I have this hazy account scripted post war from recollections by my granddad, he was the tank commander of the second tank of the 1st troop of C squadron 24th Lancers. A lot of the memories he wrote are like this so I’m tenderly pacing myself around them trying to get them all into some sort of context: "Two troops had to take a hill with a wood on top. It looked from an aerial photograph as if part of the hill had been cut making it impossible to get the tanks nearer than 400 yards of the woods. We had a creeping barrage to take us in and all went well until shells began landing around us, it took me a few moments to realise we were going faster than our own barrage, it always amazed me how quickly the artillery reacted when they were called. Everything went nicely after that and we found the cut in the hill didn’t matter so we took the infantry all the way and they were duly grateful and were last seen going through the wood. We then had a bit of back luck, we were clearing an area, I must say that the country in this area is bad for tank men, there’s too much cover, bocage country it’s called. We were approaching the corner of a cornfield when five Germans popped up out of the corn then disappeared. Told to go in to the corn after; I came up and said it looked too much like a mine field and anyway I couldn’t see them now. Told to go in and hunt them I went and promptly got blown up by a mine. It blew away the N/S (near side) rear bogey and gave my backside one hell of a bump. Giving the order to bail out I looked back and my crew weren’t moving, I suppose they were shocked. It meant I had to jump up and hitch up my plug before I could speak to them. It did (give?) me the chance to remind them to jump off the back into our own tank tracks. Having got into the field where my other tanks were I took a tow rope through and pulling the rope from my own tank I coupled them. The crippled tank was then pulled back to soft ground, I then took the rope back and pulled the broken track. I then rolled the tank back onto the track and in two or three minutes could have joined it and driven the tank away, even had we been attacked at that point I could have fought with the tank from a static position and still gone on and joined it up. Imagine my surprise when called to the radio to be told to blow it up as they were going to shell the area. I did point out that in five minutes I could have it away. Blow it up, we got out and my corporal blew it up. My only regret was the almost full bottle of whiskey. (he inadvertently forgot and left inside the tank) My crew then took a ride on the outside of a tank to Hill 102 north of Fontenay-L-P. The rest of the Regiment seemed to be up there and a tank battle was going on towards St.Pierre. Having nothing to do I parked myself near the first aid post, the Doctor has a radio and it’s easy to keep in touch. Some trucks pulled in from B Etchelon, I went and chatted to the drivers, they were very nervous, coming from near the beach head and being near the action for the first. There’s nowhere to go, none of the people you see are your friends, you have a truck with a load and you wish they’d take it so you can take your truck and dash away. Just at that moment they started to shell us, the first one hit an apple tree about 40-50 yards away, there were three men at that point and I saw them fall, two more shells were close, but I didn’t see them." Where I think perhaps (from what research I have done) this occurred is recounted in the 24th L war diary thus: "25/6/1944 – 24th L WD - This second phase of the attack again was preceded by a tremendous artillery barrage directly behind which the infantry moved supported by ‘B’ Sqn on the left and ‘C’ Sqn on the right. The enemy’s reactions was fierce and short and while the infantry were engaged in the unenviable task of clearing the northern half of Tessel Wood, supported by strong machine gun fire from the two Sqns mentioned, the Regiment positioned ready to resist the inevitable counter-attack with ‘C’ Sqn still on the left, that is the East of the Tessel Wood feature, ‘B’ Sqn observing to the West just North of the feature with ‘A’ Sqn sitting astride the Fontenay – Juvigny road facing East and West. Throughout the day the Regiment experienced very heavy and intense mortar fire on its positions and sustained casualties. ‘B’ Sqn on the right constantly engaged German Tanks seen moving 2000 – 3000 yards West of the position, while ‘C’ Sqn maintained its protective role on the left flank and engaged suitable targets in the area South and S.E of Fontenay." First ref. in the 24th L war diary to pt102 seems to be: "29/6/44 - The Regiment remained at Les Hauts Vents area during the day, moving out and deploying on Pt. 102, 8769, in the evening to be prepared to resist the possibility of an enemy attack. Later in the evening the Regiment resumed its original positions." Nb. Though there was a brief spell around the time of the great storm (during the period from 19th-22nd June 1944) when the Mulberries were damaged, where things were a bit more touch and go and less supplies were getting through, the loss of this particular Sherman did not seem particularly to concern them, he just went and got another tank, they weren't it seems in such short supply that they really had to husband them like the Germans did. Still it was a shame about the whiskey though All the best, Rm.