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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: 8 RS
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt Col P.R. Lane-Joynt
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
LE LONDE 1   Bn still located at LE LONDE (1/50000 Sh 9F/1 map ref 332964).
1 1500 Orders received for move of harbour party to new area but later cancelled. During the day Coys attended Mobile Bath Unit and continued with general reorganisation and administration.
1 0700 31 Reinforcements arrive in Battalion.
2   Administration in general continues.
2   Harbour party leaves for new location.
LA FEUILLIE 3   Bn leaves Le Londe and moves in TCVs to LA FEUILLIE (Sheet 9E/6
3 0900 1/50000 map ref. 5015). Bn HQ est at 505152 with Coys as follows in non-tactical locations: A Coy 502153, B Coy 501154, C Coy 500155, D Coy 499155, S Coy 499156.
3 0900 Situation normal, nothing to report. Administration continued.
4   Bn leaves LA FEUILLIE and moves to area CRIQUIERS (1/50000 Sheet 9E/4 6537) in two parties, first veh party arriving at 1200 hrs followed by embussed tps who arrived at approx 1600 hrs. In the location Bn was still conc in non-tactical posns and ready for further move forward when ordered. See Appx E1
5 2100 Veh party leave CRIQUIERS and proceed to OEUF (Sheet 1/250000 NW Europe map ref. 0710) arriving at 1700 hrs. See appendix E2
5   Some stray enemy were reported in wood 0610 to the west of the village and personnel of Rifle Coys not yet having arrived, personnel from HQ & S Coys who had travelled with veh party carried out the op of clearing this wood but no enemy were located.
5   Rifle Coys arrive at OEUF.
OEUF 6   Bn departs from OEUF in accordance with Move table att as Appx E3.
6   No opposition was encountered until leading tps of the Bde reached HALLUIN (1/100000 Sheet 7 Belgium & NE France) when it was found canal br between HALLUIN and MENIN had been blown and enemy were occupying posns on the north bank of the canal. See appendix E3
HALLUIN Sheet 7 1/100000 6   It was then decided to move the Bde to area WEVELGHEM 7954 where a small bridgehead was held over the river. The Bn in this operation was given the task of making a firm base at the river br 798545 and then of taking up a def posn on southern outskirts of LAUWE 7953 with a view to being prepared to carry out any necessary counter-attack in the WEVELGHEM Bridgehead. 'B' Coy took up posn on south bank of river at br 798545 and remainder of Bn was disposed as follows:
LAUWE 7953 6   Bn HQ - 794528, A Coy - 797527, C Coy - 797524, D Coy - 793524.
1/100000 Sheet 7 (Belgium & NE France) 7 0500 By midnight 6/7 Bn was complete in posn but shortly afterwards orders were received for the Bn to move to COURTRAI 8557 and take over the defence of nodal point from 7 Seaforths of 46 Bde. Sh 53 1/50000 France & Belgium
7   Main body of Bn leave LAUWE for COURTRAI.
7   Change-over complete and Bn now disposed as follows: Bn HQ GRAND HOTEL 854568, A Coy area brs 843570 and 847572, B Coy - area br 861576, C Coy - area brs 853572 and 855573, D Coy and S Coy 857565.
COURTRAI SH 53 8557 7 0830 During the day there was little enemy activity from north bank of canal where Belgian resistance forces were active and brought in approx 120 prisoners.
7   Reps of 4 RWF (53 Div) arrive with a view to their Bn taking over Bn area in COURTRAI.
7   Bn leaves Courtrai and spends night 7/8 Sept on south-east outskirts of the town at MOORINEGOOD 867562 preparatory to advancing to contact enemy on morning of 8th Sept.
Sheet 7 1/100000 Belgium & NE France 8   Bn leaves present location and proceeds in advance to contact formation to North East on road COURTRAI - DEYNZE 0573. The enemy were still in full retreat and no opposition was encountered by the time HARLEBEKE 8859 was reached though approx 60 enemy PW were taken with little opposition in scattered localities. Here the Bn took up a defensive position guarding the River LYS on the north west of HARLEBEKE and the remaining Bns of the Bde were passed through to continue the advance.
Sheet 7 1/100000 France & Belgium HARLEBEKE 8859 8 0830 Bn now disposed as follows: Bn HQ est at 885590, A Coy 906613, B Coy area 875586, C Coy 887600, D Coy DEERLYCK 9159. Enemy continued withdrawing to the east on the North side of RIVER LYS but despite danger of his encirclement by British tps further to NE, did not attempt any break through our def line of RIVER LYS. Any attempt at breaking out could hardly be expected in view of enemy's demolition of most bridges over the river.
