Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

The Allies 1939-1945, and those fighting against Germany.

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skysurfer
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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by skysurfer » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:55 pm

Attached a report filed at the time by reporter Henry Standish, of the News Chronicle. I've transcribed it, as the document is falling to bits.

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23rd Hussars

Post by skysurfer » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:01 am

Just updating my website, and it's prety welll settled down, now. I've put up some more images, the booklet Do You Remember? and the Regimental Diary in a few pages. The non fraternisation card seems to be a laugh, these days.
It's at http://www.skysurfer.co.uk/23rd_hussars.html :shock:
Best.

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by skysurfer » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:49 am

Bill.

Bit late, just found this site.
Hope you're well, mate.
See my last post. If you want to put anything up there on my dad's site, mail it to me, I'll put it up. Your poem (The Tank Boy) is there.. :D
Best to all,
Pete Brunt

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by skysurfer » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:40 am

A bit late, I know, but I have quite a lot of documentation of the 23rd. My Dad was in 'B' squadron, too. Take a look at my websight I'm putting together, at http://www.johnbrunt.co.uk. It'll never be finished, but most of the comments that are with the photo's will be put up as a cursor 'tip', just hover over the image a bit. I'm going to put up a load more images as I get the time.
There's the same info at my personal site, http://www.skysurfer.co.uk/armour.htm
There used to be a bit of a get together over at Bridlington, but that ran out of enthusiasm a few years ago :(
Best to all,
Pete B.

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by Die Blechtrommel » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:07 am

grimmy wrote:Blacker did say that his gunner was 'no less a personage than the Regimental Sergeant Major', which suggests it was unusual.
Maybe it is a situation similar to the whim of the ground Air Forces personnel throughout the world to see "The true war at least once!"
Just a thought...
Juha-Pekka :beer:
“Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch !!“

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by grimmy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:32 am

I think it was a case of 'all hands to the pump'.

Blacker did say that his gunner was 'no less a personage than the Regimental Sergeant Major', which suggests it was unusual.

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by Alanmccoubrey » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:46 am

I checked into the RSM's actual responsibilities and they are Ammunition and POW's !
Alan

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by grimmy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:15 am

Hi Alan,

Yes it does sound strange. I don't know how long this situation lasted - but certainly long enough forWass to account for at least one German tank.

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by Alanmccoubrey » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:45 am

That is odd as the RSM has some very important duties in the resupply side, I wonder who was doing this RSM's job while he was playing at being a gunner !
Alan

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by grimmy » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:21 am

PS

Having just read Blacker's 'Soldier in the Saddle', the only detail I can add is that his gunner (whilst in HQ SQuadron) was the Regimental Sgt Major. This I know to be RSM Wass.

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by grimmy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:09 am

Hi Spreaders,

Monkey Blacker was initially 'C' Squadron Leader. We know the members of his tank crew because he names them in his autobiography 'Monkey Business': Bert Horrobin (operator), Sam English (driver), 'Oscar' Ward (gunner) and 'Buttons' McGrath (co-driver).

In July 1944 Blacker was promoted to be the Regiment's 2nd in Command, which involved his transfer to HQ Squadron and a change of tank - almost certainly your father's. Blacker's place in 'C' Squadron was taken by Bill Shebbeare, who had just arrived from England having been in charge of the 'Left Out of Battle' (LOB) group.

Although Blacker was disappointed with his move (he regarded 2IC as a 'non-job'), it was a fortunate one. On July 18th, during Operation Goodwood, his old tank took a direct hit on the turret. Shebbeare and Horrobin were killed instantly (Shebbeare was initially listed as 'missing' - no trace of him was ever found); English, Ward and McGrath were badly burned and evacuated back to England.

If your father was with Blacker for 18 months, that would take us to early 1946. This rings true as the Regiment was finally disbanded around this time at Husum (Blacker was now in command of the whole Regiment).

It also makes sense that their tank was 'old' - HQ Squadron tended not to 'mix it' with the enemy so their tanks didn't suffer damage to the same extent as the 'sabre' squadrons.

Unfortunately, Blacker does not mention his crew during this period (indeed he describes the entire advance of the Hussars through Belgium, Holland, Germany to Denmark in a single page!).

Another possible source of info is his 'other' autobiography 'Soldier in the Saddle' which I have just ordered online.

In addition, on November 13th there will be a small gathering of Hussar veterans at Bridlington, starting with a Service of Remembrance at the Parish Church (which houses the Hussars' Roll of Honour). This will be a first for my Dad and I'm hoping there may be another five vets there, plus relatives of men who are no longer with us. You would be very welcome.

Sorry I can't be more helpful with names. At least your father can't have had a better commander than Monkey Blacker.

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by spreaders » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:45 pm

Hi Grimmy,
thanks for the reply sorry for not getting back sooner,thats the only info i have on my father Trooper H.Spreadbury,i vagley recall
dad mentioning C Sqadron,but was only young at the time,wish i had asked more questions while he was alive,any info would be apprecieated. JS

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by grimmy » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:58 am

JS

Was your father with Blacker while they were both in C Squadron, or was it later when Blacker was made 2nd in Command of the Hussars (or indeed, both)?

My father (a sprightly 88 year old) was in C Squadron throughout the campaign - I'll ask him if he remembers your father.

Anyone else with any C Squadron enquiries - fire away!

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by spreaders » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:58 pm

Hi to all,
Totally new to this site,looking for any information re;Trooper Harold Spreadbury,23rd Hussars,Harold was my Father and would never talk about the war,which i suppose is understandable.
i do know that he served with 23rd Hussars,i have a letter signed by Lt Col Cecil (monky) Blacker stating that my father was is driver for 18 months and they had the oldest tank in the regiment.The letter is in the form of a referance for civvy employers.
Looking for any information on the Tank also members of the crew.
Hope someone out there can help.
Tahnks for reading.
JS

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Re: Operation Goodwood / 23rd Hussars

Post by sgreenhalgh » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:40 am

I have just joined this site because I am doing some research to find out more about my wife's uncle Lance Corporal Leonard W. Ball who was killed on Hill 112. His son, who was only 5 at the time, has naturally been curious about his dad, what he was like and the circumstances of his short time in Normandy but is unable for various reasons to do the research himself. As far as we know Leonard was in one of the first tanks of B Squadron that approached Point/Hill 112 on the 28th June 1944 and which came under attack and destroyed. He and the others in his squadron who died in the action are commemorated in the Priory Church in Bridlington (where they did their training) - see http://www.skysurfer.co.uk/armour.htm.

I wondered if anyone had any memories of Leonard so that I can pass them on to his son Peter.

Stephen Greenhalgh
Southampton

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