War Diary, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, BEF - Sep 1939 to Jun 1940

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, Sep 3, 2010.

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    Transcribed from copy War Diaries kindly supplied by Drew.

    TNA Catalogue Reference: WO 167/700

     
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    1939 September 1
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    Verbal Orders received that this was ‘Z’ Day.
    Battalion continued P.A.D. work. All P.A.D. precautions were brought into force.
    Servants detailed for H.Q., London District proceeded to LONDON by rail.
    Remaining personnel for staff of TRAINING BATTALION reported to WINDSOR before Dinners.
    King’s, No.s. 2 & 4 Companies moved to billets at HENLEY PARK.

    1939 September 2
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    FIRST DAY OF MOBILIZATION.
    1440 hours Order to Mobilize received. ‘Z’ day was 1st September.
    Personnel for H.Q., 7th GUARDS BRIGADE and 162 O.C.T.U. reported.
    The Brigade Anti-Tank Company was formed, and the Platoon found from the Battalion moved to STONEY CASTLE.

    1939 September 3
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    SECOND DAY OF MOBILIZATION.
    Mobilization Routine carried out.
    P.A.D. work continued.
    24 hours leave was granted to Officers and Other Ranks for domestic reasons.
    Local leave till 12 midnight.
    Service Bayonets were issued.

    1939 September 4
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    THIRD DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    All Boys and personnel under aged proceeded to the TRAINING BATTALION.
    The Battalion commenced to hand in Public Clothing to Royal Arsenal, WOOLWICH.
    Anti-Gas Clothing was issued.
    The Divisional Commander, Major-General B.L. MONTGOMERY, D.S.O. (G.O.C., 3rd DIVISION) inspected the 7th GUARDS BRIGADE, both in Camp and in billets.
    7th GUARDS BRIGADE, both in Camp and in billets.

    1939 September 5
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    FOURTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    King’s and No. 3 Companies exercised all reservists in Bren Gun course.
    No.s 2, 4, and HQ Companies carried out Training.
    Mobilization Programme continued.
    The 2nd Corps Commander (Lieutenant-General A.F. BROOKE, C.B., D.S.O.) visited 7th GUARDS BRIGADE - no inspection

    1939 September 6
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    FIFTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    No. 2 and H.Q. Companies exercised all reservists in Bren Gun course.
    King’s, No.s. 3 and 4 Companies carried out training.
    Field Marshall His Royal Highness The Duke of CONNAUGHT visited the 7th GUARDS BRIGADE, both in Camp and in billets, and subsequently sent a message of best wishes for the future to all ranks.

    1939 September 7
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    SIXTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    King’s, No.s. 2, 3 and HQ Companies continued to carry out Company Training.
    No. 4 Company fired all reservists in certain practices of the Bren Gun. Course on HENLY PARK Range.
    First Year men completed their Light Machine Gun Course on No. 3 Range.

    1939 September 8
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    SEVENTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    Peace Scale S.A.A. was returned to Ordnance.
    50% of the Battalion were granted 24 hours leave

    1939 September 9
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    EIGHTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    All Peace clothing and necessaries surplus to War scale were handed in.
    Officers and Other Ranks armed with pistols were exercised.
    A start was made on 2nd dose of inoculation.
    Remainder of Battalion were granted 24 hours leave.

    1939 September 10
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    NINTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    Voluntary Church Parades were held in PIRBRIGHT CAMP and at HENLEY PARK.
    The Concentration Area advance party, under the command of Lieutenant G.C.F. GWYER, proceeded to YEOVIL, SOMERSET, to take over billets.

    1939 September 11
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    TENTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.
    Battalion H.Q. and H.Q. Company carried out a scheme on G.1. Area.
    S.A.A. was issued to War scale.

    1939 September 12
    Pirbright Camp, Surrey
    ELEVENTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    His Majesty The KING visited PIRBRIGHT Camp. All Companies were seen by His Majesty, and afterwards he had lunch in the Officers’ Mess.
    All surplus stores were packed into the Battalion Mobilization Store or sent to the TRAINING BATTALION at WINDSOR.
    Security Documents went to Headquarters, London District.
    Battalion Books, Wills and Medals were sent to Regimental Headquarters.
    Vehicles were packed by Companies ready to move.

    1939 September 13
    Yeovil, Somerset
    TWELFTH DAY OF MOBILIZATION
    The Battalion moved to the Divisional Concentration Area at YEOVIL. (1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS O.O. No. 1 attached.
    King’s, No.s. 2 & 4 Companies left BROOKWOOD Station at 0830 hours and arrived at YEOVIL at 1135 hours
    No. 3 and HQ. Companies left BROOKWOOD Station at 1050 hours and arrived at YEOVIL at 1322 hours.
    The M.T. moved in three parties by road and the last party arrived at YEOVIL at 1500 hours.
    One Carrier with a broken track was the only casualty.
    The Battalion was billeted by Companies in YEOVIL. Battalion H.Q. :- Liberal Hall, Middle Street, YEOVIL.

    1939 September 14
    Yeovil, Somerset
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.

    1939 September 15
    Yeovil, Somerset
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.
    The Corps Commander visited Battalion H.Q.

    1939 September 16
    Yeovil, Somerset
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.
    The Divisional Commander visited Battalion H.Q.
    The Commanding Officer held at TEWT for Company Commanders and Platoon Commanders of Rifle Companies in the afternoon.

    1939 September 17
    Cruxton
    The Battalion marched out of YEOVIL at 1115 hours and bivouacked for the night at CRUXTON to start a Divisional Scheme the next day. (1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS O.O. No. 2 attached)

    1939 September 18
    Cruxton
    The Brigadier gave out orders for the occupation of a trench position that night.
    A reconnaissance was carried out by the C.O., Company Commanders and Specialist platoon Commanders with the 2nd Battalion LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT in the line.
    That night 7th GUARDS BRIGADE took over in the line from 9th INFANTRY BRIGADE.
    The Battalion marched out from CRUXTON at 1950 hours.
    Relief was complete by 0126 hours. (1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS O.O. No. 3 attached.)

    1939 September 19
    ex-Cruxton
    The Battalion was in the line on a front from TWO GATES - HAYDON DOWN.
    1130 hours His Majesty The KING visited 7th GUARDS BRIGADE in the line and inspected the King’s Company

    1939 September 20
    ex-Cruxton The Battalion was in the line.
    0800 hours The scheme ended.
    All trenches were filled in.
    The Battalion started to march back to YEOVIL at 1820 hours.

    1939 September 21
    The Battalion reached YEOVIL at 0215 hours.
    Reveille 1030 hours.
    1600 hours The Commanding Officer attended a Conference at Battalion H.Q.

    1939 September 22
    Companies packed up all M.T. by midday.
    M.T. was weighed etc. in preparation for proceeding overseas.
    Very Secret Orders were received for move of M.T. the next day.

    1939 September 23
    The Battalion M.T. moved off to port of embarkation in three convoys
    (1) Carriers under Lieutenant DIXON,
    (2) 27 vehicles under Lieutenant WIGRAM,
    (3) 26 vehicles under the M.T. serjeant, between 0830 hours and 0915 hours.
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.

    1939 September 24
    A Battalion Church Parade was held in St. John’ the Baptist’s Church. 520 Other Ranks attended and all the Officers and a number of wives, mothers, etc.
    The service was taken by our Padre Captain GRIFFITHS, and the Lesson was read by the Commanding Officer
    The remainder of the day was clear.

    1939 September 25
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.

    1939 September 26
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.
    King’s and No. 4 Companies visited the local Aircraft factory.
    The Divisional Movement Order for Overseas was received.

    1939 September 27
    The Battalion had a Drill Parade under the Adjutant at 0900 hours in NEWTON PARK.
    Afterwards Companies carried out Training as per programme.
    The Battalion was paid.

    1939 September 28
    Yeovil, Somerset
    Companies carried out Training in accordance with programme.
    Preparation for move were made
    1800 hours 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS O.O. No. 4 issued atttached.
    2000 hours The Battalion was at one hour’s notice to move.

    1939 September 29
    0620 hours Yeovil, Somerset
    1st Half of the Battalion entrained at YEOVIL Junction.
    0750 hours 2nd Half of the Battalion entrained at YEOVIL Junction.
    0845 hours Southampton
    1st Half of the Battalion arrived at SOUTHAMPTON.
    1030 hours 2nd Half of the Battalion arrived at SOUTHAMPTON.
    1200 hours The Battalion had embarked on s.s. ROYAL DAFFODIL.
    1515 hours Voyage started.
    1600 hours Anchored at the Boom.
    2330 hours Continued voyage.

    1939 September 30
    0720 hours Cherbourg
    Berthed at CHERBOURG - no incident during crossing.
    0820 hours The Battalion had disembarked.
    0900 hours Battalion marched to GARE MARITIME and remained there till 2330 hours.
    2330 hours Battalion entrained.
     
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    1939 October 1
    1007 Sille-Le-Guillaume
    Battalion arrived SILLE LE GUILLAUME
    1215 Battalion marched to billeting area.
    1445 Neuvillalais King’s, No.s. 3 and H.Q. companies arrived NEUVILLALAIS - Billets further must part Baths - only a small village
    1600 No.s 2 and 4 Companies arrived MEZIERES.
    1900 Carrier Platoon arrived at NEUVILLALAIS, having come by train from BREST.

    1939 October 2
    1300 Battalion M.T. arrived NEVILLALAIS having come by road from BREST.
    1600 M.T. reported complete.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for interior economy.

    1939 October 3
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.

    1939 October 4
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for Training.

    1939 October 5
    0900 hours Neuvillalais Lieutenant SANDYS - Servant Driver & PU left as Battalion Advance Party for Concentration Area.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for Training.

    1939 October 6
    0800 hours Neuvillalais The Battalion M.T. less Carrier Platoon under command Lieutenant WIGRAM left for Concentration Area by road.
    Lieutenant HANBURY and 1 PU left ahead of the column to act as Billeting Officer on the journey.
    Lieutenant GWYER proceeded with the M.T. column to assist Lieutenant WIGRAM.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for Training.

    1939 October 7
    1430 hours Neuvillalais
    The Commanding Officer (Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. PRESCOTT) left by road in his car together with the Brigadier and the other Commanding Officers for a tactical reconnaissance of the Concentration Area.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for Training.

    1939 October 8
    1500 hours Neuvillalais
    The Battalion from NEUVILLALAIS and MEZIERES respectively to SILLE LE GUILLAUME Station.
    1800 hours Sille-Le-Guillaume
    The Battalion entrained - Major LLEWELYN was OC Train.
    2000 hours The train departed.

