Sopwith Ivan Gerald 2/Lt 117084
Name Sopwith Ivan Gerald
Army number 117084
Date of birth Born Tynemouth - birth registered July 1920. His mother is identified as Agnes Marice S. Wilkins, who appears to have been his father's first wife - marrying in Kensington in July 1919.
Age 24 at the time of his death.
Unit Enlisted in The Durham Light Infantry - served in the ranks as a Private - Regimental Number not yet traced. Commissioned as a Lt 17/2/1940. Posted to the 11th Battalion DLI 11/3/1940. Served B.E.F. Served Iceland. Posted to an OCTU as an Instructor. Posted to the Highland Fieldcraft School 20/5/1943. Posted back to the 11th Battalion DLI 17/2/1944. Served Normandy. Hospitalised 8-12/8/1944. With the Battalion on disbandment 26/8/1944 as 2 i/c B Company. Transferred to the Devonshire Regiment September 1944, and posted to the 2nd Battalion. KILLED in ACTION 17/9/1944 with 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment.
Company/Battery HQ Company, B Company.
Platoon or other sub-unit
Task or role Signals Officer, Company 2 i/c in 1943 and as at 18/4/1944.
Joined Brigade 11-Mar-40.
Promotions W/S Lt 17/8/1941, T/Captain 4/11/1942.
Prisoner of War
Died/Killed in action 17/9/1944. Originally interred with other casualties from the 2nd Battalion at Le Colonie - map reference 370996. Re-buried on 30/4/1945 in Grave 11.A.11 Valkenswaard War Cemetery. Headstone inscription reads: "NO GRAVE CAN ROB US OF OUR MEMORIES; WE GIVE THEM BACK TO GOD AND FIND HIS PEACE AT LAST".
Home address Resident of Tynemouth. Son of Major Gerald Sopwith (late DLI) and his wife Stella, of Woodcote, Oxfordshire. Educated Durham School.
Source table 11DLI
Unlike other men who became casualties after the disbandment of the Brigade in late August 1944, and while serving with other Regiments, Captain Sopwith is included on the DLI Roll of Honour in Durham Cathedral and is shown as serving with the 11th Battalion, which had, of course, ceased to exist by the time of his death.