4rd County of London Yeomanry
September 1939 To July 1944
||October 1941 - Missing|
November 1941 - Missing
February 1942 -Missing
March 1942 -Missing
April 1942 -Missing
October 1942 - Missing
October 1943 - Missing
|January 1942 ||CO: |
|Jan 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/1/42 ||The remains of the Regt moved to an area 5 miles North of ANTELAT.|
|2/1/42 ||Remained in same area and started collecting dispersed crews.|
|3/1/42 ||Collected some tanks from MSUS and formed a Cruiser Sqn under Capt Cameron, to work with a composite Regt from the Bde commanded by Major Grafftey-Smith (3 CLY). This Sqn was to stand by in case of emergency until 2nd Armd Bde arrived.|
|4/1/42 ||Capt Sutton set off to try and locate Sgt Smith and his crew, who had been missing since about 20 Nov 41.|
|5/1/42 ||Nothing to report.|
|6/1/42 ||Formed "Arthur Force", a composite Sqn of American tanks manned by C Sqn with eight reserve tanks manned by 3 CLY and two troops manned by 3 CLY.|
This force was formed to move at short notice to join 7th Armd Div Support Group. Officers to go with the Sqn from the Regt were Major The Viscount Cranley, Lts Paravicini, MacColl, Dyas and Capt Sutton. The activities of this force are attached as a separate War Diary.
|7/1/42 ||Nothing to report. Capt Sutton returned without Sgt Smith, but with two bustards.|
|8/1/42 ||Orders received for Arthur Force to move off at 0800. The Regt was to move off to MSUS at 1200 and hand over all remaining tanks to ADW and some transport.|
|9/1/42 ||Received orders to move back to TOBRUK area in remaining transport and 3rd line transport. Did 43 miles and leaguered for the night.|
|10/1/42 ||Continued journey via CHARRONBA, MARUTA, did 101 miles and halted for the night just short of GIOTANI BERTA.|
|11/1/42 ||Continued journey through DERNA and saw a great deal of abandoned enemy equipment. Halted for the night 12 miles short of objective.|
|12/1/42 ||Arrived MRASSES about midday and started settling in.|
|13/1/42 ||Dug in.|
|16/1/42 ||Sent off leave party of 100 men and 6 officers.|
|18/1/42 ||Sent off leave part of 50 men and 3 officers.|
Had confirmation that Lt Murdock and Tpr Jobson died of wounds.
|19/1/42 ||Sent party of 100 men and 4 officers on leave.|
Capt Cameron, Capt Pritchard awarded MC, Cpl Mason MM. Had confirmation Tpr Miller died of wounds. Tprs Mogridge, Hocking, Hebron, Martin, Fountain and Short liberated.
|22/1/42 ||Received orders to organise a complete Sqn to form part of composite Regt ready to move at 48hrs notice. Capt Hill Wood commanding the Sqn, other officers to be recalled from leave - Capt Smallwood, Lts Jarvis, Scott, Sir Anthony Tichborne, Melville and Beel.|
|23/1/42 ||Organised the party and collected stores.|
|24/1/42 ||"Denis Force" moved off at 1415hrs.|
Tpr Winchester reported in hospital and not missing.
|25 - 26 ||Remainder of the Regt, about 40 strong, packed up and got ready to move further back.|
|27/1/42 ||Started move back to MATRUH area.|
Met the CO returning from sick leave. Everybody very thrilled to see him. Stopped for the night just East of EL ADEM.
|28/1/42 ||Continued journey without incident. Did 110 miles via HALFAYA PASS and stopped for the night 10 miles West of SIDI BARRANI.|
|29/1/42 ||Continued journey to new camp area at SIDI HANISH, 15 miles East of MATRUH. Arrived about 1700hrs.|
|30/1/42 ||Dug in and explored dugouts etc. Very Dusty. Sent off more men to join "Denis Force".|
Sgt Cardy reported died of wounds whist POW.
|31/1/42 ||Continued settling in. CO had to return to hospital.|
|Appendix to Jan 1942 - Arthur Force|
|January 1942|| |
|Jan 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry - Appendix - Arthur Force.|
|8/1/42 ||The Sqn commanded by Lord Cranley left ANTELAT on 8 Jan with orders to report to 7 Support Grp in the HASSIAT area. The Sqn was composed of 16 American tanks M3, plus 50% reserves and a composite Echelon commanded by Capt Sutton. Contacted 7 Support Grp in the evening.|
|9/1/42 ||Remained in same area and made contact and received orders from Brig Campbell.|
|10/1/42 ||Moved forward at first light with orders to report to Lincoln Column, to whom the Sqn was to be attached.|
|11/1/42 ||Moved forward 6 miles to the line EL CLAZET - SILCHIBAT.|
|12 - 16 ||Sent out patrols daily and saw continued movement of enemy forces and large concentrations of MET. There was considerable enemy air recce and constant bombing of troops on either flank.|
|17/1/42 ||Orders received to go back with 7 Support Grp and rejoin the Regt. Lincoln Column were handing over to Baron Column. At 2100hrs the orders to move were cancelled and the Sqn was ordered to be attached to Baron Column.|
|18/1/42 ||NTR. Continued air recce.|
|19 - 20 ||Received orders to contact Commander Jannis to our SW. NTR.|
|21/1/42 ||Contacted Commander Jannis in very bad country. Information was received that all the Armd Car Regt had been withdrawn and that their role would be taken over by this Sqn.|
|22/1/42 ||Shelled by the enemy from 0730hrs. It appeared that a major enemy move was taking place. 35 tanks were reported advancing into the gun positions. Orders were received to cover the withdrawal of the column, but not to get involved.|
Many guns and B vehicles got bogged and the withdrawal became somewhat disorderly. The guns stopped twice to hold positions and were supported by the Mac and Charlie columns.
All tanks were being used to tow B vehicles as the withdrawal continued. The enemy halted at 1530hrs and the Sqn was now some way behind the column, having done considerable salvage work.
Leaguered 5 miles South of centre line. There had been considerable Stuka activity all day and several B vehicles were lost. During the day the Sqn destroyed one German Mark IV.
|23/1/42 ||Moved off up the wadi at first light and halted 4 miles short of Bde HQ. On the way we were shelled by our own guns. Reported to Bde HQ at HASSIAT and was ordered to report to 1st Armd Div HQ at BELANDAH. Unable to find Div at that location but finally about dark contacted the Gds Bde and found that the Sqn was to work with 3rd Coldstream Guards and report to them that night. The Sqn's role was to extend the 11th Hussars line of recce and protect Forbes Column of the Coldstream Gds in the AGEDABIA area.|
|24/1/42 ||Contacted Forbes Column at first light and sent out patrols in front. General enemy movement reported NE towards ANTELAT.|
About midday Forbes Column was ordered to withdraw towards ANTELAT. The Sqn giving protection left to the column. 55 enemy tanks were reported moving from left to right. The column was then ordered to move due East.
Forbes Column engaged the tanks with their guns over open sights and knocked out five. All tanks and vehicles were very short of petrol and oil and some vehicles had to be abandoned.
|25/1/42 ||Arrived at destination just after first light and spent the day in reserve with 3 Coldstream Gds. Moved NW 11 miles into leaguer.|
|26/1/42 ||At 0830 strong enemy columns were reported advancing in a general NW direction on the whole sector. Forbes Column ordered to move 6 miles due West. Sqn sent out 2 patrols. The guns got into action and held up advance for 2 hours. Column was then ordered to move about 30 miles towards CHARRONBA via MSUS. Several tanks seized up owing to shortage of oil and had to be abandoned.|
There were 3 enemy columns following and while refuelling at MSUS the column was attacked at very short range. It was soon evident that the whole column was surrounded. Everything scattered and the dust and confusion was considerable. One tank was lost and several B vehicles destroyed during the action. When the majority of the column had rallied, it moved off behind the Gds Bde who were 20 miles in front. Forbes Column and the Gunners also joined up.
