Thanks to Master Corporal Graham Humphrey for all his hard work at transcribing these diaries and adding photographs and routine orders in the appropriate places!
Wykehurst Park, England 31 December 1943
Today the OC “C” Coy received a telegram (Appendix 5) from one Rfn Feldman who was then AWL 7 Days – “Sir, I will be back on Friday. Happy New Year.” It was sent “PRIORITY”
Wykehurst Park, England 1 January 1943
1100 The Sergeants entertained the Officers in the Sergeants Mess with a punch (!) A quiet New Years day was spent by all.
Wykehurst Park, England 2 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
IO out with a jeep on a recce of road blocks in the NW part of 8 CIB area object salvage Road blocks were found on the bridge over the ADUR.
Rfn Feldman up for Bn Officer was awarded 14 days CB and 14 days pay. He thanked the CO.
Wykehurst Park, England 3 January 1943
1030 Church Parade – Rev JC Clough.
1100 RC Church Parade in NAAFI.
1800 Bingo K of C hut.
2030 Movie, Boom Town in Officers Mess.
Wykehurst Park, England 4 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1815 Movie, Boom Town in K of C hut.
Wykehurst Park, England 5 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1830 “B” Coy out on night scheme. One Plt defended and two attacked.
1830 to 2030 Cards. Cribbage, K of C hut.
Wykehurst Park, England 6 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1830 Concert Party – Mystic and melody. K of C Hut.
1900 Formal Mess Dinner.
Wykehurst Park, England 7 January 1943
0830 Parades and trg.
1400 Bn “IO” at Bde for conference with other Bn “IO”’s and Bde IO on liaison and on exercise DEVILS DYKE coming up this month. Exercise to involve “I” problems both in recce and identifications.
1830 Film The Day will Dawn.
1830 to 2000 “D” Coy out on night scheme. Coy 18m sets were not fuctioning well. “I” Log is practically empty.
Wykehurst Park, England 8 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
0930 5 Officers and 100 Other Ranks (Drivers) returned from ALC trg at Rothesay, Scotland. All seemed interested in what they had learnt and happy at having had the trg.
1830 Cards – K of C hut.
1830 to 2000 “C” Coy out on night scheme. Owing to extreme darkness, the attackers were most unfortunate, firing on one another and the defenders were consequently most successful.
Wykehurst Park, England 9 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1330 IO in Cuckfield on liaison with 13th Haywards Heath Bn Sx HG and Cuckfield Police.
One instance of bad security re the ALC Trg in Scotland is to be found as Appx 6 Rfn Bowman got 14 days CB, 14 days Pay. He states that he had no memory of having said anything but had been drunk in the pub when it happened.
Wykehurst Park, England 10 January 1943
0830 G1098 check of Rifle Coy stores by QM.
1400 Lt Col JG Spragge attended a conference at 3rd Cdn Div HQ.
1830 Cards in K of C hut.
Wykehurst Park, England 11 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
0900 The G1098 check of Bn continued, Bn HQ and Support Coy being dealth with today. The Gas chamber being made available “C” and “D” Coy and Bn HQ Wing underwent DM under direction of Gas Offr Capt JI Mills.
1348 RED HURSTPIER POINT (1343) 1409 WHITE (1402)
1830 K of C Hut – Movie Bill Hancock Rides again.
1900 Capt JN Gordon lectured to WO’s and Sgts on Night Fighting and on the previous weeks scheme in particular.
Wykehurst Park, England 12 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
The Gas chamber was again in use. “A” “B” and Support Coys enjoying its special benefits.
1330 Educational afternoon. Rather poor attendance.
1830 K of C hut. Concert Party.
Wykehurst Park, England 13 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1100 CO’s O Group on the revised rates of pay and the new “Proficiency” pay. Query whether once given it can be taken away. And it makes a Cpls position worth little more than a L/Cpls and distinctly less than that of a L/Cpl with trades pay. Coy Comdrs to turn in list of those eligible for extra pay before scheme coming up.
1130 Lt TE parkinson spoke to Canadian listeners about the QOR in England. Sgt F Foulkes and Cpl Saltstone also assisted in the broadcast.
1400 Capt Mackenzie the GS 03 I 3 Cdn Div lectured to Officers and NCOs on the German Pz Dic, its organisation, characteristics and German tactics.
1830 K of C Hut Movie: The day will dawn.
1900 Formal Mess Dinner.
2015 Lt Col Spragge spoke briefly to the officers assembled. Capt JN Gordon lectured on Diagrammatic Orders and on Night Fighting.
Wykehurst Park, England 14 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1130 O Gp for Movement to Scheme. Particular attention paid to keeping petrol consumption down owing to the decreased allowance for january.
Wykehurst Park, England 15 January 1943
0845 Head of column of marching troops passed Start Line – the gate of WYKEHURST PARK, BHQ, DC BA.
1150 Lunch in football ground at PATCHAM.
1315 Left PATCHAM.
1450 Arrived billet area – Brewery.
1400 Tpt moved off from SL; DCBA, BHQ and S dispersing at UPPER BEEDING. Thence SP Coy Tpt moved to LIMEWORKS 611312, and the remainder to billet for BHQ and Rifle Coys.
1800 O Gp scheme LIAISON for Saturday.
Trace showing scheme LIAISON which was run through twice on Saturday 16 and Monday 18 is attached.
1830 Coy Comdrs move off to Assembly Area 675275.
Wykehurst Park, England 16 January 1943
0900 Marching troops move off. The object was to practice Coys in attacking close together, keeping close contact and so to minimise task of engaging own tps. Also to practise sect and Plt comdrs in Fire Control and finally in anti-Country attack reorganization.
Trace “Exercise” LIAISON
In the Narratice the 7 and 9 Bdes have taken aline roughly that of the 27 Grid line. 8 Cdn Inf Bde without supporting arms even support companies is to take the high ground of the Downs. N Shore R left to take TRULEIGH HILL 660300 and QOR of C right to take FULKING HILL 681300.
The attack was in two Phases. In Phase 1 (1) A Coy attacked and took the high ground in 683284 (Spot Height) Point 438.
(11) B Coy attacked up the draw on the other side of the valley and captured junction 684290. That point has been so churned up by tanks it is no longer a rd junction but a sea of mud. They stopped at the edge of the scrub. Unfortunately all targets were not fulled engaged & fire was concentrated on particular targets.
(111) D Coy in reserve followed B.
(IV) C Coy attacked on left flank and made its way to high ground on W slope of Tumuli 6728. As it ran into trouble using smoke from waiting too long before advancing it was stopped part way across the valley from the Start Line. One platoon was dropped as a fire platoon and got crossed helping the latter across. This operation delayed them considerably and other Coys were waiting some time for the Success Signal from C which meant that Southern and Western approaches were covered.
(1) B Coy consolidated at 682490 covering South and East.
(2) D Coy on access of C Coy went through and took Point 541 reorganising covering North and Western approaches. Having watched C Coy`s smoke screen dissipate D Coy was successful starting the mortar just as the forward movement took place thus gaining the advantage of using the dense parts of the smoke.
(3) D Coy had the success of B proceeded forward to capture Track Junction 690298 and reorganise covering North and East. One platoon came too far West and hindered the earlier stages of D Coys attack. One 2“ Mortar smoke landed near them and spurred them into activity in their proper place.
A special feature was the issue of ammunition, and Bren mags per Bren gun. Only 5 rounds were issued per man; the idea behind this being that there was too prevalent a tendency to just shoot for the sake of shooting which would be disastrous in action considering supply problems. 2” Mortar Smoke was not so rationed however as training on laying the smoke was considered to override this.
#18 Sets with Coys and 4 #38 Sets for Intra-Company communication.
Brig KG Blackader was present and watched the earlier phases of the scheme. On the whole it did not work well. It is interesting to note that the Coy Comdrs were different for every Company as compared with Exercise SMOKEY in December.
A haversack lunch was eaten on the ground and the tps returned to billet and were free until 1800 hrs when Exercise DEVILS DYKE commenced.
While the Rifle Coys had been doing the exercise the Carriers, Mortars, Pioneers and A/Tk guns had been exercising on either side of the Thunders barrow Hill.
1700 Exercise DEVILS DYKE
Narrative Appendix 8
Trace A Appendix to Narrative Appendix 9
German Order of Battle Appendix 10.
This exercise laid on by 8 Cdn Inf Bde. It does not appear from the narrative but 1 Cdn Div also landed and is operating on the North.
Bde O Gp was held at 1700 hrs on Beeding Hill, held by R de Chaud, The N Shore R having captured Truleigh Hill RV at deserted house 648286 and O gp worked forward to better positions in scrub on fwd slope. During the orders a “German prisoner” appeared dressed in uniform of the 32nd Pioneer Battalion of 33rd Infantry Division. When searched the Order of Battle (Appx 10) was found on his person. From this full details could be drawn as the strength and dispositions of the enemy in the ultimate objective and also the strength of the outposts facing the Bn.
The “Verposten” contained 2 coys with 2 3” mortars and 2 MMGs attached; the main position 3 Inf Bns, 3 Plts A/Tk guns, 3 half troops of Field Arty and 1 Tp of Med Arty. Finally the Regiment (Equivalent to British Bde) was reinforced by a battalion of Engineers. The “94” identifies the Regt and the regiment is found to be part of the 32nd Inf Div. Some confusion was caused in identification by the fact that the 32nd Engineer battalion is actually in the 12 Pz Div and on that basis it was thought this indicated the presence of Tanks in the neighbourhood. As it later transpired that such would be in Panzer Uniform the identifcation could only be the 32nd Pioneers in the 32nd Inf Div as the uniform was the ordinary Field Service.
The strength of the Outposts from their location was plotted by the I section acting as observers. Bren guns firing tracer were meant to indicate a pln posn and Thunderflashes the 3” M. The MG posts were not spotted, they were over the crest of the hill. Generally the spotting was fairly accurate.
The Bde intention was far as the QOR of C was concerned was to move forward from the vicinity of LOCK BARN 635284 to attack the enemy positions which were on THUNDERSBARROW HILL largely in 6728. The 7 Cdn Inf Bde to the South had suffered heavy casualties and been held up by fire from these Outposts; the N Shore R on the North had penetrated farther than anyone else; 1 Cdn Div had kept in touch with them and covered the left flank that far East. 9 Bde was to pass through our posns once we had reorganised and attack the main enemy posn; meanwhile our Bn was to clear up the outpost, at the same time giving time to land both 9 Bde and more Arty.
2130 The CO had returned to billet before the I section. After their return when firing ceased at 1830 information was passed to him as to strength, disposition and locations of enemy from which his plan was made up. The Orders group was held and the Orders are briefly as follows:
Enemy 1. 2 Coy Outposts with 2 3” Mortars and 2 MMGs in support 1 Tp Med Arty. 1 Eng Bn from Pz Div 6 Inf or Fd Arty guns and 12 A/Tk guns.
Own Tps 2 QOR of C (complete Sp Coy less one Mortar); 1 Bty 12 Fd Regt in support; 1 Lt Sec 14 Fd Amb.
- Right flank: R de Chaud on BEEDING HILL.Left flank: N Shore R on TRULEIGH HILL.Both are held up with heavy casualties.
Intention 4. QOR of C will capture THUNDERS BARROW HILL up to and including point 454 (663279).
Method 5. Attack in 2 Phases. In Phase 1 two Coys will silence MG’s in area 661285 (in scrub) at edge of cops and hydro poles. In Phase 2 two Coys will kill the enemy in the area of barn 663279.
6. Phase I D Coy right, B left will cross Start line, track from 647290 to 650293 (a) D Coy’s objective MG post W of track and N of the power lines in area 659286. (b) B Coy will silence MG posts in area of road and hydro line reorganizing covering all approaches from East.
(c) D Coy will give covering fire from Right flank in Phase II.
7. Phase II: 2 Coy attack C right and A left. (a) C Coy will take out MG post on fwd slope in front of barn (663279). (b) A Coy’s objective all posns in rear of the barn and including the barn.
Start Line – Hydro Poles. Zero Coys will inform CO of their own arrangements herein.
8. On capture of objectives all Coys will reorganise on the line of track running through the hill and be prepared for immediate counter attack.
9. R de Chaud will give covering fire towards the barn on Phase I. N Shore on Phase II will give fire against any possible enemy approaching from NORTHEAST.
10. (a) #4 Plt will give covering fire from the centre of posns from Z plus 8 until Phase I is complete.
(b) #5 Plt will give Smoke covering in front of Point 454 from Z plus 8 until Z plus 13 to allow for tps coming in from left on Phase I. Rate normal. Thence by observation.
(c) 6 and 7 Plt will move fwd on success of Phase I to Area Toggington Farm 656297.
11. (a) On success Phase II 4 Plt will send one section to each flank; the remainder will be under Bn control for patrol work. (b) 5 Plt will RV area Scrub and Hydro Poles 660287. (c) 6 Plt will send 4 guns to farm 663279 and 2 guns to left flank with B Coy (d) 7 Plt will send 4 men to each Rifle Coy to assist in the laying of minefield.
12. The FOO Arty will move to area Pt 454 663217.
13. Patrols: One section per Coy will go as far fwd as track from Mile Oak 678270 to Edburton Hill 672300. It will be sent as a Recce patrol.
14. Administration. F tps under RSM will follow BHQ.
15. RAP area unused house 645295 in Phase I: Light Section working there from on Phase II it will move to Freshcomb Lodge area 658286 and light section will then work on axis of N and S track through Thunders Barrow Hill. The Beach Dressing Station is the Cement Works 635277.
16. Ammunition Blank and thunderflahses may be used. 2” Mortar Smoke may be used if bomb lands not less than 200 yds north of hydro lines. All ball amn will be withdrawn if not already done (It had been during the early part of the arternoon).
