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    War Diary: 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Regiment

    Month and year: November 1944

    The 260th Anti Tank Battery (65th Norfolk Yeomanry Anti Tank Regiment) November 1944 war diary covers the units time in The Netherlands.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/921

    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
    Heikant1st0600Day spent in thoroughly cleaning out of new area and arranging billets.
    Maintenance of guns and vehicles.
    2nd0600Continued maintenance on vehicles and guns. Capt. VR Minney, RA posted to
    Battery as 2 i/c vice Capt. PD Balfour, RA who goes to 257 Bty.
    3rd0600More hard work on maintenance and preparation for CO's inspection tomorrow,
    and improvements to billets, particularly cookhouses, carried out.
    At approx. 1200 hrs a "Flying Bomb" landed in a field about 1000 yards
    from BHQ. No damage to men or Battery property.
    4th0600CO visited Bty and inspected vehicles of A and B Echelons. Percentage of
    Battery allowed to visit Tilburg during the afternoon. Bty held a dance
    in the evening, proving a great success with the local inhabitants,
    particularly when an opportunity was provided for them to sing their
    National Anthem for the first time in public for 4 1/2 years.
    5th0600Bath parade and Church Service in morning. Kit inspections carried out
    during the day.
    6th0600Kit inspections completed in morning, and reserve rations inspected.
    BC's conference held to formulate training programme to start tomorrow.
    7th0600Bty courses started for potential gunner mechs and gunner operators and
    drivers. Troop training throughout the day, Lectures given in afternoon by
    A.E.C. Officer and RSM. CRA visited Battery and complimented men on their
    appearance. Medical inspection of Bty carried out by Regtl M.O.
    Page 2 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    8th0600Troop training. Inter troop football match in afternoon. Warning order received
    at approx 2000 hrs that Regiment will move to new area at present held by
    53 (W) Div. on 10th Novr.
    9th06002 i/c, with advance party, proceeded at 0730 hrs to area of BREE (North
    East Belgium). Bty moved at 1500 hrs to join Regtl H.Q. at 202353. Movement
    orders received for move to new area at 1300 hrs tomorrow.
    10th0600Bty moved off in Regtl column at 1300 hrs. The move across the Army
    L.of C. - part of the way in darkness - was extremely difficult and
    complicated by the Canadians using the same one-way bridges, and also
    that one bridge on the Divisional route was found to be impracticable for
    the tracked vehicles, necessitating a considerable diversion. With the
    exception of casualties, the Bty arrived in new area by 0200 hrs 11th Novr.
    BHQ established at HULSBOSCH FARM - 532848, and troops A.1 and A.2 Echs
    in neighbouring farms south of the main road.
    11th0600BC inspected Bty area in morning. Information received that 259 Bty was
    to be deployed with 131 (Q) Bde, in area THORN and KESSENICH, and that
    part of this Bty might be required to thicken up the defences. B.C. and
    "K" Troop Commander recced Bde area. Owing to lack of room, 22 Armd Bde remain
    in their present location (North West Holland) and the Bty's "B" Echelon
    was therefore brought under Regtl command. Maintenance on guns and vehrs
    carried out.
    12th0600BC and 2 i/c recced 131 (Q) Bde area in morning. Bad weather interfered
    with maintenance.
    Page 3 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    13th06002 i/c and "L" Trp Cdr recced area GEUSTINGEN, held by "A" Coy 1/7 Queens
    and sited possible gun position in the event of enemy tank threat
    developing on that flank. 1 OR died during night from natural causes
    and was buried in 53 (W) Div cemetery at Hasselt. Maintenance and
    training continued.
    14th0600BC and 2 i/c attended CO's conference at 259 Bty HQ to receive details
    of the Corps attack which is to start at 1600 hrs. 257 Bty and one troop
    of 258 Bty have harrassing tasks from H + 130 until H + 90. 259 Bty
    remains in position but no task is allotted to this Bty. BC and Bty Capts
    watched 257 and 258 Bty's shoots.
    15th0600Individual training and maintenance continued throughout the day. Attack
    is going well and 1/6 Queens occupy WESSEM.
    16th0600Morning spent in individual instruction in preparation for indirect
    firing. BC inspected Troops.
    17th0600CO inspected troops and Echelons billets in morning. Training contd.
    especially in drill for indirect laying. BC's training conference held
    at BHQ.
    18th0600Training in morning. Inter-troop football match in afternoon.
    19th0600Muster parade in morning when BC addressed Bty - subject Discipline.
    Church service by Regtl Padre.
