9th Lancers in May and June 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Ramiles, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Captain Robin Nigel Kingscote

    A lot of the time I feel like stories drop off the radar - so to speak - as there isn't a voice to recount - who was there. So many of them KIA etc.

    "Captain Robin Nigel Kingscote was born on 8 July 1919.1 He was the son of Major Edric Thomas Kingscoteand Frances Jane Curle Lamont.1 He died on 4 June 1942 at age 22 at El Alamein, Egypt, killed in action.3,2
    He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the 9th Lancers.3 He fought in the Second World War between 1939 and 1942


    This I guess is: Person Page


    Ps. Apparently not - see Owen's post below...
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    This letter was written by my grandfather just after getting back from France with the 9th Lancers in 1940, and just prior to being made a corporal I think as he still says Trp on the page.

    nb. I was doing some looking into the "wedding ring thing" and seeing lots of stuff online about it actually being during WW2 that men (mostly US I think) wearing wedding rings became very popular, so might start a thread about that ;)...and/or all the UK's gold going to the US :D though that might have already been done to death ... not sure what Buck's problem was, but it might be about him being needed at home, or about to be shipped abroad.... Buck was in the Bays...
    2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) - Wikipedia

    7880500 Trp B Symes
    R.H.Q. 9th Lancers
    “Long Bridge”
    Deverril Camp

    My dearest Phyl,

    Another letter arrived today this time dated June 13. I also received one from Aunt Senie, this I’ll send to you as it bears out what I told you.

    There is still no news here. We did 1.5 hours rifle drill this morning and then they worked in another half hour guard drill. We all moaned on principle but got no change.We all feel it so useless towards winning the war, which after all is our main purpose at this time.

    Thursday I had hoped to have some news of seven days leave but as rumours aren’t to be trusted will leave well alone.

    Someone was saying that there is a scheme for married women to hand in their wedding rings. I know what you will say, nothing doing and I agree, in fact it’s more or less an order that no matter how many diplomas of honour they offer our ring stays put. Let someone else do something for a change.

    Buck has been over this evening and his family seems to be giving him the same trouble, in fact it…

    …appears to be getting worse.

    He’s coming over tomorrow evening about six and I’ll try to get him to snap out of it a bit. It’s a rotten position but what the hell can one do about it?

    Well I guess that’s all sweetheart, how’s that young rascal of ours doing, I wish you were both close here, we never go out of camp it's about four miles to Warminster and that’s more than I’m prepared to walk thank you.

    So cheerio my lovely one keep your chin up and take care of those legs, all of em!!

    All my love to you my dear from your loving husband Ben, who’s feeling much better now thank goodness. XX.
  4. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member


    Following up this previous post, I thought you may be interested in the WD entries for the losses of Lt TEW and 2/Lt STEEL also noted in the memorial paper.

    Lt TEW
    GISORS 23 May 1940 20.00
    During the march into GISORS Lieut. T.M.P. TEW was accidentally run down and killed by a tank whilst directing it into cover.

    Casualty Details
    T M P Tew Plaque

    2/Lt STEEL
    BOIS D'AILLY 24 May 1940 17.30
    No news was received from the patrols until Sgt Allen arrived at R.H.Q. in his tank to say that 2 Lt Steel’s Troop (2 tanks) to which he belonged had been in action. 2 Lt Steel’s tank had been hit and was in difficulties and under enemy fire at low range. Major Vere-Laurie was ordered to take the rest of the Squadron (B Sqn) - which consisted of two weak troops and try to rescue 2 Lt Steel.

    BOIS D'AILLY 24 May 1940 20.30
    Major Vere-Laurie reported that he had located 2 Lt Steel’s tank WEST of the bridge at DREUIL LES AMIENS with two Germans standing on the outside but no sign of the crew. It was therefore concluded that they were captured.

    Casualty Details

    In addition to 2/Lt Steel, his two crew members, L/Cpl Hipple and Tpr Dalton were also noted as missing believed POW.
    Information regarding Maj PHILLIMORE can be found in the 9th Lancers history by Bright that can be read online.

