7th Medium Regiment, 12th Battery, "A" Troop, fire on Germans with 5.5 inch guns, Bretteville-Le-Rabet, Normandy, 16 August 1944. Photo by Donald I. Grant. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-169331.

7 Medium Regiment RCA: 12 Battery 45 Battery 97 Battery-5.5 inch

Unit No.

 

7 October 1944: The Regiment moved from Belgium to Putte on the Dutch border.Where we deployed in between the canals and ditches on soft sandy soil that was to be the first of many similiar areas into which we had to take our guns.

 

10 October 1944: The tenth was marked by another premature, this time in "A"Troop which completely wrecked the gun but which fortunately did nothing more than inflict a slight wound on one member of the detachment. The seventh victory loan was started about this time. On the order from Corps Commander that we should get the subscriptions in as soon as possible the whole regiment was canvassed at once and those wishing to subscribe did so. The infantry were meeting very heavy opposition and the going was made especially tough by the fact that the only possible method of advance was along the dykes, as the rest of the ground was flooded or else hopelessly soft and muddy. The whole right flank of the division was open and held only by a few dispersed anti-tank and anti-aircraft gunners, and with the notable addition of the Regimental HQ and the Regiment, which was in a small Bakelite factory out to the right of the main road. The 49th division that was supposed to be coming up on this flank was held up along the Turnhout Canal, some twenty miles back, and to remedy this awkward situation, a small force sent out to try and extend our flank to the East, they wanted the support of the medium guns, so we moved to the area of Kapelle to cover them.

 

16 October 1944: It happened that the move was very fortuitous for us, as the day previously the CRA of a new mock-up Army Group RA formed from the HQ of the disbanded 59th Division , with two English regiment and us, was captured together with his IO and a marked map showing all the artillery dispositions. All these areas were thoroughly dusted up the morning after we moved, as a party which went back to get the ammunition we had left on the ground found out. The day was full of suprises, as in the afternoon an almighty explosion shattered the silence, woth no warning at all, and pieces of strange lightweight metal fell in the 12th Battery wagon lines. We knew then that the rumorous about a V2 were nothing less than the truth.

 

18 October 1944: We moved back to our previous position in Putte, and fired many targets and small arms fire plan for the infantry who were slowly and surely edging their way forward at a very high cost.

 

22 October 1944: Eventually we move up to closer range into the town of Woensdrecht, where the ground was even muddier and the ditches much larger. We were firing targets for 4th Arm Division as well as for the 2nd Division, who by this time were edging out along the causeway to the island of South Beveland, while the commandos had landed at Vlissingen and West Kapelle and taken the island of Walcheren. It was decided that we wouldn't be needed any more by 2nd Division, and so we moved up in support of 4th Division, and went into action South of Bergen op Zoom, Both Battery command posts were in immense underground shelters and offices, which still had the characteristic odour of the German soldier. Bergen op Zoom felt without much touble, to the tanks of the Arm division, and it was learned that the enemy was withdrawing to the Area around Steenbergen.

 

1 November 1944: With Bergen op zoom cleared, and bridges thrown across the moat that completely surrounded the town, we limbered up and moved through the town into an area just north, where we found more mud, this time even more sticky, as it was nearly all cultivated land.

 

3 November 1944: Many targets were engaged, mainly composed of enemy SP guns and tanks. The air OP did most of the observing and the CO Lt-Col F.P.Haszard went up in a plane and although no SP presented himself for treatment, there were always the handy "suspected enemy HQs". It received a Mike Target for being so suspected, and another prospective RHQ went west.

 

5 November 1944: The first large Church parade since arriving on the continent was ordered by the General Officer commanding the Division. and the Regiment sent a hunderd men to this parade, who returned from Bergen op Zoom just in time to go with the Regiment to their next area, a move which took place about mid-day. The gun position was North-East of Steenbergen and even muddier then ever. One troop deployed along a wide dyke that strechted away from the main road, and went into action in a straight line. Even so they had great difficulty getting out when the time came to move. The 12th Battery Kitchen truck ran over a mine, and most of the equipment was destroyed, while the ration truck of the 45th Battery, bringing up the evening meal got stuck and almost overturned in a shap turn. between two irrigation ditches. We stayed in action there for two days, giving support to the 49th Division, which was clearing the enemy from the South bank of the lower Maas.

