88th Regiment HAA Battery 282

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

  1. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    This is the convoy they took to get to Egypt. Extracted from WS Convoys in World War 2 - the 'Winston's Specials'

    WS 9A

    This convoy made its final rendezvous off Oversay 3.6.41 after clearing the feeder ports of Avonmouth and Liverpool, and was formed from the following ships:

    21 SAMARIA
    31 EMPRESS OF JAPAN (Commodore)
    51 FRANCONIA (Vice Commodore)
    32 MOOLTAN
    42 ORBITA
    62 MENDOZA

    Local escort was the AA cruiser CAIRO, the armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA and the destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, OTTAWA, RAMSEY, RESTIGOUCHE, RICHMOND, SIKH, VANQUISHER, WINCHELSEA and ZULU from 3 to 7.6.

    Ocean escort was provided by the cruiser BIRMINGHAM and the armed merchant cruiser DUNNOTTAR CASTLE throughout the voyage, while the local destroyer escort from Freetown of VANSITTART and WILD SWAN joined 13.6 and BOREAS, BRILLIANT, HIGHLANDER and VELOX 16.6; the convoy arriving at Freetown 18.6.41.

    The convoy sailed again from Freetown on 20.6 with the addition of: BERGENSFJORD and CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS

    the whole escorted by the destroyers BOREAS, VANSITTART, VELOX and WILD SWAN to 22.6. The cruiser BIRMINGHAM was the ocean escort, and she and the convoy arrived off Capetown 1.7 where CAPETOWN CASTLE, DURBAN CASTLE, EASTERN PRINCE, EMPIRE WIDGEON, EMPRESS OF JAPAN and LLANGIBBY CASTLE entered harbour, the remaining ships proceeding to Durban to arrive there 4.7. BIRMINGHAM was relieved as escort by the cruiser HAWKINS on 2.7.

    This looks like the convoy that got him to Suez from Durban

    WS 9A2

    One of the rare WS convoys that did not commence passage from Britain, this convoy formed at Durban 11.7.41 comprising:


    escorted by the cruiser CORNWALL to Perim where the ships dispersed as independents on 18.7 for Suez, their arrivals being staggered to avoid congestion, MAURETANIA on 21.7, NIEUW AMSTERDAM on 23.7 and ILE DE FRANCE on 21.7. CORNWALL, after dispersing the convoy, entered Aden to land passengers, on 19.7.41.

    Only three ships in convoy WS 9A weren't bound for Suez. CAPETOWN CASTLE, DURBAN CASTLE and EMPRESS OF JAPAN so maybe, just maybe, one of these ships was the one the 88th HAA Regt was transhipped from in Durban.

    Hope this helps

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  2. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi Gus, thanks for this. The dates all roughly fit although records I've seen say that Batteries 281, 282 and 283 landed in Port Tewfik on 23/7/41.
  3. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Thanks Steve, i'll try that on May 20th.
  4. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Re Bunt, my sister thinks she remembers our mum telling her that when my dad escaped from the train enroute to Altengrabow Bunt was shot. Sadly, if true, that would also explain no record of him as a POW IN Germany.
  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    The convoys typically stayed together until they reached Aden, then each troopship went up the red sea to Port Tewfik when dock space was available. So it is no surprise that the arrival dates might be slightly out.

  6. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Makes sense.
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I wonder if this is Bunting or Bunt as you refer to him as ??

    Intelligence Corps - The Soldier Behind the Medals - Pinterest
    1451048 Edwin Alfred BUNTING, INTELLIGENCE CORPS. Bunting was born in 1903 and enlisted into the Royal Artillery in 1938. He served with the 88th ...
    Missing: EA

    As I am reluctant to enter many of these sites perhaps you could and see what else they say about him


    England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976
    Name: Edwin Alfred Bunting
    Father's name: M G Bunting
    Spouse's name: Virginia Mccormac Bunting
    Publication Date: 30 Jul 1942

    Alfred Edwin (Edwin A) BUNTING
    Born: 1903 in New Southgate, Middlesex, England
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  8. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    That looks like it was Bunt, sad to see that he didn't make it, as he is the only one of my dad's comrades that is named on the back of our wartime photos. He's also in a few with my dad so I think they may have been the best of mates.
    Thanks for all your help in solving our family mystery.
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Why do you say that - I havent opened the link, is there something there thats says he died? The article attached only says he was missing, this happened often until it was confirmed theyb were POW's, which we know he was as he appears in the POW roll in post 19 - so we know he made it to Italy

