War Diaries of D Battery, Royal Horse Artillery



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1942 1943 1945





1st. Still onboard H.M.T. ORMONDE. Battery Parade for C.O. who congratulated us on turn out.
2nd. Inter Regimental quize. Captain P.M. Barrington. was our representative. 5/R.H.A. were victors 14 points to 10.
3rd. Sighted North Coast of IRELAND.
4th. Drew into the CLYDE and moored off GOUROCK.
5th. Unloading of baggage from holds, and preparation for disembarking.
6th. Disembarked during afternoon and left immediately by train to new area.
7th. Arrived FAKENHAM in early morning and conveyed to EAST RUDHAM, which is to be our Battery area.
8th - 31st. Battery sent on disembarkation leave in relays.



February to May 1944











"D" Battery Royal Horse Artillery

JUNE 1944







BRENTWOOD. ESSEX. Vehicles having been packed and sent to marshalling area and "camps sealed" there was very little to do.

Advance parties still at camps in LONDON dock area/

2 & 3

Final preparations for embarkation. One or two last minute evacuations through sickness. Battery split into two groups. "2nd" ADVANCE and "MAIN".


Battery embarked. The "MAIN" party totally 7 Officers and 136 O.R.s embarled on the "lighter" " QUEEN LONDON" to a United States liberty ship the "S.S." ROBERT HENRIE". 1 Officers and 8 O.R.s embarked on two different ships, and including the first advance party pf 2 Officers and 8 O.R.s the total Battery Strength on embarkatopns was 10 Officers and 152 O.R.s/


A day of waiting lying off TIBURY.


AT SEA. Journey through channel almost without incident.


AT SEA. Advance party on their server groups, disembarked.

               Remainder AT SEA. Weather fine.

8 Advance party at MAGNY 822825. Gun positions surveyed in. Large HUN gun position found nearby. Rumoures that Germans still about so area combed but without success.


MAGNY 822825. weather fine.  Six German prisoners taken by advance party hiding near gun positions. Main party disembarked arriving in snall parties and concentrating in area without coming in to action.


MAGNY 822825. weather fine. Maintenance etc, Recces of position at NONANT.


MAGNY 822825. weather fine. Recce pf position in morning and occupation in afternoon at CONDE SUR SEULLES 829705.


CONDE 829705. weather good. Early morning STONKS on TILLY in support of 131 Bde attack (1/5 Queens leading)/ Our forces met enemy armour in some strenghth and O.P.s found progress slow because of bad observation owing to difficult country, and the odd spandau and shell/ Late orders to move next morning.






Supreme Commanders Message 


Map of D Battery, RHA, movements in Normandy for June to July 1044.


July to November 1944



"D" Battery 3 Regt, RHA

WAR DIARY          






630866 N. of NEERITTER

Weather fine.

4 RHA took over from 5 RHA and ourselves. We remained four hours notice to take place in any battle that might crop up.

Ops and sound ranging parties not now required.

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL


630866 N. of NEERITTER

some rain.

Recce parties went to NEEROETEN which is to be our new leaguer area. A muster parade in the morning to draw for home leave.

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL


630866 N. of NEERITTER

fair turning to heavy rain.


Holding parties left for harbour area XXXXXX to the WEST of NEEROETEREN (5678) across the canal. Remainder of Battery stood by to move out later in the day. Move later cancelled.

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL


630866 N. of NEERITTER

weather showery.

No move today as incoming people did not turn up.


630866 N. of NEERITTER

weather fine.

At last the Battery moved.

Accommodation was good in the new area. We started at once to get our vehicles clean again, washing down at the mill stream or the canal.

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL



weather fine.

CRA (Brig. Lyon Smith) visited the Bty in the morning and had an informal talk to the men about forthcoming leave to England and the difficulties of a winter campaign. In the afternoon a very full recce party left for SITTARD area and prepared the way for taking over positions occupied by 55 Fld Regt RA (Guards Armd Div)

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL



very wet

At 1015 hrs Bty left for new area on the fringe of the village of LEIJENBROEK just SOUTH of SITTARD an arrived in the afternoon. We took over by Troops, "A" Tp first so as to leave the Bty with a fireable unit.

