19th Field Regt RA

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    • #16119
      Chris HarrisChris Harris
      Participant

      I have now completed my studies on 67th Field Regiment in WW2 and have their complete story from training in the UK to Tunisia, Italy and Palestine. Having purchased The Eyes and Ears of the Regiment by Richard Whitfield, along with a copy of Ubique referred to by him, written by A M Cheetham MC of 2nd Field Regiment RA.
      They were part of 1st Infantry Division along with 2nd Field Regiment and 19th Field Regiment. Each Regiment being assigned to an infantry Brigade. I am putting them all together in one folder if possible.
      However I am having difficulty finding anything on the 19th. They became The Scottish Gunners not that many years ago and their historical references of to going to war as the 17th renaming to the 19th in 1947 is of some concern as both the men of 67th and 2nd Field Regiments refer to the 19th at Medjez, Anzio and The Gothic Line. At Anzio two officers who earned the MC (one at Medjez one at Anzio) were transferred from 67th to the 19th to make up for casualties so they obviously fought as the 19th in 1st Infantry Division in WW2.
      Does anyone have any info on them.

    • #16193
      Chris HarrisChris Harris
      Participant

      No replies on here yet but it is sometimes better to start at home.
      My neighbour aged 86 was chatting recently only to reveal that he learned to drive and passed his test on post war National Service in Rhyl using Quads in the RA.
      He was in the 19th Field Regt RA in the early 1950’s.
      He served in Dortmund in what was then the occupying force in Germany.

      The Scottish Gunners ads say that the 19th went to Korea but my neighbour tells me this was rubbish.
      They were preparing to go but replaced at the last minute by a Norfolk based Regiment so breathed a sigh of relief at missing the War, spending their time in Germany.

      Unfortunately he cant remember any details from stories regarding WW2 although the old sweats who served in N Africa were adamant that the 25 pdr in the anti tank roll was only for desperate situations as the shells bounced off. The best bet was to pull out and leave it to the A/T gunners or the Airforce. Perhaps this was before the improved propellant Supercharge and A/P round was issued plus the guns fitted with the muzzle brake to reduce recoil circa 1943/44.
      Any comments welcomed.

    • #16901
      Stanley – Rider
      Guest

      I was a veh mech 67 Bty 19th fld regt in 1951 in Carnarvon Brks Dusseldorf. yes the 19th did go too Korea about four years later. I remember Col Gardener Browne was C.O. RSM Troade ,and dear Ausie Forbes WVS Hostess.

    • #16905
      Chris HarrisChris Harris
      Participant

      Did you know Doug Cheeseman

    • #16907
      Chris HarrisChris Harris
      Participant

      Doubt you would know Doug he was in 25 Battery 1950 -52

      I was hoping to find out what happened to three ex 67th WW2 men.
      Lieutenants in 1944. Gerald France MC transferred to 19th FR at Anzio and Gerald Lewis transferred 1945.
      I thought maybe they might have become Post War Regulars.

      Chris

    • #18132
      Michael LynnMichael Lynn
      Participant

      Hi Chris,

      I found this site through Google after looking at my late fathers war records.  He was in the 19th Field RA and served in Palestine and Italy. It looks like he arrived in North Africa on 25/01/1944 until 29/01/1945, then moving to Italy on 30/01/1945. He was wounded in the Apennine mountains on 19/09/1944 and transferred first to a hospital in Arezzo Italy and then onto Naples

    • #18133
      Chris HarrisChris Harris
      Participant

      Hello Michael, I am rarely on this site these days due to personal circumstances but if you look at The Eyes and Ears thread you can get in touch if you wish.

      Two of my neighbours  were with 19th post war and as part of the 1st Infantry Div the 19th went everywhere that the 67th and the 2nd went.

      19th is the only Artillery Regt in the Division from which no books were written and I believe their War Diary is rather sparse. A friend Has a copy I believe.

      There is a guy on here who  if he comes on will no doubt help you with the Eyes and Ears book as his grandad was in the 67th but it barely mentions the 19th.

      The Division was moving north from Florence on the 19/09/44 following the Arrow Route towards the Gothic Line. They were subject to sporadic shelling.

      This is now the SR302 Florence to Faenza road and was marked by different coloured arrows designating routes for the divisions to follow.

