2661972 Sgt Leslie Davison COULSON, 4th Coldstream Guards

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by AB64, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

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    Just got this Service Book to 2661972 Sgt Leslie Davison COULSON, 4th Coldstream Guards - from findmypast I found he was wounded 28/2/45, Diane has been very helpful in providing general info around the actions of that day, but I was hoping someone may be able to provide that's days War Diary. I'm hoping that with him being a Sergeant he may have been a tank commander and so may get a mention - his wound must have been bad as he dropped from A1 to E (permanently unfit for service).


    4jonboy and CL1 like this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Allistair,
    Hopefully someone will be able to share the 4CG diary for that date - in the meantime there is also this from 6th Guards Tank Brigade, Patrick Forbes, pages 114-5:

    "After four days of rest and maintenance in Cleve, the Coldstream moved up behind the woods for which the Grenadiers and the Scots Guards were still fighting. It had been planned the as soon as the other two Battalions secured the Weeze-Udem road; the Coldstream would pass through them to exploit the advance to Kervenheim and beyond. By the night of February 27th, most of the road was in British hands, and so at 5 o'clock the next morning the Coldstream moved to a clearing in the wood about a thousand yards to the north of the road and tied up with Infantry.

    Their attack with 185th Brigade was due to start at midday but as there were still isolated pockets of paratroopers north of the road, it had to be postponed until 2 o'clock. As soon as the crossed the start-line - No. 1 Squadron on the right with the Warwicks and No. 2 Squadron on the left with the K.S.L.I. - they were met by the same determined resistance which the other two Battalions had encountered in the woods further north. Heavy shell and mortar fire, S.P.s and fire from the hight ground on the right made fast progress impossible. However, No. 1 Squadron successfully helped a bridge layer to lay a bridge over the Muhlen Sleuth at Wettermanshof and by nightfall the Brigade Group had advanced over 2,000 yards from the start-line and were well situated for an attack on Kervenheim on the morrow.

    As it was expected that the majority of the opposition would come from the right flank, it was planned that No. 1 Squadron would cross over the Muhlen Sleuth (which runs south-east to Kervenheim at this point) and protect the other two Squadrons while they attacked the town itself. So, at 9 o'clock on March 1st, No. 2 Squadron with K.S.L.I. and No. 3 Squadron with the Norfolks moved off towards Kervenheim and No. 1 Squadron crossed over to the other side of the stream. All went well with this latter Squadron until they reached Weykermanshof. Here Lieutenant Harrison, who was leading, was killed by a sniper and shortly afterwards his tank was hit by a S.P. and two members of his crew were wounded. The tank was being sprayed by machine-guns, yet Gdsn. Holborough, the operator, took charge of it and evacuated both the wounded men. Several S.P.s had been firing at the Squadron and so the Squadron Leader, Captain Hamilton-Stubber, ordered the leading troop to withdraw a short distance under cover of smoke to the bridge which was slightly more protected than the open ground in front.

    The other two Squadrons were having to fight for every inch of ground as they pressed on towards Kervenheim. The Norfolks, who were with No. 3 Squadron on the right, were receiving very heavy casualties, and at Murmannshof, a village just west of the town, S.P.s supported by Infantry continually harassed the advance. Eventually Lieutenant Melikoff entered Kervenheim but he was immediately bazooka'ed, slightly wounded in the face, and forced to retire. The enemy defences guarding the town had been skilfully arranged and the weight of the machine-gun fire frustrated all the attempts made by the Infantry to penetrate into it. On No. 2 Squadron's front, Lieutenant Foucard repeatedly left his tank in the face of heavy fire to maintain contact with the Infantry, but the nearest the Squadron got to Kervenheim was when Lieutenant Milne reached a large crossroads north of the town from which he was able to provide invaluable covering fire for the Infantry. S.P.s were very active all day and one of them hit Captain Barton's tank and cracked the turret; he had a very nasty three minutes as he reversed back over the hill crest and other shot went through his mud shield. Just before dark an S.P. fired at Captain Creswell's scout car which was parked outside the Infantry Battalion Headquarters and wounded him in the foot; Captain Fielding (the Technical Adjutant) was slightly hurt in the eyes, and Gdsn. Collier, the scout car driver, lost his left foot. At dusk all Squadrons were withdrawn to harbour and plans were made for a fresh attack on Kervenheim the next day."

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