Shoulder emblem 74 Field Regiment
(photo Nico Roelofs)
25-pdr gunners of 74th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, 24 January 1945 IWM (B14152)

74 (Northhumbrian) Field Regiment: 296 Battery 298 Battery


Unit No.

 

2 October 1944: Regt in action area Nijmegen. 2 Tgts recorded DUCK & DRAKE.

 

6 October 1944: Signaller wounded.

 

7 October 1944: Lieut J.T. Bryant RA killed at OP.

 

25 October 1944: Propoganda shells fired.

 

28 October 1944: Lt Col H.W.W. Harris DSO RA admitted to hospital.

 

1 November 1944: Quiet day. U & M Tgts fired.

 

2 November 1944: One battery of 90 Fd now under command 319 F.A. Bn left to support our Tps 508 Regt. Mortars engaged - Scale 1. Enemy movement - Scale 1. Fire plan Suzanna fired during night in support of a raid by 69 Bde.

 

3 November 1944: Targets engaged. CB Targets Scale III. Ouiet day on the whole.

 

4 November 1944: Targets engaged Inf U Scale II.  Fire plan fired in support of fighting patrol by 6 DLI. Patrol very pleased by the shooting. Quiet day.

 

5 November 1944: Harassing programme. Bonfire on known Mortar locations carried out between 1030-1145 all scale II. All tps to use as SOS during day. Fire will be called for by 74 Fd ad HF fire. Targets engaged. HF Fire Scale I Four tps on each target. A engaged 4 times between 2100-2130. Quiet day on the whole.

 

6 November 1944: Very quiet all day. No Particular targets engaged during the day.

 

7 November 1944: Targets engaged. No further targets in particular engaged except a few enemy by batteries. Quiet day.

 

8 November 1944: Amn restricted to 12 rpg per day inclusing CB and OM targets engaged. Regt ranged on to tgt by American Air OP. Day generally quiet, slight enemy shelling.

 

9 November 1944: Alternative position recced for 452 Bty. 2250 - Enemy fighting patrol raided outpost 8 DLI. DF 23 fired when fighting patrol retired. Day generally quiet. Amn restriction restricted to engagement of tgts.

 

10 November 1944: Amn expenditure increased to 17 rpg per day excl Bombards & U Tgts. Tgts engaged.

 

11 November 1944: Retaliation tgts. Code word "June" to be fired if 151 Bde area shelled by the enemy. Positions were engaged during the evening and night. 452 Bty moved to alternative position.

 

12 November 1944: Tgts engaged. "June" tgts also engaged. Code word "Spring time" received

during the day.

 

13 November 1944: Tgts engaged Enemy HQ.

 

14 November 1944: Flying bomb going North passed over regimental area, it landed in enemy line North of Nederrijn. It was requested that regiment moved to an area South river Waal but HQRA would not allow it.

 

15 November 1944: Tgts engaged Enemy HQ.

 

16 November 1944: Tgts engaged Enemy psns. The brigade front shorten to allow relief by 61 Recce.

 

17 November 1944: Targets engaged. 1700 - Propaganda shells fired. Tgts East side of dyke. 2020 - Change over between 151 Bde and 61 Recce completed. Regt now supporting 61 Recce.

 

18 November 1944: Regt received instruction re operation Pegasus. Major Wakelin as CRA rep went to US 101 CP to act as LO for fire support. Yanks taken POW at Nantes sent to Leipzig to recover from wounds, managed to reach 61 Recee Lines, states that after recovering worked in hospital as an orderly and returned from Germany via Arnhem. He reports that our Arty causing casualties in Arnhem. He has seen bomb damage in Germany which he describes as terrific, Kassel being one of the worst damaged places he had seen. He was kept in Germany by an Italian woman and in Holland by a Dutch woman.

 

19 November 1944: 1000 - First V2 track seen at A Bearing of 40 degr. from B Troop. Targets

engaged.

 

20 November 1944: Bridge harassed by regiment between 0800 hrs and 1010 hrs. The enemy replied by shelling Nijmegen Bridge. Targets registered by Air OP.

 

21 November 1944: Targets reported by Air OP. 1615 - Major Dawson visited HQRA with COs and stayed there with GOC. Sgt Collins 296 Bty wounded seriously inleg while crossing Nijmegen Bridge.

 

22 November 1944: CM Targets recorded by 296 Bty.

 

23 November 1944: Targets engaged. 0620 - 4 rounds fel in RHQ area. No damage or casualties. Small HF and CB programm laid on.

 

24 November 1944: Targets engaged.

 

25 November 1944: Targets registered by Air OP. 1610 - Red smoke fired, engaged by Typhoons R/P. 2020 - 2 Rockets seen by C Tp 80 degr travelling East to West.

 

26 November 1944: V 2 seen by RHQ 90 degr F Tp 93 degr, 440 80 degr Travelling West 1500ft.

 

27 November 1944: Tgts engaged. HF and CB task tables. 1720 - Propaganda shells fired. 1 Shell on each point

 

28 November 1944: Signal section cookhouse on fire, Jeep burnt out, no casualties. Court of Inquiry held at 1415 hrs. Capt H. Bennion RA President. 0930 - COs conference at HQRA. 1900 - RHQ area shelled, no damage. 2345 - RHQ area shelled, no damage.

