|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.
|Army Form C.2118|
|Unit: 15th/19th Hussars|
|Month and Year: February 1944||(Erase heading not required).||Commanding Officer: Lt Col A.D. Taylor, MC.|
|FELTON||1||24 men came to Regiment from RAC Depot Catterick, all of whom had previously had about seven years service in India. A.F.V. Inspectorate inspected 'B' Sqn. 2/Lieut RCF Owen joined the Regiment on 1st Commission.|
|2||AFV Inspectorate inspected 'C' Sqn. Commanding Officer visited a demonstration of firing by 6 RHA on NETHERWITTON Range. End of AFV Inspectorate.|
|3||Recce Sqn doing field firing on the LONGFRAMLINGTON Range. When some no. 36 grenades had been thrown, some officers went forward to destroy some 'Blinds' when 2/Lieut NWL Fellowes accidentally trod on a buried 'Blind'. This almost certainly was an old grenade and was not one of those which had just been thrown. 2/Lieut Fellowes was seriously wounded in the side and was taken to hospital. Captain RHW Ellis, Captain WNM Robb, and Lieut RJ Pearce were slightly injured.|
|4||Major Lawson and Captain Wright of HQ Alnwick Sub District visited RHQ. 9 men posted to 5 Bn R.Tanks. A fall of snow.|
|5||Morpeth hounds met at NETHERWITTON. 2/Lieut CC Egerton out. Captain Dudley Smith's Beagles met at NEWTON Hall. The C.O., Captain CN Weatherby and Lieut M Jennings were out. It was a poor day for scent and several beagles threw fits during the afternoon. No hares were killed.|
|6||9 men posted to the Regiment from 137 Tank Delivery Unit.|
|7||3 men posted to 1 Bn R. Tanks. 12 men posted to 5 Bn R. Tanks. 60 men posted to 4 Country of London Yeomanry. Performance of ENSA show 'Step this Way' at LONGFRAMLINGTON. The hall was well filled and the show good.|
|8||Ex Preagle began. This Ex was run by 9 Armd Div to test Divisional communications down to Regimental Rear Links. Captain CN Weatherby, Captain FM Bentley (REME) and Lieut M Jennings were on the Ex which consisted of a road move in W/T 15 …. Trucks to the neighbourhood of HOLY ISLAND. The Regimental party of 3 officers and 8 other ranks were very hospitally entertained for the night by Mr.Davidson of Fenwick Granary. 2/Lieuts IR Readman (Royal Scots Greys) and RW Payne joined the Regiment on 1st commission.|
|9||Continuation of Ex Preagle. Party moved North and crossed the border at NORHAM and then returned to Acton. Communications were satisfactorily maintained throughout the Ex. Brig. WRN Hinde DSO, who commanded the Regiment until Aug 1942 and who now commands 22 Armd Bde, visited the Regiment. In the evening 'B' Sqn Officers' Mess gave a dance at which Brig. WRN Hinde DSO was present.|
|10||Brig WRN Hinde DSO visited the Sjts Mess. In the evening he gave a lecture to Officers, W.O's and Sjts on his experiences in North Africa and Italy, also giving answers to a questionaire prepared by the C.O. on tactical subjects. 2/Lieuts AB Hutchinson and LF Potter (10th Hussars) joined Regiment from 23 H.|
|11||Ex Eaglet.The Regiment did two road marches, one for tanks and the other for tpt. It was a beautiful day though cold. The tanks did a round route through WITTINGHAM and THROPTON and the tpt went via WIDDRINGTON 7416. The standard of tk driving was high considering the fact that no convoy driving had been done recently and that the roads were hilly.|
|13||Major W Rankin left to umpire the 3rd Irish Guards on Ex Eagle. Sjt JM Steer presented with Commander in Chief's Certificate for good service by G.O.C. 9 Armd Div.|
|FELTON||14||C.O., Sqn Ldrs and Adjutant at Div Comdrs conference at MORPETH. Plans for 9 Armd Div on Ex Eagle explained. Football match in Panda Cup Competition against 54 LAA Regt. They won 2-1 but we had the best of the game. Those who were hitherto on the Regimental Wireless School stopped training temporarily to go on Ex Eagle. A new batch of 19 men went on wireless. D & M School continued during Ex Eagle. Gunnery School closed down.|
|15||18 Cromwell tks went by train to HELMSLEY and thence by road to SCAMPSTON near MALTON. 2/Lieuts WRMacM Winkley (10 Hussars) and CR Grey (Royal Scots Grey) joined the Regiment.|
|16||The remainder of the vehs in the Regiment moved by road, the tpt leaving at 0600 hrs and the tks at 1100 hrs. Both parties spent the night three miles South of STOCKTON-ON-TEES, beside the road.|
|FELTON||17||Road parties moved on to SCAMPSTON. The Regimental conc area consisted of half a square wood of pine trees with rides going North to South and East to West. The wood was moderately dry and in parts fairly warm. There was a lot of dead wood which proved useful for fires. A wet night followed.|
