War Diaries of CC Battery, Royal Horse Artillery



Home 1940 1941
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January 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton Dec 28- Jan 3   Individual training carried out. Practice loading and packing trials were held  
  1   Bdr. Ewing admitted to Surrey Country Hospital, Dorking.  
  2   2/Lt. M.T. Barstow. R.H.A. attached to H.Q.8th Armd., Div., Support Group and later posted.

Gnr. Twomey Declared a deserter by Court of Inquiry held on 2-1-42

  3   The C.O. inspected the Battery - men, vehicles and equipment - and expressed himself as thoroughly satisfied with everything.  
  5   Brig. C.B. Findlay., C.B.E., M.C., Inspector R.A., visited the Battery and addressed a representative gathering before walking round the vehicle, guns etc.  
  6   Gnr. Wigmore posted to H.Q. 8th Armd. Div, Support Group.  
  7   Gnr. Battern posted to the Y List.  
  8   Gnr. Goodrick admitted to Connaught Military Hospital on 8-1-42 and discharged on 9-1-42.  
  9   Gnr. Bentham posted to the Battery from 1st reserve Fld. Regt., R.A.  
  10   Dvr.IC. Harvey discharged from Cambridge Military Hospital.  
  5-11   Normal training plus further mobilisation preparations were carried out.  

Sgt. Short posted to the Battery from the Y list w.e.f. 18-9-41

Gnr, Swift. posted to the Battery from the Y list w.e.f. 17-11-41

Gnr. Nicholls D.N. posted to the Battery from the Y list w.e.f. 12-12-41

D/M Williams Discharged from Surrey County Hospital, Dorking.

Gnr. Smith S.T. admitted to Horton E.M.S. Hospital, Epsom on 16-1-42 and discharged on 29-1-42

  12-18   Training was somewhat hampered by heavy fall of snow combined with hard frosts  
  17   D/M. Woods. A.F. was tried by Court Martial at WOTTON.

Charge. Sec: 18(4) A.A. W.O.A.S. Steeling property belonging to a person subject to Military Law in that he at Westcott on 31st December, 1941, stole a ten shilling note the property of Dvr.I.C. West A.W.G., "CC" Bty, 5th Regt., R.H.A. as person subject to Military Law. Finding. Guilty, and Sentenced to undergo Detention for Six Months. Confirmation. Confirmed by Brig. H.M. Stanford. M.C. Commander 8th Armd., Div., Sp. Gp. on 20-1-42 who remitted 60 days Detention. Promulgation. Promulgated at GOMSHALL on 21-1-42.

  19   Sgt. Bailey posted to Battery from Y List.

2/Lt. W.S. Barrow. R.H.A. promoted War Substantive Lt.

  22   Gnr. Colsell Transferred to No. 12 Centre Pioneer Corps.  
  23   D/M Woods A.F. Committed to Aldershot Detention Barracks and posted to Y List.  




  Training was carried out, although there was still much snow and training outside billets was impossible  
  25   Sgt. Steward proceeded on Demolition Course for period 25 - 31 Jan 42.  
  28   Gnr Hayton posted to Battery from R.H.Q. 5. R.H.A.  
  29   Gnr (M/M) Headington, J.D. posted to the Battery from 2nd Field Regt., R.A.

Lt-Gen Sir Ronald. F. Adam., Bt, C.B., D.S.O., O.B.E., Adjutant General to the Forces visited the Regiment and addressed the Officers W.Os and Sgts of the Regiment at R.H.Q.



February 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 1   Gnrs. Evans, Gentry, Garrigle and Ansell appointed U/A/L/Bdrs.

L/Bdr. Elwine promoted Bdr.

  3   Gnr. Ranby transferred to No. 5 Centre Pioneer Corps.  
  5   L/Bdr. Cocksedge, of this Battery, posted to Home Details/from No.4 Command. (Awaiting posting to O.C.T.U.)  
  7   Gnr. Stuart-Brown admitted to C.R.S. Abinger on 2-2-42 and transferred to Dorking County Hospital on 9-2-42  
  8   2/Lt. J.N.A. Armitage-Smith R.H.A. posted to R.H.Q. 5 R.H.A.

2/Lt. H. J. Jackson R.H.A. posted to the Battery from "K" Battery R.H.A.

  1-8   Battery and Troop training were carried out, although much hindered by snow.  
  9   14 Foresters provided a very good demonstration of 2" mortar and various grenades.  
  10   2/Lt. W.H.H. Allon R.H.A. promoted W/S Lieut.  
  9-15   Training still hindered by snow, but Regtl., practice turnout for War was held on 13th.  
  17   U/A/L/Bdr. Kent appointed P/A/L/Bdr.  
  19   Bdr (AC) Larney posted to the Battery from 176 (Army) Fld., Regt. RA.  
  20   L/Bdr. Evans admitted to Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot.  
  16-22   Troop and Battery training continued. Regimental Exercise for  Command Post on 17th  
  17   1 gun "C" Troop with detachment visited 14 Foresters and carried out a demonstration.  
  22   2/Lt. D.R. Charles R.A. attached to Battery from 123 O.C.T.U.  
  24   L/Bdr. Cocksedge Posted to London and District Transit Camp  
  22-28   Battery and Troop training continued. Regimental Night Survey Exercise on 25th  
  26   Major-General J.F. Evetts, C.B. C.B.E. M.C. accompanied by Commander 8 Armoured Division, Commander 8 Armoured Division Support Group., etc inspected the Battery training and expressed himself as very pleased.

A Regimental A.Tk T.E.W.T was held during the afternoon.

See Appendix 1



  28   The Battery beat A Coy., 14 Foresters 2-1 in Support Group Soccer League.   


Appendix 1

Subject: - Visit of Major-General J.F. Evetts C.B. C.B.E. M.C


Ref. No. 3/2/162.

To: - O.C. "CC" Battery. R.H.A

The following copy of 8 Armd Div. Letter 13/61G dated 1 March is forwarded:-

"1. A letter has been received by the G.O.C. from Maj-Gen Evetts in which he expresses his great appreciation for the trouble taken by all concerned in connection with his visit.

2. The G.O.C wishes to add that he fully realizes the had work involved, and that he was very pleased with all he saw."



B.M. 8 Armd Div Sp. Gp.



Sd.  M.C. Lanyon

 Captain R.H.A


 5th Regiment. R.H.A







March 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 1-8   Normal Battery and Troop training carried out  
  2   Gnr. Stuart-Brown discharged from Dorking County Hospital  
  3   2/Lt. H.H. Jackson posted from 175 Field Regt., R.A.

Battery carried out Exercise BEEFEX for C.O.

  4   3 Tanks from 41 R.T.R. visited the Battery and the day was spent in lectures and demonstrations on the tanks. Much value was obtained from this visit.  
  5   L/Bdr. Evans discharged from Cambridge Military Hospital.  
  6   The Battery won the Regimental table tennis and darts tournament, being represented by Gnrs. Yurovitch, Ungless in Table Tennis and T.S.M. Croft, BQMS. Prest, L/Sgt. Brodie, L/Bdr. Walters, Gnrs. Jackson, Gnr. Thomas.T in the Darts.  
  7   L/Bdr Loader attached to R.A.M.T. School attending Armd. O.P. Course No.4 fro period 7 - 28 March 42  
  8-14   Normal Training continued  
  8   Gnr(FMV) Young. appointed P/A/L/Bdr.  
  9   Gnr. Hunt posted to R.A. Sand.

U/A/L/Bdr. Kent appointed  P/A/L/Bdr.

  10   Regimental Exercise was carried out.  
  12   The Battery spent the day firing rifles and Bren attachment on Henly Park Ranges.

2/Lt. D.R. Charles of 123 O.C.T.U. ceased to be attached to the Battery.

  13   Sgt. Ayling promoted to U/A/W.O.II (BSM) and posted to 147 Field Regt. R.A.  
  14   C.O. inspected the Battery and was very pleased with everything.

The battery was beaten 2-1 in the Final of the Sp. Group Soccer League by 168 L.A.A. Bty. R.A. after a very close game.

A Battery 3-tonner driven by Sgt. Bailey R.H.A.F. was involved in an unfortunate accident while returning from a Battery dance in DORKING.

     The following were admitted to hospital:- Dorking County Hospital. Gnr. Nicholls.D.N. - Perforating wound of the right side, lacerating from within the liver. Dvr.IC. Malia.  - Dislocated left shoulder and slight concussion. Discharged on 27-3-42. L/Bdr. Wagstaff - Blow on head very mild concussion. Discharged 28-3-42. BSM. Maddison. - cut head and contusion of neck. Discharged on 26-3-42. Gnr. Foard., Gnr. Neam - Cut face and right knee, Discharged on 23-3-42. Dvr. Walker - Contusion of left shoulder. Discharges on 24-3-42. Dvr. Collins - ramatic pneumonia moderately serious. Dvr. Gibson - Bruising of Chest. no facture. Discharged on 24-3-42. Dvr. Lucas - Dorking Cottage Hospital. Gnr Shaw - Bruises of calk and mild shock. Discharged on 18-2-42. Gnr Walkden - Bruising of spine and hips and small laceration of scalp. Discharged on 28-3-42. Hortion E.M.S. Hospital, Epson. L/Bdr. Walters - The right eye is blind. Recovery is unlikely.

  15-21   Normal training was continued, including a Battery Drill Order for C.O. on 19th.  
  16   Bdr. Toy posted to the Battery and attached to R.H.Q., 5.R.H.A.  
  17   Gnr. Pinckheard attached to S.E. Command Pay Duties School, attending Pay Duties Course for period 17-23 MAR 42.  
  19   Bdr. Lord admitted to Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot on 19 MAR 42 and discharged on 23 MAR 42.  
  20   60 volunteers from the Battery attempted to walk 10 miles in 2 hrs with equipment. A large percentage succeeded in completing the course in under 2 hrs. See App. A for list of those finishing and the times
  22   2/Lt. F.A.B. Wickham posted to the Battery from 123 O.C.T.U.  
  23   First Embarkation leave part despatched.  
  26   Dvr. Rogers admitted to Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot.

Firing Practice with observation by the R.A.F. was carried out at ALFRISTON.

  27   Bdr. Ewing posted to the Battery from Y List.  
  28   Lt-Gen B.L. Montgomery, C.B., D.S.O., GO.C in S.E. Cmd visited the Regiment and inspected one Section of "C" Troop (Commanded by Capt. G.R.A. Wixley R.H.A.) at R.H.Q. he was very pleased with all he saw. See App. B


  29   Lt. Stone R.H.A. and 25 O.R.s of the Battery formed part of Regimental Church Parade,  under Major Holman, which attended a Divisional Church Parade at DORKING Parish Church in this Nation Day of Prayer  
  31   Sgt. Bailey appeared before a Field General Court Martial charged under Sec: 40 A.A.  


Results of "CC" Battery R.H.A. 10 mile walk. Appendix "A"

1. L/Bdr Bartley. hour 51  minutes 15  seconds.
2. Capt. G.R.A. Wixley. R.H.A. 1   " 51   " 49   "
3. Gnr. Lapidus 1   " 52   " 55   "
4. TSM Croft   " 53   " 15   "
5. 2/Lt. R.E. Stone. R.H.A 1   " 54   " 30   "
6. Capt. E.J.V. Williams R.H.A 1   " 55   " 5   "
7. Gnr. Greaves.   " 56   " 12   "
8. Major W.R. Holman R.H.A 1   " 56   " 58   "
9. Dvr. Nott 1   " 57   " 39   "
10. Bdr. Mitchell 1   " 58   " 10   "
11. 2/Lt. V.M. Hill R.H.A 1   " 58   " 12   "
12. 2/Lt. R. Whitely. R.H.A 1   " 58   " 20   "
13. 2/Lt. W.H.H. Allon R.H.A 1   " 59   " 21   "
14. Dvr. Vallins. 1   " 59   " 27   "
15. Sgt. Stewart. 1   " 59   " 30   "
16. Sgt. May 2   " 0   " 0   "
17. L/Bdr. Layhe. 2   " 0   " 20   "
18. BSM. Scott.)
Gnr. Frew.  ) 2   " 2   " 30   "
20. Gnr. Cooper.E 2   " 3   " 0   "
21. 2/Lt. P.B.A. Wickham. R.H.A 2   " 3   " 21   "
22. Gnr. Saunders.                )
Lt. W.S Barrow. R.H.A. ) 2   " 4   " 30   "
25. Gnr. Nudds. 2   " 4   " 45   "
26. Gnr Bates.          ) 2   "   "   "
L/Sgt. Robinson. ) 2   "   "   "
L/Bdr. Blundell   ) 2   "   "   "
Gnr. Thomas.D.  ) 2   "   "   "
Gnr.Hale             ) 2   " 5   " 30   "
31. L/Sgt. Mills. 2   " 6   " 7   "
32 Bdr. Elwine.
Gnr. Jones. 2   " 7   " 16   "
34. Gnr. Smith. J.N. 2   " 7   " 57   "
35. L/Bdr. Brown. 2   " 8   " 50   "
36. Gnr. Pinckheard.R 2   " 8   " 54   "
37. Gnr. Venables 2   " 9   " 10   "
38. Gnr. Barnstable. 2   " 10   " 45   "
39. Sgt. Hill 2   " 11   " 0   "
40. L/Bdr. Kent. 2   " 12   " 0   "
Bdr. Goldsmith 2   " 12   " 0   "
42. Gnr. Groombridge 2   " 12   " 10   "
43. L/Sgt. Murray 2   " 12   " 20   "
44. Gnr. Linscer. )
Gnr. Frank.   ) 2   " 12   " 58   "
46. Dvr. Ashman. 2   " 14   " 30   "
47. L/Sgt. Townsend. 2   " 15   " 0   "
48. Dvr. Rosier 2   " 15   " 10   "
49. Gnr. Mead.   ) 2   " 18   " 20   "
Gnr. Boulter. )
50. Dvr. Moscovitch 2   " 18   " 30   "



Appendix "B"

Subject: - Army Commander's Inspection

 Ref:- 3/2/168

O.C. "CC" Battery. R.H.A

I should like to congratulate "C" Troop of your Battery on the splendid turnout which they gave this afternoon. The Army Commander was most complimentary at everything he saw.



Sd. R.R. Hoare

Lt. Col


Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A



April 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Wotton 2   Composite Troop moved to Hove preparatory to acting as Depot Troop and ALFRISTON Practice Camp  
  3-4   Firing practice was carried out by the Regiment at ALFRISTON - gallery shooting only - the Battery providing the Depot Troop. Bty returned to WOTTON on completion of the practice on the 4th  
  4   L/Bdr/ Walters, Gnrs. Nicholls.D, Foard, Collins, Lucas posted to Y List.

Gnrs. Jenkins, Wood.F, Davies.H, posted to the Battery from 23rd Fld Trng., Regt., R.A.

Gnrs. Loughman, Murrell, Pearson & West posted to the Bty from 4th Fld Trng., Regt., R.A.

L/Sgt. Townsend promoted Sergeant.

  5-11   With nearly half the battery on embarkation leave, this period was devoted to packing and preparation for embarkation. C.O. visited the Battery on 9th to examine the progress made in this direction.  
  7   D/M. Woods A.F. posted to the Battery from Y List.  
  8   Gnr. Pittas admitted to Nelson Hospital, WIMBLEDON.  
  10   Major-General O.M. Lund., D.S.O., M.G.R.A. visited the Battery to wish us farewell.

Sgt. Hill posted to 123 O.C.T.U.

Gnr. Haworth admitted to Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot..

Dvr. Lucas posted to the Battery from Y List.

  12-16   Packing was completed for the Road Party and the vehicles were despatched to BIRKENHEAD under Capt. E.F. Elston on 13th. Most of the personal from this party returned on 16th, leaving a loading party under 2/Lt. T.R.D. Belgrave.  
  16   Dvr. Parsons admitted to C.R.S. Abinger and transferred to Surrey County Hospital Dorking on 18th.  
  18   Dvr. Collins posted to the Battery from Y List.  
  18-25   Local training was carried out and further preparations for embarkation made.  
  20   Gnr. Foard posted to the Battery from Y List.  
  23   Gnr. Beard posted to the Battery from Depot R.A.

Bdr. (Ac) Larney posted to 27th Fld. , Trng., Regt. R.A.

  25   2/Lt. Belgrave and loading party returned having completed the loading of the vehicles.

Sir. John Gregg, Secretary of State for War, and General Sir Benard C.T. Paget, KCB., D.S.O., M.C., G-I-C. Home Forces, inspected units of the Support Group - including 8 Officiers and 98 O.Rs of th Battery - in the grounds of WOTTON HOUSE.

(See Appendix "A")
  27   In a Regimental rifle competition at HENLEY PARK RANGES, the three teams from the Battery filled the first three places. "H" Troop 1st, "C" Troop 2nd, BTY H.Q. 3rd. (See Appendix "B")
  29   Lt-General M.B. Burrows D.S.O., M.C., Commanding 2nd Armoured Group, visited the Battery to wish us farewell. He met all the officers, W.Os and Nos.1

Gnr. Pittas discharged from Nelson Hospital.

Gnr. Sumner posted to Home Details.

  30   Major-General C.W. Norman Commanding 8th Armoured Division addressed a representation gathering of Officers, W.Os and N.C.Os of all Units of Support Group in the Battery Dining Hall.  
  26-2 May   Final packing of stores was carried out, and all preparations made for the Battery to leave.  



Appendix "A".

Subject: - C in C's Inspection.
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 consider that the Regimental turnout was excellent. I feel certain that a great deal of work was put in by all ranks.

