Dad's 46th Recce War Photos

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Diane E, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Diane E

    Diane E Member

    When my Dad’s parents died, he found 4 photos of himself from the war in their effects. The originals were very small, 2” x 3”. He had larger copies of the photos made and also negatives made from the originals (very expensive, he says!). We still have 1 original and the strip of 4 negatives. Copies attached.

    Sometime later, about 1992, my Dad got in touch with Douglas Waugh (in charge of 46th Anti Tank Battery) who was Secretary of the 46th Recce Comrades Association. We still have some of the letters they wrote to each other (hopefully they will write some more soon!). My Dad sent him copies of the 4 photos and a cheque to help with copying and posting if Dougie wanted to send them to comrades.

    Dougie replied later than he had taken copies and had also sent copies to the Tank Museum.

    All 4 photos are in the pdf about 46th Recce made by Singeager ‘courtesy of Douglas Waugh’.

    My Dad says the 4 photos were all taken in Xylokastro, Greece between January and April 1945.

    Dad (who was operator/gunner) and his driver are in all 4 photos. His sgt car commander is in 3 photos. I have made a composite of the 4 photos and marked them as follows:
    Dad – red circle
    Driver – blue circle
    Sgt car cmdr – green circle

    It looks like the first 2 were taken at the same time (same battleground, all in battledress). In the third and fourth, Dad and the driver are in overalls and the car is different. We are presuming that 1&2 are different days from 3&4?

    Dad says the photographer would turn up, take pictures, go away, come back with prints you could buy. So, presumably, there are at least some copies of the group picture out there somewhere?

    Any thoughts, comments?

    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Great pics, thanks for sharing.
  3. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Great photos thanks for sharing. Do you know the names of the Cdr & driver?

  4. singeager

    singeager Senior Member

    Dear Diane.

    Thanks for marking up the photos will update my records as soon as I have time. don't want to be critical of the tank museum but I would bet they have no records of the photos Doug sent them. I've myself have sorted through the huge bid of random photos that they have received and then sold of of collectors. Unless the suits show something technically interesting they are not kept.

    It appears that it's up to us to record the history now that the regiments have ceased to exist.

  5. Diane E

    Diane E Member

    Hey Paul, he cant remember those at the moment. I suspect if he saw their name on a list, it might trigger some memories. As I said on your medal thread, he picked up on McLean straight away. As soon as he saw Lt Durdey in the recce journal, he recognised that. I just need to dig up more names and detailed events to throw his way :)

    No problem Singe :)

  6. RichardMC144

    RichardMC144 Member

    Hi Diane C,

    Very interesting to see those photos - I have a copy of one of them as it happens. Unfortunately you have made a mistake in the identification of one of the men as your father. If you look closely you will see that one of the men whom you have ringed with red looks quite different from the other two. I am referring to the man with a mustache standing in front of the armoured vehicle in the second photo along, (or the middle of three in the composition), resting his arm on the vehicle. That man is an officer, not a sergeant (he has a side arm as you can see) and is I am certain is the then 2nd Lieutenant R.W. Challoner - my father.

    Ronnie Challoner served with the 46th Recce Regiment in North Africa - Algeria and Libya - as part of the 1st Army. As I am sure you know the Commanding Officer of the 46th Recce (until he was K.I.A) was Lt. Colonel Cotton and the adjutant was Major 'Monkey' Neal. From North Africa the 46th Recce went of course, to Italy and suffered great casualties at Anzio and elsewhere. Unfortunately it seems that relatively few who served in the 46th Recce survived. I remember my father telling me that on the few occasions he went to reunions sadly only a handful attended and he was the only officer. Serving in the Recce Corps was always extremely dangerous, so exposed could they be to enemy attack - hence their famous motto.

    Unfortunately I don't have any photos of my father in North Africa as the ones he had - and all his papers - were taken from him by the Germans when he was taken prisoner. I do however, have photos of him in uniform and wearing his black beret and I will try to find a suitable and post it up. I think then it will be easier to see, that he is the man I have identified.
    All the best,
  7. RichardMC144

    RichardMC144 Member

    Dear Recce_Mitch,

    You ask the name of the Commander in one of the photos. If you mean the officer in the middle photo, the one with the sidearm, resting his arm on the armoured vehicle, that is 2nd Lieutenant Ronnie Challoner, my father. Unfortunately I can't tell you the name of the driver or the other men and sadly I can't ask my father as he is no longer with us.

