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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: July 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. H.C. Phillips, R.A.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   Regt reverted u/c H.Q.R.A. 11 Armd Div. Enemy counter attack against 1 Hereford posn across the R. ODON developed at 0300 hrs. Major the Lord Montgomerie with O.C. 1 Hereford called for D.F. (SOS) Task DAINTY. This was passed by RHQ on net to HQRA 15 (S) Div and call for fire was answered by four Fd and two Med Regts. Lord Montgomerie called for Rate 3 for 7 mins which was reduced by stages to rate ½.
1   At approx 0400 hrs Commanding Officer with Brigadier Sandy 159 Bde ordered conc to stop.
1   Enemy attack appeared to have been successfully repulsed: Regt fired approx 140 r.p.g.
1   Lord Montgomerie visited RHQ at 1900 hrs 1 Jul and reported that conc during the night had been effective and 1 Hereford patroIs had found a heap of 20 German dead at one point. All P.W. taken had expressed their distaste for our artillery fire. Later in the morning 1 July there was a further local attack on the 1 Hereford posn and Lord Montgomerie called for a conc from Regt Code Word Diana. This was effective and enabled 1 Hereford to counter attack.
1   O.Ps continued to engage mortars througout the day. OPs also reported intermittent shelling from CARPIQUET. At approx 1200 hrs a message received by 123 Bty that Major I.A. Graham-Young, R.A., with O.C. 4 KSLI, had been wounded with his driver and OPA by mortar fire. Capt. B.C.J. Dornan, R.A. joined 4 KSLI in place of Major Graham-Young. Major Graham-Young’s wound was not severe but he was evacuated to CCS.
1   First batch of five 1st Line Reinforcements arrived RHQ approx 1700 hrs.
2   Night 1/2 July was quiet. Throughout 2 July our O.P. officers with 1 Hereford and 4 KSLI engaged enemy mortars and small parties of men. Capt. J.D. Rolfe, R.A. went forward in his Sherman Tk with a patrol from 1 Hereford and engaged a suspect enemy mortar posn appox 1000 hrs. After engagement, explosions and 30 ft of flame were observed in the tgt area. A mortar amn dump appeared to have been hit. Capt. B.C.J. Dornan R.A. also went out with patrol from 4 KSLI.
2   O.Ps reported that enemy mortar fire had definitely diminished.
2   Throughout the whole of this period the supply of ammunition was excellent and holdings were replenished very quickly.
2   The weather became unpleasant and the ground became muddy today but morale remained at a high level.
3   At approx midnight 2 Jul O.P. (Capt W.B. Walton, R.A) with O.C. 1 Hereford reported that an enemy attack was expected. A Fire Plan arranged by the Commanding Officer with Bde Comd 159 Bde was put into operation and call was made on arty of 11 Armd Div, 15 (S) Div and 8 AGRA.
3   Fire Plan was fired between 0300 and 0500 hrs - Regt fired approx 90 r.p.g.
3   Slight infiltration was made in 1 Hereford posn but no large attack appeared to have been put in.
3   Capt. W.B. Walton, R.A and Capt. P.S.Y. Garrett , R.A. who went forward approx 0600 with patrols from 1 Hereford and 4 KSLI respectively reported all quiet. Capt. D.H. Bennett, R.A. who had been with 4 KSLI reported to RHQ that many German dead had been found by inf patrols after the concentration fired on 1 July.
3   This day was a quiet one with Capt. Walton and Capt. Garrett in observation and taking on occasional tgts. Enemy fired 18 C.B. shells in Regtl area at 2000 hrs. Only casualty sustained was the cow familiarly known as the D Tp cow which was cut up by the cooks for future consumption.
3   Rev. E.S. Pickup, Ch.D. att to unit vice Rev C. Minton-Senhouse.
4   At approx midnight Lord Montgomerie with 1 Hereford again called for SOS
4   DAINTY after hearing tks and men moving in the S.W. of the Hereford’s posn. The fire of the mass of artillery was controlled by the Commanding Officer via the Regt Rear Link the policy being to stop the fire at intervals, listen for any signs of movement and then continue if necessary. This procedure was extremely successful. Approx 80 r.p.g. was expended.
