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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: 2nd Bn E. Yorkshire Regt
Month and Year: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. N.J. Dickson
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
BEUVILLE 1   Rest and admin. after the sudden move from BANNEVILLE.
1 1030 Warning order to move received from Bde: reps to RV at Bde meeting-point. This adv party left at 1300 hrs.
1   Major R.S.M. Laird joined the bn from 7th Bn. E. Yorks, and took over command of D Coy.
ST. HONORINE DE DUCY 789639 Map Sht 6F/2 GSGS 2250 2   Move to new location by T.C.V’s. Tpt also moved with the tps, and the whole completed by 1830 hrs. The Bde was now conc area ST. HONORINE DE DUCY, with 2 E.Y. around map ref. 729639, which was location of Bn. H.Q. The area was surrounded by med. gun lines, but there was no disturbance from the enemy.
2   Major Pirie, 302 Bty, R.A. visited Bn HQ during the evening, on his return from ENGLAND, after being wounded.
3   Admin continued, also rest, as far as possible. New movement order from Bde: adv parties to move on 4th Aug to area 6150, where Bde would again conc.
4 0130 Cancellation of movement order. Bde now to conc in different area, and recce parties to be at two hrs notice to move; detailed orders following orders received during morning, and the Commanding Officer, with 2IC’s Coys, carried out recce of Bn area, West of LE BENY BOCAGE.
5 1030 Bn left by TCV’s, and proceeded, with all tpt, to new location.
MAUGER Map Sht 6F/4 GSGS 4250 1/50,000 5 1800 Bn complete in position, with Bn HQ est 652425.
6   Admin and rest continued. Warning order received from Bde at 1630 hrs.
6 1800 Commanding Officer’s recce gp left to visit MONTISANGER 6635. Coy reps at 15 mins notice to move.
6 1845 Order from Bde that Bn would not proceed to MONTISANGER: details to follow.
6 2030 Bn ordered to move to pt. 145, 6537, and take up defensive position on right of 1 S Lan R (est. at LA BISTIERE, with 1 Suffolk on their left).
6 2200 Bn marched to new location: Order of March, B, D, Bn HQ, Sp, A, C Coys. Sp Coy vehs and A1 tpt conc at MAUGER.
6   As recce parties had left for MONTISANGER, recce of pt 145 area was carried out almost in darkness. The change of plan due to enemy armoured counter-attack towards AVRANCHES.
6   Padre Leach joined the bn from 13/18 Hussars.
Pt 145 Map Sht 6F/6 GSGS 4250 1/50,000 7 0300 Bn est in new positions with Bn HQ 656378.
7 0530 Stand-to, and bn under immediate notice to move. Readiness continued throughout the day, but bn did not in fact go forward. Bn now on extreme right of Br 2 Army. Contact made during the day with an American Tk Destroyer Unit in the area. Expected that bn would take over from Lincolns (9 Br Inf Bde), area LA GROUDIERE, as soon as latter went fwd.
8 0030 Message from Bde that 1 Suffolk and 1 S Lan R were carrying out extensive patrolling, and that 2 E Yorks would be responsible for holding the bde’s firm base in the event of attack by the enemy. Coys impressed that a high standard of alertness was essential. Still no move during the day. Oder from Bde in the evening that bn would have to take over the Lincoln’s position at LE PONT DE VAUDRY, 664338 during the night, as the Lincolns were now moving back into reserve. Recce parties, composed as usual, left during the evening.
8 2130 Bn moved by march route, and took over from Lincolns without enemy interference.
LE PONT DE VAUDRY 9 0200 Take-over complete; Bn HQ est 664338. Br at LE PONT DE VAUDRY blown, but there was a [ford?] to the East, and a tr. br. to the West. Information during the morning from Bde that enemy was withdrawing from the high ground to our front. Patrols from our coys proceeded to investigate VAUDRY 6531, and area around ROULLOURS 6630, without contacting the enemy, and found evidence of a hasty departure on his part. Thus a quiet day was unexpectedly experienced. Mines and booby-traps were fairly plentiful, and 2 Mx and C.L.Y. lost vehs through them. Main rd to VIRE blocked by felled trees, which had been booby-trapped to hinder clearance. Two members of the F.F.I. visited Bn HQ to obtain assistance in unditching a veh – our first contact with F.F.I.
9   A1 Echelon moved into MONTISANGER (6635) area. 16 OR’s arrived as re-inforcements, ex 8 CRC.
10   Orders from Bde that bn was to move to new conc area, NE of VIRE. Usual recce parties left, and bn commenced to move at 1100 hrs.
