1st & 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by nickc, May 2, 2006.

  1. pauld

    pauld Junior Member

    hi donny, im paul d. left you a message on your freewebs site, guess you havnt got it yet. loved photo of your grandad bob, pretty sure its my grandad sgt bill harrison from halifax west yorks 3rd on the left on front row. just found this site (which is excellent) and plan to visit it regularly to try and trace my grandads movements during ww2. he joined 15/19 hussars in 1938 and was posted to 1st ffy in 1939. he was evacuated from dunkirk and went back in1944 along with rest of the lads, he was badly wounded after a hit on his churchill in october 1944 and then shot as he escaped burning tank! he was finally discharged in1946 at york cavalry barracks. got a few more places and dates but there bit patchy.glad to help anyone with info tho, as there doesnt seem to be much available for ffy. love to get enlargment on that photo too donnie, seems our grandads must have served together! i'll try to get some photos together for you, i think my mum and uncle have them as my grandad died im april 06(lord rest his soul). they really were britains finest generation, i feel truly priveliged to have spent so much time with such a wonderful man. rest in peace grandad, and every old soldier. (donnie my email addrss is paul31374@aol.com if you'd like to compare notes and photos, cheers pal)
     
  2. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    Would anyone have details for 2nd F&F actions/losses for 6/7/8 August 1944? I have all the Delaforce books, Taurus Pursuant, Charge Of The Bull, 64 Days In a Normandy Summer ect but not the War Diary.
    The reason? The Will Fey claim that he destroyed 15 Shermans in one action on the 7th August. He claims it was 23rd Hussars but I have enough on them to know they did not lose the Shermans and 2nd F&F were the only other Unit in the area that COULD be involved. I just want to close off all the bolt-holes before I give my vedict on the claim (it's bollo*ks!)

    I also think he got the date wrong and is talking about actions on Aug 6th.

    Feys account:



    <DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR><DIR>Our Most Successful Day


