Bren Gun Carrier - Unit ID and Markings

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by Raymond Bell, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Raymond Bell

    Raymond Bell Junior Member


    Sorry I have been AWOL for a while

    I am asking for help on the markings on a photo of a carrier attached

    I believe it belonged to 2nd Battalion Glasgow Highlanders "S" Company (Support Company) - as part of the 15th Scottish Division because of the Lion Divisional sign on the vehicle

    What does the 61 mean?? and there is either the letter "S" or Number "5" - if it is an "S" did this represent "S" Support Company or is it a number 5??

    The reason I am asking is that I am trying to help a member of the Glasgow Highlanders Association who is trying to find out about his wife's relative a - Lt AM Loudon killed in 1944. He was the carrier platoon commander with Support Company 2 Glasgow Highlanders and they think this may be an actual photo of him in the lead vehicle.

    The vehicle behind has the name "Loch Lomond" across the front of it -

    I would like to thank the forum for any assistance

    Raymond Bell

    Attached Files:

  2. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    The '61' means the 2nd Batt of the 2nd Inf Brigade. As the markings are for 15th Inf Division this means 2nd Batt Glasgow Highlanders in 46th Inf Brigade. The '5' is the bridge classification and the second vehicle is a Loyd carrier which would fit for a support Company.
    This is one of a series of photos (B8190-B8207) taken of infantry and carriers of 15th Division during BLUECOAT 30-31st July 1944.
    Ken P and Owen like this.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I have him in the March Officer Field Returns as a Platoon Commander. Here's the entry in the units war diary covering his death.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheeky map of the area
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    He doesn't get a mention in the Regimental History but there is a typed account in the war diary of the battle he was killed in which states it is thought he was killed by a sniper in a cornfield.
  8. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    The photo was taken in late July so it can not be him.
  9. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Great chart, but it should be noted that, while it is accurate for 1944 and 1945, the numbers (and to some extent the colours) were different earlier in the war. To be more accurate you need a table which applies to the period you are representing; to be dead accurate you need a good photo!

  10. Raymond Bell

    Raymond Bell Junior Member

    Thank you guys for all the info - To M Kenny as you said if the photos were from a batch taken in July 44 then the lad in the photo can't be Lt Loudon as the family thought (Hoped).

    What an amazing site and you guys too. who are always keen to jump in and help people looking for information

    Drew where did you get the war diary and do you have the 1st Battalion Glasgow Highlanders? as I deal with the GH Association and deal with their newsletter and normally do association event lists and short stories on the GH for the members I have quite a few books on them and their history but mostly WW1

    May I wish all the members best wishes for the future


  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    Sorry to be such a rivet-counter, but the vehicle is a Universal Carrier rather than the earlier 'Bren'...and if anyone's interested, the motorcycle looks to be a BSA WM20.

    'Drew' of course always tries to keep his sources secret, but he has a compulsive addiction the National Archives and an over-active digital camera !
    Drew5233 likes this.
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I have copies of all the 1st and 2nd Bn war diaries covering WW2 from 1939 to the end of 1945
  13. nige51

    nige51 Member

    Hi everyone. It is my wife's uncle, Lt. A.M.Loudon, who we are trying to locate. I had contacted Raymond for help and he beat me to it on this site, where I am a member as well. The war diaries were brilliant, thanks. Now we have a clearer picture on our way to finding him. Lt.Loudons death is mentioned in the Concise History of the 2nd Glasgow Highlanders. As far as the photo of the carrier is concerned, when I found this photo it was credited to the Epsom campaign. Can you verify the other location source please as we do think the likeness of the commander to Lt.Loudon is staggering.
    Also there is a report of two GH carriers getting caught up in a minefield with some deaths in their crews around the attack on Cheux. Is there anything in the diaries detailing this? Also is their a map to the east of the one shown for the GH?

    Briefly Lt.Loudons story through the family was he was shot by a sniper as he went forward to help one of his platoon. The others in his platoon had to escape as the Germans pushed into the area. They returned back the following day with padre James Taylor to recover the bodies. When they found Lt.Loudon they discovered his watch, compass and id tags had been taken but luckily he was identified by one of his platoon who had been with him when he was shot, Pvt. Archie Mason. Lt.Loudon was buried where he fell in a ditch at the side of an orchard by the padre. Unfortunately the padre was killed a day later. We know he had reported back to the c/o that evening as Lt.Loudon is mentioned on the Bayeux Panels, but what we don't know is whether the padre managed to tell the Graves Detachment the location of the grave before he was killed. We are now trying to locate relatives of the padre in the hope they may have the padres personal notebook where padres entered all the caualty details of burial location and personal items collected from the body. This is proving difficult because of data protection so will need to advertise I think!

    Thanking you all for amazing help so far.
    Nigel Watson
  14. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Pvt is American.
    Pte is the British way of shortening Private.
  16. nige51

    nige51 Member

  17. nige51

    nige51 Member

    Pte it is then, thanks

  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Dated 29th May an account of the battle states the Padre was killed by a mortar shell that scored a direct hit on the RAP Truck and wounding the MO Captain T S Maw RAMC.
  20. nige51

    nige51 Member

    Thanks for that Drew. We actually found his gravestone, paying our respects, when we were looking for Lt.Loudons. Some details of the padres death vary slightly too. For instance he is reported dying on the 30th from his injuries and although seemingly incidental to our search, it may be important as to whether his notebook survived the blast.

    It would be handy if I lived nearer the NA that's for sure.


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