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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: 15th/19th Hussars
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt Col A.D. Taylor, MC.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
B.L.A. 1   The Regiment under command 53 Div moved up at first light to the area of MARLERS. We arrived there about 1500 hrs having met no opposition on the way and having liaised with the Canadians who were on our left and who appeared to be doing very well.
France 1   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 98 and 73.
1   Regt continued adv North East from the SOMME protecting the left rear of Div which was advancing on three routes to area just North West of ARRAS.The Regt less 'C' Sqn were on the left route, 'C' Sqn on the centre route. The Regt less 'C' Sqn moved off about 1030hrs and advanced with no opposition or incident at the rear of the column. 'C' Sqn on the centre route dit not move until about 1300hrs. Adv continued without incident to River AUTHIE. 'A' Sqn were dropped off to take up posn astride road just East of DOULIENS about 1787 to intercept any enemy attempting to withdraw North East up that road and Recce forward into DOULIENS. They remained in this position until last light taking a number of prisoners and destroying a considerable quantity of enemy tpt and equipment. 'B' Sqn took up a position about LIENCOURT 2499 to protect rear flank of Div. They found a considerable force of enemy in the area of this place and ESTREE a little further West and with the help of a Recce patrol under Lieut Butler took about 140 prisoners, destroyed at least one A/tk gun and a quantity of enemy tpt and equipment. 'C' Sqn on coming up later took up position in area HABARCQ 3502 and AVESNES 3099 facing South East. RHQ was just West of AVESNES and was joined there at last light by 'A' Sqn, and the Regt harboured for the night in these positions.
2   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 85 and 73.
2   A very wet morning. The Regt continued adv in a North Easterly direction in similar role of protecting left flank and rear of Div. In the afternoon Regt took up posns as follows:- 'B' Sqn about 430155 just North West of AIX-NOULETT, 'A' Sqn on high ground North West of X Rds 4818 and 'C' Sqn on spur further to the North East. RHQ was on the high ground 4114. The Regt remained in these posns for the night which was somewhat disturbed by continued alarmist civilian reports of enemy coming from the North West.
France 3   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 73, 74, 63, 64, 53, 54
3   Adv continued with the objective ANTWERP. Regt continued in the same role. 'B' Sqn had a minor battle in the area ATTICHES 6823 dealing with about two SP A/Tk guns and some other opposition which were obstructing the Div Centre Line. Remainder of the Regt were in contact with the enemy during the afternoon and evening to the North and North West of SECLIN 6627 against enemy in some strength on the left flank in the area HOUPLIN 6428. After protecting this left flank until the whole Div had passed and other formations come up from behind, the Regt re-concentrated just North East of SECLIN and continued the adv thoughout the night. During this night the Regt moved through the area where we had been billeted for some time in 1939 and 1940 and from where we had advanced into Belgium in May 1940. The Regt crossed the frontier into Belgium in the course of the night and halted about 0600hrs next morning a few miles West of SOTTEGEN 2459.
Belgium 4   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 54, 43, 44, 45, 24 and 34. NW Europe 1/25000 Sheet 3.
4   Regt filled up after its night drive on the road about 1856 and there received orders to take up positions with 1st Herefords blocking the Southern and South Eastern exits from TERMONDE 4576 and ALOST 4066. C.O. went forward to ALOST to plan position with C.O. 1st Herefords. Regt following at best speed under Major M.S. Balmain. Before the Regt arrived up information was received of enemy moving South East towards ALOST from GHENT and 1st and 2nd troops 'A' Sqn, the first part of the Regt to arrive were ordered rapidly to re-inforce Coy 1st Herefords in a position astride the road about 3667 to block this threat. Remainder of Regt was disposed as follows:- 'C' Sqn blocking the road running South East from TERMONDE about LEBBEKE 4772, 'A' Sqn blocking the road running East and South East from ALOST about BOUKHOUT 4463, 'B' Sqn in reserve about 4767, RHQ near MELDERT 4765. Shortly after taking up these positions the 1st Herefords were withdrawn and Sqn dispositions were slightly altered. A Large number of rumours came in from local inhabitants of enemy forces in the area but beyond scattered parties of German Inf no serious opposition was met. In the later afternoon 'B' Sqn were ordered to go the bridge at 700800 to assist the Inns of Court to capture this bridge and clear the village just to the South. The Sqn moved up there rapidly and achieved their objective without difficulty. The area in which the Regt was on this day was exactly the area in which it had had such a disastrous day on 18th May 1940. On that day, whilst acting as rearguard to 4 Inf Div on the left of the B.E.F. in its withdrawl westwards, the Regt occupied a position about ASSCHE 5163 during the morning with 'A' Sqn in area ASSCHE, 'B' Sqn on its left East of CROKEGEM 5063 and 'C' Sqn further to the North. RHQ was in CROKEGEM. Later when ordered to withdraw over the river DENDRE by the bridges ALOST and LEUVENSTRAAT 4264 it was found that the enemy had moved round the left flank of the Regt, where contact with the Belgians had been lost, and was in posession of both bridges and ...... the road leading back to them. It is considered a somewhat remarkable coincidence that the Regt should now be operating with such very different fortunes on exactly the same ground.
5   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 44, 45,24 and 34.
5   The Regt less 'B' Sqn moved about 1000hrs to positions facing South in area LONDERZEEL to protect South flank of Div which had entered ANTWERP the previous day. Positions taken up were as follows:- 'C' Sqn in area LONDERZEEL 5873 and road running South to the West of it, 'A' Sqn from the canal about 6471 to main road 6071, RHQ was in area 622754. No opposition was met in these positions and nothing of note took place.In the course of the morning 'B' Sqn was ordered to move and again support the Inns of Court Regt on the bridge at 7986 just East of LIERRE. From this position they patrolled in an Easterly and a South Easterly direction in support of the Inns of Court. Fairly strong opposition was met on the canal just West of HERENTALS 9790 and Lt Frazer commanding 4th troop 'B' Sqn had his tank hit by an A/tk gun but no casualties were suffered. Third troop with patrols of recce under Lt Butler and Lt Sparrow took a large number of prisoners in the area KONINGSHOYCHT 8182.
6   The Regt remained in same positions and were joined by 'B' Sqn in the course of the day. Maintenance was carried out by crews in rotation while others stood to in posns as ordered, protecting Southern flank of the Div. Noting of note occurred.
7   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 44, 43, 24 and 34.
7   Regt remained in same posns and continued their same responsibilities and carried out some maintenance. About 1900hrs orders were received to move fwd to concentration area at 7490. Regt arrived in this area shortly after dark and harboured without incident.
8   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 23 and 33, 24 and 34.
8   A fine September day. The Regt remained in the harbour area to which it had moved the previous night, throughout the day without incident. About midday 2nd and 4th troops of 'A' Sqn under command of Capt GW Luttrell were ordered to go to cover the river Escaut in the area HOBOKEN 6292. They observed a lot of enemy movement across the river on the West bank and engaged enemy guns, OP's, transport and inf with HE with considable success throughout the afternoon and evening. They remained in this area until last light when they rejoined their Sqn. During the day, 4 Armd Bde moved up into ANTWERP and joined 11 Armd Div, less 29 Armd Bde in the defence of the town. Lt-Col W Rankin, until recently second-in-command of the Regt, now commanding 3/4th CLY in 4 Armd Bde came to see us.
