Another 5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment plea

Discussion in 'Regiment Histories' started by dsms, May 1, 2008.

  1. dsms

    dsms Member

    Yet another request for info re 5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment. This time their deployment in France/Belgium during May 1940.

    My father, now dec'd), served in this battalion and as usual the information he passed down was rather sketchy to say the least. We have obtained his military service records from the MOD which answer some questions but as is normal throw up many others which of course now he can't answer and it is with some hope that someone may be able to point us in a direction to try and find further info.
    We have found that he served for quite a number of years in the Bat before WW2 and from what he told me he was a gunner in a Bren Carrier. It would appear that he was 'called up' into full time service on outbreak of war and was promoted to the rank of corporal and embarked with the reg to serve in France/Belgium with the BEF. Where exactly he was is unknown and something I would like to find out, cannot find any info on the 5th batt bren carrier operations at all, would he have been in a bren carrier even at that time.
    His service records show scant details other than he was wounded in the right thigh at some stage, the records show his admission to St Lukes Hospital Bradford on 28th May 1940 then to various other hospitals through to the end of 1941 when he was discharged as unfit to serve due to his wounds.

    From what I can find the batt was deployed around the La Bassee region of France but what they were doing or if they were involved in any battles rather than skirmishes I cannot find out.
    Also with an admission date of 28 May in a Bradford Hospital this would indicate he was wounded at least a few days before perhaps even a week before, would his admission date to hospital indicate he came home before the main Dunkirk evacuation or is it likely he was on one of the first embarkations from there and was quickly shipped north?

    Any info appreciated to get a clearer picture

  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Welcome dsms

    if you don't mind waiting a few days (whilst I await my net connection to work properly) I maybe able to help further. In the meantime, I hope other members can assist you.
  3. dsms

    dsms Member


    Thanks for that Kyt, no panic at all. Really appreciate your kind offer

  4. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Hi dsms

    as you may know the 5th was part of the 133rd Brigade, which in turn was part of the 44th Division. I haven't had time to do much digging but as a start you may like to read the following. It details the operations of the BEF, and mentions the areas that the 44th were located. Though most of it is interesting, you will probably find chapters IX onwards most useful.

    HyperWar: The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940 (UK Military Series)

    As you say, if he was already back in Britain on the 28th it does sound like he had been wounded earlier, and evacuated. How he received his wound and where would have helped, as it was probably quiet a few days before he got back.
  5. dsms

    dsms Member

    Yes had already established that they were part of the 133rd etc.

    The circumstances surrounding when/where he received the wound is the unknown part. His service records simply state 'embarked' then no detail at all until the entry re admission to St Lukes Bradford on 28th.

    The only 'detail' I know is gleaned from what I remember of the scant info he did say many years ago. From what I can remember he said that he was out of his bren carrier during a morter attack and that he was hit in the leg.
    His card states that he was wounded, gunshot wound to right thigh Code 6 30%. He did also say that he lay where he fell for a couple of days before being picked up and transported for evacuation, which ties in with what you have assumed. I do know he suffered gas gangrene in the wound but was very lucky to have the leg saved, though he was hospitalized, in various different hospitals, for some considerable time.
    Unfortunately most of the info I do have is scant and mainly based on recollection from years ago. I am trying to find out the probability of where/when he was wounded and if in a particular battle/action or simply in the general me-lay of the withdrawal. Another thing I would like to find out is the meaning of the wound code, what did Code 6 30% mean? Anyone have a clue on this?

    Thanks for info so far

  6. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    It would probably worth contacting the museum and asking them if the could send you copies of the relevant pages of the battalion diary. Though he probably be named you maybe to ascertain possible events/incidents that would help:

    The Royal Sussex Regiment

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