On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
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: 15 Scottish Reconnaissance Regt
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. K.C.C. Smith
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
B.L.A. 1   R.H.Q. located at St OEDENRODE. The Regt generally employed on the same task: 'A' Sqn patrolling on the EAST side of the R. DOMMEL for 158 Bde of 53 Div: 'B' Sqn resting: 'C' Sqn protecting 30 Corps C.L. in the LE VLEUT area. A Regt Harbour rep met the A.A. & Q.M.G. at BEEK for an allocation of a concentration area on the Div moving to 8 Corps. The Regt was allotted a harbour area on the NORTH side of HELMOND. During the day 'A' Sqn did some very good foot patrolling which gained valuable information for 158 Bde and towards evening their Sqn HQ and reserve Tp was moved to the Rd Junc NORTH of St OEDENRODE to act as a back stop to 158 Bde.
2   Regt Harbour party moved to HELMOND. R.H.Q. remained static at St OEDENRODE. 'A' & 'C' Sqns also remained in the St OEDENRODE VLEUT area doing the same jobs as yesterday. 'B' Sqn moved to the concentration area and were settled in by 1700 hrs.
B.L.A. 3   R.H.Q. remained at St OEDENRODE till 1600 hrs when they moved to concentration area at HELMOND (Ref HOLLAND 1/100,000 Sh 4, 560223). 'C' Sqn were relieved from protection of 30 Corps C.L. by 2 Derby Yeo, and moved to join 'B' Sqn and R.H.Q. in the concentration area. 'A' Sqn remained as back stop to 158 Bde till relieved the next day by elements of 51 (H) Div who were relieving 15 (S) Div in the Best - St OEDENRODE area.
4   'A' Sqn relieved and joined the rest of the Regt at HELMOND.
5   Regt static and at rest in HELMOND.
6   Regt static and at rest in HELMOND. In the afternoon the G.O.C., Maj.Gen. C.M. BARBER, DSO, addressed the Officers of the Div and in the evening the massed Pipes and Drums of the 15 (S) Division beat the retreat in the grounds of HELMOND Castle.
7   Regt at rest.
8   In the morning the Regt held a ceremonial Regt Church Parade. The Pipe Band of 2 Bn Gordon Highlanders marched us to Church and Lieut.Colonel K.C.C. SMITH inspected the Regt and took the salute. At lunch time the C.O. was ordered to report to HQ 8 Corps at 1430 hrs as there was the possibility of the Regt coming under comd 11 Armd Div. The Regt was ordered to provide protection and to link up between the right of 11 Armd Div and the left of U.S. Forces (7 U.S. Armd Div) between the wood NORTH of DEURNE and the wood NORTH of MILLHEEZE. 'B' Sqn were allotted this task and ordered to be in posn by dark. They left HELMOND 1745 hrs with additional orders to patrol fwd to the line of the canal WEST of DEURNE the next day if possible. Regt came under comd 11 Armd Div w.e.f. this order.
9   The Regt less 'B' Sqn remained at rest in the HELMOND area. 'B' qn in posn as ordered on the rd DEURNE - RIPS. During the day they attempted to patrol fwd but regrettably the patrol was ambushed and Lieut GOODRICH was lost, believed PW and wounded.
10   Regt less 'B' Sqn at rest. 'B' Sqn remained out in posn until relieved by 'A' Sqn in the afternoon.
B.L.A. 11   Regt at rest. 'A' Sqn in posn on Rd DEURNE - RIPS.
12   'A' Sqn in posn until relieved by 'C' Sqn in the afternoon. Remainder of Regt at rest in HELMOND.
13   Regt resting. 'C' Sqn doing protection and link between 11 Armd Div and 7 US Armd Div.
14   'C' Sqn remained on their job until relieved by 'B' Sqn in the afternoon. Remainder of Regt at rest in HELMOND.
15   'B' Sqn continued role in area DEURNE - RIPS. In the morning 11 Armd Div had indications that the enemy had withdrawn from the canal and 'B' Sqn were ordered at 1200 hrs to confirm this, by patrols up to the canal. By 1530 hrs they confirmed that there were no enemy on the line of the canal and drew back to their original posns at dusk. As a result of these patrols 11 Armd Div commenced building a Br at 690270 at 1630 hrs.
