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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: 6 Green Howards
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. C.F. Hutchinson
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
FRANCE 1 0630 Bn left VILLOTRAN and moved by MT through AUNEVIL 8300, BEAUVAIS 9137 and BRETEUIL 0829 to SAINS-EN-AMIENOIS 1149, some four miles South of AMIENS where 151 Inf Bde were mopping up. The Bn arrived at about 1200 hrs and remained ready to move on.
1 1430 Bn moved, still in MT, through BOVES 1552 to an area 2 miles West of VILLERS-BRETONNEUX, at 2154. B Coy continues fwd to hold the bridge over river SOMME at CORBIE 2558, and C Coy was similarly sent on to the bridge at DAOURS 2158. One Pl of B Coy was detached and sent out to the railway bridge at 257607. The Bn had settled in and fwd coys taken over from Pl of Gds Armd Div, by about 1700 hrs.
1 1930 The Bn provided escorts to collect 142 PW from the Resistance at VILLERS-BRETONNEUX, and 38 Russians from BOVES, and conduct them to the PW cage in AMIENS.
1   No enemy were actually seen throughout the day, or during the night when C Coy patrolled fwd through DAOURS, but there was considerable sniping activity in the area of the SOMME bridges.
2 0300 Provisional orders for an early move to IVERGNY 1995, North of DOVLLENS, were cancelled.
2 1430 The Bn moved out at short notice, leaving the Bde, through AMIENS, RAINNEVILLE 1466, MARIEUX 2180, and BEAVMETZ 3894 to WARLUS 3998, 5 miles West of ARRAS. Here were seen many signs of the campaign of 1940, and of the war of 1914-18. The Bn arrived at 1640 hrs and remained concentrated.
3 1145 The Bn left WARLUS and made a short MT move to positions covering the approaches to ARRAS from the North.
3   During the night were many reports, from French sources, of large numbers of enemy in the vicinity. Most of the Bn were consequently awake all night but no enemy were seen.
4 0715 The Bn motored on from ARRAS through LENS 5114 - SECLIN 6627, crossed the Belgian frontier during the morning and reached TOURNAI 9231 at 1130 hrs. No positions were taken up, and the Bn remained ready to move on. The welcome all along the route was tumultuous. Roads were full of traffic heading North.
BELGIUM 4 1345 The Bn left TOURNAI and after a short battle with the local traffic moved smoothly via RENAIX 0846 and NINOVE 3855 to ALOST 4066. The Bn, with 5 E Yorks, were now well in advance of troops on either flank, though 11 Armd Div was ahead in ANTWERP. Once more madly enthusiastic crowds showered the troops with embraces, flowers, food and drink. The crowd in ALOST made movement difficult as they swarmed round every vehicle and soldier. No previous Allied troops had stopped in the town, earlier recce and tanks having moved straight on. The long days run took the Bn out of ARTOIS, through unattractive French FLANDERS into HAINAULT and EAST FLANDERS where the country was very neat and pleasant.
4 1930 One PW was handed over to the Bn by the civilians. There were many Germans at large in the area, but none were found during the evening.
5 1115 A carrier patrol under Sgt Stalker brought in 10 PW from the area of IMPE 3469.
5 1315 A force consisting of B Coy, two bren carriers, one MG Pl and one 25 pdr went to collect a force of 250 enemy reported near WETTEREN 3074.
6   Bn at ALOST a day of inactivity.
7 1200 Bn recce Parties left area for new destination.
7 1400 Bn left ALOST and moved by MT to an assembly area South of the ALBERT CANAL at 0482. Route was via MALINES 7174 and WESTERLOO. REF APPENDIX A
7 1845 Bn arrived in Assembly area near ZAMMEL 0481.
8 0130 H hour.
8 0140 Approx first assault boat on far bank.
8 0145 first shots heard. There was really no resistance to the actual crossing odd shouting and challenges were heard but there was no direct opposition until coys moved away from the canal.
8 0230 Approx. C Coy reached track parallel with the canal.
8 0300 D Coy reached objective Beetle on right. Not known whether they encountered much opposition, but they got there pretty quickly and hit their objective exactly.
8 0400 Tac HQ and B Coy left canal bank and moved to first HQ location at MEULENBERG, with B Coy also, in area of res coy.
