Royal Gloucestershire Hussars

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Gloucestershire Hussar, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Gloucestershire Hussar

    Gloucestershire Hussar 2RGH Research Committee

    Greetings from Gloucestershire,

    Anyone wanting general information regarding the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars; RGHIY (Imperial Yeomanry - Anglo/Boer War 1900/01), RGHY (Yeomanry - WW1 1914/18), 1RGH,2RGH +3RGH (WW2 - 1938/46) or inter-War years to 2012, are welcome to contact me as a member of the Regimental Historical Research Committee.
    Although we do not hold individual service records there is an “Index to Yeoman” which lists all those servicemen that we know of as well as facsimile copies of Unit War Diaries and a comprehensive library of books, journals and personal War Diaries.
    I am most interested in enquiries from family members, asking only that you share what details you have so that we can add them to our data-base. Don’t worry if you think you have nothing to share, (we may not even know of your fathers/grandfathers service in the RGH until you tell us so we are the winners), but even if I can’t find him on the data-base I can at least let you know what he would have been doing and which books to look at.

    Common areas of interest are;
    The early years: As a Yeomanry Regiment, (historically volunteers from the farming community, owners, labourers and estate workers), a number of Gloucester Hussars emigrated to Australia and Canada around the turn of the century looking for pasture new and contact with these families is always of great interest.
    World War II: The official story of 2RGH in Libya during WW2 is well documented but that of 1RGH and 3RGH is less well known. For example; It is common knowledge that 1RGH remained in UK for the greater part of the War but has links, through it’s role as a training Regiment, with just about every armoured unit of the British Army, however the fact that 30 men were drafted to 6th Airborne Armoured Recce. Regt. in time for D-Day came as a result of an enquiry from a son asking why the photos he has of his father show an RGH cap-badge but the Pegasus shoulder insignia! “Oh what a tangled web we weave”

    Looking forward to hearing from you, just PM your questions.
    TTFN, Larry
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Larry

    no doubt you are aware that 1st RGH joined the 6th armoured Division in Austria in early '46 -to replace 4th Hussars as they went off to Trieste - which had in turn replaced the Lothian and Border Horse which had landed and fought all through from Algiers with 26th Armoured Bde in 6th AD

    They joined in time to take place at the Vienna Tattoo with their musical ride - but - 16/5th Lancers had to give them their lances - we had to make do with sharpened clothes pols with a pennant

    Cheers
     
  3. Gloucestershire Hussar

    Gloucestershire Hussar 2RGH Research Committee

    That's quite true Tom, I have a copy of the programme for the Tattoo and not bad considering the shortage of materials…….
    Also, as there were so few British Troops available at that time, they had to recruit and re-arm German troops to help guard the border checkpoints? Pesky Russians perhaps??
     
  4. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    Larry,
    Didn't a number of RGH volunteer to become Glider Pilots?

    Steve
     
  5. red ling

    red ling Member

    Hello Larry,
    Does the RGH have any connection to 1st Gloucester Rifles Volunteer Corps/RFA 1880 - 1908
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Larry

    No doubt the Tattoo programme notes that we raised the sum of 10,000GBP's in order to send more than 2000 Viennese Children into the country for some fresh air and good food-

    The British did more than their share of good works in Austria - as opposed to our eastern Allies - who were only concerned with looting and pillaging...

    Cheers
     
  7. Gloucestershire Hussar

    Gloucestershire Hussar 2RGH Research Committee

    Hi all,
    Just got in from rounding up the sheep, again, (must find that hole in the fence), and will now respond to your kind words..............Having spoken to a couple of the guys that went to 6th Airborne Steve, they didn’t mention anyone becoming pilots but they did explain what it was like being inside a light tank, (Tranch…. something?)*, as the glider it’s in,(Hamelcar was it??)*, lands hard in Normandy. Bugger that I thought but as they said they only had to do it the once!
    *I can look these up if there are any rivet-counters out there that just must know….
    And I’ve got a couple of photos if anyone is interested.
    As for the 1st Glosters, as with all the Gloucester’s Battalions, the RGH have often mixed and matched. We have always been Voluntary Reservists but during active/war service many an “old sweat” was transferred/commissioned to the county’s Regular Infantry. Anglo-Boer War, 1914-18 and WW2 although mainly 1st world war period. We share a common interest in the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. Soldiers of Gloucestershire military museum, online shop and genealogy search
    As for the fundraising in Austria, I don’t think we have ever stopped! Even now the Regimental Association is raising funds to cover all “eventualities”. Having a number of old comrades of 1938-46 to cherish, many more from the ’60s, ‘70s and ‘80s as well as some younger men and women serving in Afghanistan today. But you’re right about our “Eastern Allies”, some of the most harrowing tales came back from that period of post-war flux….
    Thanks again for your interest, Larry
     
  8. COLLINJ

    COLLINJ Junior Member

    Sorry, will post as PM.

