12 HAA Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Angela Harper, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Angela Harper

    Angela Harper New Member

    Hi I am new to this site but am trying to find any information on my grandfather Thomas Lewis Merchant. I know very little as he did not talk about his service in the war at all. The info I do have that he was in the 12th HAA regiment Royal Artilley and I believe served in India and Burma. I have sent of for his service records but if anyone has any information on where they were during the war I would be most grateful as I haven't been able to find much so far!
  2. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

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  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is what I have on the 12th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment:

    12th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A.
    RHQ, 249th Heavy AA Battery; 52nd Light AA Battery
    Raised: 23 February 1941 at RA Depot, Woolwich

    The regiment left for Iceland on creation and arrived there in March 1941, taking over 4th Heavy AA Battery on arrival. On 24 September 1941, it was joined by 18th and 203rd Heavy AA Batteries in Iceland. 52nd Light AA Battery left on 3 October 1941 and 249th Heavy AA Battery left on 3 October 1942. By July 1942 the regiment returned to the United Kingdom.

    The regiment was retitled 177th Heavy AA Regiment with 598th and 600th Batteries on 5 May 1944 and a new 12th Heavy AA Regiment was created from 177th Heavy AA Regiment with 4th and 18th Batteries. This new regiment was joined by 360th Battery of 177th Heavy AA Regiment.

    177th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. (T.A.)
    RHQ, 596th, 598th, 600th
    Raised: 3 November 1942 at Burlesdon neat Southampton

    The regiment served in the United Kingdom. 598th Battery left on 19 July 1943 followed by 596th Battery on 25 August. 360th Battery joined on 26 September 1943. 598th Battery returned on 5 May 1944. On this date the regiment was redesignated 12th Heavy AA Regiment, R.A. with 598th and 600th Batteries becoming 4th and 18th Heavy AA Batteries of that regiment. 360th Battery stayed with the new 12th Heavy AA Regiment. The RHQ of original 12th Heavy AA Regiment became RHQ of the new 177th Heavy AA Regiment with 598th and 600th Batteries formed from 4th and 18th Batterys and joined by 203rd Battery of the old 12th Heavy AA Regiment. The regiment and batteries were disbanded on 7 May 1944 at Shildon, near Darlington, Durham and completed on 4 June 1944.

    On the other hand, maybe you are referring to 12th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, RA. Here is the service for that battery:

    6th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA
    Station: Blackdown
    Batteries: 3rd, 12th, 15th AA Batteries

    The regiment was mobilized at Blackdown with 3rd, 12th and 15th AA and 1st Light AA Batteries. It moved to France through Cherbourg and deployed in defence of Le Mans under 1st Anti-Aircraft Brigade. By 2 November 1939, it was deployed to Aubigny at Berlette. It was reorganized in January 1940 with 2nd, 12th and 18th AA Batteries. It had RHQ at Habare on 10 May 1940 and was ordered to advance into Belgium. It eventually had 3rd Battery at Tournai, 15th at Brussels and 12th at Ath.

    It became a Heavy AA Regiment on 1 June 1940 on return to England. It reorganized at Aberystwyth with 3rd, 12th and 15th Batteries with 3” guns. By the autumn of 1940, it was located under 34th Anti-Aircraft Brigade in the Birmingham/Coventry area.

    It left the United Kingdom on 14 November 1941 for Iraq. Instead it was sent to Java, where it arrived on 19 February 1942 without guns or equipment. It fought on Java from 28 February to 12 March 1942 as infantry under 16th Anti-Aircraft Brigade. It was then captured by the Japanese.
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  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    If he served in the Far East, he may have transferred to another regiment at some point. His service record should clear that up.
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  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Possible (note possible) Royal Artillery attestation, number 1802962
    Merchant 1.jpg
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  6. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    The Monarch of Bermuda, later named New Australia, left Liverpool on the 12th November 1941,on board were the 6th Heavy A.A. Regiment with 3, 12, and 15 Batteries. Three days out to sea the troops were told their destination was Basra, Iraq.
    The ship called into Freetown, Sierra Leone, and continued on making a few other calls before reaching Durban 18th December1941.
    Whilst in Durban troops were hurriedly recalled back to the ship.
    According to Tony Paley's very good book, The Sparrows, he writes,
    The Monarch of Bermuda was quickly made ready and was soon sailing from the harbour out into the Indian Ocean, with the men on board curious as to what was going on. They were soon informed, the men were assembled on the upper deck and addressed by the Commanding Officer.
    He informed them that they had received new orders. Pearl Harbour had been bombed, and this meant that Britain and the United States were at war with Japan.
    her draft had been diverted to Singapore. The Monarch of Bermuda now steamed eastwards towards the Maldive Islands.


    edited to add, The Monarch of Bermuda left Liverpool in convoy WS12Z.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Whilst it may not affect the original question, there are some inaccuracies in previous posts regarding 6 HAA.
    6 HAA (RHQ, 3, 12 and 15 Batteries) left UK 13 Nov 41 embarked in The Monarch of Bermuda destined for Iraq. Their destination was changed on arrival at Durban to Singapore. The Regiment changed ships to the Aorangi and arrived Singapore 13 Jan 42. The Regiment was deployed around Singapore. At the end of Jan 42, RHQ, 12 & 15 Batteries 6 HAA with 78 Battery and one Troop 89 Battery of 35 Regt LAA attached were moved to Sumatra to defend the airfields and oil installations at Palembang. 3 Battery 6 HAA remained in Singapore. Those troops of the 6 HAA and 35 LAA in Sumatra were forced to destroy their guns and to withdraw to Java where they acted as infantry until captured.

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  8. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Tim,
    I thought she "The Monarch Of Bermuda" left Liverpool on the 12th November 1941. Graham.
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  9. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Hi Graham,
    Interesting. Convoyweb gives departure WS12Z as Liverpool/Clyde, 12/13 Nov. I know my Dad was in the Empress of Japan and he sailed from the Clyde, nominally on 13 Nov but actually 2345 on the 12 Nov. Superstitious lot!
    I was wondering what had happened to the Monarch of Bermuda after Durban as she was then no longer part of WS12Z or DM1, now I know - thanks.

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  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Convoy WS.12Z
    From: CLYDE Wednesday, 12 November 1941.
    To: FREETOWN Tuesday, 25 November 1941.
    Arnold Hague convoy database - misc convoys

    Liverpool, Nov 12, 1941 WS.12Z (Clyde - Freetown) Freetown, Nov 25, 1941

    Just seen that - was it Liverpool or Clyde ??


    could it be the Convoy left Clyde but Monarch left Liverpool and met up with it later that day??
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    After that trip

    Freetown, Nov 28, 1941 WS.12Z (Clyde - Freetown) not reported Oran, Dec 6, 1941

    Arnold Hague Ports database

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  12. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers Tim,
    Glad to be of help.
    Off the top of my head,another convoy left not long after WS12Z, from Gourock near Glasgow WS14 heading in the same direction as WS12Z. (I don't wish to go off topic here.)

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  13. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid we've swung way off thread due to distraction of 12 Battery HAA.
    I don't understand the 'not reported' at Gibraltar or Oran on on 6 Dec as Convoy and Monarch of Bermuda were en route between Freetown (dep 28 Nov) and Durban (arr 18 Dec). From Graham's post and convoyweb, Monarch of Bermuda went back to Liverpool via Trinidad.

  14. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Stick to 12 HAA regt.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  15. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

    You mean regiment?

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