150th Yorks and Lancs

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Mintygeezer, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Mintygeezer

    Mintygeezer Member

    Hi everyone,
    I'd like to start by saying what a fantastic site you've got!! Here I am trying to look into Grandpas past and I find myself sidetracked by all kinds of really interesting threads and info!
    I've only just started looking into my late paternal grandfathers war history, as my Dad has come to what he assumes is a brick wall. This is because the words 'Silver Surfer' have alas passed him by and although he has a laptop and broadband access, that's about as far as it goes!
    So far Dad has contacted Glasgow and obtained the records they have, but there seem to be gaps that I'm looking to fill.
    Where do I go/what do I do next?
    Cheers,
    Tim.
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum. Drop me a message and or click the red link below if you want a hand with the war diaries.

    Good luck
    Andy
     
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    If he was in 10 Y & L before they converted to armour you'll also need this one.

    WO 166/4759 INFANTRY: 10 York and Lancaster Regiment.1940 Nov.- 1941 Aug.

    If you & your Dad having problems understanding Grandad's records, feel free to post them on the forum & ask for help.
     
  5. Mintygeezer

    Mintygeezer Member

    Thanks all, I'll scan all the docs and post them as soon as able, there's a little awkward thing in the way currently, oh you know, whats it called.........

    Work, that's it!!

    Nights are a bind, but fortunately I do get quite a lot of computer time!!

    Many thanks,

    Tim.
     
  6. Mintygeezer

    Mintygeezer Member

    Just Looking at his Service and Casualty Form, William Dean, 4757327 it lists his Corps as 150th Regt and his unit as 10th Bn Y & L Regt, R.A.C.. Att No 5 Chil NT (or maybe MT' ) Group - this on the 26/07/1940, enlisting date.


    Looks Like he did his basic training in Paisley before being transfered to Colchester, where he was based for 7 months before boarding at Liverpool

    26/8/41, disembarking/arriving in Poona 26/10/41.

    The next entry is dated 26/07/1943 regarding his pay scale and this gap is one we're looking to fill so hopefully the Diaries will help there.

    This is quite exciting, don't know why I didn't do it before!

    I don't think Grandpa was anything exceptional, he just did what was expected of him and never spoke about it ever again, with one exception.

    He didn't want his war medal, and as far as I'm aware only ever discussed it once with my uncle, his son-in-law, where he mentioned being in the water

    holding another man up by the hair before being rescued. This was apparently on the way home following his compassionate discharge due to my

    grandmother being very seriously ill.

    So the gaps are there, just got to fill 'em in!!
     
  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a bit of a summary on the 10th Battalion, The York and Lancaster Regiment and their subsequent service as 150th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps:


    10th Battalion, The York and Lancaster Regiment

    No. 7 Infantry Training Group - July 1940 to 10 October 1940
    The battalion was raised in July 1940 at Pontefract.

    207th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) – 10 October 1940 to 16 November 1941
    223rd Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) – 16 November 1940 to 21 February 1941
    207th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) – 17 February 1941 to 25 August 1941
    The battalion served in the United Kingdom under the brigades.

    WO Control – 26 August 1941 to 24 October 1941
    The battalion embarked for India on August 26th, 1941. It arrived in India on October 24th, 1941 and moved to Dhond near Poona.

    Heavy Armoured Brigade (India) -24 October 1941 to 31 October 1941
    It served with the brigade at Poona as the 10th York and Lancaster Regiment.

    50th Indian Army Tank Brigade – 31 October 1941 to mid-July 1942
    The regiment joined the 50th Indian Army Tank Brigade at Dhond, India and was first equipped with Valentines but these were replaced with Lee tanks in early 1942. When the brigade left for Ranchi during the second week of July 1942, the regiment left the brigade and remained behind.

    19th Indian Infantry Division – Mid-July 1942 to 16 April 1943
    Between June and October 1942 it moved to Tiruvallur and was attached to the 19th Indian Infantry Division for jungle training.

    2nd British Infantry Division – 16 April 1943 to 30 April 1944
    The 150th moved to Ahmednagar and came under command of the division. By March 29th, 1944 it was completely equipped with Lee medium tanks. Since the 254th Indian Tank Brigade was short a regiment, ‘C’ Squadron of the 150th RAC was sent out to join the brigade during mid-April. Since the Kohima Road was cut, their tanks could not be brought up so they manned the reserve Lees of the Carabineers and were locally called the YL (York and Lancaster) Squadron. In actuality, ‘C’ Squadron of the 150th RAC also manned five Lees under XXXIII Corps using scratch crews including artillerymen and infantry hastily pressed into service.

