History / World War Two

Following the relative peace of the 1920's and 30's, the men of the Regiment were to be again mobilised when the Second World War broke out in September 1939. As the 155th and 156th (Lanarkshire Yeomanry) Field Regiments of the Royal Artillery, they were once more to experience the horrors of war - the 155th in the Far East and the 156th in Europe.

In March 1941, the 155th sailed from the River Clyde bound for India in preparation for a spell in the North African Desert against Rommel's Afrika Corps. However in August, due to the increasingly warlike belligerence of the Japanese, they were instead sent to Malaya where the humid conditions came as a shock after the dry, searing heat of the Indian plains. Worse was to come when the Japanese invaded the Malayan Peninsula with landings at Kota Bahru and an attack through neutral Siam.

The 155th were thereafter continually in action until the fall of Singapore on 15th February 1942.

First at Jitra in the north west of the peninsula and then at Kampar in the Highlands of Central Malaya where the guns of the 155th drew fear and respect from the enemy.

At Slim River, the Regiment achieved fame and admiration when they halted the tanks leading the Japanese attack. Sadly, their much respected C.O., Lt Col. Alan Murdoch was killed in the battle.

After the fall of Singapore, the men of the 155th were to suffer dreadfully as POWs of a cruel and ruthless enemy.

Whether on the Death Railway built between Thailand and Burma by the slave labour of the POWs; in the bowels of the deadly Kinkaseki Copper Mine on Taiwan; on the Borneo Death Marches or in the coal mines of Japan, the men of the 155th were to suffer and die. Many more men of the Regiment died as POWs than fell in action.

Meanwhile, their 'sister' Regiment, the 156th, also faced the rigours of war. In Sicily and then on Italy, where the 156th were the first Gunners to come ashore on mainland Europe, they were up against the might of the German Wehrmacht.

At Anzio, they sadly replicated the 155th in the loss of a popular senior officer when Major F.W. Batey, MC and Bar, was killed in action.

The end to the War in Europe came in May 1945 while the 156th were serving in Germany but the men of the 155th had to endure further months of misery until the Japanese surrender on 15th August. And, despite outward appearances, none of them were ever the same again.

The names of those of the 155th and 156th who made the ultimate sacrifice are commemorated on a Memorial at Old St. Bride's Church in Douglas.

In 1946, both the 155th and 156th were disbanded and the Lanarkshire Yeomanry was reformed as an Armoured Regiment within the Territorial Army. The Lanarkshire Yeomanry as an identifiable unit of the British Army was to disappear in 1956 when it amalgamated with the Queen's Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry and the Lothians and Borders Horse to form the Queen's Own Lowland Yeomanry.

Sadly, despite such a proud and distinguished record, the Lanarkshire Yeomanry remains largely unknown, even in its native County, and it is the aim and the purpose of the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group to remedy this.