17th Field Regiment Royal Artillery - Sicily - August 1943

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Flamstead, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    John Philip Jones wrote the book around PP's diary some time after his death. It isn't a history of 17th or 116th Regiments. As 2IC Pettit was effectively the regimnetal recce officer and concerned with the movement of the guns. The battery and troop commanders were usually detached and working with the infantry units for which they provided direct support.
    Peter's diary entry for 9th August is full of incident as it records a bad day for the regiment. He may not have been aware of what was happening to the BCs with the infantry.
    Paul R. Cary likes this.
  2. Paul R. Cary

    Paul R. Cary Member

    Thanks! I did read that the 17th was renumbered after the war. I'm very much playing catch-up, having been told a number of inaccurate myths about my grandfather and his brother, by people who knew them well (like my grandmother) but who took little to no interest in what actually happened.

    In this, the centenary year of my grandfather's birth, I would like to at least assemble some kind of historical record about his service. At least his bravery is recorded for posterity. Any further information you may have would be greatly appreciated.

    It's very useful to know this, thank you. Peter's diary makes specific references to other officers/FOs who were killed in Tunisia, and he mentions the BSM and the mess cook by name in the passage. That's why the omission struck me as odd.

    How large would the regiment have been in '43? Do you have some reference material around the structure and composition of the unit? All I "know" is that there were 3 batteries of 8 x QF25-pdrs, served by 6 man gun crews.

    From my grandfather's MC citation, I know a little of his actions from a few days in Tunisia. Sadly he did not write or speak about his experiences, and we know from my great-aunt that the death of his brother, Jack, caused great trauma in the family and a deep rift with his father.

    p.s. I visited your websites and the tours look very much like something I need to do in the next year or two!
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I have the 17 Field Regiment diary covering their time in France with the BEF and there is a FJL Cary listed in the officers field return of November 1939. On the 31st May he's listed as 10/26 Field Battery, 17 Field Regiment.
    Paul R. Cary and Wobbler like this.
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    No tours for a while.

    I made this video from the Battlefield study I guided for 19 Field Regiment in 2016.

    Anyway, here is an extract from an account by an RA officer (E Troop Commander) from 17 Field regiment.

    This extract was part of the discussion about stress of battle. Duffie sounds to have been a decent BC and very understanding. It would be nice to know if this man was your relative. I made a note that the BCs at Cassino all had been awarded the MC and looked up the citations, but couldn't find where I had saved the details.
    I am happy to introduce you to 19 Regiment who do have a strong interest in their history. After covid.
    Paul R. Cary likes this.
  5. Paul R. Cary

    Paul R. Cary Member

    Thanks! The video has photos and maps I've never seen. I speak fluent Italian and lived in Italy for 6 years - it's good to see where you go on the tours.

    I read the extract and must confess I don't know my grandfather's writing style well enough to say if it might be him. That said, he wrote several books (although none about the war) and perhaps his 2 sons might be able to shed more light.

    Thanks for the offer to intro to the 19th. I look forward to that.

    Do you know the size of the Rgt at the time? I have looked for a OOB breakdown that might list more information but I can only find the 3 x batteries (10th, 13th and 26/92), and not much information on the rest of the composition.
  6. Paul R. Cary

    Paul R. Cary Member

    Very nice thank you! Then the stories of Jack in Belgium/France in May-June '40 appear to be true. Do you know if they were at Dunkirk or evacuated from another location?

    Do you know how much of the diary is available online?
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I did not think your relative was the author, who was a captain, but wondered if he might have been "Duffie" as he was a Major after Tunisia.

    WW2talk.com has a lot of information about the organisation of a field artillery regiment
    Field Artillery - Field Regiment

    This website as a lot of information about what field artillery did and how they did https://nigelef.tripod.com
    Paul R. Cary likes this.
  8. Paul R. Cary

    Paul R. Cary Member

    Ah - I don't think he had "Duffie" as a nickname but it may have been a wartime moniker I'm not aware of.

    Thanks for the links - will check them out.

    I appreciate all the help and feedback here. Impressive community.

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