3rd The Kings Own Hussars | WW2 Unit information

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by AMWright, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. AMWright

    AMWright Member

    Hello all,

    Thank you in advance for taking a look at this.

    I am looking for some information on 3rd The Kings Own Hussars and their Second World War timeline. I have been asked by a friend to look into this as a family member who served with the Regiment has recently passed away and she would like some understanding of the unit history in time for his funeral. I will of course look into the War Diaries for the Regiment but under the circumstances it would be fantastic if anyone could provide any short term information on the Regiment or point me in the direction of something that would help get an overall understanding of the Units WW2 history. I have had a search in the forum and not found much, wiki and the usual googling has only given me a short summary.

    We know he was with the Regiment in Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.

    His name is A. T "Roy" Headling (7946959).

    Thank you again! Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Go to desertrats.org.uk the war diaries are online along with other info.
  3. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  5. AMWright

    AMWright Member

    Thank you very much. Some info on the 3rd KOH there which is great.

    The Diaries you linked to though are for the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, I presume diaries for the 3rd Kings Own are not available on the site? It has some info and links but couldn't spot any diaries.
  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a brief summary of the service of the 3rd Hussars 1939-45:

    3rd The King’s Own Hussars

    Royal Armoured Corps
    4 April 1939
    Battle Honours
    Sidi Barrani, Buq Buq, Beda Fomm, Sidi Suleiman, El Alamein, North Africa 1940-42, Citta della Pieve, Citta de Castello, Italy 1944, Crete
    3rd Light Horse (The South Australian Mounted Rifles): Mount Gambier, South Australia
    6th Duke of Connaught’s Own Royal Canadian Hussars (Armoured Cars): Montreal, Province de Quebec
    The Auckland (East Coast) Mounted Rifles: Paeroa, North Island
    The Natal Mounted Rifles: Durban, Natal
    19th Alberta Dragoons: Edmonton, Alberta

    The 3rd Hussars was under command of the 1st Light Armoured Brigade in the United Kingdom from 3 September 1939 until 14 August 1940. The brigade was renamed 1st Armoured Brigade on 14 April 1940. One troop saw service in Norway, embarking on 6 May 1940, landing on 14 May, and leaving Norway on 4 June.

    The 3rd was dispatched to Egypt on 22 August 1940 and arrived at Port Said on 24 September. It then joined 7th Armoured Brigade from 13 October 1940 until 22 January 1941, serving in Libya from 30 December. It joined 3rd Armoured Brigade from 26 January until 14 April 1941 in Libya. On 14 April ‘A’ and ‘C’ Squadrons were sent to Egypt from Tobruk due to heavy losses. Meanwhile, RHQ and ‘B’ Squadron, along with one squadron of 5th Royal Tank Regiment, formed a composite regiment under 3rd Armoured Brigade. The RHQ left Tobruk in June 1941 and ‘B’ Squadron left in August 1941.

    ‘C’ Squadron fought in Crete from 20 May to 1 June 1941, having left Egypt on 11 May. ‘A’ Squadron fought under 4th Armoured Brigade in the Battle-Axe offensive from 15-17 June. The regiment was located in Cyprus from August 1941 until 11 March 1942. ‘B’ Squadron left Cyprus on 10 December 1941 enroute for the Far East, leaving Egypt on 7 January 1942. It arrived in Java on 9 February and was captured by the Japanese there on 12 March.

    After leaving Cyprus the regiment landed at Haifa and came under command of 9th Armoured Brigade on 16 March. A new ‘B’ Squadron was then formed. The 3rd was under this brigade until 27 May 1943 and again from 23 August 1943 until 30 August 1944, and finally from 6 October to 30 December 1944. It was located in Palestine until 9 April 1942, in Egypt unitl 29 December 1942, in Syria until 8 June 1943, in Palestine until 15 November 1943, in Syria until 7 March 1944, in Egypt until 20 April 1944, and then in Italy. The regiment was detached to 8th Indian Infantry Division for a time in June 1944.

    252nd Indian Armoured Brigade – Mid-January 1945 to 31 August 1945
    The 3rd Hussars left Italy on January 7th, 1945 and arrived at Port Said around January 13th. It was then sent to Lebanon to replace the 14th/20th Hussars in the 252nd Indian Armoured Brigade. It arrived at Aollun in the Lebanon coast for internal security duties under the brigade. It was equipped with a diverse collection of vehicles with ‘A’ Squadron in Sherman tanks and ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadrons in Staghounds. It was based at Raaqa and then later moved to Damascus, after which ‘A’ Squadron also was equipped with armoured cars. After that it moved to a camp at Baalbek. Later it moved to Hama and in the autumn of 1945 it was back at Aollun.

    Organization and Equipment

    The 3rd Hussars was the third cavalry regiment to be mechanized, having done so in 1934 with one squadron becoming “motor cavalry.” It became and armoured car regiment in 1936. Thirty-Two light tanks were received by the end of 1938 and a further twenty arrived in the next few months. By 1940 the regiment had 52 Light Tanks Mk VIB. It took these to Norway in 1940, but they were sunk in the ship and the troop did foot patrolling.

    When the regiment embarked for Egypt it had 53 Light Tanks Mk VIB. On arrival in the western desert it exchanged its ‘B’ Squadron’s tanks with A10s of ‘B’ Squadron, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment. The regiment had 25 MkVIBs and 4 crusiers by the end of January 1941. Early in 1941, the regiment exchanged one squadron of MkVI Light Tanks for one squadron of 6th Royal Tank Regiments Italian M-13 Mediums. It had only 12 Vickers light tanks and 2 M13/40s by 6 April 1941. On 9 April it formed two squadrons of two troops of Vickers and two troops of A13s under 3rd Armoured Brigade. It had a total of 9 MkVIBs and 9 crusiers on 10 April 1941 in Tobruk.

