British Raiding Support Regiment

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walter jones
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by walter jones » 13 Feb 2013 10:56

If you know of anyone still alive from the RSR, I would very much like to get in touch and inform them of my grandfathers book - Raiding support Regiment. Some info below

I don't think many people know about his book or even know it exists. Be great if people get the opportunity to read this very accurate account.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raiding-Supp...0701877&sr=1-1

The Second World War in Yugoslavia is an area neglected by historians and other commentators. This is perhaps surprising as Yugoslavia was the only country in Europe to be conquered by the Germans and then, later, to free itself solely as a result of guerilla activity. Other countries had to be liberated by Allied armies. The British played an important role in supporting the activities of Tito s guerilla army. This is the story of Walter Jones s service and the operations of the Raiding Support Regiment. A precursor to the modern SAS the Raiding Support Regiment fought alongside the commandos and Tito s partisan in Yugoslavia. Based on the Island of Vis in the Adriatic they provided heavy weapons support to British and partisan forces trying to drive the Germans out of Yugoslavia. Later they served in Albania and Italy. This is a brutally honest account of one man s service with the Regiment and a neglected period of European history. It documents the transformation of a young man into a combat veteran as he witnesses the effects of bombing, the deliberate killing of POWs and partisan savagery against those who transgress the partisan code

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JP1992
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by JP1992 » 23 Feb 2013 18:13

Hello all,

My Grandad was also in the Raiding Support Regiment, he was part of 'D' battery, but as seems the case with this almost phantom regiment, I know very little more than what is written on his service record.

He was firstly an Artillery Sargent before joining being recruited into the Para's in Palestine in 41/42, he was then posted to Italy and then to Yugoslavia before being sent to Europe in late 44'. He also made drops in late 44/45, firstly during the Battle of the Bulge, and then during Operation Varsity into Germany past the Rhine.

He was then, in 46 disbanded into the Army Air Corps.

Any other info of this regiment and in particular, D' battery would be greatly appreciated.

P.s Walter, please get in touch, my Dad and I are very interested in finding out more about my Grandfather and the regiment in general.

His name, for reference was Andrew John Peacock, he had a friend called 'Jock' in the same regiment. He also apparently always wore his maroon beret when working in the ship yards after the war.


Regards,
Joe

Paul Honeywill
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by Paul Honeywill » 10 Jul 2013 17:08

In answer to your question about books written about RSR

Raiding Support Regiment: The Diary of a Special Forces Soldier 1943-45

The Second World War in Yugoslavia is an area neglected by historians and other commentators. This is perhaps surprising as Yugoslavia was the only country in Europe to be conquered by the Germans and then, later, to free itself solely as a result of guerilla activity. Other countries had to be liberated by Allied armies. The British played an important role in supporting the activities of Tito’s guerilla army. This is the story of Walter Jones’s service and the operations of the Raiding Support Regiment.

A precursor to the modern SAS the Raiding Support Regiment fought alongside the commandos and Tito’s partisan in Yugoslavia. Based on the Island of Vis in the Adriatic they provided heavy weapons support to British and partisan forces trying to drive the Germans out of Yugoslavia. Later they served in Albania and Italy. This is a brutally honest account of one man’s service with the Regiment and a neglected period of European history. It documents the transformation of a young man into a combat veteran as he witnesses the effects of bombing, the deliberate killing of POWs and partisan savagery against those who transgress the partisan code.

Can be found at: http://www.uppress.co.uk/dip

gambadier
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by gambadier » 12 Jul 2013 08:39

The Raiding Support Regt was an artillery regiment. Therefore there's a chance that there is a copy of its war diary in Woolwich (Clavell Library), it's much easier to access them there because the TNA bureaucracy doesn't apply. Best to contact them first and see if they do have a copy, not to be confused with 111 Fd Regt that was part of Brig TDLC Churchill's 2 Special Service Bde (along with 2, 9, 40 RM, 43 RM Cdos. Or the Vis Bde formed 16 Aug 44 from HQ 20 Beach Group it had assorted units of RA, RE, Sigs, Inf, assorted servces and RAF Regt sqns. In Nov 44 Vis Bde became the Adriatic bde until Apr 45 when it was disbanded, from 24 Sep 44 comd was Brig JP O'Brien Twohig.