    </DIR></DIR></DIR></DIR></DIR></DIR></DIR></DIR></DIR></DIR>Then the morning dawned. It ushered in a day which was to bring to our Tiger and its crew the greatest proof of worth and outstanding success. It was 7 August 1944.
    We were still waiting for the grenadiers who were to join the Tigers in the attack that morning; it was to start after a preparatory artillery fire. The platoons and groups of Pionier-Bataillon 600, comrades from a division of the Heer, had arrived at our Panzer. They spread out and sought cover in trenches and behind bushes. We waited and waited, but still there was no artillery salvo to indicate the start of the attack. Hour after hour passed, and then it started, but not on our side. Some pioneers to our left gave us a tank alert. Shortly after we surveyed the situation from our Tiger. The Shermans rolled out of a wooded area, down the hill. We spotted ten - twelve - fifteen enemy tanks, between them scout cars, armored personnel carriers with mounted infantry, and wheeled armored personnel carriers. The whole slope came to life. The distance was approximately 1,200 m. Until then not a shot had been fired. The scene looked like a tank attack as taught in military schools, everything that was required was there. The grenadiers watched us. What would we do? They, and their company chief, started to show a certain nervousness. An Oberleutnant (1st Lt.) climbed onto our Panzer, asking us to open fire. But he had to leave that to our commander. The radio operator was given a message to send to all: "15 Panzers will attack, with infantry, from the left flank. Open fire at 600 m!" Immediately, the order by radio came from commander WeilS: "Ruderboot (row boat) to Ofenrohr 3 (stove pipe), start out immediately. (Ofenrohr 3 was the code name for our Tiger in radio traffic). That was all we needed. The commander ordered the operator not to acknowledge and to turn off the receiver immediately, from then on we only transmitted.
    The enemy tanks arranged themselves and rolled towards us in a wide wedge formation. The distance was still approximately 800 m. Long before, the loader had readied anti-tank shells. The driver was told, when so ordered, to immediately let the Panzer roll back over the left track for a few meters while pulling up on the right track. In this way we brought the front of our Tiger into a favorable defensive position within a few seconds. The comrades with the other field: post number had something in store for us, and the side of our Panzer, facing them, was too sensitive for that.
    Then the time came, 600 m. We maneuvered our Panzer into the desired direction for firing. The gunner had already had his first target in his sight for some time. It was the tank at the point, exactly in the center of the attacking pack, probably its leader. The second and third targets were also determined, first its neighbor to the left, then the one to the right. After that it was to be the Shermans at the extreme left and right. They could have been dangerous if they were able to come around on our flanks; even a Tiger was vulnerable inside the 400 m range.
    Finally, the relief-bringing order came: "Anti-tank shell - 600 - Fire!" The first shot was wide, realizing this froze us only for a few seconds. "Gun sight 400 - Fire!" That was a hit. A second shell followed immediately, another hit. Then, the next target: "Tank on the left - Fire!" It too, took two shells. Within a short time, four Shermans stood in flames on the slope. The enemy then overcame their first confusion, they stopped and opened fire. We took hit after hit, on the turret, to the front, the tracks. Nuts, bolts, and rivets whistled through the interior. The Oberleutnant of the grenadiers who had been inside the Panzer until then, jumped out head over heels, and withdrew with his soldiers. There were to be no more attacks started that day! The radio operator reported constantly on the development of the battle, in between he found plenty of work for his machine gun. The commander radioed again: "Withdraw to own lines!" We counted six burning and smoking tanks by then, there had to be an awful confusion over there! Their infantry dismounted and ran about, looking for cover. Vehicles ran into each other as they tried to turn around. Then, the seventh and eighth tanks were knocked out. As they were tangled up, our 8.8 had taken aim and brought about their quick end. They burned out, close to each other,
    Was it minutes which had passed, or hours? We did not know. Our loader, the Volga German, strong as an ox, sank to his knees. Standing the closest to the breech, he had inhaled too much gun powder gas and passed out. And our Panzer took more and more hits. The loss of the loader caused our operation to stall. The gunner manned the turret MG, while the radio operator had already worn out the fourth barrel. By then, all the Shermans had zeroed in on us and we had to try to get out of their range, otherwise they might have found one of our weak spots. "Driver, backwards, march! Halt!" We took another hit, the Tiger jerked backwards. That was a different caliber, that was a Pak! Smoke drifted inside through the hatches, the shell had come from the left. We had to act, a second hit landed between the driver's and radio operator's sights and wiped out the bow MG. The driver took the place of the unconscious loader, there was nobody left to drive! The left track was ripped off and the Tiger was no longer mobile. Then we spotted the Pak by its muzzle fire, it sat at the far left near a bush. The turret was turned to 9 o'clock, Albert received quick and accurate directions, a high explosive shell was loaded and then: "Fire!" We spared three shells for this enemy, then explosions and whirling parts of metal testified to the end of this well-positioned Pak. |
