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

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1 July 1943 Pontypridd

Adjutant returned from leave – weather fine.

2 July 1943

Visited by “G” Staff – very hot.

3 July 1943

Ceremonial Parade – wet.

4 July 1943

Second-in-Command returned from CB Course at CLYRO. Cold.

5 July 1943

388 Battery to Black Mountain Range, thence to Sennybridge. Wet.

6 July 1943

507 Battery to Black Mountain Range, thence to Sennybridge. Programme for Smoke demonstration was attached to the War Diary – for details see below.

7 July 1943

190 Battery to Black Mountain Range: RHQ to Sennybridge for rehearsal Smoke Demonstration.

8 July 1943

Rehearsal for Smoke – wet.

9 July 1943

Rehearsal again.

10 July 1943

Smoke Demonstration – weather most unkind – little seen of demonstration.

11 July 1943

Wet again.

12 July 1943

Exercise Contact – fine.

13 July 1943

Exercise Contact – reasonable weather.

14 July 1943

Exercise Contact. C.O. to Larkhill for Anti-tank Course. Fine.

15 July 1943

Contact still on – wet.

16 July 1943

Contact ended. Padre Bryan left us to go to ATS Training Centre. Padre Evans arrived.

17 July 1943

Ceremonial Parade. Security film shown – a good method of instruction. Conference at HQRA re Combined Operations.

18 July 1943

Church Parade.

19 July 1943

Major Mount and RQMS to NEWMILNS.

20 July 1943

Guns 25 pdr returned. Advance Party to NEWMILNS. Second-in-Command on leave.

21 July 1943

S visit C.O. returns Senior Chaplain to the Forces to tea. Padre Bryan wrote to say he found it difficult to satisfy the needs of 2000 ATS who were constantly turning over!

22 July 1943

Very wet today.

23 July 1943


24 July 1943

Regiment all packed ready to move by 17:00 hours.

25 July 1943

Regiment moved to Wellington to Staging Camp.

26 July 1943

Regiment moved to Preston to Staging Camp.

27 July 1943

Regiment moved to Carlisle to Staging Camp. C.O. on leave.

28 July 1943

Regiment arrived at NEWMILNS.

29 July 1943

C.R.A. visited area – not satisfied with billets – too cramped and badly ventilated.

30 July 1943

D.A.D.M.S. visited area and prepared to recommend alterations.

31 July 1943

Very fine day.

Appendices attached to the July 1943 War Diary.

143 Field Regiment – Operation Order No. 1 - Smoke demonstration – Sennybridge.

This five page document set out the arrangements in detail for this event.

In the standard layout the document began by identifying the area occupied by the “enemy” (Bare Hill, Drum Hill, One Bush Spur), and then the ground held by our own troops (in this instance 6 DWR and 11 RSF with 7 DWR in reserve, supported by a squadron of the Divisional Recce Regiment).

The intention was to mount a vigorous attack with utmost speed.

7 DWR were to attack and capture TELEPHONE HILL on a two Company front, with Drum Hill as the first objective.

Supporting troops to 147 Infantry Brigade were one squadron BOSTONS, 143 Field Regiment, 386 Field Battery, one MG and one Mortar Company of 2nd Kensingtons.

The Artillery were given a set of tasks – identified on Appendix A to the Order, giving the number and type of rounds, map references, and the timing of their firing and the relevant Batteries.

Details of ammunition supply, communication arrangements, identification of wagon lines, ration arrangements, supplies, petrol, medical support and traffic flows were described on the second page.

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