IIRC the RSR btys were anti-tk (using capture Italian anti tk guns), mors, pack hows and AA.

I think the notion of 'precursor to the SAS' is a bit over the top since there were several SAS regts in Europe, and the SAS was formed c. 1941 or thereabouts.

I'm also geographically confused, my understanding is that the RSR operated in the Balkans (not sure about Albania and Greece). I don't see how landing in Italy was part of this, British troops in Italy did not meet Tito's forces until May 1945.

JamieD
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by JamieD » 05 Aug 2013 21:07

Hi everyone,

I've been scouring the internet on and off for the past 2 years or so trying to find info about my great uncle.

His name was Francis 'Frank' Reid and I know that he was a private in the Raiding Support Regiment, having initially been in the Royal Artillery. Some of you will be familiar with his book "I was in Noahs Ark"

I was in contact with Mike Colton from the Allied Special Forces Association and Simon Dawkins who knows much about the RSR.

Unfortunately, I was unable to pursue my research due to a rather large tree getting in the way of my car and I'm only now picking up the pieces of this story.

Simon Dawkins
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by Simon Dawkins » 09 Aug 2013 21:24

Gambadier suggests in his post that the RSR was a Royal Artillery unit, yes the RSR was structured at Regimental level along the lines of an RA unit and yet it was not formed by the RA and never became a part of it.

It was formed in 1943 by Raiding Forces Middle East (a Brigade type formation whose origins go directly back to 1st SAS) to provide heavy weapons support to it's own units eg Greek Sacred Squadron,SBS (an SAS unit eg was D Squadron 1 SAS) and the LRDG. It's main role was to support the various Balkan Partisans in Yugosalvia, Albania and Greece and it could and did operate independantly of other units.

The RSR wore the SAS beret and wings (all members were parachute trained) and they were all volunteers from yes the RA and many infantry units. There was a few Para's amongst them plus some Marines and the CO was an infantryman (Sir Tom Devitt-Seaforths). The 2IC from the Buffs and the Adjutant was from the Black Watch and the unit was actually made up of around 40% RA with the rest coming from the units that I have mentioned.

The Regiment operated with the following weapons:

A Battery: Vickers MMGs and captured Spandaus
B Battery: 3" Mortars
C Battery: .50 Browning Machine Guns (used in a ground and AA role)
D Battery: Italian Anti Tank Guns (My Grandad was in 10 Troop, D Battery)
E Battery: 75mm Howitzer Pack Guns

Some 30 members did a basic Yugoslav language course and around 30 attended a snipers course (this information is in the unit War Diary at Kew)

The unit is considered by the SAS to be a member of it's regimental family(see their website) and it was included in the SAS Roll Of Honour which was dedicated some 10 years ago.

Also, Gambadier suggests trying Woolwich for information-I tried this since my Grandad was RA and they had nothing on the RSR.

Thanks!

Andrew Skinner
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by Andrew Skinner » 30 Sep 2014 16:19

Sorry just signed up to this site.

I was in contact with Simon a number of years ago as my father also Andrew Skinner was in the RSR. JP1992, if you are still around, he was commonly known as "Jock" and served in "D Battery". Mentioned in "I was in Noah's Ark" a couple of times, including when he was wounded twice in Athens. He mentioned a Major Prentice of SOE who he was attached to and I believe his personal war diary and papers are kept in Kings College London and can be viewed by special appointment.
I have a photo of my dad and A Way taken in Bari 1944 which shows them wearing the beige beret and SAS wings.

rawilliauk
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by rawilliauk » 31 Oct 2016 19:16

