War Diary: 4th Field Regiment R.A. July 1942 - March 1943, Egypt

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by RemeDesertRat, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment July 1942 (with 4 Indian Infantry division)

    El Duki:
    1/7/42: moved into Duki in evening 30/6 settled down into static positions and proceeded to establish ourselves.
    2/7: Still digging in. Drawing stores and petrol etc. Men cheerful.
    3/7: Received orders to move up to Kilo 14 on the Cairo Alex road. Arrived same evening and settled down for the night.

    Kilo 14:
    4/7: went out early in the morning on Drill Order. Afternoon spent in individual training.
    5/7: Out early in the morning for drill order. Afternoon spent in individual training.
    6/7: Drill Order. Rest of day spent in training. In evening orders arrived to proceed to AMIRYA the following morning.
    7/7: Moved out and proceeded to AMIRYA and stayed there the night. Rgt. At ½ hrs notice.
    8/7: Moved out to a spot SW of El Imayid and took up static positions. Everybody digging themselves in. A sandstorm blowing up but don't think it will be too bad.
    9/7: Nothing of note to report – normal routine and maintenance carried out.
    10/7: Tent erected for survey section – Normal routine and maintenance cont.
    11/7: Bombing raid in the afternoon – no damage. Lt. QM & 1 BOR slightly wounded. Nothing else of note. Digging continued with more interest.
    16/7: } RHQ in static position
    21/7: Preparations being made before the attack in the evening. 5 Brig. Were in support. We fired our barrage and concentrations as arranged. Phase 1 was considered successful. Success of armored attack in phase 2 considered the vital factor of operation.
    22/7: The armour was unable to make any progress due to minefields. It was impossible to continue the operation. Mr. G. Smith was wounded at the OP not badly.

    Page missing

    26/7: we moved the battery position & HQ today so that we could compete with our tasks in support of the impending attack. If successful our role will become a mobile one – our objective Daba. Everyone was looking forward to a move.
    27/7: News of the night attack came Through. The Australians, S Africans and 69 Brig. Had been successful. No news regarding the armour had come in. The whole operation now depends on them.
    We fired our concentrations in the morning as per programme.
    28/7: News of the attack came through. 69 Brigade had made their objective, but the armour had been unable to follow up the attack, owing to minefields. The 69th had to fall back – the casualties had been heavy.
    29/7: This (bad*) news coming from forward areas. Essex hit by dysentery and desert sores. 5 Brigade relieving 161 and part of 9 Brigade this evening.

    30/7: An extremely quiet day – little firing and air activity. Flies increasing in numbers. Everything being done to keep them down.
    31/7: So far a quiet day. Little firing all round. Moved our HQ again. The heat and flies being the main topic of conversation.

    * My note in brackets, believe word “bad” missed out accidentally.
    sol and dbf like this.
  2. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment August 1942

    Ruweisat Ridge:

