24th Lancers - Tessel Wood (c25th June 1944)

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Steve (Barlow),

    by the way, do you have a picture of your father-in-law Sgt Austin Jones at any point? i.e. even after the war etc.

    There are quite a few pictures of 24th Lancers that I have variously seen but a lot of them I can't name, as I don't have enough examples of known (to me) pictures of 24th Lancers with which to compare them etc.


    Is a 3 min 6 seconds IWM film available (currently) online with the title:


    ...and the description:

    "Description:A padre holds an open-air service for men serving with the 5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment in an orchard in St Léger before the battalion returns to the front-line. Sherman and Firefly tanks belonging to the 24th Lancers 'A' Squadron * move up towards the village of Audrieu and Point 103 (Le Haut D'Audrieu) in support of 69th Brigade's operations designed to outflank Tilly-sur-Seulles. Sherman 'Crab' minesweeping tanks (one minus its flail jib) from the Westminster Dragoons 'C' Squadron move up to the front past a self-propelled artillery position near Martragny. Here, Sexton 25-pounder self-propelled guns belonging to 90th Field Regiment RA's 465 Battery ('E' and 'F' Troops) lay down a barrage on positions held by the 12th SS Panzer and 716th Infantry Divisions in woods north of St Pierre."

    * Nb. it courrently says "Sherman and Firefly tanks belonging to the 24th Lancers move 'A' Squadron up towards the village of Audrieu and Point 103" but I think it means : Sherman and Firefly tanks belonging to the 24th Lancers 'A' Squadron move up towards the village of Audrieu and Point 103

    Nb2: If these 24th L firefly tanks belong to the 24th Lancers 'A' Squadron then one of them was perhaps Sgt Austin Jones's 24th L - A squadron - tank?

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  2. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member

  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Steve,

    If Austin Jones attended either of the first two meetings of the Old Comrades of the 24th L, you may be able to pick him out from one of the pictures here: The "Old Comrades" of the 24L...

    As far as I am aware there were probably many similar photos taken of other meetings of the 24th L in later years that many people will still have etc.

    Pictures of members of the 24th L taken variously during the war seem to crop up quite regularly, every few months or so, and many people seem to have a few war time snaps of their 24th L relations etc. and often too occasionally some of their comrades / crew(s), though as time passes etc. the knowledge of who's who in which picture(s) can sometimes be lost.

    There's a list of 24th Lancers here: 24th Lancers Regimental Nominal Roll and Postings August 1944

    Which shows an A/Sgt Jones, A. etc.
  4. Tim H.

    Tim H. Junior Member

    My father told me somewhat ruefully he had shot up the tower of the church at Audrieu, obeying orders of course, in case it harboured snipers. He was "A" squadron with tank commander Fred Bartlett, Radio Operator/Loader Tony Hughes and two young men who gave their lives a few days later in the driving and hull machine gun roles when the tank was hit on 26th June, Geoffrey Dean and William Heath. Dad was Peter Hancock. He also remarked that the fear of snipers triggered off a number of shoots where it was probably unlikely there had been any, but you didn't take chances after some of the early bad experiences of tank commanders being picked off.

    Ramiles and SDP like this.
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I've put what I currently have on tank losses of the 24th L here: Tank losses of the 24th Lancers in Normandy – June and July 1944

    I think I have seen at least a couple of accounts of 24th Lancer tank commanders hit by snipers; Captain Alick Poole (A squadron) and Sgt George A.J.Taylor (A squadron) - both 8th June 1944. (mentioned p86 NHL) but I'm not sure how persistent a problem snipers remained for the 24th L after that.

    This: A Turret View of Normandy – Part 2: Talking with Tank Commander Captain David Render

    ...for example for the SRY has:

    "In this session we learn about the horrific casualties sustained by the Regiment (SRY) as they fought their way through the Normandy bocage and towards Germany, and just to give you an idea of what David faced during this period, the average life expectancy of a Tank Commander was just two weeks.

    We also discuss the tactics employed by both sides, the constant threat from snipers in the bocage, a first encounter with a Panzerfaust, losing a tank on mines, a few tricks of the trade that helped keep David and his crew alive, Operation Pepperpot and much much more.
  6. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Tim H

    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't George Taylor killed when Peter H and Tony Hughes were members of his crew? I know the snipers were female because Tony said so.

    Steve P.
  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Incidentally re. Tessel on 25th June 1944 there is this (below)

    "Another illustration was the 146th Brigade attack on 25 June 1944 on Fontenay-le-Pesnel and Tessel Wood. The regimental historian described the action: The early morning mist had lifted and the smoke and dust of the barrage on Fontenay had cleared away revealing another cloudless hot summer’s day, when the guns roared and thundered into action again. The barrage fell thick on the hillside beyond the village . . . [when] the 1/4 King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry . . . poured out of Fontenay village and swept on up the hillside, walking behind a wall of hideous noise and smoke and dust and flame which moved forward in jumps of a hundred yards at a time ahead of them. The Tessel Wood feature . . . was taken and consolidated, and a counter-attack the same evening was successfully beaten off.

