British officer served with 11th Hussars in GB, Palestine, North Africa and North West Europe 1933-1947; Colonel 11th Hussars 1965-1969; Colonel The Royal Hussars 1969-1973
REEL 1 Born at Grimstone Lodge Tadcaster. Family: brothers & sisters, father & father's work. Industrialist family based in Leeds. Move to Bedale Hall in 1904; becoming 'county' people. Baronetcy to grandfather in 1900 for industry and philanthropy: Director of Yorkshire Post & Great Eastern Railway. Great Great Grandfather Samuel Lawson started business making machinery to work flax and other fibre material, 1801. Ancient connection with Percy family. Father's background. Father & uncles in First World War. Factories turned to munitions. Grandfather's death 1915 and decline of family fortunes. Uncle in 11 Hussars, adjutant at beginning of 1WW. Father in Yorksshire Yeomanry. Uncle's transfer to Gloucester Regt and death commanding a battalion in 1918. Father content not to have an active war. Fate of the family business. Recollections of Zeppelin raids in London and being taken to see a bomb crater at Lowndes Square. Grandfather's work with government and travels abroad in relation to industry and reason for a house in London. No recollection of father coming home on leave. Memory of being taken to Buckingham Palace and a theatre to celebrate end of war 1918. Description of lack of closeness between parents and children at that time. Household staff: £200 a month for indoor staff of 10 and catering. Memories of enjoyable visits to servants hall. Parents' divorce. Father's transfer to Cologne, Germany in 1919 as President of the Summary Courts. REEL 2 Father lived in Cologne until 1926: they visit. Marries second time, Maude Bailey of Bass Breweries family. Move to Lunsfords Cross near Bexhill to live with grandmother, Louise Lawson: happy time. Day boys at a local school: transported in a chauffeured Model T limousine Ford car. Staff at Lunsford Cross: 1919 - 1920. No clear recollections of day school, but does recall seeing Three Musketeers at cinema. Recollections of a local bus and bicycles behind local lorries. Smoked Dr. Blossom's health cigarettes. Riding family but no riding at this stage. Goes to residential prep school Lockers Park, Hemel Hempstead: father & uncle had both been. Terrific shock. Cricket. Bullying story. Dormitories. Masters' behaviour. Required to share any gifts from home. Examples of bullying and sexual deviance from masters. Diagnosed as having an enlarged heart, necessitating a year as an invalid. Romantic attachment to his nurse. Polo Twin radio his salvation, given by family connection, Duchess of Devonshire. A tutor arrives at end of invalid year. REEL 3 Tutor in holidays, lived as part of family & taught in mornings with free afternoons. Father returns from Germany in 1926 & family moves to Callingwood Hall nr. Burton on Trent on Rangemoor Estate, belonging to step grandmother, Baroness Burton. Father's situation: on staff of Hamptons, estate agents in London. Staff at Callingwood. Cramming tutor for Eton entrance exam: left having taken the second family car. He failed exam. Goes to residential crammer in Essex, six months. Accepted for Stowe, although probably did not need to pass exam for that. His year out still creates problems in studies and in sport. Games at Stowe: rugby, golf, cricket, running, beagling. Anecdote about David Niven. Stowe academic standards probably not high as a young school. Sport was important, inc. tennis. J F Roxborough was head: anecdote about being beaten by him about a possible homosexual friendship between a friend and another boy. Corporal punishment at Stowe School. Other disciplinary measures. School subjects including carpentry Limited help from staff regarding him catching up on lost year. Anecdote about serious attack of influenza during an epidemic, circa 1927 - 8. Left Stowe 1930. Stowe Housemaster, Major Howarth, suggests he may not be able to get into Sandhurst so goes to another crammer specialising in Sandhurst entrance. REEL 4 No qualifications on leaving Stowe. Foregone conclusion that he would go into Army, specifically 11 Hussars, based on his uncle being in that regt. Brother expected to go into Navy: he had been sent to different Prep school as John had been too protective of him. Decisions on future life not taken by the children, decided for them. An approach had been made to 11 Hussars before he went to Sandhurst, via General Sir Tommy Pitman: uncle had been his adjutant. Description of the Sandhurst crammer. Sandhurst entry not by exam and cannot recall even being interviewed. Two year course. Sandhurst syllabus: continuation of some basic school subjects, plus military history and study of tactics, inc. field work and drill. If going into cavalry unit, had to do riding school. Evenings had to dine formally in mess. OTC at Stowe. Sandhurst requirements for turnout very high and up to Guardsman standards, whether in civilian or uniform. Anecdote about being sent back to camp by Capt. Viscount Allenby of 11 Hussars, a member of staff: not seemly for 11 Hussars officers to thumb lifts. Military history syllabus taught separately and by Army officers. Content