9th Lancers in May and June 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Ramiles, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Facebook: The Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum

    With:

    From the Archives
    Somme 1940
    In the six weeks from 10th May 1940, German forces defeated the Allied forces by mobile operations and conquered France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, bringing land operations on the Western Front to an end until June 1944.
    The 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers embarked for France in May 1940, as part of the largest movement of armour ever made in England, to aid the Allied Forces holding back the Germans. The 9th were at that time in a very high state of training and efficiency and it was a great disappointment to them that they were equipped with such an inferior and mixed bag of tanks. The Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel C.H.M. Peto sailed from Southampton on 20th May, and disembarked at Cherbourg the next day.
    The Regiment moved immediately in preparation for operations across the Somme area. This dash northwards was greatly impeded by the general move south of refugees, RAF ground staff, and base troops both French and British, who told lurid tales of the fighting in Belgium. After a large number of conflicting orders from the War Office and GHQ BEF, Major-General Evans, commanding 1st Armoured Division, was eventually instructed to seize the bridgeheads over the Somme preparatory to a breakthrough in relief of the BEF, now cut off from the bulk of the French armies. By this time the Germans were already across the Somme.
    The 9th stayed in the Somme area between Amiens and Abbeville for nearly a fortnight dashing here and there and everywhere with no definite information about the situation. Their days and nights were full of alarms and excursions. They had one or two brushes with German infantry and the Luftwaffe flew over their heads the whole time practically unopposed. After heavy tank casualties the 2nd Armoured Brigade under command of Brigadier McCreery was withdrawn to re-form in the Rouen area. The French army was badly demoralized and expected miracles from the British 1st Armoured Division in the way of tank – infantry co-operation. These were naturally not forthcoming for the division was equipped with Vickers light tanks and a very small number of A13 Cruisers, and it had only one armoured brigade in action. One 9th Lancer cruiser went to France without its gun, such was the desperate shortage, the intention being to cannibalize the first tank that was knocked out.
    When the brigade was withdrawn to Rouen, the 9th had remained in the St. Valery area with the 51st Highland Division, and was all but surrounded by the enemy. Second-Lieutenant Steel fought a very gallant action with his cruiser troop of ‘C’ Squadron against a large number of German tanks for which he was awarded the DSO.
    The line of the Somme was held for a few days but, with the French Army in Paris now in retreat, it was only a matter of time before the Seine position became untenable. The division was therefore ordered to withdraw and embark for England. The 9th Lancers went nonstop from Le Mans to Brest and so back to England, exactly one month after landing, on the day that France capitulated. Lieutenant Tew and five other ranks had been killed in action in France, and Lieutenant Steel had died of wounds.
    For their actions the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers were awarded the Battle Honour ‘Somme 1940’.
     
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    HorsePower – The 10th Royal Hussars in France, 1940

    Has... (and continues)

    The 10th Royal Hussars in France, 1940

    At the outbreak of the second Wold War in September, 1939, the 10th Hussars were stationed at Aliwal Barracks Tidworth (where the King’s Royal Hussars are stationed today), as part of the 2nd Armoured Brigade of the 1st Armoured Division, In the brigade, the Tenth served alongside the Queen’s Bays and the 9th Royal Lancers.

    Having returned from India in late 1936, the Tenth had only exchanged their horses for lorries and obsolete tanks in 1937, and even by 1940 were still equipped with a mixture of obsolete light tanks (equipped only with a machine gun) and more modern Cruiser tanks. The Cruisers (the A13, as it was known) were more effective and armed with a 2-pounder gun, but were still no real match for the latest German tanks. By 1940, each squadron had a mix of half Light and half Cruiser tanks.

    Early 1940 found the division on the south coast, preparing to join the British Expeditionary Force un France. Tanks and other equipment were still in extremely short supply, but when the German invasion happened, and the Allied Front began to collapse, the 1st Armoured Division was rapidly prepared to cross the Channel.

