War Diaries For

The 5th Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery




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1943 1945 1946 1947
Memorandum From Lt.-Col R.R. Hoare D.S.O., M.C., R.H.A. August 1942


January 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt. Col G P Gregson DSO MC RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1-3   At sea  
  4   Arrived in Clydeside. Visit by the Div Cmd on board. who spoke to all Officers on board an told us what our future plans were for the next two months.  
  5   Unloading of part of baggage into lighters  
  6 1430 Disembarkation: G, K, RHQ  
    1500 Disembarkation: CC  
    1700 First party left by train for Brandon, Suffolk.  
  7 0500 Arrival first party Brandon Station; met by Major JH Kynaston and taken by RASC lorries to CRANWICH CAMP.  
    0930 Arrival of CC Bty.  
      The rest of  this day was spent in getting instructions about disembarkation leave and learning some of the difficulties of soldering in the U.K.  
      The C.O. Lt.Col GP Gregson flew over from S.O.S course at Oxford for lunch  
  8-9   Spent in organising the camp, which had been taken over from 6 RHA who had left a rear party behind to help us over the first 48 hrs and who were very helpful.  
      A considerable amount of work was necessary to get some 60& of the Regt away on disembarkation leave between 10 - 15 Jan.  
      Those who had been away for less that two years were granted two weeks leave,  
      Those with over two years got three weeks and those with over four years got a month's leave.  
      About 90% of the Regt came in the first category, and as only 55% of the two-week personnel were allowed to be away at one time it was decided to send the maximum number of key personnel, such as officers, WOs and Nos.1, etc on the first batch.  
      A large number of course at the RA,T School, Rhyl, were given for instruction on Shermans, 'A' vehicles and waterproofing.  
      All these started at the end of January and were periods varying from 4 to 8 weeks.  
  10-14   These days were spent almost entirely in getting men off on disembarkation leave by the special trains allotted to the Division  
  14-19   This period was spent in organising the Camp, with the skeleton personal left behind.  
  19   Lt.Col Gregson returned from course at Oxford and re-assumed command of the Regt.  
  20   12 3-tonners and 9 15-cwts were drawn by the Regt as a temporary stop-gap. None of these vehicles was new. It was anticipated that the Regt would start to draw equipment about 22 Jan, but in point of fact this was not yet available.  
  20.28   The first leave parties returned and the second parties were sent off.  
  24   Major FS Wyldbore-Smith DSO was promoted Lt.Col and posted as G.I. to 11 Armd Div  
  28   In view of the fact that as yet no equipment had been drawn and that by now the bulk of the Regt was back the C.O. ask Div comd if a special concession could be grated and privilege leave started on a large scale and got over so that when the equipment arrived the Regt could get down to training with it without the handicap of 10% permanently away on leave.  
      This request was granted and the Regt was allowed to have a total of 30% away (incl disembarkation leave). Men already away were immediately wired to extend their leave by nine days.  
  29   The Regt officially came on the new 24-pr War Establishment.   
      C.O. held a BC's conference to discuss ORs' promotion to to fill the existing vacancies  
  31   Btys spent the day rifle shooting on SWAFFHAM Ranges, due to the lack of equipment to carry out any other type of training.  