4   At 0300 the situation was again quiet and once again the enemy attack appeared to have been completely broken by artillery fire. Between 12 and 15 arty Regts were directly under the fire control of the Commanding Officer during these night attacks. The remainder of the day was quiet with Capt. O’Neill and Capt. Garrett in observation with patrols of 1 Hererfotd and 4 KSLI respectively. Enemy Counter Battery against our gun area took place at 2100 hrs, about 20 105 mm shells in all being fired.
5   This was the quietest day yet during the present battle tgts were engaged at 1245, 1300 and 1315 which had been arranged as part of Fire Plan for support of 43 Div in their attack on ETTERVILLE which did not finally go in. Capt. Garrett and Capt O’Neill continued to engage small working parties, machine guns, etc, particularly on Pt 112. O.Ps reported that enemy shelling of the fwd areas on the R. ODON had decreased considerably since the Cdn attack on CARPIQUET. Capt. Garrett had observation on the road from OMENAY to ST. HONORINE du FAY during these last two days and was able to report movement of MT in the area. At 2230 Regt fired its first H.F. Task for the night in support 159 Bde who were being relieved.
5   A.Y. Intelligence Summary No. 9 issued. Appendix ‘A’
6   This Harassing Fire continued throughout the night. Our O.Ps withdrew with the Bns they had been supporting. All had returned to the Gun Area by 0600 hrs. The Commanding Officer returned from 159 Bde HQ at 0500 hrs having been there continually since 1700 hrs 27 June. Our O.Ps having withdrawn the Regt was now at the call of R.A. 53 Div. As much rest as possible was obtained during the day. At night the Regt remained at call of O.Ps from 43 Div and was laid on D.F. Tasks arranged by 53 and 43 Divs.
6   The “Yeoman” Continental Edition No. 6 published.
7   Another quiet day in which as much rest as possible was obtained. A.Y. Intelligence Summary No. 10 issued. Appendix ‘B’
7   Orders received at approx 1000 hrs to send O.Ps to bridgehead over the R. ODON on 8 July to join 44 (L) Inf Bde who were relieving 130 Bde (who had relieved 158 Bde) night 7/8 July. At appox 2000 hrs excellent grand stand view of raid on CAEN by heavy bombers was enjoyed.
7   At 2300 hrs Commanding Officer had orders party for B.Cs and outlined plan for 1 Corps attack on CAEN at 0420 hrs 8 July. Regt though under HQRA 11 Armd Div for adm was to remain on call of R.A. 53 Div.
8   Throughout night 8 July Regt engaged tgts in ESQUAY area as part of deception plan for 1 Corps attack intended to make enemy think something was brewing on 43 Div front.
8   O.Ps left to join 44 (L) Bde approx 0600. 123 Bty to 6 RSF (area BARON previously held by 4 KSLI) 125 Bty to 8 RS (area [..,]OUVILLE) previously held by 1 Hereford) 124 Bty to 6 KOSB (area […]VILLE previously held by 3 Mon). Commanding Officer had Capt. R.G. Vere Nicoll, R.A. as his rep joined HQ 44 (L) Bde approx 1000 hrs.
8   Remainder of day quiet.
8   Approx 1900 hrs H.F. Tasks received to be brought down on road CAEN-ST HONORINE du FAY on call – this to hit enemy M.T. reported to be moving S.E. as result of 1 Corps attack on CAEN. Regt on D.F. Tasks arranged by Commanding Officer with O.C. 44 (L) Bde and on tasks arranged by 53 Div.
8   “Yeoman” Continental Edition No. 7 issued. Appendix ‘C’
9   Two H.F. Taks engaged by 0300 - 0430 hrs.
9   Quiet day with Lieut. C.K.O. Spence, Capt. C. O’Neill and Capt. P.S.Y. Garrett in observation throughout day. Fire Plan for support 43 Div in attack 10 Jul received approx 2000 hrs.
