War Diaries of 3rd Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

1944

(February to May and October Missing)

 

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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, DSO. 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 occurred.

 

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 occasional 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 defense.

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.
   
  Lieut, Colonel, R.H.A.
  Commanding, 3rd Regiment, R.H.A.
   

 

 

 

In Lieu of A.F.O. 2118 

 

WAR DIARY JULY 1944

3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

Ammunition expended 2365

July began with a day of changes, and was an unfortunate one for the Regiment. Shelling was not as heavy as before and in accordance with orders, the advance parties of U.S. 2nd Armd Div arrived to commence taking over from 7 Armd Div. The 7 Armd Div was to go into Corps reserve and the 14th Bn. U.S. Artillery to take over the Regiments commitments. Dumped ammunition was reduced to a minimum, and registration begun by our Allies. The L.A.A. S.P. troop of 15 L.A.A. while engaging ground targets in the Regimental area, were engaged by F.W. 190's  and one man was slightly injured. At about 2200 hrs, 'A' Sub Section, Madras Troop, 'M' Battery. R.H.A. has a premature due to cause difficult to define, caused a shell about to be loaded exploding outside the breech. Casualties were killed :- 845287 L/Sgt Elliott N., 955244 L/Sgt. Osborne J. 3203078 Gnr. Web E.W. and 960534 Gnr. McLean E. seriously wounded.

July 2nd

Ammunition expended

510

Regiment moved out at 0900 hrs. to assume support from 5th Regiment, R.H.A. of 56 Bde. Positions were occupied in sq. 7569 'D' Bty R.H.A. being with 2nd Glos, 'J' Bty R.H.A. with the 2nd S.W.B's and 'M' Bty with the 2nd ESSEX. The situation generally was quiet, with active patrolling by out own troops, the enemy showed signs of digging and mortared out positions regularly. Considerable movement was reported during the day east to west in the direction of CAUMONT. 43 Div relieved 15th Div in the area 9164, while 50 Div held the ground  N. of the road JUVIGNY - HOTTO - LE LIGN VERT. During the night H.F. Tasks were fired by the Regiment, LONGRAYE was found empty but patrolled by enemy patrols.

July 3rd

Ammunition expended

919

The weather was showery the whole day, with enemy mortaring in the F.D.Ls. During the day 2 Glos supported by fire of the Regiment, successfully attached a road block and the enemy post at 767637, and secured one prisoner, successfully isolating the patrol by fire and killing and wounding a number of the enemy. The single prisoner was more than happy to be taken, and proved to belong to 276 Div just taken over from PZ LEHR

July 4th

Ammunition expended

286

Generally it was a quiet day with N.M.S from the O.Ps. During the day a fire plan was arranged for the Regiment and towards evening registration caused for a box barrage to help the 2nd ESSEX isolate and enemy locality and obtain prisoners. 'M' Battery R.H.A. were control Battery. Except for a patrol of the ESSEX being shot at by the enemy houses at 715644, there was nothing to report.

July 5th

Ammunition expended

706

Shooting was on a large scale. 'J' Battery, R.H.A. successfully engaged snipers at 767647, while 'M' Battery, R.H.A. engaged an enemy O.P. at 777653 after information had been taken from a P.O.W. At 2000 hrs. C.B. programme TOWEL was fired proving highly successful, the average concentration being 56.1. At 0130 hrs. the programme in support of 2nd ESSEX was fired. The attack took place in the locality registered the day before, but no prisoners were taken.

July 6th & 7th

Ammunition expended

6th 2612 7th 246

July 6th was a continuous run of shell reps from O.Ps. An enemy O.P. was engaged at 764633 in a house. Ammunition began to be dumped up to 200 r.p.g. in preparation for Maori 1, which was an attack by 56 Bde to secure the line of the road between PARFOURU D'ECLIN and LE LION VERT and clear up enemy in the area of BOIS ST. GERMAIN. 3rd Regt. R.H.A. were to support 2nd ESSEX and Tac R.H.Q. were to move with Tac 56 Bde. 'M' Bty R.H.A provided O.Ps with 2nd ESSEX and Tac Bde was set up at 763687. (In appendices of O.C. 50 Div. Appx No.12 & 13)

July 8th

Ammunition expended

2970

 

 

July 9th

At 0630 hrs. Tac HQ moved to join Tac 56 Bde at 766686, and at 0800 hrs. the Bde. attack commenced. To begin with, progress was good, and the intermediate bound was secured within 45 mins. The Regiment fired a number of tasks in support, and once the initial fire plan was completed, remain on call for all other targets. The 2nd ESSEX had difficulty in getting forward from 'CARLTON' and 2nd S.W.B's although making  good progress on their right flank, were held up on the left within a short distance of the S.P. by an enemy strong point. About 1000 hrs. Capt. R.A. Stokes, R.H.A. relieved Capt. C Hampton, RHA of 'M' Bty RHA, whose wireless gave difficulty and Capt. Stokes continued for the remainder of the days action. About 1600 hrs. positions gained were consolidated and at 1800 hrs. fire plan QUEEN was engaged to enable the Infantry to clear the BOIS DE ST. GERMAIN, to consolidate their position. This was only partially successful as at 0430 hrs. July 9th a counter attack developed, with leading enemy infantry elements located deep in the BOIS DE ST. GERMAIN. This attack was successfully broken up and position finally established 400 yds N of LE LION VERT - PARFOURU D'ECLIN road. During this last attack 4 tanks were claimed as K.O. and the enemy failed to achieve anything. At 1130 hrs. 86 Fd. Regt commenced to take over the support of 2nd ESSEX from 3rd Regt. RHA. Hand over was completed about 1430 hrs. and O.Ps. and Tac H.Q. returned to Regt. 3rd Regt. RHA. was now in secondary support of 56 Bde and the Regt remaining in its present location. Lt. D. Clark, RHA., took over L.O. duties with C.O. 86th Fd. Regt at Tac 56 Bde. From information obtained from P.O.W. it was established that there was an H.Q. of some importance in the CHATEAU MAUPERTHIUS, and this was engaged early on the morning of July 10th and later, effects were described by the P.O.W. as shown in Appx. C.

July 10th-12th

Ammunition expended

10th 392

11th 476

12th 126

This was a quiet period for the Regiment on the whole, shoots being confined to 'U' Targets, and targets called for by 86 Fd Regt. There was some concern about shells landing on our own troops when D.Fs or concentrations were being fired on the 56 Bde front, and despite the confirmatory effort of engaging  D.Fs. with smoke and H.E. and proving the fall of shot correct, complaints were still received. Considerable concern was felt by both 3rd Regt. RHA and 86 Fd, Regt, although it was finally established that the responsibility lay elsewhere. On July 12th the Regiment carried out calibration shoots with new M.V. settings, deduced from wear figures taken by the EME. Results were satisfactory except that there was some difficulty with the 'J' Bty RHA figures.

July 13th

Ammunition expended

160

3rd Regiment, RHA. was visited by Major General Erskine, G.O.C. 7 Armd Div at 0845 hrs. He inspected RHA at 0845 hrs. and spoke to all ranks, thanking them for all they had done, and telling them of the gains made in the past few weeks, and hinting at the possible developments of future operations. While his visit was in progress, orders were received to move at once to area of HEVILLE 795740, to join remainder of the Div in Corps reserve. Regiment completed the move to HEVILLE by 1200 hrs. and were given 2 days rest with a secondary task of firing D.Fs at CAEN on 50 Div front with 5th RHA.

July 14th-15th

The Regiment had a quiet period of rest in preparation for the new offensive at HEVILLE 7974. Lt. T. Ritson RA joined the Regiment and was posted to RHQ.

July 16th

Plans were now completed for the major operation east of CAEN, and 7th Armd Div came under command 8th Corps. Recce parties under 2IC left HEVILLE 7974 early on July 16th, to proceed to HERMANVILLE 070790, and prepared positions from which the Regiment could support the initial stages of the attack by engaging in the fire plan prepared by 8th Corps. This consisted of two barrages covering the advance of 11th Armd Div with the Armd Bde leading. No orders were received regarding a move until about 1800 hrs. and then warning was given for a move at 0100 hrs. July 17th. Tanks were to move at approx. 0530 hrs. by a separate route. 7th Armd Div were to concentrate in area ST GABRIELLE 890795, prior to moving forward on July 18th. After the attack by 11th Armd Div and Guards A.D. and to follow through, securing a firm base in the area of SEQUEVILLE LA CAMPAGNE at 095595 and the wood EAST from which 22nd Armd Bde would exploit.

July 17th

Move to concentration area completed by 0500 hrs. not without incident. The enemy began to shell JERUSALEM x rds 811727 at about 0200 hrs, just ast the Regiment was passing FOLLIOT 811719, and as it later appeared, damage done was quite considerable. Petrol fires were still burring at 0600 hrs. when the tank party went past. The remained of the day consisted of a move by the Regiment to the gun areas previously recced and the preparations for engaging in afire plan at 0840 hrs. the next morning. All O.P. parties and Tac H.Q. reported to their Bns. & H.Qs. with 131 Bde, and remained there the day, moving up with the Bde. column on the morning of July 18th. The weather cleared beautifully for the whole of 17th and promised well for the following day. All the operation depended upon a terrific air bombardment by all available aircraft direct on targets prior to the commencement of the barrage, See R.A. 7 AD O.O, No. 3. 17 July 44. & 8 Corps Trace for fire plan and gun positions, operation GOODWOOD.

July 18th

The Regiment fire a barrage commencing at 0845 hrs. with great effect and the Division on a whole began to move up to the bridge over the river and canal, passing along 'CAT' route and making good progress. The terrific air bombardment which preceded the barrage did great damage to the areas engaged which were the southern suburbs if CAEN and numerous towns such as GUIVENVILLE, 106693, GRENTHEVILLE 087465, DEMOUVILLE 113676,where the enemy has established strong points. The crossing of the bridges over the river was very slow after about 1200 hrs. and it was not until about 1800 hrs. that Tac     131 Bde crossed. The Div leagured about 1˝ miles south of LONDON BRIDGE 1072 and the Regiment began to cross at 2200 hrs. As we anticipated, the Boche began very heave bombing about the area of the bridges and the bridgehead forward of these, and it was very fortunate for there were several close shaves.

July 19th

Ammunition expended

 

The morning found the Regiment in action, but not having fired at all. 131 Bde began to move at 0900 hrs. down the CL directed on DEMOUVILLE  113676 south, 22 Bde were already coming into contact with the enemy. The weather began to deteriorate and by 1400 hrs. there was rain in the air. After coming into action at CUIVENVILLE, 106693 with RHQ in an enclosure in the Northern outskirts on CUIVENVILLE, 1069. 131 HQ with Tac HQ RHA was established on the CL just west of the Regiment 00694. A day of reported engagements with the enemy and no indications of any great concentrations of enemy armour, was the general form. The Boche continued to use his tanks as anti-tank guns in small numbers, and his positions at LA HOCHE 096606, FOUR 095629, SOLIERS 081628 were held in strength. However, by the end of the day, 3 BRITISH Divisions were on the western edge of TROARN 1667, with 11 Armd holding FOUR 095629, SOLIERS 081628, BOURGEBUS 078616, and the Guards in CAGNY 113637, west of DEMOUVILLE  1067. The Regiment suffered the loss of one Cromwell from 'M' Btys, and L/Bdr Marshall P.J. No 889323 was killed by the same plane which brewed up the tank. This is the first experience in France the Regiment has had of rocket planes. Up to the end of July, they have not had any reocurrence.

July 20th

Ammunition expended 286

 

At about 0900 hrs. the Regiment moved to DEMOUVILLE  1067 and came into action to support 131 Bde from these positions. Later in the day, at about 1400 hrs. Tac HQ moved up to Tac 22nd Bde. where a Divisional conference was held.. The progress made by the Canadians on the right, they had reached ST ANDRE SUR ORNE 0261, and there exploiting from there. To aid this, 7 Armd Div were to come under command 2 Canadian Corps the following day. 22nd Armd Bde were withdrawn towards the road GRENTHEVILLE 0864 TROARN 1667. 131 Bde were ordered to be NORTH of the same road by 2200 hrs. the same night. The weather turned very wet and for the night Tac HQ rendevoued with Tac 131 in the chateau to the west of  DEMOUVILLE  1067. It poured with rain all night, Everything got soaking wet, and at 0800 hrs. in the morning, Tac HQ joined Regiment.

July 21st

Ammunition expended 676

 

Due to the completed immobility caused by the mud and rain, the operation with the 2 Canadian Corps was delayed indefinitely. Regiment had a generally quiet day with bombing at night. There were no indications of an enemy counter attack in force, and in view of the conditions, this was not to be wondered at. The Regiment had an exceptionally busy time during the preceding days, despite the fact that 131 Bde were following 22 Armd Bde. RAF was active during the inclement weather, there being some very close flying at times, but they had such a reception they really had little chance of staying for a long recce. The Regimental area was shelled by 105 mm and Signalman London seriously wounded. However, prompt action by the M.O.. Captain.  D. Clahane. RAMC, succeeded in a speedy recovery

July 22nd

Ammunition expended 870

The weather showed some signs of breaking and despite successive shelling, the arrangements for the Regiment to move to the FAUBOURG DE VAUCELIES 0667 were completed and after a comparatively quiet day, recce parties moved of about 1600 hrs. Capt. B Corke of 'D' Bty, RHA was wounded by a mine being exploded close to the jeep he was travelling in, and he was evacuated to ADS. Lieunt. D. Clarke, RHA. took over command of 'A' Troop. The Regiment managed to reach CAEN despite the mud, and settled down for a day of refitting, living in houses or factories. The night was disturbed by the usual bombing raids and by AA fire, but few people/noticed it. Rest we needed most of all.

July 23rd

Plans were formed for 7 Armd Div to support the attack of 2 Canadian Div down the axis of the main CAEN - FALAISE road, and to follow through the Canadians one the second objective was gained, to establish a firm base on the high ground in the neighbourhood of LA BRUYERS 0866, and soo allow the 22nd Armd Bde. to exploit South and secure a line BRETTEVILLE SUR LAIZE 0653 - ST SYLVAN 1354.

The Guards Armd Div were to exploit any success to FALAISE 1436.

Recce parties were sent to recce positions in the area of COURELIES 0565 and arrangements made for dumping 300 r.p.g. for the barrage to be fired. See RA 7 A.D. No.4.

July 24th

3rd Regiment, R.H.A. began to move to occupy positions as recced with 'D' Bty leading at 1300 hrs. All guns were in action by 1900 hrs., it being necessary to move in small parties to avoid road conjestion and enemy observation. Recce planes were over the area about 1600 hrs. Dive was to move on 2 Axis A & B, along the road leading from CAEN - FALAISE, the other track CAEN - IFS 0463 - FONTENAY LE MARMION 0350. Tac HQ were to join 131 Bde Tax HQ along route B to the North of IFS 040643 at 0645 hrs 25th July, The night was a very noisy one, for enemy bombing was almost continuous from 2400 hrs. and the fire plan began at 0300 hrs. Capt. D. Yonge RHA rejoined the Regiment from ENGLAND at about 1700hrs on July 24th, and took over command of 'A' Tp. 'D' Bty, RHA.

July 25th

Ammunition expended 891

 

Barrage began at 0300 hrs. and the attack was aided by artificial light supplied by searchlights playing on low cloud. However, the 2nd Canadians were fiercely opposed during the attack in the initial stages, and were held up almost on the start line. As a result of this 131 Bde entered into the battle to support the Canadians, and debussed in the area of IFS 0463, and formed a defensive positions round high ground 050615, the 22nd Armd Bde being deployed forward of this position to VERRIERRE 033605. Enemy opposition was based on prepared positions at TILLY LA CAMAPGNE 073604 ROCQUNCOURT 0558 and MAY SUR ORNE 0259. On the right, the village of MAY SUR ORNE, though once reported empty of enemy, was held in strength, and progress was held up just South of  Ste. ANDRE SUR ORNE 0261. The enemy were using a great number of NEBELWERFER and artillery sited West of the River ORNE, South of MALTOT 9862 and our forward troops were under heavy and accurate fire. 131 Bde Tac HQ was established about 800 yds East of FLEURY 036645, vehicles being widely dispersed to avoid casualties and due to the lack of cover. A night attack was planned by 131 Bde for the 1/6 Queens to cover captured ROCQUNCOURT and the Regiment was to fire a barrage of 1200 yds covering the rds VERRIERRES, but this was delayed until July 26th and then cancelled. Enemy bombing during the night resulted in near miss, 100 yds from the C.Os. tank, There was no damage down.

