18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment
By Lieutenant-General The Lord Freyberg, vc, gcmg, kcb, kbe, dso
It gives me great pleasure to write a foreword for the history of the 18th Battalion, later the 18th Armoured Regiment, for unit histories such as this provide the opportunity of paying a well-earned tribute to the officers and men who served in them.
The 18th Battalion was one of the First Echelon units and has an impressive record. It served as infantry in the early period of the war under Colonels Gray, Peart, Lynch and Pleasants in arduous fighting at Servia Pass in Greece, at Galatas in Crete, at Gambut and Belhamed in Libya, and at Minqar Qaim, Ruweisat Ridge and El Mreir in the defence of Egypt.
These were trying days, but the Battalion carried out its duties with skill and fortitude. I remember with gratitude the attention given me by its stretcher-bearers when I was wounded at Minqar Qaim.
When, after converting from an infantry battalion to an armoured regiment under Colonel Pleasants, the 18th Armoured Regiment was again employed operationally, the Division had moved to Italy where conditions were in marked contrast to those of the desert. The Regiment had often to contend with bad going, with mountainous country, with snow, page vi rain and clinging mud. Under Colonels Pleasants, Ferguson, Robinson, Elliott and Parata it fought at Guardiagrele and Orsogna, at Cassino, in the advance to Florence, in the arduous winter in the Romagna, and finally in the victorious Battle of the Senio and the advance to Trieste, which marked the end of the war.
This is a great story of a very worthy unit which I hope will be widely read.
Deputy Constable and Lieutenant Governor,
Windsor Castle30 June 1961