News Article

The Tanks Volume IV 1976-2017 Request for Material

23 January 2012


You may have read in the last issue of Tank that I have been asked to write the latest volume of the Regiment’s history and that I am after material for it. Before I go any further, I should say something about myself. I served in 2 RTR 1961-1980, ending my regimental career as OC Badger in Münster and thereafter serving in the TA for a further 13 years, but still badged RTR. Nowadays I am a professional military historian, with over 40 published books  to my name. These include two histories of 1914-18 battalions and the final volume of the 6th Gurkhas history. I also wrote up the 2nd Scots Guards account of their role in the 1982 Falklands War.   


Much of history itself is bound up in the memories and papers of individuals and that of the Royal Tank Regiment is no exception. Therefore to produce a book that is going to do justice to the 40 years covered by Volume IV means that the words of and material held by serving and former members of the Regiment will be invaluable. The History itself will not be just about  operations, although these will inevitably take up a large part of the book. Training, whether field training in Germany, Poland, UK and at Suffield, is important, as is that for N Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.  AFV developments are also a vital component and those who can provide insights into the transition from Chieftain to Challenger, 1 RTR’s specialist NBC vehicles and the various types used in Iraq and Afghanistan can make a significant contribution. Then there are the purely regimental aspects – Standard,  Amalgamation, and Homecoming parades, the Regimental Statue in Whitehall, changes in dress, adventurous training, sport, and even the quality of life in the various barracks. Finally, there are the individuals who have done unusual things around the world. The sum of all these elements gives the Regiment its unique character.


Whether the material be in the form of documents, signals, letters, diaries, emails, blogs, photographs, drawings or maps, it could prove very helpful in putting flesh on the bare bones of the Regiment’s history.  I would therefore much welcome any offers that you might be able to make. To save costs, it would be best to contact me first, giving an outline of the nature of the material, rather than just submit it blind. I will take every care to safeguard the material that I am loaned and will ensure that, when finished with, it is returned.


My contact details are:


Address: 53 Wimbledon Park Road, London SW18 5SJ

Telephone: 0208 874 5871



Charles Messenger

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