115 Field Regiment Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by trader, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member


    What you may find of interest to you in WO 167/505 is that the War Diaries usually have entries noting which Officers joined or left the regiment and the dates this happened. I didn't really have much interest in this and can't say whether it included LAD or other support detachments; the personnel returns in the file may have this information.


  2. Andrew Humphries

    Andrew Humphries New Member

    Thank you for such a rapid reply. A quick scan of WW2 discussions suggest it is populated with knowledgeable enthusiasts. I am delighted to have stumbled into it!

    I have my Dad's service record which was obtained in 2000 from MoD Defence records in Hayes. Because he never spoke about his career prior to my experience following 1949, this record is pretty much all I have to go on.

    He joined the RAOC in 1928 as a boy soldier. Prior to being posted to 115 on 09/12/39 his jobs (in the Far and Middle East) do not mention the RA. After evacuation from France he was posted to No 2 Training Centre and then on 26/04/41 to 123 Army Field Regiment, RA as WO1. On 24/07/41 he was appointed Armament Sgt Maj. On 05/03/42 he was attached to 488 Battery. I believe during this time he may have been involved with coastal batteries in the south of England. After this he was posted to India where he continued his association with 123 and the Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA having transferred to the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers. In 1944 he was at the HQ RA 44th Indian Airborne Div and then the HQ RA 2nd Indian Airborne Division. By this time he was an acting Major. He returned to the UK in late 1947.

    I suppose that the War Diaries are voluminous and at £8 + per page it is useless asking the PRO for a copy. I would assume a visit with camera is thus essential? I would be interested in the progress of your history and will indeed ask the website for your email address.
  3. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    The War Diary (WD) for December 1939 doesn't give very much information; I've just been looking at December 1939 from the photos I took earlier this year. Invaluable to be able to refer to them at home whenever you want! I don't know what details the personnel returns have for that month. The WD can run from a page covering to the month, to several depending on either diarist was good, or the because of the number of events they were involved in. In the case of the Battle for France i.e. May 1940, they take up several pages.

    Two pages at £8.50 per time would cost me nearly as much as my train fare and over two days at TNA I photo'd nearly a hundred pages! I would definitely recommend photographing them for home study. The personnel records sometimes take up more pages than the diary and the personnel returns depend on what was preserved and filed. Again, you should be able to photo them but the paper is quite thin so can be in only fair condition. I took a pocket Canon and used a table with a mount at first but quickly decided to hand-hold it as it was quicker to set up, and I got pretty good shot even hand-held under the light of the Reading Room. Other researchers may have sophisticated equipment but over the past few months I've even resorted to using my mobile phone camera and got some pretty darned good photos. Whilst you can plug in your camera at desk electrical points, I always take my camera and mobile so I have one to replace the other if necessary.

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Why ask us to do it?
    Just ''Start a Conversation '' with him via his profile page ,then you can converse privately between yourselves, it's what used to be called private messaging.
  5. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    Greetings Owen and many thanks for the pointer.

    I'd been looking for a 'PM' tab around the site and not realised that this was the replacement!


  6. Bluebell Minor

    Bluebell Minor Junior Member

    Top of the Stack

    Congratulations on your efforts

    My uncle served with the Leicester Battery in all the Campaigns you mentioned. I would be very interested in obtaining copies of your history in due course. Will be returning to Mandalay and the lower Irrawaddy shortly to retrace part of th Forgotten Army's 1945 Advance on Rangoon.
  7. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

  8. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    Thank you for that Harkness,

    I knew about this but the Casualty List information is wrong. He died at 0645 on 19th March, not the 18th. This is confirmed by the 'Battle Diary' of 240 Bty that I have that was written by my father, and also the regimental one. His CWGC grave memorial at Taukkyan also gives this date but after I sent them the evidence that it's wrong, the CWGC had said they will change their database and will order a new memorial.

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  9. John of Gumley

    John of Gumley New Member

    I am new to this site and have had very interesting and useful discussions with "topofthestack" Thank you TG!

