A History of the Queen's Bays (The 2nd Dragoon Guards) 1929-1945 Beddington, Major General W.R.

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Emanuel1940, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Rod Owens

    Rod Owens Member

    Mark N
    I have no specific desire to identify a link to the Bays, I simply wish to get the record of his service historically correct.
     
  2. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    It happens. Hardly a hanging offence. If one of the moderators feels inclined to move certain posts I'm sure they will. But it's probably unnecessary. They are fairly relaxed about such things which us nice.

    Regarding, Owens' (yes, we are all fallible to lack of attention to detail :D ) service prior to August 1941, as he was not commissioned up until then, reference to his name or effort is very unlikely in official records or history books. Perhaps there will be mention somewhere when he became SSM or if he did something so outstanding as to warrent attention.

    As suggested earlier in this thread, getting a copy of his service records will give you a basic running commentry of where he served (unit) and when. With that information, reading up the history of those units will give you a really good understanding of what he was involved with despite not being mentionned by name.

    But you know things ended with 3RTR, so that would be a good start point while you await his service records. If he was RTC/RTR throughout his carreer, get hold of a copy of The Tanks by Liddell-Hart as it's the Corps/Regiment demi-official history. Volume 1 covers the period up to WW2, Volume 2 thereafter.

    Have fun!
     
  3. Rod Owens

    Rod Owens Member

    Thanks for all your suggestions and leads, I know he was an outstanding athlete in his younger days in the Army as there were photos of him with trophies, and there is still some silverware that he was presented with in the family, so perhaps there may be reference to him in this regard somewhere. Anyway I will follow your leads and see what turns up.
    Thanks again for your assistance and information.
     
  4. Peter Everitt

    Peter Everitt Member

    Does anyone have a copy of A History of the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) 1929-1945 by Major General W. R. Beddington?

    If so could someone check to see if my uncle Charles Arthur Cotterill is mentioned please? He was in B Squadron and died in the second battle of El Alamein on the 25th October 1942.
     
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    its on a selling site £100
     
  6. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Peter,

    Your uncle does not get a mention. If you give me a couple of days, I will check the Regimental War Diaries for any mention.

    Mark
     
  7. Peter Everitt

    Peter Everitt Member

    Hi Mark,
    Thank you for checking and also offering to check the War Diaries as well. My family folk law always held that he was a Matilda tank driver, but my own research indicates B Squadron were either using the newly issued Sherman or the older British Crusader tanks at that time. I’ve read several books from members of C Squadron (To War with the Bays by Jack Merewood and Shots in the Sand by Michael Halsted), but can find no accounts of the period from B Squadron veterans.

    Thanks, Pete
     
  8. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member


    The Bays had used a wide range of tanks up to the latter part of 1942 but - and off the top of my head - I don't think they were ever issued an Infantry Tank of any shape, size or description. Nevertheless, there is pretty wide selection of tanks that he could have driven.
     
  9. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    The only direct reference to your Uncle is found in the September 1941Diary, in the Nominal Roll, actually dated 25 Nov 1941.

    P5760595 (2).JPG


    I have not located any B Squadron veteran accounts either, I have one from A Squadron, that of Peter Willets, entitled Armoured Horseman, published by Pen & Sword.

    MarkN is quite correct, The Bays were never issued an Infantry Tank. If you look at this web page, Armament – 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (qdg.org.uk), you will be able to see the armaments of The Bays from mechanisation in 1936 to the end of the war in 1945.

    Mark
     
  10. Peter Everitt

    Peter Everitt Member

    Hi Mark,
    Thank you for checking the War Diaries for me. It’s a shame there were no entries closer to the date my uncle was killed as it would have been nice to have at least known what troop he belonged to in B Squadron, but fate can be cruel like that. Your link to the QDG website was very useful and has backed up the likelihood my uncle was driving a Sherman tank. Finally, thanks to both Mark N and yourself for advising me of the third publication covering the period from an A Squadron perspective by Peter Willett, which I have now ordered a copy of.

    With deepest thanks and respect,
    Pete
     
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  11. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    Pete

    Another book which may be of interest, is Burning Tanks and an Empty Desert by John Philip Jones (ISBN: 9781504950282). It is based on the unpublished journal of Major John Sylvanus MacGill, RAMC, who was the Medical Officer of the Bays until the end of the North African Campaign. It contains much more than his journal entries, with additional information on the regiment, it's campaigns and some of the people within the Regiment.

    Mark
     
    Chris C likes this.
  12. Peter Everitt

    Peter Everitt Member

    Mark,
    Thank you for the book recommendation “Burning Tanks and an Empty Desert”, which I have now bought the Kindle eBook edition this evening and have already started reading, having just finished “Alamein to Zem Zem” by Keith Douglas.

    Thanks
    Pete
     
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  13. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    Pete,

    I would appreciate knowing what you think of the book.

    Mark
     
  14. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Just ordered it as well.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
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  15. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Question, could anyone provide me with the relevant pages relating to the arrival in Egypt in December 1941, and the subsequent trek west to the desert, and the battles until mid-February 1942?

    Happy to reciprocate, DM me.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  16. Peter Everitt

    Peter Everitt Member

    Mark,
    Of course I will provide you with feedback of my thoughts on “Burning Tanks and an Empty Desert” once I finish reading it.

    Regards
    Pete
     
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  17. Peter Everitt

    Peter Everitt Member

    Mark,
    Feedback on “Burning Tanks and an Empty Desert”
    An excellent book, where the author has cleverly used the diary of Major MacGill as the thread to pull together not only a running history of the Bays time in France and the North African desert up to the end of 1943, but also explains the British Army’s changing strategy in the use of tanks and armoured divisions during this period. The book also nicely mentions other Bays related publications (like Jack Merewood’s), officers such as Michael Halsted, as well as explaining the medical perspective with dealing with wounded soldiers and particularly the types of injury sustained by tank crews. Finally, the author’s bibliography is an excellent short list for further reading. I have already ordered the book by the artillery officer attached to the Bays. Highly recommend you give “Burning Tanks and an Empty Desert“ a read.

    Regards
    Pete
     
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  18. Peter Everitt

    Peter Everitt Member

    Andreas,
    Page 150 (in Chapter 5) is the point the Bays are first mentioned for the period December 1941. You only need read about 16 pages to get to Feb 1942.

    Regards
    Pete
     
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  19. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Thanks Pete!

    All the best

    Andreas
     

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