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ITALY STAR ASSOCIATION

1943-1945

 

SICILY TARANTO . ANZIO . SALERNO SANGRO . FOGGIA .
ANCONA CORIANO . FLORENCE . ORTONA BOLOGNA .
ARGENTA . PO VALLEY. CASSINO

NATIONAL CHAIRMAN

Mr Roy Quinton

Tel. 0208 241 0275

chairman@italystarassociation.org,uk

NATIONAL SECRETARY

Mrs Sheila Edwards
Tel. 01708 469235
secretary@italystarassociation.org.uk

NATIONAL TREASURER

Miss M.D.Hanlan
Tel. 01903 247196
treasurer@italystarassociation.org.uk

NATIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN, MAGAZINE & WEBSITE EDITOR

Mr Robin Hollamby
Tel. 01892 836382
info@italystarassociation.org.uk

“When you walk in peaceful lanes so green – remember us – and think what might have been” We do remember them.

Veterans of the Italian Campaign, allied families and supporters!

Click here to download a membership application form.

34 Comments

  1. Thomas Uttley

    my Grandpa was Edwin James he served in Crete where he was evacuated by the Royal Navy, he then served in North Africa, he mentioned the 8th Army, I have his Africa star, he fought at Monti Cassino and ended up being based in Vienna where he met my Grandma! I do not have his Army number and we thought he was in the Lancashire Fusiliers but have found out they did not serve in Crete!

    Would anyone know him or be able to shed some light on what Regiment he was in? He was from Eccles which was part of Lancashire at the time so I thought maybe he could have been in The Yorks and Lancs Regiment! I’m clutching at straws at the mo!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Tom

    Reply
    1. RobinRobin

      Nice to hear from you.
      Do not be disheartened by what the records may or may not say.
      From my own point of view my fathers regiment was not supposed to be in Italy but I have his medals and the war office records so do not doubt what you have been told by your family.
      We are in the process of setting up a lost trails page which I hope will help finding the missing links in this kind of situation.
      I am also looking for information regarding the gaps in my own fathers history in Italy.
      So I am keen to get the ‘Lost Trails’ page operational as soon as we can.
      Obviously your Grandpa also had the Italy Star, had you thought of joining the association?
      Please keep checking the web site as things are changing from week to week and I hope that some one will be able to help you via our web site.

      Regards

      Robin.

      Reply
    2. RobinRobin

      Hello Tom, I am pleased to say that the log awaited ‘Lost Trails’ page is now operational. If you could please resubmit your request using the form on the ‘Lost Trails’ page I can post it on the site and I hope that someone may be able to provide the information you have been looking for.
      Robin

      Reply
    3. RobinRobin

      Hello Thomas, We now have the ‘Lost Trails’ page on the web site operational. If you could resubmit your request using the form on the ‘Lost Trails’ page I can get the details posted and hopefully we will be able to find some one with the details you have been looking for.

      Robin

      Reply
  2. Lesley

    In reply to Thomas Uttley’s request above regarding his Grandfather. If I may suggest he applies for his service records from the MOD. They may take a while to arrive but the cost of 30 pounds is well worth the money. You don’t necessarily need his Army number, just his name and his date of birth.
    https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

    Hope that helps

    Lesley

    Reply
  3. Trevor Johnson

    My late father served with Combined Operations during WW2. Any Italy Star holders/members of this association have any knowledge of Commando involvement in and around Adriatic/Yugoslavia? Of particular interest would be 2 Special Service brigade.
    Thank you in anticipation for any help or advice offered.

    Reply
    1. RobinRobin

      Hi Trevor,
      We are at present working on a lost trails page which I hope we will have working in a week or two.
      I am in a similar position regarding my fathers involvement in Italy.
      In the mean time have you got your fathers service records?
      Have you tried contacting the regimental associations or museums?
      Are you a member of the Italy Star Association because there might be a local branch near you that you can pop along to and speak to some of the veterans there.
      In the mean time please keep a track on the web site as soon as thee lost trails link is working it will be on the home page as a button on the top line under the parade photograph.
      I hope this helps and good luck with your endeavours.