10   Regt fired first concentration in support 43 Div at 0430 hrs. First barrage commenced H - 10 (0450 hrs) - Regt on left hand lane. Barrage completed 0500. Regt fired on second barrage (to support attack on MALTOT) at 0815 - completed 0854 hrs. At 1230 hrs first report of enemy counter attack on MALTOT with inf and tks came through. Regt took part in three Uncle Tgts Scale 5 between 1230 and 1300 hrs. At 1529 Regt ordered to prepare for Quick Barrage. Orders received 1545. Regt fired on Quick Barrage at 2030 hrs - completed 2102 hrs – in support 43 Div attack on Pt 112.
10   D.F. Tasks in support inf on Pt 112 received 2230 hrs.
10   During night 10/11 Regt remained on D.F. Tasks in support 44 (L) Bde in posns on ODON bridgehead and at call in support 43 Div. Our O.Ps in observation in 44(L) Bde area throughout the day.
10   Approx 500 r.p.g. fired during the last 24 hours.
10   “Yeoman” Continental Edition Mo. 8 issued. Appendix ‘D’
11   Night 10/11 July was quiet and no call for D.F. made. Regt fired on enemy mortars at 0320. Regt on call of 43 Div throughout the day. O.Ps reported fairly heavy shelling of 44 (L) Bde posns on ODON bridgehead. Orders received that our O.Ps to be relieved by O.Ps 133 Fd Regt night 11/12 July.
11   Regt on call for D.F. Tasks of 43 and 53 Divs.
12   Commanding Officer returned to RHQ at 0300 hrs and all O.Ps returned by 0700 hrs. No tgts were engaged today.
12   Regt has been continuously in action since June 26. Commanding Officer and O.Ps had been in the ODON bridgehead with break of 36 hours since June 27. The guns have stood up to the intense activity of the last fortnight very well but new packings now required for several.
12   A.Y. Inteligence Summary No. 11 issued. Appendix ‘E’
13   No tgts engaged today. Regt on call in sp 53 Div and 43 Div. H.F. Tasks received at 2330 hrs to be fired on call.
13   “Yeoman” Continental Edition No. 9 issued. Appendix ‘F’
14   Eight HF Tgts engaged at 0500 hrs on 43 Div front.
14   Commanding Officer attended RA conference at HQRA 12 Corps for 12 Corps attack 15 July. Conference for B.Cs at 1730 hrs. Amn dumped in the afternoon to make holding on gun posn up to 400 r.p.g.
14   Me 109 “hedge-hopped” over Regtl area approx 1500 hrs and was engaged by small arms. RHQ claimed hits with Bren gun and 125 Bty with captured MG 42. Plane crashed about 300× east of C Tp posn. Pilot wounded, baled out.
15   Task table in sp 12 Corps attack high ground EVRECY - ESQUAY received at 1200 hrs.
15   2 i/c and Adjutant recced new gun area East of CAEN in the morning.
15   2100 hrs - attack by 15 (S) Div across ODON Bridgehead, Regt fired three concs commencing 2025 hrs.
15   “Yeoman” Continental Edition No. 10 issued. Appendix ‘G’
15   Regt continued to fire on enemy mortars on call throughout night.
16   0530 hrs - Regt supported attack by 59 Div in area BRETTEVILLE with two concentrations. Orders of release by 12 Corps received 1240 hrs and Regt ordered to rejoin 11 Armd Div for Op Goodwood and proceed to harbour area near CAINET. Commanding Officer held conference for officers at 2030 hrs and gave outline of Op Goodwood.
16   Night 16/17 spent in harbour area. Shower baths at Rear Corps used and enjoyed by all for first time since landing.
17   Recce parties and digging parties proceed to gun area near BLAINVILLE 0900 hrs.
17   Operation Order and Fire Plan for Op Goodwood received 1300 hrs. Regt moved to new area 2045 hrs and arrived midnight. Regt was only fighting unit in 11 Armd Div to remain on West side of ORNE for first stage of operation. Commanding Officer with Captain D.H. Bennett joined 159 Bde at 2000 hrs. One O.P. to each Bn and two O.Ps with 2 N Yeo.