It is satisfactory to know that the Commander-in-Chief paid a very high compliment indeed to the Regiment, when speaking of its arrival to the Secretary of State for War.


Lt. Col


Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A


Appendix "B"















Sgt. Easton 15 42 42 15 )
M/M Williams 15 42 37 11 ) 710 1st
Bdr. Elwine - 42 41 17 )
Gnr. Jones. - 41 43 14 )
BSM. Maddison. - 39 34 12 )
Gnr. Botting. - 41 30 11 )
Gnr. Smith. - 33 31  7 )
Gnr. Webber. - 31 22 10 )
Gnr. Appleby. 15 30 37 13 )
Gnr. Rutherford. - 44 32 17 )
L/Bdr. Loader. 15 44 26  6 )
Sgt. Brodie. - 41 35  6 )
BSM. Fay. - 43 22 17 ) 660 2nd
Dvr. Lelwellyn. - 45 18 17 )
L/Sgt. Nixon. - 28 27 17 )
Bdr/ Swinhoe. - 34 18  4 )
"CC" BTY "H.Q.
S/Sgt. Smith. - 41 42 15 )
Bdr. Mitchell. - 41 35 18 )
Lt. Barrow - 39 35 16 )
Gnr. Yellett. - 45 24  7 ) 637 3rd
BQMS. Prest - 44 21  8 )
Gnr. Elbre. - 29 29 14 )
Gnr. Ungless - 36 15 16 )
Dvr. Haslett. - 38 17 12 )
"G" BTY "A" TROOP 623 4th
RHQ No.2 TEAM 610 5th
"G" BTY "B" TROOP 587 6th
"K" BTY "A" TEAM 565 7th
RHQ No.1 TEAM 519 8th
BTY H.Q. "G" BTY 516 9th
"K" BTY "B" TEAM 502 10th
"K" BTY No.3 TEAM 420 11th




(see War Diary for the Month of MARCH)

Subject: - Visit of Army Cmdr.

Ref: - 3/2/168.

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 following copy of letters from H.Q. South Eastern Cmd and 8 Armd Div are forwarded for information.

"I have received a letter from the Army Cmdr after his visit to the Div., and I send you copies for distributions to your C.Os.

I do not think I need to add anything to what he said, and I wish to thank you and congratulate you for all the trouble you took!.



Cmd. 8th Armoured Divison.


"I would like to say how very much I enjoyed the two days I spent with your division, meeting the C.Os and their Officers.

I am sorry I could not see more.

But the quality of a Division can be seen reflected in the Officers, you have a fine lot of officers and under them the men will do well.

The Division will fight well in battle and I shall expect to hear great things of it in due course.

Will you let the officers know how glad I was to meet so many of them, all looking so fit and 'on their toes'."




 Capt. R.H.A


 5th Regiment. R.H.A


To: -     


         Adjutant 5th Regt,. R.H.A.

Strength for "CC" Battery R.H.A.

Inspection on Saturday 25-4-42  :-


8 Officers

98 O.R's.




Major R.H.A.


Commanding "CC" Battery R.H.A.






1.      The C-in-C and Secretary of State will inspect the Regt,. together with certain units in the Div at WOTTON HOUSE on Sat 25 Apr.

Actual time of inspection 1230 - 131- hrs.


2.      TRANSPORT. RHQ, G and K Btys will be transported to Wotton House in accordance with the following programme:


Tpt will report to G Bty at 0845 hrs as follows:-


2-30 cwts CC Bty to A Tp. Depart CC 0820 hrs.


1-30 cwts RHQ & 1-30 cwt G Bty to B Tp


1-30 cwts K Bty & 1-15 cwt RHQ & K Bty to Bty H.Q.



0900 hrs.

Tpt RVs Br 513663 and departs for CC Bty.

0915  "   

Tpt arrives at CC Bty

0925  "   

Leaves CC Bty

0940  "   

Arrives K Battery

0950  "   

Departs K Battery

1005  "   

Arrives CC Bty

1015  "   

Departs CC Bty

1030  "   

Arrives RHQ (4 30cwts) G Bty H.Q. (1 30cwt.)

                                       K Bty (2 15cwts.)

1040  "   

Tpt departs RHQ, G and K Btys.

1055  "   

Arrives CC Bty



2/Lt. P.M. Victory RHA will be i/c tpt and will ensure that ensure that the programme runs to time. After that last journey to CC Bty, vehicles will be parked in CC Bty H.Q. vehicle park.



All vehicles will enter Wotton Ho grounds by the gate at 553666. Debussing point, CC Bty dining hall. Tpt will continue on its way via the exit gate.



After 1130 hrs tpt will revert to Bty control. Personnel attending the parade will march back to billets, though tpt may be used for lifting B Tp personnel from Gomshall onwards. Btys will march away via gate at 559666.

3.      TRANSPORT. RHQ: - 50 - 60 all ranks.

                                  Bty: - 100 - 110 all ranks

B.C.s will report to this office by 1200 hrs Friday 24 Apr accurate numbers of officers and O.Rs who will be on the parade.

4.      O.C. 'CC' Bty has arranged to allot the dining hall to G and K Btys and a barrack room close by RHQ, to wait before the parade and the clean up.

5.      Btys and RHQ will produce their own polishing parties.

6.      CC Bty will make all necessary arrangements for police and traffic control, as already arranged.

7.      Parade will form up by Btys outside CC Bty dining hall under orders of the Adjutant ready to move by 1140 1130 hrs. 1100 ready for me by Tps in short drive

8.      Regtl. right and left markers - Sgt Richardson and L/Bdr, Edwards, will report to B.M on parade ground (rugger ground) at 1130 hrs.

9.      After the inspection, the Regt will be marched off in the same way as it came in, There will be no March Past.

         The order "Privates Parades" will given once the Regiment is clear of the rugger ground.

10.     O.C. 'CC' Bty will provide A.A. defence as arranged. G & K Btys will each detail two A.A.L.M.G Gnrs to report to CC Bty Office by 1015 hrs. L.M.Gs will be provide by CC Bty.

11.     DRESS. All ranks - Best Battle Dress, no 'Go' signs. Web belts and braces only.  Caps F.S.  NO respirators or arms.    Officers will parade without sticks and gloves.

         Ground sheets will be taken if wet but will be collected before the parade by the polishing parties and loaded on to Bty vehicles. 

Pouches in front rank 

12.     ADMIN. 

Hot tea and light haversack ration should be taken and late dinners arranges, A proportion of mugs will be taken under Bty arrangements.

Dinners 1345. Break 1000 hrs




The parade will form up in three ranks in the following order from the right :-

G, K. CC, RHQ.  Sized by Btys. No serrie-file.

BSM should form a blank file on the right of each Bty, the next files consisting of 2 T/BSMs & BQMS


2 paces between ranks, but men shoulder to shoulder.


Officers will fall in 3 paces in front of their sub-units, evenly spaces in order of seniority by Btys, with B.Cs on the right of their Batteries.



The parade will march on the rugger ground and the leading file will halt just short of and behind the right marker. Left turn, open order march and right dress will then be given.


O.Rs will be dressed by the R.S.M.


The front rank will be marked by right and left markers, and possibly a white line string.


BJG Capt.
G Bty ........1
K Bty ........2
CC Bty ... .3


Note: Text in blue text are hand written notes by the Battery Commander, on the original pages.


 S E C R E T.                


Amendment No.1.

Para 7 line 2

Delete 11:40

Insert 11:30


Para 13

Insert "(g) Officers will be dressed by Capt. S.R. St. John RHA


Para 2

Insert "Forms for seating men will be places in vehicles.


24 Apr 42. Capt.
FCA. Adj.
G Bty ......1 C.O.2........5
K Bty ......2 O.O...........6
CC Bty ...3 R.S.M........7
C.O.........4 File............8/9




May 1942 (up to embarkation)

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices


1   H.M. the King inspected units of the Support Group - including 9 Officers and 130 O.Rs of the Battery - in grounds adjoining WOTTON HOUSE.

Advance Party from 13 (H.A.C.) Regt., R.H.A. under Capt. Taylor arrived to take over billets etc.

(See Appendix "A")


  4   Baggage party under Capt.. G.R.A. Wixley left by train for port of Embarkation.  
  6   The Battery, together with "G" Battery (Mercer's Tp) and R.H.Q. left GOMSHALL Station for port of embarkation, having handed over billets to 13 (H.A.C.) Regt., R.H.A.

The C.O. address the Battery at WOTTON HOUSE before departure.

(Nominal Roll of W.E. and 1st Line reinforcements Appendix "B")
  7   The Battery embarked with 5 R.H.A. less "K" Battery for an unknown destination, taking tropical kit.  


Appendix "A"


Most Secret.

Copy No.....3
29 April 42

1.     There will be an inspection of all ranks of the Division on Friday, 1 May, to bid them Godspeed.

2.     The following units will be inspected at WOTTON HOUSE, 3666:-

H.Q., 8 Support Group.

5th., Regt., RHA.

145 Fld Park Sqn R.E.

7th Tank Transporter Coy R.A.S.C.

8th Light Field Ambulance.

The inspection will commence at approximately 1055 hrs, and finish at approx,. 1115 hrs. The parade will be under the command of Lt.Col. R.R. Hoare DSO MC RHA.

3.(a)  All units will march to the place of parade, so as to reach WOTTON HOUSE by 1010 hrs.







HQ 8 Support Gp. WIGMORE 6161 - rd Junc 573620 - Entrance at 557663. (Guide will meet party at this entrance, and conduct them to place of parade.)



145 Fld Pl Sqn, Tank Transporter Coy. 8 Lt Fd Amb. Rd junc 561645 to entrance at 557663. (Guide will meet party at this entrance, and conduct them to place of parade.)


G & K BTYS RHA, RHA 5 RHA, will proceed independently by main DORKING Rd to entrance at 566669.


Each party marching as a body will have one O.R. 50 yds ahead and one O.R. 50 yds in rear, for traffic control purposes.

4.     Markers. One Right and Left Marker for each unit will report to the Adjutant 5 RHA at 566669 at 0950 hrs. They may use transport, which will be parked in the grounds of WOTTON HOUSE, under arrangements of O.C. CC Bty RHA. Marker for 5 RHA will be found by G Bty (Right) and RHQ (Left).

5.     Strengths. Units, and Btys RHA, will report to this HQ by 1600 hrs 30 Apr, exact strengths of (a) Officers, (b) O.Rs who will be on parade.

6.     Traffic Control. O.C.. 'CC' Bty RHA will be responsible for the provision of traffic control, police, and guides (as shown in 3 above) for each unit. All guides will be at their respective entrances from 1000 hrs.

7.(i)  The inspecting party will dismount just inside the entrance at 566669, proceed down the line, and subsequently remount and proceed out from the same entrance. O.C. 'CC' Bty RHA will arrange for turning round of all visitors cars during the period of the inspection.




Route for inspecting party is as follows:
BURFORD LODGE 6171 - rd junc 610697 - rd junc 601394 i rd junc 602687 - Entrance 566669 - SHERE 5137 - rd junce 5067  - Rd Jun 4566 - WONERSH 4564 - CRANLEIGH 4958 - rd junc 5359 - Rd junc 523602 - rd junc 5859 - WIGMORE rd junc 611618 - rd junc 612643 - rd junc 622656 - X rds 643663 - BROCKHAM PK 642666.
Under NO circumstances will any vehicles (whether engaged in the parade, or otherwise) be parked on the inspecting party's route.



Dress. (i) Battle Dress , with Web Equipment belts and braces only, and khaki F.S. caps. Arms, steel helmets and respirators will not be carried. Officers will NOT carry sticks, but will wear leather gloves

(ii) All personnel (including officer's) will carry capes anti-gas with them for use in the vent of wet weather , but on arrival at the place of parade, these will be disposed of, out of sight, in sub-unit piles, under arrangements to be made of O.C. CC Bty RHA. They will be collected after the parade.
9. Conduct of parade.





Parade will form up in three ranks, in the following order from the right:-


5th Regt. RHA.

HQ 8 Support Group

145 Fd Pk Sqn R.E.

7 Tk Transporter Coy RASC

8 Lt Fd Amb.

There will be a 15 yard interval between each unit, but no interval between Btys RHA (BSM's will form a blank file on the right of each bty., the next file to consist of 2 T/BSM's and B.Q.M.S.),


All units and sub-units will be sized (tallest on the flanks, shortest in the centre) before arrival in the parade area.


3 paces between ranks, but men shoulder to shoulder.



Officers will fall in 3 paces in front of their sub-units, evenly spaces in order of seniority by Btys, with unit commanders the right flank. All Officers will face front.


Position of front rank will be marked by right and left markers and a white line.



"Polishing Parties."    Any polishing parties units may bring with them will be clear of the parade ground by 1040 hrs: O.C. CC Bty RHA will arrange for these parties to be conducted to the vehicle park.


On Conclusion,  units will march off and return to billets independently. There will be no March Past.



"A.A. Defence.   O.C. 'CC' Bty will arrange for three A.A.L.M.Gs to be mounted, out of sight, at dispersed points in the area. G & K Btys will each detail two A.A.L.M.Gnrs to report to CC Bty Office by 0945 hrs, to man these L.M.Gs.



Security.     The strictest secrecy will be maintained . Any recces necessary may be made, but information will be circulated only when absolutely necessary.



Conference.     There will be a conference for all unit commanders or their respective representatives, and RHA Bty Cmdrs, at WOTTON HOUSE on Thursday 30 Apr, after the G.O.C's address at 0930 hrs.
29th APRIL 1942 Captain R.H.A.


5th.. Regiment. R.H.A


G Bty .....................................1. C.O................................8.
K Bty .....................................2. C.O.2.............................9.
CC Bty ...................................3. O.O...............................10.
HQ 8 Sp Gp............................4. R.S.M............................11.
145 Fd Pk Sqn RE............. ....5.   War Diary....................12/13.
7 Tk Trans Coy RASC............6.   File...............................14/15
8 Lt Fd Amb............................7.


MOST  S E C R E T.            

Subject: - Inspection - Friday 1 May 42..

Ref: - 55/13/2.

Officer Commanding.
      "G" Battery. (Mercer's Troop) R.H.A.
      "K" Battery. R.H.A
      "CC" Battery. R.H.A

Further to "Inspection on Friday 1 May 42", dated 29 Apr 42..

1.           The C.O. has decided that, in accordance with arrangement for normal ceremonial parades, RHQ will now parade on the right of the line. The Regt will therefore be drawn up as follows:-

               RHQ, G Bty, K Bty, CC Bty, Sig. Sec. L.A.D.


There will now be an interval of two yards between each sub-unit and not previously detailed. Officers will parade in front of their respective Btys abnd RHQ as already arranged; Sigs.O. will parade in front of the Signal Section: O.M.E. in front of the L.A.D. Padres C.E. and R.C. will parade on the feft of the Signals Officer; M.O. Will parade on the left the Padres; and the O.M.E. on the left of the M.O., in fron of the L.A.D.


2.           Regtl markers will now be found by RHQ (right marker) and the L.A.D. (left marker).


3.           O.C. CC Bty will note that Regtl frontage will now be approx 105 yds and not 98 yds.


4.          Arrangements in regard to positioning of B.S.Ms., etc,. as given in para 9(a) of original detail, will continue as before.



29 Apr 42.

 Capt. R.H.A


 5th Regiment. R.H.A

Copy to:-  C.O.2.




