WW II, a British focus




 

 

War Diaries
For

North Irish Horse
September 1939 To June 1946

M-3, Honey irish_badge.jpg - 1466 Bytes

January 1940 CO: Lt Col Sir Ronald Ross
Jan 40 North Irish Horse
2/1/40 EnniskillenVisit by Major general RV Pollok CBE DSO, GOC NID.
3/1/40 CO admitted to hospital, Capt Smith-Bingham assumes command.One Sgt and 2 ORs posted from 57th Hvy Trg Regt RAC.
5/1/40 SSM Allen RTC posted from 57th Trg Regt.
6/1/40 Strength 233 ORs, HQ Sqn 128, A Sqn 108.
7/1/40 Church parade as strong as possible.
10/1/40 3 Armoured cars taken on strength.
12/1/40 2Lt Adams transferred to HQ Sqn.
16/1/40 RSM Beales, one CQMS, 2 Sgts, 1 Cpl, 8 ORs posted in from 55 Trg Regt.
17/1/40 Four Cpls promoted to A/Sgt. Nine LCpls to A/Cpl.
18/1/40 Regt now formed into three service Sqns and HQ Sqn.C Sqn formed by splitting A Sqn,B Sqn formed by splitting HQ Sqn.B & HQ Sqn at Castle Bks and McArther Hall,A & C Sqns at County Hall and Orange Hall.Officers appointed as under:-A Sqn Capt Lord O’Neill C Sqn Capt Sir N Stronge 2Lt Herdman 2Lt Coey 2Lt Montgomery 2Lt CroftonB Sqn Capt Booth HQ Sqn Capt Newton 2Lt Pomeroy 2Lt Marquis of Ely 2Lt Butler 2Lt Adams 2Lt Nugent
19/1/40 45 recruits enlisted, Regt strength 284 A Sqn 54 C Sqn 54 B Sqn 52 HQ Sqn 130Capt Sir N Stronge granted a further period of sick leave. Orange Hall converted into a temporary reception station and after an offer of assistance of VADS from County Hospital accepted.Total number of tonsillitis cases 78.
20/1/40 Visit by Major General Pollok and ADMS Col Gibbon.
22/1/40 2Lt Coey promoted Capt wef Jan 1st.Major the Earl of Erne returns from course and assumes command.
24/1/40 Lt Col Sir Ronald Ross relinquishes command and is placed on General List
25/1/40 40 ORs granted sick leave.
27/1/40 3 ACs taken on strength.
Regt Strength:-
A Sqn Officers 3
  WO 1
  Sgts 3
  Cpls & ORs 49
B sqn Officers 4
  WO 1
  Sgts 4
  Cpl & ORs 45
C Sqn Officers 3
  WO 1
  Sgts 5
  Cpl & ORs 45
HQ Sqn Officers 7
  WO 4
  Sgts 9
  Cpl & ORs 147
28 – 29 A further 25 to 30 ORs proceeded on sick leave.
30/1/40 5000 rounds of SAA received from OO.

February 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Feb 40 North Irish Horse
2/2/40 Enniskillen
Regt Reception Station opened at 14 Henry Street.
4/2/40 Church parade as strong as possible.
5/2/40 RSM Beales posted to 2nd Armd Div as Lt and QM. SSM Allen promoted to A/RSM.
7/2/40 Four ACs taken on strength.
Two BSA Air Rifles purchased for use in pellet ranges.
9/2/40 Board of Officers consisting of Major Curtis GSO2, Capt Smith-Bingham and Capt Marshall RE met to examine proposals for range construction at Letterbreen. Not found suitable and decision made to carry out major part of firing at other ranges in N Ireland.
NAAFI open in Enniskillen.
Regt Strength:-
    Officers 16, WOs 6, Sgts 22, Cpl & ORs 304 Total 348
14/2/40 Orange Hall closed as sick bay.
15/2/40 Four BREN LMGs on loan from ITC.
16/2/40 One AC taken on strength.
17/2/40 Sgts Mess Opened.
18/2/40 10,000 rounds .22 ammo received from OO.
22/2/40 22,000 rounds .303 SAA received from OO.50 .455 pistols from OO Weedon
3 medium + 3 heavy BESA guns from OO Weedon.
23/2/40 10 VMGs for mounting on ACs
24/2/40 DRESS. All ranks will wear dress & badges of NIH.
25/2/40 Sgt Walker represents British Army in International Rugby match versus France, played in Paris.
26/2/40 A Sgt from APT School Aldershot attached. Cpl from 20th Btn RTR posted as Orderly Room Sgt.
29/2/40 Major JAL Powell from 4th Queens Own Hussars posted as CO – granted rank of Lt Col.

