War Diaries of CC Battery, Royal Horse Artillery

1941

 

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January 1941

Commanding Officer: Capt. J Fairclough R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Silsden  1-4   Individual Training  
  2   One 18/25 gun on pneumatic tyred carriage arrived, and was given to 'C' Troop.  
  5-9   Individual Training  
  10   Inspection by Brigadier Stanford, Commanding Support Group, 8th Armoured Division.

Major W. R. Holman R.H.A. posted to Battery and assumed command.

 

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Silsden  10   Brig H. M. Stanford M.C. Cmdg, 8 Armd Div Support Group inspected the Billets, Gun Park, Guns and Vehicles of the Battery.

Major W. R. Holman R.H.A. posted from Regtl.H.Q. and assumed command of the Battery on 11th

 
  13   Major-General R. L. McCreery, D.S.O., M.B.E., M.C. Cmdg 8 Armd Divisions inspected the Billets, Gun Park, Guns and Vehicles of the Battery, and in a lecture to the Officers later in the day expressed great pleasure at the high standard and turnout of the Regiment.  
  13-19   Individual Training carried out. Outdoors training was restricted by heavy falls of snow.  
  25   Brig A. A. M. Durand M.C. (later C.O. 5 Regt R.H.A.) and Brig H. M. Stanford M.C. inspected the Billets, Gun park, etc, during the morning and watched training being carried out.

Brig. C. B. Findley C.B.E, M.C. Inspector of Artillery inspected the billets and met the Officers in the afternoon.

 
  27   2/Lt R. R. Oakley R.A. posted and joined from 72 Fd. Regt, RA  
  20-26   Individual and Troop training carried out. Outdoors work was very restricted by continued snow  
  27-31   Individual and Troop training carried out during the week, including one Tp Drill Order for each troop.  

 

February 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Silsden 2   Brig. H. Green C.B.E. M.C. B.R.A. Northern Command visited the Bty, watched training in progress and inspected gun park, billets, guns and vehicles.  
  3   Q.M.S./Ast Tribe admitted to KEIGHLY Victoria Hospital..  
  10   W.O, II Croft posted to the Bty from 'K' Battery, R.H.A. and assumed teh duties of Bty, N.C.O. i/c Sigs.

L/Sgt Kavanagh posted to 'K' Battery, R.H.A. in exchange.

 
  3-9   Troop and Bty training carried out during the week, including a Regtl. Signal Exercise an 4th.  
  5   Snow still on the ground  
  10-15   Troop and Bty training carried out during the week, including a Regtl Route March in vehicles on 14th.  
  15   The Battery took part in a march past at the opening of SILSDEN War Weapons Week. 'C' Tp and Bty H/Q/ provided a dismounted party of 49 OR under Capt. G. R. A. Wixley R.H.A. and 1/Lieut. M. T, Barstow and 'H' Tp provided a section of 4.5" Hows drawn by Quads under Capt. E. J. V Williams R.H.A.

Major W. R. Holman R.H.A. took the salute.

Capt. J Fairclough R.H.A. left as Regtl Reconnaissance Officer to reconnoitre a probable new billeting area for the Regt.

 
  19   Bty advance party of 13 O.Rs under Sgt Stewart left for new billeting area.  
  22   No 786922 Sgt J Stephenson accidentally killed in blackout near ADDINGHAM by a car which failed to stop.  
  16-22   Troop and Bty training continued, but somewhat restricted by a further fall of snow. Regtl Route March in vehicles carried out on 19th.  
  25   An armed troop of 60 O.R.s under Capt L .J. V. Williams R.H.A took part in a Support Gp Route March in vehicles while the remainder of the Bty carried out a further Regtl Route March in vehicles.  
  26   Sgt J Stephenson was buried at SILSDEN Cemetery with military honours. 'C' Tp provided a firing party and the 4.5" How on which the coffin was carried, while the Sgts Mess provided a bearer party under B.S.M Gunison.

Re R. R. Royle CF conducted the service at both church and cemetery.

 
  28   Road party under Major W. R. Holman left SILSDEN for new billeting area at CHILTON FOLIAT BERKSHIRE and halted for the night at LUTTERWORTH staging camp. The Regt moved in Support Gp. Colums and all vehicles of the Bty completed the journey successfully, There were two or three minor breakdowns, but now vehicle dropped out of the Regtl Column.  
  27   The night of 27/28th heavy rain started to fall.  
  23-28   This period was largely devoted to preparing for the move and the inhabitants of SILSDEN express great regret at the departure of the Bty.

2/Lieut R Oakley promoted Lieut after 18 months commissioned service. Authy A.C.1 and C.O. 5 Regt RHA.

 
The following personnel were posted to "CC" Battery R.H.A. from Batteries as shown on the day of formation 19 November 1940

 

From R.H.Q. 5 R.H.A.

B.Q.M.S Prest. F

L/Sgt. Easton. D.

Gnr. Kent

Gnr Hunt E.L

Sgt. Bailey. R.H.A.F.

Bdr. Courtnage E.F

Gnr Sumner

 

 

From "G" Bty (Mercer's Tp.) 5 R.H.A.

Capt. G.RA. Wixley R.H.A

Sgt Ayling. A

B.S.M. Fay. P

Gnr Goorick. L

Dvr/M Cottam. H.

Gnr T/S. Toy. W.

L/Sgt. Brodie. J.

Gnr. Tulit. J.

Gnr. Ranby. R.

2/Lt. W.H.H. Allon R.H.A.

Gnr. Bradshaw. C

Bdr. Goldsmith. M

Gnr. Gibb. J.

L/Bdr. Garrigle. J.

Gnr. Frank. C.

Gnr. White. S.

Gnr. Williams. F.

Gnr. Gibson. J.P.

 

From "K" Bty  5 R.H.A.

Sgt. O'Brien. F.

Bdr, Kavanagh. C. MM

Gnr Walters. C.

Sgt. Parker. W.

