83 (Welch) Field Regiment: 330 Battery 331 Battery

 

10 September 1944: 0800 - Recce Pty moved to new area Deurne on East side of Antwerp.

0930 - Regt moved to Deurne to support inf holding dock area. Enemy at this time were holding ground West of River Schelde & North of Junction Canal.

 

12 September 1944: 0915 - 329 Bty moved to Dock area to give closer support.

 

14 September 1944: 1615 - 329 Bty moved back to previous location. Whilst in Antwerp Regt was called upon to engage numerous enemy locations in Northern suburbs. OPs were established in grain elevators, tall buildings and even in Hotels. Most of the pleasures available in a large city were experienced by the Regt. The inhabitants took great interest in the activities of the Regt and were most hospitable.

 

15 September 1944: 0700 - Recce Pty moved to Hide area near Westerloo & Veerle.

0830 - Regt moved to area Veerle. Arrived 1230 hrs & came under Comd 15 (S) Div.

 

16 September 1944: 1000 - Recce Pty with OP recce moved to area near Lommel.

1300 - Regt moved to Lommel via Meerhout, Baelen, Bourg - Leopold. Came into action to sp 158 Bde for crossing of canal and building class 9 Br.

 

17 September 1944: 1435 - Engaged Tgt in sp 30 Corps.

2244 to 2325 - Engaged Fire Plan OP 'Beecher' in sp of 158 Bde crossing the Maas - L'Escaut Canal North of Lommel. Bde successfully crossed canal on night 17/18 Sep. Some opposition encountered especially by 7 RWF but Bridgehead established firmly.

 

18 September 1944: 0800 - Recce Pty moved.

1100 - 460 Bty moved to that area.

1230 - Remainder of Regt moved to that area to give closer sp to Bde who were exploiting North of Bridgehead. On night 18/19 enemy aircraft attacked bridges on canal. Regt had unpleasant time during bombing. No casualties. Gnrs Pearson and Vince killed in action crossing Escaut Canal. Major JA Sullivan attached pending posting.

 

19 September 1944: 1315 - Regt engaged Fire Plan in sp of attack by 4 Welch.

 

20 September 1944: 0700 - Recce Pty moved to new area over the Dutch Border.

0800 - Regt moved & deployed in area crossing Maas L'Escaut Canal into Holland.

 

21 September 1944: 0400 - Regt moved with 158 Bde carrying 1/5 Welch to area near Steensel. Deployed at Heesch having arrived at 0615 hrs. Fired number of M Tgts. Restriction in amn expenditure. 2/Lt RA Williams posted in from Depot RA via 54 RHU.

 

22 to 30 September 1944: Our infantry holding Westelbeers, Netersel and Bladel. Numerous enemy counter attacks were repelled by quick concentrations. Amn expenditure restricted to 30 rpg per day. Considerable enemy shelling experienced in area Netersel.

 

25 September 1944: Sgt Champion received Shrapnel Wounds. Evacuated and Struck off Strength. Regt Strength approximately (OR 610, Offrs 37) all the month.

 

1 October 1944: Regt still in action at Hoogeloon. Sp given to 53 Recce Regt in exploiting forward. Bombards and HF tasks engaged.

 

3 October 1944: 1100 - Reusel and Hulsel reported clear of enemy.

 

4 October 1944: 1000 - Recce party prepared posn near St. Oedenrode but was cancelled and at 1700 hrs a second Recce party moved to area near Diessen.

1800 - Regt moved to that area in sp 71 Inf Bde with 81 Fd Regt. Arrived 2030 hrs and deployed.

 

5 October 1944: 1300 - Recce party moved again St. Oedenrode.

1430 - Regt moved to that area. Arrived 1730 hrs and deployed in sp 158 Bde who were under comd 51(H) Div. An offensive Arty policy was adopted and numerous V and U Tgts as well as Bombards on HBs were engaged. Considerable HF tasks were also carried out. SP given to Inf in patrol activity. 158 Bde role was defence of Main axis to Nijmegen. Enemy shelled main road particularly near 330 and 329 Bty posns an in village of St. Oedenrode daily until about 9 Oct. Shelling resumed again 12 Oct.

 

13 October 1944: Enemy shelling continued from early morning and at 0830 hrs just prior to an attack launched by the enemy on 158 Bde front, 2 shells exploded in the Comd Post and cookhouse of 330 Bty causing the following casualties:

Killed - Lt J.G.E. Holmes (88218), Lt E.D. Hanley (293889), Pte Knowles, Gnrs Dobie, Lippitt, Moore, and Lockwood.

