Starting a thread on 56 Recce. I am researching it because my father was in 56 Recce from 9.2.1941 til 13.6.1944 when he was invalided out of the army due to war injuries. His name was Thomas Heald Mitchell No. 1873128. Quotes from my father "You had to be smart to join the Recce. As soon as I entered the interview room they fired a maths question at me to which I immediately replied with the correct answer." "In the campaigns of North Africa, Sicily and Italy, the soldiers were always on the move (Reconnaissance Unit) and did not sleep in a bed or under shelter for months. The men of 56 Recce were just as well disciplined and as well turned out as any Guardsman, I should know, I served with both" This poem traces the activity of the 56th Recce Regt. Poem by Ex.Cpl.E.T. (John) Newton. CHAVASSE'S LIGHT HORSE In the year of 1940 the War Office said you must form A brand new Regiment so the Recce was born The "Black Cat" Division was therefore told "Send men to the Recce fold Loaded with Rifle and Kit we went to Cranbrook, High Halden, Bethersden in Kent We gathered together Cap badges by the score Later reduced to one - The Recce Corps Training with Mortars, Radio cars and carriers we learnt to scout and run like harriers, by the end of the year we were somewhat skilled In our job it was to observe not get killed. Our move in August 1942 was sudden To a camp in Scotland called Buddon There we were told the facts We were to join the Division “Battleaxe” At that time little did we know How soon we were to meet the foe The First Army we were to be Our job was the 78 Div. Recce In October 1942 we sailed down the Clyde Algiers was to be the end of that ride Later when North Africa came into view Jack Forshaw set off with his motley crew For a Recce along those roads and hollows Seeking the Jerries to “Feel their collars” Five days later we came to Algiers Docks Watched by the Arabs in what looked like frocks Later "B" & HQ moved to the fray Which was then around Medjez way Doc Du Bed valley harboured “A” Sqdn. Always remembered, never forgotten Names like Mateur, El Arousa and Medjez remain Longstop, Kasserine, Tally Ho Corner and Goubellat Plain May 1943 brought peace and we went to the coast to enjoy the sea Sousse will be remembered for its heat Our stay alas too short to enjoy the treat. Monty then said, “To Sicily you go” Wonder what he would have done if we had said “NO” LST's took us to the beaches and we started to enjoy grapes and peaches Unlike Africa this fight was a short haul But names like Centuripe, Bronte, we recall. Again fate beckoned and we Commenced a further journey to Italy Taranto, Bari, Foggia went under the wheels, Later we moved up and down “them there hills” Termoli is a name the Regiment well knows Its here the Division stuck in its toes "C" Sqdn. crossed the Sangro and had a rough ride Cassino then cast its horrible spell To all concerned it was just sheer Hell The weather improved and the Rapido we crossed No longer by the Monastery were we bossed. After a month we came to Trasimeno And at Cortina we finished and now for a “beano” Egypt with sun, sand, wind and wogs Gave us a chance to use our best togs Also the Sphinx we still recall these things Groppis, Brown Trams, Pay books on strings Italy called again and so we went Along familiar roads where we’d spent Our time chasing the Tedeschi Until we came to a town called Assisi, Florence beckoned but we went past and those hills we walked at last. The rains came down and made quagmires Wish we could have had some fires Snow followed and those patient mules Came up to provide us with our meals Then we moved to the banks of the Senio Soon we were across and through Lugo Then on to Portomaggiore and the River Po. The end of hostilities was then very near And for us we moved to Austria The journey we started in 1942 Was now almost through And instead of surviving in Bivvies We were soon to be in Civvies. So let us not forget those men Whom we would never see again Troopers, NCO's and Officers too Who are now memories to me and you So may I ask you all to stand And with your glasses in your hand Toast past and present members of this Happy Band Gentlemen the “56th Recce Regiment”.