    Hello Larry, I am new to this website but am trying to find out a little about my great grandfather who was in the Gloucestershire Hussars during the 1st WW, his name was William John Butler (B. 19/2/1883) and I have been told he served under Col. Palmer in Palestine/Egypt. He ended the war as a sergeant I believe. I do not have his service number, just a couple of photos and any info you may have on the unit/batt he served with would be greatly appreciated. I am presuming from what I have read that he was in the 1/1 RGH.
    Thankyou
    Jon.




    Greetings from Gloucestershire,

    Anyone wanting general information regarding the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars; RGHIY (Imperial Yeomanry - Anglo/Boer War 1900/01), RGHY (Yeomanry - WW1 1914/18),
    Looking forward to hearing from you, just PM your questions.
    TTFN, Larry
     
  9. red ling

    red ling Member

    Hi
    I thought you might be interested in the photos.
    My grandfather Herbert Rees Blake 5539 was with the 1st Gloucester Rifles Volunteer Corps 1903-1908 when it went to 1st South Midlands Brigade
    He is the first on left outside the tent.
    The church parade may have been taken at Staddon heights, Plymouth.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. cah12762

    cah12762 Junior Member

    Hi all. New to this forum stuff, so here goes.

    I am trying to locate information about my grandfather, who I am told, served in the 2RGH as a Corporal during WW2. I guess that it would help if I could find his service number.

    His name was Archibald Herdman Cameron and was known as Mac, and joined up around 1938. He was from Dunfirmline in Scotland and survived the whole war from the desert to Italy and Northern Europe and may have been involved in some way with war trials in Berlin(?).

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  11. PAB1

    PAB1 Junior Member

    Larry greetings from Tetbury. Thank you for the website link, the site been vastly updated since I last looked a good number of years ago when I was attempting to identify a woven badge issued to my late father (7892543) so I was thrilled to finally identify it as RGH 5.37. Many many thanks Paul.
     
  12. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Hi all,
    Just got in from rounding up the sheep, again, (must find that hole in the fence), and will now respond to your kind words..............Having spoken to a couple of the guys that went to 6th Airborne Steve, they didn’t mention anyone becoming pilots but they did explain what it was like being inside a light tank, (Tranch…. something?)*, as the glider it’s in,(Hamelcar was it??)*, lands hard in Normandy. Bugger that I thought but as they said they only had to do it the once!
    *I can look these up if there are any rivet-counters out there that just must know….
    And I’ve got a couple of photos if anyone is interested.
    As for the 1st Glosters, as with all the Gloucester’s Battalions, the RGH have often mixed and matched. We have always been Voluntary Reservists but during active/war service many an “old sweat” was transferred/commissioned to the county’s Regular Infantry. Anglo-Boer War, 1914-18 and WW2 although mainly 1st world war period. We share a common interest in the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. Soldiers of Gloucestershire military museum, online shop and genealogy search
    As for the fundraising in Austria, I don’t think we have ever stopped! Even now the Regimental Association is raising funds to cover all “eventualities”. Having a number of old comrades of 1938-46 to cherish, many more from the ’60s, ‘70s and ‘80s as well as some younger men and women serving in Afghanistan today. But you’re right about our “Eastern Allies”, some of the most harrowing tales came back from that period of post-war flux….
    Thanks again for your interest, Larry

    The light tank was called the Tetrarch.

    Light Tank Mk VII Tetrarch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The glider was the Hamilcar.

