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

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Royal Leicestershire Regiment

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

Royal Leicestershire Regiment

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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

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

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Earnest Cooper Leicestershire Regiment

My late father; Earnest Cooper, 4868237, Leicestershire Regt was captured in North Africa after the Battle of Kasserine (1943) and was first imprisoned in PG66 at Capua, then transferred to Stalag XVIIB following the Italian armistice.

Ian Cooper

Albert Pearson Leicestershire Regiment

My late father, Albert Pearson was a prisoner in Stalag IVB, prisoner number 227929. He arrived there via camp 66, Capua, Italy. He was in the Leicestershire Regiment, number 4868471, captured in North Africa early in 1943.

He spoke very little about his time in the camps, but he did say they woke one morning to find the German guards gone, and lots of Russians on horseback. He and two others then spent some time roaming around the area, spending some time in a railway station. On one occasion a local family with several daughters offered them shelter, my Dad felt this was to try to protect themselves from the Russians. They declined the offer, also fearful of the Russians. They were later rounded up by the Americans and brought back to England. I'm not sure how.

I would be very interested if any one knew him or could fill in some of the missing information. Thank you.

Mick Pearson

Pte. Lewis Armstrong Leicester Regiment

Lewis Armstrong was my great uncle. He was taken prisoner in 1940 in Norway and was interned for the duration. We have photos of him in Stalag V111b, his prisoner number was 285. If anyone has any information my family would love to hear from you, when he came home he would never talk about what happened. We were close till he died twenty years ago.

Wendy Layton

Capt. H. H. "Sam" Hodgkins HQ 15 Ind. Corps Leicestershire Regt

Looking for a friend who helped liberate my Mother, Sister and Grandmother from the Japanese Concentrations camps in Indonesia after WW2

Ronald Van Heek

Pte. Reginald Percy William Tomlins Leicestershire Regiment

My father was POW in Stalag 357, He was originally in the Leicestershire Regiment, then transferred to the Cameron Highlanders. He told us that He was at the docks waiting to embark when an arm came down between him and another soldier and told he was now in the Camerons. His POW number was 29018. He came home very ill. He died in 2005 at the great age of 90,

Shani Tomlins

L/Cpl. Norman Faulks Leicestershire Regiment

My father, Norman Faulks, served in the Leicestershire Regiment from 1940 to 1945/6. Initially stationed in North Norfolk, I believe in Holt, under canvas. It may have been that this was considered a suitable area for a German invasion. When this threat ceased around 1942/3 they were moved to Purley in Surrey, and shortly after D-Day they went to France and fought their way through France and the Low Countries to Germany. He mentioned, before he died in 1954, places such as Hilversum and Nymigan. I would welcome any additional information.

Mike Faulks

Lt. Sidney Horace Hutchinson Leicestershire Regiment

My grandpa, Sidney Hutchinson told me several stories about his time in the Leicestershire Regiment.

One of which I recall was when he was stationed in Ireland marching through the hills with his Regiment and was stopped by a member of the Old guard, (Dad's army) who demanded his officer prove who they were and what they were doing there. Insulted by this request and unable to prove who they were his officer exclaimed "what position are you in to keep us here". The old guard officer pointed to the hills and said "well, take a look around" and to there amazement they were completely surrounded by hundreds of men and women pointing guns at them up in the hills. Apparently they had to make camp for over 6 hours to await proof from London that they were British soldiers, before they could continue on.

I would love any information anyone may have on my Grandpa if possible. Unfortunately he passed away last night at the grand age of 92.

Robert Bradley

CSM. George Arthur Godbold Leicestershire Regiment

George A. Godbold started as a boy soldier with Leicestershire Regiment in 1924. He became a POW following the Fall Of Singapore in 1942, and was sent to Fukuoka No. 17 after surving the sinking of the Japanese ship "Hofuku Maru".

Brian W. Zelley

Pte. Thomas Irwin Leicestershire Regt

My father Tomas Irwin enlisted in the Leicestershire Regimentt in 1934 (he was born in 1918, which makes his age 16 but it shows his date of birth on his discharge papers as 1916) the only information on his active service is from his medals, POW and discharge records. My father never spoke to me about the war but through snippets of family conversation he served in Palastine from 1936-1939, next he apparently joined the commandos and was posted to the Middle East he was captured on Crete and spent the rest of the war in Stalag 4a in Hohenstein. This was a region in Germany that was not a good place to be hence the silence about his war experience.

If anyone has any further information I would be pleased to know about it.

