24th Lancers

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by SDP, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    A Tracer Card is a '6 x 4' file card which contains the soldiers basic details such as his Army Service Number, the date he signed up, the units and Regiments posted to with dates, details of any periods in Hospitals and anything post War such as the date when transferred out and/or to the Army Reserve. The Tracer Cards used to be held by the MOD but were sent out to various Museums a number of years ago. All of the Royal Armoured Corps Tracer Cards are now at the Bovington Tank Museum.

    The only details I have of John are:
    7957266 (his Army Service Number) Trooper G.J.Webster 'HQ' Squadron.

    That information will be enough for Bovington to locate his Tracer Card. I suggest you phone them, ask for the 'Museum Library' and you will then find them extremely helpful. In the case of my fathers Card, it's the best £5 I've ever spent!

    I've checked my copy of 'None Had Lances' and John is not mentioned by name (which is not that surprising, but it will includes lots of information about HQ Squadron).
  2. Jethro Tull

    Jethro Tull Member

    Thanks so much for that! I will call them tomorrow. I knew him well but knew nothing of his military service. I spent yesterday afternoon frantically searching for my copy of None Had Lances but to no avail, I am sure it will crop up at some point.
    Again, many thanks for your guidance on this.
  3. PDR

    PDR New Member

    Hi SDP,

    I was sad to hear that the Old Comrades Association had disbanded. My father and I attended two of the meals in London and thoroughly enjoyed them both. Though my career has gotten in the way, I am still interested and passively researching my grandfather's war. Hope you're well.

    Paul Robinson
    Grandson of Tpr D.S. Robinson ('B' Squadron).
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Good to hear from you.

    It's a shame that the Association had to disband but Anno Domini and all that......

    If you need more information, fire away and I'll do my best to help.

  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Have the tracer card for Gd,


    And the explanators for the X and Y lists from the tank museum.



    Would highly recommend getting them - as suggested by SDP above -

    Bit surprised to see that Gd was kept "on the hook" until 1954, but I suppose that that was par for the course at the end of WW2.

    BTW would anyone happen to know what the 53 / 45 next to the Notts Yeo i.e. (Notts Yeo 53/45) refers? Not hugely important (I expect!) just an interesting/intriguing added extra querulous detail (for me) at the mo.

    All the best,

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  6. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    That card proves he was one of the initial cadre that formed the 24L in December 1940. He therefore served with them for the entire duration of their practical existence!

    The intriguing bit is that the card starts with his posting to 24L.....is there another card that predates this one? No doubt his full Service Records will provide the remaining information. I'm not sure when the Tracer Card system started so that may provide the answer.

    My understanding is that, once a soldier was discharged to Reserves, he could be recalled for many years afterwards. That 1950s date might confirm he was released earlier than normal?
  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    "....is there another card that predates this one? "

    Could be, as far as I am aware though this is the only tracer card that they have for him down there. So they might not have had these tracer cards exactly from (or prior to) 1934? I do have a copy of Gd's tank attestation which took place on 2/10/1934 but doesn't say which regiment (in 1934) he was in.

    I'm pretty sure it was 9th L he joined before that (2/10/1934) though - but as you say hopefully his full records will one day clarify.

    Apparently he signed up initially for 6 years as I understand - and had been expecting to be gone / be demobbed therefore by the date he actually went into the 24th L. No hope to leave the army with "a handshake and oh well too bad" at the start of WW2!

    I think to start with they had him teaching in the 24th L - possibly on the new "use" of radios, but the 24th L War Diaries prior to 1944 are all about training, exercises and the regiment moving about, but aren't fantastically detailed so I have quite a big gap in precise knowledge of what he was up to there.

    From the SRY which: was temporarily disembodied on the 1st March 1946. (odd turn of phrase!)


    I think he was "offered" a new posting to another regiment going to Berlin to perform guard / garrison duties (mostly I gather this turned out to be guarding the fuel) but opted to return home instead - (he was already married with two young children) so that's when he went into the reserve. While he came back I think some of the (younger) members of his tank crew might have left the SRY and gone there i.e. to Berlin, not sure with which unit(s) though.

