Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by DavidW, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have an accurate date of arrival into North Africa for 3 CLY?

    Also, any new tanks received between August and October 1942?

    Thanks, David.
  2. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    They arrived in October 41.

    No info on 42 I'm afraid.

    All the best

  3. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that.

    I've heard early October, but was looking for confirmation.
  4. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    War diary for October starts on 6 October, with them putting up tents in Amariya. Baggage from Suez arrived on 8 October.

    All the best

  5. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks again.

    Tanks already there, or yet to arrive?
  6. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

  7. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I had not heard about the axle fiasco before.
  8. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)

    22nd Heavy Armoured Brigade – 3 September 1939 to 14 April 1940
    The regiment formed 23rd Armoured Car Company in the Territorial Army from 1920 until November 1938, when it became a regiment. It assumed the above title on August 24th, 1939. The 3rd County of London Yeomanry was mobilised on September 1st, 1939. ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadrons moved to Regent’s Park Barracks in London while ‘A’ Squadron moved into billets at Cumberland Terrace, London. War HQ was established at Albany Street Barracks the following day. On September 13th, the War HQ moved to Avenue Hotel Minehead, ‘A; and ‘C’ Squadrons were billeted at the Esplanade Hotel, RHQ was at the Bella Vista House on Glenmore Road, and ‘B’ Squadron was at the Dance Hall attached to the Regal Cinema. It moved again to Ilfracombe on September 26th with RHQ at the Runnacleave Hotel, ‘A’ Squadron at Montpelier Terrace, ‘B’ at Coronation Terrace, ‘C’ at Oxford Grove and HQ Squadron at Oxford Park, Oxford Grove, Cornucopia and Aurora Hotels in Adelaide Terrace. During October the regiment remained at Ilfracombe and was gradually equipped with a mixture of older trucks, light tanks, medium tanks, and armoured cars. The regiment went on standby on November 3rd for a move with ‘A’ and ‘B’ Squadrons to be ready in twelve hours. ‘A’ was equipped for dismounted action and ‘B’ Squadron was given all of the available armoured cars. On December 3rd, No. 1 Mobile Detachment, 22nd Heavy Armoured Brigade was made responsible for the defence of Barnstaple Airport. At the end of the month, on the 28th, all wheeled vehicles left for Whitwell in North Command. The total was seven pool cars, six 30 CWT Commers, one 30 CWT Morris, four 15 CWT Morris, one 8 CWT Morris, and 16 motorcycles. The following day the rest of the regiment entrained for Whitwell with 3 medium tanks, 2 light tanks, and 2 utility tractors. The eight armoured cars were also entrained, but seven Lancasters were destined for the Derbyshire Yeomanry and one Rolls Royce for the Northern Irish Horse. The train party arrive at Whitwell on December 30th and was located with HQ Squadron at Whitwell Schools, ‘A’ Squadron at Manor Farm, ‘B’ along Hodthorpe Road, and ‘C’ at Southgate House.

