78y old looking for his father's family Iceland ww2

conjurer

Old-Salt

49 (West Riding) infantry Division - Wiki entry​

Service in Iceland, 1940−42​

The division, now with only the 146th and 147th Infantry Brigades left, departed for Iceland, the 146th arriving there on 8 May,[13] the 147th on 17 May,[14] and the divisional HQ arriving on 23 June, when it was redesignated HQ Alabaster Force and, in January 1941, Iceland Force before finally being redesignated HQ British Troops Iceland.[7] Both brigades were thereafter stationed in Iceland until 1942.[15] As a result, a new divisional insignia, featuring a polar bear standing on an ice floe, was adopted.[7] Also stationed there from late October 1940 was the 70th Independent Infantry Brigade.[16] In 1941, at the request of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the division was trained in mountain warfare and also in arctic warfare.[17] By April 1942, responsibility for Iceland had been handed over to the United States, with the arrival in July the previous year of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and the three brigades began to be relieved, and Major General Curtis suggested the Marines wear the polar bear insignia.[7][17] A junior officer of the 1st Tyneside Scottish wrote of the experience in Iceland: "Iceland had given us so much. More than anything it had forged a firm and abiding link between all who wore the Polar Bear".[17]
 
Patrick Delaforce's history of 49 (West Riding) Division is excellent and includes a brief chapter on their time in Iceland:

The Polar Bears: Monty's Left Flank: from Normandy to the Relief of Holland with the 49th Division: Amazon.co.uk: Patrick Delaforce: 9781781550724: Books

Although it concentrates on one battle fought by the 1st Tyneside Scottish and supporting units, rather than the division and campaign as a whole, I'd also highly recommend 'Breaking the Panzers: The Bloody Battle for Rauray, Normandy 1 July 1944' by Kevin Baverstock:

Breaking the Panzers: Amazon.co.uk: Baverstock, Kevin: 9780750928953: Books
 
No Birth certificate to help ?
Yes have birth certificate however english proficiency at the time was very basic compared to now so the name is at best an approximation of the real name or might also be a shorter version like billy or something similar.
 

Attachments

  • Fæðingarvottorð Einar Sig.pdf
    361.9 KB · Views: 67
Yes have birth certificate however english proficiency at the time was very basic compared to now so the name is at best an approximation of the real name or might also be a shorter version like billy or something similar.
Benjamin Ferving seems the most obvious candidate.
 

load_fin

War Hero
From what I can tell there wasn't a Benjamin Ferving serving in the 49th though I can't be sure, is there a way to see the list of Military Police Sergeants serving in Iceland at the time in the 49th ?
Yes have birth certificate however english proficiency at the time was very basic compared to now so the name is at best an approximation of the real name or might also be a shorter version like billy or something similar.

Yes have birth certificate however english proficiency at the time was very basic compared to now so the name is at best an approximation of the real name or might also be a shorter version like billy or

Yes have birth certificate however english proficiency at the time was very basic compared to now so the name is at best an approximation of the real name or might also be a shorter version like billy or something similar.
If its written by an Icelander, maybe the surname has altered slightly from the English - maybe something like Furber, Farthing, Verbing, Thurber?
 
Please see attached with the icelandic version
Nowhere near Benjamin or Benji for the first name but I'm struggling to think of a modern first name that sounds like it. Might it be double barreled?

EDIT There is a product called Bengay so perhaps a nick name?

 
Last edited:

load_fin

War Hero
Nowhere near Benjamin or Benji for the first name but I'm struggling to think of a modern first name that sounds like it. Might it be double barreled?

EDIT There is a product called Bengay so perhaps a nick name?

Agreed, that hard G makes it far from Benjy.

Looking back at the photograph, the chap does appear to have dark skin (as @stacker1 pointed out). Might he be from the empire, with a non-English name?

@IvarHermann, does your friend have fair skin or is it darker than normal Icelandic?
 
Agreed, that hard G makes it far from Benjy.

Looking back at the photograph, the chap does appear to have dark skin (as @stacker1 pointed out). Might he be from the empire, with a non-English name?

@IvarHermann, does your friend have fair skin or is it darker than normal Icelandic?
Bengay as I refer to above is apparently an angliscisation of Bengue who was the French Doctor who formulated the stuff in the first place.

