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: 1st Bn The Manchester Regt
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. P.H. Earle
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
STEENSEL 1 0830 Comd. Officer accompanied Comd. 160 Bde. on recce. of 158 Bde area. – ST ODERENRODE. Ref. map 1/100,000 HOLLAND Sheet 5.
1   During the day all Coys. engaged ‘Mark’ and ‘Oliver’ targets in their respective areas.
2 1030 Comd. Offr. attended G.O.Cs. conference at HQ 53 (W) Div.
2 1100 I.O. attended daily conference at Div HQ.
2   All Coy. carried out normal harassing tasks as per ‘Mark’ and ‘Oliver’ traces.
3 0830 2i/c. made recce of area NIJNSEL 4430 for new HQ location.
3 1210 Orders received to move Bn. to area NIJNSEL in support of 155 Bde.
3 1400 Comd. Offr. left STEENSEL to join Comd 158 Bde to discuss M.G. fire plan.
3 1530 Bn. moved to area NIJNSEL in the following order HQ, A Coy, D Coy, B Coy. Ref. 1 Manch Movement Table No. 1.
3 1800 HQ’s were established as follows:- Main HQ 469339. A Coy 470337. B Coy 472338. D Coy 408343.
ST. OEDENRODE 4 0900 Comd. Offr. held ‘O’ Gp. to discuss fire plan for 158 Bde attack on WIJBOSCH 4247 and wood 4438. Aerial photos were used to plan gun lines and routes to same owing to inaccuracies of 1/25,000 maps. Ref. 1/25,000 Sheet 18NW and 18NE. Ref. 1 Manch Task Table No. 1.
4 0930 I.O. visited A.P.I.S. 53 (W) Div. and Bdes.
4 0930 Comd. Offr. held Coy Comds Conference to discuss A and Q matters.
4 1400 Comd. Offr. attended coordinating conference at HQ. 155 Bde.
4 1500 2 i/c and I.O. visited No. 10 Pl. in position at MONASTERIE 4235 and made recce. of O.P. in monastery tower.
4   Adjt. and S.O. visited all C Coy Pls positions.
4   During the day Coy. Comds. made recce. of proposed gun lines for 158 Bde operation.
4 1700 Tech. Adjt. and M.T.O. went to STEENSEL to investigate damage caused by accident to a D Coy 3 ton WOT 6.
4 2130 Message cancelling 158 Bde operation received. 158 Bde. O/636.
5 0900 Comd. Offr. attended conf. at 158 Bde. to discuss reliefs referred to in O/636.
5 0900 Adjt. left to attend A/Q. conference at HQ 53 (W) Div.
5 1230 Orders received for Bn. to move to conc. area near GRAVE with 160 Bde. Group. C Coy to remain with 158 Bde. Ref. 53 (W) Div. O.I. of 052242A.
5 1430 Advance parties from HQ, A, B & D Coys left under comd. of 2 i/c.
5 1500 Adjt. visited B and D Coys. A.I.A. from 12 Corps Tps. Wksps. demonstrated a modified 4.2” mor to D Coy.
5 2300 D Coy fired concentration of 4.2” mor. against SCHIJNDEL and WEBOSCH. Ref. 158 Bde. O.639.
6 0900 Comd. Offrs ‘O’ Gp. for orders for move to area GRAVE. Ref. 1 Manch Movement Table No. 2 and 160 Bde Move Table G.4 of 5 Oct.
6 0930 Comd. Offr. left to visit HQ 50 Div and to contact Comd. Offr. 2 Ches. to discuss M.G. and Mor. positions and the relief of 3 Ches. by 1 Manch.
6 1130 HQ, A, B and D Coys moved off. Column had to move in blocks of ten vehs. to ‘feed’ into the heavy traffic at VEGLE bridge.
GRAVE 6 1345 HQ. established at 617513.
6 1600 All Coys reported in new location as follows:- A Coy 607495. B Coy 617485. D Coy 607476.
6 1800 Comd. Offrs ‘O’ Group to give orders for the ‘take over’ of certain 2 Ches. posns.
