102 A/T Reg The Northumberland Hussars

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by DavidW, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    I have this unit arriving in North Africa in February of 1941, and leaving the theatre in the June. Is this correct?
     
  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello David,

    The 102nd (Northumberland Hussars) arived in N Africa on 31 December 1940 and left for Greece on 5 March 1941.

    On evacuation from Greece part of the regiment ended up in Crete and some in N Africa; all by dint of the destination of the transport they managed to embark on.

    Those that made it back - by whatever route - to N Africa accumulated there from 29 April 1941 onwards. one of the four batteries was back at the front in the Western Desert under the command of 7th Armoured Division from 3 June 1941.

    They remained in the Western Desert until 21 April 1943 in Tunisia, at which time they started preparations for combat in Sicily.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  3. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much Steve.

    Were they comprised of 287, 288 & 289 Bty at the time?
     
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is some more on the 102nd:

    It was converted to the 102nd Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A. (The Northumberland) Hussars) (T.A.) on February 15th, 1940 with ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Batteries. ‘A’ Battery absorbed the 77th Light AA Troop and converted to the 274th Light AA Battery of the 25th Light AA Regiment, R.A. It served under the command of the 2nd Support Group from March 1st, 1940 until February 23rd, 1941. It arrived in Egypt on October 12th, 1940 for service in the Western Desert. On February 14th, 1941 the regiment became the 102nd Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A. (T.A.) and on March 14th, 1941 added the 287th to 289th Batteries.
    It then came under the command of the 1st Armoured Brigade in Greece from February 26th to May 1st, 1941. On September 12th, 1941 the regiment and batteries added the title “(The Northumberland Hussars).” On its return to Egypt it served as Army Troops for GHQ and British Troops Egypt. During the Crusader battles of November and December 1941 it served under the 4th Armoured Brigade with one Troop of ‘D’ Battery under the 7th Armoured Brigade and the other Troop of ‘D’ Battery under the 22nd Armoured Brigade.
    It came under the command of the 1st Support Group in from January 29th to February 11th, 1942 in Libya. The 289th Anti-Tank Battery was detached to the 2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery from April 23rd to August 24th, 1942. The 107th and 99th Anti-Tank Batteries had joined by September 8th, 1942 and the 287th Battery had left. The 289th Battery was formed from the 4th Rhodesian Anti-Tank Battery. It then served under the 8th Army in Libya and Egypt until October 8th, 1942, when it joined 50th Infantry Division. It was in North Africa, Sicily, United Kingdom, and North-West Europe with the division.
     
    ramacal likes this.
  5. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Dryan,

    A great description of what happened to this unit at this time. I've tried tracking down the war diaries of the various parts when they were detached and it's been almost impossible to find them. I've got the History of the NH if anyone needs more info.

    Cheers - Rob
     
  6. Hi Rob,
    From 50 Div Signals War Diary entry 28 May 1943 at Sidi Bishr - Official notification received to absorb Signal personnel and stores of 102 (NH) A/Tk Signal Section into this unit as "H" Section.

    Mel
     
  7. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Here is some more on the 102nd:

    It was converted to the 102nd Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A. (The Northumberland) Hussars) (T.A.) on February 15th, 1940 with ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Batteries. ‘A’ Battery absorbed the 77th Light AA Troop and converted to the 274th Light AA Battery of the 25th Light AA Regiment, R.A. It served under the command of the 2nd Support Group from March 1st, 1940 until February 23rd, 1941. It arrived in Egypt on October 12th, 1940 for service in the Western Desert. On February 14th, 1941 the regiment became the 102nd Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A. (T.A.) and on March 14th, 1941 added the 287th to 289th Batteries.
    It then came under the command of the 1st Armoured Brigade in Greece from February 26th to May 1st, 1941. On September 12th, 1941 the regiment and batteries added the title “(The Northumberland Hussars).” On its return to Egypt it served as Army Troops for GHQ and British Troops Egypt. During the Crusader battles of November and December 1941 it served under the 4th Armoured Brigade with one Troop of ‘D’ Battery under the 7th Armoured Brigade and the other Troop of ‘D’ Battery under the 22nd Armoured Brigade.
    It came under the command of the 1st Support Group in from January 29th to February 11th, 1942 in Libya. The 289th Anti-Tank Battery was detached to the 2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery from April 23rd to August 24th, 1942. The 107th and 99th Anti-Tank Batteries had joined by September 8th, 1942 and the 287th Battery had left. The 289th Battery was formed from the 4th Rhodesian Anti-Tank Battery. It then served under the 8th Army in Libya and Egypt until October 8th, 1942, when it joined 50th Infantry Division. It was in North Africa, Sicily, United Kingdom, and North-West Europe with the division.

    What's you source for the foregoing information, dryan?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  8. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks one and all
     
  9. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Thanks very much Steve.

    Were they comprised of 287, 288 & 289 Bty at the time?

    Hello David,

    The regiment itself always referred to the batteries that remained (after 'A' Bty left) as 'B', 'C' and 'D', but their War Office designations were initially 287, 288 & 289 Bty's respectively. This did not remain the case for 'B' Bty.

