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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.

WAR DIARY
or
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Army Form C.2118
Unit: 2nd Bn. E. Yorks Regt.
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. N.J. Dickson
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
GEMERT 1   Tpt assembled during the morning, and at 1215 hrs the bn left for the MALDEN (7055) area. All tps were warned for the probability of air attack, in view of the recent enemy attempts to strafe the 2nd Armys supply routes through the NIJMEGEN corridor, but the journey was completed without incident. By 1600 hrs Bn HQ was est as 703549, and coys were in position along the line of the road from MALDEN to MOLENHOEK. 3 Br Inf Div was now concentrating in the MALDEN HEUMEN area, prior to est a bridgehead on the East bank of the R. MAAS. The bridgehead was to incl MOOK 7252 and GENNEP 7846, and was to be gained by an op commencing North of MOOK i.e. clearing the required area of the East bank, without making an assault crossing of the river. Ref. Map Sht HOLLAND 1/100,000 Dht 5, GSGS N 2541
1   In the meantime 8 Br Inf Bde had a counter-attack role. In the event of an enemy attack 2 E Yorks were to occupy postions in the area of KLOOSTER 7153, to move later if the situation required, to positions around the LOOK-OUT TOWER 730528 (at present part of the area occupied by Tps of the 101 USA Airborne Div). Both these localities were recced by the Commanding Officer and Coy Comds.
1   During the night some shelling occurred between MOOK and MALDEN not on the bn. positions, and enemy a/c were also active. Some AP bombs were dropped about 250 yards from Bn HQ.
MALDEN 2   A quiet day, with the Bde remaining conc. Original plan for 3 Br Inf Div to est bridgehead now cancelled.
2   Some shelling at night, and enemy a/c again over. No cas.
3   3 Br Inf Div now to attack the REICHSWALD op planned to take place in a few days time. Hy aerial and arty bombardment to precede an attack by two waves of tks. 8 Br Inf Bde to follow, with 2 E Yorks leading, the whole bn mounted in carriers. Some training was carried out by coys for this op, especially the loading of tps on to carriers.
4-5   Bn remained conc.
6   Owing to adjustment of the Allied positions facing the REICHSWALD, KSLI of 185 Br Inf Bde were to take over a locality of the US Airborne Div. They were occupying a res posn, and 2 E Yorks were ordered to take this over forthwith & come under command of 185 Br Inf Bde.
6 1500 Bn proceeded by march route to OSTBERG 7351 and relieved KSLI. OSTBERG a thickly wooded area of undulating high ground. Bn HQ est 734519 at 1615 hrs.
OSTBERG 7   A quiet day. No enemy shelling or mortaring, but both our own and enemy arty very active along general front. Enemy shelling considerable by night, directed mainly on to our gun posns near the MOOK MALDEN road.
7 2000 Orders from Bde Comd that 8 Br Inf Bde were now to move to an area South of MILL 6444, the op to attack the REICHSWALD being cancelled. The Bn to be relieved by KSLI at 0715 hrs 8 Oct & to return to original area near MALDEN in readiness for MT move to South of MILL.
8 0715 Bn marched back to MALDEN positions.
8 0830 Bn HQ re-est 703549.
8 1430 Bn left MALDEN for conc area South of WANROIJ 6741 and arrived complete by 1645 hrs. Bn HQ est 679688.
9   Orders from Bde Comd. 8 Br Inf Bde to attack OVERLOON 7631 at 1000 hrs 11 Oct, with 2 E Yorks and 1 Suffolk leading. This the beginning of op by 8 Corps to clear the enemy salient West of the R. MAAS. Bn to conc area woods 7434 by afternoon of 10 Oct. Ref Map Shr HOLLAND 1/25,000 19 NW/E 1st Edition Sep 44
679688 10   Bn to move at 1400 hrs. This order cancelled and 0645 hrs 11 Oct substituted. It was a day of hy and continuous rain, and in view of the weather conditions another postponement of 24 hrs was ordered.
