War Diaries of 3rd Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

1944

(January and June)

 

Home 1939 1940 1941
1942 1943 1945 1946

 

January 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt-Colonel J.A. NORMAN, D.S.O., RHA.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
     

GENERAL NARRATIVE.

 
     

(REF OS Sheets 1" to mile 57).

 
      On New Year's Day, Jan 1 1944, the 3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery together with the remainder of the Div Artillery were in mid Atlantic on board H.M.T. ORMONDE.  
      By mid-day 3 Jan. the North coast of IRELAND was sighted on the starboard bow - a most welcome sight for all ranks,  
      H.M.T. ORMONDE anchored on the CLYDE at GOUROCK early on the morning of 4th Jan. In the afternoon a surprise visit was paid by General G.W.E.J. ERSKINE. CB. D.S.O., our Divisional Commander, who welcomed us all home.  
      Baggage was bought from the holds onto the docks on 5th Jan. and the Regiment, less "M" Bty. RHA who had preceded the Regiment, disembarked on a lighter at 1500hrs. on the 6th.  
      At 1700 hrs. the Regiment less "M" Bty. RHA. had entrained and left the station for new billeting area in FAKENHAM, NORFOLK. Very acceptable cakes and tea were served at GOUROCK station by the N.A.A.F.I.  
      After travelling the night 6/7 Jan. with a short stop at CARLISLE for more tea and cakes, the Regiment arrived at FAKENHAM station ay 0730hrs. and detrained,  
      "M Bty. RHA. arrived at 0600hrs. and marched straight off to their billets in FAKENHAM  
      On arrival the Regiment was met by a reception unit from the Derbyshire Yeomanry headed by our own Second in Command (who had arrived with the advance party) and marched off to a mammoth breakfast.  
      Headquarters was marched to billets in FAKENHAM and "D" and "J" Btys. RHA. were conveyed to their billets at EAST RUDHAM (2846) and RAYNHALL HALL (342442) respectively.  
      Between 8th. and the 31sr. Jan. the Regiment dispersed in relays on periods of disembarkation leave; two weeks for 2 years service and under, 3 weeks for 3 years service, up to a maximum on one month for more that 3 years service overseas/  
         
  1st.   Still in Mid ATLANTIC  
  3rd.   North Coast of IRELAND sighted.  
  4th.   Arrived GOUROCK on the River CLYDE, and anchored.  
      The Divisional Commander. General G.W.E.J. ERSKINE. CB. DSO. paid us a surprise visited, and welcomed us on our return.  
  6th.   Disembarked by lighter at 1500 hrs. Lighter arrived at quayside at 1630 hrs.  
      In just under half hour, the Regiment, less 'M' Bty R.H.A. entrained and departed for GOUROCK station at 1700 hrs.  
  Night. 6/7th.   Travelling in train.  
  7th.   The Regiment, less 'M' Bty R.H.A. detrained at 0730 hrs and dispersed to billets.  
  8th.   Disembarkation leave in relays.  
  to 31st.      

 

February to May 1944

Missing 

 

 

In Lieu of A.F.O. 2118 

WAR   DIARY

RHQ 3rd Regiment, RHA

Nominal Roll of Officers serving with unit June 6th 1944

R.H.Q.

 

Lt. Col. J.A. Norman, DSO.    (44146)

Major B.A. Buckwell, DCO. Mc    (71014)

Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC    (158260)

Capt. G.D. Brice    (149728)

Lieut. D.M. Tribe    (237558)

Lieut. A.L.P. Lawrence    (262595)

 

'D' BTY

Major T.J. Tirrell, MC, DCM.    (223300)

Capt. P.H. Barrington    (78218)

Capt, D,D, Yonge, MC    (121049)

Capt. J. Sibbald    (105889)

Capt. B.J. Cork    (197004)

Lieut. J.R. Brown    (235310)

Lieut. H.A. Parsons    (197026)

Lieut. A Gibb    (269547)

Lieut S.P.E. Simon    (P/189891)

2/ Lieut. W. Griffiths    (208385)

'J' BTY

Major P. Hilton, MC    (85503)

Capt. G.H.P. Lawrence, MC.    (134952)

Capt. G.B, Buchanan    (113327)

Capt. R.A. Stokes    (180409)

Capt. H.A. Nisbett    (153526)

Lieut. G.E. Foster    (229081)