Appendix "B"




U/A/L/Bdr. ANSELL. William, Hammersley
Gnr. APPLEBY. Lewis, George.
P/A/L/Bdr. ARMSTRONG. Robert.
Dvr.IC. ARMSTRONG. Walter.
U/A/L/Bdr. ARNOLD. Peter.
Dvr.IC. ASHMAN. Charles, Henrey.
Bdr. BAILEY. Reginald, Henry, Alfred.
Gnr. BAKER. Charles, Edward.
Dvr.IC. BARNSTABLE. Charles, George.
P/A/L/Bdr. BARTLEY. Frank.
Gnr. BATES. Arthur, Ernest.
P/A/L/Bdr. (MM) BAUGH. Charles, Wolvine.
Gnr. BENJAMIN George.
Gnr. BENNETT. Arthur, Smith.
Dvr.IC. BENTON. Albert, Edward.
U/A/L/Bdr. (BS) BLUNDELL. Albert.
Gnr. (FG) BOLTON. Frank, Albert.
Dvr.IC. BONWICK. William, James.
Gnr. BOTTING. George, Alfred.
Dvr.IC. BOULTER. Albert, Henry.
P/A/L/Bdr. BRADSHAW. Cyril, Victor, Charles.
A/Sgt. BRODIE. John.
Gnr. BROWN. Alfred. John.
P/A/L/Bdr. BROWN. Thomas, Marshall.
Dvr.IC. CALVER. Leslie, Gordon.
Gnr. CARTER. Edward.
Gnr. CARTER. Leslie, George.
P/A/L/Bdr. CHAPMAN. John, William.
Gnr. CHITTY. Frederick. William.
Dvr.IC. COLLINS. James.
Gnr. COOPER. Ernest, Edward.
Gnr. CORSE. James.
Gnr. COTTAM. Harold.
Dvr.IC. COUPER. David.
W/Bdr. (UC) COURTNAGE. Edward, Frank.
W/W.O.III (TSM). CROFT. Arthur.
Dvr.IC. DAVIES. George, Arthur, Thomas,
Gnr. DAVIES. Harold.
Gnr. (MM). DIPPER. William Francis, Geoffrey.
W/Bdr. DUDDY. Cyril, Edward, Frank.
P/A/L/Bdr. EADE. Stanley.
W/Sgt. EASTON. David.
Gnr. ECKERSLEY. Clifford, Taylor.
P/A/L/Bdr. EDE. Frank, William.
A/Bdr. ELWINE. Frederick.
U/A/L/Bdr. (DM) EVANS. Ivor, Waldwyn.
W/Bdr. EWING. Albert, Edward.
W/W.O.II (BSM) FAY. Peter.
Gnr. FINLAYSON. William.
P/A/L/Bdr. (BS) FIRTH. Harry, Alwyn.
Gnr. FOART. Charles, Allen, Ralph.
Gnr. FOLLETT. Thomas, Walter.
U/A/L/Bdr. FORBES. George.
Gnr. FRANK. Christopher.
Gnr. FREW. Alexander, Clarke.
P/A/L/Bdr. GARRETT. Hadyn, Horace, Frederick.
U/A/L/Bdr. GARRIGLE. Mons, Albert.
U/A/L/Bdr. (TS) GENTRY. James.
Gnr. GIBB. John.
Gnr. GIBSON. James, Patrick.
W/Bdr. GILLESPIE. Harold.
W/Bdr. GOLDSMITH. Alfred, William.
Gnr. GOODRICK. Robert, Henry.
Dvr.IC. GRAY. William, Edward.
Gnr. GREAVES. Edward, Arthur.
Dvr.IC. GRIMBLE. William, George.
Dvr.IC. GROOMBRIDGE. George, Henry.
Dvr.IC. HAGGER. Sidney, Rulo.
Gnr. HALE. Douglas, James.
Gnr. HARDY. Kenneth, Vernon.
Gnr. HARRIS. John, Edward.
Dvr.IC. HARVEY. Roland, Edward, Wingrose.
Dvr.IC. HASLETT. David.
Gnr. HAWORTH. Albert.
Gnr. HAYES. Samuel.
Gnr. HAYTON. Edwin.
Gnr. (DM). HEADINGTON. James, Donald.
Dvr.IC. HEWITT. Frederick.
Gnr. HIRD. William.
Gnr. HISCOCK. John. Joseph.
Gnr. HOOKER. Leonard, George.
Gnr. HOWARD. John, Weyman.
U/A/L/Bdr. HOWELL. Thomas.
Gnr. HUNTER. Norman.
Gnr. INGLIS. William.
Gnr. JELLEY. Emlyn, Lawrence, Warneford.
Gnr. JENKINS. Edward.
Gnr. JONES. Alfred, John.
Gnr. (UC). KENT. William, Henry.
Dvr.I.C. KING. Alan.
Dvr.I.C. KYLE. Albert, Ernest.
Gnr. LAPIDUS. Leslie.
Gnr. LATHAM. Frank.
P/A/L/Bdr. LAYHE. John, Henry.
Gnr. LINSCER. Albert, Richard.
Dvr.I.C. LLEWELLYN. Albert, Robert, Thomas.
P/A/L/Bdr. (MM) LOADER. Edwin, Arthur.
W/Bdr. LORD. Albert.
Dvr.IC. LUCAS. Walter, Reginald.
W/Bdr. MAINSTONE. Harold.
Dvr.IC. MALIA. Eric.
Gnr. MASON. Frank, Alexander.
Sgt. MAY. Rodger, Newton.
Gnr. MEAD. Thomas, William.
Gnr. (MM) MEADEN. Joseph, Henry.
P/A/L/Bdr. MILLS. Leonard, Cecil.
W/Bdr. MITCHELL. Geoffrey, Duncan, Straw.
Gnr. MITCHELL. John, Edward.
Gnr. MORBIN. Albert, William.
Dvr.IC. MOSCOVITCH. Leonard,
P/A/L/Sgt. MURRAY. William.
Gnr. MURRELL. William.
Gnr (DM) MC. DOWALL. David.
U/A/L/Bdr. MC. NAUGHT. James, Calder.
Gnr. NEAME. John, Alexander.
Gnr. NEVILLE. Francis, Lester.
Dvr.IC. NICHOLLS. Walter, George.
Gnr. NIPPARD. Edward, Bertie.
P/A/L/Sgt. NIXON. Andrew, Leslie.
Dvr.IC. NOTT. Raymond, Joseph.
Gnr. NUDDS. Arthur, James.
W/Sgt. O'BRIEN. Francis.
Dvr.IC. PARFITT. William, Edmund.
W.Sgt. PARKER. Edgar.
Gnr. PEARSON. Herbert, Edward.
Gnr. PENNIFOLD. George, Frederick.
Gnr. PINCKHEARD. Reginald, Arthur.
W/BQMS. PREST. Frederick.
Gnr. PYE. John.
U/A/L/Bdr. QUARTERMAN. Arthur, Albert.
Gnr. RACK. Betram, Henry.
Gnr. RADDEN. John, William.
Gnr. RICHARDS. Frank.
Gnr. RISPIN. Wilfrid, Harris.
P/A/L/Bdr. ROBINSON. Ralph.
Dvr.IC. ROGERS. James.
Dvr.IC. ROSIER. Hugh, Walter.
Gnr. RUTHERFORD. Andrew.
Gnr. SAUNDERS. Robert, William.
W/W.O.II. (BSM) SCOTT. David, Weir.
Gnr. SETTER. George.
Gnr. SHAW. James, Black.
Dvr.IC. SHIPPERLEY. Herbert, John.
W/Sgt. SHORT. Joseph.
Dvr.IC. SHORT. William, Frank.
Gnr. SIERS. Ronald, Joseph.
Gnr. SINGFIELD. George, Walter.
Gnr. SMITH. George.
Gnr. SMITH. George, William.
W/S/Sgt. ART/RA. SMITH. Henry, James.
Gnr. SMITH. John, Norman.
Gnr. SMITH. Stanley, Thomas.
Gnr. SOUTER. Leonard, Edward.
W/Sgt. STEWART. Thomas.
Gnr. (DM) STONE. Ernest.
Gnr. STUART-BROWN. Charles, Harold.
Gnr. SWIFT. Stanley.
W/Bdr. SWINHOE. Harold.
Gnr. THOMAS. Dick.
Gnr. THOMAS. Thomas.
Gnr. THOMPSON. Geoff.
Gnr. THORNTON. William.
Gnr. TINDELL. Ernest, Disley.
A/Sgt. TOWNSEND. John, Leonard.
A/Bdr. TOY. William, Harland.
Dvr.IC. TUCKER. Albert, Edward.
Gnr. UNGLESS. Rodolph, John.
Dvr.IC. VALLINS. Ronald, Norman.
Gnr. VENABLES. Henry, Walter.
P/A/L/Bdr. WAGSTAFF. Frank.
Dvr.IC. WALKER. George, Ernest.
Gnr. WALLACE. Charles, Alexander.
Gnr. WALSH. Alfred, Charles, Robert.
Gnr. WEBB. Aubrey, Edgar, Thomas.
Dvr.IC. WEBBER. Frank, Alfred.
Dvr.IC. WEST. Alfred, William, George.
Gnr. WEST. Edward, Thomas.
A/Bdr. WHIELDON. Leycester, Ralph.
Gnr. WHITE. Sidnay, Albert.
Gnr. WILKINS. William, John.
Gnr. (DM) WILLIAMS. Horace, Stanley.
Gnr. WILSON. Arthur, William.
Gnr. WOODALL. William, James.
Gnr. WOODMAN. Bertram.
Gnr. (DM). WOODS. Alfred, Frederick.
Gnr. WOOD. Frederick, James.
Dvr.IC. WRIGHT. George.
Gnr. WRIGHT. John.
Gnr. YATES. Charles, William.
Gnr. YELLOT. Frank.
P/A/L/Bdr. (FMV) YOUNG. Frederick, Henry.
Gnr. YOUNG. Robert.
Gnr. YOUNG. Sydney, Herbert.
Gnr. YUROVITCH. Harry.







Lt. ALLON William, Harold, Hilton.
Lt. BARROW Walter, Stanley.
2/Lt. BELGRAVE. Thomas, Robert, Dalrymple.
Capt. ELSTON. Geoffrey, Frank.
2/Lt. HILL. Vesey, Michael.
Major. HOLMAN William, Ronald,
Lt. STONE. Richard, Ewart.
2/Lt. WHITELY. Robert.
2/Lt. WICKHAM. Peter, Amyand, Breyton.
Capt. WILLIAMS. Edward, John, Venables.
Capt. WIXLEY. Gordon, Robert, Alexander.





Pte, HOWARD. Robert, Henry.
Pte. HUDSON. William.
Pte. JACKSON Philip, Alexander.
W/Cpl. ROBERTS Robert.



May 1942 (7th - 31st)

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
GOUROCK 7   Battery embarked at GOUROCK (CLYDE) on U.S.A.T. BORINQUEN. Conditions were rather crowded, but Bty obtained some of the best quarters, being "A" Deck where there was more ventilation than below.  
U.S.A.T. BORINQUEN 8-10   The ship, together with other of the convoy, remained in the CLYDE, taking water etc. The was spent in organising quarters, kits, duties etc., and generally preparing for the voyage. Being an American Ship, no alcohol was allowed on board, and the food, although good, was rather different from that to which the men had been used.  
  11   We crossed the boom ay 0505 hrs and the convoy started on its journey, joining up with other ships from LIVERPOOL. These included S.S. MONARCH OF BERMUDA on which K Battery RHA was travelling, then remainder of the Regiment being on U.S.A.T. BORINQUEN  
  11-21   Training consisting mostly of lectures, and P.T.  was carried out at various periods each day. These period were governed by the various times of meals, which were different for O.Rs. W.Os and Officers, and by the limited Deck space available. During the first few days, a considerable number of men suffered from sea sickness, but as the sea became calmer, and the weather warmer, these all recovered.  
  22   The Convoy reached FREETOWN, cross the boom at approx 1200 hrs.  
  23-25   We remained off FREETOWN, refueling and filling with water and food, but nobody was allowed ashore because of the danger of malaria and enemy agents. It was very pleasant to see land again, and we were all struck by the vivid greenness of the country, the trees coming right down to the waters edge.  
  26   Convoy left FREETOWN and we crossed the boom at 1340 hrs.  
  28   During the day we crossed the equator, the exact time not being given out for security reasons.  
  22-31   Training and P.T. were continued, various papers for N.C.Os, Gunners, Drivers, Officers etc., being set and discussed, Owning to the heat, the afternoon was considered as a rest period, and training was therefore somewhat reduced. Shorts and shirt sleeves are now the normal dress, but it is starting to become cooler again as we move further South of the Equator.  
  31 2230 We passed St. Helena which stood out very clearly.  



June 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices

At sea.

H.M.T. J.17

1-6   Life on board continued much as usual, with training in the form of lecture, test papers etc.  
  5 1200 The convoy divided, the part bound for DURBAN separating from the remainder.  
  8   TABLE MOUNTAIN was in sight as the sun rose, and we entered CAPE TOWN harbour slowly during the morning, eventually docking at about 1400 hrs. All ranks except those on duty were allowed ashore in the evening and were all given a most hospitable welcome.  
  9   The Bty and RHQ trans-shipped onto H.M.T. J,6 MONARCH OF BERMUDA thus leaving more room for the remainder on U.S.A.T J.17. The change was very welcome, as we found better billets, more space and better food - at least food more suited to English tastes.  
  7-10   All those not on duty were allow ashore each day, returning at the ship at night. The people of CAPE TOWN proved themselves to be extremely hospitable and were all given a very good time. One route march was carried out during our stay, but weather was wet and there were several heavy storms.  
H.M.T. J.6 11 0950 The convoy left CAPE TOWN and reformed outside the harbour heading S.E.  
  14   The Battery took over the manning of some of the guns for defence of the ship (one 6", two 12 pdrs, two rocket guns, one L.M.G. and several lookout posts) which has been manned by K Battery. RHA. We also took over responsibility for the control of all the defences of the ship, having a Captain permanently on duty. This occupied 4 Officers and 99 O.Rs, thus training could only be carried out with part of the Battery.  
  15   We passed DURBAN during the morning and the remainder of the convoy rejoined us.

L/Bdr. Baugh admitted to hospital and discharged on 16-6-42.

Dvr. Hewitt admitted to hospital and discharged on 17-6-42.

L/Bdr. Dipper admitted to hospital and discharged on 17-6-42.

  15-20   Training continues much as before with the men available and a certain number of lectures etc were given to the gun detachments and lookouts.  
  23   Part of the convoy left the main body and headed for MADAGASCAR.

Gnr. Wright admitted to hospital and discharged on 23-6-42.

  24   Sgt. O'Brien admitted to hospital and discharged on 26-6-42.  
  25   Gnr. Davis admitted to hospital and discharged on 28-6-42.  
  26   Bdr. Elwine admitted to hospital and discharged on 28-6-42.  
  27   Three ships of the convoy, including one carrying part of 8 Support Group, left the rest and it was believed they were bound for INDIA. It was later understood that 8 Support Group was sent off in error

Gnr. Jelley admitted to hospital and discharged on 1-7-42.

H.M.T. J.6 21-27   Training was continues as before, although the heat made it necessary to reduce the lectures during the afternoon.  
  29   Gnr. Young admitted to hospital and discharged on 1-7-42.

Gnr. Shipperley admitted to hospital and discharged on 1-7-42.

Dvr. Nott admitted to hospital and discharged on 1-7-42.

  30   L/Bdr. Blundell admitted to hospital and discharged on 1-7-42.

We arrived at ADEN at 0930 hrs and proceeded to refuel and take on water immediately. H.M.T. J.6 left independently at 1738 hrs to sail up the RED SEA alone and unescorted. We were able to increase speed from the average of 10 or 11 knots which the convoy had been keeping to latterly and reached 18 knots.



July 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
H.M.T. J.6 1-4   The voyage was continued up the RED SEA and all preparations were made to disembark.  
PORT TAUFIQ 4 1730 Battery disembarked and entrained for QUASSASSIN.  
      Capt. G.R.A. Wixley proceeded to GENEIFRA with a party of drivers to sort out and collect the vehicles, guns and stores of the Regiment.  
EL TAHAG 5 0400

Arrived at Camp 23, TAHAG and prepared to collect our equipment.


Gnr. Wright.J admitted to No.6 General Hospital.

Gnr. Wilkins admitted to No.6 General Hospital.

Bdr. Gillespie. admitted to No.6 General Hospital.

Gnr. Radden admitted to No.6 General Hospital.


Vehicles, guns, etc were collected and prepared for use. All vehicles, guns and stores were eventually traced and collect with only minor losses. 2 General Stewart Tanks arrived as Armoured O.P. vehicles and 1 Armd., Recce car for BC.

Training was carried out in desert manoeuvre and guns were zeroed.

COWLEY 17   Regiment staged at COWLEY CAMP near CAIRO  
EL HAMMAN 18   Moved to EL HAMMAN area and harboued 7 miles South of that village.  

Battery left the rest of the Regiment and joined 50 R.T.R. Group under Lt.Col J. Cairnes, moving to harbour near EL ALAMEIN, The Groups consisting of CC Bty R.H.A., 50 R.T.R., A Bty 73 A/Tk Regt, RA, Det 9 Fd Sqn R.E., D Coy, 7 R.B. and Det 7 Lt Fd Amb., came under command of 1 Army Tank Bde.

  21   Battery moved to an assembly area about 10 miles N.W. of last area leaving all Echelons under Command Lt. W.S. Barrow with those of 50 R.T.R. Group. Preparations were made to support and attack the next morning.  

The attack was only partially successful and the Group was not committed.

    1030 Bty took up position in the assembly area to support an attacked by C Sqn 44 R.T.R. on and enemy strong point near TEL EL-EISA station. C Tp fired 53 rds H.E. observed onto enemy positions. The attacked was held up by minefields, 50 R.T.R. launched an unsuccessful attack further South, but the Bty. was not in support.  
  22   Situation report received. See Appendix 'A'

Battery continued in support of 44 R.T.R. (C Sqn) who were in a position of observation near the minefield. H Tp fired 58 Rds on opportunity targets.

    1400  Battery moved to harbour area about 5 miles S.E.  
    2030 Battery returned a few mile N. West to harbour close to position of 22 July.  
      Gnr. West E.T., Gnr. Pye, Gnr. Baker admitted to 2/8 Aust. Fld Ambulance.  
  23   Situation report received. See Appendix 'B'

Gnr. Hiscock, Gnr. Haworth admitted to 18th South African Fld Ambulance.

  24-25   Maintenance and bathing  
  25   Intelligence report No.31 received. See Appendix 'C'
  25   Gnr. Benjamin admitted to A.D.S. 1st Army Tank Bde.  

Received order to Support and attacked by 50 R.T.R. Group on 27th.

See Operational Order.

Gnr. Hardy admitted to 2/3 A.D.S. 9th Aust., Div.

2/Lt. V.M. Hill R.H.A. admitted to 27th A.D.S

2/Lt. P.B.A Wickham R.H.A. joined the Battery from Echelon to take the place of 2/Lt. Hill.

  27 0015 

Moved South to Battery position East of QUATTARA track, ready to support the attack.

Battery supported B & C Sqns 50 R.T.R. in an attacked South of MITEIRIYA ridge. A few tanks gained the objective, but were driven off by heavy fire. The Battery sustained no casualties, in spite of some bombing and shelling. 127 rds Smoke and 46 rds H.E. were fired during the day.

