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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 The Dorsetshire Regt.
Month and Year: November 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. W.Q. Roberts
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
742517 1 1000 2 i/c with reps from all Coys recced area of MALDEN 7055 where Bn will be going into res tomorrow.
1 1700 B Coy report movement seen in areas 746501 - 748501.
1 1810 Sniper reports having fired at and hit one enemy - observed to fall. MR 75685142.
2 0930 Adv party of 1 Worcesters arrived at Bn HQ. Coy Comds to recce posns.
2 1130 C.O. and I.O. of 1 Worcs arrived followed by Brig of 214 Bde.
2 1200 Bde Comd visited Bn HQ.
2 1350 C Coy reports relieved.
2 1450 A Coy reports relieved.
2 1540 B & D Coys report relieved.
2 1600 Comd passed to 1 Worcs.
2 1700 Bn disposed in new area as follows:- HQ 704549, A Coy 699542, B Coy 708542, C Coy 707544, D Coy 703553, S Coy 705477.
2 1800 Bn took over commitments for defence of HEUMEN BRIDGE 700549 from 5 DCLI.
704549 3   Bn spent morning in rechecking of kit and eqpt.
3 1400 Lecture for Offrs and ORs at 712545 by an offr from 7 US Armd Div on 'The American Break-through of the Siegfried Line at AACHEN'.
3 1100 Demonstration for offrs and ORs of Inf Co-operation with tks.
3 1400 Recreational trip for percentage of ORs to GRAVE.
5 0945 Church Service held by Padre in B Coy area
5 0950 Offr Rep of 5 Wilts visited Bn Area in preparation for change over on 7th.
6 1345 Demonstration for the Bn in the crossing of an A/Tk ditch.
6 1500 C.O. and I.O. recced new area.
6 1730 Coy Comds and Pl Comds recced new area in preparation for take over tomorrow.
6   130 Bde will relieve 129 Bde in left sector and the Bn will relieve 5 Wilts as rt fwd Bn.
7 1000 Coy Reps from 5 Wilts shown around Bn Area.
7 1400 Adv Parties of the Bn moved off to new area for preliminary take over.
7 1600 Marching tps of HQ Coy and B Coy (res Coy) moved off to new location.
7 1630 C.O. and I.O. went off to new area.
7 1700 Bn HQ tpt moved off.
7   At 1800 hrs Coys began to move into their allotted areas and at 2325 hrs take over was complete and the Bn took over Comd from 5 Wilts.
8   Very quiet night nothing to report.
8   Bn disposed as follows HQ 753538, A Coy area 764534, B Coy area 752537, C Coy area 760528, D Coy area 758525, S Coy 754538, Car Pl 756522.
8 1030 C.O. and Offrs of Cdn Hamilton Light Infantry arrived at Bn HQ for preliminary recce of area.
8 1100 Bde Comd with Bde of Cdn Bde visited Bn HQ.
753538 8 1400 Route and details for adv party of Bn sent in from Bde. Orders are that the Bn will concentrate in area GELEEN 6565 on 11 Nov 44 after lying up in area 6853 for 36 hrs. Bn will be relieved tomorrow night by a Bn of Cdn Hamilton L.I. and will proceed then to lying up area prior to 100 mile move south. Very few incidents to report all day selected targets shelled intermittently by our own arty.
9 0015 A Coy report having seen enemy patrol near their rt fwd Pl. Whole Coy stood to and other coys informed. No further incidents reported.
9 0600 Adv party of the Bn moved off to A Echelon prior to moving off for new area.
9 1030 Brig visited Bn HQ.
9 1100 Dutch Interpreter (sjt) posted to Bn arrived.
9 1300 Adv Parties of Canadians arrived and traces and infm were passed over to them.
9 1500 Bn HQ vehs began to move back to lying up area 6853.
9 1730 Marching tps of Bn HQ and B Coy moved out.
9 2210 Comd passed to Cdn H.L.I
686537 10   Bn disposed as follows HQ 686537, A Coy 689536, B Coy 694539, C Coy 682540, D Coy 679541, S Coy 677542.
10 1100 Maps distributed to Coys in preparation for move.
10 1400 C.Os. conference for all Coy Comds and Sp Pl Comds.