After going 12 miles, the leading tanks reported a big tank battle going on in front of us. The Sqn was practically out of petrol, but the Echelon arrived and filled all tanks with some salvaged petrol. Orders were received to rally at CHARRONBA at first light the next day.
|27/1/42 ||Sqn remained in reserve at CHARRONBA. Towards evening time the Sqn was ordered to leave the Gds Bde and report to 2nd Armd Bde by 1000hrs the next day.|
|28/1/42 ||Handed over 15 tanks to 10th Hussars and some B vehicles.|
|29/1/42 ||Started going back to rejoin the Regt in MATRUH area in 7 lorries.|
|29-3 Feb ||Continued journey via CIRENE, DERNA, TOBRUK and SOLLUM.|
|4 Feb ||Arrived DABA and reported to the Regt.|
Total personnel casualties during the detachment were 6 ORs missing.
|February 1942|| -Missing|
|March 1942|| -Missing|
|April 1942 || -Missing|
Correlating with 3rd CLY Diary who were also part of 22nd Armd Bde it is probable that 4 CLY were in a similar situation. That is, most of the period of February to mid May was spent in resting and training in the SIDI BISHR & BENI YUSEF areas. Full details are available by referring to 3 CLY diary for the period.]
|May 1942 ||CO: Lt Col FGB Arkwright MC|
|May 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1 - 26 ||[Missing]|
|27/5/42 ||Day 1|
0800 - Regt ordered to stand to for task A or B.0845 - RGH and box reported attacked and hard pressed, 4 CLY ordered to come up on right of RGH and support them. Regt moved South and encountered enemy, who were trying to outflank us on our right (western) flank. No. 3 Grp ordered into action; and enemy engaged by them and the Grants.
1000 - Ordered to withdraw slowly West of KNIGHTSBRIDGE box. No. 3 Grp ordered to B.202 into action while tanks carried out their withdrawal. Tanks withdrew gradually to good hull down position about B.201. Enemy halted about 500 yards South, and position held for about an hour.
1100 - Box ordered to BIR BELLAFAA as quickly as possible and tanks to follow as soon as box was clear. Major Berens and Lt Skelton wounded.
1200 - Moved to BLOCKHOUSE area and took up battle positions East of BIR BELLAFAA and refilled.
1800 - Ordered to advance West to attack enemy tanks who were attacking our Grp from the NW. Considerable difficulty in finding them, but eventually attacked and stopped 12 Mark III.
2Lt Thompson and 2Lt Vine wounded. Leaguered about B.184 amongst burning lorries.
|28/5/42 ||Day 2|
Enemy column stationary all day about MAABUS ER RIGEL. Regt lined out between BLOCKHOUSE and BIR BELLAFAA watching them. Leaguered in box in same place, in conjunction with 2 RGH.
|29/5/42 ||Day 3|
Enemy still in the same place. Ordered to attack in conjunction with 3 CLY against enemy who are attacking 2 Armd Bde. Later ordered to move out alone and engage enemy who were advancing North from BIR HARMAT. Moved out in bad visibility and engaged enemy guns about BIR HARMAT. Told not to incur heave casualties. 2Lt Mason MM killed.
1200 - Ordered to rally at once and move onto left flank of 9th Lancers who were hard pressed in B.180 - B.230 area. Found 2 Armd Bde with difficulty and met Brigadier and BM, who in turn had difficulty in directing us to where we were wanted. Eventually took up battle positions about B.250. A Sqn with 5 Grants moved away from the remainder onto right flank of 9th Lancers (about BIR EL ASLAGH) and engaged enemy tanks, claiming two fire. A Sqn replenished from 9th Lancer lorries.
1500 - 2 RGH reported in difficulties about Pt 155. Extracted Grants and moved Regt to that area. Decided with Lt Col Birley (2 RGH) to advance South and try and delay the enemy advance. Did so but visibility rapidly became less and we lost 2 tanks by running into enemy guns at close range unawares, when they could see our dust. Withdrew to B.230 to await better visibility. Very heavily shelled, so moved North ½ mile, still blocking HARMAT track. Visibility now literally nil.
1800 - 4 Armd Bde arrived on our left, about Pt 185, and put in attack on enemy in BIR HARMAT area. C Sqn protected their right flank. Attack appeared inconclusive.
2100 - Moved to leaguer about ½ mile East of BIR BELLAFAA.
|30/5/42 ||Day 4|
Moved out before first light to B.230 with 4 Armd Bde on our left. Enemy still in BIR HARMAT area. Attacked enemy guns in conjunction with 4 Armd Bde and were successful but not conclusive, though every gun withdrew. 4 Armd Bde turned out to be too weak. Sqns of 3 RTR rallied back North of B.230 and replenished. Lt Maugham wounded and Capt Sir A Tichborne succumbed to sunstroke. Large quantities of our prisoners escaped from German column as a result of our attack.
In the afternoon a composite Sqn of Crusaders under Major Hill-Wood plus two troops of 2 RGH, joined 2 Armd Bde for an attack on DAHAR EL ASLAGH. This attack took place but was only partially successful. The composite Sqn rallied back and leaguered with the Regt about Pt 185.
|31/5/42 ||Day 5|
Composite Sqn under Major Hill-Wood moved out at first light to join 2 Armd Bde again. Remainder moved out to B.230, with a Sqn of 2 RGH (Major King) under command, and remained in observation. Later a Sqn of 3 CLY (Major Willis) came in to relieve 2 RGH at BIR ASLAGH. Patrols out towards B.202 from 3 CLY and from B Sqn towards B.100. No move on the part of the enemy though about 30 tanks were located at DAHAB EL ASLAGH. Leaguered in line North of B.230.
|June 1942 ||CO: Lt Col FGB Arkwright MC|
|Jun 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/6/42 ||Day 6|
To same area, with patrols again out. Particularly good patrol by Lt Jarvis to B.100 area. No move on part of enemy, but in the evening the Regt warned to be prepared to attack on a northerly direction against enemy tanks advancing on KNIGHTSBRIDGE. This however never materialised and patrol up to B.104 saw no signs of enemy attack.
leaguered again North of B.230
|2/6/42 ||Day 7|
In observation North of BIR ASLAGH. No events of importance. Enemy tanks still remain in view, about 30 in number, at DAHAR EL ASLAGH. Leaguered near B.230.
|3/6/42 ||Day 8|
Again in observation North of BIR ASLAGH. Major Kidston spent the day with 4th RTR who were continuing an observation to the South Reps. 1st RTR came up with a view to taking over our position.
In the evening ordered to move to area B.701 in hopes of a day's rest and maintenance. Moved down to B.701 and leaguered.
|4/6/42 ||Day 9|
Day of rest and maintenance. Plans made for an attack on DAHAR EL ASLAGH and SIDI MUFTAH the next day and orders given out for move at 0400hrs 5 June.
|5/6/42 ||Day 10|
Infantry attack started at 0300hrs with heavy Arty support which wakes everyone. Reveille 0330hrs, moved off at 0400 to RV astride B.230.
Plan SP BIR HACHEIM track 0545hrs.
Right 4 CLY
Left 2 RGH Res. 3 CLY
CL B.230 - Pt 176 RAB in SCERAB in Pt 174 - B.104.4 CLY to direct, mop up enemy on route and be at B.104 for breakfast.
Reached Pt 176 without incident. Paused to allow 2 RGH to catch up, then moved on towards SCERAB.
15 enemy tanks reported on right front and C Sqn ordered to watch.
After advancing about 2 miles West from Pt 176, enemy tanks and A/Tk guns encountered our position about 1500 yards West. Fierce fire fight ensued and we were held up.
Ordered by Bde to turn on to second objective SIDI MUFTAH. Turned North and after proceeding ½ mile met 15 already reported tanks on our right, who were now in position with A/Tk guns.
It was evident that we had bitten off more than we could chew, and the order was given to rally back East.
After considerable delay and confusion, the Regt rallied South of BIR TAMAR, which was held by our own infantry.
The Regt was then ordered to move to D in DAHAR, where our infantry and guns were being attacked from the SE. Arrived there, to find a Bty of 25pdr being very heavily shelled, and preparing to withdraw because their infantry had gone back.
Ordered the Bty Cmdr to move his guns back 1000 yards, to get into action there, and to send OP up to RHQ. This was done.