11   Bn remained conc.
12   Move to conc area 7434 at 0745 hrs. Attack on OVERLOON now tuned to commence not before 1100 hrs.
12 1045 Bn in position around 746347. H Hour now 1200 hrs.
12 1200 Op commenced, with 2 E Yorks on left, 1 Suffolk on right. Good progress made up to 1230 hrs. 2 E Yorks task incl clearing wood in 7532 and 7632, and the leading coys, C and D, after entering the northern edge, were held by the enemy along the line 760326 763327 (1245 hrs). 1 Suffolk meanwhile were making good progress on the right. Both bns now under considerable shell and mortar fire. C & D pressed on, and by 1315 hrs were further into the wood. Mines were encountered on the left, and one of C Coys carriers was blown up. Both coys began sending back PW by 1345 hrs, and shortly before 1400 hrs D Coy reached the SW corner of the wood, 760322. They could not adv further, as they had lost their officers and CSM, suffered several other cas, and at the moment were being commanded by a cpl. 1 Suffolk had almost reached OVERLOON, under hy mortar fire, while C Coy were pushing on into the small wood at 768324. By 1445 hrs the latter coy were across the OVERLOON ROUW rd and fighting on the edge of the large wood immediately South.
12 1520 1 Suffolks leading coys 751318, 758320 coming under fire from snipers. B Coy at this time pushing through D Coy, in order to gain latters objective. B Coy had reached 760322 OVERLOON by 1630 and were heavily engaged, but by 1700 hrs had reached the line of the rd.
12 1700 1 S Lan R commenced to move through 2 E Yorks.
12 1755 1 Suffolk reported two coys est in OVERLOON.
12 1900 Objectives taken and coys of both bns consolidating.
12   Considerable enemy shelling and mortaring throughout the night. Area heavily mined by the enemy, and movement very restricted, as only cleared lanes could be used.
12   Casualties. Killed: Capt AE Clifford & 2. Wounded: Maj C Pemberton, Lt BP Hills, Lt DW Little and 45 ORs. Missing: -.
13-14   Bn remianed on objective. Shelling and mortaring continued intermittently, being at time fairly hy. 185 Br Inf Bde passed through and continued clearing to the South, through wooded areas. 9 Br Inf Bde moved SW and against fairly stiff opposition cleared the woods in 7530.
15   A quiet day. No mortaring or shelling of bn area.
15   Orders from Bde Comd. 8 Br Inf Bde to attack VENRAIJ on the 16 Oct, with 2 E Yorks on the left, 1 Suffolk on the right. D Coy, 2 E Yorks, to move by night and est bridgehead over the MOLENBEEK at 766287, and build a kapok br before first light on 16th. 2 E Yorks to cross with 2 sqns tks and move on VENRAIJ through BRABANDER 7727. 1 Suffolk to swing right and move on axis BEEK VENRAIJ rd. Personnel from R Coy brought up to assist in br-building, and this preliminary op to be commanded by Major JDW Renison, 2IC. Arty on call, but no preliminary barrage to be laid down. Ref Map sht 19 SW/E HOLLAND 1/25,000 1st Edition Sep 44
15 2200 Above orders cancelled. 1 Suffolk now to build br and est bridgehead at first light 16th Oct, at 758281, supported by arty barrage and tks. Upon 1 Suffolk securing bridgehead, 2 E Yorks to pass through, and swing left to original axis. The Bde attack then to proceed as previously ordered. 185 Br Inf Bde to attack simultaneously from the North of VENRAIJ. Lt RE Inman rejoined.
16 0700 Bn moved to conc area 750287.
16 0800 Bn HQ est 749288.
