17/21st Lancers

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by viva1angel, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    From Tom Canning

    Emma
    Part three...
    I should also mention that the third battalion in the 26th Armoured brigade was the 2nd Battalion of the Lothian and Border Horse - which was a territorial unit as opposed to the regular Regiments of 16/5th and 17/21st Lancers.. and as such was broken up in Austria and their place was then taken by the 4th Queens Own regiment - who finally went off back down to Trieste to help sort out Tito's mob who were causing trouble there...
    cheers

    I don't wont to offend You but please don't call Yugoslav Partisans a "Tito's mob". They fought against Germans, Italians and other Axis Allies from 1941 to 1945 and during that time between 750,000 to 780,000 people die (both partisans and civilians) and many ware deported for slave labour. After the Tehran Conference the Partisans received official recognition as the legitimate national liberation force by the Allies.
     
  2. peterjm

    peterjm meadey

    my uncle seagant leonard mead was killed in action in the same fight, aged 21 he ran for various local sports clubs and chosen to represent the lancers at Ibrox stadium just before his post to north africa, he won his heat but came 2nd in the final , i have been to his resting place, medjez el bab cemetery and taken my 2 sons there,have you been ?
     
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Peter,

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  4. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Peter, Welcome to the forum

    Cheers
    Paul
     
  5. hornetsfan

    hornetsfan Junior Member

    Hello all ,
    I'm looking for information on Major M G Canning of the 17th/21st lancers .
    I have just bought a large metal millitary trunk with his name on it ..from experience I would have dated it to 1930s / 1940s .
    It is lined with newspaper dated 1945 ...i know naughty people play trcks with militaria ..but it all seems to my eye authentic .
    I have tried a little googling and only come up with Major Michael George canning who died 12th April 2007 (?)
    Can anyone please help in identifying Major M G Canning 17th/21st lancers to ww2 ?
    many thanks
    Jim
     
  6. Steve Kemble

    Steve Kemble Junior Member

    Hope some of you are still watching this thread.
    I am married to Sgt Mellings granddaughter and due to having done my 22 was asked if I could do some sniffing around and fill in some of the missing history. I plan to visit Kew but if any one has any info on or photos of Sgt Melling I would be most grateful for copies and I will cover any costs involved.
    All we know is that he won the DCM at Fondouk and was killed in Italy on the 08/07/1944. We have visited the grave while on holiday but we are not certain about how he was killed.
    Many thanks. Steve.
     
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sol
    I am well aware of the actions of Tito and his force having met many of the survivors
    of various battles where the wounded were treated with newspapers to stem the flow of blood- as they arrived in pitiful conditions at the hospital in Bari where i also was being threaded for wounds suffered in a fight by MY MOB and the 1st paras - on later release
    i was then transferred to the 16/5th MOB.....

    The use of the word MOB was a common one to describe a unit - any and all units
    and IF you had served - you would have known that...
    Cheers
     
  8. Steve Kemble

    Steve Kemble Junior Member

    Hi Big Rich
    I am researching Sgt H Melling of the 17/21 Lancers. You mention you have some photos. I dont suppose you have any of Sgt Melling.
    Thanks for your time.
    Steve
     
  9. Waldo59

    Waldo59 Junior Member

    It's been a long time since the orginal post was made but there are a few others relating to the 'incident' on 7th january 1943 which I might be able to throw some light on....

    Although the main body of 17th/21st Lancers were landed in North Africa in November 1942, part of the regiment was left behind in the camp in Stewarton (just outside Kilmarnock, Scotland) to clear up and then follow on with new tanks. My grandfather Maurice 'Jim' Waldron was one of them and refers to an earlier leaving group as B echelon (I'm ex-navy so please don't hold the ignorance of pongo terminology against me!). Ffrench Blake also refers to a few medically unfit or supernumaries being left behind with B Echelon in order to clear the camp as well.

    This unit left the river Clyde on christmas eve 1942 on the Ben Line ship SS Benalbanach which was on her second run to Africa as part of convoy KMS 6 and had the port of Bone as her final destination.

    Benalbanach was carrying a mixed load of approximately 450 troops and crew, a large contingent of which were from 17th/21st, and a load of ammunition, vehicles and fuel. At 06:10 on the morning of 7th January the convoy was attacked by torpedo aircraft. Benalbanach was hit and blew up within 5 minutes taking 400+ down with her including most if not all, of the Lancers - Hence the 'killed at sea' tab.

    There is a list of 22 killed in action (no officers though!) on this date at the rear of Ffrench Blakes history of the regiment so given the odd other casualties the regiment suffered at this period, it would appear most of those who died on 7th were on the ship when she blew up.

    During my research I have collected as much information on this incident as I can find but I never been able to understand why given the size of the loss there is so little recorded.

    The regimental diary makes no mention of what was apparently its biggest loss of men in any single action and only refers to the delay in receiving new Grant tanks as they had trained 10 new crews ready for them!. Ffrench Blake conveniently misses it out in his history and nautical history books & the WEB sites just give a passing mention even though it was a relatively large single loss even for WWII.