    Sailing from Southampton on 21st May, the regiment sailed for Le Havre. This destination was changed to Cherbourg in mid-Channel, as the Germans were already threatening the original destination – it did not take the men on board ship long to realise the chaos that lay ahead.
     
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    9th Lancers - from 23rd June 2011 - Tank Museum FB post...
    (Tried to find a link to the original post but it just switches to comments and not to a link :-( )

    "France May/June 1940. An A9 Cruiser Mk I (Close Support) of the 9th Lancers has been abandoned on the retreat from France, and here German soldiers pour over the vehicle and its contents for souvenirs. It has been badly damaged; you can see a huge crack in the turret which has itself been dislodged, probably by artillery. The German photographer clearly hadn’t noticed that an officer had nipped into the verge (see bottom left) – and here he has been immortalised forever answering the call of nature. And where on earth did the guy at the top find that ukulele?* There would barely be any room for it in an A9…"

    *
    With fb Comments mainly of the order of "It's a mandolin" etc. and about the "call of nature".

    FB_IMG_1589899766556.jpg
     
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. The death of 2nd Lieutenant Richard Owen Price Steel and a ref. to the capture of Lance Corporal Hipple and Trooper Dolton.

    Area of Amiens: http://www.9th12thlancersmuseum.org...s/regimental-histories-1936-1945-bright/37947
    Loss of 2nd Lieutenant R.O.P. Steel

    Casualty

    Second Lieutenant
    STEEL, RICHARD OWEN PRICE
    Service Number 113445
    Died 24/05/1940
    Aged 26
    9th Queen's Royal Lancers.
    Royal Armoured Corps
    Son of Gerald Arthur Steel, C.B., and Ellen Price Steel, of St. John's Wood, London. B.A. (Oxon.). Chartered Accountant.

    Dreuil-lès-Amiens Churchyard
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Trooper James Lennox Brown

    Casualty

    Trooper
    BROWN, JAMES LENNOX
    Service Number 767398
    Died 26/05/1940
    Aged 32
    9th Queen's Royal Lancers
    Royal Armoured Corps
    Son of Charles W. B. Brown and Mary Brown, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, husband of Sarah Scott Brown, of Byker, Newcastle-on-Tyne.


    Cemetery
     
  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Early WW2 - 9th Lancers etc.

    IWM H268 - 9th Lancers light tanks at Tidworth
    MANOEUVRES 1938

    IWM H269 - 9th Lancers light tanks at Tidworth
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

    The IWM - has these photographs in with sets entitled "MANOEUVRES 1938"

    And - described them in the "Object description" as...

    "Light Tank Mk VIs of the 9th Lancers on manoeuvres at Tidworth, Wiltshire, 1938."

    Whilst saying on their captions and object descriptions - "MANOEUVRES 1938" this however is followed shortly afterwards by "Taken by Captain Console November 1939"

    There's a note next to this - censored - So perhaps they were taken Nov'39 - but the censor preferred that they be titled "Manoevers 1938" - for some reason.


    & some of the other "MANOEUVRES 1938" pictures the IWM has... similarly...

    H446 - Dispatch rider
    ARMY MANOEUVRES 1938

    H538-H545
    i.e.
    H546 - Gun Park at Basingstoke
    MANOEUVRES 1938 BASINGSTOKE


    Edit: Some explanation of the situation in 1939 here....

    Ministerial Mayhem: The Control of Photography Order, 1939 | Imperial War Museums Blog

    With...

