Author Topic: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!  (Read 6635 times)

serenaJ

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Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« on: May 14, 2009, 01:26:08 AM »
Hi everyone

I've posted a couple of queries so thought it would be polite to briefly intro. My family are originally from Wigan, our military representatives so far are South Lancs Regiment (WWI - grandfather's uncle, MIA Gallipoli August 1915), and Loyals (my grandfather, WWII).

However, my grandfather (John Henry Jones, a colour sergeant, then WO II ) was for some reason "borrowed" by the Manchesters - we're not sure when or why - and ended up in Wuppertal with them after the war. He met a German lady working as a translator in the barracks, and the rest is history, she became my grandmother. Subsequently they went to Malaya before he left the army.

Presently I don't have any questions on his service with the Manchesters - although after we've transcribed all the voice tapes he left of his military and subsequent FCO career, I might find I have quite a list!

Thanks for reading -
Serena

Offline rafboy

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 02:31:29 PM »
Hi Serena
Have a look at the "Photos By Battalion" section the both the "Photos From Germany" and "Far East Photos"  He could be in some of the ones there.  Also Robbert Bonners book Jungle Bashers is a very good account of the Battalions time in Malaya and has lots of photos in it.  The book is available from the Manchester Regiment Museum in Ashton Under Lyne.  There is a CQMS J H Jones listed under "S" Company on page 56 and Colour Sgt Jones in a group photo of WO's and Sgts of "HQ" and "S" company on pge 85, my father is in this one as well.
Cliff
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

serenaJ

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2009, 05:00:13 PM »
Hi Cliff,

Many thanks, I just rang my grandmother to get some more details, and it's led to some revelations for me!

Yes, he is the Colour Sgt Jones in Bonner's book p.85 - grandmother has a copy. She says she was close friends with Bonner at the Wuppertal barracks, they were all in the same circle. He and my grandfather corresponded for a long time, she still has all the letters somewhere. Grandfather was in HQ company, had come over from the Loyals as a result of regiment amalgamation, his p/w said "Loyals" but "he felt himself a Manchester".

I can't see him in the German photos (yet to check Far East ones), but I'll see if my grandmother does. I know she has a lot of photos, if I can locate any of Wuppertal / Malaya I'll post them on here  :)

If you don't mind my asking, what's your father's name? Grandma has a phenomenal memory for people, she might remember him.

Best

Serena

Offline rafboy

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2009, 05:13:13 PM »
Hi Serena
My father was 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips, I was in Wuppertal, Berlin and Malaya with him.  My mothers name was Stella, there are several photos of us in the Far East ones.  My father had been a Japanese POW but stayed in the Manchester Regiment after the war.  He transfered to the RAPC when we came home from Berlin, I think mainly to try to avoid going back to the Far East but the Army being the Army posted him back to the 1st Bn as their pay Sgt.
Cliff 
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2009, 05:23:20 PM »
Hi There Serena,
Welcome to the forum. Yes the photographs mentioned by Cliff above include your Grandfather J.H. Jones, known to most of us as Harry. As I remember it - Wuppertal saw a mass exodus of ranks from Corporal and above due to 'Time Expiry' for many NCO's at Wuppertal and a 'mass influx' of similarly ranked 'foreigners,as we were referred to by the old Manchester Regiment stalwarts remaining, from most if not all of the other Regiments of Lancashire and Cumbria. I came from The Border Regiment. Hence the possible term of 'borrowing' to which you have made reference, eventually we all became 'Manchesters'
Whether ir not we can answer your ultimate questions remains to be seen but I can assure you that we will give it a try; I know that upon reading your email I suddenly felt very old when I realised that it is roughly 60 years since we were in Wuppertal. How time flies these days. There are a couple of other 'youngsters' who use this site that I know for certain will also remember him, Yoser Hughes and Robert Bonner, but the greater majority from that period regretably are no longer with us. However.
Cheers,
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2009, 05:34:46 PM »
HI again,
Have noted that my surname did not appear.

George Swetman.

serenaJ

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2009, 08:37:48 PM »
@ Hi George,

Very pleased to hear from you! I handed the laptop over to Ann (my grandmother) and she was delighted when she saw you had responded. Obviously she remembers you well, and sends her best wishes. She also remembers Roy Hughes, and was great friends with Robert Bonner as I said. Several of the other people on the forum photos she knew well - notably Alfred Lomas, Jack Kewley (she says he married a German lady?), and Major Baker. Understandably she remembers a lot about wives and children.

@ Cliff
Ann doesn't think she knew your father directly, though she knows the name. She also remembers a private, "a skinny chap with glasses", she thinks worked with him in Wuppertal(?). She worked in the Families Office, and had to go round to all the houses that weren't bomb-damaged, and had been requisitioned for the British troops, and take inventory. The private was doing the note-taking.

