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.

WAR DIARY
or
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Army Form C.2118
Unit: 1 E. Lan. R.
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer:
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
KOEVERING 1   Enemy activity seen was engaged by arty with good results. Patrols were out at night but gained no information of note.
2   The day passed quietly. Slight shelling by an 88 mm firing air burst was experienced in the morning, but after a heated reply by our arty, the remainder of the day was uneventful.
3   There was nothing of note during the day. Patrols went out during the night but had nothing to report. Mines were laid after dark in front of 'A' & 'C' Coys.
4   Again a quiet day. More mines were laid. 'A' Coys patrol in the evening found three enemy examining some mines just in front of the Coys posn. The patrol retired to the Coy posn and fired at the enemy and though believed to have hit one, no man was left behind.
5   In order that some men should be allowed to go to the cinema in the afternoon, 20 men of the Brigade Defence platoon were sent up and took over the position thus vacated. They had a novel if quiet time. 'C' Coys mine lay-out was completed in the evening and their defences now included an almost complete ring of A.P. Mines and booby traps. Contact was made with 1/5 Welch on the left and MMG and Arty harassing shoots were fired during the night.
6   During the day our posns were extended northwards over the rly line which an across our front as far as 441373 where we linked with 7 RWF who had taken over from the Americans. The extension to our line was achieved by using a pl of 'D' Coy (reserve coy) and attaching a carr sec to 'A' Coy putting both under comd of that Coy. At 0700 hrs that day 7 RWF on the right ware attacked by a patrol of 20 enemy. In consequence a patrol from 'B' Coy was sent out to discover whether the enemy was contemplating a similar raid on our front but they found nothing. 'A' Coy patrolled to the sand dunes to their front known enemy trenches unoccupied. The usual patrols had nothing of note to report during the night.
7   At 0930 hrs a few enemy were soon for a short while at the river crossing 433369 but apart from that the enemy was very much under cover. 'C' Coy sent a patrol out after dark with the object of replacing trip flares which had been set off by visitors and animals. The AP mines laid in front of this coy had been found very effective when judged by the results of their effect on some unfortunate cattle that pulled the trip wires. It was found that the mines had been laid too close to coys posn and that in setting off these mines, the cattle had made the area quite unhealthy, through metal flying over the heads of the men in the trenches. After this all mines were laid 100 yds from the coy posn. A standing patrol from 'A' Coy which had been established on the sand dunes, was relieved at 1900 hrs by a battle patrol from 'B' Coy. From there a patrol of one offr and 3 was sent out to see if the houses at 427375 were occupied. They located some enemy posns at 433372.
8   As a result of the previous night's recce patrol B Coy sent out a fighting patrol from the firm base on the sand dunes to 'scupper' these posns. The patrol suddenly saw enemy ahead coming out of the wood, and 'froze'. The next thing they knew was a shower of hand grenades exploding amongst them, as a result of which two men were seriously wounded and five were slightly wounded. The total strength of the enemy was estimated to be about 30 strong. Arty fire was brought down on their area. The one missing casualty from the patrol came in at 0109 hrs and was brought in from the sand-dunes by stretcher bearers. Trip flares went up 1237 hrs and coughing was heard at 0127 hrs. Both areas were shelled.
9   At 0800 hrs the sand dunes were shelled, our own men having been withdrawn during the night since they were not over strong. Immediately afterwards a sniper posn was established there, followed later by a standing patrol from 'A' Coy. During the afternoon some shelling by the enemy in 'A' Coys area, while on the left enemy movement was seen and shelled at 2330 hrs.
9   'D' Coy heard grenades being thrown around in the woods at 453372 and as no British troops were there, the enemy must have been a little jumpy and might possibly have been throwing them at his own troops.
10   Dawn patrol sent out to small wood in front of the Bn posn to ensure that no enemy were close to our lines. They found no enemy. The day was very quiet. The sand dune standing patrol was again within posn before midnight. At this time they left trip flares and AP mines behind them should the enemy wish to occupy this old posn of theirs.
11   'A' Coys patrol returned at 0630 hrs and reported enemy posn at 432369 occupied together with a couple of others. Arty fire was put down on these posns. Again during the day enemy movements were seen but were so slight that no action other than the passing of information was taken.
12   The nights patrol brought in no infm of the enemy and the day passed quietly.