A large number of defensive fire tasks were worked out in the evening. Our Bn is just over the border into GERMANY NORTH of the village of WEHR. 

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL



weather fine.

All available men put on the improving of the approaches to the gun pits. We now had a system of retaliation for enemy shelling of forward areas - as soon as his shells came over we fired back at least five times as many on one or other preselected targets 

Ammunition Expenditure. 65 rnds.



weather fine except for some snow and sleet

The CRA paid us an informal visit in the morning and walked around the gun area. OPs engaged some targets, but "A" Troop - the Regtl troop on duty for "retaliation" - fired few concentrations.

Ammunition Expenditure. 87 rnds.



weather fine.

It was decided to moved "B" Tp to an adjoining orchard. All available men were put on the job and by evening a really grand piece of work had been done in constructing gun pits and shelters for the men on duty. Some observed shooting on movement of rds.

Ammunition Expenditure. 152 rnds.



weather fine.

OP at forward edge of the woods at 734696 saw fair amount of movement in squares 7571,7572, and engaged several targets in the area. Some anti-tank guns were revealed when the wind stripped off their camouflage. Work on gun positions proceeded.

Ammunition Expenditure. 326 rnds.



weather wet.

"B" Troop moved to their new position about 200 yds to the WEST of their original position. An excellent job had been done in construction of the gun pits and dug out for the crews.

Lt. A. Gibb RHA did a good piece of work in neutralising the anti-tank guns reported yesterday knocking out two for certain. He, together with two snipers had worked his way to a very forward position. Other enemy activity also engaged.

Ammunition Expenditure. 378 rnds.



weather dry.

Capt. L. Hicks. RHA left the Battery on a posting to "M" Bty and Capt. J.A.C. Baxter MC RHA rejoined as Bty Capt.

Some Regtl Targets engaged and the usual observed shooting from our OP.

Ammunition Expenditure. 292 rnds.



weather fine and frosty.

Took part in Counter Battery programme (wallop) in which 14000 shells were fired by a large number of Batteries, the objects being to neutralise 40 off enemy Batteries and to kill as many Artillerymen as poss.

O.P. got some good bearing on a rocket projector firing propaganda shells into our lines and stropped it up.

Lt T.. Ritson RHA joined the Battery on cross posting from RHQ.

Ammunition Expenditure. 279 rnds.




weather dry and cold.

The CRA visited the Battery and made an informal tour of the Troop positions. He as very impressed with "B" Tps position which was really excellent.

Movement was still observed by the OP and several gun fire targets engaged.

Ammunition Expenditure. 195 rnds.



weather wet.

Fairly quiet day. Some hostile air activity at our read at night.

Ammunition Expenditure. 320 rnds.



weather fine.

Stood to from 0100 hrs to fire a small fire plan in support of a fighting patrol of the 1/5 Queens. The patrol however never made contact and we stood down at 0430 hrs.

Our infantry were relieved during the day by Guards Armd Div. We continued to support for D.F. tasks only. During the afternoon the enemy began to harrass SITTARD area. Shells fell on both Troop positions. He used up to four guns at a time and continued with odd rounds until early hours of the morning. A jet propelled plane swept over the position  during the afternoon and at last light enemy planes came over and using many flares dropped their loads on various villages around. Nothing fell on our immediate area.

Ammunition Expenditure. 167 rnds.




weather damp.

A similar programme to last night slightly earlier in time. The QUEENS patrol found the post surround by wire and mines and too alert of the patrol to get a prisoner. However, it was attacked and we fired in support. We were warned that a move was  likely and recce parties went forward to EINIGHAUSEN. However the move for the Battery was cancelled  although the remainder of the Regt. was settled in the new area by last night.

Some harrassing fire by heavy gun of area at night.

