War Diary: 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS, Jan - Dec 1941

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, May 27, 2015.

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    1 January 1941
    Carrier Platoon carried out Demonstration.

    2 January
    Right Flank relieved on Detachment CITADEL by 2nd Battalion King’s Own Royal Regiment.
    G Company relieved on Detachment HELMIEH and HELIOPOLIS.
    Final Blood Grouping carried out.

    3 January
    Commanding Officer visited Headquarters, Canal L. of C. Area re Camp site for Battalion at KABRIT.
    Battalion Snipers fired under Captain R. de M. GRANT-WATSON.

    4 January
    Battalion Snipers fired under Captain R. de M. GRANT-WATSON.
    General Swabbing carried out.

    5 January
    Pipe Major ROBERTSON Extra Regimental Employed as Company Sergeant Major, Leave and Transit Camp, ABBASINIA.

    6 January
    2/Lieutenant P. DAWSON and 2/Lieutenant A.J. COATS on Junior Commanders Course M.E.T.S.
    2/Lieutenant N.G.R. DAVIDSON on Field Works Course M.E.T.S.
    Pioneer Platoon gives Demonstration, M.E.T.S.
    2/Lieutenant H.T.B. MORISON on Security Course.
    Captain & Quartermaster J.H. HOLDEN Member of a Court of Enquiry on Forage Account.
    Battalion Concert Party broadcast in “Forces Programme” over the E.S.B. service.

    7 January

    8 January
    Major C.A.R. COGHILL member of a General Court Martial.
    Board of Survey held on unserviceable clothing.

    9 January
    2/Lieutenant T. MARSHAM-TOWNSHEND member of a Field General Court Martial.
    Surplus Clothing handed in by Companies.

    10 January
    Captain & Quartermaster J.H. HOLDEN attended Conference re TRANSIT CAMP in SLADE BLOCK.

    11 January
    Battalion Parade under the Commanding Officer - Rehearsal for Inspection by G.O.C. in Chief, British Troops in EGYPT.

    12 January

    13 January
    Commanding Officer visited Headquarters, Canal L. of C. Area.
    P.S.M. J. CASSIDY tried by Field General Court Martial for “DRUNKENESS etc”.
    Brigadier A. GALLOWAY, M.C., B.G.S., (H.Q., B.T.E.) lectured to all Officers and Warrant Officers on the Campaign in the Western Desert.
    Undermentioned Guards relieved by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS:-
    15th (Scottish) General Hospital.
    Beneish Garage.
    Royal Army Ordnance Corps Workshop (Fiat Works).

    14 January
    The Battalion was inspected by Lieutenant-General Sir H. MAITLAND WILSON, K.C.B., D.S.O., on the Hockey Ground, KASR-EL-NIL Barracks.

    15 January
    G Company (under command of Major C.A.R. COGHILL) proceeded as Advance Party to KABRIT CAMP.
    Captain & Quartermaster accompanied this Party.

    16 January
    Guard at G.H.Q., Middle East relieved by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS.

    17 January
    Guard at G.O.C. in Chief’s House relieved by 2nd Battalion KING’S OWN RIFLE REGIMENT.

    18 January
    General SWABBING - The Commanding Officer inspected Barracks.

    19 January

    20 January
    Handing over to 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS.

    21 January
    0400 hours
    Battalion moved to Camp at KABRIT on the Canal by Train leaving KASR-EL-NIL Siding at 0700 hours.
    Transport moved by road leaving CAIRO 0630 hours.
    Baggage Wagons uncoupled at FAYID Station.
    Personnel arrived FENARA WHARF at 1315 hours and proceeded to KABRIT CAMP by March Route (Approximately 10 miles).

    22 January
    Kabrit Battalion employed on settling in to Camp.
    Commanding Officer and Adjutant visited O.C., R.A.F. Station, KABRIT, to arrange P.A.D. measures etc.

    23 January
    Interior Economy throughout the Battalion.

    24 January
    Interior Economy throughout the Battalion.

    25 January
    All Companies carried out route marches of approximately 10 miles length during the morning.

    26 January
    2/Lieutenant A.J. COATS, 2/Lieutenant P. DAWSON and 2/Lieutenant N.G.R. DAVIDSON, P.S.M. RATTRAY and Sergeant MOORE rejoined the Battalion from Courses at the M.E.T.S.
    The Commanding Officer inspected Camp during the morning.
    There was no Divine Service.
    A Football Match in the afternoon against R.A.F., KABRIT. The Battalion won 4 - 2.

    27 January
    Eighteen Officers and seven Warrant Officers attend a Course at the Combined Training Centre, KABRIT, which lasts until 5 February.
    Throughout the week Companies at the disposal of Company Commanders for Map Reading, Compass Work and Instruction in pulling boats.

    28 January
    Quarterly Audit Board held on Battalion Accounts for Quarter ending 31 December 1940.

    29 January
    All Companies carried out Route Marches - approximate length 14 miles.

    30 January
    An Air Raid Alarm took place 0430 hours; Enemy Aircraft flew over the Camp.
    Magnetic Mines were dropped in the Canal, and three H.E. Bombs fell approximately 400 yards from the Officers Lines. No damage was done.
    All Companies were taken in Instruction in pulling boats by Merchant Navy Captains.
    The Commanding Officer and eighteen Officers proceeded to ALEXANDRIA on a visit to the Fleet.

    31 January
    The Commanding Officer and eighteen Officers visited the Fleet at ALEXANDRIA and went on board various Destroyers; H.M.S. GLOUCESTER, H.M.S. VALIANT, H.M.S. MEDWAY and H.M.S. REGENT (Submarine). Returned to Camp same night.
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    1 February 1941
    Signal received from No. 3 Company 4 L. of C. Signals announcing death of 2695907 Guardsman HOWIE from Gun Shot Wounds at DABAA.

    Rank: Guardsman
    Service No: 2695907
    Date of Death: 31/01/1941
    Age: 18
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn. attd. 4 L. of C. Sigs. Royal Corps of Signals
    Grave Reference: XVIII. D. 14.
    Additional Information: Son of Charles and Sarah Howie, of Crosshouse, Ayrshire.

    Leave Party of 500 Other Ranks proceeded by special train to ISMALIA.

    2 February
    Combined Drum-head Service for all denominations except Roman Catholics held at 0845 hours.
    Roman Catholic Service 1000 hours.

    3 February

    4 February
    1430 hours
    Five men per platoon carried out Firing with the Anti-Tank Rifle under W.T. Officer.
    2/Lieutenant M.J.A. GORDON proceeded on Course to the M.E.W.T.S.

    5 February
    1430 hours
    Demonstration of Firing Smoke with 2” Mortar carried out by W.T. Officer, attended by two men per Rifle Platoon and eight men from Carrier Party.
    1815 hours
    Concert given in the N.A.A.F.I. by an E.N.S.A. Concert Pary.
    2000 hours
    Course at Combined Training Centre ended.
    2000 hours
    Warning Order received - Battalion to be ready to move not before 1300 hours... 6.2.41 at “Full strength” - destination not given.

    6 February
    1100 hours
    Major P.C.H. GRANT attended Conference at H.Q. Canal L. of C. Area.
    1215 hours
    Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer attended Conference at H.Q. Canal L. of C. Area.
    1230 hours
    Company Commanders attended Conference at H.Q. Canal L. of C. Area.
    1420 hours
    Battalion (less Left Flank and Details) moved by M.T. under Adjutant and were met by Company Commanders on the road.
    Dispositions of Battalion as at 1800 hours:-
    Right Flank - H.Q. at BALLAH Canal Company Station
    With posts from K.43 - K. 76 on Canal.
    F Company - H.Q. at TOUSSOUN Canal Company Station
    With posts from LAKE TIMSAH to DEVERSOIR.
    G Company H.Q. at EL TINAH Canal Company Station
    With posts from K.6 - K. 43 on Canal.
    Left Flank - H.Q. at SHALLUFA Canal Company Station
    With posts from K. 133.5 to K.157 on Canal.

    Each post to consist of one N.C.O. and 3 Duty - to watch and mark any mine dropped into Canal from aircraft, to prevent sabotage and to fire at enemy aircraft.
    Battalion H.Qrs. in Officers Mess, 4/7 RAJPUT REGIMENT in MOASCAR.

    7 February
    Commanding Officer co-ordinated F Company and Left Flank positions i.e. Southern Sector of Canal.
    Major P.C.H. GRANT co-ordinated Right Flank and G Company positions i.e. Northern Sector of Canal.

    8 February
    1030 hours
    Conference at Battalion H.Q. attended by Commanding Officer, Adjutant, G.S.O. II, Canal L. of C. Area, O.C. 8 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY and 107 Regiment ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY.
    Preliminary arrangements made for relief of Left Flank and F Company by a/m Regiments.
    1115 hours
    Brigadier SELBY (Commander Canal L. of C. Area) visited Battalion H.Q.
    During the morning Major P.C.H. GRANT visited F Company and Left Flank.
    1230 hours O.C. Lt. Car Sqn. Egyptian Army, again visited Battalion H.Q.

    9 February
    0800 hours
    8 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY and 107 Regiment ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY left MOASCAR to relieve F Company and Left Flank respectively.
    930 hours
    Commanding Officer visited Commander Canal L. of C. Area.
    1030 hours
    F Company and Left Flank ordered to sent out patrols respectively LAKE TIMSAH - DEVERSOIR; Canal Station and GENEIFA Canal Station to Southern end of Canal to investigate black cylindrical objects reported to have been seen floating in the Canal.
    Results of these patrols were subsequently signalled to Area H.Q. after the relief had been completed.
    1200 hours
    Relief of G Company between K.6 and K.14 BY 1 Lt. Car Sqn. E.A. reported complete.
    1215 hours
    Relief of F Company by 8 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY reported complete.
    1310 hours
    Relief of Left Flank by 107 Regiment ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY.
    1400 hours
    Extra blankets sent to Right Flank and G Company.
    1600 hours
    Rear Battalion H.Q. established at KABRIT CAMP.
    Adv. Battalion H.Q. remained at MOASCAR.
    2200 hours
    Prime Minister broadcast from LONDON.

    10 February
    Day spent by F Company and Left Flank in checking stores and making tentage secure.
    Commanding Officer visited CAIRO for interview with D.C.G.S.
    Work started on erecting extra tentage for Naval personnel expected to arrive 15 February.
    1800 hours Commanding Officer returned from CAIRO with the news of his appointment as G.S.O. I 6th DIVISION which is being formed.

    11 February
    1830 hours
    Commanding Officer (Lieutenant-Colonel I.D. ERSKINE) handed over command of the Battalion to Major P.C.H. GRANT. He said good-bye to the Companies in Camp at dinners and Left Flank carried out a Night Scheme in Pulling boats.

    12 February
    1000 hours
    Relief of G Company holding observation posts from RASEL ESH (excl) to K.43 on the Canal begun by Egyptian Army.

    13 February

    14 February
    Captain BRADY, ROYAL NAVY, arrived to take command of Royal Naval Detachment who are eventually going to take over 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Camp.
    Left Flank moved from their present lines into new tents to the South of the Camp.
    23 Royal Naval personnel moved into Left Flank tents.

    15 February
    0930 - 1030 hours
    Two Demonstrations of Dive-Bombing and Ground-Strafing were given by 70 Squadron ROYAL AIR FORCE to Left Flank and H.Q. Company at 0930 hours and to F Company and G Company at 1030 hours.

