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The 23rd Field Regiment (SP), RCA, was part of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division of the 2nd Canadian Corps, of the 1st Canadian Army in World War II.


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.[1] The (SP) in the regiment's name denotes that it was a self-propelled artillery regiment. The regiment trained in Canada from May 1942 to July 1943[2] and in England from July 1943 to July 1944,[3] then went into action in France on 26 July 1944, seven weeks after D-Day.[4] The regiment participated in the breakout campaign, on the "Green Up – Maple Leaf Up" route from Normandy, France, into Belgium and the Netherlands, 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.[5] Its company name was "Peter" and the troops' initials were A (Abel) and B (Baker)[6]
  2. "The 36th", which was from the areas of Cobourg, Port Hope, and Peterborough, Ontario.[7] Its company name was "Queen" & the troops' initials were C (Charlie) & D (Dog)[8]
  3. "The 83rd", from the 8th Field Brigade (Reserve) from the areas of Hamilton, Brantford, and St. Catharines, Ontario.[9] Its company name was "Roger" and the troops' initials were E (Easy) and F (Fox).[10]

Map of travels – July 1944 to May 1945

File:Map of 23rd Field Reg.'s Travels WW11.jpg

Map of 23rd Field Regiment's Travels WWII

Regiment's activities in the Second World War

Training in Canada

  • 9 May – 31 July 1942 – Canadian Artillery Training Centre A2, Petawawa, Ontario[11]
  • August 1942 – Sussex Military Camp, Sussex, New Brunswick[12]
  • August, September 1942 – Tracadie Camp, Tracadie, New Brunswick[13]
  • September 1942 – June 1943 – Sussex Military Camp, Sussex, New Brunswick[14]
  • June, July 1943 – Tracadie Camp, Tracadie, New Brunswick[15]
  • July 1943 – Sussex Military Camp, Sussex, New Brunswick[16]

Training in the United Kingdom

  • 23 July 1943 – to UK aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth[17]
  • 27 July 1943 – arrive Gourock Harbour, Scotland[18]
  • July, August 1943 — Chobham Common Reception Camp for 10 days[19]
  • August–November 1943 – Eastbourne Camp in Meads Village, Eastbourne.[20] 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.[21]
  • November 1943 – Larkhill Gunnery Camp (British School of Artillery)[22]
  • December 1943 – Eastbourne Camp[23]
  • December 1943 – Redesdale Camp[24]
  • December 1943 – February 1944 – Eastbourne Camp[25]
  • February 1944 – Larkhill Gunnery Camp, Salisbury Plains[26]
  • February – March 1944 – Eastbourne Camp[27]
  • March – June 1944 – Pippingford Park[28]
  • July 1944 – Camped in field about 1-mile from Pippingford Park[29]
  • July 1944 – Wanstead Common Marshalling Camp[30]
  • 24 July 1944 – convoy through Straits of Dover toward France[31]

Action in France

  • 26 July 1944 – Disembarked at Arromanches and moved inland to Banville area, near Caen.[32]
  • 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 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 (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.[33]

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.[34]

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.[35]

Action in Germany

February, March 1945 — activity in areas of Hau (near Cleve), Operation Blockbuster, Louisendorf, Keppeln, Uedemerbruch, The Hochwald Gap, Sonsbeck, Veen, Xanten, Winnenthal and headed back to Netherlands on 12 March 1945. [36]

Rest in the Netherlands

12 to 22 March 1945 – In Tilburg for rest period.[37]

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).[38]

Action in Netherlands

2–4 April 1945 – activity in areas between Gelselaar and Diepenheim, Twente Canal, Wegdam and north of Delden.[39]

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.[40]
  • 4 May 1945 — During evening it was heard on the Regiment's radio that all German forces in northwest Germany, Denmark and the occupied part of the Netherlands had surrendered to the 21st Army Group.[41]
  • 5 May 1945 — Cease fire was officially proclaimed at 8:00 am[42]

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.[43]
  • 14 May 1945 – Major-General Christopher Vokes, GOC, 4th Canadian Armoured Division, addressed the Regiment at Ocholt, Germany.[44]

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.[45]
  • 29 June 1945 – Armoured guns turned in at Nijmegen, in a "Farewell to the Guns" ceremony.[46]

Casualties in action

Honours and awards


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


  1. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 7.
  2. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 7–20.
  3. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 23–38.
  4. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 41–73.
  5. Smith, Lawrence (1945). p.7.
  6. Ockenden, Michael (2010), p. 20.
  7. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 7.
  8. Ockenden, Michael (2010), p. 21.
  9. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 7.
  10. Ockenden, Michael (2010), p. 22
  11. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 8–9.
  12. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 9.
  13. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 9.
  14. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 9–17.
  15. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 18.
  16. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 18–19.
  17. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 19.
  18. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 20.
  19. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 23.
  20. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 24–27.
  21. Ockenden, Michael (2010), pgs. 20–23.
  22. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 27–28.
  23. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 28.
  24. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 28–29.
  25. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 29.
  26. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 32.
  27. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 33.
  28. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 33–37.
  29. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 37.
  30. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 38.
  31. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 41.
  32. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 42.
  33. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 42–51.
  34. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 51–58.
  35. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 58–64.
  36. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 64–66.
  37. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 66.
  38. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 66–68.
  39. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 68–69.
  40. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 69–72.
  41. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 72.
  42. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 72.
  43. Vandiver, Frank (2002), p. 238.
  44. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 75.
  45. Canadian Army (1945), p. 41
  46. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 75.
  47. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 77.
  48. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 78.
  49. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 78.
  50. Smith, Lawrence (1945), pgs. 78–79.
  51. Smith, Lawrence (1945), p. 76


  • Canadian Army (1945). "The 23rd Canadian Field Regiment (S.P.) Royal Canadian Artillery, Official S.P. Weekly: A Compilation of all the Photos Used to Illustrate the Featured Articles of the S.P. Newspaper". J.H. Scheen.
  • Ockenden, Michael (2010). "Canucks by the Sea: The Canadian Army in Eastbourne during the Second Worl War". Eastbourne Local History Society. ISBN 978-0-9547647-4-6.
  • Smith, Lawrence (1945). "The History of the 23rd Field Regiment (SP) R.C.A.: World War 11, April 1942 to May 1945". St. Catharines Standard.
  • Vandiver, Frank (2002). "1001 Things Everyone Should Know About World War II". Broadway Books, a Division of Random House, Inc.

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