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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 The Cheshire Regiment
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. S.V. Keeling, DSO
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
M/R 552358 1 1500 Recce party left this afternoon to find new area for proposed move tomorrow morning. Recce party composed of the following personnel: 2 i/C. Major H.R. Moon - O.C. HQ Coy. Capt. D.E. Peck - Technical Adjutant Capt Walkinshaw and the R.S.M. and 1 D.R.
1 1730 Recce party returns having found a suitable area just over GRAVE bridge in some fields. Mens cookhouse and the D.Rs are, however, under cover. Some enemy shelling this afternoon in area NIJMEGEN. Enemy air activity slight. A.P. bombs dropped on a neighbouring Field Ambulance causing several casualties. Some counter-battery work by our guns. Strong fighter aircraft patrols up most of the day - seems to be a shuttle service over NIJMEGEN bridge and surrounding area. The Commanding Officer paid a short visit to Divisional HQ this morning.
2 0830 Formed up in convoy ready to move off on tail of Main Div HQ column.
2 0900 Column moved off to new location passing through BOEKEL VOLKEL UDEN and GRAVE. Bridge at GRAVE has been damaged by shelling but not to such an extent as to interfere with traffic. Tail of column cleared bridge by 1030 hrs.
2 1115 Arrived at new locn in open fields surrounding a farmhouse. Some enemy shelling during afternoon and evening.
2 1400 Commanding Officer pays visits to "A" and "C" Coys.
2 1630 Returns to Main HQ.
2   50 (N) Division assumed command of Eastern sector of the NIJMEGEN bridgehead at 1400 hrs this afternoon.
2   Evening spent in digging in and settling down in the new location.
3 0900 Commanding Officer to attend a conference re taking over the Eastern sector of the NIJMEGEN bridgehead.
3 1000 Returns to Main HQ and orders Tac HQ to be ready to move off and over NIJMEGEN bridge at 1130 hrs.
3 1130 Tac HQ plus one or two other essential vehicles of Main HQ leave for new location on the other side of NIJMEGEN bridge. Slight enemy air attack whilst Tac HQ were crossing NIJMEGEN bridge and 1 FW 190 was shot down by our ack ack. Some enemy shelling of the bridge and area.
3 1445 Arrived at new locn after a journey lasting nearly 3 hours - a distance of approx 10 miles.
3   New locn in an orchard surrounding a farmhouse. Remainder of day spent in digging in. Some shelling of the bridge area during the night. A.P. bombs were dropped by enemy aircraft during the early morning.
SLIJK EWIJK 4   An attack is being launched this morning by 231 Bde and 151 Inf Bde. C.O., I.O. and Adjt up most of the night working out Task Tables and Traces. Coys in support as follows:-
4   "A" Coy and 15 and 14 Plns of "D" Coy in sp of 151 Bde attack 1400 hrs.
4   "C" Coy and 12 and 13 Plns "D" Coy in sp of 231 lnf Bde attack at 1200 hrs.
4 1115 C.O. leaves to watch progress of attack from 151 Bde HQ.
4 1330 151 Inf Bde attack goes according to plan and although heavy enemy opposition was encountered all objectives were captured.
4 1430 231 Inf Bde attack goes according to plan and although they also encountered strong enemy opposition all their objectives were captured.
4 1630 Commanding Officer and the L.O. return to Main HQ.
4   Enemy air activity slight. Fair amount of enemy shelling during the evening.
5 0630 C.O. leaves to contact Major Mellor O.C. "B" Coy who is at present resting with his Company South of the WAAL, and instructs him to place his Company in a suitable position on the South side of the WAAL, East of NIJMEGEN, so as to cover the factories on the north side of the river, in the HAALDEREN Bde. area, with flanking fire. "A" Coy is also supporting this attack by 151 Inf Bde on to the factories in the HAALDEREN area. See Appendix J 2 Cheshire Fire Plan in Support of 151 Inf Bde
5   Attack is brought forward to 1200 hrs today.
5 1200 Attack launched with success all objectives gained.
5 1430 C.O. returns to Main HQ.
5   Enemy air activity nil. The weather for the past two days has been bitterly cold.
6 0730 The Commanding Officer and the L.O. leave to contact 82 Airborne Division American Amy who are holding the sector of the front across the River WAAL SE of NIJMEGEN. Object to find a suitable OP for mortars.
6 1000 Commanding Officer returns.
6 1200 Message received that the Division is being relieved by 101 Airborne Div.
6 1430 Recce party leaves to find a suitable concentration area South of NIJMEGEN.
