War Diaries of 4th Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

1944

 

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January 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

ARDLEIGH, ESSEX

1

 

Location of Batteries :-

                C Bty – St. Mary’s Abbey, EAST BERGHOLT, 520526

                F Bty – Old House, GREAT HORKESLEY, 423483

             DD Bty – TENDRING HALL, STOKE-by-NAYLAND, 441540

                RHQ – Elm Park. ARDLEIGH, 503470

Ref Map O.S. 1” to mile

Sheet 97

 

 

 

The Regiment was spread over an area of approximately 20 Sq miles, in billets with accommodation stores. Otherwise, there was no equipment at all. The total transport lent by the RASC is 1 Humber car and one 3-tonlorry, the latter being used to draw rations.

 

 

 

 

On the night of 1-2 January, the 28-day personnel returned from leave ; thus, only those in Scotland and Eire remained away.

 

 

 

 

Work is concerned with cleaning the bullets and organising the routine operations.

 

 

 

 

A Brigadier Morley, comd 5 AGRA, paid a visit to RHQ today and met the 2 i/c. Other regiments under his command include 7 Med 64 Med, 84 Med 121 Med, and 52 Hy, some of whom are old friends.

 

 

2

 

A canteen was opened in ARDLEIGH, for the use of RHQ men at night, operated by the WVS.

 

 

6

 

By today all had returned from leave, less a few absentees.

 

 

7

 

Brigadier Morley again visit us in order to see the accommodation. He went round each Bty with the CO.

 

 

8

 

Equipment is eagerly awaited and, in the meantime, the time is spent in improving the bullets and in route marches, the CAGRA having laid down that each man should do a 10-mile route march once a fortnight.

 

 

12

 

Orders were received from the War Office for us to mobilise, completion to be by 0001 hrs 1 Feb 44, War Establishment No. 190 B.

 

 

 

 

All applications were made for reinforcements, &c. Considerable complication was found owing to the fact that we were reforming and mobilising at one and the same time.

 

 

14-16

 

parties left for various parts of the country today to pick up our first allotment of vehicles which were 6 3-tonners, 6 15-ctws, 1 watercart, 2 Austin utilities, and 11 motor cycles. We were very sorry to see that most of the vehicles were Fordson : our minds went back to the time when these vehicles had given us so many headaches.

 

 

19-23

 

The guns, 25-prs MK II with muzzle brakes, arrived at COLCHESTER STN, where they were unloaded and brought to RHQ for checking by the EME. The gun stores also arrived and the Q stores became a hive of activity. Things were finally straightened out and by 23 Jan all guns and stores that had so far arrived had been checked and issued out to the Batteries.

 

 

24

 

The regimental cadre classes and specialist class, which were due to commence on the 24th, with postponed until the 26th so that the Batteries could hand over guns and gun stores to Nos.1.

 

 

26

 

The senior NCOs’ cadre class commenced at C Bty under Major P J A Hankey, RHA ; and the junior NCOs’ Cadre Class at DD Bty under Captain P Greenfield, MC, RHA.

 

 

 

 

A Specialist Classes began at RHQ under Lieut. G Kershaw RHA and Lieut. C E Hutchinson RHA. The representatives in each class, only to transport difficulties, moved in each case to the Battery at which their class was being held. The Signalling classes, which was scheduled to start at the same time, had to be postponed owing to the complete lack of signalling equipment.

 

 

27

 

the QM left for GREENFORD to check over stores - almost all the remainder of G1098 equipment. EME, Lieut. Ison, became Captain Ison and left to take over new duties as EME 5 AGRA, our new establishment allowing only 12 men under a WO I in L.A.D.

 

 

30

 

Some of the Stores from Greenford arrived in 2 10-ton lorries.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Throughout the month, parties were being sent on privilege leave and a total of 7 officers and 31 ORs went on various courses on Sherman Instrn (Driving and V Mechanics), Pay Duties, BC’s Refresher, Tp Commanders’, CPOs ', Waterproofing, Messing, Cooks, Signal AI, PT, Special Drivers and Carrier Maintenance.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

February 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Ardleigh Nr. Colchester

 

 

We were visited to-day by the CAGRA 30 Corps Troops. Lt Col. Joselyn, accompanied by is 2nd in Command Major Brookes and Captain Lyons from 5 AGRA.

 

Essex

 1st

 

They discussed the establishment of the LAD with the Adjutant, and other officers. Lieut. K. D. Bangham arrived to join the Regiment and was posted to C Bty RHA.

 

 

 

 

This officer has been in the Middle East, having been captured at Mersa Matruh in June 1942 when working with 11th (HAC) RHA and has escaped from Italy in September 1942

 

 

 2nd

 

 

 

 

 3rd

 

Regimental Signalling Courses with Lieut. W. P. Gaskell, Royal Corps of Signals, resumed to-day at “F” Bty, RHA.

 

 

 4th

 

 

 

 

 5th

 

Notification for the collection of many more trucks, which will almost complete us to full establishment.

 

 

 6th

 

 

 

 

 7th

 

Parties left to-day for Leicester and Nuneaton under Lieut. R. A. Stevenson, RHA., to collect 36 Morris Tractors F.A. and 3 15 cwt water carts. These parties stayed the night at Butterworth Staging Camp

 

 

 8th

 

Another party left for Northampton under Lieut. K. D. Bangham, RHA., to collect 15 3 tonners, 8 utilities 4 x 1 and 18 15 cwt G.S. This party stayed two nights in an empty house in Northampton, where they had to do their own cooking. Two men left from RHQ to collect the 15cwt office truck from Sevenoaks.

 

 

 9th

 

The first vehicle party returned having completed the trip with little incident save a slight altercation with the RTO at Leicester station.

 

 

10th

 

The second party returned intact.

 

 

11th

 

Posting Orders received to day of 121 O.R.s to complete us to establishment first line reinforcements.

 

 

12th

 

Senior and junior NCOs’ Cadre classes ended.

 

 

14th

 

100 of the reinforcements arrived at various times throughout the day and were distributed to Batteries. The remainder were either notified as “to follow” or as “not suitable”.

 

 

 

 

Two NCOs from ITC came to witness the signing of the “Warning Rolls” which have to be signed by all ORs in the Regiment and witnesses by two NCOs who will not be going overseas.

 

 

15th

 

We came to-day under 21 Army Group system of communication and Sgt (AO) Keighley, B., our records clerk, was despatched to 2nd Echelon with all the A.Fs B103 and 199 A of the Regiment. 15 Officers and 103 ORs went to Halstead for a parade and talk by the C-in-C 21 Army Group, General Sir Bernard Montgomery.

 

 

 

 

The party went over in a Regtl convoy and in spite of a wrong turning arrived at Halstead at 1300 hrs. They then marched to the Football Field and formed up with other units from 5 AGRA and a Ech from 50 Div. The Comd, after talking to certain C.Os., walked round the ranks and returned to his jeep. From there he told the troops to close in and addresses them for about 10 mins. The unexpected part of the parade was the fact that the whole population of Halstead, which seemed to consist mostly of children, were also present on the outskirts of the parade and almost outnumbered the troops

 

 

16th

 

Four officers posted to the Regiment arrived to-day. Lieut. J. Hendry and Lieut. J. Conners were posted to “C” Bty, RHA. 2/Lieut. R.G.H. Clemo to “F” Bty RHA and Lieut K Wilson to R.H.Q. The Specialist and Signalling Courses end to-day.

 

 

17th)

 

A film unit arrived at the Regiment. They stayed with us for four days giving a performance at each Bty, one on the 17th, one of the 18th and one on the 19th Feb.

 

 

18th)

 

 

 

 

19th)

 

 

 

 

20th

 

The Regiment moved up to Thornham Range, Norfolk, for a shorty firing camp. The left the Regimental area at approx. 0900 hrs and arrived at Thornham before dusk. The Regiment was billeted in empty houses, “C” and “DD” Btys at Holme, “F” Bty and RHQ at Thornham, 1 mile away.

 

 

21st

 

A day of course shooting. “C” Bty fired in the morning and “DD” Bty came into the same positions the afternoon.

 

 

22nd

 

Sqn Air O.P. did some night shoots with one Bty from 0700 hrs with some quite successful results. From 0930 hrs there was more course shooting with “F” Bty, while the Air O.P. shot another troop on Sanctuary Range with most successful results. During the morning one of “F” Btys guns fired itself twice, much to the consternation of the No. 1. The cause was thought to be a piece of grit in the firing mechanism,

 

 

 

 

The affects of bad ramming was also seen when a round reported as badly rammed fell about 500 yds short, even when an extra 1000 yds had been added to the range.

 

 

 

 

At 1700 hrs the Regiment moved out to return to Ardleigh and reached Mile End Plantation, Nr Norwich, at about 2030 hrs, where the Regiment stayed the night. There were no houses here and it was a case of sleeping out in the open once again, the first time the Regiment had had to do this since the move for BIZERTA to ALGIERS in October last year.

 

 

23rd

 

After an 0830 hrs move the Regiment was back shortly after midday.

 

 

24th

 

A Party left for Northampton to collect 11 15cwt W/T trucks, while five 3 tonners went to Crystal Palace to collect 34 motor cycles. Both parties returne safely.

 

 

25th

 

The C.O. attend a conference on the shooting at Thornham, The CAGRA said the standard was generally low and stressed the following faults :

 

 

 

 

                                                     (1) bad laying.

 

 

 

 

                                                     (2) bad ramming.

 

 

 

 

                                                     (3) slow signalling

 

 

 

 

                                                     (4) slow reaction to fall of shot.

 

 

26th

 

The CC RA 1 Corps, Brigadier Manners-Smith, came to see us to-day and met the C.O. and Bty Commanders at lunch at RHQ.

 

 

27th

 

 

 

 

28th

 

 

 

 

29th

 

During the month training was carried on as follows :

 

 

 

 

Prior to Practice Camp – Individual training of Gunners, Drivers, Signallers and Specialists.

 

 

 

 

After Practice Camp – Troop gun drill, laying, signalling, and driving instruction (including night driving).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About a dozen men during the month went of courses for Driver Mechanics, Driver Operators, Potential Nos, 1, ACC Cooks, Drivers i/c, R.A. Technical Stormen and Armament Artificiers.

 

 

 

 

The number of reinforcements posted to us during the month was :-

 

 

 

 

                        Signallers           27

 

 

 

 

                        Dvr/Operators     6

 

 

 

 

                        Drivers i/c          16

 

 

 

 

                        G.P.O.As.           6

 

 

 

 

                        Gunners             50

 

 

 

 

                        Artificers RA       1 

 

 

 

 

                        Linesman           12

 

 

 

 

                        M/C Orderlies     2

 

 

 

 

                                  TOTAL 120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Ardleigh

Nr. Colchester

 

 

Notification in from RA 1 Corps informing us that we came under their comd wef today, but that we were to remain under comd 5 AGRA for training until 27 Mar 144, thereafter to move from practice camp at REDESDALE to STOBS, in South Scotland, can come under comd 3 Br Inf Div.

 

Essex

1

 

Discussion is still ongoing on with regard our Padre’s (the Rev, G F Winder) posting to 8 AGRA. We received instructions from 1 Corps to keep him with us for now and they would see what they could do for us. The I.O., Lt. S R G Whetham, RHA, attended a lecture at HQ 5 AGRA by Major Winter, of the War Office, on the Monomark system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

Bty parties left today for FOULNESS to carry out there the zeroing of sights and to do a small amount of A Tk shooting. All guns were taken. Results were not very satisfactory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

Zeroing of sights was not completed owing to the fact that correct results could not be obtained because the guns had not been calibrated. Gun sections went round a man-handling course and a Section from F Tp, F Bty RHA, under Lt. F W Simpson, RHA, went round the course in 12 mins, a time which had not been equalled or bettered for a year. Remaining 15-cwt W/T trucks, to complete establishment, arrived safely in the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

Parties left early this morning for one day’s shooting at SANCTUARY RANGES. Each Bty took all their guns and just some vehs with the small number of personnel that remained in Bty areas. Capt F Greenfield, MC, RHA, went ahead of the main party to fix billets and details of shooting. The Co went to the Ranges direct from London, where he had been to visit the CCRA of 1 Corps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

Proceedings at the Ranges were 2 hrs late in starting owing to a heavy mist which was too thick to allow the air OP pilot to see the tgt that was going to be engaged. All guns were calibrated and two Btys did an Air OP shoot. There was only sufficient time available to do about six course shoots.

 

 

7

 

Parties returned from Sanctuary Ranges, arriving in the Regtl area about 4 o’clock. Lt-Col L J Livingstone-Learmouth, MC, RHA and Major R R Seel, MC. RHA went straight up to Londo for the King’s Investiture.

 

 

10

 

Capt J R Jones RA, Capt A E Methwell RA and Capt D H N Horne, East Surreys, arrived to out the Regt through the Monomark test.

 

 

11

 

The Regimental staff went down to Felixtowe to take part in a Signal Exercise together with all other Arty Regts in the AGRA.

 

 

12

 

C Bty RHA, commanded by Major W G Harris, MC, RHA, took part in a landing-craft exercise at BRIGHTLINGSEA under Lt Harvey RA.

 

 

13

 

F Bty RHA, commanded by Major R R Seel, MC, RHA, tool part in a landing-craft exercise and succeeded in doing a great number of embarkations and disembarkations that had ever been done before.

 

 

14

 

F Bty RHA gave a demonstration of gun drill at a war factory near Chelmsford.

 

 

 

 

The war workers were very much impressed by the demonstrations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

RHQ did the landing-craft exercise. F Bty gave a dinner party in honour of the Col. Commandant R.H.A. Major General A.A, Goschen, C.B. D.S.O. at the Old House, Great Horkesley, which was attended by all officers of the Regt and Brigadier Morley, MC, CRA of 5 AGRA. After dinner Lt-Col L J Livingstone-Learmouth, MC, RHA, made a short speech in which he deplored the necessity of the Regt Padre. Captain the Rev. G. Winder, to leave the Regt and paid tribute to him.

 

 

16

 

Maj-Gen A A Groshen. CB. DSO, made a tour of inspection of the Regt, visiting each Bty in turn. Lt E C Lyte, RHA, an old member of the Regiment who had escaped from a PoW Camp in Italy, rejoined and was posted to C Bty RHA.

 

 

17

 

Capt the Rev G Winder left the Regt to join 77 Med Regt RA. His departure was regretted by all.

 

 

18

 

An adv party, under comd Major P J A Hankey, RHA, left for STOBS, staying the night at Doncaster.

 

 

20

 

The main party left for STOBS by road, under comd Major A H D Barrow, MC. RHA, staying night 20/21 at Lutterworth. Brig-Gen Charlton paid a visit to the Regt but left immediately on learning that the Regt was in the process of moving.

 

LUTTERWORTH

Northhants

 

 

The main party continued the march to STOBS, staying the night 20/21 at Doncaster and arriving there without incident.

 

DONCASTER

22

 

The main party continued the march to STOBS, staying the night 22/23 at Catterick, arriving there without incident.

 

STOBS

Roxburghshire

23

 

The main rd party arrived at their destination about 1700 hrs. The rear party under comd Capt B Bishop, DSO, RHA, left ARDLEIGH at 1845 hrs by rail.

 

 

24

 

The rail party arrived at STOBS at 0945 hrs. The journey was without incident, except that one goods wagon loaded with amn for F Bty RHA was dropped en route as it was in danger of catching fire.

 

 

16

 

Maj-Gen A A Groshen. CB. DSO, made a tour of inspection of the Regt, visiting each Bty in turn. Lt E C Lyte, RHA, an old member of the Regiment who had escaped from a PoW Camp in Italy, rejoined and was posted to C Bty RHA.

 

 

17

 

Capt the Rev G Winder left the Regt to join 77 Med Regt RA. His departure was regretted by all.

 

 

18

 

An adv party, under comd Major P J A Hankey, RHA, left for STOBS, staying the night at Doncaster.

 

 

20

 

The main party left for STOBS by road, under comd Major A H D Barrow, MC. RHA, staying night 20/21 at Lutterworth. Brig-Gen Charlton paid a visit to the Regt but left immediately on learning that the Regt was in the process of moving.

