88th Regiment HAA Battery 282

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Sidswar, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    My dad was in Battery 282, initially stationed in Enfield and then in 1941 posted to North Africa. He was captured in June 1942 and ended up in Stalag X1A Altengrabow in Germany. I'd love to find out about his journey from North Africa to Germany along with any names of his pals in the attached photos. I know from the rear of the photo with the 3 troops, my dad Arthur Paxton is on the right (as we look at it) alongside Bunt. Any detail on Bunt would be appreciated. The group photo was taken at Enfield in 1939.
     
  2. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    IMG_0056-1.jpg IMG_0059-1.jpg
     
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: A S Paxton
    Rank: Lance Bombardier
    Army Number: 1454247
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 135310
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XI-A
    Camp Location: Altengrabow, Saxony-Anhalt

    Searching for Bunt results in :
    T Bunt Gordon Highlanders Moosburg an der Isar, Bavaria 7951288 130310 VII-A 16

    R J Bunt Naval Forces : Officers & Ratings Lamsdorf (Oberschkesein), Poland D/X7133 65 344

    S Bunt Reconnaissance Corps Lambinowice, Poland 129669 222099 344 3

    Could really do with a little bit more than just a surname, if you can
    TD
     
  4. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi TD, thanks for that. I think his pal Bunt was in the same outfit and they were stationed in Alexandria together.
    We have a family story that my dad was taken from North Africa across to Italy and held there before being transported to Germany. Apparently during the journey the train was attacked by allied air power and the prisoners escaped and hid in the countryside for a while before being recaptured. If anyone can corroborate this story or give more details that would be much appreciated.
     
  5. hutt

    hutt Member

    Most war diaries don't have many other ranks names but there is one page i 88th282names.JPG n the diary for 88th HAA that does have a few. Although referring to men who may have been posted out, is Bunt Bunting?

    Even if not, some of these could be the men in your photo
     
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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    There is no Bunting on CWGC who was RA, so assume he survived the war, and the only POW registered in German hands that was RA is:
    Name: J V Bunting
    Rank: Gunner
    Army Number: 1515170
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 4212
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XVIII-A
    Camp Location: Wolfsberg, Austria

    and he is noted as LAA

    without any more details on the names etc we will be speculating too much

    TD
     
  7. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi Hutt, thanks for this. It certainly seems like a real possibility that this could be Bunt. My mum told us that Bunt was also taken prisoner along with my father so I will check the POW records to see if the name E A Bunting is listed.
     
  8. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Thanks TD, you've beaten me to it.
     
  9. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi,

    Thought a couple of extracts from the war diary of 88 HAA Regt might be of interest (WO169/1582):

    WO169/1582 – 88 H.A.A. Regiment R.A.

    1 June 1941
    281, 282 and 283 Batteries leave Southend.
    R.H.Q., 88 Hy.A.A. Sig. Sec., R.A.S.C., and R.A.O.C., embark.

    2 June 1941
    281, 282 and 283 Batteries arrive port of embarkation and embark forthwith.

    3 June 1941
    Ship leaves port. Final embarkation strength:-
    R.H.Q. 6 Officers 49 O.R’s
    281 Battery 13 “ 347 “
    282 Battery 12 “ 348 “
    283 Battery 12 “ 349 “
    Sig. Sec. 1 “ 52 “
    R.A.S.C. 3 “ 209 “
    R.A.O.C. 2 “ 72 “

    […]

    16 June 1941
    Arrive Freetown. Tropical heat.

    17 – 19 June 1941
    [no entries]

    20 June 1941
    Depart Freetown.

    […]

    4 July 1941 Durban
    Arrived Durban. Shore leave granted.

    5 – 9 July 1941
    [no entries]

    10 July 1941
    Tranship to “NIEUW AMSTERDAM”.
    Capt. and Adj. R.J. Attenborough, R.A., appointed Ship’s Adj. Lieut. (Q.M.) F.C. Crocker, R.A., appointed Ship’s Quartermaster.

