The Manchester Regiment Forum

1946 to 1958 => Germany => Topic started by: themonsstar on May 24, 2012, 11:07:59 AM

Title: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: themonsstar on May 24, 2012, 11:07:59 AM
1.   Location        B.A.O.R.    Map ref    F 598935
2.   Strength        31 Officers          565  ORs        15 Perm  Attached
3.   How Employed

The advanced party left Altrincham (Cheshire) on 19th June 1948 arriving in present location (Wuppertal) of 21st June 48 and proceeded to take over from The 1st Bn York and Lancaster Regiment. This take over included three Barracks, namely Anglesey, Bangor and Harding.  The taking over of the two former mentioned Bks went quite smoothly, however, Harding Bks proved to be a more difficult proposition due to the fact that it contained all the usual issued accommodation items etc with only a care taking party ( i.e. 1 Offr & 5 ORs) to supervise the guarding  and security of the same, guards being provided by members of the C.M.W.S.

Consequently this Bn was still taking Harding Barracks over when the main party arrived  2nd  July 48 and even when the rear party arrived 11th July 48.  Eventually, both Quartermasters reconciled their inventories and Lt JK. Stone was appointed Camp Commandant of Harding Barracks.

The Battalion soon settle down, Bn HQ,HQ company and B company being accommodated in Anglesey Bks and A, C & D companies in Bangor Bks, these barracks were divided by a main road, though this is of small consequence as the distance between them is negligible.

As soon as the initial ‘settling in’ period terminated all companies commenced Cadres in preparation for the training of the National Service (N.S.) soldiers, the first draft of which arrived on Sunday, 8th August.
 
During the period 27th-30th July the Bn rifle team captained by Lt FE. Talbot held their ground at the 2nd Division rifle meeting, Paderborn, and though the final result left much to be desired,they took pride of place over all other Infantry units within the Divisional area.

A Brigade Signal Exercise was held on 24/25 August and proved to be very instructive, much benefit was derived by Battalions signals from this exercise, though it is fair to add that our wireless communications throughout the exercise were satisfactorily maintained. 

Signals and wireless communications must not be passed over without first mentioning the fact that there is an amateur wireless club within the Bn. Ably supervised by the Signal Sgt, Sgt Dobbert, some £55 Odd pounds have been spent on transmitting equipment to date and results gained have justified this expenditure.

During the early part of August we were visited by reporters of the Manchester Evening News and the Manchester Evening Chronicle, the reporter from the latter was an old 9th Battalion Officer (W.  Hornby ), many old friendships were renewed.  Unfortunately, some three days following the departure of the two reporters both papers printed a story to the effect that soldiers of the Battalion hoped, in the near future to be able to speak to friends and relatives in England through the medium of the amateur wireless station.  This report in turn, originated a rather curt letter addressed to the Commanding Officer from HQ CCG Signals and Communications Berlin.  A reply was sent attribute in the story to either (a) misunderstanding information given, or (b) the unfounded supposition of the newspaper concerned.

The training of NS soldiers was well underway wef the arrival of the first draft 8th August 1948 (the aforementioned), and is continuing along the same level to date.  New drafts are arriving every fortnight.  Though young and inexperienced they seem to take to army routine very quickly, however, rather surprising that the standard of education of these N.S. soldiers is so low. Great stress is being made on education within the Battalion and though as pointed out hitherto the standard of knowledge is low, there are only five, illiterates, who are learning surprisingly well.

The N.S. soldier's day is a busy one for him and for all ranks entrusted with his training.  Reveille is 06:30 hrs and the last parade of the day finishes at 19:00 hrs.  Evening classes in Woodwork and German are held nightly, the latter proving very popular with all ranks.

The other side of the N.S. soldier’s training consists of normal barracks training on all Infantry weapons and subjects, also a 3 1/2 day camp during their first week here and a 24 hour exercise every  subsequent week, all training out of barracks is thoroughly enjoyed.  The order of the day is to train these N.S. soldiers into effective Infantry soldiers, this is being done by Officers and NCO instructors.


4.   Administration

Considerable difficulty was experienced with the arrival of the first N.S.  Drafts due to the shortage of training stores, in particular rifles and 2 inch mortars.  Lack of grindery equipment also was slow to materialise, however, these difficulties have been overcome and the Bn is in good supply of the latter and is up to establishment, re, the former.
Ordinary everyday administration of the Bn continues to run smoothly with the exception that we are still 4 Army Catering Corps Cooks below are establishment, these according to D.C.A. 2nd Inf Div, will be forthcoming in the near future.


5.   M.T.

Running repairs are causing concern at present, the reason being that the Bn has no spares whatsoever, Administration duties are so heavy that the establishment of load carrying vehicles shows itself to be entirely inadequate.  We are compelled to keep a standing detail of five 3 ton carriers of R.A.S.C. to carry out normal duties.
When a vehicle is badly smashed or has a major defect.  It is in usually six weeks before workshops will give the necessary document (AF G1043) certifying it beyond local repair. Not until this certificate is received, Is it possible to indent for a replacement vehicle, the time lag between indenting for and receiving a vehicle is sometimes three weeks, this means that the Bn is beraft of a vehicle, which it can ill afford, for two months.

