1 Royal Horse Artillery, May 1940 until capture

Discussion in '1940' started by Hengiste, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Hengiste

    Hengiste Junior Member

    Hi all, tracking my Grandfathers unit. Have the unit diaries from 1939 till deployment on the Maginot line in May 1940. Presumably diaries after this lost with capture of 51HD at St Valery en Caux (unless anyone else has different info).
    I have 'Years of Defeat 1940 -41' which give a great overview, but looking for something more personal. Anyone aware of any books written by unit members of 1RHA in this period? or any other info gratefully appreciated.

    second note: family legend has it that Grandfather served with RHA in India in the early mid 30's in India...no idea which unit. I have only found RHA in Egypt at this time, can anyone add anything? (only 2 photos, one with horse nondescript background and another in cowboy costume??)

  2. yeoman97

    yeoman97 Junior Member

    A few ideas, none directly 1RHA, but bear with me.

    385 Battery of 97 (Kent Yeo) Field Regiment was attached to 1RHA from April 1940. Their history is told in Yeoman Service by Franklin Lushington who was the CO and includes an account of 385's experiences written by their then Battery Commander Maj Mullens and WO2 Moon, the BSM. Much of the battery escaped the pen on a passing paddle steamer, with others evading and making their way home over the next few months. Mullens won the DSO for his performance during the campaign and evacuation.

    There is also a book called Return to St Valery by a Scottish general who died a few years back and fought as a subaltern in the campaign. Sadly I cannot remember his name, so I mention it in part in the hope that somebody else will!

    Finally for the story of the evaders Donald Caskie's Tartan Pimpernel tells of this time as the minister of the Church of Scotland in Paris and Marseilles during which time he organised a lot of the escape lines.
  3. Mark Warburton

    Mark Warburton New Member


    My grandfather was Gunner Thomas Joseph Risley who was also captured at Saint Valery in June 1940. I recall seeing pictures taken in India in the 1930s when he was a regular. He was a reservist when WWII broke out and immediately recalled to active duty.

    He spent the rest of the war in various POW Camps but which im not sure.

    If anyone does have any more info or photos of the unit in 1940, i would very much like to hear from you.


  4. Matthew Elbro

    Matthew Elbro Member

    Hi Mark,

    I'm doing the same in researching my grandfather Gunner George E Elbro, captured St Valery en Caux June 1940. You can try and get hold of his escape report from National Archives.


  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    J T Risley - his last camp documented probably late 1944/early 1945
    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: T J Risley
    Rank: Gunner
    Army Number: 3650879
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 5748
    Camp Type: Miscellaneous Establishments
    Camp Number: BAB 21
    Camp Location: Blachownia, Poland
    Record Office: Royal Artillery (Field) Record Office, Foots Cray, Sidcup, Kent
    Record Office Number: 5

    Liberation questionnaires are available from TNA on the basis that they actually filled one in, they often did not.
    The other source for POW records is the IIRC and records can be obtained here - Requests for information about people held during the Spanish Civil War or the Second World War: Quarterly limit reached - but as you will see they are very busy.

    G E Elbro - cant find a POW record for him on Ancestry or in WO 392 (POW database for N W Europe)
    - do have have his service number??

  6. Matthew Elbro

    Matthew Elbro Member


    G.E.Elbro - service number 797243. Captured St Valery en Caux 12th June 1940, escaped 22th June 1940. He was in the 1st Regiment RHA.
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Matthew

    Did he evade sucessfully? - it would seem so and is why he doesnt appear in the POW records. I would also suspect he may have filed a Liberation Questionnaire as his information would have been useful at that time

  8. Matthew Elbro

    Matthew Elbro Member

    Yes, well basically tried to get a boat from Boulogne across the channel at first but after 6 weeks decided to go South. Ended up at Fort St Jean, Marseilles. Got a boat to Corsica and then sent back to France. He crossed the Pyrennes in March 1941 then ended up in Madrid prison before being released and sent home from Gibraltar. Not so sure if that was successful or not. He originally escaped with Gnr Williams 835791 and Gnr Watson 5379201. I'm interested to know what he did during the rest of the war but don't know where to start really.


  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    He may and well completed a MI9 Escape and Evasion Report. There's a website that lists all the escaper reports.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    3304 360 (F) - (this is the Lib Q number)

    Gnr G E Elbro
    1 RHA
    St Valery - escaped LOM - Pyrenees Mar 41 - imprisoned in Madrid


    Owen - the link I use is - MI9 nos 1 to 499 - then 'control F' type in the name and voila as they say in ................................ forgotten
    timuk and Owen like this.
  12. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member



    timuk likes this.
  13. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member





    timuk likes this.
  14. Matthew Elbro

    Matthew Elbro Member

  15. Matthew Elbro

    Matthew Elbro Member

    Thanks, I'll try this.
    Good Stuff, I'll try this.
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    I willl probably get into trouble with Drew over this but another member on here runs this web site - Archive Research - www.arcre.com and if you look at the right hand menu ................................ Lib Q's

  17. Matthew Elbro

    Matthew Elbro Member

    Thanks TD, I've searched by name but nothing found. Good website though.
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  19. Matthew Elbro

    Matthew Elbro Member

  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Scan & post it and lets see - if you wish


Share This Page