Information on:125th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Trev1969, May 6, 2011.

  1. Trev1969

    Trev1969 Junior Member

    Hi all, could anybody give me information on photos of royal artillery members, my grandfather was in the 125 anti-tank regiment and was kia on 14-02-1942 in singapore. His name was sgt william joesph maton, service number 768200. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Regards trev
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hello Trev and welcome to the forum.

    There only appears to one diary for the regiment in 1940 to 41 whilst they were in the UK:

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    I suspect the regiments 1941/42 diary was destroyed or captured.

  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    This is a tough one as there appear to be no 18th Division diaries after they left the UK. Evidence from the BEF diaries suggest that they were sent back to the UK on a monthly basis (Up to and including April 1940 are properly written and complete with returns).

    I would imagine that there must have been returns for December 1941 in India and probably January 1942 diaries from Singapore, unless they were lost on the way to the UK and the duplicates captured.

    It was of course all a dreadful disaster without even the survivor's reports which have filled in many BEF diary gaps.

    Nevertheless, I'd have thought that any surviving officers would have provided some account for the records after liberation (if there were any of course).

    Good luck with your research.
  4. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    Hi Trev & welcome,

    I can tell you that 20 of the men ended up in the same POW camp as my F-in-Law, that is Kinkaseki on Formosa, where they were made to work down a copper mine in horrendous conditions. If you want any more info. let me know.

    I assume you are already aware that they sailed on the Empress of Asia, which was blown up before docking in Singapore and they had to swim for survival. Just days later Singapore surrendered ,so virtually no combat was experienced.

    I think you will get most facts from what I think is the only book available,
    "A History of Sunderland's Own 125th Anti-tank Regiment" by Alan Burns

    Owen likes this.
  5. rflory

    rflory Junior Member

    I have the book 125th Anti-Tank Regiment, R.A. 1939-1945 and your grandfather is listed in the regiment's roll of honour. Unfortunately, the book does not give much information about the regiment's part in the battle as it did not enter the fight until 9 February 1942.

    "Eventually we moved into the line - A and C Batteries and RHQ to Serangoon on the 9th February. Here patrols off the coast of Johorein darkness were not very pleasant. As we had no equipment we were acting as Infantry. H Troop was the only exception, being the proud possessors of four anti-tank guns."

    "On the evening of Tuesday, February 10th, all the planes and the remaining personnel from the Air Force left the island."

    "A and C Batteries were separated from the Regiment, and came under control of 154 Infantry Brigade, and they did not rejoin until after hostilities ceased. After leaving Serangoon area they spent the remainder of the battle on the Bukit Timor Road. B and D Batteries and RHQ went from Divisional Reserve to Seletar Aerodrome alongside the Tynesiders from the Northumberland Fusiliers, there taking up positions along the coastline and airport. From this area they withdrew to the perimeter defence of the town taking up positions on Grave Hill, as unpleasant a spot from a shelling point of view as its name implied."

    "By the morning of that ill-fated 15 February, we were being shelled from almost every angle except dead in the rear, which was the centre of the town. The enemy actually had an observation balloon up for about three hours, and owing to our lack of aircraft, we were powerless to do anything about it. About 3.0 pm the Colonel arrived at RHQ with news which at first we just couldn't believe. We knew the position was grave, and that the water supply had been cut; but - surrender - the very idea had never entered our heads. However it was only too true, and, acting according to orders, the "cease-fire" sounded at 4-0 pm, although the enemy were still dropping bombs on the town as late as 6.45 pm."

    Regards, Dick Flory
  6. Trev1969

    Trev1969 Junior Member

    Thanks, i read a bit about that on the RA site. Would there be any photos of the regiment before they left the UK? Did they have individual pictures or group? Any info is great. Regards
  7. rflory

    rflory Junior Member

    There are photos in the book but all but one of them are of officers of the regiment. The only photo that is not of officers is one titled: "Norwich 1940: 'A' Battery Sergeants in happy mood", but unfortunately no names are given. Dick Flory
  8. benlee

    benlee Junior Member


    I am just starting to research my grandfather who served with the 125th anti-tank regiment. with regards to you post about photos. I have several photos of the regiment and certain sections. I cant be 100% sure who they all are as my grandfather died before i was born, so im not even sure which one he is. however if you like i can scan the photos and put tem on here or email them to you??


  9. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Hi Ben

    If you can post your photos here, that would be great.

    Do you have a photo of your Grandfather's name on the Singapore Memorial? If not, a member of this Forum should be able to provide you with one.

    I've noticed that the serial number you gave for him is 768200. The one shown on CWGC is 786200. Probably just reversed 2 of the numbers.

    Regards - Rob
  10. Trev1969

    Trev1969 Junior Member

    Hi Ben, yes that would be a great help, the service number i gave was back to front it's 786200 not 768200, obviously we don't know what my grandad looks like either but the photo's would help. I have tried contacting the RA but as yet have had no reply. I just wondered if they had any regimental photos before they sailed from the uk. would it be better to send my email or do you just want to put them on here? Regards Trev
  11. Trev1969

    Trev1969 Junior Member

    View attachment 51298 [/attach] hi all, is there anyone who could put names to these photos of the 125 anti-tank regt please. Regards trev

    Attached Files:

  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Great pics and certainly taken in happier times. I wonder if the second one was taken in Raffles (just a hunch).
  13. Trev1969

    Trev1969 Junior Member

    Hello again, i seem to be finding it really difficult to find information on my Grandad who served in the Royal Artillery 125th Anti-Tank Regiment in Singapore. He was killed on 14-2-42 and named Segt William Joseph Maton, 786200. Any information or places i could get it would be greatly appreciated. I tried to get my hands on a copy of Sunderlands own 125th Anti-tank Regt but it is now out of print. Regards Trev
  14. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    A recent newspaper article click here mentions a history still available, scroll to bottom to find details.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  16. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Great pics and certainly taken in happier times. I wonder if the second one was taken in Raffles (just a hunch).

    According to BBC website photo taken in officers mess capetown

    Raffles was a good guess though, been in Raffles (happy times) and very similar to photo, made me think twice.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Trev,

    I've merged 3 threads into one so we can all see what's been posted before. There's no need to start new threads on the same unit as it's confusing, but if you want to revive it - just post again asking for more ideas.

    Have you applied for a copy of his service records? Sorry if I missed a ref to this anywhere.

    Ministry of Defence | About Defence | What we do | Personnel | Service Records | Making a Request for Information held on the Personnel Records of Deceased Service Personnel

    If not - Fill in the form, pay £30, add a print out of the CWGC certificate and wait at least 8 months.
  18. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

  19. Trev1969

    Trev1969 Junior Member

    Hi Mike, yes thanx for that i have already seen it, i.m trying to get a birthday for William, i know he was born in October but thats it. Also trying to aquire a photo. Regards Trev
  20. robshepherd

    robshepherd Junior Member

    A fascinating history of the 125th anti-tank regiment as seen through the eyes of verteran Len Gibson is "A Wearside Lad in World War 2" which is still available to purchase. It describes the early days of the regiment in England, posting to the Far East, then Len Gibson's escapades in Japanese captivity.

    See COFEPOW - Books - A Wearside Lad in World War II

    The Sunderland Echo has also run numerous articles about the 125th anti-tank regiment, have a look at - Sunderland Echo

    Hope this helps


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