946404 Gunner James Donald Buchan MacGREGOR, 67 Medium Regiment, RA - seeking information

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by RW13, Mar 4, 2024.

  1. RW13

    RW13 New Member

    Evening all,

    I've just signed up for this forum so apologies if anything is in the wrong place or in the wrong way.
    I have read some (old) posts regarding 67 Regiment but am hoping somebody has some more information or can point me in the right direction:

    I'm searching for more information regarding my Great Uncle, James Donald Buchan MacGregor who served in the 67 Medium Regiment Royal Artillery. The only concrete information I have is he was born in 1918 in Fife, and died on either 29th or 30th March 1943 in Italy. Unfortunately most of his close family, including his brother/my Grandfather have since passed so not much information is available from within. We believe he died from pneumonia whilst in a POW camp in Italy. He is buried in a Commonwealth War Cemetery in Milan. I have found a copy of a 1939 Register from Suffolk which lists a James D B MacGregor with a date of birth of 4th November 1918 living and working in Rickinghall - I can only presume this is the same person.

    Does anybody have any information or documentation which lists his name anywhere? I can only presume he was involved in Tobruk - I've read how POW's from Tobruk were eventually sent to Italy which would explain his place of death.

    Sorry for quite a vague request but if anybody has any information (and I mean anything!), or can point me in a direction, I would be most appreciative.

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  2. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Welcome to the forum.

    I always try to begin with identifying the Regiment then see how things look.
    There a number of members who can help you in various ways
    Including members who specialise in the study of POW's who died in enemy hands, particularly in Italy.

    Member of the forum, Vitellino, has a lot of research experience in this area.
    If she is available she might help here.

    You can click on the tags under the thread title, to find out more from past threads on the Regiment.

    67 (Suffolk) Medium Regiment RA (TA) - The Royal Artillery 1939-45

    67th Medium Regiment, R.A. (T.A.) - Ipswich War Memorial
    Edit: this link has many photos and a YT video of the survivors of the Regiment worth looking in depth also a contact form, which might be useful to make an enquiry.
    Whilst they only mention men from Ipswich, they might know where to look for more records of the Regiment.
    Its really a case of don't ask don't get. Worth a try, even if it is dated 2007.

    Good luck in your endeavours.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2024
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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Welcome to the forum
    you need to apply for his service records you can use the certificate on the CWGC link as proof of deathhttps://www.cwgc.org/find-records/f...etails/2816933/james-donald-buchan-macgregor/
    Link below to apply for his records follow instructions
    Request records of deceased service personnel

    Service Number: 946404
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Royal Artillery

    67 Medium Regt.

    Date of Death
    Died Between 29 March 1943 and 30 March 1943

    Age 24 years old

    Buried or commemorated at

    V. A. 13.


    • Country of Service United Kingdom
    • Additional Info Son of James Gregor MacGregor and of Jeanie MacGregor (nee Small); husband of Ethel Winifred MacGregor (nee Robins), of St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands.

  4. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard. There is plenty of knowledge and expertise here.

    It might be worth checking if there is a local newspaper article about him. Most public libraries have access to the British Newspaper Archive when in the library, not online.

    He has appeared here before today, amidst a list of those buried in a cemetery - you have all that information here. His Service No. has not appeared here otherwise.

    There is a current thread on anther soldier from his regiment, who became a POW in Italy. There is a list of POWs in Post 4, that is too feint to read, but you can try to print it off. See: 956563 Frank SLINN, Royal Artillery: POW - PG62 Bergamo

    Using the tag you added will identify threads, there are many id'd by using: "67 medium regiment" site:ww2talk.com

    Some help via PM next; which is a now four pg. PDF. Also available on: WW2 Soldier Research - Tips and Links for New Researchers (update)
  5. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Deacs posted a POW list on Frank SLINN thread #4
    Mac Gregor might be on the previous page.
    Bookworm27 likes this.
  6. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I suggest you read this article and contact Jane Bradburn, who is the expert on 67th Medium Regiment, and ask her what she has on record.

    I also suggest you contact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who will tell you where your great uncle was concentrated from, that is, from which temporary burial ground he was taken to Milan War Cemetery, about which I have a website.

    I will check on one or two things, and if I find anything interesting I will edit this post.


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  7. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    He was captured on 20th June 1942.

    Screenshot 2024-03-05 143730.png

    His RA casualty card.

    Screenshot 2024-03-05 143822.png
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  8. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    67 Medium Regiment served in the Western Desert during Operation CRUSADER, equipped with obsolete 6" Howitzers.

    8th Army Medium Artillery Stats 4 November 1941 (major update 19 June)

    My understanding is they worked mostly on the siege of Bardia and Halfaya.

    I suspect they were re-equipped with US-built Schneider C 155mm guns after CRUSADER, or they may have received modern British 4.5" guns.

    All the best

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  9. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Well-Known Member

    Some very useful leads to follow-up from the Cognoscenti above. The last member of the wartime regiment - captured at Tobruk and incarcerated in Italy and Germany - was Alan Downard, who passed in February 2021. At that time, the Felixstowe Museum featured a display on the Regiment: connect page 15 of 36 at https://www.felixstowesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/newsletter-09-2022.pdf and they might well be worth a follow up.

    Keep this thread updated with the fruits of your search, especially names: it might be the first 'hit' for others on a similar quest and they might just have what you are looking for.
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  10. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I have just checked back in the notes I made on Milan War Cemetery.