8 0800 By this time the coys were safely across the canal and pressing into their objectives, in spite of much enemy fire.
8 1000 C.O. wounded and comd of the Bn passed to Maj. Hull MC.
8 1100 Enemy resistance increased and the Bn took up positions as follows:- Bn HQ 047841. A Coy 050867. B Coy 053855. C Coy 058853. D Coy 050863. Enemy snipers proved troublesome and casualties were suffered.
8 1400 D Coy were ordered to press onto their objective as quickly as possible but met fierce enemy resistance and were counter attacked strongly. Casualties were suffered and D Coy had to withdraw slightly.
9 0700 Bn I.O. (Capt. T.G. Richards) wounded and evacuated.
1/50,000 TURNHOUT GHEEL 25 & 35 9 1000 No change in Bn dispositions since last night. Continuous shelling and mortaring of Bn area and much spandau fire.
9 1500 Capt Hudson (2 i/c C Coy) assumed duties as I.O.
9 2000 Throughout the day the Bn held grimly to their positions and in spite of much harrassing fire from the enemy, a counter attack did not develop.
BELGIUM 10 0800 Bn left its present area which was taken over by 7 Green Howards and assembled on the North bank of the ALBERT CANAL prior to taking over positions held by the 8 D.L.I. in area 0784.
10 1300 Lt.Col. Hutchinson, DSO (E. Yorks) arrived at Bn HQ and took command of the Bn.
10 2030 Bn commenced to establish themselves and by 2200 hrs dispositions were as follows:- Bn HQ 074845. A Coy 075851. B Coy 077845. C Coy 072851.
11 0600 Dawn broke with a heavy ground mist with which the enemy proceeded to mix a large amount of smoke. Much shelling of the Bn area was experienced from field and S.P. guns. A severe counter attack by the enemy was put in against the 151 Bde slightly North of the Bn positions, but did not affect the Bn.
11 2000 During the day constant contact was maintained with 8 D.L.I. and daylight patrols of the Bn actively patrolled the Bridgehead area as far East as area 0984. Although the Bn was not in direct contact with the enemy many shells continued to fall in the Bn area and around the Class 9 Bridge across the ALBERT CANAL at 071844.
12 0230 At least sixty enemy shells fell in rapid succession in the Bn area and in the area of the Class 9 bridge.
12 0800 During the night 11/12 Sept, patrols were pushed East as far as 094838 and 094845 and although no enemy were actually seen vehicle movement was detected. Constant contact war maintained throughout the night with 151 Bde at 078857 and 075867.
12 1300 Representatives of 7 RSF of 15 (S) Div arrived Bn HQ comprising advance party of unit relieving the Bn in the GHEEL bridgehead.
12 1330 Lieut Bawcombe and 12 ORs of B Coy arrived back from an offensive daylight recce patrol during which they took 2 PWs from a house at 089834. Valuable information was obtained from the PW's who gave to Lieut Bawcombe an accurate layout of the enemy defence in the area of the track from 088837 to 087844.
12 1730 The Bn proceeded to vacate their coy areas after relief by coys of 7 RSF and marched to an assembly area on the North bank of the ALBERT CANAL at 064947 prior to crocsing to the South bank.
12 1740 The Bn crossed the Canal by ferry and proceeded by MT to a rest area South of VEERLE 0778.
12 1930 The Bn took advantage of pleasant surroundings and settled in to spend a comfortable night. Troops were billeted in barns whereever possible.
1/50000 DIEST Sheet 46 13 1030 On orders from Bde, the Bn moved from VEERLE 0778 to a defensive position in area of MULZENHEIDE 2473 South of BEERINGEN 2375 to relieve 2 Devons of 231 Bde.
13 1200 Bn firmly established in new area with Bn HQ located 247730. A Coy 255736. C Coy 248732. Maj Loveless joined & assumed comd of C Coy. Maj Maxwell joined & assumed comd of D Coy.
13 2100 Considerable enemy air activity in Bridgehead area - many flares were dropped but no bombs were directed on to the bridge across the Canal at BEERINGEN 2375.
14 1800 A quiet day in the Bn area no contact with the enemy, and bathing parties were arranged. In the morning Lieut Bawcombe and a party of B Coy went to BRUSSELS.
14 1900 In the evening all officers and WOs and Sgts were invited to the Officrs Mess by the Commanding Officer.