Wounded - Capt M.B. Davies (78118), L/Bdr Harpham, Gnrs Bennet Lee H, Grindrod, Whitelam, Fore, Wills, Green, Wright, Brown R and Pte Eyles.

The Comd Post was moved and re-organised very quickly under Lt Payne and Lt Scholes (Sigs Offr) with the result that the Bty missed no firing during the critical period of the enemy attack.

0845 - Enemy were reported to be forming up for an attack and 7 RWF reported a good deal of spandau fire on their 2 left Coys. Later on attack developed after a diversion on to left fwd platoon of B Coy 7 RWF. Effective DF and M Tgts were fired by the Regt and took the sting out of what appeared to be a well laid on attack. The enemy arty engaged our OP and gun areas whilst LAA and MGs and smoke were used for more intimate sp. 1 Platoon of enemy got within 20 yds of our fwd posns and were then repelled by brens and 2" mortar fire. The retreating enemy were than hastened with a V tgt in their midst. Casualties in 158 Bde were 1 killed and 3 wounded. Enemy casualties believed to be heavy. Infantry were very pleased with arty sp.

 

14 October 1944: Quieter day spent in engaging Bombards and V tgts on enemy locations with HF tasks at night.

 

15 October 1944: Engaged HM and HB tasks in the form of fire plans 'Toffee' and 'Como' in sp of raid by 1 Gordons. Engaged 'Rocker' an HF programme.

2400 - Fire Plan in sp of raid by 1 E Lancs platoon. The enemy presumed it was a general attack and withdrew. No PWs taken or cas caused by our patrol who returned safely. Arty fire raised screams and shouts among the enemy.

 

16 October 1944: Fired HF programme 'Rocker II' by day with more HF tasks at night.

 

17 October 1944: Fire plan op 'Winkle' in sp 158 Bde. Evidence from deserters having indicated a lowering of morale among enemy tps in Wijbosch area intention of op was to induce as many of the enemy as possible to desert. The op took the form of a HF programme in which all arms gave an impressive display from mid-day rising to a crescendo at tea time. The tea interval taken between 1600 and 1700 hrs was filled with a moving appeal repeated twice through the medium of an amplifier unit and as evidence of good faith the appeal was followed by a very effective and convenient Regtl smk screen designed to afford cover to any of the enemy wishing to respond to our appeal and come over to our lines without being seen by their comrades. There was, however, no response. Lt. A.M. Davies (262404) sick and adm to 79 (Br) Gen Hosp.

 

18 October 1944: HF programme 'Rocker II' was fired during the day with further HF tasks at night. Capt E.W. Thompson (62524) attached Regt from X(IV) list - 31 RHU.

 

19 October 1944: 1400 -  Recce party moved to Heesch.

1600 - Regt moved to same area and deployed 1800 hrs. 

 

21 October 1944: Lt E.V. McCormick (277144) and Lt M.E. Hodgson (304297) posted to WE from 3 Res Regt RA and 15 Med Regt RA respectively.

 

22 October 1944: 0630 - Engaged Fire Plan OP 'Alan I' in Div advance towards                          's Hertogenbosch.

0700 - Recce party moved forward to Nuland.

1020 - Regt moved by Btys to same area. Fired V and Y tgts in sp 160 Bde's advance.

2145 - Engaged fire plan in sp 1 E Lancs to assist them into area of Bruggen. HF task carried out at night.

 

23 October 1944: 0645 - Fire plan in sp of attack by 4 Welch.

0900 - Recce party moved to Kruisstraat area.

1530 - Regt moved to same area and deployed. Continued to fire Bombards M and U tgts in sp 160 Bde in their push onward to 's Hertogenbosch. Fire plan 'Chicago' in sp 6 RWF.

 

24 October 1944: 0300 - The dash towards 's Hertogenbosch by 158 Bde being due to start at 0230 at 0030 Regt joined in a pre zero bombardment programme around the approaches of the town and later fired M and U tgts in sp. The bombardment lasted 2 hrs during which time 180 tons were fired by Div arty.

1400 - Recce party moved to Heerenbeek.

1700 - Regt moved to same area to give closer sp to 158 Bde.

