Author Topic: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?  (Read 2410 times)

Offline Doddie

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Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« on: Friday 19 July 13 07:31 BST (UK) »
My father has told me that his uncle, Joe Prescott, served in North Africa as a Desert Rat during the last war. He was with the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards). I have an old photo of Joe in uniform standing next to an army lorry in what seems pretty much like desert. I have looked up information on the Desert Rats and the units of which they were comprised but have not come across a specific mention of the Queen's Bays. Maybe I missed noticing. Could somebody please confirm for me whether those in the Queen's Bays would indeed have been Desert Rats?

Regards

Doddie

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Offline macintosh

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 19 July 13 07:48 BST (UK) »
Google Queens Bays 8th Army,
According to Wikipedia they were in the Western desert in 1941 with 2 pdr. Crusader tanks, they fougt at Gazala continuously for 19 days. They were at El  Alamein, Tebaga Gap, El Huina and Tunis.
Why not post the pic on here/ is there any Div signs on his uniform or the truck?
James 

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Offline Doddie

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 19 July 13 08:36 BST (UK) »
Hi James, thanks for your very prompt reply. The original photo is one of those small ones with a white border. I have already enlarged it to A4 size but there are still no real identifiable 'markers' to see. The lorry (sort of similar to the one featured in the film Ice Cold in Alex ) has a canopy style attachment over the drivers area and Joe is wearing short trousers and a side cap, I think it's called. The enlargement of the photo has - not unexpectedly - resulted in a loss of resolution.

Regards

Doddie

Offline supermoussi

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 19 July 13 10:07 BST (UK) »
Have you looked at this:-

http://books.stonebooks.com/book/1002421/

Additionally, in the Regimental History of the 9th Queens Royal Lancers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Queen%27s_Royal_Lancers the actions at Gazala and Alamein are covered in detail from a Tank regiments point of view, and mention is made of them serving alongside "the Bays". Although it is not your uncle's regiment I would recommend reading the book if you ever want to get a vivid idea of what went on in those battles:-

"The Ninth Queen's Royal Lancers 19361945." ed. Bright, Joan,(1951).  Aldershot: Gale & Polden

Unfortunately it is quite expensive to buy but I expect there are copies in the British Library etc.


Offline supermoussi

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 19 July 13 10:23 BST (UK) »
If you look at the wiki entry for the 2nd Armoured Brigade you will see it lists its components during WW2 as:-

The Queens Bays
9th Royal Lancers
10th Royal Hussars
1st Battalion Rifle Brigade
9th Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Infantry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Armoured_Brigade_%28United_Kingdom%29


The Bays, Lancers & Hussars were all in tanks and operated alongside one another during the day (didn't have night vision goggles back then so had a tendancy to drive into ditches at night!)

The 2 Rifle Brigades operated at night when it was cooler and they didn't get shredded by a hail of machine gun fire from the tanks.

Note that it says:-

"After being reformed it was sent in November 1941 to North Africa where it served with the 7th Armoured Division at Gazala, El Alamein and with the 1st Armoured Division in Tunisia and Italy."

and here is the entry for the 7th Armored Division:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_Armoured_Division_%28United_Kingdom%29

which probably answers your question.

Offline Bruce Dickinson

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 21 July 17 09:39 BST (UK) »
My uncle was in the 13th 18th Royal Hussars and they were almost wiped out at Dunkirk. (Dispatch rider...left is motorcycle on the beach)  My dad who is still alive remembers he was back (Salisbury) for a very short while then what was left of his regiment joined the Queens Bays in North Africa.   So yes. My dad says definitely Desert Rats. Unfortunatley he joined up quite young before the war and made it to north Italy where he was in a friends tank when a german tank shot an armour piercing round into the tank... Died 2 weeks before the war ended.

Offline Nazblue

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 11 November 17 10:37 GMT (UK) »
 Strictly speaking the Desert rats were 7th Armoured division with the Jerboa as a Div flash. Queens Bays were in 1st Armoured division with a white rhino on a black back ground as a div flash and therefore they were not desert rats as such althouh they served in the same theatre of war at the same time.

Offline Regorian

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 11 November 17 12:09 GMT (UK) »
I think you had to be 7th Armoured Division to be considered a Desert Rat. Queens Bays were never part of it.

I have a large banner they were all issued with at wars end (red desert rat outlined in white on a black background, too large to scan). I thought I had one small rectangular shoulder cloth badge, but can't find it.

Attached are Christmas card 1945 and about 20 men of Divisional Tank Squadron, 7th Armoured Division (apparently around an armoured car, their normal mounts were Cromwells) in Brussels autumn 1944. My mothers brother (6 RTR) is to left of hole in photograph.

     
Griffiths Llandogo, Mitcheltroy, Mon. and Whitchurch Here (Also Edwards),  18th C., Griffiths FoD 19th Century.

Offline Nazblue

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Re: Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) - Desert Rats or not?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 12 November 17 14:19 GMT (UK) »
As I posted earlier Queens Bays, which I served in, were part of 1st Armoured division and our div flash was the white rhino on black background so were not desrt rats as such. Incidentally the desert rat's div flash changed colours several times over the years including green on black when they had a splell in the jungle.