On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
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: 1/7th Bn The Queen's Royal Regt.
Month and Year: November 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. W.D. Griffiths, DSO, MC.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
DONGENSCH-VAART E 0842 1 1000 Bn moved to WAALWIJK E 1546. Route X-rds 085419 - X-rds 098398 - LOON-OP-SAND 1539 - SPRANG 1444 - X-rds 156448.
1 1200 Bn arrived at WAALWIJK 1546. While Bn HQ was in the main square 155469 it was shelled by the enemy. No casualties. The command veh was hit by shrapnel for the second day running. Appx "A"
1 1300 Bn HQ est at 153466. The Bn relieved 5 Cameronians in this area. For Bn layout see trace att.
2   Owing to the operational situation being fairly quiet the Bn rested as much as possible. All the troops were living in comfortable billets and entertainments were arranged in TILBURG. Appx "B"
3   For details of patrols see att trace. Appx "C"
4   For details of patrols see att trace.
4   Lt J. McArthur & 2/Lt D Wilkinson-Cox joined the Bn.
WAALWIJK 5 0500 A/Tk Pl report large demolition on a bearing of 38 grid from 151469. It was subsequently discovered by observation in daylight that the br at 193518 had been demolished by the Germans.
5 1230 Orders received that the Bn would relieve the Gordons who were holding the line of the R MAAS between the 23 & 47 eastings.
5 1400 The Bn, having been relieved by the Netherland Bde, would first concentrate in the area of KAATSHEUVEL E 1343 during the afternoon with a possible move to the new area before nightfall or definitely early the following morning. Adm recce parties under the 2 i/c Bn left to recce conc area.
5 1405 CO summoned to meet the Bde Comd at E 205493 as soon as possible, tactical recce parties to follow. The Bn would not conc as previously ordered but would proceed to the new area direct.
5 1445 Tactical recce parties (OsC of Coys & Spec Pls) left Bn HQ and proceeded on route X-rds 157448 - tr junc 179453 where "D" Coy Comd's carrier ran over a mine. Maj. P. Barnsley, OC "D" Coy, and the driver of the carrier were both wounded. Maj. Barnsley received extensive leg injuries. The recce party eventually arrived at the RV after taking another route.
5 1645 The Bn concentrated in WAALWIJK leaving only the Carrier Pl on the line of the FDL's. The positions were taken over by Coys of the Netherlands Bde. There was considerable delay in moving due to incomplete orders as to route to the new area and some confusion was caused by both the tactical and adm recce parties being away from the Bn at the same time. It was decided, in view of the accident which had occurred to the tactical recce party, that the Bn should move down the Bde axis as far as its junc with the Highland Div axis and then follow this axis into the new area. Route:- X-rds 157447 - X-rds 144447 - X-rds 144437 to junc 167445 - tr junc 178438 - X-tr 197437- br over canal at approx 197444 - DRUNEN 2046 - rd junc 210463 - ELSHOUT 2047.
5 1715 The Bn was held up on the rd between X-rds 144437 and rd and tr junc 155437 for hr by a coln of H.D. vehs which were moving in the opposite direction. The move became increasingly difficult as the light failed and as the tr was narrow, very twisting & passed, for the most part, through thick pine woods.
5 1815 "C" Coy leading managed to cross the pontoon br at 196445 but the last veh, the Coy cooks truck, stuck on a steep incline immediately at the north end of the br. The remainder of the coln was held up for an hour while three TCVs were sent back from DRUNEN to tow the truck up the hill away from the br. This was unsuccessful but the truck slid off the tr and the remaining vehs were able to get by. Meanwhile "A" & "D" Coys had debussed and were marching forward. It was pouring with rain. At about this time a searchlight was switched on to give "Artificial Moonlight" for sappers building a rly br across the canal and this very materially aided the move of the Bn across the pontoon br and along the narrow ditch-lined rds to the North. Without the artificial lighting the move would have been more hazardous and much slower. About 5 vehs were ditched en route to the new area.