 

7 November 1944: The Regiment was released from its comittments and we moved back to Bergen op Zoom to what we hoped would be a weeks rest in concentration area. One Battery went into the German barracks in the town, while the other Battery and RHQ occupied another huge barracks in a wood about three miles to the South. We settled down for the night and the CO held a meeting of all NCOs, and another of all officers and discussed certain matters relating to the policy of the Regiment.

 

8 November 1944: At ten clock a Recce party was called out to go to the Polish area and recce a position for the Regiment. All equipment had been taken out of the trucks, and there was a mad scramble to get loaded up again and ready to move, as the regiment itself had to be clear of the town by 13.00hrs. A lot has been said about mud, and a lot more will be said about it in the future. The business of putting guns in fields, heavy guns weighing over seven tons, drawn by a mack, itself weighing over fourteen tons with a considerable over-load, at times became next ot impossible. But never once did the Regiment fail to get the guns into their allotted area.

 

11 November 1944: We moved up to the Nijmegen area to rejoin the army group or so we thought. The recceparty had gone all day, and we were met on the route by the usual Despacht Rider who led us into an area, but which they were suprised to find was a concentration area, near Uden and some ten miles South-west of Grave. Once again we were led to believe that we would be here at least four days, but nothing was definite. However the normal routine of going into a rest area was adopted, and all vehicles were emtied and cleaned and maintenance tasks were brought up to date, all guns were sent to work-shops, for a thorough overhaul, which usually meant that all the paint was scratched off, and they had to be re-inspected by Staff-sergeant Brown, the Regimental Artificer before use. Also all radio sets were tested. Training of new personnel was undertaken, and forty-eight hour leaves to Brussels were started.

 

15 November 1944: The "pub" in Uden was taken over by the Regimental Officers mees for the first mess dinner since landing in France. The landlord was kept awake until eight o'clock in the morning.

 

17 November 1944: The rest period came to an end, and the Regiment moved to the Nijmegen Salient, and occupied a position in Malden, some three miles to the South of Nijmegen.

 

18 November 1944: The Regiment had the pleasure and satisfaction of firing into Germany, the sacred soil of the Fatherland that was sacred no more. The Target was fired at 17.14hrs, and men started to realize that the end of the European war was actually in sight. We next saw some of the Luftwaffe, who rushed across the sky taking photographs.They were shot at by everything that could point upwards.

 

19 November 1944: The rest of the month was spent in moving to alternate positions,anything up to ten miles away, to fire about ten rounds per gun per day for a few days, and then return to the main position in Malden.

 

1 December 1944: The enemy position was getting pretty desperate. In the Nijmegen salient he resorted to his old method of breaking dykes and flooding us out, and in point of fact we did have to withdraw from the most of the "Island" as the land between Arnhem and Nijmegen is called. At the same time he put in a counter-attack directed against Nijmegen bridge,which was driven of by Artillery fire.

 

3 December 1944: The Regiment moved to a closer position and occuppied the gun pits left by the 15th Medium Regiment which had the bad luck to be chosen to be one of the R.A. Regiments that was being converted to infantry. This area was Berg en Dal, on the South-Eastern outskirts of Nijmegen.. We had the record zone to cover, stretching from a grid bearing of 330 degrees round to 185 degrees, which is a 215 degree arc of fire. The gunners did a magnificent job, through all the long winter months which were to follow in this one postion. "B"Troop was only some 900 yards from Germany itself.

