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Montgomery, Bernard Law "Monty"

Date of birth:
November 17th, 1887 (Kensington, United Kingdom)
Date of death:
March 24th, 1976 (Isington Mill/Hampshire, United Kingdom)
Buried on:
Grave Bernard Montgomery Binsted
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Promotions:
September 1908: 2nd Lieutenant;
April 1st, 1910: Lieutenant;
?: Captain;
February 12th, 1915: Brigade Major;
July 16th, 1918: temporary Lieutenant-Colonel;
July 26th, 1925: Major;
?: Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel;
January 17th, 1931: Lieutenant-Colonel;
June 29th, 1934: Colonel (seniority January 1st, 1932);
August 5th, 1937: temporary Brigadier;
October 28th, 1938: Major General (seniority May 21st, 1938);
July 22nd, 1940: acting Lieutenant General;
July 22nd, 1941; temporary Lieutenant General;
October 16th, 1942: Lieutenant General;
November 11th, 1942: General;
September 1st, 1944: Field Marshall.

Career:
?: The King's School, Canterbury;
?: St Paul's School, Londen;
? - 1908: Royal Military College, Sandhurst;
1908: 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment;
1912: Adjutant, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment;
1915: Brigade Major, 112th Brigade;
?: Brigade Major, 104th Brigade;
1916: General Staff Officer, 33rd Division;
July 1917: General Staff Officer, IX Corps;
1917: GSO1, 47th (2nd London) Division;
?: Commanding Officer, 17th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers;
1920: Staff College, Camberley;
January 1921: Brigade Major, 17th Infantry Brigade;
May 1923: 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division;
1925: Company Commander, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment;
January 1926: Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Staff College, Camberley;
January 1929: Commanding Officer, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment;
1931: Comanding Officer, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment;
1932: Instructor, Indian Army Staff College;
June 1937: Commanding Officer, 9th Infantry Brigade;
October 1938: Commanding Officer, 8th Infantry Division;
July 1939: Commanding Officer, 3rd (Iron) Infantry Division;
1940: Commanding Officer, II Corps;
1940: Commanding Officer, 3rd (Iron) Infantry Division;
July 1940: Commanding Officer, V Corps;
April 1941: Commanding Officer, XII Corps;
December 1941: Commanding Officer, South-Eastern Command;
August 13th, 1942: Commanding Officer, Eighth Army;
January 1944: Commanding Officer, 21st Army Group;
1945: Commander-in-chief (C-in-C), British Army of the Rhine (BAOR);
1946: Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS);
1948: Chairman of the Western Union Defence Organization's C-in-C committee;
1950: first Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Forces in Europe (DSACEUR).

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Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 10th Brigade, 4th Division, British Army
Awarded on:
December 1st, 1914
Citation:
"Conspicuous gallant leading on 13th October, when he turned the enemy out of their trenches with the bayonet. He was severely wounded."

LG 28992/10118.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Captain
Awarded on:
February 17th, 1915
Mentioned in Dispatches
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Temporary Major
Awarded on:
December 11th, 1917
Mentioned in Dispatches
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Temporary Major
Awarded on:
May 20th, 1918
Mentioned in Dispatches
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel
Awarded on:
December 12th, 1918
Mentioned in Dispatches
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit:
1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 10th Brigade, 4th Division, British Army
Awarded on:
January 7th, 1919
Croix de Guerre (1914-1918)
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Temporary Major
Unit:
Headquarters, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), British Army
Awarded on:
July 5th, 1919

General Staff Officer, 2nd grade (GSO2)
Mentioned in Dispatches
Rank:
Major-General
Unit:
Headquarters, 8th Infantry Division, British Army
Awarded on:
July 15th, 1939
Mentioned in Dispatches
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major-General
Unit:
Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division, British Army
Awarded on:
July 11th, 1940
Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant-general
Unit:
Headquarters, Eighth Army, British Army
Awarded on:
November 11th, 1942
Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB/DCB)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General
Unit:
Headquarters, Eighth Army, British Army
Awarded on:
June 24th, 1943
Mentioned in Dispatches
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General
Unit:
Headquarters, Eighth Army, British Army
Awarded on:
August 10th, 1943
Legion of Merit - Chief Commander (LoM - CC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General
Unit:
Headquarters, Eighth Army, British Army
Awarded on:
January 13th, 1944
Mentioned in Dispatches
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
June 20th, 1944
Basilikon Tagma toy Georgioya A - Grand Commander
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
July 30th, 1944
Grand Croix de l' Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
July 30th, 1944

