24th Lancers Newsletter: 'Lancer Life'.

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by SDP, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    During July 1944 the Regimental Padre, Mark Green, produced a weekly Newsletter. Unfortunately this ran to only four editions because it was announced late that month that the 24th Lancers were to be disbanded!

    No doubt typical of this sort of publication it contains many 'in jokes' and Army humour. Hopefully, however, it provides an insight into what was happening during those few days in Normandy.

    Lancer Life No.1



    Lancer Life No.2




    Lancer Life No.3



    Lancer Life No.4


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  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  3. Little Black Devil

    Little Black Devil Active Member

    This is absolutely brilliant.
    Have you been in touch with Corporal Snowling? I'd be really interested in one of the photograph shown in the Ipswich Newspaper.
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    I'm in regular contact with Reg via his son David although the last time I actually met them both was about 18 months ago.

    If you do a Google search for Reg you should come up with a number of images both WW2 and quite recent. Reg is currently unwell so I'd rather not trouble them at the moment.
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  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I've transcribed the bits I can (currently) read of the "News from Casualties" sections, as this might help for instance with any searches for particular names mentioned in them:

    1: News from Casualties – From the Edition dated 3rd July 1944

    In the next number, now that you know what we are trying to do, we hope to include more under this heading. This week we only have news of one or two, and first a letter from “The General” (Sgt.Woodmansee). He says “It seems ages since I saw you last. I hope you are all quite fit and have had a rest by now. It makes me feel proud to be a 24th. I feel mad a(bout) being hit. If I had been standing it would have been different, but lying in a trench it caught me the side and finished up near the spine. The operation was successful… and I am hoping in a few weeks to be fit again and with you.” His home address is 62 Beaumont Rd. Petts Wood, Kent, and he would like to hear from friends in the Regiment.

    We have also heard from Lieut.A.K.Wareham. He says he met Lieut.Barry “very much alive and kicking” on the home journey, also Capt.Lobb and that he is now in a Carlisle Hospital in the same ward as Lieut.Leather and Lieut.Dixon. The former has been swathed in bandages which are now “gradually being removed,” and the latter is doing well; there is still a chance that they may be able to save his left hand. After mentioning everyone else Mr.Wareham modestly adds a few words about himself. His arm was fractured above the elbow, and “They thought for a time they might have to take it off at Southampton”. Now they all have appetites like horses and he ends up; “It’s so peaceful here, not even the noise of planes. I’m taking quite an interest in things and getting some reading done, including Thomas a Kempis “The Imitation of Christ” and am reading the Bible right through. It makes me feel guilty when I think of the boys out there. How is RHQ getting on? And is Death IV and its gallant crew still on the road?” Yes, Kenneth they are and nobody sends you such fervent good wishes as they do.

    Major Cowley writes: The scalp wound is healing well, but I have the most appalling headaches and an odd business with my eye muscles… I shall never have a hang-over again! To these and all our other wounded we send our warmest greetings and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

    2: News from Casualties – From the Edition dated 11th July 1944

    First we have a letter from Sgt.Taylor, “C” sqd, written from the Royal Infirmary, Doncaster, on June 29th. He says “Yes, I’m in Yorkshire again – I seem fated to spend the best part of my life in that delectable country! (Can this be sarcasm? Editor) … I feel a bit cheap living over here in the lap of luxury while you and the lads are carrying on over there. I wonder if I shall be able to get back with you again, it won’t be for lack of trying. The wound is still a bit ugly, and I’m afraid it will be some time before it’s completely healed.” Another “C” Sqd letter comes from Lieut.Bertie Garai, written on July 5th Cron Mindiff Court, Abergavenny, Mon. “All my trouble is a dislocated left ankle, he writes, with chipping of the bones and a fractured right fibula. Both legs are therefore in plaster till July 20th. I am always thinking of you all and especially my troop, or what remains of it. I feel sure you have gone through worse than we had when I experienced the worst hour of my life. Thank God that Mant was killed instantly and not left suffering as he would have done. Young Carter was so brave, I shall never forget him in that ditch…” Mention of Carter reminds us that we have heard that he is alive and getting on all right. Another Lancer who has finished up in Wales – if “finished up” is tho not justo – is Trooper Dunsford of Ack-Ack Troop. His leg has been amputated by the thigh, after evacuation to England by air. One can only marvel at the courage of a man who can write as he does “The only thing I am disappointed about is the way in which I left the lads. I didn’t reckon on such a swift farewell. So cheerio and good luck to all and good hunting”. He wants to assure those concerned that they are not worry about the unfortunate accident causing his injury.

