1 Field Regiment R.C.H.A: A.Battery - B.Battery - C.Battery

 

7 April 1945: Weather cool but clear and the sun is shinning again. We moved off at 07.45hrs, passed the S.P. (Waterborn) at 08.00hrs route through Cleve, Emmerich and then along Ruby route to Joppe. One C. Battery was killed by a shell which landed on the road in front of the vehicle, another vehicle was damaged by shell splinters (15-cwt). Two casualties were caused in the RHQ area by shelling which occurred immediately prior to the Regiment arriving.

The first round fired in anger in this theatre was loaded off at midnight in support of the Regina Rifles.

 

8 April 1945: Weather clear but still cool. A fairly quiet day. One small fire plan came in at 13.30hrs but only one tgt of it was engaged. "B" Battery is on with the Air OP and is being kept reasonably busy. Five bombards were fired during the day.

 

9 April 1945: Another quiet day, with only enough firing break the monotony. We drew one H.U. computer, one 15-cwt armoured, two fats and seven trailers. Div Arty want us to supply an OP party te be attached to the Engineers temporarily and send in shell reps. "C" Bty are stuck for it.

 

10 April 1945: Business is picking up and the tgts are starting to come in a bit more frequently. most of them being small fire plans in support of 7 CIB who are pushing on towards Deventer. C Battery stood by ready to engage a tgt with redsmoke from noon till dark but never fired. The tgt was an enemy gun position which the bomber wanted marked.

 

11 April 1945: At last the fire plan in support of 2 CIB crossing  the Ijssel river has arrived and it looks as if we will have to start working again. The Regt fired a smoke screen to cover the initial crosing and also give the engineers cover while the built was being built. The fire plan commenced at 16.30hrs and the smoke screen wasn't stopped until 2055hrs.

 

12 April 1945: The warning order for recce parties was received  at 01.40hrs but the proposed gun area is still in German territority. Regardless of that, they moved off at 08.30hrs and spent a very uncomfortable morning. A large part of it on the F.D.L's. The first order to move came at 14.00hrs and the regt is only allowed 120 vehs to fo forward acrros the river, to be at the bridge at 17.30hrs. This order was changed to read "Be at the bridge by 18.30hrs but later on in the afternoon this was changed again to 18.00hrs. The Regt came out of action at 17.00hrs and moved off at 17.30hrs. Order of march: RHQ,A, B, C. . There was a traffic jam from the corner at Gorssel to the Poco Poco Bridge. The new area is very poor as regaqrds cover for the guns it as flat as a billard table, and houses are in short supply due to the enthusiasm of the men who are operating flame-throwers. Regimental Command Post is down in concrete silo foundation which is about six feet deep.

 

13 April 1945: The weather has turned windy but visibility is good. Everyone has kept busy as the fire plans keep coming invery regulary, although a few of them have to be cancelled due to our own troop advancing so fast. At 17.30hrs the order came for recce parties again and the Regt is to move at 20.30hrs. Captain W.Godfrey was wounded today, not seriously, just two shell splinter wounds in the leg. Two if his signallers were also wounded. Moved at 20.30hrs, order of march B, A, C, RHQ. RHQ and the Batteries have houses for command posts this postion. In action by 22.00hrs and again the D.F's and Fire plans poor in. (and Mike Targets).

 

14 April 1945: The old bogey "Harrasing Fire"is back with us, the first harrasing fire tgs came in from Div at 00.20hrs, three targets with two guns on each until 06.00hrs. Mike Targets and fire plans are coming in thick and fast. Its a good thing we have no ammunition restrictions. We turned all our available PIATS and bombs over to the 2 LAA Regt as they are in the line a infantry, guarding the right flank of the bridgehead. Took in custody to-day two Dutch civilians, a man and his wife complete with bicycles and two dogs, who said they had crossed over from Tedeschi's side of the lines in Apeldoorn. They were turned over to Field Security Section but apparently had no information of importance. Fire plan Newlywed laid on by the CO in honor of Lt M.D.Chaffee who just returned from leave in England where he was married.

 

15 April 1945: Weather and visibility good but it cant last from the looks of the sky. Fairly busy firing at odd times all day. Some of it Counter Battery.

 

16 April 1945: Picked up another civilian in C. Battery area this time. who tought she knew quite a lot a comely looking wench too., but she wore wooden scarps. It also turned out to be a false alarm but were still tryng. Another fairly busy day, just like the last two, still no word of moving. The R.S.O Lieutenant D.C.Hardy went forward to survey in some tanks for harrasing fire. (1st Hussars).

 

17 April 1945:  Weather is clear and sunny again. Firing died down in the morning as the forward troops are getting out of range. We came under command of 3 CIB this morning and when the new gun area was a lloted, everybody was doubly sure that the the recce was on. Regt moved at 14.00hrs. The Batterys were deployed in squares. The Regt was no sooner in action than the order for recce parties to go forward again. We never fired a round from the position. One company of the C.Y.R. were attached to us for local protection and transportation. RHQ, A Bty and C Bty moved off to the new position B stayed in action until A and C Btys were in action again. B Bty then came forward but remained on wheels. E Troop were prevented from getting their pinot gun into position by snipers who were about 200 ayrds away.