    1/8/1942: The lull in operations continues. The Regt. Did little shooting except for one or two concentrations on Hostile batteries. Air activity in the morning was slight, and later on in the day there was a little enemy bombing – not in our area.
    In the evening we did harassing fire.
    2/8: Nothing very much to report. Usual R.A.F. Sweep in the morning. Two rounds were placed in 'B' troop area. One man was wounded.
    Col. Asquith 165 Rgt. Visited us in the early part of the afternoon. He is staying with us for a few days in order to study the layout. The night was very quiet.
    3/8: Early in the morning about 20 rounds of gunfire landed in the vicinity of 7 Bty. One man was slightly wounded. A Regt. Concentration was fired in reply. 7 Baty. Was not fired on again during the day. Ther was slight air activity during the evening and during the night.
    4/8: Three or four rounds landed near 7 Bty (A troop). Our OP at point 62 was shelled – also our FDLs. The Brig. Comm. - Brig. Russell left for a course today. Col. Taylor (Baluch) assumes command of 5 Brigade. Enemy artillery activity increased in the afternoon – a Regt. Concentration was put down on point 63. There was also slight air activity and one Mess. 109F was brought down in our araea. Lt. Hughes joined us today. He was posted to 7 Bty.
    5/8: The Baluch were shelled this morning. A heavier calibre shell was used. The New Zealanders were shelled rather heavily. New gun positions have been selected in case of a move. The 28th and ourselves are the only artillery units in this sector now. In the evening machine guns were giving the infantry trouble. We sent out a section in the evening to deal with this.
    6/8: Started with a Regt. Concentration on one of the batteries. Little more enemy air activity in the morning. One of our Ops shelled heavily. Replied with a concentration from Regt. Very little to report during afternoon, about half a dozen shells landed in area later on Col. Green RA (44 Division) arrived later on in the evening. General Wavell made a short visit in the afternoon.
    7/8: Very quiet morning – one concentration on a hostile battery. Except for some shelling to the North of us on the other side of the ridge nothing of importance happened in the afternoon. Area East of OP (at 8785 2795) was shelled. Suspect HB in new area. One 'sniping' gun was sent out in the evening. The Baluch and Rajputs changed over during the night.
    8/8: CRA of 44 Div arrived today to tour the area. Three Mess. 109S over in the morning. Visited the South Africans in the afternoon. Heard today that Capt Edwards had his arm amputated. Very quiet day altogether very little artillery activity.
    9/8: The area 3/400x North of RHQ was shelled early in the morning, no one there. Our Bostons were over and bombed enemy positions. In the early afternoon about twelve rounds believed 25Pdr. landed N of RHQ – about two hundred yards. Very noisy night – fair amount of enemy shelling of infantry positions.
    10/8: Quiet morning. Saw the New Zealanders in the morning. Little activity all day in our sector. Bombing and shelling during the night.
    11/8: Apart from shelling in the RHQ area an extremely quiet day. Fair amount of air activity during the night. Lt. Bellman now Capt Bellman.
    12/8: Air activity in the early morning. Did harassing fire during day. Rather quiet except for shelling of RHQ area in the evening. Put down concentration during night to assist patrols.
    13/8: Extremely quiet day – no shelling. Patrol sent out under cover of our fire, still unable to secure prisoner.
    14/8: Made preparations during day for move. The Regt. Less 7 Bty. Moved to box 'C' eight miles east of former position.
    15/8: Nothing to report. Establishing ourselves in new position.
    16/8: received orders to move forward again.
    17/8: Nothing to report except for move to 882 2797 (64)
    18/8: Very quiet day – harassing fire. Tasks in evening.
    19/8: Slight air activity in morning.
    20/8: Moved to 'C' position today. 14/66 Bty left behind.
    21/8: Very little to report. Digging in chiefly.
    22/8: Still static. Bombing in area.
    23/8: Nothing to report.
    24/8: Gen. Alexander visited the area today. Saw officers from the Regt.
    25/8: Very quiet. Everything is being done to thwart any attack which the enemy may make.
    26/8: Still in state of readiness.
    27/8: Situation still the same.
    28/8: Nothing.
    29/8:CRA visited 14/66 Bty.
    30/8: 7 Bty. Firing today.
    31/8: News of a breakthrough in W. Yorks' area. Learned later that the position was restored. N.Z.s and S.A.s carried out successful raids. Air activity on wide scale. Bombing in area close to us. Three Stukas known to have been brought down; 1 plane destroyed by AA fire near 14/66. The long expected attack has come. Both German Panzer divisions have made their thrust southwards. Enemy losses reported at the end of days battle being fifty. Greater air activity in evening.
  3. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment September 1942
    “C” position.

    1/9: RHQ moved out of box, about 2 miles east, quite a comfortable position on soft sand.
    2/9: 5 I B less 4th Field Rgt. RA. Moved out of the box and the Cape Town Highlanders came in about 1800 hrs.
    3/9: Regimental recce party forward to New Zealand area, taking over from 58th Field Rgt. RA.
    New Zealand box
    4/9: Arrived in new area, there was some discussion as the 58th had had no orders to move. The CO went sick and remained in 'C' box.
    5/9: The CO come on today from 'C' position. Certain amount of air activity and shelling.
    6/9: Very little news of the enemy, at least anything definate, although he does appear o be withdrawing WEST.
    7/9: Air battle developed about 1100 Hrs. Looked like our fighter bombers returning. About seven aircraft from both sides shot down in about 15 or 20 minutes.
    8/9: CRA 4th Ind. Div. Paid us a visit.
    9/9” Enemy shelling to the South and West.
    10/9: N.T.R.
    11/9: Capt. Hamill the Doctor left us and is replaced by Capt. Simpson
    44 Division Box, Successor to New Zealand box
    12/9: Life moderately peaceful N/T/R/
    13/9: N.T.R.
    14/9: Come under command 44th Div. - leave 4 Ind. Div.
    15/9: Slightly more air activity.
    Deir el Tarfa
    16/9: N.T.R. Except C.O. On leave – Major Morgan commanding.
    17/9: Message in the night coming under command 22 Armd Bgde. Moved to 78th Field Regt. Area
    Deir el Tarfa – quite good in “the wild open spaces”
    18/9: Spent in settling down and attending conferences.
    19/9: Communications main topic just now. Visit from CRA Birig. Hornsby who spoke to all available officers.
    20/9: More conferences.
    21/9: Visit from CRA. All Captains and above. More conferences.
    22/9: Signals conference for 2i/c. Honey tanks arrived as O.P. Cars. C.O. Returned from leave.
    23/9: Visit from CRA – shown around O.P. Area.
    24/9: C.O. Went into hospital – Major Morgan assumes command. Visit from officers of 44 Div. Artillery.
    25/9: Bde. Scheme. At conference in evening Lt-Col Lushington 97 Field Rgt. RA commanding Bde. Group Artillery seemed pleased with the exercise.
    26/9: Recce forward to area East of NUTS minefield.
    27/9: Conference with C.P.O.s at R.H.Q. Major Browne returned from leave – presented R.H.Q. With some fresh fish.
    28/9: Morning quiet. Afternoon 2i/c visited 3rd R.H.A. Regimental conference.
    29/9: Prepared for BRAGANZA . Moved up to new area in rear of NUTS minefield – arrived there about 22.30 Hrs.
    30/9: Infantry attacked, gaining all objectives less Pt X94. The regiment supported the attack with concentrations and observed fire. Enemy shelling to west, air activity at night. X
  4. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
  5. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Well done RDR

