88th Regiment HAA Battery 282

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

  1. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi Vitellino,
    Is the Italian POW list you have dated and were my dad and his pal Bunting issued with POW numbers?
     
  2. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi HAARA,
    Would you be willing to share, as I'd love to see what the battery diary contains? I'm aware that these dates are prior to the battery being posted overseas and I wondered if later date diaries were available once they were shipped out?
     
  3. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    The following includes an edited extract from "Ever your own Johnnie, Britain 1938-42" which gives some context to 282's activity whilst in Britain, some of which I have posted elsewhere on the forum, although this now contains additional information relevant to this thread:

    War was formally declared on 3 September following Germany’s invasion and occupation of Poland on 1 September. 282/88 Battery had already been mobilised on 23 August, deploying nine officers and 205 other ranks. The 'right half' of the battery was located at Wormwood Scrubs, section 3 at Hyde Park, and section 4 at Hurlingham, together with troops from 53 Regiment (headquartered at White City together with 88 Regt) at both Hyde Park and Hurlingham Polo ground, to which the 'right half' of the battery was relocated on 1 September. 158/53 whilst transferred to 88 Regt in April 1939 were fully integrated into 282/88 on 24 August.

    Many emplacements at this time were constructed by troops using sandbags, including at Hurlingham Polo ground (see photo below), with troop shelters in some instances built from straw bales and tarpaulins, these sites being part of London’s Inner Artillery Zone (I.A.Z.) defences. The Regiment subsequently relocated within the I.A.Z. to Lewis gun positions in north London to defend ‘Vulnerable Points’ (V.P.s) at munitions factories in Enfield and Waltham Abbey, all sites being controlled from a central operations room at Brompton.

    A British Expeditionary Force landed in France on 12 September 1939, and was reinforced over the next eight months to total ten divisions, little conflict taking place. On 10 May 1940 the Phoney War came to an end with Germany’s invasion of the low countries and France, Allied troops being forced back from the German French border to the Channel coast in two weeks. With the real threat of encirclement and capture, an emergency evacuation of troops began from Dunkirk and nearby beaches, commencing in earnest on 27 May and lasting until 4 June. During this time 338,226 troops were rescued, many being brought back to Britain in numerous small craft that had been pressed into service, but leaving much of the troops’ equipment abandoned in France. 88 HAA Regt had been preparing for overseas service immediately prior to this date (this following a previously cancelled mobilisation during April) and was in transit to and preparation for boarding ships at Southampton as the evacuation commenced. Due to the deteriorating situation in France, the embarkation was abandoned, the Regiment being immediately returned to the I.A.Z., 282/88 being deployed at Annerly Park near Crystal Palace.

    In France, the government had left Paris for the south ahead of the German advance. With France falling into German hands, Churchill was anxious to prevent the French fleet from being taken over and used by the German navy, with its resultant potential to further threaten North Atlantic convoys supplying Britain. He therefore considered, in conjunction with the French, assembling a further British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) to counter this. It was in response to this that the 88th H.A.A. Regiment received a further instruction to mobilise on 4 June, guns being taken out of action on their sites on 8 June before moving once again to Southampton on 11 June, where equipment was loaded onto waiting ships, these setting sail for Brest. Meanwhile the Regiment’s troops were moved to Plymouth for boarding on 14 June. Churchill had, meanwhile, sent General Alan Brooke to France for a meeting with French officials on 13 June, during which it became plain that sending further forces to France would be counter productive. As a result Churchill instructed with immediate effect both that all British forces left in France should be withdrawn, and that the B.E.F. be cancelled. One ship carrying 88th H.A.A Regiment equipment had, however, already reached Brest by the time the cancellation was issued. It was instructed as a matter of some urgency, before it had had the opportunity to unload, to return, but whilst in Brest to take on board two companies of Sherwood Foresters as part of the evacuation. Meanwhile the ships carrying troops from Plymouth had not yet departed, being moored on the harbour boom and ready to sail. They were instructed to return to their berths and disembark, the Regiment returning once again to their positions in the I.A.Z. on 18 June, 282/88 being located at gun site ZS24, Annerly Park, near Crystal Palace. On 22 June France signed an armistice with Germany.

