War Diaries of 4th Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery



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January 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices



The Regiment remained in the same position located that RAS CHECHIBIN P.6403, for the whole of January


During the whole month all the available 3-ton lorries in the Regt were away conveying petrol from TOBRUK to BENGHAZI xxxxxxx a necessity due to shortage of transport and the state of BENGHAZI harbour after severe storm at the beginning of the month.

Consequently the Regiment was subject to very strict petrol rationing, only the minimum possible number of vehicles being allowed to move. In spite of the petrol rationing the CRA held many exercises on the ranges even though the guns used to often shoot from the leaguer area.

The majority of these exercises were to practise the use of high air Burst and the 4th Survey Regts method of engaging targets (generally known by the method “Circles”.) During these days on the rangers officers with the regiment were practised in course shooting.

Both Officers and NCOs in the regiment went on Mines Courses at the Divisional Mines School and also at BENGHAZI. All Officers and men in the Regiment were instructed on the use and removal of mines, in the training for future operations.

During this month and also the whole time the Regiment had been in this place many officers and ORs have been back to the delta on courses. A redrilling class for Senior NCOs was run for two weeks in the month on the same lines as Subalterns redrilling class of the previous month.

The rest camp at DERNA opened this month and twice weekly the Regiment has sent Officers and O.Rankss down for the benefit of a short rest. At the end of the month most of the personnel of the Regiment who had been abroad for longer than 7 years were sent back to base to await posting to the Home Establishment. Included among these was Major J.C. Crowe., RHA recently promoted, who have been longer in the Regiment than any other Officer.





February 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices


Feb 1


At the beginning of February the regiment was in the same position and situation as 31 January.

Ref MAP 1/500,00





We were told that our convoys of 3-ton lorries between Tobruk – Benghasi were instrumental in the advance of 7 Armd Div, 51 Div and NZ Div, through Tripolitania. Our transport, however, was left in a very poor state, and many new engines had to be fitted.





Training was mainly under battery arrangements, with special stress for technical gunnery, and factors affect by probable future operations in hilly country. For example the regiment never before considered angle of sight as necessary factor in observed shooting.


1 - 5


Training under battery arrangements




Sports meeting organised by 2 RHA for the arty regiments of 1 Armd Div. 2 RHA carried the day.


Feb 7


} General maintenance preparations for regtl




} exercise




Regimental exercise to practice the factoring of heights by 2 O.Ps using ??????? ranging ?????????




Particularly successful !




Regimental conference on yesterdays exercise.








Text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line.




General holiday proclaimed by Lt. Gen Horrocks G.O.C. 10 Corps, rest of text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line. by the Officers Mess


Text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line.



‘????????’ of the guns for 25 pr anti-tank shooting

F Bty guns were especially accurate, the rest of the regt guns making rest of text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line.  by????? over LAD. The C.R.A. was present



Technical exercise at HQRA 1 Armd Div for all C.P.O’s and G.P.O’s to practice the target location by HAB. 4th RHA put up a very good performance



General maintenance and preparing for



Regt exercise



Regimental night exercise. Area occupied close to regimental area. Mainly to practice the CPO’s and GPO’s in night occupation, when under observation by enemy OP’s.

Clocks put back one hour



Regimental exercise with course shooting. Communications between OP and guns by wireless was not satisfactory, and there were one or two issues at the guns due to bad calibration/laying. At the end of the day F Bty practice an withdrawal behind a smoke screen in a hurry.



Survey scheme to practice regiment survey party in lining batteries.



Feb 27

Regimental sports meeting at F. Bty area.


The day was won by F, Bty, who had organised the meeting.

A farewell party was given at RHQ at night (in the officers mess) to Capt. R. Taylor-Thomas REME, the O.M.E.



Change of currency of Egyptian to B.M.A preparatory to moving into TRIPOLITANIA


Towards the end of the month training was speeded up, and a definite impression was given that we were due to move at last. All the guns were in good condition, being mostly in the first quarter of life.

The transport was not as new as we should have wished for the long march ahead, but all 3-tonners had been fitted with new engines where necessary.

The weather had become much warmer.





March 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices




The beginning of March found the Regt up its loins is anticipation of some action at last, after spending three inactive months at TIMIMI. Considerable training had been done from the point of regimental coordination.





There was an exercise for all divisional RA staff to practise deployment from open formation after passing through minefields.





Final preparations were made for a move on 3 March. The whole of 1 Armd Div to march as far as TRIPOLI.

Red 4 RHA Movement Order




All OPs had been fitted with remote controls on the radio.

No. 1 of 1 Mar 43. (Appx “!”




The Honey tanks moved on ahead on RASC Transporters

to this summary)




Starting point for the march was the junction of TIMIMI track with main road. The greater part of the Regt was late, owing to having become very strung out. The RHQ cookhouse lorry disgraced itself by carrying on 60 miles past the laager area, so being absent that night.

For locations of laager areas see appx “1”




The CO went on ahead to a Divisional Conference at REGIMA. Distance cover 80 miles.





Some improvement in march discipline. Laagered West of BARCE.





Distance travelled 100 miles.





Passed through BENGHASI and laagered North of Chemines. 81 miles.





Passed through AGEDABIA and laagered short of MERSA BREGA. The CO caught up with the column again. 93 miles.





Rest day spent on maintenance. Church Service held at “F” Bty.





So far 3 three-tonners were of the road requiring 2nd line repair.





Major Rudd-Clarke and Lt (QM) Marlow rejoined from Courses.





Eventless run for a further 80 miles. Usually the Regt was in laager by 1530 hrs daily, thus leaving plenty of time for maintenance.





Laagered West of NUFILIA. At 2200 hrs the Regt received orders for a double march the following day, a start at first light.






The march today was 174 miles, the Regt reaching laager xxxxxxxxxx about 30 miles West of BIERAT by last light. This was to allow 4th Indian Div to get on to the road.





Very bad going along dusty track: hot weather: engines nearly all overheating. Late this evening fresh Movement Order cancelling dispersal at AZIZIA, and ordering the move to continue as far as MEDENINE, TUNISIA.





Reached the greener country of TRIPOLITANIA, and laager South of TARHUNA.





Late at night ORDER GROUPS were call by Division, causing some confusion as no such party was known. This party eventually consisted of the C.O., Survey Party with the RSO, one OP per Bty.





Its task was understood to be the recce of the regimental area.





Moved on through excellent country TARHUNA to CASTEL BENITO. The regiment laagered amongst profuse green trees for the first time since the beginning of the war in the desert.





At 2300 hrs a complete new Movement Order arrived from HQ RA, which required a start at 0700 hours and recce party at 0800 hours,. The latter party was of normal composition including a gun for registration, under Major Rudd-Clarke, second in command.





At 0615 hrs further orders were received from HQ RA to the effect that no stop would be made for laager West of BEN GARDIME (as ordered 2300 hrs 13 Mar), but that the column would travel further towards Medenine after dark, with the view of coming into action morning 15 Mar.





A very large mileage was covered, and owing to the narrow roads and difficult verges no stops were made except at Z????? and BEN GARDIME. The final laager was some 20 miles east of MEDENINE at about 2200 hrs. The Recce Party laagered with the Regt. (Total run 200 miles.)


20 Miles East of MEDENINE.



A message arrived by DR from the CO ordering Major Rudd-Clarke to bring the Regiment into action on morning of 15th, without delay.





The CO gave out orders to the recce party at 0800 hrs on the ground.

