War Diaries of 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars



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January 1943

CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd

1/1/1943 On the departure to another location of 10th Armd Div, the Regt became GHQ Troops.
2/1/1943 Capt FS Fryer returned to duty from hospital and sick leave.
6/1/1943 Capt JG Vaughan returned to duty from hospital and sick leave. Lt JNE Slee and 64 ORs posted to the Regt from 2nd RGH to fill vacancies within the War Establishment.
7/1/1943 2Lt AP Ridley-Thompson joined the Regt.
11/1/1943 Orders received to stand by to move from the 13th to CYPRUS.
16/1/1943 The Regt left for CYPRUS. 23 Officers and 453 ORs entrained. The G1098 equipment was left in the care of the rear party of 3 Officers and 30 ORs to be handed over to the Yorkshire Hussars on their arrival.
18/1/1943 Regt disembarked at FAMAGUSTA.
19/1/1943 Regt arrived at KOKEINI PRIMITHIA. Regt joined 20th Ind Infantry Bde. For Island purposes only, this Bde is called 10th Armd Bde.
22/1/1943 Tpr G Hallam killed in a road accident at KATO ZODHIA. He was driving a 15cwt truck which crashed over the side of a bridge. The only other passenger in the truck was uninjured.
24/1/1943 Tpr Hallam buried at NICOSIA Military Cemetery.
31/1/1943 Lt Colonel RCH Kidd rejoined the Regt after being on leave and awaiting air passage from CAIRO.

Nominal Roll of Officers – 31 Jan 43

  • Lt Col RCK Kidd
  • Major FH Blackett
  • Major RR Archer
  • Major FA Green
  • Major JJ O’Brien
  • Major PA Uniacke
  • Capt P Crichton
  • Capt C Daggett
  • Capt JL Ogier
  • Capt AS Wells
  • Capt GJC Paterson
  • Capt HL White
  • Capt FS Fryer
  • Capt JG Vaughan (Adjt)
  • Capt CR Hidden (Tech Adjt)
  • Lt RAR Hoare
  • Lt SJ Saunders
  • Lt J Austin
  • Lt A Hickson-Brown
  • Lt AG Curwen
  • Lt JA Downes
  • Lt GPMC Wheeler
  • Lt TH Farmiloe
  • Lt PJ Keane
  • Lt RJF Hosken
  • Lt JNE Slee
  • 2Lt AP Ridley-Thompson
  • 2Lt H Stewart Lt RD Pitt (QM)
  • Capt EDV Nicoll RAMC
  • Capt JFS Polden REME
  • Rev GJ Stubbs Bromley


February 1943

CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd

1/2/1943 Regt inspected by the Colonel of the Regiment, Rt Hon Winston Churchill MP. After the inspection the Prime Minister made a short speech and then lunched in the Officers Mess and left at approx 1330 hours amid much enthusiasm.
4/2/1943 Four Officers and 30 ORs who had been posted to the Regt arrived. The Officers were:- Lt RB Walmsley, Lt JM Strawson, 2Lt LC Jackson and 2Lt CD Dent.
6-25/2/1943 Corps Comdr, Lt General ITP Hughes DSO MC lectured to all Officers on “Personal behaviour in CYPRUS”. There were general questions with regard to training and possible fighting on the island.
15/2/1943 The Regt, with Tanks and B vehicles, was inspected by the Corps Comdr. After the inspection he discussed various points with the CO and afterwards inspected the billets.
18/2/1943 The CO was admitted to hospital with a slight attack of pneumonia. Major FH Blackett assumed command.
21/2/1943 9 Officers and 200 ORs participated in the Red Army Day celebrations in NICOSIA stadium. The salute was taken by the Acting Governor of CYPRUS, Mr JVW Shaw. The Regtl detachment was led by Major FH Blackett.
During the month the strength of the Regt was brought up to War Establishment plus 50% first-line reinforcements. During the month at least 70 ORs were absent on courses and a further number in hospital. It was found that a considerable amount of work was required on both A13 and Valentine Tanks which the Regt took over on its arrival and whose track and engine mileage was very high. An average of 50% of the 67 Tanks on the Regtl strength being daily off the road. For this reason, and also because of the restricted areas available for training at the present time of the year as a result of the ground of the plains being under cultivation, no Regtl or Sqn training was carried out and very little Troop training. Great attention was paid to individual training of all kinds, Driver/Mechs, Driver/Operators and Gunners. The general health and moral of the Regt was considered to be excellent. To a large extent these were due to the change of climate and general conditions as compared with the Western Desert and the Nile Delta.


