7889785 James COUBROUGH, 2 Royal Tank Regiment: Photos

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by J Kubra, May 24, 2021.

  1. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    I have recently come across this photo of my father from a family member. He is at the left rear and someone has written “Jock” beside him which was his family name. The only comment on the back is from a family member and says “Jock at rear 16 yrs as he just joined up”

    I do know that he enlisted in the Royal Tank Regiment 27 Oct 38 and he was transferred to RAC 11 Apr 39. Posted to 2 Bn RTR 14 Jul 39 (Warminster). Posted 52 HT Regt 1 Sep 39 (Bovington). Then posted 2 Bn RTR 12 Oct 39 (Ringwood May 40). His date of birth in his Service Certificate says he was 18 on enlistment but his birth certificate shows that he was only 16 and that is confirmed by family anecdotal information.

    He served with 2 RTR in BEF France, Middle East, Burma and India. He was then posted to other units (3H Battalion Middle East & 3 Training Corps, Italy) he was subsequently posted to 59 Trg Regt in the UK until the end of the war. After the war he served with 5 RTR in Ham/Hohne and 3 RTR in the UK and Hong Kong. He was discharged on 2 Apr 52.

    Can anyone please help me with more information about the photo?

    It seems they are all in different uniforms which appear to be some sort of summer or tropical dress. Apart from the RTR badge, the others are not clear. He is the only one wearing a black lanyard, was that for 2RTR? They all appear to be wearing the same epaulette which I think could be “RAC”.

    Maybe he was attending recruit training at the time or maybe he was at 52 HT Regt with other RAC personnel.

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who can help with any information.



    Attached Files:

  2. S54

    S54 Junior Member

    Jim all members of the RTR, regardless of which Regt they belonged to wore a black lanyard! Of course later they went for individual Regtl colours ie 1st red, 2nd saffron (yellow), 3rd green, 4th blue, 5th red&blue!
  3. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    Thank you very much for the information, it is useful for me to determine when and where the photo may have been taken.

    When you say "later they went for individual Regtl colours" do you know when that change occurred.? Maybe you mean that when individuals were actually posted to a particular Regt, then they changed from the black lanyard to the Regt lanyard.

    In the case of my father, he was posted to 2 Bn RTR from 14 Jul 39 to 1 Sep 39 and then from 12 Oct 39 until after India 16 Sep 42. Therefore, it is possible the photo was taken before Jul 39 or after Sep 42.

    Looking at other RTR/RAC photos on this forum, the uniforms worn in this photo are not typical of what was worn in the UK. Maybe it is possible that the photo was taken in the Middle East or India given the summer/tropical uniforms being worn. The only common factor with the uniforms appears to me to be the epaulette which I think could be “RAC”.

    Maybe the front 2 soldiers were Cavalry troopers? Records on this forum mention that 2 RTR was less B Sqn to the 3rd Hussars during the initial Middle East campaign. Maybe he was on leave with others from 3rd Hussars and had an opportunity for a photo with them?

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who can help with any information.


  4. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    Additional Photos 10 Jun 21:
    I have come across some more photos from a family member which pose more questions and I am seeking help please.

    The first one is a group of RTR personnel wearing tank over suits and my father is on the right. There are no comments on the back. I believe it could be in the UK between October 1938 and May 1940. There is a visible vehicle number T188702 which might be a clue to where and when it was taken. Does anyone know what vehicle that might be?

    The second one is of four RTR personnel in Sid Bishr camp near Alexandria. On the back it says:
    Sid Bisur A Coy
    Tafe Probert
    Busty Ruddle
    Jock Culbrough
    Ken Ward

    It was not written by my father as his name is misspelt. It is also unusual to refer to A Coy rather than A Sqn in an RAC context and the spelling of Sidi Bishr is not correct.

    My limited research indicates that Sidi Bishr was a training and reinforcement camp used for units and formations newly arrived in theatre or for those needing regrouping after major battles. Therefore, it could be while he was serving with 2 Bn RTR between
    24 Sep 40 when they arrived in Port Said, and 27 Jan 42 when they left Suez for Burma. It may also be while he was posted to the Middle East 30 July 43 to 15 April 44. Does anyone know if 2 RTR was at Sidi Bishr during that time?

    Can anyone help with being able to identify when and where these phots may have been taken.