17. Haversack Rations: Dress FSMO entrenching tools.
18. Intercommunication. 18 Sets with Rifle Coys, 4 Plt, BHQ, 38 Sets 4 each rifle Coy.
19. No Verey lights at any time.
20. BHQ area Tumulus 651292 in Phase I; moving to rear of B Coy at rd about 660287.
21. Bde HQ at rd junction 636294.
22. Zero 1000 hrs; Synchronisation of watches 0900 hrs.
2230 (690255) A movement order was also given out and the bn warned that the night might have a Home Guard attack. This was not as clear as it might have been. The exercise was not definitely allowed for as the the all day and all night affari which it was. Before midnight very little took place except the usual preparations for something resembling a state of siege with the officers from Bde in their dual capacity of command and umpires watching over every move.
2245 The one message of importance was a “shelling report” from the R de Chaud indicating the enemy was preparing a box barrage on orughly his own Outpost posns; the 4 points being 665274 – 661287 – 661282 – 665282.
Wykehurst Park, England 17 January 1943
The first message arrived about 0115 hrs having been delayed owing to a misunderstanding with the RCCS on the 11 set. It was timed 0039 and spoke of enemy patrol protecting laying of mines at 659283 – 66281 – 66284 and 668287 – protecting the main approaches to enemy posns. From then until Reveille at 0500 hours messages came thick and fast.
0130 Enemy paratroopers at MILE OAK and at GOLDING BARN 643300. Owing to lack of information about tps on the North a patrol from Sp Coy was sent out after there tps. Also against fifth colunists near HORTON HALL wearing uniform of 4 Bn Sx HG) On information 1 Cdn Div on North patrol from Sp Coy cancelled but not before it had gone out some distance.
0300 (611503) Attack on billets of Sp Coy (LIMEWORKS) by 4 Bn Sx HG. This was beaten off in spite of the strength being diminished by the absence of the patrol and two prisoners which were taken being Home Guard, were released.
0315 One “priosner” in German uniform brought in, questioned and released. Theoretically sent to Bde.
0350 Gas bombs on 1 Cdn Div Area to North from High Level bombing attack. The Gas Officer informed said it was likely mustard.
0355 Two “prisoners” in german uniform captured by guard, questioned and released. The “prisoners” were all Bde RCCS personnel some in German uniform one in battldress with special epaulets was menat to be a parachutist.
0358 “Air Raid Red”. High level bombing attack with GAS during the questioning of the prisoners. The Gas Officer informed made a Recce and decided that it was most likely mustard gas we would be unable to proceed. With the scheme since we would remain in billets until an hour after sunrise. The Chief Umpire objected that all that we had experienced was tear gas. The tps took a very dim view of thunderflashes and of people shouting Gas and the whole episode was not entirely successful, largely because the scope of the exercise had never been quite clear to anyone. Nothing further of any account disturbed the remaining hours of the night.
0700 Marching Tps move off for Exercise Area Assembly Area Road and Track Junction 643288.
0800 Tpt move off with Coy Comdrs & to road and track junction 643288. Thence the Coy Comdrs went forward and the positions of the various enemy posts were pointed out as far as was known by the IO from an OP about 64129.
0915 Arrival of marching tps lead by guides to Coy Assembly Areas NE of Beeding Hill.
1000 Zero. B and D crossing start line, Excellent smoke screen laid down by 2” mortar again on the principle of starting to move and firing the first bombs at the same moment so that full advantage is taken of the smoke at its best.
1027 The forward coys were declared held up by Arty fire. The 12 Bty under command was asked for Counter Battery work which was proceeded with commencing at 1035. B and D coys moved up as the enemy guns were neutralised.
B Coys 18 Sets was declared a casualty and no communications received from them except later by runner. A Coy asked for and received at 1041 3 minutes rapid on the barn. B Coy has meanwhile taken its posn but went forward and attacked the barn on its own. This caused some confusion but with some rearrangement A Coy and C proceeded to carryout the rest of their tasks.
1100 BHQ moved in spite of lack of success signal from B to a position in the scrub behind B Coy position. The IO went forward to contact B Coy and met a runner who brough a message that reorganisation was underway.
A Coy meanwhile experienced some difficulty because of the 2 MG posts not spotted because over the crest of the hill from the OP of the previous evening.
C Coy gave them supporting fire and B also helped so that A Coy was able finally to clear out its posts.
1145 The CO and the Brig went forward to observe the consolidation.
A point of liaison by wireless is noteworthy. The Carriers came in asking for instructions and the repetition over the wireless of their role cut off vital liaison between A and C at an important time..
Haversack lunches were eaten in the field.
1230 The Rifle Coys moved off to their billets and Sp Coy moved off to the LIMEWORKS, arriving about 1400 hrs.
1830 Meeting of all officers and O group for LIAISON II to take place Monday. The CO spoke on the errors made in LIAISON I and in DEVILS DYKE and expressed the hope that LIAISON II might show an improvement. In particular in future there should be laid on to Coy clerks to give a short Sit Rep periodically especially if the Coy Comdr is too busy.
The intention in LIAISON II is the same as in I, it is the same exercise repeated using different Coys in the various roles.
2145 (690255) AA fire heard overhead. Reported to 8 Cdn Inf Bde.
2210 Sirens all Clear. Reported to 8 Cdn Inf Bde.
Wykehurst Park, England 18 January 1943
0435 Air Raid – AA fire overhead.
0500 All Clear.
0630 (675282) Reveille
0900 Marching tps move off to assembly area as for Saturday NW of Brighton Waterworks B Coy took the left flank, D Coy the first phase of the centre with A Coy following, and C Coy the right flank.
The weather was gentle with a clear sky and a slight breeze and haze. The smoke screen laid down was astounding in its effectiveness. B Coy was able on the left to utilise the smoke screen laid down by D and C on the right which drifted slowly down the valley and acted as well for them with only a couple of bombs feeding it.
The same policies as regards firing and restrictions on ammunition and liaison were in effect but with markedly more success.
In the final stages the companies consolidated and took up positions of reorganisation laying out the places where they would dig in.
Tea was brough forward to Bn HQ on the final phase and was had by the tps before moving off.
1300 BHQ, D, C, B, A in that order moved off from road and track junction across the Downs to Rd Junction 696296 and thence Rd junction 708302 to Rd Junction 703317, to Rd Junction 708329 thence by London-Brighton Highway to Wykehurst Park the head of the column arriving at 1625 hours at the entrance. Beautiful weather made the march quite enjoyable; two men fell out for unavoidable reasons.
1830K of C Hut Movie
Wykehurst Park, England 19 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
The battalion settled in back to basic trg and to consolidation after the scheme
1830 Movie: The Corsican Brothers.
Wykehurst Park, England 20 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
0930 Coy Comdrs meeting; in part as a forecast of trg this meeting dealt chiefly with the critical petrol situation within the battalion. Owing perhaps to the absence of the To and leave for Tpt Sgt and possibly owing to some trouble the petrol allowance was considerably exceeded. As a result the Commanding Officer grounded all vehicles excpet the ration truck.
1030 2ic’s meeting concerned with the keepong of MFM 6s.
1630 K of C Hut Concert party.
1700 Formal mess Dinner. Afterwards the CO spoke briefly and very much to the point on the question of the responsibility of offrs for vehicles under their charge.
Wykehurst Park, England 21 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
A full blown investigation by the CO into the petrol consumption in January and proceeding months and into all transport records is under way. Vehicles are now allowed out if the Work Ticket is signed by the CO.
1330 Educational afternoon. Gradually falling off.
1830 K of C Hut Movie.
Wykehurst Park, England 22 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
2130 Cos meeting (All Offrs). Discussion A and Q especially tpt responsibilities.
2130 Dance K of C Hut – well attended.
Wykehurst Park, England 23 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg. Attention of all ranks down to DO Pt 1 #10 Para 6 dealing with the recently executed enemy agent whose task had been to locate and size up Canadian troops.
0955 Red- Hurstpierpoint 1007 White.
1000 Red – Worthing – 1011 White.
1100 CO’s Parade.
In the absence of Lt Col JG Spragge, Lt Col HE Lamb (Royal Rifles of Canada) and Capt JN Gordon inspected the bn and thoroughly.
1120 Red – Worthing – 1717 White.
The generator in Wykehurst Castle having broken downthe Castle is plunged in darkness except oddly enough for the Bar Candles and oil lamps proced a dim light.
Wykehurst Park, England 24 January 1943
1100 Church Parade by Rev JC Clough.
1700 Concert party “Giant Otherfellow” brought in by Padre for Sunday evening. Generally good reception although not an ordinary concert party.
Wykehurst Park, England 25 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
0937 Red – Worthing – 1000 White.
1345 Red – Worthing – 1400 White.
Educational afternoon. The German class because of numbers – the entire I section – is the healthiest member of the Educational body.
1830 K of C Hut – Movie “Hellzapoppin!”
Wykehurst Park, England 26 January 1943
0730 Head of column of marching tps left Wykehurst Park Gate (702434). Detail of March 300 QOR of Canada marched to Studio Theatre, Hassocks for three Trg Films that did not materialise. The management obliged with a newsrell and trailers of current features.
0845 Red – Hurstpierpoint – 0859 White.
0927 Red – Warninglid – 0944 White.
1830 Movie K of C Hut – “Hellzapoppin”.
Wykehurst Park, England 27 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg
Coys preparing for Brigadier’s inspection on Thursday.
1500 The Bn paraded, rehearsing for the formal inspection.
1830 Movie – K of C Hut “Hellzapoppin”.
1900 Mess Dinner. Afterwards Major VA Gianelli, ED addressed junior offrs on customs of the Service.
2115 Movie Anteroom “Hellzapoppin”.
Wykehurst Park, England 28 January 1943
0830 Bn fell in by Coys and moved off from Coy parade grounds to London-Brighton highway for inspection.
0930 Arrival of Brig KG Blackader. General salute BHQ, ABC Coys on parade. (Sp Coy Duty Coy), (D Coy engaged on tactical exercise with Sec Carriers and 2 3” Mortars laid on by the BM, with Bde Def Pln as enemy). Brig Blackader spoke briefly to the troops after the inspection.
1015 C Coy was inspected in more detail by Brig Blackader. Groups from A and B were tested on TOETs Lt Col Gossage, 14 Fd Amb inspected the RAP and questioned soldier chosen at random on elements of First Aid. Capt FLJ Gosselin, SC 8 Cdn Inf Bde inspected the Orderly Room.
1245 Brig KG Blackader and Bde Staff were guests of the Offrs at lunch.
1330 Ten men, one officer and one NCO went to Welcome Bottom Rifle Range to fire Rifle, Bren, TMC and 2” M. Owing to extremely inclement weather the test was not regarded as representative and was laid on again for Saturday morning.
Brig KG Blackader inspected the Orderly Room and QM Dept and Unit lines.
Generally the inspection seems to have been fairly satisfactory.
1830 Movie K of C Hut “My Facourite Blonde”.
Wykehurst Park, England 29 January 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
Muster parade of Bn.
1600 Cos meeting of all officers. Exercise LOOKING II (Feb 1 and 2) discussed. The object of this is to train all ranks in spotting enemy posns by fire and in mopping up enemy posns. Two Coys will attack one day while the other two will defend, the defense being laid out as a German Coy. Locality. Live amn is to be used from fwd “enemy” posns in early stages. As an added trg element a midday meal is not to be provided.
The CO also read exercepts from Training by General Paget and excerpts from a letter from Capt EA Dunlop of this regiment now on attachment in a threatre of war.
1730 Sp Coy offrs and Sgts received a lecture from the IO on the Anti-Raid Role.
1830 Movie K of C Hut “My Favourite Blonde”.
1930 Three German prisoners escaped yesterday from a camp in the vicinity. A report from 43 Bty that their sentry had challenged a foreigner who had gone North (Towards the gate of our camp) caused some excitement. The guard was doubled for one hour.
Wykehurst Park, England 30 January 1943
0700 Reveille. This day was treated as Sunday by the bn except for the Orderly Room and the Coy Comdrs who were busy on a Vehicle tool check.
0845 Head of Column of marching troops left Wykehurst Park and marched SOUTH on the the London-Brighton highway, BHQ, A, B, C, D, MO.
1200 Lunch at Patcham.
1330 Move off via Red Hill to Brewery in Portslade.
1400 Tpt, Sp, BHQ, A, B, C, D, move off from Wykehurst Park – 15 vtm and 15 mih to DP via Muddleswood and Terry’s Cross.
1500 Marching tps arrived at billets 50% allowed out until 2200 hrs, 15% until 2359 hrs. The men enjoyed being billeted in a town especially so soon after pay day.
Appendix 13 is the Annual Report of the Nat Institute for the Blind. Attention is drawn to page 10 and attached letters. The men who went with the padre in December to the Padre’s party for these children throughly enjoyed the experience. A collection was taken up at the Church parade Sunday 3 Jan ’43 on behalf of these childred, realising with other gifts $8-17-6 (pounds) as per receipt.
Wykehurst Park, England 31 January 1943
On the move down to the Brewery the weather was difficult. A very high wind was blowing occasional gusts of light rain from the South. Against this wind nothing to be done but to go ahead down as fast as possible. While the bn was on the move to its billets two large trees fell in Wykehurst Park. One cut one of A Coy’s huts in half, the other demolished B Coy Office. The telephone lines inter company and to the outside were broken and the power supply for the entire camp failed. A land mine was dropped during an Air Raid on Portslade. It shattered all windows in the vicinity including those of the A.A. Pln.
1400 Sp. Coy moved to billets Limeworks.
Billets in Brewery, 1 Feb 1943 690255
Lt.-Col. H.E. Lamb (R.R. of C.) despatched for attachment to 5 Cdn Armd Div.
0800 C and D Coy acting as enemy moved off to Trg area and disposed their posns. They wore F.S. Caps and gas capes rolled on the belt in order to make their wait more easy. They were disposed as 3 large plns of roughly German strength in an Outpost and two defended localities.
