1st Canadian (Lanark & Renfrew Scottish) LAA Regiment (Unit History)

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Buteman, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    I found a typed history of the above unit at the end of the 1945 war diary and have copied it for anyone interested.

    It covers the period 10 March 1941 to 29 June 1945. To give you a taste, the first page is shown below:-

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  2. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    An memorial service held in Italy and a roll of honour covering the period 22 October 1944 to 4 February 1945. This has the names of 70 men of the 120+ who fell whilst serving with this unit. They became infantry in the latter stage of their time in Italy.


    gpo son likes this.
  3. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I have a few bits that relate to Lt-Col Howitt who took over the unit on its conversion to LAA - you can see them at howitt pictures by ab64 - Photobucket including a copy of the Order of Service in the above

    I'm not sure if the photos relate to his time with the unit or earlier service - he seems to have been 5th LAA RCA and something to do with 5th Canadian Armoured Div - just before he was posted to the unit he was moving about carrying top secret orders for operation Goldflake (I have some movement orders etc for this).


  4. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Hi AB64,

    Lt Col Howitt was commanding officer from 15 March 1945 to 29 June 1945. The history contains details of the CO's and a roll of honour, but is rather blurred. I intend to copy it again when I visit next.

    Another aspect to this Regt, is that they were converted to Infantry in Italy at some stage and reverted back to Artillery in North West Europe. I will be copying their war dairy at some stage in the future as I find it intriguing.

    What made me look at this Regt, was finding an Officer buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery with a headstone of the Lanark & Renfrew Scottish, but listed on CWGC as Royal Canadian Artillery. Most of the 120 casualties of this unit in Italy are listed as Lanark & Renfrew Scottish Regt.

    Cheers - Rob
  5. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    Great find on the 1st LAA RCA / Lanark and Renfrew Scottish. The Regiment was converted after the Hitler Line and the pursuit up the Liri Valley in late May early June 1944. It was decide at the time, due to the fact, that, all fighting was so close Italy that the single infantry Brigades of the Armoured Divisions became completely exhausted while trying to support the armour. In June and July the 1st Canadian Corp got permission/was told to create a 2nd infantry Brigade [the 12th CIB] composed of assets already in the region. The result was the 5th CAD's recce regiment the Westminster's was unhorsed so to speak to become Infantry. The Princess Louise Dragoon Guards the Recce battalion from the 1st CID joined them. The 3rd battalion came from 1st LAA of the 1st Can Corp, who had become more or less redundant in by mid 1944, as there was know air threat in Italy. I believe they took the other 2 LAA units ( the 5th LAA and the 2nd LAA) and made three 2 Battery LAA units to provide air defence for the Corp formations.
    Many of the officers and NCO's for the Battalion were taken from the re-enforcement pool of wounded returning to action to help prepare the gunners for their infantry role. The great casualty numbers were a result of the new battalion being thrust into the Gothic line, and the Battles in Northern Italy in the fall and winter of 44/45.
    When the 1st Canadian Corp moved to Northwest Europe in the winter of 1945 the Lanark and Renfrew Regiment returned to their former role of LAA and supported the the assaults on the Rhine and the battles in Northern Holland.
    Many of these AA units deployed in an artillery support role as they provided significant firepower without the property damage of the field and medium regiments in urban areas (but that is your area).
    An interesting aside is that the PLDG's refused give up thier mounted roots retained their Squadrons, Troops and Trooper nomenclature for the duration of the Infantry role.
    Thanks for this History I will enjoy greatly.
    Buteman likes this.
  6. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Thanks for providing that explanation Matt.
  7. cdnsrock

    cdnsrock Junior Member

    Thank you for posting this.. my father and uncle both served with this unit during ww2. They enlisted together in Jan of 42 and went to Petawawa for training.