    By mid-April 1941 all of the tanks had given out and the regiment was equipped with ‘A’ and ‘B’ Squadrons having worn-out light tanks and ‘C’ Squadron having Italian M-13 Medium tanks. It had 19 Light Tanks on 15 June 1941. During the defence of Tobruk the composite regiment of 3rd Hussars/5th Royal Tank Regiment had 18 worn-out Light Tanks Mk VIB and 4 crusiers from the Tobruk workshops. The squadron in Crete had 36 dilapitated light tanks. ‘B’ Squadron picked up 25 Mk VIBs in Egypt for Java.

    While still in Cyprus the regiment received three Stuarts and in Cairo it received Crusaders. Five months later the 3rd was fully equipped with Crusaders (some MkIIIs), Shermans, and Grants. At Alamein ‘A’ Squadron had 16 Crusaders, ‘B’ Squadron had 12 Shermans, and ‘C’ Squadron had 9 Grants. HQ Squadron vehicles of 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars were sent to the 3rd Hussars and the 5th Royal Tank Regiment at El Alamein. After Alamein 47 out of 51 tanks had been destroyed, while the rest were given to the Warwickshire Yeomanry. The regiment then returned to Cairo to rest and refit.

    By early July 1943 all of the squadrons had been equipped with Shermans. These were employed through August 1944 in Italy. At this time the 3rd trained on Valentine DDs with the 7th Hussars at Lake Bracciano. It handed over all of their tanks to the 7th when they left for Lebanon.
    Christopher Hall and dbf like this.
  7. AMWright

    AMWright Member

    That's absolutely fantastic, thank you!
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Actual war diary refs at the National Archives in London:

    WO 166/1376 3 King's Own Hussars 1939 Sept.-Nov.
    WO 169/216 3 King's Own Hussars 1940 Sept.- Dec.
    WO 169/1385 3 King's Own Hussars 1941 Jan.- Mar., May-Dec.
    WO 169/4483 3 King's Own Hussars 1942 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 169/9315 3 King's Own Hussars 1943 Jan.-Dec.
    WO 169/15966 3 King's Own Hussars 1944 Feb., Mar.
    WO 169/19921 3 King's Own Hussars 1945 Jan.- June
    WO 169/19922 3 King's Own Hussars1 945 July - Dec.
    WO 169/23148 3 King's Own Hussars 1946 Jan.- June
    WO 170/816 3 Kings Own Hussars. War Diaries for February and March 1944 reported missing, July 2009 1944 Jan - Dec

    Christopher Hall likes this.
  9. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Some names used on 3rd Hussars Shermans


    A SQN
    ACCURATE 1 Trp
    ARGOSY 4 Trp

    B SQN

    C SQN

    Other known names


    With the exception of the RHQ names the rest appear to be named after British Classic Horse Race winners. If any one can add any more names or WD census numbers to the above it would be much appreciated.


  10. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Hi , can anybody elaborate on the story of this man please.

    Rank: Major

    Service No: 35683

    Date of Death 04/02/1943

    Aged 35

    Regiment/Service: 3rd King's Own Hussars Royal Armoured Corps

    Panel Reference: 2. C. 1.


    Additional Information: Son of A. J. F. Platt and Norah Platt; husband of Daphne Victoria Platt, of Muirhouselaw, Roxburghshire. Heir to Barnby Manor killed in a train accident in Syria.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Railway accident 80 miles south of Aleppo. Died of injuries and exposure according to the regimental war diary.
  12. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
  13. Alruda

    Alruda New Member

    I have just come across this site and read this with great interest.
    Major CJF Platt was my father, sadly we never met, he left for Egypt in August 1940 I was born in April 1941.
    There is a detailed and graphic account of the train crash in a book written by Major Richard Heseltine called Pippin's Progress. Heseltine was on the train in the same compartment as my father, "I held his hand till his hand went cold".
    The book gives a good account of an individuals experience in The 3rd Hussars from 1939 to the end of the war. the book is available from Amazon.

    http://frankwallbankswar.weebly.com/section-4---syria.html This diary is well worth a read.
  14. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply Alruda , I'm trying to up date the Newark on Trent ROH and came across his name in connection to Barnby in the Willows.
  15. Alruda

    Alruda New Member

    Hello Noggin 1969, there is a memorial to my father in the church in Barnby the Willows. I live at Muirhouselaw referred to in an earlier thread, infact I was born here !
  16. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to have a copy of a photo of him to add to the entry in the Newark upon Trent District Roll of Honour ?
    I have copies of several photos taken during the casaulties funerals in Aleppo. Do you know how the CWGC grave yard has faired during the trouble out there ? noggin1969@btinternet.com
  17. Alruda

    Alruda New Member

    I have no knowledge of the grave yard in Aleppo, I can't imagine it has been spared all the horrors.
    I have seen the photos from Frank Wallbanks diary, and others I saw at the 3rdKOH museum in Warwick.
    I could send you a photo, where to ?
  18. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

  19. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Alruda , I have checked up on Aleppo War Cemetery. It looks intact but has had a fire at some point as the grass is gone and some stones are blackened. Compared to the city it has got off lightly. [​IMG]
  20. Alruda

    Alruda New Member


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