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37 Regiment Royal Artillery

As 36 and 37 Regiment's were so very closely related in Role, Equipment,

 Batteries and Personnel, I have decided to dedicate a page on this Web site to this fine Regiment.


Dedicated to all who served in:

63rd Heavy Anti- Aircraft Regiment

37th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment

37th Guided Weapon Regiment (Anti-Aircraft)

37th Heavy Air Defence Regiment

History of 37th Regiment

Royal Artillery


1900                            First formed as 36 Brigade RFA, Comprising of 15                                                      Battery in Meerut, 48 Battery in Barrackpore and 71                                                    Battery in Mooltan, India

1902                            15 Battery in Fyzabad, 48 Battery in Lucknow and

                                    71Battery in Bareilly, India

1904                            15 Battery in Waterford, 48 Battery in Fethard and

                                    71 Battery in Clogheen, Ireland

1905                             Regiment in Kildare

1908                             Regiment in Dundalk

1909                             Regiment in Athlone

1911                             Regiment in Sheffield

1913                             Regiment in Ewshott

1914 - 1918                 Service on the Western Front

1919                             Regiment in Ireland


Nov 1922                     Redesignated 26 Brigade RFA, Comprising of 116, 117,                                            118 and 141 Battery. Stationed in Jubbulpore, India

June 1924                     Retitled 26th Field Brigade Royal Artillery

1929                             Regiment in Bulford

1933                             Regiment in Larkhill

Feb 1937                      Regiment in Bulford

Oct 1938                      Became 26th Anti-Tank Regiment, Comprising of 15,                                                 40, 48 and 71 Batteries

1939                             Regiment in Malta

Sept 1940                     Became 13th Coast Regiment

Feb 1941                      Became 17th Defence Regiment

June 1941                     Became 26th Defence Regiment

Sept 1943                     Became 26th Medium Regiment

Home Forces               15 Bty became A Troop 40 Med Bty, 48 Bty became                                                   48/71 Med Bty

Nov 1943                     Middle East Forces, North Africa

Jan 1944                       9th Army, Palestine

Apr 1944                      Middle East Forces, North Africa

June 1944                     8th Army

The Regiment was granted to use of the "Syrena" Badge, which is the badge of

2 Polish Corps. The Regiment fought under Polish Orders at the

Battle of Monte Cassino and in the

Adriatic Campaign, Italy


March 1946                  Became 26th Field Regiment, 15 & 48 Btys restored

1.1.1947                        Became 37th Field Regiment, 15 & 48 Btys became

                                      10 & 111 Btys, 25 Pdr Gun

20.10.1948                   Retitled 37th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment

                                     RHQ and Btys converted to HAA Units, Comprising

                                     10, 111 and 171 (The Broken Wheel) Batteries, 3.7" Gun

1951-1955                    37 Regiment stationed at Tonfanau Camp,

                                     Tywyn, North Wales, Anti-Aircraft Command, 3.7" Gun

1.1.1947                       63rd Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment

1948                             Regiment moves to Horseshoe Barracks, Shoeburyness

                                     Comprising of 91Bty (Prev 156 HAA Bty)

                                     194 Bty (Prev 193 HAA Bty), 220 Bty (Prev 256 HAA Bty)

2.6. 1955                      Amalgamation of 63 and 37 Regiments


91 Bty to 72 LAA Regt,

194 & 220 Btys into Suspended Animation


91 Bty into Suspended Animation

in March 1958

72 LAA Regt disbands


Aug 1955                     Retitled 37th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment

                                     Shoeburyness, 3.7" Gun

Sept 1956                    The Regiment moves to Malta during the Suez crisis

                                    Troopship Empire Ken, St Patricks Barracks

Late 1956                    Regiment moves into Tigne Barracks Siliema, 10 Battery

                                    at Mellieha Bay Camp

1958                            10 Battery at Paradise Bay, 111 Battery at Tigne

                                    and 171 Battery at Spinola

Sept 1959                    Regiment moves to UK and renamed, Blandford, Dorset

1.10.1959                    Re-titled 37th Guided Weapon (AA) Regiment

                                    10 and 111 GW Btys

Oct 1959                     171 Battery placed into Suspended Animation

Nov 1959                    Equipped with Thunderbird 1 Missiles

1960                            Regiment moves to Piddlehinton Camp, Dorset

                                    Thunderbird 1

1963                            111 Battery in Aden for 6 months, Falaise Camp

18.3.1964                     Re-titled 37th Heavy Air Defence Regiment

                                     Llanion Barracks, Pembroke Dock

Feb 1967                      Regiment at Shoeburyness, Commanding Officer

                                     Lt Col J A Gallie



Amalgamated with

36 Heavy Air Defence Regiment at Shoeburyness

Feb 1969

36 Regiment Dine out Lt Col Gallie

New CO Lt Col A J A Brett

In 1948 63rd Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment came to Horseshoe Barracks, Shoeburyness and

remained there under that title until 1955. In August of that year the Regiment was renamed

37th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment. In September 1956 37th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment

moved to Malta during the Suez crisis. A small rear party remained at Shoeburyness.


