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    War Diary: 102nd Anti Tank Regiment

    Month and year: January 1944

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

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/929

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

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    Page 1 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NewmarketJan 10900Newly joined officers are posted to Btys as follows :-
    2/Lieut V.T. BOTHERWAY - 107 Bty 2/Lieut J.H. GRUNDY - 99 Bty
    2/Lieut T.F. VANDERPUMP - 289 Bty
    21730Adjutant attends a meeting at Newmarket Golf Links. The club are giving
    80 of our men a smoking concert on Saturday 8th January.
    30730C.O. (Lieut.Col. A.K. Matthews) proceeds to School of Artillery, Larkhill
    to, obtain the latest information about A.TK. practise in England. CO.2
    (Major D.J. COWEN) Assumes command of the regiment.
    1000Adjutant (Capt C.S. SPENCE, R.A. ) attends a conference at H.Q.R.A.
    50 (Northumbrian) Division on "Tactical Signs to be employed in the Div.
    Artillery" In fact, this only concerned the Field Arty. except for the
    size of the squares on which the signs will be placed.
    2300A gunner, 785754 Gnr JACKSON, T. is fataly injured on the main road
    outside R.H.Q.
    40100Mobilization Date. We are complete except for a few items of G. 1098
    equipment :- first line ammunition and camouflage apparatus, and 65
    tradesmen. Most of this large deficiency is caused by a sudden jump in
    the number of Driver Mechanics held on W.E. - 79.
    51000C.O. 2 (Major D.J. COWEN) attends a discussion at Divisional H.Q. - Subject
    "Co-operation between tanks and Infantry".
    1400A representative from the Records Department visits the unit to discuss any
    points which have arisen during mobilization.
    1430Major G.R. BALFOUR, M.C. and Lieut (Q.M.) R.F. HUTCHINSON, R.A. meet the
    Deputy Director of Mobilization at Cambridge, together with representatives
    of the other Artillery units in the Division. Deficiencies of personnel
    and equipment are discussed but no sort of action would appear to be ensuing.
    Page 2 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NewmarketJan 61100S.A.Q.C. (Lieut Col. F.N. Drake-Digby, T.D., D.L.) visits the regiment to
    discuss accommodation. We got an additional hut for the DULLINGHAM (M. 0877)
    and the chance of some accommodation for the L.A.D. at STETCHWORTH (M. 0978)
    7100013 Bren Carriers arrive by rail. We have had no tracked vehicles before and
    some trouble is experienced driving them from the station.
    8.17302/Lieut R.E. TONGUE R.A. and 2/Lieut G.W. DETMAUR R.A. report having been
    posted from 125 O.C.T.U.
    1800Newmarket Golf Club give a smoking concert in the Golf House to 80 men of
    the regiment. This is a great success and much appreciated.
    909002/Lieut R.E. TONGUE posted to 99 Battery.
    2/Lieut G.W. DETMAUR posted to 288 Battery.
    11004 bren carriers arrive by rail . This completes our establishment of
    Recce vehicles. Major D.J. COWEN leaves to attend a Security Course at the
    School of Military Intelligence
    10Capt G.W. DUNKERLEY, M.C. and Capt. J.C. GAYE are detailed to attend an
    Anti-Tank Course at the School of Artillery LARKHILL.
    1800Notification received that the visit of the M.G.R.A., 21 Army Group, which
    was to take place tomorrow, will not know take place.
    111000Major R.G.. Browne-Swinburne as acting C.O. attends a lecture at FELIXSTONE
    given by the B.R.A. Eastern Command on "Post War Planning of the R.A.
    Benevolent Fund".
    1800Information received from H.Q.R.A. 50 (Northumbrian) Division that the
    Carden Lloyd tracked Gun towers will be despatched to the regiment on 13 Jan
    These are for 6-prs.
    Page 3 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWMARKETJan 12All 6-prs are inspected by a Warrant Officer from Eastern Command Workshops.
    A modification is necessary on all carriages.
    131900Major D.J. COVEN returns from Security Course and re-assumes command.
    141000Major R.A. BARNETT, (O.C. 107 Battery) attends a TEWT with 9 D.L.I.
    Subject "Co-operation of Tanks with Infantry"
    1400Posting orders are received for 4 officers to join the unit from 125 O.C.T.U.
    150900Lieut W.S. BRAMELD R.A. goes to the anti-tank ranges at HARLECH to inspect
