Having just joined the forum thought I might put a few snippets from my father’s journals to see if it is the type of thing that members might want He titled them a Gunners View wanting to record what life was as a Gunner, not how a General saw the War. He served with G Battery (Mercers Troop) 5RHA On Board the Troop Ship SS Borinquen Every day lectures on discipline with nice little reminders like; ”If an order is not carried out, I will shoot you“from an Officer or ”If you move or leave your gun we will shoot you“just like that! ”Yours is not to reason why, yours is just to do and die“. Arriving at the Front It took 12 days from landing to reach the Quator Depression, Bari Ridge and its soft sand. We dropped into a position recently vacated by the New Zealanders (Smashing chaps) to our extreme right were the Australians. We were shelled before we uncoupled our limbers and my friend Butch Revel was killed in two minutes of being in action. Our CO. Bill Norman went crackers, our GPO. Had put us in an observed position, we quickly moved to another area Jock Columns We had a short spell on what’s called Jock columns. One gun one soft truck and one GPO.We would make a detour behind the enemy lines going down into the Quator Deppression.Get as near as possible and belt off as many rounds as possible on their convoys at about 1000 yards and get out as quick as you can, and woe and betide if you get stuck in the soft sand as we once did. El Alamein In the evening we began to move, not a word to us of what we were about, as we moved a coloured Battalion’s troops erected a decoy in the position we were situated ,they put up canvas mock-ups in our place. The area was thick with traffic Valentine, Sherman, Honey and General Grant tanks, all moving in the same direction Alamein. We moved under a black sky, as we approached the minefields of Alamein, the Sappers in front were clearing a path with mine detectors. Tank Battle We saw the first batch of Italian prisoners brought in, in the morning. From the ridge we saw the most amazing sight, a terrific tank battle. Tanks were milling about like huge ants, emerging from clouds of dust and firing at point blank range, some at ranges of 20-25 yds. The noise of the battle was terrific. As we moved forward on the 10th day we saw hundreds of German and British tanks that were left, burnt and burning, turrets ripped off. Stripped of tracks, guns hanging, bodies lying squashed inside tanks and where shells had penetrated armour, bodies splattered against the tank walls and millions of flies around the bodies A terrible destruction and a waste of life in its prime. MOVE THROUGH CYRENAICA (LIBYA) As we went deeper into the desert we saw patches of German and Italian prisoners, then there were thousands of them. We were moving down the moon track towards El Birka, we were amazed to see an Italian Bi Plane (I think it was a 1914/18 vintage) appear, and at about 200 feet the pilot dropped a bomb over the side of his cockpit and if it had not killed an officer (WO11) in a jeep it would have been comic. The Wellington bombers of our lot gave the Ities and Jerry’s a good pasting.