February 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt. Col G P Gregson DSO MC RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1-8   During this period nearly 50% of the Regt was away on Courses, disembarkation or privilege leave. Only elementary training was possible owning to complete lack of equipment.  
      The time was spent in getting settles in to the new camp and working out the various changes necessary to work on a new establishment of personnel and equipment.  
      The Rifle ranges at SWAFFHAM were booked for each morning for the whole week and the Btys concentrated on giving all available personnel the Maximum amount of practice on the rifle ranges.  
  7-8   C.O. 5 R.H.A. attended a TEWT (acting in the capacity of CRA) run by 7 Armd Div for the Commanders in XII Corps Kent.  
  11 1100 All Officers attended lecture by Divisional Commander give to all Officers in the Division on the type of battle to expect in future operations on the Continent  
    1730 B.Cs Conference to decide on the future interposting and promotions of Officers in the Regt.  
  12 1000 Inter-Bty Rifle shooting competition on SWAFFHAM Ranges, won by CC Bty  
  14   The following promotions and interpostings were made in the Regt. (Appendix J 1) App. J.1.
      8 Sextons were received and issued to Btys as follows:-  
      'G' 2, 'K' 3, 'CC' 3,  
  15-16   Further rifle shooting was carried out on SWAFFHAM Ranges and Btys prepared for an inspection by the C. in. C. on Feb 17.  
  17   C. in. Cs inspection.     (Appendix J 2) App. J.2.
  17th Cont'd   Lt VM Hill RHA assumed appointment of Adjt., Capt TJ Cooke MC RHA having been promoted to Major to command CC Bty RHA.  
  18th   Personnel selection team arrived to test all ORs less WOs of the Regt.  
  21st   The following personnel joined as reinforcements: Gnrs 15, Dvrs 2.  
  22nd   Further reinforcements joined; Gnrs 7, Dvrs 23, Dvr/Ops 19, Signallers 4.  
      The bulk of these reinforcements were just under nineteen years old, having had nine to elevon months in the service, and being of good average intelligence.  
    1700 CO 5RHA lectures 8 Hussars on the employment of artillery in an Armd Div.  
  23rd 1000 Lecture to the Regt by Corps Counter Battery Officer followed by a short demonstration of the work of the Counter Battery office in action.  
      Lecture was attended by all officers in the Regiment, and an officer per Armd Regt from 22 Armd Bde.  
  24th   Inspection by 7 Armd Div by H.M. The King. The Regt was on parade with the other Regts of the Div Arty.  


  The Regt received some more MT over this period. It amounted to forty four MCs, one staff car. twelve 15cwts GS, one office truck, nine 15cwts W/T four water carts and twenty eight Ford three tonners  


  Junior NCOs Cadre Class started.  
  28th   The DGA visited the Regt and a policy for raising the standard of cooking even higher was decided upon.  
  29th 0900 The Regt Sigs Officer lectured to officers and Sigs A.Is of the Regt on the wireless procedure and security of the Army in teh UK.  
    0730 CO 8 Hussars lectured to the officers and WOs of the Regt on the employment of an Armd Recce Regt in an Armd Div.  