    1939 October 9
    1645 Lesquins
    The Battalion detrained at LESQUINS Station and marched into billets at Fbe de DOUAI on the outskirts of LILLE.
    The Battalion M.T. arrived by road at 1730 hours.

    1939 October 10
    Fbe de Douai The Carrier Platoon entrained at SILLE LE GUILLAUMNE Staion - Major IRBY was OC Train.
    0745 Carrier Platoon arrived at LESQUINS Station and proceeded to join Battalion in billeting area.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    A reconnaissance of the front line was carried out by the Commanding Officer and Second-in-Command.

    1939 October 11
    Fbe de Douai
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Various reconnaissances were carried of the sector allotted to the Battalion in the front line.

    1939 October 12
    0930 Fbe de Douai
    No. 4 Company were lifted in trucks and took over a sector of the front line from the 201st Regiment of the French Army. Relief was completed by 1200 hours.
    The remainder of the Battalion was at the Disposal of Company Commanders for Training.

    1939 October 13
    0930 Fbe de Douai
    The Battalion left present location except for Quartermaster’s Staff and ‘B’ Echelon M.T. and marched to a new billeting area at ANNAPPPES.
    1200 Fbe de Douai
    The Battalion arrived there by 1200 hours.
    King’s Company proceeded direct to the front line and relieved No. 4 Company, who returned to the new billets in ANNAPPES.

    1939 October 14
    1100 hours Annappes
    No. 2 Company relieved King’s Company in the sector.
    0900 hours Company Commanders conducted NCOs round Company areas in the sector.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for interior economy.

    1939 October 15
    0700 hours Annappes
    Celebration of Holy Communion.
    No. 3 Company relieved No. 2 Company in the line at 1100 hours.
    Various reconnaissances of forward areas.
    Trench system was pegged out with help of ROYAL ENGINEERS Officer.

    1939 October 16
    0830 hours Annappes
    Battalion commenced digging trench system in forward localities - Clay soil - lack of tools was very evident.
    No. 3 Company remained in the sector for a further twenty-four hours.

    1939 October 17
    0830 hours Annappes
    The Battalion continued preparing defensive position in sector - Fire and Communication Trenches were dug to crawl trench depth.
    1100 hours No. 4 Company relieved No. 3 Company as duty company in the sector.

    1939 October 18
    830 hours Annappes
    The Battalion continued preparing defensive position in sector - a start was made on ? ? and ? filling - No ? ? or houses are allowed to be touched to date.

    1939 October 19
    930 hours The Battalion continued defensive work in the sector - hours of work were the same 0830 - 1230 hours and 1330 - 1630 hours. There has been a lot of rain and water is appearing already in a lot of the trenches although they are only crawl trench depth. All work was put back starting for an hour owing to bad weather.
    1939 October 1100 hours King’s Company relieved No. 4 Company in the line by 1100 hours.

    1939 October 20
    830 hours Annappes
    Work was continued in the sector.
    1315 hours The Corps Commander, Divisional Commander, Brigadier and General’s ADC lunched at Battalion HQ Mess.
    1415 hours They inspected part of the work being done in the right and centre Corps’ sectors.

    1939 October 21
    830 hours Annappes
    Work was continued but stopped at 1230 hours.
    The remainder of the day was given up to interior economy.
    1100 hours No. 2 Company relieved King’s Company by 1100 hours in the line.

    1939 October 22
    Annappes
    Sunday - No work was done in the line.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.

    1939 October 23
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    Certain officers had instruction in the French Anti-Tank Gun.
    1100 hours No. 3 Company relieved No. 2 Company in the line and duty company.

    1939 October 24
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1939 October 25
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    1100 hours No. 4 Company relieved No. 3 Company in the line. The Battalion was paid.

    1939 October 26
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1939 October 27
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    Temporary shelters of corrugated iron were made in each section p? for use in the scheme to take place next week.
    King’s Company relieved No. 4 Company in the line with the exception of the Outpost Platoon which was relieved at 1100 hours.

    1939 October 28
    1230 hours Annappes
    Work was continued in the line making temporary shelters and continuing earthworks until 1230 hours.
    The remainder of the day was given over to rest and recreation.

    1939 October 29
    Annappes
    Sunday - No work was done in the line.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    The Battalion played the 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS at Soccer. Result - 3 all.

    1939 October 30
    Annappes
    Companies took over their sectors and in position in the line as for battle.
    2359 hours Manning Scheme commenced.

    1939 October 31
    Annappes
    The Battalion remained holding Battle Defensive positions.
     
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    1939 November 1
    630 hours Annappes
    The Battalion came out of the line leaving No. 3 Company holding the Blockhouses and furnishing the Outpost Platoon at ?WILLEURS.
    2200 hours Further exercises were carried out with regard to the defence of the Battalion sector.
    Companies with the exception of No. 3 Company returned to billets at 0300 hours.

    1939 November 2
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders until the evening when night digging and wiring was carried out in the Battalion sector in the line.
    Companies returned to billets at 0200 hours.

    1939 November 3
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.

    1939 November 4
    0900 hours Annappes
    The Battalion paraded under the Adjutant for Drill.
    The remainder of the day was given over to interior economy and recreation.

    1939 November 5
    Annappes
    Sunday - No work was done in the line.
    A message was received rom G.H.Q. that the Battalion was to send a GUARD OF HONOUR to PARIS on November 11th for Armistice Day Commemoration Parade.

    1939 November 6
    0830 hours - 1630 hours
    Annappes
    Work in the line was continued - breastworks and ? bank of River ?

    1939 November 7
    0830 hours - 1230 hours
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line - half day only owing to CINEMA SHOW for the troops in the afternoon.

    1939 November 8
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    The Detachment for PARIS paraded twice during the day for Drill under the Adjutant.
    Battle Dress and ? Web were specially sent up from the B? - no sizes available large enough for King’s Company men.

    1939 November 9
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    1215 hours The Detachment for PARIS paraded at 1215 hours and proceeded to LILLE Station by Battalion M.T. and thence by train to PARIS.
    Major C.M.D. VENABLES LLEWELYN proceeded with the ? as conducting officer and the three officers and ? with the Detachment were Major IRBY, Captain E. MILLER, Lieutenant the Honourable D. DIXON.
    The R.S.M. SHEATHER also went with the party.

    1939 November 10
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1939 November 11
    Annappes
    No work was done in the line.
    900 hours The Battalion paraded under the Adjutant for Drill.
    1100 hours The Two Minutes Silence was observed by all ranks. There was no special parade.

    1939 November 12
    Annappes
    Sunday - No work in the line.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    0200 hours The PARIS Detachment returned, having taken about 11 hours for the return journey.

    1939 November 13
    600 hours Work was continued in the line. From a message received at 2110 hours 12th - the Battalion was at 4 hours notice to move from 0600 hours 13th.
    0830 hours A Cadre course for sixteen NCOs - instruction in the Bren Gun etc - commenced under 2/Lieutenant BRITTEN.

    1939 November 14
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line - half day only owing to CINEMA SHOW for the troops in the afternoon.

    1939 November 15
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    1100 hours No. 2 Company relieved King’s Company in the line.

    1939 November 16
    630 hours Annappes Reveille was 0630 hours.
    0715 hours Breakfast 0715 hours.
    0900 hours Work was continued in the line. Hours of work changed to 0900 hours - 1230 hours and 1330 hours - 1630 hours.
    2015 hours The Battalion no longer at 4 hours notice to move.

    1939 November 17
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    1100 hours No. 3 Company relieved No. 2 Company in the line.

    1939 November 18
    Annappes
    Only really pressing work was carried out in the line by voluntary personnel of H.Q. Company.
    0900 hours The Battalion paraded under the Adjutant for Drill.
    2359 hours WINTERTIME - CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR.

    1939 November 19
    Annappes
    Sunday - No work was done in the line.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    1100 hours No. 4 Company relieved No. 3 Company in the line.

    1939 November 20
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1939 November 21
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line until midday - owing to a CINEMA that afternoon.
    1100 hours King’s Company relieved No. 4 Company in the line.

    1939 November 22
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line.

    1939 November 23
    Annappes
    Work continued.
    1100 hours No. 2 Company relieved King’s Company in the line.

    1939 November 24
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line.
    Various Divisional and Brigade Fatigues were carried out by walking parties found from the Battalion.

    1939 November 25
    Annappes
    0830 hours The Battalion paraded under the Adjutant for Drill.
    0945 hours Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for interior economy.
    1100 hours No. 3 Company relieved No. 2 Company in the line.

    1939 November 26
    Sunday - No work was done in the line. Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    A party proceeded in M.T. to visit VIMY RIDGE under Major IRBY, M.C.
    The first Battalion Concert was held.

    1939 November 27
    Annappes
    Owing to the approaching Leave and Training Period and also the increase in Divisional and Brigade Fatigues - the system for holding the line and finding the Outpost Platoon at WILLEMS was slightly changed.
    In future only the minimum number of men would be used for this purpose.
    The Duty Company was given billets in ASCQ and the remainder of the Company including Company H.Q. remained there.
    1100 hours No. 4 Company relieved No. 3 Company and took over Garrison duties and Outpost Platoon.
    King’s Company carried out a route march under Company arrangements.
    Cadre Courses for a ‘Gangster’ Squad and a Battalion ‘Sniper Section’ started.
    Remaining Companies continued work in the line.

    1939 November 28
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line by King’s, No.s. 2 and 4 Companies.
    H.Q. Company carried out a route march under Company arrangements.
    About 80 Other Ranks attended a concert at Divisional Headquarters.

    1939 November 29
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line by King’s, No.s. 2 and 4 Companies.
    No. 3 Company carried out a route march under Company arrangements.
    1100 hours H.Q. Company took over Garrison Duties in the line and Outpost Platoon for the first time.
    The Mortar Platoon carried out firing practice at ROUBAIX.

    1939 November 30
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line by King’s, No.s. 3 and 4 Companies.
    No. 2 Company carried out a route march under Company arrangements.
     
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    1939 December 1
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    King’s Company took over Garrison Duties.

    1939 December 2
    Annappes
    830 hours The Battalion paraded under the Commanding Officer.
    1800 hours A Battalion Concert was held in the Battalion Recreation Room.

    1939 December 3
    Annappes
    Sunday - Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    No. 2 Company took over Garrison Duties.
    The Battalion played the 3rd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS at Soccer - Result: Win 4-1.

