WW II, a British focus  



War Diaries

3rd County of London Yeomanry
(3rd Sharpshooters)
Grant Tank

January 1942CO: Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith
Jan 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/1/42 The Regiment moved off at 0800 Northwards to a position approx 10 miles North of ELUET ABDULLA.
2/1/42 Bivouacs erected. The Regiment resting and reorganising.
3 - 6 [no entries]
7/1/42 Regimental Strength - officers 24, ORs 475.
8/1/42 2nd Armd Bde now reported up. The Regiment moved off at first light for ZT. MRASSAS by way of MSUS. The remaining tanks and scout cars handed over at TDS.
9/10 [no entries]
11/1/42 The Regiment arrived at ZT. MRASSAS at 1830.
12 - 15 The Regiment resting and reorganising.
16/1/42 First leave party left in morning.
17 - 22 The Regiment resting.
23/1/42 The Regiment was ordered to form a composite squadron - Major J Vaughan commanding with Capt. CB Wrey second in command.
24 - 26 The Regiment sent further leave parties, remainder resting.
27/1/42 The Regiment left ZT MRASSAS in the afternoon for SIDI HANEISH by the coast road.
28/1/42 Transport descended HALFAYA PASS.
29/1/42 Arrived SIDI HANEISH in late afternoon. Further leave parties.
30/31 The Regiment resting and reorganising.

February 1942 CO: Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith
Feb 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
Regiment resting. Regimental strength - officers 26, ORs 491.
2/2/42 Regiment resting.
3/2/42 Regiment resting.
4/2/42 Regiment resting.
5/2/42 Road party left at 1415 for SIDI BISHR. Arrived EL DAABA at 1700 approx where they remained for the night. Rail party left at 1830.
6/2/42 SIDI BISHRTrain party from SIDI HANEISH arrived at 0430. Road party arrived 1700.
7 & 8 Regiment settling down in SIDI BISHR camp. Leave for all ranks continues.
9/2/42 Training mainly composed of lectures of general interest.
A number of all ranks have remained in the desert with a 'Jock' column.
10/2/42 Capt. O OODS, 2Lt CWA Coulson, 2Lt AJ Wexham joined unit from RAC Base Depot.
11 - 14 Temporary training - lectures.
15/2/42 Squadron training assumed - Dvr Operators, Dvr Mechanics - Gunnery classes commenced.
16/2/42 Squadron training
17/2/42 [no entry]
18 - 23 Squadron training
24 /2/42 [no entry]
25/2/42 Squadron training.
26/2/42 Squadron training. 2Lt RD Hinton (ex hospital) rejoined unit from RAC Base.
27/2/42 Squadron training.
28/2/42 Squadron training. Regimental strength - officers 33, ORs 536.

March 1942 CO: Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith
Mar 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/3/42 [no entry]
Squadron training. Regimental strength - officers 33, ORs 536.
3/3/42 Visit of 22nd Armd Bde personnel to ships of HM Navy - members of the Regiment went to sea on HMS DIDI on exercises.
4/3/42 Squadron training. Visit of GOC BTE Lt General RGWH Stone, DSO MC, who inspected the Garrison area.
5/3/42 Squadron training.
6/3/42 Squadron training.
7/3/42 Exchange of visits with HM Navy who sent personnel to inspect tanks and equipment of the Regiment.
8/3/42 22nd Armd Bde Memorial Service. Visit of CGS MEF who inspected the camp during the morning. In afternoon the interchange of visits with HM Navy was continued.
9 - 11 Squadron training.
12/3/42 Squadron training. Reinforcements joined unit from RAC Base Depot.
13/3/42 Squadron training.
14/3/42 Advance party left by road at 0800 for BENI YUSEF camp.
15/3/42 [no entry]
16 - 19 Squadron training & preparation for move to new area.
20/3/42 Further visits interchanged with HM Navy.
21/3/42 Preparation for move to new area.
22/3/43 [no entry]
23/3/42 Road party left at 0700 for new area - Arrived BENI YUSEF 1700. Tank………..????
24/3/42 BENI YUSEF
Arrival of tank train A
25/3/42 Arrival of tank train B
26/3/42 Maintenance of vehicles after move and preparation of new area.
27/3/42 General maintenance. Regiment in process of settling down in new area.
28/3/42 General maintenance. Regiment in process of settling down in new area.
29/3/42 [no entry]
30/3/42 Squadron training.
31/3/42 Squadron training. Regimental strength - officers 32, ORs 567.

April 1942 CO: Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith
Apr 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/4/42 BENI YUSEFSquadron training. Regimental strength - officers 3, ORs 567.
2/4/42 Squadron training.
3 - 10 Squadron training. During this period one squadron left the permanent camp to train in the neighbouring desert. Preparations, maintenance and equipping of vehicles continued.
11 - 16 Move to desert imminent - preparation for this continues.
17/4/42 Advance party left for desert destination.
18/4/42 Move to desert location in progress.
19 - 24 Rear party left BENI YUSEF, tanks unloaded from railway flats at MERSA MATRUH loaded onto two convoys of transporters - one convoy proceeded to Map Ref 459415 (sheet 3 1/250000) - the other to 465414 arriving 1700 Apr 23rd. On Apr 24th tanks proceeded under own power to Map Ref 470385 where they took up position in open leaguer and to location 475386 on Apr 25th.
25 -29 General maintenance - Regiment static in location 470385
30/4/42 General maintenance. Regimental strength - officers 33, ORs 568.

