42nd Royal Tank Regiment

The 42nd Royal Tank Regiment (42 RTR) was an armoured regiment of the British Army from 1938[1] until 1956. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps.

Troops of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry shelter behind a Matilda II tank of 42 RTR during manoeuvres at Knowsley Park, Prescot, 30 July 1940


The unit was formed on 1 November 1938 by converting the 7th (23rd London) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, a Territorial Army (TA) infantry battalion, into a tank unit. For a short while it was 42nd (7th (23rd London) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment) Battalion of the Royal Tank Corps before the corps was redesignated the Royal Tank Regiment in 1939.[2][3]

World War IIEdit

The regiment was mobilised on the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939 as part of 21st Army Tank Brigade, composed of three TA battalions of the Royal Tank Regiment.[4]

The unit formed part of 1st Army Tank Brigade in 1941–42, serving with it in the Western Desert Campaign including the Second Battle of El Alamein.[5]

For the invasion of Northern Europe in 1944, it was equipped with Canal Defence Light Grant tanks. These were not used in battle.[citation needed]


From 1947, when the TA was reconstituted, the regiment was in 22nd Armoured Brigade under the 56th (London) Infantry Division.[6]

In 1956, the regiment was converted back to infantry, becoming the 23rd London again.[3][7]


  1. ^ "Between the Wars - The Royal Tank Regiment Association". Royaltankregiment.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  2. ^ "42 Royal Tank Corps". Ordersofbattle.com. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  3. ^ a b 23rd Londons at Regiments.org.
  4. ^ Joslen, p. 200.
  5. ^ Joslen, pp. 195, 566.
  6. ^ Watson, TA 1947
  7. ^ "The London Regiment". Queensroyalsurreys.org.uk. 1908-04-01. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-07-29.


  • Joslen, H. F. (2003) [1990]. Orders of Battle: Second World War, 1939–1945. Uckfield, East Sussex: Naval and Military Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-474-1.

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