4130619 Gunner John 'Jack' Foster, Devons, 87th Anti Tank Regiment, North Africa, Italy, Palestine

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by H. Derpington, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. H. Derpington

    H. Derpington New Member

    Regarding genealogical research and the myriad tales of the Second World War, I'm currently researching an ancestor, 4130619 Private John 'Jack' Foster, who was in the 7th Battalion the Devonshire Regiment. As alluded to by the title of the post, this was reformed as 87th Anti Tank Regiment on 1st November 1941.

    As described in The Devons by Jeremy Taylor, this unit was posted to North Africa for the campaign there in mid February 1943. I believe that by this stage they had upgraded to the superior Ordnance Quick Firing 57mm 16-pounder gun.

    It sounds like at the conclusion of their role in this campaign, July 1943, the 87th was disbanded, except for the band, which remained together.

    Jack Foster then deployed to Italy, and I believe later Palestine. I am wondering if there is a pattern to where members of broken-up units like the 87th might have been sent following those units being broken up, in this case in July 1943.

    If it please the users of this page, perusing the attached image (from his service records which I hold) you may be able to help me out. It looks like he may have been posted to 60th Anti Tank? The columns for 'postings' and 'orders' are fairly hard for me to interpret myself, despite a military background.

    I would greatly appreciate any reply to this, large or small, concerning the 7th Devons, North Africa, Italy or Palestine.

    Attached Files:

  2. SixPounder

    SixPounder Member

    I think your gun info has a typo? They trained on 2-pdrs initially, then to 6-pdrs at Chagford, deploying with those to North Africa. They picked up 17-pdr guns sometime between July 43 and the unit's disbandment in May-July 44.
    One of the veteran accounts in the newspaper cuttings on my blog talks about some old French guns they had in North Africa. I really don't know what that is, it may be misremembered or the context was lost by the newspaper.
  3. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    You beat me to it Steve. for more info on the 7th Devons (87 Antitank) check out SixPounder's blog highlighted at the bottom of his post.

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