mainly based on WWI and perhaps Boer War. Recalls Palestine and Dardenelles being taught. Training suggested a use for cavalry in future wars and no idea that mechanization would advance as quickly as it did: based on operations at end of 1918. Cousin by marriage to Wavell who said privately that next war would be very different. Because of doubts about cost of being in cavalry regt Wavell had been approached to sponsor him into his own regt. Black Watch. (1 min blank). REEL 5 Common syllabus for all cadets. Staff from all branches of army, ditto students, except RA & RE who went to Woolwich. Overseas students, India & Africa. Issue & type of uniform: probably tailoring involved in order to get standard of turnout required. Riding School: required of everyone marked for a cavalry rgt., but open to others as well. Indoor training followed by cross country. "Quit and cross" riding - riding without stirrups to build up leg strength and develop a deeper seat. No stabling and tack work but taught rudiments. Weapons instruction: rifle but no other weapons. Sports: curriculum and competitive events. Recalls Sandhurst teams but not inter-Company teams. No recollection of sword drill. Discipline: reasons for punishment and types of punishment - puttee parades, description of. REEL 6 He had a lot of puttee parades - difficult to find self discipline. Problem solved by his being made a Lance Corporal with some responsibility for other cadets. Discipline among cadets: running into lake. Each cadet had own small room & 1 batman to 4 or 6 cadets, mostly to teach how to look after kit. Eating in College was always in form of formal mess. No recollection of any alcohol, even beer. Social life: quite varied but had to be back in College by 2300: could do Piccadilly to Sandhurst in 35 mins. Annual ball. Sovereign's Parade. Granting of Commission. No recollection of taking an oath. Joining regiment. Acquisition of uniform: costly as no free issue. He had 2 polo ponies but no car - possibly only officer who did not. 11 H brown beret not uniform at this time. REEL 7 Spurs. Sword. Process of joining regiment. Drilled alongside new intake of troopers, about two months. Riding school two mornings a week. Range work. Instructed as Orderly Officer by shadowing him for a couple of months. No recollection of firing machine guns unless they took cars onto ranges. Cars were Rolls Royce. Driving tuition by NCOs. Maintenance at daily garage parades but taught mainly at Bovington on D & M course. Lulworth range courses on machine guns and Boyes anti-tank rifle. Possibly the anti-tank gun of the day but no clear recollection. Tactical handling of troop: squadron and regimental schemes. Importance of map reading and reporting: flag signalling within troop, messages by motor cycles beyond. No thoughts about air power, enemy or friendly, while at Tidworth. No recollection of any specific tactical "handbook" deriving from experience in armoured cars since mech. 1929 REEL 8 Acceptance into mess. Most officers old Etonians & only talked to by degrees & to be referred to by christian name. Mess very close and good food: lady chef. Prince Henry with Rgt. at time. Polo: his own 2 polo ponies and 2 chargers with a trooper groom. Tidworth Tattoo. Social aspects of the sport. Learning history and traditions of rgt. Amount of time off allowed in addition to leave for racing or hunting: co-operation in sharing out duties on squadron basis. Similar sort of consideration afforded to troopers. Level of troop supervision by officer. Move to Egypt. Accommodation for troopers very poor: subalterns in cabins of 4. Cabins for more senior officers rather better. REEL 9 Type of kit taken to Egypt: Officers' & Sgts' mess silver etc, plus personal furniture and linen etc. for married men. Accommodation for married officers mainly in houses and flats rented from Egyptians. Other ranks also brought families. Many officers brought over own vehicles and also some private horses: chargers were Army animals and stayed in place. Syce: an Egyptian groom, plus a boy to look after horses. No batmen in Egypt but Egyptian servants provided by gvt. called Safragis. Officers not renting houses lived in mess in camp, with some bungalows with bedrooms and separate accommodation for safragis during day. Mostly slept on verandas under nets: no recollection about malaria problems at the time. Gentian violet and sulphonamide about only readily available medicines. Not much sunstroke but in later life some suffered from skin cancer. No problems with acclimatization. Solar topees. Wearing of boots in early days. Change of dress after experience of climate. Taking over vehicles. Started desert training at once: sand mats and later metal sand channels. Does not think 12L were able to pass on desert lore: had to be learned by individuals up. Baharia Oasis expedition. REEL 10 Lessons of expedition. Thinks sun compass not then in use. Used standard compass and made allowance for deviation from cars. Also used an RAF compass, one per squadron on leader's car. Description of RAF compass and use. Maps of time very poor but they got to know landmarks. Problems with cars centre round tyres and water: use