17/21st Lancers

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by viva1angel, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. viva1angel

    viva1angel Junior Member

    Hi there, i am New to this Forum and i am Not Quite Sure if i am posting in the right Place, So Apologies if i am In the Wrong Place.

    I Am In Search of Information of My grandfather who Was a Tank Driver in WW2

    his name was George Jennings (for some strange reason known as Joe) and from a statement made about an Incident that happened whilst in the Field it says He was The Driver of a Sherman Tank named Crusader Three in third Troop, C Squadron of the 17/21st Lancers. ( i dont have His Regiment numbers until the end of the week When his Papers Arrive)

    his Crew Was
    WIR/OP TPR - Evans
    Gunner TPR - PIPER
    Co driver TPR - Fairhurst

    And His LT was Tug Wilson

    It Mentions in the statement that He was in the Fendor Gap in North africa in 1943.

    In an Ideal Word i would Love to Find Out where he was and When (due to his Wife being a naughty Woman amoungst other things)

    The Statement of the 'incident' is Pretty Cool... My mother Remembers That His Friends Said he Should have Gotten a medal For it.... But he Got a military Bolloking instead.

    thanks for any help you can giveme on this one

  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Hi Emma - and welcome to the forum.

    There is a War Diary for this unit in WO175/292 at the National Archives at Kew which covers its time in North Africa 1942-43. This may well give you some clue as to what this was about. The diary is not online, so it means a visit.
  3. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Hi Emma, nice to meet you and hope the lads and lassies here can help you out (I think they might be able to)
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Emma – <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I join with the others to welcome you to the forum and trust that I can be of some help in finding out what your Grandfather got up to in the war- at least officially. First things first of course in that the fact that he was called “Joe” just means that someone was being polite as I have heard other terms applied to Tank drivers – especially as we were trying to have a cup of tea<o:p></o:p>
    when someone other became excited and we had to move off in a hurry !<o:p></o:p>
    As you probably know by now – the 17/21<SUP>st</SUP> belonged to the 26<SUP>th</SUP> Armoured Brigade in the 6<SUP>th</SUP> Armoured Division, which served in North Africa – Italy and finally Austria.<o:p></o:p>
    Like most Armoured Divisions – they were often split to fight with others in separate battles wherever the fight was and so seldom they were together in a big fight except in places like Fondouk when 17<SUP>th</SUP>/21<SUP>st</SUP> made a pigs ear of a battle and so 16/5<SUP>th</SUP> had to come up next day and sort them out….but then – that’s what friends are for – right ? – Kasserine was merely a cleaning up job but the main battle was at the end when they joined with 7<SUP>th</SUP> Armoured div and 4<SUP>th</SUP> Indian from 8th Army – 4<SUP>th</SUP> British and the two tank bdes from 1<SUP>st</SUP> army to finish off that campaign that was May ’43 .<o:p></o:p>
    Have to break off here as I have over done something – end of Pt ONE !
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Emma -
    Part TWO….<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Then it was on to Italy and the Cassino 11- Feb/Mar battle with the New Zealanders and again 4<SUP>th</SUP> Indian Divs at the Station of Cassino which went nowhere – then the final battle before Rome in the Liri Valley in May/June ’44.<o:p></o:p>
    From there they switched to the Western side of Italy for the chase back to Trasimeno and the capture of Perugia – Arrezzo and Florence. Then in the September it was the Gothic Line toward Bologna as the winter closed in.<o:p></o:p>
    In the spring ‘45 they were the driving force at the Argenta gap where we finally destroyed a great deal of the German armies and the end was in sight and in the early may we were on our way via Udine to Austria where we spent the next 2 years as occupation forces until going on to Lybia- Summer ‘47<o:p></o:p>
    Owing to the various changes they are now – in conjunction with 16/5<SUP>th</SUP> Lancers known as the Queen Royal Lancers with Her Majesty still Hon Colonel in Chief !<o:p></o:p>
    They had a good war record – equal to many ! By the way - I served with 16/5th Lancers in Austria after recovery from wounds !<o:p></o:p>
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Part three...
    I should also mention that the third battalion in the 26th Armoured brigade was the 2nd Battalion of the Lothian and Border Horse - which was a territorial unit as opposed to the regular Regiments of 16/5th and 17/21st Lancers.. and as such was broken up in Austria and their place was then taken by the 4th Queens Own regiment - who finally went off back down to Trieste to help sort out Tito's mob who were causing trouble there...
  7. viva1angel

    viva1angel Junior Member

    Hi all. many thanks For the Warm welcome.

    Tom... Thankyou For all of your help.

    I Contacted The national Archives yesterday to ask where and what Information they Would have On my man.... And The Blessed Man Who Replied Told Me Exactly what they Have on Him and what it said. Even Down to Him Being Shot in the hand And Having to spend time in the Convalescent depot Before being re Deployed.
    My Mother Brought her 'paper' Tin Yesterday for me to have a Nosey through... And there Is So much more than Expected to be there. All of his papers from the army.. including paybook. Photographs Of his Entire Troop. But the Things we Didnt Expect to Find.... His Miniture Version Medals. Five of them. He Has Three Stars... 1939-1945 star, africa star and italy star... plus two Coin ones...

    The Coin ones.... One of them is Orange and Green Defence Medal... The Other one i dont know what it is...

    It is a red white and Blue Striped Ribbon... a Silver Coin with what looks Liek a Lion on the back with the dates 1989-1945. i would Love to Know what This Medal is.... And More to the Point.... i have Found Two Large Medals, Both of them Identical... both The Red white and Blue Stripe Ribbon.... i am very Curious as to why he would have TWO of them?????

