On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Silvertop, David Arthur Henry

Date of birth:
January 10th, 1912 (Southsea/Hampshire, United Kingdom)
Date of death:
September 25th, 1944 (Sint Anthonis, The Netherlands)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Graves Sint Anthonis
Grave: 4.
Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


? 2nd Lieutenant
1 September 1936: Lieutenant 14th/20th King's Hussars
1 September 1941: Captain
? Major
? Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Second World War (1939-1945)
Temporary Major
4 Armoured Brigade, British Army
Awarded on:
August 13th, 1942
"As Bde Major of 4th Arm'd Bde. has shown outstanding gallantry and coolness in action during the whole period of operations. He has been in the thick of fighting, had his tank hit several times and has never shown the slightest sign of worry. Major SILVERTOP has remained calm and impeturbable throughout, and I strongly recommend that his ability and gallantry in carrying out his important responsability of Bde. Major should be recognised by the immediate award of the M.C."

For his actions North Africa, Lybia.
Military Cross (MC)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel
3rd Royal Tank Regiment, 29th Armoured Brigade, 11th Armoured Division, British Army
Awarded on:
October 19th, 1944
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
"On July 19th 44 the Bde was ordered to capture the villages of BRAS (0663) and HUBERT FOLIE (0662). The 3rd BN RTR was ordered to capture the latter. Lt-Col SILVERTOP comdg the 3 R Tks saw that the attack was in danger of collapsing. Knowing that it was essential that BRAS must be captured or the whole operation might fall he reported the situation to the Bde. He stated his willingness to switch his attack to BRAS if desired. On being ordered to do so, Lt-Col SILVERTOP quickly switched his attack to BRAS, seizing the eastern exits of the village. Pushing on with the greatest dash and determination he quickly restored the situation and was mainly responsible for the capture of this important point.
The village was captured, yielding 150 prisoners and much equipment.
No praise can be too high for this officer's outstanding leadership and personal courage in overcoming a very difficult situation and bringin the action to such a successful conclusion.
The previous day the 3 R Tks was leading regt behind the barrage in the break-out of the armour. He displayed the same high qualities of leadership and devotion to duty which was an inspiration to those under his command."

Drafted 20 July 1944

Posthumously awarded
Immediate DSO

War Diary mentions

10 January 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Lt. Col. D.A.H. Silvertop MC returned from leave reassumes command. Capt. J.C. Balharrie MC reassumes appointment as Adjt. The following appointments are announced;- Sports Officer – Lt. N.F.F. Kent. Ass. Sports Officer – Lt. J.F. Langdon. Entertainments Officer – Capt. E.F.W. Gilboy. Education Officer – Lt. W.T. Brookes. Fire Officer – Lt. J. McG. Rylands. Transport Officer – Lt. A. Carter.

20 March 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Lt. Col. Silvertop MC re-assumes command.

20 April 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Programme for NCOs Cadre Course issued: Capt G.N. Lorraine-Smith, 14/20 H, attached to Unit. Capt B.J. Hamill appointed Bn Musketry Officer, Lt J. McG. Rylands appointed Asst Musketry Officer. Major H.L. Upcott-Gill, M.C., assumes command of the Unit during absence on duty of Lt Col D.A.H. Silvertop, M.C.

23 April 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Brigade Parade Service: 5 Officers ands 120 ORs represent the Unit. Lt J.McG. Rylands, 2/Lt D.I. Collie and 4 ORS attend course M 30, SE Comd School of Camouflage. Lt Col D.A.H. Silvertop, M.C., reassumes command.

19 August 1944 WO 171/846 - 15-19 The King Royal Hussars
A fine sunny day. C.O. went fwd early in the morning to attend the planning of a battle across the R. ORNE to ECOUCHE and adv towards ARGENTAN 2618 with O.C .159 Inf Bde, CRA 11 A.D. Brig Fowler, O.C. 3rd R.T.R. - Lt.Col. Silvertop and O.C. 1st Herefords. The enemy were holding with weak forces the area of MONGAROULT 1719 and LE BOIS-SERANS 1717. The plan decided on was for 1st Herefords to cross the river at ECOUCHE and adv North from a start line running East and West through SERANS 1716 and take and hold the high ground about LE BOIS-SERANS. 3rd R.T.R. to cross behind them and adv due North up the track to MONTGAROULT and on in a North Westarly direction towards HABLOVILLE 1523. The Regt was to cross the river behind 3rd R.T.R. and protect their right flank on a line from about 2018 overlooking GOULET 2117 to about Pt 180 2121 overlooking MOULINS-SUR-ORNE 2220 and CUI 2122. Opposition was very light and the operation went completely according to plan. A certain amount of enemy tpt and inf were encountered which were shot up by the Regt and 3rd R.T.R. and up till fairly late in the evening it seemed that the Regt had had an almost perfect day for their first day real contact with the enemy. About 1800hrs 'B' Sqn moved onto the high ground West of ARGENTAN in square 2419 to endeavour to destroy enemy withdrawing Eastwards from the area MOULINS-SUR-ORNE. The Sqn achieved this with some success despite encountering minefields laid just North of the road, but 1 or 2 vehs stopped with mechanical trouble. Whilst repairing these the crews were subjected to some sniping and mortaring and shortly afterwards a Panther tk appeared and knocked out the Tp Ldrs tk of 1st Tp - Lt. J.R.D. Sharpe at approx 254193. The Sqn was ordered to withdraw to Regtl leager at about 200186.