      Bdr. Toy who was attached to RHA, 5 RHA was killed, a bomb having a direct hit on his truck.  
  28 0950  Battery moved North again and took up position facing West, very close to the position occupied on 22nd July. Everything seem very quiet and the rest of the day was devoted to rest and Bathing. Major-Gen C.W. Norman., Cmdg., 8 Armoured Division accompanied by Brig Richards. D.S.O. Cmdg., 1 Army Tank Bde visited the Battery in the afternoon.  
  29   Situation report received. See Appendix 'D'
  29   L/Bdr. Bartley admitted to A.D.S. 1 Army Tk Bde.  
  29-30   All very quiet. Maintenance, Bathing etc.  


Situation Report.

Appendix 'A'

To:- 50 Bn. Gp. C Sqn 44 RTR Rptd Rear 1 Army Tk Bde
From:- Main 1 Army Tank Bde
R.P,1 22-7-42

SITREP (.) 1030 hrs (.) Northern Sector (.) 24 and 26 Aust Bdes attained objectives Pt 24 and Pt 22 (.) 26 Bde heavily shelled on Pt 24 and withdrew (.) Counter attacked on Pt 22 seen forming up (.) Armd Cars held up by L.H. Coy of 24 Bde advance (.)

Remainder omitted

Sgd. R PLANT Lieut.

To:- 50 Bn. Gp. C Sqn 44 RTR Rptd Rear 1 Army Tk Bde
From:- Main 1 Army Tank Bde
R.P,3 22-7-42

SITREP (.) 1500 hrs (.) 9 Aust Div (.) Leading troops 2/28 Bn in posn 87702920 with patrols forward to objective on RUIN RIDGE (.) 1 SA Div (.) 1 SA Bde night fighting patrols found object occupied by enemy and engaged them inflicting casualties (.) 2 SA Bde patrol to 877285 found enemy positions no sign of mines (.) PW 30 Corps up to 2200 hrs 22 - German 5 Officers 326 ORS. ITALIAN 1 Officer 66 O.Rs (.) 13 Corps reports quiet night on all Divn fronts (.)

Remainder omitted

Sgd. R PLANT Lieut.

Situation Report.

Appendix 'B'

To:- 50 Bn. Gp. C Sqn 44 RTR Rptd Rear 1 ATB
From:- Main 1 Army Tank Bde
R.P.1 23-7-42

SITREP (.) 0800 hrs (.) Northern Sector (.) Enemy C/A forming up west of 24 TEL EL EISA feature was broken up by Arty(.) At 1900 hrs 2/8 Bn in support 50 RTR attacked ruin ridge 875289 - 874290 (.) Ridge taken reverse slope being consolidated (.) PW GERMAN 1 Offr 58 O.R Italian 5 O.Rs (.) No new identifications (.) Enemy dispositions last light estimated as follows(.) On coast 1 & 3 Bns 392 Regt probably supported by KIEL GP(.) A P.W. states 1 Bn 433 IR composed of low category troops have arrived in forward area from Crete (.) May be North BRIEHL Gp vicinity TEL EISA (.) Nest 200 IR and 1 & 2 Bn 155 IR with 2 Tps 18 Flak vicinity 875297 (.) Elements TRIESTE & SABARATHA div behind above units (.) 2 Bn 361 IR about 876291 (.) Force 288 & Italian Infantry divs in centre with 15 and 21 Armd Div in South ARIETE and LITTORIO Armd Divs(.) 2 bn 155 IR area 873275 (.) CENTRE sector (.) SA line from 877286 - 877282 (.) Indian hold Pt. 64 feature and have advances as fare west as 874280 (.) NZ from 876278 - 878282 (.) 1 Armd Div in area NZ Div. 20 MK 111 tanks destroyed yesterday by our tanks (.) 23 Armd Bde fought in area West of Pt 64 (.) South (.) 7 MB patrol 872272 -8682699 (.) Bde patrols EL TARA plateau (.) All informed.

Sgd. R PLANT Lt. I.O.

Appendix 'C'

(From information received up to 1800 hrs 25 July 1942)





The general disposition of the GERMAN forces North of 285 Northings grid is not thought to have altered substantially during the last three days. In addition the GERMAN forces mention in para 5 below, 11 Bn 433 Inf Regt (ex Crete) mat have come forward and relieved elements of 382 Inf Regt on the coast, but this is NOT confirmed. 580 Recce may also be in the Northern sector in the general area 873296. The GERMANs have also lost about 200 P.W. and some guns in the last few days but the guns have for the most part been replaced.





Apart from supporting Army and Corps the present strength of the GERMAN forces in the area is estimated at:-


3580 men; 19 Fd guns; 75 A.Tk Guns; 7 tanks; 16 Armd cars.

In support there is thought to be a maximum of 24 medium guns and 20-88mm.







During the last 4 days ITALIAN disposituons have been materially adjusted. It is believed that SABRATHA, which lost 64 Officers and 1080 O.Rs as P.W between 1 and 20 July has been withdrawn. The morale of the remaining ITALIANS is known to have been seriously affected by continual bombing and shelling and by our recent attacks. The GERMANS have therefore adjust the dispositions so that no substantial body of ITALIANS is in direct contact with our troops in any area. The ITALIAN infantry, however has had to be retained in order to fill gaps and to give depth to the defence and the Fd Arty is an essential supplement to the GERMAN Arty.



The present strength of the ITALIANS forces in the area is estimated at:-

910 men;  70 Med or Fd Guns; 45 A.Tk; 6 D.P; 15 Armd cars; 12 tanks.

5. The disposition of the AXIS troops are thought to be:-
1 & 111 Bns 382 Ind Regt


Coast to incl TEL EL EISA
KIEL Gp and 33 Recce - Area TEL EL EISA
361 Regt Battle Gp incl 1 Bn 361 Inf Regt - Area excl TEL EL EISA to SANYET EL MITEIRYA
1 Bn 155 Inf Regt -


200 Inf Regt Gp - Southard war to approx 284 Northing
TRIESTE - In support Wstand S.W. TEL EL EISA
TRENTO - In support areas 200 I.R.
6. Artillery.
The main gun areas are:-
(i) West and S.W. TEL EL EISA. 50 -  60 guns incl 12 to 15 88 mm
(ii) Behind (i.e. S.W) MITEIRYAb ridge, about 14 - 88mm.
(iii) S.E. MITEIRYA ridge 30 - 40 guns
7. Omitted
8.  A.F.Vs
The enemy's mobile reserved in the Northern Area is very small. His counter-attacking forces (5 and 8 Tank Regts with total estimated runners 50 on July 27) is now in area DEIR EL ARYAD - DEIR EL SHEIN - EL MIRIER.
9. Possible Enemy Re-action.

The GERMAN troops will stand form unless they actually over-run. They will NOT withdraw because of threat to their flanks and have been order to hold their positions however serious the situation becomes.

The will do everything the can to localise our attack by A.Tk guns but co-ordination will be difficult for then because GERMAN and ITALIANs are interspersed.

What they fear most;-

(a) Any advance West of QATTARA Road.
(b) A panic by the ITALIANS


26 July 42 Sgd. R PLANT Lt
I.O. 1 Army Tank Bde.

Appendix 'D'

(Based on information received from 0800 hrs 28 Jul to 1800 hrs 29 July 42)




The past 24 hrs has been quiet on all sectors, save for the engagement of opportunity targets by our Arty. The enemy is believed to have strengthened his position in the North by bringing up further GERMAN reinforcements particularly 1 Bn 115 Lorries Inf Regt.

Some further details have been received to the fighting on the 27th July, and these appear below under the heading of Ground Operations


Enemy Dispositions.

Following the regrouping of his forces yesterday enemy dispositions were estimayed at last light 28 Jul to be as follows:- 

1 & 111 Bns 382 Ind Regt





Possibly reinforced be elements of 433 IR, but there is still on evidence to PW statement as to the arrival from CRETE of this Regt. Enemy strength on the coast appears to be square 875304 thence West SW to RUIN area 872303 thence to K 109 area incl to 87453013. The eastern portion of the double "24" feature is not actually held by either side but is regularly patrolled by our troops.




Supporting 382 Regt about TEL EL EISA feature between KEIL Gp and MITEIRIYA ridge about Sq 873290 both 1 & 11 Bns 155 IR and 11 Bn 361 IR probably supported by the Arty, at least TRIESTE Div and the remnants of SABRATHA Div.

Area about 874291 to QATTARA track.

33 Recce. The HQ of the unit is believed to be about 87122907.
1 Bn 62 IR TRENTO PW capture 0600 hrs 26 Jul 875296

MITEIRIYA Ridge area.










Believed held by BRIEHL Go supported on the West of QATTARA track by a TRENTO Bn (possibly 11 Bdn 62 IR) and East of QATTARA track by 11 Bn 61 IR. As a result of ops on 27 Jul it is now believed that BRIEHL Gp has split into two colns still based mainly on 606 FLAK and 605 A.Tk Bn, but precise composition is still lacking.

Patrols from the formation on our left flank consider that the enemy forces East of the QATTARA track and North of 260 Northings grind line are GERMANS occupying a strong coy posn supported by at three A.Tk guns.

Identifications have note been obtained but it us possible that 1 Bn 115 (whose location in the North is not yet definitely known) may extend from this area.

East of QATTAR Track and South MITEIRIYA Ridge down to about 284 Northings grid.
1 and 11 Bns 200 IR interspersed with two more from TRENTO Bns, possibly with 1 Bn 61 IR and 111 Bn 61 IR (61 IR has three Bns and 62 IR has only two Bns).
3. Omitted.
4. Omitted
The following account of the operations carried out by formation of Eighth Army commencing bight 26/27 Jul can give no more that a general picture as several detail are either still lacking or are unconfirmed, and there is still obscurity as to certain phases of the operation.
The attack commenced at 0930 hrs 27 Jul when our tps, under enemy small arms and arty fire moves SW parallel to the west of the QATTARA track directed on SANYET EL MITEIRIYA ridge between 87372906 and 87532897. The attack was preceeded by a hy arty barrage on the objective. Some 1000 metres from the objective an enemy minefield was encountered astride and at right angles to the track which was the axis of advance. Our inf successfully passed through this minefield. The enemy however from a position at about 87352925 put A.Tk and MG fire onto the gap and succeeded in setting on fire the lead SAA veh which lit up the gap and the minefield in that area.Allied to this light the enemy destroyed other vehs attempting to pass through the gap until the gap was blocked with vehs and passage of the vehs was stopped. Various attempts with carriers with mortars and by patrols were made to knock out the enemy guns but neither A Ech vehs nor arty FOO vehs could get through the minefield. One arty FOO was killed in making the attempt.

Bt 0110 hrs our inf reached their objective and quelled enemy opposition despite some casualties from enemy arty, mortar and MG fire, Principle resistance to our tps came from 1 Bn 361 IR which was apparently completely wiped out except for a few stragglers. A total of three German offrs 109 German OR and 11 Italians were captured. Identifications on these PW were contained in the Intelligence Summary No 252 of 28 Jul.

Among the vehs to be destroyed on the minefield was Bn W/T set and all cmn with Fwd tps has therefore to be made with a No.18 set. The posn of the fwd tps was obscure although it was known that they had little amn left with no observed art sp. At 0200 hrs an IO attempted to make contact by approaching the ridge from the East of the Qattara track and then moving west to the fwd tps. His veh however was destroyed by mortar fie just south of the ridge and he was pinned down in square 876288 until the following morning, when mist enabled him to make his way back to our lines.

In the meantime our forces south of MITERIYA ridge had advance westwards and made gaps in the enemy minefields running from 877287 876285. They then advanced further west towards their objective but got held up on the left by strong enemy fire and supporting units in the darkness list direction. Our armour reported itself unable to pass through in the centre.

In the NE the formation on our left flank moved against the enemy posns North of 291 grid line but, owing to the course of events on the ridge were order to withdraw before coming into close contact with the enemy.

At approx 0915 hrs enemy tks and inf apparently counter attacked our tps on MITEIRIYA ridge in approx area 874282 - 875289 but no details of the fighting have become available. The fwd tps reported by their No/18 set that they were in trouble and asked for and obtained arty concentration on their front and flanks. Tk sp was also requested. This enemy force consisting probably of BRIEHL Gp assisted by element sof 15 Armd Div over-ran our fwd tps who all became casualties, but it is not known what proportion were killed or wounded.

Some of our armd forces in the Northern sector were order to attack the enemy tks on MITEIRIYA ridge and to make contact with our tps there. This attack was launched during the morning but met with arty and A.Tk fire only small numbers succeeded in reaching the objective. Enemy fire was there found too intense to enable our tks to remain and after suffering some casualties they were ordered to withdraw and to rally in the rear or our tps in area 877293.

In the centre some confusion consisted throughout the morning as to whether the gaps made in the minefield were in the right place, and the attack by our armour there had to be delayed until it became necessary for our tks to sp the withdrawal of such or our tps in the centre who were west of the minefield and threatened by counter attacks by enemy tks. This withdrawal was successfully accomplished by night fall 27 Jul but not without casualties.

Tota enemy losses in the North and centre during the operations have been conservatively estimated to be as follows:-

500 men

   3 tks knocked out (Mk 111)

   2 tks damaged (Mk 111)

   3 fd guns destroyed.

   8 Russian guns destroyed.

   5 20 mm guns destroyed

The casualties to enemy tks and to 2 enemy guns were caused by our armd forces. It is considered quite possible that the enemy had further losses through our intense and accurate art fire, results of which however could not be observed.

8. Omitted.



      R PLANT Lieut
                 Field. I.O. 1 Army Tank Bde.


Operational Orders




Copy No. 1

Ref Maps:- 1/100,000 EL HAMMAN.

21 Jul 42

1/100,000 EL DABA - EL ALAMEIN.
1/250,000 EL DABA.





In accordance  with the latest Intelligence Summaries and Daily Sitreps.




The Northern portion of the enemy front from 290 Northing grid to the sea is now held by German troops supported by elements of the Italian Trieste and Sabratha Divisions. The German forces have been identified in this part of the front are:-



Elements of 90 Lt Div.

33 Recce Bn.

200 Light Inf Regt.

1st and 3rd Bns 382 Light Inf Regt.

1st and 2nd Bns of 361 Inf Regt.

1st Bn 104 Light Inf Regt.

3. Enemy troops in this area are known to be in possession of a considerable amount of A/A., A.Tk., and Fld Arty, the details positions of which change from day to day.
Own Troops.


Eighth Army is attacking to destroy the enemy's army in it's present location



13 Corps are to attack and secure the track EL ALAMEIN - NAQB ABU DWEISS between 869280 and 867276, and to exploit in order to destroy the enemy's forces.

6. 30 Corps are to conform to the advance of 13 Corps in the South, and to be prepared to pursue towards DABA
7. 30 Corps is composed of:-
(a) 1 S.A. Div, who are maintain the EL ALAMEIN defences and to conform to the advance to the advance of 30 Corps as far as the 875 Easting Grid.
(b) 9 AUst Div, with 1 Army Tk Bde under command, are to capture and secure the following successive objectives:-

Objective. 1. Pt.24 (873302) - TEL EL EISA (872299) - Carin 875296 - re-entrant 876294, Wst of trig 22 (876295).

Objective. 2. Pt 22 (870296) (Pt 21 on 1/50,000 map).

Objective. 3. Pt. 30 (87002927)

8.  1 Army Tk Bde will support 9 Aust Div and after capture of Objective 1 by 9 Aust Div will capture successively:-

(i) Pt. 22 (870296

(ii) Pt.30 (87002927)

Moves to Assembly Positions.



CC Bty, 5 R.H.A. will move onto the rd North of their present location at last light turning again North again along the telephone wires to 89052935, thence Westwards along the track to the Southern  portion of square 879300.


50 R Tanks will move at last light behind CC Bty 5 RHA using the same route and will assemble on arrival in square 879299.

11. Det Fd Tp, 9 Field Sqn, will move behind 50 R Tanks and will assemble immediately to the North of their area. Remainder of Tp will remain in present area until further orders.
12. D Coy, 7 R.B. Will move to area square 878296 at first light 22 July 42.
13. C Sqn 44 R Tanks will move at 0700 hrs 22 July 42 to area 883296 where it remain in Bde reserve.
14. A Tp, 37 Lt. A.A. Regt will move to area square 885295 and will be prepare to come into action at first light 22 Jul 41.



A Bty 73 A.Tk Regt and A Sqn 6 S.A. Amd Car Regt will remain in their present locations in Bde reserve and will be prepared to move forward at first light from Bde HQ.

50 R Tanks.



On orders from Bde H.Q. 50 R Tanks will move out and form up facing West on a start line running South from a point 400 yds South of the "WHITE HOUSE" (878297). They will form up one Sqn up on a frontage of 1200 yds.
17. On receipt of further orders from Bde H.Q. 50 R Tanks will advance and capture the second objective (Pt.22).



50 R Tanks will link up with 2/28 Aust Inf Bn in the Assembly area and the two reserve Sqns will carry one Coy Inf and one Pl M.G. on the backs of the tanks from the Assembly Area to the second objective.
Det Fd Tp. 9 Fd Sqn
19. Det Fd Tp will follow close behind the tanks and will be prepared to clear any minefields encountered by the leading tanks.
D Coy 7 R.B.
20. D Coy 7 R.B will move at first light to 878296 and will be prepared to move behind 50 R Tanks mopping up on orders to be received from Bde HQ.



On the arrival of 2/28 Aust Bn on the second objective, 50 R Tanks will immediately advance to and capture the third objective (Pt.30), subject to any other orders that may be issued by R/T by Bde H.Q. at the time.



