You are not logged in.
Kings Royal Rifle Corps in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- Kings Royal Rifle Corps during the Second World War -

Allied Forces Index
skip to content

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.

If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.

    Site Home

    WW2 Home

    Add Stories

    WW2 Search

 WW2 Features


    Allied Army

    Allied Air Forces

    Allied Navy

    Axis Forces

    Home Front

    Prisoners of War

    Allied Ships

    Women at War

    Those Who Served



    The Great War


    Add Stories

    Time Capsule

    TWMP on Facebook

    Childrens Bookshop


    Your Family History


    Contact us




World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Kings Royal Rifle Corps

14th June 1940 In Action

Mar 1941 1st Rangers renamed  At teh outbreak of war the 1st Rangers, King's Royal Rifle Corps were stationed in London as part of 3rd London Infantry Brigade, 1st London Division. In March 1941 The 1st Rangers were renamed 9th Bn. (The Rangers) KRRC, they fought a desperate rearguard action in Greece, as part of 1st Armoured Brigade attached to 6th Australian Division. It caused heavy casualties on the Germans, before the battalion was evacuated to Crete. There it served in the Suda Bay area south of Canea attached to 1st Battalion, The Welch Regiment. What was left of the poorly equipped battalion was overwhelmed during the German invasion of the island with only 14 members escaping to Egypt.

29th April 1941 Prepared for siege

4th May 1941 Relief troops arrive

6th May 1941 Break out

22nd Oct 1942 On the Move

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

Kings Royal Rifle Corps

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

The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.


  • The 1st of September 2017 is The Wartime Memories Project's 18th Birthday. If you would like to send us a present, a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web.
  • To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
  • Looking for help with Family History Research?   Please read our Family History FAQ's
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
    If you enjoy this site

    please consider making a donation.

  • We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Research your own Family History.

Dec 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 237716, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.


We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.

Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.

If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

There are 5 pages in our library tagged Kings Royal Rifle Corps  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

Access our library

L/Cpl Arther David "Fred or Buller" Hall MID 2nd Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My Father was taken prisoner in May 1940 at Calais, he was in 2nd batt KRRC was awarded oak leaves. He spent rest of war as pow, I have got his pow war log diary, with many names and sketches in, plus list of camps he was in. He was also on the death march from Poland to Germany and was finally liberated from Fallingbostel. If any friends or relatives of friends of my father during his pow days read this please get in touch I would love to hear from you.

len hall

Rifleman Cecil A. Ponsford Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Believed to be the funeral of Cecil A. Ponsford

The above is a photograph of the funeral of a POW, about March 1943. The exact location of the funeral is not known but it is assumed to be near Fort Rauch in Poland, German POW camp Stalag 21d. I believe the deceased man was RFN Cecil A. Ponsford, POW No.2474 at Stalag 21d who lived near to my father, Albert Palmer, in London before the war. On the back of the photo is an address, written in pencil, of a place in London where Mr. Ponsford's relatives lived at the time. The address side of the photo has a German Stalag 21d rubber stamp on it, ready to be sent by Red Cross back to London, but for some reason, the photo postcard was not sent. My father had possesion of Mr. Ponsford's photo's during the rest of his stay as a POW. It's possible that the Germans did not want Mr. Ponsford's possesions sent back to his relatives due to the nature of his death. This was the man, according to my mother, who was shot by German prison guards for whistling persistently whilst out with a working party. This would have broken the Geneva Convention & the Germans would not want his relatives to know.

This postcard belonged to Mr. Cecil A. Ponsford who died as a POW at Stalag 21d as explained in previous emails. My father held this card, & others, until the end of the war & it was not allowed to be sent back to Mr. Ponsford's family by the Germans due to the nature of his death. Mr. Ponsford POW number at Stalag 21d was 2474. It shows a group of 9 POW's dressed up and performing a stage play at Fort Rauch Stalag 21d.

On the back of the postcard can be seen Mr. Ponsford's address, the card was written in pencil & the message side of the card has been deliberately rubbed out & the German rubber stamp has been scratched out. This could have been done by the Germans before my father took posession of it. I can just see a date in pencil which says 24/3/1943

These photographs, also belonged to POW Cecil A. Ponsford, my father had these in his possesion after the death of Mr. Ponsford before March 1943. The top picture picture shows 3 POW's on stage giving an amateur dramatics performance for the rest of the POW's at Stalag 21d. The bottom shows a POW football match with Fort Rauch Stalag 21d in the background, date of photo possibly 1942.

Christopher Palmer

Cecil Bruce Soul Kings Royal Rifles Corps (Queen Victoria Rifles)

I am doing my family tree and have honoured a few of my family war dead including my uncle, Charles SOUL, signalman, who fell in War. I have just come across my relative in my family tree compiled by Brendon Soul of the Beeb. It says this: 'Cecil Bruce Soul b 29th Dec 1929. Son of George Herbert Soul( Banker) & Florence Emily Soul of 82 Carlton Rd. 1922-29 Wellborough School, Northants. 1937 Mercantile Bank of India Ltd., Calcutta. Taken prisoner Calais, serving with Queen Victoria's Rifles. Stalag XX1 A Germany. Later 1954 Folkestone Directory: 7 Westbourne Gardens, Westbourne Private Hotel and Mr and Mrs Bruce Soul Died 15th april 1991 Malaga Spain. Married Gwendoline Iris Slater - engagement party Ramsgate Theatre - can you tell me any more about my relative please?