    All the best,

  8. idler

    idler GeneralList

    If the cards were an RAC initiative, the 1940 transfer may have simply have been the first time he popped onto their radar, having been a proper cavalryman before the formation of the RAC in April 1939.
  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Makes sense. Now just need to prove it. I will ask on my next visit to Bovington.
  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I was "intrigued" by the way the rank in Gd's tracer card (post #85) seems to go in one step from Pte to Ws/Sgt but sadly doesn't seem to include a date when this occurred. I suppose this is the sort of thing only to be got from the full records. But would have thought perhaps that this sort of info. that might have warranted at some point going onto a tracer card. Somehow seems a bit hasty just crossing out the old rank and writing a new one above it. What if he'd risen from private to general (!!!) they'd have had a bit of bother fitting all that crossing out in ;-)

    Gd seems to be in njvetter's pic in post 15 of this thread (at the front - 3rd from the right) where I've assumed from the insignia that he was a corporal.

    It's a great pic that one, one I think I've seen elsewhere before, and I wondered if it was "official" and in the Bovington archives already somewhere, the one njvetter posted a bit above it might be from the same set - but looks a little more relaxed and informal, perhaps still taken for publicity (rather than a private snap?) but maybe rather less like a line up or parade.

    I think SDP you mentioned once that the officer might look familiar? He does rather look like the British officer type, so it might just be a generic kind of thing, or have you lately had any further thoughts on this?

    All the best,

  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    A version that might be slightly easier to read.

    It looks like Gd's posting to the 24th L went through in December (12) / 1940 (40) - but I'm not sure about the character for the "day" before that that looks to me a bit like "W" more than almost anything else. Possibly a 6 or a 10 perhaps?

    As the WD says:

    the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, shall be amended as follows:-

    Below “17/21st Lancers” and above “North Irish Horse” insert:-

    22nd Dragoons.

    23rd Hussars.

    24th Lancers.

    Given at our Court of St. James, this 10th day of December, 1940 in the 4th year of our Reign.

    Then the 24th L WD says... "On December 18th, 299 recruits were conscripted and ordered to Report." - "at Warwick RaceCourse. The rendezvous was subsequently changed to Cannock."

    Whereas there's a bit before that detailing the new officers that says:

    Appendix ‘A’ to War Office letter 20/RAC/69/AG17/A, dated 23/11/1940, stated that “Based on the assumption that two parent units (A & B will form a new unit with nucleus of 129 WO’s, and Other Ranks – Officer i/c, RAC Records providing certain personnel.”

    The 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 17th/21st Lancers sent the following Officers:-

    9th Royal Lancers 7th/21st Lancers
    Major.M.H.Aird. (Lt.Col Commanding.) Major.D.M.Miller. (2 i/c)
    Major.E.R.Pettit. Captain.R.M.Fitzhugh.
    Captain.J.D.Gilroy. Captain.W.A.C.Anderson.
    Captain.D.S.Allhusen. Lieut.G.Morris.
    2/Lieut.A.C.L.Wills. (Adjutant) 2/Lieut.R.G.Bennett.
    2/Lieut.R.Arbuthnot. 2/Lieut.J Saggers.
    2/Lieut.H.O.D.Thwaites. 2/Lieut.A.B.Glover.
    Lieut.S.Cottee. (Quartermaster)

    ...Arbuthnot certainly rings a bell:


    There's also a nice bit about the 9th and 12th at:

    Which says that the 9th gave up their horses in 1936 and converted to a light tank regiment.

    But the tank attestation for Ben i have is for 2/10/34 so prior to the 9th "giving up their horses" perhaps they'd been preparing for conversion for a while. The Brief history makes it look like the process was long in the planning. There's a nice bit about the SRY and their conversion in the Stanley Christopherson diaries.

    All the best,

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  12. NewSteve

    NewSteve New Member

    It is the first time I have posted on this forum. Sadly it is to inform you of the recent death of one of the former 24th Lancers - Keneth Foster died on the 21st January 2016 at the age of 91, almost 92. I am his nephew and have been very close to him for the last 40 years, although he rarely spoke of his time in the 24th Lancers.
    The small amount I do know is that he was called up in 1942 and participated in the D day landings with the 24th Lancers. He was injured during the first few weeks of the campaign and once recovered and returns the 24th had been disbanded. He decided to stay on in the forces after the end of the war and did not leave until approx 1949. At some point during this time he was stationed at Celle in Germany.