NARRATIVE EXERCISE “LOOKING II”
8 Cdn Inf Bde has been landing in Portslade since 0830 hrs. 7 Cdn Inf Bde has taken posns on Grid Line 27. Enemy have strong posns on Truleigh Hill and Beeding Hill and outposts on Thundersbarrow Hill. Bde have given as F.U.P. Mile Oak 6826 and Bn. boundries (N. Shore R. on our right). Hydro poles running NORTH from Mile Oak and lines running WEST from the above line at 671283 to a point 100 yds SOUTH of Track Junction 643288.
0900 C.Os. O gp Coy Comdrs Orders to move.
0915 C.O., I.O., I Sgt and 2 I men move out to F.U.P. for recce. The I men worked fwd and drawing some fire were able to spot some of the posts on Thundersbarrow Hill. This information was relayed to the C.O.
Billets in Brewery, Wykehurst Park, England 1 Feb 1943 690255
Lt.-Col. H.E. Lamb (R.R. of C.) despatched for attachment to 5 Cdn Armd Div.
0800 C and D Coy acting as enemy moved off to Trg area and disposed their posns. They wore F.S. Caps and gas capes rolled on the belt in order to make their wait more easy. They were disposed
0915 A and B, the attacking Coys, moved from billets to F.U.P. C.O. held an O Gp.
Dress for the two attacking Coys was F.S.M.O. less respirators and haversacks. Meals were not brought out to the trg area.
EXERCISE LOOKING II OPERATION ORDER I
1 Enemy are holding Truleigh Hill, Beeding Hill with a Bn. Coy localities are there and outposts known as far out as Pt 491 (665275).
2 Information enemy supporting arms sketchy. Arty fire on fwd posns. Mortar fire ranging on line of hydro poles.
3 Own Tps N. Shore R. have landed complete. Q.O.R. of C. has landed A, B Coys and of B.H.Q.- the I section, R.A.P. and M.O. No word from others. R. de Chaud is expected to be landed by 1000 hrs.
4 Intention – Q.O.R. of C. will capture Beeding Hill 6428.
5 Method – Q.O.R. of C. will attack with two coys up and in two phases.
6 Phase I (a) A Coy on the right. C Coy on the left will capture Thundersbarrow Hill from Hydro Line to Pt 491-665275.
(b) B Coy objective from house 662283 incl to Pt 491-665275.
7 Phase II (a) A Coy right, B Coy left will capture Beeding Hill from Pt 555 (649289) to track Junction 643288.
(b) A Coy objective Pt 555.
(c) B Coy objective Track Junction 643288
8 Coys are responsible for mopping up all enemy posns so that 2 Cdn Div can move through.
9 On taking 2nd objective Coys will reorganise A on the right, B on the left.
10 Administration (a) Ammo and R.A.P. Phase I 679268. Phase II will move by road SOUTH and WEST and up the Downs to 660288.
11 INTERCOMMUNICATION 1 #18 Set to Coy H.Q., 4 #38 Sets to Coy. B.H.Q. in rear and centre.
Having given these Orders, the C.O. announced that in the scheme he had been hit and proceeded to leave to join the enemy. With him went B.H.Q. #18 Set netted in on Coy sets in order to keep control.
The I.O. dispersed the I section to the two coys to act as scouts and followed the right Coy while the I Sgt followed the left Coy. The weather was bad including a high wind, a hailstorm and a few showers. As a result the day was rather trying.
1030 Coy Comdrs 0 groups. I Section continued spotting.
1130 ZERO. Coys over S.L. B Coy went up on the skyline although they considered they were clear of it. In Phase II B Coy in order to reach its objective proceeded NORTH on Thundersbarrow Hill to the scrub and thence around the upper part of the draw to Beeding Hill crossing A Coys front and going outside Bn Area in the process. This was done in order to avoid a frontal attack across the valley which was the only alternative.
A Coy went up the draw to the right of Thundersbarrow Hill wiped out outposts of enemy on the slope and gained the barn (662283). Here they were pinned down for some time by rifle fire hitting the rock wall of the barn. After preparation a frontal attack down the valley and across to Beeding Hill was launched.
Effective use was made for 3 2” Mortars of the Coy as a Battery. At a later time, however, when their fwd pln needed smoke it was not available to them. And the expenditure of ammunition was greater than expected at that time.
The Defense had not been fully worked out on the posns of withdrawal and hitting back; it was apparent that a more flexible defense would have been even more effective.
1430 Exercise was completed. Tps moved off across the Downs to Mile Oak and thence to billets.
1700 C.Os. meeting of all officers. Offrs of defense and attack debated. The C.O. in summing up stressed the need for Team Play for more information and for liaisons as displayed in Phase I.
Wykehurst Park, England 2 February 1943
0800 A and B Coy acting as enemy for today move off from Brewery.
0900 C.Os. O Gp.
0930 C. O., I.O., I Sgt and 2 I men move out to recce positions enemy have taken up.
0930 Tps move off.
1000 C.Os. O Gp. I section still engaged in scouting.
1100 ZERO HOUR
C Coy moved on the right, D Coy on the left. D Coy retired and went up on top of the Downs to take the first post which had been firing on Rd Junction 677271 from the rear. This done C Coy advanced up the draw and swung right into the hill at 676274. The enemy then were located on Thundersbarrow Hill at 668277 firing SOUTH and East. This position taken C Coy reorganised beyond the power line in the scrub 665284 and waited for D Coy which was clearing Thunders Barrow Hill from the SOUTH. The two Coy Comdrs liaised and prepared a united attack on Beeding Hill first by C in the NORTH from just NORTH of the Hydro Poles (running 671283 to 643288 not shown on O.S. Sheet 134) and then by D from just south of Thundersbarrow Barn 662283.
1430 Coys moved off over the Downs to billet area. During both days of this exercise valuable experience was had by all in the feel of bullets coming close, in seeing the mistakes that are daily made such as walking over skylines and misuse of cover and in keeping on the alert for a moving enemy. No casualties were experienced.
1500 Returned to Brewery.
1600 Supper. O Gp by Capt. J. N. Gordon on return to camp.
While the bn was engaged in exercise LOOKING I Sp Coy was working EAST of the power lines doing field training.
Wykehurst Park, England 3 February 1943
0830 Marching tps move off from brewery in Portslade. The day being beautiful the march went very well covering 3 miles every 50 minutes with ease.  The head of the column arrived at the gate of Wykehurst Park at 1327 hrs. 
1500 Coy Comdrs meeting. Effective midnight 2/3 Feb. ’43 the new W.E. goes into effect. W.E. D Coy is the company suffering extermination. The problem of creating drivers out of batman or vice versa promises to be one of the most difficult ones arising out of it.
1900 Mess dinner. Unusually full of incident.
Wykehurst Park, England 4 February 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1930 Brig. K.G. Blackader lectured to all officers and N.C. Os. On Exercise Devil’s Dyke stressing the need for everyone knowing the Bn Comdrs intentions and the importance of reorganisation and other defects noticed.
Wykehurst Park, England 5 February 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1419 RED BRIGHTON (1404) received.
1430 WHITE BRIGHTON (1416) received.
1700 Coy Comdrs meeting. Henceforth Priv Leave will be forfeited if (1) a man is A.W.L. over 10 hours. (2) if he is A.W. L. returing from Leave. (3) if he has two crimes in the interim. This is subject to the Coy Comdrs power to present hard cases for the C.O. to review.
1830 K of C Hut- Movie “Caught in the DRAFT”.
2036 Ladybird originated by C.O. the Sigs warned everyone except Bn, H.Q. except the C.O. From the resultant events a new Route is laid down for the A/R role, a new system given to Sigs and a better R.V. for Tpt to pick up the Stand To Coy.
Wykehurst Park, England 6 February 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1437 RED Worthing (1425)
Dance “Stinko” – officers mess also in Sgts Mess.
Wykehurst Park, England 7 February 1943
RED Worthing 2149 White 2290
RED Hurstpierpoint 2215 White 2258
RED Horsham 2205 White 2244
Wykehurst Park, England 8 February 1943
0830 Parades and Trg. I Sec at 8 Cdn Inf Bde received special trg from 3 Cdn Div I.O. and 1 Cdn Div I.O. on identification and treatment of P.W.
1600 Bde O gp Exercise “Airdale”. Brig. K.G. Blackader spoke to the members of the 8 Cdn Inf Bde gp on the forthcoming exercise and then gave a Movement Order concentrating the Bde gp vicinity Findon. Under command Bde was 12 Fd Regt, 105 A/tk Bty, 16 Fd Pk Coy R.C.E., 100 Lt. A.A. Bty., 14 Cdn Fd. Ambulance, D Coy C.H. of O., 8 Cdn Inf Bde Ord Workshop and R.C.A.S.C. Coy.
Bde S.P. Old Shoreham Bridge. D.P. Salvington. Guides to meet parties at D.P. and conduct to areas shown to recce parties. 
The object of the exercise was “to practice making and enlarging a bridgehead and seeking out and destroying the enemy”. It was understood the object was also the new W.E. and certain experiments in the movement of tpt.
The 8 Cdn Inf Bde right and 9 Cdn Inf Bde on left were to move North out of a concentration area. The location of the Div is shown on Trace “A” attached to the movement instruction.
3 Cdn Div Movement Inst. with Trace “A” attached.
March Table for M.T. and Inf.
Petrol 150 miles per vehicle, all G1098 ammo taken. Blank ammo to be issued on scheme and weapons to be inspected by officers. A Echelon including Cookers and blanket carriers to come up at night under Bde control.
B Echelon to go to Admin Area.
Lt.-col. J.G. Spragge and Maj. V.A. Gianelli attended the O gp. Maj. Gianelli as acting C.O. as Lt. – Col. Spragge was due to be absent on course in the current week.
2345 Bn. O Gp. Major V.A. Gianelli in temporary command of Q.O.R. of C. gave out written orders.
Airdale Op. Order I
The amendments written in ink were added during the order and written in afterwards.
Wykehurst Park, England 9 February 1943
0840 Head of coln of marching tps passed S.P. gate of Wykehurst Park.
1200 Lunch at Patcham X rds. The day had a light rain which was just enough to wet everyone’s feet and make marching unpleasant.
1520 Q.O.R. of C. crossed Bde S.P. on time (Old Shoreham Bridge) and continued on via bypass (not on map.)
1705 Bde. D.P. Salvington
Thence Bn proceeded to Bivouac area where the M.T. has already gone arriving at 1740 hrs and was reported in distance approx. 26 miles. 
1900 Major V.A. Gianelli and I.O. at Bde H.Q.
1925 Bde O gp 8 Cdn Inf Bde Gp by Brig. K.G. Blackader at Bde H.Q. Narrative as of Exercise and Order briefly summarized as follows.
The Cdn Corps has landed, 1 and 2 Div taken the North edge of the Downs as a bridgehead and 3 Cdn Div in reserve is to go through and test the enemy defenses- main enemy posns being in Guildford-Limpsfield line but Outposts and Advanced Positions being as far South as the River Arun and patrols as far as our own posns. The 8 Cdn Inf Bde and 9 Cdn Inf Bde to advance on left and right over Blue and
Red routes respectively covered by Recce Unit, putting out Flank Guards (D Coy C. H. of O. plus one pl Carriers and A/Tk guns of the Q.O.R. of C.) at the indicated points followed on the Blue Route by a mythical 30th Bde (The 7th Bde was acting as enemy).
1925 N. Shore R., 1 Bty Arty and 1 P1 16 Fd Coy formed Adv Gd followed by Flank Gd then A/A Arty, Bde Comd Gp, R de Chaud, Bde H.Q. 12 Fd Regt less 1 Bty plus 105 A Tk Bty, 16 Fd Coy R.C.E., 14 Fd Amb less 3 Bearer Sec and Finally Q.O.R. of C. less Carriers and A/Tk guns. Each inf bn had under comd one Bearer Sec 14 Fd. Amb. S.P. Rd Junction.  Zero 0900 hrs.
Flank guard to take over from Recce Unit. Flank units protecting main route at Spear Farm, Knepp Castle, Horsham, Ruffey, Rusper and Leigh. Flank Guard may call for help and Coy comdrs will answer, that having in mind that the advance of the whole must not be help up.
A and B Echelon to go to 3 Cdn Div Admin Area, A Ech to come up under Bde control by night. “F” Echelon may include no more than 12 vehicles include Bde 11 Set.
Wykehurst Park, England 10 February 1943
0900 Bn O Gp. Bde Orders as applied to our bn transmitted to Coys.
1120 Bn head of coln at Bn S.P. 561277. Coln consisting of I Sec, 1 Pl A Coy, B.H.Q. (C. Os carrier and 11 Set truck), remainder A Coy, B and C Coy. Owing to action encountered by Adv Guard near Thakeham 540368, the 12 Fd Regt was on the road just past the Bn. S.P. and our tpt was forced to wait for their place in the column long after the proper time. This information as to what was happening came to us from the 11 Set of an Arty Bty and not from Bde. On instructions being asked for our infantry plus the Carrier and 11 Set pushed on through the Arty and crossed the Bde S.P. on time leaving our F echelon behind. 
The Bn proceeded on Blue route Washington Gap 557327 Rock Xrds 560333. Bn proceeded to Adv. on to xrds 537350.
Two enemy scout cars and 2 Armd Cars slipped through the flank point at Spear Farm and came upon the coln at Rock Xrds. 
They were knocked by a 25 pdr gun which had been placed there by the Bty Capt. Of 11 Fd Bty. Then passing that point Bn proceeded on to adv and thence north through Thakeham 565444 and Coolham to Brooks Green.
At this point an order came through for the bn to concentrate in Marlands Wood. As the day was well on and the weather had changed from fair to poor the news was welcomed. Bn proceeded via Barns Green 563460 to Marlands Wood. The R de Chaud were fwd in wood South of Westons Farm and the Carrier Pl of the N. Shore R had taken up a posn in Itching Field 569480.
