The Regimental Magazine of 66th (Lowland) Medium Regiment R.A.
Vol. 6 No. 2___________Sunday July 16th 1945. (5 Lira)


TWO YEARS AGO

10th July, 1945 D-Day. On this morning troops of the 15th Army Group, under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, landed on the beaches of
Sicily. The Eighth Army, consisting of 15 Corps (5th Division and 50th [North-umbrian] Division and 251 Independent Brigade) and 50 Corps (51st [Highland]
Division and 1st Canadian Division) landed near Avola; the American Seventh Army landed near Gela, Vittoria and Licata. This was the first of the series of "D-Days": the forerunner of the invasions that were to sweep across Europe to join hands with the Red Army in the heart of Nazi Germany, and to liberate the oppressed peoples of the European continent.

The greatest armada ever seen at that time had been gathered together to transport the force, with its armour, guns. equipment and food. 2,500 ships of all kinds large and small, escorted bv capital ships, cruisers and destroyers of the British, American and Greek navies. Syracuse, Lentini, Augusta, Ragusa and Enna fell rapidly to the Eighth Army, while the Americans, after meeting stiff re-sistance in the initial stages, took Agrigento,, Palermo, Trepani and Marsala in quick succession.

The German commander, General Hube, realised that he must give up the island and therefore decided to hold out on a line surrounding Mount Etna in order to get as much as possible of his force away to the mainland. On July 29th the armies were again on the move, 78th British (Inf.) Division having now landed and relieved the Canadians Then began battles as hard and as bloody as any in the war in Europe. But the Nazis could not hold out:-by August 17 the campaign was virtually at an end. It cost the Germans 30,000 killed of a force of 50,000 to 75,000, and in the words of an official booklet was "the key to Hitlers defeat".

On July 15th, 1945, the "Sicilian Times" was born in 228 Battery Command Post. At first, laboriously carboned in manuscript, it had a circulation of four. In a few days it graduated to the typewriter and a regimental circulation. During the Catania battle the demand exceeded the possible supply, and the firm of S.H.M (Oestetner) Print Works Co. Ltd., was formed. The circulation, grew and extended outside the regiment, and the 66th Medium Regiment's first magazine achieved great renown. The Lowland Gazette, descendant of the Sicilian Times, has been published in various stages of the campaign in Italy, but has lapsed under the conditions of active service. With your assistance we. hope to make this incarnation the greatest yet, and thus achieve the Nirvana of Journalism.

Contributions and letters to the Editor should reach the Magazine Office in the Education Wing by Tuesday afternoon for inclusion in the current week's issue.

MUSIC.

The Trieste Orchestra of some sixty odd players, conducted by Edmondo de Vecchi, performs each Saturday evening at the Verdi Theatre, and well deserves the support of our music-lovers. The Verdi Theatre forms quite a good concert hall, though at a previous concert I discovered an occasional annoying echo in the back corner of the stalls. Boxes are, as usual, not very satisfactory, and 1 find the front row of the first gallery a good vantage point for both sound and sight.

Last Saturday's concert opened in traditional, style with an overture. This time it was Beethoven's Leonora No. 3. After this came the first major work of rhe evening-Bach's First Concerto for Piano and Strings. Concert programmes in Italy are apt to exclude all but the Romantics and some of the Moderns, so that it was a great pleasure to hear some Bach at last. Pianist Alessandro Constantinides and the strings of the orchestra gave a sensi-tive and balanced performance. The solo playing was crisp and clean, as counterpoint demands, and without any of the pedal blurring which so often mars performances of earlier keyboard music. To me, and I believe to most of the audience, this concerto, both for content and performance, was the high-spot of the evening.

Next should, I feel, have come the interval. Instead of that were offered " Three Miniatures for Piano and Strings" by a composer new to me called Pick-Magiagalli. The transition from Bach to Pick-Magiagalli proved too abrupt for my powers of attention, but the three miniatures seemed pleasant enough, though somewhat trivial.
As encores the soloist gave us Mendelssohn's Andante and Rondo Capric-cioso and some familiar Chopin, whose name nevertheless eludes me.

The main work of the second part of the concert was Mendelssohn's Fourth Symphony, the " Italian " Symphony. This familiar and pleasant, if not profound, work was obviously an old friend to both orchestra and audience. A most enjoyable evening's music ended with a sparkling performance of Verdi's showy " Sicilian Vespers."

J.J.C


APPENINES IN WINTER.
Still on the peaks the snow lies hard and deep;
Dusk sends the peasants huddling in the dark,
Seeking some warmth before they fall asleep,
Stirring polenta boiled by twigs and bark.
Around a roaring fire the soldiers meet:
Mugs of tea, half-washed clothes, wet shoes.
The voices rise and fall, talking with heat,
While some, absorbed, write letters or listen to the news.
Now and again a halting 'plane flies over;
The passing truck sticks in its frozen tracks;
The night's patrol, expectant, shivers under cover;
The mules go trundling by with laden packs.
_______________ RICHARD SUTTON.



