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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: 2 Lincolns
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. C.L. Firbank
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
NORMANDY 1   Bn. Continued with training. 2 IC returned from area NE of LOUVIERS on river SEINE, Having reconnoitred new area. Band of H.M. Life Guards gave concert in Bn. Area.
2   Bn. prepared for move to area HACQUEVILLE (5194) on N of the river SEINE D 1
3 0450 BN in M.T. moved to new area. E 1
3 2015 Bn. Arrived in new area.
3   The long move of 150 miles in 15 hours was succesfully accomplished. One jeep, one 15 cwt and one carrier failed to reach the final destination under own power. Owing to the fact that the roads were only availabe to the Division for a limited period, tracked vehs moved with the wheeled coln and a number of carriers had difficulty in maintaining the speed. On any long journey it is considered that tracked vehs should, whenever possible, travel as a seperate column.
NORMANDY 4   Day spended in administration, Veh maintenance and general cleaning up. 'C'Coy had 4 men wounded in accident with 36 grenade.
5   Training continued
6   Bn. 'I' Sec attended one day course at Bde HQ under the Bde I.C. During the morning information was received that an isolated enemy force was still holding out in a wood S.W. of AMIENS, and that 2 Lincolns would be prepared to clear the wood. Troop carrying transport was allotted and Bn was embussed and about to move of at 1700 hrs when the operation was cancelled. The report of enemy in the wood had apparently been highly elaborated. A recce party from Bn. HQ had gone forward on receipt of the information and contacted F.F.I. HQ who stated that there was no confirmation of enemy occupying the wood, and that the F.F.I. could deal with the situation themselves. Capt. Nill assumed comd 'S' Coy vice Capt. Iremonger
7   Bn. Route March 18 miles. Route:- VATIMESNIL (5393) - MOUFLAINES (5090) - TOURNY (4983) - LES THILLIERS-EN-VIXEN (5489) - GAMACES-EN-VIXEN (5592) - VATIMESNIL (5393). The first 4 hours of the march were in very bad weather conditions - strong wind and rain. A short halt was made at 1215 hrs and a haversack ration and tea was brought out by the cooks. The weather improved considerably after 1300 hrs and the Bn. arrived back at 1530 hrs. The march was well carried out by all Companies, which was very creditable in view of the bad weather conditions , and the fact that no long marches had been carried out since the campaign started.
NORMANDY 8   Training within Coys. I.C. attended lecture at Bde Mortar Organisation by Div. C.M.C. All officers practised indication of targets with 33 FD Reg.
9   R.S.M. drill parade in readiness for C.C.C. 3 Br. Inf. Div. inspection on 13 sept. 'I' Sec attended course on Counter Mortar work, organised by C.R.A. 3 div. 3 in and 4.2 in mortars were fired and students formed 0.Ps to identify type of mortar firing and take sound bearings; good results were obtained , the average error was between 2 and 4 degrees.
NORMANDY 10   Church services hold.
11   Officers Study Day in conjunction with 2 R.U.R . Brig. G.H.L. Mole DSC.MC. Lt. Col. G.G. Lipscomb, Somerset L. Inf. gave account of the crossing of river SEINE by 129 Bde of 43 Div at VERNON.
11   a.m.: Adjudant's parade for G.O.C's inspection. One officer and 25 O.Rs visited PARIS for sight seeing tour;
12   G.O.C.'s inspection for 13 sep postponed to 16 Sep. Three officers and 30 O.Rs visited PARIS.
13   Boxing match v 33 Fd Regt lost by 5 events to 2.
14   Warning order that 9 Bde would move to area of BRUSSELS on morning of 16 Sep journey to take 2 days, one night to MONS area. G.O.C's inspection cancelled.Football match again 33 Fd Regt:- Bn won 4-1
15 0600 Bn advance parties left for new area.
15 1115 Inspection by Comd. 9 Br Inf. Bde. And march past. Band of H.H. Life Guards played for parade. A very successful parade. Local people were very enthusiastic.
NORMANDY 15 1500 Movement orders received from Bde. Bn. to cross at S.P. at 0745 hrs 16 Sep. E 2
16   Bn moved in M.T. arriving at SOIGNES (NE of MONS) at 2130, having travelled 160 miles; journey was very successful and there were no veh casulaties. The civil population were very enthusiastic, particulary in the area of the Belgian frontier D 2
17 0600 Bn continued advance , arriving at PETIT BROGEL (4088) at 1400 hrs where the Div was concentrating preparatory to forcing a crossing of the ESCAUT CANAL. On this journey, the track. vehs travelled in a separate Bde column., leaving HACQUEVELLE at 1600 hrs on 16 Sep and arriving in Bn conc area at 1800 hrs on 18 Sep.