Belgium 9   Maps N.W. Europe 1/25000 Sheet 3 and france and Belgium 1/50000 Sheet 46.
9   A fine September day. Orders received early in the morning that remainder of Div was to move in a South Easterly direction and join up with 29 Armd Bde and provide right flank protection to the remainder of 30 Corps, consisting of Guards Armd Div and 50 (Northumbrian) Div which were advancing Northwards over the ALBERT CANAL with the Guards on the right, 50 Div on the left.The Regt moved out of harbour at 0900hrs in order of march 'C' RHQ, Recce, 'B', 'A', 'A1' and 'A' Echelon and moved at head of remainder of Div by the following route: - CONTICH 6986 - MALINES 7274 - LOUVAIN 8758 - Rd junc 077650 - X rds 065614 - HAELEN 1564 - HERCK-LA-VILLE 1963 - LUMMEN 2168 and went into harbour in close contact with the remainder of Div about 224700 at about 1500hrs. This move was accomplished without incident. At about 1730hrs 'C' Sqn were sent out to take up positions covering the ALBERT CANAL from the crossing at 2766, which was blown, to the crossing at BERINGEN 2375 where the REs had built a class 40 Bailey Bridge. That evening the Div was once more organized for immediate future operations into 2 Bde Gps as follows:- 29 Armd Bde Gp - 23H, 2FF Yeo, 8 RB, 1st Herefords. 159 Inf Bde Gp - 15/19H, 3rd RTR, 3rd Mons and 4th KSLI.
10   Maps France and Belgium, Sheets 46 & 47.
10   Once again a lovely Sept.morning, a fine day with one heavy shower in the evening. The Regt moved out of harbour at 0645hrs and adv Northwards and then turned East and crossed the ALBERT CANAL by Bailey Bridge West of BERINGEN 2375, at the head of 159 Inf Bde Gp, and took up posns East of X rds 2672 as follows:- 'A' Sqn astride road in area VOORTER-HEIDE 2873, RHQ on road behind 'A' Sqn. Recce patrols sent fwd to X rds 3575 and South East and Southwards to road junct 3366 and to area of canal crossing 2766 and 2569. Two troops of 'C' Sqn under comd of sqn-ldr - Maj C. Courage were brought fwd to help. These encountered more A/Tk guns in the village and in the wood to the S.W. of it and on the rly line to the S of it, one or two of which they knocked out. With the help of these tks 'B' Sqn withdrew from the area followed by 'C' Sqn just before dark and the Regt harboured in the area of LIIO 3274.The two Sqns had inflicted considerable losses on the enemy but the following casualties had been sufferd. Killed - Lt F.G. Ainslie, Lt B.J. Pearson, no 7906972 Cpl Walker F., no 7908536 Tpr Johns F., no 7962785 Tpr Simpson all of 'B' Sqn. Missing feared killed - no. 14222684 L/C Scudamore J., no. 14226495 Tpr Munro R., no. 408200 Tpr Robson A., no 321239 Tpr Lawley C. all of 'B' Sqn. Wounded - Capt C.D. Agnew, no 403359 SSM Maddocks T., no. 7907813 L/Sgt Sampson K., no 14297094 Tpr Gentles G., no 14423438 Tpr Wren J., no 7908521 Tpr Jeffrey R., no 4622759 Tpr Middleton J. and no 14224314 Tpr Kirton R. all of 'B' Sqn and no 7899441 Tpr Maskall J., no 14388227 Tpr Pickard J. and no 14403090 Tpr Cook D. of 'C' Sqn. Tpr Johns and Tpr Simpson were driver and co-driver of Lt. Pearson's tk which was hit in the front and stopped, although the engine and turret were not damaged. After being hit this tk knocked out 2 S.P. guns. Lt. Pearson was unfortunately killed subsequent to this through being shot in the neck by an enemy rifleman having got out of his tk to attend to the two men who had been killed in the front of the tk. Lt. Ainslie and Cpl Walker were killed by a granate thrown into the turret of their tk when they were pinned in the area of the village. SSM Maddocks tk was knocked out by enemy S.P. guns at very short range and it is feared that the whole crew except him were killed. He was found with a wound in the shoulder in a nearby house the following day. A Sherman tk of the Ayrshire Yeo carrying Capt. Burton the F.O.O. working with the Regt was also knocked out and Capt Burton himself received severe wounds of which he subsequently died. The enemy encountered in this area were believed to be S.S. Tps and fought with great determination and tenacity. 1 S.S. prisoner was taken.
Belgium 11   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 47, 26 & 36.
11   A lovely Sept day. Regt still under comd 159 Inf Bde Gp providing right flank protection to 30 Corps with remainder 11 Armd Div. Moved out from leager about 1030hrs in order 'A', RHQ, 'C', 'B' in reserve. Moved up road N.E. and took up posn about junc 3977. No opposition met. 'A' Sqn took up posns to the East of rd junc facing East with 'C' Sqn to the South facing Soutwards. 'B' Sqn in reserve in area wood 3878. Recce patrols sent out in Easterly and Southerly directions. No opposition encountered.Earlier in the morning 3rd Mons and 3rd RTR had successfully attacked enemy posns in area LAAK 3474 and during morning they cleared the woods East of that place. About 1400hrs orders were received to send one Sqn to BREE 5084 to try to discover situation there and if possible sieze the bridge over the Meuse-Escaut canal East of it. 'A' Sqn and 2 patrols of recce under Lt.KF Butler and Sgt Patterson were sent on this task and the Commanding Officer went with them. 'B' Sqn were moved up to take up 'A' Sqns posn East of the road junc. 'A' Sqn advanced without incident to the South East outskirts of BREE where despite persistant civilian information that there were no Germans West of the canal, a numer of German Inf men were seen and engaged. As strict orders had been received not to get in any way seriously involved or suffer casualties, it was decided not to risk entering the town but to work round the North West of it. While doing this 2nd Tp of 'A' Sqn met enemy Inf with Bazookas and Sgt. Marlow's tk was fired on at short range and the turret penetrated by one of these. No. 14224302 Tpr Harrat A. the operator was killed and no. 6343455 Sgt. Marlow G. and no. 7961125 Tpr Fellowes F. both slightly wounded. In order to avoid becoming more deeply involved, the Sqn was then ordered not to adv further. Meantime Lt. Butler's patrol had been fired on by Inf South of the town and by a gun from his East, it was thought from the East of the canal. Shortly afterwards Sgt Patterson's patrol which was working in North Easterly direction towards the bridge reporting the blowing up of the bridge. The Sqn was then ordered to make a demonstration by firing HE from long range into the town and the area of the bridge mainly for purposes of deception. This they did and returned to the area of the rd junc 3977 at last light. The Regt harboured for the night in this area.
12   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 46, 47, 26 & 36.