May 1942 CO: Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith
May 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/5/42 Brigade W/T Scheme 0900 hours. Regimental W/T Scheme 1415 hours.
2/5/42 Regiment moved off at 1500 with A Echelon. Halted at 1630 at B.UAAR. B Echelon arrived at B.UAAR at 1700.
3/5/42 Regiment left B.UAAR at 0800 for firing practice at MR 475370. Firing all day till 1915. Close leaguered on B.UAAR.
4/5/42 Maintenance on guns and tanks at B.UAAR until 1400. Left for B.GIBNI at 1400 with Regimental Battle Practice on route - B Echelon acting as MET. Sandstorm in afternoon which lasted all evening.
5/5/42 Very bad sandstorm all day, no training possible.
6/5/42 Regimental training with Box all day - practised close and open leaguering with Box. Close leaguered at 2000 hours.
7/5/42 Routine work and maintenance in the morning. Regiment moved off at 1415 on 2 legs of 4 miles each with Box. Battle practice of Cruisers and Box versus Grants at 1530. Close leaguered near GABR TAIEB EL ESEM 467859.
8/5/42 Regiment opened out in front of Box. Regimental scheme all day - A Echelon acted as Recce screen in approach march. Scheme in afternoon practising attack with Box in various formations.
9/5/42 Regimental SA firing practices at 476376 in morning until 1400. Approach march back to 469385. Grants equipped today with very effective lorryhoods.
10/5/42 Maintenance and routine. Regimental trial refilling party. First lorry out at 1000 - last lorry back 1035.
11/5/42 Maintenance and routine.
12/5/42 Maintenance and routine.
13/5/42 Routine.
14/5/42 Routine. - conference at Brigade with all Brigade Group Officers.
15/5/42 Regiment moved off at 0800. Battle Formation 1. A Echelon behind Box. Route EL HAIAT B.576 to B.402. A Echelon leaguered first then tanks closed round Box in separate leaguer.
Practice night march of 3 miles.
16/5/42 Regiment moved off at 0800 for scheme practising Brigade battle positions. Route B.461 - B.512. Brigade took up Battle Position 3. Regiment moved back at 1400 to 402399 - joined by A Echelon - moved to 389403 the latter now our permanent position.
17/5/42 Maintenance and routine.
18/5/42 Maintenance and routine.
19/5/42 Maintenance and routine. - Recce of new area.
20/5/42 Maintenance and routine.
21/5/42 Routine - continuing digging in vehicles.
22/5/42 All vehicles dug in - Regiment moved at 1400 Trigh BIR HACHEIM 378408 in Formation 3.
23/5/42 Settling in new area - routine and maintenance.
24/5/42 Stand-to 0545 - 0645 hours. LOB party and all B2 vehicles sent back.
25/5/42 Maintenance and routine.
26/5/42 Moved at 1100 to battle positions A and or B on Trigh BIR HACHEIM 378409. Parachute flares dropped due South during evening.
26/5/42 Regiment in leaguer in the area 171 NADURET EL CHESCEUASC 388404. Orders were received to move with the remainder of the 22nd Armd Brigade to the area of the grave 185 381408 where the Brigade formation was 3rd CLY (right), 4th CLY (centre) 2nd RGH (left), facing West. Regimental mixed columns remained under commands of Regiments. Under command 3rd CLY were one battery SNH (107th RHA), one Coy 50th Recce Bn and a detachment of sappers. This move was completed by 1330 26 May. Wireless touch with Brigade was maintained throughout the afternoon and though movement of small packets of enemy soft vehicles in the area ROTUNDA SEGNALI (Map Ref 1/250000 EGYPT & CYRENAICA sheet 2 ref 6054) were reported, these were thought to be routine replenishment echelons and no reports of major enemy movements were received. The night 26/27 May was quiet.
27/5/42 Stand to from first light. No reports of enemy movement until 0800, when air-burst shelling was observed on the 2nd RGH position to the South of the Brigade leaguer. 2nd RGH reported that they were engaged by enemy artillery which appeared to have approached from the direction of BIR EL HARMAT. Shortly afterwards 2nd RGH reported enemy column of unknown strength disposed along TRIGH BIR HACHEIM, its head at approx 377407 extending down the TRIGH towards BIR EL HARMAT. The Brigade was ordered to swing so as to face South - 2nd RGH on the right with 4th CLY on their left. 3rd CLY was ordered to move with its mixed column Southeast to approx 383405 and thence to swing West to advance on BIR EL HARMAT and to engage the enemy's flank. After moving two miles the mixed column came under heavy shellfire, and 3rd CLY was ordered to detach the column which then came under direct command of HQ 22nd Armd Brigade. This was done and by about 0915 B Squadron (the Grant Squadron) was engaging the enemy with HE in the area BIR EL HARMAT at about 4000 yards. 2nd RGH about this time reported being heavily engaged by enemy tanks, and 3rd CLY was ordered to withdraw North and make contact with the left flank of 4th CLY. 3rd CLY rallied and began the withdrawal and had reached the area 380404 when enemy tanks were observed in pursuit, some 2000 yards away. The first report was of fourteen Mark IIIs and this report was passed to Brigade HQ, who ordered the Regiment to ignore the enemy tanks and to make contact with 4th CLY at the earliest possible moment. However, owing to the slowness of the Grants, the enemy tanks began to overhaul 3rd CLY. By this time some fifty Mark IIIs had been reported and these were in hot pursuit. When the enemy had closed to 1000 yards, Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith gave the order "Stand and fight." and the Regiment faced about and engaged the enemy. The ensuing action lasted for about 20 minutes. B Squadron (Grants) claimed twelve enemy tanks knocked out and the Crusader Squadrons, between them, claimed five. Our losses were five Grants destroyed and eight Crusaders out of action. The enemy broke off the action and withdrew slightly. The action was reported to Brigade HQ, who ordered 3rd CLY to continue their withdrawal and at about 1100 contact was made with 4th CLY. The enemy had not continued his pursuit.For the remainder of 27 May, 22 Armd Brigade lined the ridge South of BIR BELLEFAA 385410 to 387409, facing Southwest. 3rd CLY was on the left. The enemy patrolled forward at about 1500 hours though not in force. At about this time 3rd CLY made contact with 9th Lancers on the right of 2nd Armd Brigade who had moved West from their position Southwest of EL ADEM. The remainder of the day was quiet until about 2000 hours when an enemy tank force was reported in the area 384412. 22nd Armd Brigade was sent to deal with it and with their left flank on the KNIGHTSBRIDGE Box, 3rd CLY engaged the enemy until last light. Casualties in Personnel.
OfficersCapt WJP Goodbody(died of wounds)
 Major JN Vaughan-wounded
 Capt HM Matthews-wounded
 Lt R Hinton-POW
 Lt AJ Wexham-POW (subsequently escaped)
ORs Tpr Campbell G-Killed
 Tpr Moseley EV-Killed
Wounded:-Cpl Allsop FJTpr Moffat EH
 Tpr Hooker JATpr Penny KR
 Cpl Arthur WGTpr Peters SS
 Tpr Allen RTTpr Bailey E
 L/Cpl Brown JATpr Chambers
 Sgt Larkman AHSgt Prince JC
 Sgt Shellum RHTpr Dillman H
 Tpr Jaggard GHTpr Price F
 Tpr Walker WBTpr Wright HM
Missing - believed wounded and POWTpr Irvine J, Tpr Lawson T.
Missing - believed POWTpr Arnold JB, Tpr Fitzgerald J, Tpr Lintill HV.
Missing -Tpr Herbert N, Cpl Howarth TA, Tpr Quaife SM, Tpr Stewart T.
POW - since escaped and rejoined unitTpr Tickell TJ.
28/5/42 3rd CLY was in reserve in the area of BIR BELLEFAA 385410 throughout the day. The Grant squadron shelled enemy tanks as they came out of action with baled out crews after being engaged by 2nd Armd Brigade in the area 387405, No enemy vehicles were claimed damaged and no casualties suffered by 3rd CLY.
29/5/42 At first light 3rd CLY opened leaguer in the are 167 385410. At about 0900 orders were received from Brigadier WG Carr DSC, (Comd 22nd Armd Brigade) to move with all speed to BIR EL HARMAT to engage an enemy column reported on TRIGH BIR HACHEIM. On reaching the area 382408 fresh orders were received. 2nd Armd Brigade were engaged with the enemy on a line 383411 to 379409. The enemy was attacking them from the Northwest with tanks. 3rd CLY was ordered to change direction right and fill the gap between the Guards Brigade Box and the right of 10th Hussars. Accordingly 3rd CLY took up position facing North in the area 383412, in time to repel an attack from the North by German Mark IIIs and Mark IVs. A dust storm blew up and throughout the day bad observation prohibited any major engagement. A Squadron Crusaders engaged German Mark IIIs and claimed 4 destroyed. About 1400 hours a Tac/R report was passed to RHQ from Brigade HQ of a column of MET 20 miles long, its head at BIR EL HARMAT, moving North by the TRIGH BIR HACHEIM. This was thought to be the 90th Light Division. Major General Herbert Lumsden DSO MC, then issued the following Order of the Day: "This is the most important battle of the war so far". Information was then received that the 4th Armd Brigade was coming to assist the 2nd and 22nd Armd Brigades, and orders were given by 22nd Armd Brigade to hang on at any cost. Shortly before last light the enemy was again engaged and one Mark IV destroyed. At last light 4th Armd Brigade was seen moving West towards BIR EL HARMAT.The Regiment did not close leaguer but, under orders from Brigade, remained deployed facing Northwest, bridging the gap between the Guards Brigade Box and the right of 2nd Armd Brigade.
Killed-Sgt Burrows AT
 -Tpr Leggett RA
Wounded-Tpr Davies JM
30/5/42 3rd CLY was put under command of 2nd Armd Brigade with orders to make contact with the 9th Lancers in the area 381411. The enemy was reported to be withdrawing West through the mine marsh, and orders were to maintain contact. In the morning an attack was put in by the 2nd Armd Brigade with 3rd CLY on the right under cover of smoke, against enemy tanks on the ridge 377412. 3rd CLY was ordered to withdraw. A further attack was made in the late afternoon under smoke provided by the 25pdrs under command of 2nd Armd Brigade. 3rd CLY went wide round the right flank but this attack was also abortive owing to the fact that targets were obscured by the smoke and orders were received to rally. 3rd CLY leaguered in the area 380411. There was a Stuka raid at last light.

