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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.

WAR DIARY
or
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Army Form C.2118
Unit: 2nd Household Cavalry Regt.
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. H. Abel Smith
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
B.L.A. 1   Adv from VILLIERS BRETTONEUX to ARRAS. 2 HCR moved off at first light and crossed the SOMME by the bridge at CORBIE, captured the day before by D Sqn. B Sqn rt, C Sqn left, with A Sqn doing a right flank guard and linking up with the Americans. The day started with a chapter of accidents as owing to misunderstanding, new orders giving a new objective for the Gds Armd Div were not received by 2 H.C.R. till after the adv had started. Lieut Winterbottom was sent out as L.O. to pass the new orders to A and B Sqn but his scout car was shot up by friendly Thunderbolts, and all maps were burnt. It was not till 1200 hrs that the change of orders was communicated by air to the Sqn. Meanwhile B Sqn had come up against a tough proposition as they ran into an SS Battle Gp at ALBERT. An Armd car was lost and the support tp could not initially be extracted from the town - this was followed in on another route by another tp and the support tp who before long found themselves thoroughly embroiled. Capt Ward, 2 I.C. B Sqn and several O.R.s were prisoners for the day but F.F.I. and the retreat of the SS Gp left them free the next day. Capt Ward's story which tells how he started by posing as the medical officer and ended in French dungarees is most exciting. Indicidentally the M.O. lost his vehicle which was recovered intact the next day in the town. Meanwhile the rest or B Sqn had made progress by bypassing BAPAUME as far as the outskirts of ARRAS while 2 W.G. in the centre and C Sqn on the left had got right fwd ground to the objective which was the high ground to the N.W. of ARRAS. ARRAS itself was cleared with the help of the F.F.I. by 2 W.G. Along the route a deal of tpt was shot up and all the way even as far back as Div HQ enemy could be seen being hunted out of the woods and trenches by the F.F.I. and large dumps of prisoners were made in local jails where they were guarded by F.F.I. A Sqn contacted US forces and was given, together 1 Tp B Sqn the role, during the night, of watching the exits from BAPAUME. 2 HCR harboured to the NORTH of ARRAS almost on the VIMY Ridge. It was a foul wet night and one could not help casting ones mind back to the 1914-18 War when so many Household Cavalrymen had fought under so much worse conditions in the some area. RCM Jobson alone in 2 HCR had been in the same area in the last war and well remembered it.
2   Regt less D Sqn adv from ARRAS to just WEST of DOUAI preparatory to the big push to BRUSSELS the next day. D Sqn were given the job of recceing the crossings of the SCARPE to the NE of ARRAS; The Sqn pushed forward to HEMIL LIETARD where they initially met opposition but this soon cleared up and they held the bridges there till they were taken over by the 11 Armd Div. Meanwhile A Sqn Tp co-operating with 32 Gds Bde in holding the crossing at DOUAI. Later in the evening C Sqn sent two patrols on a route recce on the two C.Ls for 3 Sep. These patrols had orders to get as far as the Belgian frontier but they started too late and the light failed them before the recce was complete.
