War Diary of the Fort Garry Horse Regiment (10 C.A.R.)

May 1943

Place

Date

Summary of Events and Information

Lindford & Headley, Hants

1/5/43

Clear in the morning becoming cloudy with some rain in the late afternoon.  There was the usual Saturday morning clean-up parade for the inspection by Lt Col R.E.A. Morton.  At 1330 hrs there were voluntary sports parades for all Squadrons.  There was a ball game in H.Q. Sqn between the Adm troop and the Scout Car troop.  The remainder of the day was free.

 

2/5/43

Cloudy and cold in the morning but clearing up later in the day.  There were Church parades to the Headley Church for the Protestants and to the Headley Village Hall for the R.C.’s.  In the evening there was a show “Hold that Ghost” in Hatch House Barn.  “C” Sqn took over Regt’l Duties for the week.

 

3/5/43

Cloudy and cold.  A.B.C.A. AND PADRE’s hours were held in “HQ” “A” and “B” Sqns in the morning.  Some of the tanks went to Thursday Common for a night harbouring scheme.  Ways and methods of subscribing to Canada’s 4th Victory Loan were described to the men this morning.  The gain to be made by subscribing was also explained to them.  In the evening the Garry’s beat the Fusilier’s 18 to 10 in the first game of the Bde Softball Finals.

 

4/5/43

Cloudy and cold in the morning not becoming warmer as the day went on.  The usual Tuesday morning Respirator period was held this morning.  “A” Sqn went through the Gas Chamber and the Dental Clinic today.  “C” Sqn was at Thursley Common training with #1 C.L.R.U.  “B” Sqn carried out normal training all day.  A number of men from the unit were struck off strength to other units and to #1 Cdn Special Depot as reinforcements.

 

5/5/43

Cloudy and cold in the morning becoming warmer by noon.  H.Q. Sqn went through the Gas Chamber today.  “C” & “B” Sqns were out at Thursley Common with the tanks.  There was a show at Hatch House Barn in the evening.

 

6/5/43

Cloudy and cold.  Some of the Sqns were at the training areas with the tanks.  More men were struck off strength to Cdn Special Depot and to the Calgary Tk Regt.  In the evening there was a training film in Hatch House Farm.

 

7/5/43

Clear but cold all day.  There was a practice harbour scheme today in preparation for the coming Bde Scheme.  Tanks were stowed in the afternoon and kits packed for the scheme tomorrow.  Some of our Tank crews returned with some new tanks which were equipped with steel tracks and the new Stabilizers.  The Regt left this evening on the Bde scheme.

 

8/5/43

Cloudy and cold.  Broke harbour in the morning and proceeded to Basingstoke where another harbour was set up at noon.  They remained there all day and slept there that night.

 

9/5/43

Bright and cool in the morning becoming warmer by noon.  Broke camp at 0300 hrs at Basingstoke and proceeded eastward where they set up a crash harbour four miles North of Farnborough at approx noon.  Arrived back at camp at 1500 hrs.  “B” Sqn took over the Regt’l duties from “C” Sqn.

 

10/5/43

Cloudy with heavy showers.  There were the usual Monday morning ABCA.  Padre’s Hour and Citizenship periods.  This afternoon normal training was carried out.  Another group of men went to get new tanks at Lancing.  Some tanks went to Hillmore Range to prepare for the firing in the morning.  In the evening there was a meeting at R.H.Q. mess for all the Officers.  Capt A.S. [Alex] Christian gave a lecture on his experience in North Africa with the first army.

 

11/5/43

Cloudy and cool all day with light showers in the evening.  “A” Sqn had reveille at 0545 hrs and left for Hillmore ranges at 0700 hrs where they fired Browning from stationary tanks.  Normal training was carried out all day by the remainder of the Regt.  In the evening the show “Navy Blues” was shown at Hatch House Farm.

 

12/5/43

Cloudy and cool.  The Regt drew eight more new tanks today.  Otherwise normal training was carried out.  Some of the Sqns repainted their tanks and wheeled vehicles today.  In the evening all of the Officers and some of the N.C.O.s attended a lecture at the Sally Lund Café on “What to do if you become a prisoner of War”.

 

13/5/43

Bright and warm.  Maintenance and the painting of vehicles was the main task of the day.  Pay parade was from 1230 to 1800 hrs.  In the evening there was a training film at Hatch House Farm.

 

14/5/43

Bright and warm. Twenty-two more men left the Regt today for the Special Base Depot, among them were tradesmen including Dr. Ops., Ldr. Ops, and other tradesmen.  Some of the time was spent in Maintenance and preparation for another Bde Scheme.  Twenty all Ranks were invited to a dance arranged by the Women’s Land Army.  In the evening there was a Softball game between the H.Q. Sqn of 3 CATB and the Fort Garry’s)  The Garry’s won five to three.

 

15/5/43

Bright and warm.  Part of the Regt this morning for Salisbury Plains to take part in a practice demonstration for the War Office.  Troops that went included all of R.H.Q., fighting H.Q., two troops from “A” Sqn, two troops from “C” Sqn and one troops from “B” Sqn .  This formation was equipped with L.A.D. and “A” & “B” Echelons sufficient to maintain them in the field.  A composite Regt was formed in the field with men from the Hussars, Fusiliers, and Garry’s.  An ENSA concert was held in the Headley Village Hall.

