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    War Diary: 102nd Anti Tank Regiment

    Month and year: Febuary 1944

    The 102nd Anti Tank Regiment February 1944 war diary covers the units time in the UK training

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/929

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    Page 1 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    1During the day the I.G. visits all Btys and lectures to NCO's on the latest
    methods of engaging tanks.
    21000Major J.N. BARDSLEY acts as senior RA Umpire on a Divisional Signal Exercise.
    1700WS/Capt. W.A. BENSON is attached to the Regiment from Depot RA having been
    away since 1942.
    1900Lt-Col A.K. MATTHEWS ,R.A. returns from C.T.C. LARGS, and re-assumes command.
    31000Col. H. SIDNEY, D.S.O., T.D., (Honorary Colonel of the Regiment) inspects the
    Regiment. There is no formal parade but a demonstration of the various sides
    of training is given.-
    99 Bty - Miniature Range and Gun Drill.
    107 " - .22 Miniature Range and Troop Deployment.
    288 " - Maintenance of Guns and Vehicles,
    289 " - Marching and Rifle Drill and a Lecture for
    NCO's on Fire Discipline.
    1400Orders are received from HQ, RA. , 50 (NORTHUMBRIAN) Division that we will
    send 17-pdrs to 55 (SUFFOLK YEOMANRY) A Tk. Regiment R.A. at YARMOUTH and
    receive from them their M 10 S.P. guns As their equipment is old, the C.O.
    (Lt-Col.A.K. MATTHEWS ,RA) writes to RA in protest.
    1700Adjutant telephones Adjutant 55 A/Tk. Regt RA. They know nothing of a proposed
    change and Adjutant gathers that 55 A/Tk Regt already have their 17 pdrs, but
    it is very difficult to get a story over the telephone when talking in
    guarded language.
    40845C.O.2 (Major D.J. COWEN) and one senior officer per Battery proceed to FOULNESS
    Anti-Tank Ranges (M 41) to watch practise shooting of M 10 Guns.
    5083099 Bty (Major J.N. BARDSLEY RA) proceed to HOLME Anti-Tank Range to carry out
    practice shooting.
    Page 2 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWMARKET51400C.O. proceeds to HOLME Ranges.
    699 Bty carry out Practice Shooting and zeroing of 6pdrs. They return to billets
    during the day. 107 Bty and 289 Btys move to HOLME.
    7107 Bty zero and practice at HOLME and return to billets.
    083017 pdr guns with towing vehicles leave for 55 (SY) A/TK. Regtiment, R.A.
    1330CO2 (Major D.J. COWEN) leaves to visit HQ RA in response to urgent summons
    from C.R.A.
    1400Orders received that the L.A.D. is de-mobilized and will be mobilized shortly
    on a new W.E. WS/Lt. G.C. ROBERTS is regranted the Temporary Rank of
    Captain vice Capt. P.W.S. BOULT R.A.
    1600The Personnel Selection Board arrive. The rest of the week will be spent
    testing the intelligence of the troops. 289 Bty zero and practise at HOLME
    in the afternoon.
    8288288 Bty with the Infantry A/Tk. Guns practise at HOLME. The Personnel
    Selection Board gets to work and normal work and administration is dislocated
    1500289 Bty return to billets from HOLME. We are allotted 13 Feb at HOLME Ranges
    by HQ RA.
    91500288 Bty returns from HOLME.
    1530We are informed that, unless we want the M 10 S.P. guns of the 55 (SY) A Tk.
    Regt.RA in a hurry, they will not arrive before 15 Feb, coming by transporter.
    No suitable training area exists in the neighbourhood and none has yet been
    allocated. Therefore we are in no hurry to obtain the M 10's.
    1700B.C's Conference at RHQ attended by :-
    Major D.J. COWEN - CO2.
    Major J.N. BARDSLEY - OC 99 Bty.
    Major. R.A. BARNETT - OC 107 Bty.
    Capt. J.C. GAYE - Acting OC 288 Bty.
    Major. R.G. BROWNE-SWINBURNE - OC 289 Bty.
    Page 3 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWMARKET.91700(continued) Subjects at Conference :-
    (i) Shooting at HOLME - This has not been up to standard.
    (ii) Arrangements for firing on 13 Feb. We will send the best 8
    layers per Bty.
    (iii) The new W.E. giving M 10's.
    (iv) The Painting of Unit and Divisional Signs on vehicles.
    101400We receive a suggested Assault Scale for RHQ and Btys and submit amendments.
    150055 (SY) A/Tk. Regt telephone the adjutant to inform the Regiment that the
    M 10's will be arriving by transporter.
    1600The Regiment is informed by HQ RA that we shoot at HOLME on 13 MAR NOT 13 FEB.
    110830CO (Lt-Col.A.K. MATTHEWS ,RA) leaves to attend a demonstration of A.F.V.R.E.