    My only logical conclusion for this is that perhaps there may have been some regulations regarding the separation of men and materiels which was disregarded for expediency and the incident was 'hushed up' to prevent any later repercussions.

    Can anyone else think of another reason?
     
  10. BigRich

    BigRich Junior Member

    Hello all ,
    I'm looking for information on Major M G Canning of the 17th/21st lancers .
    I have just bought a large metal millitary trunk with his name on it ..from experience I would have dated it to 1930s / 1940s .
    It is lined with newspaper dated 1945 ...i know naughty people play trcks with militaria ..but it all seems to my eye authentic .
    I have tried a little googling and only come up with Major Michael George canning who died 12th April 2007 (?)
    Can anyone please help in identifying Major M G Canning 17th/21st lancers to ww2 ?
    many thanks
    Jim
    Hi Hornetsfan

    M.G.Canning is mentioned 3 times in The History Of The 17th/21st Lancers

    firstly: page 250 Captain M.G.Canning (ex Coldstream Guards) ADC to CIGS in 1949

    next: page 260 Major M.G.Canning in 1959

    lastly: page 272 Joined Regiment 1948

    It seems that M.G.Canning may well have served in the Coldstream Guards in ww2 as he didn't join the 17/21 until after the war.

    This opens up a whole new avenue for you to research. I hope this has helped
     
  11. BigRich

    BigRich Junior Member

    Hi Big Rich
    I am researching Sgt H Melling of the 17/21 Lancers. You mention you have some photos. I dont suppose you have any of Sgt Melling.
    Thanks for your time.
    Steve
    Hi Steve

    I don't seem to have any photos of Sgt Melling but i will keep looking.

    I don't know how much information you have and I apologize if I am repeating any here. He is mentioned a couple of times in the History of the 17th/21st Lancers.

    Once on page 133 when during the battle of Fondouk:-

    Beyond lay a further belt of mines. Micholls led his troop through this second minefield, and succeeded in reaching the feature called 'The Pimple' in the plain beyond the pass. Here all his tanks were knocked out and Micholls was killed. Nix continued to fight until he too was killed and only two tanks of B squadron survived. One of these commanded by Sgt Melling; ordered to cover the withdrawal of the squadron, he silenced an anti-tank gun and several machine-gun posts; then when told to withdraw he advanced instead, and picked up the crews of the other tanks, eventually brining twenty-three men out of action on his tank. He then insisted on returning to battle, joining A squadron with his tank. He was awarded the Military Medal ( D.C.M. )for his magnificent conduct.

    He is also mentioned in the roll of honour at the back of the book.

    I hope this helps in your research
     
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Hope you're still out there, Steve!
    Here is your grandfather-in-law's citation:

    Just noticed that he was recommended for the Military Medal but the Corps Commander bumped it up to a DCM! I not his brigade commander was the fairly famous Pip Roberts, if I've read the signature correctly.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Idler

    you are quite right as it was indeed the "fairly " famous Pip Roberts who was the young Brigadier of 26th AB at that time - when he wasn't playing his jazz piano - after being "fairly" famous for commanding 3rd Tanks all through the desert and becoming even more "fairly" famous in commanding 11th AD from around D Day to the end in Germany - the common catch phrase in Tunisia was that the 3rd vs the 3rd - which meant that 3rd Tanks were fighting 3rd Reich - alone !
    Cheers
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I just noticed the MM to DCM too.
     
  15. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Hi gents I know this thread has been running "years" now and is really ww2 but I have a few pictures of 17th 21St lancers pre ww2 in India should anyone be interested my grandad was a 17/21 lancer until 1940 when transfered to 24th lancers
     

    Attached Files:

    bamboo43 and Owen like this.
  16. Steve Kemble

    Steve Kemble Junior Member

    Drew. Happy New Year.

    Any chance you could send me a copy of his citation as the one on the forum appears to be corrupt. Many thanks
    Steve.
     
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    click on the text in Idler's actual post that I have hi-lighted in this screen shot ,
    xxxxxxx.JPG


    if that doesnt work I'll add it here too. It doesnt open for me straight away, it downloads for me then I can open it.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Steve Kemble

    Steve Kemble Junior Member

    Thanks so much for that. I have managed to open it now. Have a wonderful New Year.
     
    Owen likes this.
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi norton407545,

    Great photographs there, are any of these named by any chance. I'm just this evening writing about another 17/21 Lancer called Sgt. William Ormandy. He became an Animal Transport NCO on Chindit 1 and was a very accomplished horseman by all accounts.

    Best wishes and many thanks

    Steve
     
  20. Steve Kemble

    Steve Kemble Junior Member

    Hi Ken
    I don't know if you are still about but I was looking at this thread and noticed that you said you may have a number of photos of B San. Do you have any of the ww2era. I am loooking for any photos of Sgt Melling.
    I will cover any costs for copying etc.
    Kind Regards
    Steve
     

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