 

9 December 1944: The first snow started to fell, and the cold weather started in ernest, Problems of camouflage arose, and it was pointed out that the best camouflage was not to make tracks,and to let the snow fall down and cover the nets that were already erected. This was alright until the gun fired, when all the snow was blown off by the blast leaving a startling black net to show up like a sore thumb. The OP crews were issued with white camluflage suits, and a certain amount of other white equipment was issued but never really used. With the snow came the frist bottle of beer that had come our way for a long time,and drunk down like water, which it nearly was.

 

11 December 1944: A Troop had another premature ,again completely wrecking the gun and wounded two other ranks. Very foggy mists cut out the sun and made life miserable by making everything cold and wet. A certain amount of enemy shelling took place at night but there were no casualties.

 

24 December 1944: By now it was freezing hard, and the roads were very dangerous. It seemed that this Christmas days should be at least traditional in the amount of snow and ice on the ground.

 

25 December 1944: The Batteries relieved each other so that that complete battery at a time could sot down to their Christmas diiner. The news that Captain D.E.Spencer had been awared the Military Cross was heartily cheered and commended.

 

26 December 1944: The guns of the Regiment were to be calibrated, and for this purpose a troop at a time was to be tkane out of action and taken to the firing platfrom, where the guns fired out over the flooded island north of the river Waal, some six miles west of Nijmegen.

 

27 December 1944: The Regiment received a visit from the Corps Commander Lt-Col G.G.Simonds. The Battery command post and a troop from each battery were inspected, though unfortunatel, the General wasn't present when we fired one of a few salvos of HF that day. On the second last day of the year, the tempature dropped and the ground froze hard. The roads were like skating rinks, and most dangerous.

 

1 January 1945: The first week of the year was very dull and uneventful. Cold weather and snow and poor visibility were the only notable things, apart from the usual six rounds of HF, with a few bombards ordered by the Counter Battery Officer chiefly into the Reichswald Forest, only six miles to the South.

 

8 Janaury 1945: Then came the first relief in the monotony of the static warfare, in the form of a fire plan in support of an infantry raid to catch prsioners, and involving 55 rounds per gun on a timed basis.

 

9 January 1945: Captain D.E.Spencer was sent out to try and destroy some carriers that had to be left out in No-mans land during the raid on the night before,and he carried out several shoots, which must have done some damage as the range was very short and the rounds landed close, but poor visibilty made more accurate observation impossible. On the same day we also received new range tables for a new projectile, know as the Shells, Flare Coloured, with a promsie that in the near future we would be getting some to try out. But that was all we ever knew about them as the promised shells never materialized.

 

10 January 1945: Fortunately all dugouts had been dug before the frosts set in to make digging impossible, and were very comfortable and warm with converted charge boxes serving as stoves and fuzer containers as stove pipes. All dugouts had doors and windows, and nearly all had electric lighting of some kind. The Nijmegen Power House was working and all houses had light for most of the day. A premature Investigation Party arrived to spend a day or two with the Regiment, and try do determine what was the cause of the great number of prematures in Medium guns. They were appointed by the War Office and included some technical experts as well as Ordnance Officers and Gunners. They had several points of their own to help us reduce the number of prematures, chief among these being the cleaning of the chamber in order to get a good ram, and proper fusing according to Manuals, a drill which had been relaxed to a certain extent because of the difficulty of keeping the guns supplied with ammounition when firing was heavy.

 

14 Janaury 1945: A plan to geie each troop four days out of action, in which maintenance with the guns in the L.A.D or workshops, was started with A. Troop. This left the Regiment with twelve guns in action.

 

16 January 1945: It seemed as if more offensive action was due to take place soon, and 450 rounds per gun were dumped and put into prepared recesses and hidden from view.

 

19 January 1945: A fire in the 45th Battery Wagon lines which called out the Army fire Service from Nijmegen, and burned the kitchen house down, together with a certain amount of equipment and personal kit of the men sleeping in the other rooms of the house, and caused a certain amount of excitement, but there were no casualties and the incident was soon forgotten, after the usual Court of Inquiry had finished the asking the inevitable embarassing questions.

