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Hammond and Harold Lord

The story and photographs are shared by the Trust with kind permission from Gareth Davies and the 11th Armoured Division Facebook Group and its Black Bull Research Team.

A tale of two brothers. Hammond and Harold Lord were killed on the same same day in Normandy but the records held by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is based on information sent in by the family of the casualty, did not show a family connection. Hammond's record shows the details of his parents and his wife but Harold's record only shows the details of his wife.  But, thanks to the research that the Black Bull Research Team are doing, they have just discovered they were in fact brothers.

Hammond and Harold Lord came from Milnrow, near Rochdale. They both served in the Lancashire Fusiliers, Territorial Army in the 1930s. Harold was called up at the start of the war and Hammond volunteered in November 1939. They served in France in 1940 as part of the British Expeditionary Force and were evacuated from Dunkirk. It seems they were then posted to the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, probably after 1/5th and 1/6th Battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers were converted to armour in 1941. It was not uncommon in these cases to do direct swaps between units so that an experienced armoured unit (in this case 3 Royal Tank Regiment) would send men to a converting infantry unit to provide experienced soldiers while the infantry unit sent back infantry men to be trained as tank crew.

The brothers served with them in the Western Desert and then their unit returned to the UK to begin training for the Normandy landings. The Regiment began embarking on LCTs from Stokes Bay, Gosport and the Portsmouth area from the 15th June 1944 and landed on Juno Beach in Normandy between the 16th and 17th June.

Their first action in Normandy was as part of Operation Epsom. The battalion war diary records that on the morning of the 28th June they were advancing in the Colleville area to a position south of Tourmauville and Baron-sur-Odon. Casualties were incurred when they engaged with German anti-tank guns near Baron-sur-Odon and one officer was killed and 12 Other Ranks were wounded. At around lunchtime they were advancing through Baron when a tank of A Squadron ran over a pile of mines and blocked the main road.

The unit war diary did not record any men missing until the July summary of casualties, which recorded that as at 2nd July there were 7 other ranks missing. It is belived the two brothers were killed during the action around Colleville. It is known that Hammond was killed when his tank was hit. But his body was never recovered so he is recorded on the Bayeux Memorial to the Missing. Harold's circumstance of death is still unknown but his body was recovered and he is buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery.

We have yet to find a photo of either of the brothers. But they have found a copy of the scroll for Hammond Lord which the family were given.

Having served together but separated in death, with two separate places of commemoration or burial, the two brothers are now together again, commemorated next to each other on the British Normandy Memorial.

On the 80th anniversary of their death, the Lord brothers, along with 9 of their comrades in arms who were killed during Operation Epsom, were honoured at the Lord's home town of  Milnrow and at the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment tablet at Bovington.

At Milnrow War Memorial: L-R: Wreath and tankie crosses placed by members of Merseyside Royal Tank Regiment Association and Hammond's grandson, Julian and son, Harold jnr

 

Wreath laid at Bovington

A news article about them also featured in the Manchester Evening News

British Normandy Memorial - Additional Information

We knew of 11 sets of brothers who are commemorated on the the British Normandy Memorial but, thanks to the work of the Black Bull Research team, we now know of 12 sets brothers who are commemorated.

FALLEN HEROES

  • HAMMOND LORD

    Army • TROOPER

    Royal Armoured Corps
    3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment

    DIED | 28 June 1944

    AGE | 30

    SERVICE NO. | 3452347

  • HAROLD LORD

    Army • TROOPER

    Royal Armoured Corps
    3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment

    DIED | 28 June 1944

    AGE | 28

    SERVICE NO. | 3448037

FALLEN HEROES

  • HAMMOND LORD

    Army • TROOPER

    Royal Armoured Corps
    3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment

    DIED | 28 June 1944

    AGE | 30

    SERVICE NO. | 3452347

  • HAROLD LORD

    Army • TROOPER

    Royal Armoured Corps
    3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment

    DIED | 28 June 1944

    AGE | 28

    SERVICE NO. | 3448037

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