War Diary of 1st Fd Bty (The Blazers) RA

Date Notes
1938 Designation 1st Field Battery RA 28th Field Regiment RA 
MARCH By Army Order No46 of Mar 1938. The Royal Regiment was reorganized into two branches i.e. “Field Branch” and “Coast Defence and Anti-Aircraft Branch”. By Army Order No204 of Sept 1938 Regiment was substituted for Brigade.
NOVEMBER  
16-18th Marched to Pratice Camp at Lakhunadon 53 miles with halts at Sukri and Dhuma.
DECEMBER  
19th Arrived back in Jubbalpore.
1939  
JANUARY BC Maj C.P.B Wilson
2nd Fired Royal Salute on Proclamation Parade and Marched past Commander Jubbalpore Brigade.
14th Left Jubbalpore by train. 16 Jan arrived MHOW. Took over Connaught Lines from 79 Field Battery RA, 6 Fd Regt RA. BSM Rickards joined from the UK.
28th - 20th Feb A skeleton Regiment went to Ahmedugan for training with 11 Indian Infantry Brigade. Camped at Janngaon Exercise included night operations and long marches, 30 to 40 miles in a day.
FEBRUARY Final inter-brigade exercise with 12 Ind Inf Bde supported by 3 Fd Regt RA. 2/Lt CCL Pasinelli posted to HQ 28 Fd Regt RA.
MARCH Informed that the Regiment would be mechanized in the autumn and Motor Transport (MT) Training begins in April.
APRIL MT Instructors Cadre Class
JUNE Ordered to send 3 Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) to UK as instructors for Militia.
SEPTEMBER  
3rd GREAT BRITAIN declared war on GERMAY
28 - 29th Regiment Mounted Sports held as a Farewell to the horses. A March past was taken by Mr K S Fitze CIE ICS Resident of Central India, this consisted of one Sub Sec per Bty followed by 4 lorries one of which failed to start on the march past.
OCTOBER Horses were despatched to SAHARANPUR
NOVEMBER

Designation 1/5 Field Battery RA, 28 Field Regiment RA
WO Letter 20/Arty 5261(AG6) of Nov 1939. 1/5 Bty had 18 pdrs and 3/57 Bty 4.5 ins howitzers. 1st Bty became A Tp and 5 Bty B Tp. 
In the UK regiments were organized with two Btys each of three 4 gun troops one of which had no OP. In India Btys had each two 4 gun Troops.
Maj C.B.P Wilson was posted about Aug/Sep 39.
Maj M D Gibbon in 1939 or 1940 became BC 1/5 Fd Bty
Capt J.B.G Gordon Commanded A Tp.

  The Horses were replaced by vintage Albion Lorries as gun tractors and American Civilian type 15 cwt Chevrolet trucks as staff vehicles. The big steel tired gun wheels  on the 18 pdrs were changed for smaller wheels with pneumatic tyres.
1940  
JUNE BC Maj M D Gibbon
10th Italy declared war on Great Britain and France
22-24th France signed German assistance terms and the station terms on 24 Jun
JULY  
23rd Received orders to mobilize.
AUGUST The Regiment under the command of Lt Col G de V Welchman mobilized.
24th Embarked at BOMBAY on HT NEVASSA and sailed for unknown destination.
SEPTEMBER  
13th Landed at PORT SUDAN with elements of 5 Ind Div.
New Karier Spiders gun tractors that were loaded at Bombay now towed the guns for the first time on arrival at PORT SUDAN. The large convoy of some 50 ships had sailed safely from India despite two minor air raids and an abortive destroyer attack from MASSAWA, neither of which did any damage. 1/5 Bty were sent to HAIYA Camp about 100 miles along the railway to KHARTOUM.
OCTOBER

After about a month A Tp were despatched via KHARTOUM to join Col Messeivy’s GAZELLE Force which consisted of 1st Horse (SKINNERS) and units of the Sudan Defence Force. BHQ and B Tp moved to GEBEIT to cover the approaches to PORT SUDAN along the RED SEA Coast in support of 29 Inf Bde. A Tp under Capt JEG Gordon had some excellent sport in the mobile, harassing Ops of GAZELLE Force in the BUTANA Bridge KASSALA area. Their first shots were fired into KASSALA where one shell was reported to have killed an Italian general.

NOVEMBER A ten day action against superior Italian Forces. Afterwards activity was confined to patrolling.
DECEMBER  
23rd A Tp rejoined the Bty at KHARTOUM, 18 pdrs were exchanged for 25 pdrs.
26th Move to GEDAREF where the joined up with the remainder of 28 Fd Regt RA and 10 Ind Inf Bde. (The maps issued on arrival in the Sudan were 1/3000,000, marked on flour bag material and the accuracy of the survey was said to be based on the hills sketched in by General Sir  Herbert Kitchener during the re-conquest of the Sudan in 1898.)(No meteor was available. The 13,400 yards range of the 25 pdrs was a big improvement over the 9,800 yards of the 18 pdrs MK2s and the 6,800yards for the 4.5 inch howitzer of 3/57 Fd Bty RA)
1941  
JANUARY BC Maj M D Gibbon
15th Reached Butana bridge on the ATBARA.
