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41/47 Royal Tank Regiment (Oldham)


leon21

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Converted from my Grandfathers old 1/10 Battalion Manchester Regiment, a Territorial Army Infantry Battalion, converted to

a tank unit,part of 24th Armoured Brigade in 1938 it was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured

Corps. Known as the 41st (Oldham) Royal Tank Regiment based at the Drill Hall Rifle Street. A 2nd Regiment the 47th was

formed in April of that year,as you can imagine the Drill Hall was not large enough to accommodate two regiments, to over

come this they were billeted in two cotton mills,the 47th in the Further Hey Mill at Lees and the 41st at Earl Mill on Dowry St

this mill I worked at for a good many years. A section of land belonging to Hegginbottoms Farm was also commandeered

for tank training.

Walter Mills tells a good tale of the early days of training when the regiment only had a Mk 6 light tank. The tank much to

the delight of the local children was left to fend for itself at lunch time whilst the crew retired to the local pub for a spot of

refreshment,and when they came out you could here them shout "Oy gerof that bloody tank" on their return

Both Regiments played a big part in the victory at the 2nd battle of El.Alamein.

 

Here are some photo's.

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1, Photo of Earl Mill and training fields behind, would have looked the same in 1938.

 

2, A Mk 6 light tank.

 

3, A Valentine Tank of the 24th Armoured Tank Brigade

 

4,5,6, The regiment training in their new Comet tanks c1947-1949.

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      Here's two more photo's from the same period.

OD3_Comet_Tk_3[1].jpg

41st Oldham Royal Tank Regiment.jpg

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Here's some photo's of the Royal visit to the town in 1954, the 41st Royal Tank Regiment was the guard of honour.

HRH and Honour Guard 1954.jpg

HRH Photo (1).jpg

HRH Photo (2).jpg

Programme_Cover[1].jpg

Programme[1].jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Hi,

 

My old man - Desmond Poynton was C/O of the 40/41st for some years. Great to see these photos. I recall attending a Whitsun Wakes parade in Oldham when the regiment, with tanks, paraded thru' the town centre. We were on the Town Hall steps with other local dignitaries. 

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Quote

 

Welcome to the forum Jeremy, nice to hear from a fellow Oldhamer have you any photo's of your old man in uniform you could post.

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I'm not sure I have any good ones of his TA days, but I'll have a poke around! As kids, dad used to take us to the barracks at time at weekends; sometimes we went out in the Centurions on the range as "supplementary" crew! Wonderful for a young lad. I can also recall going to a Whitsun Wakes parade in Oldham which feature the regiment and tanks - we were stashed up with the Mayor and co. on the steps of the Town Hall. I know the old man was devoted to the TA and very proud of being C/O. In charge when the Regimental Colours were presented to HRH Queen Elizabeth - here's a picture I do have to hand (not in great shape) - he's on the left. 

Image (6).jpg

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And this last one is I think taken on a training camp on Salisbury Plain. Not sure of the date ... early 60s, I'd guess. You'll need a magnifying glass! The old man is three to the right from the feller with the stick on **his** right. I think to **His** right is David Hague, who was his adjutant at the time, and still with us - I'm hoping to see him and his wife in a month or two. 

 

Image (14).jpg

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And in fact I'm not an Oldham boy - we were brought up in Bramhall and Woodford, tho' antecedents on both sides, with Irish and Cornish added in, have roots in Manchester back to Victorian times; the old man and my maternal Grandpa were both in the rag trade. Indeed, David Hague, mentioned above, had a cotton mill in Oldham (sold in the 60s). 

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Guys.

I am desperately trying to find anything i can about my Grandfather John McGrath, he served as a driver with the Tank Regiment  in Oldham Lancashire. he was with the 10th Manchesters when WW2 broke out,  as was mobilised. the 10th Manchesters were then converted to an Armoured Regiment.  He use to tell me about his war years and when he was in North Africa, after the war he stayed with the Tank Regiment and drove the Centurion Tanks that they had there in the Drill Hall at Rifle street and in the Tank Sheds on Oldham Edge. I believe that he also served on Chuchill Tanks during WW2, also Shermans. IF anybody knew him or could find out anything mentioning his name or even better a photograph, I would even be willing to pay. I served with 1RTR I had to follow my grandfathers footsteps. I am now 65 yrs old and I desperately want this info before I go to the Green Fields Beyond. Thank You Sincerely.

