147th Essex Yeomanry RA - Battery Identification

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Susan A, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    C6B616C9-FDF4-4D76-A768-CDA712EE7103.jpeg 54BBE20D-EB21-4C84-AF22-F0AAA4F60237.jpeg
    Hi, I wonder if anyone can help with my grandfathers WW2 history?
    I have his service records and know that:
    From 1939 to 1944 he was with 62nd (The Loyal) Searchlight Regt RA - I sort of know what he would have been doing then.
    In August 1944 he embarked for BLA NWE, assigned to 147 Fd.
    So from his service records, I know he was with 147th Essex Yeomanry and although he didn’t talk much about that time he did say he had a tank (his rank was Gunner, although his ‘Notification Pending Release’ states he did good service as a signaller in the regiment). He also said he was at a concentration camp (and wept silent tears when they were mentioned on TV/radio ever after).
    My real problem is - how do I find out which Battery he belonged to? I will get 147ths War Diaries (after CV is over) - will they have Battery personnel lists? In the meantime is there anything else I can be doing?
    I got ‘One Man’s War - An Essex Soldier in WW2’ by Ron Davies and although it’s very interesting, I can’t be sure whether my grandfathers experience would have been the same because although he was in the same regiment he may have been in a different Battery.
    I’ve also read ‘A Short History of 8th Armoured Brigade’ looking for mentions of 147th because grandfather talked about them and the Essex Yeomanry were attached to them.
    Basically, I’m trying to put a map together of the route he personally travelled and the battles he was involved in.
    Sorry to waffle and thanks in advance.
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  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Apart from the Essex Yeomanry War Diary, you might learn more as well in the 8th Armoured Brigade War Diary. The approximate route should be easy albeit time consuming to confirm as each Unit had to report their position in the War Diary every day via a map reference.
    http://ww2talk.com/index.php?members/drew5233.6786/ Might already have a copy.
    Andy Urwin likes this.
  3. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Thanks SDP - I hadn’t considered 8th Armoured Brigade War Diary. Looks like I’m going to be busy.
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    You might be lucky.

    However, you will be better off with the 147 Field Regiment war diaries, which often record battery and even troop positions. There may occasionally even be nominal rolls attached to monthly returns.

    I may have missed something but looking at the service records he was posted to 150 Light AA in September in Ballykinler in County Down, Northern Ireland. He like several thousand others were posted away from the Light AA arm in mid 1944. He is lucky enough to be retained in the Royal Artillery, from the sounds of it as a driver/signaler. Several thousands became infantrymen, a more dangerous job.

    Does anyone know what the AAMP Bowden at Baguley might be? He was admitted for a week and discharged, wording that sounds medical rather than correctional.

    There is an active Essex Yeomanry association who might be able to help Welcome to the Essex Yeomanry Association
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  5. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Thank you Sheldrake.
    Yes, I noticed he was in Ballykinler - I thought perhaps he’d been sent for training, I didn’t consider he may have been working there - I’m obviously very new to this and need to get up to speed.
    May I be cheeky and ask if you can translate the following sentence from one of my attachments:
    ‘Passed TT for Din? gp Sp c Cl iii at Stubbington’. I understand Stubbington was used for basic training.
    And thanks for the link, I’m off to take a look.
    Kind Regards.
  6. peter.t

    peter.t Member

    My Wife’s Grandfather Alfred William Donno was in the 147th Essex Yeomanry. He was in 413 battery, there was also 431 & 511 Battery.
    Alfred Donno landed on Gold beach and in May 1945 they were in the Bremen area April - May 45.and I believe they were in Kiel at the end of the war.
    Andy Urwin likes this.
  7. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Hi peter.t,
    I have another thread going and have received a lot of help. Sheldrake (who commented above) has identified that my GF was probably in 511 battery - based on the name of the officer who signed off his Notification of Impending Release. Thanks to the help I’ve received on this forum I’ve got lots of leads to follow up (including some from when my GF was in a SearchLight Regt).
    I’m going to get 147th Regts War Diaries so that I can attempt to pull GF’s war history together.
    Have you read the book ‘One Man’s War, An Essex Soldier in WW2 by Ron Davies? He was in 413 battery and it’s an interesting read.
    Andy Urwin likes this.
  8. peter.t