 

16/5/43

Bright and very warm.  There were Church parades to the Headley Village Church for the Protestants and to Grayshott for the R.C.s.  There were two raid alerts today, one at 1700 hrs and the other at midnight.

 

17/5/43

Bright and very warm.  The Regt with the exception of those at Salisbury Plains proceeded to Hankley Common today to practice for the coming inspection of the Bde by a distinguished dignitary of England.  There was a preliminary inspection by Lieut General E.W. Sansom D.S.O.  Usual training was carried out in the afternoon.  Capt J.M. Bowie was S.O.S. to N.E.T.D. today prior to his return to Canada to attend a Staff Course at Kingston, Ontario.

 

18/5/43

Bright and very warm.  There was a fifteen minute air raid alert at 0807 hrs this morning.  Two more tanks were delivered to the Regt today bringing our total number up to fifty.  This is the largest number that the Regt has ever had at its disposal at one time.  There was another parade to Hankley common to practice for the coming inspection.  Mr. Burrows, the new auxiliary Officer, was posted to the Regt today.

 

19/5/43

This morning His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester inspected the Bde at Hankley Common.  First His Highness watched a tank demonstration by Bde tank crews and then he drove slowly through the lines of men of the Bde who were a file along both sides of the road.  As he approached each Regt he was greeted with three rousing cheers.  The remainder of the day was spent in normal training.

[Sherbrooke Fusiliers note that they extinguished fires on Ludshott Common this afternoon, started by their own mortars!]

 

20/5/43

Bright and very clear.  This morning a party of Officers and Other Ranks left for West Downs to witness a dress rehearsal by the Regt for the demonstration to be held on Saturday morning.  The remainder of the Regt carried out normal training.

 

21/5/43

Bright and warm.  “C” Sqn  was at Conford ranges and had a good day shooting.  Normal training was carried out in the Regt’l lines.  At Salisbury there was an Artillery barrage demonstration and some trial runs with tanks and infantry.

 

22/5/43

Bright and cool in the morning but becoming overcast and having showers in the day.  A party of Officers and N.C.O.’s left for West Downs, Salisbury Plains to witness a demonstration.  This demonstration was put on by the three Regts of the Bde under the command of Lieut Col R.E.A. Morton.  The demonstration consisted of a planned attack by tanks and infantry with Artillery support on a large scale against a heavily defended enemy position.  It was witnessed by high ranking Officials from the War Office, the British Army, the Canadian Army, the American Army and the Polish Army and a class from Senior Officers School.  An advance party was warned for the coming move.

 

23/5/43

Heavy showers in the morning but clearing up somewhat towards the end of the day.  There were Church parades to Headley Village Church for the Protestants and to Grayshott for the R.C.s.  In the evening the tanks and crews from East Downs returned to the unit lines.

 

24/5/43

The usual Monday morning classes were held on ABCA?  Citizenship and Padre’s hour.  The Regt was issued orders to move to the Worthing area by June the first.  The advance party left this morning.  The Bde is now under the Comd of First Cdn Downs returned to the unit lines.

 

25/5/43

Cloudy with rain all day.  Normal training was carried out all day.  The show “Caught in the Draught” was shown at Hatch House Barn in the evening.

 

26/5/43

Clear but quite warm.  There were muster parades in all Sqns today.  Most of the day was spent in packing and preparation for the coming move.  Maintenance and stowing was done on the tanks and other tracked vehicles.  A convoy of trucks carrying patrol went to Worthing this morning and returned in the evening.

 

27/5/43

Bright and quite warm.  Most of the day was again spent in packing and getting ready for the move to Worthing.  Some lorries loaded with equipment went to Worthing in the morning and returned in the evening.  The tanks were loaded on transporters so as to be ready to move off early in the morning.  A C.A.R.U. softball team that had never been beaten challenged the Garry’s to a game and were beaten by a score of twenty-one to two.

 

28/5/43

Bright and warm.  More tanks on transporters and more equipment by lorries was taken to Worthing today.  Most of the day was spent in cleaning up the lines.

 

29/5/43

Bright and warm.  Some tanks went to Worthing on transporters.  The day was again spent in maintenance and packing and cleaning up the lines.

 

30/5/43

Fair and warm.  There were Church parades to Headley Village Church for the protestants and to Grayshott for the R.C.s.  The remainder of the day was free.

 

21/5/43

Fair and warm.  Final clean up and inspection and inspection and loading of equipment took place today.  Tonight the personnel had to sleep outside so that things would be cleaned up and ready for an early start in the morning.  The few personnel who had gone to Worthing with the tanks and on the advance party spent the day in cleaning up the new lines and allowing the barracks to the different troops and squadrons.

 

1/6/43

Bright and fairly warm with a few passing clouds.  Reveille at 0400 hrs cleaning up of sleeping areas commenced immediately.  All personnel were in “A” Sqn Vehicle Park by 0545 hrs ready to move off.  The move began at 0545 hrs and the convoy arrived in Worthing at 0930 hrs.  Breakfast this morning was a haversack lunches and was eaten during the trip.  After arriving in Worthing the remainder of the day was spent in getting settled down and general clean-up.

Fort Garry Horse Regiment War Diary index


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