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7 Royal Welch Fusiliers - War Diary

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#1 Swiper

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 07:12 PM

Ok... another 53rd Division War Diary this was 'rushed' onto my list as I realised I had promised to get this done rather sharpish for a person I met in France. The originals are handwritten... italics show hard to read areas. The tenses may shift but this is due to it being a day by day account and all hadn written/signed each day. Totally different to the 4th Welch's War Diary, this is far more 'boys own/readable' in my opinion.

Also arguably more 'human'... I did up to near the end of July today. The slaughter on the 17th July was during the battle for Evrecy, 158 Brigade was devastated, with most officers becoming casualties.

There is a reason Evrecy is written into pretty much every Fusiliers mind and seen as the darkest moment in the 53rd's fighting of the whole war.


June 1944 – War Diary


7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers


From 1st June 1944 to 30th June 1944


Appendices No 1 to No 5



CO: Major WH Clement
Location – Maidstone
3rd June – Battalion strength, 36 officers, 792 other ranks.

4th June – 1130 – CO conducted cloth model exercise on action in various areas after landing on the Continent. All officers and sergeants attended. [Ssee Appendix 1]
1430 – Conducted further cloth model exercise for officers only.
1630 – CO addressed all ranks on the football field and passed on messages from General Montgomery
Preparations for War continues. Waterproofing of vehicles now completed in first stage. Trial loading held last week

5th June – Preparation for War continues.

6th June – News received of Allied landings on the continent.

8th June – The Colonel of the Regiment (Major-General NM Wilson) addressed the Battalion and bade us farewell. The Brigade Command [did so?] afterwards. Overlord Order Instructions No.1 issued, the first men received Op Instructions to be issued by the Battalion. [See Appendix No. 2]

10th June – 0930 – CO, Adjutant and Intelligence Officer to Brigade to study certain possible lines in France. Battalion strength 37 Officers, 823 other tanks.

11th June – 1000 – Brigade Church Parade in Mote Park followed by an address from the Division Command.

13th June – 1800 – CO conducted Cloth Model on Night attack. The Battalion is still loaded and vehicles waterproofed ready to move off at short notice.

15th June – Battalion Recce Party under Captain Davie left for Marshalling and Embarkation. Areas the Battalion is now tied up to leave England.

16th June – 1400 – Adjutant to Brigade to receive movement instructions Battalion Order Groups at 1615 hours. The Battalion leaves tomorrow.

17th June – Final preparations completed. The Battalion is absolutely ready to move. Vehicles leave at 1000 hours to go to a Marshalling area North of the Thames. Marching troops leave by rail at 1600 hours to go to a Marshalling area North of Lewes. The preparations for this move have gone very smoothly owing to the hard work of all ranks specifically the CO, 2IC, Adjutant and Orderly Room Staff under Sergeant Phillips. The morale of this Battalion is at its very highest and all are already to take what is to come at to give it. So after almost four years of waiting the 7th Battalion goes to War. [See Appendix No.4]
1949 – Marching troops arrive dat Marshalling Camp 2 miles North of Isfield after an uneventful train journey.

Location – Marshalling Camp, Isfield
18th June – Battalion strength 36 Officers and 812 other Ranks. [See Appendix No.5]

19th and 20th June – Marching troops carried out training and after marched in organized bodies to Isfield.

21st June – Marching troops should have left for Embarkation Area today but was postponed. The 2IC (Major GFT Dixon) is commanding the Marching Troops, and the CO the transport.

22nd and 23rd June – Marching troops departure still delyed. The camp provides cinema and stage shows and the Fusiliers sing to assist in passing the time.

Location – The English Channel
24th June – First craft load of marching troops left the Marshalling area in transport for Newhaven the port of Embarkation. The Battalion is split up between the LCI [1](large) having approximately 190 all ranks abroad each craft, the 2IC is in command of one, Major Menzies the second and Major [Wann-illegible[2]] the third. Battalion embarked at 1500 hours. At 2000 hours the convoy formed up in the Channel outside the Harbor. At about 2400 hors the convoy sailed.

Location – The Field
25th June – After a very calm crossing, the Battalion arrived at its destination – the coast of Normandy. At 1330 hours the fist men disembarked onto a pontoon at La Riviere near Ver Sur Mer (map ref 9285). After disembarking straight to Assembly Area near Creully. At about 2000 hours the Battalion was lifted by Troop Carrying Company, RASC to the Brigade Concentration area near Trungy (7771) – south of Bayeux. Hear the Battalion Advance Party under Captain J Davies put the Battalion into form. We are in rear of 50th Division who are fairly thin on the ground therefore we had to take a proper Battalion defensive position.

26th June – Quiet day spent improving positions. The transport has still not arrived. In the afternoon the Intelligcent Officer (Lt CP Dryland) went to 10 DLI to spend the night with that unit in the frontline.

27th June – The Battalion transport arrived this morning. We are now all present in France,. NO casualties in route to either personnel or vehicles.

28th June – Waiting for movement orders, CO and Intelligence officer to Brigade in morning.

29th June – 1600 – CO attended conference held by General Montgomery at Divisional HQ but was called out in middle and given orders to move. Recce Parties left at 1700 hours for the new position at Bretteville L’Orgueilleuse (9272) when we are the taking over from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.

30th June – 1830 – Battalion marching troops and transport arrived and took over position. Day spend improving position.

We are not yet in the front line but about 3 miles from the nearest Bosch. So ends the eventful month of June 1944. Next month the Battalion will test its metal against the Huns having waited 5 years for the opportunity to do so.

IO, 7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers


3rd July 1944

[1] LCI = Landing Craft Infantry

[2] Find out name of Major – Wennink?

Edited by Swiper, 04 July 2009 - 07:43 PM.

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#2 Swiper

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 07:18 PM

Appendix No. 2

7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers

Overlord, Secret

8 June 1944

Op Instr No.1


Ref Maps: GSGS 2738, 1:250,000 Sheets 3a and 8
GSGS 4249 1:100,000 Sheets 6F and 7F (Limited Distribution)
GSGS 4250, 1:50,000 Sheets 6E6, 7E5,7E6, 6F2, 7F1, 6F4, 7F3, 7F4, 6F6, 7F5, 7F6.

1. This instr gives infm and instrs on various matters in connection with Op OVERLORD>

2. Air Riad Warning
The following system may still be in force when 53 Div lands:–
By Day
Army are not laying down any universal system of raid warnings by Day. Each beach will be arranging the most suitable method available which may be the ships hooters and sirens or short blasts on whistles. It will be the duty of Comds of parties on landing to find out what warning system is in use.
By Night
In the early stages the only form of warning will be given by ship’s siren:–
Alert … … … … 4 series of 3 short blasts.
All clear …… One prolonged blast
It is intended ultimately to make more elaborate arrangements, using air-raid sirens of the type in general use in the UK.

3. Blackout
Complete blackout as recognised in UK will be observed during hrs of darkness unless special instrs are issued to the contrary.

4. Orders for opening Fire at Aircraft after landing
a) Engagement by SA fire or by ALL units OTHER THAN 116 LAA Regt.
Will not open fire unless the enemy markings can be clearly seen or the aircraft is committing a hostile act, and ONLY UNDER SUPERVISION OF A NCO.
B) There will be NO firing at aircraft when friendly fighters are in the air.

5. Preservation of Civ. Installations
Particular care will be taken to avoid damaging, as far as possible:–
Power Stations
PTT Bldings and Repeater Stations
Canal Locks
Ry Wksps and Loco Depts
Cables, telegraph lines, power cables
Any Bldg likely to be useful for mil purposes, such as Hosps, schools, Monastic Institutes, etc.

6. Preservation of Antiquities and Historical Monuments
It is the duty of all ranks to preserve and protect antiquities and historical monuments unless it beyond doubt that they are in use by the enemy.

7. Signal Security
NO Telephone Lines, either Fd Cable or repaired enemy permanent routes, can be considered secure in the initial stages, owing to danger of enemy agents being left behind. As line comms are developed further instructions will be issued.

8. Time
a) The official time for Op OVERLORD is ZONE B time, i.e. Brit Double Summer Time.
B) Time Sigs will be taken from:–
i) BBC Time Sigs
ii) Joint Force Broadcast (about which details will be issued later)

9. Passwords
Passwords will be made known to ALL ranks, and will be changed at 1200 hrs.

10. Method of Challenging
The Passwords will be used as means of identification challenging in the following way:–
a) Second British Army. If the Password and answer from 1200 hrs on one day to 1200 hrs the next day is ‘Eggs and Bacon’, the method is:
Challenger: “Halt, who goes there?”
Answer: “Friend”
Challenger: “Advance friend and give password.”
Answer: “Eggs”
Challenger: “And Bacon, - Pass Friend”

B) First US Army
i) Different passwords are used by each of the following:–
Army HQ and Army Troops
Corps HQ and C Troops
Div HQ and within Divs
ii) The Challenger does NOT identify himself
iii) The method in use is:
Challenger: “Halt, who goes there?”
Answer: “Friend”
Challenger: “Advance Friend, and give the password.”
Answer: “Eggs”
Challenger: “Pass Friend” – (if he is satisfied with the answerer’s identity)
Challenger is not statisfied, he will say. – “Give the Parole.”
Answer: “And Bcaon”
Challenger: “Pass friend.”

Captain

JLK/SM Adjutant 7th Bn, The Royal Welch Fusiliers
Time of Sig 1230 Hours


7th Bn. The Royal Welch Fusiliers

Appendix A to Op INSTR No.1

Overlord

Secret

8th June 1944


To: 2i/c, SO, and IO

1. Intercomn.
Tac R Broadcasts
Results of the Second Army Tac R and certain reslected Ph R Results together with main items of 21 Army Gp will be broadcast on a frequency of 4,790 Kos as under:–
a) D to D+14 Every Odd Hour
B) D + 8 to D + 14 in the intervals of (a)
c) D + 14 onwards Probably every odd hour.
In the absence of Tels, the times of (B) are NOT known, and it will only be possible to pick up (B) by keeping continuous watch.

2. ALL Formations and Units capable of receiving the broadcast will do so forthwith. Sig Instrs are being issued separately.

Capt.,

JLK/SM Adjutant, 7th Bn, The Royal Welch Fusiliers

7th Bn. The Royal Welch Fusiliers

Appendix B to Op INSTR No.1

Overlord
Secret

8th June 1944


To: 2i/c and SO

1. Comns, Afloat
a) No 53 Div Wireless Set will operate from the time it moves to the Marshalling Area to the time it is ordered to open up in France.
B) During the voyage should it be necessary to send a vital message, such comns as are available on the ship or craft employed.
2. Comns on arrival in FRANCE
While the Div is conc in France comn will be mainly by IO and DR.
ONLY the Inf. Bde Links of the Div Comd Net will open up on a landing without receiving specific orders EITHER to keep a listening watch OR to open up.

Capt.,

JLK/SM Adjutant, 7th Bn, The Royal Welch Fusiliers
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#3 Swiper

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 07:18 PM

June 1944 – War Diary

7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers

From 1st July 1944 to 31th July 1944

Appendices No 1 to No 24

NOTE: This file is in dreadful condition but has a large file of maps attached


Location – Field
1st July – At 2330 hours on 30th June the CO held ‘O’ Group having previously recced a Battalion position in the front line in the Salient. We have now stabilised West of Caen. The Battalion moved up to the line after dark. We have taken over a sector from 10 HLI[1] in 15th Scottish Division in a wood south of Mondrainville. The map ref of the woods is 922623. D Company cannot be incorporated in the position since HLI had sufficed considerable casualties and therefore their area was very confined. Battalion strength 38 Officers and 801 other Ranks. [See Appendix [1]]

2nd July – 0100 – Battalion arrived and took over from 10 HLI – [quiet?] until Stand To informing the troops. Then there was considerable mortar fire and similar activity during the morning. At 1150 hours the CO gave order for two strong fighting patrols to be sent out. No. 1 Patrol under command of Major Menzies consisting of a platoon of A Company and one platoon of D Company, a Section of Mortars, Section of Carriers and a Section of Antitank guns. This force was later reinforced by the remainder of A Company. [See Appendix 2.] The Task was to see whether the village of Gaurus[2] and Bougy were free of the enemy. At about 1245 hours, this patrol started out. At 1400 hours the CO joined the force. On marching to the outskirts of Gaurus fter crossing the River Odon the patrol was fired upon by a number of German MG42 and by rifle fire. A pitched battle then ensured in which the patrol [sent?] heavily off the enemy using anti-tank guns and mortars to great effect. Two casualties resulted on our side and unfortunately when the forces withdrew had to be left behind. At 1700 hours the CO had orders form the Brigade to withdraw the patrol. No. 2 Patrol under command of Major Wenninh consisting of one Platoon of C Company with one section of mortars, and with one section of Carriers went out\ at about the same time as No.1 Patrol with the object of seeing if Monceaux 9061 was clear of enemy. At 1450 hours the patrol had crossed a steam which lay in between ourselves and Monceaux and had encountered several German MGs and mortars. After considerable fighting in which we received three casualties (wounded) who were all evacuated, Major Wennink was ordered to avoid unnecessary casualties and eventually to withdraw which he did at 1630 ho0urs. So ended our first two actual engagements with the Huns. At 1830 hours orders were received by the Battalion to hand over the position to 2nd Monmouthshire Regiment and to return to Oretteville L’Orgueillieuse. Mortaring had increased on this afternoon and two other ranks were killed – Corporal Ellis of C Coy and Fusilier Williams of the Pioneer Platoon. Between these casualties and including that of the Patrols the Bn had 16 wounded during that day up to 01000 hours 3rd July. Battalion HQ was very heavily mortared at about 2200 hours and A Company whilst handing over their position at 0030 hours 3rd July suffered 6 wounded through mortar fire.

3rd July – 0300 – Battalion arrived and went straight [to bed?] There was no Stand To. [Revillie?] turning at 1200 hours, 0900 hours CO and Recce Group out to recc e a rear defensive area close to Rauray 896. O Group held at 200 hours and ordered issued for the morning.

4th July – 0300 – Battalion moved and occupied positions recced yesterday. We are the reserve Battalion and had counter attack tasks on to 4th and 6th Battalion areas to the West and North West. Day spent digging in and receiving counter-attack roles. Slight enemy mortaring, suffering us casualties. Battalion HQ at 897654.

5th July – Day spent digging in sitting positions. CO recced counter attack role in the morning, some enemy mortaring and shelling during the day – no casualties. Companies and Battalion re receiving plenty of practice in submitting to shellings and mortars, but enemy’s effort do not compare with the amount our gunners and mortar men are sending over. At 2300 hours Lieutenant Vance (a Canadian Officer from D Company) and Lieutenant BJ Howes (C Company) accomplished patrols of 6th and 4th Battalions respectively they returned in early hours of the morning of 6th July having been in the area of Brettevillette, they obtained useful information regarding ground but saw no Huns only hearing sounds. [Trace of Battalion dispositions as Appendix 8]

6th July – Positions improved. Further recces for counter-attack roles carried out. Battalion was to have sent a patrol to Brettevillette at nightfall but this was cancelled since our arty was due to shell the village after dark. Hun shelling and mortaring – no casualties.

7th July – Quiet day, slight mortaring and shelling. CO inspected Battalion positions at 1730 hours and found layout most satisfactory a Hun attack on the Brigade position is expected during the weekend (today being Friday) – we are ready for him. Lieutenant DJP Edwards of C Company took out a first the Battalion night patrol at 2300 hours consisting of himself and Fusilier Legg (C Coy). The object of the patrol is to inspect certain areas in Brettevillette, the recce patrol had a covering party of one Sergeant (Sergeant Prince) and two Fusiliers. Lieutenant Edwards examined trenches, watched houses and a orchard but heard no movement and saw nobody. Bright moonlight provided a hindrance to movement but assisted observation. Returned 0420 hours. Orders for counter attack (Operation St David) issued. [See Appendix No 3 and No 4]

8th July – 0900 – CO briefed Lieutenant Griffiths (A Company) and Lieutenant Richards (B Company) for tonight’s patrol. CO and Intelligence Officer attended coordinating conferences at Brigade at 1400 hours, this together with the CO Order Group at 1900 hours has become a daily occurrence since occupying this position. Much less mortaring and shelling during the day. 2330 hours a fighting patrol of two Officers mentioned above consisting of 13 other ranks left to examine a house and orchard in Brettvillette to capture a prisoner and to secure an identification.

9th July – 0315 – Patrol returned having found Brettvillette area empty apart for a small party of enemy who safely withdraw on being attacked. Enemy shelling and mortaring practically nil during the day. Enemy tried to draw fire of 6 RWF, (left hand forward Battalion in area Rauray 8865) at about 1000 hours by smoke and scattered fire. [See Appendix No.5]

10th July –1330 – CO received orders from Brigade Command for Battalion to vacate present position and to take over a further [illegible – restive?] but most important position on higher ground just south of Le Haut du Bosq 9066. Position to be taken over at nigh from 1st Bn Ox and Bucks. Recce groups proceeded to new positions at 1500 hours. CO group and orders at 1930 hours. Battalion strength on 8th July, 36 Officers and 799 Other Ranks. Night Patrol of one officer (Lieutenant Jawlins?) and his platoon from D Company left for Brettevillette at 2300 hours with object of capturing a prisoner. The patrol was run in connection with 4 RWF thus making up the strength to about a Company. [See Appendix No. 6]

11th July – 0200 – Battalion all in our positions and digging is proceeding rapidly. AT 0500 hours the Night Patrol returned having not succeeded in its object, our platoon had examined the village and done the tasks set in it very well. [Traces of Battalion dispositions at Appendix No 7]
1800 – Representatives from 4 RWF arrived to take over from the Company positions before taking over on 13th.

12th July – Preparing to hand position over to 4 RWF and also visits to 4RWF present position prior to be take over. At 2230 hours the CO informed O Groups that change over was cancelled and that the whole Brigade was to be relieved. The possibilities that this cancellation opened up in the way of the Brigade being given an offensive role was greeted with great delight by all at O Group. Battalion received 9 loaves of bread (the first since landing in France) the loaves were distributed half a slice per man, to all men who had so far taken part in patrols! The Battalion lives on ‘Compo’ rations.

13th July – Day spent resting and preparing to move. At 1720 hours the transport left followed by marching troops, eventually arrived in the concentration area near to Norrey en Bessin 9270 after having been directed to a wrong area.

14th July – CO attended the Brigade O Group and had Battalion O Groups twice during the day. The Brigade is attached to the 15th Scottish Division (under command VII Corps) this Division is to establish a firm base from which 53rd Division is to advance as spearhead of the Corps. The line is to be seized by 44 Infantry Brigade from 120 king contour (9159) junction 1500 x South of Bougy (9160) and to large featured centred on Farm De Mondeville 9358 by 227 Infantry Brigade. Should 227 Infantry Brigade not succeed in pushing forward as far as this last objective, 158 Brigade with this Battalion forward will attack the feature. In any event this Brigade will take over the feature from 227 Infantry Brigade and hold it at all costs. Air photographs and special 1/25,000 maps with enemy positions already printed on them are issued to the Battalion and very carefully studied. The CO selected positions to be occupied from the aerial photographs.

15th July – 1000 – Battalion O Group attended briefing by Brigade Command on a sand model. A Company 6 RWF under Major E Hughes placed under command [of 7 RWF] for the coming operation. Recce party to Assembly Area at 0830 hours. Transport reloaded, carrier platoon being used to initially to carry stores ammunition etc fore the Rifle Companies. Battalion strength 36 Officers 794 other tanks. Alll preparations made for move before dark. [See Appendix No.10]

16th July – 0020 – Marching troops left for Assembly Area East of Mondrainville 9364 arriving at 0230 hours. Spent morning after arrival of F Echelon transport resting. CO and IO[3] attend Brigade Commanders Orders at 1400 hours. Battalion ordered to attack the Farm de Mondeville situated about 1200 yards across a tributary of the River Orne on the South side of the road Evrecy to Eterville. Recce Group carried out recce during after noon. C Company, 4 RWF under Major Cutcliffe and A Company 6 RWF commanded by Major Gresty placed in support for the attacks. CO’s final orders are given out at 2000 hours. 2130hours Companies started to move up to Battalion Start Line (about 3000 yards from the objective running approximately East and West through 935614). 2245 hours, IO and OC of HQ Company (Captain J Davies) commenced taking of Start Line.
2300 – Companies arrived on Start Line (which was in the Battalion area held by a Battalion of the Gordons) it was now profoundly dark and a heavy mist developed. This mist was to form a most serious drawback to the whole operation.
2330 – Companies crossed the Start Line. A Company right, B Company centre and A Company 6 RWF on the left. In reserve, C Company right, D Company Left. The Flank Protection Companies were C Company of 4RWF on the right of C Company 7th RWF, and C Company 4 RWF protected the flank of D Company 7 RWF. The first report line (CARDIFF) – the line of the Evrecy road was reached by all Companies and was reported. Command post of CO, IO, SO (UDC Jones) and Signallers with Intelligence personnel arrived on road at about 0045 hours. (Continued below)

17th July – Here it remained except for a slight move towards the stream and clear of the road where it was dug in for the rest of the operation. After Cardiff owning to the thickness of the mist, it was impossible for the Companies to tell what point in their advance they had reached. D and C Companies were known to have reached the stream (SWANSEA), A and B Companies location was uncertain. It transpired afterwards that platoons of both A and D Companies actually reached the main objective (the farm – STIRLING). Since Companies could not give the Command Post their locations and could not link up between themselves it was not possible to bring up Battalion Support weapons or to coordinate the consolidation. The CO had therefore to remain where he was and hope that the mist would clear at dawn. This however was not the case and at about 0700 hours the Brigade Command gave orders for the withdrawal of the Battalion. The position then appeared to be as follows; A Company had already withdrawn back to the Start Line, elements of B, C and D Company (less 18 Platoon) and A Company 6 RWF were on this line of the stream between 933594 and 937596. D and B Companies commenced withdrawal before first light to the line of Evrecy and close to the Command Post. A Company 6 RWF and C Company on receipt of the order converged by Sergeant Eglin of B Company commenced withdrawing at about 0800 hours and C Company 4 RWF who had been holding the right flank in the area of [Calway?] at 933598 also commenced to withdraw. Command post also moved on to road covered by a composite party of B and D Companies and A Company 4 RWF under command of Lieutenant GE [Watkins?] (D Company). At about this point the mist lifted and the withdrawing troops were exposed in this position to heavy mortar and machine gun fire. The CO called for smoke on the No. 19 set. Shortly after this the CO was badly wounded by mortar fire. All except stragglers of marching troops had by now go into cover of cornfields and dead ground beyond. All efforts at personnel remaining at the Command post were now directed to getting Colonel Williams safely back to our own lines. A stretcher was improvised and the party under command of the IO with SO and Lieutenant Jenkins around the remaining section moved off up the road. Further heavy mortar fire drove the party to ground once attain. The IO obtained further smoke from the gunners of the No. 19 set after which the stretcher party moved off under Lieutenant Jenkins. Lieutenant DC Jones was wounded in his leg on route. The party was rejoined by the IO and men after they had obtained further smoke and then destroyed the No.19 set. The CO and Lieutenant Jones eventually reached our lines after a long crawl through the corn and after further smoke had been laid by the gunners and by 77 grenades. Battalion HQ during the night moved up to the Evrecy road but then later on returned to the Start Line. The 2i/c (Major Dichen) and Adjutant (Captain Keating?) were with this HQ and had another line to Brigadfe. The IO was slightly wounded and also evacuated in addition to the CO and SO. During the remaineder of the day the Battalion reorganised in the area of Tourmanuville 9362. [Code-names for places are used during Operation ‘Greenline’ at Appendix No. 11]

18th July – During the night, Battalion area was bombed and mortared, estimated casualties for yesterday’s battle: 98 Ors missing, 100 Ors wounded or killed. Major Menzies (CO B Company), Lieutenant Machiny? (B Coy) and Lieutenant Jorpout (D Company) are reported missing. Lieutenant Cowan (A Company) Killed. The last two named officers were Canadian Officers loaned to the Regiment . The Battalion took over from the Gordon’s area of Cavalary Hill approximately 942623 during the afternoon.

19th July – During last night, Lieutenant Griffith and a patrol from A Company recced enemy positions. Battalion position shelled and mortared heavily throughout the day. A fighting patrol of one platoon from B Company under command of Lieutenant Richards with one section of mortars and section of carriers went out towards Esquay but withdrew on being heavily mortared. Later in the day Lieutenant Griffiths (A Company) took out a fighting patrol of one platoon of A Company to winkle out an 88mm gun, this patrol was also heavily mortared and forced to withdraw.

20th July – During last night Lieutenant Vanes and an OR from D Company recced strength and exact location of enemy in approx 940608, this information was obtained but other useful intelligence was obtained. A special patrol consisting of Lieutenant D Edwards (C Company) and two snipers (Fusiliers Guiller and Lacey) left for the Farm de Monraville inside the enemy lines during the night. Object of the patrol being to remain at the farm for 48 hours to collect information on enemy movements. Fusilier Guiller returned during morning of 21st having lost contact with the other two but having obtained most useful information. Battalion reorganised during the day on the basis of three companies remaining, two platoons of D Company being split up amongst A, B and C Companies. Officers in command as follows: Major Wannink has command assumed duties of 2i/C, Major D Curtiss left Battalion owing to ill health, Captain P Lewis in command of A Company, Captain W Black commanding B Company, Captain Thomas commands C Company. Major JEM Dugdale was awaiting the reforming of D Company.

21st July – Battalion mortared and shelled during day whilst the enemy launched attack on Battalion lest of our position.

22nd July – During last night Lieutenant Vanes took out a fighting patrol of himself and 4 men from B Company supported by covering party of one NCO and five men. The object was to capture a prisoner. The patrol was unsuccessful as there were no enemy. Captain LE Evans (formally 8 RWF) and 51 Ors from 8th and 13th Battalions joined the Battalion as reinforcements. Captain Evans is to assume command of Mortar Platoon. Battalion strength – 28 Officers, 581 other ranks (excluding reinforcements received today) [See Appendix No 12]

23rd July – Slight mortaring and shelling of position during the day.
2115- - 4th Bn Welch Regiment of 160 Brigade carried out a most successful raid on the crossroads at Le Bon Repos on this Battalions front, this raid was to avenge loss of one Company of 5th Welch rearlier in the week. Lieutenant DJP Edwards and his sniper – Fusilier Lacey – have not returned. They are now 24 hours overdue. Orders are given out for hand over of position to 1st Ox and Bucks tomorrow morning the IO (Lieutenant CP Byland) returned to the Battalion from hospital on the 21st.

24th July – 0500 – 1 Ox and Bucks commenced take over from 6 RWF and this Battalion completed by 0730 hours. Brigade now in reserve, refitting, washing, cleaning up etc. Battalion position is just south of Colleville – Battaion HQ at 923647. The personnel who were under Lieutenant I ME Ignleham? in England have no rejoined the Battalion. CO out to recce new area to be taken over by the Battalion at Eterville 9864.

25th July – Morning spent in recces by Company and Commands of our area. 6 RWF are at Maltot 9862 and 4 RWF at Chau de Fontaine 9763, this Battalion is to some extent the reserve Battalion. Marching troops left for new area at 1530 hours take over completed by 1830 hours, quiet day with no mortaring. Positions: Battalion HQ at 979644, A Company area of 982644, B Company area 986638, C Company area 983538.

[1] 10th Bn Higland Light Infantry

[2] Gavrus or Gaurus?

[3] Intelligence Officer
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#4 Owen

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 07:29 PM

Gavrus or Gaurus?



That'll be GAVRUS.

158 Battalion was devastated



158 Brigade.

More good work cheers

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#5 Swiper

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 07:43 PM

Darnit you're right. Gavrus/Gaurus was a hard one to work out, thanks for that :)

And as for 158 Battalion... its been a very, very long day! Now off to house party B)

More on Monday.
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#6 Swiper

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:47 PM

26th July – Short bombing attack in Bol area at 2345 hours last night. The CO, IO with Major Saunders (460 Battery) and CO of 153 RAC recced Battalion counter-attack role on Maltot in morning, Company commanders carried out recce in the afternoon.

27th July – 0230 – Lt KT Williams with a sergeant and a Fusilier returned from recce patrol on which they left 2330 hours last nigh. The object of the patrol was to gain information about enemy activity in the area 982614. This patrol was successful and encountered an enemy working party at 983617which was thought to be laying mines. A quiet day with little shelling or mortaring. B squadron, 53rd Recce Regiment took over C Company’s position in the afternoon and C Company are now in the area 987645. [See Appendix No 14]

28th July – 0400 – Lt Richards with the recce patrol of Fusiliers returned. They set out last night at 2330 hours to find out details of enemy covering positions in front of minefield discovered the previous night, no position was found. Major GFTB Dickson granted rank of Lt Col. Recce for counter attack carried out by platoon commanders. Operation instructions on counter attacks issued. [See Appendix No 15, No 16 and No 17]

29th July – Lt Howes patrol consisting of an NCO and 8 Fusiliers returned. This patrol set out at 2330 hours last night with the object of locating and destroying an MG42 at 985615, the MG was located but patrol encountered a platoon of Huns. Therefore Lt Howes decided with withdraw, having it is believed killed two Hun sentries with a grenade. Captured enemy 15 cm infantry gun and two 7.5 cm infantry guns found in battalion area fixed during the day by Major Saunders of 460 Battery (our support Battery) – were then fired at the enemy. Captain LIC Thomas and Captain WH Black promoted to the rank of Major. Battalion strength 27 Officers and 609 Other Ranks. [See Appendix No.18]

30th July – 0500 – Lt Jenkins recce patrol consisting of himself and two Fusiliers returned recced a second route to the MG discovered last night [See Appendix No.19]

31st July – 0450 – Recce patrol of two Ors under command of Lieutenant Griffiths having searched for enemy positions North of Feuguerolles-sur-Orne 9961, a certain number of posts were located but not pinpointed. [See Appendix No 20]
0500 – Lt Parry’s patrol of himself and 8 ORs returned. The object of this fighting patrol was to get a prisoner or identifications from the MG post recced previously by Lt Howes and Griffiths.. No enemy were seen, bright moonlight hindered both patrols. [See Appendix No 21and 22]
1445-1630 – Mortar platoon fired some 230 bombs on to located enemy platoon position, producing most satisfactory results. Since the 28th the Battalion has been supplying a Company nightly to thickening up the 6 RWF defenses in Maltot (9862). This Company has been in position at Stand To in the eveningand has returned to its own area at Stand Down in the morning. C Company carried out this durty until last night when B Company took over. In the Battalion area C company has taken over B Company’s position and vice versa. The Battalion today received 2 Officers and 107 Ors as reinforcements from 5th Battalion The Kings Regiment. A completed platoon has been allocated to each Rifle Company, A, B and C Companies.
So ends the most eventful month in the history of the Battalion during the present War – at least so far.
Field, 1st August 1944

IO, 7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers


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#7 Swiper

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:47 PM

Appendix No. 1


To: OC C Coy, OC Carrier, OC Mortars, OC AMR FOO
All supporting arms have reported o No move left before 1200 hours. Patrol command will take his Company’s wireless set and operators. Reports are required as follos. Bound 1 crsossroads 913626. Codeword Marmalade. Bound 2. Steam crossing 905620. Codeword Jam. Bound 3 Monceaux. Codeword Honey. FOO will also accompany the patrol.

Appendix No. 2

July 1944


To: OC C Coy, OC Carrier R, OC Mortar Pl
Enemy believed to be retiring from high ground in front. Intensions to clear ford route for armoured thrust. OC C Company will send out a fighting patrol of platoon strength ot find whether Monceaux 9061 is clear of the enemy. If this proves to be so Monceaux will be held until further orders from this HQ. OC Patrol will have one section carriers and one section mortars under Command. OC C Company will report to this HQ. [illegible – hand writing].
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Appendix No. 3

Patrol Report on Enemy Positions at Brettevillette

Date 7/8/7/44

Map 37/16 SE

Unit: 7RWF


Type of Patrol: Recce SP: 885655
Patrol Command: Lt DJP Edwards Time Out: 2350
Strength:1 Officer + 5 ORS Time In: 0400

Object: To find 1. Whether trenches at 884645 are occupied. 2. Any signs of occupation of houses at 883644. 3. Any enemy activity in orchard at 881644.
Answer to Object: No enemy seen or heard in any of the above.

Route: From SP south through fields leading to houses at 883644.
Visibility & Weather: Visibility good, very bright moonlight.

Narrative: Patrol moved out from 4 RWF at 2350 and dropped covering party at 88276491. Patrol commander and one man then moved in bright moonlight ot a point near the hedgerow junction at 882164449. Here he climed a tree and looked down into a series of slit trenches to his right rear at 883645. These consisted of 11 or 12 slits loosely arranged in 3 row over about 30 yards. They were unoccupied. The buildings showed no sign of life. There was no sound from the Orchard at 881644. At 0345 the Patrol Commander left the position having heard and seen no enemy. The covering party was still in position.
Interest: Sergeant i/c covering party reported hearing metallic clicks to his right front but this is not corroborated by the Patrol Commander.

Date: 8/7/44
Time: 0530 Hours

Signed DJP Edwards Lt – Patrol Commander
CP Dryland – Unit Patrol Master




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Appendix No. 4

July 1944

Operation ‘St David’

7th July 1944


Maps:– Present area

Information
1. Enemy – As obtaining at the time.
2. Own tps – 4 and 6 Bns in present positions
Under comd 7 Bn
2 tps M10s (8 guns)
1 tps 17 pdrs (4 Guns)
In support 7 Bn
1 Pl MMG (4 guns)
B Sqn CLY (19 Shermans organised in 4 tps of 4 tanks
each and Sqn HQ)

Intention
3. 7 Bn will recapture the Rauray feature.

Method
4. General Plan
A and D Coys – assault (from North to South) sp by tanks
C Coy – follow up
B Coy and Carrier Pl – reserve

5. Phases
The operation will be carried out in 4 phases
Phase I – Concentration
Phase II – Forming up
Phase III – Assualt
Phase IV – Reorganisation
Phase I
6. Codeword Red Dragon
7. Action on Codeword
a) Codeword sent out to the following
All Rifle Coys
Carrier Pl
Mortar Pl
Atk Pl
FOO 460 Bty RA
B Sqn Tanks
MMG Pl
Tp 17 prs
Tp M10s
B) A Coy concentrates in area 896664
c) D Coy concentrates pls and trickles them fwd to FUP. Coy takes up posn of all round defence until arrival of A Coy.
d) Fwd Fire Controller 3” Mort Pl reports with 38 set to A and D Coys.
e) Carrier Pl moves up to res sec to area 893655.
f) Tank LO reports with Scout car
g) 1 sec 17 prs gets on wheels
h) OC 114 A.Tk Bty RA reports Bn HQ
i) Comd Post (CO’s carrier, Tank LO, FOO 460 Bty, OC 144 A.Tk Bty RA) moves to area 896664.
j) B Sqn Tanks forms up.

Phase II
8. Codeword Tudor
9. Action on Codeword
a) [HQ] Coy and Comd Post move to FUP
B) Mortar Pl prepares to smoke from 8846577 to 88336601. This will be on call from Bn HQ.
c) RA prepares to fire Tudor smoke screen (if required by tanks) from 88716576 to 89296591 to cover move to FUP. HE superimposed.
d) Tanks protect move of rifle coys to FUP.
e) Res coys fwd bns requested to give all possible assistance in covering this move.
f) Carrier Pl acts according to instructions already issued.

10. Forming Up
a) Rifle Coys form up in rear of SL already selected – A Coy right, D Coy left.
B) All terminals report ‘Tudor Ready’ when ready to carry out Phase III
c) A Coy responsible for safeguarding approach to FUP from Tessel-Bretteville direction.
d) Tanks take up posn to cover Phase III.
e) MMG 8 Pl protects move to FUP from present position. 7 Ok prevents enemy reinforcements moving from Bretteville and Quedeville from area 895655.

Phase III
11. Codeword St David
12. Attack
a) Objectives As pointed out on ground
B) Formation 2 Pls up
2 Secs up
Right Pl A Coy moves along copses and hedgerow at 887662 and 888658
c) Bounds 1st – Road Le Haut Du Bosq-Hessel-Bretteville
2nd – Objectives
a)[FONT="] [/FONT]Rate of Advance 100 yds in 2 mins
B)[FONT="] [/FONT]Arty i) smoke screen from H to H+20 on line from 88396576 to 88826554. HE superimposed.
ii) Concentrations ‘Mustard’
Regtl HE concentration on Rauray NW from 88486545 to 88826552.
Regtl HE conc on Rauray E 88936555. This only if no own tps holding out in this area.
Bty HE conc on Trenches 89006549 to 89206551.
All above concs only at call from Bn HQ.
iii) Concentrations ‘Pepper’
88286536 to 88706496 (At Call)
88706596 to 89246497 (At Call)
89246497 to 89726500 (At Call)
89206548 to 89706555 (At Call)
iv) Concentrations ‘Salt
87836508 to 88046464 (At Call)
88006541 to 88476442 (At Call)
88436429 to 88936414 (At Call)
c)[FONT="] [/FONT]MMG a) 8 Pl area 894663
Task – Neutralise enemy posts on North edge of Rauray and destroy enemy inf accompanying tanks. When fire of this Pl is masked one sec will move to area St Nicholas TE 883672 and neutralise exits from Brettevillette.
7 Pl As for Phase II
d)[FONT="] [/FONT]6 prs Remain in action in present posns until ordered to move fwd in Phase IV
e)[FONT="] [/FONT]17 prs One sec [remain] in area 895658 firing S.
One sec in area edge of wood about 89464 and 894662
f)[FONT="] [/FONT]M10s Continue to protect left flank of attack
g)[FONT="] [/FONT]B & C Coys, Carrier Pl Give all possible support to attack of A and D Coys as already ordered.
h)[FONT="] [/FONT]C & D Coys 4 Bn Requested to give all possible support.
One tp Fireflies support from area 894662
i)[FONT="] [/FONT]Tanks One tp Fireflies support from area 894662
2 tps move with attack on left of D Coy
1 tp moves with attack on right of A Coy

Phase IV
13. [C?] Coy will move up to pre-selected posns in the areas 887654, 888654, 887656,
14. B Coy remains present posn to protect left flank.
15. Carrier Pl Will be prepared to move to any threatened flank on orders Bn HQ
16. M.10s a) 1 sec to area 887654
1 sec to area 887655
1 sec to area 883659
B) and c) to be prepared to move to area 2nd RA of Rauray
if situation demands.
17. 17 prs Remain present posn.
18. 6 prs Move to pre-selected posns on orders Bn HQ

Administration

19. Arm
a) All arm additional to Bn reserve to be dumped now in Coy areas
B) Coy carriers to be loaded according to Bn scales for consolidation

20. Food
QM will liase with SC and arrange to dump compo packs, 24 hrs rations (if procurable) in the Bn area. This will be redistributed, if necessary, on orders from Bn HQ.

