143rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. War Diary March 1941

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1 March 1941 Alafoss, Iceland.

4 Course Force Tactical School. Captain D F Roberts 388 Battery unable to attend owing to weather conditions. Weather improving, wind decreasing, some snow during evening. Warmer.

2 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather cloudy, cold, strong gusty wind North East. Captain D F Roberts arrival for Course 4 Tactical School.

00:10 hours. Clocks advanced by one hour.

3 March 1941

14:30 hours. Anti-Aircraft fire from direction of Reykjavik. Air raid warning sounded in Camp but no official warning received. Apparently firing in error as aircraft sighted was a Fairey Battle. Weather light, sunny and warm. Wind light, variable.

4 March 1941

C.O., Officer Commanding 386 Battery and B Troop Commander went on recce to KALDADARNES AERODROME and Selfoss BRIDGE for possible Troop Observation Post position.

Weather similar to that on the 3rd. Brigadier Lammie assumed command of Force Reserve from 12:00 hours.

5 March 1941

Scheme for B Troop in Kaldadarnes area, C.O. and Adjutant left at 09:15 hours.

Weather fine and sunny, slight breeze.

6 March 1941

10:00 hours. Brigadier Lammie visited C.O. Lance Bombardier Clough and Gunner ?Temple before Adjutant and given extra fatigues for minor offences.

16:15 hours. Fire in blanket factory at Alafoss soon extinguished by help of 386 Fire Squad. Weather fine, warmer, light winds.

7 March 1941

2nd Lieutenants Airy and Woodman and Lance Bombardier Grant returned from courses in the UK. Bombardier Polter and Lance Bombardier O’Connor arrived from Borganes for Signaller’s Course. Weather cold at first. Quick thaw setting in later. Overcast windless.

8 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather rain all day. Windless.

9 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather warm, overcast. Slight rain, windless.

10 March 1941

C.O. with Brigadier Lammie, Major Douglas visited Kaldadarnes for recce of Selfoss area. Signal Course at 49 Division Signals commenced.

2/Lt Wolff from attached. Signal Section attending. Weather fine, overcast, mild.

11 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather overcast, mild, wind Easterly light, moderate.

12 March 1941

Preliminary recce of demonstration area at SANSKEID.

17:00 hours. C.R.A. takes C.O. and Adjutant on area to sea and explain proposed demonstration.

Weather fine, overcast, light moderate Easterly winds.

13 March 1941

10:00 hours. Gunner Rodgers R, RHQ, reports loss of wallet containing 60/65 Krona between 09:00 and 09:30 hours. Investigation and search immediately goes ahead. Gunner Dimmock B Troop 386 Battery charged before C.O. under Section 9/2 Army Act. Sentenced to 14 days detention.

14:30 hours. Court of Enquiry into loss of Gunner Rodgers’ wallet assembles. President Captain Marshall? Members Lt A R Fielder, 2nd Lieutenant H H K Woodman and proceeds to take evidence.

23:30 hours. Court of Enquiry closes. Opinion handed to C.O.

Weather mild, rainy, light or moderate Easterly wind.

Order of the Day received from G.O.C. “Leave to UK re-opens”.

14 March 1941

ENSA Concert Party gives 2 shows in LAMBTON CAMP. Weather mild and rainy, light wind from the East. Road to Reykjavik getting steadily worse.

15 March 1941

4 Surveyors from 388 Battery report for 2nd Lieutenant Woodman’s Survey Course. Gunner Driver I/C Slade 388 Battery granted compassionate transfer to UK. Captain Roberts 388 Battery on completion of Course at Tactical School arrived at RHQ for a few days. Weather showery, mild, slight wind Southerly.

16 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather mild, strong Southerly wind, gale force at times. Rain.

17 March 1941

Nothing of importance. C.O. carries out further recce of SANSKEID area. Weather fine and sunny, light Southerly winds.

18 March 1941

C.R.A. visited Camp. 386 Battery Survey Party at SANSKEID surveying. Weather fine and sunny. Some rain in evening.

19 March 1941

Recce of area for move of Force Reserve Exercise. C.O. attends. Weather overcast getting colder. Strong North Easterly wind at night.

20 March 1941

Signalman Rowley before C.O. adjourned for summary of evidence under oath. Weather fine, colder.

21 March 1941

386 Battery guns calibrated at SANSKEID. Weather fine, colder. Captain Roberts, Gunners Thompson and Strutt returned to Borganes.

22 March 1941

Weather warm and sunny, no wind.

23 March 1941

Exercise with 147 Infantry Brigade. 386 Battery less B Troop taking part. Colonel and Adjutant acting as Umpires. Weather warm and sunny, no wind.

24 March 1941

09:15 hours. Exercise for RHQ and 386. Rehearsal of firing demonstration. Weather cold, bright, light Easterly wind.

2nd Lieutenant R F G Roberts, Captain P T L Browne returned from courses in the UK. Roberts remains at RHQ for a day or two.

25 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Regiment preparation for Force Royal Artillery demonstration. Weather bright and sunny, very cold.

26 March 1941

Force Royal Artillery demonstration. 386 Battery engaged all day. RHQ employed on Range Duties.

27 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather cold, getting warmer, some snow at night.

28 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Lance Bombardier Williams and Gunner Weedon returned from UK. Two Officers and 58 Other Ranks from RAO attached to Regiment: pending transfer to Transit Camp. Weather – snow and sleet early, improving later.

29 March 1941

09:30 hours. C.O., R.S.M., 4 Other Ranks and Lance Bombardier Williams and Gunner Weedon left for Borganes. Major Hamilton assumes command of the Regiment. Weather fine and bright, cold. Signalman Rowley sentenced to 28 days Confined to Barracks for improper possession.

30 March 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather fine and cold. Thaw precautions removed. P/Os Grant and ?Oxley left RHQ.

10:30 hours. German “Kondor” aircraft fired at over Reykjavik. No bombs dropped.

31 March 1941

German “Kondor” aircraft fired at over Reykjavik. Some snow during night 31 March -1 April.

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