July 26th

Ammunition expended 138

The weather continued to remain fine and the enemy very active. A counter attack launched during the morning was broken up by artillery fire and the Typhoon rocket planes, we did most useful work, being controlled by a V.O.P with 22nd Bde operated from Regtl. HQ. 5 RHA, the team time score being 11 tanks brewed up. A.O.Ps. were continuously active and shoots were carried out on the enemy gun positions West of the River ORNE and on mortar positions. Observation was good and MET moving along the road CAEN - FALAISE were engaged with excellent results.

July 27th - 28th

The day was spent with the Regiment engaging N targets and keeping the enemy gun positions under observation and effecting counter battery  measures to counteract this shelling and mortaring. The enemy began shelling the road South of FLEURY as soon as vehicles began to move along it. He made no very strong counter attack measures, though his determination to stay was most marked. It was evident that a change of plan would have to be made, and on the evening of July 28th, it was decided to move Tac HQ back to Regimental HQ.

July 29th - 30th

Ammunition expended 891

At 0600 Hrs. Tac moved back to RHQ, and arrangements were made to fit new tracks. Orders were issued for the Div. to move to an area of ST. ANDRE Sount of BAYEAUX. 'A' echelon moved North of the River at CAEN and the Regiment was busy handing over to a Regiment of 4 Canadians Armd Div. The enemy commenced shelling CORMELLES. The move was made at 0300 hrs. on July 30th, the 131 Bde being commanded to hold their objectives until midnight. During this day, Lt. Col Yates, RA. visited the Regiment. The move was affected successfully, and by 0700 hrs. the Regiment leagured in the area of AT ANDRE 7873. Tac HQ moved from CORMELLES at 0600 hrs. July 29th and arrived on the Regiment about 0900 hrs.  The remainder of the day was spent resting.

July 31st

Orders were issued for the Div. to move towards  CANAGNES 7454 in support of 43 Div who were protecting the left flank of 11 Armd Div who broken through South of CAUMONT on July 29th. Orders to move were postponed during the day and the V.O.P. joined 131 Bde and were attached to RHQ. We moved at 21 Hrs. to a position just N.E.. of CAUMONT.

 

 

 

 

Field

Lieut, Colonel, R.H.A.

July 1944

Commanding, 3rd Regiment, R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX B

Subject:-  Interrogation of PW

2 SWB

56/I/431

2 GLOSTERS
2 ESSEX

11 JUL 44

203 Fd Amb     
 

1.

The enclosed is the description of the scene inside the Chateau MAIPERTHUIS on the night of 9/10 JUL, as given to Interrogators at Bde and Div HQa by a German deserter,  a Cpl from 8 Coy 987 GR of 276 Inf Div. The facts a reconstructed are strictly true, but in is put in dramatic form merely for the purpose of conveying to the reader the impressions received by the Interrogators.

2. Sufficient copies are fwded for issue down to pls/

Capt..

I.O.,
56 Inf Bde.
BWEF.
Jcr/Jef
Copies to: - 50(N) Div

                   GS'I' 30 Corps

                   61 Recce Regt

                   86 Fd Regt

                   3 RHA

                   257 and 259 A Tk Btys

                   2 CHESHIRES

                   233 Fd Coy RE

                   Main HQ 56 Inf Bde

                   CC'A'

                   CSM Tac HQ

                   Sigs Offr

   

IN THE CELLARS OF CHATEAU MAUPERTHUIS

(Time: 0200hrs 10 JULY 1944)

 

"

Will it never stop - the constant drumming of the Tommie; gunfire, and the rain - the eternal rain? That slit trench was proof against neither, not even with wooden planks laid across it. I had to come here. Such a thing couldn't happen in normal times - a Corporal in the cellars of the Chateau which is being used as Regimental Headquarters, and close to the operations room. But the place was a shambles - full of officers - frightened, many of them,, and talking in loud excited voices to conceal their fear. They don't try to stick it out there in the slit trenches......
" And the wounded - scores of them - lying all over the floor. They are being attended to, but there is no transport, and no chance of evacuation. Perhaps that was why I was able to pull this mattress in the corner, and fall asleep for three hours without being disturbed. I can see others who are not wounded, and who also have no business down here. Like me they want to get out of the continual shellfire - and they are getting away with it, because people are too preoccupied to notice.
" It is now 2 a.m. and firing ceased temporarily outside, but they say it is still raining. There are more wounded in here now - 70 or 80 of them. It is like a charnel house. They say Tommy is using flame throwers up in the thick wood; that our last attack broke up in panic. Mein Gott! flames on top of the bombes and shells. Human flesh cannot stand it/
" They say that the Chief Medical Officer from 988 Regt has come over and offered our Brigade a trcuk to evacuate the wounded. One truck for this endless stream of casualties! That is what the mechansied German Army has come to. But they can't all get away, and many will died before they have a chances of further attention.
" The cellar has gone very quite, and attention is directed to the far corner, where there is a wireless set. Is Lt-Col KNUEPPEL, the Regimental Commander talking to the General. 'The 2nd Battalion' he says, 'are no longer fightable because of heavy casualties. The counter-attack failed and we must have reinforcements.' The conversation continues in plain speech, except that the meaning is slightly concealed. Flammenwerfer are referred to as 'Fiery Pistols'.
" What a man is this KNUEPPEL - icy calm and slightly contemptuous even now. He is saying to the General, #Six SP guns - what use are they against Fiery Pistols?..... I must have tanks!' His bitter and sarcastic tone is not likely to further his career but perhaps Lt-Gen KURT won BADINSKY will make allowances.
" Now there is a driver from our 1st Battalion, HITLER, he said addressed them last Thursday - just before they went into the line. ROMMEL was with him. The Fuehrer said that he sending the LUFTWAFFE to our support, and he promised there would be no fighting in France in a months time. And there was more talk of the V2, the new secret weapon.
" But what is the use of secret weapons!? Tommy doesn't use them. He has million of weapons, and each bomb and each shell all too capable of advertising itself.
" The orders are out now. There are to be no more counter-attacks, and no more reinforcements. But the line has to be held at all costs.
" But this is hopeless. All the men are terrified of just one more attack by Tommy - and especially of the 'Fiery Pistols'.
" What has come over me? I used to be considered a brilliant student. My brain can still record impressions - but I have lost the power of acting on my own account. I just obey orders. My common-sense tells me that I should get out of it all now, while I still have the chance, but I can't bring myself to make the move....
" They're rounding up everyone and putting them in the line - cooks and all. I had better get out of here before they find me.
" They are bringing another wounded man in - one of theirs. He has a red and white flash at the top of his sleeve with the single word ESSEX. He doesn't look the sort of chap who would shoot prisoners."

 

 

 

 

 

In Lieu of A.F.O. 2118 

 

WAR DIARY AUGUST 1944

 

3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

August 1st

Ammunition expenditure 

536

In blazing hot weather - a doubtful advantage owing to the dust - the Regiment moved of its first leaguer area at 720685 throught CAUMONT to the area north of CAHAGNES. Recces had been through CAHAGNES but decided against going there owing to the weight of shelling going on in the area, and to the fact that CAHAGNES wasbeing regularly stonked. 'D' Battery RHA., went into action first, followed by 'J' and 'M' in the area 7257. RHA was in an orchard and V.C.P. came up, buy could not do much, the weather for some reason being unsuitable. In the evening 'D' Battery moved up to 725573 and a number of Mike targets were engaged.

August 2nd

Ammunition expenditure 1292

RHQ was shelled in the morning but no damage was done. Recces went to area 7455, S of CAHAGNES, and 'J' Battery moved up, followed by 'D' and 'M'. RHQ was in a field 735552. In the evening the gun positions were shelled, and several vehicles were damaged. Capt. Stokes truck was destroyed, Capt. Aitchison was wounded, and Lieut. Gibbs. RHA blown under his bed during the night. Several O.Ps. were shelled, and the area was both bombed and shelled during the night, 'J' Battery losing tow quads. During the night the Regiment fired a barrage along the road to AUNAY - SUR - OBON 8251, and helped 1/5 Queens to reach their objective PT 188 at 7951

August 3rd

Ammunition expenditure 7324

The barrage was seen to have been most successful, several guns being K.O-ed and many Germans killed. The O.Ps. had a very unpleasant time from sniping round the Robin feature 7553. In the afternoon, a battle group of 10 SS Pz Div, attacked the 1/5 Queens, and the Regiment fired many D.F. tasks in their support, helping to beat off the attack. A later attack, however, pushed 1/5th back about half a mile. During the day, a 'J' Battery echelon vehicle drove into AUNAY and back with impunity.

August 4th

Ammunition expenditure 1591

A fairly quite day. The 5th RTR reached the area North of AUNAY but had to come back. PT 188 was reoccupied.

August 5th

Ammunition expenditure 718

Recces moved off early to QUERY 7755, but little firing was done. RHQ was in a farm at 775553. Here the Survey party picked up its dog Query, named after the village, and partly after its questionable ancestry. Query remained with the Regiment some months. The L.A.D. when occupying their area, were surprised to find five teller mines in the way, and speedily recced an alternative area.

August 6th

Ammunition expenditure 1572

The Regiment moved at first light up the VILLERS BOCAGE road 8157, and then South to 813348, where it pulled in for a wash and a brew. Thence it move to its new area CANTELANGE 8751. RHQ was at 871509. During the day, Major-General Verney, who had succeeded Major-General Erskine as Divisional Commander, visited the Regiment. RSM Bedworth rejoined the Regiment from a re-inforcement unit. During the night the Regiment fired a fire pla in support of 1/7th Queens, attacking LA VAILEE 8747. The fire plan was in a form of three successive boxes, each of which was to fall just behind the enemy as he retreated. That was in fact exactly what happened and the attack was most successful, the 1/7th Queens taking 150 prisoners. The fire plan was the work of Major Hilton, 'J' Battery, RHA.

August 7th

Ammunition expenditure 8402

A lot of shooting today in support of 131 Bde, when the previous nights barrage had brought to 875639. In the evening the Regiment moved via AUNAY-SUR-ODON to a new area at RAUCAMPS 8347. The move, a Divisional one, was very slow, taking most of the night, being remarkable only for the sight of the total destruction of AUNAY. Lieut. D.M.J. Clark, 'D; Battery, was reported missing after his tank was detracked. He has sine been reported a prisoner of war,

August 8th

Ammunition expenditure 2409

Regiment now with 43 Div. with 131 Bde resting. RHA moved to a farm at 832475, and the Regiment fire fire plan HECTOR to help 3 Div onto Mt. PINCON 8345.

August 9th

Ammunition expenditure 5288

The Regiment moved to the forward slopes of MT. PINCON, being deployed in area 8446, RHQ did not move. A large number of tasks were fired during the day in support of 43 Div and also 50 Div on their left. Capt. G. Buchahan RHA changed places with Capt. J.A.C. Baxter RHA as Adjutant.

August 10th

Ammunition expenditure 1130

The Regiment was told it would be in action for another 48 hrs, and would then have three days rest. A quiet day

August 11th

Ammunition expenditure 300

Another fire plan in support of 50 Div, and some enemy shelling of the gun area, though no casualties were caused. 'A' Echelon and 'O' Group moved to rest area at BONNE MAISON 8649, as no O.Ps. were needed.

August 12th

Ammunition expenditure 4976

Much firing in support of 50 Div attack. A unfortunate premature on No.1 gun of 'A' Troop killed Gnr Rodenhurst. During the evening, the Regiment moved over MT. PINCON, a hill about 1200 ft. high.

The Regiment was visited by the new CRA Brigadier Lyon-Smith

August 13th

Ammunition expenditure 3075

RHA was shelled once more. Recces were ordered forward to an area held by the enemy, but fortunately there were sufficiently well training not to call the guns up there. Bathing parties were arranged.

August 14th

Ammunition expenditure 1442

The Regiment moved at first light 880384, supporting an attack by 43 Div on ST.DENYS de MERE 8833. RHQ was in a building alongside a number of dead Germans, 1 K.O'ed 88mm and 1 K.O'ed 105 mm. Ammunition expenditure was again large. 43 Div apparently being firm believers in the heavy concentrations theory. Major P. Hilton, MC, RHA was evacuated after an accident in a Jeep. Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC, RHA took over 'J' Bty RHA.

August 15th

Ammunition expenditure 910

The Regiment helped 43 Div to take its objective ONDE - SUR - NOIREAUX 8331, and was again it had to do another 48 hrs. in action, before having a rest. Thunder came on in the evening.

August 16th

Recces were called for 0400 and moved round to leaguer area S. of CAEN in cornfield near CONTEVILLE 1257. The Regiment was u/c 2nd Canadian Corps for 4 hrs and then came under 12th Corps. However, it was under the Canadian long enough to occupy the leaguer area.

August 17th

Ammunition expenditure 137

The Regiment moved from CONTEVILLE to area of CAUVIGNY 2351. but did no firing. The plan was for 7 A.D. to pass through 51 (H) Div, then holding the ST. PIERRE SUR DIVES bridgehead 2949, and on to LISIEUX, via LIVAROT 4672. which was the Division's immediate objective.

August 18th

Ammunition expenditure 952

The Regiment came into action in the area of CAUVIGNY 2451, in support of 51 Div, who held the bridgehead in the area of ST. PIERRE SUR DIVES 2649. Little firing was done, and during the afternoon 131 Bde took over from 51 Div and pushed towards LIVAROT 4672. 1/5th Queens reaching the area of BOISSY 3249. At 19hrs the Regiment was across the Dives, through ST. PIERRE to HIEVILLE 2849, RHA being in a large house 284496. This move was a pleasant experience as it was the first time that we had seen an inhabited and relatively undamaged place since we moved round to the CAEN area. Further, the renewed presence of civilians added some variety, especially for would be French scholars. During the night we were shelled, but despite rumours to the contrary, no once was hurt

August 19th

Ammunition expenditure 3915

The continued advance of 131 Bde up the ST PIERRE - LIVAROT road enabled the Regiment to move at 1000 hrs to the area of LES DOUCETS 3149, and RHQ installed itself in the village school. The 1/6th Queens, supported by 'M' Battery, RHA. reached the area 625737, and 'M' Bty did some good shooting on stray parties of Germans. The 1/7th Queens scaled the hills in front of us and established themselves about 2000 yds along the ridge. It is worth noting that when we reached the MITTOIS position, we were within 1500 yds of the F.D.Ls.

August 20th

Ammunition expenditure 3545

The Regiment moved at midday to FONTAINE 3248. RHQ was by a cheese factory at 323436, and consequently fared well for cheese for the next week, all 'honestly' procured. During the afternoon. 'D' Battery supported 1/5th Queens attack North of LIVAROT. A 15 minutes stonk was fired on 478744 to cover the 1/5th crossing of the river which was extremely successful. The Regiment fire several MIKE Targets on infantry and A/Tk guns on MONTVIETTE and LES VANTES 4172. It rained heavily during the afternoon and evening, and we were treated to the rare sight of a few German planes strafing.

August 21st

Ammunition expenditure 976

'M' Battery RHA engaged several targets S. of LIVAROT succeed in brewing up an armoured car at 495714. During the morning, 131 Bde secured a firm bridgehead over the river round LIVAROT and at 1200 hrs. the Regiment moved to ST MICHEL DE LIVOT 4474 to support 22 Armd Bde who were to pass through. Some shooting was done, one party of drunk Germans who attached the 1/6th Queens and a party of Germans in the FORET de LIVAROT area. During the afternoon, the 1st Tanks advanced up towards LISIEUX 5387, and the 5th Tanks reached FERVAQUES 5576. D.Fs were successfully fired on an enemy counter attack on the 5th Tanks.

August 22nd

Ammunition expenditure 2982

The Divisional axis was xxxxxchanged to pass through LISIEUX to make room for the 3rd Canadian Division on our right. During the morning, the Regiment moved to the area 4978, getting on the way a superb view of the fine countryside round the valley of the River Vies, on which LIVAROT stands. During the afternoon and evening the Regiment supported an attack by 1/5th Queens and the 1st Tanks on LISIEUX. The attack, however, ran into heavy opposition from SS Troops, and though in the evening we had O.Ps right in the town, it became necessary to withdraw in the late evening. The 1/7th Queens, supported by 'M' Battery reached the River Orbec at 5486, and did some highly successful shooting on Germans in LISIEUX cemetery, and on the high ground to teh East.