 

LUTTERWORTH

Northhants

 

 

The main party continued the march to STOBS, staying the night 20/21 at Doncaster and arriving there without incident.

 

DONCASTER

22

 

The main party continued the march to STOBS, staying the night 22/23 at Catterick, arriving there without incident.

 

STOBS

Roxburghshire

23

 

The main rd party arrived at their destination about 1700 hrs. The rear party under comd Capt B Bishop, DSO, RHA, left ARDLEIGH at 1845 hrs by rail.

 

 

24

 

The rail party arrived at STOBS at 0945 hrs. The journey was without incident, except that one goods wagon loaded with amn for F Bty RHA was dropped en route as it was in danger of catching fire.

 

STOBS

25

 

Lt-Col L J Livingstone-Learmouth MC RHA went on a reconnaissance of the Ettrick Br Arty Ranges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

0600

A parry with Lt P S Millington, RHA, in charge took one gun per Bty to be calibrate at OTTERBURN for standard guns.

 

 

 

1900

The CCRA, Brig Manners-Smith, and the CRA, Brig Mears, MCm had dinner in the Regtl Officers’ Mess.

 

 

27

 

The Regt started its course shooting programmes with C Bty RHA, commanded by Major W G Harris, MC, RHA, and DD Bty RHA, commanded by Major A H D Barrow MC RHA in action and OPs on Barrel Law. The CCRA and the CRA were present.

 

 

28

 

Course shooting continues with F Bty, commanded by Major R R Seel, MC, RHA, in action and OPs on Langhope. After the shooting, Lt-Col L J Livingstone-Learmouth, MC, RHA, Major P J A Hankey, RHA, Major R R Seel, Major Barrow, MC. RHA and Capt J L Knyvett, RHA, left by road for Glasgow to catch the night train to Inverness to be spectators at the Leap Year Exercise.

 

 

29

 

No course shooting was done today owing to the absence of the CO and BCs.

 

 

 

 

A party left the Regt to go to Gateshead to collect Bren Carrier

 

 

30

1200

Course shooting recommenced with C Bty commanded by Major W H Harris, MC. RHA, in action and OPs om Barrel Law. The officers returned from Leap Year Exercise.

 

 

 

 

Six Bren Gun Carriers arrived.

 

 

31

 

Course shooting continued with F Bty in action and OPs on Langhope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendices Pending

 

 

April 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

STOBS

 

 

 

 

ROXBOROUGHSHIRE

1

 

Course shooting continued with DD Battery RHA commanded by Major AHD Barrow MC RHA, in action and O.P. at LANGHORN,

 

 

3.

 

Course shooting continued with C Battery RHA commanded by Major W.G. Harris MC RHA in action and O.Ps at The Dod. Captain. B. Bishop. DSO. RHA was killed today in an accident on the Ranges when the Bren Carrier in which he was travelling overturned.

 

 

4.

 

A Battery Drill Order for C Battery RHA Command by Major W.G. Harris RHA took place.

 

 

5.

 

The Regiment took over the Telephone Exchange from 9th Inf Bde. DD Bty RHA had a Bty Drill Order. A Burial Party of 6 bearers and 12 Riflemen plus BSM Ellis of B Battery left for Leamington Spa to attend the funeral of the later Captain B. Bishope. DSO. RHA. Major R. R. Seel MC RHA, Lt. F.G. Simpson MM RHA, and Lieut. F.D. Crosthwaite RHA accompanied the party as representatives of the Regiment.

 

 

6.

 

F Battery RHA commanded by Major R.R. Seel MC RHA held a Bty Drill Order on ETTRICK BRIDGE Ranges. The C.O. had arranged for a week end holiday, but an Army Order which cancelled all leave with effect from 0001 hours 6 April 1944 prevented it.

 

 

7.

 

The later Captain B. Bishop. DSO RHA was interned at LEAMINGTON SPA will full Military Honours. Major P.J. Hankey. RHA left to visit 1 Corps and 21 Army Group to endeavour to speed up the issue of long overdue equipment.

 

 

8.

 

Preliminary orders issued for the Regimental Exercise UBIQUE which is scheduled to take place on the 11th, 12th and 13th on ETTRICK BRIDGE Range Area.

 

 

9.

 

The D.C.R.A. Colonel R.G. Hill, OBE, MC arrived to conduct the Exercise UBIQUE.

 

 

10.

 

Captain (IG) M.D. Burroughs. RA gave a lecture to all Officers of the Regiment on D.F. Tasks and concentrations. A Command Post Scheme was carried out by all the C.P.Os and G.P.Os of the Regiment.

 

 

11.

 

Orders were given to the C.O. by Colonel R.G. Hill, OBE, MC for the exercise UBIQUE. The C.O. Lieut. Col. L. J. Livingstone-Learmouth MC RHA gave his orders to the B.Cs for the exercise. Major P.J.A. Hankey. RHA returned from his visit from 1 Corps having been successful in obtaining the promises of an early delivery of our missing G.1098 Equipment.

 

 

 

1000

The Regiment proceed on to Exercise “UBIQUE” and staged the night in a ‘Hide’ area. The approach march was made without incident. Umpires were provided by the 150 Field Regiment RA.

 

 

12.

0700

The Exercise continue with the C.O. “landing” and meeting the DCRA for orders on the “beach”. The Regiment disembarked and went into action. In the course of the day 2 positions were occupied, the second being a nightoccupaton.

 

 

 

 

Many mistakes were made by all branchers of the Regiment and many lessons learned.

 

 

13.

 

During the night 12/13, D.F. and S.O.S. tasks were fired and also harassing Fire from alternative positions. The exercise continues at dawn with observed fire from all O.Ps. The exercise end at 1200 hours.

 

 

 

1700

The DCRS called a conference for all Officers and discussed the various points which arose from the exercise. It was generally supposed that although many lessons were learned the exercise was not as successful as might have been hoped.

 

 

14.

 

All the guns in the Regiment were sent out to positions on ETTRICK BRIDGE Artillery Ranges and comparative calibration was carried out. RHQ went to Barns Moss Small Arms Ranges and all types of small arms were fired. The results were quite good.

 

 

15.

 

A lecture was given to all Officers and specialists of theRegiment on MIKE TARGET procedure by Captain (IG) M.D. Burroughs. R.A. This was followed by a Command Post Layout Exercise.

 

 

 

1400

The Regiment went out to Exercise “Face-saver”. The Exercise, which was slightly successful was concluded by an Upper Register Shoot which was not so successful.

 

STOBS

ROXBOROUGHSHIRE

16

 

The C.O. and the Adjutant tried very hard to obtain some information regarding the Regiments move to take part in Exercise “MANNERS II”. No information could be obtained from any source until the Adjutant rang up Movement Control Perth, Scotland, who were very helpful and produced a movement order and the data necessary to take a Regiment on the long march down to LARKHILL.

 

 

17.

 

The Regiment moved out on the first stage of its march to LARKHILL to take part in Exercise “MANNERS II”. The C.O. Lt.Col L. J. Livingstone-Learmouth. MC. RHA went one ahead to visit 1 Corps.

 

PRESTON, LANCS.

 

 

The staging camp for the night of 17/18 was as PRESTON, in Lancashire. The convoy arrived in the staging area at 2000 hrs without incident. It was interesting to note the efficiency of the Lancaster civil police who escorted the convoy through the city.

 

 

18.

 

At 0630 hrs the march continued; the next staging area at CIRENCESTER being reached again without mishap. The staging Camp itself was not as well organised as the one the previous night.

 

CIRENCESTER, GLOUC.

19.

0630

The Regimental Convoy left for the last stage of the journey to Larkhill arriving without mishap to the ‘hidearea’ at 1300 hrs.

Exercise “MANNERS II”

Ref 1” Map SALIBURY PLAINS.

 

 

1400

Immediately on arrival the recce party went out under the Command of Major P.J.A. Hankey RHA to recce gun areas. It commenced raining at 1830 hrs.

 

 

 

1900

The C.O. Lt.Col L. J. Livingstone-Learmouth. MC. RHA went for orders at HQ of the 3rd Canadian Division and received orders for the Regiment to move into action at 2200 hrs. The C.O. went for further orders at 2300 hrs,

 

 

20

0001

Heavy rain continued throughout the night 19/20 making conditions extremely miserable and difficult. Shooting commence at dawn and with daylight the rain ceased. The Regiment had many commitments throughout the morning and at 1043 hours a message was received from the C.C.R.A.. Brigadier Maners-Smith, to the effect that on a barrage which was fired by all Divisional Artillery the shooting was an extremely high standard and that all ranks were to be congratulated.

 

LARKHILL, WILTS.

20

1730

The Exercise “MANNERS II” was concluded and the Regiment returned to the ‘Hide area’ to do maintenance of guns and vehicles and spend the night 20/21 April.

 

 

 

 

The C.O. Lieut-Colonel. L. J. Livingstone-Learmouth. MC. RHA went to HQ 3 Canadian Div for a conference on the exercise, and an advance party commanded by Major P.J.A. Hankey. RHA left for the new Regimental area near COLCHESTER.

 

STEVENAGE, HERTS

21

0630

The Regimental Convoy, led by the Adjutant, Captain S.R.G. Whetham. RHA left Larkhill for the first stage of the journey to COLCHESTER. An accident occurred just outside ANDOVER when a gun of F Battery RHA commanded by Major F.J.A. Seel/ MC. RHA, whilst going down a hell got out of control and overturned with the limber and quad. 1 Other Rank received a broken leg and another had head injuries. The gun received only minor damage. The Regiment stage the night 21/22 at STEVENAGE, HERTS.

 

 

22.

0630

The Regiment left on the last stage of the journey to COLCHESTER arriving at COLCHESTER STATION at 1315 hours, where the convoyed dispersed to go to individual locations. All Batteries an RHQ (with the exception of C Bty RHA) returned to their previous locations which are:-

 

 

 

 

RHQ to ARDLEIGH, near COLCHESTER.

 

 

 

 

F Bty RHA to GREAT HORKESLEY, near COLCHESTER.

 

 

 

 

DD Bty RHA to TENDRING HALL, STOKE-by-NAYLAND, near COLCHESTER.

 

 

 

 

C Bty RHA were billeted at RED HOUSE FARM, NAYLAND, near COLCHESTER.

 

 

23.

 

The day is spent in settling down in the new area. All ranks are pleased to return to their old haunts.

 

 

24.

 

Permission was granted for C Bty RHA Commanded by Major W.G. Harris. MC. RHA to return to their old area at EAST BERGHOLT as the accommodation at RED HOUSE FARM was inadequate and the M.O., Capt. D.L.C. GREIG. RAMC, suspected the presence of insects in the mens’ quarters.

 

ARDLEIGH

Near. COLCHESTER

25

 

The C.R.E.M.E 51 Highland Division, Major Humphries, REME, paid a visit to the Regiment and offered many helpful suggestions.

 

ESSEX

 

 

He also promised to obtain as many vacancies for water-proofing courses as were available.

 

 

26.

 

A Regimental exercise for practice of M and U Targets was held at RHA at ELM PARK, ARDLEIGH, near COLCHESTER, ESSEX. The results proved that many lessons had been learned in the engagements of this type of target on the previous exercises in which the Regiment has participated.

 

 

27.

 

A party consisting of 4 Guns per Bty left for the Command Workshops of the 51st Highland Division at KENTFORS for modification.

 

 

28.

 

It was learned that Lieut E.G. LYTE. RHA of C Bty RHA had been awarded the Military Cross for services following his escape from a P.O.W. Camp in ITALY.

 

 

 

 

DD Battery RHA commanded by Major AHD Barrow spent the day at MIDDLEWICK Small Arms Range.

 

 

 

 

F Battery RHA commanded by Major R.A Seel MC RHA celebrated their Battle Honour AHMED KELL with a sports afternoon followed by a dinner and dance. The guests included the C.O. Lieut-Colonel. L. J. Livingstone-Learmouth. MC. RHA, the 2nd in Command Major P.J.A. Hankey, RHA and Adjutant, Captain S.R.G. WHETHAM RHA.

 

 

29.

 

Captain S.R.G. WHETHAM RHA left for a visit to HQ 1 Corps to settle a number of problems and to endeavour to facilitate the issues of some of our own long overdue equipment.

 

 

 

 

C Bty RHA, F Bty RHA, and RHQ used the MIDDLEWICK S.A. Ranges. The standard of shooting showed great improvement on the last S.A. exercise.

 

 

 

 

Major MILLIGAN RA came down to discuss some of our equipment problems and staged with us the night 29/30. A number of problems were discussed, and we await the fruits of his visit. He conveyed a letter to C.C.R.A. 1 Corps from the C.O. showing the course of the signal troop and its wanders through various formations since the Regiment returned from B.N.A.F.

 

 

 

 

It is hoped that some action will now be taken and the Signal Section will be provided with the means to signal.

 

 

30

 

Some excitement is caused when it is learned that a large consignment of Signal Equipment was awaiting collection at A.D.C.E. 51 (H) Division.

 

 

 

 

One charging Motor was the result.

 

 

 

 

- - - - - -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

ARDLEIGH.

 1

0800

The Armourer/Sarjeant held an inspection of the Small Arms of C Battery RHA.

 

 

 

1400

DD Battery RHA used the Small Arms Range. A marked improved in the previous S.A. Exercise was observed.

 

 

 2.

0900

F Battery RHA has a Small Arms Inspection by the Armourer/Sarjeant.

 

 

 

0940

20 Other Ranks and 6 vehicles from the Regiment left to attend a Waterproofing Course at 154 Ind Bde Workshops at BUNGAY.

 

 

 

0900

C Battery RHA held an exercise to practice the driving on and off of landing craft at the Eastern Command P.T. School, COLCHESTER.

 

 

 

1400

RHA held landing craft exercise at Eastern Command P.T. School, COLCHESTER.

 

 

 3.

0900

F Battery RHA held landing craft exercises.

 

 

 

1200

Brigadier Wedderburn-Maxwell, RHA Southern Command accompanied by Colonel. Stanford, late C.C.R.A. 10 Corps paid a visit to the Regiment and inspected RHQ and Batteries.

 

 

 

1400

DD Battery RHA held landing craft exercises.

 

 

 4.

0830

One third of Ford Fan Crankshaft pullers of the Regiment were sent to 51(H) Div Workshops for modification.

 

 

 

0900

Individual Signal Training and Gun Drill was carried out in all Batteries, during the day.

 

 

 5.

0830

A Regimental Exercise was carried out. Gun positions were occupied in training area East of Colchester.

 

 

 

 

Special attention was paid to the use of the No.22 Set R.C. Units and an experiment in the use of facility No.9 on the instruction panel, was successfully made.

 

 

 

1300

The exercise continued in heavy rain, and another gun position was occuplied.

 

 

 

1630

End of exercise. Many lessons, especially in the use of W/T communication, had been learned.

 

 

 6.

0900

Batteries netted to RHQ from their locations and all communications throughout the day were made in R/T.

 

 

 

1100

The C.O. left to attend a Conference of the R.H.A Old Comrades Association in LONDON.

 

 

 7.

1400

Parties left for collection of vehicles from various V.R.Ds throughout the country.

 

 

 

1800

The remaining Ford Fan Crankshaft pulleys in the Regiment were sent for modification,

 

 

 8.

0900

Gun Drill and Signal Training was carried out throughout the Regiment. Wireless set were collected.

 

 

 

1200

Lieut REYNOLDS, RAOC, arrived to test and calibrate all the Wireless Sets in his “Z” Lorry.

 

 

 9.

0900

Lieut REYNOLDS RAOC commence testing of wireless sets. Battery Gun Drill was held in all Batteries.

 

 

 

1400

Lieut J. MORGAN. RASC of 1667 Arty Platoon, RASE arrived with news of his platoon.

 

 

10.

0900

Continuing of testing of wireless sets. Further wireless sets collected. Packing and preparation of shooting at THORNHAM Ranges.

 

 

11.

0900

First party left with guns from C, and DD Btys for calibration at THORNHAM.

 

 

12.

1000

Remainder of DD Bty left for THORNHAM Ranges for Course Shooting.

