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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: 4th Bn Dorset Regt.
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. G. Tilly
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
473788 1   Bn still in same area. Nine 3 tonners from the Bn were used for taking supplies fwd to the front.
2 1500 Div. Comdr. Maj.Gen. Thomas spoke to all personnel of 130 Bde on recent operations and presented 6 medals to members of the Bde.
3 1800 Church service held by Padre at Bn. H.Q.
4   Bn still at rest in same area. 9 F/2
5   Normal training carried out by all coys.
5 1500 All star ENSA show visited Bn. area and entertained a percentage of 130 Bde.
6 0930 R.S.Ms drill parade for all coys.
6   91 reinforcements arrive to the Bn.
6   Liberty trucks placed at disposal of tps wishing to visit Vernon.
7   3 reinforcements arrived to the Bn.
8 0930 R.S.Ms drill parade.
8 1600 Div. observer reporter visited Bn for details of Bn battles during month of August.
9 0900 I.O. with other Bn I.Os left for area AMIENS to locate and report on enemy supply dumps.
9 0900 Recreational tpt left for PARIS. 30 men from the Bn to go each day.
10 0700 Bn at 2 hrs notice to move from 0900 hrs. 9 F/2
10 1100 No move now likely until early morning 11/9.
11 0815 Bn passed Bde S.P. 488794.
11 1855 Bn arrived area VENDEVILLE 7130 and harboured there for the night. Bn concentrated in German built barracks 718307.
12 0815 Bn moved off and began the second half of journey to BRUSSELS area.
12 1315 Bn arrived at its destination at MEERBEKE 3963. Bn. H.Q. at 399537. A Coy 399538. B Coy 400538. C Coy 399535. D Coy 397534. S Coy 394538.
399538 13 1400 Recreational tpt started running into BRUSSELS. 25% of the Bn allowed in every day. 1 rifle coy standing to each day. 54
14 0700 Bn to be ready to move to area DIEST 1168 by 1300 hrs.
14 0930 Adjt & I.O. visited Bde for orders.
14 1015 C.O. O Gp.
14 1100 Belgium L.O. attached to Bn for purpose of guiding Bn through BRUSSELS.
14 1330 Bn moved off on route for new area.
146753 14 1745 Bn arrived new location. Bn. H.Q. 146753. A Coy 148751. B Coy 144753. C Coy 145754. D Coy 148749. S Coy 146755. 46
15   Bn spent day in checking and maintaining of equipment.
16 0830 New maps for future moves received from Bde. H.Q.
16 0945 C.O. attended lecture given by Corps Comdr. and from there attended Div. O Gp. 46
16 1730 C.O. returned and talked to all Coy Comdrs on future ops.
17 0830 C.O. & Coy Comds attended O Gp at Bde. H.Q.
17 0930 C.O. O Gp at Bn. H.Q. Orders are that the Bn will concentrate with the rest of the Div in area HECHTEL 3484 and thence to proceed on Club route in direction of APELDORN 7803. Intention is that 30 Corps with Gds Armd Div leading will travel in N.E. direction and seize high ground S of APELDORN. 43 Div to follow Gds Armd with 130 Bde leading.
17 1100 Maj Eyre 2 i/c assumed command of the Bn in the absence of Lt.Col. Tilly who was placed in command of Bde Tail Gp. for duration of journey northwards.
17 1545 Bn. passed Bde S.P. on journey to new area.
17 1815 Bn. arrived new location. Bn. H.Q. at 367826. 26 & 36
17 1900 C.O. & I.O. went to Bde for orders.
18 0900 C.O. & I.O. went to Bde for further orders.
18 1000 Ajdt informed all coys of movement orders.
18 2000 Enemy aircraft over Bn. area. No bombs on Bn. locations.
19 0830 C.O. went to Bde for orders.
20 0700 C.O. and Coy Comdrs went to Bde for orders.
20 0915 Bn. moved off on route towards NIJMEGEN 7062. Rifle coys carried in DUKWs. Bde column held up throughout most of the day and Bn had orders to continue moving through the night.
21 0600 Leading coy met by harbour party at 614522 and coys allotted to their areas. Orders were that the Bn should defend the brs at 618543 & 671605 against any enemy counter-attack. Bn. H.Q. at 623530. A Coy 624531. B Coy 675650. C Coy 619530. D Coy 618543. 5
21   Many civilian reports throughout day of enemy units W. and S.E. of GRAVE 6253. No incidents reported by coys.
21 2020 Local police brought unconfirmed reports of enemy tks 4 miles S. of GRAVE.