With palm
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
October 4th, 1944
Orden Suvorova 1
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
October 31st, 1944
Order Virtuti Militari Grand Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
June 14th, 1945
Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (GCB)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
July 14th, 1945

Royal decree no.1
Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw - Ridder Grootkruis (NL.1)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
August 2nd, 1945
Elefantordenen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
December 3rd, 1946
Order of the Garter
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
January 16th, 1947
Awarded for:
Operation Overlord
"Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. MONTGOMERY, KCB DSO.
For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service. Field Marshal MONTGOMERY was in direct command of the Allied armies in the initial assault on the Normandy beaches in June 1944. The success of this invasion, against seemingly impregnable fortifications, was in large measure due to the careful planning and throrough training under his guidance of all echelons of the engaged troops. Its success was also due to the intense feeling of optimism and confidence which this great leader instilled in the rank and file of the invasion force. Throughout the succeeding campaigns on the Continent of Europe, which culminated in the total defeat of Germany, this officer commanded an Army Group through countries notable for their natural barriers of rivers and inundated areas. He consistently displayed determination, resourcefulness, courage, brilliant leadership, and outstanding skill."
Distinguished Service Medal - Army (DSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
November 17th, 1948
Medaille  Militaire
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
March 25th, 1949
Grand Cross to the Order of Solomon's seal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Field Marshal
Unit:
Headquarters, 21st Army Group, British Army
Awarded on:
July 10th, 1951
Sanct Olavs Orden Grand Cross
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Captain
Wound Stripe

War Diary mentions

5 February 1944 WO 171/1387 - 2 Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Battalion addressed by General Sir Bernard Montgomery, K.C.B., D.S.O.

6 February 1944 WO 171/1397 - 2 East Yorkshire Regiment
Visits and inspections. Gen Sir B. Montgomery K.C.B. C in C 21 Army Gp visited representatives of 8 Br Inf Bde.

8 February 1944 WO 171/847 - 23 Hussars
General Montgomery addressed Bde.

8 February 1944 WO 171/2401 - 171 Company
Unit on Parade (310 All Ranks) with 159 Inf. Bde inspected by C n C 21 Army Gp. (General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery K.C.B. D.S.C.) at HORNSEA.

8 February 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
General Montgomery visits Bde. Ceremonial Parade held on Grammar School Grounds. He was particularly pleased to see his old friends of 3rd Tanks. “so many of my old friends”.

8 February 1944 WO 171/1349 - 3 Monmouthshire Regiment
General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery KCB, DSO, Commander-in-Chief, 21 Army Group, visited the Battalion an daddressed the troops at ROWLSTON CAMP. Lt G.E. Gibbs and his party returned from LIMEHOUSE Street Fighting Course No 2. Lts E.A. Campbell and C.E. Spooner attended 'I' Couse at 8 Corps HQ.

9 February 1944 WO 171/607 - 6 Guards Tank Brigade
The Bde proceeded to HQ 8 Corps to hear an address by General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery K.C.B., D.S.O., Commander-in-Chief 21 Army Gp.

9 February 1944 WO 171/1255 - 4 Grenadier Guards
No. 3 Sqn moved to SAND HUTTON today by tpt for a visit by General Sir Bernard Montgomery, KCB., DSO. Otherwise Sqns at the disposal of Sqn Leaders for normal trg and maintenance.

10 February 1944 WO 171/1359 - 8 Rifle Brigade
General Sir Bernard Montgomery, C in C 21 Army Gp inspected the Bn with the rest of 29 Armd Bde on the ground of BRIDLINGTON High School.

20 May 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
Commanding Officer attends conference “BREAKER II”. Codeword given to conferences held by General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, KCB, DSO.

31 May 1944 WO 171/607 - 6 Guards Tank Brigade
The Brigade Commander, Chief Umpire, Bn Commanders attended a lecture by General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, K.C.B., D.S.O., at TUNBRIDGE WELLS.

7 June 1944 WO 171/1396 - 1 Worcestershire Regiment
Officers and Warrant Officers attended Divisional Conference at HASTINGS. Personal message received from General Montgomery also message from General Eisenhower.

18 June 1944 WO 171/866 - 3 Royal Tank Regiment
C.O. attends conference at Div HQ, C in C Gen Montgomery addressed all C.Os in Div.