6 2100 Comd. Offr. attended GOC’s conference at HQ. 53 Div.
6 2200 Comd. Offr. returned from HQ Div.
7 0700 B Coy moved to take over ‘C’ Coy (3 Ches) positions. Ref. 2 Ches. Trace.
7 0800 D coy moved to take over ‘D’ Coy (2 Ches) positions. A Coy.
7 0900 Comd. Offr. left to contact 2 Ches. and coordinate take over as above.
7 1000 Adjt. attended A/Q conference at HQ 53 (W) Div. rear.
7 1045 Advance party under comd. 2 i/c left to recce new HQ in area 6667.
7 1300 HQ. moved off in blocks of 10 vehs. Enemy bombs fell near the column at South end of NIJMEGEN Bridge.
7 1400 HQ. established at 686664. Coys located at A Coy 719676. B Coy 712676. D Coy 717675 and disposed as per trace. Ref. 1/25000 Shts 6NW & 6SW. Ref. 53 (W) Div. Op Ins. No. 24.
7 1600 Whole of HQ (incl LAD) reported present in new area.
OOSTERHOUT 7 1700 2 i/c and I.O. visited HQ 2 Ches. Adjt and S.O. visited Coys.
7 1715 Comd. Offr. and O.C. ‘A’ Coy. visited 71 Bde HQ. to discuss M.G. DF. tasks with Comd. 71 Bde.
7 2000 O.C. ‘D’ Mor Coy. produced 4.2” Mor DF. Trace. Ref. Trace ‘A’.
7   During night Mors. engaged enemy posns. on the Div. front.
8 0800 A Coy advance party moved to South of River WAAL to recce area 7663. One Pl. ‘A’ Coy came u/c B Coy.
8 0830 A Coy HQ and two Pls. moved to above area and established HQ at 762634 with Pls. at 752647 and 762643.
8 0930 2 i/c and I.O. visited all Coys. Comd. Offr. and O.C. ‘B’ Coy visited HQ 53 (W) Div. to coordinate M.G. posns in 160 Bde area.
8 1000 Q.M. attended A/Q conference.
8 1330 Comd. Offr. held ‘O’ Group to give details of plan for holding NIJMEGEN Bridgehead. Policy for resting personnel from Coys. discussed. First party to report to HQ at 1000 hrs 9 Oct. 53 (W) Div. Op Ins, No. 24.
8 1400 B Coy reported (civilian source) 3 mines on North bank of River at 745658. Report forwarded to GIII(I) 53 (W) Div.
8 1400 2 i/c and Adjt. visited A Coy in new location. During the night Coys carried out normal harassing shoots on the Div. front. B Coy received very favourable report on fire support given to cover patrols of 508 U.S. Para Regt.
9 0900 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 (W) Div. and B & D Coys.
9 1000 Adjt. and S.O. visited A/Q Conference at 53 Div (Rear).
9 1100 C.S.M. Taylor (C Coy) visited HQ. to obtain details of area to be taken over by C Coy on arrival with 158 Bde.
9 1400 Comd. Offr. held ‘O’ Gp. to discuss policy of Bdes calling for D.F. as per “Mark” (MMG) and Oliver (4.2 mor). Traces. This policy is laid down in
9 1530 MMG. D.F. tasks coordinated by I.O. as per trace ‘A’.
9 1600 First resting party (1 Offr. and 20 ORs.) arrived at HQ.
9 1615 I.O. visited HQ 53 (W) Div for information.
9   No D.F. was called for during the night. Coys carried out harassing shoots on known enemy positions.
10 0900 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 (W) Div. to discuss D.F. tasks with G.S.O. I.
10 1000 QM. and Adjt. attended A/Q conference.
10 1100 I.O. attended daily G. conference at HQ 53 (W) Div.
10 1130 Warning Order received from HQ 53 Div that 158 Bde would not be relieved of commitment with 51 (H) Div. until 14th or 15th. Ref. O.2 of 101045A. Ref Annexure to B.O. No.
