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Unidentified Allied Soldier

by Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)

Contributed by 
Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)
Location of story: 
France/Belgium/Denmark
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A3652698
Contributed on: 
11 February 2005

Unidentified Allied Soldier know to my Father during 1944/45 Belguim/France or Denmark

We found this picture in my late Fathers photograph album some of which were taken during his time in the Ardennes 1944-1945

My Fathers name was Sgt G.W.Baldwin MM (known as Tiny - - because he wasn't !!!) his Army number was 6915249 and he was with the 8th Bn of The Rifle Brigade/29th Armoured Bridge/11th British Armoured Div.

We know from a Danish newspaper that he was involved in instructing the Danish army on rifle shooting (we have a picture of this but as of yet not translation)

The soldier in this picture obviously was a good friend as the inscriptions says 'To Tiny hoping you will never forget'

From the stories we have been told my some of his men that my Father was thought of very highly by everyone, and this seems to applies to our unidentied soldier

We have shown his photo album to everyone that we could find that knew him and they do not recognise this particular picture, we have researched uniforms but still have drawn a blank.

I hope this picture and our story is enough for you to help us identify and which will, maybe,enable us to find him.

If you think you need more information please contact make contact.

Many thanks in anticipation.
Pam

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Message 1 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 21 February 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Pam -
you say that all the allied uniforms have been studied ...did that include the Polish Army as this chap looks like a Captain in the Polish Division ( Dress uniform)which fought in NW Europe and were in the 2nd Canadian Corps.
Try it again ????

regards tom

 

Message 2 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 22 February 2005 by Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)

Tom

I will check this out - had not thought of the Polish army and this was not mentioned in any of my Father's notes.

Many Many thanks
Pam

 

Message 3 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 22 February 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

I would say that he is a Danish officer. The Danes adopted grey uniforms in 1915 but in 1923 they changed to khaki. Officers wore peaked caps but also forage caps as in this photo. Rank insignia was worn on the shoulder straps and the branch of service by badges on the collar of the tunic, as in the photo. A distinguishing feature was coloured silk woven lace worn on the forage cap and shoulder straps.

 

Message 4 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 22 February 2005 by Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)

Hi Peter

Thankyou very much for your reply, as you can see Tom has suggested that he could have been Polish, have you any thoughts on this.

Again many thanks
Pam

 

Message 5 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 23 February 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Pamela

I am not an expert on uniforms, other than knowing some broad distinguishing features. I am not aware that Polish officers ever wore forage caps as shown in your photo. Indeed one of the distinguishing features of Polish regiments was the 'chapska', a peaked cap with a square-shaped crown. This was worn even by NCOs. The 1939 regular Polish light-horse regiments and the Frontier Defence Force wore regular round peak caps instead of the 'chapska', but they were the only exceptions I am aware of.

I never saw any Polish soldiers in Italy, whereas Tom did. So he may have first-hand knowledge of this uniform. I always thought that Poles would look very much like British soldiers in combat, i.e., khaki battledress with standard webbing and a British type helmet,the traditional 'chapska' being set aside.

If he is a Dane, then clearly the photo dates after May 1945 and liberation from German occupation.

Regards,

Peter

 

Message 6 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 23 February 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Pam - Peter -
as you so rightly say Peter - I did see a lot of Polish chapa in Italy and they were - as you say - indistinguishable from the British - Canadian - Indian - New Zealand - South African and other troops who served on the British 8th Army sector ....until the High mukky mucks descended for dinner and a thirst quencher...then it was all frills and flounces ! The Polish troops were no different to any others when it came to entertaining and all the best duds came out of the lockers !
However it would be more to the point of a Danish officer inamuch as his service was with and near the Danish sector but I thought that ALL uniforms had been studied - with the exception of the Polish !Believe me when I say the High Mucky Mucks could drain a few distilleries as we found at the Vienna Tattoo with or without their fancy duds !

 

Message 7 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 24 February 2005 by Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)

Hello Peter

Sorry for not getting back sooner,we have a Danish newspaper, double page spread, not dated! which might tie into what you have been saying.