18 June 1944 WO 171/997 - 151 Ayrshire Yeomanry
Commanding Officer attended conference for all Commanding Officers 11 Armd Div held by C-in-C 21 Army Group General Sir Bernard L Montgomery KCB, DSO, at 1730 hrs.

18 June 1944 WO 171/691 - 159 Infantry Brigade
General Montgomery, C in C 21 Army Gp spoke to all COs of the Div on the present op. He was accompanied by Sir James Grigg, Secretary of State for War.

3 July 1944 WO 171/1322 - 6 KOSB
The Bn arrived in a rest area near SECQUEVILLE-EN-BESSIN in the early morning. The whole day was spent in re-org and rest. In the morning the Div Comd visited the Bn and addsd all ranks. He read a letter of congratulation received from Gen Montgomery on the fine performance of the Div and added his personal thanks. Weather fair

6 July 1944 WO 171/474 - 15 Reconnaissance Regiment
Gen. Montgomery addressed all C.Os. of 15 (S) Division and gave a resume of what had been done and what he hoped would happen. Regiment still at rest.

6 July 1944 WO 171/1387 - 2 Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Front still un-naturally quiet. An ‘A’ Coy patrol led by Lt CW Jarvis got right up into LEBISEY WOOD on a very moonlight night without being fired at. However, they finally ran right into a German Post and sustained two Casualties from a stick of grenades. All Anti-Personnel and Anti-Vehicle Minefields in the area were lifted during the day. Preparations for Op ‘Charnwood’ continue. A letter received from Gen Sir Bernard L Montgomery – KCB, DSO – in which he sends his very best wishes to all Officers and Men of this Bn. An extract from this letter published in Routine Order No. 17/1 dated 7 Jul 44.

25 July 1944 WO 171/607 - 6 Guards Tank Brigade
The Bde Comd, B.M., D.A.A. & Q.M.G. and other staff offrs from Bde H.Q. went to Tac H.Q. 21 Army Gp a few miles N. of BLAY to hear the C.i.C. give an address to all offrs in the Bde down to and including Sqn Ldrs, C.Os of the Bde Services and Adjts. General Montgomery surveyed the progress made since D. Day and told us the trend of future ops to come. It was the first time he had addressed offrs down to Sqn Ldr level. He explained that normally he spoke only down to Comd Offr level in Divs but that as we were an Independent Bde, and therefore not so numerous, he had arranged for Majors to attend as well. After his talk he invited offrs to inspect his two spacious Italian caravans in which he lives. Practically intact specimens of a “Tiger” and “Panther” were inspected in an adjoining field.

25 July 1944 WO 171/1255 - 4 Grenadier Guards
The Commanding Officer, 2nd in Comd. and Sqn. Leaders attended a conference at General Montgomery’s HQ this morning. The C.-in-C. welcome this formation to FRANCE and gave a brief review of events to date, but would not commit himself to the future.

27 July 1944 WO 171/1387 - 2 Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Gen Sir Bernard L Montgomery – KCB, DSO, accompanied by the Div Comd, presented awards to members of the Div at 185 Inf Bde HQ, and then visited the Bn. He went round the Bn talking to the Coys and then had tea in the Officers' Mess. During the day a large number of men visited a performance by George Formby at the Corps Rest Camp. Maj RG Kreyer discharged from hospital and rejoined Unit.

3 August 1944 WO 171/466 - 15 (Scottish) Infantry Division
Visit by Gen (now Field Marshal) Sir Bernard L Montgomery, KCB, DSO.

6 September 1944 WO 171/1276 - 2 Cheshire Regiment
Move off to new locn. Just before we were due to move off in column. - Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery stopped to talk with the Commanding Officer and presented the Bn with a package of 5,000 cigarettes. Passed through TOURNAI – RENAIX – NEDERBRAKEL to the accompaniment of an amazing welcome from the civilian population - who hailed us as "The Liberators of the World” etc.

7 September 1944 WO 171/341 - 30 Corps
Field Marshal Montgomery visited Corps Commander at BRUSSELS.

15 September 1944 WO 171/474 - 15 Reconnaissance Regiment
'C' Sqn were ordered to watch the area SOUTH of the JUNCTION Canal to prevent any infiltration between the DONCK Br and the 44 Bde B'head at 0792. They remained there during the day. 'B' Sqn carried out the task of contacting 7 Armd Div and returned to harbour having completed the task of handing over to 7 Armd Div by 1500 hrs. Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, DSO, MC, visited Div HQ to present medal ribbons awarded in earlier battles. The Regt formed the Guard of Honour which was commanded by Capt L.T. FORD. The Div Comd complimented the Regt on the high standard of turn-out.

