The Long Range Desert Group

Discussion in 'Special Forces' started by Peter Clare, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Very informative Site Peter. what became of the LRDG after the North African Campaign ended???
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  4. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Later operations of the LRDG

    After the end of the African campaign, the LRDG was trained in mountain warfare at the Cedars of Lebanon Hotel, in Lebanon. They were also trained in parachute operations. The unit went on to serve in the Greek islands (see Battle of Leros), Italy and in Normandy.
  5. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Normandy???? Wow! not much scope for long range "behind Enemy Lines missions" there I'd fancy! Thanks for the info Peter.
  6. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Ooh, that's a good site. I'd forgotten about it, Ta.
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I used to have a great book on G Patrol.
    Unfortunately it went out when I had a book sale when child number two arrived.
    At least I've still got my Vanguards book on the LRDG.
  8. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    very good section about the vickers k mg.yours.lee.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I love this photo, especially as all of them are named.
    Wonder what became of them?

    Description: A posed group portrait of personnel from 'Y' Patrol returning to Kufra after a successful raiding sortie. Back row (left to right): Trooper 'Tankie' Babb ( Tank Corps); Corporal Jack Harris (Somerset Yeomanry); Gunner James D Patch (RA); Sergeant Derek (Hutch) Hutchins (Somerset Yeomanry); Lance Corporal Arthur (Tich) Cave MM (Somerset Yeomanry); Lance Corporal Brian Springford (Somerset Yeomanry); Trooper Kenneth Tinckler (Cheshire Regiment); Craftsman Alf Tighe MM (REME); Trooper 'Jesus' Armstrong (?). Front row (left to right): Private 'Darkie' Devine (Seaforths?); Private John 'Daisy' McKay (Seaforths) ; Trooper F Gordon 'Harry' Harrison (Yorkshire Hussars); Private William 'Jock' Fraser (Seaforths); Trooper L D 'Mickey' Coombs (Somerset Yeomanry?); Trooper Robert Davies (?Yeomanry); Trooper Donald (Bomski) Cashin (Cheshire Yeomanry).

    I love some of the nicknames, Jesus, Tankie, Bombski, Daisy etc
    One chap looks like he should be in Vietnam with his banana , sunglasses & fag.

    GUMALANGI Senior Member

    if i am not mistaken,. this unit occasionally operated with SAS,.. however the SAS used Jeep instead of big chevrolet
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Came across this story whilst Googling "Wiltshire Yeomanry+Tobruk".
    Currently reading their Regt History but this is a rather good story from one of their men who joined the LRDG.
    Titch Story

    Just found this pic too. Click on image for a larger view.
    Anthony Holloway (Titch) Cave - LRDG - Special Forces - Roll Of Honour


    <TABLE class=main_content_table cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Surname:</TD><TD class=main_content>Cave</TD></TR><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Forename:</TD><TD class=main_content>Anthony Holloway (Titch)</TD></TR><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Unit:</TD><TD class=main_content>LRDG Y Patrol</TD></TR><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Rank:</TD><TD class=main_content>Trooper</TD></TR><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Number:</TD><TD class=main_content>555726</TD></TR><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Award:</TD><TD class=main_content>Military Medal,Mention in Despatches</TD></TR><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Place:</TD><TD class=main_content>North Africa 1941</TD></TR><TR><TD class=main_content width="20%">Additional Information:</TD><TD class=main_content>parent unit Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry,R.A.C.
    resided Rode Common,near Bath,Somerset
  13. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Here´s a link to the book Episodes & Studies, volume 1, part of the official Kiwi history in WW2, which contains very interesting info on LRDG ops in North Africa and the Greek islands.

    Episodes & Studies Volume 1 | NZETC

    USCENTMD Junior Member

    I see this thread has been inactive for a while.

    Just thought I'd offer a comment on the LRDG photo. I knew one of the men in the picture, Ken Tinckler (Cheshire Regiment). He and his lovely wife, Jo, and their daughters, Carolyn and Alison, were our neighbors in Hollywood, California in the 1960s. We enjoyed many family get-togethers. Just wonderful people.

    Ken and Jo were very close friends of my parents. I have heard some of his life story, though my knowledge is admittedly imperfect.