12   A fine Sept day, cold morning. Regt remained in posn covering rd junc 3977 with 'B' Sqn facing East, 'C' Sqn facing South and 'A' Sqn in reserve to North West of X rd. Regt carried on with maintenance, a number of men had baths at a local coal mine. In the evening orders were received that the Regt was unlikely to get the 4 days rest for maintenance which the rest of the Div was having, but was to move the following morning under comd Guards Armd Div to help hold the bridgehead over the Meuse-Escaut Canal North of the bridge at 355962 supporting the 32 Gds Inf Bde, while the Armd Bde of the Guards Armd Div withdrew South of the canal for rest and maintenance against a further move forward in a few days time.
13   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheets 26 & 36.
13   Once again a fine Sept day. Orders received early in the morning for the Regt to move fwd to bridgehead at 1200hrs. Regt arrived about 1300hrs and took up posns as follows:- 'C' Sqn astride road running North in woods 3698, with one Tp just up to the frontier post, in support of 5th Coldstream Guards - Lt-Col Roddy Hill. 'A' Sqn to West of road covering from canal 2000yds West of bridge to corner of canal 343982 and linking up with the left of 'C' Sqn. They were in support of 3rd Irish Guards - Lt-Col Joe Vanderleur. 'B' Sqn in a rather cramped posn North East of the bridge between the road and the canal, running North 500 yds East of it in support of 1st Welsh Guards. RHQ was in open country about 356974. An odd enemy plane flew over and tried to bomb the bridge and there was a certain amount of shelling and shooting, but beyond this nothing. Cap CN Weatherby who had been damaged when a scout car in which he was travelling hit a min on 29th August, rejoined the Regt today and relinquished the appointment of Adjutant. He was apptd 2nd in Command 'A' Sqn. Capt EJ Edwards Heathcote was apptd Adjutant with effect from 5th Sept. Lt P Hodgson promoted Captain w.e.f. 29th August vice Capt. WWM Robb and apptd Assistant Adjutant. Lt WRMcM Winkley took over Comd of 2nd Troop 'A' Sqn in place of Lt. Hodgson.
14   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheet 26 & 36.
14   A dull wet morning after a wet night. Cleared up a little but remained dull, quite a thick mist in the morning which hung about till 1030hrs. Enemy shelled area of bridge with airburst from 2 guns to the West for 2 or 3 hours in the morning. No damage. About 0900hrs enemy put in an attack from the North, North West and West. At least 4 S.P. A/Tk guns and a number of infantry moved down from the North against the Coldstream Guards and 'C' Sqn. Certainly 3 of these SP guns were destroyed by 'C' Sqn mainly by Sgt Hollis of 2nd Tp - Lt M Roderick - who did particularly well. 'C' Sqn met and repulsed this attack and apart from the 3 SP guns killed a large number of German Infantry. Meantime 'A' Sqn in co-operation with both Coldstram and Irish Guards were engaged in somewhat confused fighting in the houses along the track LA COLONIE-343982 and in the woods 3397. They cleared up the situation along the track to their North without much difficulty, killed a large number of Germans and took about 70 prisoners. Further to the West the situation was very much more difficult. 1st Tp - Lt AM Bryce - became drawn into the thick woods supporting the Irish Guards where two of its tks broke tracks and whilst immobilised owing to this were heavily engaged by enemy bazookas and riflemen.
Belgium 14   Lt. Bryce's tk was penetrated by a bazooka and he and his operator no. 321917 Tpr Walker R were unfortunately killed, and no. 317625 Tpr Ashley R another member of his crew was wounded. Lt. WRMcM Winkley who had taken over comd of 2nd Tp 'A' Sqn the previous day from Capt P Hodgson also had his tk penetrated by bazooka fire and he himself and no 7926792 Tpr Horley G his gunner were wounded. Tp Horley did particularly well in getting his Tp Ldr out of the tk when seriously wounded and himself though wounded running across under heavy fire to explain the situation to his Sqn Ldr. With the help of a TP sent across from 'B' Sqn and as a result of considerable skill and excellent work by Capt GV Luttrell 2nd in Comd of the Sqn and Sgt Jackson '034 - Tp Sgt 1st Tp, the 1st Tp tk tracks were repared under fire and everybody successfully extricated except Lt Bryces tk which had to be left behind with himself and his operator dead inside it. By 1800hrs the situation was cleared up all round and similar posns in the previous night were once more taken up with the exception that the Irish Guards on the West drew themselves into a line running South down the track from 343982 and left the enemy in possession of the woods to the West of this. 'A' Sqn conformed to this disposition and contd in support. The Regt had had a fairly hard day's fighting and had undoubtedly been promint in repelling a fairly determined attack against the bridge head. Information from prisoners showed that the enemy believed that we only had a bridge head of 1 weak Bn and that they would be able to destroy this and regain possession of the bridge and adv Southwards once more to the ALBERT CANAL. The following casualties were sustained during the day:- Killed Lt AM Bryce, 321917 Tpr Walker R 1st Tp 'A' Sqn. No 14414856 Tpr Beathfield R 1st Tp 'C' Sqn. No 14498283 Tpr Downing P 2nd Tp 'C' Sqn. Wounded - Lt WRMcM Winkley, no 7926792 Tpr Horley G, no 317625 Tpr Ashley R, no 14422851 Tpr Harris W 2nd Tp 'A' Sqn. No 3607991 L/C Shaldon F 1st Tp 'A' Sqn, no 7919979 Cpl Woolfast J 1st Tp 'C' Sqn, no 3605308 L/C Hamilton E, no 7960951 Tpr Wright D 2nd Tp 'C' Sqn. In addition Capt CY Mills comd A1 Ech and no 7899905 Sgt Baynes R 'A' Sqn Mech Sgt were wounded by shrapnel by long range shelling.
Belgium 15   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheet 26 & 36.
15   A fine Sept day. Regt remained in same posn as previous day in bridgehead over the Meuse-Escaut canal. 32 Bde .of Gds Armd Div were relieved in br hd during the day by the 231 Bde of 50 Div comd by Brigadier Sir Alexander Stanier and consisting of Bn Hampshires, Bn Devons and Bn Dorsets, who took over posns in the West, North and East of the br hd respectively. There was a certain amount of shelling and mortaring into the br hd and a few enemy were seen, particularly in the North and West. Nothing of note happened during the day.