Lieut. W.B. Dolphin-Smith    (243983)

Lieut. D.D. Brown    (259292)

Lieut. G.L.M. Aspinall    (174500)

2/ Lieut. M.A. Anson    (304934)

 

'M' BTY

Major W.LP. Fisher, MC    (74551)

Capt. P.G. Frankkin.    (152988)

Capt. H.C.N.M. Oulton. MC.    (101947)

Capt. C.H. Aitchison    (243980)

Lieut. C. Hampton    (143907)

Lieut. N.W. Atchley    (165388)

Lieut. L.S. Gosling (186496)

Lieut. S.A. Middleton    (269334)

Lieut. J. Ledsham    (N.Y.A.)

2/ Lieut. G.L. Brown    (308279)

 
   

In Lieu of A.F.O. 2118 

WAR   DIARY

RHQ 3rd Regiment, RHA

Nominal Roll of Officers serving with unit June 6th 1944

R.H.Q.

 

Lt. Col. J.A. Norman, DSO.    (44146)

Major B.A. Buckwell, DCO. Mc    (71014)

Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC    (158260)

Capt. G.D. Brice    (149728)

Lieut. D.M. Tribe    (237558)

Lieut. A.L.P. Lawrence    (262595)

 

'D' BTY

Major T.J. Tirrell, MC, DCM.    (223300)

Capt. P.H. Barrington    (78218)

Capt, D,D, Yonge, MC    (121049)

Capt. J. Sibbald    (105889)

Capt. B.J. Cork    (197004)

Lieut. J.R. Brown    (235310)

Lieut. H.A. Parsons    (197026)

Lieut. A Gibb    (269547)

Lieut S.P.E. Simon    (P/189891)

2/ Lieut. W. Griffiths    (208385)

'J' BTY

Major P. Hilton, MC    (85503)

Capt. G.H.P. Lawrence, MC.    (134952)

Capt. G.B, Buchanan    (113327)

Capt. R.A. Stokes    (180409)

Capt. H.A. Nisbett    (153526)

Lieut. G.E. Foster    (229081)

Lieut. W.B. Dolphin-Smith    (243983)

Lieut. D.D. Brown    (259292)

Lieut. G.L.M. Aspinall    (174500)

2/ Lieut. M.A. Anson    (304934)

 

'M' BTY

Major W.LP. Fisher, MC    (74551)

Capt. P.G. Frankkin.    (152988)

Capt. H.C.N.M. Oulton. MC.    (101947)

Capt. C.H. Aitchison    (243980)

Lieut. C. Hampton    (143907)

Lieut. N.W. Atchley    (165388)

Lieut. L.S. Gosling (186496)

Lieut. S.A. Middleton    (269334)

Lieut. J. Ledsham    (N.Y.A.)

2/ Lieut. G.L. Brown    (308279)

 
   

 

June 1944  
June 1st

The first day of June found the Regiment, (less the Residue under Lt.  QM Bull RHA) at Brentwood Camp S.5. with the vehicles either loaded on to M.T. ships or about to be loaded, the Colonel with his tank. accompanied by Capt. G.D. Brice R.H.A. at Camp R.5 near Ipswich. Orders were issued for L.S.T. 2 to commence moving to the hards at Felixstowe at 1645 hrs. and the proceeded without mishap. All rank were fed on the hard by static personnel and wading commenced at 2030 hrs. Owing to the state of the tide, this had to be discontinued at 1100 hrs. but after sleeping the night  by the vehicles, the loading was completed by 1100 hrs. on to L.S.T. 540.  WE lay at anchor for the remainder of June 2nd and June 3rd in very fine weather, and at 2130 hours all ranks were briefed as a departure was forecast for 0800 hrs. June 3rd. However, there was no movement at 0800 hrs, on June 3rd and another day was spent lying at anchor. At 0800 hrs. June 4th, the first Division of L.S.Ts. began to move, and we, in the second division, began to move at 0940 hrs. The Navy at Harwich gave us a send off, the Port Admiral sending wishes of good luck from the entrance of the harbour. There was a brisk breeze blowing, and it was rather overcast, becoming more squally as the day progress, but the journey down towards the Thames Estuary was completed at about 1400, and here the convoy began to take shape. Straits of Dover were negotiated under cover of darkness, and June 6th, D Day, we were off Newhaven, proceeding to the R.V. off the Isle of Wight. We finally anchored about 2200, five miles off the coast opposite Arramanches les Sains and Le Hamel.

