7th Hussars

Luneburg c1951

A ceremony took place at the regimental HQ of the 7th Hussars at Luneburg in Germany to dedicate a war memorial to the men of the 7th who died in WW2. This photo and article appeared in Soldier magazine but did not mention the date, however the regiment were stationed in Germany between 1949 and 1954. The men of the regiment are mostly conscripts and wear battledress, but the four standing near to the memorial are in full dress apart from the red forage cap. The nearest corporal does not have medals so presumably the only veterans of the war would have been senior NCOs and senior officers. The article says that the number of veterans still serving in the regiment at that time were around 25. They included the CO, Lieut-Col W Rankin, the Adjutant Major JF Astley-Rushton who was captured at Sidi Rezegh, SQMS Herbert Smith, Sergeant William Watson who served throughout the war, Quartermaster Lt GF Dunscombe, and Sergeant George Burns. The padre in the middle is Neville Metcalfe DSO who served with the regiment in the war, and next to him is the widow of Lt-Colonel Freddie Byass DSO MC, who was killed at Sidi Rezegh. The actual war memorial is hidden behind the corporal in full dress. It is a portable memorial, because the regiment had no permanent home. It stands nearly 5ft high but can be taken apart and packed into a box 3ft 6ins long. It is a plinth shaped like the Cenotaph, surmounted by a bronze figure of a troop sergeant in battledress, modelled by SQMS Herbert Smith. The names of 139 officers and men are inscribed on the plinth and around the base are the names of the battles of WW2; Pegu, Schwedang, Monywa, Capuzzo, Sidi Barrani, Beda Fomm, Sidi Rezigh, Ancona, The Gothic Line and the crossing of the River Po.

Regimental details

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by Stephen Luscombe