10 1400 S.O. returned to GRAVE to collect Rfts. (3 Offrs and 11 ORs).
10 1700 Rfts. mentioned above arrived and were posted to Coys as shown.
10 1800 Additional “Mark” Trace (Counter Penetration) produced for 71 Bde. Trace A (N and P).
10 2000 -. B (MMB) and D (Mor) Coy. took part in big scale harassing shoots on 508 Para Regt. front. Ref. Mark Tasks Trace B.
10   A Coy shot harassing shoots and Mark A 1-2. E.1.35. F.12 for 71 Bde. No. 5 Pl. picked up two civilians from a boat drifting down the Rhine. They were escorted to HQ 71 Bde where infm. was obtained from them about enemy dispositions.
10   53 (W) Div letter ref. MMG & Mor. D.F. policy received.
11 0900 Comd. Offr. interviewed Rfts. after which they joined their respective Coys. 2 i/c visited C Coy at NIJNSEL.
11 0930 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 Div, HQ 71 Bde and B & D Coys.
11 1000 Adjt. and QM. attended A/Q conference.
11 1030 O.C. ‘A’ Coy came to HQ to discuss new ‘Mark’ tasks.
11 1400 Tech. Adjt. and I.O. visited 53 Div (Rear HQ) and 71 Bde Wksps.
11 1500 G.S.O.I and A/Q (53 Div) visited HQ.
11 1630 Resting personnel were relieved and returned to Coys.
11 1928 71 Bde. called for Mark D.1.2.3. A Coy informed.
11 1937 A Coy reported task completed.
11 1940 71 Bde. called for Mors. to stop firing on Oliver K.3.
11 1942 D Coy. reported fire stopped.
11   B Coy HQ area was heavily shelled during the night. No cas.
12 0830 Comd. Offr. visited A Coy HQ.
12 1000 Sigs. Offr. visited A Coy HQ.
12 1100 B Coy moved HQ. to 705685.
12 1130 I.O. visited HQ 53 (W) Div.
12 1600 Q/M left for ANTWERP to collect lamps for lighting troops’ quarters.
12 1700 I.O. visited 160 Bde HQ. to arrange baths with 160 Sec. M.B.U.
13 0155 Message from Staff Capt ‘Q’. 2 × 3 ton lorries to report to Ord. Fd. Pk. at 0830 hrs.
13 0600 508 US. Para Regt. called for harassing fire by B Coy to stop as patrol was endangered by fire.
13 0603 B Coy informed.
13 1015 Tech Adjt. and I.O. visited A Coy HQ. and gun lines South of the River. M.O. visited ‘A’ Coy to take sick parade there.
13 1045 Comd. Offr. visited Div HQ. B and D Coys.
13 1200 O.C. ‘C’ Coy (Major G.A. Ives) visited HQ. to learn dispositions of C Coy on arrival on the Island.
13   Comd. Offr. and CMO. 53 (W) Div. devised a plan whereby 4.2” Mor. Coy. could bombard hostile Mor. posns. on the Div. Counter Mor. plan.
13 1700 Orders received to bombard H.M. No. 63 at 1705 hrs.
13 1707 D Coy received message. Task reported complete at 1712 hrs.
13 1730 2 i/c (Major H.B. Crozier) visited C.M.O. at HQ 53 (W) Div. to discuss counter mortar policy.
13   No D.F. was called for during the night but all Coys. were actively engaged in harassing the enemy.
13   D (Mor Coy) engaged four Oliver targets during the day. B3 and B4 producing German ambulances. This was confirmed by BM. 160 Bde. Eight Olivers were shot in retaliation for enemy fire on 71 Bde and 508 Para Regts.
14 0930 Adjt. attended A/Q conference at 53 Div (Rear) HQ. Ref.: 0/9/3/29.
14 1000 2 i/c. visited C.M.O. at HQ 53 (W) Div. to coordinate method of calling for 4.2 Mor. counter mortar fire.
14   There was no activity to report during the day.
14 1630 Several enemy shells fell in HQ area. No damage or cas.