    The image below is from contemporary maps of the area surrounding 2/Lt Steel's incident. It is from two maps that I have had to splice together so pardon the apparant break in continuity right through the middle.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. British 1st Armoured Division, France 1940

    This was an interesting read and has one or two mentions of the 9th L in France 1940: Hobby

    Including for example i.e. "The division under the command of Major-General Roger Evans comprised two Armoured Brigades. The 2nd, under Brigadier R. L. McCreery contained the 2nd Queen’s Bays, 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers and 10th Royal Hussars (the so called ‘Light’ Brigade)."

    Richard McCreery's wiki page has some nice pics and detail etc.: Richard McCreery - Wikipedia


    But I can't seem to track down one picture of Major-General Roger Evans: Roger Evans (British Army officer) - Wikipedia

    Though there might be one here in among the "mix" (now or in the future that I have not as yet seen):
    Major-General Roger Evans 1940 - Google Search

    And while wiki has him: "relinquishing the appointment on 24 August 1940"

    The Hobby site says: "That any men made the evacuation at all was a minor miracle considering the disastrous and compromised nature of their deployment, yet Major General Evans was relieved of his command as a result."
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Can't be him as chap in the photo has an Africa Star ribbon , that didnt come out until July 1943 , over a year after he was killed.
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  7. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    There is a picture of Roger Evans on page 399 in Then And Now's 'BLITZKREIG In the West' by Jean Paul Pallud.


    The IWM is credited as the source, but I have been unable to locate it on the website. (Probably my ineptitude in search parameters).

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    Ramiles likes this.
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Foucaucourt brings up a few pics on the IWM, and the "Related Objects" section, leading on to others from there, but I didn't have any luck with Major General R. Evans either so it's great to be able to see the picture above. Perhaps he is in the section of their photos that is not yet available online. It's a puzzle sometimes how to get a specific search there to give a specific result.

    These were some of the others on the IWM that caught my eye:

    Object description: A camouflaged A13 Cruiser tank and other vehicles of 2nd Armoured Brigade at Foucaucourt, 26-29 May 1940: THE BRITISH ARMY IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM 1940 (F 4586)

    A13 Cruiser Mk IV tank at Huppy, 26-29 May 1940: THE BRITISH ARMY IN FRANCE 1940 (F 4590)

    A camouflaged A13 Cruiser tank parked by the side of a road, 14 May 1940.

    And even this one, as part of the "Phoney War": Dummy cruiser tanks being constructed by Royal Engineers in a factory near Rouen, 30 March 1940: THE BRITISH ARMY IN FRANCE 1940 (F 3820)

    I think too I am getting to grips with the Unit codes for them, that they used then, with: [TMP] "2nd "Light" Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, France 1940" Topic

    Suggesting.... (but PS. see next post below following this)

    2nd Brigade HQ = Red 2
    Queens' Bays = Red 3
    9th Lancers = Red 4
    10th Hussars = Red 5

    Though further reading of some of the posts at: [TMP] "2nd "Light" Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, France 1940" Topic

    Also says: "There were several versions of tank in service with Regts, and before the off there was some swapping around between units to try and achieve a mix of lights and cruisers."

    Not to mention the further regrouping and swapping around necessitated by losses etc. And I notice the IWM says things like "2nd Armoured Brigade" rather than narrowing it down to a specific regiment.

    Taking this one, for example however which would that be?


    All the best,

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  9. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    And it is incorrect....

    3 - HQ 2 Armd Bde
    4 - Queen's Bays
    5 - 9th Lancers
    6 - 10th Hussars

    The picture you posted was a No.3 Tp, C Sqn, 9th Lancers tank. The troop commander being 2/Lt D.E.C. Steel.
  10. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Ramiles likes this.

    JERICHO Junior Member


    Grave of Corporal Parker in Oust Marais Cemetery, small town on the main road Blangy sur Bresle - Eu

    Best regards

    Attached Files:

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  12. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Actually Mark’s extract comes from Ninth Queen’s Royal Lancers 1936 – 1945: The Story of an Armoured Regiment in Battle, edited by Joan Bright (1952) pp.14-15 available from the 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum website, along with much else.

