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.

Large

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.

15 thoughts on “Remembering Today – L/Cpl David Thomas Hughes, KDG

  1. Hi Andreas. That’s a nice piece of detail for 1KDG.

    I was not aware of the unit receiving any M/H MkIII prior to February 1942. So either I am misinformed or the Breda armed vehicle was a MKII. Some of the MKIII were upgraded with the 25mm Hotchkiss, but again this was in 1942.

    Regards,
    David.

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  2. Hi Andreas
    thank you for the additional information. I am the niece of L/Cpl David Thomas Hughes, KDG and would like to know any more information you may have concerning him or his time in the army.

    Many thanks
    Julie

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    • Hello Julie,
      I have some more information from KDG War Diaries and Regimental Museum if you are still interested. Also some research in his fathers WW1 service. Please let me know if you would like.
      Best Wishes
      Alun

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      • Hello , Thanks, only just seen your post . I haven’t visited this site for some time . I would be interested in any additional information you may still have
        Thanks
        Julie

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  3. Hi, I am finding your site very interesting, but also so much information to think about, I don’t ‘know if anyone can help, I wanted to see if I could find out what happened to my great uncle trooper John Mathew Richardson, who was in A squadron, 1st Kings Dragoon Guards. He was injured I believe in operation crusader, or very similar time frame, but I don’t know how or to what extent… he was then being transported on the 5/12/41 on SS. Chakdina, when it was sadly torpedoed and sank rapidly with the loss of many including my Gt. Uncle. I cannot seem to find the war diaries anywhere, and would love to know more if anyone could help me with their expertise in this area..thank you Sarah

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    • Hi, only just seen your post. I have scanned through some extracts I have of A Squadron war diary for Nov-Dec 1941 kindly provided to me by the Regimental Museum (at Cardiff Castle). Only reference I have found is of a Trooper Richardson from “C” Squadron who is reported wounded with sadly many other casualties – some of whom also may have been on the SS Chakinda – in a communication between “C” and “B” Squadrons recorded on 16 Dec 1941. The timing mismatch may be due to fog of war? Is it possible your relative was in C Squadron and part of the breakout? I have checked the El Alamein memorial for the KDG and our relatives are both there. You may wish to contact the Regimental Museum (now QDG) – I believe they charge a small fee for family research these days. Hope this helps you with your search.

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