ELSHOUT 5 2100 Bn HQ est at 205480. Temporary posns for the Bn were as follows:- A/Tk PI acting as inf - HEUSDEN 2051. "D" Coy OUDHEUSDEN 2050. "A" Coy around area 198508. "C" Coy in reserve in DRUNEN 2046.
5-6   It continued to pour with rain and was most uncomfortable for the rifle Coys. Capt DC. Slemeck appt OC "D" Coy.
6 0605 Heavy demolition heard in the area of the br at 193517. The Germans had completed the destruction of the br. Appx "D"
6 0645 The CO with the Bty Comd (J Bty 3 RHA) and OsC "C" & "D" Coys went to HEUSDEN to carry out a first-light recce of the Bn area. For final Bn layout see att trace.
6   During the day there was occasional shelling of the area of HEUSDEN 2051 and DOEUEREN 1750. Enemy digging and movement was observed in the general area 1952. One PW belonging to 21 Pz Gren Regt was picked up by the A/Tk Pl in HEUSDEN.
6   Difficulty was experienced in supplying "C" Coy as the only route which could be used by day was via the bund from 187503 to 173502. By night this way was almost impassable for vehs. Two carriers were bogged on the bund.
6 1430 Bn HQ moved to E 206473.
7   During the day enemy were seen using dug-in posns along the line of the Dyke from 205523 to 208523. These posns were engaged by our arty. Other posns along the dyke from 197525 to 190523 were engaged with 4 x 2" mortars with good effect. A tp of tks from 8 H engaged the church tower at 172519 and towers at 199525 and 197525 which were all suspected to be enemy OPs.
7   The enemy shelling of "C" Coy area decreased noticeably after this had been done. Demolition charges consisting of 4 x 500 kg aerial bombs removed from br at 189512 also mines removed from the east-west tr at that pt. The tr was then available for supply to "C" Coy by night. Lt. GW. Bevan posted to 1/5 Queen's as Mortar Offr. Lt. RC. Nicholls and 2/Lt BC. Maddison posted to the Bn.
WOLFSHOEK 207473 8 2100 Enemy activity during the day was very limited. Appx "E"
8   CO held "O" Gp at Bn HQ. The Bn would be relieved by a Cdn unit on the night 9/10 Nov and would conc in either ELSHOUT 2048 or NIEUWKUIK 2346 preparatory to a move across to the eastern flank of the Dutch Salient. The "O" Gp would leave at 0800 hrs on the 9 Nov prepared to remain in the new area. For details of Standing Patrols see att trace.
9 0800 CO & "O" Gp left for new area.
9 0830 CO en route, attended Bde Comd conference at the Bde ADS accompanied by the Bn 2 i/c who afterwards returned to the Bn.
9 1100 2 i/c Bn held "O" Gp for Coy 2 i/cs. The Bde would relieve 71 Bde of 53 Div and the Bn would relieve 4 RWF who were in Bde reserve in the area of KESSENICK 664855 on the 10 Nov. The Bn would conc at NIEUWKUIK on relief by the Canadians during the evening.
9 1200 Recce parties A & SH of Canada arrived.
9 2100 Relief by A & SH of Canada completed.
9 2130 Bn HQ est at 235467.
9 2300 "C" Coy who had had furthest to march arrived in the concentration area.
10 0715 L.O. arrived from Bde with the move order.
10 0745 2 i/c held 'O' Gp. for move.
10 0830 Bn moved off from concentration area.
10   Order of March:- Carriers, Bn HQ, "A" Coy, "C" Coy, "D" Coy, A/Tk Platoon, A.2 Echelon.
10   Route:- VLIJMEN 2646 s'HERTOGENBOSCH 3146 - VUGHT 3143 - TILBURG E 12 - POPPEL - rd junc E 108162 - X rds E 052142 - MERXPLAS E 0010 - LEMON BR D 9907 - GIERLE D 9900 - LICHTAERT K 0395 - CASTERLE K 0697 - GHEEL K 0888 - MOLL K 1790 - LOMMEL K 3091 - X rds K 3493 - OUERPELT K 3892 - X rds K 393948 - ST HUBERT K 4294 - PETIT BROGEL K 4088 - PEER K 4084 - X rds K 408839 - BREE K 5084 - KINROY K 6085 - X rds K 653850 - KESSENICH K 6685.
