The Tank Museum | An Extraordinary Collection of Photographs

An Extraordinary Collection of Photographs

The wartime photos of Lieutenant Colonel R C Timms of 1ST Royal Tank Regiment

12th August 2019

A truly extraordinary collection of photographs, including the personal wartime snaps of Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Charles Timms, 90708, 1st Royal Tank Regiment, have been donated to the Archive.

Timms headshot resized

Timms who enlisted on 13th December 1937 with 22nd Battalion, Westminster Dragoons, Royal Tank Corps, would become involved in armoured trials and development during the Second World War. By 14th November 1943 he was promoted to Acting Major and appointed Deputy Assistant Director A.F.V. T.S. (F.F). Timms served in Russia (with the Royal Tank Regiment Kazan Detachment) North Africa, Italy, France, Germany and Austria. He also served a seven month attachment in the US 7th Army as a Technical Observer and Liaison Officer. Here he was tasked with updating the Ministry of Supply on “any experimental work or operational experience of interest”.

These high quality, previously unseen images, reflect Timms’ time at the forefront of tank trials and experimentation. Even more significantly, Timms has captioned almost every single photograph so we know exactly when, where and what has been taken.

Swimming Tanks Image

This wonderful image showing two soldiers uneasily observing the results of a trial is from Timms’ collection. The reverse is stamped ‘The Mechanised Experimental Establishment, Middle East Force’ and Timms’ handwritten annotation reads ‘Carrier Universal-Wading barrier waterborne when wading to depth of 4’ 6”’

Due to their significance, the photographs are currently in the scanning process for digitalisation and to aid preservation efforts.

Timms’ post-war career included involvement in the Malkara Trials at Kirkcudbright in 1959, before retiring as Lieutenant Colonel 2nd October 1964.