14 1715 Shelling repeated but caused no damage.
14 1829 71 Bde called for immediate retaliation to enemy […] fire.
14 2150 71 Bde called for harassing fire on Mark A.1 & 2. B.2.3 (2300 hrs).
14 2225 A Coy engaged targets as requested by 71 Bde.
14 2315 -2345. B Coy. engaged Mark targets in sp. 508 Para Regt.
15 0140 HQ RA called for 4.2” Mor. to fire on rd junc 744708 at 1205 hrs.
15 0900 Rep. from 71 Bde called to arrange new Mor. & MMG tasks on 71 Bde front.
15 0830 I.O. visited B and D Coy Coy HQ. and also HQ. 71, 160 and 508 Para Regt. to discuss new targets.
15 1145 G2 (53 Div) called at HQ.
15 1155 O.C. C Coy (Major GA Tod) and Pl. Comds. visited HQ. prior to making recce of positions to be taken over on arrival in the area.
15 1215 Hostile aircraft dropped four anti personnel bombs in HQ area. One man slightly wounded.
15 1230 OC. ‘D’ Coy visited HQ. to discuss new method of naming Oliver tasks to avoid confusion with MMG. Ref. Appx. A to 1 Manch Oliver Trace B.
15 1500 GSO I. 53 (W) Div. visited HQ.
15   Normal harassing tasks were carried out by MMG and Mor. during the night. Mor. Coy. shot 12 tasks to support 508 Para Regt patrols and detailed fire plan prepared for 4 RWF. This was not called for. O.C. Mor Coy. notes in his remarks that Bdes. are still calling for tasks that do not really warrant expenditure of amn. and unless callers specify D.F. or Harassing they are likely to be refused especially if a large scale fire plan has been prearranged.
16 0900 Comd. Offr. visited 34 RHU. at BURG LEOPOLD to discuss supply of reinforcements. Two W.Os were posted to the Bn. and joined on the Comd. Offrs. return. Ref. B.O.
16 1000 Adjt. and Q.M. attended A/Q conference at Rear Div HQ.
16 1030 Tech. Adjt. and I.O. visited C Coy HQ.
16 1100 2 i/c and O.C. D Mor Coy. visited A Coy HQ.
16 1600 O.C. ‘B’ Coy visited HQ.
16 1700 Orders received for MMG and Mor. fire plan in sp. of patrol operation by 4 Welch.
16 2000 Phase I of above plan ordered.
16 2015 G.S.O. I phoned Comd. Offr. ref. future operations.
16 2100 Comd. Offr. visited Div HQ. to receive warning order for move to area GRAVE.
16   Duly operations during night were prearranged harassing shoots.
17 0130 Orders received for move to conc. at GRAVE. 53 (W) Div O.O. No. 20.
17 0700 Coys warned for Harbour Parties to RW. Bn HQ at 0900 hrs.
17 0930 Harbour parties B. D. and HQ. moved off to new area crossing NIJMEGEN Br. at 1000 hrs. A Coy moved direct to Div. R.V. at rd. junc. 582518.
17 1030 Comd. Offr. held ‘O’ Group to give orders for relief of Bn. in NIJMEGEN Brhead by 2 Ches.
17 1100 I.O. visited HQ. 2 Ches. to hand over maps and aerial photos of the area.
17 1415 Reps. from Coys. assembled at Bn HQ. to meet reps. from 2 Ches. During the afternoon details of take over were discussed and reconnaissance made.
17 1500 No. 4 Pl. u/c ‘B’ Coy moved South of the WAAL and rejoined A Coy. coming under its comd. from that time.
17 1630 2 i/c. returned from new area to give details of layout there.
17   During the night there was little activity other than the handover to 2 Ches.
18 0800 Movement Order received from HQ 53 Div.
18 1030 ‘O‘ Group held to discuss move of H.Q. OC. ‘A’ Coy visited HQ to ask if his Coy could move independently as a night move along the causeway would be impossible owing to bad state of roads. 1 Manch Movement Table No.
