An unexpected visit to Monty's HQ

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by Ramiles, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi all,

    I have this account by my grandfather (written years after the war) of an accidental "stumble" into Monty's HQ. By context I assume that this was when Monty's HQ was nr. Cruelly (at the Chateau de Creullet : ) in Normandy:

    "I had then to go pick up another tank from the feeder unit. Given only sketchy instructions I took nineteen men in all and away I went. The truck driver dropped me at the entrance to Montgomery’s H.Q. (I know this now, but I didn’t at that time) so I took my little gang in quite happily. Got a long way into those grounds too, it did strike me very quickly that they were all dressed up. Anyway a Sergeant came rushing up shouting his head off, “You can’t come in here, get out”. I said he was a Sergeant, well so was I. Turning to my band of desperadoes I told them to sit on the grass. Then I gave full attention to Charlie Boy, he was quite red and went away. Within a few minutes he returned with his Regimental Sergeant Major and he was a really nice chap, we had a cosy chat for a few minutes, he agreed we all needed a meal, he also agreed it would be stupid for me to wander all over the place so he laid on transport, after all they were wanting to restart the war. We were glad really to get out of that joint, but when the Sergeant shouted at us, that was just not the way, the R.S.M. knew though."

    Just wondering ;) did gd have a point? re. "Charlie Boy" who was "quite red and went away"?

    Or was gd's "cosy chat for a few minutes" with the R.S.M. likely to have been something else? Perhaps after all these years someone even knows who the R.S.M. at Montgomery's H.Q. (who was a "really nice chap") actually was?

    I think "Charlie Boy" is probably well lost in the mists of time now though! :P

    All the best,

  2. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    I don't know the answers to your questions, but just wanted to say "Brilliant story" and I wish you well in your quest.
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Phil,

    I have wondered about the actual location of the 8th Armoured "feeder unit" - to which they (the 24th Lancers) were meant to have gone. Since they were apparently mis-delivered to the Chateau Cruellet and Monty's HQ.



    I have wondered if perhaps it was a (fairly) honest mistake, and they were meant to have gone to Chateau Creully or the park nearby as "these two places are only separated by the River Seulles"

    I have tried to to find some period piece photos of the actual Chateau themselves and to find out for what they were used for by the Germans and the French prior to the arrival of the allies / D-day. I wanted to see if they were also being used by the Germans as an HQ, or were still private residences in the sole possession of the French.

    But it hasn't been a particularly high priority so I've not made much progress there, as I haven't really focused on this much yet.

    There is this though on the BBC site: "James Holland visits Normandy" - Picture of James Holland sitting on the grass outside General Montgomery’s tactical headquarters (Montgomery arrived in France the day after D-Day and set up in this chateau near Creully) - Which is Cruellet with a "nice" picture of the grass where gd and his "desperadoes" probably (just like James Holland!) also sat ;) :

    I do also remember that not very long ago (circa mid 2015) there was a BBC documentary about the BBC at War (During WW2) which featured quite a bit about the BBC at the "other" Chateau - i.e. the one across the Seulles at Creully (Normandy):

    With a review of this program here:

    As regards my grandfather and the other though, I wasn't sure if this "cosy chat for a few minutes" with the R.S.M. was amicable, or if this was a coded version of what happened meant to mean something else, but since they all got a nice meal out of it and then managed to "get out of that joint" and were able to "get back to fighting the war" - I don't think they clapped him in irons or just gave him bread and water for a week - so it all seems to have ended well enough and without any tears I guess ;)

    All the best,


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