Bde H.Q. was moved from Barns Green where it was when passed by marching tps of Q.O.R. of C. at Barns Green to Magdeland Wood 570450. The G. O. C. having been “killed”. Brig. K.G. Blackader took over comd of 3 Cdn Div in the Exercise and Lt-col. J. Buell N. Shore R comd of the 8 Cdn Inf Bde. Major V.A. Gianelli and the I.O. visited Bde H.Q. for permission to billet in the area nearby as Morlands Wood was filled with 2nd Cdn Div. H.Q. B Coy went to Sandhills Farm, A Coy to another farmhouse, C Coy and B.H.G. to Sharpenurst Farm. 
2000 Guide at R.V. to pick up A Echelon.
2930 Major V.A. Gianelli and I.O. at Bde H.Q. for an O gp.
8 Cdn Inf Bde Location Statement
Information given was that the enemy had destroyed all bridges on the Arun River, that the 9 Cdn Inf Bde was attempting a crossing and that 8 Cdn Inf Bde would do the same. Battle outposts of the enemy could be expected 7000 yrds south of Dorking area and Advanced posns immediately North of the River Arun. 8 Cdn Inf Bde Gp to secure a bridgehead (N Shore R) to construct a class 1X Bridge (16 Fd Coy R.C.E.) and to cross in the same order as before except that the R de Chaud now leading Q.O.R. in place of R de Chaud and N Shore in the rear of the coln. Carriers and A/Tk Pln N Shore R under comd Q.O.R. of C. Q.O.R. of C. Carriers and A/Tk remain in Flank Guard.
A Echelon tpt to R.V. at 0530 hrs at same place as met this evening. Bde Zero 0715 and S.P. Bridge 577502.
A Echelon finally arrived and tps were fed. Only one of three R.C.A.S.C. blanket lorries arrived so that only one blanket was available per man.
2230 Bn O Gp. Anticipating the day’s traffic difficulties the M.Os truck was added to the 11 Set and C.Os carrier as vehicle staying with marching infantry. This was specifically allowed for in Bde Orders. Arrangements made for return of A Echelon tpt to Bde control, involving a very early breakfast and rendering the blankets brought up almost useless.
Wykehurst Park, England 11 February 1943
0500 Cookers and A Echelon left to form up on road opposite B coy. lines before proceeding to Bde R.V. The amount of rest available from supper to reveille for the tps. was not very great.
0850 Head of column at Bn. S.P. 572475
0905 N. Shore R. carriers Tp. Joined column 570487
0936 Head of column at Bde. S.P. 577502 being delayed one minute to allow Bde. Comd. Gp. The proceeding serial in the march table then 15 minutes late, to cross ahead. The Class IX bridge built by the Engineers was in evidence but was not used, the route to it was very soft and it was understood that full G1098 stores were not available to make the approach usable and trees in the countryside could not be cut down as would be possible in action. Bn. proceeded en route through “Broadbridge Heath” 585508, north to Broomhall 590516 and west via X rds 610512 to Park Farm 616527 Enemy Mustangs machine gunned the column with some casualties, this point was however not very clear. The Bn. turned North at Chennels Brook Farm 626532 and marched as far as The Misers 631546. Meanwhile the N. Shore R. moved in behind us after our passing through their bridgehead at Broadbridge and followed on the N. Shore R. Carriers attached to Q.O.R. of C.
0955 The R. De Chaud. ahead encountered enemy resistance at RUSPER. They identified the enemy from prisoners taken as elements of the C. Scot. R.
1031 Arty. was needed to keep them in the attack as Arty. fire had been encountered and C.O. R. De Chaud. was killed. The carrier plt. N. Shore R. attached to Q.O.R. of C. was ordered to carry out a patrol task towards 1 Bde. posn. on the left for Bde. The R. De Chaud. was ordered to recce. Square 6357 for elements Regina Rifles and on orders from G.O.C. the Q.O.R. of C. was given the task of taking KINGSFOLD 608557 where the enemy were reported in considerable numbers both by 8 Bde. and by the Carriers patrol which reported in at Bde. H.Q. 628528
1100 Major V.A. Gianelli and I.O. were at Bde. for a brief 0. grp. The Bn having halted ahead at 632542. Upon returning the attack on KINGSFORD was prepared. The N. Shore R. closed up on our column and the R. De Chaud. reorganised in the vicinity of Rusper.
1300 ZERO HOUR for Q.O.R. of C. at Start Line 619552 one Bty. Arty. was in support and began registrations at 1230 hrs.
1305 Bde. H.Q. at new location 635565.
1307 Enemy patrols moving NORTH captured from rear by R. De Chaud. R. De Chaud. continue advance and capture NEWDIGATE. Q.O.R. of C. attack across the river and capture KINGSFOLD 608558. The enemy had meanwhile withdrawn.
1336 Orders given for NO FURTHER ADVANCE. Umpires called to Bde. H.Q.
1610 Warning order-stand fast but prepare to move. No M.T. on highway.
1730 Major V.A. Gianelli visited Bde. H.Q. to find out if Q.O.R. of C. could bivouac in present position as it was getting late to move. Between 1330 and 1700 hrs the tps. sat around and waited for the Umpires and for Bde. staff to unscramble the traffic problem which was very involved the roads being narrow and the traffic heavy. Unfortunately no one knew whether the exercise was on or off and the message “Negative Airdale” never reach the Bn. All that came through was the shutting down of the 11 Set by Bde. at 1800 hrs. Maj. Gianelli tried hard to get something done but not until 1600 did permission come
through to withdraw our tps. from Kingsfold and concentrate in preparation for moving off. Delay of this kind when a scheme is to all intent and purposes complete is very hard on the morale and interest of the tps. on a scheme.
1730 Convoys started to pass through our positions on their way SOUTH- -12 Fd. Regt. Arty. and 14 Cdn. Fd. Amb. in turn.
1800 The arrival of our own “A” Echelon from Kingsfold was greeted with cheers and the Bn. proceeded to sort itself out for the night.
2030 Bn. O Grp. for move back to Wykehurst Park in two phases, M.T. leaving 0715 and marching tps. 0730 12 Feb 43. Bn. bivouacs in woods South West of Curtis Farm 625549.
Wykehurst Park, England 13 February 1943
0730 Head of column of tps. left S.P. X rds, 625549 for Wykehurst via Roffery Xrds. 624492, Ashfold Cross Ways, Slaugham Common Warninglid and entered in by NORTH and WEST gates. The D.P. 694439 was crossed by the head of the column at 1118 hrs and by the tail at 1123 hrs. Interior economy afternoon. Electric light still out in mens quarters.
1400 3 Officers and 5 Sgts. R.C.A.F. arrive for attachment of 10 days. One P/O was remembered by those who had been in Newfoundland, while the Q.O.R. were there he was a policeman in Botwood.
1830 Movie- – “Love Crazy- – K. of C. Hut.
2112 Red-Hurst Pier Point White
2116 Red- Cuckfield.
Wykehurst Park, England 14 February 1943
0930 Red Worthing
1100 Church Parade, conducted by H/Capt. J.C. Clough. New Service Books provide a wider range than before.
1530 Movie “Man Hunt” shown in K. of G. Hut.
1830 Cards and Bingo K. of C. Hut.
Wykehurst Park, England 15 February 1943
0830 Parades and trng. Lt.-Col. J.G. Spragge returned from course.
0945 Rfn. Lumsden the Armourers Assistant was accidentally shot. The armourer was repairing a T.M.C. magazine using live rounds (no dummies are issued) and as the assistant moved in front of the gun without being seen the gun was accidently discharged. Rfn Lumsden received wounds in the stomach and leg but is not serious and will be returning. 2 i/c’s of Coys. And I.O. visited the H.Q. 2 Cdn. Inf. Bde. 027204 occupied at the moment by H.Q. 1 Cdn. Inf. Bde. and the various Coy. i/c’s then liaesed with the Bns. from which they were to take over on billets. Adem. Instructions with Trace “A”- Arty. tasks attached relief Copy #20 Appendix 10. Both of these documents were tentative as appear in the narrative. An A/Tk. Bty. was detailed to take over from the 1 Cdn. Tk. Regt. So that the entire Sp. Coy. was sent to Hastings to relieve the 4 P.L.D.G’s. and carry out the patrols there. As the 1 Cdn. Inf. Bde. had taken over so recently the taking over preliminaries did not proceed smoothly.
1830 K. of C. Hut-“Man Hunt”
Wykehurst Park, England 16 February 1943
0815 Coy. Comd. meeting dealing with odd matters appearing in recent order and directions In particular, the forthcoming move was decided on as a practice move for EXERCISE “Spartan” all Barrack stores being locked away.
0830 Parades and Trng. Red Hurst Pierpoint
0940 16 Liberator (?) bombers seen flying overhead going S.E. Mjr. V.A. Giannelli in Lewes arranging billets for the march to Eastbourne.
1700 O. Grp. Movement Orders to Eastbourne. One problem made itself felt and the C.O. asked as a result of some discussion for a report on the number of men carried on strength who were not fit for the field but whom the RCAMC were unwilling to board. This has been a thorn in the flesh of field units for a long time.
1830 Movie K.of C. Hut “Ride Em Cowboy”
Wykehurst Park, England 17 February 1943
0745 Coys. engaged in packing up. All kit not taken and barrack stored locked in K. of C. Hut. (BHQ, HQ, SP, Coys.) and (A B C) in respective mess halls.
1000 Head of column- C.O. Asst. Adjt. I.O. RSM and complete plt. of Sigs. and Stretchers Bearers passed S.P.—E. Gate Wykehurst Park, I Sect. supervising A/A/ and I Sgt. remaining with plt. 702434 Two I Sect. detached with Sp. Coy. group. Route—Wykehurst Park, Bolney, Albourne Green, Hurst Pierpoint, Stone Pound woods. 702434
1230 Bn (BHQ HQ A B C) Coys. Stopped in wood 735339 Hassocls for lunch.
1300 Tpt. Sp. Coy. HQ Coy. A B C Coy. left S.P. Wykehurst Park E. Gate Bolney Hurst Pierpoint Ditchling Westmeston, Hamsey Rd. Junct. Lewes where it dispersed to Coy. billets—Sp. Coy. to Grandstand, HQ Coy and BHQ to Winterbourne Lodge, A Coy. to Astley House, B and C Coy. further downtown. D.P. 838297 reached 1410 hrs.
1330 Marching tps. left wood 735339 to Clayton, Westmeston, Hamsey Rd. junct. Lewes and dispersed to billets Arriving D.P. 842290 1630 hrs.
1700 Supper. The tps. out until 2230 hrs. As the day had been fine and cool – ideal for marching- the men were in very good condition and enjoyed the evening in Lewes.
Wykehurst Park, England 18 February 1943
0800 Head of column 2 i/c and Adjt. I.O. RSM and 3 S.B. passed S.P. 858292 Bn. proceeded via Beddingham Aloston 982237 to Wilmington Green arriving for Lunch at 1130 hrs. Haversack lunches were eaten, tea and biscuits being bought up by Aux. Services.
1300 Left Wilmington arriving D.P. Polegate X rds. 015234 at 1330 hrs.
1130 Tpt. Left same route and passed through whole column halted at Wilmington. Tpt. dispersed at xrds 015234. Sp. Coy. moved off to billets in Hastings. A Coy. took the same road to Stone Cross and Pt. areas in Revensey and Langney. B Coy. continued itself pending the take over. The Cdn. Inf. Bde. stayed on, moving out next day at noon. Location statement of Units Taking over—Appendix 10. Patrols from B and C Coy. took over from H.P. E. R. and R.C.R respectively. BN HQ temporarily in officers quarters. Trace Location Patrols, Supporting Arms Appx. 10. Sigs. are somewhat busier than usual having three large switch boards to man.
1100 Padre, Aux Services and I.O. visited Patrols A B and C Coys.
Eastbourne, England 19 February 1943
0730 Breakfast. A Coy took over from 48th H. of C. and R.C.R. and H.P.E.R. left the area. BHQ took over the ground floor of HQ 2 Cdn. Inf. Bde. Sp. Coy. I Sect. representative reported in person and contact made with local authorities. I. O. visits Eastbourne police and A.R.P.
1610 Arr alarm
1620 All Clear.
1633 Arr alarm
1648 All Clear. Narrative and Admin. Instructions Exercise Spartan received and perused. C.O. 2 i/c and Capt. H.E. Dalton and R. D. Medland trying to straighten out new W.E. Engaged all evening.
Eastbourne, England 20 February 1943
1000 Brig. K.G. Blackader to see C. O. at Bn. HQ. on new W.E. G1098 and Tpt. arrangements. The stay in Eastbourne proved uneventful while the Q. O.R. were there. The men were glad to return to old haunts even if the afternoons from 1300 to 1700 were the only free time to go visiting.
Eastbourne, England 21 February 1943
1000 C.O. inspected all patrols at their posts. Stragglers from 1 Cdn. Inf. Bde. started coming back especially of 48th H. of C. to A Coy.
Eastbourne, England 22 February 1943
0100 HQ 1 Cdn. Inf. Bde. arrived back from scheme.
0830 Breakfast. Engaged the morning in packing and in waiting for 1 Cdn. Inf. Bde. to take over.
1200 Coys. leftt their scattered billets and R.D. at Wilmington Green 982237 where B Coy. had lunch, A and C having dined in billets before leaving.
1440 Head of column left Wilmington Green and proceeded via Alouston and Beddingham 858292 to the D.P. in Lewes. arriving at 1730 and thence to the same billets as previously.
1800 Supper. The march was fairly easy as the day was fine and clear but not hot. Most of the men had enough pep to go out. Sp. Coy. left billets in Hastings, proceeded to Racecourse in Lewes.
Wykehurst Park, England 23 February 1943
0830 Tps. moved off from billets.
0900 Bn. HQ. crossed S.P. as head of column 841280 and proceeded via Hamsey, Westmeston, Clayton to wood 734339 arriving 1200 hrs for lunch.