Meanwhile, the main party of the Regiment embarked from Tilbury and from West Ham area on June 5th, and lay off the mouth of the river picking up the rest of the convoy there, and proceeding to France, arriving off of the coast on June 7th. The C.O. and his party made ready to disembark with the rest of their flotilla including TAC Division and 22nd Armoured Brigade at 0300 on D x 1 but the L.S.Ts did not move until first light, when an enemy attack by fighter bombers resulted in bombs landing in the the seas some distance away. The number of ships lying off was tremendous, and it was no easy way to find an anchorage, and delay followed delay until at 1400 it was determined to beach the L.S.T. instead of waiting to be unloaded by Rhinos, only 1 which seemed to be operating. The L.S.T. beached about 1500 hours and a dry landing was made at 1600. Tac H.Q. 3rd R.H.A. proceeded to Sommervieu and then rendezvoused alongside Tac 7 A.D. at Ryes.

June 8th The C.O. proceeded at first light to join 5 R.H.A. who were in action just South West of Sommerview, and a position was recced for the Regiment at 825824, where Tac H.Q. was set up and guides placed. The general situation at this time was that 50 Div. were clearing BAYEUX of the enemy, while 22nd Armd Bde were helping to secure SULLY from enemy elements who were cut off and trying to break through to CAEN. News was coming through of delay increasing in the times allotted for disembarkation, and about 1600 hours juts as the C.R.A. was relating to the C.O. how an M.T.S. had been set on fire coming through the Straits, and it was believed to be the ship the Second in Command was travelling in, Major Buckwell, DCO. MC. R.H.A. turned up with the news of the advance parties. The C.Os. jeep Z was missing however, but just at last at last light, the advance party of C.P.Os, G.P.Os and the R.S.O arrived a Tac H.Q. The route from RYES was now more adequately marked and a start made of introducing people to their Battery areas and preparing for the remained of the Regiment.
June 9th

Reveille and Stand To was at 0500 hours, and the E.M.E. arrived with one of his stores lorries just before 0800. This order of disembarkation was certainly not the one originally planned, the shortage of Rhinos and the bottle neck of conditions as they were round the beaches, finally produced most extraordinary results. A large quantity of captured equipment was discovered in an enemy gun position, and samples of enemy directors and dial sights were sent on to Division together with enemy personal documents and directives

About 1600 hours, Major Fisher. MC, R.H.A. together with Capts. C. Aitchison and P. Franklin  arrived borrowed jeep, having come of their ship M.Ts 28 to report progress of disembarkation. Hopes of being complete by the evening were non-existent. However, plans were made to secure priority in the unloading, and vehicles turned up in ones and twos. Walking personnel who were landed on the Canadian beaches arrived after 12 hours of travelling and with the dawn of June 9th, hopes of seeing the remainder of the Regiment were raised. The guns began to arrive about 1300 hours, but were not put into action as the area was no longer considered a battle position, good progress having been made beyond BAYEUX. However, during the period of awaiting the guns of the Regiment, R.H.Q., by dint of searching and much energy, both mental and physical, succeeded in getting one 105 gun into action and firing the opening rounds of our battle in France at about 2000 hours, with a sullen party of 6 prisoners "J" Battery had captured as the specially privilaged spectators. It must have been a rather sore point for them, but their apparent reactions were nil. Plans were made to ensure next morning when complete to gun areas round NONANT, the Second in Command, together with the C.O. having mad a recce earlier in the day, and taking three prisoners on the process.

About 2300 hours, the Adjutant and Signals Officer arrived with the remainder of R.H.Q. and the Regiment was completed less 4 guns of 'J' Bty R.H.A.

