7 Anti Tank Regiment R.C.A: 15 Battery-104 Battery- 111 Battery-113 Battery
5 april 1945: Weather: Gusty with rain. The course for the 1st A.Tk. started this morning - Capt Longworth as fairly busy all morning coming out all the lumps and by noon things seemed to be in high gear. Up at Bergharen with 15 Bty things have remained as quiet as ever but there is a rumor that the Bty is going under command of 3 Med Regt. R.A. tomorrow.
6 april 1945: Weather: Cool with rain. Aside from the School of Instructions things have been rather quiet here in Berlicum today. "Too Quiet" - if you know what I mean. Many of the fellows were into 's Hertogenbosch today, getting cleaned up. During the evening the Sally Anne had two shows. At Bergharen today 15 Bty became a live of activity when it was learned the Bty had come under command 3 Med Regt R.A. Major Baker and the L.O. were out on a recce of the Alphen Dreumel Warnel area. It was also learned that Mr. Birnie was to operate as a F.O.O. with Ross Force (NBH) who are operating on the east bank of the Waal. 15 Bty is to be deployed so as to cover the river Waal to a depth of 1000 yards.
7 april 1945: Weather: Cloudy and cool. Things were quiet all morning - then at noon an HUP rolled in from RCA - the certain party remained in conference with the C.O. until 1600 hrs - and then we got it. A BCs meating was held and it was learned that we were going into action immediately and that we could be leaving Berlicum this evening. Moving was not the big news but the fact that we were going in as infantryman. Apparently the unit is to be used as a holding force. After much "bedlum" - things were packed and we moved off at midnight.
8 april 1945: Our convoy moved slowly through the night towards Cleve and many times we wondered just where we were - for its no job convoying on these bank roads these night. 5 AM, daybreak at last - we find ourselves crossing the Rijn at Emmerich. Germany, the Reichwald Forest, although for only one short hour, I wondered how many of us ever expected to get there. Came 0700 hrs and our destination Duiven, south east of Arnhem. Immediately recces were down to dertermine what sort of reception could be expected in Westervoort. Late in the afternoon troops of 104, 111 and 113 Btys went into their respective areas and by 2000 hrs the troops were reported in with the exception of L Troop who were unable to get into Rievgraff. In the meantime 15 Bty was having a bit of fun laying down harassing fire on Jerry positions. "C" Troop engaged targets, destroying 5 houses and starting numerous fires. On top of this 21 D.F tasks have been allotted to the Bty.
9 april 1945: Weather: clear and sunny. During the night our fwd positions were subjected to light MG and mortar fire. At approx 0515 hrs an enemy patrol (8 men) came into I Troops, 111 Bty, position. A fierce fight ensued and the score was 2 Jerries killed, 2 wounded, own cas nil. The remainder managed to get away when Gnr Harold McLeods bren jammed. During daylight hours positions were recced for our Browning MGs which were positioned at nightfall. During the evening there was nothing of incident to report.
10 april 1945: Weather: Clear and sunny. In the 15 Bty "B" Troop is to be under command of Lothian and Border Yeomanry (A Sqn) which is from the 30 Armd Bde of 79 Armd Div. "A" Sqn is in support of 56 Inf Bde of 49 Inf Div. Their task is to clear Arnhem. Our Troops to Provide A. Tk Support to the Flail Tanks. Lieut Hesler is to be prepared to engage enemy MGs at Ooi should they open up. At 1700 B Troop moved from Lent to final. concentration area at Ooi. "F" Troop of 104 was mortared slightly. L.O. brought in a Dutch civilian for interrogation. BC was informed that the Bty was to be relieved by Scots Fus. Scots arrived 2400 hrs and our troops return to Duiven. 111 Bty to be relieved. 1 Cdn Svy to I Troops area where a flash spotting OP is set up in one of the houses. 2300, 3 mortar bombs in "I" Tp area - no cas. 2200 hrs Inf Coy Comdr of relieving group arrived. "L" Troop 113 Bty occupies Nieuwgraaf. Lt Kastner the increment officer, as the result of not knowing, not hearing, or forgetting the password was wounded in each arm by a burst from a guards sten gun. He is now resting in the hospital. K & L Troops to be relieved in the night and to concentrate in BHQ area.
