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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.

WAR DIARY
or
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Army Form C.2118
Unit: 8 RS
Month and Year: June 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. R. Delacombe, MBE
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
WORTHING 1   Situation normal - location no change.
Bn HQ located at WELLINGTON HO, MILTON ST (Ref O.S 1" to 1 mile Sheet 133 577215)
On the evening of 31st May 44 CSM Robertson of C Coy died in WORTHING HOSPITAL as a result of an injury sustained on training on the afternoon of 31 May.
1 0700 Bn snipers carry out range firing practice at STEYNING range.
1 1200 Capt Walker IO attends IO's conference at Bde and a discussion with Photo Interpretation officer 15(S) Div.
2 1430 A large percentage of the Bn watch an air circus which was composed of different allied & enemy a/c. This demonstration was very instructive from an aircraft recognition point of view.
3   The Commanding Officer carried out an adm inspection of the Bn. Situation normal.
4 1000 A Communion service for CofS personnel was held in CHRISTS CHURCH WORTHING.
5 0700 Bn snipers carried out firing practice on the beach.
5 1730 Lecture by SO to offrs and WOs on Air to Ground signals.
6 0815 Commanding Officer holds promotion conference and discusses final points in preparation for move to marshalling area.
7 2100 Major DAD Eykyn 2i/c and Sgt Laing I Sgt leave unit as advance party for move overseas.
7   Commanding Officer and Rifle Coy Comds visit 7 R Tanks.
8   Award of MBE to Capt (QM) CR Mackay announced in London Gazette. Col The Viscount Elibank visits the Bn and sees various aspects of trg and final preparations for move to marshalling area.
All vehs are loaded and undergo road test.
9 1700 Commanding Officers conference. Draft of 12 ORs arrive from 52 RHU.
9   It is announced in 21 Army Gp Gen Routine Orders that the Commander in Chief's certificate for good service has been awarded to the following members of the Bn:
- 3056642 Sgt Fraser JW HQ Coy
- 3057022 Sgt Scott JT S Coy
10   Preparations for move complete. Unit standing by for move instructions.
11 0900 Adj proceeds to HQ West Sussex District to receive orders for move to
11   Marshalling Area. Bn prepare to move.
11 1040 Commanding Officers 'O' Gp. Instructions issued for move.
11 1300 Road and rail parties parade prior to move off at 1330 hrs. Rail party consisting of marching personnel of the Bn entrain at WORTHING STA under comd of Major MH Cooke OC 'B' Coy and proceed to Marshalling Area near UCKFIELD, EAST SUSSEX (27 officers & 503 ORs).
11   Veh party composed of Bn tpt (8 offrs & 270 ORs) leave WORTHING and proceed to Embarkation Area via DORKING and LONDON situated approx two miles EAST of WEST INDIA DOCKS.
11   Veh party arrives in this area at 2000 hrs.
11   Rail party arrives in their marshalling area at 1700 hrs.
11   Bn residue under command of Capt WQ Ballantyne D Coy remain in WORTHING.
12   VEH PARTY Veh party remain in embarkation area, complete final stages
12   of waterproofing and are issued with extra kit and rations for the sea passage and subsequent landing. During the morning the vehicles proceed to West India Dock and loading commences. Veh party is split into two parties, one part travelling in the "PARK BENJAMIN" a US built ship and the other party in "BRADFORD CITY" a 7500 ton SUNDERLAND built ship.
12   MARCHING PERSONNEL (RAIL PARTY)
12 1430 Marching party leave camp and proceed to a camp near WEST FIRLE where special rations and kit etc is issued. This party remain in camp and carry out normal trg until 1600 hrs 15 June.
13   VEH PARTY Loading of vehs on ship continues.
13   MARCHING PERSONNEL Carry out trg in camp.
13 2100 Adv party which had set off on 7th Jan disembarked from the SAM HOUSTON II and proceed to assembly area near St Croix sur Mer.
14 0700 VEH PARTY Personnel for PARK BENJAMIN leave camp and proceed to docks.
14 1030 PARK BENJAMIN leaves West India Dock on first stage of journey.
14 1200 2nd portion of veh party arrive at docks.