June 10th The Regiment moved off at 100 hrs for NONANT, passing to the South West of Bayeux and turning South on the road, east of the main divisional axis leading to Tilly sure Seule. It was a rainy morning, rather overcast, and people were well prepared for any emergency as loose Boche were known to be in the area. This later proved to be the case, when A.P, shot began to arrive a short distance away, and the premises were removed to a less obvious locations. The plan for an attack by tow forward bodies of composite troops of both 131 and the 22nd Armd Bde was evolved and orders given at about 1700 hours. The general plan was to advance on TILLY-sur-SEULE on one axis, and on the right hand axis towards HOTTOT, the final line of our objective being VILLERS-BOCAGE. 3rd Regt. R.H.A. were to be in support of the 1/5 Queens with a squadron of 1st R.T.R. while 5 R.H.A. were to operated on the left flank in support of the 1/6  Queens and 1 sqdn 4 C.L.Y. The move began at 0430 hours, but by 0800 the 1/5 Queens were held up between PONT DE LA GAILLETTE and TILLY itself with Bn. H.Q, just of the bridge at 833695. The Regiment supported the advance from their positions at NONANT. Their was a fair amount of enemy reaction with mortars, and an enemy tank was brewed up successfully during the afternoon.

Ammunition expenditure

June 12 

73 r.p.g.

About 1400 hours a Warning order was given of a change of plan, and at 1600 hours it was ordered that the section round TILLY  be handed over to 251 Brigade of 50 Div. and relief be completed by 2350 hours. 86th Field Regiment were to take over from 3 R.H.A. The move of vehicles etc. began at 2000 and the relief was completed by midnight. Tac H.Q. 3rd Regt spent the remainder of the night with 131 Bde H.Q. together with the B.C. of 64th Medium Regt, who was to accompany the Regiment the following day.

June 13th.

In accordance with the general plan already put into operation by the move of the 22nd Bde. and the 1/7 Queens, the 7 Armoured Division was to exploit the gap in the enemy front found by the 11 Hussars, west of the River Avrette and effect a turning movement on the enemy around TILLY, and so seize VILLERS-BOCAGE. 131 Brigade were due to move at 0400 hours, but delay due to non arrival of T.C.Vs. meant a late start. The move was completed without incident that morning, the Regiment concentrating just east of STE. HONSORINE DE DUCY, and going into action late at 7263. Tac H.Q. settled at DENAYE with 131 Brigade Tac H.Q., where enemy patrols were encountered and a "Stand To" necessitated, However, the enemy moved off in a southerly direction just before Stand To at 1100 hours.  Bdr. Morris, the Colonel's D.R. was despatched on a mission to R.H.Q. where he failed to arrive, and was later reported missing. It was later discovered that the enemy were holding positions to the West of CAHAGNOLIES 7466, though he mad no attempt to prevent the move of the Division toward LIVRY until they were about to enter VILLERS BOCAGE. Tac H.Q. joined the Regiment about 1400 hours where it was in in position covering the firm base held by 131 Brigade and so covering the advance of 22 Brigade into VILLERS BOCAGE. The 22 Brigade entered VILLERS BOCAGE about 1100 hours according to reports, but there they met heavy opposition forcing a withdrawal into a Brigade "box" about the area TRACY-BOCAGE 7875. The road from CAUMONT - VILLERS BOCAGE was cut to the West of OMAYE - SUR SEULLES just after the 1/5 Queens had joined the 1/7 Queens in support of the 22 Brigade. The enemy appeared to be holding the area in strength with Tigers and Mk.V tanks and 5th Regt. R.H.A. were obliged to engage ebony infantry over open sights with good effect down to 400 yards. Brigadier Eakins of 131 Brigade, was isolated in the "box" for the evening of 13th June. The Regiment was in action helping 22 Brigade who were heavily counter attacked during the afternoon and evening of June 13th, together with the U.S. Artillery (who had F.O.Os with the 5th Regt. R.H.A.) gave great help on holding the enemy.

Ammunition expenditure

84 r.p.g.

Lt. Colonel M.Carver, 1 R.T.R. assumed Command of the remainder of 131 Brigade and a plan was formed to advance with 1/6 Queens and 1 R.T.R. to open the road through AMAYE SUR SEULLES, and thereby make contact with 22 Brigade. O.Ps. from the Regimnet operated with 1 R.T.R. and 8 Hussars.

June 14th.

