8th Medium Regiment RA - Yindaw - Burma ?

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by ClankyPencil, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    I have been researching a relative who died of wounds out in Burma, whose details are below:-

    Rank: Lance Bombardier
    Service No: 1108235
    Date of Death: 29/05/1945
    Age: 35
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery 8 Medium Regt.
    Grave Reference: 20. E. 16.
    Additional Information: Son of Joseph and Mary Colebourne, of Manchester; husband of Hilda Colebourne, of Ardwick, Manchester.

    I have already kindly received a grave photo via bucklt, but would like to know more about his unit, and the general situation in Burma around this time.

    The only information i have been able to find myself is the following link to some archive film footage.

    FIRING OF 7.2-INCH HOWITZERS (10/4/1945) | colonialfilm

    which was taken about 6 weeks before his death. The film description has his unit being at Yindaw, so have assumed it would still be in that general area.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction where i could find out anymore information or recommend any good reading or reference material with regard to the above.


  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Get someone to copy the war diary for you.
    WO 172/7482

    Medium Regiments: 8 Regt.
    Covering dates 1945 Jan.- Oct.
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Interesting that the link identifies the guns as 7.2-inch howitzers of 8th Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery – as far as I can work out, only Heavy Regiments had 7.2-inch howitzers; Medium Regiments utilised the 5.5-inch Medium Gun

    Anyhoo, according to this link (http://www.burmastar.org.uk/4corpssigs.htm) 8th Medium Regiment, RA was part of the Corps Artillery for IV Corps under Brigadier C. Goulder – along with 1st Indian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, IA / 67th Indian Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, IA / 1st Survey regiment, RA

    The Corps saw much of the hard fighting in the Liberation of Burma, it established the Irrawaddy Bridgehead & drove the Japanese from Meiktilla. They were in the Van of the Fourteenth Army’s drive to Mandalay & Rangoon. In 1945 they became part of the "Twelfth Army" when IV Corps was withdrawn from the control of Fourteenth Army. A Black Elephant on a Red background was the Badge chosen for this formation
  4. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    SECOND SUPPLEMENT to the London Gazette of FRIDAY, 6th APRIL, 1951

    THURSDAY, 12 APRIL, 1951

    The War Office, 1951.


    Secretary of State for War on the 4th February, 1947, by LIEUTENANT GENERAL SIR OLIVER LEESE, K.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., Commander-in-Chief, Allied Land Forces, South-East Asia.

    SECTION XVI (paras. 275-281)


    New orders issued by General Slim : Arakan operations: 4 Corps operations: 33 Corps operations: Note on guerrilla organizations.

    275. To carry out the tasks I had now given him (see para. 274) General Slim issued fresh orders to his subordinate commanders. Besides 4 and 33 Corps, General Slim had 26 Indian and 36 British Divisions, and 64 Indian Brigade (19 Indian Division), under his direct control. He instructed 4 Corps (General Messervy) to capture Mokpalin and Bilin, east of the Sittang and reconnoitre towards Moulmein: to destroy any enemy forces attempting to escape from the Pegu Yomas across the Mandalay - Rangoon road and railway; and to capture Thandaung on the road from Toungoo to Mawchi.

    277. 4 Corps operations during May, 1945: 5 Indian Division was ordered to open the road from Payagyi to Mokpalin and also clear the area between Pegu and the southern end of the Pegu Yomas of enemy. 9 Indian Infantry Brigade opened the road as far as Waw against determined Japanese resistance, and then continued towards the Sittang River. The heavy rainfall, however, rendered the deployment of tanks and artillery difficult if not impossible, as the west bank of the Sittang is flat and, during May, flooded. With the enemy overlooking them from jungle-clad hills on the east bank and without adequate river-crossing equipment it was not possible to launch an attack to capture Mokpalin, or do more than patrol across the Sittang River on a wide front, until after the monsoon.
  5. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member


    Thanks for the war diary reference.


    Appreciate the info and link. With regard to your comment about 7.2 inch howitzers and medium regiments what your general opinion? Do you think the synopsis on link is incorrect or even possible that they incorrectly identified the unit?

  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    read below
  7. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    According to the Royal Artillery 1939-45 site, 8 Medium Regiment were equipped in 1944 with both the 7.2 howitzer and the 5.5 inch gun. 6 Medium Regt, who were also in India and Burma in 1944, were similarly equipped. I guess some batteries with 7.2 and others with 5.5.

    The early war 7.2 howitzers were mounted on the two wheeled carriage shared by the 6 inch 26 cwt howitzer and one or two other elderly guns, but later the 7.2 barrels were fitted to the carriage of the American 155mm gun M1.

    ClankyPencil likes this.
  8. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I just checked the History of the Royal artillery Regiment Far East theatre 1941-46 by Farndale and it mentions the 8th Medium Regiment as having a couple of 7.2” Howitzers.