    Having re-established themselves in the I.A.Z., the Regiment received a warning order on 25 June that they would be moving to the Brockworth area of Gloucester, the Regiment relocating there on 27 June. Here the Regiment came under the control of 5 A.A. Division, 282/88 battery being based at Haydons Elm north of Gloucester, where the battery saw action against German aircraft.

    It's at this point that my records of 88, regrettably for this thread, cease as John Kemp, as identified above, was transferred to a training regiment at Arborfield.

    282 battery 88HAA at Hurlingham Sept 1939.jpg
    282/88 gunsite at Hurlingham Polo Ground, September '39 during a yellow alert. L/Bdr John Kemp, centre without helmet, Gnr Robert 'Bob' Hall, standing left at rear.
     
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  4. hutt

    hutt Member

    WO166/2379 88th HAA Regimental covers from August 1939 up to May 41. Lots of detail including that of the individual batteries.

    For North Africa, 88th HAA
    WO 169/1582 June 41 to Dec 41
    WO 169/4807 1942
    WO 169/4846 1943

    For 282 Battery
    WO 169/1619 Aug 41 to Dec 41
    WO 169/4857 Jan 42 to May 42
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  5. hutt

    hutt Member

    just corrected typo in one of the Kew references
     
  6. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    The diary is incomplete, as I only copied up to Dec 1940, as the person I was following, as discussed above, had left the Regiment, but if you would like what I have, PM me with an address and I'll put what I have on a disk for you.
     
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  7. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

  8. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi HAARA,
    I'm not sure if these images are any better but they are the best I can get. I have started looking through the battery diaries and they really are interesting. Do you know if 282 battery continued to keep a diary after their overseas posting? Also, if they did are they available at the National Archive?

    Thanks
     
  9. hutt

    hutt Member

    Hi Sidswar

    As above, in my posting #44

    For 282 Battery
    WO 169/1619 Aug 41 to Dec 41
    WO 169/4857 Jan 42 to May 42

    The National Archive record series WO 169 is for 'Middle East Forces' so yes, that would suggest that diaries for 282 Battery after leaving the UK are available at Kew along with the Regimental diaries. You are welcome to a copy of my 88th Regimental Diary up to May 41.
     
  10. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi Hutt,

    Thanks I'd appreciate that. I'll PM YOU my address.
     
  11. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Sorry to say that the two people I might have been able to identify by name are not included in the photo at Enfield as far as I can see. But the seemingly very tall gunner standing just right of centre could possibly be the same as that four from the left in the photo I posted on 9 March above, who may also have been referred to as 'the eagle' due to his ability to 'loom over' others in the battery. L/Sgt John Kemp in that photo was about 5'10", so you can possibly judge the heights of the others!
     
  12. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Sadly these old photos don't have the sharpness of today's digital photographs. My dad is second in from the left in the large group at Enfield and far right, in the smaller desert group.
     
  13. Peter Chitty

    Peter Chitty Member

  14. Peter Chitty

    Peter Chitty Member

    Does anyone have any references to a

    Clifford Sidney Kosh or
    Clifford Thomas Kennedy (Deedpoll 1948)

    Gunner 1490901 served with 282 Battery, 88th Heavy Ack Ack Artillery Regiment.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, I have previously posted on a similar thread.
    And I am applying for his records
     
  15. Sidswar

    Sidswar Member

    Hi all, I have now got my dad's service record and the information that the ICRC archive has. Sadly I'm still none the wiser regarding where he was held following his capture at Tobruk on 20/6/1942. The ICRC says he was a POW held by the Italians until he arrived in German hands at Stalag VII A on 6/8/1944. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can find out which camp or camps he was held in in Italy. I know many lower ranks captured at Tobruk were held at P.G. 54 but I cannot find any evidence as to where my dad was. I've attached a picture of the ICRC report.
     

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