11 april 1945: Weather: Clear and cold. Lieut Hesler moved his guns into position - no contact. Capt Bryant to O Gp South Wales Border Regt for orders re clearing of Arnhem. Armour support 1 Tp Sherman Flails (5) plus HQ Sherman Tk. 1 Tp Avres (5) with B Troop as A.Tk. protection for the armour. Bty less B Troop to join Regt at Elst. Lieut Steppler to be Regt'1 IO. Lieut Hesler got away 50 rds HE on some houses. Bty less B Tp move off to Elst 1900 hrs. Move complete 2205 hrs. In 104 Bty, recce of new area carried out by Major Marriott, Capt Stephens and lieut Angus. 0200 hrs Bty moved off at 1000 arrived at new area. Bty is to relieve Westminster Regt Troops. 111 Bty to new area, 2200 hrs change over with Perth Regt complete. 113 Bty to move off to Elst, route - Duiven (Holland) Emmerich (Germany) Nijmegen (Holland) "K" Troop under Sgt MacDonald to act as mobile reserve.
12 april 1945: Weather: Clear and warm. Maintenance in the morning. A crossing of the IJssel river to be effected, order of crossing (1) 2 Arm'd bulldozers (2) one half Tp Avres (3) Tp M1C's (4) Tp Flails. Mr. Birnie and Mr. Hesler to O Gp re taking over positions of 41 LAA Bty, 5 Cdn LAA Regt. 1920 hrs B Tp to assembly area for river crossing. In 104 Bty "D" Tp reports Gun fire in vicinity of Arnhem., Perths to come in. Bofors shells came close to "D" Tp HQ all night. 111 Bty reports that L/Bdr Robinson accidentally shot while cleaning a Sten Gun. "I" Tp had some short rouds dropped near their HQ by the R.A.F. "I" Troop report house on fire. A few rockets in "F" Troop area. 113 reports Lieut Hazelwood back from acting as F.O.O. with the 3 Med R.A. More rockets from typhoons at 1730 hrs in the vicinity. R.A.F. attacking enemy on their side of the Nederrijn. At 1930 hrs Bty started on its gun programme, Sgt Preston reports we are a little short. This was corrected of course. At 2040 hrs J & L Tps and K at BHQ opened with S.A. fire into enemy lines, 2100 hrs S.A. fire ceases. At 2150 hrs Lieut Sturton reports movement towards Heveadorp. Tac called for fire Scale 1 from 1 Tp, 17 Fd Regt brought some down and lieut Sturton reported no further movement, fire was evidentally effective. 2200 hrs the enemy decided to lob over some 210 mm in Bty area. Later he sent over some rockets (218 kg). No damage in either case. No further disturbance for the rest of the night. 49 Br Div established a bridgehead at Arnhem during the night.
13 april 1945: Weather: Clear. "B" Tp of 15 Bty to ferry check point, B4 received a direct hit by an enemy mortar damaging the periscope only. 0955 hrs class 40 bridge is opened and at 1000 hrs bridge was crossed to assembly area. Support required where counter attack was expected. At O Gp Tac HQ, OC and Lieut Brinie learned that they were to take over Hoogeveld tonight. We are to have 15 men from 113 Bty. Armour for suport of Infantry in clearing Arnhem to be broken into two commands with 2 Flails, 2 Avres and 2 M10s in each. B3 and B4 guns with Tp Sgt Hodgson i/c to go up with 1st Gp under command of Capt Avers. B1 and B2, Capt Bryant i/c in second Gp under command of Capt Bryant. 1st Gp supports C coy, 2nd Gp supports A Coy SWBs. 1 st phase of attack at 1340 hrs succesful - little restistance. One Flail has engine trouble - B 3 Gun moved up in close support of leading Flail and Infantry. B3 and B4 engaged houses sheltering MGs, position silences, unknown number of enemy dead. Time of engagement 15 mins. Rounds expended: B3 - 14, B4 19 HE. At 1630 hrs 1 st phase consolidated. At 1800 hrs. Lieut Birnie moved his troop close to RHQ tac and is still under their command. At 1900 hrs B Tp withdrew to RV area. 1915 hrs O Gp Bn Comdrs re cleaning out all objectives. M10 equipment considered, it was decided to use them in role of A. Tk defence only. 1945 hrs Armour lined up on road as follows: one tank, one carrier, with sec of inf consecutively, followed by Tp M10s. 2000 hrs this column moved off at X-rd MR, moving up road 4 tks and carrier fanned out left and rt occupying all X-rds, remaining tanks proceed to next X-rds and do likewise. A.Tk. SPs up to give protection to said tks. This repeated to 2145 hrs when all objectives reached. 