War Diaries of 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|1/1/1944||Arrival of 30 turretless Stuart Tanks from TEL EL KEBIR, completing full WE for Armd Recce Regt.10 turreted Stuarts returned.|
|3/1/1944||Arrival of operational B vehicles.|
|10/1/1944||Rev RP Carpenter posted to Cyrenaica. One Sherman II handed over to Polish Tank Bde.17 candidates sent to MEOSB, MAADI.|
|13/1/1944||Arrival of 4 half-track White Armd 15cwt from TEL EL KEBIR. Return of 17 candidates from MEOSB.|
|15/1/1944||Regtl scheme. Regt less one Sqn (Southland) moved to leaguer area, one Sqn (Northland) acting as enemy took up position in area MENA – ALEXANDRIA road.|
|16/1/1944||Southland took up position of observation in area 613807 – 614808 – 615809, facing NW.|
|17/1/1944||Southland broke leaguer.0830 – Southland established astride CAIRO – ALEXANDRIA road, facing NW.1700 – Southland advanced to area K.24.|
|18/1/1944||Regt returned by road to BENI YUSEFArrival of third draft reinforcements – 20 ORs from RAC TD|
|19/1/1944||Regtl Echelon scheme. 70 ORs to New Zealand Engineers for mine training.|
|20/1/1944||Regtl Echelon scheme. Lt RHS Brogdon posted to Regt.Arrival of fourth draft of reinforcements – 4 ORs from RAC TD.|
|21/1/1944||Regtl Echelon scheme.|
|23/1/1944||Stowage of service ammunition on Tanks completed.|
|31/1/1944||Major FA Green posted to RAC BD pending posting to HE. Capt JLE Ogier promoted A/Major and assumed command HQ Sqn.|
|Summary:- During the month the Regt was made up to full WE in Tanks and B vehicles. Servicing and fitting of these vehicles was begun immediately and continued through the month. With the arrival of the Stuarts all Sqns carried out training schemes and range firing. A Regtl exercise was held 15th – 18th. The following were practised – moving in and out of leaguer, taking up position of observation and reporting of information, clearing enemy held features, the pursuit, movement by road, Echelon work. This Regtl exercise was profitable and successful.Training in detection and handling of mines was continued at MAADI through the co-operation of OC New Zealand Engineers.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|7/2/1944||Verbal warning of move to 1st Armd Div BNAF|
|9/2/1944||Capt CL Graham posted to Regt from RAC BD.|
|10/2/1944||Capt CL Graham posted to RAC BD.|
|12/2/1944||Movement order received from GHQ MEF.|
|13/2/1944||Admin instructions issued.|
|22/2/1944||Move to 1st Armd Div postponed indefinitely.|
|23/2/1944||Receipt of letter confirming postponement.|
|Summary:- Servicing and fitting of the new B vehicles was continued. All Sqns carried out training schemes and range firing. After the postponement of the move to 1st Armd Div, training was resumed.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|7/3/1944||Warning of move to BURG EL ARAB not before 11th March 44.|
|10/3/1944||Advance party moved by road to BURG EL ARAB.|
|12/3/1944||Main party move – postponed indefinitely.|
|27/3/1944||Fourth draft reinforcements – 13 ORs arrived from RAC BD.Warning of Regtl move – first rail party to leave 28th March.|
|29/3/1944||First rail party – move postponed and probably cancelled.|
|30/3/1944||Visit if G1, 1st Armd Div.|
|31/3/1944||Regtl move to BURG EL ARAB definitely cancelled. Advance party recalled.|
|Summary:- During the month the Regt remained in a state of readiness for the move. This was definitely cancelled on the 31st. Sqns carried out training schemes and range firing.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|1/4/1944||Advance party return.|
|4/4/1944||Regt provides guards over Greek Army personnel in BENI YUSEF camp.|
|8/4/1944||279 Greek Army personnel moved under Regtl escort from BENI YUSEF to QASSASIN.|
|9/4/1944||Regt provides patrols on CAIRO – ALEXANDRIA road with the task of preventing unauthorised Greek personnel access to CAIRO.|