    The Nat archives have asked if it would be Possible for me to Send the Statement of the Incident So they may place it with Georges Records :):)
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Hi Viva1Angel

    While you are waiting for Tom to come back to you, as I am sure he will, I thought you might like to see a pic of the set of medals that I am sure are in your "paper tin"

    Good luck with your research


    Full info about the medals can be found here:
    British Gallantry, Orders, and Campaign ribbons.

    Attached Files:

  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Emma - glad that you had some success in calling the Kew outfit and getting a good response - and as Ron points out - those are exactly the medals for which he is entitled for his service - the extra two - welllll - he was a Tank driver and therefore accomplished in "finding" things - regarding being shot in the hand - probably at Fondouk and so surprised the rest of the Regiment that they made a pigs ear of that battle - and we had to gallop to the rescue as the 7th cavalry always does at the movies !
    His service record ahould explain further his journeys through Africa and Italy as well as his stint in Austria - which will be good to read ....
    Good luck and Cheers
  10. BigRich

    BigRich Junior Member

    Hi Emma
    I have been researching my great uncle's service record with the 17/21st Lancers before and during WW2 and I have obtained the war diary from the PRO at Kew. I am eager to speak to other Lancer researchers to further my information and if i can be of any help with your research please just ask!
    MyGreat uncle was called Ernest Bramfitt and he joined the regiment in 1936. He was stationed at Meerut in India at the outbreak of war. They were still on horseback when he joined and were mechanised a few years later. He returned to England in 1940 and after training and practicing in Scotland they embarked for North Africa. He served all through Tunisia and in to Italy and was fatally wounded at the end of May 1944 just north of Cassino on highway 6. He died a few days later in Naples Military Hospital where is subsequently buried.

    I have collected photos of many things relating to the regiment from the football team that played in the Calcutta Cup to the ships they went first to Africa and the to Italy on.

    Please don't hesitate to contact me with any requests or questions as it is good to find someone new to share my collection with as my family are fed up of hearing about it!!
  11. ken griffin

    ken griffin Senior Member

    hi richard,
    i am also interested in the 17/21st Lancers as my father was with them 1936-1939 in India, before going to North Africa. I have in my possession a vast number of photo's plus a large album, and so very large photo's of 'B' Squadron, somr listing the name's of who is on them.
  12. BigRich

    BigRich Junior Member

    Hi Ken

    It's nice to find someone with a common interest.

    My great uncle was in A Squadron and joined the regiment in 1936.

    I have collected a few books charting the 6th armoured tour of duty from Tunisia to Italy, and I also have a collection of militaria including menu cards for the xmas lunch in Meerut in 1935 through to 1937.

    It would be good to share what information we both have.

    I have a photograph of the last mounted parade in Meerut before mechanisation and a L/cpl Griffin of B Squadron is mentioned in the photo description. Could this be your father??

    Keep in touch

  13. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    My Late father served in the 4th Recce Regt, 4th Infantry Div in Italy and like all of the Recce Regt's was transferred into the RAC in 1944. I am pretty certain that he ended up in the 17/21 st Lancers.

    Tragically all my fathers papers were lost in the post and I am now having to await documents before applying for his records.


  14. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    And His LT was Tug Wilson


    Hello Emma, I got curious about your Grandfathers tank commander, and why all Wilson's are called 'Tug'..
    Like 'Bunny' Warrens and 'Dusty' Millers.

    Naval slang apparently, after an ex Sea Lord. Wilson


    Derived from the nickname of a former First Sea Lord (1909-11) Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Kynvet Wilson, also awarded the VC when fighting with the Naval Brigade at the Battle of El Teb in 1884 in the Sudan during the Mahdi rebellion. Admiral Wilson's nickname reputedly comes from an incident when he repeatedly ordered a battleship to try and come alongside and in exasperation offered her Captain a tug to assist.

    From here
  15. ken griffin

    ken griffin Senior Member

    Hi bigrich,
    couple of photos of 'B' Sqn

    Attached Files:

  16. ken griffin

    ken griffin Senior Member

    Hi everyone,
    Can you tell what the 17/21st Lancers were doing in the following places in India in 1936 in the following order,
    Meerut, Dehra Dun, Shimla/Simla, Kailana and then Jammu, as I have a few pic's dated 1936.
  17. ken griffin

    ken griffin Senior Member

    Hi again,
    Memorials to 17/21st, they tell their own story, does anyone know the larger photo is located.

    sorry did it aagain ken, forgot to upload

    Attached Files:

  18. steven verrier

    steven verrier Junior Member

    Hi Emma, not sure if this would help in piecing together anything. My grandfather, Kenneth James Garner was also a tank driver in the 17/21. As yet, my search is very junior. Any info would be a great help, and hopefully I can help you in the future
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Welcome to the forum Steven, pity that Emma hasn't been back on the forum.
    Last Activity: 22-08-2008
  20. Joe Rushbrook

    Joe Rushbrook Junior Member


    I'm new to the forum and I like what I see, you all seem to be good and honest folk.

    Are their any ww2 vets out there who served with the 17th/21st during the Africa and Italy campaigns?

    My grandfather ( Fred Barber) served with the Death or Glory Boys from the 1930's til the end of the war, however, the only paperwork the family has is a piece of A4 with dates and countries served on, not very helpful! Has anybody out there heard of or got any info on Fred Barber or am I best going to Kew and will this cost me an arm and a leg?

    Thanks for any help recieved,

    Joe Rushbrook

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