RA, 56 Anti Tank Regiment (King's Own)

56th Anti-Tank Regiment (King’s Own) Royal Artillery

After Annual Camp in 1938 the 4th Battalion King's Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster was converted into the 56th Anti-Tank Regiment (King's Own) Royal Artillery. In September 1939 the unit was mobilised as part of the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division (TA) - which joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France in April 1940. The 56th provided the defence on a section of the Dunkirk perimeter before being evacuated. Following its return to the UK the 56th lost men and batteries to form other units. 223 Battery became 1st Air-Landing Anti-Tank Battery in November 1941. They became the first Royal Artillery unit to fly into battle - on board gliders - serving with 1st Airborne Division in Sicily in 1942 and later at Arnhem in September 1944. The 56th itself went out to India in 1941 and fought in India and Burma from October 1943 until the end of the war.