The Battle for Tilly-sur-Seulles - Normandy - June 1944

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. dfielder

    dfielder Junior Member

    Steve -

    It's a project I'll work on over the winter and will update you accordingly.
    The thanks should go to S. Norton for providing me with the initial lead. Once I started looking at the CWGC, I noticed that all the entries I put in had the GCU entries that were downloadable.

  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Good to see you are in contact with Shaun.

    Can I suggest your map also includes an arrow or something to indicate where the concentration was 'from and to' in case any trends can be spotted?
  3. dfielder

    dfielder Junior Member

    Will do Steve,

    Let me know if it is more appropriate to contact you off-line to send you maps that I produce.
    I'll start by using the Casualty List for the 24th Lancers that D.J. Quigley and then obtain the GCU docs from CWGC.

  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi David,

    Good luck with your idea,

    I think that there's some detail here (link below) about the first aid post and a burial service nr. Point 103.

    The Right Reverend Mark Green

    It was a very confused time and I think the crosses/burials etc. were placed (at least) out of sight/slightly away from the worst fighting/billets of the men (because of morale? and the avoidance where possible of services coming under fire) but that's just an impression?

    My other sense was that the squadrons could be operating in quite diverse areas and the recce troops traveled fair ways. It helps a lot to know where possible which squadron a casualty was in, but I did try to keep an eye on some stats (of where and when) in case it gave clues i.e. groups of casualties associated with the same fights or even in the same tank. Sometimes you get KIA, or WIA reports but just numbers no names and it is possible to backtrack through CWGC docs to see who they mean.

    I think on the 11th June they were largely doing perimeter duty around Point 103, while a bit or all of Squadron A were assisting at a distance with the attempt at Cristot. They were mortared quite a bit on the 11th I think.

    All the best,

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  5. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Can only concur with this comment , Stephane is a good friend and is the curator of the Museum at Tilly , if you want an overall definative book on the fighting in Tilly and the surrounding area then this is it as it comprehensively covers bot the British and German sides of ther fighting!! Into Battle with the Durhams by Maj Ian English and Maj RJ Lewis gives a good account of 8 DLI's battles in St Pierre .
  6. dfielder

    dfielder Junior Member

    Thank you Korps Steiner for your comments.

    I purchased Stephane's book within a month when it was first published and the price was extremely reasonable then.
    I fully agree that it the book is full of information and that is difficult to find elsewhere. About 10 years ago, I traced the movements of the 24th Lancers from Gold Beach to Tilly-sur-Seulles. I was hoping the the museum was open but it was very early Spring and I couldn't contact anyone. It would have been wonderful to have the opportunity to visit, but it was late notice.
    I plan to be back in France in 2019 so hopefully will plan ahead of time to visit the museum.

  7. dfielder

    dfielder Junior Member

    Thanks Ramiles for your comments on battlefield burials.
    You are correct that the location of specific graves are most likely not indicative of specific movements.

    My hope is that it will provide some general information regarding the movements of the squadrons. In the case of my grandfather, I knew he was in B Squadron but that was all. Since there is little information in the War Diaries, the battlefield grave locations may shed some additional light on the Regiment's movements.

    I've just started to put together all the documents and will put all the battlefield burial coordinates to the 1944 topographical map. With permission from the CWGC, I plan to provide a package to anyone researching the 24th Lancers.

  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi David,

    I think my little map:

    Was where my broad thinking was re. where the 24th L were on the 11th June. In a note on the formations though, there were quiet a lot of "administrative troops" i.e. in half-tracks (?), tankers (petrol, diesel and water) and lorries, as well as those in scout cars and on motorbikes etc. plus light aid detachments REME and signal troops and I've often wondered how the dispositions of these all "panned" out. And how many of them all were actually on Point 103 being mortared at any given time.

    Admin. one hopes is not going to be too exposed (where "conditions" are "ideal"), whereas the scouts/recce and motorcyclists etc. might have the chance of coming across trouble a bit more uniquely further out (i.e. away from the rest).

    I'm not quite sure how much "admin" was on Point 103. or in St.Pierre. Or kept further back at a depo at Hervieu for example. The "lorry" story ref. in the Rev.Green obit suggests that there were 24th L in trucks well into harms way (whether intentionally or through "getting lost") - though whether these came from Point 103, Hervieu or elsewhere I'm not sure. A lot could depend on the circumstances of events in a situation that was very confused for all concerned, so your map could be a big help to researching the 24th Lancers or at least helping others to pinpoint where they may rest,

    All the best,

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Bear in mind that Point 103, Hervieu, Audrieu and St Pierre are all within a couple of miles or so of each other and 'Point 103' is a term often used by 24th Lancers Old Comrades as a collective noun to describe all those places and what, in 1944, represented hell on earth.

    I agree the 24th Lancers War Diary is somewhat lacking in detail to say the least. I know who wrote it and Ken was certainly a man of few, even if well-targeted, words.

