Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Tywyn (Towyn) & Tonfanau during WWII, or Mid-West Wales in general during WWII.

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by rah8, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. rah8

    rah8 recruit

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    I was just wondering if anyone had any information on Tywyn and Tonfanau during WWII, or any memories/stories anyone could share. I have read the texts by Roy Sloan etc, they are a good starting point.

    I would also be very appreciative if anyone could point me in the direction of any good books relating to Wales during WWII, preferably no more South than Aberystwyth.

    Thank you
     
  2. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    12,560
    Likes Received:
    1,017
  3. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,884
    Likes Received:
    544
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    I can't help you with regards to the towns you mention, but 10 miles along the coast at Talacre there was once a WW2 military aircraft firing range which was reputedly used by Spitfires.

    Even today you can find spent .303 and 20mm cannon rounds in the sand dunes there.

    Myself and Pegasus have practiced our metal detected skills there a few times and found lots of empty cartridges. A lot were found visually, simply lying on top of the sand!
     
  4. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    953
    my old kiddy stomping ground...youll find a chemical warfare production secret factory in that area too. mustard gas for allenbrookes gas em on the beaches plan.
     
  5. ADEllis

    ADEllis recruit

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    [FONT=&quot]Hi rah8.

    I am now researching my father's WW2 service record and one of the things I came across today was that Towyn in North Wales was the site of the RASC Amphibian Training centre.

    RASC personnel were sent hear to be taught how to drive DUKWs for D-Day, and it seems my father was sent there in May 1944 to be taught how to drive a DUKW for the Normandy invasion 1 month later - talk about a steep learning curve!!

    If anyone has any further information on the training centre please could they let me know.

    Regards
    Andrew Ellis

    [/FONT]
     
  6. woodshade

    woodshade recruit

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi, I just found your thread via a google search. My Dad now 81 was stationed at Tonfanau. He was a sergeant. I am hoping to get some more info like dates etc but he remembers the little station, and walking along the tracks to the beach - apparently you had to be v.alert as you couldn't hear the trains coming!

    Anyone who was there or who had family at Tonfanau you are welcome to email me.

    :cool:
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    My uncle mentioned landing in Wales on his way from Africa to Great Britain. They hit an unexpected cross wind and almost ended up over Portugal then encountered severe fog when they got to Wales. The field they landed at was not the one they were aiming for but all were happy to get safe on the ground. I have some of his notes and he mentioned the names of the various fields will see what I can find but it might take a bit.
     
  8. Roger C

    Roger C recruit

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Andrew Ellis

    My father, Lt W T Curtis RASC was also at Towyn/Tywyn from 19 April to 22 May 1944 - training on DUKWs prior to D-Day. He also trained on the LVT(2) or Buffalo. I have his diary in which he wrote maybe 3 or 4 lines each day - although nothing once his Company was 'sealed' into its pre-invasion waiting area. He eventually sailed from off Southend to land on the beaxches on D+2. But I no idea which unit he was with - except for one mention of 18 Section (whatever that was)or where he landed. According to his diary all his DUKWs seem to have been numbered B1, B2 etc.

    Apparently the area was an RASC Amphibious Training camp until the 1960s.

    You have no doubt read the following:
    'Near Towyn in North Wales they met their Buffaloes, tracked,amphibious cargo vehicles. The driver entrance was through the cargo bay sothat, when tracks fell off and the vehicle capsized, there was no escape.Possibly rough seas contributed to this tendency but Buffoloes were quicklyretired because of the number of accidents.'Harry collected one of the first sixBritish Army DUKWs from Southampton Docks. (Other sources mention RASC DUKWS inSicily in 1943 so another training establishment existed) Although Americanservicemen had several months of training, a couple of hours around the depotintroduced left hand drive on dry land. On this experience he then trained hisunit NCOs so that they could then train other drivers.
    'Preparations for D Day
    'A month later 536 General TransportCompany, RASC, relocated near Romsey. Training exercises included a mockinvasion of Canvey Island, not something well received by the locals. The DUKWswere reversed onto LSTs (Landing Ships Tank) for extended periods at sea to beable to drive straight into the sea. Eventually Harry’s DUKW (A5) was guardedby armed Military Police in local woods with tarpaulins tied down and sealedwith sealing wax; he could only approach the vehicle to service it.
    'Each Company of RASC DUKWs comprised ofplatoons of 30 DUKWs numbered A1 — A30, B1 — B30, etc. RASC vehicles doubled asaccommodation and the first four platoon vehicles had special roles, eg. A1 —headquarter, A2 — workshop, A3 — cookhouse and A4 (unknown). '
    Quoting story about HarryJoseph Weller in BBC’s WW II People’s war


    If anyone can advise me where/how to find out more I would be grateful.

    Regards
    Roger Curtis
     
  9. MiniMalistic

    MiniMalistic New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,
    I just wanted to express my gratitude to John Barrie Sheard for taking the time to pull together all the information on the Royal Marine camps in and around Towyn during WW2.

    I've just started looking into this and have really struggled to find anything until I stumbled upon this document!

    My Grandfather Arthur Joseph Mason was stationed at Burma camp as a Sergeant in the Royal Marines, training seamanship & amphibious landing techniques and this information brought back some memories for my father (also called Arthur) who visited my Grandad at Llanegryn a couple of times and can remember playing football with some of the other servicemen's children so perhaps they may have met.

    The PDF is too large so heres the link https://johnbarrierevisits.files.wo...l-marines-and-gd-sheard-april-2014-final3.pdf

    Anyway, I hope someone else benefits from the post.

    Regards
     

Share This Page