37 Regiment's Thunderbirds on exercise, November 1960

Thanks to George Stacey for the photo.

Walter Smith

My thanks to Walter for the following account of his time in

37 Regt RA  March 1958 until September 1963


I joined the Regt in Malta March 1958 and was posted to 10 Assaye Bty which was up the

 end of the island now called  paradise Bay. There was also 111 Dragon Bty stationed at

Tigne and 171 (I think that is the No) stationed at Spinola.


In 1958 10 Bty moved to Tigne Barracks 171 stayed where it was, later 171 was disbanded

 or at least it did not return to the UK I think it was is a long time ago…Malta was

a very good posting lots to do and no real problems. A couple of times we had to do IS duties when

Dom Mintoff fired up the Maltese but it was nothing …..silly road blocks that our 6 wheelers

 and Matadors sent flying.


Some time in 1959 45 Commando decided to go to North Africa on a scheme and as

 all people in 45 were Commandos they drew from 37 drivers ,cooks ,etc. I went as a driver

 it was good……. on board HMS Striker an LCT  and away to Omns beach.. Benghazi and Tripoli.

I was glad not to be a Commando as they seem to run everywhere.


At about Sept 1959 we sailed for the UK on the TT Devonshire, Leaving the London Fusiliers

as the Garrison Regt. The Royal Regt of Artillery had been Garrison Regt since time immemorial

so it was with much pomp and ceremony we handed over, there was lots of aggro between the

London Fusiliers and the Commandos as to who were top dogs on the Island we kept out of it.

 Worth noting here that 37 was sent to Malta at the time of the Suez crisis code name Magic,

it was stamped on all the MFO boxes.


On return to the UK we were at Blandford in Dorset where we handed in our 3.7 HAA guns…

we were going to be GW in the meantime we had nothing in the way of equipment so they doubled

the guard and did a few more things to keep us occupied like running a Cadre course  which

I went on and became a L/Bdr. They then mixed us all up and I was posted to 111 Dragon Bty RA

 at the time I was not pleased but later came to love this fine old Bty.


In due course we received our Missiles, English Electric Thunderbird with all that goes

with them, we learn to use them………….Then 37 Regt RA goes to Piddlehinton 5 miles from

Dorchester Dorset now we are at home this is our camp we that is I…. live in married quarters at

Marabout Barracks (sub standard) at 18 shillings a week. Cant be bad….Next that happens is some of us

 are sent all over England and Scotland with said Missile on a sort of recruiting drive. By now you may

 have seen that if it was going  good or bad I was there. This is true. We were testing Multi fuel vehicles

that is can run on diesel or petrol can you imagine the POL point fill it with petrol …….

IT'S A diesel is it ? oh well fill it with petrol anyway…Panic…funny but my job in life is the repair of

cars etc I have never come across this idea but it did work very well.


Then Some of Dragon Bty me as well of course are sent to the outer Hebrides to support the firing

Regts from Germany both English and American………the range in Benbecula was for Corporal

ground to ground missiles.


Now we move to my last 6 months, 111 Bty was sent to Aden for 6 months terrible place. Our missiles

were set up and every 2 hours their temps were taken…. never less than 85 f and that is in the middle

of the night. There were over 8000 troops in Aden at that time and they all came to see the Thunderbird

Missile. We were stationed with the Royal Scots Greys a tank Regt way out at Falaise camp. The

Commandos ran up to see our missiles everyone else coming by truck…that is a fact. I must add here

that having seen and met these “boot necks” they are without doubt the best soldiers you will ever see.

We later found out that this missile system was to be sold to an Arab state and they wanted to know what

effect the heat would have on them.


I returned to UK Sept 3 and was demobbed 16 Dec 1963

My last address in the Regt…

23533206 Bdr Smith WA

HQ Troop


37 GW Regt RA

Piddlehinton Camp

Piddlehinton nr Dorchester



111  (Dragon)  Battery in Aden 1963

Thanks to Walter Smith for this photo.

Press Release Dated 2nd June 1963

Aden: Hot Weather Trials for Thunderbird Missile


In the hot, arid desert near Little Aden, a complete

Thunderbird Rocket unit has been installed with it's full crew and

civilian technicians. During the next months it will be closely observed

to see the effects of intense heat and humidity on the entire unit.


These heat trials are being conducted by one of the first

British Army Artillery Regiments to be trained in the tactical

use of these ground to air missiles. Later, tests will be made

on the soldiers who will work on shifts throughout the day

and night in the Radar cabins.


Tests are being made every two hours to check the effect

the heat-always about 100 degrees F-on the missiles, the electrical

components, and the explosives, three tons of high explosives are being

left in the sun to see how they stand up to the conditions.


The British made Thunderbird is a surface to air missile designed to

help protect fighting troops from high altitude attacking aircraft.

The 4,000lb solid fuelled missile has

a Radar homing system to shoot down aircraft.


Falaise Camp, 1963


Aden 1963: 18 year old Gunner Bernard Currie from

Edinburgh operating the Radar from the BCP.

Aden 1963


Michael Tinsley
37 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment

Malta 1956 - 1959

Passed Away 10 July 2022

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