15 1030 Brig. F. Knox, DSO. the Bde Comdr visited Bn HQ and inspected B Coy who gave demonstrations of Arms Drill and Foot Drill.
15   Capt K.S. Dimmer took over I.O. from Capt E. Hudson.
15 2000 During the afternoon and evening parties were sent from the Bn to visit the ENSA Concert Party at BEERINGEN 2375.
16   The 3rd day of inactivity, a quiet day in the Bn. A Bn drill parade under RSM Dixon was held in the morning. Baths were again arranged and parties visited the cinema show in BEERINGEN 2375. In the evening a percentage of the Bn was allowed to leave the camp area.
17   The fourth day in the rest area A church service was held in the morning, the afternoon was spent in recreational training.
17 1930 C.O. spoke to all officers of the Bn on forthcoming operations.
18 0930 Bn held a parade in front of Bn HQ and the C.O. spoke to all ranks on forthcoming operations. The present situation was also explained.
18 1400 Bn formed up on the main BEERINGEN road and moved by MT to a new area 15 miles distant South of the Canal de JONCTION to relieve 151 Bde in the Bridgehead area.
18 1700 Bn arrived in a defensive area (via BOURG LEOPOLD 2782) South of the Canal in area 3695. The Bn layout was a tactical one and A, B, C Coys were located just short of the South bank of the Canal de JONCTION with D Coy in a counter attack role.
18 1900 The enemy for the first time since D Day made a direct air attack on the Div area. Single planes flew over the Bde area and many AP bombs were dropped. Casualties were slight and there were no casualties within the Bn.
18 2330 A heavy Arty and Mortar barrage was layed down in Spt of 3 Div attack.
Sheet 26 36 VALKENSWAARD BREE 1/50,000 19 1030 Capt Franklyn rejoins the Bn. A patrol from B Coy consisting of 1 NCO and 3 R and F crossed the canal at 384954 where the bridge is blown but capable crossing by foot. REF APPENDIX B
19 1345 The patrol reported back, no enemy were seen, it found an object 12 ft long resembling a torpedo at 342958.
19 1700 Bn moved fwd with A and C Coy across the canal, B Coy area of Factory, D Coy area of NEERRELT.
19 1800 Bn situated as follows:- Bn HQ in Mansion House at 383947. A Coy 396966. B Coy 390949. C Coy astride road at 388958 and 292958.
19 2040 Considerable enemy air activity over the Bn area, no bombs dropped.
19 2300 80 reinforcements came to the Bn and 1 Officer Lieut Rushmere.
20 0300 B Coy capture 2 PW's from 1077 Div, they had no boots and carried 2 ignitors with fuses.
20 0615 Coys continue to patrol the area, no contact was made with the enemy.
20 0700 The small village of HAIENHOEK which is occupied by A Coy has awoken and the civilian population warmly welcomed them.
20 0900 For the remainder of the day things were quiet and coys continued to recce bridges and tracks and patrol their areas 1000 North.
21 0050 Contact patrols were carried throughout the night N.T.R.
21 0700 Bn prepare for move through the corridor made by the Armoured Div.
21 1500 Bn Stand To 30 parachutes seen floating down 2 miles away, area of 390954.
21 1600 Parachutes identified as our own, Bn stand down.
21 1630 Bde X hour the start of Bde move to NIJMEGAN. Harbour party went off to join Bde Group. Bn canoe launched and taken on strength.
22 0015 Bn now formed up to move.
22 0055 Bn finally moved off.
22 0400 The column stopped 2 miles S of VALKENSWAARD, 3 miles N of the Dutch border.
22 0650 The C.O. went to the head of the Bde Column to RV with the Bde Comdr, whilst the Bn has breakfast.
22 0815 Bn moved off again but very slowly and eventually passed through the first Dutch town VALKENSWAARD.
22 1140 Now in EINDHOVEN and we find the people were enthusiastic and quite overwhelming in their welcome. There were many souvenirs given and received. The first copy of a Dutch underground newspaper was being handed out to all and sundry by some quite attractive girls.
HOLLAND. REF MAPS HOLLAND 1/100000 HERTOGENBOSCH 22 1500 The Bde is split in the area of Veghel 472370 1/100,000 HERTOGENBOSCH by heavy enemy shelling. (Inf and tks having severed the rd, too.)
