A journey of remembrance!
April 1st, 1945, is Easter for the 12th Field Regiment. The Padre held a church parade at 1100 hrs in the Legion Barn which was well attended.
Quote from the regiment war diary for April 1st:
Being in Holland we can now fraternize again. This windmill is about the strongest command post we have ever had; the walls are bricked at least 5 feet thick with about 20 feet of earth-filled in at the sides.
From the war diaries:
12TH CANADIAN FIELD REGIMENT R.C.A.
Excerpts April 1945
To-day is Easter Sunday and the Regiment spent a very quiet morning with no firing. The Padre held a church parade at 1100 hrs in the Legion Barn which was well attended. Received the order to send recce parties forward from the CO at 1500 hrs. Area reported not completely cleared of enemy yet. Capt SYLVESTER of E Troop of the 4 LAA, Regiment showed up to-day having just returned from England. The Regiment moved at 1800 hrs, the 16th Bty moving first. Complete in new area by 2115 hrs. RHQ located in a very picturesque windmill of the old Dutch type. Being in Holland we can now fraternize again. This windmill is about the strongest command post we have ever had the walls are bricked at least 5 feet thick with about 20 feet of earth filled in at the sides. The weather was dull and cloudy with visibility only fair.
The Regiment was ordered to have the recce parties standing by at 0600 hrs. New area to be approx three miles due NORTH. 43 Bty started moving at 0930 hrs. RHQ moved at 1300 hrs. The infantry is fanning out at the moment meeting little opposition except from woods in area 9075. Role of 7 Bde is to move WSW towards LEVINAAR. The Regiment fired a number of HF tasks in support of 8 Bde who are heading for the banks of the river ISSEL due NORTH as well as a few Mike targets in direct support of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and C Scot Rs. The weather was dull and cloudy in the morning but cleared up in the afternoon. Visibility was good throughout the day.
The Regiment was ordered to prepare to move and to have one Bty ready to move by 0600 hrs. 11 Bty moved first, and were in direct support of 7 Bde. A no firing line in effect EAST of the 84 grid line. Recce parties were called for at 1300 hrs. The whole Regiment moved at 1400 hrs and were ready shortly after. Quite a windy day with the odd showers. Visibility good. Recce parties warned to moot the CO at 0700 hrs.
The Regiment received the order to move at 0900 hrs and moved NORTH from WEHL to our new area. The gun positions received some fairly heavy enemy shelling. The Regiment was called on to support the 9 Bde. Bdr RUCK (RUDOLPH ) of the 11 Bty was killed while coming to the gun position. He was killed just as he came through the crossroad at BEEK. Several shelreps were sent in from the Regiment. We made a recce of the sq 0091 in order to be able to support the 7 Bde on their bridgehead across the canal. The Regiment fired several Mike and Yoke targets in support of both the 7 and 8 Bdes. Weather – clear and warm. Visibility goods •
During the early morning the Regiment fired several fire plans in support of the 7 Bde. Our FOOs were netted to 2 Div Arty units as well as our own to ensure sufficient fire. The 7 Bde consolidated across the canal EAST of ZUTPHEN. At 1000 hrs recce parties called to sq 0092. At 1115 hrs message came to cancel the move. The Regiment fired a considerable number of ‘M’ targets and fire plans in support of our own Bde as well as the 8th. At 2350 hrs word came down that recce parties would be prepared to move off at 0600 hrs to the, area of 9996.
Received the order “Prepare to Move” at 0500 hrs and the first bty moved at 0830 hrs. .When they got into action at ALHKN MR 015965 we were told to move the remainder of the Regiment up and to stay on wheels. Recce parties left at 1300 hrs to go to G0RSSEL and the Regiment took up this position during the afternoon. From this intermediate position the 43 Bty went into action for a short while to fire propaganda shells in ZUTPHEN. The propaganda was brought to us by a rep from Army. The weather continues very favourable and visibility is excellent. We fired a considerable number of targets for our Bde, one sub-unit having cleared the area of 935057. Our OPs reported that our arty fire knocked out two SP guns during the day.
To-day we fired a great number of targets into DEVENTER. Had some medium shelling of our guns, no casualties and no damage done. We fired some red smoke for the “tiffies”. The weather has been perfect for our aircraft and they seem to be making good use of it. OPs report the visibility as excellent. Capt L.F. KIRKPATRICK received his majority and takes over command of 16 Bty.
At 0450 Lt PEACH was wounded and was evacuated through the RRRs. We fired a lot of counter mortar targets. At 0855 hrs recce parties were: warned to stand by. The Regiment started moving at 1220 hrs. The afternoon was very good for air visibility and as a result we fired three red smoke targets and done an air OP shoot. The Regiment was completely moved by 1600 hrs with RHQ at MR 986052. When we occupied this position vie were less than 3000 yds from the FDLs.
Remembrance journey into the past-
The Netherlands – Liberation remembrance
From the 12th Field Regiment Documentary
– Belgium & The Liberation of the Netherlands Chapter –
Reflection is the courage to make the truth of our own presuppostions and the realm of our own goals into the things that most deserve to be called in question.
How narrowly bounded is our lifetime.
We see and count the number of our years.
But have the years of nations
Been seen by mortal eye?
If your soul throbs in longing
Over its own time, mourning, then
You linger on the cold shore
Among your own and never know them.