Help with service records: 188th Fd Regiment & 1 Survey Regiment, RA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by jon shailer, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Hi, I hope somebody out there can help me understand my late fathers service records. Like nearly all ww2 veteran's they never spoke about what they did or what part of the world they severed in. Have worked out about 50% of the abbreviations and where he was posted overseas, just having problems where to look for further information, websites ect.

    so here goes any info on:-

    188th Fd Regiment Royal Artillery - (Dec 42 to Dec 43) UK

    Was then sent to the Middle East and posted to the 1 Survey Regiment (Feb 44) but admitted to the 12 General Hospital in March 44. After 14 days reassigned to Loc: 3 Con depot.

    What is Loc: 3 Con or Can depot (3 C.D.)
    Also next was taken on strength with the 163 T.C.
    What is 163 T.C.

    The next one I have seen on the forum, but confused information, SG 3 plus o/s 232 days.
    I know he was in the Middle East for 232 days as per his records, but what is SG 3 plus. He did complete a Morse code course and one bit of information he talked about was that he was a number 3 on a 25 pounder, so was a gunner. So could SG 3 plus be signaler Gunner 3rd class, being he was with the 1 Survey Regiment??

    After the war he was posted to X/4 list (4 FARHU) and att Chaplains Dept HQ North Burma Area (Dec 45),
    cannot find any information anywhere about Chaplains HQ
    Again what is 4 FARHU

    Big Thanks
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    I and others will be happy to help, but I may as well be the first to say it before everybody else does:

    Please upload photographs or scans of the full documents for us to see--at the largest size you can manage with the 2mb file-size limit.

    So many initialisms and acronyms are context dependent and it's so easy to be led off on a three-page wild goose chase because a P looked like and F, or whatever.

    Con Depot after hospitalisation is likely convalescence and T.C. is often training camp, but I'm not getting into it until I see ink on paper! ;)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    I’d echo the above comments.

    T C is more likely Transit Camp.

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  4. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Thanks Charley and Steve, will have a go later tonight. Have about 4 or 5 pages of information from the MOD.

  5. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    As requested, the service information from the MOD

    Attached Files:

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  6. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    FARHU Forward Army Reinforcement Holding Unit
  7. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Thanks for posting the papers.

    From the ever helpful Scarlet Finders website -

    12 British General Hospital
    Tidworth Park 1/9/39 to 20/12/39 then overseas; Sarafand 1/40 to 1/44 (Sarafand Branch renamed No.60 BGH with effect from 23/5/40 and Jerusalem Branch renamed No.62 BGH with effect from 23/5/40; Bir Yaacov [Palestine, with various other spellings including: Beer Yaacov/Bir Ya'acov] 7/43 to 1948 then disbanded.

    Based on the location of the Hospital I’d hazard a guess 163 Transit Camp is either in Palestine or more likely Egypt and he passed through there on his return to 1st Survey Regiment.

    I was able to plot the hospital movements of an uncle serving in RA by viewing his Field Regt War Diary as the weekly other rank strength returns noted the location of absent members. I’d ask one of the members who offer a War Diary look up and copying service to get it for you.

    I’ll have a further look at the documents later - unless other members answer your queries.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
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  8. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Thanks for a quick response, bit more towards the jigsaw puzzle
  9. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Just found a photo of my dad and a Leslie Colon taken at Duval studio, 217 High St, Chiswick, W4. Must have been taken when he was with the 188th in the UK ???. My question is, what is the difference between the two buttons on my dad's cap and three on Leslie's. Also he (Leslie) has the 8th Indian Division on his left shoulder and the R.A. on his cap, is that correct ?. My Dad's photo also has the 8th Indian Division on the left on another photo, but I think this was taken at the end of the war as he has his ribbons on.

    Attached Files:

  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I'm afraid I'm stuck on a number of the questions you ask (S.G., uniform), but I've had a quick run through and produced a transcription you could check against your own:

    13/11/41: Joined & Posted to 70th Buffs as Pte. Attached No. 12 Infantry Training Camp for Recruits Training.

    20/1/42: Ceased to be attached to 12 I.T.C. on proceeding to 70th Buffs.

    28/12/42: Posted Serial 35785 [Meaning unknown]

    20/12(?)/43: Posted to 188 Fd Regt R.A. at Depot RA (Clacton) as a Gunner with draft REOOW

    14/1/44: Embarked & Taken On Strength Middle East Forces.

    31/1/44: Disembarked Middle East and attached to Base Depot, Royal Artillery.

    24/2/44: Posted to 1 Survey Regiment & Struck of Strength X-List (IV) Base Depot. R.A.

    24/2/44: [Illegible] this unit from X-List (IV) BDRA.