    From what I understand, Ken went on to serve in Malaysia. After leaving the service, he was a successful importer of exotic wood from SE Asia. He raised his family in Southern California. He passed away 1-2 years ago.

    My recollections are of a somewhat formal though very engaging man of great presence. We enjoyed his and family's company often. His daughter, Carolyn, was my first "friend" at age two.

    Apologies if I have any details incorrect.
  15. Cracker1

    Cracker1 Junior Member

    Just finished reading a book about the Rhodesian contingent of the LRDG. Very interesting.
  16. bugleboy2323

    bugleboy2323 Senior Member

    Blimey, what a nice site.
    I like the 'kit bag' section particularly.
    Great shot here:
    LRDG Long Range Desert Group The Kit Bag
    Hi von I tried posting a reply on this topic ,but when I pressed send i got a message saying I couldnt,when Ichecked to see if I was logged in , I was. Any idea why I could not post? b/b2323
  17. bugleboy2323

    bugleboy2323 Senior Member

    Hi von I tried posting a reply on this topic ,but when I pressed send i got a message saying I couldnt,when Ichecked to see if I was logged in , I was. Any idea why I could not post? b/b2323
    will do my post this way. I was wondering if the SAS was formed from the LRDG,anyone know .just read this great article on Blair Mayne.SAS Men - Paddy Mayne
  18. Scout Sniper

    Scout Sniper Senior Member

    No, the SAS was not formed from the LRDG.

    After the North African Campaign:

    Long Range Desert Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Post 1943 operations

    In May 1943 the LRDG was sent to Lebanon to retrain in mountain warfare.[73] However, following the Italian armistice in 1943, they were sent to Leros, one of the Dodecanese islands, to serve as normal infantry. They later took part in the Battle of Leros, where the commanding officer John Richard Easonsmith was killed and replaced by David Lloyd Owen.[74] After the battle the last New Zealanders, two officers and approximately 46 men, were withdrawn from the LRDG and returned to their division.[75]

    In December 1943, the LRDG re-organised into two squadrons of eight patrols. Each patrol contained one officer and 10 other ranks. Major Moir Stormonth Darling was given command of the British Squadron and Major Kenneth Henry Lazarus the Rhodesian Squadron. Patrols were then parachuted north of Rome to obtain information about German troop movements, and also carried out raids on the Dalmatian Islands and Corfu.[74][76]

    In August 1944, British Squadron patrols were parachuted into Yugoslavia. One patrol destroyed two 40 feet (12 m) spans of a large railway bridge, which caused widespread disruption to the movement of German troops and supplies. The commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Owen and a team of 36 men were parachuted into Albania in September 1944. Their mission was to follow the German retreat and assist Albanian resistance groups in attacking them.[77] In October 1944, two British Squadron patrols were parachuted into the Florina area of Greece. Here they mined a road used by the retreating Germans, destroying three vehicles and blocking the road. Firing on the stranded convoy from an adjacent hillside, they directed RAF aircraft in to destroy the rest of the convoy.[76]

    After the end of the war in Europe, the leaders of the LRDG made a request to the War Office for the unit to be transferred to the Far East to conduct operations against the Japanese Empire. The request was declined and the LRDG was disbanded in August 1945.[78][79]
  19. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    When the ‘hot’ war broke out in 1940, the Italians declared war, and France collapsed, I took my courage in both hands and sent a note to Wavell. Within half an hour I was sent for and Wavell was alone. He sat me in an armchair and said, ‘Tell me about this.’
    So I told him that we ought to have a mobile ground scouting force to penetrate the desert west of Egypt to see what the Italians were up to. He said, ‘if you find the Italians are doing nothing, what then?’
    Without thinking, I replied, ‘How about some piracy on the high desert?’
    His rather stern face broke into a broad grin, and he said, ‘Can you be ready in six weeks?’
    ‘Yes, provided...’
    ‘Yes’, he replied, ‘I know there will be opposition.’
    He rang his bell. A lieutenant general came in, the chief of staff [Arthur Smith]. Wavell said, ‘Arthur, Bagnold seeks a talisman. Get this typed out and I will sign it straight away.’
    It read, ‘I wish that any request made by Major Bagnold in person shall be met instantly and without question.’
    It was typed and Wavell signed it. I had in mind a reconnaissance force. With the expertise I had, I could take a self-contained force across the desert for thousands of miles.
    Ralph Bagnold.

