2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, previously titled the 6th Regiment of Foot, was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in continuous existence for 283 years. The regiment saw service in many conflicts and wars, including the Second Boer War and both the First and Second World Wars. On 1 May 1963 the regiment was re-titled, for the final time, as the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and became part of the Fusilier Brigade.

 

In 1968, by now reduced to a single Regular battalion, the regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments in the Fusilier Brigade – the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and the Lancashire Fusiliers – into a new large infantry regiment, to be known as the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, becoming the 2nd Battalion of the new regiment.

 

The 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a Regular Army unit, had been serving in England since 1931 and, upon the outbreak of the Second World War, was serving alongside the 2nd Battalion, Dorset Regiment and 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders in the 5th Infantry Brigade, part of the 2nd Infantry Division. In late September 1939 the battalion was sent overseas to France to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Franco-Belgian border, where it remained for many months, not involved in any major engagements. On 5 February 1940, due to official BEF policy, the battalion was exchanged in the brigade for the 7th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment and transferred to the 144th Infantry Brigade which was attached to the 48th (South Midland) Infantry Division, a Territorial division.

 

Serving in the brigade alongside the 2nd Battalion were the 8th Battalion, Worcestershires and 5th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. The battalion, now under command of Lieutenant ColonelPhilip Hicks (an officer of the regiment who would serve with distinction in the war), fought in the Battle of France in May 1940 fighting at the defence of the Escaut, Wormhoudt, where they from the Wormhoudt massacre and fought on the Ypres-Comines Canal during the retreat to Dunkirk, from where they were evacuated to England, most of the remaining men arriving on 1 June 1940. After Dunkirk, the battalion moved, with the rest of the brigade and division, to Somerset to counter a German invasion. In early December, however, the battalion transferred to the 24th Independent Guards Brigade Group, alongside two battalions of Foot Guards, the 1st Scots Guards and 1st Welsh Guards and was not, unlike most of the rest of the Army, committed to beach defence duties.

 

At the time the brigade was stationed in London under command of London District. In September 1942 the battalion transferred to the 185th Infantry Brigade, which was originally assigned as the motorised infantry brigade of the 79th Armoured Division. However, the brigade was then transferred to the 3rd Infantry Division, and landed on D-Day on 6 June 1944 with the first assault on the Normandy beaches and fought from the Battle for Caen and the break out from Normandy to the Rhine crossing. They also took part in the capture of Bremen, the last major action of the North West Europe Campaign. From D-Day until the end of the war the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment had lost 286 officers and men killed in action, with nearly another 1,000 all ranks wounded, missing or suffering from exhaustion.

 

 

Name: Browne, Edward MM

Rank: Corporal

Age: 26

No.14400302

Unit:

Missing since: 30-09-1944

Next of Kin:Husband of Bridget Browne, of Achowry, Co Sligo, Irish Republic

Groesbeek Panel: 3

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in the Asten area.

 

Believed to be the unknown soldier at Overloon War Cemetery grave 2.A.15

Name: Edney, William Arthur

Rank: Private

Age: 25

No.5115260

Unit:

Missing since: 16-10-1944

Next of Kin:Husband of Elizabeth Edney, of Lozells, Birmingham.

Groesbeek Panel: 3

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in the Venray area.

 

Believed to be one the unknown soldier at Venray  War Cemetery grave 2.A.13 or 2.E.13

Name: Mercer, John

Rank: Private

Age: 25

No.3653791

Unit:

Missing since: 16-10-1944

Next of Kin:

Groesbeek Panel: 3

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in the Venray area.

 

Believed to be one the unknown soldier at Venray  War Cemetery grave 2.A.13 or 2.E.13