Dvr. Shepherd. J.

L/Sgt. Stephenson. J.

Gnr. Walsh. A.C.R.

Dvr. McDowall.

Sgt, Stewart. T.

Gnr. Roberts. R.

Gnr Foard. C.A.

Dvr. Calver. L.G.

QMS/ART/RA Tribe E.W.

L/Bdr/MM. Lamb. E.

L/Bdr/ Duddy. C.E.F.

L/Bdr. Lord. A

 

From 2nd Defence Training Regt.  R.A.

Gnr. Prior. L.W.

Gnr. Stone. A.

Gnr Harvey. R.E.W.

Gnr. Wright. G.

Gnr Wilson. A.W.

Gnr. Thomas. T.

Gnr. Harrison. G.W.

Gnr. Pennifold. G.F.

Gnr. Yurovitch. H.

Gnr. Eade. S.C.

Gnr. Prater. A.W.

Gnr. Colsell. H.

Gnr. Jones. F.

Gnr. Tindell. E.D.

Gnr. Wilkins. W.J.

Gnr. Wignore. J.

Gnr. Rodgers. J.

Gnr. Neville. F.L.

Gnr. Siers. R.T.

Gnr. Ungless. R.T.

Gnr. Pinheard. A.

Gnr.Pumphrey. F.G.

Gnr.Wood. A.

Gnr.Neam. A.

Gnr. Clark. L.S

Gnr. Rispin. W.H.

Gnr. Mead. T.W.

Gnr. Quartermain. A

Gnr. Parfitt. W.E.

Gnr. Smith. S.T.

Gnr. Russell. H.

Gnr. Young. R.

Gnr. Chitty. S.W.

Gnr. Yates. C.W.

Gnr. Smith. W.E.

Gnr. Woodman. S.

Gnr. Cornish. L.C.

Gnr. Richard. S.

Gnr. Tilbey. E.A.

Gnr. Young. S.H.

Gnr. Boulter. A.H.

Gnr. Rosier. S.

Gnr. Saunders. R.W.

Gnr. Welland. T.R.

Gnr. Wright. J.

Gnr. Botting. A.G.

Gnr. Twomey. J

 

 

 

Letter from Company commander of Silsden Home Guard.

HOME GUARD SILSDEN COMPANY

                                                                                                           Company H.Q

                                                                                                                      Silsden

                                                                                                                             28th February 1941

Dear Major Holman,

On the eve of your departure from this district, and on behalf of all ranks of the Silsden Company Home Guard, I offer to you our thanks for the assistance which has been given to the Company: to yourself, your officers and Bdr Swinhough for the instructive lectures which have been so much appreciated by all of us, and to some of your N.C.O's who have voluntarily given spare time instruction to the men, in musketry and drill,.

The opportunity of military contact with a Unit of the standing of R.H.A. has been of great benefit to all of us and we regret the Battery is called away elsewhere.

With the coming if the better weather, we were looking forward to the prospect of further instruction from you, and competitions between the Battery and Home Guard.

We shall follow the military adventure of the Battery with greater interest now we have had the pleasure of your acquaintance.

We offer you and all your Battery our best wishes and good luck for the future, and where-ever you are called upon to serve, you have our good wishes.

Believe me,

               Yours sincerely

               Major D.S.O MC

               Commanding Silsden Company

               Home Guard.

 

 

 

March 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Chilton Foliat 1   Rail party arrived in the new area, having completed the whole journey of about 230 miles without the loss of a single vehicle . This was the first march of any length which the Battery had ever attempted and the results were most satisfactory.  
  2   The rail party left SILSDEN and arrived at HUNGERFORD in the morning, having travelled all night. A rear party under 2/Lieut W.H.H Allon remained to hand over the billets in SILSDEN to 13 Regt. R.H.A.

The day was devoted to unloading stores and settling into the hutted camp which was rather a change from the billets in BECKS MILL, SILSDEN.

 
  8   Major-General R. L. McCreery, D.S.O., M.B.E., M.C. Cmdg. 8 Armd Div. accompanied by Brigadier H.M. Stanford M.C. Cmdg Support Gp, visited the Regt. and inspected the billets, vehicle parks, etc.. He expressed himself as very satisfied with the progress made in settling in since the Regt. arrived in the camp.  
  1-8   The week was largely devoted to settling down and improving the conditions in the camp. Some Troop training and Bty Signal training was carried out.  
  9-15   Tp. Training, including Drill Orders was carried out. 'H' Tp. preformed a Troop Drill order for the C.O. on 12th.  
  10   The Bty, gave a most successful concert party to the Regt. in the Church School, CHILTON FOLIAT.

Regular dances are being run in the Bty. band at CHILTON FOLIAT on Weds and Hungerford on Sats.

 
  15   A barrack hut competition within the Bty was won by Bty H.Q. Sigs hut under L/Bdr. D. Parr.  
  16-22   Tp. and Bty training were continued; each Troop performed one Tp. Drill Order, and a good deal of time was devoted to wireless training.  
  25   Brig, Stanford M.C. attended a Bty. link line exercise for C.P.O. G.P.Os Specialists and Signallers, and afterwards gave a talk to the Officers and specialists of the Regt, on survey as applied to an Armd Div.  
  26   Major-General Lund. D.C.S. M.G.R.A. visited the Regt., and inspected gun park, vehicles, billets, etc. Expressed himself as extremely pleased with all he saw, and appeared much impressed.  
  27   The Bty received its first two 25 pdr MK II which had been brought from DONNINGTON under Regtl. arrangements. Much enthusiasm was shown by all ranks on their arrival.  
  28   8 Officers and 80 O.Rs. of Bty attended Firing Practice for the day at Larkhill, 'H' Troop carried out 3 shoots with 75mm guns, this being the first occasion on which the majority of the men had ever seen a gun firing. The shoots were well carried out and the experience gained was extremely valuable.

