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I have been roped in to volunteer for the Trent to Trenches project that the Nottingham Castle is doing to mark the 100 years since the war in 2014 and basicaly what i need is if anyone has any memories handed down from relatives such as medals , letters, diaries so i can pass these on to my cordinator who will then contact you also names of Soldiers who served in the war and what regement they served in all these items will be displayed in the Castle in 2014, i know its a lon way away but given the amount of work we will have to do time will soon go

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i assume by virtue of the fact that the title is Trent to Trenches, you mean Nottingham people? My grandad served in the Royal Engineers in WW1 as a captain but wasnt from Nottingham and never lived here

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Same here. My grandad from Edinburgh was a Gordon Highlander in World War One and was decorated. I have three embroidered postcards he sent back to grannie from the trenches. I have only seen the like displayed in Edinburgh Castle.

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Me too.

My dad served in India in the 1930s, Stood guard on Ghandi, and was in the Normandy Landings.

Long before we had Nottingham connections.

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Strangely coincidental , I lost a distant relative in WW1 The only one I lost in both wars. I've only just found out he'd died , after I found a memorial stone in an Oxfordshire village last October, he was a 'boy soldier' (around 14 when he signed up) he's the only relative I can find that lost his life in either of the world wars. Both my parents familes were too young for WW1 and too old for WW2 . I discovered some of those embroidered postcards in my Mamas belongings years ago , it wouldn't surprise me if my sister hasn't perloined them too.

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Whilst I remember I will archive this here, some web sites mentioned are already gone.

I will log this one in case it also disappears.

Stan Twomey Aug 12th 1912 - July 14th 2008


From: Iain Kerr <>

Subject: Re: Hampshire Regiment (Stan Twomey) Info Request

Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 09:56:55 +0000

At 18:52 29/12/00 +0000, wrote:

>My Father, Stanley Bernard Twomey, Served in the Hampshire Regiment

>During the 30's he served in the India Campaign.

>He left the army after WW11, and now lives in retiremernt in

>The City of Glendale, a Suburb of Los Angeles.


>I would be grateful for any information about the Regiment,

>Particularly during the Indian Campaign era.


>He would like information about any former collegues.


>Can anyone help with any sources of information


There was no "India Campaign" between the two World Wars. I suspect that

he was referring to the intermittent operations on the North-West Frontier

of India which revived in 1919 and in the 1930s.

The 1st Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment was serving in India in the 1930s

and took an active part in the North-West Frontier campaigns of 1936-37 and


The 1st Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment was serving in India when World

War II broke out in Sep 1939. It was deployed to Egypt in 1940 and

involved in the first British offensive in the Western Desert, serving at

Sidi Barrani, until it was sent to Malta in Feb 1941. The battalion

remained on the island for the entire siege during which Hitler and

Mussolini attempted to bomb the island into submission. In 1943, with the

1st Malta Brigade, it joined the assault on Sicily and suffered 300

casualties in three weeks. In Oct 1943, the battalion was permitted to

return home for the first time in 22 years. In England in Jan 1944 it

began to train for the Normandy landings, code-named 'Operation

Overlord'. The 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment, with 2nd Battalion, The

Devonshire Regiment and 1st Battalion, The Dorsetshire Regiment constituted

the now famous 231st Brigade of the 50th Northumbrian Division, sometimes

known as the 1st Malta Brigade. For the Hampshires the Normandy landings

were to be their third D-Day, the regiment having served as assault troops

in the landings in Sicily and Italy; with five of the six active battalions

being used as assault troops. On D-Day the 231st Brigade landed on Gold

beach opposite Le Hamel, where they suffered over 100 casualties on the

beach, including their Commanding Officer Colonel Nelson Smith wounded and

his Second-in-Command killed. Having consolidated their beach area they

moved around behind Le Hamel and took the village before moving on to

complete their mission, and reached their ultimate D-Day objective

Arromanches by nightfall. This was to be become the site of the all

important British artificial harbour known as the Mulberry Harbour. C

Company, 1st Battalion was the first British infantry to return to Belgian

soil. The 1st Battalion continued to serve in North-West Europe until VE Day.

The 2nd Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment was deployed to the continent in

1939 with the BEF serving in 1st Guards Brigade as part of the 1st Division

(Major-General Hon. H.L.G. Alexander) and fought to the withdrawal from

Dunkirk. The battalion reinforced and re-equipped at home before being

deployed to Algeria in Nov 1942, where it was involved in the heavy

fighting before Tunis. Major H W Le Patnourel was awarded the Victoria

Cross for his heroism during this battle. The 2nd Battalion joined the

128th (Hampshire) Brigade and took part in the Salerno landing. The 128th

Brigade went on to fight in the Italian campaign, including battles at

Monte Ornito and at Monte Cassino.

The regiment also had a number of territorial and war-raised battalions

that were involved in World War II.

