8 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment RCA: 70 Battery, 101 Battery, 102 Battery
19 October 1944:
102 Bty; During the day the troops moved up near Putte, still in the AA role supporting the 19 SP and 15th Fld respectively for E and F Tps. A Recce was made for BHQ with a move anticitpated for tomorrow. A few heavy shells, 12" we are told, and in addition some things we think are the new flying bombs fell fairly close and broke some windows in our billet. There was little activity of any kind.
20 October 1944:
102 Bty; BHQ moved across the canal de junction to near De Donck north of Antwerp about 4 miles and located in a German Officer's Mess. The troops did not move during the day. Near fort Erbrandt just south of Putte, Gnr Metcalf of E Troop stepped on a Anti-personnel mine and was killed instantly. This is the first casualty due to mines in the Bty or the Regt. It had been a cold rainy day, so to even things up a rum ration was authorised and issued.
21 October 1944:
102 Bty; Nothing exceptional in the way of enemy action. Our building at BHQ has been rocked five times today either by the Monster from the L'll Abner strip in the Maple Leaf, or the enemy are still wending rocket bombs at us as usual. E Troop moved just before dark and are now up into Holland again. Gnr Metcalf was buried today.
22 October 1944:
RHQ; Sky remained overcast throughout the day but weather was mild without rain. The whole of Div HQ moved fwd this morning. Div Arty again detaching itself from the main body of Div HQ. Tac RHQ moved with Div Arty and set up HQ. B Tp which has been concentrated following the completion of its task on the bridge also went fwd to a new conc area. The move of Div Arty scheduled for 1000 hrs was delayed, and did not actually commence until 1130. Tac RHQ was est at 1300 hrs. During the evening a Dinner was given at Tac RHQ and guests included Brig. Lane, Col Harkness (5 A/Tk), Majors MacLaren, Hegan, Draper and McAlpine. The menu consisted of Hors d'oeuvres, tomato juice, chicken noodle soup, chicken, potatoes, asparagas, corn, boiled onion in sauce, fruit cocktail and coffee. Whiskey was served before dinner, vin rouge with dinner and hot rum passed in the drawing room.
On the tactical side the 2nd phase of OP 'Suitcase' was completed with 2 Bns firm in Esschen. Futher advances appear imminent.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy raining during the evening. D Troop moved again this afternoon to a point just south of the Roosendaal Canal. C Troop still on the amm dump. Major Hegan visited D Troop most of the day. He was called to RHQ for supper at 1900 hrs. Nothing else of importance occurred.
102 Bty; After a damp start this turned out to be a fine day. E and F Troops moved about 5000x forward, but BHQ is still in the same area. Liberty trucks went into Antwerp and returned before dark. It is a beautiful city, and the boys enjoyed the break. The guns of the Field Arty were very active during the night, but we have not heard what is doing yet.
23 October 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. There has been no change in the weather since yesterday. The weather is dull, depressing, damp, but without heavy rain. The normal morning meeting with the Bty Reps was held and arrangements were made for alternating the various tps on different roles and giving them an intervening period of rest. Unfortunately shortly after dinner the CRA upset the plans by ordering the fwd Tp B (B Tp) on an inf role supporting Div HQ Sqn holding the west flank of the Div adv. B Tp was consequently unable to relieve the 102 Bty as planned and instead had to deploy in an inf role along the NS rd.
The CO was out to A Echelon this afternoon.
On the tactical side it appears that this Div will now swing West towards the coast with the next objective in the line of march being Wouws Plantage. Div HQ was scheduled to move to-day but lack of suitable areas precluded this and until a major move can be made it appears that we will remain in our present locn.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy, raining intermittently. D Troop moved again to a point 1000 yds north of Roosendaal Canal. C Troop still on Ammo dump. V 2 landed just about ½ a mile down the road shaking the buildings considerably. Nothing of importance occurred. C Troop Officers spent a very pleasant evening with the people in whose house they are living. Two V2's landed in area today also two V1's were heard going over.
102 Bty; No moves in the Bty. F Troop was to be relieved by B Troop and have a 24 hr rest, but it was cancelled at the last moment as B Troop took up a task in the ground role. Many explosions around Antwerp caused our buildings to shake. One of the new type aerial bombs hit a patrol supply point while S/Sgt Egilsson and Gnr Packard were there, missing them by about 25 yds. They were lucky as they report 6 men killed, 24 wounded and ten trucks destroyed. The blast was terrific, and shell splinters were numerous. The Y put on an show at A Echelon, with a very good short. The show was good too - 'Standing Room Only'. For over a half hour form 1930 hrs heavy forces of planes were heard overhead. They were so numerous we were assured they were ours.
24 October 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. This has been one of the pleasanter days this fall with bright sunlight throughout the morning and a mild and cloudy afternoon.
There were no reports of activity by any of the tps and the day was uneventful in that respect. Lt Herring was around this morning to collect ballots for the Sask Election which was done with a degree of solemnity which did not indicate that in most of the cases none of the candidates were known either personally or by reputation by the martial electorate. The MO was around to with his needle at the alert and managed to inject all but the very wary.
The tactical picture to-day is confused with rumours circulating that the 3 Div had been pushed out of Breskens in the Scheldt Pocket, and the picture at Wouwse Plantage not too clear. In the latter case however the evidence is that the move from Esschen North West has not been uncontested, and that difficult road communications have also slowed things down. The 49th Div (British) has moved over to the left and taken over the posns held by 10 Bde Gp, and the trend seems to be a move to the West and North by this Div.
During the day a V2 fell by A Echelon without warning and although the MO and one or two others sustained slight cuts from glass, no reports of serious casualties have come in. A rum issue authorized to-night by CRA.
101 Bty; Weather clear and somewhat brighter. Nothing of importance occurred during the day. More V2's dropped in the area.
102 Bty; F Troop moved during the day to a position a little to the N & W. Shells and mortars are passing over the troops and E Troop had a few AP riccochets pass over their head. They estimated it was part of a tank battle. The Y went to E and F Troops with a show today. BHQ was rudely stirred by an aerial bomb landing about 400x away. It flung some of the men to the ground, broke two doors and some windows, and brought down our light fixtures. We had no casualties. The crater was ten feet deep and about thirty-five feet in diameter. Several bombs fell near during the day and evening. Some are the silent type, and some are the familiar old doodle bugs.
25 October 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. It is now considerable time since we have seen the sun, with the exception of 2 hrs yesterday. The rains however continue to hold off. Word came in this morning that Div HQ was moving fwd to Huijbergen. The recce party had already left when notice reached Tac HQ, and a rep from Tac and Adv RHQs set out to recce potential HQs near Div. The Div recce party was found stopped on the rd West of Huijbergen and afraid to proceed because of mines. The party was eventually led into the town which has been almost totally demolished. The area did not appear suitable for a Div HQs but before word reached Div, they were on the move. Tac RHQ managed to secure adequate accommodation in a store in the town within 25 yds of Div RCA 4 CAD but no suitable locn was found for Adv RHQ and it did not move. This area has been heavily mined and booby trapped and the danger was emphasized when a jeep belonging to B Tp was blown up. Gnr D.W. Maxwell was killed, but Capt Harper fortunately suffered only a sore elbow and ear. The jeep was a total wreck.
101 Bty; Weather clear during morning but clouded at night. D Troop moved to new location. Just after they moved another V2 landed about 100 yds from their old THQ. During the afternoon BHQ and the Echelon moved as well. BHQ moved into two very nice houses set well back in the road. During the evening a V2 landed quite close shaking the buildings considerably.
102 Bty; The troops have not moved forward, but BHQ made a move about 10 miles closer to them. The location now includes two houses, on occupied, and a side road for our MT park. The recce was a long one, as the area is nearly devoid of shelter, but everyone was settled by 1630 hrs. A few doodle bugs were heard passing by after dark, and heavy forces of planes.
26 October 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The day was dull and characterless both as to weather and to events. The morning meeting at Tac RHQ was held and matters of domestic interest were discussed. During the day a recce was made for a fwd move for RHQ but no move was made to-day. B Tp is deployed now in inf role along rd under Comd SARs. The MO reports that Capt Harper has a damaged ear drum, and possible injured elbow as a result of the mine explosion yesterday and he is being evacuated to hospital. Minefields within the area are a very serious menace.
The tactical picture indicates that although still fighting hard the Hun is withdrawing North. The 2nd Div front showed steady but progressive advance West up the Zuid Beveland peninsula.The Algonquins who pushed one Coy almost to Zoomvliet got cut off, lost all the Officers but finally were able to extricate themselves. However the indications are that we shall soon have Bergen op Zoom.
101 Bty; Weather clear, bright sun was shining for a change. C & D Troops on same tasks. D Troop moved to new location North East of Huijbergen. YMCA Supervisor moved in to stay with BHQ for a few days. Nothing of importance occurred.
102 Bty; A quiet day and a dull one. No moves in the Battery, and not much activity at the troops. Their tasks remain unchanged with E on the 19 Field and F on the 15 Field.
27 October 1944:
RHQ; We have come to accept as normal, days like to-day, dull, damp and cheerless. To-day did not vary the normal.
This morning word was received that F Tp was to be deployed in a ground role and relieved of its AA role with 15 Fd. This message was passed to the tp which was moved and 3 guns deployed in a ground role in support of the SAR. To-night they have moved fwd to the area to bring down harassing fire. B Tp has also had a change and is now under Comd Carrier Platoon L&Ws. The area of their deployment has not changed materially. Further news of the mine danger was heard to-day. A Churchill tank was demolished by a rachet mine near B Tp Area and a Sherman tank was als reported destroyed. It appears that in retiring the enemy was liberal in sowing mines.
On the tactical side the 156 Bde (British) has made an over-water jump to Zuid Beveland and are reported to be making good progress, while the 2nd Div is plodding steadily up the peninsula. Adv RHQ moved to-day. To-night at 2300 hrs a message was received from the CRA ordering B Tp to conc and TC to liaise with HQ Sqn at bridge Wouwse Plantage.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy, intermittent rain. C & D on same tasks. V2 landed quite close during early morning. Capt. Wilson suggested a fruit salad for supper. When everyone chipped in from their parcel and their private stocks an invitation was extended to Major MacLaren and the CO to come for supper. Only Major MacLaren could come. Quite an elaborate but enjoyable supper was had by all. After supper the YMCA gave a showing of "Carg of Innocence" to the Officers after showing it to Troops and Rear Echelon.