22 1600 VEGHEL now under MG fire and enemy inf are approaching the road. It is thought they are making a gap through which armour can pass.
22 1700 Bn took up defensive posns at 433291 (1:100,000 sh 5) where the glider force round EINDHOVEN made its landing. We are now under comd of 231 Bde.
23 0900 Maj.Gen. Graham, The Div Comdr, visited the Bn and gave orders to remain where we were.
23 1000 Road still cut at VEGHEL. The C.O. and Bde Comdr still N of VEGHEL.
23 1600 The C.O. and I.O. return. The road with the help of the American Airborne has been cleared.
23 2130 C.O. held an "O" Group and issued orders for move.
23 2200 Preparations to move early morning.
HOLLAND. 24 0300 Bn moved up the road we control.
REF MAPS HOLLAND 1/25000 NIJMEGAN 24 0800 We arrived at NIJMEGAN via VEGHEL, UDEN and GRAVE without incident. Bn was established in an Convent School recently occupied by German troops.
24 0845 20 enemy fighters flew over the town, L.A.A. brought down one.
24 1400 O Group for next move.
24 1430 Bn moved across the river WAAL via the br 714635 to take up posns at RESSEN 713674, as Bde reserve.
24 1600 Patrols sent out but no contact made with the enemy. Some enemy shelling of the Bn area.
25 0600 The night was quiet with contact patrols only active.
25 0805 Enemy mortars active in our areas, 3 of C Coy and Lieut Rushmere wounded.
25 0950 14 FW's 190's passed over Bn area.
25 1015 A and B Coys brought in 4 suspicious civilians found in a house close at hand.
25 1030 Lieut Kenny and 20 ORs went to orchard at 713677 to clear enemy suspected there. Nothing was found, one section of carriers investigated the minefield at 725676. This, the E Yorks had cleared.
25 1255 Mighty explosion 5 miles North. Suspected to be the enemy blowing the ARNHEM bridge.
25 1510 Bde Comdr ordered 2 sections of carriers and 2 A/Tk guns to take over E Yorks posns at 725679.
25 1510 O group held.
25 1600 Marauder bombers seen flying N with enemy fighters in combat overhead. One Spitfire seen to crash two miles North.
25 1610 Bombers bombed ARNHEM area, one shot down, but the crew baled out; two enemy fighters reported down.
25 1700 Civilians reported a sniper in the area 711672 wearing overalls. A Coy sent a group to capture him and fwd him to Bde HQ.
26 0600 Patrols active during the night but have nothing to report.
26 0715 C.O. and I.O. went to Bde conference on future ops.
26 0900 "O" group called.
26 1230 7 Green Howards and 5 E Yorks are to attack towards BAAL 748683 and we are to pass through from N to S clearing BAAL on the way. The Bde Comdr visited Bn HQ.
26 1235 Bn moving off and concentrating as follows:- A Coy 730677. B Coy 724674. B and D Coys reserve in area Bn HQ 724670.
26 1300 Bn HQ and Coys at assembly area.
26 1345 Bn HQ moved fwd to 748674. While moving the enemy shelled the area heavily and a direct hit on the road killed A Coy Comdr Capt Semple, Capt Dimmer the I.O., and wounded the C.O.'s signaller and driver. Bn HQ moved back to 724675.
26 1400 Capt Franklyn took over A Coy.
26 1530 7 G.H. still moving but meeting opposition. The enemy are firing 20mm guns in a ground role.
26 1610 Bn ordered to move as planned. The 7 G.H. have made a start line and now we are to pass through with a sqn of Welsh Gds in support in order to clear BAAL and the rd to the N.W.
26 1745 A and B Coys advance 200 yds without meeting much opposition.
26 1805 Enemy shelled road junction 738675.
26 1900 4.2 mortars put down HE and Smoke to assist A and B Coys.
26 1910 Bde Comdr visited Bn HQ and arranged to see C.O.
26 1920 Enemy fighter bombers very active over the Bn. B Coy reported first objective taken 744686. A Coy are 200 yds short of their objective 747680.
26 1940 MMGs laid down harrassing fire on 652674. Lieut Hammar reported killed.
26 2010 A and B Coys consolidating their posns. The C.O. ordered them to exploit till midnight.
26 2110 B Coy took 5 PWs. 4 GAF and 1 Labour Corps.
