131st Field Regiment Royal Artillery

War Diary for November 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.M. HAILEY R.A.
Place Date Hour Summary References to Appendices
ASTEN 1st The infantry advance was very slow through the obstacles of carefully prepared minefields. Heavy Amn expenditure supported their attacks on strong points and positions.
2nd One carried of 320 was mined with some casualties included 1 killed (John Kennedy)
3rd Until the move to HENSDON (1) AREA (6409) little of note occurred, save a huge amm expenditure. Later during the month guns were withdrawn to workshops in small quantities with suspect barrels, due largely to the wear and tear of firing large quantities of supercharge over the first half of this month. In turn, too, in the order 319,496, 320 Fd Btys, sub units were detached for a period of 48hrs "rest".
8th 1000 Regiment moved to area 6409. 319 drew back into area at 633169.
HENSON (1) 9th Civilians were evacuated from the Divisional area to avoid espionage and casualties.
10th 1200 319 Fd Bty rejoined Regt from "rest" and 495th Fd Bty pulled out into OMMEL area for 48 hrs. One OP offr was killed by shellburst in the morning (Capt Wiggins, 495 Fd Bty RA)
11th For the next 8 days the Regt remained near ASTEN, firing considerable quantities of shells at long ranges. 320 Fd Bty taken out of action at 1200 hrs 12th Nov, but remained in the Regimental area. 495th Fd Bty returned to action at the same time, from the rest area near OMMEL. Finally recce parties with mineclearing groups went forward to clear a new area on the 18th Nov.
18th A tp was detached and moved independently to 703072, going into action from there the following morning.
(1) Heusden 19th Engineers were still clearing possible Bty posns. "B" Tp moved up beside "A" Tp and remainder of Regt prepared to follow in small groups. One casualty was injured at OP of 495 Bty. 320th Bty reported that over 50 teller mines and S mines were found in their Bty posn, and some were removed, all without a single mine casualty.
HENSDON (1) 20th Regt moved forward to area near HOF (7007) but 320 Bty was detached and crossed DEURNE canal. After brief harbouring this Bty went on to BERINGEN.
HOF 21st "B" Ech moved up to old gun position at (7007), while Regt on to area 7709, arriving at approx. 1530 hrs. The tracks were becoming almost impassable. 320th Bty moved forward from BERINGHAM to join the remainder of Regiment.
ACHTERSTEEG For three days weather conditions made transport difficulties worse. Several recces were made of possible new areas, but final move was made to HORST, (NW OF VENLO) for sp of attack on the BLEYRICK BRIDGE seating.
24th Recce parties moved away at 0900hrs, followed by remainder of Regiment at 1300hrs. Route via BERINGHAM-MEYAL-LEISEL-AMERICA-HORST. Area in 8218. RHQ moved into HORST itself on the following morning, being fully established at 0945hrs. The village of HORST received desultory shelling from enemy guns. Occasional M targets were fired on barges on the MAAS and on sparse enemy who were being compressed into the MAAS pocket. At 0900hrs on 25th Nov 1944, exactly 5 months after the first shot was fired in NORMANDY, the CO fired a token round on to German soil.
28th The CRA fired a token "U" target Tgt on German soil at a range of 13000yds. At 2200hrs AMERICA was bombed by a small force of enemy planes. "F" troop 119 LAA attached 131 Fd Regt, claimed one hit.