Dunkirk/Burma Veteran's Service Records - Need some help!

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by PackRat, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The 'AC' is one of the complicated RA tactical signs. I assume that it indicates the third gun of 'A' Troop.

    This site is quite handy :- Organisation of a Field Regiment 1940

    5 over 8 is simpler. It's a bridging plate. It shows the tonnage rating of bridges necessary when solo and when towing. Although they were coming into use by 1940, they don't seem to have been standardised.
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  2. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    Great explanation, thank you.
  3. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Do you know which troop of 494 Bty he was with? My Grandfather served in Echo troop.
  4. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    I haven't been able to work out which troop he was with unfortunately.

    A very long shot, but maybe your grandfather is one of the chaps in this photo taken at Mussoorie in 1943 - my grandad is on the right, and I'm guessing the other two are friends from 494 Battery. From an entry on his service records I think he might have been at Mussoorie on leave in August of that year but that's a guess too - it just says Mussoorie 1943 on the back. If you've got any pics or mementoes from the Regiment/Battery I'd love to see them!

    Did your grandfather go out to India with the regiment on HMT Strathmore in Jan 42? I've just finished researching their journey and the u-boat attack on their convoy.

  5. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    No, it would have been nice if he had been though.

    As to the ship, I'm not certain. I haven't seen his service records, I think my aunt is in the process of applying for them now though.

    Do you have 'The history of the 130th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, and it's Burma campaigns'? I'm on the lookout for a copy myself.
  6. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    I'd very much like a copy of that book but can't find it anywhere, not even in the military collection of a library near me that has all kinds of obscure unit histories and memoirs.

    I'm doing it the hard way and going through the regiment's war diaries at the National Archives. Just got the image below today, looks like in September 42 a great chunk of the regiment was in hospital with all manner of tropical diseases. Is your grandfather on this list, perhaps?

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  7. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    Another list, this one from October and with the names split by Battery

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  8. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Those are great! Thanks for posting them. I wish I was closer, I'd love to be able to visit the National Archives.

    He's not on the list, but I can see someone there whose army number is only 1 higher than his, so I'd expect that they joined at the same time.
  9. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    I'm not too far from Kew so I'm making a few trips over there and I'll happily share all I find about 494 Bty with you.

    If you let me know me your grandfather's surname I'll keep an eye out for it when I'm going through the records. Mine's not cropped up yet, but the Assistant Adjutant or whoever wrote the diary in 130th Field wasn't the best record keeper, particularly when it comes to non-officers. There's hundreds of pages of message forms and operation orders, but the day-to-day stuff of the regiment isn't always well recorded. I'm getting the regiment's Sig Section and the 14th and 36th Division CRA diaries too as they have some good information on the 130th.
  10. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    That would be fantastic! His name was Thomas Goddard.
  11. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

  12. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    I didn't know about that file at all - I'm still a novice when it comes to searching the records so I'm no doubt missing a few of the more obscure things hiding in the Discovery search engine. I'll definitely get a copy of that next time I go and post it here.

    If you find any other stuff related to the 130th let me know and I'll add them to the list of files to photograph. At the moment I'm getting the diaries and photographing the whole lot to go through later - when I'm finally done I can stick it all on a DVD and send you a copy.

    Talking of Nicholson, amongst the photos I got yesterday is this letter of thanks to him from the CO of 55 Brigade, and Nicholson's letter about it to the Batteries.

    IMGP3881.JPG IMGP3882.JPG
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  13. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    Also just a page from the diary mentioning 494 Bty in action (in the Arakan at this point I think) - this is way more detail than the 130th's diarist normally records.

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  14. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Great stuff! That would be fantastic thanks. Have you read this one? He served in F troop.

    Attached Files:

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  15. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    I hadn't heard of that one either. Looks like it would be interesting but seems to be another one that is impossible to find now, and it's unfortunately not in the big military collection of my nearby library. They had a copy of the rare 'Lewisham Gunners' about my grandad's first regiment, the 139th, but neither of these about the 130th.
  16. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    I've got that one. I can copy any parts of it that are of interest to you.
  17. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    That would be great, thank you! Anything on the day to day life of the regiment between 40 and 45 would be really good to see. My grandfather joined 130 Field on 5 August 1940 in the exchange of men with 139 Field, and was with them until the end of July 1945, so anything about the regiment between those dates would be of interest.
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  18. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    I'm not sure if this is of any interest to you, it's the locations of the regiment and/or his battery from mobilisation until embarkation. All the info is culled from Bill Bryden's book. Some of it is very specific, some of it is a bit wooly with regards to dates etc.They're listed in chronological order. I'll see if I can cull some more data on the locations in India/Burma over the next few days.


    316 BtyJohn Finnie Street, Kilmarnock,
    315 Bty Kircudbright

    On mobilisation
    130 HQ Victoria Halls, Selkirk
    315 Bty Haining Estate, Selkirk
    316 Bty Victoria Halls. Officers at County Hotel.

    Grand Halls, Kilmarnock.

    Stobs Camp

    March/Apri 1940
    Tented camp, on Hungerford Road, outside Newbury

    May 1940?
    Great Dunmow, Essex (Wm. Bryden's troop in Stebbing, off Braintree Road)

    May/June 1940?
    Brightlingsea (East of Colchester) New HQ. (Wm. Bryden's troop St Osyth).

    Dovercourt, between Harwich and Parkeston Naval Quay (until August/September 1940)

    HQ at Westleton, Suffolk. Battery? at Saxmundham 75mm French guns?
    Duties at cliff top observation pillbox south of Dunwich village.

    Autumn 1941
    Training at Larkhill after re-equipping with 24 new 25 pounders, Ford Quad tractors, 6 Bren carriers

    Christmas 1941
    Gateshead, and embarkation leave.

    Glasgow, Shieldhall Dock, to ship; the Strathmore.

    10th January convoy assembled. Out to sea.
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  19. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    Absolutely of interest, thanks! Little details like embarkation leave and loading at Shieldhall Dock are great to know and aren't mentioned at all in the war diary. Here's what I've transcribed from the diary from around Christmas 1941:

    Yoxford, 21st November
    1230 Sixteen trailers Artillery No.27 received from Ordnance.

    Yoxford, 23rd November
    0645 Regiment moved to Northern Command.

    Forest Hall, 25th November
    1310 Regiment arrived at new location, 56 Station Road, FOREST HALL, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

    Forest Hall, 11th December
    1200 Orders received to mobilise for over-seas.

    Forest Hall, 30th December
    0600 Guns and vehicles left for port.

    Forest Hall, 3rd January
    1200 Orders received from NORCO to entrain on 4 Jan 42

    Forest Hall, 4th January
    2300 Regiment, less G1098 baggage, Guns and M.T. which had already been despatched, entrained at NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE.

    Glasgow, 5th January
    0800 Regiment embarked on H.M.T. STRATHMORE

    H.M.T. Strathmore, 5th January
    Responsibility for the A.A. defence of the ship devolved on 130 A.Fd.Regt.R.A. and gun detachments were immediately trained to man two Bofors Guns. In addition, fourteen Hotchkiss, Marlin and Bren guns were mounted in A.A. positions and manned continuously. The unit also augmented ship's staff.

    H.M.T. Strathmore, 9th January
    1100 A German recce. plane was sighted and engaged by one of H.M. Destroyers, but was out of range.

    H.M.T. Strathmore, 25th January
    1321 H.M.T. STRATHMORE dropped anchor in FREETOWN harbour. No shore leave was granted.​
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  20. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Interesting to compare the two. Thanks for posting.

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