18 1100 2 i/c ‘C’ Coy (Capt C. Nolda) visited HQ. to receive orders for ‘C’ Coy rejoining the Bn. and reverting to Comd.
18 1115 Adjt. left present location to visit new area.
18 1300 Comd. Offr. received orders to attend G.O.C’s. conference at HQ 53 Div at 1500 hrs.
18 1330 Comd. Offr. left for NISTELRODE.
18 1600 HQ. vehicles formed up ready for night move.
18 2300 Head of Bn. column crossed NIJMEGEN Bridge – D Coy – B Coy – HQ.
18   Journey was uneventful except for heavy rain storms. Several vehicles became 'bogged' but were freed by unit L.A.D.
GRAVE 19 0015 C Coy established in new area with HQ at 607476.
19 0035 B Coy established in new area with HQ at 617486.
19 0050 HQ. established at 471513.
19 0330 Stragglers arrived under guidance of Tech Adjt.
19 0930 Comd. Offr. visited HQ. 2 Army to discuss rfts. problem.
19 1000 Adjt. attended A/Q conference at rear Div HQ.
19 1030 I.O. and Sigs Offr visited HQ 53 (W) Div.
19 1400 I.O. visited Coys. in new locations.
19 1500 ‘C’ Coy arrived in new area with HQ at 591472 and came under comd. Bn.
19 1700 Bn. ‘O’ Group held at HQ. to give outline plan of forthcoming ops.
19 1800 Comd. Offr. and OsC A and D Coys attended ‘O’ Group at HQ. 71 Inf Bde.
19 2000 Arrangements made for HQ Coy to use rifle range.
20 0730 Adjt. left HQ to visit R.H.U. at BURG LEOPOLD and proceeded on to BRUSSELS.
20 0815 Comd. Offr. left HQ. to attend 160 Bde Comds ‘O’ Group.
20 0900 HQ. range party left for range with 2 i/c and Tech Adjt. in command.
20 0915 I.O. visited HQ 53 Div. to collect air photos from A.P.I.S. for ‘cover’ in forthcoming operation.
20 1030 Second range party went to ranges. All ranks fired personal weapons.
20 1400 Comd. Offr. made plans for MMG and Mor dispositions from air photos. and visited HQ 53 Div.
20 1630 I.O. visited A.P.I.S.
20 1700 Comd. Offr. discussed plans wit Coy Comds.
20 1745 Comd. Offr. visited HQ. 71 Bde. but ‘O’ Group had been cancelled.
21 0815 2 i/c. visited HQ. 160 Bde. to receive orders for B and C Coys under his command in sp. 160 Bde during Op. Alan I. Ref 53 Div. O.O. No. 21. Ref 160 Bde. O.O. No. 12.
21 0900 OC. HQ Coy. made recce of area OSS for HQ location.
21 1200 Comd. Offr. held ‘O’ Group at HQ. to give detailed plan of part to be played by M.G. Bn. in Op. Alan.
21 1400 A. and D. Coys moved to conc. areas and deployed Plns. for initial fire plan posns. HQs. est. as follows A Coy 445507. D Coy 478538.
21 1500 HQ. formed up ready to move.
21 1530 HQ moved off to area OSS. – concentrated at Phillips works until complete recce completed.
OSS 21 1730 HQ. finally established at 488548.
21 1800 2 i/c joined Tac HQ 160 Bde. to comd. B & C Coys.
21 1830 M.O. joined 147 Fd. Amb. to help with battle cas.
21 1900 Sigs. Offr. took out cable laying party to lay line from Coys. to Bdes.
21 1930 -2100. B and C Coys. moved to conc. areas by PAN route. Arrived in locations. C Coy with one Pl. in action at GEFEEN. HQ’s established at 444524 and 431518.
21 1915 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 (W) Div. Adjt visited Rear Div HQ.
21 2130 Sigs. Offr. returned having decided not to lay cable as Coys would be very mobile.
22 0630 Comd. Offr. left to join 160 Bde Tac HQ.