On arrival of the 43rd Aust Bn on the third objective, 50 R Tanks will rally  in area 974296, where tanks will immediately be replenished. One Sqn will be made ready at once to oppose any enemy counter-attack
Attack on Second Objective.



After the capture if the first objective by 9 Aust Div, CC Bty, 5 R.H.A. will move on orders from Bde H.Q. to area square 876296 ready to support 50 R Tanks in their attack on second objective.




During the advance of 50 R Tanks to the second objective a covering smoke screen, with a proportion of H.E. will be put down by artillery on the orders of H.Q. 9 Aust Div on the line of the 8745 Easting grid from 87452975. This smoke screen will advance 300yds lifts at the rate of 6 m.p.h halting on a line 600 yds West of the second objective. A F.O.O. from 9 Aust Div will accompany 50 R Tanks to control the fire.
Attack on Third Objective.
25. Artillery support during the advance to the third objective will be entirely by observation.
26. 1 Army Tk Bde will be prepared to exploit towards DABA after the capture of third objective.
27. The R.A.F. is providing fighter cover from dawn to 1000 hrs D.2 over the area West of 880 Easting grid between 287 and 303 Northing grids.
Recognition of Forward Troops.



The R.A.F are replying more and more on ST. ANDREW'S Crosses and roundels for recognising the position of our troops. All units will clean these roundels or ST. ANDREW'S Crosses at periods throughout the day so as to prevent their being obliterated by dust.




In order to keep the R.A.F informed of the approximate progress of our advance, the leading tanks of the Brigade will either burn one groups candles for 15 minutes or will charge three smoke cartridges at 0630, 0930, 1230, 1830 hrs daily. Leading troops need not halt for this period; the smoke candles will be taken as an indication and not as a precise.
Rations, water, P.O.L. and Amn.



Recent arrangements will continue until the enemy withdraw completely west of EL ALAMEIN - QATTARA track when 110 F.M.C. which is on wheels, will open up on area 422903. Second line transport will then draw from 110 F.M.C.
B Echelons.



Unit A and B Echelons will remain under control but will not move forward with units to the Assembly Area. Units will be responsible for informing their second line R.A.S.C. of the new locations of their B Echelons, and the arrangement of replenishment areas.



All Bde recovery vehicles under control of Capt Crittall will move from Bde Workshops to area 887294, from which are recovery will be organised under orders from Bde H.Q.



Det 7 Lt Fld Amb will move at first light 22 July 42 to area 885295. Subsequent moves will be made on orders from Bde. H.Q. A.D.S. at 879295. M.D.S. 437902.


The Bde R.A.S.C. Officer will co-ordinate and supervise the working of all Bde R.A.S.C. vehicles



Communications as per Signal Instruction No.11 already issued, will be established at 0400 hrs 22 July. Permanent listening watch on all stations will be maintained from that time.


Great attention will be paid to security and codes as already issued will be used for all messages between Bde H.Q. and unit rear links.


Tactical Bde H.Q. will open at 885750 at 2100 hrs 21 Jul 42. After the capture of the 2nd objective Bde H.Q. will move to 877296.


Positions of recognition pennants for period commencing 22 Jul 42 is ONE TOP ONE CENTRE
39 Answer to challenge signal for B vehicles is one Blue Flag held horizontally.
40. ACK



  Bde Major




Copy No. 1

Ref Maps:- 1/100,000 EL ALAMEIN.

26 Jul 42

1/250,000 EL DABA.





As in Operation Order No.13. General dispositions have not changed but detailed changes have been shown in daily Sitreps.


It is thought that the enemy has been constructing strongpoints in the area of Ruin on RUIN RIDGE during that last few days.

3. A trace showing all minefields located up to date and Intelligence Report No. 31 are being issued separately.
Own Troops.









30 Corps is attacking during night 26/27 July as follows:-

(a) 24 Aust Inf Bde is to capture and secure rdige from 87372906 to 87532897, and is then to establish a post on the Qattara Track in area Pt.30 (87542896).

This objective is to be captured not later that 0200 hrs 27 Jul 42.

Troops on this 24 Aust Bde objective will not be further West than 87572906, the Western limit of the objective, so as to enable Artillery fire to be provided for exploitation.

(b) 69 Inf Bde is to attack from the East and to secure the QATTARA Rd from Kilom13 to Kilo 16and 1,000 yds West of this line at daybreak 27 Jul 42.




On capture of these objectives, 1 Armd Div is passing through to attack the enemy rear areas as follows:,

(a) 2 Armd Bde to move through 69 Inf Bde area to gain control of the area South of the ridge Trig 30 (840002927) - RUIN 875289 and West of 69 Bde objective, and to protect the Southern flank 69 Inf Bde.

(b) 1 Armd Div (less 2 Armd Bde) is to exploit to the West and N.W.

6. 1 Army Tank Bde remains under command of 9 Aust Div.



24 Aust Inf Bde is to attack westwards with artillery support at first light 27 July 42 to secure the continuation of the ridge West of the objective in the area 872290 - 873290.




1 Army Tk Bde will be prepared:-

(a) To support 24 Aust Inf Bde in their attack on the area 872290 - 873290 and 

(b) When objective given in sub-para (a) is secured, to capture the area Pt.30 (870292) - Pt.27 (863291)

Moves to Assembly Positions.



50 R Tanks will assemble in the area 877293 in close touch with 43 Aust Inf Bn. They will move to this assembly area during hours of darkness 26/27 July at a time to be mutually arranged between O.C. 50 Tanks and O.C. 43 Aust Inf Bn.


D Coy 7 R.B. will assemble in the area West in Eastern half of Square 876293, passing through the perimeter of the ALAMEIN defences on the road at 2400 hrs.

11. CC Bty R.H.A will assemble in area West in Western half of Square 876293, passing through the perimeter on the road 0030 hrs.



A Bty 73 A.Tk Regt (less one tp) wll move to area 87832923, passing the perimeter on the road at 0100 hrs. One Tp will report to D Coy 7 R.B. before last light 26 Jul and will move in support of that Coy



A Tp, 37 Lt. A.A. Regt will assemble in areas South Western half of Square 878293 with CC Bty 5 R.H.A. and at first light 27th Jul will be disposed to give A.A. protection to assembly area..





O.C. Fd Tp 9 Fd Sqn will detail detachments as follows:-

(a) Once detachment equipped for mine detecting and removing to accompany D Coy R.B.

(b) Once detachment equipped for mine detecting and removing to accompany 50 R Tanks.

Both these detachments will report to the units concerned before last light 26 July 42.

The remainder of the Tp will assemble in the North of Square 878295 leaving their present location at 0130 hrs. Their further movement will be ordered by Bde H.Q.


A Sqn 6 S.A. Amd Car Regt will move to area 882296 and will arrive there by first light, but not before 0300 hrs 27 Jul 42.

Method of  Attack.





Should 28 Aust Inf Bn fail to capture RUIN RIDGE, 50 R Tanks will be prepared to support 43 Aust Inf Bn onto objective if they require tank assistance.




50 R Tanks will be prepared to support 43 Aust Inf Bn in their exploitation to 872290 - 873290 should they require tank assistance.




(a) Assuming that 24 Aust Inf Bde have captured their objectives without the assistance of 50 R Tanks, 1 Army Tank Bde will advance and capture the area Pt. 30 (870292) - Pt.27 (868291).

(b) The Centre Line for this advance will be line 87702935 to Pt. 30 87002928

Det Fd Tp. 9 Fd Sqn



The decision as to commitment of otherwise of the tanks in each of these phases will be made by this H.Q. and orders will be issued accordingly by L.O. or R/T.
Order of March for Phase.3.





The order of march for Phase 3 will be:-
D Coy 7 R.B.
50 R Tanks.
A Bty 73 A.Tk Regt (less one Tp)
Unit Tasks in Phase 3
D Coy 7 R.B.





D Coy 7 R.B. will move with the Centre Line as their axis of advance.


(a) To report the presence of the enemy on the centre line and 1,000 yds each side of it.

(b) With the assistance of A Bty 73 A.Tk Regt, to form a strong-point in a suitable area between Pt.30 and Pt.27 on orders from Bde H.Q.

50 R Tanks.




50 R Tanks will move 3,000 yds in rear D Coy 7 R.B.


To capture the area Pt.30 - Pt.27, and to secure that area until relieved by D Coy 7 R.B. and A Bty 73 A.Tk Regt.

CC Bty 5 R.H.A.




(a) O.C. CC Bty 5 R.H.A. will detail one F.O.O for close support of D Coy 7 R.B and one F.O.O. for close support of 50 R Tanks during the advance.

Tasks:- To support D Coy 7 R.B. and 50 R Tanks by observed fire.

(b) One F.O.O. from 3rd Fd Regt will accompany 50 R Tanks for support by observed fire.

A Bty 73 A.Tk Regt




A Bty 73 A.Tk Regt will move immediately in rear of 50 R Tanks.


(a) The protection of the flanks and the rear of 50 R Tanks durng the advance.

(b) On arrival at objective, the support of D Coy 7 R.B., in consolidation.

A Tp, 37 Lt A.A. Bty.



A Tp 37 Lt A.A. Bty  will provide A.A. protection for CC Bty, 5 R.H.A.

They will also be prepared to move forward to area Pt . 30 - Pt. 27 when ordered by Bde H.Q.

A Sqn 6 S.A. Armd Car Regt.




A Sqn 6 S.A. Armd Car Regt will be prepared from first light to move up the centre line on orders from Bde H.Q. and from there on a general axis to GHAZAL Station 8531.


Reporting the presence or otherwise of enemy in the area of the advance.

27. Forward rally from 50 R Tanks - 871239. Codeword - BUGGINS. Rear rally for 50 R Tanks and rest of Bde - 876292. Codeword - BLACKBIRD.
Success Signal.


Capture of Pt.30 - Pt.27 feature by 50 R Tanks will be notified by the code word BANANA.
Rations, water, P.O.L. and Amn.

As per Operation Order No.13.
B Echelons.


Unit A and B Echelons will remain in their present locations, but will be brigaded under command Major W.D. Bazley of 50 R Tanks.



All Bde recovery vehicles under control of Capt Crittall will remain in their present location, from which recovery will be organised under orders from Bde H.Q.



Det 7 Lt Fld Amb will move with Bde H.Q. at the time to be notified later.

A.D.S. will be established at  87922938 at first light on 26 July 42.



Communications as per Signal Instruction No.11 already issued, will be maintained.


Great attention will be paid to security and the following codes will be used between Bde H.Q. and unit read links.
1 Army Tk Bde R/T Code No.2.
1 Army Tk Bde Replenishment Code No.3.
Map Reference Code No.40.
Appointments Code No.40.


Tactical Bde H.Q. will open at 87882958 at 2100 hrs 26 Jul 42.


Positions of recognition pennants is ONE TOP ONE CENTRE. The Bde Commander's tanks will fly one additional pennant.
37 Answer to challenge signal for B vehicles is one Blue Flag held horizontally.
38. A Liason Offiicer with a wireless set from Bde H.Q. will be at H.Q. 2 Armd Bde from evening 26 Jul 42.
39. ACK



  Bde Major


August 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
TEL-EL-EISA 31 July   Slight shelling in the Bty area, causing one casualty Gnr. Wallace.C.A. wounded but not serious.

1530 - Bty rejoined the Regt in concentration area 7 miles Eat of EL ALAMEIN Station

EL ALAMEIN Aug 1 & 2   Reconnaissance of battle positions for counter attack role carried out west of concentration area.  
  1   Gnr. Hardy rejoined the Bty from hospital  
  3   Regt moved West to harbour area near battle positions.

Gnr. Yurovitch admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.

  4   H Tp moved West of the minefields & S.E. of ALAMEIN station and carried out some sniping at enemy positions about MITEIRIYA RIDGE returning to harbour after dark.

Gnr. Pennifold admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.

  5   C Tp carried out training, including occupation of positions and returned after dark.  
EL ALAMEIN 6   Battle positions were occupied by daylight for practice.

Gnr. Hale admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.

  7   Battle positions were occupied after dark for practice.

2/Lt. P.B.A Wickham admitted to hospital.

  8   Bdr. Bailey appointed L/Sgt.

2/Lt. V.M. Hill R.H.A rejoined Bty from Hospital

D/M Mc.Dowall, Dvr, Shephard, Dvr. Nicholls. admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.

  9/10   Bty moved at last light to a position about 2 miles SE of EL ALAMEIN Station, whence they fired two counter Bty tasks, returning to harbour approx 0130 hrs. Flash spotters reported that all rounds fell in the target area.  
  11-14   Battle positions were dug in and improved. Training was carried out under Tps. Bty & Regt.  
  12   Gnr. Woodman, Gnr (ER) Thomas. admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.  
  13   Gnr. Smith.GW admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.  
  14   Gnr. Venables admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.  
  15   Gnrs. Finlayson and Groombridge rejoined the Bty from Hospital.

Bty too part in 23 Armd Bde Gp Exercise PANTHER.

  16   Regt. less G Bty (Mercer's Tp) moved with 23 Armd Bde Gp to new harbour area on RUWEISAT RIDGE, East of 5 Indian Div., with a new counter attack role from the new area.

Gnr. Inglis rejoined the Bty from Hospital.

  18   Gnr. Howard.J.W admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.  
  19   Regt rook part in a practice of Bde manoeuvre and formation drill. Operation instruction was received from Regt., giving the Bde Gp 3 possible counter attack tasks.  
RUWEISAT RIDGE 20/21   C Tp carried out night navigation practice, occupying a position during the night, and returning as first light next morning.  
  21/22   H Tp carried out the same practice as C Tp being in action about 1 hour sooner than C Tp on the previous night.  
  20-22   Recces carried out for counter attack roles.  
  22   Bdr. Gillespie rejoined the Bty from Hospital.

Bde Gp carried out a practice ACTION STATIONS and then took up positions for one of the three counter attack roles.

  23-26   Further recce carried out and plans made in more detail.  
  24   A further task was added to the original three - (to work in conjunction with 10 Armd Div.)

L/Bdr Brown admitted to 7th Lt. Fld Amb.

  25   5 R.H.A. Operation Instruction No.10 issued, giving plans for each of the four alternative task. See Appendix 'A'
  26   Regt took part in Bde Exercise which was practice for one counter attack task.  
  27   Gnr. Haworth, Gnr. Hiscock, L/Bdr Bartley.. DM Mc.Dowall rejoined the Battery from Hospital.

Gnr. Wigmore posted to the Battery from R.A. Base.

  28   Regt took part in Bde Exercise which was a practice for another counter attack task.  
  31 0445

ACTION STATIONS received. Enemy reported advancing in South and to have penetrated 5 Ind. Div., Line a short way.

    0800 Bty went in action in concentration area (BOMBAY).  
    1115  Received order to move South to other previously prepared positions facing South (AUCKLAND).  
    1300 n action in new position. Enemy armour reported advancing East to our South.  



Officer Commanding
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 is a copy of a letter which I have just received from the C in C.. Home Forces. It is forwarded for the information all ranks.

7 Aug 42 Sd. R.R. Hoare. Lt.Col., R.H.A.


5th Regt., R.H.A.


HF/1563/ C in C. General Headquarters,
      Home Forces
8 May, 1942

Thank you for your letter of 3rd May and for the good wishes from yourself and the Regiment, which I greatly appreciate.

I thank you also, and those under your command, for the high example you have set us in Home Forces through your excellent standards of esprit-de-corps, battle efficiency and turn-out: it has been second to none.

I send to you and all ranks my best wishes for your future and my regret at losing such a fine unit from Home Forces.



Yours Sincerely
(sgd) B.T. PAGET
Lt.Col. Rawdon Hoare, D.S.O., M.C.


5th Regiment. R.H.A



September 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1   Enemy tanks and MET reported moving East and North area DEIR EL DAAVIS etc during the day. Numerous opportunity targets were engages by F.O.Os who reported a great deal of fire being effective. No attack materialised and 50 R.T.R. withdrew to leaguer round Bty area for night.  
  2 0615 Regtl concentration of 5 R.P.G. fired  
    1715 F.O.Os engaged a large number of targets consisting of enemy tanks, guns and MET during the day. It was reported that the enemy was short of petrol and orders were given to harass him as much as possible.  
  2   Gnrs, Benjamin and Baker rejoined the Bty from Hospital.

Gnrs, Shepherd and Thomas rejoined the Bty from Hospital.

  3   Bty still in action in same position.  
  3 a.m F.O.Os reported enemy withdrawing to West and N.W. he was continually harrassed by gunfire and R.A.F bombing. F.O.Os again engaged many targets effectively pushing forward with Recce troop of 50 R.T.R. to obtain observation. It became obvious later in the day that the enemy was withdrawing Wst behind a strong screen of guns and tanks, hoping to recover as many stores etc as possible. Ammunition expenditure C Tp 124 rds H.E. H Tp 304 H.E.  
  3   Sgt Townsend admitted to hospital and returned on 10-9-42.

Sgt O.Brien admitted to Hospital.

  4   Some bombing during the night one medium bomb falling between "D" and "H" Troop. No casualties. Enemy continued his withdrawl Westward and maintaining his screen of guns in DEIR EL MUSASSIB.  

Targets were rapidly becoming out of range, but permission was refused by RHQ to move the Bty forward. 

F.O.Os moved forward S.W. with fighting patrols from 50 R.T.R. but visibility became extremely band during the afternoon. "H" Tp O.P. received hits from H.E. splinters and Gnrs. Botting and Smith were slightly wounded.

Gnrs. Botting and Smith admitted to hospital and returned on 7-9-42.