Hazel Selby-Miler

Hugh Ruddock C Company Kings Royal Rifle Corps

I am trying to trace any members of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, C Company, who were captured at Calais 1940, and who may have been with my father when he was also captured by the Germans. I am trying to trace his time in Germany as a POW. He was taken to Stalag 20A then transferred to Stalag 20B where it is thought he stayed until freed by the Americans in 1945. Any help with this matter would be extremely appreciated.

Keith Ruddock

Reub Silver King's Royal Rifle Corps

My father was Reub Silver, of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, he was a POW in Stalag XXB five years. So interesting reading all the stories which are so similar to the stories he used to relate to me when he came home. How lucky I was to have him come home, even though he eventually passed away at age 45 from a heart attack, which I think was caused by being a POW.

Greta Silver-Rindner

L/Cpl William John "Hammy" Hamilton Kings Royal Rifles Corps

I would like to hear from anyone who knew my father Billy Hamilton, who joined up in 1939 was at Aldershot, Sailsbury, and I think Catterick, he was a cook in the Kings Royal Rifles and was captured when first arriving in France and was placed into a stalag camp which I think the no was 5, he escaped from the camp and went into the partisans but was recaptured and spend the rest of the time in the Stalag until he was released in 1945. He did a lot of boxing and was origionally from Bethnal Green. Before war broke out he was stationed in Palestine and also at Aldershot and Catterick. I would like to hear from anyone who knew him

patricia hamilton

Rfm. Harry Miller Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My uncle Harry Miller, was a POW at Stalag XXA-3 at Torun, Poland. I have the official German postcard of him and others. I would be very interested to know more about his experiences at the camp, or any other information.

Kenneth Hodge

Rfm. Horace Henry "Orrie" Smith 2nd Battalion (d.27th Oct 1942)

Horace Henry Smith (who was my great uncle) was born in Walthamstow, London on 31st December 1917, the youngest of 10 children. He worked as a builder's labourer but was conscripted into the army in 1940, assigned to 9th Battalion 'The Rangers' KRRC. After serving alongside the Greek army against the German invasion, his section of the Batalion was evacuated from Greece in April 1941 and transported to Egypt where they were integrated into the 2nd Batalion KRRC, 8th Army.

On the night of 26th/27th October 1942, during the battle of El Alamein, the 2nd Battalion - as part of the 7th Motor Brigade, 1st Armoured Division - was engaged in an attack to capture an enemy anti-tank gun position nick-named the 'Woodcock Feature'. During this action Horace Smith was killed (we believe by a land-mine), aged 24. He has no known grave but his name is inscribed on the Alamein Memorial.

I never knew my great uncle 'Orrie', as I was not born until after the war, but my grand-mother, who was his older sister, often spoke to me about him. The remembrance day service was always a poignant reminder in our house when I was a child - and remains so today.

Kevin Trott

Pte. Alfred Edward Coles Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My Dad, Alfred Coles, was a regular soldier before WW2 and served in Ireland. He was on Reserve when WW2 broke out, and he went off to France in 1940 with BEF I believe. He was wounded at Calais as his Batallion fought in the rear guard action whilst the majority of the BEF escaped from Dunkirk. I understand he was driving in a Scout car when it hit a land mine. He went to a German hospital, and then spent the rest of the war in a POW camp somewhere near Danzig (Gdansk). Whilst in the POW camp I think he worked in a brick factory. His war ended when the camp gates were opened by the Germans in 1945 and the whole camp, guards included marched towards the west, trying to avoid the advancing Russians from the east. They marched hundreds of miles, living off the land. Eventually they met up with Americans and my Dad was repatriated home. When he returned home, he weighed just over 6 st. He later became a member of the Dunkirk Veteran Association. If anyone can fill in more details, I would be very grateful as I would like to pass this on to his great-grandchildren

Maureen Atkin

Rfm. Charles J. Hardman Kings Royal Rifle Corps

This is about my wife's Grandfather, We know he served with valour through out WW 2, this is testament to his two sons (David & Norman) and his late wife,(Evelyn). Charles J Hardman served with the PARA Regt, KRRC, and the RAMC, and several other regiments during the war. This we know from his own personal stories. We as a family would like to re-trace his journey throughout his military career. As a career soldier myself , I would like to keep this WW2 heroes memories alive.

Darren Pagett

Rfm. Samuel David "Boy" Irons 2nd Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

I am trying to trace the war history which relates to Samuel David Irons, army no:6850848 of the 2nd Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps. He was a pow in Stalag 344.

I hope anyone who recognizes anyone in this picture you can please get in touch. Thanks

Sadie Merrell

Rfm. Frederick Alexander Whitten Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My father served in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps and was one of the unfortunate soldiers sent to fight on the front line in an effort to stop advancing German troops long enough to enable the evacuations from Dunkirk to take place.

He and many others were the ones to be sacrificed so that others could be saved. He said that as soon as it was obvious that the Germans were going to defeat them, the French soldiers who had been their allies, started to fire at them from behind. He never forgave the French for this betrayal.

He was captured and marched from France through Germany to Poland with just his uniform and remembered walking through deep snow passing others who died due to exhaustion, exposure and their wounds and having fallen into the snow, were just left at the side of the road.

If their boots wore out, they marched in bare feet. If their coats wore out they marched in their jackets. My father was never able to wear woollies as his system had adapted to the cold too well.

He used to say that the German soldiers treated them as well as they could and that they suffered on these marches too. My father learnt to speak German and Polish during this time and came to realise that the German guards he spoke to were just the same as the young prisoners and no more wanted to be there than the POWs did. They just wanted the war to end so that they could return to their families.