16   Maps France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheet 26 & 36. N.W.Europe 1/250000 Sheets 2,3.
16   A fine Sept day. Regt still in same posn supporting 231 Bde in the br hd. Still some shelling and a certain amount of activity all around but not determined counter attack developed during the day. The br hd was strengthened by 9th Bn DLI who came in on the S.E. corner of the br hd thus allowing the Dorsets to move further North and make stronger link with the Devons in the North. C.O. attended a talk by the Corps Commander - Lt-Gen BG Horrecks CB., DSO, MC and the Commander 2nd Army Lt-Gen Sir Miles Dempsey KCB, DSO, MC at BOURG LEOPOLD 2683. On this the Corps Comd spoke of the adv during the past fortnight, the present situation and the operation Market Garden which was due to begin the following day. This operation was to be an adv by 30 Corps from the br hd up to the Zuider Zee to dominate the country West of this, thereby cutting off communication between Germany and the Low Countries and thus it was hoped trapping what German forces were left in France and the Low Countries, and also cutting off V.2. bases in this area. 30 Corps was to adv on one centre line through EINDHOVEN 4218 - ST OEDENRODE 4232 - GRAVE 6153 - NIJMEGEN 7062 - ARNHEM 7477 - APELDOORN 7803 - EEP 8018 - NUNSPEET 6621 with 8 Corps (11 Armd Div, 3rd Inf Div) protecting their right and rear and 12 Corps (7Armd Div, 4 Armd Bde, 15 (S) Div and 53(W) Div) operating on their left flank. A large part was also being played in this operation by Airborne Forces, 1st British Airborne Div with the Polish Para Bde was to capture intact the bridges over the Nederrijn at ARNHEM and dominate the surrounding countryside. 82 US Airborne Div was to capture intact the bridges over the Maas en Waal in areas GRAVE en NIJMEGEN and to dominate the surrounding country.101 US Airborne Div was to be dropped in the area between EINDHOVEN en GRAVE with the task of facilitating the adv of 30 Corps as far as the R. Maas. The Corps Comd expressed the opinion that if this operation was as successfull as he hoped he thought that it might be the decisive battle of the war and finally finish the German Army. The Regt's task in this operation was as follows:- with under comd 'A' Sqn The Royals (Maj J Bowlby), 1 Bty 86 Fd Regt RA (Herts Yeo) to adv behind the leading Bde of Gds Armd Div to the EINDHOVEN - ST OEDENRODE area and there come under comd 101 US Airborne Div whose task it was to keep open the Corps Axis of advance between VALKENSWAARD 4108 and VEGHEL 4737 and to prevent the enemy interference on this axis from either flank.
Belgium 17   Map France and Belgium Sheet 26 & 36.
17   A fine morning, dull afternoon, turned to rain in the evening. It was learned early in the morning that the weather was suitable for operation Market Garden and that H hour at wich the 101 US Airborne Div was to be dropped was to be 1300hrs. Z hour at which the head of Gds Armd Div, leading ground troops of 30 Corps, were to adv was later fixed at 1435hrs. Regt contd in posn in br hd, nothing of note occurred during the morning. A1 and A Echs were moved up to join the Regt in the br hd early in the morning. C.O. spoke to as many men as could be taken from fwd posns on the forthcoming operation. Regt1 Gp was to move behind HQ Gds Armd Div which was expected to be about Z + 3 hrs. The adv was preceeded by a barrage astride the road by about 500 guns and also was supported by about 12 Sqns of Typhoons and 12 Sqns of Spitfires. In spite of this considerable opposition was met and the adv did not proceed as rapidly as had been hoped.
By last light Irish Gds Gp at the hd of Gds Armd Div reached and captured VALKENSWAARD. 'C' Sqn adv at Z + 5 hours and supported the Devons whose task it was to protect the flank of the Centre Line and clear the wooded country on each side as far as HOEK 389034. Here again considerable opposition was met and the objective was not reached until last light. A number of mines were met during this operation and the C.O. who was following 'C' Sqn in his tk, and 2 tks of 'C' Sqn hit mines. No casualties were suffered except by SSM Sara's crew in which no. 4915269 L/C Batchelor W was killed and no. 547646 Sgt Pearson G and no. 4616545 Tpr Dick J wounded. 'B' Sqn advanced later in support of the Dorsets who had a similar task to the Devons from a line East and West through HOEK up to VALKENSWAARD. Owing to the slow progress made by the leading tps they did not go beyond HOEK. Remainder of Regt did not move from their previous location. Some shelling into the area where RHQ and the Echelon were harboured which inflicted slight wounds on two or three men.
Holland 18   Maps Belgium and N.E. France 1/100000 Sheet 4, France and Belgium 1/50000 Sheet 26 & 36.
18   A dull morning followed a wet night but the day improved and became a fine and sunny afternoon and evening. 'B' Sqn adv early in support of the Dorsets up the main road up to VALKENWAARD and remained there for the day without further activity. 'C' Sqn carried out minor operations in support of the Devons clearing the woods to each side of the Centre Line during the day. Fwd tps of the Gds Armd Div met considerable opposition South of EINDHOVEN, about AALST 3213 and did not succeed in getting forward into EINDHOVEN until very late in the evening. Just after dark the br hd and area of the bridge was attacked for about 20 mins by enemy aircraft dropping a large number of anti personnel bombs and a few bigger bombs. No casualties were suffered but some damage was done to our tpt vehs. Orders were received in the evening for the Regt to adv early the following morning. 'A' Sqn with 'A' Sqn The Royals were detached to be under comd 506 US Para Regt (Col. Sink) at EINDHOVEN. Regt less 'A' Sqn with under comd 86 Bty Fd Regt to move to area ZON 4426 to be under comd 101 US Airborne Div (Maj-Gen Maxwell DTaylor).
Holland 19   Maps Belgium and N.E. France 1/100000 Sheet 4. Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5.
US Maps 1/25000 Sheets 18SW, 18 SE.
19   A foggy morning turned into a lovely day. Regt moved fwd from br hd at 0600hrs. Order of march:- 'A' Sqn Royals, 'A' Sqn, RHQ, Recce, Bty 86 Fd Regt, A1 Ech, A Ech. 'C' Sqn and 'B' Sqn joined in in front of the Bty as we passed, then going Northwards up the road. Reached EINDHOVEN about 1000hrs where 'A' Sqn and 'A' Sqn The Royals quickly made contact with 506 US Para Regt and came under their comd. Remainder contd adv to ZON which they reached about 1100hrs and concentrated in area 437273. Bty 86 Fd Regt deployed in this area and Regt moved Westwards to operate with American Airborne Troops already in this area. First action was an attack on strong enemy positions on the Northern bank of the canal about 393253. This was carried out as follows:- American Inf were held up along Southern edge of wood 393255, 'B' Sqn adv down Western edge of this wood and then turned in a South Easterly direction towards the objective down the East side of the main road. Meantime 'C' Sqn adv further West across the main road about 383262 and then turned South down the West side of the main road protecting the right flank of 'B' Sqn. A large number of enemy with a number a guns of various sorts were encountered in all this area and BEST 3726 appeared to be very strongly held. The attack was entirely successful, a large amount of enemy equipment was destroyed, a considerable number of enemy killed and about 500 prisoners taken. In this operation 'B' Sqn had 1 tk knocked out by a 75mm A/Tk gun on the main road about 387254 and no 7906973 Sgt Fox M and his operator no. 3607388 Tpr Bratt R were killed and no. 14297273 Tpr Johnston J was wounded. 'B' Sqn were left to clear up this area on both sides of the main road with the American Inf while 'C' Sqn turned Northwards to
clear a strip about 1500 yds wide to the East of the road running Northwards to ST OEDENRODE 4231. Considerable opposition was encountered in the area of the X rds 378267 and along the track running East from here. A number of guns of various sizes were destroyed and the adv was proceeding slowly Northwards when orders were received to brake off this action and move rapidly Eastwards to repel a threat from the East to the canal bridge South of ZON 4425. In this action no. 4617450 Cpl Hartley F had his tk hit by a Bazooka just South of the X rds 3726 and Cpl Hartley himself, no. 14433271 Tpr Davis L, no. 14429897 Tpr Richards T and no. 14313079 Tpr Sutherland J were killed. No. 557187 Sgt Hollis M and no. 7908533 Sgt Gibson F were wounded in this action and Sgt Hollis's operator no. 14429899 Tpr Morgon E was killed. The threat to the bridge did not materialise and as darkness fell the Regt harboured and replenished in the area 437273 where it had concentrated in the morning.