of condensers, but at later stage, after Palestine. Carriage of water on cars. Fuel. Ammo & food. Feeding all done on an individual car basis. Additional fuel on individual cars not really an acceptable expedient for safety reasons until advent of the jerrican. Abyssinia crisis end 1935 and move to Sollum. Role was to evacuate Egyptian Army garrison in event of Italian advance: anecdote about evacuation exercises. Egyptians take part in memorial service for George V. KLM airstrip above Sollum. Relations between British and Egyptian Army. REEL 11 Opinions of Egyptian Army. Has no recollection of being part of Mobile Desert Force or of any exercises with other elements of this force. Additional comments on liaison with 208 Army Co-Op Sqn: three months secondment to sqn. to do map reading and vehicle recog. from air. Air - ground message exchange. One car in troop with wireless & that operated by Royal Sigs. personnel. Sand tyres: what they were & when available. Canvas sand mats and metal sand channels. Discipline in Egypt as opposed to GB. Palestine 1936: reasons for going. Ambushes and road blocks. No experience of the mobile arty. support. "Boring stint". Activities on return to Cairo November 1936: shooting, polo, cricket and social life. So many parties subalterns had to run a roster for attendance. Expensive & he was soon in financial difficulties. REEL 12 Brigadier's Inspection and anecdote about CO having to pay his mess bills. Expectations of war as early as 1937 - 38. RAF liaison with 208 Sqn. in 1937 - 38, not earlier. Palestine 1938. Prototype Morris a.car evaluated summer 1938 in Haifa. Captain's exam taken in autumn 1938. To join TJFF in Jan 1939: salary about 30% higher and very much lower expenses. Cleared his debts in 18 months in Trans-Jordan Frontier Force. The transfer to TJFF: but remained 11H as considered as on detachment. What TJFF was: under UK Colonial Office. Organisation and location of detachments of Force. Protection of border, Jewish settlements and Baghdad - Haifa oil pipeline. Force HQ officers all British and very comfortably housed and messed. Sqns. one British officer and Arab officers under him. Force operated in both Jordan and Palestine. REEL 13 Origins of Force troops: Jordanian, Circassian Arabs & some Sudanese as servants. Scope of responsibilities. Anecdote about a cavalry charge on a group of bandits. Relationships with Arab villages and Jewish settlements. Influence of Wingate on the Jewish settlements. MC awarded while with Trans-Jordan Frontier Force. No citation as not given with Colonial Service citations: his CO, Col. Crystal, says was for scope of responsibility, size of command, "moving to sound of guns", plus cavalry charge. Learns some Arabic, particularly for administration of justice. Contact with Bedouins & wealth of some of these from sale to Jews of land thought only to be of use in feeding sheep and camels, with subsequent displeasure when Jews make fertile with irrigation. Anecdote about malaria attack and spinal injection of quinine. Early 1940 Arab - Jewish situation improves and some detachments withdrawn. Seeks Wavell's assistance to get him out of Force & back to regt. D'Albiac anecdote. Relationship with Jordanians: close to royal family. TJFF uniform. REEL 14 Trans-Jordan Frontier Force uniform. Move back to regt. about August 1940, given 2i/c B Sqn. under Geoffrey Miller and joins at Gabr Saleh. B into reserve: Miller had been ill. Next move was forward to assist Coldstream retire from Buq Buq to Sidi and thence to Mersah. He considers TJFF as equipping him for job as 2i/c a/c sqn.: taught independence. Role of 2i/c of sqn. Includes rear link & echelon liaison. Makeup of SHQ: use of Sqn. leader's staff car. LAD. Sqn. echelon lorries. Sqn. feeding arrangements. Organization of echelon resupply & distances covered. SQMS was back at Rgt. as sqn. rep. Resupply usually at night. Resupply not always each day. No bread, always biscuit, seldom fresh meat, some fresh veg. Water the most important item. Night laagering & what it entailed. Grouping together as a morale element. Sharing of weekly bottle of whisky among all troop leaders, officer or NCO. 3 - 4 miles typical distance of patrol line in front of SHQ. REEL 15. Night laager for replenishment, visit by Dr. & any decisions on evac. of sick. Time to bury killed if not done on troop position: method of handling burials & recording & marking graves for later collection for burial at central point. Sqn. leader responsible for writing to next of kin. War diaries: responsibility, format. Detailed diaries a way of sqn. leader recognizing those who are doing the job. Private diaries not allowed: court martial offence. Cameras same. Amount of sleep: about 7 hours a night: most slept well. Overall good health. Desert sores an early phenomenon, less frequent later: partly due to improved medicines but also to improved food and water supply. Fewer flies as congestion decreased. No lice. Quite thorough wash is possible with tiny amount of water. Sqn. a large family to help with individual problems, personal & battle stress. Anecdote about dealing with an AWOL case in desert outside disciplinary process. Policy of sending people back for a rest, or for permanent reallocation of duties. Anecdote about a court martial for L.Cpl. asleep on sentry at front line: as an example. Training of new officers on service: role of instructing officer or sergeant. 