In the camps he vividly remembered living mostly on potatoes and described how the piles he had to peel were rotten and heaving with maggots, but that these were a vital source of protein and were cooked along with the spuds. He would not talk much beyond this, but he never held a grudge against the Wehrmacht soldiers.

When he was evacuated, he said they were barely rescued in time by the Americans who were just ahead of the Russians. He said he didn't think he would ever have been seen again if the Russians had got there first. My father died in 2004 and was proud to have served in the KRR and to have fought in defence of his country.


Fredrick Simmons Kings Royal Rifles

My father Fredrick Simmons served with the Kings Royal Rifles during WW2. I am trying to research his war record. I don't know that much about what he did. I do know he was at El Alamein and I know he was badly injured behind enemy lines at the Battle of Salerno in Italy. If anybody can fill in a few of the gaps I would be very grateful.

Peter Simmons

Pte. Harold Alfred George Pitts King's Royal Rifle Corps

Harold Pitts (George) my Uncle, was taken prisoner on Crete in 1941 and spent the rest of the war in stalag V11/a. I have his camp ID tag No. 8014 and also a few photos taken at the camp, seven of which are of a funeral service.

He spoke very little about the war but he had very bad memories of the journey to Germany. George sadly died in August 1996.

Mel Thurgood

Rfm. John Swain Hunter 2nd Bn (Queen Victoria's Rifles) King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.27 May 1940)

He was especially proud of his motorcycle. Reported killed at Dunkirk. He is on the Dunkirk Memorial, but no known grave.

Maurice Johnson

Cpl. Ernest Richard Evans 2nd Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.20th Oct 1944 )

My brother Ernie Evans was with the 2nd KRRC, after being with the 8th army in the North African Desert came home in 1944 to prepare for D Day leaving for France in June 1944. It appears that during a battle at a place in Holland Tilberg my brother was wounded in the abdomen, he returned to base with his men then for some unknown reason was last seen heading back to where the battle took place. I assume to perhaps help a comrade whom he had left there. The next news we received his grave was in Leopoldberg cemetery Belgium. The mystery was if the action took place in Holland why was he buried in Belgium. On a visit to the cemetary I spoke to a man who with his father created the cemetery, he told me that during the war that area had a German field hospital and my brother was wounded in Tilberg and possiblly captured and brought down to the hospital for treatment. In the cemetary where my brother is buried, the grave just behind him is the grave of his friend Rfn Gavin. Could my brother gone back to the action to help him and been taken prisoner? That we will never know.

Frank Evans

Ron Marsh 9th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

I served in the 9th KRRC from 1939 to 1942 then with the 9th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry until demob.

In North Africa

Ron Marsh

Sgt. James Blake Bartlett 1st Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My late father was a prisoner in Stalag 383. His name was Sgt James Blake Bartlett of the KRRC 1 QVR's. He was captured at Calais 23.5.1940 and according to his army record first went to Stalag XXA in 1940 then to XXB in 1941 and to Stalag 111C which was renamed Stalag 383 in November 1942 where he stayed until release on the 11.5.1945.

I can still remember his home coming even to this day, our mum woke us up to say this is your Dad, as I was only 3 when he went away and now I was 8, so did not remember him all that much. He passed away in 1992 and never spoke much about his time as a POW.

Geoff Bartlett

George Hughes Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My dad, George Hughes of the King's Royal Rifle Corps was a POW in Stalag XXa, from 26the May 1940 to the 18th of April 1945. Is there anyone who remembers him as my dad never spoke about his time in the camp? I would like to be able to fill in the blanks as my dad passed away in 1990.

Dorreen Davies

Sgt. James Blake Bartlett Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My late father was a POW at Stalag 383 for the 5 years of WW2 having been taken prisoner at Dunkirk. His name was Sergeant James Blake Bartlett of the KRRC. He never talked about his time there all we know he stayed behind at Dunkirk having been told he would be either killed or captured and he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war. When he came home he said that he was flown home in a Lancaster.

Geoff Bartlett

Rfm. Arther George Wadner Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Unfortunately, I have no further information regarding my late Grandfather but would love to know more. I do know he took place in the Death March. I always thought he was at Stalag 19a but according to prisoners of war records online it states he was at 20b

Editors Note: The POW records only record a single camp, that which the man was in at the time the list was made in 1945. Many men had been held in other camps also.

Mark Wadner

Cpl. Vic Dulieu Kings Royal Rifle Corps

I am researching my wife's late uncle's history with a view to producing a short biography. I have been able to establish that he was a Corporal in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps during WW2 and was incarcerated in Stalag 383. His name was Victor Dulieu and originated from London - which probably explains his induction into the KRRC. Any information should be gratefully received.

Simon Clark

Walter James Henry Gillham Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My grandfather, Walter Gillham was on a ship that was torpedoed in WWII and was rescued. All we know is he was in a death camp in Poland and was on a death march. He died never speaking about any of these events so we are eager to find out where he was and who with. He was very quiet when he came home and stayed distant his whole life until his death. We do not know anything including the name of the ship he was on. Any information would be appreciated


Pte. Kenneth Roberts "Tubby" Boustead Kings Royal Rifle Corps

I would like to find out more about my Dad's history, in respect of him being taken prisoner in Lybia. His name was Kenneth Boustead, I know he was in the KRRC and drove a BrenGun Carrier and got captured in the desert. He was the marched by the Germans to Poland and I believe maybe Eastern Germany was his final destination, but I'm not too sure. He was eventually released, of course, at the end ot the war and returned home to Manchester. Any information about him would be appreciated.