March 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt. Col G P Gregson DSO MC RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1st   Individual training continued particularly with Gun Drill. Two training Sherman Tanks were taken over by this Regiment.  
  2nd   The Adjt-Gen, an old friend of the Regiment, paid a visit. He met all the officers, NCOs and a proportion of the ORs.  
      After inspecting the equipment he addressed all officers and NCOs. He gave a resumé of the situation throughout the world.  
      He has dome this a number of times before and it was highly appreciated by the Regiment  
  3rd   The CO held a BCs conference to discuss gun drill on the SEXTONS.  
  4th   CRE lecture to the officers and a proportion of the NCOs on the work of the REs in an ArmD Div.  
      The Regiment took over four operation Shermans.  
  5th   Parties of drivers from the Btys and RHQ drove waterproofed B vehicles through a Div watersplash which was 3ft 6ins deep.  
  6th   CO 5RHA lectures at the RAC tactical school Oxford,  
  7th   The 2nd i/c, Adjt and QM attended a conference held by Brig. Macpherson at Div HQ on mobilisation.  
  8th-11th   Individual training continued. G 1098 stores still come in at a steady trickle  
      Bulk of the G 1098 stores have now been received.  
  12th   CO 5RHA attended a conference at Div HQ on trg with regard to the future  
  13th 0900 A mornings course in Polish Mine detectors was run by an NCO from 1 Bn RB.  
      Three men per Bty and one from RHQ attended.  
    1400 Capt PM Victory RHA lectured and demonstrated to all officers on waterproofing A vehicles.  
  14th   A R/T scheme on the CRAs fwd control was held during the morning. The Adjt took part.  
  15th 1400 "A" Vehicle waterproofing lecture.  
    1730 R/T Scheme for the Regimental fwd control. This proved most useful.  
  16th 1030 AGRA 21 Army Gp visited the Regiment. No special parades were organised as the MGRA did not wish to interfere with training.  
      The whole visit was given up to the discussion of the Regt's WE. The WE such as it was, it could not have been more profitably spent.  
      CO 5 RHA pointed out it was impossible to get maximum efficiency out of the Regiment on its existing WE.  
      MGRA noted all the suggested changes and although pessimistic about the outcome promised to to his best to get the through.  
      MGRA also authorised the removal of 75mm guns from two Sherman tanks, This provided four comd tks, 1 per Bty Comd and the CO as two MG conversion Shermans had previously been received by the Regy.  
    1400 "A" Vehicle waterproofing lecture  
    1800 2/Lt KC Pilbeam RA and 2/Lt WR Payne RA joined the Regt from 123 OCTU.  
      In actual fact these officers were only attached to the Regt as they were in a group fo W.O. controlled officers.  
  19th   The Regt provided one SEXTON for a demonstration organised by 22 Armd Be for the benefit of the local Army Cadet Corps  
  20th   Umpires recces for 8 Armd Bde Exercise Kelly's Eye 1.  
  21st-23rd   The Regt was allotted THORNHAM range G.1963. All three days were given to the Y.Os course shootimg.  
      A considerable amount of value was obtained from it.  
      Guns were borrowed from 3 RHA so as to save track mileage on the SEXTONS.  
      Track mileage on the SEXTONS provide some difficulty at this stage of the training.  
      Mileage was limited to 200 miles a month. The SEXTONS were fetched on the tracks, in accordance with orders, so they started with portion of the allowance already gone.  
      Btys had reached the stage in their training where the wanted time to go out on tp drill orders in order to get the full value both from gunnery and the towing points of view.  
      Careful planning ahead was necessary to carry out all these requirements.  
  24th   Tp drill orders. Sigs classes and waterproofing lectures continued.  
  25th   Exercise Kellys Eye 1 began. The Regt provided 5 offices, 5 W/T truck ad 4 DRs for umpires and their equipment.  
      The proved to have little to do and it was felt rather a waste of time to produce so many senior Officers  
  26th   2/Lt PF Burroughs RHA started a weeks waterproofing on 15cwt ˝ tracks.  
  27th   CC Bty RHA under command 1 RTR took part in exercise KIWI  
  28th    G Bty (Mercer's Tp) under command 5 RTR took part in exercise KIWI  
      The Regt collected 12 International 15cwt ˝ tracks.  
      Lt Col Bright and Major Zingler 21 Army Gp Tech Staff, Tks visited the Regt.  
      The main point put to them was that the compass provided in the Sextons was useless  
    1430 CO and Adjt attended air support play at 30 Corps HQ.  
  29th   K Bty RHA under command 4 CLY took part in exercise KIWI  
  30th-31st Ex KIWI has shown that training was goin well and that only a few details of individual traing remained to be put right.  
      These were done in this period.  


