Royal Tank Regiment 46th(The Liverpool Welsh)

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by mark rogers, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. mark rogers

    mark rogers Member

    I have been researching men on the King's School Worcester war memorials one of whom was a Trooper Hargraves. Tony Dunne has been in touch and has loaned me a photo of 5 men in front of the sphinx and pyramids. One is my man Hargraves killed on 28th October 1942 serving with the above unit.. The back is signed by the men including Tony's father. I have established that two of the others are Leslie Lemar killed the same day as Hargraves and Christopher Brady killed in Sicily in 21st July 1943. The other man is a sergeant called Cartwright who I cannot identify as he may have survived. Tony Dunne's father was captured the same day the other two died. My question is would the photo be that of a tank crew? If so what mark of tank? What is the significance of the number 13? If anyone has any other information about what happened the day Hargraves died I would be pleased to receive it. Tony is happy for me to share the photo which I hope is attached (L to R Hargraves, Lemar, Cartwright, Brady, Dunne) Hargraves.jpeg .
  2. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher

    Hi Mark,

    I can tell you a number of things. 46 RTR was part of 23rd Armoured Brigade, and they were all equipped with Valentines in October 1942 (the battle of El Alamein).

    I'm not sure which model of Valentine they had, but the crew of the tank was either 3 or 4 (some of the Valentines had a larger turret which could house a separate loader), but never 5, so this can't be a single tank crew.

    I'm not sure if this is applicable as I'm not sure about action earlier on the 28th, but on the night of the 28th/morning of 29th, 46 RTR went into an action supporting Australian infantry in the north end of the El Alamein battle which was effectively catastrophic, losing all but 8 of their tanks and taking a high percent of casualties among the tank crews.

    I can't think what the number 13 would signify.
  3. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    For most of the time, 46 RTR was part of 23rd Armoured Brigade (40, 46 & 50 RTR). My father was with this Brigades REME workshop during 1944 and 1945.

    The Brigade went to North Arfica in about July 1942 with Valentine Tanks and changed most of their tanks to Shermans just prior to Sicily.

    However 46 RTR were still in the process of changing to Sherman and only B Squadron went initially with the remainder arriving on 23rd July 1943.

    I am going to take a punt that this was part of an organised excursion to Egypt and the number was to help the photographer keep tabs on who photo it was.

    If you wish to learn more, I would suggest you find the book: Perrett, Bryan (1972). The Valentine in North Africa 1942–43. London: Arms & Armour Press. ISBN 978-0-7110-0262-3.

    It covers the activities of 23rd Armoured Brigade in North Africa in great detail.

    According to the British Army Casualty Lists 1939-1945:

    7943570 Trooper Leslie Lemar (46 RTR) was killed in action on 28 October 1942.

    7914842 Trooper G Dunne (46 RTR) was reported missing (POW) on 28 October 1942. He was a POW at Camp 70 in Italy, then Stalag 17A in Austria before going to Stalag 4DZ at Annaburg in Germany.

    3771788 Trooper Christopher Brady (46 RTR) Died on Wounds on 21 July 1943.

    I can only find a 7934990 Trooper Eric Hargreaves of 50 RTR (same Brigade) who was posted as missing (later changed to Died of Wounds) on 19 July 1943 at Sicily.

    Not found Trooper Cartwright yet. He's not coming up on CWGC so he probably survived. I'll keep digging.

    Hope this helps

  4. mark rogers

    mark rogers Member

    Hi Gus
    If you look at the photo Cartwright is a sergeant not a trooper and having trawled through all Cartwrights on CWGC site there appears no match so I presume he survived the war. Also you have got the spelling wrong . It is Hargraves not Hargreaves.

    Thank you both for your replies. According to his son, Dunne was the tank driver.

  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi Mark

    7943567 Trooper Harold Leslie Hargraves (46 RTR) was posted missing 28 Octoer 1942 initially then changed to killed In action.

