76th HAA Regt RA, (236, 237, and 349 Batteries)

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by HAARA, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Definitely not RSM - his rank badge is crown, which is BSM. I have a strong recollection of having come across his name in the battery before. Will need to give that some thought! What rank was your grandfather?
     
  2. HBStan

    HBStan Member

    I've just been going through my grandfather's (typed) memoirs and although he doesn't mention John Kemp he does talk about working in BHQ after victory in Tunis before going to Sicily. He was a sergeant at the time.

    In his memoirs, my grandfather refers to the man as C Troop Sergeant Major Raymond Du Camp and it sound like the two of them got on well as they'd both been in since the start of the war and had a number of trips together.

    I've recorded all the names found in his memoirs and if they mean anything to anyone, I can expand on their details: Sgt John Groves, John Davenport, 'A diminutive cockney "Charman", "Taffy" Tucker, Doug Brown, Bert Cox, 'Badgey' Butler (previously a bugler), Maurice Gumpright, Bill Maule, Tony Masters, BQMS Freddie Clarke (ex Wills Tobacco), BMO Freddie Pike, BQMS Eric Jones (from 236) Graham Tippets, Bob Murley, George Lawrence, Joe Walton, Hugh Cobbett, Jack Holt, Harry Deverall, Donald Parsons, O.C. Major Chapman.
     
  3. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    If you go back on this thread to November 2014, you will find photos of some members of 237 battery, C troop, as posted by Andy Maule, whose father was in the 237/76. The one dated October 1943, includes:
    Back row left to right: Sgt. Maule; Sgt. Hale; Sgt. Larcombe; Sgt. du Kamp.
    Front row left to right: Sgt. Anthill; Sgt. Kenway; Sgt. Tippett ;Sgt. Witt.
    So it would seem Du Kamp was promoted after this date to BSM. Some of the names in your list are in this photo. Of the names you mention, I recognise Eric Jones, and Bob Murley, and Major Chapman.
    It's interesting that you mention Wills Tobacco, as it seems quite a number of recruits had worked there, some being in 236/76th as well. 238/76th became an independent battery (I've not followed up what happened to them), and was replaced by the cadre battery 349/76th after they had been trained, this being by others including John Kemp (who had been in the TA prior to the war) after he was transferred from 282/88 to the training regiments at Arborfield. He stayed with the battery when it returned to 76th in Bristol.
     
  4. HBStan

    HBStan Member

    The reference to Eric Jones is that during the Bari raid, he was in 236 BHQ and had just put the bar across the blackout shutters and sat down when the shutters were blown across the room and marked the opposite therefore having a very lucky escape. Bob Murley was on a trip with my grandfather to Naples when Vesuvius was erupting and they were taken up to the slopes to see the lava flow. The following day they were given a guided tour of Pompeii by a visiting professor who was delighted by the whip round that they had for him.The references to Major Chapman is him asking my grandfather to write a piece for a daily news sheet that two men produced call the Daily Round (my grandfather mentions possessing a bound copy of many sheets but I don't think we still have it). The other reference is that a young officer was clearing mines from the beach at Viareggio and when they'd got a number they piled them up and set them off which took the glass out of all the houses where they were billeted. Major Chapman asked him to "go and make his bangs elsewhere".

    That's interesting about the message from Andy Maule, thanks and to see some of the men mentioned.

    Similarly, my grandfather was at Wills before the war (and returned to Imperial until retirement) and said he joined the 76th along with others quite a few other Wills men.
     
  5. HBStan

    HBStan Member

    I've also found these two photos which unfortunately don't have any comments with them but I guess would be at Portbury as my grandfather (second from right in 5 and far right in 9) is a Lance Bombardier.
     

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  6. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Very proudly showing off his stripe! That looks like du Kamp in the doorway.
     
  7. Sjc829

    Sjc829 Member

    Hello all, i've just started to look at my partners Grandfathers service records to piece together what he was involved with during the war. I only met him briefly before he passed away in 2009 so did not have a chance to chat but as someone else mentioned in an earlier post, he didn't talk about his experiences to any of the family. From what I have seen so far he enlisted in 29/3/38 into the Queens Royal Regiment West Surrey, which I presume was the TA, but then transfered to the Royal Artillery in 28/2/40, although the original unit is not included on his record card (see attached images). Its a bit confusing as i cant find any reference to 35 S/L Regt or 228 AA T/Regt (i'm guessing that is training regiment) but then he was posted to 76 HAA Regt on 13/10/42 just before they deployed to Algiers. I have just started reading through 'Ever Your Own. Johnnie - North Africa' which i can't put down at the moment but as i don't know what battery he was part of i can't link him in with anything yet. My next port of call for research will be the RA museum but if anyone has any advice on who to engage with I would be very gratefull. Also if anyone can understand the entries on the card I would again be very gratefull for a steer, for example the 'detrained or is it detained in Milan' reference.
     

