7th Royal Tank Regiment C Squadron

The following photos are from a collection that belonged to Lance Corporal R Smith 7896132 Middle east Force R.T.R - R.A.C. "Mentioned in Dispatches" London Gazette 22nd March 1945

Medals awarded note the Oak Leaf (Mention in Dispatches).

Mentioned in Dispatches Certificate stating R.T.R and R.A.C. service

Brief History of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment

7th RTR: 3rd September 1939 found 7th RTR stationed at Catterick Camp, North Yorkshire. It joined 1st Army Tank Brigade as part of the BEF serving with this independent unit during the Fall of France in May 1940, taking part in the action a Arras, 21st May 1940, when as part of 'Frankforce' (along with 4th RTR, 6th and 8th Battalions, DLI) they attacked a certain General Erwin Rommel's 7th Panzer Division, nearly killing Rommel himself. Here they suffered heavy causalities and were at one time being amalgamated with 4th RTR due to heavy losses. After evacuation at Dunkirk the Battalion was re-formed in September 1940. It arrived in North Africa in December 1940. It then served as part of 4th Armoured Brigade in May and June 1941, during Operation Battleaxe, with one Squadron being assigned to Airfield defence on Crete in May 1941, too. After Operation Crusader helped in the lifting of the siege of Tobruk 7th RTR joined 32nd Army Tank Brigade as part of the Tobruk Garrison, but in June 1942 it was lost when Tobruk fell to the Germans.

It was then reconstituted by re-designation of 10th Royal Tank Regiment in February 1943, a part of 31st Army Tank Brigade. The Battalion then served in 31st Army Tank Brigade, being equipped with Crocodile Flame Thrower Tanks in September 1944, when it joined 79th Armoured Division. 7th RTR finished the war in North Germany, having supported both 4th Armoured Brigade and 7th Armoured Division many times on the way. In February 1945 31st Army Tank Brigade had become 31st Armoured Brigade.

As the brief history explains the 7th R.T.R. fell at Tobruk so more than likely Lance Corporal Smith was transfered to another Armoured Unit, as the following photos are of him and mates after the fall of Tobruk i.e. Battle of Medenine

The Lads

From left to right - Cal, yours truly, Dick (holding Thompson Machine gun) and Lance Corporal Willie

From left to right - Ding Dong, Authur, Myself, Yorky and Bill

From left to right - Myself, Lou and Tich (Tich has been recommended for the Military Medal.

From left to right - Archie, Danny and Jock

Some of the lads with adopted dogs

Desert Life for Lance Corporal Smith

A Desert Rat Brews up p.s. Theres a fire burning but the camera wouldnt catch the flame.

Auther cutting yorkys hair

Desert cookhouse

The guy in the middle looks like he needs to go to the cookhouse.

The Tanks

Taken after the Battle of Medenine

Sherman tank

Ops didn't see that hole, same Serman.

Grant Tank

Battlefield Wreakage

German Panzer

Artillery piece

Blown up Grant

Panzers top and bottom

JU88 I have seen plenty of these.

Time to relax


Re-union Photo

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