22nd Dragoons

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Mikal, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member


    This is my regiment of interest and I'll be dropping stuff in here periodically.

    I was privileged to transcribe their war diary on behalf of the Tank Museum which received a windfall of nearly every WW2 RAC War Diary when RAC MRO Chester was closed some years ago.

    Here are the basics of their formation history:

    1 Dec 1940 - 11 Jan 1941, 29 Armd Bde, 11 Armd Div
    11 Jan 1941 -12 May 1942, 30 Armd Bde, 11 Armd Div
    12 May 1942 - 17 Oct 1943, 30 Armd Bde, 42 Armd Div
    17 Oct 1943 - 30 Nov 1945, 30 Armd Bde, 79 Armd Div
  2. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    So how did 22nd Dragoons end up as the senior regiment in 30 Armd Bde?

    This all came about due to Lancer and Dragoon loyalties of the Brigade Commanders.

    Brig. Peto, 29 Armd Bde, was a Lancer whereas Brig. Anstice, 30 Armd Bde was a Dragoon. So a little shuffling around was agreed and 22D were swapped with 24L(24th Lancers). This was only possible because both Brigades were still forming up.

    This is described in more detail in the footnote on p12 of Raymond Birt's XXII Dragoons 1760-1945: The Story of a Regiment.

    It's possible to find this book, at a price, via AbeBooks: New Books, Secondhand Books, Rare Books, Out-of-Print Books
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  3. Legasee

    Legasee Junior Member

    Please click here: http://legasee.org.uk/profile?p=terry-carroll to watch our latest interview with Terry Carroll, a Flail tank co-driver/gunner from the 22nd Dragoons who gives an explosive account of his experiences at Juno beach on D-Day.
    Remember to gain full access to our videos please register at Legasee
  4. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    This nugget was passed to me by Mike Barraclough who was a troop leader at the time. He went on to becvome CO 4/7 RDG after the war. I have amended a detail relating to Bill Martin-Leake (Mike referred to Bill's relative as his father not his uncle who was awarded VC and Bar).

    The Battle of Blerick from the war history of the 22nd Dragoons.
    by Lt. Col. M.C. Barraclough

    The Germans had done their part with the viciousness of gangsters on the run. The peasant farms were stripped of everything: the menfolk carried off beyond the Rhine, the cattle taken or slaughtered, the houses looted. They left behind them women without hope, without the means of living, and possessed only by an implacable hatred of everything German. They left behind them too, their greetings to the oncomers. Painted and chalked across the walls one could read: "We shall return! The fight goes on! In spite of everything we shall win". In the context of defeat the slogans had the familiar, sinister sound of Germans whose appetite for war it seemed impossible to appease.

    By November 24 1944 little remained of the Meuse Pocket but a bridgehead at Blerick, the town which lay west of the river and opposite Venlo. Per three days there was a constant flow of conferences on 49th Division plans to eliminate the bridgehead with breaching teams and A.V.R.E.'s to destroy the mines. Then, when everything was prepared and the Regiment was concentrated in the West about WEERT, the Division was suddenly called away on another task and the operation cancelled.

    Two days later it was revived, this time with 15th Scottish Division; so we wiped the mud from the map talcs once more and prepared for Operation "GUILDFORD", an orthodox assault on a minefield, an anti-tank ditch, and a defended German position.

    The little town of BLERICK lay tucked away into the elbow of the river where a road and a rail bridge crossed over into VENLO. It was approached by the main road from MAASBREE, which, less than a mile from the town, ran out between thick fir plantations into an open stretch of farmland that fell away into the river.

    Across this slope and right round the perimeter of the town the Germans had dug an anti-tank ditch defended on either side by wire and minefields, by slit trenches manned by infantry equipped with machineguns and anti-tank weapons, and covered by guns with excellent observation of the whole area on the other side of the river. It was an excellent position for a resolute defence; but it was also one that could be definitely broken by the breaching technique of 79th Armoured Division, Accordingly, under the direction of Brigadier Knight (31st Tank Brigade) two assault teams were assembled to break it. They were ANDERSONFORCE commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, whose Flails were provided by "C" Squadron, 22nd Dragoons, and one troop of "B" Squadron, 22nd Dragoons.

    The plan required each group to flail three lanes to the ditch, to establish crossings over the ditch, and to carry the lanes beyond the crossings into the town for follow-up infantry mounted in Kangaroos. (Armoured Personnel Carriers)

    As at Le Havre, there was no doubt of our ability to make a conclusive job of the operation ---- provided the mud did not hold the Flails before they reached the ditch. Patrols sent out two days before the action reported adequate going to the forming up points and a reasonable chance that, on sandy soil of the slope down to Blerick, some at least of the Flails could get through.

    The Assault groups assembled on December 2nd -- a day once more of bitter rain and flying mud. "C" Squadron were strung out along the main road, forming a long tail of tanks ready to make the approach march in the dark of the morning. "A" Squadron remained among the shattered houses of MAASBREE until night, when they pushed up to the tracks among the woods overlooking the Objective. As always on the eve of action, it was a restless night of little sleep. Tank crews dozed in the cold comfort of their turrets, whilst the guns went about their clamorous business of searching out enemy gun positions. There was a continuous coming and going of jeeps and motor cycles.

    For every man there stretched the tense hours of waiting that are the agonizing prelude to battle and the meeting with possible death.