 

29 November 1944: 0620 - RHQ area shelled, no damage. 1900 - 30/40 enemy engaged with DF 73. thought to be carrying out a relief. 1430 - G-o-C conference at HQRA. Major Dawson attends.

 

30 November 1944: 1020 - Red smoke fired to cover wood and engaged by R/P Typhoons. 1520 - G-o-C visitied regiment to inform them they were no longer part of 50 (N) Div. This was indeed a sad day for the regiment and all were heavy of heart after hearing the news from the G-o-C that 50 (N) Div was to be no longer a fighting unit, but a training unit in England. This regiment was now to become part of 49 (WR) Division in place of 185 Fd regiment which will be broken up and disbanded. 90 Fd passed to 1 Corps and 124 disbanded. 

 

1 December 1944: 17.00 - Red Smoke fired. Lt Col P. Gough RA joined regiment as temperary CO.

 

2 December 1944: 17.00 - Large explosion on dyke heard by Lt M. Wallace at 4c OP with SWB's. Water seen E & W pst point of explosion.

 

3 December 1944: 02.43 - Water rising round FDLs. Water continued to rise during the night and day. FDL withdrawn to area Elst. All surplus vehicles removed off island. 51 (H) forced to withdraw from North side of island. 14.20 - HQ RA order us to take over support of 61 Recce whilst 69 Fd Regt draw out. Sgm D.R. Perris killed in jeep accident. Drowned when jeep went into ditch.

 

4 December 1944: 04.00 - DF 607 10 Axis 10 Sc 3 fired in support of DWR (147 Bde) enemy attacked and infiltrated in their area at Halderen. 04.30 - M Tgt Sc 3. 06.50 - DF 604 Sc 3. 07.50 - Situation with DWR in hand. Regiment not required any more. Regiment move to new area Weurt. Whilst moving 69 Fd supports 56 Bde. 15.00 - Regt ready. 69 Fd regt reps return to their regt. Lt Col P. Gough leaves regt and Lt Col E.H. Colwille takes over command of regiment. Water rising slightly during the day. Appears to be reaching maximum in height but increase in area of flooding.

 

5 December 1944: Water level fairly stationary. 56 Bde remaining in Elst. Area flooding increased. Water finding own level.

 

6 December 1944: Water level generally same. Major E.N. Dawson left regiment and Major R. Hudson now 2IC vice 185 Fd Regt RA. HQRA ordered us to recce area to support 56 Bde if they move south of river Waal, in wooded area 55 and 60 Eastings and 67 Northings. Zone to cover 56 Bde and to fire North of Nederrijn. 440 Bty may be only one bty to move to start with but if trouble starts we may have to move the regiment. "I" anticipate water borne attack on Bridge within 48 hrs - reason unknown.

 

9 December 1944: HF tgts engaged. Scale 1, 4 times from a Bty.

 

10 December 1944: Glosters attacked Flyover at 0900 hrs with arty support - results excellent. 13 PW, 9 wounded and 2 killed. 1020 - Lieut W.T. Adams wounded and 2 ORs killed at 3 B OP by a solitary shell that landed in a hole where the party were cooking breakfast. HF tgts engaged.

 

12 December 1944: HF tgts engaged.

 

16 December 1944: 2 Glosters raided X rds De Gouden Klomp. No enemy. Very please with arty support.

 

19 December 1944: Considerable shellig of Island area during night. Eldon shelled in ret? and also Rijkerwaard.

 

20 December 1944: Shelling continued until about 0530 hrs. 0900 - B Echelon and Nijmegen area being shelled.

 

21 December 1944: HQRA informed regt that enemy paratroops assembling North of Arnhem.

 

22 December 1944: HF Tasks engaged.

 

25 December 1944: HF tasks engaged by Troop of 440 Bty, now on Island. An enjoyable Xmas was had by all but it was marred by the fact that the Regiment was in action.

 

26 December 1944: HF Tasks engaged. U Tgts engaged. Enemy movement.

 

27 December 1944: HF Tgts engaged.

 

28 December 1944: HF Tgts engaged.

 

29 December 1944: HF Tgts engaged.

 

30 December 1944: HF Tgts engaged.

 

31 December 1944: HF Tgts engaged.

 

1 January 1945: HF Tasks engaged. Fire plan on call 2 Jan for Glosters PETER.

 

2 January 1945: HF Tasks engaged. PETER call for at 0915hrs.

 

3 January 1945: Regt fired in support of SWB patrol attack on castle. Tgt engaged during the day and also M 668 MR. In the area of this target were seen approx 30 enemy but after engagement by us and MGs only 11 were seen to retire. The Infantry were exceedingly pleased with our fire. There were targets harassed during the night.

