23rd Field Regiment, RCA
The 23rd Field Regiment RCA, was part of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division of the 2nd Canadian Corps, of the 1st Canadian Army in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...



The 23rd Field Regiment (SP) was part of the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) and an order was issued in April 1942 to mobilize an HQ Battery and three separate gun batteries. From May to July 1942, the three batteries formed up at the Canadian Artillery Training Centre A2 (CATC A2) in Petawawa, Ontario
Petawawa, Ontario
Petawawa is a town located in eastern portion of Southern Ontario. Situated in the Ottawa Valley, with a population of 14,651 . Petawawa is the most populous municipality in Renfrew County.-Geography:...

. The (SP) in the regiment's name denotes that it was a self-propelled artillery
Self-propelled artillery
Self-propelled artillery vehicles are combat vehicles armed with artillery. Within the term are covered self-propelled guns and rocket artillery...


The regiment trained in Canada from May 1942 to July 1943 and in England from July 1943 to July 1944, then went into action in France on 26 July 1944, seven weeks after D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

. The regiment participated in the breakout campaign, on the "Green Up - Maple Leaf Up" route from Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

, France, into Belgium and Holland, and they ended action in Germany.

The regiment's three batteries

The three batteries that made up the 23rd Field Regiment were:
  1. "The 31st", which had formed part of the 7th (Toronto) Field Regiment (Reserve) mostly from Toronto, Ontario. Its company name was "Peter" and the troops' initials were A (Abel) and B (Baker)
  2. "The 36th", which was from the areas of Cobourg, Port Hope
    Port Hope
    Port Hope mar refer to:*Port Hope, Michigan, U.S.*Port Hope, Ontario, Canada**Port Hope Aerodrome**Port Hope Conference**Port Hope Panthers**Port Hope railway station**Port Hope Transit...

    , and Peterborough
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Peterborough is a city on the Otonabee River in southern Ontario, Canada, 125 kilometres northeast of Toronto. The population of the City of Peterborough was 74,898 as of the 2006 census, while the census metropolitan area has a population of 121,428 as of a 2009 estimate. It presently ranks...

    , Ontario. Its company name was "Queen" & the troops' initials were C (Charlie) & D (Dog)
  3. "The 83rd", from the 8th Field Brigade (Reserve) from the areas of Hamilton
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

    , Brantford, and St. Catharines, Ontario. Its company name was "Roger" and the troops' initials were E (Easy) and F (Fox).

Map of travels - July 1944 to May 1945

Training in Canada

  • 9 May – 31 July 1942 — Canadian Artillery Training Centre A2, Petawawa, Ontario
  • August 1942 — Sussex Military Camp, Sussex, New Brunswick
  • August, September 1942 — Tracadie Camp, Tracadie, New Brunswick
  • September 1942 – June 1943 — Sussex Military Camp, Sussex, New Brunswick
    Sussex, New Brunswick
    Sussex is a Canadian town in Kings County, New Brunswick.Sussex straddles the Kennebecasis River, 70 km northeast of Saint John, and is a major dairy products producer in the province...

  • June, July 1943 — Tracadie Camp, Tracadie, New Brunswick
  • July 1943 — Sussex Military Camp, Sussex, New Brunswick

Training in the United Kingdom

  • 23 July 1943 — to UK aboard the ship RMS Queen Elizabeth
    RMS Queen Elizabeth
    RMS Queen Elizabeth was an ocean liner operated by the Cunard Line. Plying with her running mate Queen Mary as a luxury liner between Southampton, UK and New York City, USA via Cherbourg, France, she was also contracted for over twenty years to carry the Royal Mail as the second half of the two...

