Antwerp Sept 4th 1944 3rd RTR pictures

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Crock, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Hi all,

    Can someone confirm my presumptions with these photos please?

    They are pictures from my grandads ( Harry House ) collection who was a tank driver with 3rd RTR.

    The pictures are from the liberation of Antwerp both showing the same tank, one has written on the back ' with kind regards ' so a presumption is it was given to him because its a picture of the tank my grandad was in?

    Ive also included a few paragraphs of a newspaper clipping also from my grandads collection stating that, 1, L.C D.Silvertop was in the first tank into Antwerp and 2, my grandad H.House was part of the crew with him.

    Does anyone know from the markings on the tank if that is indeed Silvertops tank? and therefore my grandad is in the tank?

    I may be way off with my presumptions but it all sort of makes sense lol

    21.jpg 21a.jpg



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  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Brilliant photos and press cuttings.

    There might be a bit of conflation in the newspaper clippings because my understanding is that David Silvertops Radio Operator - that, I firmly believe, is his tank- was a chap called Lionel Whitcher (who is not mentioned in the press clipping). How do I know?....Lionel told me! Similarly it's unlikely that Tom Maloney would have been in the same tank as Silvertop unless this was part of that 'parade' through Antwerp (which it could well have been because 3RTR arrived in Antwerp with only a few of their tanks and there had been many changes during the few days of the 'Great Swan' from France up to Antwerp.

    I'm wondering who's signature it is on the reverse of the photo. Very difficult to make out but I'm wondering if it's Maloney. I've a few photos of him somewhere: not sure if they have his signature though.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
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  3. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Yes i understand newspaper clippings can be a little mis leading lol, it lists my grandad as Captain H.House, ive not found any evidence to say he got above WS Corporal? gets the grey matter stirring tho!

    Yes the signature ends with a Y but i couldnt really make Maloney out of the rest of it lol
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron


    I've found a captioned copy of the 'Silvertop tank' photo and it could be interpreted that 'Silvertop with Maloney' could mean the Tanks of those two chaps: there are two tanks on the photo. The first one is definitely Silvertops so Maloney is either, at that time, in the same tank or in the following tank. Just thinking out loud.

    I've also found a captioned 3RTR group photo which contains Silvertop and Maloney but, unless you have access to face recognition software, it's going to be difficult to confirm the chaps in that leading Tank. As I said previously, Lionel Whitcher told me that it's him alongside Silvertop....but Lionel and/or me could have misremembered....the conversation was, after all, a long time ago.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  5. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Do you have that photo?
  6. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron


    Yes. Here's the photo.

    The gruff be-speckled look of Silvertop is easy to make out. Tom Maloney is second row from back extreme right hand side.

    The photo is from a book published by my late fathers late Troop leader; 'The Sharp End' by Major Johnny Langdon. Any copyright acknowledged.
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Unless there has been an error by the author - the following photo is also from Johnny Langdons book - I'm sure you will find this photo far more interesting.

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  8. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    oh wow! your a star!

    I have that very photo and obviously can pick out my grandad but now can put names to the others!! and a date which is handy :)

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  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    I'm pleased you're pleased!

    I've had a very quick look through the other photos in the book and can't find any more showing your grandad. I'll have a look through the text - hopefully later today - to see if his name jumps off the page. Bit of a needle in a haystack approach but, nothing ventured...

    Incidentally, the book is now out of print :-(
  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    It would be interesting to see if that event is mentioned in the 8th Armoured Brigade War Diary. I have a copy of their 1944 WD but not the 1943 one.
  11. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Just been looking for it, no sign of it anywhere unfortunately, one to keep an eye out for :)

    I really appreciate your help, thanks! :)
  12. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron which I should have added 3RTR War Diary.....

    I've just checked a transcribed version of the 3RTR WD and the 'Musketry Competition' is mentioned but there are no names included. Apparently the Brigade Commander presented the prizes. I'll try to upload an image of the 3RTR WD later: need to get back to work.....

    Edit: image as promised.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  13. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Thanks :)
  14. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    There’s a video on the IWM site re operation Goodwood dated 17/7/44 7 weeks before the Antwerp liberation photos above.

    Would the chances be high the crew would have been the same?

    It shows Silvertop on top on his tank directing operations.. the tank has 52 on rear as the above pics have on the front..

    If indeed the paper clipping is correct re my grandad being aboard ( which as he had the clipping and photos you’d say there was a good chance ) he could be in the tank 7 weeks earlier??

  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron


    Pretty good chance but not 100% due to a number of factors. Goodwood caused high losses so there would have been some moving around between tanks and also, between Goodwood and Antwerp, there was the small (sic) task of the Falaise Gap, the move over the Seine at Vernon and then the Great Swan up to Antwerp with the additional complication of receiving reinforcements from the disbanded 24th Lancers who were used to provide complete crews and even Troops (my fathers 3rd Troop A Squadron 24L became 3 Troop C Squadron 3RTR) as well as 'top ups' to existing 3RTR crews. Complex situation so you need positive validation either way.
  16. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Yea all good valid points lol

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