2/Lieut R Whitley posted from 122. O.C.T.U. and interposted to 'H' Tp. as Tp. Leader, making the Bty up to strength in officers for the first time.

 
  22-29   Training was mainly taken up with prepartions for Practice Camp.  
Date of joining the Battery Tactical Appointment
Major W.R. Holman 10/1/41 Battery Commander
Capt.. J. Fairclough 23/11/40 Battery Captain.
Capt. G.R.A. Wixley 19/11/40 'C' Troop Commander
Capt. E.J.V. Williams 21/11/40 'H' Troop Commander
Lt. R Oakey 27/1/41 Assistant Cmd Post Officer
2/Lt. W.H.H Allon 19/11/40 Command Post Officer
2/Lt. R.E. Stone 11/12/40 'H' Troop Gun Position Officer
2/Lt. M.T. Barstow 28/12/40 'C' Troop Gun Position Officer
2/Lt. T.R.D Belgrave 18/3/41 'C' Troop Leader
2/Lt. R. Whitley 28/3/41 'H' Troop Leader

 

April 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Chilton Foliat 1-6   Battery training was carried out, but was rather restricted by snow and the consequent wet and muddy ground  
  6   L/Bdr. Bartley attended G.P.O.As course at LARKHILL for period 7 - 26 April.  
  7   Sgt. Stewart attended Fld. Arty. Equipment Course for Nos. 1 at LARKHILL for period 6-12 April  
  9-10   The Battery took part in first exercise with troops, 8 Armd Div Ex in area of SALISBURY PLAIN. A night occupation was necessary, and being the first time the Bty had performed one, the results were most satisfactory. The night in the open, combined with movement and occupation in dark provided very valuable training.  
  7-13   Regtl. & Bty, training were carried out, largely in camp, except for the above exercise.  
  13   L/Bdr. Sumner attended a Div Sanitary Duties course for 6 - 12 April. Passed (68% Top Marks).  
  14   This being Easter Monday was a half holiday. The Bty beat 8 Lt. Fd. Ambulance 5 - 1 at Soccer.  
  15   Dvr. Rosier. H.W. was wounded in the leg by M.G. bullet from one of our planes practising overhead, and had to be taken to hospital.  
  17-18   Regtl. Exercise was carried out in the area of UPAVON - BULFORD, and, inspite of a very dark night the Bty,. performed satisfactorily.  
  19   In a Regtl. Barrack Hut competition, won by "G" Bty., H.Q. "H" Tp. hut under Bdr Schweiso was placed 3rd, and Bty. H.Q. "G" Section 8th. The results were extremely good, and the Colonel was much impressed by the bearing and smartness of the men in these two huts.  
  19   2/Lt. T.R.D. Belgrave proceeded to School of Survey, LARKHILL for five weeks course.  
  21   Bdr. Chapman proceeded on a Nos 1 Course Fd Army Arty for 6 weeks at BULFORD.

A Regimental vehicle and gun competition was held during the afternoon. 15 cwt truck from "C" Tp (Dvr. Nicholls) was first in that class, while "G" Sub-section's gun (4.5 How) "H" Tp (No 1  Sgt. Short, Limber Gunner, Gunner Foard) was easily the best in the Regiment. The best vehciles from the Bty., in the other groups were not far behind the winning ones, and the standard on the whole was very even and good, although a few have not yet attained the required standard

 
  22   The Battery carried out a Drill Order for the C.O., and the results on the whole were satisfactory. Signal arrangements were good, as was the work of the gunners and drivers, but the exercise was a little spoilt by the lack of inquisitiveness and clearness of the instructions on the part of the Junior Officers.

Valuable lessons were learnt by all ranks.

 
  24   A further Regimental Exercise was carried out in the BULFORD area and the Battery performed satisfactorily  
  26   Each Battery entered a team of 55 Officers & men for a Support Group cross-county map reading competition. The Battery team unfortunately missed two legs owing to a faulty map reading, but "K" Battery's team won the competition, thus qualifying a Regimental side for the Divisional final later in the summer. Capt. Wixley, Lieut. Oakey and 2/Lieuts. Barstow, and Whitely ran for the Battery team.  
  28-29   Capt. Fairclough. 2Lt. Allon and a small staff took part in a Divisional Signal and Supply Exercise.  

 

May 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Chilton Foliat

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Chilton Foliat 2   The Officers and several N.C.Os and men watched a barrage firing over infantry at LARKHILL, by "K" Battery R.H.A. The carriers of 14th Bn Sherwood Foresters advanced to within 100 yds of the barrage, with the remainder of the Bn close behind.

This was the first time out new 25 pdrs had been fired, and all were much impressed by the whole demonstration.

 
  Week ending 3-5-41   The week was taken up with Tp and Battery training which proved most usefule as a revision period after so many Div and Regtl Exercises. Both Troop and Battery Drill Orders were satisfactorily carried out.  
  6-8   The Regiment took part in S.Command "Repulse" Exercise in SALISBURY PLAIN area, with full establishment of guns and only a few vehicles short. This was the first exercise of this size that we had taken part in, and the Battery carried out its tasks quickly and satisfactorily.

Further useful experience was gained, and the march discipline was particularly complimented by the Chief Artillery Umpire. In the three days we move about 150 miles, and every vehicle returned to camp under its own power, although one had to be sent early.