March 1943

CO: Lt Col  RCH Kidd

5/3/1943 Capt C Daggett struck off strength on being posted to Home Establishment.
11/3/1943 All Officers and available NCOs attended a lecture on “The role of a Field Regt in support of an Armd Bde” by Lt Colonel F Lushington, 97 field Regt.
21/4/1943  Exercise 'Tough' finished.
22/3/1943 Lt Colonel RCH Kidd re-assumed command on return from sick leave.

Summary:- Training during the month consisted primarily of Troop training. This type of training advanced considerably, although difficulties were experienced as regards restricted areas available for training and the limited number of Tanks on the road at any one time. During the month approx 80 ORs were absent having completed courses of instruction and being unable to obtain passage to return to the Regt. The climatic conditions during the month were varied, snow, rain and cold winds all being experienced.


April 1943

CO: Lt Col  RCH Kidd

2/4/1943 The CO and Adjt attended 25 Corps lecture on “Plan to defeat invasion”.
5-7/4/1943 Corps Exercise Tiger.
8/4/1943 Regt provided 16 Officers and 15 NCOs for Corps exercise 'Tough' as umpires, and nearly all of our transport.
10/4/1943 Lt WK Hedley, Lt PH Woods, Lt HNT Hall, Lt TH Harris and 2Lt H Stewart joined the Regt.
12/4/1943 Major Blackett assumed command of the Regt during the absence of the CO as umpire on Exercise 'Tough'.
21/4/1943  Exercise 'Tough' finished.
22/4/1943 Lt Colonel Kidd reassumes command of the Regt.
Summary:- During the month Sqn training was commenced but was somewhat hampered by the state of the Tanks and absence of vehicles and personnel on Ex Tough. All of the Officers and ORs who had completed courses were able to return to the Regt during this month.The temperature rose considerably during the month in comparison to March. The general state of the health of the Regt remains very good

May 1943

CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd

1/5/1943 Regt ceases to be part of 20th Ind Infantry Bde and become 25th Corps Troops. Major Blackett assumes command of the Regt during absence of the CO in CAIRO on duty. Anti-malarial measures brought into force.
4/5/1943 Comdr 25th Corps visited the Regt to inspect training.
7/5/1943 CO returned from CAIRO and reassumed command of the Regt.
30/5/1943 All Officers and NCOs attended a lecture given by Brigadier Elsworthy, director of Personal Services, GHQ MEF.
31/5/1943 CO and 4 other Officers attended a demo of RE work on a beach landing.
Summary:- Sqn training was covered on a wider scale. A certain amount of field firing was carried out in Tanks. HQ Sqn carried out range practice with rifle and Bren gun. A certain number of Regtl Sand-table exercises were held, but apart from these no other Regtl training was carried out. However, all Sqns leaguered out of camp during training for periods varying from three to seven days. Summer working hours were instituted from the beginning of the month on account of the heat in the afternoon. Towards the end of the month a few men were admitted to hospital with sand-fly fever, otherwise the general health of the Regt remained good.


June 1943

CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd

5/6/1943 LCpl C Wright died from a cerebral injury received as a result of an accident during range practice. This accident, in the opinion of the CO, was due to a fault either in the ammunition or to a mechanical defect in the gun.
6/6/1943 LCpl Wright buried in NICOSIA Military Cemetery. CO and Adjt attended a conference at HQ 25th Corps at which the Regt was given preliminary orders to move to EGYPT.
8/6/1943 Written orders with regard to the move received. Regt to take all G1098 equipment less vehicles.
11/6/1943 All Tanks, Scout cars and B vehicles (less 15) handed back to VRP.
18/6/1943 Movement order for move to FAMAGUSTA received.
19/6/1943 Regt left in two trains. A rear party of 1 Officer and 20 ORs left behind to hand in remaining vehicles and accommodation stores.
20/6/1943 T0300 – Regt left FAMAGUSTA. 
0700 – Regt arrived BEIRUT.
22/6/1943 2020 – first train left BEIRUT carrying all baggage. 
2330 – Second train left
24/6/1943 0800 – first train arrived BENI YUSEF camp.
1200 – Second train arrived.Regt placed under EGYPFORCE for all purposes.
27/6/1943 Lt CC Thompson joined the Regt.
28/6/1942 Regt ordered by 2nd Armd Bde to have one Grant Sqn (C Sqn) standing by to equip with Tanks in the next day or so.
Summary:- At the close of the month the Regt was at BENI YUSEF camp without any training equipment whatsoever. This time as many men as possible were being sent on 7 days leave until training equipment was received. No definite information as to the future of the Regt had been received by the end of the month.


