4th (durham) Survey Regiment

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Kieron Hill, May 10, 2005.

  1. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Hi all,

    I am looking for information on the 4th (Durham)
    Survey Regiment Royal Artillery. Any informatiom
    whatsoever would be great.

    Regards
    Kieron
     
  2. kidd1986

    kidd1986 Junior Member

    I have no infomation regarding this unit. However I am very interested in it as my grandfather serverd with them during the second world war, and I would love to know more.
     
  3. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

  4. kidd1986

    kidd1986 Junior Member

    Thanks mate , but ive dome all the research I can on the net. I do know he was in North Africa for a lot of the war and he was shipped out in 1939/1940, but he also went to greece or crete, syria, iraq, palestine towards the end of the war he was in india and burma. Im planning to get this all down somwewhere, as after listening to his stories for years , i think its about time.
     
  5. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Short History of the 4th Durham Survey Regiment Royal Artillery
    By the Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col. J.T. Whetton, D.S.O., O.B.E., M.C.

    This Unit was formed in January, 1937 under the Durham County T.A.A.F. Association with headquarters at Gateshead-on-Tyne and was embodied there on the outbreak of war.
    In May, 1940 the regiment moved to the South of England and came under command of 4th Corps.
    In November, the Unit embarked for the Middle East and on arrival in Egypt came under command of G.H.Q.
    Advance parties contacted I troop 6 Survey Regiment at the first battle of Tobruk. At the end of this campaign in Western Desert, I Troop rejoined the 4th.
    On 13th January, 1941, “Y” Survey Troop was dispatched to Eritrea for flash spotting and survey and “R” Sound Ranging Troop entrained for that theatre of war on 13th February, 1941.
    The two Troops fought throughout to the successful conclusion of the campaign and then returned to Egypt.
    The Regiment with No.1 Survey Troop attached, less “Y” Survey and “R” Sound Ranging Troops sailed for Greece on 1st April, 1941, and after several deployments under the command of the Australian Corps, was evacuated to Egypt via Crete.
    “Y” Survey Troop was now operating in the Western Desert and a composite battery of Flash Spotters and Sound Rangers served in Tobruk throughout the siege.
    Later in 1941, the whole Regiment was placed under command of the newly formed Eighth Army and moved onwards through the battles of the Omars, relief of Tobruk, siege of Bardia and Sollum to Benghazi and El Agheila followed by the withdrawal to Gazala.
    At this juncture R.H.Q. and one battery placed under command of Ninth Army operated from the Turkish border to the South of Palestine.
    One battery remained in Western Desert and had the misfortune to be captured in Torbruk. The other Battery then returned to Egypt and proceeded to El Alamein, being joined later by R.H.Q. and a newly trained Battery.
    Being the only Survey Regiment in Eighth Army, it covered the whole front from the Mediterranean to the Quattra depression, a distance of 25 miles.
    After Alamein the Regiment advanced with 30 Corps through North Africa to Tunisia, completing the African campaign under 10 Corps.
    The Regiment was again allocated to 30 Corps in the Eighth Army for operations in Sicily and landed there with the 51st Highland Division on “D” Day and at the conclusion of this campaign was responsible for the artillery survey preliminary to storming of Italy.
    In December, 1943, the Regiment returned to the United Kingdom and was with the first contingent of 50th Northumbrian Division to land in Normandy on “D” Day.
    Composite groups of the Regiment operated with the Guards Armoured Division and 11th Armoured Division in the brilliant advance of 30 Corps through France and Belgium to capture Brussels and Antwerp and thence to continue the pursuit to the North of Nijmegen in Holland in the attempt to capture Arnhem.
    The Regiment continued in the Victorious march of 30 Corps across the Rhine to the final collapse of the German Army on V.E. Day.

    The Honours and Awards included: 1 D.S.O., 1 O.B.E., 4 M.B.E, 10 M.Cs. and 1 Bar, 1 D.C.M., 12 M.Ms., 1 B.E.M., 24 Mentions in Despatches and a number of Allied decorations.


