122 Field Battery 178 Assault Field Regt. R.A.

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by barra, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. barra

    barra Junior Member

    ;)First timer, so here goes! My brother was in this outfit 1943-1945. I need to know more.Can you help.
  2. barra

    barra Junior Member

    ;) FIrst ever thread so here goes! My brother was in this outfit and I would like to Know anything about it between 1943-1945.
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    hello barra

    do you have any further info you could share photos/records etc

  4. op-ack

    op-ack Senior Member


    During the Burma campaign in WW2, the three field regiments in 2 Infantry Division each replaced one battery of 25-pdr with 3.7-inch howitzers, then one other battery in each regiment was each re-equipped with 105-mm M7 Priest Self-Propelled Guns and the regiments were renamed ’Assault Field Regiments’. A final change occurred in 1944, just prior to the battle of Kohima when 25-Pounders once again replaced the Priests.

    Not specific to your query, but may be of some interest to you.

  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello and welcome to the forum. Perhaps some more details about your brother will help members with an interest in this regiment to help you more. His name, service number if you have it. Have you any photos of your brother you can post?

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I'm sure I have all the 178ths War Diaries as do a couple of forum members. If they don't get in touch drop me a private message regarding any specific's you are interested in.

    Do a couple of searches via the forums search engine too ;)

  7. bevmawer

    bevmawer Member

    Hi I have only just found your forum today having had a good luck around. I visited the World War 2 Experience in Thorp Arch Near Wetherby Yorkshire and it was recommended that I join your forum for additional information.#

    I have secured my father's service record and it identifies that he was in 122 Field Battery 178 Field Regiment. He was hospitalised on two occasions - for a one month period and the following year for a four month period.

    My father died just a year ago and took to his grave any details of his time served in Burma. He maintained that whilst he was recorded as being a gunner firing the 25 pounder he was also attached to special forces - his service record does not support this and I wonder if he could have been supporting special forces. His claim he was parachuted into the area is also not lised nor is any detail of serving in Java and Chittagong.

    Can anyone help me fill in what are huge holes in the information written and that spoken by my father. Further can anyone direct me as to where I can find a photo of the battery as I have none of him in uniform at all - as I was born in 1964 my father had already been married once (Sadly his wife died).

    My father was called Arthur Jackson - but he could have been given a amount of nicknames as he was a short and dark skinned.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Kindest regards
    Bev IMG_1054.JPG
  8. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review... Patron

    Hi Bev

    I won't be able to help you directly as I don't believe your dad's group was anywhere near my own field of research but here's some pointers... Having his records is the first major step in research, so that being taken, what's the next move...?

    Well, the likelihood of catching a detail of a nickname is (sadly) rarer than rockin' 'orse droppin's now, and as you already probably know many/most of them took what they knew with them...

    As you can also see above, people drop in, leave a note, then never come back to enquire further, or let us know how they've done,but that is the nature of things...

    To take things further it may be worth sending a private message to Drew (post above yours) to enquire as to how many pages the diary is... they are roughly A4 pages, usually written landscape, and tell you the general comings and goings of each group, sometimes detailing casualties, very rarely names, but are a start... he does charge per page (to support his "habit", which is living at The National Archives whenever he can) but is very reasonable, very quick, and circa one tenth of the cost of acquiring these pages through a direct contact with TNA, especially as in this case he already has them... I'm sure he would be willing to send you a random diary page to view as a sample or possibly post one here to give you an idea...
    I was lucky to have lived so close to the archives to have gone there and done my own research and copying (by camera, same as Drew, but by a minuscule level by comparison), and can say they are quite often very worthy additions to any family history record...
    Drew is not the only person to offer this service but already has them to hand...

    Good luck and welcome
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Bev

    I'm currently at work but think I have all the 178 Field Regiment war diaries at home. Post the dates he was injured and I'll look at what the regiment was doing and where on those dates.

  10. bevmawer

    bevmawer Member

    Good afternoon Drew and Kenny

    Thank you very much for picking up this thread. It may be less complicated if I attach his record which gives the dates abbreviations which have little or no meaning to me in the main.

    Can you advise of a good source/book which would help me understand the records better. You say you have the war diaries for the regiment. Where can these be bought from. I contacted the National Archives a couple of years ago and they said that it would cost me upwards of £5K for a copy of the diaries - I was a little shocked.

    I am truly grateful for your help here and fingers crossed it means something to you. I would love to spend time with someone who could teach me the ropes and educate me.

    Once again thank you
    View attachment service record 3.pdf
  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I'll translate the abbreviations that I know if I get a chance after work tonight (unless someone else does it between now and then).

    The rates that the National Archive charge for copying documents in their care care are absurd. Fortunately, researchers such as Drew (who has responded to your posts) will do the same job (or better) for a fraction of the 'official' cost. The diaries are typically between 200 and 400 pages per year - grouped monthly - and he will make copies for 10p per page. That said, you probably won't want an entire 39-46 set. Be aware, however, that while some of the text will be narrative, they feature a lot of codes and abbreviations which take some deciphering.

    More to follow...
  12. bevmawer

    bevmawer Member

    Hi Charley

    thank you for your response, Poor Drew I have already set him a task, bless him. I have been able to decipher some of the narative but realise another headache will follow lol!