    The tank battle continued. We felt neither hunger nor thirst, the fighting demanded all of our concentration. Drippingsweat our eves reddened we gasped for air in the thick fumes of salpeter. With every shot from our gun, a gray-blue cloud of smoke came rom the breech. The ventilation system was unable to keep up. Paul lay between Hermann's legs on the turret mechanism his eyes turned up. We still faced a few Shermans; it was really not easy! While we were firing at the Pak, two Shermans took aim at us. When we took on the Shermans, the anti-tank guns gave us hell It was a real chore, having to fight two enemies at once. In the meantime, twelve burning enemy tanks were witness to our battle. Then the commander radioed, having received the report on our Tiger's inability to move: "Blow up the Panzer, fight your backwith the crew!" But that was impossible for us. As long as we had one shell left, one round of MG ammunition, we would not quit this battle and our Panzer! Once more, we remained silent and forgot to acknowledge receipt of this message. And the tank bartte went on. We took more hits to the turret, the front and the right track, but knocked out two more enemy tanks Then both MGs failed, we were running out of anti-tank shells. Fourteen Shermans gave up their ghosts and ended their march towards Berlin prematurely northwest of Vire at noon on a beautifully bright August day. And the whole engagement took only 30 minutes! But there was more fighting to do! We could not spot any more Shermans on the move or firing but we thought there had been fifteen attacking Shermans! A gully just ahead of us, covered with trees and bushe, demanded increased attention. We fired one high explosive shell after another, there were enough targets. Abandoned armored reconnaisance vehicles and other supply vehicles went up in flames. Half-tracks at full speed, some of them with mounted anti-tank weapons, so-called stove pipes, were knocked out. The whole slope was covered by dark blue smoke which gently covered the recent drama. From time to time, tanks blew up with sky-high bursts of flames and deafening noise. The smoke from the burning vehicles which enveloped the battleground allowed a number of enemy soldiers to escape this inferno alive. Since we did not know how much longer we would have to stay with our Panzer, and our ammunition had been used up except for a few shells, we wanted to add to our supplies during the developing break in the fighting The commander slid down from the Panzer and ran and crawled to get out of the enemy field of vision. Harassing fire had set in. The enemv slowly zeroed in on our position, having recognized that his attack had faltered at this point. Completely exhausted , the commander reached a Tiger of our company and tried to attract attention at the dnver's and radio operator's hatches, both locked because of the steady artillery fire. Finaly a lid was lifted and the commander was able to make his request for a few anti-tank shells but without success. There was no explanation why we could not get anything, the hatches remained closed and any further questions remained unheard. He continued on to the next Tiger, again crawling, running and jumping a few hundred meters. This effort was not in vain, With an anti-tank shell under the arm, the commander crawled back to his Panzer. The artillery fire constantly increased in strength. Unfortunately, we sat in the middle of a meadow without cover and took the first artillery hits to the hull and turret. We learned from one of the last radio messages of the day that Schwab s platoon with three Tigers was to pull us out with the coming of darkness. But it was to be a long time before night fell. On top of everything else, our radio packed in under the constant fire. Fighter-bombers circled above us, diving and firing from all barrells on our brave Tiger which sat, immobile, as if for target practice. Their bombs were too damn close! Was that to be the end? But just before the next formation flew in, we had a saving thought: smoke candles were placed on the rear and front and we played the role of a knocked-out, burnt-out Panzer! We had enough of these smoke candles on board and managed to remain unnoticed for some time Suddenly, we were wide awake again, ripped out of our half-sleep. We heard the familiar rattle of tank tracks but not from one of our comrades. It came from half-right ahead of us, where the gully flattened into groups of trees and bushes. We slowly brought our gun around, almost unnoticeably. We aimed it, with the lowest possible elevation, at the cluster of bushes. We only had two anti-tank shells left, one of them already in the barrel. Our nerves were tensed to he breaking Was it one tank or two? There were only 100 m between us and the gully. The driver and radio operator sat in the open hatches ready to bail out. Paul, who had recovered, was holding the second, and last, shell ready in his arms. If these two were Ifired and missed it would have meant bailing out as quickly as possible. The rattle of tracks and engine noise came ever closer. Seconds turned into eternity! Maybe, the others did not know that a German Panzer, ready to fire was sitting there. Our other Tiqers had long since pulled back, and we had been giving off smoke all afternoon. But enough of these thoughts! Ahead of us the bushes parted. A long, smooth barrel without muzzle brake came into view, no doubt, a Sherman. Then the curved hull and the turret appeared. "Fire!" Our first shell glanced off and we saw it rise steeply into the sky. Surprising, the detais one noticed even during such a tense situation. "Aim lower - Fire!" We roared loudly as the shell disappeared precisely under the barrel, at the base of the turret. As if gripped by an iron fist, the tank stopped with a jerk. A fine column of smoke growing increasingly denser, rose vertically into the sky. It was the fifteenth tank kill of that day. Counting the tank knocked out the Previous evening in the same area, the total was sixteen, a whole tank company; not even counting the armored cars, reconnaissance vehicles, half-tracks, and other vehicles which were impossible to tally. Despite all these successes would we be able to hold off the enemy?