    Above is short history taken from a Welcome Home Banquet programme held on the 6th September 1946. Just goes to show never give up on your search for information 2005 I started looking in to this
     

    Attached Files:

  6. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Above is short history taken from a Welcome Home Banquet programme held on the 6th September 1946. Just goes to show never give up on your search for information 2005 I started looking in to this


    Hi Kieron,
    have you been in touch with the 4th Durham Survey Rgt. Association. I was in contact with the late Tom Fairnington several years ago,but Vic Gray continued with the newsletters after Tom passed away.
    Last time I was in touch with him he was rather ill so I am not sure he is still around.
    The Regiment came up a few months ago in a contact with a chap called Jim Whetton.
    I will P.M. you his contact details.


    Brian
     
  7. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    The Regiment came up a few months ago in a contact with a chap called Jim Whetton.
    I will P.M. you his contact details.


    Cheers Brian, I really appreciate that, thank you. I am guessing that
    if that is the same Jim Whetton than he was the Commanding Officer
    of the Regiment at the time. I think he'll be interested in some of the photos I have in my collection, they are of the voyage out from
    Liverpool to Egypt on board the Reina del Pacifico.

    Thanks again Brian

    Cheers
    Kieron
     
  8. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    I thought I'd share these three pictures with
    you as I thought they were very interesting.

    Picture 1 & 2 are of the conditions that the
    men of the 4th Durham Survey Regt RA lived
    in while at Tobruk in December 1941. No
    wonder the men who were there during the
    seige were nicknamed the rats of Tobruk.
    Tou can clearly see they were living in
    holes/caves in the rock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And picture 3 is of a couple of surveyors from the 4th Durham at
    Tobruk carrying their surveying from underneath their station.
    Apparently the thing over the surveying equipment was a becon
    to help with identification by other surveyors.

    [​IMG]
     
    Mindel likes this.
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Kieron -
    I'll bet that printer who did the welcome banquet brochure was fired ...or not paid as he managed to put the 1939 - 45 Star ribbon bass akwards
    Chers
     
  10. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Is there anyone following this old thread?

    My father in law was BQMS C E Hird of 48 Battery ...


    Regards

    Robin and Margaret (nee Hird)
     
  11. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    There's a self-printed history of the regiment called 'Z Location'.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  12. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    You need to get hold of Mangilli-Climpson's 'Larkhill's Wartime Locators - RA Survery in hte Second Wold War' published in 2007. He covers all the UK and Indian survey regts in great detail. It's around 700 pages.
     
  13. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  14. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    I'm reading the personal diary of BQMS Hird C E for 1942. Where can we find out more about the 4th Durham Survey who were in Syria from the and of February to June 1942?

    Many entries are about the tedium of being responsible for stores .. one gem is Xmas Dinner .. it arrived with the RSM on 13 March and was duly served up on March 15th by the Officers and Sgts.... shortly after comes the entry for Easter " WOG Christmas"!

    Many references to Capt Balfour including him joining in the Sgts drinking sessions. We went to John Balfour's funeral a couple of years ago and Margaret wore he father's medals ..

    know of only one man left from 4th Durham ...Maurice Howard (captured in fall of Tobruk 1942 and so not back o be Margaret's godfather in 1945) spoke to him in mid December.


    Robin and Margaret (nee Hird)
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi - Some of these files may be of interest if you can get to the National Archives:

    WO 169/4684 4 Survey Regiment (Durham) 1942 Jan.- Dec.

    WO 169/4685 4 Survey Regiment (Durham) 1 Battery 1942 Sept.- Dec.

    WO 169/4686 4 Svy. Regt. (Durham) 'A' Tp. 1942 July- Dec.

    WO 169/4687 4 Svy. Regt. (Durham) 'R' Tp. 1942 Sept.- Dec.

    WO 169/4688 4 Svy. Regt. (Durham) 'X' Tp. 1942 Dec.