    and report. This is the range we shall use on our 3-monthly practise which
    takes place in March.
    During the day Batteries make thorough tests to ascertain the capabilities
    of the New Morris 4 X 4 tower of the 17-prs. General impression is that they
    are better than Field Artillery "Quads" but suffer from having no Winch gear
    160900Lieut K.L. GENTLEMAN joins a Gas Course at the Army Gas School, WINTERBOURNE
    Lieut P.G. O'NEILL, R.A. joins an M.T. Course at the R.A.M.T. School RHYL.
    17090012 Drivers proceed to 22 A.TK. Tng Regt., R.A., SHOEBURYNESS to attend a
    course on Lloyd Carriers.
    21 Lloyd Carriers arrive by rail.
    C.O. (Lieut Col. A .K. MATTHEWS ,RA) rejoins the regiment and assumes command.
    18Capt J.C. GAYE and Capt G.W. DUNKERLEY M.C. leave to attend an anti-tank
    Course at the School of Artillery, LARKHILL.
    Page 4 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWMARKETJan 201800A special D.R. from H.Q. 30 Corps arrives with a new W.E. for A. Tk. Btys
    Comments are required by HQRA 30 Corps on the proposed establishment which
    will give one troop 6-prs and 2 troops 17 prs. The establishment of vehicles
    is better than our present W.E. but the introduction of another troop of
    17-prs at the expense of 6-prs is not approved of.
    211000Capt J.K. - BOAG attends a T.E.W.T. with 8 D.L.I. Subject :-
    (a) "Composition of the advance Guard"
    (b) "First Contact with the enemy
    221400We receive a War Office Urgent Memorandum. The 4 Btys of the regt are
    de-mobilized and will mobilize at a latter date on a new W.E. and a new
    G. 1098.
    231000C.O. (Lieut Col. A.K. MATTHEWS R.A.) leaves to attend a short course at
    the C.T.C. LARGS, Ayrshire.
    24Divisional I.G. visits the regt. In the absence of the C.O. few technical
    questions are put.
    26Acting C.O. (Major D.J. COWEN) visits the two Batteries (99 and 107 Btys)
    who are stationed at DULLINGHAM (0876)
    271000CRA 50 (Northumbrian) Division (Brig, C.H. NORTON, O.B.E., D.S.O.)
    telephones the acting C.O.. We are to despatch 1 officer and 4 Senior NCO's
    on a course to study the M.10, which is a self-propelled anti-tank gun.
    Further details cannot be passed over the telephone.
    Page 5 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWMARKETJan 281000Major J.N. BARDSLEY, R.A. attends an umpires conference at H.Q. 50 (N) Div
    He is senior R.A. umpire on Divisional Signal Exercise taking place on
    3 Feb 44. The regiment is not involved.
    1045An urgent message from H.Q.R.A. Acting C.O. to visit C.R.A. immediately.
    1500Acting C.O. returns. Our new W.E. is to be 4 Btys each of 2 troops 6-pr
    guns and 1 troop M.10 S.P. guns.
    The neighbouring Division (49 Div) have their anti-tank regiment mobilized
    on this establishment and they will give assistance in training drivers to
    to drive tracked S.P. mountings.
    1700Captain J.C. GAYE and Capt G.W. DUNKERLEY, M.C. return from School of Arty.
    Many new ideas.
    290900Acting C.O. and C.R.A. visit 49 Division to obtain information about the
    new W.E.
    1 Officer and 4 N.C.O's join Lloyd Carrier Course at R.A.M.T. School RHYL.
    1 Officer and 4 N.C.O's Join M.10 course at R.A.M.T. School RHYL.
    Major G.R. BALFOUR, M.C. (O.C. 288 Bty) joins B.C.s M.T. course at R.A.M.T.
    School RHYL.
    1045Adjutant (Capt C.S. SPENCE, R.A.) attends an Adjutants conference at
    H.Q. 50 (Northumbrian) Division.
    21 Army Group of which this Division forms a part, are visiting all units
    and all O.R's are to be tested by a selection committee. The object of this
    test is to enable accurate documentation to be made at GHQ 2nd Echelon,
    21 Army Group of-mens' capabilities, in order that, when they leave their
    units or are re-classified medically, suitable employment may be found.
    301000New Officers are posted to Batteries as follows :-
    2/Lieut W.H. ASHWORTH, - 99 Bty 2/Lieut R. MASKEW - 107 Bty
    2/Lieut C. PACKHAM, - 288 Bty Lieut 2/Lieut R.H. GARNER - 289 Bty
    Page 6 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEWMARKETJan 301030BCs conference at R.H.Q.
    Subject :- (i) "The impending visit of Col. H. SIDNEY, D.S.O. and the
    arrangements to be made"
    (ii) "The new W.E. "
    311600Major KENYON, Instructor of Gunnery (Anti-tank),2nd Army. arrives. He is
    attached to this unit for one week.