First & second battalion of the York and Lancasters

#1
I'm trying to find out about the Commando sent from Grennock to Narvik Norway around late April 1940 to attack the fish oil storage depot , collect prisoners and evacuate some Norwegians etcetc.. Thus tricking the axis forces into wasting time , effort ,money ,troop deployments & equipment defending Norway & try to take pressure off the retreating BEF heading for Dunkirk .

My Dad was one of the Commando seems he was in an recently evacuated German slit trench at a cross roads with his PIAT when it got properly mortared. A few seconds later he & the CSM dived out of it when the second bracketing shot landed a few feet to the rear of the trench . The third shot dropped deep into the trench saving their lives . It soon made the lads realise that every slit trench evacuated by the Germans was very accurately surveyed & recorded on their maps and easily taken out in a counter attack.

He lost his small pack in the collapsed trench ..in it was his iron rations etc & his wedding ring engraved with a copperplate intertwined WGM in that order ( Willian & Mary ).

I'd love to discover his travels .. seems he, " He walked the E'fin length of Italy , carrying the Vickers tripod. " Had some hairy escapes and a bit of exciting action here & there " as he put it . .

His name was Pte Bill ( William ) Gould aka " NAT" after the horse racing writer/novelist ( ? ) Nat Gould ) . I think he was batman/ body guard to a Major Simms towards the end of the game . I think he was also a successful southpaw light weight boxer as he didn't have a broken nose .


I'm now 68 and after the demise of my elder brother have been given Dads medals. I would like to pass the info on to my 16 yr old Daughter , so that should I not manage to discover where the cross roads are etc she can have the opportunity to go find the wedding ring if it is still there.
 
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#2
Can't help with info, but 52 when your daughter was born? Good on ya. I thought I was dragging my heels a bit at 40.
 
#3
You seem to be mixing up two events. The commando raid on a fish oil facility was Operation Claymore, the location was the Lofoten islands and the date March 1941. As far as I'm aware we didn't land troops at Narvik although the navy fought a battle in March 1940.

As next of kin you can get to see your dads service record. Otherwise it's the usual suspects, start with Wikipedia and then move to the references. Use the National Archive to find the unit war diaries.
I've had a quick look at Wki and one other book you might like to read is "Storm from the Sea" by Peter Young, who was on the raid.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
The PIAT wasn't used in Norway or before the fall of France, too early: Wiki says "The PIAT was first used during the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, and remained in use with British and Commonwealth forces until the early 1950s."
It was adopted in 1942. Maybe the commando's had a Blacker Bombard
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
There was a land battle around the mountains surrounding Narvik but its remembered as a separate battle, effectively there were two battles.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
The Yorks and Lancs territorials also took part in the Namsos fighting!
 

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