    peter.t Member

    View attachment 271578 View attachment 271578
  9. peter.t

    peter.t Member

    Hi Susan,
    I have that book, your right it was a good read, I did show it to my Mother in Law and just on the of chance her Dad may have been in the photos but she couldn't recognise him in any of them.
    He died in 1961 of a heart attack and he never spoke of the war, not surprised after what they went through.
    I did the D-Day & Normandy tour last year with Leger, it is a really good trip.
    My Mother in Law gave me a letter he wrote whilst in Germany which I did type up and it gave a very small insight to his time there.
  10. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    I've got a copy of this war diary, June to December 1944. Let me know if anyone wants me to post it here?
    Andy Urwin likes this.
  11. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I did not meant to imply that your grandfather was in 511 battery. 147 Regiment's CO post war who signed his reference had been BC of 511 battery, but now was in command of the whole regiment.
  12. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Oh, sorry Sheldrake, my misunderstanding - just too keen!
  13. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    My GF died in 1972, but prior to that he’d had a stroke in the 1950’s and was completely paralysed down his RH side. It seems unfair that they survived the war only to succumb earlier than they ought to have.

    That would be great. Thank you.
  14. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Active Member

    Hi Susan,

    I have this week started researched my grandfathers movements on D-Day with the 147th. Fortunately I have his battery no and Troop no also. So has given me a bit of a start.
    I have some pictures of different troops in what I believe is the 431 battery.

    I have found lots of links mentioning the 147th and their action on D-Day and the days after if you want me to send you

    Good luck
  15. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Hi Andy, any links would be great. Thank you.

    I can recommend the book ‘One Man’s War by Ron Davies who served with EY (although 413 battery).
    I’m currently reading ‘By Tank into Normandy’ by Stuart Hills (he served with SRY but EY gets a few mentions). I’ve also ordered ‘Tank Action’ by David Render ( I think he served with 8th Armoured Brigade who also worked with EY, so again, expecting mentions).

    This week I obtained 147th’s war diaries from Drew5233. I was hoping I might come across a personnel list but it’s not looking good (although officers are listed). So, I still don’t know which battery my GF belonged to but I’m going to continue with my plan to plot 147th’s route across NWE, but for all 3 batteries - I’m covering all bases.

    A couple of weeks ago I managed to obtain a photo of my GF in his uniform (although you can’t see it clearly) - so at least now I have an idea of how he would have looked then.

    Good luck with your research - once you start you can’t let go.

    Best Wishes
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  16. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Active Member

    Hi Susan,

    May I ask your grandfathers name?
  17. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi both,

    I have the following:-

    147th Essex Yeomanry
    A Troop 413 Battery
    Sexton’s named ARDLEIGH

    B Troop 413 Battery
    Sexton’s named BOXTED and BRENTWOOD
    Sherman named BRAMLEY

    D Troop 431 Battery
    Sherman's named DOBBS WEIR ( Battery CO’s tank ) and DOODLE OAK
    Halftrack named DAGENHAM

    E Troop 511 Battery
    Sexton named EXTERMINATOR

    F Troop
    Sexton’s named FAIRSTEAD, FALAISE and FONTENAY

    If you have any photos or vehicle or crew names please post them


    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  18. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Hi Andy,

    My grandfather’s name was William (Bill) Berry, his service number was 1442088 and his rank was gunner (although his release papers quote him working for the regiment as a signaller).

    I forgot to mention in my last post - if you want anything looking up in the War Diaries (1944 & 1945) give me a shout.

    Andy Urwin likes this.
  19. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for that. I’m afraid I don’t have any photos - I only recently discovered that a relative had a photo of my grandfather in his uniform (which I’ve attached). My mum (his daughter) didn’t even know the photo existed.
    I can have a look through Ron Davies’ book for vehicles/crew names but I assume you already have that info?
    If I do ever come across anything I will, of course, post it.

    Andy Urwin likes this.
  20. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Active Member

    Hi Kevin, I have pictures of my Grandfathers tank and crew. He was D Troop and his tank was Dovercourt.

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