B.L.A. 16   'C' Sqn were ordered to re-comb the area again and confirm that there were still no enemy on the line of the canal, and to link up with 7 US Armd Div. They remained on the canal all day and were called back to HELMOND at dusk. 'A' Sqn were placed under comd 46 Bde for future ops and carried out a rehearsal with that Inf Bde. 'B' Sqn and R.H.Q. remained at rest in HELMOND. 1 Tp 'B' Sqn were ordered at 1600 hrs to take up posns to prevent the Cl 40 Br at 690270 from being blown up by saboteurs during the night. No incidents occurred during the night.
17   'B' Sqn Tp released from job on Br and returned to HELMOND at 1200 hrs.
18   Regt reverted to comd 15 (S) Div. 46 Bde Op cancelled and 'A' Sqn reverted to comd Regt. At 2200 hrs C.O. went to 227 Bde HQ for 'O' Gp and Regt was put under comd of 227 Bde. 227 Bde Group to take over from 2 Bdes of 51 Inf Div and 2 Derby Yeo in area of BEST - St OEDENRODE. Regt was to leave HELMOND 1030 hrs 19 Oct and move up to relieve 2 Derby Yeo and 5 Coys of 5 Camerons in the area LE VLEUT - BEST.
B.L.A. 19   Regt moved up without incident and take-over was completed by 1700 hrs. Locations as under:- (Ref HOLLAND Sh 18NW, 18 SW, 1/25,000). R.H.Q. - X Track 389284. 'A' Sqn - Area STEENEEG - X Tracks 372278. 'B' Sqn - took over the area which was held before by 2 A & SH, nicknamed the "Box" (382293). These posns were within 100 yards of the enemy FDLs. 'C' Sqn - area of LE VLEUT. Regt was very thin on the ground, covering, in fact, what had been a Bde front previously. 10 HLI were on our RIGHT in the area DONDERDONK; 9 Cams on our LEFT in the BEST area.
20   A very quiet night. No change in locations. In the morning 'B' Sqn had trouble; a mortar stonk killing one OR and wounding 6 others, all from the same Assault Section. Sporadic mortar and arty fire during the day.
B.L.A. 21   A quiet night and a quiet day, with nothing to report but occasional shell and mortar fire. The A & SH are to do patrols through our posns at night, and HLI and 9 Cams on our RIGHT and LEFT respectively. The Regt was too thin on the ground to provide any patrols.
22   A very quiet night except for our own arty which by the noise must have included quite a number of Medium guns.
23   A very quiet day with locations unchanged, and except for occasional shelling, mostly in the area of the BEST Br and X Rds there is nothing to report.
B.L.A. 24   An extraordinarily quiet night. 'B' Sqn reported at about 0715 hrs that they believed the enemy had withdrawn from our front, there having been none of the usual coughing and noise of takeover, as was usual at this time in the morning. 'C' Sqn was ordered by the C.O. to patrol through 'B' Sqn and try and confirm this. In the meantime this infm was passed to 227 Bde HQ, who, on questioning their own Bns, were of the same opinion. 'C' Sqn moved up NORTH through 'B' Sqn and at the same time moved a patrol on the RIGHT flank so as to try and have a look at LIEMPDE from the EAST. As a result of the early infm from these patrols the C.O. was convinced that the enemy had withdrawn back, at least from our immediate front. 'A' Sqn was ordered by him to move up the main BEST - BOXTEL Rd to VRILKHOVEN and at the same time to tap out WEST towards our old "friend" the Rly running from BEST to BOXTEL. 'C' Sqn was soon held up by the bad going, and a number of mines and Rd blocks across the tracks in the woods, but 'A' Sqn were able to reach VRILKHOVEN with little incidence apart from a rather large Rd block which was mined and booby-trapped. 'A' Sqn were able to by-pass this block to the EAST and push fwd. As all infm now pointed to the fact that the enemy had now made a general withdrawal. 'C' Sqn, as they could not get on, were ordered to concentrate at VLEUT. 'A' Sqn were going well and so were ordered to contact 51 (H) Div, who were reported in the village of LIEMPDE, approaching the village from the WEST. 'A' Sqn contacted 51 (H) Div (5 Seaforths) in LIEMPDE. Another patrol reached the outskirts of BOXTEL confirming the Br on the main Rd was blown and crossing the river by assault boat they managed to contact the Dutch Resistance who confirmed that BOXTEL was evacuated but that the Highland Div was still shelling it and had made no attempt to enter the town. This was all passed back to Corps who said they would put the matter in hand. 