POSTAL VOTING.
The total of Postal voting envelopes received by this regiment, up to July 11. was 595.
After two Polling Days-on July 8 and 10-289 of these have been completed and
despatched. A few more may yet be handed in, but unless they leave before July 15,
their chances of arrival in time for the count are very poor.

EXTRACT8 FROM A GUNNER's DIARY.

By Gnr. A. B. Siksfifor.


Sunday, 8th July. No parades 50 decided to bed down all day. Sgt. Mess roused me at 9 o'clock, and said " Wha' ^boot this heer voatin'? Airr ye no' in ten-rested th' noo? " Thought I'd better say yes, otherwise might let my-self in for fatigues. Arose wearily and strolled towards Polling Booth. Long queue. Wandered to reading room in-stead. Found a " Daily Mirror." Read it twice. Decided to vote Labour. Heard loud shout of Kumangerit. Rushed back to bothy for mug. Discovered was half-hour too soon. Read notice-board. On guard tomorrow. Decided to bed down this afternoon anyway. Saw notice of football match at Grado this afternoon, thought better of bed down. But make it an early night instead. Char up' Got involved in dissussion with two unpaid lance-jacks. Came to conclusion best to vote Conservative. Back to Education Wing. Still a long queue. Found an Ulster Gazette-finally decided to vote Irish National Independent Socialist-Liberal. But still queue at voitng Joint. Went into reading-room again - found Battery runner there. Told me that Pay Bloke wanted to see me. Saw Pay Bloke at Battery Office. Told me I was in debt, and not to draw pay for another month. Definitely decided to vote Com-munist. Andare-d back to Ed. Wing. Everyone gone to Tiffin.

After tiffin went to Grado. Spent afternoon trying to pick up a good-looking blonde bit. But had no choco-late and only a few fags. Besides ser-geant in next tent had two tins of bully and a compo duff. Blonde obviously piacere-d the sergeant. Followed two brunettes instead. Two captains picked them up in a jeep. Decided to go to football match after all. Turned out u.s. Ities walked off when our blokes scored. Came to conclusion that all Ittes were similar, and to hell with the blonde and the brunettes. Tried to get in N.A.A.F.I. Queue much too long. Strolled back to truck.

Arrived back in camp too late to vote. Thought I'd better fill in the form before going to bed, as I might not have time domani. Couldn't find it. Must have let? it on the beach. Borrowed bike to go back for it. Halfway there got a puncture. Decided Itie roads same as football team-u.s. Pushed bike back to camp. Guard stopped me. Got regi-mental. No pass. Open arrest. Absent from roll-call. On charge. Riding W.D. transport without permission' Two charges. No 412. Three charges. Riding without due care. You've had itt Deliberately wearing out rubber tyres. Orderly Officer. Deliberately disobeying Regimental Orders. Feet'11 never touch. Report to Battery office in the morning. Got to bed about 2 o'clock. Decided to bed down tutto giorno next Sunday
F.R.S.

In the early morning of Saturday, Wth July, 1943, troops of the Eighth and Seventh Armies landed on the beaches of Sicily to open the invasion of Festung Europa. The following poem was first published iu the Sicilian Times in August, 1943.

THE BOAST.
" He who dares This island to invade.
To fight upon its mountains, on its plains.
In air above it and on seas around,
Will meet his doom "-this tyrant's loud tirade
Is now refuted, and his words are thrown Into his teeth.
Sicilian dust enshrouds
The remnants of a once-proud, battered foe:
So has his promise to disaster grown.

With early dawn our men were on the shore,
Relentlessly advancing 'gainst a foe
Already much disheartened by our blows:
Endlessly they poured through Europe's door:
A short halt to consume a scanty meal,
A hurried rest, or final check of arms.
And then this modern army's line drove on
And kept close to their flying foemen's heel'.
On through the mountains. But on the plain
They met a sterner foe, who made them pause
To gaiher force. Then they pushed on once more.
Relentless as their native summer's rain.
Their enemies, dismayed, faught grimly on.
Until at last they knew their hour had come.
And hastily they fled across the Straits,
Back to the mainland. So was this battle won.

There ends another hard-fought phase of war,
A war as bitter as the ocean's Strife
With Aran's rugged shore. Let it go on
Till this era's bestial tyrants are no more'
J.A.S.

FOOTBALL
66th Med Regt. 4 - 1st R.H.A. 2

Before its usual large and voluble following the
"double six" retained their unbeaten record in the
R.A. Corps League.

