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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.

Army Form C.2118
Unit: 2nd Bn. The Royal Ulster Rifles
Month and Year: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. I.C. Harris
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
BIEVILLE 1   The weather today was very warm. The Bn. spent a quiet day at BIEVILLE. In the morning hot showers were arranged for the Bn. and an ENSA Concert in the evening.
2   The weather very good. The Bn. spent the morning preparing to move to a new location. The advance party under 2 i/c left for new location of GRANVILLE 763643 at 1315 hrs. Remainder of Bn. left by transport at 1535 hrs arriving GRANVILLE at 1915 hrs.
GRANVILLE 3   To-day was another warm day. The Bn. spent a quiet day at GRANVILLE. At 1730 hrs a recce party of Bn. left for new location at 639504 near ST MARTINS DES BESACES.
4   At 0700 hrs the Bn. left GRANVILLE by transport, arriving at the new location near ST MARTINS at 1000 hrs. Here we suffered one casualty when A/A truck ran over a mine and the explosion killed a member of "C" Company.
ST MARTINS 5   At 1715 hrs a Recce party left for new location with a view to relieving the 1st Bn. Royal Norfolk Regiment.
6   The remainder of the Bn. left at 0230 hrs on the 6th and finally reached its new position near LA BISTIERE 6637 at 0600 hrs. In this position the role of the Battalion was to prevent any hostile thrusts along the main road running North Eastwards out of VIRE. It had the additional task of providing a firm base for 1 Bn KOSB and 2 Bn Lancs which had to pass through to the high ground in front. In order to assist these Battalions further this Battalion sent forward patrols from A, B and C Companies to some woods on the high ground at 658358, 660360, 666361. These were all reported clear.
LA BANQUAIRE 6   Later in the day the Battalion moved to LA BANQUAIRE. It was in position by 1800 hrs. Shelling began at 2000 hrs and although dug in 4 ORs were wounded.
7   The Battalion left LA BANQUAIRE at 0615 hrs in fine weather and moved some two miles to MONTESANGER arriving at 0800 hrs. This move was designed to achieve closer concentration within the Brigade and to permit the Battalion to be in a better position for a move forward. It served also to provide a firm base for an abortive attack by 2 Lincs on strongly defended positions to our front. In this role the Battalion was shelled intermittently and suffered a few casualties.
MONTESANGER 8   The Battalion had a quiet day in perfect weather. During the day it became known that 9 Brigade were to launch an attack with two Battalions up with the object of securing high ground to the East of VIRE. 1st Bn KOSB were to capture ring contour 230 and 2nd RUR had as their objective the village of VAUDRY and the VIRE VASSY rd running E to W to the South of VAUDRY. The day was there spent in detailed reconnaissance of the ground by the Commanding Officer and Company Commanders and at the end of it the C.O. gave out orders to Company and Platoon Commanders on the ground itself. Subsequently further detailed reconnaissance was made by Company and Platoon Commanders.
LA GALONNERIE 8   At 2200 hrs the Battalion moved to an Assembly Area at LA GALONNERIE and dug in for a short night.
9   Battalion left LA GALONNERIE at 0530 hrs and moved forward steadily towards VAUDRY. It soon became clear that the enemy had withdrawn from this area leaving behind as obstruction nothing except mines. These succeeded in delaying the advance so that VAUDRY itself was not reported clear and the road VIRE VASSY reached until 0930 hrs. D Company had led at the beginning but on reaching a preliminary objective C Company passed through to secure VAUDRY itself and finally A Company moved forward of VAUDRY Church to sit astride the VIRE VASSY Road. In fact the village was effectively captured by O.C. S Company, Capt. Gaffikin and O.C. Anti-tank platoon, Capt. C. Grey who, on an enthusiastic reconnaissance reached the village ahead of the forward troops.
9   On the objective, which the Battalion had reached without a casualty, the Battalion dug in. Later in the day there was slight shelling of the area but it was from a great distance and there were no casualties.
VAUDRY 10   During the early hours of the morning a patrol of B Company encountered a patrol of C Company; there was a misunderstanding about identity and shots were fired on both sides killing one and wounding another.
10   In the afternoon a Typhoon crashed behind the Battalion area. The pilot baled out and landed close to our lines.
11   To-day an attack by 3 Division on TINCHEBRAY was launched with two Brigades forward one in reserve. 2 RUR as part of the reserve Brigade held its positions as a firm base for the advance of the other two brigades. 2 RUR stood by to move in support of either of these two Brigades but owing to the character of the ground and enemy resistance we were not called upon.
