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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: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Brig. E.L. Bols
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
CAZELLE 1   Preparation for move. Issue of 185 Inf Bde Mov Instr No. 2 Amdts 1 and 2 Appx 1 and 2
1   Bd Comd goes to 15 (S) Div HQ under whose comd we are placed and to 46 Bde HQ from whom we are to take over. 185 Inf Bde to move ahead of Div.
GRANVILLE 2 0800 Move of Bde Gp to conc area. Bde HQ moves to area NE of CAUMONT (GRANVILLE). Recce of new areas carried out and Bde HQ moves to area NORTH of BOIS DE L’HOMME. Bde HQ recce party captured four PW during the afternoon.
2 2330 Bde Comd called to 3 Div HQ (Tac).
3 0200 Conference of all comds. Our role again changed. We are now ordered to go under comd 11 Armd Div who are making good progress against retreating enemy.
3 0700 Bde Comd and IO go to 11 Armd Div HQ at CARAVILLE.
3   Main Body and Bde HQ (Main) move behind. However, owing to slowness of progress on our left where Gds Armd Div were meeting stiffer opposition, 11 Armd Div was unable to push fwd as fast as was desired. 11 Armd Div inf and tks were well fwd and 185 Inf Bde was ordered to clear area behind them and move fwd in sp. This was carried out on two routes so that by evening 2 Warwick had passed under comd 29 Armd Bde at FRESNES, KSLI had cleared up to BEAULIEU (Pt 176) and 1 Norfolk was in res in ROMNESIL prepared to attack located opposition at LA BISTIERE in the morning. Div HQ with Bde Tac HQ was shelled by observed fire in the afternoon and had to move. By evening Bde Tac HQ (Bde Comd, BM, IO and one LO) were located by 11 Armd Div HQ just NORTH of CARAVILLE and Bde Main HQ was 500 yds away over the road.
CARAVILLE 4   A small counter attack on 2 KSLI was repelled.
4   Lt. C. Jarvis 2 Warwick joins as temporary LO.
4   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Adm Order No. 9 Appx 3
5   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Adm Order No. 10 ,, 4
5   AFW 3008 ,, 5
5   AFW 3009E (Bde HQ) ,, 6
5   AFW 3009E (Def Pl) ,, 7
5   AFW 3009E (LAD) ,, 8
5   Bde Comd and IO visit 159 Inf Bde HQ to discuss take over to-morrow. Also visit 29 Armd Bde who comd 2 Warwick.
FOURGES 6   Bde HQ move to area just NORTH of FOURGES. 1 Norfolk moved up to SOURDIVAL to take over from 3 Mons by daylight. As the rd was under incessant observed HF they sustained hy cas and 3 Mons was unable to withdraw. In the event this proved providential for the combined str of the two bns barely equalled four coys. They came to be known as the “Normons”. All bns however were now under comd 159 Bde and this HQ remained a head without a body.
6   During the day news came through that 10 SS Pz Div had been identified on our front and had moved up with the intention of counter attacking that night. This attack developed at about 1600 hrs on the Norfolk and Warwick posns (at SOURDEVAL and LE BAS PERIERS) and continued for about four hrs. It was held although several posns were overrun and bn HQ personnel (in the case of the Norfolk) were engaged in close combat. Five enemy tks were destroyed and a large number of cas caused to the enemy.
7   During this period the units suffered very hyly from shelling and mortar fire. Bde HQ was luckier. This HF continued day and night and very hy cas resulted. The posns were badly overlooked by the enemy, who att great importance to the recapture of the high ground on which we were sitting.
8   1 Norfolk and 2 KSLI came back under comd 185 Inf Bde HQ who also took over comd of 1 Mon and 1 Hereford. The route to 1 Norfolk was so exposed that only essential traffic was able to get through by day. 185 Inf Bde HQ took over responsibility for the sector.
8 1200 'O' Gp to plan adv tomorrow on to LA BOTTRIE ridge, from which it appears enemy have withdrawn. This has to tie in with an op by 9 Bde on our right. R Scots Greys (4 Armd Bde) came in sp.
9   2 KSLI adv to LA BOTTRIE ridge without incident and patrolled nearly to VIESSOIX. Relief by Gds Armd Div began at 1800 hrs.
9   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Mov Instr No. 3. Appx 9
9   Move of Bde Gp to assembly area at LA RECULEY. 2 Warwick return under comd. Gds Armd Div take over sector from us. 1 Norfolk remain until nightfall before withdrawing. The period the Bde spent in this area was very costly and exhausting in view of the very hy and accurate HF that the enemy was able to bring down. In addition the counter attacks against 2 Warwick and 1 Norfolk were very determined and hy as the enemy was determined to recapture the ground and had brought up a new fmn (10 SS Pz Div) to carry this out.
9   Bde Comd received letter from GOC 11 Armd Div (Lt.Gen. Roberts) thanking us for the manner in which we had carried out a very difficult role.
