3 East African Artillery

#1
Hi all,

Hoping someone can help. My Grandfather Frank Arthur Hardy, served in this Unit until he was killed, and the unit effectively wiped out, when SS Khedive Ismael was torpedoed on Feb 12th 1944 off Adoo Atoll, Maldives. Whilst I am aware of most of the details of the sinking, I cannot find any Information on this Unit prior to embarkation on Khedive Ismael, Locations, Battles if any, and specifically where My Grandfather served prior to this unit.

Yours in Hope.
 
#3
According to this site British Colonial Artillery Regiments The Regiment was raised as 1st East African Artillery Regiment in July 1942 and served in Madagascar after the campaign had ended. I suspect 301 Field Regiment may have been intended to join the 11st East African Division but was sunk en route.

I presume you are aware that many of the men lost were killed by the depth charges of the escorts? According to Wikipedia SS Khedive Ismail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia the The I27 hid under the wreck and among the survivors and sinking the submarine had priority over rescuing survivors. HMS Petard which sank the I27 had an exciting WW2 for an escort, being responsible for recovery of information leading to cracking the naval enigma codes.
 
#4
I beleive he was RHA, ugly, but take your point about Regt Assoc'ns. Yes Pteranadon, the book Passage to Destiny written by a relation of one of the victims gives a grim account. The Captain of Petard, Lt Cdr Egan, who had to depthcharge I27 through the survivors on the surface, was exonerated and commended by the Admiralty for his unenviable but necessary actions, promptly commited suicide at wars end, over this incident.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#5
I beleive he was RHA, ugly, but take your point about Regt Assoc'ns. Yes Pteranadon, the book Passage to Destiny written by a relation of one of the victims gives a grim account. The Captain of Petard, Lt Cdr Egan, who had to depthcharge I27 through the survivors on the surface, was exonerated and commended by the Admiralty for his unenviable but necessary actions, promptly commited suicide at wars end, over this incident.
Sorry I was under the impression that all Artillery historical bumf was cared for by the RA Museum in Woolwich unless its a militia unit!
 
#7
Havent got the book with me Pteranodon, but sure it lists him as RHA on the Casualty list. You may be right Ugly, I wasnt having a pop, just ignorant of 'Artillery' as an organisation, being an ex scaley n' all!

Further discovered he was a Lance Serjeant (I thought 'j' Sergeants were LI?) Royal Artillery, attd to East African Artillery, 301st (EA) Field Artillery.
His Army number was 820409.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#10
Spelling of Sgt with a J used to be common and often army wide as did the use of lance Sgts. Fashion is a funny thing and many units would have ranks different to what we would consider the norm now. J was common during my service with only 2 LI in the regt and I think some of the RGJ used it.
I think you will find that despite designations, RFA, RGA, RHA etc all come under Woolwich as Woolwich was the home of Gunners and Engineers being the shop for scientific branches as they were!
 
#11
Spelling of Sgt with a J used to be common and often army wide as did the use of lance Sgts. Fashion is a funny thing and many units would have ranks different to what we would consider the norm now. J was common during my service with only 2 LI in the regt and I think some of the RGJ used it.
I think you will find that despite designations, RFA, RGA, RHA etc all come under Woolwich as Woolwich was the home of Gunners and Engineers being the shop for scientific branches as they were!
I did wonder whether ithe rank had been retained by yeomanry or infantry units converted to gunners. CWC record show both Bombardiers and Lance Sergeants in Normandy for RHA and RA and a these ranks in the war dead of units such as 102 Atk (Northumberland Hussars) and 131 Field regiment.

There must have been some roles in WW2 Artillery Regim,ents that were filled by Bombardiers and others by Lance Sergeants. I think this is one for Woolwoch or Larkhill.
 
#12
During WW2 there were both L/Sjts and WO3, both were abandoned in about 1947.

In RA establishments there were no specific positions for LSgts, a battery of 8 guns had only 9 Sjts (the 9th being the Signals Sjt), plus of course the BQMS a S/Sgjt.

A regt had vacancies for a number for bombardiers to be L/Sjts, but how they were used was up to the battery comd. In a field regt 15 of 63 bdrs could be L/Sjts. When the rank of L/Sjt ended in 1947 the number of Sjt positions increased, eg MT, BC's assistant, command posts, which is probably a guide to typical use of L/Sjt rank. It worked the same way with L/Bdrs, out of the total number of Gnrs in a regt, a number could be L/Bdrs.

Pre-1942 and the invention of REME, RA Artificers and repair tradesmen had their own 'profile' of ranks in a regiment.

Incidentally in RA tables of establishment for WW2 and earlier it is spelt 'serjeant'.
 
#13
I know about WO3 which was inmtroduced just before the Secod World War when the army expanded. It was to allow NCOs to carry out offer roles such as platoon commander in the anscence of suitably trained commissioned officers. It was also adopted as the rank for the Troop Serjent Major as opposed to the WO2 (BSM).

There must be some establishment table the lists the appiontments of LSjts and where these 15 fitted into the Regiment.
 
#17
Gunner Basil Hoptrough on our village (Sully) war memorial was in the same regiment and killed at the same time.

301 EA Field regiment was renumbered 309 on 1.6.44 It did not serve with 11th (EA) Division whose field/light regiments were 302, 303 and 306.
 

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