1300 Head of column proceeded via Hurst Pierpont Bolney to D.P. gate 702434 at 1630
1000 Sp. Coy. left Race Course Lewes and proceeded via Hounedon Bottom Falmer Patcham Portslade to Brewery 680255 Trg. Area 5 to NORTH is used by them Tuesday and Wednesday.
0930 M.T. left S.P. in Lewes via Hamsey Westmeston Ditchling Hassocks Hurst Pierpoint Bolney to Wykehurst arriving 1030 hrs.
Wykehurst Park, England 24 February 1943
0830 Parades and trg. Normal trg. except that every person in the Bn. is doing 5 miles per day this week as laid down by Div. Bn. HQ. covered 5 miles in 65 min. without a break. E. gate Wykehurst Colwood Park House Colwood Drewits Warningled Colwood House E. Gate Wykehurst (all in S.W. corner sheet 135 and S.E. corner sheet 124)
1930 Mess Dinner.
2030 C.O.’s meeting of all officers RSM and I Sgt. on exercise Spartan. Main features of Narrative and Governing rules dealt with. Also particular policies laid on for the Bn. to follow on the exercise.
Wykehurst Park, England 25 February 1943
0830 Parades and trg.
0900 C.O. speaks to A Coy. on Exercise Spartan illustrates from Map and blackboard drawing in order to get the men “in the picture” Generally the response was one of interest and of self preparation for a tough time.
1000 C coy. receives C.O.’s talk.
1100 Sp. Coy. receives C.O.’s talk.
1330 C.O. at a meeting at to hear Corps. Commdr.
Wykehurst Park, England 26 February 1943
830 Parades and Trg, including the 5 mile forced march for all personnel.
1600 C.O. spoke to B Coy on exercise Spartan. As one interesting spect of this exercise agents were active in the area of our tps, interested on pick up information which might be valuable to our “enemy”. As another, aircraft co-operation is to be especially practiced as an element in war.
Wykehurst Park, England 27 February 1943
0830 Parades and Trg.
1000 Demonstration camouflage of vehicle by the Unit Camouflage Offr. Lieut. P.B. Hiscott (pioneers)
(J.G. Spragge) Lieut.-col.
Comd 1st Bn. Q.O.R. of C.
Wykehurst Park, England 28 February 1943
0830 All tps busily engaged packing Barrack Stores away.
1100 C.O. and I.O. at 8 Cdn. Inf. Bde. H.Q. for Moverment Order. Order to concentrate by night, by T.C.V. in order to be able to advance as rapidly as possible from an area where we wouldn’t not be expected. Tac R was available from midnight 27/28 Feb. Already the results had changed the Corps Comdrs appreciation. Speed and a defensive layout of any billet area taken up were laid down as policies.
8 Cdn. Inf. Bde. Movement Order
Trace Movements Exercise Spartan.
1230 20 T.C.Vs. R.A.S.C. under 2 Lt. R. Scholes arrived and came under command. A preliminary O gp was held, all details of move not being available.
1400 Liaison party- Maj Lett and Capt. Cottrill left to try and contact elements of 2 Cdn. Div on our right.
1530 Recce party under Capt Dampier left for R.V. with S.C. at Bde. S.P. in a T.C.V.
1700 Final O gp. Route and timings given out. T.C.Vs. allotted -1 B.H.Q., 4 and 1 spare to each Rifle Coy. Duty Coys for defence of cocnetration areas laid on.
2100 Sp Coy and T.C.Ls. marshaled on road to East gate of Wykehurst.
2245 Loading of T.C.Ls. independently by companies.
2305 Head of column left East Gate, delayed 5 minutes by the preceding serial it crossed Bde. S.P. on time.
1 March 1943
0420 Guides met various companies and took them to their areas. In spite of attempted liaison 2 Cdn Div have moved in to our original area so that we found ourselves back to back with the Calgary Highrs. A little sleep was enjoyed.
0730 Breakfast. Remainder of morning devoted largely to sleep.
1230 Brig and Bde I. O. visited H.Q. Bde Sigs laying cable to our area.
Location Statement and Trace posns 3 Cdn Div 2 Mar. ‘43
Enemy Identifications Copy
1930 5 mile route march by coys. This exercise proved valuable as the day had been completely inactive.
2350 Warning Order to move by 1930 hrs 2 Mar. ‘43
2 March 1943
256506 Griggs Green
0900 O gp Instructions to Recce Gp. I. O. and I Sgt spoke to Offrs and N.C.Os. by Coys on Marco Code and enemy identifications by vehicle markings and Div. patches.
1030 Bde O gp at 277671 called, C.O. and I.O. left immediately. There (by Farham Castle) Brig. K.G. Blackader outlined the developing situation and allotted bn. areas. The enemy now on the line of the Thames and Kennett are pushing forward small patrols. The Second Army is taking over from the mythical First, this being completed by 0600 hrs 3 Mar. ’43.
Trace 3 Cdn. Div. Area
In 8 Cdn Inf Bde, N Shore R. were allotted Ewshott and Farnham, R de Chaud the village of Bentley and Q.O.R. of C. the middle area – responsible for Crondell and for the main road to the rear. The C.O. left the O gp and the Coy Comdrs followed him to recce a new area. Woods 235467 was chosen to billet the bn and coy areas of responsibility chosen B Coy North of Crondell, C Coy Farnham X roads 218506 and Rd. Junc 273661. 235645 A Coy the vicinity of the camp. Bde. H.Q. was nearby.
1500 Owing to wireless silence and distance to R de Chaud and N. shore R., Q.O.R. of Sigs laid their own cable to Bde. C.O. and Coy Comdrs returned to camp at Griggs Green.
1230 Umpires arrived. Also 1037 maps in sets of 17. This gave us a lot to handle but even then the Coys were rather short of maps.
1700 O gp to move by M.T. to new area.
2030 Crossed Bde. S.P. on Greatham Xrds proceeded North via Farnham at Xrds 267656 and then West to woods by Perrylands Farm 235647. Considerable difficulty was experienced by tpt in getting into the woods in the new area. A Ech had to be put in the field immediately West.
3 March 1943
0600 Reveille Stand to.
0830 A Coy men at work piling faggots on the road in the bush in order that tpt that had been brought in would be able to get out again.
0900 C.O. and I.O. recced patrols and positions of all Coys. C Coy were especially enjoying their road blocks on the Farnham by pass. Among others the Corps Comdrs. vehicle was refused passage for lack of identification papers; as the C.O. was leaving they were giving a thorough check to some Provost. 3 guns of 105 A Tk Bty (N Tp) were in posn with C Coy; the 7th was with B Coy on the road to Crandell.
1230 Lunch. An afternoon of rest. As it threatened rain the tps became very busy constructing shelters from ground sheets and twigs. The architectural talent displayed was amazing but fortunately rain held off.
4 March 1943
0600 Reveille and Stand to
0900 C.O. and I.O. to Bde for a conference. Brig. K.G. Blackader outlined lates developments – The XII Corps now known to be in Bedford, 9 Armd Div (the Panda) in Rugby. 42 Armd Div in Northhampton and a new Inf Div (49 – the Polar Bear). The advance projected was to proceed as swiftly as possible and in three phases
Phase I – Line from Henley on Thamse to Wallingford and Oxford.
Phase II – the Area Wallingford Oxford Bicester Thame.
Phase III – Advance on enemy capital of Huntingdon in area Thrapston Huntingdon Bedford.
The 2nd Corps were extending along the line Salisbury- Chipping – Norton- Northampton. Anti Sabotage detachments would be required at bridges and crossings of the Thames in area of Pangbourne and Oxford. Q.O.R. of C. would be the Adv Guard and proceed in T.C.Vs.
1000 C.Os. meeting Coy Comdrs Information passed on. Order of March – 1 Sec Carriers – A Coy – A/Tk Pl – B.H.Q. – N Tp 105 A/Tk – B – C and Sp Coy. Route Bentley- Holybourne – Alton – Odiham- Bansingstoke – Sherborne – St. John – Tadley- Wasing – Woolhampton – Englefield- Pangbourne- Warborough.
1120 B.M. 8 Cdn Inf Bde phoned Enemy south of Kennett. Recce would go over Div. S.P. (North of Alton) at 1130, Q.O.R. of C. at 1200 hrs. Q.O.R. of C pulled out immediately and was on the road in 20 minutes from the completion of the Order. Unfortunately we moved so fast that we over took the Corps Recce Unit and were delayed by them 1 hour 20 minutes. Had we stayed and enjoyed a leisurely lunch we would have been just about right. Our own Div Recce did not appear until we were already halted; waiting for the R.C.Ds.; it then passed through us. Bn. proceeded on the route laid down as far as Aldermaston. Enemy resistance of a light variety was encountered at Corners Green and again at Tadley. An enemy patrol cut the Arty convoy at Sherbourne St. John but was dispersed by determined action on the part of a detachment from our rear.
Near Aldermaston the enemy were reported in Brimpton and an attack was put in on their positions. They immediately withdrew over the Kennett leaving behind sizable minefields extremely well known. 015844
The bn went into a bivouac area in Wasing Park. No supper as A and B Echelon were nowhere to be seen.
2330 C.O. and I.O. to Bde. for O gp. Bde. H.Q. in process of congealing. Traffic on the road wonderful to behold!
5 March 1943
0030 O gp. Brig. K.G. Blackader. The enemy holding the line of the Kennett and the 8 Cdn. Inf. Bde. to seize a bridgehead in area Aldermanston (R de Chaud). Q.O.R. to cross if possible – our patrols were then seeking a way across the river. N Shore R. responsible for rearward protection of Bde. Area. R.C.E. to build Class IX bridge over Kennett. T.C.Vs. revert under comd of Corps.
0130 Returning to bn A Coy was found to be well across the river with a pln near Woolhampton bridge and two pushing on. C Coy followed and took up a posn East of Woolhampton. B Coy passed through to the Aldermaston bridgehead and then went into a posn in Upper Woolhampton protecting bridgehead from North and West while the Bde coln moved North East. Sp Coy remained behind holding the left flank.
0200 Breakfast. The cookers has arrived about midnight and now produced a good meal. Unfortunately efforts to get that meal across the river to the tps were unavailing.
0600 Reveille. Stand To.
0730 Breakfast for B.H.Q. and Sp Coy. Breakfast was carried across the river with some trouble but not until midmorning and was then cold.
Wasing Park Sq. 0184
0930 P.W. brought in (South Wales Borderers L/Cpl). This man had 10 years army service having served in the East before & during the war. Despite the fact that he had been warned that Canadians did not treat their prisoners well and also that he was suffering from exposure and had to have medical treatment he gave No information. After this owing to a series of quick moves this man remained with B Ech for several days and had ample opportunity of improving on his information regarding Canadians.
1030 Warning order to move.
1200 Dinner (Fish!!!)
1345 The pontoon Bridge over the Kennett being completed and the Enemy withdrawn the advance of the invaders continued. Owing to delay in crossing bridges and traffic mams progress was very slow, for the first three hours.
1730 Q.O.R. left main rd. at 077944 Tidmarsh and moved towards what was believed to be Bivouac Area.
Pangbourne Sq. 0796
Unfortunately this turned out to be a Right flanking movement into Pangbourne whence the Enemy had withdrawn across the river Thames. and blow the main bridges at 079965 and so blocked vehicle traffic.
The North Shore Regt., R de Chaud and Q.O.R. crossed the river by foot bridge and established a bridgehead to a depth of 5 miles. Dry rations were ferried across the river and carried across the footbridge abut did not reach the tps until early morning.
6 March 1943
0100 Bn. H.Q. established near Rly Stn. A hot meal was servied by the cookers at 0130 but was sour having been too long in containers. It was a little odd on an empty stomach.
0600 Stand to.
1000 Bridgehead by 8 Cdn. Inf Bde was completed to a depth of 5 miles. Areas N. Shore R. Rd. Junc 0609 – R. De Chaud Rd. Junc 0607 and 0505 – Q.O.R. Xrds 0605 and mobile flank patrols were out. R.C.E. busily at work on a Class IX bridge over the river.
1330 Considerable enemy air activity. Bridge attacked.
1400 Bridge open for vehicle traffic. Tpt moved forward to rejoin bns. Q.O.R. of C. owing to an order which never reached the bn. found itself in the wrong area and was forced to move up to take up a position (M.R. 1008) on Warren Hill, paying special attention to A/Tk defense as an armoured attack could be expected at any time.
1700 Tpt. stopped at an intermediate posn. M.P. 0606 White Hill for a short time. While there that posn was recced by enemy observation planes.
2200 The driver of the water truck Rfn. Hawkins with the water detail Rfn. Pascoe in search of water entered Wallingford. The “German” tps allowed them through and one chatty lady was informed on asking what unit they were that they we attached to the Coldstream Guards. They came back with water and information that there was a bn of enemy and support A.A. and scout cars in Wallingford. Rfn. Comber of the carrier turned up at Bn. H.Q. as an escaped prisoner and reported that the K.O.Y.L.I. who has captured him were withdrawing N.E.
2300 Orders from Bde. to withdraw. Inf. left almost immediately, via Nuffield and Fox Covert.
7 March 1943
0130 Tpt left Warren Hill for Fox Cover. Here a little sleep was had.
0600 Tpt moved from Fox Covert to Pangbourne, Basildon, Blewbury, Upton.
1000 Here at Frog Alley Farm the cdn halted and breakfast was eaten. The rest of the bn was meanwhile moving on a shuttle basis in T.C.Vs. from Fox Covert. The 8 Cdn Inf Bde. was now on the left of the 9 Cdn Inf Bde and went into posn in area 8817 of Frifold.
8817 Bn. H.Q. set up. Coys in a defensive posn with special attention to A/Tk defence.
1900 9 Cdn. Inf. Bde. pushed on to Oxford.
