and remained there throughout World War Two. In 1944 they saw action in Burma. In 1945 they returned from India and were deployed to occupy Austria.

   2nd Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment was deployed to France with the BEF in 1940 and fought in North West Europe in 1944. In 1945 they were posted to Palestine.

   4th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment was a 1st Line Territorial unit serving with 150th Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division.They served in France 1940 with the BEF and were evacuated from Dunkirk. They were engaged in home defence in England until mid-1941 when they were sent to the Middle East.

   The 5th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment was formed in 1939 as a 2nd Line Territorial unit. They landed in Normandy in 1944 and saw action across Western Europe.

10th Sep 1939 HQ Established

4th Mar 1940 Course

28th May 1940 Memorial Defended

28th May 1940 Withdrawal

29th May 1940 Embarkation

5th Feb 1942 Evidence

6th Jun 1944 2nd East Yorks in Action

6th Jun 1944 Landing

6th Jun 1944 In Action

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

East Yorkshire Regiment

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Allison Thomas Stour. Pte.
  • Baker Arthur. Pte.
  • Banks Edward Horace. Pte.
  • Barker Raymond Walter. Pte. (d.October 1944)
  • Blerkom Arthur. Pte. (d.6th June 1944)
  • Booker Arthur. Pte.
  • Brockhill Leslie. Pte.
  • Byrne Cecill Noel. Lt Col.
  • Chesney Alan.
  • Chorley Wilf.
  • Church James. Cpl.
  • Crews Eric John. Capt. (d.11th Sept 1944)
  • Crowe Gerald . Lance Sgt.
  • Denton Frank. Pte. (d.16th March 1943)
  • Eisenhauer Wallace J.. Sgt.
  • English Anthony Ernest. Sgt. (d.6th June 1944)
  • Fenna Joseph Wilfred. Sgt.
  • Fish Clifford Albert.
  • Glover Leslie. Pte. (d.6th April 1943)
  • Hebb Gerald D.. Lieutenant
  • Laking Albert Francis. Pte. (d.27th Feb 1945)
  • Lanham George Victor.
  • Leck William Mole. Sgt.
  • Lowery Harry Harforth. RSM.
  • McDonnell Patrick Francis. Pte. (d.4th Jun 1943)
  • Norris Anthony.
  • Oates Arthur Henry. Capt.
  • Spittel Frederick George. Pte.
  • Swift Roderick . Cpl. (d.28th June 1942)
  • Tooke Mervyn Basil. Pte.
  • Turnbull John George. Pte. (d.5th May 1945)
  • Wade Harrry. Pte. (d.6th Apr 1943)
  • Wade Harry. Pte. (d.6th Apr 1943)
  • Winship Thomas.
  • Youd Laurence. Pte.
  • Young James. Pte. (d.22nd July 1944)
  • Young Norman. Sgt.

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

Access our library

Lieutenant Gerald D. Hebb 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment

I am trying to gather any information on my great uncle, Lieutenant Gerald D. Hebb, M.C., who was a CanLoan Officer stationed with the East Yorkshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Division. I believe that he served in Italy in 1939.

Robert Beauchemin

Sgt. Wallace J. Eisenhauer 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

My Dad, Wallace J. Eisenhauer - who is still alive at the age of 86 - was a POW at the following POW camps until the liberation by Russians: Jacobstahl, Benghazi, Tuturano, Stalag IVB. He has much memorabilia including his POW dog-tag from Stalag IVB and a suberb cloth signed by over 100 fellow POW's ! He collected this whilst encarcerated - so they are original names from over 60 years ago! He was a Sargeant in the 5th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment

I would love to hear from others who are still with us or their relatives.

Marty Eisenhauer

Capt. Eric John " " Crews MID. 5th Battalion (d.11th Sept 1944)

Eric Crews was the brother of my late mother Beatrice Le Page nee Crews and they were the children of William Henry and Edith Crews who were deported from Guernsey in 1941/2 to Biberach Concentration Camp by the Germans. Apparently they were being liberated from the camp when they heard that he had died.

As for where he lived, how he joined up, I have no information or photographs at all. Eric now lies in the Leopoldsburg War Cemetery in Belgium.

