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35 Battery

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Formed 1 September 1940 at Papakura Camp from artillery personnel remaining after the Third Echelon had left for the Middle East, 35 Bty was the first New Zealand artillery unit to go to Fiji, arriving Nov 1940. They created the initial installations that would be used by later units.

Original Commander:   Capt CH Loughnan, MC
Original Battery Captain:   Capt JFG Stark

Originally an eight gun battery of 18-pounders, six of the guns were designed for horse-drawn carriage. The other two guns were pneumatic and arrived a year later. The battery was split with the original battery members leaving successively in May and August 1941 for the Middle East.

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in Dec 41 there was a large scale expansion of the artillery in Fiji. The two remaining 18-prs arrived along with four 4.5-in howitzers and the battery was split up once again:
A troop   18-prsto Suva side
B troop4.5-in howitzers   to Suva side
C troop3.7-in howitzersto Suva side
E troop18-prsto western area
F troophowitzersto western area
G troophowitzersto western area

A month later, D troop was formed from reinforcements from New Zealand with 25-pounders.

In 1942, 35 Bty was split to create 37 Bty. Also created were Medium group, and 8 and 14 Brigade Anti-tank troops. United States troops arrived in May. The New Zealanders left Fiji in September for New Zealand where they were eventually reorganised into 17 Fd Regt, 53 and 54 Anti-tank batteries and 144 Independent Battery, which returned to the Pacific theatre.

Ref: "2 NZEF IP"