March 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Mar 40 North Irish Horse
2/3/40 Enniskillen
Regt Strength:-
Officers 18 Sgts 21
WOs 10 ORs 348

Total 397.
166 rifles received from OO Carrickfergus.
5 – 9 Recruiting Column in AFVs under Capt Booth visited County Antrim.
14/3/40 Visit by GOC NID.
16/3/40 One AC taken on strength. Capt Newton takes over duties of Messing Officer from Capt Booth.
18/3/40 9.900 rounds for medium BESA received from OO.
23/3/40 Cart. .455 revolver 276, .303 rifle 5000, received from OO.
29/3/40 Regt Strength:-
Officers 18 Sgts 22
WOs 9 ORs 392

Total 441.

April 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Apr 40 North Irish Horse
2/4/40 Enniskillen
2Lt M Montgomery appointed Gas Officer
7/4/40 Strong as possible Church Parade. Officers 10, ORs 243.
12/4/40 Major the Earl of Erne proceeded for attachment to 12th Royal Lancers, BEF, France.
15/4/40 30 ORs proceeded to Belfast to undergo a course of MT driving and maintenance held at WH Reay & Co, Automobile Engineers.
21/4/40 2Lt JP Herdman transferred to RARO in order to return to work of vital National Importance.2Lt CA Crofton takes over duties of Weapons Training Officer.
22/4/40 Capt Sir Norman Stronge MC relinquishes his commission on account of ill-health.
29/4/40 Notification that 2Lt RD Morton is posted to this unit from OCTU Sandhurst.Regt Strength:-
Officers 17
Sgts 26
WOs 9
ORs 444
Total 496.

May 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
May 40 North Irish Horse
3/5/40 Enniskillen
2Lt RD Morton joined the Regt and was posted to C Sqn.
4/5/40 Lt JA Heanen RAOC appointed Technical Officer vice 2Lt RJ Adams.
6/5/40 Lecture on the German Army by Colonel AJ McGrath DSO.
14/5/40 Mobile column to recce for any available air landing grounds.
15/5/40 CO proceeds to England on duty.
17/5/40 Tpr Keville WA tried by DCM on a charge under AA 18(4).
Mobile column ordered at one hour’s notice.
18/5/40 30 ORs proceeded to Belfast to attend D&M course.
20/5/40 DCM on Tpr Keville promulgated and sentence of 56 days detention awarded.
24/5/40 Threatened action by IRA. Mobile column and ACs ordered to stand to. Officers to live in barracks. Not less than 50% to be permanently in barracks and all guards doubled.
Regtl strength Officers 16, WOs 9, Sgts 30, ORs 470
25/5/40 Major Sir R Ross Bt MC, MP, relegated to unemployed list.
28/5/40 Restrictions on officers and ORs and on patrols and piquets rescinded.
30/5/40 Lt H Petch DCM, 11th Hussars joined Regt and posted to B Sqn.
Lt JA Stewart, RTR, joined Regt and posted to HQ Sqn.
31/5/40 2Lt ECS Hargreaves, RTR, joined Regt and posted to A Sqn.
2Lt PR Kitto, RTR, joined the Regt and posted to C Sqn.