    At about 5 o'clock in the morning, under a brilliant moon, there was a stirring around the machines: it was the desolate hour of "reveille", when, stiff and cold, the reluctant body settles down to its first discomforts and fingers fumble clumsily with cold metal, and the tongue tastes the sickening, familiar smell of petrol and diesel oil. In the turrets the red lights glowed on the dynamo packs. The earphones crackled and briefly snapped with a quick round up of the radio nets. Gunners made ready their belts of ammunition, tank commanders their maps and headphones. At 5 o'clock the engines began to roar, the white fumes from their exhausts hanging like mists about their tails. Slowly, under a moon flow outshone by the broad white beams of search lights, the tank columns began their moves to the forming up points. There was gunfire, not heavy yet, but flashing its airbursts over the waiting enemy. From time to time an anxious flare went up and hung for a minute above the trees.

    "A" Squadron had dreadful difficulty in making for the start line. Two troops and their Squadron Headquarters was bogged on the way. Somehow they were all pulled out, and were switched to the main road, where they waited for "H" hour. The third troop got within a hundred yards of the start line and then sank so deep into the mud that the reserve troop of "B" Squadron was called out to take over the task. "C" Squadron got up without incident along the main road except that Lieutenant Thwaites' tank was blown up on a mine and command of the troop was taken over by Sergeant Swann.

    At "H" hour, 0745, a barrage by four field regiments began its imperative music as it crept over the enemy's forward defence line and towards Blerick at the rate of a hundred yards every two minutes. Smoke shells poured into Venlo to blind the enemy OP's on the farther bank. The flails deployed into their lanes and the assault was in motion.

    For the first twenty minutes reports over the radio were dismal. The Germans were throwing over heavy mortars and shellfire, and those remaining in their trenches were busy with "panzerfausts" and machine guns. Worst, tanks were foundering in the terrible mud but they moved. The drivers lifted their machines out of trouble and pushed forward; On the right, C Squadron were able to report their three lanes made to the ditch within the hour but not without loss. The leading tank of 1st Troop, commanded by Trooper Listen, was hit and brewed up by a Panzerfaust, killing the commander and severely wounding two of the crew. Sergeant Swann then took over the lead, and in a furious attack wiped out the opposition with grenades and machine gun fire and drove his lane through. Sergeant Swann's bravery at this point and later in the assault was of that inspiring sort that makes a legend for those who witness it. He was later deservedly awarded the D.C.M., the only 22nd Dragoon to be so honoured.

    4th Troop and 3rd Troop had also completed their lanes only by dismounting under heavy fire and hauling bogged tanks down to the ditch. In doing so Lieut. Martin-Leake was wounded in both hands by shrapnel, but remained in action. By such tenacity alone was the assault made good.

    On the left, "A" Squadron were similarly struggling through the mud and enemy fire. On one lane the going was so bad that the lane had to be abandoned. Yet by 9.15 two lanes were clear, and both groups were sending up bridges which were cleanly dropped and were taking the Flails over the minefield. By 10.15 the task was complete. Flails on either side of the ditch were firing hard into BLERICK and VENLO, anxiously waiting for the infantry. Inexplicably there was delay. Not until 11 o'clock were the APC's rolling down the lanes to relieve the hard-pressed flails. These now withdrew as best they could. Not long after midday "A" Squadron were back in MAASBREE, without loss except in tanks, five of which were hogged. "C" Squadron were less fortunate. The enemy suddenly brought down a heavy barrage on them as they made their difficult withdrawal. One shell hit a 3rd Troop tank, killing the commander and wounding the gunner. Four or five tanks bogged under enemy observation were for the time being abandoned, and the Squadron returned to its roadside harbour by two o'clock in the afternoon.

    This action was described by a war reporter who watched it as "the perfect battle". It also earned for those who fought it the thanks and admiration of senior commanders. It was not, as battles go, an important one. Yet it had pinched out the last German bridgehead west of the Meuse with exemplary efficiency inside five hours at little or no cost to infantry and the loss of two men of our own. By the standards of the losses in the attribution battles of the last few weeks, that alone made BLERICK a remarkable action. For us the satisfactions lay deeper. They were those of soldiers who had overcome their difficulties, had found their will and technique competent to meet the demands of their task, and had been granted - as so rarely happens in battle - a complete success.

    N.B. Lieut. Martin-Leake was killed later in the war, when a tank ran over a mine. He was standing nearby, and a stone , thrown up by the mine, pierced his neck. He had just been awarded the Military Cross for a previous action and his father won the Victoria Cross twice in the First World War (Correction by Mike Beck – this was Bill Martin-Leake’s uncle, not his father, the awards were made first in the Boer war and second in the First World War. Bill’s brother Hugh survived the war and married Bill’s girlfriend), the highest honour it is possible to win for extreme bravery in the field.

    At this time the lives of soldiers were more precious than ever, and they had never been recklessly squandered. After this particular battle there were many tanks left abandoned on the battle field, which had been bogged or had their tracks broken by mines. A senior commander, asked about the possibility of recovering tanks on the east side of the ditch, said, "I will not have lives risked on that job. (The shelling from Venlo was still intense) You can try. Put the ratio of risk will be one life to two tanks and I don't want any life lost".

    There weren't! The Flail tank in the museum was probably one of those left behind and used as a target by the Germans!
  5. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    This is a list of officers who served with 22nd Dragoons. Some details are not yet 100% but close enough for a starter.