June 1942 CO: Lt. Col AP Grafftey-Smith
Jun 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/6/42 Throughout the morning our role was similar to that of the previous day and again no action took place. Orders were received for the remaining troop of Grants under 2Lt PA Whorlow to come under command of 4th CLY. At about midday orders were received to form a composite Squadron from the remaining Crusaders in the Regiment, and this party, under command of Major GGL WILLIS DSO moved to the area BIR EL ASLAGH 377409 with orders to keep under observation the 26 enemy tanks at 373411. This Squadron now reverted to command of HQ 22nd Armoured Brigade. The ridge running south-east from BIR ET TAMAR was now known to be strongly held by enemy anti-tank guns and Major Willis's orders were to keep the enemy under observation, but on no account to lose any tanks. The composite Squadron commanded by Major GGL Willis, DSO consisted of 12 tanks commanded by the following officers:-
Major Willis, Major Buxton, Capts. Wrey, Caunce & Aitken, Lt JM Hiddleston.
2/6/42 Role similar to that of the previous day. Severe dust storm. No action.
3/6/42 Composite Squadron withdrawn to the area 383408 where the remainder of the Regiment had spent the previous two days re-fitting. The Regiment reformed.
4/6/42 Refitting. At 1600 hours, orders were given out by Brigadier WG Carr, DSO for an attack on 5 June, in conjunction with Infantry, against the 'Cauldron'. The barrage by RHA was to lift at 0300 hours 5 June and the Infantry were to secure the ridge at BIR ET TAMAR by first light 5 June. The 22nd Armoured Brigade with 2nd RGH (leading), 4th CLY (right), 3rd CLY (left), to move from the area 185 381408 at first light on the 5th June, through the Infantry holding the BIR ET TAMAR ridge and exploit towards SIDI MUFTAH 365412.
5/6/42 3rd CLY moved at first light as ordered. Thick mist, visibility about 100 yards. 22nd Armoured Brigade moved through the Infantry holding TAMAR RIDGE and advanced on SIDI MUFTAH. Rear link of the leading Regiment (2nd RGH) broke down and contact was lost. 4th CLY reported being in action against enemy tanks at 369412. 3rd CLY, 2nd RGH, 4th CLY ordered by Brigade to rally in the area 377412. Throughout the day 3rd CLY engaged enemy tanks and guns in the area 370411. Towards last light the enemy attacked in strength and 22nd Armoured Brigade with 3rd CLY (right), 2nd RGH (centre) and 4th CLY (left) was ordered to withdraw to ridge 379412 and to protect the Brigade 'Box' which was deployed in the area 381411. Orders were to hold this ridge at any cost. All enemy attacks were repulsed and the enemy withdrew. 3rd CLY leaguered in the area 381410.
Casualties:- Officers --Capt. RF Gale (wounded)
 ORs killed-Sgt Humphrey RSW
  -Cpl Classborrow
  -Tpr Dressel FG
 wounded-Tpr Braithwaite JC
  -Tpr Stilwell JK
  -Cpl Whorlow SM
  -WO2 Jones RL
 missing-Sgt Thomson AJT
  -Cpl Harding L
  -Cpl Lutman JW
  -Tpr Aldred A
  -Tpr Bourn CJT
  -Tpr Holness AG
  -Tpr Kenyon VT
  -Tpr Ross DG
6/6/42 3rd CLY deployed facing West at first light and reported enemy tanks and guns in the area 377410. Orders were received to engage these tanks and this was promptly countermanded as a result of a report of 100 enemy tanks advancing North from area 385403, apparently directed on BIR BELLEFAA. The fresh orders were to move at once due East skirting the Southern boundary of the Guards Brigade Box and to hold the ridge running south-east from BIR BELLEFAA. On reaching the area 388410, 3rd CLY was engaged by 88 mms from the flank, apparently sited in the area 386408, five tanks were knocked out, but the remainder reached the ridge where 4th Armoured Brigade were already in position and 3rd CLY were withdrawn into reserve. HQ 22 Armoured Brigade ordered to come under command 4th CLY. The enemy did not press home his attack and at mid-day 3rd CLY was ordered to patrol South of the ridge. Patrols reported 'no movement seen' as far South as 386406 and they were then ordered to return. From 1500 hours the Brigade Box still deployed West of the Guards Brigade Box, reported that they were heavily engaged by enemy tanks and Infantry and that they were running short of 25 pounder ammunition. Accordingly Brigadier WG Carr DSO ordered 3rd CLY to provide an escort of three Crusaders to accompany a column of 15 ammunition lorries which was to move through the KNIGHTSBRIDGE BOX to its Western edge and then to make a dash due West across the two mile gap which separated the 22nd Armoured Brigade Box from the Guards Brigade Box. Lt JM Hiddleston, 2Lt WH Sale, 2Lt TP Gregory, were the commanders of the 3 tanks. The column left the KNIGHTSBRIDGE BOX as ordered and was engaged from the flank by anti-tank gunfire and HE shelling. All 3 tanks and 11 lorries were knocked out. It was learned, subsequently, that 4 lorries did in fact reach the Box, which was almost immediately afterwards overrun by the enemy.


Officers- 2LT TP Gregory (wounded),
 LT JM Hiddleston (missing)
ORs Missing- Tpr Barber F,
  Tpr French CMA,
 Tpr Warrington RW
 - Tpr Sloan IJ,
 Tpr Smallshaw W,
 Tpr Rutherford JA,
Wounded- Cpl Crews JN,
  Tpr Mannington D.
7/6/42 The Regiment less the remaining 3 Grants, which remained under command 4th CLY, as a troop under SSM EJ Grimwade, was ordered to move to Tank Delivery Squadron, then in the area 420408. Here the Regiment re-fitted with Crusaders.
8/6/42 Capt. SL Buxton, with two Squadrons of Crusaders, was sent forward from TDS and came under the direct command of HQ 22nd Armoured Brigade.
9/6/42 Major AW Grant, MC, left TDS with 2 Grants and joined the 3 Grants under command 4th CLY.
10/6/42 Refitting.
11/6/42 10 Crusaders, including RHQ and a further half Squadron were ordered to move from TDS to the new location of 22nd Armoured Brigade in the area ELUET ET TAMAR 375485. This party arrived about 1400 hours and assumed command of Capt. Buxton's party of 8 tanks, which until then, had been providing protection for the Brigade HQ. At last light orders were received to move to 385412 and to take up position on the BELLEFAA ridge facing South. An enemy armoured attack was expected from the South and all tanks were to be on the alert throughout the night.
12/6/42 At first light enemy tanks were seen in the area 381409, but orders were given by 22nd Armoured Brigade that we were not to leave the ridge. About midday Capt. SL Buxton was ordered to carry out a reconnaissance due South from the ridge and to investigate a report of an enemy column in the area 171 388405. He reported 'no movement seen' and Brigadier WG Carr, DSO, ordered him to remain where he was and await the arrival of a Squadron of the 4th Hussars (Grants), which had been given a special task. Capt. Buxton met this party which was subsequently caught by a large number of Italian tanks and destroyed. Capt. Buxton and his crew were taken prisoner, but escaped the following day. At about 1700 hours the enemy tanks previously seen at 381409 began to move East and 10 Mark IIIs attacked 3rd CLYs position on the BELLEFAA ridge. The attack was beaten off and the enemy withdrew. The Regiment was again ordered to remain deployed throughout the night. The Regiment's Grants still under command of 4th CLY had also been in action just before last light. They were then in the area 388409 when 40 enemy tanks attacked. The 3rd CLY Grants claimed 6 enemy tanks for the loss of 2.


