Major General Robert H B Arkwright, CB DSO & Bar

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by gmyles, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi Everyone

    Extracted From wikipdia

    Arkwright was commissioned into the 12th Royal Lancers in 1924.[1] He served in World War II as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General for 1st Armoured Division in France, as a General Staff Officer with 8th Armoured Division and as Brigadier responsible for Armoured Fighting Vehicles in the 8th Army before being made Commander of 23rd Armoured Brigade in 1943.[1] As Commander of the 23rd Brigade he took part in the Sicily landings, the Italy landings and the war in Greece.[2] After the War he became General Officer Commanding 2nd Division in 1946, Director of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1947 and General Officer Commanding 56th (London) Armoured Division in 1948.[1] His last appointment was as General Officer Commanding 7th Armoured Division from 1949 until his retirement in 1951.[1]


    How does someone with such a long and distinguished career,be so damned difficult to find on a photo? Even the tank museum archivist has found nothing.

    Has anyone out there a half decent photo of this officer and/or his 2IC in Greece, Lt-Col (later Brig) Robert A Hermon,

    Thanks

    Gus
     
  2. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

  3. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Yes that's the chap and that's the only 2 pics I have found too.

    I'm afraid neither of them come out well when zoomed in.

    Good spot though.

    Gus
     
  4. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    I did try the National Portrait Gallery too, but to no avail..
     
  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Yes, I tried there too.

    Remarkable, Montys chief advisor for AFVs at El Alamein and hardly a picture anywhere.

    Gus
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Gmyles

    56th ARMOURED DIVISION……..?

    Cheers
     
  7. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Yes. The division was converted to a TA armoured division post-war based on London. Its badge changed from the black cat on red to a blue knight's helmet on white with a red sword up the centre. (This was changed again to the original black cat but with a red sword superinposed on the cat).
     
  8. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    HI Everyone

    After getting nothing from the Tank Museum, I thought I'd reached the end of my search.

    However, a message was left on my phone yesterday from a Colonel at HQ RAC in Bovington.

    It appears they have a wall bearing pictures of all of the former Directors, including a portrait of General Arkwright and they will be emailing a photo of him to me next week.

    A good result.

    Gus
     
  9. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    The sketch was made in Greece in early 1945 when he was a Brigadier and in Command of 23rd Armoured Brigade Group. The liver bird emblem on his shoulder is clearly visible. My father was a REME driver working at the Brigade Workshops at the time the sketch was made. The picture was made by Captain Eric G. Manning (RTR) who made all of sketches for the Official History of 23rd Armoured Brigades Operations in Greece.

    My thanks goes to the HQ, Royal Armoured Corps at Bovington, for their help in finding this portrait.

    Gus
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Gus

    The Colonel at Bovvey keeps a close eye on this forum and picks off all deaths of former Tank men for the magazine...

    Cheers
     
  11. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    On the 21st June 1945, Brigadier Robert Harry Bertram Arkwright, DSO (and bar), was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB), his award recommendation reads:

    Brigadier Arkwright has rendered exceptional service in Greece both during and subsequent to the original landing on 10th October 1944 and in the period of the rebellion. In the first case he was responsible for the detailed planning and landing operations of the force dispatched from Middle East and after landing assumed command of the 2nd Parachute Brigade from Italy. On the outbreak of hostilities on 4th December 1944, Brigadier Arkwright was in command of all troops in ATHENS and had detachments spread over a wider area as far north as Larissa and in the Peloponnese. The situation was extremely dangerous for the first ten days. The area in British possession was very small, the PIRAEUS was in enemy hands, communications to the airfields were virtually out, all service installations were surrounded and food and ammunition were very short.

    Brigadier Arkwright remained completely unperturbed throughout. He concentrated his scattered detachments virtually without loss and by his skilful handling of very difficult operations improved the situation and held it firm until reinforcements arrived and by their operations made the position secure.

    Brigadier Arkwright received his medals/honours from the King during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 26 February 1946.
     
    CL1 likes this.
  12. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Another rare pic of the camera shy Brigadier, found in the Cheltenham Chronicle 22 January 1944.

    upload_2018-11-5_15-55-30.png

    Gus
     
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    There is a precis of his career here - British Army Officers 1939-1945  --  A - no photo I'm afraid but there are also details of his 3 other brothers

    Eldest son of Bertram Harry Godfrey Arkwright (1879-1949), and Grace Emma Julia Hurt (1876-1950).
    Brother of Maj. Albert Seymour Bertram Arkwright, MC, Lt.Col. Francis Godfrey Bertram Arkwright, DSO, MC, and Lt.Col. William Peter Bertram Arkwright, DSO.
    Married (13.07.1927) Kathleen Gladys Hanbury, daughter of late Major E.E. Hanbury, Scots Guards; one son, one daughter (and one son deceased).

    TD
     
    gmyles likes this.
  14. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Gus,

    Did he command 23rd Armoured Brigade at Salerno? I'd be interested in any details of that if you have found any.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Tom - check out his precis:

    23.07.1943 - 1946
    Commander, 23rd Armoured Brigade [till 8.1944 Independent Armoured Brigade Group; 8.1944-1.1945 Infantry Brigade Group, known as Force 140, from 2.9-19.10.1944 known as ARKFORCE; from 1.1945 Armoured Brigade Group] (Sicily, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, Egypt, Greece) (DSO and Bar, CB) [except for 4.12.1944-8.1.1945 & 1-22.4.1945]

    TD
     
  16. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    The rest of the text from the newspaper clip.
     

    Attached Files:

    Tom OBrien likes this.
  17. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Gus,

    Thanks. Great find.

    Regards

    Tom
     

Share This Page