History of 192 (HAA) Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery - 69th HAA Regiment Royal Artillery 1936 - 1944

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In the crisis of 1938 the units were deployed during the night of 26/27 September to war stations ready for action at dawn on 27 September and mustered 749 all ranks. During 1938 the unit secured first place in the shooting tables of 2nd AA Division being fourth in list of all UK units on 1 November 1938. The Regiment was again transferred this time to 4th AA Division TA forming part of the 34th (South Midland) AA Brigade where the initial task was the defence of Birmingham and Midlands against hostile air action. There was much speculation in 1936 on the possibility of another war starting for public works staff walking across Victoria Square saw a banner notice which said: "If there is one thing the Army does well it is the cooking." At that moment Ron Griffiths Arthur Bundell-Smallman and Tommy Cowles decided to join theTA so in the evening they went to Brandwood Drill Hall and signed on. They all passed the medical Al and amongst the party was a chap named Page who had lost one arm from the elbow -he also was passed AI. Most of the early recruits were from Cmporation Staff and other White Collar Workers from the City. The Battery soon became known as the businessman' s Battery two of the new lads from Libraries Department- Dunhill and Underhill who had served in the Great War volunteered to be Left Troop Cooks. (They were left behind when we eventually went abroad.) At the Drill Hall recruits were introduced to the permanent staff of regulars attached to 192 Battery also TA Officers BSM (Daddy) Weir TSM Taylor (Buck) Officers Atherstone, B A Thomas and Lieutenant Goode. Annual Camp 1937 took place at Manobier South Wales. Recruits were allowed to take their own transport and on arrival tent parties were formed and issue made of blankets, palliasses straw and rubber groundsheets (which also served as raincoats). A large mess tent was available for meals -the first main meal was made on 12" plates (steel) still having protective grease in large proportions (stock from 1918). A thin watery stew was spooned onto these plates -it was quite inedible and so was poured into the Pig Bin. The pudding was stewed fruit and watery custard. again on the same dirty plates -this also was poured away. Most decided to travel into nearby Tenby for a decent meal. The weather was dreadful for 2-3 days and the gun site a veritable quagmire. After a few days the weather changed and we started to enjoy the -2-camp.
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