98 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment: 103 Battery-300 Battery-322 Battery

 

 

On the 31st of October they moved to the Tirlemont area South East of Brussels employed in the Anti-Diver roll. During this period 12 V1’s were destroyed by the Guns. On the 19th of November the Regiment moved into the Netherlands to Goes in South Beveland. This was just next to Walcheren. The battle for this island had finished on the

8th of November.

Although at this time in Goes there was practically no enemy action the conditions were very bad. There was flooding and the low lying ground was badly cut up and conditions at the Gun positions were terrible.

 

On the 1st of January 1945 300th Battery was moved to Beveland. “B” Troop deployed to South Beveland in the area of Goes in the AA roll. “A” Troop was deployed to North Beveland in a ground shooting roll and had great difficulty getting there. In the end they used two Dutch barges with an Army Bailey Bridge put between them to transport the guns across to the north island.

It is thought, although not certain, that Major Davies was with 300th Battery as he was drafted to 300th Battery as a 2nd Lieutenant on the 4/9/1941. By this time he was a battery Captain. There is no record of him having been moved to any other unit. Major Davies also seemed to be familiar with North Beveland and Zierikzee. He spoke about Zierikzee to the author who had marched through it with the Royal Navy in the 70's to celebrate 25 years since their liberation. We also know that Major D.H.Spital the 300 th Battery Commander had gone to Goes with “A” and “B” Troop when they were sent on detachment from the Regiment..

On 2nd January “A” Troop was ordered to deploy, still in the ground shooting role, as a result of an intelligence appreciation which predicted an invasion of North Beveland. “A” Bat Troop was relieved on the 7th of January and moved to Goes. On the 17/18th of January “A” Troop 300th Battery was again back in North Beveland. It fired predicted concentrations in support of a raid by No 4 Commando on Zierikzee. Fire in support of the withdrawal was very effective.

On the 21st of January the whole Regiment was ordered to the South Beveland area. The battery’s already in the area prepared gun positions and did good work in building bridges to span ditches and preparing huts and bivouacs for the main body. The Regiment came out of action in the Tirlemont area on

22nd of January and arrived in South Beveland on the 23rd of January.

They came into action with the primary role of AA, but with ground shooting tasks in the event of an attack by enemy troops based on Schouwen. RHQ was at Goes with the Battery’s in the same area. The main task of all units in this area was the defence of Antwerp and keeping the Scheldt open for ships and supplies to get through to that Port.

 

1st January. TIRLEMONT. At 0800hrs 300Bty started to move to the S.BEVELAND area to reinforce the defences of the area. The frozen ground assisted coming out of action and the move to the new area was accomplished with the aid of borrowed transport. No difficulties were experienced during movement to the new area although icy patches made the road surfaces treacherous. On arrival “B” Troop were ordered to deploy in a primary role AA. They were quickly in action on the same day. “A” Troop having been ordered to deploy on N. BEVELAND experienced some difficulty in moving to that Island owing to the limitations of the ferry service. Only one craft could carry equipment. This was a composite craft of two Dutch barges linked by a Bailey Bridge.

2nd January. At 2300 hrs “A” Troop was ordered to deploy in a ground shooting role on a “Stand To” for an expected invasion of N.BEVELAND. This deployment (the first deployment of the Troop in a Ground Shooting Roll) was quickly accomplished.

 

On the night of 17/18 Jan 45 “A” Troop still in AA ground shooting role fired predicted concentrations in support of a raid by No.4 Commando on ZIERIKZEE.

 

14th to 21st Jan. Advance information was obtained of the Regiment’s redeployment in the S.BEVELAND area.

Recce Parties took advantage of preparing positions on S.BEVELAND and did excellent work on building bridges to span ditches and preparing hutting and bivouacs for the main bodies. Consequent on the re-organisation of R.E.M.E (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) within GHQ AA transport the association of the Regiment and its REME Workshops was severed after a happy and satisfactory relationship lasting without a break for 2 years and two months. It is too early to say how the new organisation based

on a Brigade Workshop will work out, but one cannot expect the same personal interest with intimate knowledge of the Regiment’s equipment as before.

 

22nd Jan.

“A” Troop was relived in its ground shooting role on N.BEVELAND and re-deployed in a primary AA role on S.BEVELAND.

 

The new deployment was RHQ at 47 Kleine Kade, Goes, 300 Bty at Goes, 301 Bty at Oudelande and 320 Bty in the Lewedorp area. Came under command 76 AA Bde. There was no enemy activity of note and the main activity was improving the gun positions. Antwerp was the most important supply port for the whole of the Allied Expeditionary Force and the AA defences had to remain strong and vigilant. Two alternative gun positions were constructed but not used as the
departure of 112 HAA Regt to a new area did not permit their use. The regt re-adjusted its positions on 12/14 Mar when 112 HAA Regt left. 300 Bty went to Waarde,
301 Bty to Kruiningen, North Beveland, and 320 Bty to Ovezande, Goes. Detachments of the btys went to 200 RA PC, Ostend, for training and practice' with the new
No 10 Predictor. On 15 Mar the regt formed a tractor platoon to assist the REs with moving bridging materials for the Rhine crossings. On 17 Apr the regt moved to a
concentration area at Hoogerheide and came under command 31 AA Bde On 24/25 Apr moved to undertake garrison duties, RHQ to Franeker, 30 Bty to Harlingen, 301
Bty to Zurig with G TP at Markum and 320 Bty BHQ at Franeker, I Tp at Franeker. J Tp at Oosterberium, K Tp at St Jacobie Parochie and L Tp at Sexberium. The task
was the guarding of the Eastern end of the causeway crossing Osselmeer and patrolling the coast opposite the Friesland Islands, still occupied by the Germans. News of
the enemy surrender came on 5 May and the official announcement ofVE Day was made on 8 May

 

Captain Davies
(photo M.Davies)