16/17th 13 Mile night march to MALAWIYA Pools. – Cross country with no lights.
18th 1600 hrs moved off from MALAWIYA, 1830 halt & brew up, 2030hrs moon up, moved on
19th 0030 crossed frontier into Eritrea, 0230hrs harbour 10 miles over frontier, 46 miles
19-20th Advanced a further 28miles, at one time the Karier Spiders had to lead to push down the scrub for the 15 cwt Chevrolets. Crossed the river GASH – 500yards of soft sand – at ANGALEIT.
21th 0120 hrs moved off towards AICOTA along the first main road since leaving KHARTOUM. Punchers from four pronged nails scattered on the road by the retreating Italians.
21th 2215 hrs Moon up, moved off, turned off at AICOTA along a route classed by the Italians as impassable to MT. This was a right hook through the Italians lines to come in behind the Italians at KERU Gorge where 4 Ind Div was held up. Lt Col G de V Welchman the CO wounded in the arm and Brig Slim in the bottom when they were jumped by a CR 42.
22nd 0600hrs after covering 35 miles during the night HLI as advance guard bumped oppositions in a defile, quickly cleared, 0745hrs moved on. Cut up north through the hills and cut off the Italians retreating from KERU. BLAZERS captured on amply stocked field cashier.
24-27th Moved via BISCIA to put in a left hook on BARENTU from the north to help 29 Inf Bde who were approaching from the south.
27th Held up by a line of hills north of Barenta and a bad road block. 1/5 Bty fired their first rounds in the ERITREAN Campaign with new 25 pdrs.
27th - 2 Feb BATTLE OF BARENTU. Italians fought stubbornly until they withdrew on night 1/2 Feb
FEBRUARY  
3 - 8th In BARENTU cleaning up, training and covered in flies.
9 - 8th March Withdrew to TESSENEI for intensive training in mountain warfare 1st line troops used for building up dumps at Kereu. Maj Gen L M (Piggy) Heath CB,CIE,DSO,MC  GOC 5 Ind Inf Div spoke to the Regiment.
MARCH  
8 - 14th Moved forward to KEREN, dug in, pivot guns registered targets for attack. New 1/50,000 accurate maps, first and last of campaign. Meteor available for first and only time.     
15-27th Battle of Keren
  The Regiment moved into battle positions on the night 14/15 Mar. 1/5 Bty sent an FOO party of two officers to support the attack of 10 Ind Inf Bde on FORT DOLOGORODOC. The party spent the night 14/15 Mar under the shadow of CAMERON ridge. The plan was for 4 Ind Div to attack SANCHIL, BRIGS PEAK, HOGS BACK and SAMANNA at 0700hrs on 15 Mar. If they were successful 5 Ind Div was to assault the fort at 1030hrs. At 0700hrs it was an impressive sight to see the 120 guns blasting the heights some of which stand 200ft above them (A/S 10e Degrees East) 

The 4 Div attack was partially successful and at 1030hrs the HLI led the 5 Ind Div attack across the open ground. They were met by a hail of machine gun fire and after considerable casualties the attackers were pinned to the ground before reaching PINNACLE. 1st Bty FOO Party were also pinned and it was almost impossible to observe our gunfire. It was not until the evening that the 3/5 Mahratta were able to pass through the HLI and capture PINNACLE and PIMPLE after hard fighting. By then the Italians were so dazed by the bombardments and surprised by the direction of the attack that the 2 W Yorks were able to capture FORT DOLOGORODOC. 1/5 Bty OP was amongst the first troops into this key position and retained there for the rest of the battle. The guns fired nearly 600 rounds per gun during the first 24hrs and though within enemy mortar range had very few shells near them.

FORT DOLOGORDOC with stood as many as eight determined counterattacks. In which the OP had some hot moments. Many of  these counterattacks were broken up by the DF fire of the two Divisions artillery. The gun positions were very exposed, B Troop positions was controlled by telephone – one sec being 500 yds behind the others because the position was overlooked by SANCHIL, BRIG PEAK and HOGS BACK towering above it 300yds away. After a short fire plan the final attack went in on the early morning of 25th March and immediate progress was made against a demoralised enemy on both sides of the road. Capt Gordon went forward as FOO but his party was hit by a mortar bomb and he was badly wounded with three others. He died a fortnight later.

By the morning of 27th March everything was set for the breakthrough. The sappers had cleared the road block, the Italians were evacuating and six I tanks went through successfully. 29 Bde with 28 Fd Regt in support were ordered forward in pursuit and 1/5 Bty led the guns into KEREN.

