56th London Division


56th (London) Division

Ronald Stanley Marten Bowtle 100th L.A.A. Battery Royal Artillery

These are some of the 162 pictures taken from Gunner Bowtle Campaign photo album of North Africa, not all the pictures in his album are of war but everyday people trying to go about their lives while not far away battles rage. He served with the 8th Army as part of the 56th (London) Division (Black Cats) as a 40mm Bofors gunner in Egypt, Sicily and Italy.

Battalion HQ / 88mm Flak gun and Half track

ME109 / Derna Pass

Soolum Pass / Bardia Bridge

Benghazie / Benghazie

Graves at El Daba, Mersa Matruh and Tobruk

Church at Tobruk

Helwan Grand Hotel used by the Red Cross

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Archibald Alfred Magee 2/6th The Queens Royal Regiment

The following pictures are of C/Sgt A.A.Magee he served wiht the 56th Division (Black cats) attached to the 8th Army, he saw service in North Africa and Italy.

Trieste Italy 1945 (note the black cat patch) / Italy 1944

Cairo, Egypt 1945 / Cario, Egypt 1945

C/Sgt Magee's Dad served with the 11th Rifle Brigade Squad 120 during World War I

His regiment were In action from 25th August 1914, during the retreat from Mons, the 1st Battalion held up three German Jaeger battalions and a cavalry brigade all that day, giving such a display of rapid fire that the enemy mistook it for machine guns. Then as operations ground to a halt and trench warfare took over, more and more infantry were needed until by 1916 eleven Rifle Brigade battalion were in France and Flanders and one in Salonika. A further ten battalions of affiliated Territorial Regiments served, mostly on the Western Front but also in Gallipoli, the Middle East and India. After four years of fighting in atrocious conditions, facing concentrated artillery and machine gun fire as well as poison gas and flame throwers, the war was won, but at tremendous cost. The regiment lost 11.575 dead. Ten VCs were won as well as 1743 decorations for bravery.

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