11 Hussars' introduction of rank of Troop Sergeant Major. REEL 16 Troop Sergeant Major as officer candidates: short course in GB & came back as Lieutenants. Marmon Herringtons as death traps: crews ordered bale out under air attack. German tactic of combined air & 8 wheel a/c attacks. No basic tactical manual on handling of a.cars: possible situations too varied to make viable. Basic role of a.car unit. Little in way of theory in desert. Effects of types of terrain. Inadequacy of maps: lack of 'going' maps. Anecdote about using Bedouin to find way through wadi area SE of Tarhuna. Stone & shrub terrain preferred. Never really worried by going, but torrential rain could stop movement. Terrain & petrol consumption. Mirage & sandstorms. Navigation and types of compass: RAF compass. REEL 17 RAF compass could be set to allow for the amount of armour on the car. Positioned adjacent to driver rather than in turret. No problems with homosexuality, neither the opportunity nor the inclination. Where it was a possibility it had no effect on morale and effectiveness. Possibly not recognized as an issue in Kings Regulations. Role of regt. after Italian advance and subsequent halt. Stance of Italians on Sidi Barrani position and lack of counter-patrolling: reliance on fortifications. Camps were walled and approach invited engagement over open sights. Does not recall particularly heavy Italian air attack at this stage. 'Jock Columns': composition, aim, period of patrols and depth of penetration, specific objectives, command of columns. Impression of Jock Campbell. Role of communications in an armoured car regiment. Royal Corps of Signals contribution to regiment. Use of voice and morse. RAF a-cars join Rgt. by Air Vice Marshall Longmore's agreement. Very successful association REEL 18. Additional comments on RAF a/cars & liaison with Army Co-Op Sqns. at Heliopolis. Lead up to Battle Sidi Barani. Jock Columns & role in keeping open gap in line of forts. Battleaxe: B Sqn. role. Initiative of Troop leaders. SHQ seldom more than 2 miles behind Troops & ability to come forward to take PW off their hands & give additional orders. Level of briefing given to Rgt. "Surprise & bewilderment" at Italian collapse. They were clear on overall plan. Method of briefing. Method of dealing with PW: very placid and obedient & happy to be out of war. Management of casualties: own & enemy. Move from raid to pursuit. The Italian stand at Buq Buq & 3Hussars in the marsh. Italian air attack on C Sqn. when concentrated for descent of escarpment. Italian air assigned to counter Brit. a.cars in absence of any Italian ground equivalent: information from captured Italian general. Moral effect of air attack in absence of means to retaliate. Lack of air cover. He was not involved in the advance West & went back to Cairo. Rgt. returns Cairo 15 Feb. 41. REEL 19. March 41 draft of reserves from GB. Including Ken Alexander as father figure of regt; also first of the TSM officer candidates who had been through officer training and commissioned. Conversion from Rolls Royce to Marmon Herrington: shortcomings of the MH, mainly because of poor armour. It became necessary to make it standard procedure to bail out during air attack, but then Gmns. combined air attack with ground attack by a.cars so troops over run. John Coombe leaves rgt. & command taken by Jack Leetham: character sketch of Leetham. The re-posting of officers who had been with the rgt. for some time: a combination of age and marital status at Sqn. leader level. Different at troop leader level: here it was primarily battle stress. Night laager opportunity for Sqn. leader to assess tp. leaders' mental state. Tendency for generals at base to snap up officers sent back for r&r as adc's. Caused problems of manning and experience within rgt.: constant need to train new subalterns. Comments on training of new troop officers & role of NCOs. Relative staying power of new officers and those promoted from ranks. Italian weapons on Marmon Herringtons & less good over bad going but not as thirsty as Rolls. Back to desert April 41: he goes as 2i/c A Sqn. His uncle's WWI Sqn. & always considered himself an A Sqn. man. REEL 20 Officers of Rgt. on return to desert. He takes over A Sqn. June 41 on return of Robarts to GB: Robarts a married man who had been overseas for some time. Operational difference was now against German troops, considerably different to Italians. Germans a very high quality of troops. Very effective use of air power in particular: resolute and low level attacks. Very demoralising, esp. as no possibility of hitting back. German ground recce. methods. Briefings for Battleaxe. In desert fighting an overall briefing is all that is practical. Method of briefing within the Sqn. Need for initiative at Troop level, disposition of troops and SHQ, and split of forward and rear SHQ depending on type of operation. Impressions of Battleaxe: primarily vision of muddle. Their