10 1245 Bn HQ est 638320. A quiet day, but bn warned to expect another move.
10   Bde Comd’s ‘O’ Gp during afternoon. An attack by 8 Br Inf Bde on the enemy positions along the VIRE – TINCHEBRAY rd to take place the next day. Enemy strength not known, but it was certain that the Germans were withdrawing, and if possible, the bde would push on to TINCHEBRAY. The U.S. tps on our right were also going fwd, and 185 Br Inf Bde were moving on our left.
11 0600 Lt DW Little, whilst making contact with the Americans tred on an AP mine. He was slightly injured in the foot, and suffering from shock. He was evacuated to hospital.
11 0700 Bn stood-to, in readiness to move.
11 0730 Bde message that 1 S Lan R were moving at 0900 hrs, and 2 E Yorks were unlikely to move until 1100 hrs.
11 0930 No opposition encountered by 1 S Lan R at 185 Br Inf Bde.
11 1045 Bn left conc area, with A & B Coys fwd.
652306 11 1200 Bn HQ est 652306. Coys moving fwd in face of certain amount of mortar and shellfire.
11   1 S Lan R held up by enemy in houses and orchards around pt 272, 6728. 2 E Yorks began to move towards LA SALIERE 6789 in order to work round left of pt 272. A & B Coys, who were fwd, ran into a very ingenious and persevering enemy, who although not strong in numbers, proved extremely difficult to push back in the very close country.
11   Capt. A. Swinburne (A Coy) was wounded by mortar fire during the afternoon, and was evacuated.
662301 11 1915 Bn HQ moved fwd to 662301. Communication with the C.O., who was fwd with his recce gp, was very difficult.
11 2045 A & B Coys edging into orchard LA SALIERE GRANDE 6829, 1 S Lan R still held up before pt 272. LA SALIERE Gde heavily mined and booby-trapped, and during the evening Lt. Ellison was killed in a minefd, and Lt Brown received injuries from which he afterwards died. The area of the RAP, 665295, had been persistently shelled all the afternoon, and B Coy lost all its SB’s during the attack, which made evacuation of cas difficult, as no axis for vehs existed.
11 2130 1 S Lan R began attack on pt 272, with arty sp. A & B Coys, 2 E Yorks, along track running East from 673293, were being counter-attacked from South and SE. D & C Coys brought fwd to assist if necessary.
11 2330 Counter-attack petered out. It was no doubt part of the enemy’s delaying action, rather than an attempt to regain and hold lost ground.
11   ATk guns up into Bn area by midnight, but some SP guns and Bn 6-pdrs were got up across country with the aid of tracks made by tks, by about 0600 hrs. Boggy ground hindered movement. The rifle coys spent a difficult and harassing night along the track North of LA SALIERE. This was the first action in which the bn had moved through close country against an unlocated enemy, and had taken up position in darkness in close contact with an enemy who showed great stubbornness in withdrawal. Enemy mainly tps of 3 Para Div. Control in the close country was difficult, and at one time Bn Tac HQ found itself well in advance of the leading tps. Reports that by midnight 1 S Lan R were in position at pt 272 proved to be untrue. Cas. 2 killed and 26 wounded, OR’s. Reinforcements to the bn of 10 OR’s ex 105 CRC.
12   No rations could be sent fwd to the coys until 0500 hrs in the morning, as no alternative to the track in which they were engaged could be found. 2IC visited CO during the night in order to recce the ground. Rear Bn HQ shelled intermittently during the night by a gun firing from North-NNE, evidently British or American;- reported to Bde, but shelling continued until 0500 hrs.
12 0600 No change in general situation.
12   During the morning 1 S Lan R finally entered area pt 272.
12   The enemy had left; they also vacated LA SALIERE Gde, and 2 E Yorks cleared the area, occupying to the south, and exploring as far as WAUBESNIERE, which was also empty, but booby-trapped.
655296 12   Bn HQ moved to 665296 during the afternoon. 1 S Lan R took over LA SALIERE Gde with one coy, 2 E Yorks withdrawing to positions astride the main rd about 665296. 1 Suffolk moved up and occupied either side of main rd in rear of 2 E Yorks, about 661300.
12   The Commanding Officer, Lt.Col. N.J. Dickson, was attending Bde Comd’s ‘O’ Gp at Bde Tac HQ during the evening when an 88 mm shell landed beside it, slightly wounding the C.O. He was evacuated, and the comd of the bn devolved upon Major J.D.W. Renison, Major C.K. King taking over duties of 2IC. Major D. Warry, who had only just arrived from 38 RHU, took over command of ‘A’ Coy.