8 Bde. shifted its location to fill in so Q.O.R. moved to bivouac area Appleton.
8 March 1943
0530 Stand To. This was a very cold morning with frost and in some cases water frozen in the water bottles
0700 Bn. left Appleton to pass in North through Oxford. A bridgehead had been established by 9 Cdn Inf Bde and the city of Oxford was passed through. Bridges in and around the city of Oxford was passed through. Bridges in and around the city had all been demolished with one or two exceptions The Bde pushed North of Oxford towards Kidlington 9532.
See enlargement area of Kidlington
The enemy had destroyed both bridges in the area of 9533., and footbridges is sq. 9435 and retired to the other side on our arrival. The bn crossed the river in attack against the enemy – who had Inf., M.G. , and Armour all working together on the far side. During this operation Q.O.R. of C. lost very heavily. A Coy had one man, B Coy 1 section and C Coy a little more than 1 Pl left. Total strength Rifle Coys 43, being Sp Coy about 90, two carrier, 2 mortars and 2 A/Tk guns being lost. N. Shore R came fwd and relieved Q.O.R. of C. which now proceeded to reorganized. The “dead” were despatched to Didcot stn. to camp out for the duration of Spartan. The Bn was reorganized as a Rifle Coy. The arrival of 23 reinforcements brought up the strength of the Rifle Coy to about 70. Capt. R.D. Medland of C Coy. was in command as the one remaining Rifle Coy comdr. Reorganisation was completed and the bn moved about 200 yds into a field for the night. 949334
9 March 1943
0600 Stand to.
0810 Movement Order by R/T Q.O.R. of C. in rear to act as rear guard and at the last moment to move in tpt.
0850 N. Shore R were passing Bn. H.Q. as news came in of an enemy attack from across the River. Orders to disperse tpt and await orders came through. N. Shore R were passing Bn. H.Q. as news came in of an enemy attack from across the River. Orders to disperse tpt and await orders came through. N. Shore R. returned and defended the bridgehead. The attack repulsed, the N. Shore R. left on the Bde route South to Oxford thence North East towards Buckingham. Q.O.R. of C. total strength with tpt drivers about 250 remained holding the area Kidlington as rearguard. Bde. moved out and wished us the best of luck.
1500 Lt. – Col. Megill GSOI 3 Cdn Div arrived and ordered an attack on enemy posns by night. Full Div. Arty was to be in support and a sqn from 7 Recce detailed to add to our strength. The attack was planned but the Recce Sqn was awaited. During the afternoon the bn. in three parts – Sp Coy and Rifle Coy in two gps, one near Kidlington, one area Northfield Farm nobsily patrolled our bank of the river. The Mortar Carriers were used as Carriers and generally the best front possibly was put up.
2100 O gp. Lt. – Cpl. Spragge detailed the tasks of Sp Coy, Rifle Coy, Recce and Arty. Sp Coy to cross river at Zero and attack Hampton Poyle, the Rifle Coy to cross pass through and dislodge the enemy from his dug in posns on the banks of the river. Area of bridges in sq. 9533 was detailed as their objective. The Recce were to look after our rear. 1 Regt of Arty to neutralise Hampton Poyle, the other 2 to take on concentration of enemy in Islip. Zero set for 0300. Bn. H.Q. in same area as previous night. 944334
10 March 1943
0200 Light Breakfast.
0230 Report from Northfield Farm Patrol that the enemy had withdrawn from Islip and the road was clear North and East for a mile.
0245 C.O. Contacted Arty and withdrew the Arty concentration.
0300 Sp Coy crossed and tool Hampton Poyle. The enemy had completely withdrawn.
0340 The Rifle Coy crossed the river and went South to its bridgehead posn, No enemy were in the vicinity; they had left about 2200 hrs the night previous. The posn. Was secured and the coy dug in before daylight.
0600 R.C.E. commenced bridging
0730 First bridge completed. The other stream was fordable to vehicles so the Recce bn. crossed and the C.O. crossed to control contact N Shore R. then approaching Islip from the East.
0900 4 P.W. brought in by a Sgt. of 7 Recce. These were despatched to the P.W. cage of the previous day. 8 Cdn Inf Bde did NOT set up a collecting post and did not notify the Div. P.W. cage until usually, evening of the day for which it was set up. They returned at 1200 hrs and were fed and despatched again with a D.R.
1400 Bn. lifted complete in its own M.T. crossed the bridges and followed the rest of the Bde. on route Islip – Elsfield – Studleigh – Boarstall – Pidlington – Calvert – Botolph Claydon – East Clayden. 184450 The bn was held up for some time owing to the fwd Bde not having pushed on and vacated the billet area earmarked for us. Supper was eaten here and billeting laid on.
2100 Folly Farm in the intended billet area.
Folly Farm 11 March 1943
0600 Stand to
The bn stood by the morning waiting for word to come to go ahead. We were again the last bn in the Div being still the weakest.
1400 Moved North viz Padbury – Thornborough – Thornton – Stony Stratford to billets in Brick Kiln Farm. Those not needed in vehicles marched for exercise.
1700 Supper in Brick Kiln Farm. Excellent bivouac available in the straw outside the barn. Inhabitants very friendly and co-operative.
12 March 1943
0500 Warning Order. Stand by to move.
0600 Moved off North to Stony Stratford and then East to Woolverton.
0800 Owing to the traffic problem the Bn was able to have breakfast in the streets of Woolverton.
0900 In the midst of the traffic Jam Cease Fire Spartan came through. General rejoicing followed, also unfortunately by a general rush to buy bread and the like which had been forbidden in the exercise, which was on thing the compo pack lacked whose absence was felt.
The bn moved first to a preliminary concentration area and then to a billet area West of Newport Pagnell. Everyone being rather worn out from lack of sleep and being confined to the concentration area because of the mass of tps concentrated in the vicinity, proceeded to rest up.
1600 C.O. went to Bde. H.Q. for and O gp. It was considered likely that we would remain 2 days and the Mobile Bath was laid on to visit us the following day.
1700 On return a meeting if all officers took place. The towns were placed definitely out of bounds as also were any purchases and the bn. divided up in groups for the purpose of trying compo cooking by small groups for the next few days.
1800 Orders came through from 8 Cdn Inf Bde that movement back to camp would take place the following day. Maj. Lett 2 i/c and Capt. MacRae Adjt. With and Advance Party left for Wykehurst Park.
13 March 1943
0130 Bde O gp for move. The Duty Offr. Lieut. D.B. Hamilton attended. Lieut. J.C. Arber was detailed to meet the T.C.Vs.
3 Cdn. Div. Administrative Order
If T.C.Vs. did not arrive by 0730 the move was to be cancelled. Time over S.P. 0827 hrs.
0830 T.C.Vs. arrived for move for Q.O.R. This was not a problem as we were still able to lift our entire bn in our own tpt, being late however, they delayed the move. Route: Newport Pagnell – Linslade – Aylesbury – Thame – Henley on Thames – Maidenhead – Windsor – Egham – Weybridge – Leatherhead – Dorking – Reigate – Crawley. At Linslade the Bde was held up for 2 hours while one Bde of the 12 Corps passed by on our route; the routes coincided unfortunately from Linslade to Aylesbury. Again at Thame a convoy of Army Med. Arty. and Army R.C.E. delayed us further. An accident near Watlington added another hour. As a result the bn arrived at Wykehurst quite late. 694434
2200 En route tps fed themselves from the Compo Packs, there were no “official halts” except one near Dorking just before nightfall. The route was particularly well marked and the C.O.’s Heavy Utility Personnel now christened the “Gin Barge” proved and excellent vehicle from which to lead a convoy. Facilities for map reading are particularly good and the vehicle can be held at a steady pace quite well.
14 March 1943
WYKEHURST PARK 694434
Everyone today busy recovering from SPARTAN, washing up and cleaning up after two weeks of moving. It was still hard to get out of the habit of feeling that at any moment one might be ordered STAND BY to move.
1030 Church Parade – Capt. J.C. Clough in the Mess Hall.
2230 the “dead” – A Coy. and B Coy. returned to us having spent a week in the vicinity of DIDCOT doing very little except march from pace to place.
15 March 1943
0630 Reveille Routine as usual.
Double the number of Privilege leaves is now being allowed. Consequently a large number are getting ready to go off.
1400 Coy. Comdrs meeting. The condition of the camp on our leaving on SPARTAN came up for criticism by the Rear Party. The impending move to SHOREHAM announced and Recce and Advance parties detailed.
1900 Movie – San Francisco – K. of C. Hut.
16 March 1943
0630 Reveille Routine as usual.
1100 Recce parties under Lt.-col. J.G. Spragge proceeded to SHOREHAM to recce new billets and operational role.
1600 A Spitfire crashed near Cuckfield and a Cdn Sgt. Pilot was picked up by Lt.-col. J.G. Spragge and Lt. Weir, Q.M. He was not hurt. The plan was nearly a total loss, a guard from “C” Coy mounted and remained until Sunday morning.
1900 Mess Dinner – The last Mess dinner of the concentration of the regiment for some time.
17 March 1943
0630 Reveille Routine as usual.
1000 Advance party left for area of R. de Chaud. 1 truck per Coy. and 1 Station Waggon for B.H.Q. The advance party on arrival split up and went to the various Coy areas of R. de Chaud. Meanwhile a similar party went from R. de Chaud to WYKEHURST.
2000 Dance – K. of C. Hut.
18 March 1943
WYKEHURST PARK 694434
Coys all preparing for move the following day. Convoy of baggage proceeded from WYKEHURST to SHOREHAM. Advance party busy taking over billets and anti-raid role. Take over Operational Role. R. de Chaud.
1800 K. of C. Hut. Bingo
19 March 1943
0800 Everyone clear of huts which were well cleaned.
0845 Tps at EAST GATE WYKEHURST. Tpt ready to move. Movement 1st Bn. The Q.O.R. of C. as per Movement Order #10
1530 Tps arrived in SHOREHAM R. de Chaud relieved of responsibility at 1600hrs
20 March 1943
0900 C.O. at 8 Cdn Inf Bde for conference on Anti Raid Role and Trg. Rear partied left for new area.
1430 C.O’s O gp. All Officers at meeting. Preliminary laying on of Anti Raid Role. Programme of smartening up and warning of likelihood of LADYBIRD following day.
21 March 1943
0715 LADYBIRD SECTOR B. The SDG came embussed to area ROTTINE DEAN in a test of the Anti Raid Role in SECOTR B. While Shoreham was not directly involved this proved a good way of testing our Anti Raid Defences. Two Coys in the fwd conc did not Stand To for although notified, because the runners on the phone did not inform the Coy Comdr. The 9 Bn Sx. HG were not available at their Bn H.Q. as they do not function between 0500hrs and 0900hrs. Apart from that the operation went smoothly on our part. The Public Utilities to be warned unfortunately were not reached. The actual attack was very successful on the part of the invaders.
1200 Cease Fire arrived finally. The enemy were shortly afterwards seen leaving the area in their tpt.
22 March 1943
0615 P.T. and the morning run.
Brigadier K.G. Blackader visited the new Bn. Orderly Room after seeing the local Home Guard. The 9 Bn. Sx. H.Q. newly formed is attached to us for training and comes under command during operations. C.O. busily engaged all afternoon rewriting Anti-Raid role.
23 March 1943
0600 Reveille. Routine as usual. Men are quite decided about the new place; it is very much better than the last six months. The amenities of a town are much to be desired and the procedure of presence of a large number of A.T.S. near “A” Coy. lines has that particular coy. quite busy and happy.
2300 Rfn. French the great A.W.L. apprehended at Brighton.
24 March 1943
0900 Coy Comdrs meeting. Anti-raid role gone over in detail and training reviewed. Next week end to be field firing and plenty of ammunition if available for the day. No regular targets are on hand but good sized areas are allotted to each coy in the training area. On Friday ceremonial parade.
Adjutant’s order for parade Appendix 14
25 March 1943
Anti-raid role distributed
This now lays down precisely what is to be done unlike the previous documents.
26 March 1943
Q.O.R. of C. Location Statement distributed
1500 Ceremonial parade.
1700 Coy Comdrs meeting to straighten out Priv. Leaves situation on it appearing that some were getting it too soon. Leaves temporarily suspended.
27 March 1943
0800 Coys on their way out to Trg. Area 5 for the day’s field firing – Grenades, Bren, Rifle, T.M.C. and Mortars. Sp Coy working especially in their own weapons in the draw from Mile Oak to the Hospital; C Coy near Perching Hill Barn; B Coy just East of Thunders Barrow Hill and A Coy South from Beeding Hill; B.H.Q. & H.Q. Coy near New Erringham Barn.
1500 His Grace Archbishop Derwyn T. Owen Archbishop of Toronto arrived in company with Major Taylor Senior Chaplain 2 Cdn. Div. and was met by the Padre Capt. J.C.Clough and after a short rest to recover from a strenuous day went around to the men of all coys.
1900 His Grace visited the Mess and took supper. He was welcomed on behalf of the unit by Lt. – Col. J.G. Spragge. As his Grace was once a member of the Q.O.R the unit was particularly honoured by his presence. After seeing the batmen His Grace said a short evening prayer and left. For the occasion his son Lieut. David Owen was present.
28 March 1943
Firing continued on Trg. Area 5 by Coys until 1255 hours when it ceased on orders from Bde. 1 Cdn. Div exercise made further firing dangerous. C.O. Lt.-Col. J.G. Spragge left on R.A.F. co-operation course at Old Sarum. The Germans raided Brighton machine gunning the Rly Stn at Preston and dropping two small bombs near the gas works on the Spit in Hove.
29 March 1943
Field Firing resumed to-day but finished by 1500 hrs for all Coys except A Coy who put on a demonstration for the G.O.C. and senior staff officers and officers of the C.W.A.C. of a company in the attack. Major S.M. Lett in command of the bn. explained the exercise to the spectators.
30 March 1943
0800 Parades and Trg.
Issue of New Rifles to the Riflemen of the Bn.