    General Aircraft Hamilcar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  13. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

  14. Gloucestershire Hussar

    Gloucestershire Hussar 2RGH Research Committee

    This is on sale on ebay, from a cap badge collector of over 40 years, he is breaking up his collection. He has some very rare Yeomanry badges for sale.

    cap badge militaria The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars 1902-08 W H Dowler B/Ham | eBay

    Steve

    Hello again Steve,
    Just got in from a snow covered estate to find your post.
    The ebay badge is an original but not to my mind of the period stated. The 1900-2 pattern had IY for imperial yeomanry and was in use untill 1905, they attached by lugs at the sides with a pin through, also the top chain links should be hollow and the "tab" version, which this one is, would make it WW2 at the earliest or could be even later. This is the pattern I wore in 1980s.... But I'm not an expert on Dress Regs. However, I do know a man who is if you need to know more..:)
    There are a lot of iffy objects out there but this looks to be an original RGH item.
    One day we will have a section on our web-site dedicated to this kind of thing................One day:rolleyes:
     
    Sussex by the Sea likes this.
  15. Gloucestershire Hussar

    Gloucestershire Hussar 2RGH Research Committee

    Larry greetings from Tetbury. Thank you for the website link, the site been vastly updated since I last looked a good number of years ago when I was attempting to identify a woven badge issued to my late father (7892543) so I was thrilled to finally identify it as RGH 5.37. Many many thanks Paul.

    OK Paul, you got me!
    Do you know Col. David L-W at Chavenage?
    Who's your dad?
    PM me or send a message via C(RGH) Squadron Cirencester...

    TTFN, Larry
     
  16. Buzby2

    Buzby2 New Member

    Larry, You have a PM regarding my Father W/Sergeant James Sydney SYKES (1920-1975). Peter Sykes
     
  17. Graham Moore

    Graham Moore New Member

    Hi Larry,
    Just signed up to this site tonight. I am keen to hear if you have any information about my late father in law, Philip Dodgson Jaques who served as a young officer (troop leader) in 2RGH in the Western Desert). He was wounded before Alam Halfa losing a leg, then was posted to Sandhurst as an Instructor. He then became a ships adjutant, sailing around the Cape to the Far East. I don't know any more about his war service than that. Philip was born in 1919 and died in Jan 2003
    Regards, Graham
     
  18. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Hi Graham

    Just gone through their 1941 war diary for you, it appears he only joined them in 1942, isn't mentioned in the 1941.

    Hope this helps.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  19. Peko10

    Peko10 Member

    Hello,
    My Great Uncle was a Warwickshire Yeoman, sadly KIA in his tank, near Orvieto, Italy in June 1944.
    His sister recently had her house cleared and a number of items were retrieved including, surprisingly, a 'framed commemoration' (i havent seen it in person yet) depicting "EGYPT" and the "Gloucestershire Regiment" banner.
    Having done all of my research on the Warwicks Yeomanry, im now trying to gather information that could explain this.

    He joined up in 1939 and am i right in thinking it was the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars that were in Egypt (and Libya?) in 1941 through 42?
    When he signed up, the Warwickshire Yeomanry were horse back but when he was killed, he was manning a tank, so at some point he must have trained/switched battalions. Maybe he joined Gloucestershire Hussars at this time? If anyone could see if he was ever listed with the RGH and a timeline, this would be priceless. thank you.

    Trooper James Compton
    556775
     
  20. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a timeline for the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars:

    2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars


    22nd Heavy Armoured Brigade – 3 September 1939 to 14 April 1940

    The regiment was formed as a second-line unit on August 24th, 1939. It was organized with ‘F’, ‘G’ and ‘H’ Squadrons during the war. Orders were sent from Gloucester for the regiment to embody on September 1st, 1939 and the next day the men reported to the concentration stations at Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tetbury. Its first task was to help out the civilian powers. On September 14th, it moved to a concentration area at Dunster near Minhead with one light tank (probably a Mk II) and five 30-CWT lorries. It moved into billets at Ilfracombe on September 22nd. During September 1939, the regiment received one experimental light tank and one Rolls Royce Armoured Car. In addition, it got two old medium tanks and twelve saloon cars for training in October. By October 31st, ‘G’ Squadron was in Bristol and was followed by the rest of the regiment in November. It was assigned vulnerable point duties at Avonmouth and Whitchurch. On New Year’s Eve 1939, the regiment left for Welbeck in the Nottinghamshire area to join the 2nd Armoured Division. On arrival on New Year’s Day, it was located at Warsop with ‘F’ Squadron at Edwinstone. During January 1940, six more old medium tanks arrived. The following month it received three tractors then hired 17 lorries for transport and instruction in March. It first new tanks, two Mk VIC Light Tanks, arrived on April 8th, 1940.