April 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt. Col G P Gregson DSO MC RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1-5th   Individual training continued particularly with particular emphasis laid on Command Post Drill and Wireless procedure.  
      Two officers went to Eastborne to inspect a SEXTON fitted up as a 'G' truck. The regiment has been recommending this change to the W.E. for some time,  
      Some of the interior fitting were consider unnecessary or in the need of changing, such as two W/T sets are unnecessary, but on the whole the vehicle fill requirements.  
      The Regiment received nineteen carriers A.O.P.  
  6th   21 A.G. Technical advisers on 'A' vehicles maintenance visited the Regiment  
    1400 A Wireless scheme on the regimental net proved most valuable.  
      All those taking part in the exercise sat in the same room and using codes etc in the ordinary way fought and imaginary battle off maps of France  
      Knowledge of what battles are really like proved useful in that it kept the exercise realistic.  
    1730 Bde. Command 22 Armd Bde held a "post mortem" on Ex. KIWI  
  7th   The regiment spent the day on Stanford battle area. A new method of engaging regimental targets was tried out.  
      When the batteries of the regiments are well spread out and not on a common grid, the ranging battery puts two HABs over the tgt after it has registered it.  
      The remaining guns of the regiment lay on the HAB this getting their switch and range and A/S are taken off of the map.  
      This method proved surprisingly accurate and most practical.  
      The remainder of the day was spent in Bty course shooting.  
  8th 1430 The Col. Commandant RHA visited the Regiment. He inspected all ranks of the Regiment and the equipment.  
      He spoke to the majority of N.C.Os, many of whom he knew previously.  
      The Regiment received eight three ton chevolets.  
  10th   K Bty RHA took part in a Regt. Gp. Exercise on Stanford Battle area with 33 Tk. Bde.  
      One gun per Bty moved to THORNHAM ranges in preparation for absolute calibration.  
  11th   Absolute calibration and zeroing at THORNHAM ranges. Regiment moved out of camp in preparation for exercise KANGAROO.  
  12th    Exercise KANGEROO SPRINGBOK. Absolute calibration and zeroing at THORNHAM ranges. The Regt received one AEC Armd Ammo Carrier.  
  13th    Exercise SPRINGBOK KANGAROO . Absolute calibration and zeroing at THORNHAM ranges.  
  14th   C.O. 5 RHA attended a TEWT - Exercise BAGATELLE. 'G' Bty Mercers Tp RHA carried out comparative calibration and zeroing.  
      The Regt received three AEC Armd Ammo Carrier.  
  15th   'K' and 'CC' Btys RHA carried out comparative calibration and zeroing.  
      In the journeys to and from the ranges each Bty travelled one way on tracks and one way on transporters.  
      The Bty's utilised the move on tracks to practice night marches and night occupations  
      The Regt received two AEC Armd Ammo Carrier.  
  16th   One Tp. was to have taken part in a Tk 'busting; demonstration given by the R.A.F.  
      Red smoke was to have been fired to indicate the tgts but owning to poor visability the demonstration was cancelled.  
  17th   Visit of Colonel Commandant RA. He inspected all ranks of the Regiment and the equipment.  
      In the address that followed he dwelt for the most part on the future of the Regiment in forthcoming operations  
  18th   The Regiment spent the day shooting on the STANFORD Battle Area.  
      A number of Regimental concentrations were fired to test the following procedures:-  
      H.A.B., 'Shooting the Sun' and a survey carried out by the Regimental Survey Party?  
      Later in the day a quick barrage was fired and the late afternoon and evening were filled in the Bty Course Shooting.  
  20th-21st   The Regiment provided nice nine Officers as Umpires for the 33 Tk Bde Exercise Kelly's Eye II  
  22nd   The Russian Military Mission visited the Regiment. Having been met by the Regimental Guard the inspected all ranks of the Regiment.  
      Passing on the equipment they asked a large number of very pertinent questions.  
      The Colonel of the Russian Artillery expressed approval of the SEXTONS in conclusion a demonstration of laying a scissors bridge and a tp of SEXTONS crossing it was given,  
  23rd   Most of this week was devoted to passing 'B' Vehicle drivers through a sea water 'wading' course.  
  24th 1800 Regimental cloth model exercise; all Officers attended.  
  25th   Regimental Staff Exercise for all C.P.Os and their staffs.  
  27th   Regimental Staff Drill Order.  
      The Regiment received fifteen 15 cwt White Half-tracks (M 14)  
  28th-30th   Completion of Sea Water Wading.  


May 1944 to November 1944



December 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt. Col FD Moore RHA

