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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: 3rd Bn Irish Guards
Month and Year: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. J.O.E. Vandeleur
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
North of CAUMONT 1 1530 Left this temporary concentration area and went to the south of CAUMONT to a point on the map about three miles south of CAUMONT.
South of CAUMONT 1 1000 The Commanding Officer held an "o" Group when orders were given for the Bn. to proceed on foot with caution and continue the advance to ST. MARTIN DES BESACES 6750. Number 2 coy. leading with tanks of Ist. (Armd.) Coldstream Gds. in support. A further "o" Group was held just before reaching ST. MARTIN DES BESACES. Fairly heavy shelling was experienced and no.2 coy. R.T,truck was damaged. Orders to attack high ground on either side of the road 6846 6746 were received. the Commanding Officer went forward with 2 and X coy. Comds,Bty. Comd. R.A. and Major R.Batt (Sqn. Comd. of 1st. Coldstream gds. tanks) to recee the start line. This was placed at 6734. Attack went in at about 1800hrs.with X coy. on the right, and 2 coy. left. Centre line was the main road and each coy. had one troop of tanks in support. 2 Coy. came under Mortar fire and suffered four casualties. Objectives were reached with out further incidents, the enemy having withdrawn as the Bn. approached. This was borne out by Lt. Bourke of no. 2 Coy. who located a Panther tank making off down the hill. The attack was watched from the high ground by the Commanding Officer - an unusual occurance in this very enclosed community. During the consolidation of this position the coys. were surprised by the friendliness of the local inhabitants. One old lady kissed each man of Lt. Llewellyn's Platoon, and an old man provided Cider for all. Patrols were then sent out - Lt.A.N.Drew (X coy.) took one down to the south and met two doing patrols on the way. He got shot at from all sides, and by both sides but got valuable information. Contact was made with 1st.- MOT- Grenadier gds. who reported LE TOURNEUR held in some strength, including tanks, by the enemy. During this period 1 and 4 coys. carried out an offensive sweep to the river, due west. A few prisoners were rounded up, but otherwise there were no incidents. Casualties total for the day were 2 ors. killed and 9 ors. wounded.
LE TOURNEUR 2   At approximately midnight 1-2 Aug. Lt. Col. Findley (2nd. Armd. Bn) came. to the Bn. Command Post with orders that two or three Bns. were to attack and hold the bridge at 689453. it was obviously impossible for tanks to operate during the night, so the Commanding Officer ordered Major P.F.I. Reid with nos. 2 and X coys. to carry out this task.
2 0200 The attack was carried out successfully, no opposition being met, although there were many incidents of K.Od. tanks having to be investigated etc. Having reached their objective, X coy. sited their H.Q. in a convenient trench. They subsequently discovered it to be a German latrine. The remainder of the Division passed through the Bn. at about 0600hrs. The morning started off quietly except for a few snipers being brought in-identified as 3/752 Gren.Reg. of 326 Inf. Div. Patrols were sent out from the coys. and Carrier Pln. Majors Stewart Fotheringham and Eardley Wilmot X coy and 2 coy. respectively were relieved for rest by their 2nd. in Commands. Seven ORs. wounded were the total casualties for the day.
LE TOURNEUR 2   Another combat group, composed of X coy. and one troop of tanks then again attempted to penetrate 400 metres further east to gain the village of COURTEIL, but were held up by strong enemy resistance. During the day's fighting LT. Hickey (1 coy.) was rather badly wounded and other casualties were 9 ORs. killed and 18 wounded.
LE TOURNEUR 3   Today we received orders to capture the village of MONTCHAMP. It was subsequently discovered that this was an enemy strong point,and contrary to original inteligence. The armour meanwhile had passed Southward through Saint Charles de Percy. We had quite an exciting night advancing along the road between Saint Charles de Percy and Montchamp. The leading coy.no. 1, were soon held up by German Spandau posts about a kilometre to the east of Saint Charles. Well backed up by two troops of tanks (1st. Armd. Coldstream Gds.) and after three efforts, they overcame the opposition and a combat group composed of no. 4 coy. and a troop of tanks, passed through no. 1 coy. to deepen the penetration by 300 metres. They succeeded with very slight losses.