102 Bty; Another quiet day. The troops moved forward to support an attack to be made on Bergen op Zoom to go in during the night. 2 Can Div is moving west along the South Beveland penninsula and 4 Can Div is heading north.
28 October 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. A bright and sunshiney morning with heavy clouds during afternoon. Considerable movement to-day, with A Echelon moving first. C Tp accompanying 23 SP to new gun area., B Tp going to Wouwse Plantage in inf role, and F Tp moving one sec into Bergen op Zoom for ground shooting with SARs while the other sec is deployed in an AA role with 15 Fd. Word was received that Capt Munro who was at one time Tp Comd of a 20 mm Tp and more recently with HQ RCA is being posted to the Regt. Capt Howard Simms a former IG at Seaford is also with us now. It is not yet determined which of these two Officers will assume Capt Harper's job as Tp Comd B Tp.
The Regt has been ordered to voucher one of the remaining 15 cwt armd cars to HQ Sqn 4 CAD. This will be disagreeable for some BC but it looks as though from time to time we will eventually lose all our armd vehs.
On the tactical side Bergen op Zoom has been liberated with the Germans pulling out in the direction of Roosendaal. 2 Div is making good progress on Zuid Beveland and 156, 157 Bdes (British) are not reporting much opposition to their landing. Tilburg has now been virtually surrounded with 15 Div (Scottish) already in the ourskirts. It does not appear that there will be a move fwd as yet however, by HQ 4 CAD, by reason of fact that opposition in Northern outskirts of Bergen op Zoom makes it a very lively place.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy and cold. BHQ moved to new location. This put Rear Echelon about 1000 yds ahead of the leading Troop and about 5 miles ahead of Tac RHQ. We are quite close to the enemy at this point being about 2000 yds from the enemy. D Troop at the same time moved up to a point about 1000 yds behind us in protection of the 23rd Field. BHQ confined to area until tomorrow to keep them from wandering where they shouldn't.
102 Bty; No guns fired in our Battery as the Infantry over ran our targets. The whole Division moved forward on Bergen op Zoom. It is a strange situation with the Arty Echelons ahead of the field guns of at least one regiment. BHQ is now in a German Barracks - fine buildings, but left in a filthy condition. Here is a copy of a Sitrep from Capt R.L. White of E Troop. His three guns used as harassing fire support of the SAR (Armd Recce) fired about 480 rds.
Sitrep 28-29 Oct 44 - 1800 hrs.
1945 - Solo aircraft flew at great height over Bergen op Zoom flying from South-East to North-West. Only vapour trail was visible.
2210 - Friendly flares seen to drop on island north west of Bergen op Zoom. Distance was great but flares were engaged by enemy AA.
2200 - 30 rds per gun fired on three harassing targets.
No.1 Gun - MR target - communication junction.
No.2 Gun - MR target - built up area, likely strong point.
No.3 Gun - MR target - woods and road junctions, likely gun and troop area.
0300 & 0530 - Tasks were repeated. Each target area was swept for 2° on either side giving harassing fire over large area. The enemy seemed unduly quiet during the night with no counter fire evident.
2330 - A rocket propelled light was seen to come from enemy lines about 1 mile north of Bergen op Zoom. The nature of light is unknown but it rises up into the sky and pulsates with light as given by the propulsion charge going on and off. No unusual occurrance took place after the light went up. Our planes were over intermittently during the night. Mosquitos were identified. No attacks by them were seen.
29 October 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. This has been a colder day with some sunlight. At the usual morning rally at 1000 hrs the question of allotting new Offr personnel again came up. Capt Munro reported to us while Capt Howard Simms is also on our strength. Our efforts to retain Capt S.W. Meldrum have apparently been unsuccessful and it appears that he is destined to become a IG bank in England. But for the present the only vacancy is in B Tp so the problem is to decide who is to fill that vacancy. Although the matter was discussed 'in camera' yesterday, no solution has been announced. B Tp has now been withdrawn from HQ Sqn 4 CAD and has replaced A Tp in protection of HQ 4 CAD taking over its THQ and gun sites. A Tp has conc for a few days rest and maintenance. The disposition of the Bty by troops with their locns is now as follows:-
A Tp Concentrated
B Tp Div HQ
C Tp Ammo Dump
D Tp 23 Fd
E Tp 19 Fd (1 sec) SAR ground shoot
(1 sec) Bergen op Zoom
F Tp 15 Fd.
During the afternoon the CO went to view the ground shooting by E Tp in Bergen op Zoom. While on foot in the town a shell or mortar bomb exploded close to him and shell fragments penetrated his thigh and arm. He drove his own veh to the CCP from which he was evacuated to No 8 Cdn Gen Hosp (Antwerp). Medical reports indicate that his wounds are not serious and that he will return to the Regt in 2 or 3 wks. In the meantime Maj MacLaren has assumed Comd with acting rank of Lt-col with Maj R.J. Hegan his deputy.
In the tactical picture is of good progress by the 3 Div in the Scheldt Pocket, by 2 Div on Zuid Beveland while our own tps are meeting very strong opposition in the immediate outskirts of Bergen op Zoom. The feature of the day was the rapid advance by the Polish Div which captured Breda to-day.
101 Bty; Weather bright, clear and cold but clouded up during afternoon and evening. C Troop moved with the Ammon Point. The area they are in is heavily mined and boobytrapped. Major Hegan went to see C Troop after lunch. During the evening at 1800 hrs word came in that the CO had been wounded. Major Hegan was not in but Capt Wilson went to the ADS & took the CO down to 6 Cdn CCS. Major Hegan went down with Major MacLaren to see him. The MO said that the CO should be back in about 2 to 3 weeks.
102 Bty; No moves. E Troop section firing in ground role was active again. This action seems to be very effective from SAR and Arty reports. A sitrep from Capt White is added below:-
Sitrep as of 1600 hrs 29 Oct 44.
Commencing at 1300 hrs harassing fire tasks were carried out at hourly intervals. Targets consisted of communication focal points, woods which were likely gun areas and built up areas. References of these targets were Communication Centre, road junction and built up area, woods and road junction. After engaging, smoke was seen to rise. Air bursts were obtained at a height of approx 20' on extreme targets.
Reports from RA rep, at SAR HQ stated that fire was on target areas and seemed to be quite effective. Approx 200 rds were expended. Enemy Arty and mortars were quite active with rounds falling in area.
At 1739 hrs immediately following an engagement a great deal of German AA was observed bursting in the sky. It could not be ascertained whether our planes were up or not.
The only other incident was lone Jerry getting capture from hiding in an house across the trucks from F Troop. There was a show in the A Echelon area and it was a good one "Cargo of Innocents". The CO was wounded while in Bergen op Zoom. It is not serious and we expect him back. Maj McLaren is now acting CO of the Regt.
30 October 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather remained dull and is becoming increasingly cold. Snow would not be unexpected. Lt-col MacLaren presided at the usual morning Regtl Meeting and top item of discussion was the state of Col Cormack's health. The reports to-day have been reassuring and the metal has been removed from his leg. All reports say Col Cormack is in good spirits and eager soon to be back in the fray. The rather delicate question of allocating the various officers has not been fully decided yet. At the moment there are two possibilities.
(1) That Capt Meldrum leaves for England, in which case Capt Simms will replace him in 101 Bty and Capt Munro will go to 70 Bty.
(2) That Capt Meldrum remains with 101 Bty in which case Capt Simms will go to 70 Bty and Capt Munro will return to England as I.G. in Capt Meldrum's stead.
This latter course is being pressed vigourously by the Regt as the most generally satisfactory under the present circumstances.
Div again has not moved but this afternoon with opposition disintegrating along our front, it is obvious that we must go forward to-morrow, probably North of Bergen op Zoom. Generally the tactical picture shows a general closing in on the Germans North of Bergen while progress on Zuid Beveland is good.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy raining somewhat. D Tp moved up to area north of Bergen op Zoom. BHQ & C Tp remain in same location. Major MacLaren has been appointed A/Lt-Col until the CO returns.
102 Bty; The enemy were out of touch with our forward elements most of the day. E Troop did not fire in ground role. There was a show at F Troop for the two troops, and this was repeated at 1800 hrs. Due to changes in tasks, E is on the 15th Fld and F on the 19th Field.
31 October 1944:
RHQ; The weather remained overcast and cold to-day. This morning is was obvious that a move was imminent and at 1315 recce party from Div HQ accompanied by our reps went fwd to find a suitable area North of Bergen op Zoom. Div HQ moved to a new locn at 1530 hrs and at 1630 hrs a rep from RHQ returned to lead RHQ to its new locn. HQ was set up in one of the bldgs of a mental hospital. It is no longer planned to maintain a seperate Tac and Adv HQ and both were merged into the one HQ at this locn.
During the afternoon the acting CO visited Lt-col Cormack at hospital in Antwerp. Col Cormack seems in good spirits and appears to be progressing well. All hope that his stay in hospital will be a short one.
On the tactical side stiff opposition has again been met by our fwd elements South of Steenbergen. The compression of the enemy South of the river Maas goes on however. The most interesting point in the news to-day was however the rapid progress of 2 Div which has virtually cleared Zuid Beveland and has started to move across the causeway to Walcheren Island.
101 Bty; Weather cold cloudy and raining, most of the day. Nothing to report from the Troops. D Tp still with the 23rd Cdn Fd Regt Sp and C Tp are still on the ammo dump. Show by YMCA at D Tp during the afternoon & at BHQ during the evening. Med guns in the vicinity of BHQ made sleeping difficult.
102 Bty; A quiet day for Halloween. The troops were quiet, but F Troop moved with the 19 SP Field Regt to about 2 miles NE of Bergen op Zoom.
1 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- Bergen op Zoom. The weather was rather brighter to-day, with blue sky and some sunshine interspersed with light showers.
