9th Queens Lancers

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by VicInIbstock, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. VicInIbstock

    VicInIbstock Member

    Hi Folks

    Anyone out there know anything about what the Royal Armoured Corps 9th Queens Lancers were up to on 2nd & 3rd July 1942. I'm trying to find what actions led up to the death of Trooper Robert H Bailess 7942031.

  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron


    Specifics I can't give, but I can approximately place them in the El Alamein area following the Battle of Gazala. For specifics I would suggest the war diary:

    WO 169/44819 Queen's Royal Lancers 1942 Jan.- Dec.

    which is available from the National Archives in Kew. If you are unable to visit there are a number of members here, Drew5233, and PsyWar.Org (among otheres), who may be able to help.

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I have a copy of the above diary-I'll have a look when I get time :)
  4. pensioner1938

    pensioner1938 Member

    I have the names of the men of the 9th Lancers named in the Roll of Honor for those who gave their lives during World War two. There is no Trooper Robert H Bailess listed, however there is a Trooper C Bayliss who died in Italy on 5.9.1944

    I had another look at the list and he is listed,he died on 3.7.1942.
  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is what I have:

    On 24 June the regiment was located at Amiriya in the Delta. Between 26 and 30 June 1942 ‘A’ Squadron was under command of 4th Armoured Brigade. On 30 June ‘C’ Squadron left for Khataba and it was replaced by ‘C’ Squadron of the 4th Hussars. A composite ‘A’/’C’ Squadron remained with the 4th Hussars from 1 to 25 July 1942.
  6. pensioner1938

    pensioner1938 Member


    Sorry I did reply to your PM but the only information I have is the names on the 9th Lancer war memorial who gave their lives in 3:7:42.
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Essentially 9th Lancers were a part of 2nd AB in 1st AD but at the Gazala Gallop - all Tank units took a beating and were broken up and sent to other bdes to give them some strength on the way back to El Alamein which they di on July 1st but Rommel kept on a few days more until he too was tired of it all.... before Wadi El Halpha - the 2nd bde and 1st AD were sorted out and were composed of 4QH as recce unit - Queens Bays - 9th & 10th Lancers - their finest battle was at El Hamma's famous left hook - then on to Italy where they took another bad beating and were disbanded after the Gothic Line battles

  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    From The Ninth Queen's Royal Lancers 1936 to 1945 by Joan Bright

    After a night of bombing we packed up again and set off down the coast road, strangely empty of traffic. As we moved off, the last train came down the single desert line, a tremendous affair of some 300 trucks hauled by 3 engines and pushed by 2. In the rosy dawn the last squadron of fighters took off from Fuka aerodrome and wheeled eastwards. By midday enemy tanks had cut the main road where we had spent the night of the 26th/27th of June.

    Feeling like a lost tribe of Israel, we camped that night on the staging ground at Imayid, thirty miles from Alexandria, still wondering who was going to stop the rot, and hoping hard that A Squadron was alright. On the 30th June we got a few tanks, six Grants for B Squadron and nine Cruisers. C Squadron left in wheeled vehicles for Khatatba, and we were given C Squadron, 4th Hussars, under Major T I Taylor, to make up two squadrons. A composite echelon was formed and, much to everyone's relief, the Medical Officer of the 4th Hussars took over the medical arrangements of the regiment; it was a great comfort to feel that there was a capable doctor with the tanks of the Regimental Headquarters. Horrible things can happen in tanks, and many lives were saved having a doctor on the spot. We were always lucky in our doctors: all three received Military Crosses, and never hesitated to dive into the thick of the fighting when a call for help came.

    On the 1st of July we moved across to the Tank Delivery Regiment at Ikingi and took over all the available tanks remaining in Eygpt at that time. The Army Commander had issued the order 'Send up your best team- suggest 9th Lancers' a message of which the Regiment had every right to be proud.