18   First heavy bombers appeared over gun area approx 0630 hrs. Excellent view of bombing of factory area at COLOMBELLES was obtained. H hour 0745 hrs - Regt fired three concs in sp 159 Bde attack on CUVERVILLE - DEMOUVILLE. Concs continued until 1200 hrs.
18   Approx 1330 hrs CRA ordered recce parties forward to area south of DEMOUVILLE. Regt ordered to move appr 1630 hrs to cross LONDON BRIDGE over CAEN Canal after 22 Armd Bde. Coln held up and Regt eventually crossed bridge 2000 hrs and arrived new area S of DEMOUVILLE 2130 hrs. Shelling encountered on outskirts of CUVERVILLE. Regt in action during night 18/19 Jul and laid on DF Tasks to protect 159 Bde area near LE MESNIL FREMENTAL.
18   361 r.p.g. fired today.
18   O.Ps rejoined from 2 N Yeo about 1700 hrs when 2 N Yeo were released by Comd 159 Inf Bde.
19   Morning quiet, except that O.Ps reported shelling of fwd areas. First gun replacement arrived for 124 Bty at 1300 hrs. Replacement completed in 24 hrs. At 1600 hrs regt supported attack by 2 FF Yeo on BRAS with smoke screen on call from O.P. Capt. Rolfe.
19   1200 hrs - Commanding Officer ordered Captain Rolfe 124 Bty and Captain Brett 125 Bty to join O.C. 13 R.H.A. in sp 29 Armd Bde. Captain Rolfe went forward with 2 N Yeo and Captain Brett with 3 R.T.R.
19   Attack went well - C.R.A. ordered smokescreen at 1605. This was stopped by Captain Rolfe as it was obscuring BRAS itself. 2 N Yeo then ordered to attack HUBERT FOLIE approx 1820 hrs. Captain Rolfe ordered U Tgt and smokescreen in area S of IFS to protect right flank of 2 FF and 2 N Yeo from A.Tk guns. This object successfully achieved. 29 Armd Bde having attacked BRAS and HUBERT FOLIE 159 Inf Bde ordered to take over, A.Y. O.Ps moving with them. A/Major Dornan and Captain Garrett moved with 4 KSLI to HUBERT FOLIE. 4 KSLI met opposition from machine guns on wood on Southern outskirts of the village and Major Dornan undertook the tgt as the F.O.O. Captain Garrett could not observe the particular place himself. As accuracy was required Major Dornan ordered the guns to range. Not seeing the first round Major Dornan left his half-track O.P. and crawled forward, though under fire, to get better observation. In doing so he was hit in both legs by machine gun bullets. Major Dornan saw the next round on the tgt and having been helped back to his half-track by his driver, L/Bdr. Sim, brought down the fire of the Regiment and silenced the enemy M.Gs thus assisting the Inf to advance and capture the objective. Before allowing himself to be evacuated in his own truck, Major Dornan also collected three wounded soldiers of 4 KSLI. Major Dornan by his enterprise and determination greatly assisted the attack of 4 KSLI. Also L/Bdr. Sim by helping Major Dornan back to his truck probably saved the Major’s life and so enabled the guns of the Regiment to fire for effect.
19   Captain Garrett took over duties with 4 KSLI. While 4 KSLI moved towards HUBERT FOLIE, 3 Mon moved towards BRAS. Major Mitchell and Captain O’Neill in sp 3 Mon. At approx 1800 hrs Major Mitchell lost wireless contact with Captain O’Neill and nothing further was heard of the latter that night.
19   159 Bde successfully occupied area BRAS - HUBERT FOLIE - 600 E of BRAS and Commanding Officer arranged D.F. Tasks.