 

18 April 1945: Into action at 02.00hrs but stragglers kept arriving until approx 04.00hrs due to bad visibilty. C Bty remained on wheels but their bty director was fixed, in case they should be required to go into action. All the men had a hot cup of tea at 02.00hrs which made life more bearable. We are receiving no information as to the prgogress of the battle due to the situation being too fluid. Recce parties took off at 12.30hrs and the Regt moved at 14.00hrs Barnveld and Voorthuizen. Ready at 16.00hrs on Regimental Grid. Survey Rgt have been tearing their hair out, as every time they get near us with theatre grid we take off again for a new area. Recce parties were called out again at 18.00hrs and we are on the move again at 19.00hrs. This time fall heir to a battery of medums which come under command R.C.H.A.  We lost our company of C.Y.R but find that out local protection now consits of the R22 Regt dug in around the perimeter in the Regimental area. Which makes everyone feel much safer as the woods to the east of us are still full of Tedeschi.

 

19 April 1945:  About 03.00hrs the enemy tried to break through but were engaged by the R22R just east of A Battery. The weather is clear and visibility very good. Captain N.R.Allen led up B.Ech from the apeldoorn area. today and unwittingly came thorugh aproxx three miles of enemy held territority, they saw no enemy in the territory they "liberated". The survey Regy managed to get up to us at last and we are now on the theatre grid, the first time since the race started. The last order of the day was no firing without reference to Div.

 

20 April 1945: Weather clear and sunny with excellent visibility. Very little firing due to the difficulty of clearing targets with Div. The order to move came from the CO at 11.40hrs and RHQ, A, and C Brtys moved off as per orders, but Div Arty cancelled the move when we were about a mile down the road and ordered us back into action which was done but quick. B Bty was allowed to porceed to the new position. C Bty reported ready when Div arty ordered us to move. Route: Voorthuizen, then towards Nijkerk. The medium battery went into action with us but orders came down for them to support back to their Regt so we have lost them.                 Lt D.C. Hardy is very proud of his survey section as they were only 2 meteres and 2 minutes out on their survey. Lt/Col E.F.McCordick received word that he is to be nominated liberal canidate for Lincoln County. We are back under command of Div Arty and the DF's are starting to coming in.

 

21 April 1945: Weather clear but it loks like rain again. We are limited on the amn expenditure to 12 rounds per gun per day. A very quiet day but in the evneing we were deluged wilt multi D.F.s which kept the command post busy till late.

 

22 April 1945:  Cloudy and windy with occasional rain squalls. We were notified that in all probablilities we would remain in this postion for about ten days. Softball is coming in to its own again, as there are plenty of good fields to practice in. A picture snow was held at RHQ and even the rain couldn't chase the men away from it.

 

23 April 1945: Rainy and windy. Recce parties took off at 12.30hrs. and the Regt moved at 13.45hrs minus C Bty. C.Bty moved as soon as A and B Btys were in position. Three Dutch civilians were picked up and delivered to the PW cage at 3 CIB because they were attempting to go through the lines to Amersfoort. The underground are guarding the roads in the area to stop civilian movement after dark.

 

24 April 1945: Jerry landed a fairly large calibre shell in the RHQ area wounding 5 civilians at 08.00hrs. The MO was kept busy for awhile patching up and evacuating the casualties. Lines were laid from the batteries to all the reps and FOO's as the front has become static again.

 

25 April 1945: Lt/Col McCormick was relieved at Brigade HQ in the morning by Maj R.Philpot. Lt R.W.Crawford relieved Lt D.R.Urquhart, as Eaglefeaters A Troop moved out in the C.Y.R. area to engage targets which are out of range to our present position. In doing so they were the victims of misfortune, became bogged down going into the position, and were heavily shelled as they were under observation. Two guns were knocked out temporarily, but no casualties were suffered. Capt R.W.Robertson sustained a broken ankle in a jeep and motorcycle accident and was evacuated. Battery deployments have laid on by the C.R.A due to A Tp not being in action at the appointed hour. As soon as the shelling died down A Tp returned to their rightful position in the regimental area.

 

26 April 1945: C Bty took off at first light to do battery deployments for the day in the area. On the whole a very quiet day but some observed shoots were carried out. Maj Philpot came in from Brigade in the evening and gave us the information that we are adopting the policy of "live and let live". And are not to shoot at the jerries unless they shoot first.

 

27 April 1945: Cold and rainy. The "Live and let live" information was passed on to the men but they didn't appear enthusiastic about the idea. Sport and a general smartening up are to be stressed if we remain in this area any lenght of time. The Rotational Leave Queta came in and we have thirty men to go, and most of them are going to be very hard to replace. Received orders from Div Arty at 22.00hrs that from 08.00hrs 28 April there would be no firing under any circumstances.

 

28 April 1945: Weather cold with rain squalls. The no firing order has been passed out and we are just waiting for results. Sent Lt B.M.Gordon to Spakenburg as LO to check on a report from the Air OP that 40 to 50 vessels were heading towards Spakenburg. Apparently a fishing fleet but not to be trusted.

 

29 April 1945: Raining heavily and very cold. C Bty deployment called off in account of weather. The Regtiment drew a new "jeep"to-day "C" Bty. A report of 1 Female and several armed Pro-Nazis investigated at Square, no dice. There is to be a Div Arty Sport day May 3rd preceded by a ceremonial parade for the GOC.

 

30 April 1945: Lt/Col E.F.McCordick received news of his being anaimously accepted as Liberal Candidate fro Lincoln County Ontario. Major G.A.Leggat attended a sports meeting at Div Arty 14.00hrs. Capt C.A.McQueston relieved Capt P.G.Newell MC&Bar as Arty Rep with CYR. An Officers shop has opened in Barnveld. Capt K.E.Haffner, Lt Filliter returned from UK leave.