9   Bn remains at HARLEBEKE.
9   Situation normal - nothing to report.
1/250000 Sheet 2 and 3 NW Europe 10   Bn leaves HARLEBEKE and proceeds by TCV to MALINES 7175 (NW Europe 1/250000 Sheet 3) via VICHTE 9557 - KERKHOVE 0152 - RENAIX 0846 - NEDERBRAKEL 2052 - NINOVE 3856 - X rds 4755 - ASSCHE 5263 - WOLVERTHEM 5967 - MALINES.
10   Bn est at MALINES as follows: Bn HQ & HQ Coy 715748, A Coy 714756, B Coy 719755, C Coy 724748, D Coy 720741. The task of the Bn in this location was solely defence of nodal brs and there was no contact with the enemy.
10   Situation normal - nothing to report.
MALINES 7174 1/50000 Sheet 45 10 0730 During the evening the CO and Coy recce parties went fwd to OOLEN 9886 (1/50000 Sheet 24 & 34) with a view to carrying out a recce for possible canal crossing in area immediately west of HERENTHALE 9790 but owing to wrong information from higher authority it was found impossible to carry out this recce as the enemy were holding HERENTHALE in strength and also had posns to the west on the south bank of canal.
11 0715 CO and IO carry out recce of area held by D.L.I. of 50 Div in area 0685 (Sheet 25 & 35 1/50000) with a view to Bn taking over this position.
11   Pipe band of Bn play retreat in MAIN SQUARE, MALINES. The retreat was watched by a very large number of spectators who displayed a very keen interest in the performance.
Sheet 25 & 35 1/50000 France & Belgium 12 1430 CO and IO start off for Bde 'O' Gp at 085831, followed about one hour later by Coy Comds and Coy recce parties. After Bde 'O' Gp, CO, IO and Coy Comds & recce parties are taken fwd to D.L.I. Bn area to prepare for change over.
12 1830 Bn main body leaves MALINES and proceeds to F.A.A. at ZAMMEL at 048814.
12 0500 Bn leaves present area and proceeds by Class 9 bridge at 070844 to new Bn area.
12   Bn HQ est at 067858 and Coys in conc areas immediately to west of DLI posns with a view to taking over. By 2100 hrs C and D Coys had taken over. A & B Coys were unable to take over until dark due to exposed positions but by 2300 hrs the Bn was complete in new positions and patrols had been sent fwd to GHEEL to try and contact enemy. Enemy activity during the day had been confined to shelling and mortaring of the fwd area.
13 1545 Patrols during the night into GHEEL reported enemy had evacuated the town and at 0800 hrs the Bn moved fwd to occupy it, Bn HQ being established at 083883.
GHEEL 13   During this complete operation approx 100 enemy prisoners were taken.
13 1630 Bde 'O' Gp took place at Bn HQ.
13 1830 Bn 'O' Gp. Bn at immediate notice to move.
13   Bn leaves GHEEL and proceeds North on the TURNHOUT - GHEEL road to area 078909 where Bn HQ is est with coys disposed astride the main road slightly further NORTH.
13   CO and IO with 2i/c and OC 177 Fd Bty and later with OC Coys carry out recce of canal for assault crossing during night 13/14th Sept. Despite the short time available and lack of time for proper recce by lower comds the Bn was ordered to cross the canal at first light on 14th Sept and at 2400 hrs 13 Sept CO issued orders for assault crossing of the canal at first light.
14   During the early hours of the morning the assault boat lorries were brought up into the woods at 070923 and assault boats offloaded. Coys also moved up into the area preparatory to the crossing.
GHEEL 14 0630 Leading Coys begin crossing. B Coy on right at point 069906 and A Coy on left at pt 065925. Considerable enemy MG and rifle fire was encountered but despite this the initial crossing was successfully accomplished by these Coys and B Coy after reorganising on far bank advanced to North of AART village to point 074934 with a view to engaging enemy posns in the village from the rear. Again despite enemy opposition the Coy gained its objective.
14   D Coy crossed the canal immediately in rear of B Coy at the same pt and after slight pause for reorganising attacked eastwards toward the village,
AART 0793 14   while Tac Bn HQ crossed at pt 065925 in rear of A Coy and with A Coy advanced behind D Coy to the village.
14   C Coy in the meantime were left in posn on south bank of canal in woods at 075927 to assist the operation with covering fire.
