War Diaries of K Battery, Royal Horse Artillery



Home 1939 1940 1941


1943 1944 1945
Organisation & Officers of K Bty World War II


January to April 1942






K Bty RHA left England departing early part of May 1942 with the remainder of 5 RHA. They proceeded to Western desert as part of the 8th Armd Div. Owing to series of mishaps that Div did not arrive complete & owing to the fact that when the Bty disembarked at Suez, on the 5th July. Rommel was endeavouring to break thro’ the hastily manned and constructed defenses on the Alamein line, a composite Armoured brigade group was formed. On July 17th three days after landing the Battery, as part of the 23rd Armd Brigade Group moved up to the Western Desert. The following day we arrived in the Brigade leaguer area W of Bel-el-Giab.

The Battery took part in the Battle of Ruweisat Ridge at the end of July and on July 28th the 23rd Armoured Brigade of which K Battery was part came under the command of 7th Armd Div, who took over control of the centre sector of Ruweisat Ridge. The Battery with remainder of 5 RHA were given the task of supporting a complete Regt. of the County of London Yeomanry. This Yeomanry Regt. Richmond have been reinforced in tanks by all those remaining from 22nd Armoured Brigade. This duty involved the Battery being in the area south of the Ruweisat Ridge with Remaining OPs forward with the County of London Yeomanry. In advanced into forward defensive formations by day & withdrawing at night. What a most unpleasant area & the Bty treated to raids by Stukas & ME109s quite frequently. The excellent shooting by 32 LAA Bty however was a great deterrent to the enemy, the broke up formation on the ??????? way.

Early in August the Bty with the remainder of 23rd Armd Brigade were withdrawn to refit & to do some training to the area a few miles behind the lines. At this stage the Brigade formed part of the 30 Corps reserve much to everyone’s relief that the Bathing leave to Cairo and Alexandria was commenced.


The text is missing until


part of 7th Armd Div with whom we were to remain until Feb. 1948.

At this stage of the battle the 7th Armd front was held as follows.

Two motor battalions on the right, 8th Armd brigade in the centre and the armoured cars of the 4th Light Armoured Brigade on the left. For the next eight days the Bty was kept busy preparing for the action at EL Aghelia. On the afternoon of Dec 10 Don troop with A squadron Sherwood Rangers moved into Leaguer area at Bulgara & on the following morning the force moved forward towards the enemy defenses known as known as The Spectacles which were at the southernmost limit of the defended line. Bad going conditions made it impossible to get the Troop very far forward, but useful information was gained of the enemy defenses. The Troop fired a few rounds at scattered enemy M.T. which from time to time presented a target.

On Dec 12th there were indications that the enemy were pulling out and at first light on the following day the Battery advanced from the tentative position with the Sherwood Rangers Regimental Group. We learned that the gap had been made in the minefield at Suera by the 153 Infantry Brigade & the Armour passed through. No opposition was encounted thro’ the day & the Battery, leaguered at night about 20 miles West of the Suera gap. On Dec 11 the advance continued at first light and when the mist cleared at about 11 am enemy OPs and Battery positions were disclosed. The Battery came into action and several targets were engaged by the OPs including a Battery of 25 pounders complete with British quads in enemy use. At midday the advance continued and at 13.00 hours the column turned northwest towards Agheila. Enemy anti tank and infantry positions were encountered & also a number of Italian tanks. There was a considerable amount of enemy artillery activity. During the day the Battery fired about 500 rounds chiefly at enemy Batteries, the flashes of which could be observed & a number of these with silenced. At last light the Regimental Group withdrew to close leaguer. 

At first light on Dec 15th the group advance to Agheila and it was found that the enemy had withdrawn during the previous night. Other town of Agheila was entered at 1000 hours buy Capt. Noble commanding EF troop with the leading elements of the Sherwood Rangers and found to be clear of the enemy. The group then turned left and advanced parallel to the coast road. About 6 miles West of Agheila the enemy was again contacted, and the Battery came into action. Targets engaged were chiefly enemy Batteries, and towards the end of the afternoon, considerable enemy M.T. moving West was observed by the OPs and engaged. The following day the Regimental Group continued the advance and once again it was found that the enemy had left in the night leaving the coastal road littered with mines & booby traps. By evening the Battery had reached Meiduma in the area of which a close leaguer was formed. Throughout the day there was no contact with the enemy. On the 17th the bash again advanced and halted 20 miles South of Nofilia in a concentration area. The Battery remained in this area until Dec 27th during which time it took part in training exercises and T.E.W.T.S with the Sherwood Rangers & carried out firing practice. 

Much to everyone's surprise and to the delight of all the Christmas fair which had been ordered two months previously from the Naafi in Cairo arrived on Christmas Eve. It had been flown from Cairo to Marble Arch on the previous day from where we collected it. There have probably been few more satisfactory Christmases then that one spent in the desert.

The day's program was as follows

07.00 Reveille & gunfire

08.00 Breakfast

12.30 Christmas dinner (duck, chicken, plum pudding, mince pies and beer)

14.00 football match v G Battery.

Result K 3 G 2

16.30 Tea


During the period Dec 27-29 the Battery moved up to a position 3 miles South of Wadi Tamet. This was a march off about 130 miles and was carried out most of the time in heavy going. On the 30th the Battery moved back to an area south of Sirte where we joined the remainder of 8th Armd Brigade. From then until Jan 12 there was a period of training & firing exercises.



The below is transcribed from a notebook from Major D K Wells. RHA.


Sailed from Liverpool




Disembarked Suez


Joined 23 Armd Bde Gp at El Hammam


Attack on EL MAREIR in sp 46 RTR


Attack failed Capt Wells wounded as FOO


Lt A Burrough FOO & Capt Benke


Action Ruwesiat Ridge


                                Burrough wounded


Lt PWA Simmonds tool over as FOO

24/7/42 – 25

Action Ruwesiat Ridge 2/Lt JAS Burn wounded






Alamein area




Maj Welsh to temp cmd 5 RHA as Lt Col Hoare to hospital. Capt. SR St John temp cmd.





31/8 – 1/9 – 2/9 – 3/9

                                   Lt Addison   FOO

                                      Capt Benke “ 


(no casualties 3000-rds fired)




Battle of Alamein.

Maj Welsh Capt Benke & Capt Burrough D Tp with 45 RTR.


2/Lt Cocker MM E/F Op


Capt Burrough wounded




2/Lt Morley relieved by Capt Benke as FOO


Capt Pitt ex G Bty to comd D Tp


2/Lt Morley killed

29/10 -30/10

Lt  Slim rejoined from hospital became GPO E/F


Maj Welsh to comd 5RHA as Hoare injured in accident.


Capt S R St John ex G Bty took over Comd


Capt Benke wounded




Lt CPS North CPO to comd D Tp


Lt Victory ex GPO D to CPO


Lt J Tunstead ex RHQ to TL D Tp


March to join8 Armd Bde Jedabya area MERSA BREGA

- 1/12/42

Sp Nottingham Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers)




Action at BUGARA






Agheila enter 1000 hr by Capt Noble comdg E/F Tp


(Lt Col Hoare wounded Maj J A Norman took over 5 RHA)




(Lt Col GP Gregson MC posted to comd 5 RHA)



Home 1939 1940 1941


1943 1944 1945
Previous Year Organisation & Officers of K Bty World War II Next Year

© 2020 Copyright of  www.desertrats.org.uk