Main content

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.


Ian Hammerton prepares his tank for landing

Tank Commander Ian Hammerton, 22nd Dragoons.