 

24 January 1945: D troop was sent on a special job with 100 roun ds per gun which took them West along the river Maas, where they carried out some shooting at enemy SP guns that were in the area North, the observations and corrections being given by an Artillery Recce pilot who reported excellent results, and was most enthusiastic about the whole day's shooting. A Regimental OP was manned every other day, different officers going up each day.

 

27 January 1945: The Regiment started a paper of its own called the "Grif", which was edited by the padre, and contained a short summary of the news of the day,and certain items of topical intrest.

 

28 January 1945: A sergeant of the Dutch forces was attached  in the capacity of Interpreter. Several attempts to carry out airburst ranging shoots at night failed, chiefly because of bad visibility.

 

31 January 1945: Perhaps the most significant thing that happened, at least the one that will stay longest in our minds was the opening of "It"or the Blue diamond Hot Dog Stand in Nijmegen.. A very popular innovation, and with very juicy and tasty Hamburgers, which could well compete with the home variety. Each battery soon had Wimpy specials laid on to take men in to the "It"each day.

 

8 February 1945: The day before we had a premature in A. Troop and once again we were lucky in that there were no casualties. The immense fire plan for the Operation, called Veritable started at 05.00hrs in the morning with a long counter Battery preparation, in which every gun from the very heaviest railway gun to the little Bofors and Oerlikon Ack Ack guns were used.  Captain D.E.Spencer with C Troop OP crew sett off to join the Queens Own rifles for the attack, and he was destined to spend nearly a month with them, during which time he lived in DUKWS and other amphibious craft and in the upper stories of the houses, as the lower ones were flooded out.  During the first day of firing,a gun in A troop received a direct hit from one of our own guns, and two slight casualites were the result, the gun that fired the round was never traced, but it was certainly of our own, and about field calibre.

 

11 February 1945: The Regiment moved into Germany.

 

3 Apri 1945: A move of 6000 yards to the Town of Wehl, brought us once again into close grips with our old enemy, Mud. About midnight order came down from HQ Artillery 3rd Division, that one Battery was to be detached and sent over a doubtfull class 17 Bridge to follow the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade in their rapid advance Northwards towards Zutphen, and 12th Battery was chosen for the job. They spent the rest of the night getting out of action and on to the road and over the bridge, which just and only just held out until the last vehicle was across, a very good estimation on the part of an engineer officer, who had guaranteed that one medium battery could get across and no more.

 

4 April 1945: The Regiment moved up and joined 12th Battery the next day, and came into action within mortar range, and only just in time to take part in a big attack that was laid on by our F.O.O. and reps, Captains Smibert and Fleet. The enemy continued to hold out in Zupthen and firing was very heavy. The regimental transport was trying galiantly to load and carry 100% over first line ammunition, and the Battery Captain gradually going gray with the problem involved.

 

6 April 1945: The Regiment moved up to just south of the Zupthen Canal, just as the town of Zupthen gave in. The bext day the Division moved to engage the next garrison town on the Ijssel river on the way North up to the North Sea and the Regiment moved into an area near the town of Deventer. The Air OP working with the Division engaged an 88mm gun in a house, with 12th Battery, and reported the house on fire, and the gun presumably out of action, as a direct result of this infantry, who had been held up by the gun, reported that over a hunderd jerries had promptly surrended. Later in the day the air OP engaged two more 88s and direct hits were observed on one of them, very good shooting and observing of the pilot.

 

8 April 1945: Sunday today, and a beautiful day for it. Our chief activity during the day being the succesful engagement of guns firing at the infantry. The Air OP from the CRA's Cmd net used the regiment to shoot at a gun hidden in a house. 12 Bty engaged and after neutralizing the area round the house, the Air OP took the house itself on as a destructive shoot, and out of 6 rds GF at if after a minimum of ranging, five were direct hits! He reported the gun silenced and the house smoking. The second successful shoot was at two 88 mm that were causing much trouble to the infantry. 12 Bty engaged with 2 rds GF, and one 88 received a direct hit and the other damaged and silenced. About 100 Germans promptly gave themselves up, very shaken and very discouraged. In the Air OP shoot it will be of interest to record that one troop used 100 lb shell, and the other 80 lb shell, and the rounds fell well together.