13   Spandau fire was heard at 0240 hrs on the right flank but did not appear to be coming anywhere near our posns. At 0530 hrs an enemy post with MG was reported at 433364 as a result of a 'B' Coy patrol. The morning patrol to 'Woodchopper Wood' found no enemy. At 0645 hrs the CO., IO., Adjt and B.C. left for recce of the NIJMEGEN area where the Bn together with the rest of the Bde was going to rejoin the Div and be employed in a counter attack role should enemy penetration of the eastern side of the salient north of NIJMEGEN be attempted. The journey took 1 hrs and touch was made with both 1 HLI and 1 Oxf Bucks in the morning, in whose areas the counter-attack would be made if necessary. After the recce being completed, a message was recd that the Bde was being attacked and return at once. The journey took 2 hrs and on arrival everything appeared normal. Enemy had penetrated our FDLs and then retired.
14 0030 D Coy patrol returned. Two enemy were seen but could not be taken prisoner since other enemy posns were in the vicinity. C Coy continued wiring in their posn after dusk. Enemy movement seen and heard in area North of the railway line was engaged by mortars and arty.
15   A Coy's dawn patrol was fired on from Wood Chopper Wood before it got there but nothing transpired in the shape of an enemy raid.
16   Lt. Smith's patrol returned. They had tried to get a prisoner but the posns investigated were found to be empty although there were signs of very recent occupation. The patrol was mortared during its return, but had no casualties. Enemy Spandau fire brought down arty upon them in the area 432368. B Coy's dawn patrol to wood 438361 heard men, but later patrols reported wood clear. During the day plans were made to induce deserters to come in, and this involved a large harrassing fire programme during the night 16/17, after which loud speakers would be used.
17   Normal harrassing fire was laid down till 1200 hrs. After that heavy H.F was sent over, rising to a crescendo between 1530 and 1600 hrs, 600 H.E. bombs were allotted for this purpose. Then after a 15 mins silence, the loud speaker van, operating from 7 RWF on our right, gave two talks and a smoke screen was laid, under cover of which it was hoped that the enemy deserters would come in. Absolutely nothing happened as a result of this programme. Patrols during the night had nothing to report.
18   There was a certain amount of firing by the enemy and Verey lights were put up from the area 425368 and 431368 during the early hours of the morning. Patrols investigating enemy trenches found them unoccupied. 2I C, Major H. de Burgh, went off during the morning to reconnoitre bn harbour area around BERCHEM, S.W. of NIJMEGEN.
18 1400 In accordance with Div Comds instrs, (51 Div) all mines were lifted at 1400 hrs.
18 2030 2030 hrs: contact made with 1/5 Welch on our left.
19   Noise of Spandau and grenades was heard from Wood Chopper Wood.
19 0300 Arty fire was brought down at 0300 hrs and firing ceased. The morning patrols in front of our F.D.L. had nothing to report.
19 1100 At 1100 hrs 7 Black Watch marched in and relieved us.
19 1340 Relief completed by 1340 hrs. Some slight occurred during this relief but caused no casualties.
19 1520 Bn moved off in M.T. at 1520 hrs via UDEN and NISTELRODE, arriving 1700 hrs. The bn settled down to rest, everyone being under cover.
BERCHEM 20   Some adm was carried out. C.O. attended conf in afternoon when the warning was given that the bn would have to take part in an offensive directed against s'HERTOGENBOSCH very shortly.
21   An 'O' Gp for Coy Comds was held in the morning giving the general plans for the attack mentioned above. The bn was to advance along a road running from OSS to s'HERTOGENBOSCH keeping between the railway line to the N and the main direct road to the S in 'Kangaroos'.
21 1100 These Kangaroos arrived at 0800 hrs and at 1100 hrs the bn embussed in them to practice loads and to become accustomed to them. Since the attack was being made on a one bn front, a tremendous amount of detail had to be arranged directly between the bn comd and his sp arms, which incl Sq Recce, Sqn Tks, Tp Flails, Tp A/Tk Guns. We were supposed to know whether the attack in Kangaroos would be launched or not by 1300 hrs 22nd. By that time, bns of the other two bdes were to have reached a certain report line, thereby breaking the crust of the enemy resistance after which we could be launched. Should this line not be reached, the bn was to be pushed fwd in a normal inf attack. Meanwhile we were to be at hrs notice to move from 0900 hrs.
22   Bn was ready to move off at 0900 hrs but no word came through except small items of infm. It was not till 1300 hrs that we knew that we were to be launched in our Kangaroos although progress by fwd tps had not been as good as expected. An account of the attack is attached as Appendix A. Appx 'A'
KRUISSTRAAT 28   The bn withdrew through ROSMELEN to the area KRUISSTRAAT. Again a rest was promised though this time the area was very poor. The bn were able to bath and have the canteen up.
29   Church Services for all denominations were held, the remainder of the day being spent in resting.
30   In the morning orders were received to move to the area of BREE. Col Burden and the I.O. (Lt. Cottrill) went on a recce at midday but did not return, and the bn was moved under the 2IC, starting at 1800 hrs, via EINDHOVEN.
BEEK 31   Bn arrived in BEEK North of BREE at approx 0300 hrs. In this area the bn task was to hold the canal line to counter any penetration by the Germans who at this time were making a thrust West from the areas of VENLO and WESSEM. "D" and "A" were fwd, "B" and "C" being in res. However, in the afternoon orders were received from bde to move fwd and take over posns from 4 Armd Bde, our bn being allotted the area around ZWARTBROEK.

previous month | next month

Source: Joris Nieuwint, The Battlefield Explorer, 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.