    :poppy: Best wishes

    Attached Files:

  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Matt has it about right as the establishments were changed for Armoured Divs in Italy around the July'44 in time for the Gothic Line battles - and as there were NO reinforcements coming through owing to D day - the Lanarks were pressed into service with much screaming and kicking as I recall as they were happy not shooting at the non existent Luftwaffe...
  9. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    Nice photo Cdnsrock have anything from the italian campaign too show off
    Tom /Rob
    there is a book out there written by a guy named Fred Cederberg called 'The Long Road Home' who started off as a CBH and then ended up in the Lanarks after returning from a bout of jaundice, I believe. A great story not sure how much of it is over stated but worth a read
  10. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    I met a Veteran of the PLDG`s who gave a video interview on the DND or Veterans website. Name was Gilbert Hyde. He spoke about the mutiny that happened when the PLDG`s were transferred to the infantry while in Italy. I will see about the link when I return from the break.
  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Matt -

    I still have that book by Cederburg but read it a long time ago and now forgotten the details - must look it up again
  12. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    No mistake the Plugs and Westies were not any happier than the Lanarks over the whole thing, on the overhand the Plugs had on occassion been dismounted in an infantry role previous to the unhorsing, so they were somewhat of a logical choice. I believe; also, that as often as not in the Italian campaign the Reccies sent a lot of time guarding flanks rather than on recon as it was pretty clear for the most part were the germans were or atleast werent.
  13. Larry61

    Larry61 Professional liar

    No mistake the Plugs and Westies were not any happier than the Lanarks over the whole thing...

    The Westminsters had no objections to being ‘dismounted’ because they already were. By the time the L&R Scottish was created the Westies had been fighting as infantry for six months, starting near Cassino in January 1944.

    The unit history says what the Westies found ‘disquieting’ was being moved out of the “winning team” of 5CAB into the unknown quantity of an untried brigade. Those objections would have been far less serious than the LAA gunners’ or the PLDG’s.

    Confusion is understandable because the Westminster Regiment (motor) was a middling beast, not a recce asset like the PLDG but an entirely motorised infantry battalion dedicated to working with armour. However, the Westies did the true motor battalion thing only once, at the Melfa crossing in May ’44. The mobile capability was largely wasted since armoured exploitation was so rare in Italy and the motor sections’ White cars were iffy troop carriers anyway. From the first day in the line the routine was infantry stock-standard.

    The Westies transferred two experienced officers to the “Lanyard & Pullthroughs”, who were missed. Lt Lloyd McKenzie became L&R adjutant while John West ‘Jakie’ Hughes was promoted to Major and was killed in action on 3 September. The Westies history says he was leading his company during the L&R’s first attack but doesn’t say which L&R company Maj Hughes led.

    Otherwise, the move to 12CIB continued business as usual. The Westies’ motor battalion organization was unchanged and the unit history records no lasting discontent.
    gpo son likes this.
  14. Craig L Couillard

    Craig L Couillard New Member

    Hello to all. My father, M.M. Couillard was a Battery Seargent Major with 1st LAA which has been mentioned was converted to the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish in Italy, then converted back to 1st LAA in Europe. He enlisted in 1939 with the 20th Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery in Lethbridge, Alberta, and was discharged in 1945. We have his service records, and his casualty records as we was wounded twice. We also have the LAA/Larnark and Renfrew regimental history that was posted by Ramacal above. We also have the Fred Cederberg book. As well we have all my father's letters home to his mother, and his uniform, medals, and trunk. What I can't seem to find are the actual war diaries for either the 1st LAA or Lanark and Renfrew. Just wondering if anybody can point me in the right direction. Or any other information that might be useful as I'm trying to arrange a trip for my son and I to re-trace my father's war footsteps in Europe. Thanks! Craig Couillard, Calgary, Alberta.
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  15. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Buteman and canuck like this.
  16. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    BTW, Craig. It is not a good idea to post your telephone number on a public site. Click on that post and edit it to remove the phone number.
  17. Craig L Couillard

    Craig L Couillard New Member

    Thanks for the help, and the advice
  18. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown New Member

    BUTEMAN: I am excited that you have a readable copy of the war diary for Lanark & Renfrew Scottish Regiment. I am writing a profile on Pte. Robert Ivan Mulligan who died December 13, 1944. I see him listed below. Can you provide any detail as to what his battalion was doing in the month of December, 1944, and if there is any mention of his KIA status? Can you advise, or send over a scan of that month? I am doing this for the website NorfolkRemembers.Ca which is covering the casualties of WW2. Please and many thanks! Phil Brown, pmb1267[at]gmail.com.
  19. Jerry69420

    Jerry69420 Active Member

    What happened to this unit after it was transported to NW Europe? Was it re converted to a aa unit ?
    Chris C likes this.
  20. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

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