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Army Form C.2118
Unit: 168 (City of London) Light Field Ambulance
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. T.M. Robb RAMC
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
GRATTENPANCHE 1   8 Armd Bde armour cleared roads N.W. of AMIENS.
1 2020 Moved off from BEAUVAIS.
LE SOUICH 2 0315 Arrived LE SOUICH (177946). A.D.S. open and receiving patients. Orders received for maintenance of vehicles to be commenced.
GONDECOURT 3 0400 Warning Order received for unit to be ready to move with 8 Armd Bde under command 50 Div to march on ALOST.
3 1000 Commenced move via ARRAS.
3 2200 Leaguered and opened A.D.S.
CYSOING 4 0400 Movement Order to continue move on ALOST received.
11 Armd Div marching on ANTWERP and Guards Armd Div on BRUSSELS.
4 0930 Information received of change of plan.
8 Armd Bde would now take positions between 90 Grid and Railway LILLE ORCHIES. Sherwood Rangers Yeo would be in area RENAI 0847 in addition. H.Q. 8 D.L.I. 800316, 12/K.R.R.C. MORTAGNE 8834, 8 Armd Bde H.Q. at 813308 4/7 Dragoon Guards supporting above.
Intention. To prevent enemy columns pressed N.E. by Canadians from escaping in a S.E. direction.
A.D.S. open at 811303 and One Section with 12 K.R.R.C. and one with Sherwood Rangers Yeo.
Sherwood Rangers Yeo collected 1000 prisoners in region KERKOVE AUDENARDE.
CYSOING 5 2300 Warning Order to move not before 1245 hours 6 Sep.
NEDERHASSELT 6 0615 Harbour Party left
6 0745 Movement Order No. 4 received to move to Area NONOVE 3855
6 1345 Moved off by way of BASIEUX, BELGIAN FRONTIER, TOURNAI, RENAIX, X-Roads 333547, ELSPELAERE to NEDERHASSELT 354570. Armour engaged in mopping up. Sherwood Rangers collected 1000 prisoners.
Armour to cross Albert Canal at BEERINGEN and wheel N.N.W. to secure further bridges to allow 69 Armd Bde to cross Canal 4/7 Dragoon Gds leading.
SCHAFFEN 8   4/7 Dragoon Gds moved at 0430 hrs and crossed canal at 0700 hrs.
8 1025 Unit moved AERSCHOT, RILLAER, MONTAIGNE, DIEST to area 137707.
SCHAFFEN 9 1600 Unit commenced to move to area PAEL.
9 1630 Unit arrived at 206747.
8 Armd Bde came under Guards Armd Div. Bde H.Q. moved to 267886.
Guards Armd Div to advance along two roads to Escault Canal. 8 Armd Bde to keep L. of C open and protect left flank.
PAEL 10   Guards Armd Div little progress to begin with, but later on crossed Escault Canal at DE GROOTE BARRIERE 365962.
PAEL 11   600 Belgian troops attached to the Brigade. BOURG LEOPOLD occupied. Bridgehead across Escault Canal established by Guards Armd Div. 8 Armd Bde occupying protective positions around BOURG LEOPOLD. Capt. A. Amdor RAMC admitted hospital.
PAEL 12   8 Armd Bde occupying protective positions as yesterday.
PAEL 13   Bde H.Q. moved to BOURGH LEOPOLD. Bde still employed in occupying protective positions in woods at GERHEES and GEMEENTEBOSCH.
BOURG LEOPOLD 14   Bde resting for maintenance. 168 Lt Fd Amb moved to BOURG LEOPOLD 275829.
Accommodated in Belgian Military Hospital.
BOURG LEOPOLD 15   C.O. attended conference at Rear H.Q., 30 Corps on future operation 'Garden'.
BOURG LEOPOLD 16 1100 C.O. attended Corps Commander's Briefing conference for operation 'Market Garden'.
16 1400 C.O. attended O Group at 43 Div H.Q. for the operation 'Market Garden'.
BOURG LEOPOLD 17 0830 C.O. attended Bde Commander's Conference for operation 'Market Garden'.
17 1300 1st Br. Parachute Div landed at ARNHEM intending to capture the Bridge over the Neder Rijn at ARNMEIM and make bridgehead to enable 30 Corps to pass through.
82 U.S. Airborne Division landed in GRAVE and NIJMEGEN area to secure bridges over River Waal and River Maas also high point between NIJMEGEN and GROESBEEK 7554. and sufficient bridgehead ti allow passage of 30 Corps through.
101 U.S. Airborne Div. landed to seize Canal and stream crossing at EINDHOVEN, ZON and WEGHEL innorder to facilitate arrival of 30 Corps.