casualties primarily from air attack. Night laagerng, even in middle of battle: method of laagering and density of squadron laager at night. REEL 21 Density and method of night laager in battle, soft vehicles. Re-supply methods: echelon as far as rear SHQ then forward in Sqn. soft vehicles. Standing patrols and sentries. Back to observation role after battle and attrition from usual skirmishes and air attacks. Back to Cairo early September: well earned rest & re-equipment: use of poor vehicle like Marmon Herrington over extended period bad for morale. More vehicle and personnel casualties during time with MH than at any other time. Battle exhaustion not accepted in rgt: if someone showing signs of nerves by agreement sent back to base in Cairo. Either return after rest or reclassified. Lost many officers to senior officers as adc's. Apparent lack of supervision of personnel sent back to base. Assessment of officers a Sqn. leader's responsibility: use of the night leaguer. No use of B Echelon for rest. Role of RMO. Impressions of the Humber: easy maintenance, good cross country, better protection against mines, armour proof against aircraft mg's. REEL 22. Armament considered an improvement. Worst aspect of armament was the failure ever to provide AA armament. Radio: anecdote about Jock Cambell using 11H net to keep him informed about Crusader battle. Impressions of Crusader as a completely confusing battle. Anecdote about a Phantom patrol with his Sqn. during battle. Expansion of the Jock Cambell anecdote. Keeping in touch with retreating enemy after battle. Anecdote about supplies brought up for Christmas 1941. Anecdote about officers under training. Significant use of mines by Germans with losses of vehicles and personnel. Tried to find routes through but made no attempt to clear. REEL 23 Troop fired on by Rhodesians attached to Northumberland Hussars a-tk rgt. Most senior officers of rgt. return to Cairo for leave immediately before Germans advance again. He takes command of a composite A & C Sqn. Observation of German advance on base and supplies at Msus. Evidence of British units and formations retiring in disorder: lots of abandoned kit. Sqn. on its own, not under orders of a higher command. Rgt returns Cairo leaving him with a further composite sqn. in field. Rgt. back together by mid February, near Alex, for rest & re-equipment. Next move was to Iraq & Persia: role of rgt. there. On return to Cairo drove through in parade order to applause by population. Type of recce. undertaken in Iraq & Persia: Condition of roads and checking maps. Western desert quite different on return: "awash" with additional troops and weapons. Their role in training newcomers. REEL 24 Regimental role in training newcomers. Germans seen to be on defensive with no real attempt at aggressive recce patrols. Enemy air still aggressive. No involvement in Battle of Alam Halfa. Arrival of jeeps & formation of a jeep troop for deep recce. Recollection of Montgomery briefing regiment on Alam Halfa and calling it an "Army battle", saying no more dispersal of forces. In contrast to preparations for Alamein where no-one was told until the last minute. Impressions of Montgomery: the additional resources made his job easier than his predecessors and they took exception to his criticisms of training and willingness to fight. Changes in command of regiment beginning September 1942, accompanied by considerable draft of new officers and men. Relative inexperience of troop commanders at period of Alamein, due largely to assignment of junior officers to generals as adc's. Accentuated the value of the NCO's: no similar turnover of nco's and soldiers. Transfer of junior officers simply happened without consultation with Sq. Leaders. Role of rgt. and preparations for Alamein: not known until just days before the operation. REEL 25 Sqn. worked with 44 Reconnaissance Rgt. in minefield breaching teams & 11 Hussars took over communications when 44 Rgt's communications broke down. Recollection of being terrified by the task: under close and intense fire unlike anything experienced before and little protection from cars. Significant effect of losing troop officers because there were so few in the squadron. Consideration of burial and possibility of graves being disturbed by accompanying troops. Feelings of relief on being withdraw on second night. He was co-located with Roberts at 22 Armoured. Brigade. HQ and co-ordinating own troops and communications, but no idea of the bigger picture beyond their local battle. Main recollection of the pursuit was the rain which turned desert into quagmire: wheeled vehicles had to be pulled out by tanks. Recollection of lack of petrol for tanks, made worse by the mud which made tanks use more fuel than usual. Germans retiring on the roads. Impressions of German effectiveness in fighting small rearguard actions. Anecdote about losing a young troop leader to a "skipping" bomb. Loss of three officers in one month significant in an armoured car regiment, as opposed to infantry or even tank unit. Anecdotes about shooting a drunken arab civilian in Benghazi and getting bomb shrapnel in backside. The regimental role was standard pursuit