38th-31st The advanced elements of 29 Bde quickly made contact with the enemy at AD TECLESAN 60 miles east of KEREN this position was strong covered by three road blocks. Gun positions were difficult to find and 1/5 Bty was deployed in a wadi with guns 20 yds apart in a straight line. After 2 days fighting the enemy resistance broke.
APRIL  
1st ASMARA was declared an open town and was occupied in the afternoon, 1/5 Bty again leading the guns.
Capt DCBL Esmonde White Bty Comd was awarded an MC for his work as an FOO at KEREN. Capt J Willey took over A Troop from Capt Gordon.
4 - 6th

10 Ind Inf Bde with 28 Fd Regt RA and 144 Fd Regt RA and a Bty of  6 inch Howitzers moved down to MASSAWA - road drops 7000 ft in 60 miles. The Bty followed up behind the tanks and infantry. In the action that followed some fine targets were seen from the Bty OPs overlooking the enemy position and were duly engaged.  Their gun position were all wide open and many were destroyed. A 24hr truce was then granted for the Italians to consulate Il Duce.

7 - 8th After a long night approached march, the attack went in, in the early hours of the 8th. It was completely successful and all was over by 1500hrs.  10,000 prisoners were captured. The Bty had done a good deal of shooting and despite several shells in the gun area there were no casualties.
9 - 10th Returned to ASMARA. It was a relief to get out of the sticky heat.
11 - 26th Billeted in ASMARA. First sign of civilization for 7 months. Training, maintenance and cleaning parades.
  Lt Col J H Needham RA had taken over from Lt Col G de V Walchman OBE who had awarded a DSO.
27- 28th Moved down 230 miles to AMBA ALAGI.
29 – 2nd May AMBA ALAGI about 11,000ft. Gun positions at about 6000 – 7000ft. Regiment less B Tp deployed on main axis leading up to TOSELLI Position. B Tp moved with FLETCHER Force in the ferret attack on the left on FALAGA Position. B Tp had a lot of good shooting. It was later joined by the remainder of 1/5 Bty.
MAY  
3 - 16th BATTLE of AMBA ALAGI
17th Armistice
18th Italian Capitulation, Duke of Aosta and 5,000 Prisoners taken
  The whole of Eritrea and Abyssinia was now clean of the enemy except for an Italian garrison at Gondar.
JUNE 1/5 Bty was sent from Decamere with a force commanded by Lt Col J H Needham to Clean up the approach to Gondar, but was compelled to return because of the Monsoon.
JULY Moved to Egypt Via Massawa
  1/5 Bty Officers during the Campaign
Battery BC Maj MD Gibbon, Bty Capt Capt WR Rickards, CPO Lt MB Lamacroft, ACPO (2/Lt MWG Greenley)
A Troop Comd Capt JEG Gordon (Killed Keren) Lt J Willey, GPO 2/Lt JA Milligon, Tp Ldr 2/Lt MWG Greenley (In Hospital during Keren)
B Troop Comd Capt DCBL Esmond White MC, GPO 2/Lt BT Bailward
AUGUST BC Maj TR Gemmel
18th 1/5 Bty moved with the regiment to Burg El Arab to start digging the El Alamein Position.
22nd Digging stopped 10 Ind Inf Bde with 28th Fd Regt RA to move to Iraq for Internal Security duties while the man and boy in Iraq went and captured Persia.
AUG/SEPT 1400 mile march to Kirkuk via Cairo, Ismaila, Gaza, Palestine (Orange juice issued with rations) Jordan, Transjordan, Mafraq along the pipeline, Ramadi, Falluja, Habbaniya, Bagdad.
SEPT/OCT The Regiment remained for three weeks in Kirkuk and then Marched back to Egypt.
16th Oct Arrived at Kabrit on the Batter Lakes for Combined Operations training.
NOVEMBER Personnel embarked on the assault ships for the big exercise. Launch alongside - exercise cancelled - all troops return to camp - personnel to Alexandria - embarked on destroyers - landed at FAMAGUSTA, CYPRUS..
  5 Ind Div less 29 Ind Inf Bde relieved 50 Div in CYPRUS 5 Div was organized to represent a Corps of two Ind Divs. The CRA Brig Van Stranbenzee commanded the bogus 7 Ind Inf Div.
  Bty deployed on defence of airfields. VD a problem after 14 months in deserts and mountains. The local ladies had passes stamped daily at the clinic.
15th Designation 1st Field Battery RA
1942  
JANUARY  
21- 4th Feb (EIGHTH Army Driven back by ROMMEL from AGEDABIA to the GAZALA line).
MARCH 28 Fd Regt RA moved from CYPRUS via HAIEA to GASSASIN.
APRIL Moved up with the Desert. 1st Bty to GAIRABUB, 3/57 Bty and RHQ to Sollum.
MAY  
6th A cadre from both Btys was sent to the Base Depot RA, ALMAZA to form a new third Bty to be designated 5/57 Bty. 3 Bty and RHQ moved with the main body of 5 Ind Div in the KENNELS Box 30 miles east of Fort Capuzzo. 1st Bty was part of the Garrison of GARABUB. 1st Bty handed area to the Free French Forces and joined the Regiment at the KENNELS. The Regiment then moved west to GAMBUT and come into action in support of 10 Ind Inf Bde in defence of the group airfields.
