The Manchester Regiment Forum

World War 2 => 1939 - 1945 => Topic started by: Tony RSA on June 17, 2016, 10:13:24 AM

Title: My Uncle
Post by: Tony RSA on June 17, 2016, 10:13:24 AM
Hi all, my uncle served in the Manchester Regiment from 1938 to 1954, he was with the BEF in France at the outbreak of WW2, after the Dunkirk evacuations he went to Burma from 1942 til the end of the war, then in 1945 was posted to Germany (BAOR) then was posted to Malaya, he was 3530513 L/Cpl John Whitehurst.
After demob he worked for British Rail for 30 years then retired.

The reason for my post is to try and get him some more recognition, he died in 1988 and his grave has never had a stone placed on it, him and my aunt, who is still living, never had any children and the whole family knew very little of him, he was never really discussed by my aunt.

I decided to research him and obtained his military records, I cant understand, and never will, why he did not claim his WW2 medals, only his GSM for Malaya.

I have now set the wheels in motion to have a military style headstone made, Ive obtained permission from the MoD to have the Manchester Regiment Crest on his headstone, the order is now placed and just waiting for all the other red tape to be dealt with.

I thought it would be nice if a bit of a remembrance was arranged for him once the headstone has been erected, nothing fancy, just a few of his comrades and maybe a bugler?

Thanks for reading, Tony
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Dave1212 on June 17, 2016, 05:40:31 PM
How wonderful you are honouring the memory of your uncle. Two men in the 'Halifax Hundred' story; Bill Backman (3530515) & Ric Serrick (3530516) enlisted in the 2/Mancs November 17, 1938. Based on your uncle's number, fair bet to say they may have been standing in the same line up. At the time of the German Offensive in May 1940 both men were serving in France with 'C" Company. Ric was wounded but both made it back to England.

Best of luck Tony!

Cheers,

Dave
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Tony RSA on June 17, 2016, 08:27:35 PM
Hi Dave, thanks for nice reply, my uncles enlistment date was 14th November 1938, he was posted to 2nd Battalion from depot on 03 06 1939 then was sent to France on 21 09 1939, I cant make out the majors name that signed the entries, he returned from the BEF on 07 06 1940, two years home then went to India 11 04 1942 then on to Burma.

He lived at 17 Northumberland Street in Hulme when he joined!
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Dave1212 on June 18, 2016, 03:11:38 AM
A repost of a couple of photos of the 2/Mancs while in India. Perhaps you have already seen these. The top photo was shared by Syd Goodman's family. Syd enlisted March 2, 1939 & served the duration of the war in 'B' Company. This was taken in India shortly after the war ended. Only men ID'd are Syd, back row 11th from the left & an English lad, Francis Walter Bent 3rd row from the top, 8th from the left.

The 2nd photo(s) is from Clary Hook's collection. Clary enlisted March 28, 1939 & was in 'D' Company at the time of Dunkirk. This photo was taken in India 1942/43. Only men ID'd are Clary 2nd row, 2nd from the left & Gerald Walker to Clary's left.

Odds are slim I realize but perhaps your uncle might be included. Fingers crossed...
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: mack on June 18, 2016, 05:41:31 AM
hiya tony
why don't you claim your uncles medals,all you need is your aunts permission,is he the john Whitehurst who was buried in ashton cemetery on 25th july 1988.your aunt may have struggled to pay the costs for his funeral and that's why theres no headstone,there was no service at the funeral either

mack
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Tony RSA on June 18, 2016, 07:30:21 AM
Hi Mack, I did claim his medals,  Burma Star, 1939-1945 Star, Defence Medal and War Medal, he already received his GSM for Malaya in 1954. Because he has no immediate family to pass the medals down to I will be donating them to the Manchester Regiment Museum!

p.s, I did note that he did not qualify for the France & Germany Star although he was in France at the outset of the war, he went to Germany after they surrendered!
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: charlie on June 18, 2016, 08:16:40 AM


p.s, I did note that he did not qualify for the France & Germany Star although he was in France at the outset of the war, he went to Germany after they surrendered!


The France and Germany Star was only awarded for service in NW Europe between 6th June 1944 and 8th May 1945.