    "Issued by the War Office on September 10th, 1939 Control of Photography Order Number 1 banned the photographing or filming of any object or subject conceivably connected with the prosecution of war. The order’s list of prohibitions included large groupings of troops or evacuees, any form of equipment or supplies, harbours and docks, crashed aeroplanes, damaged buildings and any form of riotous or disorderly assembly. Also included were gas works, electricity plants, hospitals, ambulances and roads or railways ‘connected with works of defense’.
    Carried through with little or no cross-departmental consultation, this legislative blunt instrument came, in the understated words of the Home Office, as ‘rather a surprise’. The immediate effect was to convince many that civilian photography had been banned outright. The press and, in particular, the newsreel companies were incensed. With the British Expeditionary Force in transit to France, and the public eager for news, the biggest pictorial story of the war thus far was off-limits.
    The state of confusion created by the War Office reached the heights of absurdity the following day. A broadcast on French radio incorrectly stated that the BEF had gone into action alongside French troops on the Maginot Line and British newspapers were soon pressing for permission to print. The War Office remained obdurate until 21:00 when it permitted a clarification to the French story to be printed. Concerned by an eyewitness account by Daily Express correspondent Geoffrey Cox describing British troops landing at Cherbourg at 23:30, the War Office ordered the story to be suppressed. The result was utter chaos. With the early morning editions already en route to their distribution points, police raided newspaper offices and wholesalers. Early-rising motorists had their cars searched in what one paper described as ‘Gestapo tactics’. Whilst all hell broke loose in London, in Paris, the Commissariat General á l’Information issued a bland communique clarifying the earlier radio report confirming that the BEF had arrived, but that they had not gone into action. At 02.55am after consultation with the War Office the MOI once again granted permission for the story to be printed
    ."
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  9. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    The photographer appears to be Armando Consolé who served in both World Wars. Whether by chance or design, IWM have catalogued his work separately: WW1 and WW2 – evidently they have missed yours.

    Intriguingly, the London Gazette reveals that he was raised from the ranks to temporary honorary 2nd Lieutenant, so perhaps he already had some photography experience. Not sure but perhaps the honorary commission reflects a foreign nationality.

    Page 1064 | Supplement 30486, 18 January 1918 | Lon...
    Pte. A. Console, from A.S.C., to be temp. Hon. 2nd Lt. while specially empld. 22nd Jan. 1918.

    Page 11082 | Supplement 30904, 13 September 1918 | ...
    Temp. Hon. 2nd Lt. A. Console relinquishes his commn on account of ill-health caused by wounds, and is granted the hon. rank of 2nd Lt. 18th Sept. 1918.


    He was ‘spec. emp.’ on returning to the colours when war broke-out.

    Page 8311 | Supplement 34753, 12 December 1939 | Lo...
    The undermentioned to be 2nd Lts.:— 9th Sept. 1939:—Armando CONSOLE (106259).

    ARMY LIST - JULY, 1940, Regular Army Emergency Commissions, 2nd Lieutenants:

    upload_2020-12-7_21-56-36.png

    upload_2020-12-7_21-57-3.png

    As far as I can see he did not serve between the wars, so the mystery remains.


    EDIT. Didn't realise that you had raised this on the What tank is this? thread and already had an answer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
    Ramiles likes this.
  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks ;-)

    I saw this IWM picture* of Armando Console on Tumblr - I was going to start a thread on him, and his pictures, but got snagged on trying to decide what category to put what I could find on his biography and works in - "General" seemed a possible start - but a bit too inspecific - especially until I knew a bit more about him, and including his later career etc.

    All the best,

    Rm.

    (* Not "yet" refd with an IWM number - will add in edit if found - Rm)

    tumblr_5fbb019024564c2263848e0a4d01d4c9_0842fa65_1280.jpg
     
  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Some 9th Lancer refs in...