 

 

 

1400

Remainder of C Bty RHA left for Course shooting at THORNHAM.

 

 

13.

0600

F Battery left for calibration and Course shooting at THORNHAM.

 

 

 

1200

First Party, consisting of RHQ and all Btys less THORNHAM party under command Major W.F. HARRIS. MC. RHA left COLCHESTER area for the final concentration area at SOUTHEND on SEA.

 

SOUTHEND

 

1600

Arrival of Regiment in concentration area. Unpacking and occupation of Billets Commenced

 

ESSEX

14.

0830

RHQ and all Batteries commence preparing vehicles of Stage “A” Waterproofing.

 

 

 

1630

Remainder of THORNHAM Shooting Party arrived in concentration area.

 

 

15

0830

Stage “A” Waterproofing of all vehicles commence throughout the Regiment. Continuation of the testing of all Wireless stores and equipment by the “Z” Lorry party.

 

 

 

1300

All First Line Reinforcements were posted from the Regiment to 36 R.H.U and 103 Reinforcement Group.

 

 

16

 

Continuation of waterproofing of vehicles and testing wireless equipment. Captain J.E. HOYLE R.A. joined the Regiment as a First Line Reinforcement.

 

 

17

0900

The Medical Officer, Captain D.L.C. GREIGG. RAMC held a Medical Inspection of all Ranks in the Regiment. Stage “A” of Waterproofing continued and also the testing of wireless equipment.

 

 

18

0900

Stage “A” Waterproofing continued and a few representative vehicle from the Regiment were wade to test the efficiency of the waterproofing. Bedford Watercart was ‘drown’, but the cause was subsequently traced.

 

 

19

0900

Continuation of waterproofing and testing of wireless sets.

 

 

 

1030

40 men from the Regiment attended a film on “SEX HYGIEME” at LEIGH ON SEA.

 

 

 

1400

A Lecture on “Escaping” was given by an ex-P.O.W. Fleet Air Arm Officers to all Officers and Senior NCOs of the Regiment.

 

 

20

0900

More vehicles were successfully waded and waterproofing continued. A number of new wireless sets which had arrived were tested by the “Z” Lorry party.

 

 

21

0900

All Stage “A” Waterproofing was completed and the day spent in packing and preparation for the Regimental Exercise.

 

 

22

0900

Continuation of preparation for the Regimental Exercise.

 

 

 

1600

Commencement of Exercise. Vehicle Groups moved off in Phase as were to be expected in Exercise “OVERLORD”.

 

 

 

 

Captain J.E. HOYLE. RA acted as Officer i/c Transit Area, and critic. A Regimental area was occupied and built up as various phases arrived,

 

 

 

2200

The C.O. Lieut-Colonel. L.J. Livingstone-Learmonth. MC. RHA attended a Conference at 4 AGRA returning with the news that the personnel of M.T.16 would move to a Concentration Area the following day.

 

 

23.

0430

End of exercise. The Regiment moved back to Billets at SOUTHEND and final preparation made for M.T.16 personnel to move to concentration area.

 

 

 

1000

The party moved out to the Concentration Area on the SOUTHEND-by-pass.

 

 

 

1200

Arrival of party at area on SOUTHEND-by-pass.

 

 

 

1400

Moved in to Billets in Camp S.7 at WARLEY BARRACKS.

 

WARLEY BARRACKS

24

0900

Commence Stage “B” of Waterproofing and continued with packing of vehicles and waterproofing of wireless sets and equipment.

 

 

25

0900

Stage “B” of waterproofing completed. Camp S.7 was sealed.

 

 

 

1400

Inter-unit sports preliminaries played off.

 

 

26

0900

Vehicle packing completed.

 

 

 

1100

M.T.16 vehicles leave S.7 for concentration area on SOUTHEND-by-pass. Vehicle area cleaned up.

 

 

27

 

Vehicle part in SOUTHEND-by-pass spend day in final check of waterproofing and maintenance. Sport is the order of the day at WARLEY.

 

 

28

 

M.T.16 vehicles loaded on M.T.16. Maintenance party left on board with Lieut G.R.W Howell. RHA as O.i/c.

 

 

29

 

Spare wheels for all vehicles of the Regiment were collect but did not arrive in tome to be loaded on to M.T.16.

 

 

 

 

Vehicle Loading party returned to WARLEY,

 

 

30.

 

Day spent in WARLEY in sports and lectures.

 

 

31

 

M.T.17 with Major R.R. SEEL. MC. RHA as O.C. Ship is loaded. The remainder of the day at WARLEY is again spent in sports and lectures.

 

 

 

 

- - - - - -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendices Pending

 

 

June 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

BRENTWOOD.

 1

Personnel of M.T.16 remain in Camp S7. Gunner Smith. A. of DD Bty died of self-inflicted wounds (Gun Shot).

Essex.

 2.

All currency changes into French Francs. Officers issued with advance of Pay Books. Major Seel MC was relieved as Officer Commanding Ship M.T.17 by the Commanding Officer.

 3.

0900

M.T. 16 personnel march from Camp S.7 to Camp S.6 arriving by 1130 hrs. Remain in Camps S.6 for the rest of the day.

C.O. attended Conference in Camp. Personnel of MT 17 move to Camp S.3.

Officers i/c Marching Parties briefed by the Commanding Officer.

Camp S.6

 4.

0800

Moved out of Camp S.6 and went to TILBURY DOCKs. Embarked on Shop M.T.16 without incident.

On board M.T.16.

 5.

Moved off from anchorage at TILBURY to just off SOUTHEND. No incident.

Remainder of Regiment embarked per Ship M.T.17. OC Ship Major R.R. Seel. MC. RHA.

 6.

Remained in anchorage all day.

 7.

Moved out of anchorage South into Channel. C.O. briefed all the Regiment of M.T.16. Convoy shelled passing through Straights of Dover. No casualties.

Maps issued to formation on board ship. Anchored in English Channel,

 8.

Moved in towards the French Coast.

1600 hrs

 C.Os party disembarked and reported to C.R.A. for orders. Disembarkation ceased for day at 2130 hrs. No guns were put on shore. Leaguered for the night in main Marshalling area.

 9.

0600

The Commanding Officer, Lieut-Colonel. L.J. Livingstone-Learmonth. MC. RHA took all the Officers who were on shore up to present to recce gun positions.

Gun Positions were select in area Ref Map CAEN (1/50.000) area 0578.

C.O. attended Conference at 1 Corps/

0900

Ship M.T.16 complete unloaded. No guns of F Battery RHA were on shore.

10.

0600

Regimental area bombed. One Other Ranks of C Battery RHA wounded and evacuated,

0800

Three Guns of F Bty RHA on shore.

NORMANDY

10

1200

C.O. attended Conference at HQ RA 1 CORPS and learned that the Regiment were coming under Command of 51st (H) Division. C.O. held Conference of all BCs,

1900

Regiment all in action.

11

Captain J. HOYLE RA joined the Regt and was posted to F Battery RHA.

1400

One round per gun was fired to check Survey. C.O. attend Conference at 51(H( Div HQ.

Lieut(QM) L . OCKENS, RHA was taken ills and evacuated. All marching parties rejoined Regiment.

12

0200

Regimental Area Bombed – 10 Other Ranks wounded and evacuated. Regiment now under Command of 51 (H) Division. C.O. attended a Conference at 1 CORPS concerning forthcoming exercise. Some Troop Targets engaged.

13.

Lieut J CONNORS. R.A. joined the Regiment and was posted to DD Battery RHA.

Lieut F.M. MILLINGTON was appointed Captain and assumed command of C Troop DD Battery RHA. No targets engaged.

14.

1400

C.O. attended Conference at 4th Armd Bde. Some Troop Targets engaged,

Capt. G. Chilver-Stainer, MC J. HOYLE RHA obtained 34 direct hits on a chimney believed to be an enemy O.P.

15.

Regiment comes under Command of 4th A.G.R.A. For the forthcoming exercise C Battery RHA was appointed to support the GREYS, DD Bty to support 3rd C.L.Y. and F Battery RHA to support 44th Tanks.

2100

Own aircraft crashed in “B” Echelon area. Some troop targets engaged.

Six Artillery Platoon Lorries arrived with Lieut MORGAN. R.A.S.C i/c.

16

Regiment takes part in 4 AGRA C.B. programme. Commanding Officer attended Conference at 4th Armoured Brigade. Some troop targets engaged. Gun positions at RANVILLE reconnoitred and surveyed.

17

Some troop targets were engaged. Orders to occupy RANVILLE Gun positions cancelled.

18

0730

Regiment took part in 4 AGRA Counter Mortar Programme. “MIKE” Target engaged at 0900 hrs. No Troop targets engaged.

NORMANDY

19

Some troop targets were engaged. 2nd Party Residues commence disembarking.

No mail yet received by Regiment since commencement of exercise “OVERLORD”.

20

Captain D.L.G. GREIG. RAMC evacuated with appendicitis. Recce and Survey Parties select Gun Positions in area BARBIERE (Sq. 9777).

1800

Regiment moved to new area BARBIERE. No vehicles from the 2nd Party Residues were disembarking due to rough seas.

21

Captain K.L. LAVELLE. RAMC posted to Regiment to replace Capt. D.L.G. GREIG. RAMC.

No firing. No mail yet received by Regiment.

22

Three Other Ranks evacuated sick. Gun positions recced and surveyed in area GAMILLY (Sq. 9475). 200 r.p.g. dumped in GAMILLY Gun positions. No firing.

23

Remainder of 2nd Party Residues with vehicles landed. Further 250 r.p.g. dumped in GAMILLY Gun position. First mail for Regiment arrives.

Gun positions in area BRETTEVILLE (Sq. 9271) recce’d and surveyed. 150 r.p.g. dumped from GAMILLY to BRETTEVILLE gun positions. No firing.

24

Regiment comes under command of 4th Armoured Brigade. No firing took place.

C.O. attended Conference at 4th Armd Bde HQ.

25

No firing took place.

1700

C.O. had Dinner with C.R.A. Commander 4th Armd Bde.

2200

Regiment occupied GAMILLY gun positions. Orders and Barrage trace for exercise “EPSOM” received.

26

0730

Regiment fired barrage of 11th Armd Div in support of an attack on Exercise “EPSOM.

1000

C.O. reports to Tac HQ 4 Armd Bde for orders.

1300

Regiment occupies position at BRETTEVILLE. Many Troop and Bty Targets engaged.

Heavy rain all day.

1700

CRA Commander 4th Armd Bde, (ex-Commanding Officer of 4th Regiment RHA), Brigadier J.C. CURRIE DSO. MC. mortally wounded. Two Other Ranks evacuated.

NORMANDY

27

Very wet night 26/27th.

0630

Fired concentrations for 15 (S) Div. Other concentrations also fired.

“Stonks” fired in support of attack as far as GRAINVILLE-SUR-ODON

    0640 C.O. still away with 4th Armd Bde Tac HQ.  
    0830 "Queen" Party moved forward to new area, and remained there throughout the day/  
    1915 Remainder of Regiment moved to new area.  
      Little change in situation until evening when 15 (S) Div elements established bridgehead SOUTH of R.ODON. 29 Armd Bde crossed RIVER ODON later.  
      Almost night occupation for Regiment. Showers during the day.  

28

Numerous MYU and V Targets fired throughout the day with good results.

Advance continuing very slowly.

0900

“Queen” Party forward to recce new positions. F Battery RHA went forward to their new area early in the afternoon. (S.E. of CHEUX).

Shelling, ‘Nebelwerfing’ and A.P. whistling about. DD Battery RHA – one of their NCOs (a No.1.) wounded in hand and evacuated. (Wound caused through shelling.) Weather is much improved, fewer showers during the day.

29

M and Y Targets fired from first light. M Targets mainly originated by F Bty, RHA (Major R.R. SEEL MC. RHA) Snipers in area of C Troops, DD Bty RHA. Weather again very dull. DD Battery RHA moved up to F Battery RHA with RHQ following.

C Battery RHA remained behind in old positions – 1500 yards SW of LE-MESNIL-PATRY.

1800

Enemy attacked our right flank with tanks and infantry. This developed rather strongly and our tanks took up defensive position, some withdrawing through us.

DD Battery RHA took up A.Tank Role on the right. Regiment pulled out under cover of darkness, and returned to previous, rejoining C Battery RHA. (Welsh Guards digging in at RHQ). In action again at 0300 hrs.

Absence of RAF bombers (due to weather) very noticeable. Although fighter being numerous.

30

Numerous D.F. Tasks fired during night 29/30 June to stem Counter-attack.

Attack held with losses to enemy. At first light F Battery RHA were moved slightly, to a more suitable position. M, Y and U Targets fired throughout the day.

Regiment again came under command of 4th Armd Bde. Showers during the day. Boche counter-attack expected in the evening. Brigadier B.J. FOWLER. DSO. MC (CRA 11th Armd Div) visited the Regiment.

One of C Btys Guns prematured – breech blew back. The No.1 and 2 Other ranks were killed and 2 Other Ranks were wounded and evacuated.

NORMANDY

 

Burials of the three Other Ranks were carried out just in the rear of “A” Troop.

(France)

Little change in the situation. RAF Bombers attacked VILLERS BOCAGE to our West, huge columns of dust and some from target area.

 

 

 

 

 

July 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Normandy

 1

 

Enemy attacks on RAURACY on GRANVILLE commenced early, but web repulsing situation back to normal by midday. Fairly quiet day for us.

 

Sheet No.

 2.

 

Another quiet day. A few V Targets - 2 with Air O.Ps.

 

7F/1.

 3.

 

During the early hours of this morning we fired about 60 r.p.g. On various D.F. Tasks to the SOUTH of BARON and to the West. The targets for enemy attacks and infantry forming up

 

1/50,000

CAEN

908589

 4.

 

More DF shooting in the early morning. 4 reinforcements joined in the afternoon, one of whom Gnr Parfitt of C Battery was evacuated ¾ hour after his arrival, having been hit by a piece of A.A.shell, not very sincerely. Canadian Inf Bde attacked CARPIQUET and 214 inch Inf Bde of 43 Division Verson & Fontaine Etoupefuour.

 

 

 

 

Both attacks appeared to go well at first but later Canadians are forced to withdraw from the airfield at CARPIQUET, and in view of this two or four brigade evacuated VERSON & FONTAINE ETOUPEFUOUR except that patrols were kept out in the area.

 

 

 5.

 

CARPIQUET Airfield still giving trouble, but a quiet day for us.

 

 

 6.

 

News of an impending attack in the near future our row still being in support of 4th Armd Bde. whose group is likely to come under commander 43 Div.

 

 

 7.

 

Update of preparation mostly for the next battle. RHQ in a welter of map sorting, trace marking, map board and drawing pin hunting. About 400 to 500 Lancasters and Halifaxes heavily bombed the area north of CAEN. An amazing sight as all the planes wheeled right over us on their way home. This sort of thing gives everyone a terrific boost-up, and the more we get of it the better.

 

 

 8.

 

1 Corpse attacked on their front, immediately South of our first position over here at HERMANVILLE. Almost the first ground to be taken or Square 0373 which was to have been oak argon area on our arrival on D+2 had everything going exactly according to plan. 4 Armed Bde Gp with us under Command came under Command 43 Div at 1200 hours and our rear set at RHQ came off 11 Armd Div Ivy and opened up the new formation. Major P.J.A. Hankey and Lieut F. D. Crosthwaite went out to recce new positions for the next battle in the COALVILLE - MOUN area. They found these but reported that the general area was not too healthy. We ended the day 1 Corps had captured the line AUTHIE - ST. CONTEST- LEBISEY.

 

827648

 9.

 

Flush and digging parties went out to the new area early as we expected to move into it today for operation JUPITER. This operation, however, was only to take place if CARPIQUET Aerodrome fell, which it did, together with all of CAEN north of the river, during the day. The Regiment moved into the new area about 1800 hrs and started on the programme for operation JUPITER.

 

 

10.

