Vehicle Crew Listing

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by MongoUK, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Evening all,

    Does anyone know if there were official documents and/or lists when a soldier was assigned to a vehicle? I assume that as everything seems to be documented, there should be some point of reference as to who should be in which vehicle?

  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I'm not sure as to what sort of vehicle you refer so I can only refer to tanks (and, in my case, to 24th Lancers in 1944 but presumably they were only adhering to a convention anyway). Basically the Troop Sergeant kept a Roll Book. This was a small note book containing several sections. The sections described the names of the troopers and the individual tanks to which they were assigned together with some other information such as the tank census number and all sorts of other snippets. My understanding is that this covered the activities within the Troop of tanks on a daily basis and stayed at Troop level i.e. it was kept in the possession of the Troop Sergeant. I'm not sure what happened at higher levels such as Squadron or Regiment.
    Note: I have a photocopy/scan of the Troop Roll Book that includes details relating to my father and it actually makes for some interesting reading!
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  3. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Thanks SDP, that's exactly what I was hoping for.

    My grandad was a trooper with 12th Lancers, driver mechanic in armoured cars.

    With your roll book, was that kept in regimental/national archives or from a private source? So, I can have a vague idea where to try and start hunting for one for 12th.

  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    From private source. I was exceptionally fortunate in being able to trace my late fathers former Troop Sergeant - who very fortunately lived only a few miles from me (!) - who very fortunately had not only completed the Roll Book correctly but had kept it until the late 1990s. My understanding is that most were simply disposed when no longer required (it was 'only' a notebook) so I'm sure you will agree that locating the Roll Book was a truly Eureka moment. Sadly, when the chap was admitted to a Care Home, no one in his family realised the importance of the document and it was 'thrown in the skip' - I found out when it was too late but at least I have a reasonable scan of said document.

    More importantly, and what this means in your case, is that I suggest you:
    1. Try to get information from the Regimental Museum - not sure where you start with 12th Lancers but I have good contacts with the current Royal Lancers Regimental people if that helps.
    2. See if any relevant information made it into the War Diary - some Diaries are scant while others contain loads of information which might help either directly or indirectly in your quest.
    3. Keep an open mind and be prepared for this to be a long haul especially as time is now very much of the essence - all WW2 veterans are now in their 90s.
    4. See if there is a 12th Lancers Facebook group!
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    It appears the 12th Lancers have an excellent Museum in Derby and a very informative web site - look up 9th/12th Lancers.
  6. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member


    I've been through many many war diaries, nothing has come up so far.

    The pre-war 12L war diaries and the associated ones when he was attached in Dunkirk have yet to yield any specific info.

    I'll see if I can get hold of the regiment. See what documents they hold.

    I'm glad you managed to get hold of your fathers details!
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    The Museum website claims to have records of those who served in the 19th and 20th Centuries so that is hopefully a good start.

    You are absolutely correct about my fathers details. Back in the 60s I built an Airfix model Sherman and dad told me how to mark it. Turned out to be quite crude but I did give it the number T152248. Roll forward about 35 years - gosh! Sounds so easy - to when I became aware of the Troop Roll Book and guess what, dad's tank according to the Roll Book was T152248! It's not only the Roll Book that survived but also the Airfix model? Totally surreal.
    Chris C likes this.
  8. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Fantastic stuff!

    Thanks for the help, I'll have to get a visit scheduled.
  9. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member


    Operation EPSOM:
    Chris C and SDP like this.
  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

  11. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Someone with better eyesight than me reckons this is T232524:

    WW2 Colourised Photos

    Yes, decals set.

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