Bdr. Whieldon admitted to hospital.

  5   F.O.Os again moved forward with patrols and found enemy still moving West in area of Munassib Depression.  
    0930 Targets were nearly all out of range and permission was granted to move Bty to new area 5000x S.W.  
    1030 Targets were again at extreme range and Bty moved further West to another position.  
      Both Troops engages targets of MET., guns and Ind and mush fire was observed effective several direct hits being obtained on vehicles.  
    1900 Bty left position and leagured 3 miles N.E.  
  6 0800

Bty returned to position.


No F.O.Os were allowed to be sent forward and enemy appeared to be at extreme range again, so no firing was done.

Enemy still appear to hold QARET EL HIMEIMAT and North edge of MUNASSIB DEPRESSION.

    1600 Bty withdrew North to leaguer at Pt. 80, where it had been when the battle commenced.  
  7 1200 Bty moved back to position occupied on previous day.  
    1450 Bty moved to AUCKLAND position occupied at the start of the battle. This seems to merely a precaution as the battle appears to all intents and purposes to be over.  
  8   Remained in position during the day and formed close leaguer with 50 R.T.R. at last light. No F.O.Os were sent out and the day was spent in maintenance.

Gnrs. Webber, Rispin and Hunter returned to the Bty.

  9-13   Bty remained in action in same position forming close leaguer on its own in this areas each night. No F.O.Os were sent out, but 50 R.T.R. remained in position on ridge 1500x South of our position  
  12   "C" Troop moved S.W. to forward position and engaged enemy positions on the S edge of DEIR EL MUHAFID returning to Bty position by noon. Subalterns took the shoots for practice and an enemy M.G. posts was located and successfully engaged. The O.P was slightly shelled and machine gunned - no casualties.  
    1900 Bty position was bomber by M.E. 109s and L/Sgt. Bailey and L/Bdr Evans were wounded.  
  13   L/Bdr Loaded wounded in the back by stray small arms bullet and admitted to hospital.  
  14 0900 Regt. moved about 9 miles East with 23 Amrd Bde Group to new area.  
  15 1600 Regt took part in Bde Gp Exercise as rehearsal for operational role in the new area.  
  16   Gnr. Rispin admitted to hospital.

Gnr. Hale returned to the Battery.

  20   Gnr. Cooper.S.E. admitted to hospital and discharged on 29-9-42.  
  21 0700 Regt left 23 Armd Bde Gp to join 8 Armd Div in area of KILO 32, having been relived by 121? Fd Regt. RA.  
  21   Leagured for night about KILO 32  
  22   Leagured in area of Kilo 32 and sent Bty to MENA for baths and replenishment of canteen stores etc.  
  23 0930 Regt moved about 25 miles west across the desert to new leaguer area near GEBEL RUZZA.  
  23   Gnr. Woodhall admitted to hospital.

Gnr. Lapidus and Dvr, Nicholls returned to the Bty.

  24 1200 Regt. proceeded on Divisional Exercise, the Bty joining 47 R.T.R. Regtl Group. A night move through minefields was practices and all Bty vehicles successfully completed the journey, in spite of much soft sand.  
  25   Returned from Div Exercise.  
      Lt. Allon, Lt Hill and Gnr Smith J.N. admitted to hospital.   
  25-26   Maintenance.  
  26   Gnr. Parfitt admitted to hospital.  
  27   Bty moved East to new Regtl area near QARET-EL-RAML.  
  28   2/Lt. Wickham returned to the Bty.  
  29   Battery was inspected by Major-Gen C.H. Gairdner. C.B.E. Cmdg 8 Armd Div, who addressed Officers. W.Os, Sgts and Bdrs.

Lt. Stone and Gnr. Murrell admitted to hospital.

  30   Bty moved a few miles North ready for firing practice next day being in action by 1600 hrs. Echelons and Vehicles undergoing repairs etc were left behind in Regt area.  
  28-30   More time was available for maintenance and overhaul of vehicles which had been hampered by continual moves, Exercises and uncertainty about future moves. Numerous moves through soft sand proved as severe strain on vehicles, many of which require overhaul and repairs which could not be carried out until the Battery was stationary for a few days.  
  29   Sgt. Brodie admitted to hospital and discharged on 6-10-42.  


October 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1 0700 - 1200 Bty carried out firing Practice.  
    1800 Bty leagured with 47 R.T.R. for night 1/2 Oct  
      Gnr. Young.S.H and L/Bdr Layhe, admitted to hospital.  
  2   Moved out on Exercise with 47 R.T.R. & 41 R.T.R.

Carried out night movement practices with 47 R.T.R.

L/Bdr. Brown rejoined the Bty from hospital.

80541058 3 0930 Disperse and returned to old Bty area.  
      Guns sent to ABASSIA under Lt. Barlow for modification.

L/Sgt. Armstrong admitted to hospital.

  4   Gnr. Bates and L/Bdr. Arnold admitted to hospital.  
  5   Bty went out in skeleton for a Bde Exercise.

Gnr. Hayton and Pte Jackson admitted to hospital.

  6   Guns returned from ABASSIA.

Sgt. Brodie returned to the Bty from Hospital

  7   Returned from Exercise.  
  8   Bty went out of Div., Exercise and fired in support of 24 Armd Bde.

Gnrs. Webber and Rispin returned to the Bty from hospital.

  9   Bty less O.Ps returned and prepared for move.  
  10   Moved to new area. Proceeded along CAIRO - ALEXANDRIA Rd from Kilo 36 to ALEXANDRIA. Leagured for the night at Kilo 34.  
  11   Continued along CAIRO - ALEXANDRIA Rd and turned off at Kilo 14, moving S.W. F.O.Os on Exercise reached new area and meet Advance Party from Bty. Bty Leaguered for the night as it was impossible to reach new area before dark.  
49708640 12   Moved to new Regtl. area near ALAM EL MAQATLA.  
  13   2/Lt. Makinson. Posted to the Bty.

Lt. Whitley and Gnr Thornton admitted to hospital.

  14   Echelon joined 24 Armd Bde B2 Echelon. Sent representatives on scheme to practice movement through minefields.  
49488668 15   Joined 47 R.T.R. Regtl. Group.  
  18   Dvr. Llewellyn admitted to hospital.  
  19   Gnrs Pinckheard and Wigmore admitted to hospital.  
470886     Moved forward by night to staging area, 9 miles S.S.E. of EL HAMMAN.  
  20   Gnr. Venables and Dvr. Shepherd admitted to hospital.  
440888 21   Bty less Guns and O.Ps moved to assembly area.  
  22   Lt. H. Swain posted to the Battery.  
440888 22   Guns and O.Ps moved by night with 47 R.T.R. to same assembly area, forming up ready for move forward through minefield. See Appendix 'A' (Layout and Plans)
  23   Remained in Assembly area, making final arrangements for the attack, planned to start that night.

Owing to the illness of Capt Elston, Lt. Alton-Nagel was attached from RHQ at the last minute to act as Bty. Capt.

    2150 Moved forward from Assembly area with 47 R.T.R. onto Boat route forming the leading Regtl Gp, of 24 Armd Bde.  
  23   Dvr. Walker and Gnr. Frank admitted to hospital.  
  24 0540 Advance went according to plan, as far as we were concerned, until we reached the exist from the first minefield, where we were forced to halt under spasmodic enemy shellfire. The area here was very crowded and it was only with difficulty that we were able to get any dispersion at all.  
87402922   1120 Managed to clear as area in front on the minefield large enough to get the Bty into action. It was apparent before this that the advance has been help up on MITARIYA RIDGE in front of us and 47 R.T.R. has deployed along this line. No suitable targets presented themselves. The Bty was slightly shelled periodically throughout the day and a number of enemy round fired at our tanks burst on the Bty area.  
    2115 One explosive A.P. bullet wounded L/Sgt Mills, L/Bdr Bradshaw and D/M Stone, the two former dieing later that night in ADS.  
  24 2215 - 2315

Barrage was fired to support Tank and Infantry night attack.

There was a certain amount of bombing and shelling in the area and a large number of vehicles were set on fire on the ridge in front.



  2315 A report was brought back that the attack has not been entirely successful and it indicated that the Bty position might be in danger of infantry attack. In view of this report, the Bty was moved back a few hundred yards to a position on the other side of the minefield.  

Bdr. Swinhoe slightly injured.

Gnr. Howard. J.W. admitted to hospital

  25 0100 Some enemy bombing was experience and Lt H Swain was killed while in charge of a Party reeling in wire on the old position.  
    0630 47 R.T.R. reported to have reached objective "PIERSON".  
      Capt. Williams joined 47 R.T.R. as F.O.O.  
  25 1048 "C" Tp moved N.W. to new position  
    1312 "H" Tp stepped up to Bty Positions by "C" Tp.  
    1000 onwards Targets engaged by both troops.  
    1600 "T" Troop situation report - Slight movement of enemy vehicles close to O.P. visibility about 6 - 7 thousand yards. Much movement of soft vehicles on horizon mostly S/E/ Tanks on left being shelled. Area obscured by smoke.  
    2325 Orders received to move to areas further North.  
  25   Gnr Benjamin admitted to hospital.  
  26 0020 Withdrew from Central Sector and moved North to exploit gains by Australian Div., and 1 Armd. Div.  


Reached new assembly area on STAR track. 24 Armd Bde tanks appeared during the morning and at 1500 the Bty went into action in the assembly area to support them if necessary

    1500 Capt. Wixley remained with 47 R.T.R. as F.O.O.  

No firing during the day.

A small amount of shelling and bombing in the area

Bdr. Ewing slightly wounded.

  27   During the morning a few targets were engaged. A Tank battle was reported in progress to the WEST. Our tanks were reported to be advancing and many prisoners were being taken. Reports during the day indicated a general withdrawal of the main enemy forces, guns abandoned and prisoners taken.  
87412943   1820 "C" Tp advances 1 mile west to decrease the range for firing a barrage.  
    2230 - 2330 Bty fired barrage in support of Infantry attack (133 Inf. Bde).  
      Gnr/Fit. Bolton admitted to Hospital.  
87462949 28 0830 "H" Tp moved up to "C" Tp to form a Bty position again. All areas were very crowded and it was extremely difficult to find sufficient space for Bty Position. Although desirable , it was impossible to move the Bty further forward, owing to the conjestion.  

Our air superiority was luckily very marked, otherwise considerable casualties from enemy bombing could not have been avoided.

Capt. Williams took over F.O.O with 47 R.T.R.

Several reports of enemy tanks, anti-tank guns and columns of M.T. were received. Regtl., or Divisional fire was bought down on several such targets and results appeared successful as far as could be observed. Several targets were successfully engaged with observed fire.

L/Bdr. Evans slightly wounded. Sgt. Murray and Gnr. Webb seriously wounded.

87462949 29  

Battery still in same position.

Lt. Belgrave took over duties of F.O.O.

Numerous targets of enemy MET and guns engaged by observed, Regtl., and Divisional fire. Some prisoners reported to have taken. 

  29 1850 Last light reports indicated a tank battle in progress and calls for predicted fire onto several tasks were answered between 1900 and 2359 hrs.  

Sgt Townsend and Gnr. Carter.E admitted to hospital.

  30   Lt. Ross posted to the Bty.  
    0006 Bty answered further calls for fire.  
      Lt. Barstow took over duties of F.O.O.  
    1030 Bty moved forward to new area, about 2000x west of previous one.  
      Visibility was poor during most of the day, but observed, Regtl., and Divisional fire was brought down on enemy M.T., guns and Infantry.  
    1820 Last light reports showed little activity on the front.  

Lt. Barrow took over duties of F.O.O. His tank was hit by A/Tk fire and burst into flames. All personnel managed to escape from the tank without injury. The driver, L/Sgt. Ede was largely responsible for this, as he pulled L/Bdr Brown through the driver's hatch when he became stuck. Brown was later wounded by small arms fire. Lt. Barrow sustained burns.

As the Regt was not supporting any particular unit, no further F.O.O. was sent out from the Bty on that day.

Divisional and Regtl fire calls were answered.

Some shell fire and bombing in the area.

Sgt. Stewart slightly wounded.

Pte. Conkleton admitted to hospital.




Summary of Operational Orders and Plans.




Subject:- 24 Armd Bde Gp O.O. No.1.

Officer only.

Officer Commanding.
   G Bty (Mercer's Tp) R.H.A.
   K Bty  R.H.A.
   CC Bty R.H.A.

          Herewith extracts from a/m order for  information.



24 Armd Bde Gp will move from present location to staging and assembly positions for Operation "Lightfoot".





Moves will be carried out in two Phases:

Phase.1.     From present location to staging area.

Phase.11.   From staging area to assembly area.

3. Phase.1. will take place on the 19th Oct (Code word "BITCH") trace showing all minefields located up to date and Intelligence Report No. 31 are being issued separately.











Regtl Gps will be complete by 12000 hrs on the day of move. Each Gp consisting of:- 

One Armd Regt.
One Motor Coy.
One Bty 5 R.H.A.
One Tp Lt A.A. Bty.
One R.E. Recce detachment 6 Fld Sqn.
Detachment 8th Lt Fld Amb.







Wheeled and track vehicles will move independently and by separate routes. Wheels vehicles of units will move in double line ahead either side of centre line.



Units will be responsible for guiding columns from present location to S.P. and from D.Ps to locations in the staging area. Units should keep to the marked tracks as much as possible as the going elsewhere is indifferent.
All units will carry out recce of routes and staging areas between 16th and 19th Oct. Recces to be completed by 1800 hrs 19th Oct 42.
7. Pro.










D.A.P.M will mark and light centre line for wheels with green lights.

Centre line for tracks will be marked by green lights at 3 to 4 miles intervals. Owing to the short numbers of lights available, unit navigators must carry out a detailed recce of routes before hand.


Centre lines will be picked up under orders of DAA and QMG


Police will be posted at the worse places along the wheeled routes to indicate diversions. Red lights will be used for this purpose.
8. Concealment.


All AFVS and tracked vehicles will follow one anothers tracks and NOT move on a broad front.



Tanks will be halted short of the staging area and each unit will be responsible for guiding from DP to alloted positions. It is of the utmost importance that there is NO sharp swinging in the staging or assembly areas.


Officers will see that track marks are obliterated and that all nets are adjust without delay by each crew.


The movement of all vehicles will be kept to a minimum in both the staging and assembly areas after arrival.








B1 echelons will move with units.


B2 will move Brigaded under Bde B.Echelon Command.


Recce section will move behind the wheeled vehicles.


ADS will open in staging area in location of 8 Lt Fld Amb.
(e) FAP, X.!,. Y.1, move under Cmd. Brigade B.Echelon. Cmd.



Wireless silence throughout move.


Maid Bde HQ wil open at 74758855 at approx 2045 hrs 20 Oct, closing present location at same time.


Units will report by DR to Main Bde HQ when in position is staging area, with details of location within their areas.
11. PHASE.11 Staging area to assembly area.
Assembly area.

Tracing att (Appendix "P") shows the assembly area and tracks leading to it.

Appendix "Q" att shows the composition of each serial ("sidebone") leading into the routes Mat A and B, Boat A and B and Bottle A, Each serial will be lead to it marking point on the route right of the one by which it is to move out; and will then then half left without halt, dispersing with heads at a cairn on its exit route. Appendix "Q" is issued on a scale sufficient to allo one being issued to each Sqn, Bty, Coy or equivalent Cmd.

(Appendix "P" not yet issued)

12. Move.




Will take place in accordance with table "S" att (Not available to Btys). The move between SP and DP will be at 40 vtm and 9 mih. Columns will pass SP and DP at 80 vtm ad 7 mih. The timings in movement tables are such that columns will need to check to pass DP at correct times. This should be done 1 mile East of DP.




Columns will form up on "A" track 100 yds East of SP facing West in Gps in succession, as shown in movement table S. The leading unit in each Gp will detail a Gp Comdr who will check that his Gp is present before passing SP. Gps will be broken up at DP and units will move independently under unit guides thereafter.
(c) Columns will pass through the mine field gaps at 80 vtm and 7 mih and there must be no check until the assembly area is reached.
(d)  Cmdr of leading vehicle of each serial will shout out his serial number on reaching DP.
13. Adv Parties.


Units will detail advance parties who will report to 2 i/c Bde at Bde HQ in staging area with Tpt at 0800 hrs 21 Oct.




These parties will move to assembly areas 24 hrs ahead of main body and carry out the following duties:

1:   Ensure Assembly area is laid out correctly.

11: Provide guides at DP to lead units into assembly areas, where further guides will lead each serial onto correct side lines.

(c) Composition of Adv Parties.
One Officer or NCO for each "sidebone" in assembly area, One Officer for each unit, to lead unit from DP to assembly area. Transport for parties will be keep to a minimum.
(d)  Bty Adv Parties, will be under control of Regts with whom Btys are grouped..
14. Concealment.


Sun shields have been placed on this gd as indicated by the unit reps. Unit comdrs will ensure that adv parties check and make necessary adjustments.


On arrival in assembly area, Tks will move straight to their sun shields and cover up.
(c) All vehicle crews will camouflage their vehicles immediately on arrival in their assembly area.
(d) Slit trenches will be dug and Tk tracks will be raked over and levelled.
(e) No vehicle will move about the area by daylight without personal order from C.Os.
(f) Men must remain under cover wherever possible.


Vehicles will be dispersed to 150 yds between vehicles where possible; never less that 100 yds.


Traffic Control.