    With 12 Grants and 4 Crusaders, B Squadron was ready first and moved up along to join Brigadier Carr and the 22nd Armoured Brigade. By the 2nd, C Squadron, 4th Hussars, had 8 General Lees and 4 Grants, and a composite squadron of A and C crews had 8 rather old Cruisers. These were commanded by Captain George Meyrick. We moved off through Burg el Arab, and spent the night by Hammam station.

    Our orders were to report to the 22nd Armoured Brigade as soon as possible. Early on the 3rd of July we moved up, and on reaching Rear Divisional Headquarters the Colonel went in to ask for 24 hours in which to test guns, adjust sights and telescopes and carry out the hundred and one other things necessary to a new tank. The answer was startling: 'Get down that ridge as fast as you can-there's an enemy tank attack coming in and there's very little to stop it'.

    The Colonel hopped back into his tank and we hurried down the ridge-the now famous Ruweisat Ridge-passing Main Division, then Brigade, through the gun lines and then into a curtain of shell fire with which the enemy saw fit to greet our arrival. Here we joined B Squadron, which had already had trouble with it's Cruisers. Captain Laurie, with his tank, was towing Captain Laing's, which in turn was towing SSM Huxford in a scout car. Captain Laurie's explanation of this rather odd spectacle was: 'Well, I do like having my headquarters where I know what they are doing'.

    There was no sign of enemy tanks, so B Squadron was deployed across the hog's-back of the ridge, with the 4th Hussars squadron in reserve. They were new to tank fighting and the Colonel was anxious to give them time to watch and shake down. In the hour's lull there was time to look around.

    Though we did not fully realise it at the time, this was the centre of the Alamein Line. To the north stretched a sand-sea for nearly eight miles, ending on the low escarpment over which ran the one and only coast road. The north end was held by the Australians and South Africans. To the south the ground fell away to the lip of the Qattara Depression, an impassable obstacle even to tanks. In the centre was the Ruweisat Ridge, running for ten miles east and west. Our enemies held the far end.

    As we waited, evening drew on and from out of the west came a familiar sound - The drone of a squadron of dive-bombers. Everyone who was outside his tank climbed briskly in, and then watched while 9 Stukas started circling overhead. Then we saw, high up in the sky and heading for home, a patrol of Hurricanes. Would they see the Stukas? No; they kept steadily on. Then, as the first black vulture came diving down, the leader of the Hurricanes spotted them. The whole patrol seemed to fall out of the sky and in a few seconds they were tearing into the bombers. Eight of them crashed in flames in as many seconds and the ninth was trying to get away at a hundred feet with two Hurricanes on its tail. Everyone stood up and cheered themselves hoarse.

    No sooner had the excitement died down than B Squadron rear link, Captain Peter Laing, reported a strong force of enemy tanks coming along the south side of the ridge. B moved up a bit and then began shooting. In the dusk the red tracer behind the armour-piercing shells sailed down on the enemy tanks and soon they began to burn. 'One-two-three-there's five-no, six!-no, eight on fire!' an excited voice came on the air. They tried to dodge the fire, but within ten minutes twelve tanks were blazing. That stopped them and for a few moments they tried to shoot it out with B before turning tail. B Squadron's shooting that evening was superb. Later on a message came from General Ritchie: 'Well done the Ninth!'

    Shortly after this we received the bad news that Major Sir Peter Farquhar had been badly wounded. He had gone back to the Tank Delivery Regiment to bring on a few more tanks, and was returning in his Fordson Car when two Ju.88's, diving out of the sun, riddled it with bullets. Trooper Kelly had also been seriously wounded and died shortly afterwards. We could ill afford such a loss.

    This attack proved to be the last real attempt of the Africa Korps to break through to Alexandria until the next big offensive in August.