    The undermentioned Officers and Warrant Officers flew during the Demonstration:-
    Captain & Adjutant T.L. BALLANTINE DYKES
    Lieutenant M.N. ROMER
    Lieutenant H.J. STIRLING
    D/Sergeant GREENWOOD
    Company Sergeant Major RICHMOND
    Company Sergeant Major LINDLEY
    Company Sergeant Major BROMHEAD

    1300 hours Left Flank and 80 Other Ranks of H.Q. Company left in M.T. convoy to relieve Right Flank and attached personnel.
    1930 hours Relief of Right Flank and attached personnel complete.

    16 February
    No Divine Service except for Roman Catholics.

    17 February
    1415 hours - 1500 hours
    Air Raid Message “YELLOW” Enemy recce. aircraft flew over Camp at high altitude.
    1630 hours
    300 Naval Ratings arrived. They are accommodated in tents lately used by Left Flank and extra tents pitched for them by the Battalion.

    18 February
    0417 hours to 0601 hours
    Air Raid Message “RED”. Enemy aircraft were heard flying over the Canal. No bombs were dropped near Camp.
    One mine was dropped in the Canal opposite Left Flank Company H.Q. It was successfully marked and later bouyed.
    Left Flank had a good shoot at the aircraft which passed over at about 200 feet. It did not crash however.
    1430 hours
    Rehearsal carried out by F Company for Demonstration to be given on 21.2.41, at the Combined Training Centre of Boat pulling.

    19 February
    3rd Course at Combined Training Centre started.
    The following Officers attended:-
    Captain the Honourable T.W.E. COKE, M.V.O.
    Captain P.F. FANE GLADWIN

    20 February
    1430 hours
    F Company carried out 2nd Rehearsal for Boat pulling Demonstration.

    21 February
    0930 hours
    F Company gave Demonstration to Combined Training Centre of Boat pulling.

    22 February
    2/Lieutenant T. MARSHAM-TOWNSHEND went on Regimental Intelligence Officers’ Course.
    2/Lieutenant A.J. COATS went on Signal Course.
    2/Lieutenant H.T.B. MORISON reported for duty as A.D.C. to Major-General EVITTS, Commanding 6 DIVISION.
    0930 hours
    F Company gave Demonstration of Boat pulling to the Battalion.
    1145 hours
    Commanding Officer saw all Company Commanders.

    23 February
    No Divine Service for Church of Scotland, Church of England or United Board.
    The Commanding Officer inspected Camp.
    Signal received ordering the Battalion to move to TAHAG Camp on 26 February.

    24 February
    1000 hours
    Advance Party proceeded to TAHAG, under the Quartermaster.
    1430 hours
    G Company and H.Q. Company carried out practice in Boat pulling and towing.
    The Officers of the Battalion were entertained in the evening by Officers of H.M.S. STAG (K Division) (The Naval Detachment in the next Camp).

    25 February
    1000 hours
    Left Flank & Right Flank carried out practice in Boat pulling and towing.
    1430 hours
    Heavy baggage was loaded on to trucks in the Shell Siding at GENEIFA.
    Commanding Officer attended a Conference at H.Q. 22 INFANTRY BRIGADE at TAHAG.

    26 February
    1145 hours
    Battalion proceeded by March Route to GENEIFA Station where entrainment took place.
    M.T. proceeded separately by road.
    Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant HANSON and a Rear Party of 23 Other Ranks remained at KABRIT.
    1435 hours
    Train Departed GENEIFA.
    1830 hours
    Battalion arrived at KASSASSIN Station and was met by Battalion and ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS transport and lifted to Camp, which was in the dark.

    27 February
    Major P.C.H. GRANT, Captain & Quartermaster J.H. HOLDEN attended a Conference at H.Q. 6 DIVISION in CAIRO.
    The day was spent in Camp in settling in and off-loading baggage at KASSASSIN Station.

    28 February
    1430 hours
    200 Libyan prisoners obtained to dig in tents.
    The Adjutant attended a Conference at H.Q. 22 INFANTRY BRIGADE.

    Severe dust and rain storms throughout the day and night of 28 February / 1 March.
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    1 - 31 March 1941
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    1 April 1941
    Battalion was lifted to Camp TAHAG by M.T. from Bivouac Area in WADI ABYAD on conclusion of Brigade Exercise.
    Remainder of day was spent in settling into Camp which is the same one we left 15 March.

    2 April
    Day spent by Companies on Interior Economy and Kit Inspections.
    Party of 250 Other Ranks proceeded on Leave by special train to CAIRO.

    3 April
    1200 hours
    Major P.C.H. GRANT and Adjutant attended a Conference at H.Q. 22 GUARDS BRIGADE on Combined Operations.
    1530 hours
    Signal received warning the Battalion to be at four hours’ notice to move as from Midnight 3/4 April.
    Officers and Other Ranks on Leave were immediately recalled - Preliminary packing begun.
    1630 hours Adjutant attended a Conference at Brigade H.Q. but received little further information.

    4 April
    Equipment made up as per G. lo98 scale in Transport, Weapons, Ammunition, etc.
    New Bren Guns were zeroed on TAHAG Ranges.
    1530 hours Commanding Officer attended Brigadier’s Conference at Brigade H.Q.
    Battalion remained at four hours’ notice to move.
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE was placed directly under G.H.Q. Middle East as a Reserve.

    5 April
    1030 hours 3” Mortar firing was carried out by the Mortar Platoon under 2/Lieutenant D.S. ROBERTSON.
    1100 hours A Trial loading of Platoon Trucks was carried out by all Platoons.
    The Commanding Officer visited all Companies during this test.
    1400 hours A Demonstration of enemy Anti-Tank Mines, booby-traps and grenades was given by 12 Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS. Two Officers and eight Sergeants per Company attended.
    1430 hours Practice in Tommy Gun and Pistol was carried out by those Officers not watching R.E. Demonstration and selected Other Ranks.
    1500 hours Adjutant attended Conference at Brigade H.Q. where it was confirmed that the Battalion would move on 6 April, to the Western Desert - probable destination BARDIA.
    2200 hours Commanding Officer attended Brigadier’s Conference at Brigade H.Q. Verbal warning given that the Battalion would moved at 0800 hours by train. This was later altered to 1400 hours.
    Commanding Officer held Conference on return from Brigade H.Q. and issued Orders.

    6 April
    0630 hours The whole of the Brigade M.T. under Command Major P.C.H. GRANT proceeded by road to MATRUH, 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS leading. Their first stage to be WADI NATRUN. Thence on 7 April to MATRUH. The morning was spent by the remainder of the Battalion in packing up and loading the train at KASSASIN STATION.
    1230 hours 33 Other Ranks from I.B.D. under Command 2/Lieutenant D.V. SHAW-KENNEDY arrived to make up the Battalion’s first Reinforcement. List of Officers with Battalion as at Appendix A.
    1245 hours Battalion paraded to entrain and proceed by March Route to KASSASIN STATION. Rear Party of Captain The Honourable T.W.E. COKE, M.V.O., 2/Lieutenant D.V. SHAW-KENNEDY remained at TAHAG.
    1400 hours Train Departed.

    7 April
    Mersa Matruh
    1000 hours Battalion arrived at MATRUH after spending the night 6/7 April on the train. The train had halted for an hour at IKINGI MARIUT when an excellent meal of hot stew and tea had been prepared by some Australian Troops.
    The Battalion arrived at MATRUH in a mild dust storm and was met by Lieutenant Colonel MOUBRAY, 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS, and Major DAWNAY, Brigade Major, 22 GUARDS BRIGADE. The Brigadier had gone forward to BARDIA and TOBRUK and Colonel MOUBRAY pointed out to the Battalion Bivouac Areas near the LIDO HOTEL.
    Right Flank was warned to be ready to proceed to BARDIA direct by M.T. This warning was, however, cancelled at 1200 hours and the Battalion was ordered to remain in MATRUH for its defence.
    1700 hours Lieutenant Colonel MOUBRAY issued Orders to the Battalion and to 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS and 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY.
    1800 hours Commanding Officer issued Orders to Company Commanders.

    8 April
    0730 hours Companies (less 1st Reinforcments) moved from Bivouac Areas to Sectors as detailed in 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 1 of 7 April. O.O. No. 1 at Appendix B.
    1st Reinforcements formed into “KINFORCE: under Command Major G.M. KINMONT. Their duty to watch harbour and coast and to form extra Battalion Reserve.
    Battalion H.Q. situated EAST of MATRUH Station, SOUTH of Railway, where Line enters Cutting.
    Day spent in putting defences into state of readiness and cleaning Pill Boxes.
    Commanding Officer visited all Companies, KINFORCE and Transport Lines during the day.
    1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY hold CENTRE Sector and 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS hold SHORE and RIGHT Sector.
    Stand-to 1800 hours - 1900 hours.

    9 April
    0500 hours Stand-to 0500 hours - 0600 hours.
    A bad dust storm blew up at 0600 hours. Visibility bad.
    Companies continue clearing defences.
    1145 hours Commanding Officer to Brigade H.Q. for Conference. On his return warning to Left Flank to be prepared to move at 1430 hours to take over from 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS, who are ordered to proceed to SALUM.
    1530 hours Left Flank moved by M.T. to WESTERN BARRACKS preparatory to taking over from 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS at 0530 hours, 10 April. Operation Order No. 2 Appendix C
    1900 hours Verbal order received from Brigade Major that Battalion would be relieved on 10 April in D & E SECTORS by 2nd Battalion QUEENS R. and 1st Battalion ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS.
    2200 hours Operation Instruction No. 1 was issued at 2200 hours. Operation Instruction No. 1 at Appendix D

    10 April
    0530 hours Intelligence Officer 2nd Battalion QUEENS R. arrived Battalion H.Q. re relief.
    830 hours Recce Party under Major P.C.H. GRANT proceeded to A SECTOR, (i.e. the “SANDHILL SUB SECTOR” previously manned by the Battalion in 1939).
    900 hours Information received that G and F Companies will be relieved by 2nd Battalion LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT and NOT 1st Battalion ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS.
    1200 hours Relief completed.
    New Location Battalion in A SECTOR as follows:-
    Forward Companies
    F Company - RIGHT
    Right Flank - CENTRE
    Left Flank - LEFT
    Reserve Company
    G Company
    Battalion H.Q. - At Regimental Aid Post, A SECTOR
    KINFORCE remained old location.

    SECTORS in MATRUH FORTRESS held as follows:-
    A SECTOR - 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    B SECTOR - 1st Battalion BUFFS
    D SECTOR - 2nd Battalion QUEENS R.

    3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS proceeded 0600 hours on special mission.
    1500 hours News was received that 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY were to join 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS in a Mobile Column which was to proceed to SALUM at 1800 hours.
    Meanwhile every vehicle in Battalion M.T. was ordered to report Brigade H.Q. for the dual purpose of motorising 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY and supplementing the Transport of the remaining M.T. of Battalions of the Garrison.
    1600 hours Battalion Transport reported Brigade H.Q. at 1600 hours but not all of it was taken.

    11 April
    0900 hours
    Holy Communion for Church of Scotland at 0900 hours.
    Day spent in settling into New SECTOR and co-ordinating defences.
    Standing Patrol of one Section Carriers ordered out on coastal road area RAS UM LAHO from dawn to dusk daily.