31 March 1943
0800 Parades and Training.
2000 Mess Dinner. Election of new mess committee. Maj. Lett spoke briefly on care of the new rifles and distribution T.M.C.
S.M. Lett Major
T/Comd 1st Bn. Q.O.R. of C.
652249 1 April 1943
1500 A Mosquito brought down by our own AA when it flew too low. It landed on the railway and held up traffic on the Brighton-Shoreham line. The pilot lost an arm and a leg in the affair; he had dived to avoid an ME 109.
652249 2 April 1943
652249 3 April 1943
1330 “I” Sgt and Pioneer Sgt went over the posns of B C and D Coy 9 Bn Sx HG with the HQ I Sgt in connection with the survey of Defensive instalations.
1400 CO lectured to all officers on Air Cooperation the subject of the course from which he had just returned. In particular – the new method of identifying spots on an oblique with points on the map by means of a fan shaped set of grid lines on talking was especially interesting.
643252 4 April 1943
1000 Church Parade for BHQ, “HQ”, Band “SP” Coy in Old St. Mary’s Church SHOREHAM. This Church datyes back to early Norman times and the architecture impressed everyone.
1000 IO, “I” Sgt and Pioneer Sgt continued recce. This time of “A” Coy 9 Bn Sx HG Posns.
1400 CO left on Priv Leave.
643252 5 April 1943
0800 Parades and Trg.
643252 6 April 1943
0830 IO contacting other units in vicinity – RN, RAF, HG – re the PDI in the area – all day. Also contacting 4 Arm’d Bde and 1 Cdn Arm’d Car Regt in regard to the Anti Raid Role.
100 German Recce plane (make unknown) passed overhead, too high to distinguish anything but exhaust.
643252 7 April 1943
643252 8 April 1943
3 Officers and 27 OR’s arrived from RU which is a welcome addition.
643252 9 April 1943
1000 All Officers at GOCs lecture on SPARTAN – Odean Theatre HORSHAM. GOC 3 Cdn Div Maj Gen RFL Keller outlined the events of SPARTAN which made intelligible the moves of the unit. He concluded by touching on future training especially in the matter of mines, – now definitely an infantry affair.
The Report on PDI completed was forwarded to 8 Cdn Inf Bde.
643252 10 April 1943
0930 Cos parade – Maj VA Guianelli, T/Comd QOR of C inspected the Bn.
643252 11 April 1943
1000 Church Parade for A Coy and ATS AA Bty. This arrangement very popular with A Coy who regarded the proximity of the AA Bty as a good thing.
1500 Stirling bomber crashed a few miles out. When the Walrus went to pick up the crew it was too heavily laden to take off so it taxied in QOR of C now placed a guard in spite of the availability of 2762 Sqn RAF Regt.
1530 CO returned from leave.
1700 Capt EA Dunlop QOR of C returned from attachment to 2nd Bn The Buffs in the First Army in Tunisia for a period of three months and proceeded to impart the lessons of experience.
643252 12 April 1943
Meeting on Anti Raid Defence of Area. Representatives of 9 Bn Sx HG, RAF Regt, RAF Truleigh Hill, Aerodrome Shoreham, and 12 Fd Regt attended in order to streghten out smaller points arising. Anti Invasion matters were postponed to a future meeting owing to the absence of the Navy and of any definitive Anti Invasion Operation Instruction.
643252 13 April 1943
1600 IO with LDA at Shoreham Aerodrome considering defences there.
2030 Capt EA Dunlop spoke to all Officers on his experiences in Tunisia. The talk, from one who had been there, on his actual experiences, was worth a dozen books couched as they always are in stiff and formal terms. The importance of individual weapon trg, of patrolling and of Field Engineering of Arty and of Aircraft Recognition were stressed – also the relation of discipline to morale under fire. The story of the engagement in which the first German PzKW VI was knocked out and which the Buffs accomplished was told and the history of that day pointed out the usual lessons but much better for being actual.
643252 14 April 1943
1300 Capt EA Dunlop lectured to “A” Coy and aroused considerable interest. The questions by the men were however severely practical – confined to eating, how much marching – and any women.
1800 Formal Mess
2000 CO, 2ic, Adjt and Ios of the Bde at bde for a conference on SPARTAN. Brig KG Blackader spoke on the report from 1 Cdn Corps which generally commended the infantry but stressed certain points such as R-T procedure, Bn HQ procedure and Admn matters such as casualties.
643252 15 April 1943
0900 Capt EA Dunlop spoke to Bn HQ and “HQ” Coy.
1330 Lecture to “B” Coy. In both of these lectures great interest was shown, the trend of interest a bit more military in “A” Coy.
643252 16 April 1943
0930 Lecture, Capt Dunlop to “B” Coy. Notes taken by “I” Sec.
The lectures are arousing great interest and discussion around the battalion.
643252 17 April 1943
0030 Air Raid Warning Red followed by a plane flying low and bursts of MG fire. This turned out to be a British plane and fire was from an AA post. However one man out “Joy Riding” in a Bn truck thought retribution had overtaken him in the form of a German raider firing on him and was so unnerved that he drove the truck up the ramp of the Upper Shoreham Bridge and suffered multiple injures and “CHARGES” in consequence.
0130 All clear – no raider appeared.
0800 Coy Trg according to syllabus.
1330 During the afternoon and evening a party was held in the Offrs Mess for the CO’s first anniversary. Brig Gibson, once from the QOR and Major JEC Pangman, now at Staff College, were among visitors.
2300 “B” Coy attacked RDF station TRULEIGH HILL with parial success. Exercise.
643252 18 April 1943
0630 Reveille. The weather continued remarkably clear and warm and spring growth a month ahead of usual. Newspaper report this season the earliest in 50 years.
1000 Compulsory Church Parade for “C” Coy. Voluntary for BHQ, HQ & Support, at St. Mary’s Church, attendance quite good.
1200 A Coy attack on TRULEIGH HILL RDG Station, partial success. Operation order and Intelligence Trg report. EXERCISE “TOULON”. There were three Alerts during the day. No raider appeared.
643252 19 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather overcast, some rain.
0800 Trg according to SYLLABUS.
643252 20 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Wather, clear and sunny.
0800 Trg according to SYLLABUS.
A/Capt Mills SOS to 4 CIRU on rotation of Officers. Capt SC Heyes Joined Bn, rotation of Offrs.
643252 21 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather clear, cool easterly winds.
0800 Trg according to syllabus.
Capt Nickson to command “C” Coy. Lt Fleming to command “A” during the absence of Capt Dampier (leave).
643252 22 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather stormy and cool.
0945 Move to demonstration area.
1100 Demonstration of German tactics, organization and drill by 1 Cdn Div German Dem Team, the demonstration consisted of 1 German Plt on the approach march. 2 Plt in the attack. 3 Right & Wrong way of handling PW’s. 4 German words of command. 5 German squad drill using German words, of command. 6 the German Plt in defences. The demonstration was very interesting and effective although marred by bad weather. When visitbility was limited to about 100 yds at times, and also spoiled by about only ¾ of the spectators being able to see and hear.
A draft arrived from the RU Major DS Cameron, & Capt LJ Griffith of 10 CRU were att. To the Regt for Trg. CSM Faust P and L/Cpl Stewart AE att from 1 CGRU for Training.
Capt JL Dampier ceases to hold powers of detachment commander wef 22 Apr 43.
643252 23 April 1943
0630 Reveille. Weather Stormy. “NO PARADES”
2345 Following an all clear, Heavy AA fired about ten rds. No report of enemy activity.
Capt SC Heyes granted powers of detachment commander, and to command “A” Coy.
643252 24 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather clear and cool.
1000 CO Inspection at Buckingham Park. Inspection by Major Lett 2 ic, in the absence of the CO who was at Bde HQ with adjt.
Major JW McClain QOR of C now at CMHQ visited the Regt.
643252 25 April 1943
0630 Reveille. Weather. Fair with periods of sunshine. Cool.
0900 Church Parade “C” Coy Southwick Parish Church.
1000 Church Parade St. Marys Church. BHQ HQ Sp “A” “B” Coys. This being Easter Sunday the ban on Bell ringing was lifted and the church bell summoned the people to church. A silence broken only twice while the regiment has been in this country, once at the relief of Tobruk and again at Churstmas 1942.
643252 26 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather Stormy.
0800 Coy Trg according to syllabus.
Formal dress on the 83rd anniversary of formation of QOR of C. Major JW McClain, Capt Fess and Capt Dunbar were visitors.
643252 27 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Occasional clouds, cool breeze.
0800 Coy Trg according to syllabus.
1135 Planing orders for Exercise “BEACH”
1530 CO’s O Gp for Exercise “BEACH”. Capt Dalton TOS on return from Instructing at CTS.
643252 28 April 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather clear, slight breeze.
1330 Bn March to exercise “BEACH. Bn left Billets. Upper Shoreham Br. 642251.
1430 (607244) SP.
1635 (546289) Arrived Muntham Court.
1845 CO O Gp.
Bridgehead established Upper Beeding 6329. Findon 5628. Purpham 4728. Abel BH have a advanced to Windlesham House School 853304. Baker BH are est Blackpatch Hill Wood 5329. Enemy hold Highden Barn Area 548360 in strength. This area to be cleared before further adv can be made.
1930 CO’s recce 1930-2145 hrs.
2000 Coy Comds Recce 2000-2145 hrs.
2200 Recce Patrols to go out at 2300 and 0300 29 April. 3 patrols at each time composed of 1 section each with Officer. I/c cover Coy area decided on by previous Recce.
546289 Muntham Court, England 29 April 1943
0300 Patrols report Enemy Posns located and apparently patrols not seen as they were Not challenged.
0500 Patrols confirm Enemy location and extend Recce. No interference.
0730 Reveille. Weather clear & warm.
0830 CO’s O Gp. Plan to attack Enemy posns from the east at 548348. “C” Coy leading. Enemy posn at 545310 and 542310 then to be attacked by “B” Coy and “A” Coy respectively. Zero 1030 hrs.
0930 Capt HS McRae left exercise prior to leaving for duty with 1 Cdn Div HQ.
1030 Attacked opened.
1115 “C” Coy Successful.
1230 “B” Coy Successful.
1300 “A” Coy Successful.
1315 Cease fire.
1400 Offrs to Div HQ.
1430 Major Cameron, Capt Hiscott, Capt Gree, Capt Parkinson & Lt Herbert went to 3 Cdn Div HQ prior to taking part in Exercise “Welch”.
They returned from Div HQ at about 1800 hrs and left immediately for camp.
Coy 2ic under Major Lett recce area Highden Hill. Running west to 542310 for Coy Posns.
1630 Bn moved in Coy area, repaired wire and est posns for the night.
2100 It commenced to drizzel which developed into a steady rain lasting all night.
548348 Highden Hill, England 30 April 1943
0500 The CO had returned to camp earlier in the evening under orders to attend a Court of Inquiry. Major Lett took over command.
Reveille. Heavy mist and rain. Visibility almost Zero. Only one Enemy patrol had been seen during the night.
0800 Bn moved from posns on hill to observation posn on opposite slope. Weather slightly improved.
1000 R de Chaud started attack on posns previously held by QOR. Their attack was well timed and mortar fire impressive.
1230 Montham Course 546289 Moved from Observation to Bivouac Area.
1330 Bn moved by march to Shoreham Billets.
1520 Passed North Shore Regt at approx 595248 as they were moving to Highden Hill for Exercise “Beach”.
1540 Arrived at Upper Shoreham Bridge 642251, 653249.
On the evening of 27 April Mr. Sholto Walt, Military correspondent for the Montreal Star visited the QOR.
On arrival back in camp we learnt that capt HS McRae had met with an accident while moving to 1 Cdn Div HQ. The Jeep he was riding in being side swiped by a heavy trailer. He suffered a broken arm and lacerations of the head. His batman and the driver of the Jeep were uninjured.
SOS to 3 Cdn Div HQ and LO – Capt JL Dampier
652248 SHOREHAM, England 1 May 1943
652248 SHOREHAM, England 2 May 1943
1350 QOR of C boarded train for Bisley Camp.
382770 Bisley 1630 Arrived and allotted tents to Coys. Everyone CB.
2100 All personnel on ranges for explanation and organization by Lt R. Fleming and WG Harvey.
3822770 Bisley, England 3 May 1943
All Coys on ranges firing all day as much as possible.
The new rifles fire surprisingly well although everyone is very rusty owing to the almost complete lack of facilities for any range firing during the past year.
3822770 Bisley, England 4 May 1943
0700 Personnel who are participating on Exercise WELSH left for camp.
0800 Continue firing on ranges.
652248 Shoreham 1730 O Gp for Ex Welsh. CO at 8 Cdn Inf Bde. Bde Comd for exercise gave out orders.
2100 CO O Gp for Exercise WELSH Maj Lett T/Comd. QOR of C Exercise WELSH gave out orders for the move to concentration area.
3822770 Bisley, England 5 May 1943
0730 Bn continued firing on Long and Short Siberia Ranges.
1730 Bn Boarded train at BROOKWOOD for Camp. R de Chaud having taken over the ranges.
652248 Shoreham 1930 Arrived SHOREHAM.
0715 Convoy of Bn HQ for Exercise WELSH moved off to reach Bde SP on time.
List of personnel and Vehs on WELSH Appendix 6
Trave showing route & Movement Table 3 Cdn Div and 8 Cdn Inf Bde.
051336 5 May, 1943
0820 Bde SP.
1055 Bn in posn. Later a move was made to 053243 vicinity HANKHAM.
2100 Bde O Gp Lt Col JG Spragge QOR of C A/Bde Comd disposed the 8 Cdn Inf Bde; the O gp moved to HQ 12 Fd Regt.
652248 Shoreham, England 6 May 1943
0345 Gunfire was heard to sea by the OP in the Old Fort 658238; the Stand To pls were consequently warned and waited for the stand down at 0410.