      Robin

      Reply
      1. Trevor Johnson

        Dear Robin,
        Thank you for your reply. I have tried virtually every association/organisation under the sun in the hope of finding something – anything to do with Commando operations in Italy and Albania/Yugoslavia during the years 1943 to 1945 and in particular the involvement with Tito’s partisans. I have very little information; I do however have a photograph of a group of servicemen (the majority are “loosely” dressed in uniform although there are three Naval Officers present – one I think is a Lieutenant and the remaining two appear to be Petty Officers. They are holding a captured Kreigsmarine flag – on the reverse of this photograph and in my father’s handwriting are the words “Albania 1944”. Apart from his campaign medals I only have memories of some his exploits within this theatre of operation, some of which are quite harrowing. Apart from that- zilch, bu**er all! Hope you can assist and with thanks in anticipation,
        Yours,
        Trevor Johnson

        Reply
  4. Lesley

    Hello Trevor

    May I suggest that you register and put your request on a WW2 forum?
    I am a member of ww2talk.com, and I am sure some of the members there will have knowledge of Commando Operations in WW2. Worth a try if nothing else
    http://ww2talk.com/forums/index.php

    Lesley

    Reply
  5. Trevor Johnson

    Dear Lesley,
    Thank you for your reply. I will certainly give ww2talk.com a go – as you say, it might be worth a try.

    Grateful for any help/suggestions,

    Trevor

    Reply
  6. Rowland Jordan

    My father recently passed away and I have been left some family WWII medals, which include the Africa Star & Italy Star. The details I have of him are…..
    Arthur Haynes. Died 1945 just north of Syracuse in Sicily & buried in Syracuse War Cemetery.
    That’s all I know.
    Anyone who can help with any information for me would be most helpful.

    Reply
    1. RobinRobin

      Hi Rowland, WE now have the ‘Lost Trails’ page up and working. If you could resubmit your enquiry using the form on the ‘Lost Trails’ page hopefuly somebody may be able to give us some information for you.
      Robin

      Reply
  7. Lesley Littlewood

    Hello Rowland

    I have looked on the CWGC website and the date of death appears to be 1943 not 1945 if this is your man. He was in the Dorset Regiment.
    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2066350/HAYNES,%20ARTHUR

    You could apply for his service records and they will tell you more about him
    https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

    I am a member of a WW2 forum and if you so wish, you can register with them and put your query to them and I am sure they may be able to help you more.
    http://ww2talk.com/forums/

    Hope this all helps

    Lesley

    Reply
  8. Paul Anderson

    My father, George William ANDERSON, served in the RN from 1932 to 1948 and amongst other Campaign Stars he was awarded he received the Africa Star and Italy Star. These Stars are both recorded on his Discharge Card which summarises his medals awarded. According to his RN Central Record Card, he served at HMS Quebec from 12 Sep 42 before being assigned to HMS Daedalus on 2 May 43 (and again to the same ship on 21 Jul 43) then HMS Victory on 18 Mar 44 and thereafter he served aboard HMS Wager from Apr 44 onwards. Some of the above detailed ‘ships’ may have been ‘stone frigates’ or pay accounting organisations. I understand that HMS Quebec was a Combined Operations training establishment and my father no doubt went there to train in the lead up to OP TORCH (hence being later awarded the Africa Star). My key question is: Is it conceivable that following OP TORCH he would have given service that earned him the Italy Star? The dates he moved to HMS Daedalus and HMS Victory (a pay account location) may of course be rough dates. At the time of OP TORCH he was a Petty Officer of the Gunnery Branch. Any advice or insight on how I could establish his likely movements between Sep 42 and mid 43 would be appreciated.

    Reply
    1. RobinRobin

      Hi Paul, We now have the @Lost Trails@ page up and working, so if you could resubmit your enquiry using the form on the ‘Lost Trails’ page I can get it posted and hopefully somebody will be able to help you.
      Robin.

      Reply
  9. Lesley

    Hello Paul

    If he earned the Italy Star he would have seen service in possibly Sicily and then Italy.
    http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/media/7863/wwiiribbons.pdf

    Unfortunately service in the Royal Navy is not my area of interest, but if you would like to post your query on a ww2 forum I am a member of, they would most definitely be able to help you. Also war diaries should be available for the unit he served with.
    http://ww2talk.com/forums/index.php

    Good luck with your research.

    Lesley

    Reply
    1. Paul Anderson

      Hello Lesley,

      Thanks for responding to my query. I’ll re-post it on ww2talk.com.

      Regards,

      Paul

      Reply
  10. Colin Stephens

    I am trying to find any information on my great uncle Harold Munro.

    I unfortunately don’t have his service number, but I know that he was in the Royal engineers. First in North Africa, then Greece, and into Italy where he was at Monte Cassino.

    Sadly he died some years ago now, and my auntie is now in a nursing home suffering from dementia, I have been able to get some information from his daughter but I hope that someone will see this post and be able to share any memories that they have of a true gentleman and one of my favourite uncles.

    Reply
    1. Lesley

      Hello Colin

      I suggest in the first instance that you get his service records from the MOD in Glasgow; that is where they hold the copies. They will tell you which particular unit he was in and where he served.
      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

      When you get them, if you would like to register on the ww2 forum I am a member of and they will fill in the gaps for you.
      http://ww2talk.com/forums/index.php

      Hope that helps

      Lesley

      Reply
    2. RobinRobin

      Hi Colin, We now have the ‘Lost Trails’ page working. So if you could resubmit your request using the ‘Lost Trails’ page I can get your enquiry up and hopefully somebody will be able to help. Robin

      Reply
  11. Lesley

    Hello again Colin
    You don’t need his service number to apply to the MOD, but you do need his FULL date of birth

    Lesley

    Reply
  12. Pradeep

    My Dad was in the 8th Army, a VCO in the QVO Madras Sappers and Miners. He stayed back in Bari after the war to supervise the mine clearing operations. He has the Italian Star, with the Africa Star and quite some more for he served later as an officer in the Indian Army till 1972.

    Do you have any historical notes on the Indian Engineers in Bari. I have several anecdotes that he related to me.

    Nice website.

    Reply
  13. RobinRobin

    Dear Pradeep,
    Could I ask you to resubmit this using the ‘Lost Trails’ link this will hopefully help us to reach others who either may have been there at the time of have relevant information for you.

    I do hope will be able to help.

    Robin

    Reply
  14. M EDWARDS

    Anyone remember by late father sgt nat edwards served in A HQ and B company 6th Royal Welch parachute battalion 1942 46 in North Africa Italy Southen France and Greece,

    Reply
    1. RobinRobin

      Hi,
      We may be able to help.
      But could I ask you to resubmit your request using the form on the ‘Lost Trails’ page.
      Give us as much information as you can and if you have any photos you should also be able to upload them at the came time (use the ‘Add Media’ button).
      Once you have done this I can get your ‘Lost Trail’ live within a few hours.
      Regards
      Robin.

      Reply
  15. Lyn Atterbury

    My uncle, Lt.Frederick HEAD, served in the Royal Fuseliers (City of London Regiment) in North Africa and in Italy. He was killed on 03 December 1943 just prior to the assault on Monte Cassino. He is buried in the Cassino War Cemetery. Does the name ring a bell with anyone, and does anyone have any memories (probably second-hand) of him? Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. RobinRobin

      Hi Lyn,
      Could you please submit this on the Lost Trails page please, there might be a better chance that someone will reply that way.

      Robin

      Reply
    2. Frank de Planta

      Lyn.

      Your uncle would have been killed in the Second Battle of Monte Camino. 201 Guards Brigade had tried to capture this formidable feature in Nov 43 and had comprehensively failed so the whole of 56 Infantry Division was committed.

      I have stood at the base of Monte Camino many times as a battlefield guide and marvelled at how, in the dead of winter and in appalling conditions, these men scaled the heights and finally opened the way to Monte Cassino.

      It was quite an achievement. I will tip my hat to your uncle when I am in Cassino with a group in Nov 16.

      Regards

      Frank

      Reply
  16. Alan Benbow

    My father Wilfrid Benbow WO1 [sub conduct] [ served in the IEME 8th Indian division. I have a copy of the broadcast in June 1945 “the story of the Eighth Indian Infantry division” it is signed by many I presume serving in the regiment.