    12 April
    0430 hours Two Platoons G Company under Command Lieutenant M.N. ROMER, left on escort duty with a convoy of ammunition for SALUM.
    A very bad dust storm blew up about 0600 hours and continued all day. A strong Southerly gale, very hot causing very bad visibility indeed. Almost impossible with digging on the defences. Defence Instruction No. 2 issued. Defence Instruction No. 2 at Appendix E.

    13 April
    Divine Service for all denominations.
    That for Church of England and Roman Catholics was held in FORT HOLDEN a native building near Battalion H.Q.
    Platoons G Company returned bringing 5 German Prisoners from SALUM. These Prisoners had been in an enemy Armoured Car, knocked out by the Support Group the day before.

    14 April
    Work was continued on defences throughout the day.
    An Anti-Tank Mine exploded in front of Right Flank SECTOR, killing two sappers and injuring several others. The ROYAL ENGINEERS are engaged in re-laying mines round the perimeter.

    15 April
    0900 hours
    Brigadier visited A SECTOR at 0900 hours.
    Commanding Officer reconnoitred Defence position for 141 Field Park Squadron ROYAL ENGINEERS which has come under Command for Defence A SECTOR.
    Notification received that the M.B.E. has been awarded to Captain & Quartermaster J.H. HOLDEN.
    Major E.B.W. CARDIFF who was on the staff of H.Q. CYRENAICA FORCE dined with the Officers, having escaped from BENGHAZI.
    Operation Order No. 3 issued. Operation Order No. 3 at Appendix F.

    16 April
    0900 hours
    Commanding Officer, Second-in-Command and Adjutant set off to recce new position for Battalion H.Q., but were followed by D.R. who had verbal message from H.Q. MATRUH FORTRESS that Battalion was [to] move on
    17 April to the WESTWARD.
    Destination not given but was believed to be AREA BUQ BUQ.
    1000 hours No. 807385 Corporal J. WRIGHT, Left Flank was tried by Field General Court Martial for “ABSENCE, ETC”
    1500 hours Australian Brigadier arrived with O.C. 2/14 Battalion A.I.F. who are to relieve the Battalion in A SECTOR MATRUH. Representatives from this Battalion met Company Commanders and were taken round Company localities.
    1530 hours Transport Officer arrived with verbal orders that the Battalion was to move approximately 1200 hours 17 April. ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS Transport to be attached for lifting personnel, and first line transport to be made up from units in MATRUH.
    2030 hours Verbal Orders from G.S.O.2. MATRUH FORTRESS, that Battalion was to leave perimeter wire at 0700 hours 17 April. Commanding Officer immediately gave out orders to Company Commanders on the telephone.

    17 April
    Buq Buq
    0700 hours
    Battalion less 1st Reinforcements and L.O.B. personnel embussed and left MATRUH.
    1st Line transport moved separately under Transport Officer later.
    L.O.B. personnel consisted of:-
    Major P.C.H. GRANT.
    Major G.M. KINMONT.
    Captain R.A. ORR-EWING.
    2/Lieutenant A.J. COATS.
    Drill Sergeant R. DOUGLAS.
    Company Sergeant Major F. LINDLEY.
    One Sergeant each from Right Flank, G Company and Left Flank.
    10 Other Ranks per rifle Company.

    Order of March for Battalion was:-
    Carrier Platoon (1 hours ahead main body).
    Left Flank.
    Battalion H.Q.
    Right Flank.
    F Company.
    G Company.
    Remainder H.Q. Company.

    65 Company ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS was attached to the Battalion for lifting purposes. First halt was made at CHARING CROSS, second in Area K.75 (near MATRUH) and SID BARRANI was reached at 1400 hours. Here Lieutenant-Colonel De SALIS (60 RIFLES) met the Commanding Officer, who rang up H.Q. MOBILE FORCE and received orders that two Companies were to remain in SIDI BARRANI and the remainder to proceed forward as far as BUQ BUQ. G Company and Left Flank were therefore left at SIDI BARRANI. The remainder of the Battalion went forward and biviouaced for the night just EAT of BUQ BUQ being met there shortly after arrival by 1st Line transport.

    18 April
    0730 hours
    Commanding Officer gave out orders to O.C. Right Flank, F Companies. These Companies are to take up positions about 5 miles WEST of bivouac area. Battalion H.Q. to move forward along road about 2 1/2 miles.
    0930 hours Battalion less G Company and Left Flank moved 0930 hours, Battalion H.Q. at 0940 hours.
    Right Flank is on the RIGHT with tasks to defend BUQ BUQ WELLS, to patrol and to watch the coast.
    F Company are on the LEFT to protect one Troop 8 Field Regiment, which is under Command.
    Commanding Officer with O.C. Right Flank and F Company, carried recce after which Commanding Officer went back to SIDI BARRANI to see G and Left Flank.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 4 issued. Operation Order No. 4 at Appendix G.
    Orders were received from Liaison Officer that Battalion is to find Standing Patrols on BUQ BUQ and SIDI BARRANI Landing Grounds. These patrols were ordered.
    Commanding Officer visited G Company and Left Flank at SIDI BARRANI.
    Brigadier GOTT (O.C. MOBILE FORCE) and Brigadier ERSKINE visited Battalion H.Q.
    Commanding Officer went forward to Brigade H.Q. at ALAM BARGHUT.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 2 was issued to O.C. G Company. This Instruction amplified original orders issued to G Company, and Left Flank and ordered O.C. G Company to recce a position for a Battalion to hold as a rearguard position in the event of a possible withdrawal. Operation Instruction No. 2 Appendix H.

    19 April
    0730 hours
    Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer went forward to Brigade H.Q. at ALAM BARGHUT and carried out a recce of forward areas and line held by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS and 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY.
    Lieutenant RAMSAY and Lieutenant STIRLING with one Sergeant each from Right Flank and F Company, were attached to 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS and 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY respectively.

    20 April
    News was received that Lieutenant H.J. STIRLING had been out with a patrol of 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY and had not returned. No definite information was at this time available.
    Operation Instruction No. 3 was issued to O.C. Right Flank giving instructions as to the demolition to be carried out at the BUQ BUQ WELLS, should this become necessary. Operation Instruction No. 3 Appendix I.
    Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer visited Left Flank and G Company at SIDI BARRANI.
    Further news was received that Lieutenant H.J. STIRLING had been wounded having been fired on by Machine Gun on fixed line. He had not so far been brought in. 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY are sending out patrol night 20/21 April to attempt to locate and bring him in.
    No. 2600161 Lance Corporal NEIL, NO. 3770277 Guardsman AINDOW, No. 2693485 Guardsman BLOOMFIELD injured by Italian Hand Grenade.

    21 April
    Patrol of 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY reported that no sign of Lieutenant STIRLING had been seen.
    Guardsman RAE injured by explosion of Italian Hand Grenade.

    22 April
    Operation Instruction No. 4 issued to O.C. Right Flank, F Company and G Company which dealt with the section to be taken on various code words if a withdrawal has to be ordered. Operation Instruction No. 4 attached Appendix K.
    Lieutenant STIRLING posted “MISSING AND WOUNDED”.
    No. 2696116 Guardsman WILKINSON injured by explosion of Italian Hand Grenade.
    No. 2695025 Drummer DUNN was drowned whilst bathing.

    23 April
    Very little enemy activity has been reported during the last few days. Active patrolling has been carried out in the Area HAL FAYA PASS and SOLLUM BARRACKS.

    24 - 25 April
    Very little activity by the enemy. Patrolling continued by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS and 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY.

    26 April
    1500 hours
    Verbal message from Brigadier that enemy had attacked. Warning issued to F Company. Transport was reorganised as far as possible to make F Company mobile in 15 cwt. trucks.
    2030 hours Captain W.J. STIRLING, Liaison Officer, arrived from Brigade H.Q. 22nd GUARDS BRIGADE.
    Operation Order No. 7. This order arranged for a general withdrawal of the whole Brigade to MATEEN BAGUSH by stages with various intermediate positions.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 5 was issued. Operation Instruction No. 5 at Appendix J.
    F Company was formed into RUSHFORCE consisting of :-
    F Company (less 1 Platoon which is at Brigade H.Q.)
    One Battery 8 Field Regiment
    Six guns 12 Australian Anti-Tank Regiment.
    All under Command Captain G.C. RUSH. RUSHFORCE has the duty of a mobile rearguard whose task is to harass and delay the enemy should he advance.
    Captain FANE-GLADWIN was ordered by Brigade to take charge of all B Echelon vehicles of the Brigade and lead them back to MATEEN BAGUSH.
    During night all essential kit was packed up.

    27 April
    Buq Buq
    0300 hours
    Right Flank ordered to ROYAL ENGINEERS to blow wells which was done. Right Flank then withdrew to ALAM EL DAB according to plan. No enemy attack materialised.
    1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY and 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS withdrew respectively to BAGUSH and MATEEN MOHAMED.

    28 April
    Enemy armoured Car patrosl were pushed forward down both the Coast and Main roads from SOLLUM.
    2/Lieutenant J.G. CRITCHLEY, 2/Lieutenant H.H. HOULDSWORTH and 2/Lieutenant G.C. LAMPSON joined the Battalion from 1st Reinforcements. The two former to F Company. The latter to Left Flank.
    Platoon Right Flank joined F Company at BUQ BUQ from SIDI BARRANI.
    2030 hours Patrol under 2/Lieutenant J.G. CRITCHLEY consisting of one Platoon F Company sent out to find out whether enemy holding HAL FAYA PASS. Patrol found no enemy.

    29 April
    Operation Instruction No. 6 issued at 1250 hours. This instruction dealt with the action to be taken on receipt of various code words. Operation Instruction No. 6 at Appendix L.
    More enemy patrol activity on the roads.
    2030 hours Patrol from Platoon of Right Flank under Command Lieutenant RAMSAY sent out to find whether enemy were in possession of “FIGH TREE” Area just WEST of SOLLUM. Did not come into contact with any enemy.

    30 April
    2030 hours Two patrols from F Company sent out under 2/Lieutenant HOULDSWORTH and 2/Lieutenant CRITCHLEY. The former to lay mines at foot of HAL FAYA PASS and to find out whether enemy hodl the top of the pass. The latter to discover whether there were enemy in Area “FIG TREE”. The mines were successfully laid but no enemy were found by either patrol.
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    Lieutenant-Colonel B. MAYFIELD - Commanding Officer
    Major P.C.H. GRANT - Second-in-Command
    Captain T.L. BALLANTINE-DYKES - Adjutant
    Lieutenant T. MARSHAM-TOWNSHEND - Intelligence Officer
    Captain P.F. FANE-GLADWIN - Transport Officer
    Captain R.A.H. RIVERS-BULKELEY - Carrier Officer
    Captain H.S. KNIGHT - Signal Officer
    Captain J.H. HOLDEN, MBE - Quartermaster
    Lieutenant D.S. ROBERTSON - Mortar Officer

    Captain J.D.C.S. MACRAE
    Lieutenant A.H.R.M. RAMSAY
    2/Lieutenant I.M. TENNANT

    Captain G.D. RUSH
    Lieutenant H.J. STIRLING
    2/Lieutenant N.G.R. DAVIDSON

    Major C.A.R. COGHILL
    Lieutenant M.N. ROMER
    2/Lieutenant The Honourable B. BRUCE
    2/Lieutenant A.J. COATS

    Captain the Honourable T.W.E. COKE, M.V.O. (joined by 8 April 1941
    Captain R.A. ORR-EWING.
    2/Lieutenant The Honourable P.J. BOYLE

    Major G.M. KINMONT
    Captain A.H. DICKIE, ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS - Medical Officer
    Reverend V.C. CLARKE, R.A.Ch.D. - Chaplain

    2/Lieutenant G.C. LAMPSON
    2/Lieutenant H.H. HOULDSWORTH
    2/Lieutenant P. DAWSON
    2/Lieutenant J.G. CRITCHLEY

    Captain R. de M. GRANT WATSON - Brigade Intelligence Officer, 22 GUARDS BRIGADE
    Captain W.D.M. RAEBURN - Liaison Officer, 22 GUARDS BRIGADE
    2/Lieutenant H.J. EVES - Camp Commandant

    Captain W.J. STIRLING

    The above-mentioned Officers proceeded with the Battalion on 6th April, 1941, from TAHAG.


