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South Hampshire


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Next Meeting

The South Hampshire Area meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month:


8.00pm Salon bar at the Golden Lion PO17 6EB in the village of Southwick (Pronounced Suthwyk)


(Unless ordered otherwise by General Mayhem)  


We really are a friendly bunch and welcome guests.





Military Vehicle Trust




The South Hampshire Military Vehicle Trust now have our very own FaceBook page, why not search us out and follow us @Southhantsmvt





The event will start at Southwick House on 25th June 2022 near Fareham in Hampshire and run to Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, a distance of about 37 miles.  The object of the event is to raise funds for the Royal British Legion Riders’ Branch.


In order to avoid too much difficulty with traffic regulations the convoy may have to be restricted to 60 vehicles, which should be of Second World War vintage and of all allied nations.


Entry forms with full details will be sent nearer the time.



The South Hampshire Military Vehicle Trust give notice of our AGM being held on 10th November 2021 8.00pm Salon bar Golden Lion Southwick.


Any Member wishing to stand for election must notify the Area Secretary ASAP



The South Hampshire Area meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month:


8.00pm Salon bar at the Golden Lion PO17 6EB in the village of Southwick (Pronounced Suthwyk) we really are a friendly bunch and welcome guests.



MVT Windscreen




Area Report June 2020 Continued





Recently I took my 94 years young mum to see some old friends she hadn’t been in touch with for many years, John and Barbara Bower, both also in their mid-nineties.  To my surprise and delight I discovered that John was in the Northamptonshire Yeomanry and a tank veteran of the Normandy campaign.  As part of the 33rd Armoured Brigade, John was the radio operator in a Sherman tank, and his unit participated in Operation Overlord, landing on Gold Beach on D-Day +3.





















Whilst sitting closely next to John, he blamed his poor hearing on the Germans – “oh really” says I, intrigued “yes, our tank was hit by a panzerfaust in Lisieux, fired from an upstairs window.  That’s why we didn’t see the blighter” John was the radio operator and the rocket hit the turret.  Being badly injured he remembers thinking “please don’t burn, please don’t burn” as they’d already lost 73 men killed or burned in the Shermans.  Fortunately, the tank didn’t catch fire, but only he and the driver survived the attack, and they stayed firm friends after the war.  After recuperation in England, John re-joined his reformed regiment now equipped with LVT 4 Buffalos for the Rhine crossing. John thought the Buffalo a pretty dreadful thing, forever losing the swimming grousers fitted to the tracks!  

John has always been an active member of his regiment’s association, aided by his son Brian, and showed me a photo of himself with Joe Ekins standing just behind.  Joe was the gunner in their unit’s Firefly, gaining recognition for killing the renowned German tank commander, Michael Wittmann, near St. Aignan de Cramesnil.  Apparently, Joe was an irreverent soldier, not taking to authority very well, but was a brilliant gunner!


According to John’s account, they had five Shermans in their troop, four in front being the standard M4A2/3 with the 75mm gun, and their Firefly (M4A4) behind with the 17 pounder. Encountering German armour, they would bring the Firefly forward to engage.  In this particular action, John told me they watched three Tigers pass in front of them, then the Firefly opened up, Joe firing eight rounds and destroying all three German tanks.

See you all on the other side!


Chris Harris


1941 Matchless G3L(1) British and German combos(1)

British & German Combo Units

Bob's Matchless - Early war colours