56 Heavy Regiment: 15 Battery,17 Battery 18 Battery 19 Battery: 7.2inch

 

1 May 1945: A slightly brighter day, but heavy showers have been falling on and off. The signals officer went on leave this morning. No firing today. The leave party come back because the bad weahter in the channel had postphoned the crossing for 24hrs. 1 Cdn A.G.R.A held their "Tabloid Sports" this afternoon and we had one 7.2 how from 15 Battery and one 155mm from 18 Battery on show. The No.1s were congratulated by the B.R.A of 1 Cdn Corps on the excellent turn out of the guns and detachments. The CO came in second in the CO's race. The Regiment came fifth out of the six competitors. The weather kept fine for the afternoon entertainment.

 

3-4 May 1945: Owing to the truce which is on to enable food to be sent into occupied Holland the regiment has done no firing during this period. The weather has been extremely cold and wet. At 22.30hrs 1 Cdn A.G.R.A said that all offensive action against the enemy must cease forthwith. The Germany amry has surrendered the Field Marshal Montgomery, which means that all resistance in N.W. Europe, Holland and Denmark is ended.

 

5 May 1945: The shellrep OP came in this morning, No "swanning"was allowed forward of the F.D.L.'s today. The CO was called to a conference at 1 Cdn A.G.R.A this evening and was told that the regiment would be helping in the rounding up of 160.000 Germans in Holland. The guns and small rear parties would go to hide on Arnhem Aerodrome. Very heavy rain fell during the night.

 

6 May 1945: All shell were returned to the RASC Platoon today and the Batterys came out of action. Lt Blackwell went to the L Cdn A.G.R.A training centre at Arnhem today as an assistant to the Chief Instructeur. Five N.C.O's were sent to the "School" today. for the first course lasting a fortnight. A strong wind blew all day but no rain fell.

 

7 May 1945: Hostilities in Europe ceased. Guns ceased firing at daybreak. Rear party consisting of all guns, LAD, and transport not needed forward, moved to Arnhem aerodrome. Main body organised on infantry platoon basis was prepared to move at 4 hours notice from 23.59hrs.

 

8 May 1945: Recce party for the forward area, Main party left for the forward area. Route, Amersfoort, Hilversum, Amsterdam and Beverwijk. on arrival all troops were met with an enthusiastic reception. The crowds were so dense that in places it was literally impossible to move. The Regt had moved forward in battle order anticipating that interference might be met from German snipers and others, who had not been rounded up, as we were the first Allied troops to move into this occupied area. However the only firing encountered on the march up was the sound of the LSMG fire in Amsterdam. This was not near the convoy, RHQ was established outside Beverwijk, arrangements were made with the chief of police for an official reception to be held by the Burgomaster in the town hall.

 

9 May 1945: The CO attended an official reception by the Burgomaster where arrangements were made for the Dutch Undeground Movement (NBS) to lay down their arms. The CO rv with Oberst Adler to give him instructions regarding the surrender of German arms and equipment.

 

10 May 1945: A cordon area was established round Beverwijk manned by 56 Heavy Regt and 1 Cdn Survey Regt. 19 battery established an ammunition and equipment dump. The following units were visited

Marineschutze Regiment 163: Commander Captain Suhr

Festungstamm: Commander Captain Richmuller

M.A.A. 201 coast Defence: Commander Captain Vogel

M. Fal Abt 816: Commander Captain Trippen

3 Coy Marine Festung Pioneer Bn: Commander Haptmann Kwietek

3 Coy Org Todt Bau Bn 1: Commander Bauleiter Neumann

These units were handed their orders for the surrender of arms and techincal equipment in their possession.

 

11 May 1945: 56 Regiment came under command of 2 C.I.B. for operations but remainder under command under 1 Cdn AGRA for administration.

 

13 May 1945: All arms and equipment had been surrendered, the Regt had taken over control of all the fixed defences, and the Germans had been concentrated within the cordon. In the afternoon RHQ was visited by General Huttner, the German area commander. He appeared distressed to learn that the CO,2IC and Adjudant were all out.

 

14 May 1945: Certificates had been recevied from all the German Commanders to the effect that all arms and techincal equipment in their possesion had been surrendered.

 

15 May 1945: Today bicycles and wireless sets were called in. The Marineschutzen Regt (800men) yeilded 300 bicycles. Each German Regiment appreared to have a considerable number of civilians wireless sets located from the Dutch. about 60 were recovered.

 

16 May 1945: 3 Coy O.T. were raided today, and all their civilian furniture was seised and handed over to the Burgomaster. It was reported that 816 Marine Flak Arty, who were billeted in the steel works, had been sabotaging equipment. Their commander Captain Trippen was ordered to report to the CO and was warned that unless this ceased immdeiately, he and his men would be forced to camp in the open. In the afternoon a cordon was thrown round the steelworks and the place was thoroughly searched for hidden arms or equipment which should been handed over.