At 1000 hrs Bty Reps got together at RHQ for the morning sitrep and discussion of affairs in the Regt.
During the afternoon several members of RHQ Staff visited Col Cormack at Antwerp and reported him to be in fine fettle. He expects to be stitched up to-morrow.
The Major change in the deployment of the Tps was the removal of E Tp from its task with the 19th Fd and re-deployment on a port defence anti-E-boat job at Bergen op Zoom. Word was received of the need for this last night and by 2100 hrs 4 guns of E Tp were in action. B Tp has been ordered to re-deploy with a view to covering both its own task an the protection of 19th Fd.
70 Bty; Locn 70 Bty -- Bergen op Zoom. Clear and cool. Maj Draper to the 1000 hrs meeting at Tac RHQ. Enemy opposition still stubborn at Steenbergen. Maj Draper left at 1400 hrs to visit Lt-Col E.W. Cormack at Antwerp at No 8 Cdn Gen Hosp. Afternoon quiet. Maj Draper returned from Antwerp at 2100 hrs, after having enjoyed a tender steak. Peter, who accompanied him, knew the locn of good food and it was naturally taken advantage of. During the night enemy mortar fire could be heard in the direction of Steenbergen.
101 Bty; Weather clear and bright but still cold. C Troop still on Ammunition Dump at the old airport. D Troop is still with the 23rd Fd. Nothing of importance occured. Medium Guns beside BHQ still making sleep difficult. RHQ and Main Div have moved to other side of Bergen op Zoom.
102 Bty; E and F tps are on a AA role North of Bergen op Zoom and BHQ is just South of the town. Little activity during the day and no movements. About 2000 hrs the OC received orders resulting in E tp deploying its guns along the harbour and dock of Bergen op Zoom, as it was feared there might be an E boat attack. Lights observed in the distance, later turned out to be German rfts crossing by water from North Beveland to South Beveland, where they were received by a 2nd Canadian Div welcoming committee. Evidently they did not know we held South Beveland.
2 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. To-day is notable for producing more sun-light than we have had for many a long dull day.
The usual morning meeting was held at RHQ to which convenient Tps sent their own Reps. Among matters discussed were:
1. Manning instructions.
2. Canteen Accounts.
3. Passing on sitreps to Tps.
4. Withdrawing guns, one at a time, form each Bty for check over by Ordnance.
5. Leaves to Brussels and Antwerp.
At approx 1100 hrs Col MacLaren was called to see the CRA and the result of the meeting was that the 101 Bty, under comd 10 CIB, is to deploy in an Inf role, area Lepelstraat to protect the flank of 10 CIB. This deployment was completed by 1800 hrs and accounts from 101 Bty plus such tangible evidence as 5 damaged vehs indicate that the Hun is still in the area and full of fight. Another alteration in the disposition of the Tps was the withdrawal of Tp from Bergen op Zoom and its deployment with 23 SP.
A Rep from RHQ visited Col Cormack in hospital, but he had just been removed from the operation theatre having had his wound sutured and was still anaesthetized.
On the tactical side the cessation of fighting in the Scheldt Pocket with a total yield of 12,700 held the spotlight while the withdrawal of 2 Div from Walcheren in favour of 52 Div (British) indicates that the task of the Cdns in this sector is coming to a close.
Major J.A. Cook reported to Regt to-day.
70 Bty; Clear and cool. Lt J.T. Taylor to Tac RHQ for the 1000 hrs meeting. Enemy still is resisting strongly. At 1100 hrs Lts W.R. Hale and R.W. Libbey off to Antwerp on 24 hrs leave. Afternoon was quiet. Personnel attended movie at Rear BHQ at 1900 hrs. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather cold, cloudy. Troops still deployed as before. At noon word was received that this Bty was to have a very temporary role as infantry again. Major Hegan and Troop Commanders went forward for a recce. Bty was to come under A Sqn. SAR's C Troop had just moved up to south edge of Bergen op Zoom but were released from the dump and concentrated at BHQ. Bty to be on the ground in vicinity of Lepelstraat by 1630 hrs. Both troops and Tac BHQ concentrated at D Troop and were led into position around the town of Lepelstraat. Guns were left at A Echelon. Upon taking position considerable mortar and shell fire by the enemy came down around the town. During the move in an A.P. shell 75 mm went right through the back chassis of one of D Troops 15 cwts. C Troop had 3 vehicles damaged when a shell either hit a tree or airburst just behind C THQ. Tac BHQ was with C Troop in a convent school that was somewhat shattered. There were no personal casualties throughout the evening. Lt Col MacLaren visited the Bty just after they had moved in.
102 Bty; E Tp removed from coast defence and goes to protect 23 SP Regt RCA. F Tp now protects about two Regts and Div Arty, as the 101 Bty is on a ground role, holding one flank.
3 November 1944:
RHQ: Locn RHQ -- unchanged. It has been a typical day with clouds and wind. A gathering of Bty Reps and Regtl personnel was held at the customary hr of 10 o'clock. At this conference the deployment of Tps in a ground role was discussed. The CRA has apparently given his consent to the use of Bofors guns in a ground role providing that undue risks to equip and personnel are not taken. In line with the above E Tp temporarily removed itself from its posn with 23 SP and with an allottment of 48 rounds per gun, well and truly plastered the enemy strong point of Kladde setting fires which are believed to have spread to an amn dump and generally shooting up the place. The guns then withdrew and redeployed in their AA role as before. It is hoped that other troops in turn will be given the opportunity to fire their guns in similar roles.
To-day reports from Lt-col E.W. Cormack via an RHQ Repare to the effect that he is in high spirits, but tired of hospital and eager to be back at the helm once more.
70 Bty; Clear and cool. Lt Taylor to the 1000 hrs meeting at Tac RHQ. The enemy is still strongly resisting our attacks at Steenbergen. Lts Hale and Libbey returned from Antwerp, after their 24 hrs leave, at about 1100 hrs. Lt C.W. Griffiths left at 1500 hrs on a 24 to Antwerp. Afternoon quiet. Typhoons attacked enemy at Steenbergen with rockets and bombs. This attack was clearly visible from our HQ. During the evening guns around us fired steadily.
101 Bty; Weather raining and cold. One detachment of D Troop that went down with 2 tanks of S.A.R. to X-rds late last evening were told this morning by civilians that 12 enemy had been situated there but had rapidly moved back when they heard the party coming. One of D Troop detachments noticed movement in a blockhouse to their left front but could not be sure whether they were enemy or civilians. It was kept under observation throughout the day but nothing occured. Nothing more occured during the day. Our posts had no contact with the infantry, situation no change. A Sqn S.A.R.'s relieved by D Sqn B.C.R.'s. FOO from 23rd Fd attached. 6 guns (Bofors) of E Troop, 102 Bty, under command for task only, fired 48 rds a piece harassing fire from 1710 to 1720. Guns ranged with 2 salvos of 1 rd each at Targets buildings and X-rds. Forty six rds Gun Fire followed ranging salvoes. Observation showed rds to fall on target and a very large fire was started in buildings in village of Kladde. Sounds of exploding S/A ammunition was believed to have been heard.
102 Bty; No movements during the day. E Tp fired approx 300 rds of 40 mm with Capt White acting as FOO. The targets were MG posts and defensive posns at Kladde, about one mile North-West of Bergen op Zoom. A large fire was started in the target area, where 50 German were reported dug in. After firing E Tp immediately returned to the protection of 23 SP Regt RCA.
4 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather to-day was dull but without rain. The morning meeting a RHQ was held at 1100 hrs instead of the usual assembly at 1000 hrs. Among other things discussed was a Church Parade to be held at Bergen op Zoom to-morrow. There will be a march past afterwards and it appears that the whole of Div Arty will participate.
The Btys had little action to report. The 101 Sector which has been hot enough has now simmered down and it is believed the area is fairly clear of enemy tps. The successful ground shoot by E Tp yesterday may have had something to do with this, and all who saw the shoot feel that a useful and legitimate role for 40 mm guns was disclosed by the success of the enterprise.
To-day orders were received from HQ 4 CAD to sent Lt Nelmes, Sgt Johnson and a Jr NCO to the CMO at 1000 hrs tomorrow for attachment there. This order was duly passed on to the parties concerned and Lt St Onge will act i/c Field Punishment Camp. To complete the history of the day it is recorded that the CO visited Lt-col Cormack in hospital and found him well and in good spirits, and the Adjt set out for a visit to the ADJA BUT was waylaid by convivial friends and did not complete his mission.
70 Bty; Clear and cool. Maj Draper to the 1000 hrs meeting at Tac RHQ, returning at 1100 hrs. All liberty vehs are cancelled. Ours, however, had left for Antwerp. Afternoon quiet except for children who pounded on the windows, yelling for cigarettes and chocolate. Tac BHQ now feels like a display resembling a zoo. However, the children outside our cage are clamouring for the food, etc, and it is not us inside who are begging for eats. At 1800 hrs Lt Griffiths returned from his 24. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather raining, cloudy and cold. No change since yesterday. Troops have had no contact with enemy and there has been no shelling. Numerous civilians came in to give information some of which is good but most of which is known already.
102 Bty; Very little to report re war activity. Liberty vehs definitely cut off by Div.
5 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. To-day has been rather windy and raw with some sunlight.
A Church Parade and March Past was held at Bergen op Zoom and as 125 all ranks attended from this Regt, the morning meeting was not held.
At 1100 hrs we received the information that the Field and Medium Regts now with 4 CAD were to support 49 Div (British). Later on in the day the CRA called on Lt-col MacLaren and informed him that HQ 5 A/Tk and 8 LAA would not move with the rest of Div Arty this afternoon. The tps attached to Field and Medium Regts would however travel and deploy with the Regts the protect. Later at 1400 hrs a communication from HQ RCA told us that the 101 Bty was now under command 8 LAA and this was passed on to the 101 together with orders telling this Bty to deploy one tp with 19 SP and conc the other tp in general area. The various tps have now been allotted these tasks:
A Tp - 7 Med;
B Tp - HQ 4 CAD;
C Tp - 19 SP;
D Tp - Conc;
E Tp - 23 SP;
F Tp - 15 Fd.
