The story of the 140 (5th London) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery 1939-45

LAST UPDATE: 23rd June 2024

This site was constructed at the time of the 80th Anniversary of the 1940 Battle of Dunkirk and has been continuously updated since then. It is an account of my father’s war in the 140th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery and his subsequent captivity 1940-45.

The 140th Field Regiment played a decisive role in the defence of Cassel during the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation and I’ve pulled together many previously unpublished accounts of the fighting that took place there as 367 Battery became part of 145 Brigade, tasked with a last-ditch and desperate defence of the French hilltop town.  I will suggest that the defence of Cassel was critical to the success of Operation Dynamo and the importance of this action had been under-recognised.

I have been very fortunate to have received a stream of new historical information through relatives of men of the Regiment and others, which has been added to the site through regular updates.  I hope I have mentioned them all in the Acknowledgments section.

This website includes the abridged personal diaries of officers of the 140 Regiment, namely:

Lt George Somerwill of 366 Battery,

2nd Lt Maurice Rowland of RHQ staff 367 Battery

Capt Ronald Baxter of 367 Battery

Capt Cecil Hood Adjutant of the Regiment

Unpublished accounts from Brigadier Nigel Somerset’s Memoirs

I’ve also added the full text of Major Graham Brook’s account entitled ‘Grand Party‘, published during wartime censorship in 1941.

The background research resulted in the publication of my fact-based novel about my father’s wartime and post-war experiences. It is entitled ‘The Psychiatrist: Conscript, Prisoner, Interpreter, Healer’ by John West, published by Fortis.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2022-01-14-105224-1024x735.jpg

In the Captivity section I have added the diary of Private Norman Gibbs. Gibbs was in an infantry regiment, captured near Doullens in May 1940, but after capture he, like my father, became a POW at Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf and the E72 Arbeitskommando at Beuthen and would have shared many of his experiences in captivity.

The site is dedicated to my father Eric West and the courageous, remarkable men who served alongside him in the 140 (5th London) Regiment, Royal Artillery.

About this Site

This site tells the wartime story of my father Eric West, and that of his Regiment (the 140 (5th London) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery) during the Regiment's battles in Flanders as part of the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F) in May 1940. Eric Douglas West served in the Royal Artillery 140th Field Regiment and was promoted...

Read more ...

© 2021-2024 John West All Rights Reserved.