64th Anti Tank Regiment

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by wdenn118, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. wdenn118

    wdenn118 Junior Member

    Alex McDougall was a sergeant in the 64th Anti Tank Regiment. These are photographs his wife kept. The newspaper photograph is from, I believe, the London Evening Standard sent anonymously from a woman who had seen it in the paper. I feel that as his daughter and I are getting older that the photographs need to be held somewhere as a record.

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  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum, thanks for sharing the pics etc.

    Do you know when he joined up and left the Army- I only ask as I'm wondering if you've seen his units war diaries.

  3. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    warm welcome to you wdenn118
    my father was 64th Anti Tank also - survived Cassino to be captured on the Gothic line.
    He was an original Queens Own Glasgow Yeomanry pre 1939
  4. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Alex McDougall was a sergeant in the 64th Anti Tank Regiment. These are photographs his wife kept. The newspaper photograph is from, I believe, the London Evening Standard sent anonymously from a woman who had seen it in the paper. I feel that as his daughter and I are getting older that the photographs need to be held somewhere as a record.

    Hi wdenn 118 + welcome
    Try donating the photos to the RA Museum at Woolwich.
    It would be the best place for them if you want them kept for future generations.
    They may already have stuff on the 64th A/T.
    Contact Firepower Museum

  5. wdenn118

    wdenn118 Junior Member

    Thanks for your replies.
    Alec, like so many others, did not talk about his war years. He was a very private man.
    I started pulling together any records we could find on all family members after I was encouraged by a McDougall family member in Australia, who had produced a family tree for the Australian end of the family, to help with the Scottish side, and followed this up by starting trees for other family lines. However my real interest is in the family and social history of the families rather than trees, but the trees had to come first.
    The notes below are me trying to build up Alec’s history in the army.
    Drew5233 No, I have not seen the war diaries and I’ll think about it.
    Capt Bill Alec lived in Partick Glasgow before he was married, and you’ll see from the notes that he was in the TA for four years. I’ll get in touch.
    Rob Dickers I’ll look into that.
    Army Record

    (Dates in bold are taken from the Service and Casualty Form supplied by the Veterans Agency. Other dates have been sourced from the references shown.)

    Territorial Army (four year service)
    · Signed and dated: 15th April 1935.
    · Address: 55 Kelvinhaugh Street, Glasgow. (family home)
    · Parish: Sandyford.
    · Occupation: Dispatch Clerk.
    · Regiment: The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 5/8th Battalion.
    · Discharged from the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) after four years under para 204 (1) TA regs Termination of Engagement.

    · Signed and dated: 3rd May 1939.
    · Address: 3 Dunaskin Street, Glasgow. (home of brother, Samuel and sister-in-law, Alice)
    · Occupation: Plumber.
    · Regiment: Royal Regiment of Artillery (CD & TA) Branch posted to 214/54 Anti-Tank Regiment RA (TA).
    · · Army Number: 3245354
    3rd May 1939 Attested and posted. Glasgow. Gunner. Posted to 214/54 Anti-Tank Regiment RA Glasgow. Originally the Queens Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry.
    20th July 1939 Posted to Battery 214/64th Anti-Tank Regiment. Annual camp 15 days army training at Buddon. (Buddon Ness is a headland on the North Sea coast of Angus. It forms the south easternmost extremity of Barry Links at the mouth of the Tay estuary to the south of Carnoustie and the east of Broughty Ferry.)
    1st September 1939 Embodied; Glasgow (called out for actual military service).
    20th October 1939 Appointed acting unpaid Lance Bombardier; Stonehouse (RA rank of Lance Corporal).
    23rd December 1939 Appointed paid L/Bdr.
    23rd March 1940 Appointed paid a/Bdr Lesmahagow (acting).
    23rd June 1940 Promoted W/Bdr (Bdr equivalent to corporal) (W possibly represents Wartime, appointments were made that would end at the end of the war.)
    9th May 1940 - 13th May 1940 Granted leave.
    7th August 1940 - 15th August 1940 Granted leave.
    9th October 1940 Appointed A/L/Sgt (acting lance sergeant). Granted pays as A/L/Sgt.
    30th November 1940 - 7th December 1940 Granted leave.
    10th April 1941 - 17th April 1941 Granted leave.
    7th July 1941 - 16th July 1941 Granted leave.
    4th November 1941 - 12th November 1941 Granted leave.
    23rd February 1942 Promoted U/A/Sgt (Unit Acting Sergeant).
    21st February 1942 Married Clydebank.
    23rd February 1942 Granted paid rank of A/Sgt.
    22nd August 1942 Granted W/Sgt (Wartime Sergeant; the rank was only for the duration of the war, so that at the end of the war there were not many thousands of unwanted sergeants who may want to stay in the army).
    Remained as part of the 15th Scottish Division until the 78th Division (known as the Battleaxe Division) was established
    9th December 1942 Embarked UK. Sailed from King George V Dock Clydebank on the Troopship TSS Cameronia. They were bound for overseas service somewhere as yet unspecified.
    The 78th Division was part of the British First Army and had been formed as an assault division in preparation for the Anglo-American landings in North Africa (Operation Torch) . The division had already landed in Algiers (7th November 1942) along with American troops who had landed at Oran to the west of Algiers. Part of the Division was already well east of Algiers heading for Tunis. The 64th Anti-Tank Regiment would be reinforcing the division and landing at Bone.
    21st December 1942 After anchoring off Algiers some of the convoy went into Algiers, while the Cameronia and three more ships remained anchored in the bay. They had been on board for 12 days. On the night of the 22nd December an aerial torpedo from an Italian bomber hit the ship on the starboard quarters. 17 were killed and 30 wounded.
    The Cameronia sailed for Bougie (now Bejaia) where the troops disembarked. They were held in a factory compound. They left Bougie on the Royal Scotsman or Royal Ulsterman, made a rapid run along the coast and disembarked at Bone. First destination after that was Beja in Tunisia. (www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories)

