Sword Beach.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Trux, May 4, 2012.

  1. Gents

    You kindly helped me identify grid references before. I have just found out that my grandfather and great-uncle were originally buried elsewhere and exhumed to be placed in the cemetery where they lay today. I have the grid references. Can you point me to where I can pinpoint their original graves please?

    Grid refs are:

    Cambes France 1/50,000 7F/1 01807435
    Coleville-sur-Orne France Sh 7F/2 1/50,000 MR 080778
  2. Tricky Dicky likes this.
  3. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Attached are the two maps marked up.

    I will have a look and see if I have any large scale maps of these areas.



    CAMBES  marked.jpg Colleville  marked.jpg
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  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    I have pinpointed both of those on a 1:25,000 map. I really need to scan the map to show you the positions. I do not have a scanner permanently set up but will do so over the weekend.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  5. The map references are the squares as indicated in the attached extracts from a 1:25,000 map. MR01807435 is 10 ten times as precise as MR080778, i.e. the side of the MR square is 10 times smaller.


    Attached Files:

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  6. D3CEBE0A-BCFA-4DC3-9F6D-5B98F722A29E.jpeg Brilliant, thanks. I know exactly where the second one is (where my Grandad was originally buried).

    It is in this photo.
  7. Do you know what the blue areas marked on the Colleville map are?
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  9. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    These are the positions codenamed “Hillman” and “Morris”.



    080778  marked.jpg
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  10. Does anyone know if there was a field hospital nearby to Colleville-sur-Orne? I know my Great-Uncle was injured in the assault on Caen and died the following day. I had assumed that he would have been taken to the field hospital at Chateau de Hermanville, but the location of his grave would suggest he was taken to one nearer Colleville-sur-Orne.
  11. Garry V

    Garry V Member

    I am a new member and have just picked up the thread on Sword Beach. The amount of information here is both mind boggling and fascinating and it has helped me enormously in piecing together my father's involvement in the D Day landings. Sadly I was unable to obtain much information from him directly as he didn't talk much about it and he died suddenly in 2001. I am currently compiling a history of his journey from sign up in August 1942 to discharge in May 1947 and this is a significant piece.

    I know he was a tank driver with B Squadron 13/18 Royal Hussars (QMO) and landed his DD tank on Queen Red, Sword beach. I also now know he launched 5000 yds from shore from one of 3 LCT's (106-443, 107-464 or 108-455). I am seeking the actual LCT. The problem is I am not sure of his his tank number, I think it was 56, but I am not certain. Can anyone help?

  12. Hello again Garry,

    I have already answered (by asking more questions :)) to your other post here: Who landed at Queen beach, Sword Beach

    I would suggest that you avoid multiple posting of the same subject on different threads, because instead of reaching more potentially helpful members as I suppose you intend, it only dilutes the interest and confuses the issue.

    I would also suggest that you click the "Follow Thread" button on the top right of the thread where you post, so that you may receive email alerts (provided you have ticked the correct boxes on your Profile page) and also have the Alerts enabled when you're connected to the forum. This will allow you to see when someone posts on one of your Watched Threads, and, for example, see my aforementioned response to your first enquiry ;).

    Now, back to your enquiry, I will repeat here my questions:
    Kind regards,

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  13. Garry V

    Garry V Member

    Hi Michel. Sorry I didn't realise all the various stories were linked, I'm new to the forum so please accept my apologies.

    My fathers name was Harold Screech, a trooper (Service No. 14262306). I think one of his fellow crew members was a chap named Les Collins, who he kept in contact with after the war.

    With regard to the LCT's I believe there were four LCT's for B Sqdn 13/18 Hussars and one (LCT 105-467)was beached with full load still on board. So he could not have been on this one.

    Kind regards

  14. No problem Garry, no need to apologise. Your quest for your father's history is very commendable, and you did the right thing in joining the forum.

    Thank you for the additional information. Unfortunately, I do not have anything in direct relation to your father's name or Les Collins', other than they both appear in the 13/18 H Roll of Wounded. Apparently they were wounded at some time during the campaign in NWE but rejoined the unit later. Perhaps some other member has more information?

    If you could give us more details, such as his tank commander's name, names of other people in his LCT, a period photo of your father, some anecdote he has told you about D Day, really anything at all, however unimportant it may seem, we may be able to find out his tank number, LCT and other details. The date and circumstances of his being wounded might also enable us to find out his troop and other details.

    Also, if you need assistance in reading and interpreting his Service Record, which I suppose you have, this forum is the place to be, with many members being expert in this respect.

    In your first post, you say that your father "landed his DD tank on Queen Red". This does not necessarily mean that he swam ashore, but then you say that you "now know he launched 5000 yds from shore". How do you "now know"?

    The reason I ask you is because this seems to conflict with another point you make, that his tank was maybe No.56. I have No.56 embarked precisely in the fourth craft carrying 'B' Sqn (LCT 467 LTIN 105), the one which landed its tanks (more or less) dryshod. What makes you think he was in this particular tank?

  15. Garry V

    Garry V Member

    Hi Michel

    My father was wounded whilst engaged in Operation Market Garden in/near Arnham in September 1944. I believe he and Les Collins were the only two to survive when his tank was hit. He was treated in a hospital in Holland before being moved back to the UK and granted some home leave. Yes they did return to their unit.

    Re his tank No; I have a Troop photo showing him sitting astride the gun on tank 56. But the photo I believe was taken whilst on training ( I think either in Suffolk or possibly south England) and I understand they were issued with replacement DD tanks while they were waiting embarkation at Gosport. I have gleaned this information from the war diary of Julius Neave who was their Sqdn adjutant. That is why I am not sure re his tank No.

