Reply To: The Eyes and Ears of the Regiment 67 Regt. RA

David HartridgeDavid Hartridge

I think it is time that I updated you all to say what an incredible few weeks I’ve experienced since finding this Forum. My Uncle John Hubert Hartridge (UJ) was killed on Friday 13th October 1944 in a unique situation in a farmhouse just outside Palazzuolo in Eastern Italy. He was asleep when a shell landed on the window sill of his room and killed him outright and badly injured another. Dave Shepherd, who appears above in this Forum, turns out to be the grandson of Major David Shepherd MC who was UJ’s Battery Commander and who wrote to my Grandparents informing them of UJ’s death. I contacted him and relayed the information of my uncle’s death. This prompted him to visit his Mother and search through war-time letters from David Shepherd that were, as yet, unread. As a result it now transpires that Major David Shepherd was billeted in the same room as UJ and was called out to a telephone call just before the shell landed. I now have copies of the two letters that he wrote home recalling his incredible luck and the tragic death of UJ… Also I’m in touch with Chris Harris who also has provided a lot of information and we are meeting up shortly. And now I learn that Peter Mennell went to Oundle School where all our family have attended so I shall be in touch with Helena who I see has just joined this Forum too. It is all quite overwhelming and will make our pilgrimage to Faenza this October to visit UJ’s grave exactly to the day, 75 years later all the more meaningful.. He was killed two months before I was born.