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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: First Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer:
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   The Bn was put at 2 hrs notice to move. This was frequently changed throughout the day however, and finally it was fixed that there would be no move today. Majority of the day was therefore spent in maint and adm generally.
2   The day brought the supreme example of order, counter-order, and almost disorder. The Bn was first of all at one hour's notice to move from 0900 hrs. This was then changed to 2 hrs notice to move from 1100 hrs. This was changed later to 3 hrs notice. When the head of the Bn was preparing to move off, we received the message “All moves delayed 2 hrs”. Routes were changed continually until finally nobody believed anything about anything. The Bn finally got on the move at 1340 hrs setting off on a journey of some 65 miles. There ensued halts of anything up to an hour or more. 3 hrs were spent in covering half a mile of road. In one place the road was found to be cratered, and heavy rain which fell in the evening and night made it impossible to go round this obstacle. The route lay through FLEURY LA FORET, GAILLE FONTAINE 5935, ABANCOURT 7039, CAMPS, crossing R. SOMME, LONGPRE 8974, and finishing at DOMQUER 9484. Before the SOMME was crossed, however, the route was changed first of all to go through POIX 8646 and then cross the river PICQUIGNY. At POIX, heavy damage to a bombed airfield was observed and a few horse-drawn pieces of artillery were seen. Before the R. SOMME was crossed the destination was altered to DOMART 9979. The Bn again made many diversions due to the correct route being blocked by traffic, and finally arrived at 0700 hrs to harbour there. It was found that the harbour party under Capt. H. Carter had suffered one casualty, Pte Edwards, who was sniped. As a result of a search, two prisoners were taken.
3 0500 The Bn arrived in DOMART about 0500 hrs. It was found that Capt. Carter with the Harbour Party had fought a private battle with some German Snipers. One DR of the Harbour Party was wounded and the locality which we had been ordered to harbour in had been changed to DOMART. At various times throughout the day the Bn was ordered to move, and the order was countermanded. The Bn eventually passed the SP at 1700 hrs that evening with orders to proceed through ST. POL to VALHOUN where the Bn would form up facing NW and take the area of SAINS. The Recce Regt were supposed to be in front to report ST. POL and VALHOUN clear or otherwise. The Bn advanced and made contact with the Recce Regt long before they reached ST. POL, which was declared by the latter to be still held by the Germans and they had had no patrols into ST. POL. This caused some delay, but as supply vehs were proceeding freely northwards, the Bn pushed on and proceeded through ST. POL without incident, it being held by a unit of another Bde.
4 0300 We arrived at ST. POL, where we halted to get information. From ST. POL we lined up for an advance to VALHOUN with the Carrier Pl leading, moving off from ST. POL at 0345 hrs. About 200 yds from VALHOUN, the Carriers were fired on by an A tk weapon. They then took up a position of neutralisation and awaited a bn attack. The bn attack went in at 1000 hrs with 'D' Coy left fwd, and 'B' Coy right fwd. 'D' Coy managed to get as far as the church fairly easily, but 'B' Coy ran into heavy opposition, and although they killed a lot of Germans in the narrow lane, themselves suffered some 20 cas. The attack was so held up that a plan was made to put in 'C' Coy supported by a battery of 12 × 2” Mortars. Zero hour for this attack was 1100 hrs. This attack did not materialise as by the time details for centralising amn and Mors and getting 'C' Coy into posn had been arranged, the enemy had withdrawn from VALHOUN and the Bn was free to commence its attack on SAINS.
4   Meanwhile 'C' Coy had had a lot of cheap fun, for at first light , purely by accident, Capt. Stockings had seen movement in a house, had yelled to this person to come out, whereupon, the figure did, and was followed but one more German Officer and 94 Other Ranks.