Our records of Dad's movements during 44/45 end in Germany a place called Schleswig on the 12th May 1945, and according to this newspaper, he instructed (he was not qualified) the Danish army, which looks like this happened after May 1945. I don't know what country these pictures where taken whether he went to Denmark or they went to another location.

It is quite feasable that the friendship was made at this time, and I think my next steps will be, is to have this paper translated (it might hold the key to our soldier) and to search the web again for the Danish army, in English.

Please keep in touch if you came across any other information which you think might help.

Regards
Pam

 

Message 8 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 24 February 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Pam

Go to this website http://www.chakoten.dk/dan_army_090440_1.htmlAbout links

Scroll down nearly to the bottom, there you will see an illustration drawn by Christian Würgler Hansen of a Danish officer in 1940 wearing the same forage cap with a similar broad band. Although the tunic collars differ, this is a normal progression from 1940 to 1945. The forage caps have the same oval badge and bright line rising from the broad band. Rank epaulets are the same, as is the narrow sam browne belt shoulder strap. I am now fully satisfied that the photo is of a Danish Army infantry officer.

Peter

 

Message 9 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 25 February 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Pam & peter -

I would not have an arguement with that having studied the Danish web site ! Uniforms have a habit of 'evolving', check out the American - every fracas they enter into has a different uniform !Even the British allowed - in 1943 - the proletariat to wear ties - good grief !

 

Message 10 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 25 February 2005 by Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)

Peter/Tom

Well what can I say but a BIG THANKYOU to you both, yes I think you are right he his a Danish Soldier, and thanks to you both I can now go on with my research. We have enjoyed your comments Tom and they brought a smile to our faces,I bet you can tell a story or two or three.

Anyway here's to the next time I get stuck - I now know a man that can !!!

Best wishes to you both
Pam
p.s. I'm off chasing the 23rd Hussars as well as this one - I have a job to keep focused on one story, I hope my Dad would have be proud of me.

 

Message 11 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 26 February 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Pam / Peter...

23rd Hussars ? - were they still in the British Army during WW2 - must have been in the British Leave Army in France to Germany...Ron Goldstein will have something to say about this as he was in the Queens Own 4th Hussars and his Colonel was a chap by the name of W.S. Churchill, whereas my Regiment of the 16/5th Lancers had a Colonel in Chief called Princess Elizabeth who as you may be aware is now HM Queen Elizabeth.. and still Colonel of our mob, she did change the name to the Queen's Royal Lancers though !
Pam - if you have time for a few giggles try my personal page for the stories wot i have rote.
cheers
tomcan

 

Message 12 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 26 February 2005 by Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)

Hi Tom

I will certainly take you up on your offer - I will have a look later.

The 23rd's were with my Dad in the Ardennes and they are mentioned in the Rifle Brigades Battalion letters many times during 44/45. Why I'm so interested in them is that I think (the story goes!!) my Dad when under attack managed to get someone out of their tank (which I believe when those tanks got hit they had the nickname 'Ronson')I don't know if they made or not, and I was hoping to find someone who knew of this action from the Hussars - I don't think WC will be able to tell me !!!

Maybe I will reply to some of your stories on the personal page.

Best wishes

Pam

 

Message 13 - Unidentified Allied Soldier

Posted on: 27 February 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Pam -
you are quite right - the American made Sherman tank had the reputation
of being a "Ronson" inasmuch as 'it lit first time'

the German's called them Tommy Cookers with good reason.

My Churchill was hit three times before she fired up as one shot hit the petrol tank ! C'est la guerre !

Message 1 - Unknown soldier

Posted on: 27 May 2005 by Danishreader

Hi there,

just a short note. Yes, that soldier is a Danish "captain it seems" officer.

I'm Danish and would be happy to translate the newspaper clip for you.

Not sure how to get it across digitally, but maybe you can scan it and send it in a mail.

All the best

Jan

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British Army Category
Allied and Commonwealth Forces Category
Denmark Category
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