7th Royal Tank Regiment

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Kieron Hill, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    How is it I can not seem to find a
    good source of information on the
    above regiment. i did a search a
    couple of years ago and came up
    0 also.

    Having a look at the casualties (KIA)
    on Geoffs search engine they totalled
    202, this does not include wounded.
    I had a closer look at the dates 41 to
    42 (North Africa) to see if any of these
    casualties had bee awarded DCM's, MM's
    etc... and I was somewhat surprised by
    the number:

    Trooper 2037047 RGM Mckenzie - MID
    Trooper 7887664 RA Griffin - MM
    Captain 140580 CA Hein - MC
    Major 53590 NCB Fellows - MC
    Corporal 7886144 DR Cowlard - MM
    Sergant 7886622 A Banyard - MID
    Corporal 7884495 G Black - DCM
    Sergant 7883485 FJ Prouse - DCM
    Lt 106334 Percy Thomas - MM
    L/Corporal 7884525 Roy McKeand - MM/MID
    Sergant 7888407 H Smith - MM

    With so many awards I am surprised that
    there is not more written about them and
    bare in mind that the above are awards I
    know about. Anyone know of a good book?

    Cheers
    Kieron
     
  2. The Q

    The Q Junior Member

    I too have been searching for information about the 7th RTR, but this is difficult also because it had been split between Grece/ Malta/ Egypt/ Tobruck (I think) I have a copy of my grandfathers records which shows him going to Egypt with 7RTR then the next line is captured Cyrenaiea? which is crossed out and replace by Tobruk 21/6/42
    He was RSM from 19/2/41 John Stewart Number 7869644 and appears to have been mentioned in dispatches in France and the middle east.
    After the war he stayed in the RTR (still with the 7th I think) until 1953 when he retired, sadly he died 3 years later the year before I was born.
    Knowing little of the Army myself what would the "in action " role of an RTR RSM have been?
    I know many tanks have names would there be a list anywhere of who was in what? I've seen this for some other regiments.

    ThanK you for any info
    The Q
     
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Quite a bit on the 7th in the 'official' RTR history - 'The Tanks' volume 2 (Liddel Hart 1959). - It's scattered about as the RTR as a whole is covered, but their basic story is told.
    Not exactly a blow by blow account of the units entire war, far from it really, but I'd be happy to look up anything that might help on specific incidences.

    ~A
     
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    7 R Tks was reformed (completely restarted might be nearer the truth given the unfortunate campaigns they were involved with) and ended up with 79 Armd Div in Crocodiles in early 1945.

    They were also involved in the famous counterattack at Arras in 1940.
     
  5. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    It can be difficult to find histories of Tank Brigades, as opposed to Armoured Brigades, I've found - unless I'm looking in the wrong places...

    According to Joslen (Orders of Battle) 7 RTR served in various Brigades;

    1st Tank Bde Sep39 to Dec40 (went to France with BEF Sep39);
    Drops from sight for a while, but mentioned in Egypt in Jan41 under BTE;
    4th Armd Bde May41 to Jul41, when 4 Armd Bde was part of 7th Armd Div;
    Then two spells with 32nd Tank Bde -
    Sep41 to Jan42 and again Apr42 to Jun42, the Bde ceasing to exist on 22/06/42 following the capture of Tobruk by Axis forces.

    7 RTR then vanishes from the order of battle until 10 RTR were renumbered in early 1943 in the UK, becoming part of 31st Tank Bde. The revived 7 RTR fought in Normandy before being detached to reinforce the Czech Armd Bde besieging the German garrison of Dunkirk. The regt rejoined 31st Tank Bde as a Crocodile flamethrower unit in Feb45 as part of 79th Armd Div.

    The Regimental Serjeant-major was the senior NCO of the unit. He would have been with RHQ, and dependent upon availability of vehicles would have accompanied the 2-in-C of the Regt in his tank.

    Gary
     
  6. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Cheers everyone for your replies, Q I have a photo album with
    belonged to a L/Cpl in the 7th RTR which has quite a few group
    photos taken in North Africa, maybe just maybe your grandfather
    might be on one of them, I also have a reunion photo of the 7th
    which is below. When I was looking through the casualty list on
    Geoffs search engine I did note that at one given time for example 1944
    the regiment had casualties in Italy, France and Greece...mmm
    widely spread out. My mans medal entitlement consists of War
    Medal (with Oakleaf), Defence Medal, Italy Star, Africa Star &
    39-45 Star so I am guessing he never went onto France. The
    tanks in the pictures consist of Grants, Shermans and one that I
    can not make out, which I will post to see if a tank bod can ID it.

    Adam from what I have said regards the tanks and his medals are
    you able to give me rough idea of his movements using your book?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    The Grant

    [​IMG]

    The Sherman

    [​IMG]

    And these two I am not sure about, maybe someone could tell me?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Looks like A9 Cruiser [top] Valentine [bottom] of the ones you don't know Kieron.
     