After missing a few chances early on a terrific shot from Brook, striking the cross-bar, came to REID, who promptly did the necessary. From then onwards the Mediums pressed strongly and twice had the ball in the net only to be disallowed on each occasion. The supporters (66th) disagreed with the referee's decisions, which were sustained nevertheless. Eventually after 17 mins. as a result of a goal-mouth melee BA1LL1E from 15 yards out netted a second for the "big guns." Then bad luck intervened, Todd in clashing with the R.H.A. wing half was injured and had to be carried off the field. R.H.A. immediately took advantage of our misfortune and were very quickly on level terms, scoring twice in 10 mins. with two brilliant goals-one a solo effort by the outside-right. So half-time came with scores level, 2-2, a most on usual occurrence.

Todd resumed for the Mediums but was still far from fit. Our half-backs again took control of the game and did not let up until the final whistle. Midway through the second half BROOK made sure of the points, the R.H.A. 'keeper fumbled the ball-enough said. Two minutes later after a brilliant piece of individualism by Liston, BROOK did the needful. The last ten minutes saw the Mediums almost increasing the lead.

Summing up, the game lacked that cohesion with which our team is usually associated. How-ever, full marks must be given to Liston and Peake, though both Simpson and Purves played their usual steady game.
66th Med. :- Convy; Simpson, McCormack; Peake. Purves, Baxter; Liston, Todd, Brook, Baillie, Reid.

66 Med. Regt. 2nd XI 2 115 Fd. Regf. 2nd XI 0

A rather dull and scrappy game resulted in the 2nd XI winning their second match. Almost the only highlights were the two goals, one in each half. The first came when KELLY diverted a lob from Cannon past the Field's 'keeper. The second came after a fine piece of football by Kelly and RATTRAY, the inside-right driving in a grand shot from 15 yards. Cannon, Rattrayand Nelson shone in this match. The first-named played a very hard-working and constructive game at left-half, and should be a very reliable deputy for any of the regulars.

In defence Bowie did all that was asked of him, and his big kicking was an asset. It is only fair to emphasise that the surface of the Ronchi pitch is not conducive to good football.
66th Med. 2nd X" :- Strawford; Greenan, Bowie; Graham, Caldwell. Cannon; Wealherstone Ratlray Kelly. Nelson, Penn.

CRICKET

The Regimental XI which played' 3rd Survey on Saturday was weakened by the absence of lieuts, Dailey and Swaffield. The 3rd Survey side in-cluded Pearce. a Minor Counties fast bowler, and Ireland, who has played for Middlesex Club and Ground and Club Cricket Conference. Capt. Turrell, having won the toss, elected to field, and with two wickets down for 6 runs - his policy seemed to be justified. Trasler and Strawford, bowling a good length, kept the batsmen very quiet, and in the ninety minutes before lunch only 43 runs were scored, for which total four wickets were down. After the luncheon interval three wickets fell for the addition of only 11 runs; then came a stand which produced 18 runs, and soon the innings closed with the score at 88. Trasler bowled extremely well, ably backed by Strawford and Sturgeon. Bowling 17 overs, 6 of which were maidens, he took 5 wickets for 25 runs.

The Regiment made a disastrous start. With only 2 runs on the board Doran was clean bowled by Pearce, and two runs later Melville's wicket was taken by a beautiful ball from Ireland which appeared to come in from the off. Shock followed shock, for Ireland scattered Brill's wicket with the next ball, but Sturgeon "shut the door'" and prevented the hat-trick. In the meantime Heron was batting with great confidence, and with Sturgeon took the score to 20 before Sturgeon fell to a good catch off Pearce. With Turrell and" Heron together runs came quickly, but at 40 Heron misshit a ball and was easily caught for a most in-valuable 23 runs. The next wicket fell with only 1 run added, and .the seventh fell at 45. Trasler was now in and batting well: his score of 13 brought the total to 60, but here the innings ended, for Pygall, who had kept wicket admirably for, the Regiment, failed to stop a "straight ' un " and 3rd.. Survey had won by 28 runs.
Silly Mid-Off.:


Football Results
R.A. 13 CORPS LEAGUE.

30th L.A.A............1....................3rd Survey..........0
66th Med.Regt.....4.....................1st R.H.A ...........2
75th Med.Regt.....2.....................76th Med.Regt...4
78th Med.Regt.....3.....................75th Hvy.Regt....1
66th Med.Regt.....6.....................567 S.L ...............1

R.A 13 Corps League Table

Team

66 Med
76 Med
655 Air O.P
78 Med
30 L.A.A
1 R.H.A
3 Survey
75 Hvy
75 Med
567 S.L

P

4
3
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

W

4
3
2
2
2
1
1
0
0
0
D

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
L

0
0
0
1
1
2
2
3
3
3
F

21
11
4
6
7
6
3
2
3
4
A

5
5
2
3
5
7
6
7
11
16
Pts

8
6
4
4
4
2
2
0
0
0


Printed by 66th Medium Regiment R.A and published at the Magazines Office


The end

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Copyright © 2003, Chris Dunham . All Rights Reserved