Welcome this new archive relating to the men and women service personnel and the part they played at the Liberation and subsequent Humanitarian Effort of the Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945.
This site will progress and I’d encourage anyone with any info to get in touch. My granddad, Reg Price served with the 113th Durham Light Infantry*, as part of 369 Battery. As a signwriter, he produced this sign…
And this was kept in the family for years – so for the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Belsen in 2020, subsequent VE Day and VJ Day, I thought it’s about time I’d try to find out more about Reg – his comrades (many of which are names, simply written on the back of photos), what they did together and for a way to remember them all, properly.
To coinicide with the anniversary, I was able to be filmed both on national and local BBC TV to tell Reg’s Story. Whilst this was totally out of my comfort zone and I dreaded every moment – I decided I needed to do something to start this all off. BBC Midlands Today aired 7th May and a VE Day Antiques Roadshow Special aired Sunday 10th May.
Name: SKINNER, HAROLD
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
Unit Text: 113 (2/5th Bn. The Durham Light Inf.) Lt. A.A. Regt.
Date of Death: 07/07/1944
Service No: 1780611
Additional information: Son of William Thomas Skinner and Emily Winifred Skinner, of Brockenhurst, Hampshire.
Grave/Memorial Reference: I. B. 2.
Cemetery: SECQUEVILLE-EN-BESSIN WAR CEMETERY
Submitted by: 113th DLI Archive
225 Company Pioneer Corp 21 Army Group and was moved to 71 Company Pioneer Corp, then 229 Detachment Military Government.
6 sections of the company were moved to Belsen in May 1945. Christopher was then part of the British Army of the Rhine and part of the 618 Military Government ‘R’ Detachment.
Christopher was at Belsen until around June 1946, and was awarded a papal medal by the Vatical Mission at Belsen in March1946. While at Belsen he met Marlene Dietrich in relation to Marlene’s sister Elizabeth.
Submitted by: Archive
Smart, Owen (Sergeant)
‘Before we entered the camp I had never heard of Bergen-Belsen. I knew nothing of what had been going on. We heard about atrocities, which are bantered backwards and forwards, but we didn’t realise really what it was, and then it was just after that, that all the rest of it came about, other camps just like Belsen.
'But to me the name Belsen after that was shocking. I didn’t see anything of the inmates in the prison really. I saw a few, possibly the remainders of those that were fit enough to be put into a hospital – but I didn’t see many of the actual people. They had been taken away, or the remains of them. That was awful... There’s no doubt that after seeing something like what had gone on in Belsen, it does stay in your mind and never goes away.’
My grandfather Edwin Oliver Sutton was born in Hankow, China (a district of Wuhan) in 1902. He was a Methodist minister and served as a chaplain in the British Army in the second world war. He joined the newly formed 11th Armoured Division – known as the ‘Black Bull’ – under Field Marshal Montgomery, and he was one of the first Allied soldiers to participate in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp 75 years ago today. Apparently, one of his main tasks was assisting with burying the bodies and helping to mark the graves of those who died in that camp.
Submitted by: Archive
Sweetapple George Edward Phillip
Submit a name *Just 113th Durham Light Infantry? No we are interested in all Service and Medical personnel who took part during the humanitarian effort at Belsen Concentration Camp. Their roles and names are largely forgotten, as many were too horrified to ever speak of what they had to do, so this archive seeks to form a tribute to ALL those that were there, to find out more and to remember them. If you have a relative, or any info, on the relief effort at Belsen, we’d love to you to please get in touch. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org – Thank you
Any 113th Durham Light Infantry friends or family are encouraged to get in touch via email@example.com
* In 1938 the old 5th Battalion DLI changed its role to Searchlights and then in 1940 to Anti-Aircraft. This 113th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment went to Normandy in June 1944 and joined the advance into Germany in early 1945.