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Instructions regarding War Diaries and Intelligence Summaries are contained in F.S. Regs., Vol. 1. and the Staff Manual respectively Title pages will be prepared in manuscript.

WAR DIARY
or
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Army Form C.2118
Unit: 151st (A.Y.) Field Regiment, R.A.
Month and Year: June 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. H.C. Phillips, R.A.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   Ref. Maps: CHERBOURG & CAEN 1/250,000.
1   1/50,000 7E/5, 7E/6, 7F/1, 7F/2.
ALDERSHOT 1   Capt. J.N. Richmond, R.A. rejoined Regt from 42 RHU vice Capt. D.D. Caffyn, R.A.
2   Lectures to Btys by Capt. A.W.C. Lobban, RAMC R.M.O. on Hygiene in the Field.
3   Practice for AA Gunners ex Btys and RHQ at FIRZE HILL near ALDERSHOT.
3   Lieut. D.G. Curling R.A. admitted to hospital and struck off strength.
5   Capt. D.D. Caffyn R.A. rejoined Regt from hospital. Capt. J.A. Brett R.A. joined Regt from 141 Fd Regt vice Capt. W.S. Caird R.A. attached 1 Airlanding Regt.
6   D.Day.
6   Practice for Btys & RHQ at Small Arms Range ASH No. 4.
6   Operational Maps received.
7   All officers attended briefing conference held by Major-General G.P.B. Roberts DSO, MC, GOC 11 Armd Div at Garrison Theatre ALDERSHOT.
7   Regt received orders to proceed to Marshalling Area.
8   O.P. Party consisting of 6 Tank O.Ps and crews (Capt. R.G.V. Nicoll R.A. i/c) left approx 0200 hrs, and proceeded to London Docks.
8   Regt less Tank O.Ps left Waterloo East Bks 0500 hrs. and proceeded to Marshalling Area. Arrived S3 Camp near TILBURY approx 1300 hrs.
8   Stage B(i) Waterproofing commenced.
8   Adv Party (under 2 i/c Major Trevor R.A. and Sgt. A. Brent) remained in ALDERSHOT.
8   Capt. J.N. Richmond, R.A. admitted to hospital and struck off strength.
TILBURY 9   Vehs prepared for embarkation and documentation completed.
10   Drivers and vehs moved to Royal Albert Docks TILBURY 0500 hrs.
10   Regt divided into two ship parties. Empire Canyon M.T.44:-
10   Commanding Officer (Lt.Col. H.C. Phillips, R.A.)
10   O.C.Troops - Major I.A .Graham-Young, R.A.
10   RHQ complete, 123 Bty less four vehs,
10   half 124 Bty and det RAOC 1 Corps.
10   Empire Farmer M.T.51:-
10   O.C. Troops - Major W.N. Mitchell, R.A.
10   125 Bty, half 124 Bty and det 58 LAA Regt.
10   attached to Regt and det RASC.
11   Remainder personnel driven down to docks in TCVs 0830 hrs. Embarkation completed 1230 hrs. Ship sailed approx 1400 hrs. Joined convoy near SOUTHEND and lay off SOUTHEND night 11/12. Adv party sailed from SOUTHAMPTON in separate convoy.
12   Convoy sailed down Thames estuary approx 0600 hrs. Passed through Straits of Dover approx 1200 hrs under cover of smokescreen laid by MTBs and aircraft. German long range guns on French coast remained quiet. Adv party went ashore on Mike Beach approx 1900 hrs.
13   Convoy arrived off French coast near OUISTREHAM approx 1000 hrs. Allied warships bombarded CAEN throughout the day. Off-loading commenced on Empire Canyon. Occasional shelling of shipping by German mobile bty. First ‘rhino’ waded 1730 hrs and first party with Commanding Officer, Major The Lord Montgomerie, Adjutant (Capt. N.W.Higgin, RA) landed on Roger beach 1800 hrs. Vehs waded approx 2 feet of water.