    4/8: Three or four rounds landed near 7 Bty (A troop). Our OP at point 62 was shelled – also our FDLs. The Brig. Comm. - Brig. (????????*) left for a course today. Col. Taylor (Baluch) assumes command of 5 Brigade.

    * unreadable

    Brig Dudley Russell should be CO of 5th Indian Brigade at that time.
  6. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Well done RDR

    Brig Dudley Russell should be CO of 5th Indian Brigade at that time.

    Thanks for that,now you've pointed it out, looking at the diary again it is Russel, but it just seemed like a squiggle when I first looked!
  7. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment War Diary October 1942

    1st. Lt ?????? R.A. was posted to the Rgt. Rgt. Remained in NUTS minefield position and engaged in harrassing fire.

    2nd. Slight air activity. Rgt. Returned to PEPSODENT position at approx. 09.00 hrs.

    3rd. 7 battery engaged in battle practise. All quiet.

    4th. Lt. Col. ????? returned to the Rgt. Conference for all officers in the evening for programme for the week. All ranks under 35 will do P.T.

    5th. Skeleton regimental drill order.

    6th. Regiment practised VL procedure. Quite a lot of difficulty was experienced seeing Vls

    7th. Regiment moved to concentration area ALAM EL QATA in preperation for Div. Scheme.

    8th. 22 Armoured Brigade scheme – main purpose was to practise passage of a minefield.

    9th. Arrived area BIR MSEILIK at approx. 07.30 hrs. In afternoon group battle practise of vl(?)
    again difficulty was experienced in seeing vls(?) Div commander saw all officers of Rgt. In evening.

    10th. Firing practise on the ranges. Returned to ABU SHAMLA

    11th. Day of rest after exercise.

    12th. C.Os. Converence at 7 Armoured Div. Practise night march for whole Rgt.

    13th. Rgt. Received orders to move. Orders were got out and all preperations made. Capt. ????? and Lt. ?????? arrived in Rgt.

    14th. place S.E. of RAGIL. Rgt. Arrived in new area approx. 16.00 hrs. Supporting 1.R.R.s who took over from ???? at first light.

    15th. Settled into new position.

    16th. F troop went forward of JUNE minefields to harras the enemy. Sand storm got up about 14.30. Visibility about 20x.

    17th. Sand storm still on although not quite so thick. 58th. Took over our positions

    18th. Rgt. Moved to area BIR MSEILIK in preperation for night scheme. 22 Armored Brigade practised passage through minefields by night. Very bad going – many vehicles got bogged but all got through.

    19th. Returned regimental area after scheme. Rested and maintained.

    20th. N.T.R.

    21st. Rgt. Received some White Scout cars to be used as O.P. Vehicles.

    22nd. A day of preperations. C.O. Adressed all troops saying that we would be attacking in the very near future with the object of destroying the nemy in North Africa once and for all.

    23rd. Place: RAGIL EAST END. Rgt. Moved to concentration area two miles north of our previous positions at 09.00 hrs. Remainder of the day was spent in resting till 19.00 hrs when we moved off in column of route. Passed through our own minefields MAY, JUNE and NUTS without any difficulty, the route was well marked with lamps . A vehicle was burning just WEST of NUTS but it brought no reply from the enemy. Our sappers and infantry pierced the first enemy minefield JANUARY but FEBRUARY was not cut.

    24th. Place WEST of NUTS. Batteries went into action at first light. Lt. Blenkinsop was wounded while doing F.O.O. We lost some tanks mainly by mines and in the afternonn the armour was withdrawn. Rgt. Prepared a barrage to be fired at 22.00 hrs. for 131 brigade who are going to form a bridgehead through FEBRUARY

    25th. FEBRUARY has been pierced and Rgt. Moved two miles nearer to JANUARY at first light. Vehicles and guns are very congested and we have been subjected to some shelling and bombing, but we have only one man wounded in 7 battery. The C.R.A. Has been wounded and Lt. Col. ???? of 58th. Field

    26th Slight shelling in R.H.Q. Area but none of our own people were hit. C.O. Saw the Brigadier. Apparently things are going well but slowly and we have succeeded in holding some of his armour in the SOUTH while the main attack goes in in the NORTH.