    I have Stephane's email address if you wish to contact him directly. I will not post his address here for obvious reasons. Please email me directly if you want to know it.

  10. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Hi guys
    As it's kinda related to your project David (which I would be interested to follow)
    Have you guys seen this website?
    I hope it's OK to post as it's a no profit making site.
    The last time I check through all the fallen 24L my grandad was the only page with extra details added. And I plan to add a bit more shortly..
    I can't seem to search the site properly on my phone to see if any other 24L details have been added since my last check.
    The site was officially lunched on 5th June this year at pegasus bridge.
  11. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    That website looks familiar......was something very similar/same a few years ago? I remember the initial site never really took off. Let's hope this one goes better.
  12. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    I think so Steve. I remember adding details to another site a few years back but it wasn't anywhere near as professional looking and detailed as this one. I believe the CWGC have given it its support as well. So hopefully word will get around. They also have a Facebook page that everyday posts how many British and commonwealth soldiers where kia in Normandy on that particular day. Obviously June is the most horrific month the 6th being unbelievable.
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    So the 24th L war diary has:

    The Regiment suffering the following casualties* during the month of June.

    Officers. 4 Killed 23 Wounded

    O.R’s. 20 Killed 95 Wounded 4 Missing believed killed.

    (I'm not sure if there is an actual roll of honour though for the 24th L?)

    I'm also noticing now the ref. to the 4 missing believed killed. Not sure if I've run across those names before? How they went missing or if they were ever found eventually?

    As far as I am aware the four officers were:

    Captain Alick Pool (A sqd) on 7th June 1944
    Lieutenant Edward Webb (B sqd) on 11th June 1944
    Captain Ian Kerr (B sqd) on 26th June 1944
    Major/Captain Arbuthnot (B sqd ex. C sqd) on 30th June 1944.

    I don't yet have similar data however for the month of July.


    * In fact these numbers seem a little low to me as according to some tabled data I have the 24th L KIA losses (for June) seem higher than this. This might be accounted however to a number of the wounded (listed above) subsequently not surviving their wounds as well as those 4 mia's being later found kia. Apologies but that's basically where I am at currently as far as understanding there.

    Ps. to steer this topic onto it's own thread might make sense for refs specifically to a 24th Lancer Roll of Honour especially if someone is already aware of one or knows somewhere to look. Presumably NHL may have an example, but I don't think that there is one, that is a memorial, i.e. carved in stone? Though there are some cemeteries and memorials I guess dotted about with such lists, I'm not sure which one is currently thought to be the main one or the one that is most complete?

    PPs. Thanks SDP (post#34) -
    24th Lancers - Roll of Honour
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  14. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    None Had Lances includes a full Roll of Honour including those who died whilst serving with the Regiment and those who died after being transferred elsewhere.

    The Memorial stone in Tilly sur Seulles commemorates the Regiment but does not include a Roll of names.
  15. NLPalmer

    NLPalmer Member


    Visited Tilley on Saturday, as my Grandfather was posted at an aid station there. Would the aid station have been at or near the site of the cemetery? Many thanks

    Attached Files:

  16. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    You would need to consult the War Diary of his Regiment/Unit for that sort of information and it might not even include that level of detail. He would also have moved around to wherever there was a need.
  17. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Yes, both Regiment/unit etc. and both when there and for how long. Also are you sure (NLPalmer) it was actually in Tilly? The town itself took quite a long time to capture and was very damaged as a result. Could it have been somewhere near, as I have seen some places nearby also associated with that place name i.e. Jerusalem Cross Roads, Tilly-sur-Seulles

  18. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I found this on youtube a while ago - the music is French punk (apparently!) and means "She wanted to see his Normandy" - some of the pictures (kind of) match a bit to the lyrics there (I think) - posted because it has quite a few old photos of various place around Tilly and one or two war related. (Watch it perhaps without sound if you are not a "big fan!" I guess of "Le French Punk" ;)

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  19. NLPalmer

    NLPalmer Member

    Thanks for the replies,
    My father took him 20yrs ago and as they were driving past he stopped him and said that he recognised the location as the field hospital that he was stationed at.
    Obviously it's been 20yrs and my grandfather has since past, so the accuracy and story are not the best so was only looking to confirm :)
  20. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    I guess (just a guess though) if they stopped by the Jerusalem Cemetery rather than the one in Tilly he might have been stationed at the medical facility at that location, i.e. at the Jerusalem Crossroads nr. Chouain*? Just a guess, because I don't know at this time what the Tilly cemetery itself was before. Do you happen to know his regiment/unit at all as yet?

    * :!3m1!1s0x480a527a7a03d3c9:0x40c14484fbcf510

    & via google images here: Jerusalem Cross Roads, Tilly-sur-Seulles IWM - Google Search

    Given the placement of the cemetary at Tilly (i.e. roughly between Tilly and Le Mesnil) his date when/if there (i.e. June/July 1944? or later perhaps?) would be a factor too: Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016

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