August 23rd

The Regiment moved at 1100 hrs to the area of ST. MARTIN DE LA LIEUE 5183. RHQ was in a furniture factory and the Regimental Office, for the first time on record, was a genuine office. The Regiment fired a series of concentrations on the high ground East of LISIEUX at 1600 hrs to support another attack by the 1/6th Queens East from LISIEUX itself. The artillery support was controlled by Major Tirrell, ad Capt. Brice actually led 'D' Coy. 1/6 Queens attack in his tank. The C.O. and his party were also with the 1/6 Queens in LISIEUX, though fighting was still going on in the town. The attack reached 550877, but was there held up by infantry and tanks, which were repeatedly shot up by the Regiment. Further tasks were fired by the Regiment, particularly on the road junction 560877. D.Fs were arranged as usual, but were not required, Ammunition expenditure was fairly heavy, 5955 rounds all told.

August 24th

found the Regiment all teed up with a series of tasks to support the 1/6 Queens, who were to complete their attack/ But as half expected, the enemy has withdrawn in the night, so the Regiment has a peaceful day, while 131 Bde firm bases on the 30 Eastingline, and the armoured pushed ahead without opposition.

Major J.M. Bayley, RA from 6th A.B, Division joined the Regiment, and took over 'J' Battery RHA.

Major J.A.C. Baxter, RHA, became Battery Captain of 'D', and Capt. Hampton, RHA, returned to 'M'.

August 25th

The Regiment moved off at 0600 hrs. via LISIEUX, North of THIBERVILLE, and went into action North of GIVERVILLE 7890. As 22nd Armoured Bde advances through ST GEORGES de VIERURE 8086 to the River RISLE, it was decided to move the Regiment up to cover a possible crossing of the river in the area of PONT AUTHOU 8575. The Regiment accordingly moved at 1230 hrs to 8493. 22nd Armoured Bde, with the 1/7th Queens, crossed the river without difficulty, reaching the high ground Pt1 152 in square 9297. Again the Regiment was not called on to fire.

August 26th

The Regiment moved at 0630 hrs to the bridge at PONT AUTHOU, and went into action in square 9096 to support Divisional attack in a Northerly direction. No firing took place, and at 1430 the Regiment withdrew over the river to area 8992, 'J. Battery remaining in action until 'M' Battery was ready in case 8th Hussars, covering the bridgehead needed support. This backward movement was due to the fact that the Divisional centre line has been altered North through MONTFORT SUR LISLE 8601 and CAUVERVILLE 8508. Our bridgehead was therefore reduced to the 1/5th Queens and the 8th Hussars, pending arrival of 51 Div. The move was in no way due to enemy pressure, which was non-existant. Again there was no firing.

August 27th

Ammunition expenditure 

256

There was no firing during the morning, but 'J' Battery was moved back over the river Risle and came under command of the 8th Hussars. It occupied the area of TOUVILLE 9301. and did some good shooting on enemy guns in the afternoon. The rest of the Regiment moved at 11000 hrs up the centre line and occupied positions at LES MARETTE 8505. 'M' Battery supplied O.Ps for the 1/5th Queens, 1/;6th Queens, 'D' Battery for 1/7th Queens. 'D' Battery O.P was at BOURNEVILLE 8710, where 1/5th Queens has a firm base, The Regiment fired Mike Target scale one over the Siene at 840170 or morale purposes.

August 28th

Ammunition expenditure 1129

The Regiment fired several M Targets on RUE DES BOIS area 8912. 'M' Battery picked up a couple of prisoners and duly despatched them to the P.O.Ws cage. The firing was to support 131 Bde in mopping up South of the big FORET de BRETONNE, and this was completed by midday. 'J' Battery remained with the 8th Hussars, but has little to do as 51 Div had taken over. 'D' and 'M' Batteries were moved up slightly at midday in case further support was needed, but no more firing took place, and during the afternoon the Division was relieved by 49th Div. At 2000 hrs the Regiment pulled out of action and concentrated in the LIVET sur AUTHOU area 8694.

RHQ was in a fine chateau, discovered by the M.O. when the Regiment was in this area before. This, the phase of operations which took the Regiment from CAEN to the SEINE came to its conclusion.

August 29th

A quiet day until at 1900 when the Regiment moved via BRIGNNE 8990 and to NEUBOURG 0283 to the area immediately East of NEUBOURG, when it again harboured.

August 30th

It poured all day, so we were fortunate to be in a leaguer area. A day full of rumours of coming operations. Orders arrived in the evening for the next phase of our operations, which were to start the following morning. A full scale armoured attack is to start with three objects, firstly, to clear the low countries, secondly to secure the channel ports, and thirdly, to clear the notorious flying bomb bases, the third object making and added incentive to those of the Regiment living in the South of England.

August 31st

The Regiment moved at 0900 from LE NEUBOURG, having been standing to since 0645. This was a bad start, and it took the Regiment ten hours to do the eighteen miles to the Seine, such was the state of the traffic. The route was via LOUVIERS 2389 and over the Siene by pontoon bridhe at ST PIERRE 2391. After crossing the river, the move quickened up considerably, and we moved on via LES ANDELEYS 4191 to GOURNEY-en-BRAYE 6515, to harbour area on 6421

 

 

 

 

Field

Lieut, Colonel, R.H.A.

August 44

Commanding, 3rd Regiment, R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFICERS SERVICE WITH 3 RHA

DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST 1944

 

REGIMENTAL HEADQUARTERS

 

Lieut. Colonel. J.A. Norman, DSO.

Major B.A. Buckwell, DSO. MC

Capt. G, Buchanan

Lieut. D.M. Tribe

Lieut. T.T. Ritson

Lt. QM. B. Bull

Capt. D.P. Clahanne (RAMC)

Capt. A.W. Abrahamson (EME)

 

'D' Battery

 

Major T.J. Tirrell, MC, DCM

Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC

Capt. G.D. Brice 

Capt. B.J. Cork

Lieut. H.A. Parsons

Lieut. J.R. Brown 

Lieut. A Gibb

Lieut. W.R.B. Buckholt

Lieut. R.H. Jones

 

'J' Battery

 

Major P. Hilton, MC

Capt. G.H.P. Lawrence, MC

Capt. R.A. Stokes

Capt. H.A. Nisbett

Lieut. G.E. Foster

Lieut. W. Dolphin-Smith

Lieut. D.D. Brown

Lieut. M.A. Anson

Lieut. W. Griffiths

 

'M' Battery

 

Major P.H. Barrington

Capt. J. Sibbald

Capt. C.L.M. Aspinal

Lieut. L.S. Gosling

Lieut. S.A. Middleton

Lieut. J. Ledsham

Lieut G.H. Dale

Lieut. J.A. Frost

Lieut. G.I.. Brown  

 

 

 

 

 

In Lieu of A.F.O. 2118 

WAR DIARY SEPTEMBER 1944

3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

September 1st

Weather Fine. Are the Regiment moved from the concentration area at 0800 hrs. ‘D’ Battery RHA was detached and was with the 8th Hussars, who were leading our column. The advance up to the SOMME went very smoothly, the column moved via HAUSSEZ 6327, FORMIERE 6734, LINGIEREY 7747 and MOLLIENS – VIDAME 9059. ‘D’ Battery went into position North of MONTANGE – FAYEL in square 8763. They did some gun shooting on enemy motor transport on the other side of the SOMME, and later moved to 9463, to cover the possible crossing of the Somme over the PICQUIGNY bridge 9964. Reese's were carried out for a Regimental position in this area, but did not move up owing to a change of plan. The regiment moved at 1130 hrs via FERRIERES 0158 to the outskirts of AMIENS 0760, where we crossed the SOMME, and up to leaguer area in square 0763. All the way up we got a most gratifying ovation in every place we passed through -flowers and fruit were showered into every vehicle.

September 2nd

Ammunition expenditure

387

Regiment moved from the leaguer area at 0900 hrs. in the pouring rain, up the new centre line via VIGNACOURT 0371, HEM 1287, towards ST. POL 1611. ‘J’ Battery, RHA moved on with the 8th Hussars, and passed through FREVENT at 1200, while sniping was still going on, and the place was being shelled. The wonderful reception was experienced all the way. ‘D’ Battery went into action in 1407, and later the Regiment moved up beside them, RHQ being 147068 in a farm house. As soon as ‘M’ Battery was in action, it was ordered back to BERNAVILLE 0385, to cover the 5th RTR in AUXI-Le-CHATEAU 9995, but they had no firing to do. The Regiment area was very well forward, as any was still in ST. POL 1611, and at one time RHQ held some 60 prisoners, collected from the neighbourhood. The 1/7th Queens unable to take ST. POL, and some of our D.F. tasks were only thousand yards from the guns.

September 3rd

Ammunition expenditure

1487

Weather fair with some rain. The fifth anniversary of the war. ‘M’ Battery RHA arrived back in the Regimental area at 1200 hrs, just in time to fire a fire plan at 1215, to help the 1/7th Queens and the 8th Hussars attack ST POL. The fire plan went off according to plan, but the attack was held up in ST POL by anti-tank guns, and it was not until late afternoon that the place was reported clear. The Brigade did not then move up on the old axis towards MERVILLE 4039, but prepared to move down a new centre line via NOEUX 4021 and LA BASSEE 5025 to LILLE 6737. At 2200 hrs the Regiment moved via BUNEVILLE 1705 to AUBIGNY 3207, and to harbour area in 3410. RHQ was in a chateau at 34510, which they reached at 0100 hrs. Shortly afterwards, 131 Bde ordered a general Stand To throughout the Brigade Group, but though Germans were reported in the area, no Germans were seen.

September 4th

Ammunition expenditure

1122

The Commanding Officer went to Brigade at 0530 hrs for orders, an when he returned, it transpired that our centre line had changed to though LA BASSEE 2326, ARMENTIERRES 5723, COUTRAI 8557, to GHENT 2080. 131 Bde group was to pass through 22 Armoured Brigade at LA BASSEE, but it soon became apparent that the enemy were in considerable strength in the area. The regiment got a striking view of industrial France, the first it had seen, as it came over the Hill at 3815. The sight of enormous slag heaps and smoking chimneys made a great contrast to the farms and orchards seen hitherto. ‘D’ Battery, RHA we're leading with 8th Hussars, dropping into action at MAZINGINGARBE 4320, as opposition had been met on the LA BASSEE - BETHUBE canal. The memorial on VIMY RIDGE provided a striking reminder of the days of 1914 - 1918.

 

The Regiment moved up round D battery 1130, and at 1245 hrs fired a small fire plan to help the 1/5th Queens to cross the BETHUNE – LA BASSEE canal. The operation was completed successfully by 1500 hrs, the bridge was secured at 465254, but progress throughout the day was very small in comparison with the previous day. Major Tirrell, RHA had an O.P. in BETHUNE which could see into BELGIUM. During the evening, the 1/5th and 1/7th Queens were told they would be relieved by 53 Div. During the late evening and night, this was done, and the Regiment had no D.Fs. The Regiment had several Mike Targets on enemy positions on the far side of the BETHUNE – LA BASSEE canal. The proclamation below was published in BULLY-les-MINES where the Regiment spent the day.

 

FRENCH REPUBLIC

FFI

DEPARTMENT OF PAS DE CALAIS

Communique No.2.

2nd Sept    Victorious arrival of the British troops.

At seven in the morning, the motorised Division, called ‘Leopard’ + entered BULLY, coming from AIX la NOUIETTE and moving towards LILLE and BRUSSELS.

 

Amid the most moving sight of our delirious ovation, this impeccable formation gave us a superb example of discipline and manoeuvre, and showed us how great had been the industrial effort of our Allies during the last four years.

Headquarters, FFI.  

 

+ Where LEOPARD came from is rather obscure, though it may have been a code name. It is worth stating here, the F.F.I. have been most useful to the Regiment all along, once collecting 80 eggs for the Colonel’s party.

September 5th

Ammunition expenditure

273

Weather fine. The Regiment came out of action at 1000 hrs, but did not move until 1530. New access ran through CARVIN 6222, to IXS 8040 and up via AUDENARDE 0954 to GHENT 1879 The Regiment crossed the BELGIAN frontier at 831381, at one in the morning. Progress was extremely slow, largely owing to the number of blown bridges, and the move, at Brigade one, generally chaotic and the Regiment harboured at 3 a.m. BASSUYT 9547.

September 6th

Ammunition expenditure

Nil

Weather fine. At 8:00 am the Regiment continued the move up the axis, but halted 2 miles before AUDENARDE. The previous skeleton recce parties under Major B.A Buckwell, RHA, had gone through this area with the regiment was to have harboured, and spent the night there. This party was disturbed at breakfast by 20 Germans firing at them. A full account of the affair is attached. ‘J’ Battery, RHA, dropped into action at 0555 and 3 of the Regiment’s tanks chased the Germans off, with the company of the 1/7th Queens, who were with the Regimental column as protection. The Regiment then moved on. ‘J’ Battery in action to support 1/7th who are having trouble with the village of EYNE 1060. The Regiment harboured in 2362 and ‘M’ Battery moved off to square 1067 to support the 5th RTR. ‘D’ Battery, RHA moved to 1775, within 2 miles of GHENT. Here in BELGIUM we had an even better reception than in FRANCE, and that accorded to the O.Ps who went into GHENT, was quite beyond description.

September 6th

The leaguer party, which had reached an area on the western outskirts of OUDENARDE, were informed about 0200 hrs. that the Regiment had leaguered about ten miles back. Since it was so late, Major B.A. Buckwell, RHA, decided to spend the remainder of the night in two nearby establishments. We rose at 0630 and were breakfasting and washing then about 0715 Capt. Oulton noticed some men laying in the field about 400 yds to the North. He raised his binoculars to see that they were what they were doing and they immediately opened fired with a 20 mm cannon. All the jeeps were parked on the enemy side the house, and exception of 2 jeeps belonging to Major Buckwell and Lieut. Tribe, they were in full view of the enemy. These two jeeps were hidden by a line of trees. Since they had no weapons which could reach the Germans, Major Buckwell decided to get the party away, and call for help from the Regiment. We managed to get the jeeps round to the safe side of the house, or the enemy’s attention was centred on the party at the other house.

While this was happening, a shell hit the wall behind Capt. Oulton, and he was hit by several splinters. B.S.M Cattanack was also hit in the side. Lieut. Frost also sustained a slight wound.

 

Some of the party crossed the road and got away undercover of the hedges. The remainder drove away in the two jeeps. Are the two parties linked up at the railway level crossing, and took up a defensive position at a bend in the road.

In the meantime, Major Buckwell had wirelessed for help from the Regiment, and the O.P. tanks arrived some 20 minutes later, they with the help from the Queens, soon cleared the enemy enough for the Regiment to pass.

September 6th

(continued)

‘J’ Battery, RHA moved up to 1159 and shot up EYNE at 2000 yds, but pulled back for the night to its original position to get protection from 1/7th Queens. ‘M’ Battery, RHA in in the evening to DICHELVENNE 1565 to the Divisional area, and in fact it was fortunate that they did do so, as during the night a column of 500 Germans with 88s and armoured vehicles passed through their area. RHQ moved to a school at 165649, so as to be in wireless touch with all three Batteries.

September 7th

Ammunition expenditure

1167

It poured with rain all morning. A patrol under Lieut. Ritson, consisting of the Commanding Officers tank and two survey trucks and the rest of Z group, went to investigate Germans reported at 143659. The tank poured several a thousand rounds into a copse, and a villain said the three Germans fled from it. The patrol crossed the Escaut on foot, and looked around ASPER 1364. On seeing nothing, they were herded into the ‘local’ by enthusiastic inhabitants and treated to beer, ham, eggs, bread and butter. They would have forgone the latter part had they known 1500 Germans we reported at that time in SYNGEM 800 yards away. Tac HQ then established itself into fine Chateau 143659. Major Tirrell’s and O.Ps was in GHENT, and he shot up a factory on the outskirts of the town. Both ‘J’ and ‘M’ Batteries shot up odd parties of Germans during the day. ‘J’ Battery RHA supporting 15th (S) Division, who took over from 1/7th Queens when the latter moved up to GAVERE 1366.