 

The Fireplan commenced at 0500 hrs and consisted of concentrations and a barrage and in all we expected 202 r.p.g. Things went well at first especially on the left, where MALTOT was captured fairly early. The right, Pt.112, was a bit sticky and their was considerable opposition. Later on we were forced to withdraw from MALTOT in face of strong enemy counter-attacks and by the end of the day the armour had not been ordered to deploy as expected. Quite a lot of shelling was coming down in the gun area and half a dozen shells fell right among RHQ and about 1300 hrs, and Signalman Chandler of R.Signals was killed outright.

 

 

 

 

Lieut. G. Kershaw. RHA was badly winded and we but was subsequently learned that he had died of his wounds as he was being given a blood transfusion. Places of burials are:-

 

 

 

 

             Signalman Chandler... 926648

             Lieut G. Kershaw ...... 935646

 

 

11

 

Our infantry mainly consolidated. Counter-attacks by enemy at ETTERVILLE and at POINT 112 failed. Large concentrations of artillery will put down on the enemy. During the 48 hours ending 1800 hrs tonight we have fired 460 rounds per gun in the Regiment. During the night shells landed in the area and 2 men in G Troop (F Bty) waggon lines were wounded.

 

 

12.

 

A quieter day on the whole with no change in the front. 16 M.E. 109’s appeared overhead in the morning and 8 in in the afternoon, which we thought very cheeky. They appeared to drop no bombs and do no machine gunning. News of re-grouping brought to us by the C.O. in the evening, and it seems likely that we are the come under our third Corps since we arrived in the country (43 Div reverting to Command 12 Corps).

 

 

13.

 

A quiet morning, rather rudely interrupted about lunch-time by a small stonk by the enemy in C Battery’s area. Shells fell particularly near their Battery Command Post, and Captain P.W.E Currie RHA and 2 O.Rs where wounded, Captain Currie in the head by a shell which burst in the tree above him. Later we fired two stonks ourselves, predicted, scale 18, sweeping and searching liberally. The two Targets chosen were MALTOT (9862) and woods near ST. MARTIN (9860). In the afternoon Major Hankey and Major Harris went on a recce to find some alternative positions, which they did in the neighbourhood of our old oppositions just South of CHEUX, and the C.O. meanwhile went to see the C.R.A. of 43 Div with a view to asking him if the Regiment could move down, as the reason for the present position, to support the armour to and over the River Orne, was no was no longer effective. The CRA did not allow the move owing to the build-up of other formations behind. However, the early evening brought on for more stonks which fell this time in the areas of DD, F and RHQ. An Ammunition Lorry of the RASC Platoon containing supercharge was hit and caught fire, Signalman Middleton, R.Signals, was wounded in the knee, and a direct hit on the parapet of the gunpit of DD Battery slight wounded 4 med. After this the C.O. got permission to move the Regiment and we moved at 2200 hrs to area 918667, just South of CHEUX.

 

 

14.

 

Guns were reported in action on the permanent grid by 0100 hours. A quiet night, no shooting.

 

 

 

0540

UNCLE Target engaged. Various UNCLE and MIKE Targets engaged during the day. DD Battery prepared to fire colourfr smoke but did not have to fire it. Laid out of 15 (S) Div Fire plan and fired a quick barrage.

 

 

15

 

Intermittent shooting throughout the night of 14/15 in support of 15 (S) Div attack. Continue to engage various UNCLE and VIC targets. The C.O. and the Adjutant drew up a list of probable enemy gun areas which was shot on during the evening. The Regiment took part in a quick barrage in support of 15 (S) Div attack.

 

 

 

2345

DD Battery report premature in D Troop. Three O.Rs killed. A certain amount of enemy air activity from last light up to midnight. No casualties no damage or casualties reported.

 

 

16

 

Very little shooting during the night

 

 

 

0400

A number of enemy 150mm shells fell in the regimenta area. No damage or casualties reported.

 

518667

 

Various MIKE Targets engaged on call from HQ R. Three local O.Ps sent out as Flash-spotters. I.O.O. arrived to inspect suspected ammunition, though to be the cause of prematures. Slightly increased air activity at last light. 1 O.P. receive slight injury to hand from A.P. Bomb.

17

No firing during night 16/17 after midnight. MIKE Targets engaged at 0520 hrs. Very little shooting during the day. Heavy bombing attack comments at 2300 hrs. No casualties were reported but a motor cycle and 3-tonner brewed up in RHQ.

18.

All quiet by 0030 hours. Only one target engaged during the night. A hostile mortar was engaged scale 2 at 0300 hrs. Mant MIKE and UNCLE Targets engaged during the day. Slight enemy air activity at last light. No casualties reported. Some MIKE Targets engaged engaged during night 18/19 on demand from HQRA.

19

0930

The Regiment moved into area 9368 with each Battery on wheels by its armoured Regiment. RHA deployed in area of Bde HQ at 935692. Day spent in digging in new area. Major P. Greenfield MC RHA assumed Command of F Battery RHA.

20.

Spent a quiet night with no enemy air activity. At 1530 hrs Major Hankey returned with news that a recce group from the Regiment would leave tomorrow to recce a hide area between CAMBES and LEBISEY.

21.

0100

Recce party cancelled on orders of Bde HQ. No news at all during the day. Heavy rain commenced at dawn and continued throughout the day. No move at all during the day.

22.

The Regiment came under Command of 11th Armd Div, still in support of 4th Armd Bde. 4th Armd Bde with the Regiment moved into the area 9469 and remained on wheels. Day spent in digging in.

23.

A programme of cinema shows and bather parties was produced by 4 Armd Bde and the day was spent in visits to the cinema and mobile baths.

24.

Another quiet day. Mobile baths and Cinema shows.

25.

No further developments. Sports and baths the order of the day.

26.

4th Armd Bde sent four tanks to the Regiment on loan for training purposes.

1400

Recce parties went out and gun positions were selected and surveyed in area 980650, in preparation for forthcoming operation with 11th Armd Div.

2300

Operation cancelled. Regiment back on four hours notice to move.

27.

Another quiet day. Vehicle maintenance and Tank Driving instruction carried out in all batteries.

28.

An interesting morning was spent in a visit to the 13th (HAC) Regt RHA to learn about the equipment etc of a S.P. Regiment. The C.O. attended a conference at HQ 2 Canadian Corps and learned that one Regiment of 4th Armd Bde plus 4th Regiment RHA would be going into positions on the other side of the ORNE under command of 4th Canadian Armd Div. 8 O.R. Reinforcements were posted to the Regiment.

29.

The C.O. and 2 i/c with the Regimental Survey Party visited CCRA of 2nd Canadian Corps and the Regiment was put under one hours notice to move. No orders to move were received. The whole situation was very vague.

The GREYS, with O.Ps from C Battery, took up positions on the East of the R.ORNE but the Brigade Commander decided that for the moment they would not require any support from 4th Regiment RHA.

30

Orders were received that the Regiment would take over Gun positions from 19th Canadian Field R.C.A. in area of COURMELLES 0685. At 1400 hrs the Recce Group went out to look at these positions. On arrival the positions were decided to be unsuitable for 25-pr tractor drawn guns, so Gun positions a short distance away were recced and surveyed. The Guns were ordered to move and reported in action in the new area at 2100 hrs. H.F. Tasks of the 4th Canandian Armd Div were fired at 2200 hrs and ceased at 0200 hrs on 31st.

31.

A quiet night with obligations other than H.F. Tasks. Some enemy H.F. was encountered during the night but no damage or casualties were reported. Very little activity during the day. F Battery RHA stood by to fire RED Smoke at TILLY LA CAMPAGNE, but were not required to do so. At 2100 hrs ordered were received that the Regiment would revert back to Second Army under Command 4th British Armd Bde w.e.f. 0500 hrs 1 Aug 44.

H.F. Tasks were commenced at 2200 hrs and continued at intervals throughout the night.

  

Since landing in France, the Regiment has now been under Command of 2 Armies, 4 Corps, 6 Divisions, 1 A.G.R.A. and 1 Armoured Brigade. Continuity for replacement of casualties and equipment is thus extremely difficult.

The only continuity we have managed to maintain has been the goodwill of 4th Armoured Brigade who look after us as one of their own units. Without their help we would have been in a very bad position.

In spite of promises stretching over the last 3 years we seem to be no nearer to getting S.P. Equipment in spite if the act we are supporting an Armoured Brigade. The lack of small scout cars and other armoured vehicles are acutely felt.

At the moment of the C.O. or a B.C. wished to go round his O.Ps they either have to take a tank or a jeep – neither of which are often suitable vehicles.

 

 

 

 

 

August 1944

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

                Place               Date            Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

1 Aug

HF Tanks were engaged up to 0230 hrs, when the regiment fired a concentration in sp of 2 Cdn Inf Bde attack. Ay 0430 hrs the regiment moved out of action, back to area of 4 Armd Bde, VILLENEUVE. 950701, arriving without mishap. Sleep was the order of the day. At 1715 hrs the 2 i/c and RSO went out with Bde recce parry to select a hide in area 7368. The regiment was warned that there would be no move before 0800 hrs, 2 Aug.

 

2 Aug

Again put under 4-hrs’ notice to move. Quiet day. Settled in new area ; caught up with arrears of sleep. Orders received to prepare to move about 0900 hrs tomorrow into area 7368. 2 i/c and RSO left with Bde recce group to look into new area.

 

3 Aug – 0930

The regiment moved with Bde and arrived at new area 735682 at 1200 jrs. Remainder of day spent in settling in. A rather monotonous move along very crowded CAEN-BAYEUX road.

 

4 Aug

The Regiment order to prepare to move. The Lt.QM (Lt. Underlin) had an accident in a jeep and was evacuated to hospital.Recce parties from RHQ and Batteries left to look at new area in 6247. With effect from 1600 hrs, 4 Armd Bde with 4 RHA under command, came under 3 Br Inf Div.

 

5 Aug – 0900

The CO went to a conference on future operations at HQ 4 Armd Bde. A BCs’ conference was held on his return at 1600 hrs. The CO called en route at HQ RA 3 Br Inf Div and learned that the regiment would move into action almost immediately and gun posns were selected and surveyed in area 6640. The build of the regiment went into a concentration area until last light when they moved into action. All guns were reported in action by 0100 hrs.

 

6 Aug

No commitments during the night.

 

1100

Recce parties left to recce gun area 6636. C and DD Batteries moved and as soon as they reported in action, F Bty moved also. Some U targets were engaged during the evening and 400 rds per gum were dumped in readiness for 3 Div Fire Plan.

 

7 Aug

Some Harassing Fire was done during the night, but the 3 Div attack, which has been laid down for 0400 hrs, was postponed. News was received at 0376 hrs that carrier belong to DD Battery had been hit. Lt. Connors was killed, Lt. Eyres wounded, and one OR killed and one wounded, 3 Div attack went in at 1200 hrs and the regiment fired 66 rpg in sp. News received that Lt. Eyres had died of wounds. A very sad affair, al Lt Eyres was a local OP and Lt Connors had gone out to investigated when wireless communications had failed.

 

8 Aug

During night, harassing fire tasks were done. Little action during day until 1700 hrs when a M Target concentration was laid down to enable 44 RTR to be relived by the CLY. Another harassing fire programme for the night.

 

9 Aug

Nothing of note during night. OPs moved forward some 2000 yards and many M Targets were effectively engaged. 3 Div attack cancel ; at least, our sp fire was, as no oppositions was met at the objective

 

10 Aug

As small fire place was fired in sp 2 Lincs attack 0700 hrs. The attack, which was destined to take the Div through to TINCHEBRAY, appeared to get no where at all, in spite of reports of “no enemy encountered”. A 75mm gin and a few spandaus held up the 2 Lincs in the right and the 3/4 CLY got all round this opposition buy were unable to get right in own to the nature of the country, which was so close that they could not fire HE from their guns owing to the danger if tree bursts. The infantry never appeared to make any attempt to capture the place.

 

11 Aug

Little doing during the day. In afternoon the news came through that 4 Armd Bde were going back to 12 Corps once again to sp their br over the R.ORNE in between CAEN and THURY HARCOURT. During the night news came in that the move would commences at 0700 hrs.

 

12 Aug

Started off at 0700 hrs and arrived in EVRECY during the afternoon. The last few miles were over country into which our OPs had done many shoots earlier in the campaign. EVRECY itself no longer looked like a village – it was merely a heap of rubble. The regiment went into a concentration area in 9157.

 

13 Aug

A quiet morning spent by everyone. Orders to move to area 9956 came through at about lunch-time. The regiment moved off and after a slow march, owing to the br over the R. ORNE, arrived in the new area at about 1830 hrs. At about 2100 hrs orders for a move in the morning were brought back from 4 Armd Bde by the 2 i/c, who had been called for a conference.

 

14 Aug

A move at 0530 hrs to area 0147, where the Bde deployed in desert formation to exploit and unexpected breakthrough by the inf. As the did not look like happening, the regiment came into action in 0147, only for the recce parties to be called fwd shortly afterwards the reconnaissance and survey of posn in sq 0043, which had been partially recce’d earlier in the morning. Lt. Crosthwaite, the RSO, was slightly wounded in the head by an enemy stonk which came down very close to him. He was not evacuated, but was sent down to B Echelon for a spell by the MO.

 

 

Lt G.K. Stott, of C Bty, came to RHQ to help out.

 

15 Aug

A morning moved down very congested roads to the very wooded area just NORTH of LA BONNEUIL in sq 0140. DD Bty’s recce party captured 15 prisoners in close proximity to their area. A few enemy shells landed in the regtl area during the afternoon. Sjt Whittle, of C Bty, was very unluckily killed and 6 of the regiment wounded. The fire was no more than harassing.

 

16 Aug

Still in same area. Nothing much of interest.

 

17 Aug

Moved again to area.

 

 

During afternoon sp an attack by 71 Inf Bde and fired smoke and HE to the tune of 150 rpg. The attack was to clear up an area of approx 6000 yds by 2000 yds, SSE of FALAISE. The attack was successful, very little opposition being encountered.

 

18 Aug

At 0630 hrs, orders came from 4 Armd Bde to be prepared to move at once. The 2 i/c went at once to Bde and got the form that the Bde was to push down the rad running SSE from FALASIE to join in a general beat up of enemy tpt retreating EAST. Canadian, Poles, French and Americans were also to take part. The regiment came into action about two miles SOUTH of FALAISE and immediately had some wonderful shooting.

 

 

OPs were continuously calling for new regimental and higher targets. WE also ha an OP up who had very good observation indeed, and the was so much to shoot at that it was difficult for him to choose one target from another.

 

 

The 2 i/c who was at Tac 4 Armd Bde, also had two reps (one from a fd regiment and one from a medium regiment) shooting with him and he manage to wear out two the medium guns. At one time there were three shoots going over the regimental frequency at the same time.

 

 

Towards evening, two Batteries and RHQ moved about 2000 yds SE to sq 1696. After dark, many flares were dropped, but whether by our own or enemy planes was not certain as no bombs were dropped,

 

19 Aug

Another good day, with plenty of observed and predicted shooting. The regiment during these two days, fired an average of 800 rpg. At about 0600 hrs we were told that the 4 Armd Bde was to come under 15 (S) Div and that we would move to a concentration area in the evening. The regiment did not move until 2345 hrs and although the move was only two miles to ST. CLAIRE (sq 1455) we did not get in until 0250 hrs.

 

20 Aug

A day spent in cleaning up, with no sign of a move.

 

21 Aug

The weather broke on us during the night and many of use were flooded out. The day was full of orders of move, no move, move – until finally we moved at two mins notice to the MESLI area (sq 2532) to clear up a pocket of enemy in area of VILLEDIEU-LES-BAILLEUL (2952), TOURNAIL-SUR- DIVES (3052)m and AUBRY-EN-EXMES (3953). 44 RTR with 2/60th Bn in sp when fwd and met little or no opposition. In effect, we arrived too late and the work had been done by 53 Div Recce.

 

22 Aug

A morning move to concentration area in sq 2628. Here we were told no move before the 24th. It was today that we got the warning order that we would be withdrawn as soon after the 25th as operation circumstance permitted to re-fit with SP (RAMS). A party from the regiment went to an ENSA show, which has been arranged by 4 Armd Bde,

 

23 Aug

Still in same area. The Adjt went back to RA Reorganisation Centre, near RYES, to find out all the form about the changeover to SP guns.

