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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: 2nd Bn The Royal Warwickshire Regt
Month and Year: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt-Col. D.L.A. Gibbs, DSO
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
FRANCE 1   Day spent in waiting for Orders. In the evening orders were received for the Bn to proceed to the Conc Area North of CAUMONT.
2   Bn moved in Tp carrying tpt to Conc area North of CAUMONT, where it spent the night in the Orchards.
3   ln the morning the Bde came under command of 11 Armd Div and the Bn moved up in TCVs to the BENNY BOCAGE area. In the afternoon the Bn was placed under command of 29 Armd Bde and moved up to the Bde Area the same afternoon and was ordered to put in a night attack to retake PRESSLES, which lay between the forward elements of 29 Armd Bde and its own HQ. The Bn attacked at midnight, supported by 11 Armd Div Arty, with ‘C’ Coy on the right and ‘D’ Coy on the left, followed up by 'A' and 'B’ Coys.
4   The attack was successful and the Bn consolidated in the village of PRESSLES. No casualties in the attack and by the early morning the enemy began to shell the village and some casualties occurred. At 1300 hours orders were received from 11 Armd Div to take over BAS LE PERRIER from the 29 Armd Bde Motor Bn, 8 Rifle Brigade, who were, at the same time, to come back to PRESSLES. This change over was to be completed by 1800 hours. This was found to be quite impracticable but was, in fact, carried out in daylight and completed by 2000 hours. The casualties suffered by both Bns during the enemy shelling of the one road were heavy. On arrival at BAS LE PERRIER, 23 H, one Sp Tp and one Tp AVREs came under command of the Bn. This force was very thick on the ground and it was decided the next day to push out 'B' Coy to the village of BAS LE PERRIER, 400-yds ahead.
5   This attack was carried out by 'B' Coy supported by fire of 23 H Tks and some artillery of 29 Armd Bde. It was successful, although one Pl, which exploited a little too far, were counter-attacked and suffered some casualties. The Bn was now situated with two Coys, ‘A’and ‘D’, both very weak, on the high feature for local protection of 23 H, and two Coys, 'C' and ‘B’, forward of the feature in the area of the Orchards and Houses of BAS LE PERRIER overlooked by the ridge immediately above it.
6   Considered vital by 29 Armd Bde to re-establish observation on the forward ridge to overlook CHENEDOLLE. ‘B' Coy ordered to attack the ridge and establish a standing patrol on top. The Coy gained the top of the ridge and was then counter-attacked by a considerable enemy force who moved up along the banks and hedges in very thick country from the other side. This resulted in some close fighting and the Coy was driven back to its original position suffering some thirty casualties of whom eighteen were missing. The enemy facing ‘B’ Coy were identified as 9 SS.
6   While 'B' Coy's Op was in progress Maj TG Bundock was killed whilst endeavouring to stop a burning tank from exploding, which was near one of his Secs.
6   At 1600 hours a very heavy concentration of enemy artillery, mortars and nebelwerfers was put down on the Bn area for about twenty minutes. During this time large numbers of German Infantry and some tanks were seen concentrating on the ridge, moving down to attack the Bn positions. Very heavy defensive fire was immediately brought down by 27 Fd Regt and 29 Armd Bde Arty and the attacking Germans sustained very heavy casualties, but some infantry and two tanks penetrated into 'B' Coy's position, where they were held by 'C' Coy. The enemy continued to try and press home its attack round the flanks for about four hours but were heavily shelled and engaged by our own tanks and eventually withdrew in complete disorder. It was learnt afterwards from Prisoners that this was part of a Bde counter-attack by 9 SS Div.
7   The Bn under heavy shell fire and accurate MG and A Tk Fire all day. One German tank remained in the same area as ‘C’ Coy all day, but was eventually crippled by patrols. A number of casualties were incurred and several tanks received a direct hit.
8   Orders were received that the Bn was to be relieved by a Bn of the Herefordshire Regt and recce was carried out during the morning. The relief was carried out during the night under some shell fire and the Bn had taken over the position from the Herefordshire Regt near PRESSLES by 0300 hours on 9 Aug. Casualties incurred during past six days' fighting were as follows:-
8   Killed – Maj TG Bundock, 22 Other Ranks. Wounded – Capt PA Batt, Capt DA Field, Capt WS Cook, Capt JR Clarke, Lt FAE Bonney, Lt FJ Groom, 143 Other Ranks. Missing – 30 Other Ranks.
9   Orders were received during the morning for the Bn to move to a Rest Area about five miles South of BENNY BOCAGE. The Bn moved in MT and concentrated in this Rest Area at 1600 hours. During the evening the Bn came back under command of 3 Br Inf Div and received orders for a move the next day to a Forward Concentration Area prior to the advance on TINCHEBRAY. The short time available was spent in re-organising and the Bn was re-organised with three Rifle Coys - 'A', 'C' and 'D' - each about eighty strong, and with only three Mortar Detachments.
9   ‘A’ Coy – Capt MLB Hall, Lt CW Jarvis, 2/Lt RP Strutt
9   ‘C’ Coy – Maj WT Barratt, Lt J Martin-Webb, Lt DSB Roberts
9   ‘D’ Coy – Capt F Bell (MM), Capt JA Clarke, Lt CW Moxham
9   ‘S’ Coy – Maj GFJ Jerram (the only officer)
9   Bn HQ – Lt AR Allen (took over duties of Adjt)
9   The Bn was without a SO.
10   During the evening the Bn moved by march route into its Forward Concentration Area North of the Railway, three miles to the East of VIRE, where it spent the night. The advance of 3 Br Inf Div was to start at 0900 hours the next day, its objectives being as follows:-
10   Right - 8 Br Inf Bde ... Objective Pt 272 (Main VIRE – TINCHEBRAY Road)
10   Left - 185 Inf Bde ... Objective Pt 312
10   This advance was to be preceeded by a bombing programme.
10   185 Inf Bde advance was to be made by 2 KSLI, followed by 2 Warwick, followed by 1 Norfolk, who were down to two Coys.
11   The bombing programme was unable to take place, but 2 KSLI started their advance at 0900 hours and took ROULLOURS without much opposition, but were slowed up by large numbers of mines. At 1200 hours the Bn was orderd to move to a Concentration Area in the orchards about one mile North of ROULLOURS. 2 KSLI continued their advance on Pt 312 and the Bn then moved through ROULLOURS to take over to LA MASLERIE. It reached LA MASLERIE at about 1700 hours, where they dug in under a small amount of shell fire to form a firm base. By dusk, 2 KSLI had got a footing on Pt 312 and the Bn remained for the night at LA MASLERIE. ‘A’ Coy had a few casualties whilst clearing an orchard in LA MASLERIE.
12   The Bde advance towards TINCHEBRAY continued at 0800 hours with the Bn leading and ‘D’ Coy reached the area of cross-tracks (a mile South East of Pt 312) with no opposition and ‘C’ Coy following up. Both ‘D’ and ‘C’ Coys had a number of casualties from mines and booby-traps. The Bn was now ordered to take up a position around the cross-tracks, sending forward patrols to the line of the River South of CREULEY, about 2000 yards to the South East.
