Royal Norfolks

      Ron - This is in response to an email about the Royal Norfolk's and the Burma Star and Pacific Star. I have put it out to the group as it could be of interest to others.
      The two emails follow:-

      "Does anyone have or can anyone help me with information about my grandfather? He was a member of the Royal Norfolk Regiment during the War. I believe he was in the 5th Battalion. He was captured after the fall of Singapore and I believe he was a POW for 3+ years.That's about all I know ...when I visited with him before he passed away he did not discuss the past too much.I believe he one told me he was also at Dunkirk..his name is Samuel Barnfield.He was born in Tipton Staffordshire on Dec 1st 1919 and was married to Florence Louise Madden. They lived in Norwich until their passing
      I was born in Norwich also but now reside in the US.
      He also had a brother who served in the 5th Army in the Desert Campaigns.
      My Grandfather was a recipient of the Burma Star among other Medals. Which I have and display with honor and rememberance of him.My last visit to England in 94 I was able to be present at the Rememberance Day activities at the Abby in London.This was a very emotional experience for me as my grandfather had passed on in 1990 and I was never able to tell him how proud I was of him and his sacrifieces and pain he had to endure for the freedom I now have.I spoke to many FEPOW attendies and was glad to have been there by accident....I will never forget that day.

      As you can see by my name I am also half German and also had a Grandfather who fought on the German side , he was captured also but by the Russians,and on his way to Russia he was able to jump off the train and make it back to Austria and surrender to the English Army.

      I also have a somewhat curious story to great great uncles one german one english, fought in the same battle at the Chaume Forrest in France during WWI, against each other where my German uncle was declared an MIA,and my english uncle was killed.....this has led to many discussions I can tell you....

      Any information would be helpfull and appreciated - Heinz"

      "I find it strange that your Granddad has the burma star medal. He would have the Pacific Star instead if he served in Singapore and Malaya.

      If he is entitled to the burma star, i think he would be part of some other Norfolk battalion which fought in Burma. - Justin

      Ron - Royal Norfolk's - Dunkirk, Burma and the Far East

      The 2nd Norfolk's disembarked in France in Sept. 1940. In May 1940 they were involved with a major German attack on their lines situated near the Maginot Line, on the borders of Belgium,Luxemburg and Germany.
      Their first of the five Victoria Cross's won in WWII was won in this battle by C.S.M. Gristock, he died of his wounds.

      The Battalion then fought a rearguard action for the retreating Allied troops to Dunkirk.

      On the 22nd May the battle continued with heavy casualties, defending the position was made very difficult by German Snipers. The Battalion withdrew that evening and saw the terrible plight of the refugees who got caught by the German shelling. On the 23rd the Battalion had reached La Bassee, after a few hours they were given orders to make their last stand near Le Paradis on May 25th.
      By 17.15 hours with most of the officers out of action the Battalion surrender, 90 men were taken prisoner at Le Paradis, they were badly treated by their captors with punctures, kicks and the use of rifle buts. After a time they were forced into a paddock where two machine guns had been set up and forced against a wall. The Germans fired about 200 rounds into them and then bayoneted the dying men where they had fallen. Luckily two of them had been hid by other bodies and although wounded missed the final coup do grace. After the Germans left, a farmer and his wife found the two and cared for their wounds, they were later taken into a German Hospital and survived the war. The evidence of Private Pooley and Private O´Callaghan at the War Crimes Court led to the German officer responsible to be put to death by hanging.

      The 2nd were later to fight at Kohima and into Burma. This is where his Burma Star could have come from.

      The 7th Norfolk's also fought in France and were amalgamated with the 51st Highland Div after when left on enemy held soil after Dunkirk. They made their way to St Valery-en-Caux but as no boats were available to disembark they had to surrender June 12 1940. Only 31 returned to England due to an escape in a fishing boat commandeered by Second-Lieutenant Walker.

      I suggest you get his service records, this will establish which Battalion he was with during WWII.

      Below are some details on the Royal Norfolk's I have put on the net, you could find interesting.


      Far East:-






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