1/7 Middlesex.

Discussion in '1940' started by Deneckere, Oct 13, 2021 at 8:21 AM.

  1. Deneckere

    Deneckere Member

    Hello, Can someone give met the location of this unit for the period round 25 of May 1940. Who ha smore info on the action of sergeant Burford who crossed the Lys ???? Is there a detailed account of his adventure? Thx.
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    1st/7th Middlesex in France 1940:

    3rd Infantry Division – Attached – 16 January 1940 to 25 May 1940

    On arrival at Houplin, it moved into billets and joined the 3rd Infantry Division as an extra support battalion joining the 2nd Battalion at nearby Gondecourt. The regulars of the 2nd assisted the Territorials of the 1st/7th in their training. During March, the division held two three-day exercies in anticipation of the rapid advance into Belgium when war started. The Germans attacked on May 10th and, by early afternoon, the 3rd Division had crossed the Belgian border bound for Louvain, near the Dutch frontier. It reached Louvain the following day and the battalion took up defensive postitions on the northwest of the town with ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies around Berkem, and Battalion Headquarters, ‘C’, and ‘D’ Companies around Eichen and Gemeinte Bosschen. For the next four days, the division remained in place awaiting the Germans, but events in the Ardennes forced a withdrawal to the River Dendre on the 17th. On arrival the battalion took up positions at Sterrebeck to allow the infantry to withdraw. On the 18th, the battalion then withdrew, passing through the bombed streets of Brussels. It then took up its defensive positions on the Dendre with two companies, ‘B’ and C’ forward on the river, with ‘A’ and ‘D’ Companies holding positions in depth. An enemy patrol arrived on the evening of the 18th and was dealt with by ‘C’ Company, but when the Germans appeared in strength on the 19th, a further withdrawal to the Scheldt was ordered. With the 99th Anti-Tank Battery under command, the battalion took up positions on the railway line running through Sottegem to cover the divisional withdrawal. After the infantry successfully withdrew, the battalion moved back by companies to the Scheldt on the 20th. The battalion assisted in the defence of the Scheldt line for two days with ‘A’ and ‘D’ Companies forward and ‘B’ and ‘C’ occupying positions in depth. During the morning of May 23rd, the battalion along the 2nd Middlesex manned the frontier defences at Wattrelos, Roubaix, and Turcoing.

    1st Infantry Division – Attached – 25 May 1940 to 26 May 1940

    On May 25th, the battalion was ordered to move north to take up positions on the Comines-Menin Canal under the 1st Infantry Division. It moved into positions from Comines to Bousbecque. It was heavily bombed during the following day and began actively patrolling along its front.

    48th (South Midland) Infantry Division – Attached – 26 May 1940 to 1 June 1940

    Around midday on the 26th, the 1st/7th Battalion, less ‘D’ Company, was ordered north again towards Ypres and took up positions along the Wytschaete Ridge under the 48th Division. ‘D’ Company had remained at Comines in support of the 12th Infantry Brigade. The battalion was heavily shelled on the ridge on the 27th and were ordered off that day to a strong point in the woods north of Poperinghe. A further withdrawal took place on the 28th to positions around Dunkirk and Nieuport. It was fairly widely scattered, with Battalion Headquarters in Oost Dunkirk village, ‘A’ Company around Nieuport Bains, ‘B’ Company on the Wulpen road, ‘C’ Company round Nieuport Ville, and ‘D’ Company in the woods on the road to Oost Dunkirk Bains. Bombing and shelling continued through May 31st. That night the 48th Division prepared to evacuate Dunkirk. The battalion abandoned its hard fought positions after midnight and embarked during the early hours of June 1st without its equipment.
    17thDYRCH and 4jonboy like this.

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