2200 hrs has al positions consolidated, 2145 hrs takeover was completed. Good show O.C. Asks for a house in "E" Tp area to be held for Irish Regt of Canada. 0915 hrs C.O. to Tac for O Gp. Lines to D & E again in action (were out as the result of mortar fire) At 1300 hrs BC returns for O Gp. Tp Comds out for recce of 5 LAA area which we are to take over. Reliev Tops arrive 1800 hrs. At 2300 hrs takeover completed. D & E Tp at village Heteren. 90 men relieved 160 men from 5 LAA Some MG fire in F Tp area during the night. 111 Bty - observed a Trip Flare in A.M., personnel on alert, but it is nothing of consequence. At 0230 hrs Tp stands down. 0930 hrs Capt Dowle to I Troop with 12 men for showers and clothing exchange. From Hospital info arrives that L/Bdr Robinson died from result of previous accident. Ct of Inq set up in F Ech re death. 1930 hrs Sgt Cros's area mortared, Arty support requested and when brought down - no more cont'd. 113 Bty had showers today - for the men, Lieut Sangster i/c. Enemy using smoke to cloak their existing activities. Major Dawes to O Gpat RHQ at 1130 hrs. 15 men to 15 Bty at 2030 hrs. At 1845 Gnr Flash from BHQ, OP at grid by 27 degrees; reported to Arty Rep at RHQ, a few rds in area at 2020 hrs some activity in enemy area was reported. Soon a huge fire and explosion occurred. More of our Arty brought down to shake up things a little more in area of fire - it did - at 2025 engineers blew up a dyke in front of L Tp, as a diversion for enemy it brought down some ineffectual mortar fire.
14 april 1945: Weather: fine. 15 Bty - 0005-0025 hrs, enemy vehicles going west. Enemy MG fire at 0300 hrs. 0530 B Tp to Bn area to help clear the remaininder of Arnhem south of Rly line and west of boulevard; same group formation as above, 2nd Gp encountered slight opposition. Sgt Hedgson in B3 captured 3 German sec, M10s assisted in rounding up 36 more. Neutralized 3 MG positions in house - 3 rounds. Browning MG support - expended 2000 rounds. 1400 - armour moved out to new area. Capt Hanrahan to 104 found Lieut Birnie there. OC 104 wanted some buildings shot up. Hanrahan and Birnie carry out with one gun and shot up a factory and building near Doorwerth 40 rds HE and 16 AP, no fire returned. 2030 - enemy rockets heard. and reported this to Tac. At 2114-2230 German 15 mm and 88's firing into outskirts of Oosterbeek. 104 Bty - BC takes E & D Tps up. 1100 - F Tp reports enemy moving, fire brought down by 17 Fd Regt, Lieut Angus observing and correcting. Wonderful day, Major Marriott out of bed and around to Bty by 1100 hrs. 1700 - Lieut Birnies Tp (15 Bty) falling in their area. 2230 - E Troop reports guns firing. 111 Bty - 0055 - fire brought down in same area. 0830 - Lieut Harris to "F" Ech with men for shower parade. 1900 Major Hall visited I Troop. 2100 - enemy patrol but no fire needed. 113 Bty - Major Dawes visited Tp positions, Mr. Sangster at 1545 reports 2 88's firing at dyke where Arnhem river crosses it, shell rep sent in. Mortar fire - Arty fire brought down. 2200 - usual harrassing fire brought down. Remainder of day is quiet.
15 april 1945: Weather: Cool. 15 Bty - A Troop got away 80 rds HE at some bldgs and dug outs - no return fire. "B" Tp back under our command, 1300.-104 Bty - 0130 - E Troop reports enemy gun SP? firing, reported to Tac HQ. 1430 - Lieut Angus reports movement and firing of tanks across the river north of his area. E Troop further reports an enemy MG firing. 1900 - Lieut Birnie, 15 Bty, recces gun position to engage MG, MG is engaged, 10 hits observed. 111 Bty - Capt Dowle is 'hawking' Victory bonds. 2140 - I troop report tanks moving. Some drivers return from Berlicum. 113 Bty - Day is cloudy, no firing from enemy or us.