 

4 January 1945: Starting at 0515 a fire plan was fired to cover SWB patrol to Castle. The Castle was harassed until 0615. Between 0618 and 0729 MR was harassed. Whilst the patrol returned the Castle was again engaged from 0745 to 0800 rate very slow. HF tasks engaged during night and early morning of 5 Feb.

 

5 January 1945: HF engaged.

 

6 January 1945: HF Tasks engaged. (enemy movement) A,B and D Tps calibrated. HF Task table as on 5 again fired.

 

7 January 1945: B Tp moved relieving one tp of 143 FD Regt RA. 452 Bty relieved by one Bty 143 Fd Regt RA. and returned to old location. C Tp relieved by one tp 143 Fd regt RA on the 'Island'.

 

8 January 1945: C,E & F guns calibrated except one gun F tp in workshops. Gun positions in squares recced for possible counter attack role in operation JOCK, 440 Bty resting.

 

9 January 1945: Received 56 Bde Operation Instruction no. 18.

 

10 January 1945: HF Targets engaged. Operation JOCK in abeyance.

 

12 January 1945: HF Targets engaged Sc I twice during day. 440 Bty in action 452 Bty resting. HF engaged during night Sc. I

 

13 January 1945: HF targets engaged during night and early morning. Sc I 3 times.

 

14 January 1945: Targets engaged. Sc I Hostile mortar.

 

15 January 1945: Targets engaged Sc I Countar Mortar Bombard. F Tp relieved B Tp and 452 Bty now in action and 296 Bty resting.

 

16 January 1945: Targets engaged Sc I Hostile mortar.

 

17 January 1945: Targets engaged Sc I enemy mortar.

 

18 January 1945: CO meets Brigade Commander 56 Bde 1115 hrs at 146 Bde HQ.

 

19 January 1945: Enemy attacked Zetten and Glosters sent to assist 1 Leicesters. 296 BC with Bn HQ. Targets engaged. E Tp moved to a position near F Tp. All 452 Bty now in Druten area. TAC moved to Slijk Ewijk.

 

20 January 1945: During early morning targets engaged. Essex ans SWB attacked Zetten and Castle area at 0800 hrs concentrations put down in support. Air OP shot regt with good results. The enemy was harassed during evening and night in the Castle area and to North toward Heteren. Enemy not driven North of Canal.

 

21 January 1945: 56 Bde attack continues, regt fired in support. Enemy still stubborn.

 

22 January 1945: 56 Bde continue to mop up Zetten end Hemmen area. 296 Bty move North of river Waal into 69 Fd Regt RA bty gun area.

 

23 January 1945: TAC HQ returned to Regt.

 

25 January 1945: Regt moved on to "Island" to relieve 69 Fd Regt RA. as 56 Bde relieved 146 Bde. Locations as per situation report. 1427hrs Gunner Command passed from 69 to 74. HF programme carried out.

 

26 January 1945: Targets engaged. HF carried out during the night.

 

27 January 1945: Targetes engaged. 20 men and Sc 1 repeated. Casualties inflicted observed by Air OP. HF carried out during the night.

 

28 January 1945: Targets engaged. Observed by Air OP. HF carried out during the night.

 

29 January 1945: Targets engaged. HF carried out during night.

 

30 January 1945: Targets engaged. HD Transport. Obs by Air OP. HF carried out during the night.

 

31 January 1945: Targets engaged. Enemy withdrew under smoke. HF carried out during night. Front generally quiet during the month except for the battle Zetten area. The regt had most targets to engage whilst supporting 56 Bde on the eastern part of Div area. From the gunners point of view the Zetten battle was very successful and it is believed that numerous casualties were inflicted on the enemy. During the month 17 Offrs and 288 ORs have been on leave. Brig R. Senior (1st of 151 Bde) now in command of 56 Bde. He was exceedingly pleased to see this regiment in support. The weather was generally cold and there was a long spell of snow and frost during the month although this was unpleasant in a way is helped to make the island drier and the floods subside.

 

1 February 1945: Tgts engaged Sc 1. Enemy patrol 440 Bty Sc 1 16 enemy. HF carried out during the night.

 

2 February 1945: HF carried out during night.

 

3 February 1945: Tgts engaged Sc 1. Hostile mortar Sc 1. Mortar retaliation. HF carried out duting the night.

 

4 February 1945: Tgt engaged F Troop. Enemy movement. HF carried out duting the night.

 

5 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Suspected SP guns. Hostile mortar. HF carried out duting the night.

 

6 February 1945: Mortar retaliation. Obs by AOP. HF carried out during the night.

 

7 February 1945: The water rising on the Islang. HF carried out during the night.

 

8 February 1945: Tgts engaged Tp. Hostile mortar. Movement. To-day 30 Corps attacked South from Nijmegen towards the Reichswald Forest and the regiment engaged targets as per Fire Plan attd. The Regiment was congratulated by the CRA on its excellent and remarkably good shooting all day. HF carried out during the night.

 

9 February 1945: Tgts engaged. All obs by AOP. Mortar retaliation. HF carried out during the night.

 

10 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Tp engaged. HF carried out during the night.

 

11 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Hostile mortar. HF carried out during the night.