    It is not clear when these War Office designations came into play, but they first appear in the regimental history at around the 23 March 1942. This is the time the regiment was split up (albeit it reformed on 5 September 1942), with the three batteries joining different outfits:

    'B' = 107th (South Notts Hussars) RHA, 22nd Armoured Brigade;
    'C' = 2nd RHA, 201st Guards Brigade; and
    'D' - 4th RHA, 7th Motor Brigade.

    Source: 'History Of The Northumberland Hussars Yeomanry 1924-1949' (Bright; Mawson, Swan & Morgan).

    If you require any further information please let me know.

    NB. Some of the information at Message # 4 is at odds with that in the regimental history, including the date the regiment arrived in N Africa. I have not been able to clarify matters with dryan.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  10. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Steve Mac:

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Something about holidays?

    I checked my sources and I am mistaken, but I'll explain. The arrival date for the regiment was obtained from the RA history, Years of Defeat by Farndale. On page 202 he lists the arrival date of the regiment under Lt Col RP Waller as October 12th. In the paragraph above, the history states that it was in late 1941, but since I know it served in Greece in 1941. I assumed this was an error so in my potted history I put 1940 as the year.

    I also have the regimental history and should have double-checked. That states, as you know, that the regiment sailed from England on November 17th, 1940 and disembarked at Port Said on December 31st, 1940. Sorry for the confusion.

    Thanks for pointing this out. I have accumulated quite a number of regimental histories in the past few years and I have not had time to update my short histories in most cases. There is something about caring for grandchildren that eats up your time that is in a direct ratio with dirty diapers.
     
  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Steve Mac:

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Something about holidays?

    ..There is something about caring for grandchildren that eats up your time that is in a direct ratio with dirty diapers.

    Tell me about it...

    My daughter gave birth to her first child four days ago and so we have had her, her husband and our grand daughter staying. Also, my son arrived with his wife and their two sons for the day today. They all left about 4 hours ago and I am now enjoying the peace and quiet. :D

    I'm pleased the date of the regiments arrival in N Africa is agreed. I thought there may be an issue with the information in the regimental history; which I had thought and still now think, is superb.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  12. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks to both of you.

    Steve, do you know when the btteries were first equipped with 6Pdrs?
    Were the 2 Pdrs (& 6Pdrs) all porteed at this time?

    ( Despite having a daughter of nearly 26, and a son of 23, we are nowehere near hearing the pattering of tiny feet!)
    Seasons greetings and best wishes to both of you and your loved ones.

    David.
     
  13. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello David,

    'D' Bty - No precise date, but it claimed to have been the first anti-tank gunners in the Middle East to get six-pounders, whilst at Buq Buq. It arrived at Buq Buq at the beginning of April 1942 and had left before the middle of May.

    'B' Bty - 24 May 1942, whilst at a position between Knightsbridge and Bir Harmat.

    'C' Bty - 26 May 1942, whilst at the Knightsbridge box.

    I'll get back to you about the portees...

    Season's greetings to you and yours, also!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  14. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    I'll get back to you about the portees...

    Hello again, David,

    I've had to read a section of the regimental history - the index carries only the names of people - relating to the period immediately before the six-pounders came into service and only portees are mentioned; no mention at all of towed guns.

    On page 212, which deals with the period in the UK prior to D-Day, it is mentioned that "...In the Middle East and Sicily six-pounders had been carried on portees and wherever possible had been fought in that way;..." , which leads one to the conclusion that this is how the 'Noodles' also fought the two-pounder.

    I did not previously take this on board, however, the code name for the six-pounder was 'Roberts'.

    I trust that this is of help.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  15. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Steve.

    That is a great help, thanks.

    David.
     
  16. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Hi there,

    I have seen the above timeline of the regiment in a few places. However, whilst researching my grandfather who was part of it, I find details that do not seem to add up. From his service record he was posted to Durban in South Africa in November 1943 (only for 9 weeks) after having been moved into the 102 A/T Regiment previously. There are photos of him with zulu women with the desert rat insignia clearly on his outfit and even tracing the movements of the 7th armoured division there is no record of them going to South Africa that I can find. I don't suppose from these sources that you are taking information from, you have come across any mention of this?

    Cheers,

    Joe
     
  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    *
    Hello Joe,

    Was your grandfather Rhodesian or South African, or did he serve with either? If so, there could be a very simple explanation for him being in South Africa. He would probably no longer be serving with the 102nd (Northumberland Hussars) Anti-Tank Regiment at this time, as they arrived back in the UK at Liverpool on 5 November 1943; having travelled through the Med from Sicily, via Gibraltar... not via The Cape.

    Do you have his Service Records?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  18. Dave-Lawrence

    Dave-Lawrence New Member

    Hi,first log on so please bear with me.
    Trying to find details on my father whom I think served with this Regt, the details I have are as follows

    288 Bty 102(Northumberland Hussars) A/T Regt RA

    557942 L/Bdr. George Lawrence.

    I know he served in Egypt, Italy. And in France.
     
  19. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum Dave good luck with your research. Just a thought have you applied for his service records or do you already have them?

    David
     
  20. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Definitely apply for his service records.

    Egypt, Sicily (not mainland Italy) and France tie in with where the Northumberland Hussars served.
     

Share This Page