22 0630 H. hour – operation Alan I commenced. D Coy (Mor) and A Coy (MMG) engaged prearranged targets. Scale – 10 belts per gun and 40 bombs per tube.
22 0930 I.O. and Sigs. Offr. visited all Coys and 71 & 160 Bde HQs. Communications working well.
22   A Coy engaged several targets in wooded area on 71 Bde front and four areas along Star route. 2 Pls. D Coy engaged hostile localities on call from 71 Bde.
22 1250 Orders received for Pl. C Coy. to move to posn for flank protection of 2 Mons.
22 1355 B Coy reported two Plns. forward in [reorg.?] role on 4 Welch front (area 395505).
22 1400 Comd. Offr. visited Div. HQ. Sigs Offr. and Adjt. visited 160 Bde Tac HQ.
22 1530 Padre (Capt Le Jones) held church service at HQ. Tech. Adjt. visited 71 Bde Wksps. to collect A.R.C. which was handed to A Coy.
22 1800 I.O. and Tech. Adjt. visited A & B Coys.
22 2300 2 i/c. visited HQ. to discuss nights operation with Comd. Offr. 53 Div. OO. received during night. 53 Div O.O. No. 22.
22   A Coy engaged D.F. target during night in sp. 71 Bde.
23 0645 A Coy Tac HQ changed location to 413496. B and C Coy Tac HQ’s moved fwd. with inf.
23 0830 2 i/c (with 160 Bde Tac) moved to NULAND 409501.
23 0900 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 (W) Div., C Coy and A Coy. Road between HEIKE and NULAND was closed due to enemy mines.
23 0930 B Coy Main HQ moved forward to 412500.
23 1000 I.O. visited all Coys in new locations. C Coy still providing right flank protection to 2 Mon. along Cup route. No. 10 Pl. engaged small group of enemy. Killed two and took one PW (R.S.M.). B and D Coys continued to move fwd. with inf as they secure successive bounds. D Coy operated in two sections of 2 Pls. in sp. of each of the forward Bdes.
23   Tech. Adjt. visited Corps O.F.P. to collect A.R.Cs. to complete requirement of one per Coy. Ref. Maps 1/25,0000 Sheets 11NW, 11 SW
23 1400 Comd Offr. visited 71 and 160 Bde HQs and all Coys during afternoon. Orders received for 158 Bde operation during night 23/24 Oct. Plans discussed with 2 i/c and OC B Coy.
23 1430 O.O. visited A, B and D Coys. A Coy Tac moving with 71 Bde HQ to area 400488.
23 1530 C Coy main moved on 160 Bde axis to area 399513. Movement of B Coy Pls. into position to support 158 Bde attacks from area ROSMALEN very difficult due to confused fighting in the area.
23   A Coy lost one carrier and 2 cas. due to enemy mine in wooded area South of Star route.
23 1730 I.O. and O.C. HQ Coy visited 2 i/c at Tac HQ.
23 1800 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 (W) Div. for G.O.C’s. ‘O’ Gp. to discuss M.G. and Mor. Sp. for 158 Bde operation (Alan Phase II). During these operations the value of air cover for recce. of gun positions and routes was very marked, especially due to inaccuracies of 1/25,000 maps. 53 (W) Div OO. No. 23.
23 2000 Report received from B Coy that they were unable to get Pls. into position to sp 158 Bde in time.
24 0230 H. hr. for 158 Bde break through to S’HERTOGENBOSCH.
24 0800 2 Bns. 158 Bde. reported on outskirts of town.
24 0900 O.C. HQ Coy took harbour parties to recce. location for HQ in area NULAND.
24 1000 Comd. Offr. attended ‘O’ Gp. at HQ 158 Bde. All four Mor. plns. in action from area BRUGGEN in sp 158 Bde. C Coy continued in right flank protection role with guns in action along Cake.
NULAND 24 1300 Bn HQ and HQ Coy moved by Star route to NULAND and established HQ at 408501.