    1939 December 4
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1939 December 5
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line and on improving billets.
    1030 hours Massed Drum Practice of the Brigade under Drum Major McCOY, 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS

    1939 December 6
    Annappes
    7th GUARDS BRIGADE marched past HIS MAJESTY THE KING.
    Also present were three French Generals including General VURUZ Commander of the VIII Army.
    The Commander-in-Chief General LORD GORT and HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS the Duke of GLOUCESTER in his capacity as Chief Liaison Officer to the BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.
    The Parade marched past in column of platoons - in the order Brigade H.Q., 246 Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS, 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS, 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS, 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS, Brigade ANTI-TANK COMPANY.
    After the Parade HIS MAJESTY had lunch together with the visiting French Generals and the British G.H.Q. Staff and Commanders in the Chateau BRIGOD, ANNAPPES.
    This Chateau belongs to the Count de MONTALEMBERT and is at present the Headquarter Mess of the 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS.
    The Count was not himself present.
    42 Officers sat down to lunch.
    After lunch HIS MAJESTY inspected the 11th INFANTRY BRIGADE and Details from the 4th DIVISION in the grounds of the Chateau.

    1939 December 7
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line.
    No. 4 Company relieved No. 3 Company in Garrison duties.

    1939 December 8
    Work continued in the line.
    A Brigade Fatigue Party of 1 Officer and 57 O.R.s was found by the King’s Company.
    An exercise to practise the rapid move of a Battalion H.Q. was done.
    Exercise finished at 1800 house.

    1939 December 9
    Annappes
    0900 hours The Battalion paraded under the Adjutant for Drill.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for the remainder of the day.
    H.Q. Company took over Garrison duties.

    1939 December 10
    Annappes
    Sunday - The Battalion played BRIGADE H.Q. in the first round of the French Mission Cup. Result: win 9-1.

    1939 December 11
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    1st Battalion SUFFOLK REGIMENT took over from the H.Q. Company the Garrison duties and Outpost Platoon in the Battalion Sector at 1200 hours.

    1939 December 12
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for loading trucks etc in preparation for the coming Divisional Scheme.
    1400 hours The Battalion played the 33rd FIELD REGIMENT in a Rugger Match on the Chateau ground.
    2359 hours The Battalion was at Y + 2 hours 40 minutes notice to move for the exercise.

    1939 December 13
    0130 hours Frevent to Rebreuve-sur-Canche
    Y received - Y = 0645 hours.
    The Exercise was divided into phases.
    Phase I being a move of some 40 to 50 miles onto a river line. Mobile troops moving to seize and hold river line - followed by Gunners, Anti-tank Gunners, machine Gunners and Royal Engineers and some distance behind them, Infantry moving up by M.T. Troop carrying Companies to take over from the mobile troops.
    Phase II being an attack by Infantry supported by I ranks with a supplementary flank attack by Infantry without tanks.
    The 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS carried out the main attack and 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS the flank attack.

    1939 December 15
    Frevent to Rebreuve-sur-Canche, Due South of ST. POL
    On the completion of the Exercise at about 0900 hours, the Battalion embussed in Troop Carrying Company and proceeded back to billets arriving there about 1500 hours.

    1939 December 16
    0900 hours
    Annappes
    The Battalion paraded under the Adjutant for Drill.
    1200 hours No. 3 Company took over Garrison Duties and Outpost Platoon from 1st Battalion SUFFOLK REGIMENT.
    1345 hours The Commanding Officer, Second-in-Command, Adjutant, 1 Officer per Company and 5 O.R.s per company paraded at the AERODROM LESQUIN for an inspection by the PRIME MINISTER.

    1939 December 17
    Annappes
    Sunday - No. 4 Company took over Garrison Duties and Outpost Platoon from No. 3 Company by 1100 hours.
    The Battalion was defeated 1-0 by the 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS in the 2nd Round of the French Mission Cup.

    1939 December 18
    Annappes
    The first leave party left consisting of Major VENABLES LLEWELYN and 8 O.R.s from No. 2 Company.
    Work was continued in the line.
    Two Brigade Fatigues were found.

    1939 December 19
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line. One Brigade Fatigue of 2 Officers and 80 O.R.s was found by the King’s Company.
    1100 hours H.Q. Company relieved No. 4 Company in the line.

    1939 December 20
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line by all Companies except No. 4, who carried out musketry practise

    1939 December 21
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    King’s Company took over Garrison Duties in the line.

    1939 December 22
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line by No. 4 and H.Q. Companies.
    No. 2 Company took over Garrison Duties from King’s Company.
    Remainder of the Battaklion was on Brigade Fatigues.

    1939 December 23
    Annappes
    Work continued.
    No. 2 Company (spare men) and H.Q. Company furnished men for Brigade Fatigues.

    1939 December 24
    Annappes
    0730 hours An Ammunition Guards under the command of Major IRBY proceeded by M.T. to AUBIGNY.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    1300 hours No. 3 Company held their Christmas Dinner, which was seen by the Commanding Officer.

    1939 December 25
    Annappes
    Christmas Day - observed as a holiday.
    No. 3 Company took over Garrison Duties and Outpost Platoon from No. 2 Company by 1000 hours.
    1300 hours No. 2 Company had their Christmas Dinner, which was seen by the Commanding Officer.
    There was a celebration of Holy Communion at 0730 hours and a Service at 1130 hours in the Battalion Recreation Room.

    1939 December 26
    Annappes
    Boxing Day - observed as a holiday.
    1300 hours The Ammunition Guards returned.
    King’s, No. 4 and H.Q. Companies had their Christmas Dinners, which were all seen by the Commanding Officer.
    The Commander-in-Chief was coming to see Dinners but unfortunately could not do so in the end arriving to the state of the roads.
    There was a cinema performance in the Battalion Recreation Room in the evening.

    1939 December 27
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    1100 hours There was a Conference for all Officers clear of duty in the SALLE de FETE SECLIN given by the Divisional Commander at the Divisional Exercise.

    1939 December 28
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    No. 4 Company took over Garrison Duties and Outpost Platoon from No. 3 Company.
    The Commanding Officer went on leave.
    Major VENABLES LLEWELYN assumed commmand.
    2145 hours The first leave party to the UNITED KINGDOM returned less four men who were put in the wrong part of the train.

    1939 December 29
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    The four men from the first leave party returned.

    1939 December 30
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders except that Tetanus inoculation was carried out for those who had not already been done.
    H.Q. Company relieved No. 4 Company in the line.

    1939 December 31
    Annappes
    Sunday - Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
     
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    1940 January 1
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    1330 hours All Officers attended a lecture at Brigade H.Q.

    1940 January 2
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    No. 2 Company took over Garrison Duties.

    1940 January 3
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1940 January 4
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    No. 3 Company took over Garrison Duties.

    1940 January 5
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    Two Fatigue Parties were formed.
    One from No. 4 Company.
    The other from H.Q. Company.

    1940 January 6
    Annappes
    Companies were at the disposal of Company Commanders.
    A church service was held in the Recreation Room.
    No. 4 Company relieved No. 3 Company in the line.

    1940 January 7
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line.
    No. 4 Company found a fatigue party for the ROYAL ENGINEERS. H.Q. Company found on ROYAL AIR FORCE Guard.
    Major D.V. LLEWELYN and D/Serjeant CUTTS were attached to the 8th INFANTRY BRIGADE for their tour in the SAAR.

    1940 January 8
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    King’s Company relieved No. 4 Company in the line.

    1940 January 9
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    No. 2 Company found the ROYAL AIR FORCE Guard.

    1940 January 10
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1940 January 11
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.
    No. 4 Company took over the ROYALS AIR FORCE Guards.
    The Signal Platoon took part in a Brigade Signal Exercise. Lieutenant & Adjutant P.W. MARSHAM gave up his appointment as Adjutant on being detailed to attend a Staff Gas Course at the S.A.S.
    Lieutenant the Honourable D.S.T.B. DIXON was appointed Adjutant.

    1940 January 12
    Annappes
    Work was continued in the line.

    1940 January 13
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.

    1940 January 14
    Annappes
    Battalion was put on 8 hours notice to move.
    King’s Company found the ROYAL AIR FORCE Guard.
    Lieutenant the Honourable D.S.T.B. DIXON returned from leave to take up his new appointment.
    All have to UNITED KINGDOM was stopped.

    1940 January 15
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for W.T. No. 2 Company started a week’s training.
    To facilitate training, all duties and fatigues are to be detailed by the O.R. from this date.
    Acting Captain Sir John GILMOUR, Bart. and four Serjeants joined the Battalion from the TRAINING BATTALION at WINDSOR.

    1940 January 16
    Annappes
    No. 2 Company and Anti-Aircraft Platoon carried out training.
    Other Companies work in the line.
    Battalion put on 12 hours notices.
    Provisional Brigade Move Orders received at 2000 hours 15th.
    These orders will be carried out on receipt of a code word.

    1940 January 17
    Annappes
    No. 2 Company and Mortar Platoon carried out training.
    Other Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 January 18
    Annappes
    Battalion was taken off 12 hours notice.
    Work continued in the line.
    No. 2 Company and Mortar Platoon carried out training.

    1940 January 19
    Annappes
    No. 2 Company and Mortar Platoon continued training.
    Remaining Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 January 20
    Annappes
    No. 2 Company and Mortar Platoon continued training.
    Remaining Companies continued work in the line.
    Fifty-five O.R.s arrived from the First Reinforcements.
    Captain SIDNEY conducted the party.
    They were posted to their own Companies.
    Captain Sir John GILMOUR was posted Second-in-Command King’s Company.
    The Intelligence Section was reformed.
    It now consists of an N.C.O. in charge of Intelligence work, one draughtsman, and the remainder snipers.

    1940 January 21
    Annappes
    Companies were at Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Church Service was held in the Recreation Room.
    Lieutenant J.E. SEYMOUR went sick and was evacuated. Commanding Officer, Adjutant and Intelligence Officer made a recce of the area occupied by the 2nd INNISKILLING FUSILIERS from COMINE to DOULEMONT.
    The 3rd and 5th DIVISIONS may change over their Sectors.

    1940 January 22
    Annappes
    No. 3 Company and Pioneer Platoon carried out training.
    The remainder continued work in the line.
    Commanding Officer and QuarterMaster of 2nd Battalion INNISKILLING FUSILIERS made a recce of this area.

    1940 January 23
    Annappes
    No. 3 Company and Pioneer Platoon carried out training.
    The remainder continued work in the line.