    27th. 44 Division has taken over the front, so Rgt. Has moved back two miles to our previous positions WEST of NUTS. A quiet day. Rumours of a move NORTH during the night, but nothing came of it.

    28th. We are at half an hours notice to move. A quiet day spent in cleaning and maintaining. The mess came up to add a bit of comfort. Several Italian so-called “butterfly bombs were foundin the area and 14/fd(?) had one man killed.

    29th. Another quiet morning. In the afternoon we were 'invaded' by 3rd fd. And 3rd R.H.A. Who are taking over our positions. Moved off at 22.00 hrs. and passed back through our own minefields without incident. Arrived in the area of our old PEPSODENT positions at 22.30 hrs. and bivouacked for the night.

    30th. Quiet morning with inspections in the afternoon. Route was recced to SYDNEY road in preperation for our expected move NORTH.

    31st. Place: TELL EL EISA Rgt. Moved off at 07.30 hrs. with 97th. Field. A good journey was made onto the coast road via the BOMBAY road. We have taken over the positions of the 4RHA. And are under command of 1st Armoured Division. The area itself does not compare very favourably with the SOUTH . Vehicle congestion is even worse and the dust keeps visibility down to about 50x
  8. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment War Diary November 1942

    1st: Prepared a barrage, which was fired during the night. As far as we know all objectives were gained and we are expecting to go through with our own Brigade when it arrives.

    2nd: Formed up at 09.30 Hrs. to join in with 22 A.B. Which has arrived and is going through behind 1st Armoured Division. We waited all day formed up, but no move. 180 Bombers were counted flying over during the day. Our job is to swing NORTH to the sea and pinion 90th Light, once we get through the wire.

    3rd: Dawn broke and still no move forward. At last at 18.30 hrs. we moved off, RH. 3 moving behind 14/88 Bty. And in front of 25th. A/Tk. Who are closing the door, once we are through the wire. Moved all night, leaguring finally short of AQQAQIR road. Our task now is to cross the road and head NORTH to GHAZAL STATION.

    4th: Moved forward again at first light and crossed the road, where contact was made with some tanks and artillery. Rgt. Went into action and 3 88s were reported destroyed, also one tank (M13) bagged by us. Bde. Claim 22 tanks and 1100 prisoners as the days bag. Moved into Bde. Leaguer at last light.

    5th: Bde. Moved forward again at first light. MATRUH is now said to be our objective. We contacted some pockets of resistance, but nothing serious.

    6th:Bumped enemy by telegraph poles west of DARBA. 14/88 came under heavy fire from short range and two men wre killed, but enemy gun destroyed. Action continued during the day. Enemy drew off and we were held up by very heavy rain.

    7th: Owing to the heavy rain great difficulty was experienced in getting Brigade out of the mud , but with the aid of tanks everything was extracted. Moved about two miles and waited for petrol which arrived about 14.00 Hrs. Moved off again a leaguered 30 miles south of MATRUH. More petrol came up during the night.

    8th. Moved on again at first light still going due WEST. Covered 30 miles before 10.00 Hrs. Our petrol lorry caught fire which to say the least was very annoying owing to the great petrol supply difficulties we are experiencing.

    9th: Moved off again at first light and travelled all day with two halts for brewing up. The going has been quite good with occasional escarpments. Leaguered after doing seventy miles about 30 miles short of BARRINI. Our petrol difficulties wre relieved by the arrival of Capt. May with four lorry loads. The last few days have been notable for the absence of enemy planes, also of the enemy themselves who must be going back hot foot – only occasional light resistance being encountered.

    10th: Pushed on again at first light, but had a two hour halt for maintenance, which was very much needed. Crossed the frontier. Were bombed for the first time for some days but no damage. An enemy column was spotted four miles ahead at last light, so we may get some action tomorrow.

    11th: Moved off at 05.00 Hrs Btys. Dropped into action several times. Slight shelling and machine gunning from air, but resistance was only slight and we moved forward to GOT EL GHSCEIBA just west of CAPUZZO. 14/88 remained to support attack on BADIA. However there was no resistance, but unfortunately we lost one Honey and one armoured car in minefields.

    12th: Rested and replenished in same area. Is now working and petrol our main difficulty to date is coming through well. Moved off 14.00 Hrs. and covered 26 miles before last light. Going was rather heavey owing to grass tussocks and speed was fast, but all vehicles arrived. Leaguered for night as usual.

    El Adem, 13th: Moved off at 05.15Hrs. Halting just west of El ADEM. We are expecting to remain in this area for some days, as our tanks are not good for BHENGAZI and we ourselves are getting short of vehicles.
    14th: Rev. 05.30 Hrs. A quiet day spent in a well needed clean up. All preperations were made for 14/88 Bty. On column with armoured cars. It is rumoured MSUS. About 250 miles.