1300 70 OR’s QOR of C SOS to 1 Cdn Depots as reinforcements for 1 Cdn Div (!)
1430 The funeral of the late Capt HS McRae sometime the very able and well liked Adjutant of this bn took place today. The firing party was under RSM H Fox whose account is attached.
“Smokey” joined the regiment in Sussex, NB and was a Cpl when sent to OCTU in England. On rejoining the regiment he was for a time with B Coy then A/Adjt. He became adjt in October 42 and was to become a Div LO 1 Cdn Div when he was killed in a road accident 30 April. The Army lost in him an able officer.
053243 Vicinity EASTBOURNE 0600 Exercise WELSH Reveille and Stand To.
0800 CO’s O Gp Major Lett T/Comd QOR of C addressed all ranks on the object and detail of this Exercise. Given in a racy and colloquoial style it put the entire “Skeleton Bn” in the picture and was much appreciated by all ranks.
0945 Left Area
0954 Over Bde SP
1005 Over Div SP
See movement Table 6 May ’43/
“Opposition” was encountered at JEVINGTON and an attack with Arty on enemy in the Downs area LONG BARROW HILL. The “Attack” being unsuccessful Arty fire was called for and given. The attack was however, unsuccessful; Bn settles down.
3 Cdn Div Location Statement Appendix 10
652248 Shoreham, England 7 May 1943
1800 3 Cdn Div Ban, with the Bn for the day gave a concert in Windlesham Gdns.
Vicinity Eastbourne 0530 “WELSH” reveille
0700 “Attack” 9 Bde supported by 7 and 8, successful.
0800 O gp for move.
See Movement Table 7 May Appendix 11
0930 Zero SP Rd Junc 881269.
2015 Moved to posn Vicinity East of Stockbridge.
2115 O gp Enemy 1 Bn on high ground. Bde to make silent river crossing and drive enemy out.
0300 Attack began, and was cleared through.
652248 Shoreham, England 8 May 1943
0600 Reveille. Parades and Trg continue in spite of the shortage of offrs – one per coy during the past two weeks had been the effective strength.
1600 3 Offrs and 7 Sgts RCAF arrived for an attachment of about 7 days.
Stockbridge 786543 1000 WELSH BHQ in new posn Arty OP nearby. Attack put in by Bde with Arty support. The advance continued during the afternoon with a number of delaying actions.
687504 2000 QOR in posn for night.
652248 Shoreham, England 9 May 1943
0630 Reveille Routine as usual
1900 C Coy Film “Lancer Spy”
Stockbridge 678504 0010 Bde O gp for immediate move March Table for move, Route Xrds 042538 Rd Junc 5853 X Rd 539619, Oberservatory 511698. Over Start Line N Shore R bumped enemy on BALL DOWN. Enemy infiltrated somewhat our DF and SOS tasks were laid on.
The fire on these tasks prevented the enemy from making headway. (The day cleared up and clothes, etc were dried somewhat). Towards evening the forward coy was relieved and later patrols were sent out.
2200 O gp for DAWN ATTACK area CHURCH HILL 4773 (OS 112) with forward posns GREAT Forest DOWN. Attack by 7 and 9 CIB. 8 CIB in reserve.
652248 Shoreham, England 10 May 1943
0630 Reveille. Windy and rainy weather.
Change of Comd owing to Major SM Lett proceeding on Senior Offiers Course.
Capt EA Dunlop T/Comd QOR of C.
OS #122 500686 0430 Heavy Arty Fire heard.
0600 Breakfast. Weather stormy and rainy again.
Major SC Heyes arrived to take the place of Major SM Lett.
1430 O Gp for move. Trace for Movement and March Table.
OS 122 586865 1830 Over Bde SP moving to CIRENCESTER 2847. Route Lark Hill – Cherhill- Wootton Basset – Cirencester. See Appendix.
652248 Shoreham, England 11 May 1943
0048 QOR of C in posn.
Cirencester 428308 0830 O Gp for move to SENNY BRIDGE. March Table
OS 104 367250 2220 Arrived Bivouac Area.
652248 Shoreham, England 12 May 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather Dull.
OS 104 367250 0800 Weather fair but heavy mist. All available proceeded to area 3458 to see Arty demonstartion. Impressive but a little obscured.
1300 Move to concentration area piror to return.
652248 Shoreham, England 13 May 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather fice.
1500 baseball game Sigs cs C Coy 11 -16.
Devy Nock 378498 0400 Reveille and Breakfast
645413 0600 Left area.
0718 Over Start Line at CHICK HOWELL. Route SENNYBRIDGE – BRECON – ABEREAVENNY – CLOUCESTER – CIRENCESTER (1155) SWINDON – NEWBURY – BASINGSTOKE – FARNHAM – ALFORD (1755) – BILLINGSHURST – SHOREHAM.
2000 Arrived SHOREHAM.
652248 Shoreham, England 14 May 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather fine.
The I Section were out in German uniform this morning, first at A Coy and in the afternoon at C Coy.
Major Bert Wemp ex Mayor of Toronto and City Editor of the Toronto Evening Telegram visited the QOR of C today, saw the A/Tk Plt in action firing seawards (the target was again sunk), lunched with the officers of Bn HQ and visited A and C Coy in the afternoon. Pictures were taken, the most amusing potentially at least, being three members of the I section in German uniform being chased by C Coy.
2100 Sergeants Party!
652248 Shoreham, England 15 May 1943
0600 Reveille. Weather Fine.
Sgt Hall – A/Tk Plt and Sgt Land – I Sgt left today pursuant to the policy against personnel in the field over 40. This loses for the unit two of the finest Sergeants that it has seen.
1410 Bn Sp Entire Bn proceeded via North Lancing – Sompting Abbots – Salvington – Patching Hill to Michelgrove on the estate of the Duke of Norfolk, for three days in Trg Area 7 arriving 1525 rather hot for marching.
1930 O Gp.
All specialists to Rifle Coys – Sigs to A, I sec to B Coy.
The object of these three days is to practice throughly the Lane (or German) and Pepperpot (Roughly the method before Battle Drill became popular) methods of Attack. Training to be done by Coys.
Scheme “Teacher” 518276 16 May 1943
Training in Lane attack carried on by coys with carrier & mortar support. Also some practice of Pepper Pot method.
Scheme “Teacher” 518276 17 May 1943
Coy training as on 16 May.
1130 A very unfortunate accident occurred in which Sgt Lavalle was quite seriously wounded by a .303 bullet which passed thru his upper left leg smashing the bone en route. The accident was caused by the untimely discharge of a rifle in the hands of Rfn Shilson who had loaded & applied the half cock. The MO, Capt Kirsch was soon on the scene and Sgt Lavalle was on the way to hospital. Coy training continued. During the afternoon Brig Blackader paid the Regiment a visit and watched the various coys in their training.
1900 O Gp for a dawn attack on Black Patch Hill 5328 from Harrow Hill 5129.
Scheme “Teacher” 518276 18 May 1943
0300 Tea after which the various coys. Left for their FUPs. Zero was at 0405 and a heavy artillery barrage was laid down for about 30 mins. The attack went in at first light was considered to be quite successful. At 0630 a demonstration was given of the effect of heavy Bren gun fire on stipulated targets. Breakfast was issued on Harrow Hill and then the Regiment returned to their temporary camp and made preparations for the return to Shoreham.
Start Point was Twin houses 522270 at 1015 hrs Capt Dunlop led the march home and reached the DP 649252 at 1400 hrs.
Shoreham 642258 19 May 1943
0800 Day mainly spent in cleaning equipment and preparations for DV parade for tomorrow.
0830 RCAF personnel attached to us (3 Offrs & 7 Sgts) left for their own camp.
From all reports they had enjoyed their stay with us and had learned a considerable amount.
Shoreham 642258 20 May 1943
0900 SP for DV Parade was at 621247 and all coys congregated there independantly.
1200 The parade then proceeded led by Lt Col JG Spragge to Findon Roundabout 555283 where we marched past HRH the Duke of Gloucester and his party. Also present were Major General RFL Keller and Brigadier KG Blackader. The morning march was uncomforable due to the fact that serge tunics had to be worn and as the day was very hot. Lunch was had just south of Findon and at 1300 hrs we continued on our way to Shoreham arriving at 1500 hrs.
1100 Word was received that one of our former men B65045 Rfn Allaway, FG had died in hospital during the night of TB. Rfn Allaway had arrived in England in July, 1942 and had come to the field in Sept. A military funeral will be held at Brookwood cemetary on Sat 22 June ’43.
1215 Four FW 190 appeared over Shoreham flying at 19000 ft. All AA opened up and the battery on Mill Hill is believed to have hit one of them. The planes immediately clumbed to 30000 and fled in a south-westerly direction.
1500 A draft of 4 offrs & 32 OR’s arrived and were posted to various existing coys. These offrs, NCO’s and men will mainly be used to reform D Coy when it comes into being once more.
Shoreham 642258 21 May 1943
0800 Coy training as usual with B Coy on improvised ranges. (652277)
1800 Baseball game B Coy vs Sp Coy which B Coy won 19-0. Sp Coy were rather peaved and Capt AV Malone wore a broad smile.
Shoreham 642258 22 May 1943
0600 Reveille – routine as usual.
1400 Rfn Allaway formerly of C Coy who was taken with “galloping” consumption and died on Wednesday was buried today at Brookwood Cemetary.
Shoreham 642258 23 May 1943
1000 A Coy, 1 Sec Carriers and 2 3” Mortars under Capt RD Medland and Capt HE Dalton proceeded NORTH from their billets to Trg Area 6 for exercise HOT SPOT. From CROSS DYKE they advanced meeting opposition first from HILL BARN and then from NO MAN’S LAND. This was cleared and the last part of the exercise was not completed owing to the time taken. The exercise was carried out by the NCO’s, officers acting as umpires and was regarded as a good one.
1300 Lt Col JG Spragge went out to Trg Area 7 to observe the exercise and then with Lt RL Bickford, Adjt and Capt WJ Weir, QM and others proceeded on a recce of the new area to which QOR of C will be moved.
Shoreham 642248 24 May 1943
0600 Reveille – Routine as usual. This is NOT a holiday in England.
Shoreham 642248 25 May 1943
1000 Advance Party left for new billets – vicinity BOLNEY X RDS and MOON HILL.
Major Johnston (attached) and Capt EA Dunlop in charge.
1200 A formation estimated at 14 FW 190 fightings and fighter bombers dropped 25 bombs on Brighton causing considerable damage and civilian casualties. 65 men from A & B Coys were despatched immediately to help in cleaning up and digging people out.
1330 DV – Dean Mackenzie of the National Research Council arrived with Maj Gen RFL Keller. Brig Blackader and Lt Col Spragge accompanied the party around. SP Coy although duty coy produced a gun team from the A/Tk Sergeants who in spite of difficulty with weather and the target put up an excellent show. B Coy when visited gave a demonstration of field work and especially of the use of the 2 inch mortar.
1800 The battle of the century – the return match of SP and B Coy took place; B Coy won again 6-5 but only by a very narrow margin.
2000 A Coy personnel returned having been relieved by personnel from Cdn Gren Cds.
Shoreham 642248 26 May 1943
0500 Men from A & B Coy returned from working in Birghton tired but happy at having had some construction work to do.
Draft of 4 men from RU
1700 Capt Collins, IO 2 Loyals and Capt Williams arrived and were in conference with the BM and the CO. Later they took over the Shoreham district papers and proceeded to work on them.
Shoreham 642248 27 May 1943
0600 Reveille. Preparation for move accentuated.
1000 Capt, IO 2 Loyals took over documents on the situation in Shoreham from IO QOR of C. IO QOR of C accompanied Capt Collins and Capt Williams in a recce of billets and Anti Raid positions.
1400 Movement Order and Admin Directive for move On Sat 29 May ’43 issued by Adjt. Appendix 18
Shoreham 642248 28 May 1943
0600 Reveille. Enemy air activity during the day considerable.
1100 All availabe men attended a demonstration of the PIAT firing HE on armour plate. There is no great noise but the flash when the bomb strikes is very impressive and it penetrated 2” of armour very easily.
1900 The traditional baseball game between the Officers and the Sergaest was won by the officers 11-10. Again this year they nearly lost but came from behind at the last moment and a hit by Ali Baba (Lt DB Hamilton, Mortar Plt) with bases loaded won the game. Lt Leaney brought in the winning run.
Shoreham 642248 29 May 1943
0600 Reveille. In some cases it was earlier in order to get billets cleaned.
1000 Sp Coy and Tpt moved off to new area.
Portslade 692250 1100 Head of column of marching troops over SP. Not many marched owing to the necessity for leaving a fair sized rear party and having sent a fair sized advance party. B Coy was left in SHOREHAM on duty until the 2 Loyals were in completely.
PATCHAMDE 734283 1210 Lunch for marching tps at Brapool Park PATCHAM. Sp Coy in at Gravenhurst.
1300 Moved off via Pyecombe, Clayton, Hassocks, Burgess Hill to Moonhill the new location of A, C, D, HQ Coy, BHQ.
704417 Moonhill 1535 Arrived new area of the bn. Most of the Bn are in tents but parts of HQ are accomodated in nissen Huts.
Daily Routine Moon Hill Camp and Gravenhurst Camp Appendix 19.
Moonhill 734417 30 May 1943
1045 Coy Commanders meeting re OCTU candidates. Major J McLean QOR of C was present.
1145 CO’s meeting of all officers re training for forthcoming month and reviewing the move from SHOREHAM. Programme of Gas and First Aid instruction sketched, Also Bn night training foreshadowed for one week in June.
Moonhill 734417 31 May 1943
Again a demand has come for personnel for 1 Cdn Special Depot. This forced transfer is resented strongly by the men who are forced to go as is evidenced by the number who went AWL from the last draft. Last time 9 Dms were taken; this time 10 and that leave Sp Coy very nearly grounded.