Was he a Welchman or RRF?

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    • #18697
      Adam Sergeant
      Guest

      Morning, I am researching my family tree; I was always told that my Great Uncle, Lesley Reece, was a Fusilier who died in Italy.  I had assumed, given he was from a Liverpool family (living in Wallasey) that he would have been a Lancs Fusilier, however research has shown that

      4199243 Fus L S Reece died Italy 22/1/1944 serving with the 9th Royal Fusiliers (City of London).  He also has records where he was in The Welch Fusiliers.

      My question is this – does anyone know if there was any changes to the order of battle of either of the units above around this time that might explain how a Wallasey lad might end up serving in a London regiment?

      Also, I would be very keen to hear if anyone might know what actions the 9th Royal Fusiliers took part in around late January 1944.  I think I might struggle to access the war diaries in the current climate.

    • #18698
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Participant

      Adam.

      9 R FUSILIERS were part of 167 Infantry Brigade – along with with 8 R FUSILIERS and 7 Ox & Bucks LI.  On the night of 22 Jan 44, the Brigade was the assault river crossing force on the River Garigliano in front of the small hillside town of Castelforte.  168 Infantry Brigade held the near bank and 167 Infantry Brigade passed through them, crossed in boats to the other side and advanced through minefields to the outskirts of Castelforte.

      Whilst this was going on, 169 Infantry Brigade on their right was getting across the river and making for the spa village of Sujo.

      On the outskirts of Castelforte, 167 Infantry Brigade was ordered to ignore Castelforte and make its way to the top of a very important hill – Monte Damiano which they miraculously took from the Germans.  This hill completely dominated all approaches from the south so its loss was critical for the Germans.  They could no longer easily see what the Allies were up to in that sector of the Gustav Line.

      All three Infantry Brigades made up 56 Infantry Division.

      Fusilier Reece’s Regimental Number comes from the batch allocated to the a Royal Welsh Fusiliers so he must have done his initial training with them before being transferred to 9 R FUSILIERS.

      You would need his Service a Record to tell you exactly when he was transferred.

      Get hold of me through http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk and I will happily give you more detail.

      He is buried in Minturno CWGC Cemetery which is 3km south west of where he was killed in action.

      Regards

      Frank

       

    • #18723
      Gary TankardGary Tankard
      Participant

      Adam and Frank,

      I am in the process of building a website. It isn’t anywhere near ready for general use but the January 1944 war diary for 9th Royal Fusiliers is viewable.

      9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – War Diary January 1944

      Forgive any typos or spelling. It hasn’t been reviewed in any way.

      However, in short the 9 RF initial objective was Colle Salvatito and such was the opposition they were not able to get any further. I would say out of all the battalion’s in 56 Division’s assault across the Garigliano they had the hardest time. You can easily trace the route they took from the river to Colle Salvatito as it followed a (now disused) railway embankment.

      Regards,

      Gary.

      • #18724
        Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
        Participant

        Gary.

        I had a nosey around your site.  What I have seen so far is very impressive.

        Regards

        Frank

    • #18725
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Participant

      Adam.

      I have a 1940 1,25,000 scale Italian Army map of the area if that helps.

      Regards

      Frank

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