Anyone with relatives in the SRY - Sherwood Rangers - on here?

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Ramiles, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. GeorgiaPugh16

    GeorgiaPugh16 Member

    Thank you very much for the links.
    Those photographs are fantastic! Unfortunately my grandma never met Thomas Fothergill and also doesn't have a photograph so it's frustrating knowing he could be on that B squadron picture but can't be identified :/
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Georgia,

    I meant to ask - but forgot ! - if your member pic / avatar was "him" - but I guess not!

    I think "Karlmcd" has been making an effort to put names to the faces in these pics so by a process (and a bit of time!) you never know!

    Ps. Re.. quote from your post #8 above...

    "And this is a long shot but I have desperately trying to find out about my great grandfather, Thomas's brother.
    His name was Albert Fothergill and was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals.
    Service no, 62114

    He served in Egypt, East Africa, Western Desert, Sudan, Greece, Crete, Syria and Tobruk. He won a gallantry award (mentioned in des patches) but we have no idea what for as he didn't speak about the war and died 12 years after it ended. Any info or directions to look would be incredibly helpful as I have searched and searched."

    Maybe you could start a new thread on him - titled something like "Albert Fothergill - Lance Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals" - as there are those with an interest in the "Royal Corps of Signals" - who would very quickly see this - whereas they might not be glancing into a thread on the SRY - and might have missed your 2nd question there :)
  3. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Thomas Fothergill (4615266) originally enlisted in the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding). His route into the Royal Armoured Corps may have been a result of four Infantry Battalions of the Duke's being converted to Armoured Regiments in 1941/42.

    8th Battalion became the 145th Regiment RAC
    9th Battalion became the 146th Regiment RAC
    2/6th Battalion became the 114th Regment RAC
    2/7th Battalion became the 115th Regiment RAC

    At some point he was transferred to the SRY, all of this could be confirmed with a copy of his service records.
    Good luck with your research
    karlmcd likes this.
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Georgia and Guy

    ..........or, if you don't want to wait for the Service Records, you could contact the Library at the Bovington Tank Museum and, for £5, they will email you a copy of his Royal Armoured Corps Tracer Card. The Tracer Card is a simple file card document that describes his various postings but with none of the other detail. I and others have used this quick and simple approach and, in the case of my fathers Card, it was probably the best £5 investment I've made in my 20years of research.
    ozzy16 and Guy Hudson like this.
  5. GeorgiaPugh16

    GeorgiaPugh16 Member

    My profile picture is in fact Albert and thanks for the tip! My grandma is actually going to order a copy of his military records as she is the next of kin so hopefully we'll find out what he got up to during the war, but I also think starting a thread would be a good idea.

    Thank you very much! I think I'll need to get in touch with Thomas's daughter, who I've never met....I'm not sure what she knows but I think there's a good chance she would have done some research, and surely has his record.

    Thank you! I didn't know about that, that's also worth doing.

    Good luck with your research too guys,
  6. GeorgiaPugh16

    GeorgiaPugh16 Member

  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    I too would highly recommend your getting in touch with Bovington - and especially asking for his tracer card etc. Never know where this might lead!

    Here's my gd's example -


    ...but you never know what might be on yours. They provide a handy word doc on what the codes mean - but plenty on here should be able to help you with those. It would be fascinating if he were in that B squadron pic - but the SRY has a war diary with a list of them just prior to D-Day - and I think I looked through them fairly carefully and didn't seem to see his name there - however I may have missed it - so perhaps he joined the SRY a bit later in their campaign. Having his tracer card / and or full record should however help clear things up a bit more, and shouldn't really take that much more time, especially not the tracer card - which for me took about a hour - if that! to get :)

    At the mo. my haphazard assumption would be that he might perhaps have been in Sgt. Wilson's tank - and so any ref to this - Sgt or tank in docs or books etc. might bring out more "clues" that said though it is quite a bit of detective work and of course any number of potential pitfalls / false leads that one might stumble across.

    As you say - good luck with your - further - research too!

    All the best,

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I recently saw another set of 3 interviews with David Render here...

    A Turret View of Normandy – Part 1: Talking with Tank Commander Captain David Render
    A Turret View of Normandy – Part 1: Talking with Tank Commander Captain David Render

    "The SRY went to war on horse-back in September 1939, were blooded in North Africa at Tobruk and El Alamein against Rommel’s Afrika Korps, then in June 1944 landed on Gold Beach on D-Day and battled their way at the spear-head with the rest of 8th Armoured Brigade through the Normandy bocage, into France, Belgium and Holland before reaching Bremen, amassing a staggering thirty battle honours along the way.