 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

49 (West Riding) infantry Division - Wiki entry​

Service in Iceland, 1940−42​

The division, now with only the 146th and 147th Infantry Brigades left, departed for Iceland, the 146th arriving there on 8 May,[13] the 147th on 17 May,[14] and the divisional HQ arriving on 23 June, when it was redesignated HQ Alabaster Force and, in January 1941, Iceland Force before finally being redesignated HQ British Troops Iceland.[7] Both brigades were thereafter stationed in Iceland until 1942.[15] As a result, a new divisional insignia, featuring a polar bear standing on an ice floe, was adopted.[7] Also stationed there from late October 1940 was the 70th Independent Infantry Brigade.[16] In 1941, at the request of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the division was trained in mountain warfare and also in arctic warfare.[17] By April 1942, responsibility for Iceland had been handed over to the United States, with the arrival in July the previous year of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and the three brigades began to be relieved, and Major General Curtis suggested the Marines wear the polar bear insignia.[7][17] A junior officer of the 1st Tyneside Scottish wrote of the experience in Iceland: "Iceland had given us so much. More than anything it had forged a firm and abiding link between all who wore the Polar Bear".[17]
My bold - modelled on 'Peppy the Polar Bear' from Fox's Glacier Mints allegedly. There aren't any Polar Bears in Iceland either but the GOC wanted a proper aggressively posed bear and he (eventually) got one.

Brigade military skills prize in silver was impressive mind.
 

Johned

War Hero
The bike has been referred to as a BSA M20 500 sv but I think it more likely a Norton 16H 600 SV
; any other opinions?
 
Nowhere near Benjamin or Benji for the first name but I'm struggling to think of a modern first name that sounds like it. Might it be double barreled?

EDIT There is a product called Bengay so perhaps a nick name?

He had a nickname which was "Bang", not sure if that is a common nickname for some english first name ?
 
Agreed, that hard G makes it far from Benjy.

Looking back at the photograph, the chap does appear to have dark skin (as @stacker1 pointed out). Might he be from the empire, with a non-English name?

@IvarHermann, does your friend have fair skin or is it darker than normal Icelandic?
I have not heard that, at least that is not something that was told to my friend. So I assume he had fair-ish skin otherwise the Icelandic would have commented on that since that would be something that they would have noticed and remembered I assume given the time but can't be sure might have decided to leave that out on purpose. Was a lot of sensitivity around in Iceland at the time with icelandic girls and soldiers in general so that is probably the reason my friend does not have a lot of information to go on.
Can't really stress how important it is to my friend to find out who his father was, has carried this his whole life and wants nothing more than to at least know who he was.

Just to summarize from what we have figured out so far is
a. Sgt Military police
b. British army, polar bears probably 49th
c. Stationed in Iceland early 1942, probably left Iceland in 1942 as well as the USA took over Iceland around that time.
d. Nickname "Bang", name on birth certificate "Beingy Fervings" probably grossly misspelled

Can't have been many Military police sgt in iceland then? Is it possible to see somewhere a list of names of those that match that criteria?
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
I have not heard that, at least that is not something that was told to my friend. So I assume he had fair-ish skin otherwise the Icelandic would have commented on that since that would be something that they would have noticed and remembered I assume given the time but can't be sure might have decided to leave that out on purpose. Was a lot of sensitivity around in Iceland at the time with icelandic girls and soldiers in general so that is probably the reason my friend does not have a lot of information to go on.
Can't really stress how important it is to my friend to find out who his father was, has carried this his whole life and wants nothing more than to at least know who he was.

Just to summarize from what we have figured out so far is
a. Sgt Military police
b. British army, polar bears probably 49th
c. Stationed in Iceland early 1942, probably left Iceland in 1942 as well as the USA took over Iceland around that time.
d. Nickname "Bang", name on birth certificate "Beingy Fervings" probably grossly misspelled

Can't have been many Military police sgt in iceland then? Is it possible to see somewhere a list of names of those that match that criteria?
DNA test to sort out his ethnic groupings ?
also a check through newspapers from that period in iceland may show something up


 

Latest Threads

Top