    You make it sound as though he died in Tobruk which he didnt

  10. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    I hadn't thought of that. I just thought that as he didn't turn up in the German POW camps and there's no further record of him, he hadn't made it.
  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    He was captured in North Africa and transported to Italy where he was kept as a POW

    Read post 11 and 19

    The Andrews Newspaper Index Card only states he was 'missing'

  12. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    I'd be interested in seeing a larger scale version of the image taken at Enfield, if that's possible, as I'd like to see if I can identify two people who were members of 282, having been assimilated into the battery along with others from 158/53 during September.
    282/88 were initially located at Hurlingham Polo ground, to the west of London on gun site ZW8, this being from 1-24 September. From 19th September officers reconnoitred various sites in the Enfield area, billeting the battery at Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford on 24th September, and taking up a position on gun site ZE17, Beaulieu (still visible at Google Maps). If your photo is dated September '39 at Enfield, then it would have been taken between 24-30th. The battery was initially short of Vickers heavy guns, so they were additionally equipped with Lewis guns, and it appears that many gunners spent time at the Enfield Royal Small Arms factory training on these, the factory being one of the reasons that the battery was located here in order to provide protection from raids, it being designated as a VPs (Vulnerable Point). The site was part of London's IAZ (Inner Artillery Zone).
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  13. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    If it helps the notes on the back of the photo read F section (part of) 282 (C of L) AS RA Enfield 1939. Unfortunately the quality of the photo is not very clear and my sister has the original. I will try to get as best quality copy as I can.
  14. hutt

    hutt Member

    The movements of 88th HAA and its batteries are recorded in some detail in the diaries for the 26th AA Brigade who were part of the organisational structure for the IAZ defenses under the 1st AA Division. My fathers RASC unit probably supplied it with ammunition at some point while at these north London sites and there are various references in 902 Coy diaries to 'moving' 88th HAA.
  15. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Picture here is of an unidentified detachment of 282/88, the number present suggesting it's one of the battery's troops, being very probably a ten man gun crew. There were typically two troops of ten men in each battery for HAA Regt early in the war, with three batteries per regiment, troops being A/B;C/D;E/F, although it is noted that your post suggests three troops for the battery, supported by the fact there are thirty present in the photo. Having just checked back to 282/88s diary for this period, reference is made to troops E,F,G, and H, which would suggest four. Confusing! The photo was taken at Arberporth gunnery training range, near Cardigan, the battery’s training at this location being from 8 to 28 March 1940. Second from the left is Lance Sgt John Kemp who enlisted in the TA prior to the war, and was later transferred from 88 to a training regiment to train raw conscripts before taking one of the cadre batteries on to become part of 76th HAA Regt RA, where he rose to the rank of RSM. Identification of others present would be very much of interest, as also which troop this might be.

    A letter accompanying this photograph, despite it looking sunny, says, "The weather has been so bad that we have been unable to shoot since Friday. This rain is infuriating. At the moment it’s pouring and does not look like clearing."
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  16. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Regarding Edwin Bunting, I have checked on Find My Past and it shows him listed as missing on the same day as my dad 20/6/42. Therefore I now know that he and my dad were in battery 282 together, listed as missing together and captive in the Italian POW camp together. What gets really interesting is that there is a copy of his Royal Artillery attestation which shows that he was transferred to the Intelligence Corps on 20/12/44. This means that somehow he got back from the Italian POW camp whilst my dad ended up in Stalag X1A.
  17. hutt

    hutt Member

    This turned into a fascinating thread. If only you could obtain the army record for Bunting!
  18. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi Sidswar,

    Unfortunately I don't have any of the war diary of 282 Bty or 88 HAA Regt for 1942. There are a few kind souls on here who would copy the diaries at Kew for very reasonable fees.


  19. hutt

    hutt Member

    I have 88th HAA and would be happy to share. Unfortunately no battery diaries for this regiment though. If really interested have 26th AA Brigade.
  20. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    I have 282/88 diary from August '39 - Dec '40.

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