Ref Map 1/250,000




Guns were in action by 1030 hrs (Square 6068). The regiment was rather cramped on a series of small areas. Everything very quiet. No sign of activity by enemy or own troops. Some registration was done,





2 guns were out from the Regiment supporting the Y.Ds and 7 Motor Bde.





Very little information except general dispositions on enemy and own tps.





The Ops were withdrawn at night, D.F. tasks received.





Very quiet – mainly N.T.R. Heard that 201 Guards Bde had made an attack last night on DJEBEL ZEHDOMA, which was unsuccessful.



Mar 18.


One Sec G Troop (F Bty) was moved forward 1200yards in order to try to get something in range to shoot at. Registration was carried out on DJEBEL SAIKRA which held enemy infantry localities and suspected OPs.





Sent LO to 7 Indian Bde, for whom we had registered D.F. Tasks.





Forward Sec withdrew before dusk.





Recce of alternative troop positions. The C.O. attended an Army Commanders Conference on the coming attack. Moon almost full.



Mar 19.


Another quiet day. Forward section out again. Some information coming in from OPs. Intelligence summaries from 1st Br Armd Div gave plenty of information on the enemy dispositions.



Mar 20.


The day of 50 Div’s frontal attack on the MARETHH LINE: zero hour tonight.





N.Z. Corps started on the “Left Hook” around FOUM TATAHOUINE.





2 R.B. sent a patrol to DJEBAL SAIKRA and had to be covered by smoke fired by “F” Battery. BCs Conference at RHQ 1915 hours.



Mar 21.


F Troop sent one Section forward. L.O. with 7 M.Bde. Received D.F tasks from 7 M.B. N.Z. Corps reported 30 miles from GABES.





7 M.Bde took over 131 Bde Sector.





76 A.Tk and N.Fs took over 7 R.B. Sector thus all shifting NORTH.





Successful (?) Enemy Counter-attack in afternoon,



Mar 22.


Enemy air activity at night. RH was bracketed by two “breadbaskets” each containing many incendiaries. No damage.



Mar 23.


Recce party moved at 0900 hrs to choose new Regimental area some closer and more reasonable range from enemy. Before this could be occupied, however, orders were received (1200 hrs) that the Regiment with 1 Armd Div was to follow N.Z. Corps on the “Left Hook”.





The Regt moved off at 2100 hrs. 1st Armd Div moved with 2nd Regt RHA leading, the Div Arty moving together. Owing to delay ?? ??????? the 2n d Armd Bde tanks, the Regt did not pass the Div S.P. by MEDENINE until 0445 hrs but reached FOUM TATAHOUINE by ???? ???. There was considerable air activity but no casualties in the regiment.



Mar 24.


After a halt for breakfast at 0800 hrs the move was continued south till Midday the a sharp turn North West through WILDER’S GAP to WEST of the MARETH HILLS. The going was very bad ????? owing to deep wadis and very soft sand. A great deal of shovelling was done. There was a short halt at 1700 hrs ??????? PASS and no further halts until 0300 hrs in 25-3.



Mar 25.


After halting at 0300 hrs the move was resumed at 0800 hrs. The 2 i/c Recce Party went ahead to contact the New Zealanders which they did at 2100 hrs. The proposed position was overlooked by ????, which were presumed to be full of enemy troops, making it affordable to enemy counter bombardment.





The guns did not, however, arrive as expected having followed the New Zealand ???? ?????? of the ?? Corps Route from BIR ??????.





Eventually the gun group arrived at ??? ??? Corps at 0100 hrs and spent the night with there



Mar 26.


The Guns arrived at 1000 hrs. The supposed enemy-held hills were not held by the enemy, so the Regt went straight into action and dug in.





Concentrations were fire from 1600 hrs to ???? for the support of an attacked by the N.Z. Corps. Enemy shelling caused a number of casualties, one shell landing in C Bty Gun-pit and killing four if the ????? and wounding one man. The rest of text illegible on present copy of diary entry for this line





(Code word MIRGATROYD)..


REF Y.9300

Mar 26.


The plan was for 1st Armd Div to breakthrough 15 Pz Div who were on our left flank (N.W.) and 21 Pz Div on the right flank, so that the N.Zs and S.A. Bde might attack these subsequently. The Regiment travelled through the night successfully completed the first half of the operation.





Order of march was 12 Lancers, 2nd Armd Bde, Div Artillery in order 2 RHA, 4 RHA, 76 A.Tk Regt, 7 Motor Bde was on each flank. Movement very slow - units mixed - long halt 2300 hrs short NZ final objective when units sorted themselves out again. At 0400 hrs moved on again with great relief



Mar 27.


At first light the Armour had reached the outskirts of EL HAMMA (Z.0831) the O.Ps being with it. The Regiment was moving NORTH up the Div AXIS when the DEACONS on the right suddenly turned around went back to deal with approx. 5 Mk IVs. In our rear the 6-prs and the 17-prs dropped into action where they were The Regiment went up the track along alone, crossing a steep Wadi and coming into action about 3 miles N.E. of Y 9718 Z.L 360°.





The Z.L. was later changed to 270° degrees on account of reported enemy in the hills to our WEST. Later changed again to 180° degrees. Captain Weller-Poley captured 12 Italian on M/Cs sees with his tank M.G. Captain E.D. Simonds took a shoot on concentrations of M.E.T.




1100 hrs.

The recce party selected a position 2½ further north. The armour felt forward towards HAMMA, but encountered strong A.Tk fire which knocked out 5 Shermans. (O.P. with the armour was Captain Sharp.)





During the afternoon Captain Weller-Poley took his O.P. tank further EAST finding 60 German MET, one 8MM and smaller guns with a Bn of Italian Infantry. On being engaged all accept the latter moved out.





Listening posts were established at night. Slight hostile shelling.





OPs were established as yesterday, Captain Weller-Poley captured the Nn of Italians with a Troup of 12 Lancers and K.D.Gs.




1000 hrs.

The guns moved north to the position chosen yesterday, closure the range to HAMMA. A certain amount of vehicles and infantry had occupied the area during a night. Z.L. was 360°.





9 Div and Regimental concentrations were fired, as part of a feint attack. Also some reserved shooting at infantry localities.



MAR. 29


At 0845 hrs the order” prepared to move” was given, the enemy having evacuated EL HAMMA during the night. The Regiment was waiting all morning before being allowed through HAMMA. (The Div R.Es had even established a water point there before we move through.) After passing through HAMMA at 1300 hrs finally came into action N.E. of the place at Z.0434 at 1700 hours. 10 Hussars and 9 Lancers were in front. Some registration only was done.



Mar. 30.


At 1600 hrs C.O 7 R.B. told Capt Sharp (C Bty) that the Bn was going to attack the pass at Y.9947 during the night. They might require fire during the night on four areas chosen off the map and would require support at first light. Some of these were out of range of our Battery’s present location, so Captain Sharp asked Major Hobbs to come and see him. Major Hobbs got back to RHQ just at dark until told the C.O. what was going to happen. As no formation of any attack had been received at RHQ, the C.O. rang up the CRA who unfortunately was at a conference. The CRA was back at Div HQ at about 2100 hrs and the C.O. told him as much as he knew of the situation. The CRA went to see the G.1 and afterwards rang up and said that the 7 R.B. were not going to make an attack but that all three Bns of the Motor Bde were sending out fighting patrols. It was therefore not considered necessary to move the battery during the night, especially as the ground in that direction is completely overlooked and/ devoid of ant cover whatsoever, and there were a lot of enemy mines





Meanwhile, Major Hobbs arranged with a Medium Troop that they would give support to the BN during the night if required. Unfortunately these Mediums were not under Comd of the Division and they moved out later that night.





