24th Lancers - Roll of Honour

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Ramiles, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Major John Douglas Gilroy, mentioned as being one of the very early 24th L's (in HQ squadron) on p. 7 and 24 of NHL...

    There is a very brief ref. here: Gilroy, Kenneth Reid : Winchester College at War

    In the bio. of his late brother Kenneth Reid Gilroy (13/3/1892 - 12/3/1915)

    "In the Second World War his youngest brother, John Douglas Gilroy (H 1912-1916) served with the 9th Lancers before transferring to 24th Lancers in 1940 and then joined Movement Control later that year. He died in 1983."

    London gazette...

    Cap. J. D. Gilroy (4682), from 9th L., to be Capt. and Dec. 1941, retaining his present seniority.
    Movement Control Section.
    The undermentioned in the rank as stated 1st Nov. 1942 retaining their present seniority, 1st Nov. 1942: — Capts.: — J. D. Gilroy (4682), from P. Corps.

    There is also mention of his transfer from the 9th L to the 24th L. in : Regimental Histories, 1936-1945 Bright:
    Regimental-Histories_1936-1945 Bright_0065.jpg - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum

    Screenshot_20220824-171328_Samsung Internet.jpg

    Additionally some army list info here: (286) - Army lists > 1940-1946 - Quarterly Army Lists (Second Series), July 1940-December 1950 > 1941 > Second quarter > Volume 1 - British Military lists - National Library of Scotland

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2022
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  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

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  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Jack Beasley who was a tank wireless operator with the 24th Lancers.

    I remember reading this online a while back (an article from 2014):
    D-day: memories from the frontline

    This is from his diary covering D-day and after. He was 21.

    6 June 1944, D-day:

    On LSJ 540 we made a smooth passage from outside Portsmouth waters to ‘Le Hamel’. We were extremely fortunate in landing in five feet of water. ‘B’ Squadron tanks, escorted by a handful of infantry, pushed forward three miles within the first hour.

    The nominal roll on the 30th July 1944 disbandment of the 24th Lancers:


    Has him X(iv) - (unposted reinforcement) - going into the 270 FDS (Forward Delivery Squadron)


    Edit: And see note below, at: 24th Lancers - Roll of Honour

    that "Jack Beasley was later posted to the 23rd Hussars, A Squadron."

    There's also a ref. on here at: Dickies Bridge
    that: " 270 FDS may have been the FDS for 11th Armd Div "


    The book "None Had Lances", the Regimental history of the 24th Lancers, has much info on the landings of the 24th Lancers. It states p71 that "considerably less than half the Regiments assault partly landed on D-Day" - delays were considerable, due to many factors, including the weather etc. But never-the-less many 24th Lancers did land, as intended, on D-Day.

    The 24th Lancers do get a mention on the (current) Gold Beach wiki: Gold Beach - Wikipedia

    By the end of D-Day, 24,970 men had been landed at Gold, along with 2,100 vehicles and 1,000 long tons (1,000 t) of supplies.[101][108] The follow-up landings were slowed by the loss of 34 LCTs and the bad weather. The 24th Lancers and 61st Reconnaissance Regiment, due to land on D-Day to help spearhead the drive towards Villers-Bocage, were unable to put ashore until 7 June. In 2004 Trew wrote that the delay

    effectively ruled out any chance of a thrust south ... [and] ... represented a major blow to Second Army's intentions and Montgomery's plan
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  4. BobL

    BobL Spitfire Ballast

    Posted this extract from my uncle's 'war diary' last year in the Nominal Roll thread - he was also B Squadron and 41 yrs old.
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  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Another picture of a 24th Lancer veteran I recently saw posted on social media:

    Roy Tomalin, a Trooper in "A" squadron, 24th L tank "Appy Ampstead" - WIA 10d6m1944.

    With Steven Spielberg at the film premier of "Saving Private Ryan"


    Additionally IWM audio at: Tomalin, Roy Ernest William (Oral history)

    Has (for example): "Aspects of period with 24 Lancers in GB, 1943-1944: posting to unit at Chippenham; reaction to change from Coventanters to Sherman tanks; move to Bridlington; waterproofing of tanks; move to concentration area at Hursley Park, 5/1944. Recollections of operations with A Sqdn, 24 Lancers in Normandy, 6/1944: landing from Rhino ferry at Le Hamel, Gold Beach, 6/6/1944; naming of tank 'Appy Ampstead'; composition of crew; reaction to advancing in tank; advance on Tilly sur Seulles; German 88mm shell hit on tank and wounding, 12/6/1944; his evacuation to GB. REEL 2 Continues: Aspects of medical treatment for wounds in GB from 6/1944: character of treatment; long term medical effects of wounds; psychological effects of his experiences; attitude to having served with 24 Lancers in Normandy; problems of securing disability pension. Aspects of operations with 24 Lancers in Normandy, 6/1944: opinion of tank radios; attitude to serving in tanks; question of personal morale in action; attitude towards Germans."
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  6. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Jack Beasley was later posted to the 23rd Hussars, A Squadron.
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  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Roy was a great guy who attended many 24th Lancers OCA Annual Reunions until his sad passing in the early 2000s. Told a few good stories about his Saving Private Ryan experience and meeting Spielberg. Proud to wear his 24th Lancers blazer which, I note, he is wearing in that photo.

