59 (Duke of Connaughts Hampshire) Anti Tank Regiment: 233 Battery 236 Battery 336 Battery 333 Battery- 17 pounder

Unit No.46

 

21 September 1944:  RHQ, 233,235 and 333 Battery moved through Diest,Eindhoven, Son, Veghel and Grave to concentrate in area South of Nijmegen

 

22 September 1944: Regiment less 236 Battery deployed in Nijmegen.

 

23 September 1944: 233 Battery moved into area between Nijmegen and Arnhem.

 

24 September 1944: 235 Battery u/c of 129 Brigade moved in to area Valburg.

 

25 September 1944: 333 Battery u/c 214 Brigade attacking Elst.

 

26 September 1944: Lt R.W.F.Cowley killed in action area Elst.

 

27 September 1944: 333 Battery conc, 233 Battery u/c 130 Brigade.

 

29 September 1944: 235 Battery on special harrasing task on road to Arnhem area.

 

30 September 1944: 2 Batterys u/c Gds Armd Div.

 

1 October 1944: 233 and 235 Battery under heavy shell fire, no cas, one vehicle destroyed.

 

2 October 1944: 236 Battery harrasing task in Arnhem area. 235 Battery, enemy attack area north of Elst, 1 Tiger destroyed also 1 Panther destroyed by 235 Battery, AP range 1500x 17pr, 6 pr destroyed by shell fire.

 

3 October 1944: 235 Battery under heavy shell fire.

 

4 October 1944: 233 Battery deployed with 130 Bde in area Kapel south east of Nijmegen.

 

5 October 1944: 235 Battery. One Tp of guns out of action by shell fire. 333 Battery under comd 506 RCT.

 

6 October 1944: RHQ, 235, 236 and 333 Batteries moved to conc area POORT. 233 Battery still deployed area KAPEL.

 

8 October 1944: 235 Battery under comd 129 Bde deployed in area MOOK. 236 Battery relieves 333 Battery and now under comd 214 Bde. 333 Battery to Div Reserve.

 

9 October 1944: 236 Battery moved to area Mook with 214 Bde. RHQ moved to new location.

 

10 October 1944: 233 Battery deployed in 130 Bde.

 

11 October 1944: Lt. J.H. WILLIAMS RA

arrived at RHQ and poste to 333 Battery.

 

12 October 1944: 233, 235, 236 Batteries deployed with Bdes. 333 Battery Conc.

 

13 October 1944: 236 Battery relieved 235 Battery under comd same Bde. Lt. E.A. MUNDAY arrived and posted to 233 Battery.

 

18 October 1944: 233 Battery relieved by 236 Battery, all guns left in deployment area and taken over by relieving Battery.

 

19 October 1944: 333 Battery K Tp relieved by L Tp 333 Battery. In support 7 SLI.

 

23 October 1944: 235 Battery relieved by 233 Battery, all guns left in deployment area and taken over by relieving Battery.

 

26 October 1944: Capt. R.C. HUTTON admitted Hpl. Lt. H. HARDAKER posted to RHQ. Lt. E.A. MUNDAY posted from 233 to 235 Battery took over comd of E Tp.

 

27 October 1944: Lt. L.W. ALDRIDGE posted to 233 Battery.

 

28 October 1944: 236 Battery relieved by 235 Battery. All guns left in deployed area and taken over by relieving Battery. 333 Battery remain conc less K Tp deployed GROESBEEK area (235 Bty).

 

29 October 1944: Major E.A. DOW joined Regt and posted to 333 Battery taking over comd. from Major COLTART.

 

30 October 1944: Major A.M. COLTART posted to RHQ.

 

31 October 1944: C.O. inspected M.T. of 233 Battery. C.O. inspected M.T. of 235 Battery.

 

2 November 1944: 236 Battery relieved 233 Battery. All guns remain in posns; only personnel changing over. 333 Battery remain conc less K Tp.

 

4 November 1944: CO inspected clothing and eqpt all Batteries less RHQ. L Tp (333 Bty) relieved K Tp (333 Bty) at present u/c 235 Battery. GROESBEEK area, 129 Bde. No guns moved only personnel relieved.

