commando veterans association commando dagger
[Recent Topics] Recent Topics   [Groups] Back to home page  [Register] Register /  [Login] Login 
Flushing 2014  XML
Forum Index » Association Events
Author Message
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

Dear friends
I am waiting to hear about the dates for the 70th anniverery of Flushing. The new memorial area above Uncle beach should be in place by then. The Commemoration will likley be on 3 November 2014.
Some great news the Vlissingen (Flushing) City Council have decided to support the veterans and relatives of No 4 Commando British and French and put their plan to have the memorial area there at the landing beach.
Please see link if you scroll down to the bottom http://www.vlissingen.nl/uploads/media/Presentatie_-_DO_Herdenkingsgebied_WOII.pdf

Best wishes Bill

Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
Eileen
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 17/08/2012 13:26:51
Messages: 386
Offline

My hotel's booked - will sort out travelling arrangements when I know the precise dates.

This is going to be so special.

I wish this place didn't tell folk that edits have been made - other places don't - now it'll say that I fluffed twice.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 18/01/2014 13:12:16


If I have praised my comrades too highly I make no apology, for they were beyond all praise.

Lord Lovat - No 4 Commando
[Email]
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

Thanks to Jochem he gave me this lead - "There was a English medical officer in one off the landing vessels in 1944 in Vlissingen, Luit. Kennedy. He came back to Vlissingen in 1946 and asked the town council to erect a statue for no 4 commando. After Lofoten, Dieppe, Boulogne, Normandy.....they wanted a No 4 Commando monument in Vlissingen to remember their 103 dead!!! He then send a cheque of 150, and a Commando flag to support the erecting of the monument". I asked Ardi Meerman about it "I think I know that flag.Until a couple of years ago it hung framed in a presentation in the town hall. Because of the restauration of the town hall the entire presentation went to the local museum. Next week I will try to get a picture of the flag and send it to you". I then sent Ardi a photo of the small flag in Spean Bridge Hotel. He told me "That's the flag I'm talking about.The colours are not so bright anymore I think".

Bill

Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
Pete
CVA Website Archivist

Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
Messages: 3522
Offline

Bill, that would probably be Doc Kennedy, RAMC attached to No 4 Commando. Click on his name to view his photo.

Pete

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages (pm). Use email or forum please. ****
[Email]
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

Flushing (Vlissingen) 2014 ? 70 years

The Liberation of Walchernen: The liberation of the Dutch island of Walcheren in November 1944, and the opening of the river Schelde, was the most significant event in the war in North-west Europe. Today it is largely forgotten, outside Walcheren itself, and a dwindling band of veterans and relatives who go when they can. Without the liberation, however, the Western Allies campaign in Europe would have faltered, and might have died. Walcheren mattered because its German coastal batteries and the minefields blocked maritime access to Antwerp which was 70 miles from open sea.

Seventh year commemoration: There will be a special commemoration in Flushing to mark the seventh year of the landings by No 4 Army Commando, British and French troops, members of No 2 Dutch troop 10 Inter Allied Commando and followed in by 52nd (Lowland) Division. Hans Koeman of the Liberation Committee and his Committee are planning in conjunction with the Vlissingen Council to move the Memorials back to the dyke beside Uncle landing beach and the Oranjemolen (windmill). The commemoration is normally around 3 November and linked in with the Zeeland commemorations. Royal Marine Commandos landed north of Flushing at Westkapelle.

Army Commandos: It would be good if some serving Army Commandos could be present to represent No 4 Army Commando as the veterans who are still alive are not able to travel. Three of the eight No 4 Army Commando who were killed in action were Lieut. N. W. Barrass, Gunner. W. Harvey and Gunner. E. A. Hill all of the Royal Artillery. Would be wonderful if an honour guard from the Army Gunners could come and represent No 4 Army Commando at Flushing and the War Cemetery in Bergen op Zoom where most of No 4 are remembered in honour.

No 4 Army Commando Flag: Perhaps arrangements could also be made for the honour guard to carry No 4 Army Commando Flag. There is also a flag in the IWM that was given to No 4 Army Commando by the people of Flushing.


Why start now?: We really need to start planning now and liaise with the Royal Marines and the Liberation Committee in Vlissingen and Zeeland. Can you please contact me with contact name and address of those coming this year so I can pass this onto the Liberation Committee as they would like to know who is coming so they can contact them.

Bill

Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

I managed to track down one of the sons of Pte H Donkin KIA in Flushing. The last time I saw the Donkins was on a bus for the 60th Anniversery.

Really pleased.

Bill

Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
Eileen
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 17/08/2012 13:26:51
Messages: 386
Offline

How is he, Bill? I'll be paying my respects at his dad's grave in November - is he going?

If I have praised my comrades too highly I make no apology, for they were beyond all praise.

Lord Lovat - No 4 Commando
[Email]
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

I have tried to contact as many as I can about the new memorial ground in Flushing. If anyone has contact with relatives of the following can they let them know please - Lieut Nicholas William Barrass, L/Sgt Alfred John Walker, L/Cpl Owen Gerrard Hooper, Gnr Edward Arthur Hill all who were KIA. Bill

Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
John Martin
Forum Corporal

Joined: 19/08/2010 16:02:05
Messages: 54
Offline

I do not know anything about the surviving family of L/Cpl Hooper, but I do know a certain amount about the sad circumstances of his death in action as my late uncle was alongside him when he was killed by a booby-trapped door.
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

Hi John. The intellegence report records on page 20 "Lance Corporal Hooper had been killed by a grenade as he tried to enter the barricaded door of a house and Gunner Lewington was wounded at the same time."