    His experience in Normandy was a true baptism of fire. Their Sherman Tank was knocked out and brewed and, according to what Roy told me, the only 'good' bit being that he baled out of the tank on the 'good' side so wasn't picked off, unlike the unfortunate Driver (Percy Lee), and so was 'only' wounded.
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  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Edward Ronald Pettit, there are some biographical details and a picture here: Pettit, Edward Ronald - TracesOfWar.com

    E.R.Pettit is mentioned a couple of times in "None Had Lances" - p7 and p25.

    He was the first commander of "C" squadron 24th Lancers, and left them in January 1942, and was later killed on active service on 4th August 1944.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Trooper John (Johnny) Cockerill

    - who is mentioned (briefly) in "None Had Lances" on p78 as "a tank driver in A squadron" (24th L) there was an obituary notice in the Guardian - posted 8th March 2007 - Obituary: John Cockerill
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Captain Herbert Walmsley (David) Higginson, CBE, MC

    He performed the duties of Adjutant with the 24th L. and is mentioned over a dozen times in "None Had Lances" - including a picture of him with the other 24th L officers in Bridlington in September 1943, and another picture of him associated with his MC citation on p220.

    There is an obituary on p236-237 of this pdf doc - in the section on MEMBERS’ NEWS: https://documents.joh.cam.ac.uk/public/Eagle/Eagle Chapters/Fellows & Members' News/Fellows'_&_Members'_News_2000s.pdf

    "HIGGINSON, Herbert Walmsley (David), CBE, MC, died on 16 July 2006, aged ninety-five.

    Educated at Haileybury College, he studied Law at St John’s. He qualified as a solicitor in 1935, joining H A Crowe & Co.

    During the war he served with the 24th Lancers, took part in the D-Day invasion, and was awarded the MC in 1945.

    David became a Partner at Herbert Smith in 1947 and a Senior Partner in 1971, retiring in 1977.

    He was Master of the City of London Solicitors’ Company 1969–70.

    In retirement he undertook consultancy work. David was a keen golfer: he played for Cambridge against Oxford in 1932, reached the quarter-final of the German Open, and was still taking part in Johnian Society Golfing events until relatively recently.

    His wife Margaret, to whom he was married for sixty-nine years, died in February. They are survived by their children Libby, Veronica and Antony, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
  11. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    John Cockerill and David Higginson both attended 24L OCA Reunions.

    I believe that, when the 24L were disbanded, David was transferred to HQ 11th Armoured Division. A very courteous man who used to share a bottle of Red Wine with the Padre Mark Green MC at each and every Reunion. Sadly missed, all of them. RIP.
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  12. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Capt. (later Major) R. H. Radcliff

    Who is mentioned on three pages of "None Had Lances" p25,44,198 and of whom there is a picture on p199.

    There is a December 1944 ref on p33 in "The Hutchins School Magazine" in the section titled "Old Boys on Active Service" - pdf doc here: http://central.hutchins.tas.edu.au/sites/dharchive/The Hutchins School Magazine 19131990/1940-1949/1944 December.pdf

    "Capt. R. H. Radcliff, son of Mr. C. F. Radcliff. of Sandy Bay, is probably the first Tasmanian in the Allied invasion armies who has crossed onto German soil. In an airgraph letter to his father written "from German soil," he stated that his unit was the first part of the British Army which entered Germany, and he was the only Tasmanian in the unit.

    Capt. Radcliff went to England about 13 years ago, and joined Metropolitan Vickers as electrical engineer. He volunteered for the Royal Tank Regiment, and afterwards was with the 24th Lancers. *He attained his captaincy in the Sherwood Rangers."

    Nb. Dick Radcliff was Officer commanding H.Q. Squadron in the 24th L. And T/Major on the 24th L Regimental Roll at disbandment. It also says "He attained his captaincy in the Sherwood Rangers" so it could be that he went from a "temporary" 24th L rank to a permanent SRY rank.
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. the Old Comrades : The "Old Comrades" of the 24L...

    Post # 131 above.


    A picture of Herbert Walmsley (David) Higginson (post # 130) above, I think, can (also) just be made out in the May 1947 official reunion dinner.

    And Dick Radcliff too (perhaps) - post # 132 above.

    The "Old Comrades" of the 24L...

    Picking out pictures of 24th L's is helping to "identify" more and more of them of them on other pictures, potentially ;-) & hopefully :)
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  14. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Alfred Henry John Cockerill (1923-2007) was another man posted to A Sqr, 23rd Hussars. He's on the list of those men who attended the 23H reunion in 1959.
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  15. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

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  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    A further few 24th L's from the Newmarket en-training films:



    The description text says "10/4/1944, three men from the 24th Lancers (?) load kit from the back of a lorry into a baggage van at Newmarket Old Station." - the middle chap's cap badge looks to me rather like that of the SRY.



