2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by OSD, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. OSD

    OSD oorlogsslachtoffers.nl

    Has any one got any detailed information on the Royal Armoured Corps 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry especially from sept/oct. 1944?

    Thanks everyone!

  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the War Diary for 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry for Sept-Oct 1944.

    Attached Files:

  3. OSD

    OSD oorlogsslachtoffers.nl

    Thank's dryan67 I really appreciate it. I had some doubts regarding Lt. A. Forrester but these documents definitely cleared some up for me!
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    No problem. I am glad that they are of some help.
  5. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Hi dryan67,

    would you be able to provide the 2nd Fine and Forfar's diary for May - July 1944?

    Best Regards

  6. BlackHawk

    BlackHawk cavalry veteran

    Hi dryan67,

    I join with Old Git requesting the May-July 1944 War Diary of the 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry Cavalry. The uncle I'm named for was in C Squadron, killed on July 18 near Caen while crossing a wheat field. Uncle Don's Sherman tank was hit by a German 88mm gun. Several C Squadron veterans who knew Don and saw his tank hit shared details with me ten years ago. I have the regimental history and look forward to seeing the War Diary for additional details.

    sandry likes this.
  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here are the War Diaries for May to July 1944:

    Attached Files:

    stolpi likes this.
  8. XRayX

    XRayX Aalst-Waalre

    Do you have them for dec 44 to feb 45 perhaps?

    All the best,
  9. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    This is all the extracts posted here in a word document transcription.
    In this form you can copy/alter/change around at your hearts content.
    If the missing August 15th-31st pages are posted I will transcribe and post them.

    Mar. 5
    Preparations were made for visit to Midhope AFV range (Appx. A).
    Mar. 6
    [Illegible two words] practice was carried out at H ll; a site for A vehicles was prepared at West Ayton.
    Mar. 8
    Sqns. practised loading tanks and B vehicles on to the ’mock-up' OLCT at night. 2/Lt. Pritchard joined the regiment (C sqn.) for two days firing.
    Mar. 10/11
    The regiment visited Midhope AFV range.
    Mar. 8/11
    Exercise Beverley IV - a Signals exercise.
    Mar 12/20
    During this period there were no exercises but [illegible] to tanks proceeded at full pressure. Swimming classes were held at Hull.
    Mar. 22
    Their Majesties the King and Queen visited the Bde. and drove past the regiment on parade.
    Mar. 23-Apr. 5
    Exercise Frederick Uncle IV - the name given to the move of the Div. to Aldershot which
    took place over this period. The advance party left on 22nd and was followed on 26th by a large personnel train. Baggage and road party arrived on 3 lst. The regiment found itself in Warburg Barracks, previously occupied by a Canadian Reinforcements unit. 2/Lts. E.G. Spittal and W.], Thompson joined B and A sqns. respectively. Mar. 23 Exercise Honey, set by Bde. to practice the Recce Tp. in patrol, and reporting of inf. on first contact. Tanks [were] loaned by other units to bring Tp. to full strength.

    April 1944 - Aldershot -
    Apr. 1/5
    The move of the regiment was completed with the arrive of the tanks.
    April 8
    unit censorship started.
    Apr. 7 - 9
    Parties of crew commdrs. visited School of Tank Technology - demonstration of German tanks, guns and other equipment.
    Apr. 10
    Holiday for whole Div. _
    Apr. 8/13
    Warcop AFV range - a large number of officers and first and second gunners went to the range for instruction and firing practice with Firefly.
    Apr. 12
    Change of address to Army Post Office, England.
    Apr. 12/13
    B vehicle wading trials carried out at Arborfield by day and night - 43 drivers taken vehicles through.
    Apr. 14
    T.E. REME gave a demo at Arborfield site.
    Apr. 24
    Exercise Musho (skeleton exercise down to sqn. rear links). The regiment was under commd. a Para Bde. for operations on second day and supported a para bn. in a counter attack (Appx. A)
    Apr. 23/30
    General training was continued by sqns, and use of small local tank—training areas for tp. tactics (especially the use of Firefly). B vehicle wading was practised at Hawley Manor Lake. The regiment has now received its Jeeps and White half-track scout cars. Weather exceptionally fine - all ranks getting plenty of exercise, indoor and outdoor. During the month Lt. W.W. Bishop returned from attachment to RAOC. 2/Lt. R.E. Hobday joined C Sqn. Capt. R.G. Bruce left FDS to take up appointment as Town Major. AFs W3008/9 attached. (see Appces B, C and D)

    May 1944 -Aldershot -
    May l
    AA tp. firing at Bognor Regis (also on 4 May)
    May 2
    Lord Younger visited the regiment.
    May 3/4
    Regiment took part in a programme of training in co-operation with infantry of 15 (S) Div. (programme attached). On 4th May two short exercises were carried out on Thursley Common. Loading trials were carried out during the week
    . May 8
    Waterproofing A and B vehicles was started (Stage H) and occupied a great deal of our days.



    May 18
    The Corps Commdr visited the unit and met all officers and NCOs down to L/Sgt. He also
    lectured to the Bde.
    May 19/27 Waterproofing and modifications continued, Firefly tanks were received at intervals.

    May 25
    A party of 70 went to join other 8 Corps troops in an inspection parade for Gen.
    Eisenhower who addressed the parade in an inspiring speech.
    May 28 The regiment, having officially been concentrated since 16th [? not clear] was at six hours
    notice to move from 0900 hrs 28th.

    May 29
    Firefly's were fired in at Beachy Head. 3 AA tanks arrived.
    May 30
    Loading of stores and ammo was completed as far as possible. The GOC inspected both A
    and B vehicles and was well satisfied. Weather exceptionally hot in last week of month -
    short sleeve order was worn — men still allowed out of barracks after 1800 hrs each day.
    May 12
    Flail Demonstration (Appx. B) _
    AFs W3 008 and 3009 for May attached (Appx. C)
    AF s D422 dated Sept. 39 (B sqn. original role) (Appx E)
    DAFV visit 29 Apr. - programme (Appx. D)
    B squadron photo (Appx. F)
    Mt. Instr. No. 1 (Appx. G)