|15/4/1944||First Sherman party moved to Wardyan workshops for armour modification. 2Lt WA Hepper joined the Regt.|
|16/4/1944||Second Sherman party moved to Wardyan|
|17/4/1944||Regt relieved of all extra guards and patrols.|
|21/4/1944||Stuart party moved to port of embarkation by rail.|
|22/4/1944||B vehicle party moved by road to port of embarkation.|
|23/4/1944||First personnel party moved by rail to transit camp, PORT SAID.|
|25/4/1944||Second personnel party moved to Suez and embarked PORT TEWFIK.|
|27/4/1944||First personnel party embarked PORT SAID.|
|NOTE. During the month the Regt provided guards and patrols in connection with the defection of certain Greek Army personnel. It was relieved of these duties on the 17th, after warning had been received of a probable move to ITALY. All Sherman Tanks were moved to workshops for armour modifications, whence they were to proceed direct to port of embarkation. At the end of the month, the Regt, with the exception of certain Shermans and B vehicles awaiting embarkation at ALEXANDRIA, was on route for ITALY|
Nominal Roll of Officers as at 23rd April 1944
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|4/5/1944||Personnel parties disembarked at TARANTO and moved to TUKER camp.|
|8/5/1944||B vehicles unloaded at TARANTO.|
|9/5/1944||First convoy B vehicles arrived from BARI docks.|
|10/5/1944||Second convoy of B vehicles arrived from BARI..|
|11/5/1944||Third convoy of B vehicles arrived from BARI.|
|23/5/1944||Visit of Major General A Galloway CBE DSO MC, GOC 1st Armd Div. Object of his visit was to establish personal contact between GOC and the Regt.|
|27/5/1944||Regt receives all personnel 1st Armd Div disembarking at TARANTO and allot to staging areas.|
|28/5/1944||Regt receives all vehicles 1st Armd Div unloaded at TARANTO. Marshalled into Div Vehicle Park at TUKER camp and despatched in convoys to Div concentration area, ALTAMURA.|
|29/5/1944||Verbal warning of probable Regtl move to 8th Army front independently of 1st Armd Div. Probable date of move 6th June 1944. Marshalling and despatch of vehicles continues.|
|30/5/1944||Marshalling and despatch of vehicles continues.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|1/6/1944||Regt comes under command 8th Army.|
|2/6/1944||2i/c visits 8th Army HQ and 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry.|
|3/6/1944||Regt moved from TARANTO to TORRITO.|
|14/6/1944||1st Armd Div scheme for Rear Links.|
|16/6/1944||Regtl Echelon scheme to practice night driving.|
|19/6/1944||Sqn tactical exercise to practice day advance along CL in close country. Warning received of probable detachment of 3-ton lorries to 8th Army for transport duties.|
|20/6/1944||Sqn tactical exercise.|
|21/6/1944||1st Armd Div scheme for Rear Links. Sqn tactical exercise. Div transport column to 8th Army postponed. Parties at 24 hours notice.|
|22/6/1944||Sqn tactical exercise.1st Armd Div comes under 5th Corps all purposes except local admin.|
|23/6/1944||Sqn tactical exercise.|
|26/6/1944||Sqn and RHQ exercise.|
|27/6/1944||10 Humber Scout car received to replace Fordsons held by Regt.Warning that Recce Tp Stuarts may be replaced by Scout cars. Verbal warning of Div move to LUCERA on 8th July.|
|29/6/1944||Visit by Lt General C Allfrey CB DSO MC, GOC 5th Corps. He was accompanied by Lt General Galloway CBE DSO MC, GOC 1st Armd Div. Warning that Regt required to supply 80 drivers for ferrying B vehicles to forward areas.|
|30/6/1944||Regt despatched 1 Officer, 6 NCOs and 80 divers to 9 Vehicle park, CAPUA.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|1/7/1944||Regt despatched a recce party to 5th Corps area LECERA. Confirmation of move not before 8th July. Lt Col Smith MC, East Surreys, attached to Regt to advise on Infantry and Tank co-operation.|
|2/7/1944||Notification that move on 8th July postponed.|
|6/7/1944||Warning ref provision of transport column under 8th Army detail.|
|7/7/1944||Transport column 20 3-ton lorries and 45 all ranks departs.|
|8/7/1944||Transport column returns from CAMPOBASSO on completion of duties.|
|12/7/1944||Capt AS Wells departs for CAIRO to collect Div heavy baggage.|
|13/7/1944||Div training team arrives.|
|15/7/1944||Regt supplies 1 Officer and 14 ORs for duties in connection with Signal Cover plan in area PESCARA|
|21/7/1944||Warning of Div move to ALIFE.|
|29/7/1944||Recce party (2i/c and QM) to ALIFE.|
|30/7/1944||Recce party returns.|
|31/7/1944||Regt despatch 45 drivers to LUCERA to ferry lorries to TORRITTO.|
|Summary:- On the 21st July news was received of a Div move to ALIFE. At this time the Officers of the Regt were informed of the general plan to concentrate 1st Armd Div with 66th Infantry Bde and 43rd Indian Infantry Bde in area ALIFE, with the intention of them becoming fully operational in the near future.With this in mind it was resolved to make full use of the time remaining for training, and Sqns carried out several tactical exercises. Gunners were further practised in the use of the .5 Browning and the standard was considered good.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|4/8/1944||Advance party despatched to new area ALIFE.|
|5/8/1944||Regt established TCP at MADDOLONI.Cancellation of 1st Armd Div move to ALIFE.|
|6/8/1944||1st Armd Div passed under command AAI.Warning order that 1st Armd Div will concentrate area ORTONA by 24th August, becoming operational soonest after.|
|8/8/1944||Recce party despatched to ORTONA. Advance party returns from ALIFE.|
|10/8/1944||Main road party moves from FOGGIA to ALIFE.|
|11/8/1944||Regt Tank party concentrated BARI awaiting onward routing by rail to ORTONA.|
|13/8/1944||Warning order of Regt move to ORTONA at 1700 hours 15th August.|
|14/8/1944||Verbal warning that move is not now before 16th August.|
|16/8/1944||Regt to move by road from ALIFE to PORTO RECANATI on 17th August. 1st Armd Div will concentrate area RECANATI by 21st August, incl Tanks from BARI.|
|17-18/8/1944||Regtl road party moves from ALIFE to RECANATI via VASTO.|
|19/8/1944||Visit of GOC 1st Armd Div, Major General RA Hull DSO.|
|20/8/1944||Visit by GOC 8th Army, Lt General Sir Oliver Leese Bt KCB CBE DSO.|
|22/8/1944||First Tank party arrives.|
|23/8/1944||Second Tank party arrives. Regt now fully concentrated.|
|24/8/1944||Visit of GOC 5th Corps, Lt General CF Keightley CB DSO OBE.|
|25/8/1944||Inspection of Regt by Col in Chief, Rt Hon Winston Churchill, accompanied by GOC AAI General the Hon Sir Harold Alexander GCB CSI DSO MC ADC.|
|26/8/1944||Recce party despatched to area SENIGALLIA. First party LOB to Div LOB area.|
|27/8/1944||CO explains provisional role of Regt in forthcoming operations to all Officers and men. Second recce party to new concentration area SENIGALLIA.|
|28/8/1944||Third recce party to SENIGALLIA.|
|29/8/1944||Second LOB party leaves.|
|31/8/1944||Regt leaves for new concentration area.|
|Summary:- On the 9th August the Regt, less Tanks, moved to ALIFE and later to the Div concentration area at PORTO RECANATI. At the end of the month the Regt had begun the final move up to the 8th Army front, staging near SENIGALLIA. Generally the month was occupied by final preparations for battle, and with moving from one concentration area to another.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|1/9/1944|| 0430 – 78 Tanks and part of A Echelon now concentrated with
0830 - Remainder of A Echelon and B Echelon moved to CASTIGLIONE.
1400 – Remaining 10 Tanks moved to concentration area 2860.
|2/9/1944|| 0800 – A and B Echelon moved to MONTECCHIO.
1000 – Recce party left for river FOGLIA.
1200- Tanks left for river FOGLIA at MONTECCHIO.
2359 – Regt not fully concentrated owing to severe road conditions.
|3/9/1944|| 0500 - Regt concentration area MONTE GRIDOLFO.
1000 – Regt ordered to advance and recce crossing over river CONCA.
1200 – C Sqn found crossings at 949834 and 940826 and improved them. 1800 – C Sqn leaguer area 9380.
2300 – Regt ordered to cross river CONCA and concentrate in CORIANO.
|4/9/1944|| 0130 – Tac HQ, A & B Sqns joined C Sqn and prepared to
move forward to CORANIO.
0300 – Regt crossed at 940826 C Sqn leading. Progress slow due to ditches and narrow lanes.
0600 – Regt halted and concentrated.
0630 – C Sqn advanced to line 904849 – 905853 giving fire support to 1/4th Hampshires attacking CORIANO. Engaging enemy gun positions.
0830 – Heavy enemy shelling and mortaring, continuing during morning. Two ORs killed. At last light C Sqn withdrew to join A & B Sqns. 1/4th Hampshires report slight progress and many casualties due heavy enemy mortaring of ridge at 904849 – 905853.
|5/9/1944|| At first light A & B Sqns established in position of observation
along line 905853 – 909863.
0700 – Regt ordered to probe forward to CORIANO, find out if held by enemy and maintain contact with Canadians on the right.
0800 – Patrol contacted Canadians at 891878. Patrol contacted 2nd Armd Div on left.
0945 – Patrol entered CORIANO from East. Heavily engaged and 2 turretless Stuarts KO'd, 1 missing at 885863. Heavy shelling pinned down right forward Tps and remnants of CORIANO patrol.
1000 – Now certain CORIANO strongly held by enemy.
1200 – Enemy mortars, A/Tk guns and MGs engaged area 8787.
1800 – Heavy shelling and mortaring throughout the afternoon. At last light B Sqn withdrew through 43 GLB to leaguer area. A Sqn remained in position of observation. A & B Echelon concentrated with Tanks. Lt JNE Slee severely wounded. (Later died of wounds).
|6/9/1944|| At first light A Sqn in position of observation. Engaged enemy targets
it CORIANO. B Sqn ordered to recce towards CORIANO from South. Patrol
sent to CASTELILEALE.
0715 – Patrol ambushed by enemy Infantry. One Tank KO'd at 885854 by Tank or SP gun.One patrol reached 932866 and withdrew under heavy MG fire.
1200 – Patrol withdrawn. 1 PoW taken, 1/67 PGR.
1300 – LO sent to contact Canadians ref attack at 1400 hours. Attack later abandoned. At last light Regt was concentrated and leaguered 909849. General intermittent enemy shelling throughout the day.
|7/9/1944|| Heavy rain during the night. C Sqn in positions of observation at
897843 and 906854. Task – observing forward to CORIANO.
1800 – TRIBO reported clear of enemy by 4th Hussars patrol. At last light patrols withdrawn to RHQ leaguer 909849. Generally only light enemy activity during the day.
|8/9/1944||At first light C Sqn advanced to positions of observation as before. Nothing to report., visibility good. At last light locations unchanged. Spasmodic shelling of area 910854 during the day – otherwise nothing to report.|
|9/9/1944|| At first light B Sqn established in positions of observation as
0825 – 28 150mm shells landed. 1425 – B Sqn dismounted patrol report enemy OP in houses at 871865 and 891866. 1
630 - Enemy OPs engaged with 75mm HE and severely damaged by right forward Tp.
2000 – Regt passed to under command 2nd Armd Bde.
|10/9/1944||At first light C Sqn established in positions of observation as yesterday. Nothing to report. At last light positions unchanged.|
|11/9/1944||Slight enemy air activity during the night. OPs manned as yesterday. One Jeep blown up on mine at 886864, during night 10/11th. Lt RH Brogden wounded (later died of wounds), Lt PH Woods missing believed killed (later confirmed killed). Periodic shelling of Regtl sector during the day. At last light patrol withdrawn to RHQ leaguer.|
|12/9/1944|| Enemy shelling of leaguer during the night. Capt A Hickson-Brown
killed. One OR killed and 3 ORs wounded. OPs manned as yesterday. Periodic
enemy shelling throughout the day.
1830 – CO issues verbal orders for operations on 13th September. Task – recce to river FORNACI and locate crossings.
|13/9/1944|| 1100 – B Sqn advanced to PASSANO. Task – recce and
close gap between 43 GLB and Canadians in CORIANO.
1330 – B Sqn contacts completed. 1445 – Tank casualties on enemy minefield. Further movement difficult. 1
600 – Dismounted patrol report enemy in SALINA GRANDE.
1735 – B Sqn patrol entered S. GRANDE. Tp Ldrs Sherman KO'd by bazooka at 20 yards range. Lt HNT Hall killed.
1815 – RHQ, A & C Sqns move forward to RASSANO. Heavy mortaring on route. Capt DW Waddingham wounded. Intention next 24 hours – Cross river FORNACI, advance onto RIPABIANCA spur and recce crossings of river MARANO.
|14/9/1944|| At first light RHQ moved to 878858. B Sqn leaguer heavily shelled
during the night. No casualties.
0700 – A Sqn advance to relieve B Sqn at S. GRANDE. Task – send patrol to recce crossings over river FORNACI. Enemy shelling of area 8686 continued.
1330 – A Sqn dismounted patrol found crossing at 861861. Covered by enemy MG fire and mortar fire. Presence of enemy SP guns West of FORNACI confirmed. Lt JAL Philips wounded by mortar fire.
1600 – Forward Tps engaged enemy SP at 857868. One Mark IV engaged and KO'd.
1730 – Road to FORNACI crossing cleared of mines and passable to wheels. Crossing not yet established owing to enemy opposition from mortars SP and A/Tk gun fire. Consider attempt to cross night of 14/15th not suitable.
|15/9/1944|| At first light patrols in observation at 868867. Enemy patrols
crossed FORNACI during the night and were engaged by 43 GLB at Pt. 128.
Enemy Tank movement heard during the night area 858865.
0600 – A Sqn advanced to 865866. 1000 – Crossed FORNACI at 861861 and took up position of observation along the ridge overlooking river MARANO.
1030 – Tac HQ to 873862.
1130 – C Sqn advance to support A Sqn.
1200 – Patrol recced MARANO and reported crossing suitable for Tanks at 854868.
1520 – Regt received provisional orders to advance to CERASOLO via OSPEDALETTO.
1700 – C Sqn recced road to OSPEDALETTO and cleared mines.
1825 – Suspicious haystack engaged which subsequently exploded when hit. Infantry and gun positions also engaged.
1900 – forward Sqn support attack by 43 GL Bde. Information from Div – time not yet ripe for advance to CERASOLO.
|16/9/1944|| 0900 – Regt ordered to advance to CERASOLO. Moved to river
MARANO crossing at 851887. One Tank lost on mines in river bed.
0950 – Regt ordered to remain in observation on MARANO. No movement seen in CERASOLO. Heavy enemy mortaring and shelling on MARANO crossing continued all day. At last light forward patrols withdrawn to Regtl leaguer area.
|17/9/1944|| Enemy shelling throughout the morning in area 844886. Some casualties.
0900 – Patrol of the Regt established contact with 2nd Hampshires 843890.
1100 – Patrol advanced to CERASOLO.
1900 – Patrols withdrawn.
|18/9/1944|| At first light one Tp sent to support Yorkshire Dragoons.
0845 – C Sqn advance to recce crossing at 822902. Task – recce river AUSA and report on crossings.
1130 – Patrol heavily shelled during advance.
1300 – Patrol reports crossing passable to Tanks and could be passable to wheels after bulldozing.
1500 – Regt advanced to 832897 and came under very heavy shellfire, continuing until last light.
1700 – Patrol of forward Sqn advanced to 818908 and leaguered there for the night. 5 PoW taken by forward Sqn.
|19/9/1944|| 1620 – orders to contact 18 Lt Bde and Bays at 818908.
