Norway based researcher Dr. Bruce Tocher has written to our Forum asking if, through us, he can reach out to anyone who lives in our local area and ask whether they might be interested in a WW11 project he is working on. This project involves a young Welsh soldier from the Brynmawr/Beaufort area who lost his life in 1942. (see paragraph below) Dr. Tocher has been searching for surviving family members/relatives of a team who took part in the little known, secret mission called OPERATION FRESHMAN. The aim of this mission was to destroy the Heavy Water facility in Norsk, Norway but of the 48 men involved, 30 of whom were specially trained Royal Engineers, only 7 made it safely back home. The purpose of this project is to honour the sacrifice and bravery of these men and provide a fitting memorial to them. So far he has traced 31 relatives of the 48 servicemen who took part but would like to enlist local help in increasing this number.
The Welsh soldier who came from the Brynmawr / Beaufort area was SAPPER HOWELL BEVAN Service No. 2074196, age 22 of the Royal Engineers, 9 (Airborne) Field Company who lost his life while taking part in a special forces raid, OPERATION FRESHMAN, in Norway in November 1942.
If anyone knows more details than Dr. Tocher and the Crickhowell District Archive Centre have already managed to uncover please get in touch. It would be wonderful if we could help him trace members of Howell’s family so that they can have the opportunity to become involved in this project and the planned 2022 commemorative events. If this project interests you, you are a relative of Sapper Howells, or know someone who is, please read the documents uploaded below which give a lot more information and detail. You can then contact us, or him directly, with any information you might have.
INFORMATION SENT TO US BY DR. BRUCE TOCHER
CONTACT: Dr. Bruce A. Tocher firstname.lastname@example.org +4748147506