England 1942 Part 2

Updated: Aug 17

During 1942 the Regiment became a bit of a traveling road show becoming quite adept at packing, moving, and setting up operations in a new location. In all 5 times while maintaining an ambitious training schedule. As a result, they learned valuable skills and gained experience which would stand them in good stead later on the continent. In April 1942 to the great delight of all ranks the Regiment moved south and took up residence in a number to small villages in Surrey. The Regiment’s 4 Lee Tanks along with 2 brand new Ram tanks (designed and built in Canada) just arrived from Canada made a brave show leading the convoy to their new homes. The Regimental Headquarters was established at “Westbrook Farm” near Elstead, which in the British penchant for understatement turned out to be rather grand by Canadian standards. The first months of 1942 was a busy time for the Regiment. In addition to their normal training, they had to familiarize themselves with the operation, care, and maintenance of their new mounts which was not a simple matter with so few vehicles.

In Surrey the routine was more relaxed and home like and the locals went out of their way to be friendly and courteous. The boys were particularly well received by “Ma” Sansom at the Woolpack inn which still exists today. This establishment, one of many in the area became the favorite among the men. Here the men were truly able to relax, they made themselves sandwiches, often with fresh eggs, a true rarity at the time, and they often took a turn serving when things got a bit busy. The Hussars proved themselves to be excellent ambassadors for the Canadian Army and when the Regiment moved later that summer the Mayor of the Village of Elstead sent a letter to the Commanding Officer expressing appreciation for “The good conduct of your soldiers while in the area”.

The 24th of April 1942 was a momentous day for the Regiment. On that day the Regiment was visited by the King and Queen who were treated to various displays depicting a soldier’s life. They also spent some time inspecting with some interest a nearly new Ram Tank.


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