3 CLY Roll out the Barrel Christmas Italy 1943

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Guy Hudson, Dec 21, 2021.

  1. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    3rd County of London Yeomanry prepare for Christmas festivities in Italy 1943
    Screenshot 2021-12-21 at 18.49.05.png
    Screenshot 2021-12-21 at 18.47.50.png
    NA9801 & NA9802 Sgt. McConville No.2 A.F.P.S. 13th December 1943
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2021
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  2. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Where were they at the time?
  3. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    6/12/43 The Regiment's intention was to cross the MORO and give support to the SEAFORTHS and HASTINGS regiments. B Sqn were sent off to the right flank to try and cross the river in area 3412 but were unsuccessful. RHQ, A & C Sqns intended to cross near the demolished bridge at 337116. The Regiment deployed along the ridge at 346110. One troop of C Sqn moved down the road to attempt the crossing, but failed, all 3 tanks being bogged. Another troop was ordered to make the attempt, but they also were bogged. The tanks in the river were subjected to severe shelling and mortar fire. The Regiment remained in observation all day, supporting the forward infantry by fire.

    7/12/43 The Regiment remained in observation all morning, but visibility was poor. Enemy shelling and mortaring continued. At about 1500 the Regiment withdrew to 354062, where the leaguered.Casualties:-
    A Sqn,

    Tpr F Kingsbury

    Tpr B Sullivan

    Wounded Cpl G Fiske

    Tpr HA Reed

    Tpr HG Tinson

    8/12/43 Personal maintenance and again the EME started recovery of the tanks that had been bogged during the past 2 weeks.

    9/12/43 Maintenance etc continued.

    10/12/43 Maintenance etc continued.

    11/12/43 Maintenance etc continued.

    12/12/43 Maintenance etc continued. Regiment had to place one Sqn on 1 hours notice.

    13/12/43 Regimental scout car and carrier D&M class started and Sqn courses started. Remainder of Regiment on maintenance.Composite Sqn, under command of Major Woods MC, came under command 50th RTR in support of 8 Indian Div

    Courtesy of Warlinks.com

    Edited to reflect Frank's comment below.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
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  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I do not think that 5 Ind Div is correct.


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  5. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    It was 8 Indian Division.


  6. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Thank you Frank,
    It appears to be a problem with transcription from the original war diary entry.
  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    There's also a bit of a Xmas'43 summary here... Engagements fought by the 4th Armoured Brigade in 1943


    "Christmas was now at hand and for many of the brigade this was their third away from home. As the Brigade was out of the line in reserve under 5 Corps command, foraging parties went out 'obtaining' food and wine. On the 25th December traditional meals were served as usual by the officers and NCOs, to the Troopers of all the regiments. Major Oliver Woods was Santa Claus for the Sharpshooters, Corporal Lloyd Ponting trained a choir which sang carols round the various units, and the Reverend Victor Pike, the Assistant Chaplain General, held a drumhead service.
    Having been in action until 18th December, 44th RTR, but spent Christmas in Martelli near Treglia. Some of 44th RTR journeyed back to the Foggia area, where only three months earlier turkeys had been plentiful and cheap, but upon arrival they found that the presence of the American Air Force had inflated the prices. A piano was found in Lanciano and despite mud, cold and heavy rain the cooks excelled themselves, but it was noted that Christmas passed very happily, but very, very cold with biting wind.
    At the end of December Brigadier Currie left the brigade to go back to the UK, to become BRAC to the 1st Canadian Army. He was succeeded by Brigadier H. J. B. Cracroft, who had previously commanded 12th RTR.
    By now the rumours were correct and a return to the UK was confirmed. The Sharpshooters handed their tanks over to 50th RTR, who left the brigade to rejoin 23rd Armoured Brigade near Naples, and by stages 3rd CLY, 44th RTR and the rest of brigade, moved back to Taranto, while Lt-Col Cameron flew back to England to prepare for their arrival at Worthing.
    The Sharpshooters sailed on 27th January 1944 on board MV Tegelberg and reached the Clyde on 8th February. The 44 RTR arrived in Taranto on 12th January and three days later they held a memorial service for the growing numbers killed in action in Africa, then Sicily and now Italy. On 25th January 1944, they celebrated their last night on Italian soil and then sailed for home on the SS Ranchi. The 2nd Battalion KRRC, with 31 officers and 639 Other Ranks, embarked from Naples on HM Almanzora and docked at Glasgow on 9th February 1944, which was two years since they encountered Rommel at Agedabia. A band greeted the brigade on arrival and there were free tea, cigarettes, buns and newspapers. The Royal Scots Greys had rejoined the brigade before it left Italy and the 'Black Rats' stepped ashore at the King George V Dock and went by train south to Worthing to join I Corps, settled into their billets and went off on leave.
    Now they were back in the UK, it soon became known that General Montgomery had specially asked for 4th Armoured Brigade to be part of the invasion team of the Northern European mainland. This was obviously an honour, but a dangerous one, too!"

    Edit - and incidentally re. CLY's Major Oliver Woods...

    Quite a few pictures posted here...

    Missing-Lynx-Sinterklaas 1944

    Major Oliver Woods, who had form in the dressing up department - he was a leading light in the Regiment's pantomimes in previous years and had performed a similar role in Italy in 1943 - donned the robes of Bishop Sinterklaas, per the Dutch tradition. Image nos. KSYM-SAL-21-078 and KSYM-SAL-21-084
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
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