Private Papers of Captain S Beck

Catalogue number
  • Documents.8602
Subject period
  • whole: 1 file
private papers

History note

Catalogue date 2000-03-22

History note

Cataloguer SHJ

Content description

Ts extracts from letters home to his wife (166pp) covering his service in North West Europe, as an artillery officer with 341st Battery, 86th Field Regiment RA (Hertfordshire Yeomanry), June 1944 - August 1945; including journey to and landing in Normandy as part of the 56th Division (June 1944); then active service in France (June - August 1944); and the advance through Belgium, Holland and Germany to the Baltic, while attached to the Guards Armoured Division (September 1944 - May 1945), and including particularly the Reichswald Battle (February 1945), crossing the Rhine (March 1945), and occupation of Germany around Bremen (May - August 1945); with comments on the conditions and rations; off duty entertainment including the Troop Library; morale; lack of sleep; the importance of mail; bitterness at the unnecessary casualties and correspondence with their relatives; the welcome of the liberated French; casualties from shell shock; US achievements receiving more publicity than British ones; politics; visit of Alanbrooke, Montgomery and Churchill to the front; superiority of German tanks and equipment; non-fraternisation; VE Day celebrations; the Atomic bomb; Major General Sir Alan Adair; and peacetime soldiering. Also included is a detailed ts war diary of the 341st Battery (77pp), June 1944 - April 1946, when the Regiment disbanded; a ts "Extract from a Life History Interview with Sidney Beck" (21pp) recording his pre and post war civil service career, with reflections on his war service; ts biographical notes on his life, 1915 - 1998 (2pp); and an intermittent ms diary (76pp), June 1944 - February 1946, of his experiences in North West Europe.

Associated subjects