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    War Diary: 4th - 7th Dragoon Guards

    Month and year: March 1944

    The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards April 1944 War diary covers the units training in the UK including the Exercise KELLYS EYE I

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/838

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    Page 1 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    CHIPPENHAM PARK Newmarket1B&C Squadrons each took delivery of 3 Valantine Mk X fitted
    with 75 mm guns & 7.92 mm Besa MG. Thet are for training
    purposes only. A Sqn took 4 Shermans to TITCHWELL Range
    (65 miles away) by road, & the selected gunners and commanders
    in preparation for firing to-morrow.
    The regiment went over to day on to Field Documentation: owing
    to this the Orderly Room Sergeant Major Q.M.S. L Graver -
    who has been nearly 25 years with the regiment and 17 years in the
    Orderly Room, left to-day to go to Second Echelon where he
    carries on there as 4/7 R.D.G. representative.
    2A Sqn fired at TITCHWELL on the H.E. Range (Sanctuary Range)
    B Sqn sent selected gunners and commanders to TITCHWELL in the
    evening preparatory to shooting to-morrow on the HE range.
    3B Sqn fired on the Sanctuary Range & A Sqn on the A.P. range at
    TITCHWELL: the Valentines with 75 mm guns were used and fired well
    Page 2 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    TITCHWELL3A Sqn returned from TITCHWELL in the evening their place being taken
    there by C Squadron.
    4B Sqn fired on the A.P. Range is the afternoon & C Sqn on the HE Range:
    AP shooting was quite good. Shooting was interfered occasionally by snow storms.
    CHIPPENHAM5B Sqn returned to CHIPPENHAM in the morning and C Sqn fired on the
    AP. range. HQ??? Sqn??? held a church parade in the morning under the
    command of Capt P. G. Verdin and attended divine service at CHIPPENHAM
    church: the service was conducted by the Padre attached to the 24L.
    6C Sqn returned in the morning. The CO accompanied by the
    2 i/c Messing Officer, M.O., Q.M. and R.S.M. made an inspection
    of the camp in the morning.
    7The C.O. attended a conference at Ads. Bde. HQ in LONDON in
    the morning. The adjutant proceeded on leave
    8Lt. Col. J Anderson D.S.O. who has just taken over command of the
    Notts Yeo called.
    Page 3 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    CHIPPENHAM8a regimental board sat # & interviewed candidates for O.C.T.U.
    90900The CO. went to Birgade HQ in the morning & met the Army
    Commander (General Dempsey).
    1200The Messing officer staged a demonstration for all officers, SQMSs
    & cooks of the new cooks lorry, of which each Squadron
    has one.
    1600The CO held a Squadron leaders conference to discuss training.
    1730A discussion for all officers on "Recovery" was held by the C.O.
    101000The C.O. A/adjutant (Lt P.G.D.Aiglewood & the Signal Officer
    (Lt C.W.P.Hampton took part in a Signal Exercise at Brigade
    HQ. the use of the Slidex Code was practised.
    The second in Command took the regiment out on a short signal
    exercise (mounted)
    0800The advance Party of B&C Sqns. left for Bournemouth
    where B & C are to carry out special training at ???
    Page 4 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    CHIPPENHAM11The C.O. held Squadom Leaders conference in the morning.
    The regiment lost at football to the 24 L by 2-3 goals.
    12C Squadron held a church parade and attended Divine Service
    at CHIPPENHAM parish church
    1200The CO held a Squadron leader conference to tie up
    plans for the move of B & C Sqns.
    13The CO was at Bournemouth to-day.
    The Brigade Major (Major L.A.Biddle M.C.) called to settle
    any difficulties we might have over the move.
    14The CO returned and held a Squadron Leaders conference in
    the evening.
    15The recently arrived Sherman V(c) (mounting a 17 pdr)
    went TITCHWELL to fire.
    Major General Erskine (G.O.C. 7 And. Div.) lectured at all
    officers of the Brigade on "The Armoured Division"
    Page 5 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    CHIPPENHAM15The main party of B & C Sqns left for Bournemouth
    The regiment beat the 24 L at football 3-0.
    16A Sqn trained on the South west Thatford Training area
    the C.O. and some members of the S.T.C. Cambridge
    went out to watch.
    a draft of our 1st line Reinforcements under 2/Lt. G.T. Thompson
    went to the 265 Fwd Delivery Squadron (accommodated
    in the north camp in CHIPPENHAM Park),these pesonel
    remain on our strength.
    The 17 pdr Sherman was fired at TITCHWELL by A Sqn
    crews it was satisfactory.
    17St. Patricks Day - a whole holiday The Officers
    played the Sergeants at footballs & drew 3-3 after a very
    spirited game.
    18Brigadier J.H. Anstice D.SO. who is relinquishing command of
    Page 6 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    CHIPPENHAM18this the 8 Armoured Brigade called to say "goodbye".
    The adjutant returned off leave.
    The CO visited B & C Sqn at Bournemouth.