    22nd Armoured Brigade – 14 April 1940 to 8 December 1941

    During May 1940 two more Mk VIC Light Tanks arrived. On May 31st, the regiment moved out from Warsop for an operational role in the Skellingthorpe area. It remained there until June 20th, when it moved to out for a further operational role, staying at Edwinstowe on the night of June 20th/21st. It arrived at Cranford on the 22nd and established its RHQ at Woodford House, Cranford. During June 1940, a quantity of equipment was taken on as well as sent out. It received 11 30-CWTs, 3 Humber six-seaters, 26 3-ton Bedfords, 4 Austin 10hp Utility Cars, 9 Mk VIB Light Tanks, and 10 Daimler Scout Cars. It sent out 12 Bedford 15-CWTs to the 12th Royal Horse Artillery, 2 medium tanks to the 45th Royal Tank Regiment, and 4 Mk VIC Light Tanks to the 3rd County of London Yeomanry. During July it receive one Light Tank MK VIB, three other light tanks, 40 Dutchman Light Tanks plus a variety of lorries while it sent off one scout car to the 22nd Armoured Brigade HQ plus 9 scout cars and a number of trucks to the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment.

    The regiment left Cranford on August 17th, 1940 and moved to Babraham the next day with RHQ at the Vicarage, Babraham. During August it obtained 9 scout cars, 10 Mk VIB Light Tanks, and 2 Dutchman Light Tanks. The following month it received seven Mk VIB Light Tanks along with two Cruiser Mk VIAs (Crusader II). The regiment left Babraham and moved to Cranleigh on October 12th with its RHQ located at Robin Ray, Cranleigh. It also received three more Cruiser Tanks Mk VIAs in November and another in December. It sent off three Dutchman and one Mk VI Light Tanks in December. During January 1941, the regiment acquired seven more MkVIC Light Tanks and sent of three Dutchman Mk IIIB Lights as well as five Humberettes to the Dutch contingent in Cheshire. In February 8 Cruiser MK VIs were taken on and the followed month 13 Mk VI Cruisers, 2 Mk V Cruisers, and 8 Mk VICS Cruisers were added. It sent off 13 Mk IIIB and 10 Mk VIB Light Tanks.

    On April 9th, 1941 ‘G’ Squadron returned from Parham to Cranleigh and ‘H’ took its place at Parham. ‘F’ Squadron joined it at Parham on April 25th. During April the following tanks were acquired: 2 Cruiser Mk Vs and 1 Light Tank Mk VIC. In turn 4 Mk IV and 22 Mk VI Light Tanks were sent off to Movement and Control. HQ Squadron moved to Parham on May 10th followed by ‘G’ Squadron on May 13th. The entire regiment moved to Parsonage Farm, Warminster on May 28th/29th. That month it received 3 cruisers, 9 Mk VI Cruisers and 7 Lloyd Carriers while sending off 1 Mk VIC Light Tank. In June 6 Mk VIC Cruisers and 1 Lloyd Carrier were added. In July, in preparation, for the brigade’s departure to the Middle East, the regiment was made up to strength in cruiser tanks as well as adding some Stuart M-3 Light Tanks. It left Warminster and sailed from Liverpool on August 16th, 1941.

    The 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars arrived at Suez on October 1st, 1941 and entrained for El Amiriya. The next day it arrived at a camp at Ikingi, five miles west of Amiriya. From October 3rd to 20th, it had its 52 tanks modified for the desert along with its 10 scout cars. It moved to south to Quaret Giraff for brigade training on October 21st with 47 Crusaders and 4 close support A9s or A10s. The regiment entrained at Amiriya on November 11th and left the next day for the Western Desert. On arrival it debarked its 52 tanks west of Matruh and, by the 14th, it was located at Quaret Azza ready to advance 25 miles east of Pidotta Maddelena.