Charlie
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Robert Bonner on June 18, 2016, 04:14:32 PM
George and Roy (Artyhughes) will probably be able to confirm that your uncle  was Pte Whitehurst of HQ Company with the 1st Battalion in Wuppertal, Berlin & later Malaya.  I don't think that there was any other Whitehurst serving in the battalion at that time.  Assuming that I have the right man he was a key member of the battalion cross-country team and  an outstanding long-distance runner. 

I feel sure that the Ashton-under-Lyne members of the Regimental Association would want to be associated with your remembrance when the headstone is in position and I suggest that initially you should contact
Captain Michael Hunt,the Asst Regtl Secretary - South, at The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, Walker House, Exchange Flags, Liverpool L2 3YL.  (Tel:0151 242 2322/2876)  He will put you in touch with the Ashton OCA.

And well done for remembering your Uncle and his service with the Regiment.

 
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Dave1212 on June 18, 2016, 04:59:14 PM
This was in our family collection (& best scan I can muster) however I cannot identify any of the men. Based on Robert's comments, perhaps your uncle might be included.
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Tony RSA on June 18, 2016, 05:23:36 PM
Thank you for the valuable information, my uncle was indeed a cross country runner, its in his army service records!
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: artyhughes on June 18, 2016, 05:28:54 PM
Hi Tony,I remember your uncle very well,as mentioned by Robert Bonner John was an excellent X country runner and was a member of the battalion team,during our time in BAOR I believe he was in B Company,when the regiment went to Malaya it was dispersed over a large area and unfortunately soldiers lost contact.I had the pleasure of meeting your uncle after his discharge on Ashton U Lyne railway station in 1963 when I was serving with the 9th battalion as an instructor.
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Tony RSA on June 18, 2016, 06:42:17 PM
Hi Arty, I never thought that I would come across anybody that actually knew and served with my uncle John, if you are local to me and would like to see his service records I can easily arrange it, I could use some help with parts of it! Tony
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: artyhughes on June 18, 2016, 06:57:44 PM
Hello Tony,Unfortunately as much as I would like to it is a no go,I now live in Gloucester and my wife needs looking after 24/7,I have been thinking(turning over the grey matter)If I remember correctly your uncle was B company arms storeman and a most reliable one at that.I sparred with John a few times he followed the battalion boxing team and often turned up at their training.If you contact a Graham Braithwaite at the armoury he attends most military and old comrades funerals in the Ashton area he may be able to assist with a bugler and standards.
Best Wishes,Roy
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: Tony RSA on June 18, 2016, 07:09:37 PM
Thanks for that Roy, it was just a passing thought, I look after Johns wife (my aunt) three times a week, shes in sheltered housing at Hurst Cross. Where is the Armoury? I will certainly follow up your recommendation, Tony
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: sphinx on June 18, 2016, 10:31:12 PM
Thanks for that Roy, it was just a passing thought, I look after Johns wife (my aunt) three times a week, shes in sheltered housing at Hurst Cross. Where is the Armoury? I will certainly follow up your recommendation, Tony

Tony,

On Old Street, at the bottom next to the Library.

regards
Title: Re: My Uncle
Post by: george.theshed197 on June 19, 2016, 07:05:36 PM
Dear Tony,
I knew that something in respect of the photograph rang bells for me but for the life of me nothing gelled. Yes I recognised the face but until I spotted Roy's (Arty) comments today I could not think where from. Then today I had to go hunting back for a while until I found his information.
Of course - your uncle was our arms-storeman at Kroh up in the "boondocks" of Kedah near to the Thai/Siamese Border.  and a damn good one he was also May he Rest in Peace. I was Cpl of 6 Platoon at that time.
Unfortunately like my longtime old friend Roy I too now live down in Hampshire near the Solent and age and time reduce my travelling severly these days.
For reasons possibly best known to himself he never joined The Malayan Vets when we formed it up in Ashton way way back at the 'Old' Ladysmith Pub at the rear of the Town Hall, in those days mine host then being Maurice Taylor also a former Malayan man; one of the first places I started looking and also the book Jungle Bashers - but not a mention- however all is now revealed and I can stop looking for the reasons as to why my memory suddenly jarred in the first place.
Sorry that I cannot add anything further in your search..
Take care,
George.