14 Field Regiment RCA: 34 Battery- 66 Battery- 81 Battery: 25 pounders

Unit No.

 

15 October- 4 November 1944: The East end of the Schelde was cleared enough for the deployment of Field Artillery and the Regiment moved to Biervliet. As B.Troop occupied their gun position, a lone stray mortar landed close, killing one man and wounding another. The Schedle fight was, for the Regiment, a series of daily moves through Groede, Cadzand to Knokke, During this period the FOOs were forward most of the time and had to contend with constant shelling, small arms fire and mines. 34 Battery had hard luck with their OPs in the initial stages of the fight . On 21 October A.Troop OP crew in the carrier were following up the forward Infantry. Captain Belyea had gone forward with his signallers on foot, due to the cross country fighting. The carrier ran over a mine killing gunner W.H.K.MacNeil, who later recieved the MM for his outstanding and untiring devoation to his work. The other two members of the crew Gunner P.C.G. Histed and Gunner L.H. Rahm were thrown clear and uninjured.

On the 26th October a similiar accident occured to B Troop OP Captain D.M. Mills was forward on foot with his signaller and the carrier and crew followed up as in A.Troop. The carrier struck a mine, killing the driver, Gunner D.J.Gegear and Gunner H.D. Armstrong, Gunner A.J. Gillespie was wounded and later died in Hospital. When the advance parties, went forward to recce positions in Cadzand, it was discovered after passing through the town on the way that it had not yet been entered by Infantry. Nothing occured however, and the recce continued their surveying of the gun positions. Before this could be completed a 20mm gun opened up eigth open sights pinning the recce parties to the ground. Under these conditions they still managed to complete the survey and swend a party out to find the gun. It was eventually taken out but not before it had accounted for by a number of minor casualties and some flat gun tires. 81 Battery OP was hit by shell fire, wounding Bombardier Hepburn and Bombardier H.W. Willett.

During the 3 weeks the Regiment moved 10 times and A Echelon had to pick up loose ammo from old positions and take it on to new positions, remove salvage, deliver mail, dialy rations, then return to their bivouacs, eat the hot food the cooks always had ready, a couple of hours sleep, then off for more ammo or petrol.

 

4 November 1944: Regiment moved to Belgium.

 

10 November- 20 December 1944:  With much regret, but eager to get into the fighting again, the Regiment left for Nijmegen area on the 10 November, going via Antwerp, Tilburg, grave. at Grave the unit parked for the night and continued to Nijmegen the following moning. Here the Regiment relived the 55 Field Regiment of the Guards Armoured Division, in support of the 82 US Airborne Division. They were holding the area between the Waal and the Maas Rivers. 3 Division Infantry arrived to relieve the 82nd Division two days later. The three Batteries were deployed in open fields surrounded by woods in Dekkerswald, between Nijmegen and Groesbeek. RHQ set up in the Dekkerswald Sanatorium. The guns were well dug in and the men soon had elaborate "shugugueries" decorated with captured German equipment. Coal was issued at the rate of 1 lb per man per day. Elaborate cooking arrangements were set up and due the small amount of firing, maintance was strictly adhered to. A echelon was billeted in private homes in Nijmegen and B echelon was centered near Grave.

OPs were set up at Groesbeek, Beek and different places along the FDL:s. On 15 November a new policy was adopted by the Regiment and one troop went out of action for cleaning and maintance for 72hrs at a time, this plan proved to be very succesful and L.A.D. had an excellent chance to check and re-equip the guns and vehicles. Periodically jet propelled planes, flying sometime at only 500ft dropped bombs in the area but caused no casualties to the Regiment. One gun detachment of the 4 L.A.A. attached to E.Troop was hit. One man was killed and three wounded. On the 26 November Lieutenant J.W.McKinnon and his signaller were wounded by shell fire when occupying an OP, overlooking Wyler, Germany. The next few weeks up until the 20th December were uneventful.