Hello All,

I'm a newbie to the site having just signed up. I've just come across a photo online that seems to have my grandfather in it and purports to be of some of the lads in the RSR. My grandfather was Glyndwr Williams (RAF 1419660) and seems to be the left most person with shirt off on the front row (bottom of the 3 photos at http://www.89fss.com/rsr.htm). I've found it extremely difficult to find information on Glyndwr as his association with irregular units has not made it onto his official service record with the RAF, as such, the RAF have advised that they do not believe he belonged to any of the units he mentioned to family - he originally enlisted to RAF Air Sea Rescue, and after service around the UK, was sent to North Africa. This is where the service record goes cold until he was demobbed in 1947 - the RAF suggest that he continued to provide assistance to downed pilots on the crash boats. However, we know there are holes in the service record because he was considerably injured during 1944, which has not made it to his records, and there is also no mention of him being taken POW with a number of American personnel in early 1944 (luckily they all escaped).

Family believe that he was part of various High Speed Launch crews between 1943-1944 before he landed in Italy. We know he was associated with RAF HSLs that took part in operations around Elba, Corsica, Crete, Yugoslavia, Pantellaria, Lampedusa, Sicily and Southern France - we have a hand painted tankard that lists the places where his crew were involved. He was the rear gunner on the HSLs, potentially a Vickers MG. We also have a number of photos from when he was on either mainland Italy or in Yugoslavia, but as the guys are predominantly bare chested, there aren't any insignia, berets or uniforms to confirm what units he was associated with. We believe that he met up with LRDG, PPA and SAS, but cannot confirm anything. The photo on the site mentioned above has him wearing a light beret, so this is proving positive though!

I wondered whether anyone has any information on a Welsh Guy called Glyndwr Williams by any chance? He was quite a shy person by all accounts, and before he joined up he was a baker and confectioner - after the war he worked as a coal miner in the Rhondda Valleys (South Wales) before moving to Newport (South Wales) to work for Llanwern Steelworks.

Thanks in advance for any help people can provide.

Richard

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JP1992
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by JP1992 » 03 Mar 2017 15:26

Hi Andrew,

I will mention Andrew Skinner to my Dad, do you happen to know where he was living in the 1950s?

I believe from memory my Grandad worked in Hull in the Shipyards, he used to wear I believe the maroon beret of the Paras, but I think he also had a tan one. He did not like a particular person wearing a black beret though for unknown reasons.

If I find any more info I will report back.

To Rawilliauk unfortunately I do not know of Glyndwr Williams, any info is very sketchy and hard to come by, there is a book my Walter Jones I think on amazon which is a good read and could possibly shed some light on him.

Rock82
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by Rock82 » 12 Mar 2017 20:50

My father was in the RSR. Does anyone know of any remaining members. My father passed away in 1999. I was in touch last year with a former member who is in Perth, Australia. Unfortunately he never recognised my father from a photo I sent. Would be good to know if there are any of these exceptional men still with us.

Andrew Skinner
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by Andrew Skinner » 04 Jun 2017 16:58

Hi JP, my dad was living in Galashiels & Edinburgh during the 50's. I have a fair number of documents/reports etc which Simon sent me a number of years back.

JohnWP
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by JohnWP » 06 Jul 2019 10:34

Hi all, I've been trying to find some information on my late grandfather's military history, without much luck. I know he was a member of the RSR and fought in Yugoslavia. His name was Horatio John Simes. Any information or recommendations on where to research would be appreciated.
Cheers
John

Bobster
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Re: British Raiding Support Regiment

Post by Bobster » 03 Sep 2019 08:13

Hello, my half cousin (Gran's nephew) Tommy Corps was in the RA and then joined the SAS in Egypt, which changed briefly to the SRS for the invasion of Italy, I have been told he was at Termoli as for a short while he was Paddy Mayne's batman/runner/bodyguard, possibly after his previous batman was killed in the shelling at Termoli. The family later thought Tommy was dead as no letters were received from him for a very long time, but it turned out he had been behind the lines with partisans, but not sure where. As Tommy was from the RA my suspicion is that he may have been with Major Farran who pioneered the use of air dropped Pack howitzers in Italy with the SAS, but I now think it's possible Tommy was with the RSR, does anyone have any information on his wartime activities, he remained in the Army after the war and served in Africa at one time

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