Jill Hobbs

Pte. Harry Miller Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Harry Miller was a prisoner in Stalag XXA-3.

Kenneth Hodge

Rfn Charles James Corver Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Rfn Charles Corver was at Calais 1940, and escaped. Then sent to Western Desert and was taken prisoner near Benghazi in 1941. First a prisoner of the Italians (POW camps P.G. 65 and P.G. 70), then into German captivity, at Stalag 4C then to Stalag 20A from which he was liberated by the Russians in early 1945 and was back in the UK in March 1945.

Whilst at Stalag 4C he was involved in an disagreement with a German Guard (Gefreitan Noack, 3 Ldsch Btl., 379). He was accused of hitting the guard with a punch. At his hearing there were three British soldiers (4457054 Pte. G. Franey DLI, 5954578 Pte. W. Lindsay, The Buffs and another Pinford ?? who gave evidence on Corver's behalf. Corver was sentenced to eight months, but only served six weeks when he was released.

Martin Smith

Pte. Jack Gillett Kings Royal Rifles Corps

My dad, Jack Gillett, served in Italy in 1945 he was in the Kings Royal Rifles. He is 85 years old now and would like to hear from any of his old commrades.

Clive Gillett

L/Sgt. Walter Richard Wright 2nd Battalion King's Royal Rifles Corps (d.14th Apr 1945)

Walter Wright was my uncle, my Father's older brother, he was in Kings Royal Rifle Corp and from February 1943 to 1945 was part of the 4th Armoured Brigade then under the command of Bridadier R M P Carver. Carver and others in his position kept a diary that was published and is available as a book

I do not know his date of birth although probably about 1921 and have no photograph of him as I know of none in existence and all his siblings are no longer living. If anyone has a photo they think may include him I'd love to hear from you.


Rfm. Frank Foster 8th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My father, Frank Foster, would be interested in corresponding with anyone who can share their experiences and memories serving with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 8th Battalion in 1940 during the Pollock Military Mission.

Frank Foster

Pte. Frank Belgium Mercer Kings Royal Rifles Corps

My dad is in the top row far left.

Frank is bottom row far right

Frank Mercer my father died in 1995, sorting through his effects I found two photos. At first I thought they were from a training camp until I saw the address. His middle name was 'Belgium' as in the Country as his father (another Frank) was there in WW1 when he was born. His regiment was the Kings Royal Rifles, his P.O.W. number from the address side of card appears to be 7732. He did say the actor Sam Kydd was in the same camp. He spoke very little of his time as a P.O.W, but I do recall him saying he was captured at or near Dunkirk and was taken to Poland in a way that involved a lot of walking. In the late sixties when I was about 18, I went on a charity walk from Croydon to Brighton, overnight. I got back late next day and collapsed in a chair. I said "I made it dad, 49 miles!" He did not even look up from his paper but said "Huh, you want to try walking to Poland!". I also found his bank book, opened in June 1945, the first (and only) deposit was a cheque for £337, a large amount in those days. I realise this was his wartime back pay. It turns out he did not claim his medals, probably just glad it was all over and get back to normal life. I did contact the army medal unit and got them.

Frank Mercer

Rfm. Leslie William Henry George Coote 2nd Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.26th May 1940)

Leslie Coote is my grand father who died in action during the defence of Calais, 26th May 1940. He died of his wounds on board the trawler Botanic on his way back to England, aged 28yrs. He was buried in the St James Cemetery, Dover.

Denise Fox

L/Sgt. Walter Richard Wright 2nd Battleion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.14th April 1945)

Walter Wright was my uncle. I was not born at the time so I did not know him. He was married in Dagenham 13th January 1945 and died 14th April 1945 in Western Europe . He is buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery Germany .

David Wright

Rfmn. Charles West Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My late Father-In-Law Charlie West, Kings Royal Rifle Corps was a pow in xv111a in 1941-43, bit of a singer so presume he was doing his bit in entertaining, I have come across a photo, on back is written L\Cpl Gordon Simpson (Dick) 14247 Stalag V111B, E196 Germany.


Henry Blackburn ksli2

Stalag 8b

Rfmn. Henry Deakin 9th Btn (The Rangers) King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.12th April 1941)

Henry Deakin died aged 22 whilst serving with The Rangers. He was the son of George A. and Sarah J. Deakin (nee Havelock, known as Sadie) of Jarrow

Henry is remembered on the Athens Memorial.

Vin Mullen

Rfmn. Henry James Robinson King's Royal Rifle Corps

Harry Robinson is the tall one in the middle of the back row

My father, Henry James Robinson, known as Harry, was wounded with shrapnel in his leg and captured at Calais in 1939 . He was taken to Stalag 20B where, despite escaping at least once, he spent the rest of the war. He returned home to England in 1945 and emigrated to Australia around 1947. Very little has been heard of him since then which is why my story is fairly vague as he was not around to give me any details. If any one has any news of him, either in the camp or since I would dearly love to hear from them. I enclose a photo which I believe is from the camp. Harry is the tall one in the middle of the back row.