|18||Snow during the morning. Fires lit and blankets and clothes dried. C.O. went out on a recce of the likely Regimental posns in the area of THIRKLEBY WARREN Ho 23/3989 and also further South in the area WOLD BARN 28/4087. During the afternoon Sqn Ldrs were given their probable Sqn posns in these areas by the C.O. and recconnoitred posns.|
|19||C.O., Sqn Ldrs and the Adjutant recconnoitred the area around WARREN Ho 4694 because it was expected that the Regiment would move to these posns after holding the enemy at the Western end of the woods for one day. Some Officers and O.R.s went into MALTON in the evening.|
|FELTON||20||The Chaplain held a service in one of the rides of the SCAMPSTON wood. The Brigadier's plan was by now issued in detail and there was little need for Order Gps at Bde HQ. The Regiment was given the order to be ready to move at 0600 hrs next morning.|
|21||Reveille at 0500 hrs. A hot drink was served up by the cooks. At 0600 hrs the tks moved out of the wood at SCAMPSTON. Very soon afterwards their place was taken by dummy tks. It had been impossible to conceal from the enemy aircraft the fact that we had been in SCAMPSTON wood. It is possible, however, that they did not discover that we had moved out till a day later. The Regiment harboured in a valley which was sufficiently wooded to conceal tks at 404912, except for 'C' Sqn and Recce Sqn who were in area THIRKLEBY WARREN Ho 3989. At 1030 hrs approx the C.O. and Adjutant went to Bde HQ. From this time onwards until 1400 hrs many fabulous reports of enemy were received over the wireless. As far as can be discovered, the only real enemy in the area were the Household Cavalry Regiment Armoured Cars, which were not supposed to be there according to the umpires. At any rate the enemy tks were reported to be moving on our front from HELPERTHORPE 4289 to DUGGLEBY 3586. The Bde Comdr ordered the Regiment to 'Tiger', namely to take up defensive posns in the area of THIRKLEBY WARREN Ho 3989, BROOM Ho 4090 and URCHIN HILL 4089. Almost immediatly afterwards the order to 'Panther' was given and the Regiment moved Southwards through the 7 Inf Bde minefield at WEST LUTTON 4088 and up into posns around WOLD BARN 4087. The Recce Sqn reported enemy South of WOLD BARN on the way but these proved to be our tps. The Regiment got into posn at WOLD BARN, without encountering or probably even being seen by enemy. Nothing happened for the rest of the day and the Regiment withdrew in the evening to Laager at 395878.|
|FELTON||22||At first light the Regiment moved up again into the area of WOLD BARN. At about 0930 hrs the enemy tks and inf began to appear over the skyline between KEMP HOWE 4385 and CHERRY WOOD 4284. For about one hour and a half the enemy filled up these forward posns with Cromwell tks from his Recce Regiment, the 2nd Welsh Guards, and with the Shermans of his Armd Regiments. One Sqn of Shermans moved off to our East towards HELPERTHORPE. Enemy inf moved towards us from the South East and then dug in on a forward slope at 425877 approx. Our artillery was meanwhile shelling all enemy concentrations of tks and inf and enemy artillery was evidently shelling us. We did not open fire with our tk guns at all.Owing to heavy shell fire 'B' Sqn was made to withdraw from their posns South of WOLD BARN, but soon the shell fire ceased and they were abled to return to them. It appeared that the enemy armd bde had Tnot as yet seen our posns which was remarkable as enemy O.Ps were observing us. The enemy armour came further and further down towards us and by about 1200 hrs there was the best part of the Guards Armd Bde formed up, chiefly on the North side of CROOM DALE PLANTATION 4186 and BELLE VUE COTTAGES 4386. Eventually, the 2nd Coldstream Guards advanced towards our posns and 'B' and 'C' Sqns opened fire. It is probable that about 20 enemy tks were put out of action, but it was a pity that more of the 28 Armd Bde could not bring fire to bear at the same time. The Regiment then withdrew through the minefield at WEST LUTTON to the 'Tiger' posns of the day before. During this withdrawal the Recce Sqn remained in fire posns on the Eastern flank of the WOLD BARN posn and probably accounted for some more enemy tks. When the Regiment was completely through, the minefield was closed. The enemy consolidated their posns and at about 1600 hrs mounted an inf attack on WEST LUTTON under cover of smoke. This attack was successful, but would probably been pushed back had we been allowed to counter attack. Enemy tks were pushed through the gap but 28 Armd Bde were able to move into fire posns and the 15th/19th Hussars and 1st Five and Forfar Yeomanry fired at them in the low ground North of EAST LUTTON. The 28 Armd Bde then disengaged and moved to area South of GANTON 4697. RHQ,'B' Sqn, 'C' Sqn, Recce Sqn and 'A'1 Echelon harboured at WARREN HO 4694. 'A' Sqn had to harbour on the road South of GANTON because an RHQ tk got stuck on the hill.|