    June 1944 - Aldershot

    June 3
    AF s W3 008 and 3009 appended. Modifications and final points of loading were in hand.
    June 6
    D Day! First day very quiet with little news; maps were opened and sorted.
    June 7
    GOC explained to all officers the general plan and progress of ops; maps distributed and
    layering began.
    June 8
    Advance party (Major Trotter in half—track) due to leave 0530 on 9 June, but postponed 24
    hrs. Lt. Hotblack had taken [illegible] vehicles to marshalling area at 0345 hrs 8th June.
    June 9
    Movement order received to marshalling area. SP at 0540 hrs 10 June ~ postponed at 2330
    hrs. Advance party to go at 1830 hrs 10 June.
    June 10
    Advance party left - orders for main body came through.
    June 11
    Camp A2 near Portsmouth; Moved off 0530 hrs via Farnham and Petersfield. Arrived
    RCRP at 0845 hrs. Directed to marshalling area camp A 1 1, but only proportion of
    regiment remained there, the bulk of B and C sqns. and RHQ tanks and some echelon
    vehicles going on to A2. Craft loads were made up and waterproofing stage 2 completed.
    Hive of activity this first evening, with nominal rolls, embarkation tag labels and all the
    other "points to remember in marshalling areas". For a time we fully expected to embark
    pretty soon, but tension died down. "No move before . . hrs" was to become a familiar
    call on the loudspeakers. All regts. very split up — even in craft loads.
    June 12/13
    No move; little activity; rain on night 12/ 13th.
    June 14
    Possibility of move later in day. Most 'craft serials' moved from respective marshalling
    areas during the evening and embarked that night. Those who crossed by LST on 15 June
    had a very calm voyage; some of the echelon who came in the next day or two were not
    able to relish the good food provided.
    June 17
    France; Cully; All vehicles and personnel were in concentration area outside village of
    Cully 9076 (map 1/50,000 Caen sheet Fl) by 17th June without casualties or any special
    incident. Here we remained until 23rd without anything more than odd fragments of AA to
    disturb us at night. After first two days everyone was on 14-man pack rations which are
    popular. Many reunions with old friends in other units - 24 Lancers in particular and
    Alistair Home from Staffs. Yeo. All tmits of Bde. very close but countryside gives ample
    cover. As many lessons as possible were learned from units who had been in action and
    from the siting and positions of various KO'd 88 A/T guns and British tanks in our
    June 26
    After 2 or 3 days planning we moved out - part ofthe breakout force of 8 Corps. Our
    original role was to push through over the R. Odon and southeast to the Orne in support of
    and co-operating with 15 (S) Div.


    The regiment advanced behind the infantry to Cheux 9267 where l0 HLI and 2 Argylls
    (227 Bde) were pushing through with some difficulty. B sqn. had been leading with the
    Reece Tp. in front, but now C sqn. advanced to the southeast of Cheux-Haut du Bosq,
    supported by A on the right and B in reserve. 10 HLI were to attack through the centre of
    village but deviated to the right and their attack did not go fully home. A Churchill sqn.
    was in sp [support?] but did not achieve much, following on into the congested village. C
    sqn. bumped the enemy hard and in very close country had 7 tanks knocked out, accounting
    for 2 Panthers. A Sqn. also lost two tanks. Most of these were recovered later and an
    average of 3 men per crew baled out. Lt. Cecil Pritchard was missing, believed killed. The
    weather was very bad and visibility poor.
    June 26/27
    Night: Close laager north of Cheux. Some casualties were got back but Al echelon could
    not come up. _
    June 27
    10 HLI were to attack at 0715 hrs from a S.L. south of Cheux but were fighting hard before
    they reached it. A sqn. led with RHQ, B and C following. As A shoot out on the right,
    reports of German ks [? tanks] in the village were heard and several Panthers and Tigers
    were knocked out in the orchards and streets. The Panthers came from 3 Pz Regt. of 2 Pz
    Div. —moved up specially from the Caumont area.
    The German thrust was continuous from the right all day and though A sqn. pushed onto the
    high ground north of Grainville 9164, the close country on our irmnediate right was never
    cleared and a small counterattack was even begun in the failing light. A and B sqns. shared
    the tanks and we accounted for 4 Panthers and 1 or 2 Tigers as well as A/T and SP guns.
    We laagered southwest of Cheux 27/28 June and moved south at first light on the left of the
    Div. axis to cross the R. Odou at Tourmauville 9362.
    June 28
    Both 23 Hussars and 3 RTR were across and we were followed by 44 R.Tanks of 4 Armd.
    Bde. Several dug-in tanks were knocked out at longish ranges and a whole battery of 88
    mm AA guns mopped up complete. Later in the day we moved across from the right of the
    high ground (south of Gavrus de Vilains) to the area of Baron on the left, with the 3 R.Tks
    and our F Coy. This feature was in view from the notorious Carpiquet airfield and was
    frequently mortared and shelled.
    June 29/30
    We close laagered on the backward slopes and dispersed as usual before first light. Next
    day we spent in observation, the Germans still being fairly well organised on the reverse
    slopes and our responsibility lying east, northeast, and south.
    June 30
    C sqn. were moved well forward on the high ground at Pt. 112 and engaged an enemy tank.
    They were covered on the leii by A sqn. and to the left rear by B sqn. who were watching
    the close and unbeaten country northeast of Baron along the river Odon. Lt. Freddie Craig
    was hit in the arm during the day. The intention was to hold this high groimd with the aid
    of F Coy. C sqn. handed over to A sqn. to do this during last light. There was some wild
    shooting from the infantry and Lt. Donald Hall was hit in the leg. However, this plan was
    completely changed by the sudden withdrawal of all the armour back over the R. Odon,
    which was effected during the night June 30/July 1, the Germans reacting with their usual
    mortar fire. We heard later that Lt. Bill Giles (acting as LO at Bde HQ) had been killed
    during this march. The echelon had come up to the area of Norrey en Bessin but also
    withdrew, having some casualties from shelling, during which Capt. Gregor Grant was
    injured. Round and about the ruins of Norrey Church we collected ourselves and nominally
    rested; the rain and odd mortars did not make life very comfortable.

    July 1944

    July l/2
    Norrey; These two days we remained at Norrey. Rest was made difficult by mortars and
    shells which kept coming over from the Carpiquet aerodrome, which the enemy was still
    July 3
    Colleville; In the aftemoon we moved forward again to the area of Colleville into a reserve
    position under command of 4 Armd. Bde. Two sqns. were out at a time in a counter-attack
    role, one over the R. Ome, south of Toumauville under commd. of 44 Inf. Bde., and the other