Battle Honours WWII

The Hampshire Regiment lost 2,094 men killed during the war. The regiment

won the 'Royal" accolade and the following battle honours during WWII:

North-West Europe 1940: Dunkirk 1940; North-West Europe 1940.

North-West Europe 1944-1945: Normandy Landing; Tilly sur Seulles; Caen;

Hill 112; Mount Pincon; Jurques; St Pierre la Vielle; The Nederrijn; The

Roer; The Rhineland; The Rhine; North-West Europe 1944-1945.

North Africa (1st Army Operations): Tebourba Gap; Sidi Nsir; Hunt's Gap;

Montagne Farm; Fondouk; Pichon; El Kourzia; North Africa 1940-43.

Sicily: Landing in Sicily; Regalbuto; Sicily 1943.

Italy: Landing at Porto San Venere; Salerno; Salerno Hills; Battipaglia;

Cave di Tirrenni; Volturno Crossing; Garigliano Crossing; Damiano; Monte

Ornito; Cerasola; Cassino II; Trasimene Line; Advance to Florence; Gothic

Line; Monte Gridolfo; Montegaudio; Coriano; Rimimi Line; Montescudo;

Frisoni; Montigalio; Cosina canal Crossing; Lamone Crossing; Pidurea; Italy


Greece 1944-1945: Athens; Greece 1944-1945.

Recent History

After their distinguished service in two World Wars, the Hampshire Regiment

was given the Royal accolade in 1946. In 1947, in common with those of

other infantry regiments, the 2nd Battalion was disbanded. In the post-war

years, the 1st Battalion, The Royal Hampshire Regiment carried out

operational tours in Palestine, Malaya, Borneo, Jamaica, British Honduras,

British Guiana and repeatedly in Northern Ireland. It also spent several

tours in the British Army of the Rhine in West Germany.

On 9 Sep 1992, having successfully resisted earlier attempts to amalgamated

them with other county regiments, The Royal Hampshire Regiment was

amalgamated with The Queen's Regiment to form The Princess of Wales's Royal

Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshire) with two regular battalions. The new

regiment is the senior English Infantry Regiment of the Line and recruits

form the southern home counties of Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and Surrey.

Regimental Museum

Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum and Memorial Garden, Serle's House,

Southgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9EG; phone: 44 (0) 1962

863658. The Curator is Lt Col HDH Keatinge. The museum offers uniforms,

medals, weapons and other memorabilia of the Regiment and of the 37th

(1702) and 67th (1758) which amalgamated in 1881.

Regimental Histories

"The Royal Hampshire Regiment"; by C.T. Atkinson; published in Glasgow (1950).

"The Royal Hampshire Regiment"; by Alan Wykes; published in London (1968).

Wishing you and your family a good New Year.

Yours aye,

Iain Kerr in Windsor, Berkshire

Web Page at:

RootsWeb Sponsor and Listowner for the KERR; McTURK and SOUTHON lists and

the WORLDWAR2 List.

Maintainer of the Ayrshire Surnames Index Database at:

Maintainer of the GENUKI Ayrshire pages at:

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My Grandfather was in the trenches at Ypres, battle of the Somme and I think at some point Paschendale (sp) I have all the post cards he sent to my Grandmother,some with writing on them in pencil thanking her for the "tin of ham" she had sent,"the boys and I enjoyed it because the canteen is not very good where we are at the moment" some of the cards are the embroided type and there is also a collection of romantic picture cards starting with a "date" leading on through the "engagement", "wedding" and finishing with a "christening of a baby" My Grandfather was in a Bantam regiment formed in Nottingham (Notts and D*rby's) halfway through the war from "Men of small stature" ie: miners and the like


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Hi plantfit, what a wonderful treasure trove you have in your possession; all that history you can literally hold in your hand. No amount of money could buy these 'passed on' possessions.

I note your mean description: 'men of small stature'; no man is of 'small stature' when involved in fighting for his country!

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I note your mean description: 'men of small stature'; no man is of 'small stature' when involved in fighting for his country!

Damn right there girl

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I think to join the army back then you needed to be 5ft 7in minimum, Bantam regiments were formed from men shorter than this, the name bantam refers them to the "little domestic fowl, of which the cockerel is very pugnacious,small but spirited" as quoted in the book The Bantams,the untold story of the first world war, by Sidney Allinson

A famous (although any fighting soldier is famous in my mind) was a certain Billy Butlin of holiday camp fame, the Bantams were mainly used for digging under enemy lines and camps to lay explosives, you probably heard about that tactic, when one particular camp or dump was blown up it was said the explosion could be heard and felt in Lindon, when my Grandfather returned to this "land fit for heroes he was so appalled by the lack of work and respect from authority that he threw his medals down the street never to be seen again, my Grandmother used to knit socks,gloves and balaclava's for the troops along with other ladies from the meadows,later in life both my grandparents sold poppies outside Bridgeway Hall where ,when I was young I also used to stand with them on those cold autumn days and was so proud to stand with such a great and devoted couple, I still miss them even after 45 years since their deaths, My grandfather never spoke about the war but you could see in his eyes that part of his youth was missing