12 2200 Bde Comd’s orders: 8 Br Inf Bde to continue adv along VIRE – TINCHEBRAY rd. During the night, 1 Suffolk to pass through, and occupy area X-rds 692275, 2 E Yorks to be ready to move by TCV’s from 0630 hrs 13 Aug onwards, in order to take up position on left of 1 Suffolk. Bn to be prepared to carry out deep and active patrolling, using tpt if necessary. In event of recce discovering that enemy had carried out complete withdrawal the bn was warned to be ready to proceed as part of a force comprised of 3 Div Recce, 4 Goldm Gds & 2 EY acting as a mot. Bn. This part of plan did not materialise, as enemy were found to be holding general line of 290 Ring contour astride main rd SE of X-rds 692275.
13 0700 Bn embussed and proceeded to debussing pt 685285 without incident. 1 Suffolk had two coys left of X-rds, two coys right.
13   Readjustment took place as follows: C Coy 2 E.Y. moved into area 696277 (left fwd), A Coy into area 694279 (left rear). Upon completion D Coy was to relieve 1 Suffolk coy at right fwd locality 693876 but did not in fact do so, as position was under enemy observation and being heavily shelled. B Coy relieved right rear locality at 691278. ATk screen of regtl. guns moved to East and NE of bn locality.
689280 13 0900 Bn HQ est.
13   Patrols from C coy located 88 mm gun in wood 697276. Gun kept under observation throughout day, and eventually engaged by fire from C Coy, incl PIAT, which broke trail, and prevented evacuation.
13   Throughout the day, Bn HQ and area around the bend in the road 688283 was heavily shelled, causing a few cas, incl 1 OR killed.
13 1800 Orders received that 8 Br Inf Bde would attack ridge of high ground and the road fwd of rd junc that evening, in order not to lose contact with a withdrawing enemy. 1 Suffolk to clear opposition and proceed to CHURCH 701263, 2 E Yorks to take and hold high ground area track going East-NE from 698275, and push as far as possible whilst light remained. One sqn 4 Coldm Gds in sp. – this was 15 mins late over SL as it had not been possible to get orders to them early enough.
13 2030 A & D Coys began adv after a hy arty conc on ridge. Very hy mortar and shellfire at once came down along line of rd running NE from Xrds 692276 and a fair number of cas was suffered. But the attack continued, with C Coy following up, and tks in sp. By nightfall the ridge had been gained. C Coy, who, in the original plan, was to press fwd along the track to stream 708271, were ordered to remain on the ridge after clearing a wood, but patrols to the stream reported enemy fire from adjacent wood, and patrols were est in orchards 709273 and 704272. Latter remained until 0900 hrs the following morning, and reported no contact except with small enemy patrol of 5 men, who escaped into the mist. B Coy moved behind the bn adv., and consolidated on the reverse slope. During the night the coys were somewhat dispersed, and the clearing of the ridge continued. The Adjt, Capt. R.T. Brown, captured one of the enemy, and one German officer, discovered hiding at Bn HQ 15 mins after its arrival, was also taken prisoner.
13   Major C.K. King came up on the ridge with the rations in carriers almost as soon as the leading tps, and throughout the night toured the area, ensuring that all were fed.
693282 13   An offr P.W. taken by C Coy carried a nominal roll of his coy – about 50 strong – almost all of these accounted for as PW or killed.
13   Major P. Warry, who had only arrived the previous night, was killed in this action. Major R.S.M. Laird, and Lieuts Glew and Mercer were wounded. 4 OR’s were killed, and 31 wounded.
14   Coys regrouped: D Coy 701274, C Coy 704276, A Coy 706277, B Coy 700276, Fwd Bn HQ 701275. Rear Bn HQ, which had moved the previous night, to 693282, remained at this location. The evening was quiet. Patrols from B Coy in the direction of the houses at 703280 found no enemy. A few signs of enemy activity seen about 710270, but this was on a small scale. Some shelling East of rear Bn HQ occurred, from a long-range gun, but no mortaring or shelling of the ridge, apart from a few rds C Coy area.
14   The MO Lieut W.N. Coombes was wounded during the day, and evac. His jeep had apparently been blown up by a Tellermine whilst he was recce-ing a fwd position for the R.A.P. 2 OR’s wounded during the day.
15   Another quiet morning. Bn ordered to attack spur of high ground on left front. This quickly cancelled, as 1 Suffolk, moving NE had encountered no opposition. New plan was for C Coy to move along rd going NE from pt 279 to the rlwy br. 716297, thence to X-tr 726202, followed by fwd Bn HQ, one sqn tks 4 Coldm Gds & B Coy. D & A Coys moving later upon CO’s orders.
