121 Medium Regiment: 275 Battery 276 Battery- 5.5inch guns

Unit No.1195


3rd October 1944: Regiment moved from Belgium to a RV south of the bridge at Grave. The roads were crowded as far as Eindhoven. The recce parties had found a gun area among the suburbs of Nijmegen, 1,5mile south of the bridge, and the guns were in action there by hlaf past six, in the sector facing east, held by 82 US Airborne Division. We fired a number of bombards that evening and the next day. OP parties had a look at 82 Division front and stared to glasses across the Wyler lake towards Cleve.


7 October 1944: We fired a long counter battery programme in company with other regiments of 8 and 30 corps and some American guns. Advanced guns areas were reconnoitred south west of Beek. That evening the Germans guns, which were in the habit of firing most of the night, gave an hour´s accurate attention to C.Troop, about a hunderd rounds fell in and round the gun position, but the guns wrre well dispersed and dug in, and the only casualties were one or two tyres. The sound rangers shot C Troop on to the offending hostile battery, other regiments were brought in and just after midnight scale two was fired by way of retaliation. Nothing more came over after that. The Regiments targets so far had been divided between 50 Divisions sector on the Island to the north and 82 US Division to the east.


9 October 1944: We moved, a battery at a time, to a gun area on the fringes of pine woods half a mile east of Malden, with a zone farther round to the right, the guns were all in action by half past two. Malden was full, and even RHQ failed to find a roof. OPs were reconnoitred near the fleet of grounded gliders, between Mook and Groesbeek, which the Germans were leisurely shelling for some reason of their own


12 October 1944: We came out of action at midnight withy order to move at dawn the next day.


13 October 1944: Regiment moved to Belgium.


28 October 1944: Regiment moved to the airfield near Huijbergen (Brabant). Guns were in action by ten, and CPs, cook houses and messes settled into flak towers and hangars.2 OP parties were send to 49 Division. But that night we fired a programme over to the left in support of 4 Armoured Division. That day was the gun detachments heaviest since Normandy, we fired an average of a hunderd and ten rounds a gun. Number 4 gun in D Troop was destroyed by a premature in the breech, the breech block came down several hunderd yards away, but no one was hurt.


31 October 1944: C troop went trough Roosendaal to a forward position near Over Esselduk ?, and the rest of the Regiment deployed at Wouw, and we spent most of the day bombarding the crossingss of the Mark and Maas rivers. C Troop shelled Willemstad, where the enemy was known to be ferrying across the Maas.


2 November 1944: The rest of the regiment joined C troop north of Roosendaal and fired harassing tasks and a few bombards during the day and a series of concentrations that night and during the 3rd.


7 November 1944: The regiment took position near Schinveld (Limburg) The batteries were deployed south and east of Schinveld, RHQ put itself in and around the monastery at Kling. B echelon settled down in Brunssum, a mining town two miles away to the south.


16 November 1944: The Germans fired airburst over Schinveld several times. We fired for the first time, several bombards and concentrations.


20 November 1944: Regiment moved to Germany.


19 December 1944: The Regiment moved to Tilburg,and we changed our money back in to guilders.


22 December 1944: Regiment moved to Belgium.


4 February 1945: Regiment moved to Eindhoven.


6 February 1945: Regiment moved to Mook. The gunners manhandling their heavy pieces into action, and not liking the unpromisingly bare woods round them, were unchristian enough to brighten up considerably when they heard that the nice little cottage reserved for RHQ had been burned down to the ground. Operation Veritable, three times postphoned and now about to take place in no certain way.


8 February 1945: The operation began at five in the morning with a bombardment from all available guns. Most of the guns of 21 Army took part. The bombardment was followed by a counter battery programme and we took part in the supporting barrage for six hours. Two further fire plans were fired in support of 7 and 8 Canadian Infantry Brigades before the end of the day. Both batteries came under irregular enemy fire during the morning, one shell burst almost on one of B troops guns and caused eight casualties, two men were hit in 276 Batterys wagon lines, and then one of our own shells detonated in B troop and caused nine more casualties, B troop lots nine killed.


11 February 1945: Regiment moved into Germany.


31 March 1945: 275 Battery moved with 129 Brigade deploying at Sinderen and Varsseveld.


1 April 1945: 275 Battery moved to Ruurlo and Barchem.


2 April 1945: 276 Battery moved to Diepenheim, to cover the canal crossings and the approach to Hengelo.


3 April 1945: 275 Battery movedunder command of 130 Brigade for the attack on Hengelo ande deployed at Wegdam. 276 Battery moved up through Enschede and depl+oyed astride the main road about a mile south of Hengelo, were it was joined on the 4th by 275 and RHQ. Neither battery fired from Hengelo.


6 April 1945: Regiment moved to Germany.

Ronald Onions, 121 Medium Regiment, 275 Battery, B. Troop KIA 08-02-1945, middle row left end(D.Johns)