Welcome to the website of The East Yorkshire Regiment Living History Group No. 10 Platoon 'B' Company. Please have a look at the blog of our recent activities, our photos and much more!

History

The 2nd Battalion East Yorks 1939-1945

At the outbreak of war the Battalion was in Plymouth having recently returned from Palestine. They were mobilised on the 7th of September 1939.

The 2nd Battalion formed part of the 3rd Infantry Division. In 1940 they went to France as part of the BEF and, when the time came, fell back to the beaches of La Panne in good order. They were one of the last Battalions to be evacuated.


Following evacuation the Battalion spent time preparing defences on the south coast of England before being chosen to form part of the new “Field Army”. Intense combined operations training followed which saw the Battalion earmarked for the Dieppe raid. Fortunately for the Yorkshire men, the Canadians undertook the raid.


Eventually the threat of invasion receded and thoughts turned to the liberation of Europe. The Battalion was selected for an “Assault Operation” (this would turn out to be D-Day) . They went to Scotland to undertake training in beach assault and it is said that the training they received has no parallel in British military history.


On the 6th of June 1944 the Battalion took part in Operation Overlord and, although suffering many casualties, took all their objectives - see separate piece.


The Battalion continued to fight with distinction all the way through the Normandy Campaign, then on into Belgium, Holland and finally into Germany. Their attack on Bremen being the last action of the campaign for the 2nd Battalion.


The Battalion spent VE day in Westphalia where they were employed on occupational duties.


The above is a very brief history of the Battalion in WW2 and can not reflect adequately the hardships and suffering endured by the Battalion during the separate actions in which they were employed.


The East Yorks on D-Day
Between 0430 - 0600hrs the assault landing craft were lowered from the Empire Battleaxe and HMS Glenearn. Just after 0600hrs the seven mile journey to the beaches began. At 0725hrs the East Yorks landed on Queen Red beach where heavy mortar, machine gun and artillery fire were encountered.

A and B companies supported by tanks were to break through the beach obstacles.


A company, along with C company of the 1st Battalion South Lancs, would attack and eliminate the Strong Point Cod. This consisted of: One 75mm gun, two 50mm anti-tank guns, three 81mm mortars, a 37mm gun and 5 machine gun posts.


B company were to move inland and assault Strong Point Sole with C company in support.


The next task was to attack and eliminate the Daimler Battery, a heavily defended gun battery with four 75mm guns capable of firing onto the invasion beaches. This was the main responsibility of D and C companies supported by tanks of the 13/18 Hussars.


Strong Point Cod was taken by 1000hrs and Sole was overrun by 1300hrs. Daimler Battery was put out of action by 1800hrs with little loss and 70 prisoners in the bag.


The East Yorks continued on to the village of St Aubin d’Arquenay. They were relieved by the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. The East Yorks spent the night in a cornfield near Hermanville.


By the end of the day the East Yorks had lost 5 officers and 60 men killed, and 4 officers and 137 men wounded.

9 comments:

kevin coyne said...

does anyone have information about
Major Robert H Barber(67170)
D comp, 2nd Batt.
KIa 6th June 1944

max maxie said...

My grandfather was major Reginald Rutherford 2nd battalion b company..... any info

max maxie said...

My grandfather was major Reginald Rutherford 2nd battalion b company... any info..

Michael Lycett said...

Hi Max,

We do have some information on Major R Rutherford. Are you looking for anything in particular. It would be helpful if I had some direct contact for you. Can you re-post with an email address. The moderator will not publish your email address but pass it on.

Nicola Rhodes said...

Hi, I'm wondering if you can help. I'm trying to research about my grandad raymond Terence rhodes I believe he may have served in the east yorks regiment 2nd battalion in ww2. I wonder if you have any info on him? If you do my email address is nicola_rhodes@rocketmail.com

David Sharman said...

Hello. My grandfather was 2nd Lieutenant Francis William Matheson Sharman who served in the regiment during WWII. I'm aware that he was awarded the Military Cross but I would be very pleased to get an further information about his service. Many thanks.

W Horn said...

Hi My Father in Law private David George Wilkinson was shot in the head sometime after the beach landing.( he survived but died in 1990) He told me it was a French sniper not a German who shot him is anyone familiar with this? We are off to Normandy tomorrow so I presume the incident happened near Hermanville. Rgds Bill

Michael Lycett said...

Hi Bill,

That's an interesting story. I haven't heard it before. I shall post your question on our FaceBook page and see if anyone knows any more about it.
Did your Father in Law serve with the 2nd Battalion? The East Yorks had the dubious honour of providing two assault battalions for D-Day. The 2nd landed on Sword beach and the 5th landed on Gold Beach. If he was with the 2nd Battalion then indeed it would have been in the vicinity of Hermanville. Once of the beach, they made their way towards their second objective SOLE. This strongpoint is just to the north of the D35A that runs from Colleville-Montgomery towards Ouistreham. Having subdued this position they then proceeded to their next objective Strongpoint DAIMLER. This position is near the water tower just south of Ouistreham and was nicknamed the water tower battery. This gives you some idea of the route that was taken on the 6th.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather served with 5th Bn east yorks during the WWII
He was killed in action in may 1942
He is buried in Alexandria war cemetery
I have tried to research the units movements but am coming up with very little but lots on 2nd Bn.
It appears to have been a TA unit
Can anyone maybe supply me with any information or point me in the right direction.
I have just started on my searches (for 3 family members) so resources are difficult to find for this novice
Regards
Steven brown