21. Water
RE is endeavouring to procure canvas water tank. OC HQ will recce a suitable place for erection of this when it arrives.

22. RAP
Remains present location

Inter-Comn
23. Wireless
18 sets to CO’s carrier, 2IC, A, B, C, D Coys, Carrier Pl, A.Tk Pl, Mortar Pl.

24. Com with Sp Arms
M10s: Carrier moving with Comd Post
17 prs:18 set
MMG: 18 set
Tanks LO moving with Comd Post
RA: FOO moving with Comd Post

25. Bn HQ
a) Main HQ remains in present location
B) Comd Post moves with attacking Coy and establishes itself in area 888657

26. Success Signal
Rt Coy – 2 greens confirmed by R/T
Left Coy – 2 reds confirmed by R/T

27. Ack

THIS DOCUMENT WILL ON NO ACCOUNT BE TAKEN FORWARD INTO THE ATTACK AND MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO FALL INTO ENEMY HANDS.

AHW/JWP Williams, Lt Col Comd



Appendix No 5

Fighting Patrol to Brettevillette

Appendix I to Append A to 158 (RW) Inf Bde

Date: 8/9/7/44

Map: 37/16 SE

Unit: 7RWF


Type of Patrol: Fighting SP: 885654
Patrol Command: Lt AL Richards Time Out: 2330
Strength: 2 Officers: 13 ORS Time In: 0315

Object: To capture a prisoner and secure an identification
Answer to Object: No enemy seen met.

Route: Track 885654 – Hedgerow + track 881644 – Crossroads 882643.
Visibility & Weather: Cloudy at first: Moon later

Narrative: Patrol moved to hedgerow 88286526 when recce element heard movement in hedgerow to right. Fighting party made immediate attack but intruders got away under thick hedge shadow, probably in SW direction. Immediate area searched with no result. Estimated this party possibly 2 bt no more than 3.
Patrol continued to 88036367 when sound of digging from outpost position 4 RWF clearly heard. Patrol commander decided to wait to see whether this would draw out enemy patrol to investigate. Nothing happened and patrol again moved on to 88106446. Here staccato shouts and spandau fire were heard from high ground to right rear but owing to arty and mortar fire, exact location could not be ascertained. Probable area thought to be 875645.
Recce element then made complete circuit of orchard to houses at 88146437. No enemy was seen or heard and patrol returned, passing through standing patrol of 4 RWF at 882648.

Interest: At 88296526, on return journey at 15-20 feet length of trip wire was found running from a slight trench to a gate post. This was definitely not here on the outward journey but it may have been put down by the outpost platoon of 4 RWF. This has not yet been verified.

Date: 9/7/44 Signed AL Richards Lt, Patrol Comd
Time: 0525 hrs Signed CP Dryland Lt, Unit Patrol Master
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#8 Swiper

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:47 PM

Appendix No. 7

Patrol Report on Fighting Patrol

Date: 10/11 July 1944

Unit: 4 RWF

Type of Patrol: Fighting SP: 884656
Patrol Command: Major KLL Ellis Time Out: 2330
Strength:3 Officer + 40 Time In: 0500
Object: To capture/kill enemy in Orchards West of Brettevillette
Answer to Object:

Route: 884656 – 885653 – Orchards. Return direct

Visibility & Weather: Clear and fine


Narrative: About 2400 hours I passed through B Company lines and the platoon of 7 RWF under Lieutenant Jenkins moved off as ordered to secure a firm base in the village and to the right of Brettevillette. 0010 hours Lieutenant Saunders platoon and patrol HQ moved out. Company HQ behind the second section. When in the area of hedgerow 885653 Patrol HQ was shot up by a machine carbine. 2 men injured but fire was returned immediately and the rear section of Lieutenant Saunders platoon broke through the hedge. Owning to the time taken to breakthrough the hedge, which was extremely thick, no enemy could be seen. A search was made of the area but no enemy dead or injured had been left. The two casualties were send back and we re-formed and continued south down track. On arrival in hedgerow junction 884648, Company HQ were accurately mortared and made to disperse. 2 further casualties were suffered. Again we re-formed and pushed across country to contact Lieutenant Jenkins. But I was unable to contact him so I sent a small recce parry of to see if his platoon was in the village. At this stage my wireless was not working. The party came back and reported movement in Brettevillette but they were unable to say if it was enemy or friendly.
I was going forward with my CSM when I met Lieutenant Jenkins coming up the ride. It was now about 0400 and the enemy was again mortaring us in this position, 2 more men were injured.
Lieutenant Jenkins informed me that he had thoroughly searched the village and had made contact with my other two sections both whom had done their allocated tasks i.e. searching houses 8846644. He also informed me that there was not sufficient cover in the village to hide the patrol.
As it was getting light and we were obviously under enemy observation, I gave orders for a tactical withdrawal of the patrol, back to the Bn lines.
The skirmish during the early stages and the mortaring had inferred to such an extent that it would have been impossible to get the patrol hidden up with the short time available.
Special Points of Interest
2 Houses 885 644 which were reported to contain enemy were infact clear.
(6 casualties – all bought back)

Date 11 July 1944 signed KLI Ellis i/c Patrol
Time: 0645 hours K Saunders, Capt, Unit Patrol Master, IO

Appendix No 11

July 1944

Codewords allotted for Op Greenline

THIS CANCELLS ANY PREVIOUS NAMES LIST

Note: Serials are given in order from North to South

Serial
Place
Codeword

3

Chau de Fontaine 9763
WRESTLING

10

Gavrus 9161
CUP

11

pt 112 959616
SALTCELLAR

12

Le Bon Repos 946615
SHOOTING

13

Bougy 9161
DISH

14

Esquay 9460
SAUCER

15

pt 113 9360
PEPPERPOT

19

120 ring contour 9159-9260
MUSTARD POT

20

Evrecy 9259
KNIFE

22

Ferme Dalbray 915599
CLUTCH

23

rd Landes 8756 - Evrecy - Etteville 9864
HOLBEIN

25

R Orne
REMBRANDT

27

Ferme de Mondeville
GLIDING

28

Chau de Champ Goubert 925580
RACING

30

X Roads 9457
HUNTING

32

Maizet 9457
FORK

33

St Honorine du Fay
FISHING

Dist Os C Coy (less SP)

SP Pls

CO

2IC

SO

IO

Int Clerk (Cpl Coe)

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Appendix No.14

Patrol Report on Recce Patrol

Date 26/27 July 1944


Type of Patrol: Recce SP: 986640
Patrol Command: Lt KT Williams Time Out: 2330
Strength:1 Officer, 1 Sergeant, 1 Fusilier Time In: 0230
Object: To gain information of enemy activity in area 982614
Answer to Object: Enemy working party encountered area 983617

Route: SP – Cross-tracks 988638 – track and hedge junction 987631 – hedge and road junction 984627 – track junction 986621 – West along track and then South to about 984618

Visibility & Weather: Fine and cloudy.
Visibility about 15 yards.

Narrative:
Patrol past through Maltot and reached track junction 986621 before hearing anything. At this point sounds were heard from area 986616. It seemed to the patrol as if a wooden stake was being driven into the ground. Patrol then proceeded SW across a corn field to area 984618. Four or five voices were distinctly heard about 200 yards infornt and a larger party of enemy was apparently told to make less noise as from then on they were much quieter. The patrol continued to hear metallic clinc’s which were thought to be handling of crates and mines. The patrol heard no signs of digging.

Special points of interest:
Atk of half track vehicle was heard moving in rear of enemy party about 981613.
A German gun – equivalent – fired a few rounds towards Maltot from direction 988606. It was subsequently engaged by our own guns but continued firing.

Date: 27 July Signed KT Williams Lt, Patrol Comd
Time 0700 hours JEM Dugdale Maj, Unit Patrol Master

Bde Note: This accords with reports of minefields and trenches along 980613 - 985616


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Appendix No.15

Patrol Report on Recce Patrol

Date 27/28 July 1944

Unit: 7RWF


Type of Patrol: Recce SP: X-tracks 988638
Patrol Command: Lt Richards Time Out: 2330
Strength: 1 + 2 Time In: 0400
Object: To find out detailed layout of position covering minefield area 981612.
Answer to Object: No position found.

Route: SP – track to 987631 – hedge and road junction 984627 – road junction 986624 – Ch 985623 – 500 yards SW – 500 yards W – approx 1000 yards South. Zigzag course back to HQ.
Visibility & Weather: Good and fine

Narrative:
Patrol moved out through 6 RWF to 984623. From there it moved approximately 200 yards SW and then turned for another 500 yards West. Movement was heard in orchard on right. A spandau then fired from about 977624. Patrol then moved South to about 981614 without interference. Movement was heard well away to right and two tracked vehicles moved from left to right North of St Martin. One of these later moved back. Patrol then started to move East and a spandau fired North along road from about 986616. Patrol then turned NW and made a zigzag course back to the Church. Patrol found no sign of a minefield or any enemy positions.

Points of Special Interest:
Germans fired an increasing number of verey lights when moon was obscured by clouds.

Date: 28 July signed AL Richards Lt, Patrol Comd
Time: 0645 Hours JEM Dugdale, Maj, Unit Patrol Master







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Appendix No 16

7 RWF Operation Instruction No.1


Information
1. Enemy
Presumed to have recaptured the greater part of Maltot

Locality
2. Own Troops
a) 4 RWF continue to hold firm base at Chateau de Fontaine 9764
B) Coming under comd 7 RWF:–
One sqn 53 Recce Regt
One sqn 153 RAC
In Support Two Pls B Coy 1st Manchesters (MG)
One 17 pdr Troop
Intention
3. 7 RWF will recapture and hold Maltot

Method
4. Attack on a one coy front C Coy leading. B Coy pass through to final objective. A Coy mopping up.

5. The operation will be carried out in two phases:–
Phase 1. Forming for Counter Attack
Phase 2. Attack and Consolidation

Phase 1
6. Preliminary Measures
a) Carrier Pl, with under comd, one section A/tk guns will move with all speed and will screen the SL against possible enemy infiltration.
B) OC HQ Coy with Regtl Police will move to the Assembly Area and will organise the reception of the Bn.
c) Sl will be marked under orders of IO.

Move to Assembly Area
7. Assembly Area – Field and Orchard 005645. Move on orders of Bn HQ.
Order of march:–
a)[FONT="] [/FONT]Marching Tps – C, B,A Bn HQ
B)[FONT="] [/FONT]Vehicles – Carrier Pl
One sec A/tk Pl
CO’s Carrier
Mortar Pl
A/tk Pl less one sec
Coy Consolidation Vehs, CBA,
Bn HQ Vehicles

FUP
8. In Area previously recced.
a) Tks will move direct into FUP and will then be met by Inf.
B) Inf Coys will enter and leave FUP in accordance with the timings given below.

Phase 2
9. a) Assault – C Coy with in sp two tps of tanks
Objective Line of Hedges from 986629 to 988627
Leave FUP H minus 16
Cross SL SL H

B) Follow Up – B Coy
Leave FUP – H minus 8
Cross SL H + 8 + move forward 400 yards in rear of C Coy
Objective Line of rd from 984626 to rd junc 986624

c)[FONT="] [/FONT]Mopping Up
A Coy – Move into FUP H+10
Remain in FUP until ordered forward by Bn HQ
Probable Role i) Clear up any Enemy pockets of resistance remaining in Maltot, North and West of rd Lieu de la France 9963 Maltot.
ii) Occupy posn rd junc 985624 – Houses 986623 – area Houses 987626.
Tanks – Sqn in close sp C Coy. Thereafter sqn will give maximum possible support to B and A Coys from Right flank.
Arty – Arty Fire Programme attached to Appx A
A/tk – a) One sec protection of SL
B) One sec to occupy psn in area Lieu de la France immediately the area is cleared by C Coy.
Protection of right flank of attack.
c) One sec to C Coy area immediately on capture of 1st objective
d) Sec in area Lieu de la France remain in posn until ordered forward by Bn HQ. Then ordered to move forward to cover the Southern entrance into Maltot.
Mortars - a) FFC moving with B and C Coys. Pl Comd with Comd Post.
B) Two secs in previously prepared posn in area SL.
c) One sec moving forward behind C Coy to clear area Lieu de la France.
Carriers – Protection of SL until Lieu de la France clear then bounding forward to this area.
Tasks: a) Protection of right flank
B) Protection of Firm Base at Lieu de la France
c) Mobile Reserve

Pnrs – Two Assault Secs remain in area FUP ready to move forward on orders from Bn HQ after capture of Maltot.
MMG – Two pls protecting Right Flank of attack from Eterville area.

Adm
10. Dress – Normal FSMO less small pack, water bottle and mess tin slung on belt. Small packs will be carried on the Consolidation vehicles.

Vehs – One Loyd Carrier will be provided for each of A and B Coys for Consolidation Stores. C Coy will use D Coy Carrier already in possession.

Tools – Carried on consolidation vehicles

Rations – Haversack ration and Emergency ration will be carried on the man.

Tpt – Will be marshalled and will move off under orders of 2 i/c Tpt will be controlled in the Assembly area by Capt J Davies and called forward to Maltot over the Command Net as required.

Intercomn – a) Comd Post will move forward behind B Coy, moving from FUP along the axis of the main rd Lieu de la France.
-[FONT="] [/FONT]Maltot thence to area House 988627 on capture of objective.
B) Bn HQ will move to rear of Bn remaining in Assembly Area until called forward.

Success Signal – C Coy Two greens One white
B Coy Two whites One Red
Success will also be confirmed by Wireless or Runner

JLK/SM GFTB Dickson, Comd 7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers.

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Appendix No 17

Report on Fighting Patrol (Serial 4)

Date 28/29 July

Unit 7 RWF

[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]

Type of Patrol: Fighting SP: 987649
Patrol Command: Lt Howes Time Out: 2330
Strength:1 Officer, 1 Sergeant, 1 Fusilier Time In: 0545
Object: Locate and destroy Spandau post at approx 985615
Answer to Object: Spandau located but not destroyed. Casualties inflicted on enemy.

Route: Sp – track to 985626 – SE corner of orchard – south to track 980613 – East about 50 yards and then back South.


Visibility and Weather: - Dark and fine.

Narrative: Patrol left B Coy 6 RWF with listening post and stayed at post – Cottage 984623 – for about ½ hour. Noises of digging were heard area 979622. On crossing sunken road this was confirmed and patrol commander saw at least 10 men standing up. There were still noises of digging. All this was out of patrol area so they moved on South to track 980613. There was some MG fire on either flank and the attack by 6 RWF began. This lit up ground SE of patrol. As patrol reached crest potential victim started firing on fixed line North. Patrol turned East and had only gone about 50 yards when the lead group was halted by two Germans in a slit who immediately threw a grenade slightly wounding one man. The group leader at once returned a grenade and judging by the noises seemed a hit. About 30 second later one spandau opened up on each flank. As the patrol was preparing to move forward an officer or NCO appeared on the right. He walked across crest and apparently told two other men to investigate what happened. He then returned and the two men approaching the leading group turned back. Patrol command then decided to make straight for spandau on the road. A verey light went up and a spandau opened up from left rear. The patrol commander had intended to outflank the spandau on the road but as patrol started to move again it became apparent to the patrol command that he was in contact with at least a platoon position. In view of this and the fact it was 0400 the patrol commander decided to withdraw. This he did covered by his covering party. As he withdrew 15-20 men were observed moving on crest behind him. On the return journey two spandaus were located outside the patrol area, one at 979621 and the other at North corner of Orchard 982625.

Special Points of Interest: … … …

Date 29th July 1944 signed BJ Howes Lt Patrol Comd
Time 0800 hours JEM Dugdale, Maj, Unit Patrol Master
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Appendix No. 19

Report on Recce Patrol









[FONT="]
[/FONT] Appendix 24

Distribution of Officers Throughout Battalion as at 31st July 1944


[FONT=Arial]Position[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Rank[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Name[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]CO[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lt[/FONT][FONT=Arial] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Col[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]GFTB Dickson[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]2i/c[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Major[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]BG Warwick[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Adjt[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]JL King[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]IO[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]CP Dryland[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Signal Officer[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]W Havard[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC HQ Coy[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]J [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Davie[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Patrol Master*[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Major[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]JEM Dugdale[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]MTO[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]FA Crosswill[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]QM[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]J Brown[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]MO (Attached)[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]LHH Mary RAMC[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Sp Coy[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]GH Tait[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC Carrier Pl[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]DW Coombes[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC A/Tk Pl[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]RCH Barber[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC Mortar Pl[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]L Evans[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC Pioneer Pl[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]E Mulgrew[/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]A Coy[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Major[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]HPM Lewis[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]2i/c[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]I McIdgulham[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Pl Comds[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]GE Jiulins[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]KT Williams[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]WP Hunes[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]B Coy[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Major[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]WH Black[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]2i/c[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]DM Evans[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Pl Comds[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]AL Richards[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]AH Parry[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]J Walsh[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]C Coy[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]OC[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Major[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]UC Thomas[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]2i/C[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Captain[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]G Morris[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Pl Comds[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]BJ Howes[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Lieutenant[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]WF Griffith[/FONT]

*Pending the reforming of ‘D’ Company


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#9 Swiper

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:53 PM

Ok, NEARLY finished with July really didnt expect there to be so much on the month of reports and Appendices in terms of length (in excess of 5,000 words).