 

24 Aug

Started on a long march EASTWARDS, 15 (S) Div being directed on LOUVIERS (on the SEINE). We had gone only 3 or 4 miles when we were told to get off the road and we had no further move that day.

 

25 Aug

Moved off again at 1100 hrs and, after a rather slow journey, which show us more havoc and carnage that had been inflicted in the Killing Area, we reached the area of ROMILLY-LA- PUTHENAYE (sq 9767) about 4 miles NE of CONCHES. Batters had done this move with their armoured regiments and they remained with them.

 

26 Aug

No move today. Information about the battle has been almost nil throughout the last four or five days. Nobody appeared to know anything about the whereabouts of enemy or our tps or plans.

 

27 Aug

The Adjt went over to 12 Corps to seen whether there was any news of the move back to get SPs. 12 Corps said that operations did permit and arrangements were initiated for a move back tomorrow. Later in the morning the 2 i/c and Adjt went over to Corps again to make sure that arranges had been made for a Gunner Regiment to relieve us in sp 4 Armd Bde. The were told the Second Army RA has now cancelled the move back.

 

 

12 Corps had no idea of the reason and, having been told by the Corps Commander that he thought it was the best moment for us to go and that he would like us to go, the 2 i/c and Adjt went to Second Army, near CAIEN. Here they were told that the matter has arisen as to whether or not we could be spared by 12 Corps and as Second Army had no communications with 12 Corps they has assumed we could not be spared.

 

 

When the 2 i/c told the BRA that 12 Corps Commander wanted us to go he said he would speak to the Chief of Staff and get the posn altered, The 2 i/c and Adjt when went back to 12 Corps, where they were told by the CCRA that we would go back to re-equip. A jeep was sent that evening to 12 Corps to await for movement orders.

 

28 Aug

Orders for a move, not before 1030, came in at about 0945 and feverish activity resulted. Eventually, after getting all the boxed ammunition returned and arranging for for DR jeeps to collect our mail and remain with 4 Armd Bde, who were moving fwd, the regiment moved off by Troops from about 1200-1400 hrs.

 

 

An advance party of the CO, 2 i/c, Adjutant, QM and WO i/c LAD went on ahead and arrived at the RA Reorganisation Centre, Les Pres Fms, RYES near Bayeux, about 1800-1900 hrs.

 

29 Aug

The regiment arrived at the Reorganisation Centre during the course of the morning. The 2 i/c and Adjt went up to the 15 AOD to arrange for the drawing of stores, etc. A conference of all BCs. Bty captains and BQMS was held in the afternoon to discuss establishments and drawing of kit/

 

30 Aug

The RAMS were collected this morning. They were good ones – new. Visits were also made to QAR and A Branch (personnel). 21 Army Group. Lt.-Col Gibbon, G1 to the MGRA, came down to see us and various points were discussed.

 

31 Aug

Thirteen OP tanks were drawn and also most of the RHQ vehicles and all the LAD’s. More visits to 21 Army Group to clear up equipment and personnel problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

BAYEUX

1

2200

Another very busy day. Training with RAMS continued all day. The C.O. and Second in Command went to 21 Army Group Headquarters to see Lt.Col. J. GIBBON. RA. in respect of our new equipment. More vehicles were drawn and surplus equipment handed in. A cinema was arranged for the men in the evening.

 

 

2

2200

Today proceeded must on the same lines as yesterday. Training continued throughout the day and the handing in of surplus equipment was carried on.

 

 

 

 

Three new Officers joined the Regiment today. There were Lieut. H.E. MARSHALL., RA, Lieut E.A. WILSON RA and Lieut E.D. LOWE. RA. Lieut MARSHAL was posted to RHQ, Lieut WILSON to F Battery and Lieut LOWE to DD Battery

 

 

 

 

Various R.E.M.E. personnel joined the Regiment in order to make the strength of the L.A.D. agree with the new War Establishment. Baths were arranged for the men in the afternoon and a cinemas show in the evening.

 

 

3.

2200

Gundrill and Training continued during the day. A Church Parade was held and Major (Revd) G. WINDER, C.F. officiated and the band of the East Lancashire Regiment supplied the music. Major WINDER was padre to the Regiment during during/.. its Campaign in the Western Desert. Captain W.G. HADLOW. REME. Joined the Regiment as the E.M.E. of the L.A.D. attached.

 

 

4

2200

Today was spent in the drawing of ammunition, petrol and supplies in preparation for the move tomorrow. Remaining surplus equipment was handed in and outstanding vehicles collected. The C.O. went to 21 Army Group to see about our Movement Order.

 

 

 

 

The Movement Order arrived about 2100 hrs and a B.Cs Conference was held. The Tank Transporters arrived and the O.P. tanks and RAMS were loaded on them.

 

788526

5

 

This morning at 0830 hrs the Regiment less tanks and RAMS left BAYEAUX to rejoin 4th Armoured Brigade. Our router was through CAEN, LIZIEUX, LAOVIERS across the River SEINE at LES ANDLEYS, GOURNEY and we spent the night 4 kilometres West of MARSEILLE. As we passed the ruins of CAEN memories came back of the hard fighting in which the Regiment took part round this area.

 

 

 

 

With effect from today, the Regiment changed to War Establishment No.II/190A.1 as modified by 21 Army Group policy for vehicles and became an S.P.(RAM) Artillery Regiment. The L.A.D. also changed W.E over to W.E. II/340A/3 and gained an E.M.E. (Captain W.G. HADLOW. REME).

 

 

 

 

The Signal Section also changed it W.E. to WE 11/213/2. On this changeover the Regiment increased its establishment of Officers by one Technical Adjutant.

 

 

 

 

This appointment was filled by Captain S.R.G WHETHAM. RHA and his appointment of Adjutant to the Regiment, which he relinquished, was filled by Captain G.K. STOTT. RHA. The War Establishment of the Regiment is now 38 Officers (including Medical Officer) and 608 Other Ranks (including ACC personnel and 3 REME Electricians V & P).

 

 

6

2200

The Regiment commence to move today at 0900 hrs and our router lay through the battlefields and towns made famous by the last war. We passed through CREVECEOUR AMIENS, ALBERT, BAPAUME and moved into a leaguer area.

 

470980

 

 

We arrived on the outskirts of ARRAS at 1700 hours, learned that evening that the transporters had crossed the River SEINE were pushing steadily forward. In order to cross the River SEINE, the tanks had to be off-loaded cross, and be loaded on again as the bridge at LES ANDELYS was only class 40.

 

 

 

 

This delayed them several hours. In every town and village we passed through we received a tremendous welcome from the population.

 

 

7th

2300

Today our router was across ARRAS, LENS, LILLE, MENIN COURTRAI. The C.O. & 2 i/c who had gone on ahead to locate the Brigade discovered our route through MENIN was blocked by a smashed bridge which the BOSCHE has blown up at 0600 hrs this morning, and enemy were still in the area for COURTRAI.

 

 

 

 

We halted at MENIN where the C.O. and 2 i/c rejoined us and had lunch.

 

 

 

 

After lunch the C.O. and 2 i/c went ahead again to contact Brigade, which was now known to be in the area of BERCHEM, some 20 kilometres to the east.

 

 

 

 

The Regiment changes its route and passed through RENBAIX to WARCOING (895440) where it spent the night. Late this evening the C.O. & 2 i/c returning and a B.Cs conference was held. Also the transporter column arrived and the tanks were off-loaded. The Brigade is now under Command of 7th Armoured Division.

 

 

8

2200

This morning was spent in training for the Regiment was go into action this evening in support of the Armoured Brigade. We left WARCOING at 1300 hours and after passing through AUDENADE COTTAHE and ALOST we went into action, just west of TERMONDE at approximately 1830 hours in Square 4276.

 

 

 

 

We did not fire however. All along our router we received a great welcome and large quantities of fruit from the population.

 

 

9th

2200

We remained in action until 1030 hrs when we ordered to move to an area near ST NICHOLAS. We went into action approximately 4 kilometres North of the town of HAMME in Sq. 4887. From this position we fired the first shots with our new equipment.

 

 

10th

2200

This morning the C.O. attended a Brigadiers Conference and we learnt we were to move into the area BEVERN WAAS. The 2 i/c deployed F & C Btys in HAEsDONCK Sq 5552 and DD Bty Sq 5792 and RHA 5895. During the afternoon C Battery moved in the same area as RHQ. The C.O. attended a Conference and it was decided that a Battery should move back to support the R.Es who were holding ST NICHOLAS. It was decide that F Battery RHA should go back and so about 1900 hrs they moved back and so about 1900 hrs they moved to their old position.

 

 

11

2200

Last night it was decide that at the BOSCHE in the area of ST NICHOLAS were rather strong. DD Battery was to move back to their old position. During today and yesterday we did some shooting whenever the enemy showed himself. He appeared to hold CALLOO strongly but no big battle developed.

 

 

 

 

This afternoon the C.O. attended a Brigadiers conference after which he held a B.Cs Conference. We learned that tomorrow the Polish Armoured Brigade are going to relieve the Brigade which is going back to refit in the area of HOYSTE-OP-DEN-BURGH.

 

 

12

 

The Regiment remained in action until 1330 hrs by which time the Polish Armoured Brigade has taken over, F & DD Btys joined us on the ST NICHOLAS ‘by-pass’ and we moved with the Brigade through LOCHERN to an area on the Eastern outskirts of WETTERN where bivouaced for the night. (Sq.3174).

 

HOYSTE-OP-

DEN-BURGH.

13th

Today we moved to HOYSTE-OP-DEN-BURGH., passing through TERMONDE, WILLEBROECK, BOOM, MALINES and PUTTE. The 2 i/c, (Major P.J.A. HANKEY RHA) had previously recce’d the area RHQ being established in the ground of the Chateau (880782). We moved into our area at about 1330 hrs. The remainder of the afternoon was spent in maintenance.

 

 

14th

 

This morning was spent in maintenance, training on the S.Ps and 406 Inspections.

 

HOYSTE-OP-.

DEN-BURGH.

 

In the afternoon a party went to Brussels whilst the remained carried on with maintenance and training. A Cinema was arranged for the troops in the evening. Orders were received from Brigade that DD Battery RHA (Major A.H.D. BARROW. MC. RHA) were to move at first light tomorrow in support of 44 R.T.R. to the area of ANTWERP.

 

 

15th

 

Today proceed on the same lines as yesterday. Training on the S.Ps etc.

 

 

 

 

Another party went to Brussels in the afternoon. There were also Bather parades and cinemas shows during the afternoon and evening. DD Battery left this morning. This evening orders came from Brigade that F Battery RHA was to be prepared to move in the morning but these orders were later cancelled.

 

 

16th

 

Training and maintenance continued today. Another party went to Brussels today and the was a cinema show in the evening. Today we learnt that DD Battery had been in action and has suffered Two Other Rank Casualties who were evacuated beyond the R.A.P.

 

 

17th

 

The C.O, attended a Conference at Brigade this morning with regard to future operations. A 1100 hrs a Conference with B.Cs and Battery Captains was held and we learnt of the big attack with airborne troops which was to commence this afternoon. The Brigades part in the attack was to safeguard our lines of communications

 

 

 

 

To fulfil this task we were to occupy positions along the canal East of BREE (sw. 5959) to LANKLAAR Sq 5971, It was thought that should the enemy counter-attack it would happen in this area which formed the hinge of the British and American Armies. DD Battery RHA rejoined the Regiment tonight.

 

 

18th

 

We left the are at 1200 hrs and moved with 4 Armd Brigade. Our route lay through AERSCHOT, DIEST, HASSELT AND ASCH. RHQ was established in the school in OPGLABEEK Sq.6973, F & C Btys went into Sq.4974 and DD Bty in Sq 4973

 

 

19th

 

After a quite night the C.O. decided to move C Battery RHA further North.

 

 

 

 

The 2 i/c and Survey Officer recce’d a position and the Battery moved, and went into action in area 494809. During the day we did a little shooting whenever the Bosche appeared. We could not do very much firing own to an ammo restriction of 10 r.p.g. per day.

 

OPGLABEEK

20th

 

Another quiet night and a little more shooting during the day. It was decided to move one Battery further east so this afternoon F Troop of F Bty move to the area selected by the 2 i/c. in Sq.5376/ It became evident that enemy were not likely to attempt any large attack of our sector,

 

--do--

21st

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

During the afternoon E Troop joined F Troop. The afternoon DD Battery moved to 525725

 

 

 

 

Today, the Belgian took over from elements of 3 (Br) Inf Div in the BREE area 5084. The have 3 troops of 25-prs which are going to be put on same grid as ourselves tomorrow. The C.O. went to 8 Corps to see C.C.R.A. Through the day we did some firing and engaged several suspected gun positions.

 

 

22nd

 

The C.O. attended a conference with the Brigadier of 4 Armd Bde at our Command post this morning. We engaged more suspected gun areas and shot at the Bosche whenever the opportunity occurred. We are still restricted to 10 r.p.g. per day.

 

 

 

 

This afternoon 7th Survey Regiment put the Belgian Artillery on the same grid as ourselves. Captain BAILLEAUX RHA joined the Regiment having been posted to us from the 6th Regiment RHA and interposted to F Battery RHA

 

 

 

 

 Today 3 RAF personnel and 3 American airmen who had been hiding in Holland and Belgium came to our lines. They had been hiding for five months/ After feeding them we passed them on to Brigade.

 

 

23rd

 

Today was very quiet with little shooting. The C.O. went to the Brigadier’s Conference about re-grouping the Brigade. The GREYS became responsible or the Northern Sector and the K.R.R.C for the Southern Sector. Today we got our first task of GERMAN rations. These were not very popular with the men.

 

 

24th

 

A quiet night and very little activity during the day. Things were very quiet in this Sector and there was no sign of the Bosche intending to make any large counter-attack inspite of the tremendous advance into Holland.

 

 

25th

 

Again a very quiet day, This morning we were informed that we are going further north to fulfil exactly the same role as at present and the Bde was at 6 hours notice to move. This afternoon Lt. GASKELL (Signal Officer) went to Brigade to see if he obtain any information about the move, but nothing was known.

 

WEERT

26th

 

At 0015 hrs this morning orders came from Brigade that the Regiment was to concentrate in the area of C Battery RHA at first light. Whilst moving to C Bty area we learnt that the Brigade was travelling in groups and each Battery was to travel with the Regiment it supported. At 0830 hrs our movement orders arrived, and at 0915 hrs we left the area, our route being through BREE and KINREY and our destination being WEERT.

 

584970

 

 

The 2 i/c, R.S.O. and Battery Representatives went ahead to recce Gun areas. The C.O. went on ahead to see the Brigadier. At 1400 hrs the Brigade had taken over from 3 (Br) Inf Div. RHQ was established in WEERT. C Battery RHA went into action in area 578982 F Battery RHA area 575987 and DD Battery RHA at 601944, where the Belgian Brigade Sector commenced.

 

 

 

 

We did some firing during the afternoon and evening, and it was evident that the enemy were in some strength on the other side or the canal. The also appear to have a number of 88 mm and 105 mm guns. The C.O. attend a Brigadier’s Conference where it was decided that we should be able to far as far south as the Boundary with the Belgians, It was agreed to move DD & F Bty in the morning,

 

WEERT

27th

 

The morning DD Battery moved to a position chosen by 2 i/c in area 6192 and F Battery moved to DD Bty’s old position.

 

(Holland)

 

 

Throughout the day we engaged all enemy movement and enemy gun areas. It is apparent the enemy cross the canal at night and endeavour to obtain information from civilians. This afternoon Capt. Mckenzie RA was on A.O.P. tasks on several targets. D.F. tasks were laid on in case the enemy attempted to cross the canal during the night.

 

 

28th

 

During the day we fired at several hostile batteries and mortars which were located by flash and sound bearings. The enemy mortared several area today but no casualties to our troops resulted. The artillery was fairly active.

 

 

 

 

The Air O.P. carried out sorties during morning and afternoon and engaged various targets.