  • 27 July 1943 — arrive Gourock Harbour, Scotland
  • July, August 1943 — Chobham Common Reception Camp for 10 days
  • August–November 1943 — Eastbourne Camp in Meads Village, Eastbourne. 31st billeted on Dalton, Derwent and Milnthorpe Roads with Officers' mess at a house called The Ridge on Bolsover Road, the 36th on Edensor Road, with Battery HQ on Upper Dukes Drive and Officers' and Sergeants' mess at Tudor Croft on Baslow Road, and the 83rd on Edensor Road with Battery HQ at Holywell Priory and Sergeants' mess at Meads End.
  • November 1943 — Larkhill Gunnery Camp (British School of Artillery)
  • December 1943 — Eastbourne Camp
  • December 1943 — Redesdale Camp
  • December 1943 - February 1944 — Eastbourne Camp
  • February 1944 — Larkhill Gunnery Camp, Salisbury Plains
  • February – March 1944 — Eastbourne Camp
  • March – June 1944 — Pippingford Park
  • July 1944 — Camped in field about 1 mile from Pippingford Park
  • July 1944 — Wanstead Common Marshalling Camp
  • 24 July 1944 — convoy through Straits of Dover toward France

Action in France

  • 26 July 1944 — Disembarked at Arromanches and moved inland to Banville area, near Caen.
  • July to September 1944 — activity in areas of Meauvaines, south of Caen near Ifs, Mondeville, Four, Soliers, Grentheville, LaHogue, Tilly, Operation Totalize (the breakout from Caen perimeter and push down Route Nationale 158 to Falaise), Hill 180, 195 and 206 — south of Bretteville-le-Rabet, Saint-André-sur-Orne
    Saint-André-sur-Orne is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.-World War II:The village was the site of an expulsion of many schoolchildren from the Maison du Clos by the Nazi army during World War II, in which case the marching children were...

     and south of Ifs, Verrières, Gausmesnil, Roquancourt, Caillouet, River Laize, Bretteville-le-Rabet, Hautmesnil, St. Aignon de Cramesnil, Renemesnil, Operation Tallulah — then changed to Operation Tractable
    Operation Tractable
    Operation Tractable was the final offensive conducted by Canadian and Polish Army troops as part of the Battle of Normandy. The goal of this operation was to capture the strategically important French town of Falaise, and following that, the smaller towns of Trun and Chambois...

     (intention of smashing through the anti-tank screen between Quesnay Woods and Potigny along the River Laison, crossing the river and striking on to Falaise, at the same time seizing crossing of the Rivers Ante and Dives), River Laison at Rouvres, Olendon, Perrières, Le Moutiers-en-Auge, Le Menil Girard (north-east of Trun), 31st battery — River La Vie and River Touques, Rouen, Coudehard, Monnai, Bernay, (liberated) Bout de la Ville, St. Pierre les Elbeuf, River Seine, Criqueboeuf-sur-Seine just north-west of Pont de L'Arche, Ymaro, Le Hamel aux Batiers, Grainville-sur-Ry, 36th Battery to Crenon River, Boissay, 83rd Battery to Forges-les-Eaux, Orival, Airaines, Wanel, Sorel just west of the Somme, high ground overlooking Abbeville, Wisquesm just this side of St. Omer, Soex and crossing the border into Belgium on 7 September 1944.

Action in Belgium

September - October 1944 — activity in areas of Leysele, St. Riquiers, southwest of Bruges/Brugge just west of Den Daelo, Holding of the Leopold, Canal de Ghent, Boerbrugge, Oedelem, Syssele, over Leopold Canal, Cliet, Balgerhoek, Eecloo, Caprycke, Bouchante, Assenede, Sas van Gent, Philippe, north-west of Maldegem, near Balgerhoek, Eecloo, via Ghent to Antwerp, north of Schildt, Operation Suitcase, Putte, Pont Heuvel, Wildert near Roosendaal Canal and Wousche Plantage.

Action in Netherlands

October 1944 to February 1945 — activity in areas of Spillebeek, Heimolen, Bergen-op-Zoom, Halsteren, Steenbergen, Dinteloord, Willemstad, Halsteren, end of Operation Suitcase, Roosendaal, Breda, Tilburg, Vught, east of 's-Hertogenbosch, (31st at Nulands, 83rd at Rosmalen and 36th in between), Boxtel, 36th in Gemonde, Hedikuizen, Breda area, 36th to St. Philipsland Peninsula, Operation Trojan,(simulate crossing of the Maas), Operation Schultz (intention of getting prisoners from other side of the river), Sprang north-east of Tilburg, s'Hertogenbosch, Vught and then off to Germany on 22 February 1945.