During the day Lt Nelmes reported that he had made contact with the CMO and had completed arrangements for his attachment there and that Lt St Onge was now in full charge of the Field Punishment Camp. In the evening Major Taylor, 3 LAA Regt made a mixed business and social call on Lt-col MacLaren. The Adjt attended the ADJA regarding some urgent legal matters during the afternoon and went on to visit Lt-col Cormack at 8 Cdn Gen Hosp - Antwerp.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool. Enemy resistance broken at Steenbergen and he has been withdrawing. At 0900 hrs Regimental Church Parade held. Three Officers and 40 ORs were present from this Bty. The Service was held in a church in Bergen op Zoom. Roman Catholics attended Service at Rear BHQ. At 1000 hrs Capt A. Melville and Lt D.J. Lynn left for Antwerp on 48 hrs leave. A Tp moved at 1400 hrs with 7 Med Regt to area just South of Steenbergen. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather clear but cold. YMCA came up and gave a show. C Troop received orders during the day to proceed to protect 19th Fd which was then on the move to the area NE of Steenbergen. C Troop moved up all their guns to BHQ in Lepelstraat in order to move first thing in the morning. Capt Meldrum made a recce and found it would be nearly impossible to move in at night. D Troop moved back to concentration in their old position.
102 Bty; A Church Parade for Div Arty was held in Bergen op Zoom cathedral. It was our first church service in a Protestant church since we left England. The Dutch pastor and three Padres took the Service, and the CRA read the lesson. The Regt was represented by 12 offrs and 100 ORs. After the service there was a march past for the CRA. It was a very moving service, and we completely filled the cathedral. Both E & F Tps moved North of Steenbergen where our Div Arty is supporting the 49th Div on our right, for 4 Canadian Div has reached its objectives.
6 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. It has been a day of violent changes in the weather. The morning was bright but windy but soon after dinner the sky became overcast and about 1400 hrs rain was accompanied by a short but business-like hail storm. After the deluge, the sky cleared again, and except for a sharp wind the weather was more-or-less pleasant.
On the CRA's information a message was sent to all stations advising them of an impending 'Stand down' order and instructing tps with Fd and Med units to move with and protect them in conc. It is hoped that when the areas of conc are finally determined, the number of guns necessary for AA protection may be reduced. The indications are that this Div has now almost completed its task in this area and will have a short period of rest. This is in line with the tactical picture which now shows the line as almost completely following the river Maas. The Poles and the 49th Div (Br) have still some unfinished business to complete in the way of pockets along the coast, but generally speaking withdrawal of the German forces south of the Waal has now been completed. The drive on Walcheren Island has also been going well with 4 Special Service Tps already linked up with 155 Bde in Vlissingen and 157 Bde making good progress towards Middelburg.
The other news is that Col Cormack has grown weary of confinement in hospital and is moving to-morrow to a Hotel in Antwerp.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool. Maj Draper to Tac RHQ at 1000 hrs. Enemy is continuing his withdrawal. Afternoon very quiet. In the evening Tac HQ enjoyed a little bridge game. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather cold, raining and cloudy. C Troop moved up to new position but learned that it is very likely that they will be moving back as the guns have nothing to fire at. The Arty of the Div is in support of 49 Div and it is practically into Wilhelmstaad. Tac BHQ is remaining where it is in order to hold the building in event C Troop moves back. D Troop is concentrated at their old THQ.
102 Bty; A quiet day. The order to stand down as a Div came through. The tps remained in protection of their Field Regts.
7 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. Last night brought some rain and a heavy wind which at times reached gale proportions. During the day the heavy wind continued but the rain eased up somewhat.
On proper instructions the various Btys moved to conc areas of their own choosing and preparations went on throughout the day for a move eastward with the Tilburg area as our probable destination.
The task was somewhat complicated by the fact that Field and Med Regts returning from North of Steenbergen were told to go the areas which they had formerly occupied while some of our Tps had been permitted to put vehs there also. C Tpin particular is having a hard time to find a suitable area for conc.
During the evening a Canadian Army Show, Kit Bags, was well attended by our men.
70 Bty; Cloudy, with rain and quite cool. Lt Taylor to RHQ at 1000 hrs. 4 Div has ended its commitment. Our arty, however, is giving sp to 49 Brit Inf Div on our right flank. A long move to a new front is expected shortly. Capt Melville and Lt Lynn returned from their leave at 1100 hrs. Afternoon continued quietly, evening also quiet.
101 Bty; Weather clear, cold and very windy. C Troop moving back with 19th Fd. Lt McLennan and Lt. Williams left for a 48 leave in Antwerp. Tac BHQ moved back to Rear BHQ. C Troop remained with 19th Fd. Nothing else happened. Div was concentrating.
102 Bty; Posns unchanged. A very quiet day with no moves or action.
8 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather continued dull throughout the day. There was a general re-shuffling all day long as various elements of the Regiment endeavoured to find conc areas suitable for feeding into the Div Column to-morrow. RHQ however remained in this locn.
Instructions have been received for Reps from the Regt to meet the CRA and Reps from 11 Hussars (7 Armd Div) at Udenhout tomorrow at 1000 hrs. The area now occupied by the Hussars is to be apportioned between the 5 A/Tk Regt (in an Inf role) and ourselves. Our guns are to be left in a conc area North of Tilburg and we will go fwd as inf when ordered. A recce party headed by Maj Cook and containing Reps from each Bty went to the new area to-day for the purpose of finding suitable conc areas in our allotted space.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool, with rain. At 0200 hrs orders received concerning move. A Tp is to conc in morning. Lt Lynn left at 0800 hrs to recce conc area near Tilburg. A Tp conc in area near us at 0900 hrs. B Tp conc in area near Rear BHQ at 1100 hrs. Maj Draper called a meeting of all offrs for 1100 hrs, WOs also attended. Orders were given concerning move. Regt is to be in the inf role along a broad front. Move is expected at 1700 hrs tomorrow. At 1500 hrs Lt-Col D.A.M. MacLaren (Comd Offr) and Maj Draper left to visit Lt-Col Cormack in Antwerp. Lt Taylor left at 2000 hrs for Tac RHQ to receive new orders. Recce parties are to leave here at 0800 hrs to be at RV at 1000 hrs. Lt Taylor returned to this HQ at 2355 hrs. Maj Draper also returned around this time. He had visited RHQ and knew of change in orders. Tp Comds were ordered to have recce parties here at 0730 hrs.
101 Bty; Weather cold and raining. Lt-col MacLaren visited the Bty and tried 15 cases arising our of AWL's. C Troop moved into concentration with BHQ during morning and D Troop moved in during afternoon. Mr. Armstrong and Gnr Kingdon left in morning to recce new area NE of Tilburg where Div is to move very shortly.
102 Bty; Recce parties left at 0930 hrs for the Tilburg area to find a Regtl conc area, with the prospect of an inf role as soon as conc. The Div is to hold 48,000 kilometres on the Maas. The Bty did not move at all during the day.
9 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- Enschot. The weather commenced with blue sky and sunshine but as the day progressed heavy showers with hail made travelling cold and unpleasant.
In line with orders, an advance party from the Regt proceeded to Udenhout to meet the CRA and representatives of 11 Hussars at 1000 hrs. Meanwhile the Regtl convoy proceeded across the start point towards Tilburg at 1400 hrs.
The advance party arrived on time but 1½ hrs elapsed without an emissary from 5 A/Tk while a guide was sent out to contact 11 Hussar Rep. An Officer from that Regt appeared at 5 A/Tk RHQ at 1330 hrs and from his description of the task involved it became obvious that the apportioning of the front between our Regt and the 5 A/Tk was unworkable because of the inaccesible nature of much of the ground. On paper the disposal of the two Regts was that the 8 LAA was to control the area Lith to X rds while the 5 A/Tk was to take over the area to our left. The Hussar Officer pointed out that since the 5 A/Tk area was inaccessible due to the flooded nature of the terrain, and that it could in any event be observed from Lith one Regt could adequately hold the whole sector. This opinion was carried to the CRA and his decision was that 5 A/Tk should carry out the task since relief was required by the Hussars by first light in the morning and the 5 A/Tk had men in the area available. The 8 LAA was told to conc in the area allotted to it pending further orders. This however was much easier said than done. In the first place the recce party headed by Maj Cook had the utmost difficulty in finding suitable areas to conc the tps, and in the second, a redirection of the Div convoy while it was en-route resulted in a disjointed nocturnal ride which found many elements of the Regt groping around in the stygian dark all night. RHQ arrived at the DP at 2130 hrs but there was no troop which arrived intact. To-day was in fact one of the most confused, uncomfortabe and throughly disorganized days the Regt has experienced in some time - and no one to blame.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool, with rain. At 0730 hrs recce party left. Capt L.L. Leatherdale and Lt W.R. Hale off for Antwerp at 1200 hrs for a 48. Lt Taylor attended a meeting at RHQ at 1200 hrs. It was learned at this O Gp that Bty would leave at 1300 hrs and cross Sp at 1400 hrs. Orders were issued to Tps at 1300 hrs. Bty left for area East of Tilburg via Roosendaal-Breda-Tilburg. At 2130 hrs Bty arrived, minus B Tp and all Ech vehs. Move slow and weather was miserable, especially for DRs and personnel in jeeps. Dets riding in their SPs also felt the elements. Rain, hail and a slushy snow with a strong wind provided variations of unpleasantness. All ranks in Tac BHQ retired immediately. At approx 2230 hrs the remainder of the Bty arrived, and all vehs have now been accounted for. Our new home is a barn, but everyone here is happy to have a roof over their heads.
101 Bty; Weather cold and raining. Bty packed up for move. Major Hegan left for new area. Bty moved off at 1330 hrs. All afternoon and evening was spent on the road. Due to darkness and complication of route Bty did not arrive in new area until approximately 0030 hrs next morning. Everybody was cold and miserable. Bty had to sleep in field due to lack of accommodation. English 7th Armd Div to move out and accommodation will be available then. Lt. Williams and Lt. McLennan obtained a ride with 5 A/T Jeep from Antwerp and arrived in area about 2200 hrs and reported in to RHQ.