    My interest is the service of my Uncle Lance Bombardier FREDERICK RONALD BURN
    No. 916461, 240 Battery, 115 (North Midland) Field Regt., Royal Artillery (TA)
    He was known as Ron, and lived at 135 Evington Lane Leicester with his parents until he married, when on leave in February 1940 when he moved with his wife Joan to 60 Constance Rd. Leicester.
    I have a copy of his army records which shows he:-
    Enlisted in Leicester on 5/5/1939 aged 20
    Proceeded to France (B.E.F.) 2/3/1940
    Evacuated from Bray Dunes, Dunkirk 1/6/1940
    UK 2/6/1940 to 18/3/42
    India 19/3/1942 to 13/7/42
    Ceylon 14/7/1942 to 16/4/1943
    Back to India 27/11/1943 to 10/8/1944
    On 10th August 1944 age 26 he died of Malaria at Deolali Hospital and is buried at the Kirkee War Cemetery, Poona.
    He was awarded the 1939/43 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal & War Medal 1939/45

    Has anyone any other info on him please?
    Kind regards,
  10. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    Welcome John and thanks for your input.

    For anyone else watching this thread, I have deposited a copy of the history of 115 Field Regiment, from its foundation in 1919, to formation in June 1939 and through to July 1940, with the Leicestershire Record Office. I intend to deposit other copies with the IWM and Royal Artillery Museum shortly.

    Take care out there.

  11. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    Greetings to all readers,

    Firstly, I was saddened to learn of the death of Frank Mason a few weeks ago from a fellow poster who saw a notice in the Leicester Mercury. I've have been in touch with his daughter and she will be sorting out his mementos in the future. Frank was a member of 115 pre-war and returned after Dunkirk. He recalled to his daughter that he spent four days on the beach at Bray Dunes and was taken off in a trawler and landed at Ramsgate. Frank lived to be 98 and was probably the last member of 115. I would have loved to meet him and explore his memories. Hopefully, some of his personal documents will be deposited in the Leicestershire Records Office soon.

    I have been at the computer and TNA putting together the second part of the Regiment's history. The convoy records (WS17) have provided some interesting information about U-boats following the convoy from shortly after it left Glasgow. The escorts certainly sunk one and believed a couple of others were damaged. It's all in the next part!

    I've recently sent a copy of Part One, which some of you have, to the Imperial War Museum and a copy has been sent to RA Museum as well. There's still no firm date as to when their new premise will open to the public but the staff have still been useful to me.

    Best wishes and please let me know if you find anything else.

  12. Tommyinuk0

    Tommyinuk0 New Member

    Hello all,
    Just came across this forum and site, so please let me know if I am posting in the wrong place etc….

    My Great Uncle Harry Phillips 892825 (from Loughborough) served with the 115 Field Regiment R.A. I have over time got all his photos etc and as a family researcher have also got his service record.

    I have found quite a bit out about him which I would like to share. I also have a few questions, if any one can help or point me in the right direction.

    He joined 12 Apr 1939 and soon afterwards went on 15 days annual camp (from service record). I have a group photo titled '240 Batt HQ Signallers RAR 1939'. On the reverse he has written '1939 roll of honour Gunner Gunby may 1940 fell in action St. Muir.' The CWGC site adds service number 912010 and name Norman Frederick Gunby, buried Bruyelle War Cemetry. I also have a photo titled 'Norman and his gal taken at Scarborough' and dated 1938.

    On 9th March 1940 he was posted to BEF France, 1/unit 40 115 Field Regiment.

    18th June 1940 Evacuated France.
    I would like to find out more about how and from where he got home, if anyone can help?

    19th June 1940 posted home.

    1941 I have a photo of him on a motorcycle in uniform titled 'Belton 1941'

    1942 I have a group Army photo titled '1942 - 480 BHQ 115 Field Rgt R.A.'

    19th June 1942 posted India 115 Field Rgt R.A

    14th July 1942 posted Ceylon 115 Field Rgt R.A

    01st April 1943 posted to 9th Indian Field Rgt and promoted to W/Sgt.
    It is believed he was involved with training Indian soldiers. I have a photo of 4 Indian soldiers with his name at the top, as though a 'course photo'.

    20th May 1944 - Died and buried Roorkee, Bengal.

    His casualty Card states:
    Died immediately of gunshot wounds, shot by unknown Indian other rank whilst on duty and therefore death attributable to Military Field Service.

    I have a lot of photos of which I have tried to attach some below. I am interested if anyone can help in what the shoulder badge on the first photo means, as I have tried to research this but so far to no avail. It looks like L.A.R.T.Y. ?

    I hope this has been of interest to at least one person, If anyone can help me with any of my questions then I would love to hear from you.

    Many thanks


    topofthestack and Owen like this.
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    From the regiments war diary, June 1940
    Tommyinuk0 likes this.
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    And the 19th June 1940
    Tommyinuk0 likes this.
  15. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    Greetings Tommy,

    You're in the right place and welcome! I'll send you a 'Conversation' message and if you can reply we can discuss what further things you could do and where to go with research.

