In Memoriam – 140th Field Regiment Royal Artillery

The following Officers were recorded as members of the 140th Regiment Royal Artillery in March 1940 [their outcomes in brackets]

Lt Col C.J. Odling TD [Injured at Cassel, POW]
Major Nevill Christopherson MC TD [Injured at Cassel, POW]
Major H.R. Graham Brooks MC [Injured at Dunkirk, Died 1946]
Major Edward Milton [K.I.A at Cassel]
Capt T.G. Greenwood
Capt H. Wesley [POW Cassel]
Capt C. Lorne MacDougall [POW Cassel/Normandy]
Capt Cecil Arthur Hood (Adjutant) [POW Cassel]
Lt L.S. Muir
Lt Ronald Baxter [POW Cassel]
Lt Jack May [K.I.A Cassel/Dunkirk]
Lt E.F. Jeffrey
2nd Lt /Act Capt Frank Sirkett [POW Cassel]

2nd Lts:
M. Rowland [POW Cassel]
D.W. Clarke [Injured N Africa 1943]
C.T. Hackett
D.V. Mackay
G.E. Booth
B.J. Strachan
R. Crichton-Brown
J.H. Leaman
H.A.A. Baird
G. Cook [K.I.A Watou]
R.J. Hawes
R.J. Fitch
D. Budd
G.L. Somerwill
Charles J. Bennett

Lt.Q.M. F.G. Bower MC
Chaplain A. Beale [POW Cassel]
Lt D.W. Lacey RAMC [POW Cassel]
Lt F.G.D. Dwight RAOC OME
Lt Norman Layton RCSig
Georges Kemir (French Army Agent de Liaison) [POW Cassel]

Citations for Bravery, 140th Regiment, 1940 

Very few military decorations were awarded for the members of the BEF at the Dunkirk battles, which were regarded at the time as a defeat. However, Major Brookes was nominated for a DSO, T/Capt Dennis Clarke and 2nd Lt Crighton-Brown were nominated for a Military Cross (all from 366 Battery).

The National Archive contains three citations for gallantry- Lt Col Graham Brooks, T/Captain Dennis Clark and 2nd Lt Robert Crighton-Brown.

Croix De Guerre Nominations, 1943

Bombardier JE Perry, Lance Sgt Hearle and Gunner WL Morgan were nominated for a Croix De Guerre by the Free French military authorities in Algiers.

Croix de Guerre awards 1943

Mentions In Dispatches 1945- London Gazette

I’ve highlighted names of Cassel veterans listed for MID’s in the London Gazette 25/10/1945 after the war ended. Major Christopherson is amongst the list. Apparently the citations are missing.

140th Field Regiment’s Combat Casualties, 1940-46

140th Field Regiment’s casualties from the 1940 conflict are buried in five different countries across Europe.  There are burials in the UK (3), France (21), Belgium (12), Poland (3)  and Germany (1).

There are forty 140th Regiment casualties listed by the Commonwealth War Commission, of whom three died later in the war in captivity.   Sadly, one casualty, Gunner George Lucas, died just days from his potential liberation in March 1945.

Fourteen men from the 140th Regiment are recorded as having died in the most bitter fighting that took place between 24th-29th May 1940, most of whom have no known grave and are commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial.  Five men are listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as having died during the battle of Cassel on 29th May 1940, although some of these may have died of wounds sustained earlier.  The majority of 367 Battery were captured, wounded or killed during the battle of Cassel and the breakout towards Dunkirk.

Lt-Colonel Graham Brooks, whose 1941 book Grand Party is an essential record of this Regiment and its men, was invalided out of the Army after an illness precipitated by his prolonged immersion in the sea at Dunkirk.   Brooks lived to see the end of the war and the return of most of his fellow officers and men from captivity in 1945.  He died in 1946 at the age of 51 and is buried in Golders Green Crematorium, London.

This site is dedicated to the men of the 140th Regiment listed in the order of the 1940 battle below:


Douai Communal Cemetery, France

Gunner John LEE, died 10/04/1940, age 23 (Died from asphyxiation during a training manoeuvre)


Dunkirk Commonwealth War Memorial, Dunkirk, France 

Gunner Alfred BRIGHT, died 10/05/1940, age 28

[Unknown grave- date of death may be given in error]


Bruyelle Commonwealth War Cemetery, near Tournai, Belgium

Lance Bombardier Thomas BENNETT, died 22/05/1940, age 19 (killed by German shellfire at Ere)


Dunkirk CWGC Memorial, Dunkirk, France 

[Unknown graves- bodies never located, most were probably killed at or near Cassel]

Gunner Robert HIGHET, died between 25/05/1940 and 29/05/1940, age 21

Letter from Capt. Somerwill dated July 1942 regarding last sighting of Driver Highet.