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1   The Regt left ITTERVORT area at 0830 hrs and moved into leaguer in the NEEROETERN (5878).  
      Accommodation was very comfortable, all the men being in billets and all vehicles on hard standings. A BCs conference was held and extensive maintenance programme and limited training programme were planned.  
      We expected to remain in this area for about 10 days, before coming under comd 30 Corps.  
  2   The maintenance and training programmes were pursued  
      The guns and vehicles were generally were generally in good condition. but such jobs as transmission tacks, which were difficult to do while in action, were all completed.  
  3   Continued maintenance and training.  
  4   12 reinforcements for the Regt arrived in the afternoon.  
      There were all young (19 years or so) but seemed very good and keen. After interview by the CO they were distributed between the Btys.  
      As there were six Dvr/Ops amongst them our "signaller" situation was eased considerably.  
      News was received that we were likely to move to SITTARD area to take over from Guards Armd Div on or about 6 Dec. Appx E 1
      The Dive was to return to its old "home" 30 Corps. Lt. General BG Horrocks CB DSO MC. Comd 30 Corps visited the Regt and saw down to BCs. He recognised several old faces and was very complimentary to the Regt.  
      We were now to take over from 86 Fd Regt and not the 153 Fd Regt. and so CO2 and CPOs went to the new area to liaise and tie up the take over.  
      They brought back a copy of 86 Fd's operation order for the take over Appx E 2
      The FAP officer and Capt RH Walker REME both recce'd accommodation in the new area sot that by the evening of 4 Dec everything was tied up and all required was the order to move.  
      This came in the form of am operation instruction from RA 7 Armd Div. We were to move on 6 Dec.  
      We got our first glimpse of the projected operation "SHEARS" in the instruction. Appx E 3
      It was to be a Corps "party" but the Division did not play a very big part - or so we thought at the time.  
  5   Preparations were made for the move the following day. The definite time of the move was unknown but, as the Regt was under 22 Armd Bde movement, the CO had arranged with 22 Armd Bde to move at the head of the Bde column in daylight.  
      RHQ gave a big party for all the local children between the ages of 7 and 12 years in the villages. The men had saved their chocolate and sweet rations for a few days and the cooks managed to save odd rations without the men of RHQ feeling the pinch.  
      The party was a great success and was a credit to the NCOs who organised it under the direction of the RSM.  
      7 Armd Div Op Instr No.7. The Regt was "in support and under command for movement" of 22 Armd Bde.  
      The Div front was held with 131 Bde right and 22nd Armd Bde left. 131 Bde held from incl MILLEN 697 to incl GANGELT (7767) ref map 1/50,000 sheet No. 48  
      They were looked after by 3 RHA. 22 Armd Bde held from exvl MILLEN 6971 to incle NEEROSTEREN (6577). The GOC laid down that all should share the inevitable discomforts during the expected static period.  
      Consequently sqns of the tank regts were dismounted and took it in turn to be under 1 RB.  
      Two-thirds of the tanks of the Div had been left West of the R MAAS.  
      Briefly, 22 Armd Bde held their front as follows. 1 RB with one dismounted sqn of each tank regt in turn held NIEUSTAADT (6872) and HOLTUM (6573). 11 Hussars held ROSTEREN (6577) and GEBROEK (6575). G and CC Btys took it in turn to look after 1 RB and K Bty looked after 11 Hussars. Appx E 5
      G and CC Btys, together with RHA, were deployed in the GUTTEKOVEN (6570) area and K Baty were in the area of BORN (6472).  
      The artillery tie-up was fixed with HQRA - we could call on our old friends 107 Med Regt RA and the 108 HAA Regt RA if need be.  
      We took over the DFs of 86 Fd Regt, making additions and amendments where necessary to suit the way our friends has deployed themselves.  
      And so, with one or two interruptions, we were destined to hold the line in this way for the following month  
  7   A fairly quiet day. The OPs engaged what little movement they saw.  
      The rd from WEHR 7267 to GANGELT 7797 was declared to be unsafe for single vehs at night time and all vehs has to be escorted.  
      The part the Regt was to play in Operation "SHEARS" became more apparent.  
      All we knew so far was that we would be required to occupy an open positions for one day and fire about 600 rds per gun smoke.   
      We were to be in direct support of no-one - merely "shovelling" in fact. WE didn't really think much of it at all.  
  8   The CO visited 52 (L) Div and obtained details of our task.  
      Briefly, we were to move down to the area GEILENKIRCHEN (8664) to arrive by 1900 hrs on D Day.  
      On the night D/D + 1 we were to advance behind the leading Brigade and come into action in the area UTTERATH (8770) by first light.  
      From there we were to screen the advance of 43 Div North to HEINSBURG (8474) from the high ground East of the R ROER. This entailed a continuous screen from first light until about 1300 hrs D + 1.  
      We were then to be on call until 1630 hrs, after which time we would receive orders to pull oy and return to our present area from 43 Div.  
      The FAP Officer visited the SCRA 43 Div and made arrangements to dump 9,000 rds of smoke in the area of GEILENKIRCHEN.   
      Btys were warned they would receive no further HE in the present position and that the eventual aim was to reverse the ammunition holdings on the guns in the course of the next few days.  
      This meant the guns would carry 100 rds smoke and 24 rds HE. A list of code words for use in the operation was received from 22 Armd Bde that night. Appx E 6
  9   The CO made two further visits to 52 Div and also CCRA 30 Corps to clarify the position to the Regt.  
      Meantime on our own front everything was fairly quiet and there were just periodic engagements of movement by the OPs.  Appx E 7 Appx E 7
      52 (L) Div Arty O.O, - the biggest ever seen by the Regt - arrived in the evening. Also sundry other orders and instructions were received.