    The 8th was made up of 246 & 247 Medium Batteries and in February 1945 the unit’s strength is given as 16 x 5.5” guns and 247th Battery also had 2 x 7.2” Howitzers – but manned by men of 67th HAA Regiment.

    So the caption on the first link is correct, all we need now is to find out which battery the OP's relative was part of.
  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Farndale has a few mentions of the 8th and it’s batteries in action during May 1945. The 246th is mentioned about half-way down page 291

    The 247th gets a couple of mentions on page 304 / 305 - half-way down page 304 as being at Payagyi and on page 305 being directed by an AOP in a Stinson (L5).

    The top of page 305 relates a couple of instances of other artillery elements being engaged by enemy artillery around this time.

    Attached Files:

  10. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    [5.5-INCH HOWITZERS FIRING IN SUPPORT OF 17TH INDIAN DIVISION] [Allocated] | Imperial War Museums

    Object description

    Medium guns are fired on positions on the road between Pindale and Mahlaing, north of Meiktila, Burma, in support of an infantry attack by 17th Indian Division.

    Full description

    An Ordnance BL 5.5-inch Medium Gun of 247th Medium Battery, Royal Artillery, is fired several times. Close-up of the breech as the gun is fired, opened and reloaded. Two guns can be seen firing; a Buddhist pagoda is in the background. Smoke rises in the distance.



    Medium guns are fired on positions on the road between Pindale and Mahlaing, north of Meiktila, Burma, in support of an infantry attack by 17th Indian Division.

    An Ordnance BL 5.5-inch Medium Gun of 247th Medium Battery, Royal Artillery, is fired several times. Close-up of the breech as the gun is fired, opened and reloaded. Two guns can be seen firing; a Buddhist pagoda is in the background. Smoke rises in the distance.

    In the first half of March 1945 17th Indian Division captured the key strategic centre of Meiktila. There then followed a period of consolidation aimed at preventing Japanese forces in the area withdrawing southwards.

    The dopesheet remarks that these guns are rarely fired due to the fact that the ammunition for them is too heavy to deliver by parachute.
  11. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    The carriage for the early marks of the 7.2" how was not the same as that of the 6" 26 cwt, but the carriage used by the 6" Mk XIX gun and late marks of the 8" howitzer. This made sense, since the early 7.2's were essentially just old 8" pieces lined down to fire a more modern shell. 7.2-inch Howitzer data sheet
  12. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member


    The Campaign in Mandalay February - March 1945: British artillery bombards Fort Dufferin, the key to the Japanese defences at Mandalay.
  13. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member


    A 5.5-inch gun of 19th Indian Division in action against the walls of Fort Dufferin near Mandalay, 9-10 March 1945.
    ClankyPencil likes this.
  14. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    In Burma 7.2 were 'pooled' with with a small number of regts, generally medium, trained in their use and issued with a couple when required. 55 Hy Regt reached India in 1945, and presumably would have been assigned to Zipper.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Nice pics Dave-thanks for posting them.
  16. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    Nice Photos, excellent links and information.

    I really appreciate all your help.


  17. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    Just an update.

    I got hold of the War Diary for May as suggested by Owen.

    8th Medium Rgt were located near Pegu at the start of the month, then moved to the Kalaw / Meiktila Road area towards end of month.

    From the Diary my relative was part of 246 Med Battery, and was one of 4 men wounded by enemy shelling. I can only find one other fatality for 8 Medium Rgt for the whole of 1945.

    I've attached copies of the War Diary for May and also a place name code list and targetting list which may help with other peoples research.

    I've also got the War diary for June (and appendices and returns for both months), so if anyone wants more info, let me know and i will post them up.

    Attached Files:

  18. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Do the War Diary say anything about
    Rank: Captain

    Service No: 68036

    Date of Death: 24/05/1944

    Age: 33

    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery 8 Medium Regt.

    Grave Reference: 5. G. 19.


    Additional Information: From Shelton, son of Brough Maltby, and of Isabel Armstrong Maltby (Nee Bischoff); husband of Margaret Pauline Maltby (Nee Carver), of Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Possibly died when his forward observation post was raided by Japanese soldiers.
  19. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    I've only got the war diaries for a couple of months of 1945 for that unit. I haven't got any for 44 so can't help i'm afraid
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Brough Maltby
    Given Initials: B
    Rank: Captain
    Death Date: 24 May 1944
    Number: 68036
    Birth Place: Canada
    Residence: Devonshire
    Regiment at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Theatre of War: Burma
    Regiment at Death: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Death: Royal Artillery

    Canada, Virtual War Memorial Index, 1900-2014
    Name: Brough Maltby
    Rank: Captain
    Death Date: 24 May 1944
    Cemetery: IMPHAL WAR CEMETERY , India
    Grave Reference: 5. G. 19.
    Force: Army
    Unit: Royal Artillery
    Division: 8 Medium Regt.,
    Service Number: 68036
    Brough Maltby - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial - Veterans Affairs Canada


Share This Page