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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: 4 KSLI
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. M.R. Robinson
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
Rest Area 630330 (Rd ST. ANTHONIS – GEMERT) 1-6   [Tr.?] Maintenance, refitting & rest. Bn had bath & entertainment allotments. Fullest use was made of these.
1-6   Bde Cmdr visited Bn on 3rd Oct & was very pleased with the spirit and work of the unit.
1-6   Bn recommenced training, including a 30 yds range. But the sudden move to MULLEM Area cut the programme short. This was unfortunate as there was much to be done particularly with the more recent drafts.
Rest Area To MULLEM Area 7 1200 onwards. Bn move to MULLEM Area to take over defensive positions held by US 7 Armd Div. Bn was left forward Bn. 1 Herefords being right forward Bn. Bn left flank was open – being covered by daylight patrolling by Inns of Court & by night patrols from the Bn. Very slight shelling & mortaring.
MULLEM Area 8   The US 7 Armd Div had held the area with very few troops on the ground. In consequence the enemy had become much bolder and more aggressive than normal. The Bn Commander laid down a vigorous patrolling policy in order to counter this. Very slight shelling & mortaring.
9   Very slight shelling & mortaring. The main feature of interest for the day was a successful patrol action by B Coy.
9 1400 Capt Quash conducted a Recce patrol in the afternoon to discover whether the enemy were holding the wood at (German MR) 19644015. He discovered that the Boche had occupied a post there but were not there at the time. However he noted another wood at (GMR) 19644008 in which he observed enemy movement. A fighting patrol was organized to raid the woods in order to obtain enemy identification. The patrol consisted of 20 men commanded by Capt Quash.
9 1900 onward. The patrol was carried out successfully. The route chosen was found to be covered by an MG post, accordingly an alternative route was taken across several hundred yards of open ground partly illuminated by a burning haystack. The patrol reached its F.U.P. for the assault & went in under cover of a concentration on the wood. They got into the enemy positions just after the concentration had finished. The Boche still had their heads down. The first two posts were dealt with by Stens & grenades. A prisoner was ‘persuaded’ out of one of the posts by main force, being dragged out by his [head?] & the […] of his [trousers?], aided by the skilful use of a bayonet. The patrol returned at best possible speed. Avoiding three enemy LMG posts on the way. These LMGs fired at them but without causing casualties.
10-12   Vigorous patrolling during this period obtained a deal of information but no prisoners.
10-12   Slight shelling, mainly in C Coy Area.
13   The day was noteworthy for two patrol actions both by A Coy personnel in the SAMBEEK STUW area.
13 0700 Sgt Eardley took a small patrol down to that area at first light and reached a house where movement had been observed. Two PWs were taken. It was decided to stage a larger daylight raid on this area; it was believed to contain a platoon locality.
13 1400 onwards. The raid was carried out by No 9 Platoon supported by 2 secs of 3” Mortar Pl, 1 Tp F & F Yeo and an FOO from 151 Fd Regt. The party moved to its assaulting positions under cover of fire from 3” mortars and HE & MG fire from tanks. Enemy DF was brought down but fell behind the Pl on the advanced Coy HQ from which the Coy Comd (Major Maddocks) was conducting the operation. The Pl assaulted at H (1510 hrs) and took up its own covering fire on making closer contact. A classic Battle Drill attack was carried out. The objective was reached and the enemy opposition quickly overcome. The houses in the area were cleared and 12 PWs were taken. It was estimated that 9 Boche were killed and from information given by PWs afterwards the whole enemy pl was accounted for with the exception of 1 man – a CSM, believed to have hidden in a cellar. The patrol withdrew just as the enemy brought shelling and mortar fire down on the locality. Two men were killed by this as they were holding a wire obstacle open for the Pl Comdr who was the last to leave. One man of A Coy and three men of 3” Mortar Pl were wounded by Arty fire before and after the actual assault. The Pl was very skilfully commanded by Lt Cartwright. Sgt Eardley was again in this patrol.
13 1830 Bn HQ & RAP area were subjected to two short but heavy ‘stonks’. Vehicles in the RAP area were hit and brewed up. In consequence of the light thus shown the RAP was moved a few hundred yards to the West in case the enemy fired at the flames. There were no personnel casualties.