10   Ref move tomorrow. All men will carry arms at all times in the new area. No man will walk any distance on his own.
10   Remainder of day spent in final preparation for move tomorrow.
11 0930 Leading Coy passed Bn S.P. Order of March S Coy, A Coy, Bn HQ, B Coy, C Coy, D Coy.
11 1030 Bn passed Bde S.P.
11   Journey completed without incident and Bn arrived at its destination at 2145 hrs.
716644 12   Bn disposed as follows HQ 716644, A Coy 719638, B Coy 720653, C Coy 718650, D Coy 714647, S Coy area 73256.
12 0900 C.O. and I.O. went to Div HQ for orders regarding future ops.
12 1400 C.O. and I.O. wait on recce of new area likely to be occupied.
12 1900 1 Offr re-inforcement posted to Bn.
12 2130 C.Os. 'O' Gp for all Coy Comds who were informed of possible future ops.
13 0830 Air photographs received from Bde HQ.
13 1400 1 Offr and 1 O.R. of the Bn contacted a fwd Coy of 4 Wilts with a view to recceing possible start line of the Bn in forthcoming attack.
13 1815 C.O. and I.O. visited Bde for orders.
14 1330 C.O. and I.O. together with Coy Comds of A and C Coys went to view ground which they are likely to pass over.
14 1435 Dutch interpreter attached to unit sent to B Coy area to question civilian of whom B Coy had become suspicious.
15 0915 C.O. and I.O. went on further recce in 4 Wilts area.
15 1400 B Coy Comd and Mor Pl Comd went on recce to view ground in area 8367.
15 1430 Two 'I' men sent to 4 Wilts HQ for the purpose of taking over and manning an OP at 837677.
15 1500 Op Orders received from Bde.
16 0915 Pl Comds of S Coy went on recce in area 8367.
16 0930 'I' Sjt detailed to contact 4 and 5 Wilts for the purpose of gaining infm re Coy and Pl posns.
16 1530 Div Comd visited Bn HQ.
16 1600 C.O. visited C.O. of 7 Hamps.
16 1800 C.Os. conference for all Coy Comds. Preliminary orders were issued for forthcoming attack on STRAETEN 8469. Bty Comd and C.O. also discussed Arty Tasks laid down on objective.
17 0900 Air raid warning sounded in near by town of GELEEN 6765. No incidents.
17 1200 Code names and RA Tasks issued to Coys.
17 1600 C.O. attended 'O' Gp at Bde HQ.
17 1800 C.O. talked all offrs and full rank N.C.Os. on forthcoming attack.
17 1830 OP order prepared by C.O.
18 1000 C.Os. 'O' Gp. Intention is that 4 Dorset will capture STRAETEN 8469. Zero not before 1130 hrs 19 Nov 44.
18 1400 C.O. and I.O. went on final recce.
18 1800 Final conference for all Coy Comds by C.O. Infm received that 214 Bde attack had been successful.
19 0800 Bn Tpt (Rifle Coys in TCVs) moved off to assembly area.
19 0915 Bn arrived at Assembly Area where hot tea and rum were issued to all tps.
19 1035 Orders received from Bde that operation that was to have been carried out today is postponed until tomorrow, due to our start line being closely overlooked by near by enemy. This will be cleared by 4 Wilts and 5 Dorset and Bn will attack tomorrow morning.
19   Bn settled in assembly area and remained there for rest of day.
20   Now ordered that Bn attack on STRAETEN will be further postponed until tomorrow. 5 Dorset will today clear all of wood 8567 with under Comd D Coy 4 Dorset.
20 1200 Orders received that Bn will relieve 5 Dorset in area 8567.
20 1400 C.Os. 'O' Gp. C.O. and Coy Comds proceeded on recce and Bn moved off to take up posn at 1600 hrs.
20 2130 Relief complete Bn disposed as follows HQ 861676, A Coy area 855670, B Coy 855676, C Coy 859670, D Coy 864673, S Coy 858673.
861676 21   Slight enemy shelling throughout night. Bn improved its posns by digging slits and re-inforcing existing ones.
21 1130 C.O. and I.O. visited all Coys.
21 1500 Bn on our rignt (1 Worcs) report enemy seen concentrating near KONIGSHOF 8668. Coys informed and Arty brought down.
21 1630 2 enemy seen at 858683 near A Coy.