14 1600 All personnel for BRADFORD CITY embark.
14 1725 BRADFORD CITY moves out of docks and sea voyage commences.
14   Advance PARTY move from assembly area to location approx 2 miles south of CREULLY (9080 Sheet 7F/1). Bn HQ at BRECY Chateau 882780 Sheet 7F/1.
15 0300 VEH PARTY Proceed in convoy through Straits of Dover and along south coast proceeding WEST. There was no enemy interference and ships arrived off the beachhead at 2000 hrs.
15   MARCHING PERSONNEL
15 1600 Leave camp and embus for embarkation area, where embarkation took place in three ships and was completed by 1830 hrs. Ship loads were made up as follows - A Coy HQ Coy and S Coy - B Coy and half C Coy - D Coy and remainder of C Coy. Port of embarkation NEWHAVEN.
15 1845 Ships leave harbour.
15 1030 ADV PARTY Move to 44 Bde conc area in village of BRECY approx 3 miles SW of CREULLY.
OFF THE BEACHHEAD 16   Unloading of vehs from ship begins.
16 1215 1st 4CT from BRADFORD CITY beaches on 'J' Beach and vehs wade ashore through approx 3ft 6" water. The party consisted of the Commanding Officer, IO, OC Carrier Pl and a number of tracked vehs. The party proceed to an assembly area a few miles inland and first stage of de-waterproofing commences. A few other of the Bn adm vehs also arrived in marshalling area and after de-waterproofing the small unit convoy moved off to conc area at BRECY where they were met by the adv party and guided into the unit conc area, arriving in this area at 1500 hrs. Throughout the afternoon the build up of the Bn in the conc area continues as the ships are unloaded offshore.
16   MARCHING PARTY
16 1200 Arrive off beachhead.
16 1715 Coys disembark at 'M' beach and proceed to assembly area. After short halt and readjustment of equipment, Coys proceed to unit conc area first Coy arriving at approx 2100 hrs.
17   Bn HQ established at CHATEAU DE BRECY (SH 7F1 882780) and Coys located in adjoining orchards.
Build up continues but unit vehs not all unloaded from ships.
Note Conc complete by 1800 hrs 18 June. With the exception of one man sick in the marshalling area, all personnel, vehs, arms & eqpt arrive complete without loss.
17 1900 Address by Bde Comd, Brig HDK Money DSO, to all offrs and NCOs in gardens in rear of Bn HQ.
18   8RS Adm Instr No. 1 issued (see diary letter B1 attached)
18 1130 Commanding Officer and IO set off on recce of defensive position at HEROUVILLETTE (1272) with a view to the Bn taking over this part of the front from the unit at present holding the posn. After returning about 1900 hrs the Commanding Officer holds an 'O' Gp at the Bn HQ at 2015 hrs and issues instrs for move. All instrs however are cancelled later in the evening. RC and combined CofS and CofE Church Parades are held during the morning in the Bn area. An RE officer gives a demonstration to all officers and NCOs on two new types of German mines at Bn HQ at 1130 hrs.
19 1000 Commanding Officer attends Bde Comd's conference at HQ 44(L) Inf Bde.
20 0915 Commanding Officer and Capt Walker Bn IO attend Briefing Conference at HQ 44(L) Inf Bde.
20 1000 CO holds preliminary 'O' Gp.
20 1100 CO and IO RV at BRETTEVILLE L'ORGUEILLEUSE (SHEET 7F/1 M.R 9272) for Bde Comds 'O' Gp. After the 'O' Gp a recce is carried out for an operation which will take place in the near future, and at 1400 hrs the Bde Comd holds a coordinating conference at the above RV.
20   The CO and IO return to the unit location at 1730 hrs.
20 1900 CO holds Bn 'O' Gp.
20 1930 Unit harbour party leaves for new area
20   During the day S & C Coys carry out a route march and HQ & A Coy hold a baths parade in the RIVER SEULLE.
21   The day is mostly spent in recce by Coy Comds and Pl Comds of the forward areas in connection with future ops.
21   The Commanding Officer and IO attend briefing conferences by Bde Comd.
22 0900 CO and IO attend Bde Comd's conference at HQ 44(L) Inf Bde.
