Author Topic: WW2 Manchester Regiment Enquiry  (Read 4266 times)


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WW2 Manchester Regiment Enquiry
« on: January 13, 2010, 06:17:31 PM »
I was wondering if anyone had any information about the 1st and 2nd manchester battalions, I am trying to work out my grandfathers history.
We know he ended up in Essen at the end of the war and some family members believe he was in the 2nds. However, from my research it seems he was more likely to be in the 1sts.
We aren't very sure about his whereabouts, we only have pictures of him and his friends, one of which is outside a german camp, if that is any help?
Another picture is him riding his motorbike into Essen to greet a woman with a Union Jack jumper! It would be very helpful for me if I could figure out what battalion he was in to send off forms etc. :)

Offline tonyrod

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Re: WW2 Manchester Regiment Enquiry
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 10:11:47 AM »
hi ellen, and welcome to the forum. post all  info you have on him,  a name would help  ;D and we will try to help you , its a lot harder finding out the where abouts of ww2 soldiers but ww2 records can be sent for this link will help,  .  good luck we will try our best for you.   tonyrod
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 12:35:08 PM by tonyrod »

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: WW2 Manchester Regiment Enquiry
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 06:09:25 PM »
Re the photograph of him riding his motorbike into Essen, sounds like one of the 'Don-R's out of the Signals/M.T.  Section or maybe even the Regimental Police outriders for convoys. That should narrow it down considerably from one in a thousand to maybe one in fifteen or thereabouts.Any chance of posting the photograph?

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: WW2 Manchester Regiment Enquiry
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 04:12:43 PM »
After two years intensive training as a machine-gun battalion the  1st Battalion, commanded by Lieut Colonel Charles Harrington took part in the invasion of Europe.  Bren gun carriers, equipment and men moved on 18 June 1944 from Faversham station to West India Docks in London where all was loaded onto the SS Samneva. The battalion landed at Arromanches on 26th June, D-Day plus 20, as the Machine Gun Support Battalion of 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division.   The battalion took part in the general British and Canadian attack on the German positions in the eastern sector, designed to pin down the enemy armour while the US Army in the western sector was staging its break-out from the beaches.

On 2 August 1944 the battalion was engaged in a large and successful operation at Mont Pincon.  The battalion crossed the River Seine on 30th August and reached Antwerp on 8 September.  In October it spent some weeks in the Nijmegen bridgehead,  in the attack & capture of s’Hertogenbosch. Then forcing the crossing of the Wessem Canal in bitterly cold weather in a desolate waterlogged countryside.

The battalion then went into reserve but was quickly ordered to man a section of the River Dyle, between Louvain and Genappes, when Von Runstedt delivered his counter offensive through the Ardennes.  In one counter-attack in the Ardennes the machine guns and heavy mortars of the battalion were the only supporting weapons available and had to be manhandled through deep snow.

The battalion took part in the attack on Grimblemont and then withdrew towards Eindhoven.  It was then involved in heavy fighting in the Reichswald Forest and at the end of March 1945 assisted in the capture of Bocholt.  On 12 April it was involved in hard fighting at Rethem and Verden, which fell on 17 April.  On 4 May the battalion entered Hamburg and whilst there the German Army surrendered. The battalion moved to Schleswig Holstein helping to collect the German Army coming down from Denmark.

The battalion then moved to Essen, relieving an American Parachute Regiment, before joining 5th Division in Seesen on the edge of the Harz Mountains, south east of Hanover.   Returned to England in 1947 and amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion in May 1948.

For further reading I suggest that you obtain a copy of The Manchester Regiment 1922-1948  by A C Bell which is certainly available through your local library inter-library lending service.


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Re: WW2 Manchester Regiment Enquiry
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2010, 05:41:55 PM »
Its nice to see replies! :D
His name was Eric Pearce, sorry I thought I had said his name! :D I might be able to get the photo up at a later date, right now it is at my aunties, I will upload it as soon as possible.
Thank you once again