Johnson Cyril James (Jim), 58 Medium Rgt, Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by blackdubh, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. blackdubh

    blackdubh Junior Member

    Another uncle! (See Portfleet Leonard).

    Killed 08/05/43, Tunisia. Buried Massicault War Cemetery. Number, 770453.

    Apparently he was killed when another gun jammed, and as he went to help, it exploded. It may be that his brother, Johannes (Joe), was involved - Joe survived.

    1. Any info sought.

    2. Did our guns explode regularly? I know nothing about them!

    blackdubh.
     
  2. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Rob Dickers on this Forum can probably tell you about this subject. Prematures I think they are called and fairly common.
     
  3. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Name:JOHNSON, CYRIL JAMES
    Initials:C J
    Nationality:United Kingdom
    Rank:Bombardier
    Regiment/Service:Royal Artillery
    Unit Text:58 Medium Regt.
    Age:30
    Date of Death:08/05/1943
    Service No:770453
    Additional information:Son of Alfred James Johnson and Ethel Johnson, of Sudbury, Suffolk; husband of Vilma Kathleen Johnson, of Sudbury.
    Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference:Coll. grave IV. C. 1-4.
    Cemetery:MASSICAULT WAR CEMETERY
     
  4. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

  5. blackdubh

    blackdubh Junior Member

    Thanks again ramacal! Yes, that's him. Alfred James Johnson and Ethel (Maud) Johnson (Portfleet), are my Grandad and Grandma - never knew them though.
     
  6. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Blackdubh.
    As Robert has said, sounds like a premature, but as you say he went over to help it sounds like the shell had jamed in the barrel or breach and not detonated. As he was a bombardier (2nd in charge of the gun) he would be the man to try to extracate it with either the Sergeant or Bombardier of the other gun, a very dangerous exercise, as the only way is to ram back from the barrel end. Medium Arty 5.5 guns suffered very badly from prems causing lots of casualties throughout the war.
    Here is an extract from the Regt History.

    Prematures (Shell exploding in barrel or breach) or where the shell just dropped out of the end of the barrel with the resulting casualties. In the War Diaries of 9 AGRA it states that the regiment was exonerated from any blame for these incidents as upon later examination of the regiment’s guns it was found that they were not up to the required standard of manufacture and had unacceptable levels of swarf present in the barrels and firing mechanism. Even before the regiment embarked for France, on 10th Feb 1944 at the Alfriston Ranges a premature killed 277315 2nd Lt N.A.H. Fowles RA with two other casualties, one dying later. Even as late as the 14th Jan 1945 the regiment were visited by the Prematures Investigation Committee and on the 9th Feb 1945 a “Premature”of “E” Sub Gun of “D” Troop resulted in 2 casualties and the gun destroyed. Also on the 1st May 1945 at 7.30 in the evening, a “Premature” in No 1 Gun of “C” Troop caused 5 casualties, 3 of who were killed.the gun
     
  7. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    58 (Suffolk) Med Regt
    TA

    Ipswich 1938
    France 1940 - GHQ Troops
    UK 1940-2 - Southern Comd, 1 AGRA
    N Africa 1943 - 1 AGRA
    Italy 1943-5 - 1 AGRA
    358 Med Regt
     
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Blackdubh.
    As Robert has said, sounds like a premature, but as you say he went over to help it sounds like the shell had jamed in the barrel or breach and not detonated. As he was a bombardier (2nd in charge of the gun) he would be the man to try to extracate it with either the Sergeant or Bombardier of the other gun, a very dangerous exercise, as the only way is to ram back from the barrel end. Medium Arty 5.5 guns suffered very badly from prems causing lots of casualties throughout the war.
    Here is an extract from the Regt History.

    Prematures (Shell exploding in barrel or breach) or where the shell just dropped out of the end of the barrel with the resulting casualties. In the War Diaries of 9 AGRA it states that the regiment was exonerated from any blame for these incidents as upon later examination of the regiment’s guns it was found that they were not up to the required standard of manufacture and had unacceptable levels of swarf present in the barrels and firing mechanism. Even before the regiment embarked for France, on 10th Feb 1944 at the Alfriston Ranges a premature killed 277315 2nd Lt N.A.H. Fowles RA with two other casualties, one dying later. Even as late as the 14th Jan 1945 the regiment were visited by the Prematures Investigation Committee and on the 9th Feb 1945 a “Premature”of “E” Sub Gun of “D” Troop resulted in 2 casualties and the gun destroyed. Also on the 1st May 1945 at 7.30 in the evening, a “Premature” in No 1 Gun of “C” Troop caused 5 casualties, 3 of who were killed.the gun


    headstone of 2nd Lt Norman A.H. Fowles Royal Artillery

    Second Lieutenant NORMAN ALBERT HENRY FOWLES

    277315, 10 Medium Regt., Royal Artillery
    who died
    on 10 February 1944

    Remembered with honour
    HARROW (PINNER) NEW CEMETERY
     

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