4th (Durham) Survey Regiment

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Kieron Hill, May 10, 2005.

  1. Alistair Stokoe

    Alistair Stokoe New Member

    Hello Robin, My Granda is the Gunner from Scotswood. I got his enlistment date from his army pay book, June ‘37, and the dates of him moving to 10 Survey and 46 RHU from his ‘Tracer card’. I am requesting his service records from the MOD but realise it’ll take even longer than usual due to the COVID situation. I have bought a copy of the Larkhill’s location book and think I’ve sussed he was in A Troop, as Capt LA Varty is listed as the Capt of that troop and his signature is all over my Granda’s paybook, so I’ve been reading up on what they did in North Africa.
    Regards
    Ally Stokoe
     
  2. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Hello Ally Sometimes the MOD surprises us with the turnaround even now. My father in law (Clarrie Hird) was a surveyor and in the sound ranging troop to start with and joined in April 1939. While they would have known ech other well it looks like they served in different troops. We have Many of the regimental war diaries from The National Archives and I'll check what we have covering A Troop. May take a day or two to find something. We also have some photos of the lads at summer camp in 1939.

    Will let you know what we find

    Regards Robin
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
    Alistair Stokoe likes this.
  3. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Is that Magnelli Climpson's book?
     
  4. Alistair Stokoe

    Alistair Stokoe New Member

    Yes, that’s the one!!
     
  5. Alistair Stokoe

    Alistair Stokoe New Member


    That’s brilliant Robin, thanks very much. I only have one photo of him from his service days, a postcard he sent to my Granma from N Africa. It would be brilliant if he popped up in another picture. Thanks again
    Ally Stokoe
     
  6. rgr

    rgr Member

    Hello - I have just discovered this forum which is very interesting. My father was called Richard Gibson Robertson, born 1919, and I think he was in the 4th Durham Survey Regiment of the RA. He served in North Africa and then was wounded in Leonforte, Sicily in July 1943 and invalided out. If you know of any way I can find more information I would be very grateful. I think he was in the TA before the war. His service number was possibly 887841.
    Thanks for any advice or information.
     
  7. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Welcome to the forum.

    You've read this?

    Dropbox - z_location.pdf - Simplify your life

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  8. rgr

    rgr Member

    Dear Andreas

    Thanks very much for the link. I have seen that and I have looked through again, and didn't find any mention of my father but he was not an officer so maybe they didn't mention them in the book, but in any case it is a very interesting read.
    Best wishes.
     
  9. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Good to hear from another son of the regiment. Will take a look tonight at the Nominal Roll from 1946 and let you know what we find.
     
  10. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Got Him
    He is listed in the Nominal Roll from May 1946 of all known to have served with the regiment during the war.

    His number does indicate that he joined in Gateshead before the war - My father in law's number is 903342 ..and he joined in April 1939.

    Here is the entry
    "887841 - L/Bdr/Sur - Robertson R. G. - 173 Hampstead Road, Newcastle on Tyne, "B" , Remarks P.O.W. 20.6.42."

    The 'B' is under 'Date of Joining' and indicates that he landed with the Regiment in Egypt in December 1940
    The POW date shows that he was captured at the fall of Tobruk when virtually half the regiment was lost.

    This is at odds with him being wounded in Sicily! I'll take a look at the Sicily Nominal Rolls from the War Diaries just in case this is an error

    Regards

    Robin
     
  11. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Found Him again
    This time in the Nominal Roll of the Invasion Party for the Sicily campaign
    So whatever happened at the fall of Tobruk he was still active in July 1943.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. rgr

    rgr Member

    Dear Robin and Andreas,

    You're so kind to answer my question so fully and quickly. Thank you very much. What I know from what he told my mother is that he was wounded in the grounds of the Chiesa dei Cappuccini church and monastery in Sicily on 23rd July 1943 by a shell explosion in which his companions were mortally wounded. They were standing up but he was crouching down tending to the fire to boil the water for the tea and that is how he escaped the full force of the explosion. I just found a book called Larhill's Wartime Locators by Massimo Mangilli-Climpson and in there it confirms he was wounded on that date, and at least one of his comrades was killed and another wounded. The PoW at Tobruk in 1942 is a complete surprise and I wonder what happened there, whether he somehow escaped or whether there was a case of mistaken identity. It's all very interesting and you've helped me a lot.
    Best wishes,
    Barry
     
  13. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Always happy to help anyone with 4th Durham connections. My father in law was Sec of the Old Comrades for many years and we have a life long interest.

    You should apply for your father's service record as it will detail dates and places for every change in his service.
    As a qualified Surveyor he may well have been in the thick of it several times.
    He may appear in Regimental Orders in the War Diaries mostly on routine duties but none the less it helps to fill out his day to day life during the war.
    Regards Robin
     
  14. rgr

    rgr Member

    Thanks very much, Robin. I will certainly do as you suggest.
    Best wishes,
    Barry
     
  15. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Looking at the War Diaries this places him at Assoro - Looks like they had been in support of the Canadians in the assault and had just moved into the town the day after it was captured. Will sort out some images of the WD.
    Doe Massimo name the soldier who was killed?
    R
     
  16. rgr

    rgr Member

    Thanks very much Robin, this all sounds right to me - he was definitely looked after by the Canadians after he was wounded. Gnr Thomas Howes was killed and Gnr W.F. Mosley was wounded. Maybe he was with some Canadian soldiers when he was wounded as my mother seemed to say that more than one was killed. I am travelling for the next few days now so my replies may not be so prompt.
    Best wishes,
    Barry
     
  17. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    The CWGC site shows several men died on that date in Sicily. The records for Gnr Howes show that his remains were in a temporary grave site which included others killed on the same day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
  18. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    First extract is from the Regimental HQ War Diary (GRO ref WO169/9438) The CO Col Whetton visited No1 Battery on the 24th. This entries states 4 killed and 3 wounded at the Battery HQ. Note this was written in the field on the day (more or less) so information may not have been accurate in detail. The key research insight is that this places your father in No1 Composite Battery at this time. I'll take a look at the Battery WD next
    R
     

    Attached Files:

  19. rgr

    rgr Member

    Thanks very much again, Robin.
    This is so interesting to read.
    Did they keep mentions of places and addresses out of the record for security reasons?
    Best wishes,
    Barry
     
  20. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    The contents of WD's varied but the location of the unit HQ is always in the first column. Each Unit OC wrote what he thought was required some are rich in information others very sparse.
    I have the WD for No1 Composite Battery and found the pages we are looking for .. see next post
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021

Share This Page