 

 

29th

 

Today proceeded on same lines as yesterday. The Air O.P. make a sortie this morning and afternoon and engaging several targets. We received several reports of guns and various suspected area engaged

 

 

 

 

This afternoon the C.O. Belgian Artilley laid on a fire plan with our C.O. to support an attack tomorrow afternoon by the Belgian Infantry.

 

 

30th

 

This afternoon the K.R.R.Cs H.Q. was stonked and two people killed. We engaged suspected Gun Areas obtained by sound bearings.

 

 

 

 

Also during the afternoon DD & F Btys fired in support of a Belgian attack was successful. It was decided to fire H.F. Tasks during the night so the 2 i/c selected various targets, one gun per Bty moved forward to an H.F. Position at last light and commenced firing about 2030 hrs. Throughout the day enemy movement was engaged and Air O.P. engaged transport and mortars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since receiving our new equipment we have experienced a considerable amount of trouble with the CanadianDry Pin Tracks and with which are RAMS are fitted. We have had during a fortnight, seven idler bearings disintegrate with the result that we have had guns out of action for several days owing to the difficulty in obtaining new idler bearings.

 

 

 

 

This matter has caused much worry and on the advice of the R.E.M.E. 4 Armd Bde ww have identified for chevron stele and rubber tracks. In spite of continual indents and worrying of the authority concerned as far we have not received any new tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

 

1

2000

Last night in addition to our H.F. Tasks, DD & F Btys put down defensive fire on and near the railway bridge at 6429570. The enemy unsuccessfully endeavoured to cross the canal at this point. During the day we fire at the BOSCHE whenever he appeared and we also engaged enemy gun positions. A.O.P. conducted a shoot on a tank and scored a direct hit. The C.O. of the Belgian Artillery called to thank our C.O. for our support yesterday.

 

 

 

 

This morning, acting on information from the Police we rounded up a German who farmed some land just south of the town. We passed him on to Brigade for questioning. This afternoon or Regimental Soccer side were defeated by 3 goals to 2, by an eleven composed of local inhabitants.

 

 

2.

 

Today we had a concerted drive against hostile batteries. We set up a Regimental Counter-Battery Office and whenever we had several bearings which intersected we engaged the area. In the morning the C.O. jaid on a fire plan with the Belgian C.O. in support of the Belgian attack on WESSEN. DD Bty fired in support of this attack which successful.

 

 

 

 

The C.O. attended the conference with the Brigadier in the afternoon to discuss the regrouping of the Brigade due to the temporary transfer of the GREYS to the NIMIJEN area. This afternoon, an RHQ soccer side defeated a local Red Cross Team by seven goals to two.

 

 

3.

 

Last night the BOCHE fired about half a dozen rounds into WEERT. The gun was thought to be a 75.mm. S.P. but we were able to take any flash bearings. This morning the GREYS where transferred from the Brigade to the NIMIJEN area. The 4th Tank Bn. Grenadier Guards were attached to the Brigade in place of the GREYS. Today we continued our counter-battery work and several suspected gun areas were engaged. The A.O.P. was grounded today owing to poor visibility, but he went up at 1730 hrs to see if the reports of the BOCHE attempting to bridge the canal were correct.

 

 

 

 

Today Lt. F.D. CROSTHWAITE. RHA our survey officer was evacuate to ENGLAND Late this evening, Capt. A. A. BANKS MC RHA rejoined the Regiment after a long absence due to a wound sustained on D Day when he was operating with the Commandos. This afternoon a regtl soccer eleven defeated the Bde eleven by seven goals to four. We assisted the local police in arrent several pro-Nazi inhabitants

 

 

4

2000

Today was reasonably quiet. We continued our Counter-Battery work and this morning the A.O.P. engage a mortar which he had seen last night and also some infantry he spotted. This afternoon the C.O. took a trip with the A.O.P. but no targets were seen, This evening at 2100 hrs F & DD Btys fired D.F. at 668915 a point on the canal were the enemy were reported to be attempting to bridge the canal. The infantry were satisfied with our fire, they also requested a repeat a 2230 hrs.

 

 

5.

2130

During the night we fired several D.Fs in response to requests from the Infantry who could hear sound suggestive of bridging. The evening the A.O.P. went up to see if there were any signs of a bridge being built but he could see nothing. The C.O. was visited by the C.O. of the 2 K.R.R.C. and we learnt that the enemy had erected a table top over a partially destroyed bridge and by means of a winch and rope could pull it across at their pleasure. An American Major Sapp went with the A.O.P. this afternoon to look at bridge with a view to demolishing it, but he decided that it was impracticable. This evening the C.O. went to the K.R.R.C. HQ to a Brigadiers conference considering the reorganisation of the Brigade caused by the transfer of the Grenadier Guards from Brigade tomorrow morning. During the day there was not much activity but we continued to engage likely gun area and any movement. This evening at 2030 hrs F Battery put down D.F. for the K.R.R.C. who heard sounds of hammering suggestive of bridging.

 

 

6

2200

During the night the enemy’s artillery was fairly active and several shells landed near WEERT Church, one actually hitting the Church. An O.P. was established on top of the church tower in order to take bearings, we stonked likely areas and after 0015 hrs the shelling finished. Very little happened through the day. This morning the C.O. attended a Brigadiers Conference with reference to the change bought about the Grenadier Guards leaving the Bde., and the arrival of a dismounted anti-tank regiment. This evening we put down some defensive fire and also cleared suspected gun area. We have flash spotting the D.Fs out and so far there has been little activity.

 

 

7

2200

There was very little activity during the night. Today we learned that we are to be relieved tomorrow by the U.S.A 7th U.S. Armd Div. At 1600 hrs the C.O. of the American Artillery arrived to reach the area. Throughout the day we fired at various targets and this evening we fired two more D.F. tasks in support of the infantry, who suspected the enemy of endeavouring to bridge the canal.

 

 

8

2200

Today the Americans took over from the 4th Armoured Brigade, the changeover being completed about 1645 hrs. We remained in action until 1500 hrs when we moved into a concentration area South of MAARHEEZE 530020 where we spent the night.

 

 

9

2200

This morning at 0500 hrs we received our movement order and at 0725 hrs we moved off to concentrate in the NIMIJEM area. Our route was through MAARHEEZE, ORLDROP, BAKEL GEMERT, VOKEL, UDEN, GRAVE, WEJCHEN And came in sq. 5261 and 5263 which had previously been recce’d by the 2i/c and Bty Reps. The C.O. went on ahead to see the C.C.R.A about future operations.

 

 

10

2200

Late last night the C.O. returned and held a B.Cs conference and we learned that the Regiment was under command 12 Corps in close support 4th Armd Bde, and that we were to deploy to cover as much of 50 Div front as possible, and all the 53 Div front. Recce parties under 2 i/c went forward at 0745 hrs to find gun areas in area E. of NIMIJEM. The Regiment moved out at 0850 hrs and went into action in square 6670 about 1230 hrs. During the afternoon we did not fire but in the evening we fired at hostile mortars and also in support of the 51st Rield Regt RA.

 

 

11

2200

There was little activity during the night and this afternoon we engaged some H.F. tasks called for by 53 Div. This evening we fired at some hostile mortars. This morning the C.C.R.A. call to see the C.O. about future operations. During the day we fired at various “V” and “U” targets and also took part in bombards on hostile motors and batteries.

 

 

12

2200

This morning we received a warning order from the C.C.R.A. that we would be moving either today or tomorrow. The only shooting with the did were “V” and “U” Targets and an occasional bombard on an enemy battery. This afternoon the second in command went to 12 Corps to obtain information about our move. This evening we learned that we are to move tomorrow to an area South of the River WAAL, our role being to provide D.F. for the 101 U.S. Airborne Div, to support the K.R.R.C. and to fire at “V” and “U” Targets as called for. by the C.C.R.A. or the 6th Field Regt RA.

 

 

13

2200

Today we moved back from the “Island” and deployed over Square 5867. The area had been recce’d by the 2 /IC and the Regimental Survey Officer. The C.O, went to see the C.C.R.A. who later came to our H.Q. arrange for one troop to move forward to a new position through harassing fire on a bridge in square 4678. This was suspected means of supplying the Germans remaining on the ‘island’.

 

 

 

 

A troop of heavy guns were moved into the air to support the H.F. which was to follow a bombing attack. “G” Troop F Battery, were to the harassing fire and are leaving at 0130 hours to square 5368. This morning 2 hours before we left we had 1 O.R. are killed by a bomb which fell some 200 yards from our HQ.

 

 

14

2200

Except for the harassing racing fire, the night was quiet. The C.O. again visited the C.C.R.A. about an additional role we are to participate in from tomorrow onwards. A troop of mediums are coming under command also a survey detachment and A.O.P.

 

 

 

 

During the afternoon the C.O. saw the Brigadier concerning future operations. 2 I/R and RSO recce’d positions for the medium stop throughout the day we participated in “V” and “U” Targets and also some troop shoots. This evening we fired D.F. in support of the Americans who were being subjected to a sharp local attack which was successfully beaten back.

 

 

15

2200

Today the medium troop arrived, their role is to fire H.F. tasks throughout tonight, at the Bridge in square 2916. They were deployed in the area of DRUTEN 5368. Today section of DD Battery RHA was sent on a roving commission but they saw very few Bosche, and only engaged four targets, which were suspected enemy earthquakes. This afternoon the C.O. went to see the C.C.R.A. about future operations of the special harassing group which he now commands. The group consists of in addition to our own Regiment a Troop of Mediums and a Battery of 3.7” A.A. guns which come on the command tomorrow. The C.O. also visited the 61st Recce and 2/60 K.R.R.C. concerning the sending of O.Ps to them. Our targets today were once again mostly “V” and “U” Targets.

 

 

16

2200

Today we continued to take part in more V” and “U” Targets. A battery of 3.7” A.A. Guns come under command of the Regiment for the purpose of engaging ground targets. This evening we learned that for 24 hours will be under command of 30 Corps for operational purposes but still under commander 12 Corps for administration. We also learned of the possibility of a move.

 

 

17

2200

This morning we were informed that we are being relieved by the Essex Yeomanry 147 Fd Regt. The C.O. called to see our C.O. and it was officially agreed that they would take over from us tomorrow. This afternoon, recce parties arrived to take over from us. Late this afternoon the C.O. attended a Brigadiers conference regarding our move and future operations. When the CEO return he held a BCs conference and we found out that we're moving to the BLADEL area Square 2511, in support of our own Armd Bde and under command of 12 Corps.

 

BLADEL

18

 

This morning we left at 0730 hrs and joined the Brigade column at 682638. Our route lay through GRAVE, ZEKLAND, UDEN, VEGHEL, ST. OEDENRODE, EINHOVEN and KERSEL. En route we were informed that we would deploy in the POPPEL area. Owing to the length of the brigade front DD Battery RHA was deployed in square 2220 and remainder of the Regiment in sq. 1118 and 1218. The Bde is taking over from 147 Inf Bde, but we not become operational until 0900 hours tomorrow morning.

 

 

19

 

At 0900 hrs we had completely taken over from 147 Inf Bde. It seemed that the enemy did not hold this sector very strongly. During the day we engaged various troop targets, but we did no shooting on a large scale. This afternoon the C.O. visited the C.O. of the Netherlands Artillery and arranged to employ them wherever possible to shoot on our on our front. The R.S.O. put them on the same grid as ourselves. During the afternoon the C.C.R.A. of the Polish Artillery arrived and Major Hankey gave him our D.F. tasks so if need be they can assist us.

4th Armd Bde O.O.

No. 23 (2/8/G)

 

20

 

During the night we find that D.F. Tasks to in support of K.R.R.C. This afternoon F and C batteries supported of a successful party by the KRRC to clear some enemy from a farmhouse. This afternoon the C.O, attended a conference at Brigade HQ and afterwards went to 51 (H) Div HQ. This evening we arranged a fire plan with the Polish artillery to be shot tomorrow morning, the target being a Battalion H.Q. location obtained from a P. of W.

 

 

21

2200

We engaged the suspected Bn.H.Q. but obtained no information about the effects. During the afternoon we supported two small local attacks by the 2/60 K.R.R.C. to mop up small enemy posts.

 

 

22

2200

Today has been exceptionally quiet with very little activity. O.Ps engaged the enemy whenever he moved or appeared. His artillery has been very quiet and we have not been able to get any accurate bearings to his gun positions. One probable gun area was stonked by F battery RHA.

 

 

23

 

Reasonably quiet today and very little firing.

 

 

24

 

Today it became evident that the enemy were commencing to withdraw on our front as the 15(S) Div are driving across the Eastern end of our front. This afternoon the C.O. attended the conference at BDE HQ on a future operations. This evening at ABC 's conference we learned learned that tomorrow the BDE is to advance towards TILBURG. Tonight we are firing HF tasks to deter the enemy forces from laying mines which will hamper our progress.

 

129211

25

 

At 0730 hrs DD Battery RHA moved forward and went into action in Sq.2023 supported by the Netherlands Battery. At 0800 hrs F Battery RHA moved forward and deployed in square 1221. At 1300 hrs C Battery RHA and RHQ moved forward into Square 1221. Throughout the day the advance continued but progress was slow owing to mines. Tonight we are again harassing the enemy’s line of retreat and also to prevent laying of mines.

 

 

26

 

Today the advance continued but very slow owning to mines and very boggy ground. The 15(S) Div continued to move on TILBURG from the EAST. During the day we fired in support of the infantry and engaged suspected gun and mortar areas.

 

 

 

 

The CO went to Bde this afternoon to discuss the advance tomorrow. The enemy are still holding the village of GOIRLE which will be cleared tomorrow. This afternoon three of our survey party were killed when their Jeep ran over a mine.

 

137248

27

 

During the night we learned that 15 (S) Div were to enter the outskirts of TILBURG, and then dispatch a battalion to clear GOIRLE Squ 1528, after which our Brigade will advance to the eastern outskirts of TILBURG. This morning the C.O. met the Brigadier and afterwards the CRA 15 (S) Div concerning future operations. At 1515 hrs the Regiment move forward and deployed in area previously reached by 2 I/C and surveyed by R.S.O. Squs 1425 and 1325. Mines have slowed the advance of the brigade considerably.

 

108328

28

 

This morning at 0635 we received orders to proceed with advance through GOIRLE and TILBURG, now liberated and advance along the road towards REIJEN 0536 held by enemy. The 2 I/C, R.S.O. and Bty Reps preceded the Regiment in order to recce Gun areas. The C.O. went on to Tac Bde HQ. The Regiment deployed in Squs 1033 and 1032. During the day we fired in support of the Regiments in the Brigade and also in support of 7th Armd Div. This evening in the Regiment, the NETHERLAND TROOP, and two Regiments of 15 (S) Div. fired a series of ‘stonks’ on enemy strong points. We also sent out one section (DD Bty RHA) to 072349 for the purpose of firing H.F. tasks throughout the night.

 

 

29

 

Early this morning we received orders that we were to move back to WEERY with the Brigade. less K.R.R.C. and GREYS. At 0900 hs we joined the Brigade Column and proceeded on our route through TILBURG, POPPEL, ARENDONCK, STEEISEL, WESTERHOVER, LUYKSGESTEL LOMMEL HAMMOT, to HEEZE. At STEENSEL our route was altered and KINROY 606849 was given as dispersal point. The C.O. B.Cs G.P.Os went on to contact the 2 I/C and Recce Prties who had left before the Regiment. The C.O. called at Brigade H.Q. to discover the form which he then passed on to the BCS. Other regiment was deployed in Squares 6095 6094, and 5905. As there were no Regiments of the Brigade committed we had no D.F. tasks. We were deployed in order to support the Americans to. To do this we dispatched at L.O to their Artillery H.Q.

 

 

30

 

This morning the American Artillery Commander called to see our C.O. about co-ordination of support for our forthcoming attack by the Americans. The Brigadier also called and expressed that he thought the Regiment was far too forward, so the 2 I/C and Recce parties found alternative positions to which the regiment moved in squares 5695 and 5794. This afternoon the Brigadier came to see the C.O. about future operations and the 2 I/C and Recce Parties recce’d new positions in square 6090 and six 091, which could be occupied in the event of a large scale attack by the enemy. This evening the C.O. attended a conference at Brigade H.Q. and held a B.Cs Conference appoint his return. This evening we arranged H.F. tasks which was subsequently cancelled by the Americans as they were unsafe.