    </DIR>It had suddenly turned quiet. We quit talking. We were suddenly indescribably tired, and waited only for the Tigers to pull us out. We were tnankful and reassured when. suddenly, rocket launchers threw a wall of fire. with an immense roar and whistle, into the gully and onto the adjoining slope. We thought no-one could live through that. Just as the last salvos of the rocket launchers had whistled by, exactly as per plan, the three Tiges of Schwab s platoon showed up and pulled us out. Two Tigers did the pulling, the third provided cover. So we rolled, pulling our tracks behind, into the dark nignt. After a short stop at the company command post where our chief. Kails congratulated us on our success we reached Vassy the next morning. But what condition our Tiger was in! Holes, big enough to put one's head in! The drve wheel with steering mechanism was cleanly shot through. The shell was still stuck in the hull. That was to give the repair company a few days of welding and patching! But we felt all the more proud and close to our Panzer. The more holes and scars it had, the more precious it was to us! It was much more than cold metal to us, it was a part of us!
     
  3. alex crawford

    alex crawford Member

    Hi,

    Would anyone have any details of Trooper Cameron Auld, 14426346? He was in the 1st FFY and was lost in action on 31st January 1945.

    I am working on a Roll of Honour for a local school and his name is on it.

    Thanks,

    Alex
     
  4. pedmac02

    pedmac02 Lover not a fighter

    Just found out my grandfather was in the F&F and i am looking for any information i can. His regiment is as far as i have got so far.
    If any of you guys/gals come accross someone named Duncan Cumming/Cummings (a tank driver i believe) from the Fife & Forfars please let me know.
    Cheers.
     
  5. Donnie

    Donnie Remembering HHWH

    Guys,

    It would be worth while getting in contact with the Tank Museum at Bovington. They have the F&F war diaries. They may also have some limited records on individual soldiers.......

    Donnie
     
  6. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Would anyone have details for 2nd F&F actions/losses for 6/7/8 August 1944? I have all the Delaforce books, Taurus Pursuant, Charge Of The Bull, 64 Days In a Normandy Summer ect but not the War Diary.
    The reason? The Will Fey claim that he destroyed 15 Shermans in one action on the 7th August. He claims it was 23rd Hussars but I have enough on them to know they did not lose the Shermans and 2nd F&F were the only other Unit in the area that COULD be involved. I just want to close off all the bolt-holes before I give my vedict on the claim (it's bollo*ks!)

    I also think he got the date wrong and is talking about actions on Aug 6th.



    Only just seen this. War Diary details below.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

  8. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

  9. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    Here it is as a word document:

    Aug. 2nd.
    road protected by one pln. of the Mons. Remainder of A&C Sqns. Withdrew for the night on to the high ground at 7033
    Casualties-Nil.
    3rd.
    At first light A Sqn were moved again up to the main road they came under heavy fire from 88's and tanks. After suffering a loss of 3 further tanks it was decided to withdraw A Sqn. as our coln line had outstripped those on our flanks. They were then sent back to watch the high ground west of our position. B Sqn were sent back to support the Herefords in the area of Forgues, and one troop had to go back to the main road south of Le Reculay because some Tiger tanks were harrassing our communications in that area. At 17:00 hrs. A Sqn withdrew to Burcy to protect that from the west. They remained there until midnight when they moved back and harboured with B Sqn. RHQ and C Sqn. remained forward.
    Casualties-wounded. Capt. W J Hetblack and 7 OR's
    4th
    At First light A Sqn. moved out to protect the west and clean up some enemy infantry that had infiltrated during the night. During this time some of the enemy had got into Burcy. During this day C Sqn. has little activity and harboured where they were.
    Casualties were as follows 1 OR killed and 5 OR's wounded.
    5th.
    During the morning trhe infantry regained Burcey and A Sqn. were brought forward on to the high ground to cover the road running south.from Burcey. During the afternoon an enemy counter attack from the south was put in by Infantry. They were effectively driven off and C Sqn. were moved forward in an endevour to mop up to the south, under cover of smoke from the high ground, but did not succeed in rounding up any more prisoners.
    Casualties were as follows- wounded 5 OR's. Killed 1 OR.
    6TH.
    On the morning of the 6th there was little enemy activety. A Sqn. moved out to watch the road with C Sqn. watching to the south and east at first light. At about 14:00 hrs. enemy shell fire started to be brought down on us and gradualy increased. Mortars, menin werfer and guns were also directed on to us. Finaly a number of aircraft with Allied markings dropped a number of bombs on our positions. This continued until C Sqn. reported the approach of enemy infantry from the east. These were fired on and
    immediately withdrew. Almost immediately A Sqn. on the right were heavily attacked from the west by tanks and infantry. They succeeded in knocking out 3 enemy tanks and 2 SP guns and killing a large number of infantry as they advanced. They also directed our gun fire on the area from which the enemy were approaching. Two Tiger tanks succeeded in getting through and knocking out 2 tanks out of a troop in C Sqn. These Tigers were just beginning to cause casualties to the infantry when Sgt. Scott of C Sqn. with his troop arrived and succeeded in getting his tanks into position and destroying one of the tanks and damaging the other to such an extent that it withdrew. This battle continued until approx. 21:00 hrs before the enemy were finaly driven off, leaving a large number of dead on the ground. In the closing stages of the battle B Sqn. were brought forward in reserve.
    Casualties were as follows:-3 OR's killed, 7 OR's wounded, and 5 OR's missing. Lt. G.G.O.Hutchinson wounded.
    7th
    Owing to their losses in tanks A and C Sqns.were amalgamated under Major J.D.Hutchinson, Major J.E.F. Miller recieving an injury to his foot the previous day
    There was again an attempt by the enemy to come in from the west. This was effectively dealt with by A Sqn., who destroyed 2 Mk IV's which had come near to them.
    Meanwhile a number of Tiger tanks had established themselves on the high ground on our eastern flank at Le Haut Periere( M.R. 7233) and were able to engage A Sqn. from the rear at a range of about 2500 yds. These Tigers quickly caused A Sqn. 5 tank casualties.
    Major Gilmore then went forward with a troop of B Sqn.to try and engage these tanks and succeeded in knocking out one of them. During the day our position was continually under shell and mortar fire by the enemy.That night the Regt. remained in the same position. The Regt. remained in the same position. The Regt. was now reduced to 25 tanks on the road.
    Casualties were as follows:- Wounded 9 OR's, Killed 1 OR and missing believed killed 6 OR's. Comdg. Offr wounded.
    8th
    The CO of the R.Scots Greys came up early in the morning to see our positions and one Sqn. of that Regt. came up to relieve us in the late afternoon at about 17:00 hrs.
    Both colns moved forwards and backwards respectively under cover of smoke so as to prevent the enemy tanks from being able to direct AP fire on our tanks as we were moving. This however did not prevent them from putting down a certain amount of HE but this caused no casualties or damage. The Regt. withdrew to Le Queille 678376 where we remained for a few days.
    Casualties were as follows:- Killed 2/Lieut D.B. Lovelock and wounded 1 O.R.
    9TH
    This period was spent in reorginising, maintenance and rest. We were now joined by 2 complete troops from the 24th Lancers and one troop from 1st L&B Horse. New officers were Lieut.Fuller, F.W. Lieut. Jewell's B.A Lieut. Munroe A.N.G.
    12th
    We left Le Queille at 17;30 hrs. and advanced to a different front at Le Bruyers 7642 to take over from 15(S) Div. The F&F were in reserve here.
    13th
    We remained all day lying up at La Bruyere. New offrs. were Lt. McNinch, R.C. and 2/Lt. Rix G.H.
    14th
    The Regt. moved at first light-Centre line Lasay-La Roque-Vassy. 159 Bde. were on the left, 29 Armd. Bde on the right. 29 Armd Bde was divided into the 23 H and 8 R.B. on the right and 2 f.f. and 3 Mons on the left. B Sqn were


    [​IMG]

    Above is a present day map of the area. Burcy (and F&F) is at top left. Chenedolle (bottom right) is where Fey says he was and 23rd Hussars were at Le Bas Perrier/Le Haut Perrier directly in front of Chenedolle.

    You wouldn't happen to have 23rd Hussar's WD entries for this period?
     
  10. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Yes, I think I do, and also their regimental history. Will have a look tomorrow.
     
  11. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Sorry, didn't get a chance to post this until now.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. J.R.

    J.R. Junior Member

    Hi ! I joined this site just yesterday.

    My interest in this specific site concerns my late Mother's youngest brother who served as a trooper in the 2nd. F & F Y. He was killed in action 30/07/1944 and is buried in the W.G.C. cemetary at St. Charles De Percy, aged 30.

    I believe he was a radio operator.

