Training with Howitzers at Linford, Ringwood

AEC Matadors towing 6inch 26cwt Howitzers and operators towards Linford, Ringwood. ©IWM H7714.

A series of photographs showing AEC Matadors moving 6inch 26cwt Howitzers and operators to a training area at Linford.

The unit are first seen on the road (H7714).  This photo was taken just south of Blashford from the Snails Lane junction with the A338, the houses in the background are still there though hidden by trees now.

The series of photos go on to show the crews moving the guns (by hand) into position and preparing to fire, which can be heavy work in the New Forest mud. In the background of some of the photos one can see Keeper’s Cottage in Linford.

We have no other information about this unit. But visible (H7715) on at least one of the Howitzer’s is a painted insignia. The insignia shows a depress gun-carriage, cannon balls and written underneath ‘Gibraltar 1779-1783’.  We believe this is a Battle Honour insignia and it was awarded to 22 Battery 32 Royal Artillery Regiment. This Battle Honour insignia would appear on all their guns so it is not clear why it only appears on a few of them in these photos.  There are no dates with the photos but we believe it may be Jan-Mar 1940 or 1941.

32 Regt. appears to have been in Brighton before France (1940) and then spent the rest of 1940 in the UK before going to India in 1941 and then off to Africa.


All Photos are credit: Imperial War Museum for Non-Commercial Use


Date: 1940
  1. Mark Vincent

    The photo of the Matadors towing the guns on the road was taken at Blashford on the A338 North of Ringwood.The house in the background is now Willow Thatch, which was new (1936) although styled like an old cottage. It was built by Mrs Lyman-Dixon The thatched barn on the left was latterly occupied by Jim Bradford, but it burned down in about 1958. The site is now occupied by New Forest Farm Machinery. The road is the “modern” A338 which was finished just before the war.

  2. Gareth Owen

    Regarding 32nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    There is an account from Mr DJ Jackson (115/120 Battery, 32nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery) about his memories of evacuation from Dunkirk on the BBC’s WW2 People’s War site.

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