L/Cpl Edward Sefton, 4464831, 16th DLI, POW No 125744

From Bradford, Edward Sefton was with the 16th DLI from its formation at Edinburgh, enlisting on 17/7/40. Details of his Army service and the photographs and documents in this section are all courtesy of his son Brian.

Edward Sefton is featured at second from right in the photograph above with six unidentified members of the 16th DLI. Brian suggests the picture may have been taken when the battalion was at Dunfermline in early 1941. Totalling seven men, this looks to me like a section of a platoon. I've cropped and enlarged the photograph to bring up the size of the faces To see the original composition, click on the image.

After initial training, his paybook details place Edward Sefton in the Pioneer Platoon of HQ Company from December 1940, so these men are likely either colleagues from basic training and/or fellow member of the Pioneer Platoon. Edward Sefton’s Army number was 4464831. It’s highly likely that at least some of the men above will have Army numbers near to his. Can anyone place any of the other faces?

To see this sequence of known adjacent DLI Army numbers click here.

Edward Sefton would have fought through both the Sedjenane battle in Tunisia and the Salerno landings. He was with C Coy, 16 DLI at time of his capture, which was during an attack against Point 430, near La Valle, Italy on 6/12/43. Held at Feldpost Nr 31979, Spleto, northern Italy from 9/12/43 to 28/12/43, he arrived Stalag 7A Mooseburg on 30/12/43 and was assigned the POW number 125744.

The following documents are a graphic summary of his service with 16 DLI and of his time as a POW:

A 1940 portrait photograph and a more informal portrait in Khaki drill taken in 1943

Two postcards ‘On Active Service’ sent from North Africa, dated January and February 1943.

Especially fascinating here are the signatures of the officers who checked/censored the mail. One is definitely Lt Weightman of HQ Coy. But who is the other? Lt Kauffman? Richardson? Chapman? Definitve answers requested.

A December 1943 POW card from Feldpost Nr 31979

A 1944 POW card from workcamp AK3732 of Stalag 7A

A postwar, late 1950s photograph of Edward Sefton and his POW friend Sgt A J ‘Jock’ Burnett, POW No 124162, of the 2nd Bn Cameron Highlanders.

Edward Sefton was sent to work camp AK 3732, Hindenberg Strasse, Munich, on 23/2/44. In a letter home dated as received