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who can help with any information.
    Regards, Jim

    jock18.jpg Jock20.jpg Jock20-2.jpg
    dbf likes this.
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Ask KevinT if he has a record of that serial number.
    It might be an early Comet. They had a cowl like that on the rear.
    Comet Cruiser Tank A34
    Therefore late war , 1945 or Postwar


    Some Cromwell tanks also had that on the rear.
    Late war 1944-45 or Postwar.


  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  7. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Owen is correct it is a Cromwell.
    I don't have that specific census number the nearest I have is T188695 AULD JENNIE from 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.
    Dating the photo is difficult. The Cromwell wasn't trialled until late 1943 and did not see active service until 1944 with the invasion of Europe. Somewhere I have a list of who built the various batches of Cromwells, if I can find it I will post it.
    As to users:-
    2nd Batt Welsh Guards
    8th King's Royal Irish Hussars
    1st RTR
    5th RTR
    4th County London Yeomanry
    5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards
    2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry
    15th/19th King's Royal Hussars
    Various Czech and Polish regiments

    Also in the photo showing the number the tank crews all appear to be waring Pixie Suits which I think came in late 1944 but someone will correct me on that. T188702 could be a wartime survivor, possibly with 5th RTR.


  8. S54

    S54 Junior Member

    The lanyards weren't changed to individual regimental colours until the late fifties or early sixties! But each Regt less 1RTR had a small shoulder flash attached to the epaulette in the regiments colour, looking at your dad's pic it looks like he's wearing the same one as the rest of the guys in the pic, maybe it's the 52 Trg Regt one!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  9. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    Owen, Kevin,

    Brilliant. Thank you so much for your information which is very useful. I think you are spot on. His Certificate of Service booklet and MOD letter says my father served with 5 RTR as part of BAOR from 24 Jun 45 till 27 Oct 48. He went to RAC Schools Bovington for a Short Comet Instr Course 12 Sep 46 – 23 Oct 46.

    I have other photos which are post war. However, I thought he looked younger in this one and that because the tank number was in the 188 series rather than 335 series, it was early 39/40.

    For information, here are the other photos. Once again sincere thanks for your help.

    Cheers, Jim

    Attached Files:

    Owen likes this.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'd say the tank in photo jock22 is a Centurion Mk 1 by looking at the co-ax mount to right of main gun.
  11. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    Thanks for the clarification about lanyards it is very useful. It could be 52 HT Regt although my limited research indicates that
    52 Trg Regt was the RTR Depot at Bovington and 51 Trg Regt was the Cavalry Depot at Catterick.
    Thanks for your help, Cheers, Jim.
    S54 likes this.
  12. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    Thanks for pointing that out. It would make sense as my research indicates that the Centurion entered service with 5 RTR in December 1946 and eventually all the Mk I & Mk II versions were replaced by the Mk III. So photo most likely to be 1947 which could also apply to a couple of the other photos.

    Thanks for your information which is much appreciated.
    Cheers, Jim
  13. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    Reference the above additional photos 10 June 21, the second one of four RTR personnel in Sid Bishr Camp near Alexandria. On the back it says:
    "Sid Bisur A Coy
    Tafe Probert
    Busty Ruddle
    Jock Culbrough
    Ken Ward"

    In the 2 Bn RTR War Diaries, I have found a reference to 2 RTR arriving at Sidi Bishr Camp on 9.3.41 and each Sqn being provided with the allocated accommodation. On 12.3.41 it is recorded that "the Bn was well settled in at Sidi Bishr Camp and administrative arrangements were working satisfactorily". 2 RTR left on 6.5.41 to the general area of Minar Qaim as part of 7 Armd Bde.

    I am therefore very pleased to presume the photo was taken between 9 March to 6 May 1941. Cheers, Jim
  14. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Not wanting to be difficult, but they may also have spent time in Sidi Bishir camp later in 1941, 1942, and maybe even 1943?

    All the best

    J Kubra likes this.
  15. lssah2025

    lssah2025 Driver advance

    It is a Cromwell, T188702 Cromwell IVF English Electric, Leyland Motors, Fowler

    Attached Files:

  16. J Kubra

    J Kubra Member

    Issah2025, Thanks for the confirmation and the production details. Much appreciated. Cheers, Jim

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