14   D Coy gained their objectives in the west end of the village and 'A'
AART (GHEEL BRIDGEHEAD) 14   Coy were passed through to attack the eastern half of the village and exploit beyond gen line of lock at 079928. Opposition however was now very strong and A Coy were unable to extend the bridgehead as ordered. 'C' Coy were therefore ordered to cross the river and assist A Coy and the two coys were finally able to push back the enemy and also clear area of lock 079928 where it was proposed building a bridge, the bridges all having been previously blown by the Germans. However this was not accomplished without severe casualties and during the day coys had to withstand fierce and repeated enemy counter-attacks.
GHEEL BRIDGEHEAD 14   Enemy shelling and mortaring of the bridgehead area was particularly heavy and on account of this and also the area of the lock coming under S.A. fire from enemy MGs the RE were unable to construct a bridge and all communication with the south bank of the canal was by assault boat under very hazardous conditions, making the supply of food and ammunition a very serious problem.
14   Despite all the enemy efforts however by last light except for slight loss of ground on the eastern outskirts of the village the bridgehead remained intact.
14   Since the assault crossing this morning approx 70 PWs were taken.
14 0200 The Bn was now disposed as follows: Tac Bn HQ:- 075930, A and C Coys gen area rd junc 076931 to lock 079928, B Coy 073933, D Coy 073928.
14   During the early hours of the evening after dark, enemy infiltration and counter-attacks were resumed and some penetration of the bridgehead was achieved,
15   A and C Coys being engaged in fierce fighting during which time A and C Coys were overrun and also two secs of carriers on that flank. This caused the almost complete collapse of the eastern flank of the bridgehead and positions had to be readjusted as follows: B Coy were withdrawn from their present position and took up posn in area 076930 while remaining personnel of A & C Coys amounting to approx one platoon strong took up posns at 074929 and 078928 respectively.
15   Further enemy attempts to reach the crossing site at 075927 were held and the bridgehead remained firm though considerably depleted in numbers.
15 2000 Enemy shelling of the area again became very heavy with the defeat of his counter-attacks and he was making considerable use of roving S.P. guns and also AA 20mm guns. Further enemy counter-attacks developed during the morning but with excellent arty support all attacks were repulsed.
15   6 RSF cross canal and ease the pressure on this Bn by attacking through the village and eastern outskirts followed at 1930 hrs by 6
15   KOSB who occupied areas 073930 and 076932 and by dusk the bridgehead had again resumed its initial proportions.
15/16   During the night no enemy attacks developed and the posns were unchanged by first light on the 16th.
16 0900 During the day enemy activity continues though on a slightly reduced scale, but later increased again and the Bn was engaged in repelling these attacks. Our own arty was very active engaging enemy mors and SP guns shelling the Bridgehead area. During the afternoon orders were received for the Bn to be taken out of the Bridgehead and reorganise during the night 16/17th but due to enemy attempts at infiltration again on request by the COs of the other two Bns in the bridgehead the Bn did not start to come out of the bridgehead until
17 0915 0700 hrs 17 Sept. This operation had again to be carried out by assault boat as it had been found impossible to construct a bridge due to enemy shelling but by 0900 hrs the evacuation of the Bn from
GHEEL 1/50000 Sh 25 & 35 17   the bridgehead was complete and Coys had come back to reorganise in GHEEL 0888 with Bn HQ est at 074877. During the day much needed reorganisation and administration was carried out.
17   Orders received for Bn to be ready to move at 0815 hrs 18th Sept.
GHEEL MOLL 1790 Sheet 25/35 1/50000 18   Bn leaves GHEEL and proceeds to area NORTH of MOLL 1790. Bn HQ est at 169914 with Coys as follows: A Coy 160925, B Coy 172932, C Coy 170930, D Coy 153925, S Coy 175925. In this locality Bn was under command 15(S) Div Recce Regt and in reserve behind 15(S) Div Recce Regt who were holding posns on south bank of the JUNCTION CANAL.
19   Bn still in same locations. Situation normal - nothing to report.
19   Bn begins to take over positions on canal from Recce Regt and is finally disposed as follows:-
SHEET 25/35 1/50000 19   Bn HQ - 157925, A Coy area 158934 with pl on canal bank at 157947, B Coy - area X rds 160926, C Coy area 169941 with pl at 170949, D Coy
area 148935 with pl at 143943. C Coy finally moved complete into a def posn around factory bldgs at 168947 while fwd platoons of coys were withdrawn at dark and patrols were sent fwd by each Coy to canal bank. Lateral contact was also made between coys and also with neighbouring formation. Enemy activity limited to occasional shelling. Situation otherwise normal.