BELGIUM 18   Instead of the crossing taking place on 19 Sep orders were received that it would now take place on night 18/19. Recces were carried out and Zero hour fixed for 2400 hrs 18/19 Sep. J 1
18   Bde. Plan.
18   Crossing to be on 2 Bn front with Lincolns right and 2 RUR left, KOSB to be in reserve, giving support from south bank of canal and applying 50 men to help each fwd Bn in launching and erecting boats. Each fwd Bn to erect a Class V raft and a Div. Engineer to erect a Class IX bridge and a Class 40 bridge. Initial crossing to be made in MK. III assault boats each carrying 16 men. Inter Bn boundary main road North from LILLE ST HUBERT (4294) incl to 2 RUR. All bridges had been blown by the Germans and the construction of the canal was not favourable to the crossing. There was a steep bank about 12 ft high on to the towpath and a 5 ft drop down a steep concrete slope to the water on both sides of the canal.
18 2100 Bn moved to fwd assembly area about 1000 yards south of canal and the two assault Coys, C and D, moved with the lorries carrying the assault boats, to a boat erecting point at 437946, where the boats were erected and Coys formed up for the crossing under the Bn. 2 IC. During this period there were bursts of M.C. fire from enemy posns on the right flank and several shots from an enemy 20 m.m. A.A./A.T. gun. At 2340 hrs the arty preparation began, and at 2400 hrs C Coy right and D Coy left commenced the crossing.
BELGIUM 19   Two sections of the carrier pl were in position on the right flank and a coy of 1 KOSB on the left to give supporting fire from near the canal bank. Two pls of each leading Coy were quickly across and D Coy came under fire from L.M.Gs on the canal bank immediately in front of them. This caused some casualties but the crew were quickly killed. The two leading Pls reached their immediate objective about 300 yards North of the canal. During the advance the Coy Comd. Maj. P.H.G. Clarke was wounded in the mouth by a hand grenade but remained with his Coy. C Coy crossed simultanously with D Coy and came under heavy M.C. fire from the right flank as they crossed the towpath on landing. This caused some casualties but they then captured their objective without further difficulty. A 20 m.m. gun was also firing from the right flank and occasional salvos of mortars fire caused casualties in all Coys. By 0100 hrs A Coy were across the river and established themselves on the right flank of C Coy., the assault boats now being pulled to and fro acrossed the canal by ropes manned by K.O.S.B. personnel.
By 0130 hrs B Coy were across and passing through C Coy and at 0215 hrs Adv. Bn. HQ crossed and were established in C Coy area. There was some confused fighting on D Coy's front and a counter-attack by about 30 Germans was beaten off by small arms fire. It was not until first light that D Coy were able to contact 2 RUR on their left. As soon as the canal banks were cleared the Pioneer Pl commenced work on a Class V raft and R.E. on a IX bridge. At 0400 hrs A Coy were ordered to extend their right which was accomplished with some opposition. At first light (0600) the A/Tk guns crossed and 2 Coys of 1 KOSB crossed by the boats. For 2 hrs after first light there was very heavy ground mist which greatly assisted the R.E. in building the bridge without enemy observation. By 1000 hrs the bridge was complete and the carriers and essential transport came over. At 1030 hrs 1 KOSB passed through and continued the advance forward. Offr. casualties:- L.T. P.M. London killed. Capt. C.G.R. Bennett, Lt. Gratian, Lt. D. C. Queskey wounded ( Lt. Queskey later died of wounds.
At approx 1100 hrs hot tea was brought across. During the early afternoon the mist cleared and A Coy found that the enemy had infiltrated very closed to their forward posns. There were heavy exchanges of fire and A Coy claimed a number of enemy casualties with 2in mortar fire, but the rest of the day movement in A coy was very restricted. A section of carriers was sent forward to help on the left flank of A Coy. During the early evening 8 Br. Inf. Bde. began to attack trough A Coy's posns and by first light on 20 Sept 2 Bns had passed through A Coy's posns.
For the night assault 3 searchlights supplied artificial moonlight from Z + 30 mins. This was very successful and once the crossing had started and surprise lost, greatly assisted the building of the raft and bridge.
20   2 Bns of 8 Bde continued their advance through our posns and 11 Armd Div went forward over the newly erected Class 40 bridge.
20 1700 Bn. moved by march route to Bde Conc area at ACHEL 4297 where all ranks were able to get a night's sleep under cover.
BELGIUM 21 1400 Bn. moved to HAMONT 4696 and took up close def posn in village. A report of 30 enemy tanks moving about 4 miles south of our posn caused a small adjustment of the A/T layout and C Coy went forward to protect the gun area of 33 Fd Regt in the Southern outskirts of the village. It was confirmed during the evening that the enemy had some tanks in the area but no conformation could be given of their numbers.