    Sgt Cartwright is not coming up anywhere, which suggests he wasn't killed wounded or taken POW.

    Any idea where Sgt Cartwright originated from and we might be able to find him on a census?

  6. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Extract from Perrett, Bryan (1972). The Valentine in North Africa 1942–43.

    El Alamein

    46th RTR by now were also working with the Australians, and during the main Australian thrust on the night of October 28/29 were to attack with 2/23rd Battalion and secure the road. Unfortunately, things began to go wrong from the start. The final briefing was held very late, and Col Clarke returned without sufficient time to give his Squadron Leaders anything more than the barest details. The attack was to get under way almost immediately, and would be delivered from a start-line which had been chosen from the map, and which had not been reconnoitered. Some of the infantry would ride on the tanks, and others in carriers.

    The start-line was in fact, in the middle of a minefield, and on the way to it the regiments were subjected to heavy fire which caused the infantry to drop off. Several tanks missed the minefield gaps, and became casualties. The situation became extremely confused, and the enemy fire rose to a crescendo. In the light of three or four burning Valentines the anti-tank gunners were able to pick off their victims from three sides at ranges up to 1,000 yards. The attack broke down into un-coordinated assaults which took a heavy toll of both tanks and infantry. Col Clarke and his Intelligence Officer were badly wounded by a mortar shell, and the Regiment was taken over by Major Offord.

    After a night of savage fighting, Col Evans of 2/23rd finally ordered his battalion to dig in at 04.00, 1,000 yards in advance of the original start line, The 2/23rd had lost 29 killed, 172 wounded and 6 missing. 46th RTR had lost all but eight of their tanks and had a high percentage of their crews killed or wounded, including all the Squadron Commanders.

    The casualties sustained by the 46th and 2/23rd Battalion had not been in vain. After the battle, Rommel recorded that the British tanks and infantry had succeeded in blowing a gap in his line, cutting off the IInd Bn 125 Panzer Grenadier Regiment and a Battalion of XIth Bansagliari, who remained in Thompson’s Post, almost surrounded by their assailants, resisting all attempts to dislodge them with a ferocious determination. In addition, the 125th Regiments IIIrd Bn had virtually ceased to exist by next morning, the battle having raged with tremendous fury for six hours.

    46 RTR Fatalities (mostly Missing Believed KIA)
    NOTE: Those put on Alemein Memorial typically meant that there was no body ever recovered.