    was in support of 160 Inf Bde. in the area of Grainville sur Odon. The third sqn. was in
    reserve just north of the railway at Colleville. Sqns. were not called upon to counter-attack
    but were able to engage targets from time to time.
    We remained in this area until 15th during which time we were continually shelled and
    mortared and from which we suffered a number of casualties.
    July 4
    On the 4th, Lt. W. Black, acting as Tech Adjt. was wounded by a shell and his driver killed.
    July 5th
    2/Lt. R,]. Bromley, A Sqn., a new officer who had only joined us the previous day was
    wounded by mortar.
    July 7
    2/Lt. W.J. Thomson, also of A sqn., was killed.
    July 14
    2 OR's were wounded and on the 15th 1 OR. During this time the Reece Tp. were equipped
    with Honeys which had had their turrets removed so that they should be more inconspicuous
    and the A/A Tp. was also trained in the recce role as they were so seldom required for their
    main task.
    July 15
    This moming the Royal Scots Greys relieved the forward sqn. and at night we withdrew and
    spent a quiet and peaceful night in the area of Camilly, close to A echelon, who for the
    whole ofthe month had remained at Cully.
    July 16
    Camilly; Sunday was spent cleaning up our tanks and ourselves.
    At midnight the regiment moved again to a concentration area at Gazelle 0275. It was a bad
    night for moving - dust, mist, and a very dark night all contributing to the difficulties.
    July 17
    The day was spent in total concealment at Gazelle where morale was improved by the arrival
    of the NAAF I and the first rations of beer.
    July 18
    At 03 00 hrs we started on a march to a further concentration area east of the Canal de Caen,
    crossing the canal and the river at Benouville 0974. The concentration area was in a field
    north east of Ranville where the gliders had landed on D day. The regiment arrived there at
    about 0400 hrs.
    At 0545hrs. many hundreds of aircraft were seen passing over our heads to blast the route in
    front of us. There was a continual stream for more than an hour. At 0720 hrs the regiment
    moved off behind 3 R.Tks. through the start line just west of Escoville 1171.
    The form-up at the start line was considerably hampered by a minefield laid by the Highland
    Div. which they had been unable to pick up except for four lanes, These lanes provided a
    further bottleneck and had a serious effect on the outcome of the whole operations. `
    The Bde. from the start line to the railway Caen-Troam moved in the following order: 3 R
    Tks, 2 FF Yeo, 23 Hussars. Each regt. was in three waves, 2 FF Yeo being with A sqn. on
    the right and B sqn. on the left in the leading wave; the second wave consisting of the Recce
    Tp. RHQ, and the carriers of F Coy 8 RB; and the third wave consisting of C sqn., the
    remainder of F Coy. and I Bty. 13 RHA.
    At 0800 hrs., the barrage opened which advanced south to the railway, the Bde. moving close
    up behind. Little opposition was encountered during this time, the villages on the flanks
    having been well attended to by the air force. This railway was only a minor obstacle. The
    barrage stopped on this line for 15 mins. to allow for the crossing of the railway and 2 FF
    Yeo to go up on the left of the 3 R.Tks. The barrage then continued, moving in a southwest
    direction towards Le Mesnil Frementel 1065.
    The regiment was covering a frontage of about 700 yds. The two leading waves
    encountered little opposition but much enemy equipment was seen to be abandoned and
    many prisoners attempted to give themselves up; as there was no time to collect these they
    were left to be mopped up by subsequent infantry. The two leading waves reached the line
    of the railway Caen-Vimont 1461 without suffering any serious casualties. The third wave
    was strongly engaged by anti-tank guns from the area of Cagny 1 164 and the woods to the
    northeast of it. The first tank to be hit was that of Major C. Nicholls, and almost
    immediately Capt. J .E.F. Miller’s tank was destroyed. The rear troop of B sqn., which was
    doing flank protection, was also involved and in all some 12 tanks were destroyed in this area
    before the situation was in hand.
    It had previously been stated that the village of Cagny would be 'hamburged’ by the air force.
    This, however, had not taken place.


    Having crossed the railway B sqn. continued as leading sqn. in normal battle formation and
    they reached the outskirts of Soliers 0862 and Four 0962 before they were seriously
    engaged. Both these villages were occupied by German infantry and at the same time
    Panther tanks were seen in the outskirts of the village of Borguebus and also one mile further
    south. Further tanks were then seen moving about on the edge of the woods at map ref.
    1160. Capt. J .D. Hutchison with the two tps. of A sqn. went to protect the southeast flank
    from a position just northeast of Four, from where he was able to destroy at least two
    Panthers. These Panthers prevented us from advancing any further, and in the late afternoon
    they counterattacked in force, getting into the village of Four, from where they were able to
    cause us further casualties.
    The regiment was relieved on this flank by the 23 Hussars and moved back to reorganise on
    the left behind Capt. J .D. Hutchison’s5 two troops, who had suffered a loss of two tanks
    whilst in position. During the day we lost 37 tanks and we destroyed 6 Panthers, 2 Mk IVs,
    5 SPs, and 3 88 mms and succeeded in advancing a distance of 5 miles. Casualties to
    personnel were as follows:
    Killed - Capt. R.H.M. Trehearne and 15 OR's
    Missing, presumed killed - Major C. Nicholls and 18 OR's.
    Wounded - Lts. D.A. Reid, P.R. Noakes, S.H. Miller and 28 OR's.
    Capt. P. Beamish, RAMC, was also taken sick.
    It was unfortunate that many of our unhorsed personnel who got back to Al echelon were
    involved in a heavy attack by a bombing force during the night and suffered a high
    proportion of casualties. These were as follows:
    Killed - Capt. W.K. Mathewson, Lt. I.D. Forbes and 4 ORs.
    Wounded — Lts. A.G.P. Buchan, and R.P. Clarke ;2/Lt. E.J. Spittal and 40 OR's
    That night we laagered just north of the railway ref. 0865.
    July 19
    Owing to casualties was only able to produce 25 tanks and so it was reorganised into two
    sqns, A Sqn. under command Major J .H.C. Powell and C sqn. under command Capt. J .E.F.
    Miller, Major Sir J .E. Gilmour Bart having to replace Major G.R. Trotter, who had had the
    misfortune to break a toe the previous day. A sqn. had 12 tanks; C sqn. 11 tanks; RHQ 2
    tanks. .
    The regiment was in reserve throughout the morning, during which time we were continually
    shelled, Major J .H.C. Powell being killed and 3 OR's wounded At about 1800 hrs. the 2
    R.Tks. had successfully captured the village of Bras 0663, and an attack from Bras to
    capture Hubert Folie 0662 by the 2 N Yeo had been abortive.
    2 FF Yeo were then ordered to attack this village. They moved up from just northeast of
    Bras where they formed up to attack. A heavy concentration of mediums was then put down
    on the village. C sqn. followed up close behind the concentration and were able to enter the
    village without suffering casualties. A Sqn. followed on close behind them. A Coy of 8 RB
    came in afterwards to mop up prisoners, of which they captured about 80. The KSLI came
    up and took over this village after dark and we went back to laager northeast of the railway.
    There were no tank losses on this day..
    Capt. Robertson RAMC, joined the regiment as new medical officer.
    July 20/21
    The regiment pulled out of the laager a few hundred yards and remained in that position until
    noon. They then withdrew over the railway to northeast of Demouville 1067. They
    remained there all that day and the following day, during which it rained almost
    July 22
    At 0700 hrs. we withdrew out of the line through thick mud over the Canal de Caen to
    Ardenne Abbey south of Cussy 9970.
    July 23
    We remained here for nearly a week resting and reorganising.
    July 25
    During this time the Recce Tp. was reduced to 3 I-Ioneys and the A/A Tp. to 1 Crusader,
    personnel being sent into the fighting sqns, 16 OR's joined us from the RGH and were also
    distributed among the sqns.
    Our new MO. Capt. Robertson RAMC left us and Capt. Luker RAMC took his place.
    The Following promotions took place.