(a) APM 10 Armd Div is arranging for routes to be marked and lit from DPs to Lancaster and Billingsgate.
(b) DAPM will arrange, as instructed by Bde 2 i/c, for green lights, markers and Police at difficult points on route, collecting them after daylight.
(c) Stragglers post will be manned by Pro and located at last T.C.E, on route A. It will move into assembly area on orders from DAA and QMG.




(a) Bde HQ closes staging area 1600 hrs and opens same hr at 4138882.

(b) W/T silence throught move.

(c) Eash unit cmdr will report state of arrival to Bde HQ by Offr messenger.

(d) OC Sigs lays line at daylight to each Armd Regt Gp HQ. capture RUIN RIDGE, 50 R Tanks will be prepared to support 43 Aust Inf Bn onto objective if they require tank assistance.


Oct 42

 Sd M.C. Lanyon. Capt.
Adjutant 5th Regiment R.H.A




BOAT "A" follow 8 Armd Bde

Scale 1" = 500x

Form in Double line ahead. 150x between vehicles.

Please note that ths is a representation of the original document and therefore not to scale.






Officer only.

Ref Map: 1/250,000 EGYPT sheets, 14 and 15.

4.       Until the tactical situation allows the passage of B.2 Echs through the enemy minefield, they will not be permitted, owing to 30 Corps requirements along the route of our advance, to disperse further W that 427 Easting. When0 the heads of 8 and 24 Armd Bdes respectively arrive 427 Easting on BOAT and BOTTLE tracks, they will halt and all echelons will disperse, eastern limit of dispersal will be Bombay Road. Owing to the distance by which B2 Echs will thus be separated from their parent formation in the deployment area, Bde B2 Ech Cmdrs will organise parties of Amn and petrol lorries. Not exceeding 30 vehicles per Bde, which, on order from Div HQ will proceed further W in anticipation of demands for Amn and petrol by the fighting units. These parties will consist of 2/3rd amn and 1/3rd petrol.

For convenience these parties will be known as TEA PARTIES.  *  The limit of their advance westwards will be prescribed by Div HQ. TEA PARTIES will be accompanied by a wireless set which will operate on B2 Ech Cmdrs Gp. TEA PARTIES on leaving the westward limits of their advance will disperse off the tracks if possibe but without interfering with 10 Corps dumps or positions.




FAPs will accompany Bdes HQ through the minefields.


Scammel transportes and scammel tractors will move with LADS as Bde cmdrs may direct.

7. Topping up.
8 gallons of petrol will be carried on all B vehicles (surplus to normal loads) and 16 galls on al AFVs (except Shermans).
15. Supplies.






On leaving the assembly area all unit vehicles will carry the following reserves:-

WATER. 3 gals per man
RATIONS. 5 days battle rations per man.


(a)   Ration lorries of B Echelon will carry one additional days rations (vide this HQ letter 13/Q of 11 Oct 42)

(b)   Each man will carry his emergency ration in his haversack.


* These were never actually used.





Officer only.


(24 Armd Bde Gp Order No.2)

22 OCT 42.





The objectived of 10 Armd Div is to occupy the Southern portion of a Corps Area TEL-EL_AQQAQIR 860297 - 863293 - Cairn 864290 - 859292 which is astride two of the enemy supply routes and should draw the enemy to attack us.

2. Reporting Lines. Code Word
First.        General line of own F.D.L. CARMELITE.
Second.   First enemy minefields. LAWTON.
Third.       Final objective 2 N.Z. Div OXALIC.
Fourth.     High Gd 863295  - Pt.41 862290. SKINFLINT.
3. First Bound. PIERSON

General line 866295 - 867291, where 8 Armd Bde will be deployed at the earliest moment ready to receive attack by enemy armour.

4. Action on Deployment.




10 Armd Div will move on with 8 Armd Bde leading, followed by 24 Armd Bde and 133 Lt. Inf Bde in that order. On passing through the 2 N.Z. Div on their final objective 8 Armd Bde will deploy onto the first bound making contact with 2nd Armd Bde. 8 Armd Bde will take up position in the area Pt.32 86732909 (All included 8 Armd Bde).




On debouchment 24 Armd Bde will deploy and come up on the left of 8 Armd Bde, establishing contact with its left. 24 Armd Bde Gp will take up best position found in or near the area excluding Pt.32 86732909, Sq 867290, exclude Cairn 86802891 and will if possible work forward to the area between Northing 292 and 290, bounded by 865 Easting, facing West and NW.



The first area given is the rising ground. Cruiser recces will be pushed forward 2000 to 3000 yds SW of this area, to enable 47 R.Tanks to select suitable ground as the front edge of Bde area here.



A recce to the S by Cruisers towards the minefield there will be sent early by 45 R.Tanks, accompanied by RE recce det, to report whether minefield area is occupied by enemy Armour or A/Tk guns.


133 Lt. Inf Bde will be called forward through the minefield as early as possible and will deploy so as to take up defensive positions forming a defencive flank facing SW in area including cairn 86882891 - Pt.33 86892882 - Pt.34 89222874. 133 Lt Inf Bde will make contact with the 24 Armd Bde on teh right and with forward elements of the 2 N.Z. Div on the left. OC 45 R.Tanks is responsibly for despatching a patrol to liason with the right unit of 133 Lt Inf Bde to gibe and get information.


Action on First Bound

10 Armd Div is to be prepared to cover the left flank on one Armd Div and on the event of 1 Armd Div being attacked by enemy armour, to so position themselves as to assist 1 Armd Div as much as possible this will probably require the 8 Armd Bde to face NW to N so as to attacked the enemy in the flank. 24 Armd Bde will cover left flank of 8 Armd Bde in the operation/ 2 NZ Div is exploiting S and SW from MITIRIYA RIDGE supported by 9 Armd Bde and the NZ Div Cavalry Regt. 133 Lt Inf Bde may be presented with opportunities as assisting such exploitations by fie, any opportunity to do so will be taken. In the event of enemy armour attack from S, 24 Armd Bde will face the direction of attack pivoting on 133 Inf Bde and 8 Armd Bde will cover the flank of 24 Armd Bde. In the event if such an attack the Bde will probably face it 2 up on the most favourable hull down positions, if any exists and the A/Tk Btys may be required to form a flank screen.
6. Subsequent Action.
When the first bound has been successfully occupied and 10 Armd Div is fully deployed , if no enemy counter attack has developed, the Div will advance on orders from 10 Corps. In close co-operation with 1 Armd Div, the Div will take up a position on the 10 Corps objective prepared to meet an attack by enemy armour at any time. Bdes will be prepared to give each other immediate assistance and support in the event of an enemy attack developing. 8 Armd Bde will also be prepared to co-operate closely with 2 Armd Bde if an when required.
7. General principles of action.
  It will be seen that the operation outlined above are designed to place our armour in such a posn as to invite attack by enemy forces. at no time will Bde be out of mutually-supporting distance and the enemy armour will be attacked and destroyed only when we have considerable local superiority against him and he will be destroyed. I interpret the mutually supporting distance as not more that 5000 or 6000x away from the neighbouring Bde. The temptation of better ground  beyond 2000x this distance must not lead to dispersion of greater than this.
8. Action of Armd Cars.
  The Royals will follow 8 Armd Bde into deployment area and move through that Bde at first light to locate enemy forces in the area KHARASH 854304 - GIBRIL KHAMIS 863303 - DIER EL ABYAD 869282 - QARET EL TAFIL 854278. It will be seen from reference to the latest enemy minefield information that a new minefield runs across the Northern edge of DEIR EL ABYAD. Care will be taken to avoid this field.
9. Action within bridgehead.
  In the event of local checks to 2 NZ Div or possible counter-attack against them by enemy armour, I lay on any comd who is in a posn to assist the obligation to deploy what is necessary and to do all possible to assist the New Zealanders.

Such action, particularly against enemy armour, must be pressed home with vigour, even at considerable risk. There will be available to sp in case of urgent need the fire of 48 medium guns: apply to Bde - Code word BIG HAMMERS. 

10. Holding the battlefield.
  When an area has once been secured by the Bde Gp after a fight, it is most important that the battlefield is held while enemy tanks and guns are destroyed and are own casualties salved. The responsibility for organising this holding may well be laid upon OC 11 KRRC.
11. General.



No opportunity will be missed to destroy the enemy forces and equipment. New models and patterns will, if possible, be recovered. Particular attention will be paid to harrassing the enemy at night with strong fighting patrols of Inf. We must prevent the enemy from sleeping and destroy and small isolated parties of the enemy.



I understand that the Germans are very negligent about disclosing their leaguers with lights, fire and noises. Any such leaguer within 5 miles must be harrased by Inf and guns sent from one our leaguers. Any Regt despatching such a party must give notices to our other units of at least 1 hrs before hand.


I would stress the importance of all drivers having knowledge and the equipment to answer the night torch challenge on approaching one of our leaguers.



Armd units will not run blindly into A/Tk gun screens. Careful preparations will be made and every possible use of made of 25-prs and MGs to deal with these screens.




All possible assistance will be given in these operation by the RAF. Every effort must therefore be made to report accurately and quickly suitable targets for our bombers and all units must be prepared to disclose their locations to our own aircraft by use of the ground to air recognition code, aldis lamps, and to put out ground signs to guide our aircraft to the enemy.




Every cmdr cab best ensure success by thinking out before hand plans for dealing with otherwise unexpected situations and carefully running through with his sub-ordinates what is the routine of battle drill for various situation. The golden rule is "to do nothing wrong" and to remember constant care for protection at all times from all directions.



 Adj., 5. RHA.





November 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
87222942 1   Capt. Wixley as F.O.O., engaged several targets with observed fire. Regtl and Div., targets also engaged. Capt. Wixley slightly wounded during the day, but not evacuated.  
    1600 Details of barrage and D.F. tasks for the night received  
    1830 Details of extension of barrage received.  
      Gnr. Swift wounded and admitted to hospital and discharged on 14-12-42.  
  2 0105 Barrage commenced (13 Fd Regt. and 2 Med Regt. were firing on this task) Two D.F. tasks fired during a pause.  
    0720 Barrage completed. Approx 400 rds per gun were fired.  
      Capt. Wixley again at O.P. Several Regtl and Divl targets successfully engaged.  
87082956   pm Owing to increase range, the Bty was moved forward by the Tps 3000x  
    2000 Orders for concentrations to cover 51 Div attacked received.  

L/Sgt Ede wounded and admitted to hospital.

Dvr. Grimble and D/M Cottam returns to the Bty.

  3 0300 - 0330 Concentration fired to support attack. Some enemy shelling near Bty position. Capt. Williams acting as F.O.O. contacted 1st Armd Div.  
    1100 R & G Parties moved forward to recce new position. Some bombing but no damage to personnel or vehicles of the Regt.  
86703984   1500 Guns in action in new area, where there is far more room that of late. An abandoned Italian HQ and dressing station were located on the site. Reports indicate battle in progress at TEL EL AQQAQIR. Visibility bad.  
      Gnr. Young.R admitted to hospital   
  4 0255 Orders received for concentrations to be fired at 0300 and for barrage.  
    0310 Concentrations shot.  
    0515 Barrage fired.  
      Capt. Williams again F.O.O. 1 Armd Div. Visibility bad in the early morning improving as the sun rose.

Few targets engaged owing to extreme range.

    1300 R & G parties moved forward to recce new position.  
86332964   1530 Bty in action in new position close to abandon Italian gun position. Targets almost immediately out of range.  
    1830 Last light report received. Enemy resistance continues between Pt.47 852300 and Pt.40 858302 in this area he is being engaged. There is shelling from N & W which include Med. Arty. In the W he is in force on the ridge EL AGUAN 848293. Slight shelling in this area.  
      Gnr. Neame admitted to hospital.  
  5   Capt. Williams still F.O.O., sending information of continuation of enemy withdrawal. All targets out of range, but permission refused for Bty., to move forward, as it had been earmarked as part of special force to move direct to TOBUCH (GRAPESHOT).

Lt. R. Whitely and Lt. R.E. Stone returned to the Bty.

(See Appendix A)
  6   Situation as 5th.  
86553072   1300 Moved North to harbour area South of SIDI ABD EL HAHMAN.  
      Dvr.IC. Kyle admitted to hospital.  
  7-13   Remained in same area. GRAPESHOT cancelled owing to the rapid withdrawal of the enemy. Training, maintenance and recreation passed the time.  
  10   Dvr.IC. Gray and L/Bdr(BS) Blundell admitted to hospital.

Lt. W.H.W. Allon returned to the Bty.

  11   Gnr. Franks returned to the Bty.  
  13   Gnr. Easton admitted to hospital. (Injured)  
43349026 14   Moved East to harbour area by the sea North of ALAMEIN, having come under 13 Corps.  
      TSM Croft admitted to hospital

Bdr. Ewing, L/Bdr. Evans, Gnr. Swift, Bdr. Whieldon, L/Sgt. Bailey and Lt. V.M. Hill returned to the Battery.

  15   Gnr. Singfield Admitted to hospital.

Lt. A.B. Makinson posted to RHQ, 5 R.H.Q.

  17   Bty visited by Maj-Gen. A. Maxwell. C.B.E., M.C., M.G.R.A.M.E., who met the Officers and some N.C.Os.  
  18   Bty visited by Brigadier. A.H. Hornby. M.C., C.C.R.A., 13 Corps who met some of the Officers.  
  19   Bty COMMEMORATION DAY. Gymkhana Sports were held in the sands during the afternoon.

Bty Dinner in the evening was held in several captured tents. Lt.Col. R.R. Hoare, was the guest of the evening and proposed the health of the Bty. A Sing-Song concluded the day's festivities

  15-20   Maintenance, training and recreation.  

Dvr. Walker returned to the Bty.

Lt. W.H.H. Allon promoted to Local/A/Capt.

Capt. G.F. Elston posted to RHQ, 5 R.H.A.

Gnr. Howard. J.W. returned to the Bty.

770325 21   Started on journey to join 7 Armd Div., about AGEDABIA. Moved 90 miles and leaguered 10 miles West of FUKA, moving along the main road.  
707332 22   Continued along main road for 50 miles and leaguered near CHARRING CROSS.  
597333 23   Moved across the desert for 75 miles and leaguered near PICCADILLY.  
213373 24   Continued across desert for a further 75 miles and spent the night close to FORT CAPUZZO.  
  24   Gnr. Carter. E. returned to the Bty.  
412409 25   Moved along TRIGH CAPUZZO to EL ADEM Cross Roads, near where we leageured (80 miles)  
  25   L/Bdr. Dipper. admitted to hospital  
  26   Gnr(ER) Thomas admitted to hospital.  
  26-27   Remained in same area, maintain and carrying out repairs.  
U  4725 28   Continued journey to area on MENNY MASSIV (82 miles).  
T 3516 29   Continued journey to area of B EL RAGEL. (79 miles)  
(S)X 5374 30   Leagured North of ANTELAT (74 miles) having passed thro MSUS.  


Appendix 'A'


Subject:- Operations.

Ref:- S1/19

C.C. "G" Bty. (Mercer's Trp) RHA  
C.C. "K" Bty. RHA
C.C. "CC" Bty. RHA


1. It is possible that this Regiment might be required at short notice to produce 16 guns for a highly mobile force for deep penetration in the enemy country.
2. Composition.
16 guns, with approximately 70 vehicles. These would be allotted under:-
RHQ. Z2. Z3, S1, S2, A3 Sur.1 Sur.3 Q.6 S6, A5 (to be 3-tonner carrying Padre & proportion of LAD stores, etc.
Total: 10 vehicles.  In addition + 4 Jeeps.
2 Btys.
(Each 30 vehicles.)
8 guns


8 Quads
4 Ammn. Quads


4 Quads
3 Ammn Lorries


3 3-tonners
2 Pet.


2 3-tonners
3 O.Ps.


3 (possibly) Armd. Cars.
"G" & "TL"


6 8-cwts.
K.1 & H.


2 8-cwts.
K2 & M1


1 3-tonner


1 3-tonner

Total: 30 Vehicles.

In addition + 4 Jeeps

B.Cs will forward their comments on this allotment



Working on this allotment, B.Cs will forward as soon as possible requirements of vehicles to make then to this scale in good vehicles. Only 8-cwt and 3-tonner FWD will be used.


It is probable that this party would be ration and watered for 5 to 7 days, and would exist without Echelon.



Maj. R.H.A


for Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A



FROM: Main 10 Armd Div 4 Nov

Following message from Army Commander will be communicated to all tps earliest(.) Being forwarded units by (.) Begins . The present battle has now lasted for 12 days during which all troops have fought so magnificently that the enemy is being worn down . The enemy has just reached breaking point and he is trying to get his army away. The RAF is taking a heavy toll of his colns moving WEST on the main coast rd . The enemy is in out power and he is just about to crack. I call on all tps to keep up pressure and NOT repeat NOT to relax for one moment . We have the chance of putting the whole Panzer Army in the bag and we will do so . I congratulate all tps on what has been achieved . Complete victory is almost in sight . On you behalf I have sent a separate message to the RAF thanking them for their quite magnificent support . End . All informed.

Subject: Army Cmdrs Message.
C.C. "G" Bty. (Mercer's Trp) RHA
C.C. "K" Bty. RHA
C.C. "CC" Bty. RHA

             Forwarded for information


Capt. R.H.A


Adj. 5th Regiment. R.H.A



     5th Regiment. R.H.A
11th November 1942

The Regiment has carried out a good job of work, and all ranks have fought splendidly during the most important part of the battle, which was the initial break-through.