30 Corps were in bridgehead over Escault Canal and due south. Guards Armd Div were to break out from Bridgehead and proceed to EINDHOVEN where they would link up with 101 U.S. Airborne Div.
Then 30 Corps would march in following order to ARNHEIM, through the two other Parachute Divisions in following order. Guards Armd Div, 43 Div with 8 Armd Bde, 50 Div and Guards Armd Div would then seize and hold high ground between APELDOORNE and the Zuider Zee. 43 Div and 8 Armd Bde would hold high ground between APELDOORNE and 1 Br. Parachute Div.
Thus all Germans in West of Holland would be cut off and the point on the German-Dutch border nearest to Berlin would be seized. A drive eastwards could then be made, which, in conjunction with the American drive Eastward from COLOGNE would by-pass and isolate the Ruhr from the rest of Germany.
BOURG LEOPOLD 18   Guards Armd Div encountered opposition in region North of Bridgehead near VALKENSWAARD. 101 U.S. Airborne Div not yet in EINDHOVEN.
A.D.S. moved to HECHTEL (335873)
HECHTEL 19   Guards Armoured Division in spite of opposition of antitank guns at AALST reached NIJMEGEN and linked up with 101 U.S. Airborne Div.
HECHTEL 20 1900 Ready to move up to EINDHOVEN.
20 2230 Commenced to move.
21 0235 Halted on BELGIAN DUTCH frontier near Customs Post (Belgian) having travelled nine miles in four hours.
21 0640 Moved off in direction of EINDHOVEN.
21 0845 Reached EINDHOVEN.
21 1445 Moved off from EINDHOVEN.
21 2359 Arrived at area South of NIJMEGEN (709579).
Guards Armd Bde seized and held bridge over River Waal. Forwards elements of Guards Armd Div in region of ELST. Polish Airborne Troops landed in region of ELST. Attacks by two Inf. Bdes of 43 Div S.E. and S.W. of ARNHEIM.
NIJMEGEN 22   12 K.R.R.C. and one Sqn of 13/18 Hussars crossing river to advance and clear area immediately south of ARNHEIM and then to link up with 1 Br. Parachute Div in ARNHEIM.
22   Operation for 12 K.R.R.C. cancelled.
NIJMEGEN 23   The L. of C. to NIJMEGEN were cut yesterday and remained impassable till mid-day today. The road was secured by tanks and infantry of an S.S. Div. One Bde of Guards Armd Div restored the position.
23   Paratroops in ARNHEIM having a difficult time and elements of 1 Br. Para Div had to surrender, owing to lack of food and ammunition, in the Eastern outskirts of ARNHEIM.
Two brigades of 43 Div with 4/7 Dragoons and 13/18 Hussars in support were in position S.W. and S.E. of River Rhine(lower) at ARNHEIM. ELST 7070 was heavily shelled. A.D.S. 168 Lt Fd Amb remains at 707579.
NIJMEGEN 24   12 K.R.R.C., 4/7 Dragoons and 13/18 Hussars now across river at NIJMEGEN.
12 K.R.R.C. going westward to area 5574 5669.
NIJMEGEN 25   Contact with Airborne and Paratroops in ARNHEIM difficult. Traffic over river and bridge difficult but some supplies ferried across in barges. Probable change of plan imminent. 50 and 52 Divs coming into area between NIJMEGEN and ARNHEIM.
NIJMEGEN 26   During the night 1400 Airborne Troops were evacuated from ARNHEIM owing to their position becoming untenable. Supply route now open.
NIJMEGEN 27   8 Armd Bde static. 12 K.R.R.C. holding line between River Waal and WOODEWARD and River Neder Rijn 547735. about 200 enemy infantry crossed south over River Neder Rijn and established themselves on South side of the river at 5674 and 5975.
4/7 Dragoons and 13/18 Hussars withdrawn to harbour area in region of Bde H.Q. (669672)
Sherwood Rangers Yeo still in support of the Americal Para. Bn south of River Waal on German Border.
NIJMEGEN 28   Bde not actively engaged.
168 Lt Fd Amb bombed by enemy aircraft 4 times during the day. Anti personnal bombs only dropped. Capt Hann, 1 Staff Sgt and two O.Rs received slight injuries. One trailer and 3 ambilance cars damaged.
NIJMEGEN 29   Railway Bridge at NIJMEGEN damaged beyone immediate repair durin the night by ? Germans coming downstream in a boat. Road bridge put out of action temporarily by bombing.
Patients evacuated over river by ferry. Capt. J. Kraus reported for duty.
NIJMEGEN 30   Message received that 168 Lt Fd Amb was to concentrate in area 685575 689570 by 0800 hours 1 Oct 44.

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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.