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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.

Army Form C.2118
Unit: 15th/19th Hussars
Month and Year: May 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt Col A.D. Taylor, MC.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
Felton 1   The Commanding Officer and other officers attended a cadre at Bde HQ conducted by Captain Hutchlings tns Bde I.G. Tns subject taught was the indirect fire of several tanks controlled by an O.P. The 'puff range' was used to practise the drill.
2   One Tp of 'A' Sqn went to 28th Armd Bds Wksps to have slip rings fitted inside. The purpose of these rings is to anable several tanks to zero their guns on the same bearing, and they are used particularly in indirect firing.In the afternoon, all officers attended a lecture given in Morpeth by Captain Buxton of the Intelligence Corps. He described the German coastal defences in Western Europe and gave some indication of how Germany has disposed her troops to meet attack.
Felton 3   In the morning, the first Gunnery cadre at Bde HQ finished with a practice of indirect fire drills on tanks fitted with slip rings. In the afternoon, the cadre began again for more officers from the Regt.
4   The second gunnery cadre ended.
6   An Adjutant's parade was held on the new road north of Acton House. 24 Officers and 384 O.Rs were on parade. The morning was sunny but cold. While the Adjutant inspected one squadron, the remaining three were drilled by Squadron Officers. Continuation of Exercise 'Matador'.
7   Approximately 80 men attended a Voluntary Church service held at Brinkburn Priory. Rev. J. Newson conducted the service. The weather was fine and warm, and the country around BRINKBURN and the priory itself looked their best.
FELTON 7   Recce Sqn fired single-shot Besa on Longframlington Range at a moving tank, using hand traverse and power traverse.
8   'A' Sqn fired on Longframlington Range, doing the same practise as Recce Sqn did yesterday. One Tp of 'A' Sqn had slip rings fitted in their turret-rings. The 2nd in Comd held a Cloth Model T.E.W.T. for all officers of the Regt on the drive in front of Acton House. The purpose of the TEWT was to discuss and lay down the drill for attack on a strongly defended position by an armd regt and an infantry battalion, supported by three field regts and one medium regt. The main points discussed were the recce, the patrolling of obstacles, the make-up of the various echelons of the attack, the time of day to attack, and the staff duties and communications needed for the forming up and advance through an enemy minefield.
FELTON 9   One Tp of 'B' Sqn tanks had slip rings fitted. The C.O. and 2nd i/c went with the C.R.E. to watch minelifting by the R.E. and 18 members of this Regt on the coast south of Berwick and also at Embleton and Castle Point (7542). All those who were lifting the mines said they had become quite confident during the few days they had been doing it. Valuable experience was gained. The mines had been laid in 1940 as a precaution against invasion. Major D'AA.Dawes gave a talk to HQ Sqn Officers and NCOs on the subject of Combined Operations. His talk was based on lectures he had recently heard at the Senior Officers School. 'B' Sqn fired on Moorlaws Range in the morning and 'A' Sqn n the afternoon. 'C' Sqn fired signle-shot Besa on Longframlington Range against a moving tank.
FELTON 10   'B' Sqn fired on Forestburngate Range. All troops practised indirect firing, with O.P. Tank commanders controlling fire. All three methods of alignment, namely by distant aiming point, airburst, and compass bearing, […]. The airbursts were fired by the 175th Field Regt, RA. This was the first time any Squadron has practised this type of indirect firing and much practise is needed before we become proficient. The Commanding Officer and all Sqn Ldrs except Major The Lord Rathdonnell attended a Bde TEWT called Exercise 'Googlie'. The subject discussed was an attack by the Motor Battalion supported by a Sqn of an Armd Regt. The TEWT took place near Duddo, N.W. of Wooler.
11   Continuation of Ex-Googlie. The Commanding Officer and the 2nd in Comd and all Sqn Ldrs except Major Courage attended. The subject discussed was the crossing of a river by the Motor Bn.
