5.5-inch guns of 85 Battery, 11th Medium Regiment, firing at night near Xanten during the assault on the Rhine, 24 March 1945. (BU2143)

11 (Essex) Medium Regiment: 85 Battery 86 Battery-

Unit No.


20 October 1944: Regiment moved from Belgium to Ijzerdijke (Zeeland).Whilst A.Troop were preparing gun positions in an area occupied by AVRE's a petard exploded and caused about 30 deaths and 60 other casualties, besides setting many tanks and vehicles on fire and demolishing a farmhouse. (L/Bdr K.Sutherill, Gnrs E.Everett and W.Rider were killed, Bdr Clarke and Gnrs S.Clapperton and  E.Youle-Grayling wounded)           


21 October 1944: Regiment moved to Belgium.  


24 October 1944: Regiment moved to area near Kloosterzande.(Zeeland)   


25 October 1944: Regiment fired in support of 2 Canadian Infantry Division, the RHQ was shelled for half an hour by 150mms but no casualties resulted.                                                


30 October 1944: Major J.D.R.T.Tilney (85 Battery Commander) returned with orders that he was going over to Vlissingen with No.4 Commando to organize the RA support, L/Bdrs A.Royan, L.Spurgeon and gunners W.Markham, R.C.Haylett, H.Worner and H.Jung all regimental signallers were ordered to accompany him.


1 November 1944: Major Tilneys boat had been hit and the coxswain killed, but he and his party landed without casualties. Gunner Markham distinguished himself for gallantry in thid action and was later awarded the Military Medal.  


7 November 1944: In the early hours (07.00hrs) the Regiment moved to another location 100 miles away!, the took up postions near the zinc works at Weert. (Limburg)  


17 November 1944: Regiment moved to Heijthuizen. (Limburg)    


21 November 1944: During the afternoon Sergeant W.Hayes (85 Bty) accidentally but fatally wounded himself with a stengun.   


26 November 1944: After a few days of a comparatively quiet period, the Regiment came out of action at 07.30hrs and went to new postion north of Helden (Limburg).  


27 November 1944: 85 Battery Wagon line area, near Heijthuizen was subjected to a sharp air raid. Gunner W.F. Allston being killed and Gunner Watson receiving injuries from which he subsequently died.                                             


30 November 1944: Regiment went to Germany. 


4 February 1945: Regiment moved to Haps (Limburg) 


7 February 1945: All guns in action, Fire plans and targets were received for Operation "Veritable".                                                                                                                             


8 February 1945: Regiment fired a long CB bombardment between 05.00hrs and 09.00Hrs, after that slowed down but they kept firing until midnight. 


16 February 1945: Captain H.J.Devitt, whilst going forward in his carrier with infantry, was seriously wounded in the neck by a Spandau bullet which had passed through the rim of his driver tin helmet.    


17 February 1945: Regiment moved to Gennep. (Limburg), had OP at Vierlingsbeek. (Limburg)   


2 March 1945: Regiment moved to Germany.