July 1943

CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd

2/7/1943 BENCOL anti-paratroops formation of 8 Crusader Tanks formed in accordance with HQ 17 Area instructions.
4/7/1943 Rear party arrived from CYPRUS.
8/7/1943 Visit by Major General Norman AFV.
9/7/1943 Capt HL White and 12 ORs to provide escort to 34 Greek Officers from EL ARISH to PORT SUDAN..
10/7/1943 12 Crusader Tanks received for training purposes. Guard of 2 NCOs and 18 men mounted on FGCM Centre, ABBASSIA. Guard of 2 NCOs and 12 men mounted on Ambulance Train, CAIRO main station.
17/7/1943 Lt PJ Keane and 25 drivers detached on convoy duties to TRIPOLI.
19/7/1943 Demo of 75mm firing attended by all available Comdrs and Gunners at 33 Kilo range Suez road.Court Martial on Sgt E Cummin.
21/7/1943 2 NCOs and 12 Tank drivers to No 2 Port workshop Coy.
24/7/1943  Camp inspected by GOC in C.
26/7/1942 One Sherman Mk I delivered.
27/7/1943 0730 – Regt, having regained command of A Sqn, and the 8th Hussars Sqn, moved towards its start point. The Regt had 7 6pdr of the 9th Rifle Brigade’s and a section of the RE’s attached. 0800 – Regt halted at 884275. 1700 – CO learnt that the 1st Armd Div plan had been cancelled. 1800 – Regt ordered to return to their original area at 2130 hours. 4th Lt Armd Bde rejoined 7th Armd Div. 2320 – Regt arrived at 887256.
28/7/1943 4 Canadian Scout cars received.
30/7/1943 Execution of Pte Salehi Dekayo, AAPC, carried out by firing squad in accordance with HQ 17 Area letter 17/1/364/A of 27th July 1943.
31/7/1943 CO proceeded to METC on course.
Summary:- Before the arrival of any training equipment all Sqns made fullest of ABBASSIA Gunnery Wing Puff Range and American Wing. By the time of the arrival of the 12 Crusaders, 1 Sherman and 4 Scout cars, the Regt had been detailed for guards in 17 Area and detachments had proceeded on various routine duties outside the area. These duties now allow for only two Sqns in any one week to be engaged in training. Subject to this disadvantage and the lack of any Tank practice ammunition, as much training as possible has now been completed.


August 1943

CO: Lt Col  RCH Kidd

1/8/1943 Major FH Blackett assumes command of the Regt during Lt Colonel Kidd absence on Senior Officers course METC.
8/8/1943 Return of Capt HL White and escort of 12 ORs from Summit.
9/8/1943 Four close support Crusader II and one 2pdr Crusader II drawn from ABBASSIA.
11/8/1943 Guard of 8 NCOs and 48 men mounted at 63rd General hospital, HELMEIH.
16/8/1943 15 Officers and 50 ORs detailed to report to 17 Area HQ for Plan D.
17/8/1943 Return of Lt Keane and 25 ORs from convoy duties to TRIPOLI.
21/8/1943 Plan D completed.
23/8/1943 CO returns from METC.
25/8/1943 Guard of 4 NCOs and 24 men relieved from FGCM Centre, ABBASSIA.
27/8/1943 Inspection of Regtl area by Brigadier Chrystal, Comdr 17 Area.
Summary:- The continuance of 17 Area guard duties and the addition of the HELMEIH guard, the detachment of 14 Tank drivers, the absence of the TRIPOLI convoy for the major part of the month and the high number of personnel on courses, prevented more than one Sqn being engaged in training at any one time. Mechanical trouble with training equipment issued restricted what ever training was possible to a very local and static type. In spite of these difficulties the morale and health of the Regt remained excellent.