  9. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Cheers Owen for the heads up on the A9
    I have not seen much of this tank at all
    and even looking through some of my
    books.....reverse....reverse just open
    Desert Rats at War by George Forty
    page 30 and there are about 4 coming
    down a street in an Egyptian town.

    Thanks again, cheers Kieron
     
  10. The Q

    The Q Junior Member

    Kieron, Sadly I only have access to a couple of poor photos of my grandfather taken I think around 1946-48 showing him to be fairly thin and gaunt looking most of the people in the reunion picture have recovered well from their experiences of WW2 So I have been unable to Identfy him in the picture..
    thanks
    Q
     
  11. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    If anyone comes across this name, or can tell me where and what the 7th were doing on the 29th May (Other than retreating) I would appreciate it

    Phil

    Name: O'NEILL, CHRISTOPHER
    Initials: C
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Trooper
    Regiment/Service: Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C.
    Unit Text: 7th
    Age: 26
    Date of Death: 29/05/1940
    Service No: 3651986
    Additional information: Son of Christopher and Margaret O'Neill; husband of Doris O'Neill, of Sheffield.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 5.
    Memorial: DUNKIRK MEMORIAL
     
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    The Tanks says that the composite 4th/7th R Tks reached Dunkirk with their two remaining tanks on the evening of 28 May.
    4/7 Bn had been formed on 25 May with 18 Matilda I, 2 Matilda II and 7 light tanks and was sent forward when everyone elese was going back. 26 May was a day of order-counterorder-disorder by the sound of it; presumably this wrote off 17 tanks. On 27 May they had counterattacked near Neuve Chappelle to allow the Cameron Highlanders (25 Bde) to get away, losing 8 of their then 10 tanks.
    I imagine Tpr O'Neill was posted missing when they drew breath on 29 May, having been lost in those last few days.
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just reading in 4th Indian Division's history that 7 RTR was gave that Div tank support during Wavell's Offensive in '40 early 41.
    I was just wondering after they got out from Dunkirk, how long were they refiting & retraining & where in the UK before shipping off to North Africa ?
     
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The Q -
    It should be recalled that during the war the area of North Africa west of Egypt was Cyrenaica - Lybia and Tripolitania - now of course it is all called Lybia - all that area between Egypt and Tunisia -hence the scratching out of names etc on your Gfathers records...
    Cheers
     
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Owen,

    The Tanks states that 7 R Tks (along with 2 R Tks and 3 H) embarked at Liverpool on 21 Aug 1940, arriving 24 Sep at Port Said, then moving to the Western Desert around mid Oct. Until December 1940, 7 R Tks "trained with various infantry brigades".

    Nothing on where they were based in the UK, though.
     
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    How is it I can not seem to find a good source of information on the above regiment. i did a search a couple of years ago and came up 0 also.

    Having a look at the casualties (KIA) on Geoffs search engine they totalled
    202, this does not include wounded. I had a closer look at the dates 41 to
    42 (North Africa) to see if any of these casualties had bee awarded DCM's, MM's etc... and I was somewhat surprised by the number:

    Trooper 2037047 RGM Mckenzie - MID
    Trooper 7887664 RA Griffin - MM
    Captain 140580 CA Hein - MC
    Major 53590 NCB Fellows - MC
    Corporal 7886144 DR Cowlard - MM
    Sergant 7886622 A Banyard - MID
    Corporal 7884495 G Black - DCM
    Sergant 7883485 FJ Prouse - DCM
    Lt 106334 Percy Thomas - MM
    L/Corporal 7884525 Roy McKeand - MM/MID
    Sergant 7888407 H Smith - MM

    With so many awards I am surprised that there is not more written about them and bare in mind that the above are awards I know about. Anyone know of a good book?

    Cheers
    Kieron

    Kieron Don't know how far on you are with all this now or if you have found a good history of them.

    The awards that came out of search for "7 royal tank regiment" are here:
    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Search Results

    Variations on the theme may get more however.

    If you are interested in these, there is a way to get them for nothing and online ... quite often there are locations, dates, map refs.
     
  17. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Still interested...so how do you get the information for nothing?
     
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Kieron,
    Take the link I posted for the search results first and make a list of all the cat. no.s and LG dates which are mentioned. Might be simplest to copy and paste the pages into a document first and then add cat. no. & LG date to the list when you click on details.

    If you want, do another search with any other variation of the regiment's title to make sure you have them all covered.

    Then go to the link that Owen has given, look at the pdf in post 11 and start downloading each file. They are pretty big pdf files but you can dump them as soon as you are finished. Docsonline send a notification to your email address which last for 28 days. So if you think you missed something, you can go back and check.

    Each file is sorted under LG order and will often include an image of the LG entries. So look for your regiment in order of seniority under each LG date.

    Have fun, you'll work out your own system pretty quickly.
     
  20. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Cheers D and Owen for the heads up on that
     

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