3   Gds Armd Div Op SABOT which was the adv from area WEST of DOUAI to BRUSSELS. This adv was intended to be preceded by a tremendous air bombardment and parachute dropping progamme in order that the flak sites in area TOURNAI might be eliminated but as usual the air suport was not forthcoming. In fact this was probably lucky as it meant an early start which gave leading Sqns longer time for the long drive to BRUSSELS. 2 HCR adv 2 up in front of Gds Armd Div, A rt, C left, B followed A on the right centre line with the missing of protecting the right flank if an open flank developed. In fact the Americans were right forward and were across our line of adv for 25 miles. They were at this time static through lack of petrol but their infantry were holding many of the important bridges. At first the adv went a good deal faster on the left than on the right, A Sqn had a more difficult route and had to carry out an extensive route recce in the early stages. A Sqn also met opposition from enemy groups about 2 coys strong in each of the towns on their route ENGHIEN – ATH – HAL. This opposition had to be cleared up with the help of 2 W.G. in each case. Much tpt and soft vehs were shot up - this was especially the case at ATH where B Sqn got a sub-unit behind the enemy before they pulled out. Towards evening A Sqn got right into BRUSSELS and harboured at a vital rd junc to the N.E. - there was spasmodic firing in the town but the chief trouble was the mobbing of the crowds. On the left centre line C Sqn made rapid progress and by 1430 hrs were some 6 kms from BRUSSELS. There they were held up by a strong S flank held by the Germans getting out of BRUSSELS, and they had a rather sticky time till the tks got forward two hours later. There was a good deal of Bazooka fire - Lieut Hopkinson's car was knocked out. Lieut Hopkinson was taken prisoner but escaped the following day. Lieut Paget was wounded in the leg. C Sqn had a patrol in BRUSSELS by 2500 hrs but this was chased out by 88mm fire. RHQ then closed up and harboured with D Sqn who had been given the task of protecting Div HQ in the area LIEU St PIERRE. This Sqn had a scout car knocked out during the night by to half tracked S.P. guns. About 300 P.Ws were taken and, as was the drill, handed over to the Maquis and the Armee Blanche. Both these latter organisations really proved of enormous value for rounding up the many stray Germans who were trying to escape through the woods and who really only wanted someone to surrender to. They also provided guides and interpreters and incidentally masses of rumours. 2 HCR was thus the first allied troops into both BELGIUM and BRUSSELS.
4   It was originally intended that 2 HCR should move into the barracks in BRUSSELS but as Comd 30 Corps was shot at by a tank on the main supply route WEST of BRUSSELS, 2 Sqns (B & C) had to be despatched WEST again to protect these routes back to ATH. In fact there were still parties of enemy wandering about on the SOUTH flank more especially as the Americans were not yet up on this flank being bogged down for want of petrol. When these parties had two or three anti-tank guns or tanks they were apt to become aggressive and formidable. A Sqn were left on the rd junc in BRUSSELS till relieved later in the evening by 231 Bde of 50 Div. D Sqn were placed in sp of a Grenadier Gp who were to go forward to seize the bridges in LOUVAIN over the DYLE. RHQ 2 HCR remained at LIEU ST PIERRE. Commns were thus at this stage desperately stretched, 2 HCR was in the middle of an elogated line and BRUSSELS was in between them and D Sqn while A Sqn was in the middle of the city. It was indeed a miracle that messages were got through. 1 Tp each B & C Sqns comd by Lieut Palmer and Capt Wrottesley respectively, and C.O. and Adjt acted as escort to GOC Gds Armd Div in a processional march into BRUSSELS. Gds Armd Div preceded the Belgian Bde on this march which was a most remarkable sight with literally the whole of BRUSSELS lining the streets and cheering. Meanwhile batches of prisoners were being marched about by the Armee Blanche who were firing their rifles in the air and at one moment German 88's fired a salvo into the middle of the town. Main HQ Gds Armd Div was established in the Square in front of the PALAIS ROYALE with Main HQ 30 Corps moved to the grounds of the CHATEAU ROYAL at LAEKEN.
4   Special Order of the day by Comd Gds Armd Div. Appx A
5   B & C Sqns were on same task of watching L of C till the evening when they were relieved and brought into reserve at LIEU ST PIERRE. D Sqn seized the main bridge at LOUVAIN and their att RE's did a fine job of work in removing the bombs which were under the bridge. The Tp which seized the bridge was Lieut Hanbury’s - the Tp adv for the last mile under heavy small arms and mortar fire and was also heavily counter attacked by SS tps. The tp held this vital bridge for one hour before relieved by the Grenadier Gp. A Sqn remained in BRUSSELS being feted by the locals.
6   2 HCR adv with Gds Armd Div up to the ALBERT Canal. A rt D left, C and B in reserve. A Sqn made steady progress at first but some 5 miles EAST of LOUVAIN came up against some stiffish opposition covering the ALBERT Canal Bridges; however the canal was reached only to find that all the bridges to the front were blown on both A and D Sqn fronts. A Sqn tried further to the SOUTH and after a toughish battle in company with 2 WG they reached the Br at BEERINGEN to find it also blown though the bridge abutments were still standing. A bridgehead was soon formed by the inf but mainly owing to the desperate weather, it poured all night, the bridge was not completed until 0230 hrs 7 Sep. 2 HCR remained with HQ 5 Gds Bde till evening when they moved to 32 Gds Bde who were due to precede 5 Gds Armd Bde over the canal.
