15 Field Regt RA Gothic Line.

Discussion in 'Italy' started by blitz_researcher, Jan 17, 2024.

  1. blitz_researcher

    blitz_researcher Junior Member

    15 Field Regiment Royal Artillery, attacking the Gothic Line in 1944 - why can't I find their war diary?
    I am interested in Serjeant William Benzie Goodall (2978074) but cannot find a mention of this regiment or what happened on 1st September 1944 on the day he died (leaving a wife and two children). It's possible the regiment was attached to a Canadian Corps - would that affect its listing at the National Archive?
    I have also seen a suggestion they were using Sexton self-propelled 25 pounders.
    Other 15 FR men who died that day include an officer, Lieutenant Charles William Mole - I know it's sometimes easier to trace officers than ORs.
    Can anyone help?
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  3. blitz_researcher

    blitz_researcher Junior Member

    Owen, thank you for searching TNA more competently than me! That very helpful.
    Owen likes this.
  4. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    A bit of background.

    15 Field Regiment RA - The Royal Artillery 1939-45

    Jan 44 25 pdr Self Propelled Sexton
    part of 8th Army Italy

    Confirmed name date & Regt
    Cemetery details

    Commonwealth War Cemetery Gradara - Gradara - TracesOfWar.com

    New Zealanders also involved but later than 1st September.

    Checked Recce burials list WW2t: 4th Recce, 44 Recce and 46 Recce all Divisional Troops
    15 FR not listed in any of the Divisions OB lists.

    No 15 FR listed here

    Sexton (artillery) - Wikipedia

    5th Infantry Division (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia

    1st Sept Canadian / Allied actions mentioned here in some detail..
    Gradara War Cemetery - Memorials In Italy - Second World War - Memorials Overseas - Memorials - Remembrance - Veterans Affairs Canada

    This is the nearest that I can get to what happened on 1st September 1944.

    Owen's thread offers another opportunity as it covers this period.

    Otherwise try obtaining his Service Record to align dates with the War Diary.
    Its unlikely that he will be mentioned by name but you should get an idea of what happened that day.

    Try contacting members who visit TNA to check if they can help in locating and obtaining copies and at what cost.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2024
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  5. blitz_researcher

    blitz_researcher Junior Member

    Thank you very much, you have checked several things I would not have thought of. You suggested obtaining his service record - do you (or others) know how long this takes in 2024? I have read it can be a year or more - with the promise they will all be on Ancestry in the next five years!
  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2024
  7. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Join the waiting list!!! I waited around nine months back in 2013, via my Mother. Perhaps the muppets need a bomb up there backside to improve the service they don't provide these days... Let's wait all day / months while you piss about.

    Has for paying a penny for receiving anyones service records is taking the piss.

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  8. blitz_researcher

    blitz_researcher Junior Member

    Thank you for your help with this one. To tie up this loose end (and to post the info for anyone looking in future) I obtained the 15 FR war diary for 1st September 1944.
    While they do seem to have achieved a fairly dramatic advance of 15km in a day, there were two incidents were HQ units were shelled. Both took place at Mondiano.
    In the first of these at 6.30pm the regimental HQ was hit by three mortar bombs and two signallers attached to the regiment and two gunners were killed. One man is named in the diary as "Williams E" who had been batman to the second-in-commend for nearly five years. This would be
    Lance Bombardier Ernest Sidney Williams from Wednesbury in Staffordshire, a married man of 36
    From a CWGC list of war dead in Italy for this date one signaller was specifically attached to 15 FR, Signalman Harold Albon, 28, from Willesden
    The other signaller was probably Signalman Herbert Fawcett, 29, from Warley in Yorkshire - two signallers other than Albon are buried in Gradara (where all those who died in these two incidents are buried) but one was specifically attached to another unit, leaving Fawcett.
    The other gunner was either Francis Tugwell or Arthur Beech. 23, from Barnsley.

    In the second incident at 10.30pm B Troop of R Battery was shelled and at the command post the following were killed:
    Lieutenant Charles Mole, 31, a solicitor from Berkshire
    Serjeant Stewart Rennie, 25 from Dalry in Ayrshire
    Serjeant William Goodall, 31, a married man from Bearsden, Dunbartonshire
    Lance Serjeant Frederick Webber, 24 from nadder Water by Exeter
    Lance Bombardier Frank Goody, 24 from Birmingham
    Either Tugwell or Beech also died here
    Two more serjeants and one signaller were seriously wounded - if someone with access to casualty lists is interested, would they like to take up the challenge of identifying these men?
  9. blitz_researcher

    blitz_researcher Junior Member

    A belated thank you, Owen - I have just posted the info I found from the War Diary in this thread. I also found quite a well known photo of a Sexton advancing (we assume) in Italy was taken at Mondiano on 6th September 1944. It might have belonged to 15 Field Regiment, I am not sure how common Sextons were at this time and place.
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    As far as I can see, SP artillery regiments were assigned one regiment to each Armoured Divisions, with additional regiments held at Army level and assigned to AGRA and Divisions as operationally needed. I don't think the number of Army SP regiments were planned. Some were retained after their parent armoured division was disbanded or broken up. 15 RA were the SP field regiment for the 31st Indian Armoured Division and spent most of the war in Persia and Iraq. It went to Italy along with the Division's motor brigade in 1944. .

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