Killed-Cpl Southwell WW,
 -Tpr Clarke R.
Wounded-Tpr Rogers GA
 -Tpr Matthews FWR
 -Tpr O'Neill RP
13/6/42 At first light enemy tanks again attacked and succeeded in outflanking all the armour on the BELLEFAA ridge. The enemy tanks then swung north-west and began to make for the gap between the north-east corner of the KNIGHTSBRIDGE BOX and HAGIAG ER RAMEL 387416. The Regiments on the left of 3rd CLY were ordered to fall back to fill the gap, and, when this was completed, 3rd CLY pivoting on the KNIGHTSBRIDGE BOX, swung to face East. The enemy attack did not develop until after last light and in the meantime information was received that the Guard's Box was to be evacuated between last light 13 June and 0300 hours 14 June. All the armour was to remain in position throughout the night and the Guard's Box line of withdrawal, from the Guard's Box to 383417 was to be protected at any cost. The enemy in the BELLEFAA valley attacked between the Guard's Box and HAGIAG ER RAMEL at about 2330 hours. It was a very black night and from the trace of the AP shot and small arms fire, the enemy appeared to be shooting on fixed lines. The attack lasted about 30 minutes and was not pressed home.


Officers Killed Lt AW Henderson
ORs wounded Tpr White FJ
14/6/42 The 6 remaining Crusaders, commanders, Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith, Major GGL Willis, DSO, Capts. JG Caunce, CB Wrey, AL Murray, Lt JL Aitken, withdrew under orders from 22nd Armoured Brigade at first light, to the area 386425, where they were to cover the withdrawal of guns and soft vehicles to the ACROMA BOX. The enemy attacked with 10 Mark IIIs and in the ensuing battle 1 Crusader was put out of action. 22nd Armoured Brigade ordered the remaining 5 to continue a fighting withdrawal to the ACROMA BOX. The box was reached at about 1100 hours and the enemy broke off his attack.
1300 hours: the remnants of 22nd Armoured Brigade rallied a 1st Armoured Div HQ. Major GGL Willis, DSO, was ordered to assume command of a composite Squadron to be formed from the remaining tanks of the Brigade and this Squadron was to be Divisional Reserve, It was composed of Squadron HQ (Major GGL Willis, DSO, Capts. JG Caunce, AL Murray, Lt JL Aitken) and 4 troops, each of 3 Crusaders, under 2Lts WHJ Sale, 3rd CLY and Lts. AE Smith, Murray-Gladstone, Pearce of 4th CLY. The remainder of 22nd Armoured Brigade including 3rd CLY was withdrawn to SOLLUM. The reserve Squadron was put under command of 2nd Armoured Brigade and ordered to assist them in the area 376429, where an enemy tank attack was developing from ELUET ET TAMAR. Contact with 2nd Armoured Brigade was made at about 1800 hours and after a short engagement, 2nd Armoured Brigade rallied at 378432. At first light the reserve Squadron was ordered to revert to Divisional command and moved to the ACROMA BOX. There orders were received to march by night through the TOBRUK perimeter, to the area BEL HAMED 432413.
Casualties:- Tpr Thorne SE (killed).
15/6/42 The reserve Squadron arrived at BEL HAMED at 1000 hours and was there ordered to come under command of 4th Armoured Brigade, then in that area. At 1900 hours, orders were given out by Brigadier RICHARDS.
Own Troops: The escarpment at BEL HAMED and SIDI REZEGH were held by anti-tank guns and Infantry.
Enemy: Mixed columns, including armour, had been reported South of the escarpment at SIDI REZEGH at 1700 hours.
4th Armoured BDE was to engage the enemy in that area on 16th June. Orders were to move at 0800 hours, 16th June, making a wide sweep East and South and taking up a battle position facing North in the area 435400, overlooking the SIDI REZEGH landing ground.
A troop of 4 Hussars (3 Gen. Stuarts under Lts Ogier and Beachcroft) came under command of Major GGL Willis, DSO.
16/6/42 Composite Squadron moved with 4th Armoured Brigade as ordered and arrived in position at 1500 hours. 4th Armoured Brigade, with the composite Squadron in reserve, fought a short action against a small number of enemy tanks in the area of SIDI REZEGH landing ground shortly before last light.
17/6/42 4th Armoured Brigade joined by 9th Lancers; composite Squadron under command of 9th Lancers. No enemy movements seen until 1500 hours when a large enemy column headed by 20 Mark IIIs moved East down the SIDI REZEGH valley. When first seen its head was at 420405. 9th Lancers and composite Squadron took up positions facing North, overlooking the air landing ground and engaged the enemy when he came within range. The enemy was taken by surprise, but deployed and moved South across the SIDI REZEGH landing ground and attacked frontally. 4th Armoured Brigade reported that they were in action some 2,000 yards to the left rear of 9th Lancers, and Brigadier Richards ordered 9th Lancers and composite Squadron to fall back and make contact with the right flank of the remainder of 4th Armoured Brigade. The enemy then attacked in force and a further withdrawal was ordered to BIR EL HAIAT 459383. The enemy broke off the pursuit at last light, and 4th Armoured Brigade leaguered in the area BEL EL HAIAT.
Major General H Lumsden, DSO, MC, and Brigadier WG Carr, DSO, visited the Regiment at SOLLUM. Major General H Lumsden, DSO, MC, congratulated the Regiment on its fighting and Brigadier WG Carr, DSO, read out a telegram from the 201st Guards Brigade, thanking the Regiment for covering their withdrawal from KNIGHTSBRIDGE BOX.
18/6/42 At first light, a further move was made to approximate area 468352, where composite Squadron was ordered to hand over its remaining tanks to 9th Lancers and to rejoin the remainder of 3rd CLY then refitting at Railhead, (MISHEIFA).
19/6/42 Major GGL Willis, DSO, and crews of the composite Squadron made contact with remainder of 3rd CLY at BIR ENBA.
20/6/42 'B' Echelon left Desert Railhead (MISHEIFA) moved to SIDI SHITUS 691356 (2nd Armoured Brigade location).Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith with remaining tanks was left, under command 10th Hussars at BIR ENBA.
30/6/42 Resting. Contact made with Brigade HQ and with Major Dickens's party. 6 Grants and 2 Crusaders joined Brigade as protection troops and went to 882274.

