Matador or Tank

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Panda880, May 24, 2011.

  1. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    Hi folks, my father was a driver in the 7th Medium Regiment RA, 27/28 Battery from May 1938 to July 1946 - he drove a Matador towing a gun. He also told me, years ago when he was alive, that he also drove a tank - anyone know how that would have been possible? Did that happen alot? - being used to drive a variety of vehicle types...

    Many thanks
    Andy
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    hello Panda

    possible post any more info you have
    photos etc forum members might be able to assist further

    regards
    Clive
     
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    He may have meant Bren Carrier, my grandfather was in a Med Regiment postwar, and drove Matadors and Carriers...
     
  4. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    Thanks Clive and Swiper - I know he drove the Matador from letters he wrote to my mum during the war, plus his army records show that he qualified as Dvr I/C and was known as that from then on; and the tank part was just what I remember him saying to me when I asked him what he did in the army, so I dont really have any info other that - which is why I'm trying to understand more about it all...

    Thanks both - much appreciated
    Andy/Panda
     
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Panda
    The classification - "Driver i/c" - usually referred to the Driver of an Internal Combustion engined vehicle - with wheels..whereas a driver of a Tank - tracked vehicle had the classification of "Driver/Mech" - more than likely he was a driver of a Bren carrier - which had tracks - this was the Army you see...!
    Cheers
     
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just looking at this about 7 Med Regt.
    RA 1939-45 7 Med Rgt

    He could have driven an OP* tank, that is a tank with the gun removed & replaced with a dummy made of wood.

    * Observation Post
     
  7. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Panda
    The classification - "Driver i/c" - usually referred to the Driver of an Internal Combustion engined vehicle - with wheels..whereas a driver of a Tank - tracked vehicle had the classification of "Driver/Mech" - more than likely he was a driver of a Bren carrier - which had tracks - this was the Army you see...!
    Cheers

    Thats interesting, Dad was a driver i/c and seeing it on his records I always assumed it meant driver in charge or driver 1st class - never thought to ask for clarification, silly me :frown:
     
  8. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    The British Army still used mules - in India & the far East; so Driver Internal Combustion would distiguish from Driver Mule.
    So I was once told.

    Noel
     
  9. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    The Artillery used tanks as OPs up to 1979, I believe, perhaps later even, as the Field Arty Regts in Dortmund, which we supported, had Centurions, crewed by RA gunners.
     
  10. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Hi Panda
    Had a quick look at the 7th Med History.

    At Alamein the Commander of 27/28 Bty, Major G E Doe, MC.
    was using a Stuart Tank as the Bty Command Vehicle.
    only ref i can find with the Bty using tanks.

    In Feb 45 the 7th Med were using borrowed heavy tracked vehicles? to extracate the guns from the mud, as the Matador's winch's could'nt cope.
    Best
    Rob
     
  11. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    Thanks all - your replies are much appreciated. It was reading about the OP tank in the regimental history that got me to post this thread - I thought there have been something in what he told me as a youngster after all!

    It seems from what you say that it was a fairly common practice to use tanks in this way - even up to 79! wow. Bren Gun carrier is a good possibility too - not thought of that.

    Interesting about the drv/mech (and the mules!) - I checked with the RA museum some time back about i/c they cedrtainly confirmed it was internal combustion.

    Thanks again everyone

    Andy/Panda
     
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    There is every liklihood that a Driver i/c would drive an OP Tank in action - BUT - on his records - somewhere it would show that he had at least four weeks at an RACTD learning how to handle a tracked vehicle .....a heavy tracked vehicle pulling Matadors refers to an AVRE usually staffed by experienced - fully trained REME (LAD) staff.

    One did not just jump from a 15cwt pick-up to a 30 Ton tank and drive off into the blue .....

    and the British Army never had enough Mules to do the job in Italy - even bringing them from Brazil - some of their "drivers" were called Guardsmen- see the Monte Camino battle..and lots of others ...
    Cheers
     
  13. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    There is every liklihood that a Driver i/c would drive an OP Tank in action - BUT - on his records - somewhere it would show that he had at least four weeks at an RACTD learning how to handle a tracked vehicle .....a heavy tracked vehicle pulling Matadors refers to an AVRE usually staffed by experienced - fully trained REME (LAD) staff.

    One did not just jump from a 15cwt pick-up to a 30 Ton tank and drive off into the blue .....

    and the British Army never had enough Mules to do the job in Italy - even bringing them from Brazil - some of their "drivers" were called Guardsmen- see the Monte Camino battle..and lots of others ...
    Cheers
    Thanks again Tom. According to his records he did a four week course in Sept 1942 it records:
    28/08/42 Course Dvr I/C's No.4 [two words here I cant read] BDRA
    28/09/42 CTBA to Dvr I/C's No.4 [two words here I cant read] BDRA
    Result 61% Passed.

    I scan the entry and post if you wouldn't mind having a look?

    In another place it records Dvr I/C No.3

    If he did the course in 1942 do you think that he did some other job before that? (he joined up in 1937 and was posted 1938)

    ..and I have a new found admiration for mules!!

    Thanks again
    Andy/Panda
     
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Panda -
    those courses still refer to i/c wheeled vehicles at some training unit of the R.A.- to drive Tanks he would have gone to a Royal Armoured Corps depot for some weeks on Tracked vehicles...there was an enormous difference in driving wheels and tracks -no fender benders in Tanks - if anyone hit you - they lost !
    there were all sorts of job to be trained for in all services all the time .
    Cheers
     
  15. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    Thanks again Tom - thats been really helpful and clarified alot of things for me.

    It just really leaves the question of whether he was driving before the Dvr I/C course or whether he must have had a different role before that - do you have any thoughts on that?

    Again, much appreciated.
    Panda
     
  16. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Panda -
    unless he had a civilian license to drive - he would not have been allowed to drive a military vehicle until he had passed a Driver i/c course and test - and unless he had a Driver i/c classification he would not have qualified to take a tracked vehicle course and test with the exception of a Bren Gun carrier......of which a Regimental test was all that was necessary...so don't get hung up on the driving bit - it will be noted on his service records what he did at most times of his career - with some glaring gaps in the time line probably - he might have been sixth man on a gun team - in charge of the horses......which came up early in the war .....who knows....
    Cheers
     
  17. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    Panda -
    unless he had a civilian license to drive - he would not have been allowed to drive a military vehicle until he had passed a Driver i/c course and test - and unless he had a Driver i/c classification he would not have qualified to take a tracked vehicle course and test with the exception of a Bren Gun carrier......of which a Regimental test was all that was necessary...so don't get hung up on the driving bit - it will be noted on his service records what he did at most times of his career - with some glaring gaps in the time line probably - he might have been sixth man on a gun team - in charge of the horses......which came up early in the war .....who knows....
    Cheers
    Again Tom many thanks for your info and humour! I know what you mean about about getting hung up - I'm afaraid I am rather punctilious in general. Still, your info has clarified lots of questions - but, like all family history matters, raised even more questions! There's nothing on his records about what he did before the driving course so I guess that will always be a mystery!

    Cheers!
     
  18. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    Hi, That's helped my research too.
    My father was driver I/c Grade A; what does class A mean?. He was posted to the 18th FDS RASC and any infor on this would be a bonus.
    Thank you.
     

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