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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: 1st Bn The Herefordshire Regt.
Month and Year: December 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. G.R. Turner Cain.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
GRUBBENVORST - HOUTHUIZEN 1   O.Ps established at 896147, 896154 and 877173.Spasmodic shelling at WIELDER and GRUBBENVORST.Patrols, nothing to report. Reinforcements - 1 Offr & 12 O/Rs.The u/m offrs and O/Rs were awarded the following decoration and take effect from 27 Nov 44. D.S.O. Major.R.C.Fripp. 2IC HELCHETEREN 9.9.44; M.C. Major.L.P.Northey. 'C'Coy. Not HELCHETEREN 10.9.44; D.C.M. Cpl.I.R.Everall. 15Pl 'C'Coy. HELCHETEREN 10.9.44; D.C.M. L/c.D. Evans. 'D'Coy. HELCHETEREN 9.9.44; M.M. Sgt.L.F.Raines 'D'Coy. HELCHETEREN 9.9.44; M.M. Sgt.H.Dunn. 'D'Coy. HELCHETEREN 9.9.44; M.M. Cpl.A.G.French 14Pl 'C'Coy. N of HELCHETEREN. 10.9.44; M.M. Cpl.S.H.Haywood. 'A'Coy. HOENRICK. 10.9.44; M.M. Cpl.A.C.T.Bond. 'A'Coy. HOENRICK. 10.9.44
GRUBBENVORST & HOUTHUIZEN 2   Similiar enemy activity to yesterday. Evacuation of XXX civs from all houses E of Rly commenced. Planes and individual S.A.A fire from E side of river during night, but patrols NTR.
" 3 1230 O.P at 896154 shelled and forced to withdraw to alternative posns at 889150. No cas. otherwise much the sames as yesterday.Re-inforcements: - 6 O/Rs.
" 4 1400 R.A.O.P. at 889150 shelled for 30 mins, no cas and O.P. remained in posn, similiar enemy activity as previous days.
" 5   B' Coy mortared in A.M. One Cas-(Wounded) Evacuation of civilians complete. O.P. now atb 892159 instead of 896154 otherwise NTR.
" 6   13 R.H.A. take over from 151 Fd Regt.R.A. in support of Bn.Building of strong points at HOUTHUIZEN 8917 and GRUBBENVORST 8914 and KALDENBROEK 8916 commenced
" 7   Slightly more shelling than usual during 24 hrs.
7 1745 2 Germans seen in E fringe of GRUBBENVORST (possibly recce patrol). Subsequent clearing party could not find them.Activity much the same as yesterday. R.Es laid mines in circular arc S of GRUBBENVORST 894146 to 897145.
" 8   Less enemy flares and S.A activity during night than usual.Re-inforcements:- 9 O/Rs.
" 9   Working party in strong point at GRUBBENVORST brought more shelling and mortaring than usual. Area of Bn H.Q. lightly shelled A.M. and P.M. by a single gun; but many shells were apparently 'dud', this caused 3 O/R casualties (slightly wounded) in the Bn. H.Q. area and 4 more O/Rs at GRUBBENVORST during the day. 2 O/Rs slightly wounded by 69 grenades during training.
9 2200 Returning from night firing posn at 888149, one mor carrier blew up on mines on track at 888150. The carrier had been down the track earlier in the evening and it was subsquently found that the mines had been quite deeply buried. One O/R killed and two wounded. Enemy quiet during night apart from short and spasmodic mortar stonks.
" 10   Increased shelling and mor activity continues during day.R.E. completed single belt of A.P. mines in circle around GRUBBENVORST. Line of mines now 8946, 897145, 897147, 895148.
" 11   Enemy generally quietter than last two days with reduced shelling and mortaring throughout 24 hrs.Re-inforcement:- 71 O/Rs.
" 12   Work continued during the night by 'D', 'C', and 'A' Coys on their respective strongpoints. Bad weather restricted observation to the EAST of the R. MAAS.
GRUBBENVORST & HOUTHUIZEN 13 1200 Bn commenced handing over to 8 RB, coys moving back independently to reserve area at MELDERSLO 8518. This operation was considerably helped by heavy mist and was uneventful.The following awards have been made to the u/m:-
13   D.S.O. Lt Col G.R. Turner Cain. Commanding Officer. ZOMEREN 21 Sept 44. M.C. Capt E.L.Mills. Second i/c 'C' Coy. ZOMEREN 21 Sept 44. M.C. Lt G.de Carle. 'D' Coy. YSSELSTEYN 17 Oct 44. M.M. Cpl H.Pearson. 'D' Coy. ZOMEREN 21 Sept 44. M.M. L/cpl Constable.R. 'C' Coy. ZOMEREN 21 Sept 44.
