Major FREDERICK HARVEY HONEYMAN (photo added)

Serviceman Headstone image Serviceman grave marker Serviceman thumbnail
Rank Major
Forenames FREDERICK HARVEY
Surname HONEYMAN (photo added)
Initials F H
Place of Birth Unknown
Date of Birth Unknown
Date of Death Sunday, 11 June 1944
Age 23
Nationality British
Residence or Entered Service From MIDDLESBROUGH, YORKSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM
Service Number 134361
Force British Army
Service/Corps/Regiment Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment)
Unit / Ship / Battalion / Squadron 6 Battalion, Green Howards (50th Northumbrian Infantry Division)
Military Honours and Awards MILITARY CROSS (MC)
Place of Burial/Commemoration BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY
Roll of honour
Grave/Memorial Location X. K. 3.
Previous Place(s) of Burial Unknown
Epitaph
Family Details SON OF JAMES NORMAN HONEYMAN AND MARY GWENDOLINE HONEYMAN, OF LINTHORPE, MIDDLESBROUGH, YORKSHIRE.

Additional Information

 

 

Major FREDERICK HARVEY HONEYMAN, undated.1

 

 

Middlesborough College Archives Memorial page

Major FREDERICK HARVEY HONEYMAN was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for his gallantry when the Green Howards2 landed in Normandy on the 6th June, 1944.

But five days later he was killed as he tried to rescue some of the wounded men from his company who were trapped in a wood.

His medals and other memorabilia - including the telegram that gave his parents that tragic news of his death – are preserved in the Green Howards Museum at Richmond to whom they were presented by his brother Stanley, who lives in London.

Major Honeyman, from Middlesbrough, was commanding A Company of the 6 Battalion at La Riviere when he earned the Military Cross (MC). He led an attack on an enemy position guarded by seven pillboxes and defended by soldiers throwing grenades over a six-foot wall.

Although he was hit in the arm and leg by splinters, his citation records how he 'restored the impetus of the attack and took the position, killing or capturing all the enemy'.

However on June 11 Major HONEYMAN was killed in action trying to rescue some wounded men from his company. Under severe enemy fire he went alone towards another British position to try to enlist help, but was shot. He is buried in BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY.

A letter sent to Major Honeyman's mother from his batman, Tom Harris, is also in the collection given to the museum.

Harris wrote: "He was not only my company commander, but also my best friend and he treated me more like his brother...at the most unfortunate moment he sent me back out of the way and considered my safety before his."

Background

Two battalions of Green Howards landed on Gold Beach on D-Day.

When the war started, both were recruited largely from Teesside and North Yorkshire, although as they'd suffered losses from Dunkirk through the Middle East to Sicily, the regional element of the regiment had become diluted.

First ashore at 7.37am were A and D companies of the 6 Battalion.

A Company suffered the day's first casualties because the water they landed in was so deep that a couple of men drowned. The rest, though, were exhorted on their way by a platoon commander shouting: "Get off the beach - off the beach, off the bloody beach and give the buggers hell!"

A Company was led by 23year-old Major FREDERICK HARVEY HONEYMAN from Middlesbrough. He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for his gallantry just off the beaches when he came across an enemy position guarded by seven pillboxes and defended by soldiers throwing grenades.

The citation says although he was hit in the arm and leg by splinters, he "restored the impetus of the attack and took the position, killing or capturing all the enemy".

His Military Cross (MC) and other medals are in the Green Howards Museum, with the telegram that his parents in Linthorpe received on June 26, 1944, saying he had been killed in action five days after D-Day.

He was trying to rescue some wounded men from a wood when he was shot.

Back on the beaches, Company Sergeant-Major Stan Hollis' D Company landed alongside Major HONEYMAN's A Company, followed by B Company.

But it was C Company which bore the brunt of the Green Howards' losses on that first day. Atrocious conditions of the sea meant that its landing craft arrived 13 minutes behind schedule.

The delay gave the enemy time to regroup and it now poured its fire down on to the high water line.

C Company was led by Captain John Linn, 27, of Scarborough, and he was soon wounded in the leg.

Sitting on the sand, he conducted the operation until he was hit for a second time and died. In fact, one of C Company's platoons that morning lost 12 of its 33 men in half-an-hour on Gold Beach. Its stretcher-bearer won the Military Medal for his bravery under fire.

What remained of C Company pushed on, destroyed an ammunition dump and discovered a maze of tunnels. Inside was a party of Germans.

The Green Howards threw in grenades, killing 12 enemy and wounding at least 24.

Another 40 were taken prisoner. At 3pm, they drove the Germans out of the village of Villers le Sec, and by 9pm they were safely dug in south of St Gabriel.

The 7 Battalion landed on Gold at 8.15am. They progressed so rapidly that an air-spotter concluded that they couldn't possibly be British. So he called on naval fire to slow them up, which caused several casualties and encouraged them to dig in for the night.

When night fell on D-Day, the Green Howards were as far forward as any British troops.

 

 

 

References
1. Account from memorial page for Major FREDERICK HARVEY HONEYMAN on Middlesbrough College website Archive at http://www.mbro.ac.uk/Home/index/collegeinfo/collegehistory/remembrance/honeyman.aspx. located and kindly provided by Sarah Shepherd.
2. Additional information and achives for the Green Howard's Regiment can be located at the Green Howard's Museum.

 

Acknowledgements and Credits
Source of original data: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Headstone photograph: Carl Shilleto
Cross marker photograph:  
Individual photograph: Middlesbrough College Archives located by Sarah Shepherd.
Additional photographs provided by:  
Additional information provided by: Sarah Shepherd and Middlesbrough College Archives.

 

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