    Founding Officers

    Lt. Col. G.L. Craig 4th/7th R.D.G. 1st December 1940 – 23rd March 1944 (Posted as 2iC 4 Armd Bde)

    2/Lt. R.D.A. Renton 4th/7th R.D.G. 1st December 1940

    Maj. Legard 5th I.D.G. 2nd December 1940 – 6th December 1940

    Capt. J.R. Crockett 14th/20th King’s Hussars 2nd December 1940 – 8th July 1943 (Discharged no longer fit)

    Lt. C.D. Arthur 4th/7th R.D.G. 2nd December 1940

    2/Lt. J.R.H. Hornby 5th I.D.G. 2nd December 1940 – 20th April 1942 (KIA with Wiltshire Yeomanry, Middle East)

    2/Lt. S.V. Hine 4th/7th R.D.G. 2nd December 1940

    2/Lt. E.E. Mocatta 4th/7th R.D.G. 2nd December 1940

    2/Lt. G.M.M. Mathews 5th I.D.G. 2nd December 1940 – 23rd May 1942 (Lt.)

    2/Lt. J. Sim 4th/7th R.D.G. 3rd December 1940

    Capt. P.F.S. Haggie 14th/20th King’s Hussars 4th December 1940

    Capt. J.W. Thompson 4th/7th R.D.G. 5th December 1940

    Capt. W. Barraclough 4th/7th R.D.G. 5th December 1940 – 22 April 1944 (Posted out as Town Major)

    2/Lt. C.H.A. Danks 5th I.D.G. 5th December 1940 – 14th August 1943

    Joining Officers

    Maj Bridgewater December 1940

    Maj. H.R.C. Bolckow 9th December 1940

    Lt. D.W. Moynagh, R.A.M.C. 10th December 1940

    Capt. G.A. Cunard 16th December 1940 - 21st August 1941

    2/Lt Hardstaff R.T.R. 11th January 1941

    Maj. J.G. Leaf, 15th/19th Hussars 13th January 1941 – 8th August 1941

    Lt. H. Butcher 24th January 1941

    2/Lt. Haddock 24th January 1941

    2/Lt. Roberts 24th January 1941

    2/Lt. T. Hardstaff 31st January 1940 – 22nd August 1945

    2/Lt. Willard 2nd February 1941 – 21st April 1942

    2/Lt. W.F. Burrows 4th February 1941 – 20 April 1944

    2/Lt. M. Birks 4th February 1941

    2/Lt. Ackroyd 8th February 1941

    2/Lt. French 8th February 1941 – 4th October 1942

    2/Lt. Haslam 14th February 1941

    2/Lt. R.A. Garrett 14th February 1941 –

    Capt. P.S. Plowden, Royal Scots Greys 21st February 1941 – 14th February 1945

    2/Lt. T. Barraclough 10th March 1941

    2/Lt. W.R. Birt 24th March 1941

    2/Lt. I.G. Carmichael 24th March 1941 – 11th July 1943 (Permanent G3 at 30 Armd Bde)

    Lt. H.R. Nicholson, 14th/20th Hussars 30th March 1941 (court-martialled 8th September 1941)

    2/Lt. K.R. McLaren 14th April 1941

    2/Lt. P.J. Gamon 14th April 1941 – 19th April 1942

    2/Lt. H.J. Hobbs 18th April 1941

    Lt. A. Studd 23rd April 1941

    2/Lt. D.G. Mackenzie 19th May 1941

    2/Lt. J.S.M. Clark 19th May 1940 -

    2/Lt. G. Taylor 20th May 1941

    2/Lt. J.R. Boyes 20th May 1941 – 20th April 1942

    2/Lt. P.D. Smith 20th May 1941 – 22nd April 1942

    2/Lt. T.W. Willans 5th June 1941

    2/Lt. D.G. Arnold 11th June 1941

    2/Lt. H.F. Wheway 16th June 1941

    2/Lt. S. Wien 4th July 1941

    2/Lt. P.T.S. Sadler 25th July 1941 – 2nd May 1945 KIA

    2/Lt. R.L. Johnson 1941 – 23rd May 1942 (Posted as Lt. Died of wounds from Action 10th Nov 42.With 3rd Kings Own Hussars, Middle East)

    2/Lt. Gebbie 1941

    2/Lt. Whittington-Steiner 1942

    2.Lt. Prescott March 1942 – 4th October 1942

    2/Lt. M. Gerrom 1942

    2/Lt. A. Nasmyth 1942 – 27th September 1942

    2/Lt. Harris 1942 – 19th April 1942

    2/Lt. K. Watson 1942 – 4th October 1942

    2/Lt. Edsall 1942 – 21st April 1942

    2/Lt. Greaves 28th April 1942

    2/Lt. Perry 1942 – 29th May 1942

    2/Lt. Low 1942

    Capt. P.C.S. Shuter 1942 – 4th January 1945

    Lt. O’ Brien-Hitching 1942 – 3rd August 1942

    2/Lt. Wesley 1st May 1942 – 29th May 1942

    2/Lt. Shaw 1st May 1942

    2/Lt. Westby 13th July 1942 -

    2/Lt. A. Vollmar 27th July 1942

    2/Lt. Fry 27th July 1942 – 28th September 1942

    2/Lt. D.R. Knapp 5th September 1942

    NOTE: As at 4th October 1942 it is declared the regiment has 16 Subalterns left including the Medical officer, Q.M. and O.M.E.

    Lt. E.S. Layton 23rd November 1942 – 14th November 1943

    2/Lt. M.C. Barraclough 14th December 1942

    2/Lt. J.L.A. Allen 14th December 1942 – 6th June 1944 KIA

    2/Lt. C.W.R. Martin-Leake 15th February 1943 – 15th April 1945 KIA

    2/Lt. Vickers 15th February 1943

    2/Lt. W.M.R. Summers 19th March 1943 -

    2/Lt. P.A. Duckworth 19th March 1943

    2/Lt. I.A. Tippetts 19th March 1943 – 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. D.J. Robertson 7th June 1943

    Lt. C.T. Mundy 4th August 1943

    Lt. I.C. Hammerton, R.T.R. 1st October 1943

    2/Lt. A.C. Raw 9th November 1943

    2/Lt. R.W. Jones 15th November 1943 – 26th October 1944 KIA

    2/Lt. P.T. Wallworth 18th January 1944

    2/Lt. T.A. Thwaites 18th January 1944

    Lt. C. Chapman - 16th December 1944

    Lt. N. Young - 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. Rix 25th April 1944

    2/Lt. C. Neil - 11th September 1944 KIA

    2/Lt. G.C. Grieve 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. B.G. Hickey 16th December 1944 – 14th May 1945 Died of wounds.