    Unfortunately the interface isn’t great and there appears to be no way to download the JPGs in full resolution so that they can be read in another programme. A ‘loupe tool’ is provided (bottom-left), but I found the ‘fullscreen’ (top-right) just about readable without it. It’s a pity.
  13. Strawberry5

    Strawberry5 Member

    Hi Ramiles - feeling nostalgic reading your posts - working on the assumption (!) that you have a specific interest in the 9th - I met some of the veterans when I gave a lecture at the 9th/12th museum up in Derby back in the early 90's for their annual 'beano'. They used to invite a serving officer for a current 'what's the regiment doing' (Bosnia at that time) and an historian (er, well, failing that, they got me) for a chat on something old school (military use of horses in my case). Had a lovely chat afterwards - snippets of events on the beach at Dunkirk, crossing a river in Italy on horseback to lead an attack (to prove it could still be done - memory, always dangerous, says they were in Churchills at the time) and so on - with the passing of time realise I should have made notes, recorded names and so on - ho hum! They kindly gave me a copy of their regimental history which I still have.Lovely bunch of chaps.
    Kind regards
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks, Andrew, catching up on reading some old post's I (just) noticed your reply ;-)

    This was my grandfather's 9th Lancer badge:

    He was mobilized on 2nd September 1939 and posted to the 9th Lancers on 14th September 1939. He has a line mentioning his name, rank and number here: (Symes, Lance-Corporal B.)

    Regimental Histories, 1936-1945 Bright

    Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_411.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

    On 6th December 1940 he was posted to the 24th Lancers.

    With the group of 9th Lancers (officers and 69 of those in other ranks) going to the newly formed regiment mentioned here:

    Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_0065.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum
  15. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    There are some pics and detail on the A10 Cruiser here:

    A10 Cruiser Tank Mark II Part.1

    With mention of their use by the 9th Lancers in May & June 1940 etc.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    This from their first week in France around late May 1940:


    7880500 Trp. B.Symes
    H.Q.Squadron 9th Lancers

    Dearest Phyl and Rob,

    Everything has moved so fast since we arrived here that only a card has been possible. Even now I don't know when this will be posted.

    We are all O.K. and had a good crossing. They took us out for an airing first, sort of Cooks tour. I wasn't even seasick.

    Ink has gone. Well darling our style is cramped now that the letters are censored, even he can't stop me telling you I love you every moment of every day. The country is...

    Page 2: ...very lovely, roads are straight and the trees lining the road are beautiful.

    Incidentally, the stories one reads about the Germans seem to be mostly true, they don't bother about women and children and if we used to wonder why we need to fight him, we needn't wonder any more. We English soldiers have had tears in our eyes for them (the French) more than once and it gives us strength to carry on what has indeed turned out to be a Crusade.

    Page 3: There is of course a happy side, the language. We all have a try to make them "Compre" but it's usually "No bon" so we get a pencil and fall back on signs. They all know "Bully Beef" and wonder of wonders they like Army Biscuits, phew!

    We can get no newspapers here and often wonder how the war is going. Your letters haven't caught up with us yet either but I'm not worrying as I know they must be on the way. The cake I brought back came in handy if you can start a small packet... p.t.o....

    Page 4: of Welsh Cakes on the way I shall be glad to have them.

    I went to see Mavis at Eastleigh and we had a very good evening there. I took two of the boys with me too, and one could play the piano, so we were able to have a sing along.

    Now, more than ever I would like to write lots to you, but be patient and hope I'll tell you all about it later. Give Robert a big kiss from Daddy Ben. I hope he's doing my job every day and giving you a big kiss for me. My love to Mum and Dad and all. To you dear I send all my love. Keep your chin up. Bye, bye dear, your loving husband Ben. xxx.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  17. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    There isn't a really huge amount in the Bright book: Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_0036.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

    ...on the 9th Lancers preparations to leave the UK for France, with the bit covering April-early-May: Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_0037.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

    These are some of the details that gd. put just before leaving and just after getting there:

    7880500 Trooper B Symes
    R.H.Q. 9th Lancers

    My dearest Phyl,

    They moved all the vehicles down to Southampton today so now we know what all the rumours have been worth.