16 april 1945: Weather: Cool and cloudy. 15 Bty - B Tp - from Arnhem into Billets at Elst arrived at 0630 hrs. 104 Bty BC to COs conference at 1400 hrs. OC 336 LAA Bty RA visited F Ech FQ, his Bty taking over from Belg Fus on 104 Btys left, approx 1630 hrs. 111 Bty - Sgt Kelly busy converting an enemy salvaged truck into an office vehicle. 113 Bty - L Troop reports a few rifle shots from across Nederrijn. J Tp reports fires at 0520 in area N & E of the railway - possibly flame throwers. 1130 BC to OCs meeting. Bridgehead to Arnhem is over. Bdr Montague and Gnr Siguoin swept the ground prior to a service conducted by the Padre of the Calgary Tanks for two soldiers of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
17 april 1945: Weather: Fine. 15 Bty - Bty concentrated at Elst, Major Baker on recce for Regt for new area. Capt Hanrahan checks in with EFI - that is (N(Further) TR). 104 Bty - a clear day. D Troop reportss enemy gun flashes and bursting flames, this info passed to RHQ. 1000 - RHQ warns 104 Bty that smoke screen to be reduced so not to impede ops of our own tps. 1430 - running SPs to leave Berlicum at 0630 hrs. 18 april 45 for new area at Elst, wheels to follow same day. Capt Stephens to be i/c convoy. Lieut Saunders and L/Sgt MacNaughton, J.C. to UK on leave. 111 Bty - Enemy quiet, why don't they - you know what - or get off the pot. 113 Bty - Br 49 Div are on the move. 1400 - Tanks in and around Heelsum SQ. 1500hrs BC orders J Tp to concentration area Elst, move is complete by 1945 hrs.
18 april 1945: Weather: Cloudy. 15 Bty concentrated at Elst (All but A Tp). 104 Bty - 0600 hrs SPs moved off from Berlicum for Elst, arriving at 1000. Capt T.K. Stephens i/c tanks and Capt Dowell i/c wheels. 111 Bty - Good day - Nothing to report. EFI arrived at 1000 hrs - that looks after the remainder of the day. Orders at 1900 were to move to Elst. 113 Bty - day starts as usual i.e., we have to get up. Drivers on maintenance. Evening quiet, nothing to report.
19 april 1945: Weather: Fine. 15 Bty - Capt Bryant takes the C.O. up to Arnhem to show him the troops tactics during street cleaning. Lieut Hesler takes off for 72 hrs of Brussels "cure", otherwise - nothing to report. 104 Bty - 1000 - BC to O Gp at RHQ, a move seems imminent. Bty at Puiflijk at 1530 hrs, ready to take over from 88 Bty, 5 Cdn LAA Regt. At 1800 hrs take over complete. 336 LAA Bty RA is under command of 104 in reserve and fronting them on the left of 104 Bty 7 Dutch Coy. 111 Bty - everything o.k., the lads discovered that in some billets the electricity works so they set the washing machine going, aside from this last incidental information, nothing to report. 113 Bty - up at 0645. 0930 a pay parade but nowhere to spend it. Remainder of day doing gun maintenance. Liberty truck to Nijmegen - some of the more enterprising "Bucks" established themselves and as the result, had to walk home. Otherwise - nothing to report.
20 april 1945: Weather: Sunny but cold. 15 Bty - Maintenance being done. BC off to UK on leave (lucky fellow) CO visits Bty at 1530 hrs with a knife, Lieut McLeod does likewise (no knife) to inspect some 406's. 104 Bty - Capt A and FOO from 1 CAB to OP. Target church engaged by 25 prs of 98 Fd Regt RA, effect doubtful. 111 Bty - Bty at work on MT under Sgt Kelly (LAD) and on guns under Sgt Gurry (Fitter), later a shower parade into Nijmegen, otherwise nothing to report. 113 Bty - up and on parade at 0830 hrs, vehicle and gun maintenance during the day. Major Dawes is Corps Sporst "JOE". The CO outlines method of reporting MT defects. Liberty trucks into Nijmegen, returning at 2230 hrs, otherwise nothing to report.
