Tank driver killed on the banks of the Somme

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by JERICHO, Sep 16, 2019.


    JERICHO Junior Member

    during my research on the net, I discovered a document from the local newspaper after the war.

    He mentions a dead tank driver in action during the assault on Ailly sur Somme wood on September 1, 1944.

    There is mention of 4 AC, but I think about the Armored Brigade.

    The only tank crew in the area is sergeant Darraugh James of RAC 1st The Royal Dragoons buried in Bovelles.

    Do you have any information on the subject?

    Best regards


    "This fighter of the Liberation was a heroic soldier.

    It's never too late to do it right. That is why we briefly mention here, a brilliant feat of arms accomplished on September 1, 1944, the day of the Liberation, between Breilly and Ailly sur Somme, by Mr Raymond Joly, then domiciled in Breilly, now established with drinks and tobacconists, and tobacconist, at Villers-Bretonneux, rue de Montdidier.

    Demonstrating modesty as rare as it is sympathetic, M Joly has always kept secret his brave action of which we have only recently been acquainted.

    But since the anniversary of the great day of deliverance has arrived, he will not blame us for bringing it to the attention of the public.

    So at Breilly, on September 1, 1944, Mr. Raymond Joly, then 27 years old and father of a child, was asked by a British lieutenant, commander of a tank, to drive him to the wood of Ailly sur Somme, where had entrenched a German platoon armed with mortars and machine guns.

    At the edge of the woods, an enemy bullet killed the English soldier driving the tank.

    "Go ahead, drive," said Mr Joly, Lieutenant Smith Hendall of 4 A.C., who knew that his civilian passenger had fought in 1940 in the French armored vehicle.

    Without waiting for Mr Joly, took the place of the dead man and, for nearly two hours, the tank, driven by him, cleaned the wood. After that, the surviving Englishmen and Mr Joly managed to capture about 60 prisoners, including a colonel.

    Returning to Ailly, Mr Joly judged his mission over and simply returned to Breilly on foot, while the English officer inquired everywhere about this civilian whom he wished to thank and congratulate.

    But Mr Raymond Joly, a reserve NCO, has to his credit other brilliant actions accomplished during the war. On May 12, 1940, in Belgium, his commander, Commander Amanrich, was wounded two kilometers in front of the lines, he went to fetch him and brought him back on his back.

    On May 15, when with five men, he was supplying the difficult supply of four squadrons, he was encircled in the loop of Estaire, and crossed the swamps of De Panne, at 3 o'clock in the morning, raising one of his comrades wounded, in order to rejoin Dunkirk. And during the tragic embarkation for England, he distinguished himself by saving a lieutenant of 3 Genie, fallen at sea, during a boarding.

    Subsequently, the sergeant Joly, returned from England to France, to take part in the last combats which preceded the retreat.

    That's all and it's not nothing.

    Hero of the war and undoubted patriot, although never having belonged to the resistance, Mr Raymond Joly, does not seek any honor, no decoration.

    But would he not have deserved to receive one and the other as a reward for his services to the country?"

    Attached Files:

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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: James Darraugh
    Given Initials: J
    Rank: Serjeant
    Death Date: 1 Sep 1944
    Number: 552363
    Birth Place: Cheshire
    Residence: Lancashire
    Regiment at Enlistment: 12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) RAC
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Armoured Corps
    Theatre of War: Western Europe Campaign, 1944/45
    Regiment at Death: 1st Royal Dragoons RAC
    Branch at Death: Royal Armoured Corps

    Service Number 552363
    Died 01/09/1944
    Aged 32
    1st The Royal Dragoons.
    Royal Armoured Corps
    Son of Samuel and Ethel Darraugh, of Mossley, Lancashire; husband of Clara Darraugh, of Mossley.


    James Darraugh
    BIRTH 1912 • Cheshire, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    DEATH 01.09.1944 • France
    JERICHO likes this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    A relation perhaps

    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Sgt Raymond Joly
    Death Date: 25 Jul 1916
    Cemetery: Marcelcave French Military Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Marcelcave, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France
    Has Bio?: N

    There are a few Handel Smith in the UK, there are several Hendall Smith from the USA, but I caanot find in the UK Army Lists a Hendall Smith or a Smith Hendall using both as double barreled names or as forename/surname combinations


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