4   While the Bn was at VALHOUN, one sec of Carrs went fwd to recce the area of TANGRY and SAINS bringing back 148 prisoners and reporting the area clear. The Bn then moved towards their objective which was SAINS. The CO preceeding the column in order to prepare lay out of his Bn area. 15 mins after arrival, the CO and his command gp were fired upon by MGs and snipers, also a 75 mm A tk Gun, which destroyed one Jeep and 2 M/Cs. Command Gp after fighting fiercely for half an hour, withdrew into the village of TANGRY fighting all the way. The situation was saved by the arrival of 'D' Coy led by Major Lake, who were pushed round the right flank and occupied a position on the North side of the village. 'A' Coy then assumed station on the left of 'D' Coy facing North and West. 'C' Coy assumed responsibility for the West and Southern approaches to the village, while 'B' Coy occupied a reserve posn on the south side. The task of the bn was to cover the roads from north and west of SAINS to prevent the enemy breaking out of the pocket, which included the coastal strip around LE HAVRE. A determined gp of snipers remained in the centre of the village in some houses there, defying all efforts to push them out until they finally withdrew during the night.
5   Reports came in during the day of an enemy being located in the woods North and West of SAINS. 'C' Coy with one sec of carrs was sent out at 1800 hrs to determine whether the woods to the north were clear, and if they were not, to clear them. The Coy returned at 2130 hrs having met no enemy. Lt. Hawkins liberated the village of having gone slightly off his route. At 1700 hrs the Coy of L.Fs. commanded by Major Tomlinson left to join 7 RWF.
6   The Bn moved to FLEURBAIX just south of ARMENTIERES via PERNE and BETHUNE, arriving at 1500 hrs. The reception along the route can only be described as tumultuous. Men were laden with flowers and fruit, in fact the only thing the population seemed to be short of was cigarettes. At FLEURBAIX the Bn was well looked after by the local inhabitants. This move was done on tpt provided from within the bde and attached tps, 10 x 3 tonners being provided by one of the other Bns and one coy riding on the quads and guns of 330 Bty commanded by Major MacIndoe. 'HQ' travelled on the Carden Loyds.
7 0800 10 × 3 tonners and 20 × 15 cwts were despatched to the two other bns in the bde to move them NE of ARMENTIERS. Owing to traffic delays in ARMENTIERS crossing a blown bridge, tpt had not arrived back until 1900 hrs, and the Bn was only able to move from 2030 hrs arriving at 2230 hrs at COMMINES where it took up defensive posns facing NW for the night. As it was feared that enemy from the direction of YPRES, should they not decide to surrender, might decide to break out to the SE. The night was uneventful however.
8 0400 At 0400 hrs 'O' Gp was called and orders were given for the advance of the Bn with the Bde Gp to ANTWERP. Our TCVs arrived during the night. Our Harbour Party of 45 Offrs and men left at 0630 hrs. The Bn passed the SP at 0930 hrs and with many delays followed the route which lay through COURTRAI, OUDENARDE, ALOST and ASSCHE. Road discipline was poor and this, combined with deviations of route, not onIy delayed the Bn but split it up with the result that it finally arrived in the dock area of ANTWERP at 0300 hrs 9th. Total distance involved was some 100 miles, and in spite of the defection of the fitter's truck, all vehs arrived in by 0900 hrs.
9 0400 By this time the Bn had taken over posns completely from 2 Devons in the ANTWERP dock area. 'A' Coy right fwd in some large flats at 688995, 'D' Coy left fwd coy in the area 678988 guarding some bridges, 'B' Coy were in reserve and also assisting in the defence of a vitaI bridge which was still intact at 691992. 'C' Coy were entirely isolated but were supported by MGs and a tp of tanks, defending the sluice gates in the area 625028. These gates were vital to the docks, since their destruction would drain the basins, and the absence of such a volume of water it was alleged would cause the dock sides to cave in. A trace showing the Bn area is attached, also attached are two aerial photographs which show in the top left hand corner the block of flats held by 'A' Coy and in the top right corner, the village known as POLDER and the barracks which were occupied later by 'C' Coy. The enemy at this time was 719 Div.
10   A conference was held at Bn. HQ during which a plan was given to take the village area 6800 and ECKEREN 6802, this battle to take place 11/12 Sep, and one hour after its start 160 Bde would advance on the right through FORT DE MERXEM to the wooded area 720030. In order to make this bn attack, 'C' Coy had to be withdrawn from the sluice gates posn. This took place on the night 10/11, whereupon 'C' Coy went into reserve using unoccupied buildings in 'D' Coys area.
11   During the early morning, while it was still dark, patrols were sent out by 'D' and 'A' Coys. Information brought was sufficient to establish that POLDER was still held, but at 1100 hrs it appeared the enemy had retired from there according to civilian information. During the afternoon, therefore, an attack was made on POLDER. It was an attack by infiltration, 'C' Coy leading, going via the dock side south west of POLDER, thence into the village and north to the Barracks at the North end of the village with one pl, leaving two pls in the area 688004. 'D' Coy followed and occupied a posn immediately on their right in the area 689005, 'B' Coy occupied the SE corner of the village. 'A' Coy remaining in their flats together with two secs of MGs and the 3" Mors in bty. Bn. HQ moved forward to the flats as soon as it was clear that the obj was being easily taken. The only opposition during the whole attack came from shell-fire, generally 88 mm and the attack cost the Bn five cas.
12   A pl from 'B' Coy took over posn in the barracks from a pl of 'C' Coy, the switch being completed by 0612 hrs. During the morning the RAP was brought up to 'D' Coys old posn in the Docks. During the day, the only opposition was again from shelling and mortar fire. Meanwhile, preparations were still being made for the possible attack to the east towards FORT DE MERXEM and LAER, both of which were held by the enemy. The attack on ECKEREN was now considered impracticable after study of the ground in view of deep floods, the canal, and the wire defences of ANTWERP which had previously been erected by the Germans. Consequently, as a result of civilian information received, 'B' Coy was sent on a patrol at 2130 hrs and located a flimsy plank bridge over the canal at 689003.
12   During the day the enemy had been observed in the area east of the bn posn, in the buildings on the western edge of BREMSTRAAT at about 1500 hrs. Patrol therefore went out this night into the area to obtain identification but although many signs of enemy were found, no live enemy were encountered.
13   PI from 'D' Coy took over Barracks position at 1st light. During the day some fairly heavy shelling came down on the village and due to the flimsiness of the buildings some casualties were caused to 'C' Coy, incl CSM Daley. During the night, Lieut Fitchett took a fighting patrol out to the canal immediately North of the Barracks to secure an identification. This was not obtained but more useful knowledge of the defences was gained and enemy were found to have established a post on the south side of the canal. This post was not seen at all by daylight.
14   Again, at first light, the pl in the barracks was changed over, 'A' Coy finding the pl for this day. It was considered impracticable and unfair to leave a pl in there more than 24 hrs. Again, much enemy movement was observed both to the north in ECKEREN and to the NE and again they were fired upon with good results.
14   At 1100 hrs, the Bn was visited by reps of 1 HLI, and arrangements were made for the Bn to move out to a rest area in a Military Depot to the south of ANTWERP the following morning, the relief by 1 HLI to be completed by 0600 hrs. At 1700 hrs, however, this was entirely altered. We were informed that the relief had to be carried out by midnight, and that the Bn would be carried in tpt to the Military Depot where it would spend the few remaining hours of the night, after which it would pass the start pt on a 30 mile move not before 0800 hrs. Reconnaissance parties were immediately sent off to the new area, unfortunately this party was not the same as the one which reconnoitred the barracks earlier in the day, with the result that when the Bn arrived at the barracks at 0340 hrs 15 Sep, everyone was strange to the building, and chaos reigned for a little while. The relief was completed at 2330 hrs 14 Sep and by 0100 hrs 15, the Bn was concentrated by the rly sta in ANTWERP. 8 Tp Carriers were, of course, missing from the column, and therefore, men had to be put on carrs, Carden Loyds, and quads, a process which was completed by 0210 hrs.