COURTEIL 3   The Bn. held a position astride the road just to the East of COURTEIL. All coys. were subjected to fairly heavy shelling,and the two forward coys. exchanged S.A. fire with the enemy who were dug in not more than 100 yards in front of them. At 'Stand To' this morning, Bn. HQ.was itself attacked by enemy forces approximately a Pln. in strength. This attack was broken up by a section of the Carrier Pln.and Captain Bruce with a captured Spandau mounted on his carrier. The enemy suffered heavy casualties. Casualties suffered during the day were 4 ORs. killed and 16 ORs. wounded, and were mainly caused by shelling and Mortar fire.
COURTEIL 4   Today we laid on a 'Full Dress' fire plan.No. 4 coy. gained COURTEIL. Then a combat group, consisting of X coy. one troop of tanks of 1st. Armd. Coldstream Gds. two 6 pr. guns, two 17 pr. guns,and two 3" Mortars (later reinforced by a Pln. of no. 2 coy.) was pushed through COURTEIL to gain the village of MAISONCELLES, 600 metres S.E. They had a great fight, gained their objectives and although in immediate contact with at least 10 German tanks and a coy. of infantry, held their positions for 48 hrs.,and, ably assisted by the two 17 prs. destroyed four Mk. 3 S.P.guns,one Panther tank, one lorry,and captured a Mk.3 gun intact. The knocked out lorry was later discovered to be one that the Germans had captured from 2nd.(Armd.)Irish Gds. Two Plns. of no. 2 coy. (commanded by Capt. E.Woods) and one troop of tanks. (1st. Armd. Coldstream Gds.) with a section of Carriers as escort, were ordered to the East of BEALIEU to support a Bty. of S.P. guns. They had some stiff fighting for 48 hrs.and Capt. Woods,and Major Batt (Sgn. Comd.of the Coldstream Gds. Tanks) were killed. No. 1 coy. made a sweep SOUTH from CORTEIL, passing through no.2 and X coys., searched some woods and returned to the area of BN. HQ. at COURTEIL. Total casualties for the day were three officers and one OR. killed, and three ORs. wounded.
COURTEIL 6   Positions gained on the 5th. were held throughout the day,with X coy. and no. 2 coy.in contact with the enemy,but suffered no casualties.
MONTCHAMP 7   During the night 6/7,excellent work was done by the Pioneer Pln. commanded by Capt. D.Compton, in clearing MONTCHAMP of mines and booby traps . No. 1 coy. cleared the village while the Carrier Pin. distinguished themselves on patrols at the entrances. The BN. was ordered to secure the area between MONTCHAMP and ESTREY for a gun area for 15 Div.(Scottish) No.1 coy. proceeded through MONTCHAMP to PONT a' L'ECRIVAIN. X coy. passed through no. 1 coy. to the area of LES ECOUBLETS. these coys. met no opposition, except road blocks which were booby trapped. No.1 coy. later moved up to the right of X coy.and BN. HQ. Nos. 2 and 4 coys. moved into the area of PONT a' L'ECRIVAIN. The whole area was subject to sporadic Mortar fire, and also to several-"overs"of S.A.fire,but fortunately there were only a few casualties.
South of MONTCHAMP 8   The BN. held it's position throughout today - there was again Mortar fire,and also several "overs" of S.A.fire,which killed 3 men and wounded 7 others. In the morning, a BN.of K.O.S.B.and a BN. of R.S.F. put in a frontal attack on ESTREY through our positions, but this was only partially successful.
South of CAUMONT 9   During the morning the BN. was told to stand by ready to move to take over a new position at SOURDEVALLE 7033, at present held by a composite BN.of 3rd. Monmouths and 1st. Norfolks of 11th. Armd. Div.
South of CAUMONT 9   The Commanding Officer accompanied by coy. Comds. tank representative MONTCHAMP 9 of 1st. Armd. Coldstream Gds. and Arty.F.0.0. went to SOURDEVALLE to recee the new positions-a task made difficult owing to heavy shell fire and close range S.A.fire.
9 1200 This position was in the tip of a salient created by 11th. Armd. Div.. The recee party did noot return until 1900 hours.,and all through the day the whole BN. area had again been subjected to sporadic Mortar fire S.A. "overs" - casualties suffered being three ORs. wounded.