14   Slight shelling. Normal patrol activity.
15   The Bde was given the task of clearing an area 3000× to the East of the 3 Br Div in order to give that formation elbow room for subsequent operations directed on VENRAIJ. The first phase of this operation was an attack by 4 KSLI from 2 KSLI area directed on the village of SMAKT, the limit of exploitation to be the railway line running N-S a few hundred yards to the West of SMAKT.
OVERLOON Area 15 0630 onward. The Bn group moved to its assembly area in the 2 KSLI locality. The route was not an easy one – passing through OVERLOON where heavy traffic had turned the roads and tracks into a very bad state. The Bn formed up as follows – A Coy right, C Coy left, B Coy right rear, D Coy left rear. The F & F Yeo were deployed as follows – 1 Tp to support each fwd Coy and 1 Tp to move down the CL. 1 Sec MGs (R.N.F.) supported each forward Coy. 1 Sqn F & F Yeo gave right flank protection. The Arty programme consisted of a rolling barrage to move at the rate of 100 yards in 2 minutes and of concentrations on call. The barrage was to dwell on the opening line for 10 minutes.
15 1030 H was fixed for 1030 hrs. The attack to commence on time. Unfortunately some guns (about 1 Battery) fired short, dropping in the area of the S.L. causing some casualties. The barrage eventually moved on but the momentum of the attack was halted until the offending guns ceased. The attack proceeded & the barrage was called off, concentrations being fired instead. The ground over which the Bn moved was a large sandy waste, scarred with dunes – impassable for all vehicles except tanks and carriers (with difficulty). The C.O. Scout Car was towed by the F & F Regtl Comdrs Tank all the way in order to maintain communications with our rear radio link. C Coy on the left met some opposition but dealt with it speedily – well supported by tanks & MGs – collecting a number of PWs. The Coy then pushed on to the limit of exploitation without further incident. A Coy on the right met opposition further on & dealt with some of it. B Coy were then moved to the right of A Coy to deal with this. The Bn consolidated with C & A forward, B Coy on the right & D Coy left rear. Bn HQ was sited in D Coy area. D Coy had experienced some difficulty from mines on the main road which ran down the Bn left boundary. A PW fortunately demonstrated the pressure of the Schu Mines by immediately stepping on one. The RE Tp in support proceeded to clear the road area in order that it might be used as the CL. As soon as the enemy had appreciated the changed situation he commenced to shell and mortar the area; the right hand Coys – A & B – particularly being subjected to heavy ‘stonking’ from 105 mms, 88 mms, mortars and Nebelwerfer. There was quite an amount of airburst fired. In general the enemy seemed very sensitive to our presence in the area. The action cost the Bn 1 man killed, 29 wounded and resulted in [50?] P.Ws.
16   The shelling and mortaring continued during this day as actively as on the previous day. The Bn was relieved by 1 KOSB at 1930 hours and moved to a harbour area in
HEIDEWOUDE 16 2300 Bde HQ area.
17 0930 Bn moved to a harbour area in MILHEEZE.
MILHEEZE 17 1200 D Coy were ordered to move out to take over the responsibility of defending the canal bridge captured by 1 Hereford during the day. The Herefords had reached IUSSELSTEIN and consolidated there.
MILHEEZE to VEULEN 18 0730 onwards. Bn moved down the Bde CL and passed through 1 Herefords at IUSSELSTEIN. The group moved with one Sqdn F & F Yeo leading with no infantry entanked. C Coy and D coy were entanked on the other two Sqdns, A Coy & B Coy moved in T.C.Vs. C Coy were moved on the road running East & then South through STEEGSBROEK into VEULEN. B Coy & A Coy were used to clear the houses along the CL as far as the W. end of VEULEN. D Coy was ordered to clear the village of VEULEN. The Coy reached the East end of the village after some sharp close quarter fighting and then met stiff opposition. A Tp was deployed on the left in support of 16 & 17 Pls but 2 tanks were hit and put out of action by anti tank gun fire & the [other?] tank had to disengage. The enemy then counterattacked with 3 tanks and at least a Pl of infantry. The tanks came down the line of the road and the infantry worked through the fields. D Coy was forced back round the corner into the Eastern end of the village where they consolidated under heavy fire, but not before the situation was restored by a counterattack by 18 Pl supported by tank fire. 16 Pl commanded by Lt. Bratland had borne the brunt of the enemy counterattack and was reduced to the Pl Comd and 12 men – no NCOs being left. The coy FDLs were no more than 125× from the enemy. The remainder of the Bn consolidated as follows – A Coy on the right of the road behind D Coy, B Coy on the left of the road echeloned slightly back from A Coy, C Coy in [posn?] at the W end of the village. Bn HQ was sited in B Coy area. The move into the village was made along the C.L. under observation and particularly of the X Rds where the CL switched East. Nebelwerfers caused some casualties, particularly in the A/Tk Platoon.
