Regimental History

History of 36th Regiment
Royal Artillery

First formed as 4th North Midland Brigade RFA Territorial Force at Derby, and as such served with 46 North Midland Division on the Western Front 1915 - 1918. The Brigade was broken up in August 1916 and redesignated.
Became 62 (North Midland) Brigade RFA TA, at Derby.
Became 68 (North Midland) AA Brigade, at Derby.

Became 68 HAA Regiment RA, moved to Egypt in August 1941. 8th Army, fought alongside Polish Forces,
lost at Tobruk June 1942.
Reformed in Eygpt June 1943 and moved to Malta in January 1945.
Redesignated 36th Coast / HAA Regiment in Malta.
1.4. 1947
Retitled 36th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
Comprising of 56, 60
and 168 Batteries
3.7" Gun
36th Heavy Anti - Aircraft Regiment in Malta.
3.7" Gun
Regiment moves to Shoeburyness
56, 60 and 168 HAA Btys
Retitled 36th Guided Weapon Regiment (Anti-Aircraft)
Re-equipped with Thunderbird 1 Missiles
168 Battery placed into Suspended Animation
Sept 1961
Regiment moves to BAOR
Regiment arrives at RAF Sundern in Gutersloh,
later renamed Mansergh Barracks.
CO Lt Col Walkling
56 and 60 GW Btys
Thunderbird 1
Nov/Dec 1961
Regiment moves to Glamorgan Barracks, Duisburg   
56 and 60 GW Btys
Thunderbird 1
Retitled 36th  Heavy Air Defence Regiment
56 and 60 HAD Btys
Re-equipped with Thunderbird 2 Missiles
Regiment moves to Napier Barracks, Dortmund
56 and 60 HAD Btys
Amalgamated with 37th Heavy Air Defence Regiment
at Shoeburyness, became
36th Heavy Air Defence Regiment.
56 Battery to 50 Missile Regt, 60 Battery placed
 into Suspended Animation.
260 Sig Sqn joined from 37 Regt

CO Lt Col J A Gallie
until Feb 1969.
New CO Lt Col
A J A Brett.
July 1971
Regiment moves back to BAOR
Napier Barracks, Dortmund
28.3. - 31 Jul 73 NI Tour, East Belfast
26 11.76 - 29.3.77 Long Kesh

10 and 111 Btys
260 Sig Sqn
March 1976
43 Bty joined Regiment from 20 Regt.
May 1977
'Syrena Day' - Disbandment Parade
Napier Barracks, Dortmund.
Ceased Operational Role

CO Lt Col Peter Painter
Placed into Suspended Animation
10 Bty to 45 Regt, 43 Bty to 39 Regt and 111 Bty to 2nd Regt

Commanding Officers and R.S.M.'s

If you have any information regarding dates of Service for Commanding Officers
and RSM's of 36 Regiment, then please E-Mail me with the details.

Commanding Officers

1952 - 1953
Lt Col GFA Barff MC RA
1959 - 1961
Lt Col Eiloart RA
1961 - 1963
Lt Col Walking RA
1963 - ?
Lt Col Purvis MBE RA
1966 - 68
Lt Col Lewendon RA
1968 - 1969
Lt Col JA Gallie RA
Lt Col AJA Brett RA
1971 - 1973
L t Col Groom RA
Lt Col Monk RA
Lt Col P Painter RA

R S M's

1959 - 1962/63
WO1 Woodsford
1962/63 - ?
WO1 Newall
1963 - ?
WO1 Parmenter MBE
1968 - 1971
WO1 Lewis
1971 -
WO1 Booth
1974 - 1975
WO1 JJM McDonald
1975 - 1977
W01 Paddy Feeny

36th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment was Stationed at Tigne Point, Silema, Malta from 1945
until 1956. The Batteries in operation with the Regiment in Malta were168 Battery,  
56 (Olpherts's) Battery A and B Troops, and 60 Battery C and D Troops.
The Regiment had 3.7 Guns as its equipment.

36 HAA Regiments, 3.7 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Guns on Malta

36 Regiment wore a red flash behind the cap badge while stationed on Malta. The reason was
 that in 1951 73 HAA Regiment were also stationed on the island at St George's Barracks.
The only way to identify members of either Regiment was for one to wear the red flash.       