July 1942 CO Lt Col RN Harding-Newman
Jul 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/7/42 Resting, in area 878281
2/7/42 Regiment went back to B Echelon about 8 miles South of EL HAMMAN railway station. 4 Crusaders under 2Lt WHJ Sale attached to 4th CLY.
3/7/42 Move 2 miles North.
4/7/42 Return to AMIRIYA to refit.
5/7/42 Refitting.
6/7/42 Crusaders go up.
7/7/42 Grants go up. The Regiment came under command of 2nd Armoured Brigade, together with 1st/6th Royal Tanks and 5th Royal Tanks. Leaguer about trig point 102 428883. Wallforce was to our front in the RUWEISAT area facing North. The New Zealanders were about the QUARET EL ABD 868270. A forward patrol was maintained by one Crusader troop.
8/7/42 No change.
9/7/42 No change.
10/7/42 Move forward to DEIR EL HIMA grave at 891274.. At 1900 hours 8 enemy tanks which had been under observation of our forward patrol approached Point 93 881269 from the West. B Squadron moved up and shelled them at long range but without observable effect as the light was very bad. The enemy tanks withdrew. The Regiment leaguered at the grave.
11/7/42 The Regiment moved forward to Point 93 - "The Pimple" - with 5th Tanks on right and slightly to rear. B Squadron took up a hull down position facing North about 1000 yards in advance of the ridge running East and West, the highest point of which is Point 93. 'A' Squadron was placed along the Western edge of the ridge facing North and West. C Squadron was responsible for South flank protection. At approximately 0800 hours a force of enemy tanks advanced from the North and engaged at a distance of over 2000 yards from the crest. There appeared to be about 20 enemy tanks to our front and these were supported by A/T guns including some 88mm. The 5th Tanks on our right were also engaged by enemy tanks. After about an hour B Squadron was compelled to withdraw on to the Point 93 ridge but the enemy did not follow up. Troopers McCrae and Dewy were wounded through bolts flung loose after direct hits on the Grants. We knocked out 3 enemy tanks. The enemy made no further attack but the positions at Point 93 were subjected to very heavy continuous shelling during the afternoon and evening. Major General H Lumsden, DSO MC came personally on to the ridge to observe the progress of the action. During this time the New Zealand artillery were moved up in our rear.
At 1830 hours two battalions of New Zealanders debussed in our rear and made a determined advance under heavy shellfire round our right flank where they dug in under full observation of the enemy. B Squadron was moved up to give them support in case they were attacked by enemy armour but no such attack developed. We leaguered 5 miles in rear of Point 93. There was considerable shelling all round the leaguer but nothing fell actually in it.
12/7/42 Back to Point 93. Little activity.
13/7/42 The Regiment moved back to its positions of the day before. The Enemy had withdrawn to the North but continued to shell at long range. At 1000 hours it [The Regiment?] was moved North to a position in rear of the South Africans who were at ABAR EL MUKHEISIN 8728. Their support was not required and they [The Regiment?] leaguered there the night.
Tank state:-     7 Grants, 25 Crusaders.
14/7/42 In the morning the Regiment moved some miles South. At 1700 hours it again moved South to Point 93 ridge. The action was broken off and the Regiment leaguered 2 miles in rear of Point 93.
15/7/42 The Regiment returned to Point 93 and took up position as follows:-
    C Squadron on forward patrol on the Western edge of the ridge;
    B Squadron - now 1 Crusader and 6 Grants - in line facing West on the forward slope in front of Point 93 with orders to hold it at all costs.
    A Squadron on the parallel ridge about 1500 yards to the South, patrolling forward. The Royal Scots Greys were in support, to the left rear, this being their first day in action as an Armoured Regiment. 6 German Mark IV tanks appeared almost immediately at 4000 yards at the Western end of the valley between the two ridges and began to advance, keeping hull down and constantly changing position. They exchanged fire with B Squadron and simultaneously a heavy concentration of 105mm and larger calibre was put down on B Squadron, which withdrew after 20 minutes to a hull down position 100 yards in the rear of Point 93. A Lee tank received a direct hit with HE through the sponson and blew up. Tprs Russell, Wadsworth and Stephans of 'B' were killed. The enemy tanks did not come on, but vehicles were observed at two points descending the limestone cliffs from the direction of the QUARET EL ABD in a continuous stream, while bodies of enemy infantry and artillery could be seen moving round to the South on foot and in vehicles. All these were constantly engaged by our artillery and did not succeed in making any progress. Tanks and artillery Ops worked together particularly well. 2Lt WH Sale of A Squadron, patrolling forward, destroyed an enemy anti-tank gun and captured another, together with 3 soldiers of 104 Lorried Infantry Regiment. Stuka raid in evening. Leaguered 3 miles in rear of Point 93.
The following were killed in the Echelon:-
    Sgt Binnie GE, Sigm Allan, Sigm Peel G.
16/7/42 C Squadron continued in observation forward (West) of Point 93. A and B Squadrons rested in positions of instant readiness. There was little activity during the day, except for long range artillery fire and dive-bombing. Royal Scots Greys took over defence of Point 93.
At 1600 hours the Regiment moved 2 miles up the ALAMEIN track where it halted South of the New Zealand positions and enemy minefield. Lt General Gott, GOC 30 Corps and Major General H Lumsden, DSO, MC, arrived and had a conference with Lt Col RN Harding-Newman after which the Regiment (which had previously reverted to 22nd Armoured Brigade) came under command 2nd Armoured Brigade and was ordered forthwith to support 5th RTR who were reported to be hard pressed between the minefield and the RUWEISAT ridge. B Squadron (1 Cruiser, 5 Grants) went up the track through the minefield and on debauching faced left (West) coming into line on the left flank of 5th RTR at 881277. Shelling, both field artillery and 88mm, was intense. In front was a mass of vehicles and tanks, mostly derelict. It was difficult to pick out the live tanks as the light was failing. A and C Squadrons had to re-net owing to the change of command, and were still doing so as they moved to the attack. They advanced in line through the minefield, 2 Crusaders having their tracks blown off, deployed and engaged the enemy tanks in their right flank. Meanwhile the fire increased in intensity from our right (North) flank, and 'A' and 'C' rallied and moved round behind the Grant line on to the RUWEISAT ridge. Lt Col RN Harding-Newman was hit in the head by a flying splinter and Major GGL Willis, DSO, assumed command of the Regiment, rallying it at last light and leading it back through the minefield to leaguer.
17/7/42 Return to previous night's position; 'A' and 'C' on the RUWEISAT ridge facing North and West, B Squadron, 5th RTR and Indian Infantry lining the valley between the ridge and the minefield, facing West along Grid Easting 88. At first light 6 Mark IIIs were seen advancing among the derelicts and 2 were knocked out. During the rest of the day there was continuous artillery, air and small arms activity, but neither side changed positions. A Squadron destroyed a Hieinkel 110.
Leaguered South of minefield.
18/7/42 Handed over tanks to 4th RTR and moved to A Echelon. A Squadron and a few crews of C Squadron under command 3rd/5th RTR.
19/7/42 A Echelon and dismounted crews moved up the C track to B Echelon South of HAMMAM Railway station.
20/7/42 Regiment withdrawn to Mareopolis.
21/7/42 RHQ, C Squadron and HQ Squadron (Echelon) moved up to front again, leaving B Squadron at Mareopolis to be equipped with Crusaders.
22/7/42 Remained in open Leaguer awaiting orders.
23/7/42 RHQ and 'C' under command of Major GGL Willis, DSO moved at 1430 hours with orders to report to HQ 22nd Armoured Brigade in the area 883268 and thence to 880270 where A Squadron returned to the Regiment from 3/5 Tanks at last light with 5 tanks.
24/7/42 Static. Patrols sent forward. No movement seen.
25/7/42 Static. Major A Barclay, Queens Bays, took over command 3rd CLY in the absence of Lt Col Harding-Newman.
26/7/42 Patrols sent forward. No action took place.
27-31 Regiment less B Squadron remained static in the area 883272.
Maintenance and patrols. No action. B Squadron moved up to LRS at 458898 and refitted with Cruisers.

