Author Topic: real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark  (Read 3649 times)

Nick-DU-NZ

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real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark
« on: October 12, 2014, 08:55:16 PM »
Who knows or knew this “Nobby” Clarke?
This person was in our house in Kerkstraat 14, Hees near Nijmegen, the Netherlands, from about 20 September 1944 to March-April 1945. He was in a unit called the “Three Witches” which was part of IS9(WEA) which stands for Intelligence School No 9, Western European Area. My mother Helena de Baat painted him in his tank driver’s suit, but no badges are shown in the painting. He made a brass shell case with the emblem of the Manchester Regiment on it, which he left behind. My sister in the Netherlands would like to send the painting to his next of kin. Hence my appeal to you.  For more details, see attachments.
We only knew this person as “Nobby”, but he had red hair and was from the UK, not from Canada; about 5’9”. His rank was sergeant.  I am sure that my mother Helena de Baat wrote to him after the war, but no correspondence has ever been found. The “Three Witches” badge was worn by members of IS9(WEA) which was probably one of the Special Counter Intelligence Units (SCIUs). It was part of MI9. This unit dealt with escapers, evaders and POWs mainly; with agents and line-crossers in the field, amongst many other similar duties.  Its members came from a number of other units including American and Canadian. It was attached to SHAEF=Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. See the “Three Witches” badge attached.
 
We assume that “Nobby” was ‘acquired’ from the Manchester Regiment and that he was probably from the Mechanical Section of the Regiment. He could make anything out of brass shell cases, and even made a ring out of a Dutch silver coin. I still have a brass dustpan that he made from a shell case.  Regrettably, my mother died in 2005. The painting she made is attached.

Very much looking forward to any suggestions on how to track Nobby down. Thanks Nick
 

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 10:34:53 PM »
Hi Nick,
Nobby is a common nickname for people with Clarke as a surname.
I realise this doesn't help, but good luck with your quest.
Tim
Following one Platoon and everything around them....
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Nick-DU-NZ

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Re: real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2014, 11:16:17 PM »
Hi Tim

Thanks but I knew that already, thanks to my WW2 contact, Major Ted Hunt MVO, from the Royal Engineers.

Regards Nick

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 11:50:41 AM »
Hi there Nick,
From the 16th Sept to around the 23rd Sept. 1944 Operation Market Garden was in operation around Arnhem ; sounds as though there might be a connection to - ; the Screaming Eagles ( U.S. Airborne were attacking the Nijmegen Bridge- the Guards Armoured Brigade were moving down the same route. I would recommend that you do some investigation along those units associated.
Nobby is a common enough nick name for Clarke - we had several of them in our unit. ;D ;D.
All the best in your searching.
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 06:28:46 PM »
Hi again Nick,
Insofar as I can recall The Manchester Regiment at that period were in the 53 Welch Div (The Big Red W) heading towards Walcharen Islands area over to the north west of that region.
So I am somewhat puzzled by 'Nobby' using brass Manchester Cap Badges on shell casings ???
George.

Nick-DU-NZ

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Re: real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 09:41:45 PM »
Hi George

You are right that this unit of "Nobby" Clark was involved in the Battle of Arnhem: they brought personnel from Arnhem through no-man's land, the Betuwe, back to liberated Nijmegen and to our house on about 25 September 1944. Don't know about any connection with Walcheren.

I have also been informed on 13 October by Mr Fred Judge, Military Intelligence Museum researcher, that a Sgt L Clark appears on an IS9 (WEA) structure chart as part of Ops HQ under Major H Fraser but it gives no regiment or other details. Hopefully a staff list can be located somewhere so that we may obtain his service number and thus PF.

Regards Nick

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: real needle in haystack - unknown Nobby Clark
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2014, 09:56:05 AM »
Hi again Nick
Guessed I was on the correct track there, the second comment of mine re The Manchester Regiment was an error on my part after I had misread your query so ignore that information.
The remarks and information by Mr F Judge re the absence of information "...but it gives no regiment or other details." There were a lot of what we used to refer to as " Sticky beaks" otherwise " ...collectors of information and intelligence for other parts of War Office.!!.

 ;D ;D ;D
Enough said, George.