No fire was called for doing tonight and at first light Major Hobbs and Lieut Brigdan, the CPO, went out to recce a gun area. Soon after leaving Lieut Brigdan’s 8-cwt when up on the mine which destroyed the truck and all the crew were evacuated shaken and bruised.





Major Hobbs ordered the Battery to move and whilst on the move Capt Sharp called for fire but had to wait until the guns were in action at Z.0842. The 7 R.B. were withdrawing having got well into their objective, but under heavy mortar and mg fire from the heights on both sides of the Pass. Concentrations were fired onto these high points and Major Hobbs went out and did some observed shooting.





Capt Sharp with his Honey O.P. tank gave close support with his 37mm, knocking out at least two M.G. posts. The Bn had had most of the transport knocked out so he also a made several runs, picking up wounded Rifleman and took them back to other transport for evacuation.





Captain sharp was awarded the Bar to M.C. and Bdr Baker, Driver of the O.P. tank was awarded the M.M.





DD Battery later joined to C Bty at Z.0842. Considerable opportunity shooting and registration was done during the rest of the day.





F Battery remained in action, Area Z.1242, with G Troop forward at first later joined by F Troop. Plenty of observed shooting was done during the day.






April 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices




A quiet day. Some observed shooting was done by F Bty (Lt Wells).


Z.1242 and Z,0342



Major P.J.A. Mankey RHA took over command of C Bty RHA, Major Hobbs having taken over 111 field regiment RA as C.O. C Bty had a quiet day. Some hostile shelling, and 88mm firing aluminium shell on the B.3 Echelon area South of EL HAMMA - GABES Road.





Still in WADI AKARIT position. F Bty under fire from 105’s and a new area was recced for them later, near DD Bty.





facing parties were sent to the hot springs at HAMMA. 105 mm guns heavily shelled DD Bty just before last light, wounding 2 men. C Troop moved to alternative position after dark, as a guns had obviously been registered. A number of other ranks left the Regiment for posting to H.E.,U.K. having served 7 years continuously abroad.





Bathing parties sent. G Troop moved into fresh position





F Bty dug new position near DD Bty and C Bty which were occupied after last light. All batteries, Z.0842 now. Routes were recced for the Regiment to move to the Start Point OUDREF, so as to move north behind N.Z. Div.





Silent attack on Pt 275 at night by 4 Ind Div. Zero hour for main attack by 30 Corps 0430/6. DD Bty had 2 killed and 7 wounded by shelling on both Troop positions.





Regimental Concentrations fired 0430 - 0600 hrs. Information that 4 Ind Div had captured PETLOCK (Pt 275). Order “Prepare to move” was received at 1000 hours but Regiment continued to fire “Stonks” during the morning, and in the afternoon this order was cancelled. Both 4 Ind Div and 50 Div had taken all their objectives, but there was some confused fighting during the day on 51 Div front, a German C.A regaining one high feature. Enemy bombers active at night.





In the morning DD Bty supported an attack by a troop of Free French Armd Cars (late Chad) on Pass Z.6547. Concentration of 16 Bde OP court a German company of the Muller group withdrawing and pinned them down in the Pass until they surrendered in late afternoon, a total of 2 Officers and 100 men.





In the afternoon the Regiment moved up to the start point 0UDREF, travelling 10 miles and passing several hundred P.O.W both German and Italian. After passing through the hills, closely leaguer for the night. Entry you to the pass was delayed by heavy traffic until 1100 hours, the final leaguer area being about 5 miles N.W. of this. Anti-personnel bombs were dropped at night.





Broke leaguer at dawn and moved off to the north along the Div Axis. A brief halt was made at midday (Z.0677) but no contact was made with the enemy until 1700 hrs., when the guns went into action to the east of MEZZOIMA at Z.1357. The enemy held a semi-circle of high ground at extreme range to our NORTHWEST. F Bty moved ahead and F troop went into action about 5000 yards WEST of the others, so were the only troop to fire that day. The enemy consisted of about 20 tanks, including the new mark VI and a few guns. At 2000 hrs the Regt moved WEST to join F troop, who were sitting in the open, in failing light





The enemy pulled out to the NORTH during the night and at first light the Regt was away after him on the Div Axis Track. Having moved 22 miles by evening came up with the N.Z. Div and 8th Armd Bde and went into action at U.1853. An armoured battle had taken place previously and a few enemy tanks were swanning about 6000 yards in front of our forward armour. D.F. tasks were registered and the range to the enemy-held crest was found at 12,000 yards. As the armour intended to capture this feature at first light an early move was anticipated. Anti-personnel bombs dropped all round at night. No casualties.





The attack was cancelled once again as the enemy had migrated during the night





Recce party moved out at 0845 hours followed by the regiment, coming into action in the village of BOU THADI (U.3368.) at 1200 hours.





D.F. Tasks were registered, 2 Armd Bde where relieved by the Fighting French.





Both H.E. and Anti-personnel bombs were dropped around position at night. No casualties. Understood several days rest were to be spent here


BOU THADI (U.3368.)



Although N.Z Div was 15 miles to our NORTH, and the O.P had to be established until KARROUAN was in our hands, when Peace conditions could be signalled. News of its capture was received at 1200 hours.





A church service was held at DD Bty. Maintenance was done on guns vehicles and equipment.





Cleaning and maintenance continues. O.Ps practised the occupation of mountain posts on foot in anticipation of the hilly country further NORTH. A Regimental party was sent off to SFAX for recreation. All the directors are calibrated by the Regimental Survey Party.



Apr. 13.


“Mountain OP” practised again. Another party sent to SFAX. The situation seemed to be that no movement was likely until 16 April, when the Regiment would join 1st Army at LE KRIB. Bombers over at night - no casualties





At 0830 hours and the advance party of 4 offrs from the Regiment moved off to area LE KEF – LE KRIB, in order to recce an assembly area.





Cleaning and maintenance continued. The five days spent resting at BOU THADI were very quiet except for slight bombing at night, and the weather was excellent.





Day spent preparing for the move, which was a distance of 190 miles to the assembly area. Started at 2100 hours on a tiring night drive. Very cold.





Halted for breakfast at SRAITLA and continued the march. Friendly reception for local inhabitants, 1st Army and U.S. troops received at EL-KRIB. Delays due to road traffic. The Harbour area at LE KRIB was in densely wooded foothills and was not reached until 1900 hours. The Regt arrived in contingents up to 2030 hrs.





Recce party left for the Assembly Area at 0430 hrs. Day spent resting and painting vehicles dark green as per First Army.





Started 0530 hours and travelled 30 miles to the assembly area near BOU ARADA finally, arriving 1030 hours. All the guns were left behind at LE KRIB.





The recce party selected gun areas and returned to the assembly area.





The guns left LE KRIB at 2100 hours arriving at the assembly area 0300 hrs. The positions were dug soon after last light by special parties. Nothing was allowed in the gun area during the daylight. Ammunition was dumped on positions on a scale of 140 r.p.g.





Regiment was now under Comd of 9 Corps. Survey of gun positions was completed during the morning. CPOs and GPOs went into their gun positions before last light followed by the guns which were at action by 200 hours an extra 180 r.p.g was dumped - total 322 r.p.g.