20   Bn still in same location. Enemy movement and activity still continues on north side of canal and engaged by our arty. Inter coy patrols continue with nothing of importance to report.
SHEET 25/35 1/50000 20 1030 Carrier patrol reports contact and skirmish with small party of enemy in area of woods 1292. Enemy withdrew and on a search being made could not be contacted.
21 1630 No change in Bn positions.
21   OC of relieving unit 8H arrives and discusses relief with CO.
21   Bn ready to move having conc in coy areas, but move postponed for two hours at least.
Sheet 1/100000 21 0900 Bn moves off from ACHTERBOSCH 1692 en route for HOLLAND. Route via MOLL - X rds 3494 / SH 26/36 1/50000) - canal crossing 353961. Harbours for night 21st/22nd at BROEKHOVEN 3609.
Belgium & NE France Sh 7 EINDHOVEN (HOLLAND) 22   CO and IO attend Bde O Gp at RIETHOVEN 3608.
22   Bn 'O' Gp at Bn HQ.
22   Bn moves to EINDHOVEN 4218 via STEENSEL 3411 - VELDHOVEN 3713 MEERVELDHOVEN 3815. Bn HQ est at 421198. Coys located as follows in localities: A Coy 422198, B Coy 421198, C Coy 423197, D Coy 422197. Tactical situation permitted of Coys being under cover in local schools but def posns were dug in Coy areas in case of necessity for same.
EINDHOVEN 23   Bn ready and standing by to advance Northwards on road to BEST (1/100000 Sheet 5) 3726 in rear of 6RSF. This move was delayed however but the Bn left EINDHOVEN during the afternoon and proceeded to area a few miles NW of EINDHOVEN and harboured for the night. Bn HQ was est at windmill 403229 and Coys disposed as follows: A Coy 393233, B Coy 392232, C Coy 394230, D Coy 399235.
23 2200 Situation normal - nothing to report.
23   CO and IO attend Bde O Gp. Orders received for advance on morning of 24th Sept.
23   Bn 'O' Gp - CO issues orders for advance to contact at 0700 hrs 24th Sept.
BEST (1/100000) Sheet 5 3726 24 1400 Preceded by a troop of 15(S) Div Recce Regt the Bn advanced North on main EINDHOVEN - S'HERTOGENBOSH road. Coy objectives were as follows: A Coy 375279, B Coy 373279. B Coy led the advance and gained their objective with no opposition and A Coy then occupied posns on right of B Coy. C and D Coy were then brought up into posns on the left flank in areas 365277 and 366275 respectively. Bn HQ was established at 377272. Vigorous patrolling by fwd Coys located enemy posns in southern edge of woods 369286 to 365283 with other posns at 375286 and also area of railway line at 363277.
24 1630 A Coy advance on right to take enemy posns at 369286 but in face of hy opposition from MG fire to the front and rt flank were forced to consolidate at 372285.
24 1700 Enemy counter attacks on a small scale were directed at left fwd coy posns but with sp of arty these were repulsed.
24   On instrs from 44 Bde for Bn to form a tight defensive locality in area of X rds 372279, A & B Coys were left in posn but C & D Coys were to move to areas 368281 and 373282 respectively.
24   A Coy disengage and move to original posn on the right of B Coy.
24   Bn HQ move to area 279276 in rear of A Coy.
24 0845 Patrol activity continued and enemy positions located were engaged by arty and mortar fire.
24 0930 Enemy arty activity in the Bn area also increased in particular in area of X rds 372279.
24   During the night Coys carried out rigorous patrolling all along the front, and contact patrols with own tps on right and in rear were maintained.
BEST 1/100000 Sheet 5 25 1045 CO & IO attend 'O' Gp at HQ 44(L) Inf Bde.
25   CO holds Bn 'O' Gp at Bn HQ and orders issued for attack by C & D Coys on enemy posns at 369286.
25 1400 Coys move to SL in front of A & B Coy posns.
25   D Coy on rt encounter hy enemy MG fire from front and rt flank and despite arty assistance were unable to gain objective. Enemy mortar and arty fire continued and it appeared the enemy were holding the southern edge of the wood in considerable strength. The enemy MG from rt flank was also directed on rt flank of D Coy axis of advance making fwd movement impossible without hy casualties. On account of this it was decided to postpone the operation and C & D Coys resumed their def posn recently vacated.
