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 Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945

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vdweele2
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PostSubject: Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945   9/6/2014, 15:22

Hello to all,

I have joined the site as my father is telling me about his memories of being in Hamburg from 1945 till 1946.

His regiment was the Seaforth Highlanders and his insignia badge was as he says the prancing boar.He became a corporal and was moved to a clerk position with sorting out messages on telex while in Hamburg and was resident with the APM at the time he believes was Major Kay.

Before being in Hamburg he traveled through Osnabruck , he talks about the Victory Club in Hamburg, all this he says was that all was  under HQ which he says was 30 Corps.
I am writing this as he says he had many comrades and he was very musical and use to entertain the lads in many clubs and bars on the piano and a good pal of his was Ted Taylor who he said went after the war to become Benny Hill music arranger.
My father has been undergoing a lot of medical treatment lately and to hear these memories I feel I would like to share with any of his comrades  as they are very dear to him.With the D-Day 70th commemorations just passed my father tends to relate more to his time during this period towards the end of the war.
If anyone remembers this time in Hamburg , or has any memories of the musical exploits  , would love  to hear about them.
Thank you for listening

I am his son of 63 years old, and I wish to say to all the unsung heroes who, and all those that did return from those dark days, that without your bravery and commitment and doing what was just right to do, you allowed this country and others  to live in a fairly peaceful time and as your children we thank you for that privilege and giving us our freedom for what we have today.
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JPW
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Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945   9/6/2014, 18:40

Welcome

The research team has a fair amount of information on the British Army presence in Hamburg in the immediate post war period but we are short on the details of the Seaforth Highlanders. We know that they were based in the former Dounamont Kaserne in Wansbek which they promptly renamed Cromarty Barracks. The site is now the campus of Helmut Schmidt University.

Your comments regarding the Charging Boar 30 Corps shoulder flash indicates he must have been working for the APM's Staff in Headquarters Hamburg District located at that time in one of the luxury Hotels overlooking the Alster in central Hamburg. Round the corner was the NAAFI Victory Club.

Have you found the Hamburg Section off the original Master Page (not this Forum)? Go to Locations, then click on Hamburg and you should find a selection of topics (with photos) all relating to the early years of the British Army presence in Hamburg.

Anything your father can add will be most welcome, particularly which of the wartime Seaforth Battalions he served with, incidentally where did he lived when working in HQ Hamburg District?


Last edited by JPW on 9/6/2014, 22:08; edited 1 time in total
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steve
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Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

PostSubject: Re: Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945   9/6/2014, 21:03

Welcome to the forum

From the on going research from a small team regarding the Seaforth’s at this time

6th and 7th Battalions (8 Corps) and 5th Battalion (30 Corps) disbanded leaving the 2nd Battalion that was part of 152nd Infantry Brigade of the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division command 30th Corps District the division disbanded on the Cuxhaven Peninsular in Aug 46

2nd Battalion (Caithness and Sutherland) Seaforth Highlanders moved to 6th Guards Brigade HQ Hamburg City with command 30th Corps District (charging boar flash) in May 46 from an unknown location, to Cromarty Barracks formally Douament Kaserne Hamburg, then moving to UK in Nov 46, around this time 30th Corps District disbanded and Hamburg District took the operational role from the Guards Division
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vdweele2
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PostSubject: Re: Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945   11/6/2014, 11:10

Thank you for your information.

Just to update
The picture showing in my author is  of my father, the only picture he has at present aged 19 years while serving in Hamburg.

As mentioned in my latter post he is undergoing medical treatment so his memory is not as good as it was which is understandable, coupled with a hearing impairment can be quite a challenge, still my hero.

He has given me some more information of his time in Hamburg and some other place names that may be of interest to others .

He was stationed in Elgin in Scotland and then moved to Annan before being shipped down all the way to  to Dover then across to Calais then train through to he said Lundeburg where nearby Armistice was just signed.Then he was shipped to Osnabruck then on to Hamburg around October 1945.
He was working in transport in Hamburg and then was moved to a clerical position as more staff was needed to deal with the amount of administration that had developed, and as he had been in the post office before as a messenger he fitted the bill.
He was moved to The Four Seasons Hotel in Hamburg which he said was unbelievable to what he had been living before and had caught scabies and dermatitis through his bedding where he was sleeping before.This only lasted for three weeks as he and others went to a private house in an area he said called Mekelfed in Hamburg and this was where the military police were also bunked and the APM, this house had about 8/10 roomsit was empty when they arrived apart from APM which was Major Kay .
His other recollection was that he was at Iserlohn and he remembers the C.O. was Brigadier Lord Tyrone.His other memories was going to a holiday camp at Sharbeutz and playing the piano with his comerades and friend Ted Taylor.
Thank you for the pm Steve, he has a very faint memory of what you mentioned and will keep thinking about it, but something he says keeps making him thinking about it so you never know.

He does mention about the giving his rations away he called haversack ration sandwich and biscuits as the children of Hamburg always chased the trains for food when troops were passing through as they had no food as most of German people were in similar situation.These memories of that time and detail he remembers that apart from all the other horrors of soldiiers in conflict , what the civillians had to endure, then for survival he says you can understand why the black market boomed.

Until my next catch up, I just hope by sharing some of his memories and reflection of this period of history may be helpful or even allow some information to be passed on or any information anyone has or would try to know this can help.
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steve
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Number of posts : 764
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Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

PostSubject: Re: Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945   11/6/2014, 11:25

Have a look at Iserlohn here http://britisharmyiniserlohn.blogspot.de

My first 21 Army Group/BAOR project
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JPW
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Number of posts : 1029
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945   11/6/2014, 12:48

Thank you very much for your latest contribution, fascinating.

The Vier Jahre Zeiten was ,prewar, a Five Star Luxury Hotel, no wonder your father was impressed with his sleeping accommodation.

I think your father moved to Meckeldfeld a small village south of the River Elbe and away from Hamburg proper. It would be interesting to know the exact title of the Miltary Police unit he worked for. I suspect it was not part of the main Headquarters in Hamburg which is why your father remembers wearing the Charging Boar shoulder flash not the Crossed Swords of an Army level command.

Scharbeutz on the Baltic coast to the north of Lubeck was one of a number of local Leave Centres set up throughout the then British Zone of Occupation in Summer 1945 to enable Servicemen, and later their Families, to take short break holidays in BAOR and save the costs of having to the UK .
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PostSubject: Re: Seaforth Highlanders in Hamburg 1945   11/6/2014, 14:50

One other very interesting fact my father has said that why he was assigned to the Seaforth Highlanders to his surprise was that these regiments were so locally based around the villages of Scotland that they had suffered many losses of men and now had replaced with men from south of the borders as my father was from London with no Scottish connection at all.While serving in Germany he met a Scotsman from Edinburgh who had been assigned to the Middlesex regiment and the two were quite perplexed.The Scot was envious that my father had been placed in a regiment with a long military history to be proud of if you were a Scot, my father was proud of his regiment.Another strange fact he has told me while in the regiment he had to learn about the traditions of the regiment and history, that the Seaforth Highlanders officers were the only Scottish regiment that were allowed to wear black boots same as there men as other regiments officers wear brown, this may only relate to Scottish regiments I dont know, just thought I would throw that one in .Thank you for listening I feel I just need to share this with you guys, as I find this all needs to be shared and not to be lost in the passage of time.I will be taking my father to hospital twice this week for treatment and scans and will update .Thank you
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