Tac H.Q. 131 Brigade moved forward on the morning June 14th to the chateaux of  LE PAUMERIE and about 1000 hours the Brigadier returned to 131 Brigade and took command, putting into operation the plan decided upon. The road through AMAYE SUR SEULLES was reported through at about 1400 hours and BRIQUESSARD seized by 1/6 Queens. The Regiment had O.Ps with 8 Hussars who were able to observed enemy movement round CAHAGNES and point 198 7656, while 'J' Bty were able to secured information regarding the strength and position of the enemy round ST GERMAINE d'ECTOT and GRANVILLE. Patrols of the 11 Hussars asked for concentrations on these places and Capt. Yonge, MC. R.H.A. of 'D' Bty, together with Capt. Buchanan R.H.A. of 'J' Bty, were able to report enemy tank movements round about CAHAGNES.  A plan was made to cover the withdrawal of the 22 Brigade that evening, and despite fierce enemy attacks, the plan was accomplished. Capt. J. Sibbald R.H.A. of 'D' Bty, established his O.P. in the church tower of AMAYE SUR SEULLES and was able to give a good assistance. His position was, to say the least of it. precarious. Capt. P. Franklin R.H.A. was killed while supporting 1 R.T.R. his tank being hit be A.P. and his crew obliged to 'bale out'. He himself was killed by the next round which was H.E. and exploded alongside as he was observing for the guns from the top of the tank. The regiment suffered a great loss by his death.

Ammunition expenditure

70 r.p.g.

The enemy has taken a decided beating during the day, for he failed to interfere with the withdrawal of 22 Brigade, and in fact himself withdrew that evening according to all reports.

June 15th At 0600 hours Tac 131 withdrew to LE MEVNIL with the Brigade holding a firm base from BRIQUESSARD  - LE PONT D'ECTOT with 1/6 Queens right, 1/5th centre and 1/7 holding the left flank. Patroling was ordered to keep full check of the enemy movements, and O.Ps were maintained with the Bns. The R.A.F. made a heavy attack on CAHAGNES. It was planned that 50 Div on the right would make an attack from LE BELLE EPINE - LINGEVREN south towards LE MONVERT and HOTTOT, while 7th Armd Div, were to test the reaction of the enemy to this attack in the AMAYE SUR SEULLES area,

Ammunition expenditure

78 r.p.g.

During the evening a counter attack was launched against 1/6 Queens round BRIQUESSARD  which resulted in the Regiment firing a number of D.Fs. The attack was repulsed.
June 16th The Regiment remained in its present location and reports from the O.Ps. indicated an increase by the strength of the enemy and due to the number of patrols going out including the probe from BRIQUESSARD  towards AMAYE SUR SEULLES some confusion rose as to the exact locations of enemy and own troops. Tanks of the 1 R.T.R. and the 1/6 Queens were able to penetrate as far as ST GERMAINE and were able to secure useful information.
June 17th The day began quietly with N.M.S. from, all O.Ps. but as the day progressed reports of enemy movement became more persistent, and the build up of the enemy took on the form of an attack, in strength just before midday on BRIQUESSARD. From then on O.Ps. were vigourasly engaged on the 1/6 Queens front.  The attack was made almost entirely with infantry, and consistent reports of N.M.S. came from the 1/7 Queens on the left flank. The Regiment fired continual D.Fs. and as the attack persisted calls were made upon the Medium Artillery as well. 'M' Btys forward Command Post together with the Battalion H.Q. were obliged to withdraw a short distance losing some signalling equipment. Meanwhile, on the 1/5th front there was some considerable shelling in process and about 1900 hours it was reported that Lieut R. Demaine, R.H.A. and his signaller had been killed by a shell which landed alongside his O.P. The Regiment suffered another very great loss by his death.

Ammunition expenditure

60 r.p.g.

The action on 1/6 Queens front lasted into the evening, but the withdrawal planned was carried out successfully by 0300 hours June 18th. The Regiment fired 2404 rounds during the whole of June 17th. Considerable losses were inflicted on the enemy infantry.
June 18th 131 Brigade readjusted their line with the withdrawal of the 1/6 Queens into the BOIS DE BRIQUESSARD and as the result, a better O.P. was discovered by 'M' Bty and some targets engaged successfully. There was a marked increase in the movement of enemy vehicles, S.P. guns became active later in the day, with mortars being very active against 1/5 Queens, The adjustment to 131 Brigade line was made by 1/7 Queens, strengthening the line held by the 1/5 & 1/6 Queens in the centre, while 1 R.Bs took over PONT D'ECTOT sector from the 1/7th.

Ammunition expenditure

68 r.p.g.