 

12 February 1945: Tgts engaged Swine Sc1 HF carried out during the night.

 

13 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Enemy movement HF carried out during the night.

 

14 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Enemy movement. Enemy working party. Mortar retaliation. Engaged by Bty observed by AOP.  Men marching 74 beat 89 LAA 4-2 in final of Div Arty Football competition HF carried out during the night.

 

15 February 1945: Tgts engaged. HF carried out during the night.

 

16 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Search 100x Hostile mortar. HF carried out during the night.

 

17 February 1945: Tgts engaged. POPPYCOCK MARE. Mortar retaliation. HF carried out duting the night.

 

18 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Hostile mortar. HF carried out during the night.

 

19 February 1945: Tgts engaged. MAGPIE. Mortar retaliation. MOOSE. Mortar retaliation. Hostile mortar. HF carried out during the night.

 

20 February 1945: HF carried out during the night. 452 Bty engaged Sc 1 enemy location.

 

21 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Active mortar. Mortar retaliation. 452 Bty Sc 1 enemy location. HF carried out during the night.

 

22 February 1945: Tgts engaged Bty Sc 1. Observed by AOP. HF carried out during the night.

 

23 February 1945: Tgts engaged. HF carried out during the night.

 

24 February 1945: Tgts engaged. Observed by AOP. Hostile battery. Bty tgts Sc 1. 56 Bde was relieved on the Island by 147 Bde and this regiment was relieved by 143 Fd. Regt moved into new location south of the river withon troop at Druten in support of 49 Recce Regt.

 

25 February 1945: Tgts engaged SOW. Mortar retaliation. Bty tgt Sc I.MG Post. Regt has 1 vehicle and 2 OPs out in the Cdn Recce part East of Nijmegen.

 

26 February 1945: 2 Belgian Fusiliers relieved Cdn Recce and regts rep and OPs remain with them (Belgians) Regt not in direct support for fire.

During this month the regiment fired more than it did last month on the average. However it was a quiet month with no outstanding incidents. Home leave was enjoyed by a number of officers and men.

 

1 March 1945: 21.35 -  Regt received orders to be prepared to move recce parties early on morning of 2nd. 2215 - CO to be at Bde HQ at 0815 hrs to go on recce with Brigadier.

 

2 March 1945: 0310 - Recce (Harbour) parties to be at ?. Route Malden - Mook - Ottersum - Goch.  09.30 - Harbour recce parties leave. 12.35 - Move of main body due 3rd postponed until 4th. 16.15 - Move of main body postponed another 24 hrs. 17.05 - Harbour recce parties recalled.

 

3 March 1945: D Troop relieved by C Troop 143 Field Regt RA. 13.15 - Move postponed indefinitely.

 

5 March 1945: 22.15 - HQRA order Co 2 recce party to RV 69 Field Regt RHQ to recce gun area Lienden.

 

6 March 1945: 09.30 - CO2 recce party left and new areas recced. 

 

7 March 1945: Operation Order No.1 (REGENTS PARK) received. 15.00 - Tps commenced moving onto the Island. 15.30 - RHQ (Tac) moved onto the Island. 19.00 - Regt ready, including 388 Bty of 143 Fd Regt RA (under command). 22.30  Informed that enemy patrol had infiltrated towards D Coy Leics 147 Bde down the autobahn from Rijkerswoerd towards Aam. 22.55 - Regt engaged targetes in Rijkerswoerd area. Tgts engaged Sc.2. 22.30 - All quiet.

 

8 March 1945:10.45 - Traces & Task table in connection with REGENTS PARK received. 11.00 - Informed that US Tps (2 Bdes) across the Rhine south of Bonn. We are no longer the sole troops over the Rhine. 18.30 - For Fire Plan REGENTS PARK - operation not a success as Buffaloes got bogged and were unable to reach objective. 19.30 -  C Tp 440 and 452 Btys return south of river.

 

9 March 1945: RHQ returns to old location. 388 Bty no longer under command and reverts to own regt.

 

10 March 1945: 06.45 - 147 Bde raid Halderhorn area from the river using assault boats. Tgt engaged U Tgt Sc 1. C Tp only.

 

11 March 1945: Regiment relieved 69 Fd Regt on 56 Bde relieving 146 Bde. Two Btys on the Island and 1 at Ewijk. Tgts engaged Bty tgt. HF carried out during the night. Amn allotment 12 rds per day.

 

12 March 1945: 07.15 - 452 Bty shot on ROCKET which was a smoke screen laid on for an attack by 49 recce on houses. No PWs. 15.30 - 440 Bty shot on VENUS which was a smoke screen laid on for an attack by SWBs on house, where 3 enemy dressed in British B/D were seen during the morning. There was no one there. Amn allotment now 11 rds per day. Tgts engaged Tp - 12 men M Tgt. Sc 1 suspected HBs. Bty Tgt (440) Active spandau. HF carried out during the night.