During the night warning was receipt of a possible attack by the enemy, but though there were some hostile shelling, nothing developed.





Very little activity on the other side during the day, which was spent by the Regt in preparing gun programmes, etc for tomorrow's firing.





There was to be an attack supported by concentrations on high points. Rain fell nearly all day. Ammunition was made up to 420 r.p.g.





Zero hour for the attack was 0800 hrs. Tanks moving forward cut nearly all the telephone lines in the Regt., so that at 0130 hours not a single line was through, however by Zero hour the Signal Troop had contrived to have all lines working, a great achievement 300 r.p.g were fired on concentrations between 0340 hours and 0615 hrs. Remained in the position all day





The recce party moved off at 0730 hrs along with a detachment of 8 Survey Regt RA. The guns followed at noon coming into action SOUTH of GOIBELLIAT. A fresh position was occupied, 2½ miles to the NORTH-EAST just before last light, so that we were 8,000 yards behind the leading armour.






The recce party moved off at first light to a new position approximately 3 miles NORTH, having some very narrow escapes from mines and booby traps.





Owing to the mines the position had to be moved 2,000 yards to the EAST. The guns occupied this near area at 1200 hrs. A German soldier was found lying in the tall grass within 10 yards of one of E Troops guns.





F Bty moved forward 7½ miles at 1400 hours in order to take on some shooting at short ranges, destroying one 50mm gun. The order “Prepare to move” was received during the night and all the Regt except F Troop closed in and leaguered and on wheels. Doing the day C Bty captured a German dressed as a Paratroop.





The O.Ps recce moved off at first light, being heavily shelled by a 105mm which wounder the driver and put the car out of action. The recce party arrived on the position 1000 hours, completing the recce of the area by 1100 hrs, the guns moving into the position during the afternoon. (1600 hrs) firing EAST and NORTHEAST sectors





Several counter battery “Stonks” were fired during the day. Hostile shells fell in and around the Regimental area all day. The O.Ps were situated only a few 100 yards in front of the guns and saw very few targets





Continued artillery activity on both sides. 14 stonks were fired. Hostile shell landed in one of C Bty’s Gun pits causing no casualties. Two D.F. task were registered “POPPY” and “BABY”, 7 RB were to attack ARGOUB-EL-MEGAS by night





Information received at last night's infantry attack was unsuccessful owing to encountering dug-in enemy tanks surrounded by mines.





Two more D.F. tasks were registered “???????”? and “ROSE” Rain during the evening. Target H.B.9 fired at 2130 hrs 4 r.p.g. 2 3.7” guns which came into action in the Regimental area and were linked with the Regimental grid, so they were used to fire air-burst H.E., on KOURNINE. 1/K.R.R.C made unsuccessful attack on KOURNINE.





The two 3.7” guns left for a fresh position. D.F. Task “ROSE” 24 r.p.g was fied at 0415 hrs. One flying O.O. came under comd of Regt. Major D.C.R. Puckle R.H.A. B.C. F Battery RHA, went out on recce towards the French Sector (?????-????) in a jeep and ran over two Teller Mines. He received multiple injuries which were fatal. His driver was also badly wounded.





On night 29/30 concentrations were fired in support of 1/K.R.R.C. attack on ARGOUB-EL-MEGAS which was partly successful, half or the feature being taken but not the summit.





Some hostile shelling in the Regimental Area. ?? D.F. tasks were received. Slight ran fell. 180 r.p.g. were dumped in positions, 2 R.B. made an unsuccessful attack on KOURNINE.





Shelling exchange throughout the day. Captain P. Greenfield R.H.A. took over command of F Battery. DD continued to support 1/K.R.R.C. by observed shooting from their new position. Targets were plentiful on the SRASSIF feature mostly small parties of infantry moving about. One Mk VI TIGER and two Mk III’s were visible beyond the feature, but were not engaged unless they moved about. This was the regimental policy for ?????.










May 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices




Still in position facing DJEBEL KOURNINE and SRASSIF. Captain J.H. Weller-Poley was wounded in his O.P. slightly but while in RAP was more seriously hit and subsequently evacuated. Major A.H.D. Barrow. MC. RHA. Took comd of F Bty.





A quiet day with a certain amount of shelling on both sides. Captain sharp shot the Medium Battery on three enemy tanks, hull-down but only for some to close down and move. Lieut P.W.E. Currie and Lieut A.A. Atkinson were promoted to Captains to command B and D troops respectively.





Church service held in the regimental area during the afternoon





Little activity. Very hot dry day. Captain A.A. Banks (F) engaged an enemy strong point on KOURNINE. He had hoped to use 3.7” A.A. Air-burst but their maximum range of 9,500 yards was 3000 yards short. Captain G. Chilver-Stainer returned to DD Bty and took over D troop from A/Capt Atkinson, who relinquished acting rank.





4 stonks were fired at 0500 hrs. 98 “U” (Div) targets were received today, so CPOs and GPOs had a busy day working out switches and ranger. No signs of moving from this position.





The role of the division this week has been finally holding with 46 Div less two Bdes on the right. 1 Battery 74 Med Regt RA and 166 Newfoundland Regt RA taken the place of 11 (HAC) RHA.





Local attacks on ko KOURNINE and ARGOU-EL-MEGAS were made to try and contain the maximum hostile forces on our front while the final blow was being concentrated further NORTH on the SIDI ABDULIAH Sector.





A quiet day. Captain J.A.T. Sharp C battery fired the Regt twice on a group of 7 enemy tanks with the intention of catching the tank crews out of their tanks.





Today received the 100th Divisional Target in this campaign. Warned to fire two stonks at 0600 hours tomorrow.





The two stonks were council. “Prepare to Move” ordered at 0550 hrs.





Recce party moved off at 0900 hours to an area 2 miles further east on the north side of the KOURNINE feature. The guns followed coming into action but did not fire. The recce party then chose a new area NORTH of the DJEBEL AZ feature where the guns came into action for one hour.





The recce party then selected and surveyed a third position 3 miles further NORTH and returned to the regiment. All Bty fired opportunity targets of retreating enemy forces to the NORTH and EAST. One MK VI TIGER held up the K.D.Gs at AIN-EL ASKER road junction J.9327.





Expecting an early move, which did not materialise until 1500 hours when the Reese party move three miles NORTH then halted, spending the night with most of the Div around them.





Starting at first light the regiment moved NORTHEAST 24 miles coming into action South of CRETEVIILE in an orchard. the gun group was shelled by 105mm on route, no damage being sustained beyond one splintered windscreen. This was blind harassing on a detour around a blown bridge.





The Regtl area was shelved until last night. At 1830 hours the reece party moved off to choose a new area in olive Groves around farm buildings K.203413 completely overlooked by enemy on the vast RESSAS feature near CRETEVILLE. This position was occupied after last night without interruption and extensive digging of the gun pits a command post with the help of a “Bull-Dozer” continued all night. 2 RB put in a night attack on a feature NORTHEAST of CRETEVILLE, which was successful. Captain Simonds (F) accompanying the attack was in observation at first light.



May 10.


Several shoots xxxxxx done during the day. At about 0800 hrs the enemy began shelling the area heavily, and continued to put down stonks at half hour intervals so for the rest of the morning two officers (Lt O’kell and Lt Stevenson) xxxxx of F Bty were slightly wounded, also 2 GPOs and 4 drivers.





