Museum photo No 0601/F/3
Tanks armed with 17 Pounder guns began to arrive. At the
first test , the flash made observation impossible and singed
off the gunner's eyebrows; and the blast blew over a hut.
On the 2nd of June we left for Southampton Docks. The move
was flawlessly organised, civilians en route were wonderfully
kind and dashed out at halts to give us tea and buns - to
the great disgust of the Military Police who had (quite
rightly) been ordered to keep us in purdah to the bitter
end. We embarked that evening. The weather seemed perfect.
We were setting out to add a date to the history books.
Nottinghamshire Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry.
Museum photo No. 2995/E/4
The next day the Regiment, covered by the Fireflies which
had been grouped together under captain Cotton, advanced
to point 72, to the west of the main road. Only the 17 Pounders
had enough range to give effective covering fire in this
open, rolling country. Point 72 was quite a commanding feature,
with good views up the valley of the Orne which, at this
time, was being cleared by the Canadians; but any move towards
Verriers brought down extremely heavy fire. The Germans
put in no armoured counter-attack, but there were tanks
and SP guns milling around in an apparently aimless manner.
The Fireflies, by very accurate shooting, managed to knock
out a party of five German tanks.
4th County of London Yeomanry, 19th July 1944.
Museum photo No 2996/B/3
No. 3 Troop of A Squadron, the forward troop covering the
right flank, were the first to make contact. Sergeant Gordon,
commanding a 17 Pounder tank reported three Tigers advancing
slowly north, in line ahead, along the Falaise-Caen road.
When the range had closed to 800 yards Captain Boardman
gave the order to fire. Sergeant Gordon engaged the rear
tank of the three. Two shots from Trooper Ekins, the gunner,
set it on fire. Time 1240 hours. The second tank traversed
right and fired three shots at Sergeant Gordon, but anticipating
this he was already reversing into cover. Unluckily as he
did so either his turret flap hit a branch of a tree or
it received a glancing blow from a shot; whatever the cause
it came crashing down onto the Sergeant's head almost knocking
him out. Lieutenant James dashed over to Sergeant Gordon's
tank, took command, quickly moved to a new fire position
and Trooper Ekins fired one shot at the second tank. It
exploded in a flash of flame. Time 1247 hours.
By this time the third Tiger was in a panic, milling around
wondering how he could escape. To add to his confusion Captain
Boardman peppered away with 75mm armour piercing which stopped
him but did not put him on fire. Two shots from Trooper
Ekins settled the matter and this tank also started to burn.
Time 1252 hours. Three Tigers in twelve minutes is not bad
1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry 8 August 1944.
Museum photo No. 2996/C/4