14 November 1944 WO 171/969 - 7 Field Regiment
Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery visited the Div Area to present awards. Amongst those who received medels were Major J.F. Lister and Major R.H.W. Dunn, both of whom received the MC.

14 November 1944 WO 171/1334 - 2 Lincolnshire Regiment
The Battalon was releived by 1 KOSB and movedto the areanof ST. ANTHONIS with Bn. HQ at 726379. To-day Field Marshall Sir Bernard Montgomery KC.B. D.S.O. Commander-in-Chief 21 Army Group visited the area to present decoratios to Officers and men of the 9th British Infantry Brigade. Members of the Battalion who received awards were, Maj. L.H.B. Colvin MC and Lcpl. Dyson MM. During our stay in ST. ANTHONIS the battalion was at 3 hours notice to operate in a counter attack role as detailed in 2 Lincolns O.O. no. 8.

14 November 1944 WO 171/1384 - 2 Royal Ulster Regiment
Inter Bn relief carried out, Bn taking over posn occupied by 1 KOSB, about half a mile in rear of the position oposite of SMAKT. Move began at 830 hrs & was completed by 1300 hrs. During the afternoon Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery KCB DSO visited Div HQ & distributed decorations awarded for recent battles. The four members of the Bn receivingdecorations were Capt Montgomery MC, C/Sjt Sharkey DCM, Cpl Reid MM, and Rfn Charles MM. A group photograph was taken of the recipient s with the C-in-C & GOC, the recipients subsequently receiving a photograph. A party left for Div Club at 820 hrs. CM OP established at Bn HQ submitted 3 mortar reps. Weatherstill cold & stormy.

28 November 1944 WO 171/867 - 5 Royal Tank Regiment
Investiture by Field-Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery at BREE at which the CO, Lt.Col. Holliman MC was awarded the DSO, the Adjt - Capt Garnett the MC Maj Macdonald and Lt. Dixon the MC. L/Cpl Dove the MM.

29 November 1944 WO 171/1309 - 1 Highland Light Infantry
Presentation by Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery KCB. DSO. of honours awarded during present campaign. He announced that Home leave would start as from 1 Jan 45.

29 November 1944 WO 171/3515 - 127 Town Major
Field Marshall Montgomery visited Rear H.Q. 53 Div.

30 November 1944 WO 171/838 - 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards
The C. in C. 21st Army Group (Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery K.C.B., D.S.O., M.C.) decorated certain Officers and ORs of 8 Armd. Bde and 43 Div. at an investiture held at TREBEK in the morning. No. 7902643 Sergt. Wilcox W. "B" Sqn. was the 4/7th RDG man to receive an award - the M.M. for gallantry at RAURAY (in the Normandy beachhead) when serving with the 24 L. The Commanding Officer, Adjutant, Major S.R.M. Jenkins, the RSM. and a number of other ranks of "B" Squadron attended as spectators. Among others to receive awards were Brigadier G.E. Prior-Palmer (Comd. 8 Armd. Bde) – the DSO. Before the investiture a programme of music was played by the Life Guards Band. A2 and B Echelon were moved to a transit area near BRUNSSUM in the afternoon, very little details were made known about this move by higher formation and it was done at short notice necessitating a speedy "pack up".

30 November 1944 WO 171/1286 - 4 Dorsets
Lt Col W.Q. Roberts decorated with DSO by Field Marshal Montgomery.

30 December 1944 WO 171/1306 - 7 Hampshire Regiment
C.O. with certain officers & a percentage of ORs attended an investiture by Fd Marshall Sir Bernard Montgomery at BRUNSUM when Lt HA Taylor received the ribbon of the Military Cross.