C Btys casualties were 1 No.1, 2 Gunners 1 Driver and one Ack, and DD had 2 Signallers wounded. It appeared that the enemy was firing off everything he had as A.P. a md smoke as well as H.E. arrived CRA 10 Panzer Div afterwards said he had had four O.Ps on DJEBEL RESSIS and could see right into our orchard.





At 1830 hrs the recce party moved through GROMBALIA and up m into the Pass, where a position was found with difficulty and occupied in darkness. The recce party captured 15 men of a German Flak Regiment.










The recce party moved out at 0830 hours and selected position 3 miles West of GROMBALIA. The guns of F Bty moved out at 1200 hours to new position encountering light shelling on route.( One casualty F Battery.)


(3 miles WEST)



Many enemy guns and vehicles were abandoned in this area, some of them we're still burning. Some observed shooting on anti-tank guns still in action was done by DD Bty into the valley South of GROMBALIA road





(These turned out to be well hidden MK III tanks when examined afterwards.)





By early evening all enemy resistance appeared to have ceased. Prisoners were pouring in, in droves, and 10,000 were already reported taken.





At 1720 hours the guns of C and DD Btys joined F Bty. Several DF tasks were registered.





Capt AA Banks fired the last round of the Regiment in the NORTH AFRICAN Campaign with G troop in the early morning on a located 88mm.





This caused a little stir at Division and was abruptly stopped. The crew of the 88mm surrendered very soon afterwards.





At 1800 hours 4 R.H.A. was relievedby a regiment of the 1st Infantry Division. General Von Arnim was captured today.





The war in NORTH AFRICA appeared to be finished. Day spent in washing clothes, etc.





Spent in the same way yesterday. Preparation to move to rest area.





The regiment moved to MENZAL-BOU-ZELFA at zero 900 hours arriving 1200 hours.





A regimental Thanksgiving service was held










Three days spent in cleaning, resting and paying visits to and surrounding districts





On 17th, a party of 25 O.Ranks under Major A.H.D Barrow left for Tunis to take part in the victory parade.





Regiment began the move to TRIPOLI. Area. Start point SOLDAN 0830 hrs, Harbour area, KADOUM, 1700 hrs

Movement order No.

1 Armd Div attached




Moved at 0800 hrs and arrived in Harbour Area (WADI AKARIT) at 2200 hours.

Appx A to narrative..




The last leg of the journey started at 0730 hours, and finished in the new training area (SUANI BEN ADEM) 13 miles SOUTH of TRIPOLI at 1700 hrs.





The first three days of this period was spent in settling into the new area, which was very dirty.





It took the regiment with the aid of 80 Italian P.O.W. many days to clean it up





C and DD Bty areas were in deep soft sand so that they moved soon after to fresh positions. DD was finally largely accommodated in an Italian Fort, named “Fort “Jerboa” where many divisional concerts were held in the ensuing months.










June 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices




The month was spent in training and recreation of various kinds





Italian P.O.W were used to make roads, and other fatigues in the area.





The follow cadre courses were run in the Regt : Senior NCOs, Junior NCOs, Regimental Signallers and Specialists Courses.





On 15 June 1943 the Regiment was visited by the Army Commander, who sae the C.O., Second in Command, Adjutant and Battery Commanders.





On 20th June 1943, His Majesty King GEORGE reviewed troops of the Division, including 4 th Regiment RHA, who line the SUAMI BEN ADEM – AZEZIA.







The Army Commander also spoke to all Officers of 10 Corps in the MBAMARE Cinema, TRIPOLI.





An EIGHTH ARMY REST CAMP was started in TRIPOLI, where personnel from the Regiment spend four days leave. Here daily trips were organised in the Roman Ruins at SABRATH.





A Regiments Sports Competition held in TRIPOLI Stadium was won by “F” Battery RHA. The Trophy, made if X 25-pr cartridge cases, was presented by the C.O.





On 26 June Captain G.H. Sainsbury RHA and Captain E.D. Simonds left for ALAMZA to take the Gunner Staff Course. Captain J.A.T. Sharp. MC. RHA also left for M.E.T.C Palestine.





On 28 June the C.O. left for M.E.T.C. on Senior Officers Course.





In June the Regiment lost a further 7 O.Ranks to the U.K posting to the Home Establishment, which included Sgt Barker, Sgt McLeod, Bdrs Down, Walters and Derbyshire, and Gunners Lovering and Norton.





A large part of the equipment, Guns and vehicles was handed over to Equip 56 Div.










July 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices




The Regiment spent the whole of July at SUANI BEN ADEM, occupying itself with training as far as possible with the equipment available.





During the month working parties of P.O.W. we used in construction of cookhouses, tracks, etc.


(12 miles South of Tripoli



A large quantity of the Regiment’s equipment was exchanged or handed over to 56 Div during July with the result that by the end of the month the Regiment was short of vehicles and all equipment was either old or in need of 2nd line repair.





Training consisted of Cadre Courses, section drill orders ABCA lectures.





There was plenty of recreation available around Tripoli. Bathing parties were frequent. Leave parties of 30 ORs at the time were sent to the Army Rest Camp at TRIPOLI. Free cinema tickets were issued for Tripoli.





Conducted tours were organised over CASTEL BENITO airport and several officers from the U.S Army gave voluntary lectures on non-military subjects.





Constant parties were arranged centrally by the RA - Group in the Div. The Army Field Photographic Unit exhibited photos taken during the campaign and approximately £80 worth were ordered by the Regiment. F Battery represented the Division for the tug-of-war in the Corps Sports, reaching the final





Two hundred Officers and Men of the regiment went to 5 BTU btu as donors during the month.





One officer in 12 ORs were posted to HE.UK. on the “Reefer” exchange scheme. The officer was Major A H D Barrow MC RHA. In addition to this the normal allotment of six year men went home, including Lt G. Marlowe DCM. the Q.M.





Awards published during the month were:-





               Capt. J.A.T. Sharp M.C R.H.A, (C) - Bar to MC





               Gunner Windle (“F” Battery, R.H.A) – M.M.





Both were immediate wards for operation during the Tunisian campaign





Major A.H.D. Barrow. MC. RHA left the Regiment with 12 O.Ranks on posting to England on the Home-Establishment.





Captain B. Bishop was posted to “F” battery RHA, taken over comd of “F” troop.





Captain J. L Knyvett joine the regiment and was posted to RHQ.





Lieut(QM) G. Marlow. DCM. RHA left the Regiment on posting to England on the Home Establishment.





B.S.M L.J. Simpson “F” Battery was killed at night in a m/c accident.





The Padre, Capt (Revd) G. Winder RAChD left for a Course in Palestine.





Captain P. Greenfield MC RHA, Captain C.R. Sainsbury RHA, and Captain E.D. Simonds, RHA went back to the Delta for courses.





4 officers and 76 O.Ranks left for the Delta in order to bring up a convoy of vehicles.









August 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices










Preparing for move to TUNISIA. 44 Troop carrying lorries allotted regiment from RASC to transport the troops for whom he held no vehicles. A section of 15 L.F.A. attached for the move.





Major S.L.A.S Rudd-Clarke RHA (Second in Command) left the Regiment to takeover command of 31st Field Regiment RA.





The Regiment started the road march to BIZERTE reaching MEDENINE without incident. Maintenance of vehicles carried out.





On the road again - arrived in leaguer near GABES. Bedded down for the night.





Regiment move from GABES to SFAS. Lts Brigdan, Canadine and Wells and Bdr Wardle preceded on course at the RA Training Depot, North Africa. C.O. rejoined from course at METC%.





Regiment moved to ENFIDAVILLE.