    50th Indian Tank Brigade – 30 April 1944 to October 1944
    The 150th returned to the 50th Indian Tank Brigade on April 30th, 1944 in the Poona area. It left the brigade in October 1944 and moved to the Imphal front.

    254th Indian Tank Brigade – October 1944 to 31 August 1945
    It moved to Imphal area on November 4th, 1944 under the command of the 254th Indian Tank Brigade. On December 30th, the 150th RAC concentrated at Mutaik and then moved to Kaduma by transporter with orders to be allotted as needed for specific brigade tasks. The 19th Division then received ‘C’ Squadron of the 150th RAC, while the rest of the regiment went into Corps reserve. On January 1st, 1945 it was operating in Mutaik, Burma. It was located at Ngazu on March 31st, 1945, at Taungdwingyi on April 30th, 1945, and at Shwedaung on May 31st, 1945. It left Burma for Ahmednagar, India on June 15th, 1945 by way of Madras.
     
    Owen likes this.
  8. Mintygeezer

    Mintygeezer Member

    Dryan67,

    Many thanks for that, can I assume that the regiment didn't engage any enemy force until April of 1944?

    If this is the case it confirms my theory that Bill (Grandpa) didn't see any action during his service. I also found out today from another family member that

    he had several admissions to hospital with malaria, and this explains the references in his record to various hospitals. I'm told the compassionate

    discharge was granted as my grandmother was so ill they thought she may not survive.

    Bill's record shows the departure date of 26/8/41 from Liverpool arriving in Poona 26/10/41, but am I right in assuming they would have

    disembarked in Bombay? In the records I just says disembarked India.

    It looks like Bill was one of the lucky ones, never having to go into the jungles, but his journey home was apparently eventful. He did say that the ship he

    was on was torpedoed and he ended up in the water, holding someone else up by the hair.

    I have a reference I think to a ship, S.S "C-68" which he embarked on 16/2/44, but haven't been able to identify it, Anyone any ideas?

    Many thanks all!
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The York and Lancaster Regt Vol.III by Sheffield has them going into 'continuous' action from the 1st Feb 1945. However some of the regiment were fighting in April and May 1944.

    The departure date and location matches but the history has them landing at Bombay in 'early December'.

    Can't help with the ship.

    There's a couple of photo's from the unit in the book and the source is listed as the IWM so they may be online.
     
  10. Mintygeezer

    Mintygeezer Member

    Great, thanks.
     
  11. Mintygeezer

    Mintygeezer Member

    SO, finally found ten minutes and here's Grandpa Bill's service record.

    The info already provided by you good people has already answered a lot, the main issue now is what happened following departure from Bombay 22/2/44.

    I've also discovered the York and Lancs museum is at Clifton Park Rotherham, not 15 mins from my front door! A visit is imminent I think!

    Many thanks to all, my old man is going through the ringer a bit at the moment, health wise, and this is really helping to take his mind off things.

    Cheers, Tim.