A couple of the photos your father is in here on the forum are taken with people she and Harry were close to, so it seems they were in overlapping circles, so to speak. I'll let you know if she remembers any more when we go through all her albums! Your dad might even be in some of them. It's such a shame Harry isn't here, he'd match up all names and faces for us instantly, and probably with a story to match.

---

We're going to go through her photo collection and I'll record our conversations so I can write everything down. This is what we did with Harry - he was a prolific storyteller - and we're still transcribing all his memoirs. Sadly he died in May 2004, but I'm liking to think that from where he is now he somehow helped "arrange" this unexpected reunion.

Incidentally, in the Ladysmith Ball photo Ann is the lady in the front row, 5th from (our) right, dark hair, white dress. Harry's on her left. I've seen this photo before, as she has a copy!

Thanks so much to both of you for responding, it made her afternoon.

Best

Serena

Offline harribobs

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2009, 12:05:33 AM »
hehe!  i love this forum!

chris
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  to serve as a warning to others."

Offline rafboy

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2009, 11:37:08 AM »
Chris
So do I it's a fantastic site.

Serena
I am so pleased the photos bring back memories for your grandmother.  We lived in a very depressing block of flats in Wuppertal, I was not happy there being only about 8 at the time, the German children would gang up on the few Brits and throw stones at us.  Berlin was a different story though, a much happier place.  We lived out past Spandau Jail not far from the border with the Russian zone in an old detached house that had been turned into two flats, we were in the top one below us were a family who's name I don't remember, I think they were Welsh, they had a boy around a year younger than me and two younger girls, they were with us in Malaya as well.
I loved Malaya.  I can't say that I can remember your grandmother, I was away at boarding school in the Cameron Highlands for most of the time.
Cliff
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 02:06:20 PM by rafboy »
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline urdygurdy

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2009, 01:48:36 PM »
i dont suppose you remember my grandfather,from your travels,Top,williams,i used to talk to some old comrades at ashton armoury,but they seem to have disappeared.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2009, 05:58:32 PM »
Hi again Serena,
This is becoming very close to being an 'old home weekend' , Alice and I both remember your grandmother very well, please give her our warmest regards, by the way - the thin lad with glasses who used to help  your grandmother sounds very much like Tommy Rodulson, he is still alive and well over in Peterborough, we exchange Christmas cards as we still do also with the O'Brien Twins, Barbara and Margaret. I will look through some of my photographs and send you a couple via a PM. Then and now type things.

Cliff, In respect of the family who lived below you in Berlin - if I remember rightly that would have been Roy and Joan Pellowe with their family Barry, Diane and Jennifer ( the only Welsh family we had at that time apart from  Taff (Yanto) Hughes who was Ration Sgt in Berlin.

Gets better all the time doesn't it Chris (:-)))

Urdy gurdy - Was you grandfather's name Dave Williams, I used to be with him on the old benevolence/welfare commitee at Ardwick many moons ago, a very great friend of mine. Insofar as the old comrades at Ashton disappearing - lets face it the youngest of us still around will be in their eighties!!! No further comment on that score.

Cheers for now,
George.





Offline harribobs

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2009, 09:19:33 PM »
if no one minds i shall move this thread over to the other queries section  ;D
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."

Offline rafboy

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2009, 10:54:10 AM »
George
You are right again, I thought I had remembered the names of Barry and Jennifer but could not remember the surname or Diane's.
There were 4 or 5 of us boys sharing a cabin on the Asturias on the way home including me, Barry, Lawrence ? (a scouse lad), we teased Barry a lot, I think he was the youngest, so his mother had him moved into the cabin with her and she went on to try to get me banned from the bar in the evening but failed as I was old enough to be allowed in.
Happy days.
Cliff
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline themonsstar

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2009, 02:22:42 PM »
I would like to say thank you to some of the younger members ;) on the site for giving us a brief glimpse of times past, I personally feel when Chris, Mack & myself came up with the idea of doing a Manchester's website this is the type of posting we possibly had in the back of our minds.


Thank you

Cheers Roy

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Hello - Manchesters "borrowed" my grandfather!
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2009, 09:42:02 AM »
Morning Roy and All,
I agree entirely with you Roy, when I first came onto this site this is the type of inter-exchange of information  and detail I was hoping to see plus of course the older/historical side of the earlier days. Unfortunately it does not happen all that often largely, in my humble opinion, due to the lack of former persons on the site who actually did any service with the Regiment. There I go again Bob - sticking my neck out as per usual.
When I think back and remember some of the characters/raconteurs I knew personally in the 1st Bn - had they still been with us -this site would have been one of the most popular in the world with the stories they used to tell, always the 'good times' never the 'bad ones' not even in their 'really down days' which we all had at one time or another. However, may they all Rest in Peace wherever they may be - at home or abroad and may the site  - live long and prosper  ;D.
Cheers,
George.