1sr British Corps. 89coy RASC HQ platoon. GPA driver’s grandson saying hello

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by Hillmanimpster, May 5, 2021.

  1. Hello,
    My grandfather was a RASC driver during the war, drove many vehicles mainly lorries as part of the BEF up to Dunkirk. Evacuated to Ramsgate where he was given a penny by someone to phone home, and handed a postcard by someone else to send a message home to my great grandparents to say he was ok (I have the postcard to this day).

    he spent time in England, Northern Ireland, then in late 1943 up to Scotland to train for the invasion of Norway, which was just a lie, he was actually training for Normandy.
    There he learnt to drive a GPA amphibious jeep, which he drove onto Normandy 6th June 1944, and left it in Munster, Germany in 1946.

    In 1944 he was part of 1st British Corps, 89coy RASC , HQ platoon. He and the gang had slit trenches in Tailleville just off Juno beach, there until late august. A mate of his was killed in his slit trench August 2nd 1944 - Driver Lawrence “Taffy” Sutton, buried at Douvres cemetery.

    The last surviving member of the gang is Despatch rider Gordon Prime, living now in Pembrokeshire who I met by chance thanks to a BBC news report 7 years ago where he mentioned his unit (my grandads unit!) and I immediately made efforts to meet him. Unfortunately my grandad had passed some years before so they never met up after 1946.

    I have some photos of my grandad with his GPA, has I believe red over green diagonal with number 54 and white stripe above it on the front passenger side, and the 1st British Corps spearhead on the other front corner. Invasion star either side of the vehicle and the registration M.???.760 .

    he swore he never saw another GPA but plenty of DUKWs, so if anyone has any photos of GPAs in Normandy through to Germany via Belgium and holland with a good looking driver it might be T.E.Mason, my grandad.

    not much written about 89coy, they were attached to some Canadians who were apparently big drinkers and enjoyed a fight!

    I have some info, I believe Major Reeves was often being driven by my grandfather, and he may also have driven a secret VIP for a single short journey soon after The landings at Normandy, possibly Monty himself.

    if anyone can guide me to find the company diary I’d be very grateful, I’d love to find a copy and share it with who must be the last surviving member of 89coy hq Gordon Prime. Their unofficial motto was Bash on regardless.


    Rhydian Mason, grandson of one of those thousands and thousands of heroes.
    TTH and JimHerriot like this.
  2. Wobbler

    Wobbler Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard Rhydian, I see from your very interesting thread that you’ve already found lots of help. Great crowd here.
    JimHerriot and Hillmanimpster like this.
  3. Thanks, yes am touched by the help given so far. Means a lot. I’ve got a lot of letters that were sent by and received by my grandad during his time in service abroad and am trying to put them in chronological order, but of course mostly faded and written in pencil on wafer thin paper so it’s tough at times. Hopefully I can leave my own children something of a history of what their great grandad did as a young man.

    Wobbler and JimHerriot like this.
  4. Wobbler

    Wobbler Patron Patron

    Terrific idea, good luck with it.

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