10   On the road between VLIJMEN and s'HERTOGENBOSCH the Bn coln was shelled by guns situated to the North. No casualties resulted. The coln was held up for one hour in TILBURG by Canadian transport moving in the opposite direction.
10 2000 Bn arrived in new area and relieved 4 R.W.F. Appx F
10   Bn HQ established at 603854. For Coy areas see trace att. Appx F
KESSENICH 11 1400 "A" Coy moved to GEYSTINGEN 6583 where it relieved a troop of 11 H. See Trace.
11   Coy Comds warned that there would be a task for the Bn in the forthcoming operations to clear the MAAS pocket. During this period there was little enemy activity affecting the Bn.
12   "D" Coy prepared for the attack on the canal lock at 690878. Appx G
12   For Patrols night 12/13 Nov see trace attached.
13 1445 C.O. held 'O' Group for the attack on the Canal lock. At this stage two Coys "A" and "D" were scheduled to take part in the attack. Appx H Annex H.1, H.2 & H.3
13 2000 C.O. held final 'O' Group for the attack. See report attached and air photos.
14 0900 "A" Coy relieved by 11 H in GEYSTINGEN area and moved to conc area at THORN K 6786.
14 1200 "C" Coy relieved "A" Coy 1/6 Queen's in general area of orchards 682873. "A" Coy 1/6 Queen's came under comd 1/7 Queen's in area of KESSENICH.
14 1300 "A" Coy arrived in THORN K 6786. Tp tks of 8 H moved to right flank and drew fire.
14 1310 "D" Coy left KESSENICH en route for FUP for attack.
14 1400 Bn HQ moved to area of Convent 676863.
14 1600 "D" Coy in FUP area of woods 683874. 9 Pl "A" Coy left THORN en route to assembly area near Tac HQ.
14   (Account of battle)
14 1600 Beginning of Artillery support for the attack on the bridge. "D" Coy formed up in orchard at 683874. Tac Bn HQ established at buildings 683874. Appx
14 1615 H hour for the attack. See photo attached. "D" Coy crosses start line as marked on air photo.
14   The left platoon made good progress and reached its objective with only one casualty, Mr Burrell, the platoon commander who was wounded by a sniper. The right platoon ran into heavy shelling and mortar fire coupled with MG fire from an unneutralised position at M. The platoon suffered heavy casualties including the platoon commander, Lt. McArthur who was wounded. The pl was pinned down 200 yds SW of M. During the assault Maj. D.C. Slemeck was wounded and Capt J.B.L. Ainsworth was sent forward to take over, but he was also badly wounded on the way to the objective.
14 1625 The reserve platoon failing to receive orders from the Coy Comdr, advanced from the start line on the order from it's Commander Lieut Wilkinson-Cox. This platoon in spite of enemy defensive fire and the fact that the platoon on the right was pinned down made straight for its objective and arrived on the canal bank 100 yards N.W. of the lock gates within ten minutes of starting.
14 1630 9 platoon of "A" Coy arrived at Tac Bn HQ.
14 1645 Report that the lock gates were closed and intact received at Main Bn HQ from Tac Bn HQ and passed on to Bde HQ immediately. During this period enemy D.F. fire came down in the area of Tac Bn HQ which made it most unpleasant.
14 1655 Left platoon on P and O. Centre platoon on R. Right PIatoon on B still pinned down. CO asked one Sqn 8 H to concentrate fire on M. Arty to bring down further concentrations on the far side of the lock. The RA O.P. Officer, Capt Stokes was ordered to take Command of the situation on the right fIank pending the arrival of Lt. Wilkinson-Cox the only officer still in action at that time. 9 platoon "A" Coy ordered to advance to N and to attack M from the rear, that is from the North. This platoon as it advanced to the start line was caught by enemy D.F. fire and the Pl Comdr Lieut. B.C. Maddison and five others of the platoon were wounded. Major E.S. Corbett MC Commanding "A" Coy and Lieut. R. Hughes the I.O. who were accompanying this platoon at the time were also wounded by the same fire. Lt. R. Hughes died the same evening at the MDS. Sgt Allen took command of the platoon and with only 14 men and very brief orders from the C.O. lead a spirited dash for the canal. The outflanking move was successful and the position at the rd junc 689878 was overrun and prisoners were taken.