 

13 March 1945: HF carried out during the night.

 

14 March 1945: Tgts engaged: Tgt SPARROW Sc 1 Mortar retaliation. HF carried out during the night.

 

15 March 1945: Enemy engaged as far as ammunition allowed active North of River. HF carried out during the night.

 

16 March 1945: Certain observed shooting carried out during the day on small enemy parties. HF carried out during the night.

 

17 March 1945: Certain observed shooting carried out during the day on small enemey parties. HF carried out during the night.

 

18 March 1945: Both Glosters & SWB pushed strong patrols Coy strength up during the offensive towards the Nederrijn. The Glosters met opposition and had to withdraw. The SWB started later and arranged to put one Coy area South of Randwijk. Certain concentrations were laid on to support the patrols if necessary. Targets engaged. Hostile mortar. Men on red, observed AOP. All from Batteries.

 

19 March 1945: SWB. 1 Coy attacked Randwijk to clear up to Bund at 0001 but were held by enemy in area church. This party in well prepared positions Coy unable to remove. Tgts engaged. Enemy infantry. Numerous small parties of enemy working parties North of ruin engaged by Tps. HF carried out during the night.

 

20 March 1945: Small groups of enemy engaged by troops. HF carried out during the night.

 

21 March 1945: 452 Bty fired propaganda pamphlets on Wageningen and Opheusden at last night. HB engaged by 452 Bty. HF during the night.

 

22 March 1945: SWB's at 0001 commended patrolling to Bund from Indoornik in Coy strength. Regiment supported patrols enemy retired to Church which they strongly held. HB engaged. Enemy locality engaged. Randwijk Church heavily shelled and later Rocketed by Typhoons.

 

23 March 1945: 21 A Gp crossed River Rhine at Wesel. Small enemey attack at 05.30 on Glosters outpost North of Elst. estimated enemy strength 60. Successfully engaged by Regt and HAA. Harassed Elden and Rijkerswoerd. Casualties inflicted - 1 wounded PW from 346 Arty Regt.

 

24 March 1945: General harassing of area.

 

25 March 1945: HB's engaged.

 

26 March 1945: Propaganda pamphlets in Dutch fired on Randwijk and Wageningen. Much movement seen all day in Wageningen area, believed relief taking place.

 

27 March 1945: Nothing to report.

 

28 March 1945: Recce parties sent to Gun area's in Bemmel.

 

29 March 1945: Regiment moved to new location in Bemmel ready in action 11.15 hrs. 56 Bde relieving 146 Bde in preparation for Operation DESTROYER, object to clear East end of Island up to Nederrijn. Regt maintaining silent note except for big targets, which never appeared.

 

30 & 31 March 1945: Very quiet time-preparing for Operation DESTROYER. Water level on the Island dropped very considerably and fine weather dried the land a lot. Enemy mainly very quiet causing suspicion that he had pulled out but still a good deal of activity North of River. Drier conditions allowed more artillery on Island. The month was marked by start of offensive across Rhine which was marked by considerable success, consequent possibilities of offensive on Island opened up.

 

1 April 1945: General preparation for Op DESTROYER. No firing from Battle position unless vital. RHQ a longside Bde. Regt provided LO's for 3d Cdn Div on Right 5 Cdn Armd Div on left.

 

2 April 1945: Op DESTROYER Zero hour 0600 hrs. Object to clear Eastern end of Island, Angeren, Huissen and Elden. Large fire plan of concentrations fired Rest of tgts on call. HRs bombarded and some U Tgts fired but after fighting in FDLs opposition was not heavy and PW started coming in (from 361 Div) enemy strenght in sector approx 1 Bn, rest withdrew 2 days earlier. By 0900 hrs DWR on all objectives and RSF passed through clearing to North of Haalderen & Gent, chief hindrance was mines, causing some casualties. 1230 Leicesters passed through heading for Doornenberg which they reached in afternoon when there was a lull. They put small post on far side of Pannerden site Canal. Some enemy shelling about 1700 hrs which was dealt with 147 Bde attacked at 1700 hrs and Lincolns made good progress. Air attack on Huissen 1820 to keep them going. Air OP engaged ferries which were active evacuating men. Fire plans continued up till 2100 hrs. When Lincolns got into Huissen, KOYLI's secured bridgehead across. Weteringen Canal. H Mortars engaged  by Regt all day. Day's total  63 PW our losses 3 OR's killed, 5 OR's wounded and 1 offr and 4 ORs wounded while lifting mines. Some enemy dead found including a Spandau crew on which the Regt had fired.

 

3 April 1944: Quiet night battle continued at first light. Rijkerswoerd on which Regt had fired so many hundred rounds, taken without a fight. 11 CIB had moved up during night to occupy Dull, Heteren, Randwijk on objectives by 1100 hrs without much opposition. 6 PW. By 1130. Tps of tanks had reached Elden and infantry were on line of Wink Bund. Leicesters sent further strong patrol over Pannerdense Canal who later joined up with Cdn Recce Regt coming from Emmerich. HALLAMS & KOYLI's patrolled out to factories and cleared them, rest of day mopping up North of Elden. 49 Recce Regt cleared East Bank of Rhine up to Westervoort, after Coy Lincolns had crossed at Huissen and established themselves in Hoogeind. Regt moved up into Zand area in evening. Quiet night little shelling or mortaring. Glosters patrol landed, fired on by enemy so sailed up River IJssel and landed again, saw signs of enemy activity and returned.