Made the final march off the journey from ENFIDAVILLE arriving at BIZERTE and leaguered it up for the night. Locations RHQ D.69044.

Ref sheet Series 4226 sheet 2 TUNISIA 1/500,000




HQ RA 1 Brit Armd Div is located with HQ 4 Regt RHA and as “Texas HQ” the Regiment was attached to the 1st Embarkation Group for administrative assistance





C Battery RHA was running an Information Post.





DD Battery RHA was in charge of the D.I.D.





The Regiment collected P.O.W. daily from PW cage and the PW were given work to do in the Regimental Area.





The Regt employed PW for work round the camps. F battery RHA undertaking construction by P.O.W. of a cage to contain 1100 P.O.W to be administrated by the Regiment. All P.O.W. were Italians.





At this stage the Regiment was very short of vehicles of all types, having no W/T vehicles and only about two or three 3-ton lorries in each Bty.





A certain amount of captured equipment was in use as staff vehicles.



13 - 22


Missing at present





            Lieut R.M. Biroumshaw. R.Signals – at present Regtl Sig.Officer





            Lieut (A/EME) W.G. Isom. REME - at present EME.





            B.S.M Sunderland. J.





            Sergt Craig.W





            L/Sgt Boyle





            Bdr Boners. S.





            L/Bdr Maguire. W.





Notification received that Captain B. Bishop RHA was awarded the DSO for the TUNISIAN CAMPAIGN where he was serving with 51 Division.





During the month there was a prevalence among the ranks of are well known element, presumably called “Tunisian Tummy” - origin not known, but probably the water. Anti-malarial tablets were given to all ranks and mosquito nets were in use, though no cases of malaria occurred.





The weather at no time was too hot owing to the breeze.










September 1943


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

Place                           Date                      Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices



Situation the same as on 31 August, last Volume. The Regiment is engaged in organisation of units in 46 Div into their start loads for ??????? embarkation at BIZERTE. Traffic control for this operation ???? ??? is provided by C Bty RHA.




F Bty RHA is still running cage for ???? P.O.W.s and DD Bty RHA occupied with the D.I.D. and with a Transit Camp for the balance from 46 Div




Major P.H. ????? RA, who had just been relived as B.M.R.A. and then taken over as 2i/c of this Regiment, was posted away. Major E. ???????? is his successor. Leave Party left for TUNIS, total 12 men from the Regt.




Morning Services held in commemoration of the outbreak of War in 1939.




????? News that British and Canadian Troops had landed in Calabria in the morning. DD Battery RHA forming Transit Camps for accommodation for balances in 48 Div personnel. Light. W.E. Scales and W.E. surplus




Captain P. Greenfield MC. RHA. Returned from Junior Commanders Course at M.E.T.C.




“First follow up” of 46 Div are to move out of TEXAS Area 7 September for movements prepare by RHA. Construction of Transit Camps proceeding.




Air raid of 30 hostile aircraft over BIZERTE at 2045 hrs. Not as heavy a raid as two previous on ?????. After the raid a ?????????? of “parachutists” ?????? originated, apparently from the ?? AA Bde. We were led to believe that there was fighting going on in BIZERTE at ???? hrs.




All personnel in the Regiment were warned to stand by and guards were doubled. A General Alarm was arranged. Later information denied fighting in BIZERTE ???? XXX British Troops Bizarte and ?? 11 Bde) maintain that parachutists had fallen in the area. Also that enemy parachute tps had landed on SIDI ????? Aerodrome last night, destroying ? aircraft. No official intimation of this had reached CRA 1 Br Armd Div. Quite a night subsequently.


BIZERTE (Texas Area)


“First follow up! Of 46 Div moved out. Troops of 2 S.A.S. being taken in at the Transit Camps, and also reinforcements. Running the Transit Camps involved organising their NAAFI issue, which causes some difficulty in raising funds.




0800 hrs

At 0800 hrs orders were received that all Airborne Troops in TEXAS to be moved to HOUSTON immediately for loading. In addition road parties arriving during the night had to be direct into HOUSTON. A party of 4 Officers and 2o men from C Bty RHA were engaged in this task.




Each Transit Camp held approximately 800 mend, and warning was received to accommodate and to fee midday a further 1500 of the Airborne Div.




More Craftloads of 2nd and 3rd follow up of 46 Div moving into assembly areas HOUSTON today




Surrender of ITALY announced today, caused considerable jubilation in our P.O.W. Cage.




We heard this morning that our labours of the past few weeks had borne fruit, with the news of a large Allied landing on NAPLES.




Early this morning preparation was being made for dealing with a Bde of Airborne tps arriving, and also the balance of a ??????. The former were to stay in TEXAS, while the latter went into HOUSTON after forming up in TEXAS. Leave Parry went to TUNIS.




Received news that British Airborne Troops had occupied TARANTO, Russians had occupied ???????? and Germans ROME.




4 RHA open up a much larger department, known as TEXAS MOVEMENTS to deal with all the movements both in and out of TEXAS Area, including transit Camps.




Information received that Lt(QM) Marlow. DCM.RHA and his party, who were posted to Tripoli Transit Camp for posting to the UK/K on H.E. in July 43, were still waiting.



Sep 12.

The staff of HQ 5 Corps were Guests at the Officers Mess, being in transit for embarkation. Units arrived in TEXAS area all day, some reinforcements were sent out of transit camps, and a large draught, 600 men, arrived in late at night.




The G.O.C. 1 Br Armd Div, General Galloway, visited the Regiment, and inspected Transit Camps and Batteries. The monthly quota for home establishment (7 ORs) was sent off.



Sep 13.

Large units arrived in the area, including 2 AGRA who were partly incomplete. The Divisional Catering Adviser inspected the Transit Camp Cookhouses, with the usual mixed result



Sep 14.15.16

H.Q. 5 Corps moved out to load.




Sep 17.

15 LST loads moved out today, the largest batch for about a week.




Further orders were received at 0045 hrs for 5 LST loads the following day. Receipt of such orders from POWER HOUSE entails them down, and issuing to units concerned by D.R. Consequently units sometimes received orders for an early morning move as late as 0400 hrs.




Lieut S.R.G. Whetham. RHA arrived back from BONE after bringing a convoy from CAIRO.



Sep 18.

Some members of the convoy party on the way from CAIRO to BONE visited the Regiment. Orders for 19 Sep 43 received at 2300 hours.




A Serjeant of the Regimen on the CAIRO to BONE convoy was relieved of his jeep, so it is alleged, by two German Paratroop on the MITEUR TIM??? Rd, last night. Party of reinforcements arrived in transit Camps




Administration of TEXAS AREA proceeding apace, Transit Camps are consistently taking large drafts of reinforcements, usually about 3000 at a time. These start in the Camps for from one to three days.




In addition, small no-self supporting units are being accommodated.




                                                                  ) No interuption




                                                                  ) of the routine




                                                                  ) Weather still warm




Lieut E, Mather, and Lt, S Eyres RHA      ) Flies numerous in spite of




Departed for U.K. by Air.                          ) traps, eyc. TYPHUS Inoculation




                                                                  ) being given.












Some pleasant surprise was caused by the arrival in a small French Steamer of the 11 (HAC) RHA, who were to rejoin the Division.

From Sicily



Towards evening the weather broke into very heavy rain. This had far reaching effects, beside catching the majority of the Regiment unaware. The area rapidly became muddy.




TEXAS AREA very badly affected by rain still falling, May units were practically immobilised in the mud, but those scheduled for loading managed to move out, though rather late.