15   On arrival in the Military Depot, the bn snatched a few hrs rest and then had to rush past the SP at 0855 hrs, eventually arriving at EYNTHOUT 087820 at 1200 hrs. There the bn stayed for the night. Most of the time was spent getting some sleep after the practically sleepless previous night. Order of March Appx. 'J'
16   During the night the bn again received orders to move, this time to the area of LOMMEL,. and the bn passed the SP at 1335 hrs. There were many halts on this journey due to the fact that bridges over the canals which lay ahead were blown and the Cl. IX bridges had to be closed frequently for maintenance. The Bn finally arrived in the area of LOMMEL and established Bn. HQ at 308932 at 1715 hrs. Meanwhile, the CO had been called fwd to Bde HQ at 1500 hrs and from there had immediately set out on a reconnaissance of the MEUSE-ESCAUT CANAL which ran some 2 miles North of LOMMEL from East to West. At 1930 hrs 'B' Coy had to send one pl to relieve a tp of the Recce Regt who were guarding the br at 3297. The bn spent a peaceful night in its conc area. Plans for crossing of the canal water obstacle were given out at 2130 hrs and preparations made for reconnaissance the following morning by all subordinate commanders. 158 Bde O.O. No. 14 recd.
17   At 0700 hrs, first Recce Parties set out for the canal and were followed later at 1000 hrs and by second Recce Party, so that everyone down to sec leaders had a chance to observe the crossing in daylight. The canal was about 130 ft wide with steeply sloping banks and a bund on both sides. This latter, together with a continuous plantation of young fir trees, facilitated the reconnaissance, but limited the choice of crossing places to only two possible sites. As a result of the Bde 'O' Gp at 1000 hrs a plan was made for the bn to cross the canal on a two coy front, 'D' right, 'C' left, 'A' and 'B' following leading coys respectively. A coy of the 2 Mons, commanded by Major Genese was detailed to provide covering party, to carry boats and to ferry the bn across. Arty sp on the Bde front was provided by 7 Fd Regts and 2 Med Regts. 4.2” Mors were also used and MMG were given the task of protecting the flanks of the crossing. 'B' Coy's pl was relieved by a sec of carrs, 2 sec of carrs were employed on the right of 'D' Coy's crossing place, one was employed on the left flank in addition to a pl of 2 Mons. 3" Mors were not given tasks.
17   CI. V Raft was to be built at each crossing place, the right raft by the Bn Pioneers, the left raft by a det of the REs. Zero hr was fixed at 0030 hrs, but about midday it was put forward to 2330 hrs. Bn moved to its assembly posn one mile to S of the Canal at 1600 hrs and remained there till 2030 hrs when the leading rifle coys moved fwd to the F.U.P. which was 600 yds S of the Canal. Rafting stores were dumped at the F.U.P. at 1930 hrs together with assault boats, 16 boats in all being provided. This allowed for the crossing on each coy front by 4 boats, keeping one boat in reserve, the remaining 6 being reserved for the rafting operations.
17   At 2215 hrs, Bn. HQ moved fwd to the F.U.P. The night was very dark with some rain and all movement was slow. At 2315 hrs, the sp wpns opened fire and for the next 20 mins the night was filled with the noise of the barrage, rattle of the MGs, and the crash of concentrations of Mors. In all this noise enemy fire passed unnoticed, except on the right where the 7 RWFs were simultaneously crossing the canal, and Spandau fire became more and more insistent. The barrage continued in lessening intensity for two hrs. Meanwhile, under this umbrella of flying metal, the inf advanced. At 2330 hrs the first boats touched the waters of the canal.
17   As has been said, the night was very dark and the drenching rain rendered it quite impossible to see for more than a few yards.
17   It was found that watermanship had not been studied by those who had recently joined and the steep banks made loading and unloading the boats most dangerous and difficult.