Gunner Bernard VANDENBOSCH, died 25/05/1940, age 19

Lance Sergeant Harry SWINDLE, died 26/05/1940, age 20

(F Troop 367 Battery, Died from injuries at Chateau Masson in Cassel) 

Sergeant Henry GOODRUM, died 26/05/1940, age 31

(F Troop 367 Battery, also died from injuries with Harry Swindle)

Bombardier Joseph BETH, died 29/05/1940, age 23

(D Troop 367 Battery, died at Cassel)

Gunner William READ, died between 29/05/1940 and 02/06/1940, age 24

Gunner William WEEDEN, died 29/05/1940, Age 21

BATTLE of CASSEL BURIALS, 26th-29th MAY 1940

Cassel General Cemetery, France

Gunner Charles WILLIAMS, died 26/05/1940, Age 19

Gunner Reginald WOOLSTON, died 29/05/1940, Age 19 (killed by mortar fire manning a field gun alongside Major Christopherson)


Hotton Commonwealth War Cemetery, Luxembourg Region, Belgium

The victims of the 30th May 1940 Watou ambush (see ‘Breakout from Cassel, Part 1‘) were re-interred to Hotton CWG Cemetery on the 22nd February 1948, including Major Ronald Cartland and the approximately 35 other B.E.F. soldiers that had been buried by the Flemish civilian authorities at Watou.

The following 140 Rgt members were killed on 30th May 1940 alongside Major Ronald Cartland MP and re-interred from the temporary burial ground at Watou in 1948:

2nd Lieutenant Graham COOK, age 26

Gunner Horace NICHOLLS, age 20

Gunner Sydney VANGROSKY, age 25

Lance Bombardier James HARDY, age 26

Gunner Alfred THORPE, age 21

Gunner John DUFFIELD, age 21

Gunner Edwin STRAHAN, age 24

Gunner William DAVIS, age 26

Nine Elms Commonwealth War Cemetery, near Poperinghe, Belgium

Gunner Albert SMITH, died 29/05/1940, aged 21

Bombardier William WILLS, died between 28/05/1940 and 16/06/1940, age 25

Gunner Frederick HART, died 30/05/1940, age 18


Longueness Souvenir Cemetery, St Omer, France 

Major Edward MILTON T.D., died 31/05/1940, Aged 47 (died from wounds following capture during the Cassel breakout)

Sergeant Richard FOGGO, died 01/06/40, age 22

Bombardier John NORMAN, died between 10/5/40 and 01/06/40, age 26

Gunner Leo O’KELLY, died between 10/5/40 and 01/06/40, age 21

Gunner Edward MURPHY, died 30/05/40, age 21

Gunner Walter PETTIT, died 30/05/40, age 21

Bombardier Arthur ROSS, died 03/06/40, age 22 (see ‘Biographies’ & ‘Breakout from Cassel’)

Lille Southern Commonwealth War Cemetery, Lille, France

Lance Sergeant John OVERY, died 30/05/1940, age 34

Calais Southern Commonwealth War Cemetery, Calais, France

Sergeant Allison BUCHANAN died 26/05/1940.

Letter from Lt Somerwill to the War Office dated 1942 regarding Sgt Buchanan’s last known sighting.

Dunkirk Town Cemetery, Dunkirk, France

2nd Lieutenant Donald WATERMAN, died 28/05/ 1940, age 29. 

He was a member of the Honorable Artillery Company before the war and was attached to D Troop, 367 Battery. He died in the friendly-fire incident at Cassel (see Cassel 27th-28th May). His father was Bertie Waterman, a well-known Dartford Auctioneer, who lived in Wilmington, Kent (Donald is commemorated on the Wilmington War Memorial). Donald was married, and he and his wife Chloe were living in Sutton at Hone, Kent in 1939. His death was not confirmed until October 1940.


Bromley Hill Cemetery, Bromley, London 

Lieutenant Jack Carrington MAY, died 21/06/1940.

(F Troop, 367 Battery, died from wounds after Dunkirk evacuation)

Alperton Cemetery, Wembley, London

Gunner Edward LIDDLE, died 09/08/ 1940.

(died from wounds after Dunkirk evacuation)


Krakow Commonwealth War Cemetery, POLAND 

Gunner Edward FORD, died 13/01/1941, Aged 20

(POW Stalag VIIIB, Lamsdorf, re-interred to Krakow 1948 from Langenbielau, Lower Silesia)

Malbork Commonwealth War Cemetery, POLAND

Gunner George MEASURES, died 15/07/1942, age 24

(POW Stalag XXA, Thorn)

Gunner Jack DOWN; died 13/2/1941, age 21

(POW Stalag XXA, Thorn)

D-DAY, June 1944

St Andrew’s Church, Aveton Gifford, Devon UK

Sapper John William MARTIN, DCM, RA, RE

(Died on the 8th June 1944 during the fighting at Sword Beach. See Driver Martin’s Story in ‘367 Battery, The Ones Who Got Away’


Durnbach Commonwealth War Cemetery, Bavaria, Germany 

Gunner George LUCAS, died 23/03/1945, age 45

It appears that Gunner Lucas died at Stalag IXB, Wegscheide on 23rd March 1945. Nine days later, on 2nd April 1945, Stalag IXB was to be liberated by the American Army. This camp was near to Bad Orb in Hesse, some 190 miles to the west of Nuremberg and 30 miles east of Frankfurt. Stalag IXB  was one of the camps with the worst reputation in Europe. Gunner George Lucas was re-interred at Durnbach on 30th September 1947.


All Saints Church, Willian, Hertfordshire

Gunner Leonard STRINGER, died 18/04/1946, age 27

(died from complications of Pulmonary TB after repatriation as POW in 1944) 

Golders Green Crematorium, London UK

Lt-Colonel Graham BROOKS, MC, Commanding Officer 366 Battery 140th Regiment, and author of ‘Grand Party’  died 27/10/1946, age 51