On the 29th November 1956,  36th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment arrived at Shoeburyness from
Malta. In 1959 the Regiment was again retitled, this time as 36th Guided Weapon Regiment
(Anti-Aircraft) when it gave up its guns and was re-equiped with Thunderbird 1 Missiles.
168 Battery was put into Suspended Animation on the 1st April 1959, and disbanded on
the 1st January 1962.

When the Berlin Wall was being constructed there was only one Air Defence unit in BAOR,
that was 12 LAA Regt stationed at Delmenhorst. It was announced that a 'CRACK' Regiment
was to be sent to reinforce the Rhine Army, that was 36 Guided Weapons Regt RA, along with
22 LAA Regt and 16 LAA Regt. Embarkation leave started and the Regiment started its move to
BAOR in September 1961. The Regiment eventually arrived at RAF Sundern in Gutersloh which
was renamed Mansergh Barracks.

Press Release dated 12th September 1961

Shoeburyness: Guided Weapon Regiment Inspected
before being Shipped to Germany

The Director of the Royal Artillery, Major General Bates visited the
36th Guided Weapons Regiment at their Barracks in Shoeburyness,
Sept 12. The Regiment will be posted to West Germany in the next few
weeks to support the British Army of the Rhine.

Armed with the British Thunderbird Anti-Aircraft Missile, the Regiment
will reinforce the two British Guided Missile Regiments already in Germany.
The Thunderbird has a range of over twenty-five miles. It is the most mobile
guided weapon in the British Army. A later version of the Thunderbird
with a greater range and better mobility is now being developed.

Defence experts say the Regiment will help to compensate for the
British loss of manpower in Germany, caused through National
Servicemen being demobbed.

Due to the Berlin Crisis 6,000 West German conscripts who were
ready to be demobbed will have to serve another three months.
Several thousand others have been warned that they may have
an extended period of duty.

And these Press Release's was Dated 26th / 27th September 1961

Thunderbird Missiles leave for UK
Base in West Germany

The first reinforcements from Britain to go to West Germany
because of the Berlin crisis left Britain Sept 26. Among them
were Thunderbird Missiles of a Guided Weapons Regiment, which
were loaded onto the Cross - Channel ferry at Dover, Kent, at dawn.

The all British Thunderbird - an Anti-Aircraft Missile, is designed
to increase the protection of british bases against attack. The
whole Guided Weapons Regiment, with lorries and equipment,
will go to Germany in five groups, each travelling separately
during the week.

Each group will rest a night in Belgium, and one in Germany
before reaching their destination near Bielefeld: The first
Thunderbird Regiment to go into the field.

The first of five units of the 36th British Royal Artillary Regiment,
armed with Thunderbird missiles, passed through the Dutch border town
 of Elmpt, September 27, into West Germany. The Regiment is the first
 british force to be sent to Germany as part of the build up to meet the Berlin crisis.

The all-British Thunderbird - an Anti-Aircraft Missile - is designed to increase
the British bases against attack. The other four units of the Guided Weapons
Regiment are to follow the advance force soon, with lorries and equipment.

In Germany, The Regiment will set up Headquarters near Bielefeld.

The Regiment moved to Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg in Nov / Dec 1961.
While in the British Army of the Rhine the Regiment was retitled 36th Heavy Air Defence
Regiment and equipped with the Thunderbird 2 Missile. The Regiment remained in Duisburg
 until 1966 and then moved to Napier Barracks in Dortmund. The Regiment remained there
until the Labour Government reduced the Rhine Army, and in 1968 the
 Regiment returned to Shoeburyness.

37th Heavy Air Defence Regiment moved from Pembroke Dock, and was stationed at
Horseshoe Barracks from 1967 until April 1968. 36th Heavy Air Defence Regiment
returned from the British Army of the Rhine and amalgamated with 37 Regiment
 at Shoeburyness on the 1st April 1968.

56 (Olpherts's) Battery moved on to 50 Missile Regiment and is still in
operation with 39 Regiment RA as the Headquarters Battery, but  60 Battery
was put into Suspended Animation.

The new unit retained the title of 36th Heavy Air Defence Regiment. While the
 new Regiment was numbered 36, the two Batteries from 37 retained their numbers
 with the personnel from that Regiment generally forming 10 (Assaye) Bty, and those
 from 36 Regiment in 111 (Dragon) Bty.

