WWII Group with Palestine GSM 1945-48. Thompson. Anti Tanks, Royal Artillery. Battle of Nijmegen (Operation Market Garden)



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Correctly named GSM 14680509 SGT HJ Thompson RA  WWII medals unnamed as issued.

Henry Joseph Thompson enlisted into the Royal Artillery in November 1943. After a brief spell with the 96th Anti Tank Regiment RA, we find him with the 53rd Reinforcement Holding Unit on the 8th of June 1944. The neat day he is posted to 75th Anti Tank Regiment which as a part of 11th Armoured Division would have crossed the channel to Normandy to land on Juno Beach on the 13th of June 1944. They were commanded by Major Gnereal George Philip Bradley Roberts CB, DSO**, MC.

Most of the 11th Armoured Division landed on Juno Beach on 13 June 1944 (D+7), seven days after the 3rd Canadian Division had landed on D-Day. It was deployed in all major operations of the British Second Army, including Operations Epsom, Goodwood, and Bluecoat, and the battles around the Falaise Gap. The 11th Armoured Division, as part of the VIII Corps, was committed to action on 26 June 1944 as part of Operation Epsom. It entered the Scottish ‘corridor’, opened beforehand by the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division. Despite mistakes in navigation, which slowed down the 159th Infantry Brigade in Mouen, the 11th managed to seize the bridges at Grainville and Colleville. It then progressed southward to Hill 112 (a dominant feature in the Normandy landscape near the village of Baron) and succeeded in capturing and holding this high ground against increasingly intense German counter-attacks. However, a renewed attack by fresh SS-Panzerdivisions transformed what was intended as a breakthrough into a battle for position. Before the German reinforcements could attack, General Bernard Montgomery ordered a withdrawal from the hilltop. Challenger tanks of 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry, 11th Armoured Division, passing through Flers on 17 August 1944.

The 11th Armoured was then moved to the east of Caen to spearhead Operation Goodwood. Planning and execution errors, coupled with strong German defences, led to a tactical British defeat. Goodwood was cancelled on 20 July, with the 11th Armoured being withdrawn from the front line to rest and refit. In only two days of fighting, it had lost 126 tanks.

The subsequent reorganisation saw the 23rd Hussars absorb the remainder of the 24th Lancers.

The 11th Armoured was directed again to the west, to take part in Operation Bluecoat. Beginning on 30 July 1944 it seized Saint-Martin-des-Besaces. The division spotted an intact bridge on the Souleuvre river, which enabled it to drive the Germans back. In what became the famous “Charge of the Bull”, the division liberated Le Bény-Bocage on 1 August and quickly progressed southward. Although severely weakened at that time, the German army remained ever-present and dangerous. From 5 August, The 11th Armoured worked with the Guards Armoured Division and 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division to push back a counter-attack of the 9th SS Panzer Division.

After being replaced by the 3rd Infantry Division, the 11th Armoured was attached to XXX Corps. It progressed eastward hard on the heels of the Germans, who were retreating after the failure of the Mortain counteroffensive. The sole memorial to the fallen of the division is at Pont de Vère, the location of a battle on 16 August against a German rearguard. The 11th Armoured seized Flers on 17 August. Once the battle for the Falaise gap was over, the 11th Armoured liberated L’Aigle on 23 August and crossed the Seine on 30 August.

Although the 11th Armoured Division played a small part in Operation Market Garden, 75th Anti Tank Regiment were present at the Battle of Nijmegen 17-20th of September 1944 (a part of Operation Market Garden)

The 11th went on to fight at the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Veritable, the Rhineland Offensive.

Our man, Henry, according to his record is seen with the 75th Anti Tank Regiment up until the 29th of September 1944, just after the successful conclusion of the Battle of Nejmegen. He is seen to be wounded and records state ‘DNR’ date not recorded. His service records do put the date as 23rd of September 1944. He is returned home on the 27th of September where after his recovery is seen in December 1944 with 92nd Anti Tank Regiment.

He is with the 92nd up until he joins the 14th Anti Tank Regiment in the Middle East in January 1946. He is then posted to the newly formed 12th Anti Tank Regiment in Paestine in April 1947.

He is released from service in August 1947.

All medals are correct and have original silk which show signs of age as do the medal themselves.

WWII Group with Palestine GSM 1945-48. Thompson. Anti Tanks, Royal Artillery. Battle of Nijmegen (Operation Market Garden)

Availability: 1 in stock

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