21 1800 Major Hall A Coy Comd seriously wounded by Mortar bomb and evacuated.
21 1945 C Coy report tracked vehs heard on WALDENRATH 8369 - STRAETEN Road 8469. Arty fire directed and Bde informed.
21   Heavy shelling of Bn Area during day.
22   Moderate shelling and mortaring during night.
22 0800 Int OP established at 865683.
22 0900 Enemy SP gun seen at 866688. Arty fire brought down and good results observed.
22 1200 5 DCLI put in attack on our right objective being HOVEN 8968.
22   Enemy guns retaliating all day.
22 2300 Arty and hy mortars directed on wood 858688 where suspected SP gun located.
22   Party of Pnrs laid trip flares in B Coy area during the night.
23   Moderate shelling during the night.
23 1300 SP gun at 866688 again pounded by Arty and Mortars.
23 1340 Spandau fire from area East end of STRAETEN.
23 1500 B Coy relieved D Coy in fwd posn.
23   Announced that the C.O. has been awarded the D.S.O. for action at the River SEINE.
23 2030 2 Spandaus reported firing near B Coy lines. Arty and Hy Mortar fire directed.
24   Slight shelling during the night.
24 0700 C Coy report medium gun firing on sound bearing of 55.
24 1030 Brig visited Bn HQ.
24 1300 Hy shelling of Bn Area.
24 1315 Pnrs and Sec of D Coy briefed for clearing road 855672 - 854674 of mines and establishing a standing patrol tonight at 855674.
24 1500 C.O. and I.O. liaised with 5 Wilts referednce posns.
24   Road running N.W. from RISHDEN confirmed under observation from UTTERATH Church.
24   Number of enemy seen to enter FINGER WOOD from STRAETEN at last light.
24 2215 Div of Arty, Hy Mortars and American Hy Arty brought to bear on STRAETEN.
25 0520 Enemy shells landed in Bn HQ Area. 1 killed 1 wounded.
25   Patrol report enemy in general area 866687 also mines area road 866684.
25   B Coy whilst laying mines at 865684 were approached by enemy patrol fire exchanged and party withdrew.
25 1122 OP located SP in orchard 867687.
25 1135 Trenches area road 864685 occupied by enemy.
25 1305 2 enemy seen walking down road 865695 - 866690 carrying eqpt.
25 1630 2 SP guns firing from direction of STRAETEN.
25   Slight decrease in shelling during night. B Coy Continued laying mines.
26 0630 Shells again landed near Bn HQ.
26 0900 Trip flares in C Coy area wet off by animals drew enemy fire.
26 1200 OP report SP gun looated in quarry 867688.
26 1400 Successful Typhoon attack on STRAETEN left fires burning. Out of the 30 rockets fired only one failed to hit the houses.
26 1535 Two infantry guns located at 867687.
26 1600 Attack put in on our right by 5 Wilts to clear North tip of TRIPSRATH 8668. With the fire sp and smoke the enemy must have thought the attack was coming in from our direction, with the result that for two hrs the Bn received its heaviest shelling ever. 8 casualties reported.
26   Before midnight REs together with Pnr Pl successfully laid minefield in front of C Coy posn.
27   Decrease in shelling during the night.
27 1000 lnfm received that Bn will be relieved tonight by 1 Worcs.
27 1130 Reps from 1 Worcs arrived at Bn HQ and shown round Coy areas by guides.
27   Intermittent shelling during the day.
27 1730 First change over of Coys commenced and relief was complete by 2330.
766648 28   Bn now in res area SHINVELD. Bn HQ 766648.
28   Day spent in cleaning and checking eqpt and enjoying a well earned rest.
29   Warning received from Bde of enemy parachutists having dropped near our area. Coys informed.
29 1430 C.O. and Coy Comds went on recce of new area where Bn is to relieve 4 Wilts, in area TPIPSRATH 8667 tomorrow.
30 1000 C.Os. 'O' Gp.
30 1100 Lt Col W.Q. Roberts decorated with DSO by Field Marshal Montgomery.
30 1245 A Coy moved off in TCVs for new area followed by Bn HQ at 1315. Remainder of Coys took over posns during darkness and at 2315 hrs Comd of area passed to 4 Dorset.

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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.