BEF Artillery Markings

Discussion in '1940' started by May1940, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Bingo !

    ID the location and you will identify the Battery !
    [​IMG]
     
  2. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    They are all 18/25pdrs, and amazingly the first evidence I have seen of the split trail version in use by the BEF in France 39/40.

    They are distinctive in having a less deep top folding upper shield, and the "wings" at the sides of the main shield, which also include a handle.

    I really thought that none of these went to France, but again, this has just proven how wrong "assumptions" can be.

    Thanks
    George.

    George

    Like you I had not seen evidence of the Mk VP (split trail) but there is evidence that at least two regiments had them.

    Andrew
     
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Bingo !

    ID the location and you will identify the Battery !
    [​IMG]

    So they moved up with 2nd Div ? I have a lot of higher 2 Div diaries. I'll have a look for border crossing points.

    I can't find the Pathé film again, despite having thought that I'd saved the link.

    Various 2nd Div diaries show them crossing the border on the route Rumegies - Pont Caillou - Rongy. I suspect that this could be Rumegies but I haven't been able to pin it down exactly.
     
  4. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Junior Member

    Hi to all,
    I had another Glitch, (brain malfunction), and have re-registered.

    So its good to be on track again.


    The 6" Howitzer master nears completion, a few minor adjustments to do before it goes into production, then finish the Bedford MW (1940 version), then complete the 18/25pdr.
    Still the 7 1/2 ton trailer is completed, and hopefully available at the Model show in Folkestone in a couple of weeks.

    The enclosed were done in a hurry to send to somebody else, but here is a sample of the howitzer and the trailer.

    George.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. barbaralawrence

    barbaralawrence Senior Member

    With luck, in March I'm going to meet with a man who was in the BEF/48th Div. 517 Petrol Coy., part of the RASC. He's in poor health, and I can't ask him any more questions until we meet, but if you wanted to summarize questions and send me the photographs for him to look at, I can ask him if he can help identify anything. I've also found people in the Airborne/ Imperial War Museum amazingly helpful in identifying insignia etc.

    Barbara
     
  6. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Hi guys

    Looking up my references while trying to work out markings for the Morris CD Recce car I am building, I found one I had overlooked, giving three, rather small, pics of the beast which gave me several details not visible in any other pics I have seen. One, attached to a letter from David Fletcher at the Tank Museum, shows such a car with similar markings to that in post 63, though with very slightly different triangular marking, but also with a vertically divided two colour bar under the triangle, but above the number which looks like 394286, though the 9 is somewhat conjectural. Alas, no AoS or formation signs are visible. The letter suggests that it is a pre-war pic.

    Unfortunately, I am in the process of changing computers at present and have two computers on my table, so no room for the scanner. I will contact Bovingdon and see about any similar pics and come back when my scanner is available.

    Chris

    Chris
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Only posted this incase there is a connection between vehicle markings and road signs. Its from 1 HAA Regts diary:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Andy

    This is just the sort of thing we are looking for to explain the tactical markings on the side of vehicles. When I saw it I thought it was going to be part of the answer - but then I realised that the markings are for signposts and do not really look like anything we have seen in photos. Still, if they preserved this note, then somewhere else there must be something about the circular and triangular markings.

    Andrew
     
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Another part of the Rosetta Stone (maybe...) It at least provides some specific details, gives clues to others and shows how non-standard markings could creep in.

    There was a mention of markings on another thread :-

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/royal-artillery/47333-regimental-signs-bef-ra.html#post524868

    Many thanks to Drew for providing copies of the diary for HQ 2 Medium Regt. RA which contains the following :-

    "The question of Regimental signs had already caused some trouble. Prior to mobilisation, it had been laid down by War Office that no regimental signs were to be carried on the front or back of an MT vehicle. Realising the absolute necessity of being able to recognise vehicles of different Batteries from any angle, the regiment had prior to mobilisation fitted small circular discs to the top superstructure of all vehicles and these were painted in unit colours (red & blue for Regt. HQs, yellow on black for signal section, blue & white for 4/7 Med Bty. and green & yellow for 8/12 Med Bty & in addition had the tactical letter of the vehicle on it on front and back. These circular signs were still fitted on active service and were undoubtedly useful as a means of identifying a vehicle.