Ammunition Expenditure. 295 rnds.



weather fine.

Fired a few Divisional Targets on hostile Batteries. Enemy still harrassing NORTH portion of area at night.

Ammunition Expenditure. 72 rnds.




foggy but  fine.

The 1/5 QUEENS went back in to the line as Guards Armd Div went back for re-equipping. Fired harrassing tasks in early morning and a few Divisional Targets. OP saw little owing to mist. Harrassing fire by enemy on or F.D.L.s  with a few in our area.

Ammunition Expenditure. 240 rnds.



weather fine.

Again poor visibility at OP. A quiet day with few targets. Some track vehicle movement heard in forward enemy area in evening.

Ammunition Expenditure. 243 rnds.




weather fine.

Stood to on task to support fighting patrol of 2 DEVONS from 0100 hrs to time of actually firing  0515 hrs. Expected to received a visit from the Div Commander (Major Gen L.O. Lyne D.S.O.) but he did not turn up. Recce of alternative gun area at LINDENEUVEL and survey completed. 

Fairly quite day.

Ammunition Expenditure. 344 rnds.




weather fine.

Two sniping guns went out all day to shoot up some anti tank guns spotted by the infantry. The result of the days shooting was one  anti tank gun knocked out and second damage, whilst some ammunition in the pits was set on fire. A message on congratulation on such good shooting received from the C.O. f 1/5 QUEENS. The Div. Commander visited us in the afternoon and walked round the troop area.

Ammunition Expenditure. 416 rnds.



|Fine. and frosty.

Fairly quiet day.

Ammunition Expenditure. 110 rnds.




Weather bright and frosty.

Christmas day Church Service at 0900 hrs

"A" Troop and one hald of Bty H.Q. stood down during the whole day.

"B" Troop supplying skeleton gun crews for both Troops. - A very excellent 'Xmas dinner was served, with two bottles of beer, cigars and cigarettes for all.

The meal was followed by a sing song and later by high tea. All thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The enemy behaved quietly and we let him alone until it sound that he was enjoying himself too much in the village of HORGEN into which we loosed a substantial Regtl concentration.

Ammunition Expenditure. 22 rnds.



|Bright and frosty.

A local enemy attack to our NORTH did not cause much work for the Battery.

"B" Troop and the remainder of BHQ returned for Christmas celebration. The dinner again was a great success. The Colonel sitting down with us, whilst Colonel Freeman. C.O. 1/5 QUEENS visited us during the sing song.

A well attended Battery dance in the evening.

Ammunition Expenditure. 46 rnds.



Cold and fine.

Fairly quiet day.

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL.




Another quiet day.

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL.



Cold and bright.

Nothing to report.

Ammunition Expenditure. NIL.



weather fine and cold.

Quiet day. As the enemy facing the 52 (L) Div on our right has been rather restless during the past few days and has in fact put in one or two fairly large scale attacks our Bn arranged an Artillery programme to strop up a few areas to discourage the Hun from trying any funny business on our sector. As the heavy A.A. took over our position we did not take any active part in the fire plan.



weather fine

Quiet day. Some enemy air activity at night





Order of Battle as of 31st December 1944.



Battery Commander Major T.J. Tirrell. MC DCM RHA

Troop Commander "A" Troop.   Capt. G.D. Brice. RHA

Troop Commander "B" Troop.   Capt. B.J.. Cork. RHA

A/Battery Captain.                     Lieut. J.R. Brown, R.H.A

A/C.P.O.                                   Lieut. H.A. Parsons. RHA

G.P.O "A" Troop                       Lieut. T.T. Ritson. RHA

G.P.O "B" Troop                       Lieut. W.R. Buckolt. RHA

Forward C.P.O.                        Lieut. A. Gibb. RHA

Ass./C.P.O                                Lieut. D. McDonald. R.A

Detached  on courses;-  Capt. J.A.C. Baxter. MC RHA. and Lt. A. Flint RHA.


Ammunition Expenditure for month  4654 including 8 rnds smoke.


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