19   The RAP was hit by a Nebelwerfer bomb, killing Capt Pitt, wounding Capt Mearns and some others. Shelling and mortaring was normal through the day – being directed mainly on the CL which was still exposed on the South side as the US 7 Armd Div had not advanced as far East as was expected. During the night the Bn area was reorganized. D Coy was withdrawn through A Coy and moved into right rear position. A Coy took over right fwd position, but not as far forward as D Coys former positions. B Coy moved up on the left level with A Coy on the right. C Coy took over left rear posn, moving up in conformity. The Bn locality thus became more of a ‘box’, being more compact & rendering enemy infiltration much more difficult. Carrier Pl were moved in to the W. end of the village with the task of protecting the approach into the village.
20   Patrolling normal. Shelling and mortaring again mainly directed at the C.L.
21   Patrolling & shelling as for 20th. The Bn was relieved by 1 Hereford. Non essential vehicles were filtered back during the day.
21 1915 onwards. Coys moved out independently on relief. Only really essential transport was allowed to move during the period of marching troops relief. Carrier, Mortar & A/Tk Platoon were moved out by a different route & at a different time from the marching troops. The relief was completed without incident. The Bn reassembled in DEURNE barracks for rest.
DEURNE 22-24   Maintenance, rest and recreation.
25   The Bn moved back tp VEULEN to take over from the 1 Herefords. The relief was conducted with little incident. There was some ‘stonking’ during the move in, mainly on C Coy but there were no casualties.
VEULEN 25 2000 The dispositions were as follows: C Coy right forward, B Coy left forward, D Coy right rear, A Coy left rear. The 4.2 Mortar Pl & 3” Mortar Pl which had previously been outside the perimeter were brought inside it.
26   Intermittent shelling and mortaring during the day. An SP gun was active during the night, causing 2 casualties in the A/Tk Pl detachments in C Coy area.
27   Intermittent shelling & mortaring – directed mainly on the CL and on the W end of the village (A Coy and Carrier Pl area).
28   After a quiet night there was some activity at about 0700 hrs. An enemy patrol had worked its way up quite close to the left hand Pl of B Coy. Part of the patrol, after being spotted, were pinned in a ditch by MG fire. A party from B Coy went out and captured 2 PWs, one other being dead. There was the usual intermittent shelling and mortaring during the day. At about 1900 hrs a force of enemy, about a Pl in strength, appeared within 100× of C Coy positions. They were ‘skylined’ and one of them was shot. The remainder disengaged. They attempted to recover the wounded man. They were forestalled by a patrol from B Coy who brought him in. At about the same time another P.W. was taken. A raid had been planned for 2230 hrs to obtain identification from a farm at 774216. It was decided to postpone the operation until later in the night as the previous incident had occurred in that area; it was felt necessary to let the enemy quieten down.
29   A Recce patrol at 0300 hrs confirmed that there were still enemy in the farm at 774218. The raid took place at 0500 hrs but was abortive as the enemy had evacuated the objective. The artillery preparation had evidently been too much for them.
29   The morning was quiet but enemy mortars fired on B Coy positions. Our own mortars replied on known enemy positions with double the amount and the enemy mortars ceased firing. The night was uneventful.
30   The usual shelling and mortaring was directed against the CL. The area of the RAP was subjected to some shelling by what appeared to be a 15 cm Gun How according to the size of the […]. Signal sergeant and two signallers were wounded by a mine while mending line in C Coy area.
31   The morning was quiet due probably to the thick mist. Intermittent shelling & mortaring recommenced at about 1100 hrs. There were 3 casualties in A Coy area – 1 killed & 2 wounded. Otherwise no incidents during the day.

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.