    2/Lt. A.R. Bain 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. A.O. Eaton 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. D.G. Wilkinson 16th December 1944

    Lt. N.C.C. Lockyer - 26th August 1945

    Maj. A.C. Stocker 17th February 1945 – 16th October 1945

    Lt. N. Young 17th March 1945 –

    Lt. Kay 1945

    Capt. C. Monckton, 4th/7th R.D.G. 29th May 1945 –
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  6. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    Again not yet 100% but food for thought.

    22nd DRAGOONS

    Officer Appointments

    Commanding Officer

    Lt. Col. G.L. Craig 1st December 1940 – 23rd March 1944

    Lt. Col. G.H. Grosvenor D.S.O. 24th March 1944 – 18 July 1944 (Wounded)

    Maj. P.S. Plowden 18th July 1944 – 9th August 1944

    Lt. Col. W.A.C. Anderson D.S.O. 10th August 1944 – 1st March 1945

    Lt. Col. J.M. Sidey D.S.O. 3rd March 1945 – 14th July 1945

    Lt. Col. A.C. Stocker 14th July 1945- 16th October 1945

    Maj. D.F. Ackroyd 16th October 1945 – 30th November 1945

    Second in Command

    Maj. H.R.C. Bolckow

    (arr’d 24th December 1940) 10th December 1940 – 15th January 1941

    Maj. J.G. Leaf 15th January 1941 – 8th August 1941

    Maj. P.S. Plowden 9th August 1941 – 14th February 1945

    Maj. A.C. Stocker 17th February 1945 - 14th July 1945

    Maj. D.F. Ackroyd 20th September 1945 - 16th October 1945


    Capt. E.E. Mocatta 10th December 1940 – 15th February 1941

    Capt. S.V. Hine 16th February 1941 – 24th May 1941

    Capt. J.R. Crockett 24th May 1941 – 1941

    Capt. S.V Hine 1941 – June 1942

    Capt S. Wien June 1942 – 26th December 1944

    (19/7/44-15/9/44 Wounded)

