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1940

Private War Diary of 58th Medium Regt. Royal Artillery B.E.F.

January-July 1940

Notes on attachment to B.E.F

Contents

During the first three months of 1939, The Royal Artillery was being re-organised on the new basis of Troops, Batteries, and Regiments. For the Medium Artillery this came into effect on 1 April, 39, and the 58th (Suffolk) Medium Brigade R.A. (T.A.) became a Regiment as follows:-

OLD UNIT

NEW UNIT

LOCALITY

229 Med. Bty

229 Bty. H.Q. & A.Troop        

Woodbridge Rd. Ipswich.

232 Med. Bty.

B.Troop

Gt. Gipping Street Ipswich

230 Med. Bty..

230 Bty. H.Q. & C.Troop

Old Barracks, Bury St. Edmunds.

231 Med. Bty

D. Troop

Gainsborough St, Sudbury.

About this time the Government decided to bring all T.A. Units up to War establishment, and to double the T.A. by forming duplicate units.

Recruiting in Suffolk was magnificent and by 1 May, 39, the 67th Med. Regt. R.A. was formed and its batteries took on the old names of the Suffolk batteries which had ceased to exist: 231 and 232 Batteries.

This duplicate regiment was formed entirely at Ipswich, all recruiting in West Suffolk beyond our War Establishment going to swell the 5th Suffolks, and the Norfolk and Suffolk Yeomanry.
During the first fortnight of August the two regiments and Signal section went for a fortnightís training camp to Roedean, Sussex. An R.H.Q. was formed from men recruited into the Ipswich Battery.
On the outbreak of War on 3 September,39 the Regiment embodied in billets in Ipswich, Bury St. Edmundís and Sudbury.

14. Oct.39 ;- The Regiment moved to Louisberg South Barracks, Bordon, Hants, and continued mobilization. Stores and vehicles arrived thick and fast from Ordnance Depots.
Capt. Mackenzie, (O.M.E.) and an L.A.D. of eleven men joined the Regiment, on its arrival at Bordon but our Signal section went to Mons. Barracks, Aldershot, for mobilization and training.

26. Nov. 39:- The Regiment went to Larkhill for a two-day practice Camp, returning on 1 Dec. 39. During December Canadians arrived in Aldershot, and the Regiment moved out of Bordon into billets at Kingsley on 10 Dec. 39 where the Signal Section joined us.
Christmas and embarkation leave was combined, and the Regiment went in two halves.

31. Dec. 39:- Lt. Diamond, Sgt. Barfield and Gnr. Melville left for France as the advance party.

10. Jan. 40:- The vehicle party left Bordon to embark at Southampton.

16, Jan. 40:- The Regiment left Bordon embarked at Southampton and sailed for Cherbourg by night in a convoy escorted by destroyers.

The winter was of almost record severity, and January was the worst month, For the whole of January, England and Northern France were covered in snow, Great difficulty was experienced in keeping vehicles on the road as even anti-freeze mixture froze in radiators. For the march up from Fresnay the temperature was many degrees below zero Farenheit.

The 58th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery Began defending its small piece of France: Aix Noulette (Pas de Calais) in January 1940. In March the Regimental Captain studied the French Artillery at Waldwiesstroff/Hardgarten (approximately 4 miles East of the famous Maginot Line - See Arrow on map). Three battery positions were setup in support of the 10th British Infantry brigade ('W' Force). In June 1940 in full retreat the weary Regiment made its way back to Dunkirk and across the Channel via boat to England.

Click Here for 1940 War Diary

1941

Private War Diary of 58th Medium Regt. Royal Artillery B.E.F.

1939 Aug.- Dec., 1940 June- 1941 Nov

Notes on training and home duty.

Training back in England - Diary To follow...

1942-5

Private War Diary of 58th Medium Regt. Royal Artillery B.E.F.

1943 Jan.- June

Notes on attachment to The First Army in North Africa

Onwards to North Africa - Diary To follow...

1945 Orders of the day: (Click on each link below)

April: Allied Forces in Mediterranean Special Order

May: 15th Army Group

May: Allied Forces in Mediterranean Special Order