    To the rank of A/U/Major, Capt. J .D. Hutchison and Capt. J .E.F . Miller.
    To the rank of A/U/Capt., Lt. J .M. Adams and Lt. W.J. Hotblack.
    July 28
    This evening we were ordered to be ready to move at short notice.
    July 29
    At 0300 hrs. the regiment moved out of Ardenne Abbey, on a very dark night, to the western
    flank of the British Sector and harboured in Le Ruel 6764, the regiment finally arriving there
    at approx 0830 hrs. The day was spent in total concealment; recces, conferences and
    planning also taking place.
    July 30
    The regiment was under comnmd. 159 Inf. Bde. who were moving on the right centre line of
    the Div. The regiment was supporting the advance of the lst Herefords. Their first
    objective was on the high ground just to the west of Caumont at 6758.
    The start line was once again in the area held by another Div., who had again laid mines
    which caused confusion. On the advance to our objective the Herefords were held up by m.g.
    B sqn. who were operating on the right were trying to assist them and got into severe trouble
    with mines. They lost no less than 7 tanks on these mines. »
    A sqn. on the left were able to push forward a little bit more reaching the main road from
    Caumont to Turigni sur Vire. During this time there was continual mortar fire but we
    suffered no casualties from it. C sqn. then pushed forward across the road and the stream
    and took some high ground in the area 680850. They met only little opposition.
    C sqn. remained behind with the inf. whilst A sqn. was pushing on to try and make as much
    progress as possible. They encountered only slight opposition and reach the northem slopes
    of the high grotmd [Pt].171 m.r. 6552 shortly before dark. We remained in this position for
    the night whilst the KSLI came up and we harboured just north of the highest point for the
    night. Casualties were as follows:
    Wounded — Lt. C.J. Workman and 4 OR's.
    Killed - 1 OR.
    July 31 During the night the KSLI had continued the advance and at first light we pushed on with
    them by St. Ouen des Besaces m.r. 6652 to the high ground m.r. 655510. The enemy were
    strongly resisting the 29 Armd Bde who were on our left at St. Martin des Besaces 6750.
    A sqn. were accordingly ordered to put in an attack from the west supported by a company of
    the Herefords. The main road was covered by A/T guns and the country on either side was
    extremely difficult due to the high banks and awkward fences. Progress was necessarily
    very slow, but we succeeded in knocking out the A/T guns and managed to get into the
    During this operation A sqn. lost two tanks. Enemy tanks which appeared from the south
    withdrew before we came into contact with them. There was some opposition on our right
    but our attack on this was held up for some time as the American forces were advancing in
    this area and their exact location was not known.
    Eventually a limited attack was put in on the road to clear the area in which we were going to
    consolidate for the night. The advance started by carrying the Herefords on the backs of
    tanks. As, however, we met opposition before we had gone half a mile this was not very
    successful. The enemy were cleared from the area up to the crossroads at 645505 and we
    remained there harboured for the night. Two tps. under Capt. R.L. Leith of C sqn. were sent
    out to investigate the main road to see if it was possible to push further forward. They did,
    however, run onto some mines and anti-tank guns and so retumed into the harbour area.
    Casualties were as follows:
    Killed — 1 OR Wounded - 1 OR

    August 1944

    Aug. 1
    During the previous day 29th Armd. Bde. had made better prog1·ess on our left and at about
    1000 hrs. the regiment moved forward on the centre line St. Martin des Besaces La
    Ferriere 6446 across the river Soulevre at 63 8436 and occupied the high ground in the
    area 642426. During this day the regiment did not come in contact with the enemy but

    Aug. 2nd.
    road protected by one pln. of the Mons. Remainder of A&C Sqns. Withdrew for the night on to the high ground at 7033

    Aug 3rd.
    At first light A Sqn were moved again up to the main road they came under heavy fire from 88's and tanks. After suffering a loss of 3 further tanks it was decided to withdraw A Sqn. as our coln line had outstripped those on our flanks. They were then sent back to watch the high ground west of our position. B Sqn were sent back to support the Herefords in the area of Forgues, and one troop had to go back to the main road south of Le Reculay because some Tiger tanks were harrassing our communications in that area. At 17:00 hrs. A Sqn withdrew to Burcy to protect that from the west. They remained there until midnight when they moved back and harboured with B Sqn. RHQ and C Sqn. remained forward.
    Casualties-wounded. Capt. W J Hetblack and 7 OR's
    Aug 4th
    At First light A Sqn. moved out to protect the west and clean up some enemy infantry that had infiltrated during the night. During this time some of the enemy had got into Burcy. During this day C Sqn. has little activity and harboured where they were.
    Casualties were as follows 1 OR killed and 5 OR's wounded.
    Aug 5th.
    During the morning trhe infantry regained Burcey and A Sqn. were brought forward on to the high ground to cover the road running south.from Burcey. During the afternoon an enemy counter attack from the south was put in by Infantry. They were effectively driven off and C Sqn. were moved forward in an endevour to mop up to the south, under cover of smoke from the high ground, but did not succeed in rounding up any more prisoners.
    Casualties were as follows- wounded 5 OR's. Killed 1 OR.

