C Coy 16 DLI Group Photograph 1944

C Company, 16 DLI 1944

This photograph of C Company, 16 DLI was taken at Er Rama, Palestine in April 1944 and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the Trustees of the DLI Museum and the Durham County Record Office, where it is catalogued as Ref No. D/DLI 2/16/4

For a left side enlargement of the photograph, click here. For a right side enlargement, click here.

It seems likely that the other three 16 DLI rifle companies also had their photographs taken at this time, but these have yet to surface. However the contrast between this photograph and those of B Company and D Company taken in 1942 is telling. After 18 months of active service and much hard fighting (and remember, many of these men will have seen combat with other units prior to coming to 16 DLI as replacements), these men look tired and aged well beyond their years. They have seen too much and it shows.

The Record Office also provided a name-only caption of the photograph which is reproduced below; some further information from my own research is included in brackets. All further details welcome.

‘Group photograph of 'C' Company, 16th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, named on reverse, 'M.E.F.' [Middle East Force], 16 April 1944.

Back row: Privates W Ritson, F Wright, J Senior (KIA 1/9/44), L Wisbey, D Dennison, C Illingworth, H Seaborn, D Craddock, W A Thomas, G Weston, S Banham, J Hardie, C Bell, J Whitelock, H Wheeler, R Falcus and D Thomas.

Second row: Privates J Hughes, J Crooks, E Duggan, Harry Massingham, C Irwin, R Mather, S Carson, A Sanders, A L Bell, J Langan, J Atkin, N Andrews, J Carter, A Carter, F W Ward, J Hillery, G Wise and C Rees.

Third row: Privates J Williams, Harvey Hurst (see these photographs), Arthur Laws, T Murray, R Halifax, H Wallace, Fred Robinson, J Leonard, C E Johnson, A Wade, Lance-Corporal G Gibson, Privates J McNally, P Rattigan (Company Sniper, taken POW by ELAS in Greece, 12/44, later released, H T Fisher, Jackie Milburn (interviewed by IWM Sound Archive) and M Short.

Fourth row: Corporal H Webb, Privates C Cowie, G Bryden, A Witts, W Foster, C Gurney (company cook, ex Beds and Herts, with the Battalion from the start in July 1940), J Richards, J Day, A Andrews, R Urwin, C Matthews, Lance-Corporals H Cooper, A Creamer, A E Ramsbottom, A Berry, J McTaggart and J Hanaway.

Fifth row: Corporals W Tarplee, W Ashton, T Preston, Lance Sergeants J Dunn, William Hudson (MM for actions on 3/9/44), Company Sergeant-Major Arthur Mattin (CSM from April 1943, later MM, KIA 4/9/44) Lieutenant Tom Periam (later Signal Platoon), Major Patrick Casey, Lieutenant H J L Harris, Second Lieutenant B J Hill, Colour-Sergeant E. Rolls, Sergeants J. Marriott, Jack Christie (KIA 20/9/44), Corporals W Boardman, F Turner, P Bell and B White.

Sixth row: Lance-Corporal J Skelton, Corporal G Sanders, Lance-Corporal V Pickles, Privates R Jones, G Nicholson, R Leek, A Lawry, L/Cpl D Trotter, Privates H. Apsley, S Coates, L Speckman, P.McClare and Cpl T Sirrell.

Front row: Privates S Brindley, G Stockdale, A Caygill, G Speechley, W Ridley, Lance-Corporal R Ward, Privates W A Miller, R Dibble, H.Ewen and J Hastings.

In hospital: I S Poole (Eddie Poole, KIA 2/9/44), J. Royle, E. Currie, S [unknown]’

(1 photograph, 17cm. x 11cm. black and white)