    1940 January 24
    Annappes
    No. 3 Company and Pioneer Platoon carried out training.
    The remainder continued work in the line.

    1940 January 25
    Annappes
    No. 3 Company and Pioneer Platoon carried out training.
    The remainder continued work in the line.

    1940 January 26
    Annappes
    No. 3 Company and Pioneer Platoon carried out training.
    The remainder continued work in the line.

    1940 January 27
    Annappes
    No. 3 Company carried out training.
    The remainder passed through our improvised gas chamber and continued work in the line.

    1940 January 28
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Divine Service was held in the Recreation Room at 1030 hours.

    1940 January 29
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The Battalion had to find a night Guards for the ROYAL AIR FORCE aerodrome at VENDEVILLE for the whole week, consisting of 1 Officer, 40 O.R.s.

    1940 January 30
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 January 31
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
     
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    1940 February 1
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 February 2
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    2/Lieutenant PENN left to attend a S.A. Course at HYTHE.

    1940 February 3
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    1 Officer and 25 O.R.s fired on the Anti-Tank range at ABLAIN.

    1940 February 4
    0930 hours Annappes
    Divine Service was held in the Recreation Room.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    1 Officer and 25 O.R.s fired on the Anti-Tank range at ABLAIN.
    Lieutenant & Adjutant the Honourable D.S.T.B. DIXON gazetted Captain from 28th January 1940.
    2/Lieutenant P.C. BRITTEN gazetted Lieutenant from 28th January 1940.

    1940 February 5
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line. No. 4 Company and Signal Platoon started one weeks training.

    1940 February 6
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    Certain men received their 2nd injection of TETANUS TOXOIDE.

    1940 February 7
    Annappes
    Work continued in the line.
    Lieutenant J.E. SEYMOUR rejoined the Battalion from hospital.

    1940 February 8
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    Lieutenant MARSHAM rejoined Battalion from a Gas Course and was attached to Brigade H.Q.

    1940 February 9
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 February 10
    Annappes
    Companies, less the Company training, paraded for Drill under the Adjutant.

    1940 February 11
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Church of England Service was held in the Recreation Room.

    1940 February 12
    Annappes
    King’s Company started a week’s Company training.
    A Battalion Fighting Patrol was formed under Captain THORNE, consisting of 1 Serjeant and 20 Guardsmen.
    In the British Sector of the SAAR, these patrols are Brigaded.
    The patrol started training.

    1940 February 13
    Annappes
    Companies, less King’s Company, continued work in the line.

    1940 February 14
    Annappes
    Companies, less King’s Company, continued work in the line.
    Major Viscount GARNOCK, 1st Battalion SCOTS GUARDS, arrived from UNITED KINGDOM to do a short attachment.

    1940 February 15
    Annappes
    Companies, less King’s Company, continued work in the line.

    1940 February 16
    Annappes
    Companies, less King’s Company, continued work in the line.

    1940 February 17
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    There was a heavy fall of snow (8”).
    The first this year of any importance, although it has been an exceptionally hard Winter, the thermometer fell to Zero on several occasions.
    The party of 100 O.R.s going to a Concert was cancelled.
    The Battalion is given an allotment of 100 seats about once a week.
    The shows are of a higher standard than a Guardsman would expect to see at home.

    1940 February 18
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Church of England Voluntary service was held in the Recreation Room.
    A party of 150 went to se the British Army play the French Army at football in LILLE.
    The ground had been covered in straw; but was extremely hard.

    1940 February 19
    Annappes
    Fighting Patrol and reserve Signallers carried out training during the week.
    Companies continued work in the line.
    A Party of 1 Officer and 13 O.R.s proceeded to LE TOUQUET to fire on the Anti-Aircraft Range.
    Major Viscount GARNOCK, 1st Battalion SCOTS GUARDS left for UNITED KINGDOM.

    1940 February 20
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 February 21
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The Range Party returned.
    The thaw set in.

    1940 February 22
    Annappes
    Battalion H.Q. took part in a 24 hour Intelligence Exercise.
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The country is again flooded as it was in the Autumn.

    1940 February 23
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 February 24
    Annappes
    Companies carried out a 3 hour Route March.
    Lieutenant Honourable G.N.C. WIGRAM was appointed Brigade T.O.
    2/Lieutenant R.C.W.M [E.C.W.M?] PENN was appointed M.T.O.

    1940 February 25
    Annappes
    Church of England Voluntary Service was held in the Recreation Room.
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Lieutenant GRAY (ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS) and 12 O.R.s proceeded to PARIS for the day to see the French Army play the British at Rugby Football.

    1940 February 26
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    A Whist Drive was held in the Recreation Room.
    It is hoped to have one every week.
    Mortar Platoon, Signal Course, Fighting Patrol and Observer Course carried out training for the week.

    1940 February 27
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 February 28
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 February 29
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
     
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    1940 March 1
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 March 2
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The first round of a Battalion inter Platoon football competition was played.

    1940 March 3
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Church of England Voluntary service was held in the Recreation Room.

    1940 March 4
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    A T.E.W.T. for officers and P.S.M.s was held.

    1940 March 5
    Annappes
    All Companies carried out a Route March.

    1940 March 6
    Annappes
    The Battalion took part in 3 DIVISION Exercise.
    Orders were received to move to the ST. POL area on 7th.
    Companies continued work in the line.
    Grand Camp
    The Battalion embussed at 2200 hours and proceeded by M.T. to GRAND CAMP, arriving just before dawn.

    1940 March 7
    Grand Camp
    Companies left under cover all day, while “hostile” aeroplanes attacked.
    At night the Battalion moved to RECOURT ST LAWRENT, 2 miles away.

    1940 March 8
    Recorts St Lawrent
    The Exercise finished at 1400 hours and Battalion returned by M.T. arriving at 2130 hours.

    1940 March 9
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Lieutenant GERARD and 2/Lieutenant GORE-BROWN joined the Battalion from the base.

    1940 March 10
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders. Church of England Voluntary service was held in the Recreation Room.

    1940 March 11
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    Lieutenant R.C.F. GERARD was posted to No. 2 Company and 2/Lieutenant T.A. GORE BROWN to No. 4 Company, from the base.

    1940 March 12
    Annappes
    No. 3 Company carried out training.
    An N.C.O.s cadre course took place throughout the week. Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 March 13
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    H.Q. Company transport carried out a night driving exercise to test concealed undercarriage lighting.

    1940 March 14
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    There was a heavy snow storm, which put an end to a night driving scheme.

    1940 March 15
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    A Party of 120 O.R.s and 6 Officers went to FILLIEVRES to fire fixed line bren guns.
    One sub-section Troop Carrying Company ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS left this area.
    They had been attached for training during the week.

    1940 March 16
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The Second-in-Command went round billets.

    1940 March 17
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Church of England Voluntary Service was held in the Recreation Room.
    The first leave party for the second period, consisting of 1 Officer and 12 O.R.s proceeded to the UNITED KINGDOM.

    1940 March 18
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The Signal Platoon, Carrier Platoon, Observer Section and N.C.O.s cadre carried out training for the week.
    Each Company in future will have one day a week set aside for training.
    One hour’s drill is to be included in the programme.

    1940 March 19
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 March 20
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 March 21
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line. Battalion H.Q., H.Q. Company and H.Q.s of each Company took part in a skeleton exercise lasting until midnight.
    Transport was used to take the party down to GRUSON, six miles away.
    The Exercise was chiefly to test signal communications.

    1940 March 22
    Annappes
    This is Good Friday; but work is continuing as usual over the Easter period.
    The Divisional concert party, several of whom belong to the Battalion, paid us their first visit.

    1940 March 23
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 March 24
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Church of England Voluntary Service was held in the Recreation Room.
    R.C.s and other denominations had services.

    1940 March 25
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    A Junior Leaders Course for W.O.s and young officers carried out training during the week.

    1940 March 26
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 March 27
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    No. 4 Company carried out training.

    1940 March 28
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    No. 3 Company carried out training.
    A surprise Exercise to capture Parachutists was carried out lasting from 1900 hours to 2200 hours.
    The Anti-Tank Company dressed in jerkins and stocking caps formed the “enemy”.
    A Platoon from each Company was sent out in trucks and several “enemy” were captured.

    1940 March 29
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    No. 2 Company carried out training.

    1940 March 30
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    King’s Company carried out training.

    1940 March 31
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Voluntary Service was held in the Recreation Room.
    The Final of the inter-platoon football competition was made the occasion for a gala to assist the village Comforts Fund.
    A French band and the Drums played during the interval.
    All the local celebrities turned up and the “entente” was cemented even more firmly.
     
  10. dbf

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    1940 April 1
    Annappes
    King’s Company started one week’s training, which included three night exercises.
    A Junior Leaders Course for W.O.s and N.C.O.s took place during the week.
    Several thousand leaflets were dropped in the Battalion area from a great height.

    1940 April 2
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    Several foreign Press correspondents visited the Battalion.

    1940 April 3
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    Working parties were found during the week for burying signal cable, unloading trains and concreting for the ROYAL ENGINEERS.

    1940 April 4
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 April 5
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 April 6
    Annappes
    H.Q. Company and skeleton Company H.Q.s took part in a Battalion Exercise.

    1940 April 7
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    Church of England Voluntary service was held in the Recreation Room.

    1940 April 8
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    King’s Company was kept clear of duty to train during the week.
    An N.C.O.s cadre to run for the week was started.

    1940 April 9
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 April 10
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 April 11
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The Battalion was put on 12 hours notice to moved into BELGIUM in accordance with plan “D”.
    The Commanding Officer attended a Conference for full details.

    1940 April 12
    Annappes
    All officers and W.O.s attended a Conference at which the Commanding Officer gave out orders for plan “D”.
    Companies prepared for the move.

    1940 April 13
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders.
    The Brigade O.O. 14 was received at 1200 hours.
    The Battalion Operation order was prepared, but not issued.

    1940 April 14
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for interior economy.
    Church of England Voluntary Service was held.

    1940 April 15
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for training.
    A young Corporals Class was started.

    1940 April 16
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for training.

    1940 April 17
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for training.

    1940 April 18
    Annappes
    Companies started work in the line again.

    1940 April 19
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The Battalion was placed off 12 hours notice.
    Everything went back to normal except for Anti-Aircraft defence.

    1940 April 20
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 April 21
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for interior economy.
    Church of England Voluntary Service was held in the Recreation Room.

    1940 April 22
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    No.s 2 and 3 Companies, Carrier Platoon, Stretcher Bearers and a Corporals Class carried out training during the week.