Action in Germany

February, March 1945 — activity in areas of Hau (near Cleve), Operation Blockbuster, Louisendorf, Keppeln, Udermerbruch, The Hochwald Gap, Sonsbeck, Veen, Xanten, Winnenthal and headed back to Netherlands on 12 March 1945.

Action in Germany

March 1945 — activity in areas of Huibsberden (practically on banks of the Rhine), Operation Plunder, Emmerich and Rees near Millingen (across Rhine).

Action in Netherlands

April 2–4 April 1945 — activity in areas between Gelselaar and Diepenheim
Diepenheim is a village in the Dutch province of Overijssel. It is located in the municipality of Hof van Twente, about 5 km southwest of Goor.Diepenheim was a separate municipality until 2001, when it became a part of Hof van Twente....

, Twente Canal
The Twentekanaal is a canal running through the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, connecting the three largest cities of the Twente region, Almelo, Hengelo and Enschede to the national network of rivers and canals...

, Wegdam and north of Delden
Delden is a city in the Dutch province of Overijssel and, since 2001, in the municipality of Hof van Twente.Although its population is small, it gained city rights in 1333. Castle Twickel is a famous landmark near Delden and the Baron van Heeckeren of Twickel built a watertower in Delden...


Action in Germany

  • April, May 1945 — activity in areas of near Wilsum, Emmlicheim, Coevorden, Ruhle, Dortmund-Ems Canal, Meppen, north along canal to Lathen, Sogel, Werlte, Lorup, Neuvrees, Friesoythe, Kusten Canal, Edewecht, Bad Zwischenahn, Rorbeck, Rastede, & on 3 May 1945, to their last gun position of the war, midway between Rastede and Nutte.
  • 4 May 1945 — During evening it was heard on the Regiment's radio that all German forces in northwest Germany, Denmark and Holland had surrendered to the 21st Army Group.
  • 5 May 1945 — Cease fire was officially proclaimed at 8:00 a.m.

NWE War's end

  • 7 May,1945 - VE Day - On 7 May 1945 at SHAEF headquarters in Reims, France, the Chief of Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command (OKW), General Alfred Jodl, signed the unconditional surrender documents for all German forces to the Allies.
  • 14 May 1945 — Major-General Christopher Vokes
    Christopher Vokes
    Major General Christopher Vokes CB, CBE, DSO, CD was a Canadian soldier.-Family:Born in Armagh, Ireland, the son of a British officer, Major Frederick Patrick Vokes and Elizabeth Vokes, who came to Canada in 1910. Major Frederick Patrick Vokes was the engineering officer at the Royal Military...

    , GOC, 4th Canadian Armoured Division, addressed the Regiment at Ocholt, Germany.

Netherlands after NWE war's end

  • 8 June 1945 - "Last Parade" of armour. Giving the salute during the march past was Major G.H.V. Naylor (temporary Commanding Officer) and taking the salute from the reviewing stand was Major-General Christopher Vokes.
  • 29 June 1945 — Armoured guns turned in at Nijmegen, in a "Farewell to the Guns" ceremony.

Honours and awards

  • 1 — Distinguished Service Order (Hogarth)
  • 4 — Military Cross (Baker, Buchner, Cameron, Conquest)
  • 1 — Croix de Guerre avec Palme - French (Hogarth)
  • 1 — Croix de Guerre avec Bronze Star - French (Munce)
  • 1 — American Bronze Star (Cowan)
  • 1 — Member of the British Empire (James)
  • 8 — Mention-in-Despatches (Buchner, Hennessy, Rimmer, Betteridge, Budway, Smith, White, Wilson)
  • 9 — Commander-in-Chief's Certificate (Beatty, Bignell, Buchner, Gardner, Kane, Kelly, McDermott, Munce, White)

Commanding officers

  • Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. Robertson (Montreal) from April 1942 to January 1943
  • Lieutenant-Colonel G.W. Wishart (Toronto) from January to March 1943
  • Lieutenant-Colonel K.N. Lander (Toronto) from March 1943 to August 1944
  • Lieutenant-Colonel R.E. Hogarth (Timmins) from August 1944 to cease fire in May 1945
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