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Army Form C.2118
Unit: A/Q Branch 3 Br Inf Div.
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Maj Gen. L.G. Whistler, DSO
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
France 1   T/Maj. JN Baines, MBE (73922) RB assumed appt as DAQMG vice T/Maj WL Wyatt (117446) Suffolk to 105 CRC. The band of HM Life Guard gave concert to RA units at ST CLAIR D'HALONCE and to 9 Bde near to CHAPELLE BICHE.
1-2   Star ENSA shows at FLERS for Div featuring Flanagan and Allen, Florence Desmond, Kay Cavendish, Sandy Powell, Alice Powell and Billy Scott Coombs. Approx. 17.000 soldiers received entertainment during the past week. These ENSA performances were very well received but considerable diffeculty is still expierenced feeding. ENSA parties - in practice this often means that the complete resources of an officers 'mess have to be devoted to them. This is most unsatisfactory
2   T/Capt THP Lloyd ( 65249) KOYLI assumed as DAAG with acting rank Maj vice T/Maj AJ Watt, MBE (126991) Black Watch to regimental duty. The of HM Life Guards visited 8 Bde at LA MINIERE. This band received hopes that Bns might be able to have their own bands. The position been strongly represented to Army.It is thought that ICTs will not take kindly to the suggestion as it will seriously affect their own welfare organisation. Although bagpipes are seen in all fwd areas in all theatres of war English regts still have to rely largely on mouth organs which went out of production in 1940.
3-4   Div moves from FLERS to LES ANDELYS 150 miles. No tp carrying tpt available and Inf Bns Approx 10% over strenght. Second line tpt partly by ferrying, lifted forward all marching personnel of the Div plus normal second line loads, plus additional 75 rpg 25 rp and extra 75 miles of Pol.
4   Adm Order No. 19 issued A'
5   The Div Club, which has now become an institution moved into an ex German used hotel at LES ANDELYS. Several dances were held much to the delight of the pleasure starved Mademoiselles. Generally it was felt that French reception was more cordial in this part of France - partly accounted for by the lack of Alied damage to French property.
5-14   During this period Div provided fourteen tpt pls. (incl six first line pls) for third line duties under 8 Corps, which incl main effort which can reasonably be demanded of an Inf Div.
9   T/Maj HO Hinton (56323) RWK assumed appt AA & QMC and acting rank of Lt-Col vice T/Lt-Col FC Rea
FRANCE 16-17   Div moved from LES ANDELYS to PEER, in Belgium 300 miles in two days. Eight extra RASC pls were provided for carrying. No ferrying was possible. By various measures, including over-loading and careful pre-loading of tp carrying vehs equivalent of 660 3 ton loads of either tps, amn or sups were carried fwd. This included 200 rpg 25 pr and 300 miles of POL in all. Great economy is produced by using 25 pr and compo boxes as seats in 3 ton GS lorries dued for tp carrying. The following veh cas occured during the march from LES ANDELYS to PEER:- Carries 11, Jeeps, 3, 15 cwt 5, 3 ton 7, Quad 4x4 2, Utility 4x4 2, Sherman Tk Op 6, Crusaders 1, SP 40 mm 3, M14 2, MCs 16, Weasels 2. This amounts to little over 1% of the Div tpt.
17   W/Capt FG Hawkings (86128) LF relinquished appt GSO 3(0), W/Capt TEB Hiwarth (121426) Kings assumed appt GSO 3 (0). HQ 3 Br Inf Div rear commenced move into Belgium staging night 17/18/. The Div Club, in spite of a determinded effort to establish itself in luxury in BRUSSELS moved into an ex German Panzer Billet in the village of PEER near the Escaut Canal.
18   Adm Order No. 20 issued C'
BELGIUM 22   Rear HQ moved to new location area ACHEL
HOLLAND 24   Rear moved to new location area HEEZE (HOLLAND)
28   Rear HQ moved to new location area NE outskirts of HELMOND. The Div Club now established in a factory workers club at HELMOND. Great assistance is give by the Dutch who produced many luxurys that have been hidden from the Bosch. Sleeping accomodation was provided , bedding manufactured and a stage erected by the Dutch. Men now leave their units for 24mhrs rest and amusement at this Club. It is intended that it will form a firm base for relaxation when the Div moves into Germany.
30   Adm Order Noo. 21 issued. During the month a realxing of the stringet rules concerning compassionate leave has been effected resulting in more men being granted leave. All ranks have been most impressed by the Dutch reception of the British Army- there is no doubt as to its genuine depth. The Div has partly solved the perennial difficulty of provided PW guards by collecting 25 all ranks from the Bns for this purpose. Those men, although medically category A are in fact useless to Bns in battle owing to various physical reasons not recognised by the RAMC and will henceforth provide permanent PW guards. A number of Provost are thus released for the more important jobs of traffic control etc.
30   Maintenance Signals for Sept 44 attached 'E'

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Theo Vervoort.

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.