    Newspaper clipping, Undated

    Handwritten annotation: “Guardsmen EASTON & WINCHESTER on Long Range Desert Group”

    Ten Days In Desert Without Food Or Water - Rescued After 216 Mile March
    London, Saturday

    It has now been possible to piece together the story of how four wounded British private soldiers walked 210 miles towards safety in ten days through the heart of the Libyan Desert with no other supplies than one small pot of jam and one 2-gallon tin of water.

    In the story, which might be called “Moore’s March” there are four chief characters - Trooper Moore, D.C.M., of New Zealand, Guardsman EASTON, of Edinburgh, Guardsman WINCHESTER, of Glasgow, and Private TIGHE, of Manchester.

    They were men of the famous “long-range patrol” which carried out a raid across 700 miles of enemy territory last January.

    The patrol was returned and was again in hostile country. Among a group of low hills north of BISHARA WELL it was met by a mobile enemy force accompanied by three aircraft. In the fight which followed, the British Commander and his truck were captured and three of his vehicles were destroyed. Having no air support, the rest of the patrol withdrew under orders of the Second-in-Command.

    One New Zealand corporal was killed at his gun and four men, believed to have been destroyed with their trucks, were left behind. These four, however, with their weapons useless, had in reality escaped to the nearby hills, where they hid to avoid capture.

    MOORE, a trooper of the New Zealand Cavalry, was wounded in the foot. Of the two Guardsmen, one, EASTON, had a bullet wound in the throat, which caused him great pain. The fourth member of the party, TIGHE, was suffering from a former internal injury.

    The following morning the enemy had gone. Having discovered a 2-gallon tin of water, but no food, the four men were faced with two alternatives. They could walk a comparatively short distance of eighty miles to KUFRA and give themselves up or retain freedom at the cost of almost certain death by attempting to walk 290 miles, following cart tracks along the way they had come. They chose the latter course.

    With MOORE in command, they set out on an incredible march, carrying in turn the precious tin of water. That day, an Italian aircraft flew over, but apparently did not see them. On the third day they found a 2lb-pot of plum jame dropped off the track. They ate the whole of it that day.

    On the fourth day, TIGHE became very tired. On the fifth, he eventually persuaded his companions to leave him and go on as he felt he was hindering their progress. Before going they poured out his share of the tiny water supply into a bottle they had picked up. Not untila after they and left did the unfortunate man discover that the bottle had contained a faulty substance, which made the water undrinkable. On the sixth day, a violent sandstorm arose but MOORE, EASTON and WINCHESTER just managed to follow the disappearing cart tracks to SARA.

    Here they spent some time in a ruined hut. They found no food, but with the motor oil abandoned there they managed to bathe their feet and make a fire. They had walked 130 miles.

    The next morning they continued toward TEKRO, still 160 miles away. By now the motor tracks had disappeared over long stretches of the route. Meanwhile, TIGHE who had struggled on managed to reach the hut by nightfall, but was too exhausted to go further. He found one match in the sand and with this and the oil made a fire without which he could probably have died that night.

    On the evening of the ninth day, a French patrol freed from a reconnaissance to an enemy position at KUFRA found TIGHE at SAHA. He was still conscious and although he had been alone without water for four days and in a dreadful condition of nerves and exhaustion, his first thought was to explain that his three companions were ahead.

    A search party was at once organised, but was unsuccessful in the dark. The same day two French aircraft spotted MOORE and WINCHESTER. All the water had been given out to EASTON, who was lagging behind. The aircraft dropped food and bottles of lemonade - all they had with them, but the food neither MOORE nor WINCHESTER noticed, and the cork came out of the lemonade bottle on the impact with the ground, so that only half an inch of the precious liquid remained.

    After this, the two men went on independently - MOORE ahead and WINCHESTER semi-delirious struggling behind. On the tenth day another search party found first EASTON, about 55 miles south of SARA, and then WINCHESTER, 12 miles further on. Both could walk no more and were lying exhausted in the sand.

    The party came up with MOORE 70 miles south of SARA and 200 miles from the starting point. He was still plodding along with swinging arms - perfectly clear-headed and normal. He waved to them without stopping, as if to an acquaintance during a walking race. He was determined to reach TEKRA in two days more, which he estimated he could last out, and he would probably have done it if he had not been found.

    With nothing to eat for ten days except a little ham and with only four pints of water to drink, wounded in one foot in which a shell splinter was still lodged, he had not only walked this astonishing distance, but had several days carried with him two men physically weaker than himself, as well as poor WINCHESTER.

    That such a journey was humanly possible was due only to the fact that it was cold. In hot weather it is most unlikely that any man could remain alive in the desert without water more than three days.

    When found EASTON could scarcely swallow owing to a wound in the throat. Finally, with great effort, he managed to get down a few drops of sweet tea. With a little smile he was heard to say: “I don’t usually take sugar with my tea.” He died shortly afterwards.

    A month later, the other three reached KHARTOUM. TIGHE and WINCHESTER are well on the way to recovery and MOORE hardly suffered from after effects. His determination and inspired leadership have won for him the D.C.M. Few can have been better earned.

    3054349 John EASTON, MiD, Scots Guards attached Long Range Desert Group
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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    1 May 1941
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 7 was issued. Operation Instruction No. 7 at Appendix A.
    7 HUSSARS to take over from 11 HUSSARS on Battalion front and certain alterations in detail of action to be taken on various code words.
    Enemy armoured Cars again active on the two roads from SOLLUM to BUQ BUQ. Enemy Observation Post spotted on escarpment by Commanding Officer was successfully engaged by Troop 8 Field Regiment.

    2 May
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Movement Order issued. Movement Order at Appendix B.
    The Battalion is to be relieved by 2nd Battalion R.B. Relief complete by 2020 hours. Battalion H.Q., F Company and one Platoon Right Flank joined remainder Battalion at a point on the road approximately 25 miles EAST of SIDI BARRANI where the whole bivouaced for night 2/3 May.

    3 May
    Orders received from Liaison Officer for the Battalion to move to DABA and NOT to BAGUSH as originally ordered. Battalion moved at 0900 hours. An eventful drive to DABA where the Battalion was met by Major KINMONT and the L.O.B. Personnel and the 1st Reinforcements.

    4 May
    Divine Service for all Denominations. Remainder of day spent in cleaning up and refitting.

    5 May
    Day spent in cleaning Kit, Bathing, etc. Warning Order received that Battalion would move to CHARING CROSS (On SIDI BARRANI Road about 15 kms WEST of MATRUH) a.m. 7 May ’41 less 1st Reinforcemen and L.O.B.

    6 May
    A very bad “HAMSEEN” blew all day. Visibility almost nil and heat terrific.
    Verbal orders for move received at 1730 hours. A Movement Order issued accordingly.

    7 May
    ‘Charing Cross’ Battalion less 1st Reinforcements and L.O.B. personnel moved by M.T. to CHARING CROSS and went into biviouac Areas there at 1600 hours.
    Commanding Officer attended Brigade Conference at 1800 hours.

    8 May
    Recce Party consisting of:-
    Captain J.D.C.S. MACRAE (in Command)
    One Officer and one N.C.O. per Company
    One Other Rank each from Intelligence Section, Pioneer Platoon, Signal Platoon
    proceeded on Brigade Recce to BUQ BUQ and ????I.
    Due back 1200 hours 11 May.

    9 May
    A very bad “HAMSEEN” raged all day and temperature registered about 120 degrees. Visibility practically nil.
    Right Flank tired to fire rifles and L.M.Gs but had to give up.
    Several men sent in to Regimental Aid Post suffering from heat stroke.

    10 May
    Another very hot day with continuous dust storms.
    Recce Party returned in the evening.

    11 May
    1215 hours Movement Order received from Brigade.
    Battalion to move to area SOFAFI 0600 hours, 12 May - route BARRANI - BIR ENBA - SOFAFI.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Movement Order issued accordingly.
    1630 hours Lifting transport reported from 4 INDIAN DIVISION Sup. Col. 1630 hours.
    2030 hours Captain W.D.M. RAEBURN reported for duty after being G.S.O.2 Expeditionary Force in GREECE.

    12 May
    0600 Hours Battalion moved from CHARING CROSS and proceeded towards SIDI BARRANI but when the head fo the column was about four miles short it was halted by Liaison Officer with news that owing to enemy activity the original order for a move to SOFAFI was cancelled.
    Battalion was ordered to take up defensive position at MAATEN MOHAMMED.
    1430 Hours Battalion accordingly went back to this position and by 1430 hours was established in it.
    At 1435 hours orders received for Battalion to move to position at ALAM EL DAB about 5km WEST of BARRANI.
    This position had been dug by Right Flank, Left Flank and G Company during the time the remainder were at BUQ-BUQ.
    In this position the following are under command:-
    one Battery 31 Field Regiment
    two troops 6 Aus. Anti-Tank Battery
    one Detachment 37 Light Anti-Aircraft Battery
    1645 Hours Commanding Officer visited Brigadier GOTT, Commander Mobile Force.

    13 May
    1030 Hours Order received from Liaison Officer that Battalion would move to area SOFAFI at 1400 hours. 2SG Move Order at APPENDIX C
    3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS to relieve Battalion in ALAM EL DAB position.
    Colonel MOBRAY (3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS) arrived to take over 1330 hours.
    1200 Hours Recce position of Intelligence Officers and one officer, 2 NCOs per Company under command.
    Captain ORR-EWING proceeded ahead to recce Company Bivouac Areas.
    1400 Hours Battalion moved.
    Reached Bivouac area (West of SOFAFI East) at 1830 hours.
    Troops under command consisted of:-
    two troops 6 Aus. Anti-Tank Battery
    one Detachment 37 Light Anti-Aircraft Battery
    Battery 31 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY came under command 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS at 1400 hours.

    14 May
    0900 Hours
    Commanding Officer attended Brigade Conference at which Operation Order was issued for an attack with ‘I’ Tanks on 15 May.
    1315 Hours Commanding Officer held Conference for Company Commanders 1315 hours.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operational Order No. 6 was issued. 2SG Operational Order No. 6 at APPENDIX D.
    1500 Hours Conference with officers of C Squadron ROYAL TANK REGIMENT.
    Battalion (as leading Battalion of 22 GUARDS BRIGADE Group) passed Starting Point (WEST side of SOFAFIA SW Camp) at 1930 horus.
    Captain J.D.C.S. MACRAE guided the column which moved in the following order:-
    Battalion H.Q.
    G Company
    Right Flank
    F Company
    one Bofors Anti-Aircraft gun
    Troop 31 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    Left Flank
    H.Q. Company
    Troop 6 Aus. Anti-Tank Battery (in diamond formation)
    B Echelon remained EL RABIA but moved subsequently under Captain P.T. FANE-GLADWIN to HALFWAY HOUSE.
    Battalion halted immediately behind Tanks.

