Below is a list of the history pages, personal accounts, extracts and photos that have been tagged with a reference to 'North Africa'...
1. [ history ]
An introduction to the history of the 51st Highland Division.
2. [ 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...
3. [ 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...
4. [ 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.
5. [ 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...
6. [ history ]
After El Alamein the 51st Highland Division were in pursuit of Rommel and the retreating forces from Tubruk to Misurata
7. [ history ]
The 51st Highland Division moved along the cost with the New Zealand Division and 7th Armoured Division carrying out a flanking attack. Failure to succeed in occupying Tripoli would cause Montgomery to have to fall back...
8. [ history ]
Rommel's next defensive line after retreating from Tripoli was close to Medenine, a narrow point between the coast and the Matmata hills.
9. [ history ]
The Mareth line was formed at the narrow point between the coast and the Matmata hills. The plan was to smash the Mareth defensive lines through the Matmata Hills into the Gabes Gap, which would later be the area of the battle of Wadi Akarit.
10. [ history ]
The battle of Wadi Akarit took place in a narrow coastline strip between the sea and the coastal towns of Gabes and El Hamma. Between these was the Gabes gap. The Wadi Akarit ran across the gap at the coastal end and to the Roumana Ridge inland and to the west. This area was the objective for the 51st Highland Division...
11. [ history ]
In the wake of the Wadi Akarit battle the 8th Army took up the pursuit...
12. [ history ]
After the North Africa Campaign the 51st Highland Division prepared for Operation Huskey, July 1943
13. [ history ]
Major General Wimberley, affectionately know as "Tartan Tam" for his determination that the Division would wear the kilt, had commanded the Division from its England through North Africa and Sicily. On his departure he published the following farewell messages to his Jocks...
1. [ account ]
Brigadier James Oliver : A short biography - an extract from 'The Red Hackle' - the Regimental magazine of The Black Watch.
2. [ account ]
Captain John Lang served with 128th (H) Field Battery RA (TA). He was at El Alamein and this is his personal account.
3. [ account ]
Detailed notes on the Battle of El Alamein from the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. (North Africa, October, 1942)
4. [ extract ]
Extracts taken from The Queen's Own Highlander magazine issue commemorating the 50th Anniversary of El Alamein. The extract describes the use of the Camerons' Company Piper to alert the charging Black Watch of their position.
5. [ 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
6. [ 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
7. [ account ]
A Description of Operation Supercharge, El Alamein, North Africa, October 1942.
8. [ account ]
Description of the The Battle of Wadi Akarit, taken from "The History of the 7th Argylls" by Captain Ian C Cameron
9. [ account ]
Two personal accounts of the 61st Anti-Tank Regiment at Wadi Akarit (April 1943), reproduced here by kind permission of B. S. Barnes, author of "Operation Scipio - The 8th Army at the Battle of Wadi Akarit".
10. [ account ]
An account of the defense of Point 198 at Wadi Akarit on 6th April 1943. This account is taken from "OPERATION SCIPIO - THE 8TH ARMY AT THE BATTLE OF THE WADI AKARIT" by kind permission of the author B. S. Barnes.
11. [ account ]
An account of the operation to take a ridge called Djebel Roumana at Wadi Akarit on 6th April 1943. This account is taken from "OPERATION SCIPIO - THE 8TH ARMY AT THE BATTLE OF THE WADI AKARIT" by kind permission of the author B. S. Barnes.
12. [ account ]
An account from a Medic of the fighting at Wadi Akarit on 6th April 1943. This account is taken from "OPERATION SCIPIO - THE 8TH ARMY AT THE BATTLE OF THE WADI AKARIT" by kind permission of the author B. S. Barnes.
13. [ account ]
A set of photos of Gunner "Bob" Trigg, 61st Anti-Tank Regiment, North Africa 1943.
14. [ extract ]
The citation of Lt. Col. Lorne Campbell, VC, as published in the London Gazette, 8th June 1943.
15. [ account ]
Account of the Sicily landing, July 1943.
16. [ account ]
PIOBAIREACHD was the name given to the 51st Highland Division newsletter which was produced from 14 June 1944.
17. [ account ]
154 Brigade account - 1st May 1945 to 5th May 1945.
1. [ 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.
2. [ 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.
3. [ 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.
4. [ photo ]
Men of the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on the march
5. [ 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.
6. [ photo ]
51st Highland Division was under the command of Field Marshal Montgomery from August 1942.
7. [ 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.
8. [ 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.
9. [ 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.
10. [ photo ]
11. [ photo ]
Diagram depicting the route of the North African campaign.
12. [ photo ]
Caption reads "Piper MacDonald of the Seaforth Highlanders plays to some of the troops who make up the Highland Division while they rest during a march in the Western Desert, 23 September 1942."
Taken by Sgt.Martin 23.9.42.
With kind permission of the IWM.
13. [ photo ]
Diagram of the area of operations of 152 Brigade at El Alamein, North Africa, October 1942.
14. [ photo ]
A 25 pound gun firing during artillery barrage which signalled the beginning of the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, 23rd October 1942.
15. [ photo ]
4.5 inch field gun firing at night at El Alamein
16. [ photo ]
A Soldier of the 51st Highland Division charging a tank during the Battle of El Alamein.
17. [ photo ]
A group half an hour after the Battle of Hons, January 1943.
18. [ photo ]
Gordon Highlanders of the Eighth Army cross the border into Tunisia.
19. [ photo ]
7th Black Watch : Simon Ramsay's labour squad preparing bypass to blown bridge near Leptis Magna on the way to Hons
20. [ photo ]
Victory parade by 7th Black Watch after Tripoli was captured on the morning of 23rd january 1943.
21. [ photo ]
Major General Wimberley, MC, GOC of the 51st Highland Division discusses a point on the map with one of his officers at Divisional Headquarters.
22. [ photo ]
5th Seaforth in the anti-tank ditch near Mareth.
23. [ photo ]
Major John Mcgregor briefs B Coy of the 5th Black Watch at Gabes, Tunisia, April 1943.
24. [ photo ]
Diagram of the Battle of Wadi Akarit, from "The History of the 51st Highland Division" by J B Salmond
25. [ photo ]
Men of the Seaforth Highlanders moving into position at Wadi Akarit., April 1943
26. [ photo ]
7th Argyll Soldiers of the 7th Bn cleaning their weapons in a lull in the fighting of the Battle of Tunis
27. [ 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.
28. [ 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.
29. [ photo ]
The crew around a limber.
30. [ photo ]
Bob Trigg, second from the right, outside a desert dugout.
31. [ photo ]
Photo of Gunner Bob Trigg in North Africa.
32. [ 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.
33. [ photo ]
Greasing the wheels - preparation prior to embarkation for Sicily.
34. [ photo ]
Men of 5th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders arrive at Sousse Harbour prior to embarkation to Sicily and the start of Operation Huskey.
35. [ 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.