    From the file WO218/89 held at TNA


    Dispositions in June:

    Group HQ: KUFRA
    A Squadron HQ: SIWA
    G Patrol: SIWA
    Y Patrol: SIWA
    T Patrol: KUFRA
    R Patrol: TAISERBO
    S Patrol: ZIGHEN

    KUFRA 1 June
    2/4 LRDG left KUFRA for WADI HALFA with LRDG Heavy Section (4 White Lorries) to collect stores.

    KUFRA 5 June
    Sudan Defence Force convoy arrived from WADI HALFA bring M/T petrol, spares and rations. 2/Lt. J.Y.C Wigan RASC arrived on posting as Supply Officer KUFRA Garrison. Convoy commanded by Lieut. Morpeth RASC with Lieut. Compton RASC as 2 i/c

    KUFRA 6 June
    Two LRDG WACO aircraft piloted by Lieut. Maté, Free French Airforce and Sgt. Barker LRDG arrived from Cairo, bringing Lt. Col R.A. Bagnold

    KUFRA 9 June
    1. Lt. Col R.A. Bagnold O.C LRDG and KUFRA Garrison, Major R. Harding-Newman GSO2 KUFRA, Captain E.C.T Wilson V.C LRDG and Captain W.B.K Shaw LRDG left for OWENAT to recce water supplies and the Italian route from OWENAT to KUFRA.
    2. Captain Buchanan RE, Garrison Engineer KUFRA left in LRDG vehicle for AIN SARRA to repair the parapet of the well damaged by the Italians and to dig out the well for use in future by Camels coming from FAYA
    Sudan Defence Force Convoy which arrived on 5 June left for Wadi Halfa empty.
    T Patrol left for TAIZERBO to take men from R Patrol and arrived there 11 June.

    KUFRA 12 June
    Party which left for OWENAT on 9 June returned, having discovered the water at AIN DOUA and AIN ZWIYA had not been polluted by the Italians. The water pipe from the well at AIN ZWIYA to the cistern at the foot by the JEBEL was intact. Weather extremely hot.
    R Patrol arrived KUFRA from TAIZERBO having handed over to T Patrol. R Patrol now becomes Garrison Patrol at KUFRA until leave for personnel can be arranged.

    KUFRA 14 June
    Lieut. Maté, F.F Airforce reported seeing fresh aeroplane tracks at RIBIANA L.G. Accordingly Capt. Shaw LRDG Intelligence Officer was flown there by Sgt. Barker in LRDG small WACO aircraft to inspect L.G and talk to inhabitants. The tracks turned out to be old and the inhabitants reported no activity of any sort in a new Oasis.

    ZIGHEN 15 June
    S Patrol reported an “old type” Italian aircraft flew over BIR EL HARASH at 0800 hrs and departed in the direction of TAIZERBO. Patrol fired at it with no apparent effect.

    KUFRA 16 June
    One Valentia aircraft of 216 B squadron RAF arrived from WADI HALFA with Miralai Brown Bey, who is to take over command of KUFRA OASES from Lt. Col Bagnold. Also his 2 i/c Kaimakam Popham, M.S.M Smellie S.D.F, Squadron Leader Smith O.C 237 Squadron RAF and F/Lt Jacklyn RAF. F/Lt Farr was the Valentia Pilot. The party came to discuss arrangements for the take over of KUFRA Garrison from the French by the S.D.F.

    KUFRA 17 June
    Two Lysander of F.F Air force and one LRDG Waco aircraft flew advance party to TAIZERBO and ZIGHEN to obtain an idea of the country. Conference P.M [see Appendices A and B]

    KUFRA 18 June
    Valentia aircraft which arrived 16 June left for WADI HALFA with S/Ldr. Smith and F/Lts Farr and Jacklyn.

    KUFRA 19 June
    Bimbashi Lonsdale of S.D.F Convoy and Doctor Roy S.M.S arrived by truck from WADI HALFA to discuss convoy arrangements for conveying French troops from KUFRA to TECRO and medical requirements for S.D.F Garrison.

