Royal Armoured Corps / Royal Dragoons question

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Pete Keane, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    Not a branch of the service I have any knowledge of.

    This qustion relates to a Trooper Peter Hemsworth Duke.

    Service Number 14411739
    Died 23/09/1944
    Aged 20
    Royal Dragoons, Royal Armoured Corps
    Son of Michael Duke, and of Mary Duke, of Hove, Sussex.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: 2. B. 9.

    This lad was due to inherit his great-aunts estate on his 21st birthday, but he didnt make it.

    The estate was big, financially the equivalent of around £10 million in todays money, but I suppose thats just the way life is. Money went to our village Church, School and Hospital instead - although what they did with it I dont know....

    Back to the topic - can anyone tell me from the cwgc details his specific unit, and what a Trooper would have been doing. As its RAC I assume tanks- if so, what type?


  2. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    In September 1944, 1st Royal Dragoons were an Armoured Car Regiment, officially operating with XII Corps in 21st Army Group. Equipment was a mix of Daimler armoured and scout cars, plus halftrack mounted 75-mm guns for the Royal Dragoons.

    Trooper was/is the basic rank for units of Cavalry lineage, so he was a private in Infantry terms for example.

  3. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    It looks like he was killed in the liberation of Uden, or possibly just after.

    Uden itself seems to have been liberated as part of Market Garden.

    So its the 1st Royal Dragoons I want info on then, thanks Gary.

    Does anyone have a war diary for the Battalion (is it a battalion, pardon my ignorance in things mechanized!)

  4. tropper66

    tropper66 Member

    The Royal Dragoons amalgamated with The life Guards to become The Blues and Royals back in the 70s so try there website
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Pete Keane
    Any formation of the Royal Armoured Corps were correctly termed "Regiments" - even when it was instituted - the Royal Tank Corps - became the Royal Tank Regiment OF the RAC.

    Originally these "regiments " Commanded by Lt. Col's were old Cavalry units therefore they retained their Squadrons and Troops - thus the lowest rank became "Trooper"
    There were many regiments of Dragoons - Kings(KDG's) - Queens ( Bays) etc..

    An Army corps however is that of three divisions, commanded by a Lt.General.

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Better Late than Never :)

  7. cel

    cel Junior Member

    Trooper Peter Hemsworth Duke was killed at a bridge over the Zuid-willemsvaart canal, some 4km south-east of Veghel at a place called Keldonk.
    They where on a reconnaissance mission with 4 armoured cars led by Lt. Stride. They came from a place called Zijtaart and where driving on the "Hool" road leading towards the bridge. The story goes that at the opposite site of the bridge they saw 3 "US" soldiers waving at them. It turned out that they where German soldiers dessed-up like US aiborne troops. When they where at the bridge (wich was broken) a german mg opened up from a farmhouse. Lt Stride and trooper Crompton were killed instantly. 3 vehicles could get away, taking with them the 2 deceased, but the 4th one, a white scout car was hit badly by the german fire and flew out of the bend. 4 soldiers in the scout car died, a 5th one managed to escape.
    The 4 soldiers were burried in a filed grave in the corner of a field and were re-burried in 1946 Uden war cemetery.
  8. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the account from the regimental history, The Story of the Royal Dragoons 1938-45 by J.A. Pitts-Rivers.
  9. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

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