6 1630 Bn HQ is moving the day after tomorrow.
6   231 Inf Bde is being relieved on the morning of the 7th.
6   151 lnf Bde is being relieved on the night of the 7th.
6   "A" and "C" Coys are to leave with their respective Bdes and once over NIJMEGEN Bridge to proceed under their own steam to the Battalion concentration area South of NIJMEGEN. Length of stay approx 4 days.
6   Visits today from the Commanding Officer of the Middlesex Bn the MG Bn of 43 Div and the Commanding Officer of the Manchester Bn - the MG Bn of 53 (W) Div re handing over Coy and Pln posns to them. Some enemy shelling this evening. Enemy air activity slight.
7 1030 "C" Coy leaves for concentration with 231 Inf Bde.
7 1430 Large armada of "heavies" over this afternoon presumably on their way to the Ruhr two were shot down in flames by enemy ack ack.
7 1830 "A" Coy leaves for concentration area with 151 Bde.
7   Bn HQ is moving tomorrow morning to Bn concentration area South of NIJMEGEN. Heavy smoke screen over NIJMEGEN bridge this evening. Bridge is illuminated by a searchlight at night possibly as an anti-sabotage measure.
7   Some enemy counter battery work during the day. Enemy air activity nil.
8 0700 Commanding Officer is called to Divisional HQ to attend a conference.
8 1000 Message received from the C.O. that the move is cancelled and Divisional HQ is returning to its old area North of the WAAL and Bn HQ is remaining where it is.
8   Coys and Bdes are also returning to the North of the River WAAL.
8 1100 Recce party contacts Div HQ re Bn HQ area - permission is given for us to remain in same locn. See Appendix J 2 Cheshire Defensive fire Plan for MMGs & 4.2 Mortars
8   Capt. Rowlands is posted to "D" Coy ex Divisional Counter Mortar Officer. Coys are now in sp of Bdes and under Regimental command of Bn HQ.
8   "A" Coy and 15 Pln are in sp of 69 Bde.
8   "C" Coy and 14 Pln are in sp of 231 Bde.
8   "B" Coy and 13 Pln are in reserve in NIJMEGEN to be used in a counter attack role with 151 lnf Bde. 12 Hvy Mortar Pln is also in reserve at "D" Coy HQ at SLIJK EWIJK. Defensive Fire Plan to cover the Divisional front is prepared by the Commanding Officer.
8   Enemy air activity slight.
9   Organisation put into effect for the control of the D.F. Tasks on the Div front (2 Bde). It is necessary for an officer to be in constant line and wireless communications with the Coys concerned.
9 0900 C.O. visits Coys and Bdes re D.F. Tasks.
9 1300 Returns to Main HQ.
9 1430 Leaves to see Maj-Gen Graham G.O.C. 50 (N) Div re D.F. Tasks.
9   Returns to Main HQ.
9   Some enemy shelling and counter battery work. Enemy air activity slight during the early hours of the morning.
10 0900 C.O. visits Coys and Bdes thence on to Divisional HQ.
10 1530 Returns to Main HQ.
10   Amendments to D.F. Tasks necessary. "B" Echelon arrives at this locn. having received orders from Div HQ that they should be on the North side of the WAAL. Vehicles and personnel distributed in orchards and fields on either side of Tac HQ. Ground is rapidly turning into a quagmire. Enemy air activity nil. Some enemy shelling of the ELST area. "B" Coy recce a new area in NIJMEGEN they may have to move from their present area to allow other units to move in.
11 0900 C.O. to "C" Coy to visit Pln Posns also visits Bde HQ and Div HQ returning to Main HQ at 1300 hrs.
11 1600 C.O. contacts Major Martin O.C. "A" Coy and visits Pln locns returns to Main HQ at 1930 hrs.
11   Activity on the Div front much less today signs of the enemy withdrawing. Some enemy shelling and mortaring. Visit by Lt. Col. Harrington (Cheshire Regt) who is now G.1 of 53 (W) Div.
12   231 Inf Bde is being relieved by 151 Bde this evening. Coys will now be in sp as under.
12   "A" Coy in reserve. "B" Coy in sp of 69 Bde. "C" Coy in sp of 151 Bde. 231 Bde is moving South of the River and taking over 151 Bdes responsibility of guarding NIJMEGEN bridge against possible enemy counter attacks. "A" Coy is being relieved by "B" Coy tomorrow evening between 1800-2100 hrs. Leave to BRUSSELS has commenced. 48 hrs. 1 Officer and 16 men are in the first party to leave on the 16th October. 1 Officer and 10 O.Rs have been detached to run a Divisional Soldiers Club situated in the Colonial Bks, NIJMEGEN. Lt. Wood "A" Coy is Officer i/c.