to retain contact with retreating enemy. Anecdote about John Harding withdrawing from a troop position in full view of enemy in order to draw fire away from troop. Anecdote about dinner with Montgomery at advanced Army HQ where discussed future armoured car policy. REEL 26 Discussion also about relative abilities of infantry cf cavalry officers, and amateur cf professional soldiers. Monty thought that all best were pre-war infantry regulars. Monty had ordered all troops to have some relaxation at Christmas 1942 and rgt. had a gymkhana and sports: anecdote about convalescent officer bringing lorry load of special rations up from Cairo. Rgt. received some new transport at this time. Reprise of some aspects of the discussion with Monty of armoured car doctrine, particularly regarding armament. Lack of Allied air cover for forward recce. in contrast to number of enemy air attacks on forward patrols. Anecdote about jeep troop patrol to Bou Ngem & subsequent death of officer when the Axis submarine he was being taken to Italy in was sunk. Very bad wadi terrain on approach to Tarhuna and anecdote about using an Arab guide. Description of wadis: banks near sheer and about 40 feet deep. Anecdote about John Harding (then OC 7 Armd. Div) being injured by shellfire when coming up to see forward squadron position. Reads from his personal war diary on entrance to Tripoli. Admiration for German Army's professionalism and shared values with 7 Armd. Div. Troops had only limited access to Tripoli. REEL 27 Monty's comment about his being best troop leader in 8 Army. Way in which Monty knew about him personally: John Posten as 11 Hussars & Monty's aide-de-camp and meeting Monty at advanced HQ 8 Army. Monty's advance HQ mostly young men, description of his mess and conversation, impressionis of the man. Monty's remaining interest in someone for rest of career after getting to know them. Adv. HQ often only about 10 miles behind front. He felt in need of change by time of Tripoli and ready for more responsibility. Becomes temp. Lt. Col. Flies to Algiers & briefed by McCreery to advise Americans on armoured operations. Spends much time with American reconnaissance unit. Anecdote about reporting to Patton. Citation from US Legion of Merit. Brief impression of Patton. Impressions of US forces: very green. Anecdotes about handling of dead and way of boiling a kettle. American belief that their Shermans no match for German armour & dislike for petrol Shermans. Americans brave but not very effective: failure at Gafsa. REEL 28. American units in Gafsa operations. American dislike of casualties and use of small units instead of determined major effort. Description of the American recce unit & use as infantry. The relevance of his desert experience to the quite different type of war with the Americans. They were slow & unsure of themselves: anecdote about propensity to take cover and to stay there too long. Advice given and way it was taken: the shadow of Kasserine. Quality of enemy opposition demonstrably lower on approach to Tunis & Bizerta. American failure to move out of hills above Bizerta when clear that enemy preparing to surrender. Amount of American equipment and supplies: no knowledge of living off individual vehicles. Terrain similar to approaches to Tripoli: cultivation and some trees. Effect of terrain on 11 Hussars' tactics: operations effectively confined to roads and need to be very conscious of mines. The scout troop for dismounted recce of flanks and to remove obstacles. Re-equipment of 11H at Tripoli with Daimler cars and scout cars, plus White scout cars for scout troop. REEL 29 Good impressions of Daimler a.car. Letters from home about family firm's armament production of 2pdr. shells. Role of correspondence with home: away so long that viewed Cairo as home, families did not tell about hardships at home. Brief description of Sheppards Hotel, the social life, the hurdle race for safragis in the dining room and attitude of staff officers. Anecdote about sharing aeroplane back to GB with Bob Hope and chorus girls. Meeting with Alexander. Impressions of & anecdote about Dick McCreery. Staff College: embarrassment of instructor who had seen no war service. Short 3 month course. REEL 30. Anecdote about Canadian pilots who went back to squadrons for night fighter sorties at weekends. Considered to be a respite from the war. Recalls nothing of syllabus but does remember being lectured by Montgomery. Social life in London: impressions of London winter 1943 - 44, darkness but plenty of night life. Shown V-Bomb damage by father. Ordered to America to US Marine Corps Staff course at Quantico by General Robert Laycock of Combined Ops.: possibly as result of involvement with ladies within Laycock's sphere of influence. Cannot recall how or why he came into orbit of Comb. Ops. & he had no-one to appeal to. Involvement with a high-powered social set, including the elder Kennedy boy. America on Queen Mary. Impression of those on the Quantico course. Impression of crossing on Queen Mary: uncomfortable, high speed solo crossing for the latter part. Socialising at weekends in Washington and New York. Anecdote about being mistaken in his cherry