Trooper John R Foster 13th 18th Hussars 1944

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by ExWafu, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Sjt YORK was wounded on 18 June, not July! There might have been up to two tanks of 3Troop hit on 18 July, and there's nothing to tell us which of the four tanks in 3 Tp they might be.

    I don't think Jack's MOD record will shed any light on the particular tank he was in when he was injured. A detailed after action report may possibly give the necessary details, so finding the relevant Appendix (which I don't have) in the War Diary would be more useful.

    Any recollection Jack might have had regarding other member of his tank crew, especially the commander, or his precise role in the tank (was he in the turret, in the co-driver's seat?) would certainly be helpful.

  2. ExWafu

    ExWafu Member

    Hi Guys

    Me again.

    I now have jacks Army record and have built a picture of the Trooper in our family.

    I do ho ever have a few questions to ask the fonts of Knowledge and wisdom.

    On my great uncles service record it shows that on the 13th of Mat 1943 he attended Trade training the the following text is confusing to me, any ideas??

    Passed standard TT for trade of DOR Op. Gpc Cl 3 at Bury St Edmonds on 13/5/43, mustered as such W.E.F same date.

    Also after joining the 13th 18th Hussars on the 13/11/43 an entry says Upgraded to D.O 2.

    Any ideas

    cheers the exwoo
  3. I know next to nothing about trades etc., but I believe the first sentence may actually read "Passed standard TT for trade of DVR Op. Gp C Cl 3 at...", which would then translate as:
    "Passed standard Trade Test for trade of Driver Operator[, Pay Grading] Group 'C', Class 3 at Bury St Edmonds on 13/5/43, mustered as such with effect from same date."

    and the next:
    "Upgraded to Driver Operator [Class] 2"

    Can you post a photo of these parts of his record? We have experts here who could make more sense of it than me.

    If he was indeed occupying the position of a Driver Operator (aka co-driver) on D Day, then his tank on D Day must have been No.78 (comd Cpl COLLINS), which was knocked out the same day during the attack on HILLMAN. Cpl COLLINS and two crew members were wounded.

    Do you have a photo showing you greatuncle during WW2? This would help identifying him if he appears on any of the 13/18 Hussars WW2 photos.

  4. ExWafu

    ExWafu Member

    PM sent regarding records.
  5. ExWafu,

    Thanks for the PM. The records do state:

    No. of Part II
    Order or other Unit Record Place Army Date
    Authority Rank
    98/8. 17/5/43 [154 RAC] Passed Standard T.T. for trade of Dvr. Fornham?[Tpr.] 13/5/43
    Op. Gp.C. Cl.III at Bury St Edwards
    on 13/5/43. Mustered as such
    w.e.f. same date.
    101. 20/5/43 -"- Posted to 13/18th Hussars on 20/5/43 -"- -"- 20/5/43
    236/43 13/18 H. Upgraded to D.O.II Home Tpr. 13.11.43
    57/44 13/18 H. EMBARKED [stamped] for N.W.E. Home Tpr. 3.6.44
    67/44. 13/18 H. Posted X(II) List (Wounded) NWE Tpr. 18 7 44
    X 162/44 X II SOS. 21 AGp. on evac to UK. " 22.7.44
    RAC/148/ POSTED RAC. "Y" LIST. A. 23.7.44

    This means that Tpr Foster was a certified Driver Operator by D Day, and would normally have been the co-driver in a tank, hence the logical conclusion that he would have been in No.78 on D Day. If he was employed in another role on D Day, which is possible, and if his tank was not hit on D Day, then he must have been in No.79 on D Day, but in another tank on 18 July. By the way I found another crew member for No.79 who was wounded together with the comd Sjt YORK on 18 Jun: Tpr SUMNERS (position in the tank not known). I edited my post above accordingly.

    Since every single tank in 4 Tp was hit either on 6 Jun or 18 Jun, the fact than Jack Foster did not mention his tank being hit before 18 Jul does not help either way. I'm still inclined to believe he was co-driver in No.78 rather than driver in No.79 on D Day, because I think that a Sherman Vc like No.79, having no co-driver, would probably require a certified Driver Mechanic as a driver instead of a Driver Operator. Also, this would mean that he changed from Driver to another role before 18 Jul when he was wounded and his driver killed. He could also have been employed in another position than his trade called for, such as G/M or G/Op, but then the options are even wider...

  6. ExWafu

    ExWafu Member

    Great work going through his records.

    One thing this does throw up is why my uncle says Jack was a radio operator?? I would have thought the radio was in the turret and not next to the driver, also Jack would have sat behing the machine gun??

    I wll check with my uncle and see if he can remember anything Jack said before he passed away.

