43 LAA Regiment 264 Battery

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Angela Harper, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Angela Harper

    Angela Harper New Member

    Hi I posted a thread a few weeks ago reference my grandfather Thomas Lewis Merchant who was in the Royal Artillery. I now have his service record and it turns out he was in the Territorial Army went thru the ranks and was discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant. The part I can't work out is he was posted to Ceylon and disembarked in Columbo April 1942 his unit being 43rd LAA Regiment RA 264 Battery. But by 1943 he was in India. Does anyone have any information on this regiment what happened to them etc I know the NA have war diaries but thought I would see if anyone has any information here first. There is mention of being in hospital on his record in Ceylon but not sure why and a reprimand for something before that but can't read the writing! A lot of abbreviations etc I am unsure what they are. Anyway I would be grateful for anything. Many Thanks Ang Harper
  2. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

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  3. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    It would be well worth taking photos of the service record and posting them here so the resident wizards can have a crack at deciphering them.
    Angela Harper likes this.
  4. RobG64

    RobG64 Well-Known Member

    Hi Ang, Convoy DM.3 consisting of the ships Autolycus, Staffordshire and Pardo disembarked 2,500 troops, motor transport and stores at Colombo, Ceylon on 4th March 1942. These troops included 65th Heavy AA Regiment, RA and 43rd Light AA Regiment, RA. Whilst H.Q. 43rd Light AA Regiment, RA with 184th and 185th Light AA Batteries was deployed around Ratmalana airport, 264th Light AA Battery, RA was deployed to Trincomalee. The entire regiment was moved to Trincomalee in June 1942 to come under command 23rd AA Brigade, RA. In September 1943 the regiment re-deployed to Colombo under command 24th AA Brigade, RA before returning to Trincomalee in October 1944, under command 23rd AA Brigade, RA. The regiment was disbanded in Ceylon on 15th March 1945

    Heavy AA Regiments, RA consisted of a H.Q. and three Heavy AA Troops. Each Troop was equipped with 8x 3.7-inch guns
    Light AA Regiments, RA consisted of a H.Q. and three Light AA Troops. Each Troop was equipped with 12x Bofors 40mm guns

    Just a wild guess, but when the regiment moved to Colombo in September 1943, that could have been when your grandfather was shipped to India. As PackRat mentioned, posting photos of the service record would allow some excellent people on here to read what it said and also what it means!

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  5. Angela Harper

    Angela Harper New Member

    Hi and many thanks for the replies I have attached my grandfather's service record for any help I can get deciphering it. There are a few things I can just about read but most of the abbreviations are a mystery? Any help will be much appreciated IMG_20181117_1920442_rewind_kindlephoto-36258685.jpg IMG_20181117_1921066_rewind_kindlephoto-36379891.jpg IMG_20181117_1922171_rewind_kindlephoto-36492124.jpg IMG_20181117_1922324_rewind_kindlephoto-36553745.jpg
  6. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    I can help with a few from that first page:

    20.4.42 - "Relinquishes Paid Acting rank of Sergeant and assumes War Substantive rank of Bombardier" - he has lost his acting sergeant rank for failing to comply with a Battery Standing Order which seems to relate to Stand To on 17th April 1942.

    3.1.43 - "Attached to A.A.T.E." - probably Anti Aircraft Training Establishment

    22.6.43 - "Posted to x (ii) list RA" means that he has been evacuated beyond his Regimental Aid Post (to a Casualty Clearing Station or Hospital) due to illness or injury (probably illness, the number of malaria cases in mid-1943 was phenomenal). He's been admitted to 55 Indian General Hospital.

    1.7.43 - "Struck off Service of x (ii) List RA on discharge from hospital rejoined unit With Effect From (date)"

    Then a series of entries about regaining his Sergeant rank: "Promoted Unpaid Acting Sergeant and granted pay after 21 days" ... "Having held Paid Acting Rank of Sergeant for a period of 180 days is granted War Substantive rank of Sergeant With Effect From"

    Hopefully the experts will be along shortly to work out more.
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  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Not quite right (probably typo). Usual composition of LAA Regt after mid 1940 was:
    Regimental HQ and three Batteries. Each Battery consisted of Battery HQ and three Troops. Each Troop with 4x Bofors 40mm.

  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I can see nothing in this Record that indicates he was in India in 1943 and wonder whether you have read /43 as 1943 when it refers to 43 Regt LAA.
    Record shows for an inexplicable reason:
    15/6/44 Embarked Ceylon, disembarked India and then 25/6/44 Embarked India disembarked Ceylon.
    Later 30/7/44 SOS (Struck Off Strength) 264 Battery/43 Regt and embarked Ceylon, disembarked India.
    2/8/44 TOS (Taken On Strength) OTS (Officer Training School) from 43 Regt LAA.

  9. Angela Harper

    Angela Harper New Member

    Thanks for the replies much apppreciated. My grandfather was in and out of Ceylon and India from the 15/6/44 through to July 45 he was at Deolali, Maharastra, India he learnt basic Urdu too. I have had a friend of my husband's look at the records too and he confirmed what we had thought as above (all on the records). Also dispelled a few family stories too! The 1943 I had put was a mistake on my part should have put 1944. Many Thanks for your help.

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