50th Anti Tank Regt. Royal Artillery

Discussion in '1940' started by cesjak, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. cesjak

    cesjak Junior Member

    Hi all,

    Would anyone have any info on the movements of 50th A/T Reg. RA while serving with the BEF during the 1940 campaign. I've recently discovered that a relative, Victor Arnold Kidley, served with them. Is there a diary available or perhaps a book that mentions their roll during this time.

    Any help gratefully received


    Attached Files:

  2. cesjak

    cesjak Junior Member

    Looking at the Pension record card could possibly have been posted from 50th to 52nd A/T Reg. for active service.
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    50th Anti Tank Regiment seem to have been a training regiment based in the UK. It looks he joined a BEF Base Detail. As you say, he then seems to have been posted to 52nd Anti Tank Regiment. They were part of 5th Infantry Division which may help you to track their route...5 Div were GHQ reserve and amongst other locations were deployed at Arras and then again on the Ypres-Comines Canal. The relevant war diary is WO167/580. I believe that member Drew5233 has a copy in his files. I've dropped him a line.
  4. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    In reference to the BEF in 1940 campaign in Belgium and France...

    50 ATk Training Regiment was in Shropshire which never went to France/Belgium with the BEF.

    52 ATk Regiment was nominally part of 5 Infantry Division in France/Belgium with the BEF.

    57 Fld Regiment was nominally part of 44 (Home Counties) Division in France/Belgium with the BEF.
  5. cesjak

    cesjak Junior Member

    Thanks for that. What’s puzzling me is the posting date shown of 20th August 1940. Surely the BEF were no longer in existence then. I’ve already had contact with Drew5233, I think I may need to dig a little deeper. I’m not use to the terminology used in these records what is a BEF base detail. I assume that the posting date would be for the transfer to the 52nd while in Blighty, although the comment ‘missing’ does seem to come after that. I may have to look into getting his full service record, hopefully it will make things a bit clearer.
  6. cesjak

    cesjak Junior Member

    Thanks for the info. Going to dig a bit deeper into this
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    My reading of the chronology is that he enlisted 16/10/1939 and was posted to 50 Anti Tank Regiment for training in the UK.
    The next movements are undated, but it is clear that he joined a BEF Base Detail. This would have been a Royal Artillery base camp in France, of newly arrived men, perhaps some who for one reason or another could not be allocated to units, men returning from sickness etc.
    His transfer to 52 Anti Tank Regiment is also undated, but they had been in France with 5 Div since December 1939 so it must have occurred there.
    I would say that the crossed-out reference to 'missing' indicates that the RA Records office could not trace him for a period after the fall of France...He may have been evacuated further south for instance.
    Although the ink colour is the same, the 'Posted on 20/8/1940' reference is not the same handwriting as 'missing and looks to have been added to expand on his move to 57 Field Regiment.

    The only way that I can read his BEF service is that having gone to France unattached, he was posted to 52 Anti Tank Regiment prior to May 1940 and theirs would be the relevant diary for his service there.
  8. cesjak

    cesjak Junior Member

    Thanks for the info. I understand that the pension record would only give a brief and very sketchy summary of a soldier's movements. I'm currently looking into obtaining his service record and will post again once I have something more concrete.

    Grateful for the help and as you state the movement to the 52nd is probably the most likely route he took, I just need to confirm the date that occured.

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