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8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars

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Trooper George Attwood 1944

This site is made up of some of the results of my research  about my uncle, George William Attwood who was KIA action of 14th June 1944 whilst serving with the 8th (Kings Royal Irish) Hussars, during "The Battle of The Brigade Box", which took place the day after the notorious Battle of Villers Bocage

George joined the RAC in 1943 and following basic training was posted to the Kings Royal Irish Hussars in late 1943 early 1944 when that regiment returned from Italy to train to be part of the 7th Armoured Division and their preparation for the invasion of France. George trained as an operator/loader and landed at Le Hamel on 9th June 1944. He was a member of 4 troop, A Squadron, his troop commander was Lt Mike Browne MC who was killed at the same time as George and  his Squadron CO was Major Guy Threlfall,  who was killed in action in August 1944.
The 8th King's Royal Irsh Hussars were the recce regiment of the 7th Armoured Division and as such their movements were not easy to track, however they worked in this role with the Division from the 9th June moving down to Villers Bocage, during this Battle they were split to the East and West of the Divisions centre line guarding the flanks. When the Division withdrew after the disastrous Battle of Villers Bocage, The 8th Hussars took a major part in what became known as the Battle of the Brigade Box or "The Island", it was during this action that I believe my Uncle was KIA near Bricquessard.

I have included a Photo Gallery with many photographs either from my own collection or loaned to me (all published with the owner's permission!).

The booklet Tank Hunting was issued to my uncle whilst in basic training and gives a fascinating insight into training methods.

Tank Hunting Booklet

I have been loaned an interesting book entitled "A short History of the 7th Armoured Division June 1943 - July 1945" by Cliff Dowding (formerly Trooper in the 8th KRI -and who also very kindly loaned me over 200 photographs, some of which are included on this site). The book gives what appears to be an accurate account of events and many photographs and maps. I have transcribed  all of Chapter iv, "The Invasion of Europe: First Battle of Villers Bocage and subsequent defence of the bridgehead", which covers in detail the Battle of the "Brigade Box" or "The Island" as it calls it. To give more detail I have transcribed the War Diary for the 8th Hussars for June 1944. I have compiled from various sources, a Roll of Honour of 8th Hussars casualties for the period June 1944 to August 1945. I would like to hear from any one who can give me more information about the men listed. 

 

Related and useful Links

 

The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset. The Official Website of The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset - the Worlds Largest Collection of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.

 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, searchable database of casualties.

 

An account of his time with the 8th Hussars at Normandy by Fred Digby. An interesting and readable narrative written for the BBC - WW2 People's War - Contributions Web Site.

Fred has written a book entitled "The Lost Years" which recounts his time during the war until his demob in 1946". He has very kindly allowed me to attach a copy to this site, it can be downloaded by following the link  Adobe PDF icon . To download a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader (needed to read Pdf files) follow the link below.

 

The History of The 7th Armoured Division by Ian Patterson its aim is "to provide a point of reference for those who might be interested in the history of this division, the various regiments that served in it and the many actions it fought." Ian has now added a  VE Day & Berlin Victory Parade page with some 8th Hussars photographs the url is http://www.desertrats.org.btinternet.co.uk/VEDay.htm. The 8th Hussars photographs are also shown with Ian's permission on this page.

 

A site compiled by The University of Wolverhampton concerning Operation Epsom with maps etc about the Battle of Villers Bocage on 12-13th June 1944.

 

The Desert Rats 7th Armoured Division Thetford Forest Memorial Dedicated to "The Officers, Warrant Officers  and Private Soldiers of The 7th Armoured Division who gave their lives in the War 1939-45. The Association has no regular income and would welcome donations. The founder  Leslie Dinning, himself a Dessert Rat sadly passed away recently, his site is however still active.                 

For a potted history of the Regiment from it's formation in 1693 until it's ultimate demise in 1958 visit the Queen's Royal Hussars Official Web site

 

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Copyright 2000-7 Christopher Attwood Last Updated 29/01/2007 23:21