|23||At first light, the Regiment moved into defensive posns facing South. RHQ,'A' Sqn and 'B' Sqn were in the area of WARREN Cottages 4393. One sqn of the enemy Armd Div facing us , the 11 Armd Div, came into the open to Wilson's Wold Farm 4592 and were put out of action. The enemy then swung West and advanced up the road running North from WEAVERTHORPE. But this attack was halted and finally the enemy swung even further West and made for PRODHAM'S BELT 4394. The 5 D.G. moved across to defend this. Meanwhile the Officer Commanding 'Ox Force' which consisted of the 12 KRRC and the 1 RGH, reported a threatened attack on the 12 KRRC posn at WINTRINGHAM 3692. The attack was being mounted by the Guards Armd Div and was coming from the South East. The 15th/19th Hussars were ordered to withdraw from their Easterly posns and move as quickly as possible to the area of WINTRINGHAM. 'A' Sqn took a posn at 347920. The rest of the Regiment took up a posn in the area of KNAPTON Wold Planatation 3793, facing East. The enemey who was trying to secure WEST HESLERTON Wold House 3894, before going on to attack WEST HESLERTON, came within range of our tk guns. In the ensuing fire fight, the enemy was forced to withdraw from the high ground in 3893, but we were unable to go onto this high ground because it continued to be under fire from WEST HESLERTON Wold Ho. During the afternoon the enemy was reinforced and we had to withdraw down the hill towards WINTRINGHAM. Nevertheless we continued to hold the high ground in the area 3694. Soon after 1500 hrs, G.O.C. 9 Armd Div gave orders for the Regiment to come under Command 7 Inf Bde in order to enable the Inf Bde to withdraw over the River Derwent. Our first posns ran North and South through KNAPTON ORANGE 3795 facing Southwest. Since the enemy were not attempting to come on no fire was necessary. At 1600 hrs the Regiment moved Eastwards to protect SHERBURN. This was done until 1800 hrs, although the tks of the 11 Armd Div were very near. Finally, as night fell, the Regiment withdrew North over the bridge at FLIXTON CAR Ho 4900.|
|FELTON||24||0300 hrs. A small party of men from the tpt ech went under comd of Lieut J.Prestwich to hold the bridge over which we had withdrawn. It turned out that they were only needed for reserves and returned at breakfast time. The Regiment had harboured the previous night at SEAMER 5003, 'HQ' Sqn in the cattle market and the other sqns beside the road. For the first time for several days, the sun shone and it was warm. Tk maintenance and gun cleaning were carried out, blankets dried and mud scraped off everyones' clothes. Ex Eagle was over as far as the Bde was concerned, and in the afternoon a bath party went into WHITBY. In the evening another bath party went into SCARBOROUGH. Meanwhile orders were received to move next day back to the Northumberland area.|
|25||The tpt moved at 0630 hrs and reached Northumberland the same evening. All the tks except for 18 Cromwells, moved by road at 1200 hrs and reached a harbour 3 miles South-East of DURHAM by nightfall.|
|26||The tks reached Northumberland in a snowstorm at 1200 hrs. The Regiment had started from Northumberland on 16 February with 72 tks and brought back 66 of these on 26th and a furter two came in the next day. Throughout the Ex the weather was most unpleasant. Rain, snow and tks turned the Wolds into a sea of mud. But from a training point of view it was interesting and valuable, and everyone seamed very pleased with the way the Regiment had performed.|
|FELTON||27||Fair amount of snow. RHQ officers went tobogganing. C.O. goes to London. News received of the death of Brigadier-General A. Courage DSO, MC, Colonel of the Regiment.|
|28||Wireless School increased to 34 men. Regimental Boxing Team begins serious training in preparation for the fight with the 5 D.G.|
|29||During the month 17 Centaur tks Mk 111 and 2 Austin Utility Cars were received by the Regiment.
Strenght of Officers;- 48 Strenght of O.Rs;- 712
Cromwells MK 1 ... 3
Cromwells MK 111 ... 18
Centaurs MK 1 ... 31
Centaurs MK 111 ... 30
Helaas geen map gevonden.
Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Mia Litjens.
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.