    Thanks for your help.
  7. ExWafu

    ExWafu Member

    Further to my last is this

    I have not absorbed the meaning of it all yet but it does ring true with what I remember being told by my father concerning his driver who was killed outright when they were hit and my father was lucky because he was sat next to the driver but last to escape out of the turret when the Sherman caught fire. The drivers name would appear to have been Spavin but I was unaware of this until now. I am also familiar with the name of dvr Tpr Gee, he hailed from Liverpool and after the war he remained a lifelong friend of my fathers but is now deceased.

    My father was in C Squadron commanded by Lt. Smith (4 squadrons A B C and HQ and about 120 men in each squadron & 5 tanks in a troop )
  8. CL1

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

    hello ExWafu

    the details for the driver surname is Spaven.




    Service No:


    Date of Death:





    Royal Armoured Corps

    13th/18th Royal Hussars

    Panel Reference

    Panel 2, Column 3.



    Additional Information:
    Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Spaven, of Stainsacre, Yorkshire.

  9. ExWafu,

    These comments by your uncle confirm that Tpr Foster was co-driver and that Tpr Eric Spaven was the driver, because the other fatal casualty on that day did not die the same day but 9 days later. They explain the extent of the burns suffered by Tpr Foster whose hatch was probably blocked so that he had to escape via the turret.
    They also explain why Tpr Spaven does not have a grave at Bayeux Memorial, but is remembered in a Panel, like all tankers whose body was totally consumed in the burning of their tank.

  10. ExWafu

    ExWafu Member

    Hi Michel

    Thanks for the in put.

    Brings it home how bad it was to be in a Tommy cooker with the hatch blocked by the turret.

    I will look to add to this when I next talk to my uncle.

  11. ExWafu

    ExWafu Member

    Hi again.

    Just a few things I would like to get info on.

    Can anyone supply me with the names and tank numbers of 1,2 and 3 Troops?

    Does anyone know if any member of C Sqdn are alive today? It would be great to comunicate with them.

    Cheers Ian
  12. Richard Banks

    Richard Banks New Member

    I am trying to find details regarding Trooper Ramond Banks who was killed along with Corporal Frederick Pink on the 29th of August 1944, at or near St Clair sur Epty. I know he his tank was either No 68, 69 or 70. I am unable, at the moment to narrow it down further. As there is a very poignant photo of the crew of 69, writing letters home , I guess I hope he is among this group, but would like to be able to prove it. Can anyone shed any further light on this
  13. Welcome to the forum Richard!

    This should be Trooper Raymond John Banks 14668463:

    The place where they were killed could be inferred from the location of the latest burial before their remains were transferred to the St Désir War Cemetery, i.e. near Authevernes MR564874 for Tpr Banks and Saint Rémy MR568792 for Cpl Pink, as per their Concentration Reports here:

    Since the crews of the other two tanks (No 68 & 69) are nearly all known (see MilMod 35.7), and neither he nor Cpl Pink is in them, he probably was in No 70. Do you have photos of him which you could post? Do you also maybe have copies of the War Diaries of this period? If so, could you post them so we can look for hints?

    Could you also tell us how you reached the conclusion that his tank was one of those three?

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  14. Richard Banks

    Richard Banks New Member

    Agree Raymond John Banks 14668463 . I don't have any photos of him and most of what I think I know came from "C Squadron 13/18th Royal Hussars War Diary From 6th June to 8th May" which I downloaded from a link on this site. This states that on 29th August 2nd Troop C squadron led into St Clair Sur Epte. During a lull to allow the rest of the regiment to catch up Cpl Pink's tank was hit killing him and Trooper Banks and wounding Trooper Dunn.

    I thought Corporal Pinks remains were in the same cemetery at St Desir as Raymond's.

    The numbers of the tanks and their names have been gleaned from this thread above.

    How do you obtain a copy of Milmod 35.7?

    Incidentally Raymond was my Dad's cousin.
  15. Here you go—but don't take everything this venerable article says at face value, because some of its info has since then been updated or invalidated. No.69's name, for example, is not likely to be 'CAMEO':

    stolpi likes this.
  16. From the interview of John BARNES, who on D Day was the Corporal commanding one of the tanks (probably No.74) in 3 Tp C Sqn 13/18 H:

    [on 7 June pm]
    "We had a look around the German stronghold MORRIS as they had left in a hurry
    Maps, photos etc were scattered all over the place. We stayed there then new tanks and crews arrived to build up battered squadrons."
    [in the night 7-8 June 1944]
    "At 12 o'clock we were watching flares lighting up the sky, a young chap came along asking for me, his name was J. Banks, a replacement for my front gunner [co-driver]. Sorry to say he was killed a few weeks later aged 18."

    The last sentence means that he must have been Trooper Raymond John BANKS 14668463, since there was no other J. Banks from the RAC killed in action until the end of the war.

    He was therefore probably transferred from Cpl BARNES' tank to Cpl PINK's some time between 7 June and 29 August 1944.

    A partial transcription of this interview can be found here, on the website dedicated to John BARNES' memory.

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019

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