    Capt. A.C. Raw 26th December 1944 - 12th May 1945

    Capt. A. Vollmar 12th May 1945 –

    Assistant Adjutant

    Capt. S. Wien 21st April 1942 – June 1942

    Regimental Quartermaster

    Capt. C.D. Arthur M.B.E. 2nd December 1940 -

    Regimental Signals Officer

    Capt. P.F.S. Haggie (Clifford) 10th December 1940 – 11th August 1941

    2/Lt. W.R. Birt 11th August 1941 – 19th March 1943

    Capt. W.R. Birt 19th March 1943 – 26th December 1944

    Capt. J.S.M. Clark 26th December 1944 – 25th July 1945

    Regimental Technical Officer

    2/Lt J. Sim 10th December 1940 -

    Capt. T.W. Hardstaff M.B.E. - 22nd August 1945

    Regimental Intelligence Officer

    2/Lt. W.F. Burrows July 1941 – 1942

    Lt. C.H.A. Danks Apr 1942 – 14th August 1943

    Lt. A. Vollmar 14th August 1943 – 12th May 1945


    Capt. Harrison, R.A.O.C. 5th March 1942 – 14th August 1942

    2/Lt. O.J. Friel, R.A.O.C. 14th August 1942 -


    Lt. C.L. Rees, R.E.M.E. December 1943 – 1944

    Capt. Hughes, R.E.M.E. May 1944 -

    Regimental Medical Officer

    Capt. D.W. Moynagh R.A.M.C. 10th December 1940 – 1st June 1942

    Lt. Philp, R.A.M.C., Temp M.O. from16 L.F.A. 1st June 1942 – 26th July 1942

    Capt. L.D. Philp, R.A.M.C. 26th July 1942 – 4th July 1943

    Capt. J.M. Childs R.A.M.C. 5th July 1943 -


    Capt. Terry, R.C.C.F. April 1941 – 1943

    Capt. Coleman , C.F. 1943 – 27th October 1943

    Capt. O’ Neill 27th October 1943 -

    Transport Officer

    2/Lt. P.T.S. Sadler

    Lt. E.S. Layton 23rd November 1942 – 12th April 1943

    Regimental Liaison Officer

    Lt. Gerrom - 11th July 1943

    Capt. I.G. Carmichael 11th July 1943 –

    Lt. A. Thwaites 16th December 1944 – 17th March 1945

    Lt. N. Young 17th March 1945 –

    Regimental Sports Officer

    Lt. T. Butcher January 1941 –

    Messing Officer

    Lt. R.L. Johnson 1941 – 23rd May 1942

    Lt. W.F. Burrows 23rd May 1942 – 11th January 1944

    Lt. C.T. Mundy 11th January 1944 -

    Regimental Sergeant Major

    W.O.I Coombes

    Technical Sergeant Major

    McCullough 3rd December 1940 -

    Officers - HQ Squadron

    Officer Commanding

    Maj. W. Barraclough 10th December 1940 – 22 April 1944

    Maj. H. Butcher 22nd April 1944 –

    Capt. S.V. Hine Late 1944 -

    Scout Troop Leader

    2/Lt. I.G. Carmichael April 1942 – 11th July 1943

    Tank Troop Leader

    Lt. K.R. French 1st August 1942 – 14th October 1942

    Lt. J.S.M. Clarke 14th October 1942 -

    2/Lt. R.D.A. Renton 2nd December 1940 - 17th December 1940

    2/Lt. S.V. Hine 17th December 1940 – 15th February 1941

    Lt. R. Haines 3rd April 1943 –

    Officers – A Squadron

    Officer Commanding

    Maj. Legard 3rd December 1940 – 7th December 1940

    Maj. Bridgewater 10th December 1940 – 16th December 1940

    Capt. G.A. Cunard 16th December 1940 – 21st August 1941

    Maj. P.F.S. Haggie (Clifford) 21st August 1941 – 31st December 1942

    Maj. P.F.S. Clifford (Haggie) 31st December 1942 – 9th July 1944

    Capt. T. Barraclough 9th July 1944 – 25th August 1944

    Maj. R.D.A. Renton 25th August 1944 - 19th Mar 1945

    Capt. R.A. Garrett 20th Mar 1945 -

    Second in Command

    Capt. T. Barraclough April 1942 – 26th December 1944

    Capt. P.T.S. Sadler 26th December 1944 – 2nd May 1945 KIA

    Capt. H.F. Wheway - 23rd July 1943

    Capt. R.A. Garrett 1943 –

    Capt. C. Monckton 29th May 1945 -

    2/Lt. G.M.M. Mathews 3rd December 1940 – 23rd May 1942

    Lt. D.R. Knapp 5th September 1942 –

    2/Lt. W.M.R. Summers 19th March 1943 –

    Lt. E.S. Layton 12th April 1943 – 14th November 1943

    Lt. D.J. Robertson 7th June 1943 –

    Lt. R.W. Jones 15th November 1943 – 26th October 1944

    Lt. C. Mundy

    Lt. P.T.S. Sadler Moved to B Sqn post D Day

    Lt. G.E.M. Pellens - 9th February 1945 KIA

    Lt. J. Allen - 6th June 1944 KIA

    2/Lt. G.C. Grieve 16th December 1944

    Officers – B Squadron

    Officer Commanding

    Maj. J.R. Crockett 3rd December 1940 – 24th May 1941

    Maj. E.B.G. Oates April 1941 – 14th June 1944 Wounded

    Capt. D.F. Ackroyd 14th June 1944 - 20th September 1945

    Capt. W.R. Birt 20th September 1945 – 30th November 1945 (?)

    Second in Command

    Capt. D.F. Ackroyd 1943 – 14th June 1944

    Capt. W.R. Birt 26th December 1944 0

    Capt. J.S.M. Clark 25th July 1945 -

    Capt. D. Arnold (T.O.) 1943 -

    2/Lt. J.R.H. Hornby 3rd December 1940 – 20th April 1942

    2/Lt Wesley 1st May 1942 – 29th May 1942

    2/Lt. K.R. French 1942 – 1st August 1942

    2/Lt. M.C. Barraclough 14th December 1942 –

    2/Lt. Vickers 15th February 1943 – 1943

    2/Lt. P.A. Duckworth 19th March 1943 –

    Lt. C. Mundy 4th August 1943 – 1944

    Lt. I.C. Hammerton 1st October 1943 –

    Lt. W.G. Shaw 1st May 1942 –

    Lt. P. Burbridge 1944 – 26th July 1944 KIA

    Lt. P.T.S. Sadler ex A Sqn post D Day – 26th December 1944

    2/Lt. B.G. Hickey 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. A.R. Bain 16th December 1944

    Officers – C Squadron

    Officer Commanding

    Maj. E.B.G. Oates 10th December 1940 – 15th January 1941

    Maj. H.R.C. Bolckow 15th January 1941 -

    Maj. J.R. Crockett April 1941 – 8th July 1943

    Maj. P.C.S. Shuter 8th July 1943 – 4th January 1945

    Maj. H.F. Wheway 4th January 1945 -


    Capt. P.C.S. Shuter 1942 – 7th July 1943

    Capt. H.F. Wheway 23rd July 1943 – 26th December 1944

    Capt. S. Wien 26th December 1944 -


    Capt. Ackroyd April 1942 – 12th July 1943

    Capt. K.R. McLaren 12th July 1943 – 1943

    Capt. R. Gebbie 1943 -

    2/Lt. S.V. Hine 2nd December 1940 - 17th December 1940

    2/Lt. R.D.A. Renton 17th December 1940 – promoted

    2/Lt. T. Barraclough 10th March 1941 – promoted

    2/Lt. Gebbie Late 1941 – promoted

    2/Lt. Westby 13th July 1942 –

    2/Lt. J. Allen 14th December 1942 – promoted

    Lt. C.W.R. Martin-Leake M.C. 15th February 1943 – 15th April 1945 KIA

    Lt. Vickers 15th February 1943

    Lt. A. Thwaites - 16th December 1944

    Lt. I.A. Tippetts 19th March 1943 – 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. Elphick 12th April 1943 – 1943

    Lt. V.W. Boal 1943/4

    Lt. C. Chapman – 16th December 1944

    Lt. N. Young - 16th December 1944

    2/Lt. A.O. Eaton 16th December 1944 – June 1945

    2/Lt. D.G. Wilkinson 16th December 1944 – June 1945
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  7. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    Promotions reported in the war diary.