9   Lt. C.J. Forrest wounded by shell-fire in his jeep on way to SOURDEVAL.
LA RECULEY 9   Bde HQ moves to LA RECULEY. Bde Comd goes to Div and returns with orders for Bde Gp to move SOUTH directed on TINCHBRAY, clearing enemy opposition along a very unclearly defined centre line. The op to be one of speed and units to move in TCVs with sp of R Scots Greys.
10 0800 Commander conference to tie up details of to-day's move.
10   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Mov Instr No. 4 Appx 10
10   Issue of 185 Inf Bde Adm Order No. 11 ,, 11
PONT DE VAUDRY 10   Bde Gp moves to PONT DE VAUDRY area for conc. Bns are not really in good condition for their action to-morrow in view of their very hy mauling, and too little is known of the enemy opposition to be expected.
10 2000 Conference to settle pts for to-morrow's adv. To be led by 2 KSLI followed by 2 Warwick. 1 Norfolk has not yet moved from LA RECULEY as it had not had any rest at all yet in view of the night withdrawal.
11   Adv begins. Very little opposition encountered at first, but a number of mines across and alongside rds. Very hot weather made going very slow. KSLI bumped enemy on Pt 312 and were unable to dislodge them by dusk. 2 Warwick and 1 Norfolk moved up behind. Bde Comd fwd all day in Scout car. At night Tac HQ moved fwd to VAUDRY.
12   2 Warwick push fwd on right of 2 KSLI incurring some cas from mines and occupy x rds SOUTH EAST of 312, which was occupied by 2 KSLI without opposition.
12   Norfolk stay in ROULIERS. Bde HQ (Main) moved up to Tac HQ and came under a sudden burst of shelling which seriously wounded Camp Comd (Lt. J.R. Whittle) who later died and also wounded Sigs Offr 1 (Capt. M.A. Philp) Int Cpl (L/Cpl. Poulton) and two others.
12   AFW 3008 Appx 12
12   AFW 3009E (Bde HQ) ,, 13
12   AFW 3009E (Def Pl) ,, 14
12   AFW 3009E (LAD) ,, 15
13 2000 Attack 2 Warwick onto high ground NORTH of CREULEY, broken up by very accurate and hy mortar fire. 1 Norfolk take over posn of two coys 2 Warwick who return to posn of Bn HQ and reorganise on two coy basis in the same manner as 1 Norfolk.
13   In view of lack of progress of our left which leaves us with an open flank and results in such tragedies as the Warwick attack, as they were completeIy overlooked, and in view of 8 Bde’s progress, 185 Bde is told to stay still and to be pinched out. The Americans have taken TINCHBRAY and 3 Div is directed on FLERS.
14   Quiet part except for patrolling. Long patrols were undertaken with R/T comn and it was found that the enemy had withdrawn considerably.
15   3 Scots Gds from (6 Gds Tank Bde) came in sp of Bde Gp.
16   Capt. N.P.K. Heaton joins as Sig Offr 1.
16   Capt. F. Knott joins as EME.
16   Lt. J.H. Coules joins as Camp Comd.
16   Lt. W.A. Weinberg joins as LO III.
TINCHBRAY 17   Move of Bde Gp to area SE of TINCHBRAY. Bde HQ moved to MOULIN DES COMMUNES. A period of rest and reorganisation began. The battle went away from us very fast untiI except for 8 Corps HQ, 3 Div HQ and ourselves there was no troops within the area. We watched the battle of the FALAISE gap, the crossing of the SOMME and the entry in BELGIUM from a distance. Perhaps here and there a slight nostalgia for the pursuit battle which had so far been denied us. But the units were badly in need of rest. The breaking up of 59 Div provided us with a number of trained men and fortunately the Div contained two bns of our own regts (Warwick and Norfolk). By the end of the month we were overstrength.
17   Training was vigourously carried out and included coop with tks, patrolling, firing weapons etc. The Bde HQ Def Pl had a day and night out with Lt. Weinberg.
17   A number of entertainments (cinema and ENSA shows were available) and we had our first Bde HQ church service since D Day.
17   We were now on the Army bndy and a certain amount of liaison was carried out with the Americans but their rapid adv soon put an end to this. In one case this was fortunate as one US bty had carried out a practice shoot on our bde area, but without causing casualties. During the rest period which lasted until the end of the month there were few outstanding events. Sleep, baths and relaxation were the prime necessities of life.
19   AFW 3008 (Offrs) Appx 16
19   AFW 3009E (Bde HQ) ,, 17
19   AFW 3009E (Def Pl) ,, 18
19   AFW 3009E (LAD) ,, 19
24/27   The I Secs of the Bde carried out a check of all enemy abandoned eqpt in a certain area of the “Falaise Gap”.
26   AFW 3008 (Offrs) Appx 20
26   AFW 3009E (Bde HQ) ,, 21
26   AFW 3009E (Def Pl) ,, 22
26   AFW 3009E (LAD) ,, 23
28   Lt.Col. Rawlinson of 21 Army Gp HQ spoke to all offrs on the FFI.

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Source: Jeroen Koppes,, 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.