143rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. War Diary February 1944

From 70 Brigade
Revision as of 14:41, 20 July 2017 by 70bgadmin (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

1 February 1944 CARLISLE.

Regiment moved to DONCASTER. Field documentation now in force. 2AS took 1030 etc to 2nd Echelon. 2 trains with Shermans and Carriers departed.

2 February 1944 DONCASTER.

Regiment moved to LUTTERWORTH. Three trains with Shermans and Carriers and half-tracks left today. Adjutant left to visit 2nd Echelon.

3 February 1944 LUTTERWORTH.

Regiment moved to HEMSBY and settled in.

4 February 1944

Bitterly cold North wind. Adjutant rejoined Regiment.

5 February 1944 HEMSBY.

Information received that equipment to be changed for 25pdrs and Regiment would cease to be mobilised with effect from 3rd February and would change to War Establishment II/1908/1.

Letter from G.O.C. explaining change to troops to keep up morale. Everyone pretty sick at the change. C.O. returned from leave.

6 February 1944

Night into day training started. Fine Church Parade in the morning.

7 February 1944

Notification of change of War Establishment with effect from 7th February. Staff Sergeant Wickens reverts to Sergeant. Operation Instruction issued – attached to War Diary as Appendix – see below.

8 February 1944

Night training.

9 February 1944

Self-propelled guns arrived by road. Work started to prepare them for handover.

10 February 1944

Nothing of importance.

11 February 1944

Major P T Howerth posted to take over as Battery Commander of 190 Battery. Temporary Major L A Mount reverts to Captain and Temporary Captain Levy to Lieutenant.

12 February 1944

Night training finished. Nothing of importance.

13 February 1944

Nothing of importance.

14 February 1944

Nothing of importance.

15 February 1944

C.R.A. to look round – stayed to lunch.

16 February 1944

Lieutenant General Montgomery visited Division at SPROWSTON and gave a talk and inspected.

17 February 1944

Details of handover of self-propelled guns arrived by Cypher. Great trouble in dealing with this Cypher. C.O. did recce of Winterton area for anti-raid scheme.

18 February 1944

Nothing of importance. Skeleton RHQ out of Exercise PONTOON – snowed hard but did not lay.

19 February 1944

Nothing of importance. Warning instruction for loading of half-tracks received.

20 February 1944

Nothing of importance. Cold.

21 February 1944

Nothing of importance. PONTOON ended. 10 self-propelled guns to 19 Canadian Regiment by Transporter.

22 February 1944

Nothing of importance. Personnel selection Officers arrived to complete the PAGETREY ??

23 February 1944

Air Raid Warning 00:40 – 01:20 hours. Nothing of importance. C.O> recce’d SCRATBY.

24 February 1944

Nothing of importance. 4 Shermans handed over to 90 Field Regiment.

25 February 1944

Field General Court Martial of Gunner Lake. Nothing of importance.

26 February 1944

Nothing of importance.

27 February 1944

Nothing of importance. M14’s and other Shermans to go to Canadian Regiment 29th February.

28 February 1944

Nothing of importance. 4 Officers and 64 Other Ranks of RCA arrived to take over half-tracks and Shermans.

29 February 1944

Field General Court Martial Cullum – unholy balls-up over flats for half-tracks etc. Regiment ? to ? Camp.

Appendices attached to February 1944 War Diary.

Anti-Raid Measures – Regimental Operation Instruction No.1.

This document described the basics of the arrangement by which the Regiment would mount counter-attacks, should it find itself being attacked.

The counter-attack forces would be led by Captain O’Callaghan and would be supplied by each Battery and each be of of around Platoon size, armed with Rifles, Sten Guns and two Bren Guns. Each element would have one Carrier, two motorcycles, a 15cwt and 2 3-tonners.

Each man would carry an emergency ration of bully beef and biscuits and have a full water bottle.

Field Return – Other Ranks – dated 5th February 1944.

This return showed an Establishment of 650 against which 697 men were in post – a surplus of 47 and a deficiency of 3.

Field Return – Officers – dated 5th February 1944

This return showed the Establishment to be 38 with 46 Officers in post. Two Officers had left that week, both transferred to Infantry. The second page listed all Officers with the Regiment that week – the names and numbers have been extracted and included within the personnel list. The form has been completed in such a way as to show those Officers in Regimental HQ and, separately, those in each of the two Batteries.

To contact the author by e-mail with any queries, or to send information - click here.