    22nd Dragoons

    Record of Known Officers’ Promotions

    Lieutenant Colonel

    Maj. A.C. Stocker 14th July 1944


    Capt. W. Barraclough M.C. 18th December 1940

    Capt. G.A. Cunard 18th December 1940

    Capt. Crockett 18th December 1940

    Lt. E.B.G. Oates 18th December 1940

    Capt. P.S. Plowden March 1941

    Capt. H. Butcher 8th July 1943

    Capt. P.C.G. Shuter 14th January 1944

    Capt. R.D.A. Renton 25th August 1944

    Capt. H.F. Wheway 26th December 1944


    2/Lt. J.R.H. Hornby 18th December 1940

    2/Lt. S.V. Hine 18th December 1940

    2/Lt. R.D.A. Renton 18th December 1940

    2/Lt. E.E. Mocatta 18th December 1940

    2/Lt. J. Sim 18th December 1940

    2/Lt. T. Hardstaff 12th July 1941

    Lt. T. Barraclough 26th July 1941

    Lt. H. Butcher 1941

    2/Lt. W.R. Birt 21st April 1942

    2/Lt Harrison, R.A.O.C. 11th May 1942

    2/Lt. S. Wien 25th May 1942

    Lt. I.G. Carmichael 11th July 1943

    Lt. K.R. Mclaren 12th July 1943

    Lt. C.D. Arthur 1st December 1943

    Lt. R.A. Garrett 16th March 1944

    Lt. D.G. Arnold 16th March 1944

    Lt. C. Mundy (Local) 8th December 1944

    Lt. A.C. Raw 26th December 1945

    Lt. A. Vollmar 12th May 1945


    2/Lt. K.R. French 31st July 1942

    2/Lt. W.F. Burrows 1st August 1942

    2/Lt. H.F. Wheway 6th August 1942

    2/Lt. R.A. Garrett 7th August 1942

    2/Lt. Westby 6th January 1943

    2/Lt. Martin-Leake 6th August 1943

    2/Lt. Vickers 6th August 1943

    2/Lt. C.L. Rees, R.E.M.E. 15th January 1944
    Marcus H likes this.
  8. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member


    Nec Aspera Terrent – Nor Shall Difficulties Deter Us

    The 22nd Dragoons has a history of only being called into being in times of emergency as far back as the 18th century in 1760. A history of the regiment prior to 1940 can be found in Vol. 31 of The Cavalry Journal.

    This short history focuses on the time of the Regiment from when it was raised on 1st December 1940 and finally disbanded 30th November 1945.

    Many soldiers and modern badge collectors attribute the big D with crown and XXII centred across the D as the main badge of the 22nd Dragoons. This is in fact not correct. The official badge of the Regiment is described, according to the War Diary on 10th December 1940 as the star of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards with the Castle of the 5th Inniskillings superimposed on it. Not mentioned is the XXII beneath the castle. This badge was approved by A.G. 17 of the Ministry of Defence and the commanding officers of the parent regiments. This design was to be discovered later on to be very similar to the design of the old 22nd Light Dragoons.

    The regimental colours were set as Green , Yellow and Black. Originally the green of 5th Inniskillens. The colours were first paraded in front of 30th Armoured Brigade commander on 14th June 1941 at Whitby. This was also the first time the Regiment had paraded since it’s last disbandment in 1820.

    22nd Dragoons were originally formed as a part of 29th Armoured Brigade as a part of 11th Armoured Division but this soon changed in January 1941 after much haggling by the respective Brigade Commanders of both 29th and 30th Armoured Brigades. As a result 24th lancers were swapped to 29th Armoured Brigade and 22nd Dragoons to 30th Armoured Brigade. So the lucky streak began although few realised it at the time.

    When armoured divisions were re-organised in 1942 the 22nd Dragoons and 30th Armoured Brigade were placed under the new 42nd Armoured Division but the division was disbanded due to a shortage of men and materiel in 1943. This left the Regiment and its brigade in limbo until October 1943 when they again came under command of Maj. Gen. Hobart as a part of 79th Armoured Division.

    In October 1943 the regiment was briefed in it’s future role by Maj.Gen. Hobart causing mixed feelings amongst those in the Regiment. 30th Armoured Brigade was to become a Flail Regiment to clear away obstacles not only on the beaches of the coming Normandy invasion but also those likely to be found in the vanguard of any major attack on a defended position. During training it became clear the optimal rate of advance whilst flailing was one and a half miles per hour, slower than normal walking pace, and this in the teeth of enemy opposition. Hardly a reassuring thought.

    When D Day arrived on 6th June 1944 the 22nd Dragoons were in the vanguard of the attacks on both Sword and Juno beaches before the landing of the main fighting troops and under command of the beach clearing engineer regiments. Acceptable casualties for the landing were placed at 50% by higher formations. Ultimately the regiment suffered very few personnel casualties although vehicle casualties in one form or another were quite high. The saving grace for the Dinky Doos (the regimental nickname possibly based on the housey-housey name for the number 22) was the flail and supporting jib in front of their Mark IV Sherman tanks. Many a German gunner aimed at the jib rather than the tank resulting in flail casualties but allowing the tanks to fight on in support of the landing infantry. A Squadron on Sword Beach was , at one point, given the order to stand fast regardless of losses such was the fierce opposition on the Sword Beach area.

    The secrecy behind the “funnies” of 79th Armoured Division and their usage led to some abuse of use by the formations being supported by 22nd Dragoons causing higher than necessary Flail casualties. This resulted in a closer liaison by officers attached to the necessary regiments and formations to ensure the correct use of the limited number of flails available. Their first set piece attack on the Luftwaffe defensive position at Douvres proved the benefit of correctly employed flails and other “funnies”. Wherever there was an attack in Normandy it was normal to find flails and other funnies of the 79th Armoured Division in attendance. Most of the Normandy time was spent based in the area of Cresserons, the people of which have maintained strong links with the Regimental Association.

