Battery Quartermaster Sergeant

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Sarahc5, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Sarahc5

    Sarahc5 Member


    I am hoping that those of you who are more with better military history/knowledge might be able to help me please (and forgive my ignorance).

    My Great Grandfather was a Battery Quartermaster Sergeant in the Royal Artillery in WW2 and I was wondering if anyone could tell me more about his role, seniority, etc. please.
    I have tried google but it hasn't really provided me with the understanding I am looking for.

    Some background information: He was a soldier post WW1 (1920 onwards) based mostly in India and retired six months before the outbreak of WW2. Naturally, he reenlisted. He became a PoW in Singapore but was rescued by the RAF. Sadly, after his plane stopped to refuel, it exploded as it took off to return to England. Unbeknown to him, his wife had passed away from pneumonia, so his death left his six children orphaned.

    I'd love to know a bit more about how his time was spent and what his responsibilities were. From what I can gather he had quite a senior role and wondered if that gave him additional privileges, involved him in strategic decisions, etc.

    Thank you all very much in advance for any help you can give me.


    Attached Files:

  2. Sarahc5

    Sarahc5 Member

    PS. Do the three stripes on his arm relate to his rank?

    Thank you
  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I’m sure a Royal Artillery Expert will be along soon but in simple terms a BQMS was responsible for the organisation and distribution of all supplies required to ensure the fighting efficiency of a Royal Artillery Battery ie food, fuel and ammunition etc.

    It wouldn’t be described as a strategic role in modern parlance - that was more of an officer role - but as a senior NCO he would work closely with the Battery Commander at a tactical level (modern parlance again).

    Have you got copies of his service papers from UK MOD?



    “Battery Quarter Master Sergeant is a promotion from gun sergeant. He is the senior NCO responsible the battery's logistics. Stores clothing, Food, water, and the mail. Making sure nothing is lost (stolen) and building a surplus of buckshees (Fiddled through the system or stolen from the unwary) It is a very responsible position.”

    Extract from this topic by Forum member Sheldrake (RA Expert) -

    261 Battery, 94th HAA Regiment

    It always pays to use the forum search engine.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  4. Sarahc5

    Sarahc5 Member

    Hi Steve

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have got his service record which is quite extensive but sadly I either can't read or can't understand most of it!

    Thank you for the information and the tip about searching the forum. I didn't know you could do that!
  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Post an image on here, plenty able to translate for you.
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  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    And his name?
  7. Sarahc5

    Sarahc5 Member

    Thank you. I will have to upload specific pages as there is about 50 of them!

    His name:
    Quartermaster Sergeant Harry COTTERILL 44 6 HAA Battery RA
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    See the magnifying glass icon if you are on your phone in upper right corner of forum.
    Tap that to get search box.
    Search box is there already on laptop/pc.
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  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Plane Crashed Carrying POWS

    Flight 66 of 117 Squadron RAF Dakota left Rangoon Mingladoon on the 8th September 1945 for Saigon to evacuate British Prisoners of War in the area who had been prisoners under the Japanese for three and a half years, all were suffering from starvation and tropical diseases.

    On arrival the plane, loaded with 24 POW’s and the RAF crew of four, took off on the return flight, landing at Bangkok to refuel.

    It is then reported that about 1pm on that day villagers to the village of Nuaunggangle about 13 mile north west of Moulmein in Burma and about 150 miles south east of the final destination of Rangoon heard an aircraft out at sea, followed by an explosion. The same evening at high tide they found various articles washed ashore and the next day at low tide saw the wreckage scattered over a sandbank. Several bodies which were unidentified were recovered but no trace of survivors were found.

    The following is a list of crew and exprisoners who were known to be on the aircraft and died. All their names are recorded on the Singapore Memorial in Kranji War Cemetery Singapore.

    Crew: Wing Cdr Samson AJDFC (30); Sq Ltd Grotrian RPD (36); Flt/Lt Bridge R (39); Flt/Lt Cuthbert JF DFC (37); all of 117 Squadron RAF.

    POWs: Cpl Ablitt HR (33) RAMC; L.Sgt Arthur EA (34) 51 Fld RA; Gnr Bruce JB (38) k; Gnr Cotterill H (44) RA; Gnr Crawford JJ (29) RA; Bdr Daws F (33) RA; L/Sgt De Roux MF (40) RNF; Pte Edwards H (26) RAMC; L/Sgt Edwards EJ (29) Gordons; Sgt Hawthorn RH (37) RA; Gnr Hendy RH (37) RA; Pte Marskell GE (23) Suffolks; Gnr Payne JD (39) RA; L/Bdr Randell WJ (39) RA; Pte Ferrow J (25) 6 Norfolks; Pte Gadd RGV (23) E Surreys; Pte Jeeps L (24) 2 Cambs; L/Bdr Murfin R (28) RA; Gnr Pears JP (29) RA; Dvr Price M (33) RASC; Sgm Roy LFN (29) R Sigs; Pte Skeldon A (29) Argylls; Sgt Thomas V (29) RA; L/Cpl Warren FJ (31) RASC.

    Free at Last
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  11. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Harry Cottrell's name is listed in the Regimental HQ roll of honour of 6 HAA Regiment. I'll post a copy of the page of a book I have, later today.
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  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I think you are referring to Pat Walker's book (6th HAA Regiment). I am not 100% sure this is correct. Whilst the BQMS would work very closely with RHQ and the RQMS he would actually belong to the Battery. Of 6HAA, RHQ and 12&15 Batteries went to Sumatra, 3 Battery remained in Singapore. BQMS Cotterill was captured in Singapore, he is listed as being sent overseas 4/4/42 which would be to Saigon and then he is mentioned by name in Pat's book (P.172, P238 on) as being with 3 Battery Gunners. All this leads me to firmly believe Harry Cotterill was BQMS of 3 Battery.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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