FELTON 11   'B' Sqn fired single-shot Besa on Longframlington Range at a moving tank. 'C' Sqn practised troop indirect shoots on Forestburngate Range. 12 Centaur Tanks Mk.I. were sent away. Tpr Stagg and Tpr Rivers were tried by F.G.C.M. for an offence against postal censorship. Both pleaded Guilty. Throughout the day it was very hot for May. Hitherto, there had been cold winds on most days with occasional warm periods. But today it was really hot, and the gardens and countryside looked very well.
12   'A' Sqn practised troop indirect shoots on Forestburngate Range. It was found that gunners were putting the wrong corrections on the traversing and elevating wheels, and it became nevessary for the troop leader to repeat back to the O.P. corrections over the wireless.
FELTON 12   'A' Sqn and 'B' Sqn administrative troop fired their rifles on Moorlaws Range. Cpl Bryant of 'C' Sqn, who was attached to the Divisional R.E. was killed while blowing up some mines which had been lifted on the coast near DUNSTANBURGH.
13   Exercise 'Lame Duck' took place during the morning near NETHERWITTON. This was an exercise devised to test the medical training of the Regt. Major D'AA Dawes commanded the Regt, which consisted of roughly 30 tanks. The tactical picture was unreal as each Sqn came within view of Southward Edge Wood it suffered 90% casualties. Exercise casualties were then allotted and reported over the wireless to the M.O. who sent carriers to collect wounded and take them back to R.A.P. One the whole the knowledge of 1st Aid was not good. As far as the R.A.P. went, it became obvious that the M.O. must have a reliable wireless operator who can be responsible for taking down accurately the map references of casualties. This should allow the M.O. to spend all his time attending to wounded. The men who had been attached to 146 Field Pk Sqn for minelifting returned today.
14   'A' 'B' 'C' and Recce Sqns moved North in their tanks by road to training areas in Scotland. 'A' 'B' & 'C' Sqns went to camps in the area of HAWICK and Recce Sqn to a camp north of GREENLAW. The Commanding Officer also went north to visit all Sqns. A team of 3 Officers and 4 NCOs arrived to test all other ranks in the Regt with a view to compilling records of their ability and intelligence. 77 men were tested at SWARLAND during the day.
FELTON 15   The personnel selection team tested 78 men at SWARLAND and 96 men at LONGFRAMLINGTON during the day, and rated all of HQ Sqn except Recce Sqn, RHQ Tank Tp, and the L.A.D. The inquest on the death of Cpl Bryant took place at Stannington Military Hospital. It was found that nobody was to blame for the accident.
15   The Sqn areas in Scotland were as follows:
15   'A' Sqn – Map Sheet – 80/0243.
15   'B' Sqn – Map Sheet – 85/043.
15   'C' Sqn – Map Sheet – 80/9840.
15   Recce Sqn – Map Sheet – 75/1372.
15   'A' 'B' & 'C' Sqns were near HAWICK, and Recce Sqn near GREENLAW. The training areas would have been very useful had the weather been good. This was the first time in the year when troop trg had been attempted. Previously, individual trg and gunnery had taken up all training time. The Commanding Officer had intended to set problems for troopleaders in the field. But throughout, the bad weather made the ground too soft for much useful tank training and very little profit was obtained. The continuous rain made living conditions most uncomfortable and there were very cold winds as well. During the week a rum ration was issued by order of the Bde Commander.
FELTON 17   A lecture was given by Wing-Comdr A.J.M. Lang at the Queen's Head Hotel, MORPETH, to officers of the Division. Two officers of the Regt were present. The subject was “The Tactical Airforce”. Wing-Comdr Lang explained how the Allied airforces were organised for all purposes in Western Europe and also how their communications worked. While the Sqns were in Scotland, the personnel selection team examined and graded them in HAWICK. This took less time than we expected as there were many rainy days. The funeral of Cpl Bryant took place at DUNSTER in Somerset. Lieut […] Hayes and 3 Other Ranks were present. […] were sent by […] Sqn and by the Officers mess, the Sgts mess, and the Cpls mess, and were […] appreciated.
