Information still desired
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8th May 2019 at 5:21 pm #16600Geoffrey ParkesGuest
Hi, first let me introduce myself. My name is Geoff Parkes and when I was younger I accompanied ISA veterens on several coach trips to Italy and in particular to Monte Cassino, where my uncle rests. His name was William Ernest Perks and he was in the 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards when he was killed on 11th February 1944. His name is engraved on the memorial as he has no grave at Cassino.
I first visited the Cemetery in 1984, the 40th anniversary of the death of my father’s only brother and found the journey very moving.
We repeated that journey three times by car, on the third visit taking my elder brother (named William George after my uncle and father respectively).
I don’t know if there’s anyone who remembers us now but my father, George Perks asked me to accompany him (as an associate member) on many more ISA trips to Italy (in the 1980s/1990s) and I was the young and eager photographer who shot many hours of video and hundreds of still photographs on those trips.
Both my father and brother have since passed away and I am left unable to learn how my uncle died or where exactly he died.
Can anyone help me by pointing me in the right direction?
When my brother died two years ago I passed uncle Bill’s medals to his son, who also served in the military and they will continue to be passed to his son when the time comes.
I’m writing a short history of my family’s life and would love to discover more about Guardsman Perks, E.W. so that his name and sacrifice does not get forgotten by his descendants.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
10th May 2019 at 12:44 pm #16618
15th November 2020 at 5:05 pm #18699Richard HiggsParticipant
Good Afternoon Geoff,
I came across your message by accident this afternoon and obviously I am not sure if you still are looking for information regarding your uncle Bill.
My name is Richard Higgs and my father was Thomas Higgs who was in the 2nd Battalion,Coldstream Guard. Sadly my dad passed away in January 2002 and his ashes are at The National Memorial Arboretum near to the Italian Campaign Memorial.
My dad was born in Cannock in 1919 and lived most of his teenage years in Parker Street, Bloxwich.
If your late father was a police officer than I think we have a common theme. I was pulled out of a badly damaged car by PC G. Perks on Christmas Eve 1960. This accident happened on Parker Street, Bloxwich. I remember also seeing your dad on duty at Fellows Park, Walsall in the 1960s on many occasions during my formative years.
My Dad always spoke with great fondness of Bill but never called him William to my knowledge. I think they were the best of friends. I have a photograph of dad plus Bill and a third guardsman at Caterham Barracks.I think I also have a picture of Bill and my dad in a trench sleeping. Dad spoke of training at Blairgowrie but they did not know what they were training for or where they were going. Next destination was on the HMS Princess Beatrix to Anzio.I know that dad and Bill fought next to each other at Anzio where I think Bill was sadly shot and killed. After the battle of Anzio my dad ended up in hospital in Naples where he was diagnosed with “shell shock” and lost his the ability to speak for many months.
I hope the information is about the relevant people.
16th November 2020 at 12:03 pm #18702Frank de PlantaParticipant
Gdsm Ernest William Perks was indeed killed on 11 Feb 44 although, being on the Cassino Memorial rather than in a cemetery with a headstone, it is more difficult to know exactly where. At the time, 2 COLDM GDS were part of 1 Guards Brigade in 6 Armoured Division. The Division had yet to arrive in Italy in Feb 44 so I suspect that 1 Guards Brigade were asked to provide reinforcements to 24 Guards Brigade who had suffered horribly at Anzio in the period 25 Jan-16 Feb 44. The Foot Guards never took reinforcements from the County Regiments so their only way of filling their ranks was to find Guardsmen from elsewhere.
The fact that his body was never found strongly suggests Anzio but he could have been serving with 5 GREN GDS, 1 IG or 1 SG at the time.
16th November 2020 at 10:06 pm #18706Gary TankardParticipant
1 Guards Brigade were rushed from North Africa in early February 1944 and were attached to 46th Infantry Division. 2nd Coldstream Guards were on Monte Ornito in this period. Guardsman Perks is not mentioned in the WO missing file and is reported in the casualty lists as killed in action, not missing, on 11th February 1944.
17th November 2020 at 9:22 am #18716
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