 

9 April 1945: The Regiment had placed under its command a battery from 2nd Canadian Heavy Ack Ack Regiment. Warm and clear - very quiet day, only two rpg being fired. The infantry continue to edge in towards Deventer from the North East. The regiment now has the 1st HAA Bty RCA u/c, and line was laid from the regimental switchboard to their Comd Post. They are being used chiefly for harassing fire. Also HQ 2nd Cdn AGRA have moved up to our area, and brought with them the 1 Hy Regt RA, and will support the attack by 1 Cdn Inf Div when Deventer is clear. The CRA 3 Div (Brig LG. Clarke) visited the regiment this afternoon.

 

10 April 1945: Another warm sunny day. Not much firing was done during the day. The town of Deventer is expected to be captured this evening - no news yet. The Regt was visited by the CCRA (Brig P.A.S. Todd) and the CAGRA (Brig W.C. Leggatt). We will be under operational command of AGRA for the 1 Div assault but remain u/c 3 Div in all other respects. Many ex-members of the Regiment, now serving with the 1 Cdn Inf Div have visited us here, among others being Major L. Staysco, one time adjutant of the regiment, who cmds a battery in the 2 Fd Regt, and Capt L.G. Vickars who is 2 i/c. These two officers left the regiment in 1943 to go to Italy, and have ended up together in the same battery. They are both very pleased at being in a country with green fields again!.

 

11 April 1945: Warm and sunny. The town of Deventer was captured last night and so today the 1st Cdn Dic went across the IJssel river in an assault supported by a fire plan Cannonshot, with H hr 1630. The fire plan ivolved 50 rpg and was supplemented by various concs or call. At 1500 hrs the recce party (which had been ordered to stand by from 1500 hrs on) was ordered out to recce an area some eight miles further north, and returned at 1900 hrs hot and dusty and with the certainty that their work would be of no value, as the infantry are advancing at such a rate to the north as to be alsmost out of range already. We will stay where we are till released by 1 Div.

 

12 April 1945: Slight rain in morning with damp heat in afternoon. The area recce'd yesterday was to be used as a conc area today, but was not used as we stayed in action in support of 1 Cdn Div. Major Johnston left to relieve Capt R.B. Barnes as C.O.s rep at 9 CIB, as the latter is due to go on leave tomorrow. 9 CIB started on their trek to Leeuwarden as a bde group move, and met little position. Capt K.P. Smibert remained with the 27 Cdn Amd Regt. Information that we would be moving late this afternoon was cancelled, and only the Echelon moved up, passing ahead of the regiment some eight miles. A total of eight rpg only were fired to support 1 Div. Lt. S. Pringle was accepted as Div Tentacle Officer and will leave as soon as the next group of officers return from leave - due on the 14 Apr. At 1700 hrs the recce was once again ordered out and left to stay away the night.

 

13 April 1945: The Regiment joined the rest of the division in Zwolle. The 12th Battery went into action so fast that they were ready and firing on a U Target before the Field were even ready, and felt very proud if themselves. RHQ was in a newly dug German dugout, so new in fact that the timber used in this construction was still wet and cold. It was the unanimous opnion that the Jerry really knows how to build his shelters.

Warm and sunny. 9 CIB continue their advance without much opposition. The area given to the recce party was changed at noon to an area East of Zwolle in squares and the regiment finally moved at 1500 hrs. The total distance was thirty miles and took until 2200 hrs to get into action due to the congested roads. RHQ is now located in a freshly built dugout of large propositions. No firing has been done for 1 Div since yesterday afternoon. But 2 rpg were fired by 12 Bty as soon as they were in action in support 9 CIB, before the Fd were able to get into action - a source of satisfaction to all.

