The Devonshire Regt in WW2


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When I was about six years old, in 1943 or 1944, my cousin Dudley Hook came briefly to stay, on leave from the Devonshire regiment in which he was a captain, and which I suppose now had come home from Africa to regroup for Normandy. Dudley was a fund of stories; in his tank he said he had a German rifle and ammunition with which he had shot a leopard, hoping to sell the skin, but when his unit laagered for the night he found that the dead animal’s bottom had been over the hot exhaust and a large chunk of its fur had burned away. Another time he had potted an antelope, His men were just preparing to butcher and cook it when the MO came up and told them on no account to eat it and that he would dispose of it. He was as good as his word. Dudley later found another group of officers sitting round a fire eating antelope, the MO among them. Dudley’s lot got corned beef as usual.

Ihave a niggling doubt about this as the Devons I thought were infantry - but can any ARRSER put me right? were any of their bns re-roled as armour? Also the faunw in Dudley's tales seem more native to east Africa than the Western desert, can anyone put me right on this? I tried Google but didn't get anything useful.
1 Devon were out in India in 1939. Ended up in Burma after a trip to Ceylon.

2 Devon (in 231 Inf Bde) were in Malta at the beginning of the war until the end of March 1943. They spent 2 months in Egypt then to Sicily and Italy. Joined 50 Div in August 1943 and stayed with them though D-Day, Normandy etc until end Nov 1944 when they went to 7 Armd Div's reorganised 131 Inf Bde.

4 Devon went to the 2 Gibraltar Bde Apr 1941 - Apr 1943. I don't know where they were between April & December 1943 but they ended up back in the UK.

12 Devon were reroled as an Airlanding Bn in 6 Abn Div but had been in the UK prior to that; as had 6, 8, 9 & 11 Devon.

My guess would be 2 Devon (and that there are leopards and antelope in the Nile Delta) unless anyone knows if 4 Devon went to Africa for a spell after Gibraltar.

The other possibility is that he wasn't on leave from the Devonshires but was a Devonshire officer attached to some other unit or formation. I imagine it would have to be his service record to answer that.

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