6.   Welfare

The Bn is fortunate in that there is a most excellent W.V.S.  Canteen in Anglesey  Bks, ably supervised by a Miss Ward, Bassie for the troops, she has done an untold power of good regarding the soldiers welfare, organising trips to places of interest i.e. Cologne, Moehne See etc ,etc.  also, she conducts discussion groups, organises socials, both for the troops and married families, who have a club of their own within walking distance of the barracks.  Everything possible is being done to discourage the troops from walking around Wuppertal, in the aimless manner one often finds them wont to do, to this end, the P.R.I. organised a fortnightly dance and the AKC provides films on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The NAAFI Canteen leaves much to be desired in so much that it requires decorating this will be done in the near future.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: george.theshed197 on June 02, 2012, 10:00:41 AM
Very interesting to read - - I remembered Barry Dobbert (Sigs Sgt) and his Amatuer Radio very well established by the time I joined the Battalion at Anglesey Barracks November 1949. I also remember the three WVS ladies, Miss Ward and her team but I seem to remember her name as being BESSIE not Bassie ? She moved to Berlin with us and had a newbie join her who became very rapidly nickname' as  'The Black Angel'. ::) ::)  My Lips are sealed  ;D ;D ;D ;D
One of my many happier military duties by 1950 when we had moved to Spandau Barracks Berlin was to escort the Ladies on their horse riding trips into the Grunewald - happy trips indeed which made a great change from the many many onerous guards and various other duties.
George.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: themonsstar on June 07, 2012, 11:51:23 AM
Hi George

I have some others I will be posting soon.


Roy
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: george.theshed197 on June 07, 2012, 05:24:00 PM
Looking forward to reading them Roy,.
George.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: Robert Bonner on June 07, 2012, 07:50:08 PM
WVS volunteer - Bessie Ward - was a splendid lady.  Much respected and admired by all ranks of  the 1st Battalion.  She was very much missed when we left Germany for the Far East.

Please Roy, keep all these memories coming.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: artyhughes on June 22, 2012, 09:30:51 PM
Much has been said about Bessie the WVS lady a fine lady she was too,however there was a second WVS lady who worked in tandem with Bessie,her name was Iris if I remember correctly she was blonde,I often accompanied Iris and Bessie when they went horse riding,at that time I was employed as a regimental groom with a fellow groom named Bob Seddon.(came from the Holt Road area of Liverpool)
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: george.theshed197 on June 23, 2012, 11:26:00 AM
Morning Roy,
I wondered where you had got to, great to hear from you again. You will also remember another pair of potential riders possibly - Tom Sawyer - Cook Cpl I believe and Billy Taylor  he used to have Yankee B.D's for best ??)
Wasn't there also yet another lady, came from the other barracks behind us in Spandau, by name of Val yet another horse riding lady if I remember rightly - happy days.
George.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: artyhughes on June 24, 2012, 08:59:25 PM
Hi George,I am still here until the 20/07,I vaguely remember the cook Cpl(Tom Sawyer)the third WVS lady you refer to "Val"I believe she married a Sergeant Roy Stephenson from the Manchesters,he was the wpn trg sgt and a member of the battalion shooting team.Roy and Val upto a two years ago,where living in Zimbabwe and I still think they are still there and unable to get out,I have their email address but each time I have emailed them it is un deliverable.
Keep Well,Roy
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: george.theshed197 on June 25, 2012, 10:45:51 AM
Hi again Roy,
Was that the Sgt V.A. Stephenson who was still with us in the second tour to Berlin, 1955 thence down to Minden ?? or am I confusing him with yet another Sgt V.A Stevens who was still with us down to Warley Barracks, Brentwood. ? I left the Bn down there and finished up at Fulwood Barracks until my redundancy came through in April/May '59 along with old 'Five Buck's Ken Graham and others being transferred to other units from the Amalgamation. Hey ho !!
Hope you will you be continuing to contact us through the Forum when you move south?
Regards to both of you from Alice and myself.
George.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: artyhughes on June 25, 2012, 09:13:36 PM
Hi to George and Alice

