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Sidney John Bruton
Rank: Lance Corporal
Sidney John Bruton



2nd Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry

Normandy, France onward

June 6th, 1944

Survived the war?
Kings Shropshire Light Infantry

Kings Shropshire Light Infantry

A gentleman recalls

My Dad is Sidney John Bruton. In 1941 he joined the Somerset Light Infantry at the age of 30. Just before the Normandy Landings were due to take place he was transferred to the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry to prepare for the invasion. During the D-Day period the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry was assigned to the 185th Infantry Brigade which was a part of the 3rd Infantry Division.

His regiment gathered on the South Coast of England and boarded their craft at Newhaven along with the thousands of other troops. After the delay due to the weather, his regiment landed on Sword Beach, at 8.00am on the 6th June 1944.

Each soldier was given a bicycle to ride, but due to the nature of the tide and the beach, the water was much deeper than intended and many bikes were lost. Over 600 men were lost that day on Sword beach.

My Dad was one of the older soldiers on that day, being 33. He left home leaving behind a wife, my Mum, and three young children in Bristol. I was born in 1947. Thankfully my dad survived the landings and the fighting all the way to Germany.

My father never spoke about what he did during the war, a lot of information I discovered since his death in 1992.

Story provided by Bob, his son

185th Infantry Brigade

During the Second World War, the 185th Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade formation of the British Army that was active in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. The brigade played a crucial role in the Normandy Campaign as well as the wider campaign in North-West Europe, serving with the 3rd British Infantry Division.

The 185th Brigade was initially formed on 1 September 1942 after the redesignation of 204th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home), a static Home Defence formation that had been serving under Durham and North Riding Area HQ. It was assigned frontline infantry battalions and became the infantry component of the newly established 79th Armoured Division. However, when 79th Armoured was reorganised as a specialist armour formation in April 1943, the 185th Brigade was transferred to the 3rd Infantry Division to prepare for Operation Overlord.

The 3rd Infantry Division was the first British formation to land at Sword on D-Day and fought intensively from Sword to Bremen. The division suffered 2.586 killed, with over 12.500 wounded or missing, during the Normandy campaign. Furthermore, two members of the brigade (and division) were awarded the Victoria Cross for their exceptional bravery.

The 185th Brigade comprised the following units from its formation until August 1945:

  • 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment (until 17 August 1945)
  • 2nd Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry
  • 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry (from 19 August 1945)
Kings Shropshire Light Infantry

The King's Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) was a light infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in the Childers Reforms of 1881, but with antecedents dating back to 1755. It served in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II. In 1968, the four regiments of the Light Infantry Brigade (the KSLI, Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and Durham Light Infantry) amalgamated to form The Light Infantry, with the 1st KSLI being redesignated as the 3rd Battalion of the new regiment.

The 2nd Battalion began WW2 in Jamaica, with a company detached to the Bermuda Garrison. The battalion would eventually join the 185th Infantry Brigade, which included the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment and the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment. The brigade was originally assigned to the 79th Armoured Division, but was then transferred to the 3rd British Infantry Division in April 1943, when the division was preparing to invade Sicily, until it was replaced by the 1st Canadian Infantry Division.

The battalion took part in the D-Day landings of Operation Overlord, where they failed to capture the D-Day objective of Caen due to the presence of the 21st Panzer Division. The 2nd Battalion fought in the Normandy Campaign, Operation Market Garden and the rest of the North West Europe Campaign with the British Second Army.

Veteran's personal medals
1939 - 1945 Star
1939 - 1945 Star
War Medal
War Medal
France and Germany Star
France and Germany Star
Veteran's personal file
Kings Shropshire Light Infantry shoulder title
Kings Shropshire Light Infantry shoulder title

Motto: Aucto Splendore Resurgo ("I rise again with increased splendour")

Personal photographs

Click on a picture for enlargement

  • 1992

Remember each and every sacrifice, made for your freedom!

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