27th German attack come into South East of Bir HAKEIM. German armour reached Sidi Resegh in afternoon – 3 Bty prepared to engage them to engage them.
28th Regiment moved forward to a position several miles west of Tobruk.
29th Ordered to move rapidly to Knightsbridge area to support attack next day. In position at Bir Harmat by 1700 hrs but attack did not take place. The German armour sealed off in the Cauldron to the east of our minefields.
31st Regiment ordered to move with 10 Ind Inf Bde to position north of Knightsbridge. During the move a fierce Sandstorm arose, plan abandoned and Regiment returned to Bir Harmat. During this sandstorm the Germans breached our minefields and got support through to their armour.
JUNE  
4th Orders received to support an attack by 2 HLI and 4/10 Baluch which was part of the 5 Ind Divn and 7 Armoured Div attack on the Cauldron. 1600 hrs 10 Bde area heavily bombed by Heinkels but very few casualties.
5th 0300 hrs five regiments opened five for 20 mins on the two objectives Bir Tamar and Dahar El Aslagh. 0650hrs Success signal received. Regiment ordered to move north West about 3 miles and come into action firing south. 0900hrs position occupied – battle raging between the two tank forces. 2 HLI pinned between the opposing tank forces and during the morning their remnants came back. Position otherwise firm. B Echelon of the Regiment still at Bir Harmat. 1700hrs strong armoured column struck from South West and hit Bir Harmat with practically no opposition. Most of B Echilon of the regiment managed to get out but trucks cut off and occupants killed or captured. By dusk our force was encircled except for narrow gap in the region of the Knightsbridge Box. After dark Regiment moved to a position close to Bir Tamar and formed part of a hastily prepared tight box consisting of four Field Regiments, Infantry, MMGs and Anti Tank Btys. No Guns dug in as ground was solid rock.
6th Dawn. Heavy shelling started and 4/10 Baluch was overrun enemy armour closing in on all sides. 1000hrs 4 Fd Regt RA two miles to our East was overrun. 1200hrs 147 Fd Regt also to our east was over run.  This left 107 RHA and 28 Fd Regt RA to cover the perimeter and one to troop 28th Fd Regt RA was moved under heavy fire to try to close the Gap. 1600hrs. Our casualties had been heavy. 3 Bty had only one officer unwounded and every gun knocked out, 1st Bty  although having more remaining officers eventually had every gun destroyed and at 1700hrs the Position was over run. 
  Remnants of 28 Fd Regt RA and 157 Fd Regt RA collected at BUQ-BUQ, and then proceeded to MENA. Meanwhile Lt Col KW Harvey DSO had been given command of 28 Fd Regt RA and he met the remnants  with the new 5/57 Bty at COWLEY.
17th MENA Camp. Bty reformed from remnants 28 Fd and 157 Fd Regts, 2 officers. Capt A C Riall and Lt McRea Brown and 75 ORs
Designated 1/3 Fd Bty RA
19th Designated 1st Fd Bty RA
21st Moved to ALMAZA. Officers posted to Bty Capt A C Riall, Lt C W T Morshead, Lt P McRea Brown, Lt P Baylis, Lt R C Harrison and Lt B T Bailward and 2/Lt M P Goodwich ex 5/57 Bty.
24th Maj S L A S Rudd Clarke took over command of 1st Bty. Lt R C Marsh posted to Bty. Sgt Osborne ex 5/57 Bty on 21 June to BSM
30th Regiment placed on 12 hrs notice to move. Capt F Lanhasheen posted as Commander B Troop. Bty Strenth Officers – 8, ORS 158.
JULY Maj SLAS Rudd Clarke
1 - 2nd Bty in action near DELTA BARRAGE mainly in Anti tank role for defence of CAIRO.
3 -16th Training. (WOs, BSM Sanders A, A Tp BSM Osborne E, B Tp BSM Newman A. Kilo 12 CAIRO – ALEXANDRIA.
17th Moved to EL HAMMAM.
21st Undercover. 5 Ind Div. Moved to position south of RUWEISAT RIDGE. 2015 hrs Fired in Support of 161 Ind Motor Bde Attack along RUWEISAT RIDGE.
22nd Fired in support of 9 Ind Inf Bde Attack , by 3/14 PUNJAB .
23rd 3/14 PUNJAB . (FOO Capt F Lankesheu) captured Point 63 but where later driven off.
24 – 13 Aug Periodic shelling, fire support for small attacks and raids.
AUGUST  
14th News that General Alexander to take over from Gen Auckinleck and General Montgomery to command 8th Army.
15th BCs Conference. Lt Col K W Harvey DSO said plan was now changed. Div would fight on present front. Plan to hold enemy while armed force built up behind. Active arty policy to frighten, flummox & frustrate enemy. 40 rounds per gun from one Bty to be expanded daily.
