2nd rtr Burma 1942

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by granddadsgirl, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. granddadsgirl

    granddadsgirl Junior Member

    Hi there, I've just joined and I am very impressed with the shared knowledge and information this site. :)

    My Granddad joined the TA c1934 aged approx 24. He was called up in 1939. He was in Burma in 1942 as part of the 2nd RTR. He was part of the retreat to India, and as a driver/mechanic, I understand he took part in helping to destroy the tanks as part of the retreat. He also served in Africa and Italy. His name was Trooper E Leech 2202481. He was raised in Hull, but ended up at RAC 52nd training reg, Bovington where he was released in 1945, and lived the rest of his life in Dorset.

    I am interested in any information/experiences/documents/other regiments which served alongside RAC 2nd RTR. :) (my info is from release paper, medals-Burma, Italy Africa stars, and talking to family) My Granddad never spoke of his experiences, nor was he ever in contact with any relatives from Hull, so I am trying desperately to learn more about a side of him I never knew, as he was a very special person. :poppy:

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi,

    Welcome aboard. This is a great place and I'm sure someone will have something of interest for you soon. Have you read any of the Burma campaign books that are on offer?

    'Burma, the Longest War', by Louis Allen is very good.
    'Defeat into Victory', by William Slim, also very good.

    Best wishes

    Steve
     
  3. granddadsgirl

    granddadsgirl Junior Member

    Hi Steve, many thanks for your reply. I shall look at the books, as I have been trying to find some Burma specific books. :)

    Kind Regards
    :)
     
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I have a copy of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment's War Diary for the period of 1939-45. This is a daily record of the unit's activities and is one of the primary sources of information of the unit's war service. Often, members of the regiment are mentioned in the war diary, generally being officers. If you are interested in this document, contact me by PM and we can arrange getting it to you. Check your grandad's record to see if he served the entire war with the regiment. If not, then this would cut down on the size of the material. It is about 196 MB in size and runs 227 scanned pages.
     
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I have a copy of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment's War Diary for the period of 1939-45. This is a daily record of the unit's activities and is one of the primary sources of information of the unit's war service. Often, members of the regiment are mentioned in the war diary, generally being officers. If you are interested in this document, contact me by PM and we can arrange getting it to you. Check your grandad's record to see if he served the entire war with the regiment. If not, then this would cut down on the size of the material. It is about 196 MB in size and runs 227 scanned pages.

    Hi dryan67, well done, I had a quick look for the unit diary on the National Archives website, but couldn't find it.:rolleyes:
     
  6. Don Clark

    Don Clark Junior Member

    It's so sad that we do little to record the stories of our war generation, & it's so much harder to piece things together when they're gone. Of course, many involved in the Burma Campaign would say very little anyway. I started recording the stories of a group of veterans about 6 years ago, as an oral history exercise, & I'm pleased that my resultant documentary has now been released, sadly after many of the participants have died. It's mostly about the human side of the war in Burma, but may give you a feel for things your Grandad went through. There are also quite a few books around & on platforms like Amazon, as is my film, For Your Tomorrow. Good luck. Don.
     
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    G'dad girl

    not sure if I can add anything to the search but i do know that they were in 7thArmoured DIV. - after Alamein the 2nd rtr went off to Burma with part of the 7th A Bde and returned to Palestine before heading for Italy where they took part in the slaughter at Gemmano in the Gothic Line with 6th and 8th rtr there is a good write up on wiki on "Gemmano"

    cheers
     
  8. granddadsgirl

    granddadsgirl Junior Member

    Many thanks for all your replies. It is much appreciated. :)

    It's so sad that we do little to record the stories of our war generation, & it's so much harder to piece things together when they're gone. Of course, many involved in the Burma Campaign would say very little anyway. I started recording the stories of a group of veterans about 6 years ago, as an oral history exercise, & I'm pleased that my resultant documentary has now been released, sadly after many of the participants have died. It's mostly about the human side of the war in Burma, but may give you a feel for things your Grandad went through. There are also quite a few books around & on platforms like Amazon, as is my film, For Your Tomorrow. Good luck. Don.

