Douglas joined the 8th Hussars in Benghazi in July 1943 on a posting from the Union Defence Forces of South Africa. He was a quiet person, always cheerful and was popular with all ranks.

Capt DA Rampf
Capt DA Rampf

In January 1944 the Regiment returned from disembarkation leave to West Tofts, Norfolk where he was appointed troop leader of 2 Troop, ‘A’ Squadron.

The Regiment landed in France on 9 June and after the tanks had been de-waterproofed, was committed to the first stage of the battle for Villers Bocage.

On 11 June, ‘A’ Squadron advanced two troops up on the single-tracked roads with high, hedged banks on either side. Douglas’ tank was knocked out by a Panzerfaust, two of his crew were killed and he was wounded in the head but managed to escape with the other two crew members.

Bill Talbot-Hervey, commanding the adjacent troop, lost two tanks, and only the wireless operator survived out of the two crews.

Luckily Douglas’ wound was not too serious and he returned to the squadron in July, in time for Operation Goodwood and the September breakout. He was wounded a second time after we had crossed the Rhine and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. On his return to the Regiment in 1945, he was appointed Captain.

He accompanied the Regiment to Berlin leaving for South Africa and demobilisation at the end of 1945.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. North-West Europe 1944-45 timeline