17th Gun pits and command posts deepened with RE help. CO spoke to all officers & NCOs on future policy of Army Command.
18th 200 rounds per gun dumped. All vehicles except a few removed to Wagon Lines.
20 -21st Two dummy guns positions prepared north of Rumersat Ridge.
25th Maj Rudd Clarke to hospital, Capt A C Riall took over.
29th Active only policy contained.
30th 2340 hrs Fired Defensive Fire 2 (DF2) in front of West Yorks. The right forward company was overrun. This was a diversionary attack by a German Para Battalion.
31st BATTLE OF ALAM HALFA
High firing by both sides during night. 0955 hrs West Yorks recaptured their position.
SEPTEMBER  
1 - 4th Enemy heavily bombed and shelled – started to withdraw westwards.
5 - 6th Shelled MT in Deir EI Sheim. Enemy withdrawing.
7th Out of action moved east to 8 miles from Bir EI Themid.
8th Arrived COWLEY CAMP, MENA
16th Maj GR Armstrong took over from Maj SLAS Rudd Clark posted as 2ic 4 RHA.
17th Lt R Deakin and Capt WM Quinn joined
19th Maj GR Armstrong warded the MC
25th Capt AC Riall and Lt Knight posted to BDRA
28th Moved to ISMAILA 100 miles
29th To ASLUJ 170 miles
30th To TULKARM 130 miles
OCTOBER  
1st To MAFRAK 118 miles
3rd To H4 on Pipeline 124 Miles
4th To RUTBAH 130 miles
5th To WADIMUHAMMADI 146 miles
6th To HABBANIYA 60 miles
13th To QUETTA Lines BAGHDAD (German advance towards CAUASUS was at its hight.)
22nd CinC PAIFORCE General "Jumbo" Wilson visited the Battery
30th To KHAN JEDWAL 98 miles
31st To UR 120 miles
NOVEMBER  
1st To SHU'AIBA 110 miles
2nd To BASRA and cross ASMAR Ferry
3rd To 48 miles beyond AHWAZ - 96 miles
4th To ANDIMINSHK -48 miles Dispersed Winter Camp
7th Brig Hallifax BRA 10th Army visited the battery
13th Affiliated to CIM and 1 Horse for Training
17th General Quinian GOC in C 10th Army visited the Battery
18 - 31st DEC Training, Sport, Inspections.
1943 BC Maj G R Armstrong MC        PERSIA
JANUARY  
1 - 9th FEB Training etc.
FEBRUARY  
10th To AHWAZ
11th To BASRA
13th To UR
14th To KHAN JADWAZ
15th To QUETTA Camp BAGHDAD
MARCH  
3rd To LATTFYA Camp. 30 miles south of BAGHDAD.
9 - 18th Bde and Div Trg
27 - 3rd APR Div Exercise FORBID
APRIL  
24th To HABBANIYA Lake.
30th To LATTEYA Camp.
MAY To Bombay Via UR and Basra.
JUNE  
1st CHAS, near RANCHI in BIHAR and ORISSA.
22nd General Gifford GOC in C Eastern Army visited the Regiment
JULY  
8th Lt Gen Slim GOC 15 corps visited the Regt.
15th Brig Halifax CCRA 15 Corps visited the Regiment
16th Last Convoy with Rear Party arrived from DEOLALI. Capt Lankesheer + 20 Ors
24th New role and equipment explained to all ranks.
AUGUST  
26th Maj Gen Briggs GOC 5 Ind Div visited the Regt.
28th Regt reconstituted on new establishment as 28 Jungle Fd Regt RA 1st Bty and 5/57 Bty each eight 3.7 Howitzers, 3 Bty sixteen 3 ins Mortars. No mules but an increase of jeeps were issued. Lt Col KW Hervey DSO left on promotion and was succeeded by Lt Col RA Collins (2 Oct)
SEPTEMBER Designation.   1st (Jungle) Field Battery RA
5th Moved to GAMHRIA MS 57 on road RANCHI LOHARDAGA.
6th Eight 3.7 ins Howitzers arrived.
15th Regt Inspected by Army Comd Gen Gifford, Lt Gen Slim, Maj Gen Briggs.
18th MGRA Maj Gen Mirlees visited the Bty.
28 - 30th Div Arty Scheme with 123 Bde, TORI, Fired live shells.
OCTOBER  
4 - 6th Exercise GLADIATOR with 161 Bde. Fired live shells.
8th Watermanship instruction and boat building.
24th Entrained at TORI Station.
25th To CALCUTTA
26 - 30th Embarked and Sailed
31st Arrived CHITTAGONG
NOVEMBER  
3 - 4th Moved to Cox’s BAZAAR. Rear Party and  admin by sea.
24th Left Cox’s BAZAAR arrived TUMBRU 1700hrs.
25th Left at dawn arrived BAWLI South by barge at 1100hrs.