1 May 1945: Bond sale still in progress, not very much interest being shown. Weather still poor. A radio report tells us that Hitler is dead--who cares---.
2 May 1945: Sun out for the first time in many days. People all seem to be busy preparing for Major Marriotts and Capt Bakers' farewell Party.
3 May 1945: Party takes place at Nijmegen WOW!!! Speeches by Major Marriott (taxed too hard) Capt Baker keeps us in the aises. He likes to be called Curly.
4 May 1945: Cold day., word came in that Holland, Denmark, and the Freisian Islands. It looks as tho the whole show is about over. The above named forces have capitulated.
5 May 1945: Day is cold and wet. "O" Group to be held in Colonels Caravan re coming move.
6 May 1945: Sunday; Church parade followed a short march. All Heavy ammo to be turned in at Ordnance. We got to Elst finally.
7 May 1945: Weather: Cloudy and warm. Morning parades as follows. 0630 hrs, 0730 hrs and Battery parades at 0830 hrs. The main event of the day was the turning of SPs, Honeys, guns, hald tracks, and all heavy ammunition. Out guns, SPs etc., went to a "Regimental Storage" area, to be known as "X" Area located N.W. of Arnhem. Showers parades were held for the men in Nijmegen. At 1630 hrs a radio report was given to the effect that: "THE WAR IN EUROPE IS OVER". The 15th Battery was first in the 8th Victory Loan Drive with sales totalling $5250.00. The 111th Battery was second with $ 1300.00. In the afternoon Volley-ball games were played by 113, 15, and RHQ teams.
8 May 1945: Weather: Fair and warm. The men spent the morning maintenancing the vehicles that are left. At 1130 hrs Major L. Baker, Lieuts Hesler, Day, Angus and Hazlewood went on a recce. First to Corps at Apeldoorn and then to the new Regimental area at Bussum. They received a great welcome from the liberated people returning late in the evening laden with flowers (No kidding). The Prime Minister in the afternoon spoke to the world and confirmed the end of the War. In the evening His Majesty the King addressed His people and asked them to work as hard for the peace as they had for the Victory. To-morrows movement order was issued at 1930 hrs. Celebrations were limited to the extent of loz of Rum per man with the evening in general being quiet and uneventful.
9 May 1945: VICTORY IN EUROPE DAY! At 0001 hrs this morning Hostilities ceased with the exception of the odd German Army in Southern Germany who still couldn't realize that the time for the Nazis was up. The weather was warm and clear. The advance party left at 0800 hrs with the main boty moving off at 0915 hrs. Our route took us through Arnhem, Utrecht, Hilversum and Bussum. All along the route could be seen dejected German soldiers, some still in fighting positions they had occupied before the capitulation. The liberated villages though were gay with flags and cheering throngs who literally welcomed us with open arms. First elements of the Regiment arrived at Bussum at 1300 hrs. The rest of the day was spent settling in the two school billets (The Lyceum and the Gooiland). The lucky Officers moved into civilian homes.
10 May 1945: The weather fine and hot. Battery parades at 0800 hrs. Major J.D. Hall went to Corps HQ in the morning to see re guard duties. Our Regiment will supply a 48 man Guard under command of Major J.D. Hall for the purose of guarding the 25th German Army Headquarters. The Major and Lieut. Bell left to take up their duties in the afternoon. Lieut. Skinner was attached to RHQ as Mess Secretary. The men spent the day cleaning Kit and vehicles and preparing for guard duties.
11 May 1945: Weahter cloudy and warm. Battery parades as usual and a message of congratulations was read to the men from Field Marshall B.L. Montgomery. During the morning 6 60-cwts were detailed to deliver food for the Civilians. Lieut. J.C. Hazlewood was attached to RHQ as LO while Lieut. Steppler is on UK leave. In the afternoon Lt. Saunders (104) Lieut. Birnie (15) Lieut. Sangster (113) with a party of 170 men (increased from original demand of 48) went to take up guard duties at Hilversum. There was a swim parade in the local pool and sports for those who remained behind.