    Major Bennet having done some quick work with a measuring rod announces that he has a hole in his back the size 3”x1”x1”, rather incongruously adding “I have had a pint of beer which has nice” He hopes to be back soon, and give good news of Lieut. Ames, who should be fit again before long. We have also had news of L/Cpl Tony Huges, (In hospital in Gloucester) Sgt.Hanson (Pindorfields, Yorks, with a compound fracture from hip to ankle) Sgt Smith (‘B’ Sqd) and Cpl Reynolds, both of whom are doing well in hospitals in England.

    3: News from Casualties – From the Edition dated 18th July 1944

    A letter from Lieut. Barry dated 15th July gives good news of his progress, but it is likely to be slow, since he’s been graded to category “C” till September 9th. He mentions that he has heard from Trps.Amos, Burnes and Tomalin, all of whom are getting on well but rather slowly. He has met Lieut. Frank Fuller who should be fit again very shortly. Trp. Ward “C” Sqd writes on June 28th from the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, to say he has a hole “big enough to put a couple of cigars in” running through the calf of his left leg. “Has Ben got over having to leave the whisky behind?” he asks. From the number of times he mentions Lieutenant Clive Dixon in his two letters it is clear that this officer counted for much in the troop. If they did not already know it, they will (be) sad to hear that his left hand had to be amputated. The ambulance drivers, who are used to seeing a good many casualties, have never ceased to talk about the bravery of a young officer who made light of his wounds, and kept up a lively conversation with them all the way to the dressing station.

    He was twenty the next day, he told them, and his name was Dixon. Good luck to you Clive and may the years to come hold much in store for you. L/Cpl. Seymour says that he got off lightly all things considered and is suffering from burns on the arms and face. He had been allowed to get up for the first time he wrote, but as the letter is dated “Saturday” we are not sure when that was. Sgt. Marshall writes from Stone House, near Kiderminster on the 15th July. He says "I really do not know how it happened, I was well down in the tank with only my tin hat showing, when I was hit in the left eye. So I have now got to make one eye do because they removed the left one at Guildford… I nearly forgot, when awake at Hallam, I was in the Maternity Ward, how’s that for a laugh?"

    4: News from Casualties – From the Edition dated 26th July 1944

    There is practically no fresh news to hand, but we have a letter from Lieut Jennings saying that he is now enjoying a few days leave and has taken the opportunity to get married. L/Cpl Hughes (A sqd) writes from the City Central Hospital, Gloucester, reporting good progress, and saying that L/Cpl Hayward of B sqd is with him, and getting on well. Many in B sqd will have been very sad to hear the news of Tpr Constable’s death from his wounds. He was buried at Priory Church, Bridlington, where I assisted at his wedding such a short time ago. There is good news of Lieuts. Wareham, Garai, Fuller, Barry, Ames, Wadsworth, and Leather, but we have none of their letters and can therefore not add any more. Others from whom letters have been received are Sgt. Cooper and Tpr. Lansdowne.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The Lancer Life Newsletter was published in four separate, weekly editions during July 1944 by their Regimental Padre, Mark Green and contained various sections, including "News from casualties" etc. transcribed above.

    I was recently re-reading a letter which my grandfather sent from Normandy, on the 10th June 1944, just under a month before the first edition of "Lancer Life" was published, which (letter) I've transcribed further below and it seems to mention a "24th Lancers news bulletin" - which "will probably be sent" - which sounds perhaps like a reference to this "Lancer's Life" or else perhaps to something else?