7   2 WG preceded B Sqn over the BEERINGEN Br but came up against a good deal of opposition from snipers and one or two SP guns in the village. This held things up a good deal and though Tac HQ 2 HCR and HQ 32 Gds Bde went forward to cross the Br progress could not be made and they went back to their night position some three miles WEST of the Bridge. Eventually 2 WG pushed through BEERINGEN and thence EAST and later NORTH to HECHTEREN and HECHTEL. B Sqn followed them but were unable to carry out much recconnaissance as they were sandwiched in behind the tanks. B Sqn Sp Tp had two White Scout Cars knocked out by an 88 mm SP gun which remained hidden when the tanks passed through. Lieut Corah lost his arm (left) and Tpr Higham was killed. CoH Wileman was unluckily killed by shell fire which landed in his Sqn area near the bridge.
8   This was another slow day - W.G. Gp had much tough fighting but eventually found a way to the WEST of the HELCHTEREN – HECHTEL rd. B Sqn moved to area SOUTH of HELCHTEREN where they were joined by D Sqn. HQ 2 HCR moved with HQ 32 Gds Bde in the evening to area HEUSDEN. C Sqn was responsible for protection of HQ 32 Gds Bde. A Sqn moved NORTH short of HELCHTEREN protecting guns of 55 Fd Regt.
9   An inactive day for 2 HCR. B Sqn take over A Sqn's job protecting gun lines. C Sqn still responsible for protection of 32 Gds Bde HQ. B and D Sqns meet a certain amount of mortaring etc in the HELCHTEREN area which was cleared up during the day by 1 G.Gp.
10   HQ 2 HCR move back to HQ Gds Armd Div for Op which started at first light to secure crossings over the ESCAUT Canal. A Sqn left with 5 Gds Armd Bde. D Sqn right with 32 Gds Bde. Progress at first was very slow as HECHTEL had to be bye passed and the only route for adv was across rather boggy country. A Sqn were passed through the tanks just NORTH of HECHTEL but met an anti-tank gun on the main centre line. A loop to the WEST found was tried first which was not very successful but an easterly loop by Lieut Creswell's tp found a way clear by EXCEL – OVERPELT to the canal at the GROOTE BARRIER. Lieut Creswell got into a factory area which overlooked the bridge, he saw that the bridge was intact and that it was held by enemy inf and 88 AA guns sited in an anti-tank role, he therefore wirelessed for the L G.Gp to come forward. A plan was laid on and in the dusk 1 G.Gp tanks rushed the bridge. The demolition charges having first been removed by REs and Guardsmen under heavy fire. Germans at this time were difficult and it was eventually on 2 HCR net that the infm that the br had be seized was relayed back to Div. The Grenadiers who had by this time cleared up the X rds SOUTH of the br were able to send fwd patrols and together 1 G. and Grenadier Gds consolidated. D Sqn moved up to area of the factory A Sqn harboured with Grenadier Gp near the vital X rds SOUTH of the Br. B Sqn remained with 55 Fd Regt. C and RHQ in Div HQ area just NORTH of BEERINGEN.
11   D Sqn at first light pushed patrols over the ESCAUT canal. Meanwhile just SOUTH of the canal a counter attack developed by 3 German SP guns and some inf who were cut off. D Sqn HQ became involved and in the morning mist Major Ward's Staghound was embroiled with a Panther at a range some 100-150 yds. Eventually some British tanks worked round the flank and shot the Panther up. The tps pushing up towards VALKENSWAARDE and EINDHOVEN met enemy inf with Bazookas. Eventually Lieut Jardine with two scout cars made a dash down the main road – he got within a mile of VALKENSWAARDE having encountered 1 tank and 1 anti tank gun and some inf and gained very valuable infm. A Sqn watched the left frank towards LOMMEL – B Sqn remained with 55 Fd Regt – C Sqn and Div HQ moved up just WEST of HECHTEL which still held out. C Sqn sent patrols to watch the exits from HECHTEL and in the evening protected Div HQ.