1st April 1968, Amalgamation Parade on the Cricket Field, Shoeburyness
The Salute was taken by Lt Col John Gallie, Commanding Officer.
You can find more Photos of the Amalgamation Parade on our Facebook Page.

In July 1971 the Regiment returned to the British Army of the Rhine leaving a small Recruiting
detachment in Southend on Sea. Between the 17th - 23rd May 1972 the Regiment took part
in a KAPE tour to Essex, and visited Southend on Sea on the 23rd. Two Launchers and
Equipment were on display on the site of the old Municpal College, Victoria Circus.

Please click here to find out about
the History of BAOR.

The following Pictures and Articles appeared in the June 30th and
July 1st 1971 Edtions of the Southend Evening Echo Newspaper

History in the making as Army says farewell to Shoebury
Missile Men go out with a Bang

26th May 1977

Disbandment Parade
Thanks to Robin Firman for this photo.
More on the 36 Facebook Photo Albums

Shortly after the Regiments successful tour in Northern Ireland.  36 Heavy Air Defence Regiment
Royal Artillery held it's Disbandment Parade. Although the Regiment did not cease it's operational
role until September, the 26th May was the last occasion when all the Batteries and other
sub-units would be together in Dortmund.

Not only did the parade mark the end of service for the Thunderbird II SAGW System but also marked
the end of the last Heavy Air Defence Regiment in the British Army. The day was aptly named
'Syrena Day', since Syrena is the Regimental Emblem, cherished after it was awarded to the Batteries
of the Regiment for their gallant support by the Commander of the Polish Forces fighting in Italy during
World War II. The Guest of Honour at the Syrena Day Parade was Gen. P.T. Tower, C.B., D.S.O. M.B.E.
He inspected the five guards, one each drawn from each sub-unit of the Regiment. The Syrena Day was
brought to a close with an Officers/Sergeants Mess Ball in the evening.

The Regiment was put into suspended animation on the 31st December 1977.

Since that time much has happened, the Army have gone from Shoeburyness Garrison and Ranges.
The Garrison has been sold to Gladedale Homes Ltd for £8 million, and has been developed
for housing and with leisure in mind. Dortmund Garrison has also disappeared, and
Napier Barracks has now been completly demolished. If only we could put the clock back.

36 Heavy Air Defence Regiment could not have functioned as a fighting force without the
dedication and service of members of the following Corps and Units.


Maid of Warsaw

Syrena was the name of a mermaid associated with early greek mythology famous for her beauty
and her signing. Many sailors sought her affection, but were lured to their deaths when their
ships were wrecked upon the rocks where she dwelt.

Many years later a statue of Syrena was erected in the main square of the Polish city of Warsaw.
The statue showed her carrying a sword and shield and she became the symbol and rallying point
of the Ploes during the German occupation in World War 2. The silhouette of the statue was used
as the shoulder badge,or formation sign, of the 2nd Polish Corps.

In the summer of 1944 several British Regiments were placed under command of 2nd Polish Corps
during the Adriatic Campaign. The British units fought with such distinction that the Polish
Corps Commander granted them the priviledge of wearing the Syrena Badge. One of these Regiments
was 26 Medium Regiment which included 10 (Assaya) Battery and 111 (Dragon) Battery.

In 1946, 26 Medium Regiment was retitled 37 Field Regiment, which later became 37 Heavy Air
Defence Regiment. Recognition of the link between 37 Regiment and 2nd Polish Corps was
officially acknowledged in 1966. It was in that year that 37 Regiment were granted the right to use
the Syrena motif as a Regimental symbol. When 36 and 37 Regiments amalgamated the Syrena
tradition was adopted by this Regiment.

This is the Flag of 2nd Polish Corps

654 "Maid of Warsaw" Squadron
Army Air Corps

You will be pleased to know the "Syrena" lives on in the Army Air Corps 654 Squadron
 and they proudly wear the Maid of Warsaw on their No2's.

The Syrena Squadron are based at Wattisham Airfield, Suffolk.
My thanks to Pilot Murray Nicol for telling me of this Syrena link.

36 Regimental  Recruiting Poster 1970

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36th Heavy Air Defence Regiment    "Cloudpunchers"

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