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 Looking for information on 157 Div Loc Battery 1955-57?

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JBarnes
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Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2018-06-23

PostSubject: Looking for information on 157 Div Loc Battery 1955-57?   23/6/2018, 10:09

Hi - I am trying to find information on my fathers service in the British Army in the late 50s. He is suffering from dementia and has times where he believes he is under attack and starts to talk about the troops etc.

I received his service records which has little information but it mentioned the various units and it appears the main one is 157 Div Loc Battery (it also mentions 68 Regt and 192 Survey Battery).

It mentions in March 1956 embarked UK for BAOR and TOS unit as a Bdr and mentions he is discharged to 884 Loc Bty Oct 57 at the end of National Service (he left the Reserves in 1964 not long before he was recruited to a Defence job in Australia).

the line after July 56 is notes something about SOS this unit & BAOR 3 9/57 on R ?? E for NS Rel (this is written in script so hard to read). T/L 13 Sep to 6 Oct.

AS far as we are aware he did this national service in Germany but have no idea what he did there if it involved mortars and if 10th Battalion was something that was linked to any of the above units.

I am from Australia so its difficult to find a lot of information and not being familiar with British Army terms its a little hard to make sense of the records.

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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1076
Age : 77
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Looking for information on 157 Div Loc Battery 1955-57?   25/6/2018, 10:50

Welcome

This site welcomes a challenge and I am sure the veteran Gunners amongst us may be able to offer some suggestions when they next call by.

I am no expert but buried in the detail for Tofrek Barracks Hildesheim in this site is the suggestion that 157 Locating Battery were stationed there in the mid 1950s (go to the Home Page of this site, then Locations, then Hildesheim, then Tofrek Barracks (you should then find a fair amount of detail including photographs).

Alternatively try the Forces Reunited website. A quick glance shows there is a dedicated 157 Locating Battery section which includes names of a few individuals who were serving at roughly the same time as your father.

Looking at the detail of your posting
a. Think 884 Battery could have been a shadow posting to a UK based unit which he would have posted to if the Regular Army Reserves were ever mobilised (he might have been required to attend an annual camp with them or a similar TA (your CMF) unit.
b. The detail for September 57 concerns his release from his fulltime Regular Army (National Service) commitment. SOS Is struck off strength,  NS is National Service, R E might be Regular Engagement, T/L Terminal (paid) leave.
c. Don't recognise the phrase 10 Battalion by the then The British Army was down to single Battalion Infantry Regiments.(Battalion is not used by the Gunners, they would have said Regiment).

Hope this is helpful, please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

ps. Up until two years ago your first port of call would have been the Royal Artillery Archives stored in the FIREPOWER, RA Museum, in Woolwich, sadly this is now shut as a Defence economy, disposal of surplus military estate measure. The records are now inaccessible in storage pending a decision on the nature of and location of any replacement facility.


Last edited by JPW on 25/6/2018, 14:27; edited 1 time in total
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JBarnes
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for information on 157 Div Loc Battery 1955-57?   25/6/2018, 12:14

Hi - Thank you for replying. 10th Battalion in Australia is the WW1 name for one of the Infantry units located in Adelaide so perhaps that has come from one of the many military weapon books if its not a UK reference from that time.

Yes NS Rel (ease) would make sense and paid leave before going to Reserves would make sense . I'll look further at this site and see if I can find the Forces Reunited site. Thank you for explaining the other terms. I will probably have more questions so will definitely post as they arise.

That is a shame about the Royal Artillery Archives current being inaccessible - I research horse racing subjects and know how frustrating it is to know of something but not having access to it.

And would love to hear from any Artillery members who may have any suggestions on any training with Mortars that could possibly result in any type of PTSD (the medical staff keep asking if he'd ever seen active service but unless there was some kind of dramatic training exercises in Artillery units back in the 50s he didnt deploy anywhere that had warlike conditions). Even growing up he was from Yorkshire so well away from WW2 in London & surrounds.
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Pborn4
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Number of posts : 171
Age : 71
Localisation : Between Hannover and Herford, off all main routes
Cap Badge : Not even a reservist now - have been Pborn3
Places Served : Oswestry 1965, Paderborn to 1971, NE Dist, Munsterlager from 1974, Sennelager (1976 to 2012)
Registration date : 2016-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Looking for information on 157 Div Loc Battery 1955-57?   31/8/2018, 15:47

From JPW obsns:

"b. The detail for September 57 concerns his release from his fulltime Regular Army (National Service) commitment. SOS Is struck off strength, NS is National Service, R E might be Regular Engagement, T/L Terminal (paid) leave."

R?E is RHE = Reverts to Home Establishment. Someone returned from overseas went on to the admin strength of his Depot (for Gnrs = Woolwich) - pending discharge, or onward movement, or return from hospital. He would be on the floating strength and not the effective strength - a means of accounting for soldiers in the short-term.) RSMs never understood this concept and saw only spare men for guard duties! or escorts or fatigues - pending movement.

Men of good character and with certain qualifications (on a list maintained by the War Office) could be enlisted to the AER (Army Emergency Reserve) - to fill particular slots for when requirement arose (Suez was one); for which they were paid a bounty for being "on call" and keeping certain basic clothing items and an emergency payment warrant (encashed at a Post Office when instructed) and a blank rail warrant for a journey from home to a reporting centre to answer a call to duty.

Locating Batteries used various devices, including the human ear, for "Sound Ranging" (concept here: https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Green_Archer_(radar) )
(in 1962 Radar Field Artillery Mk 8 (Green Archer) was introduced) all to establish from where projectiles were being launched and pass that detail to own guns to deliver retaliatory fire. Most RA Regts and Btys underwent an annual firing camp to hone their particular skills. Locating Btys could be deployed on the periphery of, or inside a range, at any time of the year, to listen-in on any other unit firing artillery or mortar and identify who was firing what and from where. Hohne Range was probably the nearest place for a Unit based in Hildesheim, but for variety they could be sent to any other allied artillery range (Grafenwohr). On the one hand the nature of the job and on the other hand a lack of Health and Safety at Work regulation, meant Ear Defenders were not in issue.

Nothing turns the bowels to jelly quicker than standing in darkness on the opposite side of a hedgerow when a 25 pdr Field Gun opens up as ranging gun, except when all 6 guns fire for effect.


Last edited by Pborn4 on 31/8/2018, 17:49; edited 1 time in total
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Pborn4
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Number of posts : 171
Age : 71
Localisation : Between Hannover and Herford, off all main routes
Cap Badge : Not even a reservist now - have been Pborn3
Places Served : Oswestry 1965, Paderborn to 1971, NE Dist, Munsterlager from 1974, Sennelager (1976 to 2012)
Registration date : 2016-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Looking for information on 157 Div Loc Battery 1955-57?   31/8/2018, 16:20

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/157-divisional-locating-battery-royal-477831518

157 Divisional Locating Battery Royal Artillery

History
Part of 11 Armoured Division.
157 Battery won the BAOR Cricket Championship in 1952. The final was played at The Oval in August. The team was under the captaincy of James Allan (who went on to play for
Scotland , Kent , and Warwickshire).
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