5 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery: G Battery (Mercers Troop)- 25 pounder

 

Unit No.76

 

22 September 1944: 0600 - Battery moved - Gheel - Moll - Lommel - Westerhoven - Steensel - Veldhoven - Zeel (the park at Eindhoven. All in ready to move 2100 hrs in support of 15 (S) Div attack on Best. 1730 - Move cancelled.

 

23 September 1944: Same area awaiting orders.

 

24 September 1944: 1600 - Reverted to command 22 Armd Bde on 3 hours notice in same location.   

 

25 September 1944: 0530 - Orders to move and tie in with 8 Hussars at 0630 hrs moving up through Eindhoven to St. Oedenrode. 0600 - Moved and toed in with 8 Hussars. 1100 - Bty in action. Fired on various targets. DFs for 8 Hussars Amm Ex 489 HE.

 

26 September 1944: Same location.X and RB Troop to 5 R Tks - Bty to tie in group to moved to Veghel area (Brabant). Fired on Infantry and guns for 8th Hussars this morning. Amm Ex 450 HE.    

 

27 September 1944: 0600 - X and RA Troop with 5 R Tks to take over Nistelrode area (Brabant). RB remaining with 11 Hussars and firing for them in the Dinther area. Amm Ex 209 HE.

 

28 September 1944: 0630 - Bty moved in a sniping role to be fired by RB working with 11 Hussars. B Sqn. 5 R Tks was protection. Div Role was to guard 30 Corps CL. Policy was to do this by patrol and arty fire. 1200 - X joined 5 Tks HQ at Loosbroek. 1400 - Fired on infantry and A/T guns. Amm Ex 236 HE. DFs round us by K & CC as the FDls were 100 yds in front of guns.

 

29 September 1944: RB rejoined. RB working with 5 R Tks. 1430 - Various targets engaged Amm Ex 365 HE.

 

30 September 1944: No change. Amm Ex 225 HE.

 

1 October 1944: 1030 - 5 R Tks moved to Nistelrode . The divisional was now holding in static line into patrol .... by day from the Maas to 's-Hertogenbosch - Veghel Canal. 1130 -  Bty moved into regimental position and settled down  for what was expected to be in fairly long stay. 1600 - X&RB returned to the Bty, CRA went to Nistelrode to maintain liaison with 5 R Tks. No firing.

 

2 October 1944: X&RB to Nistelrode when Bty Tac HQ was set up with 5 R Tks. A day of maintenance - some targets engaged. Amm Ex 147 HE.

 

3 October 1944: 0200 - Some harassing on enemy movement heard during the night 374 HE 0530. 1700 - Tac HQ to Bty as 5 R Tks moved to Veghel under 131 Bde. Some 'mike' targets - EX 112 HE.

 

4 October 1944: First light R.A. with C Sqn 5 R Tks & I Coy IRB X & Lt Jamieson in ?? into a roving section - several ?? ?? from difficult positions - part of a deception plan RA to Vinkel. 1230 -  X roving section returned. Amm 108 HE.

 

5 October 1944: RA at Vinkel. Maintenance & baths. A Troop stood down all day. 1200 - RB relieved RA. 1 Troop 15 LAA attached to Bty. Some inf  ? engaged. Ex 62 HE.

 

6 October 1944: X and RB Troop moved with 5 Royal Tanks towards Nistelrode (Brabant). 

 

7 October 1944: A static period of training and maintenance: one OP was maintained throughout at Vinkel with 1 Sqn 5 R Tks and various targets harassing was done by day and night with the continued amount amm available. Leave parties daily and for 24 to 48 hours were sent to Eindhoven and Oss. Amm Ex for the period 2274 HE.

 

9 October 1944:  Lt Jamieson took over CPO again.

 

10 October 1944: Full inspection of Bty by BC - excellent turnout.

 

12 October 1944: Visit and Inspection by Commander CRA.

 

17 October 1944: BC's conference on future Ops 53 Div and 7 AD to attack 's-Hertogenbosch in two phases. Then 51 (H) Div to attack further South with 7 AD passing through. 12 Corps plan to .. Holland South of the Maas. Regt likely to move in a day or two to the Dinther area were to support the attack. Usual day with amm ex of 181 HE.

 

18 October 1944: No change - Amm Ex 220 HE.

 

19 October 1944: No change - plan has been altering during the last two days but not in the main object. Amn Ex 15 HE.

 

20 October 1944: 0600 - Bty moved to north of Dinther. No firing order - all Ops in. 1600 - CO's conference to discuss later part of plan - we were due to  support 51 (H) Div attack immediately after 7 AD but this was altered.

