Pte. 26754, 1st (V) ILH "B" Coy

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by 1stILHGG, May 30, 2014.

  1. 1stILHGG

    1stILHGG New Member


    Researching my great grandfather John Christian William Handford b. 31/03/1903 d. 21/01/1978.

    He joined 17/06/1940. He served in North Africa in 1941-1942. He was captured and was a POW from 20/06/1942-12/05/1945.

    I'd love to know what other information might be gleaned from the attachment. There's another annotation simply stating "Advised Gold Prod. Com. P. F. No. 21794.

    Everything I've read thus far would suggest he was captured at the 1942 Siege of Tobruk; "the greatest military reversal of South African arms" - Major DB Katz.

    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Welcome to the forum.
    I have no clue on South African Units.
    I don't even know who the ILH were . (Imperial Light Horse???)
    It's best to keep the 'User Intro' section of the forum just to say 'hello' & introduce yourself & keep actual queries for the relevent sections of the forum, ie South African , PoW etc etc.
    Cheers & good luck with your research.
  3. DianeE

    DianeE Member

  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a summary of the service of the Imperial Light Horse in WWII. Your grandfather served with the 1st Battalion, which was not directly tied into the Fall of Tobruk. Unfortunately, 'B' Company of the 1st Battalion was detached to an 'ad hoc' formation called Blake Group that served under 4th South Infantry Brigade during the Fall of Tobruk on June 20th, 1942. This group consisted of 'B' Company, 1st Imperial Light Horse as well as a company each of the 1st Battalion, Royal Durban Light Infantry, and the 1st Battalion, Rand Light Infantry.

    The Imperial Light Horse

    Johannesburg, Transvaal
    Formation Date
    1st Battalion - 21 September 1899
    2nd Battalion - 1 November 1939
    Previous Number
    5th Mounted Rifles
    4th Hussars
    1st Battalion - 8 June 1940
    2nd Battalion - 10 June 1940
    1st Battalion - N/A
    2nd Battalion - 3 October 1940
    Title Changes
    1st Battalion
    The Imperial Light Horse - Late June 1943
    The Imperial Light Horse/Kimberley Regiment - 5 October 1943
    2nd Battalion
    13th Armoured Car Company (2nd Imperial Light Horse), SATC - 3 October 1940 at Premier Mine
    Battle Honours
    1st Battalion
    Maria Belafarit, Bardia 1942, Gazala, Bir Temrad, Zt el Mrasses, Tobruk 1942, Alamein Defence, Alamein Box, Alem el Halfa, El Alamein, Western Desert 41-42, Cassino II, Rome, The Tiber, Celleno, The Chiusi, Sinalunga, Florence, The Greve, Gothic Line, Monte Porro del Bagno, Monte Vigese, Monte Salvaro, Po Valley, Finale, Italy 44-45
    2nd Battalion
    See 6th South African Armoured Car Regiment

    The 1st Battalion served with the 3rd South African Infantry Brigade from mobilization until April 1943. A detachment of 400 men helped to form A and B Companies of 2nd South African Divisional Transport in Kenya in January 1941. It sailed from Durban on 20 April 1941 and then served in the Western Desert until January 1943. ‘B’ Company was attached to Blake Group in the desert for a while. The battalion returned to Suez on 1 October 1943 and came under command of 11th South African Armoured Brigade on 5 October 1943. It left for Italy on 14-16 April 1944 and arrived on 20-21 April 1944. It came under command of 13th South African Motor Brigade on 13 January 1945 and remained with it until the end of the campaign in Italy.
    The battalion (less ‘B’ Company) moved to Milan in July 1945 and remained there until August. It then was amalgamated as the Imperial Light Horse/Kimberley Regiment/Pretoria Regiment (Princess Alice’s Own). This combined battalion came under command of 11th South African Armoured Brigade in Turin. The battalion was again combined further as the Imperial Light Horse/Kimberley Regiment/Pretoria Regiment (Princess Alice’s Own)/Prince Alfred’s Guard/Special Service Battalion in October and moved to Alassio in November. It embarked from Taranto on 19 December 1945 and arrived at Port Said on 22 December. It then moved to Helwan before moving by air to Johannesburg.
    The 2nd Battalion transferred to the South African Tank Corps on 3 October 1940, when it was converted to 13th Armoured Car Company.
  5. 1stILHGG

    1stILHGG New Member

    Thanks for all the replies!

    Owen, I'll create a new thread in POW section; mea culpa.

    DianeE, seems Louis Gladstone "...served in North Africa until the end of 1942, and while there was granted a week's leave in May 1942". My great grandfather was missing believed POW June 20th, 1942. I wonder how much leave Louis Gladstone got and whether that's what saved him becoming a POW. Lucky, lucky man!

    dryan67, seems my great grandfather was wounded and remained on duty June 7th, 1942. The record then states "Posted to X3 list 20/06/1942" which is the same day he was missing believed POW. I wonder what the X3 list was?
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    this thread explains the X List.
    See X(iii) to answer your query.


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