August 1942 CO Lt Col RN Harding-Newman MC
Aug 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/8/42 The Regiment spent the day in open Leaguer near Point 93. Maintenance of vehicles was carried out.
2/8/42 RHQ and A Squadron left area Pt 93 en route for MAREOPOLIS - leaguer 3 miles East of EL HAMMAM. C Squadron remained with 4th CLY Composite Regiment at Pt 93.
3/8/42 RHQ and A Squadron rejoined B Squadron at Mareopolis.
4/8/42 Resting and maintenance RHQ, A, B Squadrons.
5/8/42 The Regiment moved to SIDI BISHR and were joined by a detachment of 30 US Army ORs (7 tank crews).
6/8/42 SIDI BISHR - resting.
7/8/42 During the morning a warning order to move was received and the Regiment prepared to move forward.
8/8/42 RHQ & A Squadron remained at SIDI BISHR - B Squadron moved forward from SIDI BISHR to TDR.
9/8/42 RHQ, A Squadron SIDI BISHR - B Squadron were filmed by Army Photographic Unit with attached Americans. B Squadron en route for TDR.
10/8/42 RHQ left SIDI BISHR to join B Squadron at TDR - A Squadron remained at SIDI BISHR and C Squadron were still with 4th CLY Composite Regiment.
11/8/42 A & B Echelons left SIDI BISHR to join RHQ and B at TDR. B Squadron had by now reached EL HAMMAM.
12/8/42 RHQ arrived at B Echelon during the afternoon - and B Squadron 3rd CLR were ordered to join 22nd Armoured Brigade.
13/8/42 RHQ 3rd CLY joined C Squadron 3rd CLY with 4th CLY and were formed into a Composite Regiment under command Major GGL Willis, DSO, at 432684. The position of the Regiment was then as follows:-
RHQ & C Squadron3rd/4th CLY Composite Regiment
B Squadron22nd Armoured Brigade
A & B Echelons3rd/4th CLY Composite Regiment
14/8/42 Static at SAMAKET GABALLA area.
15/8/42 Code word to stand-to was received but was cancelled shortly afterward.
16/8/42 Static - routine maintenance etc.
17/8/42 C Squadron 4th CLY commanded by Major The Viscount Cranleigh, MC, were sent to EL MAGHRA - 8823 to recce positions and as a precaution against an enemy outflanking movement. Remainder at SAMAKET GABALLA - during this period recces of the area were carried out - minefields were recced and battle positions worked out.
18/8/42 Static - routine.
19/8/42 Static - routine.
20/8/42 It was learned during the morning that the Prime Minister was visiting troops in the desert and one officer and six ORs were sent from the Regiment to meet him. C Squadron 4th CLY returned from QARET SOMARA.
21/8/42 Static at 432864.
22/8/42 RHQ tanks to be replaced - static.
23/8/42 RHQ tanks handed over - static.
24/8/42 New tanks arrive - static. During this period a great deal of mechanical trouble was experienced with the 2pdr Crusaders due to fan chain - oil leaks and water pump troubles.
25 - 30 Static at 432864. Further battle positions were recced as it was thought that the Germans would attack in the near future - the moon being favourable and concentrations observed by air reconnaissance.
30/8/42 Area SAMAKET GABALLA 432863. About midnight the Codeword "Gamebirds" was received.
31/8/42 3rd CLY under command Major GGL Willis, DSO, moved at first light to area 425866, C Squadron 4th CLY (right) commander Major Viscount Cranleigh, MC, C Squadron 3rd CLY (left) commander Major SL Buxton, MC, with orders to delay the advance of any enemy tanks which might succeed in penetrating the minefield. After the withdrawal by 1st KRRC Group to SAMAKET GABALLA, 3rd CLY was to fight a rearguard and then fall back to 129 431963. The enemy tanks broke through the minefield in force at about 1300 hours, some striking north-east towards DEIR EL RAGIL where 100 were counted. A force of about 25 attacked 3rd CLYs position. A delaying action was fought and after the Infantry and RHA has successfully withdrawn to SAMAKET GABALLA 3rd CLY also withdrew under fire to this area. At last light a further withdrawal was ordered to area 150 462860.