Hope to nail August-October tomorrow in a transcribing Marathon then start another Battalion.
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#10 Swiper

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:51 PM

August 1944 – War Diary

7th Bn: The Royal Welch Fusiliers

From 1st August 1944 to 30th August 1944

Appendices Nos 1 to 17


1st August – 0500 – Lt I McIdgulham (A Company), and two Fusiliers returned from Recce patrol on which they set out at 2400 hours. Object of this patrol was to locate any enemy in area of irrigation ditches 9762. Two MG posts were located. [See Appendix No.1]
0730 – Lt Richards (B Coy) and recce patrol of Sergeant and Fusilier returned having set out at 2300 hours. Object of this patrol was to locate enemy in orchard 980623 and to the West. Results confirmed those of Lt McIqulham’s patrol.
0800 – Lt Williams (A Company) and two Fusiliers returned from Recce Patrol on which they set out at 2330 hours. Object of this patrol was to locate enemy positions covering Northern approaches to Feuguerolles-sur-Orne 9917614. Lt Williams was slightly wounded before reaching the start point. The Patrol observed for a considerable time and confirmed the position of MG post at 986616. The moon hampered the activities of all patrols during the night. During the afternoon A Company took over from a Company of the 4th Bn in order that Company might take part in a raid on the triangle at 970624 during the night 1st/2nd.

2nd August – Last nights raid by the 4th Battalion was a complete success. One section of our carrier took part in the raid having fitted up as flame throwers (Wasps). The mortar platoon also was in action. 1830 hours to 1940 hours, mortar platoon again in action carrying out a [fire-mission] on area 976623, they fired 720 HE and 30 smoke rounds.

3rd August – 0425 – Lt Hunes (A Company) and 8 Fusiliers returned from fighting patrol on which they left at 0240 hours. Object was to destroy MG42 at 986614. The post was not destroyed owing to the enemy being in to great strength in the position. This became known during the day that the Royal Welch Brigade is being split up in order to simplify the reinforces of VBattaions. This Battalion is remaining in 158 Infantry Brigade, and is being joined by 1/5 Welch (ex-160 Brigade). 4 RWF is going to 71st Brigadef, and 6 RWF to 160 Brigade. Battalion is prepared to move [See Appendix No 2]

4th August – 0515 – Major JEM Dugdale and one Lance Corporal returned from recce patrol, the object of which was to see if any enemy were in the area 987615 and also to see if there was any sign of withdrawal. Answer to first question was ‘Yes’ and the second, ‘No.’ [See Appendix No 3]
0500 – Companies began to leave Eterville area and took over positions of 6 RWF at Maltot.
1030 - B and C Companies sent out recce patrols in the direction of Feugerolles sur Orne since it was believed that the enemy was withdrawing. By 1300 hours both patrols were overlooking the village and had met no opposition. They were then reinforced to the strength of on platoon. Battalion ordered to occupy Feugerolles sur Orne and did so by 1800 hours. Sent out recce patrol and found Bully 9959 unoccupied. Battalion HQ at 000611, A Company at 996606, B Company at 002609, C Company at 998605.

5th August –During the darkness recce patrols under Captain Morris (C Company) and Lieutenant Jenkins (A Company) examined the banks and other detail of the rivers Guigne and Orne respectively in area south of Bully. Both patrols reported enemy activity on the far banks. Preparations were made and orders given for the occupation of the area South of the Orne and South of Bully (about 9958) should patrols be able to get across and find it to be unoccupied. This however did not take place.[See Appendix no 6.]

6th August – 0335 – Lt I McIlquham and two Fusiliers with a Royal Engineers officer returned from examining the banks of the River Orne with a view to possible crossing places, none were found. The CO and IO recced the banks during the morning and a possible crossing place was found. After dark, Lt. Howes and Lt Walsh both took out patrols to gain further details. At 2330 ours however the Battalion was at notice for move from 0630 hours 7th August. Adjutant went to Brigade for orders. [See Appendix No 7, Brigade layout and Appendix No 8]

7th August – 0530 – All transport concentrated in A Echelon area to move under Brigade control. 0800 hours marching troops left for new position – a bivouac area – at 813556 (SW of St Honorine-du-Fay). The position is that a Brigade of 59 Division has around the river Orne and in due course this Brigade will take over from them. En route for the new area the Battalion passed along the road Le Bon Repos – Evrecy – scene of our battle there three weeks ago today. Battalion strength on 5th August, 29 Officers, 703 ORs. The Battalion has with the recent alterations in the Brigade become the senior Battalion, our Serial Number is now 60 instead of 62. [See Appendix No.9]

8th August – Morning spend washing clothes, clothing etc, 1600 hours CO and IO left to recce new position. The Battalion placed under command of 176 Brigade of 59 Division, this Brigade formed the bridgehead over the Orne River. 2000 hours Company Commanders carried out recces.

9th August – 0300 – Companies left concentration area at La Bijuile 9352 to which they had moved to before the Battalion crossed the River Orne by the Royal Engineer bridge at 951520 and commenced take over from Norfolk’s C and B Companies, each had orchards to clear and did so without casualties. Take over was completed by 0700 hours. The day was occupied by resiting positions and digging in. Slight mortaring and shelling. PW stated 12 SS Panzer Grenadier Division withdrawing to Foret de Grimbosq. Brigadier SO Jones, OBE, MC relinquished command of Brigade yesterday. Brigadier Sugden has assumed command of the Brigade. Battalion HQ at 958525, A Company at 959524, B Company at 961525, C Company at 963526.

10th August – The Bosch seemed to have moved out of the Forest of Grimbosq – several patrols sent out both in daylight and after dark by the Battalion confirmed this. It was expected that a big push towards the direction of Falaise would start during the day. The Brigade after having been under command of 59 Division returned under command of 53rd Division. Battalion at three hours notice to move during the day

11th August – Battalion at two hours notice to move during the morning. 1300 hours the CO received orders for a Battalion attack on Fresney-le-Vieux at 0048. Meanwhile the Battalion moved up to a concentration area North of Les Moutiers-en-Cinglis 9851. The CO gave out his orders at 1500 hours. The plan was as follows:– A Company right, objective half of village on SW side of main road, B Company left – objective Norhtern half of village. C Company to pass through the other two Companies and capture hill 182 (0747). Start line track and its continuation across the road from 997494 to 004495. A full gunner supporting program was laid on special attention being paid to fhe village during the time the Companies were advancing towards it. H Hour was arranged by 1700 hours. At about 1655 hours information received that elements of the [Corfus[1]] Armoured Car Regiment and other unknown troops were already in the village and that as a consequence of this information the Artillery program had been cancelled. The CO, however, decided to send in the Companies as arranged at 1700 hours. When the leading Companies reached the line of the road Espins to Barbery they came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire and it was quite apparent that the only troops in the village were German. Major HPM Lewis commanding A Company was wounded and evacuated. Both Companies crossed the road and considerable confused fighting took place in the orchards and buildings in the North and North West of the Village. At this stage the CO left the Command Post and visited both A and B Companies, the Commander of the latter, Major Black, having also been wounded shortly before the CO’s arrival. After reorganisation and sorting out both Companies continued to press on into the village and a portion of B Company reached the area of the church. The time was no about 1930 hours, and the CO decided to send in C Company to make good the cross roads and to pull back A and B Companies who were now rather divided up into the orchard at 004488. Command post moved up to C Company HQ at 002493 at dusk and the Companies dug themselves in. C Company being to the East of the cross roads. The CO visited Brigade during the night and gave Brigade Command full details of the situation. The Brigade Command decided that the enemy was in greater strength than had been anticipated and that it would require another battalion to finish off the task. The CO was then ordered to form a firm base on our original start line from which the 1/5 Welch could operate. This was done before first light.

12th August – At 1100 hours, the 1/5 Welch launched in their attack and succeeded in capturing the village but not the Hill 182 (0747). This Battalion however was destined to play a part after all in the final capture of the area. A Section of flame throwing carriers (Wasps) from the Carrier Platoon under Sergeant Tilderley at 1430 hours supported by the troop of Churchill tanks attacked Hill 182 from which 1/5 Welch had been considerably worried by LMG fire. The attack was a great success and the enemy was left [with only] blazing resistance on Hill 182 ceased and numerous PW were taken. So ended the battle for Fresney-Le-Vieux a battle which might have been won solely by this Battalion had it not been for the unfortunate cancelling of the artillery programmes. As it was prisoners taken by 1/5 Welch stated that a full Company held the village itself with the others on Hill 182 and the other features and that the Battalion so badly mauled this original Company, that it was relieved during the night and a second company received the attacks of 1/5 Welch. The Battalion spend the remainder of the day in the Start Line area. At 1800 hours C Company was loaned to 1/5 Welch to occupy the 182 feature. The approx casualties were as follows: 3 Officers wounded (including Lt Juilins), 8 ORs killed, 25 ORs wounded and 12 ORs missing. Battalion strength of 23 Officers and 631 Other Ranks. [See Appendix No.10]

13th August – During the morning, Brigade Command held Order Groups. The Battalion was ordered to stand by to relieve 1st Ox and Bucks of 71 Infantry Brigade who were attacking the crossroads at La Bijude 994444. Recce Group stood by all afternoon. During the day, the Battalion rested and carried out Admin. At 1815 hours the orders came for the Recce Group to move and the Battalion followed. The Ox and Bucks had only been established for ¾ hour before the arrival of the Recce Group and whilst the Company commands and CO were liaising a small enemy counter attacked developed that was broken up by our artillery. At 2100 hours the change over was well in hand and completed shortly afterwards. The Battalion spent the night digging in and resiting positions. The following reorganisation of Battalion came into effect today – Major Dugdale took command of A Company, Captain RCH Barber promoted to Major and command of B Company, Captain J Davies – the commander of HQ Company was promoted to Major. Lieutenants DM Evans, FA Creswell, CP Dryland, I McIlqulton, AH Pang and W Havard were also promoted to Captains since 18th July. Lt Howes was wounded by mortar bomb during the day and evacuated.

14th August – Several plans produced by Division and Brigade during the day, none of which came into operation. The Germans are fast being caught in a trap, the Americans are now at Argentan and the object of the Canadians and ourselves is to get to Falaise and so South to close the gap. Things are moving at such as a speed that the Battalion area became almost a back area during the day and by nightfall medium artillery was in action just in rear of Battalion position. Told at dusk that the Battalion was to remain in position under the command of another Brigade whilst the remainder of the 158 Brigade pushed towards Falaise.

15th August – 0600 – Orders of last night are cancelled. The CO went to Brigade. Battalion ordered to be ready to move with the rest of the Brigade following up advance of 160 Brigade and 4 Armoured Brigade, down the road Bois-Halbout (0144), Martainville (0342), LEffard (0638), Noron L’Abbaye (1035), St Martain de Mieux (1133). Objective of Battalion – St Pierre-du-Bu (1232). The Brigade object is that area to block the road leading North to Falaise. At 1100 this Battalion handed over our positions to 5 South Staffordshire Regiment of 59 Division and concentrated in orchards at the Bois Halbout road. 1700 hours, Battalion moved down axis given, in troop carrying transport and went into further concentration area at 033415. The Battalion is at one hours notice to move most of night.

16th August – CO to Brigade several times, numerous plans produced. Battalion eventually moved to further concentration area in troop carrying vehicles at 096374. After being ordered to take over defence of Noron L’Abbaye, 1034 this was cancelled and we were ordered to defend the crossroads 104368. Recces for this were completed and Companies in position when at 2215 hours the CO was given orders for a night attack on the village of Miette 1134. The situation was that 1 East Lancashire Regiment had fought their way trhough the village of Noron L’Abbaye 1035 and had reached Mette with two Companies when they met considerable opposition and were unable to clear the place up. At 2300 hours the CO gave out his orders for the attack. C Company right forward Company and A Company left forward Company. B Company had earlier been placed under command of 1 East Lancashire Regiment for the defence of Noron L’Abbaye and it was ordered to be prepared to move to Miette for the consolidation. At 2300 hours the taking of the Start line (hedge row 106355) was commenced by the IO and a guide for the Platoon 0105, Companies crossed start point en route for start line and were in position by 0145 hours. At 0155 the concentrations by the artillery on the actual objective began, the guns had been firing on other targets since 0130 hours, before switching to the actual objective. At 0200 hours the Companies crossed the Start Line, under cover of the artillery which went on until 0215 and supported by MMGs of 1st Manchester’s both Companies advanced well. On reaching the objective with very little opposition was met the enemy it seemed having evacuated owing to the artillery fire. A Company took one prisoner. At 0330 hours the Company was firmly stationed on their objectives and B Company was also in position. The Command Post moved up at daylight. Hving spent the night close to the Start Line. Battalion HQ followed. During the day, Companies improved positions and sent out more recce patrols. At 1600 hours 71 Brigade attacked across our front from direction of Falaise, the Battalion was ordered to stand by to be ready to take over a position from one of the other Battalions of [71st] Brigade, when it reached its objective. At 2100 hours Recce Group left for the HQ of 1 HLI and arrived shortly after that Battalion had reached its objectives just South East of St Martin de Mieux 1133. Company and Platoon Commands went round Company positions with their opposite numbers whilst the Battalion at Miette waited Brigade’s order to move.

18th August – Battalion actually arrived about 0900 hours and Compnies took over position. The day was spent patrolling, observing and improving positions. One patrol of B Company consisted of Corporal Pandleburg and 6 men went out to the hedge junction at 098318 and captured four enemy – one German, one Pole, one Yugoslav, and an Austrian a typical collection of the type of representatives of the ‘master race’ against which we are fighting at the moment. Corporal Pandelburg indicated over the hedge to one of the enemy party that he wished them to accompany him – they came. Warned to be prepared to move again during the evening. Battalion HQ at 109330, A Company at 106326, B Company at 100327, C Company at 104333.

19th August – Representatives from 9th Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders[2] of 15th Scottish Division arrived to take over position. By 1100 hours the take over was completed and the Battalion concentrated in the area 109336. At 14030 hours the Battalion moved the Recce Group having gone ahead with the CO. The Battalion finally took up a position in the village of St Andre 1732. Having taken up position, the Battalion in conjunction with the rest of the Brigade was ordered to make itself comfortable as possible and rest for 48 hours. The location was on the NW side of the famous Falaise pocket which was then closed completely and being cleaned up. Congratulations note received from Brigade Command on ‘the magnificent work during the last 10 days which has resulted in the complete defeat of the VIII German Army” Battalion strength, 23 Officers and 618 ORs. Battalion HQ at 176324, A Company at 177323, B Company at 177325, C Company at 172328. [See Appendices No 12 and No 13]

20th August – Day spent in maintenance, bathing and resting. The CO visited Companies and talked to the men in the afternoon. At 1730 there was a well attended church service conducted by the Padres (the Rev R [Hanox?] Wylie, OD).

21st August – The Brigade Command visited each Company in turn during the morning. Rest and maintenance continued. In the afternoon a mobile cinema gave a show, it was held in one of the buildings at Battalion HQ, the room appeared to have been from a Crypt of an old religious foundation – the film was ‘A Yank at Eton’. 460 Field Battery now supporting Battery commanded by Major Saunders entertained the CO, Adjutant and Company Commanders to dinner at Battery HQ at night.

22nd August – Another day of rest and re-fitting. The war is [continuing] on at a tremendous pace. The Americans have two beachheads over the River Seine, and there have been landings in the South of France. There is considerable rain during the day.

23rd August – Paris fell to the French forces of the interior[3] today, Companies carried out Route Marches and further training. [Personal Message from C in C at Appendix No.14]

24th August – More route marches and further cinema shows. Extract from “Border Counties Advertiser” showing role of the Division in this theatre of operations. [See Appendix No.15]

25th August – 1300 – CO to Brigade, orders received for move. The Division is to move up close to the River Seine prior to taking part in operations North East of the river with rest of 12th Corps. At 1515 hours the marching troops and B Company on cycles set off. They arrived at bivouac area at Bailleul 2825 at 1845 hours shortly after the transport. En route the Battalion passed scores of destroyed enemy tanks, vehicles, guns, equipment, horses etc. Battalion spent night in very close concentration area Battalion HQ being in a field at 285253.

26th August – Expected move during day did not take place. Battalion strength 23 Officers 634 Ors. [See Appendix No.16]

27th August – 0545 – Battalion HQ, B and C Companies moved off by march route again. A Company moved off on cycles, B Company having traveled on cycles on the 25th. Battalion route passed through Bon Menil 3123 and Chambois 4151, all along this road from Bailleu as far as Chambois a distance of about 6 miles, the litter of destroyed enemy equipment, together with dead Germans and horses was so tremendous and the smell so great, that each man previously had been issued with strong smelling anti-mosquito ointment which was then rubbed into their handkerchief, this was then tied over the nose or mouth. After a march of 17 miles at 1145 hours Battalion arrive and bivouac area centered on an orchard at 538507 north of Gace.

28th August – 0545 – Battalion embussed in troop carrying vehicles and crossed Brigade Start Point proceeded via La Ferte Fresnel 7152 to further concentration area East of Glos-La-Ferriere, centre of area 792544.

29th August – 1100 – CO attended Brigade O Groups and received further movement order. AT 1630 hours Battalion crossed Brigade Start Point embussed in troop carrying vehicles and arrived in Divisional Concentration Area at 1935 hours. A, B Companies and Bn HQ spent night in the Chateau at Houelteville 172798, C Company in a farm close by. Distance covered 39 miles today, with 19 miles yesterday.

30th August – 0900 – Adjutant received orders at Brigade for further move. At 1800 hours Battalion crossed Start Pont embussed in troop carrying vehicles. Proceeded via Les Planches 2282, La Croix St Leufrey 2777 and Gaillon 3382 to the Royal Engineer Class 9 Bridges over the River Seine at 313388 (build at [Fenny?] site). There was a considerable hold up owing to the great amount of traffic waiting to cross the bridge and the Battalion did not cross until after dark at about 2300 hours. After crossing, the further delay was caused as the road to Le Andelys 4091 by two Royal Engineers vehicles which had driven into the ditch.

31st August –Eventually arrived in bivouac area (recced as usual by Major Davis and the Recce party.) Battalion HQ located at 449988 (Le Merril? Ver Lives) at 0445 hours. AT 0700 hours the CO revieced orders to clear portions of the large Foret Domainialle de Lyons. At 0900 hours Rifle Companies with sections from Carrier and Mortar Platoons commenced march to the Start Line – the road from road junction 509117 to Fleury-la-Foret 5209. Area given to Battalion to clear [its boundaries ranged from] the South by the Start Line, on the West roughly by the 51 grid is as far as the 16 lateral grid line running NE to the orchard 529189, on the North from last reference to Beauvoir en Lyons 5518 then on the East by the road from this village to Fluery-La-Foret. On our right the 1/5 Welch carried out a similar operation and 160 Brigade on rhe Left was also clearing Reached farm at 516092 at 1200 hours at 1415 hours B Company on the right and C Company on the left crossed the Start Line Each Company having a section of carriers, a section of mortars, and a Royal Engineer recce party Command Post and A Company followed up B Company. The Companies searched the Forest systematically sending off platoons and carrier sections down various roads. No enemy was encountered. At 1830 hours the Battalion arrived in the bivouac area for the night having moved forward a further 17 miles. On the night of 30/31st Battalion covered almost 20 miles. Battalion HQ located at 548188 (Beauvoir-en-Lyons).