    22nd Armoured Brigade – 14 April 1940 to 29 May 1942
    The regiment moved to Rushton, Northamptonshire on June 2nd, 1940 from Whitwell. Its strength on July 1st, 1940 was 34 officers and 554 other ranks. It was equipped with 2 Light Tanks Mk IV, 10 Light Tanks Mk VIB, 7 Two-Man Dutchman Light Tanks, and 10 scout cars. An additional 22 Mk VIB Light Tanks were received from the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars on July 2nd along with 3 Dutchman Light Tanks from the factory. It turned over 10 Dutchman Light Tanks to the 2nd RGH the following day, but got 4 more Mk VIB Lights from the 2nd RGH on the 4th. During July the regiment was involved a number of exercises. More tanks arrived on July 12th: 6 MKVIB Lights from Chilwell, 1 MkVIB from the 2nd RGH, and 2 MkVIBs from Hilsea. On the 17th, it took on four more Mk VIB Lights but handed over one scout car to the 4th CLY and two to the 22nd Armoured Brigade HQ. With the arrival of 3 MkVIB Light Tanks from the 20th Armoured Brigade at Guildford on the 21st, the regiment was now at war establishment with 52 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 7 scout cars and 3 light Dragons Mk II. To help equip other units, the regiment sent off 1 scout car on August 2nd, 1 scout car and 6 Mk VIBs to the 2nd RGH on the 10th, and 11 Mk VIBs to the 3rd Hussars on the 11th.
    The 3rd CLY moved out for an operational role on August 16th and by the next day it was in the field with RHQ and ‘B’ Squadron at Hildersham Hall, ‘A’ at Chilford Hall and ‘C’ at Rivey Hall. The 3rd Hussars returned six Mk VIB Light Tanks on August 19th. While out in the field the regiment did brigade exercises and training. Two scout cars were added on the 28th and the following day in was involved in a IV Corps exercise. At the start of September, the regiment had 41 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 7 scout cars, and 3 light Dragons Mk II. During September it received 3 scout cars on the 16th and 2 Dutchman Light Tanks on the 17th. At the start of October it had 41 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 2 Dutchman Light Tanks, 6 ‘Ironside’ Humber Mk Is, 10 scout cars, and 3 light Dragons Mk II. One more MK VIB Light was added on October 4th. On October 13th, 1940, the regiment moved to Dorking in Surrey and moved out the next day to bivouac at Parkhatch. On the 15th, it moved into billets with RHQ at Pickhurst House, ‘A’ Squadron at Cherfold, ‘B’ at Chiddingfold, and ‘C’ at Burningfold Hall. The tank state on November 1st was 42 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 2 Mk V Light Tanks, 2 Mk III Light Tanks, 6 Ironside Humber Is, 10 scout cars, and 3 light Dragon Mk IIs. It received its first cruiser tank, a Mk IVa, on November 6th, heralding the conversion from light to cruiser tanks. During November more tanks came in and were sent out: 1 Mk VI Light and 1 Mk IVa Cruiser received while 3 Dragons were sent out on the 14th, 1 Mk IVa was received on the 16th, and 3 Mk VIB Lights were sent out on the 22nd.
    On December 1st, 1940 the regiment had 5 Mk IVa Cruisers, 38 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 3 Mk VI Light Tanks, 2 Mk IIIB Light Tanks, 6 Humberettes and 10 scout cars. It was involved in a V Corps exercise from December 1st to 6th. During December it sent off one Mk VIB Light on the 5th, received one Mk IVa Cruiser on the 10th, and received one Mk VIC Light on the 31st. During January it sent of 3 Mk VIB Lights on the 12the and two more on the 17th, each to the 2nd Armoured Brigade. Four Humberettes were sent to the Dutch Contingent on January 28th. On February 1st, the regiment had 6 Cruiser Mk IVa Tanks, 23 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 3 Mk VI Light Tanks, 1 Mk IIIb Light Tank, 2 Humberettes, and 10 scout cars. During February it sent off 2 Mk VIB Lights to the 9th Lancers on the 3rd, received 2 Mk VIC Lights from the 10th Hussars on the 10th, and received respectively 3, 3, and 2 Mk VI Cruiser Tanks on the 17th, 21st and 27th. It also took part in a divisional exercise on February 5th.
    The tank exchanges left the regiment with 8 Cruiser Mk VI Tanks, 6 Cruiser Mk IVa Tanks, 21 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 8 Mk VIC Light Tanks, 3 Mk VI Light Tanks, 1 Mk IIIb Ligth Tank, 2 Humberettes and 10 scout cars on March 1st, 1941. March was a heavy month for equipment exchange for the regiment. On March 3rd, 8th, 9th and 11th, respectively, it received 1, 2, 3, and 2 Cruiser Tanks Mk VI. On the 18th one more Cruiser Mk VI and 5 Mk VIC Lights were received but 8 Mk VIB Lights were sent off to the 10th Hussars. On the 19th, it got 1 Mk V Cruiser and sent off one Humberette to the Royal Dutch Army. In the latter part of the month, it received 1 Mk VI Cruiser and 1 Mk VIC Light on the 21st and 1 Mk VI Light, 5 Mk V Cruisers, and 3 Mk VIC Lights on the 22nd. One more Mk VI Cruiser was taken on on the 26th while the single Mk IIIb was sent to the 28th Armoured Brigade on the 26th. The following day it received one Mk VI Cruiser and sent off three Mk VI Lights. Another Mk VI Cruiser was taken over on the 28th. This left the tank strength at the start of April 1941 as 6 Mk IVa Cruisers, 6 Mk V Cruisers, 23 Mk VI Cruisers, 11 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 18 Mk VIC Light Tanks, 10 scout cars, and 1 Humberette. In April it sent off 3 Mk VIB Lights on the 3rd, sent off 1 Mk IVa and 1 Mk V Cruiser on the 10th, sent off 1 Mk IVa Cruiser on the 11th, sent off 1 Humberette to the 27th Lancers on the 23rd, and transhipped 21 Cruiser Mk VIs on the 23rd, and sent off 1 Mk IVa Cruiser on the 28th. On the last day in April, the regiment was involved in Exercise Armadillo.
