A heavy harassing fire program was carried on and separate
positions were used for the first time.
The mud eventually became so bad that it was necessary to start pulling
H.F. guns out at noon in order to have them in the new position by evening.
An added nuisance was the fact that sections of the road required chains while on
other sections the use of chains was forbidden.
The first ammunition restriction of 40 rounds per gun per day was now in force, not
owing to a shortage of ammunition but to save the guns.
To break the monotony of the static front a fire plan was arranged for first light
the 15th February.
The intention was to catch in the open a group of enemy living in the caves behind
TOLLO who came out every morning for breakfast.
Considerable air-burst was fired with success although it was difficult to get
any observation of the results.
Daily periods were devoted to gun drill and laying and despite the mud some degree
of spit and polish was maintained.
The quiet front afforded the opportunity for several Lieutenants
and Sergeants to take a shift at the Observation Post.
A 48 hour Rest Camp was now functioning a few miles in rear of the Regimental
position and leave vacancies were received for the 8th Army Rest Camp at BARI.
LUCERA - 7 Mar 44.
On the 7th March the Regiment handed over to the 11th Cdn Army Field Regiment
and moved to the LUCERA “rest area”.
It was an introduction to “rest areas” of which there
were to be several.
It was soon found that the word “rest” was pure propaganda since there was
no such thing.
In spite of it all rest areas did serve a useful purpose in that they provided a change and
made everyone very happy to get back into action again.
This camp was merely an open field some distance from LUCERA which was almost completely
lacking in recreational facilities and entertainment.
On the 12th March all Officers and NCOs who could be spared proceeded to the 8th Army
School of Artillery at SAN NICANDRO for a weeks refresher course.
The range was
found to be the most difficult yet encountered owing to the false crests
dead ground and deep valleys.