16   Lt Col NJ Dickson ordered to remain LOB, and comd of bn devolved upon 2IC, Major JDW Renison.
16   1 Suffolk held up on line of MOLENBEEK by hy mortar and MG fire, and extensive mining by the enemy. Considerable shelling of 2 E Yorks area, also salvoes from Nebelwerfers. 2 E Yorks unable to move fwd until 1700 hrs. 3 supporting tks of Coldm Gds bogged at MOLENBEEK crossing. By 1700 hrs 1 Suffolk had obtained a bridgehead some 600 yds deep, and B Coy 2 E Yorks crossed the stream and commenced swinging left to gain the bn axis. Considerable enemy sniping was then taking place. Remainder of bn followed, and reached the area of BRABANDER 7727. Tac HQ and D Coy, at 7569279 were very heavily shelled for 10-15 minutes, but sustained no cas.Tac HQ remained in the area for the night, using a cellar in a nearby house. A & B Coys took up a position a few hundred yds fwd on the main axis. C Coy located about 764281. Throughout the night the outskirts of VENRAIJ and BRABANDER were shelled. Food was brought up between 0100 hrs and 0200 hrs. Patrols contacted 2 Warwicks of 185 Bde about m to the East during the night.
16   Casualties 1 OR killed, 5 OR wounded.
17   Attack on VENRAIJ continued. C Coy adv on the left and A Coy on the right. D Coy followed behind C Coy and B Coy were held in res. By 1000 hrs report line B (776274) was reached, and report line C (through 778273) was gained by midday. Major Crauford, OC C Coy was badly wounded at this time, and Lt Oates took over the Coy. About 1400 hrs the MO, Lt Mackenzie, RAMC and the Med Sjt went fwd to recce a fwd RAP. They were not seen again and posted missing. See Appx M
17   C Coy held up by hy fire during the afternoon whilst working into VENRAIJ. A Coy were in the town, but figthing a very confused battle from house to house. D Coy, after gaining the wood 777277, came in for hy shelling, and suffered some cas.
17 1500 Tac HQ moved fwd to 775276. Enemy shelling of BRABANDER VENRAIJ rd continued.
17 1730 B Coy moved in behind A Coy, who had reached the brewery at 778272, and moved fwd, but owing to darkness coming on, were unable to continue, and took up a posn for the night. D Coy, under Capt Rutherford had by now also reached the town, and Capt Rutherford, finding that the opposition was decreasing, decided to push on past his coys objective. D Coy thus reached the town centre of VENRAIJ ahead of the other coys, and were engaged in confused house to house fighting around the town square until 0400 hrs in the morning. Enemy patrols of 7/8 men entered VENRAIJ frequently during the night and added to the difficulty of clearing the streets. Hy shelling of the town by the enemy continued throughout the night.
17   Caualties. Killed: 9 ORs. Wounded: Maj Crauford and 40. Missing: Lt Mackenzie & 10.
18   By first light the town was firmly in our hands. Shelling continued intermittently all day. Lt Montague joined Bn as MO.
18 1030 Bn HQ est 778270. In order to conform with readjustments of 9 Bde & 185 Bde, A & B Coys moved to posns between C & D Coys, who were holding areas 779269, 781273 repectively. 185 Br Inf Bde were now in northern outskirts of VENRAIJ, and 1 Suffolk and 1 S Lan R occupied the southern half of the town. Contact was made during the day with the civil affairs authorities. Night quiet, with occasional shelling.
19   Shelling contd. Warning order from the Bde that bn would relieve 2 Warwicks in the area of ST. SERVATIUS by 2000 hrs. Usual recce party visited ST. SERVATIUS during the morning. The Commanding Officer, Lt.Col. N.J. Dickson visited Bn HQ prior to his departure from the bn for reasons of health. Major J.W. Renison continued to command the bn.
19   A & B Coys and Bn HQ moved to ST. SERVATIUS during the afternoon. C & D Coys, relieving the two fwd coys of 2 Warwicks, did so after dark, to avoid observation by the enemy. Bn HQ 787268, A Coy 784266, B Coy 784270, C Coy 788271, D Coy 788266. Intermittent shelling throughout relief; no cas. Contact made with 1 S Lan R during the night. Appendix A deals with civilian refugees, etc sheltering in cellars when bn took over the area & their subsequent evacuation under bn arrangements
ST. SERVATIUS 20   Some shelling & small arms fire from East. Latter apparently unaimed and probably intended to draw fire. One enemy patrol approached to within 15 yds C Coy sec & threw grenade, which was answered by MG fire, whereupon enemy withdrew. Shelling intermittent throughout day.