20   Maps Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5, Belgium and N.E. France Sheet 4, American Military Map Holland 1/25000 Sheets 18 SW and 18 SE.
20   At 0500hrs the C.O. was called in to HQ American Div in ZON and was there told of a threat to the canal bridge from the South East by a German force including tks. The Regt was immediately ordered to concentrate on the road at the North end of ZON and the C.O. with the S.O. (Lt TCA Goldsmith) driving went off in a scout car to recce the ground to the South East and possible crossings over the R.Dommel. C.O. turned East off the main road along the track at 445245 in order to recce the track crossing the river at 456246. It was only just light and owing to this and the similarity in their uniforms, it was difficult to distinguish between American and German troops and at a bend in the track at 453241 the C.O. and S.O. found themselves standing on the track with some 200 or more Germans walking past in front of them, some of them only about 5 yds away. They dontd to walk past for some minutes looking at the
2 British Officers as they went but appeared to take no notice. It was difficult to know what action to take, whether by adopting immediate aggressive action, in spite of the disparity in numbers, these Germans would have given up the fight and allowed themselves to be taken prisoner. However it was decided that discretion was probably the better course and the C.O. and S.O. therefore got back into their scout car. Just as they did so the Germans opened up on them with a variety of weapons at short range which hit the scout car in many places but neither Officer was touched. Lt. Goldsmith reversed the car back and turned round in the lane and drove away with some skill and he and the C.O. thus got away from a somewhat remarkable and difficult situation. As soon as he returned to HQ in ZON, the C.O. was ordered to send 1 Sqn South of the canal to repel an attack on the main road from the East, as enemy S.A. fire was now falling onto the main road from this flank and stopping the flow of traffic up it. 'B' Sqn was ordered to do this and became involved in a good deal of fighting on the Southern bank of the canal and in the area of the windmill at 445248. The enemy were in some strength in the low marshy country between the main road and R.Dommel where it was difficult for tks to operate. At least 5 Panther tks were located concentrated between R.Dommel and the canal at about 452253 where they were hull down from the West and turret down under the canal bank from the North and therefore very difficult to get at. 'B' Sqn suffered some casualties in tks but managed to clear up the situation and re-open the Centre Line to traffic fairly quickly. Had some good infantry been available to clear the close country running down just West of the R.Dommel in co-operation with the tks, the situation might have been completely cleared up quite quickly but these unfortunately could not be found from the American forces available. Later in the day 'C' Sqn operated to the East, North of the canal in the area BREUGEL 4526 and 1 Panther tk was knocked out by the 17Pdr tk of 4th Tp
firing across the canal from North to South after some valuable Recce of this tank had been carried out by patrols of Recce Troop under Lt. Butler and Sgt. Spanton. 'B' and 'C' Sqns remained in position protecting the Corps Centre Line from the East respectively South and North of the canal for the remainder of the day. 'B' Sqn harboured for the night in the area 443251 at the South East corner of the village. 'C' Sqn and RHQ and Recce Troop withdrew to their harbour of the previous night. Meanwhile 'A' Sqn still detached under comd 506 US Para Regt with HQ at EINDHOVEN had a busy and fruitful day. The following is the account of their activities during the period 1000hrs 19th Sept until they reverted to comd the regt in the afternoon of September 21st.
20   On September 19th at about 1100hrs 'A' Sqn came under comd of 506 US Para Regt at EINDHOVEN. Colonel Sink, commanding this Regt considered that his most dangerous flank at the time was the West. One Coy of 1st BN 506 Para Regt came under comd 'A' Sqn and these were carried on the tanks. The Sqn moved to a position West of HEIKE 3716 to be in readiness to deal with any enemy that might appear on that flank. A patrol of the Royals reported some German half-tracked vehs in the area of OERLE 3516, this was investigated by Capt Weatherby with third troop under Lt Egerton but nothing was seen of them. At approx 1300hrs orders were received from 506 Regt to send 1 troop to clear the road running North West from EINDHOVEN to the canal at 3824 and at the same time to send two troops to GELDROP 4816 to support a patrol of the Royals who were moving East to HELMOND. The first party was commanded by Capt Weatherby and the second by the Sqn Leader, these two parties remained separate until 1800hrs the following day. The Sqn tpt remained in EINDHOVEN under Capt Luttrell who also acted as L.O. with 506 Para Regt, and relayed orders from them to the Sqn. The diary of these events now fall into two sections. (A) Captain Weatherby's party (B) Sqn Leaders party.
20   (A) At 413208 enemy inf were seen and after a burst of Besa had been fired, the enemy consisting of 10 men surrendered and were sent back. The patrol continued and no further enemy were seen. A troop of 'B' Sqn were contacted when the canal was reached who reported that 40 enemy inf had swum the canal and had been taken prisoner. A Position was taken up astride the road just South of the canal and the American inf sent out to clear the woods East and West of the road. The woods to the East were clear but small arms fire came from the woods to the West and wounded two Americans. The fire was thought to be coming from our own troops the patrols were called in and the position astride the road was maintained until 1800hrs when orders were received to return to EINDHOVEN. Capt Weatherby was informed by Col Sink on arrival that the canal bridge on the main centre line was blown and had been captured by the enemy and that the enemy were reported to be moving towards EINDHOVEN. Owing to bad communications information was scarce and wild rumours were frequent. It was by this time getting dark and Capt Weatherby was ordered to take up a position to prevent enemy reaching EINDHOVEN down the centre line from the North. A position was taken up at VLOKHOVEN 4322 covering North East, East and the centre line. It was then discovered that the bridge was not blown but that the centre line had been under small arms fire from the East.