    Death by Design

    "Peter Beale
    The History Press, 22 Jul 2016 - History - 224 pages


    At the outbreak of war in 1939 British tank crews were ill-equipped, under trained and badly led. As a consequence the lives of hundreds of crewmen were wasted unnecessarily. This was due not only to the poor design and construction of British tanks, but also to the lack of thought and planning on the part of successive pre-war governments and the War Office. Death by Design explores how and why Britain went from leading the world in tank design at the end of the First World War to lagging far behind the design quality of Russian and German tanks in the Second World War. This book is a much-needed warning to governments and military planners: a nation must always be prepared to defend itself and ensure that its soldiers are equipped with the tools to do so."
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    IWM Q 19801
    Lieutenant Armando Console, who served briefly as an official photographer on the Western Front in 1918 until he lost a leg in a shell explosion. The photograph shows him on crutches looking at an exhibition of naval photographs in the Princes' Hall, Piccadilly accompanied by a small girl.
    [​IMG]

    PHOTOGRAPHY DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR. © IWM (Q 19801) IWM Non Commercial License
     
    Ramiles likes this.
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I've downloaded this DSO citation, however as it might be possible to see from the preview it isn't easily readable*...

    Recommendation for Award for Steel, David Rank: Second Lieutenant Regiment: ... | The National Archives

    Name Steel, David
    Rank: Second Lieutenant
    Regiment: 9 Lancers
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: British Expeditionary Force 1939-40
    Award: Distinguished Service Order
    Date of announcement in London Gazette: 27 September 1940

    -----

    David Steel, DSO, MC, TD.
    David Steel (businessman) - Wikipedia

    Obituary:

    Guardian: Obituary: Sir David Steel
    Independent: Sir David Steel
    Telegraph: Sir David Steel

    ----

    Edit -

    DSO citation... (I've tried to transcribe what I can almost pick out but it is practically illegible - unfortunately)

    On June 8th 1940 2nd Lt. Steel was in command of a troop of ??? tanks west of Dusey? During the afternoon he was attacked by greatly superior enemy armoured forces consisting of ?three? Heavy tanks, light tanks and troop carriers.

    2nd Lt. Steel engaged the enemy

    Manoeuvred his troop so as to engage the enemy light tanks.

    And his own tank was hit three times. 2nd Lt. Steel still continued the action engaging both heavy and light German tanks. During these actions the driver of 2nd Lt. Steel's tank was rendered unconscious and had to be removed from his ?command? and taken into the back under fire.

    2nd Lt. Steel ??? continued the action and eventually withdrew under orders from the squadron leader.

    Showed conspicuous gallantry and coolness under fire, and was instrumental in inflicting... casualties...to disorder enemy forces and holding up the enemy advance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Edwin Ezra Parsons's memories of the 9th Lancers in France in 1940: BBC - WW2 People's War - France 1940

    BBC - WW2 People's War - France 1940

    With...