 
  12-24   L/Sgt. Murray proceed on Regimental Rescue Trng Course.  
  13 and 15   "H" and "C" Tps respectively fired a short practice at LARKHILL in the evenings of these days and the harboured for the night in COLLINGBOURNE WOOD. The practice took the form of quick troop actions, judged by Brig. H.M. Stanford. M.C. Each Troop recorded the shortest time to the first round on their respective days, "C" Tp recording 3 mins, 25 secs from the moment the target was pointed out to the Troop Cmdr (Capt. Wixley). This was the fastest time in the Regt, but unfortunately D Tp "K" Battery produced effective fire in a slightly shorter time than "C" Tp, which was placed 2nd, with "H" Troop a very close 3rd. The shooting and drill in general of both Troops was excellent and "C" Tp was one in the Regt., which hard the guns parallel the whole time. The general response from teh guns of this Troops was extremely good and the results from the Bty. point were most encouraging. (See attached letter from C.O., dated 17 May 1941)

 

 

 

  19-28   Gnr. Bundell proceeded on Regtl. Provost Course No. 2. 8th Armd. Div.  
  22   The Bty took part in Sp. Gp. Demonstration for Major-General H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester. near BAYDON. A Battery deployment was carried out and the Duke then visited each Troop and the Bty Command Post, inspecting each gun detachment and Cmd Post.

He expressed himself as very pleased with all he saw, both as regards turnout and drill. 

(See attached letter from C.O., dated 22 May 1941)

 

  19-25   The week was largely devoted to preparing for the above demonstration, but a skeleton Bty. Drill was carried out on 23rd.  
  24   2/Lt. T.R.D. Belgrave returned from a course at the School of Survey, Larkhill and was attached to R.H.Q while temporarily carry out the duties of Orderly Offiicer.  
  26   The BTY carried out a Firing Practice at LARKHILL in the evening, returning to camp on completion. A good deal of movement was incorporated in the practice, Troops both leap frogging, stepping up and back. Many useful lessons were learnt and although the Battery performed fairly well, the scheme brought out the need for concentration on certain points during future training.  
  27   B.S.M Bartle reverted back to Sgt, at his own request and was posted to " G" Bty. R.H.A. Sgt. Maddison promoted to BSM.

Bty Advance Party under Capt. J. Fairclough proceeded to Wotton House, Nr Dorking to take over billets from "A" Battery 11th Regt. (HAC) R.H.A.

 
  28   Sgt. Easton posted from "G" Bty. R.H.A.  
  29   Rail party under Capt. G.R.A. Wixley proceed at night to GOMSHALL STN. for new area.  
  30   Road party moved in a Divisional Column to Wotton Ho. Nr DORKING, leaving only a small rear party to hand over the billets. The BTy., arrived about 1800 hrs with no breakdowns of vehicles, and started to settle in.  
  31   A great deal of cleaning and reorganising will be necessary before billets are up to standard. The C.O. walked round during the morning, and the whole day was spent on fatigues. The Battery seemed cheerful and very glad appeared/to be on its own again. One advantage this billet has over the other Btys is that the whole Battery is together in the one park and not scattered.

L/Bdr, Whieldon proceeded on a M/T Course No. 34 and the M.C. of S, Rhyl for 4 weeks. 

Gnr Morbin returned from Y List.

 

 

   

 

 

June 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 6   The C.I.G.S., General Sir John Dill inspected the whole Regiment dismounted at Regimental H.Q., 8 Officers and 136 men of the Bty were on parade and the General expressed himself as being very pleased. (See Annexure. 1)

 

 

  7   The C.O. inspected billets, vehicles, gun and vehicle parks of the Bty, and commented upon the great improvement which had been made in a week, he having walked round previously on 31st May, the day after we arrived. He was accompanied by Brigadier R.W.H Pratt. C.B.E., M.C. B.R.A. S.E. Command, who was making an informal visit.  
  2   Bdr. Armstrong proceeded on a Nos. 1 course at BULFORD.  
  1-8   The week was mainly occupied by fatigues, vehicle standings being made, and the billets generally cleaned up and organised. Troop Drill Orders were carried out on 5th, and some training was done during the week within the area.  
  9-12   Bty Training was carried out  
  12   2/Lt. V.M. Hill posted to the Battery from 123 O.C.T.U.  
  13-16   Bty took part in a large scale exercise WATERLOO in the area of the South Downs. A large number of troops took part, and the exercise was in the nature of a rehearsal for our main operational role. All vehicles of the Bty - less 2 M/Cs - returned under their own power.  
  15   Capt. E.J.V. Williams proceeded to LARKHILL on a Troop Commanders Course, returning on the 29th.  
  17-22   Troop and Battery training carried out.  
  23-29   Battery training carried out, including a Bty Drill Order for C.C.  
  23   "Worcester Park Players" produce " George and Margaret" in the Dining Hall and the performance was much enjoyed.  
  24   Beatrice Lillie, Douglas Byng and several more West End actors and actresses, assisted by the Battery Band gave a most successful and amusing performance to a very full house in the Dining Hall. Several other units sent parties and the whole show was much appreciated.  
  28   Gnr, Hudson proceeded on an Emergency Cooks Course at Aldershot.  
  29   Capt. G.R.A. Wixley proceeded to LARHILL on a Troop Commanders Course.  

 

Annexure I.

Subject: - C.I.G.S's Inspection.

 Ref:- 3/2/88

O.C. "G" Battery. (Mercer's Troop) R.H.A.
O.C. "K" Battery. R.H.A
O.C. "CC" Battery. R.H.A

I should like to congratulate the Regiment on the turnout for the C.I.G.S's Inspection today. General Sir John Dill expressed himself as being very pleased with the Regiment and with everything he saw.   He considered we had an excellent lot of men.

 

5-6-41

Lt. Col

NRV

Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A

 

Copy; C.C.