14 1800 Enemy patrol attempted to cross the lock gates shot up by the forward platoon of "D" Coy. At least 4 Germans were killed. Capt A.R. Lugg took command of "D" Coy.
14   Total casualties for the Battle - Offrs. 6 wounded, 1 killed. ORs. 25 wounded, 5 killed.
14 2300 No. 8 Platoon of "A" Coy under command Lt. E.C. Read taken forward to occupy the area of the right hand lock gate by Capt. M. Hodson T/Comd "A" Coy.
14   (End of Account of Battle)
15   During the night 14/15 Nov the situation remained quiet.
15 0600 Three men of "A" Coy ration party were wounded by Schu mines. During the morning the enemy shelled the area between the houses at 685875 and the wood at 684874. This shelling was brought down every time movement took place on the track running North through the rd junc at 679874. During the afternoon the shelling stopped and it became apparent that the enemy was moving his guns back as later shelling was from a greater distance. During the day "C" Coy exchanged positions with "C" Coy 1/6th Queen's. New positions for "C" Coy were one pl 679864, one pl area 686858, one pl area 679856.
15 1600 Bn HQ moved back to KESSENICH - 663854. "A" Coy less two pls moved back to KESSENICH. Carrier Pl responsible with A/Tk Pl and one tp of 17 pdrs for defence of KESSENICH.
15   During the evening "D" Coy and two pls of "A" Coy on the PANHEEL Lock position relieved by "A" Coy 1/6 Queen's who reverted to command of 1/6 Queen's. Appx J
16 0100 "A" and "D" Coys complete in billets area of KESSENICH with no operational commitments. Capt H.J. Killick joined the Battalion and posted to "D" Coy as 2 i/c Coy. For details of patrol night 16/17 Nov see trace attached. Appx K
17 1600 Two Sections of Carrier Pl relieved by "A" Coy in KESSENICH. Bn warned of possible move to relieve 2 Monmouthshires at BEEGDEN 7389 in near future. For lay-out of Bn see trace att.
18 0815 Tactical recce party under 2 i/c Bn (in absence of C.O. in BRUSSELS) went to BEEGDEN 7389 to recce the positions of 2 Monmouthshires.
18 0930 Arrived at HQ 2 Mons.
18 1100 Recce completed. Party returned to KESSENICH.
18 1300 "D" Coy relieved remaining two sections of Carrier Pl in KESSENICH. Carrier Pl returned to original positions about X rds 653851.
19   Capt L.W. Karn evacuated sick, Lieut. K.J. Harris joined the Bn.
20   N.T.R. Appx L
21   C.O. returned from BRUSSELS. Bn at 12 hours notice to move to new area. 2/Lts. F.G. Heys, J.R. Williams, and C.D. Westoby joined the Bn. For details of patrol see trace attached.
22   Order received that the Bn would move at about 0900 hrs on the following morning.
22 1700 C.O. held 'O' Gp. The Bn less "D" Coy and A/Tk Pl would move to BEEGDEN 7389 on 23rd Nov leaving KESSENICH at 0840 hrs. The Bn would relieve 2 Mons in the new area by 1200 hrs. However, 2 Mons would not be leaving the area until the evening of 23rd Nov or the following day. For this reason "D" Coy and the A/Tk Pl would remain behind in KESSENICH until the following day.
23   Bn less "D" Coy and A/Tk Pl left KESSENICH. Route:- X rds 655858 - ITTERVOORT 6687 - HUNSEL 6589 - Bridge 653937 - rd junc 662912 - BAEXEM 7092 - rd junc 730918 - X rds 718911 - BEEGDEN 7389.
23 0945 Coln halted with head at 726897 by 2 i/c as the 2 Mons were not expecting Bn to arrive and as the village was liable to be shelled.
BEEGDEN 7389 23 1015 Bn moved into village. Bn HQ established at 729893.
23 1340 Enemy shelled village. He had registered the X rds 729895 which made it uncomfortable for Bn HQ. Capt H.L. Hodson proceeded on compassionate leave and Lieut. A.E.B. Beveridge took over temporary command of "A" Coy.
24 0650 - 0800 Enemy shelling of village and X rds 729895. During this period the enemy also mortared the village making it difficult to take bearings on the guns. This "stonk" was caused by the 2 Mons moving out and making a noise. Lights were also displayed at the same time. One man wounded and 3 vehicles hit.
24 1700 Sharp shelling of village and particularly area of rd junc 733895. By pre-arrangement enemy positions across the R MAAS were shelled immediately by 5 RHA, and machine guns engaged near areas. 'I' Sec OP hit but no casualties. Appx M Annex M.1
24 1915 Slight shelling of village. No casualties. For Bn lay-out see trace attached and also air photos
25   During the day enemy posns across the R MAAS were engaged by 5 R.H.A. and 4.2" Mortars.
26   During daylight there was little activity.
26 2150 Sounds of heavy enemy traffic on the road LINNE 7485 - ROERMOND 7789 possibly SP tracked vehs. These were harassed by own arty.
27 0015 Enemy shelled area of BEEGDEN 7389. One shell landed 12 yards from Bn Command Post. During this period the height of the river rose rapidly flooding over both banks. The area in the loop of the river SW of COL 7589 was completely covered forcing the enemy to evacuate his posns on the bank of the river.
27   The CO and Adjt attended an address by the new Div Comd Generel Lines at BREE.
28 1630 Enemy shelled area of BEEGDEN. One man wounded.
29 1100 Commanding Officer had interview with the G.O.C. who informed him that the 1/7 Queen's would be leaving the 7 Armd Division and going to the 50th Northumbrian Division as a training unit in company with 1/6th Queen's. These two Bns would be replaced by 2 Devons and 9 DLI from 50 (N) Div.
29 1400 C.O. held 'O' Gp. Bn to be relieved in present area by two coys of RWF on 30th November. Bn would then move to Brigade concentration area S.W. or MAESEYCK where all G.1098 equipment and transport would be handed over to the relieving units of 50 (N) Div. The Bn after joining 50 (N) Div would return to England. However, all but approximately 100 ORs and a few officers would be posted to other units remaining in 21 Army Gp. Coy Commanders were ordered to prepare "short lists" of personnel with long service overseas together with remarks on ability as instructors and character. The men to remain with the Bn would be selected from these lists.
29 1430 Bde 'O' Gp. I.O. attended. Orders for relief and move to concentration area. Capt. L.W. Karn returned to Bn from an RHU, took command of "A" Coy again.
30 0900 - 1200 Bn relieved by two coys of 4 RWF.
30 1215 Bn HQ left BEEGDEN and formed up with the Bn on the rd ITTERVOORT 6687.
30 1315 Bn passed across br at 681886. Route:- rd junc 653850 - KINROY 6084 - MAESEYCK 6379 - NEEROETEREN 5778 - area 5878. Appx
NEEROETEREN 30 1515 Bn HQ established at 587783. For Bn lay-out see trace att.
30 1630 CO addressed the whole Bn formed up outside Bn HQ. He said that the Bn had finished its fighting career - an unbroken record of victories in spite of hard knocks at various times. He bade farewell to those who would not be able to accompany the Bn home to England. The Bn stood with bared heads for one minute in honour of those of its ranks who had fallen in the present campaign.
30 1700 CO held 'O' Gp to decide who from the Bn would be posted to the 1/5 Queen's and to the new 7 Armd Div Battle School as instructors.
30 2000 CO held conference to discuss the appointment of Offrs and ORs to fill the new W.E. for the Battalion which would return home to England.

previous month | 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.