13   Party proceeded to Assembly Area in outskirts of OUISTREHAM (0170).
13   Second wade from Empire Canyon arrived Assembly area 2300 hrs.
13   Enemy aircraft bombed beaches and shipping night 13/14. Vessel near to Empire Farmer hit and set alight.
LANTHEUIL 14   First party of regt led by Commanding Officer left Assembly area 0800 hrs and proceeded to 8 Corps Conc Area. 2IC (Major A.P. Trevor) contacted. RHQ established 923782 near LANTHEUIL. Major I.A. Graham-Young, R.A. arrived RHQ 1500 hrs and reported all off-loading from Empire Canyon completed. Last ‘Rhino’ to leave received near miss from German bty and five sappers from Beach Labour Coy wounded. No cas sustained by A.Y.
14   Tank O.P. party arrived in conc area. Off-loading from Empire Farmer contd.
14   HQ 11 Armd Div and HQRA contacted near LANTHEUIL.
14   Regt spent night 14/15 in harbour. Order received to put guns into action in sp of 3 Cdn Div to be available for DF Tasks on 15 Jun.
15   Off-loading Empire Farmer completed. Major W.N. Mitchell, R.A. arrived conc area 1300 hrs. Regt complete less two 3-tonners.
15   123 and 124 Bty in action in conc area in sp 3 Cdn Div by 1400 hrs.
15   125 Bty in action by 2100 hrs. Cdn DF Tanks issued 2000 hrs. No call for fire night 15/16.
15   General. LANTHEUIL had not been evacuated by civilian population and life appeared to be fairly normal, apart from their going to ground each night. Their attitude towards troops was friendly but not enthusiastic. Enemy air activity during daylight was Nil, at night there was constant bombing of the beaches. British A.A. fire was intense each night. Infm of enemy and own troops very scant.
16   Regt remained in same location, digging continued. C.O. and 2IC made recce of fwd areas in the morning.
16   Commanding Officer and 2 i/c carried out recce of Battle area on 3 Canadian Div front and contacted. CRA 3 Can. Div.
16   Remaining vehs ex 125 Bty arrived – two 3 tonners having successfully waded 6 ft of water - and Regt complete in conc area.
16   CRA 11 Armd Div Brig B.J. Fowler DSO, RA visited gun posns. CRA praised the digging of gun puts.
16   Arcs of fire for anti-tank role recced.
16   First Continental edition of "The Yeoman" published. Appendix “A”
16   Regt. remained ready on DF Tasks in support of 3 Can Div throughout night 16/17.
17   Amendments received to DF Tasks 0300 hrs.
17   Sporadic enemy shelling of air landing strip near PIERREPONT 9379. Stray shells landed near 125 Bty waggon lines.
17   Slight enemy air activity at night.
17   New DF (SOS) Task for 123 Bty received to support Canadians who had taken LES MESNIL PATRY 9070.
18   Intelligence Summary No. 3 issued. Appendix “D”
18   Second Continental edition of "The Yeoman" published. Appendix “E”
18   Commanding Officer attended conference for all Commanding Officers 11 Armd Div held by C-in-C 21 Army Group General Sir Bernard L Montgomery KCB, DSO, at 1730 hrs.
19   Commanding Officer visited Btys and spoke to all ranks on past and possible future operations in Normandy.
19   Steady drizzle of rain fell throughout the day and cleared the roads of dust.
20   Commanding Officer and 2 i/c recced new gun posns in area CAMILLY 9476.
20   Two American Civil Affairs Officers visited RHQ and obtained the linguistic services of the RMO (Capt. AWC Lobban RAMC) in presenting a proclamation by General Eisenhower to the Mayor of Lantheuil.
20   Intelligence Summary No. 4 issued. Appendix “F”
20   Yeoman Continental Edition No. 3 issued. Appendix “G”
21   Further gun area at STE CROIX GRANDE TONNE 8873 recced in the morning by Commanding Officer and 2 i/c.
21   RSO, CPOs and GPOs recced new area 8873 1500 hrs. Survey at new posn commenced. Dumping of 200 r.p g. in new area at 2100 hrs. Dumping completed by 2300 hrs. North wind made the anchorage difficult and no mail received by the Regt to-day. Hitherto mail services had been excellent. Letters from England taking about five days only to arrive.