    I'm trying to do some advanced research, being one of only a few surviving relatives. I understand from some internet research there was a major action on the 30th. July, fairly close to the cemetery.

    Is there anyone on here who has access to regimental records that might be able to throw more light on this subject ? I can supply his full military details and name if required.

    Many thanks, in anticipation.
     
  13. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    J.R.

    Hello and Welcome to the forum.

    I am sure that you will contacted by someone on the forum who will point you in the right direction.

    I wish you well on your quest.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  14. J.R.

    J.R. Junior Member

    Many thanks Smudger.

    My late Uncle was Trooper Thomas Rayney JACKSON, of Dorking, Surrey.

    Service Number:- 7919222.

    His Grave number at St. Charles De Percy, is:- I.E.13.

    He was a reserved occupation school-teacher, but volunteered for service.

    I don't know if this might help anybody.

    Thanks in anticipation.
     
  15. Firefly44

    Firefly44 Researching the F&FY

    30th July was the first day of 'Operation Bluecoat' which the 2FFY was involved in as a part of the 11th Armoured Division.

    This is the entry from the 2FFYs war diary for that for that day:

    July 30
    The regiment was under comnmd. 159 Inf. Bde. who were moving on the right centre line of the Div. The regiment was supporting the advance of the 1st Herefords. Their first objective was on the high ground just to the west of Caumont at 6758.
    The start line was once again in the area held by another Div., who had again laid mines which caused confusion. On the advance to our objective the Herefords were held up by m.g. fire.
    B sqn. who were operating on the right were trying to assist them and got into severe trouble with mines. They lost no less than 7 tanks on these mines.
    A sqn. on the left were able to push forward a little bit more reaching the main road from Caumont to Turigni sur Vire. During this time there was continual mortar fire but we suffered no casualties from it. C sqn. then pushed forward across the road and the stream and took some high ground in the area 680850. They met only little opposition.
    C sqn. remained behind with the inf. whilst A sqn. was pushing on to try and make as much progress as possible. They encountered only slight opposition and reach the northern slopes of the high ground [Pt].171 m.r. 6552 shortly before dark. We remained in this position for the night whilst the KSLI came up and we harboured just north of the highest point for the night. Casualties were as follows:
    Wounded - Lt. C.J. Workman and 4 OR's.
    Killed - 1 OR.

    I presume the 1 OR killed would be have been your Uncle.

    A good book which deals with this battle is 'Operation Bluecoat' by Ian Daglish which is part of the Battleground Europe Normandy series.

    Operation Bluecoat (Battleground Europe): Ian Daglish: Amazon.co.uk: Books

    Hope this helps
    Rob
     
  16. Firefly44

    Firefly44 Researching the F&FY

    This is also an account of that days fighting by Steel Brownlie an officer in A Sqn, 2FFY:

    At 0600 (30 July) we and the infantry were on the Start Line, being mortared heavily, and the advance began. In the thickly wooded country, there were mines everywhere, causing many casualties before the enemy were even seen. One or two tanks lost their tracks, and several tank commanders were killed or wounded by the mortar fire. In theory, we should have had the hatches closed, and looked through periscopes. In fact, these were useless, and the only way to see where you were going, to spot targets and to control your troop was to put your head out. My Cpl’s operator, Tpr Cross, went back with a splinter in the head. Then Charlie Workman staggered past, with a hole in his helmet. I remembered our gloomy calculations at the St Aubin Rest Camp. Would my luck hold?

    The crust of the German defences broke, and we were told to move, and move fast. We called it “baffing”. No more creeping through hedges and grinding about in first gear, but doing what we had been trained to do: move.

    A Squadron went first, and I was leading Troop. It was a case of motoring flat out, 35 mph on the straight, for the faster you went the harder you were to hit. There were Germans all over the place, running and scampering. We fired wildly at them, overtook them and left them far behind. There were targets at every turn of the road. It was exhilarating. Cpl Croney failed to take a bend and went off the road. Cpl Litster’s power traverse jammed and he fell out too. Cpl Newman’s wireless packed in, so I told him to halt. I was now a one-tank troop, but that made no difference only one tank could go along narrow country roads, and there was no chance of mutual support. Round a bend, there was a six-barrelled Nebelwerfer sitting in the road. Buchanan hit it with an HE without even being given a fire order, and it went up in flames. We drove over the wreckage and went on a little more cautiously. Beyond the next bend was a camouflaged vehicle, so I halted. Buchanan brewed it first time. He was a splendid gunner. I should say that Jock McKinnon was driving, and he was a splendid driver. Often then and afterwards he would pass critical remarks up the intercom, when he thought my orders wrong or unreasonable. Usually he was right.