    On May 1st, 1941 the regiment was still at Dorking with 3 Mk IVa Cruisers, 6 Mk V Cruisers, 1 Mk VI Cruiser, 8 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 18 Mk VIC Light Tanks, and 10 scout cars. Between May 4th and 15th the regiment received 12 Cruiser Tanks Mk VI as well as seven carriers. It sent out one Mk VIC on May 11th. Between May 27th and 28th, it moved to Westbury and then received one Mk VIC Light Tank on May 30th. Its tank state on June 1st was 13 Mk VI Cruisers, 6 Mk V Cruisers, 3 Mk IVa Cruisers, 8 Mk VIB Light Tanks, 18 Mk VIC Light Tanks, 10 scout cars, and 7 carriers. Some more exchanges took place during June with the regiment gaining 8 more Mk VI Cruisers and sending off 1 Mk VIB Light. During July the regiment remained at Westbury but gave up all of its equipment. It received a complement of Crusaders and Stuarts before embarking for the desert. The regiment mobilised for overseas service on July 31st and spent August 8th to 13th preparing for embarkation. All unneeded B Echelon vehicles were turned in to the RASC on August 13th and the regiment moved from Westbury to Avonmouth, where it embarked on the HMS Orion. It sailed on August 15th, 1941 from Avonmouth.
    On the way to the Middle East, it stopped briefly at Freetown from August 28th to September 1st, at Cape Town from September 11th to 14th, and Aden from September 26th to 28th. It arrived at Suez on October 4th and disembarked. From there it moved to Amiriya on the 5th. The regiment’s Crusaders were then sent to workshops to be readied for desert operations. The 3rd CLY then moved to the Quaret Giraff area for brigade training with the Crusaders on October 20th. On November 11th it moved north to entrain its tanks at Amiriya and left there the following day for the railhead 69 miles west of Mersa Matruh. On the 13th, it moved 76 miles west to the 7th Armoured Division’s area. By the 17th, the brigade was located on the left of the division in the area of Quaret Azza, 25 miles east of Ridotta Maddelena with the regiment on the right of the brigade at Garet el Gawani. It was equipped with 48 A15 Crusaders and 4 CS A9s or A10s.
    The brigade moved off on the morning of November 18th and crossed the frontier wire at 0830 hours headed toward Bir el Gubi. It leaguered for the night at MR 437343. The next day the regiment advanced to Bir Duedar. It was in place by 1340 hours, when it was called to support the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars at Bir el Gubi, who were under attack. The 3rd CLY were in action at Bir el Gubi and took losses. After it remained at Pt 181 for the night. On the 20th, the brigade’s objective was to secure the northeast area of Bir el Gubi but instead it was ordered to move to support the 4th Armoured Brigade at Gabr Meliha. On the way the regiment attacked some enemy motor transport before leaguering at Pt 189 (MR 464363). It pushed on to Sidi Rezegh on the 21st from Hayfet en Nadura and attacked with ‘A’ Squadron left and ‘C’ on the right. During the action ‘C’ Squadron lost seven tanks before the regiment leaguered at MR 431391. The next morning, it engaged enemy tanks and in the afternoon it advanced north on the right of the brigade. It moved to a ridge near Sidi Rezegh and from there it moved one mile south of Sidi Rezegh escarpment. There it engaged German tanks and came out of the action with only five battle worthy tanks remaining. The 3rd CLY then moved to MR 420401 to help form the composite regiment of the 22nd Armoured Brigade, leaguering that night at MR 4263398 with its five tanks and three from the brigade LRS.
    On November 23rd, the 22nd Armoured Brigade Composite Regiment was formed with separate squadrons representing the 2nd RGH, the 3rd CLY, and the 4th CLY. As it prepared to attack from El Adem, sixty enemy tanks advanced on the composite regiment at 1530 hours. At the end of the action the composite regiment was left with only four tanks and the 5th South African Infantry Brigade had been overrun. The next day the remnants of the 22nd Armoured Brigade Composite Regiment remained in the area of Reghem on observation. On the 25th it observed in the area of Sausenna and, on the 26th, it observed in the area of Nbeidat. On November 27th, the composite regiment took up battle positions at Pt 187 and Pt 192 on the Trigh Capuzzo and engaged German tanks. In this heavy engagement, the regiment lost two tanks. The next day the composite regiment was in a running battle as it fell back to the 4th Armoured Brigade then shelled the enemy in the Muftah area. The 22nd Armoured Brigade began to withdraw to the TRC, but instead remained in the S. Muftah area for the day supporting the 4th Armoured Brigade in an action at Muhhat Sidi Rezegh.
