143rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. War Diary December 1943

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1 December 1943 NEWMILNS.

Nothing of importance.

2 December 1943

Adjutant goes on leave. Work fairly up to date.

3 December 1943

Visit from quartering Commandant.

4 December 1943

Nothing of importance.

5 December 1943

Intelligence Officer to AYR on Photographic Interpretation Course.

6 December 1943

Notification Regiment is to draw 3-tonners and 15cwt half-tracks.

7 December 1943

Cancellation of half-tracks. No. 29 Vehicle Replacement Depot not ready.

8 December 1943

24 Trailers collected from Vehicle Replacement Depot, Irvine. 18 3-tonners from Douglas Lamont.

9 December 1943

Technical Adjutant joined after Course. Visit from A.D.M.S.

10 December 1943

Second-in-Command on leave. 507 Battery Advance Party to ROTHESAY.

11 December 1943

Ceremonial Parade.

12 December 1943

Church Parade C of E also R C Church Parade.

13 December 1943

8 Transporters arrive.

14 December 1943

507 Battery guns leave for Weymss Bay.

15 December 1943

507 Battery to ROTHESAY by road and boat. As self-propelled guns started up on boat preparatory to driving off, 35 men were asphyxiated, No. 900343 Gunner Boorman fatally. Men admitted to hospital but none seriously afflicted.

16 December 1943

Carrier of 507 Battery overturned whilst on driving instruction. One Other Rank seriously injured and 3 others slightly. Gunner Ramsey did good work in attempting to release trapped man.

17 December 1943

Orders to mobilise received at 09:30 hours. To complete by 00:01 hours 17th January 1944.

18 December 1943

C.O. to ROTHESAY for exercise with 11th Royal Scots Fusiliers. Body of Gunner Boorman to be sent to widow. Information that 12 Self-propelled guns to be handed over to other Regiments on 15th January – two days before mobilisation completed.

19 December 1943

Nothing of importance.

20 December 1943

C.O. returns from ROTHESAY – Major Martin ADOS 104 Sent over visited regarding mobilisation.

21 December 1943

Nothing of importance. Heavy rain.

22 December 1943

388 Battery to Dunblane for firing with Battle School. Regiment gave party to local children – 500 strong. Windy and wet.

Battery Sergeant Major Skinner and Gunner Pickard received severe injuries.

23 December 1943

388 Battery exercise at Divisional Battle School. Roads very icy.

24 December 1943

Nothing of importance. Final arrangements completed for loading trials.

25 December 1943

Normal Christmas festivities: a good time had by all. Very mild.

26 December 1943

Nothing of importance. Football match – Officers versus Sergeants in afternoon.

27 December 1943

Loading trials postponed – owing to weather. Windy.

28 December 1943

Loading trials at AYR – optimum loading worked and trials completed very quickly and satisfactorily.

29 December 1943

Visit by 100. Visit by 147 Field Regiment to inspect M14. Visit by Officer from Records regarding mobilisation – satisfactory report.

30 December 1943

Nothing of importance.

31 December 1943

Nothing of importance.

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