This photo was sent to Jeanne in Sarsden by H. Brimelow. He signs his name on the reverse and writes 'in the yard 1943' and 'in Sicily May 1944'. Although two of the soldiers are similar in appearance to the two American 'engineers', the hats appear to be British forage caps. And, if we're right about the two Americans, they were never in Sicily as far as we know. Further clues to the Britishness of these soldiers are the camouflage paint on the jeep, the boots and lacings and the white enamel 'tin mugs'. Jeanne does mention the 'Liverpool Scottish' being in her yard, along with several soldier's names, but they were gone from there sometime in April 1942. She mentions the yard being cleared and the water tanks filled in 1943 and expects Americans to arrive, but perhaps it was these men.
Given the men's overalls and the location in Sicily, we have wondered if they were connected with the British Army's 3 Battalion R.E.M.E. who were in Sicily in 1943. Research at the R.E.M.E. museum also showed the presence of 623 Messina workshop in Sicily under the command of Lt. Colonel Eagers. The overalls are apparently not typically American nor, for that matter, like the usual issue to REME, so it's also possible they may have been RAF men.
If you can tell us more about Mr Brimelow or identify any of these servicemen or their unit, or recognise the photo's location, we'd be grateful if you'd get in touch.
|Almost certainly British servicemen in Sicily in 1944|
back to Photo Gallery