Bergen-Belsen KZ

#1
Can anyone help me with a bit of history?

My Father was a battery 2ic of a Royal Artillery battery involved in the liberation of Belsen. The 56th Anti-Tank Regt is often quoted as being involved but my Father's pay book lists his Regt as 88th Regt Royal Artillery (HAC). They were an heavy anti-aircraft battery but often worked in an anti-tank role (a la Wermacht).

Can anyone shed any light on this for me?
 
#2
The Artillery unit which liberated Belsen was the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars who were re-roled to Artillery during the war. I'm not too sure what the Regt's number was.
 
#3
sheldrake said:
The Artillery unit which liberated Belsen was the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars who were re-roled to Artillery during the war. I'm not too sure what the Regt's number was.
There was more than 1 battery involved. I have photographs that show my Father observing his men guarding SS men/women unloading corpses into one of the mass graves.
 
#4
Ahhh... OK. I just knew that the Queer Objects On Horseback were the first in.

Their RSM used to be our Legion Secretary. One of life's Gentlemen!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#5
sheldrake said:
The Artillery unit which liberated Belsen was the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars who were re-roled to Artillery during the war. I'm not too sure what the Regt's number was.
Doesn't surprise me. My uncle joined the Northumberland Hussars in September 1939 and his squadron was promptly re-roled as a Light Anti-tank Battery in 25 LAA Regt RA.

He drove his gun tractor over three invasion beaches on respective D-Days in Sicily, Italy and Normandy.
 
#6
My Father's Adjudant was none other than Sir Edward Heath!
 
#9
sheldrake said:
Ahhh... OK. I just knew that the Queer Objects On Horseback were the first in.

Their RSM used to be our Legion Secretary. One of life's Gentlemen!
I think if every regiment that claimed to have been first in had tried to drive a vehicle into Bergen Belsen, then the RMP would have needed to be called for the trafic jam... :twisted:
 
#10
Cuddles said:
sheldrake said:
Ahhh... OK. I just knew that the Queer Objects On Horseback were the first in.

Their RSM used to be our Legion Secretary. One of life's Gentlemen!
I think if every regiment that claimed to have been first in had tried to drive a vehicle into Bergen Belsen, then the RMP would have needed to be called for the trafic jam... :twisted:
I was only relating what the old Gent told me and what the QOOH museum in Woodstock says, you know...... I didn't say I was there!

Don't shoot the messenger old chap....especially with that ghastly auto. :wink:
 
#11
sheldrake said:
I was only relating what the old Gent told me and what the QOOH museum in Woodstock says, you know...... I didn't say I was there!
If you had said it, I doubt in that massive crowd anyone could have gainsaid it!!

My departed Pa was also in Belsen at its liberation, with 1RSF. The Guards were also there and various Div tps. No monopoly on sadness eh??
 
#12
sheldrake said:
I was only relating what the old Gent told me and what the QOOH museum in Woodstock says, you know...... I didn't say I was there!
If you had said it, I doubt in that massive crowd anyone could have gainsaid it!!

My departed Pa was also in Belsen at its liberation, with 1RSF. The Guards were also there and various Div tps. No monopoly on sadness eh??
 
#13
Taking Bailey's advice I contacted the HAC archivist. It transpired that the firt unit in was my Father's battery. 86th (Essex) Heavy Anti Aircraft Bty, Royal Artillery (HAC) & NOT the 56th Anti Tank Regt as often quoted online. The 86th (Essex) Bty were part of the Honourable Artillery Company No 86 Company.
 
#14
My departed Pa was also in Belsen at its liberation, with 1RSF. The Guards were also there
As was mine with Guards Armoured. I really should get those photos scanned.
 
#15
My Wifes Grandmother was one of the first nurses brought in to help the inmates, she had been on the flying ambulances that brought troops and ammo in and casualties out of Normandy, to the day she died aged 97 she hated the Germans
 
#16
My Father could never talk about it - hence my query on here. To the day he died if he saw a photo or a film of it he had flashbacks & could see it all in colour and smell the smell all over again.
 
#17
Hi everyone, sorry to hijack this post...I'm new here so be gentle ;) I've been tracing my family tree for years now and only now am I switching to my dad's side of the tree. My mum always told us that dad was one of the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen. How can I find out if this is true? We have precious little else to go on as he died in 1982 and wouldn't speak about his time in the war. Any help and advice is gratefully received. x
 
#18
#19
Hi everyone, sorry to hijack this post...I'm new here so be gentle ;) I've been tracing my family tree for years now and only now am I switching to my dad's side of the tree. My mum always told us that dad was one of the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen. How can I find out if this is true? We have precious little else to go on as he died in 1982 and wouldn't speak about his time in the war. Any help and advice is gratefully received. x
Do you have any photos of him in uniform; that may help establish what unit he was?
 
#20
Thank you so much fourzerocharlie ... his soldier's book is quite frail and is hard to read. From what I can make out he was in the Royal Artillery Field Regiment and I think it says 88th Troop. My brother is the eldest of us so I'm going to ask him to send for his war records. Thanks again love.
 

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