19   During evening Gnr. Prett of 125 Bty driver of Capt. Brett’s tank reported to RHQ that tank and remainder of crew had been knocked out during armoured attack on BRAS. Capt. Brett had been hit in the face by a sniper and immediately afterwards the tank hit by a shell from an anti-tank gun. Gnr. Prett was the only member of the crew uninjured and he assisted Capt. Brett and the rest of the crew save one, out of the tank. Gnr. Prett endeavoured to get the remaining man out of the tank but the turret blew up. Gnr. Prett and the wounded man were then taken prisoner and taken to BRAS where they were put in a burning house under escort. As the tanks of 3 R.T.R. entered the village the escort disappeared but the exit to the house was covered by snipers. Gnr. Prett having dressed their wounds restrained the wounded men from leaving and finalIy attracted the attention of a coy of the 8 R.B. to whom he gave information about the snipers. The wounded were then evacuated by 8 R.B. By his coolness and quick thinking Gnr. Prett undoubtedly saved the lives of his companions and gave valuable assistance to the 8 R.B. in pointing out the snipers.
20   O.Ps remained with 159 Bde until 159 Bde ordered to withdraw to LE MESNIL-FREMENTAL on relief by 3 Cdn Div. Very heavy shelling encountered, especially in area of 3 Mon at BRAS. Withdrawal completed approx 1600 hrs. Regt now in sp 159 Bde who held firm pivot in sp of 7 Armd Div.
20   It had been reported during the day that Capt. O’Neill’s tank had been found by O.P. offr of 13 R.H.A. Approx 1700 hrs driver and co-driver reported to RHQ that tank had been knocked out on previous day and Capt. O’Neill and one signaller killed and one signaller wounded and evacuated.
20   2IC and Major Mitchell went out in search of the tk approx 1900 hrs and returned approx 2200 hrs with report that Capt O’Neill’s body was inside the tk which had had turret penetrated by 88 mm.
20   Capt. O’Neill (‘Paddy’) had been with the regiment 4 years and had commanded D Tp for 3 years. He was one of the best shots in the regiment. Casualties within the regiment during the days 18/20 Jul were one offr and 3 ORs killed, 2 offrs and 4 ORs wounded, one O.P. tk destroyed and one O.P. tk badly damaged but recoverable.
20   Very heavy rain fell in the afternoon and most slit trenches and command posts were flooded out. Going became difficult for wheels across country.
21   Commanding Officer and one O.P. officer per bty remained with 159 Bde. No tgts were engaged but O.Ps reported heavy enemy shelling especially between 1530-1630. Weather still bad and rain fell throughout the day.
22   Adjt visited HQRA and returned 0930 hrs with orders for withdrawal of regt to harbour area 11 Armd Div near CAIRON. Adv parties left approx 1030 hrs. C.O. and O.Ps rejoined Regt 1200 hrs.
22   Regt moved behind 159 Bde at 1400 hrs. Progress was extremely slow and regt did not cross EUSTON Br until 2000 hrs. Modderately heavy enemy shelling on rd North of CUVERVILLE and on high ground NW of BENOUVILLE. Hd of coln arrived harbour area 2230 hrs.
23   Cleaning up and maintenance commenced. Blankets began to dry and a fresh suit of denims issued.
24   1130 hrs - CRA held conference for officers at RHQ and discussed points arising out of last battle.
24   Regt band held concert at 125 Bty posn in the evening.
25   Conference for I.Os at H.Q. 11 Armd Div, attended by Lieut. R.I. Gray, R.A. (IO) and Lieut. E.J.N. Canvin R.A. (res. I.O.) at 1000 hrs. Necessity for speedy information about flanks was raised in view of experiences in recent battle S.E. of CAEN.
25   The ‘Yeoman’ Continental Edition No. 11 issued. Appendix ‘H’
26   AM 2 i/c recced gun posn area ROCRENIL for proposed attack by 159 Inf Bde across R. ODON to take high ground NE of MAIZET.
26   PM Full Recce parties proceeded to new area and survey carried out. Recce parties returned to Harbour Area on completion of task.
26   Liberty trucks went to BAYEUX.
27 0300 Information received from 159 Inf Bde that operation for attack across R. ODON cancelled.
27 1300 Regt put at 4 hours notice for counter attack role in event of enemy attack on CHEUX.
27 1400 Commanding Officer carried out recce of CHEUX area with Bde Comd 159 Inf Bde and returned at 1800 hrs with proposed D.F. plan. Trace despatched to HQRA 11 Armd Div.
