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Derbyshire Yeomanry in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- Derbyshire Yeomanry during the Second World War -

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Derbyshire Yeomanry

   The Derbyshire Yeomanry was a unit of the Territorial Army. During WW2 they were equipped with armoured cars and served in a reconnaissance role.

   The 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry was a unit of the Territorial Army serving in a reconnaissance role. 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry landed in Tunisia in late 1942 as the reconnaissance regiment of the 6th Armoured Division, they saw action at Medjez el Bab. During the race to the Tunisian coast, it fought at the Kasserine Pass and Foundouk, finally reaching Tunis in March 1943. They then moved to Italy as part of the 6th Armoured Division and saw heavy fighting during May 1944 and were in action at the Battle of Monte Cassino. Through out July and August, they fought in the advance to Florence. In April 1945 they saw action at the Argenta Gap and Fossa Cembalina.

   The 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry was a unit of the Territorial Army formed in August 1939, as a reconnaissance unit. In 1942, they served in North Africa part of 7th Armoured Division, seeing action at the Battle of Alam el Halfa and the Second Battle of El Alamein

In 1943 the 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry returned to the United Kingdom to join 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, as the divisional reconnaissance regiment until the end of the war. It received battle honours for actions in August, fighting at the Dives Crossing, La Vie Crossing and Lisieux during the crossing of the Seine; in September and October and for action on the Lower Maas. In January 1945 they were in action at Ourthe during the Battle of the Bulge. The regiment fought through the Rhineland and the Reichswald in February, and crossed the Rhine in March during Operation Plunder.

If you can provide any additional information, especially on actions and locations at specific dates, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

Derbyshire Yeomanry

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Gardner John Alexander. Trpr.
  • Howe Allan Brunskill. L/Sgt. (d.27th Apr 1945)
  • Meredith Allan J.. Tpr. (d.10th Apr 1943)
  • Oyston Roger Lightfoot. Capt. (d.19th Jun 1944)
  • Smith Samuel William. Pte.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Capt. Roger Lightfoot Oyston 2nd Btn. Derbyshire Yeomanry (d.19th Jun 1944)

I am trying to find out about the war history of my father and also if possible to locate some existing English family members of my father - Roger Lightfoot Oyston, who died in June, 1944 on D day in Normandy.

I was born in September 1944. Three years later my mother remarried and moved with her children and new husband back to her family in Melbourne, Australia. My step-father was John Balawaider - a demobbed member of the Polish Air Force, who had been stationed in Britain. It would be of great value to me to discover any information about my father and his family. He was born in 1912, in Bridlington, Yorkshire, travelling to Australia prior to WW2, where he met my mother. They moved to Britain where my mother lived until 1947. I have a commemorative certificate bequethed by my mother that states that my father died for his "King and Country" as a member of the Derbyshire Yeomanry. My mother's name was Sheila Florance. She built up a singular career as an actress, most notably in "Prisoner" in Australia and also internationally.

Philip Michael Oyston

Tpr. Allan J. "George" Meredith Derbyshire Yeomonry (d.10th Apr 1943)

Allan Meredith was born into extreem poverty in 1916 in Cork, where his mother lived while father served in France. His mother was in poor health and later died in Wales in 1924 leaving Allan in the care of his 14 year old sister and the Salvation Army. He survived and worked through the hard times until war came and Allan joined The Derbyshire Yeomanry A scrap of a letter dated 1942 described him being in an Army camp somewhere in UK, bored and waiting for something, he knew not what! All he longed for was "roast duck and peas like Auntie Bell cooked" and to see if he could get the nice little girl from the International Store to go out with him. In 1943 the news came to his Father that his only son was killed in Tunisia This is my Tribute to the Uncle I never knew.


L/Sgt. Allan Brunskill Howe 1st Btn. Derbyshire Yeomanry (d.27th Apr 1945)

Allan Howe served with the Derbyshire Yeomanry 1st Battalion, and died in April 1945. He is buried in Padua War Cemetery. Do you have any information about Allan Howe? A booklet about our village war dead is being prepared.

Alan Ormrod

Pte. Samuel William "San" Smith 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry, HQ Squadron Royal Armoured Corps

My father, Samuel Smith, was a very quiet man and my mother said he became more inward after his return. While away he did not forget his family as shown by the messages I include.

Ray Smith

Trpr. John Alexander "Blondie" Gardner 2nd Btn. Derbyshire Yeomanry

My father, John Gardner, like most, did not talk about the war. I know these facts: He joined 2nd Btn. Derbyshire Yeomanry, and was then put into Recconaissance Corp in front of 51st Highland Division, he said mainly the Black Watch. He landed D Day, and went on to Pegasus bridge, Calne, Falaise Gap, Nijmegen and finished in Bremen(?). I have been unable to find anyone who can give any details. I know from a vet he was known as Blondie, aged 18 at D day. He was a motorcyclist and the vet was surprised to hear he made it through the war, as most bikers were killed.

After the war he joined 14/20th Kings Hussars and remained for many years.

John Gardner

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