12 May 1945: Weather fine and hot. Morning was spent in cleaning billets and turning in surplus stores. In the afternoon the citizens of Bredius Quarter (Bussum) welcomed a Victory Parade of 80 men of the Regt. under command of Major L. Baker. Following the parade, street dancing took place and the troops were entertained by the people in their homes. Lieut. J.T. Carpenter left in the afternoon for Rotterdam to see CRASC 1 Div re the forming of a Service Corps platoon of Arty personnel. 12 -60-cwts were laid on to be ready for tomorrow for the same purpose. Major Baker received Official word that he had been Nominated as Liberal Candidate in the forthcoming Election. In the evening Officers of the Regiment were entertained at a Garden Party sponsored by a local Doctor.
13 May 1945: Weather fine and still quite hot. At 0900 hrs, Major L. Baker said goodbye to 15th Battery and left to fly to England from Plantelunne Airport, Germany and thence by boat to Canada. We of the Regiment are all sorry to see him go. In the morning there were a Protestant and Roman Catholic Church Parades. In the afternoon, there was a softball game at the Sports Field and a street Dance at the vehicle Park in the evening. Both occasions were very pleasant and everyone enjoyed themselves.
14 May 1945: Weather fine and cool with refreshing wind. RCASC Party under command of Lieut. J.T. Carpenter set out for Rotterdam at 0730 hrs. Party concisted of 12 60-cwts and 25 ORs for food transport duties. A small detachment (12 ORs) for Guard at SS Barracks in The Hague left at 0900 hrs, under command of L/SGT Gill, (104 Bty). Tank-suits and leather jerkins were turned in today.
15 May 1945: Weather fine and hot. Capt. T.W. Bryant to be A/O.C. of 15 Bty. The filling out of Reallocation forms took place in the morning. There were some volunteers for Burma Theatre. Lieut. V. Atrill returned from UK leave. SGT Sanson (104) i/c of Guard for Rear Corps (Booty" Liquor). Capt Pope went to Amsterdam re-filling out of 371 Accident Form for Gnr Wile (113 Bty) who was involved in slight accident last night.
16 May 1945: Weather fine and warm. Vehicle Maintenance and 406 Inspections carried out by personnel not on Guard duties. More Re-allocation forms for, Return to Civil Life, Burma or the Army of Occupation were completed. In the afternoon Lieut-Col. G.O. Hutchison and Officers of the Regiment entertained their many friends and acquaintenances in Bussum. In attendance were the Burgermaster, mr. L.J.J. Caron, Count C.H.A.A..M.F.A. van Oberndorff: O.C. and 2 i/c Local Underground Forces; Captains C. Verhaar and P.E. Moes; and many others (including a few Colaborators) Major D.K. Dawes left for Germany to fly to England on UK leave. Capt. C.A. Pops took over duties as Officer i/c Corps Sports Committee during Major Dawes' absence.
17 May 1945: Weather cloudy with Thunder showers. Morning parades and vehicle maintenance as usual. Lieut. Sturton 113 Bty returned from Rotterdam having completed Re-allocation forms for the Lieut. Carpenter (Service Corps" Group). There were showers for a limited number in Hilversum in the afternoon.
18 May 1945: Weather cloudy and cold. Lieut. Sturton replaced Lieut. Sangster in Hilversum Guard duties. 406 and vehicle maintenance was the primary task of those in Bussum. (estimated Black Market prices for one cigarette --$0.50 to $1.50 each).
19 May 1945: Battery parades at 0800 hrs with vehicle maintenance afterwards. Capt. C.A. Pope spent the morning in Hilversum preparing for Corps Arty Tabloid Sports Meet. Batteries warned that bartering with civilians is a punishable offence. Lieut. Saunders came in from Hilversum to check on mail, etc. In the evening Capt Stead received a boquet of flowers on behalf of "The Liberating Forces" at the occasion of the re-opening of the Concordia Theatre.
20 May 1945: Weather clear and warm with showers in the evening. During the mornings' Church Service. Capt. Petrie baptised a Dutch baby. At 1000 hrs, Lt-Col Hutchison inspected Mens Quarters.
21 May 1945: Cloudy and rainy to-day. Two 60-cwts out this morning hauling potatoes for the Dutch. Activities for the Batteries included 406s cleaning web and training for Tabloid Sports, otherwise N.T.R.