    If one did not know better, it would be easy to believe that this passage related to the Battle of the Somme in 1916. All the ingredients were there - infantry closely following a creeping barrage, capturing a wood and then digging in to wait for the obligatory German counterattack – even the battalion involved, the 1/4th KOYLI, did actually fight on the Somme

    From the pdf doc: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:f1a577f9-c6df-46f4-b038-651b02469b6a/download_file?file_format=pdf&safe_filename=Final+Draft.pdf&type_of_work=Thesis

    ‘Dig for Bloody Victory’: the British Soldier’s Experience of Trench Warfare, 1939-45
    Gavin Brown Doctor of Philosophy in History Balliol College, Oxford, Hilary Term 2012

    Short Abstract: Most people’s perceptions of the Second World War leave little room for static, attritional fighting; instead, free-flowing manoeuvre warfare, such as Blitzkrieg, is seen as the norm. In reality, however, much of the terrain fought over in 1939-45 was unsuitable for such a war and, as a result, bloody attritional battles and trench fighting were common. Thus ordinary infantrymen spent the majority of their time at the front burrowing underground for protection. Although these trenches were never as fixed or elaborate as those on the Western Front a generation earlier, the men who served in Italy, Normandy, Holland and Germany, nonetheless shared an experience remarkably similar to that of their predecessors in Flanders, Picardy, Champagne and Artois. This is an area which has been largely neglected by scholars. While the first war produced a mountain of books on the experience of trench warfare, the same cannot be said of the second war. This thesis will attempt to fill that gap by providing a comprehensive analysis of static warfare in the Second World War from the point of view of British infantry morale. It draws widely on contemporary letters and diaries, psychiatric and medical reports and official documentation – not to mention personal narratives and accounts published after the war – and will attempt to interpret these sources in light of modern research and organise them into a logical framework. Ultimately it is hoped that this will provide fresh insight into a relatively under-researched area of twentieth century history
    SDP likes this.
  8. Tim H.

    Tim H. Junior Member

    My father never mentioned this event to me and George Taylor is not a name I know. I never discussed it with Tony either. It might explain why Fred Bartlett was an acting Lance Sergeant when in command of the tank. If thats what Tony told you then it must be the case. My father only mentioned snipers to me in oblique terms and not in reference to a particular loss or event. This has come as news to me, but I don't suppose I should be surprised as there was lots that Dad would just not talk about. We boys knew just not to ask as it was plain in so many ways he didn't want to go there.

    I do have a vague recall of Tony referring to an early loss of a tank commander being shot by a local as opposed to a German, but I have no idea who when or where, and I did not hear the whole story.

    SDP likes this.
  9. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member

    As Requested Pic of my father-in-law

    Attached Files:

    Ramiles likes this.
  10. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member

    As requested

    Cheers Steve

    Attached Files:

  11. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member

    This pic sums him up

    Attached Files:

    Ramiles likes this.
  12. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member

    After the disbandment of the 24th L he enjoyed playing Rugby, skiing etc and auditing after the war.

    Attached Files:

    Ramiles likes this.
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Steve B.

    There is something familiar about the face, so I might have seen him, or someone that looked very similar to him, in - for example - a group shot of some 24th L's.

    I guess a likely possibility could be: The "Old Comrades" of the 24L...

    Do you know if he attended either of the first two meetings? Or one day you might be able to pick him out from there?

    The way that they were organised in the "hall" - I think appears to be by their squadrons perhaps, with maybe "C" in the foreground, which may put "A" squadron somewhat in the background, so it might be harder to pick out a face that is "further back".

    As I understand it also, a lot of the 24th L would have still been serving (in other regiments) in the first few years immediately after the war, and if still in Germany or overseas elsewhere - for example - in 1946/7 would only have been attending the meetings of the old comrades etc. in the later years, for which there probably will also be some photos, which might appear one day etc.

    All the best,

  14. Steve Barlow

    Steve Barlow Member


    He only started going to the reunions in the 80s with his old mate Harry Dews.

    Not any pics where taken then.
  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Tony told me the graphic detail so would not want to repeat on a public forum. George's demise is told, I believe, in None Had Lances. I'm currently away - it's been one of those weeks - so can't check until tomorrow at the earliest.
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Steve B. it's useful to know ;-) as it avoids me looking through those pics to see if I might be able to pick him out from either of them ;-)

    I have posted some pictures of some as yet unknown (to me) 24th L's in some posts in this thread: http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/24th-lancers-roll-of-honour.60152

    But there are other examples i.e. "njvetter" posted some pictures of some as yet unidentified 24th L's on here a while back, a couple of whom, I think look - just a little - perhaps - like him (Austin Jones) - Edit - links :

    24th Lancers

    24th Lancers

    Another incidental, note on Fontenay-Tessel-Rauray etc. I recently saw this Fb post: 39/45 Mag & Normandie 1944 Magazine

    In: "Normandie 1944 Magazine #29" : Normandie 1944 n°29
    With: "Fontenay/Tessel/Rauray. Quatre jours pour “Martlet” 25-28 juin 1944 par Frédéric Deprun."

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  17. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Apologies for my tardy reply but I've now, at last, got access to the 24th Lancers Nominal Roll.


    This is from the Nominal Roll effective D Day or thereabouts and confirms A(ustin) Jones details and rank. The G/M confirms his trade as Gunner/Mechanic. The next image confirms his role as a Tank Commander.


    I think this next image, which shows the A Squadron ORBAT (Order of Battle) effective D Day or thereabouts, indirectly confirms that George Taylor will have been replaced by another, presumably Fred Bartlett.

    Ramiles likes this.

Share This Page