22   During early morning patrols were sent forward but no contact was made.
22 1400 Orders were given for the Bn, working in conjunction with 2 KSLI (185 Bde) to clear up enemy reported in wood at 4692. 3 Coys and the carrier Pl were established in 'stop' posns. along the main road from HAMONT to rd junc 478923 while 2 KSLI commenced to drive through the woods from west. The drive was completed but no enemy could be found, having apparently withdrawn during the early morning. The Belgian Patriot forces rendered very useful services by acting as guides and supplying information, and brought in one German straggler.
23   Bn stood by prepared to move to take over from 11 Arm Div when they captured DEURNE. This objective was not captured as planned and Bn remained at HAMONT.
24   Bn still standing by to move. 11 Arm Div captured DEURNE (6520) during the late afternoon during the late afternoon and it was decided that 2 Lincolns would take over from them the next day.
HOLLAND 25   Bn moved in M.T. to DEURNE and with 2 RUR took over the area of DEURNE from troops of 11 Arm Div. 2 Lincolns were established in area by 1100 hrs protecting the N en NE approaches the town. During the late afternoon a carrier located 30 enemy 2 miles NE of DEURNE but these scattered in thick country before fire could be opened. One German deserter came in during the day and was identified as a marine fighting as an infantry soldier. E 3
HOLLAND 26 0830 C Coy were sent out to engage the enemy located by carrier patrol on 25 Sept. 14 and 15 Pls with one A/T gun formed a firm base in the wooded area at 679219. 13 Pl command by Lt. A.H. Smith', went forward supported by two 3in mortars and artillery. They approached the canal and succeeded in reaching the village of KRAAIENHUI 6923 where they came under heavy cross fire from enemy M.Gs. It was apparent that the canal running North and South from 702234 was held in strength by the enemy and 13 Pl was withdrawn having suffered 3 casualties (wounded) who were evacuated.
26 1400 C Coy returned to Bn area.
26   One Pl D Coy with a sec of carriers and one A/T 6-pdr moved to protect x rds at 6524. Pl. Comd. Lt. Hunt
27   Two carriers secs established a standing patrol at 6721 and Sgt. Warne (Sniper Sgt) went forward with another sniper and scored one German killed and one other seen to fall. During the morning, a deserter, a Pole, came in and stated that quite a large number of Poles would desert with a little encouragement.
27 1800 D Coy Pl returned to Coy lines from x rds 6524. A loud speaker was sent out to the carriers standing patrol, and after a preliminary concentration, the enemy was called upon to surrender. A few shells came back in reply., but the shooting was wild and none fell near our troops.
HOLLAND 28   Bn. remained in Deurne. Enemy were harassed by arty concentration and at 0700 hrs a further loudspeaker broadcast was made. 6 deserters were brought in who stated that they intended to desert and that the loudspeaker appeal had finally persuaded them. This was answered by a salvo of mortar fire. During the morning our snipers shot one German believed to be an officer. Two recce patrols were sent out during the day; one under Lt. Hunt approached to within 500 yards of the canal and brought back information about the approaches.
28 1400 A patrol B Coy led by Lt. F.C. Smith, was sent out to recce approaches to the canal in the area 6921. A firm base was established at NACHTEGAAL FARM 6821 and Lt. Smith and L/Cpl. Morris J and a sniper went forward. They approach to within 100 yards of the canal when Lt. Smith was hit by small arms fire at short range. Lcpl. Morris remained and the sniper went back to warn the rest of the patrol. When the news reached B Coy HQ a pl was sent to the NACHTEGAAL FM with orders to attempt to rescue Lt. Smith at nightfall. Meanwhile Sjt. Gibson had gone forward to Lcpl. Morris with two men but were unable to reach Lt. Smith. They remained there until dark to make another attempt, during wich one was wounded, and Lcpl. Morris hit. The wounded man was brought back but it was apparent that Lcpl Morris and Lt. Smith. both of whom were believed to be killed, could not recovered without incurring further casualties. At 2000 hrs the patrol was ordered to return to Coy. area.
28 2115 Bde 'O' Gp. Bn to move at 0800 hrs next day to area MILHEEZE (6324) to make room for U.S. Armd. Div. which was moving up. E 4
29 0800 Bn. marched out, a screen of carriers, A/T guns and M.Gs being left to cover the town of DEURNE until the Americans arrived. Belief complete by 1830 hrs.
30   Bn. at 1 hrs notice from 0530 hrs.
HOLLAND 30 1200 Warning order received that Bn, would move to area North of the river MEUSE next day. During the evening the body of Lcpl. Morris was brought in by Dutch patriot forces, but thye had been unable to find Lt. Smith.
Throughout this period very valuable assistance was rendered by the Dutch Patriots,

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Theo Vervoort.

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.