 

 

31

 

This morning the C.O. was visited by the O.C. of an American Battery and a fireplan was arranged to support a feint attack by the Americans. This attack however, did not take place. This afternoon the C.R.A. of 53 (W) Div arrived and we learned off their arrival in this area to relieve the Americans. The C.R.A. instructed us to move to our new area tomorrow morning in order to cover the whole of the front. The 4th Armoured Brigade tomorrow is to support 71 and 158 Brigades of 53 (W) Div, whilst the 3/4 C.L.Y. and 2 K.R.R.C. are to remain in reserve as an immediate counter-attack force. Our role is to fire in support in support of 53 Div and to support any counter-attacks by 3/4 C.L.Y. and 2 K.R.R.C.

 

4th Armd Bde O.O No.

16 dated 31.10.44.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During this. 3rd to 20th we received 24 pairs of chevrons steel and rubber tracks. Since changing to these tracks we have had no trouble at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

STAMPROIJ

593955

1

 

This morning, in accordance with the CRA's instructions, the Regiment (one Bty moving as soon as the preceding one was in action) deployed in squares 6090 and 6091. The remaining AMERICANS today moved out of the area to concentrate in the NEDERWEERT area, in preparation for an attack to clear the enemy from any of the canal junction 6299. CRA, 53 DIV, visited us in the afternoon and gave us the dispositions of his Division and settled to one or two administrative problems.

 

 

 

 

We maintain OP's with the regiments of the BDE until such time as they were released by units of 53 DIV. This evening, after obtaining the sanction of Comd 4 ARMD BDE, we recalled our rep from the AMERICANS as 53 D IV now have a LO with them. Today we have done very little firing, our targets being a suspected 75mm gun and suspected mortar areas.

 

 

2

 

Early this morning the AMERICANS began their attack. We supported them by harassing various targets on their right flank. This evening and throughout the night we are putting down more harassing fire at the request of the AMERICANS.

 

 

 

 

This morning to CO attended the conference at BDE HQ in respect of the part we are to play in support of that portion of the Bde which is to form the counterattack force. It was decided, that in order to give maximum support to the CLY and the KRRC if they were employed, we should be prepared to move further SOUTH. Consequently, a position was recce’d and surveyed in sq 5985. This position was to be occupied only in the event of an enemy attack in the WESSEM area. Tomorrow, on the CRA's instructions, we are sending an OP from DD Bty to the AMERICANS. He will be there on the 83 FTD REGT’S wireless net and if any targets are seen will shoot this regiment.

 

 

3

 

The Americans continued their advance today without meeting very much opposition. On our own sector things have been very quiet. DD Bty moved a troop back to their old position 6094, so it's able to answer calls for fire from the AMERICANS. This OP had several shoots during the night, one tgt being a gun position, and although accurate results could not be obtained the rounds all fell in the target area and the guns ceased firing. At last night both the troop and OP returned to the regimental area.

 

 

 

 

Early this morning the CRA visited our HQ and instructed us to send one Bty back to its original position, so as to be able to give support to the Americans whose advance is carrying him out of range of our guns. F Bty have been given orders to move at 0830 hrs tomorrow and also send a LO to the AMERICAN ARTY BN HQ.

 

 

 

 

Throughout the night we are harassing points on our front at the request of the Americans.

 

 

4

 

This morning F Bty moved and occupied their old positions 608956. Our targets today are mainly harassing fire tasks for the AMERICANS, although we have participated in bombards against hostile mortars. Late this afternoon the CRA visited us and outlined the progress of the American attack. Again, tonight, we are carrying out a harassing programme in support of the Americans. At last light F Bty returned to the regimental area.

 

 

5

 

We continue to support the AMERICANS today by firing at their request on sight targets. We also took part in bombards against enemy mortars and batteries, at the request of the AMERICANS. Throughout tonight we are firing another harassing programme. This morning the CO went to BDE HQ to be presented it to the ARMY COMMANDER.

 

 

6

 

There has been vert little activity today, but in order to support the AMERICANS effectively and, on the orders of the CRA, DD Bty moved I went into action in sq 6196. They were not called upon to do any firing and return to the regimental area at last light.

 

 

7

 

The CO attended the conference at BDE this morning concerning future operations on our sector of the front. This evening this a Staff Officer from HQ RA informed us of the provisional gun areas to be occupied in any future when operations commence in this area. This morning both F and DD batteries sent out sniping guns to engage pillboxes the other side of the canal. F Bty’s gun engaged pill-box at 648937 and DD Bty a pill-box at 650946. Both these pill boxes, which are known to be occupied at night, where rendered uninhabitable by AP shot and HE. From today onwards but we are restricted to 6rpg per day.

 

 

8

 

Today has been exceedingly uneventful, our only target being a bombard against a hostile bty. The 2 i/c and the Survey Officer completed the recce of the new regimental area and selected probable gun areas. This evening part of the AMERICAN force moved out, as they are being relieved by 51 (H) Div.

 

 

9

 

Another exceedingly quiet day, during which we have not fired at all. It is becoming obvious at the battle will begin soon, for yet another Div, 7th Armd Div, started to move into this area today. Today the remainder of the AMERICAN ARMD DIV move away.

 

 

10

 

Today we received confirmation of are gun area and so recce parties went off and definite positions were selected and surveyed. In view of the amount of arty which is concentrating in this area the recce party remained in a new area for the night to safeguard our positions. Once again there's been very little activity although we have participated in three bombards against hostile mortars. This evening we received instructions that tomorrow we are to move between 1000-1200 hours and one battery must be in action before the next one moves.

 

TUNGLEROI

608922

11

 

In accordance with instructions received last night the regiment moved this morning to his new position in squares 6091 and 6092. DD Bty moved first, followed by RHQ and C Bty, then F Bty. During the afternoon received a visit from the CO of the BELGIAN ARTY. The BELGIAN BDE are holding a sector on our right he asked for our support on a DF Task in in case they were attacked and DD Bty were given the Task as their DF SOS task. We also received instructions to dump HE 100rpgand Smoke 60rpg in in our positions and HE 100rpgin a regimental dump. Once again we have done very little firing, only target to being a hostile mortar.

 

 

12

 

Today we continued with our dumping programme, which has been increased by Smoke 60rpg. There has been no activity or fire throughout the whole of today. We this morning we dispatched our first party to BRUSSELS for a 48-hr leave. This is our first allocation of leave.

 

 

13

 

This morning the CO attended a conference at BDE HQ and, this afternoon, at a BCs' conference he gave details of the attack which commences tomorrow afternoon. DD Bty are to support the CLY, who are supporting the assault for the Canal, and F Bty are to support the 44 RTR, who will cross the canal as soon as a class 40 br is established. Evening the Fire Plans arrived and our job is to fire two smoke screens in support of 51 (H) Div when they crossed the CANAL DU NORD and then a timed HE programme in support of 53 (W) DIV when they crosse the NEDERWEERT-WESSEM CANAL. Once again there has been no enemy activity

 

 

14

2335

At 1600 hrs 51 (H) DIV commenced to assault the CANAL DU NORD. To support them we fired one smoke screen, the other being cancelled owing to an unfavourable wind. Just after we had completed firing the smoke screen an enemy Stonk of about 20 rounds landed in the area of C Bty and RHQ Command Post. This killed 1 OR and wounded 4 ORs in C Bty and wounded 1 OR in RHQ.

 

 

 

 

This Stonk was the only one the German guns put down in the 53 DIV area. At 1800 hrs we fired a time HE programme in support of the 51 (H) DIV, who by this time had successfully got their leading Bn across the canal. At 2000 hrs t4 WELCH and 2 MONS began the assault the NEDERWEERT-WESSEM CANAL. Our support was in the form of a timed a HE programme lasting 30 mins. Information as to how the attack was going was very scarce, but by 2145 we learned that 2 MONS had three companies across now things could be going according to plan.

 

 

15

2000

Last night passed without our being called upon to fire. At 0700 hs this morning we participated in another fire plan lasting 15 mins in support of 53 (W) DIV, who have now finally established their bridgehead and are pushing slowly forward. Early this afternoon we received warning order that as soon as the Class 9 bridge over the canal had was completed our recce party would follow on the tail of 158 BDE and the regiment would move as soon as the Class 40 bridge was completed. Our recce party stood by only a few of the fact that it was going to be a night occupation GPOs were warned to move as well.

 

 

 

 

Owing to the bridge being a Class 9 those members of the recce who normally travelled in half-track vehs had to change to either White Scout cars or Carriers. The recce party set off eventually at about 1600 hrs. A Survey Officer and two surveyors from XII CORPS, attached to the Regiment for this move, were unable to go owing to the vehicle being a half-track. The Regiment was warned to be ready to move any time after 1800 hrs. For this move the Regiment was divided into two parties, namely wheels and tracks. As the half-tracks which are our Comd vehs were not allowed to travel with the wheels they were put with the track party, which consist of OP tanks and RAMs. The CO ordered that the half-tracks to be so situated in the column of that should, one should one become stuck, a tank or RAM would be available to recover it immediately. The wheeled party under the comd of Capt. H L Cooper, DCM, RHA, have received orders to move at 2100 hrs ; the track party are still awaiting orders to move

 

 

16

 

The track party finally moved at 2015 hrs to follow the 44 RTR across the Class 40 br. The order of march was - the two RHQ Comd vehs, F Bty (who are supporting 44 RTR), DD Bty, and C Bty, the column being led by the CO and Adjutant. The move was very much a nightmare, for having got the column along an entirely bad track to within ¾ miles of the br a hold-up a occurred. The CO walked on ahead to investigate the cause and found that vehicle, once over the br had to make a 90 degrees turn. The tanks proceeding us had so torn up the track that was impossible for a tank to pass through it. The situation was completely out of hand owing to there being no Engineer officer supervised the crossing of the nr and no bulldozer available. Seeing it was impossible for the half-tracks to proceed further, the CO ordered them to turn around and go back to the wheeled route. After explaining the situation to HQ RA on the wireless the CO obtained permission for half-tracks across the Class 9 br. This we did, but after six had crossed the br became unusable, with the result that the rest had remained on the western side of the Canal. The wheeled party came into the new area sq 6791 at 0030 hrs, while the half-tracks which crossed by the Class 9 br are arrived at approximately 0330 hrs and the guns a half-hour later. This morning at 1000 hrs recce parties moved forward and selected new gun areas in sq 6892, to which Regiment moved, one bty at a time. C movd first and when they were in action, RHQ and F moved forward, followed by DD. The tanks and inf had been making so much progress that as soon as the survey off positions have been completed recce parties again moved forward to find new positions in the area of BAEXEM. DD were told not to deploy, but to continue forward towards the second position sq 7193. At 1400 hours the rest of the regiment move that came into action in the new area at 1630 hrs. At 1730 hours the CO went to 44 RTR HQ to meet the Brigadier and on his return we learned that tour afternoon, on orders of HQ ARMD BDE, we were to move forward with the rest of the BDE to position in 49 (WR) DIVISION area to support the crossing of the CANAL DE DERIVATION. The CO went to see CRA 49 (WR) DIV. Throughout the day we have done no shooting.

 

 

17

 

Owing to our new area not being completely clear of enemy we did not move this afternoon as forecast. We are now all ready to move and it is just a case of waiting for the order. This morning we engaged one or two parts targets and, as meteor conditions were favourable, C Bty fired a salvo into GERMANY - the first bty in the regiment to do so. Later in the day F bty also fired a salvo into GERMANY.

 

 

18

 

Recce parties moved off this morning into our new area, just NORTH of ROGGEL in sqs 7299 and 7200. As the regiment did not receive the order to move the CO ordered that the recce parties should stay in the new area to safeguard our new gun positions from other regiments that were moving in.

 

 

 

 

This evening we received the order that we were to move tomorrow at 0800 hours, following 44 RTR.

 

HUS

771039

19

 

As order we moved this morning at 0800 hrs and came into action at approx. 1100 hrs. At 1230 hrs the CRA 49 (WR) DIV called at our HQ and instructed us to move this afternoon to BERINGE area. Recce parties left at once and the regiment moved at 1415 hrs, in the order C Bty, RHQ, F Bty, DD Bty. And deployed in sq 7603. This morning, on instructions from HQ, C Bty sent OPs to the 49 RECCE REGT whom they are now to support. We have with us now a LO from 69 FD REGT RA. It will be his job to keep us supplied with infm concerning the DIV’s fwd locations.

 

 

20

 

Today the inf continued their advance, which is slow the mines and mud. Opposition in not very great, but this morning, while engaging an enemy SP gun. Lieut. P B Foster RHA, had this tank brew-up and was wounded in the foot. Together with his driver and operator, who were both wounded, he had to be evacuated. Captain Hoyle, RHA, also had his tank damaged by a mine, but he and his crew sustained only bruises.

 

 

 

 

This evening at 1800 hrs the CO attended a conference, at BDE HQ, on future ops. At 2100 hrs he held a BCs’ conference and outlined to them the plan of the forthcoming attack. C Bty RHA are to support the GREYS ; F Bty RHA 49 RECCE REGT ; and DD Bty RHA, 2 KRRC. As from this evening 143 FD REGT RA grouped under us and have sent a rep to our HQ. On orders of the CRA 72 MED REGT RA have also sent a rep to us.

 

 

 

 

We have today dumped 100 rpg.

 

 

21

 

today has been very busy as the attack began this morning. The Co went to TAC BDE HQ, taking with him the reps from 143 FD and 72 MED. Recce parties went forward and selected new gun areas in SQ 7706. We shall move to this area as soon as the tactical situation permits. Throughout the day the passage of infm has been good and we have been be able to follow the course of the attack very well. The situation employed the system employed in in our RHQ was one wireless working to the btys and OPs, one working with 4th ARMD BDE, and a third working with HQ RA. This enabled any infm coming over one wireless link to be passed out immediately over the other two, thus ensuring quick passage of information upwards. Also, through our LO with 15 (S) DIV we have been able to keep them informed of the position of our fwd elements, and vice-versa. We have not done very much shooting today and so far have employed the MEDIUMS. The form for tomorrow is that as soon as 2/60 KRRC have captured TONGERLOO we are to move to our new positions and DD Bty OPs will leave 2/60 and joined CLY.

 

VOSEBERG

772061

22

 

Today preceded on the same lines as yesterday. At approximately 1200 hrs, moving one bty at a time, we came into action in our new area. The CO again spent the day at TAC BDE HQ, taking with him the two reps, but once again we have not employed them and have done no large scale shooting ourselves. As instructed at 1320 hrs DD Bty ceased to support 2/60 KRRC and dispatched OPs to 3/4 CLY, who are operating with 56 BDE. It appears that 4 ARMD BDE are being gradually squeezed out of the battle by 56 INF BDE.

 

 

23

 

There has not been so much activity today as on the preceding days, due to the GREYS and KRRC being ordered to remain in last night's positions. This increased suspicion that our BDE would probably be withdrawn. This was confirmed this evening when we learned that BDE, less 3/4 CLY, are going back tomorrow to the HEEZE area. We are too continue to support CLY and 49 RECCE REGT. This afternoon CRA 49 (WR) DIV came to our HQ and informed us that we should be moving in any future to probable area SQ8409, but not until he gave the order, as our OP tanks and SPs piece would do too much damage to the tracks already bad. Shoe-mines I still very plentiful and this morning DD Bty's ESs had his foot blown off when endeavouring to recover the wireless equipment from Captain Hoyle’s tank.

 

 

24

 

There has been very little doing today and we engaged only a few tp tgts in support of 49 RECCE REGT and one hostile mortar bombard. We are now rapidly becoming out of range, but HQ RA will not give us permission to move yet. C Bty and DD Bty, finding that the meteor this morning would enable the to reach into GERMANY, firing bty salvos at a concrete factory in the FATHERLAND. This evening we were held by the CRA that we would not move before 26th. The LO from 69 FD REGT RA having fulfilled his mission (to keep his regt infm of progress of 4 ARMD BDE) returned to his regiment. Our own LO with 16 (S) DIV also returned today.