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As a little kid, we had neighbours in their late 80's.John William ( Jack) and Gertrude Atkins. Jack was born in Oxford in 1864,he ran away from home at 14 and joined the army.The 45th regiment of foot,the Nottingham regiment,amalgamated 3 years later with the Derby regiment to become the Sherwood foresters,1st and second battalions.His record shows ,as a "boy bandsman",he was shipped to Egypt,1899 saw him posted to action in the Boer war.At the end of the war,1902 he was posted to India.

1914,the 1st battalion,came from India, strait to the killing fields of Flanders.Jack was wounded twice,and remained with his battalion untill November 11th, 1918 and the end of the "War to end all wars".On he went again, to see skirmish's in northern India.

Sargeant-major,John William Atkins retired from the army in 1926.

After all he had experienced,he told my dad that one of his biggest thrills,was watching his beloved Forest, win the1959 FA cup,on our telly.

Jack died in 1961,he had no surving family,I inherited all of his military items,even his paybook.

There is an abundence of information on the internet about W.W.1.I am not sure about obtaining medals,and relics.Most seem to be family heirlooms.

I think most people of my age 62,had a grandfather or knew an old guy down the road ,who was a veteran of W.W.1 Strange to think we will be witness to the 100th aniversary of the outbreak of this war,1914.

There must be a memorial to this war in every city,town, and village,across the U.K.

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Wonderful story about Jack Atkins, mudgie49 - how lucky you are to have inherited Jack's ww1 memorabilia.

Good of you to point out that in a couple of years time we will 'be witness to the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of ww1'. What an occasion that will be for those of us who truly respect what our forefathers did for us in times of war.

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Most of the casualties during this war ,came from the massive artillery barrages, lasting for days.Thousands of men were atomised, or buried alive,it gave rise to the term, missing in action.

I am sure, those of you who have visited the cemeterys in France and Belgium of W.W.1,noticed how many graves there are marked "unknown".

There is only an estimated number of deaths,owing to missing company returns,probably blown up or buried ,with the company clerks. It is also accepted that every family in the U.K.was affected by a death or casualty.

So it is not uncommon while researching this period,to come up with MIA,when looking for somone.My paternal grandfather,died during the second battle of the Somme ,3rd battalion the Black Watch.

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With modern DNA methods it would be possible to load the database with profiles from the graves.

and compare them with modern relatives.

They will never do it due to cost.

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Incidentally, I recall a Russian grave being exhumed in Newark 1990s?

Some general or other? and the body returned to Russia.

Or was it Poland? Identity confirmed by DNA?

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Hi Plantfit, the minimum height in1914 was 5'3'', below that you were into the ''Bantam'' battalions.I seem to recall a militia or territorial outfit from north Nott's

,the ''Welbeck Rifles'',being added to a ''Bantam'' battalion.There were complete divisions of ''Bantams''. Considering, the average height of an Englishman in 1910,was 5' 6'',not surprised we had so many little u'ns.

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By jove your right.

I know someone who was at the exhumation.

For which there is a laid down procedure.

But its so long since I used it, it escapes me?

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You are quite right Mudgie 49, minimum height 5ft 3in with an expanded chest size of 34inches, if you can get hold of the book The Bantams it's well worth a read, there was also a center page write up about the bantams in the Evening post some years back, I do have a copy and will look it out when I get home and will post any relevent info


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My grandad, who had a shop on Mansfield Road, fought with the Royal Scots in WW1, they were so desperate for replacements that they took on anybody, wherever they came from. I have his Scottish dress cap and Sam Brown belt, but best of all, his diary of Xmas 1917, describing what they ate in the trenches for Xmas dinner and a football match on Boxing Day. I also have a well used WW1 Lee Enfield rifle and bayonet. I went to a well publicised WW1 event at Duxford a few years ago, based on similar lines and co-ordinated with the BBC . I took this stuff with me and they were just interested in dealing with kids and not interested in my treasures and stories, I thought it was appalling, they didn't want to even look at any of these priceless artifacts, I just walked out and left them to it, can you blame me for doing that.

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Hi Rog, for many years I wrote articles that were published in various journals and magazines,mostly on the American civil war. My second interest is W.W.1.due to the fact as a kid,we had living history all around us,the "old veterans". I mentioned one outfit from Nott's',it is amazing just how many county and city men,served in the "Bantam battalions".When you consider on average 600 men to a battalion,the Sherwood Foresters had 14 regular battalions that were constantly supplied with men from,depot battalions back home. "Where have all the young men gone".

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