102 Bty; The Bty moved at 1400 hrs and passed through the 49th Div at Roosendaal, some Americans of the 104th Timberwolf Div, and the Polish Armd Div at Breda, and took over from the 7th Armd Div, the Desert Rats, just East of Tilburg. There was a little change in orders, as we were scheduled to take over and inf job at 's Hertogenbosch, and recced up there, but it was cancelled for us as we were last in order of march, and could not arrive there in time. After re-routing, etc, and many impromptu tours of Tilburg, we managed to conc the Bty about 0130 hrs 10 Nov 44 at Enschot. The weather was very unfavourable - cold and wet, with rain, snow and hail.
10 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. To-day was much improved over yesterday in-so-far as weather was concerned and at times the sun was quiet visible to the naked eye.
The scattered remnents of the Regt gathered to-day after last nights confusion but it became evident in the early morning that the conc of Tps would not long continue. At 1000 hrs the BM passed instructions to deploy Tps with the 15, 19 and 23 Fd Regts and with Div HQ. Recce parties were immediately sent out from 70 and 101 Byts and the Tps were deployed as follows:
A Tp - 19 Fd;
B Tp - 15 Fd;
C Tp - Div HQ;
D Tp - 23 Fd.
E and F Tps are conc at 102 BHQ pending an AA role in 's Hertogenbosch which will come up about the 16th of the month.
At RHQ for the first time in many months Tac HQ, Adv HQ, A Echelon, and the RAP are all sheltered by the same 4 walls. But we are not too comfortable by reason of lack of space and plans are already afoot to move to more spacious quarters. To-night all were saddened by the news that the CRA, Brig J.N. Lane was killed by a mine. A funeral is being held to-morrow and we hope that the weather will permit us to do justice to the ceremony for him. To-day Capt Munro was sent ot CBRG prior to return to England as I.G.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool with rain. At 0830 hrs Lt Taylor to RHQ, but no orders available. At 1030 hrs offr from this HQ and both Tps summoned to RHQ. It was then learned that we would be deployed in AA role. A Tp will be with 15 Fd Regt and B Tp with 19 Fd (SP). Everyone is very happy about change in the plans. At 1330 hrs Maj Draper left to recce new HQ. He returned at 1530 hrs having found a good locn. At 1600 hrs we left for our new home in Udenhout. Tps reported in action at 1630 hrs. At 1730 hrs Maj Draper, Lt Taylor, Pte Schening, and Peter and Pigy left for farmhouse of our former locn. A chicken dinner had been arranged and everyone enjoyed a good feed or roast fowl. At 2100 hrs the party returned. On arrival it was learned that the CRA (Brig J.N. Lane) had been killed this afternoon by a mine.
101 Bty; Weather clear but cold. Bty shook itself out after a cold damp night. D Troop allotted to 23rd Fd for protection and C Troop to Main Div HQ. Both troops moved off to their tasks during morning. BHQ moved into Billets around the Church at Enschot. BHQ itself is in the Priest's home. D Troop situated East of 's Hertogenbosch in an area that has very few choices of accommdation. Brigadier Lane, CRA was killed this evening by a mine.
102 Bty; The Bty tried to dry out and warm up after a cold night in the barns. A start was made on maintenance and we were told we had six days rest ahead of us, which we doubt. During the evening a message came in that the CRA Brig. J.N. Lane had been killed by a mine. He will be missed in the Div Arty.
11 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- Oosterwijk. The weather to-day was pleasently bright and warm for this season of the year.
The morning was spent at RHQ in two ways -- firstly preparing for a move, and secondly arranging a parade to do homage to the CRA. Both endeavors met with success. RHQ to-night is firmly and frigidly entrenched in the residential block of a large leather goods factory, and a very dignified funeral was held for the CRA.
The funeral for Brig Lane was conducted with full military honours. The 400x road from Div HQ to the main gate was lined with troops rigidly at attention. The bier was preceded by the pipe band of the A & SH which played the slow march. Behind the gun carriage which bore the CRA's body marched distinguished soldiers representing both Canada and Great Britain.
As for the move -- it was accomplished without mishap and apart from the very chilly premises all are quite satisfied with the change. Once again there is space for all elements of RHQ and with luxurious mess facilities we should be quite comfortable here.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cold, with rain. Lt Taylor to RHQ for the 1000 hrs meeting. Instrs were given for the CRA's funeral. Because of the Div's present role, a mil funeral is planned. Our Bty is to sup at least 15 men and any offrs who wish to attend may do so. Because of the long distance to our Tps, BHQ personnel attended the funeral. At 1300 hrs Maj Draper, Lt Taylor and 17 ORs left for RHQ. From there the proceeded to Div HQ. Personnel from units under his comd lined both sides of the rd to salute their former commander. The casket was placed on a gun limber and drawn by a gun tractor. As the funeral procession moved slowly down the rd two planes from the Air OP Sqn flew overhead and saluted by dipping their wings. The personnel lining the rd marched past the grave and paid their last respects. Personnel then returned to their units. At 1600 hrs it was learned that 19 Fd (SP) were moving, but A Tp was not to go with them. A Tp is to conc and await further task. 15 Fd are moving to area of 19 Fd and B Tp is moving with the 15 Fd. At 1700 hrs Capt Leatherdale and Lt Hale returned from their 48 to Antwerp. BHQ supplied tpt for Lt Hale and ORs back to their Tps. Evening continued quietly.
101 Bty; Weather clear but cold. Major Hegan went into Antwerp to visit Lt-col Cormack. Bty supplied 15 men and an officer for the Regt'l quota of 100 men to act as a guard of honour for Brigadier Lane's funeral. C Troop deployed on Main Div and D Troop is still on 23rd Fd. Lt Eaton and Lt Mineau from 6 LAA Regt visited BHQ. They have been training on 32 barrelled Land Service Mattress. They are still in experimental stage. It was a very interesting discussion and we were very interested in learning all we could about this new weapon.
102 Bty; 8 Offrs and 100 ORs of the Regt attended the formal mlitary funeral for Brig Lane. We lined the road for a half mile or so, and the Argyle and Sutherland Band passed by, followed by the firing party and then the three chaplains. The body was bourne on two limbers, and was drawn by a FAT. Later we marched past the grave. The weather was beautiful until after the funeral when it settled in to blow and rain.
12 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The day was raw and marred by heavy downpours of rain.
RHQ spent the day establishing itself in its new and freezing quarters where apart from light, heat and water there is every convenience.
From the Btys there was nothing to report on the tactical point of view. The Regt is now deployed as follows:
A Tp - Conc MR;
B Tp - 15 Fd Regt RCA;
C Tp - HQ 4 CAD;
D Tp - 12 Fd Regt RCA;
E Tp - Conc;
F Tp - Conc.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool. RC personnel attended Church Service at 0930 hrs. Maj Draper attended the meeting at 1000 hrs at Tac RHQ. Lt Taylor left for A Tp at 1030 hrs. B Tp HQ has not arrived in area, but their guns had just arrived. A Tp conc a 1300 hrs in area South of here. Afternoon and evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather cold and drizzling. Major Hegan and Lt Morgan left for Antwerp for 48 hr leave. Troops still deployed as before. Nothing to report. Nothing of importance occured.
102 Bty; Cold weather again. BHQ moved about a half mile to a school. It was a distinct improvement over the farm we left, and it allowed F Tp to spread out more in our vacated area. Concentration was for cleaning equipment, particularly guns and vehicles.
13 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather relented somewhat to-day with mist and a drizzle at times and generally overcast.
The feature of the day was a ground shoot by both Tps of 102 Bty under 4 Cdn Armd Bde. The target was Fort Crevecouer. A range of 5200x was chosen so as to ensure airbursts. Shooting was intermittent during the afternoon with approx 2/3 of the 344 rds fired bursting on graze. Despite a small number of prematures due to rain, the shoot was quite successful.
Other items of interest were a suspected attack on an Air OP by a Mustang with British markings. Some observers saw the planes flying together and after they passed out of the field of view firing was heard. Also seen to-day was a flying bomb. It crossed area sq in a NE direction at 1000 ft about 1010 hrs but no explosion was heard.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool, with rain. Lt Taylor attended 1000 hrs meeting at RHQ, very little news available on the battle fronts. Lt Taylor returned at 1100 hrs. Maj Draper to RHQ at 1400 hrs, returning at 1600 hrs. Afternoon and evening continued quietly. Capt H.W. Simms (B Tp Comd) visited this HQ at 1700 hrs. Both of B Tp's jeeps are in for repair and B Tp is given loan of our armd car. A bridge game was enjoyed during the evening at Tac BHQ.
101 Bty; Weather cold and raining. Troops still deployed as before. Nothing of importance occured.
102 Bty; The tps were dispatched suddenly to 's Hertogenbosch to support the L.S.R. with ground firing; engaging Fort Crevecoeur which was suspected to be an enemy strongpoint. Approx 500 rds were fired by E and F Tps together at a range of 5200x with good effect.
14 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. Misty to-day with low clouds. The 102 Bty continued its ground shoot with 4 CAB with target area again Fort Crevecouer. Mist hampered observation but air bursts were observed in target area. 752 rds were fired in all.
This evening the CO, Lt-col E.W. Cormack, returned from hospital looking fit but with a slight limp. He will not be too active for a few days until fully recovered.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool. Lt Taylor to RHQ at 1000 hrs, still little infm re the battle fronts. He returned at 1100 hrs. Maj Draper off to RHQ at 1300 hrs, returning at 1400 hrs. Afternoon and evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather cold and cloudy. Major Hegan and Lt. Morgan returned from 48 hr leave in Antwerp and brought Lt-col Cormack back with them to RHQ. Bty received a 15 cwt replacement. Recreation centre opened 's Hertogenbosch with shows and Ensa concerts today and to-morrow. Quite a few of the men attended.
102 Bty; Leave party left for Brussels - 1 Offr and 12 ORs. The troops fired again, about 350 rds for each tp, this time on Fort Crevecoeur and the area immediately behind it. There was no retaliation from Jerry. Capt G.D. Wood assumed command of the Bty during the absence of the OC Major RA McAlpine. The CO Lt-col DA MacLaren and Major Cook visited the OP during the firing.
