RSM Bestley 2 Gren Gds

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by John Caampbell, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. RSM Bestley was involved in a serious contact with the enemy in or around Cagny in 1944.

    As he lay dying in 1975 he was in tears relating an incident in which many men with him were killed.

    I am trying to find out what the incident was all about

    Are there any veterans out there who are able to recall what happened.
  2. To add more detail to my original post, the Sherman tank incident would have taken place after this photo was taken on 18 Jul 1944 on Op Goodwood.

    RSM Bestley is standing with his left arm resting on the lead tank in the photo.

    An educated guess, and from reading Frank Clarke's book, I think the incident was related to attacks on the 2 Gren Gds whilst advancing on Cagny, but I would really like to fill in the gaps of what actually happened. As was usual for men from that era, my father said very little about the detail, but his upset was evident. Thanks for any help anyone can give with this.

    Attached Files:

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Have you got the regimental history ?
    I can scan a few pages for you if you haven't.

    As for that photo , don't think it's a 2GG vehicle as it has 52 . That would make it 1 CG.
    2GG had 51.
    zoomable image on IWM website of that photo
    zoomed 52.JPG

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
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  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I have the Regt History but it is in a box.

    I need to dig it out.


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  5. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Cancel that. I only have Vol II - the Mediterranean bit.

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  6. Owen and Frank,.

    Thank you both for picking this up as you have and responded so quickly.

    About the photo...I had not blown it up - had I done so I would not have made the assumption that I did. I concede that it is not RSM Bestley. I have bought the Regimental Histories and read in depth but the accounts of the battle for Cagny don't name names or go into the detail that I am after.

    I feel however, that the incident may have been around the one where the 88s engaged 2GG in the ground role.

    Again - many thanks to you both. I'll stand easy and see if there are any more responses.

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  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I have the battalion war diary if you can be more specific regarding a date.
  8. I believe 18 July 1944.....same day as Lt Corbett and Lt Ruggles-Bride and 8 ORs were killed.
  9. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    It is Lt Ruggles-Brise.

    The grim event seems to have taken place on 18 Jul 44 - 12 Grenadiers have their names on the Bayeux Memorial for that day which is a very large numbers of unidentified casualties. It is likely that they were burnt beyond recognition inside their tanks.

    Given that a Sherman has a crew of 5, it looks like three tanks were knocked out as a minimum.

    I cannot find any Grenadiers buried locally that were killed on the same day and perhaps in the same incident.


  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    War Diary is pretty rubbish to be fair as far as details go
  11. Thanks for this, Drew.

    It is impressive how many of you out there responded so quickly to my post.

    My daughter is also on the case and came up with this.....

    Operation GOODWOOD - "The Caen Carve-Up" | Martin Samuels ...

    There is also a book by Ian Dalgleish which I have just ordered from Amazon in which he deconstructs the battle.

    Clearly the battle for Caen is not that well known about publicly and I feel will come to the fore in 2044 on the 100th anniversary....just as WW1 battles feature 2014-2018.

    Again - I thank you all for information to date.

  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Back in the 80s I had a few Guards Magazines & Grenadier Gazettes.
    They often had veterans stories in them.
    I was more interested in WW1 back then but I do remember some articles about Cagny.
    It might be worth contacting Gren Gds RHQ & asking if you could visit the archives & have a look through old issues.
    Sadly , I haven't got my magazines anymore.
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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