War Diaries of P Battery (The Dragon Troop), Royal Horse Artillery

1939

 

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August 1939

Commanding Officer: 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Mersa August.   Location throughout month - Mersa Matruh  
Matruh 1st   "C" Troop to Mersa Matruh. Bivouaced at El Alamein  
  2nd   Arrived Mersa Matruh  
  3 - 7   Reconnaissance of Defensive Positions.  
  7 -23   Digging Gun Pits and communication trenches.  
  23/24   Codeword "UMBRELLA" received.  
  24. 0900 Train Party to Mersa Matruh  
    1900 Code word "FLIT" received  
    2930 Issue of all Anti Gas equipment.  
  25 0500 Road party left Abbassia for Mersa Matruh. Bivouaced night 25/26 at El Alamein.  
  26 1400 Road Party arrived Mersa Matruh.  
  27   Tents and vehicles dispersed. Headquarters commenced digging slit trenches. A, B and C Troops digging gun pits  
  28   B and C Troops to defensive positions. Digging continued on twelve Anti Tank Gun Positions. Positions manned day and night, detachments cooking own food on positiions,  
      Strength of Battery:-     Officers .........2.         Lieut J.W.H. James. R.H.A.  
                                                                            Lieut. F.B. Wyldbore-Smith. R.H.A.  
                                          Other Ranks....120.    (W.O.. cl. 11 (BSM) GILES. G)  
         
     

J.W.H. James

 
      Lieut. R.H.A  
      Commanding "P"   Battery R.H.A.  
         

 

September 1939

Commanding Officer: 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  September   Location unchanged  
  2 1115 War Declared. Eyeshields to be worn when in open.  
  4   Mobilization ordered. (Battery was actually already mobilized) but that peace accounting would continue. Mobilization order attached as App "A"
  7   Wearing of eyeshields, carrying of respirators and anti gas equipment discontinued.  
  8.   Gas sentries withdrawn but Main Guard kept detector ground outside Guard Tent.  
  9   Guns called in from defences to Headquarters for training.  
  10   Training and Field Works continues.  
  13   Anti gas clothing handed into stores. King Farouk of Egypt visits British and Egyptian Troops in the Western Desert.  
  14   Work on defences continues.  
  23   Demonstration. Types and recognitions of British Air Craft.  
         
     

J.W.H. James

 
      Captain,. R.H.A  
      Commanding "P"   Battery R.H.A.  
         

 

 

 

October 1939

Commanding Officer: 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  October   Location unchanged  
  16   Vehicles and Guns lined up.  Medical inspection of all Ranks.  
  17   Troop of four guns arrived from "D" Battery R.H.A. for Reserve Line. Lieut P.W.G. Pope R.H.A. was commander of this detachment.  
  19   Field Firing - 2 pounder. N.C.Os Lectures and Gun Drill Classes.  
  27-30   Mersa Matruh Manning Exercises.  
  20th.   Lieut. P.W.G. Pope R.H.A. and "C" Troop proceeded Mersa Matruh to complete the defences inside the wire and came under command of "P" Battery R.H.A.  
  27th.   Mersa Matruh Manning Exercise.  
         
     

J.W.H. James

 
      Captain,. R.H.A  
      Commanding "P"   Battery R.H.A.  
         

 

November 1939

Commanding Officer: 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  November   Location unchanged  
  1   2/Lieut W.T.L. Tanner R.A.R.O. arrived to relive Lieut Pope.  
  13.   Fifty per cent of the Battery on Field Works. Fifty per cent on training.  
      Other ranks on Maintenance Lectures, Gun Drills and Driving Instruction  
      W.O. and N.C.Os Navigation and Map Reading.  
      Sixteen Bofor Anti Tank guns received.  
  14   Sixteen 2 Pounder Anti Tank gins despatched to Abbassia.  
  23   T.A.B. Inoculation - All ranks.  
  27   Advance Party to Abbassia. (1 Sgt and 3 Other ranks.)  
         
     

J.W.H. James

 
      Captain,. R.H.A  
      Commanding "P"   Battery R.H.A.  
         

 

December 1939

Commanding Officer: 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  December   Location unchanged  
  1   Individual Training  
  3   Work on Defences continued.  
      1 W.O. III, 1 B.Q.M.S., 4 Sgts. & 7 Bdrs granted War Subst. Rank.  
  6-7   Annual Rifle Classification.  
  9   Demonstration by "B" Troop for G.O.C. 6th Division. Reconnaissance at SIWA.  
  10   'P' Battery R.H.A. handed over Matruh defences to 'J' Battery R.H.A.  
  11   Rail and Road parties left MATRUH for ABBASSIA. Rail party arrived ABBASSIA.  
  12   Road party arrived ABBASSIA.  
  14   Maj. H.W.L. COWAN R.H.A. took over command of 'P' Battery R.H.A.  
  18   Armour's Inspection.  
  20   Respirator Inspection.  
         
     

CW Cowan

 
      Major. R.H.A  
      Commanding "P"   Battery R.H.A.  
         

 

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