Waterproofing Station Locations

Discussion in 'General' started by Lee Davey, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Lee Davey

    Lee Davey Junior Member

    With the help of my father's WW2 service record, I'm putting a list of locations together that I'm hoping my 10-year-old son & I can follow.

    My dad was stationed at OCTU in Wrotham where he taught officer candidates hot to ride motorcycles and drive Jeeps, Trucks, etc. During the D-Day build-up, he was convoying vehicles to various waterproofing stations and to build-up areas, but was knocked off his bike by a lorry and discharged unfit later in the year. I'm wondering if anyone could summise a possible route the convoy may have taken from Wrotham/Leigh on Sea to New Forest/Dorset areas as well as any waterproofing stations that may still remain? I think I heard a rumour about a Sherman waterproofing area near Wareham, Dorset that still had some concrete structure visible? I don't know if this is true, or where it is, but any help will be gratefully received

    Thanks, Lee
    von Poop likes this.
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I've seen bits and bobs relating to water proofing Shermans variously about.

    The 24th L - I think did their final waterproofing at Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire. There's a painting by Montague Dawson made in April 1944 - showing this.

    Although they had practiced and trained a long while prior to that: i.e. from the 24th L War Diary:

    16/1/44 The Regiment returned from Kirkcudbright ranges. Apart from events mentioned below, normal training continued throughout the month, together with intensive training in waterproofing and wading ‘A’ & ‘B’ Vehicles.

    While for the Sherwood Rangers - this from their War Diary:

    4th February 1944: From now on the Regiment is sending groups (4-5 at a time) of officers and men to “Water-proofing” courses – chiefly to Dundonald in Scotland. Major M. Haycock M.C. assumed command of the Regt. as Colonel IFM Spence M.C. left for the Firing Camp today.

    & 25th February 1944: The Regiment is now concentrating on training men on vehicle waterproofing. It is intended that one driver to every 3 A + B vehicles shall be trained by 11th March. A conference dealing with this was held in the morning. Major Howson-Lawson was posted to the Regt from the 23rd Hussars.

    And this for the CLY: View - The Sharpshooters

    With some details, for them there.

    Nb. the 24th L were using the wading Shermans and two squadrons of the SRY were of the DD floating type.
    Lee Davey, CL1 and von Poop like this.
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I had a further look at some notes my grandfather left in the 70's. He was a Sergeant in the 24th L...

    "We started the build up months before we moved close to Southampton, New Milton was our town, no civilians were there, so work of sealing etc. went on in the streets. We had one dummy run into Southampton then in May we moved into Camp 13 south of Newbury, There we were told that once in this camp there was no out. No leave, no pubs, there was twelve feet of wire and outside were Yanks about every ten yards, with guns."

    A while back I started a thread on Camp 13 - Hursley: 18th May 1944 - Assault party moved to camp C13 Hursley

    The painting by Montague Dawson - "Waterproofing and stowing Shermans, Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire, April 1944" is reproduced on page 63 of "None Had Lances - the Story of the 24th Lancers" - I don't think I have seen a copy of it as yet online, but there might be one somewhere. The ref. to it in the list of illustrations in NHL says it is/was apparently the property of the 17th/21st Lancers. There's some great detail in it, including at least 20 or so 24th Lancers involved in various activities and at least 3 Shermans, one of which is obviously of "A" squadron of the 24th Lancers, by the turret markings.


    New Milton and Milford on Sea are pretty close but not actually exactly the same place. The various squadrons of the 24th Lancers might have waterproofed in a few different places in that general area. There are some buildings in the background of Montague Dawson picture as well as a bit of the coast, that might be recognisable to anyone that knows that area. I suspect the picture is possible, perhaps, to post on line as it was made by: Montague Dawson - Wikipedia
    ...and "he was employed as a war artist" - but probably can't "just be" scanned from the NHL book which is cc. The original picture - if once the property of the 17th/21st Lancers - might now be with:
    Royal Lancers - Wikipedia who've recently been updating their site: The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths' Own) Association – Looking after our Lancers Always

    And occasionally post on Twitter at: Royal Lancers (@TheRoyalLancers) | Twitter
    Lee Davey and CL1 like this.
  4. Lee Davey

    Lee Davey Junior Member

    Thanks Ramiles, and thanks for including your grandfather's written account. Milford-on-Sea fits well with the New Forest link as I believe the New Forest was used widely as a build-up area for D-Day vehicles. I did see a photo of vehicles 'hiding' under tree-lined roads in the Forest but, unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw it!
    Ramiles likes this.
  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    The building in the background in Dawson's picture is the former Sanatorium (for TB therapy?) at Milford-on-Sea. It's now been converted into some rather nice seaside apartments.
    Lee Davey and Ramiles like this.
  6. Lee Davey

    Lee Davey Junior Member

    Thanks SDP. Would that be the semi-circular building on the sea front?
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Yes.....and very impressive it is too.

    I'm fortunate in that I have some photos (not currently in digital format so I can't upload them at the moment) before and after the conversion to apartments taken from the same position as when Dawson painted the picture.

    I might start a new thread about Milford - it's not really the topic for this thread.
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re. where the 24th Lancers did their final waterproofing at Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire and the painting by Montague Dawson made in April 1944 - showing this, the building is called "The White House" apparently and the title of the picture itself was "24th Lancers in the Grounds of the White House":
    24th Lancers tanks in the grounds of The White House

    "24th Lancers tanks in the grounds of The White House

    A4 scan of a photograph of a painting by Montague Dawson. Letter from The Queen’s Royal Lancers Regimental Museum agreeing to the use of the image subject to crediting the museum. 15inch x 10inch photograph of painting in A3 file

    Searching for Milford on Sea plus The White House: Milford on Sea "The White House" - Google Search





Share This Page