The Regiment is now definitely expecting to move in the direction of ALGIERS within the next three weeks, with the prospect of re-equipping.




Expecting a Garrison Battalion to take over present commitments.




Major. R.A. EDEN. DSO. RJA and Captain W.A. SIMBELL. RHA returned from the M.E.T.C. at GAZA.




At the end of September the finish of the present job seems to be slight. The Equipment of the Regiment has not improved at all and transport is being used so much that there are few really serviceable vehicles left.




Leave Parties to TUNIS continued through the month, though the quality of the official billets was not praised by anyone.









October 1943


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

Place                           Date                      Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices



General situation the same as at the end of September, with preparations for moving to ????????, presumably to re-equip, being initiated.

Weather cool and dry



Captain ?? ????? RHA is taking over the appointment of Adjutant from Captain Sir ?? ????? Bart, RHA who is posted to C Battery RHA.

See App A Vehicles held as

No ????????



Naples captured by 5 Army.




A Regimental Conference was held concerning the proposed move. It as decided to send one officer, to represent Regimental intercepts, in advance to ALGIERS area (Captain A.A. Banks MC RHA). Problem of tentage was discussed and also transport by road and rail to ALGIERS on 10 Oct.




It is understood that the ? Suffolks are due to take over our commitments on TEXAS AREA. The fall of NAPLES has precipitated the despatch of 2? ???? Bde, who have been in TEXAS AREA for almost two weeks. The first Regiments were moved down to HOUSTON today.




A large crop of rumours are in circulation concerning the speculative fate of the Regiment. For what they are worth, they consisted mainly of a moved of in ???? that (a) The 4 R.H.A. were to leave 1 Br Armd Div, and (b) the 4 R.H.A. is being sent to England!)




Disposal of “odds” and “sods” of personnel from the Transit Camps is causing a large amount of work, as many have no idea of the location of their units and others have vague posting orders to non-existent formations. A farewell party was held at C Battery for the C.R.A., Brigadier E.J Fowler, who was going home to the U.K. All the Divisional Artillery was represented – a total of over 100 Officers.




The advance party left for ALGIERS under Captain A.A. Banks. MC RHA.




The 31st Bn Suffolk Regiment arrived by train from ALGIERS. Recently from U.K., to take over the duties of 4 Regt and 2 R.H.A. in BIZERTE.




The “Reception Committee” was supplied by F Battery who erected tents for them. No less to say, they are very welcome




The loading of units has been proceeding very slowly for the past three days owing to the lack of L.S.Ts. It is presumed that these are in use with the 8th Army in ITALY. (Salerno landing)




Rain has occurred again today, once more turning the TEXAS AREA into mud. This occasion found everyone much better prepared that on 26 September, with drainage trenches dug.




A working party under Lt. R.A. Stevenson has bee improving tracks in the area of the transit camp for the last two days.




Transport is a difficult problem now because the 276 C.T.C. (R.A.S.C) who used to help us, has moved and 656 Coy (1 Br Armd Div) is already overworked.




31st Suffolks have been shown the area and supplied with details of personnel employed by the Regiment in administrating the area.




Continuing the handing-over to 31 Suffolks. Brig E.J. Fowler left for the U.K.




Lt. R.M ??????. R.Sigs, promoted Captain and will shortly be leaving us.




Major M.P. Seel, MC, RHA was posted to the Regiment from 2 RHA and took over command of “F” Battery of which Capt P. Greenfield MC RHA was acting B.C.




Lieut C, Kerslow rejoing the Regiment after attend an I.Cs Course in Cairo.




One coy of Suffolks moved to take over the transit camps.

Weather fine.



Movement order received from 1 Br Armd Bde for move to area BOLFIELD. 13 miles S.W. of ALGIERS.




DD (Jerboa) Battery celebrated their second birthday with a party during the afternoon and evening.




The Report Centre was taken over from C Bty by 31 Suffolks.




The new O.C. F Tp Signals, Lieut. W. Gaskell, R.Sigs, arrived.




Movement order+ was issues for the Move.

+ 4th Regt RHA




Movement Order



(Sunday) A Harvest Festival Service was held at RHQ for the Regt,

No.1 attached.



The affairs of TEXAS are about SOS handed over to 31 Suffolks, including Transit Camps, Check Points, Report Centre and Movements Office.








The Regimental Advance Party under Major HANKEY RHA left by road at 0500 hrs. Major K.J. McIntyre arrived to Command DD Battery RHA, Major R.A Eden DSO becoming 2nd in Command. Handing over still in progress.




Intermittent Rain.




Today is the last day of handing over according to schedule. TEXAS Area is operated by 31 Suffolks w.e.f. 0600 hrs 14 Oct.

Appex D (Notes on the operation of TEXAS AREA.



The A.F.P.W. Photographs ordered by this Regiment in July arrived from CAIRO




ITALY declared War on GERMANY.



14 Oct)


Heavy rains all morning.


15 Oct)


Weather fine.


16 Oct)

General preparation for move.



17 Oct)




18 Oct

0900 hrs. Loading of the guns and trailers on No.1 Train Party.




Lieut Cozens was posted to the Regt as Lieut (QM). Regimental Conferences on future training – November and December.

App III – Regtl Training Programme.


19 Oct.

The C.O. with the Survey Officer started for ALGIERS Area by Road.



20 Oct.

Expected to start loading stores for No.2 Rail Party during the Afternoon but the train was not available.



21 Oct.

0630 hrs. Recce parties from all Btys at LA PERCHERIE Station were unable to locate our train owing to the adsence of the RTO until 0800 hrs.




0830 hrs. The train was identified and loading started. The Regt was allotted 5 3-tonners from 656 Coy RASC and 10 2½-ton U.S. Army Trucks to assist in loading.




Accommodation was tight averaging out at 22 men per “Couvert”. This was the first time the Regt had travelled by rail since the beginning of hostilities in EGYPT.




1500 hrs. Loading Completed.




1700 hrs. Hot meal at the Station.



2045 hrs

Train started (No.2 Rail Party). The load party were left behind and spent the remainder of the day loading up Vehicles, etc.


22 Oct

0100 hrs

Road Party of C. F. DD Btys and RHA under Major RA Eden DSO started.


23/24 Oct


Road and Rail parties on the move. +

+ See Appx IV




Movement order.


0600 hrs

No.2. Rail Party arrived at Station “MAISON CARREE” and was met by reps of the Advance Party with 16 RASC 3-tonners. Loading commenced,




Distance to Regimental Area approximately 8 miles.




1400 hrs. Unloading completed.




RHQ Opened at 807952)




C Bty       “      “ 806966)             Approximately 3 miles NORTH of KERA (8286).

1/50,000 Sheet 42.



F Bty       “       “ 809941)




DD Bty      “     “ 885945)


KERA (8286). 26 Oct


Day spent in organising and settling in. Order have been received from AFHQ for the Regiment to be ready to move by 4 Nov 43.



1400 hrs.

Road Party arrived.


27 Oct,


It is generally hoped that the proposed move will be to U.K. but there is a great deal of talk and speculation. On this account the C.O. held Muster Parties at RHQ and all Batteries in order to emphasize Security.




The C.O. stressed the importance of not talking about the move, even in the Camp.




The men were all sleeping under cover in Farm Buildings, wine ‘Caves’ etc, though some use it being made of tents. The RE are working at essential repairs still.