    19A Sqn held a church parade in the morning attending the
    service at CHIPPENHAM church.
    The Recce Troop have now got 10 Honeys they
    are not in a very good state & require a lot of work doing
    on them.
    a travelling "Personal Selection Board" who test all men
    for intelligence on the matrix system started their
    examination of the regiment.
    Bournemouth208 crews each from B & C Sqn went to B Wing 79 Armd Div.
    School for training in Shermans for their special role.
    CHIPPENHAM21Major G.K. Barker conducted a T.E.W.T. for all officers of A&HQ Sqns
    & A Coy 12KRRC involving problems on an advance guard of its
    Page 7 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    CHIPPENHAM21armoured regiment and a motor battalion.
    The CO returned from Bournemouth in the morning.
    221700The CO attended a tactual discussion at Brigade H.Q. in the
    evening : the 8 Armd Bde is now commanded by Brigadier J.B
    Cracroft R.T.R
    23The C.O. attended a conference at Brigade HQ on the
    forthcoming 7 Armd Div. exercise "KELLYS EYE I" & held a
    briefing conference for all new crew commanders in the
    24The regiment consisting of A Sqn, RHQ (less intercoms??? tp)
    and A1 echelon vehicles of A & HQ Squadron moved up to
    concentration area north west of SWAFFHAM - near
    NARBOROUGH for the 7 Armd Div. exercise. all vehicles
    reached harbour without any breakdowns
    The CO attended two Brigade conferences, at 1600 & 1800 hrs &
    Page 8 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    In the field24gave out his orders to the 'O' Group at 1900hrs: Summary
    of orders: - (a) intentions: to seize bridge at BRANDON destroying
    all enemy en route (b) Method - one ups??? two sections
    Recce TP leading, Troop A Sqn with F.O.O. (147 Fd Regt. R.A. - Essex Yeo)
    of A Bty (under comd) A Sqn 4/7 R.D.G., A Coy 12KRRC (under comd)
    RHA???, A Bty 147 Fd.Rgt. A.A.T/4???/7 R.D.G. B Sqn, C Sqn
    A1 echelon, Section Fd. ambulance.
    (c) our lead to cross start line at 0830hrs. - 8H to be in front of us.
    (d) Intercoms??? regimental net.
    250830Head of Regimental group passed start point three miles
    south of NARBOROUGH : our route to BRANDON was in the
    main the right hand Corps boundary.
    Rear link set broke down on two occasions during the
    day resulting in touch being lost for a short time with
    Brigade HQ.
    Page 9 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    In the field250930First report of enemy received from 24L (on our left flank moving
    on parallel road) MkIII & IV Tanks.
    Reports of enemy increased several S.P. on 24L front.
    1020A Sqn report slight opposition.
    1030A Sqn held up by Panther & Tiger tanks & one troop was lost C.O. went forward to
    recce attack planned with O.C. A Coy, Bty Comd & A Coy Comd 12 KRRC.
    The enemy were holding BOTANY BAY FARM area in some strength.
    C.O. decided to attack 2 Squadrons up from left (ie east) flank
    supported by A 147 Fd.Regt the gunners were to put down five, 1140 -1150 hrs.
    1130Before this attack materialised the enemy
    withdrew and the CO. decided to follow up and try to overrun:
    gunner support was quickly obtained on the Farm area 1135-1145 hrs
    and the regiment moved on quickly in an effort push through
    to the next bound which was the river line at DIDLINGTON
    a section of the recce Tp actually crossed the bridge but had
    Page 10 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    In the field25to promptly withdraw. Panzer Grenadiers and Tigers were in DIDLINGTON
    Park and it was not possible to find another way across.
    1230 approxThe Brigadier visited our sector.
    An attack by the Motor Coy was planned on the every position and
    this was to go in on the left flank (ie east of the park)
    at then juncture the exercise was ended and the regiment
    returned to CHIPPENHAM Camp in the evening, leaving four
    tanks at Brigade workshops to have extra Armour plating
    ("Quickfix Armour") put on them.
    26The CO. attended a conference at Brigade HQ in the morning.
    27The C.O. 2 i/c & Oc.C. Sqn attended a 7 Armd Div. conference
    on the recent exercise in the morning at HQ. 22 Armd.Bde.
    In the evening the CO. went through points in connection with
    the exercise with all crew commanders and operation. The
    standard of operating on the exercise was not good, netting &
    Page 11 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    CHIPPENHAM27wireless discipline being poor.
    28Tile first 15 cwt 1/2 track for the regiment arrived: each sabre Sqn
    is supposed to have one and H.Q Sqn. four.
    29The C.O. left for Bournemouth where he is going on an exercise with
    Band C Sqns. The 2 i/c adjutant Q.M. & Capt. Stirling Major L G
    Gill Mc. attended an all day sandtable demonstration at Brigate
    HQ on the various administrative services and organisation of
    the echelons: the demonstration (run by the DAA & OMG 8 Armd
    30Bde) lasted for one and a half days (ie 29 & 30 March)
    A Sqn moved out on the Thatford training and with Recce
    Tp to stand two nights out in the field.
    31Nothing to record.