22 0630 Bn to be ready to move fwd at short notice.
22 0715 Bn moved out of present location. Rifle coys marching.
22 1015 Bn tpt arrived in new area. Bn. H.Q. at 678604. A Coy 681606. B Coy 671605. C Coy 660602. D 679604. S Coy 678604.
22 1400 C.O. and I.O. went to Bde for orders. Bn to stay in same posn for rest of day. Probable move tomorrow northwards towards ARNHEM.
23 0230 C.O. O Gp. Orders are that the Bn will move to area HAMOET 6672 in reserve with Bde. H.Q.
23 0630 Bn moved off. Rifle coys in DUKWs. Tpt held up in crossing rly br at NIJMEGEN 7063 but all Bn across by 1130 hrs.
23 1500 Bn held up on rd by slight enemy mortaring & snipers.
23 1645 Bn arrived at new area. Bn. H.Q. at 662722. A Coy 663726. B. 664721. C 661722. D Coy 665725. S 663722.
23 1800 C.O. visited Bde. H.Q. 5
24 0830 Enemy aircraft over Bn area. No incidents.
24 1200 Bn warned of possible attack over river on enemy posns tonight. Lt.Col. G. Tilly re-assumed comd of the Bn.
24 1415 I.O. went to Bde for orders.
24 1600 C.O. & Coy Comds recced & viewed ferry crossing where the Bn would cross tonight.
24 1800 C.O. O Gp. Intentions are that the Bn will cross river NEDER RIJN at ferry 6876 and enlarge the brhead already held by parachutists, also to get supplies through to the air-borne tps. A & B Coys to be in first flight of assault boats followed by C & D Coys, then Tac Bn. H.Q. followed by S Coy personnel with supplies. Bn to have support of 3 regts of arty together with 4.2 mortars and M.Gs.
24 1930 Coys moved off towards F.U.P.
24 2145 H. Hr put back 3 hrs from 2200 hrs to 0100 hrs owing to non-arrival of boats.
25 0100 1st flight of boats left for opposite bank. Boats engaged by enemy fire.
25 0215 Crossing of river by assault boats ceased owing to hy enemy pressure but 3 DUKWs managed to cross with supplies. Commuincations with coys on N. bank of river very poor. Estimated that 17 offrs & 298 O.Rs had crossed river.
25 1500 C.O. O Gp. Intention is that the air-borne forces across the river will be avacuated tonight followed by 4 Dorset. Evacuation to be under Div. comd. Sorting area will be in East end of orchard 6873. Wounded to be evacuated straight back, fit personnel to be taken straight to coy areas. 1 Offr (Capt. Hall) to cross river and take orders to 4 Dorset body re the evacuation. 5
25 1900 Route from sorting areas to Bn area taped.
25 2145 Coy guides & representatives reported to D Coy area & to sorting area.
25 2330 First small party of 4 Dorsets arrived back having crossed river in an assault boat with Major Whittle swimming back.
26   Maj. Eyre assumed command of the Bn. Lt.Col. Tilly being missing across river.
26 1300 Bn guides returned from sorting area.
26 1430 Recce parties for probable crossing of river tonight left to view area.
26 1730 I Sec took over O.P. from 5 Dorset Regt on river edge.
26 2000 C.O. recce & loading parties left for river bank.
26 2200 First recce boat left for North side of river and picked up 1 Dorset man.
26 2220 1 man from airborne forces swum river and reported 50 airborne personnel & some Dorset men were on the North side.
26 2230 M.Gs from both sides of river opened fire and our arty shelled enemy M.G. posns. 5
27 0500 No further contact made with cut off forces and personnel. Returned to Bn area.
27 1030 Div. Comd talked to all ranks on the recent successful operation.
27   This day the Bn was regrouped into 4 coys H.Q., S, A, B.
27 1400 New kit and equipment arrived for the Bn.
27   Similar arrangement made for evacuating Dorset men from N. side of river as for last night.
27 1950 Parties moved off for river edge.
28 1030 Corps Comdr. Lieut-Gen. Horrocks spoke to all Offrs, W.Os & Sjts of the Bn.
28 1100 5 more men returned from N. bank of river by swimming.
29   4 Dorset operation instruction for counter-attack issued.
30 0900 2 men from Royal Netherlands Bde attached to the Bn for the purpose of assisting the Bn in checking on civilians in Bn area.
30   9 reinforcements arrived to the Bn.

next month

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.