Monday 30 December 2013

16 DLI War Grave Photographs

Latest update to the site is a collection of over 30 large format photographs of 16 DLI war graves in Italy and Tunisia. Special thanks to Chris Craggs for taking these pictures and allowing me to post them on the site. The updated 16 DLI War Graves index page is here:

Monday 9 September 2013

16 DLI and the Salerno Landings

Though you would hardly know it from the BBC and much of the mainstream media's complete lack of coverage, today marks the 70th anniversary of the Salerno Landings, when 16 DLI and the rest of the British 46th Infantry Division went ashore on mainland Italy as part of the US Fifth Army in what was, to that date, the biggest ever amphibious operation.

Already on the web site are the following:

Photographs and documents relating to Major A E C Vizard, who led A Company 16 DLI into action on the first morning of the landings:

'Prelude to Salerno', a 1945 poem about the landings by 16 DLI CSM W 'Jimmy' James:

A copy of the beach head newspaper The Salerno Times, dated 16/9/43, which which was kept as a souvenir by Capt Gordon Harris of the Signal Platoon,16 DLI:

Padre G Meek's memories of 16 DLI's Salerno Regimental Aid Post:

And a brief potted history of the first days of 16 DLI's mainland Italy campaign:

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:

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:

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:

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

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:

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....