Bridget Jupp

Cpl. Roderick Swift 5th Battalion (d.28th June 1942)

My uncle Roddie Swift was killed at Alamein on 28th June 1942 aged 22yrs. I know very little about the circumstances surrounding his death, nor much about any of his time in the forces. I am his sole surviving close relative and would welcome anything about him.

Allan L Swift

Lance Sgt. Gerald Crowe 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

Tom Liddle

Sgt. Joseph Wilfred Fenna 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

My grandfather was Sgt. Joseph Wilfred Fenna. He served in the 5th Battalion The East Yorkshire Regiment from 1941-1946. He saw service in Africa, Italy, (Sicily), France (D-Day & Operation Market Garden), Germany & Burma. We still have his diary from 1944 where he talks about his experiences on D-day and the year, it's amazing! We also have his service and army release documents. Sadly he is no longer with us but from all his experiences he was lucky to have survived the war. Look forward to hearing from anyone who wishes to ask for or share information.

James Fenna

Pte. Harry Wade 5th Btn East Yorkshire Regt. (d.6th Apr 1943)

My Great Uncle Harry. I would like to find any photos but none found as of yet, I want to know about him but feel I never will.

Lisa Cox

Pte. Thomas Stour Allison 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

My great grandad Thomas Allison is 90 years old and still alive and well. He joined up when he was 20 years old in 1940. He trained at Beverely,East Yorkshire and was then sent to France. He was captured in 1940 and spent the next 4 years in Poland in a POW camp. During the time he worked in the mines. He was liberated by the Americans and brought home to England in the Halifax Bombers and demobbed in 1945.

Susan Brigham

Capt. Arthur Henry "Titus" Oates MC. 2nd Battallion East Yorkshire Regiment

Dad joined up I think early 1940 and I have his letters written during training when he served in Iceland, Scotand and then D Day where he was awarded the MC. I have pictures of Dad training, in Iceland, and newspaper reports of his landing on Sword Beach on D Day and commendation for MC, also pictures of him with FM Montgomery and his medal.

Jane Milne

Pte. Arthur Blerkom 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment (d.6th June 1944)

I never knew my father. But honour him and all the other brave men on 6th June and Remembrance Day, every year. My son and I have visited his grave at Bayeaux Cemetery, Normandy which was very upsetting as there were so many young men buried there. Thank God we had such brave heroes to save us from the tyranny of Nazi Germany.

Doreen Blerkom

Lt Col. Cecill Noel Byrne East Yorkshire

This man is in my local church year and I have just found his grave. Does anyone know him, please.

Steven Rees

Pte. Arthur Booker

My Grandad, Private Arthur Booker served with the East Yorkshire Regiment ans was a pow in Stalag IVB. He never talked to my mum about the war and he died in 1983. But I know that he was captured three times by the Germans & escaped twice, once from Stalag IVB.

Claire Adams

Sgt. Norman Young East Yorkshire Regiment

My father was a prisoner in Stalag 383. He was Sgt Norman Young of the East Yorkshire Regiment. His POW # was 153523.

Tricia Young

Anthony Norris East Yorkshire Regiment

My uncle Anthony Norris was at Dunkirk with the BEF and landed at Ouistreham with East Yorks on D-Day. I understood that he was a Conscientious Objector and was therefore a stretcher bearer. I think his 'conversion' was between the two events. Later on, he rescued a Dutch man from a minefield and stepped on a mine that blew his foot off. He said that because it wasn't hurting at the time, carried on carrying him for which he was awarded the BEM.

I'd love to hear from anyone who knew him at all, as I know little else about his war, which was clearly interesting.


Sgt. William Mole Leck 5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment

My father, Sgt William Leck, served with the 5th Battalion East Yorks Regt. He joined the army at Beverley Barracks in about 1938. In 1941 the Battalion was posted from Poole, Dorset to North Africa and during one of the battles there was injured in his head by grenade shrapnel. He was captured by the Italians and sent to a hospital near Naples (I think). Some time later he was handed over to the Germans and sent to Stalag IVB where he spent the rest of the war until liberated by the Russian Army in 1945.

All this information was passed to me by my mother as my father never spoke about his combat experiences or his incarceration as a POW. On one occasion, however, on a visit to me in Germany where I was serving, we visited a British war cemetary near Venlo in Holland and he became visibly upset when he read some of the East Yorks names on the headstones.

