Looking at this IWM picture, it shows a squadron of Matilda IIs. The caption says 12 September 1941 near Tobruk. The online history of 4 and 7 R.T.R. states that 4 R.T.R. only arrived in the fortress at the end of September. This would pretty conclusively points to this picture showing ‘D’ Squadron 7 R.T.R, which would distinguish itself during the breakout two and a half months later.
The picture is either a still or was taken in parallel with video footage made on the same day. Just prior to this shot the tanks are seen moving in the video, and the name ‘Grimsby’ can be clearly seen, while afterwards ‘Go to It’ appears. Since ‘D’ Squadron had tank names with ‘ ‘ the 7th letter of the alphabet, this would conclusively prove it is ‘D’ Squadron 7 R.T.R. The whole video is worth watching and can be found at the link below.
Matilda Tanks of the Tobruk Garrison – video
Anyone recognise one of the tankers?
Matilda tanks lined up and ready to move off near Tobruk, 12 September 1941. Courtesy IWM Picture Collection
At the time this and other photos in the sequence were taken – the one shown is E5541 – 1RTR in Tobruk had a mixture of Light Tanks and Cruisers A9, A10 and A13 with D Squadron 7RTR “Attached”
They had arrived in Tobruch (as their War Diary called it) in April with a dozen tanks and took over four more from 4RTR
By the beginning of September further tanks had been received, they had 16 Matildas including one in workshops and four Light Tanks.
On 24th September they ceased to be attached to 1RTR
Thanks for confirming Peter. No face recognition though I guess?
The photo was one of several that hung in the Officers’ Mess 1RTR. The assumption was, I think, that the men/tanks were from the 1st.
Oh that’s interesting. As far as I know 1 R.T.R. never was equipped with Matilda II tanks. Might just have kept it for the association with their old comrades from Tobruk.