    7th April 1943 - 15th April 1943 Oved Zarga.

    23rd April 1943 - 30th April 1943 Medjez Plain.

    25th April 1943 Wounded in action. Admitted to 217 Field Ambulance.

    2nd May 1943 Posted to 64 A/TR.

    5th May 1943 - 12th May 1943 Tunis.

    Tunis was captured 7th May 1943. All Axis Forces in North Africa surrendered 13th May 1943.

    27th July 1943 Embarked to unknown destination. Taken on strength of 8th Army British North Africa Force.

    This was Operation Husky. The invasion of Sicily which had started 10th July 1943. The 78th Division were held in reserve. By 20th July 1943 Montgomery had decided that he needed the 78th. They came over from Sousse in Tunisia.

    29th July 1943 - 3rd August 1943 Adrano and spearheaded the attack on Centuripe.

    Operation Husky lasted 38 days in total.
    After that the 78th Division landed at Taranto Italy (between 19th - 29th September 1943) and moved up the coast to Termoli.
    October 1943 Battle for Termoli.
    19th November 1943 - 3rd December 1943 Trigno Crossing and River Sangro.
    11th May 1944 - 18th May 1944 Monte Cassino.
    18th May 1944 - 20th May 1944 Liri Valley.
    20th June 1944 - 30th June 1944 Lake Tresimene.

    18th July 1944 Struck off strength BNAF to Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

    31st July 1944 Taken on strength MEF from Allied Army Italy.

    5th August 1944 Leave with HRM.

    7th September 1944 Struck off strength MEF to AAI.

    8th September 1944 Taken on strength Central Mediterranean Force from MEF. Leave in addition to Python. (Before the war ended a scheme was devised with the code name PYTHON, to give home leave to those who had been overseas for more than four years. In Italy this meant that those granted leave had to make their way to Naples and they were then taken by troop ship back to Britain. Because there was a shortage of troop ships this meant that many had a wait of many months, before their turn came to go. Not able to take advantage of this offer.) (www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories))

    23rd July 1944 return to Taranto to be shipped to Egypt for training and refitting. Every man five days leave.
    18th September 1944 Return to the port of Taranto.
    September 1944 Firenzuola and then on to Imola.
    April 1945 River Senio.
    13th April 1945 - 21st April 1945 Argenta Gap.
    17th April 1945 Argenta Gap broken.
    2nd May 1945 Italian Campaign ended and then on to Austria.
    (Battleaxe Division: From Africa to Italy with the 78th Division 1942-45; Ford Ken. 2003)
    (a hard way to make a war: the allied campaign in italy in the second world war. Gooderson Ian. 2008)
    20th December 1945 AFW 3149 (Release medical form). Struck off strength CMF to UK. Class A release.
    22nd December 1945 UK proceeded on leave pending release.
    26th March 1946 Released to Class ‘2’(T) Royal Army Reserve.
    30th June 1959 Discharged from Reserve Liability.


    Bill D
    Micheal Evans likes this.
  6. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Think you'll find U/A/Sgt is Unpaid Acting Sergeant!

