Wilfred Henry Wesley Harrold
5831672, Lance Corporal Wilfred Harrold, Age 23
17th/21st Lancers, Royal Armoured Corps
Died 09 April 1943
Lance Corporal 5831672, 17th/21st Lancers, Royal Armoured Corps. Died 09/04/1943. Age 23.
Born in Walton in 1919, the eldest of four children of Henry William Mark Harrold and Gertrude Evelyn Alice nee Bond. Gertrude who was recorded at Ipswich Hospital in 1939 sadly died of cancer in 1940. The family were living at 58 King Street, Walton. Wilfred was the brother of Barbara (later Mrs Aldis), Brian and Clive Harrold. Wilfred along with his family were active members of Felixstowe Salvation Army. At the time of his death, Wilfred was engaged to be married to Betty Kathleen Emmines (later Adams), born in 1922, who died in 2005 (both events in Cambridge).
Wilfred was killed when his tank hit a mine during the assault on Fondouk Pass. He is commemorated on the Medjez-El-Bab Memorial, in Tunisia.
This is a brief excerpt describing the battle -
It was after the encounter in the Kasserine pass that the Regiment was withdrawn from the line and re-equipped with the American Sherman tank mounting a 75mm gun. This represented a great improvement on the old ‘Tommy Cookers’ (Valentines), both in terms of firepower and armoured protection.
The stage was now set for the Battle of Fondouk, on the 8th and 9th of April, in which the Regiment was to play a leading role. The Fondouk Pass was a flat, open plain, 1000 yards wide, dominated on both sides by steep rocky heights. The plan was for the Regiment to break through the pass and cut off the retreating German forces. During a reconnaissance on the evening of the 8th, the Regiment lost four tanks. At 9.00 a.m. on the 9th the 17th/21st was ordered to force the Pass at any cost. The area was mined, and covered by both artillery and anti-tank guns positioned both in the pass and on the high ground. For two hours the Regiment tried to break through the Pass, sustaining such heavy losses that only a handful of tanks were left in action. Information that the dry riverbed to the left might prove to be a way through was passed to Brigade Headquarters. At 11.30, 6th Armoured Brigade ordered the 16th/5th Lancers to try that route, which despite a number of losses to men and tanks, proved successful.
Wilfred Harrold - Photos courtesy of his family
Battle for Tunis