    I am totally inspired with the forum - my hubby has just become a widower!

    thank you for your help
  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    The main part seems to run as follows:

    5/11/42: Joined 34 Primary Training Wing at [Harrogate].
    16/12/42: Transferred to Royal Artillery 9th Field Training Regiment [Harrogate].

    3/2/43: Appointed Driver 1st Class South-Eastern Forces (I think - hard to read) [Harrogate]

    12/3/43: Embarked at Felixstowe as part of 122 Battery, 178 Field Regiment.

    12/4/43: Disembarked at Cape Town

    20/05/43: Embarked at Cape Town.

    13/06/43: Disembarked at Bombay.

    5/5/43: Reclassified Pay Group Class 1

    22/2/44: Admitted 68 (?) BGH [Bombay General Hospital?] - went on an X (ii) list.

    20/3/44: Taken on strength (back to work).

    26/8/45: Admitted to Hospital and back on the X (ii)-list.

    23/11/45: Struck off strength one category of X (ii)-list and moved to X (iv) - (probably a ‘on his way home' classification). [GRA RHO] - No idea what this is.

    Strangely no embarkation of the vessel home noted.

    17/3/46: Disembarked UK [Can’t decipher the name of the port].

    Ceased to be administered by Allied Land Forces South East Asia.

    4/6/46 - Back to the Royal Artillery Depot.

    Leave & hospital for a week in Woolwich.


    I don't have a link to hand, but there are explanations of the various X-list categories elsewhere on this board, though I wouldn't bother chasing them up. They don't tell you anything about the medical nature of problems/injuries (neither will you be able to discover it as records have not been released), they just mean that he wasn't with his unit for some reason - usually in transit or in hospital.

    The big question, however, is precisely what 122 Battery, 178 Field Regiment Royal Artillery were doing between 13/6/43 & 22/2/44 and between 20/3/44 & 26/8/45 - and for that you will need either an expert (not me) or the war diaries. That said, there's a fair bit on this board already. They were operating in India and Burma at various stages.

    There is some detail here and in the file attached below this link:


    178field rgt. 1943.pdf

    178 Field Regiment were part of 36 Division - another user has kindly uploaded a publication about them. You ought to download it (page by page) and take a look:


    If you like detail, you can probably discover what ships he sailed on from the dates, ports and destinations.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  14. bevmawer

    bevmawer Member

    Wow Charley thank you - I have a lot to work through there and are truly grateful. You seem to have me in a nutshell and I will certainly look at ships, Drew is providing me with the war diary extracts - I think I will be booking some time off work - not had a holiday in 4 years so maybe this will keep me amused. It is funny though how many people you know whose relatives were in Burma and yet none of us know anything. I guess one to one combat at times really truly takes it toll and we have no comprehension of that.

    You have all been great and I am very grateful. I hope in years to come I can give something back to the forum and be as helpful as you all.

  15. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Admitted 68(?) BGH means he was admitted to 68 British General Hospital and not 'Bombay General Hospital'. General Hospitals were either BGH or IGH (Indian General Hospital) or CGH (Combined General Hospital). In April 44 68 IGH was in Chittagong.....it could be that it was converted from an IGH treating Indian Soldiers to a BGH treating British Soldiers.

    According to Farnworth's 'History of the Royal Regiment Of Artillery' the 178th Field Regt was made up of 122th, 366th and 516th Batteries and on 13 June 1943 arrived in Bombay. It was renamed 1 Aug 1943 178th Assault Field Regt and 122nd battery was given 8 105mm Self Propelled Priests. It was in the Arakan fighting in early 1944 but on 9th April 1944 it moved with 25 Indian Division to 36th Indian Division at Shillong. It was with them until 6th May 1945 when it flew to Imphal.

    There is a mention of a Battery of the Regt parachuting in to Pinwe and also a mention of 178th Field Regt serving in Batavia in Java in November 1944 which all coincides with what you mention above.
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  16. bevmawer

    bevmawer Member

    hello Skoyne89

    Thank you for your input I think my research will keep me quiet for a while (a rare occasdsion for me lol)
    I should have some war diaries tomorrow so my time will be well spent bx
  17. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Correction appreciated.
    I don't know the distance between Bombay and Chittagong off the top of my head, but I confess that it is... considerable!
  18. JerryPlatt

    JerryPlatt Member

    My stepfather served in this regiment in Burma.
    I have done a lot of research into his story and am trying to locate it. Will contact you when I've found it.
    Jerry PLatt
  19. JerryPlatt

    JerryPlatt Member

    After the surrender of the Japanese in Singapore in Aug 1945 the regiment was moved to Indonesia (Java) to keep the peace as the local Indonesians were taking this opportunity to try and overthrow the Dutch colonial administration as it was re-established. Some funny part in the war diaries about their time there. My step-father's name was John Hoggarth - he was a battery captain, then battery commander at the end before repatriation in early 1946.
  20. bevmawer

    bevmawer Member

    Hello Jerry

    Thank you for the info I am slowly (very slowly) building up a picture which is both sad and exciting all together. You have all been so helpful and my spare time is now fully occupied. I would like to think I can put it all together in time to make my own story of dad.

    I have just acquired "We Gave our Today - Burma 1941 - 1945" and "Forgotten Voices of Burma" to read so that will fill in my early waking hours

    Have a good weekend.

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