    1940 April 23
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    The Transport took part in a Brigade night driving Exercise.
    The object was to practice spacing and lights.

    1940 April 24
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 April 25
    Annappes
    Lieutenant the Honourable G.N.C. WIGRAM rejoined the Battalion as M.T.O. from Brigade H.Q.
    Companies continued work in the line.

    1940 April 26
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    H.Q. Company went for a route march.

    1940 April 27
    Annappes
    Companies continued work in the line.
    1 Officer and 12 O.R.s proceeded to STELLA PLAGE RANGES to fire on Anti-Aircraft practice.

    1940 April 28
    Annappes
    Companies were at the Disposal of Company Commanders for interior economy.
    Church of England Voluntary Service was held in the Recreation Room.

    1940 April 29
    Annappes
    King’s Company carried out a route march.
    Other Companies continued work in the line.
    Carrier and Signal Platoons and a Junior Leaders Course started a week’s training.

    1940 April 30
    Annappes
    No. 2 Company carried out a route march.
    Work was continued.
    The M.T. took part in a Brigade Night Driving Exercise.
     
  11. dbf

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    1940 May 1
    Annappes
    Companies continued to work on the Defence Line.

    1940 May 2
    Annappes
    Companies continued to work on the Defence Line.

    1940 May 3
    Annappes
    Companies continued to work on the Defence Line.

    1940 May 4
    Annappes
    Companies continued to work on the Defence Line.

    1940 May 5
    Annappes
    Companies at the Disposal of Company Commanders.

    1940 May 6
    Annappes
    Companies continued to work on the Defence Line.

    1940 May 7
    Annappes
    Companies continued to work on the Defence Line.

    1940 May 8
    Annappes
    Companies continued to work on the Defence Line.

    1940 May 9
    Annappes
    0300 hours - 0830 hours An Air Raid took place over the surrounding country. Several Towns nearby were bombed.

    1940 May 10
    Annappes
    0900 hours Battalion placed on four hours notice to move.
    1600 hours Major DILLWYN-VENABLES-LLEWELYN (the Second-in-Command of the Battalion) held a Conference of all Officers and Warrant Officers.
    Operation Order No. 15 was issued (attached) [appendix].
    All surplus kit was put in a Battalion Dump in the School at ANNAPPES in charge of one N.C.O. and three Guardsmen.
    Throughout the day there were further Air Raids.
    2230 hours Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. PRESCOTT arrived back off leave and took over the Battalion again.

    1940 May 11
    Annappes
    0500 hours Air Raid Warnings in the district.
    0800 hours The Battalion started to pass the Starting Point for journey into BELGIUM. It was conveyed in Troop Carrying Transport.
    Route: QUEVAUCAMP - DOTTIGNIES - ESPIERRES - KERKOVE - NEDERSWALM - HERMELGEM - BORSBEKE - VIZJFHUIZEN - ALOOST - MOORSEL - MERCHTEM - VILVORDE - SAVENTEM.
    There were signs of intensive bombing at ALOOST but the road bridge was still intact.
    2130 hours Saventem The Battalion arrived at SAVENTEM; sentries were at once posted.

    1940 May 12
    Saventem
    0930 hours Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. PRESCOTT held a Conference of Company Commanders.
    The Battalion was ordered to take over the front line of the DYLE POSITION by 1400 hours from the BELGIAN ARMY.
    No. 3 Company was ordered to take over the RIGHT Sector and No. 4 Company the LEFT Sector both moving along the Railway Line to LOUVAIN. No. 2 Company was in reserve on the RIGHT and The King’s Company in reserve on the LEFT both moving along the road CORTENBERG - HERENT. Battalion H.Q. also moved along the road to a tunnel under the main road LOUVAIN - HERENT at 856595.
    1130 hours Louvain “A” Echelon transport accompanied Battalion H.Q. by the road route, but the majority of it was returned to “B” Echelon was established near SAVENTHEM at approximately 1130 hours the Commanding Officer went with Brigadier J.A.C. WHITAKER to the Regimental H.Q. of the 6me CHASSEURS in a Chateau WEST of HERENT to make arrangements about the relief. After considerable argument and telephony it was decided that the Battalion should take over part of the sectors of the Ime and IIme Battalions of the 6me CHASSEURS. The reason for this being that the Sectors allotted to these Battalions did not correspond with that allotted to the 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS. After reconnaissance by Company Commanders, Companies moved forward from their rendez-vous and commenced to take over.
    1400 hours At approximately 1400 hours Company Commanders reported that their BELGIAN counterparts had had their orders cancelled and that the relief would not take place. This was reported to 7th GUARDS BRIGADE and after further communication with the BELGIAN Army the Commander 3rd DIVISION ordered that the Battalion should occupy positions superimposed on the BELGIANS. This was done and the Battalion dispositions were as follows:
    RIGHT forward Company No. 3 from inclusive of the RAILWAY SIDINGS (but exclusive of LOUVAIN Station) to the NORTH for approximately five hundred yards.
    LEFT forward Company No. 4 thence to the NORTH along the line of RAILWAY and EAST BACK of the DYLE CANAL as far as the RAILWAY Bridge over the Canal (inclusive).
    The remainder of the 6me CHASSEURS prolonged the LEFT of the Battalion to the NORTH.
    No. 2 Company were in support of No. 3 with the role of blocking the WESTERN EXITS from LOUVAIN in the area CAMP DE CESAR (name from memory).
    King’s Company in depth behind No. 4 in the area of THE ROESSELBERG which was a high spur running from SOUTH WEST to NORTH EAST, with good observation to the EAST and NORTH.
    The only two concrete blockhouses taken over by the Battalion were in the neighbourhood of Battalion Headquarters, and on evacuation by the BELGIANS were manned by the Anti-Aircraft Platoon. They were designed to hold one Machine Gun, had a very small arc of fire but were very well camouflaged as small bungalows.
    9th INFANTRY BRIGADE was on the RIGHT of the Battalion and the ULSTER RIFLES were its LEFT Battalion with H.Q. in the Townhall at LOUVAIN. 12TH LANCERS and 15/19th HUSSARS were covering the occupation of the position to the EAST. ROYAL ENGINEERS were ordered to prepare all bridges over the Canal and Railway for demolition.

    1940 May 13
    0315 hours Louvain
    Morning stand-to. During the night the Intelligence Officer had built an Observation Post above Battalion H.Q. on the ROESSELBERG. This was connected by telephone to Battalion H.Q. and produced some very valuable information. During the course of the day the 15/19th HUSSARS reported enemy some twelve miles to the EAST of the Battalion Sector. Parachutist landings were reported by Companies and enemy air activity increased throughout the day.
    Enemy air activity with both reconnaissance and bombing Aircraft. Considerable action by Anti-Aircraft Platoon, who claimed to have shot down one machine, but in general the bullets, which were not armour-piercing, were seen to rattle off the Target. Several bombs dropped near Battalion H.Q., some of which failed to explode and were suspected of delayed action. Parachutists descents had been reported by Companies during the night and information was received that enemy were located in the SANATORIUM on the KESSEL BERS, a prominent hill to the NORTH EAST of LOUVAIN which overlooked a ? part of the Battalion Sector. This building was blown up by MAJOR DRAYSON, 246th Field Company, ROYAL ENGINEERS covered by the Carrier Platoon, 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
    1035 hours 15/19th HUSSARS reported in contact with enemy infantry in area BLAUPUT (879583) and were commencing to withdraw at 1330 hours. A continuous stream of the BELGIAN ARMY and refugees was passing through LOUVAIN and over a floating Bridge which had been built by the BELGIAN CAVALRY CORPS near the Railway Bridge on the left of No. 4 Company.
    1830 hours approximately Strong enemy fighting patrols in contact with No. 3 Company in LOUVAIN and No. 4 Company on line of Railway to NORTH. After considerable fighting these withdrew and orders were given for the ?Pioneer Platoons of these companies to withdraw from the ? ?

    1940 May 14
    Louvain
    F.D.L.s ? by the BELGIAN ARMY on the line of the Railway to positions on the WEST bank ? of the Canal. On completion of this move and after 12th LANCERS had withdrawn, all Bridges on the Battalion Sector were blown up, except the Belgian floating pontoon Bridge, which was retained, as orders had been received that a BELGIAN CAVALRY CORPS would withdraw by it. This Corps did not arrive and as the Bridge was in imminent danger of falling into German hands it was blown up. The Belgian CHASSEURS on the Belgian Sector had by this time withdrawn in some confusion and had shot Lieutenant J.E. SEYMOUR (No. 3 Company) in the back and arm when he tried to rally them and force them to return to their posts. The enemy continued to exert considerable pressure in LOUVAIN and in consequence one Section of the Carrier Platoon was put under order of O.C. No. 3 Company.
    During the course of the night 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS were moved from reserve in HERENT to ? the left of the Battalion owing to the withdrawal of the BELGIAN CORPS.

    1940 May 15
    Louvain
    The enemy were now occupying posts in houses and factories on the EAST bank of the Canal and the Mortar Platoon was in use during the day to evict them.
    All Civilians in the area were ? to be ordered to be evacuated by 2359 hours 15/05/1940.
    1000 hours Enemy infiltrated between right Platoon post of No. 3 Company and the ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES. The Company counter-attacked with Carriers and stabilised the position. P.S.M. HOARE was killed during the course of the morning.
    1330 hours King’s Company reported heavy shelling of their positions and to the NORTH. The right Company of the COLDSTREAM GUARDS were seen to withdraw about 800 yards to some houses on the EASTERN edge of HERENT. 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS counter-attacked with Light Tanks and re-occupied the Canal line.
    1800 hours The Mortar Platoon was in action and dealt with an enemy Machine-Gun post which had crossed the Canal to the NORTH of No. 4 Company and was established in a house on the Railway Line.

    1940 May 16
    0500 hours
    Louvain
    Intense shelling of King’s Company and Battalion H.Q. Area. King’s Company ? to move Company H.Q. This shelling continued till the late afternoon.
    11500 hours Shell blast in the entrance to Battalion H.Q. but very luckily there was only one Casualty, wounded.
    1930 hours Orders were issued for a withdrawal to BERCHEM ST AGATHE, WEST of BRUSSELS.
    The Battalion withdrew in following order:-
    H.Q. Company: King’s Company: No. 4 Company: No. 3 Company: No. 2 Company, which could act as ? until the Battalion passed through 2nd Battalion ? ? who were holding a line in rear. On reaching a Rendez-Vous on the main road LOUVAIN-CORTENBERG-BRUSSELS some Companies were embussed in M.T. of the Brigade and shuttled towards BATAVIA INN and VILVORDE. The roads were very congested with Belgian Troops and refugees.