Appendix A
Aug 42 Appendix A - B Squadron 3rd County of London Yeomanry
8/8/42 Squadron moved to AMIRIYA taking Capt. McLaughlan and 18 ORs US Army with it. Rest of 3rd CLY remained at SIDI BISHR.6 Grants collected from TDR.
9/8/42 Army Film Unit photographed the Squadron with attached Americans.
10/8/42 AMIRIYA.
11/8/42 Moved to HAMMAM. Bombing raid by ME 109s.
12/8/42 Ordered to join 4th CLY, which was under command 22nd Armoured Brigade. Remainder of Brigade comprised:-
     Royal Scots Greys
    1st/6th RTR (composite Regiment)
    2nd RGH/5th RTR (composite Regiment)
    1st RHA
    104th RHA
    One Bn Rifle Brigade.
The armoured regiments were organised on a basis of 2 Grant Squadrons and one light Squadron. (3rd/4th CLY was commanded by Lt Col R Harding-Newman, MC, Cmd. 3rd CLY, and was ordered to be known as 4th CLY to distinguish it from composite CLY under command Major GGL Willis, DSO, serving with the 4th Light Armoured Brigade which was to be known as 3rd CLY).
22nd Armoured Brigade were Corps troops under command Lt General Horrocks, GOC 13 Corps. The task of 13 Corps was to repel the expected German attack with the minimum loss to itself.
Regimental leaguer 437874.
13/8/42 It was anticipated that the enemy would attack in the sector between Point 93 and HIMEIMAT 881250. Various positions, known as 'partridge', 'pheasant' 'snipe' etc were selected to counter such attack and schemes were held in which these battle positions were occupied. Codeword was 'Game birds'. The Regiment suffered severely from flies, and there was a high percentage of sickness, from desert sores, diarrhoea and so-called 'sandfly' fever. These diseases did NOT, however, necessitate evacuation, except in a few cases.
14/8/42 Scheme.
15/8/42 Shoot.
16/8/42 Resting.
17/8/42 Scheme.
18/8/42 Scheme.
19/8/42 Final dispositions for the enemy attack, expected to take place on 25 Aug, were decided upon. Appreciation was that the enemy would NOT attack North of the New Zealand 'fortress' round Pt 93 owing to the strength of the prepared positions: nor South of HIMEIMAT, owing to the bad going, although the only troops there were 4th Light Armoured Brigade. HIMEIMAT was held by 1st KRRC group, having under command one Squadron of General Stuarts (Major JW Hackett, DSO, MBE, MC, 8th Hussars) and 32 x 25pdrs. These were ordered, in the event of an attack, to withdraw slowly Eastwards. 44th Div, newly arrived from England, was dug in on the high ground round ABU SHAMLA 4388, facing South and south-east, protecting the flank and rear of the New Zealand positions.
The position finally selected for 22nd Armoured Brigade and known as 'Twelve bore' was along the ridge running from 427878 to 433881. 2ndRGH/5th RTR (left), 4th CLY (centre), 1st/6th RTR (right). Interval between armoured regiments approximately one mile. Royal Scots Greys in support.. Grant tanks were in a single line on low ground in front of the ridge, hull down where possible, and in some cases, dug in. Rifle Brigade with 6pdrs were interspersed in tank gun line and covered the gaps. 25pdrs were on the ridge behind. A Echelon was in the ABU SHAMLA area. Rear of Brigade rested on 44th Div 'box' and the Brigade was facing south-east.
Some miles to the north-east, and facing south-west, was 8th Armoured Brigade.
It was anticipated that the enemy would not ignore this threat to their L of C and would be compelled to attack one or other of these Brigades, and would then be taken in flank, by the other.
20/8/42 Prime Minister reviewed the Brigade drawn up in Twelve Bore positions. He was accompanied by the CIGS, the GOC -in C Middle East, and GOC -in C Eighth Army (Generals ALEXANDER and MONTGOMERY).
21/8/42 In leaguer.
22/8/42 In leaguer.
23/8/42 Scheme.
24/8/42 In leaguer.
25/8/42 Stand-to - False alarm.
26/8/42 50% of Officers on Staff tour of 7th Motor Brigade front. Capt. McLaughlan, US Army, evacuated with fever.
27/8/42 Staff tour.
28/8/42 In leaguer.
29/8/42 In leaguer.
30/8/42 In leaguer.
31/8/42 Stand-to at 0200 hours on Codeword 'game birds'. The Regiment proceeded from its leaguer to Twelve Bore and took up battle positions, 'A' (Grant) Squadron, 4th CLY (right), B Squadron, 3rd CLY (cmd Major AW Grant, MC) left. B Squadron was shouldered slightly forward so as to have a field of fire slightly in enfilade across the front of 4th CLY. The left flank tank of 4th CLY was dug in on top of a knoll. Immediately on its left were two troops of B Squadron in line abreast slightly hull down. The two other troops and one 6pdr of the RB were some 200 yards to the left of another knoll, one troop being in reserve. Squadron HQ (2 Crusaders) were on the ridge behind. Orders were to hold the ridge at any cost. Lt Col H Scott, DSO, comd 4th CLY arrived and took over command from Lt Col R Harding-Newman, MC. During the morning, enemy columns, including 200 tanks, were reported to be coming through the minefields North of HIMEIMAT, and advancing into DEIR EL RAGIL 428868. 7th Motor Brigade could be seen withdrawing Eastwards. There was much air activity but the Regiment was not attacked. The light Squadrons were sent down to RAGIL with tasks of (a) preventing the enemy establishing an anti-gun screen, and (b) drawing their armour on to 22nd Armoured Brigade.
At 1730 hours, crews stood-to. Enemy tanks were reported to be coming up the line of telegraph poles running north-east, DEIR EL RAGIL - 429877 - DEIR EL AGRAM 434879. This line ran across our front, and parallel to it, at 800 yards and individual poles had been earmarked as reference points by our tank gunners. A moderate sand storm was now blowing and visibility was bad. Our rearguards withdrew across our front, halting occasionally to shoot, and finally the 4th CLY Crusader Squadron wheeled in and passed to the rear of the Grant line. By this time a mass of enemy tanks could be seen heading straight down the telegraph line. They halted at the bend at 429877 and a large body separated and made off East after 7th Motor Brigade. The remainder did a right and left incline which brought them parallel to the CLY front, presumably so as to be a flank guard. 87 tanks of 21st Panzer Division remained. Visibility was improving rapidly. Although we had only 28 Grants to oppose them we had prepared positions and the advantage of the light. Orders were given to prepare to go forward and attack them if they moved on. However, they did a 'left turn' and came straight at us, being in places 6 deep, the phalanx being led by about a dozen Mark IV Specials, now making their first appearance. Our 25pdrs opened fire, but the enemy then came into dead ground to artillery Ops. On reaching 1200 yards orders were given to pick targets and fire. The enemy halted at the telegraph wires and engaged. It was then apparent that B Squadron slightly overlapped their right flank. Moreover, while they were head-on to 4th CLY they afforded a slight flank shoot to B Squadron, who were able to exploit this advantage as the action progressed.
A dive-bombing raid was carried out by 48 Stukas shortly after the battle started, and considerable casualties were caused to A Echelon though not to 3rd CLY personnel. The enemy withdrew at last light, leaving 15 knocked out tanks on the field. Many others were observed being towed away. A Squadron, 4th CLY had all its tanks knocked out, though 8 were subsequently recovered. B Squadron lost no tanks throughout, though an unusual number of direct hits were received. It is impossible to estimate what proportion of enemy fell to B Squadron, 4th CLY or 6pdrs of the Rifle Brigade, but B Squadron [of 3rd CLY presumably] confidently claimed 11: they had had an excellent enfilade pom [?], and at least one German tank had its final drive pierced by a 37mm shot, which could only have been fired by B Squadron.
The Greys moved towards 4th CLYs position. There was no leaguer but crews spent the night in battle positions. There was continual activity to our front all night, caused by patrols and by sappers blowing up enemy tanks.
1/9/42 At first light the 21 Panzer Div attacked the Regiment on our left (2nd RGH/5th RTR). They began coming round its flank up the high ground towards ABU SHAMLA, thus threatening (a) to get between 22nd Armoured Brigade and 44th Div Box and (b) overrun 22nd Armoured Brigade gun line and echelon localities. B Squadron was accordingly directed to move round as quickly as possible and come up on the left flank of 2nd RGH/5th RTR. This they did and had to engage some Mark III and Mark IV Specials hull down in a wadi at 600 yards. B Squadron lost 4 tanks, a fifth having its 75mm put out of action.
Casualties:Sgt Simons, Tprs Proctor and Hamson Killed.
 Tpr Connell died of wounds.
 2Lt Curtis seriously wounded,
 Tprs Bradley, Bagnold, Tweedle and 2 Tprs of US Army wounded.

Both sides then went to ground in wadis and the position became static. 8th Armoured Brigade was then seen to approach from the North East and opened fire, some of the 'overs' falling on B Squadron. The enemy was now caught between two fires and was unable to make any progress. B Squadron scored two probable knockouts. A US Sgt was wounded in the face. In the afternoon we withdrew 2 hundred yards and took up position with our left flank on the 44th Div minefield (Royal Sussex Regt) Periodical artillery fire was put down on us.
A long range engagement took place at last light without visible effect. The night was again spent in battle positions. The enemy were severely bombed all night.
2/9/42 At first light the enemy were discovered to have withdrawn from the high ground. B Squadron was heavily shelled, and then moved forward preceded by Crusader Squadron, 4th CLY, swinging right and taking up positions facing south-east at the bottom of the high ground about 437881. There was no further action though about 60 enemy tanks appeared to be forming up for an attack at 1700 hours. These were heavily shelled from the rear and appeared to abandon the idea of an attack. B Squadron again passed the night in battle positions. The enemy were severely bombed all day and all night.
3/9/42 By first light the enemy had again withdrawn and Crusaders reported no sign of him as far as Barrel 77 (in front of our original leaguer), which he had taken away with him. It was later known that the enemy was in full retreat. At last light the Squadron formed close leaguer and Infantry found the guards.
End of Appendix A