The 1 R.Bs  had 'G' Bty 5th R.H.A. in support, 'J' Bty was rested for a period. In the evening Capt. Babcock U.S.A. has some excellent shooting of S.P. guns and brewed up one half track in BRIQUESSARD 
June 19th The morning of June 19th the Regiment fired 102 D.Fs. on the 1/6th Queens sector against enemy patrol activity, and at 0900 hours responsibility for the 131 Brigade sector was handed over to 5th R.H.A. Owing to 5th R.H.A.s commitments being already considerable, O.Ps. from 'J' Bty were maintained with 1.7 Queens and they had CC Bty 5th R.H.A at call. During the morning they dealt successfully with an enemy mortar and suspected O.P. but at 1300 hours the Regiment commence concentrations, to aid 50 Div attack on the left flank, a continuation of the one began some days previously in the area of 7364 and this was followed at 1600 hours with a report that the Devons and Dorsets were within 400 yards of their objective, the road  running North East from LE LION VERT - HOTTOT - JUVIGNY.

Ammunition expenditure

41 r.p.g.

The enemy suffered considerable casualties to tanks and the effectiveness of the Piat Mortar seemed to be proved. Artillery and mortars seemed to be thickening up on the front generally, and despite rather limited visibility 5 R.H.A. were able to engage enemy gun positions. 50 Div. attached continued for the remainder of the day, and by last light, they has secured positions as follows:- Devons 1000 yards South of HOTTOT, and the Essex had taken TILLY at last, where considerable quantities of equipment were left by the enemy.

June 20th

The day commenced with a late reveille and a day of rest was planned for the Regiment. There were no calls for fire during the night June 19th - 20th. There was little else to report during the morning, but at 1300 hours 50 Div began attacking, and from 1300 until 1900 hours teh Regiment fired concentrations of Harassing Fire in support of 50 Div attack.

Ammunition expenditure

?? r.p.g.

Despite limited visibility 'J' O.P,. were in position, engaged targets which included enemy gin positions, patrols etc, utilising C.C. Bty of 5 R.H.A. Otherwise the Regiment enjoyed a day of rest.

June 21st Rev, 0630 hrs. B.Cs. and Troop Commanders visited their respective regiments in the 33 Armd Bde; and at 1400 hours 'M' Bty took over 1/6 Queens sector from 5 R.H.A. while 'D' Bty relieved 'J' Bty with the 1/7 Queens. O/Ps. were manned at first light by 'J' Bty, and by 'M' Bty at 1400.  During the afternoon a number of targets were engaged by 'M' Bty R.H.A. including vehicles, M/Cs. line parties and possible enemy gun positions. 'D' Bty R.H.A. were allotted two harassing fire task to engage during the night,

Ammunition expenditure

10 r.p.g.

The general policy during the day was one of active harassing. During the night, shells from a 105 mm landed close to positions within Regimental area, and it was decided to move 'M' and 'J' Btys R.H.A. the following day to alternative positions.
June 22nd During the firing of D.Fs the previous night one gun was found to be firing short, so all guns were 'shot in' by 1000 hrs. Most of the firing was done by  'M' Bty R.H.A. New D.Fs. were registers and the present ones amended, In addition there was a marked improvement in the weather. Except for slight enemy movement on the roads, O.P. reports were N.T.R., and with the improvement in the weather, the activity of the R.A.F. became more marked. An attempt was mad to indicate targets for fighter bombers, by the Regiment firing coloured smoke, but this failed due to heavy A.A. over target area being directed at a bombing raid by Mediums which unfortunately coincided with our own party. At 2300 hrs 'D' Bty R.H.A. called for D.F.5 against possible enemy movement, otherwise no further D.Fs. were called for,

Ammunition expenditure

1387 r.p.g.

'J' Battery moved to an alternative position on the right of the 22nd, but were directed back to their old positions the following morning. 3rd Regt R.H.A. took over responsibility for 131 Brigade front, over again from the 5th R.H.A. on the 23rd June, and a possible leaguer area was engaged at 745601. S.P. guns were active and a digging party as working at 759583
June 24th The enemy showed signs of becoming more active today, which suggested the lay of minefield. 5 AGRA laid a concentration on STE GERMAINE D'ECTOT and obtained two brews. Number D.Fs. were fired during the night.

