Looking for a vehicle census number list

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by Rorschach617, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Rorschach617

    Rorschach617 Member

    Hello, new member here,

    A friend of mine just shared me some photos of early model Valentine tanks in Gibraltar.

    One has a distinguishable census number T 27484.

    I am trying to find out more about that vehicle and the unit it was part of.

    Can anybody point me towards where I can find that information?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Unfortunately in my (limited) experience the census number is unlikely to come up in regimental records per se.

    However it seems like Malta only got a few Valentines and I may be quite wrong.

    Malta Tanks (Royal Tank Regiment) - Wikipedia

    I wonder if Malta Tanks had a war diary?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Oh, two other things.

    One is that Kevin Tucker has IIRC a census number list. But all that will tell you is ranges related to production. I think he sent me a copy but I don't remember where it is.

    Two - however, I have Dick Taylor's Vally book with a census number list for Valentines so I can tell you....

    T27484 falls into the range T27421-T27720. Contract T9866 12 Jun 40, for 300 tanks (299 built?), built 23 Jan 41 - Nov 41 at Metropolitan-Cammell. 214 Mk II and 85-86 Mk IV. So presumably your tank, whose serial number is early in the series, was a Mk II, although in Dick Taylor's "Remarks" column he has:

    "Unit cost 7500 pounds (plus free issues). Card shows only 299 tanks built in 2 marks. Not sequential number of marks."

    The difference between a II and IV was AFAIK the engine and transmission, and I don't know how you'd tell for your tank.
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    What other markings can be seen on the photo? The T number is simply the equivalent of a registration number and doesn't say anything about the unit it was with at any time. Best thing would be to post a copy of the photographs.
    dbf likes this.
  5. Rorschach617

    Rorschach617 Member

    First, thanks for the replies.

    Going over the photos, there appear to be no unit markings visible.They do have census numbers and vehicle names stencilled above the driver's view port though (Wellington is clearly seen, it is possible Aintree is another).

    At first I thought they were being shipped to North Africa as replacements (and maybe given a quick shake-down drive while in Gibraltar), where they would be given the relevant camouflage paint, but I assume that individual tank names would be applied by the crews themselves?

    Just noticed, the external long range fuel tanks are not attached to the left side of the engine deck (which might help identification, unless those were fitted in Egypt).
    IMG-20190921-WA0006.jpg IMG-20190921-WA0002.jpg IMG-20190921-WA0003.jpg
    SDP and Chris C like this.
  6. Wessex_Warrior

    Wessex_Warrior Junior Member

    Hello Chris,

    There was a Squadron of Valentines stationed in Gibraltar and I have attached a link which shows their cap badge.
    It includes another picture of Wellington.

    Gibraltar: Tanks in Gibraltar during WW2


    Tony56 and Chris C like this.
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Oh I'm sorry, these were in Gibraltar? Why did I get to thinking Malta? Apologies.
  8. Rorschach617

    Rorschach617 Member

    Thanks Will.

    No apologies necessary. Both are dry, dusty and uncomfortably warm in the summer. Easy to get them confused. :)

    And thanks to all who contributed.
    Chris C likes this.
  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I tried checking the National Archives website for a war diary, but their archive search seems to be currently not working!
  10. Rorschach617

    Rorschach617 Member

    I noticed that this morning.

    I cannot find any online resource to research the RAC in Gibraltar, but I'll try some local sources.

    If anyone is interested, I'll post what I find out.
    Chris C likes this.
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Please do!
  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  13. Rorschach617

    Rorschach617 Member

    I haven't forgotten.

    The local archive staff have been extremely busy with a convention this week but tell me that I could get to see some sources next week.

    In the meantime, this should link you to where my friend originally found the photos. Hopefully, the images could be better or you might be able to get in touch with someone better equipped to help.

  14. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I was looking through my files for something different and was reminded of something sent to me previously. Note at the bottom, 12 6-pounder Valentines to be sent or allocated to Gibraltar in March 1943.

    ecalpald and SDP like this.
  15. Rorschach617

    Rorschach617 Member

    I've been able to read a copy of issue 21 of "After the Battle" magazine, the one that the photo of "Wellington" comes from in the blog Will found, but there was no textual reference to the tank company in there.

    I think I am going to follow some threads and see what comes up. I think I would like to stop at finding out which squadrons were stationed there.
  16. Rorschach617

    Rorschach617 Member

    I did not forget.

    Document 1.jpg

    I waited a long time the archives to get back to me and when they finally replied, it was only to point out this article. Which I already knew about :)

    I am going to stop chasing down this rabbit hole, but maybe there is something here someone can use.

    Many thanks for your efforts,

  17. tankfreak

    tankfreak Junior Member

    Hi there.

    The above article was written by me, originally for the History Society Gibraltar. The correct title is Gibraltar Tank Squadron not Regiment.
    I too have been trying to find a complete census list for these Valentine MKII s but no luck. There were 12 which were replaced with MKIX s with the 6pounder guns. No pictures or further details have come to light on these but I can confirm that the original MKII s were sent to Portugal. By 1944 the squadron was equipped with the Sherman M4a1. Nine of these Sherman’s were presumably sent over to Italy and three were retained here. In the 1950s two of them were dumped into the sea whilst one remained as a playground feature and probably scrapped in the late 60s.
    Chris C and SDP like this.
  18. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    From the War Establishments:
    IX/382/1 Gibraltar Tank Squadron, R.A.C.
    effective: 12.03.1943
    "Consisting of:
    - Squadron headquarters (3 tanks Infantry)
    - Three troops (each) (3 tanks Infantry)"
    Total all ranks including attached: 46.

    IX/382/2 Gibraltar Tank Squadron, R.A.C.
    effective: 07.09.1943
    superseded IX/382/1
    "Consisting of:
    - Squadron headquarters (3 tanks cruiser)
    - Three troops (each) (3 tanks cruiser)"
    Total all ranks including attached: 90.
    Chris C likes this.

Share This Page