    Page 4 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    20th0600Individual training started on a co-ordinated programme, as the prospect of
    our being required operationally receded.
    21st0600Full advantage taken of a spell of fine weather for outdoor training.
    In the afternoon a BSM from the AEC conducted a lively discussion on
    "The British Electoral System".
    22nd0600A very wet and cold day. Indoor training continued, whilst "J" Troop made
    considerable improvements to their billet, laying a brick path in professional
    style and cleaning the gutters of the building. The Div Education Officer
    gave a talk on "How Britain is Governed" which was well received. Officers
    Baths at Bree.
    23rd0600Another very bad day for weather. The Battery Capts recced an area for use
    as a range, finding a suitable embankment South of Tongerloo. Sgt Williams
    was transferred as Troop Sgt to "K" Troop, Sgt Curling taking over Troop Sgt
    of "L" Troop. Lieuts D.P. Wood RA, & R.Knowles RA, attended the resumed Regtl
    Signals Course. Another discussion was held this time on "Commonwealth &
    Empire". The C.O. visited the Battery.
    24th0600Despite the seemingly endless rain the news continues to be good and our
    services are still not required. The B.C.inspected the Troops and was summoned
    to RHQ to meet the new Div Comd, who unfortunately could not get to RHQ. The
    Late Div Comd has taken up an appointment in Italy. The C.O. visited the Battery
    and went with the B.C. and 2 i/c to inspect the propose range, giving his
    sanction for the site to be prepared as a 25 yds range for the purpose of
    testing small arms only. All High Velocity H.E. was returned to the Amn Point
    and Low Velocity HE drawn in lieu, on the reduced scale of 14 rds per gun.
    Page 5 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    25th0600A Battery Parade was held in "j" Troop lines. The B.C. inspected the Battery
    and subsequently talked to the men on the dangers of V.D., though fortunatly
    there have been no cases in the Battery for a long time, In the afternoon
    WO II Bignell. AEC, gave a talk on "Nazi Germany" The CO 2 visited the Bty
    It is learned that it is proposed to publish a"History of the Regt" - a
    much welcomed step.
    26th0600Troop Training continued and the 25yds range was constructed at the previously
    receed position. The BMRA visited BHQ also the Adjt. Trp Cmds discussed
    training at the BC's conference.
    27th0600Officers of the Battery attended an address by the new Div Comd who displayed
    a pleasing and aggressive personality. BC and 2 i/c attended an indirect shoot
    by 257 Battery. "J & K" Troops tested their Brownings, Brens & Stens on the
    new range. The CO was present taking the opportunity to test his own Sten.
    Regtl armourer started an inspection of all small arms in the Battery.
    28th0600The Battery (10 guns in commission) fired 30 rds of LV. HE and 30 rds of APBC
    on harassing tasks, two cross reads on the enemy side of the MEUSE receiving
    attention. The new LV.HE showing a high percentage of misfires. In the
    afternoon "L" Troop & "BHQ" fired Brownings, Brens & Stens on the Range, the
    CO being present at both sessions. The BC attended a conference when it was learned
    that we are likely to move from our present location in the near future.
    The Bty 2 i/c was detailed to accompany the CO2 on recce tomorrow. A succesful
    debate was held in "J" Troop lines on "Post War Conscription". One of "J"
    Troops guns was evacuated with distorted clutch housing.
    Page 6 of 6
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    29th06002 i/c proceeded on recce area SITTART 6968 and saw Germany for the first time.
    The Area is at present held by the Guards Armd Div and it is intended that
    7th Armd Div should take over from them. 21st Regtl HQ and "Y" & "Q"
    Btys were visited. Owing to the flooding of the Mass Valley the nearest
    crossing of the river is at MAASTRICHT. The Bty continues to train and
    the Capt "Q." inspected all A.Gas Equipment. One of "L," Troops guns sent to
    LAD for repairs. Lt A.Ayling. MC. RA received the MC from Field Marshall Montgomery at Bree.
    30th0600The BC made a tactical recce of the SITTART-GANGELT area and motored in
    Belgium, Holland and Germany during the course of the day. He learnt on
    his return that the proposed move is "OFF". The CRA, accompanied by the CO
    visited the Battery in the morning and inspected the Troops the and A1 echelon
    areas. He addressed the men and brought the welcome news that home leave
    is to start as from Jany 1st 45. More sombre news was that the war is
    unlikely to finish this year. The CRA appeared to be impressed with the
    amount of work done to improve the Battery Area. Another football match
    was played during the afternoon.