Sunday 29 November 2009

16 DLI Support Company, 1945 Photograph

The latest photograph on the site is an informal group photo of the Carrier Platoon, Support Company, 16 DLI in 1945. The photo seems to have been taken 'in the field' and is of poor quality at present. However, I'm hoping that someone out there will have a better quality original--and be able to place names to a few more of the men featured. Among around 30 unidentified faces and a fearsome array of mortars, rifles, Bren guns and at least one Tommy gun, the photograph also features Carrier Platoon officer Lt Russell Collins MC, Sgt H Chilvers MM and the Support Company CO, Captain Harry Myneer MM. The photograph is on this page:

The Gallantry award citations of Collins and Chilvers can be read in the Honours and Awards section of the site, here:

Wednesday 25 November 2009

16 DLI WW2 Campaign Medals and Service Certificate 1940-46

The latest addition to the site is a photograph of the campaign medals of L/Cpl Wilfred Townsend (4467119) of the Mortar Platoon, 16 DLI, who was with the Battalion from its formation in July 1940 through to its disbandment in early 1946. His campaign medals thus represent the entire service of the Battalion in World War Two and comprise the following:

The British War Medal 1939-45
The Defence Medal 1939-45
The 1939-45 Star
The Africa Star (with First Army Clasp)
The Italy Star.

The photograph is on this page:

Also, on a related theme, I have also just added the DLI service certificate of Pte J G Copeman, (4464500), another soldier who served with the 16th DLI from the beginning in 1940 to the end in 1946. Already on the site is the certificate of Alex Gray of the Signal Platoon. As yet, I have yet to find a certificate awarded to any 16th DLI soldier who was not a full five year veteran with the Battalion. I wonder were they only issued to men who were there from the beginning? If anyone has one for a soldier whose service began after 1940, please let me know. Pte Copeman's certificate can be seen on this page:

And for comparision, that of Pte Alex Gray is on this page:

All items are also listed on the Letters and Documents index page.

Both Townsend and Copeman's Army numbers are also now included consecutively in my listing of 446 series DLI Army numbers, which is indexed from this page:

Sunday 1 November 2009

Major A E C Vizard, 'E', 'A' and 'HQ' Companies, 16 DLI

There's now an extensive collection of photographs and documents on the site relating to the war service of Major A E C 'Viz' Vizard, who joined the 16th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry with a draft of 150 reinforcements in early March 1943. At this stage, just after the Battle of Sedjenane, the severe losses suffered by the Battalion meant that Vizard's reinforcements had to be formed into an ad hoc rifle company, dubbed 'E Company'.

Arthur Vizard was a pre-war Territorial in the 8th Battalion the Middlesex Regiment and was commissioned into the Middlesex Regiment in 1941.

He subsequently served with the 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion of the DLI in the UK and the 16th Battalion DLI, in North Africa, Italy, the Middle East, Greece and Austria. He was CO of A Company at Salerno, where he was seriously wounded.

He later rejoined the 16th as HQ Coy CO through to the final Battalion disbandment in 1946. The items include: group photos of the 8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment and the Officers of 70th DLI, the September 1943 War Office wounded in action telegram to Vizard's mother and several hugely evocative informal photographs from his time with the 16th DLI in the Middle East, Greece and Austria. These items, all courtesy of Graham Skilton, begin from this page: