The heat was terrific so the afternoons were turned over to sports which included
swimming in the VOLTURNO and the old Italian custom of “Siesta”.
A seaside resort accomodating one battery at a time was established
at the beach at MONDRAGONE.
Seven day leaves were started to the BARI and SALERNO Rest Camps.
By the end of June most of the Regiment had had three days in ROME.
The 17th won an easy first at the Divisional Artillery Sports Meet on the 20th June
and contributed largely to the Artillery Group win at the Div. Sports Meet
two days later.
Some training was carried on including a traffic control scheme,
weekly battery deployments and course shooting on the ranges at PIEDMONTE.
The 28th July was a red letter day and the whole Regiment took time out to celebrate the first
new vehicle to come to the unit since its arrival in Italy.
Tradition was preserved and Major W.R. Gilchrist, with the Battery formed up
in a hollow square christened it with a bottle of Vino.
The sub-unit softball series aroused much enthusiasm
and considerable money changed hands.
On the 31st July 100 men of the Regiment went to see the King, present the
V.C. to Major Mahony of
the Westminster Regiment.
MONTEFALCO - Aug 1944.
On the lst August CANADAS and formation patches were removed and the Regiment
began the move NORTH in a security blackout.
The route went through ROME to the shores of LAKE BOLSENA where there was an excellent
beach for swimming and also a very fine melon patch but very expensive.
From there the unit moved past LAKE TRASIMENE to a concentration
area at MONTEFALCO.
The road was littered with thousands of German guns and vehicles smashed
by the Desert Air Force.
The strain of the long convoy was very telling on our old vehicles and the trip
ended with 24 vehicles and 1 gun in workshops.
The news that FLORENCE had fallen was expected daily and the Provost had the
“OUT OF BOUNDS TO CANADIAN
TROOPS” signs ready.