    To me at least, this suggests that there was a 24th Lancers news bulletin already planned on Point 103 nr. St.Pierre, in early June - to bring news to families etc. as well as to the troops in the field. Though it is possible also - perhaps - that those concerned with the 24th Lancer's Welfare in the UK were planning on sending their own specific "24th Lancers news bulletin" to families to inform them of the events affecting the regiment once the invasion was underway.

    The 1st "Lancer Life Newsletter" says at the top - PLEASE PASS THIS COPY TO SOMEONE ELSE IN YOUR TROOP

    The 2nd "Lancer Life Newsletter" says at the top - THIS COPY HAS BEEN CENSORED FOR DISPATCH OVERSEAS .

    The 3rd "Lancer Life Newsletter" lacks such a banner.

    Whereas the 4th "Lancer Life Newsletter" says : THIS COPY MUST UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES BE SENT OVERSEAS & on other copies of the same 4th edition - with THIS COPY MUST UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES BE SENT OVERSEAS (Censored out / struck through)

    Letter dated:: 10-6-44 (10th June 1944): Co-signed/censored(?) by W.A.C.Anderson. Lt.Col and Commander of the Regiment.

    Dearest Phyl & Rob,

    It is some days since I have written so I expect you are worrying. Keep your chin up my dear.

    The details of our job over here will probably be sent by the 24th Lancers news bulletin so I won’t go into details.

    The crossing was quite good, except for the ship rolling. We had very good food, three good cooked meals each day.

    The fair land of France is still lovely; it’s a pity it has to suffer so.

    I do hope things are more settled with you now. Knowing all the details of this job before we left made it impossible for me to get leave, one slip of the tongue might have given too much away, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

    Now I’ll say cheerio and hope they will continue to let us write now we’ve started.

    I still love you dearly, so take care of yourself for your Ben.

    From here: The Battles for Point 103 and St. Pierre (8th– 18th June 1944)
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  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Another bit of WW2 24th Lancer life, albeit this time from much earlier during the war, a program for a 24th Lancer concert called "Lancers Meet"...





    Some text of which (to add further in edit etc)

    Conductor: Tpr. Miles


    Trp Jordan

    Viola: Trp.Barbirolli

    Base: Trp.Banbury

    Flute & Piccolo: Trp.Howe

    Alto Saxophones: Tpr.Smith, Tpr. Sudbury

    Tenor Saxophone: Tpr. Butler

    Trumpets: Pte.Perrin, Trp.Sproson

    Trombone: S.Q.M.S. Reed

    Drums: Tpr. Richardson

    Pianists: Cpl Fielder, L/Cpl Richards


    1. March Rodeo… Harold Ramsey

    2. Opening Chorus… We Join the Lancers

    3. I’m Simple – Monologue by R.S.N.Langridge

    4. Hill Billy or Luddington’s Loafers
    (With Capt.Luddington, 2/Lt. Turquand, Sgt.Barber
    Sgt.Thomson, L/Cpl.Richards and Tpr.Banbury).

    5. Syncopated Steps – by A.C.W.Spence

    6. Song – You are my Heart’s Delight – Lehar - (Tpr.Dale)


    7. GAIE – Our Charming Guest

    8. Grace – A comedy sketch (we hope ??) - Mrs.Aird, Mrs.Cox, Capt.Luddington, 2/Lt.Wright-Harvey, L/Cpl.


    9. The W.A.A.F – On the Square

    10. Came the Dawn – A tragedy (Gaie and 2/Lt.Boisseau)

    11. Selection – Noel Gays Melodies

    12. Witchcraft by Allcroft

    13. Monologue, but don’t take it seriously

    14. Adagio Dance – A.C.W.Spence

    15. “What an Ass” – Anonymous

    16. Pickle Fingers (The Doctor and Cpl.Fielder)

    17. – GAIE –

    18. Finale… There’ll always be an England…

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

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  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I have transcribed a further bit of one of the Lancer Life's - this one the top Editorial from the 3rd Edition, published / released to the 24th Lancers in the field, in Normandy, on Tuesday 18th July 1944:


    The whole regiment will want to join in offering very sincere congratulations to Lt.-Col. Anderson on the award of his D.S.O. Perhaps not everybody realises the burden which must be borne by every Commanding Officer, and which has been borne by ours since he first knew the date of D-Day soon after we went to Chippenham. At any rate we are all pleased about this tangible recognition of his distinguished services. The award of the Military Cross to Lieuts. Drake, Barry and Leather will also cause great pleasure, not least to their own squadron. We are only sorry that two of them are not here to receive our congratulations personally, but we rather gather that the Officers of “A” Sqd have not allowed a mere question of distance to affect their celebrations.

