The Tank Museum | Recipient

R. Lobb

Born 2nd February 1919 at Stockbridge Hampshire.

Attended the local County School until age 14.
First job was in the kitchen at the local Grosvenor Hotel.
Next was as a garage hand at Cory's Garage, looking after the petrol pumps.
He then went to Brighton to work with his uncle, in the kitchen of the British Home Store. His uncle was such a slave driver that after a few months he walked out and went to join the Navy. But it was found during his medical that he was colour blind. It was not far to the Army Recruiting Office where he enlisted into the Royal Tank Corps with a good bill of health at the age of 17 years and 4 months. Having completed his training he embarked aboard the TS Lancashire for service in Egypt with the 6th Battalion. He returned to England just prior to Dunkirk.

We joined the 44th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment (Gloucestershire Yeomanry) with whom he went back to Egypt. The Regiment was soon in the early fighting in the Western Desert. After Rommel came on the scene Rupert Lobb became one of the most respected NCOs of the Regiment, for within 18 months he has won his two Military Medals and was Mentioned in Despatches and was promoted from Sergeant to Staff Sergeant Major at the age of 23.

After serving throughout North Africa he took part in Sicily and the fight up through Italy until early 1944 when the Regiment relocated in the Brighton area. D-Day plus one saw him in the thick of things during June and July but then succumbed to Malaria and was air lifted back to hospital in Enland. He was able to have a short leave before rejoining the Regiment in Belgium late in August 1944. He was killed a few days later on 9th September 1944.

Tales of valour

Military Medal and Bar

Military Medal

LOBB Rupert, (W/S Sergeant)

44th Royal Tank Regiment

On 7th June 1942 Sergeant Lobb was in command of one of five tanks operating against the enemy at Gobi el Facri. One of these tanks was hit and the track blown off, and without waiting for orders Sergeant Lobb went to assist it under heavy and accurate shell and machine gun fire. He got out and attached a tow rope but it gave way. This happened a second and a third time and on each occasion Sergeant Lobb got out and re-fastened it. During this time his tank was hit and the 2-pdr gun rendered useless.
His driver then stalled the engine and was unable to re-start owing to flat batteries, so Sergeant Lobb signalled the crew of the other tank to evacuate and used his smoke mortars and remaining machine gun to cover them. He covered his own crew in the same way and only when they were safely away did Sergeant Lobb make his own way back.
He returned later with his crew and with the assistance of another tank commanded by Corporal Langworthy, successfully recovered his own tank still under direct fire from the enemy. Throughout this operation Sergeant Lobb showed complete disregard for his own safety and his coolness and leadership, combined with his resolute refusal to abandon his tank made a magnificent example of devotion to duty.

Bar to Military Medal

Sergeant Lobb has been a Troop Sergeant in every action fought by this battalion since November 1941. He distinguished himself in the Gazala fighting of June and again and again at Alamein in July, he fought in several actions with the greatest credit.
On 16th July 1942 at Tel El Eisa, he and his troop were ordered forward, having already taken part in one action that day, to support “A” Squadron. His was the only tank of the troop that arrived intact and on his own he carried out a successful flanking movement, knocking out two anti-tank guns and being instrumental in capturing approximately 200 prisoners.
Having completed this task, thereby greatly relieving the situation of “A” Squadron, Sergeant Lobb saw that the Squadron Commander’s tank would not move. Though under heavy shell and small arms fire, he got out of his tank, attached a tow rope and towed the Squadron Commander’s tank out of action.
On every occasion that Sergeant Lobb has been in action, his coolness, courage and devotion to duty have been worthy of the highest praise.


1939-45 STAR