Patricia Burn

L/Cpl. Edward James Stubberfield 1st Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My dad, Edward James Stubberfield, was in 1st Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps from 1941-1946. We only had bits and pieces of his war as we understand they do not speak of their experiences. He did disobey orders by staying back to remove a casualty and in doing so lost his platoon, which resulted in his mother getting a telegram missing in action. He found his way by linking up with another platoon, for this he lost his stripes. After his death we found in his wallet a photo of his best mate, he had carried it all those years, his words “my mate caught it in the head beside me” We thought it would be nice if anyone recognises this photo, we have no name but just for his family to know he was not forgotten by my dad.

Linda Mansfield

Rfmn. William John "Hammy" Hamilton Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My father, William John Hamilton, was in the King's Royal Rifles. He joined up, I think, in 1937. He went to Tel Aviv, Palestine etc. He was captured when arriving in France being one of the first batch over and ended up in a POW camp. I think near Poland he escaped to Czechoslovakia and went with the partisans but was recaptured and served the rest of the time in the POW camp until liberation.

Can anyone tell me where the POW camp was? All I know is the no 5.

Patricia Saliba

Cpl. William Gorringe 2nd Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.25th May 1940)

Bill Gorringe serving with Kings Royal Rifle Corp (Green Jackets). Burma 1935

Cpl. William Gorringe, KRRC

William Gorringe was my father. He was involved in the Defence of Calais in 1940 and posted missing, believed killed. This was 2 months before my birth, and he and my mother had been married just 9 months. No other information was ever found, in spite of enormous efforts by my mother to contact people who may have been able to help. Bill was a professional soldier, serving for many years in India. It was a life he loved.

Jackie Follett

William Bull Kings Royal Rifle Corps

William Bull served with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps.


Rfmn. Alfred John Lucas Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My father Alfred John Lucas served the Kings Royal Rifles in North Africa. We have a letter sent to my mother, on tissue paper. According to the letter he left Liverpool, sailed round Cape Horn, which I assume was on his way to Nth Africa. He became a Prisoner of war, held in camps in Italy. I beieve he was a local celeb in Ruislip having managed to escape on several occasions. We did have medals for boxing and cycling.

Brian Lucas

Bertie Charles Silver Kings Royal Rifle Corps

My father, Bertie Silver, was a POW in Poland. He came home and married my mum Gwen. He never talked about him time in the camp. I always remember him saying that it was in the past. He was so proud and always followed the regiment where ever they were.

Tania Silver

Rflmn. John Edwin Newbegin Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Working party, Posen Poland

John Newbegin served as a Rifleman with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, he was taken prisoner and held in Stalag VIII-B at Cieszyn, Poland and Stalag XX1D at Fort Rauch.

The photo of John Edwin Newbegin (bottom right) was taken in Fort Rauch Stalag XX1D. He has added some names to the photo. He passed away in 2008.

Diana Newbegin

Cpl. Frank Ernest Garrard 2nd Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.27th May 1940)

My Grandfather was Corporal Frank Ernest Garrard, 2nd Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps. He joined the regiment in 1937. He was posted to Calais during the siege of the city, arriving on or about 24th May. He died there on 27th May. Anyone who has any information about my grandfather's service in the regiment and his death in Calais, please contact me. I would be grateful for any information that anyone can provide. Thank you.

Graeme Garrard

Peter Williams King's Royal Rifle Corps

I was in the King's Royal Rifle Corp, taken prisoner on Crete in 1941. I was sent to Stalag 7A Moosberg and later to 8B until the end of the war. If anyone remembers me, would they please contact me. I have some photos of other POWs, mainly Australians and New Zealanders and a couple of IDs if anyone is interested in seeing them.

Pete Willkiams

Cpl. James Fredrick Young 2nd Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.23rd May 1940)

James Young of the 2nd King's Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in France during the evacuation at Dunkirk. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial. His date of death is given as between 23rd and 26th May 1940.

Garry Young

Charles Sparks King's Royal Rifle Corps

I served with the King's Royal Rifle Corps, was captured in Italy and then transported to Germany to a POW Camp.

Charles Sparks

William Bidmead King's Royal Rifle Corps

My father, Bill Bidmead, served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, stationed at Winchester. On disbandenment he went on to serve in a tank regiment, the Highland Light Infantry where he volunteered for the Commandos. He then served with No. 4 Commando on D-day and throughout the Normandy campaign. He was also at Walcharen and later joined No. 6. Commando preparing for the attack on the Japanese mainland.

Howard Bidmead

Harold "Bill" Ruffell 12th Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.1st September 1944)

My uncle, Harold `Bill' Ruffell was killed on 1st September 1944 whilst serving with the 12th Btn King's Royal Rifle Corps (2nd Btn Queen's Westminsters). He sleeps in Flesselles Communal Cemetery, France, along with two others: L/Sgt Laurence Gribben (MM) of the Notts Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps and Trooper John Alfred Sharpe, Notts Yeomanry. Does anyone know how they died?

Geoff Millward

Pete Williams King's Royal Rifle Corps

I was captured on Crete in 1941 while serving with the King's Royal Rifle Corps and spent the next couple of years at Moosberg (Stalag 7A), before moving on to Stalag 8B in 1943, where I remained until the end of the war. I would be interested to hear from anyone who remembers me. I still have a number of photographs of fellow prisoners taken at Moosberg and a couple of German IDs on William Robinson of the 2nd KRRC, and another POW, Ronald John Jenkins No. 31861.

I knew many Australian and New Zealand POWs. I recently read Harold Siddals' biography on the web, which included his recollections of life in both these camps. An excellent read about the realities of camp life.

Pete Williams

William Robinson 2nd Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

William Robinson was a POW in Stalag 7A.