    15th. Heavy mist delayed departure of column. Settled into our new area where we are expecting to stay some time.

    16th. A restful day with some rainfall. C.R.A. Inspected 7 Bty. R.H.Q. Lorry joined us and day was spent in sorting out papers.

    17th: 7 Bty. Had a practice shoot with two guns. Received orders that we should be moving forward again tomorrow, The Bde. To consist of 1st. Tanks, 1 R.E.s, 257 A/Tk Bty and ourselves.

    18th Moved off at 10.30 Hrs. and covered 35 miles. Column was slowed down by the transporters, which got stuck in what was relatively good going. 'B' Echelon is remaining at EL ADEM, and a small number of our vehicles are going to move forward with 1st Tanks replenishment to run the refilling for the regiment.

    19th Moved off at 06.30. Going was quite good till midday, when we had some heavy rain which caused difficult passages and some delay. Delay was also caused by scatteredl Thermos type mines. Covered 98 miles and leaguered 25 Miles EAST of MSUS.

    20th: Moved off at 06.25 Hrs. Again some delay was caused by the heavy rain. Passed MSUS about 13.00 Hrs. where Hudsons were dropping supplies by parachute. Halted after 75 Miles, 5 miles EAST of ANTELAT.

    21st: Moved 5 miles S.W. Of ANTELAT and waited while A/Cs received forward. 14/88 Bty. Returned to Rgt. From BENGAZI, which they report practically completely empty.

    22nd: Moved forward to AGADABIR and ran into some shelling about 4 Miles from the town. Batteries were in action all day and had good observation against enemy guns around the town. A number of guns were knocked out and another forced to move several times. Disengagement at last light and went into leageur.

    23rd. AGADABIR was reported clear of enemy by our infantry patrols and at first light we moved forward S.W. Of the town and took up positions astride the road. Increased enemy air activity. Capt. Wright was wounded in the leg and a R.A.S.C. Driver with him was killed.

    24th. Moved forward at 06.15 Hrs. 12 miles down the road and went into position. J battery of 3 R.H.A. Have come under our command. More machine gunning from low flying M.E.s in the evening. Contact was kept with the enemy, but we got no shooting.

    25th: Moved forward at first light about 4 miles. O.P.s were out but guns again had no firing. Enemy air force is very much in evidence. 7 Bty. Had 5 killed and 3 wounded in a Stuka attack.

    26th: Leaguered at B 824923 and moved forwared 4 miles at 06.30 Hrs. A bad day. 7 Bty were shelled out of their position and had three casualties. Three men killed and three wounded on mines., which are scattered all over the area. Direct Stuka attack on R.H.Q. Luckily only one wounded although Major Burlingham of J Battery was killed and his driver wounded. The General and C.R.A. Was with us at the time. And the Generals driver was badly wounded.

    27th: More Stuka machine gunning, although not directly on us. 14/88 have relieved 7 Battery in support of 1st Tanks.

    28th; Remained in same area. Batteries had some targets around MERSA BREGA. Two more Stuka raids – close but not too close.

    29th: 1 Troop of 7 Medium came up under our command, to help move some heavy guns, well dug in, which have been causing us some trouble. Another two vehicles went up on mines, which with Stukas have proved our main concern at the moment. M Battery came up and took over from J.

    30th: Several attacks by M.E.s but no Stukas today in our area. Our fighters are now rather more in evidence. Batteries engaged H.B.s and infantry positions.

    Attached Files:

  9. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment War Diary December 1942.

    1st: Three more Stuka raids. One M.E. Was shot down by our fighter. Enemy has got very good observation on our forward positions and we have to move the troops continually. C.B. Office arrived.

    2nd: 51st. H.D. Came up and this Bde. Is going back. However this regiment is staying on with 8 Armoured Bde. Until such time as 146 Field Regiment arrive. A quiet day with very little enemy air activity.

    3rd: M Battery and Troop of Mediums ceased to be under our command and Regiment ceased to be in an operational role 14/66 are now with the Greys in reserve.

    4th: Remained in same area all day. Our air force is now sending over a good umbrella. N.T.R.

    5th: Moved off 0900 hours South of area B. 785813 and came under command 8th Armored Div. 7 Battery went 5 miles forward in formation consisiting of 65 A/Tk and 1 coy of Buffs and 1 Coy R.W.F. And called COLFORCE.

    6th: R.H.Q. And 14/66 Battery moved four miles SOUTH to B. 7876 where we are to remain in Bde. Reserve.

    7th: Lt-Col. R.B.T. Daniell left to take over command of 3 R.H.A. Lt-Col G.E.R. Bastin arrived and assumed command of the regiment.

    8th: Preparations were made for handing over a number of our good vehicles to 3 R.H.A. In return for which we are to get an equal number of vehicles in poor condition. 7 Battery sent forward a sniping section, but otherwise all is quiet.