 

14 April 1945: The Regiment was silent and sleep was the only really efficiently done. A hot day with a little sun. The C.O. (Lt.-Col. F.P. Haszard) attended an orders group at 3 Div HQ at 1600 hrs today, and brought back the general plan of 3 Div advance, and held an orders group himself at 2000 hrs. The question as to whether the regiment was to be split up, a battery with each of 9 and 8 Bdes, has not been decided yet, and a move to a conc area is likely as soon as 9 CIB clears an area suitable for putting guns in - which wil be few and far between judging from the map.

 

15 April 1945: The Regiment was on the road again, heading for the North, some thirty miles behind the Recce party, and at least fifty behind the leading troops. We travelled until shortly  before dark ad went into action in very unfavorable ground, so much so in fact that the CPO's onyl succeeded in finding small strips of ground that were little more than small dykes, along which the guns went into action. Rainy in the morning, clearing up later. At 1015 hrs the recce was ordered out, and the regiment was on the road at 1330 hrs, advancing up the Div. Axis. The conc area given was not used, luckily - it was more water than land - and we finally went into action with RHQ located in a farm. The guns went into action between the canals and ditches in "line astern" and were lucky in deploying at all. No firing during the day - the only excitement was provided by some awkward moments on the road - chiefly due to the absence of proper march tables for the day.

 

16 April 1945: The Regiment was ordered to split up into two batteries, and give support in two different places. RHQ moved up into a cheese factory in what was roughly the centre of the distance between the two batteries, some thirty miles. Communications were almost impossible with anything less than a motorcycle, a state of affiars that was to last for ten days, when we eventually got together as a Regiment on the 25th in Germany. Warm and sunny. Both batteries were pulled out of action in the morning and were deployed separately in support of 8 Bde and 9 Bde, the 12th Bty going with 8 Bde. RHQ remained where they were due to being centrally spaced for communications. 12 Bty deployed in area south east of Joure and the 45 Bty east of Franeker. Both batteries in range to cover the sea coast. Three rpg in HF were expended by 45 Bty - the target being the eastern end of the causeway. At 2300 hrs orders were received to move one tp of 45 Bty to be ready before dawn.

 

17 April 1945: Warm and sunny. At 0040 hrs 3 Div changed their minds and ordered one tp from the Bty supporting 8 CIB (12 Bty) instead. They were ready by 0800 hrs. After breakfast RHQ moved up to a cheese factory to be more centrally spaced. Although surrounded by water it is still most difficult to keep civilians away from vehicles etc and strict supervision with vigorous application of the unit interpreter are required. The CO (Lt.-Col. F.P. Haszard) accompanied by the Adjt (Capt F.G. Williams) visited HQ RCA 3 Cdn Inf Div at 1430 hrs. The rest of the 12 Bty was ordered to join A tp and reported ready at 1830 hrs. The batteries are now only 13 miles apart, whichis an improvement over 23.

 

18 April 1945: The province of Friesland was cleared out without any trouble, except from the Eastern end of the great Causeway across the mouth of the Zuider Zee., where the Batteries in turn carried out quite a few shoots, until stopped by the dutch Engineers, who did not like the idea of us shooting up the lock ways of the causeway. The record distance between the Regiment was spread out was no less than 78 miles. And not even de RC signas, with their special radio masts, could get communications through by wireless. The Despatch Riders of the R.C.A.S.C Platoon who owned coveted Harley Davidsons, did wonderful work running the distance between the far Battery and RHQ twice a day.The 12th Battery was this distant Battery, and in recceing the area for deployment just East of Delftzijl, the Battery commander Major G.M.Standish liberated three towns in a jeep, and made the first contact with the Poles.

Warm and sunny. The batteries remained separated, with their own BCs at their respective bdes as COs rep. Major G.M. Standish had a small fire plan for his battery (the 12th) involving 35 rpg which satisfied the infantry. It seemed a large amount to expend on an enemy known to be very few. Today saw the final clearing of the province of Friesland and the only enemy activity being the firing of enemy guns from the causeway. Our Air OP was shot at and had its wings holed by 20 mm fire this afternoon.