12 September 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Coy of Mons and A Sqn commence mopping them up. Provisional notice of award of DSO to Lt.Col. D.A.H. Silvertop, MC is received.

25 September 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Brigadier visits colonel in ST. ANHONIS. Lt.Col.D.A.H. Silvertop, DSO,MC killed by armd car which came through village. 2 armd cars + 2 half-tracks K.O. Major N.H. Bourne, DSO takes command.

25 September 1944 WO 171/853 - 2 Fife and Forfar Regiment
‘C’ Sqn continued the advance and found the enemy tks had withdrawn, but regained contact again in BAKEL. One Panther, after being engaged by medium arty shell fire, was “brewed up”, and another one, after being fired at by ‘C’ Sqn, in its efforts to escape, was ditched and captured intact. The Regt remained in BAKEL with the KSLI whilst the 15/19 H and the Herefords mopped up HELMOND, after which it continued the advance to GEMERT and then EAST to 651337 where it harboured the night.During : 29 Armd Bde “O” Group at St ANTHONIS, two German half tracks coming round the corner firing N,Go shot up the party, wounding the Brigadier and the B.H., and killing Colonels Silvertop and Orr.

25 September 1944 WO 171/691 - 159 Infantry Brigade
At first light the Bde Gps moved off, 23 H and 8 RB moving in a NORTHERLY direction; 1 HEREFORD and 2 FF YEO towards HELMOND; 4 KSLI and 3 RTR towards BAKEL. During the day enemy resistance weakened and it was thought that the 180 Div was withdrawing. The adv continued during the day, some PW being taken, DEURNE and HELMOND being taken over by 3 Br Inf Div. By last light the Div were in the ST ANTHONIS area 7138 with 15/19 H, 4 KSLI, 3 RTR and 3 MON at DE RIPS 6630, 23 H and 8 RB area 6433. 1 HEREFORD and 2 FF YEO and Bde HQ with one coy 1 HEREFORD and one sqn FF YEO NORTH of GEMERT 5831. At approx 1800 hrs the Bde suffered some very unfortunate casualties when four half-tracks belonging to Battle Group Heinke of 10 SS Pz Div, trying to escape from ST ANTHONIS, shot up a 'O' Gp consisting of Brigadier Harvey DSO, MC, his BM, Maj Thompson – both suffering severe wounds, Lt-Col H.C. Orr of 3 MON and Lt-Col Silvertop – both being killed. During the night no reports came in and the Bde remained firm.

25 September 1944 WO 171/846 - 15-19 The King Royal Hussars
About 0830hrs 'A' Sqn in combination with Coy 1st KOSB moved fwd down the road where they had fought the previous day and found that the enemy had withdrawn from the whole area and were now mainly East of the canal running through square 7012. A certain number of enemy were reported to be still West of the bridge in this square and a combined operation with the inf and supported by arty was arranged to adv as far as the bridge 708121 to confirm whether this was blown or not. While final arrangements for this operation were still being made, Lt Butler, commanding a patrol of recce reported that he had reached the bridge and that it was in fact blown. This was yet another instance of the determination, courage and initiative which Lt Butler had been showing consistently throughout the operations of the past weeks. While 'A' Sqn were clearing up this area to the South East 'C' Sqn were ordered to come under comd 1st Herefords and move through DEURNE to HELMOND to assist in clearing up this town. Little opposition was met there and the objective was achieved without incident. About midday remainder of Regt was ordered to come under comd 159 Inf Bde Gp and move Northwards through DEURNE towards GEMERT 5730. Advancing in order of march 'B', RHQ, 'A', Regt passed through 2 FF Yeo who were then the leading tps of the Bde just North of BAKEL 6124 and adv to GEMERT which was reported still held by enemy. In fact we reached the town about 1400hrs and found it clear of enemy and immediatly received orders to move on in a North Easterly direction to ST. ANTHONIS 7138. At the same time 29 Armd Bde was adv on the more direct road from DEURNE to this place. 'A' Sqn passed through 'B' Sqn and the Regt adv from GEMERT in order 'A', RHQ, 'B', 'C', who had now completed their task at HELMOND, reverted under comd of Regt, followed on some way behind. No opposition was met up to rd junc 6935 where about 4 enemy half track vehs mounting big calibre MG's were met. 29 Armd Bde were just in front of us on their route and reached ST. ANTHONIS half an hour before us.These half track vehs were chased into the village by the leading tp of 'A' Sqn and on reaching it most unfortunately shot up the Brigadier (Brigadier Harvey - Comd 29 Armd Bde), his Bde Major and 2 of his C.O.'s. Lt-Col Silvertop DSO.MC, Comd 3rd RTR and Lt-Col Orr DSO, Comd 3rd Mons who were in conference in the village. The two latter were killed and the Brigadier and his Bde Major wounded. All 4 enemy vehs were knocked out by 29 Armd Bde before they got away from the village. The Regt harboured that night in posns to hold the Western half of the village of ST.ANTHONIS in co-operation with 4 KSLI. Units of 29 Armd Bde held the Eatern half of the village.

28 September 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Memorial service in church at WESTERBEEK for Lt.Col.D.A.H. Silvertop, DSO,MC and Lt.Col.Orr and fallen comrades.