    15 May
    General Area MUSAID
    0030 Hours Battalion moved forward again.
    0400 Hours Battalion halted in area ALAM BATTUMA.
    Tanks formed up for attack in this Starting Area.
    Tanks moved forward on to 1st objective - area to of HALFAYA PASS.
    G Company following to mop up and consolidated.
    No opposition was however met with here.
    Meanwhile Tanks moved on to 2nd objective - MUSAID to BIRWAIR and corner of Italian wire.
    Almost at once Tanks and head of column came under fire from enemy in old Italian fort in general area NORTH of ABAR EL SILQIYA.
    Tanks gained immediate ascendancy over opposition and started a good fire in the SW corner of the Camp.
    Right Flank and F Company then advanced through the Camp towards their respective objectives - area MOSAID and BIR WAIR.
    They debased before entering the fort and captured some 300 Prisoners (half German and half Italian) who were evacuated under the general direction of Major KINMONT and C.S.M. LINDLEY.
    Mopping up was continued by the Pioneer and Adm Platoons under P.S.M. RATTRAY when Right Flank and F Company had once more embossed and proceeded to 2nd objective.
    At about 1000 hours Right Flank had occupied the area bounded by the three track junctions round MUSAID, little opposition being met with except some MG fire from SOLLUM Barracks.
    F Company moved rather wide to BIR WAIR and were met by eight enemy AFVs which caused them to withdraw, three Guardsmen being slightly wounded.
    They advanced again shortly afterwards and were established on objective by 1015 hours.
    Meanwhile Left Flank received orders to advance towards the Barracks to mop up any enemy there.
    They were soon pinned by MG fire but a determined attack by four Bren Carriers under command Sergeant RILEY on four Anti-Tank guns enabled Left Flank to withdraw with 50 Prisoners (Italian).
    Guardsman VERECHIA was killed in this action.
    The position was thus stabilising as follows:-
    Left Flank WEST of L.G. near SOLLUM Barracks
    Right Flank area MUSAID FORT
    F Company area BIR WAIR
    G Company area HALFAYA PASS (later brought into Battalion reserve behind Battalion H.Q. which was established at point 53023743).
    Right Flank position was shelled intermittently but no damage was done, most rounds falling short.
    1400 Hours SOLLUM Barracks were bombed and Left Flank was ground stated - no casualties.
    During the afternoon there were two alarms of tank attacks which did not materialize.
    G Company was moved up to fill a gap between Right Flank and F Company, and Left Flank closed in to their left.
    No enemy activity at night.

    16 May
    0500 Hours Patrol of 2/Lieutenant H.H. HOULDSWORTH and one Sergeant went to FORT CAPUZZO and reported N.?.S.
    0445 Hours Battalion withdrew to area at foot of HALFAYA PASS, 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS holding the top of the pass.
    Troops under command and in support are:-
    a ) In Support - one Battery 31 Field Regiment
    b ) Under Command - one Troop 6 Aus. Anti-Tank Battery
    four Bofors Guns, 4 Battery, 1 Anti-Aircraft Regiment
    1930 Hours 80 enemy tanks reported advancing SOUTH from BIR WAIR.
    2330 Hours Brigadier held Conference at Battalion H.Q. - Commanding Officer and Lieutenant-Colonel MOUBRAY (3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS) attended.
    Three ‘I’ Tanks, 4 ROYAL TANK REGIMENT, arrived and came under command of the Battalion.

    17 May
    0300 Hours
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operational Order No.14 brought by Liaison Officer outlining action to be taken on receipt of certain Code Words in case of a withdrawal being ordered.
    0800 Hours Captain W.D.M. RAEBURN ordered to relieve Captain W.J. STIRLING as Liaison Officer at Brigade H.Q.
    The latter officer left to take up an appointment at G.H.Q. MIDDLE EAST.
    1515 Hours Two Dornier E.A. bombed and ground strafed Left Flank and Battalion H.Q.
    Captain FANE-GLADWIN wounded in the back by bomb fragment and evacuated to M.D.S.
    1815 Hours Four Junkers E.A. escorted by 16 fighters bombed and ground-strafed Battalion H.Q. area and Battery H.Q. for Conference.
    Warning Order had already been issued - Battalion to be prepared to move 0530 hours 18 May.

    18 May
    Abar El Arawa
    0030 Hours Commanding Officer returned and issued verbal orders to Companies to move to ABAR EL ARAWA at 0430 hours - Right Flank and G Company by coast road and Left Flank, F Company and Battalion H.Q. by main road.
    0700 Hours Battalion arrived ABAR EL ARAWA.
    Tasks:- To guard BARRANI Water point and certain dumps.
    Dispositions:- Right Flank and F Company on ARAWA features, Left Flank at Water point and G Company in reserve.

    19 May
    Days spent in bathing, washing clothes, etc.

    20 May
    Days spent in bathing, washing clothes, etc.

    21 May
    Days spent in bathing, washing clothes, etc.

    22 May
    Days spent in bathing, washing clothes, etc.

    23 May
    Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer recce beaches at MERSA GARGUB.

    24 May
    A quiet day.
    Very little enemy activity reported.
    Visibility poor owing to a dust-storm.

    25 May
    Divine Service for all Companies.

    26 May
    Increased enemy activity reported during the morning.
    An enemy aircraft (ME 109) forced landed near B ECHELON.
    The pilot was captured by B ECHELON personnel and a guard placed over the aircraft.
    In the evening Tac/R Reports and Sitreps began to report enemy forward troops advancing.
    Gunfire and bombing heard from the direction of SOLLUM.

    27 May
    0030 Hours One section Carriers, two detachments Mortars, one Anti-Tank Gun (under command) ordered forward to report to 3rd COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
    0700 Hours Code Word ‘DAFFODIL’ received which was signal for 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS to start withdrawal from HELFAYA position.
    1100 Hours 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 8 was issued which gave detailed instruction as to action on Code Word ‘LILAC’ and ‘SNOWDROP’. 2SG Operational Order No. 8 at APPENDIX E
    Heavy firing heard from direction of HELFAYA.
    1519 Hours 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 8 issued at 1519 hours giving instructions to F Company for the defence of the dump at SIDI BARRANI. 2SG Operational Instruction No. 8 at APPENDIX F
    G Company was relieved at MAATEN MOHAMED by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS.

    28 May
    A quiet day.
    The enemy did not follow up 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS after their withdrawal from HELFAYA.

    29 May
    Nothing of importance occurred. Bathing every day.

    30 May
    Nothing of importance occurred. Bathing every day.

    31 May
    Nothing of importance occurred. Bathing every day.
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    1 June 1941
    Abar El Arawa
    Divine Service for all Companies during the day.

    2 June
    Nothing unusual occurred. Bathing carried out by all Companies.

    3 June
    Nothing unusual occurred. Bathing carried out by all Companies.

    4 June
    Nothing unusual occurred. Bathing carried out by all Companies.

    5 June
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operational Order No. 17 received.
    Battalion ordered to be responsible for dumps at SIDI BARRANI and KILO 124.
    For this purpose the following troops placed under command 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS:-
    Detachment 4 ROYAL TANK REGIMENT
    8 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    Troop 257 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY
    Troop 260 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY
    Section 4 Light Anti-Aircraft Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY
    Section 9 Aus. Anti-Aircraft Battery
    two No. 11 Sets, ROYAL CORPS OF SIGNALS
    1430 Hours 2nd BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No.9 issued. 2SG Operational Order No. 9 at APPENDIX A.
    A mobile column (in which Left Flank and one section Carriers is incorporated) to be formed for protection of BARRANI Dump.
    F Company (less one platoon) with various Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft Guns under command to be responsible for dump at Kilo 124.

    6 June
    0800 Hours Left Flank and F Company moved ot dumps at ILWET MATRUD and Kilo 124 respectively.

    7 June
    0800 Hours 258 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY came under command 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS.
    0900 Hours BD/370 issued. BD/370 at APPENDIX B.
    1700 Hours F Company relieved at dump at Kilo 124 by a Company 1st Battalion BUFFS, who have taken the place of 1st Battalion DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY in 22 GUARDS BRIGADE.

    8 June
    Divine Service for all Companies.

    9 June
    Usual routine. Nothing of importance happened.

    10 June
    Usual routine. Nothing of importance happened.

    11 June
    Usual routine. Nothing of importance happened.

    12 June
    0845 Hours Commanding Officer, Adjutant and Company Commanders attended a Conference at Brigade H.Q. at which Major-General MASSERVY, G.O.C. 4 INDEPENDENT DIVISION outlined the plan for the attack in which the Battalion is to take part at the end of the week.
    The Brigadier went into fuller details after the General had finished his talk.
    1700 Hours Officer Commanding Battery 31 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY, who is to be in support of 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS, met the Commanding Officer and discussed the coming attack.
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Movement Order No. 4 received.

    13 June
    1200 Hours 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Move Order No. 8 issued. 2SG Movement Order No. 8 at APPENDIX C.
    The Battalion to move at 0105 hours from bivouac area and pass S.P. (KILO 130 on main BARRANI - MATRUH road) at 0143 hours).
    1400 Hours Lieutenant-General BERESFORD-PIERCE, G.O.C. Western District Force, visited the Battalion and spoke to the officers.
    Companies concentrated by 2100 hours in Company areas ready to move off.

    14 June
    On the Move 0105 Hours Battalion moved off in three Columns as under:-
    Left Flank
    G Company
    Troop & Section 260 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY

    F Company
    H.Q. Company

    Right Flank
    Platoon Bde Anti-Tank Company
    0143 Hours Battalion passed Brigade S.P. at 0143 hours and arrived
    0830 Hours SOFAFI EAST at approximately 0830 hours.
    1230 Hours Commanding Officer, Adjutant and Company Commanders visited H.Q. 4th ARMOURED BRIGADE and also H.Q. 4th ROYAL TANK REGIMENT to co-ordinate, as far as possible, the action of tanks and infantry.
    1400 Hours Commanding Officer to Brigade H.Q.
    B2 ECHELON, consisting of Supply, P.O.L. and Water Trucks, left for the Brigade B ECHELON area at BARRANI under R.Q.M.S. HANSON. 2SG Operational Instruction No. 9 at APPENDIX C(i)
    1900 Hours Battalion moved from Bivouac area SOFAFI EAST to Bivouac area SOFAFI WEST.
    In this area the Brigade formed up for the approach march as under:-
    Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 23.14.57.png

    15 June
    0515 Hours Battalion (less Left Flank) moved off in rear of Brigade H.Q., flanked on the RIGHT by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS and on the LEFT by 1st Battalion BUFFS.
    Order of March as under:-
    Left Flank (in front of Brigade H.Q.)