    11 July 1941
    Depart Durban. Tropical heat. Slight epidemic of dysentery.


    23 July 1941 Port Tewfik
    Regt. disembarks. Arrives El Tahag camp 3 and 5.
    Disembarkation strength:-
    R.H.Q. 6 Officers 49 O.R’s
    281 Battery 13 Officers 345 O.R’s
    282 Battery 11 Officers 346 O.R’s
    283 Battery 12 Officers 344 O.R’s
    Sig. Sec. 1 Officer 50 O.R.
    R.A.S.C. 3 Officers 209 O.R’s
    R.A.O.C. 2 Officers 71 O.R’s

    […]

    28 September 1941
    0800
    282 Hy. A.A. Bty leaves Heliopolis.
    0800 155 L.A.A. Bty leaves El Khanka.
    1200 6 guns 155 L.A.A. Bty ready for action.
    1600 Remaining 2 guns 155 L.A.A. Bty ready for action.
    1800 All guns 282 Hy. A.A. Bty ready for action.
    281 Bty less Tel-El-Kebir G.O.R. personnel move from Tel-El-Kebir to Suez Area.
    C.O., 88 Hy. A.A. Regt. confirmed in appointment as British A.A.D.C. Cairo (Authy: BTE letter CR/E/2/3335/RA of 28 Sep.). Operational Control of British guns in Cairo to be under Egyptian A.A.D.C. through British A.A.D.C: British guns outside Cairo but within Cairo Area to be controlled by Commander Cairo Area through British A.A.D.C.
    G.L. in action at Heliopolis, manned by 282 Bty.

    It looks to me like 282 Bty stayed in Egypt when 88 HAA Regt moved up into the Western Desert to take part in Op Crusader in November 1941.

    Regards

    Tom
     
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  10. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Thanks for this Tom. Do you know the Port they embarked from and the name of the ship? Also do the war diaries mention anything about the losses battery 282 suffered in June 1942?
     
  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Sid,

    I have checked out my Prisoners of War list for Italy and both your father and his frend are on it. However, there is no camp given next to their names. This usually indicates that they had left one of the main camps for a work camp so you're not going to get any nearer to where they were being held unless you send for their service records.

    However, I can clear up one of your mysteries - at least in part. There were two incidences of POW trains being bombed by the US Army Air Force in Italy. One was stationary in L'Aquila station when it was bombed on 8 December 1943. The other was crossing the railway bridge over the River Paglia near Allerona in Umbria on 28 January 1944. For the latter see my website www.bombedpowtrain.weebly.com

    Both trains were carrying recaptured POWs. They had escaped following the Italian Armistice of 8 September 1943.

    So - here are the 'bare bones' - Captured North Africa - shipped to Italy - main camp - work camp - armistice - escaped into countryside - recaptured - put on train - train bombed - escaped for a while - recaptured - sent to Stalag.
    Quite a number of the recaptured men from the January bombing were sent on to Altengrabaw - the ones I know about are named on my website.

    Regards,

    Vitellino
     
  12. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Thanks Vitellino, this really is interesting and seems to bear out the story we were told. I have applied for my dad's service record so hopefully I will be able to work out where he was held.
     
  13. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Do let us know.
     
  14. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Will do.
     
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  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    You may want to apply to Red Cross for copies of his POW papers. Is this link -

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or the Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    It’s a free service and it takes about 4 months to get a reply from Switzerland. You need to be quick off the mark Mon 20th May as the application window can close after 2 to 3 hours when the quarterly limit is reached. I’d check it 8 am U.K. time on the day and then every 30 minutes until it opens.

    Steve
     
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  16. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    You may want to apply to Red Cross for copies of his POW papers. Is this link -

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or the Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    It’s a free service and it takes about 4 months to get a reply from Switzerland. You need to be quick off the mark Mon 20th May as the application window can close after 2 to 3 hours when the quarterly limit is reached. I’d check it 8 am U.K. time on the day and then every 30 minutes until it opens.

    Steve
     
  17. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    There will be very little in his Army service record about him being a POW.

    Usually a one line entry on his B103 “Reported missing in action” followed by further entry 6 to 8 weeks later “Now confirmed POW” then a 1945 entry “No longer POW - now in Allied Hands”.

    It doesn’t usually list movements as POW - that is in the Red Cross papers.

    Steve
     
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  18. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Thanks Steve, can i get a copy of Red Cross papers?
     
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    So Bunt is probably :
    E A Bunting Gnr 1451048

    Copy from Allied POWs in Italian hands (thanks Vitellino)

    [​IMG]

    TD

    He does not appear on the other listings for German POW camps - so perhaps he escaped and made it back to Allied lines - thats speculation on my part
     
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    See posts 15 or 16

    TD
     

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