26th North of ZEGANBYIN. Guns into pits of 503 Bty 139 Jungle Fd Regt RA.
27th Took over from 139(J) Fd Regt RA at 1400hrs.
30th BRA 11 Army Group. Brig Swinton visited the Regiment.
DECEMBER  
1st 5 miles south of BAWLI BAZAAR.
14th Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia – Lord Louis Mountbatten visited the Regt. He met all officers, WOs, Medal Holders and the Oldest and Youngest Soldier. He gave a spirited and interesting address to all ranks. A highly impressive and encouraging performance.
15th Moved to new Bty position about 1 ½ miles south of pervious position.
31st 61 Bde attacked on Point 124 north of RAZABIL Fortress. Bty Fired three Div concentration  in area Point 124.
1944 Gun position 15 miles south of BAWZI BAZAAR.
5th Heavy rain all night Lt Phillips FOO with DOGRAS on KNOBS. 1400hrs Lt Philips fired on – first BLAZERS officers fired on in the campaign. Rained all day. Pointt 124 reported taken.
6th 1800hrs rain stopped
8th Maj G R Armstrong MC leaves to take over comd 136 Fd Regt RA. Capt Larkesheen to BC, Capt Deakin to Bty Capt. Capt Bailward A Tp, Lt Baylis to comd B Tp Lt Phillips to CPO.
23rd Maj CW Blingham RA takes over Bty.
24th Battery fired Div  Concentration 280 rds, another one 64 rds
25th Battery fired Div Concentration 400 rds.
26th Fired in Support of Inf attack on WRENCAT 1. attack unsuccessful
FEBRUARY BC Maj CW Blingham
4th JAPANESE attack on 7 Ind Inf Div east of the MAYU Range Army Group Comd Gen Gifford visited the Battery.
6th Battery reported infiltration of JAPS area BRIASCO BRIDGE at 0330hrs. General Order to stand to by HQ RA 0400hrs. Battery put out extra guards and lookouts enemy reported one Regt strong in area of hills north of Battery position.
7 - 10th Fired in support of 7 Ind Div. 7 Feb JAPS cut NGAKYEDAUK PASS.
12th Battery under command 4th Fd Regt RA.
20th A Troop indicated TUNNELS area fir dive and medium bombers.
21 - 26th Battery indicated targets for bombers, carried out Harassing Fire. 22 Feb 7 Ind Div Advance Box was relieved.
MARCH  
1 - 8th Battery out of action resting area of BRIASCO Bridge
9th Battery in action in LETTA just North East of MAUNG DAW
10th 123 Ind Inf Bde feint attack on TORTOSE from the north with Heavy Artillery support.
11th 161 Ind Inf Bde infiltrated round RAZABIL Fortress 3/14 PUNJAB infiltrated 4 miles south of RAZABIL taking features unopposed between points 90 and 190.
12th 120 rounds per gun in Div concentration on TORTOISE. Lt Phillips to 3/14 PUNJAB . RAZABIL abd TORTOISE captured - advance began on TORTIOSE.
15th battery moved to point 90 area
16th 0600 hrs battery out of action, RV at BRIASCO Bridge with Regiment. Addressed by MGRA 1400 hrs moved off for DOHAZARI airfield.
17th Travelled through the night arrived DOHAZARI early morning. JAPANESE advanced on IMPHAL
19 - 20th Battery flowen to IMPHAL
21st Battery moved off in support of Suffolk's to KOHIMA travelling all night.
22-23rd Arrived KOHIMA and joined the SUFFOLKS BOX
24th Battery returned to Regiment arriving 10 miles north of IMPHAL at 2300 hrs Occupied positions 3 miles, 8 miles and 5 miles east of IMPHAL in the DOGRA BOX.
29th 50th Parachute Brigade withdrew past our battery positions all day.
APRIL  
1st-11th Minor contact with JAPS.
12th The Battery in action in village on NUNGOI in Support of 1 DOGRAS.
13th At 0930hrs fired fire plan in support of the 1 DOGRAS and this successful attack on NUNGSHIGAN. Tanks climbed the knife edge ridges. 1405 hrs Lt RA Ban from OP reports all (Infantry & tank) officers killed or wounded less himself.
21st The Battery in action 2 miles south of WAKAN in support of 1 DOGRAS.
29th 1 DOGRAS relieved by 3/2 PUNJAB on WAKAN
30th Bty under command 4 Fd Regt RA
May BATTLE for the ridge HUMP – PENHILL – MOLVOM – EVEREST – PT4364
1st In Support of 3/9th JATS along ridge from Pt 4364. The Battery came out of action and moved to new gun area, in support of 3/14 PUNJAB on MAPAO.
2nd Bty returns to comd 28 (J) Fd Regt RA
3rd Bty in action in PURUM area in Support 3/2 PUNJAB
4th 3/2 PUNJAB established on PT 4363
5th 3 JATS unsuccessful attack on EVEREST – (5,521 ft)
6th 7th 8th Supported attacks on EVEREST
9th Battery came out of action, the OPs at MURREE and PT 4364 close down
15tth-30th Fired on TWIN PEAKS, KANGLATONGBI, HUMP HF and in support of attacks.