William Redworth 1st Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

My grandfather served with the 8th Army in the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Robert Gorton

Cpl. Harry John Carran 1st Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.30th Apr 1943)

I have only just come into possession of a number of letters written by a Lieut.J Millbourn and Capt. J.B. Cunningham to my aunt informing her of my uncle Harry Curran's death and I was impressed by the humanity and barely concealed sadness and exhaustion behind the words. Our family had not been aware of how and where he had died as he had married shortly before his death and we have no knowledge of what happened to his wife. However, I like so may of my generation, am immensely proud of my uncle and the part he played in the war and I want people to remember him


L/Cpl. George T. Gilbert King's Royal Rifle Corps

I've recently been trying to find out more about my grandfather. He was in the King's Royal Rifles and was captured defending Calais. He was sent to Poland where he spent the rest of the war as a POW. Can anyone give me more information?

Update: There is one G Gilbert of the KRRC listed in the POW book. Camp 20A Thorn Podgorz). Prisoner number 6735. Gilbert, G.T. L/Cpl 6844890, K.R.R.C. - Stuart Brown

John Colverson

Rflmn. Wilfred John Blythe 9th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Bill Blythe served in Greece and Crete (he was captured in the latter). While fighting in the former, he told me (his son), that he and colleagues would use a .55" Boys anti-tank rifle at long range across valleys as a sort of sniping weapon in 1941. Proper sniping rifles of similar calibre would not be introduced until about the 2000s in Afghanistan.

Geoff Blythe

Rflmn. Alfred Thomas Boyce 2nd Btn. King's Royal Rifles Corps

According to his war records our father, Alf Boyce, was a prisoner of war in Stalag XX1D and 344. All we know is that his experiences there badly affected him for the rest of his life.

If anyone knows of him through their own stories or have any photos we would be very grateful to have knowledge and sight of these.

Elizabeth Emslie

Rflmn. John Sidney Ives 2nd Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

JS Ives 14460539

JS Ives 14460539

JS Ives 14460539 Dmob suit

John Ives served with the 2nd Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps.


Rflmn. Bernard Richard "Brudge" Pettit 9th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.21st April 1941)

I found Bernard Pettit named on a grave stone that belonged to his mum and dad and wanted to find out what happened to him. Bernard was born c1918, his parents were Bernard Joseph and Helen Rosetta Pettit of Battersea, London. He died aged 23yrs, in Greece. The British Army tried to halt the Germans invading Greece, unfortunately they were unsuccessful in stopping them. Apparently they were poorly equipped. Having eventually being evacuated back to Egypt. Bernard belonged to 9th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps also known as The 1st Rangers.

Cpl. Arthur David "Yec" Yexley 9th (The Rangers) Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

Taken prisoner in Crete, Arthur Yexley my dad, was first sent to Stalag IIID, located at Freigeghlen near Berlin. He later transferred to Stalag 383 where he spent the remainder of his incarceration.

He told a few stories of the good times but only occasionally talked about the bad days. Like most camps, cigarettes were currency, for both prisoners and guards alike. Dad said that whilst they were reasonably fed (although often hungry), the Russian prisoners in the next camp along were in a very poor state. As the British went out on work parties, driving past the Russian camp, they would throw cigarettes over the fence. Dad swore that, on occasions, the Russian prisoners would grab whatever was thrown in and simply push it straight in their mouths and eat. That memory stayed with him always.

Whilst they didn't have it "cushy", he did love to talk about the long bridge tournaments in which he played; of the Gilbert and Sullivan productions (some photos of which he also had) and the fact that, far from digging tunnels, towards the end of the conflict, the guards would collude in prisoner escapes for the right amount of tobacco. He did not attempt an escape, always saying that life under the Nazis was preferable to my other!


Rflmn. Leonard Morley 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.15th Sep 1941)

My great-uncle Len Morley was killed serving with 1st KRRC in the Western Desert. He was 21 years old. He is buried at Sollum in Egypt, near the Libyan border. His younger brother John was wounded on 7th June 1944 in France but survived the war, despite regular returns to hospital, until he died in 1991.

John Champney

John William Warwick King's Royal Rifle Corps

Jack Warwick was my grandfather and like many, did not talk about the war. All I know is that he was a POW in Stalag 20b, Marienberg, POW No. 19891. Apparently he escaped. Any information would be appreciated.

Lorraine Warwick

Pte. Frank Rogers King's Royal Rifle Corps

My dad, Frank Rogers, served with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps between 1942 and 1946 and was in France and Germany.

Sally Babbs

Major David John Wallace attd. Special Operations Executive King's Royal Rifle Corps (d.17th August 1944)

Major Wallace was the Son of Capt. the Rt. Hon. Euan (David) Wallace, M.C., P.C., and of Lady Idina Wallace (nee Sackville), of Petworth, Sussex; husband of Joan Prudence Wallace, of West Kensington, London.

He lost his life while attached as an observer to the 10th Greek Division, the strongest national resistance force fighting against the Germans

He was 29 when he died and is buried in the Paramythia Civil Cemetery in Greece.

s flynn

Sgt. Thomas Lambert 9th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Thomas Lambert Middle East Campaign 1940-41

Thomas Lambert_circa 1941

Thomas Lambert was captured in Crete on 3rd July 1941 - though some records suggests it was 28th May 1941. He remained in the camp until he was liberated on 11th May 1945. He was demobbed at Knella Hall in Winchester in August 1947 and went home to his family in Battersea, London.

He then joined the Royal London Territorial Army (London Rifle Brigade Rangers) on 29th September 1965 he retired from service at the age of 54, after 18 years service and was commended by the Lord Mayor of London for his service.

