Looking for info on WWII Vet

#1
Looking for where to find Info search for a work college
His old man William Bolitho (crossed the bar), was a WWII veteran, whom like a lot didn’t talk much about his service.
His was an officer in the Lancashire reg, driving Churchill Tanks?
He was shot and wounded, losing his leg, possibly at the battle of Falaise Gap https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falaise_Pocket
Any ideas as to where he could start his search to find out info about his dad’s WWII service, he does have his service number.
I’ll do some digging but any good pointers are appreciated.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
Officers records from WW1 aren't yet in the public domain so I doubt WW2 will be yet. Next of kin needs to apply to Glasgow I believe, loads of threads on researching relatives on here.
Any idea which Lancs Regt and also which actual Bn No?
Or was he from Lancs in a tank regiment (full of Lncs lads) in which case it will have had a name or number?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
For what its worth there are a few websites/forums with sample letters about (ISTR) so you fill in the details (as much as you know) and the NoK sends it in. You could check the gazette or look at the threads in the sticky portion on tracing a relatives military records. No1 Dont pay anyone, some on here will do the leg work for free/small donation to charity etc.
 
#7
Bolitho is a Cornish name, might there be a South West connection?
 
#10
Bolitho is a Cornish name, might there be a South West connection?
Without meaning to be negative given social mobility it might only explain his family origin. I'm a son of the Tyne but my surname is Catalan, and in a snapshot of my first platoon, apart from me, we had a Jock, a lad with a Polish surname, and even a mackem, but we don't often mention him.

Yet with a few seconds of google fu I looked for the Lancs Regt Association and got this:
Lancashire Regiment - Regiment History, War & Military Records & Archives

Following that I searched Bolitho and not knowing his first name I got this:
350 results.

Search Results for bolitho | Forces War Records

Hope it helps.
 
#11
Without meaning to be negative given social mobility it might only explain his family origin. I'm a son of the Tyne but my surname is Catalan, and in a snapshot of my first platoon, apart from me, we had a Jock, a lad with a Polish surname, and even a mackem, but we don't often mention him.

Yet with a few seconds of google fu I looked for the Lancs Regt Association and got this:
Lancashire Regiment - Regiment History, War & Military Records & Archives

Following that I searched Bolitho and not knowing his first name I got this:
350 results.

Search Results for bolitho | Forces War Records

Hope it helps.
Thanks, I am also looking but am from the sub-surface fleet and thought some of you land lubbers may have some insider knowledge.
 
#12
If he lost a leg it is highly likely he would have been a member of BLESMA. The association had a number of regional welfare reps and may well have a record of the man.

Contact details at Home
 
#16
Cornish name sorted, Granddad Bolitho from Penzance area, wounded in WW1 was sent to Lancashire Royal Infirmary, his treating nurse became his wife, ended up living in Morecambe
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#17
I had some time to spare and so looked on Forces War Records [as I just realised Dwarf has done above], which handily has Army List and War Office Casualty List entries covering WW2. This was the only "W Bolitho/William Bolitho" that came up:

W Bolitho

-----

First Name:

W

Surname:

Bolitho

Nationality:

British

Information:

Regular Army Emergency Commissions. Temporary Captain 01/06/1946

Rank:

2nd Lieutenant

Rank (2nd):

W.S./Lt.

Service:

British Army

Regiment:

East Lancashire Regiment

Seniority Date:

03/10/1943

--------


First Name:

W

Surname:

Bolitho

Fate:

Wounded

Incident Details:

Reported to the War Office Casualty Branch for the 24 hours ended 09.00am.

Incident Date:

15/07/1944

Information:

Casualty List No. 1499.

Rank:

W/Lieutenant

Service Number:

295429

Duty Location:

North West Europe

Service:

British Army

Regiment:

East Lancashire Regiment

Archive Reference:

WO417/006

-------




First Name:

W

Surname:

Bolitho

Date of Action:

08/07/194?