 

5 November 1944: CO inspected RHQ, MT Clothing an Eqpt.

 

7 November 1944: 235 Battery relieved by 233 Battery. No guns to be moved.

 

8 November 1944: Harbour party of 235 Battery, u/c 129 Bde moved to recce new posns area BRUNSSUM, preparatory to 43 Div move to area GANGELD - GEILENKIRCHEN. Recce parties of 2 Cdn Div A tk Regt arrived to commence take over from 43 Div.

 

9 November 1944: Recce parties for remaining two Bdes and Div Tps left for new area.

 

10 November 1944: 235 Battery u/c of 214 Bde, RHQ with 333 Bty less one Tp u/c 233 Battery moved with main Div coln via UDEN, VEGHEL, ST OEDENRODE, EINDHOVEN, BOURG LEOPOLD, BERINGEN, ASCH, GELEEN TO BRUNSUM. 236 Battery conc all day in factory in BRUNSSUM. Recce parties op 235 Bty in process of recceing 82 U.S. Div posns.

233 Battery plus L Tp 333 Battery all u/c  130 Bde relieved by 2 Cdn Div A TK Regt.

 

11 November 1944: RHQ and 333 Battery arrived new location. 235 Battery deployed in area of GEILENKIRCHEN (u/c 129 Bde) across German frontier 236 and 333 Battery conc. 233 Battery moving u/c 38 Bde from old location to join Regt.

 

12 November 1944: C.O. indisposed and 2 in command. 233 Battery plus L Tp (333 Battery) arive and conc GROOT DOENRADE. L Tp returns to 333 Battery. Recce parties of 333 Battery in area S.W. GEILENKIRCHEN with orders to deploy last light today or first light tomorrow.

 

13 November 1944: 333 Battery deployed S.W. GEILENKIRCHEN.

 

1 December 1944: 233 Battery relieved 235 Battery area NEDERHEIDE and N of GEILENKIRCHEN.

 

5 December 1944: C.O. received proliminary briefing for operation "SHEARS". Recce parties from 214/54 A Tk Regt 52 Lowland Div arrived to take over sector from 233 Battery. GEILENKIRCHEN area.

 

6 December 1944: 233 Bty relieved by 214/54 Bty less key pesonnel of two tps i/c of Nos. 1,2 & 3 owing to inexperience of relieving Bty on 17pr eqpts 233 Bty concentrated area SW of RUMPEN. 235 Battery relieed 236 Battery less one det. This dxt blown up on mine en route resulting in three fatal casualties and eight wounded. Remainder 236 Battery conc area SW of RUMPEN. 29 Rfts arrived at RHQ and were interposted to Batteries.

 

8 December 1944: 235 Battery relieved by "Z"/ 21 A Tk Battery (Gds Armd Div). One gun abandoned owing to being under enemy observation and impossible to get out of action. 235 Battery conc area SW of RUMPEN.

 

9 December 1944: One Tp (3) Valentines 47pr eqpt arrived at 333 Battery after reorg at G.R.O.A.T. One Tp 6pr (333 Battery) left for BOURG LEOPOLD to reorg. 233, 235 & 236 Batteries remain conc.

 

13 December 1944: Lt. A.S.H. TELFER RA joined Regt interposted to 236 Battery.

 

14 December 1944: C.O. held an 'Officers'

afternoon. 27 offrs being present.

 

15 December 1944: Div being relieed by 52 'Mountain' Div - recce parties leave to recce area for Regt., NAGELBEEK, HOEVE.

16 December 1944: 333 Battery relieved by Battery of 54 A tk Regt (52 'Mountain" Div) move to conc area NAGELBEEK. 235 Battery to area HOEVE. 233 Battery to area N of STEIN. RHQ and 236 Battery remain RUMPEN.

 

17 December 1944: 'G' Tp 333 Battery returned form G.R.O.A.T. equipped with S.P. Valentines. L.A.D. proceeded to G.R.O.A.T. for reorg.

 

18 December 1944: Regt Harbour parties left to recce new area at TILBURG.

 

19 December 1944: Regt move in Div convoy to area DIEPENBEEK ordered to hold there is cade of having to go into action against German counter offensive.

Arrive DIEPENBEEK. RHQ, 235 & 236 Batteries conc in village. 233 Battery area HASSELT. 333 Battery (less one Tp at G.R.O.A.T.) conc at BEVE RST.

 

20 December 1944: 233 & 236 Batteries places u/c 130 & 214 Bdes resectively. Two S.P. Tps 333 Batteries placed u/c 43 Recce Regt with orders to deploy in Belgium.