By nightfall our tps were along Zuid Willemsvaart Canal facing the town with a bridgehead over the canal into the centre of the town. The attack was mounted speedily when the enemy was still disorgaised and achieved great success. The Div Comd was exceptionally pleased with the arty sp given which he stated enabled the Inf to carry out their job with astonishingly light casualties. The 1 E Lancs reached the town without one cas.

 

25 October 1944: A special congratulatory letter was sent to all Nos 1 by the CRA. During a period of 24 hrs covering the final dash to the town over 4000 rds were fired by the Regt and over a period of 5 days 25098 rds. HF programme fired at night.

 

26 October 1944: 158 Bde made further progress in clearing enemy from town and est bridgehead over canal west of town. Supporting fire given to their operations and retreating enemy encouraged by further deploy there.

0900 - Recce party moved to area in Eastern outskirts of 's Hertogenbosch but returned at 1200 hrs as it was decided not to deploy there for the time being.

1230 - Fire plan insp of 1 E Lanc who were bridging the Afwaterings Canal. HF programme was fired at night and bombarding of HBs was also carried out.

 

27 October 1944: The appearance of several tanks or SP guns and the alleged appearance of 150 enemy inf moving east towards the town  gave the gunners a mornings entertainment. Arty and mortar fire eventually dispersed the offenders but not before they had reached within 300 yds of our fwd Coy in the area of the railway station.

1315 -  Recce moved to area on E side 's Hertogenbosch.

1345 - Regt moved to same area. The built up area west of the canal was reported clear and the battle for the town was vertually concluded. 53 Div took approx 1750 PWs including 1 Regt Comd, 1 Acting Regt Comd, 2 Bn Comds and the Garrison Comd of 's Hertogenbosch.

Bombard and HF programme carried out, 12 Corps and 30 Corps CB staffs co-operating to knock out enemy guns North of town.

 

28 October 1944: Considerable bombarding of HBs throughout the day and night.

1845 - Fire plan 'Alway' in sp 6 RWF.

 

29 October 1944: 0615 - Re-engaged fire plan 'Alway'. Bombard and HF tasks engaged and also several U tgts during day & night.

 

30 October 1944: 2400 - Fire plan 'Never' in sp 6 RWF.

0650 - Fire plan 'Never' repeated. Further bombards fired.

1400 - Harbour Recce party moved off to 158 Bde for orders thence to area Bree.

1630 - Regt moved to Hide at Over de Beek near Bree. Arrived under comd 7 US Armd Div until arrival of remainder 53 Div.

 

31 October 1944: 0845 - Preliminary Recce party moved to area Kinroy and later returned.

1345 -  Recce party moved again to area Kinroy.

1430 - Regt moved to same area in sp Belgian Bde and deployed.

 

1 November 1944: 0900 - Recce pty moved to area Tungelrooi.

1100 - Regt moved to same area. Arrived 1130 hrs and deployed. Intention of 53 (W) Div was to prepare strong def position against Major enemy attack sp by tks from NE or East and clear enemy from western banks of river Maas and canal Van Nederweert and destroy all enemy attempting to cross them. Arty policy was DF to prevent penetration across canal and continuous deep HF.

 

2 November 1944: 0530-0600 - Engaged 3 Tgts in sp of 7 US Armd Div on our left flank.

1000 -  Moved one tp from each Bty to forward position for firing, the policy being not to fire from battle positions at this time unless absolutely neccessary. Engaged further tgts in sp of 7 US Armd Div and Regt and Bty tgts on own front. HF programme carried out at night.

 

3 November 1944: 0800 - Moved one tp 329 Bty further forward into area of forward Tp of 460 Bty to enable us to engage tgts North of Noorder Canal in sp 7 US Armd Div. Engaged various tgts for 7 US Armd Div. HF programme carried out by night.

 

4 November 1944: Engaged Tgts in sp 7 US Armd Div. HF programme fired by night.

 

5 November 1944: Engaged fire plans 'Annapolis' and Amberjack' in sp 7 US Armd Div giving protection to their South flank. Fired several bombards against HBs by day and continued HF programme by night.

 

6 November 1944: Engaged HF tasks in sp 7 US Armd Div.

 

7 November 1944: Engaged 2 bombards. Amn restricted to 6 rpg per day.

 

8 November 1944: Fired a few bombards against HBs. Preliminary recce of new area SE of Weert.

 

10 November 1944: 0900 - Recce pty moved to new area Moesel SE of Weert.

1000 - Regt moved by Tps to same area. Fired several bombards against HBs.

