East African Artillery - a note on uniform distinctions

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East African Artillery - a note on uniform distinctions

Post  Sean on Tue 07 Oct 2008, 2:17 pm

Reference: W Stanford “the East Africa Artillery”, Journal of the Royal Artillery
The Coastal Defence Unit of the KAR was sited on Mombasa Island with an armament of two 6” guns and supporting 32” searchlights.
Initially 80 recruits were trained to serve the guns and their associated lights. They were (presumably) clothed as for the rest of the KAR, but the cap badge is sited as a Gunner/Sapper grenade with ‘KAR’ in place of ‘Ubique’. The Unit fostered a Coastal Defence Rifle Company of reservist Africans, which was later absorbed into the KAR.
In 1939 Fortress Engineers manning Coastal searchlights were incorporated into the Artillery fraternity. The unit thus becoming a wholly artillery affair. It is stated that the grenade badge remained.
During the Second World War a large number of artillery units were formed in East Africa, with an estimated total of 15,000 gunners. They served in East Africa, Italian Somaliland, Abyssinia, Madagascar and Burma.
By May 1947 only 53 Field Battery, 156 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery and a training element remained. Soon only 156 Battery was left and was used to fire ceremonial salutes with 25pdr guns.
The capbadge of the askaris’ was a Sergeant’s canon sleeve badge on a backing diamond of red and blue. This was attached to the turned up left brim of the felt hat. ‘EAA’ was worn attached to the shoulder straps, on red backing material.
In Oct 1955 the last East African artillery unit was disbanded.

Sean

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