 

4 April 1945: Continued clearance of East end of Island. Cdns. took 6 PW on Rly embankment Regtg fired a few bombards. Active enemy patrol on own left but all quiet on our sector.

 

5 April 1945: Very wet day-smoke screen, started across whole front, ceased mortaring on Driel on Cdn sector. Intelligence intercepted message calling for ore ammunition. Regrouping carried out all day. HALLAMS relieved by Recce & Belgium, all infantry resting. Regt moved at last light to Elden and took up battle positions - no firing from battle positions-guns out of action.

 

6 April 1945: Regt prepared positions and dug in otherwise guns were silent and we were meant to be 'resting'. Seven Jerry salvos of shells and heavy mortars throughout day were caused by continuous smoke screen lifting and a jam of vehicles near gun positions being observed from high ground above Arnhem. 1 Sgt wounded in legs, 1 gun damaged by 75 mm shell landing in gun pit, 1 M damaged. 440  being too near enemy HF moved position in evening. Smoke screen varied by wind, occasions 1 large gaps. Officers swanned round inspecting the effects of 6 months shellfire by the Regt on Rijkerswoerd and other places. Lieut Brookes promoted Tp Comdr 'F" Tp-Capt Highfield having been posted to HQRA.

 

7 April 1945: Movement restricted in Regtl area-smoke screen better. Fire plan distributed and worked out. Operation "ANGER" postponed a further 2 days in evening. Much Survey done for tanks etc by Survey Section.

 

8 April 1945: Preparation for "ANGER" continued until complete alteration announced in afternoon. Guns still out of action under cover of smoke. No enemy activity. Orders for recce of new area came through late evening. Smoke vehicle went up on ine opposite RHQ 'Adjt' 3 tonner, no casualties but excellent smoke screen for several hours.

 

9 April 1945: Recce parties moved East of Nederrijn morning, regiment due to follow in evening until 24 hrs postponement announced. Changes and cancellations beginning to tell on people's nerves. General opinion of 'operation' very low. More fire plans prepared-uneventful day.

 

10 & 11April 1945: Move postponed againb later ordered for 1900 hrs. Plans for "ANGER" taking shape once more. Moved by night through Doornenburg and over Nederrijn by very unsecure bridge. Guns had to be pulled across on winch. Regt arrived in new area. Dumping ammunition and digging started until light, then layed quiet. Guns in action in case of DF's. Operation orders and fire plans arrived in afternoon. Fine day, regt appreciated being out of smoke screen. Several well bombarded enemy gun pits in Regtl area.

 

12 & 13 April 1945: D Day of Op "ANGER". Extensive preparation made throughout day. Ammunition dumping, final conference OP parties went out. Aerial attack on Arnhem at 1500 hrs and 1830 hrs to 2030 hrs. Typhoons & Spitfires softening up factories and strong points. Wireless silence broken 1840. Mock fire plan by 5 Cdn Armd Div Arty to West at 1900 hrs. Fire plan proper started at 2040 hrs and continued with slight break till 2240 (H hour). Very heavy fire continued with "mattresses" by Rocket Batteries and Heavies as well as field and medium regts, Bund not properly blown caused delay to LVTs and some later stuck in the path cleared by bulldozers. Left and right companies going well centre delayed. Mopping up of factory areas soon reported and on right the Fort was by passed and the road gained. lMines casused casualties and delay to Right coy, some enemy mortaring of FDLs and Westervoort - heavy retaliation and pepperpot targets fired. PW's trickled in 20, 13, 8., Steady progress made, continuous fire by Regt to isolate battlefield. Ferrying very slow. SWBs crossed without vehicles which flowed over quickly after 1320 hrs when the C1 40 br was established. Further small fire plans to help Inf forward, some enemy mortaring and shelling. Resistance slackened in afternoon and 146 Bde passed through early morning met some opposition but took 27 PW incl 1 offr. 56 Bde total up to 1200 hrs 126 PW. Steady progress made up till evening and a firm bridgehead established. Regt brought heavy fire to bear on any opposition. HMs HBs and movement seen by Air OP. More pepperpots fired and also fire programme in support 146 Bde. No counter attacks developed, a number of fires burning in Arnhem worried the infantry. By Dusk Boche guns had located bridge site-had previously ineffectually harassed the old destroyed Railway bridge. Some difficlty in keeping up continuous mortar and 25 pr smoke screen. Regt fired about 300 rpg in 24 hours.

 

14 April 1945: Fairly quiet night, movement light (artificial moonlight) all night. Regt out of action between 0700 hrs and 0800 hrs for move up to Westervoort in support Infantry continue to progress through main part of town meeting scattered opposition. A good deal more firing on 'U'tgts. 146 Bde pushing on, on our right, North of high ground with some difficult fighting up the hill. No firing restrictions very difficult. ? bde finished allotted tasks about midday which meant that Arnhem was clear, nevertheless Regt did some firing, afternoon quiet, numerous reps sent out to 11 Cdn Armd Regt as 147 Bde had moved across our front. Glosters ONLY Bn in Bde holding front line. Change and counter change of plan. Regt contined to fire "U" Tgts and bombards in support 146 Bde. One OP driver wounded.