    At the start of the battle of Crusader on November 18th, the regiment advanced to the area of Bir Duedar with 51 tanks and crossed the wire into Libya. The next day it advanced to the Bir el Gubi area and engaged the enemy in heavy fighting. By the end of the day it was down to 16 tanks from a starting total of 46. It was then formed into a Composite Squadron on the 20th combining ‘F’, ‘G’, and ‘H’ Squadrons with a RHQ of three tanks. The 22nd Armoured Brigade then moved to support the 4th Armoured Brigade at Gabr Saleh, but the regiment was not engaged on arrival so it withdrew south to leaguer with the 4th County of London Yeomanry. On November 21st, the 22nd Armoured Brigade withdrew northwest and was only lightly engaged during the evening without taking any losses. The next day the 22nd Armoured Brigade was again heavily engaged at Sidi Rezegh. The regiment lost two tanks and had only 17 tanks left when it withdrew into the Support Group’s lines. The 22nd Armoured Brigade was then formed into a single composite regiment made up of one squadron from each of its three regiments, the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, the 3rd County of London Yeomanry, and the 4th County of London Yeomanry. It continued organising in this manner through the morning of November 23rd. By midday it engaged two enemy columns in the area of the South African Brigade at Sidi Rezegh. At the end of the battle, the regiment left with only four tanks. On the 24th, the remnants of the 4th County of London Yeomanry and the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars moved to three miles west of Bi res Sausenna as a single composite squadron equipped with the regiment’s four tanks. On the way the composite squadron engaged some enemy motor transport then withdrew to leaguer with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (19 A13 Cruisers), the 5th Royal Tank Regiment (5 M3 Stuarts), and 22nd Armoured Brigade Composite Squadron (20 tanks). Five other tanks arrived during the evening. The following day it remained in place, engaging some enemy MT during the evening. It then leaguered three miles northwest of MR 448398 and remained there all through November 26th. On the 27th, the regiment, organised into four tank troops, moved along the Trigh Capuzzo toward Tobruk, engaging enemy astride the area. The end of the engagement left it with only four tanks again. The next day it received one tank and one close support tank and was able to reorganise its eight tanks into two troops and a headquarters. It was engaged during the day in an advance to Bir el Reghem. The 29th was spent on the right flank of the 4th Armoured Brigade opposite Sidi Rezegh while still under the 22nd Armoured Brigade.

    The regiment finally withdrew from the battle along with the rest of the 22nd Armoured Brigade and remained in the area reforming through December 8th. On December 7th, it was formed into an all M-3 Stuart regiment with a total of 52 tanks.


    7th Armoured Division – 9 December 1941 to 14 December 1941

    On December 8th, the regiment moved northwest to the Advanced HQ of the 7th Armoured Division and joined it the next day. Fourteen tanks of ‘H’ Squadron were ordered to join ‘Currie Column’ of the 7th Support Group the next morning while the rest of the regiment was to move to the HQ of the 7th Support Group located at ‘Clapham’. On arrival, the regiment was at Mtefel le Cherib with the HQ 7th Support Group and ‘H’ Squadron was with the column to the Gazala area on the road west. On December 12th, the regiment did a demonstration in force to Mtgatoat el Adam, where they were shelled before being rejoined by ‘H’ Squadron during the night’s leaguer. The next day, the regiment did another demonstration in the same area and then returned to the same leaguer at Double Blue.


    4th Armoured Brigade – 14 December 1941 to 20 December 1941

    On December 14th, ‘H’ Squadron with 14 tanks was sent to join the 22nd Guards Brigade at Clapham while the rest of the regiment joined the 4th Armoured Brigade at Gabr el Abidi with 17 tanks, 6 in field repair, and 4 under the Armoured Delivery Workshop. It then moved south with the brigade, which now consisted of the 3rd and 5th Royal Tank Regiments, the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, 2nd Royal Horse Artillery, and the 102nd Anti-Tank Regiment, to Zeidan then thirty miles north to Hafget el Haleiba. The brigade moved back south to Garet Meriem to replenish on the 16th. The 4th Armoured Brigade then moved to Guieret el Abd and was involved in a short engagement. On the 17th, the regiment was involved in a pursuit to Halegh el Eleba with ‘F’ Squadron detached. ‘F’ rejoined the next day for an advance southwest toward Mechili. The regiment remained in place the next day and transferred back to the 22nd Armoured Brigade on December 20th.