    Edit: And these too, from earlier in the same film. It is possible to see more faces here, but a bit harder to tell from their cap badges (for instance) whether these too are 24th L:


    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  17. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

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  18. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    This is a similar Bridlington picture of a "known" troop of 24th Lancers. "B" Squadron, 4th Troop.

    Cpl Harold D. (Tug) Wilson, Tpr.R.G.Whittaker, Tpr. R.J.Stephens, Tpr.E.G.Pound, Lt.Richard (Bunny) Leather, L/Cpl T.W. (Monty) Mintoft, Tpr Jo Venskunas, Tpr J.W. (Topper) Brown, Tpr Robinson, L/Cpl Ronald Wilson, Tpr Joe Watson, Tpr Holden, Tpr.Walker.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
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  19. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. Major John Gordon Hanson-Lawson

    There is a passing reference in "Hard Fighting" to a "Major Hanson-Lawson" (as being an ex-24th Lancer ) who commanded "B" Squadron of the SRY and was wounded at Fontenay (Normandy June 1944)

    Hard Fighting: A History of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry 1900-1946
    By Jonathan Hunt: Hard Fighting

    There's also a perhaps unusual ref. here which is a transcript of "THE OAK LEAF - a publication of the NAVAL HOSPITAL, OAKLAND 14, CALIFORNIA" : Full text of "The Oak Leaf Vol. 3 (1944)"

    Veteran British Tank Commander - Recounts His D-Day Experiences

    “D-Day in Normandy" was the subject of an interesting speech by Major John Hanson-Lawson of the British Army in the auditorium on Friday, November 17. The Major, a tank commander, was wounded after three weeks of tough fighting
    in Normandy.

    Invasion No Secret - Stressing the fact that the invasion itself could not be hidden from the Germans, but that the time and place of the attack did achieve this objective. Major Hanson-Lawson went on to describe the many dangers and difficulties of the amphibious landing. A veteran of the debacle in France in 1940 which led to Dunkirk, the Major trained with his regiment* for three and a half years for the invasion.

    * Presumably the 24th L. although I can't as yet see a reference in, for example, the War Diary of the 24th L to a "Hanson-Lawson".

    Weather Was Bad - He emphasized that in the main the weather conditions were adverse but that, while some of the devices and plans for D-Day went astray, others functioned well. In the first hundred days, despite the lack of a suitable port, 17 million tons of equipment were landed.

    After the talk a vitally interested audience plied Major Hanson-Lawson with many questions concerning his experiences and opinions.

    & additionally also in: Full text of "The Oak Leaf Vol. 3 (1944)"

    "Portrait of an Ally - One hears occasionally disparaging remarks concerning the motives and the fighting qualities of our Allies in this war from people who should know better. It is not only untrue but tends to undermine morale.
    Those Oak Knollers who heard Major John Hanson-Lawson of the British Army speak the other day had any such view corrected. Major Hanson-Lawson, a strapping six-foot veteran of five years of war, amply displayed those qualities of guts and determination that held England together in the dark days of 1940 and continue to be displayed on the battlefields of Europe

    That looks like following his wounding in Normandy he may have traveled to Oakland California (by around November 1944), and gave a talk, or perhaps even was additionally treated there.

    For instance, searching google with "Hanson-Lawson" and "Fontenay" etc. gives "Later that afternoon B Squadron (SRY) ran into more trouble around Rauray, and by the end of the day only had seven tanks still serviceable out of their usual sixteen. John Hanson-Lawson, Squadron Leader, was badly burnt when his tank was hit"

    Edit: In what may be a counter to the (ex 24th L) quote from "Hard Fighting" the wardiary of the SRY has:

    25th February 1944 - The Regiment is now concentrating on training men on vehicle waterproofing. It is intended that one driver to every 3 A + B vehicles shall be trained by 11th March. A conference dealing with this was held in the morning. Major Hanson-Lawson was posted to the Regt (SRY) from the 23rd Hussars. (He will command “B” Sqn.)

    Although it's not impossible, either, I guess, for him to have gone from the 24th L to the 23rd Hussars and then onto the SRY. (as ref'd above)
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  20. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    23H War Diary:

    7 Dec 1940
    The remaining 25 Other Ranks of the 10th Royal Hussars with Major M.F. Morley and Lieut C.V. O'Reilly, who had been at Linney Head, arrived. Lieut J.G. Hanson-Lawson, 10th Royal Hussars also arrived.

    25 Feb 1944
    Major Hanson-Lawson to Nottinghamshire Yeomanry. Major Gold to 23rd Hussars.




    John Gordon Hanson Lawson
    Birth 4 May 1914
    Death Sep 1978 - London City

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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