    1940 May 17
    0730 hours
    Berchem - St Agathe
    The Battalion arrived at BERCHEM - ST AGATHE, washed, shaved and had breakfasts.
    1030 hours Battalion ? to more M.T. to the line of the River DENDRE. There was considerable aerial bombs and machine guns on the route from BRUSSELS to NINOVE. One bomb fell on the road ? in front of Lieutenant HANBURY’s vehicle but luckily failed to explode.
    The Commanding Officer had proceeded the Battalion for a reconnaissance and on arrival Companies occupied positions in support of ? to the right rear of the 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS. 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS in reserve with Brigade H.Q. at DENDERHAUTEM.
    King’s Company - Right
    No. 2 Company - Centre
    No. 4 Company - Left
    No. 3 Company - in Reserve.
    Battalion H.Q. was established in a Farm House near the MEERBEKE. The Battalion dug in during the night.

    1940 May 18
    River Dendre
    Battalion continued to consolidate the position and there was a certain amount of enemy air activity.
    2130 hours Order were issued for withdrawal to the line of the River ESCAUT.

    1940 May 19
    0130 hours At 0130 hours the M.T. started to withdraw, followed across country by No. 3 Company and H.Q. Company. The position was finally abandoned at 0500 hours and Battalion H.Q. withdrew across country to DENDERHAUTEN to meet its M.T. closely shadowed by a low flying hostile aeroplane.
    1600 hours The Battalion started to occupy defensive positions along the River ESCAUT.
    1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS: Right
    2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS: Left
    1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS: in Reserve near COYGHEM.
    The Battalion Sector was from inclusive the Junction of the River ESCAUT and the CANAL D’ESPIERRES to exclusive of a factory SOUTH WEST of HELCHIN. The 4th Battalion ROYAL BERKSHIRE REGIMENT was on the Right (Lieutenant-Colonel G.H. BULL)
    The King’s Company was on the Right: No. 4 Company, Centre: No. 2 Company, Left.
    No. 4 Company’s Sector contained the only access across the River which consisted of a Dam and a large lock. It was not possible to blow that up for obvious reasons so they were made impassable by barbed wire and the removal of the steel ladders above the Dam.
    Battalion H.Q. was established in the Chateau of Baron DEL FOSSE ET D’ESPIERRES which possessed a very strong cellar. “B” Echelon was established at ST ANNE.

    1940 May 20
    Espierres
    A quiet day except for a certain amount of sniping. The village and surrounding farms were searched and various suspects were arrested.
    During the early part of the night Lieutenant PRITCHARD with a demolition party of 246th Field Company, ROYAL ENGINEERS crossed the river by the lock and blew up 5 houses in front of No. 4 Company which obstructed the field of fire.
    This was covered by 2/Lieutenant T. GORE BROWNE and a Platoon of the Company.

    1940 May 21
    0800 hours
    Espierres
    The enemy had brought up an observation balloon which was located on a ridge to the EAST. In view of the possibility of supplies running short, all local resources were collected and 70 head of cattle were sent back to fields near Battalion H.Q. and “B” Echelon.

    1940 May 22
    Espierres
    A quiet day apart from some Mortar fire on the forward localities.
    1700 hours Orders were issued for the Battalion to withdraw to the prepared position EAST of ROUBAIX which had been occupied during the Winter by the 4th DIVISION.
    7th GUARDS BRIGADE with 8th BRIGADE on right and 9th BRIGADE on left, is located from a point of Junction with 2nd Battalion EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT on the Railway 808437 along stream to LE BALLON thence to the Road and Railway Bridge 793453.
    0300 hours The Sector was to be held by 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS, Right: 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS, Left: 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS, in Reserve. The position on River ESCAUT was finally abandoned by the forward Companies at 0300 hours and the Battalion marched back to ROUBAIX by the road DOTTIGNIES - CITADELLE - PETIT AUDENARDE - WATTRELOS, covered by the Carrier Platoon on the ? line of the road from PONT D’OR to the NORTH EAST.
    2130 hours “B” Echelon withdrew at 2130 hours to the area MARC EN BAROEUL and ST LAZARO.
    Major C.M.D. VENABLES-LLEWELYN, the Second-in-Command, went on ahead to reconnoitre the Battalion area.

    1940 May 23
    0700 hours Roubaix
    The head of the Battalion arrived at WATTRELOS and companies were guided to their areas, which were sited to cover and block roads and canal bridges to the NORTH, EAST and SOUTH. The Battalion was ordered to rest till the afternoon when road blocks were erected and houses loop-holed.
    2330 hours A message was received stating that the Battalion Drums and spare kit left at ANNAPPES had been moved to CAFE DE LA PERCHE, RUE DE LILLE, BAILLEUL, but it wasnot possible to collect.

    1940 May 24
    Roubaix
    Work was continued on the defences and “B” Echelon was moved up to ROUBAIX in view of the enemy threat from the WEST. Enemy aircraft flew over the city continuously but no bombs were dropped in the Battalion area.

    1940 May 25
    Roubaix
    Continued air activity but no bombs were dropped in the Battalion area, although one landed just outside the QuarterMaster’s billet. No damage was done.
    Afternoon Orders were issued for the Battalion to relieve the 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARD in the line. Relief to be completed by 0300 hours. The Commanding Officer and Company Commanders went forward to reconnoitre and Companies marched up at 2230 hours, were met by Guides and led into their positions. There was no incident.

    1940 May 26
    Roubaix
    Considerable air activity and enemy bombs were dropped in the forward company areas but no great damage done. Enemy infantry were occasionally seen moving in the area of HERSEAUX but no contact made.
    1030 hours Guardsman KOSBAB received the Military Medal from G.O.C. 3rd DIVISION at H.Q. 1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS for the rescue of Lieutenant J.E. SEYMOUR at LOUVAIN.
    1700 hours Le Ballon
    Battalion H.Q. was moved to a more suitable site in a large woollen factory. This had an air-raid shelter of great strength which housed the whole of Battalion H.Q. and H.Q. Company present.
    2000 hours Brigade Commander held Conference at which Commanding Officers were told that the Government had decided to withdraw the B.E.F. from FRANCE.
    Major C.E. IRBY, MC, Lieutenant M.E.M SANDYS and 4 Serjeants were ordered to report that night to the 2nd CORPS to proceed to ENGLAND as an advance party.
    All superfluous stores, anti-gas clothing and part of the Signal kit was jettisoned and hidden behind bales in the factory.

    1940 May 27 Considerable fire to NORTH and SOUTH but no activity on Brigade front apart from hostile air.
    1940 May 2000 hours Orders were issued for the Battalion to withdraw at 0001 hours to a wooded area SOUTH of OOSTVLETEREN. (Battalion Operation Order No. 21)
    1940 May 2330 hours Companies commenced to withdraw to an embussing point SOUTH of the Canal in ROUBAIX at 2330 hours in the order:- H.Q. Company, 4 Company, 3 Company, King’s Company, 2 Company.

    1940 May 28
    1 minute after Midnight The rear parties finally abandoned at 0001 hours without any incidents, although enemy patrols had been seen earlier in the evening.
    There was some delay at the Embussing Point, owing to congestion on the road, and no-one was amused when a hostile aeroplane started dropping parachute flares.
    Dawn Frelinghien
    1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS was acting as Rear-Guard up to the Bridge over the River LYS at FRELINGHIEN and owing to the great congestion on the only road allotted to the DIVISION, it was daylight before this was crossed. Two German reconnaissance aircraft appeared, but, thanks to low cloud and rain storm, no further incident occurred until the Battalion had nearly reached its objective.
    KEMMEL, DICKEBUSCH, and VLAMERTINGHE were heavily shelled from the EAST just before the Battalion reached these places and firing could also be heard to the WEST. The Battalion was attacked from the air by ? of 7 bombers NORTH of VLAMERTINTHE but was well spaced out and no damage was done. The mane debussed and took cover off the road.
    1030 hours Oostvleteren Area
    The Battalion reached its lying-up area and Companies dug all-round defended localities. There was continuous air-activity but the Battalion remained concealed.
    Captain Sir Hugh CHOLMELY obtained a set of 1/20000 maps from a Belgian Artillery officers, which were sent to Brigade H.Q., where the sheet of FURNES was copied and proved extremely useful as there was no ? maps of the District.
    Battalion H.Q. was established in a farm occupied by a very hostile Belgian family.
    The Capitulation of KING LEOPOLD did not improve relations.

    1940 May 29
    Oostvleteren Area
    Considerable Air activity and hostile shelling of Brigade H.Q. and DIVISIONAL H.Q. in OOSTVLETEREN, the Battalion, however, remained undetected.
    1300 hours Orders were issued to withdraw to FURNES at 1500 hours and the Battalion moved off down the road OOSTVLETEREN-HOOGSTADE-FURNES with sections well spaced on both sides of the road. There was considerable bombing and shelling of the road and a number of casualties occurred including Lieutenant and Quartermaster R.S. WALKER who, however, was only lightly grazed on the leg.
    2100 hours Furnes
    The Battalion eventually reached FURNES and occupied positions (as per attached sketch) which had been previously reconnoitred by the Commanding Officer.
    1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS: Right
    2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS: Left
    1st Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS: in Reserve
    2nd Battalion ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES was on the right of the Battalion and the 8th BRIGADE were on the left of the 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS.
    Battalion H.Q. was established in a ? MUNICIPAL PARK NORTH of the GRAND PLACE.
    The Battalion dug in during the night, and the Pioneer Platoon strengthened the Command Post cellar with planks and railway sleepers.

