1st Lothians & Border Yeomanry

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by gerboise, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Thane

    Thane Member

    Thanks for the information Michel.
    I am on the case of getting his service records and maybe then this will put most of
    The puzzle together.
    I still have a few photos left to scan and some more documents.part of which mentions a concentration camp where the prisoners where released.
    Thanks for all the help you have given me.
    Best Regards
  2. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron


    Certainly not a wheelbarrow I'd like to push!

    My father is on the right. Sorry I've no further details about date or anything. From looking at the War diary I think the first Tolbooth may have been written off in 1 Tp/B Sqn action on 30 July 1944 near Sept Vents where it was the second tank attempting to flail a lane. The diary says it was damaged by three mines exploded by one detonator. and goes on to describe the effect;

    "Immediate effects of the explosion: tk appeared to leave the ground; strong blast in the
    tk; ammo thrown from racks; wireless set put out of action; co-dvr's hatch blown open; the
    dvr reported that he was injured (he was later found to be suffering from what appeared to be
    a broken right foot and severe shock). Damage to tk: floor under dvr's seat blown in; left
    hand steering unit locked; locked in gear; final drive and differential housing distorted and
    leaking; right hand chain guard blown off; two bogey wheels blown in; jib twisted and badly
    holed; bench box plates and prop (device) guard blown off; bolts securing gearbox sheared.
    In whole operation this tk had three chains broken and twelve twisted so as to be

    The Driver was Tpr W "Bill" Buck who was my dad's mate and I'm almost certain was in the same tank. Although there's no mention of it being struck off I can't imagine being repaired.



    Sorry, think I may have got things a bit wrong! There were three TOLBOOTHS - tanks that is (the wheelbarrow, I now learn, was Tolbooth IV.)

    On the back of this photo taken in Gelsenkirchen are listed the crew of TOLBOOTH
    Left to Right;
    Chas Smith (Gunner)
    Reg Rackham (Commander)
    Fred Bagley (W/Op, Loader)
    Jim Stewart (Driver)

    Mick Woodman (Co-Driver) is not shown

    It also does not look as if TOLBOOTH and my father took part in the action of 30 July that I mentioned above.

    I've also scanned the back of the photo on No1 trp as it lists the all names - good luck matching faces to them though.

  3. Fantastic info John!

    Here's a quick try at matching the names with faces. I hope I did not make any mistake. In particular, I'm not sure whether it's "Nipper Buck" or "Napper Buck". As for your father's tank crew, this seems to match the other photo showing four of them at Geilenkirchen:


  4. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron


    Marvellous work but.....think there might be a problem there. I'm fairly sure that's my dad, Fred, kneeling on the right hand side. Think he might have written the names as you look at it from the back (does that make sense?).

    It's "Nipper" Buck - Tpr Albert Buck. Called Nipper as he was quite short. His brother, Bill Buck, also was in 1 Tp, B Sqn and was wounded at Sept Vents, 30/7/44

  5. I bow to your filial instinct :)
    Plus there are already three Sergeants named, and the man on the extreme has a Sergeant's three stripes, so he is probably one of the three.
    The man in the back rank whom I labeled as Nipper Buck does not look that short, but he's maybe standing on something :)

    I would say, as always, that a higher resolution of this and your father's crew photos might help in recognising the facial features and rank stripes so we might match at least a few names with some degree of certainty...

  6. Here's another try:

    First, for clarity's sake I wrote the names of identified persons on this photo:

    Second, this other photo seems to show at least two persons present in the previous one:

    Third, using these above two pics as reference, plus your indication that your father Fred Bagley is kneeling on the right, there seems to be a strong case for the ID of a few guys on the troop pic as follows:

    Fourth, I'm adding the names written in the left and right columns on the back of the photo, to fit those already "identified":

    Finally, I also add the names from the centre column, and here's the only distribution that matches. I was not sure whether the second "Kneeling" was for "Spam" or "Bill Gibson", but the latter wouldn't fit:

    Hopefully we can get confirmation of at least some of these matches from legends of other photos.

  7. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron


    I think that deserves a salute ! :salut: Thank you !

    In the second photo of them sitting by the side of the tank, that's Fred on the left again, not Jim Stewart - you can tell by the nose, they run in our family!

    BTW Dad brought one of those flags home, but Granny Bagley cut it up to make a skirt for one of my Aunties! Doh !

  8. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron


    I should really learn to look at the back of these photos...

  9. Thane

    Thane Member

    Workshops Tourout Belgium

    Attached Files:

  10. Excellent Thane! So you've found it!

    It seems that THANE OF CAWDOR did have the turret number 9 after all, although it does look a bit small to me.

    On the right is No.11 COCK O'THE NORTH, and on the left we can see a bit of No.10 WOLF OF BADENOCH.

    From 'A' Sqn War Diary:
    13 Oct 44
    The refit is coming off after all. All the tanks went into bde wksps today and will probably be there until Mon or Tue 16/17 Oct 44; location of wksps - Thourout.

    14 Oct 44
    Work commenced on tanks this am. A number of them will require new engines.

    From the Regimental War Diary:
    25 Oct 44
    Am. A Sqn tanks moved from A Sec Bde Wksps and returned to SHQ.

    Thourout is now usually spelt Torhout in Belgium.

    This photo was therefore shot between 14 and 24 Oct 44 at Thourout (Torhout), Belgium, just like these photos of WOLF OF BADENOCH and COCK O'THE NORTH:
    No.10 'WOLF OF BADENOCH', 'A' Sec Bde Wksps, Thourout, Belgium 14-24 Oct 44.jpg No.11 'COCK O'THE NORTH', 'A' Sec Bde Wksps, Thourout, Belgium 14-24 Oct 44.jpg

    Here's an approximative stitch of two of the photos, showing all three tanks of 'A' Sqn HQ:
    No.10, 9 & 11 - Thourout.jpg

    Any names for the guys on the photos?