    On November 30th, all battle worthy tanks were turned into the 4th Armoured Brigade and the remains of the 22nd Armoured Brigade withdrew to the TRC in the area. The brigade began to reform at the TRC (MR 458330) during December 1st except for only one squadron left behind with the 4th Armoured Brigade. On December 6th, a composite squadron was sent forward to the 4th Armoured Brigade made up of 3 tanks of the 3rd CLY, 9 of the 4th CLY, and 4 of the 2nd RGH. It returned on the 11th and by the 13th the regiment had about 32 serviceable tanks. The 22nd Armoured Brigade left for the front on December 14th. It reached MR T9550 on the 20th, was rejoined by the 2nd RGH, and took over from the 4th Armoured Brigade. On December 23rd, the brigade advanced toward Saunnu with the regiment on the right with about 30-40 Crusaders. It reached the objective by the afternoon of the 24th. On the 26th, it moved southwest toward Chor es Sufan with the regiment on the right and, during the evening, the regiment engaged an enemy column of three tanks. It leaguered for the night ten miles north of the objective. The advance continued on the 27th to Chor es Sufan and five miles east the 3rd and 4th County of London Yeomanry engaged the enemy. The brigade took up battle positions on the 28th in the same area with the regiment on the centre of the line. It was attacked by German tanks and withdrew at 1500 hours through ‘A’ and ‘B’ Squadrons of the 4th CLY to the Bir Hassiat area. The brigade moved to the Chor el Chisma area the next day and patrolled the left flank of the Guards Brigade. The brigade was attacked on the 30th by German tanks with the regiment in the centre with eight tanks. The brigade was forced to withdraw through three positions before the enemy tanks fell back. It then leaguered at MR X3957 near Bu Gabbad. On the 31st the brigade withdrew further to an area north of Antelat and again on New Year’s Day to ten miles north of Eluet Abdulla. 2nd Armoured Brigade took over from the 22nd on January 8th, 1942 and the regiment moved to Zt. Mrassas after turning over its remaining tanks and scout cars to the Tank Delivery Squadron. It arrive at Zt. Mrassas on the 11th and began to rest and reorganise.
    The regiment was ordered to form a composite squadron on January 23rd. The composite squadron was formed mostly from Crusaders of ‘C’ Squadron and served under the 1st Armoured Division from January 23rd to 30th. The rest of the regiment left Zt. Mrassas on the 27th and arrived at Sidi Haneish two days later, where it rested. On February 5th, the regiment left for the Delta and arrived there at Sidi Bishr the next day. A period of leave and training began through March 23rd, when it left for Beni Yusef. It arrived the next day and was followed by the tanks, which arrived by train on March 24th and 25th. At Beni Yusef the regiment re-equipped with ‘A’ and ‘C’ Squadrons in Crusaders and ‘B’ Squadron in Grants. Between April 19th and 24th, the regiment moved by train and motor transport to the desert railhead. On the 25th, it moved to MR 470385 and then to MR470385, where it remained through May 1st. On May 2nd, it moved to B. Vaar and then to B. Gibini on the 4th for an exercise. After the exercise was complete on the 7th, the regiment moved to Gabr Taieb el Esem and continued to train in that area through May 22nd. It then moved to the Trigh Bir Hacheim to await the start of operations.
    On May 26th, 1942, the 3rd County of London Yeomanry moved into its battle positions on the Trigh Bir Hacheim. The next day the regiment with the brigade advanced to Bir el Harmut to engage the enemy flank. ‘B’ Squadron was first in action with high explosive shells before the enemy overtook the regiment. The 3rd CLY then stood and fought until it was forced to withdraw to a ridge south of Bir Bellefaa. It became engaged again later in the day through 2000 hours, losing a total of 5 Grants and 8 Crusaders during the days actions. On the 28th, it remained in the area in reserve. It moved back to Bir el Harmut on the 29th to engage the enemy on the Trigh Bir Hakeim. On arrival it moved into position to fill the gap between the 10th Hussars of the 2nd Armoured Brigade and the Guards Brigade. It repelled an attack by German tanks with ‘A’ Squadron claiming four German tanks. It was engaged again before last light and remained deployed during that night.
  9. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thank you David. That was awesome!