    At some stage I had asked CWGC about him.

    I was told he had been concentrated from Carpi Civil Cemetery. This suggests he had died in PG 73 at Carpi di Modena.

    Edited to say: If he died in the camp the International Red Cross would have said so in this report which can be ordered from The National Archives:

    Prisoners of war, Italy: Camp 73, Modena; International Red Cross reports on conditions

    Date: 1942 Oct 01 - 1943 Dec 31

    Edited again: There's another file regarding conditions in the camp which might be better. WO 224 / 131, in which Leonardo Trippi, of the Swiss Legation, described the four visits he made to the camp. The 3rd, on 10 March, is too early, unless your great uncle was already in the camp Infirmary in which case he would have been named. The fourth visit, on 17 June, should have referred to his decease.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2024
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  11. RW13

    RW13 New Member

    Evening all,

    Thank You so much for all this information - genuinely did not expect it! I've opened up all the various links that have been shared and will make my way through them and contact relevant people/organisations.

  12. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Will Ye no come back again?
  13. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    There is no RA Tracer card for 946404 but in the close number range of 946400-946409 there are five cards. All have an enlistment date of 19 October 1939. All but one show the gunners first unit as 67 Medium Regiment, Port of Embark 27/7/41 o/seas, missing Middle East 20/6/42 & Pow date unknown. The next entries are for a Y list in 1945 on all.
    dbf likes this.
  14. RW13

    RW13 New Member

    Evening all,

    I've found a family member who has some more information and documents - I'm trying to get copies of them so I can share them on here. I think they are all person-specific but there might be some information in there of interest to other searches.

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  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    67 Medium has an interesting and possibly unique history, it should be useful for many more people to come looking for information on them.

    Odd how these things come in surges, possibly generated by anniversaries.

    This has been an experience for me, as my primary topic is the 67th Field Regiment.

    Your Gt Uncle could be another key to others looking, as he was not local to Suffolk, so not mentioned on their Memorial website.

    Don't forget to contact Jane Bradburn if you haven't already. (Vitellino #6) It might open their minds to the wider world.

    Whilst TA Regiments were recruited locally, they were strengthened by adding reservists from other Regiments (ex Regulars).
    Plus men from other areas to avoid lists of casualties from one area like in WW1.

    His Service Record should resolve where and when he enlisted and any postings thereafter.

    Much to do if you want to go that far.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
  16. RW13

    RW13 New Member

    Evening all,

    As it turns out, there is a family member with some information - quite a bit of information, including the diary kept by my Great Uncle whilst imprisoned! I'm slowly going through it all, but have attached a couple of pages.

    "Notebook_Pages_14_15" - "21.6.42 Captured today" - I'm sure they were fully aware they could be captured, but it did make me laugh how blasé he seems to have been!

    "Notebook_pages_12_13" - lists rations he was given whilst in POW camp.

    "Italian_NB_Back_Pages_4_5" - lists the contents of the British Red Cross parcels he received (there is a page somewhere that compares that with other nations Red Cross' parcels.

    The two passed away letters are unfortunately not in great condition, and I'm struggling to read the handwriting, but I have attached anyways.

    I'm slowly going through all the other documents - if they would be of interest to anybody, I can upload them once I've scanned them all in and had a look (slow progress, unfortunately).


    Attached Files:

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  17. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    I'm sure that many members now and in the future will appreciate your efforts if you post them on here.
    That should be entirely up to you.
    I inherited 94 letters from an officer killed in 1944.
    I began by arranging them in date order. I then transcribed them storing them on my computer hard drive.
    From memory, I managed to transcribe one a day, although at times I did less on occasions, having to find out what he was writing about by researching words and places.
    I thought that I would be able to learn to type faster but not so, as age has caught up with me since I opened the original letters when I retired in 2014.
    Once done, I began to compile them into a book which was never published.
    It has proved to be a valuable reference to what his thoughts and actions meant at the time, both military political and social.
    The original letters are now deposited in a County Archive along with a copy of the transcribed letters in a home made book cover.
    So that families and historians can read it over future generations.
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  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    You ought to apply to Swiss Red Cross 27th May for a copy of the information held in their files via this link -

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

    Check the site promptly at the given opening time and a pop up online application form will be visible. Complete and submit the form speedily as the application window can close within 90 minutes due to the limit being reached.

    It’s a free service and you can expect a reply by email within 3 months. You may be lucky and get a copy of the capture card postcard he completed on arrival at his first camp.

    vitellino likes this.
  19. Bookworm27

    Bookworm27 Member

    My Father was Frank Slinn, also in the 67th Med Regt, as mentioned earlier in #4. I am seeing Jane Bradburn next week and will ask whether she has any info re your Great Uncle. She is hoping to put on an exhibition re the 67th at 'The Hold' (Suffolk Record Office) in Ipswich soon and to invite relatives. I'll let you know more later.
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  20. Bookworm27

    Bookworm27 Member

    Hi again. I met with Jane Bradburn earlier today and she is a mine of information about the 67th having worked on it as a hobby for over 20years. I was glad to hear that you are now in touch with her.

    She is planning a meeting, rather than an exhibition (#19) at 'The Hold', probably in the autumn. I am pleased to say that she has asked me to be involved.

    Good luck with your research.

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