Overlord’s Blog is featuring a post about a heroic action taken by a group of British Bren Gun Carriers during the 1940 campaign in France. The post describes the exploits of Lieutenant Christopher Furness who commanded a section of Bren Gun Carriers belonging to the 1st Welsh Guards. Furness was part of a column which was retreating from the Arras area and in danger of being destroyed by advancing German forces. WIth a group of three Bren Carriers and three Mk VI light tanks, Furness set out to attack the German forces so as to give the rest of the column a chance to escape.
The light tanks set up a base of fire and started shooting at the Germans, however they were all quickly set on fire by the German anti-tank guns. However the lighter, smaller and faster Carriers were able to evade the German anti-tank gun fire. Not so the colossal amount of small arms rounds the Germans fired at the Carriers. Such was the volume of fire Carrier #3 had the bi-pod shot off its Bren gun. Soon all the Carriers had wounded men on them. Lt Furness led his Carriers along until nearly on top of the German position then began to drive in a circle around the German hilltop all the while firing with every weapon they could. They managed several circuits inflicting very heavy casualties on the Germans. However the German return fire was beginning to take its own toll. In Carrier #1 Lt Furness was the only man alive, and when the driver had been killed the Carrier had halted. In Carrier #2, just behind Carrier #1, Guardsman David Williams had been killed and the other crew wounded.