    David Render joined the regiment in Normandy on D+5 as a 19 year old 2nd Lt fresh from Sandhurst.

    In this very first episode, we discuss David’s childhood and growing up in London, being evacuated to the countryside as well as the Blitz. We look at his brother’s army service in France around Dunkirk in 1940, before then turning to David’s own experience of joining the army, training and everything that entailed including learning how to drive a tank, and then finally to the crucial moment when training becomes reality, the crossing of the channel on D+2 to Normandy to join up with his future regiment."

    A Turret View of Normandy – Part 2: Talking with Tank Commander Captain David Render
    A Turret View of Normandy – Part 2: Talking with Tank Commander Captain David Render

    "In this episode, Part 2 of A Turret View of Normandy, we rejoin Captain David Render of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry as he recalls the bitter reality of life and conditions inside a Sherman Tank during the Second World War.

    In this session we learn about the horrific casualties sustained by the Regiment as they fought their way through the Normandy bocage and towards Germany, and just to give you an idea of what David faced during this period, the average life expectancy of a Tank Commander was just two weeks.

    We also discuss the tactics employed by both sides, the constant threat from snipers in the bocage, a first encounter with a Panzerfaust, losing a tank on mines, a few tricks of the trade that helped keep David and his crew alive, Operation Pepperpot and much much more."

    A Turret View of Normandy – Part 3: Talking with Tank Commander Captain David Render
    A Turret View of Normandy – Part 3: Talking with Tank Commander Captain David Render

    "In our third and final episode of speaking with Captain David Render about his experiences as a Tank Troop Commander with the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in WW2, we discover the differences between the Allied and German Tanks, the German Tiger and Panther’s vulnerabilities, the reality of running these gigantic machines – which meant fuel and a lot of it. We also learn how best to force the German Tanks out of hiding and the way in which David would employ his troop to deal with this threat.

    We hear about a few very close calls, including a friendly fire incidence with Hawker Typhoons, and also discover the reality of mail, post & censorship on the front line, as well as finally discussing the history behind the tactics that were taught at Sandhurst to David during his time here."
  10. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  11. karlmcd

    karlmcd Junior Member

    thanks Tony...looks good....Im hoping to travel with Render to Normandy this June..fingers crossd
  12. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    The book is great for giving the 'mood music' of what it was like to be in a tank in WW2. To me it reads as if it is mainly his present recollections and some 'interesting facts' that were provided to him for inclusion in order to make the book more appealing to anoraks. I recognise quite a bit of this incidental detail from older SRY books. The perils of such an approach are best illustrated by the claim Dring was commander of a Firefly which is obvious incorrect if you look at the photo of him and his crew included in the book. I suspect Tootal may have had something to do with these diversions and I think they detract from the Author's story
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    QRLNY Museum

    Museum Virtual Tour
    "The virtual tour takes you on a walk through our museum at Thoresby,using 46 images of the fascinating display. View the tour as a slide show lasting three minutes, or download all 46 slides as a PDF document to scroll through at your own speed."

    Shows the SRYs long history - not just WW2.

    And re. Quote above: "The perils of such an approach are best illustrated by the claim Dring was commander of a Firefly which is obvious incorrect if you look at the photo of him and his crew included in the book."

    Fascinating! It's a 5 man crew in a Firefly? For me the picture foreshortens things (and someone is sitting in front of what would be the radio normally mounted in the back of the turret (which in Firefly tanks had to be moved); and the armoured box (a "bustle") which was attached to the back of the turret to house it, with access through a large hole cut through the back of the turret.

    Looked on: Tank Action

    And the IWM linK The crew of a Sherman tank named 'Akilla' of 1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, 8th Armoured Brigade, after having destroyed five German tanks in a day, Rauray, 30 June 1944. Left to right: Sgt J Dring; Tpr Hodkin, Tpr A Denton; Tpr E Bennett; L/Cpl S Gould. THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE NORMANDY CAMPAIGN 1944 (B 6222)

    And on: Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry - Wikipedia

    I had a look also on here:

    Which has: AKILLA 996 Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, 8th Armoured Brigade A Sqn M4A4, Sherman Mk VC Firefly T 146929 NW Europe 1944 Sgt. G. Dring British Tanks in Normandy - Ludovic Fortin Yes

    Dring is mentioned a few times in "An Englishman at War" :
    An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939-1945

    But no Akilla: An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939-1945

    But it does say; An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939-1945

    "With his tank 75mm" - so not a Firefly.