    I have always understood from my father that he was launched 5000 yds from shore, which made me dismiss LCT467. What information do have putting Tank 56 in this LCT?

    I have tried to upload photo's but do not seem able do do so!

    Attached Files:

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  16. Garry V

    Garry V Member

    Hi Michel

    Seems photo was uploaded afterall (4 times!!!)

  17. Excellent photo Garry! Its nice resolution enables us to determine the WD number of No.56 as T150496.

    You are right, 13/18 H changed mounts at least once between the time of the photo (sometime in 1943) and D Day. However, it is possible that your father kept the same turret number 56, i.e. the first tank in 5 Tp, together with Nos.57 & 58.

    The reason I believe that No.56 (as well as Nos.57 & 58) was on board LCT 467 (105) is this article in The Lilywhites Vol 8 No 3 (Apr 1951) about 13/18 H on D Day:
    "In L.C.T. 467 carrying 'B' Squadron Leader and 5th Troop, the leading tank tore its canvas and could not launch, thus blocking the way for the others; Major Rugge-price wanted to jettison this tank, but was overruled and eventually the L.C.T. was beached at H + 40 minutes."

    Source: History Downloads
    on Source: plenty of excellent reads there!

    Eventhough your father's tank might not have been No.56 on D Day, the more probable case is that he would have remained with the same 5th Troop.

    What could help would be mentions or signatures in his Service Record, which might give us his Troop Leader's name around D Day, and therefore narrow down (or expand!) the possibilities.


    A small correction: Julius Neave was not Sqn Adjutant but the Regimental Adjutant.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  18. ddaycolin

    ddaycolin Member

    Hi Michael & Garry

    I corresponded in 2005 (and later) with researcher Andrew Groves, specialised in tanks and 13/18 Hussars. He helped me
    identify the B Sqn 13/18 Hussars that gave support to the Commandos in Ouistreham : 43 (Sqn HQ Troop), 44, 45 46 (No 1 Tp), 47,48 (No 2tp)
    (of these there is film of 43, 45 & 48 in Ouistreham).

    He also mentions the other Troops, in particular 5 Troop.
    Andrew says : "Sqn HQ, 4 & 5 Troops supported the E Yorks as tasked. 3 Troop (and a Recce Section?) went cross country to Benouville"
    They were seen by some commandos I knew from leading 6 Cdo Tps 1 & 3. This is confirmed by the 13/18 Hussars War Diary:

    13/18 Royal Hussars War Diary

    1130 hrs Lieut Coker, with 5 tanks ‘B’ Sqn began to support 1 SS Bde over[1] onto Bridges at Benouville over the Canal-de-Caen and the River Orne, which were taken over intact from 6 Airborne. Two ‘B’ Sqn tanks knocked out by 88 south of BENOUVILLE.
    [1] Crossed through in the original so as not to give the misleading impression that the tanks actually crossed the bridges.

    Andrew wrote in reply to a question on the network54 site that:

    My research (Andrew Groves) suggests that the DD tanks (at Benouville) were 5th Troop, B Sqn 13/18 Hussars.
    The Turret numbers would be 56, 57 and 58 and were commanded by Lt Coker, L/Sgt Gillibrand (?) and Cpl Booker (?) respectively, although the last two aren't confirmed.
    I don't believe Lt Coker's tank was knocked out, but the other two were, I think the third tank would have been from another unit at a different time, possibly an OP tank?
    I have some more info somewhere which may help, email me if you want.
    Best Regards

    In my research on the Commandos, I met veterans 6 Commando who encountered 13/18 Hussars just before Colleville sur Orne.

    Here are a few extracts from

    Report. Action of N° 2 Troop 6/6/44

    1015 - 2 Troop assumes lead, and made contact with tanks (SHERMANS) at 084792.

    At this moment 2 Troop was only 300 yards from the northern end of Colleville. Five minutes later they were mortared.

    Report. Action of N° 2 Troop 6/6/44

    1020 - 2 Troop comes under mortar fire from area 065791. Leading tanks left to liquidate mortars.

    The mortaring was coming from the road at the southern end of Hermanville, only a mile away,
    and if the mortars were mounted on a flat top lorry then they could have posed a real problem for the Commandos
    as this road led directly from Hermanville to Colleville. Fortunately the tanks were able to deal with it.
    Then 2 Troop came under fire from another direction. This was a position on the east side of the main road leading into Colleville

    Report. Action of N° 2 Troop 6/6/44

    - Leading section 2 Troop under fire from German L.M.G. firing from road 085787. Position attacked and gun crew wiped out[1].

    Just minutes after this

    Report. Action of N° 2 Troop 6/6/44

    [Leading section 2 Troop] Then came under fire from 2 L.M.G's in Pillboxes and trenches.
    Major Coade wounded recceing for an attack on these. Were eliminated with help of SHERMANS which re-joined at this point.
    Casualties 1 O.R. killed, 1 O.R. wounded.

    Andrew Groves was in contact with Capt Gary Locker (former Regimental Secretary of HHQ, The Light Dragoons).
    and gave me his address in 2005. The father of a friend of mine was in the Light Dragoons and offered to help too.

    Let me know if any of this is of use to you
    ( I also have the commando accounts of this incident at Colleville if you need them.

    All the best

  19. Kris123

    Kris123 New Member

    Hi all am new to this so please bear with me. I am trying to find out more about my father Private Alan Greenwood and identify which regiment he served in as I don't have his army number this is proving to be difficult . I think he was with East Yorks or East or South Lancs as he was art d day and at caen and later at venray he carried a radio. he also served in Burma and India after that. does anyone know where I can consult army lists? am in touch with MOD but so far they have been unable to locate his service record. he may have lied about his age joining at 16 he came from todmorden.

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