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  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    From Royal Artillery 1939-45
    upload_2021-1-1_14-37-5.png

    228 is, I think, a reference to 228 Heavy AA Driver Training Regiment.

    Detrained at Milan means left train much like embarked/disembarked with ships.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
  9. Sjc829

    Sjc829 Member

    Many thanks Tim, another piece to the jigsaw puzzle.
     
  10. hutt

    hutt Member

    35 SL Regiment has a diary at Kew. WO166 3052 for August 39 to 31st December 41
     
    timuk likes this.
  11. Sjc829

    Sjc829 Member

    Thanks for the steer, I’ve now found that he was 236 Bty, B Trp .
     
  12. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    You'll find quite a lot about 236 Battery in the third book (including map references to B troop gun sites), 'Ever your own, Johnnie - Sicily and Italy', as John Kemp, the subject of the book you are currently reading about NA, becomes the BSM for the battery. 236 Battery was also at Bari during the infamous raid, details of which are in the same book.
    Do you know what rank he attained?
     
  13. Sjc829

    Sjc829 Member

    I will be ordering the third book this week, loving the second one at the moment. I believe he was a Gunner throughout the war as a reference to when he was 242 Bty 51 HAA still lists him as GNR. I think it was his postal address, there is either 6MF or GMF, at the end? His son ( my partners dad ) is keen the to read both books as a chat the other night revealed that he previously had some pictures from his time abroad. One picture has him with a friend with ‘Stalag’ written in the back, which made the family think he had been a POW but I was happy to point out that they provided guard force duties for German POW’s in Italy. I will post any pics once they are hopefully located.
     
  14. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Sounds interesting - look forward to seeing them!!
    The third book is quite different, and has a much darker feeling to it as the war progresses, especially once the 76th undertakes ground shoots after being based at Piombino rather than AA work.
     
  15. HBStan

    HBStan Member

    I've just started reading 'Ever Your Own, Johnnie' too and am really enjoying it. I've also managed to buy a copy of The Daily Round, which is a collection of newssheets from 8/12/44 to 23/4/45 giving updates about various activities of the 76th in Northern Italy that was printed into a book in Bologna after the war. It's interesting, moving and genuinely funny in places. My grandfather, Bill Stanley, is mentioned in it a couple of times, which is really good to see. There are a few copies around online and I'd highly recommend buying it.
     
  16. Sjc829

    Sjc829 Member

    Thanks for the steer, who are the publishers of the Daily Round? The third book arrived on Friday which will be a more formidable read judging by its thickness!!:)
     
  17. HBStan

    HBStan Member

  18. HBStan

    HBStan Member

    I've just finished the complete collection of 'Ever Your Own, Johnnie' and really enjoyed it. I have my grandfather's memoirs but to learn about similar experiences on a day to day basis was fascinating. Particularly interesting were his thoughts around August 1944, when both in France and Italy things were moving rapidly, that they may be nearing the end of the war must have made the grinding to a halt again even more difficult. And the frustration of waiting to go home after VE Day! My grandfather refers to providing armed guards on trains travelling in Italy as they were being attacked by gangs including ex US soldiers that had deserted. He said that a few men from the regiment were killed - such a sad loss having made it to the end of the war. Many thanks for publishing such an amazing account.
     
  19. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    That's good to know!
    Reference your comment about troops being attacked, you'll recall the passage where John Kemp gets lost in an area where a British soldier had recently been killed by locals, and is a little anxious about the situation. In addition to this, I recall him telling a story about his train trip in North Africa when trying to return to his regiment. One of his fellow passengers would 'sell' his mosquito net to locals from the carriage door when the train made one of its numerous stops, bartering with them as to the price. As the train began to move off he would 'conclude the deal' and take the money. The locals would then try to take possession of the net, not realising that it was secured inside the carriage and could not be taken as the train moved away. This was until on one occasion when the net was pulled off, and as the seller tried to retrieve it also came off the train, as the train moved away, the train leaving without him. He was later found, dead, with part of his anatomy cut off and stuffed in his mouth.

    Reference one of your earlier posts, any update on posting photos, as would love to see them!
     
  20. HBStan

    HBStan Member

    I'm afraid I've posted all my relevant ones. It was Sjc829 who was hoping to post some although I did buy Ever Your Own, Johnnie at the same time as them.

    That's quite a story on the train! My grandfather mentioned various trips where he would keep a hand on his gun just in case.
     

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