12   Enemy activity on front slight. Enemy air activity nil.
13 1630 C.O. with Major Langrishe O.C. "D" Coy pays a visit to 14 and 15 Hvy Mortar Plns.
13 1830 C.O. returns to Main HQ.
13   Inter Coy relief between "A" and "B" Coy takes place. See Appendix "D" 2 Ches Op Order No. 13
13   Day quiet very little enemy activity.
14 0900 C.O. visits "C" Coy Pln Posns.
14 1130 C.O. returns and visits Div HQ.
14   "A" Coy still in reserve in NIJMEGEN. Nothing of interest to report today.
14   Slight enemy activity on our front possibility he is withdrawing from our front.
15 1130 C.O. to Div HQ to see G.O.C. Maj Gen Graham re D.F. Tasks and Harrassing Fire.
15 1230 C.O. returns.
15   Little of interest today. Conference of Coy Comdrs will be called each morning at 1100 hrs to carry out and adjust any alterations in the D.F. Tasks and F.D.L's. A Coy in reserve in NIJMEGEN. Enemy activity slight. See Appendix J. 2 Ches Defensive Fire Plan
16   50 (N) Div has assumed the command of the Eastern sector of the "Island". 53 (W) Div being relieved to proceed to the s'HERTOGENBOSCH area. 61st Recce Regt are holding the Northern tip of our sector, with on their left 101 US Airborne Div. The Divisional sector is now held - running from North to South - 61st Recce Regt - 151 Bde - 508 Para Regt - 231 Bde. 69 Bde is to come into reserve in the NIJMEGEN area. Relief to be carried out on the night 17/18 Oct.
16   All coys are under regimental control. Enemy activity slight. Some shelling during the early hours of the evening. A Coy are still in reserve in NIJMEGEN but will be in sp of 231 Bde as from night 17/18th Oct.
17 0945 The Commanding Officer visits "B" and "C" Coy posns returning to Main HQ at 1245 hrs.
17 1400 C.O. visits Divisional HQ.
17 1430 Returns to Main HQ.
17   "A" Coy ordered to proceed to positions on 231 Bde front this evening. All Coys and Plns will now be in the line. Weather extremely cold. Enemy activity - some shelling and mortaring. Enemy air activity - 2 - 3 planes over this evening - bombs dropped - no apparent damage caused.
18   Relief of 53 (W) Div completed 50 (N) Div is now in comd of Eastern sector of the NIJMEGEN bridgehead. Coys are now is sp as follows:-
18   "A" Coy plus 2 Hvy Mortar Plns in sp of 231 Bde.
18   "B" Coy in sp of 61st Recce Regt.
18   "C" Coy plus remaining 2 Hvy Mortar Plns in sp of 151 Bde.
18   Enemy air activity - slight. Weather bitterly cold.
19 1400 Main HQ moves into a house across the road. An Operations room being established inside the house. Rest of HQ in orchards. Some of the men are in houses and every effort is being made to billet all the men, now that the weather is so cold and wet.
19   Nothing of interest to report today. Some enemy air activity and shelling.
20 1000 The Commanding Officer leaves for 231 and 151 Inf Bdes and also to pay a visit to "B" and "C" Coy HQs.
20 1245 Returns to Main HQ.
20   Some enemy air activity and counter battery work this afternoon.
21 1100 Coy Comdrs conference re changes in F.D.L's and D.F. Tasks.
21 1235 Conference ends.
21   The Commanding Officer obtained permission from the Divisional Commander for the Bn to relieve 1 Pln from each Coy for a period of 5 days.
21   Accomodation has been found for the Plns in the Colonial Barracks, NIJMEGEN, where they will be adjacent to the Theatre, Cinema, Club and Baths.
21   The total allotment for the Bn at these functions has been allotted to these Plns so that they can make the most of their rest period. First relief took place today.
21   Some enemy shelling during the early hours of this morning.
22 1400 Commanding Officer to Divisional HQ to attend a conference with Maj-Gen Lyne G.O.C. 50 (N) Div who has relieved Maj-Gen Graham for a period.
22 1430 Returns to Main HQ.
22 1445 C.O. visits "A" Coy posns with the O.C. "A" Coy Major P.L. de C Martin. G.P.1 on South side of the river visited.
22 1630 Returns to Main HQ.