Br 1 Armd Div is at BLOFIELD 6089. Regiment conferences re Baggage for the move held.



Oct 28.








Oct 29.

) Working on the Billets : weather much colder.




) Preparing to hand in equipment.



Oct 30.








Oct 31.

) Guns handed in.







Appendices Pending



November 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices


1 to 9


Missing at present










As the date for moving was jumped to imminent, most of the crates were closed up.





At 2000 hrs the embarkation orders were received, to the effect that baggage was to be loaded ai 0900 hrs the following dat, 11 Nov, and personnel 1400 hrs 12 Nov 43.

See Appx “A”




The Advance Party of 44 men per Bty, left under Major P.J.A. Hankey RHA, with the Regimental baggage. Regimental Transport was used, assisted by 4 T.C.Vs. All baggage was loaded during the day.





AT 0900 hrs representatives arrived from other Div. Arty Regts who were to take over remaining vehicles, and cookhouse stores.





Certain vehicles were retained, with their new drivers, to assist in transport down to the quay.





10 T.C.Vs were received to take personnel.





Regiment crossed the start point.





Arrived Mole Des Passengeurs, ALGIERS.





Commenced embarkation, on U.S.S. ANNE ARUNDEL.





Regiment all embarked,





Regiment disembarked, forming up on the Quayside, to hear an address by the Div.Comd, Major-Gen. A. Galloway. CBE. DSO. MC, at 1630 hrs.





Re-embarked. Meal taken on board.





“Abandon Ship” drill was just forestalled by an air-raid alert lasting one hours, during which everyone remained below without lights.





All on deck for “Abandon Ship” practice, time 7 minutes.





The U.S.S. ANNE ARUNDEL was a U.S. Navy vessel, converted cargo ship of about 8,000 tons, and carried 2000 British and American Troops. O.C. Troops Staff was British.





Accommodation was no worse than most troop ships, a distinctive feature of troopdecks being the use of bunks instead of hammocks.





This made mush less free space during daytime. Messing was run on American system, using steel trays with recesses for the food, and was operated by an U.S. Tank Destroyer Bn. on board. Most of the officers were accommodated in cabins – 12 in each -. Gun crews totalling 36 men were supplied by the Regiment for the 12 Oerlikon Guns (A.A.)





The ship has a loud-speaker system over which orders from the bridge are relayed to every part of the ship.





We sailed from the Quay and assembled in the Bay with other units of the convoy.

Ships Standing Orders Notes on the ANNE ARUNDEL




The Regiments chief duty on board was providing a guard for the water-tight doors.

Attached. Appendix “B”.




The Guard for all doors throughout the ship consisted of 48 men, with 4 NCOS and 1 Officer. Watches of 4 hrs were done in turn by Btys and RHQ.

Order for OC Guard,

Orders or NC, and




The duties of this guard were functionally negligible.

Orders for Sentry attd





(See Appendix “C””




Ships Divine Service was held. A Canteen Issue was made to last 8 days (the expected duration of voyage) on a scale of 20 Cigarettes and a Bar of Chocolate per man per day.





No further issue was made for 12 days.





Afternoon and evening brought a more lively sea, and a good idea obtained of how the ship pitched in the head sea.





Some excitement at 1715 hrs caused by one of the escort dropping depth charges.










Passed through Straights of Gibraltar early after which the sea became much smoother.





Clocks out back one hour at 0200 hours. Started to roll.





Gramophone records played through an amplifier nearly all day; no other diversion.





Azores sighted. Clocks xxxxxxxxxxxxx retarded another our at 0200 hrs. 0745 hrs submarine contact was reported.





General opinion on the Ships food is good, but it thought to be not quite sufficient. American type of breakfast not generally approved.





Captain The Viscount Corfedale gave an interesting talk to the Regiment on method of government, keeping everyone laughing for 45 minutes





At 1500 hrs there was another “Abandon Ship” Drill; flat time 5 minutes. Sea very calm.





Ships Divine Service. Weather much colder.





Viscount Corfedale gave another talk, on the reasons for the fall of France.





The Lieut Q.M. Lt.(QM) L.D. Cozens RHA who is the Officer most recently from the U.K. has give a talk to all Batteries on points to watch on reaching England. A high sea all day.





Land sighter to Starboard – IRELAND. During the voyage the C.O. has held Bty Comds conferences in the Officers Lavatory which is the only place apart from the Ward Room where there is any seating accommodation.





By Daylight as were proceeding up the CLYDE, the first sight of Home. Expected to anchor 0900 hrs and hoped to disembark shortly but on reaching point at 1020 hrs learned that there would be no disembarkation before 27 Nov. An E.S.C. brought orders for us to go to ARDLEIGH. There is no indication of where ARDLEIGH might be nor to what formation we were going.





Unloading of baggage commences. Captain Bishop DSO RAH ad the RQMS and 14 Other Ranks form the baggage party which will take the heavy baggage by barge to GLASGOW and load on a good train.





Today being U.S. Thanksgiving Day, there was a special meal Mid-day.





Smoking was permitted on deck at night.





The ships Canteen opened for two period of an hour, and a few of the more fortunate ones obtained 20 cigarettes.





A “Talent Spotting” Contest being a means of providing entertainment was run during the afternoon. The Regiment obtaining first and third place.





American Troops disembarked by tender.





The Regiment disembarked in two parties. RHQ, C Bty and 32 ORS of F Bty followed by F Bty and Dd Bty. Embarked on the tenders at 0800 and 0930 hrs respectively. Disembarked at GOUROCK with a Military Band to Greet us and entrained, also in two parties.





First train stated at 1045 hrs, Second at 1245 hrs. Both were on time.





W.V.S. provided everyone with a cup of tea after entraining. The trains were on schedule all the way, a hot drink being provided later afternoon and tea and sandwiches late at night.






On arrival at ARDLEIGH, near Colchester, at 0215 hrs and 0450 hrs respectively, the trains were met by a Reception Party who took Btys and RHQ to their respective billets. This reception was very well arranged especially in view of the darkness occasion by an air-raid alert during the arrival of the first party.





Billets, with beds were all prepares with fires in each room and a hot meal was ready. A certain amount of sleep was obtained before daylight.

Ref Map England and Wales.

Sheet 98 1” to 1 Mile.

C Bty :



The Reception Part is to mage and take care of the Billets and Accommodation while this Regiment is away on leave.


East Bergholt



No Billets or stores are being taken over until return from leave.





Cooking is being done by ACC Cooks provided.


F Bty :



Rations are Field Service U.K a special scale for exercises.


Old House 4242



There is no sign of the baggage Party.


DD Bty :



The Regiment is Administrated by ESSEX AND SUFFOLK DISTRICT


Tendring Hall 4454



We have not been able to find out to what formation we belong.





Arrangements being made for the Regiment to proceed on leave. (Disembarkation)





It appears that that we are in 21 Army Group and are at present on loan to 30 Corps but this has not been confirmed,





Captain B. Bishop. DSO and Baggage Party arrive at 1300 hrs and a message was received to say the baggage left GLASGOW yesterday.





The AFRICA STAR Ribbon has arrived and is being distributed.








Appendices Pending



December 1943

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




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices






During the month of December the bulk of the Regiment was on disembarkation leave. A small party, including one officer and an Artillery Clerk, were left in billets.





The Regiment came under comd 5 AGRA, as part of 30 Corps.





The baggage arrived in several spasms at ARDLEIGH station between 10-25 December. Many of the oranges were good condition, though others were noticeable in the air up to the New Year.









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