    Aug 6th.
    On the morning of the 6th there was little enemy activety. A Sqn. moved out to watch the road with C Sqn. watching to the south and east at first light. At about 14:00 hrs. enemy shell fire started to be brought down on us and gradualy increased. Mortars, menin werfer and guns were also directed on to us. Finaly a number of aircraft with Allied markings dropped a number of bombs on our positions. This continued until C Sqn. reported the approach of enemy infantry from the east. These were fired on and
    immediately withdrew. Almost immediately A Sqn. on the right were heavily attacked from the west by tanks and infantry. They succeeded in knocking out 3 enemy tanks and 2 SP guns and killing a large number of infantry as they advanced. They also directed our gun fire on the area from which the enemy were approaching. Two Tiger tanks succeeded in getting through and knocking out 2 tanks out of a troop in C Sqn. These Tigers were just beginning to cause casualties to the infantry when Sgt. Scott of C Sqn. with his troop arrived and succeeded in getting his tanks into position and destroying one of the tanks and damaging the other to such an extent that it withdrew. This battle continued until approx. 21:00 hrs before the enemy were finaly driven off, leaving a large number of dead on the ground. In the closing stages of the battle B Sqn. were brought forward in reserve.
    Casualties were as follows:-3 OR's killed, 7 OR's wounded, and 5 OR's missing. Lt. G.G.O.Hutchinson wounded.
    Aug 7th
    Owing to their losses in tanks A and C Sqns.were amalgamated under Major J.D.Hutchinson, Major J.E.F. Miller recieving an injury to his foot the previous day
    There was again an attempt by the enemy to come in from the west. This was effectively dealt with by A Sqn., who destroyed 2 Mk IV's which had come near to them.
    Meanwhile a number of Tiger tanks had established themselves on the high ground on our eastern flank at Le Haut Periere( M.R. 7233) and were able to engage A Sqn. from the rear at a range of about 2500 yds. These Tigers quickly caused A Sqn. 5 tank casualties.
    Major Gilmore then went forward with a troop of B Sqn.to try and engage these tanks and succeeded in knocking out one of them. During the day our position was continually under shell and mortar fire by the enemy.That night the Regt. remained in the same position. . The Regt. was now reduced to 25 tanks on the road.
    Casualties were as follows:- Wounded 9 OR's, Killed 1 OR and missing believed killed 6 OR's. Comdg. Offr wounded.
    Aug 8th
    The CO of the R.Scots Greys came up early in the morning to see our positions and one Sqn. of that Regt. came up to relieve us in the late afternoon at about 17:00 hrs.
    Both colns moved forwards and backwards respectively under cover of smoke so as to prevent the enemy tanks from being able to direct AP fire on our tanks as we were moving. This however did not prevent them from putting down a certain amount of HE but this caused no casualties or damage. The Regt. withdrew to Le Queille 678376 where we remained for a few days.
    Casualties were as follows:- Killed 2/Lieut D.B. Lovelock and wounded 1 O.R.
    Aug 9th
    This period was spent in reorginising, maintenance and rest. We were now joined by 2 complete troops from the 24th Lancers and one troop from 1st L&B Horse. New officers were Lieut.Fuller, F.W. Lieut. Jewell's B.A Lieut. Munroe A.N.G.
    Aug 12th
    We left Le Queille at 17;30 hrs. and advanced to a different front at Le Bruyers 7642 to take over from 15(S) Div. The F&F were in reserve here.
    Aug 13th
    We remained all day lying up at La Bruyere. New offrs. were Lt. McNinch, R.C. and 2/Lt. Rix G.H.
    Aug 14th
    The Regt. moved at first light-Centre line Lasay-La Roque-Vassy. 159 Bde. were on the left, 29 Armd. Bde on the right. 29 Armd Bde was divided into the 23 H and 8 R.B. on the right and 2 f.f. and 3 Mons on the left. B Sqn were

    Missing Aug 15-Aug 31

    southwestern exits from Amiens, where again they shot up a number of vehicles. Crossings
    were also recce'd over the river Somme. A bridge was found intact at Le Moutier where
    there was a large number of infantry. Cpt. Creighton of B Sqn. took the first tank across
    into the built-up area and about 100 prisoners were collected in this area before the
    advance was able to go on to Coiay, where the night was spent.
    Casualties: Capt. D.C.F. Chute, accidental hand injury, and l OR wounded.
    New officers were Lt. GCA Hales, Lt. A Forester. The following OR's also joined the
    regiment - 46 OR's from 254 CDS.
    September 1944

    Sept. 1
    At first light the advance continued Talmas-Beauquesne-Hal1oy—Grandrullecoat-Savy-
    Estrec. There were some 88 mm guns at Villers Bocage which knocked out one of C sqn.
    tanks. B sqn. were left to deal with this position which they did effectively, destroying two
    88 mms. The remainder of the regiment continued on its route. No further opposition was
    encountered although a number of infantry surrendered only after a few shots were fired at
    Sept. 2
    We again moved at first light on the following route, having changed over onto the right
    route of the Bde. Mont St Ebi-Vimi [Vimy?]—Acheville-Courrieries—Oignies. There was no
    opposition at all and the bridges on the canals were intact. We arrived there early in the day
    and remained holding the bridges for the night.

    Sept. 3
    The regiment moved off in reserve intending to move behind 3 R. Tanks, but before we
    joined it at the end of their column they had encountered opposition at Secline. There were
    at least 8 x 88 mm guns in this area and a quantity of infantry. After a certain amount of
    shooting the 3 R Tanks were able to get round the town to the left whilst we attacked from
    the right. A sqn. and F coy. 8 RB went in to mop up whilst the remainder of the regiment
    continued on the route. There were wild scenes of enthusiasm amongst the local
    inhabitants when we arrived into Belgium. We did not have any further opposition though
    we succeeded in shooting up some enemy vehicles which got in between us and the 3 R
    Tanks which caused some delay as they brewed up in the middle of a narrow road and a
    bypass had to be found. We reached the area of Alest at about 0400 hrs. The centre line we
    had followed was: Caryin-Sellin—Willems-Estambourg-Renaix—Sottegem-Alest.
    Sept. 4
    We continued behind the 3 R Tanks towards Antwerp where on arrival A and B sqns. were
    used for local mopping-up operations and C sqn. spent the next two days assisting 159 Inf.
    Bde. in clearing up inside the city where a large number of prisoners were captured.
    Sept. 5
    C sqn. remained on the canal NE Antwerp supporting 159 Inf. Bde. The remainder of the
    regiment moved into harbour south of the city and during the next two days did much
    necessary maintenance on the tanks.
    Casualties: 1 OR wounded.
    Sept. 6
    C sqn. rejoined the regiment at 1200 hrs. The following officers joined the regiment during
    this period: Lts. H.F. Steele—Smith, H.S. Axton, Lt J R.A. Porter. 2/Lts. J. McGregor and E
    Featonby. Casualties: 5 0Rs wounded.
    Sept, 7
    The Bde. was ordered to move out to the north of Antwerp over the small bridgehead which
    had been established there. The regiment was by way of leading the right route out of
    Antwerp, but the bridgehead had not been sufficiently cleared up and after motoring into the
    middle of Antwerp the regiment retumed to its original harbour area, less A sqn. who went
    off to watch the canal to the east of Antwerp.
    Sept. 8
    At 0900 hrs. the regiment led the Bde. to cross over the Albert Canal by the bridgehead
    which the Gds. had obtained at Beeringen, the route followed being Melies-Lovain
    [L0uvain?]-Diest. We remained just west of Beeringen and harboured there for the night.
    Sept. 9
    At first light we crossed the canal and moved up to take over from the Irish Gds. in the area
    Helchteren crossroads. This village had been occupied by the Gds. the previous night but
    had not been cleared up. This was partially done by the Irish Gds before we took over, but
    there was still a lot of opposition on the eastem and southem outskirts of the village and of



    the surrounding woods.
    C sqn., who were on the northern exist, were able to engage a number of the enemy in the
    woods. B sqn. with two platoons of F Coy 8 RB were responsible for the east and south of
    the village where most of the opposition was and had some hard fighting throughout the
    day. At about 2000 hrs. F coy were relieved by the lst Herefords, who continued the
    rnopping-up operations and the village was fmally cleared. Throughout the day A sqn. had
    been protecting the road from the south to the west of the village. ·
    Casualties: 7 OR's wounded. Capt. A.P. Gardner joined the regiment on this date.