 

12 November 1944: Preliminary recce of new area at El.

 

13 November 1944: Recce party moved to area El. Regt moved to same area.

 

14 November 1944: OP 'Mallard' by 12 Corps comprising of 51 (H) Div, 53 (W) Div, 49 Div and 7 (Br) Armd Div with its object the clearance of the enemy from the Western bank of river Maas. Opened with Op 'Ascot' attack by 51 (H) Div across angle in Noorden and Wessem Canals to est bridgehead and sieze Heijthuizen and Roggel. 400 guns opened attack and put down shells at rate of 2000 a min on area 3 miles square.

1600 - Engaged Fire Plan 'Ascot' On Spades' in sp 51 Div.

1800 - Egaged Fire Plan 'Ascot One Hearts' in sp 152 Bde (51 Div). The attack continued with Op 'Bristol 1' by 53 (W) Div to est bridgehead  and exploit NE to cover construction of cl 40 bridge. Phase 1 was assault crossing of canal and formation of bridgehead by 160 Inf Bde with  RWF u/c.

2003 - Engaged Fire Plans 'Ape', 'Baboon', 'Chimpanzee' followed by 'Dragon' (a 43 min barrage) in sp of crossing of Wessem Canal by 160 Bde.

 

15 November 1944: 0530 - Engaged Fire Plan 'Elephant' in sp of RWF in development of bridgehead.

0839 - Engaged Fire Plan 'Giraffe' in sp of 6 RWF advance the their final objective South in bridgehead. The bridgehead was est and little opposition encountered.7 RWF exploited NE and reached their objective without opposition. 158 Bde crossed Wessem Canal and moved through 160 Bde to intermediate area without opposition.

1400 - Recce party moved to area Kelpender.

2100 - Regt moved to same area and deployed by 1600. Regt was the first Regt to cross Wessem Canal.

 

16 November 1944: 158 Bde continued advance and reached objectives Haelen and Nuenen.

1400 - Recce party moved to area near Schoorstraat.

1500 - Regt moved to same area Boijlshof.

1921 - 330 Bty fired sc 1, the first shells from the Regt to fall in the German  Reich.

 

18 November 1944: 1000 - RHQ moved to Nunnery.

 

19 November 1944: HF programme fired by night.

 

20 November 1944: Recce party moved to area Overhaelen. Regt moved to same area. There was a very little arty activity during the past few days. Occasional bombards were fired. Inf patrolled river Maas.

 

21 November 1944: 1930 - Op 'Turf' by 71 Inf Bde to clear enemy in West of river Maas on their front. Engaged fire plan 'Horse' in sp of attack by 4 RWF.

 

22 November 1944: 0430 - Engaged fire plan 'Jockey' in sp of attack by 1 Oxf and Bucks. Preliminary Recce of new area Ophoven.

 

24 November 1944: 1330 - Recce party moved to area Ophoven.

1500 - Regt moved to same area.

 

25-30 November 1944: Arty activity consisted of bombards an HBs with occasional opportunity shooting on enemy locations and patrols etc. HF programme were engaged at night.

 

26 November 1944: Regtl area was subjected to 3 enemy aerial attacks. The first attack was from 1850 - 1905 hrs, second 2130 - 2150 and last 0130 - 0140. Anti-personnel and HE bombs were dropped. Casualties - 1 CR killed, 1 Offr (Lt Grant) and 4 ORs wounded.

 

29 November 1944: Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, KCB, DSO, C in C 21 Army Group at Weert presented the following decorations to offrs and NCOs of the Regt; M.C. to Capt N.D. Squire  and Capt RCB Blacklock; M.M. to No.903568 Bdr May P.H. and No.936047 Bdr Brown L.

 

30 November 1944: The Regt was visited and 329 Bty inspected by the Supreme Allied Comd General Dwight Eisenhower who was accompanied by Lt General Sir Miles Dempsey, KCB, DSO, MC, Comd 2 Army, Lt General N.M. Ritchie, CB, CBE, DSO, MC Comd 12 Corps, Major General R.K. Ross, DSO, MC, Comd 53 Div and Brig J.C. Friedberger, CRA 53 Div. The following message was subsequently received from the CRA:- 'Generals Eisenhower, Dempsey and Ritchie were impressed by the fitness, cheerfulness and enthusiasm of the tps we saw today. I was proud to see the 83rd show themselves in such good heart'.