    We are under canvas in a wood about a mile out of S’hampton. You can use the new address now. All those who had no leave or only a short one have been promised the first leave from France. So keep your chin up and don’t worry. Everyone here is O.K. We are quite cheerful. One of our dispatch riders missed a corner, took off, landed on a railway line and smacked his head hard against a wall, his steel had was badly dented. He
    's happy in Nettley hospital now.

    All my love is yours dear one. Cheerio Phyl dear I’ll write as often as possible, every day if I can. Love to Robert and all. From your ever loving husband Ben. XXX.

    7880500 Trooper B Symes
    R.H.Q. 9th Lancers

    Dearest Phyl,

    We are still living under the trees outside Southampton. The weather is perfect by day and cold at night but I don’t notice either heat or cold to any great extent. All our vehicles have buzzed off but they keep us busy enough checking up on folks who travel about at night. Last night one of the boys brought a Captain in because he didn’t provide enough evidence about himself. As for the jerries who come down from the sky, they’ll get a reception hot enough to cool their heels.

    Everyone seems pleased to leave Wimborne and although the Radio and Newspapers take an awful lot of trouble to make things look black we wonder what it’s all about considering we have just as many tanks as jerry, as yet unused and the movements are as leisurely as it’s possible to imagine. We think there’s a lot of foxy brains behind it and most certainly a lot of propaganda. The guns have been lashing out down here at German planes at night, as yet no one has seen or heard a plane at night. I didn’t on Fri night. South Wales is certainly catching the refugees I see, let us know how Caerphilly is taking it won’t you.

    A plane just went over its engine knocking like an old tractor.

    I haven’t been able to get out enough to visit Mavis. We are kept in until the night patrols are made out and then it’s too late to bother about going anywhere. On the way down I was called on to drive a truck as one of the drivers was threatening destruction to everyone on the road, wobbling all over the place and his passengers got out and wouldn’t take any more of it. I left all my kit in the other truck and that’s the last I saw of it till late last night, it had been dumped on the docks and left there, I was then told to drive an armoured scout car on patrol and was out nearly 24 hours, Ginger Moon found it at last or I should have been nicely in the soup. The bloke that dumped it was the one whose wife is so ill so I guess there was some excuse for him. I have written a little letter each to the Stn.Inn and Dolly just by way of a start, will you send Mavis’s address and I’ll just write them a letter sometimes.

    There isn’t an awful lot more I can write. I hope you are keeping those eyes clear of tears. I think you are. As for me, I’m alright and I shall cover my feelings as a good soldier should, it’s the only way and it gives us both peace of mind, I think.

    But I must tell you I love you Phyl, perhaps Landy
    (?) will tell you too for me in a song on your birthday, I hope so.

    A big kiss for Robert and as he’s now doing a man’s job a big arms round the neck every day and a big kiss every day for Phyl. From Ben who loves her very dearly xxx.

    Ps. I am now grateful for the pen and the watch, very grateful indeed as they are both very useful. Love to my sweetheart darling from her Ben xxx.

    7880500 Trooper B Symes
    R.H.Q. 9th Lancers

    Friday 31st

    My darling Phyl and all,

    There’s a fiddler playing “Jeepers Creepers” and if that doesn’t remind me of Rob nothing could. We are all O.K. here and at the moment are awaiting the ration lorry, we hear it has taken the wrong turning, Ration lorries do.

    Today I received the first letter you wrote after I came back from seeing you, so it's had quite a chase. I believe they will come through better now we are in an almost certain district.

    One thing you can send dear, some writing material, we just can’t get any, the French don’t use any it appears.

    Dolly wrote too, she is…

    Page 2:

    …hoping to have a child in Dec, after 10 years that’s a pretty good effort, we hope better luck for her this time, you’d better send her a letter I think.