Best wishes. Bill

Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
John Martin
Forum Corporal

Joined: 19/08/2010 16:02:05
Messages: 54
Offline

Dear Bill,

Thank you for such a prompt response.

I am afraid that I have never seen the intelligence report.

My late uncle was Sgt Donald Martin of C Troop 4 Cdo. (He was one of the first Police intake in 1942.)

My recollections go back to the 40th anniversary in 1984. We stayed with the Van Elzakker family in Halsteren, with whom he was billeted after Flushing. Owen Hooper was very close to him, and over dinner on 1 November 1984 we discussed the incident in which Owen died late into the night. My uncle felt guilty.

When we went down to breakfast the next morning, Jan van Elzakker had managed overnight to have a floral tribute made up, and after breakfast we went to the cemetery in Bergen op Zoom to place it on his grave. My uncle was very visibly moved. I cannot remember, but I may have posted photographs on the website.

My uncle's summary was this. In the middle of heavy fire during the street fighting in Flushing, he thought it important to take a house on the opposite side of the street. While Owen had no responsibility for joining him, since his role was fire support, he went with him. They could not force the door, under fire, and as Owen had a rifle and my uncle had a TSMG Owen hit to door with the rifle's stock.

My uncle remembered a huge blue flash. Owen took the full force of what my uncle was sure was a booby-trap, something that he had previously encountered in Flushing, and Owen was killed instantly. My uncle was temporarily blinded by dust and debris. He recovered, and went on to be mentioned in despatches on a later operation. You will find his photo on the website.

He retained his feelings of guilt, because he felt that Owen should not have been there and if he had hit the door himself, Owen would not have died.

I lost my uncle in 2000, and so I cannot ask him for any more information. But in 1984 he was 66 and his mind was as sharp as a button. In fact, we went on doing reunions until he became too ill in 1998. Intelligence reports are compiled after the event, and not in the midst of battle. I am convinced that Owen died as a result of selflessness. But we shall never know.

Best wishes,

John
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

Dear John thay all died to save others in Flushing.

Thanks for letting us know.

Bill


Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
John Martin
Forum Corporal

Joined: 19/08/2010 16:02:05
Messages: 54
Offline

Dear Bill,

You are, of course, right. I don't know which was trying to save the other.

Both were seasoned Commando soldiers. I believe that Owen Hooper had gone though Dieppe. My uncle was not released from Police service until 1942 to join the Commandos, but was severely wounded in Ouistreham early on 6 June 1944 in an attack on the German battery there.

Between them, they made a split second decision, under fire, who was best equipped to try to break down the door. This must have happened all the time.

I just hope that, for the sake of any family of Owen Hooper, my uncle's contemporaneous account was the correct one. Owen was much older than my uncle, and may well have had children.

Yours,

John
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

Dear John

The truth is always out there. The trouble is the heros of No 4 never talked about it. That is why the CVA is so important so we who are the relatives and the few of No 4 who are left can record the history of what they did say.

Owen Hooper was at Dieppe as I have the listing drawn up in the 1990s. He was in the Buffs before No 4.

I have passed on these to my Dutch friend so someone in Holland knows the history.

Best wishes.

Bill

Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
Bill Harvey
Forum Captain
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/07/2007 22:24:35
Messages: 518
Location: Dunbeg Argyll
Offline

No 4 Commando KIA those mentioned in the intelligence report of Flushing.

Lance Corporal O G Hooper - "Lance Corporal Hooper was killed by a grenade as he tried to enter the barricaded door of a house."
Gunner W Y Harvey "On the way to the first objective Gnr. Harvey was killed by enemy MG fire."
Private P Laux "In doing so Pte. Laux was killed at the entrance of the pill box."
Lieutenant N W Barrass "During the clearing Lieut. N. W. Barrass was killed."
Private H Donkin "In the approach to this a group of enemy were met; during the ensuing action at least ten enemy were killed or wounded, Pte. Donkin was killed."
Gunner E A Hill "The MG's were still firing and Gnr. Hill was killed, shot through the head, on the waters edge."
Private J Stoddart "Pte. Stoddart of the machine gun Section was hit in the head by a sniper at the same corner in attempting to recover the M.G. tripod and killed."
"Lance Corporal J Montean (French) L/Cpl. Montean and the prisoners were killed."
No. 6 Troop (French) "my losses were three killed." "with No. 2 section having lost a man while trying to cross the road." They are not mentioned but this must have been Corporal J Momceau, Corporal Y Ruppe, Lance Corporal J Neven and Lance Corporal N Gourong.
Lance Sergeant A J Walker "It was while marshalling the prisoners into loading parties that L/Sgt. A. J. Walker was fatally wounded by a shell which burst on the Oranje Molen promontory."

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 02/09/2014 17:41:55


Bill Harvey
Son of Gunner Bill Harvey No4 Commando who was killed in action on 1 November 1944 when liberating Flushing. "Their deeds shall live from age to age. They've writ their name on History's page. Upheld their glorious heritage. The Fighting Fourth Commando."
 
Forum Index » Association Events
Go to:   
©Commando Veterans Archive 2006 - 2016. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all content on this site is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Powered by JForum 2.1.8 © JForum Team
commando dagger