  7. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Bill D
    As far as I know MEF is Middle East Force NOT Mediterranean Expeditionary Force-I think I had that pointed out by our vet Tom Canning a while ago!

  8. RAF1940

    RAF1940 Junior Member

    My dad was a member of a tank crew(M10 tank destroyer) going from glasgow(dec 42 on SS Cameronia from glasgow),to tunisia.Then to sicily,monte cassino,longstop hill etc and to austria.Out in 1946.
  9. RAF1940

    RAF1940 Junior Member

    my dad was on the cameronia from glasgow in dec 42,tank crew in an M10 tank destroyer.
  10. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Just a minor point (which may seem like i'm niggling), but the British Army did not use Tank Destroyers. That is an Americanism. They were Self Propelled Anti-Tank Guns, hence why the were crewed by the Royal Artillery. :)
    Drew5233 likes this.
  11. RAF1940

    RAF1940 Junior Member

    thanks for the correction,would that have been the achilles?
  12. Combover

    Combover Guest

    thanks for the correction,would that have been the achilles?

    Yes, or what was referred to as the 'Wolverine'.

    The Achillies was the 17-Pdr version, the 'Wolverine' was the 3" gunned version. Both were in use by the Royal Artillery. How much they were referred to as 'Wolverine' and 'Achillies' at the time, I couldn't say.
  13. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Does anyone have any more photos of 64th AT Regiment that they could share?
  14. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I don't know if this helps much, but the chap on the front right of the "Rome" photo isn't Army, he is an RAF Aircrew Warrant Officer.

  15. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Bill D, please clock attachment.. I have to question 26th March 1946. Released to '2' (T) May be 'Z' (T) to ARMY RESERVE.
    Any chance of showing the all records?


  16. stewart70redwood

    stewart70redwood New Member


    Just received my Grandfather's WW2 Service records, and found out he served in 64th Anti Tank Regiment. I would like to know if there is a war diary for this unit, if so where would I find it? Also, has anyone written about their experiences with reference to 64th ATR, any books, online references etc? I know it formed part of the 78th army, and there is a picture of him helping pushing a jeep in a book 'The Gothic Line' by Douglas Orgill. One final thing, he embarked in Dec 1942, why did they wait so long to see active service? And what did they get upto from 1939-1942? Any help would be fantastic.

  17. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello Stewart and welcome to the forum.

    My father was in the 56th Reconnaissance Regiment, a part of 78th Division (not Army)-it was known as the Battleaxe Division.

    You asked about your grandfather earlier in the war-what was his date of birth? My father was born in 1922 and was called up in January 1942, but didn't go to war in North Africa until November 1942.

    I don't know if any member has the 64th A/T Regiment war diaries-these should be available at the National Archives in Kew, but there are a couple of members on here who can copy them at very reasonable prices; many members have used them. I am sure they will be along soon to help.

    Edited: chap here served with 64th A/T

    Charley Fortnum and Drew5233 like this.
  18. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    Drew 5233 is the man to get you the WDs for 64 AT Regt RA. He is a whizz at WDs.

    Send him a PM and I am sure that he will sort this for you.


    Drew5233 likes this.
  19. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    64 AT Regt RA were the anti tank regiment for 78 British Infantry Division. It follows that where ever the Division went them so did he.

    The Div played a significant part in the Fourth Battle of Cassino where there were part of XIII Corps. When the Rapido river was finally crossed on the morning of 13 May 44, 78 Inf Div, after a few confusing setbacks to do with coordination, were committed to the battle.

    It was quite a time.


    Micheal Evans likes this.
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Stewart

    The National Archives in London holds the regiments war diaries and you can view and copy them for free in person. However if you are too far away, as mentioned, I can help get copies of the original documents for you. Feel free to drop me a private message if you need any help on that front and in case you want to go yourself to look at them I've listed the ref's for the files below for you.

    Good luck

    WO 166/1636 64 Anti-Tank Regiment. 1939 Sept.-1941 Dec.
    WO 166/7094 64 Anti-Tank Regiment. 1942 Jan.- Sept.
    WO 175/311 64 Anti-Tank Regiment 1942 Nov.- 1943 June
    WO 169/9621 64 Anti-Tank Regiment 1943 July- Dec.
    WO 169/15998 64 Anti-Tank Regiment 1944 Aug.
    WO 170/1037 64 Anti-Tank Regiment 1944 Jan.- July, Sept.- Dec.
    WO 170/4690 64 Anti-Tank Regiment 1945 Jan.-Dec.
    WO 170/7897 64 Anti-Tank Regiment 1946 Jan

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