WW II, a British focus




 

 

War Diaries
For

The Royal Tank Regiment
August 1939 To March 1946

Missing:-
  • May 1941
  • October 1941
  • November 1941
  • December 1941
  • September 1942
Royal Tank Regiment Badge

August 1939 CO: Major TR Price DSO MC
Aug 39 6th Royal Tank Regiment
25/8/39 Cairo
0600 - Unit B Echelon left Cairo by road route for the Matruh area, vehicle strength 42
0900 – Train F consisting of BHQ, A & B Coys, left Abbassia siding for Matruh area, vehicles entrained:-
A Coy 8 Cruiser tanks, 7 light tanks (Mk VIb),
B Coy 8 Medium tanks (Mk II) 2 light tanks (Mk VIb)
1100 – C Coy left Abbassia siding by train. Vehicles entrained 8 Medium tanks (Mk II), 7 Light tanks (Mk VIb).
26/8/39 0430 – BHQ, A & B Coys detrained.
0830 – C Coy detrained.
1200 – Btn and vehicles, less B Echelon, concentrated 2 miles South of Charing Cross, 15 miles SW of Matruh.
1630 – B Echelon arrived, less 1 signal lorry, casualty en route.
1730 – AFVs and transport bivouacked in air formation.
28/8/39 1 signal section vehicle (casualty en route) arrived in camp.
Appendix A – Details of officers & WOs as at 31/8/39

Majors

  • TR Price DSO MC     Commanding Officer
  • GJN Culverwell    OC C Coy
  • TGA Clarke    OC A Coy
  • FV Lyons    OC B Coy
Captains
  • GPB Roberts    Adjutant
  • CIA Jackson
  • GJ Dean
  • HWH Mills
  • A Sutherland MBE    QM
Lieutenants
  • DE Ward
  • JD Aldridge
  • JK Green wood
  • JA Pettman
  • RGS Saunders
  • FD Pile
  • FL Gates
  • CC Hulton
  • JA Rycroft
2nd Lieutenants
  • PH Bordern
  • FCKM Laing
Warrant Officers
  • RSM C McComb
  • CSM T Rosekilly
  • CSM S Smith
  • SSM E Edmunds
  • SSM G Beal
  • TSM T Macdonnel
  • SSM J Buchanan
  • SSM W Rivers

September 1939 CO: Lt Col CGD Thrupp
Sep 39 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/9/39 Matruh
Capt RE Weld RAFRO joined RAF for duty.
3/9/39 Great Britain declared war on Germany.
4/9/39 A censorship was imposed on private correspondence.Active Service conditions notified.
Capt GC Webb and Lt JH Pink joined from leave in the UK.
8/9/39 Capt CIA Jackson, RAFRO joined RAF for duty.
13/9/39 The Armoured Division (Egypt) was reviewed by HM the King of Egypt. The Btn was on parade.
15/9/39 Camp moved to a site nearer Matruh – Air disposition and open formation maintained.
17/9/39 Lt Col CGD Thrupp disembarked from RMS ORCADES on posting to command the Unit.
19/9/39 Mobilisation scale of rations introduced by General Order 451/1939.
21/9/39 Lt Col CGD Thrupp joined the unit in the field.
Appendix A – Details of officers & WOs as at 31/8/39

    Lt Col CGD Thrupp Commanding Officer Majors

  • TR Price DSO MC     2i/c
  • GJN Culverwell    OC C Coy
  • TGA Clarke     OC A Coy
  • FV Lyons     OC B Coy
Captains
  • GPB Roberts     Adjutant
  • GJ Dean
  • HWH Mills
  • A Sutherland MBE    QM
  • GC Webb
Lieutenants
  • DE Ward
  • JD Aldridge
  • JK Green wood
  • JA Pettman
  • RGS Saunders
  • FD Pile
  • FL Gates
  • CC Hulton
  • JA Rycroft
  • JH Pink
2nd Lieutenants
  • PH Bordern
  • FCKM Laing
Warrant Officers
  • RSM C McComb
  • CSM T Rosekilly
  • CSM S Smith
  • SSM E Edmunds
  • SSM W Rivers
  • SSM J Buchanan
  • SSM G Beal
  • TSM T Macdonnel
  • SSM J Witty
  • CSM A Hester

