4th Battalion Kings Own Shropshire Light Infantry

The Territorial Battalion, the 4th KSLI, was immediately mobilised on the outbreak of war. It too began with intensive training in Northern Ireland and England as lorry borne infantry of 159 Brigade in the 11th Armoured Division. And it too was destined for campaigning in North West Europe when the attack on “fortress Europe” began.

 

The Battalion landed in Normandy on “D-Day plus 8”, the 14th June 1944, and was soon thrust into action on the Odon and in Operation Epsom - designed to isolate Caen. It faced severe opposition from elite German SS Divisions in the fighting which followed and then took part in the destruction of the Falaise Pocket.

 

Crossing the Seine at Vernon, the 4th were part of the rapid allied advance via Amiens into Belgium; they were the first allied troops to enter the vital port of Antwerp, where further heavy fighting was encountered before the city was completely liberated.

 

From Antwerp the rapid advance continued. In the fighting near Overloon in Holland in October 1944, Sergt George Eardley, who had already won the Military Medal in Normandy in August, was to win the Victoria Cross for his single-handed attack on three German machine-guns positions which were holding up the whole advance.

 

Like the 2nd Battalion, the 4th spent the winter of 1944 on the Maas and endured its cold and comfortless conditions until the advance was resumed in February 1945. After clearing the Hochwald area, the 4th under their resourceful and popular C.O., Lt. Col. Max Robinson, crossed the Rhine on 28th March, captured Osnabruck and then began a rapid advance into Germany and to the River Elbe - a distance of 125 miles, in which the Battalion was at the forefront of every action.

 

As they continued their advance through Germany, the end of the war on 9th May found the battalion south of the Kiel canal opposite Lubeck and heading for the Danish frontier.

 

They were one of the battalions which, under Brigadier 'Jack' Churcher, occupied Flensburg, the seat of the remnant Nazi government under Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz. The arrest of Doenitz and his associates was effected by 4-KSLI and the Herefords at the very end of the battalion's war service.

Name: Chilton, William George

Rank: Private

Age: 20

No. 1429738

Unit:

Missing since: 16-10-1944

Next of Kin: Son of John George Chilton and Edith Mary Chilton, of Blake Mere, Herefordshire.

Groesbeek Panel: 5

KIA Information: Believed to have been killed in Overloon area.



Name: Ferguson, Albert

Rank: Private

Age: 18

No. 14496854

Unit:

Missing since: 18-10-1944

Next of Kin: Son of James and Elanor Ferguson, Yorkshire.

Groesbeek Panel: 5

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

Name: Boliver, George William

Rank: Private

Age: 18

No. 14699981

Unit:

Missing since: 18-10-1944

Next of Kin: Son George William and Florence Boliver, of Darlaston, Staffordshire.

Groesbeek Panel: 5

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


Name: Fellows, John George

Rank: Private

Age: 25

No. 4917787

Unit:

Missing since: 18-10-1944

Next of Kin: Husband of Vera Dorothy Fellow, of Blount's Court, Oxfordshire.

Groesbeek Panel: 4

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in the area of Smakt near Overloon.