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

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Mnnicli Scare -1938 When Gennany invaded Czechoslovakia the T A were called out. 192 Battery were told to report to Brandwood House. By late evening all had arrived and we were transported in Midland Red buses to the Chance Glass Factory at Spon Lane West Bromwich. On arrival we expected bully beef and biscuits but were guided to the works canteen and a splendid pork meal followed by fruit pie and custard. Next morning we were soon organised into teams of three and issued with Lewis Guns (still covered in 1914-1918 grease -we were at a point someone mile away in a churchyard. After two or three practice alarms we found it quicker and less tiring to catch a convenient tramcar which passed our area at very frequent intervals. We were to say the very least a little disgusted that we had to defend the Black Country with Lewis Guns which had a maximum range of 2000 feet and present no danger to an enemy bomber at 20000 feet. At lunchtime BSM (Daddy) Weir had the trumpeter sound off- no-one had the faintest idea what it meant but decided it must be lunch -the BSM nearly had a fit when we paraded with plates etc. I am not sure how long this call outlasted but when Chamberlain came back with an agreement with Hitler most of the lads were off to the Villa Ground -we were eventually taken home by public transport. So the businessmen's Batteries carried on with normal TA training and it was interesting to note that the gun training was carried out on 3" AA Guns of 1917 vintage -the "Archie" of the First World War and as we had said firing camp was at Manorbier and afterwards at Burrow Head Isle of Whithom Scotland. We mentioned earlier that Chamberlain had returned from Gennany with apiece of paper -as an aside it is interesting to recxnd that Neville Chamberlain's Johnson was one of 192 Junior Officers -as it happened on 2 September 1939 Geoff Skelsey was driving John around to visit members of the Battery who had not clocked in following embodiment (many were of course still on holiday). Geoff said it must have been a great blow to John's father following the course of events and to someone who was essentially a man of peace. "Yes" John replied "I think it will kill the old man". It did a year or so -4-later.
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