Lt Col H.Turrell, MC RA (ret,d)
OC D Troop, 228/66 ( Lowland ) Medium Regiment, RA (TA) 1942-1945
I feel honoured at being asked to write the foreword to the Regimental history of
66th (Lowland) Medium Regiment RA (TA)
I will first of all give a brief account of my service with the "" Gunners "".
I joined the Royal Regiment in November 1925, I served until 1931 and then onto the reserve, rejoining the Regiment in September 1939, I went to France on September 23rd and returned to the UK on a Destroyer on the penultimate day of the evacuation.
I went to OCTU and was commissioned in December was posted to 76th (Highland) Field Regiment RA (TA) and was then posted to 66th Medium Regt on promotion to Captain in 1942. I left 66th in 1945 after the end of the War in Italy. I then served with various regiments, ending as CO of 524 LAA Searchlight Regiment RA (TA) at Woolwich until I retired in 1957.
I then took on various Retired Officer appointments until March 1973. I have kept in touch with the Regiment, was Chairman of the Andover Branch of the RAA from 1957-1982 and Vice-President 1982-1986.
When I joined 66th Medium in early 1942 to take command of D Troop, one might have expected to find some resentment at bringing in an outsider rather than to promote within the Regiment !! but I was given a warm and friendly reception. I found the 66th to be a happy regiment, with a friendly rivalry between batteries.
In 1942 we were under orders for overseas service and sailed in January 1943, arriving in Egypt in March. We speculated on what our task might be but did not actually know until embarkation for Scicily.
I am writing as Troop commander and most of the time as an OP Officer. The history of the Regiment is adequately covered in following pages, my remit is to comment on the Officers and Men during the Italian Campaign. I can cover this very concisely -
"" I could not have wished for a finer bunch of Officers and men with whom to fight a War in often very difficult circumstances ""
I would particularly like to pay tribute to my OP party with whom I spent so much time, one could not have wished for a more loyal crew.
The Italian Campaign itself is covered by the History but there are two icidents which I recall. I was told that a small town was occupied by Canadian troops - it was, by "two private soldiers" I had been asked to check on a bridge, so we drove down the road and parked behind a high bank. I proceeded on foot and on nearing the bridge was sniped at, I took cover and returned to the Armoured OP and no sooner than we were out of cover we were shot at by 88,s, were we very glad to get back to shelter.
On a second occasion I was told to occupy an OP in a little village on an escarpment, I was told the Germans had left - they had - just!!
As we entered the sourthern part, the Hun was just clearing the North. These examples show that one always has to be wary, however good one,s information.
Finally I cannot end this message without paying tribute to Jim Renwick, Jim joined the TA before the War and was one of my D Troop stalwarts, to John smith (joined 1940) and Ellis Redfern (1942) who both served in 228Bty. Their hard work and organisation ability as well as professional approuch have enabled this History to " get off the ground "
Signed -- H.Turrell
Copyright © 2003, Chris Dunham . All Rights Reserved