September 8th

Ammunition expenditure

853

Weather fine. During the morning, ‘M’ Battery RHA shot up 200 Germans who were on the wrong side of ‘D’ Battery centre line, which had also been put out the previous day. During the afternoon, the Regiment moved up to the area round ‘D’ Battery, RHQ placing itself in the Chateau of the late FeldKommandant at 225773. Tac 3 RHA moved with 131 Bde and established itself in the smoking room of the Hotel de la Poste, in the middle of GHENT. A good deal of shooting was done in the evening, and O.P. were established in the belfries in GHENT, ‘D’ Battery’s being 181814. The shooting was on German guns in the U formed by the canals to the North of GHENT. Tac HQ went with 131 Bde HQ.

September 9th

Ammunition expenditure

1574

Weather fine. This was a day of Mike Targets, some 40 being fired, largely on enemy guns which were shelling GHENT, sited in the factory area in the Northern outskirts of the town. Many targets also fired in support of an attack by 1/5th and 1/6th Queens, and later by the Glasgow Highlanders of 15th Division, but the attack only made slow progress against very stiff opposition. During the night, Capt. Atchley, RHA, was wounded in the hand when hiss OP in a belfry was shot up, and Capt. Nisbett, RHA, was also slightly wounded. Bank holiday scenes were still the order of the day in GHENT.

September 10th

Ammunition expenditure

4195

Is the enemy did a lot of shelling during the night, and at 4 a.m. the Regiment replied by firing on our enemy gun Mike targets fight during the previous day. The shelling quietened down a bit after that, but continued spasmodically during the day. I Regiment did a great deal of firing on enemy targets during the day, particularly guns. Red Smoke was fired three times, and the Typhoons obliged by shooting up the targets. The first target was a supposed railway gun at 205871, and the second a strong point at 144843. The Regiment moved at midday in the order D, J, and M to the area 2180, 2280. RHQ was it 230805, as always in a Chateau. Weather fine.

September 11th

Ammunition expenditure

2805

At midnight the Regiment fired several heavy concentrations on the enemy immediately behind their lines, to prevent a threatened counterattack. Throughout the night, enemy shelled GHENT heavily, giving Tac HQ very little sleep. Many flash bearings were reported by the O.Ps but not much counter battery was fired during the night. At first light Tac HQ and 131 Bde HQ got together to work out the method of dealing with the enemy guns which were proving troublesome. It was decided to fire on enemy gun target as heavily as possible, and to fire Red Smoke for the Typhoons. Both the Regiment and Typhoons had most successful day, 10 88 mm being destroyed at 177837, to cite an example.

Red Smoke was also fired on enemy HQ with wireless vehicles at 177838, and barges at 235905, with the results as shown on the proforma attached. As a result of this most successful day, the Germans pulled back several miles from the outskirts of the town. The Regiment was relieved by a Polish Regiment in the evening, and leaguered in the area of WESTREM, 8 miles S. of GHENT, for the night.

September 12th

Weather fine. Regiment led Bde Group column at 1430 via ALOST, TERMONDE 4576, BOOM 6481 and MALINES 7174 two it's rest area ad 8376, 8375, which it reached successfully at 1900 hrs. Again, we were covered in apples, tomatoes and every sort of fruit.

September 13th

Weather fine. First of rest period spent cleaning up vehicles and equipment. It appears that the rest was dictated by lack of stores, only 2 Corps being kept operational. All vehicles were completely off loaded, revealing an enormous amount of junk.

September 14th

Weather fine . Same as previous day. The C.R.A. was to inspect the Regiment on Saturday.

September 15th

Weather fine. Continued preparation for C.R.As inspection. In the evening, orders came from move at 0700 hrs the following morning. This caught the Regiment by surprise, as it was at 24 hrs notice, and about 18 guns and nearly all the O.P. tanks were in workshops. Major B.A. Buckwell, RHA, who acting as Colonel, decided to make a composite ‘D’ battery, as five of ‘D’ Battery’s guns were available. This was all rather depressing, as we have worked very hard for the first few days, so that our enjoyment of the following days should be complete. The system of interrupted rest periods was now becoming rather monotonous.

September 16th

Ammunition expenditure

199

Weather fine. Move at 0700 or via MALINES to ANTWERP 6895. Recce parties were met at 685930, and the Regiment moved into action on the East side of the town in 1796, RHQ establishing yourself in the town barracks. The Regiment by now had eight guns . ‘J’ Battery’s OP was established in DEVINE 710982, overlooking the enemy occupied suburbs of MERKEN. ‘D’ Battery’s OP was in the dock area 685010, a hot place as it was being shelled a good deal. The Regiment was supporting 71 Bde of 53 (W) Division, which had remained in the area when the rest of the Division including the Field Regiment, had moved out. The Regiment did some shooting, particularly on enemy batteries and mortars North of MERKEN. During the evening, the Regiment was relieved by a Canadian Regiment, and all non-essential vehicles were sent went back to the rest area.

September 17th

Weather fine. The remainder of the Regiment moved back to the rest area. Late in the day, orders came for a move the following morning to the ALBERT CANAL, and the MEUSE-ESCAUT CANAL, to hold the line while operations to reach the AIRBORNE forces took place on our right. In the evening, a liberty truck took an RHQ party into MALINES.

September 18th

Ammunition expenditure

262

Weather misty. Regiment moved at 0800 hours. To the area South of GELEN 9935. RHQ was in a school at 990858. 131 Bde held the line of the ESCAUT CANAL from exclusive HERENTHALS 9890 to 0591. The day was quiet with little shooting, owing to the restriction of 30 r.p.g. ‘D’ Bty RHA, read the day's papers, which they salvaged from a crashed glider.

September 19th

Ammunition expenditure

610

Weather fine, but misty in the morning. Certain amount of shooting on enemy positions on the far side of the of the canal. ‘J’ Battery RHA had a good O.P. in a factory in 0291

September 20th

Weather rainy. Still at GELEN. Another quiet day with occasional shooting over the canal. ‘M’ Battery RHA sent one troop 0688, as the Bdes responsibility was being enlarged to East. Lt. S.R. Cant, R.Sigs and Sgt. Goulding E. swam the ALBERT CANAL to bring the line Tac RHQ.

September 21st

Ammunition expenditure

285

Weather fine but misty. Another quiet day with no events worth reporting.

September 22nd

Ammunition expenditure

394

Weather fine. The Regiment Richmond moved in the morning over the Albert canal at 0845 through GHEEL 0888, which was the first war damaged village the regiment has seen in BELGIUM. The new area was at EZAART 1590, where the Regiment relieved 131 Field Regiment from 15th Division. The move took place, and 7 Armoured Division was now holding the canal from HERENTHALS up to the 70 Easting. 181 Fd. Regiment said they had a certain amount of counter battery fire, and produced a number off counter battery task. RHQ was in the village school, and the rest of the day passed quietly.

September 23rd

Ammunition expenditure

218

A good deal of rain. Still at EZAART. Another quite day. Orders came in the evening for move into HOLLAND the following morning. The plan was to push North left the left flank of 30 calls into the general direction of OSS 4655. In the evening it became apparent that the enemy had withdrawn from our front.

September 24th

Move at 0700 via LOMMEL 3195 and LUKYSGESTEL 3201 to REITHOVEN 3509. Here the Regiment harboured for the night amid pouring rain. In rather a bad area for housing, though everyone managed to get a roof over his head.

September 25th

Ammunition expenditure

868

Move at 0800 to EINDHOVEN 4318 and then North up the main centre line. Fine morning followed by heavy rain. The plan was to assault SCHUNDEL 4138, which was known to be at enemy stronghold, there force a crossing of the ZUID WILLEMS CANAL near DINTHER 4341. The head of the column halted at ZOON 4425 and it transpired that the enemy had cut the centre in some strength between GEDENRODE 4832 and VEGHEL 4837, and so it became the Divisions task to clear the road. The 5th Dragoon Guards moved up the main road and the 8th Hussars up the SCHUNDEL road, but infantry support had to be called for. Consequently, the Regiment came into action near NEINSEL at 4329 4229, RHQ being at 439301. Tac HQ was in a vicarage, a new experiment. The 1/7th Queens, supported by ‘D’ Battery RHA, moved up behind 5th Dragoon Guards, the 1/5th behind 8th Hussars, but nevertheless by last late light the road was still not clear., though some progress had been made. The Regiment some shooting on the enemy on the road ahead, and on SCHUNDEL and WEIBOSCH 4237, where the enemy had an excellent O.P. in the church.

September 26th

Ammunition expenditure

812

Weather wet. Operations to clear the road continued, and by twelve o'clock only mines remind to block it, and by 1400 it was once more working to two line traffic. The 1/5th Queen's pushed up the SCHUNDEL road 2419380, and the 1/7th reached the railway at 142370, and in the evening the 1/6th Queens came in on our left flank in the HEIDE area 4033. A lot of shooting was done on enemy guns and infantry parties in the SCHUNDEL and WEIBOSCH areas, and Red Smoke was also fired on the two places mentioned, and Typhoons, which were based at EINDHOVEN , a few miles away claimed good results.

Capt. H. Nisbett, RHA, was winded in the leg by a spandau, while bringing in a wounded man, and had to be evacuated. HF tasks being fired during a night. Major B.A. Buckwell, RHA, was sent as LO to the Americans in VEGHEL, which he reached my across country road. This was extremely difficult country for our O.Ps, owing to the ground being alternately very exposed and very close.

September 27th

Ammunition expenditure

2577

Weather very wet. A regiment still at NEISEL. Red smoke was fired on SCHUNDEL, WEIBOSCH and OLLAND in the morning. No attack was made by 131 Bde, and in the evening, the 1/6th and the 1/5th Queens were relieved by two Battalions of 158 Bde, 53 (W) Div. Again a considerable amount of shooting was done, including a fire plan fired on the infantry, received the previous day. Recces went into the area North of GEDENRODE, but the position was not occupied as it was overlooked by WEIBOSCH Church.

September 28th

Ammunition expenditure

309

Weather rainy. 1/5th Queens moved up to DINTHER 4441, and in the evening, ‘D’ Battery RHA move through VEGHEL 4837 to BEUG 4640 two support the 1/5th, at 1820 hours a small H.F. plan was fired on wood 4438, which was known to hold a lot of enemy. ‘D’ Battery RHA was rather exposed, and infantry dug in round them as local protection.

September 29th

Ammunition expenditure

2353

Rain at times. Regiment moved at 0630 to ‘D’ Bty’s RHA area, RHQ being at 463404. Much shelling was done during the day or enemy guns, mortars and infantry in and around MIDDLERODE 3944, towards which 1/5th Queens pushed a Coy. which was later joined by a company of 1/6th. ‘D’ Bty’s O.P. was at 405427. The remainder of the 1/6th pushed onto 3944, and the O.Ps had unpleasant time from shelling and mortaring.

September 30th

Ammunition expenditure

1550

Weather fair. It was decided that the division withdraw towards the line of 41 Easting, to conform with situations further South, where no progress had been made South of the ZUID WILLEMS CANAL. Consequently, the 1/6th Queens were withdrawn to the HEIKANTHSEHOEVEN area 4144, and the 1/5 Queen's to the DINTHER area, were released by an American Parachute Regiment from 101 U.S. Air Borne Division. The 1/5th Queens were moved into Corps reserve, and the 1/7th came up on the right in the VINKEL area 4247. The Regiment moved at first light to 4343, but owing to an ammunition restrictions, found itself in the mortifying position of not being able to support the Brigade properly. The 75 r.p.g permitted were rapidly expanded on enemy guns and mortars in MIDDLERODE 3943, and South of the canal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lieut.Colonel, R.H.A.

Oct 44.

Commanding, 3rd Regiment, R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

ORDER OF BATTLE AT 30 SEPT 44

3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

 

Lieut. Colonel. J.A. Norman, DSO.

Major B.A. Buckwell, DSO. MC

Capt. G, Buchanan

Lieut. D.M. Tribe

Lieut. T.T. Ritson

Lieut. S.L. Gant. R.Sigs.

Capt. A.W. Abrahamson (EME)

Lt. (QM). B. Bull

Capt. D.P. Clahanne (RAMC)

 

'D' Battery

 

Major T.J. Tirrell, MC, DCM

Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC

Capt. G.D. Brice 

Capt. B.J. Cork

Lieut. J.R. Brown 

Lieut. A Gibb

Lieut. H.A. Parsons

Lieut. R.H. Jones

Lieut. W.R.B. Buckholt

 

'J' Battery

 

Major J.E. Bayley

Capt. G.H.P. Lawrence, MC

Capt. R.A. Stokes

Capt. W. Dolphin-Smith

Capt. H.A. Nisbett

Lieut. G.E. Foster

Lieut. D.D. Brown

Lieut. M.A. Anson

Lieut. W.C. Griffiths

 

'M' Battery

 

Major P.H. Barrington

Capt. J. Sibbald

Capt. C. Hampton

Capt. C.L.M. Aspinal

Lieut. L.S. Gosling

Lieut. S.A. Middleton

Lieut. J. Ledsham

Lieut G.H. Dale

Lieut. J.A. Frost

Lieut. G.I.. Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVANCE PARTY

 

Ship No.

Vehicle.

Personnel.

 
 

M.T. 11

C.O. Jeep

Major. B.A. Buckwell

C.O.2 Jeep

Dvr. Smith. A.E.

Dvr. Phillips. W.

 

M.T.12

G.C. “J” Bty.

Dvr.L/Bdr. Woollard. M

Sig. Childs. T/


G.Java “M” Bty

Lt. Clark. D.M.J.

Dvr. Cuthbert. H.F.

Sig, Roberts. G.F.

M.T.282

H. “D” Bty.

Lt. J.R. Brown.

Dvr, Dargue. T.N.

 

H. “J” Bty.

Lt. D.D. Brown.

Dvr. Doherty. E.

 

H. “M” Bty.

Lt. C. Hampton.

Dvr. Foard. W.

 

GA. “D” Bty.

Lt. B.J. Cork.

Dvr. Smith. R.W.

 

S.4. RHQ.

Lt. D.H. Tribe.

Dvr. Mindel. J.


LSP. 1.

Sgt. Webber. N.F.   )

LSP. 2.

Gnr. Whittall. W  )

Bdr. Johnson. A.E.   )

Gnr. Simpson. F. )

“D” Bty.

Gnr. Yoxen. F.S.      )

“D” Bty.

  “    Walker. I.C. )

Gnr. Martin. W         )

 

Gnr. Merriman. H.L. )

Bdr.  Luckett. F.    )

L/Br, South. J.          )

L/Br. Hearnden. J. )

“J” Bty.

  “     Oliver. J.J      )

Bdr. Jackson. R.

“J” Bty.

 

Gnr. Woods. S.W. )

“M” Bty.

L/Br. Dyson. J.F.    )

L/Br. West. D.P.    )

Bdr.  Barrett. M.C. )

“M” Bty.

  “     Whitworth. J, )

 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

RHQ DISPOSAL LISTS

 

SHIP No.

NAMES O.Rs

OFFICERS

VEHICLES

M.T.S. 14

S/Sgt. Penrose

Capt; Abrahamson

13 Ton GS 4 x 4

L/Cpl. Sharp. C.

REME

Stores LAD

Cfn. Moses. T.

Cpl. Jones H.

Cfn. Farris S.

 

M.T.S. 26

Sgt.   Anthony W

3 15 cwt GS 4 x 2

RQMS Ramsbottom

Fitters, QM W/T

Dvr. Codd T.E.

Sigs. Line

V/M. Blake F.A.

Gnr. Sheldon W.G.

  “    Williams H.J.

Dvr. Guard K.W.

Sgm. Bamforth H.

  “     Black F.

  “     Manser A.

L/Cpl. Brown E.R.

Sgm. Warner A.C.

  “     Whinn C.

Sgt. Sully L.S.J.

Cfm. Crebane T.

  “     Tipling F.

  “     Rowan C.A.

 

M.T.S. 28

RSM   Powell

Capt. Baxter J.A.

Jeeps Svy.1

Sgt.    Williams H;

Capt; Clahane

“ 2

L/Bdr; Smith C.R.