25   Enemy activity continued on the front and was engaged by our arty & mortars.
25   Enemy shelling at frequent intervals continued. Night patrols continued.
26   Contact still being made with enemy in known localities and recce patrols pushing fwd fired on by enemy MGs. Our arty active. 4 PWs taken - situation otherwise normal.
BEST 1/100000 Sheet 5 27 0930 Patrols during night 26/27 report enemy still in posn on rt in front of D Coy but appeared to have pulled back slightly on left in area of woods 365285.
27   Reps of 2 Gordons arrive with a view to their Bn relieving 8RS, and carry out recce of area.
27   Unit harbour party leaves for new area.
27 1930 Relief of Bn by 2 Gordons begins and is completed by 1130 hrs. Bn on relief moves by march route to harbour area in woods 3930, Bn HQ being est at 393303. Coys take up local defence of area as follows: D Coy 392303, C Coy 393303, B Coy 394304, A Coy 397305.
Sheet 5 1/100000 27 0430 CO and IO proceed to 'O' Gp at HQ 44 Inf Bde.
27 0530 Bn 'O' Gp at Bn HQ. Orders issued for attack on morning of 28th Sept.
28 0655 Bn leave present area and proceed by march route to FAA at 401317 in preparation for attack on FRATERSHOEF 389325.
28   A Coy cross start line at track junc 394321 and attack houses at 391322. Objective gained with little opposition and Coy consolidates.
28   B and C Coys pass through A Coy and attack, objectives houses 389325 to houses 387325 with B Coy right, C Coy left.
Sheet 5 1/100000 28   Opposition on right very light but considerable MG fire was encountered by C Coy but coy objectives gained and consolidated. Bn HQ est in area of A Coy at houses 391322 while D Coy were passed through to take up posn on left flank at 388321. Carrier secs were utilized to complete the perimeter defence of bn area. Approx 70 PW taken during bn attack. Prisoners of very varied selection and ERSATZ units. During the day there was considerable shelling of Bn area and mortaring also increased in intensity. Enemy in located posns to front engaged by our arty.
FRATERSHOEF 390323 1/100000 Sheet 5 28 0530 Counter-attack develops on left flank directed at A Coy area and Bn HQ. Estimated strength of enemy - one coy. Enemy managed to infiltrate to 150 yds from Bn HQ but were driven back by S.A. fire from Bn HQ personnel from houses 391322 and excellent arty defensive fire. After retreating 8 stretcher bearers bearing Red Cross flag approach Bn posn and ask for truce to enable them to collect 50 stretcher cases. Truce of one hour granted. All firing stopped. Five minutes after expiry of truce one enemy shell landed in Bn area but for remainder of night there was no other enemy activity.
28 0030 Our own patrols were active in all Coy fronts during the night.
29 0530 Stand-to, situation normal, nothing of importance to report during night. Daylight recce patrols were sent out by all coys and various enemy posns were located, and later engaged by arty and mortar fire. One sec of 15(S) Div Recce Regt also patrolled fwd areas and reported contact with strong enemy posns 600 yds to west of fwd coy locations. Typhoons were also very active rocketing and machine gunning enemy in considerable numbers in woods 3730, 3731.
FRATERSHOEF 390323 1/100000 Sheet 5 30   Bn still in same location. Local Coy patrols still operating. During the night enemy activity increased in fwd areas and it was apparent enemy were now occupying posns much closer to our FDLs. New enemy positions confirmed by patrols.
30 0815 Stand-to. Situation normal.
30   D Coy patrol wipe out MG posns at 386321, one German killed, one prisoner and one escaped.
30   Enemy continue sporadic shelling & mortaring of Bn area.
30   Considerable enemy movement was noticeable during the day and engaged by small arms, mortar, and arty fire.
30   Very heavy shelling of Bn area during which time approx 200 shells fell in Bn locality. Also accompanied by MG and rifle fire and in view of probable counter attack, our arty defensive fire was called for and appeared to stop enemy's attempt to form up for counterattack. No counter attack developed though considerable enemy movement heard in woods and sounds of horse drawn transport. During the night sounds of enemy activity, digging, and movement of horse drawn tpt continued. Occasional enemy shelling continued. Coy patrols very active.
30   During the night very good assistance to observation was given by searchlights in rear areas being directed over Bn locality. This "artificial moonlight" made any enemy movement up to 80-100 yds from our posns difficult to escape detection and was very much appreciated by fwd troops.

Source: The War Diaries of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division June 1944 - May 1945.

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.