15 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. This has been another of those characteristically cold, cheerless Dutch days which we have come to dread. The day was relatively uneventful on the tactical side.
The CO, Lt-col MacLaren was around to the 102 Bty and A Tp to-day which have now deployed in protection of 5 bridges in 's Hertogenbosch. He returned with intstructions for a ground shoot to-morrow to be carried out by both B and A Tps in support of patrols to be launched across the river Maas by the LSRs to-morrow night.
Throughout to-morrow night A Tp, deployed West of 's Hertogenbosch will fire intermittently on targets between Hedel and Ammerzoden. The guns will be withdrawn after dark, and two guns of B Tp will then carry on firing to give directions to the patrol making the crossing.
A move from our present area by RHQ seems forthcoming, but the details are by no means clear. The 'Q' Branch of RCA 4 CAD speaks of a Regtl conc in the area now occupied by Rear Div HQ. On the other hand the 'G' Branch seems to consider that our guns are to be deployed for AA Defence. At the moment it is hard to know who will prevail, but with pressure being exerted by British Units who would like our will-furnished quarters it would seem that conc or no, we may soon be packing our kits and pulling out.
To-night a dance was held in the Men's Mess, and apart form the chill and the abundance of able bodied Dutch Males, it was quite a success.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool, with rain. Lt Taylor to RHQ at 1000 hrs, returning to 1100 hrs. Afternoon quiet. Lt Taylor to RHQ at 2000 hrs, receiving orders concerning ground role of A and B Tps. A Tp is to begin firing at 1200 hrs, 4 guns to cease fire at 1600 and return to AA role. Two remaining guns will fire at various times and cease fire at 2100 hrs. B Tp is to be ready to give directional fire for inf, starting at 2300 hrs. A Tp's task of firing until 2100 hrs is to give enemy the impression that B Tp's directional firing at 2300 hrs is more harassing fire, and they will not expect inf attack. PW are wanted on this sector. Capt Melville was at RHQ and received the orders for his Tp. At 2100 hrs Lt Taylor returned to BHQ. B Tp will receive orders tomorrow morning.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy, cold, cleared up somewhat towards noon. Nothing of importance occured. C Troop still on Main Div HQ and D Troop on 23rd Fd.
102 Bty; The Bty took A Tp of the 70 Bty under command and took over the AA defence of 's Hertogenbosch and its bridges from the 459 Bty, 124 English AA Regt. There was no firing to-day. BHQ moved from Enschot to 's Hertogenbosch at 1330 hrs and established in the Police Stn just South-West of the town.
16 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather continued raw and damp to-day.
The morning was uneventful with the customary meeting of the Bty Reps here being largely devoted to domestic matters. During the morning A Tp guns moved and carried out a harassing fire task on targets along the North Bank of the river Maas. The withdrew their guns to 's Hertogenbosch and resumed the AA role there and B Tp fired. B Tp was given an order to cease fire at 2220 hrs and dit not lay down directional fire for the LSRs as planned however.
During the evening an RHQ Mess Dinner was held. Present were Lt-col E.W. Cormack, Lt-col D.A.M. MacLaren, Major J.A. Cook, Capt G.L. Watson, Capt H.E. Marion, Capt W.T. Moran, Capt W.A.J. Kennedy, Capt G.K. Clark, (Dentl Offr), Capt J.R. Nesbitt, Supvr P. McLintock and Lt W.S. Russell. After dinner a movie was shown in the mess which was well attended by Dutch refugees and HQ 8 LAA.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool. Lt Taylor and Capt L.L. Leatherdale to RHQ at 1000 hrs. Regt is expected to conc shortly. Capt Leatherdale and Lt Taylor returned at 1100 hrs. Maj Draper, Lt Taylor, Peter, Pigy and John left at 1130 hrs on a 48 hr leave. Lt Taylor is going to Antwerp, the remainder to Brussels.
At 1200 hrs A Tp was in ground role posn and began harassing fire on enemy posn. Tac and Rear BHQ moved to area just South of Vught at 1400 hrs. A German conc camp was once operating very close to our new locn. Our new quarters are quite comfortable and all ranks are under cover. At approx 1600 hrs it was learned that H75122 Sgt M.E. Johnston had died from natural causes earlier in the afternoon. It is a great surprise to us all. Sgt Johnston's fine and courageous actions back in the Moerkerke days will long be remembered by all. Firing by A Tp continued until 2100 hrs. B Tp then relieved them in this harassing role. B Tp did not give directional fire as expected. B Tp ceased firing at 2300 hrs and returned to former posns.
101 Bty; Weather clear but cold, clouded up somewhat during day. Troops remained deployed as before. Major Hegan visited D Troop during the afternoon and evening. Rumours of a Regtl Concentration in part at least and a move from our present area. Nothing definite. Recce party composed of Capt Wilson and BQMS went to see possible new area.
102 Bty; A tp fired 700 rds between 1200 and 1600 hrs with six guns and carried on fire spasmocically until 2100 hrs. The target area was Fort Crevecoeur and the area North of it. The firing today supposed to be a prelude to an attack by the L.S.R., but it was not carried out, for they said our firing had forced the enemy to withdraw, so they would not be able to take prisoners. Major R.A. McAlpine re-assumed command of the Bty; returning from a 48 hr leave in Brussels.
17 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. What a miserably cold business a winter in Holland can be. Snow is almost preferable to the icey cold rain which has been pelting down since noon.
The day has been uneventful in the tactical sphere. We are however now certain of a move to-morrow with the suggestion that the Btys will all conc with RHQ at Haaren. While it is with some reluctance we leave these truly luxurious quarters, it must be confessed that warmer but less attractive surroundings will not be objected to.
Reports continue to come in about V1 which seem to be launched not far from here. One is reported to-day to have fallen in Hedel in enemy territory and it appears that there may be launching sites for V2 not far away.
70 Bty; Cool with rain. Capt Leatherdale attended 1000 hrs meeting at RHQ, returning at 1100 hrs. Afternoon quiet. Personnel in BHQ attended movie which was sup by YMCA.
101 Bty; Weather raining and cloudy all day. Quite cold. Troops deployed as before. Nothing further on a move. RHQ is moving tomorrow. Rumours have it that Div is going to come out for a complete rest and re-equiping but nothing definite as to when it will take place.
102 Bty; A quiet rainy day, very little to report. The tps are sending 20 men evenings and afternoons into 's Hertogenbosch for a show and there is dancing from 1400 hrs to 1900 hrs when curfew starts.
18 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- Haaren. The weather has been mild and relatively clear to-day, which facilitated our move to the new area.
During the morning various recce parties became acquainted with their prospective areas and by 1400 hrs we were all loaded up to move. The housing situation was much eased by information that no tps will conc with RHQ at least at present. The move itself was only over a short distance and all elements were completely housed by 1600 hrs. There is adequate accommodation for all elements of this HQ.
During the afternoon we were treated to a tremendous display of air power when Lancasters in very great strenght, well supported with fighters, droned over our heads towards Germany. Munster we have since learned was the target. This must be in support of the great allied offensive which has brought six armies into action from the Dutch border to Switzerland. Fighter activity has also stepped up in view of the improved weather conditions. On the enemy side, our gun sites reported seeing V2 rocket bombs being launched. In the evening the Sr Offrs of this HQ attended a smoker given by 102 Bty for Lt-col D.A.M. MacLaren.
70 Bty; Cloudy with showers. Capt Leatherdale to 1000 hrs meeting at RHQ, returning at 1130 hrs. Afternoon quiet. Maj Draper, Lt Taylor, Peter, Pigy and John returned from leave. Evening continued quietly.
101 Bty; Weather cold and cloudy. Troops deployed as before. Bty received orders to move. Advance party to hold new quarters was placed in new area. Bty to move tomorrow. Nothing of importance occured.
102 Bty; A jet propelled ME 262 was reported at 1555 hrs, but no action was taken as it was out of range. The offrs of the Bty and A Tp held a small party at the Central Hotel for A/Lt-col MacLaren who is returning to Canada. The CO Major Hegan, Major Cook, Capt Moran and all the offrs from the 102 Bty and A Tp were present as well. It was a fair evening, for it coincided, by change, with receipt of our NAAFI spirit ration.
19 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. This is a mild, dull Sunday morning and the nearby Church was busy all day ministering to a very large and picturesque congregation to which the Adjt and the QM lent their distinquished presence.
The Regt had its first experience with jet propelled aircraft this afternoon. One aircraft believed to be an ME 262 swept in over 's Hertogenbosch about 1220 hrs at 10,000 ft and dropped bombs presumably aimed at the bridge. The bombing was wide, and on our part our guns could not fire because the range was too great. It was however notable as being the first belligerent appearance of the Luftwaffe that we have seen in some time. There were also reports of a V2 launching North of 's Hertogenbosch. During the evening Lt-col Cormack attended a show at Div HQ.
70 Bty; Cloudy and slightly warmer. Maj Draper and Lt Taylor left at 1000 hrs to visit A & B Tps. Xmas mail and parcels have started to arrive. Many parcels already have een received from the Ladies Auxiliary to the 26 Fd Bde RCA, Brandon. At 1200 hrs Maj Draper and Lt Taylor returned from the Tps. Maj Draper to RHQ at 1400 hrs, Capt Leatherdale to the Tps at the same time. Both returned approx the same time 1800 hrs. Personnel in to 's Hertogenbosch in the evening to see another movie. This party returned at 2100 hrs. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather clear for the most part. Troops still deployed as before. Bty HQ moved to new Quarters and settled down in comfort as comforts go. Ordnance have a good closed in garage to work in and are very happy about their setup.
102 Bty; A beautiful sunny day, with a fresh breeze. There was a voluntary RC service in town. At 1220 hrs one of our bridges on the North-East side of town was attacked, with no damage except to windows resulting. It was a single ME 262 Jet propelled plane, and dropped two bombs from 10,000 ft well out of our range. The rest of the day passed uneventfully.
20 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. Heavy clouds threatened rain all morning and this afternoon a very brisk rain storm commenced which continued throughout the rest of the day.