1800 - Engaged fire plan in sp of OP 'Andrew' 1/5 Welch attacking to clear enemy from NW end of rly bridge. Also engaged CB and CM programme task table No 4 Aguecheek in conjunction with OP 'Andrew'. HF programme fired by 330 Bty during night.

 

 

12-14 January 1945: Regt carried out maintenance and rested.

 

15 January 1945: Recce pty moved to Aachen sector to recce for purpose of counter attack role under 9 US Army and returned later.

 

15-18 January 1945: Maintenance continued also kit and equipment checks and training.

 

18 January 1945: Hide recce pty moved to Helmond area.

 

19 January 1945: Regt moved to Helmond.

 

20-31 January 1945: Regt carried out maintenance, re-organization and training.

 

26-28 January 1945: One gun per Bty was calibrated at Lommel Arty ranges.

 

26 January 1945: A Tp 329 Bty moved to Lommel ranges for Course shooting.

 

27 January 1945: Course shooting at Lommel ranges. A Tp returned to Helmond at conclusion.

 

 

1 February 1945: Helmond - Regt continued maintenance, repainting, cleaning and training.

 

3 February 1945: 08.30 - Hide recce party moved to Nijmegen.

 

3/4 February 1945: 18.30 - Regt moved to same area and concentrated arriving.

 

4 February 1945: Regt organizes and settled in billets and than rested.

 

7 February 1945: 15.00 - Regt moved to area Molenhoek and deployed.

 

8 February 1945: Op 'Veritable' being an attack by 30 Corps (3 Cdn, 2 Cdn, 15 (S) 53 (W), 51 (H) Divs) to destroy enemy between rivers Maas and River Rhine and break through in a southerly direction. 53 (W) Div with u.c 34 Armd Bde (less two regts) and elts 79 Armd Div were to capture Brandenburg feature ? advance along and clear high ground running through N part of Reichswald. Forest capture Stoppelburg feature ? and finally conc in mob res ready for future ops. 05.15 - 30 Corps CB Neutralization Programme Stage I. 06.55 - Engaged 14 tgts between these times. 07.50 - CB Neutralization Programme Bob I. 08.17 - Engaged 6 Tgts. In these CB programmes nearly 1,000 guns fired approx 35,000 rds. 09.20 - Barrage by 5 Fd Regts (incl 83 Fd Regt) and 4 Med Regts to cover advance of 71 Inf Bde to secure Brandenburg feature. 13.50 - Engage firelans 'Corvette' and 'Clipper' in support 71 Inf Bde. 14.00 - Advancing into Reichswald Forest. Recce party moved to area Horst. 19.00 - Regt came out of action (being out of range) and conc in present location.

 

9 February 1945: 14.00 - Regt moved to same area Horst and deployed in very muddy water logged ground. Engaged several Mike tgts during day against enemy cones and enemy positions where movement seen. Also engaged V tgt on enemy in Gennep suspected forming up to attack AGRA gun area. HF Prog fired at night. The following is an extractfrom a message received from CRA 53 Div: - "Tell tps shooting on 8 Feb was absolutely excellent. Very fine effort getting into posn last night."

 

10 February 1945: Fired several M tgts against enemy posns.

 

11 February 1945: Fired several M tgts against enemy posns. 09.15 - Hide recce party moved to Groesbeek. 12.15 - Regt came out of action and moved in conc area Groesbeek. 13.00 - Recce party moved to area Frasselt. 17.45 - Regt moved to area Frasselt and deployed for the first time on German soil. Engaged various M tgts against enemy guns firing. HF Programme at night.

 

12 February 1945: - Engaged further M Tgts against enemy locatities and V tgt against enmey Bn and 2 Sp guns. Fired M tgt on enemy conc for suspected counter attack. Subsequently fired M Tgts and broke up counter attacks against 1 E Lan R and later against 1/5 Welch and 6 RWF. HF Programme at night.

 

13 February 1945: Fired barrage in support 71 Inf Bde advancing to E edge of Reichswald Forest. Recce party moved to area in forest and later returned. Numerous M Tgts were fired as well as U tgts against enemy locations, enemy gun posns end MG posts.

General Eisenhower ask Brigadier Friedberger CRA 53 Welsh Division about the muzzlebreak. Roermond December 1944.
The Battery Captain behind the Brigadier is M.G.L.Joy MC, and the No.1 with leather Jerkin is Sergeant J.Brown.