15 1330 C Coy commenced to move. Rlwy reached without incident. One carrier of sec covering Bn R gp blown up on Tellermine.
15 1600 C Coy in area X-tracks 726302, tks following up at 707288. Orders from Bde again changed plan. 1 Suffolk had gained BERNIERES 7428 without opposition, and C Coy were to be taken to join them on tks. Remainder of bn to conc area 697278, then travel by TCV’s along main TINCHEBRAY rd, turning North & debussing and conc area X-tracks 743260.
15   Lieut B.C. Montague, RAMC, took over duties of MO.
697278 15 1930 Bn conc, but fresh orders from Bde extended scope of operations. Enemy withdrawal of the TINCHEBRAY – FLERS area was proving considerable, and in order to exploit, 8 Br Inf Bde were to push on to, and past, TINCHEBRAY – MONTSECRET (7824) rd. 2 E Yorks to travel by TCV to debussing pt 763260, thence to conc area 772260 and push fwd to occupy MONTSECRET and FRESNES before first light. Plan: B Coy to move into MONTSECRET, and report on brs. 782262, 784262, 788263, and hold them. Patrols to recce to br 779255. D Coy then to move to area houses NW of FRESNES, 780253, and hold. C Coy to pass through and occupy centre of village, around church. A Coy, after report of success by C Coy to go fwd to southern end of village. Fwd Bn HQ to move same time as A Coy, Rear Bn HQ remaining 772261.
FRESNES Map Sht 7/F6 GSGS 4250 1/50,000 16   After midnight B Coy moved into MONTSECRET without incident. D & C Coys worked fwd to FRESNES, A Coy following. No enemy discovered.
16 0630 Bn HQ est FRESNES. Soon apparent that enemy had completely withdrawn from the vicinity of village. 1 S Lan R and 1 Suffolk were now fwd, to the SW of FRESNES, and later in day 9 Br Inf Bde moved into area LANDISACQ. Only scattered enemy encountered in whole area - these readily surrendered. Bn A1 tpt brought up during afternoon.
16 1400 Bde carried out search between MONTSECRET, TINCHEBRAY, LANDISACQ, for enemy vehs and equipment. Carriers despatched to E Yorks area, and by evening considerable quantities of equipment located.
16   The Commanding Officer, Lt Col N.J. Dickson, returned to bn.
16   19 OR’s reinforcements arrived.
17   A quiet day. Admin and rest. Search for enemy equipment continued. PW continued to walk in and surrender.
18   Bn in state of readiness from previous evening until first light, as certain enemy activity reported in FORET DE HALOUZE. Stand-easy order given after breakfast. Capt Short and Lieut Pemberton brought in 4 PW who had been handed to them by civilians whilst they were out in their ‘jeep’.
18   Lieut BC Montague left the bn to join 8 Fd Amb, and Lieut Mackenzie took over duties of MO.
19   Rest and admin continued.
19 0700 Warning order Bn to move to area 8716, SW of FLERS, normal recce parties to move 1300 hrs – these did not in fact go until 1730 hrs.
19 2130 Orders from Bde that Bn would proceed to LA MINIERE 8517 on 20 Aug.
20 0930 Bn tpt left FRESNES.
20 1050 Marching tps passed S.P.
LA MANIERE Map sht 7G/1 GSGS 2250 1/50,000 20 1530 Bn complete in new location. Bn HQ 858176.
20 1400 Selected offrs and NCO’s attended Div Bridging demonstration.
20   All bn A & B ech tpt joined the bn for the first time since leaving England.
21   Rest and admin.
22   Coys commenced pl training. River crossings practised.
23   Training continued. Lieuts BC Hills and GD Hebb joined the bn from 32 RHU, also 50 O.Rs.
24   River crossing training cancelled. Bn began training on coy basis: close co-operation with tks.
24   2 E Yorks allocated area BAROU – NORREY-EN-AUGE (2565-2763), East of FALAISE, as part of area which 8 Br Inf Bde were ordered to search for enemy vehs and equipment.
LA MANIERE 25   Training continued. Above search carried out.
26   Training continued. Capt Johnson, Lieut Parkinson and 2/Lt Merryweather joined from 4 DLI, also 144 OR’s from 32 RHU.
27   Training continued.
28   Training continued. Lieuts Little and Green rejoined the bn from 32 RHU (battle cas).
29   Training contd. Capt D Simpson joined Bn from 32 RHU.
30   Training contd. ‘R’ Coy formed. Capt Johnson and 2/Lieut Merryweather posted to 2 Warwicks. ‘Org. of R Coy’ : No 38

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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.