September 1942CO Lt Col RN Harding-Newman MC
Sep 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1/9/42 4th LAB rallied in the area .150. A mixed column under Lt Col RN Harding-Newman, MC, consisting of 20 Crusaders, one battery of RHA, and one company 2nd KRRC moved West, South of the escarpment running East and West, approximately along the 857 Northing to the area QOR EL LIFFIYA 437857. Orders to this column were to reconnoitre SAMAKET GABALLA and to harass the enemy's right flank in that area.
2/9/42 SAMAKET GABALLA reconnoitred at first light. Movement of enemy armoured cars and captured 6pdrs observed. These were engaged and withdrew. Concentrations of enemy observed in DEIR EL RAGIL. These were heavily bombed throughout the day by light bombers of the RAF.
3/9/42 3rd CLY column occupied SAMAKET GABALLA. Minor engagements with enemy armoured cars throughout the day. Heavy bombing of DEIR EL RAGIL continued. The enemy appeared to be withdrawing west of the minefield. There was an Infantry and anti-tank gun screen round the Eastern perimeter of DIER EL RAGIL and the enemy's line of withdrawal to the West was along the 87 Northing.
4/9/42 Area 892253, in contact on our right with columns of 7th Motor Brigade and on our left with 8th Hussars. 6 Enemy tanks including 2 Mark IV Specials engaged in the area 888253, action inconclusive.
5/6 Sep Still in the area 891252. Some shelling of our positions. Enemy tanks engaged by patrols West of the minefield area 888252.
7/9/42 All quiet. 3rd CLY withdrawn to SAMAKET GABALLA.
8/9/42 In leaguer.
9/9/42 3rd CLY moved to HUMUR 895245 to take over this area from 8th Hussars.
10/15 Patrolling area West and north-west of HUMUR. Light enemy shelling from North of HIMEIMAT, otherwise quiet.
16/9/42 Quiet day. Royal Scots Greys relieved 3rd CLY.
17/9/42 Moved to SAMAKET GABALLA and then to DEIR EL AGRAM 435878. Tanks handed over to 4th CLY. 3rd CLY, less 10 tank crews left under command 4th CLY, ordered to move to MAREOPOLIS to refit. Staying night 17/18 Sep 42 at 460910.
18/9/42 3rd CLY less B and C Squadrons left B Echelon at first light and arrived at MAREOPOLIS joining A Squadron 3rd CLY who sent a party forward to 4th CLY to relieve C Squadron 3rd CLY. On arrival 3rd CLY came under command 1st Armoured Brigade. [This entry for 18th added in manuscript]
19/9/42 C Squadron 3rd CLY arrived at MAREOPOLIS. Preparation of new area.
20/9/42 B Squadron 3rd CLY arrived at MAREOPOLIS. Routine.
21-26 Routine. Preparation of area.
27/9/42 3rd CLY and 6th RTR formed various local defence forces for protection of MAREOPOLIS area.
28/9/42 Regiment received orders to move to new area at KHATATBA and an advance party left during the morning.
29/9/42 Regimental move from MAREOPOLIS to KHATATBA - on arrival 3rd CLY came under command GHQ.
30/9/42 Preparation of new area at KHATATBA.

October 1942CO Lt Col RN Harding-Newman MC
Oct 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry
1-5 Oct Preparation of new area and organisation of Regimental W/T, D & M and gunnery courses.
6/10/42 Routine. W/T school commenced.
7/10/42 Routine. D& M school commenced.
8/10/42 Routine. Gunnery school commenced.
9/10/42 Routine.
10/10/42 Routine training. Lt Col AP Grafftey-Smith and Major OH Dickins visited the Regiment. 2 Officers and 4 NCOs attached to 211 Fighter Group for liaison with RAF.
11/10/42 Routine training.
12/10/42 Routine training.
13/10/42 Capt. Pursew, Vehicle Inspector BTE inspected regimental transport.
14/10/42 Routine training - a further party left to visit 211 Fighter Group.
15/10/42 Routine training.
16/10/42 Routine training. A heavy gale and rain storm was experienced and a considerable tentage was blown down.
17-18 Cleaning up area after gale and re-pitching tents.
19/10/42 Inspection and march past for Lt Col R Harding-Newman, MC, who is relinquishing command of the Regiment to take up an appointment in England.
20-26 Routine training.
27/10/42 Routine training - Major GGL Willis, DSO, appointed Lt Col Commanding 3rd CLY.
28-31 Routine training. Strength 28 Officers and 2 attached Officers 533 Ors and 25 attached Ors REME, RC of Sigs, ACC.

November 1942CO Lt. Col G. G. L. Willis, D.S.O.
Nov 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry, Khatatba
1-9 Nov KhatatbaRoutine training. Strength 25 officers 2 atached officers 532 O.R's and 27 O.R's attached R.E.M.E. R.C.Sigs. A.C.C.
10/11/42 At 1000 hrs the Tegiment came under command 24th. Armoured Brigade stationed at Didi Bishr. Orders were received from Tank Reorganisation Group to have one American Squadron at 24 hours notice and one Crusader Squadron ready. A composite squadron was accordingly formed from 'A' & 'B' Sqaudrons under command Major J.Caunce with Capt.O.Woods, Capt.A.L.Murray, Lts. P.Pearson, P.Hargreaves, P.Whorlow and J.Grimwade, two troops being provided by each Sqn. 'C' Sqn. werre ordered to prepare for move at short notice. Lt.Col.G.G.L.Willis, D.S.O. and 2/Lt.W.H.Palmer as L.O. left for 24th. Armoured Brigade.
11/11/42 A Conference was held at 0930 for Sqn. Leaders and Q.M.A/B Squadron were ordered to prepare for move to Sidi Biahr. 24th Armoured Brigade were functioning as T.D.R. (personnel) handling sub units of both Armoured and Infantry Units.
12-14 Nov Preparations for war by A/B Squadron and C Squadron.
15/11/42 2/Lt.W.H.Palmer returned from 24th Armoured Brigade - regt. was released from short notice.
16-18 Nov Routine training.
19/11/42 Visit of Lt.Col.A.P.Grafftey Smith who inspected the Regiment.
20-23 Nov Routine training.
24/11/42 Lt.Col.G.G.L.Willis, D.S.O. informed the whole regiment that there was a possibility that the Regiment might be disbanded due to difficulties of supplying Armoured Regts. in the Middle East.
25-28 Nov Routine training.
29/11/42 Lt.Col.G.G.L.Willis, D.S.O. informed the Regt. that plans for the Regt. had been changed and that we were not to be disbanded.
30/11/42 Routine training.

November 1942CO Lt. Col G. G. L. Willis, D.S.O.
Dec 42 3rd County of London Yeomanry, Khatatba
1/12/42 Routine training. W/T School. D. & M. School. Gunnery School
2/12/42 Brigadier J.I.Chrystall C.M. M.E. commanding 17 Area visted the Regt. and inspected the Regtl.Area.
3/12/42 Routine training.
4/12/42 Lt.General Stone C.B.DSO. MC. C in C,B.T.E. visted the Regt. and inspected the Regtl.Area.
5-12 Nov Routine training. Strenght 28 officers 2 attached officers 527 O.Rs, 26 attached O.Ra. REME. R.C.of Sigs. A.C.C.
13/12/42 Routine training. - 3 gRANT mK. 1 training tanks received.
14-22 Nov Routine training.
23/12/42 Routine training. - 6 Crusader Mk.II tanks received.
24/12/42 Routine training.
25/12/42 Xmas dinner was served to the Troops by the officers and N.C.O's of the Regt.
26-32 Nov Routine training. - A pantomime "Ali Baba & the 40 Thieves"

November, December 1942 - Submitted by Kevin Asplin

1939     1940     1941     home     1943     1944     1945     1946