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

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1 February 1941 Alafoss, ICELAND.

Very cold night. Water pipes burst. Nothing else of importance. G.O.C.’s TEWT.

2 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather cold. Heavy falls of snow during night.

3 February 1941

Visit of Command Catering Adviser. G.O.C.’s TEWT. Weather – sleet and rain most of day. Thawing – wind none.

4 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather damp and cold.

5 February 1941

386 Exercise Sand Table Gallipoli Campaign. Gunner Miller 386 Battery returned to UK after Medical Board. Strong Easterly wind at times, weather damp and cold – not freezing till evening.

6 February 1941

386 Exercise on Sand Table continued. Brigade Major Royal Artillery visited HQ. Mock Court Martial at 147 Infantry Brigade HQ. Weather very cold, sunny.

7 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather cold, cloudy, strong North East wind at times. Rum issue authorised for all ranks on capture of BENGHAZI.

8 February 1941

2nd Lieutenant Calvert arrived from Borganes and reported with Captain O’Callaghan. 2nd Lieutenant Brabin at Force Tactical School. 2nd Lieutenant F? and 2nd Lieutenant Williams on 3 days leave at Reykjavik. Boxing Team from 388 arrived. Weather fine and cold.

9 February 1941

11:05 hours. Air Raid Warning. German bombers flew at 3000 feet from East to West in vicinity of Lagafell. Anti-aircraft fire opened. Camp defences manned.

12:10 hours. No “All Clear” having been received Force Control Room were ‘phoned who informed Signals Officer that “All Clear” had been given 15 minutes after warning. No message received at this HQ. Weather very fine, cold. Wind nil.

10 February 1941

C.O. visited Force HQ re events on 9th instant. Mess Committee General Meeting 19:30 hours.

20:00 hours. Regimental Boxing Match versus 294 Company, Royal Engineers. Result – Lost 7 – 5.

Major Weston RA visiting Regiment from Borganes.

Miniature Range completed. Weather fine, cold. No wind.

11 February 1941

09:00 hours. C.O. lectures Force Tactical School. 147 Infantry Brigade TEWT. Weather warm, very windy from East.

12 February 1941

Orders received for Force Exercise on some date week ending February 22nd. Weather warm, very windy from East.

13 February 1941

Orders received for Force Exercise to be held between February 18 – 28. Warning “Standby for George” given to Officer Commanding 386 Battery 14:30 hours. Weather warm, very windy from East.

14 February 1941

07:00 hours. “George” given to Officer Commanding 386 Battery. 70th Infantry Brigade Exercise - 11 DLI, Tyneside Scottish, 2 Troops 386 Battery.

17:00 hours. Exercise completed.

Orders received for Force Signal Exercise 17 February 1941. Umpires Conference 17:30 hours.

17:30 hours. Major Hamilton, Captains Bailey and Mount received instructions to attend. Weather cold, light and sunny, no wind.

15 February 1941

11:30 hours. Discussion on 70th Infantry Brigade Tactical Exercise. Weather fine, colder wind light East, sunny.

16 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Preparation for Force Signal Exercise. Weather cold, bright, no wind.

17 February 1941

08:00 hours. Force Signal Exercise commenced.

16:00 Force Signal Exercise ended. Weather cold, bright, windless.

18 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather cold, bright, windless. Instructions received for a smoke screen demonstration.

19 February 1941

14:30 hours. Conference on result of Force Signal Exercise.

Instructions received for L/Sgts Osbourne and Woodman to proceed to UK for OCTU training. Weather very cold, bright wind North West, snowy.

20 February 1941

11:00 hours. Practice smoke screen demonstration by C Troop 386 Battery witnessed by G.O.C. and C.R.A. Wind strong North West very wild but sunny.

21 February 1941

Reconnaissance carried out on Battle HQ for RHQ. Site decided on and line laid by Signal Section. RHQ personnel completed firing of allotment of practice ammunition for 1940 and 1941. Results satisfactory. Weather fine, sunny, wind light, later Westerly.

Acting Sergeant Osbourne and Lance Sergeant Woodman from 388 Battery for UK. Brigade ? for stores.

22 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Force Pantomime opened. Good show. Weather fine, cold, light winds.

Captain Fawdrey? Force HQ to see C.O. re internal security.

23 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Weather cloudy, cold, some snow later, wind North Easterly.

24 February 1941

09:20 hours. Force Exercise No.1 commenced.

17:45 hours. Force Exercise No. 1 finished. Weather bright and sunny, very cold, strong wind Northerly.

25 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Very cold, bright and sunny. 2nd Lieutenant A R Calvert returned to Borganes.

26 February 1941

Nothing of importance. Very cold, bright and sunny. Strong wind North East.

27 February 1941

Very cold and very stormy, wind from North East. Considerable minor damage to Camp.

Wind blowing in gusts of over 100 mph. Discussion on Force Exercise No. 2. Quite impossible for outside activities.

28 February 1941

Very cold and windy from North East (Force 12). Water and electricity supply in Camp failed during day. Quite impossible for any outside work to be done owing to the cold. Wind decreasing in force. Quite short day.

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