88 Fd Regt

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Zarathustra, May 22, 2009.

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  1. afternoon all,
    i posted this on the Gunners forum but i don't think anyone heard me. So thought i would post this here in case any of you guy coud help.

    I'm currently in the early stages of tracing 2 great uncles on my mother side. Both are buried at Kanchanaburi Cemetery.

    One of them was a Lance Sergent who served with 88 Fd Regt Royal Artillery.

    I've had a quick search of the web and found out that 88 Fd Regt was in 18th Div, and also with 11th Indian Div with 1 Bty with 9th Indian Div.

    Could anyone recommend any good site where i could find out more info about 88 Fd Regt?

    Also, when researching my Grandad I just nipped into Regimental HQ and spoke to the archivist. Do the RA have a central archive i could contact to find his records, or will it be a case of writing to the national archives and hoping for the best?

    Cheers in advance
  2. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Considering that you have just nicked Woolwich that's a bit rich mate!!!

    On a more serious note, we did have a huge document archive that was kept in the old Academy until it was shut down in the mid 90s. I don't know if the papers went to the museum or were moved back to Larkhill, but I would imagine that if you give Firepower a ring, they could guide you on that.

    I'll see what I can dig up about 88th Field, but if you knew which Battery he was in that would be more useful. RA history tends to be recorded better at the Bty rather than regimental level.
  3. Thanks mate, the only info I've got is from the CWGC website, so i have his number and everything but without his records i can't find out which battery he was in.
  4. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    OK this is what I have so far:

    88 Fd Regt RA was a Territorial Regiment found from West Lancs and denominated as:

    88 (2 West Lancashire) Field Regiment Royal Artillery

    Their record is a bit hazy but deployment in WWII seems to be:

    88 (2nd West Lancs) Fd Regt TA:

    Preston 1938 - 55 Div
    France 1940 - 2 Corps Troops (Army Fd Regt)
    UK 1940-1 - 12 Corps Troops (Army Fd Regt)
    Malaya 1941-2 - 9 Indian Div

    From what I have found it seems that the Regiment surrendered to the Japanese in 1942.

    Post war they may have been reformed as

    9 AA Brigade, Wirral
    21 HAA Regiment
    79 HAA Regiment
    88 HAA Regiment

    But the post war regimental designations were very different to those of pre 1939.

    Their modern successors may well be:

    208 (3rd West Lancashire) Battery Royal Artillery, 103 Regiment RA (V)(Liverpool)

    You might be able to find your uncles Regt Number on this site:

    Kanchanaburi Cemetery Roll of Honour:


    But why his rank would be designated as L/Sgt rather than Corporal escapes me, because as far as I am aware the only L/Sgts in the RRA are in the HAC.

    Unless your brain is confounded with all the tick-tocking that you do! ;)
  5. I don't know about the LSgt thing either but his CWGC listing has him as a LSgt Here

    As does the listing on the site you linked too.
  6. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    OK, I take back the tick and tocking. Interesting, I'll play with this more tomorrow!

    Edited to add:

    Got it, even if it is from wiki (cross referenced elsewhere):

    So effectively a non-substantive Sgt. Apparently military records would normally show this as Cpl but gravestones carried the L/Sgt rank/appointment.
  7. I've fired a quick email off to firepower, and will probably pop in next week when I'm in Woolwich to get my head shrunk next week.

    Now to start work on my other uncle, who is also buried at Kanchanaburi, but that's for another thread.
  8. It may be worth contacting the Far East Prisoners or War Association (FEPOW) and the Children of (CEPOW). If your relatives are buried in Kanchaburi there is a possiblity that someone who is still alive may remeber them either from the camp or from 88 Field Regiment.

    Are either of their widos alive? If so they may be eligable to visit supported by a Heroes Return 2 grant http://www.heroesreturn2.org.uk/
  9. In WW2 there were both LSgts and WO3 throughout the army.
  10. The diary of CRA 9th Indian Division gives a fairly detailed itinerary of 88 Fd Regt.

    Looks like they were first engaged at Kampar - certainly 352 Bty gets a mention in the Leicestershire Regt's history.

    There were three batteries: 351, 352 & 464 and the Regt was split up several times through the campaign. You might need to get his service record to see if you can establish which battery he was with. Also, the Regt wasn't in continuous action, so there may be a date he was posted missing to narrow things down?

    The war diary is available at the National Archives.
  11. WOIII (usually a Platoon or Troop Sergeant Major) only existed from 1938 to 1940.
  12. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Some book I read a good few years ago suggested that the rank was only used by the Guards.

    Edit. Another book I read more recently, namely The History of 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars 1939-1945 tells me that in 1939, many Troop Leaders in the regiment were WO3 TSMs.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  13. It existed in the Gunners too.

    The 1939 battery had three big troops @ with a WO3 TSM.
  14. Regarding Lance Sergeants, this is the entry from my book on RA Terms and Abbreviations:

    Lance Sergeant

    Introduced into the Royal Artillery in May 1920 at the same time as the rank of Corporal was abolished within the Regiment. Falling in the rank structure between Bombardier and Sergeant, the Lance Sergeant was identified by wearing three stripes, whereas full Sergeants wore three stripes with a gun above the stripes. The rank was itself abolished in 1946.

    Hope that makes things a bit clearer.
  15. Hi everyone I was Just looking around and found you guys, my grandfather was Capt,QM wjj BUSWELL i know they surrendered in 1942 and he was shipped to camp No2 burma siam railway he served for 38 years ,from being a boy soldier with the royal horse artillary and was a trumpeter at the beginning he served in ww1 ,wounded-india- various postings dunkirk-singapore at some point gained a field commission he died in 1977 after getting a bad chest infection obviousley being gassed in ww1 did not help, my father rrj buswell went onto serve in the ra then paras as i did myself at 21 i will try to dig up info if i can its a bit sketchey but my father is still alive hope this helps