My father died aged 81 and apart from the above I have no knowledge of his wartime experiences and would love to know if there is any way to obtain access to his Battlion's War Diary to find what action he was wounded in and if there is a definitive book or papers about Stalag IVB.

Bill Leck

Pte. Raymond Walter Barker East Yorkshire Regiment (d.October 1944)

My brother, Raymond Barker was killed in Holland in 1944, he was nineteen years of age. He enlisted in early 1942 under age, telling them he was eighteen. He was in the Durham Light Infantry but was transferred to the East Yorkshires.

R. Judge

Pte. Mervyn Basil "Muff" Tooke 4th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

Dad, Mervyn Tooke joined the Territorial Army before the War began & had very happy memories of training at Stow-on-the-Wold. He married mum Irene (Pet) on a 3 day leave in April 1941. He was captured in the Middle East in June 1942, spending 6 months as a prisoner in the desert (in a cage according to mum) before being taken by coal steamer to southern Italy, where he spent time in a holding camp. He was moved to northern Italy by cattle truck in dreadfully hot, cramped conditions, several men dying on route. When the Italians surrendered he was moved to Stalag IVB until liberation by the Americans I think in May 1945. He said there wasn't a dry eye on the ship as the men saw the White Cliffs of Dover on their return, something many hadn't ever expected to see.

Post war he had a happy life with mum, daughters Sally, Beryl, myself & six grand children ("I love you double" he used to tell them.) Sadly he died in October 1992. A hard working lovely man, he kept his bad memories of the war to himself and only told us amusing tales "We hid behind the same blade of grass on Dunkirk beach!" He didn't have a bad word to say about the Germans, enjoying practising the German he remembered with German tourists in Mallorca in the late 70's early 80's. He wasn't so fond of the Italians, the men that is, he said the women were all right! They threw apples at them sobbing when they were marched through villages after working on the land as they were such a pitiful sight. He spent time in hospital in Naples with dysentery and survived despite losing half his body weight. He is much missed and we will always be very very proud of him.

Lesley Tevar

Sgt. Anthony Ernest English 5th Battalion East Yorkshire (d.6th June 1944)

My uncle Anthony English has a memorial headstone in the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Bayeux France, which I have visited. I would like to know more about his war record.

Tony Hewett

Pte. Patrick Francis "McDonald" McDonnell 5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment (d.4th Jun 1943)

Patrick McDonnell died aged 20, he was the son of Thomas and Annie McDonnell (nee Richardson) of Jarrow. He is buried in Sfax War Cemetery and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen

Pte. Edward Horace Banks MID. 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

My father, Edward Banks, served from 1939 to 1946 in 5th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment. He served in Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Middle East(western desert). He was wounded in action in the Western Desert on 1/7/1942 by a gunshot wound to the back.

His story to me was while being attacked he was wounded and could not walk because of wounds to his back and legs, he could hear a "Bren gun carrier" with its engine running and crawled over to it and while trying to get up on the back the driver of the carrier, who had been blinded by a shell blast, not knowing Dad was there tried to run over him. My dad managed to stiffen his wounded legs and was pushed along the sand until he managed to shout to the driver to stop. Dad then, with considerable effort due to his wounds, got himself into the carrier and proceeded to give the blinded driver instructions of where to steer the carrier away from the advancing Germans with shells exploding all around.

He spent some time in 27 General Military Hospital wound list no 295/42. He then served more time in the Middle East,embarked on "H" force for the Sicily landings. He came back to the UK and went over to 32 General Hospital teaching wounded personnel how to paint and draw being an artist in civilian life.

Pte. Harrry Wade 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment (d.6th Apr 1943)

As my Father Harry Wade died when I was only 6yrs old I cannot remember too much about him unfortunately. He had worked on the railway in Sheffield but joined up in 1940 I expect thinking it was the right thing to do. When he died my sister Maureen was 8yrs old, I was 6yrs & my brother Keith Harry was just 3 months old. There is so much to tell that I can barely start. My Mother naturally was devastated & without the help of friends & family I don't believe she could have found the courage to carry on & care for us children! We lived in a very poor house called a "cellar kitchen" house where the living room / kitchen was downstairs a front room above, a bedroom above that & topped by an attic. Right in the very centre of Sheffield so we had lots of bombing raids & many rushes out to the communal shelter which was shared by 8 families What with air raids & strict rationing it must have been a nightmare for my Mother!

I have lots of stories about my Dad gleaned mostly from the fantastic few letters which my Mom kept in a leather handbag my Dad had sent her from Egypt. It is impossible to read these letters without getting tearful. So beautiful & So full of Great Love One of the most heart breaking ones is dated the day prior to his death! Even more special is that it was just to his "Pets" his children saying how one happy day we would be together again. I could go on for instance about the time the enemy had them "pinned down" & one of their sergeants got wounded. My Dad & his comrades Carried their Sgt 4 miles through a minefield to get him to help. All this courage hidden away in old letters.

My Fathers life ended in a place called Wadi Akarit in Tunisia One of the fiercest battles of the war rivaling El Alamain, Dad is buried at Sfax War Cemetery in Tunisia & me & my family have visited him there twice.

Pat Bartram

Pte. Albert Francis Laking 2nd Btn. B Coy. East Yorkshire Regiment (d.27th Feb 1945)

Uncle Albert Laking was in Montgomery's veritable plan to take the bridges at Schaddenoff.

The plan was to take the bridge and move on to out flank the Germans , unfortunately they met fierce resistance from the newly formed German regiment consisting of paratroopers, engineers and infantry. The East Yorkshire took the bridge and after several counter attacks managed to hold on until relief and supplies arrived. The casualty count was very high including Albert. After the battle the bridge was baptised "Yorkshire Bridge".

Uncle Albert is interred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Mark wilson

Pte. Laurence Youd 5th Btn. East Yorkshire

My dad Laurence Youd was in the 5th East Yorks and landed on Gold Beach during the D-Day invasion. He was wounded a couple of days later and was in a hospital in Bayeux.

He had a mate called Tommy Holden (Tich) who lived at 60 Lindel Road, Fleetwood, Lancashire. He had two letters from Tommy dated 25th July and 26th September 1944. I'm trying to find out more about where and when he was wounded, 8th or 9th of June possibly. It would be good to hear from Tommy or anyone who knew him. Sadly Dad passed away in March 2015.

Peter Youd

Thomas Winship 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

My grandfather, Thomas Winship, sadly deceased before I was born, was captured pre-Dunkirk and marched to Stalag XXB. He was a member of the East Yorkshire Regiment, possibly 5th and was born in Hull.

I'm trying to gather as much information as I can, any information would be greatly welcomed.

Mark Derbyshire

RSM. Harry Harforth Lowery 2nd Btn. East Yorks Regiment

My Grandad, Harry Harforth Lowery, was stationed with the 1st Battalion in Dalhousie in 1939 where my father was born. He then transferred to the 2nd Battalion and was in France until Dunkirk. Like others he returned in 1944 on D day shortly after on 16th Sept was promoted to RSM.

At the end of the war (now the Battalion Quatermaster) he went first to Palestine and then Berlin. Shortly after the Berlin Airlift he was commissioned as Captain Quartermaster or was it Lt Quartermaster? In the London Gazette 10/1/1950: "E. York R. Short Serv. Commn. Lt. (Qr.-Mr.) (War Subs. Capt.) Harry Harforth Lowery (408254) from Special List (ex Ind. Army) Emerg. Commn., to be Capt. (Qr.-Mr.), 23rd Nov. 1949, with seniority 16th Sept. 1947." and London Gazette 3/3/1950: "E. Yorks R. Short Serv. Commn. Lt. (Qr.-Mr.) Harry Harforth Lowery (408254) from Special List (ex -Ind. Army) Emerg. Commn., to be Lt. (Qr.-Mr.), 23rd Nov. 1949, with seniority 16th Sept. 1944. (Substituted for the notifn. in Gazette (Supplement) dated 10th Jan. 1950.)"

Laurence Lowery

Pte. James Young 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment (d.22nd July 1944)

I'm trying to find information about my grandfather, Private James Young. He died on 22nd July 1944, and is buried in Hottot-Les-Bagues War Cemetery in France.


