Alexander Benjamin Tomlinson

Alexander Benjamin Tomlinson

Alexander Benjamin Tomlinson

Alexander Benjamin Tomlinson
Born 06/09/1922- 1985
Corporal 7th Black Watch

In 1940 Uncle Alex turned 18 years old, already working for the Home Guard and training as a builder , he took the train from Dunfermline to Perth to join the Black Watch Regiment. Queens Barracks, Perth. Scotland’s most famous Regiment.

The 7th Black Watch were part of the reformed 51st Highland Division, the original sacrificed in St Valery, France, 1940.Shipped to Egypt in June 1942. First contact with the Germans in August 1942. Montgomery then put them in the line for the breakout at El Alamein followed by the great pursuit across North Africa ending in the defeat of the famous Afrika Corps originally commanded by Ervin Rommel.

Next came the Battle for Sicily followed by the landings in Italy, withdrawn November 1943 back to Scotland, home sweet home, only to be sent south to prepare for the Battle of Normandy. Following the initial landings the 51st Highland Division landed between late 6th June & 10th June, 7th Black Watch, 154 Brigade, on 9th June. Moved into the east flank, British Airborne sector, Bravent Wood, the Triangle position , 11/2 months of misery, hedgerow fighting and never fighting in the open. August sees the 51st Highland attached to the Canadian army.

Operation totalise towards St Pierre sur Dives then towards Lisieux. Crossing the Siene, honour restored , liberation of St Valery.

Moving northeast into Belguim and Holland followed by the battles for the River Mass and the `Island`, clearing the Reichswald to Goch.

Preparing for the Rhine crossings gave the Highland division a few days rest.

Montgomery chose the Scots to cross first, side by side 51st & 15th Scottish Divisions.

The 154th Brigade crossed close to Honnepel starting 9pm 23rd March ,7th Black Watch & 7th A & SH. Having successfully crossed the Rhine Corporal Tomlinson was badly wounded in German counteracts near Kivitt.

Missing in action, carried back days later , saved by two east Europeans. Having been shot, the round hit his right jaw bone passed through the neck and out the left shoulder. He wanted to live. Flown back to Britain ,he was to spend 2 years in hospital , followed by years in and out.

I had the pleasure of living next door to Uncle Alex, his help, courage and history gave me my Interest in WW11 and helped me through life.

Eric Le Turnbull-Doux
Alexander Benjamin Tomlinson - Corporal 7th Black Watch