13   The Bn remained in its same position, sending out patrols to CREULEY. A German Rear Guard composed of elements of 3 Para Div were more active during the day and a 'C' Coy PI on patrol under Lt Martin-Webb had a battle with them and this officer and two other men were wounded. The Forward Positions were under intermittent shelling during the day. Orders were received for the Bn to attack a German Rear Guard position round CREULEY at 2000 hours in the evening with ‘D’ Coy on the left and 'C' Coy on the right, each supported by two troops of Coldstream Guards Churchill Tank Regt. Whilst ‘C’ Coy was forming up for this attack, Maj WT Barratt was wounded and Maj TL Brock was very hurriedly sent up to command ‘C’ Coy. Immediately ‘C’ and ‘D’ Coys started to advance they came under very heavy mortar and shell fire and many casualties were sustained. 'C' Coy was unable to make much progress, but ‘D’ Coy eventally reached their objective with only sixteen men under Maj F Bell (MM) and they had a large number of wounded with them. The two troops of tanks came up to them and the Germans were driven back South of the River. However, the Bn was not considered strong enough to hold the position captured and the remnants of 'D' Coy were withdrawn to their original positions. Casualties during this attack were as follows:-
13   Killed – 10 Other Ranks
13   Wounded – Maj WT Barratt, Capt MLB Hall, Capt JA Clarke, Lt J Martin-Webb, 48 Other Ranks
13   Missing – 1 Other Ranks
13   The following Reinforcements arrived at 'A' Ech:-
13   W/Lt RJ Keast, W/Lt CH Mavin, 97 Other Ranks
14   The Bn remained in the same positions and the day was spent in re-organising the Bn on a two Rifle Coy basis. Personnel of B C & D Coys forming D Coy under -
14   - Capt F Bell (MM) – Coy Comd
14   - Lt CW Moxham
14   - Lt DSB Roberts
14   - Lt RJ Keast
14   A Coy being made up to full coy strength by the inclusion of Rfts who had arrived the previous day under -
14   - Maj TL Brock – Coy Comd
14   - Lt CW Jarvis
14   - Lt G Tennant
14   - 2/Lt RP Strutt
15   The pursuit of the retreating Germans was now going forward so far that Bde was now a long way behind any fighting and a quiet day was spent.
16   A quiet day. During the day orders were issued that the Bde was to move to a concentration area South of TINCHEBRAY, to take place the next day.
17   The Bn moved to a concentration area SE of TINCHEBRAY in MT. The move was completed by 1200 hrs and the Bn settled down in its new area under more or less peace conditions, for a period of training, The following promotions were made:-
17   - T/Capt F Bell (MM) – To be A/Maj & appointed OC ‘D’ Coy
17   - W/Lt AR Allen – To be A/Capt & appointed Adjt
17   - W/Lt CW Jarvis, W/Lt CW Moxham – To be A/Capts
17   - W/Lt EE Dentith – Appointed IO
17   - CSM R Francis – Promoted WOI & appointed RSM
18   All Companies spent the day training.
19   Training. The Battalion beat 2 KSLI at Football (3 – 1). During the day the following who had joined the Battalion from the Hertfordshire Regiment, received decorations for gallantry whilst with the Beach Group on ‘D’ Day -
19   279559 - Lt FAE Bonney MC
19   5961439 - Cpl A Church MM
20   Battalion Parade Church Service in the morning. The Battalion beat 185 Inf Bde HQ in the Final of the Brigade Football Tournament (7 - 1).
21   Training, with special reference to opposed river crossings, which was now anticipated would be the Division’s role.
22   During the day a Squadron of Scots Guards Churchill Battalion came into the Battalion area for co-operation with training.
23   Advanced information was received that the Battalion would get two full Companies from 1/7 Battalion to make up to full strength again and the CO paid a visit to 1/7 Battalion to arrange this.
24   Training.
25   The following large numbers of Reinforcements were taken on strength from 1/7 Battalion and other units. This made the Battalion up to the following numbers and it was at full strength again in men and equipment for the first time in a long period. (See attached)
26   The day was spent in Company Exercises, with tanks.
27   A Battalion Parade Service was held in the morning.
28-30   All days spent in training. During the period since 17 Aug 44, the Battalion had received a great many vacancies for Entertainments of all sorts and a large number of men had been got away for three days to the Div and Corps Rest Camps.
31   The Battalion received a warning order for a forward move to the North of the SEINE, to take place on 3 Sep 44.

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Hans Houterman.

Disclaimer: This War Diary is based on its original, but typos might be corrected. Locations are calculated, so might not be in the correct place. For historical research, always check the originals.