12   WG Gp attacked and cleared HECHTEL by 1400 hrs. Approx 350 Germans were killed an 400 taken prisoner. They fought very hard and took a lot of dislodging – C Sqn hy tp blocked the NE exits from HECHTEL and had quite a good shoot. A Sqn still patrolled to the WEST of BOURG LEOPOLD extension canal. Lieut Murray’s hy tp had a particularly successful shoot brewing up an SP 75 mm at 1500 yds and scoring five bulls in 5 shots. All Sqns and RHQ moved into an area on heathery ground between HECHTEL and De GROOTE BARRIER. The idea was that Gds Armd Div should have four clear days to refit and reequip before the next op.
13/16 incl   2 HCR refitting and doing maintenance. For the first two days a composite Sqn stood by for recce and patrols were sent out to the west where the Belgian Armd Cars working under comd 8 Armd Bde were contacted. Before the period ended 2 HCR were up to full strength in vehs and personnel less 1 Armd Car which was a remarkable feat by the "Q" services when the distance travelled and the fact that maintenance was still over the NORMANDY BEACHES was taken into account. 2 HCR came under permanent comd G.A.D. again when Armd C Regts were reallotted on the basis of one Regt per Armd Div. The following are a few notes on the method of working adopted by 2 HCR during these rapid adv with G.A.D. 1 Sqn was usually allotted to each Bde Gp. They worked virtually with one of the Bde HQs or Adv Div HQ. Distances were apt to be stretched especially at night but comns were maintained. When a Sqn were held up frontally it immediately attempted to loop both right and left of the C.Ls. Tanks moved close behind leading Sqns and when trouble was met were at close call. Sqns were not under comd Bdes but were in sp of them under direct comd of CO 2 HCR who thus could co-ordinate recce.
17   Operation MARKET GARDEN. This was a most ambitious project to drive 30 Corps over the Dutch frontier, the MEUSE - the WAAL and the NEDERIJN and establish G.A.D. on the shore of the ZUIDER ZEE. 3 Para and Glider borne Divs we landed in daylight - 101 US Div in area EINDHOVEN – 82 US Div in area GRAVE and JIHMEGEN and 1 Brit Airborne Div in area ARNHEM. The object of the airborne forces was to secure the crossings over the various rivers and canal - the object of 30 Corps was to drive NORTH as fast as possible linking up with the Airborne tps en route. Gds Armd Div was ordered to lead the advance. The initial advance was based on the initial capture of VALKENSWAARDE after which it was anticipated that it would be a fast rush to the MEUSE and RHINE brs. The initial attack was preceded by a very heavy barrage which was followed up by the Irish Guard Gp of 5 Gds Armd Bde - B Sqn 2 HCR followed I.G. Gp, HQ 5 Gds Bde with Tac HQ 2 HCR following B Sqn. Zero was 1400 hrs and progress was not rapid owing to enemy with Bazookas and the difficulty of getting off the main roads. I.G. lost 8 tanks just inside the Dutch frontier and two of B Sqn Daimler Armd Cars were blown up on mines.
17   However by evening I.G. and B Sqn were in VALKENSWAARDE and the crust appeared broken. C Sqn had the task of recconnoitering an additional C.L. on the EAST after VALKENSWARDE was passed so were not called upon on 17 Sep. D Sqn were given the unenviable task with 2 Tps of S.P.M. 10 A/Tk guns under comd, of moving and protecting A Ech or Gds Armd Div while A Sqn had the same task with the Div RASC column. Neither of these Sqns moved 17 Sept. Tac HQ 2 HCR harboured on the main rd short of VALKENSWAARDE. It was a terribly wet uncomfortable night and the column moved forward again at first Iight.
18   I.G. Gp was soon held up by 2 Panther and some S.P. guns at AALST - B Sqn tried hard to find a way to EINDHOVEN round to the EAST but the going was very bad more especially over the bombed aerodrome and no satisfactory route was found. C Sqn meanwhile moved forward and recceed EAST but came up against strong opposition in the wooded country by SS Inf with Bazookas. In wooded country the enemy inf who was resolute with the Bazooka was proving the most formidable weapon against the Armd Car patrol and there is really little answer to it except the keenest observation. Progress by the afternoon was limited to one patrol with Capt Balding penetrating to the WEST of AALST and reaching EINDHOVEN where 101 U.S. Airborne Div was contacted and most useful information was obtained about the bridge, which was blown, over the WILHELMINA Canal at SON.
