Transcript of Journal - Belgium/France May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by louisaj, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. louisaj

    louisaj Junior Member

    Owen... once again thanks for the info and links.

    Yes, the orders are entitled 22nd Dragoons.

    see attachments - scans of the orders.

    Attached Files:

  2. louisaj

    louisaj Junior Member

    Just looking at the link regarding the locations of the 22nd Dragoons, one of them states Whitby. That's where my nan went to live sometime in 1940 so that makes sense as to why. The pieces are all coming together
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I see on the 9th April 1943 one he gets two mentions, one for birth of his daughter and another saying "Posted from RAC "Y" list on 8.4.43."
    Which confuses me as he was already with the unit but gets posted to it again. (?)

    RAC is Royal Armoured Corps but what was the "Y" list?

    Also I thought I knew most British Army ranks but I'm lost with WS/Sgt and WS/Cpl.

    Louisa the reference to HQ = HQ Squadron of his Regt, the 22 Dgns.
  4. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Also I thought I knew most British Army ranks but I'm lost with WS/Sgt and WS/Cpl.

    I'm not 100% sure but WS might mean War Service, ie conscript not regular army.

  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks Loiusa for allowing the journal to be posted and to Owen for his involvement.

    I always find it interesting to revisit by map or location where the BEF served and their rearguard action back to the Dunkirk perimeter.Recently, I was at Cassel which was one of the rearguard lines to Dunkirk.Not many on the road to the west now in the present era but this now minor road (now bypassed by the A25) must have been packed with the BEF, French Armies and civilians pulling back to the perimeter and under continual attack by the Blitzkrieg.

    Similar interesting accounts are recorded by Army and RAF units heading south west to Cherbourg and St Nazaire.I know of one RAF bod who came out of France at Point de Grave on the Gironde, well after the fall of Dunkirk.

    Indeed a monumental era for the BEF against what was thought at the time, a formidable enemy.
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Louisa, thanks for posting the diaries and orders, I've enjoyed reading them.
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Louisa, I don't think that you're boring any of us. This is what we do for fun (in between other things, of course !) I find this sort of historical detective work fascinating.

    My guess regarding the photograph, based on the 'Promenade Percy' haircuts is that it was taken rather earlier during his first period of Regular Service. He signed on in 1930 and I think at that time that it would have been for seven years with the colours. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong) followed by a period in the Reserve which is why he was called up so quickly at the start of hostilities.

    WS would mean 'War Substantive' - It meant that the rank wouldn't count after the end of the emergency and I believe wouldn't count towards any Army pension either. The grateful country was already planning how it would minimise future expenditure :(

    As Harry says, the short 1940 campaign has left little visible effect on France and Flanders but it was extremely intense. The scale of the movements over such a short period make it difficult to follow but there are evocative place names enough.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I too did wonder if it was War Service but Rich is right.
    I also asked Ron Goldstein and here is his reply.
    I quote from my own Army Record:

    Granted WS rank of Corporal wed 18/10/46 having held the Paid Acting Rank for 90 days.

    I've always understood that the use of a War Substantive rank denoted the lowest rank to which one could be relegated to Post War.
    This was more important to Commissioned Ranks such as a Major who's post war rank might be downgraded to Captain at the whims of the War Office,

    So what was the "Y" list?
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

  10. turenne

    turenne Junior Member

    I've printed this off, Louisa but as Rich says, can we have some more info on Grandad as I'll keep this with my 1940 books.

    I can't find 2/Lt D.G. Atkinson on CWGC so I'm assuming he became a POW?
    Actually Denis Cary Atkinson (1916 - 1985), POW No 1040. Was transferred in 1941 to Posen (Stalag XXID), so had probably already been a POW in Laufen (Oflag VIIC). Ends up in Eichstätt (Oflag VIIB ).
    Owen likes this.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Ref Post 10.



