From The Times, 22 Aug 1939, a month before this War Diary started; 7th Guards Brigade on Brigade Training at Tidworth, also one photo of Reservists training with Grenadier Guards Transcribed from copy War Diaries kindly supplied by Drew. TNA Catalogue Reference: WO 167/698 1939 September 1 Pirbright Camp Mobilisation ordered. Received over the telephone from Acting Staff Captain 7th GUARDS BRIGADE (Geoffrey BULL). Reservists had been called up the previous day. (see appendix 1) Lighting restrictions for Air Raid precautions enforced (see appendix 2) First batch of reservists arrived from R.H.Q. about 1500 hours, and went on arriving till 0100 hours in batches of 20. 1939 September 2 Pirbright Camp Anti-Tank Company of 7th GUARDS BRIGADE formed by one Platoon from each of 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS, 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS and 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS. (appendix 3) First day of general Mobilisation. Owing to influx of TRAINING BATTALIONS into PIRBRIGHT, all rifle Companies of the Battalion were sent to Billets or camp. No.s 2 and 3 Companies to billets in PIRBRIGHT village area, No.s 1 and 4 Companies to S? CASTLE Camp. 1939 September 3 Pirbright Camp Severe thunderstorm on Saturday night making conditions for those under canvas pretty unpleasant. A fine day soon mended their spirit. Reserve Officers joining, the Battalion complete. 1115 hours ENGLAND declared war on GERMANY, given out on the wireless. Wire from LONDON received later in the day. (see appendix 3A) 1939 September 4 Whole Battalion inoculated. Visit by the DIVISIONAL Commander (MONTGOMERY) Carrying on with Mobilization. 1939 September 5 First message about Air attacks received from ALDERSHOT Command (see appendix 4) CORPS Commander (BROOKE) visited 7th GUARDS BRIGADE. Companies started War Training. Shooting of rifle and Bren gun by reservists commenced. 1939 September 6 0930 hours Pirbright Camp First Air Raid warning received. No raid actually took place. 1515 hours H.R.H. the DUKE of CONNAUGHT visited all Battalions in the 7th GUARDS BRIGADE. Battalion up to War Establishment plus First Reinforcments and Home Details. 1939 September 7 Quiet day of Training and continuation of Mobilization. Captain A.E.C. TENNYSON-d’EYNCOURT joined. One of the Carriers turned over during Training, with no casualties luckily. 1939 September 8 Pirbright Camp Very hot weather. A clear day for final kit inspections. All quiet. New promotions made and Roll of Officers made out. (see appendix 5) Lieutenant-Colonel A. de CAZENOVE, M.V.O. Major S.A. FORSTER Major I.N. McC. TUBBS Captain D.C. FORDE Captain R.F.S. GOOCH Captain and Adjutant St.J.O.A.W. FORBES Captain The Lord Frederick CAMBRIDGE Captain A.E.C. TENNYSON-d’EYNCOURT Captain J.R. CAMPBELL Captain J. CHANDOS-POLE Lieutenant H.J.L. GREEN Lieutenant J.E.B. POPE Lieutenant L.J. GRAHAM-CLARKE Lieutenant Sir C.J. CHILD, Bt. Lieutenant C.P. DAWNAY Lieutenant C.H.S. PRESTON Lieutenant R.E.F. WALKER 2/Lieutenant J. INNES 2/Lieutenant J.D. WIGAN 2/Lieutenant G.H. BRIGGS Lieutenant & Quartermaster W.F. SMITH, M.B.E. First Reinforcements Captain C.R. PEEL 2/Lieutenant A.V. PRIESTLEY 2/Lieutenant P.L. ALLIX 2/Lieutenant D.T. MacGREGOR Lieutenant P.B. WILLIAMS, ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL SERVICE 1939 September 9 Pirbright Camp Again very hot. Signal Exercise carried out in the morning in the CHOBHAM District. Not a success owing to too hurried orders. As many men as possible sent on 24 hours leave. 1939 September 10 0800 hours Pirbright Camp Advanced Party left for Concentration area, YEOVIL, SOMERSET. Unable to complete Mobilization owing to large deficiencies of War Equipment on ?indent. Otherwise the Battalion is ready to move. 1939 September 11 Pirbright Camp 12 impressed 30-cwt trucks drawn. None of them covered and no tarpaulins! 