'B' Sqn, at 1000 hrs, were released from the "Box" and allowed to reform into a Reconnaissance Sqn, and were ready to move Westwards towards OIRSCHOT at 1130 hrs, but 227 Bde were not prepared to let them go until Inf had confirmed that NASTEBEST was clear of enemy. At 1300 hrs it was stressed that unless the Sqn was released forthwith little could be done that day as the hours of daylight were very short. By nightfall, 'B' Sqn had reached SPORDONK where they caught a few Germans napping. The Br was partly blown. This Br they held until relieved by a Unit of 44 Bde at approx 2000 hrs. The RE were ordered to repair the Br during the night ready for an early start next morning. 'B' Sqn concentrated and spent the night in SPORDONK. 'A' Sqn, having completed their job, concentrated in the BEST area for the night, and 'C' Sqn remained in the LE VEULT area with orders to be ready to patrol with one Tp along the line of the WILHELMINA Canal on the front of 44 Bde so as to approach TILBURG from the SOUTH. Generally this was a very good day, especially by 'B' Sqn who advanced some 9 or 10 miles and by 'A' Sqn who did some very quick work on the BEST - BOXTEL Rd. Unfortunately Major G.A. GADDUM was wounded during the afternoon when he stepped on an A.P. mine, and has since been reported as "died of wounds". Very few enemy were seen during the day and only 7 PW were taken. The main problems were Rd blocks, which were mined and booby-trapped, and the tracks, some of which were almost impassable while others were mined. (Infm about mines and definite locality of one mine-field where a carrier of 'A' Sqn had been blown up was pointed out to the Inf by the C.O. when he heard they were going by that route the next day. It is regretted that the Inf took no notice of this infm, and, of course, blew up one of their carriers alongside 'A' Sqn's).
B.L.A. 25   'B' Sqn advanced on the front of 46 Bde to the outskirts of TILBURG. They had one brush with the enemy and they succeeded in killing some 10 - 15 Germans. Progress was slow owing to Br demolitions which were extensive. Contact was made with the enemy just short of MOERGESTEL and an Inf and Tank attack was planned. However, as this was forming up the enemy withdrew and the tanks went fwd and threw a Br across the stream which enabled our patrols to proceed. No other contact was made with the enemy until reaching the WILHELMINA Canal, it being quite clear from reports sent back that TILBURG could only be lightly held at this stage. Extensive patrolling was carried out to find what Brs were intact. 'B' Sqn managed to seize a Br at 189322 intact which would enable a raid to be carried out on the main Rly Br at 177327. 9 Cams took over from 'B' Sqn and were to put in an attack on the Rly Br to try and seize it during the night. The patrol from 'C' Sqn moving along the canal bank found progress almost impossible owing to slit trenches and very bad going. Every effort was made to by-pass, but by 1200 hrs it was found no further progress could be made and the patrol withdrawn. Locations:- 'A'& 'C' Sqns, R.H.Q. - LE VEULT Area. 'B'Sqn - MOERGESTEL.
26   R.H.Q. moved to OIRSCHOT, being est by 0930 hrs. 'B' Sqn remained in area MOERGESTEL, being turned out of their covered accommodation to enable HQ 227 Bde to go in. 'C' Sqn were moved up to OIRSCHOT, arriving approx 100 hrs. 'C' Sqn were ordered to carry out Offr patrols SOUTH of the WILHELMINA Canal, crossing the BIEST Br, with the job of contacting 4 Armd Bde and carrying out a full route recce of the rds in the area. Owing to traffic congestion these patrols did not get across the BIEST Br before approx 1400 hrs, thus being left with very little daylight to complete their recce. However, some very valuable infm was obtained. 'A' Sqn was moved into OIRSCHOT during the afternoon, and it was decided as 'C' Sqn might be required to carry out further recces, to move them to the area BIEST and their location at OIRSCHOT allotted to the Tps of 'B' Sqn who had been turned out by 227 Bde HQ.
