Remembering Today – L/Cpl David Thomas Hughes, KDG

Remembering Today – L/Cpl David Thomas Hughes, KDG

Inspired by CL1’s post at this link, here is a bit more detail about Lance Corporal (L/Cpl) David T. Hughes of A Squadron King’s Dragoon Guards (KDG), who died in battle on 29 November 1941. This is from the King’s Dragoon Guards war diary held at Kew, WO169-1384.

The KDG operated in squadrons at the end of November 1941, with A & B Squadrons as well as an attached Squadron of 4 South African Armoured Car Regiment under direct control of 7 Armoured Division HQ, and C Squadron operating as part of the Tobruk garrison within the Tobruk perimeter. A and B Squadron patrolled the southern track called the Trigh el Abd.

The specific detail relating to the death of L/Cpl Hughes is from the A Squadron section of the war diary, given below:

Patrolled same area[1]. Sgt. Dasher, his troop and Sgt. Canfield in his Breda Car[2] attacked Pt. 199 EL ARID inflicting casualties and destroying 3 lorries before being forced to retire before heavy artillery fire. Sgt. Eggleton also got some useful information and Lt. Fraser attacked an 8 wheeled A/C[3] with a small gun in support, in order to gain some high ground from which he could get a view of a German column which was hidden in a Wadi[4]. L/Cpl Hughes was killed instantaneously by a shell.

Given the detail of his death, I would presume that he was with Sgts. Dasher and Canfield in the attack on Pt.199.

[1]This was the Trigh el Abd track which passed south of Tobruk, connecting the border settlement of Sollum and Fort Capuzzo to Bir Hakeim to the south-west of Tobruk.

[2]While this could mean that this was a captured Italian vehicle, it is more likely to refer to a field-modified Allied armoured car with an ‘aftermarket’, err captured 20mm Breda anti-aircraft/anti-tank gun mounted on the turret, such as the example below[2.1]. This gun was in very widespread use with the Italian forces, meaning that substantial numbers of the gun and its ammunition were available to the Commonwealth forces.


A Marmon-Herrington Mk II armoured car armed with an Italian Breda 20mm gun, near Tobruk, Libya, 8 May 1941. Courtesy of the IWM.

[2.1]At the time however the KDG would have operated in the recently received Marmon Herrington Mk. III armoured car, an improved model. More information about the Marmon-Herrington Mk. III can be found at this link.

[3] abbreviation for Armoured Car

[4] A dry river valley, these were often used for traffic/camps since they offered cover and protection

Lest we forget.