Royal Artillery 2 S/L Brigade

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by pat fowles, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. pat fowles

    pat fowles Junior Member

    My late father in law was posted to France in Nov 1939. He was reported 'missing' prior to 14 June 1940. He was a POW at Stalag V111b until 1945. So far we've been unable to find out where he was captured. Presumably Calais or Dunkirk. Does anyone know where his regiment was captured? His name was Harold Fowles Service number 1492373....Thanks
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Pat

    His POW details:
    Name: H Fowles
    Rank: Driver
    Army Number: 1492373
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 11357
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland
    Record Office: Royal Artillery (Coast and Searchlight), Corps of Military Police and Military Provost Staff Corps Record Office, Savoy Hotel, Bournemouth
    Record Office Number: 8

    It might be worth contacting members:

    PsyWar.Org - he may have a liberation questionnaire (if not try Nick Fenton) that your relative may (or may not) have completed.

    Drew5233 - our local BEF expert

  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Pat

    On further checking I came across a document that may help you
    Link to document as below

    "As was normal with searchlight units they were dispersed on remote sites all around northern France. Caught out by the sudden onslaught of the Germans Blitzkrieg, they soon found themselves reverting to an infantry role for which most had not been trained. The bulk of 1 SL Regt and half 2 SL Regt were forced into defensive positions around Boulogne and Calais. The heroic part played by 1 SL Regt, along with two officers and 230 men from 2 SL Regt in the defence of Calais is well documented in Airey Neave’s book “The Flames of Calais”. He was the first British officer to escape from Colditz and had been a troop commander in 1 SL Regt when he was captured. The battle for Calais was a bloody and hard fought one, with troops fighting from house to house, but in the end the pressure was too much and by the end of May Calais fell. 1 SL Regt lost most of its 52 officers and 1600 men with only one officer and 57 men managing to get back to England.

    Another group from 2 SL Regt – one officer and 80 men – found themselves attached to K Battery, Royal Horse Artillery with orders to help hold the small village of Hondeghem which was on the Germans main axis of advance. The troops fought a valiant action then, running short of ammunition, they charged the German positions and broke through, giving them a route out towards Dunkirk. For this action K Battery was awarded the honor title of Hondeghem, one of only five awarded during the Second World War. Unlike the other searchlight regiments, 2 SL Regt were more widely spread which resulted in its batteries having mixed fortunes. By the 25 May 1940, 5 Bty was completely missing, 6 Bty had over 50 per cent missing and 8 Bty was missing just under a quarter. By the end of May the Regiment had lost over 50 men killed and approximately half the Regiment captured."

    So it would seem that the triangle of Calais, Dunkirk, Hazebrouck is about right for his capture, others may have more detail


    edited to add
    View attachment RASearchlights-Text-Final.doc
    Drew5233 and Guy Hudson like this.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Well done TD !

    You've pretty much covered everything without knowing the location/date of capture. The regiments war diaries are broken down quite well in to battery diaries so you would need to know some more info to proceed further. Hopefully someone can dig out a liberation report.

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