PHOTOGRAPHS

INTRODUCTION

In this section of the site there are a selection of group photographs of the 16th Battalion DLI covering the 1940-46 period. As credited in the captions, all the photographs featured here have been provided by various 16th veterans and their relatives, with the exception of the 1942 D Company photograph which was kindly loaned to me for copying by DLI militaria collector Fred Bromilow of Thornley, Co Durham. Fred bought the photograph from a dealer in Newcastle, but knew little about the men featured except that they were definitely 16th Battalion--the combination of oak leaf shoulder flash and ‘guards style’ Durham Light Infantry shoulder titles were conclusive details. However, it should also be noted that this distinctive insignia only became prevalent with the Battalion from early 1941. Uniforms prior to this period, see left for example, had no such distinguishing marks.

Happily, two of the veterans who have helped me the most with this project over the years, ex-D Company Colour Sgt W Jimmy James and ex-D Company Sgt Charles Bray both feature on the photograph--but hadn’t seen it or each other since early 1943! It’s that kind of lucky chance that has made this research such a pleasure and a privilege. The photograph certainly means much more now that they have been able to identify themselves and some of their old comrades.

Captions for the photographs are courtesy of the veterans cited in the text underneath each picture. These are offered in good faith, but after six decades the odd mistaken identity will doubtless have crept in. Errors, corrections and any further names-to-faces will all be gratefully received and the captions duly updated and credited.

There is a lot of material to be added here in due course. For this initial small selection I have concentrated on the early 1940-42 years of the Battalion. These early group photographs really do seem to be like hens’ teeth. The 1942 company photographs of A Company, C Company and HQ Company, if indeed they do exist, still haven’t surfaced. Again, if anyone has any leads on any of these, please do let me know.
1940 Signals NCOs Jimmy James and Frank Reynolds

Sgt W Jimmy James and L/Cpl Frank Reynolds of the Signal Platoon, 16th DLI. Photo taken in late 1940 at Dalkeith. Both men were posted from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment to help train up the new battalion from the very start in early July 1940. Jimmy James later become Colour Sgt (Company Quarter Master Sgt) with D Company.. Frank Reynolds remained with the Signal Platoon through to the end of war. (Courtesy Jimmy James)
Despatch Rider Alex Gray 1944

The photograph at left was taken in the aftermath of the Battle of Gemmano in Autumn 1944. Left foreground is Pte Tommy Broughton of the Signal Platoon, behind him is Despatch Rider Pte Alex ‘Jock’ Gray and an unidentified MT driver. Alex Gray was another ex-Beds and Herts man who was there from the very beginning of the 16th DLI in Scotland (Courtesy Alex Gray)

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