    22nd Armoured Brigade – 20 December 1941 to 14 June 1942

    On December 21st, the regiment was made up to the strength of two full squadrons including five tanks at RHQ since ‘H’ was still detached to the 22nd Guards Brigade. It moved off on the 23rd in the follow-up of the retreating Afrika Korps toward Saunnu. The regiment had 30 M-3 Stuarts while the 4th County of London Yeomanry had 30 Mk VI Cruisers and the 4th CLY had 30-40 Mk VI Cruisers. The next day it reached its objective and ‘H’ Squadron was in the area of Antelat-Saunnu with the 22nd Guards Brigade. The brigade then moved to the area of Chor es Sufan on the 26th and engaged the enemy there the next day. The brigade was engaged near Agedabia on the 28th and the next day it moved to Chor el Chisma, where it remained static all day. On December 30th, ‘H’ Squadron returned from under the command of the 22nd Guards Brigade and the 22nd Armoured Brigade was attacked by German tanks. The tank state of the brigade was 36 tanks in the regiment, 8 tanks in the 3rd CLY, and 15 tanks in the 4th CLY. The brigade withdrew to north of Antelat on December 31st and concentrated at MR X4788 on January 1st, 1942

    On January 8th, the regiment moved to Msus and turned over its tanks to the Tank Delivery Squadron. It then moved to Mrassas on January 11th. On the 22nd, it helped form ‘Flap Force’, a composite 22nd Armoured Brigade Regiment the consisted of ‘B’ Squadron 3rd CLY (9 M-3 Stuarts and 7 Mk VIA Cruisers), ‘ A’ Squadron 3rd CLY (9 M-3 Stuarts, 6 Mk VIA Cruisers, 1 Mk VI Cruiser), RHQ Squadron (16 M-3 Stuarts), RHQ from 2nd RGH (3 Mk VIA Cruisers, 1 M-3 Stuart, 3 Mk III Armoured Cars, 3 Mk IA Scout Cars, A Echelon Protection (1 M-3 Stuart), and B Echelon Protection (3 M-3 Stuarts and 1 Mk VIA Cruiser). The rest of the regiment went to collect tanks at Msus on January 24th and arrived at Tmimi. It arrived at Bir Laifa on the 26th, when the Tank Delivery Squadron provided tanks and armoured cars for the composite regiment. On January 17th, the rest of the regiment moved to Baggush.

    On February 3rd, 1942, the balance of the regiment left Baggush and arrived at El Daba. It left there the next day and arrived at Sidi Bishr Transit Camp. Meanwhile the composite regiment had turned over all of its armoured vehicles to the Queen’s Bays, less three armoured cars sent to the Royal Dragoons. The composite regiment left Bir Liafa and arrived at Capuzzo on the 4th, Mersa Matruh on the 5th, and Sidi Bishr on the night of the 6th/7th.

    During February and early March 1942 the regiment began to re-equip with ‘G’ and ‘H’ Squadrons in Crusader cruisers. In mid-March (note: March 14th for the 3rd CLY), the regiment moved to Beni Yusef Camp and received Grant tanks for ‘F’ Squadron. Around April 19th to 24th, the regiment and the rest of 22nd Armoured Brigade moved to Mersa Matruh and then to near MR 475386 by April 25th. At the start of May it moved to the Bir Uaar area where the brigade did an exercise. It trained in the Fort Capuzzo area and, by May 22nd, it was in battle positions on the Trigh Bir Hacheim with 36 Crusaders and 12 Grants.

    The Battle of Gazala began on May 26th for the 22nd Armoured Brigade as it advanced to cover the minefield gaps. The following day the brigade was attacked by 120 enemy tanks with half of the tanks sent against the regiment. It lost thirty percent of its tank strength that day falling back to a position east of Knightsbridge by the end of the day. It remained at Bir Bellifa during the 28th and saw no action. It was back in action the next day with ‘G’ Squadron supporting the 3rd County of London Yeomanry and RHQ with ‘H’ Squadron intercepting a column from Harmat. It then moved west of the 30th to support an attack by the 4th Armoured Brigade on Harmat. On May 31st, the regiment came under the command of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry forming a composite squadron with 16 Crusaders and 2 Stuarts. The regiment did some patrols to Bir el Aslagh during the day on June 1st then later it handed over its Crusaders to the 3rd CLY while the composite squadron moved to A1. The regiment moved to the rear Brigade HQ at B.605 on the 2nd to refit with Stuarts and Grants from the 4th Hussars. A total of 32 M-3 Stuarts and 14 Grants were collected along with some temporary reinforcements from the Tank Reinforcement Squadron. The regiment moved into positions at B.702 with the 4th CLY on June 4th with ‘H’ Squadron in 14 Stuarts, ‘F’ in 12 Grants, ‘G’ in14 Stuarts, and RHQ with 4 tanks. The brigade attacked west on the 5th with only the 4th CLY and the regiment. It hit an enemy anti-tank screen and fought off two German counterattacks before withdrawing to leaguer at Bir Bellifa. The next day it attacked the Germans on a nearby ridge. At the end of the day the regiments of the brigade had the following total tanks: 4th CLY (8 Crusaders, 14 Grants), 3rd CLY (5 Crusaders), 4th Royal Tank Regiment (15 Valentines), 2nd RGH (17 Stuarts and 2 Grants in ‘F’ Squadron, 7 Stuarts in ‘G’, 7 Stuarts in ‘H’, 3 Stuarts at RHQ). On June 7th, the regiment moved northeast to MR 187 with 15 tanks and after the last two Grants were turned over to the 3rd CLY. Eight tanks were then sent on a patrol to Bir el Rigel. The regiment became the patrol squadron for the brigade on the 8th and did reconnaissance around the brigade area with the 6 Stuarts of ‘H’ Squadron and the 6 Stuarts of ‘G’ on that day and the following. It then withdrew to el Adem on the 10th, except for ‘H’ Squadron, which was sent south of Bir Hacheim. The squadron joined the 7th Motor Brigade there on the 11th to become part of the ‘July’ Column with 16 Stuarts. On June 12th and 13th the bulk of the regiment remained with the brigade’s B Echelon at El Mrassas leaving ‘H’ Squadron with the 7th Motor Brigade.


