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Identification of WW2 RA Regt

Hope the ARRSE massive can help

Wife's Grandfather, served in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) during WW2, and she's looking at sourcing his war records. Her mum supplied an address from a letter his wife sent him whilst he was serving, but the address throws up lots of contradictions

Any idea what regiment it was or was it a hybrid type thingy?
Gunner Woodward RJ (Robert)
178/63 Hvy AA Regt RA
c/o Base Post Office

I can find a 178 Field Regt, and it served in about the right place, but it's not Anti-Aircraft. Nor was it ever 'Heavy'
I'm assuming that 63 is the Bty, although I can't find any reference to 63 Bty

In 43-46 they were in the theatre, but not in Ceylon.


Any info would be appreciated

Here's the distinguished Gentleman in question. As usual with his generation, he spoke very little about his time in the war. We know he was in Ceylon and it wasn't an error, as he had a Palm Tree and 'Ceylon' tattoo on his forearm.

This was posted a few days ago on another thread incorrectly, but I've deleted that one, hence a new thread
From a quick look, 52nd Hvy AA Regt served in Ceylon, which was a London TA unit - would that fit?
From a quick look, 52nd Hvy AA Regt served in Ceylon, which was a London TA unit - would that fit?

He was from Bedmond, which is a small village near Watford, 15 miles from London, so maybe.
I've found a 178 Hvy AA regt RA, but a) It never served in the far east; b) it was TA from Liverpool


This is even more intriguing
According to the RA History, AA Artillery 1914-55, 63 HAA were in Ceylon Apr 1943 to Jan 1944, as part of 23 AABde. By Dec 1944, 63 HAA had benn broken up and the soldiers re- deployed. Can find no record of 178 Bty
A link elsewhere says they broke up the regiment, less 63 Bty, and re-trained everyone in the Inf role and shipped them to local regiments. He never said anything about Infantry, so I assume he stayed with the 63 Hvy AA Bty