158 Field Regt Royal Artillery in Burma

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by shelley, May 9, 2004.

  1. shelley

    shelley Junior Member

    My grandfather, gunner Reginald Edwin DIX 1090895, went missing/presumed killed in action, 27 March 1944 in Burma. He sailed from the UK in the week 13-19 June 1942.

    I am fortunate in that I have inherited the letters that he sent home to my grandmother but, for obvious reasons, these are of a personal nature and don't really give any details of his role in the war - only that he took over as cook at some stage!

    He was of the 582 battery 158 Field Regiment RA.

    Is there anybody that knows anything about the movement/operations of this regiment at the time?

    Thanks in anticipation

  2. Gunnersbrother

    Gunnersbrother New Member

    I have just seen your post and expect you have the answer by now. I am currently researching my brother's war service. He was also part of the 158 Field of the Royal Artillery. I believe this was part of the 23rd Indian Division. In March 1944 they were engaged in the Battle of Imphal which I believe started on the 8th March 1944. You can read more about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Imphal#Opening_phases_of_the_battle

    There were about 12000 british casualties and he may well have been one of them.

    PS: I can't find him in the CWGC records

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  4. berthag

    berthag New Member

    My brother, 6920771, Gunner C.E.Hague, D Troop, 582 Battery, 158 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. was reported 'Killed in Action' on the 27th March 1944. His unit had been converted into a mortar battery, supporting infantry units for patrols into Japanese controlled territory. Between the 19th and 27th March 1944, the unit was involved in the Battle at Shangsak, on the Indian/Burma border.
    Gunner R.E.Dix, was reported among the wounded on the 27th March.
    Hope this is of some help
    Gpo man and bamboo43 like this.
  5. Gpo man

    Gpo man Member

    Hi thanks for this thread that my sister started many years ago.

    Berthag thank you for the information.

    Could you let me know where you found the information that my grandad R E Dix was wounded.
    We know he was reported missing in action and presumed killed, which was notified to my grandmother, but was he actually registered as wounded at Shangsak.

    Really appreciate your help and info.
  6. Gpo man

    Gpo man Member

    Thanks berthag for the information on my grandad Reg who served with your brother.
    Due to your info I have been on a quest and found out some amazing things about sangshak.
    I am surprised that on the burma star website they don't speak of it at all.
    There was about 100 men in this jungle mortar troop and considering there were 2000 men in this battle, mostly of whom were indian or Gurkhas, I guess my grandfather and your brother were well known to each other.
    I have the mortar troop war diary report on this battle, at the end it lists the casualties day by day.
    Your brother C.E Hague was wounded on the last day of the battle, the 26th of march and unfortunately died of his wounds in the field hospital.
    There is a very good book about the battle of sangshak by Harry seaman and also you can get copy's of 50th parachute brigade war diaries from para data that are also very descriptive.
    Other good books that give you an insight into the battle with 582 battery and what happened and how it evolved.

    Forgotten voices of the Second World War by Max Arthur

    Imphal Sir Geoffrey Evans

    The fighting cock history of the 23rd indian division by J.F Doulton

    D troop was in the thick of it and supported 152 and 153 battalion of the paratroopers.
    What they went through at this battle day and night with no sleep, hardly any water and constant attacks from the japanese, should really get more recognition than it has, as slim mentioned without this battle Imphal May not have had the time to raise the defences needed and Imphal could have been lost and the japanese would have invaded india. Also the war in Burma could have gone a lot longer and more lives would have been lost.

    If you would like a copy of the war diary I am happy to send you one.

    Thanks again for your help.

    I am still on the track of finding out if my grandfather who was the only injured soldiar in D Troop on the final day, was left with the wounded or retreated and died on the journey back.
    I have heard that he volunteered to stay behind with the wounded as he was mentioned in despatches from this battle, but we shall see.
    We shall think of them all on the 11th.
  7. Gunnersbrother

    Gunnersbrother New Member

    I have just seen your November post re the Battle of Sangshack and wonder if the diaries that you have list the names of the jungle mortar troop. My brother Patrick Bird was in the 158 Field Regiment and mentioned to my father that he was often involved with mortars rather than the large guns and at one stage was cut off behind enemy lines after an action and was told that they had to find their own way back to the regiment individually or in groups.
    I doubt that the diaries show names other than those wounded or killed but thought I would ask.

  8. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    You need to contact Raj or Imphalcampaign as he's known on here. He has researched this battle and the battle site. I'll give him a heads up about this post.
    JerryPlatt likes this.
  9. berthag

    berthag New Member

    GPO man. Only just got back to checking this site, so missed your replies. Sorry I was of no help. I see you have gathered any information I may have been able to furnish for yourself. You have listed the same resources as I have, with the possible exception of the Royal Artillery Museum, which proved very helpful for me.
    Unless your Grandfather was unable to walk, it would appear that he left Sangshak. A paragraph, on Page 103 of 'The Battle at Sangshak', states, "every man who was capable of walking would withdraw with the rest, helped by comrades if necessary".
    I have been trying for some time now, without any success, to obtain photographs of either the 582 Battery, or the 158 Field Regiment, they must out there somewhere.
  10. Sumner2

    Sumner2 Member

    My father, Doug Wells, was one of the 158's original members in early 1942, serving with 'A' Troop, 581 Battery. I've posted a photo in the media section, being unsure how to place it here.
  11. Gpo man

    Gpo man Member

    Sumner2 thank you for posting the picture of 158th, do you have any other photos from 158th in India. I have not looked at this thread for a while and was excited to see the photo.
    My grandfather Reg Dix left in 1942 with d troop 582 battery. I now believe he was left behind with the wounded at Sangshak.
    It's very hard as berthag mentioned to find any photos of 158th.
    I will put any news I can find on 158th on this thread.
  12. Sumner2

    Sumner2 Member

    I have no photos of my father's service once the regiment arrived at Imphal in 1942, but may have another taken at Nowshera during training. I'll have a root around...
  13. David Claridge

    David Claridge New Member

    Hi, I've posted a comment on your picture. I've been getting all Dad's history sorted on Ancestry and am going through his military service during WWII. I may have a picture of a larger group of 158 Gunners which I'll find and upload if it's of help to others. My Dad was William (Bill) Claridge. I found this website by chance and have only just discovered it and joined.
  14. Sumner2

    Sumner2 Member

    David – I've just found out that the chap on the right in the picture is indeed your father. The photo was taken, I'm told, in December 1941 at Nowshera. Perhaps you can message me for more info.
  15. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member


    I am trying to find out what was happening to 158 Field Regt RA in April 1944 (particularly on 18th April) Does anyone have the War Diary or other info?

  16. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Shelley or GPOMan Please can you contact me as I have found some more information about your grandfather Gunner Dix, at Sangshak. I have included my email in a 'conversation' I have started with GPO Man.

    PS I have the War Diaries now

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