1730 – Forward Sqn advanced to support Yorkshire Dragoons. Heavy shelling by Nebelwerfer and 150mm of crossing at 822902. Intention of Regt – clear Div CL to river MARECCHIA and SANTARCANGELO.
|20/9/1944|| At first light C Sqn in support Yorkshire Dragoon at ARPORETA feature.
1230 – B Sqn ordered to advance along Div CL. C Sqn moved one Tp to 806090 to support B Sqn.
1400 – B Sqn reached 801919 and were engaged by enemy Infantry from 797925. C Sqn engaged with HE. B Sqn remain at 801919 and engage Pt. 108 with MG fire.
1700 – Enemy Infantry on forward slope of Pt. 153 and engaged by C Sqn, enemy gun positions engaged and believed KO'd. many enemy Infantry killed whilst withdrawing North to Pt. 153. C Sqn engaged by enemy A/Tk gun.
1815 – Light bad.
|21/9/1944|| Heavy and continuous rain during the night made movement impossible
1200 – B Sqn advanced to continue recce of CL.
1350 – Report CL clear and passable to wheels as far as Pt. 153.
1655 – Report CL clear and passable to blown bridge at 773945.
1700 – Report bridge at 765965 over river MARECCHIA is blown. At last light B Sqn leaguer Pt. 153.
|22/9/1944||One Sqn in forward observation at river MARECCHIA alongside 43rd Gurka Bde. At last light RHQ at 826895.|
|23/9/1944||1145 – HQ and A Sqn moved to S> MARTINO. B Sqn forward patrol in observation R MARECCHIA from Pt. 126. Enemy mortars observed firing from 748885, 741982 and 729985. Recce patrol made to LA VILLA reports suitable crossing at LA TOMBA. C Sqn patrol of Stuarts gather casualties of 43 GL Bde on MARECCHIA crossing and South of SANTARCANGELO.|
|24/9/1944||0800 – A Sqn send two patrols forward to observe at S> ERMETE and S> PAULO, enemy gun and mortar positions reported. At last light positions unchanged.|
|25/9/1944|| 0600 – A & C Sqns advance towards river MARECCHIA, task
– establish contact with the enemy. One Coy KRRC placed under command.
0740 – Forward Tps of A Sqn cross river USO to 745977, one coy KRRC under command.
0815 – Enemy reported in houses same area, 1 killed, 2 PoW. KRRC moved up to clear area.
0900 – Forward Sqns report country very close and consider further advance inadvisable without Infantry support. A Sqn dismounted recce to bridge at 749987 obtained information required by RE’s in spite of heavy enemy fire.
1600 – Forward Sqns heavily shelled throughout the day, few casualties.
1645 – Two Tps of C Sqn withdrew over MARECCHIA to 798930.
1900 – A Sqn withdrew to leaguer between USO and MARECCHIA.
2000 – Heavy rain. Remainder of C Sqn withdrew to I Km South of river MARECCHIA. Enemy counter attack held by 43 GL Bde on line of river MARECCHIA. Regt to concentrate under command 46 Div when operationally released by 56 Div.