For some period the enemy tanks were seen to move about on the ridge 1500 yards away, and spasmodic [?] shortly took place. The general tendency of enemy movement was to the North.
At about 1600hrs, Regt ordered to move up northwards towards Pt 178, where 3 CLY and some Valentines were hard pressed by enemy tanks.
Regt side-stepped to the North, and, although very strung out, covered the gap between 3 CLY and the minefield. This situation prevailed until the evening, when enemy made 2 attempts to move round our left flank. On the second attempt, 17 Mark III and IV advanced against B Sqn, which was then commanded by Lt Jarvis, and consisted of 5 Cruisers. Lt Jarvis managed with his small force to rag the enemy and hold him up till the welcome sight of enemy leaguer lights told us that he was prepared to call it a day. After 17 hours, of which 14½ may be said to have been permanently in action, we were quite prepared to agree with the enemy. We were then ordered by Bde to rally and move to about B.601. After considerable difficulty in rallying, owing to our extended positions, and a very slow march of 5 miles through our own infantry positions, we eventually located our exact whereabouts by running onto the Gds Bde minefield and one tank lost a track. At about this time orders were received from Bde to return to the Pt 176 position by 0545hrs. This meant leaving B.601 at 0445 and by 0425 we had filled up our tanks, and some of us thought it was worth lying down for 20 minutes.
So ended a day of 24¾ hours, a really bad day.
Major Berens, Capt Smallwood, 2Lt Melville and 2Lt Vine were absent - missing.
|6/6/42 ||Day 11|
At about 0415hrs message was received from Bde cancelling the order to go back to Pt 176, but to open leaguer where we were. This order was carried out, leaving a few non-runners in situation. When daylight came, we found ourselves facing a large column of enemy who must have been spread along the Pt 183 - Pt 185 ridge, facing North, with a number of tanks and a considerable number of guns. We were at the time formed up as a Bde with 3 CLY centre, 4 CLY protection right and 2 RGH left. Various plans were formulated, and not put into execution, and there was considerable exchange of shelling and other forms of rudery. Suddenly, at about 0800hrs, the message came from Bde that the enemy were attacking 2 Armd Bde from the East, and 22 Armd Bde was to move as quickly as possible to the BIR BELLAFAA area to face East and hold the gap between the KNIGHTSBRIDGE box and the HAGIAG EL RAML. Major Kidston received this message, understood it, took charge of the Regt and led us very fast and with unerring navigation past the KNIGHTSBRIDGE minefield up to the BLOCKHOUSE. Kidston'' quick appreciation and action on this occasion undoubtedly saved us a number of casualties, because as we passed B.743 some enemy 88mm guns came into action and made a mess of 2 RGH as they came past them a few minutes later, killing their CO and Adjutant.
We were quickly in position about the BLOCKHOUSE, ready to meet an attack from the East, and 2 RGH (Honeys) were put under command.
No attack developed, however, and about 1600 hrs we were ordered to form up facing West, prepared to co-operate in a three Bde attack on enemy who were West of KNIGHTSBRIDGE. We duly formed up and were all teed up ready for what seemed a hopeful enterprise. But again something went wrong, the 2nd Armd Bde got led astray and the 4th Armd Bde never appeared in the right place, so again a good looking plan for combined action by all three Bdes fizzled out.
Leaguered in our old area South of the BLOCKHOUSE, curiously enough facing East this time instead of West.
News received that Colonel des Graz and his box had been overrun.
|7/6/42 ||Day 12|
No signs of enemy attack from the East, though a certain amount of MET and tanks were reported going down the HAGIAG EL RAML to the East of us.
0730 - Ordered to move up to area Pt 187 (381435) and be prepared to counter-attack either West or SW against any enemy attack northwards from the SGHIFET ES SIDRA area. Made touch with the 9 RB box and, in conjunction with 4th RTR (now under command 22 Armd Bde), lined up on the Pt 187 ridge facing South, with patrols out to the SW.
Leaguered ½ mile North of Pt 187 ridge.
|8/6/42 ||Day 13|
Lined up again on the Pt 187 ridge, with patrols again out to the SW. Patrols reported a certain amount of movement in the SGHIFET ES SIDRA area and 50 Div, evidently nervous that an attack against their box at B.154 was imminent.
In the evening an attack on the Scots Guards, who had a box at MAABUS ER RIGEL, appeared likely and 22 Armd Bde upped sticks and moved down to support them. This attack never materialised, so 22 Armd Bde came back to its original position on Pt 187 ridge. C Sqn sent off to watch West and NW from a point about the NW corner of the 9 RB box on ELVET EL TAMAR. No further excitements. Leaguered again about ½ mile North of ridge.
|9/6/42 ||Day 14|
Into position on Pt 187 ridge again. C Sqn out again to their position NW of 9 RB box.
Nothing of interest to report.
|10/6/42 ||Day 15|
Lined out on Pt 187 at first light.
In the afternoon ordered to move down to MAABUS ER RIGEL and be prepared to take over from 2nd Armd Bde, who were about B.676 and expecting to move to the South of KNIGHTSBRIDGE. Major Bill Blacker and a troop of 2nd RHA, and also a complete box of 2 Armd Bde (consisting of 1st Rifle Brigade and 11th RHA), to come under command of 4 CLY in the event of a move by 2 Armd Bde. Contact made with all concerned, but 2 Armd Bde did not move.
Leaguered ½ mile North of MAABUS ER RIGEL.
|11/6/42 ||Day 16|
Moved out into position on MAABUS ER RIGEL at first light, with patrols South and SW.
1100 - Ordered to send C Sqn (Crusaders) back to their position NW of the 9 RB box, prepared to fill the gap between this box and that at B.154. C Sqn moved back there, but at about 1400hrs the situation South of KNIGHTSBRIDGE became more acute and a large column of enemy were reported moving East in the BIR HACHEIM area and East of it. C Sqn ordered to return to MAABUS ER RIGEL.
1700 - 4 CLY, including a weak Sqn of Grants under Major Geoff Harboard (8th Hussars) to which were attached Grants of 3 CLY under 2Lt Boothby, came definitely under command of 2 Armd Bde.
The Regt then moved to about B.743, where touch was made with the Bays and their box, to which we were ordered to conform. Bays became engaged in area pt 169 (395406) and touch was also made with 4 Armd Bde, who were engaged in area B 742. 4 CLY were NOT engaged and were ordered to come up on the right of 4 Armd Bde, but to consider ourselves as reserve and not to go out and get engaged unnecessarily. Patrols were sent out and various movement of enemy tanks and especially guns in the NADURET EL ?????? area were reported by Jarvis and MacColl. Some confusion as to whether it was friend or enemy on the NADURET. Also some discussion as to whether we (4CLY) might capture it, but no action taken. Leaguered close to Blacker's box and got A1 Echelon up. Unfortunately Sutton's tank ran onto a mine which had been laid by 1st KRRC box which was in position close to us and with whom we were in touch.
|12/6/42 ||Day 17|
Opened out and lined up facing South, with our left on B.742 and our right on the 1 KRRC box. Patrols out and reports of enemy movements came in, most of which appeared to be from West to East, South of us.
In the afternoon we were suddenly ordered to revert under command of 22 Armd Bde again and to move with all speed to about B.743 and place ourselves on the left of 4 RTR, who were up against Gds Bde box facing enemy tanks coming from the West about B.230 area.
Headlong rush to this position and C Sqn arrived very quickly in the right place, closely followed by the 8th Hussars Sqn, who also got into battle position on the left of C Sqn. A Sqn (Grants) kept on reserve pending developments.
At about 1800 hrs enemy tanks began to appear SW of us as well as West and to move round our left flank. Half A Sqn, under Lt Scott, was therefore moved into position facing SW where they had a certain amount of HE shelling for harassing purposes.
At about 1830hrs the enemy tanks to the SW, about 22 in number, came in fast in a determined attack. The remainder of A Sqn was moved up into line with Lt Scott and a desperate battle ensued, in which the enemy made repeated attempts to outflank us. A Sqn however, made it so hot for them that they finally decided they had had enough and withdrew.