    We went very fast round a bend, firing at some twenty Germans in a field, and I saw a small black object down the straight stretch in front. Something came flying from it, and burst on the turret. I could not see or hear, and putting my hands to my face I could feel no features. I rolled out, down over the engine and into the ditch, really frightened. I lay wondering what had happened to me, and by the time I had recovered my senses the rest of the Squadron were roaring past, my own tank half through the hedge at a crazy angle. I was surprised to find myself all in one piece, except for a few cuts on the forehead. Inspection revealed that a Panzerschreck (heavy bazooka) had hit the turret a foot in front of my head and blown the camouflage netting off my helmet. Metal splash had welded the turret to the hull, so that it was impossible to traverse. My German P38 pistol had disappeared in the confusion. All the crew were uninjured. While we were finding all this out, the tank was spattered with bullets. We hurriedly got inside, and spotted some trenches a hundred yards away, with helmets poking from them. With no turret traverse, it was necessary to manoeuvre the whole tank to get on to them, while staying out of Panzerfaust range. A few HE on delay fuse brought them out with their hands up. We managed to free the turret, and set off to rejoin the Squadron. By following their tracks, we found them at nightfall as they were going into harbour, near La Foucquerie. There were fires all around.
     
  17. J.R.

    J.R. Junior Member

    Many thanks for that, Firefly44.

    I'm going to continue trying to find out how and where exactly Tom Jackson was killed on 30th. July.

    I little more information has come to light on recollection.

    I seem to remember my late Mother telling me that Tom had exited the tank to repair/replace a damaged radio aerial as he ws the radio operator. I seem to remember she told me that he was killed by a single sniper shot and I think she assumed from that, that the tank may have been in a semi-built up area.

    Having studied maps and reading library books about the break-out after the 'D'-Day invasion, I accept that the 'Bocage' type of countryside would be ideal for sniper cover.
     
  18. J.R.

    J.R. Junior Member

    Incidently in last Saturdays 'Daily Mail', (28th. March 2009 - Page 64), in their 'MISSING...and FOUND!' section, there is a request from Lord Farcombe, wishing to trace Jock Cameron and Jonny Sutley with whom he served in a tank crew of the Fife & Forfar Yeomanry during WW11, eventually to be demobbed in 1947. Lord Farcombe was known as D.G. Maggs.

    Makes you wonder if the F&F Yeomanry have an archivist anywhere ?
     
  19. karenpblack

    karenpblack Junior Member

    Hi - I'm a new user and have been looking round the site for a wee while. Can anyone give me some advice ... I am trying to trace any details of my late Father's war service. He would not speak about the war at all - even to Mum. His name was John Lamb Leith, from Forfar, Angus, Scotland. All I know for sure is he was in the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, 'C' Squadron, he was evacuated from Dunkirk on the 'Royal Daffodil'. I believe he was later injured in a train accident and I don't think he went back to France. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where I might start researching? Regards, Karen.
     
  20. LindaC

    LindaC Junior Member

    I am seeking info about my father William Anthony Blain who served in a Churchill tank with FFY. I only have two pictures of him. He never spoke of the war except once when he mentioned that one night several of his mates went to sleep under a tank and it sank in the mud and suffocated them. I have a picture of him in uniform jumping a horse over what looks like an equestrian jump and seemly he won a prize for horseriding!(I guess it was after the war ended) I also have a newspaper clipping that stated that a squadron of flame-throwing Churchill tanks with crews from FFY which supported members of the US Ninth Army through the Western front had been nominated for US decorations. So I presume this was who he was with. He also had a relationship with aGerman woman at the end of the war and after being demobbed was going to leave his wife and go back to her in Germany, except they found that I was on the way. He was from Glasgow. I am impressed by the amount of memorabilia some of you have.
     

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