World War 2 - Letter to the editor: Finding Belgian Family

This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.
World War 2 - Letter to the editor: Finding Belgian Family
2625038 Guardsman William (Bill) Clark

The 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards made their way through France and Belgium in 1944 towards Holland. The route involved the towns and villages of Tournai – Lessines – Herinnes – Brussels – Tervuren – Louvain – Aerschot (Escaut) – Lommel. It is well known that Belgian families gave food and shelter to many British soldiers and I hope to trace members of a particular family who did this for a Grenadier. I don’t know the family name or the town/village where they lived but am sure that it would have been one of those listed above.

Recently, I was contacted by Miss Maria Clark who wished to donate her Father’s World War 2 medals to the Regiment. 2625038 Guardsman William (Bill) Clark was that Guardsman who was looked after whilst in Belgium. Bill passed away in 2012 and Maria has no knowledge of his time as a Grenadier as, like a lot of his peers, he didn’t speak about his service.

Mixed in with the medals were certain items which interested me and the most interesting being the photographs attached but particularly a family photograph. Hand written on the back of the photograph is the text:

“Souvenir from Mama – Papa – Leon – Maria To Bill Clark”


Maria Clark thinks she may have been named after the young girl in the photograph. There is an assortment of photographs but the family one is probably the most interesting.

Bill came from the town of Wigan in North West England where his Daughter Maria still resides. Maria would love to thank members of this family for the love and kindness shown to her Father all those years ago. This is a shot in the dark but, perhaps, Leon and Maria still live in that town/village or perhaps their children will recognise the photograph and get in touch.

Yours Sincerely,

Barry Taylor - Branch President & Northern Area Representative
Grenadier Guards Association
Wigan, St. Helens & District Branch
51 Holly Road, Haydock, St. Helens, WA11 0DR
Tel: 01744 601663

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