Capt. Spunner

M.O.

Gnr.    Lea G.R.

Lt.     Gant

Sigs, Officer

L/Bdr. Brown H,

Line 1

Sgn.  Penning D.

15cwt GS 4x2 M.O.

Cpl. Oldroyd R.

8 cwt Office Office A1

Sgn.   Neal E.

Breakdwon 6 Ton LAD

   “     Charlton H.

Ambulance 1

L/Cpl. Nott G.J.

1/2 Track Adj.

Sgn.   Stone S.J

3 Ton GS 5 Sigs; Office

  “      Baldwin R.E.

“ ; Charging

Dvr.   Ingram. F.

5 RHA

Bdr.   Fane E

Cooks

Sgt.    Wood K.K

L/Bdr; Charles E.H.

Petrol

Bdr;   Simpson W.

15cwt W/C 1

Gnr.   Timms A.J.

Carrier 2

Bdr.   Allan J.

Dvr.   Pearson

L/Bdr. Knight P.C.

  “       Edden C.F.

Gnr.   Flook H.T.

  “      Kilby T.J.

  “      Highsted F.

  “      Phillips T.

Sgt.   Goulding A.

L/Sgt. ard L.R.

L/Cpl. Smith A.J.

Sgn,   Cox G.H.

  “      Berry F.R.

  “      Boam E.R.

Gnr.   Rigby W.

  “      Connor J.

 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

-2 -

 

SHIP No.

NAMES O.Rs;

OFFICERS.

VEHICLES

 

Sgn. Bromley J.P.

  “    Stout A.

Dvr. Bainbridge F.

Sgn. Whittle A.

  “    Abbott J.

Gnr. Maudsley R.

L/Bdr. Hopkinson F.

Bdr. Morris J.H.

  “    Woodhead T.

Cpl. Alderman H.

Pte. Bucksey H.

Gnr. Wilson T.

  “    Mitchell S.

Cpl. Brown J.J.

Sgn. Lambert C.

  “    Kay. C.S.

Cpl. Gillespie C;

Cfn. Ward E.

  “    Lowton A.

Pte. McGee D.

  “    Doltis S.

 
 

M.T.S. 30

L/Cpl. O’Toole R.F.

Lt. Lawrence

1/2 Track 1

  “       Callick N.S.

1 Jeep Signals

Sgn.   Whittaker W.

Dvr.   Symonds A.D.

Gnr.   Richards A.D.

  “      Paterson J.

 

M.T.S. 36

Sgt. Wilson G.K.

1 Utility L.A.D.

Cfn. Holden K.

 

T

Gnr. Smith A.E.

Major

B.A. Buckwell

Jeeps 2 Z

  “    Phillips W.

Lt.

Tribe R.H.A.

Z2

  “    Wilkes H.A.

  “    Mindel J.

  “    Simpson V.R.

  “    Whittal V.

 

R

L/Bdr: Gove

Lt.Col.

J.A. Norman RHA.

Sherman

  “       Grant R.M.

Capt.

G.D. Brice. RHA

Cpl. Bryan S.

Sgn. Benchunk J.

 

RESIDUE

Gnr. Thomsas G.N.

Staff Cars Z

L/Bdr. Canfield S.E.

Z2

Gnr. Morrison J.D.

15 cwt GS 4x2 AA

  “    Wells R

  “    Fox D.

  “    Aitken F.

  “    Lakey S.

  “    Shaddick T.

Bdr. Fane E.

3 Ton Bedford A2

Gnr. Egerton A.

 
 

Service Numbers Omitted

RHQ Residue.

 

PERSONNEL.

Gunner

Aitken. E.F.

P/L/Bdr.

Canfield. S.E.

Pte

Collins. R. – (ACC)

Gnr. (UC)

Egerton. A.

Z/Bdr. (UC)

Fane. E.W.

Gunner

Fox. D.

Gunner

Fellows. F.W.

Gunner

Harwood, F.

Gunner

Lakey.

Gunner

Lewis. F.A.

Gunner

Mallinson. D.G.

Gunner

Morrison. J.D.

Gunner

Pett. S.

Gunner

Shufflebotham. F.

Gunner

Shaddick. T.L.

Gunner

Spence. I.H.H.

Gunner

Thomas. G.W.F

Gunner

Wells. R.

Gunner

Wood. A.W.L.

 

Lieut (QM)

B. Bull.

RHA.

 
 

VEHICLES.

Z

4-Str Staff Car

WD No. M.5514398.

Z2

“ “ “

M.5514393.

AA

`5-cwt. (Ford)

A2

3-ton Office Lorry. (Bedfd)

L.213220.

QM

5-cwt JEEP. (Ford)

 
 

SIGNAL TROOP. Residue.

PERSONNEL.

Pte.

Gallagher. C.

Sig.

London. L.

 

VEHICLES.

Z.5346990.

15cwt. G.S. (Ford)

X.5279897.

10cwt Trailer.

X.5416851.

10cwt Trailer.

 

L.A.D;

VEHICLES.

L.4999738.

Chevrolet.

3 Ton 4x4 – Breakdown.

DRIVERS.

NIL.

 
 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

 

HALF TRACK PARTY AT R. 8.

 

“D” BTY.

Lt. Simon

Dvr. Walker.

Gnr. Harcourt

 

 

 

 

“J” BTY.

L/Bdr. Hodge.

 

 

Gnr. West.

 

 

 

 

“M” BTY.

Dvr Beard.

 

 

Dvr. Taylor. B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Service Numbers Omitted

 

 

 

 

“D” BATTERY 3 R H A

“RESIDUE”

 

No

RANK

INITIALS

SURNAME

REMARKS

PTE

I

AVERBACK.

ACC COOK

CPL

A.B.

ASHBY.

“ “

GNR

R.M.

APPLEBY.

GNR

G.V.

ALLCOCK.

GNR

A.

BATE.

GNR

D.E.

BOOTH.

GNR(VM)

W.G.

BROWNING

GNR

R.

BULL.

PTE.

J.H.

BYGRAVE.

ACC COOK

GNR

A.H.

CADMAN.

GNR(VM)

J

DOWIE.

S/SGT(ER)

G.W.

DAY.

GNR

E.F.V.

GUISEPPI.

GNR (DVR/OP)

D.W.

GOSS.

GNR

E.

HALL

GNR

J.

HALL.

GNR

J.

HAMILTON.

GNR/SPEC.

E

HOLTON

GNR/DM.

J.

HILDRETH.

GNR

W.

HOPE.

GNR

J.

IVES.

PTE

J.D.

JONES.

ACC COOK

GNR

L.E.V.

KEELER.

GNR

S.C.E.

MULLINS.

GNR

C.H.F.

MORSE.

GNR

S.H.

PATTEN.

GNR

S.

RANDLE.

GNR(VM)

J.C.

RUSSELL.

W/BDR

S.H.

RUSSELL.

GNR

A.

MASSEY.

GNR(DM)

T.C.

NICHOLLS.

U/L/BDR

E.K.

MAITLAND.

GNR

K.A.

THORNE.

GNR

H.

TOMILSON.

GNR

J.J.

TODD.

GNR(DM)

A.

THOMAS.

GNR

J.

TURNER.

W/SGT

C.D.

WATERS.

GNR

A.E.

WILKINS.

GNR/DVR/OP

S.

WISE.

GNR

J.H.

WINSTONE.

GNR

A.K.

ENGLAND

PTE

H.

JACKSON

A.C.C. COOK

(A.W.O.L)

 

TOTAL

44 O.Rs

 

MAJOR R.H.A.

CMDG “D” BTY 3/ R.H.A.

 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

 

“D” BATTERY 3 R.H.A.

“RESIDUE” VEHICLES

 

W.D.NO

MAKE

TYPE

TRACTICAL SIGN

 

5428537

FORD.

15 CWT. G.S. 4 X 2.

 

5346692

FORD.

15 CWT. G.S. 4 X 2.

 

4214544

CHEV.

3 TON G.S. 4 X 4

“COOKS”

 

4902247

MORRIS

TRACTOR 4 X 4

 

4902238

 

LIMBERS (2)

“LXA”

“LXB”

TRAILERS (1) G.S.

 
 
 

MAJOR RHA

COMMANDING ‘D’ BTY 3 RHA

 

 

 

M.T.S. 2830 “D” Bty, R.H.A.

NAME O.R.S

OFFICERS

BSM McArthur A.

Major Tirrell. T.J

  “      Clavering W.J.

Capt. Barrington. B

  “      Flint H.

  “      Yonge D.D.

Gnr.  Armfield A.

  “      Sibbald J.

Dvr.  Austin H.

Lieut. Demaine R.T.

Gnr.  Acaster D.

  “      Gibb A.

Bdr.  Bird H V

  “      Parsons H.A.

Sgt.  Baker J.

Gnr. Brown A;S.

  “    Bell E.J.

  “    Battye J.

  “    Broomshead G.

  “    Baker S.A.

  “    Brain S.G.

  “    Bennett S.G.

Sgt.  Brand E.A

Gnr. Burhouse T.

  “    Bracegirdle M.

Sgt. Berisford E.

Gnr. Beaver L.R.

  “    Burns J.M.

  “    Brend A.R.

  “    Brown A.W.

Sgt. Clifton T.

L/Bdr. Campbell B.

L/Sgt Cook H.

Gnr. Clayton A.

Gnr. Coxon F.

Gnr. Coxon T.

L/Bdr.Cameron D.

Gnr/ Clancey T;

  “    Crossland R.

Pte. Crampton D.

  “    Clarke R.J.

Gnr. Cator W.

L/Bdr. Croft F.S.

Gnr. Coleman W.

Bdr. Dwyer T.

Gnr. Draper E.J.

  “    Duce E.J.

  “    Donovan A.H.

  “    Dutton A.H.

  “    Dowsett E.A.

Sgt. Doud J.

Gnr. Drummond C.

  “    Evans R.G.

  “    Edgecombe D.

   “   Fellowes W.

   “   Frost. V.C.

Bdr. Freaar M.H.

Gnr. Ford N.

  “    Giles R.

Service Numbers Omitted

- 2 -

NAME. ORs.

Gnr. Gaskins. J.

  “    Gilks. H.

  “    Grainger. L.

  “    Gilroy. J/F.

  “    Glaze. G.K.

Sgt. Hurdle. E.

BQMS. Hayter. K.W.H.

Bdr. Hoult. H.

Bdr. Hunt. W.A.

L/Br. Hughes. G.V.

Gnr. Hope. T.

  “    Harrison. L.

  “    Haworth. J

  “    Henderson. J.F.

  “    Hunt. R.E.

  “    Hall D.C.

Bdr. Hubbert. P.

L/Bdr. Hodge. J.

Bdr. Johnson. W.P.

Bdr. Johnson. P.

Gnr. Knibbs. E.E.

  “    Kershaw. J.R.

  “    Lovatt. J.

Bdr. Mattews. V.

Bdr. McCallum. R.W.

Bdr. Moyle. E.

Bdr. McKay. A.

L/Bdr. Marshall. P.J.

Gnr. Middleton. L.

  “    McKenzie. H.

  “    McDonald. W

  “    McCrone. J.

  “    Mattin. J.

  “    Malivoire. P.

  “    Megson. C.

  “    Mortimer. C.

  “    Maynard. J

  “    Matthews. J.

  “   Newby. E.

  “   Nattress. S.

  “   Orme. D;

L/Br. Ogilvy. A.C.

L/Br. Perkins. L.

   “    Perk. M.H.

Gnr. Potter. V.M.

  “    Peck. E.

  “    Payne. W.G.

  “    Pearson. C.J.

  “    Percy. C.

  “   Pugsley. F.E.

Service Numbers Omitted

 

- 3 -

 

NAME ORs.

 

L/Sgt. Russ L.G.

Gnr. Reynish C.R.

 “     Richards H.

Sgt. Stewart J.

Bdr. Smith E.

  “    Shaw F.Y.

  “    Smith A.C.

Gnr. Shaw A.

  “    Sawyer T.

  “    Shepherd W.

  “    Sapsford D.V.

  “    Spencer S.

  “    Simpson D.

  “    Shier B.

  “    Spooner J.H.

Sgt. Scholey A.E.

Sgn. Soloman A.W.

Gnr. Short J.

  “    Smith J.

  “    Smithson W.

Sgn. Turner H.

Gnr. Tomkinson W.

  “    Vickery E.G.

Sgt. Wallace H.

L/Sgt. Wilford J.

L/Bdr. Wright H.

Gnr. Waugh K.V.

  “    Whitehurst L.

  “    Williams L.

L/Bdr. Whyatt E.R.

 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

 

M.T.S. 2830 “D” BTY, R.H.A.

VEHICLES

 

VEHICLE

No.

 

25 Pdr;

8

Trailers FA

10

Tractors FA

10

5 cwt GS

5

15 cwt GS Ford

1

15 cwt Bedford

1

15 cwt W/T Chev.

4

2 Ton GS Chev,

7

Tanks Sherman

4

 

 

 

 

Nominal Roll of “J” Battery Personnel Travelling on M.T.30.

   

Major. P. Hilton M.C., R.H.A.

Capt. G.H.P. Lawrence M.C., R.H.A.

Capt. R.A. Stokes R.H.A.

2/Lt. M.A. Ansen R.A.

Lieut. C.L.M. Aspinall R.H.A.

Lieut. W. Dolphin-Smith R.H.A.

 

W/W.O.11

Cattanach A.

W/Bdr.

Lythgoe H.J.

W/W.O.11

Hillier W.A.

P/L/Cpl.

Moyneham

Gnr.

Adams J.

Gnr.

Morrision J.

Gnr.

Allan W.

Gnr.

McKay S.E.

W/Bdr.

Anderson S.

W/Bdr.

Nicholl W.

Gnr.

Banfield E.

Gnr.

Oakes W.

W/Sgt.

Barrington W.

Gnr.

O’Mahony D.

W/Bdr.

Bearman F.G.

U/L/Bdr.

O’Neill M.

U/L/Bdr.

Beaton J,

Gnr.

Parkinson T.

Gnr.

Bradbury E.

W/Bdr.

Pledger T.

P/L/Sgt.

Benton C.B.

W/Bdr.

Rodenhurts T.W.

W/Bdr.

Berry W.

W/Cpl.

Rutter R.

Gnr.

Bevan. C.J.

Gnr.

Salisbury C.

Gnr.

Binns G,

W/Bdr.

Saunders W.J

W/Bdr.

Broadley L.F.

Gnr.

Shay A.J.

W/Bdr.

Bruce. E,

W/Sgt.

Sivewright A

W.Sgt.

Burkett S.J.

Gnr.

Skelly J.

W/Sgt.

Carter G.E.

W/Bdr.

Snowdon R.

Pte.

Cascarino A.

U/L/Bdr.

Sommerville W.

Gnr.

Corke R.J.

Gnr.

Stone E.G.

Gnr.

Cridland K.E.

Gnr.

Taylor J.

Gnr.

Cruickshank J.

Gnr.

Thompson J.

P/L/Bdr.

Cusset C.W.

Gnr.

Vaughan C.

Gnr.

Dale M.

Gnr.

Wales D.

Gnr.

Dalton C.D.

P/L/Bdr.

Walker W.

Gnr.

Daly W.

Gnr.

Watkins R.

Gnr.

Davis A.L.

Gnr.

White F.

Gnr.

Dawson J.

Gnr.

Williamson C.

P/L/Bdr.

Duce G.

Gnr.

Wilson H.

Gnr.

Ellse K.R.

W/Bdr

Winterburn T.E.

Gnr.

Emery W.F.

Gnr.

Young W.

P/L/Bdr.

Evans J.W.

Gnr.

Rogerson J.

W/Sgt.

Feetham B.

Gnr.

Ferguson J.

Gnr.

Firth J.

Gnr.

Foley J.

W/Bdr.

Foster A.

Gnr.

Fraser H.M.

P/L/Bdr.

Fraser A.

Gnr.

Galozzi M.J.

Gnr.

Gay E.

Gnr.

Gill J.P.

U/L/Bdr.

Gledhill E.

Gnr.

Grice A.R.

Gnr.

Gunton A.R.

P/L/Bdr.

Heath G.W.

Sigman.

Holland G.C.

P/L/Sgt.

Howell G.

Gnr.

Jones J.

Gnr.

Jones W.E.

Gnr.