    WO 169/4689 4 Svy. Regt. (Durham) 'Y' Tp. 1941 Nov.- 1942 Dec.

    WO 169/4690 4 Survey Regiment (Durham) 2 Battery 1942 Feb.- June, Oct.- Dec.

    WO 169/4691 4 Svy. Regt. (Durham) 'B' Tp. 1942 Jan.- June, Sept.- Dec.

    WO 169/4692 4 Svy. Regt. (Durham) 'S' Tp. 1942 Jan.- June, Oct.- Dec.
     
  16. SueG

    SueG Junior Member

    Hi.. I've just read this thread as I was looking for details about my late father who was captured in Tobruk. I have managed to get someone to load up his army docs if you'd like to have a look at them. Not sure how that happens -bit of a Luddite I'm afraid, but my user name is SueG if you need it.
    Regards
    Sue
     
  17. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    We have a copy of the Nominal Roll for the 4th Durham Survey Regiment - "Compiled from official records (Pt. II Orders)" - dated May 1946.

    We are happy to do look ups for anyone interested in the men who served. You can post a message on the forum or send a private note. While we rty to respond promptly we are still working shepherds and some times of year are very busy .. like now with lambing ....

    Here are some notes about the Nominal Roll and it's contents.

    It was compiled as the initial address book for the Old Comrades Association in 1946.
    On the cover it states "who served from 31 December 1940 to V.J. Day" however the index gives a different date range (see below) some individuals who were posted from the original TA unit before 12/40 are included.

    There are five parts

    I Roll of Honour.
    Lists 80 men who were killed or died. Column Headings are Regimental Number (blank for officers), Name, Rank, Casualty (examples are KIA,DOW, Pre Died while POW, Accident, Killed in Action at Sea and various medical ones eg Dysentry), Place (eg ME, POW, WD) and date.

    II Directory of all O.R's who served in RG from 1939 to V.E. Day
    Column headings Army No., Rank, Name and Address, Date of Joining (entered as 'B' if they landed in Egypt in December 1940), Remarks (examples are POW with date, Wounded with date, some medals)

    III Directory of attached personnel.
    Column headings as for II

    IV Directory of all Officer's who served in RG from 1939 to V.E. Day
    Column headings Name, Last known rank, Pers. No and date of joining, Home address, Remarks (as for part II)

    V Directory of attached officers.
    Columns as for Part V

    Happy to help

    Robin
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    We have a copy of the Nominal Roll for the 4th Durham Survey Regiment - "Compiled from official records (Pt. II Orders)" - dated May 1946.

    We are happy to do look ups for anyone interested in the men who served.

    Hi Robin - Any mention of a Gunner George Edward Evans. I have his service number if you have more than one match.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    You need to get hold of Mangilli-Climpson's 'Larkhill's Wartime Locators - RA Survery in hte Second Wold War' published in 2007. He covers all the UK and Indian survey regts in great detail. It's around 700 pages.

    Cheers- Just ordered a copy.
     
  20. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Hi Robin - Any mention of a Gunner George Edward Evans. I have his service number if you have more than one match.

    Cheers
    Andy

    Two Evans G. E. listed

    Reg. No. 986328 Gnr Evans G.E., address - none, Joined "B", Remarks P.O.W. 20.6.42
    "B" for joining means Landed with Regiment in Egypt in December 1940

    Reg. No. 1096382 Dvr. I/C. Evans G.E., address - none, Joined 14.11.41, Remarks P.O.W. 20.6.42

    So both were captured in the fall of Tobruk. The second one is SueG's father.

    Vic Gray (L/Sgt) was also captured at Tobruk and wrote up his story. When Jim Whetton republished his uncle's history of the regiment in 2004 he was trying to get Vic to put the memoirs online. Seems this has not happened but there is a deposit listed at the IWM. Private Papers of V Gray MBE | Imperial War Museums
    " Memoir, diary and other documents relating to his service with the 4th (Durham) Survey Regiment RA during the Second World War."

    Regards

    Robin
     

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