    XIII Corps – 14 June 1942 to 15 June 1942

    The regiment moved to Salum on the 14th under orders from XIII Corps and then to Misheifa the following day.


    86th Line of Communications Sub-Area – 15 June 1942 to 18 June 1942

    On arrival at the railhead at Misheifa on June 15th, the regiment came under the command of 86th LOC Sub-Area. It moved to Salum (Alam el Kidad) on the 18th.


    22nd Armoured Brigade – 18 June 1942 to 20 June 1942

    On arrival at Salum (Alam el Kidad) on June 18th, the regiment rejoined the 22nd Armoured Brigade and moved with the brigade to Bir Enba on the 19th.


    8th Hussars (4th Armoured Brigade Group) – 20 June 1942 to 22 June 1942

    On June 20th, the regiment was to provide one squadron to operate with the 4th Armoured Brigade Group while the rest of the regiment was to go to Mersa Matruh. It remained with the 8th Hussars on June 21st.


    22nd Armoured Brigade – 22 June 1942 to 24 June 1942

    The regiment rejoined the 22nd Armoured Brigade on June 22nd and left Misheifa. The next day it arrived at Bir el Kenayis, but left the brigade on the 24th.


    GHQ, Middle East Force – 24 June 1942 to 5 July 1942

    The regiment left the 22nd Armoured Brigade on June 24th to reform under Brigadier Briggs at Amiriya. It handed over its vehicles and equipment to the 4th CLY at Fuka the same day and arrived at El Daba. On June 25th, the regiment, less ‘H’ Squadron, arrived at Sidi Bishr. On the 28th, ‘G’ Squadron left to join the 1st Armoured Brigade Tank Delivery Regiment at El Hammam and took over 16 Stuarts. The squadron then moved to join the 22nd Armoured Brigade. Also on the 28th, ‘H’ Squadron returned to the RHQ at Sidi Bishr from the 7th Motor Brigade. ‘F’ and ‘H’ Squadrons moved to Alexandria on the Bab el Arab Canal on June 29th as part of the Alexandria Defence Force and were equipped with Italian machine-guns, and rifles. This left only the RHQ at Sidi Bishr. That same day, ‘G’ Squadron left El Hammam for the 22nd Armoured Brigade and, on July 2nd, it became the brigade reserve squadron at MR 890276. ‘F’ and ‘H’ Squadrons returned to Sidi Bishr on July 4th from Bab el Arab to rejoin with the RHQ. On July 4th, ‘G’ Squadron came under the command of the 4th CLY and attacked German infantry at MR 886278 then withdrew.


    10th Indian Infantry Division – 5 July 1942 to 18 July 1942

    The regiment (RHQ, ‘F’ and ’H’ Squadrons) as infantry moved to Damarhur under the command of the 10th Indian Infantry Division as a Canal Guard on July 5th and did not return to Sidi Bishr until the 18th. Also on the 5th, ‘G’ Squadron handed over its Stuarts to the 5th Royal Tank Regiment in exchange for 14 Crusaders and two more from the 3rd CLY. This brought the squadron up to strength and that evening it passed to the command of the 9th Lancers along with A Squadron 9th Lancers and B Squadron 9th Lancers in Grants in the area west of Alam Brostaza holding the ridges.