 

 

July 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 2-4   Battery took part in Divisional Exercise in Kent. At last moment. Guns were taken, as a party was detailed to fetch 8 25-pdrs from Melton Mowbray. The exercise was quite successfully carried out. The 25-pdrs arrived with no trailers, there the 4.5" Hows, continue to be our operational guns.  
  8   Major-General R. L. McCreery, D.S.O., M.B.E., M.C. Cmdg 8 Armd Div, accompanied by Brigadier Stanford, Commanding Support Group walked around the billets after tea, and watched training being carried out. He expressed himself as very satisfied with all he saw.  
  10-11   A Battery Drill Order was carried out in the area of BORDON-THURSLEY. the Bty. spent the night on THURSLEY COMMON and much was learnt on the exercise, this being the first Bty. Drill Order to include a night out.  
  12   Gnr. Howard. R.H. proceeded on No. 4 Emergency Cooks Course at 206 A/A Trng. Regt. for 6 weeks.  
  13   2/Lt. P.A.L. Wilson. interposed to G Bty (Mercers Troop) R.H.A.  
  15   All 4.5" Hows. were returned, with trailers to GREENFORD, leaving Bty, with 25pdrs and ammunitions for them, but no trailers. (These were drawn from "G" and "K" Btys)  
  14-19   A complete week of individual training and revision which was very much needed and which allowed time to concentrate on may points requiring attention.  
  17   2/Lt. W.M. Hill proceeded on M.T. Course at Military College of Science Rhyl, returning on 10-8-1941  
  18   The 2 Thompson Sub Machine Guns recently issued to the Bty were fired for the first time. As nobody in the Bty has seen one fired before, the firing rather took the shape of an experiment and much was learnt about these weapons.  
  19   A Regimental team of 110 Officers and other ranks won the final of the Divisional Cross-Country Map Reading run which was held on the South Downs. Gnr. Rispin of the Bty, was first many in the Regt. home.  
  19-20   Major Holman, Capts, Fairclough, Wixley and Williams and Lieut Oakey umpired an exercise for the 5th Bn Surrey Home Guard in the area. The exercise was an invasion dress rehearsal for the Bn., and appeared most successful.  
  21   Gnr. Botting proceeded on Pay Duties Course at Army Pay Office  Aldershot returning on 26-7-41

A.Tk firing was carried out with A.Tk rifle firing .22mm and a Bren mounted on a 25 pdr. These proved most useful methods of practising A.Tk firing on a short range (100y)

 
  21-27   Bdr. Lord proceeded on Small Arms Course at E & S.E. Cmd. Weapon Trng. School.  
  28 Jul - 2 Aug   Tp and Bty training were carried out. Bty. in skeleton took part in exercises PUNCH and JUDY on 30 and 31, with 14 Bn. Foresters and Armd. Bdes. These exercises were most instructive.  

 

August 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 1-9   Bty., and Troop Training were carried out.  
  8   Bty,. acted as Depot BTY for small Regtl. Practise Camp on the SOUTH DOWNS. Unfortunately rain and mist limited the firing to three shoot carried out by the Bty, this being the time out new 25 pdrs had been fired.

Gnr. Elbro posted to Bty from Deport. R.A.

Gnr. Frew proceed on a Trained Signallers Course A at 34th Sig. Trng. Regt. R.A., for 6 weeks.

 
  9   At a Support Group Vehicle Competition judged by Brig.  F.W.H. Pratt. D.S.O., M.C. and Capt. Sire Malcolm Campbell, the Regt won first prize for the best unit in the Support Group. The Bty was second in the class fir Gun Towers, third for 8-cwts etc., and won the turnout part of the 15-cwt class, These were the only three vehicles entered from the Bty.

L/Bdr. Whieldon. proceeded on an Armoured O.P. Course No. 14 at the M.C. of Science for for 3 weeks.

 
  14-15   The Bty took part in the skeleton in the Inter-Bde Exercise IBEX.  
  11-30   L/Bdr. Gillespie. proceeded on a P.T. A.Is. Course No. 34 at Aldershot.  
  10-18   Regtl,. and Bty training were carried out in preparation for Practice Camp  
  17   Capt. J. Fairclough posted to 450th (Ind) Light Bty., R.A.

Gnr. McNutt. H. posted to 450th (Ind) Light Bty., R.A.

 
  19   Bty proceeded to West Down Camp for a weeks firing practice with the rest of the Regt. Anti-Tank firing was carried out in which H Tp were 3rd and C Tp 4th in a Troop Competition.  
  19-25   West Downs: - Troop, Bty and Regtl., Firing Practice were carried out and although mistakes were made, the results were on the whole satisfactory. This was the first official Practice in which the Bty had taken part.  
  22   Gnr. Doe proceeded on a Partially Trained Signallers Course B at 34th Sig. Trng., Regt., R.A. for 6 weeks.  
  23   L/Bdr, Baugh proceeded on a M.T. Course No. 39 at the M.C. of Science for 4 weeks.  
  26   Bty Returned from Camp  
  27   Capt. G.F. Elston interposted from "K" Bty to this Bty.  
  27-31   Training continued, concentrating mostly on A.Tk practices, Troop Drill Orders, and training of reserves.  

 

September 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 1   Brigadier H.M. Stanford M.C. Commanding 8 Armoured Division Support Group visited the Battery and walked round the billets to inspect any alterations to make them suitable for winter quarters.  
  3   A very successful Battery Sports Meeting in the form of a Gymkhana was carried out with several novel and amusing events. "H" Troop gaining the most points.  
  1-7   Troop training and training of reserves were carried out.  
  4   82/Lt. D.W. Gallup attached from 123 OCTU  
  7   Bdr. Duddy attended Assistant P.T. Instructors Course for period 7-9-41 ---- 27-9-41  
  8-14   Regimental, and Troop training and training of reserves were carried out.  
  12   After several experiments on previous days we succeeded in floating an Armoured O.P. across the R.E. pond at FRIDAY STREET. The vehicle was wrapped in a tarpaulin in the water, and floated easily with four men on board. An attempt to do without the tarpaulin by making the vehicle water tight and extending the exhaust pipes on just failed.

L/Bdr. Layhe attended Refresher Signalling Course for period 19-9-41 to 12-10-41.

 
  14   Dvr. Evans posted to Battery from 1st Res. Fld. Regt. R.A.

Major W.R. Holman attended Camouflage Course for period 14-16 Sept.

