Below is a list of the history pages, personal accounts, extracts and photos that have been tagged with a reference to '1942'...
1. [ history ]
An introduction to the history of the 51st Highland Division.
2. [ pow ]
Johnnie Matheson retells the story of his five escape attempts from POW camps between 1940 - 1945.
He walked into wartime captivity with a haversack full of looted French franc notes of doubtful value from a bombed bank in St Valery - and more than five years later drove across a war-torn Europe heading for his Highland home in a brand new BMW car festooned with American stars and stripes, and a legitimate fortune in pounds sterling in his pocket.
3. [ history ]
After St. Valery, the remainder of the 51st Highland Division joined the 9th Highland Division, a territorial 2nd line duplicate of the 51HD (amongst other smaller Battalions) to form the new 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. This reformed division had the following orders of Battle...
4. [ pow ]
Henry Owens describes life and forced labour at Stalag XXa Camp 52, Gorsdorf, Poland. 1940 - 1942
5. [ pow ]
Henry Owens describes Stalag XXb, Marienburg 1942 - 1944
6. [ history ]
In June 1942 the 51st Highland Division moved by train to a variety of ports, and embarked for an unknown destination. They moved around Africa leaving Durban on the 16th July and disembarked on 14th August 1942 at the entrance to the Suez Canal at Port Tewfik...
7. [ history ]
After St. Valery, what remained of the 51st Highland Division joined the 9th Highland Division to form the new 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. The reformed Division took on a home defense role between 1940 - 1942 when it set sail for Egypt and the North Africa Campaign.
8. [ history ]
Montgomery was determined to attack the enemy using his infantry to create a gap and then push the armour through the gap created. The area for this was not the weaker sector in the south but the stronger part of the enemy position in the North. 30 Corps were to execute this attaching on a frontage four divisions wide...
9. [ history ]
After El Alamein the 51st Highland Division were in pursuit of Rommel and the retreating forces from Tubruk to Misurata
1. [ account ]
Brigadier James Oliver : A short biography - an extract from 'The Red Hackle' - the Regimental magazine of The Black Watch.
2. [ extract ]
Battalions and Commanders within 152, 153 and 154 Brigades during France 1940, North Africa 1942-43, Sicily 1943 and North West Europe 1944-45, sourced from "Battalion" by Alastair Borthwick.
3. [ extract ]
Extract from "The Quiet Gunner At War" by R. Gorle MC, of 128 Field Reg. RA, describing the guns at El Alamein
4. [ general ]
Major Hugh Robertson's Daughter, Linda McLean, very kindly sent us a few photographs of her Father after reading about him within Alastair Borthwick's account of the 5th Seaforth's "Attack on Groin" in which Hugh features in his role as O.C. "C" Company.
5. [ general ]
Sketch map showing movements of 492 (Highland) Field Battery, R.A., throughout North Africa Campaign from August 1942 and on through Europe to June 1945.
6. [ account ]
Captain John Lang served with 128th (H) Field Battery RA (TA). He was at El Alamein and this is his personal account.
7. [ account ]
Detailed notes on the Battle of El Alamein from the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. (North Africa, October, 1942)
8. [ account ]
The following account of the Battle of El Alamein comes from the personal account of Colonel John Sym DSO who was 21C of 2nd Bn Seaforth Highlanders.
9. [ extract ]
An extract from the memoirs of Driver MacAskill provides a fascinating account of the logistic support at El Alamein, Oct '42.
10. [ account ]
Citation for the first of two DSO awarded to Major (temporary Lieutenant Colonel) James Alexander Oliver MBE of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment). This first DSO is in recognition of his 'outstanding example' in the attack on the Miteriya Ridge on the night 23/24 October, 1942
11. [ account ]
An account of the bloody shelling at El Alamein on the 24th October 1942 from the 51st (Highland) Reconnaisance Regiment; an extract from 'A Brief History of 51st (H) Reconnaissance Regiment (1941 -1943) and its Involvement in the Desert Campaign', produced as a pamphlet in 1991
12. [ account ]
A Description of Operation Supercharge, El Alamein, North Africa, October 1942.
1. [ photo ]
2. [ photo ]
Paul Witty, who's Father (Jim Witty) served in North Africa and Sicily with the 61st Anti-Tank Regiment, very kindly sent us a disc of scanned photographs of his Father's, taken during various periods of his service. Jim Witty is marked as 2nd row, 3rd from left.
3. [ photo ]
Henry Owens at Work Camp No.52, Gorsdorf, 1942. Henry notes that this photograph was "a propaganda picture taken by the German authorities for a German magazine. The British uniforms were given to us for the photograph and were promptly taken back. A German guard took a couple of photographs for us, showing the real situation."
