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J B Smethurst RTR

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Susan Smethurst, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    Yes somehow I got the impression the Vesuvius was r&r. He didn't talk about the battle side. Did what he did so we could be born and go to Cornwall and sit on a beach with him not being bothered by the bad stuff. He loved the RTR-wore his tie always with pride -we knew it by heart brown red and green. Through the mud to the blood and then the green fields (he is in the green fields now)

    he said when they crossed the Rhine it was Operation -and this is what I have been pondering-Torch-no dont think thats right? My brother has the official picture-JB said it was ridiculous because the amphibious (told you I couldn't spell!) tanks couldnt have been lowering sides and firing coming out of water!!

    all the best
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Susan -
    The "Crossing the Rhine" operation was called "Plunder" - the North African landings - i.e. Algiers - Oran and Casblanca of November 8th 1942 was called "Torch"

    7th Armoured had nothing to do with that as they were swanning around at Fuka along with the 1st and 10th Armoured Divs - and the Kiwi's - just after the successful El Alamein battle, when they were really going through the mud....as it teemed down with rain and churning up the sand goop

    The 2nd Tanks had the best colours which summed it all up - their background was sand coloured - and their saying was - "from the sands of the Desert - through the Mud - and Blood - to the Green fields beyond"

    The 1st tanks took the cake however with their saucy ballad - to the tune of "The Vienna Woods" :-

    ""Tanks,Tanks, Tanks in line
    Sweeping towards the Rhine
    The first, the fifth,the skins and guns
    We're out to bugger up the Huns !
    Cromwells,Shermans Fireflies too
    a floating punch to see us through
    the Engineers with Scorpions
    a Troop of Bofors, half a dozen loafers
    And the Navy nice and wavy
    RAF umbrella, nothing could be sweller
    Deuschland, here we come. ""

    so you see it wasn't all killing and cold weather, cold food, wet socks .....there was always laughter....British Humour at it's best...as we had in Italy after Lady Astors idiotic remarks..and the Classic "Two Types"....

  3. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    I am trying to get hold of photos of my father JB to put on the site. So far managed to get hold of the attached from 1939 Sandhurst (he was TA)-so he is 18 here. He is the one in the Tank Regiment beret. Fear Naught!

    Attached Files:

  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I have lightened up the photograph as much as I can for you.


    Attached Files:

  5. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative


    I have lightened up the photograph as much as I can for you.

    Thanks smudger jnr. That makes a big difference.
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Smudger -
    well done that there man

    Susan -
    most of us were that young when we joined - we just became
    old faster
  7. Harryb245

    Harryb245 Member

    Hi Susan
    Rev Brian Smethhurst was President of my Preston RTRA Branch before I was a member so unfortunately I never had the pleasure of meeting him. Sadly many Preston RTRA members from that period have passed to the green fields.
    However Alan Rigby who was Chairman then has been again elected as Secretary of the Preston Branch.I'm sure he would be happy to hear from you and he may recall some stories about your father I have included a link with his contact details.
    I have also attached an article from the Tank magazine when your father was President of the Branch.


    Mr A Rigby 4 Kilnhouse Lane Lytham St Annes Lancs FY8 3AA

    01253 711650

    Preston RTRA 001.jpg
    dbf likes this.
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I have alerted Susan as to your article - she will be along shortly as she is a very busy lady these days…

  9. Harryb245

    Harryb245 Member

    Cheers Tom kindest regards Harry
  10. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    Hello Harry. My dear friend Tom said you had posted this. I would be so happy to be in touch with Preston Branch. It meant so much to my father who sadly died 25 years ago this December. My sisters and brother all live in Lytham St Anne's as well so was interested to see where Alan lives! Send me a personal message if you wish. I particularly remember Stan Leonard the standard bearer and of course my fathers friend Michael Taylor who was my sisters Godfather.
    Best wishes. Made my week to hear someone remembers my fathers Association links.

  11. Harryb245

    Harryb245 Member

    Hi Susan,
    I had the Pleasure and Privilege of meeting Mike Taylor and his wife Giesla both very lovely people. Mike eventually became President of the Branch.He too has sadly passed to the green fields too.Unfortunately I do not have Giesla's contact details.
    I have attached a photo of him when we went toTidworth in 1996.

    I have also Attached of Preston RTRA at Lt Col Ian Rodley,s House at Tidworth again in 1996(Stan Leonard is in this picture) and also recent pictures of of Preston RTRA at Garstang and Christmas lunch at Fulwood Barracks.

    Three people from when your Father was President are still in the Preson RTRA

    Frank Ireland (Please see Garstang picture He's sat down 2nd from left between me and Dave Rigby(Alan Rigby's brother)

    Keith Treasure ( See Christmas Picture)

    Tom Milne (He still lives in St Annes too)

    I have left a message and emailed Alan that you may be in touch,and I have also sent you a P.M.
    Kindest Regards Harry Mike Taylor Tidworth 1996.jpg Keith Treasure 2012.jpg Tom.jpg Lt Col Ian Rodleys Tidworth camp 1996.jpg Merry Xmas from Preston RTRA 2012.jpg RTR GARSTANG 5.jpg Bob Howsin 1996.jpg Alan Rigby Tom Milne  and Moi Alweras 2011.jpg
  12. Harryb245

    Harryb245 Member

    tom 3 (2) (2).jpg Very saddened to inform that Tom Milne, a very fine gentleman, see photo has now passed to the green fields
    RIP Tom

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