It has been an unevenful 24 hrs. The meeting this morning was in the main devoted to an examination of the battle front which is moving back under the impact of 6 Allied Armies. Lt-col D.A.M. MacLaren went off to 2 Ech to-day with respect to some personnel matters, but on the whole there is nothing to report. Capt F.G. McGavin who presumably was to rejoin the Regt on attachment from 12 CBRG (Ghent) dit not return to-day as expected. Our information is that he leaves for Canada Thursday and for that reason will not be able to return to the Regt.
70 Bty; Cool with rain. Lt Taylor to RHQ at 1000 hrs, situation remains about the same on our front. Afternoon quiet. Another party in to the movie at 's Hertogenbosch this evening.
101 Bty; Weather cold, raining most of the day. Troops still deployed as before. Bty HQ practically finished shaking down and are well settled in. Nothing of importance occured.. Quite a few went into 's Hertogenbosch to see the Army Show 'Forage Caps'.
102 Bty; Two V-2s were reported byF Tp but only passed out of sight with no visible effect. A quiet day with rain and strong winds. We had the Y tea car around the sites to-day for the first time since we landed.
21 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. We have had another mild day with the air moisture laden and warm. Clouds were overhead but no rain fell during the day.
To-day Lt-col Cormack announced his intention to run as a Candidate in the Alberta Election. As an Albertan of long experience and with a distinguished military career, we congratulate the spontaneous drive by the Albertans who proposed him as their choice.
There were many reports of V2 launchings by elements of 102 Bty which should be most valuable to the 'I' Branch at Div HQ. During the morning the Div 'I' Branch intercepted a message which told of an intended air attack by enemy aircraft of 's Hertogenbosch. All tps in the area were warned but no attack was reported during the day.
70 Bty; Cloudy with rain. Maj Draper to RHQ at 1000 hrs. He returned at 1100 hrs. Party in to 's Hertogenbosch to a movie in the evening. Quiet evening.
101 Bty; Weather raining and cold. Troops still deployed as before. Rumours have it again that the Div is going to concentrate and possibly the troops will be coming off. Nothing of importance occured. D Troop reported an attack on 's Hertogenbosch by Jet-Propelled planes.
102 Bty; An intercepted German message resulted in the Bty receiving a warning that an attack on our VP was to be made to-day between 1100 and 1600 hrs. All sites were warned but nothing eventful occurred Five V-2s were sighted in a general northerly direction from 's Hertogenbosch. A fine day, but very little activity in the air. There was a Canadian Army Show in town and it was interesting and amusing.
22 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. Weather consitently wet to-day. Usual morning conference held at 1000 hrs. At 1330 hrs CO & IO attended at HQ RCA meeting Rep from 108 Regt RA (52 Div) whose Bty is relieving the 3 Tps in 's Hertogenbosch. A conference was held at RCA 4 CAD during the afternoon and details of the take over by 52 Div from 4 CAD were discussed. The 354 Bty of 108 LAA is to take over defence of 's Hertogenbosch. An O Gp was held at RHQ at 1630 hrs to pass on the information to the Btys.
During the evening an RHQ Dance was held at the local Hall in Haaren which was much enjoyed by all. A feature of the evening was a race with the stork to Tilburg by the CO's veh. It was 'D' day for one of the local mothers but the Chev motor prevailed and the veh got her to Tilburg literally in one piece. During the day an explosion at 's Hertogenbosch killed Gnr Kustra (70 Bty).
70 Bty; Cool with rain. Meeting at RHQ attended by Lt Taylor at 1000 hrs. He returned at 1100 hrs. An explosion occured during the morning near A Tp HQ and H100574 Gnr J. Kustra (BEM) was killed, Capt Melville being slightly injured but remaining on duty. A Brit Bomb Disposal Squad was also hit hard by cas. Maj Draper and Capt H.W. Simms who were about to leave for Brussels went to the scene of the accident. They returned at 1530 hrs and left for Brussels at 1600 hrs. Lt Taylor to RHQ at 1600 hrs for an O Gp. Our Div is to be relieved over 2 day period and will conc. Recce parties from 52 Div's LAA Regt will arrive tomorrow morning. B Tp is to remain with 15 Fd. A Tp will conc in this area when relieved. Lt Taylor returned at 1715 hrs. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather raining and cold. Troops still deployed as before. Quite a few men took advantage of Ensa Show in 's Hertogenbosch during the afternoon. Nothing of importance occured. D Troop had a ground shoot this morning. It was quite successful at the start but had to be stopped on account of the rain.
102 Bty; A cold rainy day with no air activity. A very sad occurance took place in A Tp lines to-day. Some English tps were handling German amn when an explosion took place. Gnr Kustra of B Tp 70 Bty, who was nearby was injured and died. Eight of the English tps were killed and four wounded, and one civilian wounded. A Court of Enquiry has been ordered to investigate the explosion. Some men of the tp attended a dance in 's Hertogenbosch to-day run by the Aux services, and there was an ENSA show too.
23 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather was again dismal and unpleasant with rain.
During the morning the usual meeting was held at RHQ followed by a meeting of the Men's Canteen Committee. In the afternoon Lt-col Cormack and the IO attended a conference at HQ RCA to obtain information and this was in turn passed on to the Btys at a "O" Gp at RHQ.
The GOC, Major-Gen Foster to-day issued a farewell screed to the Div. He is going to the 1st Cdn Div in Italy and being replaced by Major-Gen Vokes, who formerly commanded 1 Div. In our own Regt too we sustained a loss. Major MacLaren's petition for compassionate leave to Canada was suddenly granted and to-day he departed via Oostende with the best wishes of all ranks. He will most certainly be missed.
70 Bty; Cool with rain. At 1000 hrs Capt Leatherdale visited RHQ, being accompanied by canteen rep from his Bty. Gnr Kustra was buried at 1030 hrs this morning, offrs and men from BHQ and B Tp attending his funeral. Capt Leatherdale to the NAAFI at Breda at 1400 hrs. Afternoon quiet. Maj Draper and Capt Simms returned from Brussels at 2200 hrs, and brought back some Xmas cards which had been obtained from Peter's father in Brussels. Each man in the Bty will receive 12 cards.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy but no rain, somewhat warmer. Troops still deployed. 23rd Fd is moving to concentration tomorrow. D Troop is to move with them. C Troop is remaining with Main Div HQ. Lt-col MacLaren left this afternoon for a compassionate leave to Canada. Major Hegan and several other officers went up to say good-bye and good luck. Lt-col E.W. Cormack resumed command of the 8th LAA Regt after his recent spell in hospital.
102 Bty; Capt A.C. Bishop dropped in to-day, having brought up a draft for C.B.R.G at Gent. He is recovered from his wound and looks well. There was word that the Bty was to be relieved by the LAA of the 52 Div. There was little else to report.
24 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather continued dull and rainy. At 0900 hrs the CO attended an orders group with the CRA at Div HQ. The results of it were passed on to the Regt, together with other suggestions of domestic interest. Among the matters discussed were the following:
The Div expects a period of several days in which to refit--tentatively 27 Nov-10 Dec. About 2 Dec the 70 Bty will be withdrawn to conc area and relieve by D & E Tps. The CRA wishes to inspect the Regt during this period and the new GOC will be holding a formal insptection as well. To this end some foot drill has been ordered in the interest of smartness. The new CRA is appently much interested in use of 40 mm as a ground weapon, and equipment and men will be carefully serutinized to increase efficiency in this direction.
Also discussed were plans for Regtl Trade Tests, Recreation for Tps, possibilities of Sgts and Officers dinners, leaves, and general matter pertaining to the period of rest.
An interesting new item to-day was the promise of the Cdn Govt to send 16000 Zombies overseas. The question of Zombie participation in Western Europe has aroused considerable interest and the Govt's decision appears to be largely greeted with enthusiasm in the Regt.
During the afternoon the CRA paid the CO a visit and later on Major Drape came in to tell that 4 CAB had been largely disbursed and was not suitable for AA protection. A message was therefore sent to Div Arty to the effect that A Tp would not deploy with 4 CAB but would conc unless further orders were received.
The other interesting event to-day was that RHQ office moved into a different building in order to provide space for the Btys concentrating.
70 Bty; Cool with rain. Maj Draper left to attend meeting at RHQ at 1000 hrs. Capt Leatherdale also left to visit A Tp anf to conduct Court of Inquiry on death of Gnr Kustra. Afternoon quiet. At 1830 hrs YMCA here to give us a movie. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather raining and somewhat warmer. C Troop still on Main Div HQ. D Troop after several conflicting orders finally arrived to concentrate with BHQ. The Div is definitely going to concentrate for a rest and refitting. This to be a mental and not a physical rest. A vigorous programme of exercise, drill and refitting is laid on. The rest is said to last for two weeks.
102 Bty; A dull day again. Recce parties of 52 Div AA were shown over our sites to-day. We conc on Saturday 25 Nov 44 for two weeks training and re-fitting. Quiet otherwise. Our recce parties looked over the village of Haaren where BHQ and E Tp will be concentrated.
25 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. Weather was wet and sloppy again to-day.
The customay conference was held this morning where the main point of interest was the break through of the 2nd Fr Armd Div to Strassbourg.
Numerous visitors called in to-day largely seeking to take over our billets from us. However so far we are still firmly entrenched in Haaren. A rep from the Regtl Funds Board attended RHQ and we have been asked to keep accounts of purchases for the men.
During the day there were several moves in line with plans for take over by 52 Div.
One of the best stories to date is told by Padre McConnel. Some days ago Sgt Johnson was buried near Tilburg with Padre McConnel officiating. To his aid rallied several men from 52 Div. The services over, the Padre turned away from the motionless, flag-draped body, which was immediately lowered into the grave by the husky Scots. Some days later the Padre started looking for his flag. Nowhere was it to be found. At last it was traced to the grave of the deceased. Manfully overcoming his natural repugnance, the Padre with a commendable parsimony, had the Scotsmen who had lowered the flag into the earth retrieve it for future burials. Now washed and unspoiled, it is again available to drape another altar or yet another fighting man.