Appx J 1 Appx E 8

      There was nothing new to what we had previously heard except that some of the routes had been changed Appx E 7 Appx H 2 & 3
      Supplies of air photos were received, Appx E 11  12  &  13
      The general opinion was that 3 successive frost or 6 successive fine days were required before the operation could take place. Appx E 17
      A rather detailed Topography report was received with the Op, Order, and also defence overprint map 1/25,000 sheet No. 4902.

Appx J 1

Appx E 8

  10   No further news about "SHEARS".  Conditions on our own front remained the same - quiet, with engagements of the odd enemy seen  
      A good "Outline plan of attack" for "SHEARS" was received by RA 7 Armd Div. Appx E 10
  11   The line and wireless diagram of 52(L) was received. Appx E 9
      NTR on our own front. Lt AB Curtis RHA rejoined the Regt after a period in hospital in the UK.  
  12   New was received that operation "SHEARS" was cancelled. Without wishing to be unprogressive no-one in the Regt was sorry to hear this. NTR on our own frony.  
      During the whole of December we has excellent facilities for baths, ENSA shows and cinema shows at the Jerboa Cinema.  
      The allotment of seats was very good and the shows were much appreciated by the men,  
  13   A normal routine day. The OPs engaged spandaus successfully. Otherwise NTR.  
      Maj JR Kynaston DSO MC RHA rejoined the Regt after spell of compassionate leave in the UK.  
      This was opportune, as we had just heard that Maj WR Holman MC RHA had been granted a vacancy at the Staff College, Camerley on 4 Jan 1945. Maj Kynaston started to take over the duties of CO2 from Maj Holman.  
      Late that night  the op order for 5 AGRA counter-battery scheme arrived Appx E 14
  14   We were occupied most of the day on the "WALLOP" scheme.  
      A few U tgts engaged. There were now becoming a daily occurrence, as also were V tgts.  
      They were principally large scale harrassing and were also on such places as know enemy HQs.  
  15   First news was heard of the enemy push with 5 Panzer Amry in the Ardennes. NTR on our front.  
  16   Enemy gaining success in the Ardennes. Routine V & U tgts and observed shooting on our own front.  
      The CRA was evacuated sick and Lt.Col FD Moore took over duties of CRA. Maj JR Kynaston DSO MC assumed command of the Regt.  
  17   The enemy attack in the South was achieving considerable success and it became apparent his first objective was Liege.  
      This being the case, a pincer movement with one prong coming straight at us was definitely "on the cards.  
  18   The GOC held a conference and issued his appreciation of the situation. The Div was definitely holding a sector that the enemy would attack if possible. Appx J 2
      Regrouping arrangements were made. Alternative posns in the area of GELEEN (6665) were recce'd in case there should be a breakthrough.  
      News that parachutists had landed in the Corps area was received. Guards were doubled and Btys and RHQ has a nightly piquet of 1 Offr or WO, 1 Sgt, 1 Bdr and 12 men. capable of turning out on short notice. This was to continue until further orders.  
  19   Conferences were held on final arrangement in the event of an enemy attack on our front.  
      Fwd units were patrolling actively to obtain confirmation of any identifications - no luck so far.  
      The Regt continued much as usual. Our nightly harrassing fire was increased The principal areas were known enemy localities; the areas of SCHILBERG (7180) and ECHT (6980) and all main rds in the area.  
  20   The general opinion was that the danger period on our front would last for a further ten days.  
      Considerable enemy movement was heard at night, including tracked vehs. The AOPs could see nothing by day.  
      We eventually came to the conclusion that there was undoubtedly enemy movement but some of it was accounted for by gramophone records.  
      Operation Orders were received from RA 7 Armd Div and 22 Armd Bde confirming all the arrangements that had been made at the several conferences held. App E 15 & 16
      Maj WR Holman MC RHA left for the UK and Maj JR Kynaston DSO MC RHA took over CO2.  