trousers for a gate porter. No recollection of detail of syllabus but based on practicalities for Pacific. Uniform and clothing arrangements for staff colleges and America. Sandhurst Staff College: did not sit exam but was given the passed short course qualification. Passed out of Quantico on 14 June 1944 and then ordered to San Diego to join 5 Marine Div. for Pacific. Visits to Hollywood and impressions of producers and stars. Orders suddenly changed to return to GB for invasion of Europe. Anecdote about giving lecture on Western Desert that he had to cut short as Bing Crosbie waiting in wings. REEL 31. Expected to go to Pacific with Marines but had received no precise orders from London or Washington. Sudden orders to return to the GB via New York, on Queen Elizabeth. On return, no employment. Appointed Liaison Officer with De Guingand near end of July. Under orders at HQ from Lt.Col. Harry Llewellyn, reverting to rank of Major. Carried various despatches back to London, to American Chief of Staff. Joined an advanced HQ at Blay beginning of August. This appointment via the Military Secretary, who was a friend of both himself and his father, having being cast adrift by Laycock at Combined Ops. Appointed as Liaison Officer to Montgomery's HQ shortly after. Distances involved often required them to use the Auster light aircraft as too far for jeeps, their usual transport. Role of Liaison Officer: starting at Corps HQ, then moving as far forward as time allowed. One key point to check was any alteration to axis of advance that might not have been advised to Army or Army Group. If possible, had to speak direct to the formation or unit commanders as opposed to their staffs. Also had to report on morale. Duties required experience and he wondered how some of the Liaison Officers were able to make the necessary assessments. His assessment of how his own experience was relevant: commonality of certain kinds of experience. His impressions of Phantom: not very flattering. REEL 32. Phantom in Europe. His own reporting procedures: Montgomery himself if early enough, given verbally, sitting in his caravan in front of a map. About half an hour given to each reporting officer. Did not go out every day: out two or three times a week. He was briefed for the visits by Brigadier Williams. His impressions of the corps commanders: some did not like the Liaison Officers but treated with less suspicions at and below divisional level. His last task, given by Montgomery, was to be minder to Prince Bernhardt of the Netherlands: keep him out of Holland, and trouble generally. Visits to Paris in the Prince's private aircraft to visit his girlfriend in American Red Cross. His own wife, then girlfriend, was also there. Move back to regiment: he showed an interest in the regimental rest camp in Brussels and re-established contact that way. Was asked for by commanding officer and was a squadron commander for a short time, then 2i/c. Took over a squadron at s'Hertogenbosch: anecdote about difficulty in gathering in his officers from various Dutch billets when a German attack came in. Much dismounted work and patrolling. Squadron leaders allowed a shotgun and some successful duck shoots. He had a caravan built onto a captured light truck: kept for rest of war. REEL 33. Orders received direct from Montgomery to take over Inns of Court. Tried to get instruction altered as he, regiment & Div. CO wanted him to stay but told sharply to obey. Concern in regiment that the alternative 2i/c not satisfactory. Mid January, took over Inns of Court at Rogel from Bingley, who was an 11 Hussar and had formed Inns of Court: thumbnail sketch of the man. Regiment out of line doing traffic control for concentration for Rhine crossing. Re-organization of regiment and the replacement of the turrets and front wings onto the SODs - 'sawn off Daimler' armoured cars. Crossed Rhine at Wesel after the divisional armoured brigade had re-armed with Comets. The experience of taking over a different regiment from a well-liked commander. Impressions of Roberts, CO of 11 A. Div. under which Inns of Court served. Takes leave to get married in London at the time the regiment crossed the Rhine but he has no recollection of leaving the regiment. Character of operations after the Rhine: main thrust infantry and armour with armoured cars on flanks. Bazooka was main problem: most Inns of Court casualties from this cause. The Blitz Troop: infantry section of the car squadron. Reference to the squadron gun troop. Bazooka problem led to his issuing an order that Troop Commanders would not always lead: too expensive in experienced officers. REEL 34. Advance after Rhine very rapid against not very intensive resistance. Main centres of resistance in towns dealt with by main forces. Inns of Court reached Belsen 12 - 13 April: close to Hamburg and in fairly well populated area. Impressions of Belsen. Dispersal of regiment in closing stages even more than usual: eg: one squadron garrison of Luneburg. Looting or control of looting by troops: some wine and the usual cameras and field glasses. They did obtain some racehorses evacuated from Gestapo stables in Berlin: identified as valuable breeding