    Right Flank = F Company
    G Company = H.Q. Company
    Troop & Section 260 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY
    Section 9 Aus. Anti-Aircraft Battery
    0810 Hours Brigade Column halted NORTH of RUWEIBIT EL WARANI.
    Firing was heard from the general direction HALFAYA.
    The Column moved on again, the Battalion still keeping the same formation, to QARET ABU FARIS.
    0900 Hours Whilst at ABU FARIS, Left Flank (under command Captain R.A. ORR-EWING) left the Battalion.
    This Company proceeded to A.207 where the Company Commander reported to Officer Commanding 4th ROYAL TANK REGIMENT.
    Left Flank’s role was to attack Point 206 after the tanks had been over it.
    Whilst at Point 207 Left Flank was shelled from the direction of HALFAYA, the shelling continuing for about 3/4 hour.
    No damage was done.
    1500 Hours Meanwhile the Battalion moved on from ABU FARIS and at about 1500 hours the leading vehicles went through the Italian wire at B.P.43.
    G Company and H.Q. Company remained on the SOUTH of the wire, temporarily, to relieve congestion NORTH of it, which was considerable.
    Shortly after moving through the wire Captain H.S. KNIGHT was wounded by a shell from an enemy tank which was engaging one of our tanks in the direction of HAFID RIDGE.
    This officer subsequently died of his wounds.

    2/Lieutenant A.J. COATS was called up from H.Q. Company to take over the Signal Platoon.
    Meanwhile at about 1230 hours Left Flank and the tanks had moved forward to Point 205.
    Here the Company remained until 1600 hours as Point 206, their objective, was still reported in enemy hands.
    At 1630 hours Left Flank started off to get into touch with the Squadron of tanks which were two miles SW of B.P. 38.
    At about 1700 hours Officer Commanding Left Flank managed eventually to find an officer of this Squadron of tanks, who informed him that an abortive attack had just been made on Point 206.
    On the arrival of the Squadron Commander shortly afterwards, it was decided to attack Point 206 again.
    The story of this attack will be told later.
    1800 Hours At approximately 1800 hours a formation of enemy bombers attacked the very congested area where the H.Q.s of 4 INDEPENDENT DIVISION, 4 ARMOURED BRIGADE and 22 GUARDS BRIGADE as well as the entire Battalion (less Left Flank) were dispersed.
    2/Lieutenant A.J. COATS was wounded and Guardsman ROLFE was killed.
    Sergeant GUYTON was ordered to take over command of the Signal Platoon.
    Just prior to this attack the Commanding Officer had been summoned to Brigade H.Q. for a Conference, so he was in the centre of the attack.
    1900 Hours Whilst this was going on Officer Commanding Left Flank had recced Point 206 and a Battery 25-pounders and some medium Artillery shelled it.
    Left Flank attacked Point 206 at 1900 hours.
    Two Carries were to be 300 yards behind the tanks and the Company (in trucks), 50 yards behind the Carrier, 17 Platoon on the RIGHT, 18 Platoon on the LEFT, 16 Platoon and Company H.Q. in the CENTRE.
    On arriving at the camp on Point 206 the Company debased and proceeded to mop up enemy resistance.
    The majority of enemy came from their dug-outs with their hands up.
    2045 Hours By 2045 hours the Company had taken up a position to hold the objective.
    The Prisoners, all of whom were Germans, numbered about 6 Officers and 220 Other Ranks.
    Some ROYAL TANK REGIMENT personnel who had been previously captured were collected.
    No casualties were suffered by Left Flank.
    The Company remained in the Camp on Point 206 during the night.
    1845 Hours Meanwhile at about 1845 hours the Commanding Officer returned from Brigade H.Q. with orders that at 2000 hours, the Battalion supported by Artillery bombardment and preceded by tanks, was to capture MOSAID FORT.
    Company Commanders were sent for and orders were issued, the Conference being twice interrupted by Air Alarms.
    The Conference finished, the Commanding Officer went forward to BIR WAIR to meet the Tank Commander and Artillery Officer.
    Orders were given out with the utmost speed and the Battalion was soon on the move for BIR WAIR - the position (held by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS) from where the attack was to be launched.
    2000 Hours However, at the last minute the attack was postponed and the Battalion therefore bivouacked at the bend in the Italian wire at BIR WAIR.
    2115 Hours At approximately 2115 hours orders are received that MUSAID FORT was to be captured during the hours of darkness without any tanks or artillery support.
    2200 Hours Commanding Officer gave out orders for the attack which was to go in at 0430 hours 16 June.

    Rank: Guardsman
    Service No: 2695921
    Date of Death:
    Age: 23
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Panel Reference: Column 54.

    16 June
    0330 Hours Right Flank and F Company were formed up in trucks in two parallel columns immediately EAST of BIR WAIR and proceeded in this formation for 1500 yards until a Company post of 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS was reached.
    Here the Companies debussed.
    They formed up:-
    Right Flank on the LEFT, F Company on the RIGHT in two waves with the Commanding Officer, Adjutant and two orderlies in the centre.
    0440 Hours The start was made at 0440 hours (deferred for 10 minutes on account of darkness) and the bearing was 67 degrees.
    The approach to the objective was uneventful until a dog barked.
    This was followed by two challenges, which were not answered.
    The enemy then opened fire with Bredas, LMGs and rifles.
    The two Companies charged the outer defences which were 75 yards away.
    From there they rushed a group of stone singers which were taken.
    0505 Hours The FORT was captured by 0505 hours.
    Casualties were:-
    Right Flank - 3 Other Ranks wounded.
    F Company - 3 Other Ranks wounded.
    H.Q. Company - 1 Other Rank wounded.
    Eighteen enemy dead were later buried, twelve enemy wounded were evacuated and eighty were captured unharmed.
    They were all Italians.
    Meanwhile an aeroplane, which had taken off from behind MUSAID FORT had severely ground-strafed and bombed the remainder of the Battalion (less Left Flank), which was about to move up to MUSAID.
    Several men were killed or wounded, amongst the latter being Regimental Sergeant Major F.G. LEIPER who subsequently died of his wounds.
    The position at MUSAID was consolidated thus:-
    F Company - In MUSAID FORT
    Right Flank - At track junction EAST of MUSAID
    Battalion H.Q. & G Company - In reserve in general area junctions of telegraph tole SOUTH of MUSAID.
    0930 Hours At approximately 0930 hours orders were relieved that SALUM BARRACKS were to be captured and cleared of the enemy.
    G Company (under command Major C.A.R. COGHILL) was allotted this task and the plan was as follows:-
    (i) Artillery barrage from Z to Z+17 lifting through the barracks
    (ii) G Company to motor forward from MUSAID with four detachments 3” Mortars (under command Lieutenant D.S. ROBERTSON) for close support and debus as close as possible and attack the barracks from the WEST.
    1132 Hours The Artillery barrage started punctually at 1130 hours and at 1132 hours G Company moved forward in their trucks.
    The Company debased as close to the barrage as the Company Commander considered advisable.
    One Section was detached from 13 Platoon to deal with AERODROME TOWER.
    The Company advanced 600 yards to the Barracks under fire.
    After the barrage had ceased the 3” Mortars gave effective support to the Company.
    After pausing on the edge of the barracks an enemy light mortar dropped several bombs close to Company H.Q.
    Captain R. de M. GRANT WATSON (Second-in-Command) was then ordered to deal with the EAST side of barracks, whilst the Company Commander dealt with the WEST.
    Major COGHILL with three sections proceeded to clear out the WEST part of the barracks, C.S.M. RICHMOND at this time dealing with a sniper by throwing a grenade.
    Captain GRANT-WATSON meanwhile moved towards the Signal Office Buildings, 150 yards EAST of the Water Tower.
    The enemy was successfully cleared from this group of buildings.
    A mixed party from Company H.Q. and 15 Platoon then advanced against an enemy post on the spur to the EAST of the main Gate.
    This post was assaulted and captured.
    A move was next made into the Main Barracks.
    A large number of enemy at once surrendered and touch was gained with 13 Platoon.
    1300 Hours Mopping up continued until 1300 hours when the Company was withdrawn on the orders of the Company Commander.
    220 Prisoners (all Italians) were captured in the operation.
    A further 30 were killed or wounded.
    About six enemy vehicles were destroyed or damaged.
    G Company lost Lance-Sergeant BISSETT and Guardsman ROSS kiled and six Other Ranks wounded.
    Left Flank had meanwhile been ordered to rejoin the Battalion and arrived at MUSAID at approximately 1300 hours.
    The dispositions of the Battalion at this time were as follows:-
    F Company - MUSAID FORT
    Right Flank - From the FORT excluding to halfway to the road BIR WAIR - BARRACKS
    Left Flank - Astride road BIR WAIR - BARRACKS
    G Company - Area junction telegraph wires SOUTH of FORT (in reserve)
    Battalion H.Q. - Immediately EAST of G Company
    1320 Hours Shortly after G Company had returned from the attack on the barracks a formation of enemy aircraft (J.U. 87 Dive bombers) passed over the Battalion without dropping any bombs.
    One was shot down by a Gun of 9 Aus. Light Anti-Aircraft Battery attached to the Battalion.
    During the rest of the day and the night 16/17 June the Battalion remained in the positions mentioned above.
    In the evening FORT CAPUZZO (held by 1 BUFFS) was heavily dive-bombed, as also were 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS and the guns near the.
    The Battalion was not attacked.

    17 June
    0930 Hours Commanding Officer set off to visit Companies.
    1015 Hours Message received that a general withdrawal for the whole Brigade had been ordered via HALFWAY HOUSE PASS.
    Liaison Officer followed with timings and route.
    1200 Hours The Battalion moved off at 1200 hours in the following order:-
    Advance Battalion H.Q.
    G Company
    F Company
    H.Q. Company
    Right Flank
    Left Flank
    On the Move Shortly after leaving MUSAID the transport of 1 BUFFS passed through that of the Battalion and as the Battalion came level with the old camp at the top of HELFAYA PASS a few shots were fired doing no damage.
    Further on, when approaching BIR NUH, the Battalion came under fir from field guns at the fort of HALFAYA.
    Alam Hamid On reaching HALFWAY HOUSE the Battalion was ordered to ALAM HAMID on the BARRANI - BUQ-BUQ road, which place was reached at approximately 2000 hours.

    18 June
    Alam Hamid
    Day spent in bathing and cleaning up. Letter re P.O.W. at APPENDIX D

    19 June
    Battalion moved from ALAM HAMID as follows:-
    F Company - at 1230 hours - to Main Aerodrome, BARRANI
    Left Flank - at 1500 hours - to Aerodrome SOUTH of BARRANI
    Right Flank - at 1630 hours - to form mobile column to the EAST of BARRANI Main Aerodrome
    G Company - at 1930 hours - to Aerodrome NORTH of Left Flank
    Battalion H.Q. - from 1715 hours - to bivouac area SOUTH of Main road 6 miles EAST of BARRANI.

    20 June
    Alam El Shamikh
    Morning spent by Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer in recce of Battalion commitments with Brigadier.
    During the afternoon Battalion H.Q. moved to area Point 54 immediately WEST of ALAM EL SHAMIKH.
    News was received that Captain H.S. KNIGHT and R.S.M. F.G. LEIPER had died of wounds received on 15 and 16 June respectively.

    Rank: Captain
    Service No: 69093
    Date of Death: 17/06/1941
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Grave Reference: 21. A. 4.
    Additional Information: Adopted son of Lady (Ian) Hamilton, of Paddington, London.

    Rank: Warrant Officer Class I
    Trade: R.S.M.
    Service No: 2690815
    Date of Death: 17/06/1941
    Age: 42
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Awards: Mentioned in Despatches
    Grave Reference: 21. A. 8.
    Additional Information: Son of Francis and Mary Leiper; husband of Dorothy Leiper.