22   69 Inf Bde is relieving 151 Bde this evening who are proceeding to NIJMEGEN in Divisional reserve. Enemy air activity - nil. Some shelling and mortaring on the Div front.
23   No conference this morning F.D.Ls and dispositions remain unchanged. Capt J. Lees 2 i/c "C" Coy is now acting O.C. "C" Coy in the absence of Major Abel on 48 hrs leave to ANTWERP. Leave allocation:- 1 Officer and 5 men "B" coy. 1 Officer and 5 men "C" Coy.
23   Capt D.E. Peck O.C. HQ Coy leaves for "B" Coy to take over 2 i/c "B" Coy as Capt Handford has left for ANTWERP on 48 hrs leave.
23   Majority of Bn HQ are now in billets in SLIJK EWIJK.
23   Some enemy mortaring and shelling on the Div front.
24   No conference this morning F.D.L's and D.F. Tasks remain unchanged.
24 1200 Commanding Officer leaves with Major Langrishe O.C. "D" Coy to visit the Heavy Mortar Plns.
24 1630 C.O. returns to Main H.Q.
24   Gun positions of companies on the "IsIand", chiefly "B" Coy who are just South of ARNHEM, are absolutely waterlogged. Every possible way has been tried to find a successful drainage system, but to no avail. As a last resort, if guns have to be fired, Nos. 1's and 2's stand in inverted barrels in the trench, so keeping reasonably dry.
24   Leave parties for BRUSSELS and ANTWERP are now being despatched regularly. Inter-platoon relief to take place tomorrow.
24   No enemy air activity. Some enemy shelling and mortaring.
25 1100 Conference of all Coy Comdrs at Bn HQ re Harrassing Fire tasks - decided to work out a detailed programme each day to cover the period from 1600 hrs the same day - 1600 hrs the next day. Coy Comdrs to call on the Bde Comdrs at 0900 hrs each day and obtain details of the D.F. Tasks required. Copies of D.F. Task programme sent to all Bdes. See Appendix "J" Harrassing Fire Task Table
25 1230 Conference ends.
25   Relief of Plns taking place today. Plns being relieved are proceeding to the Colonial Barracks NIJMEGEN, for a well earned rest.
25   Average time taken to bring D.F. Fire to bear - now that D.F. Tasks under control is as follows:-
25   4.2" Mortars approx 3 minutes. MMGs appox 4 minutes.
25   Day quiet - very little enemy activity of any sort.
26 1100 Conference this morning to arrange Harrassing Fire tasks. See Appendix "J"
26   Several other points discussed including the question of reinforcements 5 N.C.Os have been asked for for the last 5 or 6 weeks without avail.
26   Remainder of day quiet. Slight enemy shelling and mortaring of the Div front.
27 0930 C.O. to Div HQ to attend a conference re Operation "Noah". See Appendix "D" 2 Ches Op Order No 14
27 1045 Commanding Officer returns to Main HQ.
27 1100 Usual morning conference to arrange harrassing fire tasks. See Appendix J
27 1215 Conference ends.
27 1700 Commanding Officer leaves to visit "B" Coy Pln positions.
27 1915 Returns to Main HQ.
27   HERTOGENBOSCH and TILBURG were liberated today. Heavy shelling by our guns today. Little enemy activity.
28 1100 Morning conference re harrassing fire. See Appendix J
28 1300 Conference ends.
28   Nothing of interest today. Day fairly quiet. Enemy shelling seems to have increased today. Enemy air activity 1 plane over this afternoon received a very warm reception.
29 1100 Usual morning conference re harassing fire tasks. See Appendix J
29 1235 Conference ends.
29 1900 Conference of all Coy Comdrs re new allocation of Pln Posns and D.F. Tasks.
29 2230 Conference ends.
29   Adjt and I.O. up all night preparing new D.F. Task Traces and Pln Disposns and arcs of fire traces to cover the whole of the Div front. New Pln Posns and D.F. Tasks come into operation at 1700 hrs tomorrow evening. Weather bitterly cold.
30 1100 Usual morning conference held at Bn HQ. No changes on the Div front. Harassing fire programme arranged. See Appendix J
30 1200 Conference ends.
30 1700 Change over of Pln Gun Posns took place - everything is now working on a three Bde front with all coys in the line.
30   Relief of Plns in NIJMEGEN took place today.
31 1100 Coy Comdrs conference re proposed changes in D.F. Tasks and F.D.Ls.
31 1200 Conference ends.
31   Commanding Officer to see the Brigadier of 69 Bde.
31 1600 Returns to Main HQ.
31   Some enemy shelling and mortaring on div front today.

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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.