    Sept. 10
    B sqn. remained engaging the enemy to the east of the village until they were relieved by 23
    H who were continuing on that route. The regiment moved northwards towards Hechtel
    after crossing the railway at mr 351775, The Reece Tp. who were leading reported enemy
    to the right of the road. A Sqn. with a eoy. of the 1 Herefords engaged them from the south
    whilst C sqn. went forward to attack them with their eoy. of the 1 Herefords from the west.
    There was considerable opposition from men ofthe 10th Btn. Parachute Regt. before they
    were liquidated. Over 350 prisoners were taken and a large number were killed.[rather
    unfortunate phrasing!]
    The regiment continued to advance northwards with C Sqn. leading on the left whilst B sqn.
    advanced through the wood on the railway line on the right. Hechtel was still held by the
    enemy who were being attacked by the Welsh Gds. C sqn. was therefore ordered to strike
    to the northeast and cut the road between Peer and Hechtel. They met a certain amount of
    opposition from the village of Rest, but reached the road at about 1700 hrs. They were then
    ordered to protect the left flank whilst A sqn. passed through them to attack the village of
    Hoenrich whilst B sqn. gave support hom the South. There was again considerable
    opposition, 2 88’s being destroyed and about 70 prisoners taken before we finally occupied
    the village just aiier dark. Casualties were: Wounded 5 OR's.
    Sept. 11
    We remained in position cutting the road at Hechtel, which had not yet been cleared by the
    Gds., and the 23H who had been held up considerably the previous day moved on towards
    Peer. As there was still opposition there which had not come to light tmtil the leading sqn.
    of 23H had got through, 2 F&F Yeo. were therefore ordered to clear the village and protect
    the eastem flank. C Sqn. meanwhile remained watching the eastem exits of Hechtel.
    Casualties: I OR killed, 1 OR missing believed killed.
    Sept. 12
    The regiment remained in the area of Peer with C sqn. still watching Hechtel until it was
    iinally cleared up by the Welsh Gds. in the afternoon. Reece patrols were sent out to the
    east but did not come in contact with the enemy.
    Sept. 13
    The regiment remained in the area of Peer with one sqn. at immediate notice, the remainder
    of the regiment being at 24hrs. notice in order to carry out very necessary maintenance. A
    Sqn. moved out to the canal to the east of Bree where they found little sign of the enemy but
    were able to tire a few rounds of 17-pdr HE into Germany. These are believed to be the
    first British shells to land in Germany.
    Sept. 14/18
    Harboured at Peer.
    Sept. 19
    Lt. R.H.A. Gregory joined the regiment. The regiment moved to a crossroads 3493 south of
    the canal, where it was held up for 2 hrs. whilst reece was made of streams east ofthe Gds.
    centre line. One bridge was blown and the other not up to weight. Finally, we went
    straight up the Guards c.l. to Hoek 3803 and harboured the night.
    Sept. 20
    Hoek; At fnst light we moved southeast to crossroads 4200 and without meeting opposition
    the Reece Tp. joined up with 9 Bde. at Aachel. We then turned northeast to Leende where
    minor opposition was encotmtered. B sqn. was ordered to attack from the west and A sqn.
    from the north, but the enemy withdrew when the infantry went in.
    C sqn. then went north to Heeze, and was tired on by m.g. and Aff fire. The A/T gun was
    knocked out but the enemy who were sheltering in a factory, were destroyed. The next
    objective was Sommeren and A sqn. and the Reece Tp. tried to get through the woods to the
    southeast of Heeze, but the bridge collapsed after one troop had crossed it. An alternative
    route was found and the c.l. rejoined. The regiment arrived at Sommeren just before dark
    hoping to capture a bridge across the canal intact. There was some opposition in Sommeren


    and a Recce tank was bazooka'd. The Herefords, who had been travelling on the backs of
    the tanks, sent out a fighting patrol and the enemy blew the only remaining bridge at 2300
    Sept. 21
    Sommeren; C sqn. actively patrolled the canal by Sommeren and A sqn. patrolled north to
    another possible bridge at 5715, but on arrival found it blown, so they worked down the
    canal, shooting up opposition on the far side. At 1930 hrs. the Herefords established a
    bridgehead across the canal, supported by tire from C sqn.
    Sept. 22
    During the night sappers built a Class 40 Bailey Bridge and at 0730 hrs. A sqn. were ordered
    to rush the bridge, drive straight through Asten and cover the exits to the north, south and
    east of the town. A concentration had been put down on Asten by the gunners, but as soon
    as the leading troop crossed the canal, it came under heavy Spandau and Bazooka fire, and
    the two leading tanks were knocked out whilst the third one was ditched. Lt. W.S.
    Brownlie led the next troop straight past the knocked out tanks and through the enemy and
    brought the sqn. to its position on the other side of the town. B sqn., co-operating with the
    Herefords, did the mopping up of the town. When finally in position, A sqn. were on the
    north of the town, C sqn. on the east, and B sqn. on the south and southwest. A strong
    enemy counter—attack during the afternoon was successfully driven off by B sqn..
    Lts. D.W. Bulley and P.C. Firkins were both killed whilst crossing the canal. Capt. B.L.
    Frewin was wounded.
    Sept. 23
    Asten; The regiment came under command of 159 Bde. and remained in Asten, supporting
    it whilst the 23H passed through. B sqn. with two coys. of the Herefords mopped up the area
    to the south and southwest of Asten. Throughout the day there was sporadic shelling and
    Sept. 24
    At 1400 hrs we moved through Deurne which had been captured by the 23 H and moved
    north. About two miles from Bakel C sqn. contacted enemy tanks and our two leading
    tanks and an OP tank were knocked out. Lt. E.A. Lamont carried out an outflanking
    movement to the left and engaged some of the tanks but did not succeed in knocking out any
    of them. No further progress was made that night and the regiment harboured in a cold and
    ` wet field between Bakel and Deume. Lt. A. Forrester was killed that afteroon.
    Sept. 25
    Bakel; C sqn. continued the advance and found the enemy tanks had withdrawn, but
    regained contact again in Bakel. One Panther, after being engaged by medium artillery
    shell fire, was brewed up, and another one, after being fired at by C sqn., in its efforts to
    escape was ditched and captured intact. The regiment remained in Bakel with the KSLI
    whilst the 15/ 19 H and the Herefords mopped up Helmond, after which it continued the
    advance to Gewert, and then east to 651337 where it harboured the night. During a 29
    Armd. Bde O Group at St. Anthonis, two German half-tracks coming round the comer
    firing m.g.s shot up the party, wounding the Brigadier and the B.M. and killing Colonels
    Silvertop and Orr.
    Sept. 26
    St. Anthonis; The regt. moved at midday to a harbour two miles north of St. Anthonis.
    Sept. 27
    A echelon moved up and ofiicers' messes were set up. B sqn. patrolled west of the canal and
    shot up some enemy on the eastem bank.
    28/29 Remained in harbour. Lt. J.C. Henderson and 2/Lt. D. Davies joined the regiment.
    Sept. 30
    The regiment moved to a new harbour at Handel, in order to make room for the 7 US Armd.
    Div. which had come up from the south.
    During the period 21/24 the following casualties were suffered: 9 OR's killed, 8 OR's