    Perhaps it's just that assumption again that a German tank killer had to be a Firefly not a Sherman 75mm. :unsure:

    Ps. Also... OVERLORD'S BLOG: A Killa Sherman

    Has...."And here’s where a few sources start to get mixed up. Some say Sgt Dring was in command of a Firefly. His tank originally was called "Achilles", however by now Sgt Dring had the nickname "killer" as soon his tank was renamed "Akilla". Pictures of Sgt Dring and his tank clearly show it to be a 75mm armed Sherman."

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Tony56 likes this.
  15. karlmcd

    karlmcd Junior Member

    And what a trip it was....WOW
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Did anyone count the number of SRY veterans there ;-)
  17. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Big ask but......What was the itinerary? Bayeux Memorial on the 7th? Then to St Pierre Memorial and Tilly sur Seulles? Was Mike the 'chap in charge'? Stephane Jacquet there? Trip to Le Hamel Gold Beach?.......sorry for the questions.......been there with them a few times but sadly not this time. Photos?.........
  18. karlmcd

    karlmcd Junior Member

    Rob, Tpr. Graham Stevenson showed up, he and I had a bite of lunch together (literally side by side)and several glasses of sparkling wine. Im still reeling, not from the wine, !!! Also with him was a chap called Karl Konig. He is an ex-21. Panzer Div vet who fought the SRY at Tebaga Gap, was taken PoW by the Americans, 25 years ago he tracked down the Regiment he had fought against and has become an honourary Sherwood Ranger...Both great guys and we had many laughs along the way. It was unbelievable
  19. karlmcd

    karlmcd Junior Member

    Ask away...theres so much to tell.
    I met the coach in Portsmouth on the sunday evening, we took the overnight to Ouistreham. there was also another coach on the ferry, the Arnold branch of the SRY Assoc., they were taking in the american beaches and sites and doing their own thing, taking a fully stocked bar along with them!
    I was on the coach headed by Capt.Mike Elliott ,(is that the chap in charge?.). and Col Jonathon Hunt (author of two SRY histories and their former Col.)..there was Brigadier on board too, the present Col..Mark Smith, a lovely man ,several SSM, three serving members, a Royal Military Policeman also ex-SRY, a bugler, the Padre of the Royal Yeomanry, an ex- Royal Signals lady who is now a nurse, married to a SR, a couple of others...and myself!! Paddy Irishman!....We hit if off immediately!...the only thing lacking was a bar!
    We were straight off the boat Monday morning, and straight to the hotel at Bayeux, where we picked up some of those who i just mentioned and left straight away for Point 103..the time is 0930!
    On this first day we visit Point 103, Tilly, Fontenay, 'Semkens Tiger' location, David Renders routes etc, Villar-Bocage, Hill 112 , with lunch in Tilly.
    Back to the hotel by 1730..Dins is at 1930...I visit Bayeux war cemetery in between, its 200m from the hotel, I also find a bar thats open..its a national holiday in France and everywhere is closed!!
    Dinner sat beside the Padre,..Mark Chester..the wife of Capt.Nick Robinson, a biochemist, can't remember her name.., Don Brown SRY who is the welfare officer in the Asscociation and 2/Lt. Alaister Coombe, a serving Sherwood Ranger...our little huddle, we have dins and just chat socially..fantastic.
    After dins, myself and two SRY lads who served in the 80s, head into Bayeux town and find an Irish/French Bar, great atmosphere, we chat to several lads who are there to commemorate one relative or another, ,,our honour guard join us, the serving members, a L/cpl..a 2ndLt and a Capt...their captain is a spirited fellow who spends most of the tour recovering at the back of the bus....they have little or no knowledge of the history of the SRY...we gel..!
    And all fall home....
    That was DAY 1
    Ramiles likes this.
  20. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Fantastic. That is indeed the 'Mike chap in charge' I was referring to. You clearly had an exceptional time and was in very good hands. I think Karl Konig is the chap who had his photo taken with the late great Ken Ewing (ex SRY who fought all the way from the desert to the Baltic) in front of the Bovington Tiger tank a few years ago. The places you visited are all totally iconic as far as Normandy is concerned and, in many respects, far more relevant to visit than the beaches - as my late father said 'was only on the beach for a few minutes and a lot longer elsewhere on my only Continental holiday ever'.

    I now look forwards to your report for Day 2.....assuming you survived the bars until then! Brilliant.
    karlmcd likes this.

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