Wednesday September 20th:- Early in the morning orders were received from 506 Regt to move North along centre line WOENSEL 4220 - rd junc 457216 - NEDERWETTEN 4623 in conjunction with an attack by 44th RTR on NUNEN from the West. Capt Weatherby's party had so far consisted of himself (95mm) + 3 troop with 3 75mm's and 1 17Pdr + Lt Sparrow with one scout car from Recce Troop. At this point they were joined by one more scout car commanded by Cpl Hunter. A position was taken up in the area track junction 457216. Lt Sparrow was sent forward towards NEDERWETTEN and reported the road clear as far as 460277. A second position was then taken up in that area. Lt.Sparrow was again sent forward towards NEDERWETTEN and on approaching the village saw a German cyclist and a few inf which he fired....
on killing one and probably wounding another. Lt Sparrow was then ordered to withdraw and a patrol of American inf were sent fwd covered by the tks. A few inf were seen and fired on and three prisoners taken. Lt Egerton took up a posn at 465235 facing North West, Sgt Nesbitt just behind him facing West and North West and the two remaining tks facing East and South East. Lt Sparrow at the South end of the village to cover the left rear. The country was very enclosed owing to the houses and gardens on either side of the road but Lt Egerton and Sgt Nesbitt had a field of view of about 700 yds West and North West and the other two tks about 600 yds East and South East. The time was now about 1300hrs. S.A. fire was observed coming from woods 4623 and 4723. A patrol was sent out to deal with this. About this time Lt Egerton reported seeing a Panther moving North East in area 458237 which he fired at and destroyed with his first shot. Sgt Nesbitt fired at a second Panther in the same area but this withdrew. About 40 minutes later Lt Egerton reported a third Panther in the same area which he destroyed after firing four shots. Its was later discovered that all four shots had entered the tank - two in the drivers compartment, one just above the tracks, and one in the engine. Both these tks 'brewed up'. 2nd troop under Lt Caroe and a patrol of the Royals was sent to Capt Weatherby to help, and the 2nd Troop took up posn East of the road, covering the road East from NEDERWETTEN and South East, the patrol of the Royals covered the left rear. Sgt Gibson reported two troop carrying vehs moving East along the road from NEDERWETTEN, which he fired on, destroying one and damaging the second. Some inf were also fired on. A third veh was fired at near Church 462238 and destroyed. This was later discovered to be a half-track. S.A. fire from the enemy was by now increasing also an 88mm gun was firing down the road. It was decided to withdraw to area 400227 at about 1540hrs. Two more prisoners were brought in. Throughout this period Lt Egerton's conduct had been exceptionally good. He had been in the lead on the move up and his comd of his troop was most effective His coolness during the fight in the village had a direct bearing on the operation as a whole and he showed Sgt Gibson's tank into position on his feet during continuous small arms fire.He also remained in the village to cover the remainder of the party out. Sgt Gibson and Cpl Nicholls later succeeded in recovering a veh of the Royals which was bogged in a position covered by heavy S.A. fire. At about 1700hrs orders were received to return to EINDHOVEN and to rejoin the Sqn.
Holland 20   (B) Tuesday 19th Sept:- Sqn Leader plus 3rd and 4th troops plus Cpl Hunter took up posn East of GELDROP and then moved Eastwards towards HELMOND to support American inf clearing woods as far as MIERLO 5418. MIERLO was reached without opposition and orders were received to return to GELDROP and remain in posn there to prevent enemy approaching EINDHOVEN from the East. A patrol of Royals was under comd. At approx 1900hrs orders were received to move to TONGELRE 4619 and to take up posn for the night covering roads to North and East. One Bn from 506 Para Regt also arrived in TONGELRE about midnight. No acivity during the night except for flares dropped near before the raid on EINDHOVEN. About 2000hrs there was a heavy air raid on EINDHOVEN. Two petrol lorries and one ammunition lorry of the Sqn were drawn up on the road ready to move out to replenish the tks when flares were dropped followed by a bomb which hit the ammunition lorry. All three lorries were set on fire and the fitters half-track and 15 cwt was lost. Considerable resourse and courage was shown by S QMS Pricemand Trooper White in moving the burning lorries. No. 7900066 L/Cpl Harrison F and no. 550978 Tpr Wain W were killed in the raid and no. 7916054 Cpl Kingston E was wounded.
Wednesday Sept 20th:- At approx 0600hrs the Royals patrol was sent fwd to NUNEN 4623 and reported two enemy S.P. guns South of the village on the road. There were civilian reports of enemy tks and inf and sounds of tks moving in the area. A patrol of American inf went fwd under their own orders to try to deal with these but withdrew when the S.P.'s fired. 44th Tks sent to deal with NUNEN about 0930hrs. Troops under Sqn Leader consisted of 2nd, 4th - part of American Inf Coy and Patrol of Royals. Orders received to move to GELDROP about 1130hrs to protect EINDHOVEN from the East. 2nd Troop and Cpl Hunter and a patrol of the Royals sent to help Capt Weatherby about 1400hrs. Remainder stayed in position West of GELDROP till ordered to move back to EINDHOVEN about 1700hrs. The whole Sqn then moved to harbour for the night South West from EINDHOVEN. The following day position was taken up North East of EINDHOVEN to protect the centre line from the East and this position was later adjusted to protect the Regt1 transport moving South East to GELDROP and later to deal with an expected Armd Counter attack from the east which did not develope. The Sqn later moved to harbour with the Regt South West of GELDROP.
Holland 21   Maps Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5, Belgium and N.E. France Sheet 4, American Military Map Holland 1/25000 Sheets 18 SW and 18 SE.
21   At first light 'B' Sqn moved out into position protecting centre line from the East as far South as BOKT 4423 and remained in this psoition throughout the morning and early afternoon without incident. Just before midday 'C' Sqn again began operating in conjunction with America Inf in a North Easterly direction from ZON clearing BREUGEL 4526 and the area to the North East of it as far as the track running Southwards from the track junc 483288. Little opposition was met. Also about midday the C.O. visited Colonel Sink at his HQ in EINDHOVEN and arranged for 'A' Sqn to take up positions protecting Corps Centre Line from the east on a line running Southwards from the right of 'B' Sqn as far as EINDHOVEN. 'A' Sqn Royals was sent to recce the area further to the East about NUNEN 4822 and NEDERWETTEN 4623 where enemy tks and S.P. guns had been encountered the previous day and if possible to probe further East and North East towards STIPHOUT 5223 and DEENSCHENHOEK 5025 to find out the situation in that area. 44 RTR of 4 Armd Bde who had come up from the South the previous day and one Sqn of which had advanced on NUNEN from the South and there met considerable opposition had now withdrawn and moved on further North up the Centre Line, but 29 Armd Bde and the rest of 11 Armd Div had now arrived in this area coming up from the South and was engaged in clearing it up. About 1700hrs the Regt was ordered to revert to Comd 11 Armd Div and move to area GELDROP 4816. Whilst this order was being put into effect urgent orders were received that 'C' Sqn was to move rapidly Northwards to area ST. OEDENRODE 4232 to assist other elements of US 101 Airborne Div to repel a reported serious threat to the Corps Centre Line in that area from the North West. There was some doubt and a certain amount of argument as to whose comd the Regt was under at this time which contd throughout the night. However by last light the Regt, less 'C' Sqn were concentrated under comd 11 Armd Div in a harbour area at HOOG-GELDROP 4715 where they spent the night. 'C' Sqn harboured in 4330 just South of ST.OEDENRODE under comd 101 US Airborne Div and received orders from this Div Comd to act as his reserve in an attack he was making early the following morning on enemy forces located astride the road from SCHIJNDEL at about 4235.