    Reply
  17. douglas hughes

    my father in law JOHN LEWIS has both the italy and the africa star he was in the rn lcts what do you think and where did he served

    Reply
  18. Diane Jackson

    My Uncle Private Joseph Watson took part in the amphibious landings at Taranto Harbour, Italy in September 1943. He was on board the Minelayer HMS Abdiel. Unfortunately two ground mines detonated beneath the ship and caused it to sink within 3 minutes. My Uncle lost his life, aged 20, at sea on the 10th September 1943. He was among 58 from The 1st Airborne Division who unfortunately lost their lives during Operation Slapstick.

    My grandparents were devastated by the loss of their son and I don’t think my Grandma ever really got over her loss. My Mum, lost her only Brother, who she had some fond memories of and loved dearly. I never knew my Uncle Joe, but am very proud of him as we all are. I am trying to gather together as much information as I can about his time serving in the British Army and if anyone has information, I would be very grateful if you could share it with me (diane.watersmart@btinternet.com). He attended Parachute Training at RAF Ringway 5th April to 16th April 1943 (course number 59).

    RIP Uncle Joe, we are immensely proud of you and how you served your country.

    Reply
    1. Richard Morgan

      Good evening Diane,

      My father was in “A” Company 6th Battalion (Royal Welch) Parachute Regiment. “A” Company was not on HMS Abdiel when it was lost. They were still in Tunisia at that time.

      I have some dates from various records that might be of interest to you. In early 1943, the Battalion had been camped at Bulford and Larkhill Camps on Salisbury Plain. They travelled by train to Glasgow where they boarded a vessel on 13 April 1943 for Oran in Algeria, where they arrived on 22 April 1943. Perhaps your Uncle travelled on a later vessel. His personal record of service would record the date he “embarked”.

      The Battalion was transported to Thiereville (I can’t locate this place – perhaps the name was changed after the colonial era) and trained for the invasion of Sicily, but they did not take part in that operation. On 20 June 1943 they left Thierville by train for Tunis, apparently taking 7 days in open trucks. On arrival they camped near Sousse (now a beach resort I recall).

      On 8 September 1943 they were transported to Bizerte, where the Battalion, minus “A” Company, boarded HMS Abdiel. “A” Company followed on 11 September.

      There is (or at least was) a memorial to the men lost in the Free Church, Taranto. A photograph of it is on Paradata, but I have not come across a present day photograph. There is also a long shot photo of it in my father’s photo collection which is here –

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/24862546@N03/

      This Battalion (which was originally 10th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers) is of interest to the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, and Lt-Gen Jonathan Riley, is writing a history of 6 Para, so I suggest you check there website now and again to see if it has been published, as I am sure he will cover the HMS Abdiel losses in detail.

      Best wishes,

      Richard Morgan

      Reply
  19. John Mooney

    My father Michael Mooney from Liverpool DOB 14.2.11 could have been 1910 was in the 8th army. I remember as a child he had a number of medals including the North African and Italian Stars and pictures of him in khaki shorts on a horse in North Africa.

    Any information on his army service, where he fought, which army unit and any information or tips for getting this information would be greatly appreciated.

    John Mooney

    Reply
  20. Katrina Kittel

    Dear Italy Star Assoc UK,
    PLeased to know of your organisation. I am an Australian historian, and descendant of WW2 POW escaper in Italy. My research kicked off in 2011 following contact made with ex-POW and researcher Bill Rudd. Currently I near completion of my first book about 50 or so escapers, mostly ANZAC but also several Brits. My second book is already commenced and it focuses more on the longer-term escapers of which a number of ITaly Star awardees are included as well as others who were eligible but for various reasons, did not apply for the award. I welcome hearing from any members if I can help. I am familiar with the names and outcomes of many Aus POW escapers in Italy, and a number of New Zealanders, and as mentioned several Brits and Sth Africans. Best wishes Katrina Kittel (NSW, Australia) My facebook page is included above but here is my blurb on Professional Historians Australia website: http://www.phansw.org.au/tracing-australian-pows-in-italy/

    Reply

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