  12. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    If you're still lurking here can I have a full copy of everything? My interest is all 22nd Dragoons.
    I haev spent the last 6 years colltaing everything possible to do with the regiment and this would help fill in some blanks.
    If not is anyone else in direct contact?
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    If you're still lurking here can I have a full copy of everything? My interest is all 22nd Dragoons.
    I haev spent the last 6 years colltaing everything possible to do with the regiment and this would help fill in some blanks.
    If not is anyone else in direct contact?
    Louisa hasn't been on forum since Oct 2007.
    Why not do what I did, copy & paste the diary onto a Word document & print it off?
  14. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    It is interesting to see the refence to Major Craig since he went on to become the first commanding officer of 22nd Dragoons. After he became CO he received a mentioned in Dispatches for his actions in France .
  15. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I am very inetrested in the Part Two Orders and any other documents she has for 22nd Dragoons.
    I would also like her permission for copy the photo from Whitby.
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    OK, I'll email her, hope her email is still in use & ask her to reply.
  17. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    This is a facinating read, thanks to all concerned.

    Couldn't help but notice on the MM citation that it was signed by L-Col L Misa. In July 1942, Lawrence Misa was a Brigadier in command of the 23rd Armoured Brigade who had just arrived in North Afrika. At the 2nd Battle of Ruwiesat Ridge, the Brigade, on its first ever engagement got savaged by the DAK losing 80 of the 87 Valentine tanks. Misa lost his comand and was sent back to Cairo.

    Hope this helps

  18. Golf Bravo

    Golf Bravo Member

    Thoroughly enjoyed going back through this thread. Helped a good deal in putting into context where my man Pte Robert Wallis, 1st OBLI, died.

    However, a couple of points: D Coy, 4 Cheshires diary says they reported to a Major Frink, 4/7 DG with whom they were to hold the R Dendre under command of 5 Bgde. In the original post there is no mention of him with B Squadron, who seemed to be in the thick of the action on 19/05/40. His biog on 4/7 site says he commanded A squadron. There is a note in the Sgt Jones' recollections about the Cheshires. So were two squadrons involved?

    Also the carriers of the OBLI -- also under command of 5 Bgde to defend the canal --
    aren't mentioned.

    Am I being dim? Any help to sort gratefully welcomed.
  19. 4/7 RDG

    4/7 RDG Member

    I am hoping to shortly receive the account of operations of 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in Belgium, May-June 1940 which Andy kindly copied for me at Kew, hopefully it will answer that point - the details I have gathered so far relate mainly to B and C squadrons so I it will be interesting to see A Squadron's dispositions and experiences.

    My notes from the details supplied by the Dragoon Guards museum show Major H R C Frink as CO of A Squadron, but also that there was a major re-organisation of the unit's assets on 25th May after severe losses:

    [FONT=&quot]In the afternoon we were ordered to Le Doulieu about 10 miles East.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]We stayed there for 2 days during which time the Regiment was re-organised as follows:[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]One mounted Squadron under Major Frink joined two Squadrons of the Inniskillings to form a composite Regiment. (The 2 remaining ‘B’ Squadron Troops, 1st (Renton) and 5th (T.S.M. Smith) joined this Squadron)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]The remainder, together with the dismounted parties of the Inniskillings and the 15th/19th Huzzars, formed an embossed Regiment under Major Mullens with Major Byron commanding the 4th/7th Squadron.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]


  20. 4/7 RDG

    4/7 RDG Member

    Just received the records from Andy :biggrin:and there is plenty of excellent detail.

    On 17 May the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards were detailed to hold the Dendre crossings at Ath with 82 A/T battery under command, until the entire 48 Division had safely crossed, plus they were tasked with blowing the bridges (which they seem to have particularly enjoyed).

    All three squadrons of the regiment were placed on the line; on 18th May the regiment was temporarily transferred to 5o Division and instructed to hold the section of the Dendre between Ath and Lessines (12,000 yards). A total of three A/T batteries and the 4th Bn Cheshires (an MG battalion) were to come under command to assist.

    It seems that each squadron of 4th/7th had a company of Cheshires attached, so being told to report to Major Frink of A Sqn makes sense since they held the centre of the line.

    The OBLI and its carriers are not mentioned, presumably holding another section of the line.

    This is Major Frink just before the war:

    Attached Files:

    maximus likes this.

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