During the 24 hour period the Regiment fired a total of over 11,000 rounds and slap-happy
layers had to be forced to leave their seats to take a rest.
Even clerks and batmen were busy hauling ammunition and the conduct of all ranks
in the first real baptism of fire was a credit to the Regiment.
An outstanding example was B-43749 Gnr. F.W. Turner, M.M., whose
citation reads as follows:
“On the 17th January 1944, the 11 Cdn Infantry Brigade put in an
attack on a strongly held German position in front of ORTONA.
An Observation Post had been established at map reference
302179 sheet 1461-2 for the Commanding Officer of the Cape Breton
Highlanders and the Officer Commanding 37th Battery 17 Cdn Field Regiment
During the early stages of the battle both the
lines and Infantry lines had been cut by enemy mortars and shell fire.
communication was not satisfactory.
Gnr. Turner, who as Battery Signaller realized
that communications had failed, without orders, went forward in full
view of the enemy, under heavy mortar, shell and machine gun fire and
between the O.P. and Brigade Headquarters.
His conduct on other occasions has shown a great devotion to duty and
similar disregard for his own safety”.
ORSOGNA - 22 Jan 44.
The Regiment moved on the 20th January to a concentration area in the valley of
the SANGRO and two days later into gun positions on the ORSOGNA front under command
4th Indian Division.
Here the Unit took over positions originally constructed by the
New Zealanders and the dugouts
they had constructed were much appreciated after the slit
trenches of the ORTONA-position.