    October 1944

    Oct. 1/7
    Handel; The regiment was resting at Handel m.r. 6033. During this period Major Sir. J .E.
    Gilmour, Bart. assumed 2 i/c ofthe regiment, on the posting of Major G.R. Trotter to No. 2
    ARG. Capt. A.G.E. Loram assumed command of B sqn. and was promoted to the rank of
    Oct. 7
    At 1300 hrs the regiment moved up to St. Anthonis, B sqn. being attached to the lst


    Herefords in the woods at m.r. 7829.
    Oct. 8
    A sqn. sent out one troop to the area Boxmeer m.r. 7640 where they encountered slight
    enemy opposition, 1 OR being wounded by mortar.
    Oct. 9
    A sqn. again went out into the Boxmeer area, engaging the enemy in the area ofthe windmill.
    Oct. 10
    C sqn. went out with the KSLI to the R. Meuse and shot up a gantry bridge by which the
    Germans were crossing the river.
    Oct. 11
    A sqn. again went out into the Boxmeer area to watch for any enemy movement near the
    Oct. 12
    A sqn. went out again into the area near the river and C sqn. patrolled down towards
    Vierlingsbeek m.r. 8034.
    Oct 13
    A sqn. again supplied one troop, which, in co~operation with the KSLI, made a small attack
    on a party of German infantry which was just west of the river. These were successfully
    rounded up, 17 prisoners being taken and 5 killed. C sqn. again patrolled down towards
    Vierlingsbeek, where they came into contact with the enemy and lost one tank, which was
    blown up by a mine.
    Oct. 14
    The attack by the 3rd British had not yet reached Venray. C sqn. again patrolled out towards
    Oct. 15
    As the 3rd British had not made good progress the regiment, with the 4 KSLI, were ordered
    to ease the pressure on their left tlank by capturing the wooded area towards Smakt, area
    0031. The barrage provided in front of this attack from the west was most inaccurate and the
    KSLI were unable to move until the barrage was called off. B sqn. was the leading sqn.
    supporting the KSLI, whilst A sqn. provided flank protection to the South. No great
    opposition was encountered until we reached the line of the railway at 7932, although about
    70 prisoners were taken. A position was taken up with the KSLI along the railway in the
    area just west of Smakt, whilst C sqn. went out to assist the Herefords who were operating
    against Vierlingsbeek. The regiment laagered for the night in that area.
    Oct. 16
    The regiment remained supporting the KSLI in the same area. Throughout the day there was
    considerable mortar and KE fire on our positions. Alter dark the regiment moved back into
    the area m.r. 7434. This was an extremely difficult drive as the night was very dark and the
    tank track which we were supposed to be travelling on was almost impossible for tanks to
    travel on owing to ditches.
    Oct. 17
    The regiment moved off at 0800 hrs via St. Anthonis to just east of Deurne m.r. 6520 and
    halted in the area 673218 whilst the 15/ 19 Hussars with the Herefords were passing through
    the American 7th Armd. to capture Usselstoijn [Usselstein] m.r. 7223.
    Oct. 18
    The regiment moved oi? with C sqn. in the lead., A and B sqns. each having a coy. ofthe
    KSLI mounted on their tanks. Immediately on passing through Ijsselstein C sqn. encountered
    slight opposition from farm buildings along the roadside, which they were able to deal with
    themselves. On arrival at M.R. 736217 the regiment moved off two-up with B sqn. on the
    left with one section ofthe Recce Tp. in front of them, and established themselves in the area
    m.r. 747224.
    On arrival at the outskirts of Veulen more opposition was encountered and one coy. of the
    KSLI came up to assist the clearing ofthe village. This was achieved without much difficulty
    until arrival at the eastern end, where there were enemy tanks and SPs in position. There was
    also a strong-point in the area ofthe factory at 775225 and the rectangular wood at 772218
    and the woods to the south. B sqn. tried to pass along to the north of Veulen but also came
    into contact with this opposition. In all we succeeded in knocking out 1 Panther, 1 J aag
    [Jagd] Panther, l SP on Mk IV chassis, l armd. half-track and 4 75 mm A/T guns. One
    other Panther was also damaged. Our losses were 7 tanks. It was not possible to push on any
    further and the regiment with the KSLI halted in the area for the night. Whilst moving into
    the harbour area one tank ran over a mine and was damaged., Lt. R.H.A. Gregory killed and
    2/Lt. J McGregor wounded.
    Oct. 19
    Veulen; No further advanw was undertaken and the regiment remained with the KSLI in the
    area of Veulen. There was considerable nebelwerfer and HE fire all day.


    Oct. 20/22
    We remained in the same area.
    Oct. 23
    Ijsselstein; B and C sqns. moved back to Deume for four days rest, A sqn. and RHQ moving
    to Ijsselstein.
    Oct. 27
    B sqn. went to Veulen. C sqn. joined RHQ and A sqn. at Ijsselstein. C sqn. patrolled the
    area to the south of the road at 7119 to 7621 and shot up several buildings suspected of
    holding the enemy. A party composed of the Reece Tp. searched all houses south of
    Ijsselstein and found no trace of recent enemy occupation.
    Oct. 28
    A sqn. went out on patrol - nothing to report.
    Oct. 29
    C sqn. went out on patrol - nothing to report.
    Oct. 30
    A sqn. went out on patrol - nothing to report.
    Oct. 31
    C sqn. relieved B sqn. at Veulen and A sqn. went out on patrol.
    During this period the following officers joined the regiment: Capt. D.C.F. Chute, Lt. T.R.
    Heald, Lt. O.C. Davies, Lt. D.I. Robertson, Lt. B.S. Phipps

    November 1944

    Nov. 1/18
    RHQ with 2 sqns. remained at Ijsselstein 7723 whilst one sqn. was in support of a bn. of 159
    Bde. at Veulen, this sqn. being changed every 3 - 4 days. One sqn. from Ijsselstein went out
    daily to patrol south of the road from the barracks area 718200 — Veulen and engaged any
    enemy movement seen in the Hewlena — Hoeve - Erike areas. Movement by tanks was
    extremely diiiicult owing to the boggy nature ofthe ground; many of the dykes were
    impassable except at crossing places on the tracks. There was considerable patrol activity
    by the infantry on both sides by night. Veulen was under continual mortar and shell fire, and
    Ijsselstein received occasional stonks.
    The following casualties occurred during this period:-
    Lt. G.R. Rix wounded and 6 OR's wounded. We also had a tank casualty during this period.
    Nov. 19
    Deurne; The regiment moved to Deume 6520 in preparation fro operation Nutcracker which
    was the capture of Amerika and Horst. One sqn. was to support 1 Hereford moving from
    Helnaveen to Amerika, whilst the remainder of the regiment moved behind 15/ 19th Hussars
    and KSLI to Greensveld-Amerika and were then to continue the advance to Horst. Owing
    to the continuous rain that fell during the month it was quite impossible to go off the roads
    and these were already so bad that the operation was finally carried out without tank support.
    Nov. 24
    The regiment came back under commd. 29 Armd. Bde. after a long time with 159 Inf. Bde.
    Training was started on Cromwell tanks and TEWTs were also done on the actions which
    had taken place in the Veulen-Asten-Bakel and Hechteren areas.
    During the month the following oliicers joined the regiment: Lt. A. Leah C. Sqn; Lt. S.
    Horsley B Sqn.; Lt. A. Gilchrist B Sqn.; Lt. P.J. McNamara A Sqn.; Lt. T.L. Scully B Sqn.;
    Capt. L.B. Chapman C Sqn.; Lt. M.J. Payne C Sqn.; Lt. H.G. Wilkes A Sqn.; Lt. H. Walker
    C Sqn.; Capt. (QM) W.S. James DCM HQ Sqn.
    Lt. P.R Noakes also rejoined the regiment during the month of November.
    The following omcers left the regiment during the monthc- Lt. J.C. Henderson - admitted
    hospital; Lt. B.S. Phipps - posted.