 

19 April 1945: Warm and sunny. To-day was a day of Slidex messages going wrong, practically all of them refusing to make sense. Lt. K. McFarlane was despatched to Army HQ for an interview with reference to his Air OP Course. The Padre (H/Capt. J.L. Ball) left to-day to go on leave to England. The new RSO (Lt. H.H. Rutherford) returned from his course at Larkhill and takes over from Capt. A.E. Baker tomorrow, who in turn goes to 45 Bty as C Tp Comd. Other changes involved Capt. R.E. Barnes and Capt. L.F. Fleet Standish, left on a trip to east of Groningen to meet the CRAs rep of the 13 Fd there. He liberated at least two towns and "broke through" to the Poles who had been sitting quite happily in supposed enemy held territory for the past week. 3 Div is swinging along the coast to the east and will next assault and take Emden. Major Standis returned late at night and reported his adventures and gave orders to move his battery at first light. They will then be no less than 60 miles away.

 

20 April 1945: Windy and with rain showers. The Regiment is again split up,with the 12 Bty on its way East to support 7 Bde and the 45 Bty still in action East of the east end of the causeway closing the mouth of the Zuiderzee. An LO sent to HQ 3 Cdn Inf Div was briefed by the B.M. (Major D.W. Duguid) as to a probable time of moving tomorrow, if 9 CIB finish their commitments on time. Recce parties from RHQ and 45 Bty are to leave at first light.

 

21 April 1945: Sunny but windy. To-day has been a day of orders and counter orders. It eventually transpired that we are to move at approximately 2200 hrs under command for movement 14 Fd Regt RCA and eventually when we were relieved by the 17 Fd Regt RCA of 5 Cdn Armd Div at 2330 hrs we were able to get permission to move and started on our all night trek of some 63 miles to the East.

 

22 April 1945: 45th Battery and RHQ who were still near Harlingen, received orders to move East to the neighborhood of Winschoten, which would put them only 24 miles from 12th Battery, and after an all night move, they went into action in what might just as well have been a bog, or peat field, and the RHQ as usual went into a papermill.

Very windy with rain squalls. The Regiment arrived at their new location cold and hungry and very sleepy at 0900 hrs. RHQ is located in a papermill with 45 Bty area some six miles to the East. Only casualties of the trip were S4 which ran into a tree and had to be BLR'd and was evacuated. The 12 Bty is still to the north but we hope to have them back with us soon. The situation on this front is very confused, and we are not too certain as to who the 45 Bty is under comd. Major Johnson (OC 45 Bty) is AT 8 Bde as CO's rep and the two tp comds, Capt Baker and Capt Fleet, are at Bn HQ of the NSR and Chaudieres respectively. The Regiment fired about 15 rpg during the day. Communications are the great problem and the air seemt to be even more crowded than before, especially CW.

 

23 April 1945: The 12th Battery finally did come within wireless range, and in occuping a comparatively close position, only 7 miles away from 45th Battery, had the experience of bridges giving way under their guns again, though fortunately without causing any damage.

 

24 April 1945: Captain K.P.Smibert in an OP up a church Tower, from where he could get good observation of two enemy batteries,saw these batteries were being shelled by some 25 pounder batteries, and so he didn't engage them with the Regiment. But the enemy battery saw hus church tower and presumed hat it was from it that the 25 pounder fire was being brought down on them. So they shelled the tower heavily, and Captain Smibert had a hasty retreat. In actual fact it was an Air OP which had been doing the observation for the 25 pounders, It was here, with the guns just North of Winschoten that the regiment had its first taste of effectiveness of the fire from the Embden guns.

 

25 April 1945: The Regiment moved into Germany.

 

10 May 1945: The Regiment moved to an area West of Goor into a concentration area in which we were to prepare the guns for turning in, and repaint all the vehicles.

 

3 June 1945: The Regiment moved into billets left by 10th Medium Regiment and we moved out to the tents and mussy fields into the village of Markelo.