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Instructions regarding War Diaries and Intelligence Summaries are contained in F.S. Regs., Vol. 1. and the Staff Manual respectively Title pages will be prepared in manuscript.

Army Form C.2118
Unit: HQ 185 Inf Bde
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Brigadier E.L. Bols
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
TINCHEBRAY 1   Our holiday continues and the front is very quickly drawing away from us. We rest and go to concerts in the ruins of VIRE. Some find it dull, others are thankful for a rest. The units at least are in no doubt about it and only gradually fill their empty ranks. The break-up of 59 Div provides reinforcements from their own regiments for Warwick and Norfolk. Hoewever there are portents on the horizon, for some clouds the size of a mans fist, for others the glow of a new dawn and the first sign is :
TINCHEBRAY 1 1000 Visit of GOC 3 Br Inf Div and GSO I to Bde HQ to discuss move across SEINE and the visit is followed by 185 Inf Bde Movement Instr No.5 Appx 1
1 1400 Bde Comd and IO pay visit to 21 Army Gp Main HQ near BALLEROY.
2 0800 Conference to discuss move gives birth to 185 Inf Bde Movement Instr No.6 Appx 2
3   Preparations for move all day.
3 2045 Move begins
4 1015 Arrival at VILLERS EN VEKIN after crossing SEINE beneath the shadow of CHATEAU LE GAILLARD at LES ANDELYS. Most of Bde Gp incl Bde HQ find accomodation at or in chicken houses at what is reputed to be the largets chicken farm in France, and by some to be the blackest of black egg markets.
4   Issue of AFW 3008 (Offrs) Appx 3
4   Issue of AFW 3009 (Bde HQ) Appx 4
4   Issue of AFW 3009 (Def Pl) Appx 5
4   Issue of AFW 3009 (LAD) Appx 6
4   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Adm Order No.12 Appx 7
4 1130 GOC 3 Br Inf Div visits Bde Comd
4 1800 Bde Comd and IO visit M le Maire d'ETREPAGNY who had sheltered forty Allied airmen during last year.
5 1200 Conference to decide routine of our stay here, which was destined to last longer than expected. The next ten days northing of any note occurred. For a while everyone in the Bde had a good supply of eggs but this was cut short by the discovery that the excuse of providing the English with eggs was used to fob off the French applicants. Trips to Paris were organised somewhat late and then unfortunately cancelled so that only a percentage had the opportunity to go. Rumours of change began to appear about 10 Sep.
9   Issue of AFW 3008 (Offrs) Appx 8
9   Issue of AFW 3009 (Bde HQ) Appx 9
9   Issue of AFW 3009 (Def Pl) Appx 10
9   Issue of AFW 3009 (LAD) Appx 11
15   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Adm Order No.13 Appx 12
15   Move of Adv Party
16   Issue of AFW 3008 (Offrs) Appx 13
16   Issue of AFW 3009 (Bde HQ) Appx 14
16   Issue of AFW 3009 (Def Pl) Appx 15
16   Issue of AFW 3009 (LAD) Appx 16
17   185 Inf Bde Movement Instr No.7 Appx 17
18   Move of Bde Gp to new area at PEER in Belgium via SOIGNIES where convoy staged for night 18/19.
PEER 19   Arrival at PEER just WEST of the Escaut Canal. We have come into a desolate area of pine woods, canals, and interminable flatness. The Flems seem particularly loutish and ugly after the French. We are now under 8 Corps with 11 Armd Div.
19   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Adm Order No.14 Appx 18
20 0600 KSLI take over from S LAN R on bank of Escaut canal. Other bns not yet committed.
20   R Netherlands Bde moves up on right of 2 KSLI.
20   11 Armd Div passes through in Op 'Hurry On' so we keep right off the roads. Warning order received to LILLE ST HUBERT area tomorrow.
20 1930 Bde O. Gp. Our role is to follow up 11 Armd Div with eventual crossing of the MEUSE or RHINE ahead of us. 1 Norfolk take over protection of br at LILLE ST HUBERT forthwith.
21   Move of Bde Gp to LILLE ST HUBERT. Bde HQ in pine wood SOUTH of canal. 1 Norfolk and 2 Warwick over canal; 2 KSLI retain their posn and attempt to clear far side where obstinate GAF troops are holding. This operation slow and relatively costly.
22   Passed quietly except for occasional brushes with enemy snipers in KSLI area which provided a slow trickle of PW. O Gp for move tomorrow to relieve 11 Armd Div at DEURNE canal.
22   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Mov Instr No.8 and 9 Appx 19 and 20
ASTEN 23   Recce parties moved early to ASTEN in N BRABANT and conferred under shellfire. The bns came in and were disposed in very tight defence of the bridge. Bde was as near the front as it could possibly be, in a miserable monastery garden that was the particular target of enemy shells.
23   Issue of AFW 3008 (Offrs) Appx 21
23   Issue of AFW 3009 (Bde HQ) Appx 22
23   Issue of AFW 3009 (Def Pl) Appx 23
23   Issue of AFW 3009 (LAD) Appx 24
23   Camp Commandant (Lt J.H. Coles) wouded by shellfire.
24   Area still unhealty with enemy unpleasantly close. 11 Armd Div only make slow progress to DEURNE. Several PW came in during day.
24 1430 2 Warwick attacked HEUSDON but were held up short of objective by mortar and MG fire.
25 0900 2 Warwick patrol found HEUSDON clear. Enemy withdraw to MEIVEL.
25 1030 1 Norfolk at one hours notice to move to HELMOND wither they moved later at 1600 hrs meeting with a great reception.
25 1800 Bde HQ moves to town hall in ASTEN.
26   Civilian sounces were particularly useful in giving us information of the enemy. A Dutchman Hubers attached himself permenently to us and acted as LO and interpreter. Information from civilians that the Germans were burning houses in MEIVEL called out a medium shoot.
27   Offensive patrolling continued and in this we made full use of Dutch Guides and Dutch recce patrols. We wait for the expected op of 11 Armd Div to clear the WEST bank of the MEUSE down from ST ANTHONIS 4138.
ASTEN 28 0200 11 Armd Div op postponed 48 hrs.
28 1230 2 Warwick moved to LIESEL and took over from 1 KOSB there. Considerable enemy activity in that area across the canal. A sqn 3 Recce came under command and watched the MEIJEL sector.
29   Received warning that we were to be relieved by 7 US Armd Div who woudl take over from 11 Armd Div the role of clearing the WEST bank of the MEUSE.
29 1630 O Gp, Bde Gp to conc WEST of canal at ZOMEREN to-morrow to allow 7 US Armd Div to pass through.
30 1530 Col Jones (US Forces) calls. LO II att to 7 US Armd Div.
30   Move of Bde Gp postponed for 24 hrs.
30   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Mov Instr No. 10 Appx 25
30   Issue of AFW 3008 (Offrs) Appx 30
30   Issue of AFW 3009 (Bde HQ) Appx 31
30   Issue of AFW 3009 (Def Pl) Appx 32
30   Issue of AFW 3009 (LAD) Appx 33

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Source: Jeroen Koppes,

Disclaimer: This War Diary is based on its original, but typos might be corrected. Locations are calculated, so might not be in the correct place. For historical research, always check the originals.