55th ( West Somerset Yeomanry ) Field Regiment - Guards Armoured Division

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by 17thDYRCH, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Appreciate any assistance on finding information on a Lt. Douglas Vernon Verney who landed on Gold Beach June 26th, 1944 with the 55th Field Regiment.
    Failing specifics on Lt. Verney, any information ( books, articles, links ) on the 55th Field Regiment R.A. would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. hewasahero

    hewasahero Member

  3. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Thanks for the research. Alive and well and living in the USA. His son is after more details about the wartime experience.
  4. hewasahero

    hewasahero Member

    You're welcome. Must admit that Army research isn't my speciality (have been doing mainly RAF research up to now) but I'm keen to help. Here's a reference on the Imperial War Museum website that might go somewhere (suggest you contact them and ask)…


    and also here's an 'advanced search' result from the National Archives catalogue 'Discovery'…


    Both contain the phrase 'War Diary' or 'War Diaries' so have the potential to go some way towards answering questions about what they were doing, where, when etc.

    If planning to visit either IWM or TNA in person, please note any lead times for making an appointment or for document delivery, also any registration requirements and exactly what you're allowed to have in the same room as the document (e.g. can you use a camera and so on).

    Please let me know how you get on…
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    That war diary link at the National Archives is for 55 Anti-Tank Regiment

    Here are the refs for 55 Field Regiment from 1944 until the end of their war:

    WO 171/972 55 Field Regiment 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 171/4817 55 Field Regiment 1945 Jan.- Mar.
    WO 171/4818 55 Field Regiment 1945 Apr.- Dec.
    WO 171/9062 55 Field Regiment 1946 Jan.- June
  6. hewasahero

    hewasahero Member

    Good call!

    Rookie error on my part…
  7. andemaiar

    andemaiar New Member

    I know this is an old post, but I was just searching the West Somerset Yeomanry and came across it!
    My grandfather was in this regiment. He wrote about it quite extensively in his memoirs. He doesn't specifically mention your Lt Verney but it might still be of interest to you? It's a first hand account, about 20 pages long. Please reply if you are interested in reading it.
    BTB likes this.
  8. Berengaria

    Berengaria New Member

    Lauren - If you are still around, I would be very interested in your grandfather's account. My Dad was also in this regiment.
    BTB likes this.
  9. BTB

    BTB New Member

    I've just turned 70 so I've left this a long time, but now I've got the time I want to produce a war history for my grandkids of my dad's 1944 - 45 Western Europe experience with 55th Wessex Field Reg' GAD incorporating the West Somerset Yeomanry.
    Major Peploe commanded 373 battery for some time but the family think Dad was with 374. There was also a 349 battery. Peploe's diary is great but the 3 batteries did not always fight the same bunches of enemy so I can only guess what and where dad did his job as a gunner.
    There is info on the following weblink, again mainly 373 and to add to the muddle there are the expressions B Troop C troop etc which I haven't worked out yet see:- www.royalartilleryunitsnetherlands1944-1945.com
    I echo Berengaria's interest in andemaiar / Lauren's post.

    Any guidance welcome
  10. BTB

    BTB New Member

    Hi new member BTB here. Did you get a reply. My Dad was in this reg too.
  11. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake The Mayor of London's latest dress code

    You need the Wartime adventures of the West Somerset Yeomanry. Peploe was BK of 373 Bty. Request the book from the IWM and book a slot to read it in the research room. For £10 you can buy a photograpjhy permit and get an image of the pages you want .
    Here is the list of officers. 55 Fd Regt list of officers.jpg
  12. BTB

    BTB New Member

    Bless you for your very prompt reply.
    Got a copy of Wandering Wyverns i.e Peploe, but it focuses on 373 battery. They did some coordinated fire plans but also operated individually between the 3 batteries That is the missing link. Family are sure Dad was in 374 battery. Also Peploe wasn't always around due to being a replacement and eventually being replaced due to injury.
    It seems Major Paske (Captain at the time) commanded 374 battery of the 55th appearing on your list. There is an obit to him in the telegraph 2016? It refers to him stealing a pig. My dad also told a story of stealing a pig. Co-incidence?

    Many thanks and if we have an opportunity to dig deeper much obliged

  13. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    As far as "troops" concerned, they were the sub-unit within batteries. From the anti-tank records I've looked at, letters for troops would not be shared. For instance, if an anti-tank regiment had 4 batteries each with 3 troops, the first battery might consist of A, B, and C troops plus the battery HQ, the next one D, E, and F, and so on. (Not necessarily all consecutive letters; they might skip "I" for one thing.)
  14. BTB

    BTB New Member

    Thanks for this. I've since found an organisational chart for the RA. For the 55th Field Reg' it would appear they had 3 batteries of 8 guns i.e. 24 in all. 4 guns made up a Troop each having a Captain followed by other ranks down to 6 gunners per gun.
    Chris C likes this.
  15. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake The Mayor of London's latest dress code

    Hi All!

    It is a little too late to get more anecdotes in the History of the Royal Artillery in the Normandy Campaign, though Will and I used bits from the WD and Peploe's book and hope we have told their story well. Gunners in Normandy was written so long after the war that we tried to write it for descendants rather than veterans. We have explained the context of the battles in which 55th fought and included a roll of honour of their war dead and where to find them in Normandy. There is included quite a lot about of explanation about what it was like to be a Gunner in 1944.

    I would be very interested in any memoirs you have. There is a scond volume to be written and someone needs to tell the often overlooked story of the Gunners.

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