    KUFRA 20 June
    Lt. Col R.A Bagnold, Miralai Brown Bey, Bimbashi Lonsdale, Kaimakam Popham Bey and Dr. Roy left by truck and car for WADI HALFA

    KUFRA 22 June
    One S.D.F Convoy under El Sagh Alond Effendi arrived bring MT and aviation petrol.
    One Convoy under 2/Lts Starkey and Beaston RASC arrived with ration load.

    KUFRA 23 June
    Lieut. Maté, F.F Airforce flew to TAIZERBO in an ambulance aircraft to evacuate a sick man of T Patrol
    KUFRA 24 June
    El Sagh Alond Effendi left with his convoy for WADI HALFA empty.
    One Bombay aircraft of 216B Squadron RAF arrived with Lt. Col Baillon (GSO1 Khartoum), Miralai Knott Bey (Q Branch Khartoum), Miralai Brown Bey, F/Lt Farr (Pilot) and Capt. Mackenzie (Gold Coast Regt.). The last named officer has arrived for attachment to LRDG to learn about this work with a view to his forming a similar unit in Nigeria.

    KUFRA 25 June
    Conference re: take over of KUFRA OASES by SDF (See appendix C)
    ZIGHEN 25 June
    S Patrol reported hearing enemy aircraft North of HARASH at 0500 GMT 24 June.
    KUFRA 25 June
    Convoy of LRDG vehicles under Lieut. Heywood LRDG left for ZIGHEN and TAIZERBO
    Bombay aircraft which arrived 24 June left for WADI HALFA with party which came in it.
    Major Prendegast 2 i/c LRDG left for FAYA in two F.F Air Force Lysanders piloted by Lieuts Maté and Dronilth. Major Prendegasts’ visit to FAYA was for the purpose of discussing future operations in conjunction with the Free French forces and of discussing details regarding handover by the French to the SDF at KUFRA.
    Capt. Mackenzie (Gold Coast Regiment) left for attachment to T Patrol at TAIZERBO.

    KUFRA 26 June
    Mac Convoy which arrived June 22 left empty for WADI HALFA.

    KUFRA 27 June
    Two FF Air Force Lysanders with Major Prendegast returned from FAYA.

    KUFRA 28 June
    Lieut. Heywood’s convoy which left on 25 June returned.

    KUFRA 29 June
    One Italian S79 aircraft appeared over KUFRA from the EAST at 10,000ft approx and circled the oases twice and disappeared in a NORTH direction
    1. Another S79 reported WEST of EL GIOF.
    2. Lieut. Ellingham with one troop of T Patrol left TAIZERBO on a recce (see appendix D). Capt. Mackenzie accompanied the party.
    3. An enlarged flight of 237 Sqdn. RAF under F/Lt Jacklyn comprising 4 Gladiators and 4 Lysanders arrived from WADI HALFA guided by F/Lt. Farr in a Bombay.
    4. Captain Wilson VC LRDG left in two vehicles for RIBANA to find out from the inhabitants if the S79 which flew over KUFRA today had landed there.

    KUFRA 30 June
    1. Captain Shaw LRDG and a party of 10 men from R Patrol left in a Bombay Aircraft for CAIRO.
    2. Captain Wilson VC returned reporting no signs of enemy activity at RIBIANA.
    3. Captain Holliman LRDG arrived from CAIRO via KHARGA in 4 trucks.

    (Signed) Prendegast (Major)
    for O.C LRDG
    Andreas likes this.
  20. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    The ranks below are Turkish in origin and were changed to Arabic equivalents when Egypt became a republic in the 1950's after the overthrow of King Farouk. Very few British officers held a rank lower than Bimbashi and those who did were invariably NCO's commissioned whilst serving in the Egyptian Army.

    Commander in Chief = Sirdar
    Lieutenant General = Ferik
    Major General = Lewa
    Brigadier General or Colonel = Miralai
    Lieutenant Colonel = Kaimakam
    Major = Bimbashi
    Adjutant-Major = Saghkolaghhasi
    Captain = Yuzbashi
    Lieutenant = Mulazim Awal
    2nd Lieutenant = Mulazim Tani
    Quartermaster = Solkolaghasi
    British NCO = Mulahiz
    Sergeant Major = Bash Shawish
    Quartermaster Sergeant = Buluk Amin
    Sergeant = Shawish
    Corporal = Ombashi
    Private = Nafar.
    Andreas and Aixman like this.

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