Information on Welsh Regiment...Urgent!

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by zazabell_012, Jun 8, 2010.

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  1. Hi guys

    I am currently attempting to access my fathers military service records (1939-46), and after 4 months of google, bling, govt websites (MoD), museums, emails, forms and phone calls, I am getting nowhere primarily due to a rather too efficient or inept bureaucracy back home, and it's driving me nuts!

    If anyone in Arrse land know's where I can access information on the Welch Regiment (5th) please let me know. Apparently that specific batallion disbanded in 1968.

    I will be in the UK in a week and am willing to travel anywhere to get information on him and his former regiment. As with most men of his generation he refused point blank to speak of his war experiences, however when it came to basic training he would talk all day.

    If anyone out there has any information, ideas etc please let me know. Just to give you an idea of how bad communication is, I have emailed a museum in Brecon (apparently it's the HQ for the former regiment) 4 times! To date I have had no reply from them!


    Thanks a mill guys
    Zaza :D
  2. The Welsh Regiment museum is not in Brecon, thats the South Wales Borderers, its in Cardiff Castle,and has a facebook site "Firing Line"Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier" that will give you all contact info.
  3. Trooper, fantastic! I'll look that up now :D

    Thank you :D
  4. No - Cardiff Castle is where you need to start, The Royal Welch Fusiliers were a different Regiment.

    It doesn't help you that the Welsh Regiment was also spelt as Welch in the past!

    If it helps, 5th Battalion The Welsh Regiment took part in the Normandy landings during which Lt Tasker Watkins was awarded the Victoria Cross. They became the Royal Regiment of Wales in about 1969.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. You mean 1st/ 5th The Welch Regiment I think they were in 160 Inf Bde in53(Welsh) division. they landed after Day and first went into action on the 30th of June at the village of Le-Valtru.
  6. The late Maj J.A,Tasker Watkins only joined the Batallion on the 25th of July 1944 and by the 16th af August had won a VC, he was as mad as a Carrot and is much missed at rememberance day, he took out two MG nests alone with a sten gun and when it jammed took out an Anti tank gun with his pistol, he then useing a Bren charged another enemy post, this was at Bafour not far from Falaise
  7. Yes, the spelling has caused a great deal of confusion! So, the regiment is still around, but under a different name....ok, that clears a few things up.

    From troopers info Cardiff Castle is the best place to start. I'll be going there in two weeks time.

    Apparently I did meet Taskar Watkins as a child, but was too young to remember. My dad was knew him and served with him. When I was old enough to ask questions He wouldn't talk about it, well from 44 onwards.

    Thanks for your help :D
  8. If you want me to do any research for you let me know,as I am very pally with some of the staff at the museum and live only a couple of hundred yards away from the Castle,also if you need a guide around Cardiff
  9. Trooper, you're obviously well read on these things. And many thanks for the fb page, I have added it.

    This may seem a silly question! But do you know what a "Half Track" is? Supposedly my dad used one of these, but I haven't the foggiest as to what it is!
  10. Trooper, I'm a Ponty girl, as in Pontypridd :D . But I definately owe you a pint or three of Brains for your help.....would the Queens Vault suffice? :D
  11. The regimental title was spelled 'Welch' during WW2. It had spent some time during WW1 spelled 'Welsh', but reverted to the old 'Welch' spelling in the 1920s.

    The 5th Welch persisted in using the rather archaic '1/5th' Welch designation for WW2, so search for 1/5th Welch as well as 5th Welch, as they are essentially the same thing.

    1/5th Welch started out in 160 Brigade, as mentioned above, but on 3 Aug 44 was transferred to 158 Brigade, as part of the general reorganisation of 53 (Welsh) Division that took place at that time. This reorganisation was essentially to mix up the regiments, as previously all the battalions of the RWF had been massed in one brigade (158).

    The War Diaries for 1/5th Welch, 158 Bde and 160 Bde are all available to view at Kew - I was looking at them myself a couple of months ago, with regard to the Battle of 's-Hertogenbosch in October 1944.

    There are two histories for 53rd (Welsh) Division that would help with the general overview: 'Red Crown & Dragon' by Patrick Delaforce and 'The History of the 53rd (Welsh) Division in the Second World War by Brigadier C N Barclay. Delaforce's book is the better of the two, but Barclay's has good appendices.

    I'll try to find out if the battalion published its own history. These battalion histories tend to be very small print-runs of 2,000 or so - enough for the members of the battalion still alive at the end of the war, plus a few others. They are consequently very rare. I know that the three RWF battalions of 53 Div published their own histories, but I've not come across any for the two Welch battalions.
  12. Sure enough: '1/5th - the Welch Regt' by J Machin is one published history of the battalion.
  13. Drink there quit often,

    A White International Half Track, we still had them in 1970

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