    GHQ, Middle East Force – 18 July to 6 October 1942

    ‘G’ Squadron’s crews returned to Sidi Bishr on July 22nd joining the rest of the regiment. ‘H’ Squadron was ordered to join the 5th Royal Tank Regiment under 22nd Armoured Brigade as its Light Squadron on July 31st at Dir el Rigel. ‘H’ relieved ‘A’ Squadron 5th RTR on August 3rd at Dir el Tarfa and took over its Crusaders. On August 10th, ‘G’ Squadron took over 15 Crusaders from the 1st Armoured Brigade Tank Delivery Regiment at Amiriya and remained there as the 8th Army Reserve Squadron. ‘F’ Squadron took over the Grants of ‘C’ Squadron 5th RTR on August 17th. ‘G’ Squadron was ordered to move to XXX Corps under the 9th Australian Division on the 24th and arrived the next day in the divisional area. The squadron became part of the 9th Australian Division’s exploiting force during Operation ‘Bulimba’.

    On August 31st, the 5th Royal Tank Regiment (with ‘F’ and ‘H’ Squadrons) moved into battle positions at MR 4378805 B79 facing south and southeast as the left flank regiment of the 22nd Armoured Brigade at the start of the Battle of Alam el Halfa. While ‘F’ and ‘H’ fought at Alam el Halfa ridge, ‘G’ took part in Operation ‘Bulimba’. At Alam el Halfa, all of ‘F’ Squadron’s tanks were hit but continued to fight while ‘H’, down to 7 Crusaders with 3 CS Crusaders, patrolled. ‘A’ Squadron of the 5th Royal Tanks in Grants were also involved under the composite 5th RTR. ‘H’ Squadron was withdrawn into reserve at the end of September 1st with 6 tanks and were relieved by the Grants of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry. On September 4th, ‘G’ Squadron joined the 10th Armoured Division’s 10th Hussars as the Divisional Reserve while ‘H’ Squadron with the 22nd Armoured Brigade now had 8 tanks. ‘H’ gained 3 6-pounder Crusaders the next day and four more on September 6th. On the same day, ‘G’ Squadron arrived four miles north with 13 tanks. It joined the 5th RTR on the 10th but handed over all its 6-pounder Crusaders on the 11th. All tanks were then handed over and ‘H’ Squadron returned to Sidi Bishr on September 19th followed by ‘F’ and ‘G’ Squadrons the following day. From September 26th the regiment was quarantined due to an outbreak of diptheria.


    1st Armoured Brigade (Tank Reorganisation Group) – 6 October 1942 to 20 November 1942

    The regiment joined the group at Sidi Bishr on October 6th, 1942. One Grant was acquired on October 13th by ‘G’ Squadron to do some training. Similarly ‘H’ Squadron received one Crusader on the 14th and ‘F’ got a Sherman Mk IV on the 20th. The regiment came off quarantine on November 5th. ‘F’ and ‘G’ Squadrons were ordered to the forward area on November 13th but returned the same day back to Sidi Bishr.


    GHQ, Middle East Force – 21 November 1942 to 9 December 1942

    The regiment remained at Sidi Bishr. On November 28th, it was notified that it was to be broken up for reinforcements.


    24th Armoured Brigade – 9 December 1942 to 15 January 1943

    The final regimental parade took place on December 28th, 1942 and the order to disband was given. ‘F’ Squadron personnel would mostly go to the 4th Hussars, ‘G’ to the Wiltshire Yeomanry, and ‘H’ to the 8th Hussars. HQ Squadron went to 5th Royal Tank Regiment and 3rd Hussars. On January 2nd, 1943, 96 ORs of ‘H’ moved to the 8th Hussars. On January 3rd, 110 ORs of ‘G’ went to the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry at Aleppo and, on the 7th, 63 ORs of ‘F’ went to the 4th Hussars while 23 ORs went to the 8th Hussars. A cadre of 2 officers and 10 other ranks left for England on January 11th. The remaining men of the regiment moved to F Camp Cowley on the 14th and the final dispersal took place on January 15th, 1943, the official date of the suspended animation.
     
    DavidW and dbf like this.

Share This Page