22   Maps Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5, Belgium and N.E. France Sheet 4, American Military Map Holland 1/25000 Sheets 18 SW and 18 SE.
22   Regt came under comd 159 Inf Bde joining 2 FF Yeo, 1 Herefords and 4 KSLI in the Bde Grp. 1 Herefords had forced a br hd over the Zuid Willems Vaart canal at SOMEREN 6012 during the night and 2 FF Yeo and 4 KSLI had pushed through them at first light and were now fighting in area ASTEN 6113 and the North of this place. The objective of the Div was to clear the area East of this canal and adv Northwards to DEURNE 6520 and clear HELMOND 5621 from the East. During the morning 29 Armd Bde completed clearance of the country South of the Wilhelmina Canal, West of HELMOND and the enemy retired East over the canal continuing to hold the Eastern half of HELMOND. During the morning Regt less 'C' Sqn moved fwd through HEEZE 4911 and took up posns in area SOMEREN to assist 1st Herefords to hold the br hd over the canal. 'A' Sqn were in posn South of the main road 6011, 'B' Sqn to the North of it 5912, RHQ behind them. About midday 'C' Sqn having been released by the 101 US Airborne Div after having taken no active part in their battle, returned under comd and took up posn about rd junc 585131 giving protection to the North West. During the course of the day Sqns came under fairly heavy arty and mortar fire but were engaged in no actions beyond patrols sent out by recce Tp and 'A' Sqn along the West side of the canal to the South and by 'C' Sqn to the area LIEROP an BOOMEN 5715 to the North. 4th Tp 'A' Sqn - Lt. JP Ireland was in posn on the East side of the bridge where they assisted Inf to clear up the situation in that area and remaind there during the night. Sqns harboured for the night in the same posns. Late in the day 29 Armd Bde was brought round from the North and passed through 159 Bde Gp over the bridge at SOMEREN to fight their way fwd to DEURNE 6520.
23   Maps Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5, Belgium and N.E. France Sheet 4, American Military Map Holland 1/25000 Sheets 18 SW and 18 SE.
23   A Very wet and cold morning. Regt remained in same posns as previous day without much incident. Similar patrols contd. In the course of one of these Lt M Roderick Comd 2nd Tp 'C' Sqn was unfortunately shot in the face and seriously wounded in the area BOOMEN 5715. He and his Tp had done particularly well throughout all the operations to date and his loss following that of Sgt Hollis his Tp Sgt, 4 days previously, was a very serious one. Throughout the day 29 Armd Bde met strong opposition in area VLIERDEN 6217 and made slow progress. They also pushed East from ASTEN to LIESSEL 6614 and then North West up the main road to DEURNE. This column met rather less opposition and made better progress than the column further to the West but by nightfall DEURNE had not yet been secured.
24   Maps Belgium and N.E. France 1/100000 Sheet 4. Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5.
24   Dull and showery most of the day. About 0900hrs Regt moved Eastwards over the bridge with orders to take up posns in area LIESSEL 6614 to protect South East flank of Div. 'A' Sqn were ordered to take up posns on road running South East from LIESSEL with their leading elements if possible as far fwd as rd junc 682119. 'B' Sqn to face East covering out Eastwards from the village and 'C' Sqn in reserve with Tps on the roads running North West and West from the village. 'A' Sqn met considerable opposition on the main road just South East of the village about 671140 and Southwards from there and were engaged in this area for most of the rest of the day. The enemy had a number of 88mm guns and smaller calibre guns sited to cover this road and the flanks of it and the Sqn was hampered in its manoeuvre by a stream running parallel with the road on the West of it and generally by the close wooded nature of country. 3rd Tp under Lt. CC Egerton which was in front once again fought extremely well and skilfully and knocked out at least 3 enemy 88mm guns. In the course of the day Lt.PJ Ireland Comd 4th Tp was killed by a shot which hit him in the head from some fairly large calibre weapon. His tk and the rest of his crew were undamaged. Cpl. Nicholl's tk which was leading 3rd Tp was knocked out and burnt and the following members of his crew wounded - no. 14436418 Tpr Burrows S, no. 14417706 Tpr Angell E and no. 14301681 Tpr Brown H. The Challenger tk of 3rd Tp comd by Sgt Gadd received a direct hit through the turret after it had knocked out 1 of the 88mm guns. Two members of his crew - no. 14421595 Tpr Clarke P and no. 14299649 Tpr Harris G were killed although the tk was able to be driven back and put in for repair. All those killed were buried in a corner of the churchyard at LIESSEL. Late in the evening the Regt reverted to comd 11 Armd Div, and 1st KOSB of the 3rd Brit.Div. came up under comd of the Regt to assist in holding this area. 'A' Sqn were pulled back to the Southern edge of the village at last light and Sqns harboured in their localities of the day. It was a very wet and cold evening and night.
Holland 25   Maps Belgium and N.E. France 1/100000 Sheet 4. Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5.
25   About 0830hrs 'A' Sqn in combination with Coy 1st KOSB moved fwd down the road where they had fought the previous day and found that the enemy had withdrawn from the whole area and were now mainly East of the canal running through square 7012. A certain number of enemy were reported to be still West of the bridge in this square and a combined operation with the inf and supported by arty was arranged to adv as far as the bridge 708121 to confirm whether this was blown or not. While final arrangements for this operation were still being made, Lt Butler, commanding a patrol of recce reported that he had reached the bridge and that it was in fact blown. This was yet another instance of the determination, courage and initiative which Lt Butler had been showing consistently throughout the operations of the past weeks. While 'A' Sqn were clearing up this area to the South East 'C' Sqn were ordered to come under comd 1st Herefords and move through DEURNE to HELMOND to assist in clearing up this town. Little opposition was met there and the objective was achieved without incident. About midday remainder of Regt was ordered to come under comd 159 Inf Bde Gp and move Northwards through DEURNE towards GEMERT 5730. Advancing in order of march 'B', RHQ, 'A', Regt passed through 2 FF Yeo who were then the leading tps of the Bde just North of BAKEL 6124 and adv to GEMERT which was reported still held by enemy. In fact we reached the town about 1400hrs and found it clear of enemy and immediatly received orders to move on in a North Easterly direction to ST. ANTHONIS 7138. At the same time 29 Armd Bde was adv on the more direct road from DEURNE to this place. 'A' Sqn passed through 'B' Sqn and the Regt adv from GEMERT in order 'A', RHQ, 'B', 'C', who had now completed their task at HELMOND, reverted under comd of Regt, followed on some way behind. No opposition was met up to rd junc 6935 where about 4 enemy half track vehs mounting big calibre MG's were met. 29 Armd Bde were just in front of us on their route and reached ST. ANTHONIS half an hour before us.These half track vehs were chased into the village by the leading tp of 'A' Sqn and on reaching it most unfortunately shot up the Brigadier (Brigadier Harvey - Comd 29 Armd Bde), his Bde Major and 2 of his C.O.'s. Lt-Col Silvertop DSO.MC, Comd 3rd RTR and Lt-Col Orr DSO, Comd 3rd Mons who were in conference in the village. The two latter were killed and the Brigadier and his Bde Major wounded. All 4 enemy vehs were knocked out by 29 Armd Bde before they got away from the village. The Regt harboured that night in posns to hold the Western half of the village of ST.ANTHONIS in co-operation with 4 KSLI. Units of 29 Armd Bde held the Eatern half of the village.
