11 November 2005

Newfoundland gunners in England, 1942

Newfoundland soldiers formed two regiments of Royal Artillery during the Second World War.

57 Heavy Regiment was re-organised as 166 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery and served in Africa and Italy. It used the 25-pounder field gun.

59 Heavy Regiment remained in England, landing in Normandy in July 1944. The regiment fought through France, Holland and finished the war in north western Germany. Initially trained on 6 inch howitzers, as shown below, the regiment later converted to 7.2 inch howitzers for the liberation of Europe.

The following photographs are from the Imperial War Museum collection. Copies of these and other photographs may be ordered from the Museum.

"Gunner Robert Rideout, a lumberman from Hermitage Bay, loads a practice shell into the breech during a trial run-through of a Newfoundland heavy artillery battery, somewhere in England. The shell weighs 100lbs. 1942."

ARTILLERY TRAINING, 1942: Ramming the shell home in a six inch artillery gun are (left-to right) Gunners Bill Clancey (from St John's), Robert Rideout (Hermitage Bay), Arthur Bailey (Trinity Bay) and Sam Bayford (Buchans). They are taking part in a training exercise, somewhere in England.