      On the 19th Sept  the 19th FR  were somewhere south of Ronta where the leading Artillery unit the 67th stopped using a hotel as their HQ.  The infantry were up in the mountains, along with them were the Artillery FOO’s (Foreward Observtion Officers) with their signallers etc. In this area they were using Mules to carry their supplies.

      Notes from Major Shepherd a FOO with 266 Battery 67FR gives us an idea of what they faced.

      “Life is very exhausting both mentally and physically. The terrain and the weather are about as difficult as they could be till one feels the only fight is against them rather than the Germans!                                                                                                                                                 The actual technicalities of mountain warfare and the physical effort I am now used to.   The wet and wind are hellish. Imagine sleeping out with at the most one wet blanket at 3000 feet on an exposed hill still in pouring rain. Yet one does it – and one’s work and cooks one’s food and revels in every moment of sunlight and survives and soon forgets misery.                                                                                                                                                         It has its compensations ironically. I have never seen such views in my life. For example, the sun is setting and so just catching the peaks and hills and there a long slope – the remainder of the hills lying like corpses in their dark shrouds – and away beyond the plain of Lombardy, its cities lit in turn as they become caught in the patches of sunlight. That magically materialises them from the indistinguishable mist of evening. And behind again, a hundred miles away, the majestic barrier of the Dolomites. At dawn too it is unbelievable to watch the view come to life as the sun creeps up……….. One of the worst aspects of these mountains is the great difficulty involved in evacuating wounded, often a lone man and mule carrying over precipitous paths ankle deep in mud for perhaps 5 or 6 miles. Add to that darkness and rain – and it’s a grim outlook!”

      The 19th supported the 3rd Infantry Brigade which included the Loyals, Duke of Wellingtons Regt and the Sherwood Foresters. There are plenty of people on here with knowledge of them.

      If not there are other easy to contact sources which people on here will no doubt point you to.

      If he joined on 25/01 /1944 he must have been a replacement as the 19th fought in Tunisia before going to Italy but landed at Anzio  on the  22nd Jan 1944 when 2 Infantry Brigade landed on the beaches and their supporting Artillery the 67th Field Regt went in behind them carrying their guns in amphibious DUKWS . The Americans went in to take Nettuno which was a port offering easier access to ships.                                                                                I think the 3rd IB landed on the 23rd via the port of Nettuno but would stand corrected           if I am wrong.

      The Division left the Gothic Line for Palestine on 12th Jan 1945 to allow the infantry Regiments to rebuild and train new recruits virtually from scratch, such were their losses at Anzio and in the mountains of the Gothic Line.

      Chris

    • #18134
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Participant

      Michael.

      Just to correct a small point in Chris’s note.  The three infantry battalions of 3 Inf Bde were 2 Sherwood Foresters, 2 King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and 2 Duke of Wellington’s.

      I have a lot of mapping for 1 Inf Div’s involvement in Italy.  Get hold of me through http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk and I will happily share the maps with you.

      Regards

      Frank

    • #18135
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Participant

      Michael.

      I forgot to mention that 31 British General Hospital was in Arezzo in Sep 44.

      Regards

      Frank

    • #18136
      Chris HarrisChris Harris
      Participant

      It appears that on 19th and 20th Sept 19 Field lost two OP parties in the mountains in support of 66 Brigade. No doubt due to weather but they would most likely to  have been captured wandering into enemy lines. There is an incident in the 67th’s diary where a Captain, Bombadier and muleteer were delivering batteries to an their FOO who was constantly moving with the infantry to maintain contact with the enemy. They stopped to ask for directions from a local farmer. Seven men were seen approaching  so the muleteer and Captain hid in a barn while the Bombardier was speaking to the Italian farmer.                It became obvious that it was a German fighting patrol who asked the way to the German Lines. The farmer was too scared to answer so the Bombardier spoke to them in Italian, sending them in the opposite direction to where he was heading, There was a note in the diary regarding the benefits of non standard dress worn by British troops in the mountains.      You need to get copies of their War Diaries to see if there is more info on this. I have contacted a friend to see if he has anything on it but I am told their War Diaries have very little information just short notes day to day.  There are other sites who can help on this particularly WW2Talk. Having been at Anzio he might have contracted Malaria or Jaundice both very common and causing admission to hospital for quite long periods.

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