    I hope that you were able to copy & paste! That would have taken me an hour and a half to type.
  10. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    An early extract from the WD (WO169/1398), the first page of Oct 41 is not in the copy at Kew which is annoying:

    6 October 1941 AMARIYEH
    ...at 2300 hrs. Casualties – X List postings – 2 O.R’s.

    7 October 1941 AMARIYEH
    Tent erecting completed. Trench digging continues. 7 Tanks Mk.VI and 2 Scout Cars arrive.

    8 October 1941 AMARIYEH
    Baggage from Suez arrives. Casualties – X List postings – 4 O.R’s.

    9 October 1941 AMARIYEH
    Digging of slit trenches finished. 30 Lorries arrive from Bde and 1 Scout Car.

    10 October 1941 AMARIYEH
    Tanks and Scout Cars sent to R.A.O.C. Alexandria for modification. Instructions received from Bde. re signs and painting of all vehicles. Remainder of Baggage arrives. 4 3-ton lorries arrive. Lt.Col. R.K.Jago, M.M., T.D. (C.O.), Maj. Godson, Maj. Willis and 2/Lt. Caunce (I.O.) go to Forward Areas on recce.
    Casualties – X List – 2 O.R’s.

    11 October 1941 AMARIYEH
    Daily Leave to Alexandria granted. (A, B & C Sqns – 25 O.R’s each; H.Q. Sqn – 30 O.R’s). Epidemic of “Gyppo Tummy” reaches peak – total of 16 O.R’s posted to X List.

    12 October 1941 AMARIYEH
    L.A.D. and Tech. Stores arrive. 6 Scout Cars arrive.
    Strength – 40 Offs. 586 O.R’s (A.F. 3008/9 att.)
    Vehicles – as at 0600 hrs:
    ‘A’ – 10 Scout Cars.
    ‘B’ – 45 3-ton lorries; 3 30-cwt lorries; 3 8-cwt trucks; 3 water trucks; 8 Utilities; 8 m/cs; 1 combination.


    Owen likes this.
  11. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member


    Thanks so much for those additions. I was missing them from my war diary file.



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