From a purely parochial point of view, this battle was probably the greatest victory achieved so far, more or less single-handed, by the Regt. If the enemy had pushed us back and got onto the escarpment overlooking the BIR BELLAFAA valley that night, the withdrawal of boxes and the taking up of positions by tanks the next day would have been impossible. As it was, we still denied to the enemy observation of the valley and he was unable to give assistance to his people advancing from the East up the valley, who made themselves felt the next day.
Leaguered in line on the BELLAFAA ridge and replenished. Experienced some difficulty in getting all tanks in, as the battle had gone on till dark, but eventually all survivors fetched up, including C Sqn and the 8 Hussars Sqn.
This day may be looked upon as a day of individual triumph for the Regiment.
|13/6/42 ||Day 18|
Lined forward slightly at dawn and sent patrols out to see what the tanks who had attacked us were doing. They were seen to be still leaguered and we shelled them, but we were unfortunately in no state to take offensive action.
Queens Bays came up on our left very early and we then side-stepped Westwards to link up with 4 RTR, who were above BIR BELLAFAA.
It soon became evident that the enemy had got round us further East and was forming up for attack about B.651 and 652. The whole tank force was therefore ordered to get into battle line between B.654 and BIR BELLAFAA. This was done with 3 CLY right, 4RTR right centre, 4CLY left centre and Queens Bays left. Unfortunately the Bay's Grants had to go off and replenish ammo at an early hour and the enemy took the opportunity to creep forward on our left, forcing 4 CLY to withdraw slightly to avoid being out-flanked. No major advance was made however, and eventually 32 Army Tank Bde arrived, with Matildas and Valentines, and took over from the Bays.
We then had plenty of tanks in the line, but even then our tendency seemed to be to creep back whenever the enemy made a fence. At about 1930hrs he did make a bit of an attack against the 32 A.Tk Bde on our left and pushed them back from BLOCKHOUSE, which incidentally gave him access to the track down the escarpment at B.654. This attack revealed the presence of 88mm guns, which quickly knocked out 2 Matildas and one of our Grants. The battle died with darkness and our orders were to remain on the ridge, just West of BLOCKHOUSE, at all costs.
We therefore leaguered about ½ mile West of the BLOCKHOUSE and put out 3 patrols, two tanks and one carrier (Lt Culme Seymour 1 RB). No replenishment was possible.
At about 2200hrs Major Kidston arrived with orders to remain in position until 0400hrs, then to move to B.674, where we would join the Bde, and were to be prepared to do protection right od the Bde, as it moved North to ACROMA.
Settled down in a rather nervous condition, knowing that enemy infantry were within ½ a mile. Sure enough, at 0130hrs SSM Underhill reported that German infantry were creeping up. Orders were given to mount and move, and just as the tanks started up, the enemy opened fire with A/Tk guns and a hail of MG. A move of ¾ mile was made on bearing of 340, where a halt was made. Fortunately all Sqn Leaders were on the air, because in the excitement of the moment tanks had got rather scattered. A red Verey light was put up, which brought in C Sqn and the 8 Hussars Sqn. B Sqn was on the air, but apparently could not see the signal.
Enemy Verey lights still continued to go up and our tanks were lighted up by them. It was therefore decided to make another move of ½ mile on the same bearing. This was done and during the move Lt Scott's tank was hit and set on fire by what must have been a lucky shot. Lt Scott wounded, but his crew picked up.
It was now about 0300 and a large body of tanks was heard West of us, moving North. Investigation was made and they were found to be 4 RTR, who had apparently been ordered to evacuate their position an hour early.
Enemy Verey lights still continued to go up, but out of range, and further efforts were made to collect B Sqn before moving off in accordance with orders at 0400. It transpired that the Sqn Leader had been wounded, but had joined up with 4 RTR and was on the way North with them.
|14/6/42 ||Day 19|
At 0400 we felt justified in moving off. Unfortunately navigation had suffered somewhat in the heat of the moment and we arrived at the escarpment West of B.676. One Grant which was towing a Crusader went over rather a steep bit and the towed Crusader ran into the back and was so jammed up that it had to be abandoned.
After a slow, laborious descent, luckily not interfered with by enemy action, we arrived at the bottom and wended our way slowly North on a bearing of 15 deg. At first light we came into sight of 4 RTR and by 0800 were in Bde HQ area at about B.672, where also we found A1 Echelon.
After a short brew-up, moved to about B.108 (West of ACROMA box), where three complete troops were fitted out and sent back to the battle by 1300hrs. These 3 troops were commanded by Lts Gladstone. Pearce and Alec Smith, and in addition two Grants complete with crews were sent up. These came under command Major Geoffrey Willis, 3 CLY.After refitting these crews, the remnants ordered back, with A1 Echelon, to road junction North of ACROMA, where B1 and B2 Echelons were located.
At 1600hrs the whole Regt moved off East, bound for SALUM. The march continued all night and we arrived complete by 1500hrs 15th June on the sea about 5 miles East of SALUM.
|16 - 18 ||By the sea near SALUM. On 18th June Major Kidston ordered to report to command KDG.|
|19/6/42 ||Day 24|
Moved to BIR ENBA by way of BUQ BUQ, SOFAFI & TALATA, arriving about 1500hrs.
|20/6/42 ||Day 25|
At ENBA waiting tanks from Ordnance workshops.
|21/6/42 ||Day 26|
Moved from ENBA via KANAZIS, then 10 miles North along SIWA track to southern end on minefield and West to area BIR GU'AM, where we leaguered under the escarpment.
|22/6/42 ||Day 27|
Moved at first light West and NW to area of FUKA - ordnance workshops then in area.
|23/6/42 ||Day 28|
At FUKA. A Sqn sent off to collect Grants from 10 Armd Div on SIWA track 10 miles South of MATRUH.
|24/6/42 ||Day 29|
Still waiting for tanks, moved at 1600 to a camp on the coast.
Ordered to GARAWLA to take over two Sqns of Stuarts from the Scots Greys and RHQ. Arrived at 1600hrs and completed this by last light. Leaguered on the spot.
|26/6/42 ||Day 31|
Moved B & C Sqns and RHQ South to a point on KHALDA track 10 miles South of GARAWLA. At 1400hrs C Sqn sent off to BIR GU'AM to join A Sqn, who had been attached to the 10 Hussars and B Sqn & RHQ moved North along track to GARAWLA again to take over Crusaders from 8th Hussars. This was completed just before dusk, a dive-bombing attack then caused 11 casualties in B Sqn, and RHQ moved off South alone to join A & C Sqns, leaving B Sqn to follow when ready with A1 Echelon. RHQ reached 2nd RHA box at GU'AM about 0200hrs, B Sqn leaguered on KHALDA track 10 miles South of GARAWLA close by elements of the 69th Inf Bde.
|27/6/42 ||Day 32|
B Sqn were forced to move at 0130 by an enemy tank attack and joined the remainder of the Regt at GU'AM about midday. Ordered to hold the escarpment against enemy moving East - no action. A very large enemy column streamed East all day about 5 miles to our North; the southern flank of the enemy was very well protected with 88mm guns.
At evening the Regt moved East with 3 CLY to assist the New Zealand Bde at the point where the KHALDA track ascended the escarpment, against a tank attack from the NE. C Sqn was detached and sent West to meet an attack by 20 enemy tanks, an action developed in failing light and the enemy continued to shell our C Sqn tanks after last light.
