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The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian

Royal Artillery

The 57th Medium Regiment RA TA had a troop at Prestonpans that included some officers and soldiers from Dunbar, where there was strong gunner influence. It was embodied with the rest of the Territorial Army on 24th Aug 1939, becoming the 51st Lowland Heavy Regt RA. A duplicate regiment was formed which became 66 Regiment. B troop recruited and trained in Dunbar. At the end of the war 66 Regiment was disbanded. Former members still held re-unions in Dunbar Royal British Legion up to 2000.

On 1st January 1947, on the reconstitution of the Territorial Army, the 51st Heavy Regiment RA TA was reformed as 357 (Lothians) Medium Regiment RA TA. In 1951 it became part of 52nd Lowland Division. It was designated 357 (Lowland) Medium Regiment in 1955 and converted to a light regiment in 1956 armed with 4.2 mortars. In 1961 it amalgamated with 278 (Lowland) Field Regiment - armed with 25 pounders. 278 Regiment came to an end in 1967, though some members remained in TAVR II and TAVR III.

Q Battery of 357 and later of 278 was based in Mid and East Lothian, with troops at Dalkeith and Prestonpans. This was a battery, initially of medium guns, then of 4.2 mortars and finally after amalgamation with 278 Regiment, of 25 pounder howitzers (field guns). The Drill Hall in Prestonpans was sold post 1967 and became the local Labour Club.

357 Regiment took part in two significant events in Dunbar:

The Regiment conveyed the body of General Sir F R Wingate Bt. on a gun carriage from St Anne's Church to Dunbar cemetery, on Tuesday 3rd February 1953. Almost certainly, this was the last occasion on which such a ceremony was held in Scotland. Many distinguished people, representing the Sudan, the army and the locality, attended the service.

On 22nd May 1960, the Regiment occupied Dunbar barracks for a training weekend and for a parade service in Dunbar parish church. The minister, The Rev HCM Eggo, was regimental chaplain and wanted such a service to be held before 357 Regiment was amalgamated. The provost, WGR Findlay took the salute and the regiment entertained the council in Lauderdale House.

 

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