WW2 Hallamshire Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment Photo album
Here I offer a DVD containing over 100 high resolution scans ( 1200 Dpi ) produved from an original photo album .
The album belonged to Major Leslie Michael Lonsdale-Cooper 79990 ..Hallamshire battalion , York and Lancaster Regiment . A frontline soldier who experienced combat against some of Germany's toughest soldiers in Normandy , Belgium and Holland ( 2nd battle of Arnham ) . The albums contents cover a few photos taken in Iceland , photos taken in training , photos taken in Europe during the war and at wars end ...Please note British soldiers were not permitted to carry cameras into combat zone , so there are no photos taken in combat zones . The album does contain one of his original "Secret " maps scale 1:25,000 showing Villers Bocage and countryside to North of the town ..defensive positions are marked in handwritten ink symbols pillboxes , artillery , machine gun nests etc .dated July 1944 .
There are several photos which show Hallamshire's posing in front of signs with their Polar bear emblem .a Number of large group photos where individual faces can be clearly seen when zoomed in on . There are photos showing training with mortars , canons , bren guns etc . Photos of bomb damage to buildings , damaged bridges , Italian POWs ( presumably taken prisoner by the Germans ) , plently of uniformed photos , a few photos of planes ..226 squadron bombers and avro anson which were used as his "taxi's" . My favourite photo shows a group of Hallamshires posing on troopship home ..caption on reverse says "Homeward bound Battle scarred veterans" ...real Band of Brother's stuff !
Major Lonsdale-Cooper was awarded the Military cross for conspicous gallantry in Normandy and Belgium during 1944 .
If there are any surviving members of this group of men ..or if there is more information about the Hallamshires .. I would love to learn more , so please contact me .
Some background information .
The Hallamshires first saw action in WW2 as part of the ill fated Norwegian campaign in 1940. The battalion arrived with the 146th Infantry brigade . They were ashore for twelve days seeing limited action and losing their only casualties on the journey home when one of their transports was sunk.
The battalion spent the next two years "defending" Iceland before returning to Scotland for garrison duties and to prepare for the invasion of North West Europe . The Hallamshires landed in France on 9 June 1944 with the 49th Infantry Division and moved into the front line four days later. Twelve days after landing the Hallamshires were involved in the attack on Fontenay-le-Pesnel (Operation Martlet) against the 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. The attack was successful but at the expense of 123 members of the battalion killed or wounded.
The battalion was involved in the capture of the docks at Le Havre before the Germans could destroy the vital installations. Here they captured 1,005 prisoners, three Dornier flying boats and a submarine. In September, the Hallamshires crossed the Antwerp-Turnhout canal . During the winter months, the battalion served in the Nijmegen salient and participated in the liberation of Arnhem in April 1945, their final action in World War II. Eleven months had seen the battalion suffer 158 killed and 689 wounded .
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