|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: The Royal Dragoons|
|Month and Year: September 1944||(Erase heading not required).||Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. H.W. Lloyd|
|FIELD||1||In the morning the Regiment captured a large number of enemy stragglers and shot up a lot of horse-drawn transport. All Squadrons were operating in front of 7 Armd Div. The river SOMME was crossed between AMIENS and PICQUIGNY, over a bridge which the enemy had not destroyed in the western outskirts of AMIENS. By last light patrols had pushed across the river to an average depth of 5 miles. Lt. Bertschinger, Sjt. Evans ('B' Sqn) and 2 O. Rs were wounded. Sjt. Darraugh ('D' Sqn) killed.|
|2||The Regimental axis was the main AMIENS – ST POL road. With 'A' Sqn centre, 'C' Sqn right, and 'D' Sqn left, a quick advance of 25 miles was made due north in the morning. Orders to by-pass enemy rearguards were carried out until all 3 Squadrons were brought to a halt on the line ST POL – FREVENT – BERNAVILLE. From 1100 hrs onwards for the remainder of the day, mopping up went on, with 'B' Sqn helping in the centre. Again PWs were numerous and no attempt was made to try to count them. 1 O.R. was killed and 3 wounded. Lt. Pelham-Burn had his Daimler Armd Car knocked out when entering a small village. He, together with his crew, were taken prisoner, subsequently to return to the Regiment safe and sound. (See Appendix 'A')||'A'|
|3||11 Hussars took over the lead and the Regiment was in reserve, Squadrons in Squadron areas, RHQ 6 miles north of DOULLENS.|
|4||In the afternoon the Regiment motored a further 20 miles in a north-easterly direction and stayed the night 6 miles north-west of ARRAS.|
|5||'B' Sqn was sent out to clear the area to the North-east as far as the line ARMENTIERES – LILLE. The task was completed in the afternoon, 20 PWs having been taken, and the Squadron rejoined the Regiment at nightfall in the area of PECQ, a few miles over the BELGIAN frontier and 6 miles north of TOURNAI.|
|6||Lys Force, comprised of 44 Inf Bde (15 (S) Div), 1 Medium Regt, 1 Battery of SP Anti-tank guns, 1 Field Battery and Royals, was ordered to clear the area north of PECQ until 15 (S) Div should come up to take over the following day. The SP Anti-tank Battery arrived during the preceding night, but none of the remainder of the force had been able to rendezvous by first light, owing to the blocked roads. Until Brigadier Villers (Commanding 44 Inf Bde) arrived at 1100 hrs, the Commanding Officer commanded operations. 'A', 'C' and 'D' Sqns advanced north. 'D' took 150 PWs in COURTRAI and skirmished the outskirts of MENIN throughout the day. At 1800 hrs plans were changed. There was a report that 3 enemy divisions were north-east of our font and that they might attempt to break out south through our lines. The advance was halted; 15 (S) Div came up on our left and 46 Inf Bde took over the defence of MENIN and COURTRAI. 7th Seaforths and 2nd Glasgow Highlanders covered the remainder of our front during the night. 1 O.R. was killed. Sjt. Hogarth ('C' Sqn) and 2 O.Rs wounded.|
|7||The Regiment was under command 15 (S) Div. 44 Inf Bde was in a static roll defending the crossings over the BOSSUY and LYS canals on the line MENIN – COURTRAI – HEESTERT. 'C' Sqn guarded the bridges between MENIN and DEULEMONT to the west. 'A' and 'B' Sqns pushed on north over the canals between MENIN and COURTRAI, encountering enemy in the villages, who withdrew during the day. 'A' Sqn spent much time mopping up. By last light patrols were on the line ROULERS – COURTRAI. During the day 100 PWs and 2 105 mm guns were captured. 1 O.R. was wounded. Lt. Pelham-Burn and his crew, Tprs Brady and Crowe, rejoined the Regiment, having escaped from the enemy. (See Appx. 'A')||'A'|
|8||The Regiment, still under command of 15 (S) Div, was given the task of clearing the area south-west of GHENT of enemy, the area being a triangle formed by the towns GHENT – OUDENARDE – OLSENE. 7 Armd Div had occupied almost the whole of GHENT 2 days previously, but their unprotected lines of communication were being constantly cut by small parties of enemy infantry with MGs. The Regiment's operation today would safeguard the northern side of 7 Armd Div's supply line. 'D' Sqn was on the left and 'C' on the right, while 'B' helped mop up behind all that the two leading Sqns by-passed. A considerable amount of equipment, including 8 88 mm and 105 mm guns, were found abandoned and in perfect condition. Nearly 100 PWs were taken whose morale was bad. The Regiment concentrated for the night at CHATEAU WANNEGEMLEDE, 3 miles north of OUDENARDE.|
|9||In the afternoon the Regiment moved 25 miles further east to TERMONDE, 15 miles east of GHENT, in order to operate under 7 Armd Div the following day.|