strain and eventually returned to owners: Rothschilds. Also obtained a lot of cash in different currencies which provided soldiers' comforts and the balance to set up the regimental benevolent fund. Ended up on Keil Canal on day of armistice. Squadrons at Lubeck and Rensburg. Inns of Court allotted to the district Kreis Sudtonden [spelling?] for initial occupation. One duty was to prevent fraternization across Danish border. No end-of-war celebrations: soldiers not regulars and so more interested in getting home. Main job was to prevent German troops breaking out of columns coming out of Denmark. Comments on organization of the columns. Non-fraternization order and attitudes to it. REEL 35. On move away from the Danish area some senior NCOs took German women with them, in regimental transport. He has them sent back. Left dealing with offenders to the Squadron commander. Comment on the people of Schleswig Holstein. Padre's social club to keep troops occupied: few duties and many officers took to horse riding, racing and point to point. Luftwaffe jet fighter unit in their area: held on the station until RAF had evaluated. Move to Heide, nearer Hamburg, taking over from 11 Hussars. Rgt. finally disbanded near Bremen: the regiment had been gradually whittled away between end of war and disbandment early 1946. He does not go back to 11 Hussars but back to GB to run German intelligence division at War Office, back to rank of major. Wife sets up house in Hampshire. Planning to leave army as no hope of commanding 11 Hussars for at least 5 to 6 years. His boss at WO was General Sir Gerald empler. The job was a waste of time: no real intelligence and a lot of it directly from the Times. Wife has restaurant in London and he helps out there. Anecdote about his talk with Templar about getting out of Army to join family engineering firm. No pension because he came out before his 15 years: £2,000 severance money, spent on clearing debts, having a party for friends and buying a picture. Did not consider hanging on for the extra year for the pension as his wife not an ideal army wife. Difficult times for young men of his age, getting back into the world: he was really no more than a quite good young soldier who had been out of circulation for 10 years: the social whirl was a form of catching up. His job in family engineering firm involved move to Belfast, and this triggered end of marriage. REEL 36. His entry into business was to serve as apprentice as iron founder: unsuitable considering his experience and age. Presumably with a view to future management but when it became necessary to manage the firm he was not equipped for it. Later became sales director, which was more suitable. Description of the conditions of world travel in the 1950s. Entered industry at behest of father who was getting older and looking for a successor: the company in NI was Combe-Barbers. Defeated in business by a company run by people who had never gone to the war. War service equipped him for man management: service life makes for good mixers and discipline, and good "ambassadors" for business. Self discipline as well, eg: the arduous foreign sales trips. Recce role in particular gives personal responsibility and accuracy at early age. War experience overall positive but some post war decisions were probably wrong. Comment on his business, ending in failure of company in recession. Second marriage and homes in Yorkshire then Spain. Came back to West Country to be near family. Back to describe role of regimental commander: description of taking over Inns of Court. His style was as up-front commander, leaving running of regiment largely to 2i/c at HQ. Advancing on broad front meant a lot of any day spent travelling. Organization of tactical hq: a jeep and some form of close protection. His ban on troop leaders always being the first car. REEL 37. He recalls little need to make administrative decisions as the relevant officers were competent to deal on their own. Biggest problems were POWs or personnel released from prison camps. The issue of orders within regiment: used radio a lot. Radio truck in roving tac HQ group. Make-up of regimental hq. Receipt of regimental orders mostly by going back to divisional commander. The role of the regimental commander in tactical handling: mostly a matter for the squadron commanders. The senior and distinguished people he had known throughout his army career. The regiment his real home after a not particularly happy childhood. Comments on Wavell, John Posten and the Montgomery connection. Becomes Colonel of 11 Hussars in 1964 and had to deal with the amalgamation with 10 Hussars in 1969. Role of Colonel of a regiment. Role in the amalgamation involves negotiating to secure minimum damage to personnel and maintenance of traditions. Colonel of regiment is a monarch's appointment, unpaid and no expenses. Interviews all young officers coming into regiment. Anecdote about Nicholas Soames being interviewed for 11 Hussars as opposed to father Christopher's regiment. REEL 38. Really need an office and secretary. Provides obituaries and attends memorial services. Job is an honour and done for love of regiment. (end: 4 mins only).