Alyn Irwin

Pte. Sidney Wilfred Taylor 1st/5th Btn. Leicestershire Regiment

My Granddad, Sidney Taylor, served with the 1st/5th Leicestershire Regiment. In 1940 he went to fight in Norway, he was 39 years old and left a wife and three kids at home. He was fighting a rearguard action and was taken prisoner. He survived being a POW but sadly died in 1945 of a heart attack aged 44 not long after he came home. My Dad was only seven years old at the time and never got to know his Dad. I would love to know more about my Granddad and what POW camp he was in.

Tim Taylor

William Allsopp Royal Leicestershire Regiment

I am trying to find out what happened to my mother's brother after WW11. My mother is now 86 yrs old and not in good health and has not seen her brother since the war and does not know what happened to him. His name is William Allsopp and his wife's name was Barb I believe. We believe he was with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment Many times she has said she wanted to find out what happened to him but we did not know how to go about it until today when my son sent us an e-mail about the Royal Leicestershire Regiment cap badge in this photo. Can anyone help?

Alan Dell

L/Cpl. Sydney "Syd" Sole Leicestershire Regiment

My Grandfather, Sydney Sole never liked to talk about the War much but we did get a few facts. He was a fly weight boxer in the army. He joined the Leicestershire Regiment on the 20th of June 1940 but was transferred to the Welch Regiment on the 7th of April. He served first in Egypt and Eritriea then went to invade Sicily and fought up Italy into Yugoslavia. I would love to have contact from anyone who knows more.

Darren Blackburn

Pte. Leonard "Tich" Healey Royal Leicestireshire Regiment

My father, Leonard Healey served in the 2nd World War. I have obtained his military records and his medals. During his lifetime he never spoke about his war memories this was taboo, even though as a little girl I tried to make him speak.

Susan Garth

Pte. Leonard "Tich" Healey Leicestershire Regiment

My Father, Leonard Healey served in Burma, Iceland, and North West Europe. He was in the Army from 1941 to 1947. I have his war records and I am trying to research them. Does anyone remember him?

Susan Garth

Pte. Charles William Hall Leicestershire Regiment (d.22nd Nov 1945)

My brother, Charles Hall joined the Army on February 19th 1945 aged 17 1/2 years old. He was only in until November 22nd 1945 when tragically he was killed in Castlewellan, Nr Newcastle County Down, Ireland in a traffic accident. I was only 5 years old at the time and would dearly love any memories to be forwarded to me of him. Please does anyone out there remember him?

Graham Hall

Pte. Jonathan Pennington Royal Leicestershire Regiment

My Dad, Jonathan Pennington (Jack) was a Bren-Gunner with the Royal Leicester Regiment, the Fighting Tigers. He was taken prisoner at Kasserine whilst unconscious after being blown from his carrier, he woke up as a POW in a German hospital. He always said he was in Stalag 4B.

John Pennington

Richard Arthur Broome 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment

My grandad, Dick Broome, was in the Leicestershire Tigers 2nd Battalion and fought throughout the second World War. He was involved in the conflicts in North Africa, Sri Lanka/Ceylon and Burma as a Special Forces Chindit. When I was young he would occasionally share stories from his experiences at war; they were usually desperate tales of struggle and death and I will forever be immensely proud of what he did and somehow survived. Dick passed away in 2002 and will always be remembered.

Dan Broome

Pte. Fred Waltho Leicestershire Regiment

My dad, Private Fred Waltho (Leicester Regiment), was held at Stalag VIIIb for quite a while. I still have his German dog tags and some photos. Also lots of letters from him to his mother which I read from time to time and they always make me cry. In them he's obviously trying to be cheerful and remain positive about finally getting home - it breaks your heart.

He kept 'his war' quite a private thing, not really ever going into any detail other than to relate the odd funny story. Unfortunately, my dad passed away in 1994, the best dad in the world - I miss him so much, he will always be my hero.

Jane Talbot

Cpl. Albert Ellis 1st Battalion Leicester Regiment

Albert Ellis was held at POW Camp Fukuoka 17 Japan. He served with the 1st Battalion, Leicester Regiment in 11th Division enlisted on 9/8/1933. He was born on 16th November 1911. His address was 20 Herbert St, Mansfield, Notts. He was captured in Singapore on 15/2/1942 and was held in Changi 14/2/1942, Havelock Rd 15/5/1942, Thailand 8/10/1942 and Fukuoka 26/6/1944.

Pte. William Henry Hancock 1/5th Btn Leicestershire Regiment (d.22nd Feb 1945)

William Henry Hancock was my mother's cousin. He served with the 1/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. I was always led to believe he was a prisoner of war in Japan, but through research I find he was a prisoner in Poland at Stalag xxa and Stalag 357. He is buried in a cemetery outside Berlin. He died on 22nd February 1945 I presume not long after he arrived there after the 'Death march.' from Poland. I know very little about him, just his name and the story of being a prisoner in Japan. I think what makes his story so sad, is that his mother Harriet Hancock, had 13 children, William being the youngest. Eleven of the children died as babies or toddlers, then William died in the war. He had one surviving brother named Fred. I am pleased I did find a little more about his short life. He was 25 when he died.