24   D Coy moved fwd. and established HQ at 341474.
24 1500 A and C Coy moved HQs to 373480 and 354475 respectively. A Coy had Pls. conc. in HQ area with one Pl. prepared to move at first light to support Recce Regt. & 4 RWF clearing woods in area 4046.
24 1800 One Pl. B Coy in action at 352490 and two in reserve. C Coy had 2 Pls. during right flank protection […] 336486 and 343489 with third Pl. in reserve at HQ.
24 1830 B Coy reported new location to be 344490.
24 1900 Comd. Offr. issued short order for role of Coys during 25 Oct. 53 (W) Div. OO. No. 1 Manch.
24   During the day members of D Coy visited areas which had been engaged by their 4.2 mors and found conclusive evidence of accuracy and effectiveness of their fire. In one case four dead Germans were found in a split trench which had received a direct hit from a 4.2” Mor. bomb.
25 0830 I.O. visited HQ. 53 (W) Div.
25 0900 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 (W) Div and HQ. 158 Bde.
25 1000 OsC. A and D Coys visited Bn. HQ.
25 1100 Tech. Adjt. visited A, C and D Coys. and delivered ARC to the latter. I.O. and 2 i/c visited Coys and HQ E. Lan. R. in outskirts of S’HERTOGENBOSCH.
25 1145 Two Pls. D Coy engaged enemy S.P. gun which was shelling area of br. 328463. Result not observed.
25 1400 Comd. Offr. visited HQ. 158 and 160 Bdes.
25 1430 Tech. Adjt. and I.O. visited A and C Coys. Each Coy Comd. given authority for use of a personal A.R.C.
25   2 i/c visited A Coy.
25   There was no activity to report from any of the M.G. Coys. but Mor. Coy. continued to engage enemy guns and inf. posns. on call from 158 Bde.
25 2330 Orders received for future ops in S’HERTOGENBOSCH area. M.G. Coys not involved in initial stages. 53 (W) Div Op Ins. No.
26 0830 Comd. Offr. attended ‘O’ Group with 158 Bde Comd. to receive orders for Mor. fire plan in forming bridgehead West of S’HERTOGENBOSCH. Targets to be engaged were factories in area 3047.
26 1000 Adjt. attended A/Q conference at Rear HQ 53 (Div).
26 1030 I.O. and Tech. Adjt. visited A Coy HQ.
26 1100 Comd. Offr. visited A Coy HQ.
26 1400 2 i/c visited HQ 158 Bde in S’HERTOGENBOSCH.
26   Major C.B. Walker wounded by enemy shell.
26   D Coy engaged enemy areas West of S’HERTOGENBOSCH and claim to have fired amn. dump at 308445.
26 1630 2 i/c and Adjt. visited Major Walker in C.C.S. at GRAVE.
26 2230 Outline plan received for 53 (W) Div. operation West of present area. Ref. Notes for ‘O’ Group 27 Oct 44 and attached trace …
27 0830 I.O. visited A.P.I.S. for air cover of area of ops.
27 0930 Comd. Officer attended ‘O’ Group at HQ 53 (W) Div.
27 1200 2 i/c. as O.C. 71 Bde. detachment of M.G. Bn. attended ‘O’ Gp at HQ 71 Bde.
27 1000 Adjt. attended A/Q conference at Rear Div HQ.
27 1130 Warning Order for move of Bn HQ to area 3747 issued.
27 1400 Above order cancelled on receipt of news that operation as planned had been cancelled. Enemy reported to be counter attacking 158 Bde bridgehead with inf. supported by tanks.
27 1400 Comd. Offr. held ’O’ Gp. at A Coy HQ. to give change of plan. 53 (W) Div Op. Ins.
27 1500 ‘B’ Coy moved HQ. forward into S’HERTOGENBOSCH for convenience of comn. with 160 Bde.
27 2300 Orders received for move to conc. area S.W. of VUGHT. All Bn less ‘B’ Coy. to be in sp 71 Bde for assault crossing of the AFWATERINGS CANAL. B Coy to remain in right flank protection role of 160 Bde as garrison of S’HERTOGENBOSCH. Ref. 1/25,000. Sheet 11 SE. Ref. 71 Bde. Movement Order No.