    17/3/44: Admitted 12 General Hospital. Posted to X-List (II)

    30/3/44: Location: 3 Convalescence Depot (ex-12 General Hospital)

    8/5/44: Taken on strength from X-List (IV) to 163 Transit Camp from X-List (II) at 3 Convalescence Depot.

    10/5/44: Struck off strength X-List (IV) at 163 Transit Camp & Posted 1 Survey Regt.

    10/9/44: Struck off strength Middle-East Forces to INDIA.

    20/9/44: Disembarked India

    13/11/44: Re-Classified (Medical) Class 1A with effect from this date.

    8/7/45: Struck of strength unit (1 Survey) taken on strength X-List (II) and admitted to hospital.

    16/7/45: Taken of strength unit (1 Survey), Struck of strength X-List (II) & discharged from hospital.

    16/12/45: Posted to Rear Details (light duties, I suspect), 1 Survey Regiment R.A.

    30/12/45: Posted to X-List (IV) (47 Forward Army Reinforcement Holding Unit) & attached to Chaplains’ Department HQ North Burma Area.

    10/6/46: 28 Field Regiment R.A. (No details)

    14/9/46: Reference written in Nasik, India (still with 28 Fd Regt): which is not near Burma:

    Nashik - Wikipedia

    16/10/46: Y-List (7)

    Embarked for UK on Release / Python. Embarkation Date Unknown. South East Asia Command.

    13/1/47: Released to class 'Z' (T) Royal Army Reserve (Class 'A' Release)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
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  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Given that second photo, this may also be of interest. I can't imagine why he's wearing the patch though.

    One More River - The Story of the 8th Indian Division : Unspecified. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    I can't find any of his R.A. units on the order of battle (first page) and they served in Europe!

    Edit: 8th Indian Division was nowhere near the Middle-East when your father was there--this really makes no sense!

    I've just read elsewhere that 1 Survey Regt were with IV Corps, but I can't find an order of battle for that formation that includes them.

    Edit: Got them: Burma Star Association - 4th Corps
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  12. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Thanks Charley for your hard work in transcripting the paperwork. Answered a number of bits I had no clue about, T.C. - transit camp, 3 C.D. - convalescence depot, would have never got that one in a month of Sunday's.
    With regards the photo, my dad was never posted to Europe like you said, so only the Middle East, India and then Burma. Have looked into the history of the 8th Indian myself and still cannot connect the two. His last unit was the 28th Field R.A., but after the war had finished, where they ever attached to the 8th Indian Div ??. The other puzzle is from the first photo, Leslie's left arm differently looks like one of the shamrock leaves from the 8th.

  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    As far as I have been able to discover 28th Field were never with 8th Indian Div during the war. What happened after the fighting stopped, I couldn't say as most of the histories peter out then.

    I'll be honest, if you hadn't said that was a shamrock on Leslie's arm, I wouldn't have thought it myself--although I'm not saying it isn't.

    Do you think they may have swapped uniforms for a laugh!?

    The only other clue is that from the records it's clear that somebody forgot to update them at the end and found they had no date for the trip home from India. Do you think it possible he had another posting at some point? It would seem unlikely, but I'm drawing blanks to account for that divisional patch.
  14. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Looking into the 28th history, they where with the 5th Indian at the end of the war. Like you said, any information about any units stops after the war finished and is hard to find anything out.

    With regards to the swapped uniforms I would not put it past him, but the photo of the pair of them was when he was young (18 / 19) the second he looks more like 22 or 23. Sorry about the quality of the photos, may printer is on its way out.
  15. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I think you're going to have to look at the war diaries for 1 Survey Regt & 28 Fd Regt and hope the latter extends into 1946. I shouldn't be surprised to find it does--a lot from that theatre do.

    Do you know how to find the reference numbers from the National Archives (Discovery)?
  16. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Yea, found a thread on another page.

    2 for the 70 buffs

    3 for the 188

    9 for the 1 survey

    1 for the 28th
  17. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    Hi. Has any body used ARCRE for copies of war diaries and is it worth the cost

  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

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  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Without checking those diary references, I'd probably work in reverse chronological order if I were you: start with the 28th Fd and move backwards through the 1 Survey Regt. Diaries. The only hitch is that you never know how large they are until somebody physically receives the bundle at Kew. A word of warning: Royal Artillery units in the field often submitted a lot of additional paperwork in as appendices to their diary proper--often technical stuff about communications and codewords.

    I've never placed an order with Lee, but reports are that he does a great job.

    Andy is the other option--also great:
  20. jon shailer

    jon shailer Doing it for Dad

    As always brill, will start from 1946 and head back to 1939/40. More question at the end of the war, the time in Burma, driving a Canadian chaplain around North Burma and India to the time in India.


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