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    War Diary: 1st Bn Royal Tank Regiment

    Month and year: May 1944

    The 1st Bn Royal Tank Regiment November 1944 war diary covers the units preparations for the invasion of Normandy, water proofing vehicles and moving to transit camps.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/865

    The "References to Appendices" column for this document was empty so has been omitted.

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    Page 1 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    1.5.44)A holiday was observed for all ranks. Transport was organised to take the
    2.5.44) troops into local towns.
    0800 )
    1230 )Hours of training
    1400 )
    1700 )
    4.5.44Normal routine
    5.5.441400Personnel of the unit attended a lecture in the "Desert Rat"
    Theatre. The subject of the lecture was "Civil administration in Western
    Europe during an Invasion"
    Normal routine
    6.5.44Normal routine
    2359All ranks confined to camp from this hour.
    7.5.44.Normal routine. The day spent in preparing vehicles for moving.
    8.5.440820Tanks moved off for "R 5" camp, which was situated in ORWELL PARK
    0830The wheeled vehicles which were to be A1 echolon followed with some
    administrative trucks.
    1300Arrived at new camp.
    9.5.44The crews of tanks and vehicles which were going with them started to
    waterproof their vehicles. Normal routine.
    1830Officers' conference.
    10.5.44Normal routine
    Page 2 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    11.5.44Normal routine
    0900 Officers' conference
    12.5.441700Officers' conference - normal routine.
    13.5.44Normal routine.
    14.5.44Normal routine,
    15.5.440900The vehicles in A2 & B echelons moved from Sugar Hill Camp, DIDLINGTON, to
    "S 5" camp which was about a mile & a half to the north of BRENTWOOD, ESSEX.
    1400Vehicles arrived at "S 5" camp.
    The personnel & vehicles remaining at Sugar Hill Camp were "residue" & were
    to follow the others after a bridge head had been established in the future
    16.5.440800A party of vehicles left "R 5" for "T" camp, which was at WEST HAM.
    0915A party of wheeled vehicles left "R 5" for "S 5" .
    17.5.440930The C.O. met the G.O.C. 7 Armd Div at Bde HQ, "R 5". The G.O.C. walked
    round unit accommodation & vehicle parks, & discussed the general progress
    of the waterproofing with the C.O.
    Major C.A. Holliman M.C. left unit on promotion to Lt. Col. to command 5 R Tks
    18.5.44)Normal routine. Waterproofing continued.
    20.5.44)Dajor E.H. Gibbon D.S.O. joined the régiment & apptd 2 I.C.
    23.5.44Major E.H. Gibbon D.S.O. joined the régiment & apptd 2 I.C.
    Page 3 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    24.5.44)Normal routino.
    26.5.44All the camps were sealed and personnel were confined to the camp areas.
    27.5.44Normel routine.
    28.5.441700The Bde Comd gave a talk on future operations in "S 5" Camp.
    The "B" vehicles in "S 5" prepared to move.
    29.5.440845Tanks started move from R.5. to Mashalling area of Ipswich- Felixstowe Rd.
    29.5.440900The "B" vehicles moved off to their assembly area on the Southend By-Pass.
    1100The Junior officers were briefed.
    1400The Senior officers were briefed.
    30.5.441700The Senior officers were briefed.
    31.5.44During the day all the vehicles were loaded at TILBURY on the S.S. Ignatius
    Donnelly, the drivers returned to "S 5" camp.
    The unit was commanded throughout the month by Lt. Col. R.M.P. Carver,DS0, MC.