10 more men from TRAINING BATTALION joined for Home Details. More orders for Battalion move to concentration area prepared. (see appendix 6) Motor Transport now complete. Carrier Platoon still one short. 1939 September 12 Pirbright Camp H.M. the KING inspected 7th GUARDS BRIGADE (see appendix 7) Battalion packing up to move to Concentration area to-morrow. 1939 September 13 1530 hours Yeovil Battalion H.Q., H.Q. Company, No. 1 Company by train and moved into Billets. 1530 hours Motor Transport column arrived. One accident only, not serious. 1700 hours No.s 2, 3, and 4 Companies arrived by train and moved into Billets. 1830 hours Carriers arrived. 1939 September 14 Yeovil All rifle Companies went on Route March of at least 12 miles. Signallers connected Companies with Battalion H.Q. 1300 hours Warning order for DIVISIONAL Scheme of taking over trench system received. This entails a long march to the area, bivouacs or billets for the night, and then movement to trench system by night. (see appendix 8) Summary of difficulties encountered during Mobilization:- 1. No Mobilization kit should be issued to Companies till Z + 5 at earliest in order to get all peace equipment handed in first. This should avoid muddles. 2. Having no Peace Station, the storage of Battalion property is a big problem. 3. Peace time indents very slow to materialise, so holding up issue of Mobilization equipment. 4. Difficulty of accounting with Peace time methods after Mobilization. It is suggested that a War basis should be adopted from Mobilization and not from time the Battalion goes overseas. 5. Change of senior ranks among N.C.O.s leads to chaos in Company books. 1939 September 15 Yeovil Company Training continued. Intelligence Officer located billets for DIVISIONAL Scheme commencing 17th September. Accommodation in these temporary billets appears inadequate. A quiet day. 1939 September 16 Yeovil Orders for DIVISIONAL Scheme arrived. This entailed 16 mile march to billets at FRAMPTON. Orders written for Battalion and issued by 1799 hours. (see appendix 9 1939 September 17 1530 hours Frampton “B” Echelon arrive escorted by Carrier Platoon. 1630 hours Adjutant and Office truck arrived. Companies billeted in FRAMPTON COURT, and farm buildings in the area of the house and village Hall in FRAMPTON. 1939 September 18 1100 hours Frampton 50 rounds per rifle issued. Company Commanders reconnoitred trench system to be taken over in the evening, a mile WEST of COMPTON VALENCE. 1700 hours Operation Order (see appendix 10) received from BRIGADE 1700 hours. 1915 hours Battalion left FRAMPTON with “A” Echelon and reached the trench line at 2130 hours. Relief completed by 2330 hours. A very cold night. 1939 September 19 0530 hours Eggardon Hill Stood to in trench system. 630 hours Stood down and breakfasted and rested the Battalion. 1145 hours H.M. the KING visited the Battalion. 1330 hours Conference for Company Commander held. 1530 hours Brigadier visited the Battalion. 1730 hours Operation Order from BRIGADE received (see appendix 11) 1930 hours Stood to in trench system. 2030 hours Stood down. Another cold night. 1939 September 20 0030 hours Eggardon Hill Fighting patrol went out. 0130 hours Fighting patrol returned without meeting enemy. 0430 hours Recce patrol went out. 0530 hours Recce patrol returned with nothing to report. Stood to in trench system. 0630 hours Stood down and breakfasted. 0800 hours DIVISIONAL Scheme ended. Commenced filling in trenches. 1730 hours “B” Echelon left EGGARDON HILL for YEOVIL. 