Orders were received to move through the night to BIR KHALDA, to refuel there and to push East. For several miles near BIR KHALDA the tanks had to be guided singly up and down the steep sides of wadis.
|28/6/42 ||Day 33|
Reached refuelling place at 0300 and started East at 0330. Halt for maintenance at 0700 and continued on to a point about 5 miles SE of FUKA station. Major Scott (Royal Dragoons) arrived in leaguer with A1 Echelon to take over 2i/c.
|29/6/42 ||Day 34|
Moved out at first light in a heavy morning mist into position. Later in the day moved North to positions commanding the coast road about GALAL midway between FUKA & DABA. No enemy encountered but FUKA and DABA both reported as held by the enemy. Moved 10 miles South to leaguer with Bde.
|30/6/42 ||Day 35|
Patrols at first light from B Sqn picked up 15 Italian lorries and 150 prisoners. While vehicles were being sent to bring in the prisoners a column of MET with escort of 20 M13 tanks motored up and was evidently surprised to encounter us so far West. A Sqn and the attached Grants of the Bays Sqn (under Major Streeter) had a good shoot and knocked out 10 Italian tanks without loss to ourselves. Some anxiety about petrol, because refuelling party under Major Aldridge had not arrived and we had a 40 mile march to the EL ALAMEIN line ahead. The refuelling party had been shot up in the night in the HABIB area 5 miles West of our Bde leaguer. Set of East at about 1000hrs and soon passed 5 burnt out vehicles at the point where the refuelling party had been attacked. At 1300hrs a detour was made to avoid a large concentration of MET and guns directly to our East.
Touch was kept with 4 Armd Bde, who we moving parallel to our line of march throughout the day. Visibility was restricted by a minor sandstorm. Crossed the ALAMEIN track about 1800hrs, passed through the gap in the minefield and, after Col Arkwright had called at Div HQ, moved 12 miles ENE to a point on the railway - going very sandy and A1 Echelon was left in rear.
The Regiment was to be in Army reserve.
|July 1942 ||CO: Lt Col HB Scott MC|
|Jul 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/7/42 ||Day 36|
Ordered to move at 0700 SW to vicinity of trig Pt 97.
In the afternoon moved 4 miles North to cover South African Bde box against a threatened tank attack. Later moved South again to original position and about 1800hrs ordered 6 miles West to assist an Indian Bde box against an attack by enemy who had penetrated the minefields. The situation of the box was evidently very insecure on our arrival and the Regt was formed up on the South side of the box facing SW to meet a tank attack coming in from that direction. Guns and tanks moved forward under enemy smoke-screen.
1st RTR Stuarts arrived on our left flank and turned back an attempt to outflank us.
About 20 minutes before last light enemy guns were reported being hauled into position to attack our right flank - the move was only made possible by the failure of the box to hold the enemy attack from the NE. At this point Col Arkwright dismounted in order to discuss the situation with the Brigadier over the rear-link set in the Adjutant's tank. Whilst on the back of the Adjutant's tank he was hit and killed by an AP shot. The command was taken over by Major Scott, who ordered a withdrawal Eastwards with the concurrence of Bde.
Leaguered about the point from which we had started, 6 miles East of the scene of the action.
Col Arkwright was buried near the leaguer at map ref 887278.
|2/7/42 ||Day 37|
Took up position on the North ridge, facing West, looking northwards to the 3rd South African Bde and South towards 4 Armd Bde. Seven 6pdr gun portee was placed under the Regt command.
At 1400hrs ordered to form up as a column behind 4 Armd Bde with RHA and A1 Echelon in rear, do a sweep West for 12 miles, leaving the NZ box on our left, then North to get in behind the enemy positions. After moving about 3 miles, the Bde was halted and took up battle positions facing NW, against enemy which had entered the gap between 4 Armd Bde and 22 Armd Bde. 4 Armd Bde were to continue on with the original plan. The Bde tanks were engaged for about 3 hours at long range with about 30 enemy tanks - the 6pdr guns appeared to have a very steadying effect on the enemy.
|3/7/42 ||Day 38|
Astride the North ridge with 6pdr guns under command and out right flank on a troop of RHA guns facing West. A Sqn and RHQ of the 9th Lancers with an attached Sqn of 4th Hussars Grants came up about 1600hrs and had an effective shoot across the valley at Mark III facing 4 Armd Bde to our south. The cruisers of the Regt attacked SW against the same tanks at about 2000hrs, covered by fire and smoke from the Grants.
Moved back to leaguer, with 9 Lancers and 4 Hussars remaining for the night on the ridge, covered by infantry (Rifle Brigade).
|4/7/42 ||Day 39|
Moved up to the ridge to relieve 9 Lancers for refuelling. 4 Hussars Sqn left under command.
In the afternoon we were in action with Grants and 6pdrs against tanks on the South slope and crest of the ridge. 9 Lancers returned about 1400hrs and remained in reserve. A general movement of MET and some tanks to the West and NW was observed, but enemy tanks and guns remained in position on our front. Enemy infantry attempting to snipe our 6pdr crews were machine-gunned and 25 prisoners taken. 9 Lancers took over the position at dusk and the Regt returned to leaguer on C track near Bde HQ.
|5/7/42 ||Day 40|
Ordered to hand over all tanks in running order to 2 RGH Sqn and remainder to Bde LRS. Some B vehicles were left to make up 2 RGH and 9 Lancers and the Regt moved via EL HAHHAM to AMIRIYA adjacent to the Tank Delivery Section.
|6 - 15 ||Day 41 - 50|
Camped near level crossing at AMIRIYA, drawing Crusaders and Grants to re-equip three Sqns and RHQ. Some confusion as to priorities between regiments waiting re-equipment - Grants in short supply. Day leave to ALEXANDRIA only.
|16/7/42 ||Day 51|
B & C Sqns & RHQ moved by transporters from AMIRIYA to HAMMAM, equipped with Crusaders. A Sqn left at AMIRIYA to wait re-equipment with Grants. Unloaded at HAMMAM and moved on tracks to ACV2 on CHARLIE track, 3 miles East of BIR THEMID, and leaguered there.
6 Crusaders broke down between HAMMAM and Bde HQ.
|17/7/42 ||Day 52|
Spent greater part of the day on maintenance and moved in the evening to Main 22nd Armd Bde HQ, 6 miles on bearing 240 degs. Spent the night in open leaguer - many flares and a few bombs a few miles West of our position.
|18/7/42 ||Day 53|
Moved at midday to Pt 93 ref 881269, to take over a position from Royal Scots Greys on the South flank of the 2nd NZ Div. Troop patrols well forward to the enemy wire and minefield, shelled a little. Move ½ mile back to leaguer.
|19/7/42 ||Day 54|
In same position, casual shelling of our patrols.
|20/7/42 ||Day 55|
¾ mile SE of Pt 93, to do maintenance - leaguered there.
|21/7/42 ||Day 56|
Maintenance behind Pt 93.
|22/7/42 ||Day 57|
Left flank protection to 2 NZ Div again. Artillery preparation for infantry attack by NZ began at last light 2030hrs and continued most of the night. Three Btns engaged, one Btn of 6th NZ Bde made little progress in South and had some losses. In the centre, the Btn of 5th NZ Bde reached its objective - other Btn of 5th NZ Bde reached its objective at 0130hrs, but was later counter-attacked and overrun by tanks about 0300hrs.
|23/7/42 ||Day 58|
In position behind and on the flank of 2 NZ Div - one Stuka raid but no casualties. At 0830hrs 23rd Armd Bde in Valentines attacked on a line to our North towards EL MREIR, after an advance by 5th Indian Div during the early hours, but failed to hold their objective. The role of the Regt was to give protection against an enemy counter-attack South of MREIR, but this did not develop.
|24/7/42 ||Day 59|
Moved 2 ½ miles North of Pt 93, to a position behind 1 Rifle Brigade, opposite a gap in the enemy minefield 3000 yards South of EL MREIR - relieved the 9 Lancers. Positioned well back, with one troop only as a forward patrol, and almost free from shelling. Leaguered open-out.
|25/7/42 ||Day 60|
In same position, some sniping and shelling of forward patrol - enemy snipers and OPs positioned amongst derelict tanks and very difficult to locate.
|26/7/42 ||Day 61|
Returned to Pt 93 to do left flank protection for NZ Div.
|27/7/42 ||Day 62|
Night attack by 69th Bde and Australian Div laid on and Regt moved towards GARET EL ABD in the early evening to demonstrate in that direction - heavy shelling of our forward troops, but no losses. Leaguered behind Pt 93 - artillery all night in support of a faint attack by NZ Div.
|28/7/42 ||Day 63|
Moved 10 miles NE to a position below RUWEISAT ridge and in rear of 5 Indian Div, where we relieved a composite Sqn of 23 Bde Valentines. Front heavily mined by both sides - no forward patrols but LOs with W/T comms were sent to both Indian Bdes. Role, to counter-attack in the event of a penetration of the Indian line by enemy tanks.
