Rare WW2 Beja Battle Badge - 172nd Field Regiment Royal Artillery
- Product Code: MB-9404
- Regiment: 172nd Field Regiment Royal Artillery
- Era: WW2 Availability: Out of Stock
This badge was designed by Lt Col W D McN Graham and was awarded to members of the 172nd Field Battery Royal Artillery who fought in the heroic action in North Africa.
172nd Field Regiment RA was formed in 1942 in St Leonards from some coastal batteries. They left UK for North Africa in January 1943 losing a battery and a half of 25 pounder guns when the ship carrying them was sunk. On 24th February the Regiment took up position covering Hunt’s Gap near Beja in support of 128 Inf Bde. The History records for the 26th “155 Battery who were out with the leading battalion prepared to do battle. This time the hun pressed home his attack very hard indeed and the battle raged furiously all day with the guns engaging tanks over open sights and acquitting themselves magnificently in their first battle. The guns were continually strafed by aircraft and one by one the infantry positions were over run. Magnificent work was done by many people on that day, not least of whom were those who carried up ammunition under constant air attack. By 1500 hrs the road had been cut behind the battery but they continued to fight on, and it was not until 1800 hrs that the last message was received on the wireless – the encouraging ‘V’ sign in morse. And so in the first day’s battle the regiment had lost a complete battery, or so the enemy must have thought. In three days 1 officer and 70 other ranks had come across the hills to our own lines and steps were immediately taken to reform the battery. But meanwhile the remainder of the regiment was fully employed in beating off attacks of the enemy who was attempting to reach the broad plains beyond Beja and so turn the whole of the Allied flank.” The Bde Comd recommended that the Battery should be balloted for the award of the Victoria Cross for their actions, but this never happened. The CO felt that those actively involved in the tank battle should receive some recognition and designed the Beja badge and had them produced locally.
The badge was authorised for wear, usually on the right breast of the recipient’s battle dress. It is believed that only 200 were awarded.
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