191st Field Regiment RA - Normandy landing

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Expat Yeoman, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. Expat Yeoman

    Expat Yeoman Member

    Good morning / evening all,

    I am looking into the landing location(s) for 191st (Herts & Essex Yeo) Field Regiment RA. They landed on D+3 and the regimental records and other sources I have seen suggest (but don't explicitly state) that they landed on Juno beach. However, there is a suggestion that at least one member (with 532 Bty) landed on Sword..

    The regimental history states that the "regiment landed half a mile west of Courseulles-sur-mer, and collected beyond the village at Graye-sur-mer" which would strongly support it being Juno. I guess it is possible that individual detachments may have landed elsewhere though. I think it highly unlikely, but not impossible.

    I have had a look round the forum but could not find loading tables etc. for them. If anyone could help confirm that the unit landed as a whole in one location rather than split I would be grateful.

    Thank you

  2. Unit Staff Table for 191 Fd Regt RA. Please bear in mind that it was issued on 13 Mar 44 and therefore was possibly amended later. Unit Staff Tables do no specify the planned place of landing:
    T-7620 - 1852 - Unit Staff Table - 1 Corps Tps - A 936 - 191 Fd Regt (incl Sigs & LAD) - 35788.jpg
    T-7620 - 1853 - Unit Staff Table - 1 Corps Tps - A 936 - 191 Fd Regt (incl Sigs & LAD) - 35788.jpg

    As you can see, the "1st portion of unit" was planned to land on D+3 but split over 3 List Index Numbers (which I suppose mean about the same as Landing Table Index Numbers, i.e. ship/craft loads), the "2nd portion of unit" to land on D+8 and finally the "3rd and last" on D+17 onwards.

    After D Day the actual landing place depended on availability at the time the vessel arrived, so different "portions" of the same unit, and even different craft loads arriving on the same day, might have been directed to different Beaches, Sectors or even Areas.

    Therefore, partially answering your questions, the unit did not land as a whole (very few did), and most probably not in one location, although one List Index Number (D 3104) did include the bulk of the unit, i.e. 551 men & 93 vehs including all 24 guns, but strangely only 12 of the 36 tractors and none of the 48 Amn Limbers ("Trailers No.27").

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
    Expat Yeoman likes this.
  3. I suppose that you know this blog where Felix Robert Johnson recalls being supposed to land at Graye-sur-Mer on MIKE Sector? This matches perfectly (perhaps too perfectly...) the "half a mile west of Courseulles-sur-Mer":

  4. Expat Yeoman

    Expat Yeoman Member

    Michel, thank you for your quick and comprehensive reply. I have seen the Felix Johnson blog. My quote was taken from the Gee regimental history, but clearly both were drawing the same inspiration!

    So it seems quite possible, indeed quite likely then, that there could be different locations. My question came about as the individual concerned was sure that he was first at Sword. He and Felix were both part of 532 Bty HQ so my first inclination was they at least would have landed as a group but perhaps not - hopefully there is further detail out there somewhere that might help to confirm one way or another.

  5. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    If I'm measuring the map from the right place, they would have landed at the breach by the Churchill AVRE memorial is now, with the track inland where it was buried.
  6. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    there is a book,
    'View from the bridge, the story of the 191st field regiment. Herts and Essex yeomanry, 1942-144
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I included quite a bit about 191 Field Regiment in Gunners in Normandy. I used this source as an example of what it took to train an artillery regiment.
    Stephen Keoghane likes this.
  8. Expat Yeoman

    Expat Yeoman Member

    Thanks - I have a copy and while it is very comprehensive in many areas (e.g training, as noted above) it is silent on the subject of where exactly the Regt landed!
    Dubman likes this.

  9. A letter in the Hertford archives from Lt Stuart Whyte confirms the regiment arriving piecemeal in three ‘packets’ for want of a better word.

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