    On the 6 May 1940 the regiment was warned to be ready to move overseas at 10 days notice. On the 20 May they found themselves at Southampton and at 5 a.m. on the 21 May they landed at Cherbourg France.
    On the 10 May the Germans had attacked Holland and the French and British forces had moved into Belgium.
    The 9th Lancers along with the Queens Bays and 10th Hussars made up the 2nd Armoured Brigade of the 1st Armoured Division. (The only Armoured Division in France)
    The Plan was for the 1st Armoured Div to join the B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) in Belgium, but the German advance was so swift that by the 24 May the B.E.F. was cut off and had already begun withdrawing from Dunkirk. The German forces were now at the river “Somme” and the immediate role for the 1st Armd Div was to support the French forces south of that river.
    Edwin had landed with his regiment on the 21 May and he remembered the scruffy looking French soldiers at the port and in Cherbourg itself, which they marched through that night so as to disperse in its suburbs as a protection from possible air raids.
    Edwin’s group found themselves in the courtyard of either a farm or orchard where they had to bed down for the night in hay carts. They spent a fitful night, and Edwin recalled the fleas keeping him awake, and seeing eyes staring at him from out of the darkness….. these turned out to be rats.
    The next day they were moved on again to join the transport which would take them to their regiments collection area. (The tanks had gone on ahead leaving the dismounted troops to catch up later.) The transport which consisted of a number of lorries was eventually located in a wood. Here they were fed and given their first fag ration, a great priority to them all. It was here that they experienced their first taste of war.
    Edwin remembered the sudden chaos as the bombs began to fall. They were in the general area but not close enough to be of any real threat. He, along with others, dived under the nearest lorry and as trained they all placed a stick ( which they carried in their helmets) into their mouths. These sticks were to bite on, supposedly to relieve the effects of concussion. The air raid passed without incident and the stick idea was soon dropped as complete daftness. As for sheltering under vehicles this was soon realised as madness as the vehicles are most likely the intended targets of the attack. Edwin was to learn a few years later the folly of such an action.
    After meeting up with his regiment at the concentration area the next thing Edwin could recall was going out on patrol. The patrol consisted of (as far as he could remember) three tanks, which were Vickers Mk V1 Light Tanks. These were small tanks of around 5 tons and had a crew of three. They were armed with a heavy machine gun and one light machine gun. Their top speed was 35 M.P.H. The regiment was (as was the whole Arnd Div) so under equipped that they had not enough tanks to mount all the crews. This led to each tank having a reserve crew. These reserve crews followed in trucks directly behind the tanks. Edwin was a driver in a reserve crew.
    The poor state of readiness of the regiment (and the Div) can be realised when one considers the facts that it had one tank with a turret made of ply-wood, and another was fitted with a howitzer but had no ammunition, and the regiment had been issued with the new Besa machine gun, but had no one trained in its use.
    Edwin was unaware of all this, and he had no idea of what was happening. All he knew was that he was being driven around beautiful French countryside on a hot sunny day. He remembered a shot ringing out and the column coming to a halt, Someone in the truck behind his own had accidentally shot himself in the foot with his own revolver, He was taken in a staff car.
    Edwin could not remember if it was the same day or the following one, but again they were out on patrol with two or three tanks and two lorries. Again it was lovely summer weather and they drove along country lanes with high corn growing on either side. Suddenly the lead tank stopped- it’s engine had cut out. Everyone made their way along the column and stood around the tank discussing what could be wrong with it. The driver was out getting ready to lift the engine cover. Someone suddenly spotted a small hole in the front of the tank and putting his finger in to it asked what it was. Immediately everyone realised it was a bullet hole and ran. Edwin remembered seeing the driver, who was a large fat man, diving head first into the tanks very small drivers hatch. They ran scattering into the cornfields.
    The bullet (Armoured Piercing) had removed all the rocker arms from the engine causing it to stop immediately. It appears that German motorcycle combinations were Operating in the area. They would shoot up a tank before speedily disappearing. The driver in the MK V1 light tank sat on the near side of the vehicle, with the engine at his side to the right. The German gunner probably presumed that being British (drive on left) that the driver would be situated on the off side. He most likely aimed where he thought the driver would be.