|29/7/42 ||Day 64|
In same position - recce of forward area showed little scope for use of an armoured regt since movement would be hampered by own minefields.
|30/7/42 ||Day 65|
|31/7/42 ||Day 66|
At 2015 relieved by 23 Armd Bde composite Sqn and moved with A1 Echelon to a point 3 miles South.
|August 1942 ||CO: Lt Col HB Scott MC|
|Aug 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/8/42 ||No moves. Classes of instruction started.|
|2/8/43 ||Joined by Crusader Sqn of 3 CLY under Major Buxton and moved to 43858755 as 3/4 CLY Regt. Regt forms part of 7th Armd Div with 4th Light Armd Bde and 7 Motor Bde, with role:|
(i) to repel enemy attempt to exploit a break through NZ Div,
(ii) to make a wide out-flanking attack in HIMEIMAT are,
(iii) to attack in flank any break through in the North.
|3/8/42 ||Col Scott evacuated sick to ALEXANDRIA with ear trouble. Col Harding-Newman 3 CLY arrived from leave to take over.|
|7/8/42 ||Major Cameron with A Sqn Grants arrived from AMIRIYA, with 11 USA personnel.|
|12/8/42 ||Bde practised exercise 'Grouse' battle positions in support of NZ Div.|
|13/8/42 ||Major Grant's 3CLY Grant Sqn arrives with Major Willis and 3 CLY RHQ.|
|14/8/42 ||3 CLY RHQ with 3 CLY C Sqn and 4 CLY C Sqn Cruisers sent to join 4th Lt Armd Bde.|
|18/8/42 ||Major Silvertop joins Regt as 2i/c from 4 Lt Armd Bde.|
|30/8/42 ||Col Scott returned from sick leave.|
|31/8/42 ||At 0130 hrs received Codeword 'PEPSODENT' by telephone. Regt moved after 15 minutes along previously marked centre line and were in position on high ground MANAQIR TAIYARA 899268 by 0230hrs.|
At 0800 Lt Col Scott took over command from Lt Col Harding-Newman, who returned to 22 Armd Bde HQ.
Enemy reported through the minefield near HIMEIMAT at 0800hrs and engaged by 4 Lt Armd Bde and 7 Motor Bde. Headed by 15th Panzer, enemy pressed due East, forcing our Bde back towards GABALLA. About 1400hrs column of MET and 50 tanks reported moving NE along telephone line towards MANAQIR TAIYARA. Order of battle 4 CLY centre, 1st/6th RTR right 5th/2nd RTR left, Greys in reserve. Our Gunners (1st RHA) engaged enemy from 1200hrs onwards. B Sqn 4 CLY Cruisers acting as a patrol to South and SW, gradually drew back towards midday - one tank and 4 personnel casualties. At 1700hrs enemy tanks came into range and were engaged by all three regiments, the largest numbers of tanks appeared to be opposite 4 CLY - many Mark III and Mark IV Specials observed. In a fierce fire fight, which went on without relaxing until darkness, A Sqn (Major Cameron) took the brunt, losing all 12 Grants at one moment, but 2 eventually returned to the battle. Personnel casualties A Sqn 7 killed, 15 wounded. Greys came in to take up the A Sqn position. B Sqn 4 CLY not much engaged, D Sqn 3 CLY had excellent shooting and claimed 8 tanks certainly destroyed and 3 damaged, with no losses to themselves.
A1 Echelon Stuka'd during the afternoon - one killed and six wounded, including Major Rosekilly and Major Aldridge.
Leaguered in line on the high ground. Heavy bombing by the RAF with help of flares to the South of our position all night. Some AP and small arms fire in the early morning directed from an enemy leaguer against the 5th/2nd RTR on our left - one ambulance burnt out.
|September 1942 ||CO: Lt Col HB Scott MC|
|Sep 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/9/42 ||Day 2|
At 0700 ordered to move quickly on to East flank of 2nd/5th RTR, who were threatened seriously by enemy tanks which had reached the high ground. One Grant knocked out by tank firing West. 8 Armd Bde attacked West and our Grant Sqn attacked East. Big movement of tanks NE below the high ground which we occupied with the Grant Sqn, RHQ and B Sqn (cruisers) were in the wide wadi facing SE - no cover.
|2/9/42 ||Day 3|
At 1200hrs a patrol of Grants moved East along high ground to a wadi from which contact could be maintained with 8 Armd Bde.
|3/9/42 ||Day 4|
A thinning out of MET on 77 ridge noticeable. Bostons made 8 sorties. Little AA or shelling by the enemy. At 1500 hrs definite movement of enemy to West reported, at 1700hrs Tac/R reported 5000 MET in three columns moving West through the minefields North of HIMEIMAT. Cruiser patrols engaged in destruction of enemy tanks by REs.
|4/9/42 ||Day 5|
Sitting as on Day 4. No patrols sent out as 8 Armd Bde, 2nd/5th RTR and 1st/6th RTR and Greys were covering the front. Enemy withdrawing very slowly. At last light enemy A/Tk screen on line 423 grid North to South. Some equipment left behind and 6 or 8 derelict German tanks on 77 ridge and in DEIR DAAYIS. Very little air activity until dark, when RAF dropped flares and bombs in area North and NW of HIMEIMAT.
|5/9/42 ||Day 6|
No move and no patrols out from Regt. Less air activity, some shelling of enemy slowly withdrawing. Two Crusader IIIs arrive. Wendell Wilkie visits Bde.
|6/9/42 ||Day 7|
No move and no patrols. Enemy at last light on line HIMEIMAT - 874264 and digging in and wiring. Collection of derelict guns begins. Count of enemy destroyed on our front and that of 8 Armd Bde - 34, of which 14 were 'specials'. Gross enemy losses put at 100. Three more Crusader IIIs arrive.
|7/9/42 ||Day 8|
No move and no patrols. Unofficial visits from Army Commander (Lt General BL Montgomery) and Corps Commander (Lt General BG Horrocks). General Lumsden called and stayed 30 minutes at midday.
|8 - 11 ||Day 9 -12|
Static. D Sqn 3 CLY made up to 12 Grants, 2 Crusaders; B Sqn to six 6pdr and eight 2pdr Crusaders. A Sqn expected to come forward within the week from TDR, completely re-equipped.
|12/9/42 ||Six 6pdr handed over at IMAYID.|
|15/9/42 ||Reorganisation Plan - Greys relieve 3 CLY with 4 Lt Armd Bde and Sam Buxton's Sqn hands over Cruisers to make up Arthur (C Sqn) and Denis (B Sqn) to full Cruiser strength. A Sqn to come forward and take over Alan Grant's Grant tanks. 3 CLY to go back and 4 CLY to move into reserve position at Pt 102.|
|17/9/42 ||3 CLY arrived from 4 Lt Armd Bde at 0900hrs, made up C & B Sqns in tanks, left 51 tank crews as spares and departed for AMIRIYA.|
|18/9/42 ||34 tank crews from Major Wrey's Sqn (3 CLY) arrived to relieve an equivalent number of Major Buxton's crews left as spares. Major Cameron and A Sqn crews take over 3 CLY D Sqn Grants.|
|20/9/42 ||Inspection by Brig Roberts at 1700hrs, of tanks. Unable to see all troops before dark - passes off without incident.|
|21/9/42 ||Col Scott returned from leave.|
|22/9/42 ||Regimental scheme started at 1300hrs. 385 Bty (27th RA) and one troop of 65th A/Tk accompanied. Route to Pt 77, then East, turn about and back to 77 - total distance 24 miles. Used some A1 Echelon 3tonners.|
|23/9/42 ||Sqn Leaders conference on training.|
|24/9/42 ||0900 - visit of Corps Commander (Gen Horrocks). Conference in office truck, then inspection of Grants firing Bren mounted co-axially with 75mm.|
1545 - visit of Army Commander. Inspection of Grant firing on miniature range. RQMS Jones granted interview.
