John Green

Some time ago I found a web entry by Stephen Corcoran about his grandfather, John Green, who served in 7th Devons/87th Anti-Tank. Before joining 7th Battalion, he served in 1/9 Manchester Machine Gun Regiment, then after 87th, 60th Anti-tank Regiment.

Stephen sent me the below images. Unfortunately the Troop and Company information is unknown, but the photos are clearly from the same series as those held by other members of 87th.

Stephen believes the Bulford image (with the Vickers Machine Guns) was taken prior to 14th April 1941, as his grandfather was a Lance Corporal from that date.

During the fighting in Tunisia John Green had an interesting experience with the enemy. Having taken a brand new Jeep for a spin one evening with one of his mates, they drove over a ridge right into a small encampment of Italian vehicles and were captured. The Italians were moving out, saying they were to be relived by Germans the next morning.  They decided to let their British prisoners go but not without John losing some excellent desert boots he’d won from a South African in a game of darts! This little incident is likely one of many not to feature in the war diary, however John was one of those soldiers who went on the fruitless visit to the depot to obtain the 17-pdr guns!

John Green is circled in both photos. His WW2 service resembles that of my own grandfather, being a member of the BEF evacuated from France in 1940 and serving all the way through the conflict. He passed away in 2000.

Alfred & Leslie Jones

This little blog is already having some success. I’ve been contacted by two people in the last couple of weeks who had family in 7th Devons/87th Anti-Tank. The first is Lin Sharland.

Lin’s father, Alfred James Jones (1919-2002, from Teignmouth) and his brother Leslie Frank Jones (1921-2002), were in the regimental band. Both played drums. Lin has kindly sent the scanned photos which can be seen below. The main band photo appears to be from the same series of images taken in Chagford, Devon, prior to the regiment deploying to North Africa.

Alfred Jones is middle of the middle row of the football team picture. Les is seated front left. This photo was presumably taken in Italy.


10 Platoon, C Coy, 7th Battalion, Devons, 1941

10 Platoon, C Coy, 7th Battalion, Royal Devonshire Regiment. Bulford Camp, 1941. (Photo from the collection of the late Mr Freddie Friend)

Back Row Left to Right.


4Th Row Left to Right.

R.Webber,W.Locke,R.Tyler,J.Bulley,R.Smerdon,B. Lorraine,D.Gunter,T. Elton.

3rd Row Left to Right.


2nd Row Left to Right.

Cpl. Elison,G.Walker,J.Mollholand, Henry ‘Harry’ Marsh,T.Merrifield,C. Merrifield,L.Febe(?),T.Tweedle.

Front Row Left to Right.

Cpl.Macmillan,Cpl.Newman,Sgt Friend,Lt.Gordon-Edmunds,Sergt.Ford,Cpl.Stainforth,Cpl.Leigh.