19TH FIELD REGIMENT ROYAL ARTILLERY
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25th December 2020 at 6:23 pm #18846David BassGuest
I AM TRYING TO FIND MY LATE FATHERS WARTIME HISTORY, I BELIEVE HE WAS IN THE 19TH FIELD REGIMENT ROYAL ARTILLERY AND SERVED IN NORTH AFRICA AND ITALY. HE WAS A DRIVER FOR AN OFFICER AND WAS BADLY WOUNDED WHEN THE CAR HE WAS DRIVING EITHER HIT A MINE OR WAS HIT BY AN ARTILLERY SHELL. THE OFFICER WAS KILLED. AFTER TIME IN HOSPITAL HE WAS MADE A COOK. I BELIEVE HE WAS A CORPORAL RONALH H BASS.
25th December 2020 at 9:25 pm #18848
The 19th were part of the 1st Infantry Division, there were three Artillery Regiments in the Division 2nd Field Regt, 19th Field Regt both Regular Army and the 67th Field RA (TA). I have never found anything written about the 19th. One of my neighbours in his 80’s served his National Service with them in 1950. They were in 1st Division at Dunkirk covering the withdrawal from the beaches. After reorganising and training they sailed for North Africa fighting at the battle of Banana Ridge in the Medjez el Bab battles later moving to Italy where where they went to Anzio ( Jan to May1944), where they took quite a pasting in counter Battery fire from the Germans. Two holders of the Military Cross were transferred to them from the 67th as casualty replacements. I have studied the 67th in great detail having inherited letters from an officer who was killed in a landmine incident in Florence. You should apply through .Gov for his Army Records then go onto WW2talk.com to ask for more info. Members can translate the Army Jargon on his records for you. There are also people who can get copies of the 19th Field Regt War Diaries for you if they dont have them already. These will probably mention the landmine incident particularly as an officer was involved. As a Corporal he was probably the driver of a Jeep on reconnaissance looking for a new position for the guns. They also lost two Observation Parties in the hills in September 1944 just before the Gothic Line, so he may have been driving the OP Party Jeep or a signaller with them. If you have a date for his incident I might be able to give you a rough idea where they were but in any case follow my advice and we might meet up again. There is a copy of a book Ubique a Paperback by A.M. Cheetham (Author) on Amazon at the moment which will give you their story Major Arthur Cheetham MC was in 2nd Field Regiment fighting in all the same battles, it is a very good book with photos and being used is not expensive. I hope that this helps.
26th December 2020 at 6:10 pm #18851Frank de PlantaParticipant
1 Inf Div were indeed at Anzio and were there from the landings on 22 Jan 44 to the final breakout on 23 May 44. They were supported throughout by their three Field Artillery Regiments of which 19 Fd Regt RA was one.
The gun lines were slightly set back from the front in an area known as the Padaglione Woods.
1 Inf Div endured a hell on earth for the whole time that they were in the beachhead and especially during the massive German counter attacks in mid-Feb 44 and then, when the stalemate set in, during their time in the dreaded ‘wadis’.
If you ever fancy walking the ground at Anzio, I am taking a group there on 24-27 Jun 21 – Covid willing of course. If this grabs you, do get in touch via my website at http://www.Cassino battlefields.co.uk.
28th December 2020 at 9:18 pm #18854David BassParticipant
Many thanks for your advice, I am in the process of applying for my father’s army records. My mother who is almost 99 years old is sure he was wounded in North Africa. The wife of the officer who was killed in the vehicle my father was driving visited my mother during the war but unfortunately she cannot remember their name. I have also got a rememberance service booklet from 1944 when they remembered the fallen, my father had put crosses against several names he served with including two officers one of whom may of of been the person he was driving.
29th December 2020 at 1:18 pm #18855
North Africa would be Tunisia, they were in the Medjez el Bab area at Banana Ridge and Gueriat el Atach 21st April to 13th May there is a large memorial to those who died in the area at Medjez el Bab. I will take a look to see if I can find the officer from the 19th Field on there by visiting the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) Site and do a bit if digging from there. Perhaps you might like to give it a try.
You will find much more on the site that I directed you to as unfortunately it is not possible to post pictures and documents on this site. You dont need the Army Records to get other information sorted while you wait for them.
29th December 2020 at 4:33 pm #18856
There are three Officer casualties in Medjez el Bab War Cemetery
One Captain, one Lieutenant, one 2nd Lieutenant.
Three casualties died the same day, 31st March 1943, one Lieutenant, two Bombardiers these could quite possibly have been in the same vehicle as your father when they either struck a mine or were hit by a shell. A Reconnaissance vehicle or a Forward Observation Officer team normally used a Universal Carrier ( aka Bren Carrier) at this time and could have been carrying four (but most likely three) i.e. driver/ signals, FOO and Observer Assistant.
The Lieutenant was killed on 13th April
If he was simply driving an officer from a to b (most unusual) then it would be most likely the Captain who was killed on 26th April 1943 the last and one of the heaviest days fighting at Gueriat el Atach.
A Gunner was killed (or died) on 10th May 1943
Do you have the names of the men on the service booklet. We are looking at the above dates.
You could ask on the other site that I mentioned for pages from the 19th Field Regt War Diaries to see what happened on the dates that the officers died.
Hope this helps
30th December 2020 at 8:29 pm #18858David BassParticipant
I have looked again at the memorial service sheet, which was dated Sunday 18th June 1944 and held outside Rome, several of the names of the fallen listed I have found on the CWGC website and are buried at Anzio. My mother feels sure he was wounded in North Africa but unfortunately I cannot be certain of this. Hopefully his war records may enlighten me further. Many thanks for your help so far. It was very good to find several of the names my father had marked were laid to rest at Anzio. I will carry on looking to see if they are all in the same cemetery.
30th December 2020 at 10:58 pm #18859
Thanks for your reply good luck.
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