    In addition, on each side was painted the Regt. sign - a 9" sided triangle divided vertically & painted red & blue with a green bar below for 4/7 Med Bty., and a yellow bar for 8/12 Med. Bty. - On mobilisation the Regt. was issued with metal triangles painted in the above colours which it was intended should be screwed onto the body of each side of each vehicle. Since the Regt. sign was already painted on the sides of vehicles however, it was decided to fix the metal triangles in front and rear and when this was completed on 8th October, it was possible to identify vehicles of the Regt. from any direction.

    In addition, each vehicle carried on front and rear a serial number in a holder. This Regt's number was 12 on a red & blue background with a white bar at the top. The white bar indicated 1 Corps Troops. The 1 Corps sign (a white spearhead vertical) was painted on near side mudguards."
     
  10. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Another part of the Rosetta Stone (maybe...) It at least provides some specific details, gives clues to others and shows how non-standard markings could creep in.

    There was a mention of markings on another thread :-

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/royal-artillery/47333-regimental-signs-bef-ra.html#post524868

    Many thanks to Drew for providing copies of the diary for HQ 2 Medium Regt. RA which contains the following :-

    "The question of Regimental signs had already caused some trouble. Prior to mobilisation, it had been laid down by War Office that no regimental signs were to be carried on the front or back of an MT vehicle. Realising the absolute necessity of being able to recognise vehicles of different Batteries from any angle, the regiment had prior to mobilisation fitted small circular discs to the top superstructure of all vehicles and these were painted in unit colours (red & blue for Regt. HQs, yellow on black for signal section, blue & white for 4/7 Med Bty. and green & yellow for 8/12 Med Bty & in addition had the tactical letter of the vehicle on it on front and back. These circular signs were still fitted on active service and were undoubtedly useful as a means of identifying a vehicle.

    In addition, on each side was painted the Regt. sign - a 9" sided triangle divided vertically & painted red & blue with a green bar below for 4/7 Med Bty., and a yellow bar for 8/12 Med. Bty. - On mobilisation the Regt. was issued with metal triangles painted in the above colours which it was intended should be screwed onto the body of each side of each vehicle. Since the Regt. sign was already painted on the sides of vehicles however, it was decided to fix the metal triangles in front and rear and when this was completed on 8th October, it was possible to identify vehicles of the Regt. from any direction.

    In addition, each vehicle carried on front and rear a serial number in a holder. This Regt's number was 12 on a red & blue background with a white bar at the top. The white bar indicated 1 Corps Troops. The 1 Corps sign (a white spearhead vertical) was painted on near side mudguards."

    It looks like Drew has done it again. This is a very useful description of the shapes and colours used. It also ties into the original list of markings for 1 Corps which lists 2 Medium Regiment as having the number 12. This changed later to 18 (with white bar below) when they became part of GHQ.

    Andrew
     
  11. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Junior Member

    I came across these rather intriquing photos of Bren Carriers.

    The first appears to have RA markings.

    Secondly, there are some unusual shots of a tow hitch fitted to the rear of a Bren.
    One has the AoS 23, probably on Brown, the junior brigade......

    I have seen made up tow hitches on Universal carriers, and also the Stacey towing hitch fitted to MkII carriers from about 1942 onwards, but nothing as early as these.

    The look to be a field mod, but not overly substantial.

    Any ideas ??

    George.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    I came across these rather intriquing photos of Bren Carriers.

    The first appears to have RA markings.

    Secondly, there are some unusual shots of a tow hitch fitted to the rear of a Bren.
    One has the AoS 23, probably on Brown, the junior brigade......

    I have seen made up tow hitches on Universal carriers, and also the Stacey towing hitch fitted to MkII carriers from about 1942 onwards, but nothing as early as these.