It was a Roy Stephenson,he was with us in Wuppertal,Berlin,I believe he went to the depot at A-u-l when the regiment went to Malaya,roy rejoined the battalion on the 2nd tour of Berlin,I cannot remember him at Warley or when the regiment went off to Kenya and Bahrain,Roy was attached to the 9th Bn early in the sixties and I remember him in Ballykinlar N reland,he was still serving with the Bn in 1968,Roy was eventually seconded to one of our commonwealth regiments,thats how he probabley ended up in Zimbabwe.
I will keep in touch with the forum once Jean and I have settled in.
Roy
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: Robert Bonner on June 26, 2012, 09:24:18 AM
If you go to the regimental image archive you will find two excellent photos of Sgt Stephenson on the Depot staff in the mid 50's.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: george.theshed197 on June 26, 2012, 12:47:59 PM
I have also checked on the photograph from Warley and realised that I was looking at the incorrect one today I had mixed him up with the chap stood next to Jim Bibby on the fourth row from the front. The correct one was present at the funeral of Pitt VC, and remember him now. Apoligies all round.
George
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: rafboy on July 02, 2012, 10:42:13 PM
George has asked me to post the photo of Bessie Ward which he sent me as a PDF attachment.
Cliff
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: themonsstar on July 19, 2012, 01:35:13 PM
Bessie Ward

Still unable to remember the flaming dogs name !
G.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: colin parry on July 03, 2020, 09:40:01 AM
my dad Henry Parry 14191538 was in the Manchester regiment at this time,he met my mum in Wuppertal.when they were in Berlin in 1951 my dad and another soldier Ronald Thomas made the mistake of going into the Russian zone and were arrested by the Russians they were then tortured and tried as being British spies.They were sentenced to 15 years.After 6 months of torture and starvation my dad was moved to Cottbus prison,he escaped from the prison and got all the back to Berlin and past the Russians and the French,and back to safety.Ron Thomas spent over 20 years in the hands of the Russians before he got home,a very broken man.     I am researching my dads military history and waiting to get his full service history,he was also in the Kings regiment and the Parachute regiment at the age of 15 in 1944.My dad loved his time in the military.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: rafboy on July 03, 2020, 10:35:40 AM
Welcome Colin, great photos of your dad. I tried to turn the motorbike one for you but it still re posts sideways, I will try it as a separate post shortly. An amazing experience your father had and a very lucky man to excape.
My dad was there at the same time 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips, I joined my parents in Wuppertal in 1947 and went to berlin as well. I beleive my father was the Pay Sgt at that time so would have known your dad. I was aged 7 to 9 whilst there and once crossed the Russian border for about 2 minutes in a very remote area not too far from the flat we were living in, done as a dare by a friend. My memory of that time is not brilliant now, I think the Battalion came back from Berlin in 1950, they went to Malaya in 1951, did your parents go with them?  My mother and me joined my father in Penang in February 1952. My father had been a Japanese POW and did not want to go to Malaya with the Battalion and transferd to the Pay Corps, the Army being what it was sent him to Malaya with the Manchesters as their Pay Sgt.
There are several photos from Germany and Malaya in the photo section of the Forum.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: rafboy on July 03, 2020, 10:55:25 AM
Hope this works, I have change the file name and re sized it to 75% of the original.
Success, It would not turn original size even with a file name change.
You may like to add your photos to the Germany section of http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=628.0
Cliff
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: colin parry on July 03, 2020, 10:59:19 AM
when they went to Malaya my dad was in the hands of the Russians,he escaped in October 1951
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: mack on July 03, 2020, 01:53:12 PM
hiya colin welcome to the forum

according to the russians,your dad along with ron thomas of cheriton st,longsight manchester age 21 and bandsman james royle of inverness rd,dukinfield age 18 and bandsman giddins age 20 all from the manchester regt,had sought political asylum in east germany.

there were articles in.
the dundee courier 29-3-51
liverpool echo 28-3-51 and 24-5-51

i believe the russians,why would four intelligent soldiers pass up the opportunity of living in luxury in a dog kennel and living off a bowl of rope soup in siberia for the rest of their lives ;D ;D ;D

mack
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: colin parry on July 03, 2020, 03:28:59 PM
hello Mack I like the way you put that,the Russians still today like to tell the odd lie or two.I do not know what happened to the other soldiers with my dad and Ron Thomas,i hope they got out.
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: mack on July 03, 2020, 09:54:28 PM
hiya colin
pte donald,william giddins deliberately crossed into the soviet zone so as to get into trouble,he wanted to get married but his regiment was leaving germany,and this was a way to delay his departure,poor james royle his pal went along with him,they were returned to the allied zone and given 49 days detention

colin
donald was still alive up to about 9yrs ago,i have a last known address for him in camberley

ps he eventually married his girl herta rosemann the following year at aldershot

mack
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: colin parry on July 04, 2020, 04:11:59 AM
wow,i will have to look into this more.Thank you
Title: Re: Historical Quarterly Report 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1948
Post by: colin parry on July 12, 2020, 04:57:49 AM
Donald Giddins is alive and well,i spoke to him and his wife Herta both very nice people.Donald Giddins was in the Manchester regiment band then he was in the Kings regiment and I think he said then the REME, in all for 30 years.He said he was not with my dad when they got captured but they were in a prison together at the start.Donald Giddins and James Royles were released shortly after.He told me he had been told he could not get married so for him he done it so he could get married.He said he did know my dad and he saw my dad after he escaped from Cottbus.He told me he still plays the saxophone today.
James Royles sadly died on 22 December 2009.