17   Two boats sprang leaks and sank, and despite the efforts of Majors Griffin and Lake and Capt. LeCocq, who swam to the rescue, two man were drowned; losses would have been heavier but for the efforts of these officers.
17   On landing and continuing the advance, the Bn became lost in the dense forest. There is just no other explanation. The low visibility outside the forest, became nil, once Coys entered and started to push their way through the thickly planted trees. Fortunately the enemy could see no better than we could, and only stray bursts of Spandau disturbed the blind coys as they staggered and stumbled forward in close formation on compass bearings.
17   Bn. HQ followed 'A' Coy on the right, and on advancing over the bank, fell into an enemy trench and took 5 prisoners.
17   Bn. HQ first made contact with 'D' Coy and soon after with 'A' & 'C' in a ride which was heavily trenched by the enemy, but unoccupied. Into these trenches, in the pitch blackness of the night, the men were constantly falling when they moved about.
18   When it became light enough to see the Bn found itself approximately on the obj and this was of course a miracle, even so, coys had changed places in the dark, and left rear turned out to be in right fwds place.
18   No sooner had it become light than the enemy became active and it was found that the bulk of the enemy was now between us and the canal. The Rafting and Bridging sites came under heavy fire from the edges of the woods and all rafting and building ceased. The Bn had to:- (1) Hold its present obj (2) Turn about and with strong battle patrols clear the enemy pockets which were holding up further crossings of the canal. The fighting was very confined and continued all day, and much good work was put in by 'A' & 'C' Coys in attacking small posts in the wood, and isolated fortified houses.
18   Major Griffin, OC 'A' Coy, laid on and led at least 4 separate battles during the morning and on one occasion drove the enemy back on to the LMG and rifle fire of the remainder of the Bn, where they were effectively dealt with. Eventually the area was cleaned up and bridging and rafting continued.
18   The Bn, still wet through and without food, commenced patrolling forward and re-organizing.
18   Quite a number of prisoners were taken, most of these wounded, for the Paratroops fought hard and with great skill.
18   Bn casualties amounted to about 30 & included Major Genese, Major Nicoll, Lieut Sharlot, Capt Carter and Capt. Tull.
18   The Bn now concentrated in the woods north of the canal, 'C' Coy sending a standing patrol to the North supported by carriers. At 2000 hrs, as it was getting dark, the sound of planes was heard overhead and bombs started to fall. Most of these were anti-personnel bombs, only a few HE being dropped. 'B' Coy suffered the only two casualties, one man being killed. 'C' Coy had a very narrow escape when a long line of these A.P. bombs plastered the area within a hundred yards of them. Appx 'I'
18   Order – Op “Beecher” recd.
19   The Bn was now ordered to attack westwards to enlarge the bridgehead and ensure that the crossings were not under SAA fire. The advance was made mid-morning, 'A' Coy leading. The route lay along the canal bank to some extremely thick woods which were dissected by rides. Opposition by GAF personnel was patchy and though not heavy they resisted until it was obvious that they would either be surrounded or killed. Some 40 prisoners were taken during this operation for the cost of a dozen casualties to the Bn. The Bn took up defensive positions in this area for the night. A right, C left, facing west, with D and B on the right flank facing north. Bn. HQ managed to find a small house near the canal.
20   The day passed completely quietly for the Bn, though 1/5 Welch passing through along the canal bank met the same opposition that we had met the previous day. The plan at this time was that the Bn should advance in support of 1/5 Welch to the line of the small canal some 3,000 yds ahead. The Bn received orders to move northwards and embussed to the area of EERSEL and DUIZEL. The Bn left the area of the bridge at 1930 hrs as it was growing dark, and all went smoothly until within 2 miles of EERSEL. By this time the Bn was moving along a narrow lane in pitch darkness, vehs became ditched, and to crown it all a br along the route was found to be incapable of taking the heavy traffic of the Bn. There was nothing left for it but to turn around and the Bn arrived and took over from 1 HLI at 0400 hrs. Personal Message from C-in-C received – Appx 'H'
21   The Bn eventually succeeded in extricating itself from the impasse, caused by the weak bridge, arriving at EERSEL 3109 and DUIZEL 3010 at about 0300 hrs. This delay of 6 hours was due to false information and lack of road recce. The take over from 1 HLI was complete by 0530 hrs, 'C' Coy being forward in DUIZEL and the remainder of the Bn back in EERSEL.