|27/9/42 ||Visit of officers and NCOs to Corps sandtable.|
|28/9/42 ||New draft of 47, including 14 Cpls, arrive.|
|29/9/42 ||Visit of tank commanders to range firing area for 5th RTR battle practice.|
|30/9/42 ||0001 - Stand to for 44 Div operation at East end of DEIR MUNAISIB. No sounds of active operations until dawn, when heavy arty barrage began. 22nd Armd Bde not called upon to move.|
October 1942 - Missing
|November 1942 ||CO: Lt Col HB Scott MC|
|Nov 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/11/42 ||Day 9|
Bde moved 3 miles to Sun, Moon and Star tracks, heading West. 4 CLY on Star track followed by reserve A/Tk Bty.
|2/11/42 ||Day 10|
Moved at first light West along Star track. Halted at 0815hrs with head on SPRINGBOK road South of ALAMEIN. About 0900 ordered to continue the move. Halted about Barrel 23 ref 87332970 and remained there for the night. 2nd and 8th Armd Bdes reported in contact with enemy tanks on line of telegraph and road about TEL EL AQAQIR; reported 50 enemy tanks destroyed. Flares, bombing and shelling of enemy positions continues throughout the night.
|3/11/42 ||Day 11|
Stuka raid on forward troops at 0800hrs. Moved at 1700 via two-bar track, through own and enemy minefields. Leaguered about 864297. Attack by 1 Bde Highland Div on enemy front along telephone wire 861296 to 860290.
|4/11/42 ||Day 12|
Inf and arty attack during early hours. Bde ordered to move at first light in column of Regtl groups SW to pass through gap. Some disorganisation due to early morning mist. Crossed telegraph at 0830hrs Italian tanks reported West of DIER MURRA 855295. Engaged by 1 RTR - action broken off and Bde moved NW. Enemy again engaged in same position by 4 CLY. Several M13 tanks and guns knocked out, but enemy stuck tight. 5 RTR brought round on left. 1 RTR then brought round on to left of 5 RTR - about 1700hrs attack was again put in all along the line to dislodge the enemy. At nightfall the action ceased - many enemy tanks burning, Regtl claim bag ten M13s and three A/Tk guns.
Casualties:- Tanks nil, wounded Sgt Inman and L/Sgt Weightman. Leaguered on the spot, prepared to move West at first light.
|5/11/42 ||Day 13|
At first light moved on 321 degs as protection right to the Bde. Many derelict tanks and MET, some stragglers taken prisoner. At 13m (South of EL DABA) halt for brew.
Moved at 0930 on bearing 260 degs for 17 miles to EL GANUSA 807303 then West. About 975303 met 9 Armd Bde engaging enemy to the NW. We skirted South - C Sqn on left flank intercepted Italian column of 12 MET and took 200 prisoners, including one Colonel. Enemy minefield at 790300 caused some delay - it turned out to be a dummy. Leaguered at 779295 - no re-filling party up, A1 Echelon getting low in petrol.
|6/1/42 ||Day 14|
Advanced at first light bearing 325 degs, destination trig Pt 175 ref 748318. Old minefield by-passed at 755316 - 8 Armd Bde passed across our front. At 751357 shelled from North and took up battle positions facing North and NW. No action - enemy column reported 3 miles SE moving NW - 4 CLY sent to attack. Fired on by 88mm guns from North - enemy column fled North, leaving some derelicts. Petrol very short - halted to refill about 1300hrs - very heavy rain. 9 Armd Bde moved past us headed North. 15th Panzer Div and 33 Recce reported in square 7532. Moved NW and engaged about 30 enemy tanks and guns about LG 102 ref 755303 - 4 CLY leading, 1 RTR left, 5 RTR right. Very heavy rain, appalling visibility, action continued from 1500hrs to last light - many brews, enemy moved North in failing light. Official bag for whole Bde: five Mark III specials, eleven Mark IIIs, two Mark IIs, five 105mm, five 150mm, three 25pdrs, two 6pdrs, three tractors, four lorries, three Volkswagen;
Casualties 4 CLY, nil in tanks and crews, 1 RTR lost two Honeys.
Leaguered near telegraph wire in pools of water, rain continued most of the night, many B vehicles bogged, everyone wet and uncomfortable, but the day's action had been very successful. 1 Armd Div reported tonight at CHARING CROSS.
|7/11/42 ||Day 15|
At first light ordered to move 2 miles South onto the higher ground and better going. Many vehicles bogged - it was decided to wait several hours for the ground to dry and collect stragglers. About 1200hrs C Sqn brought in 50 POWs who had approached on foot from the West. It transpired that they were Luftwaffe ground staff who had already been taken prisoner and ordered to march East. No more rain and the ground dried quickly. Bde was able to move at 1400hrs, 4 CLY leading, on bearing 253 degs towards MINQAR QUAIM. Approaching KHALDA track the leading Sqn reported friendly MET to the SW held up by minefield - this turned out to be one laid by the NZ Div last June. Bde swung due South to get around, turned West after 2 miles, crossed KHALDA track, very steep escarpment difficult for MET. Leaguered at 722303 ABAR EL KALB area.
|8/11/42 ||Day 16|
Moved at first light 4 CLY again leading, due West. Some escarpments to avoid, 11 Hussars well out in front recce'ing the best route. Crossed SIWA track at 1100hrs at BIR EMITHA 677303, halted 2 miles on for breakfast and to wait for refilling party to arrive. Marched again at 1400hrs, due West, very good going for the wheels and speed of march set at 12MPH. Two Grants and several Cruisers dropped out on the march and had to be reported Z. Leaguered at HAQFET EL QATRANI ref 626301 - day's march 70 miles. Tank strength, Grants 8, Cruiser (2pdr) 5, (CS) 1 and (6pdr) 4. Brigade Grant strength 32.
|9/11/42 ||Day 17|
Moved again at first light (0600) due West. Halted at 0900 having covered about 30 miles to wait arrival of refilling party. One 6pdr Cruiser dropped out on this march. Very cold in the early hours but hot towards midday. Reported last night on the BBC that American troops have landed at ORAN, ALGIERS and CASABLANCA
Reported enemy tank strength 25 - 30 German with a similar number of Italian - 40,000 prisoners already counted and 900 - 1000 guns destroyed. It is considered that the enemy will probably make a stand at the wire. Marched again at 1345 due West as far as 55 grid - then swung right to head for BP68 on the frontier. Halted to leaguer 17 miles short of BP68 at 528309. Some bombing heard during the night from the North - thought to be in the SOLLUM - HALFAYA area.
|10/11/42 ||Day 18|
Refilled and moved at 1415hrs - crossed frontier at BP68 - passed through wire and ran 11 miles on bearing 300 degs. Then North from Pt 188 5 miles until darkness - no brew - halted, leaguered at 483340. Enemy column of 100 MET and 18 tanks reported moving NW at 495453. Bombed by ME109s and three brews started. 5 RTR bombed at 1700 on the move by 5 ME109s but no damage done.
|11/11/42 ||Day 19|
Moved North at 0500 before daylight - then NW and West to FORT CAPUZZO. Large number of MET and some tanks seen on road at CAPUZZO also a Diesel loco and 4 trucks moving West on the railway. Enemy fired about 20 rounds of HE from cover of railway embankment then fled North along tarmac road to BARDIA. Our tanks were not in action but moved through the old fort and along the main road North in pursuit. Enemy abandoned several cars, lorries and about 8 tanks - M13, M13 75mm SP and L6 - and several 50mm A/Tk guns. At 388574 just short of the BARDIA perimeter our leading Sqn C ran into arty and A/Tk gun fire. Two Cruisers were knocked out - one of which went on fire - casualties Tpr Rouse Killed and Tprs Healey and Sykes wounded. We took about a dozen Italian and 5 German prisoners. Two 50mm German A/Tk guns were knocked out by the Grant Sqn. Tanks halted short of the perimeter and arty shelled MET moving North on the road. Many large brew-ups seen in BARDIA and a very large explosion heard, presumably an ammo dump. Moved at 1430 on bearing 300 degs to leaguer at 489391 (BIR EL HARIGA). No enemy seen but our armoured cars reported strafing MET on the BARDIA-TOBRUK road - also the RBs about GAMBUT.