21   Shelling again at first light, also 1 Salvo Nbwerfer. Single rds shellfire througout day, and three fairly hy concs in the late afternoon. Enemy sec posn located by OP, along hedge 793270 & house 794270 considered enemy billet. Refuse heap 794270 thought to be conceal dug-in tk or roofed dugout. These targets engaged by arty & mortars. Nblwerfer fired from 794271 during afternoon.
21   A & B Coys moved to 783272 & 783277 respectively, to cover gap between 8 & 9 Bdes.
21   Night generally quiet. Fighting patrol to hedge 793270 heard sounds of men moving East after arty conc & upon moving in found empty trenches & confirmed presence roofed dug-out. Enemy heard in houses 795271.
22   A & B Coys relieved C & D Coys throughout day, section by section. Little shelling except for sharp bout at 1220 hrs. Nearly all shelling of ST. SERVATIUS carried out by 105 mm and 150 mm guns. Night again quiet. Contact patrols maintained during hours of darkness. 1 NCO & 4 went on recce patrol to houses 795271 during the afternoon, and by nightfall had not returned.
23   Bout of shelling and nebelwerfers at first light. No cas. Morning quiet until 1132 hrs and 1152 hrs when two hy concs came down. No cas. Enemy sec still at hedge 93270, in spite of arty fire frequently being put down on them. Recce patrol of B Coy to BRUKSKE 7926 found it clear, but civilians reported 50 enemy in wood 795258.
23   C Coy sent figting patrol of 1 Offr & 24 men to area of houses 794276 and 794271 during the afternoon encountered approx pl. enemy, and had 6 cas 1 killed, 1 wounded and missing, 4 wounded.
23   Trip flares laid around Bn HQ at dusk, and contact patrols organised to cover all the perimeter of ST. SERVATIUS during hours of darkness. Night again quiet. Usual contacts made with flanking units. B Coy maintained standing patrol BRUKSKE 7926 during night.
24   Quiet day. No shelling. Snipers active during afternoon, but no cas.
24   Warning order from Bde that 185 Br Inf Bde would relieve 8 Bde 26 Oct 44, and that adv parties would be arriving 1000 hrs 25 Oct. 2 KSLI to take over from 2 E Yorks.
24   Contact patrols maintained throughout night. No incidents.
25 1000 Adv party from 2 KSLI arrived. Intermittent shelling from 1130-1210 hrs, by 1 gun, firing from OOSTRUM. Occasional shells during afternoon. Night again quiet.
26   Slight shelling during morning. Relief by 2 KSLI commenced during afternoon with change-over of C & D Coys. A & B Coys relieved after dark. Bn Hq left ST. SERVATIUS 1500 hrs.
26 1600 Bn HQ at ROUW 772324. A, B & C Coys located between 774326 & 771329, and Bn at stand-easy order. D Coy in tactical posn 777313. Ref Map Sht 1/25000 HOLLAND Sht 19 NW/E 1st Edition Sep 44
26   Bn at 3 hrs notice to move to any part of Div front.
27 1020 Bn at 1 hrs notice to move. Enemy threat in MEIJEL 7006 area causing readjustment of 11 Armd Div units. Probability of 2 E Yorks being required to take over posn of cue of bns of 159 Bde. Recce party left at midday.
27 1500 Bn to move to IJSSELSTEIJN 7222 and conc in readiness for further move. Ref Map Sht 1/25000 HOLLAND Sht 19 SW/E 1st Edition Sep 44
27 1630 Bn embussed and ready to move.
27 1900 Bn HQ at 728227. Bn now u/c 11 Armd Div, 159 Bde.
27 2230 Bn at 2 hrs notice to move.
