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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: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. E.L. Luce, DSO, TD
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   Only small local engagements with enemy on bde front. Bn moves up to re-inforce 5 Wilts in area 6972 but situation allows bn to return to former conc area (6769). Enemy shelling in area VALBURG (6669) particularly heavy. Small number of cas in personnel and vehs of A ech and S coy.
2   C coy under comd of 5 Wilts stop enemy infiltrating between 4 Som LI and 5 Wilts at 705728. Small parties of en show up on 4 Som LI and 5 Wilts front during the day but are easily dealt with. 3 deserters give themselves up to the 5 Wilts and give infm of an en night attack on that front which turned out to be correct, the attack commencing at approx 2245 hrs. There were also signs of an attack on the 4 Som LI front. Both these attacks were heavily engaged by arty, 4.2 mortars and MMGs resulting in en retiring under smoke screen and almost certainly suffering heavy cas.
3   Bn relieves 5 Wilts with fwd coy posns at 705728, 705735, 698747 (6 NW). On their way to take over, D coy suffer cas from shell fire owing to area being lit up by fire, also caused by shelling. Shelling and mortar fire continues during the night at a steady rate.
4   Today en shelling and mortar fire has been very heavy in the fwd areas and also in the orchard occupied by Bn HQ this barrage being exceptionally heavy and resulting in Bn HQ moving to new area. D coy successfully engage small parties of enemy E of rly in area (708755).
5   Our arty very active in engaging en posns and gun areas. During the night a large party of enemy infiltrated into D coy lines which are successfully dealt with during the day, 50 PW being taken. During the early evening the en have been very active but every movement, whether intended for attack or otherwise has been severely dealt with by arty and 4.2 mortars. One party of en very close to fwd posns of D coy were successfully dealt with by one single 25 pdr gun. Total number of PW taken during the day were 93. At approx 2100 hrs the relief of bn by a unit of 101 US Airborne Div commences, each coy moving to a fwd assembly area in square 6968 from these moving to bde conc area 6665 this being completed by 0500 hrs 6 Oct.
6   Bn remains in conc area (6665) resting for most of the day.
7 & 8   No change. Bn still resting.
9   Bn leaves conc area in bde convoy and relieves 1 S Lancs (8 Inf Bde) in area (7252 12 SW/E). During the latter part of the evening a large number of shells fall in D coy area killing 2 men, and wounding 5, incl Lt. S.C. Clarke and 1 sjt.
10   Civilians evacuated from fwd areas, this being done because of the en being able to correct his arty fire during darkness of previous night, thereby giving suspicions of en agents observing the results of arty fire. Rain falling all day long causing certain amount of discomfort to tps unable to find cover to sleep in.
11   Situation remains quiet today. Evacuation of civilians and searching of houses in fwd coy areas continues.
12   CO and IO make recce of 5 DCLI posns in area (7451 12 NW/E) in readiness for take over tomorrow, otherwise bn situation quiet. Cinema show provided for certain number of men from each coy.
13   Bn relieves 5 DCLI (214 Bde) in front line. Relief carried out during daylight. Fwd posns in wood from 741512 749517 (12 NW/E). Take over completed without incident. Large amount of shelling by en during the night on fwd posns but mostly landing in rear of Bn HQ. No cas reported.
14   48 hrs leave to BRUSSELS commences, 1 offr and 10 men allowed to go each time. Very littke shelling during the day on both sides but our arty increased during the evening. En inf very quiet. Our patrols from previous evening reported only small amount of noise at several points. During the afternoon A coy patrol encounter party of 7 en lying in hollow 2 of which were shot but a stoppage on Bren enabled the remainder to escape. One deserter came in through A coy lines. He could speak English and was able to explain the posn of remainder of coy. He also stated that in a letter from home his father advised him to desert - this being written in a personal code. Party of en 20 strong observed moving fwd on A coys right flank engaged by mortars which forces them to lie low or retire but nothing was seen or heard of this party during the night.
15   Patrols from previous night report hearing few en at certain points but none actually contacted. Steady shelling of enemy posns by arty and mortars during the day. There has been a very noticeable absence of enemy counter fire today, even a few strafes by our MMGs did not produce the usual reply by mortars.
16   Arty continue to fire at steady rate during the day on located en posns. Very little en action again today. D coy send night patrol to recce the ground as far as ELSENHOF (789558) over German border but are turned back by MG fire in area 776553. 2 deserters come in through A coy lines belonging to 1 coy/76 Trg Bn, both were aged about 18.
17   Situation remains unchanged with en still keeping quiet, although sentries reported quite a lot of long range shells going over our lines during the night. At approx 1900 hrs the en raided our standing patrol posn directly in front of our fwd line, which was only manned during the day, making the attack unsuccessful.
18   Very little activity today, except for intermittent arty and 3" mortar fire owing to continuous rain which has made the ground very muddy and difficult for tpt. Despite the weather normal night patrols went out.
19   No change.
20   Address by corps comd to offrs and sjts representing units under comd 43 Div. Subject:- Story of advance from R. SEINE up to present situation. No change in situation except for an increase of shelling by en on our right flank. Weather has been fine today but ground is still very muddy.
21 & 22   No change. Patrols carried out during night.
23   Posns taken over by 5 Dorsets (130 Bde). Bn moves to res rest area MALDEN (7055 1/25000 12 NW).
24   Cleaning of weapons and equipmaent otherwise men have easy day.
25-27   Trg by rifle coys was carried out during this period, incl co-operation with tanks on pl/tp basis, patrols as by day and by night, zeroing of weapons. Arrangements were made for as many as possible to visit cinema and ENSA shows.
28   Bn relieves 1 Worcs in area 7453 (1/25000 12 NW) occupying res bn area.
29-31   Situation rather quiet bn still in res. Patrols carried out each night with object of finding out which houses were occupied on whole div front. Each night bns had to send patrols to investigate about 5 or 6 houses.
31   WEATHER - - Normal for time of year.
31   BN STRENGTH - Officers = 27 ORs = 737.

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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.