31st Battery came out of action and took over new guns, 3.7ins Howitzers Monoblocks
JUNE BATTLE TO OPEN ROAD IMPHAL – KOHIMA
5th Battery into action at KANGLA TONGBI
6th-19th In support of advance and attacks on MODBUNG _ ZEBRA – CARTER Ammunition restricted to 6 rounds per gun per day except in support of attacks.
21st-22nd Fired in support of 9 Indian Infantry Bde attack on PILL – LIVER – MILK LOAF
22nd OCTOPUS captured. 1250 hrs KOHIMA – IMPHAL Road reported clear, 2nd British Div and 5th Indian Div linked up. IMPHAL had been relieved. The flower of the Japanese army had been destroyed
29th Major M Lauracraft RA took over from Major CW Bingham who is posted as 2IC 139 (J) Fd Regt RA
JULY Rest and Training at KANGLATONGBI North of IMPHAL
1st Four 25pdrs issued to the Battery
2nd Lord Louis Mountbatten visited 5 Ind Div and gave an address.
11th Lt Gen W J Slim DSO GOC in C 14th Army visited the Regiment.
12th Four 3.7ins howitzers handed over to 3 Bty
16th Maj Gen H R Briggs DSO visited Regiment on his departure from 5 Ind Div
Officers Bty 19 Apr. BK Capt Bailward,  CPO  Lt McIntyre  
A Troop Comd Lt Bayliss, GPO Lieut RA Barr
B Troop Comd Lt EM Phillips, GPO Lieut Willis
  9 May Capt Fraser joined 14 May Lieut Rockwell joined
  6 June Capt Bayliss evacuated. 7 Jun Capt Goodwich ATp Comd
  15 Jul. Lieut RA Barr to RHQ vice 2/Lt N Beattie to 1st Bty
AUGUST BC Maj MB Lauracraft Designation 1st Field Battery RA
  ADVANCE UP TDIDDIM ROAD in height of monsoon
5th-22nd Bty in Support of 9 Indian Inf Bde adv from MS46 to MS83
29th Maj MB Lauracraft takes over command of the Regt which is in Support pf 161 Ind Inf Bde. Capt H Fraser acting BC
SEPTEMBER ADVANCE TO AND CROSSING OF MANIPOUR RIVER
4th Battery in Support 9 Bde in areas MS82 to MS94
6th Road clean to MS117
14th Move to 161 Bde cancelled. It rain throughout the day. Road clean to river at MS126
18th Major KTD’A Baker took over Battery vice Maj MB Lauracraft repatriated to the UK. (Maj Lauracraft joined the Regiment in India in 1939)
23rd Move cancelled to appalling weather and land slides on road MS104 to MS109. Lt Willis FOO with 123 Bde on east of MANIPUR RIVER rejoined the battery having done some marvellous destructive shots.
24th-25th 24-25 Moved to MS126. Road terrible, slow progress – good work by drivers. View of river below – impossible to bridge as flowing to high at 10ft. Confirmed that Gnr Heath killed by air drop on 20 Sep when at OP with 123 Bde.
28th Battery crossed on ferry – moved to MS 132. River 110 yds wide
29th Battery in action MS 142
OCTOBER ADVANCE – CAPTURE OF TIDDIM
5th 2 Coys 1 DOGRAS crossed BELTANG LUI – couldn’t get mules across – reported CHOCOLATE STAIRCASE clear. (This was the name for the seven miles of muddy Road with 40 hairpin bends spiralling up to TIDDIM)
8 Oct Reached MS 154. Op at VALUM to east of TIDDIM
9th-18th Intensive bombing and shelling. TIDDIM clear
22nd Battery in action on Road TIDDIM – FORT WHITE
NOVEMBER ADVANCE TIDDIM – KALEMYO
3rd VITAL Corner reported clear
4th Battery in action area VITAL Corner HT 8100ft. KENNEDY PEAK 8871 ft reported clear. OPs with 161 Bde 4th Jamma and Kashmir Inf of 9 Bde
6th ELEPHANT shelled & bomb. BC accompanied troops which occupied it.
12th Battery moved to FORT WHITE Saddle
14th Battery moved to NO3 Stockade
17th A Troop moved to Z1 CHAUNG in Support of 9 Bde mopping up, OPs from KALEMYO Southwards. Infantry patrolled whole valley from MYITTHA River to foothills – no one seen.
21st A Troop rejoined Regiment at MYOHLA. Period of rest began.