30 November 1944 WO 171/858 - 1 Lothians and Border Yeomanry
Aft.: G.O.C. 79 Armd Div (Maj Gen Sir Percy C.S. HOBART KBE, CB, DSO, MC) visited DREWFORCE HQ and talked to the Commanding Officer. C.in C. 21 Army Group (Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery KCB, DSO) visited DREWFORCE HQ accompanied by G.O.C. 30 Corps (Lt. Gen B.G. HORROCKS CB, DSO, MC,). He was introduced to a party of DREWFORCE Officers, including the following from the Regiment:- Commanding Officer, Second-in-Command (Major I.S. BALMAIN) Adjutant (Capt. A.J.P. Scott) Os.C. and 2 i/cs “B” and “C” Sqns (Major R.K. WATSON Major R.G. BENNETT, Capt J.D. HENDERSON, Capt. R.S. HENMAN). He examined a Crab, a Crocodile and an AVRE. The Crab, with crew commanded by Cpl. Imrie, was supplied by “B” Sqn.

1 December 1944 WO 171/1254 - 2 Grenadier Guards
Bn still in the line in the area of GANGELT sp 1 Mot Gren Gds. No. 1 Sqn relieved No. 3 Sqn in GANGELT. No. 3 Sqn moved to SCHINVELD. Bn still under Comd 32 Gds Bde. Trg of spare crews continued. Investiture held by Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, K.C.B, D.S.O.

1 December 1944 WO 171/838 - 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards
C. in C. 21 Army Group (Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery KCB., DSO., MC.) visited HQ 8 Armd. Bde at 1015 hrs.

1 December 1944 WO 171/837 - 2 Household Cavalry
F.M. Montgomery held an investiture at HQ Gds Armd Div GANGELT and the following members of 2 HCR were decorated: MC: Major E.J.S. Ward - Major A.W.P.P. Herbert - Capt R. Wrottesley - Lieut A.J.R. Buchanan Jardine - Lieut F.W Groeninx Van Zoalen - Lieut T.Hanbury - Lieut A.V.Young DCM: C of H Thompson MM: Cpl Brooks L.G. Band played at the investiture which was thus quite a Household Cavalry party.

1-5 December 1944 WO 171/1394 - 4 Wiltshire Regiment
FM Sir Bernard Montgomery visits Bn HQ and meets HQ Offrs and Coy Comds. Bn remains in rest area until 5 Dec during which time admin was carried out and a few periods of close order drill. There was also a trg cadre for Junior NCO's. Cinema shows were available each day at BRUNSSUM (7662 1/25000 48 SE).

8 December 1944 WO 171/1302 - 6 Green Howards
Field Marshal B.L Montgomery addressed aIl Officers of the Div at YPRES. The Field Marshal gave a resume of the campaign up to the present date. A message was received from the Corps Comd (Gen Horrocks 30 Corps) who tendered best wishes to the Div in their new role and hoped to meet many members of the Div, if not in 50 Div, at least as individuals in new regts, and fighting as with the same vigour as before. He closed his message by saying, "The TT Boys will be much missed by everyone."

11 December 1944 WO 171/1334 - 2 Lincolnshire Regiment
Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery presented medal ribbons to the Officers and men mentioned on the 6th. Each recipient was presented with a photograph of the C-in-Chief pinning on the medal ribbon

11 December 1944 WO 171/1397 - 2 East Yorkshire Regiment
Field Marshall Sir Bernard Montgomery visited Monastry Theatre GEMERT at 11.00 hrs to present decorations and awards to Officers and men of the battalion:-

13 December 1944 WO 171/466 - 15 (Scottish) Infantry Division
Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, KCB, DSO, presented medal ribbons to 36 offrs (incl 2 Canloan offrs) and 40 ORs of the Div. Afterwards he spoke to senior offrs of the Div.

13 December 1944 WO 171/1371 - 7 Seaforth Highlanders
Guard of Honour for Field Marshal Montgomery at ZOMEREN. The Bn provided Guard of Honour under Capt Keary. Div Comd expressed his satisfaction with the Guard by a complimentary letter.

13 December 1944 WO 171/474 - 15 Reconnaissance Regiment
Situation unchanged. Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery visited the Div to present medal ribbons to recipients of awards granted to date. He presented medal ribbons to 5 Officers and 7 ORs of the Regiment and afterwards spoke to the assembled recipients of the Div on the War in general, and later to the Comds and 2 i/c's of the Bns and Regts in the Div on the War in more detail.

15 December 1944 WO 171/1369 - 2 Seaforth Highlanders
Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, KCB, DSO, C in C 21 Army Group presented medal ribbons to offs and men of 51 (H) Div at ST MICHAELS-GESTEL 3440. The C in C spoke to the assembled members of the Div and complimented them on their Division's record in the present campaign.

