• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

J Wilson, 3rd Scots guards surprise.

#1
I recently found a bargain on-line. A book which is out of print that I have read in the past, and wanted to find again to add to my collection. The Cheapest I'd seen it before last week was £45, so when I found one in a second hand books shop for £12+ P&P I nailed it as fast as I could.

The book was Patrick Forbes "6th Guards tank brigade".

I get home today from work, and find its arrived. Imagine my surprise when I see its dust jacket is still in place, even if its slightly foxed. My surprise continued to grow when I opened the book and a sheaf of papers fell out.

The first was a Railway Clerks Association Branch meeting notice, dated from 1947. I've still got to work out what this has to do with the subject material.

The Next was an order of Service from a memorial service for a "Jonathan Wilson". This was dated Sunday, November the 10th, 1946. On a Hunch I flicked through to the Books Roll of honour, and there Entry #4 Was one Guardsman Wilson, J, from the Brigades HQ.


The last two pieces of paper were additional notes, hand written referencing pages in the book. They are, I find very hard to read, so I've not done more than glance at them. On these notes there's no clue as to whom the mystery author is.
Referencing Page 64.
Referencing Page 73, front.
Referencing Page 73, Rear.

Then I spotted something inside the book. Its another note. Same type of paper, same ink and same hand who wrote the other notes, only this one is glued inside. Dedicating the Book to "Johnny", then it expands on this nick name, and states Guardsman Jonathan Wilson.
This note is Signed off with a name (which I can't read) and his position as Commander, 14th Troop.

So I asked around, and did some digging, but someone else found out the following.
There was a poet called Jonathan Wilson who was a Lt in the Scots guards. Who comes up on the Commonwealth War graves commission site. There's also a brief account of the action were he was killed.
At seven o’clock in the morning of the 20th November we left HELMOND, passed through MEIJEL, crossed the DEURNE CANAL and formed up North of the VENLO road close to the village of BERINGE where we were sharply shelled by an SP gun. We had under command a squadron of FLAILs (C/Sqn, W Dgns), a batter of SP guns (146th Anti-Tank BATTERY) and a troop of AVsRE, including a bridge. We also had a couple of CHURCHILL bridge-layers. The FLAILS and SPs we shared out - a troop to each squadron. From BERINGE a track leads North-East to the village of SEVENUM (818140). This track was to be the axis of our advance. At 11.15 a.m. Left Flank and the GORDONs moved off. Within a mile they came under heavy mortar and Spandau fire from some houses just ahead and from the surrounding woods. This stopped the Infantry; but the tanks advanced amongst the houses, destroyed them by gun-fire and silenced the Spandaus. The “bag” destroyed them by gun-fire and silenced the Spandaus. The “bag” consisted of about 20 killed and 46 prisoners. After the attack however SP guns, first on the right and then on the left flank, opened fire from thick cover and, before being forced to withdraw, knocked out the tank of Lieutenant J. WILSON, killing him and wounding two of his crew.
Taken from here.

I've Emailed the Marlborough college chapel to see if they can add anything.

Does anyone else have anything to contribute, or plain old advice on what I could do next? I ask as this is a first for me in all my years reading up on history. I've never gotten hold of unique unseen primary documents before.
Thanks.
 
#4
Listy, I have transcribed those notes for you.
J.W. said Page 64

They were very disappointed
at not being able to make
their triumphal entry into
Tilburg also . But the
Germans counter attacked
& the Americans panicked
& they had to go & deal
with it.
Actually the attack had
been broken up by
Typhoons & never reached
them.
Page 73
On November 20th our battallion
had breakfast at 5.30 am
& moved off under cover of
darkness.
JW & his troop led & having
been told to hump, went at
such an unprecedented pace
that Left Flank had stopped,
shaved & had a second
breakfast before the rest
of the batallion had caught
up with them. The "rest"
had quite a lot to say
about it! much to their
amusement, & to the delight
of Major JP Mann, J's
Squadron Leader who
given J. his orders.
They fought all day,
& only at dusk about 5 pm
was J's tank hit.
He died at 11pm.
 

Latest Threads