    The Regiment, after being a part of the attacks in the Odon, Caen and Falaise areas went on to Le Havre and other channel towns then eventually leaving France for Belgium at the end of September 1944. The early time in Belgium was spent near Vurste refitting after the intense use of the equipment in France. A good impression was left on the people here for the regiment revisited the people of Vurste after the end of the War for friendly football matches, socials etc. ending with the presentation to the people of Vurste of the Regimental Colour which sadly has been lost over time.

    After helping in the breakout through the Lower Maas and the Venlo Pocket the Regiment harboured around Oerle for major refitting and training. Thus the Regiment was literally frozen into place by the freezing cold conditions at the start of the Ardennes offensive since many vehicles were frozen to the ground.

    Activity and support of various regiments picked up at the start of February 1945 with squadrons spread over quite a large area during the Reichswald offensive. In the regimental history there is an unusual photograph of the B Squadron flails clearing a minefield being overtaken by troops and a cine-camera team – an example of just how slow flails had to move to ensure proper mine clearance. As minefields reduced in number a decision was made to de-flail a number of troops in each flail Squadron (22nd Dragoons, Westminster Dragoons and 1st Lothian & Border Yeomanry). So the support became more of a normal tank role for the infantry with the flails wrapped up in canvas on the jibs. On some occasions when support was in fierce opposition troops of 22nd Dragoons remained in place with the infantry long after the tanks were out of ammunition in order to maintain morale on the ground.

    The end of the war saw 22nd Dragoons spread out around the areas of Selsingen, Bremervorde and Enschede. The Regiment was settled for a while at Delmenhorst where they had to hand in their tanks and become infantry until disbandment. Delmenhorst saw the splitting up of the men of the Regiment shortly after their Thanksgiving Service. Those with time still to serve went on to the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and those due for discharge in the 4th/7th were posted to the 22nd Dragoons.

    Although turned into infantry 22nd Dragoons were involved in the beginnings of what eventually became known as the Iron Curtain of the Cold War period 1945-1989 when they had to prepare and initially man the new frontier under the codename Operation Hammer which went into place on 1st July 1945 whilst at Bad Lauterberg. Some clever political negotiation allowed the regiment to continue to exist until 30th November 1945 thus ensuring a full five years in existence.

    Battle Honours – All achieved without ever being able to fight as a Regiment

    Normandy Landing, 6th June 1944. The Assault
    Odon, 25th June – 2nd July 1944. The Odon Bridgehead
    Caen, 4th – 18th July 1944. The capture of Caen.
    Falaise, 7th – 22nd August 1944. The advance beyond Falaise to close the Gap.
    Le Havre, 10th – 12th September 1944. Channel Ports.
    Lower Maas, 20th October – 7th November 1944. The opening of the Port of Antwerp.
    Venlo Pocket, 14th November – 3rd December 1944. Preparation for the thrust to the Ruhr.
    Reichswald, 8th – 13th February 1945. The Rhineland.
    Rhine, 23rd March – 1st April 1945. The crossing of the River Rhine.
    North West Europe, 6th June 1944 – 7th May 1945. Service on North-West Europe.

    Earlier Battle Honour.

    Seringapatam, 5th April – 4th May 1799, Fourth Mysore War. Awarded 1818 to 22nd Regiment of (Light) Dragoons.

    Books about the 22nd Dragoons

    War Diary of 22nd Dragoons Tank Museum and National Archives

    XXII Dragoons 1760-1945: The Story of a Regiment by Raymond Birt

    Achtung! Minen! by Ian Hammerton

    Will The Real Ian Carmichael… by Ian Carmichael

    Blowing Our Bridges ... Major General Tony Younger (covers some action by B Sqn on Juno beach)

    Hobart's 79th Armoured Division at War: Invention, Innovation & Inspiration ... Richard Docherty

    Badge Backings & Special Embellishments of the British Army .. C E Audax

    A Fine Night for Tanks: The Road to Falaise ... Ken Tout

    Sand & Steel ... Peter Caddick-Adams

    Normandy 1944: The Road to Victory ... Richard Docherty

    D Day: By those who were there ... Peter Liddle
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Trying to find out about 14307953 Trooper John of the 22nd Dragoons who was wounded 19th July 1944 during Operation Goodwood - I'm hoping someone has access to the War Diary and can check for details, maybe I can narrow down whose was his tank commander. I have found mention of a Trooper Coppin who died the same day when his tank was hit by a panzerfaust, not sure of he was in the same tank or if they lost several tanks that day. I don't think Trooper John was there on D-day but may have been a replacement in Early July.

  10. John.Nicholson.

    John.Nicholson. New Member

    Hello.I am new to this site,and sorry am not so good with computers,and posting/pasting ect.My name is John.Nicholson and I live in New Zealand.Many years ago now,I met an old vet,who sadly passed away soon after our meeting.His name was Trooper Jack.Tomlinson.7955886 of the 22nd Dragoons.He landed on,or around D-Day in Normandy in a Sherman flail Tank.He fought through till the end in Germany in 1945.He gave me a collection of various papers,and souvenirs he had gathered during his service...
    I will try and keep the grouping of items description brief;-field letter/postcard of 22nd dragoons from 1944 with drawing of a Sherman flail tank and various battles to date listed.A 'forward to victory' field postcard with Sherman flail cover and long poem by H.J.Simmie B.L.A. A typed letter informing his parents of a wound he received on 9 Feb.45.A safe conduct pass for the Germans.4x papers on non-fraternisation.Paper from Eisehower.A Sherman crab crew duty card.A crew duty card for Sherman V.A Sherman Tanks armament booklet.Book-standing orders of the 22nd dragoons.In memoriam booklet listing all who fell in 22 Dragoons.A booklet German army in pictures (signed cover from Gebbie.intel.officer)Period postcard from Riva Bella,and period booklet of colour postcards from Quistreham. Afew other papers,plus a jerry flag and grouping of jerry badges,buckles ect.Please,if anyone could help me some with some research I would be most grateful.From reading what I have so far he may have landed at Sword Beach Roger Red sector,possibly with C squadron.I believe he may have been a gunner in the Sherman flail tank of 22nd.Dragoons...Thankyou kindly,John.Nicholson.
  11. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

