2nd / 5th Battalion
The XX The Lancashire Fusiliers
1. 26th June sailed from Newhaven for the Normandy beaches, disembarked at Courcelles sur Mer and concentrated at La Haiserie on the 29th June.
2. Moved to Bouanville and then to Anguuery on the 6th July.
3. 8th July attacked Malon and La Folie.
Heavy losses totalling 10 Officers and 111 other Ranks Killed wounded and missing.
4. 16th July,heavy fighting at Tessel wood,Landet and Vendes. Lt J Walsh wins MC.
Fusilier Lees wins MM.
5. 26th July advance to Villers Bocage.Attack on the river crossing at Hottot-Villers Road.
Major York killed,the third B Coy Commander to have died in 2 months.
6. Minden Day spent in an Orchard,Roses flown out from England .
7. 3rd July, Heavy casualties from S mines during advance.
8. Crossing of river Orne.
9. 10th August Thierry Harcourt and Donnay.
10. 13th August attack on Haut d'Ouilly hill, known to the LFs as "High Willy" hill.
11.14th August entered village of Mesnil to a heroes welcome by the locals.
12. 19th August Fourneaux Level,Lt Heap the Bn Pioneer Officer killed clearing mines,along with most of his Platoon.
13. 20th August, Moved to Gouppillieres and disbanded, the Bn was parcelled out in complete companies to other infantry regiments as follows;-
A Coy to 7th RWF.
C Coy to 2nd Glasgow Highlanders.
D Coy to 1st East Lancashires.
This often explains why men are difficult to trace from this period.
My grandad joined up in 1944 at the age of 17, to the same regiment as my great grandad. He fought in the operations around Cean after D-Day. He was in the 59th Division (or the pit-head division as he called it), 197th Brigade, 2nd/5th Lancashire Fusiliers, B Company.
Time in England
Took a train from Sheffield up to Berwick-on-Tweed fot the 6 weeks of basic training.
His Battalion was the only Infantry Battalion he knew that had a navy blue side-cap.
Always the one for food, he said that the fish and chip shops in berwick did'nt have any vinigar. He also said that the NAAFI rock cakes were as hard as rock, but they still tasted alright.
Gas practise to be familiar with the smell of gas. Coughing his guts out for 2 hours afterward.
A poster on the billet room wall read "Roll on six weeks, roll on hell you may also say, but while you are here learn all you can. It may make a difference between alive and dead man".
Route-march 6 miles into Scotland and dug in for the night, slept under a great coat, marched 6 miles back again first thing the next morning.
An officer named Colonel Cox used to ride a white horse and see how the training was going.
Finished training at Berwick. Sent down to Folkestone. Being from Sheffield, Folkestone was the first place where he had ever seen trees growing on the streets.
Once on leave, he borrowed a German officers peaked hat from a friend and wore it around on the streets.
When being inspected, he would see the older and
more experienced soldiers put weights in the bottom of their trousers.
Best dress on sunday, parade led by a marching band. The drummer would wear leopard skin.
Stole a weekend leave pass from a Corporal. When the corporal caught up with him he said with a smile "Now then. Who stole my pass?" but luckily no charges were made.
Got put in the glasshouse for 2 weeks, twice (he
cannot remember why). At dinner he was given his food in the same mess-tin
(e.g stew poured on top of his porridge).
The Caen area:
He used to trade his ciggarette rations for chocolate that was "choc-o-block" with vitamins and iron.
Struggling to carry the Bren gun over un-even ground, cluster mines showering the area, Major Twelves encourages him and says "come on Worthington, it's a peace of cake". The Major gets into the next field only to be killed by enemy gun fire.
Walking down the edge of a field next to a hedge, with another row of soldiers walking down the other side. Told to look for mines sticking out of the ground. Next minute, 'boom'. A man at the other side of the hedge-row to my grandad is blown up. Part of his intestine lends on my grandad's boot.
Only thing he says about Villers Bocage is that it was terrible.
Walking to a battle objective, he starts scratching
all over (he had scabies from sleeping in the country-side). The officer
in charge sends him back to the field HQ to be treated before it spread
around the whole platoon.
One night when sleeping in a barn, his wisdom tooth came through. He was sent back to HQ to have it taken out.
One night on a battle patrol (of which he hated being on) that consisted of an officer, a Sergeant and my grandad (the Bren gunner). Patroling into a wood, they see 2 people in the distance. So the patrol gets down and shouts "hände hoch". The 2 figures put there hands in the air, so the patrol goes up to them. The two men are an German officer and a private, both unarmed.
His favourite food ration (apart from the chocolate) was the self-heating tins, because you just stabbed them, lit them, then in a few minutes it was a hot meal without the fuss of prepering it.
Assaulting a trench, under heavy machine gun fire,
my grandad gets down, only to land onto a British skeleton still grasping
its rifle and in uniform.
They were digging in for the night when they heard mortars open up. Due to his expierience with previous mortar attacks he had found a pattern, so when he heard the whisteling sound of German mortars coming, he'd run 20 yards behind the lines, count how many landed, then run back into his pit slit trench before anyone noticed. He said they were so accurate that they could land one in you're pocket.
Advancing behind a tank (they used to feel more secure grouped behind a tank), a red haired man infront of my granded just calapses and starts shaking. Shell-shock. Some men had to "cart him off".
The two things that terrified him the most was the Tiger tanks and endless bombardments. He said you could hear Tiger tanks cink and clang a mile off
In mid August, the 59th Division (being a junior
division) was disbanded in-order to fill in the gaps of other divisions
in the Second Army. He was sent to join the Gordon Highlanders, but
did'nt make it there.
"Thought to be men of C Company of 2/5th Lancashire Fusiliers
who had been transferred to the
2nd Glasgow Highlanders of 15 Division on 20th August 1944."
"Infantry of 2nd Glasgow Highlanders, 15th (Scottish) Division, with Churchill tanks of 6th Guards Tank Brigade, near Moergestel, 26 October 1944. Photo taken by Sgt. Johnson of No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit.
Thanks to Bill Duggan. (Editor)"
3457273 Fusilier Edward Oliver
C Company 2nd / 5th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers disbanded August 1944 and transferred to
2nd Glasgow Highlanders in 15th Division"
3452962 Fus Henry Hope Anderson
9 July 1944 at Caen Normandy, the photo's show him alone, and the other is of him standing with
another (unknown) soldier who is sitting, hopefully some one will recognise one or both of them.
Dad posted a letter marked Folkestone 6 april 1943, also I have a copy of a report he made about
his involvement in the arrest of an RAF man, in the report he say's that he handed the airman over
to CQMS Healy as he was exhausted having run from Birchington to westgate this is in the area of
Margate, the copy is dated 10 march 1944. If any one has any infomation relating to my dad or the
man sitting in rhe photo how ever small please let me know
Click here to go to his war grave
This pic sent in by John Young of a grave he saw in Ranville War Cemetery.
L/Cpl Kieran was killed in action at La Folie, 8/9th July 1944, along with 10 Officers and 111 men of the 2/5th Bn, killed, missing and wounded.
Name Robert Partington
Lived at HORWICH near BOLTON
Service No 3454294
Grave Reference 111.h.2
War cemetery SR.MANVIEW CEMETERY CHEUX