THE BENGAL ROCKET TROOP

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by staaken, Mar 23, 2007.

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  1. I'm a Sapper* (pauses to duck) trying to put together my murky past and wondered if anyone could help....
    Rubbed shoulders with The Bengal Rocket Troop whilst building (again!) the VCP at Aughnacloy (NI) in '76. A right old laugh we had too, especially in the evenings when the boyos would send lead wrapped greetings from across the border.

    Does this Battery still exist? Anyone currently in the Gunner Forum there at the time?

    BTW, the VCP was levelled by a proxy bomb not long after we finished it, as usual.

    * If it helps, my grandfather was a Gunner in WW1 trying to shoot the sh1t out of Zeppelins and Gotha bombers from an emplacement in Sandwich, Kent.
     
  2. It's just a relief for an Engineer to talk on a Gunner Forum and not talk a load of boll*cks about lanyards!!

    132 Battery (The Bengal Rocket Troop). 39 Regt RA, Albemarle Barracks, Newcastle.
     
  3. What's the history? Did this troop appear after nicking all the rockets from Seringapatam?

    (PS doubt they were lead cased... you'd get better frag coating them in chocolate)
     
  4. Cheers ArseyMO......

    (Bollox! Lanyards!)
    I'll get me coat.....
     
  5. For Baldricks bullet, since you ask here is their history -

    History

    132 (The Bengal Rocket Troop) Bty RA was raised on 13 September 1816 as a camel mounted unit in the service of the Honourable East India Company under the command of Captain (later General) William Samsen Whish. The troop carried a total of 912 six pound rockets, either in buckets on camels, or horse drawn trolleys. The troop first saw action at the siege of Hathras in February 1817 and in the same year played a decisive role in the Pindari/Mahratta War. The mountainous terrain during the latter conflict resulted in the troop switching back to horseback.
    The troop served in the first Burmese War (1824-26) as the Rocket Troop Bengal Horse Artillery. Re-titled 2nd Troop, 2nd Brigade Bengal Horse Artillery in 1826, the Bengal Rocket Troop lost it's rockets and gained 6 and 12 pound guns. It was involved in all major campaigns of the 19th century in India including in particular Maharajport (1843), and Goojerat (1849).
    Following service in Great Britain from 1878 to 1897, the troop was re-numbered as 52nd Field Battery in 1889, with further service in India from 1897 to 1911. In the First World War the Battery was virtually wiped out on 28 August 1914 at Le Cateau, losing all of its guns during the retreat from Mons. However, it saw out the rest of the war in Flanders, and for five months, in Italy.



    After the war the Battery served in the United Kingdom until 1926, being mechanised in 1924. In 1927 the Battery saw service in China (Shanghai) followed by a return to India for the remaining years before the Second World War.
    During the Second World War the Battery served in the western desert, Eritrea, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, Italy and Greece as part of 1st Field Regiment. It is particularly proud of its part in the action at Qineiquina when it engaged 28 German tanks in the open. After 45 minutes, the enemy withdrew having lost seven tanks and sustaining damage to a further four. The Battery suffered more than fifty casualties and five guns were knocked out.
    In 1947 the Battery was re-numbered 132 Field Battery and 1st Field Regiment became 59 Field Regiment. In 1948 the whole Regiment was converted to the heavy anti aircraft role until the disbandment of Anti Aircraft Command in 1955 when the Battery went into suspended animation. The Bengal Rocket Troop was revived as 132 Battery in 6 Field Regiment at Munsterlager in 1958. In August 1962 the Battery moved to Larkhill with the Regiment acting as Support Battery for the Royal School of Artillery.
    In 1966 the Regiment moved to the far east where the Battery served in Malaya, Borneo and Sarawak until February 1968. As a result of the reorganisation of 1 (BR) Corps in 1972 the Battery joined 39 Regiment at Sennelager where it remained until April 1982. Between 1971 and 1981 the Battery completed five operational tours in Northern Ireland.
    In 1982 following further reorganisation in BAOR, 132 Battery returned to Larkhill to form a Gun Battery in the Support Regiment at the Royal School of Artillery. In May 1982 sixteen members of the Battery formed a BC's and two observation parties for the Falklands campaign. In July 1985 the Battery returned to rejoin 39 Heavy Regiment RA in Sennelager, equiped with M110 A2 8 inch Howitzers.
    The Battery reverted to their original role in September 1990, when they were equipped with the American M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System and within five months saw active service in the Gulf War.


    In 1993 and 1996, 132 Battery served with the Regiment as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus having moved with the Regiment from Germany to Albemarle Barracks, Newcastle in August 1995.
     
  6. My Grandad was at Quinequina and related the experience to me when I was too young really to understand. I vividly remember him telling me that there 'was not a blade of grass to hide behind'. He was a very tough man, so if he qailed at the memory, I believe it must have been a pretty fiercesome encounter. It's difficult to find out much about the battle, though there is a great account in The Royal Artillery Book of Remembrance - a blue, leather-bound volume about the size of two telephone directories.

    As an aside, my Grandad always referred to the battery's insignia as, 'the wanking monkey'. It's actually a tiger sitting astride a rocket, but I can appreciate the soldierly allusion! My Grandad said that officers wore a little gold badge depicting this - not sure where it was worn. I have a couple of very small brass versions a bit bigger than a thumb nail. These weren't his, I found them on Ebay, but I did wonder if it was this to which he referred.

    Just thought I'd mention it....
     
  7. Enough about the Rockets, what about the Lanyards? Wasn't it something to do with Running Away (hence the shoulder titles)?

    Also why do RA officers and RE officers wear the same capadge?
     
  8. They don't. On berets, RE officers wear a grenade, RA officers wear an embroidered cap badge, RHA officers wear an embroidered cypher.

    RA and RE officers wear similar collar bombs on SD and No 1s but have a different number of flames.

    GBTD

    Sent from my iPhone using ARRSE

    "When the going gets tough, the tough hide under the table"
     
  9. Popski

    I served in 132 for most of my service, the badge used to be pinned to our battery schars when we were on guard duty or on parade. most of us kept it under our beret for safe keeping. lost mine this year will keep an eye on ebay to see if I can get a replacement.

    josa
     
  10. Josa,

    I work in the Middle East, live in Spain and have all my stuff in London, but if you bear with me, I'll dig out one of the badges next time I'm there and send it to you to replace your one. I don't know if you can do a private message on here, if so, send me your email and I'll drop you a line and get your address.

    Do you know if there's a unit historian for 1st Field Regt, by the way? I guess the war diaries are at Woolwich?

    Regards,

    Popski
     
  11. popski

    many thanks

    I have PM you.

    again many thanks

    John