9 2100 Eventually the BN. completed the hand_over to a BN. of Royal Scots, and commenced the move to SOURDEVAL.The marching personnel embussed in T.C.Ls. at MONTCHAMP. No one was looking forward to the journey as any dust on the roads was bound to bring down a lot of shelling. 1st.(Armd) Coldstream Gds. were to move into the new position just before dark, and the BN. after dark. We only took the minimum number of vehicles in to the position as the previous unit had lost an enormous amount of transport by taking it right forward - this fact was only too evident when one saw the grave yard of brewed up vehicles in the area of BN. HQ. Our transport was divided into three groups - the actual vehicles we needed with us,confined to jeeps,carriers,rear link vehicles and the C.Os. scout car. Secondly those vehicles necessary to maintain the BN. in battle, such as petrol, ammunition, signal stores and Int. stores,and lastly the remainder of the BN. vehicles, 3 tonners and 15 cwts, and T.C.Ls..These three echelons were known respectively as F. F2. and A.
SOURDEVALLE 10 0200 The BN. took over this new position without incident and the take over 0200 was completed by 0200 hrs. All through the day the whole of the BN. area was subjected to shelling and Mortaring,and during this time, Capt. D. Kingsford (no.1 coy. comm) was killed by a shell splinter. Capt. D. Compton was wounded and 17 ORs wounded. In the early evening, the two forward coys.-No. 1 (now commanded by LT. P. Doyle) and no. 4 coy.were attacked by what was thought to be a recce force in strength - this was easily repulsed and the attack petered out,but unfortunately no identifications were obtained,although we inflicted several casualties on the enemy,but it was impossible to go forward in the daylight to search bodies. This was attempted after dark by the intelligence section and several dead Germans were found in the standing corn immediately in front of nos. 1 and 4 coys. positions, but the search still did not reveal an identification so urgently required by higher formation. In the evening,orders were received that the BN. would attack the.next day, and as a.preliminary to this,a strong patrol from no. 4 coy.led by LT. Kingan was sent to recee the bridge and river by LA JARRIERE immediately to the SOUTH of SOURDEVALLE. They discovered the bridge to be strongly held,but no identification's could be obtained,and it was impossible to get across the bridge to the houses on the other side.
SOURDEVALLE 11   Again this morning the forward coys. were attacked by an enemy force - thought to be on recce -but were easily repulsed by S.A. fire.
11 0900 The BN. supported by a Sqn. of tanks, of 1st. (Armd.) Coldstream Gds.and one Fld. Bty, carried out an attack to gain the line of the main VIRE - VASSY road SOUTH of SOURDEVALLE, being phased in with the remainder of the 32nd. GDS. BDE. directed on the village of CHENEDOLLE,and in concert with 1st. (MOT) GREN. GDS. and 2nd. (Armd. GREN GDS. directed on the village of VIESSOIX. We were in the centre of a DIV. effort directed SOUTHWARDS. The leading coys., right 2 coy.,and left 4 coy., were were supported by two troops of tanks,medium mortars,and a field BTY. R.A. came under intense fire on a convex slope running SOUTHWARDS, as soon as they crossed the start line. The leading tanks immediately suffered casualties from enemy Anti Tank guns or dug in tanks SOUTH of their objective. The forward coys. pushed on through root and cornfields,suffering very heavy casualties,before they reached their objective at approximately 1000 hours and consolidated on the line of the stream,approximately 400 yards NORTH of their objectives. The enemy then crumped heavily with ARTY.and Mortar fire on the forward slope of the hill,down which the attack had been directed, and at 1600 hours a contact patrol was sent forward to (A) Locate the centres of enemy resistance ,and (B) inform all possible survivors that they were to withdraw to the line of the F.D.Ls. as soon as a smoke screen was laid to cover them. This contact patrol was led by LT.A. Drewe of Xcoy. who was himself wounded,one man of the patrol killed and another man wounded.
