Remembered Today:

Rob McGlynn

Tank Battalion

35 posts in this topic

Good morning everyone,

Please Admins, delete if not acceptable to post this...

I'm researching a commissioned documentary on the last 100 days of WW1 and we're looking to find  diaries and/or letters from any Scottish tank personnel who fought during the final year of the war and kept some kind of a record. I won't inundate anyone here with names etc, though we do have that (inc units etc). This 2 x 1 hour series will be broadcast in UK, Scotland, Canada and Australia (Foxtel). I hope I'm not breaking any rules here and ifI am I do apologise. As one can imagine a Scots tank soldier who has written a diary and/or good letters about his experience is probably not an easy 'find'. In other words I bow to the wealth of experience here on this site and will gratefully accept any leads and/or information the members can provide.

Best wishes

Robert McGlynn

A little about us:

http://www.electricpictures.com.au

 

 

 

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My 'tank driver' grandfather was from Birmingham rather than Scotland. He never wanted to talk about his war experiences and when he was interviewed 'on tape' he really did not give any detail. He died in his nineties and in his later years he had nightmares about the war.

 

I have been able to find out an amazing level of detail about his participation in the Battle of Amiens on the 8th and 9th August 1918 with the help of members of this forum. He was in a D battalion tank working with the Canadians. I attach my biography of my grandfather which shows the level of detail that can be found.

 

INW

Corporal George Harwood Wells Version 04 2017.pdf

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Have you exhausted the normal sources - Imperial War Museum, Leeds University (Liddle Collection), National Army Museum, Tank Museum (Bovington), National Archives (Kew)?

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Thank you to both for your response. Dear INW I very much appreciate you posting your doc. I've only just started on the research for the series and thus far have been looking from afar - Western Australia! While we have an excellent resources with the AWM and a number of state libraries, our series is international and so too must be our stories ( although the Aussies definitely get a run).

I cam across a series of entries for a Lt J Robertson who commanded a tank named 'Oblivis Caris' and am contacting the author to try and find out anymore detail about his. His service at Amiens was for the 14th Tank battalion, also looking out for the Canadians INW and his diary is gripping...well, at least the extracts. I've also got Band of Brigands so I'll be going through that.

 

To Mr Wood, thank you for your suggestions. It is quite an issue not being in the country unfortunately but i thank you for your leads. My MO at present is to find references to primary sources in secondary ones and see if we can't save a bit of legwork.

 

For this that might be interested we're looking to dramatise diaries/letters form a range of soldiers who made it through 1918 and were present at the great battles of that year.

Furthermore, I've just finished a 2 x1 hour doco series on Gen Sir John Monash for ABC TV Australia and the new Monash centre in Northern France. That'll be released around Anzac day 2018 if you'd like to keep an ear out for it.

If I can give anyone any more information on what we're doing please feel free to contact me at

robert.mcglynn@electricpictures.com.au

With best wishes to you all

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Rob

Your entry has got me started on researching the other members of the Crew of Tank 8189 but no evidence yet of any of them being Scottish.

Are you going to contact the authors of the books on this period of the war?

 

Charles Messenger is the first one than comes to mind simply because his book is so specifically matches your subject.

His book is called 'The Day We Won The War: 8 August 1918'.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-We-Won-War-Turning/dp/0297852817

Other great experts and fountains of knowledge:

David Fletcher, Stephen Pope, John Taylor, Peter Hart, Byrn Hammond and Geoffrey Vesey Holt.

I know I have missed out others and this list is in no particular order.

 

IAN

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Thank you Ian. I've started contacting those you mention but only had some. Mr McWilliams and his Amiens: Dawn of Victory is one i've emailed.

I think that being Scottish will have to come second as the quality of the account is the thing for me. I'll start making contact as you suggest - especially Mr Messenger. Thank you very much.

Rob

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Here are a couple of D Battalion Scots, Struthers and Baird. Not sure if personal records are available. Reference

 

David

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Thank you Mr Gibson. BTW I loved Sicily when we made or way over there a few years ago. Many Sicilians made their home in Fremantle in Western Australia

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 I have just had a look at Tanks and Trenches, a compilation of first hand accounts of Tank Warfare by David Fletcher. On page 148 there is an account of 8/9 August 1918 action of tank "Barrhead" by an unnamed tank commander. Barrhead is a town in Renfrewshire, so I thought that there may be a Scottish connection. According to the google landships site, Barrhead was commanded by a 2/Lt D Cameron, Reference.

 

It seems that D Cameron was David Cameron whose address in 1922 was in Glasgow Road, Strathaven, Lanarkshire, see link to Medal Index Card.

 

Maybe worth following up.

 

Glad you liked Sicily.

David

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David

 

I have had a quick look at the book. Rob I think David has hit your target with this man.

 

Well done.

 

IAN

 

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TANK B56 BARRHEAD: 8th August 1918

The Landships website reports that the Imperial War Museum has photos of this tank on its web site.

The photos are dated 8th August and they are really good quality.

IWM Q 65534: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205085908

IWM Q 68975: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205028700

IWM Q 106497: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205165346

IWM Q 107828:  http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205039564

 

INW

 

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Hello everyone,

Many thanks for your help thus far. It looks like all roads lead to Mr Fletcher so I'll try and search for him. As we're aussies we're in charge of looking for AIF members who left diaries and i'm happy to say that in Australia much has been digitised and preserved. We're also looking out for Brits as well. If I may, I'd like to keep you all informed of our progress. Personally, I love the whippets, and the armoured cars. Carter's Amiens report to Monash in Victories is quite something - so matter of fact yet so descriptive as well.