  11. The vehicle in this photo is a M29 Weasel, originally named CCL (Cargo Carrier, Light) and thus designated in some British documents. In some of the docs for Op INFATUATE this acronym is interpreted as "Commando Carrier, Light", probably because it was also used by the Commandos! This one is likely to be the amphibious version M29C:
    Man in Weasel - 14.jpg

  12. Pam Douse

    Pam Douse New Member

    Hi i am new to this group... i have really enjoyed reading and looking at all the photos on here ...... My father .. Leonard Walker (Slash)... was with the !st Lothians / 79th Armoured division, Flail tanks ....... i cant seem to get much info on him as he didnt speak much of his time in the war . sadly dad passed away in Jan 2015 ..... He had said his nick name was slash and my photos show his tank with a number 52 on it ........ can any one give me any info please ...Pam
  13. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Pam,

    Do any of your late fathers photos show any names on the tanks or census numbers that start T followed by 6 numbers.
    Is there any chance you could post the photos onto the forum?


  14. Hello Pam,

    The meaning of this number depends on where it is located on the tank. It might lead to your father's Troop number and Squadron, or not. As Kevin said, it would be nice to see the photos which could provide useful information.

  15. Pam Douse

    Pam Douse New Member

    Hi Michel and Kevin, i will have a closer look at the photos to look for these numbers........ i will also get my daughter to help me put all my photos on here... Thanks Pam .. ............. Hi , after closer looks at photos i think on the arm of the Flail it says "ROB ROY IV"... I am sure thats what it says ... does this mean anything to anyone please ??
  16. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi all,

    In post 67 photo 13.jpg there are three 3-ton lorries that could be Austin K5 4x4 portee conversions. Was there any date or location on the back of that one? It is beginning to seem that the 30th Armoured Brigade units were issued with these vehicles before D-Day and it would be interesting to see if they struggled to keep them going throughout 1944.


  17. Thane

    Thane Member

    HI Tom
    I have checked the photo and there is no date.
  18. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron

    Hi all,

    Have just stumbled across a brief clip on youtube of a Crab flailing - https://youtu.be/95QNFXgUP5M

    The marker board at the start says the location is Sittard, Holland and the date 25/12/44. Believe this may be B Sqn, as the war diary for 25 Dec gives the squadrons location as Leyenbroek, a district of Sittard, and says ;

    "In the afternoon US photographers from the Ninth US Army took several 'stills' of the Crabs, and also took a film of Crabs flailing dummy mines with a small amount of explosive charge inside"

    Alas the vehicle is not identifiable
  19. Pam,

    Sorry for the long delay in responding to you.

    ROB ROY IV was the fourth incarnation (metallation?) of ROB ROY, a Crab initially in 2 Tp, 'A' Sqn, 1 Lothians & Border Yeomanry. The number '52' indicates 1 Lothians (the second regiment in the brigade in order of precedence).

    It was heavily photographed while taking part in celebrations in the Netherlands during May-June 1945 (see my next post for photos).

  20. ROB ROY IV was the star of several parades or demonstrations held in or around Amsterdam between 22 May and 6 Jun 45. Here are all the photos I found, with several duplicates and a few inverted scans, which I corrrected. Note the evolution of the stowage (spare track links on/off turret, location and number of spare wheels and chains etc.) and of the pennant:

    Amsterdam, May 45:
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 1.1.1 - Amsterdam NL 1945 - 72237-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 1.1.2 - Amsterdam NL 1945 - 141200-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 1.1.3 - Amsterdam NL 1945 - 178895-hi.jpg

    Demonstration in Alkmaar, May 45:
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 1.2 - demo, Alkmaar NL May 45 - Godijn, J.F. - 198466-hi.jpg

    At the Groote Markt in Haarlem, May 45:
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 2.1 - Groote Markt, Haarlem NL May 45 - 73617-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 2.2 - NL May 45 - 178918-hi.jpg

    Demonstration at the Schuttersveld in Leiden on 22 May 45, prior to the parade on Dam Square in Amsterdam:
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 3.1 - demo at Schuttersveld, Leiden NL 22 May 45 - 141205-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 3.2 - demo at Schuttersveld, Leiden NL 22 May 45 - 141208-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 3.3 - demo at Schuttersveld, Leiden NL 22 May 45 - 200156-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 4.1.1 - demo at Schuttersveld, Leiden NL 22 May 45 - 141206-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 4.1.2 - demo at Schuttersveld, Leiden NL 22 May 45 - 72236-hi.jpg

    Amsterdam 27 May 45:
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 5.1 - demo at Amsterdam NL 27 May 45 - GNVL 1000468.jpg

    Demonstration at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam on 3 Jun 45:
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 6.1 - demo at Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam NL 3 Jun 45 - 204164-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 6.2 - demo at Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam NL 3 Jun 45 - 204165-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 6.3 - demo at Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam NL 3 Jun 45 - 110752-hi.jpg
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 6.4 - demo at Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam NL 3 Jun 45 - 204166-hi.jpg
    View attachment 141357
    View attachment 141358
    View attachment 141359
    Crab 1LBY 'ROB ROY IV' - 6.8 - demo at Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam NL 3 Jun 45 - 204169-hi.jpg

    Pam, is one of these the photo you have? Do yo know for sure this was your father's tank?

    We would be very interested in seeing what photos you may have.


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