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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: 6th Bn The Green Howards
Month and Year: December 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. C.F. Hutchinson, DSO
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
76227022 ROULERS Ref Maps 1/50000 FRANCE Sheet 41 1 0900 hrs CO spoke to the Bn and announced the policy of the Div and its movements to take place within the next few days.
2-3   Work on the selection of men of the Bn has begun. Selecting of men for the other categories also began.
3   The War Establishment for the Home Service Bn will be very different, and the process of selecting personnel to return with the Bn, to go to the UK for training as Infantry, or to be recommended for garrison duties in BLA, is not easy.
4   Conference at Div HQ attended by the Adjt on the subject of disposal of personnel. NOTE:- All Adm Orders dealing with this operation "Spark" have been produced by 50 (N) Div down to Bns direct.
5   6 Green Howards represented at HQ 69 Inf Bde when the Div Comdr (Maj Gen Graham) addressed units of the Bde. He said goodbye to those who were leaving and explained the reasons for the breaking-up of the Div.
6   Another conference at Div HQ attended by the Adjt. CO spoke to the Bn and told individuals what their future was to be.
7 1330 270 men of the Bn moved to a port of embarkation to proceed to UK for re-training as Infantry.
7 1530 Personnel of the Bn selected as Infantry Instructors left for UK on leave.
8 1030 Field Marshal B.L Montgomery addressed aIl Officers of the Div at YPRES. The Field Marshal gave a resume of the campaign up to the present date. A message was received from the Corps Comd (Gen Horrocks 30 Corps) who tendered best wishes to the Div in their new role and hoped to meet many members of the Div, if not in 50 Div, at least as individuals in new regts, and fighting as with the same vigour as before. He closed his message by saying, "The TT Boys will be much missed by everyone."
9 1400 A percentage of the Bn (Category "A" personnel) left for immediate re-posting as reinforcements to other Divs.
10 0930 Party of Bn personnel left present location to take up duties in France with the Garrison Bn 5th Kings.
10   All postings were completed today and the only men left are those who will remain in the new Bn establishment and return to UK.
11 1330 Message received postponing move of 50 Div and Units until further notice. This is thought to be probably due to the weather and the postponment thought not to be any longer than 24 hrs.
12   Bn was fully prepared for a definite 24 hrs postponment of the move and at the maximum 48 hrs.
12 1800 Message received that the Bn was to entrain on the morning of the 13th. This left very little time indeed for informing all the men scattered in billets as they were, and packing.
13 0700 Bn entrained ROULERS and arrived at OSTEND 0815 hrs. There, breakfast was served in a Transit Camp and lifebelts were issued. After this the Bn marched to the docks to await the arrival of the boat. This pulled in at 1115 hrs and the Bn embarked on the "Lady of Man".
14 0300 The "Lady of Man" docked at SOUTHAMPTON. By 1000 hrs the last of the Bn were ashore. A meal was given at 1300 hrs, this being followed by an uncertain wait as to whether we were going to entrain at 1600 hrs or later.
14 1920 Bn was on parade and taken in 3 tonners to EASTLEIGH station, where they entrained. Here there was a good deal of difficulty in finding accommodation on the train, chiefly owing to the fact that HQ 50 Div had spread themselves over the train. The train left at 2115 hrs.
15   At 0850 hrs the train reached MALTON station in Yorkshire. The Bn detrained and moved by transport to CASTLE CAMP, PICKERING, YORKSHIRE.
PICKERING 2703 16 1400 The Bde Comd (Brigadier W.R. Cox DSO) visited Bn HQ at DENNIS HOUSE and spoke with the CO.
17   Conference at HQ 50 Div attended by the Adjt where details were discussed on the new War Establishment.
17   50 Div Trg lnstruction No 1 received, giving some particulars of the trainees to be expected and the methods of training them.
17   First leave party sent off.
18   The Brigadier visited Bn HQ and spoke with the CO.
18   69 Inf Bde Trg Instruction No 1 received.
19   CO attended conference at HQ 69 Inf Bde to discuss details of the extra Coy required to take the 720 trainees, and other training and establishment matters
20-29   Adm arrangements made for intake of trainees and leave for Infantry Instructors.
30 1000 120 trainees arrived for training.
31 1400 GOC (Maj Gen Graham) visited Bn HQ and was met by the CO.
31   Capt J.M.B. Isaac MC, IO 69 Inf Bde, posted to the Bn.
31   The Bn has finally settled down in England but has not found it easy doing so. The chief difficulty was the lack of transport at the beginning, particularly for the Advance party. The Bde was expected to prepare four camps, scattered over an area 15 miles by 8 miles, with one three tonner. After a continued fight to get transport, the camp was partially ready to meet the Bn when it arrived.

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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.