So ends the Battalion’s second month in France. It has been no less eventful than the month of July the main difference being that in July the unit was for the most part static but during this month it has been very mobile indeed – since 25th August up to today 31st we have advanced some 120 miles.

Field 1st September CP Dryland, Captain, IO
7th Battalion the Royal Welch Fusiliers

[1] COR –S? Armoured Car Regiment

[2] In text at 9 CAMERONS

[3] The Maquis/French Resistance
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#11 Swiper

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:51 PM

August 1944 – War Diary

7th Bn: The Royal Welch Fusiliers

From 1st August 1944 to 30th August 1944

Appendices Nos 1 to 17


1st August – 0500 – Lt I McIdgulham (A Company), and two Fusiliers returned from Recce patrol on which they set out at 2400 hours. Object of this patrol was to locate any enemy in area of irrigation ditches 9762. Two MG posts were located. [See Appendix No.1]
0730 – Lt Richards (B Coy) and recce patrol of Sergeant and Fusilier returned having set out at 2300 hours. Object of this patrol was to locate enemy in orchard 980623 and to the West. Results confirmed those of Lt McIqulham’s patrol.
0800 – Lt Williams (A Company) and two Fusiliers returned from Recce Patrol on which they set out at 2330 hours. Object of this patrol was to locate enemy positions covering Northern approaches to Feuguerolles-sur-Orne 9917614. Lt Williams was slightly wounded before reaching the start point. The Patrol observed for a considerable time and confirmed the position of MG post at 986616. The moon hampered the activities of all patrols during the night. During the afternoon A Company took over from a Company of the 4th Bn in order that Company might take part in a raid on the triangle at 970624 during the night 1st/2nd.

2nd August – Last nights raid by the 4th Battalion was a complete success. One section of our carrier took part in the raid having fitted up as flame throwers (Wasps). The mortar platoon also was in action. 1830 hours to 1940 hours, mortar platoon again in action carrying out a [fire-mission] on area 976623, they fired 720 HE and 30 smoke rounds.

3rd August – 0425 – Lt Hunes (A Company) and 8 Fusiliers returned from fighting patrol on which they left at 0240 hours. Object was to destroy MG42 at 986614. The post was not destroyed owing to the enemy being in to great strength in the position. This became known during the day that the Royal Welch Brigade is being split up in order to simplify the reinforces of VBattaions. This Battalion is remaining in 158 Infantry Brigade, and is being joined by 1/5 Welch (ex-160 Brigade). 4 RWF is going to 71st Brigadef, and 6 RWF to 160 Brigade. Battalion is prepared to move [See Appendix No 2]

4th August – 0515 – Major JEM Dugdale and one Lance Corporal returned from recce patrol, the object of which was to see if any enemy were in the area 987615 and also to see if there was any sign of withdrawal. Answer to first question was ‘Yes’ and the second, ‘No.’ [See Appendix No 3]
0500 – Companies began to leave Eterville area and took over positions of 6 RWF at Maltot.
1030 - B and C Companies sent out recce patrols in the direction of Feugerolles sur Orne since it was believed that the enemy was withdrawing. By 1300 hours both patrols were overlooking the village and had met no opposition. They were then reinforced to the strength of on platoon. Battalion ordered to occupy Feugerolles sur Orne and did so by 1800 hours. Sent out recce patrol and found Bully 9959 unoccupied. Battalion HQ at 000611, A Company at 996606, B Company at 002609, C Company at 998605.

5th August –During the darkness recce patrols under Captain Morris (C Company) and Lieutenant Jenkins (A Company) examined the banks and other detail of the rivers Guigne and Orne respectively in area south of Bully. Both patrols reported enemy activity on the far banks. Preparations were made and orders given for the occupation of the area South of the Orne and South of Bully (about 9958) should patrols be able to get across and find it to be unoccupied. This however did not take place.[See Appendix no 6.]

6th August – 0335 – Lt I McIlquham and two Fusiliers with a Royal Engineers officer returned from examining the banks of the River Orne with a view to possible crossing places, none were found. The CO and IO recced the banks during the morning and a possible crossing place was found. After dark, Lt. Howes and Lt Walsh both took out patrols to gain further details. At 2330 ours however the Battalion was at notice for move from 0630 hours 7th August. Adjutant went to Brigade for orders. [See Appendix No 7, Brigade layout and Appendix No 8]

7th August – 0530 – All transport concentrated in A Echelon area to move under Brigade control. 0800 hours marching troops left for new position – a bivouac area – at 813556 (SW of St Honorine-du-Fay). The position is that a Brigade of 59 Division has around the river Orne and in due course this Brigade will take over from them. En route for the new area the Battalion passed along the road Le Bon Repos – Evrecy – scene of our battle there three weeks ago today. Battalion strength on 5th August, 29 Officers, 703 ORs. The Battalion has with the recent alterations in the Brigade become the senior Battalion, our Serial Number is now 60 instead of 62. [See Appendix No.9]

8th August – Morning spend washing clothes, clothing etc, 1600 hours CO and IO left to recce new position. The Battalion placed under command of 176 Brigade of 59 Division, this Brigade formed the bridgehead over the Orne River. 2000 hours Company Commanders carried out recces.

9th August – 0300 – Companies left concentration area at La Bijuile 9352 to which they had moved to before the Battalion crossed the River Orne by the Royal Engineer bridge at 951520 and commenced take over from Norfolk’s C and B Companies, each had orchards to clear and did so without casualties. Take over was completed by 0700 hours. The day was occupied by resiting positions and digging in. Slight mortaring and shelling. PW stated 12 SS Panzer Grenadier Division withdrawing to Foret de Grimbosq. Brigadier SO Jones, OBE, MC relinquished command of Brigade yesterday. Brigadier Sugden has assumed command of the Brigade. Battalion HQ at 958525, A Company at 959524, B Company at 961525, C Company at 963526.

10th August – The Bosch seemed to have moved out of the Forest of Grimbosq – several patrols sent out both in daylight and after dark by the Battalion confirmed this. It was expected that a big push towards the direction of Falaise would start during the day. The Brigade after having been under command of 59 Division returned under command of 53rd Division. Battalion at three hours notice to move during the day

11th August – Battalion at two hours notice to move during the morning. 1300 hours the CO received orders for a Battalion attack on Fresney-le-Vieux at 0048. Meanwhile the Battalion moved up to a concentration area North of Les Moutiers-en-Cinglis 9851. The CO gave out his orders at 1500 hours. The plan was as follows:– A Company right, objective half of village on SW side of main road, B Company left – objective Norhtern half of village. C Company to pass through the other two Companies and capture hill 182 (0747). Start line track and its continuation across the road from 997494 to 004495. A full gunner supporting program was laid on special attention being paid to fhe village during the time the Companies were advancing towards it. H Hour was arranged by 1700 hours. At about 1655 hours information received that elements of the [Corfus[1]] Armoured Car Regiment and other unknown troops were already in the village and that as a consequence of this information the Artillery program had been cancelled. The CO, however, decided to send in the Companies as arranged at 1700 hours. When the leading Companies reached the line of the road Espins to Barbery they came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire and it was quite apparent that the only troops in the village were German. Major HPM Lewis commanding A Company was wounded and evacuated. Both Companies crossed the road and considerable confused fighting took place in the orchards and buildings in the North and North West of the Village. At this stage the CO left the Command Post and visited both A and B Companies, the Commander of the latter, Major Black, having also been wounded shortly before the CO’s arrival. After reorganisation and sorting out both Companies continued to press on into the village and a portion of B Company reached the area of the church. The time was no about 1930 hours, and the CO decided to send in C Company to make good the cross roads and to pull back A and B Companies who were now rather divided up into the orchard at 004488. Command post moved up to C Company HQ at 002493 at dusk and the Companies dug themselves in. C Company being to the East of the cross roads. The CO visited Brigade during the night and gave Brigade Command full details of the situation. The Brigade Command decided that the enemy was in greater strength than had been anticipated and that it would require another battalion to finish off the task. The CO was then ordered to form a firm base on our original start line from which the 1/5 Welch could operate. This was done before first light.

12th August – At 1100 hours, the 1/5 Welch launched in their attack and succeeded in capturing the village but not the Hill 182 (0747). This Battalion however was destined to play a part after all in the final capture of the area. A Section of flame throwing carriers (Wasps) from the Carrier Platoon under Sergeant Tilderley at 1430 hours supported by the troop of Churchill tanks attacked Hill 182 from which 1/5 Welch had been considerably worried by LMG fire. The attack was a great success and the enemy was left [with only] blazing resistance on Hill 182 ceased and numerous PW were taken. So ended the battle for Fresney-Le-Vieux a battle which might have been won solely by this Battalion had it not been for the unfortunate cancelling of the artillery programmes. As it was prisoners taken by 1/5 Welch stated that a full Company held the village itself with the others on Hill 182 and the other features and that the Battalion so badly mauled this original Company, that it was relieved during the night and a second company received the attacks of 1/5 Welch. The Battalion spend the remainder of the day in the Start Line area. At 1800 hours C Company was loaned to 1/5 Welch to occupy the 182 feature. The approx casualties were as follows: 3 Officers wounded (including Lt Juilins), 8 ORs killed, 25 ORs wounded and 12 ORs missing. Battalion strength of 23 Officers and 631 Other Ranks. [See Appendix No.10]

13th August – During the morning, Brigade Command held Order Groups. The Battalion was ordered to stand by to relieve 1st Ox and Bucks of 71 Infantry Brigade who were attacking the crossroads at La Bijude 994444. Recce Group stood by all afternoon. During the day, the Battalion rested and carried out Admin. At 1815 hours the orders came for the Recce Group to move and the Battalion followed. The Ox and Bucks had only been established for ¾ hour before the arrival of the Recce Group and whilst the Company commands and CO were liaising a small enemy counter attacked developed that was broken up by our artillery. At 2100 hours the change over was well in hand and completed shortly afterwards. The Battalion spent the night digging in and resiting positions. The following reorganisation of Battalion came into effect today – Major Dugdale took command of A Company, Captain RCH Barber promoted to Major and command of B Company, Captain J Davies – the commander of HQ Company was promoted to Major. Lieutenants DM Evans, FA Creswell, CP Dryland, I McIlqulton, AH Pang and W Havard were also promoted to Captains since 18th July. Lt Howes was wounded by mortar bomb during the day and evacuated.

14th August – Several plans produced by Division and Brigade during the day, none of which came into operation. The Germans are fast being caught in a trap, the Americans are now at Argentan and the object of the Canadians and ourselves is to get to Falaise and so South to close the gap. Things are moving at such as a speed that the Battalion area became almost a back area during the day and by nightfall medium artillery was in action just in rear of Battalion position. Told at dusk that the Battalion was to remain in position under the command of another Brigade whilst the remainder of the 158 Brigade pushed towards Falaise.

15th August – 0600 – Orders of last night are cancelled. The CO went to Brigade. Battalion ordered to be ready to move with the rest of the Brigade following up advance of 160 Brigade and 4 Armoured Brigade, down the road Bois-Halbout (0144), Martainville (0342), LEffard (0638), Noron L’Abbaye (1035), St Martain de Mieux (1133). Objective of Battalion – St Pierre-du-Bu (1232). The Brigade object is that area to block the road leading North to Falaise. At 1100 this Battalion handed over our positions to 5 South Staffordshire Regiment of 59 Division and concentrated in orchards at the Bois Halbout road. 1700 hours, Battalion moved down axis given, in troop carrying transport and went into further concentration area at 033415. The Battalion is at one hours notice to move most of night.

16th August – CO to Brigade several times, numerous plans produced. Battalion eventually moved to further concentration area in troop carrying vehicles at 096374. After being ordered to take over defence of Noron L’Abbaye, 1034 this was cancelled and we were ordered to defend the crossroads 104368. Recces for this were completed and Companies in position when at 2215 hours the CO was given orders for a night attack on the village of Miette 1134. The situation was that 1 East Lancashire Regiment had fought their way trhough the village of Noron L’Abbaye 1035 and had reached Mette with two Companies when they met considerable opposition and were unable to clear the place up. At 2300 hours the CO gave out his orders for the attack. C Company right forward Company and A Company left forward Company. B Company had earlier been placed under command of 1 East Lancashire Regiment for the defence of Noron L’Abbaye and it was ordered to be prepared to move to Miette for the consolidation. At 2300 hours the taking of the Start line (hedge row 106355) was commenced by the IO and a guide for the Platoon 0105, Companies crossed start point en route for start line and were in position by 0145 hours. At 0155 the concentrations by the artillery on the actual objective began, the guns had been firing on other targets since 0130 hours, before switching to the actual objective. At 0200 hours the Companies crossed the Start Line, under cover of the artillery which went on until 0215 and supported by MMGs of 1st Manchester’s both Companies advanced well. On reaching the objective with very little opposition was met the enemy it seemed having evacuated owing to the artillery fire. A Company took one prisoner. At 0330 hours the Company was firmly stationed on their objectives and B Company was also in position. The Command Post moved up at daylight. Hving spent the night close to the Start Line. Battalion HQ followed. During the day, Companies improved positions and sent out more recce patrols. At 1600 hours 71 Brigade attacked across our front from direction of Falaise, the Battalion was ordered to stand by to be ready to take over a position from one of the other Battalions of [71st] Brigade, when it reached its objective. At 2100 hours Recce Group left for the HQ of 1 HLI and arrived shortly after that Battalion had reached its objectives just South East of St Martin de Mieux 1133. Company and Platoon Commands went round Company positions with their opposite numbers whilst the Battalion at Miette waited Brigade’s order to move.

18th August – Battalion actually arrived about 0900 hours and Compnies took over position. The day was spent patrolling, observing and improving positions. One patrol of B Company consisted of Corporal Pandleburg and 6 men went out to the hedge junction at 098318 and captured four enemy – one German, one Pole, one Yugoslav, and an Austrian a typical collection of the type of representatives of the ‘master race’ against which we are fighting at the moment. Corporal Pandelburg indicated over the hedge to one of the enemy party that he wished them to accompany him – they came. Warned to be prepared to move again during the evening. Battalion HQ at 109330, A Company at 106326, B Company at 100327, C Company at 104333.

19th August – Representatives from 9th Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders[2] of 15th Scottish Division arrived to take over position. By 1100 hours the take over was completed and the Battalion concentrated in the area 109336. At 14030 hours the Battalion moved the Recce Group having gone ahead with the CO. The Battalion finally took up a position in the village of St Andre 1732. Having taken up position, the Battalion in conjunction with the rest of the Brigade was ordered to make itself comfortable as possible and rest for 48 hours. The location was on the NW side of the famous Falaise pocket which was then closed completely and being cleaned up. Congratulations note received from Brigade Command on ‘the magnificent work during the last 10 days which has resulted in the complete defeat of the VIII German Army” Battalion strength, 23 Officers and 618 ORs. Battalion HQ at 176324, A Company at 177323, B Company at 177325, C Company at 172328. [See Appendices No 12 and No 13]

20th August – Day spent in maintenance, bathing and resting. The CO visited Companies and talked to the men in the afternoon. At 1730 there was a well attended church service conducted by the Padres (the Rev R [Hanox?] Wylie, OD).

21st August – The Brigade Command visited each Company in turn during the morning. Rest and maintenance continued. In the afternoon a mobile cinema gave a show, it was held in one of the buildings at Battalion HQ, the room appeared to have been from a Crypt of an old religious foundation – the film was ‘A Yank at Eton’. 460 Field Battery now supporting Battery commanded by Major Saunders entertained the CO, Adjutant and Company Commanders to dinner at Battery HQ at night.

22nd August – Another day of rest and re-fitting. The war is [continuing] on at a tremendous pace. The Americans have two beachheads over the River Seine, and there have been landings in the South of France. There is considerable rain during the day.

23rd August – Paris fell to the French forces of the interior[3] today, Companies carried out Route Marches and further training. [Personal Message from C in C at Appendix No.14]

24th August – More route marches and further cinema shows. Extract from “Border Counties Advertiser” showing role of the Division in this theatre of operations. [See Appendix No.15]

25th August – 1300 – CO to Brigade, orders received for move. The Division is to move up close to the River Seine prior to taking part in operations North East of the river with rest of 12th Corps. At 1515 hours the marching troops and B Company on cycles set off. They arrived at bivouac area at Bailleul 2825 at 1845 hours shortly after the transport. En route the Battalion passed scores of destroyed enemy tanks, vehicles, guns, equipment, horses etc. Battalion spent night in very close concentration area Battalion HQ being in a field at 285253.

26th August – Expected move during day did not take place. Battalion strength 23 Officers 634 Ors. [See Appendix No.16]

27th August – 0545 – Battalion HQ, B and C Companies moved off by march route again. A Company moved off on cycles, B Company having traveled on cycles on the 25th. Battalion route passed through Bon Menil 3123 and Chambois 4151, all along this road from Bailleu as far as Chambois a distance of about 6 miles, the litter of destroyed enemy equipment, together with dead Germans and horses was so tremendous and the smell so great, that each man previously had been issued with strong smelling anti-mosquito ointment which was then rubbed into their handkerchief, this was then tied over the nose or mouth. After a march of 17 miles at 1145 hours Battalion arrive and bivouac area centered on an orchard at 538507 north of Gace.

28th August – 0545 – Battalion embussed in troop carrying vehicles and crossed Brigade Start Point proceeded via La Ferte Fresnel 7152 to further concentration area East of Glos-La-Ferriere, centre of area 792544.

29th August – 1100 – CO attended Brigade O Groups and received further movement order. AT 1630 hours Battalion crossed Brigade Start Point embussed in troop carrying vehicles and arrived in Divisional Concentration Area at 1935 hours. A, B Companies and Bn HQ spent night in the Chateau at Houelteville 172798, C Company in a farm close by. Distance covered 39 miles today, with 19 miles yesterday.

30th August – 0900 – Adjutant received orders at Brigade for further move. At 1800 hours Battalion crossed Start Pont embussed in troop carrying vehicles. Proceeded via Les Planches 2282, La Croix St Leufrey 2777 and Gaillon 3382 to the Royal Engineer Class 9 Bridges over the River Seine at 313388 (build at [Fenny?] site). There was a considerable hold up owing to the great amount of traffic waiting to cross the bridge and the Battalion did not cross until after dark at about 2300 hours. After crossing, the further delay was caused as the road to Le Andelys 4091 by two Royal Engineers vehicles which had driven into the ditch.