l
June 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powel
Jun 40 North Irish Horse
4/6/40 Enniskillen
CO announced with regret the death of Major the Earl of Erne, from wounds received on Active Service whilst attached to 12th Royal Lancers in France,
5/6/40 Sgt Brown and one OR, Royal Corps of Signals, attached to Regt and posted to HQ Sqn.
6/6/40 W/SSgts Batchen TM, Hutton RS, & Sidebottom RSH, posted to OCTU RAC Wing Sandhurst.
DCM on Tpr Patton promulgated and sentence of 56 days detention awarded. AA 8(2).
15/6/40 Under orders of GOC, training subordinated to Defensive arrangements.
16/6/40 Localities in the immediate area of Enniskillen recced for defensive blocks and posts.
2Lts WH Ketchell, P Welch, GP Russell, RJ Griffith joined Regt for duty and posted to C Sqn, A Sqn, B Sqn, and A Sqn respectively.
17/6/40 NID Operation Instruction No. 1 dated 15/6/40. General Policy confirmed that there should be no withdrawal of forces in the defence of NI.
  1. Orders that Mobile Column will be at 30 mins notice between dusk and dawn.
  2. Alternative sites for locations to be prepared by HQ.
  3. All HQs to be prepared for all-round defence and garrison detail.NID Op.
Instruction No. 2 states that:-
  1. NIH will hold 10 Armoured cars in readiness to send away wherever required.
  2. RUC including B Force come under operational control of Military Commanders in their areas in the event of operations.
18/6/40 61st Div and attached troops moved to NI.
Regt remains under command 159th Inf Bde.
20/6/40 Increased instruction on the use of rifles and infantry tactics.
Erection of road blocks at 13 places guarding all entrances to Enniskillen commenced.
24/6/40 Detachment of 6 ACs commanded by Lt H Petch DCM despatched to Londonderry for attachment to commander 182 Bde.
26/6/40 Construction of 4 main road blocks and posts in Enniskillen itself taken over by REs. Trenches dug and all posts manned by night.
30/6/40 Major D Dawney, 10th Royal Hussars posted to Regt and attached HQ Sqn.
Capt OC Smith-Bingham selected to attend War Staff course commencing Sept 1940.
“Lt KG Pomeroy granted unpaid acting rank of Captain.

July 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Jul 40 North Irish Horse
2/7/40 Enniskillen
2Lt the Marquis of Ely transferred from HQ Sqn to C Sqn.
4/7/40 Notification of move of the Regt to Portrush.
5/7/40 Advance party led by Major Dawney, 3 officers and 18 ORs proceeded by road to Portrush.
6/7/40 Regt less transport & rear party proceeded by train to Portrush and was relieved by 8th Btn Sherwood Foresters.
8/7/40 Rear party under command of Capt Pomeroy arrived in Portrush.
Three Service Sqns now detailed on a 24 hour roster, the Duty Sqn providing Mobile Patrol and the ‘next-for-duty’ Sqn providing the Stand-to mobile column.
14/7/40 Church parades now revert to weekly parade instead of a strong as possible parade once per month.
16/7/40 SQMS Marshall, Sgt Taylor and Tpr Jameson selected to attend a RAC OCTU on 8th Aug 1940.
19/7/40 Tpr Goor selected to attend infantry OCTU on 13/9/40.
28 impressed vehicles taken on strength.
20/7/40 Privilege leave re-opened for all ranks covering period of 7 days every six months.
23/7/40 Commander 61st Div, Major General A Carton de Wiart VC, CB, CMG, DSO, inspected the Regt and went round the billets. He afterwards congratulated the Regt on the cleanliness of the turnout and the billets.
2Lt WM MacKean taken on strength and posted to B Sqn on transfer from 525 Antrim Coast Regt RA.
25/7/40 Field General Court Martial held on 789730 Tpr Craythorne, charged under AA 12(1).
26/7/40 FGCM on Tpr Craythorne confirmed by Div Cmdr. Awarded 42 days detention.
27/7/40 Capt J Rew 16/5th Lancers taken on strength and posted to HQ Sqn.
2Lt CA Crofton and 2Lt M Montgomery have been selected for attachment to 12th Royal Lancers for a period of 2 months from 3/8/40.
Defence of Portrush:- practice alarm scheme held in conjunction with the LDVs.
31/7/40 Ten ORs transferred to Infantry of the Line, having been found unsatisfactory for the Royal Armoured Corps.