21   Single FW 190 flew over regtl area at 1830 hrs. and detachment 58 LAA Regt RA attached to regt, fired 22 rds. No hits were observed.
21   Intelligence Summary No. 5 issued. Appendix “H”
22   Gun pits and Comd posts were dug in new gun area near STE CROIX GRANDE TONNE 8874. Work continued until 2100 hrs. Two cows which had been dead several days had to be interred. Two German leaflets picked up in regtl area near LANTHEUIL. Intelligence Summary No. 6 and ‘The Yeoman’ Continental Edition No. 4 issued.
23   Digging continued in new gun area throughout the day. Further dumping of 250 r.p.g. in new area carried out at 2100 hrs. Commanding Officer attended Corps Comds Conference at 1800 hrs. Operational Instruction on plan to break out of brhead received from HQRA 11 Armd Div.
24   Det 58 LAA brought down an ME 109 in the morning, direct hit being scored on the fuselage. Digging and preparation of new area continued.
24   Commanding Officer spoke to all officers at 1700 hrs at RHQ and outlined plan to break out of brhead. Orders to move into new area near STE CROIX GRANDE TONNE on 25 June received at 2000 hrs.
24   Barrage and ‘U’ Tgts issued and worked out for Op. Epsom.
25   CRA’s Conference for all officers down to Tp Comds on Op. Epsom 1130 hrs.
25   Regt moved in Bty groups to new gun area at STE-CROIX-GRANDE-TONNE between 1600 - 1800 hrs.
25   O.O. No. 1 issued. Appendix ‘I’
25   First cas from enemy action at approx 2130 hrs No. 4122681 Pte. Kelly, M. (ACC) 124 Bty hit by ricochet from 75 mm AP shot – presumed to be fired by Mk IV engaged in armoured fighting near TILLY. Projectile must have ricochetted approx 8000×. Pte Kelly evacuated with wound in back.
26   H hour 0730 for Op. Epsom - by which 8 Corps to break out of Normandy brhead.
26   Regt fired on right hand lane of barrage commencing 0730 hrs. 1016 hrs - Regt completed on barrage. 1100 hrs - first objective area CHEUX 9167 taken by 15 (S) Div. 1250 hrs - regt fired on code word Broke - series of concs to support 15 (S) Div in attacking second objective. 1330 hrs - Broke repeated. 1330 hrs - recce parties proceeded on fwd recce to new gun area 9168. 1330 - 1610 further concs fired. 1610 - orders received from CRA for regt to move to new area.
26   Congestion on rds held up column. Guns arrived new area 9168 1900 hrs. 2045 hrs - enemy counter attack from CARPIQUET in area MARCELET 9468. Guns on switch of approx 90°, fired Scale 3 three times on Y21 to repel counter attack in MARCELET AREA.
26   Amn expenditure for the day 390 r.p.g. Heavy rain fell in the evening and conditions most unpleasant. Enemy snipers active in the woods in gun area. Recce parties had to carry out recce while tank battle was being fought in the vicinity.
27   DF Tasks received at 0300 hrs - to protect left flank (CARPIQUET) and fwd tps to south.
27 0600 Regt assisted in Fire Plan to support 15 (S) Div in attack on GRAINVILLE- sur-ODON 9064.
27 0700 Tank battles commenced in area between GRAINVILLE-sur-ODON and CHEUX 9167.
27 0900 Regt engaged in U Tgt against Tiger Tanks. Tk battles in progress throughout morning - Capt D.H. Bennett, R.A. with 23 H and Capt C. O’Neill, R.A. with 2 F F Yeo were most fwd O.Ps.