18   It was indeed this information relayed by Capt Balding that enabled the necessary bridging to be so positioned in the columm that the bridge could be built the same night.
18   About 1700 hrs Lieut Tabor did an excellent patrol on the Centre line at AALST and found the enemy had shifted, this enabled the Div advance to be continued and that evening Tac HQ harboured two miles short of the WILHELMINA Canal. B Sqn harbouring by the Bridge at SON. A and D Sqns had not yet moved forward with their columns. It is notewothy that the enthusiasm of the people at EINDHOVEN exceeded anything we had so far experienced.
18   Again the drive of RHQ through the cheering crowds in a double banked column at about thirty to forty m.p.h. in the gathering dusk was a terrifying experience.
19   The advance continued.
19   B Sqn led 5 Gds Armd Bde over the R.E. bridge at SON at first light.
19   The key places had been captured by the airborne tps and progress was rapid untiI the MAAS – WAAL Canal was reached. – the main bridge at the GRAVE – NIJMEGEN road was found not to be up to tank weight but an additional bridge at MALDEN was with the help of the airborne forces quickly found.
19   Meanwhile contact had been made by Capt Balding with the Airborne Corps HQ and with 82 U.S. Parachute Division HQ.
19   It was found that there was still fighting in NIJMEGEN and that Germans held both ends of the road bridge though the para forces held the commanding high ground to the S.W. of the Town.
19   Grenadier Gds made a great effort to get to the SOUTH of the bridge before the dark with a view to sending tanks across but this was not feasible.
19   Capt Cooper contacted the left flank of the U.S. Airborne tps discovered the most excellent OP position overlooking the bridge. This position was used the next day by all Generals from the Army Comd downwards to plan their operations.
19   Meanwhile, and this was a nightmare which was hanging over everyones head for the next week … Little except that they were hard pressed was heard of the British Airborne Division who had been dropped two days before at ARNHEM with the task of securing the bridges over the NEDERIJN.
19   RHQ harboured some 2 miles SOUTH of NIJMEGEN. Meanwhile back down the C.L. A and D Sqns were having a difficult time with their charges. In the first place a column of some 400 vehicles is the most unweildly thing for an Armd C colm to control and secondly it is almost impossible to preserve it from attack. The column was in fact attacked at the rear of D Sqn by 1 Tiger tk and some S.P. guns but no casualties were inflicted by this attack. A Sqn on the other lost some 18 R.A.S.C. vehicles in an air attack on EINDHOVEN while the colm was passing through. It was necessary for both Sqns to harbour en route and bring on their charge the next morning.
20   B Sqn were given the task of recceing Westwards between the WAAL and the MEUSE and also SOUTH of the MEUSE. They had a very satisfactory day's work: they recced 2 aerodrome sites at GRAVE and further to the WEST and they found a vast food store - the store for all German Army, WEST, at OSS. They shot up a lot of Germans crossing the various ferries and also had a good shoot against a convoy of barges led by a tug which was flying the Nazi flag. The barges were beached and the tug sank. In the afternoon an idea materialized that it might be possible to slip some Scout Cs over the WAAL ferry at TIEL in an endeavour to get contact with 1st Brit Airborne Div at ARNHEM but the ferry boat was the wrong side and the far bank was held. C Sqn were given the task of a defensive recce S.E. towards MOOK and on the SOUTH side of the MEUSE to CUYK to report on the state of bridges and ferries and to find out enemy intentions in that area. This was carried out by 2 Tps. A and D Sqns completed their escort duties by the early afternoon. During the evening Grenadier Gds Gp and U.S. Airborne tps captured the 2 bridges over the WAAL at NIJMEGEN intact.
20   This was a terrific feat and after the earlier opposition was most unexpected. It was almost unbelievable that the vast single span road bridge 2,000ft long should fall into our hands unblown most especially as it was firmly held both ends by the Huns. HQ 2 H.C.R. remained at MALDEN though HQ 5 Gds Armd Bde moved up to and later the next day across the WAAL.
