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Lieutenant Ian Hammerton

22nd Dragoons, 79th Armoured Division

Ian Hammerton tried to join the RAF aged 17 and a half, "but they wouldn’t have me" so he went on to join the 42nd Royal Tank Regiment in Clapham.

In 1941 he was put in for a commission and then finally transferred to the 22nd Dragoons at Stow-on-the-Wold. While there it was announced to the men they would play a crucial but top secret role on D-Day. They were to drive a new breed of tank that had been designed to destroy the German defences – from tanks with massive chain flails that could destroy mines, to those capable of throwing flames or sailing over anti-tank ditches.

Ian Hammerton was to command a flail tank on D-Day, with his first mission to clear Juno beach of mines before moving on ahead of the advancing troops as they made their way across France and beyond.

Since D-Day, Ian Hammerton has devoted much of his time to educating children about his experiences during the war.

Clips

Ian Hammerton prepares his tank for landing

Tank Commander Ian Hammerton, 22nd Dragoons.