I fully realise that many must be disappointed that we were not among those to follow up immediately in CYRENAICA. But we can feel assured that there is little fighting going on there, and that the reason we were left behind was because we were destined to make a quick dash for Tobruk. The plan was cancelled because the enemy retreated too quickly.

We must now fit ourselves for the next phase of the war, which may be in Tripoli, an invasion of Italy for fighting in some other part of the world.

In conclusion O should like to congratulate all ranks on the recent fighting: I have received a very complimentary letter from Brigadier Kenchington Commanding the 24th Armoured Brigade, on the way in which this Regiment support the armour. That is our job, and we want nothing better than to be told we have done our job well.


Lt. Col. R.H.A.



Subject:- Brig Kenchington's Letter.

Ref: CO/1/25

C.C. "G" Bty. (Mercer's Trp) RHA  
C.C. "K" Bty. RHA
C.C. "CC" Bty. RHA

I would like the following paragraphs quoted from a letter received by me from Brigadier Kenchington read out to all ranks of Regiment.

"When we were withdrawn into reserve, I felt a keen regret at being separated from the Regiment.

We had built high hopes on 5 R.H.A. during a long period of training together, and I would like your Regiment to know that the whole Brigade expresses warm gratitude for the fact that our hopes were justified.

In weeks hefty slogging match under conditions different from those for which we had trained, your F.O.Os never once left us without support and observation under quite trying conditions, and the organisation you have built up proved that, whenever the support was needed, the targets were quickly and very adequately engaged, when necessary by the whole Regiment.

I hope the chancen of war will allow us to join up again very soon.

Thank you very much.

Your ever,
    A.C. Kenchington



Lt.Col. R.H.A


Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A

Copy: C.O.




December 1942

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

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
(S)X57374 1&2   Remained in harbour area, carrying maintenance.  
  3 1045 Moved forward to area 20 miles South of AGEDABIA, where  
X0815   1510 we contacted Staffs Yeo. (8 Armd Bde).  
(S)X765765 4 0759 Move to join Staffs Yeo. Regtl. Gp with whom we moved to a  
    1445 position overlooking MARSA BREGA (36 miles)  
  5-8   Recce forward carried out. Observation maintained on the front. Bty remained in action without firing, the Regtl. Gp having a Counter attack role.  
  6   Gnr. Howard. J.W. admitted to hospital.  
  8   L/Bdr. Baugh. admitted to hospital and returned to the Bty on 1-1-43  
(S)X769465 9   Moved with Regtl Gp 7 miles South to take up position ready to be used in different counter attack roles, mainly in the SUERA area. Information received that No.806944 L/Sgt. Ede. F.W had been awared the M.M. See Appendix 'C'
  10   Bty visited by Major-Gen. A.F. Harding. C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., Commanding 7 Armd Div.  
  11   'H' Troop accompanied C Sqn Staffs Yeo. on patrol South of SUERA the object being to ascertain the strength and location of enemy defences. Here the Troop was shelled intermittently whilst in action and when withdrawing. Gnr. Yates was wounded.  
  12 1300 Bty was put on 15 mins notice to move.  
      Gnr. Barker admitted to hospital and returned on 23-12-42

Gnr. Haslett admitted to hospital.

  13 0730 Regtl. Gp advances towards SUERA and took up position about 3 miles West of last area.  
    1030 Moved forward again and passed through the enemy mine field leaguering for the night a few miles West of this. It was obvious by then that the enemy was withdrawing from MARSA BREGA - SUERA line and that only a weak rearguard had been left.  
  14 0700 Continued move forward and came into action to cover the tanks.  
(S)X2851   1200 Recced forward across the road GEOFER-AGHEILA  
    1215 Hostile Bty-MET, engaged West of the road, withdrew. Reports indicate that the rearguard is moving North along the road towards AGHEILA and is being harassed by our troops.  
    1320 Moved forward and came into action just West of the road. Some shelling was encountered on the way and BSM. Foster was slightly wounded in the head, but was not evacuated.  
    1500 - 1800 Engaged enemy infantry, MET, guns and tanks with success,  
    1730 'H' Tp O.P. Tank was hit by 88mm and crew wounded, Luckily none were serious and only Capt. Williams was evacuated, the remainder being sent back to the Echelon for a rest.  
    1900 Formed leaguer with Staffs Yeo just North if the Bty position.  
  15 0700 Broke leaguer and went into action in this area while tanks advanced to make first light recce. The rearguard had withdrawn leaving behind several knocked out M.13 and MET.  
0266   0800 Continued advance North to West of AGHEILA, the latter being reported clear.  
    1030 A patrol from C Sqn was sent forward to recce ground South of the road up to the A/Tk ditch West of AGHEILA  
    1125 Acting on the report from this patrol, the Group moved West across very open boggy ground towards the A/Tk ditch.  
9667   1200 The Bty was put into action behind a very slight rise, but 'H' Troop was almost immediately under fire, The whole area was open, being flat and overlooked by much ground in enemy hands, so it was impossible to find a covered position from which the Bty could support advance of the Staffs Yeo. adequately. H Tp immediately engaged enemy Infantry and MET causing them to withdraw. Appendix 'D' (See report by Lt. Belgrave.)
      At this time H Troop came under heavy fire, sustaining a number of casualties. As soon as the situation allowed, the Troop was moved to an alternative position, the move being satisfactorily accomplished while still under heavy fire. Throughout this time all ranks of the Troop showed great steadiness and devotion to duty and earned a special word of praise from the Divisional Commander who happened to see them in action.  
      Enemy MET, infantry and guns were successfully engaged and C Troop also coming under accurate fire, were forced to move to their alternative position, having suffered 3 casualties.  
9887   1830 Leaguered with Staffs. Yeo Regtl. Group  
      Casualties during the day. Killed:- Gnr. Carter. L.G. and Gnr Clarke. H. Wounded:- Gnr Munro. L., Bdr. Bartely. F, Fit. Gray. W., Sgt. Short. J., D/M. Woods. A.F., Gnr. Thomas. T., Gnr. Davies. H., Sgt. Thomas. J., Bdr. Mainstone. H., Gnr. Thompson. G, Gnr. Siers. R., Gnr. Vallins. T., Lt. Barstow., Gnr. Jones and Gnr. Mead. T. died in hospital the same evening. BSM. Foster died in hospital on 17th. Gnr. Jelly. L. died in hospital on the 18th.  
      Dvr. Shepherd returned to the Bty.  
      Throughout the day the Bty showed great steadiness and coolness and commended for its work by both Brig. Cmdg. 7 Armd Bde., and C.O. 5 R.H.A. Appendix 'E' (See C.Os Letter)
461495 16   Moved west, first by road and then cross country and took up a position to cover the road 6 miles West of MARBLE ARCH. Much of the road was mined and going across country was boggy in places, but improved.

Dvr. Moscovitch admitted to hospital. Dvr. Parfitt returned to the Bty.

190975 17 0715 Regtl. Gp moved to rejoin Bde. North of MIRDUMA  
    1400 Bde moved further West to cover MIDUMA aerodrome and to await the formation of adequate stocks of petrol, water etc in rear.  
  18-26   Remained in the same area carrying out maintenance and training, the latter being somewhat restricted by strict petrol rationing.  
  19   L/Sgt. Bailey and L/Bdr. Pye admitted to hospital.

BSM. Dixon posted to the Bty from 'G' Bty (Mercer's Tp) RHA.

  20   Zeroed all guns of the Bty.  
  21   Carried out Exercise with Regtl. Gp. Warning order to move to NOFILLA was received, but cancelled later.

Dvr. Boulter admitted to hospital.

  23   Battle Practice using live ammunition carried out by the Regtl. Gp was watched by 8th Army Commander Sir B. L. Montgomery. K.C.B D.S.O.  
  24   Brig. E.C.N. Custance. Cmdg. Armd Bde visited the Bty and met all Officers and representatives of other ranks from each Troop and BTY H.Q. He told each troop that he was particularly pleased with the way in which they had carried out their work at AGHEILA on 15 Dec 42.  
  24   Gnr. Smith. J.N., Gnr. Young S.H., Gnr. Pinckheard., Gnr Venables, Sgt. Steward, Gnr. Young. R., Gnr. Radden., Sgt Easton, Gnr(ER) Thomas and Lt. W.S. Barrow returned to the Bty.  
  25   Christmas Day.  
    0630 Gun fire.  
      Church Services were held in the morning and C.O. 5. R.H.A. visited the Bty. to wish all ranks a Happy Christmas.  
    1500 In the afternoon a 7 a side inter-troop football competition was followed by a most successful open air concert produced by Lt. R. E. Stone and performed by members of Staff Regtl Gp., including several members of the Battery.  
    1800 Christmas Dinner was served in the evening followed by a sing song. (Menu see Appx. A)
      The arrival of this dinner says a great deal for the efficiency of the supply services and was a most unexpected and welcome part of the day's festivities.  
  26   Move forward to SIRTE area arranged for this day was postponed to enable tanks to be taken on transporters.  
Z12 27   5 R.H.A. moved with wheeled vehicles of Bde, by desert route towards SIRTE (63 miles)  
Y25 28   Bde continued to move West by desert route, passing South of SIRTE and halted just short of WADI TAMET (55 Miles).  
  23-30   Maintenance and some training carried out in the same area. Recces made of routes West and for water, a suitable well being found. Water ration was gall. per man per day, so this supply is most welcome.  
  29   Lt.Co. R.R. Hoare. D.S.O., M.C., Cmdg., 5 R.H.A. was wounded by fire from an enemy plane and had to be evacuated. (See letter Appx 'B')
  31   Regt. moved 23 miles East to rejoin Tanks of the Bde. which has been brought forward on transporters.  


Appendix 'A'


Christmas Day Menu

Turkey with sausage stuffing


Beans and Potatoes.


Christmas Pudding and Rum Sauce.


Iced Christmas Cake.



Tea and Rum




Appendix 'B'


    5th Regiment, RHA
All Ranks

It is with the greatest regret that I have to be evacuated due to an attack on me by enemy aircraft.

Until I return, I wish all ranks the very best of good luck and thank them with my whole heart for all the wonderful service they have given me.





Appendix 'C'


Recommendation for Award.

806944 P/A/L/Sgt. Ede, Frank, William.

On 31 Oct 42, L/Sgt. Ede was driving a 'Honey' on O.P. work in the area Pt.33 (866296) when it was hit by an A/Tk shell and immediately burst into flames. The F.O.O Lt. W.S Barrow, escaped from the turret while Sgt. Ede managed to get out through the drivers hatch. The signaller. L/Bdr. Brown, became stuck on the Exit and was struggling vainly to get out. The flames made it impossible to use the turret, so he was also preventing TSM Croft from getting out. Very Light cartridges had started to explode in the tank and there was danger of ammunition exploding at any moment.

Although under heavy small arms fire, L/Sgt. Ede. immediately went to Brown's assistance and, hitting him to stop his struggles, succeeded in pulling him out. this allowed the remaining occupant, TSM Croft, also to escape from the tank, being assisted by Lt. Barrow, although the tank was still under fire and burning fiercely.

L/Sgt Ede showed great coolness in dealing with the situation and, but for this prompt action, both Brown and Croft would have been trapped in the burning tank. 





Appendix 'D'




Lt. T.R.D. Belgrave R.H.A. ("C" Tp F.O.O)


I was moving with C Sqn, Staffs. Yeomanry.

The Sqn sent 1 Troop forward to recce a route up to the A/T Ditch. From the high ground at the beginning of the plain a flat wash about 6 miles long was visible with a low hill the far side and high hills to right and left. The distance MET was seen but not identified.


The Sqn moved out along the route recced, going was bad in places but there as a possible route about 400 yds wide. The Regtl Gp followed.


About 300 yds from the ditch enemy MET and Infantry in the open were identified just the other side of the ditch on the rising ground. They were obviously not expecting attack from this quarter. There was also MET concentrated in the distance. C Sqn Cmdr asked me to engage. One or two suspected guns were reported and other were shelling the Bty. The Infantry on the right lost 1 carrier.


I described the target. The Bty immediately went into action. C Sqn Cmdr order the Sqn to hold their fire until the Bty opened. H Troop engaged in spite of heavy shelling with great accuracy. round fell in the target are among infantry and MET. C Sqn engaged with M.G. fire. The enemy seemed confused and after some delay lost of the MET withdrew leaving a number of Infantry and some guns. Enemy guns began firing from dead ground on the right.


C Sqn advance under cover of our HE and their own fire and found mine wire just short of the ditch. A way was made through this and the crew of a 50 mm gun 300 yds the other side of the ditch surrendered. One Troop of C Sqn passed through the wire and the mash the other side. About 40 Germans surrendered, some coming in from a considerable distance to the right, from the dug-in positions. C Troop engaged MET on the skyline which withdrew leaving at least 3 derelicts. On the request of C Sqn Cmdr "CC" Bty engaged gun area on the right. One large gun possibly an 88,, and one 50 mm withdrew under fire.


I was unable to see other guns described to me on the wireless by C Sqn Cmdr so I moved through the wire and the mash where one Grant was now stuck into a positions 150 yds to his right rear. Here we were engaged by an A/Tk gun on the right. C Sqn Cmdr's tank, one Grant and one other Cruiser were hit and remainder withdrew under cover of smoke fired by the Battery. The crews of the disabled tanks and one Cruiser also withdrew from the area. C Sqn Cmdr brought 2 prisoners.


I returned to O.C. Staff Yeomanry who pointed out an active gun area. C Troop engaged with heavy fire and rounds fell in the target area. O.C. Staffs Yeomanry the asked me to engage 88 mm guns on the skyline. These were at extreme range for C Troop who were under heavy fire but rounds fell in the area and it was reported that one gun and several trucks withdrew. Other Targets were found to be out of range.


H Troop registered a smoke screen to cover withdrawal of the Tanks to leaguer but no more guns opened fire.


Throughout the action repeated reports were heard that the guns were under fire and suffering casualties. At no time did this appear to affect the speed or accuracy of the response to fire orders nor the efficiency of the signallers.


Conclusions. H Troop's first target appeared to surprise and demoralise the enemy, some of who surrendered and abandoned vehicles and guns.


Observation was very difficult but MET were definitely destroyed and several guns neutralised. Others withdrew. The majority of the MET withdrew when engaged. Only a detailed recce of the area can give definite information of the damage done.


T.R.D. Belgrave.




On a Recce made subsequent to the action, the following were discovered:-



 - 88 mm.


 - 77 mm. Special A/Tk.


 - 50 mm.


 - 20 mm
13 MET destroyed or abandoned
15 Abandoned Gun Positions

As the Regtl Group were virtually the only formation in action here the above may be claimed almost entirely by Tanks of the Staffs. Yeomanry and "CC" Battery R.H.A.



Appendix 'E'


O.C. "CC Bty  R.H.A.

I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating all ranks of "H" Troop on the splendid way they withstood the shelling which they received the day before.

It was with the greatest pride that I spoke to all ranks and found them so cool and collected when I visited the Troop shortly afterwards.

On my way back to my Headquarters, the Divisional Commander wished me to say how sorry he was about the casualties, and also wished me to compliment the Troop on his behalf, for its behaviour under fire. 


Lt.Col. R.H.A.


Cmdg,. 5th Regiment. R.H.A.

Copies: O.C. "G" Bty (Mercer's Trp) R.H.A.
O.C. "K" Bty R.H.A.
Orderly Officer.





Lt. H. Swain. R.H.A. on 24-10-42
L/Bdr. Bradshaw. C on 24-12-42
L/Sgt. Mills. L on 24-12-42
L/Bdr. Jones. A.J. on 15-12-42
Gnr. Clarke. H on 15-12-42
Gnr. Mead. T.W. on 15-12-42
Gnr. Carter. L.G. on 15-12-42
BSM Foster. N. wounded on 15-12-42 died in hospital on 17-12-42.
Gnr. Jelley. E.L. wounded on 15-12-42 died in hospital on 17-12-42
24-10-42 D/M. Stone. E.
24-10-42 Bdr. Swinhoe. H
26-10-42 Bdr. Ewing. A.E. returned to BTY on 14-11-42
28-10-42 L/Sgt. Murray. W.    do      do  do        14-11-42
28-10-42 Gnr Webb. A.E.T.
31-10-42 BSM Stewart. T.    do      do  do        24-12-42
31-10-42 Lt. W.S. Barrow.   do      do  do        24-12-42
31-10-42 L/Bdr. Brown. T.M
31-10-42 L/Sgt. Ede F.W.
31-10-42 TSM. Croft. A.
1-11-42 Gnr. Swift.A    do      do  do        14-11-42
12-9-42 L/Sgt. Bailey. R.H.    do      do  do        14-11-42
12-9-42 L/Bdr. Evans. I.M.    do      do  do        16-10-42
13-9-42 L/Bdr Loader. E.    do      do  do        16-10-42
11-12-42 Gnr. Yates. C.W.
14-12-42 Capt. E.J.V. Williams
15-12-42 Lt. M.T. Barstow.
15-12-42 Gnr. Munro. L.A
15-12-42 Fit. Gray. W.F
15-12-42 Sgt. Short. J.
15-12-42 D/M. Woods. A.F.
15-12-42 Gnr. Thomas. T.
15-12-42 Sgt. Thomas. J.W
15-12-42 Gnr. Davies. H.
15-12-42 Bdr. Mainstone. H
15-12-42 Gnr. Thompson. G.
15-12-42 Gnr. Sier. R.J.
15-12-42 Dvr.IC. Vallins. R.N.
15-12-42 Gnr Wallace. C.A.
P/A/L/Sgt. Ede. F.W. Awarded the Military Medal



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