22   B Coy carry out short route march.
22   During the morning the CO and IO visit HQ 46(H) Inf Bde to liaise on forthcoming ops, and also the Bn assembly area at 918754 near SECQUEVILLE where the Bn will move prior to the forthcoming op to be known as Operation EPSOM. (EPSOM)
22 1700 The Commanding Officer holds briefing conference of all offrs and NCOs on an earth model on operation 'EPSOM'. Reps of B Sqn 9 R Tanks, 2 GH (46(H) Inf Bde), 6 KOSB and 159 A Tk Bty taking part in the op also attend.
23 0900 CO & IO attend Bde Comds conference at HQ 44(L) Inf Bde.
23 1015 D Coy were briefed by OC D Coy on sand model.
23 1500 Due to a change in the Bde plan affecting the Bn, the Commanding
23   Officer briefed all offrs and NCOs on the sand model again.
23 1800 Commanding Officer proceeds to HQ 8 Corps for a briefing conference.
24 1100 CO's admin conference at Bn HQ.
24   Briefing of Coys continues during the day.
24   Mov Order No. 1 issued. See diary letter B2
24 1900 Veh advance party leaves for F.A.A.
24 2100 Marching personnel of Bn leave conc area at BRECY and proceed to FAA at 918755 (ref Sheet 7F/1) near SECQUEVILLE-en-BESSIN.
24 2300 Veh party leave conc area and proceed to FAA above.
25   Bn conc in field in F.A.A.
25 0900 Bde Comd holds briefing conf for all offrs in the Bde down to Coy Comds. The Div Comd was also present and addressed all present on the forthcoming Operation "EPSOM".
25 1030 COS church service is held in the field.
25 1815 Conference on move to FUP takes place.
25   Shortly after the conference Major DAD Eykyn 2i/c, and reps from Coys leave for FUP.
26 0030 Bn leave FAA and proceed to F.U.P. for operation "EPSOM" arriving in F.U.P. at approx 0230 hrs where dispersion in the FUP took place and slit trenches dug. (Ref Sheet 7F/1 area 918711)
26   OPERATION EPSOM
26 0730 Bn move forward preceded by arty barrage from S.L. on track west of NORREY EN BESSIN (9270) from 911706 to 918706. A and B Coys forward with A Coy on the right and B Coy on left with objectives line of road FONTENAY 8767 - CAEN 0268 from 913680 to 923682. These Coys are followed by CO's R Gp and C and D Coys right and left rear Coys respectively with objectives - C Coy area LA GAULE 920675 and D Coy wood 928680. B Sqn of 9 R Tanks were in sp. The attack progressed favourably in spite of mortar and MG fire from enemy posns well dug in, and by 0915 hrs A & B Coys had reached their objectives. Coy Comds during OP "EPSOM" A Coy - Major WR Logan B Coy - Major MH Cooke C Coy - Major JAH Douglass MBE D Coy - Major JC Cadzow S Coy - Capt RAC Simpson HQ Coy - Capt WS Cox
26   C Coy passed through A Coy posns and attacked and captured LA GAULE. D Coy moving forward on the left and attacking and capturing WOOD 928680.
26   By 1030 hrs all objectives had been captured and Coys were digging in and reorganising. Enemy sniper and MG activity continued during the day but no deliberate counter attack developed on our sector of the front. Later in the morning B Coy arrived to join D Coy in the wood, the orchards in area 913681 being taken over by D Coy 6 KOSB, the res Bn in the Bde.
26   This was the first time the Bn had been in action since it was formed and all objectives were gained. During the operation the following casualties were sustained:
26   Officers Wounded:
- Capt RAC Simpson S Coy
- Lieut A Campbell B Coy
- Lieut RI Elder B Coy
26   ORs Killed:- sixteen. Wounded:- eighty-nine. Missing:- two.
26   Total Casualties:- 3 offrs and 107 ORs
26   The Bn remain on their objectives until the evening when reps of a bn* from 129 Bde begin taking over with a view to the bn being relieved. Relief is carried out in stages during the night of 26/27 * 5 WILTS
27   June and by 0730 hrs on 27th June the bn had moved back to a posn at 916695 approx one mile in rear of the fwd area. During the day general maintenance was carried out and tps in general having a well earned rest although still under occasional arty fire from the enemy.