September 1943

CO: Lt Col  RCH Kidd

1/9/1943 Regtl scheme held in training area.
2/9/1943 Guard of 2 NCOs and 12 ORs on AAPIU relieved by 1/2nd Punjabis.
4/9/1943 Ten training Sherman III’s received from 9 Bde.
7/9/1943  Six Scout cars received.
8/9/1943 Guard of 8 NCOs and 54 ORs at 63 General Hospital relieved by Yorkshire Hussars.
9/9/1943 Convoy of 2 Officers and 43 ORs despatched to TRIPOLI.
11/9/1943 20 training Crusaders received.
13/9/1943 Regtl tests for Gunners commenced.
16/9/1943 C Sqn practice shoot, 75mm.
21/9/1943 B Sqn practice shoot, 75mm.
23/8/1943 Advance guard 8th Armd Bde accommodated. A Sqn firing.
24/9/1943 10 low grade 30cwt and two 15cwt training vehicles received.
27/9/1943 Regtl scheme. RHQ and 3 Tank Sqns employed.
28/8/1943 Verbal warning received of reorganisation of Regt.
29/9/1943 Regt transferred to command GHQ.
30/9/1943 Visit by Brigadier Roddick – 9 Armd Bde.
Summary:- Arrival of 10 Sherman Tanks and an increase in Crusaders to Regtl strength of 52 Tanks, and the relief of guard duties permitted a considerable amount of Tank training to be carried out. All Sqns also carried out as many 75mm practices on the range during the month as was allowed by the training allotment of ammunition. Regt Echelon training was precluded by the absence of 40 drivers on the TRIPOLI convoy. Regtl test for Gunner/Operators, Gunner/Mechanics and the upgrading of Driver/Mechanics were carried out with excellent results.


October 1943

CO: Col RCH Kidd

2/10/1943 Visit by Brigadier Roddick. Arrival of American Tank Training Team from 9th Armd Bde – 1 Officer and 3 Sgts. Relief of 2 NCOs and 12 men from SIME guard.
3/10/1943 Relief of 4 NCOs and 24 ORs from Ambulance train guard, CAIRO.
7/10/1943 8 Scout cars received from TEL EL KEBIR
9/10/1943 Arrival of reinforcements – 5 NCOs and 50 men from RAC TD. Return of TRIPOLI convoy duty.
11/10/1943 19 B vehicles received.
12/10/1943 Second draft of reinforcements – 5 NCOs and 30 men from RAC TD.
13/10/1943 Inspection of the Regt at training by Rt. Hon Anthony Eden and General Sir H Maitland Wilson.
14/10/1943 18 Sherman III’s delivered for TEL EL KEBIR. 9 training Shermans despatched.
16/10/1943 C Sqn scheme and 75mm firing.
18/10/1943 B Sqn training scheme and 75mm firing.
20/10/1943 A Sqn training scheme and 75mm firing.
21/10/1943 News of possible reorganisation of Regt as an Armd Recce Regt attached to 1st Armd Div.
23/10/1943 CO flies to North Africa for discussion with 1st Armd Div HQ. Major AM Barnes in command of the Regt.
27/10/1943 CO returns.
30/10/1943 Third draft of reinforcements – 7 ORs.
Summary:- During the month the Regt was finally released of all 17 Area routine duties. Full scale equipment of 52 Sherman Tanks and 18 Scout cars received and full scale training under Lt E Riches RTR. All the old training Crusaders and Shermans were returned to TEL EL KEBIR. The Regt was made up to strength by the arrival of 97 reinforcements from RAC TD.


