15th/19th Hussars 14 September 1944

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by mark abbott, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    If anyone has a copy of the WD for this unit which covers the above date, I would be very interested to see a copy.

    I am researching 7926792 Tpr George HORLEY who received a Military Medal for bravery on that date. His recommendation states;-

    " On 14th Sep'44 'A' Sqn, 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars was operating in support of 3rd Irish Guards in the bridgehead over the MEUSE-ESCAUT at Map. square 3487 (Map. ref. France & Belgium1/50,000 Sheet 26 7 36). Tpr. Horley was the gunner in the tank commanded by the Tp.Ldr. of 2nd Tp. During the course of the action when operating in very close country the turret of Tpr Horley's tank was hit and penetrated by a Bazooka and the Tp.Ldr. and operator were both severely wounded, Tpr. Horley, was wounded in the neck and chest and the wireless set was smashed. Despite his wounds and the fact that the was under close range small arms fire at the time Tpr. Horley helped to get his Tp. Ldr. out of the tank and carried him across an open space to the shelter of a house. He then again ran across the open under fire to his Sqn. Ldr's tank 100yds away and gave him information as to what had happened. this was of the greatest value as nobody else had been able to see what had fires at the tank. Tpr. Horley was evidently in considerable pain and collapsed on his Sqd. Ldrs tank."

    If anyone can provide any further information, I would be delighted to hear from them.
    Many thank

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  2. XRayX

    XRayX Aalst-Waalre

    Hi Mark,

    This action is mentioned in my book: "The road to Valkenswaard, and the men who fought for it".
    I also have the diary you mention.
    If I can help in any way just send me a PM of email at: info@valkenswaardwarcemetery.nl

  3. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    Hello Ray,

    Many thanks for your response to my post; I have emailed you.

  4. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    From WO171/846:

    14 September Maps France & Belgium 1/50000 Sheet 26 & 36.
    A dull wet morning after a wet night. Cleared up a little but remained dull, quite a thick mist in the morning which hung about till 1030hrs. Enemy shelled area of bridge with airburst from 2 guns to the West for 2 or 3 hours in the morning. No damage. About 0900hrs enemy put in an attack from the North, North West and West. At least 4 S.P. A/Tk guns and a number of infantry moved down from the North against the Coldstream Guards and ‘C’ Sqn. Certainly 3 of these S.P. guns were destroyed by ‘C’ Sqn mainly by Sgt Hollis of 2nd Troop – Lt.M.Roderick - who did particularly well. ‘C’ Sqn met and repulsed this attack and apart from the 3 S.P. guns killed a large number of German infantry. Meantime ‘A’ Sqn in co-operation with both Coldstream and Irish Guards were engaged in somewhat confused fighting in the houses along the track LA COLONIE – 343982 and in the woods 3397. They cleared up the situation along the track to their North without much difficulty, killed a large number of Germans and took about 70 prisoners. Further to the West the situation was very much more difficult. 1st Tp – Lt. A.M. Bryce – became drawn into the thick woods supporting the Irish Guards where two of its tks broke tracks and whilst immobilised owing to this were heavily engaged by enemy bazookas and riflemen.

    Lt.Bryce’s tank was penetrated by a bazooka and he and his operator No.321917 Tpr Walker R. were unfortunately killed, and No.317625 Tpr Ashley R. another member of his crew was wounded. Lt.W.R.McM Winkley who had taken over Comd of 2nd Tp ‘A’ Sqn the previous day from Capt.P.Hodgson also had his tk penetrated by bazooka fire and he himself and No.7926792 Tpr Horley G. his gunner were wounded. Tpr Horley did particularly well in getting his Tp Ldr out of the tk when seriously wounded and himself though wounded running across under heavy fire to explain the situation to his Sqn Ldr. With the help of a Tp sent across from ‘B’ Sqn and as a result of considerable skill and considerable work by Capt.G.W.Luttrell 2nd in Command of the Sqn and Sgt Jackson ‘034 – Tp Sgt 1st Tp, the 1st Tp tk tanks were repaired under fire and everybody successfully extricated except Lt.Bryce’s tk which had to be left behind with himself and his operator dead inside it. By 1800hrs the situation was cleared up all round and similar posns to the previous night were once more taken up with the exception that the Irish Guards on the West drew themselves in to a line running South down the track from 343982 and left the enemy in possession of the woods to the West of this. ‘A’ Sqn conformed to this disposition and contd in support. The Regt had had a fairly hard day’s fighting and had undoubtedly been prominent in repelling a fairly determined attack against the bridge head. Information from prisoners showed that the enemy believed that we only had a bridgehead of 1 weak Bn and that they would be able to destroy this and regain possession of the bridge and adv Southwards once more to the ALBERT CANAL. The following casualties were sustained during the day:- Killed Lt.A.M.Bryce, 321917 Tpr Walker R. 1st Tp ‘A’ Sqn. No.14414856 Tpr Heathfield R. 1st Tp ‘C’ Sqn. No.14498283 Tpr Downing P. 2nd Tp ‘C’ Sqn. Wounded:- Lt.W.R.McM.Winkley, No.7926792 Tpr Horley G., No.317625 Tpr Ashley R., No.14422851 Tpr Harris W. 2nd Tp ‘A’ Sqn., N0.3607991 L/C Sheldon F. 1st Tp ‘A’ Sqn., No.7919979 Cpl Woolfoot J. 1st Tp ‘C’ Sqn., No.3605308 L/C Hamilton E., No.7960951 Tpr Wright D. 2nd Tp ‘C’ Sqn. In addition Capt.C.Y.Mills comd A1 Ech and No.7899905 Sgt Haynes R. ‘A’ Sqn Mech.Sgt. were wounded from shrapnel by long range shelling.