21   At 0900 hrs a sec of carrs was ordered fwd to hold a bridge taken by the Recce Regt at 278108. At 1200 hrs the Bn was suddenly ordered to put a coy into HAPERT 2710 believed to be empty. 'B' Coy therefore made an attack with sp from carrs, mors, A/tk guns and with 'D' Coy following up. No casualties were caused to our tps and enemy estimated at one pl was cleared from the village. 'D' Coy left one pl at the bridge 265100 while 'B' Coy stayed in the village. Lieut Fitchett took out a patrol incl one RE offr to find enemy locations and data about the river, ready for an attack on BLADEL for which the Bn was warned that evening. There was no other activity during the night. Appendix 'A'
22   Orders were given out at 0700 - 0800 hrs for an attack on BLADEL 2410. Before crossing the SL, 'D' Coy came under Spandau fire from the right flank, and this had to be silenced before the advance would carry on on the right. The attack went slowly but well, 11 prisoners only being taken, and the Bn reached its obj by 1250 hrs. Copy of the Rear Link wireless diary is attd. Ramps were constructed down the banks of the stream by REs and Pioneers, and the fwd coys soon got their sp arms. The building of these ramps was interfered with by snipers who were cleared by shell and mor fire.
22   The enemy subjected the Bn including Battle HQ to intermittent Mortaring & Shelling. In retreat he was also heavily mortared and shelled with good effect by observed fire.
22 1840 Recce met heavy fire an road HARPERT - BLADEL and all traffic on road for the night was suspended from 1930 hrs. Aerial photo of HAPERT 'C'
22 1900 'B' Coy carrier slipped through and was not fired on. All other coys had to rely on hospitality of villagers for food and this was given freely. Known casualties for day were 4 ORs killed, 1 Offr & 17 ORs wounded and 3 ORs missing. In addition, one platoon of 'D' Coy pursuing the enemy went too far, were shot up, and only two returned, one wounded man being captured with a German S.B. and the other, after refusing to come out of an attic, and being fired at through the ceiling, returned 23 Sep. Lieut. Crewe and 18 ORs were missing as a result of this pl's action. Aerial photo of BLADEL 'D'
22   7 RWF supplied one coy for defence of Bn. HQ in HARPERT for the night.
23   The four rifle coys remained in BLADEL forming a tight block in the centre of the village. At 0800 hrs, REs, protected by a sec of 7 RWF and a sec of carrs, commenced building up the blown bridge across the stream. This was completed by 0930 hrs and at the same time, the carrs reported the BLADEL road clear. At 1100 hrs, Bn. HQ moved fwd into BLADEL having been replaced by a second coy of 7 RWF. BLADEL was full of would-be helpful partisans, but the problem of sifting good news from the mass of out of date infm proved too great and they had to be ignored with the exception of a few enthusiasts, who patrolled it at the request of the Bn. Such men were onIy sorted out from the crowd after a great waste of time. Appx 'B'
23 1900 A curfew was imposed at nightfall, Nazi party members were handed over to the partisans who had replaced the local 'turncoat' police. Light barricades with mines below were set up across the streets. Contact was made with the local clergyman who spoke English, and he agreed to put these orders into effect. It was arranged that by day, everyone off the streets and shutters down, would indicate the presence of Germans in the village and that at night, a general breaking of the blackout would betoken the same. Patrols were sent out to HULSEL 2213 and DE HOEVEN 2210 from 'B' and 'A' Coys respectively. Appx 'E'
24   There was little operational activity by enemy or own tps throughout the day. The Bn expected to be relieved at various times during the day by 4 RWF who were going to put a coy in position in BLADEL. 4 RWF did not arrive at 1100 hrs 1400 hrs 1600 hrs or indeed at all during the day. Meanwhile all preparations had been made for a move to HOOGELOON, which was recced for a Bn posn with 2 coys isolated fwd, guarding the Bridge just West of CASTEREN.