    21 June
    Leave re-started to CAIRO.
    News received that Guardsman CLARK had died of wounds received 16 June.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 9 issued. 2SG Operational Instruction No. 9 at APPENDIX E

    Rank: Guardsman
    Service No: 2696166
    Date of Death: 17/06/1941
    Age: 23
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards
    Grave Reference: 21. A. 7.
    Additional Information: Son of James and Agnes Clark, of Larkhall, Lanarkshire.

    22 June
    Divine Service for all Companies.

    23 June
    A quiet day.
    The Padre (Reverend V.C. CLARKE, C.F.) went to MATRUH and returned with a large supply of books and ‘comforts’ for the Battalion.

    24 June
    0930 Hours 22 GUARDS BRIGADE Move Order No. 5 received.
    1045 Hours 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Move Order No. 9 issued. 2SG Movement Order No. 9 at APPENDIX F
    The Battalion to move during night 24/25 June to the BAGUSH ‘BOX’.
    2010 Hours Battalion moved off in the following order:-
    Right Flank
    F Company
    G Company
    Left Flank
    Battalion H.Q.
    H.Q. Company
    B’ Platoon, Brigade Anti-Tank Company (under command 2/Lieutenant The Honourable P.J. BOYLE)

    25 June
    0630 Hours Arrived Western entrance to BAGUSH ‘Box’ at approximately 0630 hours.
    The Sector occupied by the Battalion is the SW corner of the ‘Box’.
    Left Flank and F Company are on the top of the escarpment facing SOUTH.
    Right Flank is below the escarpment facing WEST, with G Company behind them in reserve.

    26 June
    A quiet day.
    Nothing unusual happened.

    27 June
    0930 Hours Commanding Officer visited Brigade H.Q. 0930 hours.
    Brigadier went round the Battalion Sector afterwards

    28 June Nothing unusual happened.

    29 June
    Nothing unusual happened.

    30 June
    Battalion warned verbally to move to DABA. 2SG Move Order at APPENDIX G
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Move Order No. 10 issued.
    Lifting transport from 13 Res M.T. Company reported to the Battalion at 1330 hours.
    Battalion moved at 1430 hours - going by Companies at 20 minute intervals.
    Major COGHILL and one N.C.O. per Company had preceded the Battalion and had recced Company areas which are on either side of the L.O.B. Detachment Camp.
    Rear Party consisting of:-
    Lieutenant The Honourable B. BRUCE
    Lieutenant I.R.S. CLARK
    2/Lieutenant M.J.A. GORDON
    2/Lieutenant I. WESTON-SMITH
    2/Lieutenant N.G.R. DAVIDSON
    and one NCO per Company remained behind to guide the Poles who are relieving the Battalion in the BAGUSH ‘Box’.

    The Battalion has been warned that it is to be converted together with 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS into a Motor Battalion.
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    SUBJECT:- Prisoners of War
    Ref No. :- 2/SG/A83/41

    Headquarters, 22nd GUARDS BRIGADE

    1. On 16th June, 1941, SALUM BARRACKS was attacked by 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS and 11 Officers and 209 Other Ranks were taken prisoners. At 1215 hours the Officers were evacuated.

    2. Upon asking for assistance in the evacuation of the 209 Other Ranks, I was informed by 22 GUARDS BRIGADE, that I must keep them. It was pointed out that there was neither food nor water for these prisoners. The general situation was such that I was not prepared to risk giving any of the water or rations with the Battalion, to the prisoners.

    3. The Prisoners went without food for the whole of the rest of the day, and the night 16/17 June. A small quantity of water was procured which enabled 30 men to share one pint. For security they had to be seated in the full glare of the sun, without any shade of any sort. Lorries could not be used for shade for fear of attracting aerial attention to the Battalion area.

    4. Repeated requests were made during the afternoon and evening of 16th June, that proper arrangements be made for the handling of prisoners. As far as is known no attempt was made beyond 22nd GUARDS BRIGADE, to arrange for their evacuation, although I was able late in the day to offer assistance in transport, without endangering my own mobility.

    5. On morning of 17th June, a search in the desert resulted in the discovery of an abandoned Italian water lorry, some 3 or 4 miles away, which was towed in, and enabled a reasonable water ration to be issued. By this time, some of the Prisoners were suffering from fits. The water relieved the situation somewhat, and a little food was procured as a result of a further search in the Barracks. This was a risky proceeding as German motor cyclists appeared very soon after the food had been obtained, and were encountered by our patrols.

    6. At 1045 hours 17th June, orders were received for an immediate withdrawal. Time of withdrawal was subsequently given as 1200 hours. Fortunately by this time four Italian diesel lorries had been obtained, in fairly good order, although one of them had to be towed and had no brakes. On withdrawal the prisoners accompanied the Battalion in these lorries.*
    Text struck out: The lorry on tow soon broke down completely and its load was split up amongst the other three, thus each lorry carried about seventy prisoners. They were delivered to the P.O.W. cage at SIDI BARRANI at 2130 hours, 17th June.
    Asterisk, text added
    *All these lorries broke down or stuck in the sand before leaving the escarpment, and prisoners were crowded ? to unit transport. They were delivered to P.O.W. cage at BARRANI at 2130 hours.

    7. I have the following comments to make:-
    (a) I am fully aware that the original desire was to use the SALUM and HALFAYA roads as the main arteries of communication. Even if no alternative plan had been made, one should have been improvised. I understand there was a P.O.W. cage at RABIA. I did make an offer of transport to assist in the evacuation.

    (b ) A Battalion Commander has sufficient responsibilities already on his hands without having to arrange for the custody, rations, and water of as many as 200 Prisoners for 24 hours. The 24 our period was only ended by the forced withdrawal of the Brigade, and the Prisoners might have remained starving and thirsty for an unlimited period for all the efforts that appeared to be being made to evacuate them.

    (c ) If a withdrawal had taken place during the night 16/17 June, or if a counter attack had taken place at any time the Prisoners would have been free. This would have made excellent enemy propaganda.

    (d ) Even Prisoners are entitled to a certain standard of treatment. If the treatment afforded for these Prisoners became known to the enemy, and was exaggerated, as no doubt it would be, our own prisoners would receive similar or worse treatment.

    (e ) If I appear to have made rather strong criticism without being in possession of all the facts, it is because I have strong feelings on the matter from the humanitarian point of view. I also feel that if I could improvise their evacuation in a hurried withdrawal, a much easier improvisation could have been made some hours earlier (or an alternative plan made before the advance started), if a little more trouble had been taken and the problems to be faced by those having the custody of the prisoners had been fully realised.

    Signed B. MAYFIELD
    Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    In the Field

    18th June 1941
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    1 July 1941
    El Daba
    Settling in and sorting out
    combined L.O.B.
    Captain J.W.V. INGILBY to H.Q. Company
    Lieutenant J. CLARKE to Right Flank
    2/Lieutenant F.G.L. WHITELEY to Left Flank

    2 July
    M.T. Refresher Course for men, who have experience, began under Captain M.N. ROMBER.
    Carrier Course under Captain R.A.H. RIVERS-BULKELEY also started.
    3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS arrived in position two miles West.

    3 July
    Lieutenant-Colonel MOWBRAY, acting Brigade Commander, visited the Commanding Officer.
    GREEN HOWARDS took over Ordnance Depot Guard and Daba Road Check from 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS.
    p.m. Central Officers Mess opened.

    4 July
    M.T. Course for fifteen men with no experience from each Rifle company began.

    5 July
    0930 Hours Commanding Officer to Brigade H.Q. for Conference with Brigadier who had returned from CAIRO.

    6 July
    0930 Hours Combined Church of England and Church of Scotland Service in Battalion H.Q. area.

    7 July
    Unsatisfactory Carriers taken by O.F.P.
    Major G.M. KINMONT returned from ten days’ attachment to Support Group 7th ARMOURED DIVISION.

    8 July
    Nothing of importance occurred.

    9 July
    Nothing of importance occurred.

    10 July
    A.C.G. (Reverend WILCOX, CBE, CF) and Bishop GELSTHORPE (Assistant Bishop in EGYPT and the SUDAN) visited the Battalion.

    11 July
    Nothing of importance occurred.

    12 July
    Nothing of importance occurred.

    13 July
    Nothing of importance occurred.

    14 July
    Nothing of importance occurred.

    15 July
    Captain J.D.C.S. MACRAE left for three day attachment to one of the columns operating on the coastal plain near BUQ-BUQ.
    Lieutenant-Colonel de SALIS (60 RIFLES) stayed one night with the Battalion and gave advice about the change-over from a Rifle to a Motor Battalion.

    16 July
    An Officers’ Carrier Course started.
    Duration one week.
    One Officer per Rifle company to attend.

    17 July
    Each Company produced one Section tract at the Orderly Room fully packed and experiments were made as to the best way of loading.
    Captain J.D.C.S. MACRAE returned from his attachment to the Central India Horse.

    18 July
    Captain R.A. ORR-EWING left for three day attachment to the P.A.V.O. in the forward area.
    2/Lieutenant G.C. LAMPSON left to join a Signal Course at the MIDDLE EAST SCHOOL OF SIGNALS.

    19 July
    Lieutenant The Honourable B. BRUCE left to join a ‘Mortar Contact’ Course at the MIDDLE EAST TACTICAL SCHOOL.

    20 July
    0930 Hours Divine Service All Ranks (except Roman Catholic).
    1100 Hours Divine Servie for Roman Catholics.

    21 July
    Nothing unusual occurred.

    22 July
    Adjutant and Transport Officer (Captain M.N. ROMER) and R.S.M. reconnoitred a Parade Ground for the Brigadier’s Inspection of the Battalion.

    23 July
    0900 Hours - 1130 Hours A rehearsal for the Brigadier’s Inspection was carried out.
    1700 Hours Audit Board assembled to audit Battalion’s accounts.

    24 July
    Nothing out of the ordinary happened.

    25 July
    Brigadier carried out an Inspection of the Battalion by Companies.
    C.S.M. BROMHEAD, P.S.M. LESLIE and Lance-Corporal HOY joined the 13th Intake at the MIDDLE EAST O.C.T.U. as candidates - the first men from the Battalion to be sent.
    2/Lieutenant S.L.E. HASTINGS and one N.C.O. each from F Company, G Company and Left Flank attended a one-day Course in bomb reconnaissance at SIDI HANEISH.

    26 July
    Nothing of importance to record.

    27 July
    Divine Service for all Companies.
    0930 Hours All denominations (except Roman Catholics) at 0930 hours.
    1100 Hours Roman Catholics at 1100 hours.
    C.Q.M.S. KING was tried by Field-General Court Martial and was ACQUITTED.
    1800 Hours The Commanding Officer spoke to all Officers about the general situation in the forward areas and the role of the Battalion will play when it moves forward on 31 July.
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operation Order No. 20 received and 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 10 was issued. 2SG Operational Order No. 10 at APPENDIX A

    28 July
    Corporal WRIGHT and Guardsman GRANT, Adjutant and Lieutenant T. MARSHAM-TOWNSHEND attended a Lecture on “Fifth Column Activities in Europe” at Brigade H.Q.

    29 July
    Commanding Officer, Intelligence Officer and Signal Officer went forward to the CENTRAL INIDA HORSE to recce the area held by the ‘Coastal Columns’ which is to be taken over for the Battalion on 2 August.
    Lance-Sergeant FORSYTH tried by Field General Court Martial.