 

15 April 1945: Only 296 Ops able to do observed shooting-rest of firing mainly bombards and "U" Tgts. Enemy mortars fairly active. 147 pushed on a bit towards Oosterbeek during morning. 56 Bde reorganised for an advance Eastwards to clear Velp. Small fire plan and HF plan arranged which was reduced by 40 PW giving themselves up after dusk. However still mortar fire from Velp so rest of programme left on. Regt moved in evening over River IJssel to North of Arnhem to be able to support attack. Essex-SWBs moved up ready for the advance. Supplies and units pouring into Arnhem part of town still burning. Considerable less mortaring and shelling by enemy. 5 Cdn Armd Div passed through Arnhem Bridgehead.

 

16 April 1945: HF programme on known enemy localities from 1400 till H hour at 0600. Inf moved forward into Velp, Essex left SWBs right finding only a few demoralised enemy. Velp cleared by 1000 hrs and patrols out to factory beyond. About 50 PW taken by Bde-great rejoicing among large population of Velp-only a few civilian casualties. A model operation. 146 Bde swing round on our left and went well ahead clearing main road from Arnhem to Zutphen with help op 49 Div Recce.

 

17 April 1945: Rest of day spent regrouping in Arnhem. Having fought North and East, the Bde was about to fight West, Regt had order "Zero 150 degr, re-record Zero Lines" Weather hot. Quiet night. Zero hour 0700. 56 Bde advanced SWBs left, Glosters right to clear North bank of Lover Rhine between Arnhem and Wageningen with Troops of Tanks an flame throwers in support. Rapid advance made since there was no contact, only a few road blocks and mines. Reports all morning of progress made a total advance to Wageningen of about 16000x. Essex went part way to Renkum by river, LCAs and LCMs and went through SWBs to clear Wageningen which had already been reached by DWR (147 Bde) swinging South across our front. Regt moved about 1030 and again 1700 hrs. Regt passed through area on which 1st Airborne Div fought and found many signs of their grim fight-parachute-harness-containers-jeeps etc. The Regt buried several "Men of Arnhem" after getting their identifications and found some communal graves with inscriptions in German. Capt R.B. Hutt RA (Adjutant) killed and major R. Hudson (2IC) wounded in the eye when jeep in which they were travelling went over some R mines. Major Hudson evacuated but not seriously wounded.

 

18 April 1945: Quiet morning-static front with little movement seen, occasional hostile shelling.3 Bty tgts engaged. HD tpt seen. Extensive patrolling by infantry in front of Wageningen & Ede by day and by night., Regt moved in afternoon by batteries to new area behind Wageningen to support River Patrol to Rhenen by 2 Essex in Bn strength. Patrol made no contact no fire called for met mines and water obstructions. Heavy HF programme all night on Rhenen area. Capt Hutt buried in 151 Bde Cemetry at Ressen on 'the Island'. 1 PW captured between gun area and OPs by Major Clarke.

19 April 1945: Very fine day, good visibility but little movement seen. Air OP reported one large body of men and vehicles during day. Btys engaged small number of targets including one enemy Staff car. Infantry carried out "Jock Column" patrol in daylight without incident. Civilians living in area. Enemy contacted by patrols. Some enemy shelling otherwise little contact. Static warfare again. HF fired during night. Little information available of flooding Western Holland available, but known to be extensive. Lt. QM hit a mine in a 15cwt but no casualties. Changes in appointments- Major Clarke to be 2 IC (pending return of Major Hudson) Capt Hanson to be OC 440 Bty (pending return of Major Hudson) Capt Crossley to be Adjutant, Capt Pitt to be Bty Capt 452 Bty, Lt Owen to be Tp Comdr "B" Tp.

 

20 April 1945: Very quiet day - small amount of movement obseved and engaged by batteries. 440 Bty out of action, resting in Arnhem. Daylight patrol found about 20 Boche in Benedeneind. Small amount of hostile shelling. HF by Mediums on Benedeneind during night and small programme by our guns.

 

21 April 1945: Small amount of battery tgts engaged during morning incl small party of Boche. 98 Fd Regt on the Island firing onto high ground North of Rhenen from which they had been mortared. Big HF programen laid on during afternoon Benedeneind. Including 'U' Tgts. Mortars, MG's and Bofors. SWB swept area in evening flushed 3 Boche who ran away. ME 109 flew over front in evening. Civilian evacuation of no mans land arranged for the night. 440 Bty still resting. Very wet day.

 

22 April 1945: Routine activity. Night patgrols suffered 2 casualties and took 2 PW, identified as 2 Para Flak Regt. Small number of targets engaged. Snipers captured 3 PW before returning in evening but they escaped, killing one and wounding another-more enemy later seen in area. Civilians continue to supply information of gun areas, obstacles and troop movements. HF during night. Russians 4 miles from centre of Berlin-link up expected with Americans further South.