    The BEF period is very interesting and, as I've previously said, a lot of information is missing. I've only recently made contact with Frank Mason's family (see above) and learnt that he spent four days at Bray Dunes before making it onto a trawler bound for Ramsgate. The War Diary relates how some personnel got loaded onto the Norwegian timber ship 'Hird' and they ended up in Cherbourg before returning get back home. From my research in the National Archives, 'Operation Dynamo' was an amazing feat but they weren't particularly interested in recording who came back in which ship; it was all 'Get them off the boats, get them to a Reception Centre, and get the boats back to France'!

    My first part of 115's history is available from me, or can be viewed at the IWM or Leicestershire Record Office. Working on Part Two right now. Would be very interested to hear about what further information you have.

    Thanks for the photos.


    Tommyinuk0 likes this.
  16. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    So glad to see people coming forward and posting details and photos of their relatives on this topic.

    Could I ask all of you who had relatives in the Regiment to put down their service records onto a WORD document and send them to me. I'll collate them and add a page to the end of the history as a 'follow up' annex.



    FABVOICE Junior Member

    Hello TopofTheStack. I was fascinated to read of your 115th history. My father Ronald Swann was with them (238) and I went to France with him firstly in 1981 with a trip of veterans lead by Arthur "Curly" Foxon (and to Burma twice) and I don't know whether you have read my father's oral history at the IWM? My last trip to France was just before he died in 2011 and we went over the ground at St. Maur again in the grounds of the chateau where his battery was. All very moving.
  18. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    Greetings Fab (I.S.) and many thanks for your post.

    It's a great relief to learn that my 'history' is being appreciated, it makes it all worthwhile and spurs me on to completing the task. I'm hoping to finish the next part (1940 to late '44) by last spring but won't put a date on it.

    I was very interested to hear about your trips and would have loved to have joined them. My Dad always wanted to return to Burma but my Mum wasn't physically well enough to do so and was afraid of flying. It was a moving experience to visit Burma, and especially as we went about 25 miles along the Mawchi Road. I'm hoping to follow the regiment around Belgium and France sometime soon. The trip around France/Belgium in '81 must have been very informative, especially having Arthur Foxon and the veterans with you. I knew his middle name was 'Denham' and Nicholson often refers to him as 'Den' in the paper he deposited, but not 'Curly'..

    I'd love to read/heard the oral history your Dad placed in the IWM, could you please let me know what the reference for it is? I've been meaning to make a day up there and see what further material they have and will add that to my list. Perhaps you might like to give a copy to Robin Jenkins at the Leicestershire Record Office as well, and even the 'work in progress' new 'Firepower' museum?

    Next June will be the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Regiment; it would be a nice idea if those of us who had relatives in it could meet up and share our knowledge.

    Feel free to start a 'conversation' with me and we can keep in touch.



    FABVOICE Junior Member

    Thank you very much!
    Yes Foxon was indeed nicknamed "Curly" for as I was to witness, he did not have one single hair on his head! Completely bald. Typical British humour :)
    Here is the link for the oral history, I hope you enjoy it. Swann, Ronald William (Oral history) | Imperial War Museums.
    When we arrived at St Maur in '81 My father said "Good lord, I had forgotten about the chateau, just over there was where they captured a man dressed in womens' clothes, clearly a fifth columnist". "Just there was where we had our battery of guns but we were too close to the ridge and they (The Germans) flash spotted us". The incoming shellfire was quite devastating for their "converted" 13pdrs.
    In 2011 We again paid our respects at the Bruyelle Cemetery and when my father and I returned home he requested that I send an R.A. shield to the people who lived at the cottages where the action took place. Speak shortly I am sure.
    Kind regards.
  20. topofthestack

    topofthestack Member

    A request.

    Whilst looking at a copy of the history of 19th Indian (Dagger) Division, published in India after the war, they list the 'wounded' casualty numbers from 115 Field Regiment. as eight Officers and 36 other ranks. I have the data of those killed already from the CWGC database. Those of you who have got a copy of my Part One of 115 will know that I did an Appendix of those MIA, Wounded, POWs etc for the BEF period.

    Details of who these were will have been published in the Daily Casualty Records of the War Office and are microfilmed and available in findmypast. It would be most helpful if any of you out there who are interested, and had relative in 115 could search these daily returns from 1944-45 and take down the details such as date, place and service number. I know it's a long job but perhaps we can acknowledge and record what they did. An Excel spreadsheet format would be great.



Share This Page