In his civilian life he had worked for British Gas since the 1930s and retired in March 1972. His wife passed away in May 1981 and he remarried. He died peacefully at home on 18th February 2004. His second wife survived him by four years.

Steven Lambert

Sgt. Ivor S. Mitchell 1st Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Letter written by Sgt Ivor S Mitchell about his rescue from the desert by Wyndam Jones, 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars to Wyndam's wife in 1944

6896348 Sgt I. S. Mitchell

C.O. Sgt's Mess

1st 175 BTN





Dear Mrs Jones

When I last saw your husband on the 31st May 1945, I asked for his home address in the event that either of us reaching England. I asked him for the address in Tobruk, two days before it fell to the Germans. I was a wounded stretcher case at the time, your husband had been wounded in the leg, but could with a great effort, walk about. Had he not made that effort, I and two others would have been left on the desert with severe wounds to God knows what fate.

On May the 27th 1942 the Germans made a heavy attack prior to their push back to El Alamein, after they had swept over us and driven the 8th Army back, there were many wounded lying on the field. Your husband was one and I was the other who eventually found themselves picked up by the Germans and piled into their ambulances. The Germans left us for two days until the third morning they took us out of the ambulance and laid us on the ground to dress our wounds. During the operation the whole German column was startled by something, they hurriedly repacked their vehicles and after placing many of the wounded back into the ambulances they left.

Leaving the two of us lying on stretchers on the ground, neither of us could get up, the other nine men with us had shoulder wounds etc, but could stand up.

It is a long story but that party of eleven after being machine-gunned and strafed, dwindled down to four, of which your husband was one. Now this is where your husband in my eyes and in the eyes of the other members of the quartet, did a gallant deed, if it had not been for him, God knows what would have happened to us. Although suffering with a bad wound in the calf of his leg, on the second day after we had lain out there, he set off without compass, food or water for we had none. We saw his figure for hours painfully trekking across the desert until he disappeared. How long he was gone I couldn't say but it seemed like years. I know it was just after dawn when he left us there, one of the three of us was too far gone to understand what was going on around him. Well into the day we saw a speck of dust on the horizon, it grew bigger and bigger until we could make out a vehicle coming in our direction, at first we thought it was the Hun.

Believe me men do cry, I saw tears in the other men's eyes and I had tears in mine, for the vehicles turned out to be six carriers and a 15cwt truck. In the back of the truck was your husband. He had tramped across the desert with pain in his leg and had bumped into a column and had directed this truck and six carriers back to us, which isn't an easy task with no compass.

By his devotion three wounded men were rescued and brought back to safety. I mentioned the whole escapade to the Major of the column, when we were taken back, but like so many brave deeds which occur in action, only a few ever become recognized. In my eyes your husband was easily worth the M.M. and more besides but there as I say only a few have these deeds recorded back at home, that makes it all unfair.

God be with your husband wherever he may be

Your sincerely

Ivor S Mitchell

Debbie Jones

Cpl. George Ellis Ormerod Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.7th Sep 1944)

George Ormerod was my mother's uncle. He was captured at St Valery being one of the units left behind after Dunkirk. At some point he was imprisoned at Bad Sulza where he received a head injury and eventually developed 'prison fever'. Different stories emerged, both official and unofficial, regarding his death. We have the letters from Major J Sherman who spent time with him (Sherman I believe was the Cadbury's doctor prior to the war and he returned to the company after the war), other letters which my mother and his girlfriend wrote to him. I understand that as well as working in the salt mines he also used to do work in the surrounding villages as he was a draftsman and electrician. He was also good at languages. He was a regular in the Army prior to WW2 and had only left 8 months before being called up again.

I notice that in A. Robert Prowse book the name Corporal Ormerod is mentioned on p50 of Remember? (a few of the many) Killed during daring bid for freedom (s), I presume that (s) means shot! A very telling but short paragraph in the book also describes what my grandfather was told by someone who was in the camp. We have never had confirmation of this - only the Red Cross report and obviously War Office communication which completely contradict the book and unofficial version.

Eleanor Rees

Cpl. Kenneth Unwin 2nd Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Dad, Kenneth Unwin was captured in October 1944 having crossed the River Po in Northern Italy. It wasn't until the Spring of '45 that a record of him being a POW was mentioned. I can't imagine how his family felt! Only thing he mentioned of his time there was he used to be a "tin tapper". He made a medicine cabinet out of tin cans, my brother still has it.

Bernard Unwin

Pte. Patrick Joseph Doyle King's Royal Rifle Brigade

Patrick Joseph Doyle in Rome

My granddad, Paddy Joe Doyle, fought in World War II. I take some of the following words from my mum Joan who included some letters my granddad sent home.

Patrick Doyle served with the Rifle Brigade, Eighth Army, North Africa and Italy. He was apart from Gran from 1940 to 1947, and was home on leave just a handful of times. I particularly recall two of those occasions, one was when Anne, my sister was born in 1943 and he came home to Dublin on compassionate leave as Gran was desperately ill and not expected to live, and the second was when I made my First Holy Communion. On one of those occasions I remember him saying goodbye to Mam, and to Anne and me, early in the morning when the frost was still on the windows, and gran cried and cried as he left the room with his kitbag over his shoulder. Later I understood that as they said goodbye, there was no guarantee that they would ever see each other again. He would have been 27 when he joined the army, and at the height of fighting in 1943, 1944 and 1945 he was 30, 31, and 32. He was in the Rifle Brigade with the 8th Army which was headed by Montgomery, and he was present at the Battle of Monte Casino.