26 2200 Locations as follows:- A Coy 737680. B Coy 7406863.C Coy moving to 732683. D Coy to 731685. Bn HQ at 725676 with Tac HQ on the rd between 731688 and 733683. The C.O. left to visit B Coy.
26 2300 Occasional Spandau fire on fwd coys.
27 0110 C.O. returns. A and B Coys have linked up.
27 0600 O group called and the days battle planned. D Coy were to pass through "B" with 124 Fd Regt and 4.2 mortars in sp. MMGs to fire diversionary concentration on sq 7566.
27 0610 One PW taken by B Coy.
27 0750 Maj Greensill came to Bn HQ with information that 30 to 40 enemy with one 7.5 cm A/Tk gun were situated in orchard 747684. One of our tanks had been KOd.
27 0600 3" mortars put down fire on 741684.
27 0810 4 PW taken by B Coy. D Coy held up. A Coy going well and at 746678 and in contact. 88 mm firing along the road, one Cromwell knocked out by 75 PAK gun.
27 0900 One enemy fighter shot down by Spitfire. A Coy at 748678 and being fired on by MG's from the South. D Coy ordered to push on to assist A Coy. D Coy now at 745683.
27 1010 2 enemy tanks from the BAAL area are firing on A Coy, Capt Franklyn was killed.
27 1015 A Coy are being attacked from the East and S.W. 5 E Yorks offer to assist by putting down 3" mortar fire on area 745675.
27 1030 124 Fd fire on tanks at BAAL. Major Maxwell reported killed. One Pl D Coy out of touch. Enemy are reported to be infiltrating.
27 1100 Bde Comdr informed of the situation.
27 1120 2 PWs from A Coy. Situation still the same with enemy closing in from the left. Lieut Peters is reported missing.
27 1200 Written orders issued to C Coy (see attached).
27 1500 Position clearing and now as follows:- Bn HQ 730684. A Coy 746679. B Coy 739683. C Coy 732682. D Coy 744686.
27 1630 2 i/c issued verbal orders to Coy Comdrs. They were to push on during the day.
27 2000 Contact patrols commence: A Coy now in at 742778. B Coy in orchard 745685. C Coy astride track 744652. D Coy 743687.
28 0600 Area and contact patrols were made during the night. Food came up at 0330 hrs.
28 0900 Enemy arty fire on the road from 723697 to 731692.
28 1200 The day is now very wet and activity has quietened down.
28 1800 It is now arranged for the 7 Green Howards to take over B and C Coys and for 5 E Yorks to take over A Coy, D Coy were to remain under command of 7 Green Howards.
28 2100 Bn less D Coy moved back to area RESSEL as Bde reserve.
28 2200 Coys now settled down.
29 0600 Quiet night.
29 0945 Irish Gds are now attachad.
29 1020 Enemy a/c active.
29 1430 One coy to move to area 727655 to liaise with 61 Recce Group.
29 1540 C Coy with one A/Tk gun, one det mortars under command to move as above to prevent infiltrating S of water obstacle from 728656 to 727654.
29 1820 B.M. visited the Adjt.
29 1900 C Coy reported now in position.
29 2000 Heavy enemy fire on Bn front, both arty and MG.
29 2055 Situation normal.
29 1800 Capt Piper left Bn, evacuated sick.
30 0700 Bn is now ordered to join C Coy.
30 0915 Bn left for new area and are soon Iocated as follows:- Bn HQ 718651. A Coy 719658. B Coy 722656. C Coy 722663. D Coy still with 7 Green Howards.
30 1100 Six airburst over the bn area without damage done.
30 1545 Brig ordered the Factory to be patrolled.
30 1930 B Coy in the process of relieving D Coy, A Coy are to occupy B Coy posns and D Coy to occupy A Coys old posns.
30 1945 Capt Hudson while moving a pl fwd of the embankment twice saw 8 enemy. Shots were exchanged but no PW's were taken.
30 2000 Factory patrols curtailed to 500 yds fwd of F.D.Ls.
30 2230 Relief of D Coy by B Coy complete.
30 2350 Lieut Kenny and his patrol returned having seen or heard nothing.
30   Capt Wood rejoins the Bn and takes over Adjt.

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Source: Joris Nieuwint, The Battlefield Explorer, 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.