27 1430 Adjutant (Capt. N.W. Higgin R.A.) carried out recce of gun posn area NORREY-EN-BESSIN.
27   The ‘Yeoman’ Continental edition No. 12 issued. Appendix ‘I’
28   AM. Recce parties proceeded to gun posn area NORREY-EN-BESSIN and survey carried out.
28   PM. Information received to send harbour parties to area BALLEROY. Approx 2045 hrs Recce parties ordered to BALLEROY.
29   Regt moved from rest area VIEUX CAIRON at 0230 hrs and proceeded on night march to harbour area PLANQUERAY near CAUMONT. This move to sp break through of 8 Corps on left of U.S. Army in area CAUMONT. Regt arrived PLANQUERAY approx 0700 hrs. Personnel rested until approx 1600 hrs when orders received to proceed to gun area on which recce had been carried out from 0600 hrs 29 July.
29   Regt arrived gun area approx 1900 hrs. near BEZIERES 6762. Commanding Officer returned from HQRA approx 2000 hrs and outlined plan for attack on July 30. Commanding Officer and Capt. R.W. Burton, R.A. joined 159 Inf Bde at 2130 hrs.
29   O.Ps. Major W.N. Mitchell, R.A. joined 3 Mon
29   Capt W.B. Walton, R.A. joined 1 Hereford
29   Capt. J.D. Rolfe, R.A. ,, ,,
29   Capt. D.H. Bennett, R.A. joined 4 KSLI
29   Capt. P.S.Y. Garrett, R.A. ,, ,,
29   Capt. D.C. Young, R.A. joined 2 F.& F Yeo.
29   At 2130 hrs. 200 r.p.g. dumped on gun posn. Information about our own and enemy dispositions was extremely vague. Information about the Americans on right flank not received. Gun posn was about 2000 yds from our F.D.Ls.
30   Zero Hour 0655 hrs for Op. Bluecoat. Regt fired one conc in first phase. 0740 hrs. Capt. Walton reported 1 Hereford on first objective. Until 1200 hrs little progress was made and regt engaged several enemy mortars on call. At about 1000 hrs Lieut. J.W. Creswell, R.A. 125 Bty was wounded by a stray M.G. bullet and evacuated.
30 1240 Commanding Officer gave details of Fire Plan Badger to sp further adv of 1 Hereford. Badger (13 HAC, 151 (AY) and 25 Fd. Regt taking part) fired at 14.00 hrs. Fire Plan successful and many enemy dead found later in area.
30 1430 Commanding Officer gave details of Fire Plan Buffalo to sp adv of 4 KSLI and two Sqns 2 F & F Yeo who were to pass through 1 Hereford.
30 1510 123 Bty fired four rds red smoke to indicate tgt to med. Bombers attacking area DAMPIERRE.
30   Buffalo postponed until 1600 hrs. Fired at 1600 hrs and one tgt again at 1630 hrs. Fire Plan again successful and adv continued. More red smoke fired as tgt indication for aircraft at 1900 hrs, 1940 hrs, and 2050 hrs.
30 1830 2 i/c proceeded to recce new gun area near la REDANIERE 6856.
30 2045 Recce parties ordered to move.
30 2100 124 Bty ordered to move.
30 2130 Remainder of Regt ordered to move. Progress on road very slow. Near SEPT VENTS enemy aircraft dropped bombs and two quads from 124 Bty hit. Seven casualties sustained, all slight wounds except one. Quads out of action but recoverable. 124 Bty gun and two limbers towed on by 125 Bty.
31   Regt arrived new gun area approx 0100 hrs and ready on unit grid approx 0300 hrs. Night quiet. O.Ps reported 159 Bde moving on the line West of ST. MARTIN DES BESAGES. Approx 1030 hrs. recce parties ordered to area 1000 yds north of ST. MARTIN DES BESAGES. Confused fighting still going on in area and gun posn chosen area 3000 yds NW of ST. MARTIN DES BESAGES at
31   Advance continued slowly throughout day and several concs fired in sp.
31   Approx 1900 hrs Regt moved to new area. Arrived 2100 hrs. D.F. Tasks received 2130 hrs.

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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.