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Timlin, C.G., Pte., 1944

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 27/03/1944

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 06/04/1944

Hartleool Northern Daily Mail 05/09/1944

In Padua War Cemetery, Italy, is the Commonwealth War Grave of 14620379 Private Christopher George Timlin, serving with the 2/7th Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), who died on the 14/04/1944.

Christopher George Hold was born in Hartlepool on the 25th January 1910. He can be found with his mother Ethel Hold (born 1891) in the 1911 Census living with her family at 11 Bath Street in Hartlepool.

Also in the household are Thomas and Elizabeth Ann Hold (Ethel’s parents) and Jonathan Hold (Ethel’s brother).
Ethel married Edward Timlin on the 12th February 1912 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Brougham Street in Hartlepool. Edward (1872 - 1930) was a widower, living at Moor Street in Hartlepool and working at the shipyard at the time of his second marriage to Ethel.

Christopher George (known as George) was the eldest son and prior to the war was employed as a foreman bricklayer by Messrs. W. Pearson and Son. He married Jeannie Jackson in Darlington in 1936.

George’s 'Form of Enrolment in the Home Guard' is now accessible and the certificate of acceptance is dated 6th March 1943 and he was consequently discharged on the 1st July 1943 to join H.M. Forces having served 118 days in the 104th Battalion Durham Home Guard, an Anti-Aircraft Regiment. George is correctly reported in the local newspaper as joining the forces on 1st July, and also that he was one of three brothers who served; younger brothers John (Gunner, R.A.) and Lawrence (initially with the Durham Home Guard, 18th Battalion) also enlisted.

Reported as serving with the Durham Light Infantry, additional available paperwork later states; 'Unit should read 2/7th Battalion Queen’s Royal Regiment'.

The 2/7th Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) was a second line Territorial Army Battalion, serving in the 35th Infantry Brigade of the 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division. They were sent to France in 1940 and suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of Dunkirk and the division was disbanded soon after returning to England, and the 35th Brigade was later re-designated the 169th Infantry Brigade.

The 169th Brigade was to serve with the 56th Division for the rest of WW2 in the Italian Campaign in battles at Salerno (9th September 1943), Anzio (22nd January 1944 to 5th June 1944) and 'Operation Grapeshot' (6th April 1945 to 2nd May 1945).

The Battle of Anzio began on the 22nd January 1944 when American and British troops swarmed ashore at Anzio taking the Germans stationed along the Italian coast largely by surprise. The amphibious landing was known as ‘Operation Shingle’. However the Germans dug in, and the next four months saw some of the fiercest fighting of WW2 as the battle continued for control of the region.

The operation was commanded by Major General John P. Lucas of the United States Army (VI Corps) and was intended to outflank the German forces to enable an attack on Rome. However Lucas failed to capitalise on the element of surprise and the enemy moved every spare unit into a ring around the beachhead where the German gunners had a clear view of every Allied position. The German’s also flooded the reclaimed marsh with salt water to entrap the Allies and shells fell on the beach, the marsh and the harbour for weeks; Lucas was relieved of his position and replaced.

The Queen’s Brigade landed on the 16th February at the same time the German’s launched a counter attack and they were immediately deployed in the front line. The 2/7th Queen’s was to locate and relieve an American Infantry Battalion (2nd/157th, part of the U.S. 45th Infantry Division) who were isolated and surrounded a mile from the main front line and suffering heavy casualties. The 2/7th completed their task but consequently suffered very heavy losses themselves in 'The Battle of the Caves' losing 362 officers and men with most being taken prisoner, leaving them at only 15% strength. Efforts to get supplies through had failed, and on the 23rd February enemy infantry and tanks closed in, two companies were overrun and a third was forced to withdraw into the caves. An unsuccessful attempt was made under the cover of darkness to get back to the locations of the 2/6th Queen’s, but ultimately the position had to be abandoned and the enemy completed its occupation of the area.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 27/03/1944

Mrs. G. Timlin of 28 Carlton Street, West Hartlepool, has been officially informed that her husband Pte. C. George Timlin, D.L.I., is reported missing, whilst serving with the C.M.F. Pte. Timlin is the eldest of three sons serving in the Forces of Mrs. and the late Mr. E. Timlin, of 4 Smith Street, Hartlepool. Before joining up he was employed as a foreman bricklayer by Messrs. W. Pearson and Son.

George was wounded and taken prisoner on the 24th February 1944, and died on the 14th April from his injuries in a POW camp hospital. He was 34 years old.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 06/04/1944

Mrs. G. Timlin of 28 Carlton Street, West Hartlepool, whose husband, Pte. C. George Timlin, of the D.L.O. (C.M.F.) was previously reported missing, has received a card from him stating he is a prisoner of war and slightly wounded.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 05/09/1944

Mrs. G. Timlin, 28 Carlton Street, West Hartlepool, has received official intimation that her husband Pte. G. Timlin died in a camp hospital in Germany on April 14. Pte. Timlin joined the forces on July 1, 1943 and was reported missing in Italy on February 24 this year. Later he was reported a prisoner and wounded. He was the eldest son of Mrs. and the late Mr. E. Timlin, 4 Smith Street, Hartlepool, who have two younger sons serving in France.

His headstone has the inscription 'At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him.'

The reason why he has been listed twice on the Memorial as George Christopher Timlin and George Timlin is that he was also in the Home Guard, and the assumption had been made that this was a separate person. It is not.

Research: Jean Atkinson/James Pasby

Christopher George Timlin is remembered at West Hartlepool on W111.55

The CWGC entry for Private Timlin

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk