War Diaries of 4th Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

1942

 

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January 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col Currie R.H.A

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

 

1

 

Moved due SOUTH for about 15 miles. No enemy contact.

 

 

2

 

Coln proceed further SOUTH, with Ops in area WELL with WINDPUMP X 6414 and BIR EL FENSCIA X 5318.

 

 

3

 

Enemy withdrew from the area TRIGH EL ABD and took up position AGHELIA-BELANDAH.

 

 

4)

 

Stopped at WELL with WINDPUMP area ; moved out at first light each morning to

 

 

5)

 

harass enemy, returning for night leaguer.

 

 

6

 

Lt.-Col. J.C. Currie, DSO, MC. took up appointment as CRA 1st Armd Div, and Major J.R.C. Christopher, DSO, assumed comd of Regiment and Coln,

 

 

7

 

Enemy withdrew further and Coln proceeded to EL HASEIAT, S 4586, and leaguered for night S 2578.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

No enemy contacted and Coln moved area EM MARSHI, S 0259 - not till 9 Jan. Difficulties experienced with minefields, but no casualties to vehicles or personnel sustained.

 

 

9

 

CURRIE (now called JACK) Coln moved to BETTALFAL B 8355. – 11 Jan.

 

 

10)

11)

 

The Coln moved out in a NE direction and engaged trucks in the BIR ES SUERA area with success.

 

 

12

 

Suffered 3 dive-bombing attacks on the Coln, during the last of which 2/Lieut. P. L. Crane, DSO, was killed.

 

 

13)

 

 

 

 

14)

 

Continued to harass the enemy in same area.

 

 

15)

 

 

 

 

16

 

Certain vehicles were handed over to 2 RHA, the Colns were disbanded; “C” Bty, RHA, returned, and the Regiment was once more together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“C” Bty, RHA, War Diary from 1-15 January, 1942, to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 1942 C Battery RHA

Commanding Officer: 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices

 

1-3   Harassed the enemy from positions near WELL WITH WINDPUMP. Few targets engaged

 

3-4   Bty move 15 miles SW with the intention of harassing behind the main enemy position BELANDAH-AGEDABIA, and came into action, but5 real targets were out of range.

 

  5-6   Two days rest in area WELL WITH WINDPUMP.  

 

7-12   On the enemy vacating their positions around AGEDABIA and BELANDAH, Bty advanced SW. Difficulties experiences with supply, bad going and minefields.

 

 

12-15   Remained in area SW of BIR EL MNEISEI. C 0960.

 

  16   Bty moved back to B Echelon area, where it remained during the sandstorm. Certain vehicles were handed over ; the Coln was disbanded ; and the Bty rejoined the Regt.  
  17-21   The Regt, marched back to GAMBUT on its way back to the DELTA.  
  22   Further march towards DELTA postponed because of a new German threat at AGEDABIA.  
  23-26   Continued the march back to the DELTA, arriving BENI YUSEF at about 1300 hrs on 26 Jan. Complete change of clothing issues to each man and by 1700 hrs most of the personnel were able to leave Camp.  
  27-31   Remained at BENI YUSEF resting and preparing for a move to ALMAYA, re-equipping, etc.  
          

 

 

 

February 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

 1

Captain Howland tool temporary command “C” Bty, RHA, in place of Major G.J.E. Lomas, who went sick.

 1-3

Remained at BENI YUSEF preparing to move to ALMAZA for re-equipping. & c.

 4

The Regt. moved to ALMAZA and became Depot Regiment. This included providing guns for the ranges, demonstrations for the School of Artillery, and other details.

 8

Major H.C. Withers, MC, became second in command. Captain. J.C. Crewe took over temporary command of “F” Bty, RHA.

10

The Regt. attended a parade at KASR-EL-NIL BARRACKS, at which the Victoria Cross as presented to Major-General J.C. Campbell, DCO, MC, by General Sir Claude J.E. Auchinleck, G.C.I.E. C.B., C.S.I., DSO, OBE. Afterwards, Support Group of 7 Armd Div. marched to the Cathedral where a memorial service was held.

26

“F” and “DD” Batteries, RHA held their Christmas dinners at the SLATE CLUB.

27

RHQ and “C” Bty, RHA, held Christmas dinners at the SLATE CLUB. On both occasions the Jerboa Strollers entertained the company/

28

Major-General Campbell was buried.

 

 

 

 

March 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

12

Major G.J.E. Lomas re-assumed command of “C” Bty, RHA.

20

Major D.C.P. Puckle assumed command of “F” Bty, RHA.

24

The Regiment handed over duties of Depot Regt. to 31st Field Regt. RA.

25

The Regiment moved out of ALMAZA and leaguered the night in the area of AMIRYA. A very bad dust-storm was blowing all day.

27

The march continued, and the Regiment spent the night in the area of BUQ BUQ.

28

The Regiment arrived in the area if BIR EL GRAZA, having reached the top of the escarpment, by way of SOLLUM PASS, at 1740 hrs. We then settled down in the area for a period of training.

31

Individual training was interrupted by a Brigade scheme designed to practice the forming of a Brigade “box”. A very bad sandstorm did not help in the success of the scheme

 

 

 

 

April 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

1-11

Regimental training continued. Batteries fired two practice camps during this period. A demonstration was also laid on in which “F” Bty. RHA, supported an attack by Infantry carriers.

3

A Rhodesian A/Tk Bty from Northumberland Hussars joined the Regiment, commanded by Major R.A. Wyrley-Birch. A troop worked with each Bty, and Bty HQ remained at RHQ.

12

The Regiment moved to Pt 184 in the area of BIR EL GUBI. Training continued

22

Columns were formed – July Column, under command of Major H.C. Withers, MC, RHA, and one Coy 2 RB ; and August Column, under command of Major the Hon. M.G. Edwards, with “C” Bty, RHA and one Coy 2 RB. Both columns operated in the area SW of SEGNALI. “DD” Bty RHA, were left in the area f GUBI to continue training.

 

Libya

22

The Regiment split up into columns and while on column work the diaries of the batteries are given separately

 

23

F Battery RHA. Bty with 2 R.B. in JULY COLUMN under command of Major H.C. Withers, MC, RHA, relieve Free French Force Column.

24

Full recce of area 4285 carried out.

25

Column attacked early by enemy force fairly strong in tanks and withdrew SE to 6111 where Bty came into action. Later in the daytime column advanced to 6215.

26

Battery in action just east of Mud pan. Advanced several miles during day returned to leaguer at 6111.

27

Column moved westwards. Battery in action just East of Mudpan and drove an enemy column off to NW.

28.

In actions first light 5212. Later moved to 4820.

29

Battery attacked by enemy column of a few tanks and armoured cars, which were successfully driven off.

30.

In actions at West end of mudpan. Large enemy column advanced as far as edge of mudpan then sheered off west and northwest.

DD Bty RHA.

23

Training Area EL GUBI.

25.

Battery moved Soith of BIR HACHEIM. “D” Troop moves independently toa assist 4 SAAC Armd Cars in their role of harassing the enemy between ROTUNDA MTEIFEL and ROTUNDA SEGNALI/

26

C Troop moved to support 12 Lancers. SW. SEGNALI. Split into sections but did not come into action.

27/28.

Some engagements with enemy columns with C Troop operating as two sections.

29

Battery harassing enemy movements in area 2004 – 2020 and 4004 – 5080.

C Troop Left Section has successful open sight action with enemy column of a few tanks and armoured cars later known as “THUGS” Column.

30

In action area 4508; fired on working parties and patrols. D Troop had a successful week operating with the 4 SAAC and established firm friendship with them.

 

22 - 30.

C BATTERY RHA.

The Battery was operating in the WADI MARA as the left flank Column of 30 CORPS. There was very little action during this period.

   

 

 

 

 

May 1943

Commanding Officer: J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

        Place                      Date           Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

                                        Libya 1st May 43

The Regiment split into columns and whilst on Column work the diaries of the batteries are give separately

 

C Battery RHA

 

                                      1st May 43

                                      to 14 May 43

The Battery was operating in the WADI MARA as the left flank Column of 30 Corps. There was little action during this period.

 

                                      16th May 43

                                      to 26 May 43

Period of training and digging gun pits. On 23 May 43 B Troop went to the sea for 48 hours, followed by A Troop on 25 May 43.

 

                                      26 May / 27th

The enemy attacked during the night. O.Ps were soon driven inside the perimeter after a considerable amount of shooting. Enemy infantry and Antitank Guns appeared on B Troops position, the first warning that there had been a break through. They were engaged until ammunition ran out, when the Troop was surround and captured. A Troop returned with all speed from the sea to find B Troop overrun and the “box” being evacuated. The Troop collected their vehicles from the box and withdrew with the remainder of 7th Motor Brigade. For collecting ammunition from the “box” under heavy fire. Captain J.A.T. Sharpe. Was awarded the M.C.

 

 

B.S.M Johnson was awarded the M.M. for rescuing three men from a blazing lorry. The Columns were reformed with C Battery RHA and 2 R.B. as MARCH Column, F Battery RHA with 9 K.R.R.C. as JULY Column and DD Battery RHA with 2 K.R.R.C. as AUGUST Column.

 

                                      28th and 29th

                                      May 1943

7 Motor Bde moved N & W to area SIDI MUFTAH, role being to protect supply dumps. Guns in action at SIDI REZEGH facing SW – no firing.

 

                                      30 May 43.

MARCH Column advanced along TOBRUK by pass through EL ADEM. Fired at enemy vicinity KNIGHTSBRIDGE BOX.

 

                                      31 May 43.

Column advanced WEST. A Troop had a good shoot at MET resulting on Capture of 5 Mark III Tanks. Night March SE in open formation.

 

 

 

 

 

F Battery RHA

 

LIBYA                          1st May 43.

MET engaged near ASIDA in the WADI MRA. Troop positions shelled but no casualties.

 

                                      2nd

Enemy Column of a few A.Cars portees light antitank guns and field guns called “Thug” parties very active.

 

                                      3rd

Quiet day – after THUG Parties had been driven off.

 

                                      4th to 6th

Also quiet days. Heavy dust storms

 

                                      7th

Thug parties active.

 

                                      8th to 12th.

Fairly quiet – THUG Parties unsuccessfully attempting to ambush O.Ps.

 

 

Rumours of Battery being relieved.

 

                                      13th

Capt J. Barton hasa very successful day driving off O.P. and also enemy Battery.

 

                                      14th

B Battery RHA took over from the Battery – moved to 383369.

 

                                      15th to 18th.

Battery at the sea – Jerboa Bay near TOBRUK. Resting and maintaining.

 

                                      19th

Suddenly recalled to Column work.

 

                                      20th.

Relieved B Battery and had to split column. One active Troop North engaging SEGNALI, The other resting and observing on F Track.

 

 

Main Column command by Major Loder Symonds, the Northern Column by Major Puckle.

 

                                      23rd.

G Troop relieve F Troop in Nirthern Column. Large quantities of MET observed in SEGNALI area.

 

                                      25th.

Major Withers relieved Major Loder-Symonds in Command of Column.

 

                                      26th.

Heavy movement East of SEGNALI in later afternoon. Enemy Column engaged by G Troop while Column withdrew. Germans continued advancing after dark.

 

 

S.A. A/Cs continually in contact.

 

                                      27th.

Moved to GUBI – out of contact all afternoon. Leaguered BIR EL DLEUA S.E. of GUBI.

 

                                      28th.

Confused day – ordered to protect FMC buy given wrong location. Leaguered near BEL HAMED attacked by ME 110s in leaguer.

 

 

 

 

LIBYA.                         29 May 43.

Column moved North down escarpment and west across EL ADEM -nTOBRUK road.

 

                                      30th.

In action firing SW, north of BIR EL LGALA 380380. Engaged Columns moving NW capturing prisoners and M.T. Ordered to captured or destroy German Tank Repair shop at LGALA.

 

                                      31st.

After several Battery concentrations enemy evacuated position. Column moved SW round BIR HACHEIM.

 

 

 

 

May 1943 DD Bty RHA 

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

1st May 43.

to 2nd

Moved back to RHQ 4 Regt RHA ara at 7511 - Maintenance..

3rd to 15th

Harassing enemy was battery's role from static positions 6440.
  No attacked on position. With 2 KRRC 1 Troop 170 Lt AA Bty and a Troop of 95 A.Tank Battery formed March Column under command of Lieut-Colonel, SISMAY

16th to 24th.

Battery resting at the sea at JERBOA BAY, near TOBRUK - one troop at a time. Two Free French Officers attached to Battery for a week.  

24th

Relieved E Battery, 1 RHA in AUGUST Column.  

26th.

Large enemy movement in later afternoon East towards MTEIFEL. Bty moved in stages through night in area 380840/  

27th.

Dropped into actiob EL GUBL, awaited information. At nightfall moved to area 442383 to protect FMC.  

28th.

Enemy E and NE of EL ADEM. Remained in over-night position to await orders. Move 423401 ; no sign of enemy. Moved W but no contact made with enemy.  

29th.

Remained 423399 on wheels ; later came into action in area 394418 and engaged enemy moving SE to NW. Leaguer area bombed that night.  

30th,

In action slightly W of previous day's position. Moved W and SW to KNIGHTSBRIDGE area. In action against enemy on MTEIFEL RIDGE.  

 

Leaguer area again bombed.  

31st.

Bty back in reserve. Night march to BIR HACHEIM.  
     

 

NB. Although the above state  43, the events are for 1942.

Appendices pending

 

June 1942

Missing, but Diaries for C, F and DD Battery are included in Regiment's Diaries, as the Batteries were operating independantly.

 

 

June 1942 - "C" Bty

Commanding Officer: 

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

                1 June.

Reached area S of MTEIFEL at dawn; fired at Echelons all day, causing much damage.

                2

Lt.Col J.R. Christopher, D.S.O., R.H.A. took over the Column; in same position firing North.

                3

Battery engaged enemy South of HACHEIM.

                4

In action same area; dispersed enemy Column advancing S from due North of us.

                5

Enemy Northern Column reinforces; successfully engaged by Bty: Bty forced to withdraw when attacked by large tank column which eventually linked up with Northern Column

                6

Shot all day with some success at Columns North of us attacking HACHEIM.

                7

Escorted water and ammunition convoys at HACHEIM by night.

                8

SIDI GIADALLA O.P. heavily shelled. Bty engaged tanks and MET near HACHEIM.

                9

Column Echelon straffed by M.Es

              10

Free French due to evacuate HACHEIM to-night; Bty to give covering fire.

              11

Many survivors collected from HACHEIM and sent off on RASC convoy.

Column ordered to withdraw West. Leaguered 402362.

              12

In action 407395; shelled MET moving East.

              13

In action same area; successful shelling of enemy Columns.

              14 

In reserve: maintenance and rest S of BIR BENIAL 406884.

              15

In action near GERADEL : shelling of large enemy Columns moving East.

Salvaged many derelict vehicles both British and German.

              16

GERADEL area again. Targets of MET now widely dispersed.

              18

Ordered into reserve again but came into action at 415386, enemy being engaged at GUBI.

              19

Found GUBI clear of enemy. Ordered to assist in repelling heavy attack on TOBRUK as soon as possible. Concentrations engaged on EL ADEM aerodrome.

              20

GERADEL area again. Targets of MET now widely dispersed.

              21 June

Concentrations in EL ADEM area again engaged. Light enemy forces approached O.Ps and Troop Positions and driven off.

              22

On wheels at 472332.

              23

Moved through wire Gap 66, into action. Large enemy forces approached Gaps. Column ordered to withdraw; moved 38 miles on 115°.

              24

Moved all day.

              25

Enemy Column leaguered less than a mile away. “F” Troop came into action scoring many “Brews”. Column moved to QUARET SALIB South of KE NAYIS

              26

Moved 2½ miles N, and came into action in good covered position. Engaged enemy Column in late afternoon.

              27

Engaged enemy Column just breaking leaguer. Tanks attacked the Bty position ; withdrew while 4 Armd Bde and 22 Armd Bde engaged tanks, until suddenly called to rescue New Zealanders further East. Move a new mile S East of KHALDA.

              28

Moved East all day. In action near dummy minefield 785297.

              29

In action 783293; engaged and halted a Column trying to adv S

Towards evening large enemy Column advanced East and we had to withdraw.

              30

Move about 25 miles East ; came into action firing East and fired a large number of rounds into enemy leaguer.

   

 

 

 

June 1942 - "F" Battery, RHA, 4th Regiment, RHA 

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

              1st June.

Reached area S of MTEIFEL at dawn; fired at Echelons all day, causing much damage.

              2nd

Lt.Col J.R. Christopher, D.S.O., R.H.A. took over the Column; in same position firing North.

              3rd

Battery engaged enemy South of HACHEIM.

              4th

In action same area; dispersed enemy Column advancing S from due North of us.

              5th

Enemy Northern Column reinforces; successfully engaged by Bty: Bty forced to withdraw when attacked by large tank column which eventually linked up with Northern Column

              6th

Shot all day with some success at Columns North of us attacking HACHEIM.

              7th

Escorted water and ammunition convoys at HACHEIM by night.

              8th

SIDI GIADALLA O.P. heavily she lled. Bty engaged tanks and MET near HACHEIM.

              9th

Column Echelon straffed by M.Es

            10th

Free French due to evacuate HACHEIM to-night; Bty to give covering fire.

            11th

Many survivors collected from HACHEIM and sent off on RASC convoy.

Column ordered to withdraw West. Leaugured 402362.

            12th 

In action 407395; shelled MET moving East.

            13th

In action same area; successful shelling of enemy Columns.

            14th 

In reserve: maintenance and rest S of BIR BENIAL 400384.

            15th

In action near GERADEL : shelling of large enemy Columns moving East.

Salvaged many derelict vehicles both British and German.

            16th

Same area : engaged large enemy tank Column due East

            18th

GERADEL area again. Targets of MET now widely dispersed.

            19th

Ordered into reserve again but came into action at 415358, enemy being engaged at GUBI.

            20th June.

Found GUBI clear of enemy. Ordered to assist in repelling heavy attack on TOBRUK as soon as possible. Concentrations engaged on EL ADEM aerodrome.

            21st

Concentrations in EL ADEM area again engaged. Light enemy forces approached O.Ps and Troop Positions and driven off.

            22nd

On wheels at 472339.

            23rd

Moved through wire Gap 66, into action. Large enemy forces approached Gaps. Column ordered to withdraw; moved 38 miles on 115°.

            24th

Moved all day.

            25th

Enemy Column leaguered less than a mile away. “F” Troop came into action scoring many “Brews”. Column moved to QUARET SA’IB South of KENAYIS

            26th

Moved 2½ miles N, and came into action in good covered position. Engaged enemy Column in late afternoon.

            27th

Engaged enemy Column just breaking leaguer. Tanks attacked the Bty position ; withdrew while 4 Armd Bde and 22 Armd Bde engaged tanks, until suddenly called to rescue New Zealanders further East. Move a new mile S East of KHALDA.

            28th

Moved East all day. In action near dummy minefield 785297.

            29th

In action 783293; engaged and halted a Column trying to advance SOUTH.

Towards evening large enemy Column advanced East and we had to withdraw.

            30th

Move about 28 miles East ; came into action firing East and fired a large number of rounds into enemy leaguer.

   

 

 

 

June 1942 - "DD" Battery 

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

                  1st June.

Moved to area ROTUNDA MTEIFEL and came into action. Later moved W, in action B 19 firing N. Good targets of MT and guns engaged,

                  2nd

Move W and in action at B 24. BIR HACHEIM being attacked from SE and Bty was ordered to the area to aid Free French. Thick duststorm hindered movement.

                  3rd

Bty in action against enemy guns at 367370. Fired East all day. Moved three miles W to leaguer in evening.

                  4th

Bty back in action in same area. OPs had trouble all day from enemy a/cs. Bty ended up in area 3536.

                  5th

In action 359375. Much firing ENE. Gun positions heavily shelled and force to move back 1000 yards.

                  6th

Move forward : came into action 358365. Frequent targets. Much enemy movement in preparation for attack on HACHEIM.

                  7th

In action same area. Not much shelling : rather a quiet day.

                  8th

Gun area 370368. Intermittent enemy shelling. OP and a-tk escort attacked by 4 Folkswagen who were driving off after one had been knocked out.

                  9th

Fairly quiet morning. Bty moved fwd to 370388 to support tanks : put down intermittent barrage for about an hour. HACHEIM heavily attacked and bombed.

                10th

Same positions. Some enemy shelling with single gun. HACHEIM to be evacuated tonight.

                11th

In action SW of previous position. Enemy a/cs and guns engaged.

Bty move to 394352 firing W.

                12th 

Rest and maintenance in area 394352.

                13th

Bty moved into action 401394, prepared to engage large enemy column moving SE. Enemy gun position and small party of enemy tanks engaged with some success.

                14th 

Moved fwd to 41 Grid. Many derelicts about. Guns moved N, in action 390408. Enemy attack on ACROMA.

                15th

In action at 406402. Engage large enemy column. Bty withdrew to 402346. Large enemy column, incl 80 tanks, then moved S. Bty moved to 412397, engage enemy with ineffective reply from the enemy. Attack on EL ADEM developing. Finally at 421388.

                16th

In action at 425381. Considerable haze – not much firing. “D” Trp A/Tk gunners very active against enemy a/cs.

                17th

Fwd into action 435375. Engage parties of enemy. Engaged enemy column escorts by Mk IV tks. Battle developing to NE, moved back E about 12 miles.

                18th

In action at 435375. Ops and gun positions shelled by MkIVs and 105 mm guns. Bty moved to area 457369. C Tp moved fwd to shell enemy concentration. Back eight miles to leaguer.

                19th

Move into action 462371 ; quiet morning. Large columns moving along TRIGH CAPUZZO and E and S of EL GUBI.

                 2oth

Occupied same gun position – did not fire. Moved W to 461379 and then N to 469389, and again to 465395. No firing.

                21st.

Started morning in action at 448395, then moved to 439399. No firing. Moved off on long march S, then SE to pick up Echelon.

                22nd.

Into action 483363. Quiet day until evening when enemy column engaged by Bty. Shelled gun position. Move S throughout the night : uncertainty as to enemy’s location made progress difficult.

                23rd.

In action close to enemy at 483347 : engaged 100 MT, also guns. Withdrew through frontier wire at EL BEDA gap. Engage enemy column advancing along wire. Withdrew E and marched through the night : reached area 5330.

                24

Enemy still close. Bty went into action in area 545304. Echelon at last arrived, after being attacked in leaguer moved to area 588320.

Engage concentration of 1000 MT. Bty moved back to 612328. Again engaged enemy column. Then moved S three miles into action : no firing.

                25

Bty moved off E, in action 675816. Moved back two miles to leaguer.

                26

Moved SE at first light, then back into action 695298, but did not fire, In action again at 685203, engaged targets to NW. Shelled column of three thousand MT, which moved off W. Sound of tk battle to N. Moved ESE for 15 miles.

                28.

Moved 35 miles E to 776283. A quiet day.

                29

Moved W into action 768282, then on to 754285. Engaged 100 MT.

                30

Started out W, but ordered to go ESE. Reached edge of QATTARA depression, turned N attempting to link up with 7 Motor Bde.

Reached 825262, then on again in moonlight, hurrying to get E of EL ALAMEIN line.

   

 

 

July 1942

Missing, but Diaries for C, F and DD Battery are included in Regiment's Diaries, as the Batteries were operating independantly

 

 

4th REGIMENT RHA

C BATTERY RHA JULY. 1942

Commanding Officer: 

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

EGYPT. 1st July 42

EL ALAMEIN

Formed up as a Briigade and prepared to make a push through to the ALAMEIN LINE. 3000 MET reported between the Brigade and the ALAMEIN LINE but the Brigade marched all day and reached the line by evening without encountering any enemy

2nd and 3rd.

Moved NE 16 miles, the N, finally WEST. In action at Pt.102 but did not fire

4th

Heavy armoured battle on RUWEISAT RIDGE – joined in from the SOUTH but very little firing due to bad observation and extreme range.

5th

Move NW. O.Ps covering RUWEISAT RIDGE – very little targets.

6th

Battery moved WEST from Pt.102 – in action near the “CHARNEL HOUSE” where the New Zealanders had broken up an Italian Leaguer on previous day.

7th

Again in action SOUTH of the “CHARNEL HOUSE”. One OP almost on RUWEISAT RIDGE, the other on Pt.102. Fired most of the day at men and guns on RUWEISAT RIDGE.

8th.

Moved first light to cover the withdrawal of the New Zealanders from their box at QUARET EL ABD. One O.P. went towards Pt 64 and the other WEST of the box towards EL MREIR. Latter driven into box during the morning by M.13’s. Enemy occupied the box after the Column R.E.s has destroyed the dumps.

 

The Battery engaged the enemy heavily during the morning and in the afternoon withdrew to positions in DEIR MUNASSIB. Just before last light the Battery had a good shoot on enemy tanks on the high ground at the Eastern End of the Box and continued firing into the Box most of the night.

9th.

Both O.Ps at Pt 104. Good shooting at enemy advancing towards O.Ps. Large enemy column moved NORTH from TA QA. Guns moved into “LOB BOWLERS ALLEY” and OPS moved SOUTH to deal with this threat.

 

The Column engaged this attack with all available arms for the rest of the day and stopped it completely 2000 yards from the guns. This must have been one of the most successful actions fought by the Battery as the attacking force consisted of at least three strong German battle groups.

 

Battlegroups/ including tanks

10th.

After dark (night 9.10) column withdrew DEIR ROHL, spent the following day resting.

11th to

Column in action North and North-West on HIMEIMAT harassing enemy

18th July

Recce elements. On 16th enemy advanced with two columns from KALAKH

19th. to

Battery rested in the western end of DEIR MUHAFID.

24th July.

 

25th.

)

to.

) Battery in action Western end of DEIR MUHAFID.

31st July.

)

   

 

 

 

F BATTERY, RHA, JULY 1942 

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

EGYPT. EL ALAMEIN 1st.

 Move SE remaining on wheels. Fire at enemy tank attack with O.Ps N.E. of QUATTARA BOX being occupied by New Zelanders

2nd..

 Moved to QARET HIMEIMAT. Joined with 1st and 2nd Regts RHA and engaged the enemy.

3rd.

 Came into action about 10 miles North; drove enemy back a bit along RUWEISAT RIDGE. Captain J.R. Barton. MC. RHA. was killed. Leaguered in DEIR MUHAFID.

 4th.

 In action in same areal salvaged equipment from New Zealand “brewings” of previous day.

5th.

 Started in action in same area, the moved WEST into N.Z. BOX. A quiet day on the whole

6-7th.

 In action in the same area,.

8th.

 Semi-reserve – moved SSW towards Ti Qi Plateau.

9th.

 Moved WEST towards KHARTIZI, fairly successful engagement with small Italian Column; withdrew. QARET ELABI BOX evacuated and destroyed,

10th. 

 In action SE of QARET EL ABD. Gun positions often shelled during the day.

 In the late afternoon enemy attempted to advance on plain N. of KAKAKH.

 Firing together with C Battery and a Medium Regiment advance was halted.

11th.

 In action about 3 miles east. Lieut A. A

12th.

 In action just West of and very close to HIMEIMAT. O.Ps on ridge and on rise in the plain. A few rounds landed close to Troops but no casualties.

13th.

 Disappointing day. Good O.Ps and Good Troop positions with APRIL COLUMN (104 RHA) close behind us, but we were unable to cope with the two light armoured column which attacked in the afternoon, the main party north of the Ti Qi Ridge and a group of tanks and armoured cars from the south/ Our R.Ns were almost all down on the Qattara depression escarpment guarding telephone lines.

Lost Sgt Ellis’s OP truck and retired in bounds of 1000 yards under shellfire for about 2 miles having abandoned HIMEIMAT

                                    14th July.

Broke leaguer at about 0420 hrs and F Troop went forward to shoot enemy off HIMEIMAT over open sights. Major Pretty and his RB carriers were to attack at night but were not successful and after firing for hour column was ordered to move 6 miles on 50 degrees. Rhodesian A.Tk guns had a very gallant own shoot against enemy leaguer, NW of HIMEIMAT, hitting a lot of MET and two guns but losing one portee. Finished the day in reserve.

15th.

Moved 5 miles on 310 degrees to 888263. Confuse situation with very open left flank. Light shelling on arrival. F Troop into action in MUHAFIA and G just south of it. Fired very successfully SW and drive enemy screen S of DEIR ALLINDA and westwards, hitting one A/T lorry and capturing two guns and a German WO. Captain Greenfield again. O.Ps finished day with a few cruiser and Honey tanks on southern lip of DEIR ALLINDA. New Zealanders heavily bombed in MUHAFID - they got dispersed as widely as the Columns.

16th.

Pushed further West and secured much better observation. Captured abandoned 15-cwt

17th.

Still further west_in action at 877263 . One Coy of R.Bs has left column to rest and refit and we have no replacements yet.

18th.

In action in DERI ALLINDA again. Colonel Christopher and his entire RHQ staff leave tomorrow to reorganise, and Major Puckle is to take over column. Lt Booth (the “General”) becomes Column Staff officer and the Column is an almost entirely “F” Battery affair - only Signals remaining from RHQ.

Two new officers Lieut S.R.G. Whetham and Lieut E.L. Rowan arrived. Quiet day. OPs got shelled but only a very few rounds arrived in Battery area.

20 – 21st.

Same area – less activity. Our counter-attack in SOUTH on TiQHi plateau only partial success but HIMEIMAT is now held by us.

22nd. July.

Column HQ moved to area EAST of Pt 101 at western end of ALLINDA

Good general Command of OP areas. One rd landed 15 yds from a/c.

23rd.

Same area. Troops are only shelled very occasionally, and our targets are harder to find. Enemy clearly digging in and means to hold ABD BOX Our attacks in NORTH are not very successful – New Zealander doing magnificent work north of ALAM NYAL

24th.

Moved one mile east of gun position in MUNASSIB. “C” Battery took over our positions and we remained on wheels

25th.

88342629. MUNASSIB. Day of rest and maintenance. Squadron of tanks (“HYPPO” Major Forster of 1 RTR came i/c column and C Coy RBs also arrived. Column nearly 900 strong again.

26th.

Tanks left us and column was ordered to relieve a strong 4 A.B. Column at HIMEIMAT. Tremendous rush. 11 Hussars and 3 RHA in great haste to go. Troop positions shelled and OPs very difficult. Going appalling - very soft sand

27th.

Column HQ is at the O.P. of 13th July the main ridge west of HIMEINET and a 20ft climb gives as good command as either O.P. Battery is on firmer ground 1000 yards further east than 3 RHA area. Brigadier Boswell called and found column ridiculously inaccessiable but on being shown the view seemed rather pleased.

28th.

Same area. F Troop shelled but no casualties. Captain Greenfield went sick with a boil and high fever. Column relieved again by 3 RHA and at 1900 hrs we moved NE to MUNASSAIB for two days rest.

29/30/31st.

In reserve at 884262.

   

 

 

DD Battery RHA JULY 1942

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

EGYPT. EL ALAMEIN. 1st

Halted a mile South of New Zealand Box at QARET EL ABD; preparing to remain on their southern flank, but Column ordered SE to take up position near HIMEIMAT.

2nd..

Role of Column was to act as rearguard for that part of of Eighth Army scheduled to withdraw to CAIRO down the barrel track in the event of a breakthrough in the North.

3rd

Ordered to move North about Mid-day after 24 hours out of action on Barrel Track. In action South of JULY COLUMN (425265).

 4th to 7th.

In action SOUTH of Pt. 98 (861269) role, harassing Northwars. New Zealanders wiped out an Italian Leaguer capturing about 40 guns.

8th.

New Zealanders took over role of Column at Pt. 98. Column moved about 10 miles SOUTH preparing for a long march WEST.

9th.

Role of Column was to go West to Pt 108 (880278) contact and engage the enemy. Meanwhile the Sappers from MARCH COLUMN were blowing up dumps in the New Zealand BOX at QARET EL ABD. Battery had an exciting morning engaging tanks, chiefly Italian, both open sight and observed shooting.

By Midday a heavy attack had developed to the WEST, which force the Column to withdraw. During the afternoon both troops were firing WEST, leaguering back EAST as the enemy infantry advances along the ridge running SE from KALAKH. During the night the Battery put down harassing fire. For his action during the day as OP Officer particularly against the tanks during the morning, Lieut A.A. Banks. RHA was awarded the MC.

10th. 

Thing morning with the enemy installed on GEBEL KALAKH the Battery was forces to move from one positions to another through shell-fire.

Eventually it moved NORTH and came into action in a crowded position among JULY COLUMN. The Column was heavily shelled during the day. About an hour before dark as infantry and tank attack developed and the battery had some excellent targets. By dark the attach was definitely repulsed. There followed an appalling march to the leaguer area through very soft sands.

11th

Battery moved NORTH towards to Pt 98 to protect left flank of the New Zealanders, but did not come into action,

12th.

Battery in action (861269) SOUTH of Pt 98 firing harassing shoots against MET and tanks.

13th.

The Column was visited by the Corps Commander (13 Corps). General Gott and Major-General Renton, the Divisional Commander

13 - 16th.

For these three days the Battery had a very quiet period in this area during them has as guests two War Correspondents from “PARADE”. The result of their visit was an excellent article on AUGUST COLUMN.

17 - 25th.

Column moved WEST in the depression DEIR EL ANGER (875267) and spent the period harassing the enemy in the old NZ BOX QARET EL ABD.

25th.

At last light the Battery fired a series of concentration in support of a highly successful attack by a fighting patrol from 2nd Rifle Brigade on an Italian post at 868268.

27th.

Column spend two days in the area at Pt 116 (879267) then returned to DEIR EL ANGER for five uneventful days, until the end of the mouth.

     

 

 

August 1942

Missing, but Diaries for C, F and DD Battery are included in Regiment's Diaries, as the Batteries were operating independantly

 

 

C Battery RHA.

August 1942

Commanding Officer: 

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

DEIR EL MUHAFID. 1 - 13 Battery resting in western end of DEIR EL MUHAFID. Battery in action.  
EGYPT

OPs overlooking NZ Box and North and KALAKH and TAQA to the south.

 
  Defensive position of minefield and barbed wire constructed.  
  Limited amount of ammunition fired at enemy infantry positions, OPs, Guns and Transport daily  
     

13th - 20th

MARCH Column moved back 3 miles into reserved, Came under Command of the GREYS  
     

20th – 31st.

Battery came under command of 7 R.B. in a reformed MARCH Column. 2 RB joined F Battery in JULY Column. Column was in reserve North of DEIR RAGIL.  
  Period spend in training  
     

31st

At 0100 hrs enemy attacked. Two forward Columns withdrew behind MARCH Column, who engaged large concentrations of MET and tanks in DEIR RAGIL;  
  During the night the enemy turned north and Column withdrew EAST.  
     

 

 

 

F BATTERY, RHA, AUGUST 1942 

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

DEIR ALLINDI. 1st.

 Ordered to relieved August just North of DIER ALLINDA.

                        EGYPT.

 Expect to be relieved ourselves in four days by 104 RHA and Regiment is to go to the sea.

2nd.

 Took over from August column . Foul area - worst flies ever. Difficult OPs which were heavily shelled if any movement takes place.

 3rd.

 Depressing day. Everyone disappointed we have missed our trip to the sea. Flies are appaling. Little activity on the front but OP areas accurately shelled.

4th to 9th.

 Same area and same flies. It ha been decided to lay minefields and prepare to defend the area -a continuous line from the NZ area at ALAM AYAL to DD Battery’s Column in MUNASSIB and DEIR ALLINDA. Column Commanding is definitely a job for an Infantry Battalion commander now. Fixed defences, AntiTank guns dug in or portees dug in complete. Alternative positions for anti-tank guns and 25 pdrs were recced and dug and a withdrawal route with successive positions was also fully prepared. Very had work indeed and a great responsibility as a German attack is expected any day now and our role is last man last round and yet we are still expected to withdraw a fighting force.

                                                             10th.

 Major. John Wainwright at present 2nd in Command 4 Regt RHA is due to take over Column shortly, Another minefield was finished today.

10th. – 15th.

 Major. J, Wainwright took over. A third and finally a fourth minefield was laid. All positions surveyed and on the same grid. Everyone working very hard indeed. Moon getting up. Enemy shelling of OPs diminishing. Heavy concentrations by and the New Zealanders.

16th.

 Visited by Army Commander, Corps Cmdr, and 1st Armd Div Comd (General Montgomery, General Horrocks and General Briggs. All seemed pleased and confident we should hold the expected German push.

EGYPT. 17th to 24th. 

 Visited by War Correspondents who toured the OPs and got the General, the Major and Lieut E.D. Bowman to make a “recording “ of column work.

 Positions nearing completion and work and anxiety lessening. Attack now expected daily. Moon nearly full. Column has become a 2 RB column under Col. V.B. Turner’ command - an excellent arrangement.

26th.

Captain G. Maitland left us for Junior Staff Course - a great loss. But we hope to get Alastair Banks from DD Battery to take over “G” Troop.

27th.

Abnormally quiet. OPs hardly bothered. The “high-ups” hope the Germans will not attack this month as next month we shall be so very much stronger.

28th.

Quieter still. Captain A.A. Banks joined us and took over. We have had to give up a splendid Marmon in exchange. We have now one Honey, one carrier, one Marmon, and my old Marmon. For a wheeled Carrier.

29th.

Moonlight church service in leaguer. Guns remain in action in battle positions and we leaguer between the troop positions. Only one Troop fires each day moving up to sniping position after light and returning before dark.

30th.

Very quiet day. NZs are always staging attacks and have a Battalion “do” on for tonight. At about 2120 the NZ barrage began and 2200 a fair number of shells arrived, close to the leaguer area. A few big ones just to the North and a very violent concentration between us and “B” Coy.

Verey lights everywhere. Col Turner and the Major went to “B” Coy who were shelled but not heavily most of the night. 18 enemy tanks. and infantry penetrated minefields opposite C Coy sector. Reports came in that no attack had developed on N Zs but that the Indians further north had to withdraw slightly and that a heavy attack had develop north of HIMEIMAT.

We fired - observed by moonlight and predicted most of the night, and A Coy carriers did great deal of damage with MG fire.

EGYPT. 30/31.

Shortly after first light column was ordered to withdraw behind second minefield.

Disappointing. Troops moved back to recced positions and fired a fair amount but soon Column was ordered to move back at one to our re-organisation RV at 438872. Uneventful march though tanks were reported as through al minefields N of HIMEIMAT and well to our east.

Battery came into action with OPs at western Pt 78 and Pt 83 and fired all afternoon on grand targets. Enemy in enormous numbers and quite tightly packed. On nearing OP area they moved NE up Telegraph Line.

Leaguered two miles East.

   

 

 

August 1942 DD Battery RHA

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

DEIR EL MUHAFI. 1 -3 Aug Column went into reserved position for 10 days North or Deir el Muhafi 18892651 under Command ROYAL SCOTS GREYS  

           EGYPT

   
13th August column relieved by March Column in DEIR EL MUNASSIB.  

 17th.

There was a lack of good targets during this period. General B.L. Montgomery, the new Army Commander visited the column twice.

30th.

 Major-General Maxwell. MGRA Middle East, visited the Battery during the day.

During the night 30/31 August the enemy attacked, and the Battery fired SOS Tasks all night on to and in front of the minefield.

31st.

Until 0900 hrs the battery remained in position diring continuously at the advancing enemy tho the O.Ps were forces to come in closed to the guns.

By this time the enemy had driven a wedge in the minefields south of the column and a strong force of tanks was SE of the Battery. While the Column was withdrawing this task force started to turn NORTH but before it could cut the column off halted for a brew. Battery withdrew to positions in area 435868, no contact with enemy until dark.

   

 

 

 


September 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

1 Sept

 

 

After withdrawing yesterday F Bty and DD Bty came into action in the area 454868 in support of their two Battalions : only allowed to advance to within range about midday. Great deal of firing during the afternoon at targets of bunched MT. RAF scored many hits. C Bty in reserve in front of Bde (460870).

 

 

 

 

RHQ with Mn Bde HQ at ALAM EL FAR (463870). Role of the Motor Bde, with the Regt in support, was of delaying and harassing the enemy columns.

See 7 M.B. O.O. No.31.

 

2-3

 

F and DD Batteries pushing forward in support of their respective Battalions along the line of 870 Grid. Excellent targets of MT grouped together. Many “brews” scored. RAF cause terrific havoc. C Bty still remained in reserve.

 

 

4

 

Batteries in action any of DER EL RAGIL. Many more good targets successfully engage. Enemy appeared to have withdrawn West at last light.

 

 

5

 

Excellent day, superb targets of MT leaving western end of RAGIL engaged. During the day Capt. A.A. Banks, F Bty, captured 40 prisoners and 12 trucks in RAGIL at the tail of our enemy columns attacking MK IV’ were driven off by his 6-pdrs.

 

 

6

 

F Bty in action 891259; DD Bty 424868 in RAGIL. Ground re-taken littered with enemy derelicts of every description, many of them British- captured earlier in the summer. C Bty was still in reserve 441869 near Bde and RHQ at 443869.

 

 

 

 

Guns from 97 Field Regt and 64 Med Regt in action in same area as F Bty.

 

 

7

 

Enemy back along eastern end of MUNASSIB. Batteries in action in the same areas. Great congestion with masses of guns on the ground.

 

 

8

 

Enemy definitely halted along the line of our minefields and digging in. Comparatively quiet day, with Batteries in same areas.

 

 

9-11

 

All Batteries in action, same areas : other Batteries from other Regts in action nearby, making area extremely crowded. Major Puckle went on leave and Major Wainwright took over command of F Bty.

 

 

11

 

7 Motor Bde and ourselves ordered to hand over areas and move to rest area.

 

 

 

 

The Rhodesian Anti-tank Bty left us to form part of an Anti-tank Regt, much to our regret.

See 7 M.B. O.O. No.33.

 

12

 

The Regt handed over as ordered and moved back to rest area East of BURG EL ARAB on the sea at 485925. A filthy march owing to dust-storms.

See 7 M.B. O.O. No.34.

 

12-19

 

A week spent in very pleasant surroundings, fig-groves and palm trees. Bathing was greatly appreciated by everybody. Maintenance and painting of vehicles was carried out during the week.

 

 

16

 

The Regt, together with the rest of Motor Bde, was visited by Lt-General MONTGOMERY, GOC EIGHTH ARMY. A very successful inspection.

 

 

19

 

Moved to training area with Motor Bde, under comd 10 Armoured Div at 508858 West of WADI MATRUH.

 

 

21

 

Ordered to move under comd 1 Armd Div to standing camp at KHATATNA to train.

 

 

 

 

Major Wainwright posted to 7 Med Regt ; Major R A Eden, DSO, assumed comd of Regt.

 

 

22

 

Regt moved to KHATATBA : leaguered for night near road 2 miles West of Kilo 60.

 

 

23

 

Moved to camp KHATATBA. Spent day erecting tents and getting camp in order.

 

 

23 Sept

9 Oct

-

In camp at KHATATBA. All personnel who had not beeon on leave since leaving ALMAZA in March were sent on leave. With so many away training was difficult, consisting chiefly of individual and Bty training.

 

 

 

 

Moving through a minefield was practised.

 

 

25

 

Major S.L.A.S. Rudd-Clarke posted to Regt as 2nd in Comd and assumed comd in the absences of Lt-Colonel J.R.C. Christopher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

 

9

 

Regt moved to new training area 556855, near HALFWAY HOUSE.

 

 

9-20

 

Training, chiefly Regimental. The Regt again took part in a Divisional exercise through minefields by night. Regimental shoots and exercises in conjunction with the recently formed Survey Party were practised.

 

 

13

 

Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher returned from his course

 

 

19

 

Guns moved to staging area.

 

 

20

 

The Regt left training area and moved under orders of 7 Motor Bde to staging area 490896, where the guns had gone the previous day. Lt-Colonel J.R.C. Christopher attended the Army Commanders conference at AMIRYA.

 

 

21

 

Remained in staging area all day. Maximum concealment and minimum movement of personnel and vehicles. During the day all officers and WOs were put in the picture by the Colonel as to the plan for the forthcoming battle. The guns move by night to assembly area 448896.

 

 

22

 

Moved to assembly area where again maximum concealment of guns and vehicles was affected

 

 

23

 

Remained in same area. Orders to move that evening. Zero are given as 2200 hrs.

 

 

 

 

All troops put in the picture. Regiment formed up to move at last light behind 7 Motor Bde. C Bty with 7 RB on SUN TRACK, F Bty and RHQ behind Bde HQ on MOON TRACK, and DD Bty with 2 KRRC on STAR TRACK.

 

 

 

 

Moved to start point on BOMBAY ROAD at 0200 hrs. 145 Bty of 42 Lt.A.A. Regt attached to us for operations.

 

 

24

 

Regt moved up along Tracks, ordered into action about 1100 hrs in area 880295 around the junction of QATTARA and MOON TRACKS. In late afternoon Regt was moved forward and came into action between our last minefield and the first enemy minefield at 873296. Our HQ moved forward and leaguered for the night near HQ of MTF at 876295.

 

 

 

 

No supporting fire required from the regiment that night.

 

 

25

 

During the morning RHQ moved to Regimental area, where Batteries were in action.

 

 

 

 

OPs with the Motor Bde and also 2 Armd Bde. Targets of MET, Inf positions, and enemy guns engaged. Lieut. A. Bowman (F Bty) had a successful Regimental shoot at MET and SP guns. This was the first Regimental shoot the Regiment had ever done in action. DF task and concentrations were fired by the regiment that night in support of an attack by the MOTOR BRIGADE.

 

 

26

 

In action the same area. OPs out with the inf and the armour. Targets of vehicles, dug in positions, and enemy guns engaged by the Batteries. The gun area in the minefield was very congested. Dust on tracks appalling. After its long acquaintance with the wide open spaces of the desert, the Regiment began to suffer from a sense of claustrophobia. During the period spent in this area (26-31 Oct) there are several Stuka attacks by day and by night. Some cash these were cause, along with BSM D. MacCorquodale, of “C” Bty ; and a few vehicles were lost. Most of the vehicle casualties came from being blown up or mines (our own or the enemies) which were scattered all over the area.

 

 

27

 

Similar targets engaged as on previous day. “DD2 Bty OP in area 866297 helped the Yorkshire Dragoons recover some of their 6-pdrs by putting down a Regimental concentration to neutralise enemy tanks and MGs. Concentrations fire that night in support of an attack by 7 MOTOR BDE.

 

 

28-30

 

7 MOTOR BDE were withdrawn to re-form and rest, and during this time the 2 ARMD BDE were replaced by 8 ARMD BDE. Few OPs were sent out (one per battery only) to give additional support to the armour and the inf. (133 LORRIED INF. BDE).

 

 

 

 

The Regiment was ordered to move to a new area, about 2 miles north of present position to support an Australian attack in the north. This proved in possible owing to mines &c, so the Regt supported the Australian attacks on the nights 27-28 in 29-30 from the same position

 

 

31

 

Regiment move back to ALAM EL ONSOL area and handed over to the 4th Field Regt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

 

1

 

After a good night's sleep, moved to join 7 Motor Bde in the afternoon, preparatory to doing another advance on three tracks through the minefields, similar to the night 23-24 Oct. Start line - SYDNEY ROAD, area 437898. Attack to go in along axis of 300 Northing, so moved up SUN, MOON and STAR Tracks as before, then northwest to Diamond, Boomerang and Two Bar Tracks.

 

 

2

 

Regiment was in action, area 869299. Very congested area, and dangerous owing to scattered mines. OPs with 7 Motor Bde and 2 Armd Bde. Targets off MET and 88’ss engaged. Concentrations fired in support of 7 Motor Bde attack.

 

 

3

 

An excellent day. Many targets of MET an 88’s engaged along the area SIDI ABD EL RAHMAN Track, concentrations of DIV ARTY ordered several times on MET behind this track with marked success. Enemy reported to be moving WEST at last light.

 

 

4

 

By morning, enemy had definitely left this area and we moved in rapidly westwards, with OPs trying to keep contact. Regiment moved up across RAHMAN TRACK and came into action in the afternoon, area 852296. OPs reported only isolated enemy vehicles, mostly out of range. No firing at all. BSM JOHNSTON (C Bty) was killed by a Stuka attack late this afternoon.

 

 

5

 

DIVISION advanced along telephone line to DABA. Regiment, in support of 7 MOTOR BDE, came into action area of DABA STATION but did not fire. DABA deserted ; still scattered mines about, with a few trucks being blown up. Later in afternoon advanced 8 miles West of DABA and formed up with the remainder of DIVISION to do night march to KHALDA. The weather was distinctly adverse to a successful night march : no lights, no moon, and intermittent rain storms did not improve the situation.

 

 

6

 

When day dawned, the Regiment minus many vehicles which had broken down or been lost during the night’s wandering were still 30 miles West of KHALDA, and unattached from the remainder of the DIV. In spite of the pouring rain and bad going we reached KHALDA and the rear of the DIV in the early afternoon. During the march many stray bands of enemy was seen who were either prisoners already or immediately surrendered. Leaguered at KHALDA and spent a very wet night.

 

 

 

 

Echelon arrived, overloaded with prisoners, also most or our lost vehicles.

 

 

7

 

Due to the Echelon being held up by very bad weather and mud, the Div remained at KHALDA, The Regt moved to 698312 to join 2 Armd Bde and cut the MATRUH-BARRANI Road, but this had to be abandoned owing to lack of petrol. An Op was sent to edge of escarpment as a look-out, meanwhile the Regt remind inactive in its present location. No Echelon was able to get up that night owing to the state of the ground after recent heavy rains.

 

 

8

 

Remained in the same area all day. A ‘scratch’ Echelon was brought up by the RSM in the evening, which brought us enough petrol to move the Regt to the road. Order received that 1st ARMD DIV were to reorganise in the MERSA MATRUH area.

 

 

9

 

Regt moved onto the MATRUH-BARRANI road and leaguered 3 miles North of K 50.

 

 

 

 

Echelon arrived at last.

 

 

10

 

Remained in this area reorganising. Last vehicles lost on night March 5-6 Nov arrived back. Bathing permitted in the sea : much appreciated by everybody.

 

 

11

 

No move until 1800 hrs, when the Regt came under comd 7 MOTOR BDE and leaguered with them at K 49 on main rd.

 

 

12

 

Moved with BDE along BARRANI road ; batteries under command of their respective BCs for the move. Slow progress, owing to the enormous amount of traffic on the road. Leaguered for the night at BUQ BUQ area.

 

 

13

 

Remained same location. More sea-bathing enjoyed.

 

 

14

 

Left BUQ BUQ area at 0700 hrs with MOTOR BDE a move to SIDI ASSEIZ, via SOFAFI and SHEFERZAN, a journey of over 120 miles. The detour was necessary to avoid the crush and delay of traffic on the main road.

 

 

15

 

Moved along the TROG CAPUZZO and leaguered at 424407: very dusty journey. 145 Bty Lt A.A. left is to guard BARDIA

 

 

16

 

Still in same location. Reverted under comd of CRA. Weather very wet and cold.

 

 

17

 

Lt.-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO, left the Regt, being posted as Assistant Commandant to METC. Moved to join rest of Div Arty at staging area on the road 3 miles east of ACROMA. Violent rain turned leaguer area into a swamp.

 

 

18

 

After some difficulty in getting some vehicles out of the mud, Regt moved with Div to TMIMI, via axis by-pass and main road. New area P6403, where three weeks’ training and re-equipment is the programme.

 

 

19-30

 

Training is same area, mostly individual and limited Bty training. Owing to transport difficulties, the Div was severely rationed for petrol and only the minimum number of vehicles was allowed to move. Wednesday was made a non-petrol day. During this. We were visited by the BRA, that Div Commander, and several times by the CRA.

 

 

 

 

 

December 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col L.J. Livingstone-Learmonth, MC, RHA.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

 

1-31

 

During the whole this month that Regiment remained in the same area (P 6403).

 

 

 

 

Individual training and Battery and Regimental training, so far as the petrol restrictions would allow, were carried out.

 

 

 

 

The Regiment was allotted several courses at the Base Depot, both for officers and ORs, of wich full advantage was taken. As well as outside Courses, there were Courses for Regimental I.O.s and Courses on Mines at Division, which were attended by officers and NCOs from the Regiment

 

 

 

 

Owing to the recent success in North Africa the main problem that was being tackled by everyone was the movement of an Armd Div along a road. There were many discussions on TEWTS held on this subject.

 

 

 8

 

Lt-Colonel L.J. LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, MC, was posted to command the Regiment, and took over from Major S.L.A.S RUDD CLARKE, who had been commanding since Lt.-Colonel J.R.C. Christopher left.

 

 

12

 

Lt.-General B. G. HORROCKS, DSO, MC, who commanded 10 CORPS, visited the Regiment. He inspected and addressed all officers.

 

 

21

 

All officers of the Div Arty attend a demonstration of the use of Air-Burst Ranging by the 78 Fd Regt. R.A.

 

 

25

 

Our static situation enables us to celebrate Christmas in something approaching the appropriate fashion, especially since the various canteen lorries had arrived back just in time.

 

 

31

 

The CORPS Commander Lt.-Gen. HORROCKS, visited the Regt and inspected us on a ceremonial parade. After this inspection, Gnr H. Newhouse, DCM (F Bty) and L/Bdr A.C. Grey MM, (C Bty) were presented with their decorations by the Div Commander. The medals were won in the Battle of Alamein.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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