TURNER Kenneth

turner_k
HOTTOT-LES-BAGUES WAR CEMETERY.

Kenneth Turner

Son of Herman and Violet Turner, of Queensbury.  Kenneth served in the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) as a Private with the 6th Battalion. 

Kenneth died on 18th June 1944, aged 19.  He is buried at HOTTOT-LES-BAGUES WAR CEMETERY, France.

Headstone inscription:  ‘Greater love hath no man than this’.

Herman and Violet married in summer 1918, with Kenneth born in 1924, he had two sisters Kathleen and Barbara.  The Turner’s can be found on the 1939 register and electoral rolls, including 1945, living at 10 Commercial Street.

Th 6th Battalion (Bn) Duke of Wellington’s landed in Normandy on 12th June 1944 with their Division the 49th known as the Polar Bears.  On the 17th the untried battalion went into action at Le Parc De Boislande, a wooded area close to Fontenay.  Facing them were the crack troops of 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitlerjugend).

Supported by tanks and artillery they fought hard and captured their objective within three hours. This though was at a heavy cost with 2 Officers and 50 Other ranks killed and 7 Officers wounded along with 100 Other ranks.

There was no respite for the battalion as the enemy attempted to dislodge them and at 10:00hrs on the 18th they launched a strong counterattack.  Fighting every yard, they were forced back again at a high cost in casualties, as the 6th Bn withdrew their sister battalion the 7th was tasked to retake the woods.

The 6th Bn only took part in one more action after Le Parc De Boislande, on the 26th, again they suffered heavy casualties.  In 14 days 23 Officers and 350 Other rank had become casualties.  Following a report on the state of the battalion by their new Commanding Officer they were withdrawn from the line and returned to England.