|26/9/1944||Heavy rain. Location unchanged. Nothing to report. Replenishment carried out by half-track vehicles owing to muddy state of the ground.|
|27/9/1944||Rain and high winds. Recce party found two Regtl Stuarts left South of SANTARCANGELO had been stripped of fittings.|
|28/9/1944||Nothing to report.|
|29/9/1944||Recce of new concentration area LA VILLA.|
|30/9/1944||Further recce of LA VILLA re bulldozing of culvert unsafe to Tanks.|
|Summary:- During the month the Regt was in continuous battle from the 3rd to the 25th, the period immediately preceding first contact on the 4th being occupied by long forced marches by day and night. The great majority of Officers and men therefore had no sleep for over 60 hours before entering the battle. In spite of this and the difficulty of carrying out normal maintenance, the condition of the Tanks remained excellent and the health and moral of all ranks was maintained at a high level. The contention previously expressed that the removal of the turrets from Stuart recce Tanks was a mistaken policy was amply and sadly proved by the experience of battle. Not less than 80% of the total casualties of the Regt were sustained by personnel of these Tanks owing to heavy enemy shell and mortar fire. An example of this was given on the 5th when the Recce Tp of 12 turretless Tanks was given a special mission of recce of CORIANO, reported not to be held by the enemy. The required information was obtained but the strength of Recce Tp in personnel and Tanks was reduced by 50% during this operation through enemy artillery concentration. The tactics, formations and procedures discussed and practised during training proved sound and practical in battle and no alterations were required. Adherence to these methods enable the Regt to perform allotted tasks with the minimum of casualties. The principles of dismounted recce from both Sherman and Stuart Tanks was applied in recces of crossings and proved the utmost value in obtaining detailed information with a minimum of casualties. The organisation, armament and equipment of the Regt proved sound and practical for operations of this nature. Communications were uninterrupted and clear in spite of much interference from neighbouring formations. The standard of training in gunnery, W/T and driving was well maintained and excellent throughout. On 21st a special message of congratulation on the work of the Regt was received from Comdr 1st Armd Div.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|1/10/1944||Rain overnight but ground drier. Further recce of new area LA VILLA.|
|2/10/1944||F and A Echelons move to LA VILLA.|
|3/10/1944||Locations unchanged. Nothing to report.|
|4/10/1944||CO attends conference at HQ 2nd Armd Bde. Task of Regt is to exploit North and West from CESENA when bridgehead is secured over river SAVIO.|
|5-8/10/1944||Nothing to report.|
|9/10/1944||Ops of 2nd Armd Bde East of the river SAVIO cancelled.|
|10-20/10/1944||Nothing to report.|
|21/10/1944||Regt moves from LA VILLA to new concentration area CALISESE.|
|22/10/1944||Original plan for Regt to act as advance guard along Route 9 West of CESENA postponed owing to heavy rain.|
|23/10/1944||Regt remains at 6 hours notice to move.|
|24/10/1944||Warning order that Regt is to be withdrawn and will come under command 9th Armd Bde in JESI area. Warning order that A Sqn will be detached and come under command 1st KRRC for ops West of CESENA..|
|25/10/1944||A Sqn advance along Route 9 from CESENA to river RONCO without opposition. One PoW taken. C Sqn move to JESI area.|
|26/10/1944||HQ move to MONTE SAN VITO. Heavy and continuous rain overnight.|
|27/10/1944||CO informs all ranks of new role for the Regt.A Sqn relieved.|
|28/10/1944||A Sqn moves to CESENA. Major JJ O’Brien assumed command C Sqn.|
|29/10/1944||Nothing to report.|
|30/10/1944||A Sqn Tanks load on to transporters at CESENA.|
|31/10/1944||Regt now fully concentrated including LOB personnel from SERRA and under command 9th Armd Bde.|
|Summary. At the end of the month the Regt was fully concentrated in the JESI area. Warning was received that the Regt would be reorganised on a new establishment. This would comprise approx 160 turretless Shermans, sufficient to lift the fighting personnel of one Infantry Bde. One Sqn only would be so equipped at first, and would commence training with Infantry in December. Detailed suggestions for the new WE would be submitted by the CO early in November.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|2/11/1944||Visit of Lt General Sir Richard L McCreery KCB DSO MBE MC GOC 8th Army who stressed the importance of the new role of the Regt.|
