Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cyril Joly arrived with the 12 Stuarts

Robert Crisp appointed his friend Harry Maegraith has temporary and unofficial second in command. When Cyril Joly and the twelve Stuarts arrived, he brought along a novelty to the 3rd RTR: a "Mess lorry". Not only that, the Mess lorry had a crate of beer. Amazingly, the crate had survived the start of the campaign and the "Dash to the Wire". In the afternoon of the ninth day, the 3rd RTR moved "to Bir Berraneb, the favourite leaguering and mustering area of the brigade". Cyril Joly told the soldiers of the B-Echelon adventure on the night before. They had not been able to join the brigade, that night. In the night, they had gone off on the wrong bearing. When the lead officer realized that they had missed their objective, they stopped where they were for the rest of the night. In the early light, they set off, headed east. They picked up an armoured car escort along the way. They thought that they must be friendly, until suddenly, they were stopped at gunpoint, and were "put in the bag". Robert Crisp doesn't tell us how they learned what had happened to the captured column. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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