Dan Steele

Photographic Colourist

A Sergeant of 1st Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers writes home. Denmead, Hampshire April 1944

Sergeant Ernest Docherty of the 1st Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers, sits amongst his equipment near Denmead, Hampshire, 29th April 1944, a few days before Operation Fabius.

Colour by Dan Steele

In April 1944, 1st Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KSOB) formed part of 9th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, destined for the invasion of Normandy a few months later.

According to the IWM caption, we find Sergeant Docherty writing a letter home from a tented camp in Denmead, Hampshire in late April. According to Historian Stephen Fisher, the date would likely suggest that 1/KSOB would have been preparing to take part in the rehearsal for Operation Neptune, known as Fabius. Part of which would see 3rd Infantry Division practice landing on the shore at Littlehampton at the start of May 1944. Footage of the landing can be found in the IWM archive.

Sergeant Ernest Docherty of the 1st Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers, part of 3rd Infantry Division, composes a letter from his unit’s tented camp at Denmead in Hampshire, 29 April 1944. Copyright: © IWM H 37989

Given the location of Denmead, it’s likely that we find Sergeant Docherty sat writing in camps A11/A12 in Creech Wood, part of Marshalling Area A for D-Day.

Many thanks to Taff Gillingham for help identifying uniforms and equipment, as well as Stephen Fisher for historical context (and sub-editing).

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1 Comment

  1. Ginny Downey January 26, 2022

    It’s an amazing photo made even more stunning by the colour you added.
    You have done a fantastic job.

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