4. [ photo ]
Richard Sands, who's Father (Sgt George Sands MM) served with the 51st, kindly sent us a scan of a photograph his Father had of the Sergeants and Warrant Officers of the 51st (H) Reconnaissance Regiment, taken in June of 1942 before their departure to Egypt where they would join the 8th Army in preparation for the battle of El Alamein.
Sgt George Sands served with both 2nd and 5th battalions. Sailing to North Africa, January 1942, as reinforcements/replacements for 2nd battalion at Tobruk. Before he had finished acclimatisation, Tobruk had fallen and 2nd battalion went into captivity. He fought for a few months with 4th Indian Div. He then joined 5th battalion when they arrived in Egypt some 6months later. He fought with 5th battalion from Alamein to Bremen.
5. [ photo ]
7th Black Watch flag flown during the North Africa campaign, 1942-43. Part of the collection on display at the Black Watch Musuem, Perth. The flag carries the tactical identification number of the Battalion together with the formation badge of the 51st Highland Division.
6. [ photo ]
1942, J.Matheson, Stalag 9c (Johnnie Matheson is marked as top row, second from left.)
7. [ photo ]
Men of the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on the march
8. [ photo ]
Colonel John Sym DSO was 21C of 2nd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders and then Brigade Major of 152 Brigade during El Alamein. His book, "Seaforth Highlanders" by Colonel John Sym (editor) was Published by Gale & Polden Ltd, Aldershot (1962) and can still be obtained from second hand book sites.
9. [ photo ]
51st Highland Division was under the command of Field Marshal Montgomery from August 1942.
10. [ photo ]
A hand drawn sketch map (presumed to be by Henry Owens) showing the layout of Stalag XXb, Marienburg (some time between 1942 - 1944).
11. [ photo ]
Hand drawn sketch map showing movements of 492 (H) Field Battery (128th Field Regiment) during the North Africa Campaign. Includes annotation detailing firing, not-firing and rest positions.
12. [ photo ]
Privates James Bruce and Alex McMichell living up to the nickname of the "Highway Decorators". This nickname given to the division by other divisions who became used to discovering the "HD" insignia painted wherever the Highlanders had passed through.
13. [ photo ]
This newspaper clipping was kept by Hugh Robertson's Mother. Linda McLean (Hugh's Daughter) recalls that she kept it as Hugh had not believed that he had been awarded the M.C. and thought she had become confused whilst he was overseas.
The date of print and original publication are unknown.
14. [ photo ]
15. [ photo ]
Diagram depicting the route of the North African campaign.
16. [ photo ]
Diagram of the area of operations of 152 Brigade at El Alamein, North Africa, October 1942.
17. [ photo ]
A 25 pound gun firing during artillery barrage which signalled the beginning of the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, 23rd October 1942.
18. [ photo ]
4.5 inch field gun firing at night at El Alamein
19. [ photo ]
British Infantry advance during Operation Lightfoot - 24th October 1942.
20. [ photo ]
A large heap of empty 25lb shell boxes, photographed at dawn 24 Oct , illustrates the intensity of the opening barrage at the Battle of El Alamein.
21. [ photo ]
A Soldier of the 51st Highland Division charging a tank during the Battle of El Alamein.
22. [ photo ]
Vehicles silhouetted against the flash of artillery firing at night during the 2nd Battle of El Alamein
23. [ photo ]
Group photo of 61st Anti-Tank Regiment, sent to us by Mr. A.Trigg the Son of Gunner "Bob" Trigg who can be found on the back row, second from the left. It is presumed to have been taken in North Africa sometime in May/June/July 1943, prior to embarkation to Sicily in July '43.
24. [ photo ]
Bob Trigg (far left) is pictured on his gun with his crew, presumed to be in North Africa sometime in May/June/July 1943, prior to embarkation to Sicily in July '43.
25. [ photo ]
Photo of Gunner Bob Trigg in North Africa.
26. [ photo ]
The Plaque and Roll of Honour in Nairn Old Parish Church.
The inscription reads "To the glory of God and to the memory of the men of the 51st (Highland) Reconnaissance Regiment who fell at the Battle of El Alamein October 1942 and who worshipped in this church the previous winter"
The plaque was unveiled by Gen Wimberley, GOC 51st Highland Division from mid 1941 and throughout the Desert Campaign, during a Service of Remembrance held on Sunday 9th April 1950 (Easter Sunday). The service was conducted by the Padre Rev Thos. W. Topping and the Minister, Rev Donald M McDonald, 25 old comrades and relatives attending.