UPDATED: Request for help to identify WW2 NZ Arty TAC Signs

A request from my brother, Neil Frances, who works at the Archives in Masterton

I'm cataloguing an album (photo below) from Len Thorne who served in E Troop, 4th Field Regiment from 1940-43 - went through Greece and North Africa.-He was a 1st Echelon man and came back to NZ on the Ruapehu furlough.

UPDATE 2 Sep 16:

This covers "TLE" and "GE".. Only Y3" to go. Peter Cooke (he wrote ‘Great Guns’) and this is his response – seems to make sense.

Your brother is right on the money with TLE - it does stand for Troop Leader for E Tp but confusingly this is not the commander of the troop, that would be the Tp Commander in a vehicle marked ‘RE’ (in E Tp). Troop Leaders were in charge of a Gun Group and his party included a Gun Position Officer (GPO) Assistant, 2 AA MG gunners, a sigs man and driver in a 15cwt truck. I have references for the Troop Leaders in British artillery organisation relevant to the desert in 1941-42, but not sure about it in a NZ field troop.
The GE was the G Party for E Tp. Also in a 15cwt truck they comprised the GPO for E Tp, also a GPOA, 2 sigs and driver. They had a wireless set and called in fire corrections.
NZ units possibly simplified this structure so that each troop had only 3 vehicles in its troop HQ: the Troop Commander in ‘RE' (by 1942 it was a Stuart light tank), A G Party in a truck marked ‘GE’ and a ‘TCE' party in another vehicle. This latter I think was the technical fixers, fitters etc. Each Troop had two Sections, each Section’s artillery tractors being marked E1, E2, E3, E4, Ea, Eb (dont ask why?). In NZ field arty batteries in 1940-41, E Troop was in 26 Bty 4 Fd Regt. Later in 1941 for Op Crusader, E Tp was in 46 Bty 4 Fd Regt, where it stayed til 1944.
It is complicated but you need to know the decrypt those lovely photos.
Looking forward to seeing the Masterton gun pic if that is what it is.

UPDATE:  from Graeme Hutchenson (a young 97 yr old WW2 Gunner).  Photos are from North Africa, based on clothing and terrain.

There's a couple of abbreviations I can't work out. I've tried a couple of online abbreviation collections but nothing fits so far.

There is a page of the 4 quads of E troop. In addition there is a small group of 4 men by a partly dug in tent. It is labelled 'G.E.' . The men look like they are writing orders or looking at maps. One wears an officers' cap.

UPDATE:  from Graeme Hutchenson the picture seems to show a radio antenna.  It may be “E” Troop HQ”.  It also be a temporary position the troop has stopped in.

Another photo is labelled 'T.L.E.'.  Three men sitting by a small truck with a canvas fly roped off the truck which has 'TLE' painted on the back.

UPDATE:  from Graeme Hutchenson (a young 97 yr old WW2 Gunner).  TLE  will very likely be “TROOP LEADER “E” Troop”

The last is four men by a truck with Y.3 on the door - the photo is also labelled 'Y.3'.

Any help appreciated.  I also thought the use of the abbreviations may have carried onto Korea & beyond in NZ.


My email is:  skin_frances@outlook.com