Saturday, 2 March 2013

16 DLI, Sedjenane, March 2nd 1943

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the final 16th Battalion Durham Light Infantry attack on the hills to the north of Sedjenane, Tunisia, on 2/3/43. The battalion suffered appalling casualties in both this and the initial counter-attacks on 27/2/43 and was effectively destroyed as a fighting force with little more than 100 men left from the four rifle companies by the evening of 2/3/43.

There's already a large amount of material on the website regarding the Battle of Sedjenane. This is the index page for the section:

http://16dli.awardspace.com/page180.html


Four of the most poignant and powerful items on the site are these:

A montage of local press photos of 16 DLI Sedjenane fatal casualties:

http://16dli.awardspace.com/page20.html

The 1942 16 DLI Sergeants photograph, which features the three rifle company Company Sergeant Majors killed in the Battle and several other casualties. The photograph also features Sgt Joseph Drake, who was awarded the Military Medal for his actions on the 3/3/43 in the aftermath of the 2/3/43 attack:

http://stalag4d.atspace.co.uk/page149.html

The 1942 B Company photograph, which has one of the most detailed captions of those on the site. The caption tells its own grim story. And again many of the soldiers so far identified were killed or made POW on 2/3/43. Others faces still need to be placed

http://16dli.awardspace.com/page59.html

The 1942 D Company photograph, which includes Pte G Leadbitter, who was awarded the Battalion's first Military Medal, for his actions on 2/3/43. Many faces on this photograph still need to be placed:

http://16dli.awardspace.com/page60.html

Somebody out there must have the missing 1942 photographs of A Company, C Company and HQ Company, 16 DLI and these photographs will also feature officers and men whose names and stories deserve to see the light of day again--even after 70 years. Where are there? The quest continues....