 

 

 

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Rob

 

Please keep us updated. It would be great to see what you might dig out.

I see you like the more mobile armoured vehicles and I am not surprised you don't mention the MarkV*, much loved (i.e. not) by the AIF.

 

David

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In The Tank in Action During the First World War by D.G.Browne, himself an officer in HBMGC and Tank Corps, the MkV* is lambasted as being a particularly poor piece of kit.

There are also good descriptions of "tank traps", mines and minefields and obstacles erected to stop tanks using particular tracks, or approaches.

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But it was much better than the MKIV. I'm on the trail of Lt Robertson and his tank named Oblivis Caris. No luck yet but I keep hoping. Bovington has his diary for Aug 8 and 9. he was a member of 14th battalion, led by a man named Cameron. I'm wondering if Robertson was a Scot like Cameron.

 

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I am not quite sure which trail we are on. There is a Lt Robinson in tank #9360 named Ne Oblivis Caris on the landships site. Reference.

 

David

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Rob

 

I think I now see where the Oblivis Caris/ Robertson reference comes from, ie Bryan Cooper's Book, "Tank Battles of World War 1". I assume the "Robinson" on the google landships site is a typo/mistake, as Bryan Cooper is more likely to be accurate on this point, although he has almost certainly got the tank name slightly wrong.

 

I tried to track down your Captain Cameron but struggled. Looking further into 14th Bn Tank Corps I stumbled across another Scottish connection from Newbattle, see Newtongrange. As well as being a candidate for your consideration, it also  identifies a Captain JFC Cameron as B Company commander in the 14th Tank Bn. Uncannily, this officer was one I had  tried to connect with 14th Battalion. He is James Frederick Campbell Cameron, born in Edinburgh in 1892. He served initially for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was awarded the DSO and MC while with them. He joined the Tank Corps in January 1918 and that is where my trail ended. There is a tree on Ancestry, here.

 

Quite a bit to think about.

 

David

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David and Rob

 

As a 14th battalion tank it will have had a name starting in 'N' so the full Ne Obliviscaris would probably have been used.

Google says it is motto of the Duke of Argyll as chief of the Clan Campbell. It translates as Forget Not.

It is also the motto of the Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. So there is good connection to Scotland.

 

INW

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, dgibson150 said:

I think I now see where the Oblivis Caris/ Robertson reference comes from, ie Bryan Cooper's Book, "Tank Battles of World War 1". I assume the "Robinson" on the google landships site is a typo/mistake, as Bryan Cooper is more likely to be accurate on this point, although he has almost certainly got the tank name slightly wrong.

 

Just gone back to the original records and I can confirm it is Robertson, not Robinson in 9360 Ne Oblivis Caris.

 

Gwyn

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Thank you gentlemen you're treasures! I'll report back what I've found.

R

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ID: 21   Posted (edited)

Today I downloaded the two pieces on the 14th Tank Battalion; WO 95-103-4 and WO 95 103-5.

 

I had to laugh when I found out that there were twins in the 14th Battalion, both previously from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and both captains and both section commanders.

 

Captain JFC Cameron DSO, MC was section commander of B Company, section 6.

 

His twin brother, Captain AG Cameron MC was section commander of B Company, section 7.

 

Tank Commanders Robertson and Dewar are both listed as Section 7 (see WO-103-5_20.jpg), so I would query the Newtongrange attribution (ie that JFC Cameron is commanding officer)  in post #17.

 

Sorry it is a bit difficult to follow.

 

David

 

Edited by dgibson150

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Thanks David, I found out from Jonathan Holt about the twins too. Fascinating. I wonder how that played out! We're getting Robertson's dairy of Aug 8-9 from Bovington as he too came up through the the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It seems 14th battalion had quite a few Scots in it. I wonder if it was by chance or design?

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Thanks to Ian for mentioning my name, and I've been racking my brains about this.  The name that occurred to me is Stuart Hastie, who was from Edinburgh - he was interviewed by the BBC for The Great War and you can hear the interview at the Imperial War Museum: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80004106  There are also various letters and documents in the Tank Museum Archive. 

 

However he mainly describes his experiences in the first tank attack in 1916, and then in a wire-pulling tank at Cambrai in 1917.  He stayed in the Tank Corps throughout the war, but after Cambrai he transferred to the Mechanical Schools at Erin and became chief instructor there, so he was longer in a front-line role, and I'm not aware of any accounts from 1918 in any case.  I see his 92-year old daughter was interviewed recently, which is wonderful.

 

This may be helpful, but then again it may not.

 

I'll keep thinking,

 

John

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ID: 24   Posted (edited)

According to his pfile, Stuart Hastie was appointed OIC of the Central Tank Training School on 21 Jan 17 and he commanded the three sections of wire pulling tanks, provided to support the attack at Cambrai; the crews of which were found from amongst the tank driving instructors under his command.

 

I am hoping that this step-daughter, the author Fiona Cameron. will be with the party of relatives to the Somme and .Arras battlefields in a month's time.

 

Stephen

 

PS

If you are wondering why I have not volunteered any names from the First Tank Crewmen to support the Programme, it is because (sadly) I have no details of any officers or other ranks who kept diaries m 1918

.

.

 

 

 

Edited by delta

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ID: 25   Posted (edited)

Re post 22, Rob, I am sure you know that the 14th Battalion Commander was also from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. There are apparently a few  boxes of private papers held by The Imperial War Museum.  Reference here

 

David

Edited by dgibson150

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