    1940 May 30
    Furnes 1030 hours
    The enemy commenced an intense and extremely accurate bombardment of the Battalion H.Q. Area and the GRAND PLACE where the Headquarters of the 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS were located.
    A large number of shells up to 5.9” Calibre fell in the MUNICIPAL PARK and streets adjoining and it was suspected that the fire was being directed by an unseen observer. This suspicion was partially substantiated when a search party found an OBSERVATION POST in the Church Tower with a civilian telephone. The occupant was not however discovered, but it is interesting to note that this Church was never hit.
    1200 hours Drill-Serjeant TEESE was killed instantaneously by a shell while he was discussing the improvement of some trenches with the Adjutant (Captain the Honourable D.S. DIXON) and the Serjeant-Major (R.S.M. SHEATHER). He was buried in the PARK and a cross erected. Lance-Corporal HUTSON was killed also during the morning and 6 Guardsmen wounded.
    The Reserve Mortar Ammunition Truck was set on fire by a shell but was unloaded before the H.E. Bombs exploded.
    During the day 2/Lieutenant the Honourable C.S. VEREKER, who had taken over the Mortar Platoon when P.S.M NOTT was injured, did some very good work with the one remaining undamaged 3” Mortar and blew up two German trench mortar emplacements and several houses occupied by Machine-Gun posts.
    1500 hours The Commanding Officer attended a Conference at Brigade H.Q. on the Road FURNES - LA PANNE where a forecast of orders for the move of the Brigade to ENGLAND was discussed. This was, however, interrupted at 1600 hours by enemy small arms and artillery fire and the Germans were seen to be attacking the Left of the Brigade Sector and the 8th INFANTRY BRIGADE covered by what appeared to be a smoke screen. The Commanding Officer returned to Battalion H.Q. and was slightly wounded by a shell splinter en route.
    1700 hours The enemy’s main attack was directed to the Left of the Battalion Sector, but No. 2 Company and the Left forward Platoon of No. 4 Company and one Platoon Machine Guns 2nd Battalion MIDDLESEX REGIMENT were withdrawn to the NORTH bank of the Canal and the Bridge blown up.
    In their original position No. 4 Company were isolated from the Battalion and there was a risk of the enemy working round their Right Flank down to the Bridge, in which case it would have been essential to have blown it up. This would have cut off all means of communication except by swimming.
    No. 4 Company now occupied a position covering ruins of the Bridge and King’s Company and No. 2 Company closing in on their outer flanks. This ensured that every inch of the South bank was under observation.
    Owing to the continued enemy shelling it was decided to move Battalion H.Q. from the MUNICIPAL PARK to some cellars under a ? house, in which the R.A.P. was situated. This was completed by 1700 hours.
    1800 hours approximately - Enemy shell and mortar fire slackened and the night was comparatively quiet.
    A large number of houses were burning furiously and made a most impressive spectacle.

    1940 May 31
    Furnes
    Shelling of the Town continued all day and it was evident that the enemy had brought up fresh Artillery during the night.
    1730 hours Conference at Brigade H.Q., which was attended by Major C.M.D. VENABLES-LLEWELYN as the Commanding Officer was unable to walk.
    7th GUARDS BRIGADE O.O. No. 20 was issued.
    2000 hours Battalion Operation Order No. 22 was issued to all concerned giving detail of the withdrawal and move to the 3rd DIVISIONAL reception area at the SOUTH WEST end of LA PANNE.
    After arrival at this point, control of movement was to be under the direction of DIVISIONAL Staff and the M.L.O.
    The withdrawal was carried out according to plan as far as the 3rd DIVISIONAL Reception Area at LA PANNE.
    2200 hours “B” Echelon and H.Q. Company (less the Command Group) left FURNES at 2200 hours, followed at intervals by the Reserve Company (No. 3 Company) and the rear elements of the Forward Companies. The F.D.L.s were finally abandoned without incident at 0230 hours 1st June 1940. There was considerable enemy shelling of the Town throughout the early part of the night.

    1940 May 31 May / 1 June 1940
    Night Furnes - La Panne
    There was very considerable shelling of the route to LA PANNE and, in spite of the fact that parties moved widely spaced on each side of the route, some casualties were incurred.
    The Battalion reached the Beach in echelons, as per orders, at varying times between 2359 hours and 0300 hours.
     
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    1940 June 1
    0230 hours La Panne Beach
    The F.D.L.s on the NORTHERN bank of the Canal at FURNES were finally abandoned at 0230 hours, in accordance with orders issued on 30th May 1940, as described in the War Diary for May 1940.
    Rear parties of King’s, No.s 4 and 2 Companies had been ordered to put sandbags round their boots, in order to lessen the sound of movement on the cobbled streets, and withdrew without incident to their embussing point on a concrete road encircling the Town to the NORTH.
    There was intermittent shelling but embussing was completed and the trucks moved off without casualties.
    The enemy were shelling the road near LA PANNE, the village itself, and the beach pretty heavily, so that most Companies broke off to the WEST across country on nearing the Town and reached the 3rd DIVISION Reception Area via the Dunes.
    Here there was considerable confusion, as most of the officers detailed for duty had become casualties, but Companies were led on by their own officers down to the beach.
    On arrival on the beach it was found that there were practically no boats, no embarkation organisation, and a mess of men belonging to all units, not only of the 3rd DIVISION, but also the 4th DIVISION.
    About half the Battalion embarked, some by boats and others by swimming, in vessels lying off the beach between LA PANNE and MALO LES BAINS. The remainder marched in Artillery Formation along the Coast of DUNKIRK, where they embarked on the Quay.
    0400 hours Beach - La Panne - Dunkirk
    At 0400 hours the enemy commenced to bomb and machine-gun the beach from the air and continued to shell both from the SOUTH and also from the EAST.
    These shells, which took the beach completely in enfilade, were most unpleasant and caused a considerable number of casualties.
    A jetty, built of M.T. vehicles driven into the sea, near MALO LES BAINS proved a most attractive mark for German Artillery and was given a wide berth.
    2359 hours By midnight the great majority of the Battalion had landed in ENGLAND and had dispersed to a number of Reception Camps.
    Serjeant-Major C. STREATHER, who was last seen embarking men on the Quay at DUNKIRK, has not been since heard of, and it is feared that he has been drowned in one of the vessels sunk by the enemy air action.
    In view of the fact that the Battalion marched to the Beach, embarked, and arrived in ENGLAND by Echelons, COMPANY ACCOUNTS are appended.

    1940 June 2
    Reception Camps in England
    The Battalion was dispersed in Reception Camps all over England.

    1940 June 3
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    Some of the Battalion left their rest Camp and travelled to the THIRD DIVISIONAL Concentration area around FROME.
    The Battalion was allotted accommodation in tents and billets in the villages of DINTON and TEFFONT MAGNA.

    1940 June 4
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    More of the Battalion arrived.

    1940 June 5
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    More of the Battalion arrived.

    1940 June 6
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    Fresh Clothing and stores started to be issued.

    1940 June 7
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    More Clothing and stores were issued.
    The G.O.C. 3rd DIVISION addressed the Battalion and told it that the DIVISION was to be first of the DUNKIRK Divisions to be sent back to FRANCE.

    1940 June 8
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    The Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding the Regiment visited the Battalion.
    The first Leave party of 200 started on the forty-eight hours leave.

    1940 June 9
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    Thirteen 30cwt lorries arrived.
    194 Other Ranks arrived from No. 2 INFANTRY BASE DEPOT.

    1940 June 10
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    Refitting continued.

    1940 June 11
    Frome & Dinton & Teffont Magna
    Twenty-nine 15cwt trucks arrived. Twenty-four Other Ranks arrived from HOLDING BATTALION.

    1940 June 12
    Lieutenant M.E.M. SANDYS left the Battalion to take up appointment as B.I.O. 7th GUARDS BRIGADE.
    Captain T.F.C. WINNINGTON left to take up appointment as Staff Captain 8th INFANTRY BRIGADE.
    Various kit arrived including Respirators and the 1914 Pattern Rifles and Bayonets.

    1940 June 13
    Steady flow of equipment; Bicycles; Bren Guns; 2” and 3” Mortars and Cooking utensils. The following Officers reported to the Battalion:-
    Lieutenant M. MACKAREN from TRAINING BATTALION
    2/Lieutenant F.P.M. HERVEY-BATHURST from TRAINING BATTALION
    2/Lieutenant W.J.R. JARVIS from TRAINING BATTALION
    2/Lieutenant E.F.H. PAGET from TRAINING BATTALION
    2/Lieutenant H.G.C. ILLINGWORTH from HOLDING BATTALION
    2/Lieutenant N.E.W. BAKER from HOLDING BATTALION
    2/Lieutenant R. RITCHIE from HOLDING BATTALION
    2/Lieutenant M.W. GRAZEBROOK from “X” List
    2/Lieutenant the Honourable E.R.H. WILLS from “X” List

    1940 June 14
    Fonthill Bishop
    More Kit arrived including ten Carriers.
    His Majesty The KING inspected the 7th GUARDS BRIGADE in clean fatigue order.
    The Battalion was commanded by Major DILLWYN VENABLES LLEWELYN, M.V.O., in the absence of the Commanding Officer on leave. 2/Lieutenant SEYMOUR arrived.
    Thirteen Other Ranks arrived from HOLDING BATTALION.
    Drill-Serjeant HARRISON was appointed R.S.M.
    Lieutenant M. FITALAN HOWARD was appointed Acting Adjutant.

    1940 June 15
    Dinton & Teffont Magna
    All the vehicles are now present.
    The Regimental Band visited the Battalion under Major G.J. MILLER, M.V.O., M.B.E.
    The weather is very pleasant.
    No. 4 Company play DINTON village at Cricket.
    Pattern 1914 Rifles exchanged for S.M.L.E.s with LONDON District, except twenty-four kept for sniping.
    C.S.M. JOY reported from TRAINING BATTALION.

    1940 June 16
    Dinton & Teffont Magna
    Refitting.
    The Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding the Regiment paid another short informal visit.

    1940 June 17
    Dinton & Teffont Magna
    Seven TOMMY GUNS were drawn up but later handed in.
    The G.O.C. 3rd DIVISION addressed all officers in the GAUMONT Cinema, FROME.

    1940 June 18
    Instructions to move received.
    The Second-in-Command and Intelligence Officer go forward to reconnoitre billets.
    2200 hours Operation Order No. 23 issued after Commanding Officer had returned from Conference at Brigade H.Q.

    1940 June 19
    Littlehampton
    The Battalion moved to LITTLEHAMPTON by M.T. and Motor Coaches arriving at 1100 hours.
    Billets were found by no coast defences were taken over.
    Battalion H.Q. established at No. 23 SOUTH TERRACE.

    1940 June 20
    An air raid alarm during the early morning.
    A Battalion Drill Parade at 0900 hours, then musketry try and training by Companies.

    1940 June 21
    1030 hours Battalion Parade in Fighting Order as a rehearsal.
    1530 hours Parade under the Commanding Officer in Fighting Order for Inspection by the G.O.C. 3rd DIVISION.
    2/Lieutenant C.J. OPPENHEIM left the Battalion and reported to Regimental Headquarters.
    List of Officers on parade attached as Appendix ‘C’.