20   One noteworthy thing was that for the first time since CAEN there was a good deal of enemy air activity - in fact, this morning about 60 fighter bombers were seen in the air at once. The weather was again most indifferent with low cloud and rain.
21   D Sqn put 2 tps over the WAAL at first light with 5 Gds Armd Bde. The whole sqn followed close behind but progress was very sticky - attempt was made to recce both WEST and EAST while I.G. Gp attempted to push NORTH. The enemy had however brought up a strong screen to seal off the bridgehead and continually shelled the area. D Sqn HQ had a very sticky time through 88 mm shelling and 3 White scout car radiators were holed and 1 Daimler badly damaged. D Sqn were withdrawn in the evening and reported that the difficulty was that progress off the roads was almost impossible - the roads themselves were embanked and AFVs were a sitting target for 88s or S.P. guns brought up by the enemy.
21   B Sqn continued their task of 20 Sept recceing WEST and S.W. towards S’HERTOGENBOSCH and also protecting the food dump at OSS. C Sqn provided a guard for an R.A.S.C. column drawing rations from this dump. RHQ remained situ.
22   43 Div took over from Gds Armd Div the task of attempting to reach 1 Brit and the Polish Airborne Bde who had landed 21 Sept on the SOUTH bank of the NEDERIJN. C Sqn were under comd 43 Div for this operation. At first light under cover of the morning mist 2 Tps of C Sqn at intervals of ½ hour slipped through the German lines and moving first WEST and later NORTH reached the Polish Bde who were on the SOUTH bank of the river opposite 1 Brit Airborne Div. These tps were comd by Capt . Wrottesley and Lt. Young. Meanwhile C Sqn HQ following the same route ran into trouble as 4 tks and some S.P. Guns and inf had moved down to close the route. Their leading Scout C was bazookaed and they retired with difficulty under heavy but luckily inaccurate fire from the tanks. Throughout the day 43 Div tried to get out of this perimeter defence but it was not till evening that a column of 1 Sqn of tks some inf and 10 DUKWs forced its way through to reach the Poles. Unfortunately in the half light at dusk the leading Sherman engaged Lt. Young’s Tp killing the Scout Car comd. Throughout the day Capt. Wrottesley and Lt. Young's tp had provided the sole means of communication between the Airborne Forces and 2nd Army. 1 Brit Airborne Div G.1. spoke to BGS 30 Corps via C and 2 H.C.R. Regtl Com Net. Again the driving force in arranging for the armoured column to push through in the evening was definately Major Herbert O.C. "C" Sqn. Capt. Wrottesley and Lt. Young had had hard fighting throughout the day when with the Poles and had great difficulty in preventing the Poles somewhat naturally from using as tanks their armd cars and scout cars which were the sole AFVs in the perimeter. A Sqn took over the role of B Sqn and carried out protection recce towards S'HERTZOGENBOSCH. They had several brushes with enemy infantry in the very close country of this flank. Towards evening as the main Corps axis was cut near VEGHEL A Sqn were placed in support of 32 Gds Bde who were sent SOUTH to be responsible for the corps Axis as from SOUTH of VEGHEL. A Sqn therefore recced EAST rather than WEST of the main axis. B Sqn moved just NORTH of the GRAVE Bridge to be available to assist A Sqn if required and also found an escort for RASC drawing German rations at OSS. At this time what was apt to happen was that the British drew rations in the morning - Germans in the afternoon, the Germans still being apparently quite unaware that we controlled the food dump. D Sqn were in reserve close to RHQ which remained static.
23   C Sqn less 2 tps with Polish para Bde withdrew south of NIJMEGEN in the morning. Capt. Wrottesley and Mr. Young's tp came back at first light ferrying G.1. 1 Brit Airborne Div and C.R.E. to Airborne Corps HQ. G.1 had quite an exciting experience when the Daimler Armd Car in which he was travelling became involved in a fire fight with an enemy half-track and he as loader fired off 8 rounds. Eventually his car became bogged and he had to bale out to be ferried on later by a scout car. A Sqn operated in Sp 32 Gds Bde Gp to S. and S.E. of Corps Axis and had quite a good haul of prisoners in OPLOO and St. ANTHONIS. D and B in reserve RHQ stationary.