 
  15-16   Both Troops took part in exercise SODA on the South Downs in conjunction with parts of the Armoured Brigades.  
  18   A & B Echelon vehicles took part in Anti-Parachutist Exercise with R.H.Q.  
  19   The Battery took part in a similar exercise, being attacked on the march and in action by personnel from "K" Battery R.H.A.  
  22-23   The Battery took part in Divisional Exercise GLIDER in the area BRIDGE STATION - LEWES. returning by night march on 23. The main object of the exercise was to test the local defences of units, but most attention was paid to the tanks in the front of the advance.  
  24-25   The Battery prepared for Exercise BUMPER, which was to be a battle between Southern and Eastern Command, the Division being attached to Southern Command for the exercise.  
  26   The Battery moved to a preliminary concentration South of Dorking for Bumper.  

 

October 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  27-Sep - 3- Oct   Exercise BUMPER started. Battery moved from original concentration area south of DORKING to one near NEWBURY  
  3   BUMPER ended at 0820 and Battery prepared to concentrate to await orders for returning home. See Annexure I for BUMPER 
  5   Bty concentrated at a farm North of BEDFORD and remained until 5th.

L/Sgt. Townsend. proceed on a Nos. 1 Fld. Arty Equipments Course for period 6 - 11 Oct.

Battery return to billets at WOTTON, moving over 100 miles. During the whole exercise, vehicles covered over 400 miles and all returned to billets under their own power. This was partly due to the good work by the L.A.D., but number of  mechanical breakdowns was extraordinarily small.

All ranks showed great keenness, and the results were most satisfactory, as the report by the umpires showed.

Annexure II. Umpires Report.

 

 

 

 

  6   L/Bdr. Howell proceeded on No, 36 Assistant P.T. Instructors Course for period 6 - 25 Oct.  
  9   A Regimental sports meeting was held on the Battery Rugger ground, and was won by "K" Bty, "G" being second, "CC" third and R.H.Q fourth.  
  10   Gnr. Guilfoyle proceeded on a Potential Signallers Course (B) for period 10 Oct - 22 Nov.  
  6-12   The week was devoted to maintenance etc to clear up after BUMPER  
  12   Sgt. Hill proceeded to Gas Course No. G.64 for period 12 - 18 Oct 41  
  13-19   Owing to training restrictions, training was carried on in the billets with one Battery wireless exercise in the area of WOKING  
  20   L/Sgt. Murray proceeded on a Nos. 1 Course No. 26 for period 20 Oct - 29 Nov.  
  22   L/Bdr. M.M. Murphy posted to the Battery from 12th Regt. R.H.A (H.A.C.)  
  20-29   Each troop carried out a Drill Order and C.O. attended a Battery Drill Order which was successfully performed.  
  22   The C.O. inspected maintenance of vehicles of the Battery. This had greatly improved since the last visit and he expressed himself as very satisfied.  
  28   Battery proceeded to TILSHEAD for Firing Practice.  
  30   Battery carried out a successful Practice on West Down Ranges, being watch by the new Commander 8 Armoured Division Major-General C.W. Norman  
  31   Battery returned to billets from TILSHEAD  

 

Reports and other information from OPERATION BUMPER.

OPERATION BUMPER

Annexure 1

Place Date & Time FILE No.

SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION

 

6400649

Ewood Farm

(Nr, DORKING)

26-9-41

1530

1640

2150

27-9-41

1300

1930

 

Left Billets.

Arrived Concentration Area.

Operation order for move to SWINDON AREA

 

Left Concentration Area.

Arrived Concentration Area.

861802

Hellingham Ho.

(Nr Newbury)

 

 

 

 

 

Bletchingdon Park

964382

(Nr BICESTER)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28-9-41

1700

 

 

29-9-41

0005

0100

1115

1450

1630

1835

2010

2018

2050

2130

2220

2225

2310

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.2.

 

 

A.3.

A.4.

A.5

E.1.

E.2.

E.3.

 

A.6.

F.2.

A.7.

 

Operation Order for move to OXFORD Area.

Intense Aerial Activity during exercise.

 

 

 

Zero hour received (0110 hrs)

Moved off for New concentration.

Arrived new Concentration Area.

Request for Support requiring registration - Area CHESTERTON.

"H" Troop  Ready.

Information report about enemy.

Four Registered Targets for "H" troop.

Meteor Report Received.

S.O.S. task for "H" Troop received.

"H" O.P. fixed at 992399

Positions of enemy reported

"C" Troop Target positions arrived.

Position of Capt. Williams at DIRO received.

30-9-41

0103

0145

0640

0750

0755

0804

1040

1215

1230

1222

1320

1400

1420

1430

 

A.8.

A.9

A.10.

A.12.

A13.

A.14.

A.15.

 

 

A.16.

 

A.17

A.18

A.19

 

Further information from Foresters.

Position of DIRO received

"H" Troop reported strange light two miles to Northward.

M/C. Key altered.

(Enemy positions reported. Situation Grave.

(

Keep close liaison with Infantry at ISLIP.

"C" Troop engaged Target at 974338.

"C" Troop engaged second target at 976342 and recorded as C.1. 

Petrol Point at 964379.

Enemy broken across railway BICESTER - ISLIP heading South.

LELO.8. reported enemy clear of bridge at ENSLOW

LELO. 3. reported fresh position at 931379.

Major reports CHESTERTON clear of enemy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1455

1505

1505

1530

1625

1630

 

1710

1815

1825

1/10/41

0200

0625

0626

 

 

A.20

F.5.

A.21.

A.22.

 

A.23.

A.24.

A.25.

 

A.26.

A.27.

A.28.

Both Troops to engage 995352.

Fired both Troops at Regimental Target.

New Ammunition Point at Rd junc. 973444, and new Petrol Point at 981421.

Targets. C.2. and C.3. recorded.

Enemy Tanks expected to retire S.E. on road MURTON 0237 an AMBROSDON 0539

Information received that recce has been carried out by enemy for movement of 

troops via Tk. junc. 045401.

LELO 6 at 973340.

"H" O.P. Log.

"C" O.P. Log.

