War Diaries of 4th Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

1940

 

 

Home 1939 1941 1942
1943 1944 1945 1946

 

 

January 1940

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Helmieh

1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6/1

 

R.A. demonstration for the Middle East Technical School in areas of rd CAIRO – SUEZ.

 

 

 

 

Regiment fired one troop concentration, one Battery concentration, one Regimental concentration and two smoke screens.

 

 

 

 

Targets and gun positions previously surveyed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/1

to

10/1

 

Regiment took part in 4th Indian Division Skeleton Exercise. Regimental Headquarters, Command Posts and 2 O.Ps. per Battery only took part. Area of Exercise FAIYOUM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/1

 

Lieut, J.F.H Bulman, R.A.M.C., attached as Regimental Medical Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15/1

 

 

 

 

to

 

Battery Training, Drill Orders, etc

 

 

20/1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20/1

 

Lieut. W.A.P. Warden posted to 4th Regiment, R.H.A.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

25/1

 

 

 

 

to

 

7th Armoured Division Skeleton Exercise. Regimental Headquarters, Command Posts and 2 O.Ps. per Battery only took part. Area of exercise WADI NATRUM.

 

 

27/1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1940

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Helmieh

1940

 

1/2

7th Armoured Division Full Scale Exercise. The Regiment complete took part.

to

Ammunition carrying vehicles, etc., loaded to full complement.

3/2

Area of exercise WADI NATRUM.

 

5/2

to

Regimental Training.

6/2

 

10/2

Second R.A. demonstration for the Middle East Technical School. Details as for previous demonstration on 6th January, 1940.

 

12/2

Regiment moved to ??????? for Practice Camp. Limited tents available. Practice Camp formed.

 

13/2

First Day shooting. Gunner Day, bother batteries fire course snooting and anti-tank soot with dummy tanks

 

14/2

Second Day Shooting. Tactical Day. “F” Battery Advance Scheme

 

15/2

Third Day Shooting. Tactical Day. “C” Battery Withdrawal xxxxxxx scheme.

 

16/2

Fourth Day Shooting. Regimental Tactical Day. Withdrawal Scheme set by the B.R.A.

Regiment returned to Helmieh during the afternoon.

 

18/2

Lieut G.A. Howard and 2nd/Lieut E.H. Babington posted to 4/R.H.A.

 

19/2

to

Break in Training

25/2

 

28/2

Captain L. Walmsley-Cotham R.H.A. posted to 3/R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

March 1940

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Helmieh

1940

 

1/3

to

Tactical training.

5/3

 

6/3

to

Musketry Classification fired. 130 men per Battery

7/3

 

8/3

to

L.M.G. Classification fired. Ten men per Battery.

9/3

 

11/3

Anti Tank (Boyes) Classification fired. Ten men per Battery.

 

12/3

to

4th Indian Division Skeleton Exercise. Survey Party and four Umpires supplied by 4/R.H.A.

16/3

 

17/3

to

“C” Battery Scheme with 1 K.R.R.C.

20/3

 

26/3

4th Indian Division Full Scale Exercise in the Area of the road CAIRO – SUEZ.

to

Party of 2 Officers and 20 Other Ranks commanded by Captain G.H. Baker, R.H.A took part.

1/4

7 ?????? umpires supplied by the Regiment.

 

 

 

 

April 1940

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

 

HELMIEH

1/4

4th Ind Div Exercise ??? Survey Party as its umpires

3/4 to

C Bty Exercise with 1 K.R.R.C. in area rd CAIRO - SUEZ

4/4

Battery at full scale.

Practice for ???????? ?? ???? demonstrations. Survey Party 2 Officers, 3 NCOS and 50 OR’s provided by F Bty.

4/4

??????????? ?? ???????? ??????? ????

5/4

1030

Regimental discussions on River Crossing.

6/4

0800

Routines by ??? ???. Class OR ‘The ???? in ???????! 

1600

Support Group discussion on River Crossing.

7/4

2 Lt E. D. Simmonds (C Bty) ??? ??? R.H.Q. Capt ?? (F Bty) and 2/Lt R.D. Judd (F Bty) ????? from ??? and are ??? posted to Btys as shown.

8/4

Demonstration by Egyptian Royal ????????? of ??? ???? by ????????? load equipment between ???? Regt ???????? ?? ????

9/4 to 10/4

Support Group TEWT subject River Crossings attended by 7 Officers from 4/RHA

11/4

F Bty exercise with 2 RB in area rd CAIRO

to 12/4

SUEZ. Bty at full scales.

 

17/4

Regimental exercise. Both btys at full Scale Exercise

to 18/4

directed by Lt Col E Latham MC.

19/4

0900

Programme Short exercise carried out via h?????ture message by RHQ and CPO & GPO. Stage by both btys.

23/4

1500

Exercise for 4/RHA & 7 Med Regt RA set by B.R.A. entailing

to 24/4

0700

Occupation of position by night and preparation of gun programmes for concentration tasks & barrages.

Area K 20 rd CAIRO – SUEZ. Both btys at full scales.

22 & 25/4

????? Officers attended practice camps of 4 Fd Regt RA. Two course shooting days watched.

HELMIEH

27/4

0800

Radio message from 7 Armd Div HQ regt is to state positions & ??????? to be completed by 1800 hrs ??? ????

28/4

1420

Lt ??????? & Lt P?????? and a draft of 75 other ?????? ????? arrived in CAIRO having ????????????? as ?????. Draft ?????????? and divided as follows

Lt ????? 4 Sgts, 4 Bdrs, 6 L/Bdrs, 35 gunners posted to C Bty.

Lt ????? 3 Sgts, 8 Bdrs, 4 L/Bdrs, 18 gunners posted to F Bty.

297/4

4th ??????????? draft ?? following ??????????????????? to the 11th and was struck of strength of the ????????????

Capt G.? G??? RHA and Lt Judd RHA Lt Hammond RHA BSM B???field 2 Sgts 6 Bdrs 41 ORs

???? 1 officer 23 ORs.

 

The following WOs and NCOs of this regiment received Emergency Combatant Commissions and were ported as follows

BSM Griffiths W.H C Bty 4/RHA

BSM Crook K. F Bty 4/RHA

BSM McVey D. F Bty 4/RHA

BSM Cook R.C. C Bty 4/RHA

BSM Sherwood 1st Fd Regiment RA

Sgt Shamett 7th Med Regiment RA

 

 

 

 

May 1940

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col E. Latham MC.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

HELMIEH

1/5

 

Parties ???????? ???????????

 

 

 

 

C Bty ordered to proceed on Practice ????? and come under order of Support Group ??? ???????

 

 

 

 

Rest of regiment (R.H.Q. & F Bty) under orders of 7 Armd Div and placed on 48 hours notice

 

 

2/5

0700

Road party C Bty left

 

 

 

1000

Train party continues loading HELMIEH ?????

 

 

 

2000

Train party left.

 

 

3/5

 

Regiment placed at 8 hours notice from ???????? 3rd May.

 

 

7/5

0900

CAIRO P.A.D. ????? ?????. All ?????????????? units will ??? ???????? ???????. Blast post, P.A.D. parties standing by, carrying of Gas mask & Steel Helmets by all ranks.

 

 

11/5

0700

????? orders received that regt ???? pass to the ???? ???? in Western Desert with 7th Armd Div (less 7 Armd Bde)

 

Helmieh

12/5

0630

Conference CO 2i/c adj & BCs to discuss move.

 

 

 

1000

Advance party Capt Lewin, 2/Lt Wolfson in 2 vehicles rept HELMIEH.

 

 

 

 

Regiment packing.

 

 

 

1800

Train party of guns track vehicles, mcs and detachments rept for loading at ABBASSIA. Capt Crowe in command.

 

 

13/5

0100

Train part left – arrived MATRUH 1600 hrs same day – off loaded and proceeded to camp site near GARAWALA station.

 

 

 

0300

Road party HQ & F Bty left HELMIEH on accordance with 7 Armd Div march table (attached), Proceeded to bivouac area EL HAMMAM, there they arrived about 1500 hrs,

No. 1

 

14/5

0900

Left EL HAMMAN, and proceeded to camp site near GARAWALA station.

 

 

 

 

Road party commanded Lt Col E Latham MC

 

Garawala

14/5

1700

Arrived at camp site between railway and sea, immediately NORTH of GARAWALA STN. Vehicles scatted and A.A. Bren guns manned.

 

 

15/5

 

Settling into camp. Vehicles remain packed with exception of ones reqd for fatigues.

 

 

 

 

4/RHA (less C Bty) under command of 7 Armd Div.

 

 

 

 

C Bty RHA under command of Support Group

 

 

19/5

 

Major J.C. Campbell MC & Capt H.M Lewis carried out a reconnaissance to SIDI BARRANI & SALUM.

 

 

 

 

Major L.E. Sheppard and Capt L.H. Lewin carried out a reconnaissance to SIDI BARRANI and then SOUTH 50 miles to BIR KHAMSA.

 

 

21/5

 

Regimental navigation exercise carried out. Five parties, one for RHQ, two from C and two from F Bty proceed down to rd MATRUH – SIWIA and at predetermined distances turn WEST and are concentrated on BIR KHAMSA a distance of approx 60 miles across country. All groups eventually arrived

 

 

22/5

 

Major J.C. Campbell posted to 31st Fd. Regt, RA as Commanding Officer.

 

 

23/5

 

Mock dive bombing on camp by RAF. System of Air alarms & A.A. defence practiced,

 

 

31/5

 

Regimental Drill Order for ‘F’ Bty permission having been granted by 7 A.D. for units to leave camp.

 

 

 

 

Wireless silence released to the extent of one mast section tied down to the roof of the truck.

 

 

 

 

Difficult to keep men occupied owing to the limitation on training. Divisional and unit sport, concerts and other amusements arranged.

 

 

 

 

June to July 1940

Missing 

 

 


August 1940

Commanding Officer:

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

BUQ BUQ

1/8

 

Locations: RHQ unchanged at 567359 X, “C” Bty less B Troop at 516369 X, B Troop “C” Bty at 527370 X. “F” Bty under command 7th Armoured Brigade with one Troop (F) attached to 8 Hussars, and the other (G) in position area 520369+.

X Ref Map

SIDI GHIBI

1/100,000.

 

 

 

“F” Bty main position engaged enemy Bty at Capuzzo at 0800 and 0900 hrs firing 88 rounds. HB1 replied on to SALUM and MUSAID, bty to the NORTH towards BARDIA joining in on SALUM. Something about 100 rds were exchanged between 1900 and 2000 hrs. F Tp with 8H had an uneventful day.

+ Ref Map SALUM

1/100,000

 

 

 

Enemy shelling has been on the increase during the last week; heavier guns and more ammunition had been brought up, while at the same times our allotment has been cut down. The role of the tp with 8 H has been change from harassing SIDI AZEIZ area to harassing BARDIA – CAPUZZO RD.

 

 

 

 

It is now possible that the enemy is using directional wireless for picking up OPs & gun parties

 

 

2/8

 

B Tp “C” Bty had two guns in area 527370+ (unchanged) and two at 550367+.

 

 

 

 

Tp “F” Bty with 8H fire in the morning and in the evening at reported targets in the AZEIZ area. The enemy shelled parties of 8H whenever they appear in GHERUBA or BEDER areas.

 

 

3/8

 

A quite day. SALUM & MISAID were shelled in the morning and evening by 4.1” bty & small field guns in CAPUZZO. SALUM AERODROME Buildings were registered. I was reported that shells had burst with distinct explosions falling close to each other.

X B.P. Boundary Post in the wire denoting the frontier.

Ɵ Before the war this was an Egyptian Customs House

 

 

 

CHERIBA was shelled at 0845 hrs and O.P. withdrew.

 

 

4/8

 

Again uneventful. “F” Bty main position shelled CAPUZZO area in general in the morning. At the same time the enemy were shelling the tanks in area B.P. 27/28X. MUSSAIDƟ and SALUM were shelled in the morning and evening.

 

 

5/8

 

An active day. In the morning F Bty main posn, shelled HB 4 and fired at MET in CAPUZZO. In the evening there was an Artillery duel, started by 25/26 (M) Bty X firing into CAPUZZO.

X 7th Med. Regt., R.A.

 

 

 

F Bty main position came in and shelled HB 4 and one other CAPUZZO battery, after firing 94 rounds. There enemy batteries had been shelling SALUM and MUSAID in the form of a definite though ineffective concentration.

 

 

 

 

F Bty Tp, with 8 H sent out two single guns in the morning for registration purposes. The enemy retaliated on one which had to withdraw. The troop withdrew when the said action started at 10.30 hrs, and came into action 800X S of gap 40 in the wire.

 

BUQ BUQ

6/8

 

In the morning F Bty silenced at about 0830 hrs two batteries S and S.E. of Capuzzo. In the first case one round fell into CAPUZZO and smoke was seen to rise for two hours afterwards.

 

 

 

 

F Bty also fired at the OP in the TOWN of CAPUZZO with a single gun at 0745 and 1915 hrs. The enemy at 0740 had replied by putting down a concentration about 700 yds E of MUSAID covering an area of 500 by 1000 yds. They were apparently firing at an area where they estimated a squadron of 6/RTR to be.

 

 

 

 

Two btys were firing, and in addition an occasional 152mm shell was fired. These are apparently from ???? howitzers – two S of Bardia and 2 in CAPUZZO. The intensity of ???? the shelling has fired during the last three days has increased, and there can be no shortage of ammunition.

 

BUQ BUQ

7/8

 

F Bty continued with good counter battery work, and their batteries can be clearly seen by the OP, and silenced if active location. The OP has the troop positions have been traced by the enemy, who appear to have “evacuated” from them. Camouflage at the guns and lack of parties at the P have contributed heavily to this.

 

 

 

 

The enemy have shelled MUSAID area all day, with about 150 rds 0730 – 0830 hrs, and 30 rds in the evening.

 

 

8/8

 

An excellent target presented itself when lorries with guns infantry & 6 C-33 tanks left CAPUZZO in the AZEIZ RD at 0700 hrs. No guns unfortunately were allowed on the BARDIA-CAPUZZO-AZEIZ triangle today.

 

 

 

 

In the morning, however F Bty main position engaged targets in and around CAPUZZO, and silenced btys at 0830 and 1930 hrs.

 

 

 

 

Tp with 8 H also silenced CAPUZZO Bty in the evening and later hit a dump in CAPUZZO. There were explosion and black smoke followed by a blinding flash.

 

BUQ BUQ

9/8

 

Major L.E. Sheppard appointed Artillery Instructor to the Middle East Tactical School. Capt G.W. Groschen promoted to A/Mjr, posted to 107th Regiment (South Notts Hussars) R.H.A., stationed at Mersa Matruh, but remained with C Battery.

 

 

 

 

A very quiet day on the front, due to truce message.

 

 

 

 

About 40 rounds were fired by F Battery, but it was not possible to observed accurately enough to state the effect. The Italian thought a lot of this message as his activities were also slight

 

 

 

 

After the tank attack on 5 August some difficulty was experienced was experienced distinguishing friend from foe. It was agreed that any of our tanks approaching the 3rd Regiment and the 4th Regiment RHA would turn their turrets away.

 

 

10/8

 

Section of F Bty went through the wire with 8th Hussars and reoccupied the HEFID positions, with satisfactory results. Excellent targets presented themselves in the form of M/T on the AZEIZ – CAPUZZO road. At least two large columns were found X ????? the road. About 40 enemy AFVS were reported at 1030 and the guns withdrew.

 

 

 

 

Capt Lewin, occupying a good O.P., reported that batteries south of CAPUZZO had moved – destination unknown.

 

 

 

 

The enemy continued to shell SALUM area, probably with section 5.9 Hows firing from near BARDIA. The damage done was negligible, but it was decided to abandon and booby trap MUSAID.

 

 

11/8

 

“F” Troop with 8 Hussars continued their harassing fire on M/T moving along AZEIZ-CAPUZZO road, while “G” Troop silenced two enemy batteries around CAPUZZO, in some cases, fire was returned but always with no effect.

 

 

 

 

The enemy fire his usual harassing strike at MUSAID, and a few rounds at our tank patrols dispersed along the wire.

 

 

 

 

It was confirmed that less and less fired came from CAPUZZO, and that enemy shelling from BARDIA is by medium batteries, out of range of our artillery.

 

 

12/8

 

Another quiet day, as movement in CAPUZZO becomes less and less – the dead bodies must be getting a trifle high. MUSAID, SALUM airfield and barracks were again shelled, about 180 round falling in the area, but it is comparatively unscathed by this strikes, but purpose of this shelling ???????? ??????.

 

 

13/8

 

“F” Troop, F Battery, with 8th Hussars fired about 80 rounds in harassing at M/T and working parties’ area CAPUZZO and another battery. It appears that some more casualties were inflicted and at 1830 hrs as the results of F Troop fired. Two flashing and large columns of white smoke were seen to rise from CAPUZZO.

 

 

 

 

SALUM barracks was again shelled by the enemy. It was assumed that me may be trying to locate section of 25/26 Battery (60 pounders), ???????? are well camouflaged a few ???????? about 300 yards west of SALUM village and ?????? ??? the escarpment.

 

 

14/8

 

In the evening of 14th August our advanced regimental headquarters moved from BUQ BUQ to SWEiYAT (??????) ????? ???? ??? of the top of HALFAYA (HELLFIRE) PASS on the top of the escarpment.

 

 

 

 

Gun positions will ??????. Captain JC Haughton remained at BUQ BUQ and the “Q” staff and 2:Lt VH Wolfson did acting Adjutant until such time as Lieut(QM) FC Studley should return from hospital at ALEXANDRIA and Captain JC Haughton should have had a few days leave.

 

SWEIYAT

 

 

Advanced regimental headquarters consisting of 17 vehicles and 44 all ranks including a small detached of F Troop, 7th Armoured Division Signals and L.A.D. under S/Sergt Metcalf.

 

 

 

 

“G” Troop, F Battery fired about 130 rounds at various targets in and around CAPUZZO with apparently good results. F Troop, F Battery went outside the wire escorted by Squadron 8th Hussars : nothing of importance occurred.

 

 

 

 

Section 25/26th Battery, 7th Medium Regiment R.A. fire at enemy positions near CAPUZZO in the morning and had a counter battery gun shoot (CAPUZZO) in the evening. Actual effect not known, but these enemy batteries were silenced. SALUM barracks were shelled in retaliation.

 

SWEIYAT

15/8

 

Section of “F” Troop, F Battery too up a positions hear HAFID. A working party near the junction of the CAPUZZO-BARDIA and the CAPUZZO-AZEIZ tracks were engaged. The section was fired at 2 Pdr guns and shortly, before 1030 visibility became bad & the section, together with section “M” Bty & two cruiser tanks withdrew.

 

 

 

 

A patrol from the Support Group report that CAPUZZO FORT & the area south of it was deserted.

 

 

 

 

Enemy action today was very slight.

 

 

16/8

 

“F” Battery had a quite day. G Troop silence a hostile battery north of CAPUZZO while “F” Troop dispersed a working party west of CAPUZZO. The enemy expended about 100 rounds in an air shoot on SALUM barracks and MUSAID area. The fighter controlling the shoot was escorted by other fighters – effect NIL. The enemy must have wasted several hundred tons of shells on SALUM barracks during the past month.

 

 

 

 

Today was “F” Battery’s last day up at the front. By 21st August the whole battery will be assembled at RAS EL RACM. The most picturesque bay between SALUM and MATRUH & about 12 miles west of MATRUH. The battery is expected to spend approximately one mouth in rear for general maintenance and refit.

 

 

17/8

 

Today saw the ‘High Spot’ of the war up till the present and it will perhaps be as well to describe the Naval Bombardment of Eastern LIBYA from a military point of view in more detail.

 

 

 

 

Force “B” with HMS Warspite, HMS Kent and some half a dozen destroyers were allotted BARDIA and CAPUZZO and ???????? area as targets.

 

 

 

 

HMS Warspite: range was 28,000 yards and the shoot was observed and corrections from a Swordfish of the Fleet Air Amr escorted by Gladiators. An observer from the Fleet Air Amr was in the O.P. near MUSAID and was in wireless communications with HMS Warspite should communications with air fail.

 

 

 

 

Fire was very accurate, a direct hit on CAPUZZO from a 15” shell from HMS Warspite being observed. It was impossible to gauge the amount of damage suffered, but as more rounds, some of which were smaller than 6” calibre were fired during the whole operation, the enemy must have been constantly shelled and ????? amount of damage must inevitably have bee inflicted.

 

 

 

 

“Force A” consisted of HMA Ramillies HMS Malaya and suitable destroyer escort engaged BARDIA and ????? ???

 

 

 

 

Main criticism is that the shoot should have been directed from guns being “placed’ ready ?? ????????? of 208 Bermuda R.A.F. rest of text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line.

 

 

 

 

The other main criticism is that liaising ???? ???????? and ??????? ???? target sustained damage HMS Warspite in to a small ????????. The ????? ???? registration on target consistent ????? ???? 15” guns.

 

 

 

 

Two naval officers whom ???? ??? two ????? of ???????????? both agreed that time was ??? from ????? rest of text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line.

 

 

 

 

“C” Battery had now taken over from “F” Battery in ???. Their designations are as follows

 

 

 

 

Battery Headquarters about two miles in rear.

 

 

 

 

B Troop situated in the fig grove one mile west of SALUM.

 

 

 

 

B Troop have only one section in the fig from guns being on ?? ???? frontier wire about 2 miles due East. 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards took over from 2 RBs so that liaison work to East ?????. A Troop commanded by Major Goschen is situated on top of the escarpment, By night the troop leaguers with a company of the 60th Rifles near ABU TALAQ, and by day the troop occupies a positions near SILQIYA, varying the sector daily. One section it is hoped, will be employed on harassing the SIDI AZEIZ – CAPUZZO road from the HAFID or neighbouring positions.

 

 

 

 

A very quiet day, the enemy sent over about 100 rounds on SALUM barracks, presumable as a reprisal for the naval bombardment.

 

 

18/8

 

Another quiet day. A troop fired about 50 rounds at two hostile batteries in the Northern defences in CAPUZZO from SILQUYA area. Enemy activity was negligible. It is possible that the Naval Bombardment inflicted damage on the BARDIA batteries,

 

 

19/8

 

Nothing to report. A very quiet day.

 

SWEIYAT

20/8

 

Battery Harassing Force. Composition.

 

 

 

 

Commander Lt.Col., J.C. Campbell M.C. R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

Troop M Battery R.H.A. Captain P Hobbs R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

Section A Troop, C Battery R.H.A., Major G.W. Goschen R.H.A.

 

 

 

 

“A” Squadron 1/R.T.R. Captain Page

 

 

 

 

Object

 

 

 

 

To harass and fire at any countable target either in or around CAPUZZO or moving on the AZEIZ – CAPUZZO road or any target that should present itself.

 

 

 

 

Narrative

 

 

 

 

Tank patrols took up their positions during the night 19/20th August and the O.P. north of “front line! Was manned before first light. The section was in position West of CAPUZZO about BIR HAFID, and was in action at 0700 hrs. A working party of some 70 men on the CAPUZZO-AZEIZ path road area were fired on, and as thought effectively. Hostile battery west of CAPUZZO opened fire on the section but the effect was NIL, in effect about 50 rounds being fired. A few moments later another battery opened up no rounds fell withing 1000 yards if the section from either battery & both batteries were silenced. At 0815 hrs Section A Troop engaged some lorries East of CAPUZZO, This completed the day’s fire.

 

 

 

 

Two sections A Troops C Battery, position near SILQIYA fired about 10 rounds at guns in CAPUZZO,

 

 

 

 

The enemy fired over 100 rounds at SALUM barracks & MUSAID and the result was about 8 dud rounds and no effective damage.

 

 

21/8

 

Yesterday’s harassing shoot was considered such a success that it was to be repeated again today. Special report is attached.

Appx “A”

 

 

 

Two sections A Troop C Battery fired about 60 rounds at fleeting targets in the CAPUZZO area between 1800 and 2000 hrs.

 

 

 

 

Enemy fire about 70 rounds at SALUM barracks and MUSAID without effect. During the firing on SALUM and MUSAID, it seems that heavy guns from BARDIA neighbourhood are joined by the batteries from CAPUZZO. The heaviest guns firing at SALUM area appeared to be 5.9”.

 

 

22/8

 

“C” Battery was ????? BARDIA position guns about 70 rounds HE of which some ???? ?? ?? ??? B.P.

 

 

23/8

 

Between 0705 and 0745 2 sections of B Troop C Battery (SALUM area) engaged enemy positions around CAPUZZO. About 80 rounds were fired. Good results being obtained. Later in the morning a procession was seen headed by a gentlemen in black (O.P. Officer Lieut R G Cook) followed by ?????? which appeared to be an ?????? party and finally an ambulance flying a large white flag. In the evening another working party was the in the same place as the mornings and was engaged. A hostile battery was also engaged.

 

 

 

 

The enemy fire 88 rounds at SALUM area and at “C” Battery positions both with ??????? 5.9” battery from RAMLA position ????? ???? 24 rounds ????? at the ????? ?????

 

 

 

 

During the day small arms fire and blasting was heard in the direction of BARDIA and RAMLA.

 

 

24/8

 

At about 1000 hrs, one troop of “A” Squadron, 11 Hussars, as attacked by about 20 fighters. The GABER SALEM force advanced about three miles, the fighters “preceding” the advance and ???? ?? ?? far as possible by and observation.

 

 

 

 

One Section of “A” Troop C Battery moved down to a point there makes shoot of SCHEFERZEN doing the afternoon. Accompanied by one section of “M” Battery and one Squadron 1/RTR. It was hoped that the enemy will advance to within range and believed that if we could give the force a harassing it would ??? a trail of dust to shell into entered LIBYA.

 

 

 

 

During the afternoon, the enemy force withdrew, & harassing force leaguered at point 208, three miles short of SCHEFERZEN awaiting the next move.

 

 

 

 

One Section A troop C Battery (SALUM 1/100000 520869) fired at two separate parties seen from CAPUZZO and silenced two hostile batteries with a very small expenditure of ammunition.

 

 

 

 

SALUM barracks was again shelled, Battery 5.9” at RAMLA (BARDIA BILL) joining the CAPUZZO batteries and firing about 40 rounds at three minute intervals between rounds.

 

 

 

 

Small Arms fire and blasting was heard from RAMLA direction. It was thought that BARDIA BILL may be firing with the intention of drowning noise of M/T and blasting operations.

 

SWEIYAT

25/8

 

Section of “A” troop C Battery remained at SCHEFERZEN. The GABER SALEM force is believed split into two columns, one heading west and the other south. There is still a certain amount of mystery attached to yesterday’s move. The columns seen approaching may have been at advanced guard to protect an relief of large movement of M/T. It is possible also that this force may be burning ????? ??? ??? or ?? separate bodies.

 

 

 

 

A Troop C Battery had half an hours firing at them three hostile batteries around CAPUZZO with satisfying results.

 

 

 

 

Between 0600 hrs and 0915 hrs SALUM and MUSAID area received its heaviest shelling yet. BARDIA BILL fired about 60 rounds and batteries near CAPUZZO about 1400 rounds. Again it was thought that the shelling may be carried out with the purposed of drowning out activity around BARDIA and on the BARDIA – CAPUZZO road. This is further substantiated by a patrol of 2/COLDSTREAM Guards who start that the enemy are preparing an anti tank trench between the BARDIA – CAPUZZO road & the ?????. The battalion was already created a tremendous impression, one of its patrols surrounded a working party, killing about 10 enemy with the bayonet & capturing another seven with no loss whatsoever, except for one bayonet to itself.

 

 

26/8

 

Troop “C” Battery fired about 5 round in 2 series. The first was at some enemy near CAPUZZO and the second series a 25 yard bracket was obtained on one enemy gun lying about in the open.

 

 

 

 

Between 0840 hrs and 0900 hrs, about 30 rounds were fired by the enemy on MUSAID area. Battery from CAPUZZO and one from RAMLA 105mm were firing. Between 1915 hrs and 1937 hrs CAPUZZO and RAMLA batteries fired some 60 round at the CUSTOMS House MUSAID and south of the escarpment.

 

 

 

 

To-day was a typical “routine day”. We fired at the odd opportunity target near CAPUZZO and the enemy shelled SALUM barracks & MUSAID area.

 

 

27/8

 

See separate report for Targets engaged by C Battery.

 

 

 

 

Apart from firing about 130 round at SALUM barracks and MUSAID area, O.P. vehicle of C battery had about 12 rounds fired at it when moving South & West of point 202.

 

 

28/8

 

A Troop C Battery fired 6 rds on movement seen in sanger near CAPUZZO and 18 rounds at two hostile batteries – effect not known.

 

 

 

 

The enemy fired about 180 round at SALUM barracks and MUSAID area between 0810 and 0917 hrs. Batteries of 105 m/m fired from CAPAZZO and RAMLA and 5.9” battery from RAMLA also fired. There were about 10 dud rounds.

 

 

29/8

 

At 0725 hrs men were seen debussing from lorries near CAPUZZO and other men were seen embussing – apparently a relief – and these were engaged by two sections A Troop C Battery. One lorry was damaged & one gun was left layed on it whenever a party came back to repair it a round was placed near them, and as this cut & mouse game went on until the lorry was eventually repaired! A working party was engaged. In the evening, ranging on a hostile battery was carried out & the shoot was deemed successful. The native compound in CAPUZZO where a good deal of movement had been seen, was engaged, but it was not possible to gauge the amount of damage inflicted. Then in the open ??? H.B.S were seen and engaged, but it is questionable how much damage was dome, as the enemy have enemy have undoubtedly caused ??? a lot of damage digging & guns disappear ?????? ?? ground after a moment’s notice!

 

 

 

 

The enemy fired almost 300 rounds on SALUM barracks and MUSAID area rest of text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line.

 

 

30/8

 

Two sections A Troop C Battery were in action at 82834 ??? ???? SALUM barracks. At 0730 and 12 rounds were fired ?????? ??? ????? ???? more fire until 1818 hrs between ???? 1580 hrs we fired at three different hostile batteries.

 

 

 

 

In additional to firing at SALUM barracks and MUSAID no movement seen. The enemy appears to be ??????? guns on our gun positions. The round fell fairly near the Command Post, but otherwise they were very wide of the mark

 

 

31/8

 

See Special Report.

 

 

 

 

In addition to what was written in the above, the enemy shelled SALUM barracks MUSAID and escarpment area to the extent of about 200 rounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendices Pending

 


September 1940

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.C. Campbell R.H.A.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

SILQIYA

1/9

 

Locations :– RHQ at BIR EL SIWEIYAT (red map SALUM 1/100,000) 529363 : RHQ B Echelon 4 ms along SIWA RD for CHARING CROSS near Rear Division : C Bty (less one Tp) below the Escarpment with one section in FIG GROVE 527270 and other two sections at 529368 ; one Tp C Bty in area 521371 and OP at BP 34.

Re Maps

1/100,000 SALUM

BARRANI

MATRUH

 

 

 

F Bty refitting at RAKHUM BAY near MATRUH.

 

 

 

 

B Tp from below the escarpment exchanged with A Tp today, and no targets were engaged. Probably due to this fact, the enemy were silent all day.

 

 

2/9

 

Locations :– B Tp C Bty 4 guns in action in area 521371 and TOC operating near BP 28 : 2 guns on wheels in area 522365.

 

 

 

 

AT 0715 guns came out of action from 521371 and went into action in area 520369 with O.P. at BP 34.

 

 

 

 

At midday they engaged lorries in area WEST of FORT and enemy patrol near BP 27. This patrol was sighted from the forward OP at NP 28. While the first target was being engaged it was engaged by gunfire and moved off.

 

 

 

 

By 1600 hrs W/T was badly jammed.

 

 

3/9

 

On the night 2/3 Sept a raid was carried out by 3 CGs.

 

 

 

 

A separate appendix ???? the Artillery fire plan in connection with this raid

Appendix A

 

 

 

Locations :- C Bty 4 guns in action in area 52137 - OP at BP34

 

 

 

 

2 guns on wheels at 822365.

 

 

 

 

During the day there was little activity & the only targets engaged was 0930 Working party in CAPUZZO (20 rds) and enemy battery at 1930 (8 rds).

 

 

 

 

The enemy (H.B.5) shelled area near O.P at BP 34 though the OP did not consider they were the target. H.B.5 was also in action at 1915 against carriers near MUSAID.

 

 

 

 

At 2200 – 2230 the enemy had what was described as an attacked of “nerves”. i.e. Defensive fire from CAPUZZO and RAMLA ( including L.As & small arms) was out down over intently. Though some shells were fired to the WEST of CAPUZZO, MUSAID seemed to be the centre of this area 

 

SILQIYA

4/9

 

Locations :- As before with Armoured OP near BP 31.

 

 

 

 

In the daytime the artillery duel ended all square, both sides having fired 4 rds. Movement was seen in area of H.B.s A : 5, 8 & 9, but W/T was badly jammed and communication near impossible.

 

 

 

 

From 2120 to 22.30 hrs the enemy put down 56 rds on the area WEST of MUSAID.

 

 

5/8

 

Locations :- unchanged.

 

 

 

 

In the early morning (0700 – 0800 hrs) H.Bs 1 & 10 were engaged as movement has been seen in these areas, and from then onwards until 12 noon small bodies of men who were seen going from the sangers to the SOUTH of CAPUZZO & the Native Compound.

 

 

 

 

At 1325 HB 3 was silenced.

 

 

 

 

Enemy btys in CAPUZZO put a further 12 rds on N area of MUSAID at 0845 and 0325 hrs but from the others all activities came from RAMLA (105mm). SALUM BKS, MUSAID and aerodrome were the targets at different times, and all three together at 1140 hrs. Of the 72 rds fired from RAMLA 28 were duds.

 

 

6/9

 

In the evening Lt Col J C Campbell MC RHA Officer Commanding 4/RHA went off on a recce of the GABER RALEM force with 11 H.

 

 

 

 

A separate report is attached.

Appendix B

 

 

 

B Tp C Bty engaged targets throughout the day particularly working parties near CAPUZZO. In addition, the following btys were silenced HB 3 (twice) and HB 5.

 

 

 

 

Enemy action started from CAPUZZO and RAMLA at 0200 hrs and again at 0500 hrs when MUSAID area from shelled.

 

 

 

 

In the evening RAMLA Bty was particularly active against the area BP 38

 

 

7/9

 

Locations :- 4 guns in action 521371 with TOS and had OP at BP 34.

 

 

 

 

2 guns in action at BP 39 ( at 12 noon)

 

 

 

 

In the evening the 4 guns engaged working parties in CAPUZZO and later HBs 3 & 5. Other targets engaged (with section bofors (M) Bty) on a timed programme, were (a) 1305 HB 2 16 rounds (b) 4 guns HB 5 12 rounds (1515) (c) 4 guns Native Compound 30 rounds at 1625.

 

 

 

 

The object was to harass the enemy during the beviage period ??? OPs reported. Basically, moving after rest of text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line.

 

 

 

 

The enemy again fired on to MUSAID at 0800 hrs from RAMLA an at 1000 hrs appeared to be “searching” for “C” Bty from CAPUZZO (HB B & 3). The search used ???? ????

 

 

 

 

CAPUZZO later ??? ???? quiet and only the RAMLA Posn was in action on MUSAID & SALUM in the evening.

 

 

8/9

 

There was not a great detail of artillery activity on either side. C Bty engaged lorries entering the native compound at 1500 hrs, ???? at 1030 hrs the enemy engaged (with at least 12 guns near RAMLA) the SALUM aerodrome, barracks and MUSIAD simultaneously.

 

SILQIYA

9/9

 

C Bty was active all day silencing enemy Btys HB 9 & 11 and firing at working parties in their area and other HBs and Native Compound. C Bty opened fire on 10 occassions during the day.

 

 

 

 

HB 1 (???) and HB 9 opened fire in the morning but were silenced, while RMLLA fired 51 rds (4 ?????) on the barracks & aerodrome.

 

 

10/9

 

Throughout the day, reports were coming in ???????? the enemy on the constantly ???? ??? ???? RHQ were at 30 minutes notice and later in the evening at 15 mins.

 

 

11/9

 

In the evening an enemy column of 200 MET halted WEST of the ??? at SIDI OMAR. 4 guns of C Bty South and tp ?? ??? and on ???? Tanks) went out before dark to harass. Fire was opened at 2030 hrs and 300 rds were fired.

 

 

 

 

RHQ moved back during the night to area SOFAFI and remaining section of C Bty to where RHQ had been.

 

 

12/9

 

In the evening a column estimated at 105 MET were in the SIDI OMAR area. 4 guns of C Bty moved out to engaged them, in a ????? ????.

 

SOFAFI

 

 

Fire was opened at 0230 hrs and though nothing could be seen, the better of these targets was such ??? damage had been considerable . This then ???????? ???? of A Tp C Bty withdrew to area Pt 200.

 

 

13/9

 

At about 0730 hrs the enemy fired heavy a heavy concentration ay MUSAID & SALUM barracks. Under cover of this infantry and tanks withdrew advanced on SALUM. Section of C Bty in the Fig Grove engaged those on the aerodrome and later at 0900 hrs withdrew to a position covering SALUM and BUQ BUQ track. Later the two other sections engaged the enemy on top of the escarpment from their new position under the escarpment, and later still an excellent target was provided by lorries turning where the road had been blow ip in the pass. During the afternoon the troops withdrew to BUQ BUQ – SALUM track.

Appendix C

 

14/9

 

In the evening a section of C Bty went forward and targeted trucks moving down the HALFAYA PASS. Three trucks had been hit and caught fire, and the enemy did not use the pass again this during the day.

 

 

 

 

In the evening B Tp C Bty withdrew to the BUQ BUQ position already dug,

 

SOFAFI

15/9

 

At this time F Battery had been ordered up from RAKHUN and one troop was on the ??? under Capt LEWIN.

 

 

 

 

The enemy continued to push forward and were engaged by A Tp C Bty less one section in the ????? and the remaining section in ?????. The enemy were checked again and again by fire directed by two OPs. Two odd ?????ing bursts fell on the battery troop but otherwise there was no enemy counter battery fire.

 

 

 

 

The ammunition position had already been acute and eventually replenishment could not keep pace with the expenditure. Basically owing to this it was decided at about 1700 hrs to withdraw to the HAMID position already prepared.

 

 

16/9

 

F Tp F Bty came into action forward at HAMID during the night and did valuable ??? during the morning. ??? the enemy continued to push forward. This tr0op withdrawing to a position at EL DAB. Before this was necessary G Tp F Bty had come into action at HAMID behind A Tp C Bty.

 

SOFAFI

16/9

 

The later withdrew some two miles after F Tp and came into action at 1500 to their left flank at EL DAB, facing SOUTH. Before that were in action G Tp was withdrawing.

 

 

 

 

By this time – the early afternoon – 50 enemy Medium Tanks were executing a flanking movement to the SOUTH. G Tp continued to withdrew down the main road, A To followed after escaping the tanks, and finally F Tp. Before a 15 cwt truck of A Tp ran into a “Thermos flask! At EL DAB with result that Gnr HUTCHINSON suffered severe leg injuries and the veh had to be set on fire.

 

 

 

 

On the withdrawal one 3-ton lorry caught fire and one dragon had to be set on fire to avoid capture.

 

 

 

 

The three troops finally leaguered at Kilo 102.

 

 

17/9

 

The next morning F Tp continued its withdrawal, while G Tp and A Tp came into action on the SOUTH and NORTH side of the road respectively

 

ENBA

17/9

 

The latter fired a few rounds, but enemy were embusing casualties their practice at large Barracks.

 

 

 

 

At 1900 hrs fresh orders were received bringing the regiment less B Tp C Bty under command of 4 Bde and B Tp under command of 7 AB so were sent to CHARING CROSS and the next spent at RAS EL RAKHUM

 

 

18/9

 

During the night RHA moved to a new leaguer area at BIR EL GIBB having withdrawn from SOFAFI with Support Group. At first light it was joined by F Bty complete and A Tp C Bty. The location of B Tp C Bty was 988318, and B Ech with B Ech of 4th Armoured Bde

 

 

19/9

 

During the night 18/19 B Tp of C Bty went out as part of “C” Force ( Col J C Campbell MC RHA) 1 Sqn 11 H, Tp D Bty RHA & C Bty RHQ, 1 Coy KRRC with special role to contact and harass the enemy where possible.

 

BIR EL

20/9

 

Nothing to report. Time lavishly spent in reconnoitring area for patrols

 

GIBB

21/9

 

 

 

 

22/9

 

At 1630 hrs 2/Lieut W K Evers RHA, No 1047843 BSM Onions AS and No 884569 Gnr Leslie E were caught in a bombing raid on MATRUH. A bomb fell only a few yards in front of the 8 cwt truck in which they were travelling, and the were killed instantly

 

 

 

 

“G” Column set out to relieve “C” Column. The tp from the regiment was “F” Tp of F Bty under command of Capt LEWIN.

 

 

 

 

There were again ?????? with RASC lorries and took no tracked vehicles

 

 

23/9

 

The victims of the bombing accident were buried at MARTEN BAGUSH cemetery

Appendix E

 

24/9

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

25/9

 

“C” force returned in the early hours of the morning having stayed out one day longer than originally provisioned for.

 

BIR EL GIBB

26/9

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

27/9

 

Adv, HQ consisting of Fighting HQ of 6 vehicles moved back to area 710387 to beside HQ 4th Armoured Brigade. Remainder moved a further 8 miles SE to B. Ech area of 4 AB where they were joined by Regt HQ B Ech.

 

 

 

 

“T” Column moved out to relieve G Column. Major RJH Thomas MVO RHA was i/c Column and G Tp of F Bty was the troop from the regiment.

Appendix D

 

 

 

Major THOMAS posted as Second in Command w.e.f. 8.5.40 and Major G W GOSCHEN MC RHA assumed command of C Battery wef same date.

 

 

29/9

 

Nothing to report. Draft of 14 ORs arrived (3 for X list)

 

 

30/9

 

Nothing to report. Draft posted to Btys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendices Pending

 

 

October 1940

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col C.P.B. Wilson R.H.A.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

BIR EL

1/10

 

Location HQ 4/RHA with HQ 4th Armd Bde 710387 and the B Ech at 718023.

Appendices

GIBB

 

 

C Bty (less one tp) BIR EL GIDD 705327

A1 & A 2

 

 

 

C Bty 1 Tp with 7th Armd Bde at 688380

????? ?????

 

 

 

F Bty one tp with G column and the other with T Column

???? September.

 

 

 

HQ with HQ 4/RHA.

 

 

 

 

F Tp F Bty with G Column returned and leaguered at KHASITET HAMMASH 718223

 

 

 

 

Lt Col CAMPBELL at this time was ordered to stay with Bde HQ 7th Armd Bde and Major WITHERS acted as Second in Command.

 

 

 

 

First half of the exchange of this regiments dragons left with the ???? of 104th (Essex Yeomanry) RHA. 12 dragons with drivers went away, and 12 3-ton with drivers, OME and machines issued.

 

 

2/10

 

Lt Col CPB Wilson come to command the regiment having been Brigade Major 4th Indian Division. Lt Col Campbell posted as commander of 3/RHA and A/CRA 7th Armd Div.

 

 

 

 

Second 12 of the ????? arrived from 104/RHA. They handed on 48 reinforcements. The remaining 46 arriving in buses later in the day. This and a dozen more 10 Bdrs and 2 L/Bdrs, ??? in the ????. The majority had been called up in 15.1.42 & 18.3.42 and have dome their training at Deepcut, Burton & Oswestry. The regiment was still 36 gunners below strength, including the reinforcements.

 

 

3/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

4/10

 

F Bty (less one tp) joined up in the leaguer, coming under command of the Support Group, G Tp of F Bty stayed there having been with T Column. i.e. in the whole column. The other tp went to the left column.

 

 

5/10

 

Following officers int. posted into Btys. 2/Lt EAB FLETHCER, 2/Lt J PLANT, 2/Lt JB ROBISON, 2/Lt PNE CORROE to F Bty.

 

 

 

 

2/Lt J.D.K. DENNY to C Bty.

 

710387

6/10

 

Cmd T Colimn (Major THOMAS), Signal Offocer (CAPT VANDENBURGH) and A/Adjt (2/Lt JUDD) returned from T Column.

 

 

 

 

2/Lt JUDD assumes duties of Assistant Adjutant.

 

 

7/10

 

Lt Col WILSON proceed to HQ Support Group and Major THOMAS second in command.

 

 

 

 

2/Lt S.A.D. HOOD (Middlesex Yeomanry) took over the duties of Signal Officer from CAPT VANDENBURGH

 

 

8/10

 

Lieut A.D. PICKTON RAMC relieved Lieut J F K BULMAN RAMC proceeded on leave.

 

 

 

 

One 15 cwt truck ???? in to the 4 AD minefield, the occupant Gnr, Paining only slightly injured. The preceding night an 8 cwt truck driven by OME Lieut SKINNER lost its way and fetched up on BARRANI ROAD minefield near kilo 27. Lieut SKINNER sustained facial injuries, leg injuries and a deep wound on the right forearm.

 

 

9/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

710387

10/10

 

“A” Tp “C” Bty moved across ROAD TO ROME to new leaguer area BIR EL HARESH 700324.

 

 

11/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

12/10

 

CAPT G J E LOMAS Int. Postered to “F” Battery, from 31 st Field Regiment R.A.

 

 

 

 

A separate report from Major. H.C. WITHER Officer Commanding “F” Battery is attached.

Appendix B

 

13/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

14/10

 

Col WILSON returned from HQ Support Group.

 

 

15/10

 

Col WILSON returned from HQ Support Group. Major THOMAS proceeded on leave, MAJOR GOSCHEN remained as Second in Command.

 

 

16/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

17/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

18/10

 

Col WILSON returned from HQ Support Group.

 

 

19/10

 

Col WILSON returned from HQ Support Group. Separate report from Major W.T STEWART RHA Officer Commanding “D” Bty RHA.

Appendix C

710387

20/10

 

Nothing to report in new area,

 

 

21/10

 

Nothing to report. Separate report covering period 13th - 24th October from F Battery appears as Appendix

Appendix D

 

22/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

23/10

24/10

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

25/10

 

F Tp F Bty moved out on harassing expedition.

 

 

26/10

 

Lt Col WILSON went on leave.

 

 

 

 

B Tp C Bty selected to fire smoke demonstration, but Khamseen conditions prevailed and demonstrations was cancelled.

 

 

 

 

Separate report from Cmder Left Column (Major H.C. WITHERS)

Appendix E

 

27/10

 

Of six officers from 1/RHA attached to regiment for one month, three went to C Bty and three to F Bty.

 

 

28/10

 

Smoke demonstration given by “C” Bty. To show what the troop could produce in the way of a smoke screen with present scale of 16 r.p,g recently reduced from 25% i.e. 40 r.p.g. Favourable conditions & successful scree lasting 6 mins.

Appendix F

710387

29/10

 

D1 for programme of changes of equipment from 18/25 pdr to 25 pdr, Guns left Cairo drawn by 25 Fd Regt RA. Due here on D8.

 

 

30/10

 

1 Offr & 4 men went down to BAGOSH to meet guns.

 

 

31/10

 

Guns (12) arrived and C Bty take and hand over equipment.

 

 

 

 

No spares for new equipment.

 

 

 

 

Report sent in that trials of strengthened trails showed that only completed strengthened trails satisfactory. Welded (as against riveted) trail has so far proved satisfactory.

 

 

 

 

11 RHA Officers return & catch train back next morning.

 

 

 

1245

B Ech trialed, Fired HE & 1 marking dropped. No ranges due except one punctured ???, and nearest burst was 20x from a vehicle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendices Pending

 

 

November 1940

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col C.P.B. WILSON R.H.A.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

710387

1/11

 

Locations: RHQ same located 4 Armd Be 710387,

 

 

 

 

B Echelon 4/RHA at 718387.

 

 

 

 

Lt Col WILSON returned from leave.

 

 

 

 

C Bty move out to relieve F Bty, respecting signal of Bde Major

Appendix A

 

 

 

?? ?? ??? ??? been 12 of C’s old guns

4/RHA O.O, No. 4

 

2/11

 

Relief of F Bty ???? back after relieve BIR MUMIN for night

Appendix B

 

3/11

 

F complete ???? ????, F Tp under command 7 AB 688320 and Bty HQ & G Tp under command 4 Abd at BURG EL GIBB 708327.

4/RHA O.O. No. 5

 

4/11

 

25 Fd Regt bring up 12 25 pdrs for F Bty and handover ???? place at BIR EL GIBB.

 

 

5/11

 

B To C Bty Fax Left column in action. Separate report attached from Major Goschen

Appendix C

 

 

 

G Tp F Bty to leaguer with 2/RTR.

 

 

6/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

7/11

 

4/RHA ???? assumes command of Left Column still ???? of 8 H under Command.

 

BIR MUMIN

7/11

 

Adv RHQ with Second in Command (Major R.J.M. THOMAS) and Adjutant (Capt J.C. HAUGHTON) join Col WILSON at BIR MUMIN. Rear RHA remain 718323.

Ref Map SIDI BARRANI

616333

 

 

 

1/100,000

 

8/11

 

??????? completed.

 

 

 

 

“A” Tp C Bty in action. Separate report from Capt RG Good attached.

Appendix C

 

9/11

 

Enemy movement reported. “B” Tp C Bty moved out ???? with a view to engaging following day.

 

 

10/11

 

Two OPs occupied HILEIQAT 601350 and troops in action in area of groves 603348. No moved seen & column withdrew at 1100 hrs.

Reports Appendix

E1 & E2.

 

11/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

12/11

 

Enemy movement reported. 28 MET observed moving SE from Halaby, about 22 vehicles with 4 to 6 guns moving SW from 610356; about 12 vehicles moving South along track from 590351.

 

 

 

 

“B” C Bty less one Section moved out at 11.30 hours in direction HAQFIT ABU EL WARAWIR 610346 to engaged, but column withdrew without being engaged. See attached report.

Report Appendix F

 

13/11

 

Nothing to report.

Ref Map SIDI BARRANI

 

14/11

 

Capt W.P. Hobbs RHQ of “M” Bty RHQ joined the Regiment as Adjutant vice Capt J.C. Haughton RHQ. Nothing to report.

1/100.000

 

15/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

16/11

 

Left Column H.Q. (Lt Col C.P.B. Wilson RHA) moved from SIDI MUMIN 616384 to an area around the cross tracks 610339.

 

 

17/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

18/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

19/11

 

B Troop C Bty in action. See attached report.

Appendix G.

 

20/11

 

Col Wilson RHA relinquishes command of Left Column at 1400 hours. R.H.Q. withdraws to area BIR MUMIN for the night,

 

 

21/11

 

Withdrawal of RHQ completed to 710327 under Command 4th Armoured Brigade.

 

71037

22/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

23/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

24/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

25/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

26/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

27/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

28/11

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

28/11

 

C Battery less one Troop moved from the Left Column to area of BID ABU EL MAGASID (614348) arriving at 15.45 hours and leaguered for the night.

 

 

29/11

 

One Section moved out at 06.15 hours to area BIR EL QUITAN (321352). The two remaining section were in action at 615353 at 0600 hours/

 

 

 

 

OPs were established at PT 135 (613349) and at 61335.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendices Pending

 

 

December 1940

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col C.P.B. WILSON R.H.A.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

710327

1/12

 

Locations RHQ under command 4th Armoured Brigade

 

 

 

 

at 710327

 

 

 

 

“B” Echelon 4/RHA at 718323

 

 

 

 

“C” Battery less one Troop at BIR EL QITAN (321352)

 

 

 

 

One Troop “C” Battery with Right Column at

 

 

 

 

EL MAMURA (636359)

 

 

 

 

“F” Sphinx Battery at rest at BIR EL GIBB

 

 

 

 

(705327()

 

 

 

 

At 0830 hours under command 4th A.Bde moved up and went into leaguer at BIR ABI KHATTAL (671332)

 

 

 

 

F Battery moved into leaguer in area 676333.

 

 

 

 

B Echelon 4/RHA moved into area BOR SIDI ALI (684329).

 

671332

2/12 }

 

Nothing to report

 

 

6/12 }

 

 

 

649329

7/12

 

HQ 4 RHA with F Sphinx Battery moved with 4 Armd Bde to area leaguer AHMER (649329) arriving at 19.30 hrs and leaguered for the night.

 

599337

8/12

 

AT 0800 hrs HQ and F Bty under command 4 Armd Bde moved to area S.E. if Alam El Heilif (599337). C Bty leaguered at 10.30 hrs.

 

592344

 

 

At 18.30 hrs HQ, C Bty F Bty moved with 4 Armd Bde to area GHOT SHALLUDI (592344) and leaguered for the night.

 

585362

9/12

 

At 0615 hrs 4 Armd Bde with 4 RHA under command moved N.W. and Norther from GHOT SHALLUDI moving round western flanks of NIBEIWA and TUMMAR CAMPS. HQ remained with HW 4 Armd Bde at ALAM EL AGRAD (585362).

Appendix A

 

 

 

C Bty moved into action in support of 7 H. In moving up to action “B” Troop came under fire of enemy guns and a l??dy duel ensued over open sights (Appendix C).

Appendix C

 

 

 

F Bty moved in support of 6 RTR and came into action in area 578368 but did not fire. Later F Bty came under command 2 RTR in the area of ALAM HAMID.

 

 

10/12

 

B Tp c Bty moved into support of 6 RTR at 0800 hrs West of ALAM HAMID. When 6 RTR moved out of this area 2 RTR took over and B Tp came under command.

 

 

 

 

HQ 4 RHA moved with HQ 4 Armd Bde to area of Pt 74 (589369) at 1400 hrs and remained until 1600 hrs when they returned to ALAM EL AGRAD and leaguered for the night.

 

592344

11/12

 

At 0730 hrs 4 RHA moved with 4 Armd Bde to GHOT SHALLUDI (592344) into Divisional Reserve. Enemy tanks attacked but no casualties

Appendix A

 

 

 

At 1300 hrs F Bty came under command Support Group and moved into action in area 505335.

 

 

 

 

At 2130 hrs C Bty with HQ 4 Armd Bde and 2 RTR moved to ALAM EL HAMRA (539320)

 

 

 

 

HQ 4 RHA came under comd Support Group at 1800 hrs but remained in leaguer at GHOT SHALLUDI for the night.

 

 

12/12

 

HQ 4 RHA joined HQ Support Group at 570336.

 

 

 

 

C Bty moved with 4 Armd Bde to QARET EL RUWEIBIT (521342).

 

 

13/2

 

HQ 4 RHA and F Bty rejoined 4 Armd Bde at RUWEIBIT.

 

 

 

 

At 1700 4 RHA less B Tp came under command O.C. 11 H as part of tank force.

 

521342

 

 

B Tp C Bty were place under command 4 Armd Bde. Both columns arrived in Libya at 2330 hrs

Appendix A

 

14/12

 

Tank force took up position overlooking Tobruch – Bardia road between North & South grid lines 480 and 490.

 

 

 

 

C Bty less B Tp in action at 48354031.

 

 

 

 

F Bty in action at 485403 and 486403.

 

 

 

 

RHA with HQ 11 H at Pt 220 484399.

 

 

 

 

Both Columns subjected to heavy bombing and MG attacks resulting in a few casualties in C Bty.

 

 

15/2

 

Regiment in the same positions. Air attacks continued.

 

 

16/2

 

At 0745 hrs 4 RHA moved to area 5 miles South of SIDO AZEIZ (502388)

 

 

 

 

4 RHA moved to the attack of SIDO OMAR (495357) at 1345 hrs in support or 2 RTR. C Bty in action to North and F Bty to N.W. of SIDI OMAR.

 

495357

 

 

At 1630 hrs a concentration was put down by both Batteries after which 2 RTR successfully attacked.

Appendix A

 

 

 

C Bty moved to 503357 for the night and RHQ & F Battery moved to the outskirts of SIDI OMAR and leaguered for the night.

 

 

17/12

 

RHQ & F Bty moved to area 504357 and rejoined HQ 4 Armd Bde.

 

 

 

 

At 1100 hrs F Bty came under command Sp Grp and moved to the area of MUSAID ( ) at 2200 hrs.

 

 

18/12

 

At 0800 hrs RHQ moved with HQ with HQ 4 Armd Bde moved to area 500377 and C Bty leaguered in area BIR GHIRBA (504370).

 

 

19/12

 

F Bty in action and engaged working parties South of BARDIA inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy.

 

 

 

 

Day spent in maintenance.

 

 

20/12

 

Nothing to report – badly needed maintenance done.

 

 

21/12

 

C Bty moved at 0630 hrs to area 491386 and leaguered.

 

469398

21/12

 

For the day, 4 RHA less F Bty came under command 7 Armd Bde. C Bty suffered 1 O.R. killed and 4 O.Ps wounded in heaving bombing attack. A Tp moved at 1700 hrs and came into action in area 484402 in support of 8H.

 

 

 

 

B Tp leaguered for night in area 498392. RHQ at 497385.

 

 

 

 

F Bty came under command 4 Armd Bde and moved to area 800377.

 

 

22/12

 

Nothing outstanding to report. Day spent in maintenance.

 

 

23/12

 

Uneventful day. One bombing raid on H.Q. 7 Armd Bde & RHQ. 10 bombed area and full load dropped but no casualties, but 1 ammunition lorry suffered a direct hit.

 

 

 

 

RHQ moved with HQ 7 Armd Bde to area 494396 at 1900 hrs and leaguered for the night.

 

 

24/12

 

Nothing to report.

 

494396

25/12

 

Quiet and uneventful day. No Christmas Dinners but largely managed to have a good day.

 

 

26/12

 

Nothing to report. F Bty moved back to 6th Australian Division at 1100 hrs and came into action is area 512383. Fired concentrations on Bardia airfields at 1730 hrs.

 

 

27/12

 

F Bty on harassing shoot at 0430 hrs - later several targets engaged and registrations made. RHA and C Bty in leaguer.

 

 

28/12

 

F Bty registering targets on Italian defences. Nothing to report.

 

 

29/12

 

HQ 4 RHA moved with HQ 7 Armd Bde to area 480399. A Tp C Bty remained 484402 with B Tp C Bty 474340 where they leaguered

 

 

30/12

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

31/12

 

Lt Col C.P.B. Wilson RHA relinquishes command of the Regt to take over 3 RHA & Lt Col J.C. Campbell M.C. RHA assumed command. HQ & RHA returned to HQ 4 Armd Bde in area 442394. C Bty moved to area 504398 and leaguered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendices Pending

 

Home 1939 1941 1942
1943 1944 1945 1946
Previous Year Next Year

 

2023 Copyright of  www.desertrats.org.uk