Ammunition expenditure 1328 r.p.g

June 25th

49 Div attack began at first light, and met severe opposition; by nightfall they had taken FONTENAY LE PESNIL. 8th Armd Brigade advanced on the following day toward RAURAY. During June 26th the resistance to 49 Div attack stiffened and shelling became more active on the Brigade front. As a result of this shelling Major W.L.P. Fisher, MC. R.H.A. his driver and Lt.Col M Forrester, DSO. MC. (1/6 Queens) were wounded and evacuated. Major P. Barrington R.H.A. took over command of 'M' Bty R.H.A. 8 Corps with 15 Lowland Division in the lead, opened an attack at 0730 hours, and made some gains. Those gains were developed on the 27th and the 11th Armd Division pass this, directed EVRECY.

 

Meanwhile on the Brigade front, nothing of unusual activity occured.

 

There was a definite increase of enemy shelling on our FDLs. but the Regiment succeed in engaging a number of suspected Batteries

Ammunition expenditure

937 r.p.g.

Sniping sections were out from 'J' and 'D' Btys R.H.A. and had some good shooting against pin - point targets of various sorts. At 2030 hrs 23rd Hussars passed this heading for EVRECY. Capt. G. Buchanan was cross posted to 'D' Bty as Bty Capt., and Capt. H.A. Nisbett was cross posted to 'J' Bty R.H.A. taking command of C Tp.

June 28th

Ammunition expenditure

1359 r.p.g. 

 

The day opened quietly on the front, with occassional shelling, and a host of shell reps began to appear towards lunch time. 8 Corps held firm to the ground they has seized, though their recce elements were obliged to leave EVRECY and ESQUAY. The enemy counter attacked, which was just what we required. He made no effort however, until June 29th. The Regiment engaged hostile Btys during the day during the day, harassed an enemy H.Q. and dump area at 714536 to good effect. A fire plan was fired covering patrols of the 1.5th and 1/6th Queens, who were out to capture prisoners. However, only one dead German resulted, and he had all marks of identification removed. Demolitions in VILLERS BOCAGE showed that the enemy was making all precautions for a strong defence.

June 29th

to 30th

The church tower at AMAYE had disappeared this morning, and the news was soon to hand of a very strong counter attack against 8 Corps. He penetrated as far s CHEUX, but could not hold the ground, and suffered severe casualties. The situation was as before nightfall. The Regiment engaged enemy infantry and H.Bs. during the day, and were heartened by an enormous bombing raid on VILLERS BOCAGE by R.A.F. night bombers, which resulted in great destruction, and the confusion of the enemy's line of communication. Immediately after this raid, at 2130 hrs. a column of MET, nose to tail, on the road to LE LION VERT from VILLERS BOCAGE was engaged by the Regiment, controlled by 'D's O.P. and later by 5 AGRA and US Artillery, with good effect. The infantry in the trucks abandoning their vehicles, and taking to the woods. Fire was adjusted on the woods. 'M' and 'J' Btys. RHA. fired a Bty fire plan each covering patrols, attempting to obtain prisoners. The weather continued to be beyond description for foulness.

June 30th

contd.

During the evening of June 30 - July 1st, the enemy carried out a harassing fire programme on our F.D.Ls. and it resulted in the death by shellfire of Dvr. Walker I.C. of 'D' Bty R.H.A. Major J. Tirrell's driver.
July 1st This day seemed to be an unfortunate one for the Regiment. Shelling was not so heavy as before, and in accordance with orders, advance parties of U.S. 2nd Armd Div arrived to commence taking over from 7th Armd Div. The 7th Armd Div were to go into Corps reserve to rest. and 14th Fd. B. of the U.S. Army took over the Regimental commitments. Dumped ammunition was reduce completely and registration commence by the Americans. The L.A.A. S.P. troop engaged in ground shooting near the Regimental Command Post, were attacked by Focker Wolfes 190, and one man slightly injured. At about 2200 hrs Madras troop, No.2 gun (A sub) had a premature, which killed Sgt N. Elliott, L/Sgt. J, Osborne and Gnr. E.W. Webb, and severely injured Gnr. M Mclean.
  It was a most unfortunate accident, caused by the shell exploding outside the gun, against the face of the breech.

 

July to September 1944

Pending 

 

October 1944

Missing 

 

November to December 1944

Pending 

 

Home 1939 1940 1941
1942 1943 1945 1946
Previous Year Next Year

 

2017 Copyright of  www.desertrats.org.uk

2020 Copyright of  www.desertrats.org.uk