    Any further information about my uncle would be most appreciated.
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Steve-I'm sorry to hear your uncle recently passed away. Do you know what unit he was posted to after the 24 Lancers disbanded?
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Just found him. He went to 37 RHU

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  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Sorry to hear the sad news. RIP.

    I have only limited information as follows:
    Tpr K G Foster
    Army Number 14325923 (which is confirmed in Andys posting of the 24L Disbandment List above)
    Kenneth served in 'B' Squadron (but role not known)

    I have no record of him on my 24th Lancers Old Comrades Association address lists (which go back to the late 1990s) so it would appear he had no 'recent' contact with the OCA.

    He is not mentioned in the Regimental history 'None Had Lances'.

    Question for you: did Kenneth mention any names and places to you? This would obviously help in trying to tie him down to various battles/places/etc.
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Sorry to hear about your recent loss Steve (post #92 above)

    All the best,


    Ps. Getting his tracer card and his army records are a good place to start. I don’t know if you have considered / or are considering getting his tracer card from Bovington and his army records yet? But I would heartily recommend both.
  17. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I thought I'd also post this here as it doesn't really seem to sit in: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/60248-tank-losses-of-the-24th-lancers-in-normandy-%E2%80%93-june-and-july-1944/

    Where the subject of 24th Lancers in films recently arose:

    There is an interesting bit of history prior to D-day - in the IWM archive, but sadly not currently available to view online (actually seems to say April 1944) - I'll term this one 24th L's meeting Eisenhower: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060008434


    Supplementary material to Sergeant Watkins' coverage of various aspects of the despatch by rail of the 8th Armoured Brigade from Newmarket to Winchester and General Eisenhower's brief inspection of its troops and vehicles while en route to Scotland.

    Full description : An LNER signalman (Mr J G Hayward) leaves his signal box to close the gates at Wood Ditton level crossing. The wheels of a train dash by over the crossing. 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. Two officers are seen addressing a party of 24th Lancers on a station platform prior to their train journey. Two locomotives in tandem pull ten Shermans and Fireflies loaded onto 'Warflats' and a passenger coach through Six Mile Bottom station. An M5 half-track and a Valentine Scissors Bridgelayer belonging to the 4/7th Dragoon Guards are driven onto 'Conflats' at Newmarket. 11/4/1944, accompanied by the RAF Flight Lieutenant in charge of railway transport in the Cambridge area, Eisenhower inspects vehicles belonging to the 24th Lancers awaiting despatch on 'Conflats'. He is introduced to the station master and railway superintendent.

    With some similar mentions of the 24th L in the "related objects" section below.

    (Nb. these "films" and "film clips" can be pretty brief, a matter of minutes to some seconds sometimes, and as well as being available at the IWM can pop up on youtube sometimes.

    All the best,


    Ps. I've put the details of some other 24th L films, kindly contributed by m kenny at: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/60248-tank-losses-of-the-24th-lancers-in-normandy-–-june-and-july-1944/?p=697417
    also into the chronology at http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/60248-tank-losses-of-the-24th-lancers-in-normandy-–-june-and-july-1944/?p=696322
  18. dfielder

    dfielder Junior Member

  19. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Well spotted. I will phone his brother Tony, who also served with 24th Lancers, to see if he's received his medal yet.
  20. sunnymede

    sunnymede New Member

    I'm William Duncan, (not the one who served, but a son) my first post, i saw my fathers name on the list on page 4, what does the 'ARG for UK.X(iv) mean?

    I have some photographs that I have attached of my father Tpr William Duncan 7948832 who enlisted 12 February 1942 and was released 15 August 1946.

    I believe he was a tank driver with the 24th Lancers and kept, is that his cap badge?.
    Are those his campaign ribbons, he had 2 of each of the bottom 2. My mother said he was at Caen but due to losses they were reformed with other groups, dad never really talked about his time, and we never asked, however he did like a good war film and espcially western movies, during some of the war films he might say 'those bleedin' 88's'.

    Is the tank in the one picture a Comet?

    I hope some others may recognise the other soldiers in the photographs, in the group photographs dads on the far left, I don't know the woman, were they probably lodging there?

    Dad passed away in 1996 aged 81.

    Hope the photographs help, they were all heroes.

    Best regards, Bill Duncan

    Attached Files:

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