70 Bty; Cool with showers. BHQ had a parade and short route march at 0845 hrs this morning. This is to be a daily feature for the next couple of weeks. Maj Draper to RHQ at 1000 hrs, returning at 1100 hrs. Upon his return, the Maj received a long-awaited letter telling him that his wife has given birth to a second son. His wife and new child are doing well. Cigars were handed out to BHQ personnel on this occasion. YMCA sups were issued to BHQ personnel at 1400 hrs. Beer was given out in the evening by Maj Draper in celebration of the arrival of the new son. Lt R.W. Libbey visited BHQ, remaining until the end of the party. Lt Taylor and Lt Libbey supplied music on clarinet and guitar respectively.
101 Bty; Weather very unchangeable. Rain in spells and even the sun was shining at times. C Troop still on Main Div HQ. D Troop beginning to clear up and have started a programme of several refresher training. BHQ parading in morning and in afternoon having discussions on rehabilitation.
102 Bty; By 1200 hrs the 52 Div LAA 355 and 357 Btys relieved us at 's Hertogenbosch. F Tp moved to Oisterwijk to provide protection for Adm GP. E and BHQ conc at Haaren. Our accommodation is mainly billets for BHQ, with RHQ squeezing up in a Monastic school to provide room for E Tp.
26 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The sun came out to-day and the sky was blue again. Aided by the better weather numerous fighter sorties swept overhead enroute to the front.
It was a quiet Sunday at home with a Church Parade in the local hall and March Past to boot.
Throughout the day numerous businesslike--looking reps from the various English Regts that aspire to our billets marched and counter-marched back and forth measuring with a practised eye the availabe space. But so far we've been as immovable as the Rock, and until orders to the contrary are forthcoming our plan seems to be to remain where we are. So as not to be too incautious however a recce party explored s' Hertogenbosch with a view to finding accommodation there should we be eventually forced to vacate.
Div HQ moved to-day with Div Arty going to Vught. C Tp in their protection is deployed in the area with THQ.
70 Bty; Clear and mild. At 0930 hrs some personnel attended Mass at local church. At 1100 hrs Protestant Church Parade was held here. Very good turnout. Afternoon and evening quiet. To the surprise of all, the good weather continued throughout the day.
101 Bty; Weather raining practically all day. C Troop moved with Main Div to sites just West of Vught. D Troop training and cleaning up. Ten OR's and two officers from the Bty proceeded on a 48 hours leave to Brussels today. Nothing of importance occurred.
102 Bty; A Regtl Church Parade as held with 60 men from the Bty attending. Capt McConnell took the service, and afterwards the parade passed by the CO. Lt-col E.W. Cormack who is now completely recovered from his wound. It was a beautiful day.
27 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather to-day was dull and misty, most of the day with just a few rays of sunlight.
This morning a Field General Court Martial was held in the Unit Lines and Bdr (L/Sgt) McAllister and Gnr Driedger were tried.
During the afternoon observors at F-3 gun site saw a Mosquito aircraft crash some distance from their site. Civilians told personnel manning the gun that a parachute was in the area South of them where they went and discovered an Allied airman badly injured. First aid was carried out and medical authorities notified. A search was also carried out for the pilot but was unsuccessful.
70 Bty; Cool with showers. At 0845 hrs BHQ paraded, followed by a route march. 1000 hrs to RHQ Lt Taylor. Arrangements made for paying of men going on leave to-morrow. At 1330 hrs men going on leave paid. Afternoon and evening passed quietly.
101 Bty; Weather raining and misty. C Troop still on Main Div HQ. D Troop training and cleaning up. Rumours are rife that the Regt will have to move to other quarters. Several units of the 52nd Div have been after our billets. If we ever move there will be several 52nd Div units killed on the rush to get here. Nothing of importance occurred.
102 Bty; The OC inspected E Tp on parade and later the tp had a route march. A cold windy day, but no rain.
28 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. A thoroughly miserable day with a cold rain.
The morning conference to-day dealt mainly with a sitrep of the fighting fronts and domestic matters. The CO inspected B Tp this morning and while on inspection an ME 109 was observed but not engaged.
A message was received this morning of an "I" Conference to be held at Div Arty at 1400 hrs. The IO attended and the result appears to be that a further full-scale meeting will be held pertaining to "I" matters. An agendo for such a meeting was discussed at the conference to-day.
During the afternoon a message was received that the 3 Tps of the Regt which are now conc will deploy to-morrow to protect areas at which demonstrations will be held to-morrow. The demonstrations are in honour of General Eisenhower who is paying 4 Div a visit. The details of the deployment for to-morrow are as follows:
Tp: Time of Demonstration: Time in action:
A 0950-1010 0850;
B 1035-1050 0935;
C 1058-1113 0935;
D 1200-1215 1100.
The CO is invited to meet the C in C to-morrow at 1035 hrs at RCA 4 CAD.
70 Bty; Cool with showers. Parade for BHQ at 0845 hrs. 0900 hrs leave personnel for Gent. Lt Taylor went to Antwerp at 0900 hrs on Court of Inquiry, accompanied by Capt Marion and Lt Griffiths who were going on leave. At 1330 hrs pay parade for Bty. Dental inspection for all ranks at 1400 hrs. Afternoon passed quietly. Movie at 1830 hrs at A tp, attended by personnel of BHQ and some local civilians. At 2300 hrs Lt Taylor returned from Antwerp.
101 Bty; Weather cloudy, raining somewhat during the day. C Troop still with Main Div. D Troop training and cleaning up. 52nd Div still trying to get into these billets. Lt. Lockwood left for a compassionate leave to England. BQMS Salkeld drove him to Oostende to catch a destroyer for England. Major Hegan and Capt Wilson attended lectures on Court Martial procedure. Nothing of importance occurred.
102 Bty; A quiet day, carrying on a clean-up and paint-up. A ME 109E carrying a 500 lb bomb was reported by E Tp and later a bomb was heard exploding.
29 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- unchanged. The weather reversed itself to-day by turning out bright and pleasant.
There was no hitch in the deployment of the troops with respect to the demonstrations for Gen Eisenhower. All reported in action at the proper time, and although no hostile aircraft presented themselves, the various points of demonstrations were well protected from air attack.
The CO who met Gen Eisenhower returned much impressed, both by the frankness and by the affability of the C in C. The General made two remarks of interest: - Firstly that the war would endure all winter and that he had made an error in his appearance to encourage the troops, he made periodical visits to the fighting men in order to gain inspiration to carry with him back to his HQ. General Eisenhower also praised the work of the troops who he said had done everything requested of them, and commended on the fitness of the Army in difficult conditions.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool. Parade for BHQ in battle order, inspected by Lt Taylor at 0930 hrs. At 1000 hrs Capt Leatherdale to NAAFI and Lt Taylor to RHQ. Childrens party discussed for 5 Dec. Evening quiet. At 1700 hrs Gnrs Paton and Golding in accident with Provost on MC, Provost died on the way to the hospital.
101 Bty; Weather clear, bright and warm. D Troop on a short job his morning. D Troop and 2 Det of C Troop provided AA protection for a series of demonstrations for a Distinguished Visitor. The Visitor was the Supreme C-in-C, General "Ike" Eisenhower. The Officers and quite a few of the men saw "Ike". Due to the fact that they were somewhat apart from the rest of the group Capts Meldrum and Hammond saluted General Eisenhower and got a separate return salute. Capt Wilson went into 's Hertogenbosch on a recce for possible quarters for the Bty as pressure to make us move is increasing rapidly. Lt Williams and Lt McLennan saw what they believe to be a V2 this evening. It was reported to RHQ.
102 Bty; A beautiful clear day. E Tp deployed on the Tilburg-Vught road to protect an inspection by General Eisenhower, who visited the Div to-day. Sentences of the two Court Martials were promulgated to-day.
30 November 1944:
RHQ; Locn RHQ -- 's Hertogenbosch. The weather to-day was bright and clear, and being so favorable, was well employed by the air-force.
This morning the Adjt and QM went on leave to Brussels. The normal morning meeting at RHQ was held and our move plans were discussed as well as other domestic matters.
During the afternoon, much of our time was spent in completing preparations for move at both ends (since our new RHQ is in a school and there is some labour necessary to adapt for our needs). The move itself was without incident. The convoy passed the SP at Helvoirt at 1600 hrs and so well had the plans been made by the recce party, the minimum confusion accured on arrival.
There are numerous curious children here, but with lights, running water, and the promise of heat, we can stand a degree of gaping at, particularly when its good-natured gaping.
To-morrow will require a degree of 'settling in' but it looks like St Joseph's School (our new home) will make a most admirable RHQ.
The BHQs and troops which were conc with RHQ also moved to-day with RHQ and 101, 102 BHQs as well as D and E Tps are now conc.
70 Bty; Cloudy and cool. Capt Leatherdale to Duffel on C of I at 0845 hrs. At 0845 hrs parade for BHQ and short route march. At 1000 hrs Major Draper to RHQ meeting. At 1100 hrs meeting of all officers and sgt-majors. Orders given concerning inspection by CO. BHQ and A Tp will be inspected on 4 Dec and B tp on the 7 Dec. At 1800 hrs Capt Leatherdale returned. At 2100 hrs personnel returned from leave. Evening quiet.
101 Bty; Weather cold and bright. Moonlight was so bright that the evening was like day-light. Bty got orders to move past S.P. at 1515 hrs. Regt moving into 's Hertogenbosch. Later time was changed to 1600 hrs past S.P. Bty finally moved off. D Troop and BHQ moved together. Capt Wilsn and B.S.M. Haywood went in at 1400 hrs to get the new quartes organized and took cooks with them. Men are for the most part in individual cubicles and seem to be quite comfortably settled. During the evening we could hear the sound of our own guns going off which we hadn't been able to hear the last place we were at.
102 Bty; A meeting was held by Bty representatives to discuss a children's party. During the morning orders came to move BHQ & E Tp to a conc at 's Hertogenbosch. At 1600 hrs BHQ and E Tp moved to the new location, and the Fd Punishment Camp under Lt St Onge, as it is our turn to run it now. Present location is a Monastic School in the town.