Saturday, September 03, 2011

W/O George Davidson Catterick, R.A.






Photographs:


(Top & Middle):
Postcard from the Holy Land (c.1919)

(Bottom):
Medals awarded to W/O George D. Catterick, R.A.:
L-R: 1939-1945 Star,1939-1945 Africa Star, 1939-1945 Defence Medal, 1939-1945 War Medal, Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (Regular Army)


George Davidson Catterick, R.A. 'served with the Colours' between 1919 and 1945, followed by two years on the reserve list. George's time as a regular soldier in the British Army began just weeks after the Armistice of the 1914 - 1918 War and ended just weeks after V.J. Day that marked the end of the 1939 - 1945 War. George's medals represent both his long, exemplary service and his WW2 service.

For additional information click on 'Comments' below

2 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

George Davidson Catterick (Jnr) was born at Catwick, East Riding of Yorkshire on 4 January 1900. George's parents were George Davidson Catterick (Snr) and Maria Catterick (nee Burton). George (Jnr) enlisted to the Royal Regiment at the age of 19 of Artillery at Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire on 28 February 1919. His service number was 1035106. George's occupation at the time of enlistment was a Farm Horseman. At that time someone with experience of looking after horses would have been a great asset in the Royal Artillery as this was at the latter end of the time when many artillery guns were still horse drawn.

George's first two overseas postings were connected to the defeat and aftermath of the Ottoman Empire in WW1. After about five months initial training in Britain, George was posted to Palestine from 11 July 1919 to 18 November 1920 (i.e the 'Holy Land' presently occupied by Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and the Gaza Strip). Britain had defeated the Ottoman Turks in this area in 1917 and the land remained under British military administration for the remainder of WW1 and beyond.

It was while George was on this overseas posting that George sent the postcard showing his photograph (seen above) back home to his family in Catwick, East Yorkshire. After one year and 131 days, on 18 November 1920 George left Palestine and was then based in the UK until April 1922. He was then posted to the British garrison at Constantinople between 22 April 1922 and 9 October 1923.

The reason for a British garrison at Constantinople was as follows. After the Ottoman Empire's defeat in WW1 there was an upsurge of Turkish nationalism and a conflict with Greece. In order to influence the control of the strategically important sea lanes between the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea Britain had maintained a garrison around Constantinople (the modern-day Istanbul) after 1918. With an upsurge of Turkish nationalism after WW1 and a conflict with Greece - mainly over land - led to a substantial increase in the size of the British force in 1922, one of whom was George Catterick.

Around this time, the British government was accused of excessive belligerence towards Turkey. The Government's failure to influence the outcome of the situation in Turkey contributed to the downfall of the British post-war coalition government and its wartime Prime Minister, David Lloyd George. George Catterick would have been among the last British forces withdrawn from Constantinople in 1923.

After another period based in Britain, like many regulars in this period, George Catterick spent some time in India (12 September 1924 - 28 February 1931). From that date until after the outbreak of war in 1939 George Catterick was based in Britain. About 1935 George Catterick arrived in Whitehaven, Cumberland as recruiting sergeant for the army. While in Whitehaven George met Miss Hannah Messenger, who was to become his wife in 1937.

At the age of 37 it would appear George's thoughts were that this was the time to settle down and become a family man. However, there was a World War looming. As a regular soldier George Catterick, R.A. would have to play a part.

Sunday, 04 September, 2011  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The Second World War

In April 1940 German troops attacked neutral Denmark and Norway. They believed that the Norwegian naval bases were strategically important for their fleet and also to safeguard important supplies from another neutral country, Sweden. The British and French Governments offered their help to the Norwegians, and a North West Expeditionary Force (NWEF), involving about 12,000 men, was sent. George Catterick was part of the NWEF, landing in Norway on 13 April 1940.

Although there was some Allied success in opposing te German invaders, ultimately the campaign was a failure. As a result of what happened in the Norwegian campaign British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned following a debate in the House of Commons and was replaced by Winston Churchill. George Catterick was among the last troops evacuated from Norway (10 June 1940).

After a short spell back in the UK George Catterick was sent to take part in the Middle East campaign for 172 days (9 September 1940 - 27 February 1941). He was then stationed as a Warrant Officer in Egypt for 3 years and 313 days (28 February 1941 - 6 January 1945). George then returned to the UK and was based at home until demobilisation on 29 October 1945. George had been with the Colours for 26 years, 244 days. He was on the reserve list for another 2 years, 25 days, making a total service of 28 years, 269 days.

George's Certificate of Service (Army Form B.108) gave the following assessment of his career:

Military Conduct: Exemplary

Testimonial: A really good Warrant Officer. Dependable and efficient.Strongly recommended as a capable man and proven integrity.

A fine testimonial for a soldier who had helped win the war. The discharge papers were completed at Foot's Cray, Sidcup, Kent on 12 April 1948 and signed by R.G. Smith, O.C., R.A. Records Office.

As can be seen from the above photograph, George Catterick was awarded 5 medals: 1939-1945 Star,1939-1945 Africa Star, 1939-1945 Defence Medal, 1939-1945 War Medal, Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (Regular Army).

Acknowledgement:

Thanks to Mrs Brenda Ashburne (nee Catterick) for the above photographs and information of her father

For a WW2 photograph taken in Egypt and some additional information about W/O George D. Catterick, R.A:

[Click here]

Sunday, 04 September, 2011  

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