Holland 26   Maps Holland 1/100000 Sheet 5. American Military Map Holland 1/25000 Sheets 19 NW and 12 SW.
26   A bright sunny morning.Orders were received in the morning to adjust previous nights posns and for the Regt and 4 KSLI to take over the whole of the village releasing 29 Armd Bde. 'C' Sqn were moved to posns covering the E and SE entrances into the village. 'A' Sqn remained covering the road running in from the North West and 'B' Sqn that on the South West. During the morning 'B' Sqn were ordered to investigate the situation in the area BOXMEER 7640 and the road running South East from it. They moved out followed by C.O. and two patrols of recce. BOXMEER was found to be clear of the enemy and SAMBEEK 7739 was also clear except for odd inf still in the houses.The bridge over the stream just South of SAMBEEK was found to be partially blown and the Sqn then used the minor road running out Westwards to the rly to try to adv on towards VORTUM 7837. Meantime recce patrols recce'd towards the R.Meuse to investigate various locks etc, which were seen there, looking for a possible crossing site which might be useful later on. A German Officer comd a Coy of an A/Tk Regt was captured by a patrol of recce Tp at SAMBEEK and proved a most useful source of information to higher formation. Late in the afternoon 'B' Sqn reached MULLEM 7837 but civilians reported that there was strong opposition in VORTUM and as the light was now beginning to fail they were ordered to withdraw and avoid becoming involved with these. A little earlier in the afternoon 'B' Sqn was ordered to send one Tp to the road junc 7336 and sent 3rd Tp - Lt.M.Jennings to this place. Shortly after crossing the rly 7737 this Tp located a considerable force of enemy lorries and inf to their South in the corner of the wood about 760360 and inflicted considerable destruction of these, knocking out a number of vehs and 1 S.P. A/Tk gun. At last light the whole Sqn withdrew by this road to their previous posn in ST. ANTHONIS.
Holland 27   Regt still in area ST. ANTHONIS. 'C' Sqn were ordered to remain in previous posn covering East and South East entrances. 'A' Sqn were allowed to stand down for the day to maintain their vehs. 'B' Sqn and patrols of recce were ordered to push carefully down towards the rd junc 7336 and the Monestary of LACTARIA 7335 where a considerable force of enemy was reported, and investigate the situation in this area. Before the had moved very far down this road they came under heavy fire from the South and South West and South East and it was apparent that the enemy was in greater strength than on the previous evening.Whilst engaging enemy gun posns to the West in square 7236 Capt. RHW Ellis, 2nd in comd of the Sqn unfortunately received a direct hit by an enemy mortar bomb in his tk and was killed. A tk of 1st Tp became ditched close to the rd junc 7336 and proved exceedingly difficult to pull out, under fire as it was from 3 sides. Most of the rest of the day really became an operation to try to extricate this tk with the help of smoke fired by 151 Fd Regt RA. Other tks proved unable to pull it out and a numb,er of tracks became broken. 3rd Tp 'C' Sqn - Lt JHB Blackett, was sent fwd to assist 'B' Sqn by protecting their Eastern flank. Unfortunately Lt. Blackett's tk was shortly afterwards hit and burnt out by a shot from an enemy Tiger tk in the area LACTARIA and he and the whole of his crew seriously burnt. The Challenger tk of this Tp was also hit through the engine and damaged but none of its crew were hurt. Lt. M. Jennings then moved fwd down the road towards this enemy tk with his Challenger and it is thought succeeded in knocking it out at long range, a very creditable performance. The Sqn was withdrawn late in the afternoon but the ditched tk had to be left.
Holland 28   Regt still in area ST. ANTHONIS. At 0700hrs 'A' Sqn were ordered to move through BOXMEER and investigate the situation in area SAMBEEK - VORTUM. This turned out to be much the same as it had been 2 days before. Only a few enemy still remained in SAMBEEK but VORTUM and the road running South West from it through MULLEM was strongly held by A/Tk and other weapons. One tk of 2nd Tp was hit but not penetrated by an 88mm on the road beside the rly about 774372. The Sqn was then withdrawn to the line of the cutting just South of SAMBEEK and remained in posn there for the rest of the day during which they were fairly heavily shelled at intervals and no. 7904434 Sgt Peachey E and no. 7904808 L/C Simmonds B were wounded.
29   Regt still in area ST. ANTHONIS. 'C' Sqn were sent back in the morning and harboured in the farm at 630327 where it was hoped they would be able to remain for some days to carry out maintenance, rest and reorganise. 'B' Sqn were allowed to stand down and maintain their tks in their posn in ST. ANTHONIS. 'A' Sqn were once more ordered out to investigate the situation and block any enemy adv North of VORTUM and also to block the road running into ST. ANTHONIS from LACTARIA. 'A' Sqn remained in posn in SAMBEEK area throughout the day and except for some exchange of shelling no incident of note occured. The 3rd Brit. Div. came up on this day to take over this area from the Div and during the day it was also learned that the American 7th Armd Div was also coming into this area to put in an attack on OVERLOON 7631 and VENLO 9109 from the North West, as owing to the lack of roads they considered they were unable to do this from the area DEURNE 6519. Owing to this the Bde Gp was to move back in the evening to an area just North East of GEMERT leaving only a small force consisting of 'A' Sqn and 2 Coys KSLI to hold ST. ANTHONIS for the night until the Americans arrived the following day. In the evening HQ moved back to a farm Vossemberg 6531 and 'B' Sqn to JAN BERNT HOEUE 6632. A1 and A Ech Vehs went out to their own Sqns in these areas. 'A' Sqn withdrew to their previous posn in ST. ANTHONIS at last light.
Holland 30   Regt less 'A' Sqn remained in their harbour areas carrying out maintenance. 'A' Sqn moved out at 0700hrs to the same posn about SAMBEEK to block any possible adv fwd by the enemy and prevent any suspicions they might have of the impending American attack. In compliance with the wishes of the Comd of the American Combat Gp who planned to attack down the road through LACTARIA and by-pass VORTUM to the West, 'A' Sqn were left out in this posn throughout the day to protect his left flank. At last light they were brought back to a harbour area at about 610323. The Regt had now been in action for just over 6 weeks during which it had not had a single period of as long as 24hrs when it could stand down to maintain vehs, rest or reorganise. It had taken part in an adv of approx 350 miles measured in a straight line across the map of Europe. The average mileage of the tks during this period was about 950 miles. A list of casualties suffered during this period is attached at Appx 'A'.
30   Operation Orders and Instructions from various formations under which the Regiment operated in the Operation Market Garden are attached at Appx 'B' for the British formations and Appx 'C' gives the Operation Instruction for 101 US Airborne Div with map explaining this.
Distribution of personnel by Sqns as on 30th Sept 44 is attached at Appx 'D'.2

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Mia Litjens.

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.