SOURDEVALLE 11 1630 The smoke screen was laid,duration 30 minutes,and LT. Drewe with stretcher bearers, again went forward into the smoke and did all he could in supervising evacuation of all possible wounded. Very heavy casualties were suffered by 2 and 4 coys. Officers killed were Major A. Eardley?Wilmot (2 coy.commd.) LT.Lord E. Fitzmaurice (4coy.).and LT. P. Bourke (2coy.). Major D.A. Reid (4 coy. commd) LT. Kingan (@ COY.) and LT. Ryder (2coy) were all wounded. O.RS. suffered to the extent of 33 killed and 72 wounded. The men were splendid, advancing steadily in spite of the severe, opposition,and nothing further could be done to support them owing to proximity or the opposing posts and the fact that the bulk of the fire power had to be retained for the 32nd.GDS. BDE. attack on CHENEDOLLE. In the evening, the remnants of 2 and 4 coys. were successfully with drawn to the reserve coys. areas,and their original positions were taken over by nos. 1 and X coys. Nos. 2 and 4 coys. were amalgamated into one coy.,now known as no. 2 coy. under the command of CAPT. Hendrey. An unfortunate accident during the night in X coy. position,when "T" mines were being fused, resulted in three men being killed and one wounded.
SOURDEVALLE 12   A quiet day - patrols were sent out and were able to collect and bury the dead. Identifications of enemy on our front confirmed that we had been fighting elements of the combined 3rd. and 5th. PARA. DIVS.and not 10th. SS PZ. DIV."Hohenstaufen" has had been expected.
SOURDEVALLE 13   Orders were received for the BN. to 'move to the area of LE BUSQ, a mile due WEST of ESTREY,and quite near to the position we had held previously. The Commanding Officer spent most of the day recceing the new position. We were to be relieved at SOURDEVALLE by 2nd.Household Cavalry Regiment supported 2nd.(Armd)Irish GDS. and their commanding officers spent most of the day in our positions recceing and taking over.
SOURDEVALLE 13 2100 The hand over was completed and the BN. left SOURDEVALLE. The move to LE BUSQ was completed without incident apart from an unsuccessful air attack.
LE BUSQ 14   This day was spent in resting,re-fitting-and bathing, although the enemy were still less than one mile away. the BN. still consists of only three rifle coys,but a Field Sqn. R.E. is under command in the role of reserve coy. Patrols during the night kept contact with flanking units and information was received that the nearest enemy locality ESTREY was now clear.
LE BUSQ 15   The BN. was visited by the Corps. Commander, who saw all coy. commds. personally,and informed us that we were likely to remain concentrated in the present area for some days.
LE BUSQ 16   The Field Sqn. R.E. left the BN. together with the supporting arms, and we returned under command 32 GDS. BDE. LTS. R.C. Taylor and M. Aird with 10 O.Rs. joined the BN. from the Reinforcement Holding Unit.
LE BUSQ 17   Major G.E. Fisher?Rowe arrived with the BN.,and took over command of no.1 coy.
LE BUSQ 19   A short memorial service was held in honour of those killed in the recent actions,at which a list of their names was read out to the BN. News reached us that Major A. Eardley?Wilmot had been awarded the M.C. for his outstanding leadership at CAGNY.
LE BUSQ 23   The BN. received orders to move to a concentration area at MONTILLY, (SOUTH of CONDE-SUR-NOIREAU) where it was thought likely we would remain about six days.
MONTILLY 28   This day,G.A.D. came under command of 30 Corps for an armoured thrust across the river SEINE
MONTILLY 29 0130 The BN. left MONTILLY and after a very tiring journey reached LE COUDRAI 892367 (near LAIGLE) at 1430 hrs. The BN. harboured for the night and the commanding Officer received orders for the crossing of the SEINE to a DIV. Conc. Area, NORTH of VERNON.
LE COUDRAI 30 0840 The BN. left LE COUDRAI and crossed the SEINE without incident, and at 1700 hrs. reached LA QUEUE (N.E.of VERNON) which was the DIV. Fordward Conc Area.
LA QUEUE D'HAYE 31 0730 The Bn left the conc area at LA QUEUE D'HAYE (N.E. of VERNON) and motored all day, covering a distance of 60 miles. We harboured at 2100 hours near FROISSY. No. 2 Coy went into a farm where Germans had left only that morning.

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Source: Antoine Leprince, transcribing: 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.