    The few weeks Edwin spent in France were Chaotic and disorganised. Not only for him, but also his regiment. The 9th Lancers were unable to record a full account of their many moves and actions- like wise Edwin’s memories were dis —jointed. I have set out his recollections as best I can in the most feasible order of occurrence.
    Edwin recalled being on patrol (again as reserve crew) and seeing a British “Cruiser” tank come crashing out of a wood it’s gun facing rearward firing rapidly. It paused briefly in the open field and then slowly drove off disappearing into the trees at the far side of the said field. What it was firing at or trying to flee was never seen.
    At around the same time Edwin recalled being in a wood. He was with his Sergeant Major and they had set up a Bren gun on a high tri-pod ready for Anti-aircraft use. Edwin had been chosen by the Sergeant Major because the Bren gun was a fairly new weapon to the regiment and Edwin had been fully trained in its use whilst serving in the Infantry. They were situated at the edge of the wood, probably on a hill, overlooking open fields. Suddenly, and very noisily a German fighter plane flew sedately past them. It was very low and so close that the pilot was in full view. He had his canopy pushed back and his scarf was flowing freely in the wind He tilted his wing down as he flew past offering an even better view. Edwin swore that in the few seconds, which seemed like hours, he could clearly see the pilots face looking back at his own. He was brought back to his senses by the Sergeant Major shouting, “SHOOT IT….. SHOOT IT”. But the plane had gone.
    Edwin often wondered what would have happened if he had fired. It was highly unlikely that he would have hit the plane, but what if it had come back and retaliated. What then.
    Edwin remembered watching a French bomber being attacked by German fighters. Possibly at the same location as his own encounter with the Luftwaffe. It slowly lost height until it crashed in a nearby field. A party of soldiers went out to the crash site but Edwin could not remember if there were any survivors.
    An experience Edwin loved to re-count, but was unable to give an exact date other than France 1940, this was another encounter involving a Bren gun. A Sergeant was giving instructions on its use and firing drills to a small group of men, Edwin included. They had the machine gun set up on the floor of a small barn and two men acting as gun crew lay behind it. The remaining men sat on either side of the machine gun facing each other. The Sergeant circled the small group shouting out various parts of the gun and their function. Soon Edwin and another man were sent by the Sergeant to fetch an ammo box containing the magazines for the Bren gun. They had strict instructions to collect a specific box from just inside the tent. They found the box and returned to the barn with it. Re-taking their seats they watched as a magazine was handed to the gun crew. The Sergeant barked “LOAD”, and Edwin noticed the bullets inside the magazine as it was clicked into place. He thought this strange but said nothing. “READY”- the sights were set and the gun cocked. Edwin was now a little apprehensive but still said nothing…. He secretly hoped someone else would speak up - surely everyone else had noticed — especially the loader. Perhaps they were training bullets, and he did not want to make a fool of himself. “AIM”- The gunner aimed at the diff of a tractor a few yards away. It had a cross painted on it as an aiming point. “FIRE”- The gun jumped into life and the tractor diff disintegrated sending metal fragments flying around the barn. Several men, including the sergeant were injured. Edwin never mentioned the outcome of this disaster.
    Another incident Edwin recalled (which may well have been influenced by previous happenings) was being left in a ditch by the side of a road. He had been told by his Sergeant Major that the squadron was going to visit a mobile bath unit that was in the area. When they had washed and cleaned up they would return. Edwin’s job in the mean time was to guard the bivouac. They would only be gone a few hours.
    He spent the whole day sitting in the ditch with a Boys Anti Tank Rifle. This was a very large rifle and known for its tremendous kick back when fired. The day dragged on and was broken occasionally by an old woman who would come out of her nearby cottage and feed him milk and biscuits. It was a very hot day and Edwin remembered lying in the hot sun. Eventually Edwin grew restless and began to wander about. He left the rifle in the ditch. Finally he began to walk in the direction his squadron had left. He had gone a short distance down the road when he came across a junction. As he stood trying to decide which route to take he heard someone making Pssssst! Pssssst! noises at him. It turned out to be one of his fellow troopers (possibly Llewellyn) who had also been dumped in a ditch. He had with him a Bren gun. They discussed their predicament, and decided they had been left as some sort of rear guard as the others scarperd. They both began to walk in the direction their regiment had gone. Both weapons were now left behind.
    It was now late evening and as they walked they came across a large house that was busily being emptied by soldiers. Some were stood burning papers while others loaded lorries with paintings and furniture. No one paid them any attention so they carried on past.
