24th Lancer - AVRs

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Ramiles, Mar 17, 2022.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. AVRs see also at around 5m55s of Newmarket #1... (24th Lancer AVRs being moved down to Southampton in April 1944, from Chippenham Park nr. Newmarket)



    "Alan Moore helped convert Matilda tanks with flails for destroying mines, and joined the second wave on the beaches in the REME Light Aid Detachment, with the 24th Lancers tank regiment. He was to be wounded within 24 hours of landing on French soil.
    'The regiment was equipped with three recovery vehicles (tanks with the gun and turret removed). These were fitted with recovery gear and the front Browning machine gun was left in place. Two Bren guns had been added on a mounting, plus of course there was a radio. A sergeant and myself were assigned to one of these, together with a tank corps driver and a wireless operator," said Alan.
    "On the night of 5 June we were aboard an LST laying off Portsmouth and wondering if it was another exercise. But with the light of day we found we had moved further out to sea with many more LSTs. LCTs and Royal Navy ships and ships flying, barrage balloons. We thought this must be it, and our American crew announced we were off to France.
    "I don't really recall the state of the sea, but it must have been a bit rough because one of our tanks broke away from its chains, and we had to go below deck to secure it. Later in the voyage we took on board survivors from an LCT that had been lost.
    "We arrived late in the afternoon and there were ships of every kind which ever way you looked. Navy ships were shelling the coastline, but we were surprised to see the advance troops were clear of the beach:" said Alan. "
    “It was now our turn to land and our LST moved in close to the beach, opening its bow and dropping the ramp. We made our way up the beach through a section Cleared of mines.
    “As we-left the beach we came across a mine clearing flail tank with its track blown off, and the crew, would you believe. standing by drinking tea... They said “They were just having a cuppa and then they would be moving on.
    "A lone German soldier, looking just about all in, walked up to our tank with his hands up in surrender. The sergeant told us to keep the Bren gun on him while he checked if he was unarmed, then we sent him on his way for the troops behind to deal with." said Alan.
    Alan's unit spent the night in an orchard, and the next morning they learned that their tanks had been in clashes at Bayeaux and Caen. Two tanks had been lost and the squadron leader and his driver were dead. Alan's recover vehicle was sent to rescue a tank- which had lost a track on the edge of a minefield.
    "We were just about to pull it clear when another tank rolled up and the commander told us to leave it as German tanks were approaching. He put a shell into the damaged tank and we left it burning," said Alan.
    "Later in the day our position came under fire from tanks and mortars, and I was wounded by shrapnel. I was sent back to the beach via about three dressing stations. There I was put-on a hospital ship and evacuated back to Blighty.
    “At Portsmouth I boarded a hospital train where my wounds were given fresh dressings by a Canadian nurse. At a Canadian military hospital the condition of our wounds was assessed and those of us with only superficial wounds were sent to a hospital in Leeds," said Alan.
    He was in hospital for two weeks, then. issued with brand new battle-dress. He enjoyed a week's leave before returning to France. His war took. him from work-shop to workshop through Europe as the Allies advanced. He celebrated VE Day on the Baltic Coast."

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2022
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Interesting to see a date here (below) for the arrival of an SRY - A.R.V.

    Friday 17th March 1944... 17d3m1944...

    SRY - War Diary -

    17th March 1944...
    Chippenham Park - nr Newmarket
    The Personal Selection Officer – Capt. Ratcliffe made all arrangements for the visit of his team during the next week – the remainder of the team arriving during the day.
    The C.O. returned from his visit to the DD area.
    D. Mechs (A.F.V.) were tested under Bde arrangements during the day.
    One A.R.V. arrived during the day – we now (have) three – the remaining two are at 8th Armd Bde Detachment and will join us there at a later date.

    --- x ---- x ---

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