27   The Inf of the Div moved into TILBURG with virtually no opposition and the Regt was now squeezed out, and without a role. Locations were as under:- R.H.Q. - OIRSCHOT. 'A' Sqn - OIRSCHOT. 'C' Sqn Area of BIEST. 'B' Sqn - Sqn HQ and 1 Tp at OIRSCHOT; remainder at MOERGESTEL.
B.L.A. 28   C.O. appreciated we should either be used for role WEST of TILBURG towards BREDA or moved back again to the area of the German counter-attack SE of HELMOND, and this being so, tried to find out from Div. It appeared clear there were two possible roles for the Regt. 1. To move to TILBURG and operate Westwards. (2) The whole Div to be called back to assist 8 Corps in stemming the German counterattack against U.S. Armd Div. Strong representations were made to allow the Regt to remain in situ. Div HQ, however, moved that the Regt must move and concentrate at HILVARENBEEK. This meant one day's valuable maintenance was lost. A rep was ordered to report to Div HQ at 2130 hrs to receive instrs which were to the effect that the Div would move across to the general area of HELMOND to stop the counter-attack.
29   The Regt moved to HELMOND, arriving at 1415 hrs, and was billeted in the town. 'B' Sqn harbour area received a direct hit from a bomb during the night which made a crater 20' deep and 40' wide across, only 2 minor casualties but a tremendous mess.
B.L.A. 30   The Regt was given the task of acting as long stop to the Inf Bdes to endeavour to prevent infiltration. This was done by placing 'A' Sqn to the NORTH operating from OMMEL; 'C' Sqn to the SOUTH operating from HEUSDEN. As very little was known about the enemy, active patrolling was ordered. 'A' Sqn wanted to move NORTH to SOUTH across 11 Armd Div front, but as 15/19 Hussars were in posn of obs with excellent covering fire posns it was decided that 15/19 Hussars would get better infm than ourselves over this type of country and the fire of the tanks would not be masked, therefore limited patrolling only was possible. Two cars were knocked out by an A/Tk weapon in LIESEL but the crews escaped without injury. 'C' Sqn managed to gain very valuable infm both of the enemy and of the ground, and in particular Lieut MORRIS put up a very good performance on the RIGHT of the Glasgow Highlanders where he greatly assisted in breaking up a very nasty German counter-attack. 'B' Sqn were detailed to provide two Offr patrols to contact and gain as much infm from U.S. Armd Div. The Sqn itself moved to the SOUTH end of ZOMEREN at approx 1400 hrs and remained in reserve. Locations for the night:- R.H.Q. - ZOMEREN 598407. 'A' Sqn - OMMEL 6115. 'B' Sqn - ZOMEREN 605086. 'C' Sqn - HEUSDEN 6212.
B.L.A. 31   'A' Sqn carried out liaison patrols with 11 Armd Div. 'C' Sqn limited patrols on 227 Bde front. 'B' Sqn ordered to carry out RIGHT Flank protection to 227 Bde and to liaise with 7 U.S. Armd Div. 'A' Sqn were later pulled into res in the ZOMEREN Area. 'C' Sqn had a quiet day and remained in HEUSDEN. A Tp of 'B' Sqn had a most interesting party at the school 635069 which had been re-occupied by the Germans. This "battle" was entirely organised by the Tp Leader on the spot, and close co-operation with 7 US Armd Div. While the Americans were not prepared to do anything on their own to turn out the enemy, they were perfectly willing to give us all the assistance they could. The Tp was loaned two SP guns by the Americans and these guns brought to within 200 yds of the buildings around the school, and proceeded to deal with these buildings, while the Tp mopped up as the rabbits bolted. PW stated that the party consisted of 22 Germans, of which 13 were killed and 7 taken prisoner. Identification 6 Para LEHR Regt HERMANN. It was clear from study of the map that these buildings were vital to the Div as right flank protection, and in spite of the fact that they were in 7 US Armd Div area, as the Americans were not prepared to hold the buildings, 'B' Sqn were ordered to leave a troop in the area to hold these buildings at all costs.

previous month | next month

Source: The War Diaries of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division June 1944 - May 1945.

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.