57th Field Regt Royal Artillery

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #3721

      My late father was a Gunner in the 57th Field Regt RA. I know he served in the Western Desert including at the 2nd battle of Alamein. Then to Italy and apparently at both Anzio and Salerno, but I’m confused when I look at the Orders of Battle. It seems he was in 5th AGRA but the Order of Battle doesn’t clarify where his Regt was, at either Anzio or Salerno, or other locations. He certainly had vivid recollections of both. The Regt Diaries don’t seem to be available after an extensive search. Can anyone fill in any gaps regarding where 57th would have been during the Italian and later Yugoslavian campaign ( as I understand he spent some time in the latter)

      Thanks

      David

    • #3743

      David

      I am sure someone out there will be able to help but if you could email us back with your fathers name and rank it may help our members and readers to supply the information you are looking for.

      Regards

      Robin

    • #4276
      David ChadwickDavid Chadwick
      Guest

      My father was also a Gunner in the 57th Field Regt and likewise had very clear memories of Anzio and Salerno. Like you I can’t find any documentary connection. However after much searching I have discovered that the Regt Diaries are now listed on the National Archives site ( they were not the last time I looked) . It looks like the whole diaries from 1939 to mid 1945 are now indicated. I have sent off for an initial search to confirm. I am in Australia so can’t easily visit Kew.
      Dad also had very clear memories of Basra in Iraq. as well as Palestine and Syria and later meeting with partisan troops in what was Yugoslavia. He was always in the 57th Regt and I can’t find any reference to the Regt being there. Interestingly,during the Gulf War when the British Army was reported as entering Basra, he phoned me and described in detail the approach and surroundings to the city and his time there . He passed away a few years ago aged 92 and had a crystal clear memory of his wartime experiences. Sadly I didn’t document any of it- to my great regret.
      David

    • #4320
      David ChadwickDavid Chadwick
      Guest

      I have now received my digitised copy of War Diaries from the National Archives covering 57th Field Regt RA from 1942 July to December. Although the “full set” is listed as available from 1939 – 1945 it is quite expensive to have them copied – so I thought I would just pick one offering to see what they reveal.
      Outstanding! – day by day diary of the Regt including comments from the CO of the Regt. The 1942 Diary I got detailed action during Alamein and beyond. I am now going to order the remaining Diaries. As I live in Australia and can’t visit the Archives ( where you can view free of charge providing you order in advance) the cost is quite significant , but in my view worth it.

    • #15155
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Participant

      David.

      57 Fd Regt RA were in neither 46 nor 56 Inf Divs at Salerno so they had to have been part of an AGRA. I have them in Italy on a record taken on 30 Sep 43 so it is very likely that they did land on 9 Sep 43 as part of the Salerno operation. I also have them still in Italy on 10 Apr 44 and 13 May 45.

      I also have them in the US Fifth Army record of units under command and that confirms that they were at both Salerno and Anzio.

      They fired 25 pounders.

      Regards

      Frank

    • #15156
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Participant

      David.

      If you would like to see what happened to 57 Fd Regt RA at Anzio, I am guiding a group there on 7-10 Jun 18.

      Regards

      Frank

      http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk

    • #15157
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Guest

      David.

      57 Fd Regt RA supported 6 AGRA in 44 and 45.

      Regards

      Frank

    • #16457
      John FearonJohn Fearon
      Participant

      My late father was a Lance Bombardier in the 57th Field Regiment throughout the Italian Campaign. I have looked at the war diaries of the Regiment at the National Archives. After the Sicilian Campaign they landed at Catanzaro Marina in the toe of mainland Italy on 28/09/43. They then advanced with the 8th Army up the east coast of Italy including the battle of the River Sangro.
      In February 1944 they were at Cassino. After the victory there they advanced east of Rome and at some point were transferred to support the American led 5th Army in the battles of the Gothic Line in central Italy.
      They were therefore not at the landings at Salerno or Anzio. With regard to Yugoslavia I did not find any evidence of this but I did not manage to read all the files in the time I had (they are very bulky mainly full of indecipherable details of fire plans). However, my father did mention that toward the end of the campaign they were on standby to go to Yugoslavia but the move was cancelled. It may well be that a party was sent ahead to reconnoiter before the move was cancelled (it was standard practice to reconnoiter positions for the guns before they moved up).

    • #16458
      Frank De PlantaFrank de Planta
      Guest

      John.

      Thanks for establishing 57 Fd Regt RA’s movements more clearly.

      After their support for Eighth Army operations on the Sangro, it would appear that they were moved over to the US Fifth Army front at Cassino when Gen Alexander CinC 15th Army Group decided to reinforce that part of Italy.

      The original intention had been that 2 NZ Division, 4 Indian Division and 78 British Infantry Division would be used to exploit the success that was anticipated in the Jan 44 attacks on the Cassino feature.

      However, when that US Fifth Army operation failed, these three Eighth Army formations were instead used to take over from the Americans. Your late father, would have therefore been at the Second And Third Battles of Cassino in Feb-Mar 44.

      I am guiding a group there on 11-14 Mar 19 looking at these battles if you are interested.

      Can you recall whether your late father ever mentioned what his job was – on the gun line, in admin support or right up with the forward troops calling in fire from his guns?

      Regards

      Frank

      Frank de Planta
      Guide
      http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
>