Letter: Addressed to: Mrs. P.J. Doyle, 18 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Eire.

Senders Address: 6920752 Pte Doyle, P.J. R.S.Z.A. DET. G.SC. RAOC 5SOD B.NAF.

North Africa Monday, 29th November, 1943

My Dearest Anne,

Arrived safe and sound somewhere in North Africa. Everything is strange and interesting so far. Weather warm. Have written some ordinary letters which are on their way. I probably will not get any from you for some time. I am quite well, and so, if everything is right your end there is no reason to worry, so please dont. Mail will not be as often as before, but will be as regular as my duties allow. At the moment I am working all night 7 Days a week. The oranges are plentiful. Have become separated from my mate Fred again. I shall probably be moving on from here in due course. My French is improving already. But Arabic except for a couple of phrases is still a closed book. Will write a long letter at weekend, which should reach you around Paddys Day if you are lucky! Give my love to friends and relations, especially Mum, and Dad. You are constantly in my thoughts, and our three stars, which are very brilliant here, is a common bond. I keep praying that you, Joan and Baby Anne are all well. Keep your heart up Sweetheart, like Im doing, it cant go on for ever. God Bless you and give you strength and happiness.

Always your ever loving Pat x x x x x x x

Joan x x Anne x x"


"Airmail Letter 3d. stamp with an official stamp on the outside saying Released by Censor.

On the back of the letter, in Paddy Joes handwriting he says to the Censor:

I certify on my honour that the contents of this letter refers only to private and family matters.

Addressed to: Miss Joan P. Doyle, 18 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Eire

Italy, 28th November 1944.

My Own Darling Mummy, Joan & Anne,

Here comes another Xmas, the fourth that we have missed together. The only one when we were all together, except Baby Anne of course, you were too small to remember, but I remember for you.

I feel for you and Mum, more than I do for myself, cos soldiers must be brave and not care about anything at least not too much. But while you are enjoying Xmas, as I want you to very much, maybe you would like to know how the little girls and boys here in Italy will spend theirs. Of course they will go to Mass, as they are all very good Catholics, but most of them will go bare footed, or at the best in wooden shoes. But they wont come home to a nice breakfast and a fire like you will, for you see, laughing eyes, there arent any fireplaces in Italian houses, and there is not too much food either. Also there will be a lot of snow, or at least rain to make things worse.

Now in North Africa where I spent last Xmas things will be different. First of all there will be lots of sun but very little Xmas, as Arabs do not hold Xmas. But ask Mummy to tell you stories, and maybe she will tell you how she and I used to spend Xmas Eve. How I would go out singing hymns to get money for poor children, and when I was finished would visit Mummy in her house and then we would go for walk down the Fort Road (Pigeon Fort Road) and watch the big moon and stars on the water. Or the first present I gave you, Mummy, remember? The manicure set. How bashfully I gave it to you, afraid you would not like it and so proud when you did.

Darling Joan, when you grow older, which wont be for a long time, I hope you have as much fun and joy as we have had. Anne, the radio is playing, Together, followed by Mean to me. Can you guess what its doing to me? And Baby Anne, sure I scarcely know you, but love you, not more, because in the Magic Four we all love equally. Our first Xmas together I promise you lots of fun and now, my lovely, loved, and loving people, dont think I shall be far from you at Xmas. Mummy knows I shall walk and talk beside you in spirit.

God Bless you all. Lots of fun and happiness is the wish of your loving Daddy, x x x"


Austria Tuesday, 18th Sept. 1945

Darling Little Laughing Eyes,

When you receive this letter you will be six years of age, P.G. It doesnt seem such a long time since you were so tiny as to fit comfortably into a small drawer. Many happy returns of your birthday little sweetheart and may all your dreams come through. I am enclosing a little Ricordo da Roma, hope you like it. The country where I am is very beautiful, we are surrounded by forests. Sometimes I go there to sit and think of all the nice times we are all going to have together. If I remain very quiet the little squirrels come chattering down the trees in search of nuts. They are very industrious in laying by a stock of food for the winter and then when the snow comes (it remains on the ground for three to four months, and is higher than your head if you stood on your tip toes), they retire to their little house and sleep all the winter, only waking to have some food and then off to sleep again. Would you like to do that? I know you would love them. They have soft coats of reddish brown fur and a long fluffy tail bigger than themselves, golden bronze in colour. Also there are flocks of birds flying in a wonderful style all through the day. Already I am training some of them to come to my window for crumbs so that when the cruel frost and snow comes they will know where to come for food. The weather is glorious and I am tanned like an Arab (not to be confused with street arabs!).

What new subjects are you learning at school, and are you doing well at them. Are you still with the same nice kind teacher. Have you taught Baby Anne any of the prayers you have been taught. Sometimes I get so lonely for you all that I feel very sad, but then soldiers, just like soldiers daughters, must never get sad over things which cant be helped.

My hand is still sore so its time I gave it a rest. Give my love to your Grand-Dad and Grand-ma, uncles, aunts and cousins. Give Mummy an extra special hug and kiss on your birthday as its a big day in her memory too. Tell Anne some nice stories, until I can get home to tell you both some.

God Bless you my little Daughter-Pal.

Heaps of love and kisses from your own

Loving Daddy x x x x x x x x x"

Simon Peacock

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.


    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.

    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library

    Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
    - All Rights Reserved