    I hope that is use, this is one of the good war diaries that includes details about OR's as well as officers.


  5. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member


    That is fantastic, very many thanks.

    I have just purchased an original copy of the regimental history; if anyone needs a look up, please let me know.

    It would appear that Lt W R McM Winkley is William Robin Macmillan Winkley who died in 2012 who originally enlisted in the RA and commissioned into the RAC in March 1944.
  6. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    I have just received the service papers for George Henry Horley from the Army Personnel Centre.

    George was born on 31 October 1910 and enlisted on 5 December 1940. On enlistment, he was posted to the 53rd Training Regiment and then on the 16 April 1941 to the 15th/19th Hussars at Tidworth. On the 20 March 1944, he passed his Trade test as a Gunner Mechanic. Together with the majority of his regiment, he embarked for North West Europe on the 14 August 1944 and one month later, he was winning his Military Medal!

    Having been seriously wounded, George was admitted to 10 CCS and then to St Hughes College Hospital in Oxford. Having recovered from his wounds, George was posted to the 1st Royal Gloucester Hussars on the 23 January 1945; he did not serve overseas again.

    His papers state that on 1 October 1945 he was "Designated to S.A.D.E.". His discharge to the Army Reserve being on the 1 March 1946.

    Interestingly, his address on discharge is given as "Normandy" Millbrook Road, Tanners Brook, Southampton.
  7. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    This is in theory a simple question but not one I have been able to answer!
    In September 1944, what tanks were the regiment equipped with?

  8. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    Stand down!

    I have just answered my own question by rereading the WD for 1944.

    15th August 1944 " The regiment was to take over a complete new establishment of Cromwell and Challenger tanks"

    17th August 1944 "Tanks received were 11 Challenger 17 pdr tks, 6 Cromwell 95mm and 44 Cromwell 75mm tks"
  9. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    My Great Uncle Cpl Alfred Smith of 'C' Squadron landed with the 15th/19th in August 44 and was issued with a Cromwell which he had for the duration of the war. He always talked highly and said 'it took some beating' - unlike the Churchill and Valentine tanks that he trained on in the UK.
    mark abbott likes this.
  10. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    Ox-Bucks, do you know Cpl Smith's service number? I have the War Diary for 1944 which has numerous individuals listed.
  11. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Hi Mark - his service number was 14238369. Not sure if he will be listed anywhere though!
  12. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    There is a Tpr Smith who served with 2 Troop B Squadron and appears in the Order of Battle in October, November and December 1944. The crew being:
    Sgt Segger D/M (AFV)
    Tpr Smith D/M (AFV)
    Tpr McCoy G/M III
    Tpr Cain G/O III
    Tpr Harrison G/M III

    Unfortunately, unlike "A" and "C" Squadrons, the individual service number are not recorded nor is the serial number of each tank.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  13. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    Tpr Smith was not with the crew in either August or September 1944. In September , the second D/M (AFV) is listed as a Tpr Gaiter.
  14. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Interesting research Mark - the family is currently going through the process of applying for service records to try and clear up a few bits. He definitely served with C Squadron. The names you mention above don't correlate with the names he remembers. Hunter, Nesbitt and Pearce are ones that he referred to regularly.
  15. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    I will have a look through the lists to see if I can see the above names.

    The lists I have include all men set with the regiment during the months mentioned.
  16. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    As far as I can see there is nothing relating to this man for 1944. I will have another look tomorrow
  17. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Interesting - I wonder if he remained in the UK with the regiment until 1945...that may be why he didn't receive the 1939-45 star. Which list/book are you consulting Mark?
  18. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    That would be the explanation. I have a group to a Recce soldier who is not entitled to the 1939-45 Star but has the France and Germany one. He ended up as a Major in the QORIH.

    The info comes from the unit War Diary for 1944. It is surprisingly detailed with monthly returns of all men serving and movements in and out. I am waiting for TNA to reopen to allow Andy to obtain the WD for 1945 for me. I will let you know if I discover anything.
  19. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Thanks Mark - it's getting more and more likely that this is the case as the medal group we have consists of the France and Germany Star, Defence and War Medals. So I suspect that my great uncle didn't go to Europe until late 1944 if not 1945. He would have spent time on training in the UK, moving tanks down to the coastline etc.

    I have the copy of Courage's War Diary if this is what you are referring to or is there a separate/additonal one?
  20. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member

    The WD I am referring to is the official document that every unit had to keep (some are much more detailed than others) and held at TNA.

    I have not seen a copy of the one you refer to, is it published?

Share This Page