Yvonne Norton

Cpl. Albert Leslie Pickering 1/5th Btn. Leicestershire Regiment

Les Pickering was my father. He died in 1987, he would never talk about the war, he always said its the past, let it go. What I do know is that he was captured in Norway and spent five years as a prisoner of war, first in Stalag XXA and then three years in Stalag 383 in Hoenfels, Bavaria. He served with the territorials and was in the brigade of Colonal G J German. If any one should have any information about him please contact me.

Doreen Jackson

Pte. Philip Spall Leicestershire Regiment

When searching through my Mothers effects following her death, my sister found the enclosed photos of Private Philip Spall to whom we believe she was engaged in 1939. It appears he was captured, possibly at Dunkirk, and was POW. I have attached a portrait dated 1939, a POW group photo dated 1942 and a further group of 4 undated. My mother did not marry Philip so I do not know what became of him. Any information will be of great interest.

Tony Bailey

Cpl. Harry Fuke 7th Battalion Leicstershire Regiment

My Dad, Harry Fuke served with the 7th. Battalion Leicestershire Regiment during WW2. I have recently received his army records from MOD Glasgow. There is very little detail of his service from arriving in India.

He disembarked in India (Bombay) 24th Oct 1942 from the Capetown Castle troop ship. Posted to (Special Forces Reg.) crossed out and HQ 14th. Infantry Brigade added. His fitness was downgraded to B1/T from A1 on 5th Nov 1943 - I dont know if this would preclude him from frontline duty?

Now the strange bit in just one line as written on his record: "Proe. On posting to Force 136 S.O.S. to X (i)." (Record shows he was promoted to Corporal). I have since found out that Force 136 was part of SOE. So Im now very confused as to where to go from here. My father use to tell me stories of driving trucks behind enemy lines and burying the contents at given map co-ordinates. But he did not pass a truck test until 1945.

I moved to Australia in 1968 and we never met or spoke again I only have a few memories of things my father spoke of and unfortunately after he died my mother threw all his war years photos and papers away.

Geoff Fuke

John Harwood Leicestershire Regiment

My father, Jack Harwood was captured at Dunkirk in May 1940 and incarcerated in Stalag XXA, Thorn, eventually ending up in Stalag 383, Hohenfals, Germany. He talked little of his experiences but I recall him saying he was on The Death March. I am currently researching his military history.

Janice Newcombe

Eric Toombs Catering Corps

Is there anyone left alive who served with the Leicesters and the Sherwood Foresters in WWII in North Africa, Greece and Italy? My father was in the Catering Corps. Other names we know: Ron Allen, Sgt Arthur Reynolds and Danny Wheatly.

Steve Toombs

Freddie Neighbour Leicestershire Regiment

I am looking for information about my grandad. His name was Freddie Neighbour. He was a Londoner who settled in Wigston when he joined the Leicestershire Regiment. Before the war he served in India and had quite a successful boxing career in the army. During the war he served all through the Africa and Italy campaigns.

Darren Jeffrey

Pte. Albert Edwin "Bill" Billington MID. 1/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment

My father, Albert Billington joined The Territorial Army in Leicester during 1939 realizing that war was inevitable. He had a strong sense of duty and of right and wrong and knew that Hitler had to be stopped. Almost immediately after war had been declared in September 1939 he received his call up papers and joined the 1/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment in the rank of private. He was trained, as all infantry were, to use the Lee Enfield rifle but also went on to be very proficient with both the Mortar, and Sten and Bren guns.

He was sent to Norway as part of the Expeditionary Force under Guy German, his Commanding Officer, in April 1940 and recalled it later as being a complete fiasco. With the sinking of their supply ship, he, like all the rest, possessed no winter clothing and very little in the way of ammunition. Their mortars only had smoke shells whilst rounds for their Lee Enfields, Sten and Bren guns was rationed. He was never bitter in later life about the fact that they had to stop tanks with rifles and that a great many good men were lost in the action.

Dad, like so many fighting men, could never bring himself to remember or discuss his experiences, saying that he preferred to keep those memories locked away. As a family we know little about the confusion that was the Norway Campaign, the actions that Dad saw, and where he was captured. What we do know is that he was Mentioned in Dispatches for something which he told us nothing about. This was recorded in The London Gazette in October 1945 and I believe Guy Gibson was also honoured at the same time.