    The following awards have been approved by H.M. The King to personnel of this tmit:—
    Major J .D. Hutchison MC (lrnm)
    Capt. W.S. Brownlie MC (Imm)
    7905503 Sgt. R. Baylis MM (Imm)
    7891940 Sgt. R. Wann MM (Imm)
    7892111 Sgt. W.M. Scott NM (Imm)
    7894482 Cpl. J.H. Byrne MM (Imm)
    7920727 Cpl. F .C. Creighton MM (Imm)
    7912413 Sgt. K. Beecrofc MM (Imm)
    cyclopenta, Ramiles, LMS1924 and 3 others like this.
  10. Bruce Sparks

    Bruce Sparks Junior Member

    Here is the War Diary for 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry for Sept-Oct 1944.
    Thank you for posting these extracts. This is an amazing coincidence, my father, serving in the FFY, was injured (shot) around this time, (Aug - Sept 44), do you know if it possible to find out exactly where and in what action?
  11. RSpittal

    RSpittal Junior Member

    Hello all,

    My late father, Eric Spittal joined the 2ndFFY on April 5th 1944, he sadly died in 1981. I'm researching his military activities during WW2 and would be grateful for source references for the regiment's war diaries after his joining. The forum diaries were amazing, but a complete reference, including 1945 would be wonderful.

    Does anyone remember Eric?

    Kind regards, Richard Spittal
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Here you go- click the red link below if you can't get there yourself.

    WO 171/853 2 Fife and Forfar Yeomanry 1944 Jan.- Dec.

    WO 171/4700 2 Fife and Forfar Yeomanry 1945 Jan.- 1946 Jan.

  13. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Army list

    Fife and Forfar Yeomanry officer list 1944 July
  14. dr.kmccauley

    dr.kmccauley Junior Member

    Just wanted to say hello and thank you for posting this interesting information. I recently received my grandfather's war records and know he was in the 2nd F&F Yeomanry Royal Armoured Corps in NWE (presuming North West Europe?) from 15/6/44- 22/1/46. As I am new to this process, I was wondering if you anyone could answer a question I have. In particular, would all the battles that this unit fought from June 1944-Jan 1946 have included my grandfather? He was a Vehicle Mechanic III and I've been able to find written accounts on the internet of this unit during that time frame, but I wasn't sure if I could then take for granted that he was involved in the battles that I'm reading about. For example, was that unit so huge that men serving with them were spread out all over at different times and places or were they all together?) Thanks for any help that you can offer. Just starting my search but am completely drawn in and can think of little else right now!
  15. grimmy

    grimmy Guest

    My Dad was a Fitter (Vehicle Mechanic III) with 23rd Hussars. On the assumption that similar Regiments would employ similar methods, the Fitters would be in two groups: those who went round in the Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARV - in 23H case a turretless Sherman) and those who were in the Echelon (in soft-skinned vehicles).

    The ARVs (one per Squadron) went into battle with the other tanks, ready to recover any that became stuck/broken down/damaged. The Echelon fitters were 'called up' when the fighting had died down to do necessary repairs.

    Fitters could be swapped between the two groups at any time (my Dad was offered the chance to move from an ARV to the Echelon at le Beny Bocage on Aug 1st 1944. He would have swapped places with Stanley Cull. He declined. Three days later the half track he would have been in took a direct hit. Of the 8 occupants, 5 were killed, 3 wounded. Stanley Cull was one of those killed).

    In short, you'll probably never know for sure which group your grandfather was in at any particular time. I know Dad was in the ARV during Ops EPSOM, GOODWOOD and BLUECOAT, but after that I'm in the dark.
  16. dr.kmccauley

    dr.kmccauley Junior Member

    Thanks for this Grimmy. I'm grateful for your response. Since my last post I have managed to find out quite a bit more from both his service records (for example, that he was in the 2nd F&F Yeo., group) but also more info about what some of the acronoyms and abbreviations mean in his records. It's frustrating to not be able to ask him, as he died in the 90s, but then again he was very reluctant to talk about any of this. I am now realising WHY after discovering that he too was likely in Goodwood, Bluecoat and was in the 11th armoured division when they liberated Belsen. I can understand why he didn't share any of this with his grandaughter (or anyone else for that matter..)
  17. grimmy

    grimmy Guest


    2 F&F Yeo and 23H fought side-by-side in many of the battles across Europe.

    Dad's best mate from Preston, Bernard Briggs, was in A Sqr F&F - they joined up completely independently of each other and only found out that they were both in 11th Armoured when they bumped into each other during training in Bridlington.

    They met again on the battlefield. Bernard's tank was brewed up on July 19th during GOODWOOD. The crew spent an uncomfortable night trying to rejoin their unit without being killed. Dad came across Bernard the next day - cold, wet and hungry - so he wrapped him in a German greatcoat (much to Bernard's disgust). Bernard was later seriously wounded at Burcy on August 5th. They were friends for over 70 years.

    Luckily, I managed to get Dad to talk about his experiences towards the end of his life. I was quite astonished to discover what 23H and 2FF Yeo had gone through We can both be very proud.
  18. dr.kmccauley

    dr.kmccauley Junior Member

    I completely agree. None of our family had any idea what my Grandad was exposed to out there and ignorately thought that 'if he managed to survive, he must not have seen much conflict'. You were very fortunate to hear some first hand stories. It's imporatnt to keep these alive, I'm sure you agree, so as to keep the memory of what they did honoured. I wouldn't be surprised if he knew your family.. my grandad was from Rochdale and served at Bridlington too prior to going abroad. He was also in Goodwood. Great to be in touch with you.
  19. grimmy

    grimmy Guest

    I wouldn't be surprised if they went to school together - my Dad was born in Rochdale!

    The photo below shows a group of 23H fitters (Dad circled on the back row). Out of that group there were:

    2 killed,
    2 wounded,
    1 Military Medal,
    1 Mentioned in Despatches

    Being a fitter was not a cushy job.

    Attached Files:

  20. DelBoy

    DelBoy Member


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