Fate:

Dangerously Ill

Incident Details:

Reported to the War Office Casualty Branch for the 24 hours ended 09.00am.

Incident Date:

26/07/1944

Information:

Casualty List No. 1508. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 1499 as Wounded.

Rank:

W/Lieutenant

Service Number:

295429

Duty Location:

North West Europe

British Army

Regiment:

East Lancashire Regiment

Archive Reference:

WO417/007

------------
 
#18
I had some time to spare and so looked on Forces War Records [as I just realised Dwarf has done above], which handily has Army List and War Office Casualty List entries covering WW2. This was the only "W Bolitho/William Bolitho" that came up:

W Bolitho

-----

First Name:

W

Surname:

Bolitho

Nationality:

British

Information:

Regular Army Emergency Commissions. Temporary Captain 01/06/1946

Rank:

2nd Lieutenant

Rank (2nd):

W.S./Lt.

Service:

British Army

Regiment:

East Lancashire Regiment

Seniority Date:

03/10/1943

--------


First Name:

W

Surname:

Bolitho

Fate:

Wounded

Incident Details:

Reported to the War Office Casualty Branch for the 24 hours ended 09.00am.

Incident Date:

15/07/1944

Information:

Casualty List No. 1499.

Rank:

W/Lieutenant

Service Number:

295429

Duty Location:

North West Europe

Service:

British Army

Regiment:

East Lancashire Regiment

Archive Reference:

WO417/006

-------




First Name:

W

Surname:

Bolitho

Date of Action:

08/07/194?

Fate:

Dangerously Ill

Incident Details:

Reported to the War Office Casualty Branch for the 24 hours ended 09.00am.

Incident Date:

26/07/1944

Information:

Casualty List No. 1508. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 1499 as Wounded.

Rank:

W/Lieutenant

Service Number:

295429

Duty Location:

North West Europe

British Army

Regiment:

East Lancashire Regiment

Archive Reference:

WO417/007

------------
Thank you very much, info passed on, recipient is also thank full , of the info not to pay some of these sites that want money up front, before you can search their sites, he had already been ripped off?
 
#19
As Ugly said, both 144 RAC and 148 RAC were formed from Lancs regiments, but only 144 RAC was formed from the East Lancs. Both regiments were part of 33 Tank Brigade, which was indeed equipped with Churchill tanks, but converted to Shermans (being re-titled as 33 Armoured Brigade) before being sent to Normandy.

The date of the first wound (8 Jul 44) does correspond with 144 RAC's first action, supporting 59 (Staffs) Div in Operation Charnwood - the assault on Caen. IIRC, 144 RAC took pretty heavy losses and were later brought up to strength by absorbing 148 RAC, which had taken even heavier losses supporting 51 (Highland) Div at Colombelles around the same time.

The date of the second wound (26 Jul 44) doesn't ring any bells for obvious operations, though random mortaring of roads and harbour-areas were the big killers among tank-crewmen - catching them unawares and out of their tanks. I think 144 RAC were out of the line at the time, absorbing 148 RAC, though they might still have been close enough to get mortared. I'll have a dig through the books when I get home, to see what I can find, though sadly I don't have anything specific on 144 RAC or 33 Armoured Brigade.
 
#20
From a quick Google, there's an excellent personal account from 144 RAC here: 144th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps D-Day June 1944 operation Overloard

According to this, after 25th July 144 RAC were in defensive positions at Grentheville (SE of Caen and on the battlefield of Operation GOODWOOD. which had taken place there during the previous week) and the regiment suffered some casualties from intermittent shelling. I imagine that one of these casualties was him.

Believe it or not, despite the legends of Sherman tanks being 'Tommy-cookers' for unfortunate crewmen, the big killer of Allied tank crews in Normandy was random shelling/mortaring of their harbour positions, catching them unawares and outside of their armour.
 

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