27 1930 CO and IO attend Bde 'O' Gp.
28 0830 Area to East of Bn posn shelled.
28 0930 3 offrs and 96 ORs arrive as reinforcements and are distributed to Coys.
28 1530 CO & IO attend Bde O Gp.
28 1630 CO holds Bn 'O' Gp on return and issues orders for an attack which the Bn was to carry out that evening.
28 1700 Bn ready to move and set off for SL on rd Fontenay-le-Pesnel 8766 - CARPIQUET 9668 (Sheet 7F3) from X tracks 891677 to 905679. Commencement of advance D Coy held posn on the SL as a firm base with A Coy right B Coy centre and C Coy left. The advance was supported by 7 R Tks less one Sqn and Q Bty 21 A TK Regt (Sp 17 pdr guns). The final objective was the line of the rly from 897642 to 908645. Zero hour was at 1915 hrs. The advance which was to clear up any enemy snipers and isolate posts in the area progressed favourably Coy Comds A Coy - Major Logan B Coy - Major Cooke C Coy - Major Douglass D Coy - Major Cadzow S Coy - Capt DB Hume HQ Coy - Capt WS Cox
28 2050 without much opposition and it was only at 2050 hrs that enemy opposition was encountered in any strength and the leading Coys paused on the general line 898652 to 904647 as the light was beginning to fail and there was insufficient time for staging our attack after carrying out proper recce. The Coys took up a def posn for the evening & dug in and Bn HQ was est at 899654.
29 0500 CO holds 'O' Gp and issues orders for attack on to the rly line.
29 0700 A and B Coys begin attack by expanding their posn and clearing the enemy from some hedgerows on their immediate front. Strong enemy opposition was encountered incl tks and a tk battle took place in area 901646 between our own and enemy tks. This caused some delay to the second phase of the attack which involved C & D Coys advancing to the rly line.
29 1003 After arty concentrations on the enemy posns C and D Coys advanced, C Coy capturing area 907646 and D Coy orchard 899643. Enemy MG fire and mortar fire was particularly heavy at this stage and caused some casualties to our tps.
29   C Coy secured the objective and reorganised but D Coy were forced under heavy enemy pressure to withdraw to a line of trees approx 300 yds from their objective and take up a posn there in front of B Coy in area of orchard 903648. The battle continued in intensity with no great change in posns but an attack by the depleted D Coy reinforced by a pl from B Coy succeeded once more in gaining the orchard and holding it. By this time, due to the casualties sustained, the Bn was relieved in the fwd area by the 6RSF and took up a close def posn in area around Bn HQ 899654, immediately in rear of 6RSF.
29   Throughout the day the enemy exerted pressure along the front probing with tks and inf but all counter attacks were held.
29   During the operation on 28th & 29th June the following casualties were sustained by the Bn.
29   Killed:- 19; Wounded:- 113; Missing:- 20.
29   Coy casualties were as follows:
29   - A Coy 2 Killed, 19 Wounded, - Missing.
29   - B Coy 8 Killed, 30 Wounded, 4 Missing.
29   - C Coy 5 Killed, 11 Wounded, 3 Missing.
29   - D Coy 1 Killed, 40 Wounded, 13 Missing.
29   - HQ Coy 1 Killed, Wounded, 6 Missing.
29   - S Coy 2 Killed, Wounded, 7 Missing.
30   - During the morning the Bn moved to area 902658 approx 500-600 yds in rear of original posn. Bn HQ was est at 902659.
30 1100 CO & IO attend Bde 'O' Gp.
30 1400 CO & IO carry out recce of defensive posn on the SW edge of LE HAUT du BOSQ in area 903655.
30 1530 CO holds 'O' Gp and issues orders for occupation of the above defensive posn. By early evening all Coys were in posn dug in with C & D Coys in area 902658 and A & B Coys area 907653. Bn HQ was est at posn 904658. Enemy shelling & mortar fire continued spasmodically during the day.

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.