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    War Diary: 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Regiment

    Month and year: May 1944

    The 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Anti Tank Regiment May 1944 war diary covers the units time in the UK including operation Fabius, moving to embarkation camps and loading vehicles onto ships.

    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 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    1 MayLocation. WYMONDHAM, Norfolk. 259 Bty went on an exercise, code name FABIUS, the
    details of which are TOP SECRET, but it afterwards turned out to be an exercise on
    lines similar to the movement which will be carried out for embarkation.
    Wireless exercise for Btys at RHQ.
    257 firing on rifle ranges at THETFORD.
    7 MayMovement order received for move to concentration areas.
    8 May257 Bty and the vehicles of CO's recce party moved off to go to concentration area
    at 0900 hrs Location - Camp T 4, WEST HAM Stadium.
    9 MayRHQ and 260 Btys (less Residues) move off to concentration area 0700 hrs, picking
    258 Bty up at ATTIEBOROUGH on the way through at 0850 hrs.
    Arrived at Dis Pt at 1420 hrs and were met by Lt STAMP who had preceded the main
    party by 2 days. Guided to concentration areas in Camp S 5, BRENTWOOD. The camp
    is run on the "HOTEL" System by 6 RHA (Not of this division) and a hot meal is ready
    on arrival.
    10 MayWaterproofing proceeds apace, and all ranks work full time until 2000 hrs at night.
    Our deficiencies of waterproofing kit and indeed of equipment generally are a
    tremendous handicap.
    News received from the Residue that Capt (QM) WILKINSON has collapsed and gone to
    hospital. Maj JJ BARCLAY RA (2IC) returned to the residue to take charge.
    259 Bty is still located with the Residue.
    Brig EKINS, Comd 131 Bde, who is in this area has given permission for 50% of every
    unit to be allowed out of camp in the BRENTWOOD Area, and a further 4 X 3 tonner
    loads of personnel to go to CHELMSFORD, ROMFORD, INGATESTONE, and BILLERICAY on
    allotted days and to LONDON any day.
    < 12 MayWaterproofing and efforts to collect stores occupy all daylight hours. 2IC
    returned from the Residue.
    14News received that we are to get "New SP Equipments" and we think this must mean
    M 10s. mounting 17 pr guns instead of 3" guns.
    Page 2 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    15 MayCO, 2IC, and OC 257 Bty attend a Briefing Conference at Div HQ (still located at
    DIDLINGTON at 1100 hrs.
    16 May4 MAYFLYS (M 10s mounting 17 prs) arrived to replace 4 M 10s mounting 3" guns. We
    are told that one Bty (260) will be completely equipped with the new type. The weld-
    ware and waterproofing have all to be done on them and shifts are organised from
    0530 hrs to 2200 hrs in order to work throughout daylight.
    17 May8 more MAYFLYS arrived. Work is proceeding as fast as possible, and it is hoped
    that 4 will be completed by tomorrow.
    19 MayCollecting stores and working on waterproofing occupy most of the time.
    21 MayAdjt held a conference for 2 IC's of the Btys at 1130 hrs to discuss documentation
    and general procedure on marshalling and move to concentration areas.
    We are still short of 4 3-tonners, a Carrier S & C and a Quad in the Regt.
    In the afternoon 260 Bty fired 2 of the new MAYFLYS at SHOEBURYNESS Experimental
    Station. These two equipments are waterproofed except for the turret ring.
    23 MayThe 3-tonners and Carrier S & C which we are deficient arrived and work proceeded
    immediately to waterproof them.
    During our stay in Camp S5 there have been hundreds of bombers flying over to the
    continent by day and night.
    24 MayThere was a conference at Movement Control HQ to give Os C Unit Parties on each
    ship the Marshalling Plan. The Regt is split into several MT Ships.
    26 MayAt 0001 hrs this morning the camp was sealed - meaning that no-one can go out without
    a very special permit.
    At 1000 hrs the CO held a conference re the sealing of the camp and ordered that all
    personnel and vehicles who are not operationally part of Serial 41 will return to
    the Residue at 1600 hrs today.
    Page 3 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    27 MayMC representatives marked all vehicles in serial 41 with the Veh Park No for marshalling
    purposes, and the loading index number.
    Conference for unit party commanders (ie Os C Ships Parties from Serial 41) at MC
    Office 1830 hrs to discuss further the move to marshalling areas, which takes place
    for us on 29 May.
    We are to pre-marshal tomorrow.
    28 MayUnit Party on MT Ship No 23 moved off to pre-marshal at 1615 hrs. MT Ship 24
    moved off at 2145 hrs. Pre-marshalling area is immediately outside the camp and a
    guard is left on the trucks while the majority of the drivers sleep and feed in their
    present tents, etc. A few vehicles had to be towed soon after starting but that
    was due mainly to such minor things as petrol tank breather being sealed with waterproofing
    material, etc, which was soon rectified.
    29 MayThe remainder of Serial 41 moved off to pre-marshal. At 1130 hrs, the CO, Maj PARKER
    (OC 260),Maj JACKSON (OC 258) and Capt HUGGONS (Adjt) were briefed at Div HQ by
    GOC Division. This was Grade I Briefing which included locations and the complete
    plan. At 1430 hrs all other officers were similarly briefed in Grade II, ie the
    general idea and the points to think about, without the actual place being named.
    After this latter briefing most of the junior officers went down to the marshalling
    area, where their trucks already are.
    30 MayOnly about 200 men are now left in the Camp, the remaining 150 odd having gone with
    the vehicles (after loading them, the personnel return to this camp and rejoin the
    At 0000 hrs the CRA addressed all officers and ORs on the contents of a talk, given
    recently by Gen MONTGOMERY, GOC 21 Army Group. The men were greatly encouraged by
    figures given of Allied Aircraft and the destruction they are causing and also by
    the general war review.
    Bathing parties were arranged during. the day (which was very hot) in a nearby lake.
    31 MayMost of the Regt's vehicles were loaded onto ships today, and a number of drivers
    returned to camp here by evening.