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Discuss RIP to an Old Soldier gone to "The Green Fields". in Current Affairs on Navy Net; Father in Law died aged 88 over the weekend and it has been left up to me to organise the funeral. He was in 1st Royal Tank Regiment in the war, initially in North Africa ...
- 15-05-12, 09:14 #1
RIP to an Old Soldier gone to "The Green Fields".
Father in Law died aged 88 over the weekend and it has been left up to me to organise the funeral. He was in 1st Royal Tank Regiment in the war, initially in North Africa as one of Monty's "Desert Rats" in Churchills. He then re-equiped into Shermans and took part in the Salerno landings driving the length of Italy before returning to UK and then taking part in the final push from Normandy ending up in Hamburg. In Italy he pulled another Trooper from a burning tank earning him a "Mention in Dispatches" for "distingushed and gallant service" and he wore the Oak Leaf with pride.
He never really talked about The War and it wasn't until I was going through some of his personal papers over the weekend that I found a report of the battle group as it moved up through Italy and it is facinating reading. Trying to decypher some of the abbrieviations was a bit heavy going .. tk (tank??) ... SP (Self Propelled Gun??) I think ... but "Rhino's" & "Crocs" is a bit beyond me. Seems that the Italian troops didn't give them much hassle and it was only when they came up against Panzers (Tiger Tanks) that they got a bit more grief - Sod coming up agaiinst Tigers in Shermans! What did make really interesting was the bit about his Troop being seconded in support of 2 Cdo Brigade!
Thanks to BR (apprieciate your help Blackrat) I've managed to discover where I can get the Regimental Flag as a coffin drape and a bit of investigation on the web has come up with the Regimental Marches for 1st RTR. He didn't want any Hymns so got some military music to play during the funeral with the local Army Chaplain officiating. Think he would have enjoyed the irony of having a Matelot organise an Army funeral so the twist in the tail is that the recording I've found of the Regimental March is played by the Band of the Royal Marines! Well it was a better recording than the one by the Band of the RTR! At least thats my story and I'm sticking to it!Smother me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians!
15-05-12, 09:59 #2
Being a WW2 anorak, the "croc" was probably a Crocodile Flame thrower tank adapted from the Churchill tank and a Rhino was the name given to tanks that had hedge breaking spikes fitted to the front of them, they were brought about to break through the Normandy hedgerows, SP does stand for Self Propelled Gun as in an artillery piece mounted on a tracked chassis.Sh1t shot, pumping slop.
15-05-12, 10:29 #3
Thanks Wrecker ... had me foxed a bit! The report is written in "tankese" so took some decoding! One bit was where they found an Italian SP sheeted up with the crew asleep inside so captured them. Don't see how they could sleep with a troop of Shermans clanking up the road! BL I presume are bridgelayers ... they mentioned a couple of types .. light and heavy ... and they had Sherman Dozers. I was trying to sort out the timelines ... seems he was in the desert for some 2 years before going up through Italy ending up in Venice then home to get ready for the Normany landings then up through Europe to end up at Hamburg. Seems they had the Rhino's in Italy before the Normandy landings!Smother me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians!
15-05-12, 10:33 #4
- Join Date
- May 2006
- North of the city.
Sorry to hear of your loss mate, at least he had a good innings. Hope he went peaceful.
Had a bit of a shocker myself, my ex wife died two weeks ago, she had emphysema. She was 63 years old and had been ill for a spell.
She gave me two great children so I have always been greatful to her for that.
She was in the army, Womens Royal Army Corp, she was a musician in the staff band when I met her, and she was stationed at Queen Elizabeth park in Guilford. She was the first ever woman in a uniform to enter East Berlin, her 15 minutes of fame.
Although divorced we remained quite good friends, and I was really upset when she died, especially as I saw how the kids took it.
Her name when single was Christine Whale and she was known to everyone as "Cindy".
Rest in Peace Babe, you can breath properly now.XX
When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child.
When I became a man I joined Rum Ration, it was a natural progression.
But with swearing.
15-05-12, 10:39 #5
Couldn't have been the Normandy Rhino then. Germany had a tank destroyer (basically a tank without a turret, a bit like a SP but the gun was covered in armour) called a Rhino which was an 8.8 cm Pak 43/1 auf GW IV Nashorn (Rhino) to give it it's correct name.Sh1t shot, pumping slop.
15-05-12, 10:40 #6
Sorry to hear your news Rummers and welcome back.Sh1t shot, pumping slop.
15-05-12, 11:03 #7
MGM Sorry to hear about your loss. My Dad was also a "Desert Rat" never talked about it much, Only found out about most of it after he passed away.Stents: keeping things open 24/7
15-05-12, 11:04 #8
Nice to sea you back Rummers. Sorry to hear about your bad newsStents: keeping things open 24/7
15-05-12, 11:05 #9
Pongo's have come up trumps! Rang the Regt HQ yesterday to borrow a Regt coffin drape and its just arrived with "the postie" special delivery! Bugger! That means I have to go back to work!Smother me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians!
15-05-12, 11:12 #10
- Join Date
- May 2008
So sorry to hear this, MGM. My sympathies to you and your wife.