12   Today the Battalion again stood by the move forward but again did not actually move. Weather was fine and at 1145 there was a swift but severe burst of enemy shelling which killed the M.T. Sergeant and wounded RSM Fleming and two other ranks.
LANOE 13   Today the Battalion moved about a mile East along the VIRE VASSY road to LANOE where its intention was to block any possible enemy counter attack along the road from VASSY direction. While in this position which was reached by 1130 hrs B Company was detached to come under command 1st KOSB to strengthen a position which had been taken up further forward. On the Brigade front the day was quiet and the weather remained good.
14   Bn still kept at short notice to move, but urgency gradually diminished during the day and it became apparent that we were to stay at LANOE for some time.
15   Today was quiet and weather was excellent. Hot showers were arranged for the Battalion and in the evening a large party attended an ENSA show at the Div Club. At 0800 hrs the Commanding Officer was at Brigade to receive orders for the move for it had finally been decided to pass 9 Brigade through 8 Brigade to follow closely on the enemy withdrawal.
16   The Commanding Officer left LANOE at 0900 hrs to meet the Brigadier for orders at the new location. The rest of the Battalion left at 1100 hrs and moved by M.T. to new area at 747255 near TINCHEBRAY arriving at 1330 hrs. The enemy had however retreated swiftly and at 1530 the Battalion moved again to area 8022 in the region of LANDISACQ.
LANDISACQ 17   The speed of the general advance on a contracting front was such that 3rd Division today found that there was no longer room for it in the line. The Battalion learnt that it was to stay in LANDISACQ for three days today and embarked forthwith upon administration.
18   The Bn benefitted by a perfect day and parties went to the Divisional Club and the Corps Rest Camp.
19   Today a systematic search of the Battalion area for enemy equipment and men was carried out. No Germans were discovered but some knocked out tanks, guns and vehicles were reported.
CHAPELLE AU MOINE 20   Bn heard that it was to do training for at least a week in assault river crossing and co-operation with tanks. With this end in view the Bn at 0815 marched to area 8514 near CHAPELE AU MOINE. The distance was about 8 miles and the Battalion was in position by 1210 hrs.
20   In the evening a school of orphans under the guidance of Sisters of Mercy delighted the Commanding Officer and his Battalion with a short concert in appreciation of their liberation. At the outset the choir of about 50 children sang the British National Anthem and followed this with the Marseillaise. The Bn was then asked to render the British National Anthem, which it did with great spirit; it followed this with an impressive selection of Irish ditties. The children sang some French peasant and patriotic songs, finishing superbly with LA LIBERTE FRANCAISE. It was noteworthy that throughout the performance a little coloured girl proudly held the French Flag on high. A lasting liaison was established between the Bn and these people.
21   Weather rather bad, showers throughout the day. the Bn spent the afternoon river crossing in stormboats. Vehicles and guns also crossed on rafts and transport was practised in driving across different types of bridging.
22   Today tank training began with a squadron of 4th Grenadier Guards from the 6th Gds Tank Brigade. Another wet day.
23   Weather slightly improved. It was warm though still cloudy. The Battalion had baths and training continued.
23   2/Lt. Coppard, recently joined as a reinforcement officer, was wounded by splinter from a PIAT bomb when firing at a Panther tank.
24   Weather still improving. Company and platoon training continued. Major Hyde, B Company Commander, was wounded in the same circumstances as 2/Lt. Coppard. Both these officers had to be evacuated. "I" Section left the Battalion to search an area near FALAISE and report on destroyed enemy equipment therein.
25   Weather very hot. I Section continued with their search. Training continued.
26   Still warm. I Section today visited battleground between TRUN and ARGENTAN and inspected enemy vehicles and equipment.
26   During today the Commanding Officer carried out an inspection of A, B, C, D, and S Companies.
27   Weather still good and Battalion held a sports day, inter-company football and basketball competitions being organised. In the evening the I Section rejoined the Battalion.
28   The Commanding Officer completed his inspection of the Battalion when at 0900 hrs he saw HQ Company. Though fine to begin with the weather clouded over later and rain began in the evening.
29-30   Rain continued and restricted training. Cinemas and concert parties in FLERS were well attended.
31   A Battalion scheme was held today in co-operation with the tanks of supporting Sqn of Gren Guards. At 1800 hrs C.O. held a conference to discuss its success and draw lessons from it.

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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.