Geoffrey Nalton

Geoffrey Nalton served with the regiment during the Second World War. The museum holds his scrapbook and photograph collection in our care. It serves as an excellent example of a life impacted by conflict and service, a period of time which then shaped a large part of Geoff’s life long after he had left the army, including being an active member of the regimental association and meeting up with old friends from army days. Many of the individuals in the photographs in the album are named, which is not always the case with the thousands of photographs we have in our care.


Geoffrey was born the 8 March 1919. Before the war he lived with his parents and sister, Jean, in Dean Road, Scarborough. As a boy, Nalton attended Scarborough boys High School and young Geoff wanted to be a police officer like his father, but after leaving school worked for Bedwell and Hoyle solicitors.

He was called up in 1939 to the 5th Battalion of the Green Howards and on the 19 January 1940 sailed to France from Southampton. In May 1940 the Germans attacked Belgium and France. Geoffrey was able to join up with a Royal Artillery unit who were rapidly retreating to Dunkirk. Whilst on the beach he was among a number of Green Howards who commandeered an open fishing smack and crossed the channel. After eight hours, they were picked up in the Thames Estuary and taken to Ramsgate. After a few days, he was given a 48-hour pass to allow him to visit his family in Yorkshire.

On the 23 April 1941, he embarked for service in the Middle East and arrived at Suez in June. In July 1942, he was twice wounded, eventually captured and transferred to Italian Prisoner of War camp PG 73 in Carpi. In September 1943, Italy capitulated and Geoffrey escaped but he was re-captured near the Yugoslavian border. From there he was taken to Stammlager XVIII A in Spittal un der Drau in Austria. He also spent time in camps in Fallingbostel and Thorn near Poznan.

After the war, Sergeant Nalton spent time recuperating at Northfield Military hospital in Birmingham. He was discharged from the army in 1946 and returned to Scarborough.