    The thirty enemy tanks which were routed that evening represented all that Rommel could muster, yet they would have been enough to break through the fragile line which was just beginning to take shape. By the grace of God the remaining British armour, represented by a mixture of Queen's Bays, 4th and 10th Hussars and 9th Lancers, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J R Macdonell, was in exactly the right place and took such toll that the enemy was afterwards unable to mount more than local attacks until the Eighth Army was again organised.

    The British public knew nothing of the events that evening except perhaps an announcement of 'another armoured clash'. How much had depended on B Squadron's gunners that night was only known to a few, but some weeks later General McCreery said, in his quiet way, to the Colonel: 'You know, Ronald, you saved Egypt that evening.' And we like to think that it was true......
  10. VicInIbstock

    VicInIbstock Member

    It's taken me a while to get back around to this thread - the Great War got in the way. I'm now back on topic and wanted to say a belated thank you to all that contributed, very helpful as per usual with this forum.
  11. Sally gibson

    Sally gibson New Member

    Hello there.
    I'm new to this site and not very good with my history. :/ However, I've found this thread and wondered if any more info had been found by vicinibstock about Trooper Robert Henry Bailiss.
    I'm doing my family tree on my husbands side at the moment. The family are from Ibstock and I'm curious about finding out more.
    Robert is 2nd great Uncle to my husband.
    I have done lots of google searches and found memorials etc.
    It would be lovely to find out more :)
    Many Thanks for reading my message
  12. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum has a searchable website: http://www.9th12thlancersmuseum.org/

    And searchable regimental histories: http://www.9th12thlancersmuseum.org/archive/journals/regimental-histories

    I tried the contact page a while back: Contact - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

    And found them very helpful.

    Bovington may perhaps be able to help with a tracer card, casualty cards, transcribed wardiaries etc (I think, though I'm not sure that they have those of the 9th L): http://www.tankmuseum.org/schools-and-research/bovart53435

    Do you happen to have a picture of "Trooper Robert Henry Bailiss" Sally, or know at the moment when he joined the 9th L?

    All the best,

  13. Sally gibson

    Sally gibson New Member

    That's great, thank you so much.
    I'm hoping to get my hands on 3 suitcases of photos soon from my husbands side, although there are only a few that can be identified at the minute. :/ I have never seen these photos before, so something may come up? There is a family bible too from his wifes family - Vera Mason. Robert is mentioned in this as marrying Vera.
    I'll let you know if I find at photos that may be Robert.
    Many thanks for your help
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    When I heard from: Contact - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

    They had a nice little summary - I'll have to find and post in edit here - but for instance: - for me -

    "If you have a photograph of Sergeant Symes we would be most grateful for a copy to add to our records"

    So they do have some photos of past 9th L's and are trying to grow the collection there ;-)

    All the best,

  15. Sally gibson

    Sally gibson New Member

    I'm just about to take a look at the links you've suggested.
    If I find anything I'll let you know.
    Kind Regards
  16. John beare

    John beare New Member

    My father was in the 9th qrl in ww2 , he spoke very little about the war apart from his “ medals were not worth the metal they were made from “ I know his unit missed El Alamein but I have a war diary ? ( not like any others I have been shown ) it was written by the commander in chief , it runs through all the battles from the saturno to the po in Italy , it says the force became known as the “ private army “ despite a visit to derby 9th /1 12 th qrl museum and research on the internet I have never been able to find out any more , all I get is popskis private army
  17. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi John,

    That would be "Price's Private Army". See here: Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_324.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

  18. John beare

    John beare New Member

    BFBSM likes this.
  19. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    Excellent. That diary must be an interesting read.

    John beare likes this.
  20. John beare

    John beare New Member

    Yes I have read it a few times runs through the training , the units that took part in the battles , maps for each battle even down to how many prisoners ( men horses and even dogs ) how much enemy equipment was captured or destroyed , the only annoying thing is my father would never talk about the war , so I can’t find out off him anymore about this diary , I know that there is at least two other copies surviving ( I believe one in the national archives plus another somewhere plus my fathers ) according to research I have done
    BFBSM likes this.

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