28 0930 Bn 1 hrs notice to move. COs Recce party to VREKWIJK 6518 during morning. 2 E Yorks to take up def posn in this area. Enemy in occupation MEIJEL 7106 and pushing North against units of 7 U.S. Armd Div. Ref Map sht 1/25,000 HOLLAND Sht 27 NW/W 1st Edition Sep 44
28 1600 Bn embussed. Moved to VREKWIJK.
28 1640 Bn HQ 656182, A Coy 655182, D Coy 656183, B Coy 657179, C Coy 657175. Enemy still attacking, and coys to patrol South to northern edge of woods 6517, SE to area 6817.
28 1830 -1930. Enemy a/c over DEURNE area. AP bombs dropped some near A Coy, causing 4 cas: 1 killed, 3 wounded, also wounding 3 civilians.
28   Contact made with 7 US Armd Div in LIESEL 6614.
29   Enemy attack on LIESEL at first light. Liaison offr from 7 Armd Div unit requested that Bn be ready to assist if necessary. Bn ready to move, and fwd coys stood to. 6 KOSB of 15 (S) Div expected to take over from bn during the morning.
29 0930 Adv parties 6 KOSB arrived.
29 1030 Main body 6 KOSB commenced to take-over. 2 E Yorks to take up posns astride rlwy 6818. COs recce left 0945 hrs.
29 1055 Bn HQ left location upon arrival of Bn HQ 6 KOSB.
29 1140 Bn HQ est 685188, A Coy 682189, B Ccoy 685185, C Coy 689184, D Coy 682183. Bn now filling gap in 11 Armd dispositions between DEURNE and 1 Herefords at GRIENDSTVEEN 7117.
29 1700 A Coy moved fwd upon orders from Bde Comd, to position at 674177, in order to dominate X-tr 674172, where they were to maintain a standing patrol. Contact patrols to 1 Herefords, 7117 and to 9 Cameronians SE of DEURNE, during night. Recce patrols als to areas 6818, 6816, 6719, 6716, 6916. All NTR except Standing Patrol of A coy, X tr 674172, who reported that 2 light tks apprached them at about 0400 hrs. 4 men left tks and walked fwd several yds, returning after a few minutes, when tks withdrew.
30   44 Bde of 15 (S) Div moving West of LOOS LIESEL rd to prevent further enemy adv towards West. 46 Bde of 15 (S) Div intention to clear enemy form LIESEL MEIJEL area by attack from North of LIESEL. In event of 9 Cameronians moving fwd from their posns in 6716, E Yorks to occupy that area.
30   Contact made with flanking units of 1 Herefords and 9 Cameronians during night.
31   COs recce gp at immediate notice to move from 0730 hrs. Bn at 1 hrs notice to move. Carrier Pl ready ro move at 0630 hrs, to take up screening posn on flank of new location.
31 0830 COs recce gp and Carrier Pl proceeded to 9 Cameronians.
31 0900 A Coy moved to new location.
31   2 Carriers, which had gone past the 9 Cameronians locality to X-tr 682148, owing to thick mist, blew up on mines recently laid by the enemy, one or two of whom were stated to be running away into the mist. B, C, D Coys ordered to remain present location until further notice.
31 1015 Coys moved fwd with Tac HQ, which was est in rear HQ of 9 Cameronians at 670164. A Coy based on X-tr 676166, B Coy 673160, C Coy 679161, D Coy 671167.
31 1330 Remaineder Bn HQ moved up to Tac HQ.
31   The MO went fwd during the morning to bring in cas from blown-up carriers. He was accompanied by Capt. Smith (Carrier Pl Comd). At the x-tracks they were captured by a pl. of the enemy, who subsequently released the MO, but retained Capt Smith as a PW. Enemy here apparently just about to pull out.
31   7 Seaforths entered LIESEL during the morning. Day uneventful on bn front. Night also quiet. Contact patrols to 9 Cameronians, and Standing Patrols maintained fwd of fwd coys. Nothing to report.

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, 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.