Wilf Chorley 5th Btn East Yorks Rgt

My late father was in the 5th Btn East Yorkshire Rgt. He served in the Faroe Islands and was a POW at Weetzen, Germany. He worked in the sugar factory in 1944.


British POWs book records the following: 8A 82336 Chorley, W.L. Pte 3663680 E. York. 8A is the camp (Goritz), the next number is the person's POW number and the remainder could refer to your late father. Also try for POW interrogation questionnaires(Stuart Brown)


George Victor Lanham 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Rgt.

My father was a Desert Rat with the 5th East Yorkshire Rgt. He saw action at El Alamein. I believe that only three from the regiment returned to England. They docked at Liverpool, were taken to a camp in Essex, and then on to practise in Scotland for the D-day landings. He said very little about his experiences.

Ian Lanham

Clifford Albert Fish East Yorkshire Regiment

My late father Clifford Fish joined the East Yorkshire Regiment at 16 and served in WW2. He was at the Normandy landings, then through the rest of the war. He died when I was six months old in 1963. I have no information on him regards his army life, so any information would be welcome.


Pte. John George Turnbull East Yorkshire Regiment (d.5th May 1945)

My grandfather was John George Turnbull. He was Private 4343950 of the East Yorkshire Regiment during WWII. He died in 1945 due to injuries sustained through the war, he was 30 years old. I would dearly like to find someone who knew him or any photos anyone could send me.

Debra Hendry

Cpl. James Church 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

My father, James Church, joined the TA in the Thirties, he went to France as part of the BEF to France and returned via Dunkirk. He served in the Western Desert with the 4th Battalion, East Yorks and was wounded at Wadi Akarit. He narrowly escaped in the Gazala Gallop after first picking up his younger brother, Pte Victor Church. He was transferred to the 5th Battalion after the demise of the 4th at Gazala. His active war ended after being wounded again at, I believe, Catania in Sicily and was medically downgraded and returned to Richmond as a Sergeant to train recruits for D-Day. He remained there until demobilisation after VE Day. His Brother-in Law was CSM Arthur Savage of (I think) the 5th Battalion, killed in N. Africa.

Tony Church

Pte. Frank Denton 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Rgt. (d.16th March 1943)

My uncle, Frank Denton, was killed in action in North Africa in 1943 at the battle of the Mareth Line and has no known grave.

Eric Stamford

Pte. Leslie Glover 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment (d.6th April 1943)

My great uncle Leslie Glover died at Wadi Akarit and is buried in the cemetery at Sfax, Tunisia.

Rupert Brookes

Alan Chesney 4th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

Alan Chesney was born on Christmas Eve 1918 and joined the East Yorkshire Regiment 4th Battalion in 1939, wishing to fight for his country. He was deployed to France and was left behind at Dunkirk, himself and his group took a small rowing boat and sailed back to Ramsgate. On the boat his captain (or whoever was in charge) was mistreating the soldiers, in response Alan told him to stop or otherwise he would throw him off of the boat; Alan was a wonderful, caring man but not one to give empty threats.

When he returned to England he was diagnosed with a lung infection and was not allowed to return to the war as he wished, it was discovered that he was an engineer and was enlisted as a pattern maker and draftsman.

After the war he designed engines for ocean liners, owned a fish and chip shop with his family and was loyal and caring for his family until the end. In 1969-1970 my grandmother was captured along side her infant daughter (my mother) and my mother's half sister by my grandmother's partner at the time. Alan broke into the house and rescued all three and drove them away to safety. Devastatingly, in 1971 he was the first man in his village to receive radiotherapy for his throat cancer. He was given far over the correct dosage and he passed away in one of the most slow and agonising ways imaginable. He has been my idol and hero for years now and I will forever be proud and respectful of my great grandfather Alan Chesney, 1918-1971.

Danny Chesney

Pte. Frederick George "Ted" Spittel 4th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

Our father, Frederick Spittel, was called up in April 1939 aged 21 and was in the BEF in France. He was evacuated from Dunkirk. He was captured in North Africa at Bir Hachiem in June 1942 and held in various Italian POW camps. He was one of many who lived rough in Northern Italy for several months before he was recaptured and taken to Stalag V11A. He didn't speak much about his experiences but he was an apprentice bricklayer before the war and was engaged on building work in Munich. Our dad died in 1969 aged 50.

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