Lacey C.

Gnr.

Langdon E.V.

W/Bdr.

Lennox G.S.

P/L/Bdr.

Lewis A.

  

Service Numbers Omitted

 

M.T.S. 28 “J” Battery, R.H.A.

 

NAME O.R.S

OFFICERS

BSM Gray R.

Capt (RHA) Buchanan G.

L/Sgt. Bevis G.

Lieut     “      Foster G.E.

Gnr. Bowman W,

  “    Butler H.

  “    Bromley J.

  “    Brookfield G.A.

Bdr. Barber C.W.

L/Bdr. Brookland J.

Gnr. Brown H.

Sgt. Coad G.J.

L/Bdr. Cosgrove J.

Gnr. Cotton C.

L/Sgt. Duffy D.H.

Gnr. Down H.

  “    Farmer F.W.

Bdr. Griggs. H.

Sgt. Hodge H.

Gnr. Humphrey P.

Bdr. Hillier J.

Gnr. Hoole L.

L/Bdr. Horton D.

Gnr. Hydes F.

  “    Harris E.

Bdr. Harknett W.

Sgt. John A;L.

Bdr; Kempthorne H.

Bdr. McCrindle M.

Gnr. Muirhead. D

  “    McKay H.

  “    Peters W.

  “    Parker F.

  “    Read N.

  “    Rimmer W.

  “    Southgate J.

Sgt. Smith J.W.

L/Bdr. Sinnet J.R,

  “    Slade A.

Gnr. Schofield F.

  “    Starling R.

  “    Teasdale J.

  “    Veale P.

  “    Varney A.G.

  “    Warwick W.

  “    Waring J.

  “    Wilkie. R.

   
   

Service Numbers Omitted

“J” Battery Residue Party.

 

Serial 100.

Gnr.

Atkinson. G.R.

Dvr i/c.

“C”

Gnr.

Baker. J

Sig.

“D”

Gnr.

Blythe. T.R.

“C”

Gnr.

Bennet. L.M

A.W.O.L.

Gnr.

Carson. W.M.

B.H.Q

Gnr.

Chamberlain. R.

Spec.

“D”

Gnr.

Clark. J.

“C”

Gnr.

Cook. A.R.

Dvr i/c.

“D”

Sgt.

Cook. W.

“D”

Gnr.

Coutts. W.M.

“C”

 

Gnr.

Day. A.E.

Dvr i/c.

BHQ.

BQMS.

Golding. A.

BHQ.

Gnr.

Griffiths. A.W.

Dvr i/c.

“C”

Gnr.

Henderson. P.J.

Dvr i/c.

“D”

Gnr.

Hewett. B.J.

Dvr i/c.

“D”

U/L/Bdr.

Hibbett. L.

Sig,

BHQ.

Gnr.

Hughes. E.

Dvr i/c

“D”

Pte.

Hughes. F.S.

A.C.C.

BHQ.

Gnr.

Jefferson. R.

Dvr Op.

“C”

Gnr.

Jones. D.T.

Dvr i/c.

BHQ.

Gnr.

Keep. R.N.

Sig,

“C”

Gnr.

King. A.

“D”

Pte.

Lee. C.

A.C.C.

BHQ.

Pte.

Lyndon. C.R.

A.C.C.

“C”

W/Bdr.

Mullaghan. H.

BHQ.

P/L/Bdr.

Mansfield. F.

Spec.

BHQ.

Gnr.

Marshall. H.C.

Sig.

“D”

Gnr.

Miles. G.A

“C”

Gnr.

Miles. C.

BHQ.

Gnr.

Missen. A.L

Sig.

“D”

Gnr.

Moore. A.E.

“C”

Pte.

Moran. T.

A.C.C.

“D”

P/L/Sgt.

McFarlane. D.

“D”

P/L/Bdr.

McLachlan. H.

BHQ.

Gnr.

Nickerson. H.

Dvr Op.

“C”

Gnr.

Phillips. J.

“C”

Gnr.

Phillis. K.T.

Dvr Op.

“C”

Gnr.

Preston. J.

Sig.

“D”

Gnr.

Rice. J.J.

“D”

Gnr.

Richardson. C.

Sig.

“C”

Gnr.

Sanderson. C.

“D”

W/Bdr.

Saunders. F.

 “C”

Gnr.

Slack. J.

Sig,

“D”

Gnr.

Stephenson. M.

Dvr i/c

BHQ.

Gnr.

Walton. J.

“D”

Gnr.

Wentworth. H.

Dvr i/c.

“C”

Gnr.

White. R.J.

“C”

 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

List of Vehicles Travelling on M.T.30.

“J” Battery R.H.A.

 

Tactical No.

W.D. No.

Make

Type

 

R.C.2.

M 5475139

Ford.

5cwt.

4 x 4 (Jeep)

R.D.2.

M 5572149

Ford.

5cwt.

4 x 4 (Jeep)

X.2.

M 5474533

Ford.

5cwt.

4 x 4 (Jeep)

K.2.

M 5474517

Ford.

5cwt.

4 x 4 (Jeep)

 

T.L.D

4229079

Chev.

8cwt.

4 x 4 W/T.

Y.

4254216

Chev.

8cwt.

4 x 4 W/T.

G.D.

4254221

Chev.

8cwt.

4 x 4 W/T.

 

S.

5328055

Chev.

3ton.

4 x 4 GS.

R.

5328061

Chev.

3ton.

4 x 4 GS.

A.3.

5519124

Chev.

3ton.

4 x 4 GS.

FIT.

5519135

Chev.

3ton.

4 x 4 GS.

P.

5519249

Chev.

3ton.

4 x 4 GS.

O.2.

215688

Bedford.

3ton.

4 x 2 GS.

 

E.

H 4899640

Morris.

G.T

4 x 4 (F.A.)

F.

H 4899650

Morris.

G.T

4 x 4 (F.A.)

G.

H 4899653

Morris.

G.T

4 x 4 (F.A.)

H.

H 4899651

Morris.

G.T

4 x 4 (F.A.)

E.F.

H 4902259

Morris.

G.T

4 x 4 (F.A.)

 

R.D.

T. 150572

Sherman.

Tank A.O.P.

Mk. V.

X.

T. 150351

Sherman.

Tank A.O.P.

Mk. V.

 
 

 

 

Subject:- Vehicles Left in Residue.

 

To:- The Adjutant,

3rd Regt. R.H.A.

 
 

Herewith list of Vehicles and Trailers left in the Residue Party.

 

MAKE.

TYPE.

Reg. No.

 

Chev.

3 ton 4 x 4

5328056

Fordson.

15 cwt. G.S. 4 x 2

5342940

Ford.

15 cwt. G.S. 4 x 2

5345527

Ford.

5 cwt. 4 x 4

M5474518

Chev.

8 cwt. H.V. W/T.

4254219

Morris.

4 x 4 F.A. Tractor

4108302

Trailers Arty.

19812

“ “

13352

“ “

12709

“ “

2803

Trailer 20 cwt.

X4686238

 

P. Hilton

Major R.H.A.

28.5.44

Commanding “J” Battery R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

CONSOLIDATED LIST OF “J” and “M” BTY

VEHICLES

MT. 28

 

VEHICLE

No.

 

25 Pdr Q.F.

12

Trailers FD No.27

18

5 cwt GS

10

15 cwt GS

3

15 cwt Water

3

15 cwt FFW

4

2 Ton GS

10

Ambulane 4 Seater

1

M 14 Half Track

1

Tanks Sherman

5

Tractors FA

15

5 Ton Breakdown

1

Carriers Loyd

6

 
 

5 cwt GS

1 )

in vehicles

Motor Cycles in vehicles`=

9 )

 

 

 

 

M.T.S. 28 “M” Battery, R.H.A.

MT 28

 

NAME O.R.S

OFFICERS

WO11 Broad k.

Capt.  Aitchison C.H.

  “        Haggis A.

Lieut   Atchley N.W.

  “        Maddison J.

Capt.  Franklin P.J.

Gnr.    Ainscow J.

Major Fisher W.L.F.

  “       Akester A.E.

Lieut.  Gosling L.S.

  “       Anderson R.L.

   “      Ledsham J.

Sgt.     Banks J.G.

   “      Middletch S.A.

Gnr.    Barr D.

Capt.  Oulton. H.C.N.M.

  “       Barron J.

Sgn.    Barnes W.C.

Gnr.    Black N.

  “       Blackburn C.

  “       Blissett L.

L/Bdr; Bonn K.A.

Gnr.    Boyle J.

  “      Briscoe C.

  “      Brown F.

  “      Buckley F.

  “      Burns R.

  “      Butt H.

Bdr.  Blackshaw

Gnr;  Chittock J.

  “      Clarke D.L.

L/Bdr. Coldicott J.

Gnr.  Coles C.

  “     Davies J.

  “     Dobbs J.

  “     Earnshaw W.

L/Sgt. Elliott M.

Bdr. Fay T.

Gnr. Flynn J.

  “    Franklin D.

Sgt. Freeman B.

  “    Furey M.

Gnr; Gagen R.B.

  “    Gallagher A.S

Sgt. Gaven H.

L/Bdr. Gill F.

  “    Goldsmith G.

Gnr. Grayson H.

  “    Hall R.

  “    Hallum W.

L/Bdr. Halsall M.

L/Sgt; Harris S.

Gnr.  Harris S.

  “     Harrison D.

  “     Harrison F.

  “     Hartley G.

  “     Harvey J.

  “     Hayles S.

L/Sgt. Hayward M.

Gnr. Hearst H.

L/Bdr. Holt J.

Gnr. Hood W.

  “    Hopkinson A.

  “    Howie J.G.

 
 

 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

- 2 -

 

NAME O.Rs:

Gnr. Illman E.

  “    Jakins J.

  “    James L.

L/Bdr. Jenkins N.

Bdr. Jenson S.

Sgt. Jessup B.

Gnr. Jerram N.

  “    Jones S.

  “   Judd J.

  “    Jury W.

  “    Keighley G.H.

Bdr. Kerridge G.

Gnr. Kewley C.

  “    Kingston S.

  “    Lawrence C.

  “    Leach A.

  “    Lee D.

  “    Lee T.

Bdr. Loftus T.

Gnr. Manley J.

  “    Martin S.

  “    McGeachy C.

  “    McLean E.

Cpl. Morley R.

Gnr. Mirfin S.

Dvr. Much W/F.

L/Bdr. Neale F.

Gnr. Newick S.

  “     Oddie G.

Bdr. O’Donnell J.

L/Sgt. Osborne J.

Gnr. Paton D.

Sgt. Penman N.

Bdr. Phillips J.

Gnr. Plimbley G.

  “    Porter H.

  “    Pritchard E;R.

Bdr. Proudlove B.

Gnr. Rhodes W.

  “    Satchell J.

  “    Scarfe J.

  “    Scott I.

  “    Shadbolt E.

  “    Shearing R.J.

  “    Sherman A.

  “    Smith F.S.

L/Bdr. Soller C.

Gnr. Speed J.

  “    Stevens S.

  “    Sweeney P.

Bdr. Sissons J.

  “    Taylor A.E.

Gnr. Taylor R.

  “   Thomas E.B.

  “   Turner J.

 

Service Numbers Omitted

   
 

- 3 -

 
   

NAME O/Rs

Gnr, Tyrrell A.

  “    Tyson. W.

  “    Underwood .P.

L/Bdr. Walkden R.

Gnr. Walters E.J.

  “    Waters.F.

Sgt. Waymouth. D.

L/Bdr. Webb. B.A.

Gnr. Webb. EW

  “    Wells. G;C.

L/Sgt. West. C.F.A.

Gnr. Whear. A.W.

  “    Whelan. J..

  “    White. D.C.

  “    Williams. E.L.I.

Sgt. Williams. E;J;

Gnr. Williams. G.

  “    Williams. J.

Sgt. Wooledge. W

Gnr. Ray. E.

  “    Wrighton. H.

  “    Yates. P.

 
 
 

Service Numbers Omitted

 

‘M’ BATTERY R.H.A.

REAR PARTY

 

2/Lieut

F.H Jones RA

 

Bdr

Hawkes.P

Gnr

Kaye. J

Gnr

Legg. S.A.G

Sgt

Dampier. A

L/Bdr

Marshall. A

Gnr

Tennant. R

L.O.B

Pte

Betts. L

Pte

Cexem. G

Gnr

Gill. T

Pte

Shaw. L

Gnr

Samson. J

Pte

Swanson. F

Gnr

Avendale. V

Pte

Wright. A

Gnr

Thompson, J

Bdr

Elliott. H

Bdr

Shaw. H

Bdr

Barrett. M

Bdr

Younger. T

Gnr

Mason. P

L/Bdr

Mee. T

Gnr

Blake. H

Gnr

Malone. H

Bdr

Patrick. M

Gnr

Gracie. W

L/Bdr

Lancaster. B

Gnr

Allen. A

Gnr

Reid. D

Gnr

Young. J

BQMS

Gregory. S

Gnr

Questa. J

Gnr

Clever. H

Gnr

Greves. A

Gnr

Gillen. E

Gnr

Humber.s

L/Bdr

Newson. D

L/Bdr

Ley. W

Gnr

Jones. F.G

Gnr

Phillips. H

Gnr

Barnard. G

Gnr

Harrison. J

Gnr

Skelton. F

Gnr

Whelan. R

Gnr

Wedge.E

Gnr

Maidman. C

Gnr

Megilley

Gnr

Foley. J

Gnr

Nicol. s

 

Service Numbers Omitted

‘M’ BATTERY R.H.A.

REAR DETAIL

 

Q Chev 3 ton 4 X 4

L/5519141

Dvr. Bates,G

O Ford 15 cwt

Z/5428535

Dvr. Hutcheson. A

BSM “ “

Z/5345525

Dvr. Blevins. J.C.

M2 “ “

Z/5345688

Dvr. Thomas. T

M3 “ “

Z/5346694

Dvr. Taylor. F

TSM M. Morris Tractor FA

4905249

Dvr. Owen. F

TSM J. “ “

Trailer

X/4686258

 
 
 

28.5.44

/RLA.

 

 

 

October 1944

Missing

 

 

November 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Colonel J.A. Norman, DSO

Place

Date

Hour

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

STRAATJE

1.11.44

 

Weather fine, but a very uneventful day. Some shooting over the MAAS on enemy areas. The Air O.P. also engaged enemy guns and enemy occupied houses in the area immediately North of the river. It was announced that the Major P. Hilton, MC, RHA have been awarded a second bar to his M.C.

 

 

 

 

Ammunition expenditure 975..

 

STRAATJE

2.11.44

 

Another uneventful day. Orders were received for a move the following day to the area N.E of UDENHOUT to fire far a smokescreen for 51 Div, who were to attack northwards over the AFTWATERINGS canal. Again a little shooting over the River. Weather fair. The main task of the Regiment was to fire a smokescreen covering an assault crossing. Capt. L. Hicks. RHA, another member of the Regiment from desert days, rejoined from a job in England. He went to ‘J’ Battery RHA. Ammunition expenditure 1400.

 

STRAATJE

3.11.44

 

Weather cold and wet. The day was eventful only in that the move to UDENHOUT was put off, put on and off again during the morning. Capt.L Hicks, RHA, was wounded by a mortar bomb, and evacuated the day after rejoining the Regiment. Ammunition expenditure 610.

 

UDENHOUI

4.11.44

 

Regiment moved with ‘J’ Battery, RHA, leading at 0830, on what promised to be a very fine day with a fresh breeze, very suitable for a smokescreen. The move went fairly smoothly, and the Regiment was in action by midday. The area was wooded, and there were very few houses. Such in fact was the shortage of houses, that RHQ had to be content with one room, and the Second in Command spent the night in a cowshed, in the company of the cows. At 1645, the smoke screen was started. It lasted for over an hour, and was most effective. The initial crossing was successful, and the Scottish troops pushed in land into the so-called island. For the rest of the day during the night, the Regiment fired many concentrations on area where enemy movement had been seen or suspected. The Regiment also, for the first time, saw crocodile flamethrowers in use. Ammunition expenditure 5440.

