August 2019
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British Army

Lost Trails, Research, Comments, ..

Lost Trails, Research, Comments, ..
It has been decided that this chapter will be used in order to re-trace lost trails or to identify photography's, units, documents, …
Comments about the picture 
Mr Rogister 
I forwarded the photograph you sent to me to two men who joined my father's Company - "C" Company, 15 Platoon 1st Battalion Black Watch just before the La Roche offensive.  They are Mr Jack Mitchinson who was Batman to the Company Officer and Mr Jim Colligan Company Runner to my father a Sergeant at the time.  Sadly most others like my father have passed away.  
Mr Mitchinson thinks this is a mixed group photo of Black Watch and Argyll's or Cameron's as the photo shows different cap badges and arm patches.  
The ones in the foreground have square arm patches and the Black Watch had a crossed shape. 
The 4th man standing is very very much like my father Leslie Milne Johnstone and both they and my mother agree hard to say that it is not.  He did smoke a pipe during the war according to Mr Colligan.  But not when I knew him. 
I scan the local press cuttings from 1945 which describe my father taking up a flame thrower against tanks and troops in the La Roche offensive and of leading the attack on a Chateau that commanded some heights.  Capturing 40 Germans in a fighting patrol who were behind the Black Watch lines with only a private with him to help.  Also of local ladies giving them soup.  
My father was awarded the DCM during the Rhine Crossing just 2 months after the La Roche battle.  He and his Company including Mr Mitchinson were cut off for 36 hours against large formations of German Parachute Troops and 15th Panzer Troops with Self Propelled Guns and anti tank weapons in a house in a village called Speldrop.  Mr Colligan thinks that the Corporal kneeling in the front row is a Mr Noble who helped him take their Officer to the Regimental Aid Post at Empel Bridge.  The officer was a Mr Henderson the youngest officer to be awarded the DSO for his act in attacking and killing with a spade German machine gunners at Speldrop.  He, the officer, later became a priest in Edinburgh.  The kneeling Corporal has a Black Watch arm patch.  My father, is we, believe wearing a German battle smock, hence the lack of patches.  
I hope what I send assists you.  Kind Regards & Thank you  
Leslie Johnstone Jnr.