|10||The Regiment was given the task of pushing north starting from the east - west road GHENT – ST NICHOLAS and clearing the area of enemy as far north as the sea. 'B' Sqn watched the left flank, while 'C' Sqn on the left and 'D' Sqn on the right advanced in difficult fen country as far as the GHENT canal, where they were halted by blown bridges, with enemy on the northern side. Parties of enemy infantry who attempted to infiltrate and stalk our patrols, were engaged and forced to withdraw. It was impossible to determine the number of casualties inflicted. 2/Lt. R.J.G. Hayman was badly wounded when a tank appeared round a corner and fired at close range.|
|11||'A' and 'B' Sqns took over 'C' and 'D' Sqns' patrols and remained in observation during the day. 1. O. R. wounded.|
|12||'A' and 'B' Sqns on same patrol ine. N.T.R. The Regiment stayed the night at DONK.|
|13||The Regiment was not operating, but in the evening moved east to the CHATEAU at KONINGSHOYCKT, 17 miles north-east of MECHLIN, where it was expected to remain for two or four days rest. Major A.H. Pepys, DSO, rejoined the Regiment as 2 i/c.|
|15||The Regiment came under command 30 Corps and in the morning moved 30 miles east to the Corps Concentration area between HELCHTEREN (12 miles south of the DUTCH frontier) and the ESCAUT Canal. Major Gore went to 30 Corps as L.O.|
|16||The Commanding Officer attended the Corps Commander's conference in the morning, on the subject of the coming operation "Garden".|
|17||Operation "Garden" commenced at 1400 hrs. 1 British Airborne Div landed at ARNHEM, 82 U.S. Airborne Div at NYMEGEN and 101 U.S. Airborne Div at GRAVE. Weather was fine and cloudy. 'A', 'C' and 'D' Sqns joined their parent units - 15/19 Hussars, Sherwood Rangers and 44 R.T.R. respectively, in readiness to advance with them the following day. 'B' Sqn and RHQ were to remain behind with H. Q. Rear Corps, as local defence on the march. The weather deteriorated during the afternoon and rain set in which continued all night.|
|18||Lt. Greaves and Lt. Mandelson went as L.Os for 30 Corps to 101 U.S. Airborne Div and HQ Airborne Corps.|
|22||At 0100 hrs RHQ, 'B' Sqn and B.3 started off on a long night march with the intention of reaching the area of Corps H.Q., south of NYJMEGEN. In fact, the road (along which all Corps traffic had to pass) was so jammed that by 1100 hrs only 12 miles had been completed. H.Q. Sqn and 'B' Sqn finally spent the night 2 miles north of EINDHOVEN. During the day the axis was cut by the enemy near WEGHEL. 'C' Sqn, who were operating in this area, had a difficult and unpleasant job at this period. On this day Lt. Goodall was taken prisoner and succeeded in escaping later with his operator, and returned to the Sqn the following day. (See Appendix 'A')||'A'|
|23||'A' Sqn, who had been under command 15/19 Hussars in the EINDHOVEN area, returned to the Regiment. At midday 'B' Sqn came under command 50 Div, who had come up with 2 Bdes to clear the enemy from the area east of ST OEDENRODE. By 1600 hrs the axis was open and safe for traffic to pass up to NYJMEGEN once more. The Regiment expected to continue the march up to Corps, but was held back in the present location to help keep the axis open, and because the road was required for higher priority traffic. 'C' Sqn, still in the WEGHEL area, had a lot of trouble with enemy infantry armed with bazookas and MGs, who infiltrated into our lines. Lt. D.N. Stride was killed and 1 O.R.; and 5 O.Rs were missing.|
|24||'B' and 'C' Sams came under command 501 Regt of 101 U.S. Airborne Div, who were operating between ST OEDENRODE and WEGHEL. This stretch of road was cut by the enemy in the evening and some of 'B' Sqn's troops being north of the cut, had to spend the night with 'C' Sqn near WEGHEL. Major G.R.D. Fitzpatrick, MBE, MC, rejoined the Regiment and began to take over 'A' Sqn from Major J.E.R. Bowlby.|
|25||'C' Sqn went back under command 44 R.T.R. and only had 2 static patrols in the WEGHEL area. 'B' Sqn, now back under the Regiment, had 2 static patrols the ST OEDENRODE area. By midday the road was free of enemy and opened to traffic once more, 'B' Sqn had one O.R. wounded.|
|27||'C' Sqn came back to the Regiment. In the afternoon the Regiment, less 'D' Sqn, moved up to be near 30 Corps H.Q., 3 miles south of NYJMEGEN. On arrival there the news was received that the Regiment was now back under command 12 Corps, who were back at SON, but we were fortunately not required back there immediately. 'D' Sqn was still under command the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry and was patrolling the GERMAN frontier south-east of NYJMEGEN. 'A' Sqn spent a most uncomfortable night, being shelled continuously, with the result that their I.M. and 1 O.R. were killed and 3 O.Rs wounded.|
|28||Lt. L.D.M. Clark left to take up an appointment with 12 Corps.|
|29||'B' Sqn relieved 'D' Sqn, who came back to the Regiment.|
|30||The Regiment, less 'B' Sqn, moved to the area of VELDHOVEN, 5 miles south-west of EINDHOVEN, in readiness to operate under 12 Corps. For the first time all personnel of RHQ were billetted indoors.|
Helaas geen map gevonden.
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.