October 1939 CO: Lt Col CGD Thrupp
Oct 39 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1 - 31 Matruh
A series of exercises – Brigade, division and Command – were held during the month, concluding with the Command Exercise from 28th October to 2nd November. During the latter exercise B Coy, whose vehicles were composed of Cruiser and Light tanks, operated with the Light Armoured Bde. The tanks kept up with the Bde which was operating mainly with wheeled vehicles.
During the latter week of the month the camp site was adjusted to closed positions; air dispositions vacated. Slit trench and protected bivouac positions remained ready for immediate occupation if necessary. In the new position Companies and vehicles closed in the camp so laid out with a view to a suitable arrangement for semi-permanent occupation.The unit War Establishment was promulgated by War Office Letter 79/Mob/3053 dated 12/9/39.

November 1939 CO: Lt Col CGD Thrupp
Nov 39 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1 – 7 A tool check was carried out and maintenance to vehicles on conclusion of the exercises referred to in last month diary.
In order to obtain the best results, the Armoured division School was formed at Abbassia in order to concentrate individual training. This Unit provided 30 instructors for Gunnery, Wireless and D&M.
Owing to changes necessitated by the War Establishment the unit was re-designated 6th Royal Tank Regiment, the Companies being re-formed into Squadrons and Troops.
8/11/39 An unusual and very severe storm occurred on the night 8/9th. Fierce wind and heavy rain resulted in the camp being flooded, and many tents were blown down.
9/11/39 The day was devoted to salvage. Tanks were moved to positions near large tents and guy ropes secured. Owing to the wind no tent pegs would remain in the ground. The work was severely hampered by heavy squalls and showers. Rum issue was authorised.
10/11/39 Further salvage carried out and drying of clothing.
11/11/39 Instructors for AD school left for Cairo to undergo a week’s refresher course prior to taking up their duties.
14/11/39 Initial promotions to fill War Establishment were promulgated.
15/11/39 BTE, 2nd Echelon was formed. RAC Base Depot was formed.
16/11/39 Orders were issued regarding the return of the Div to Cairo.
17/11/39 4 Cruiser and 1 light tanks were evacuated to Abbassia for use at the Armd Div School.
The remainder of the week was devoted to packing up and to internal re-organisation consequent upon the loss of NCO instructors proceeding to the AD School.
18/11/39 Cambrai Day was celebrated throughout the day – inter-troop football, dinners and concert.
19/11/39 73 students selected to attend 1st course at the AD School were evacuated to Cairo.
21/11/39 B Echelon left for Cairo by road at 0730.
22/11/39 B Echelon arrived at Abbassia at 1500 hrs. Remainder of Regt with A vehicles, entrained at Matruh.
23/11/39 Train party arrived Abbassia siding at 0915 hrs.
The Regt resumed occupation of its former accommodation at Main Barracks, Abbassia. The Officers Mess occupied accommodation formerly on charge to 7th Queens Own Hussars.

December 1939 CO: Lt Col CGD Thrupp
Dec 39 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1 - 20 Cairo
Taking over peace time accommodation. Maintenance of all vehicles. RHQ Sqn was partially formed and its personnel transferred to separate barrack rooms. OC HQ Sqn – Capt JC Stephens. Due to lack of admin personnel, personnel forming this Sqn remained attached to their former Sqns for admin purposes.
The Regt was instructed to detail a draft of 50 instructors for BEF and the UK. The draft was expected to leave Egypt towards the end of the month, but its departure was postponed until January. Major FV Lyons, Lt DE Ward, Lt JK Greenwood were under orders to proceed to UK with this draft.
Individual training, both within the Regt and at AD School, was carried out.
Capt GC Webb was attached to Heavy Armoured Bde as OC Brigade HQ Sqn.
Major E Cenochio and Lt EH Gibbon were struck off strength on posting to Armd Div.
21/12/39 2Lt JK Riley was reported missing as a result of an accident off Malta to an Imperial Airways aircraft in which he was travelling to UK on leave.
25/12/39 The usual Christmas festivities took place.
27/12/39 2Lt Riley reported drowned.
30/12/39 HQ Sqn was formed and became self-accounting. Personnel ceased attachment to their former sqns.

home     1940     1941     1942     1943     1944     1945     1946