    9th: 14/66 Battery went on a column 20 miles to the SOUTH WEST. Six more Quads wre exchanged with 3R.H.A. 146 Field Regiment Recce party arrived.

    10th: Regiment was relieved by 146 Field Regiment and both Batteries returned to Regimentle area. 2nd i/c went NORTH to recce positions for attack WEST of MERSA BREGA. More vehicles were handed over to 3 R.H.A. Making a total of 41 vehicles in all; in return for which we have received 21 vehicles all in very bad condition.

    11th: Further recce of the position at Kilo 6.7 in the NORTH and ammunition was dumped in readiness, a total of 640 rounds. Heavy rain at night caused a certain amount of discomfort.

    12th: Regiment concentrated in Corps area BIR BILAL; 'B' Echelon with us. C.O. Visited Corps but there is still no definite news as to what is going to happen to us.

    13th: Regiment moved to battle positions at Kilo 6.7, four miles from MERSA BREGA. Enemy have eveacuated WEST of AGHEILA so that the barrage which we came up to fire is now cancelled. Regiment is now under direct command of C.C.M.A.

    14th Regiment remained in same position all day. At 23.00 hours orders were received that we are to start moving back tomorrow.

    15th: Regiment moved off at 09.00 hours and reached AGEDABIA by 1300 hrs where Major Morgan was flown back to prepare for the return of the Regiment. Regiment reached MAGRUM by last light and bivouaced for the night.

    16th: Regiment reached BENGHAZI and halted SOUTH of the town awaiting arrival of'B' Echelon who are a day behind us.

    17th: 'B' Echelon arrived at 17.00 hours and four days rations and water were collected.

    18th: Moved off at 09.00 hours and pushed on past BACHE tp D'Annunzio where we leaguered for the night amongst the farms of the Italian colony.

    19th: An advance party of the Adjutant, Battery Captains, and Q.M. Went on ahead. Regiment moved off at 09.00 hours and halted for the night 30 miles WEST of MARTUBA.

    20th: A Regimental Church Parade was held in the morning after which the Regiment moved off down the coast road to TOBRUK halting for the night in the by-pass road.

    21st: Covered 120 miles in the days run and passing BARDIA halted for the night at CAPPUZO.

    22: Regiment came down the SOLLUM PASS without mishap and halted after 120 miles, 50 miles from MERSA MATRUH.

    23rd: Days run was 130 miles to EL DARBA where we halted for the night close to the N.A.A.F.I.

    24th: A short days journey to AMERIYA where we spent he night in the transit camp. The L.A.D. Caught up with the regiment and have done a first calss job of work all the way back *.

    25th: A Regimental Church Service was held in the N.A.A.F.I. At Ameriya. Regiment moved off at 10.00 hours and halted 10 miles from Cairo.

    26th: Arrived at Cairo in the morning and passed throught he town in grand style, a number of captured flags flying from the wireless masts. Settled into our new lines in Almaza camp.

    27th: Settled into camp.

    29th: Signal section left us to get re-equipped. 50% of the Regiment are going on leave for five days.

    28th: Pay was collected from Area Field Cashier for party going on leave. The following officers joined the regiment from Base Depot and were posted as follows:-

    R.H.Q. Lt J.E. Bell R.A.
    7 Bty. Lt. James Lt. Vincent. Lt. Fidoe.
    14/66 Bty. Lt. Haydock 2/Lt. Auger.

    30th: L.A.D. Inspected vehicles in preparation for W/S inspection tomorrow. *

    31st: All vehicles in Regiment inspected in our own lines by 306 L of C Troop w/s.

    * Highlighted because my main interest, RAOC/REME rarely get mentioned in war diaries! :D
  10. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment War Diary January 1943.

    Base Depot, 1st: Three vehicles left R.H.Q. For Base workshops, Gamra. Leave party left for Luxor. Lt Kennet R.C. Of Sigs. Reported to regiment.

    2nd: N.T.R.X

    3rd: Final arrangements made with training wing for signal and survey course.

    4th: Owing to rush caused by P.T. This morning parade was put forward half an hour.

    5th: The Inspectorate of Army Equipment visited the regiment. The inspection was understood to be successful except for a “jerrycan” found on a Quartermasters bed. 2/Lieut. Auger posted to R.H.Q.

    6th: Lt E.M. Lawrey has received the immediate award of the M.C. AndXDriver Williams G. the M.M. For their action on Nov. 6th when they retrieved a damaged gun, whilst under heavy fire from close range.

    7th. N.T.R.

    8th. 2nd Leave party returned.

    9th. Inspection of tents, kits, and vehicles. Regimental officers mess was started. Preparations were made for Christmas dinners.

    10th. Christmas dinners at 12.00 Hrs. Avery good meal – the cooks did very well.