  21   NTR on our front. Several DFs were fired after last light but this was quite a normal practice to counter enemy patrols.  
      Whenever they were  heard or encountered scale 3 was usually fired, although the DF was called for and not the normal scale 10.  
  22   The AOP had a busy day looking for movement on the main rds behind enemy lines. Between them the AOPs of the Div maintained almost continuous watch during the danger period of 10 days.  
  23   The Counter Mortar OP spotted an 88mm coming into action about 1,000 yds in front of him. He gave the reference and we put down a scale 5 from G Bty to begin with.  
      One direct hit was observed and so nothing further was fired.  
      Late that night HOLTUM was very heavily shelled by the enemy. The Coy HQ of I Coy 1 RB received a direct hit.  
      Capt VM Hill RHA was slightly wounded in the head. However he was given 10 days rest by the MO and remained at duty.  
  24   A quiet day. Two daily V tgts were engaged, but apart from that there was little activity.  
  25   Very quiet and peaceful. Although we were still in action every man managed to have a good Christmas dinner  
      The NAAFI supplies were very good and we all did very well indeed.  
      CC Bty had their Christmas Day Dinner on Boxing Day so that could use the village hall in GUTTEKOVEN. which G Bty were using on Christmas Day.  
      K Bty did very well in BORN and RHQ had an excellent dining hall in the village school at GUTTEKOVEN which housed the tactical and administrative part if RHQ.  
  26   One hour before last light the enemy attached and captured GEBROEK. The Regt fired Mike tgts and 107 Med were called in. As the situation became clear it was obviously only a very strong fighting patrol of about a coy strength that had attacked.  
      It was very annoying to the enemy for us to have an OP in GEBROEK and that no doubt was the reason for his attack. However, a quick plan was made and we were back GEBROEK by midday and everything was a before.  
  27   The enemy attack in the Ardennes was still gaining successes, although we were obviously beginning to hold them. The possibility of an attack on our own front was slowly receding.  
  28   Usual observed shooting and V tgts; otherwise everything quiet on our front.  
  29   A quiet day, but we were allotted an all-night harrassing fire programme on SCHILBERG and ECHT area. This was done by CC Bty.  
  30   Another quiet day. Spasmodic shooting at what little enemy movement was seen. The AOP reported NMS after his daily sorties,  
      The enemy kept very much under cover during the daytime.  
      Although some days the visibility was bad the general opinion now was that the enemy did not intend to attack on our front.  
      Moreover, not only has he been stopped in the South, but he had suffered some reverses so that the "pincer" movement looked as though it might be off.  
  31   The last day of 1944. The Regt had now seen a total of 3 years active service overseas.  
      Few tgt were engaged and a smaller harrassing fire programme than usual was laid on for the night.  
      The Regt had landed on D + 1 in Normandy and was now sitting on the frontiers of Germany - landing shells in German towns.  
      We had not yet had a gun position in Germany.  
      AS the year was about to turn everyone wonder what the following year held - how soon would we be on the move again - how much loner would the Wehrmacht hold out - would 1945 see the end of the war? - where would we all be on New Year's Eve 1946?  






Unit  5th Regiment R.H.A.  

Ref. Map Series    Holland   

 Sheet No.           1  

Commanding Officer  Lt. Col F.D. Moore, R.H.A.

Scale   1/100,000  

Month  and Year December 44    

Sheets     No, 4     







How was unit employed?

Ops, trg, defence works?





Sqns, Btys Coys, etc

(if widely dispersed)



Dets under command

Own Tps detached



Armd C8, Guns



Armd C5, Guns


Same area

7 Armd Div

38 Officers

585 Men









3 Dec


" " " "

" "


Corps Comd

6 Dec GUTTEKOVEN G & CC Btys same area " " "

" Ops


K Bty BORN (6472) " " "

" "
24 Dec " " "

1 K.

" "



Home 1939 1940 1941
1942 1943 1945 1946
Previous Year 1947 Next Year
Memorandum From Lt.-Col R.R. Hoare D.S.O., M.C., R.H.A. August 1942

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