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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: 53rd Reconnaissance Regiment
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. L. Williams
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
4   […] reached the bridge at BLANGY H0517 to find it blown and held by a considerable number of enemy on the other side. A Sqn remained overlooking the opposite bank of the river until 1600 hrs and obtained several good shoots and fought several successful troop actions. Small pockets of enemy were encountered on the East side of the river and a large number of casualties were inflicted on the enemy. The progress of B Sqn directed on HESDIN G9613 was considerably slower owing to isolated guns, road blocks and small pockets of infantry which the enemy had left behind apparently with no other purpose than to delay our advance. In order to keep the Corps Axis secure it was of vital importance to know whether the communication centre of HESDIN was held by the enemy in any strength. At 1400 hrs the Commanding Officer ordered C Sqn to move along A Sqn’s route in order to come down on to HESDIN from the North-East. This move was successful and immediately before last light C Sqn succeeded in reaching the outskirts of HESDIN and reported only small pockets of enemy there. A number of casualties were inflicted on the enemy. Squadrons were withdrawn an hour before last light and the Regt advancing through ST. POL went into harbour in the area BAILLEUL N2410. Casualty - Tpr Bright S - killed.
BAILLEUL 5   No orders were received until shortly after mid-day when the Regt was ordered to go forward and hold the city of LILLE. The City had only been entered by patrols of an Armd. Car Regt. and it was feared that the enemy might try to re-enter it. The Regt. was also ordered to patrol from LILLE as far as TOURCOING and ROUBAIX to see if they held any enemy. In order to reach LILLE before last light Sqns were rushed off with all possible speed and B Sqn moved at about 1430 hrs - ¾ hr after receipt of the order. The Regt moved at high speed along the route AUBIGNY H3406 – HOUDAIN H3119 – NOEUX LES MINES N4020 – CARVIN H6121 – SECLIN H6627 - reaching the City in daylight.
LILLE 5   RHQ harboured in the City centre at last light and the Sqns formed a defence round the city blocking the main entrance. B Sqn patrols succeeded in reaching ROUBAX H7742 and TOURCOING H7646 and reported them clear, thus completing the task which was anticipated would require the whole Division. During the whole of this move the Regt. was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm by the local population.
6   A & B Sqns were sent out to carry out recce NW of LILLE as far as the Canal running NE from ARMENTIERES H5743 along the Belgian frontier. A few stragglers were taken prisoner and Sqns spent most of the day following up unconfirmed reports. During the afternoon a report was received from Div. that a German General with 500 soldiers was at YPRES H5962 willing to surrender. Regt. was ordered to send off a patrol and Lieut AA Pounder of C Sqn with 3 Hy Armd Cars set off at 1500 hrs for the City. Nothing has been seen or heard of this Patrol since. Regt. returned to LILLE in the evening.
6   Casualties - Lieut AA Pounder, Sgt Williams K, L/C McWilliams CG, L/C Mercer C, Cpl Alexander A and Troopers Barker JC, Pennington H & Rush E missing.
MOORSEELE 7   Regt moved out at first light with orders to conc at DADIZEELE H7461. The Belgian frontier was crossed at 1030 hrs and the advance continued through LAUWE H7954. B Sqn who were leading ran into a considerable number of enemy in the Village of MOORSEELE H7858, and RHQ following immediately behind halted in the southern outskirts of the Village. Heavy fighting continued during the next three hours with enemy infantry about 200 strong who were occupying the whole of the northern part of the village. B Sqn were at a disadvantage since they were unable to extricate their vehicles from the centre of the village. A troop of 340 (SP) A/Tk Bty was sent forward to give them support in clearing the houses, but in the narrow streets two of their M 10s ditched themselves and coming under heavy small arms fire from the windows of the houses, the crews suffered casualties. The Mortar Tp under Lieut BR Grey-Jones was also sent to the assistance of B Sqn who found themselves with insufficient men on foot to clear the houses, and a further set back was received when their Assault Tp leader was wounded. The Assault Tp of A Sqn under Lt. PJ Nolan was sent forward and the enemy soon began to show signs of clearing out. The Mortar Tp employed itself by firing without secondaries over the top of a row of houses and into the gardens on the other side. Apart from the first salvo which landed on the top of th houses, this was done with considerable effect. The remainder of A Sqn were sent round the left flank of the village where two Armd Car Tps got in good positions to fire on the enemy as he withdrew. At about 1600 hrs as a result of the efforts of the combined assault tps of A & B Sqns, supported by the SP A/Tk Troop and covering fire by the Carrier Tps of B Sqn, the enemy began to clear out in haste. As he did so A Sqn had a very successful shoot on parties of enemy escaping across the fields to the North of the village. The village was finally cleared. About 20 PWs were taken and an estimated 50 casualties inflicted on the enemy. Our losses were surprisingly slight. The Regt harboured for the night at ROLLEGHENCAPPELLE H7763.
7   Cas – Cpl Gunn WS, Tprs Evans J & Myles JA - killed and 6 ORs wounded. Lt. Chapelhoe & Lt. Woolston – wounded.
ISEGHEM 8   Regt came under command of 15 (S) Div. since the 53 Div had been ordered to advance along 30 Corps Axis to the North. B Sqn patrolled across the Canal at ROULERS H7570 to GHENT. Small disorganised pockets of enemy were encountered, but the Sqn reached the outskirts of GHENT without meeting serious opposition, although the town was not occupied by Canadian tps until some weeks later. C Sqn held the bridges at ISEGHEM H8367. At this place they fought a brief battle with the same enemy with whom had been fought the battle of MOORSEELE two days earlier. Apparently they had by this time changed their intention about fighting and C Sqn took over 120 prisoners.
9   Under orders of 15 (S) Div. A Sqn set out to do the same job as had been done the previous day by B Sqn. At mid-day however the Regt. reverted to command […]

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Source: 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.