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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: 4th Bn the Wiltshire Regt
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. E.L. Luce, TD
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   Bn remain in area GIVERNY (4771 – 171 NE). Bn 3 ton tpt being used to carry supplies to fwd tps now advancing towards the BELGIAN frontier.
2   Bn in same location. Normal work carried out.
3   Several more trucks sent from Bn to carry supplies to fwd tps now in area of BRUSSELS and ANTWERP. Div Comd addresses whole of 129 Inf Bde on events leading up to and the actual crossing of the R. SEINE by the Bde Gp. He also decorated 1 WO and 3 NCOs with the Military Medal and read out awards to Offrs and NCOs who were wounded and eventually evacuated. These actions were carried out on Hill 112 in the CAEN sector.
4   Coys commence trg according to programmes laid down by CO.
5   Normal trg carried out under coy arrangements. ENSA show held at GASNY (R 57) artistes incl Flanagan and Allen, and Florence Desmond.
6   Normal trg carried out, incl 2” and 3” mortar firing practice. Another ENSA show held at GASNY (R 57) the outstanding artist being Richard Hearne.
7   Bn still in same location with no news of any move fwd. Normal trg carried out.
8   Bn goes on 20 mile route march, coys choosing their own routes. Last 4 miles carried out in downpour of rain.
9   Visits to PARIS commence. 26 allowed to go, travelling in unit tpt. Normal trg carried out.
10   Visits to PARIS continue. Church parade held in village hall.
11   Further visit to PARIS after being cancelled previous night. Normal trg carried out.
12   Visits to PARIS cancelled. Baths for bn at MBU. Coys carry on with normal routine.
13   ENSA show held at VERNON. Only a few vacancies allowed to bn.
14   Preparations and loading of vehs ready for move of Bn from GIVERNY (4771). Bn move off at 1130 hrs in Div convoy to DIEST (K 16) East of BRUSSELS. Journey to be completed in two stages.
15   Bn arrives in conc area East of MONS at 0500 hrs. Bn rests until breakfast at 0830 hrs followed by preparations for move on second stage. Coln moves off for DIEST at 1400 hrs.
16   Bn arrives at conc area MELDERT (K 1869) at 0200 hrs. Rest and veh maintenance carried out during remainder of the day.
17   Bn remains in Conc area. CO addresses all offrs and NCOs on situation of enemy and our own future moves and intentions, co-inciding with the invasions of HOLLAND.
18   Bn moves to new Conc area at K 3878 in readiness for move into HOLLAND.
19   Bn still in Conc area awaiting orders for move. Small amount of enemy air activity during the night.
20   No move from present location.
21   Bn receives orders to move fwd at 2100 hrs, but which are cancelled at the last minute until the following morning.
22   Bn moves off in Div convoy for advance into HOLLAND with the intention of holding posns in area of DEVENTER (Map sheet 2a and 3a - Z 90). On reaching VALKENSWAARD (E 40) the coln was halted owing to the enemy blowing a bridge North of EINDHOVEN which was quickly repaired and the coln allowed to move on via ST. OEDENRODE (43), UDEN (E54) to area North of GRAVE (E 65) where bn conc for the night arriving at 0200 hrs.
23   Bn moves off at 0815 hrs with the intention of capturIng ELST (E 7171) which is reported to be occupied by enemy. Fwd coys reach line of road East of X rds (6968) where stiff opposition is met from MGs, 20 mm and 7.5 cm guns, which knocked out 4 tks of 13/18 Hussars who were supporting the bn. Casualties were heavy in A coy in the area of this X rds, two Mk IV tks well protected by inf, causing all the trouble. Capt. Bedford and lieut. Hardiman were killed in this action. Coys hold same line during the night when enemy patrols were very active.
24   Enemy still putting up stiff resistance near X rds (6968) which is covered by heavy fire from posns due West along road. Coys unable to make intended progress to line of railway but ELST itself is captured by 214 Bde from the WEST. During the night patrols on both sides were more active than previous night.
25   Strong patrols occupying X rds (6968) and posn on road to the N without opposition, where coys were eventually established. B coy push down road to occupy BEMMEL sta (707673) finding the road had been hurriedly evacuated leaving behind 7 x 7.5 cm guns, 5 x.20 mm guns and a large amount of equipment. C and D coys move fwd of rly to line of road 716676 – 718672 in the village of RESSEN where they dig in and occupy defensive posn. By last light 129 Bde are relieved by 69 Bde from 50 Div. Bn relieved by 6 Green Howards and conc in area of X rds (6967) where they had previously been held up.
26   Bn takes over posns in ELST (7070). Situation rather quiet except for intermittent shelling from the direction of ARNHEM. Patrols carried out by both sides during the night.
27   Bn still occupies ELST (7070). Intermittent enemy shelling continues. The NIJMEGEN bridge under constant shell fire and spasmodic attacks by fighter aircraft.
28   Bn situation remains the same with intermittent enemy shelling N and E of ELST. No casualties reported.
29   4 Som LI take over Bn operational role in ELST. Coys concentrate West of ELST and assume counter attack role against ELST and 5 Wilts area to NORTH. Carrier pl takes up posns in between 4 Som LI and 5 Wilts.
30   Strong enemy attacks against 3 Irish Gds East of ELST (7070) repulsed with heavy losses to enemy including 150 PW. Attacks also repulsed NE of BEMMEL in area (7469). Only small local engagements on Bde front which hasn’t necessitated any help being given from own bn.
30   Weather – Normal for time of year.
30   Bn strength – Officers = 27 Other Ranks = 715

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Hans Houterman.

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.