Can you identify this patch?

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by guinness, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. guinness

    guinness Junior Member

    Hello all,

    I wonder if anyone can identify the patch inset into this photo of my late father Gunner Fred 'Blondie' Cole (far right of picture). Dad served in the RA in the Far East (HAA & Signals) from 1943 to 1946 in the Arakan and later in Singapore, Java & Sumatra. This photo was taken on his enlistment in 1942.
    I know he served in 15th Indian Corps and as far as I can gather the British HAA in 15th Indian was the 8th (Belfast) but I don't think this is the regiment he was with as this was a British formation with predominantly Irish servicemen and he told me that he was with Sikh troops and I wondered if anyone had any information on Sikh or Indian artillery units attached to the 5th, 23rd or 26th Indian Divs. I'm interested particularly in their regimental insignia in the hope that I can find a match for this patch and therefore finally identify the unit he was with.

    The photo below shows Gunner Cole (centre) later in the war.


    Any assistance appreciated.


    Tony Cole
  2. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    The 8th's insignia was a hand with palm showing as can be seen in some of the pictures here:

    8th Belfast HAA Regt

    The artillary units for the three Indian divisions you mentioned are:

    15th Indian Corps:


    6th Medium Regiment, RA
    8th (Belfast) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA
    36th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA
    2nd Survey Regiment, RA
    C Flight 656th Air O.P. Squadron, RA

    5th Division:
    (which didn't have any AA units attached)


    4th Field Regiment, RA
    28th Field Regiment, RA
    56th Anti-tank regiment, RA
    24th Indian Mountain Regiment

    23rd Division:

    158th. 179th. Field Regt (Royal Artillery
    38th Light A/A Regt (Royal Artillery)
    3rd Indian Field Regt (Indian Artillery)
    28th Indian Mountain Regt (Indian Artillery)
    2nd Indian A/Tank Regt (Indian Artillery)

    26th Division:
    (again, no AA)

    160th (Jungle) Field Regt (Royal Artillery)
    20th Indian Mountain Regt (Indian Artillery)

    HOWEVER, 15th Indian Corps was made up of the following units:


    I hope someone can use this info to find an appropriate patch - unfortunately, I don't have access to patch guides.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

  4. guinness

    guinness Junior Member

    Kyt, Thanks for the info. I've applied for service records but, as I'm sure you know, it's a long wait. I've found a good source on the RA Brigades attached to 23rd and 26th Indian as infantry/MG battalions and I'm wondering if perhaps the patch relates to one of these small formations that operated on Java & Sumatra in late '45 early '46.

    I'll keep trawling for the info...

    Thanks again. :cheers:

  5. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Hi Tony,

    I'm hoping to have access to a book on the RA's activities in the Far East in a few days, and will let you know if I find any information of use. So keep checking back :)

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