69th Field Regiment RA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Chris Davies-lunn, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division

    I'm hoping someone can help me. My grandad Charles Timms (5126862) joined the 70th Warwickshire rgt in 1942. Finished basic and served with 448th field battery 69th field regiment listed as a gunner from 18/8/42 to 13/12/44 when he returned to the UK. I have his war records and some research shows the rgt was part of the 49th infantry division. On his return it shows he was transferred to 2nd Surrey's as a L/cpl. Shortly after he relinquished his rank and returned to Europe 6/3/45 with 1st Leicestershires as private until 9/12/46. Firstly can anyone explain why he would have changed regiments so often and secondly can anyone shed any any light as to were he would have fought in Europe with both units. I have French, Belgium , Dutch and German coins he kept.


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  2. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division

    Adding some photos of my grandad. 2 are frontispiece time with 1st battalion Royal Leicesters. The 3rd I think might be with his battery unit in the 69th field artillery. _20180905_204321.JPG _20180905_205359.JPG

    Attached Files:

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  3. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division

  4. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division

    Hi all,
    After a little more research the 69th field artillery as part of the 49th Infantry division (polar bears) which explains the shoulder patch definitely went through Normandy, Belgium and Holland. Again explains my Grandads coins. Any help as to where abouts in these areas he fought and what engagements would be appreciated . I think I've researched as far as I can and looking at the wealth on knowledge on the site I'm hoping someone out there can help.

    As for his time in the 1St Battalion Royal Leicesters I think he would have been part of the BAOR. Again any help would be gratefully received.


  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Chris

    Might be worth posting his service records as its often easier to understand the time line when reading them, or make them into an album (check in your profile) and psot the link to them

  6. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division

    Thanks I will as some of it is hard to decipher.

  7. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division

    _20180909_161403.JPG _20180909_161701.JPG _20180909_160305.JPG _20180909_161115.JPG _20180909_160643.JPG

    Attached Files:

  8. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division

    Hope this is useful. Any comments and help would really help with my search.


  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place.... Patron

    The 70th Battalions of infantry regiments were young solder battalions formed from young men too young to serve as adults. They were training units and p[rovided drafts of trained soldiers when the young soldiers were old enough to serve as adults. There is a book in Nuneaton Library called the 70th Battalion Warwickshire in 1941 - it might mention or have a photo of your grandfather.

    He was transferred to the Royal artillery in 1942 and trained to be a gunner at the 9th Artillery Training Regiment.

    When the army mobilised in 1939 it was unbalanced. There was too little medium, anti tank and anti aircraft artillery in proportion to the infantry. In 1942 the Army restructured and a number of artillery regiments were created, including twenty Light AA and anti tank regiments to allow for one per division and one per corps and a dozen field artillery regiments. These included the 180-190 series of field regiments - two of which were renumbered as 6th and 25th Field, the regular regiments lost at Tobruck) The manpower came from infantry units which had, up to that point been part of the coastal defences of the UK.

    After the heavy losses among infantrymen in the Normandy campaign in 1944, two divisions 50th and 59th were broken up, as were their supporting artillery units. The surplus gunners were transferred to the infantry.

    Although the army had a regimental or corps system soldiers were transferred to where they were needed.
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  10. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division


    That answers why he was moved through so many units. I believe he ended the war period with the Leicesters as a Mt driver as this was stated in his release papers. Also I have his War Department Driving Permit (Army format.2033) dated 23rd Dec 1945.

    Some of my family on further questioning have said he rode a motorcycle as a despatch rider. So you can see my confusion as to the number of regiments. Maybe this is where the Mt driver bit comes in.

    Thanks for the reply and extra info.

  11. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place.... Patron

    The field artillery was more heavily motorised than the infantry. Former Gunners with experience as a driver mechanic could easily drift into a driving job in an infantry unit. Few British civilians in the 1930s were able to drive.
  12. Chris Davies-lunn

    Chris Davies-lunn 69th Field artillery / 49th Infantry division


    Thanks again for your info. Things at last are starting to make sense.

    As for his deployment in Europe I may with regards to the 69th have to start delving into unit records as someone previously has suggested.

    Thanks again.

  13. Gcl

    Gcl Junior Member

    Hi Chris - My Grandad was also 69th FR from August 39 - Nov 44. They were in Iceland in the early part of the war then returned to the UK where they trained mainly in South Wales and for a period in Scotland I believe, before they went over to the East Coast( I think Lowestoft area) ahead of the Normandy campaign. I have read the diaries and made notes somewhere, so if I can dig them out I can send you more info. There is also an interview with an office in the 69th on the Imperial War Museum site which is interesting if you want to know more, and the book The Polar Bears by Delaforce will give you a feel for what they did in Normandy, though specifically there isn't a lot on the 69th, just a few mentions here and there in relation to supporting the infantry brigades. Originally most of the Regiment were from the Yorkshire area headquartered in Leeds, and I think my Grandfather did initial training in Pateley Bridge near Harrogate.
  14. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    From my research post VE day for your Grandad's unit

    8 May 45 – 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment
    Battalion Headquarters: Hilversum-NL north of Utrecht-NL
    18 May 45 – Scherpenzeel-NL north-west of Arnhem
    23 May 45 – Melle south-east of Osnabrück
    3 Jun 45 – Hemer east of Iserlohn
    23 Jun 45 – Hemer-Landhausen – to Platte Heide Kaserne later Northumberland Barracks Menden north-east of Iserlohn
    5 Feb 46 – responsibility for No 7 Civil Internment Camp Roosevelt Hemer
    1 Apr 46 – Schloss Neuhaus north-west of Paderborn
    Company to Delbruck for demonstration duties at the BAOR Training Centre
    1 Jul 46 – Scharnhorst Kaserne later Dover Barracks or Walter Fritz Kaserne later Essex Barracks Lingen north-west of Osnabrück
    28 Nov 46 – redesignated 1st Battalion Royal Leicestershire Regiment
    11 Nov 47 – to United Kingdom

    Would be very interested to know which barracks in Lingen

    Hope this helps
    21st Army Group later British Army of the Rhine
  15. markpowell

    markpowell Junior Member

    Hi chris. My great uncle died in Normandy in 44. He was with the polar bears from 39. I’ve been to his grave at ranville cemetery in Normandy where many of the fallen are buried. Have you managed to find anyone still alive from the 69th ? Harry died after jumping into a gun pit to make a radio call at the same time as an incoming shell but that’s all I have on it. I will dig out some pictures that were sent to me.

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