    Number Rank Surname Forename(s) Age Class Cemetery Memorial Grave Reference Additional Information
    58212 Major BOYD-MOSS DERYCK FRANK 29 EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XVII. D. 24. Son of Maj. E. W. Boyd-Moss, D.S.O., formerly of the Worcestershire Regt.; and Mary Elizabeth Grace Boyd-Moss.
    58210 Major STOKER JAMES 29 EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XVII. D. 22. Son of Henry and Mary Stoker, of Australia.
    1010741 Captain SINCLAIR DAVID FRANCIS 30 EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY IX. D. 4. Son of William Francis and Katherine Sinclair, of Rotherfield, Sussex.
    165131 Lieutenant ALMOND (MC) ARTHUR THOMAS 28 EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XVII. D. 21. Son of A. Rutherford Almond and Olive E. Almond, of Cambridge.
    217922 Lieutenant ELLIOTT KENNETH WILLIAM 23 EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XIX. G. 10. Son of Frederick William and Rhoda May Elliott, of Iver, Buckinghamshire.
    143710 Lieutenant WILLIAMS RICHARD 23 EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XIII. E. 1. Son of Ann Williams, and stepson of M. Ford, of Edinburgh.
    7917535 Serjeant COOK DENYS CHARLES 35 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XXIII. F. 22. Son of Charles Crouch Cook and Florence Cook; husband of Joyce Frances Cook, of Lee, London.
    7895979 Serjeant GRIFFITH JOHN DENIS MILES 23 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY IX. D. 5. Son of John Thomas Griffith and Elsie Griffith, of Liverpool.
    7896022 Serjeant STEVENSON JOHN FREDERICK 23 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 23. Son of Thomas Stevenson, and of Elizabeth Stevenson, of West Derby, Liverpool.
    3314103 Corporal HOWFIELD THOMAS HENRY 20 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XIX. G. 9. Son of Patrick and Celina Howfield, of Bushey, Hertfordshire.
    7903857 Trooper BATESON HUBERT ELIAS 30 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Son of Albert and J. F. Bateson; husband of Elsie May Bateson.
    7943595 Trooper CLARK PETER 21 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Son of Robert and Helen Clark, of Aberdeen.
    7938915 Trooper DOLAN HENRY 23 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Son of Thomas John and Jane Dolan.
    7895497 Trooper GRIFFITH WILLIAM DENYS MEIRION 22 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Son of Gruffydd Meirion Griffith and Vera Mary Hilda Meirion Griffith, of Liverpool.
    7943567 Trooper HARGRAVES HAROLD LESLIE 33 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XIX. G. 11. Son of Gilbert Leonard and Ellen Margaret Hargraves; husband of Doreen May Hargraves, of Hereford.
    7895494 Trooper KEHOE JOHN FREDERICK 21 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XVII. D. 23. Son of Annie Mason, of Liverpool.
    79153 Trooper KELLY JOHN JAMES 22 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY IX. D. 3. Son of Laurence Kelly, and of Lilly Ann Kelly, of Stretford, Lancashire.
    7943570 Trooper LEMAR LESLIE 21 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY XIX. G. 12. Son of Harry Samuel and Rosie Lemar, of Hotwells, Bristol. B.A. (Bristol).
    7897190 Trooper McKEE WILLIAM SAMUEL 32 KIA EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY IX. A. 13. Son of Samuel and Alice McKee, of Liverpool; husband of Ellen McKee, of Liverpool.
    7907569 Trooper McPHERSON WILLIAM CHARLES 23 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William McPherson, of Auchenhalrig, Morayshire.
    7939266 Trooper RIVITT JACK 28 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Son of Harry and Adelaide Rivitt; husband of Ruby Dorothy Rivitt, of Little Irchester, Northamptonshire.
    7931701 Trooper ROBB ALEXANDER 24 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Son of Grace Robb, and stepson of Thomas Watson, of Crawford, Lanarkshire.
    7913190 Trooper ROBINSON WILLIAM EDWARD 27 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24. Husband of Jemima R. Robinson, of South Shields, Co. Durham.
    7913133 Corporal ROGERS ARTHUR LLEWELYN 25 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 23. Son of Jack and Sarah Rogers; husband of Marion Rogers, of Liverpool.
    7941514 Trooper WOODWARD ROY 21 MIS/KIA ALAMEIN MEMORIAL Column 24.

    Missing (probably incomplete)

    7886775 Corporal WHITE H
    316683 Corporal WILLIS R
    7895531 Trooper LYONS
    7910371 Trooper COULSON
    4807264 Trooper WRIGHT
    7914842 Trooper DUNNE G

    Sicily July 10,1943

    Whilst the success of the British Forces in AFRICA was still echoing round the world, General Montgomery, with his 8th Army, struck again on July 10, 1943, landing in SICILY. The 23rd Armoured Brigade was in the forefront. This time 50th RTR with a squadron of 46th RTR supported 51st Highland Division in the assault landing. Regimental headquarters and the remaining squadrons of 46th RTR joined the Brigade as soon as transport was available to SICILY, and these two armoured regiments proceeded to take their full part in the difficult and bitter fighting in SICILY.

    At the end of the Sicilian Campaign, Brigadier G. W. Richards handed over the Brigade to Brigadier R. Η. B. Arkwright, who commanded until the end of the war.

    Hope this helps

    Seroster likes this.

Share This Page