    at 79 Armd Div.
    1400Adjutant visits HQ RA 50 (Northumbrian) Division.
    170014 X M 10's arrive on Transporters.
    121400We receive orders that the various Bde Groups are to proceed to INVERARY,
    ARGYLISHIRE to do Combined Operations Training. 66 Inf Bde with 99 A/Tk.
    Bty are to start this trg on 1 Mar.
    16001 x M 10 arrives.
    1314001 X M 10 arrives from Scotland covered with heather but neither usquebaugh
    nor haggis.
    141100CO visits HQ 30 Corps. The object of the visit is to obtain authority to use
    the THETFORD Battle Ground or other suitable area to train the drivers of the
    M 10's. There is no area in our immediate vicinity.
    1700An Instructional Team arrive from 55 A/Tk. Regiment RA. This consists of 1
    Officer and 9 ORs.
    1511005 Offrs and 200 OR's are addressed by the C in C (General Sir Bernard
    Montgomery KCB DSO) We were last addressed in the square, MASCALE,SICILY, on
    30 Aug 43. The parade is at HQ 8 Armd Bde ,CHIPPENHAM M 1388.
    Page 4 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWARKET.151400The M 10 Course begins.
    1400SC RA 504 Northunbrian) Division visits the Regiment .He has no hows.
    161000CO (Lt-Col.A.K. MATTHEWS RA.) visits the THETFORD Training Area and contacts
    70 Inf Bde who will help us over the problem of accomodation.
    1100Lecture on Camouflage given by GSO (Cam) 30 Corps to Officers and NCO's.
    17Orders are received that LAD this Unit and LAD A/Tk. Regt RA are to be
    interchanged. The news LAD is 43 strong and we have no accomodation at present
    for them.
    18CO visits War office etc to try and obtain a few crumbs in the way of Dvr
    Mechs, Dvr Ops, and Instructors.
    1909005 x M 10's with Instructional Team and Learner Drivers move to THETFORD area
    for Training. They are billeted on 1 Bn The Tyneside Scottish.
    201400We are informed that only 99 Bty will carry out Combined Trg with Inf at
    INVERARY. The remainder of the Btys will send representative parties.
    21CO recces Div Wading Course. It is nowhere near its appointed place of course.
    22289 Bty (Major R.G. Browne-Swinburne) carry out Practice Shoot at FOULNESS.
    CO to HOLME to supervise unit and infantry shooting.
    2399 Bty (Capt G.W. DUNKERLEY RA) shoot at HOLME with Inf Guns of 69 Bde.
    Major J.N. BARDSLEY R.A. is posted to RA Depot on joining No. 7 War Gunnery Staff
    Course at School of Artillery, Larkhill.
    090099 Bty despatch Advance Party to CTC INVERARY.
    2499 Bty carry out second days Practice Shoot at HOLME and return to billets
    in the evening.
    12005 Officers and 100 ORs Parade at CLARE (MR M 2263) and are inspected by
    H.M. King GEORGE VI.
    25080099 Bty Road Party leave for INVERARY with 69 Bde Gp. CO (Lt-Col.A.K. MATTHEWS RA)
    proceeds to HARLECH, N. Wales, to fix Trg Programme for the Practice Shooting
    in March. Infantry Platoons shoot Mar 10,11,12,13. The Regiment shoots Mar 25,26,27,28.
    Page 5 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWMARKET251400We are offered PAMPISFORD HALL (MR 9567) as additional accomodation to allow
    sufficient room for the new LAD (Type D) which is 43 strong. Arrangements
    are made to take over BRETTENHAM MANOR near THETFORD for our M 10 learners.
    26PAMPISFORD Hall is accepted.
    27107 A/Tk. Bty proceed to HOLME with Inf Guns of 151 Bde. 288 A/Tk. Bty
    proceed to FOULNESS with Inf Guns of 231 Bde. CO returns to HOLME from
    28Btys carry out practise shooting and return to billets. Major R.A. BARNETT (OC 107 Bty) &
    (OC 289 Bty) Major G.R. BALFOUR, remain at Practice Camps to instruct the
    1000Major R.G. BROWNE-SWINBURNE inspects PAMPISFORD HALL with SAQC South
    Cambridge District.
    120099 Bty Main Body entrains for CTC INVERARY.
    1700Adjutant receives a letter from CO. The following orders are there in contained :-
    (i) Admin Orders regarding HARLECH Ranges.
    (ii) Orders for 99 Bty to move from present location (DULLINGHAM 766085) to
    29Practice Camp continues with Inf Platoons.
    1000Adj visits HQ 50 (Northumbrian) Div to pass on Adm details for Inf at HARLECH.
    After being passed on by various departments he is told to come back tomorrow.
    On visiting HQ RA, Adjutant is informed that the Regiment is to collect 60
    Carriers Loyd from Ford Works Dagenham, and hold these as an RA Pool.
    1400M 10 Training Detail at THETFORD moves into BRETTENHAM MANOR (MR 384019
    Sheet 76 1" = 1 mile) and continues from there.