    Two things we’ve discovered, “Haw Haw” is a liar, definitely and the B.B.C are pretty accurate.

    We shall win the war.

    The more I see of France the better I like England and our own folks, we learn as we travel about.

    I’d like to show you these places, the farms and how the folks live with the cattle even in the very good farms. They dump the manure heap just outside the front door, where we usually have a lawn, there’s no accounting for taste. They drink wine and coffee, the coffee is “Bon”, perfect.

    Page 3:

    The ration lorry has arrived.

    Lofty Brown crashed up his bus, a few nights ago and was rather cut up about it, but with no light at all it's easy to smash a car. Lofty is O.K.

    I haven’t located Buck, we passed by the Bays a few times on the road but his happy face couldn’t be found.

    I’ll drop another letter on Sat or Sun, there isn’t much to say really.

    You aren’t right about the pen Phyl dear, it’s in me pocket and as soon as there’s some ink available I’ll show you.

    I hate to think how you must be feeling…

    Page 4:

    …these days but keep your pretty chin up and all will be well.

    Tell Rob Daddy Ben sends his love and for him to give you a hug and big kiss every day for me and then when he says “what you got” he shall have a very nice souvenir.

    So cheerio for now Phyl dearest. I shall be more than glad to be with you again there’s a whole lot we didn’t know about the Boche that we know now, and we don’t like him any more for it.

    How’s the garden, and Roy and Les and everyone? Write often and tell me and if Mavis invites you to Eastleigh do go. All love to my dearest Phyl. Cheerio darling. Your loving husband Ben. XXX.

    Ps. On Tuesday it’s your birthday, I’d like to send a present but it’s impossible. Many happy days darling X.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  18. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The "Flames of War" site has a summary of "British 1st Armoured Division, France 1940 by Jonathan Forsey" here: History

    With a brief mention of the 9th Lancers: "Objective - The Somme Crossings - First to arrive in Normandy on 22 May was the Light (2nd) Brigade. While Evans was organizing this force, the Heavy Brigade was still crossing the channel. Notwithstanding this dispersal, Evans was ordered to capture and hold no fewer than four key bridgeheads across the Somme in the area of Abbeville in order to link up with the retreating BEF to the north. Unfortunately, German forces had already reached Abbeville on 20 May. Evans could not wait to consolidate what forces he had.

    As the division had lost its organic infantry, Evans was allocated three companies of the 4th Border Regiment to assist him, by way of partial compensation. There was little time for reconnaissance and as a result, 9th Lancers and 10th Hussars and the unfamiliar men of the Borders found themselves engaging German forces soon after detraining, having rushed to the front. They had no time to prepare and were tackling unknown enemy strength and a major water obstacle, but true to their traditions did not hesitate to throw themselves into their unenviable task

    Such French reports as were available advised that the area near the river was thinly held by light advance German forces lacking anti-tank equipment. In fact, the Somme crossings Evans had been tasked with taking were well held by German infantry, shoring up the flanks of the advancing Panzer formations. The collapse of French forces north of the river and the speed of the German advance meant that neither Evans nor his allies had any accurate information as to the enemy dispositions."

    And a summary: "Overall, the experience of 1st Armoured Division in France was frustrating and perilous. By the time of its deployment, the division was facing a collapsing front and its dispersal as a cohesive formation before even a shot was fired. Added to that was an awkward, cumbersome command structure and relations with its allies which were strained from the outset because of the tremendous pressure the allies were under given the successes of the German assault. Some valuable lessons were learned, but at great cost. Above all, however, the bravery of the men of the division was never in doubt."
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
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  19. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  20. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Brigadier Christopher Peto:


    & https://www.bidefordarchive.org.uk/featured-articles?id=541


    The 24th L Wardiary, incidentally, also has this -

    Tuesday 26/11/41 Brigadier.C Peto, congratulates 24th Lancers on having no absentees or deserters during October 1941. This is the first occasion in the Bde records of a unit having no absentees for a month.

    Thursday 28/11/41 Brigadier Peto, attended finals of inter-squadron Novices Boxing Tournament and presented prizes.
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