31st August –Eventually arrived in bivouac area (recced as usual by Major Davis and the Recce party.) Battalion HQ located at 449988 (Le Merril? Ver Lives) at 0445 hours. AT 0700 hours the CO revieced orders to clear portions of the large Foret Domainialle de Lyons. At 0900 hours Rifle Companies with sections from Carrier and Mortar Platoons commenced march to the Start Line – the road from road junction 509117 to Fleury-la-Foret 5209. Area given to Battalion to clear [its boundaries ranged from] the South by the Start Line, on the West roughly by the 51 grid is as far as the 16 lateral grid line running NE to the orchard 529189, on the North from last reference to Beauvoir en Lyons 5518 then on the East by the road from this village to Fluery-La-Foret. On our right the 1/5 Welch carried out a similar operation and 160 Brigade on rhe Left was also clearing Reached farm at 516092 at 1200 hours at 1415 hours B Company on the right and C Company on the left crossed the Start Line Each Company having a section of carriers, a section of mortars, and a Royal Engineer recce party Command Post and A Company followed up B Company. The Companies searched the Forest systematically sending off platoons and carrier sections down various roads. No enemy was encountered. At 1830 hours the Battalion arrived in the bivouac area for the night having moved forward a further 17 miles. On the night of 30/31st Battalion covered almost 20 miles. Battalion HQ located at 548188 (Beauvoir-en-Lyons).

So ends the Battalion’s second month in France. It has been no less eventful than the month of July the main difference being that in July the unit was for the most part static but during this month it has been very mobile indeed – since 25th August up to today 31st we have advanced some 120 miles.

Field 1st September CP Dryland, Captain, IO
7th Battalion the Royal Welch Fusiliers

[1] COR –S? Armoured Car Regiment

[2] In text at 9 CAMERONS

[3] The Maquis/French Resistance
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#12 Swiper

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:51 PM

Appendix No.1

Summary of Patrol Reports Night 31st July/1st August 1944


A 4 RWF patrol moving along irrigation ditch to ditch junction at 974624 were fired on from about 100 yards away from 975624. Patrol moved back to next ditch running SE and were fired on from ditch junction at 975623 by machine gun. Patrol withdrew and was followed up by men from MG post who proceeded to clear the ditch. Patrol was followed up by the enemy to road at 972626. Another MG post was located by patrol at 970623. As a result of this skirmish the enemy became alert and other patrols failed to achieve the object in this area. Firing was heard from triangle and 970625 and a light mortar opened up mfrom the same area. It was found that road from 972626 to road junction 970624 cannot be crossed by carriers on account of steep banks, Patrols of 7 RWF located five Spandaus, two in approx area trees 987617 one at 989617, one at 974627 and one at bend in track 975623. Patrols of 6 RWF found no enemy ate Lone Ho 997616 and no evidence of suspected minefield 300 yards infornt of Le Hamel but found tank in hull-down position 002614 with infantry section dug in around it. Enemy was digging in woods in Le Hamel area.

HJ Davies[1] Capt

[For?] IO

158 (RW) Infantry Brigade








Appendix No.2

Report on Fighting Patrol

2/3/8/44

Unit 7 RWF


Type of Patrol: Fighting SP: Cross tracks 989622
Patrol Command: Lt Hinds Time Out: 0240
Strength: 1 Officer and 8 ORs Time In: 0425

Object: To destroy Spandau post at 986616

Answer to Object: Post not destroyed

Route SP SW to about 987617 and back by same route.

Visibility & Weather: Bright moon and fine


Narrative:–
Patrol moved up forward slope to get to a position that [illegible]. The spandau fired NW from area of Maze 9361) Voices were heard from the trees. Voices and a dog were also heard from track about 989615, something was heard being wheeled down the avenue. Another dog was then heard at cross tracks 986617. Patrol commander conducted that of apposition owning the spandau post too strong and withdrew his patrol. On return the patrol saw two men standing behind the track down from the trees with what appeared to be a machine gun on a tripod.

Signed Lt Hinds, Patrol Comd.

JEM Dugdale, Maj, Unit Patrol Master.





Appendix No. 3

Report on Recce Patrol

3/4/8/44

Unit 7RWF

Type of Patrol: Recce SP: Cross track 989622
Patrol Command: Major Dugdale Time Out: 0215
Strength: 1 Officer and 2 ORs Time In: 0515

[Return to at Later Date – Faint Writing]
Appendix No. 6

Report on Recce Patrol

4/5/8/44

Unit 7 RWF

Type of Patrol: Recce SP: Crossroads 000608
Patrol Command: Captain Morris Time Out: 2220
Strength: 1 Officer and 2 ORs Time In: 0300

Object: Are the enemy on 100’ ring contour 9957?
Answer to Object: Enemy Heard in buildings 996588.

Route: SP – track junction 998606 – track to orchard 995594 – [track?] to wood at 993591 – right to first bend – Wood and then left to River.
Visibility & Weather: Full moon and fine

Narrative:
Patrol reached River at 2350 without incident. Patrol listened for some time and at first heard nothing. At about 0030 two Germans were heard near buildings 996588 they talked for about five minutes. Patrol could not find a way across river. They remained on the bank until 0220 during that time nothing else was heard south of the area.

This [report?] conflicts with the results of another recce with the details that follow: [<- slight paraphrase as text is not too clear]

Special Points of Interest
Information about with 2 banks, River is approx 40’ wide, fairly deepm and very little current. Banks on North side 3-4’ high with frequent watering places. Bend on south made appeared less steep.

Date: 5/8/44 Signed, Captain Morris, Patrol Comd.
Time: 0515 JEM Dugdale, Maj, Unit Patrol Master


Appendix No.7

Patrol Report on Recce Patrol

5/6th August 1944

Unit 7 RWF

Type of Patrol: Recce SP: Track junction 997597
Patrol Command: Captain Mc Ilquham Time Out: 0015
Strength: 1 Officer & 2 OR’s + 1 RE Officer Time In: 0335

Object: 1. To examine North bank of river with a view to possible crossing places for assault boats

2. To find out if there are any quantity of S Mines in thick country just south of R.

Answer to Object: 1. Bank too steep for assault boats

2. Patrol did not cross River

Visibility & Weather:

Narrative:
Patrol reached bend in wood 993590 without incident. At this point a patrol form 1/5 Welch was met coming up from the river through the Orchard after discussion it was decided that the best approach to river bank was down to second hedge at 990588.
1/5 Welch patrol moved ahead and took up a position on bank at approx 992587.
7 RWF patrol then moved through and followed the bank to a point opposite the Weir. Patrol then returned through 1/5 Welch patrol and went as far as 991586. Patrol then returned by same route without incident. Four enemy were seen standing at end of Weir and digging was heard on the river bank on the South side. Noises were heard in strip of wood between river and railway. Patrol did not cross river.

Points of interest:
The bank on this stretch is continuous with no watering places. Bank varies in height from 5’ opposite Weir to 7-8’ at right boundary. There are 5 gaps in trees on this stretch. 1. Opposite Weir – width for one boat – marshy [2]approach. 2 & 3 on each side of hedge at 983588, width each for 1 boat, 3 is blocked by branch in river. 4 & 5 separated by small bush, 10 yards right at 991586. Width gap for 2 boats and Gap 5 for 3.
Approaches to river, Rd from bend 993590 to hedge and road junction 990588 has a thick hedge on South side with no gaps. There is no hedge on North side of road but there is a steep bank with a drop of about 6 ft. A track enters the South side at about 993589 on the North side.

Signed, Captain Mc Ilquham, Patrol Comd

JEM Dugdale, Maj, Patrol Master







Appendix No. 12

August 1944

I would like to congratulate all ranks on their magnificent work during the last 10 days which has, with others, resulted in the complete defeat of VII German Army.

GB Sugden

Brigadier,

Commander,

19 August 1944 158 Inf Bde


Appendix No.15

August 1944

The following is an extract taken from “The Border Counties Advertiser” showing the role of the 53 (W) Div in recent operations

With Our Forces Overseas

Important role of 53rd Welsh Division

(by a military observer)


It is now possible to disclose the important role, played with fortitude and courage, by troops of the 53rd (Welsh) Division in the recent fighting in Normandy. Army and Corps Commanders are fill of admiration for the work done. In their opinion, the Division succeeded in its prime function, and by its successive attacks on Evrecy, helped to lure enemy armour from the sector East of Caen, and made possible the seven miles thrust of our own armour to Troarn. Thus in its first commitments, this Territorial Division – most of its personnel who have served since the outbreak of war – has put to fine use the experience gained while waiting, patiently, to get to grips with the enemy. In addition to taking 350 prisoners and inflicting heavy casualties in active patrols and the attacks on Evrecy, the Division was very successful in hand-to-hand mopping up operations. The Divisional Artillery dealt shattering blows by immense barrages, one of which helped to disperse 100 German tanks, massed for counter-attack.

The Value of hard training

Relatives of the men from the hills and mountains of North and South Wales from Scotland and from the Midlands, can be proud of the success of its predominately Welsh Infantry Division, the discipline of which in a long and testing first experience of action has proved the value of hard training. It should be added that the Division has many friends in Northern Ireland, where it was stationed for many months. In action within a few days of arriving, the Division went straight to the positions vacated by troops who had suffered heavily in hard fighting. Their function was to hold the ground won. Active patrolling by night was one of their chief tasks, but mainly they were concerned in the early days, with the type of passive defence, avoiding disclosing their positions by not returning fire. The inaction of long days and nights dug in positions and in the face of heavy mortar and machine gun fire was a particular hardship. Nebelwerfers (multi barreled mortars) were always active when there was any sign of movement, and movement at meal times was unavoidable. A sergeant told me that sitting down under such a barrage of mortar fire was worse than going into an attack; minded it was a disappointment to all that they were so early employed defensively, unable to repay the enemy in the only coin he understands.

First Time in the Line


A platoon officer told me that everyone was marvelous considering that it was their first time in the line. He stressed the mens steadiness and coolness n not returning fire when fired on. “We would have lost many more lives if we had yielded to the natural temptation to retaliate” he said. “There was never any real rest” he added. “At night spandaus and small arms fire came at us from all directions Jerry was always trying to find out where we were He tried to draw our fire. He didn’t get it.” The Royal Welch Fusiliers, which held the line from Rauray to Baron as a bulwark against possible counter attack., had the privilege of sending out a patrol in strength for the purpose of obtaining identifications. Though they had casualties, the number of enemy killed were far greater. Though enemy fire precluded the possibility of a wounded sergeant being carried back, he turned up, 24 hours later, in the lines of a Scottish Battalion having crawled 1500 yards through cornfields. Sniped at and Mortared whenever he showed himself, he got back – a magnificent effort of sheer ‘guts’.
It was the Royal Welch Fusiliers who were switched over to help in the attacks on Evrecy. On the first occasion they got through quickly to the high ground. Unfortunately a mist descended and became so impenetrable that cohesion was lost and units lost touch with each other. When morning came and the veil lifted they had to fight their way back into a consolidated whole again. The following night they went in a second time on the same mission, but the enemy had realised quickly that Evrecy was an objective and were there in such strength – standing corn bristled with machine guns and armour that had been brought forward – that a withdrawal was ordered after extremely hard fighting. The attacks justified themselves in more ways than one. Besides inflicting heavy enemy casualties, armour was lured from points where General Montgomery made his break through East of Caen.

Mopping up Operations

A famous light infantry regiment came out of their first action with every reason to feel proud of themselves. After the advance of the 15th Scottish Division to a point along the southern bank of the River Odon they were set to mop up pockets of resistance in a wood and village. Two companies found themselves outnumbered and heavily engaged. The commander of the third company, hearing of the difficulties promptly ordered his men to fix bayonets and led them in a charge. The position was retrieved and terrible hand-to-hand fighting went on practically all day. These men showed great fighting qualities. They suffered fewer casualties than had been anticipated from the fierceness of the engagement. As to artillery support, this was magnificent. Batteries of a Field Regiment teamed so well the German prisoners could hardly be dissuaded from thinking that our guns were fed electrically. They spoke of the unceasing hail of splinters, which destroyed moral and permitted them to move from their trenches only at peril of their lives.

[1] Could be marked for IO 158 Brigade… this makes some sense since no Davies is listed as IO.

[2] In text as ‘marchy’
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#13 Swiper

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:52 PM

June 1944 – War Diary

7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers

From 1st September 1944 to 30th September 1944


Appendices: -
  • Situation at Nightfall (AF C2118A or C2118B)… *Fos 1 and 2
  • Signal Log… *Fos /
  • Messages connected with Log (in chronological order)… Nos C1 to C5
  • Operation Orders or Instructions Issued… No D1
  • Operation Orders and Instructions Received from Higher *Fos E1 to E18
Formations…
  • Intelligence Summaries Issued… Nos F1 to F2
  • Administrative Orders or Instructions Issued… Nos /
  • Administrative Orders or Instructions Received… *Fos/
  • Strength States, Field Returns etc… *Fos I1 to I6
  • Other Papers e.g. Maps and Diagrams, Orders of Battle *Fos J to J3
Graphs (port clearance, railway working etc) Commanders’
demi-official messages and correspondence etc.


Z. Top Secret Supplementary War Diary

* Each document to be numbered and details entered here.

1st September – Expected move to the line of the River Somme did not take place during day. CO attended Brigade O Groups at 1100 hours and at 1800 hours. Eventually ordered to be ready to move at 0730 hours on the 2nd.
Battalion Strength: 25 Officers, 722 Other Rank [See Appendix No I1.]

2nd September – 0300 – Operation order and trace of new Concentration Area. Beyond River Somme. H Hour for move fixed to 1100 hours. At 1045 hours H hour was postponed until 1400 hours, Battalion crossed Start point at 1400 hours. Move via Poix 8746 and Molliens Vidame 9058, after latter place then with considerable delays owing to traffic blocks. At 2150 hours the Battalion crossed the famous River Somme at Picquigny 9865 having been directed from the bridge at 9274. After crossing the bridge the Battalion was once more diverted and sent to Domart-En-Pontheim via Vignacourt. The original intention was for us to take up a position at Maison Roland 9185 but the recce parties had been in that area earlier in the day and had encountered enemy. The Recee Party of this Battalion under Major Dvies carried out a most successful operation – not accurately premeditated – against a Company of enemy which it encountered marching down the road in through at Brucamps 9579. A full account of this action (the party consisted of one Officer, One Corporal and 6 Fusiliers) by Major Davies is at Appendix 1. Unfortunately Corporal Smith of the Provost and Fusilier 23 Thomas of B Company were killed ruing this action. 2 Germans were killed and 30 captured. [See Appendix No J1.]

3rd September – 0300 – At 0300 hours having arrived at Domart 9878 the Battalion had to wait until areas were allocated by Brigade. Eventually at 0400 hours B and the Carrier Platoon went forward to Franqueville 9581, examined the village and found it clear. The Battalion then took up position around the village. 1200 hours the CO went to Brigade O Group for details of next advance. Battalion prepared to move all afternoon. Further O Group at 1900 altered original plan completely. At 2035 hours Battalion crossed Brigade Start Point. 1 East Lancashire Regiment were Advance Guard Battalion to the Brigade. The route via Doullens and St Pol-Sur-Turnoise covered without trouble but delay imposed owing to uncertainty as to whether latter place was clear.

4th September – About 0515 hours 1 East Lancashire encountered opposition in the village of Valhmon 1917. At 0700 hours most of 1 East Lancashire had got round the village and pushed onto the Battalions objective of Sains-Lez-Pernes 3121. The Eastern half of the village remained to be cleared. The leading Section of Carriers had actually pushed on beyond the village and reached 208198. B Company – Advance Guard – debussed and carried out a flanking movement round the Church and formed up on the line of the road running North to Lillers. No10 Platoon was on the right, No11 on the left and No 12 and Company HQ were in the rear. At about 0800 hours the assault went in across the road and onto a orchard at 199179. After some very close fighting, the Company established itself finally in the orchard. No 11 platoon came under heavy fire from the wood at 205188 and some hay stacks in the fields. The Company casualties were 6 killed and 3 wounded. At 1115 hours C Company were able to carry on through the village on foot moving to the left side of the road. A Company cleared the wood at 205188. At 208198 the Battalion re-embussed. After a triumphal passage through joyful crowds in Pernes 2222, St Nicholas 2425 and Ferfay (where there had been a flying bomb site) the Battalion reached its area at Ammettes 2128 at 1700 hours and took up a defensive position around the village. C Company encountered a few Germans in position and an NCO was killed whilst occupying their position. Four prisoners were taken during this skirmish. During the engagements during the day the Battlion took a number of prisoners –a total of 200 was collected by the Battalion en route. Covered 50 miles during the advance. Battalion HQ at 219280, A Company area at 217278, B Company area at 225284, C Company area at 226282. [See Appendix E1]

5th September – No general move during the day, A Company carried out a cleaning operation down the road to Bethune from Lillers and the Carrier Platoon examined the woods at 200230, 2420 and Nedon 2027. Battalion had very close liaison with the French Forces of the Interior who proved to be a most active force.

6th September – 0600 – Brigade O Groups a further advance ordered to a new Divisional Concentration Area at 9000 hours Battalion crossed Brigade Start Point, two Companies being carried on the transport of two Batteries of the 83rd Field Regiment. The column received a tremendous reception at Lillers and Bethume. Arrived at concentration at Sailly 4940 at 1500 hours. Enroute the Battalion passed through Festubert 4627 when the 1st Battalion foguth a big action in the War of 1914-18. Distance covered 31 miles. Last night one complete Company from the Lancashire Fusiliers commanded by Major Tomlinson from the 2/5 Battalion of that Regiment joined the Battalion and became D Company. The 2/5 Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers belonged to 59 Division which has now been broken up to provide reinforcements. CO to Brigade at 1800 hours for further orders –the Brigade is to proceed to Antwerp. [See Appendix E2+3]

7th September – 0900 – Crossed Brigade Start Point and proceeded via Armentiers 5842 to Belgium crossing the frontier at 576487 thence to a further concentration area North of WErvicq 6952.
1800 –CO to Brigade when he received orders to move the Battalion to take up a defensive position facing North on the outskirts of the town of Wervicq. The Battalion managed to get into position before dark at 2100 hour. The reason for the sudden change was that the trapped Germans to the North were reported moving East and South East and it was thought that attempts might be made to break out. The Battalion however was still liable to start on the journey to Antwerp but at 2130 it was informed that there would be no move before 0630 hours. Battalion HQ at 693523, A Company at 700535, D Company at 690535, C Comoany at 695527, B Company at 682531.