After his capture, he eventually arrived at Stalag 20A (but we don't know at which site) at Thorn in Poland where he remained until January 1945. He was detailed to work in a local sugar factory, and because he was continually hungry, he would eat the beet raw, and any other by-products he could lay his hands on. The high sugar levels he consumed brought about serious skin problems, notably facial boils, and digestive issues. He later became badly jaundiced too.

He would speak of occasional showers under cold water (the only decent wash you could get) even in the depths of a bitterly cold Polish winter. He would also talk about delousing and fumigation which he detested.

For recreation, he became involved in the camp shows and acted alongside Sam Kydd on more than one occasion. I also have a colour photocopy of one programme at home from the camp which he managed to bring home with him.

One other piece of information is that he was shot in the calf by a German Guard at some point, for what I don�t know. Again, not unprisingly, Dad wouldn�t speak about it.

He endured The Long March to Freedom, and completely against orders, kept a daily log on a postcard. He detailed start and finish points for each day, noting occasionally when they had managed to obtain a Red Cross parcel or if a comrade had died. Throughout the �Death March� my father was accompanied by his friend Frank �Jack� Allen who my father believed had kept him going when he just wanted to lie down and give up. The two would often recount how their boots flapped open at the sole and how they packed them with newspaper and tied them up with bits of string. They talked too of frostbite and sleeping out in open fields under the watchful gaze of brutal guards.

They remained close friends after the war up until Dad died in 1975, after much suffering that we attribute to his many years as a POW. Over the years the postcard deteriorated and Mum rewrote this diary and a couple of years ago, my son and I spent some time plotting the route. It was interesting to read his brief notes about their journey home after being repatriated by the Americans. Much of the journey across Europe was on horse and cart, American lorries, taxis and even at one point by what he described as a Hansom Cab.

Dad always maintained though that he had had an �easy war� compared to some. Sadly, I was never able to have that conversation with him to establish what he endured.

I would really appreciate contact from anyone who knew Dad or who has any information concerning him whilst a prisoner. Thank you in anticipation.

Harry Dahill Leicestershire Rgt.

Harry Dahill served with the Leicestershire Rgt with the 8th Army at Tobruk and El Alamein.


Bernie "Jonny" Connor Leicestershire Rgt.

Unfortunately, I don't know know where my father was interned or who he fought alongside, or where he was captured.

Jaqui oconnor

John B. Turner Leicestershire Rgt.

Does anyone know my dad John B Turner? He served in Palestine and Crete as a regular and during WWII. He had a brother Albert in the Leicestershires as well. He was a year younger. Albert died age 23 in 1942. Dad was a year older but lied about his age. He told everyone he was born in 1919 but it was 1920. He told us stories of a dog called Siren who heard enemy planes before the men did. He was wounded and sent to Clatterbridge Hospital in the Wirral, Cheshire. He met my mum, Jean Langley, who was a nurse there. They married in 1944. Dad was from Worksop in Nottinghamshire but stayed in the Wirral until his death in 1991.

Carole Redgrift

Pte. Albert Henry Turner 1st Btn. Leicestershire Rgt. (d.12th February 1942)

Pte. Albert Turner served with the 1st Btn Leicestershire Regiment during WWII. He died on 12th February 1942 and is buried in Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore.

Thomas William Lett Leicesershire Regiment

Thomas Lett served in the Royal Leicestershire regiment. He was a dog handler.

J. R. Dean 2nd Btn. Royal Leicestershire Regiment

Does anyone remember 4860448 Private J.R. Dean, 2nd Battalion Royal Leicestershire Rgt. He was captured on Crete in May 1941 and was interned in Stalags IVB and IVC.

L. Madill

Pte. Harold Wharmby Leicestershire Regiment

Harold Wharmby was born in July 1914. He served with the Leicestershire Regiment from 12th of Dec 1940 to 13th of Feb 1941. He transferred to the Pioneer Corps then to the Army Catering Corps on the 16th of December 1943. He was discharged in March 1947, but rejoined, continuing to serve with the Catering corps until 1950.

Pte. Harold William Sansome 2nd Btn. Leicestershire Regiment

Harold Sansome served his country from 15th March 1940 to 6th May 1946. His medals were the 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal and the War Medal.

Alan Sansome

Pte. Edward Oliver 2/5th Btn. Leicestershire Regiment (d.17th Jan 1944)

I know very little about my father, Edward Oliver, I was just two years old when he was killed at Monte Cassino. My mother found it very hard to talk about him and remained a war widow for fifty five years. I have often wondered why he was in the Tigers as he always lived in the East end of London and, as I understand, never went to Leicester at all.

My family and I have visited Cassino several times and are members of the Monte Cassino society. We were shocked to see that, at the age of 29, he was one of the oldest men in the cemetery.

Avril Robertson

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