    On the debit side of the week’s account we are sad to have to record the deaths of Cpl. Armstrong and L/Cpl Latham (RCS). Capt.Parsons who was very seriously wounded at the same time, is, so we hear, likely to recover. This will be good news to a great many, for few people have made so many friends in every part of the Regiment as he has done.

    Six weeks ago today we sighted the French coast; and in the short time since that day we have all seen enough of the horror and beastliness of war to know that we will never tolerate this sort of thing again. And then comes the sickening thought that this is just what our father’s said. Well, there is only one answer, a famous phrase expresses it; “together – you and I – we will do this job”. We will start – we have started by knocking the pistol out of the hands of evil men. There is no doubt about our ability to do that. We shall continue by making sure that no personal selfishness, no desire to dominate, no criminal apathy, mar the quality of our citizenship. We shall not tolerate those things, in our selves first and foremost, but also in our leaders. We shall renounce the idea that our interests begin at our front door and end at the back door. We shall make Lincoln’s famous definition of democracy, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”, a living reality, not shrinking from the effort which that sort of democracy entails. We shall stop asking “What do I get out of it?” and ask instead “What can I put into it?”

    Let us make no mistake about it, we shall do all this, or our chidren's feet will be set along even darker paths than we are treading. The dream of a world

    “Whose ways are ways of gentlemen,
    And all her paths are peace”

    Can come true. It depends – in the end – on you and me."
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  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I have transcribed the editorial in the 4th Edition of "Lancer Life" (Published 26th July 1944) below:


    We are producing this number of “Lancer Life” only in response to very many requests, for at first we felt that the very title of the paper had become a mockery. It is also almost impossible to put into words what everybody feels how to convey on paper the universal feeling of sympathy towards Colonel Aird, and Colonel Anderson? How to express the sadness in many hearts at the prospect of leaving so soon and so swiftly the friends with whom we have soldiered through these years? From Cannock to Conde – what memories we shall treasure in later years if this long road we have walked together, many of them memories intimately bound with English nights and scenes, the Whitby moors, the Sussex Downs, the Yorkshire wolds, the Cambridgeshire fens, and, above all the Chippenham mud. Whoever thought as they shivered on those moors or slithered on those moors or slithered in that mud that they might one day think affectionately of those days? Yet so it will be, for here was forged that unity so soon to be broken, here brought together the friends so soon to be separated, here trained that very odd collection of people – clerks, lawyers, butchers, journalists, lorry drivers, businessmen and goodness knows who – now known by many as the 24th Lancers, and who at heart will always remain such, whatever their new cap badge may happen to say.

    Yes, it has been a long road, but no part of the journey has bound us more closely together than its last few miles, from Le Hamel to La Bollo Epino. What stories our grandchildren will hear of “Tiger-Tiger” Night! Who will ever forget Point 103? Shall we possibly one day re-visit a restored St.Pierre, a new Fontenay, a free France, to pay homage to the memory of so many grand friends who had fallen on the journey. And now, so it seems we have come to the Journey’s end, but it would be better to think of it as the beginning of a new journey, for the work for which the 24th Lancers were formed has still to be done and that work and the world for whose sake it must be done raise larger issues than the future of one Regiment. The call is to labour in the spirit of grand people like Ian Kerr and Robert Arbuthnot, Tom Rowland and Gordon Field and so many others –

    Come, labour on,

    No time for rest till glows the western sky,

    Till the long shadows o’er our pathway lie,

    And a glad sound comes with the setting sin,

    Servant, Well done.

    The verse at the end of the editorial seems to be from a hymn "Come Labor/Labour on" :

    Come, labour on

    Albeit this version (in the link above) has the last line as "Well, done, well done", not "Servant, Well done"
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
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