8th September – Advance Party consisting of CO, Adjutant, 2 i/cs of Companies and Support Platoon Commands and Battalion Recce Party left for Antwerp. At 0916 the Battalion crossed the Brigade Start Point in Menin. The Route should have been via Courtrai 8457 but owing to the fighting in the town earlier in the morning a diversion was made to the South and via the bridge at Warcoing 9043. After crossing the bridge the route should have been via Pottes 9445 to Audenarde 0957 but this was not made clear how it was signed. As a result of this the Battalion column in conjunction with that of 83 Field Regiment and 1st East Lancashire went via Renaix 0846 thence out on the road leading East from the town. Part of the column went wrong and turned South towards Ellezelles 1445 when it had to be turned around and taken via minor roads back to Audenarde, then they rejoined the original route but some considerable time had been lost. The late of progress was further impeded by tank and other columns double backing. After Alost[1] 4066, the column proceeded by Assche 5462 turnign North West to the Brussels to Antwerp road and thence to the Delivery Point[2] at 653879. See Appendix E5]

9th September – Arrived in Antwerp at 0300 hours and took over from 1st Dorset of 231 Infantry Brigade, 50th Division. The position in Antwerp itself when the Battalion took over was that the Germans held the area of Merxem 7198 and area North and NW with part of 719 Infantry Division it being estimated that there were 500 enemy in Merxem itself, then there was also enemy on the West side of the River Schelde. The Day was spent improving positions. A Company sent out two recce patrols one to bridge at 745883 and found it blown, and another to bridge at 735982 and found it un-blown. C Company were shelled by 88mm guns and one NCO and three Fusiliers were killed. Battalion mortars fired 150 bombs during the day as harrowing fire over the Battalions front.Battalion HQ located at railway station, 690873, A Company at 901877, B Compny at 692872, C Company at 689893, D Company at 693881. [See Appendix E6 – also Appendix F1] Battalion strength: 9th September – 26 Officers 833 Other Ranks. [See Appendix I2]

10th September – 0130 – Lieutenant Williams of B Company and once NCo returned from recce patrol over bridge in C Company and at 692992 – reported that the bridge not blown but the houses on the opposite bank at 695995 were occupied and the ground between the bridge and the houses were suitable for tanks. During the morning C Company had small and successful battle with the enemy attempted to cross the bridge at 692992, 7 Germans were believed to have been killed and the enemy abandoned an MG42 on the bridge. Following this encounter the enemy mortared No.13 platoon heavily, Platoon HQ received a direct hit and all personnel there with one exception were wounded. Lt Howes commanding the Platoon had to be evacuated with the rest. The Platoon Sergeant (Sergeant Blower) eventually returned.
At 1800 hours news was received that 1 Ox and Bucks was to relieve the Battalion with the exception of C Company’s position. Relief commenced at 2130 hours and was completed by 2400 hours. Battalion HQ at 683967.

11th September – 0115 – D Company relieved C Company on the docks at 0115 hours and then came under command of 1st Ox and Bucks. Battalion sent to rest in town prior to further action – possibly an attack. Day spent in administration. One Fusilier killed by shell whilst returning from a cinema show.

12th September – 0900 – CO to O group at Brigade during the afternoon. and evening ending at 0100 hours the 13th. The battalion took over from 1 Ox and Bucks, A Company reoccupied the position of the Sportsplatz at 701894, C Company the area of the factory and railway bridge at 693881. B Company took up new position on the Battalion right close to the boundary with 160 Brigade at 710978 overlooking the blown canal bridge at 710983. The position held by this Battalion since arrival in Antwerp and latterly held by D Company at 689693 was handed over to 1/5 Welch and D Company came into reserve in C Company’s area with a counter attack ole on the bridge they had previously held. Battalion HQ at the school at 690972. [See Appendix E7]

13th September – Day spent observing movement of enemy on opposite bank of canal, very good shooting with mortars. Anti-tank guns firing high explosive and by our supporting battery. [See sitrep at Appendix F2]

14th September – 0230 – Recce patrol from A Company returned from opposite side of canal having recced the Merxem area. B Company fighting patrol returned later from examining the factory at 715984 when it was believed the enemy had an OP – nothing was found. At 0900 the IO received orders for the move of the Battalion on being relieved by 1st Ox and Bucks and after relief a complete further move Eastwards along the Albert Canal to come under command of 15th Scottish Division. Relive commenced at 1800 with the relief of C and D Company. A and B Company were relieved after dark at 2130 hours. Battalion concentrated SE of Antrwerp we are off to Bouchout. Battalion HQ at 735899.[See Appendix C1, C2 Bttalion dispositions whilst in Antwerp shown in Mp at J2, J3 Air photographs of Antwerp]
15th September – 0755 – Battalion crossed Battalion Start Point and went via Mechlin to a concentration area at Steelen 0684 (South of Gheel 0888), arrived at 1200 hours. The CO attended Brigade O Group at 1700 hours and told to be prepared to carry out an attack to form a bridgehead over the Meuse-Escaut Canal in the region of square 3197. The Co with Brigade Command visited Lommel 3095, (held by 61 Recce Regiment of 50th Division) and viewed the ground from the very high church tower. At 2200 hours the CO visited Brigade and talked over plan with Brigade Command. The attack was timed for night of 16th/17th. A letter from Brigade announced that the Commander in Chief had approved the following awards to members of this Battalion: The MC for Lieutenant (now Captain Dryland), IO. The MM for Lance Corporal (now Sergeant) Feather (Stretcher Bearer) and Fusilier Guiller late of B Company, Fusilier Guiller was killed in the Battel of Valhuon on the 5th of this month[3].

16th September – 0800 – CO and IO to Brigade O Group where orders given out for the night’s attack. 1120 hours Battalion around Battalion Start Point and arrived at concentration area at Lommel 3095 at 1430 hours. The Co, Adjutant and IO had by this time carried out several recces getting close up to the canal under cover of the woods and flood banks of the canal itself. At 1500 hours the attack was postponed until the night of 17/18th September and was changed to one on a two Battalion front. Last night the Pioneer Officer (Lieutenant E Mulgrew) carried out a recce patrol with Royal Engineer Officers for crossing places and Lieutenant Hunes (A Company) recced for enemy positions – not actually crossing the canal. Bridge returned under command of 53rd Welsh Division having been under command of 15th Scottish Division since yesterday. Battalion HQ at 310948. Battalion strength 25 Officers, 808 ORs. [See Appendix E9, and I3]

17th September
[Note in sidebar] 158 Brigade 0015 and 53rd Division task table No.4 (RA) for Beecher at Appendix E10. 7 RWF Op Order No 1 at Appendix D2
Further extensive recces in the morning – A and C Company commands went up in Royal Artillery Air Observation Post and looked over the ground on the other side of the Escaut canal which it was impossible to see from the South side. 1000 hours the CO attended Brigade conference, 1400 hours the Battalion O Group held in the school occupied by the Brigade when an enlargement of the area had been made on a black board sand the fire plan had been superimposed. Battalion O Group was attended by Company Commands of 2nd Monmouthshire Regiment (160 Brigade) where Companies assisted in carrying boats, traffic control etc. O Group Lasted until 1545 hours. At 1600 hours the CO attended the Brigade coordinating conference. The operation was named ‘Beecher. The Battalion moved to a forward assembly area along the line of Lommel to Lut Lommel (3295) road. At 1830 ours Major Davies and Captain Dryland (IO) with a small party commenced taking routes for the four forward platoons from the Forming Up Place[4] area North of Heide Church 317945 to the canal bank. At 2115 the assault boats (6 per forward Company) arrived at the FUP where they were unloaded and erected by the 2nd Monmouthshire Regiment carrying parties under the direction of the Pioneer Officer (Lieutenant E Mulgrew). At 2130 hours, A Company arrived in the FUP followed by D Company, the boats had actually been late in arriving and as soon as they had been erected on the line of the road at 317964, (rain having prevented the trucks from moving onto the flat ground north of the church) thee Companies moved off the time being 2230 hours.
The COs plan was for A Company to cross on two crossings on the right and D Company on two crossings on the left. There crossing places were between 320973 and 316974. A Company’s two places were already cut ways through the canal flood bank. The two places for D Company however had clearing through the belt of trees south of the flood bank and the Pioneer platoon the previous night had cleared away the small fir trees on top of the bank leaving only one or two trees on the edge of the banks facing the enemy. There trees had actually been uprooted and only laid to be pushed aside. Having negotiated the obstacle it was necessary to carry the boats down the bank (set at an angle of 45o) to the canal tow path and then drop them 4 or 5 foot into the water. B Company was to cross in the rear of A Company and C Company in the rear of D Company. The operation was to be conducted in two phases, Phase I – A Company was to reach the line of the track above to the South East corner for the Heider Heide 3198, D Company were to extend along the south of the wood itself, C Company was to cross, left and clear down the banks towards the bridge at 308978. B Company was to cross and come into reserve at the same time and protect the left crossing places.
Phase II was due to begin at H+70. D Company was to push forward through Heider Heide wood to the North edge over the Dutch frontier. C Company was to go with the line of the road from the bridge to the area of 312987 and B Company was to move to the bridge and protect the bridging by the Royal Engineers. The Carrier Platoon was to cross dismounted and protect Battalion HQ until arrival of their carriers; in Phase I this Platoon was the place sections out on the South canal bank and cover the crossing of the Rifle Companies . 1st East Lancashire Regiment were even carrying out a similar operation on the left of this road and bridge 308978. the enemy opposite to the Battalion was known to be the Battle Group Von Der Heydte which was 6 Panzer Regiment. This group was believed to have companies disposed as follows; 5 Company disposed about 100 to 150 yards North of the Canal bank between 325971 and 398878, 6 Company along the line of Rigole D’Irragation 3397 and 7 Company in Hider Heider, all these Companies belonged to II Battalion. Much movement had been observed by 61 Recce Regiment and our own Carrier Sections confirming across the canal during the day prior to the attack.
The opening barrage started, 2300 hours the assault boats were launched at all crossing places. No difficulty was experienced by A Company’s right crossing place and one platoon with part of a second platoon crossed there; at this Company’s left crossing place the boats were just about to be loaded when a burst of Spandau fire was directed at them and two or three were wounded, a further attempt was made to load the boats but this drew further fire, this crossing place was therefore abandoned and the remainder of A Company eventually crossed by the other crossing. On the left D Company crossed very rapidly without interference.

[1] Rather ironic village name…

[2] In text as ‘DP’ = Delivery Point

[3] No reference to the ‘Battle of Valhuon’ in here but the French Resistance reference suggests he was KIA fighting alongside them.

[4] FUP = Forming Up Place
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#14 Swiper

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:54 PM

Updated to the 18th of September, some brilliant things in there, canal crossings et al, its also interesting how Captain Dryland - the IO - who writes this handwriting shifts by the end of this after he is wounded at Evrecy his style of writing shifts somewhat as does his humour... anyway read for yourself but I can assure you the difference in handwriting is quite marked.
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#15 Swiper

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:40 PM


18th September – C Company followed D Company very rapidly and by 0215 hours both Companies were across. D Company reached the North edge of a 200 yard strip of fir trees dividing the tow path and then took up position facing the Heider Heide wood from where considerable spandau and rifle fire was coming. C Company carried out its task as planned except for one platoon which because it became detached it eventually rejoined C Company. B Company was now diverted to the two left hand crossing places and was ordered to right position on reaching the opposite bank and clear up towards that part of A Company already across. This clearing operation by B Company commenced but eventually stopped owing to its uncertainty over the position of A Company. This situation finally cleared up and A and B Companies joined up. The situation at about 0400 hours was that A, B, and D Companies held from the canal bank at about 3 21974 to approx 314978, then was a gap in between them and the bridge where C Company was established not action around the bridge but some 200 to 300 yards up the side. The CO, had already asked for a Company of the 1/5th Welch and D Company of that Battalion crossed at about 0430 hours, B Company had now filled in the gap between D and C Companies and D Company 1/5 Welch was placed in between A and D Companies. The Carrier platoon was now across and [moved] up to the line held. Command post had been establishing on the tow path at 317975 from 0045 hours but the CO re-crossed the canal twice and had conferences with the Brigade Command at Heide Church. The order was given to commencing the operation that all troops would dig in wherever they might be at 0500 hours in preparation for a possible dawn counter attack. This was carried out by all Companies and the Battalion was firmly established on the line already given. It had not been possible to carry out Phase II of the operation before dawn and the Brigade Command prepared to send 1/5 Welch up the road to clear Heider Heide wood from West to East. Before this movement was able to be commenced the CO, decided that it would be possible for Phase II to be carried out in spite of daylight and the Brigade Command cancelled the operation of 1/5 Welch. C and D Companies moved forward according to plan at 1100 hours and encountered only isolated posts which were swiftly wrapped up. B Company moved down to wards the bridge. The Royal Engineers had been hindered in their attempts to build a Class 4 bridge at this sight by sniping and spandau fire from houses and a small wood close to the tow path on the West side of the road (just across the inter-Battalion boundary with 1 East Lancashire Regiment.) Two Platoons of B Company led by the Company Commander Major RCH Barber therefore carried out a most successful pincer movement setting one of the houses on fire neither platoon had one casualty, but two Germans were killed, two wounded and 28 taken prisoner including to RSMs. D Company, after searching the wood thoroughly and finding very few enemy but an enormous amount of abandoned weapons and equipment, arrived at its objective. At about the same time, 1430 hours, C Company reached its final objective. A Company was already in its final position. The Command Post moved forward to a house on the road at 310982. The pioneer platoon had rapidly constructed a Class 2 raft as soon as the situation allowed and [illegible – most likely mortars or Carriers] and anti-tank guns were over the canal shortly after daylight. AT 1500 hours the Class 9 bridge was completed by the Royal Engineers and the Recce Regiment followed by units of 160 Brigade crossed and continued the advance northwards. 1830 to 1930 hours the enemy carried out a heavy air attack on the bridgehead and on 30th Corps advance on the right. The CQMS of A Company was killed and the 2i/c of the Company (Captain McIlquham) was badly wounded. During the canal attack the casualties were 4 killed and 30 wounded. Battalion positions at this stage – Battalion HQ at 310982, A Company at 322978, B Company at 308978, C Company at 310984 and D Company at 321989.
After dark C and D Companies sent out patrols to examine the woods in-between our position and that of 1/5 Welch in Luyksgestel 3001 and A Company sent out a patrol to contact the 6 Durham Light Infantry of 50th Division on our right. 62 prisoners were captured in all.

19th September – Battalion placed under command of 71st Brigade and ordered to be ready to move in the morning. The CO attended a conference with Brigade Command, 71st Brigade, at 1400 hours and at 1700 hours. Battalion eventually moved at 1830 hours on the transport provided by the other Battalions of 158 Brigade. The whole of the Battalion now had crossed the Dutch frontier. The Battalion was ordered to be prepared to move[1] to Wintelre 3318, de-buss, then go forward to siege the un-blown bridge over the Wilhemina Canal at 306250, South West of Oirschot 3125. After several halts during which the CO discussed the situation with the Brigade, the Battalion debussed at Veldhoven 3714 and bivouacked until day light.

20th September – 0200 – The 4 RWF had been unable to capture the village of Wintelre itself, so the Battalion was not committed. At 1000 hours the CO visited Brigade and the Battalion moved into the woods south of Oerle 3576 still being prepared ready to go through to the bridge. At darkness, the Battalion was told that the operation could not be carried out that night since 4RWF were still having trouble with the village. Before dark the Carrier Platoon sent out a patrol to recce a route round via Bijsterveld 3419 and had a most successful engagement with an enemy position in a house, using a PIAT against the building and killing the enemy inside.

21st September – Battalion O group for day’s advance. Reverted to the command of 158 Brigade our former role having been taking over by 1 Ox and Bucks. B Company was Advance Guard with a section of mortars, anti-tank guns and carriers under command and at 930 hours went via Veldhoven and Knegsel 3313 towards the Battalion objective – the village of Vessem. Here at about mid-day B Company commenced an Advance Guard battle. The opposition appeared to come from sections and isolated men in houses and trucks, it was ascertained from PW statements after the battle that there were actually 150 men from the 5th and 7th Companies of the 937 Infantry Regiment were holding the village. B Company assisted by a troop from 53rd Division Recce Regiment infiltrated very satisfactorily towards the centre of the village and D Company was brought up by the CO to deal with enemy withdrawing northwest towards Donk 2817. The enemy was driven out of the village and it was in our hands by 1730 hours; the round up of prisoners continued for somewhile afterwards, the Carrier Platoon visted Donk and again used a PIAT to great affect on a house harbouring a sniper. In all the Battalion took 32 PWs. C Company was given the task of clearing a portion of the woods on [illegible] side of the Wintelre road added to the Battalion’s transport by the capture of an enemy saloon car complete with driver and mate. The Battalion soon became firmly established for the night and dug in. Two Fusiliers were killed by mortar fire. Battalion HQ at 299173, A Company area at 301174, B Company area at 295160, C Company area 300167, and D Company area at 297165. [See Appendix E11]

22nd September – 0730 – Battalion O Group for the day’s advance. Ready to move at 0800 when our tasks were changed. D Company had already cleared Donk commencing shortly after first light, 22 prisoners were taken. The Battalion was then ordered to capture Westel Biers 2418. D Company as advance guard duly proceeded across country from Donk (there being no tracks as shown on the map). This advance commenced at 1100 hours. By 1400 hours the leading section of this Advance Guard platoon had crossed the wooden farm bridge in this village at 248187 in spite of enemy fire, the remainder of the platoon however, was unable to follow up and had to withdraw out of the buildings to the [illegible] south of the village; three of the leading section were killed and two captured. The enemy used flame throwers and burnt down several houses By 1530 hours two platoons of D Company regained that portion of the village on the East side of the stream. The CO decided, after visiting D Company and the forward platoons, that it would be necessary to launch a Battalion attack to take the remainder of the village across the stream. C and B Companies accordingly came forward to a position just in the rear of D Company. C Company sent out a platoon to recce a route down to the stream to the south of D Company the intention being to cross the steam by wading and attack the western portion of the village from due south. This plan was being formed when a Liason Officer arrived from the Brigade with orders stating that 4 RWF were to be relieving the Battalion. The delay imposed by the visit of the Liaison Officer lost valuable time and it was apparent that the attack could not be complete in daylight, it was therefore cancelled and the Battalion dug in and prepared to hand [See Appendix E12]over to 4 RWF.

23rd September – The hand over commenced at 0030 hours and was completed by 0230 hours, A Company had been placed under control of 1 East Lancashire Regiment earlier in the day (the 22nd) and were protecting at Battalion’s rear by holding Hapert bridge at 267110. The Battalion marched to Hoogeloon 2813 when transport took it to Duizel 3010 arrivign at 0530 hours. The CO went to Brigade at 0430 hours and received orders. At 0830 hours B Company joined A Company at Hapert. At 1100 hours C and D Companies took over the village of Egypte 2409 from the 53rd Division Recce Regiment which had occupied it at first light. Battalion strength 24 Officers, 768 ORs. At 2100 hours when the Battalion was settling down to rest having had little sleep, [Battalion HQ at 272106, A Company at 273111, B Company at 27712, C Company at 248094, D Company at 245096], orders were received that the Division Command wanted 4 RWF relieved again, both other Battalions of this Brigade were already engaged on other tasks so it was meaning for this Battalion to returned to positions so recently relinquished. At 2300 hours the CO left for 4 RWF HQ followed by the Battalion Recce Group. The relief actually commenced at 0230 hours but was not completed until daylight. The new positions being Battalion HQ at 256181, A Company at 250187, B Company at 252185, C Company at 252182, D Company at 251188.[See Appendix I4and E13]

24th September – The enemy still occupied that part of the village west of the bridge but the Battalion was ordered not to attack but to hold the part already in our hands. During the day the enemy was engaged with Bren, mortar (2” and 3”) and rifle fire. Three houses were set on fire by incendiary bullets by the enemy. All night the Battalion carried out protection patrols on the flanks and A and D Companies recced down to the steam [on both?] the sides of the bridge.