    11th. Gun drill, survey and P.T. Courses started. 2nd Lieut. Bisset and 2nd Lieut. Jackson were posted to the regiment and inter-posted to 14/66 Bty. And 7 Bty. Respectivly.

    12th G.P.O.s course started R.H.Q. Vehicles were inspected by Maintenance Inspector.

    13th. N.T.R.

    14th. C.O. Flew to Baghdad for a conference. The signal section returned, fully equipped and with a full complement of men. Lt. Slapp is i/c.

    15th. N.T.R. Regiment is now well settled in and all stores have been issued up. However we are still waiting for vehicles. Individual training continues.

    16th. N.T.R.

    17th. Regimental church parade.

    18th. Vehicles were collected to complete Regiment to full scale, less four armoured O.P.s.

    20th. All vehicles were re-painted and thoroughly overhauled.

    21st. N.T.R.

    22nd. C.O. Returned and Training Instructions were issued.

    23rd. Usual inspections. C.O. Inspected 14/66 Battery.

    24th. Church parade. Five armoured cars I.P. Were drawn as armoured O.P.s.

    25th. Individual training continues.

    26th. All ranks were inoculated. G,I, of PAIFORCE visited the C.O. Lecture from I.O. 17 area on how to behave as a prisoner of war and on various escape devices.

    27th. N.T.R.

    28th. Lecture from the signals officer to all officers on new simplified signals procedure.

    29th. A fire, the definite origin of which is not yet established, started in the cookhouse today. The cookhouse was completely destroyed and several men were burnt, four seriously, and were taken to hospital.

    30th. Usual inspections. C.O. Inspected 7 Bty.

    31st. Major G.T.A. Armitage R.A. Joined the regiment and assumed command of 14/66 baty. Vice Major weston to 2i/c. Major Morgan is proceeding to U.K. Having served over seven years abroad.
  11. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment War Diary February 1943.

    Almaza: 1st. Regimental signal scheme along the SUEZ ROAD. Gnr. Shaw, who was burnt in the fire, died as a result of his burns and was buried at the Military Cemetary, Heliopolis.

    2nd. N.T.R.

    3rd. Brigadier Mansergh C.R.A. 5th. Indian Division visited the regiment and inspected the lines.

    4th. A sudden change in the weather – very hot and sunny after weeks of cloudy skies and frequent rain.

    5th. N.T.R.

    6th. Usual inspections, C.O. Inspected R.H.Q., L.A.D. And signal section

    7th. Regimental Church Service. A collection was made for the relatives of the late Gnr. Shaw.

    8th. A visit from the Security Officer. Plans were discussed for keeping secret the date for our move.

    9th. 14/66 Battery had an all day firing practise on the ranges.

    10th. N.T.R.

    11th. N.T.R.

    12th. Advance party move off. Major Weston, Lieut. Phelps etc.

    13th. Men informed of new address – PAIFORCE.

    14th. Regimental Church parade. All men engaged on loading. All ranks confined to camp.

    15th. Regiment moved off 08.00 Hrs. Laagered at Kilo 142 in Sinai Desert at 14.30 Hrs. (89 miles) Rained for about ten minutes to-day, the first rain for some time.

    16th. On the move again – this time to ASLUJ, 80 miles – sports in the afternoon – into Palestine to-day.

    17th. Reveille 0500 Hrs. Off at 0700 Hrs. Passed through lovely country, Orange Lemons and Grapefruit in abundance. Stopped at R.S.P. 2 139 Miles.

    18th. Move doff from Tahanna at 0800 Hrs. Rained hard all day. 137 Miles. Arrived MAFRAQ at 1600 Hrs. Tents for everybody. Miserably cold. Drained radiators. Lovely countryside.

    21st. Moved off from MAFRAQ 0800 Hrs. 17 Miles to got o H4. Again tents for all, still rather cold to-day, but no rain. Radiators emptied. Arrived H4. At 1530 Hrs. Most uninteresting countryside. Little signs of human habitation. Receiving excellent fresh rations.

    22nd. Left H4 at 0800 Hrs. Most uninteresting countryside. Arrived RUTBAH 1500 Hrs. - 127 Miles – very cold.

    2rd. Left 0800 Hrs for Wadi Mohammdi – 157 Miles on. Very cold. Arrived 1600 Hrs. Wireless scheme in progress throughout the journey. Rained heavily all night. Everybody wet, but extremely cheerful.

    24th. 0800 Hrs. - still raining heavily. Most of the vehicles have been winched out. Shall we move to-day? All praise to the cooks – breakfast but ten minutes late. Everyone cheerful. Everbody soaked. We moved – to the road – everybody had to be winched out. No move this day. Drying clothes and blankets rest of the day.

    25th. Off again at 0800 Hrs. for Lancer Camp, 3 Miles from Baghdad. Arrived 1530 Hrs. Everybody looking alittle travel stained. 2 bags of mail awaiting us.