  12. John.Nicholson.

    John.Nicholson. New Member

    Hello harkness,thanks kindly for showing the casualty listing.I see Jacks name clearly.Its good to see his name 'outside of the box of souvenirs I have' ! Please,what are the hand drawn numbers for ? Thanks. The letter stated he "received shell wounds to the buttocks,and remained at duty".I believe that was during the Battle of the Reichswald period..
    .Wish I had wrote down what he had told me,but it was so long ago,in the mid/late 1970s that I met him.Only two short things I do remember-a mates tank that was pierced by a German 88,he said the round went through the length of the Sherman from back to front and one could see daylight through this hole ! The other was how in Germany he in one tank and a mates tank pulled into a town square,Jack got a German banner flag hanging on a building (which I have) and his mates in the other tank took the other banner flag,probably some kind of German political HQ,as its not a German army type flag.
    Since revisiting this grouping of material,I have a strong desire to try and find out anything more I can on his time as a crewman in his Sherman crab flail tank...I am very thankfull of those who kindly took the time to post info on the 22nd Dragoons on this site,which I have only recently discovered. My pressing questions are:-
    Was Trooper Jack.Tomlinson.7955886 a gunner on the Sherman 75mm gun in his crab ?
    Was he in C squadron/Troop 3 or 4 perhaps ?
    Did he land on D Day,or shortly after ?
    I have no book on the unit,and have become quite frustrated at trying various google searches on the subject ! ,. So thanks again for those that have listed some very interesting info on this flail unit here .
  13. John.Nicholson.

    John.Nicholson. New Member

    Hi again,sorry I forgot to ask,please does anyone have an organization table/chart or drawing showing the makeup of the 22nd Dragoons for around the time of D-Day ? I am unable to find just how many tanks the unit had available at that time,or later in the war.
    I am not too good on computers,sorry,but could get my son to post some pictures,if anyone is interested in the grouping of Jack's.
  14. Hello John,

    Welcome to the forum. Yes, it would be great if your son could post good quality scans of the documents you have. This might help us finding more about Tpr Jack Tomlinson.

    He is not in the crew list of Flail tanks for SWORD Area, so if indeed he was part of a Flail tank crew in C Sqn, he might have been either in 1 Tp (Lt Thwaites) or 2 Tp (Lt Tippets), planned to land (as of 2 May 44) on MIKE Sector of JUNO Area from two LSsT, one from H+7 hrs and the other from H+9 hrs (see 22nd Dragoons, "C" Squadron, 1st Troop - Unit Structure).

    Alternatively, he may have been in one of the two C Sqn Flail tanks (one each from 3 & 4 Tps) which were not part of the assault wave and landed with the residues around 13 Jul 44.

    Applying for his Service Record might be a good idea, but I'm not sure whether one can do that if not a family member.

    Repartition of tanks in 22 Dgns around D Day was as follows:

    RHQ – 3 gun tanks

    A Sqn:
    SHQ – 3 gun tanks
    1 Tp – 5 Flail tanks
    2 Tp – 5 Flail tanks
    3 Tp – 5 Flail tanks
    4 Tp – 5 Flail tanks
    5 Tp – 4 Roller tanks

    B & C Sqn same as A Sqn

    Total in regiment: 24 gun tanks & 60 Flail tanks.

    All tanks were Sherman V (US M4A4). The Flails were Sherman V Crab Mk.I (although at that time they were just "Sherman V Crab"), and the Roller tanks were standard Sherman V tanks with special plates welded on the hull sides to which the Canadian Indestructible Roller Device (CIRD) could be fitted.

  15. John.Nicholson.

    John.Nicholson. New Member

    Hello Michel,
    Thanks kindly for the information.I guess I will never know for sure just when he got to Normandy.Possibly H+7,or H+9,or as you stated perhaps even 13 July ! I will try the records office just in case,thanks.
    I will certainly get my son to do some scans/photos of the items for the members to view...
    Thanks for the organization details on the flails of 22nd Dragoons too,very useful indeed.I have been writing lots of notes and diagrams since starting all this research,and only thought he was possibly in C squadron as he has a postcard of River Bella,and a booklet of postcards (period French) from Quistreham.Guess he wanted a souvenir of his stay there ?
    Perhaps at some time I will get lucky and his name may turn up in the future...
    Thanks again !
  16. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    Hi, I dip and in and out every so often. I only have D Day crew lists for the assault wave on Sword Beach. The Ouistreham postcards suggest he was in B Sqn as they went across the canal in support on D+1

    I'm keen on adding any documents or photos scanned to not only my collection and but also that of the Tank Museum.
  17. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    I have finally been able to unearth the Military band music for the regimental march of 22nd Dragoons - The Pevensey Legion. I have part of the original score which will be going to the Tank Museum. If anyone is interested in buying a copy it is available from Studio Music (studio-music.co.uk).

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