 

Warning Order - expected to move to 0930 hrs - provisionally.

Official warning order from R.H.Q.

Called in O.Ps.

Ruthersthorpe

150762

(Nr NOTTINGHAM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1315

1720

1725

1750

1750

 

1815

1858

1940

2/10/1941

0730

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.29.

A.30.

F.6.

 

 

Left Battery area.

Arrived new Battery area.

Reported position to ZIGA.

"H" Troop at 149762.

"C" Troop ready at 152759.

Captured enemy petrol lorry on route.

FELO at 1765 advance continues.

Position of ZIGA received. 167763.

Target "H" 1 recorded at - Co-ods 515690, 280070

 

"C" Troop advance to 202762 and came into action.

Collingtree Park.

2075

(Nr NOTTINGHAM)

 

0930

1015

1030

1035

 

A.31.

 

 

"H" Troop advance to 202762 and came into action.

LELO 8 goes out to man O.P.

Prepare to move.

Operation order received.

Fox Covert

584822

(Nr. St. NEOTS.)

 

 

1925

1945

1950

3/10/41

0820

 

A.32

 

 

 

Arrived Battery position.

Position order received.

"H" Troop ready at 583827.

 

Bumper ends.

 

Subject: - Exercise "Bumper".

 Ref:- 11/19/00

O.C. "G" Battery. (Mercer's Troop) R.H.A.
O.C. "K" Battery. R.H.A
O.C. "CC" Battery. R.H.A

                              The attached copy of Umpire's report for Exercise "Bumper" is forwarded for the information of all ranks.  I should like to take this opportunity of congratulating all ranks of the Regiment on the obtaining such a good report. I fully appreciate the hard work and good organisation which has been put in by all concerned.

 

3-10-41

S.d 

 R.R. HOARE

Lt. Col

NRV

Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A

 

Copy; C.C. (To inform all sub-units of R.H.Q.)

 

 

Umpires Report.

Unit. 5th Regiment R.H.A.

Annexure 2
 

Report (e.g.)

good, bad, slow

Nil etc.

Notes.

March Discipline.

Control of Column.

Marking of Routes.

Was anyone lost.

 

Excellent

Good.

A few but not for long

Great energy displayed by Officers and N.C.O's.

Moves.

Drill.

Quickness.

Recce.

Occupation of Posn.

 

V. Good.

V. Quick.

Excellent.

V. Quick.

 

Communications.

Wireless.

Line.

Visual.

18 Sets.

R.A.F.

 

V. Good.

NIL

 "

 "

 "

 

In a roll in which R/T is so 

vital further attention should be 

paid to this aspect of training.

especially regarding netting.

 

Gun Positions.

Section.

Gun Drill.

Work at C.P.

 

 

 

V. Good.

V. Good.

Good in CC Bty.

V. Good, in K Bty.

not required in G Bty.

 

O.Ps.

Siting.

Instruments.

V. Fair.

V. Fair

  "

 

H.Q.s.

Organisation.

Security.

Relief's.

 

V. Good.

Good.

V. Good.

 

Survey.

Speed.

Accuracy

Liaison. with 

Sur. Regt.

 

 

 

 

 

None needed.

  "

  "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems that Survey will so

seldom be used, should the Survey

party not be training in another

role say as Rec. Party on German

lines.

Protection.

A.Tk.

A.A. Sentries

Digging.

 

 

 

 

 

 -

 

 

 

Still a tendency to site A/T

Rifles in bad positions - 25 Pdr

A/T very good.

Sentries - V. Fair - Too many in

the open.

Concealment.

Gun Posn.

O.Ps.

W.Ls.

H.Qs.

Halts.

 

Excellent.

Quite Good

Good

V. Good.

V. Good.

 

Admin.

Feeding.

Ammn Supply.

Pet.

Casualties.

Reliefs

Ammn. Expenditure.

 

Excellent.

No difficulty

Excellent.

Good.

Good.

 "

 

Information.

Was passed on?

Was ask/for?

Tps in picture?

 

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

 

Orders.

Were they clear.

Not out quickly.

Alternative means.

Acted on quickly.

 

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

 

The orders throughout the Regt

were V. Good indeed.

 

 

 

Any other points.

 

This Regiment worked extremely well throughout and maintained a very high standard of efficiency during the whole exercise - and appeared as fresh at the end as at the beginning of the exercise.

 

(Sgd). D.W. SANDERS. Lt. Col.

 

"H" TROOP O.P. LOG

Tuesday 30/9/41

 

0515

0545

0600

0630

900

 

0930

1115

1130

1145

 

1200

1300

 

1400

1555

 

1605

 

Stand to.

Move off

Reached ISLIP

Occupied church tower - Thick Mist.

3 tanks on Woodeaston Road in minefield but

escaped - thick mist.

3 tanks in village of ODDINGTON - Thick Mist.

Registration on bridge for smoke shoot.

Thick smoke to cover demolition party.

Tank hunting on eastern edge of village - 3 transport

destroyed.

2 tanks escaped through village to ODDINGTON.

Reports of concentration of tanks at ODDINGTON.

Engaged no score.

Woodeaston reported clear.

Engaged column of guns and transport on ODDINGTON ROAD.

5 A - Echelon vehicles destroyed.

Went out in carrier on Recce. Captured 1 Sgt. on M/C

from "N" Battery 6 R.H.A. dispatched to R.H.Q. 14 Foresters.

 

"C" TROOP O.P. LOG

Tuesday 30/9/41

 

0535

1019

1215

1225

1320

1440

 

 

1603

1709

1825

1837

O.P. established at 992399.

O.P. Closed down

O.P. established at 039403.

9 unidentified bombers flying North West

L/Bdr. Brown left for "D" Coy. H.Q.

L/Bdr. Brown came to O.P. with information that tanks

were in area BICESTER - WESTON ON THE GREEN and

North West (enemy tanks).

Enemy scout car reported seen by infantry at O.P.