    There is a chance that this is the platoon my father led into battle in Algeria in May 1943, in which case their names will be in the regimental war diaries. If they are those men, then sadly, they were all killed. Briefly what happened was that my father's unit was out spying out German positions when they were attacked by soldiers of the Hermann Goering Division who were using a dismounted Tiger I Tank gun as an artillery piece. They blew our boys to pieces and only my father and his sergeant survived the initial attack. The sergeant was later killed and my father eventually taken prisoner.

  8. RichardMC144

    RichardMC144 Member

    Hello all,

    Here are a couple of photos of my late father Ronnie Challoner, alongside a copy of the above photo with the officer resting his arm on the armoured vehicle. I think the resemblance is clear and personally I have no doubt that it is my father, as do my sisters and others who knew my father.


    RonnieArmy100018.jpg wp38f50a65_0f.jpg RonMarcellWed0016.jpg
  9. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Richard welcome to the forum, great to have another Recce on board. Thanks for posting photos.

  10. Diane E

    Diane E Member

    Hey Richard, so nice to be able to speak to a 46th recce relative!

    No doubt we are not the first, nor will we be the last, to have differing views on historical information :)

    I know very little about 'things military' - just what I've gleaned in the last month or so. And nothing at all about Intelligence Officer related things. So I'd love to hear more about your father, but I'll ask it on your original thread if that's ok, so we can keep things tidy.

  11. RichardMC144

    RichardMC144 Member

    Hi Diane, I was wondering if you knew about two books about the Recce Corps which you might find interesting. The main one is 'Only the Enemy In Front (Every other beggar behind...): The Recce Corps at War 1940-1946', by Richard Doherty. I have the BCA Edition 1994, but you might find an earlier one. The other book is also by Richard Doherty and is called 'The British Reconnaissance Corps in World War II' published by Osprey Publishing in 2007. The latter has a photograph of Lt. Colonel Frederick Cotton, our father's commanding officer, who sadly was killed in August 1944.
    They are both well worth reading if you haven't already.
    All the best,
  12. Aati

    Aati New Member

    My father Anthony Nelson Monckton was a commissioned officer in 46 recce with Douglas Waugh and Bill Vert. He fought in Tunisia, Palestine, Greece, Italy, finishing in Austria. This Band of Brothers by Jeremy Taylor is the Recce corps book.
    Drew5233, Recce_Mitch and 4jonboy like this.
  13. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Guy Hudson, Tricky Dicky, dbf and 2 others like this.
  14. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum Aati, great5 to have another Recce on board.

  15. Bazz

    Bazz Member

    Dad joined up on3 October 1940 at barnsley sent to pontyfract with york and Lancaster reg did his training. Then in early1941 sent to 1recce training centre Winchester. Then posted to 56 recce .In june 1942 spent 21days in colchester hospital. On sevice records it says injuries. In the field. On leaving hospital posted to 46recce. On6:1:1943 left Liverpool on17:1:43 disembarked ? Then with46 recce went to Tunisia. Then italy at salerno. Rested in Palestine. Back to italy till January 1945 then sent to Greece? Back to italy April 1945 war over in early may. Sent to Austria. Back to England 15 December1945. Left army on 17:3 :1946 .Army reserve from 18:3:46 to 8:2:56. Never spoke about war. Died 1989 age 78
  16. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Hi Bazz welcome to the forum great to have another Recce on board. What is your fathers name?

  17. Bazz

    Bazz Member

    Dads name william shaw born 8:2:1911 rank Lance corp. Service number 4757923
  18. Bazz

    Bazz Member

    Ta Mitch
  19. Bazz

    Bazz Member

    Dads war medals are Africa. Star. 1st army clasp. Italy star .1939:45star .war medal Defence medal
  20. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    If you ever want to see what your father got up to in Italy as part of 46 Recce, do get in touch.

    46 Recce were at the Salerno landings, the Volturno Crossing, the Gustav Line at Cassino and the Gothic Line at Rimini.

    Plenty to see.



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