 

STRAATJE

5.11.44

 

By first light the attack was going well, that the Regiment’s presence was no longer necessary, and it was ordered back to STRAATJE. It later transpired that the enemy on the island had received orders to withdraw if attacked. No sooner was the Regiment back, than orders were received to recce an area on the ‘island’ which 131 Bde were to take over the following day, as 51 Div was moving off to some TOPSEC destination. Accordingly, the Second in Command took recce parties over the canal and selected the area East of DRUNGEN 2143. The weather remained fine but very cold.

 

 

 

 

Ammunition expenditure 103

 

ONZENOORN

6.11.44

 

Weather cold with intermittent rainfall stop the regiment moved at 1030 via LOON OP ZAND, UDENHOUT, HELVOIRT 2640 over a Class 40 Bridge at 225443, and on the regimentals area. ‘M’ Battery RHA, was separate from the rest of the regiment in the area of ONZENOORN 2347 as 1/6th Queens were well over to the right, the boundary being approximately the 31 Easting Line. Several targets were fired during the afternoon on enemy on the far side of the MAAS. Ammunition expenditure 167

 

 

 

 

7.11.44 to 10.11.44 Missing at present

 

(contd)

10.11.44

 

damaged, the station, for example, being a mass of twisted girders, smashed engines and trucks, with a signal gantry leaning over at a grotesque angle. The rest of the town was reported to be rather less damaged, and the Regiment had a good view of the fine cathedral from the South. The journey continued in bitter cold and heavy rain through TILBURG and MERXPLATSs where the weather cleared awhile, and events onto GHEEL, which we had passed through some weeks before, when it was in a fairly dilapidated state. However, it seemed to have been fairly well patched up since then. The route went on to MOL and LILLE ST HUBERT, to BREE and then to the Regimental area East of KINROY 6185, which we reached at 2100 hrs. RHQ was in a brickworks within 200 yards of the Dutch frontier at 654858, and the Batteries were slightly further back. Ammunition expenditure NIL.

 

MANESTRAAT

11.11.44

 

RHQ moved to MANESTRAATE 6285 on the orders of the CRA, who considered the brickworks position to expose, as it was within a thousand yards of the F.D.Ls. There was no activity during the day, and the ammunition expenditure or it reduced to 6 r.p.g per day. The weather was slightly less wet then wind , but RHQ was an unapproachable from the West as the track was impassable, and so a long detour had to be made via NEERITTER 6486 to reach it. Ammunition expenditure NIL. 

 

MANESTRAAT

12.11.44

 

Again a quiet day. Preliminary details for the attack were received. It was to take place on the 14th, and was designed to push the enemy behind the MAAS, 131 Bde’s part was to seize the lock gates at 689879, as, if they were blown, the assault crossing operations by 53 and 51 Div’s further North, would be seriously hampered. Weather wet. Ammunition expenditure 106.

 

MANESTRAAT

13.11.44

 

The day was spent in preparing for the coming attack. The Colonel and the Brigadier of 131 Bde arranged the fire plant. The regiment was to fire a number of concentrations to a timed programme, and to be prepared to fire a number of others on call. 5RHA was to fire a smokescreen to cover the attack from the North, and the Mediums were also to take part in the concentrations. But survey officer spent the day surveying in the 17 pdrs of the Norfolk Yeomanry, who had not seen a tank since NORMANDY, and where to do some harassing fire during the operation. For the first time since the start of the campaign, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Regts RHA were alongside each other. Ammunition expenditure 112.

 

MANESTRAAT

14.11.44

 

During the morning, O.Ps arrived from 5th RHA and 107 HAA Regt. We had both of these Regiment’s on the call, and also a Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment . Final preparations were made for the attack. The O.C ‘J’ Battery, RHA, was to control the shooting with Capt. R.A. Stokes, MC. RHA, going with the assaulting Company. The fire plan started at 1600, and at 1615 1/7th Queens attack started. Colonel Griffiths, their C.O. had been offered by the General, an issue of rum for each man for each minute before 1700 that the lock gates were reported intact . Good progress was made on the left, and at 1646 the lock gates were reported intact. At that point the Company Commander was wounded, and considerable resistance was encountered on the right. Capt. Stokes RHA, took over command of the Company until the arrival of the second in command of A Coy. Under his direction, the Company took all its objectives, though not without considerable casualties, and one platoon dug in on the lock gates. More firing was done on targets on either side of the canal, including enemy infantry. By 2200 hrs all was quiet, the operation having been completely successful, and the Colonel of 1/7th Queens expressed his complete satisfaction with the artillery support he had received during the day. Statements made by POWs said that the barrage had been very heavy and most accurate, one section commander stating that the first rounds killed three of his men outright, and that his company, Luftwaffe personnel, were completely pinned down by our fire. Ammunition expenditure 2571.

 

MANESTRAAT

15.11.44

 

With a cold but fairly dry. This was a day of shellreps and counter battery firing on intersections plotted at RHQ plotting centre. Some 10 counter battery targets were fired. Link, elements of 53 Dave who had crossed the canal, further North, moved South along the far bank, reaching GRATHEM 6889, thereby cutting out 1/5th Queens, and the Regiment was given a new firing line North of the main road running N.E. from the bridge at 681885. Later, this was altered to firing North of the 89 Northing Line. Ammunition expenditure 897.

 

MANESTRAAT

16.11.44

 

A much quieter day. During the morning 53 Div occupied HEEL 7188 and PANHEEL 6988, just over the canal from 1/6th Queens, who had taken over from 1/7th Queens on the lock gates. 1/6th Queens also occupied the concrete works at 698872, and during the night sent a Company into WESSEM 7086, where they found a few enemy, who was drew for first light. Not much shooting was done during the day, which was fine and one.

 

 

 

 

Ammunition expenditure 133

 

MANESTRAAT

17.11.44

 

We woke up to see a blanket of white frost covering the ground, but the early Frost, (our Dutch L.O. assured us set there was never frost in Holland before January) did not catch us unawares, as frost precautions had been in force for a month. Another quiet day, and it rained heavily all afternoon and evening. BSM Powell from ‘D’ Battery, RHA, came to RHQ to take the place of RSM. Bedworth, who was evacuated sick. Five Mike Targets were laid on by Major Barrington, to be fired on call on hostile Batteries which had shot up THORN 6786 the previous night. However, they were not called for. Ammunition expenditure 248.

 

MANESTRAAT

18.11.44

 

Fine and warm. Parties were sent off to an ENSA show in BREE 5784, which was thoroughly appreciated. During the morning, ‘F’ Sub Section of MADRAS Troop, ‘M’ Battery, RHA, comma fired one round into Germany 7174. Unfortunately, the nearest village SCHALBRUCH, was out of range, so they had to be content with shelling on open space. A new Padre, the Rev. G.E. CHARLESWORTH joined the Regiment, and the Rev A.E. SPUNNER went to 5 RHA. Weather wet. Ammunition expenditure 743.

 

MANESTRAAT

 

 

A service was held at our HQ by the Padre, followed by community, and later he held a service at ‘J’ Battery, RHA. During the morning, they say alright, who had attended the community service, went round the batteries with the Colonel. The weather for once was fine and warm, though it clouded over in the evening. Parties were once more sent to Bree for the ENSA show.

 

 

19.11.44

 

Ammunition expenditure 729.

 

MANESTRAAT

20.11.44

 

As things were so quiet, the Colonel decided to stand down the two Batteries per day, leaving one Battery to act as Duty Battery. This arrangement was found to work very well. About 30 O.Rs left the Regiment to go back to ENGLAND by the PYTHON Scheme. Whereby those who had done 6 continuous years overseas service were repatriated. A number of wireless sets were collected from the Phillips works at EINDHOVEN, to be used as welfare sets. They turned out to be very good sets, but without batteries or spare valves.

 

 

 

 

Weather very wet. Ammunition expenditure 432

 

MANESTRAAT

21.11.44

 

Again very wet, with RHQ getting continuous calls for Quads to pull out vehicles stuck in the mud on the track outside. In the evening, the Colonel who was being driven in his troop, met with an accident, and was taken to CRS in HELMOND. Major Bayley therefore came from ‘J’ Battery, RHA, to take over the Regiment and Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC, RHA, took over ‘J’ Battery RHA.

 

 

 

 

Ammunition expenditure 159.

 

MANESTRAAT

22.11.44

 

Again very wet and a little shooting. A Mike Target was called for during the night by ‘M’ Battery, RHA on an enemy patrol, reported to include an S.P. gun, just S.W. of WESSEM 7086. Ammunition expenditure 319.

 

MANESTRAAT

23.11.44

 

Once more it poured with rain all day, and the tracks were becoming particularly impossible. Efforts were made to get the REs to make us a road and this was eventually arranged. It had been hoped to move the Regiment or at any rate, RHQ to an area near to the main road, but this was not yet possible, as the places considered had not yet been vacated by the occupiers. During the day, ‘M’ Battery RHA, moved to the area just North of NEERITTER 6486, having to winch their guns out of the old position, and into the new one. Ammunition expenditure 33.

 

MANESTRAAT

24.11.44

 

By normal standards are wet day, my present once a dry one. It was announced that Major General L.O. Lynes, DSO, had succeeded Major General G Verney as Divisional Commander. Ammunition expenditure 225.

 

MANESTRAAT

25.11.44

 

A day of alternate rain and sunshine. Once again very quiet, except for a period of half an hour between 1230 and 1300, when there were some twenty shellreps. Some shells fell near ‘C’ Tps position. A bombard was carried out on enemy guns., which were suspected to be responsible for the shooting. Capt. L. Hicks RHA, returned from hospital and was posted to ‘D’ Battery RHA, as Battery Captain. Lieut. Quilter returned to ‘J’ Battery, RHA, also from hospital. Ammunition expenditure 342.

 

MANESTRAAT

26.11.44

 

Our first batch of leave personnel to BRUSSELS were dispatched for the 48 hours leave. Again there was a certain amount of enemy shelling. During the evening a considerable amount of noise was heard from the areas of MASSBRACHT 7085, and some harassing fire was produced on them. Later on, the noise of revving up engines and shouting increased also. Firing took place, and a Battery of 107 HAA, RA, was brought in. At least one brew up was caused as the enemy withdrew to the East. The purpose of the disturbance remained rather obscure, possibly a diversion to cover a slight withdrawal on our left. It was announced that Field Marshall Montgomery would hold an investiture on Tuesday at BREE, and at this Regiment, as seen the Regiment in the Div, would provide the Guard of honour. Ammunition expenditure 934.

 

MANESTRAAT

27.11.44

 

Weather fine but very wet. At 1400 hours a practise was held for the guard of honour, which consisted of a Major, a Captain, a Lieutenant, a W.O., and 50 O.Rs. Major Tyrell, RHA, was the Major in charge, and RSM Powell was the W.O. During the day, ‘C’ Troop was once more shelled, luckily there were no casualties. Ammunition expenditure 278.

 

MANESTRAAT

28.11.44

 

Listening Posts were established, one from each Battery, to spot enemy Batteries. This step, together with a simplified type of shellrep, produced very good results. A large number of sound bearings were received producing several intersections which duly shut up. Vote it's difficult to claim definite results from counter battery shooting, the enemy guns were certainly quieter at the end of the day, than during the following day.

 

 

 

 

Ammunition expenditure 587. During the day, it was learnt that the regiment with shortly relieved the Guards Armoured Division in the area of MAESEYCK 8379 and GANGELT 7767, in GERMANY. The guard of honour at the BREE investiture was extremely well turned out, and performed its task admirably, later being congratulated by Field Marshal Montgomery. Capt. R.A. Stokes, RHA, received the MC. He was the only he was the Regiments only representative as Major P. Hilton, MC, RHA had not recovered from his accident in time to receive the second bar to his MC. Weather damp

 

MANESTRAAT

29.11.44

 

Skeleton recces left under Major B.A Buckwell, RHA, and going through MASSTRICHT 5521 and SITTARD 6868, entered GERMANY 715680, thus reaching a landmark in the Regiment’s history. The first impression of GERMANY was that the road improved immediately on crossing the frontier.

 

 

 

 

Furthermore, though the village is seen , WEHR 7267 and HILLENSBERG, had been cleared of their inhabitants, the house is seen remarkably clean and tidy, in fact, an excellent billeting area. Also there seem to be a number of cows and pigs looking for owner or an oven. An area was recced in square 7266, which the Leicestershire Yeomanry, of the Guards armoured, occupied. New was received that 131 Bde, which had fought well throughout the campaign, was to be broken up owing to its heavy casualties, and the seriousness of our manpower situation. 1/5th Queens will remain in being, reinforced by men from 1/6th and 1/7th. Two new Battalions, 2nd Devons and 9th Durhams were to be received from 50th Div, who were going home. All members of the Regiment were very sorry to hear of the breaking up of the 1/6th and the 1/7th Battalions, as the Regiment’s association with them had always been a very pleasant one.

 

 

 

 

Ammunition expenditure 529.

 

MANESTRAAT

30.11.44

 

Weather fine. During the day, 131 Bde was relieved by 71 Bde of 53 Div.

 

 

 

 

As the Queens Battalions drove down the road towards KINROY, they were cheered by about 100 members of the Regiment, who had lined the road, a gesture which was very much appreciated. In the evening 4th RHA, came into action in the area of INTERVOORT, just East of NEERITTER, at the three RHA Regiments of the 2nd Army, were in action within a mile and a half of each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lieut.Colonel, R.H.A

 

 

 

 

Commanding, 3rd Regiment, R.H.A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 1944

ORDER OF BATTLE OF OFFICERS

3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

 

                R.H.Q.

 

Lieut. Colonel. J.A. Norman, DSO.

Major B.A. Buckwell, DSO. MC

Capt. G, Buchanan

Lieut. D.M. Tribe

Lieut. T.T. Ritson

Capt. P. Davies, RAMC

Capt. A.W. Abrahamson (EME)

Lt. (QM). B. Bull

Lieut. S.L. Gant. R.Sigs.

 

'D' Battery. R.H.A.

 

Major T.J. Tirrell, MC, DCM

Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC

Capt. G.D. Brice 

Capt. B.J. Cork

Lieut. J.R. Brown 

Lieut. A Gibb

Lieut. H.A. Parsons

Lieut. R.H. Jones

Lieut. D. McDonald

Lieut. A,.C,Flint.

Lieut. W.R.B. Buckholt

 

 

'J' Battery. R.H.A.

 

Major J.E. Bayley

Capt. G.H.P. Lawrence, MC

Capt. R.A. Stokes

Capt. W. Dolphin-Smith

Lieut. D.D. Brown

Lieut. M.A. Anson

Lieut. G,L,Burke.

Lieut. L,G,Quilter

Lieut. G.E. Foster

Lieut. W.C. Griffiths

Capt. L. Hicks

 

'M' Battery. R.H.A.

 

Major P.H. Barrington

Capt. J. Sibbald

Capt. C. Hampton

Capt. C.L.M. Aspinal

Lieut. L.S. Gosling

Lieut G.H. Dale

Lieut. J. Ledsham

Lieut. S.A. Middleton

Lieut. G.I.. Brown  

Lieut. J.A. Frost

Lieut/ G.H. Holme

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Colonel J.A. Norman, DSO

Place

Date

Hour

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

MANESTRAAT

1.12.44

A quiet day, with alternate weather rain and sun. Ammunition expenditure 461.

MANESTRAAT

2.12.44

Wet weather. It is hoped that the regiment will be able to move shortly to a concentration area MASYEK. Are duties have largely been taken over by 4th RHA. Ammunition expenditure NIL

MANESTRAAT

3.12.44

Weather still very wet. Church service held at ‘J’ Battery, RHA, in the morning. Regimental holding party sent off under the R.S.M. To the area off NEEROETEREN with which 1/7th Queens had just left. It is still very doubtful however, whether the move will come off, or whether we will move direct to SITTARD. Ammunition expenditure NIL

MANESTRAAT

4.12.44

Weather still continues to be wet and cold. Was only notable owing to the fact that the move was put off and on again some half dozen times, and the wires between us and Div HQ, and between them and Corps, were kept busy on that subject all day. During the afternoon, a representative from 6 Field Regt, RA. came to see us about taking over the area. Two of their jeeps got stuck on the way up to R.H.Q. and were pulled out by a half track, would the result they decided that it was not a good area, and established themselves elsewhere in the vicinity the following day. At about midnight the Corps finally decided that we could move to our concentration area the following day. Ammunition expenditure NIL

MANESTRAAT

5.12.44

Weather comparatively warm and sunny. Orders were given for a move starting at 1400 hrs. The move went according to plan, via KINROY, and by 4 pm, everyone was well settled in, RHQ in a house at 585783, ‘J’ Battery in the same area, ‘M’ Battery in NEEROETEREN , ‘D’ Battery just West of the Albert canal. In the evening the weather changed, becoming cold, and heavy rain set in. Ammunition expenditure NIL.