1900 hours Battalion left EGGARDON HILL to march to YEOVIL, 2230 hours halting for dinners at MELBURY. 1939 September 21 0200 hours Yeovil Battalion reached YEOVIL, rested and bathed. Advance Party consisting of Captain CAMPBELL and two Other Ranks left for overseas. 1939 September 22 Yeovil All Battalion transport loaded up ready for dispatch overseas. The Battalion now only retains such equipment etc as can be carried. 1510 hours Orders received from BRIGADE for movement of transport overseas. 1939 September 23 0830 hours Yeovil Carriers and Transport left for Port of Embarkation for overeseas. 1939 September 24 Yeovil News received that all Transport arrived safely at Port of Embarkation (PLYMOUTH). Whole Battalion attended Church in HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, YEOVIL. A quiet day. 1939 September 25 Yeovil Battalion paraded by Companies for P.T. and Stretcher Bearing. Lecture by Medical Officer to all Companies. Another quiet day. 1939 September 26 1130 hours Yeovil General Instructions for the movement of the 3rd DIVISION by rail received from BRIGADE. Battalion inspected by Companies in full equipment carrying packs, and went for a three mile march. Letter received from the MAYOR of YEOVIL expressing appreciation of the high standard of all Ranks during their stay. 1939 September 27 1430 hours Yeovil Visit by the Major General, LONDON DISTRICT. Advance Party of 6th QUEENS (131st INFANTRY BRIGADE) arrived to reconnoitre billets. A quiet day. 1939 September 28 Yeovil Orders received that the Battalion will leave YEOVIL by rail tomorrow, September 29th. Q Stores, bicycles, Company’s Boxes etc loaded on baggage knobs. 1939 September 29 Yeovil 1150 hours No.s 1 and 2 Companies and 1/2 H.Q. Company left YEOVIL by train for Port of Embarkation (SOUTHAMPTON) 1250 hours Yeovil No.s 3 and 4 Companies and 1/2 H.Q. Company left YEOVIL by train for Port of Embarkation. (SOUTHAMPTON) 1500 hours s.s. Duke of Argyll Embarked on s.s. DUKE OF ARGYLL. 1700 hours Sailed from SOUTHAMPTON Docks and anchored off PORTSMOUTH. List of Officers embarked with the Battalion for Overseas. Commanding Officer - Lieutenant A. de L. CAZENOVE, M.V.O. Second-in-Command - Major S.A. FORSTER Adjutant - Captain St.J.O. FORBES Quartermaster - Lieutenant W.F. SMITH, M.B.E. H.Q. Wing - Captain J. CHANDOS-POLE H.Q. Wing - Lieutenant H.J.L. GREEN (Carrier Platoon) H.Q. Wing - Lieutenant L.J. GRAHAM-CLARKE (Motor Transport Officer) H.Q. Wing - Lieutenant C.P. DAWNAY (Intelligence Officer) H.Q. Wing - 2/Lieutenant J. INNES (Signals Officer) H.Q. Wing - Lieutenant H. WALTAR (Medical Officer) H.Q. Wing - Captain A.E. STEVENS (Padre R.C.) No. 1 Company - Major I. McC. TUBBS No. 1 Company - Captain J.R. CAMPBELL No. 1 Company - Lieutenant Sir John CHILD No. 1 Company - 2/Lieutenant D.T. MacGREGOR (1st Reinforcements) No. 2 Company - Captain the Lord Frederick CAMBRIDGE No. 2 Company - Lieutenant C.H. PRESTON No. 2 Company - 2/Lieutenant G.H. BRIGGS No. 2 Company - Lieutenant J.E. TOLLEMACHE (1st Reinforcements) No. 3 Company - Captain R.F.S. GOOCH No. 3 Company - Lieutenant J.E. POPE No. 3 Company - Lieutenant R. FAURE-WALKER No. 3 Company - 2/Lieutenant P.L ALLIX (1st Reinforcements) No. 4 Company - Captain D.C. FORDE No. 4 Company - Captain A. TENNYSON-d’EYNCOURT No. 4 Company - 2/Lieutenant J.D. WIGAN 1939 September 30 0100 hours s.s. Duke of Argyll Sailed from PORTSMOUTH (No Man’s Land Fort) in Convoy with four other Troopships and two Destroyers for escort. A beam wind, sea smooth, a full moon. 0700 hours Entered CHERBOURG outer harbour. 0830 hours Cherbourg Disembarked, breakfasts on quayside. Marched up to the Townhall where the Battalion was billeted for the day. 1800 hours Entrained at CHERBOURG Station. Supplies in the train.