    Having visited ww1 sights in Belgium and ww2 sights in Normandy,as a teen, (and later as an adult with my own children) it is little wonder that veterans didn't always talk about their experiences of war, or more specifically, (so it seems)the Middle East Campaign. I guess they just wanted to try and move on with new lives on best they could. :/

    My Granddad never spoke of his experiences, or his life pre 2nd world war. He had a tough time with relationships post war, and that explains a lot, seeing what he and other's went through during the war.

    My Granddad, so I have discovered, was a bus driver initially. As a child, I always watched him in the shed, as he fiddled with fixing and building stuff, but he never drove. I was told that reason he didn't drive was because he accidentally ran over a dog at some point. Perhaps it was deeper than that, and a memory hidden behind something more horrific than killing a dog.

    Anyway, I could waffle for England, when it comes to my granddad. Many thanks for your help. It means more to me than anyone could ever know :)
     
  9. gunbunnyB/3/75FA

    gunbunnyB/3/75FA Senior Member

    howdy, welcome to the forum,sounds like he had some interesting days,hope you are able to piece them together.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi dryan67, well done, I had a quick look for the unit diary on the National Archives website, but couldn't find it.:rolleyes:

    Here you go Steve

    WO 169/4505 2 Royal Tank Regiment 1942 Jan., Mar.- May, July- Dec.

    WO 172/706 2 Royal Tank Regiment 1942 Feb.- May, Aug.
     
  11. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Drew:

    I already sent her out the war diaries for the 2nd RTR. Thanks for the references, though.
     
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Drew, I was looking for the files for our new member, but couldn't locate them. Always stuck in the Infantry sections, must get out more.:D
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    No worries - Just ask if you want anymore ref's.
     
  14. granddadsgirl

    granddadsgirl Junior Member

    Hey guys. I just wanted to say that the diaries are incredible! It's quite difficult to read in places, because the content is very detailed. But that was the horrors of war at the time. It is of course, impossible to imagine what they went through, but diaries like this, give the veterans a voice, when many couldn't speak of their experiences.

    I want to say a massive thank you. Information like this, helps me to feel close to my Granddad, despite him not being with me. He was my hero any way, but these diaries show how much of a hero he actually was, and all the people who fought too.
     
  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi GDG,

    Glad you have got a good headstart already, and well done again to dryan.

    Steve
     
  16. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Hi GDG you may be interested in a recent book on the 1942 retreat from Burma which may help you.

    Exodus Burma - The British Escape Through the Jungle of Death 1942-3
    Felicity Goodall
    The History Press
    ISBN 978-7524-6092-5
    £18.99
    (Oct 2011)
     
  17. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Hi GD'sG, welcome to the site; as you've discovered already there is much to learn and much to be found...

    There will soon be access (Steve and myself hope o_O) once again to the audio files held at the Imperial War Museum which will invariably offer much to those that do not have the facilities (or finances) to visit...

    Good luck on your voyage of discovery...

    Ken
     
  18. granddadsgirl

    granddadsgirl Junior Member

    Wow, this is amazing :) I'm just looking through this forum at all the info. A truly remarkable place. Many thanks again for the welcome, and all the info, it's fantastic :)
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Wow, this is amazing :) I'm just looking through this forum at all the info. A truly remarkable place. Many thanks again for the welcome, and all the info, it's fantastic :)

    Always glad to help out, Merry Christmas GSG.:)
     
  20. granddadsgirl

    granddadsgirl Junior Member

    Hi GDG you may be interested in a recent book on the 1942 retreat from Burma which may help you.

    Exodus Burma - The British Escape Through the Jungle of Death 1942-3
    Felicity Goodall
    The History Press
    ISBN 978-7524-6092-5
    £18.99
    (Oct 2011)

    Just to say I have this book, and it is amazing. I would recommend it to anyone. It's very graphic, and disturbing at times, but it tells the story of retreat out of Burma very well. It's amazing what humans are capable of, in the most horrific conditions. It's incredible how they ever managed to function in the real world after. It restores a lot of faith in mankind. Incredible, and thanks for recommending it :)
     

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