 

20 December- 9 February 1945: The Regiment moved into Nijmegen to take up a defensive postion. Most of the gunners were billetted in private homes and some in box cars on the railway near the guns. This was a new life, to be in action and living in private homes with civilians. The guns were well dug in and the stand easy positions as well. Practically all CPs and stand easy had electric lights which added to the comfort. For Christmas dinner, one troop was taken out of action at a time for 24hrs, commencing with A Troop on the 23rd. At midnight  December 31, all guns on the front opened up to wish Jerry a "Happy New Year". The month January was uneventful except for a rahter unusual target fired by LieutnenantN.R.Richardson of 34 Battery, from an OP in a brick factory on the bank of the Waal. During the night of 12/13 January. Richardson heard several explosions and in the morning, discovered they were taking place in the river, throwing up huge water spouts to a height of about 150 to 200 feet. He took these to be mines the Germans were trying to float down stream to blow the supports of the nijmegen Bridge. In the afternoon he noticed three Germans on the oppposite bank of the river moving from one pier to another. He brought fire to bear on them with 34 Battery. While doing so he noticed a small craft moving upstream finally identified as a miniature submarine. He switched from his other target and fired on the sub. He had several hits, damaging the superstructure. Brigade having been notfied of the presence of the sub ordered 6 pounder anti tank guns to take it on. They did so and a direct hit caused it to blow up with a terific explosion. This proved that the sub must have contained high explosive for the destruction of the said bridge. Another sub was sighted and also destroyed, in the same manner by 6 pounders.

The area in front of the OPs was flooded by the Germans and soon they had to evacuate. By the 8th the water had risen dangerously high. Plans had to be changed somewhat for the attack but the timmings were unchanged. At 05.00hrs the guns opened up in a counter battery role which continued until 09.20hrs.

 

9 February 1945: The Regiment moved to Germany.

 

17 February-20 February 1945: The Regiment moved to Belgium.

 

2 April-15 April 1945: On the night of 1/2 April the Regiment moved across the Rhine over the large pontoon bridge at Emmerich and proceeded north in 9 Brigade convoy, led by 7 Recce. A couple of hours after crossing the river, Holland was entered again. Slight opposition was met now and then, and not until the Brigade neared Zupthen did they meet any real opposition. A great many shoe mines were encountered here and deployement was difficult. The next pocket of determined resistance was Deventer. From there the Regiment moved to Meppel. There was no rsistance whatsover here nad the civilians welcomed their liberators with great celebrations. The Regiment recce parties were the first to enter the town From there Regiment moved on through Steenwijk, Mildam, Oranjewoud, Makkum and finally stopped at Leeuwarden on April 15.

 

15 April- 22 April 1945: Here the batteries were deployed between Franeker and Harlingen. The last of the Germans in Friesland gave stiff resistance at Harlingen. The Regiment supported an attack on Harlingen by the HLI which was succesful. An officer captured here who had been in command of nine 40mm guns, told how the firing was done by the 34 Battery had knocked out six of the guns and the gunners manning the remaining three, deserted. Lieutenant G.E.Whitaker was badly wounded by a 40mm while engaging a target. The 81 Battery fired on them and direct hits. After a few days vigil on the Zuiderzee to guard agains any attempts the jerries might make in Friesland, the Regiment was relieved by the 17 Field Regiment on 21 April.

 

15 May 1945- 13 June 1945: The Regiment toop up billets in old German Signal Barracks at Ede. During the few days spent here the men were kept busy with maintenance and painting. On 20 May, new billets were taken up in Bilthoven near Utrecht these billets were in private homes and the civilians welcomed alll ranks with true Dutch hospitality. On 6 June the anniversary of the day of the Division landed in Normandy, the Regiment took part in the Division drive past at Utrecht.

 

13 June- 30 July 1945: The Regiment moved to the Voorthuizen area. On Sunday the 24 June the Regiment gathered as a whole in the little village church at Voorthuizen where a memorial service was held in memory of the officers and Men of the Regiments who gave their lives for the cause. On July 1, the Regiment came under command of Lt-Col W.J.Brigger of the 5 Medium Regiment. On July 22, the Regiment moved to Wilhelmina Barracks in Utrecht The Regiment remain here until the return to Engeland and from there to Canada.

front left to right, Bombardier L.A Boyle, gunner H.W Embree, gunner H.D Armstrong.
mid left to right, lance bombardier W.J Pelrine, Sargent D.Mills, L.T Groves.
top left to right. Gunner J.R Robinson, Gunner C.F Bolderstone
(R. Embree)
Jack Leroy Pierce A/102991
(M. Pierce)