 

27 December 1944: Regt moved in Div coln to area BEEK - again over the frontier into Holland. Batteries moving u/c Bdes and being relieved by units of 21 A tk Regt RA (Gds Armd Div).

RHQ established plus L.A.D. 333 Battery conc area BEEK u/c 59 A tk Regt 233 Battery conc area W of MEERSSEN u/c 130 Bde conc area HUNNEKOM u/c 129 Bde. 236 Battery conc area S. of ROTHEM u/c 214 Bde.

 

28 December 1944: ASM WOODLEY REME (att) granted commission & apointed 2/Lieut. 

 

 

 

L.Troop 333 Battery in Germany (Gnr E.N.Walker No.14309708 middle row 2nd from left)

Gnr Ernie Walker

It was when we reached Nijmegen that evening we was told of the disaster at Arnhem. Then we had this hold up, someone that evening in the dark had took the wrong road and the convoy ended up in the large yard of Philips electric company. So no one could move till they sorted it out. At last we did move and very early in the morning we pasted over the bridge at Nijmegen. Which was then in tact we moved into a field along side the river and pulled in for the night to get a meal on and to have a brew. We that is each gun team had there own rations, so had no need to cook. After guards were posted we got down for the night then early in the morning round about 04.00hrs there was a huge bang and we all jumped up to see what it was. We was then told one of the bridge spans was down by this large explosion. No one knew what it was till late the next day it was frogmen, some where down the river they found two bodys.

We was then told of the plan to dash down to the river rhine to try and help the lads at the arnhem bridge. This armour relief column was got together which was led by tanks of the Guards Armoured Division leading and like always we got stuck in the middle of it. So we started of to Arnhem passing through Nijmegen we noticed that the houses along the bank had in the back gardens the big 88 guns. So we headed off in high speed, we was held up more than once by snipers, once or twice a bullet flew past my helmet once chipping it on the rim. Then the column stopped and firing up front, the DCLI had jumped of our trucks and went to the front of the column, we stayed put, we would only be on the way if we also went with them.

Now our troop commander Lt Bellamy got the NCOs together and had a look on the map which I had, I took it of a dead German paratrooper a few weeks back and it had every little road and track on it. He said I am go to walk in front of each quad, you follow me and keep the flashlight in the middle of the windscreen don't go left or right and no one get out of the trucks. So this was done which took almost all night to do this. Firing was still going on at the front of us. Then at the touch of dawn the last one was across the road. We set off for the river it was now dawn and we pulled into this orchard where Polish paratroopers had their HQ, it was also the HQ for the DCLI. we could now see down to the river. Our guns were now in position in case of attack by German troops, there we stayed until the rest of the troops reached us. We lifed from german rations, they had taken a German field HQ with stores, black bread, honey, butter cigars!.

At the dead of night we pulled out of our gun positions at Driel and along the dark roads. To whear, wait and see we was told at last we came to halt, pitch black our troop commander took us along this road, drive careful. No talking we came to a halt he then said I will take you now along this path into this farm, guns got into action and cover them up.No sound no talking into the farmyard, you will see two large haystacks, two men on guard, the rest into the large barn over there take the trucks out of sight. Later we also had a visit of US paratroopers, they had run out of food, only some K rations left. Our troop commander was not happy with them and told them to clear off as they gave our position away walking around in daylight. Later that day the look out gave a call out we slid again, can you hear that Sergeant we all cocked our ears and yes the sound of tracks from over the other side of the road, now we had been told no british tanks are over that way. So in went an AP shot, I tapped the layer on his helmet, this was to say gun loaded ready to fire. Nearer and nearer came this sound of tracks, the layer No.3 had his hand ready to punch the plunger to fire the gun, then has it came round the corner we saw it was a britsh sherman tank, one of ours, we told de driver how close he was to sudden death from the 17 pounder gun, he went white said hehad got lost missed the turning with the rest of his troop. The day went on and then late that night our troop commander came up to us, he always walked up, left the jeep on the main road, we are pulling out lads some one else taking over from you. We got the trucks ready to move out when they told us. We left the guns, we left the farm and troops of the Welch Division took over. Later we heard that when we left the gun was hit by enemy fire and they had some killed and wounded. We moved back to Beek for a short spell to get ready for the next action, this came but no more pulling and pushing as we received the Archer SP gun.