24 2000 1 pl of 'B' Coy was sent to relieve a pl of 1/5 Welch on the bridge near CASTEREN.
24 2100 Patrols sent out towards DE HOEVEN and HURLOEL. Both located enemy posts, and reported these places occupied, one clash being made with an enemy patrol. 4.2” Mors went from under comd in the evening.
25   The BLADEL area was shelled intermittently throughout the day, but only two casualties were sustained. The guns were believed to be ex-Russian 122 mm.
25 1100 A carrier patrol of 2 secs was sent out, under Sjt Fish, in the late morning towards HULSEL as a result of reports of enemy received from civilians. These reports were not correct but enemy covering a road block were encountered.
25 1400 It gallantly went out again in the afternoon to try and find a member of the P.A.N. organisation, missing from the earlier patrol. He was recovered. It was later found that the Dutchman had not volunteered to guide the patrols as was thought.
25 1500 The MMG Pl was removed from the Bn area.
25 2400 2 Patrols were sent out to HULSEL, but as warning had been received so late, the men had not seen the ground in daylight and most unreliable infm was received which could not be believed.
26   More shelling occurred during the night and at 0800 hrs. Meanwhile REUSEL on our left front had been secured by 4 Welch.
26 1000 A patrol was sent out towards HULSEL under Lt. Harper. No enemy were found up to the patrols limit.
26   The remainder of the day was without incident of note. Patrolling in the night to HULSEL met with no success.
27 0800 Bn came under 168 Bde.
27   Nothing of importance occurred on the Bn front throughout the day. 4 Welch on our left withdraw at 1900 hrs and the Bn stood to during this. At the same time the Bn was warned, that it would be relieved the following morning. After all arrangements had been made, timings were put forward one hour.
28   The relief of the bn by 4 Welch commenced at 0530 hrs and was completed except by 'A' Coy by 0630 hrs. The Bn concentrated at HAPERT leaving there in RASC tpt at 0730 hrs complete with Bn 'A' Ech via EINDHOVEN to the area of ZANDHOEF 4431. The Bn moved less FOOs & Atk Regt. Recces were carried out and the Bn moved fwd to take up posn opposing the enemy in SCHIJNDEL at 1800 hrs. The take over from 1/7 Queens was completed by 2100 hrs. The Bn had the sp of 258 Bty SP Atk Guns and 15 Pl RNFs. Bn. HQ was established in KOEVERING 4435. 'A' Coy right fwd 043367. 'B' centre 440363. 'C' Coy left fwd 433354. 'D' Coy immediately north of Bn. HQ. Bn was now once more under 158 Bde.
29   An enemy patrol bumped the fwd pl of 'A' Coy. 1 German from 6 Para Regt was killed and the rest ran away. During the day, small groups of enemy were observed all along the front at intervals. Contact was made with an L.O. from 501 Para Regt (US Forces) on our right.
29 1540 A Typhoon attack with rocket cannon was made in part of our posns. Aim was not accurate and 'A' narrowly missed suffering casualties from near misses. The moral effect of the rockets was 'terrific'.
29   Patrolling on the Bn front was limited to one Ambush patrol under Lt. Fitchett which produced no results, and contact patrols at night. Appx 'K'
30   Today was a repetition of yesterday. Again enemy were heard and observed – again the intermittent shelling came down in the Bn area.
30   During the night the same patrols were sent out. Patrol Report attached.

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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.