28 0800 Order issued for movement to new area.
28 0900 I.O. visited HQ 71 Bde. to check on time of move and area allotted. (Area as attached trace). 1 Manch. Movement Order of
28 0930 Harbour parties under comd. 2 i/c set off for new location.
28 1000 Adjt. attended A/Q conference at Rear HQ 53 (W) Div.
28 1030 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 71 Bde, C and D Coys.
28 1130 I.O. visited A.P.I.S. at HQ 53 (W) Div. for air cover of new area. Now available South of canal.
28 1255 Orders received that move to new area would not take place. Cancellation due to R.E. being unable to construct a br. at 249443 in time for the op. as planned. Ref. 53 (W) Div. O. 5 of 38/1240A.
28 1300 Tech. Adjt. left for EINDHOVEN to collect replacement 15 cwt G.S. and spare carrier tracks.
28 1350 Message sent out to 2 i/c. recalling harbour parties.
28 1400 Sigs. Offr. visited all Coys. with reference to wireless communication.
28 1405 Adjt. visited HQ 71 Bde.
28 1500 OsC. C and D Coys visited HQ. to make arrangements for entertainment in OSS. Ref. Bn. Order No. 399-400 dated 27 Oct 1944.
28   All coys. with exception of B Coy remained concentrated.
28   Major C.A. Simpson appointed O.C. D Coy.
28   Capt. D.C.L. Nolda promoted acting Major and assumed Comd. of A Coy.
28 1700 Comd. Offr. visited HQ 53 (W) Div.
28   2 Pls. of ‘A’ Coy. supported patrols by 43rd during the night. No further activities to report.
29   B Coy. Pls. moved into position to support 160 Bde in D.F. tasks West and N.W. of S’HERTOGENBOSCH. Coy HQ moved to 322457.
29   A, C and D Coys. remained conc. in present areas. Time spent in maintenance and re-equipment.
29 2030 Comd. Offr. and O.C. A and D Coys. attended ‘O’ Gp at HQ. 71 Bde. to receive orders to move to area 2640. No move of C Coy or Bn HQ. involved.
29   T/Capt. AR Copnall was posted to unit and appointed 2 i/c C Coy. Lieut J Bromley Davenport joined C Coy.
30 0450 A and C Coys moved off in 71 Bde column to new location. HQs. were established at VUGHT.
30 0830 I.O. and Sigs. Offr. attended Court Martial at HQ 160 Bde as Prosecuting and Defending Officers.
30 1030 I.O. visited HQ. B Coy. Tech. Adjt. and 2 i/c visited HQ. C Coy. Comd. Offr. visited A and D Coys.
30 1200 Comd. Offr. and OC C Coy attended ‘O’ Gp at HQ 158 Bde to receive orders for move to area in East Belgium.
30 1230 Move referred to above cancelled.
30 1615 Adjt. visited HQ 53 (W) Div. and received warning order of move of 53 (W) Div to area BREE 5085 (Belgium & Holland. Sht. 4).
30 2000 C. and D. Coys moved off with 158 Bde. and established HQs at BREE (5084) and NEERGLABEEK (5179).
31 0830 Harbour Party for HQ Coy. moved off to area BREE under comd 2 i/c.
31 0800 A. Coy. moved off with 71 Bde Gp. and established HQ at NEERGLABEEK. Ref. 53 (W) Div. Op Instr
31 1130 HQ Formed up ready to move in Div. Column to BREE.
31 1210 HQ column crossed S.P. at S’HERTOGENBOSCH East Br.
31 1700 HQ established at NEERGLABEEK (515792).
31 1800 OsC. A and D Coys attended 71 Bde Comd’s ‘O’ Group.
31 1900 Comd. Offr. attended G.O.C’s. conference at HQ 53 (W) Div.
31 2130 Comd. Offr. held ‘O’ Group at HQ. to give orders for Bn’s. task in defence of new area.

Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, 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.