25th September – 1100 – The CO attended Brigade O Group, there was no immediate move contemplated. The day was spent in the same way as the 24th, mortaring and shelling as well as firing small arms. No mortaring or shelling by the enemy of the Battalion position. Same patrols were sent out as the previous night, it was confirmed that the enemy had not vacated his positions as on the opposite side of the stream.

26th September – The CO visited Companies in the morning and Brigade Command visited the Battalion. At 1500 hours orders were received for the Battalion to move and recce parties from 4 RWF once again arrived. The hand over was completed by 2000 hours and the Battalion was back in Vessem 2916 – the Battalions own village.

27th September – Orders received during the night for move. The CO went to Brigade at 0845 hours then went to St Oedenrode 4231 to meet Brigade Command. By 1400 hours the Battalion Recce Party had arrived and at 1500 hours they had taken over from 6 Queens 131 Infantry Brigade, 7th Armoured Division and this was completed by 1700 hours. The Brigade was now under command of 7th Armoured Division for this operation. 12th Corps was still carrying out its task of protecting the left of 30th Corps during its thrust to join the Airborne forces in the Nijmegen and Arnhem areas. Battalion HQ at 426327, A Company at 415333, B Company at 412327, C Company at 417339, D Company at 422328. [See Appendix E15]

28th September – Three patrols – recce – sent out by A, B and C Companies returned. Each patrol consisted of an NCO and one Fusilier. A Company patrol met enemy before it arrived at its destination (396342). B Company went up the road towards Olland and encountered enemy posts en route. C Company patrol went to cross tracks 404343 and there located enemy positions. During the morning B Company sent out two fighting patrols each of a Section Command and a section. One patrol went up the Olland road to where the enemy had been located during the night, on reaching the buildings at 405327 this patrol engaged the enemy and after a brisk skirmish in which one of our men was wounded, withdrew to the Company. The second patrol went to the windmill at 403323 and found it unoccupied, it then turned north and contacted enemy which had earlier been engaged by the first patrol. The two patrols were commanded by Corporals Frazier and Bell. At 1330 hours, C Company bought down 25 pounder, mortar, Bofors and MMG fire on the area visited by the Company’s patrol during the night – a greeting for lunch. Very slight mortaring and shelling of general area of the Battalion. At 2200 hours a fighting patrol was sent out by A Company to try to ambush enemy in the area 406336 returned having found no enemy. [See Appendix C3 and C4]


29th September – 0405 – Patrol from C Company returned, it had been a fighting patrol with the object of liquidating the enemy at 404343 [cross tracks], this was not successful. [See Appendix C4]
0430 – Recce Patrol sent out by B Company towards Olland returned having found enemy positions en route. 0535 hours, two Recce Patrols form D Company returned hving been to the area of houses 402327 to confirm the enemy had not left, patrol confirmed the fact that enemy were still there and had an unsettling chase but got away. 0730, C Company once again shelled the wood 404344. At about the same time, Sergeant Ansty of B Company captured a prisoner from a farm about 200 yards from B Company’s forward platoon. The PW was enroute for our lines, Sergenat Ansty was actually in search off eggs, B Company later cleared all the housed in that area. The remainder of the day was quiet with periodic activity by the guns, mortars and MMGs. At 2255 a recce patrol sent out by C Company returned having confirmed that enemy were still in area 405342. [See Appendix C5]


30th September – 0130 – B Company fighting patrolled having been to the orchard at 408330 hoping to ambush enemy snipers who seemed to come out nightly to the area, after two of the patrol went forwards and found area of cross tracks 405332 also clear of enemy. On receiving this news the CO ordered B Company to send a recce patrol forward along the Olland road to the houses where D Company’s recce patrol encountered enemy and was chased the previous night. B Company patrol found the buildings had been vacated, B Company was therefore ordered to occupy the area with one platoon and a section of Carriers. At 0745 hours the CO saw Brigade command and discussed the situation. At 0530 hours C Company’s recce patrol returned having heard enemy movement in the northeast area of Olland. During the morngin D Company moved up and took over the position held by B Company’s platoon at 403328. Brigade to be under command of 7th Armoured Division at 1400 hours on 29th and came under command of 15th Scottish Division. Lieutenant WL Sabouvin who returned to Canada owning to domestic trouble shortly after the Battalion landed in Frnace succeeding in finding his way back to the unit and rejoined on the 28th. Battalion strength is 25 Officers and 750 ORs. [See Appendix I6, C5 and I5]

1st October 1944 Signed CP Dryland, Captain, IO

7th Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers


[1] In text as ‘motor’
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#16 Swiper

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:40 PM


18th September – C Company followed D Company very rapidly and by 0215 hours both Companies were across. D Company reached the North edge of a 200 yard strip of fir trees dividing the tow path and then took up position facing the Heider Heide wood from where considerable spandau and rifle fire was coming. C Company carried out its task as planned except for one platoon which because it became detached it eventually rejoined C Company. B Company was now diverted to the two left hand crossing places and was ordered to right position on reaching the opposite bank and clear up towards that part of A Company already across. This clearing operation by B Company commenced but eventually stopped owing to its uncertainty over the position of A Company. This situation finally cleared up and A and B Companies joined up. The situation at about 0400 hours was that A, B, and D Companies held from the canal bank at about 3 21974 to approx 314978, then was a gap in between them and the bridge where C Company was established not action around the bridge but some 200 to 300 yards up the side. The CO, had already asked for a Company of the 1/5th Welch and D Company of that Battalion crossed at about 0430 hours, B Company had now filled in the gap between D and C Companies and D Company 1/5 Welch was placed in between A and D Companies. The Carrier platoon was now across and [moved] up to the line held. Command post had been establishing on the tow path at 317975 from 0045 hours but the CO re-crossed the canal twice and had conferences with the Brigade Command at Heide Church. The order was given to commencing the operation that all troops would dig in wherever they might be at 0500 hours in preparation for a possible dawn counter attack. This was carried out by all Companies and the Battalion was firmly established on the line already given. It had not been possible to carry out Phase II of the operation before dawn and the Brigade Command prepared to send 1/5 Welch up the road to clear Heider Heide wood from West to East. Before this movement was able to be commenced the CO, decided that it would be possible for Phase II to be carried out in spite of daylight and the Brigade Command cancelled the operation of 1/5 Welch. C and D Companies moved forward according to plan at 1100 hours and encountered only isolated posts which were swiftly wrapped up. B Company moved down to wards the bridge. The Royal Engineers had been hindered in their attempts to build a Class 4 bridge at this sight by sniping and spandau fire from houses and a small wood close to the tow path on the West side of the road (just across the inter-Battalion boundary with 1 East Lancashire Regiment.) Two Platoons of B Company led by the Company Commander Major RCH Barber therefore carried out a most successful pincer movement setting one of the houses on fire neither platoon had one casualty, but two Germans were killed, two wounded and 28 taken prisoner including to RSMs. D Company, after searching the wood thoroughly and finding very few enemy but an enormous amount of abandoned weapons and equipment, arrived at its objective. At about the same time, 1430 hours, C Company reached its final objective. A Company was already in its final position. The Command Post moved forward to a house on the road at 310982. The pioneer platoon had rapidly constructed a Class 2 raft as soon as the situation allowed and [illegible – most likely mortars or Carriers] and anti-tank guns were over the canal shortly after daylight. AT 1500 hours the Class 9 bridge was completed by the Royal Engineers and the Recce Regiment followed by units of 160 Brigade crossed and continued the advance northwards. 1830 to 1930 hours the enemy carried out a heavy air attack on the bridgehead and on 30th Corps advance on the right. The CQMS of A Company was killed and the 2i/c of the Company (Captain McIlquham) was badly wounded. During the canal attack the casualties were 4 killed and 30 wounded. Battalion positions at this stage – Battalion HQ at 310982, A Company at 322978, B Company at 308978, C Company at 310984 and D Company at 321989.
After dark C and D Companies sent out patrols to examine the woods in-between our position and that of 1/5 Welch in Luyksgestel 3001 and A Company sent out a patrol to contact the 6 Durham Light Infantry of 50th Division on our right. 62 prisoners were captured in all.

19th September – Battalion placed under command of 71st Brigade and ordered to be ready to move in the morning. The CO attended a conference with Brigade Command, 71st Brigade, at 1400 hours and at 1700 hours. Battalion eventually moved at 1830 hours on the transport provided by the other Battalions of 158 Brigade. The whole of the Battalion now had crossed the Dutch frontier. The Battalion was ordered to be prepared to move[1] to Wintelre 3318, de-buss, then go forward to siege the un-blown bridge over the Wilhemina Canal at 306250, South West of Oirschot 3125. After several halts during which the CO discussed the situation with the Brigade, the Battalion debussed at Veldhoven 3714 and bivouacked until day light.

20th September – 0200 – The 4 RWF had been unable to capture the village of Wintelre itself, so the Battalion was not committed. At 1000 hours the CO visited Brigade and the Battalion moved into the woods south of Oerle 3576 still being prepared ready to go through to the bridge. At darkness, the Battalion was told that the operation could not be carried out that night since 4RWF were still having trouble with the village. Before dark the Carrier Platoon sent out a patrol to recce a route round via Bijsterveld 3419 and had a most successful engagement with an enemy position in a house, using a PIAT against the building and killing the enemy inside.

21st September – Battalion O group for day’s advance. Reverted to the command of 158 Brigade our former role having been taking over by 1 Ox and Bucks. B Company was Advance Guard with a section of mortars, anti-tank guns and carriers under command and at 930 hours went via Veldhoven and Knegsel 3313 towards the Battalion objective – the village of Vessem. Here at about mid-day B Company commenced an Advance Guard battle. The opposition appeared to come from sections and isolated men in houses and trucks, it was ascertained from PW statements after the battle that there were actually 150 men from the 5th and 7th Companies of the 937 Infantry Regiment were holding the village. B Company assisted by a troop from 53rd Division Recce Regiment infiltrated very satisfactorily towards the centre of the village and D Company was brought up by the CO to deal with enemy withdrawing northwest towards Donk 2817. The enemy was driven out of the village and it was in our hands by 1730 hours; the round up of prisoners continued for somewhile afterwards, the Carrier Platoon visted Donk and again used a PIAT to great affect on a house harbouring a sniper. In all the Battalion took 32 PWs. C Company was given the task of clearing a portion of the woods on [illegible] side of the Wintelre road added to the Battalion’s transport by the capture of an enemy saloon car complete with driver and mate. The Battalion soon became firmly established for the night and dug in. Two Fusiliers were killed by mortar fire. Battalion HQ at 299173, A Company area at 301174, B Company area at 295160, C Company area 300167, and D Company area at 297165. [See Appendix E11]

22nd September – 0730 – Battalion O Group for the day’s advance. Ready to move at 0800 when our tasks were changed. D Company had already cleared Donk commencing shortly after first light, 22 prisoners were taken. The Battalion was then ordered to capture Westel Biers 2418. D Company as advance guard duly proceeded across country from Donk (there being no tracks as shown on the map). This advance commenced at 1100 hours. By 1400 hours the leading section of this Advance Guard platoon had crossed the wooden farm bridge in this village at 248187 in spite of enemy fire, the remainder of the platoon however, was unable to follow up and had to withdraw out of the buildings to the [illegible] south of the village; three of the leading section were killed and two captured. The enemy used flame throwers and burnt down several houses By 1530 hours two platoons of D Company regained that portion of the village on the East side of the stream. The CO decided, after visiting D Company and the forward platoons, that it would be necessary to launch a Battalion attack to take the remainder of the village across the stream. C and B Companies accordingly came forward to a position just in the rear of D Company. C Company sent out a platoon to recce a route down to the stream to the south of D Company the intention being to cross the steam by wading and attack the western portion of the village from due south. This plan was being formed when a Liason Officer arrived from the Brigade with orders stating that 4 RWF were to be relieving the Battalion. The delay imposed by the visit of the Liaison Officer lost valuable time and it was apparent that the attack could not be complete in daylight, it was therefore cancelled and the Battalion dug in and prepared to hand [See Appendix E12]over to 4 RWF.

23rd September – The hand over commenced at 0030 hours and was completed by 0230 hours, A Company had been placed under control of 1 East Lancashire Regiment earlier in the day (the 22nd) and were protecting at Battalion’s rear by holding Hapert bridge at 267110. The Battalion marched to Hoogeloon 2813 when transport took it to Duizel 3010 arrivign at 0530 hours. The CO went to Brigade at 0430 hours and received orders. At 0830 hours B Company joined A Company at Hapert. At 1100 hours C and D Companies took over the village of Egypte 2409 from the 53rd Division Recce Regiment which had occupied it at first light. Battalion strength 24 Officers, 768 ORs. At 2100 hours when the Battalion was settling down to rest having had little sleep, [Battalion HQ at 272106, A Company at 273111, B Company at 27712, C Company at 248094, D Company at 245096], orders were received that the Division Command wanted 4 RWF relieved again, both other Battalions of this Brigade were already engaged on other tasks so it was meaning for this Battalion to returned to positions so recently relinquished. At 2300 hours the CO left for 4 RWF HQ followed by the Battalion Recce Group. The relief actually commenced at 0230 hours but was not completed until daylight. The new positions being Battalion HQ at 256181, A Company at 250187, B Company at 252185, C Company at 252182, D Company at 251188.[See Appendix I4and E13]

24th September – The enemy still occupied that part of the village west of the bridge but the Battalion was ordered not to attack but to hold the part already in our hands. During the day the enemy was engaged with Bren, mortar (2” and 3”) and rifle fire. Three houses were set on fire by incendiary bullets by the enemy. All night the Battalion carried out protection patrols on the flanks and A and D Companies recced down to the steam [on both?] the sides of the bridge.

25th September – 1100 – The CO attended Brigade O Group, there was no immediate move contemplated. The day was spent in the same way as the 24th, mortaring and shelling as well as firing small arms. No mortaring or shelling by the enemy of the Battalion position. Same patrols were sent out as the previous night, it was confirmed that the enemy had not vacated his positions as on the opposite side of the stream.

26th September – The CO visited Companies in the morning and Brigade Command visited the Battalion. At 1500 hours orders were received for the Battalion to move and recce parties from 4 RWF once again arrived. The hand over was completed by 2000 hours and the Battalion was back in Vessem 2916 – the Battalions own village.

27th September – Orders received during the night for move. The CO went to Brigade at 0845 hours then went to St Oedenrode 4231 to meet Brigade Command. By 1400 hours the Battalion Recce Party had arrived and at 1500 hours they had taken over from 6 Queens 131 Infantry Brigade, 7th Armoured Division and this was completed by 1700 hours. The Brigade was now under command of 7th Armoured Division for this operation. 12th Corps was still carrying out its task of protecting the left of 30th Corps during its thrust to join the Airborne forces in the Nijmegen and Arnhem areas. Battalion HQ at 426327, A Company at 415333, B Company at 412327, C Company at 417339, D Company at 422328. [See Appendix E15]

28th September – Three patrols – recce – sent out by A, B and C Companies returned. Each patrol consisted of an NCO and one Fusilier. A Company patrol met enemy before it arrived at its destination (396342). B Company went up the road towards Olland and encountered enemy posts en route. C Company patrol went to cross tracks 404343 and there located enemy positions. During the morning B Company sent out two fighting patrols each of a Section Command and a section. One patrol went up the Olland road to where the enemy had been located during the night, on reaching the buildings at 405327 this patrol engaged the enemy and after a brisk skirmish in which one of our men was wounded, withdrew to the Company. The second patrol went to the windmill at 403323 and found it unoccupied, it then turned north and contacted enemy which had earlier been engaged by the first patrol. The two patrols were commanded by Corporals Frazier and Bell. At 1330 hours, C Company bought down 25 pounder, mortar, Bofors and MMG fire on the area visited by the Company’s patrol during the night – a greeting for lunch. Very slight mortaring and shelling of general area of the Battalion. At 2200 hours a fighting patrol was sent out by A Company to try to ambush enemy in the area 406336 returned having found no enemy. [See Appendix C3 and C4]


29th September – 0405 – Patrol from C Company returned, it had been a fighting patrol with the object of liquidating the enemy at 404343 [cross tracks], this was not successful. [See Appendix C4]
0430 – Recce Patrol sent out by B Company towards Olland returned having found enemy positions en route. 0535 hours, two Recce Patrols form D Company returned hving been to the area of houses 402327 to confirm the enemy had not left, patrol confirmed the fact that enemy were still there and had an unsettling chase but got away. 0730, C Company once again shelled the wood 404344. At about the same time, Sergeant Ansty of B Company captured a prisoner from a farm about 200 yards from B Company’s forward platoon. The PW was enroute for our lines, Sergenat Ansty was actually in search off eggs, B Company later cleared all the housed in that area. The remainder of the day was quiet with periodic activity by the guns, mortars and MMGs. At 2255 a recce patrol sent out by C Company returned having confirmed that enemy were still in area 405342. [See Appendix C5]


30th September – 0130 – B Company fighting patrolled having been to the orchard at 408330 hoping to ambush enemy snipers who seemed to come out nightly to the area, after two of the patrol went forwards and found area of cross tracks 405332 also clear of enemy. On receiving this news the CO ordered B Company to send a recce patrol forward along the Olland road to the houses where D Company’s recce patrol encountered enemy and was chased the previous night. B Company patrol found the buildings had been vacated, B Company was therefore ordered to occupy the area with one platoon and a section of Carriers. At 0745 hours the CO saw Brigade command and discussed the situation. At 0530 hours C Company’s recce patrol returned having heard enemy movement in the northeast area of Olland. During the morngin D Company moved up and took over the position held by B Company’s platoon at 403328. Brigade to be under command of 7th Armoured Division at 1400 hours on 29th and came under command of 15th Scottish Division. Lieutenant WL Sabouvin who returned to Canada owning to domestic trouble shortly after the Battalion landed in Frnace succeeding in finding his way back to the unit and rejoined on the 28th. Battalion strength is 25 Officers and 750 ORs. [See Appendix I6, C5 and I5]

1st October 1944 Signed CP Dryland, Captain, IO

7th Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers


[1] In text as ‘motor’
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#17 Swiper

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:42 PM

Appendix will follow at a later date, after I get more of the units finished till September, not least that the September Appendix is gigantic.
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#18 Pieter F

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:26 PM

Great work Swiper!
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#19 mercman

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 09:42 PM

Hi looking for information on late uncle lance serjeant george e warburton 4195966 7th bn royal welch fusilers. Killed 13/ 08 1944 laid to rest banneville war cemetery. Any information very grateful sorry if in wrong section first time on site.
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#20 JERICHO

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 05:41 PM

Hello all

I search the  Appendix No.J1 of 2 September on the death of Corporal Smith of the Provost and Fusilier Thomas at Brucamps in Somme.

 

It is in the context of ceremonies September 2014 Brucamps.

Best regards and happy new year


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