MELDERSLO 14   Bn located as follows:- 'A'Coy 853188, 'B'Coy 855192, 'C'Coy 847193, 'D'Coy 856198. BnHQ 834182. Working parties from coys cleared road HORST-MELDERSLO of mud. Baths and entertainment.
" 15   Road clearing parties, baths and entertainment.
" 16 0800 Advance recce party left for area WEST of ROERMOND.
16 1800 Bn 'O'Gp in connection with Bde moving to take over positions from 158 Bde (53 Div)
" 17 0900 Bn moves to new location, area HORN to take over from 6 Bn RWF 158 Bde 53(W)Division.
17 1500 B' Coy shelled whilst taking over. 2/Lt Bache wounded.
17 1530 Bn complete in new positions apart from forward sections.Bn.HQ 737905. Flares and spandaus active during the first half of the night.
HORN 18 0235 Heavy stonk (approx 150 shells) in HORN area, 151Fd Regt repliedRemainder of night quiet, but spasmodic martaring or shelling of forward areas during the day. O.P.established 754915.'D' COY HQ moved to 762931 and pl positions slightly altered.
" 19   Heavy mist throughout the day. Less enemy shelling and mortaring than usual. RE's clear enemy minefield in the vicinity of Bn HQ.
" 20 0120 -0215 Period of enemy activity along the whole front, consisting of SA fire, mortar, NBW, 88mm, and possibly one 15cm gun.No casualties, and heavy mist obscured observation. Very little enemy activity during the day, again heavy mist "blanketed" operations.
20 1500 Carrier Pl shoot up area East of 'D'Coy MMG's Normal spanday activity during the night.
" 21   Two civilians in pay of Germans reported to have crossed to our side during the night. Patrols were sent out to search with the aid of the O.D. without result. Very quiet throughout the 24 hrs Mist continues.
" 22   Enemy patrol seen in WEERD area during morning. Fog prevented patrol from locatong the enemy.
22 1930 R.Es with one pl of A Coy as protection, laid AP and Schu mines along river side of bank at 785916. AP mines laid in double row with Schu mines in between in straight stretches at 774921, 774916 and 774913. RE suffered 2 cas (wounded) during the operation.
22 0253 Minefield completed. During the night enemy patrol of 6 reported at 752920 and another 4 at 746915. One of the latter injured by rifle fire.
HORN 23   Day and night quiet. Enemy thought to be celebrating Christmas as sounds of revelry were heard at midnight. Troop of 474 Ind S/L Battery under command to produce artificial moonlight when required.
HORN 24   Again quiet, small amount of enemy shelling and mortaring only.Recce Troop of 15/19 Hussars under command of 'A' Cay to thicken defences.(infantry role)
HORN 25 0700 Party of civilians and 2 RAF personnel crossed the river MAAS from ROERMOND bringing useful information of crossing point and routes of enemy patrols, and also local information of crossing point and routes of enemy patrols, and also local information on enemy defences.338 Bty 75 A/tk took over D Coy area,(infantry role) D Coy move to area W of HORN 740911. B Coy also moved posn nearer to HORN on the E to make a Stronger Bn locality. 2 Coys therefore spent Christmas day digging in.
HORN 26 0130 Section of 'C'Coy which had been placed in posn at HATENBOER 762897, sucessfully ambushed enemy patrol of 25 to 30 strong.Seven believed to killed and several injured. Our casualties NIL.The enemy took great pains to withdraw his killed and injured and no means of identification left behind. Civilians still living in the farm in the vicinity reported that the Germans had been there for 3 days.
HORN 27 1800 -0005 Operation to clear HATENBOER farms and vicinity of Germans and civilians, found area clear of both. Civilians believed to be "hiding up" in the vicinity. me, 14Pl Op Offr.
27 0545 Enemy raid on section and platoon H.Q. of 'C' Coy unsucessfull.Enemy seen and fired on by the section. Enemy fired 6 Panzerfaust bombs at platoon H.Q. house which all fell short, and this was silenced by the second bomb of a P.I.A.T. Enemy casualties believed at least 5. Own casualties NIL.1300 to 1800 hrs. Bn relieved by 4 K.S.L.I. without incident and established in billets in reserve area at BAXEM 7092
BAXEM 28   Bn celebrated Christmas Day.
BAXEM 29   P.T., Baths and Entertainment.
BAXEM 30   P.T., Baths and Entertainment.
BAXEM 31 1100 C of E Church Parade.
31   Turner Cain Lt. Col.Commanding Officer.1st Bn. The Herefordshire Regiment.

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Source: 11th Armoured Division.

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.