18   The Regt contributed 2 officers and 83 O.Rs to the […] Party at KIRKOUDERIGHT. Some of these left today.
20   The Personnel Selection Team returned to Acton House from […]. They finished the Regt during the early days of the following week.
22   All available officers attended a lecture on 'Civil Affairs' given in […] by the O.C. of the Civil Affairs School at […]. Sqn Ldrs conference held to discuss War Establishments and promotions.
23   All Sqns […] started preparing tasks for Kirkouderight ranges. […] sights had to be fitted and also a new type of elevating wheel for the guns.
FELTON 24   The Gunnery Officer lectured to Sqnadron Gunnery Officers on the practices which would be carried out at Kirkouderight ranges.
25   Recce Sqn and RHQ Tank Tp fired on the 'C' Range at Forestburngate ranges. 'C' Sqn fired on the 'B' Range practising indirect troop shooting. In the afternoon 'B' Sqn fired on the 'B' Range. The standard of gunnery was much improved and in general all ranks seemed to be getting familiar with the fire orders used in direct and indirect shooting.
26   'B' Sqn fired on the 'C' Range at Forestburngate. 'A' & 'C' Sqns fired on the 'B' Range.
26   The Bde Commander spoke to all Officers, W.Os and N.C.Os on the future of the Regt and said that we were shortly to mobilize with Sherman tanks.
FELTON 27   Sqn Ldrs conference held to discuss the implications of the Bde Commander's talk, and to settle problems of establishments and promotions. 3 Tanks, out of them an A.A. Tank, paraded at the 'Salute the Soldier' parade in AMBLE. RHQ Tank Tp supplied the crews and their smartness was commented on.
28   A Voluntary church service was held at Brinkburn Priory. A large number of people were in church and it was a lovely hot morning.
29   'A' 'C' & 'HQ' Sqns fired at Forestburngate. The firing was greatly improved and much more accurate. Mobilization Orders were received today. A certain amount of work (wuch as checking of equipment and personnel returns) had already been done. It is understood that we are to mobilize with Sherman tanks and that we are likely to get training tanks almost at once. The A.A. Tp was formed. Lieut T.A. Adams is to be the Troop Ldr. The Commanding Officer went to HQ 5th Dragoon Guards to see Lieut Col Sangster, the C.O. of the 5th Dragoon Guards, who is leaving after 4 years of Command. Major Swettennam is to take over Command.
30   The Regtl main-body moved to KIRKCUDBRIGHT in transport provided by the RASC. They left at 0800 hrs under command of Major The Lord Rathdonnell. The total numbers up at the ranges are 41 Officers and 400 O.Rs. This includes the Bde permanent party of 87 O.Rs supplied by the Regt.
31   The Commanding Officer went to CATTERICK to select two Sjts and Cpls for the Regt. In the evening he left for KIRKCUDBRIGHT. Courses have started for Mechanist Sjts and Technical Storemen at Training Regts, to instruct them in the Sherman tank.
FELTON 31   It is learnt that the Regt is to mobilize up to War Establishment less 1st Reinfocements and not plus reinforcements as was originally intended. Captain J. Watson of the Regt lunched at Acton House. The weather, which had been very hot, became cold and dull. During the month, no men were posted to the Regt, eight were posted away to an Army Selection Centre. 32 Gunner Operators were mustered and 16 Gunner Mechanics.
31   During the month the following vehicles were received: Cromwell Mk IV: 3, Cromwell Mk V: 2, Scout Cars, Mk II: 3.
31   The following were transferred away: Centaurs Mk 1: 30, Cromwells Mk III: 7.
31   Strength: Officers: 47, Other Ranks: 780.
31   Summary of 'A' Vehs held on strenght: Cromwells Mk I: 3, Cromwells Mk III: 10, Cromwells Mk IV: 10, Cromwells Mk V: 9, Centaur Mk III: 30, Crusader A.A. Mk II: 1. Total: 63.

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Source: 11th Armoured Division.

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.