Unidentified tanks seen at 045403.

Target registered at 044403.

O.P. Closed down.

 

November 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 1-8   Troop and Battery Training carried out during the week.  
  3   Capt. E.J.V. Williams. R.H.A. proceeded on Camouflage Course for period 3-6 NOV 41.  
  4   L/Bdr. Ford Admitted to Dorking County Hospital  
  5   Gnr. Cornish admitted to Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot.  
  7   Gnr. Singfield Admitted to Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot.  
  9-16   Troop and Battery Training carried out during the week.  
  10   Gnr. Woods and Dvr. Evans attached to R.H.Q. for period 10-11-41 to 15-11-41 for Dvr/Mechs. Course.  
  11   Dvr. Shipperly admitted to Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot.

Lt. R.R. Oakey. R.H.A posted to 8th Support Group.

 
  12   2/L. R. Whitely. R.H.A. proceeded on Recognition of Aircraft Course for period 12-11-41 to 25-11-41.  
  15   Bdr. Ede proceeded on M.T. Course at R.A.M. School, Rhyl for period 15-11-41 to 13-12-41.  
  11   C.O. Inspected welfare arrangements in the Battery.  
  18   Sgt. Easton proceeded on Divisional Bridging Course for period 18-11-41 to 25-11-41.

Dvr. Shipperly discharged from  Cambridge Hospital.

2/Lt. T.R.D. Belgrave. R.H.A. proceeded on Divisional Bridging Course for period 18-11-41 to 25-11-41

 
  20   Bdr. Lord admitted to Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot.  
  17-23   Troop, Battery and Regimental Training carried out (Regimental Drill Order on 21st)  
  19   ANNIVERSARY DAY celebrated by the Battery. Lt. Col. R.R. Hoare. D.S.O., M.C., Cmdg., 5th Regt., R.H.A. was the Guest of Honour at the Battery Dinner, and proposed the toast of "CC" Battery. A Battery Concert was held in the afternoon and a dance at WESTCOTT in the evening.  
  20   Major-General. C.W. Norman. Cmdg., 8 Arnd., Division inspected billets, gun park, vehicles etc of the Battery and expressed his satisfaction at the work done and the whole turnout in general.  
  22-30   Troop, Battery and Regimental Training carried out.  
  25   L/Bdr. Ford posted to the Y List.  
  22   2/Lt. I. Young attached to this Battery from 3. S. Heavy Regt., R.A. for period 22-11-41 to 29-11-41.  
  26   Dvr. I.C. Stacey posted to "K" Battery R.H.A.

Gnr. Singfield posted to the Y List.

 
  27   Sgt. Ayling "H" Troop carried out a demonstration with his Sub-section to "C" Coy. 14 Foresters.  
  30   Bdr. Mainstone proceeded on a P.T. Course for period 30-11-41 to 20-12-41.

Gnr (FMV) Young proceeded on Refresher Course for Unit Fitters for 25-pdr Equipment for period 30-11-41 to 6-11-41.

Gnr. Goodrick proceeded on a Hygiene and Sanitation Course for period 30-11-41 to 6-11-41.

 

 

December 1941

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 2   Orders were received to mobilize the Battery

Authy:- W.O.U.M.79/Mob. 4881/23 (A.G.5 Mob) date 1-12-41

 
  6   L/Bdr/ Kent proceeded on a Documentation Course at R.A. Records for period 6 -12 Dec.  
  7   Bdr Ewing proceeded on an Artillery Equipment Course at the School at Artillery for period 7 -13- Dec.

L/Bdr. Brown proceeded on a Water Duties Course at 15th Fld, Hygiene Section for period 7 -13 Dec.

 
  1-7   Troop and Battery training carried out.  
  8   Regimental Drill Order.

Gnr. Appleby admitted to Dorking County Hospital and discharged on 20-12-41.

 
  9   Sgt. Short & Gnr. Swift attached to the Battery from Y List.  
  10   Battery moved to TILSHEAD to carry out firing practice on 11th and 12th.  
  11   Bdr. Lord posted to the Y List.  
  12   The Regiment (less "G" Battery) carried out a fire power demonstration for Infantry of 8 Armoured Division and members of 6 (Canadian) Armoured Division. This included Regimental concentration. Some preparations and ranging were done on 11th and demonstration was very successful.  
  13   Battery returned to billets.

Gnr. Nicholls. D.N. attached to the Battery from Y List.

2/Lt. R.A. Youell of 11th S. Heavy Regt., R.A. attached to the Battery for period 13 - 20 Dec.

 
  15   Gnr. Doe. A.E. posted to "K" Battery R.H.A.  
  16   About 50% of the Battery proceeded on embarkation leave returning on 22nd.  
  16   A party under Capt. E.J.V. Williams. R.H.A. proceeded to NORTHAMPTON to draw 3-ton lorries, returning on 17th. The Battery drew 6 new Ford F.W.D. 3-ton lorries.  
  17   Dvr. Batten admitted to Mill Hill Hospital, LONDON.  
  15-21   Restricted training and maintenance were carried out in billets.  
  18   Battery drew 8 new Trailers Artillery to complete W.E.  
  20   Gnr. Cornish posted to Battery w.e.f. 12-12-41  
  23   Remainder of Battery proceeded on embarkation leave, returning on 30th. Capt. G.F. Elston R.H.A. assumed command of Battery during this period, Major Holman being on leave.  
  24   Gnr. Harvey admitted to Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot.

A Christmas Eve dance was held WESTCOTT

 
  25   Christmas Day was duly celebrated by those not on leave.  
  22-28   Restricted training and maintenance were carried out in billets.  
  29   Gnr. Cornish admitted to Dorking County Hospital.  
  30   All men returned from Embarkation leave, no man being absent from either party.

Dvr/Mech Williams admitted to Dorking County Hospital.

 
  31   A very successful New Years Eve dance was held at WESTCOTT.  

 

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