27th MYOHLA to YAZAGYO
28th To MOREH
29th To IMPHAL
30th To MARAM (MS 84 on KOHIMA Road)
DECEMBER Period of rest and retraining in the NAGA Hills
1st BC Maj KT D’A Baker
1st-30th MS82 on KOHIMA Road. Visits by Gen Sir William Slim and Lord Loius Mountbatten
1945  
JANUARY  
1st-31 5 Jan moved to JORHAT, Capt BT Bailward to the UK, Lt ND Beattie to 5/57 Fd Battery. Lt RW Kennedy from 5/57 Fd Battery RA
FEBRUARY  
1st-8th Strength of Battery 167
Maj KT D’A Baker to the UK. Lt RE Clifft rejoined from hospital (Maj Baker joined the Regiment in Mhow on 15 June 1940)
27 Feb Visit by Gen Sir Oliver Leese 2 ENSA shows including one by George Formby, three cinema shows
MARCH  
1st-31st Strength of Battery 195
  Major NC McClintock RA & Lt RB Ritson RA joined.
20 March Battery moved from JORHAT to go into action. Route JORHAT, DIMAPUR, IMPHAL, PALEL, TAMU, MALEWA MYTCHE, PAGAN, KAMYE. (90 miles beyond the IRRAWADDY AT pagan) (70 SW OF MANDALAY)
OFFICERS BC Maj NC McClintock, Battery Capt H Fraser, CPO Lt WJ McIntyre,  ACPO Lt RA Barr, OPO Lt RE Clifft, BSM WOII CE Langford.
A Troop Comd Capt MP Goodwich, GPO Lt P Rockwell
B Troop Comd Capt KM Goddard, GPO Lt GJ Anderson, Tp Ldr Lt RB Ritson
APRIL THE RACE FOR RANGOON
1st BC Maj NC MCIntock RA, KAMYE
2nd Into action MEIKTILA in Support of 9 Ind Inf Bde
5th 5 Ind Div Comd Maj Gen EC Manseigh visited Battery and gave outline plan of operations to all ranks.
7th Moved to KANDAUNG
10th-12th Battery moved forward 29 miles to MS312. Op near YAMETHIN
12th-13th DF, HF and U targets
14th Supported 123 Indian Inf Bde attack on YAMETHIN
15th-16th Battery advanced BC & FOOs to 123 Bde for attack on SCHWEMYO BLUFF
19th Moved to YEZIN a 24 miles advance.
20th Advance to THAWATTI 32 miles, Battery on air supplies
21st Advance to THAGAYA 16 miles
25th Lt RB Ritson posted to 4th Fd Regiment RA
27th To KYWEBWE 25 miles MS 156 from Rangoon
28th NYAUNGLEBIN 57 miles
MAY MOPPING UP IN BURMA
BC Maj NC Mc Lintock RA
1st (Gurkha Para Bn landed at ELEPHANT PT at mouth of RANGOON River
2nd To KADOK PAGYAGYI 23 miles, Heavy rain. Lack of tents left behind at start of campaign to carry more ammo –keenly felt
3rd (26 Ind Div Landed from sea on 2 May, entered Rangoon)
5th To WAW (17 Ind Div leading our advance met 26 Ind Div at HLEGU 28 miles North of Rangoon)
6th In action at WAW
7th In Support of 3/2 PUNJAB, Gnr Biddlestone, Lawless and Meek killed. Capt MP Goodwich wounded
8th-20th Fired daily in Support of small attacks and mopping up operations
21st Lieut WJ McIntyre left Battery on report
22nd-31st Fired daily in Support of infantry. At end of month in action at NYAUNGKASHE in Support of 3/2 PUNJAB, with 2 Mountain Battery, Indian Army under command. L of C to rear by Jeep relay. MT with Battery, 2 quads, 4 jeeps. Task of Battalion Group to dominate an areas west of river SITTANG up to range of guns.
JUNE  
1st-6th Continued HF Tasks
7th 0430 Hrs HF Scale 1 on OKPO 0500 hrs ceased fire
0800-1000 from NYAUNGKASHE to WAW by train
8th Joined Regiment at HLEGU
18th-19th Moved to TOUNGOO area into action, Left 5 Ind Div and joined 19 Ind Div
28th In action KYWEBE in Support op 4Bn 4th Gorkha Rifles
JULY  
1st-19th Daily HF
20th Capt KM GoddaRoad to RHQ as Adjt
23rd Capt TD Forster joined as Battery Capt. Fired six M tgts on HBs
24th-31st Daily HF  (Capt Forster joined the Regiment in Nhow on 15 Jun 40. Captured on 6 Jun 42, he escaped in Italy and rejoined the Regiment in Burma)
AUGUST  
1st BC Maj NC McIntock, Battery Capt  Capt TD Forster, GPO Lt P Rockwell(on course), CPO Lt RA Barr, ACPO Lt GJ Anderson (on course)
A Troop Capt FGH Willis, Tp Ldr Lt A Cullins
B Troop GPO Lt RE Clifft
15th JAPANESE SURRENDER VJ DAY
24th Moved to PYINMANA
SEPTEMBER  
13th Instrument of surrender of Japanese armed forces in Burma was signed.
DECEMBER  
6th -9th Took part in 19 Indian Div Tattoo at Toungoo