I am trying to work out where my grandmother's cousin, Henry Adler, saw action during WW2. Henry was born June 14th 1917 in Glasgow. I have his Soldier's Service and Pay Book as well as his Soldier's Release Book. I also have some information written on the back of photographs. Any help or advice would be most appreciated.

What I know

According to his Service Book, Henry Adler was enlisted at Glasgow on 15th February 1940. His army number is 2824155. He joined the Royal Artillery in addition it says "A/S Group 26":

service book page

Later in the book it has a record of employment as an army tradesman:

record of employment as an army tradesman - Henry Adler

Later in the book, in the medical classification section, probably sometime after 1943 although the dates are not clear, is a medical report completed by "Lieut Col RA, Commanding 208 Fd (SP) Regt RA".

Also, there are several A.F.W3084 forms which say Arm: R.A. (H.A.A.) and have the (H.A.A.) scored out and (FD) written after it. There are also several of the same forms which say Arm: H.A.A. His rank is always listed as GNR.

His Soldier's release book says R.A. (Field) and Sidcup Kent. There is a military dispersal unit stamp No.1 17 Feb 1946 Edinburgh. His Release Leave Certificate lists his rank as GNR and his unit, regt. or corps as '208 Fld. (SP) Regt R.A.' Place is listed as 21.ABPO and date 16 Jan 1946. The officer's signature is stamped 'Lieut, Colonel. R.A. Commanding 208 Field (S.P.) Regiment, R.A. There are other stamps including Carlisle and Edinburgh and later dates. It is also stamped WS14.

Photos which might help:

There are photos of him wearing various different uniforms and hats. This one (Henry on left) from April 27th 1940 in Edinburgh appears to be the earliest: enter image description here

Another photo (16 Jan 1941) shows him in a different uniform (left): enter image description here

During 1941 there are photos of him in this same uniform in Dundee.

On the back of this photo of him in uniform it is written "130 H.A.A. Reg R.A." dated 30 May 1942: enter image description here

Another photo from 21 Sep 1942 shows him with a hat and uniform (back left): enter image description here

On the back of this photo of a group it is written "134 "2" (m) A/A Bty Greenock 1942-44 Lyle Hill" Henry is seated cross legged immediately right of the man with the dog. enter image description here

This photo is taken in Deolali, India in yet another uniform: enter image description here

This photo shows him in uniform and beret. It could be India given the look of the man with the sewing machine on his right behind him but the sign on his left says Gent's Tailor in English. It isn't dated. enter image description here

Finally, this photo shows him in yet another uniform and hat dated July 1945. enter image description here

  • 3
    We can field this (and will probably even enjoy doing so). Particularly the bits about where a particular unit might have seen action. However, for questions about researching personal genealogy you might oftentimes do better on the SE site specifically made for that: genealogy.SE
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 26, 2020 at 16:18
  • 1
    Hopefully a little clearer? Haha Mar 26, 2020 at 17:18
  • 2
    Thanks - and thanks for taking my comment in the spirit it was intended.
    – MCW
    Mar 26, 2020 at 17:26
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    In all honesty, your best bet is to request his full service record. It's relatively expensive (and not quick), but that will have full details of his (rather than just his unit's) postings. Mar 26, 2020 at 17:50
  • 1
    @samleighton87 a very belated followup, but "Group 26" seems like it was written much later - I wonder if it might be his demobilisation group? These were in numbered waves; Group 26 were released in Feb 1946, and that seems to match with your discharge date. Dec 4, 2020 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


The 208th (SP) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery is listed on the Order of Battle for the 59 AGRA (Army Group Royal Artillery) as of May 18, 1945. It's HQ staff departed Liverpool on 28 March, 1945, arriving in Bombay 20 April. The 208th SP does not appear to have been part of 59 AGRA during the latter's post-D-Day role in N.W. Europe.

The 130 (Lowland) Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery is listed as serving in:

  • UK 1938-42, attached to the 15th (Scottish) Inf. Div.
  • India 1942-3 attached to the 14 and 36 Indian Inf. Divs.
  • Burma 1944-5 attached to the 36 Inf. Div.

The 208th is listed as a component of the 208th (3rd West Lancashire) Battery, which first served in England during the Blitz.

A search of the UK War Office archive catalogue for "26 Gp" and "26 Group" reveal:

  • Operations record sets for a Pioneer Corps 26 Gp. or 26 Group with the time line:
    • B.E.F., France: June 1940
    • Home Forces: 01 July 1940 - 31 December 1941
    • Home Forces - 01 January 1942 - 31 October 1942
    • North Africa - 01 October 1942 - 30 June 1943
    • British Forces, Middle East - 01 July 1943 - 31 December 1943
    • Italy - 01 January 1944 - 31 May 1944
    • Home Forces - 01 June 1944 - 31 December 1944
    • Burma - Movement Control: February 1945
    • Burma - Indian Pioneer Corps: August 1945
    • Home Forces - 01 January 1945 - 31 October 1945


  • Operations record sets for an R.A.F. (Signals?) 26 Group:
    • Administration & Organization: 1940-1946
    • 362 Wireless Unit, Chicksands (Berfordshire): 01 April 1942 - 30 September 1945
    • Badges and Crests: 1944
    • Ground - 1944-1945
    • Bomber Command - The Signals War: A Brief History of 26 Group: December 1945
    • Formation of 'Tiger' Signals Units in 26 Group: 1945


  • 1
    Thanks a lot. Would he have been in a different regiment that 208 earlier in the war? When he joined it says "A/S Group 26". Mar 26, 2020 at 17:12
  • 1
    Sorry I understand your answer better now - 130 then 208. Still can't work out what A/S Group 26 means though or what regiment 134 "2" (m) A/A Bty Greenock 1942-44 was. Mar 27, 2020 at 14:57
  • 1
    Thanks, added relevant page of service book in case it helps for a/s group 26. Mar 28, 2020 at 20:43

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