NEEROETEREN

6.12.44

A reasonably dry day, spent on maintenance and clearing up. During the morning, the C.R.A. visited all Batteries, speaking to each intern, and mentioning in particular that we would shortly find ourselves in GERMANY which was good news. In the evening, orders were received to move at 1030 hrs the following morning to our already selected positions at MINSTERELEEN 6865. This is this was rather disappointment, as we had hoped for another day's rest to finish off maintenance. Ammunition expenditure NIL.

NEEROETEREN

7.12.44

Weather cold again, with heavy rain on and off all day. Are the regiment joined the Brigade Group at 1030 in the morning. The route was by ROTHEM 6074, LANKLER, over the river MAAS, which was in spate, flowing very fast, making the bridge at BERG 6169 look very unsafe. Even though the rout was by SITTARD 6868 (which had been very well shelled), to MUNSTERGELEEN. R.H.Q. established yourself in the school at 685654, with the Batteries in the area to the North and around LEIJENSBROEK 6866. The Brigade taking over from 32nd Guards Brigade, 9th D.L.I. on the right, 1/5th Queens un the centre, 2nd Devons on the left. All the Regimental O.Ps were in Germany, with the exception of ‘J’ Battery, RHA, which had on O.P. in the KASTEEL (Dutch Chateau) at MILLEN 6071, some 200 yards from the frontier. For now on, all the shells of the Regiment would be falling on GERMAN soil. Lt.Colonel J.A. Norman, DSO returned this evening quite recovered from his accident, taking over from Major J Bayley, O.C. ‘J’ Battery. RHA, who had been acting as C.O. for the previous fortnight

Ammunition expenditure NIL.

MUNSTERGELEEN

8.12.44

A quiet day. ‘J’ Battery RHA engaged an enemy digging party at KLEIN??RAGEN 7570. Rumours were rife that an attack will shortly be mounted on our front. Ammunition expenditure 132.

MUNSTERGELEEN

9.12.44

Cold and wet. Heavy snow during the afternoon, later giving way to rain, today being one of the wettest yet. During the night, concentration was fired on the area SCHUMMERQUARTIER 7870, were a patrol of the Durhams had located a number of enemy. Ammunition expenditure 268 .

MUNSTERGELEEN

10.12.44

A fine day with periods of sunlight. Enemy mortars were straffed up during the day, ‘J’ Battery RHA shooting up farm buildings where enemy movement was seen. 100 rounds per gun were dumped by F.A.P. In the afternoon ‘M’ Battery RHA moved to new area SCHINVELD, as from MUNSTERGELEEN they could not cover the Durhams front satisfactorily. Heavy rain most of the night. Ammunition expenditure 354.

MUNSTERGELEEN

11.12.44

Cloudy weather with more rain in the evening. LIND 7272 and NACHBARHEIDE were both engaged during the morning as Mike Targets. Ammunition expenditure 531.

MUNSTERGELEEN

12.12.44

Rain all morning. It was not quite obvious that the coming operation had to be put off, owing to the condition of the roads which were very bad, and the ground very waterlocked, where it was not actually flooded. ‘D’ Battery RHA, did a good deal of shooting in the HONGEN area 7370, where four anti tank guns were spotted, two of which were later knocked out. Several Mike Targets were fired during the day on Mortars and movement. At 1715 the programme arranged by ‘D’ Battery RHA, involving as well as ourselves, the Mediums and the HAA, firing in the HONGEN area. Ammunition expenditure 700.

MUNSTERGELEEN

13.12.44

Fine, otherwise nothing to report. The Army Film unit gave RHQ a film called ‘Four Jills in a Jeep’. Comment :- very poor. The C.R.A. Brigadier Lyon-Smith, having stayed to dinner, attended the show. Ammunition expenditure 753.

MUNSTERGELEEN

14.12.44

Little battle news limited to Patrol activity by all three battalions. One enemy plane came over about 2200 hrs and dropped six bombs. No damage reported. Lieut. T.T. Rittson, RHA, posted to ‘D’ Battery RHA, from RHQ. Lieut. A.L.P. Lawrence, RHA, on return to the Regiment from Div HQ was posted to RHQ . Ammunition expenditure 880.

MUNSTERGELEEN

15.12.44

A quiet day, nothing to report. Local firing on part of the Batteries

Ammunition expenditure 421.

MUNSTERGELEEN

16.12.44

Fine morning but wet afternoon. Regimental Tac HQ was established at house in the vicinity of 131 Brigade HQ at OPHOVEN. The Regiment stood 2 from 0145 hrs to support a small attack by 1/5th Queens on a cutting on SE corner of HONGEN 7370. The party by 1/5th Queens was unsuccessful as fighting patrols could not find the enemy post. The fire plane was never fired. Ammunition expenditure 765.

MUNSTERGELEEN

17.12.44

A dry cold today. Tac Regimental HQ having moved from its last house owing to the inhospitality of the owners, was reestablished in the house between GELEEN and SITTARD, close to 131 Brigade HQ. An enemy jet propelled plane was shot down in the vicinity by AA fire, having dislodged two bombs. Main Div was also straffed, resulting in two killed and six wounded (two of the casualties being civilians). Counter Battery on the part of the Hun was had has been very much more active, and about 30 rounds (probably 105s) had landed around and on ‘D’ Troop (J Bty, RHA) gun position. One D.R. was wounded in the afternoon from a neighbouring unit, while visiting a gun position. Towards dusk German planes came over dropping flares all around the area, believed to be taking photographs. AA fire was heavy and intense, one plane is believed to have been shot down. 131 Brigade, less the Devon had been brought out to rest in the MUNSTERGELEEN area. The deafens revert to command of 22 Brigade. The rest of the area taken over by 5 Guards Brigade. (Guards Armoured Div). The patrol which was unsuccessful last night of 1/5th Queens, was laid on again for tonight. The patrol concerned remaining with 5 Guards Brigade, until the operation had been completed; it is timed to start at 0100 hrs. The Regiment is standing by from 0100 on two line targets and one concentration, one closing the exit from HONGEN area, the other closing the exit from KLEIN??HAGEN plus one concentration on the SE tip of HONGEN.

German activity has flared up again, time 0930 sorry: flares and bombs dropped in the SITTARD area. This on and off activity, continued all night and into the early hours of the morning. There was much a a gunfire, and the 3.7s appear to be doing good work. According to reports from ‘J’ Battery RHA (confirmed by both troops) they claim to have seen six planes shot down. At 2330 Alice a message was received from 1/5th Queens in MUNSTERGELEEN, that a wounded German pilot was their prisoner. He was brought to the R.A.P. and attended to by Capt, Davis, our medical officer, found to be very critically wounded, at the evacuated. Ammunition expenditure 528.

MUNSTERGELEEN

18.12.44

German aerial activity continued through the early hours of the morning, and 1SP gun landed a few rounds around our Tak HQ. 1/5th Queens party was again unsuccessful in what in that they found no Germans: the Regiment fired their task, and we stood down at 0400 hrs. Sometime in the early hours of the morning, the house were using for Tac received a direct hit through the roof from a shell, the shell bursting in a room on the top floor, next door to where the Colonel's party of drivers, signallers, were sleeping. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The Regiment less ‘D’ Battery RHA moved to EINIGHAUSEN in order to have a better frontage. ‘J’ and ‘M’ Battery HQs plus R HQ in EINIGHAUSEN with the Troops in the area. Major J Bayley, RHA, O.C. ‘J’ Battery RHA awarded the MC. Abolition expenditure 879.

EINIGHAUSEN

19.12.44

Find day nothing report on our front. The large scale counter offensive by the hunt on the American 1st Army front, has increased in intensity. The 1st Army have fallen back on a 40 mile front. Ammunition expenditure 211.

EINIGHAUSEN

20.12.44

Local firing better batteries on this front. The enemies all out defensive towards the Murs has made less progress today. Broadly speaking, the enemy’s tactics reminiscent of his 1940 blitzkrieg (the advance in both by cases being through the same country). Whilst he has captured few towns of importance, his thrusts have made very impressive penetration. There is little doubt that the LIEGE is the first main objective, properly by 1 SS Panzer Corps. Forward elements are reported to be about 12 miles South of the town. The ST VITH thrust has reached LA ROCHE MR P4678, and MARCHE 2985. Ammunition expenditure 682.

EINIGHAUSEN

21.12.44

No further enemy progress towards Lee age. We are still holding MALMEDY, ST VITH P 88, ST VELOT K70, BASTOGNE P 55, (the Americans are reported to be putting up a very fine and gallant show in the holding of this town). Fighting patrols were sent out by the Devons, the regiment stood by ready to fire from zero 100 hours till 0500 hours. Ammunition expenditure 565.

EINIGHAUSEN

22.12.44

Major General LYNE, DSO, GOC 7 Armoured, paid his first official visit to the Regiment, inspecting RHQ, ‘J’ and ‘M’ Batteries. Firing against hostile Battery etc., was greatly increased up till midnight in the following areas:- 755718, 703752, 691744, 70487914, 71257700, 718796. These enemy batteries were pretty active in the above areas . 131 Brigade Commander, Brigadier Spurling, and the L.O. came to dinner at RHQ.

Ammunition expenditure 827.

EINIGHAUSEN

23.12.44

Major General line, DSO, visited D Battery RHA, and stayed to lunch. The Regiment fired one or two concentration on hostile batteries. ‘D’ Battery lines had been heavily badly shelled, and under the direction of the Signal Section, have taken over underground cable through the civilian exchange between SITTARD and BORN, as an alternative means of communication.

Preparations are underway for giving the men as good Christmas as possible; the Dining Hall is set up in a local school. Ammunition expenditure 690.

EINIGHAUSEN

24.12.44

Very fine frosty day. A great deal of time today devoted to preparing Xmas festivities. We managed to borrow tables and chairs from the Episcopal College in SITTARD. 43 reinforcements posted to the Regiment from 185 Field Regiment (having been disbanded) in 49 Div. Ammunition expenditure 628.

EINIGHAUSEN

25.12.44

Christmas Day. A beautiful day but very cold. Late reveille for the men. Christmas dinner was held at 3 o'clock, with the Officers (including the Colonel) performing as waiters in a normal way: are very good meal was produced by Cpl. Alderman, ACC, and his staff, and the men enjoyed some free beer, which had been collected from GHENT. Are the acting CRA, Colonel Moore, (5 RHA) paid the Regiment a visit (Brigadier Lyon-Smith being in hospital). The Batteries also held their dinners, but in most cases, owing to the fact that we still in action, how to split the dinner between today and tomorrow. The three battery commanders Major Bayley, Major Tirrell add Major Barrington, came to dinner. Capt. L Hicks and Capt. C.H.F. Lawrence joined the party after dinner. Many messages were received wishing the regiment are good Xmas etc including messages from the C.R.A 5th RHA and the Norfolk Yeomanry

‘D’ Battery O.P. (Major Tirrell) upon hearing music and laughter from the German lines, much against the will of 1/5 Queens (who are no longer playing cricket) fired a Regimental concentration on them. The noise ceased. This time last year the Regiment was flying off the African coast at ORAN, on our way back from ITALY to ENGLAND. This year see’s us on the German border. We hope next year will be peace. In the South, main enemy progress was in the area MARCH 2984, and West, between Hill 651 in square I58, and VIEISAIE. Heavy fighting to the area North East of HOTTEN 3788. Enemy also held crossroads at P5785. This threatens Allied positions West of VIEISAIE. If Hitler wanted LIEGE as a Xmas present, he is a bit pushed. The RAF are taking a great toll of German equipment, being only equivalent to that of the FALAISE bag. Ammunition expenditure 68.

EINIGHAUSEN

26.12.44

Boxing Day. another fine day comma but with cold hard frost. REC CES were carried out for an alternative position (Scorpion) further North, to support future operations. Ammunition expenditure 176. C.O. visited Batteries Christmas dinners, which were not held yesterday.

EINIGHAUSEN

27.12.44

Nothing to report. Brigadier Lyon-Smith returned from sick list and visit the Regiment. Ammunition expenditure 116.

EINIGHAUSEN

28.12.44

Fine frosty day. Capt. W. Dowdeswell posted to the Regiment from 50 Div, remaining with RHQ for the present. Ammunition expansion 193.

EINIGHAUSEN

29.12.44

Fine day with hard frost continuing. Firing limited to the engagement of hostile batteries and mortars. The Regiment are taking advantage of the frosty weather, and many of the Officers and men have to skating in their spare time, having found a good pond in the monster MUNSTERGELEEN area near ‘D’ Battery RHA. Ammunition expenditure 302.

EINIGHAUSEN

30.12.44

Fine morning but snow and sleet in the afternoon. Another local attack put in by the hunt at TRIPSRATH 8667, strongest yet; Position not fully restored yet, but 50 prisoners of war taken. Nothing to report from our own immediate front. Ammunition expenditure 533.

EINIGHAUSEN

31.12.44

Early this morning HQRA plan carried out with stropping up HONGEN area. Find David bright sunshine. Nothing to report during a day. Two Regimental fire plans arranged for the evening, one, in conjunction with 1/5th Queens, fire 5 plan JACKO, which was fired (This enabled a fighting patrol to clear a small wood in front of their FDLs) two, in conjunction with 9th D.L.I., concentrations were prearranged. The patrol returned without calling for them; but with valuable information in there position, as result of which, were able to fire two Uncle Targets. Slight enemy air activity during the night. Few bombs dropped. A party was given in the Officers mess at 1800 hrs for the WOs and Sgts. of the Regiment.

Capt. W. Dowdeswell assumes appointment of Battery Captain of ‘J’ Battery RHA having taken over from Capt, G.H.P Lawrence. There is little news from the Ardenne Battle front, but position appears to be well stabilised with the Americans on the offensive in most places. The New Year will be brought in with a Victor Target at 0001 hrs. Capt, G.H.P Lawrence, MC, RHA left ‘J’ Battery RHA to take up temporary appointment as ICRA prior to appointment as Staff Captain RA.

And so we come to the end of 1944, a very eventful year in the history of the Regiment, during which time we have returned from ITALY. Landed in NORMANDY, and fought our way with the Division to the very ‘Gates of Germany’.

 
 

Lieut.Colonel, R.H.A

Commanding, 3rd Regiment, R.H.A

 

 

 

DECEMBER 1944

ORDER OF BATTLE OF OFFICERS

3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

 

                R.H.Q.

 

Lieut. Colonel. J.A. Norman, DSO.

Major B.A. Buckwell, DSO. MC

Capt. G, Buchanan

Lieut. D.M. Tribe

Lieu. A.L.P. Lawrence

Capt. P. Davies, RAMC

Capt. A.W. Abrahamson (EME)

Lt. (QM). B. Bull

Lieut. S.L. Gant. R.Sigs.

 

'D' Battery

 

Major T.J. Tirrell, MC, DCM

Capt. J.A.C. Baxter, MC

Capt. G.D. Brice 

Capt. B.J. Cork

Lieut. H.A. Parsons

Lieut. J.R. Brown 

Lieut. D. McDonald

Lieut. A Gibb

Lieut. T.T. Ritson

Lieut. W.R.B. Buckholt

 

 

'J' Battery

 

Major J.E. Bayley

Capt. G.H.P. Lawrence, MC

Capt. R.A. Stokes, MC/

Capt. J.W. Dowdeswell

Capt. W. Dolphin-Smith

Lieut. G.E. Foster

Lieut. D.D. Brown

Lieut. L,G,Quilter

Lieut. M.A. Anson

Lieut. J.H.L. Brittain

Lieut. W.C. Griffiths

Lieut. G,L,Burke.

 

'M' Battery.

 

Major P.H. Barrington

Lieut. G,L,Burke.

Capt. C.L.M. Aspinal

Capt. R.C.N.M. Oulton, MC.

Lieut. J. Ledsham

Lieut/ G.H. Holme

Lieut. S.A. Middleton

Lieut. J.A. Frost

Lieut. G.I.. Brown  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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