3 Canadian Field Regiment

 

1 april 1945: Cold and showery. A Regimental Protestant Church Parade was held at 0900 hrs, Major McKinney, former Padre of this Regiment, delivering the sermon. Afterwards the Regiment marched past the CO. In the Afternoon: The first Pay Parade since we arrived in Terhagen. Surely, we must be moving soon to a spot where money no longer is required. The rest of the day was devoted to Sports, drinking and inactivity. Another quota left on Rotational Leave for Canada.

 

2 april 1945: Fair. Order form Div Arty at 0955 hrs: "Advance Parties leave forthwith. Regiment will definitely move tomorrow. Convoy Serial: BLC/1." The big event of the day for all town folks as well as armed forces was the Children's Party. A committee had been elected a few days previously consisting of Capt. Watson - Chairman, Major Carswell - Hon-Chairman & Treasurer and three members: Capt Watson, Zeller and Lieut Miller. The committee made a superb job of it. Ably assisted by the local Nuns and Church workers, they succeeded in giving some eight hundred children the time of their lives.  Sup. Messacar showed his best cartoons. Miss Blanche van Heyden welcomed and thanked us on behalf of the Terhagen dwellers in the following terms:

- To the Officers and men of the 3rd Canadian Field Regiment.

 "It is now more than a week ago that we had to honour and pleasure to receive here in our village your famous Regiment. Spontaneously, and with heartiness we rejoiced and welcomed you into our village and homes. The more because you are Canadian Soldiers who took up their weapons voluntarily to defend the Motherland and to deliver other countries like our own beloved little Belgium from the yolk of German terrorism. We are sincerely grateful to you for the part you have played in the freeing of the world. We can never compensate you for what you sacrificed in leaving your homes and loved ones to make the world free and happy again, and doing so much to make life more agreeable here in Terhagen. We are deeply touched by your kindness and generosity in giving this party for the children of this community, and the happiness reflected in the children's faces endears you to our hearts and memory and Terhagen will always remember the wonderfull boys of the 3rd Canadian Field Regiment. May God be with you in the field and bring you safely home to your loved ones. Long live the 3rd Canadian Field Regiment. Long live Canada. We would appreciate it so much if you would sing for us that lovely song, O Canada".

Our Star Trio (Col. Bailey, Capt Zellar and Capt Burgoyne) complied with Miss Blance van Heyden request by singing: - "O Canada". Refreshments were served, clowns clowned, Trumpeters trumpetered, - the party was a noisy one and therefore a great success.

 

3 april 1945: Miserable weather. The Regiment left at 0800 hrs directly following the 2 Cdn Fd Regt. The whole of Terhagen bade us good-bye. There were tears and brave smiles. The Terhagen Annals will forever revere the passage of the 3 Cdn Fd Regt as a memorable and historic occurrence. Let us hope no more tangible evidence of its transit has been left behind! We breakfasted in Belgium, lunched in Holland and supped in Germany admiring on our way: Lierre, Turnhout, Tilburg, Mook Bridge, Gennep and Nijmegen. We rejoiced in the desolation that greeted us when our well worn tires at last rolled merrily on German soil. - Few and far between are the houses over Airforce and our guns have left untouched! We are bivouacing in a particularly muddy area reminiscent of Sunny Italy at its best.

 

4 april 1945: Afer the UK party had left at 0900 hrs, Red patches were promptly sewn on and preparations made to go back into action. News has spread rapidly throughout the camp that 2 CIB is scheduled to cross the Dutch IJssel at 1200 hrs on 6 Apr.  That means WE are going in! At 1730 hrs a warning order from Div Arty: "Recce parties on 2 hours notice. - They are to be self-sufficient for three days." At 2215 hrs came: "Stand down on recces." Major Rolph went out repping with the Seaforths Capt Muir with the P.P.C.L.I.

 

5 april 1945: Cold and rainy. Everything pluralises neatly towards another efficient move. Our carriers arrived this morning, vehicles left behind on various tasks are gradually catching up with us and we are getting a few new ones. The shortage of Officers is felt only slightly: - only two of the five missing are subalterns.

 

6 april 1945: Fair. The 8th Victory Loan campaign is on. The Regiment's objective: - $30,000,00. Full recce parties left at 1830 hrs. Rest of Regiment continued maintenance and finished packing for the move.

 

7 april 1945: Fair. The Regiment start  moving at 0600 hrs and was reported ready on theatre grid at 1625 hrs. At 1830 hrs, we fired our first round in action since 25 Feb, a 45 R.P.G. fire plan in support of 3 Cdn Div. Part of the first UK leave personnel returned this evening most of them displaying the fitful bleary eyedness which bespeaks of wine etc.... The 3rd UK Leave party left from the Reichwald Forest while we were on the move.

 

8 april 1945: Rainy. Remainder of 1st UK leave personnel returned this morning. Our entry in the coming show having been delayed we are in a semi active position. However, we fired a small scale fire plan in support of the Regina Rifles. Our right rear was shelled around 1900 hrs by what was believed a 15 cm gun. The War Bond reps were detailed, to wit: RHQ - Lieut Stewart; 19 Bty - Lieut Irvine; 77 Bty - Lieut Bain; 92 Bty - Lieut Copeland. Lieut Copeland is also the Unit rep. Quiet evening and night. Leave to Paris is now obtainable as an alternative to UK Leave.

 

9 april 1945: Fair. As soon as 3 Cdn Div has captured Deventer, we expect 2 CIB to cross the Ipssell; In the meantime, we are standing by and firing the odd small scale fire plan in support of 3 Cdn Div. When the motorcylce Lieuts Kasperski and Murphy were riding collided with a jeep, both were seriously injured. The MO diagnosed their  injuries as a suspected fractured leg for Lieut Murphy and multiply abrasions and larcerations for Lieut Kasperski. Both were evacuated. -- will we ever see them again on this side of the ocean?

 

10 april 1945: Fair. Still waiting. - We fired a few of fifty targets on call in support of 3 Cdn Div which is meeting with little if any opposition.

 

11 april 1945: Fair. The attack went in at 1630 hrs. Elaborate artillery preparations had been made, including two smoke screens, targets and fire plans on call several of which were fired. Everything went according to plan and by 2100 hrs a firm bridgehead had been established across the Thassel.

 

12 april 1945: Fair. In the morning we fired target after target including several DFs and two smoke screens. Recce parties left at 1700 hrs, the Regiment moving at 1900 hrs. It was a slow and labourious move, the Regiment arriving here at 2359 hrs.