A Group of 16 DLI ‘R Company’ Recruits in Early 1942

What the well-dressed recruit was wearing in 1942. A group of 'R Company' 16 DLI recruits at Shorncliffe Barracks, Kent, in early 1942. Photograph and identifications courtesy of Tom Turnbull.

Though many of the reinforcement drafts to the 16th DLI in 1941-42 came from the Regimental Depot, No 4 Infantry Training Centre at Brancepeth, Co Durham, many men were called up directly from civilian life into the Battalion and undertook their basic with the Battalion's 'R' Company. Here are several of these new soldiers in uniforms which look as though they've just been issued. All of these recruits were called up in January 1942 and have Army Numbers in the range of 4469400 to 4469700. To see a listing of known DLI recruits in this sequence arranged by Army Number, click here.

First left on the photo above is: Tommy Richardson, who was killed in action on 10/10/43.

Next to him is, George Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Hamilton, who was taken POW at Sedjenane on 2/3/43. Via Camps PG 66 and 82 in Italy and Stalag 4B in Germany, he was later a POW at the E 715 workcamp, Auschwitz.

For a group photo of his E 715 British POW contingent click here.

And to see his German POW number, 222076, in a consecutive listing of POW numbers click here.

Following him left to right are: Jackie Davis, then Cpl M Scott, an instructor, who later served in Burma and, Peter Morrell..

Second from the right is Pte J T ‘Tom’ Turnbull, who was wounded at Sedjenane, later wounded in Italy, and was still with the Battalion as a sergeant at disbandment. Tom Turnbull was interviewed at length by the Imperial War Museum in 1992. Listen to the interview via this direct link:


To see a 1945 photo of Sgt Turnbull with a group of fellow 16 DLI NCOs click here.

On the extreme right is Norman Bland, who was seriously wounded in April 1943 and hospitalised until October 1943. Later he served with 25 Town Majot in Italy. There is a photograph signed by all the staff of 25 Town Major here. For more photos, documents and information on Norman Bland, including the letter he wrote home after being wounded click here.

Tom Turnbull: 'That was the first photo we had taken in uniform, it'd be 1942. I remember we put our caps on a bit on the side and ‘Pearly’ Gates was coming past [CSM George Gates]. You know what his first words were? "When you're finished with that photograph I want all them on straight!"'

All of theese recruits served in B Company in 1942-43 and also feature on the 1942 B Company group photo.

R Company Recruits 1942