24   2 H.C.R. less A remained in reserve. C Sqn moved into the DUTCH Barracks at NIJMEGEN, and got a good sight of how very much better continental powers look after their peace time armies than we do. The barracks were very up to date, light and airy, with very good baths etc. A Sqn continued task with 32 Gds Bde and find a good deal of enemy activity in the CUYK – GENNEP area on the MEUSE. One scout and crew (L/C. Scambler) were lost. Meanwhile the general picture was as follows: - It had not been found possible to reinforce or supply in any great strength the Brit Airborne on the NORTH bank of the LEK at ARNHEM – the position over the NIJMEGEN Bridges had been consolidated by the arrival of 43 Div - the posn on the main axis was clearing up but the axis was cut for 48 hrs out of 72 in the VEGHEL area. However 8 Corps on the right and 12 Corps on the left were moving up and this cleaned up the axis posn. 2 H.C.R. B Ech which had been cut off in the EINDHOVEN area arrived in this area. 2 H.C.R. with all Gds Armd Div had been fed on German rations from the OSS dump for 4 days and really they were quite excellent, though the troops had had to have their grumble. German air was very much more active than at any time during the whole campaign.
25   B Sqn relieve A Sqn and continue the task of watching S and SE from GRAVE. Towards evening contact was made with enemy in fair strength SOUTH of ST ANTHONIS. It was thought that they were enemy retreating before 8 Corps who were now definitely making considerable progress through GELDROP and HELMOND. All other Sqns remained in same location.
26   B Sqn continued their task of the day before. Considerable enemy forces believed to be 107 Tk Bde moved EAST across B Sqn's front from HANDEL to OPLOO and then over the MEUSE. An attempt was made to get the Typhoons on to them but they were so much employed in helping evacuate 1 Brit Airborne from NORTH of the LEK that it was not until 1600 hrs that they were available by which time the target had slipped off. Meanwhile in the HEESCH area one tp had a very good shoot against enemy cyclists coming down the road in pairs. L/Cpl Ray claimed between 30 and 40. D Sqn moved SOUTH of GRAVE to take over job of B Sqn the following day. Other locations the same.
27   The axis was now clear and 11 Armd Div of 8 Corps was now firmly established to the EAST of the axis between it and the MEUSE. The sole commitment left to 32 Gds Bde was the holding of the OSS and the clearance and the holding of HEESCH X rds immediately to the SOUTH of OSS. Recce to D Sqn was therefore limited in scope. The task allotted was to recce west from OSS and HEESCH. Is was found that HEESCH had been strongly occupied during the night by 712 Div who did not know of 30 Corps strength in the area and who were pushing EAST back to GERMANY. Gren. Gp of 32 Gds Bde cleared this place up by evening and got 170 P.Ws. D Sqn task was therefore limited but unfortunately they lost a scout car and its comd (Cpl Hart) who was Bazookaed by inf in this very cIose area. Other Sqns and RHQ static.
28   D Sqn task continues. Little of note to report. Grenadiers had another successful battle at HEESCH. LO sent to contact and pin point all posns in 11 Armd Div towards R. MEUSE. Other locations the same.
28   Letter from Arny Comd to Comd Gds Armd Div. Appx B
29   A Sqn relieved D Sqn. One patrol only used. Other Sqns remained in situ. 2 HCR played football with the Royals at NIJMEGEN and were beaten 3 - 0. A return match for that played by 1 H.C.R. at TULKARM. A bomb or shell lands in A ech area near the cook’s lorry at breakfast - 10 casualties, none serious. Nothing else to report.
30   NTR. 2 HCR moved WEST of WAAL – MEUSE canal to area NEEKBOSCH. Great air activity. A static period of build up prior to another drive was taking place. Though 2 of HOLLAND'S main waterways had been crossed the 3rd, the LEK, still bound the NORTHERN corridor to GERMANY. More inf had to be got up and the supply train strengthened before another push. Weather during September had been most indifferent. A lot of rain, cold weather and bad flying conditions continually hampered our offensives. There was no doubt that the weather favoured the HUN. Everything during these great advances had worked very smoothly and the big exercise training in ENGLAND had been absolutely invaluable. It is hoped to send in Appendices later of actual Sqn exploits.

next month

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.