    1940 June 22
    Battalion fired out to sea to zero Rifles and Bren Guns.
    2/Lieutenant F. SHAUGHNESSY reported to the Battalion.
    2100 hours Commanding Officer held a Conference of Company Commanders and Operation Order No. 24 ordering the Battalion to move to ARUNDEL and ANGMERING PARK FARM was issued.

    1940 June 23
    Arundel
    It rained hard during the night so No. 4 Company and part of H.Q. Company remained in billets at LITTLEHAMPTON.
    King’s Company, No. 3 Company and the rest of H.Q.
    Company moved to billets in ARUNDEL and started pitching tents in ARUNDEL PARK.
    No. 2 Company under the Second-in-Command moved to ANGMERING PARK FARM.
    Battalion H.Q. was established at the NORFOLK HOTEL ARUNDEL.
    C.S.M. DOWLING was posted to the Battalion from the Supernumerary List.

    1940 June 24
    Arundel
    No. 4 Company moved up to ANGMERING PARK FARM.
    The two Companies there were henceforth organised under the Second-in-Command and called the Left Half Battalion.
    Carrier Platoon less one Section was attached to the Left Half Battalion.
    The Right Half Battalion moved to tents in ARUNDEL PARK halfway along the main drive to WHITEWAYS LODGE.
    2300 hours An air raid alarm, but no enemy aircraft appeared.

    1940 June 25
    Arundel Park
    The Battalion continued training. Operation Instruction No. 1 was issued.
    1800 hours The Brigade Commander lectured all officers on Combined Training; which was followed by a lecture on the B.E.F. GENERAL HEADQUARTERS by Lieutenant-Colonel Philip GREGSON ELLIS.
    Air raid alarm in evening, but no enemy planes seen.

    1940 June 26
    Arundel Park
    The Battalion continued training.
    Acting Drill-Serjeant JONES A. was posted to the Battalion from the 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS.
    No air raid alarm during the evening.

    1940 June 27
    Arundel Park
    The Battalion continued training. King’s Company did a Combined Exercise with the ROYAL NAVY at WHALE ISLAND, PORTSMOUTH.
    Late in the evening a Warning Order was received that the Battalion was to spend the 28th June 1940 preparing for a move.

    1940 June 28
    1400 hours Arundel Park
    The Commanding Officer returned from a Conference at Brigade H.Q. and held a Conference of Company Commanders.
    The pending move was cancelled.
    The Battalion was to continue training.

    1940 June 29
    Arundel Park
    No.s 3 and 4 Companies did combined training with the ROYAL NAVY at WHALE ISLAND, PORTSMOUTH.

    1940 June 30
    No. 3 Company had the use of two Lifeboats for Combined Training at LITTLEHAMPTON.
    Captain J.D.W.G. HENEAGE arrived from the HOLDING BATTALION.
    1745 hours Commanding Officer held a Conference of Company Commanders; all future boating and combined training was cancelled and the Brigade took over responsibilities for this Sector of coast defence.
     
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    Precis of movements of King’s Company from the abandonment of FURNES, 31 May / 01 June 1940

    0130 hours: Company H.Q.s and one Section per Platoon under Captain Sir John GILMOUR withdrew without incident.
    Considerable shell fire at LA PANNE.
    Our own shells were falling in Company area.

    0230 hours: Remainder of Company withdrew.
    Heavy shelling at Crossroads near Bridge on DUNKIRK road, no casualties.
    Company embussed in FURNES and debussed in SOUTH WEST outskirts of LA PANNE.
    Considerable confusion as all Control posts were casualties.

    Whole Company got safely on to beach and started to march in artillery formation towards DUNKIRK.

    About 2/3 of Company embarked opposite MALO LES BAINS, remainder marched on to DUNKIRK.

    5 men missing, believed to have been lost on H.M.S. IVANHOE, sunk by bombs.

    Signed A.C. HUNTINGTON, Major
     
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    Precis of Events between final abandonment of FURNES and disembarkation in ENGLAND.

    No.s 10, 11, 12 Platoons each less one Section arrived by M.T. under the Company Commander at the Western end of LA PANNE at about 0300 hours on the 1st June 1940. Here they debased and went down through the sand dunes to the beach. Shortly afterwards Captain MILLER with Company H.Q. and three sections arrived by march route. The whole Company was now on the beach.

    As it grew light and enemy air attacks began the Company became dispersed and intermingled with other units of the Division. As there were no boats available for the masses of the troops on the beach it was soon decided to urge everyone to move Westwards towards DUNKIRK.

    By the time BRAY DUNES was reached a party of about 25 including the Company Commander, Captain MILLER and C.S.M. BROWN was collected. Another party of about 30 under Lieutenant PERRY-KNOX-GORE was also collected. These two parties started to march to DUNKIRK at about 1000 hours and walked straight on board the BEN MCCRAE at about 1230 hours. The ship was attacked three times by dive bombers while it was tied up to the Quay but no hits were suffered.

    At about 1300 hours the BEN MCCRAE sailed and reached FOLKESTOWE at 1900 hours without further incident. During the march from BRAY DUNES to DUNKIRK no casualties were suffered by either of these parties.

    Another party of about twelve men including P.S.M. ANDERSON and P.S.M. DODD got on to a stranded paddle steamer. However after two or three hours everybody decided it mush have a hole in its bottom and they got off again and went to DUNKIRK where they got a ship late in the evening and arrived in ENGLAND the same night.

    C.Q.S.M. BETTS and Guardsman SHAW got on board H.M.S. WORCESTERSHIRE at DUNKIRK and arrived in ENGLAND about 2200 hours.

    Major GERARD and three or four other men succeeded in getting Lance-Corporal HAYES who was wounded to a small boat and rowed him off to a destroyer which they all got on to.

    A number of individuals of the Company also got off from the beach in this manner and some by swimming.

    Signed D. FISHER-ROWE, Captain, No. 2 Company, 1st Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS.
     
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    From FURNES the Company was ordered to move at 1230 hours Saturday 1st June, 1940 under the command of Captain THORNE in the following order: 14, 15, 13, Company H.Q.

    15 Platoon left a Section under Lance-Corporal WILES, commanded by Major HERBERT to cover the withdrawal. The Company proceeded along the concrete road to LA PANNE under heavy shell fire.

    On reaching the Crossroads met the 2nd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS and halted to allow them to pass.

    Rear of Company were clear of the Crossroads by 100 yards when a shell burst in centre of Crossroads and set fire to an abandoned truck. We were met by the R.T.O. at LA PANNE who told us to proceed to the beach and march 2 1/2 miles along the beach to the Pier. This we did under heavy shell fire.

    When about 1 mile from the Pier we were met by an Officer who informed us that the Pier had been shelled and was unfit for use.

    We then took up positions in the sand dunes at about 0230 hours 1st June 1940.

    On Dawn breaking, Captain THORNE made a recce to find boats for embarkation. He informed the Company that no boats were available at the moment.

    About 0830 hours the Company proceeded to the waters edge ad were heavily bombed and machine gunned from the air. No casualties occurred.

    Part of the Company then proceeded to embark in rowing boats commandeered on the beach. Remainder returned to the sand dunes and later proceeded to the Pier at DUNKIRK which had been temporarily repaired where they embarked. The Company landed in ENGLAND at various ports.

    The Section who were left behind under Major HERBERT followed the Company at 0130 hours 1st June 1940. The were heavily shelled and suffered 4 casualties. The reached the beach about 0300 hours.

    Signed W.E.P. MILLER, Captain
     
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    Precis of Final abandonment from FURNES 31st May - 1st June 1940.

    During the evening May 31st No. 4 Company received orders to finally abandon their positions by 0230 hours June 1st.

    Earlier in the evening May 30th/31st, No. 4 Company had withdrawn for a position over the Canal, and taken up a position between King's Company on the right and No. 2 Company on the left; astride the road and bridge.

    Method of Withdrawal.
    The position was held by No. 18 Platoon on the right P.S.M. WELTON; No. 17 Platoon on the left 2/Lieutenant R. HOWARD; No. 16 Platoon in reserve 2/Lieutenant T.A. GORE BROWN in buildings near Company H.Q.

    At 2300 hours P.S.M. WELTON reported sick and the Platoon No. 18 was taken over by Sergeant HOWARD.

    At 0130 hours June 1st, part of Company H.Q.s personnel with No. 16 Platoon were withdrawn by march route to LA PANNE.

    The Company H.Q. party consisted of the Signallers, 2 S.B., C.Q.M.S.

    No. 16 Platoon narrative: At 0130 hours the Platoon withdrew from their positions and proceeded by march route to LA PANNE. On reaching the outskirts of the village the shelling became intense, and the Platoon left the road and reached the beach by way of the Dunes. No casualties were suffered, and all Ranks reached the UNITED KINGDOM.

    No. 17 Platoon narrative: On the night May 31st / June 1st 1940 No. 17 Platoon were holding a forward position on the Canal bank at FURNES with No. 18 Platoon on the right and No. 2 Company on the left. The Platoon Commander received orders for the final abandonment of the position at 0230 hours - during the night there was heavy shelling of the line generally R shells from our own artillery were coming down very near on the other side of the Canal - however the Platoon suffered no casualties.

    At 0220 hours the higher numbers of all Sections proceeded to withdraw under Serjeant WHITCHARD (Platoon Serjeant), the 3 Bren guns and Anti-Tank rifle and crews remaining in position until 0230 hours when they withdrew with the Platoon Commander, 2/Lieutenant R.M.C. HOWARD.

    At this time the general shelling was not so violent and no enemy had been observed on the other side of the Canal bank.

    The Platoon proceeded in single file to the R.V. arranged with the M.T. where all arrived and embossed without casualties. The events that followed are covered by the Company Commander's narrative.

    Signed R.M.C. HOWARD, 2/Lieutenant.
     
  17. JW1t

    JW1t Junior Member

    Brilliant, thank you!
     
  18. WW2Nation

    WW2Nation Member

    Do you have any further information on the 1st Battalion's King Company? There is a chap I know who is currently trying to do some research on a group of the King's Company Grenadier Guards that landed in Normandy just after D-Day and he is struggling to find much information about them and there progress through France etc and into Germany.

    I have recommended a book on the Grenadier Guards during WW2, but so far can only find this part of the War Diary that mentions the King's Company directly. I am guessing that the later years of the War Diary for 1st Battalion have not been digitalised and are only available from the NA at Kew?

    Any assistance or information that you are able to offer would be hugely appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  19. mvdv84

    mvdv84 Well-Known Member

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