 

23 April 1945: Patrol during night killed two Boche and took 1 wounded PW. Usual small amount of movement seen during day. Everyone preparing for nights move forward. 296 Bty which was resting, recalled into line. Information received ghrough underground sources that Boche was sending strong patgrol towards Ede at night. Patrol duly came and 1 Coy of KOYLIs got mixed up in a fire fight as they moved forward, sustained three casualties, otherwise move forward was quiet, without incident. At 2030 about 8 or 9 shells (105 mm) landed in Regt area-some 200x from HQ. some on C & D tps position. No casualties. 1 limber destroyed-one camouflage net seton fire. Wet day again.

 

24 April 1945: Slightly increased amount of shelling & mortaring during day, including a Nebelwerfer, which was chased and punished by the Air OP. Regt moved during morning by Batteries close up behind infantry, overlooked from enemy ground but some cover. Some enemy movement engaged during afternoon, otherwise very quiet - Typhoons attacked Rhenen in evening but not on Bde request. Large columns of Black smoke seen, more information from civilians.

 

25 April 1945: Patrols during night 24/25 no contact, sounds of tracked vehicles heard and engaged at 0500. Small Boche attack with 50 Inf and 4 Tanks put in against Leicesters on right flank proceeded by heavy shelling. Repulsed and 3 PW taken, only 2 casualties to Leicesters attack smaller than originally expected. Enemy Tanks harassed throughout morning. Nobel active. LAA doing daylight HF. 2 Dutch SS Deserters gave valuable information as to localities.  Coy HQ, Ration Point, section posts etc and testified to effect of our H. Their Coy had sustained 20 casualties and were moving out of houses into open on that account. Nights HF based on this information. Several HB and HM targets engaged throughout day. 10.000 propoganda pamphlets fired at last light, printed in Dutch. RHQ moved during day about 800x. CRAs visit postponed 48 hrs. Non aggresive policy adopted on orders of CRA - HF cancelled mainly only DF CB & CM tgts to be engaged or Boche being aggressive near FDLs.

 

26 April 1945: Very boring day in consequence, but 296 fired on troublesome Spandau and in eening several HB & HMs fired in retaliation to shelling Leicesters. 17 pr SP guns fired 100rds at Veenendaal Church spire and rendered it useless as an OP since the enemy was using it as an arty OP. Mortar fired twice during night, otherwise nothing to report.

 

27 April 1945: Very wet day. Enemy mortars and guns fired a bit during evening but no retaliation. Div Comdrs conference in morning, the gist of which was that we should remain static. Everyone very bored with inactivity. In evening message received forbidding any fire unless purely defensive. The enemy had issued similar instructions but this was no Armistice in force. Officially announced that the Russians had linked up with the Americans.

 

28 April 1945: CRA visited Regt in morning and awarded C-in-Cs Certificates. Quiet day until 1800 hrs when Boche patrol fired on one of 147 Bde outposts. 143 Fd retaliated with 'Mike' tgt causing casualties. Boche mortars active later on, spandaus heard. Report by civilians of Boche patrol with offensive intentions later materialised. 2 Boche wounded and taken PW. Documents found as patrol leader gave their object as finding out our positions and taken PW.

 

29 April 1945: Some mortar & SA fire at 0017 hrs. But did not land in Bde sector. Quiet morning, movement seen. One deserter came into Essex, Dutch SS. Gave some information. 7 Coy HQ had moved as result of medium harassing days previously. Gave some locations and personalities. PW unaware of any 'no shooting' orders. Own activity, contact and standing patrols only. BBC announce news of assassination of Mussolini and Hitler very ill.

 

30 April 1945: 6 Shells dropped in front of A Coy. Some mortar and SA fire, eard during night, otherwise quiet. PW on 147 Bde front reports that they were told of 'no firing' policy only to-day. Plans for relief of Bde change several times during day, eventually 'on'. Very wet day. BBC announced that 600 tons of food was dropped by unescorted Lancasters on The Hague, Haarlem and Rotterdam on 29th mostly tinned food.

Monthly Summary: April has been a month of tremendous events, marking the almost complete occupation of Germany. Contrasted to this the Regt has had a small and rather disappointing role to play, but a necessary one for all that. It has had the privilege of clearing 'the Island' and thus the 'Nijmegen Home Guard' as the Regt had nominated itself, was moved to North of the Rhine, and having assisted in the creditable effort of clearing the Arnhem area once more reverted to static warfare on the Grebbe line with 'on more river to cross' and the prospect of much water beyond it. However from April 26 onwards just as the Bde's knowlegde of Boche dispositions was becoming really useful and our HF hurt him, we were obliged to fight a silent warfare while negotiations for relieving the Dutch were in progress. In consequence of these and subsequent negotiations at the beginning of May, food is being taken by road and sea as well as air. The flooding of Holland has grown considerably worse during April according to reliable "Civreps".