43rd Reconnaissance Regiment

About Us

The Group started life as long ago as 1981, but has existed in its current format as a "Living History" Group since 1996, just after the Old Comrades Association was resurrected by two ex 43rd members, Roy Merrett and Alan Dracup.

Although titled as a Living History Group, 43rd Recce is a Group with a more serious historical slant than most.  Our Constitution states that the aims of the Group are to :-

a)  Further the interest of its members in the history of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment, the 43rd Wessex Division and the Reconnaissance Corps in general
b)  To promote and support those 'Old Comrades' of the above organisations now and in the future
c)  The preservation, restoration and display of vehicles, uniforms and associated artefacts relating to the above organisations
d)  To authentically and responsibly portray the activities of the above organisations to the general public and thereby educate the general public as to the history of the above organisation

Put quite simply we exist because we all as individuals have a deep and abiding respect not just for the outstanding fighting record of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment, but also for the generation that fought in its ranks.

The Reconnaissance Regiment was a war raised unit, which only existed between 1941 and 1946, and therefore has no Corps museum apart from a small Recce archive in the Tank Museum at Bovington.  Our Group has therefore taken on the role of a "mobile" museum, taking our vehicles and equipment to public shows and events and ensuring that the Recce badge and the khaki berets of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment will be seen for many years to come.

As well as the vehicles and equipment, the Group has accumulated a large collection of photographs, records and information about the wartime activities of the Regiment, most of which came from the veterans themselves.

We are lucky that as a group we have very close links with the Old Comrades Associations of both 43rd Recce and the 43rd Wessex Division, and were greatly honoured when in 2004 Brigadier F.R. Henn CBE accepted our invitation to act as our Honorary President.

Brigadier Henn served in the Gloucestershire Regiment during the early part of the war, was in the B.E.F., evacuated from Dunkirk, then served in 43rd Recce throughout the campaign in North West Europe.

As well as appearing at many of the various Living History shows around the South East, the Group actively supports the veterans at both the 43rd Recce and the 43rd Division annual reunions, as well as taking a major role in the publication of "Spearhead", the quarterly newsletter of the 43rd Recce Old Comrades Assocation.

We are only a small Group, but with a good selection of original vehicles, including a Daimler Armoured car, Dingo scout cars, Universal carrier, Morris light recce car, 3 ton truck, 15 cwt trucks, jeeps and motorcycles, and a strong will to "do it right".  All Group members are encouraged to use only genuine uniforms, equipment and weapons, or use only the best reproductions when the genuine article is not available.  We believe that we owe it to the Veterans to portray them as accurately as possible, and that means down to the last detail.  

To this end we also arrange training weekends where we practice infantry tactics, weapons training, drill, vehicle maintenance, and learn more about the unit organisation and history.

If what we do sounds interesting and you would like to know more about joining our Group, please have a look at our Join Us page.