|12/11/42 ||Day 20|
We expected to stay here for several days and scavenging parties were sent off during the morning to collect water and spare parts. Our Cruisers are suffering from the usual water-pump trouble but water is plentiful in the BIRs and we can keep them (9 in number) going.The 7 Grants are old and tired and need new plugs to rejuvenate them. At 1200hrs we were ordered to move at 1400hrs towards TOBRUK - marched 27 miles before last light and leaguered at 449401 in CARNUSET NBEIDAT area on the escarpment South of TRIGH CAPUZZO. It was about there that Col Carr and Major Walker were wounded last November.
|13/11/42 ||Day 21|
Moved at first light on bearing 277 degs towards EL ADEM - at 0800 passed just South of SIDI REZEGH aerodrome. There are may derelicts but mostly from earlier campaigns. As we reach EL ADEM armoured cars report TOBRUK clear of the enemy and at ACROMA NMS we turn SW to get onto the South escarpment and halt after 7 miles at 399406 BIR LEFA at 1100hrs - no contact with the enemy. It is believed that we will remain here several days but petrol and ammo are in good supply.
|14/11/42 ||Day 22|
No move and no definite news as to whether we will move on or refit here. 1 Armd Div reported about 40 miles behind us, all on transporters - 4 Armd Bde moving up today to clear MARTUBA aerodrome. Sent off a water party to BIR HARMAT - ROR and messes came up.
|15/11/42 ||Day 23|
Some bombing of TOBRUK last night - heavy morning fog. Conference of COs at Bde - told we will sit here for the present. A column of guns and armoured cars from the Bde has moved off to MSUS. An RASC column heading for ANTELAT passed through at about 1500hrs.
|16/11/42 ||Day 24|
Wet and overcast. Main AGHEILA - AGEDABIA road reported packed with MET and MET moving NW of GIALO. It is reported that Rommel was present at our battle with the 21st Panzer on Nov 8th SE of MATRUH.
|17/11/42 ||Day 25|
Ordered to send all tanks not safe for 300 miles to 7th Armd Div Tp Workshops with crews - crews to go on to No. 2 Forward TDS to collect replacement vehicles. 5 Grants, 1 2pdr, 1 6pdr and 1 CS sent off at 1100hrs under Major Aird. Lt AR Smith promoted Capt wef 18 Oct vice Capt R Aird.
1600 - Orders cancelled - 4 CLY will send 4 Grant crews to 1 RTR who will move by transporter as a Regtl group to MSUS and are to cut the BENGHAZI-AGHEILA road at BEDA FOMM. Remainder of Bde will return to the Delta. Capt Scott and 4 crews detailed.
|18/11/42 ||Day 26|
1 RTR group move off at 1030. Anniversary of the Regiment's crossing the frontier wire. Italian gun positions reported at SALEIDIMA and some Germans still in BENGHAZI. 7 Armd Div HQ at MSUS - our armoured cars working towards AGEDABIA & GHENINES.
|20/11/42 ||Remainder of Bde to move to a camp area near MRASSAS tomorrow.|
|21/11/42 ||Moved at 1050 in single file to EL MRASSAS via EL ADEM and AXIS by-pass. All tanks, 3 Grants, 4 2pdrs, 4 6pdrs, - sent to EL ADEM to arrive transporters which will bring them on tomorrow. Camp area on right of track about ½ mile from the sea - very stony but RHQ is in a sheltered wadi.|
Our tanks are to be handed over today - to the Greys and 4/8th Hussars. Some bathing but the wind is chilly.
|24/11/42 ||Sent off two truck loads of 75mm HE to 1 RTR group which is reported to be in contact with the enemy South of AGEDABIA.|
|25/11/42 ||Handed over 4 2pdrs and 3 6pdrs cruisers to 4th Hussars and sent D&M, Gunnery and Fitter instructors. Took over 6 Grants from the Greys who are moving forward to relieve 1 RTR Group.|
|26/11/42 ||Football vs 4 Hussars - drawn 2 goals all. Capt Scott and 4 crews returned last night from attachment to 1 RTR, travelling by air from MSUS to EL ADEM.|
|27/11/42 ||Three 6pdrs and four 2pdrs Cruisers taken over from 4 Hussars. Lt Philip-Smith evacuated sick.|
Personnel strength 34 and 478, excluding attached.
|29/11/42 ||D&M and Gunnery instructors on Sherman arrive from 2 Armd Bde. Beaten 2-1 by Derby Yeomanry at football.|
|December 1942 ||CO: Lt Col HB Scott MC|
|Dec 42 ||4th County of London Yeomanry|
Training. Football - drew 0-0 with 1 RB.
|4/12/42 ||B Sqn reported left Delta 2 Dec. Personnel strength 35 and 490;|
Tanks 1 Sherman, 6 Grants and Lee, 3 6pdrs, 4 2pdrs.
|5/12/42 ||B Sqn reached EL ADEM.|
|6/12/42 ||B Sqn moved to MRASSAS. Told that Bde will shortly move to CHARING CROSS to refit. Very heavy rain last night.|
|7/12/42 ||Athletic meeting in the morning. Football in the afternoon against 1 RTR - won 1-0.|
|8/12/42 ||Working party of 100 men under Lt Moore, A Sqn, sent off to TOBRUK railhead.|
|10/12/42 ||Bde expect to move forward fully equipped on the 18th, or as soon after as possible. B Sqn firing on the ranges with Grants.|
|11/12/42 ||Handed over 5 15cwt GS to 1 RB, and one Grant, one 6pdr and 1 2pdr Crusader to 1 RTR. B Sqn firing Grant AP and HE onto targets on the sand dunes.|
|13/12/42 ||Inter-Squadron Relays, won by A Sqn. Bde and 5th RTR expect to move forward on the 23rd.|
|14/12/42 ||BBC announce evacuation of MERSA BREGA and AGHEILA, enemy reported to be streaming towards TRIPOLI.|
|15/12/42 ||Draft of 61 men from 24th Armd Bde, mostly 45th RTR.|
|17/12/42 ||Enemy reported as cut-off at wadi 65 miles West of AGHEILA. Major Silvertop on recce to Tank Reorg Grp BOMBA, where we are to move on 20th Dec.|
|18/12/42 ||We are to move to BOMBA to draw tanks on Boxing Day. Posted strength 33 officers and 571 ORs; with the Regt 32 officers and 547 ORs.|
|20/12/42 ||Bde HQ, 5th RTR and 1 RB left for forward area. 5 RTR handed over 4 tanks to 4 CLY for training purposes. 4 CLY transport REs to BOMBA.|
|23/12/42 ||Enemy reported at MISURATA, our forward troops at BUERATI.|
|24/12/42 ||Col Murray, Tk Reorg Grp, called in the morning. We are to move to BOMBA on Boxing Day.|
|25/12/42 ||Christmas Day. Church parade for C of E at 0915. Squadron Christmas dinners of turkey, pork and plum pudding, each in six EPIP tents. A & B Sqn concerts in the evening.|
|26/12/42 ||Moved to BOMBA at 1000hrs, leaving a rear party to clean up and one 2pdr, two 6pdrs and two Grants waiting transporters. Balance of tanks handed over to 1 RTR, who are not moving up for about a week.|
2LFA moved after us and Bde workshops come on tomorrow. Heavy rain during the journey, much of the road is under water and the traffic in both directions heavy. Arrived 1600hrs at dispersal area, many vehicles bogged and a most uncomfortable night.
Drew six 6pdr and three CS Crusaders from Tk Reorg Grp. No rain, the area is drying and movement of B vehicles is possible.
|28/12/42 ||Drew one CS Crusader. Major Silvertop (2i/c) left for a course at HELWAN.|
|29/12/42 ||Drew two 6pdrs and two Lees. Expected date of departure for forward area now 5th Jan.|
34 3-tonners sent off to TOBRUK to draw petrol and ammo.
|31/12/42 ||Tank strength six CS, one 2pdr, 14 6pdrs Cruisers, 18 heavies including 5 Shermans.|
Major Cameron, Major Lord Cranley and Lt CW Pearce rejoined the Regt from hospital and base.