147th Essex Yeomanry RA - Battery Identification

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Susan A, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Hi Susan,

    Just a note of clarification: in the RA "gunner" was a rank. (Can't remember if it was equivalent to Private in other branches.) Although it could also mean a member of the RA in the abstract, or "gunners" for all RA members together.

    Unlike in RAC tank crews, it was not used to refer to the man who actually took the action which fired a gun. Men assigned to a gun or a self-propelled gun like a Sexton were given numbered roles. The "Number One" would be in command of the gun. If there were seven other men in the gun crew they would be numbers 2-8.

    That's all to the best of my knowledge and I hope I haven't made any mistakes.
     
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    PS just to clarify, someone could have a numbered role as well as being the driver or driver-signaller for a vehicle. My main point was that being a gunner does not contradict doing signals work, so far as I know.
     
  3. Expat Yeoman

    Expat Yeoman Member

    Hi Andy, could you post a picture please? I'm hoping the serial number is also visible. And when you say tank, do you mean a Sherman, or is it a Sexton? I am assuming that latter but would be great to confirm.

    Thank you
    Michael
     
  4. Expat Yeoman

    Expat Yeoman Member

    Kevin, I can add Doodle Oak as a Sherman in D Troop.
     
  5. Expat Yeoman

    Expat Yeoman Member

    Susan, I can't account for all of it but my best guess is TT = trade training, SP specialist & Cl class so - "passed trade training for Din group Specialist c Class 3" Hopefully others can help correct if I've got that wrong, and add re Din..!

    Have you seen a copy of the book "Essex Yeomanry 1919 - 1949" edited by Patrick Gee? It has an entire section on 147th including in an appendix a list of locations for the period 1944-45 which may help your research.

    I'd be really interested to see the 147 war diary too if you could connect me with the owner of it please.

    Michael
     
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  6. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Expat,

    Yes apologies to all I missed DOODLE OAK off the list.

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
  7. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Andy,

    Thank you for that, I will add DOVERCOURT to the database. As asked in another post is DOVERCOURT a Sherman or a Sexton, see attached? You say you have some photos, do they show vehicle names or census numbers or crew names perhaps?

    Cheers

    Kevin
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the help in translating my GF’s training record. I’ve just had another look and think ‘Din’ could actually be ‘Dir’ - that sounds more likely.

    I do know of the Patrick Gee book and have been keeping an eye out for it, but copies are rare and very expensive.

    I obtained my copies of 147th’s War Diaries (1944 & 1945) from WW2Talk member Drew5233 who already has them digitised.

    Regards
     
  9. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Member

    My grandfathers w
    Hi Michael,

    Attached is pictures of my grandad and his crew of a Sexton tank. Serial number is clearly visible as you can see. No S-233734

    Hope these help.

    Regards
    Andy
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the information.
    From ‘39 to ‘44 my GF served with 62nd Searchlight Regt/150th LAA Regt and in ‘39 had trained as ‘Engine Articifer’, so I was surprised when his EY Reference stated he’d worked as a Signaller.

    Regards
     
    Chris C likes this.
  11. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Member

    Hi Kevin,

    I have attached picture of Dovercourt and her crew.
    Serial number of tank is S-233734 as shown on photos.

    I have only just started researching my grandfathers movements over the last week or so from Normandy onwards.

    I only have first names on some of the pictures which doesn't help me so much at this stage.

    Hope this helps

    Andy
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. Andy,

    Many thanks for posting the photos. DOVERCOURT bears the gun Number D5, which means the photo was shot at a time when a Field Battery Troop counted six guns instead of the "standard" four guns. Artillery experts should be able to tell us when this was the case.

    More photos, if you have any, will be most welcome!

    Thanks again,

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  13. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Member

    Hi Michel,

    Yes, I managed to get sight of the plan of the landing craft the other day for D-Day and can see he is listed in D2 at that time.

    I think some of these pictures are of the later part of the war.
    After going through France and holland. Maybe in Germany.

    I have pictures of other troops and stuff. What sort of pictures are you after?

    Thanks
    Andy
     
  14. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Andy,

    Would you mind putting up the photos of other troops? I might be able to spot my GF.
    I think I’m going to have to use a process of elimination to track down his battery/troop/tank.

    Thanks,
    Susan
     
  15. Any pic with vehicles, even partially visible, would be of interest. Also group or individual pictures of troops: as Susan said, relatives may recognise members of their family. I suppose there is no indication written on the back of the photos or elsewhere?

    Michel
     
  16. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Andy,

    Those are great photos, vehicle name, census number and position in the troop it is just a shame that you do not ( yet ) have the full crew's names. Please post any photos you have.

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
  17. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Michel,

    I have DUNMOW as D1 (has CS census number starting 204***), DANBURY S234082 as D2 and now DOVERCOURT S233734 as D5.

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
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  18. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Member

    Hi Susan,

    I have attached the pictures here.

    That's all I have in my collection.

    Hope this helps you all.

    Thanks
    Andy

    Picture 1 (IMG 0097) - C Troop (Hanover, June 1945) have no names.

    Picture 2 (IMG 0098) - C Troop (No date, no names)

    Picture 3 (IMG 0099) - No details

    Picture 4 (IMG 0100) - D Troop HQ (Hanover, June 1945) have no names.

    Picture 5 (IMG 0083) - D Troop (Bremen, May 1945) Back Left - Harry. Back Right - Frank
    Middle Left - Orace (I think Horace). Middle right - Bert. Front Left - Vic. Front right - Cyril Urwin.

    Picture 6 (IMG 0101) E Troop. No date or location. Photo marked as E Troop gun in action.

    Picture 7 (IMG 0102) No date or location

    Picture 8 (IMG 0075) D Troop. (Bremen, May 1945) Back - Eddie, Cyril Urwin, Frank. Front - Orace (probably Horace) and Bert.

    Picture 9 (IMG 0076) D Troop. No date or location. Named Eddie.

    Picture 10 (IMG 0103) Battery Gun Park in Hannover, 1945

    Picture 11 (IMG 0104) Battery Gun Park in Hannover, 1945

    Picture 12 (IMG 0105) Last day in action 1945. Back - Harry, Cyril Urwin, Vic, Frank. Front - Horace and Bert.

    Picture 13 (IMG 0106) Kiel, no date. Left to right, Jim Ainsworth, Vic Shandley, Cyril Urwin
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. Susan A

    Susan A Member

    Andy,

    Thanks so much for this. I’m off to work now but will have a good look when I’m back later. Even if I don’t find my GF it’s still so interesting to see these photos.

    Regards,
    Susan
     
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  20. Andy Urwin

    Andy Urwin Member

    Hi all,

    Sorry, have these final two.

    Picture 1 (IMG 0110) no location or date. Can just make out the D on the tank.

    Picture 2 (IMG 0109) Hanover June 1945. Left to right, Harry, Horace, Jon, Cyril Urwin (squib), Eddie and Jack.
     

    Attached Files:

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