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Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

Article about: After Cassino fell the lads moved up the West coast with the yanks and upon reaching the Arno had their guns taken away and they were deployed as Infantry. This came as bit of a shock as the

  1. #1

    Default Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Hi

    I was recently fortunate enough to be able to catelogue and re-order the rather jumbled photo album of my wifes grandfather.

    As a WW2 vet who served in Africa and Italy he is a spritely 91 year old and helped me by pointing out the who, what, where and when needed to caption the photos.

    Armed with his recollections and a bit of cheeky research I have been able to put together enough to write a book about his experiences.

    He has also very kindly given me permission to share the pictures with the forum.............so here goes.

    This is the first post of many as there are quite a few pics........

    The first batch are all pre war from his TA days in the Finsbury Rifles. He joined at 17 yrs old in 1938. The others cover basic training.

    The group shot is taken at stiffkey, home of the LAA training range and is dated 1938.

    In 1940 he was promoted to lance bomadier and was training a group of recruits on the bofors in Devon.

    cheers

    Tony


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Very interesting, I served on a bofor in France !

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Graet photos Tony , please send him greetings from a fellow Gunner and tell him " Ubique " !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    When will the book be out Tony?

    Cheers

  5. #5

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Thanks guys, will do Paul.

    More pics of them in training on the lewis gun and the bofors plus one of the very cold winter of 1940 which was spent in tents on the Ilse of Sheppey ! Also included is his school reference which was with his paperwork (I shall post the paperwork later) .

    Bill was promoted to bomadier in 1942 and put in charge of the ten man crew. His gunnery course group picture is shown.

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    From Devon hus unit took part in operation Torch and landed at Algiers early 1943. here they were part of the docks AA defence and then moved onto the hills around the town. They followed the advance of the army but never actually engaged in the front line.

    Here are a few shots of their positions once they had got their knees brown.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Also shown are some postcards he sent home from the front, to family and later ones to a young lady from the ATS whom he had met on a gunners course in Bristol and would marry in 1945 !


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  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Quote by Paul E View Post
    Graet photos Tony , please send him greetings from a fellow Gunner and tell him " Ubique " !!
    I thought you were Para. Don't know where i got that from.

    Cheers

    - - Updated - -

    This look to be a promising thread Tony

    Regards, Lars

  8. #8

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Quote by Datrus View Post
    I thought you were Para. Don't know where i got that from.

    Cheers

    - - Updated - -

    This look to be a promising thread Tony

    Regards, Lars
    Thanks Lars.

    The book is out already as such. I have had it privately published for his family so all have a copy of his wartime experiences before they are lost to history. I have been very lucky that he was willing to share his sometimes very painful memories with me over the past few years and also that he kept his pictures, letters and that one of his gun crew wrote a journal of which I now have a copy !

    First hand source material like that very rarely comes along. It also virtually matches the official history recorded over 60 years later.

    Italy next................

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Airborne Gunner mate !!

    Quote by Datrus View Post
    I thought you were Para. Don't know where i got that from.

    Cheers

    - - Updated - -

    This look to be a promising thread Tony

    Regards, Lars
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  10. #10

    Default Re: Photo Album for a gun commander in 47th LAA Rgt.

    Following the German surrender in Tunisia, the 47th was transferred to the 21st Beach Group and started training for a beach landing. Their guess was Italy and they found themselves at Salerno ! Bill by this time was a Sgt and verteran of 4 years service but he said Salerno nearly done for him, a total understatement for what he and his men went through . His team went in on the first wave and had to put up defence on the beach head under intense fire.

    These pictures are from the teams visit to Naples after the fighting had finished in the south and also of their positions around a us airfield that they protected during the push on Casino.

    The first picture is of his team, Bill is on the far right, the back is inscribed "my lads". There are eight of his ten man crew in this picture, the two missing were killed in action at Salerno.


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