27   U Tgts fired throughout the day - mainly on call of O.Ps from 13 RHA.
27   Commanding Officer joined 159 Bde who had come up approx 1700 hrs.
27   Very heavy concs put down in area BARON 9462 to support infantry who had got across R. ODON. Regtl O.Ps moved with 159 Bde approx 1900 hrs. 159 Bde advanced to R. ODON to est crossing area 9363.
27   Amn expenditure for day 150 r.p.g.
27   Snipers who had been concealed in hedge during night 26/27 near RHQ location winkled out in the morning. Occasional enemy rds fell near gun area.
28   Regt layed on DF Tasks during night to protect Inf posns across R. ODON. No incident during the night. Battle continued at first light and Regt given ‘prepare to move’ at 0815.
28   Sniper came out of wood near C Tp posn and surrendered. Pay Book showed he belonged to 12 SS Engr Bn. He had a three day old wound in right arm which was dressed by RMO. PW had already been told that all PWs would be shot as he showed great fear and inquired whether be would be shot in the head or the heart. PW was handed to infantry unit to take back.
28   Heavy concentration fired during morning - mainly on ESQUAY 9460.
28   Capt. Bennett with leading tks of 23 H in this area reported "temperature warm".
28   Recce carried out by recce parties for new area east of CHEUX approx 1400 hrs but owing to confused tk action north of R. ODON and fact that regt could still engage all necessary tgts, no move was ordered and regt ordered to remain in same location for night.
28 1700 Capt. Nicoll - OP with Greys engaged 4 enemy tks at 965633.
28   Same DF Tasks as in 27/28 June ordered in sp 159 Inf Bde.
28 2150 Regt engaged in Y tgt firing 12 r.p.g. to repel enemy counter attack from EURECY 9269.
29   Remainder night 28/29 quiet.
29 0830 CRA ordered recce parties forward again to prepare posn 1000× north of COLLEVILLE 9265.
29   Confused fighting on line of R. ODON during morning and further concs fired.
29 1330 Regt ordered to move by sub-units to new area. Approx 1410 hrs 123 Bty moved forward.
29   124 Bty came out of action 1415 hrs - in view of battle flaring up CRA ordered 124 Bty back into action in same area. 123 Bty went on to new area.
29   Strong enemy counter attacks on infantry posns between GAURUS and BARON followed - later also in area GRAINVILLE-sur-ODON and MOUEN.
29   Regt engaged on concs almost continuously from 1500 - 1900 hrs.
29   123 Bty in new area found themselves in rather unhealthy posn owing to tk encounters east of GRAINVILLE-sur-ODON.
29   2 i/c gave orders for withdrawal of about 1500× by 123 Bty to gun area of 13 RHA. 123 Bty withdrew successfully in good order and linked up with 13 RHA.
29   Several shells landed near RHQ during the afternoon and one caused three casualties - the Padre, Rev C. Minton-Senhouse, RA Ch.D was severely wounded in the head and two gunners from 125 bty also wounded. The Padre died two days later. This was the first fatal casualty suffered by the regt. Though he had only been with the regt four months the Rev C. Minton-Senhouse was greatly liked and respected by officers and men and the loss was a severe one.
30   Regt on DF Tasks in sp 159 Bde.
30   123 Bty ordered to return from fwd posn to join remainder of regt approx 1000 hrs.
30   Owing to re-grouping of forces 151 (AY) was placed under command 15 (S) Div w.e.f. 0300 hrs 30 Jun. Wireless communication opened to HQRA 15 (S) Div 1200 hrs.
30   Commanding Officer and regt OPs remained with 159 Bde at their posns on the R.ODON.
30   Regt layed on DF Tasks arranged by 15 (S) Div during night 30 Jun/1 Jul.
30   Tgts were engaged throughout the day mainly on enemy mortars which were a considerable nuisance to our fwd tps.

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Hans Houterman.

Disclaimer: This War Diary is based on its original, but typos might be corrected. Locations are calculated, so might not be in the correct place. For historical research, always check the originals.