August 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Aug 40 North Irish Horse
2/8/40 Portrush
CO granted leave for period 2nd to 8th Aug and Major D Dawney assumed command for that period.
5/8/40 The following three officers attached to this Regt from 12th Royal Lancers:-
Lt BMH Shand, Lt GA Smith, Lt MS Barker.
12/8/40 2Lt JE Byrne posted to the Regt and joined B Sqn.
19/8/40 Lt JAO Walker posted from 13/18th Hussars and Lt J Dennistoun posted from 14/20th Hussars.
22/8/40 FGCM held on 7903556 Tpr C Anderson and 1422954 Tpr D Ferguson on charge under AA 6(2e).
23/8/40 Sentence of 56 days detention confirmed by Div Cmdr.
27/8/40 FGCM held on Tpr DG Shanks and Tpr JA McKee on charge under AA 40.
28/8/40 Sentence of 28 days detention confirmed by Div Cmdr.
30/8/40 CO addressed all WOs and NCOs.

September 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Sep 40 North Irish Horse
1/9/40 Portrush
Capt OC Smith-Bingham relinquishes appointment of Adjutant, Capt J Rew assumes appointment.
2/9/40 2Lt ECS Hargreaves posted to No. 2 Commando.
4/9/40 Lt JAO Walker to be A/U/Capt wef 19/8/40.
6/9/40 Lt P Alban RAOC attached with No. 4 LAD.
9/9/40 A/U/Capt Walker made A/Capt wef 19/8/40.
12/9/40 Capt OC Smith-Bingham posted to MSC Camberley whilst attending No4 Junior War Staff course.
20/9/40 FGCM held on Tpr Napier on charges under AA 32(1) and AA 40. Judge Advocate was present in court.
23/9/40 Regt took part in 61 Div Exercise.
24/9/40 Finding of FGCM on Tpr Napier promulgated detention for 84 days.
26/9/40 His Grace the Governor of Northern Ireland, The Duke of Abercorn KG KP visited the Regt.
27/9/40 Regt took part in 61 Div exercise.

October 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Oct 40 North Irish Horse
5/10/40 Portrus
hLt J Dennistoun granted A/U/Capt wef 19/8/40.
12/10/40 Unit censorship introduced.
23/10/40 Regt inspected by HRH the Duke of Kent.
24/10/40 Regt took part in divisional exercise.
30/10/40 A Sqn, made up to a composite sqn by B & C Sqns, took part in a Div exercise.
31/10/40 FGCM held on Tpr Winters J and Tpr Harper J charged under AA 12(1) and AA 24(2).

November 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Nov 40 North Irish Horse
6/11/40 PortrushLt
WH Ketchell to be A/U/Capt wef 6/11/40
10/11/40 Remembrance Day Parade.
20/11/40 The RAF gave a demonstration to the Regt. One of the aircraft crashed but the crew of 2 was uninjured.
21/11/40 A novice boxing competition was held.
28/11/40 The Regt sent a party to the funeral of Viscount Craigavon. This party consisted of 2 ACs, one of which drew the gun-carriage bearing the coffin. The party was under command of 2Lt MacKean and 2 Sgts of the Regt were in the procession.

December 1940 CO: Lt Col JAL Powell
Dec 40 North Irish Horse
4/12/40 Portrush
2Lt CA Crofton to be A/U/Capt.
7/12/40 2Lt RS Hutton, 2Lt CM Thomas and 2Lt PCM Sinclair joined on first commission.
10/12/40 2Lts RSH Sidebottom, TM Batchen, ES Robinson and S Walker joined on first commission.
16/12/40 7902429 Cpl H Kennedy received fatal injuries in motor accident.
17/12/40 Lt WWG Lavery joined the Regt.
20/12/40 2Lt JD Dunlop joined the Regt.
23/12/40 2Lt PPP McCraith joined the Regt.
25/12/40 A/Capt CA Crofton granted pay of rank wef 4/12/40.
30/12/40 CO proceeded on leave and command was assumed by Major D Dawney.

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