How were RA Batteries designated

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Uncle Target, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Learning more every day

    I frequently come across Battery numbers that are not what I expect them to be because the same number applies to someone else.i.e 266 Battery was Malvern Battery 67th Field RA (TA) but also refers to a TA Battery in Bristol. 265(Worcester) Battery was also 67th Field Regt RA (TA) but appears on WW2T as something totally different.
    How many RA Batteries share the same number.
    Was there some form of logic or was it to confuse the enemy.
    Who was/is responsible for designation numbers of RA Batteries
    Who designed their logo's did they have to be approved.

    Attached Files:

  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Your post confuses me, but do you understand that regiments contained multiple batteries? Clearly from what you wrote both 266 and 265 Battery were in 67 Field Reg't RA. What were these 'other' 266 Battery and 265 Battery?

    I think it's possible the field and anti-tank batteries or regiments may have sometimes shared the same numbers but I'm not sure about that. Otherwise my general impression is that they did not do so.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Regiments and batteries were numbered through each branch or type of unit so you could have, for example,
    1 Field Regt, RA
    1 Field Regt, RHA
    1 Medium Regt
    1 Heavy Regt
    1 A/Tk Regt
    1 Heavy AA Regt
    1 Light AA Regt
    1 Coast Regt
    1 Survey Regt
    And so on...
    Yes, it can be a minefield.
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  5. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Learning more every day

    I think that I am trying to address a problem for new members as much as anything. They are probably not aware that Battery numbers are not unique.
    The 67th Field Regiment was a four Battery Regiment until 1939 when it was split into two, one half 265 and 266 stayed as the 67th and 267 and 268 became the 119th Field Regiment.
    After the 1941 re organisation a third Battery designated 446 was added.
    The 67th Field Regiment were designated for duties abroad and became part of the 1st Infantry Division whereas 119th were designated for home defence duties and training.
    They remained in the UK moving to Northern Ireland in 1942. The men they trained mostly went as casualty replacements to 21st Division.
    That does not however answer my question as to why there are batteries of the same number.
    The Postal Address for members of the Regiment was 266/67 Field Regiment etc . They later became known as P Q and R Batteries.
    However my question is why were Battery numbers not unique to avoid confusion. Was there no official body to issue identification numbers and re use old ones.
    In fact one can become further confused as there is even a 67th (Anti Tank) Regiment and a 67th RA Training Regiment at Oswestry in the 1950's who carried out recruit selection.
    Post War in 1961 the 67th became 267 Field Regiment with three batteries P Q and R with the addition of the old 267 Redditch Battery as HQ Battery. This seemed to be an attempt to avoid mistaken identity. Or was it simply a coincidence.
    Should we not therefore consider "best practice" by using the full designation of batteries including the Regimental number to identify who we are talking about on this excellent website.
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Uncle T, have had a fair few similar ideas myself over the years -
    It's all well and good suggesting that such things could be done but 'best practice' hardly ever turns out to be 'an everyday practice' on platforms such as these. I really don't know how you'd expect this to be monitored.

    I've already attempted a standardisation with RA Tags, but keeping mainly to Regiment level wherever practicable. (As a moderator I've been able impose standard terms, since atm only thread starters can add tags to their own thread. >70 pages of threads in RA sub-forum alone is already a ridiculous amount of work for one person to undertake, never mind related matter under POW, Military Genealogy or Service Records etc. Really wouldn't be happy to go through those threads all again looking for full designations for batteries under the various types of regiments. It'd require more than the cursory knowledge I've picked up whilst perusing the threads.)

    However, members can - and do - add whatever detail they know: some are informed, others not so: that's the nature of forum enquiries. People often start with terms in a title but later on in the thread it's actually corrected to something else. Other members only know one designation to begin with - the battery or the regiment.

    In my opinion it'd take an inordinate amount of work to amend and/or then continually enforce the best practice you suggest.

    Many of those who regularly respond to queries in RA section - where I moved this thread to btw - are aware of pitfalls in designations and will explain when necessary. dryan67 for example has posted, throughout the RA sub-forum, brief but informative unit histories, complete with breakdown in batteries.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019

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