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Remembered Today:

"B" Battalion, Tank Corps


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I'm researching my Great Uncle Pte. Harry Moon MM. He was a driver in 4 Coy, "B" Battalion, Tank Corps. He won the MM at Fontaine-Notre-Dame on 23rd November 1917 driving tank B19. I have a copy of the Battle History Sheet and quite a lot of other infomation. However, I'm now hooked and want to trace as much about his unit as possiible.

For starters the Battle History Sheet lists the crew. Does anybody have any infomation on the two gentlemen listed below:

Tank Section Commander (riding in B19) Captain H.B.M Groves MC and Bar - I know that this man stayed in the army and was a Lt-Col in WW2. I also know that he died in Durban, South Africa in 1992. I believe his son Michael Groves is still alive. Does anybody know anything about either of them?

Tank Commander 2/Lt. W. Tew - I can't find anything on this man - can anybody help?

In general I'm interested in anything relating to B Battalion (2nd Battalion) between January 1917 and 1919. I also have quite a bit of information myself if anybody's interested.

Regards,

Ian.

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Promotions information:

Second Lieutenant William Tew was seconded from the 5th (T.F.) battalion the South Staffordshire Regiment to the MGC (presumably the Heavy Section) on 2nd January 1917 and was promoted to Lieutenant on 26th March 1918. From 28th August 1918 to 5th April 1919, he was appointed acting captain whilst commanding a section in the Tank Corps.

Steve.

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Henry Basil Melvin Groves:

Promotions:

2/Lt Groves was commisioned into the Scottish Rifles on 26th April 1915 and transferred to the Motor Machine Gun Service on 15th May 1916. He was promoted Lieutenant on 1st November 1916, to acting Captain on (date unknown) and to acting Major while commanding a company of the Tank Corps on 1st September 1918. He was transferred to the General List on 11th December 1918.

Post war: Transferred to the Essex Regiment from the Tank Corps (where he was temp. Captain) as a permanent Lieutenant on 15th December 1920, retaining his with seniority 1st Apr. 1917, and seconded for service as an Executive Officer with the Tank Corps.

These are his MC citations, though I'm sure our Tank Corps experts can add more detail:

MC, London Gazette 22-3-1918 (originally announced 19-11-1917)

T./Lt. (A./Capt.) Henry Basil Melvin Groves, Tank Corps.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in guiding his Tanks on foot over difficult ground and under heavy shell fire. He also made two journeys in front of the line in an effort to rescue a wounded officer. This

was carried out under heavy machine-gun fire.

MC Bar, London Gazette 18-7-1918

T./Lt. (A./Capt.) Henry Basil Melvin Groves, M.C., Tank Corps.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He directed his tanks on foot during an attack under heavy rifle and machinegun fire. He showed great skill and daring, and it was largely due to him that the inifantry

reached their objective with slight casualties.

Steve.

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Hi Ian and welcome to the Forum

Probably the best book to identify the actions of B Bn is "Following the Tanks" by Jean-Luc Gibot and Phillippe Gorczynski. Its expensive but worth while.

I can assist you if you need cititation for those who won awards with B (2nd) Bn and would eb interested to hear more about the research you have completed to date

Stephen

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Thanks for the replies.

I certainly didn't know about 2/Lt Tew becoming a section commander.

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Hello,

I have a medal pair to a Private Rogers whom was killed in action on 08/08/18 during the battle of Amiens. Pte Rogers was a member of 2nd Batallion Tank Corps, does anyone have any information about his Tank and how he died?

Thanks.

Mike.

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Hello,

I don't have anything concrete on Rogers, as I haven't really researched the Battle of Amiens (yet). However, I've got a book that gives the "Other Ranks" number of 2nd Bn killed as 17, with 6 missing in action for 08/08/18. It also states that most of the casualties occurred in attacks on the villages of WARFUSEE-ABENCOURT, BAYONVILLERS and HARBONNIERS.

Interestingly, there is quite a well known account of 2nd Bn tank 9003 BARRHEAD and its part in the battle (see Tanks and Trenches by David Fletcher). This account states that three men died from this tank. Furthermore, the Battle History Sheet for BARRHEAD is held at Bovington and could yield the names of these crew members (if you're very lucky).

Regards,

Ian.

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Many thanks Ian, I will certainly contact the museum and check the book you mentioned. Thishas been very informative.

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  • 3 years later...

Hi Ian

I,ve noticed your posts relating to 'B' Btn. Tank Corps from some time ago.

Whilst researching a local war memorial I have come across some detail relating to Pte. Harold Alfred Hicks (95722)

who was in that unit and also died on 23/11/1917.

It appears that he was son of Alfred and Jane Hicks of Woodlands Park Street, Chippenham, Wilts. He was born in Long Ashton, Bristol and originally joined the Gloucestershire Regt. (2926).

I hope that is of some use to you, and I would be interested if you have any further details of him.

Regards

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