 

21 October 1944: 1030 - BC contacted 1 RB at Rakt - we were to support them. 1600 - X, RA & RB joined 1 RB.   

 

22 October 1944: 0100 - Fired concentrations for Queens attack. 1RB  were to take ove for left flank & Middelrode when cleared by 1/7 Queens. Moved off at 1700 to cover left flank - Middelrode not yet clear. RA / I Coy at Heeswijk. RB with A Coy at Karnaren. DFs arranged. During day battery fired on 'mike' & 'uncle' targets & an HB Programme. Amn Ex 1532 HE.

 

23 October 1944: Battalion sent forward to take over Middelrode which was now clear. 1230 - RA and RB Troop moved to area Driezeeg (Brabant) with A Coy. 1330 - RA with C Coy. DRs arranged. Mike & uncle targets engaged. Amn Ex 1009 HE.

 

24 October 1944: OPs in same location. 1100 - BC contacted 5 R Tks who had been u/c 53 Div for Phase I at Nistelrode. 1430 - X RA & RB moved to concentration area with battery.  1400 -  Battery moved in concentration area at Dinther. Amn Ex Nil.

 

25 October 1944: 1130 -  moved along Cl Schijndel - St Michielsgestel - Belvert - Oisterwijk - Udenhout to Loon-op Zand (Brabant). Fast movement till 1230 when halted by opposition over the Endjes. 1330 Battery into action. 1410 - 5 Tks HQ - various schemes for crossing at ? of the Endjes but nothing came of it.

 

26 October 1944: 0430 - Moved off to ?  by Esch Endje, reached by 1015 hrs. 1445 - 5 Tks HQ near Helvoirt. 1545 - RA at Malenstraat. Numerous targets engaged during the day. 1530 - A Troop moved to ? links HQ. B Troop coming up after dark. Amn Ex 350 HE.

 

27 October 1944: 0630 - Battery was to be grouped with 51 DG as 5 R Tks were put u/c 131 Brigade. OPs Bty moved, leagered up with 51 DG. 1315 -  Dropped into action in same area in case K Bty required further assistance. 1400 -  5 DGs move along CL - Loonsche - Dongen. 8 Hussars were to go to Oosterhout. Amn Ex 194 HE.

 

28 October 1944: 1500 - Battery to Regt position north of Tilburg. 88 mm engaged during the day. OPs with 5 DGs for night. Amn 466 HE.

 

29 October 1944: RA to control fire plan. I Coy were to be carried in the  back of the tanks.

 

30 October 1944: No OP commitments. 1700 -  Recce and holding party north of Dongen. Amn Ex 96 HE.

 

31 October 1944: Ordered to support 1 RB who were to ? over Raamsdonksveer area when cleared by 51 H) Div. X & RA to Gravenmoer 1 RB HQ. 1150 - Battery take over from 51 (H) not before tomorrow. RA remained with 1 RB - X released to bty. Capl W.H.H. Allon RHA formed to battery as Bty Capt. No firing.

 

1 November 1944: 0800 - X + Dps to 1 RB at Gravenmoer. moved RA with I Coy, RB with B.Sqdrn, we were heading for Raamsdonksveer area for 51 (H) Div who had cleared it.

Some targets engaged Amn ex 78HE, we are prepared for 10 days.

 

2 November 1944: RA relieved RB some OP, Am ex 367HE, included DFs in enemy movement in Geertruidenberg, Lt Collins posted to K. Gnr E.Johnson rejoined.

 

3 November 1944: Mike target on enemy movement, fired during day in support of 1st Polish Armd Div who was attacking across the Mark Canal.

DFs in enemy movement for RB, Amn ex 1723HE.

 

4 November 1944/ GA returned RB. Fire plan for Poles harrasing RB.

RA returned K1, BC did a Recce into Germany. Amn ex 1413HE. D/Ms J. Brook joined, Poles in Geertuidenberg.

 

5 November 1944; No change, Amn 96HE.

 

6 November 1944: Battery moved to forward position, no firing.

 

7 November 1944: No changes  Amn exp 68 HE.

 

8 November 1944: No change RB released X limit of 6rgs imposed.

 

11 November 1944: Battery moved to Belgium.

 

 


Holland December 1944 men of the Light Aid Detachment (REME) with CC Battery 5 RHA
Photograph from William Parfitt & Mark Smith, courtesy of Ian Paterson
Photograph from William Parfitt & Mark Smith, courtesy of Ian Paterson