    Edwin never continued the story past this point. Perhaps he couldn’t remember how he re-joined his regiment, but somehow he did. His next memory was of listening to the noise of a battle with his fellow troopers. It was close by and his regiment was being held in reserve. They were not called forward to fight. (This was probably a battle around “ Huppy Village” on 27th May?)
    Edwin recalled arriving at a large country house set at end of a long private road The road had large trees on either side between which were parked tanks and other vehicles. Edwin was very thirsty and extremely dirty and determined to find some water. He walked down the road and into a small courtyard at the rear of the house and straight to a tap fixed on a wall. He had an extremely strong sense of having been there before and was conscious of having known exactly where the tap was. It was a very eerie experience for him. He returned up the road and saw soldiers standing around and sitting on tanks. Some were eating large pieces of cheese and swigging from bottles of wine. The exterior storage boxes of the tanks were open and full of wine and cheese. Edwin helped himself and climbed up on to a tank. He noticed they looked a bit knocked about and as he went to open a turret hatch an old soldier stopped him, “You don’t want to look in there”… These tanks had been recovered from the battlefield and the remains of the crews were still inside.
    By the end of May 1940 the Armoured Division was no longer effective as a fighting Division. It had very few tanks fit to fight. What tanks it did have were formed into a “composite regiment” made up of the remains of the 9th Lancers, 10th Hussars and Queen Bays. Dunkirk was fully evacuated by the night of 2/3rd June. On the 2nd June 1940 Edwin was attached to the 10th Hussars. He was not part of the “composite regiment” as the tank he manned had had its gun spiked (made inoperative) at some time previous, and this made it un -battle worthy. The tank he crewed was a Cruiser (A13), it weighed 14.5 tons and had a top speed of 30 M.P.H. It took 4 men to crew it, but Edwin found himself and a sergeant doing the job. They were armed with just their revolvers and a set of binoculars. Edwin travelled in the turret while the Sergeant drove. Their job was to patrol a given area and to watch the refugees. They had to look out for nuns who they were told were probably Nazis paratroopers.
    At last light each day the dispersed tanks would move into close leaguer. They formed a tight circle — reversed together with their armament facing outwards. The few tanks with a workable gun had the gun placed on fix lines. (That is, the gun was aimed at a specific place before dark so if fired later they would know exactly where the shot landed). One night an unidentified tank moved noisily along the skyline, its engine backfiring loudly. The flames from its exhaust made it an easy target. There was a hurried debate among the tired ragged tank crews as to its identity. It was decided to open fire on it when it reached a fixed line. Edwin luckily identified it in a burst of light from its exhaust as a cruiser. It was allowed to come closer and when it was confirmed as friendly it was allowed to join them. . Edwin may have saved a few lives.
    Edwin recalled stopping at a house set on the side of a country road. He and the Sergeant went in hoping to be fed, but they found the house empty with the table set for a meal. Who ever lived there had left in a hurry. Food was still on the cooker, and a pig had been let free from its sty in the backyard, presumably to enable it to fend for its self. There was also a scattering of freed chicken. They left the house as they found it
     
  15. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Trooper Frank Duxbury... 7879846

    Kia - 7th June 1940...

    Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_0055.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

    Casualty Details | CWGC

    TROOPER FRANK DUXBURY
    Service Number: 7879846
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Royal Armoured Corps
    9th Queen's Royal Lancers
    Date of Death
    Died 07 June 1940
    Age 31 years old
    Buried or commemorated at DUNKIRK MEMORIAL. Column 3.
    France
    Country of Service: United Kingdom
    Additional Info: Son of George and L. Elizabeth Duxbury, of Bolton, Lancashire; husband of Elizabeth Duxbury, of Bolton.
     
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Trooper Bartholamew Hutchinson

    Casualty Details | CWGC

    TROOPER BARTHOLAMEW HUTCHINSON
    Service Number: 317289
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Royal Armoured Corps
    9th Queen's Royal Lancers.
    Date of Death: Died 09 June 1940
    Age 26 years old
    Buried or commemorated at LA HAYE-MALHERBE COMMUNAL CEMETERY, France.
    Country of Service: United Kingdom
    Additional Info: Son of Bartholamew and Blanche Hutchinson; husband of Margaret Hutchinson, of Seaburn, Sunderland, Co. Durham.

    Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_0059.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021

Share This Page