    The look to be a field mod, but not overly substantial.

    Any ideas ??

    George.

    Hi George

    Most unusual as I wouldn't associate Bren carriers with artillery. I have seen 'C9' before and assumed it was an infantry battalion tactical marking. As for the towing hooks - are they both the same design? Maybe these were improvised for towing 2 pr A/T guns. 50th Division serial 23 was 65th AT Regiment.

    Andrew
     
  13. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Junior Member

    Thanks for the quick response.
    I had hoped that the 23 signified an A/T unit, but wasn't sure. I checked thru your publication but must have missed it.

    Both seem to be v/similar in the way of construction. The one photo with the watermark across it, you can just make out what appears to be a coupling. I thought maybe the smaller Bofors possibly a 2pdr could be towed, it certainly looks like a field fix though. As mentioned, I have not seen anything this early regarding a tow bar...I might go to the oracle (Nigel Watson) to see if he can shed any light. He sent me some shots of universals, post 1940, with adaptors for towing.

    Other info has come to light, the only tremaining "original" scout is now in the UK, having been brought over from Oz.

    There would appear to be two versions of the Scout, though a bit of a misnomer, but the AoP MkI was a Scout hull, the front bulged plate fitted with the sliding shutter. Some items of stowage varied, the main distinquishing feature was the position of the aerial mounting.....the AoP has is more towards the front, the Scout was nearer the back. track adjuster on the Aop was not carried in the same position either. Some very minor differences, but careful examination of abandoned BEF carriers has shown these differences to be constant.....interestingly, Vol3 of Nigels books, in the box of drawings there is one of the AoP MkI, Drg No 24.

    George
     
  14. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    George

    I agree on the AOP Mk 1. Nigel's volume 1 is not completely clear on this. I don't have volume 3 so haven't seen that drawing.

    According to all I have seen the Bofors AT gun was not taken to France by the BEF - have you an indication that it was?

    Cheers

    Andrew
     
  15. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Junior Member

    Maybe confusion on my part, not difficult (??) The Hotchkiss 25mm, which was issued to British Forces.......is what I should have said.
    Certainly small and lighter than the 2pdr.

    George
     
  16. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Maybe confusion on my part, not difficult (??) The Hotchkiss 25mm, which was issued to British Forces.......is what I should have said.
    Certainly small and lighter than the 2pdr.

    George

    Of course. That is a possibility. Those towing hooks certainly are a find. I will see if I can find any more evidence of their use.

    Andrew
     
  17. rolfi

    rolfi Member

    After aeons looking at grainy photos I offer this:

    It seems that the discs were used by regiments that were, or had been, GHQ troops and the triangles were for corps troops.
    It also appears that the way the sign is divided indicate the type of regiment.

    [​IMG]

    There are exceptions, which at first glance contradict the above:

    2 Medium Regiment RA that had been part of 1 Corps before moving to GHQ command definitely used a triangular sign.
    56 Medium Regiments RA, originally a GHQ unit, after it joined 3 Corps in April used the circular signs.


    This is a very speculative, anyone can feel free to offer an antithesis.

    RW
     
  18. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    After aeons looking at grainy photos I offer this:

    It seems that the discs were used by regiments that were, or had been, GHQ troops and the triangles were for corps troops.
    It also appears that the way the sign is divided indicate the type of regiment.



    There are exceptions, which at first glance contradict the above:

    2 Medium Regiment RA that had been part of 1 Corps before moving to GHQ command definitely used a triangular sign.
    56 Medium Regiments RA, originally a GHQ unit, after it joined 3 Corps in April used the circular signs.


    This is a very speculative, anyone can feel free to offer an antithesis.

    RW

    This looks inspired. A quick look at photos corroborates what you are saying. I shall have a more detailed look.

    Andrew
     
  19. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Junior Member

    This looks inspired. A quick look at photos corroborates what you are saying. I shall have a more detailed look.

    Andrew


    The Dragon MkIV used for towing 6" howitzers have the circular markings.

    George.
     
  20. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

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