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  12. RonsNephew

    RonsNephew New Member

    Trooper Ron Tew, 150th Regt Royal Armoured Corps (Y&L)
    New to any forum & nervous about contributing – must be the Alzheimer’s. Reading about Kohima recently (Sept 2013) re-ignited childhood memories of my uncle, 4757557 Tpr Ron Tew, who served in the 150th Regt RAC. I wondered if he could possibly have been involved at Kohima? From a copy of his service-will, I knew his name, number and regiment. The posts on this forum then helped me to build a picture of how the 150th Regt RAC converted to tanks in India, in 1941, and then went through a longish period of waiting/training before being thrown into the thick of it in 1944. . The Bovington Museum was also an enormous help in providing a download of the consolidated regimental war diaries for years 1941-46.
    The diary records that, on March 30th 1944, C Squadron, led by Maj. A Newman, was ordered to fly out to Imphal immediately, to strengthen 254th Tank Division. As luck would have it, C Squadron and its commanders were scattered away from base on exercise and Maj. Newman was on sick leave. His 2IC, Capt. Boyce was also away at HQ on a staff attachment. Some officers and crews were on route back to base from jungle training. All were recalled and the race was on to get them flown out to Imphal before the window of opportunity closed. An advance party of C Sqdrn, led by Boyce, was flown out to Imphal on 31st March 1944. Tanks, equipment and the remainder of C Squadron were to follow a.s.a.p.
    11th April 44: Tpr Ron Tew’s name leapt out of the diary page, appearing in a nominal roll of those included in the follow-on detachment of C Squadron, led by Maj. Newman and Lt Trevor-Jones, arriving Dimapur late on 11thApril. This group were joined on April 12th by 16 tanks arriving at the railhead with a train party of 42 Orderlies led by Lt R.Wait & Lt.S.Bates. Orders to move forward to Imphal and re-join C Squadron advance party were cancelled: The Dimapur – Kohima – Imphal road had already been cut, blockaded and bunkered.
    With the rapidly deteriorating situation around Kohima, Maj. Newman was ordered to arm & prepare as many tanks as possible to support 5th Infantry Brigade who was held up by bunker positions at milestone 38 on the Kohima Road. Due to a shortage of trained crew, only five tanks could be scrambled. These five, accompanied by a platoon of 2 Norfolk’s for protection, were quickly moved up to Zubza, arriving just after midnight.
    14th April: In the early hours, the harbour was subject to repeated attacks, developing into a determined attack from surrounding steep slopes at dawn. According to the Diary entry of 14th April,
    … considerable casualties were inflicted by Browning, 75mm and 35mm canister by the tanks, and SA fire by dismounted troops. The 2 Dorsets brought down accurate mortar fire before the 7 Worc Regt attacked and captured the ridge positions.
    Later that morning, an order was issued for the C Squadron detachment to move up the Kohima Road and support 1 Camerons with the objective of destroying bunkers in positions 300yds East of Milestone 38.
    The Diary reads
    Tanks were in posn by Z + 10 and opened up at conclusion of very intensive RA barrage; bunker drill (ie 75mm, 6xAP followed by 6xHE delay and bursts of Browning) proved extremely successful. At Z + 35 tanks switched to 75mm AP as infantry neared bunkers, to keep Japs' heads down. Ceasefire given Z + 37, infantry occupied bunkers with negligible casualties or opposition. Japs counter-attacked at once, but failed to reach summit of bunker hill and suffered heavy casualties when driven off … Later info gave two bunkers as destroyed and three severely damaged by gunfire. Jap casualties heavy.
    Messages of congratulation from Command 2nd Div and Command 5 Inf Bde for day's work and support given to Camerons.

    Appendix D for that date recorded details of the five, 7-man crews that took part in this action – later named as the battle for Cameron Hill. 4757557 Tpr Ron Tew was listed as 37mm Gunner aboard Tank No.26067, commanded by Lt Trevor-Jones.
    From the 14th April until the garrison was relieved on 20th April, the war diary shows all five tanks heavily involved in operations leading to the relief of Kohima, These included breaking through to troops of 161 Brigade (15th April) who had been cut off for a considerable time at Jotsoma; fighting rearguard actions at Zubza (17th) ; recce & other operations under command of 1/1 Punjab (17th) ; significantly, opening the road into Kohima outskirts (19th), enabling ambulances to evacuate the wounded from the garrison there.
    On 20th April – The road into Kohima was again re-opened by the Lee tank troop, and relief of Kohima garrison commenced after some fighting. On this day the 75mm Loader in Ron Tew’s tank was wounded in the back by a sniper.
    On 21st April - The Lee troop advanced to Command Post on Punjab Hill at 0730hrs, in support of seven Grant tanks of 149 Regt RAC, who had moved up the previous evening and opened road to Kohima to continue relief of garrison. The Lee troop engaged continuously Jap Machine Gun posts and strongpoints in the valley during morning.
    And so the action continued until 24th April, when road-opening operations being successfully completed, C Troop reverted to command of 161 Brigade and was ordered to withdraw from the Kohima area and back to Dimapur.
    On 25th April – the Diary records that…
    At 1730hrs the Sqn was visited informally by the Div Comd, Maj Gen Grover. He inspected the whole detachment and spoke to several officers and men. In a short address he afterwards congratulated and thanked all present for their part in the various actions against the Jap, mentioning in particular the outstanding part played in destroying the bunkers in the CAMERON HILL battle on 14 Apr 44, and said that this bunker shoot had been largely instrumental in getting our forces through to the relief of the Kohima garrison in time.

    During June ’44 the C Sqn detachment was stood down, with its tanks (Ron’s included) and equipment transferred to the 149th. The full C Squadron was re-united at Dimapur and Ron is listed on the nominal role of those returning to Ahmednagar – later to return to Imphal and the road to Rangoon.
    So, after playing his part in turning the tide in the battle for Kohima, I am left wondering why it was so hard to find a mention elsewhere of the contribution of 150th Regt RAC at Kohima? Not a word of this Yorkshire Regt. even listed as being present at Kohima in previous anniversary literature or even on the Yorkshire Kohima Museum site. Was the contribution not large enough to be listed?
    I know that – like so many others – Ron found it hard to live with his war memories: So much so that in 1959, he finally decided not to live with them at all. I am glad that, at least I can pass down this much of his story to my family. The road to Rangoon is another chapter, but without his later squadron detail it will be hard to fill in the gaps.
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Thanks for the details of your uncle's service.
     

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