15 December 1944 WO 171/678 - 153 Infantry Brigade
Field Marshal Sir B.L. Montgomery, K.C.B., D.S.O., visited the Div during the morning and presented medal ribbons to those members of the Div who bad been decorated during the campaign. The Bde Comd attended and was presented with the ribbon of the DSO. Parties from each bn in the Div attended the investiture which was held in the Seminary at ST MICHELS GESTEL 3440. After the ceremony the Field Marshal spoke to those present and mentioned the great part that 51 (H) Div had played in the many battles the British and Canadian Armies had fought since D Day. The Field Marshal then went to Div HQ for lunch and after his departure a conference for Bde Comds was held at which future operations were discussed.

21 December 1944 WO 171/837 - 2 Household Cavalry
2 HCR came under comd 0200 hrs of 30 Corps who had moved to HASSELT and at 1000 hrs of Gds Armd Div. Responsibility was now incl CHARLEROI - NAMUR (which was held by a scratch force from ARUs and ARGs in BRUSSELS) - incl HUY. A rt B centre D left. The method adopted was for a tp to be responsible for a bridge or ferry. This entailed cars being placed in a tactical position near the site being watched. A permanent guard being placed at the site. Tps were billetted in n[.........]ease at or near the site. The tie up with the various parties concerned i.e. US anti sabotage guards, US REs (on the US Brs at HUY and ARDENNE) British REs; British FS Sections and Belgium Grendarmes took a great deal of time and much mileage and work by the C.O. C Sqn sent out offr scout car patrols to contact US units in area OUFFET - MARCHE - ROCHEFORT and got much valuable information as very little was known of what the Americans were doing or who they had on the ground. 29 Armd Bde who had been refitting had now appeared on the right under direct comd of 21 Armd Group and 43 Div were moving down to take up position on the Meuse from HUY - VISE. The fog of war was very thick and it is hard to describe how little Second Army knew of what was happening on the American front. Actually the Americans by hanging on to the main centres of communication VIESACH - MARCHE - BASTOGNE were already slowing up the German thrust and except to the immediate West of the thrust towards DINANT and GIVET where the situation with 2 Pz Div thrusting through was fluid, a definite line was forming on both flanks of the bulge. Originally the 30 Corps plan was to let the Hun over the Meuse and then crack at him from the flanks but as the area for this battle if it came off was the US Supply Dump, F.M. Montgomery who had now taken comd of First and Third US Armies as well as of 21 Army Group, altered this plan to one of holding the line of the Meuse. 2 HCR at MELIN 9441. Another day of fog.

22 December 1944 WO 171/1251 - 4 Coldstream Guards
A reserve harbour party left us late night of 21st to go to H.Q. 9th U.S. Army to be alloted harbour areas. We received orders that the plan had been changed, owing to intersting captured enemy documents, which gave MAASTRICHT as the right of their objective. The new command was of interest, namely 6 G.T.B. u/c 51st (H) Div., u/c 12 Corps, u/c 9th U.S. Army which together with 1st U.S. Army was commanded by F.M. Montgomery.

27 December 1944 WO 171/837 - 2 Household Cavalry
2 HCR ordered to extend recce screen excl NAMUR -incl VISE (but excl LIEGE City). However C.O. attended a conference at Gds Armd Div at 1030 hrs (at which incidentally there was still a considerable fog as to what brs did or did not exist on the front) and the resposibility was agreed on as follows. 2 HCR to have recce screen excl NAMUR - excl LIEGE. 3 IG were however to be responsible for br at HUY, and the brs at LIEGE for each of which tasks they used 1 Coy. 2 HCR LO moved from 43 Recce Regt to 3 IG. This was done A rt D centre B left with C doing their liaison task to South of the river. B moved to ST GEORGES 3125. 2 HCR remained at POUCET but moved 29 Dec to BLEHEN which was a better billet for the men. 24,26 and 27 Dec were wonderful days for the air and during these days the tenacity of the Americans and the weight of the air sp slowed down the drive of the Pz Armies. On 26 Dec Capt. Cooper who was L.O. with 29 Armd Bde near the DINANT crossing of the Meuse reported a most impressive total of vehs armd and otherwise knocked out by air and arty and also grounded by lack of pet. 2 Pz Div who had formed the spearhead definitely, to quote Field Marshall Montgomery, had its head chopped of.

31 March 1945 WO 177/671 - 34 Casualty Clearing Station
Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, KCB, DSO, C-in-C, 21 Army Group, visited CCS.

Sources