Corporal William Patrick Clancy 61st and 49th recce

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Brian Clancy, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Brian Clancy

    Brian Clancy Junior Member

    Other than seeing him in a photo, his army book, and general war diary acounts, I have no other details of his involvement. I remember him mentioning that he fought with Arthur English, the comedian.
    Haas anybody got any other references that might include him?

    Corporal William Patrick Clancy 15.3.1940 Joined up in Belfast
    assigned to the Royal Berkshires at Blandford, Dorset. For 3 months
    Worcs. Regiment 12.6.1940 -15.11.1941
    Recce Corps RAC 6.11.1941
    43rd Wessex
    61st Reconnaissance Regiment
    ‘B’ Squadron (from mid-November 1943)
    wounded 27th July 1944 head shot. Treated in Bayeux hospital and returned to unit 6th August
    transferred to 49th West Riding Recce in feb 1945

    demob 23.3.1946
  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Brian,

    The 61st Recce Regiment was formed in 1941 from the various units within the 61st Infantry Division. The 61st Infantry Division was relegated to Home Service in 1943.

    Not happy with this, the CO 61 Recce, Lt-Col, Sir William Mount, Bt, TD., (this is a grandfather of the ex-PM David Cameron) was able to obtain a transfer for 61st Recce to the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, which was scheduled as an assault division on D-Day but which did not have a recce regiment.

    So, 61st Recce served with 50 Div from 24 January 1944 to circa 30 November 1944, including landing on Gold Beach on D-Day, the fighting in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, etc. The 50 Div had had a long and hard fought war, and was to be sent home as a training cadre and its short-service troops being sent to other units requiring replacements. The 61st Recce Regiment was taken out of the line and was to be so broken-up. However, the Germans launched their Ardennes Offensive - the Battle of the Bulge.

    Fait had intervened, and 61st Recce was reprieved and thrust as an Independent recce regiment into the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and January 1945.

    It’s commanding officer announced, again, on the 5 February 1945 that 61 Recce Regiment was to be broken up and its troops sent as replacements to the other recce regiments fighting in NW Europe. This probably explains Cpl. Clancy’s transfer to the 49th Recce in February 1945.

    It is not known what happened to the War Diaries for the 23 February to 1 October 1944, but they are 'missing' and there are a few threads on this forum that attest to this fact. So no help for you there.

    There is a book about the 61st Recce: 'Beaten Paths Are Safest - From D-Day to the Ardennes: Memories of the 61st Reconnaisance Regiment: 50th (TT) Northumbrian Division' (Howard). The book is an mix of the author's memories (he served with 'A' Sqdn) and material from the Old Comrades Association newsletter. It has no index. However, on page 124 some details are recorded by Trooper Eric Brewer 14631319, 13 Troop, ‘B’ Squadron, for the 27 July 1944, which state:
    Are you sure Cpl Clancy received a head shot, rather than a hand shot?

    I should be able to provide further information on the 61st Recce if required by you?!?



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