 

 

25

 

Again very quiet, the inf having reached the R MAAS. We are now shooting at extreme range. Reps from 72 MED and 143 FD both returned to their regiments this morning. This evening Lt.-Col. MacKay Lewis, MC. RHA, who is deputy CRA of 49 (WR) DIV, informed us he would recce with Major P J Hankey, RHA, a new gun area in sq 8512 in the morning.

 

SEVENUM

516140

26

 

As arranged yesterday, Lt.-Col Lewis and the 2 i/c went forward to recce new positions. At 1030 hrs the survey party and recce parties went forward and positions were choose in sqs 8511 and 8512. At 1430 hrs we received permission to move and did so, coming into action at approx 1530 hrs. On occupying our new position we immediately fire two bombards and up to last light were fairly busy taking part on U targets.

 

 

 

 

Tonight we are engaged upon harassing fire tasks destine to prevent the Boche using a ferry across the R MAAS to VENLO. Today, F Bty, who are supported 49 RECCE REGT, established an OP on the river bank whence good observation is afforded across the river into VENLO.

 

 

27

 

This morning F Bty sent out a sniping gun which engaged and score 21 hits out of 24 on a Church tower on the outskirts of VENLO. This tower was suspected of being used as an OP as it commanded a good view of the area we are occupying. Today we have done very little shooting and the majority of our targets have been bombards and hostile mortars. Tonight we are engaged upon a HF programme in sp of 146 BDE. This morning Brigadier R P Carver, DSO, MC, visited us and told us that 3/4 CLY are going back to join the remainder of the BDE, but we are remaining to sp 49 RECCE REGT. He also told us at 49 DIV will probably been taken out of the line, but could not say what our future will be if this happens. This afternoon the 2 i/c went to conference at HQ RA concerning future ops. Upon his return he confirmed that 49 (WR) DIV I've been taking that line. They are leaving 49 RECCE REGT to hold this front and we are to remain in sp and also a Med REGT who is sending a rep to us tomorrow.

 

 

28

 

This morning the 2 i/c off 25 FD REGT RA arrived and, to our amazement, informed us that his regiment were probably we leaving us, but HQ RA could not confirm this. Doing this afternoon we received a message from 190 FD REGT RA saying that tomorrow they are relieving our OPs with 49 RECCE REGT. The CO went to HQ RA to find exactly what our future form will be. Upon his return we learned that as from 1400 hrs tomorrow we will come under Comd 15 (S) DIV and VIII Corps. 49 RECCE REGT are leaving and our OP commitments with them cease tomorrow. At the moment we are unable to find out exactly what our future job will be. Tonight we are carrying out harassing fire programme in sp of the LINCS REGT.

 

 

29

 

This morning a BC of 190 FD REGT RA a arrived Major P J Hankey, RHA, took him up to show him the OP we occupy on the bank of the MAAS and gave him the details of our OP commitments. We received an order from XII CORPS to send a rep to HQ RA 53 (W) DIV. Major Hankey went and learned that we are coming under command of that Div when we are relieved by 25 FD REGT RA, which will probably be tomorrow. Our future gun area will be near HUNSEL 6589. This afternoon the 2 i/c and CPOs of 25 FD REGT RA arrived to take over the data of our present gun area. They are probably relieving us at 1500 hrs tomorrow.

 

HUNSEL

6589

30

 

Today we were informed that we are definitely being relieved this afternoon, but we shall not be committed until 1500 hrs tomorrow. The 2 i/c and bty recce parties went forward to prepare our new positions. The CO also went on ahead to visit HQ RA 15 (S) DIV and HQ RA 53 (W) DIV and 71 BDE who we shall be supporting. Movement control instructed us not to move before 1600 hrs and our route is Sevenum, Maasbree, Pannigan, Beringe, Kelpen, Ell, to HUNSEL.

 

 

 

 

We were relieved by 25 FD REGT RA at 1400 hrs, our guns pulling out of action to allow them to occupy our gun positions. The regiment moved at 1600 hrs and the guns deployed at 1900 hrs in their new positions, but we are not operational until tomorrow. At 2100 grs a BCs’ conference was held to discuss future operations, present gun areas, and billets. As we have not had any time for maintenance the CRA 15 (W) DIV has given permission for us to have one bty resting. It was decided that each bty should to have three days out of action, during which the maximum amount of training and maintenance will be done. We are taking over commitments of 3 RHA.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

December 1944

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

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

HUNSEL

6589

1

 

This morning there was a certain slight movement of posns. F Pty RHA is the Bty which is out of action for three days. C Bty RHA are to support OX & BUCKS and DD Bty RHA the INNS OF COURT. As there has been a certain amount of shelling in this area we are going to run a regtl CB office. This is being established at 71 BDE HQ, under the supervision of Major W G Harris, MC, RHA. The Adjutant went to 3 RHA and took over from them all existing hostile bty and hostile mortar data. By 1500 hrs the changeover was complete and we take it over to the DF tasks on all the commitments of 3 RHA. We have established three OPs for the purpose of taking bearings to all hostile btys and mortars. These OPs are to operate in conjunction with our own CB office and also the 53 (W) Div’s CB office which is at WESSEM.

 

 

2

 

Very quiet day with no activity ; we have done no firing

 

 

3.

 

This morning Brigadier R M P Carver, DSO, MC, visited us and informed us that in the near future the 2/60 KRRC are taking over a section of the front and we shall supply OPs to support them and the INNS OF COURT, who will be under comd 4 ARMD BDE. Today we have done very little shooting and so far there has been no hostile shelling in this area.

 

 

4

 

This morning at 1000 hours F Bty RHA came into action, assuming the responsibility of supporting the Inns of court, and DD Bty RHA come out of action. Today has once again been extremely quiet, our only tgt being a suspected enemy OP, which was engaged by one of our own OPs in WESSEM, using A Tp. This afternoon the CO of 81 Fd Regt RA visited us and gave us the outline of a fireplan we are to assist in to support a small operation to be carried out on the 6th by 4 RWF.

 

 

5

 

Yet another uneventful day, with very little shooting. As from today we are restricted to 6 rpg per day. We are taking full advantage of this quiet period to do as much maintenance as possible and also avail ourselves to the utmost of the entertainment provided by 53 (W) Div. Today the C) 81 FD REGT visited us again and gave us full details of tomorrow’s operation which will be know as LEEK. We are providing one OP officer with a tank to control our fire.

 

 

6

 

This morning OPERATION LEEK took place and was a complete success. Apart from this operation our only other tgts were suspected Spandau area which we engage at 2030 hrs at the request of OX & BUCKS LI.

 

 

7

 

Another very quiet day, during which we engaged one Tp tgy and participated in two divisional bombards on hostile btys.

 

 

8

 

A day of no activity and no shooting.

 

 

9

 

As from today we are allowed to have one bty out of action and one at six hours’ notice. DD Bty RHA are in action, supporting the INNS OF COURT, F Bty RHA at six hours’ notice, and C Bty RHA out of action. This evening we received a consolidated DF task table which co-ordinated all the DF tasks on the front.

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow, on the orders of HQ RA, we are send a Tp of DD Bty RHA to the MAESEYCK area, where the sappers are constructing a br over the MAAS. They are subjected to frequent shelling from 88mm guns and it is our task to locate and shoot them up.

 

 

10

 

As instructed D Tp moved this morning and came into action at 641978 at 0930 hrs with OPs at 643790 and 649799. Later in the day this Tp engaged two suspected enemy OPs and some enemy movement. Apart from this there has been no activity.

 

 

 

 

Information about the construction of the br was very vague and it looks as though the idea of bridging the river at this point has been abandoned. At the moment HQ RA 53 (W) Div can give us no information of the subject.

 

 

11

 

Today the CO visited D Tp and on his return he asked HQ RA if he could withdraw the Tp in view of the fact that there is no evidence of the sappers’ continuing to build the br and as 53 RECCE REGT, who hold that section of the front, do not favour our shelling enemy-held territory. At 1830 hrs permission to withdraw the Tp was given.

 

 

12

 

This morning D Tp returned to the regtl area. Again it has been an uneventful day with no shooting.

 

 

13

 

Today has been spent mainly in precautions for coming inspection on the 15th by the Bde Commander. These preparations, however, have not interfered with the training that has been taking place during the quiet period.

 

 

14

 

This morning C Bty RHA took over the support of the INNS OF COURTfrom DD Bty RHA, who are now out of action. F Bty are at six-hours’ notice. Again a day of no activity or shooting.

 

 

15

 

This morning the regt was inspected by the Bde Comd who could not make his inspection as thorough as he wished as he had to attend a conference in the afternoon. The regiment was complimented upon its turn-out and the cleanliness and condition of equipment. The Brigadier considered that this was the smartest regt in the Bde.

 

 

16

 

A day of no activity and shooting. Training and maintenance continued on some line as previous days. Today the CO went to a conference at HQ RA re future policy. 53 (W) Div are being relieved tomorrow by 11 Armd Div to whose command we revert. 2/60 KRRC are alsoto take over a sector of the front and we shall support them.

 

 

17

 

At 1300 hrs today we passed under command 11 ARMD DIV. The CRA (W) Div, CRA and BM 11 ARMD DIV visited our HQ this morning. 2/60 moved into the area today and DD Bty RHA are now supporting them. F Bty RHA are supporting the INNS OF COURT and C Bty are out of action.

 

 

18

 

Again a very quiet day with very little shooting. This morning at 1000 hrs C BtynRHA came into action and relieved F Bty RHA. Today Major P J A Hankey, RHA, held a meeting of bty soccer representatives and it was decided that during the quiet period an inter-Tp football League should run. The fixtures were arranged. The competition commences on the 21st.

 

 

19

 

Today was more active than of late, with DD Bty RHA firing at several suspected enemy posns and this evening we participate in a divisional stonk on enemy barges moored in a creek at 741869.

 

 

20

 

Very little activity today. This morning F Bty RHA relieved DD Bty RHA. Throughout the afternoon we have been consolidating and renumbering DF tasks which, owing to the changeover, have become rather complicated, and in some cases duplicated. At the moment half the DF tasks have 53 (W) Div numbers and the other half have 11 ARMD DIV numbers.

 

 

21

 

This morning Comd 11 ARMD DIV, accompanied by CRA, made a brief tour of inspection of the regiment. At 0945 hrs the CO went to Bde where, with Bde Commander, he discussed and arranged new DF tasks for the Bde front.

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow we are participating in a small party with 2/60 KRRC, who are going to shoot up two pill-boxes on the east bank of the MAAS with two 6-pr anti-tk guns. C Bty RHA are sending an OP with them who will control a smoke screen which is laid on to cover their withdrawal. F Bty RHA will fire two HE concentrations if there is any retaliation.

 

 

22

 

The party this morning went according to plan, with C Bty RHA firing the smoke screen to cover the withdrawal of two guns. As there was no retaliation F Bty RHA were not required at fire any HE. This afternoon Major A H D Barrow, MC RHA, went to BDE, where he discussed additional DF tasks for the Bde front.

 

 

 

 

On his return a trace of new task was sent to HQ RA, who are going to co-ordinate and renumber all the DF tasks on the Div Front. Today DD Bty RHA took over the support of INNS OF COURT from C Bty, who are now at rest.

 

 

23

 

Today, on instructions from HQ RA, we fired two stonks at enemy posns in order to spoil their Christmas dinner which, according to civilian report, is celebrated today. During theafternoon a fair amount of movement was observed on MAASBRACHT and F Bty put down HF in this area. We also took part in two divisional bombards on hostile mortars.

 

 

 

 

This evening more movement was heard near MAASBRACHT and F Bty put down more HF. At 1900 hrs this evening a patrol of one officer and one OR of 2/60 crossed the MAAS to identify enemy posns. F Bty fired a stonk in support of this patrol at 2130 hrs and are going to fire another stonk at 2330 hrs. At 0530 they are putting down a HE concentration on STEVENSWEERT 6783.

 

 

24

 

This morning C Bty RHA took over from F Bty RHA, who are now out of action.

 

 

 

 

During the afternoon more movement was heard in MAASBRACHT and so C and DD Btys RHA fired scale 10 into the village. 2/60 engaged spandaus with their mortars and C Bty RHA put down a stonk on the village.

 

 

25

 

Last night an enemy plane was shot down in the Div area and this morning the local resistance movement captured three of the crew who had baled out. They were all NCOs,- very sullen, and would give no information. We passed them on to Div, who after preliminary investigation passed them on to Corps. This evening C and DD batteries RHA fired stunk at the request of 2/60 KRRC on map ref 706848, where civilians reported 100 boats were moored.

 

 

 

 

As we were in action were not able to organise any large scale parties or concerts for the day. F Bty RHA, being out of action, were able to have a Bty dinner and a concert given by members of the Bty in evening. The other two Btys arranged it so that one Tp had Christmas dinner today and the other Tp will have theirs tomorrow. The fare was very good and the Army rations were supplemented by a large purchase from NAAFI : each man was given two bottles of English beer. The CO, accompanied by the 2i/c, visited each To dinner.

 

 

26

 

Today F Bty RHA relieved DD Bty RHA, who are now at rest, but they will shoot should additional support be required. This afternoon the AOP conducted a shoot against some small boats moored in the creek at 706850. This afternoon we received the details of a small fire plan which we shall fire, if required, in support of 3 MONS, who are sending a patrol across the river this evening. We have also been given two tgts in support of 11 HUSSARS ; we shall engage if they are attacked.

 

 

27

 

Last night 3 MONS completed their mission without opposition and we were not called upon to shoot for them. This morning at 1000 hrs Major P Greenfield, MC, RHA, went to a conference at BDE about a future small operation of Tp of tanks from Bde HQ Sqn. This operation is known as SMACKEM and consists of three tanks shooting up the front edge of STEVENSWEERT 6783. We are sending an OP tank with them and also putting down a small fire plan.

 

 

 

 

The fire plan commences at 0735 hrs with F Bty RHA firing a HE concentration and at 0742 hrs regt fire a HE concentration. Both tgts are the western outskirts of STEVENSWEERT. At 0755 hrs C and F Btys RHA put down a smoke screen to cover the advance of the tanks and DD Bty continue to strop up the front of the village. When the tanks had completed firing, DD Bty put down a smoke screen to cover their withdrawal.

 

 

28

 

The small operation was completed this morning without mishap and without retaliation by the enemy. Tomorrow 2/60 KRRC are going to shoot up certain known enemy posts in the area of MAASBRACHT. In addition to ourselves they are also employing 13 RHA and 72 MRD REGT. Our support consists of two regtl stonks in the centre of the village and two concentrations by C Bty RHA on the NE outskirts.

 

 

29

 

Apart from the shooting in support of 2/60 KRRC this morning, there has been very little activity. DD Bty RHA relieved C Bty RHA at 1000 hrs. This evening at the request of 2/60 KRRC, DD Bty RHA are carrying out a small HF programme on MAASBRACHT.

 

 

30

 

Again a every quiet today. 2/60 KRRC sent out another two-man patrol across the MAAS and DD Bty RHA fired concentrations on map ref 686822 at 1930 hrs and again at 2130 hours. At 2230 hours they put down a concentration on map ref 678831.

 

 

31

 

This morning C Bty RHA relieved F Bty RHA, who are now at call. Today has again been one of little activity. Tomorrow 2/60 KRRC are taking out two 6-pr anti-tank guns to shoot at pill-boxes. DD Bty RHA are to fire a smoke screen to cover their withdrawal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE : On 19 Dec 44 we were informed by 4 ARMD BDE that the Commander-in-Chief had approved the award of the Military Cross to Captain P E Millington, RHA and Lieut. P B Foster, RHA. Captain Millington 's award referred to instant on 20 Nov 44 where he was supporting a Motor Coy of 2/60 KRRC in the forcing of a crossing of the stream 1000 yards east of KONINGCLUST CLOISTER 7808. Leiut. Fosters award referred to incidents on 14 Nov 44 when he was supporting 44 RTR. The advance was being held up by a SP gun. Lieut. Fosters tank was brewed up and, after getting his wounded crew to safety, he returned to finish his shoot. Lieut. Foster was himself wounded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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