    26th. General Maintenance in the morning. A visit from B.R.A. Order to be ready to move out of Lancer Camp at 0800 Hrs. 27-2-43. Pay parade 1500 Hrs.

    27th. Moved off at 0900 Hrs and arrived LATIFIYA CAMP 1030 Hrs. for the present under command 9th. Ind. Infantry Bde. Tents were erected and Regiment settled into camp.

    28th. Contracts were made for the running of a canteen and for washing.
  12. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    4th Field Regiment War Diary March 1943.

    LATIFIYA 1st. Battery training commenced.

    2nd. Normal routine and training.

    3rd. Regimental Survey scheme

    4th. Lecture at 5 Div. H.Q. By G,O,C, to all officers down to troop commander on the attack.

    5th. Restaurant for serving light suppers etc. was started and promises to be successful.

    6th. R.A. Training team arrived and instructed in gun drill and miniature range.

    7th. Regimental church parade and lecture in the evening on 'defence' by C.O.

    8th. Regimental standard gun was calibrated against standard gun of 28th. Field Regt. And 14th. R.H.A. Following which all guns in the Rgt. Were calibrated.

    9th. Preparation for 1 61 IND INF Bde. Scheme.

    10th. Regt. Moved off to assembly area at 0415 Hrs Rgt. Went into action at first light 7 Bty. In support of 4/7 Rajputs and 14/66 of 1/1(6/1?) Punjabs. ISKANDARIYA: A full scale defensive position was prepared. Gun pits etc. were dug and minefields laid by the infantry.

    11th Positions were visited by C.R.A. And Army Commander. Exercise finished at 4.00 Hrs and Rgt. Returned to LATIFIYA. In the afternoon O.M.E. Inspected all guns of the Rgt.

    12th. Regimental deployment exercise in Musayyib area. Lecture by Major Brown to all officers on night occupation.

    LATIFIYA 13th. Routine inspections. One Honey (Stuart) tank was drawn and retained in H.Q.

    14th. Recce. Was made to the Mussayib ranges and owing to heavy rain was necessary to cancel firing practise for the 15th. Major Weston lectured to the regimental club on the Persian and Irak campaign.

    15th. Major Armitage O/C 14.66 Bty R.A. Lectured to all officers on Regimental and Divisional concentrations and the quick fire barrage. In the afternoon all officers attended a demonstration given by the 4 R.W.K.R. With a squadron of tanks and one battery of 14 RHA in support. The demonstration was to show a quick counter attack and was extremely instructive.

    16th. Preparations were made for divisional artillery exercise. C.O. AND C.O. 2 went out to Recce the ground.

    17th. Moved off at 0730 Hrs on exercise STEBBING. Reached ISKANDARIYA and then received a signal saying that the scheme was cancelled owing to the bad state of the ground.

    18th. Regimental miniature layout in camp area. All communications were used and regimental concentrations practised.

    19th. Quiet day, Btys. At disposal of B.C.s.

    20th. Regt. Moved off to dispersal area, East of Musayyib at 0930 Hrs. in preparation for Bde. Exercise SUITOR. Remained in area 04593 all day. Heavy rain during this night

    21st. Owing to rain scheme, which should have started at 0530 Hrs was postponed until 1000 Hrs. At 1000 Hrs the advance, the objective of which was to form a bridghead across the LATIFIYA canal, began – 7 Bty supporting the advance guard. A strong wind was blowing which soon dried up the ground after the rain. However at about 1100 Hrs. a dust storm started which reduced visibility to about 500x. As a result of this the O.C. Cancelled the scheme after the first objective ahd been taken. This was very fortunate as shortly after our return to camp a minor hurricane and heavy rain storm started. One or two tents were blown down and a number became waterlogged.

    LATIFIYA 22nd. The morning was spent in an effort to clean up the camp after the storm. The regimental office is ankle deep in mud.

    23rd. The weather improved, giving everyone a chance to dry out their kit. A very spirited game of rugger, refereed by the C.O. Took place between 7 Bty. And 14/66 Bty: 14/66 Bty wre the victors.

    24th. A demonstration was given in the use of the new American Whip gun. Several practice round were fired and as far as could be judged with this ammunition the gun proved very satisfactory.

    25th. A lecture was given to all officers and wireless operators, to clear uop points of wireless procedure. There were no major differences and our present procedure remains unaltered.

    26th: Preparation for six day Divisional exercise FORBID.
  13. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    reserved for extras
  14. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    reserved for unforseen things :)
  15. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Finally found time to complete this diary, need help deciphering the attached - bumped enemy ??? ????? west of DARBA

  16. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    by telegraph poles
  17. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    And another: ????? weapon? system is now working......... query2.png
  18. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    by telegraph poles
    Excellent, cheers!!
  19. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Double? weapon system......
  20. op-ack

    op-ack Senior Member

    Can you let us know the sentence before the confusing word, it may throw some light on what it is?


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