November 1943

CO: Col RCH Kidd

8/11/1943 Echelon scheme.
10/11/1943 10 Honey Tanks delivered from TEL EL KEBIR in preparation for reorganisation as an Armd Recce Regt. Lt JG Quarmby UDF, Lt R Arculus 7th Hussars, and Lt DW Waddingham UDF joined the Regt.
18/11/1943 Application for reinforcements for new WE made.Regtl Echelon scheme – night driving.
19/11/1942 Div exercise.
20/11/1943 Visit by Lt General RGWH Stone – GOC BTE. Adjt to conference at MENA HOUSE. Regt transferred to command EGYPFORCE from GHQ.
21/11/1943 CO to conference MENA HOUSE. A Sqn plus Recce Tp depart for Cowley.
22/11/1943 A Sqn operative from reveille. B Sqn patrol area BENI YUSEF – FAYOUM Road.
23/11/1943 Special PAD order. Complete black-out ordered wef 23 Nov 43.
24/11/1943 Lecture on PW Security and methods of escape. Lt J Paley attached pending posting.
25/11/1943 Adjt liases with all AA units in area MENA ref exercise AMBLE. Lt JA Galloway REME, relieved Capt Polden REME, commanding LAD.
26/11/1943 C Sqn patrol area BENI YUSEF – FAYOUM Road. Despatch of 6 Shermans to ABBASSIA in accordance with reorganisation.
27/11/1943 B Sqn relieve A Sqn at Cowley. Training liaison established with 1st Armd Div. Fourth draft of reinforcements – 85 ORs.
28/11/1943 Major JJ O’Brien posted to RAC TD pending posting to HE. Capt JG Vaughan promoted A/Major and assumed command of A Sqn. Lt A Hickson-Brown rejoined Regt from ME OCTU.
Summary:- Details of the WE for an Armd Recce Regt arrived during the month. Application for reinforcements was made. The Regt was made up to strength by the arrival of 85 ORs from RAC TD. Six Sherman III’s, surplus to the new WE were handed in. 10 Honeys were received, out of a total WE of 30. Receipt of the remainder was postponed awaiting GHQ decision on modification by the removal of their turrets. There was no improvement in the equipping of the Regt to its WE of B vehicles. Sqns carried out training and range firing on the new 75mm range, and the standard of gunnery further improved. The Regt was transferred under command EGYPFORCE on the 20th for the purpose of AMBLE. From this date until the end of the month, two Sqns were engaged in patrols, the remainder of the Regt being prepared to move at short notice.


December 1943

CO: Col RCH Kidd

3/12/1943 Inspection of the Regt by the Colonel, Rt. Hon Winston Churchill. Present at the inspection were Lt General Stone, GOC BTE, commander Thompson RN, Colonel Gurney, Capt Randolph Churchill 4th Hussars, Capt Brown Coldstream Guards, Section Officer Sarah Oliver.
4/12/1943 C Sqn relieved B Sqn at Cowley.
5/12/1943 LA Sqn patrol area BENI YUSEF – FAYOUM Road.
7/12/1943 Regt provided Guard of Honour of 30 men commanded by Capt GJC Paterson, on the occasion of the departure of the President of Turkey. The band of the Imperial Light Horse, sister Regt of the 4th Hussars, played during the inspection by the Prime Minister.
10/12/1943 EME Inspectorate completes inspection of B vehicles.
11/12/1943 Patrolling and manning of OPs and holding in readiness of reserves ceases. C Sqn revert to Regtl command. Regt reverts to normal command.
12/12/1943 11 Stuarts arrived from TEL EL KEBIR and were allotted to Recce Tp.
14/12/1943 Lecture by Colonel Grant-Taylor on close combat.
15/12/1943 Visit of Lt Marcus Roe and the band of Imperial Light Horse.
18/12/1943 Demo and end of dismounted Action and Infantry Training Cadre. One Stuart arrived and allotted to Recce Tp.
20/12/1943 Unit Selection Tests begin.
21/12/1943 Capt Lloyd REME relieves Lt Galloway REME, LAD.
25/12/1943 CO admitted to hospital. Major Blackett assumes command of the Regt.
30/12/1943 Regt Echelon scheme.
Summary:- During the first half of the month the Regt was engaged on exercise AMBLE which ended on 11 Dec and the Regt reverted to normal command wef 13th Dec. Sqns carried out training and range firing throughout the month. 12 turretless Stuarts arrived and were allotted to Recce Tp. GHQ decision to modify Stuarts by the removal of turrets was received and the arrival of full WE of 30 was expected early in January. An Infantry training cadre was held during the month with the object of providing instruction in dismounted action. The results of the training were good. Selected personnel were practised in the handling and the detection and lifting of mines. A team of 2 Officers and 2 NCOs from MEOSB carried out unit selection tests within the Regt during the month.


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