|7/11/1944||Lt Col RCH Kidd posted to HE. Major AM Barne promoted A/Lt Col and assumed command of the Regt.|
|8/11/1944||Reorganisation and re-equipping of C Sqn as a Sherman carrier Sqn continues.|
|21/11/1944||C Sqn practice embussing, carrying Infantry and debussing on objective.|
|22/11/1944||Major FS Fryer rejoined the Regt from course and re-assumed command of HQ Sqn.|
|23/11/1944||C Sqn continues embussing and debussing drill.|
|29/11/1944||Warning order that C Sqn will move to FORLINPOPOLI on 3rd December and come under command 5th Corps.|
|Summary. By 5th November C Sqn were fully equipped with Sherman carriers. Load tables were worked out with the help of 2/6th Queens for lifting an Infantry Btn. As no Infantry could be made available, Officers and men of the remaining Sqns acted as Infantry on various schemes thereby achieving nothing from the point of view of Infantry, or for working out Infantry tactical problems. Training of operators and drivers for A & B Sqns continued as well as leave programme to complete 6 days clear leave, except for C Sqn. C Sqn was ‘packed’ with the best NCOs, drivers and operators in order to gain experience and to fill vacancies caused by ORs of C Sqn earmarked for courses. Capt JG Quarmby MC of B Sqn and Lts A Ridley-Thompson and A Smith of A Sqn were also attached to C Sqn.All ranks have spent the month in fairly comfortable billets. Officers and Sgts Messes have been established and ‘Canteens’ organised for the men. Baths have been obtained once per week in ANCONA, where a cinema and other amenities could be enjoyed. A few football matches were played at JESI before the ground became waterlogged.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|3/12/1944||Tac and C Sqn moved to FORLIMPOPOLI. C Sqn (Kangaroos) came under command 5th Corps.|
|4/12/1944||Lt JA Philips and party representing the Regt went on high level deception scheme and moved to area between CESENA and CESENATICO.|
|5/12/1944||C Sqn practised mounting and dismounting drill from Kangaroos with 1st DLI.|
|10/12/1944|| Warning order received that HQ and A Sqns would move to RAVENNA
area 11th December.
2000 – A Sqn re-equipped with 14 Shermans from 3rd Hussars.
|11/12/1944||A Sqn (track) loaded onto transporters and moved to CERVIA.|
|12/12/1944||HQ and A Sqn (wheels) moved by road to RAVENNA.|
|14/12/1944||A Sqn moved forward and took up position in support 7th Hussars (dismounted). Bde protection Tp, consisting of 6 Shermans came under command A Sqn and moved to A Sqn area 503419.|
|16/12/1944||Little enemy activity.|
|17/12/1944||Suspected enemy targets engaged by A Sqn at 548462 – 548465 with good results.|
|18/12/1944||A Sqn continued shelling of suspected enemy targets. Civilians reported that shelling was accurate.|
|19/12/1944||Shelling of enemy outposts reported to A Sqn by partisans.|
|20/12/1944||Shelling of enemy occupied houses continued.Warning that B Sqn would move to RAVENNA after December 25th.|
|21/12/1944||HQ Tp A Sqn carried out pinpoint shelling of enemy trenches 500 yards in front of own FDLs. Target hit repeatedly but no enemy seen.|
|22-23/12/1944||Nothing to report.|
|24/12/1944||A Sqn shelled building at 548478. Two enemy believed killed.|
|25/12/1944||Nothing to report. A quiet day.|
|26/12/1944||A Sqn passed from under command 7th Hussars to in support 1st KRRC and 1st Welch.|
|27/12/1944||Nothing to report.|
|28/12/1944||B Sqn arrived CLASSE.|
|29/12/1944||B Sqn relieved A Sqn.RHQ Tank Tp, Lt CD Dent commanding, came under command A Sqn and moved to MEZZANO.|
|30/12/1944||Nothing to report.|
|31/12/1944||Warning order that A Sqn would move forward again on 1st January 1945.|
|Summary:-. At the beginning of the month it was understood that there would be a short offensive season ending 15th December when a Winter Line would be established and only a minimum number of troops employed. C Sqn was to be employed experimentally and the remainder of the Regt was to relax. By the end of the month the whole Regt was committed. Regt, less one Sqn, as part of 9th Armd Bde in the marshlands North of RAVENNA, C Sqn under direct command 5th Corps training Infantry to the use of Kangaroos but tactically placed standing by at short notice in case an opportunity for their use should arise. Despite the bad conditions arising from severe weather, war battered billets and the scattered dispositions of Sqns and even Tps, the general discipline, morale and health of the Regt remained extremely high.|
Nominal Roll of Officers as at 30 December 1944.
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