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Army Form C.2118
Unit: 8th Bn. The Rifle Brigade
Month and Year: December 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. J.A. Hunter.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
SWOLGEN E 8722 6   Battalion relieved by composite force of two Coys of Dutchmen and the Inns of Court, and moved into Bde reserve at MELDERSLO
MELDERSLO E 8519 7-12   A certain amount of training carried out, in spite of much mud and incessant rain. Bn strength 36 officers and 796 ORs.
GRUBENVORST E 8914 13   Bn relieved 1 Herefords in the Southern Sector of the 159 Bde front. Bn HQ in GRUBENVORST Station. G in HOUTHUIZEN 8917. (E 885167) F in GRUBENVORST 8914. H in reserve. An inactive period.
14   Awards announced: The Commanding Officer DSO, Lt. T. Whitaker MC.
15   Advance parties left for POPERINGE H. 46.
16   Bn relieved by 2 R. Warwicks (for the third time).
16-17   22 hour drive via DEURNE EINDHOVEN LOUVAIN BRUSSELS ALOST AUDENARDE YPRES to POPERINGE area, to join 29 Armd Bde for refitting. Bn HQ E. and G Coys in POPERINGE H 46. F in WATOU H 4264. H in PROVEN H 4466.
18-19   Maintenance, cleaning up and preliminary arrangements for a festive Christmas. German counter offensive in the Ardennes against the Americans.
20   Bn moved in front of the Bde at very short notice, via YPRES ALOST BRUSSELS to OVERYSSHCE J 7446 arriving at midnight. Rear parties left behind at POPERINGE.
DINANT and GIVET 21-22   Move at first light via GEMBLOUX J 82 to positions along the river Meuse. German drive assumed alarming proportions. Bn HQ to ANTHEE O 8786, F in reserve at ST GERARD O 8798. G Coy under command 3 RTR at DINANT O 9888, H Coy under 23 H at GIVET O 9275. Recce of Bn positions astride the road to Brussels at GENAPPE between QUATRE-BRAS and WATERLOO, and intended as a last man and last round position on the right of 53 Div on the line of the river Dyle.
23   F Coy moved to NAMUR J 91 under command 2 F&F Yeo. All companies were responsible for holding the bridges, which were prepared for demolition. Close co-operation was maintained with the Americans. Bde now under command 30 Corps.
R. Meuse 24   Bn HQ moved to METTET O 8196. Enemy advance still not halted. Regimental groups moved forward 5 miles from the river. G Coy killed three Germans in a jeep dressed as Americans. A Brigade of 53 Div took over the river line behind the Regimental Groups.
25   12 Pl G Coy supported by 3 RTR attacked FOY-NOTRE-DAME P 0486 and took 30 prisoners from 2 Pz Div. Mopping up continued in the area throughout the evening and resulted in the capture of a further 42 prisoners, and much equipment. 1 OR wounded. Bn Strength 36 officers & 811 ORs.
26   F Coy group moved from NAMUR to FALMAGNE 0781. 6 Airborne Div arrived to take over the river line from 53 Div.
28   G Coy group moved to MESNIL-EGLISE P 0177.
29   Bn HQ & E. Coy moved to FESCHAUX O 9876.
31   Preparation of defensive positions as part of Bde plan to oppose any further penetration westwards towards the Meuse by the enemy. Hard frost and some snow.

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Source: Jeroen Koppes,

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.