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This might be a question for Leon.

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Hello Tankie 1RTR didn't we speak about your grandfather over the phone awhile ago, or was that someone else.

Have you tried to find his service records if not there are several sites you could try like Fold 3 or Forces-War-Records/Records

most of the WW2 records seem to be held on these sites.

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  • 1 year later...

I have just come across this site. I was a kid at Waterloo Junior School from 1950 to 1956 and it was a great thrill to see the tanks come down from Oldham and turn round at the war memorial in Waterloo during their training.

Regards

Derrick Latchford

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  • 10 months later...

Hello, interesting to see these photos. I was hoping I might see a photo I remember my grandfather had over the headboard of his bed, showing the entire regiment posed together in front of a tank. His name was Thomas Needham. I believe he was RSM of the regiment, probably the 41st. He was TA before WW2. He didn't talk about the war to us grandkids, but I believe he fought in N. Africa, likely against the Italians in Somaliland. He was shipped, along with the regiment, to Greece in Spring 1941, where he must have fought, then covered the subsequent evacuation. He was taken prisoner by the Germ. My Mum, born at the start of the war, didn't see him until he finally returned home in 1945. She mentioned having been in/on his tank at some point as a kid, possibly up Oldham Edge. Apparently he remained close with his fellow soldiers after the war, often bringing them home with him on Remembrance Day, where poor Grandma had to make sandwiches for everybody. If anybody has any info or photos, please post here.

His brother Frank may also have been with the regiment, as Sergeant, or possibly Sgt-Major. He seems to have been a quartermaster in Crete when Grandad passed through en-route to Greece.

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Hooray, it's up. Glad I checked back. There was something wrong with the verification process, but I'm glad to see that was resolved.

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While I'm here, I should ask for advice regarding my Grandfather's grave in Oldham. When he passed away, as RSM, he was apparently entitled to some sort of military honours at his burial. I don't believe they were taken up at the time, but apparently a number of fellows from the Legion were in attendance to show their respects. This was back in the early 80s. My family live in Canada now, so we aren't able to attend to my Grandparents' grave like we would if we were still there. My father was back at the end of 2018, and when he visited the grave the headstone had a cemeteries department warning tag of some sort attached to it. Apparently ground subsidance had led to a tilt which led to the warning. If I recall correctly, the warning indicated that the gravestone might be removed entirely. My father was due to return here shortly after, and none of us have been able to get back since, thanks to this lousy pandemic, so we have been unable to look into this further. Would anybody happen to know what the usual procedure is regarding such matters? Is there anybody within the military veterans' department that we could contact for assistance? Any advice regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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On 12/07/2018 at 09:23, Jeremy Poynton said:

And this I suspect vial the local paper in Oldham, Whitsun Wakes parade

Image (3).jpg

I remember seeing parades through central Oldham back when I was a youngster. Lots of church groups and banners, iirc. There was a whale skeleton on display one year too. I never saw any tanks though. Certainly not Centurions.

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Hello Steve, can I ask which Cemetery is your Grandfather buried? 

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Its now called Hollinwood Cemetery and Crematorium, Roman Rd Oldham.

email= env.cemeteries@oldham.gov.uk.

or www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200388/cemeteries-graves-and-memorials/641/cemeteries.

Try sending them a email regarding the problem.

Hope this helps.

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Ah yes, I was thinking Limeside as that's where my Grandparents lived. It would be Hollinwood.

Thank you for your reply. Do you have any idea if the government helps out at all with veterans' graves? Or is that only in the large war cemeteries?

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I would think the council would just remove the head stone to make it safe and just lay it down, this they have done with one of my ancestors grave

in Chadderton Cemetery. Not sure about the government helping out, I think  it would be down to the family.

As far as I know the council would level the ground and grass it over if subsidance to the grave was found.

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