    30 July
    Packing up for move of Battalion on 31 July.

    31 July
    0700 Hours The four Company Commanders with two Platoon from each Right Flank and Left Flank started forward to go to FAIT columns.
    0800 Hours Head of Battalion left DABA.
    Battalion moved in the following order:-
    Battalion H.Q.
    G Company
    one Platoon Right Flank
    one Platoon Left Flank
    F Compamny
    H.Q. Company
    B’ Platoon Brigade Anti-Tank Company
    Battalion B Echelon & L.A.D.

    1600 Hours Battalion arrived at WADI MARZUG (Kilo 83 on MATRUH - BARRANI road) where it bivouacked for the night 31 July/1August.
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    1 August 1941
    2020 Hours
    Battalion remained WADI MARZUG during the day, moving forward at 2020 hours.
    The Battalion was met by the Commanding Officer and guides about ten miles WEST of SIDI BARRANI.
    Led by guides the Battalion went into bivouac areas immediately behind the troops to be relieved (The P.A.V.O. and CENTRAL INDIA HORSE).
    2 August At first light the Battalion took over from the above-mentioned Regiments and were disposed as follows in three columns called FAIT, HOPE and CHAR:-


    FAIT Column
    Commander - Major C.A.R. COGHILL
    one Battery 25 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    two Troops 65 Anti-Tank Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Troop RHODESIAN Anti-Tank Regiment
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    Right Flank - 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    G Company, (less one Platoon) - 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS

    HOPE Column
    Commander - Major G.C. RUSH
    one Battery 25 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Troop 65 Anti-Tank Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    F Company, 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS

    CHAR Column
    (Under command 22 GUARDS BRIGADE direct)
    one Battery (less one Troop) 2/8 Aus. Field Regiment
    two Troops 65 Anti-Tank Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Platoon INDIAN Anti-Tank
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    Left Flank (with one Platoon G Company under command)

    3 August
    Commanding Officer visited Right Flank and G Company.
    It was decided to relieve the Platoon of G Company with CHAR Column by a Platoon from F Company.
    This would enable G Company to take over responsibility for the coastal track and Right Flank for the main Italian road.
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operation Order No. 21 received and 2nd Battalion Operation Order No. 11 issued. 2SG Operation Order No. 11 at APPENCIX A

    4 August
    Platoon G Company with CHAR Column relieved by Platoon F Company and rejoined G Company.
    Commanding Officer visited Right Flank and G Company
    Listening posts are manned each night from 2030 hours taking over from the ROYAL ARTILLERY observation posts which are taken off at dark.

    5 August
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operation Instruction No. 7 received dealing with action to be taken in the event of a withdrawal.
    Two recce patrols sent out.
    (a ) Captain GRANT-WATSON and 3 Other Ranks on the coast road past ALAM EL KIDAD towards Point 10 saw one party of three enemy who challenged in broke English and another party (strength approximately one Platoon) which tried unsuccessfully to cut off the patrol.
    (b ) Lieutenant HASTINGS and 3 Other Ranks from Point 22 went to WADI EL SHA’BA where three M.G. opened up on them also an Anti-Tank gun.
    When these had ceased firing the enemy artillery (thought to be four or five guns) opened fire for approximately twenty-five minutes expending about 400 rounds.
    No casualties in either patrol.

    6 August
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 10 issued dealing with action to be taken in the event of a withdrawal becoming necessary. 2SG Operation Instruction No. 10 at APPENDIX B
    Our guns on the coast road carried out harassing fire during the day.
    Enemy recce patrol seen on ALAM EL KIDAD at approximately 1600 hours but later withdrew.

    7 August
    1605 Hours
    One motorcycle and Staff Car approached to within 3,000 yard of the ROYAL ARTILLERY Observation Post on the main road at Point 22.
    Were engaged by gun fire and withdrew.
    Regimental Sergeant Major GREENWOOD rejoined the Battalion from the Infantry Base Depot where he had been relieved as R.S.M. by Drill Sergeant DOUGLAS.
    The Drill Sergeants of the Battalion are now:-
    Drill Sergeant WESSELL - Senior Drill Sergeant
    Drill Sergeant RICHMOND, DCM - Junior Drill Sergeant

    8 August
    1045 Hours
    One ME 110 flew from WEST to EAST over the Battalion H.Q. position, straight and level, probably taking photographs.

    9 August
    From Observation Post reports and observation from the forward troops of Right Flank and G Company it appears that the enemy are using two batteries - one 88mm from area KAFRET HABBUNI and one 105mm from the top of WADI SHA’ABA.
    These batteries harass the ROYAL ARTILLERY Observation Post at Point 19 and Eastwards towards BIR THYDIAN.
    A large percentage of duds are reported.

    10 August
    Diving Service at Battalion H.Q.
    Forward guns on Coast road had a night shoot (2300 hours - 0001 hours) into WADI SHA’ABA.
    The hostile batteries did not reply.

    11 August
    Nothing of interest to record.
    Owing to the brightness of the moon no patrols are being sent out before 12 August.

    12 August
    0820 Hours One ME 110 circled Battalion H.Q. at 0820 hours.
    2030 Hours A fighting patrol (Captain GRANT-WATSON and 11 Other Ranks) went out at 2030 hours as far as Point 14 and had nothing to report.
    They did not meet any enemy although twice men and been seen on ALAM EL KIDAD first before they weent out.
    But recent tracks of motorcycles were discovered.

    13 August
    Six small bombs were dropped by enemy aircraft near Battalion H.Q.
    Platoon, G Company at BUQ-BUQ water point and the L.A.D. in rear of Battalion H.Q. were machine-gunned, between 0155 hours and 0220 hours.
    Lance-Corporal MORRISON (Left Flank) was killed and Guardsman SMITH (Left Flank) was injured when on of our own mines at HALFWAY HOUSE Pass exploded.

    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Service No: 2693633
    Date of Death:
    Age: 31
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Panel Reference: Column 53.
    Additional Information: Son of James Law Morrison and Mary Bone Morrison, of Glasgow.

    14 August
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 11 issued. 2SG Operation Instruction No. 11 at APPENDIX C

    15 August
    A quiet day up to 1700 hours.
    From then onwards there was a certain amount of activity in the forward areas.
    The enemy made an attempt to capture our forward sniping gun on the coastal road.
    1700 Hours Enemy artillery opened fire on the sniping gun.
    1800 Hours Enemy infantry (6 Sections of 7 men each) seen to be advancing towards ALAM EL KIDAD.
    1850 Hours Enemy started shelling the Centre Sector on the main Italian road.
    1900 Hours Heavy enemy concentration on Point 19.
    1905 Hours Forward troops on Point 19 withdrew 400 yards EAST.
    1945 Hours Enemy vehicles seen approaching NORTH of ALAM EL KIDAD.
    2000 Hours Leading enemy vehicle blown up on our minefield.
    Several vehicles behind were halted.
    They were engaged by our Carriers.
    2005 Hours Red verey light fired by the enemy and within ten minutes heavy enemy concentration came down in front of him, WEST of our minefield.
    Meanwhile enemy infiltration on our right flank continued.
    By midnight our original positions were re-occupied...

    16 August
    ...and by daybreak the situation was normal.
    Again a quiet day but in the evening the enemy once more tried to dispose of our coastal guns.
    1728 Hours Large explosion 1,000 yards WEST of Point 22.
    1845 Hours Enemy battery brough down concentration on Point 19 which was almost continuous till 2030 hours.
    Our Observation Post forced to withdraw.
    Whey they returned shortly afterwards they noticed that some hostile enemy infantry were advancing on ALAM EL KIDAD.
    2015 Hours Enemy began to machine gun Observation Post on Point 20 from ALAM EL KIDAD.

    17 August
    At first light Point 19 and Point 20 were again occupied.
    One captured British Ford Truck (15cwt.) with German markings and one enemy Motorcycle combination were blown up during night 16/17 August on our minefield SOUTH of Point 19.

    18 August
    The usual blasting on and around HELFAYA PASS, otherwise a quiet day.

    19 August
    A quiet day except that the THYDIAN area was shelled from WADI SHABA from 1529 hours to 1532 hours.
    Otherwise no enemy movement.

    20 August
    A fighting patrol under Captain GRANT-WATSON went out along the coast.
    No enemy were seen and nothing of interest was reported.
    Identifications from the enemy truck blown up on our minefield show that the whole or part of 1st Battalion 104 Lorried Infantry Regiment (Commander Hauptmann BACH) are in the coastal area.

    21 August
    Guardsman DALZIEL (G Company) remained out in a listening post on ALAM EL KIDAD, having been dropped by the patrol the previous night.
    He produced a useful report on his return.
    During the day there was an increase of shelling activity in the coastal sector.
    An Air Raid battle which began out to sea took place over the area SIDI BARRANI - BUQ-BUQ.
    One ME 110, damaged, flew over Battalion. H.Q. at about 200 feet and later crashed in flames in Right Flank area, all the crew being burnt.
    One of our Glen Martin bombers was shot down but the crew of four baled out successfully.
    During the night 21/22 August Right Flank and G Company relieved each other on the main and coastal roads respectively.

    22 August
    A quiet day.
    A recce patrol under Lieutenant FERGUSSON-CUNNINGHAME went out night 21/22 August to inspect a booby trap and minefield on the Italian road in front of ALAM BARGHUT.
    A smoke screen and loud explosion had been noticed in that direction but nothing was found to have been disturbed.
    During night 22/23 August a recce patrol of 1 Officer and 2 Other Ranks went along the foot of the escarpment without seeing or hearing any enemy.
    This patrol was found from Left Flank.

    23 August
    An increase of explosions round the top of HELFAYA PASS and the enemy batteries opened fire without any effect.
    During night 23/24 August a fighting patrol under Lieutenant J.R.S. CLARKE went out along the Coastal road to about Point 10.
    Here they were challenged and the enemy opened fire which M.G.
    C.S.M. FORSTER who was the last man in the patrol was hit and it was not until the patrol had returned (by way of the Italian road) that it was realised that he was missing.

    Rank: Warrant Officer Class II
    Trade: C.S.M.
    Service No: 2693388
    Date of Death: 23/08/1941
    Age: 30
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Grave Reference: 1. G. 5.
    Additional Information: Son of Joseph and Catherine Forster, of St. Helens, Lancashire.

    24 August
    Enemy artillery carried out ranging for Defensive fire during the day.
    Otherwise all was quiet.
    During night 24/25 August a recce patrol under 2/Lieutenant J.G. CRITCHELEY went out along the Italian road to the foot of WADI SHABA - nothing was seen or heard of the enemy.

    25 August
    During the day enemy guns from WADI SHABA shelled our sniping gun on the coastal road accurately and frequently.
    Lieutenant CLARKE lay up on the coast at Point 15 during the day, returning with his report after dark.
    During the night 25/26 August recce patrol under Lieutenant FERGUSSON-CUNNINGHAME went up the escarpment with the object of finding an Observation Post in which to lie up during the day.
    They were unsuccessful however, and returned.

    26 August
    Traffic on HELFAYA PASS has increased recently.
    Enemy artillery fired ranging shots during the evening in the area BIR BATTUMA - i.e. on the left of Right Flank.
    A recce patrol of Captain MACRAE and C.S.M. BROMFIELD went WEST of Point 14 but saw and heard nothing.

    27 August
    Traffic on HELFAYA PASS is still increasing - 132 M.T. on HELFAYA and 139 M.T. on SALUM HILL during the day.
    No patrols night 27/28 August.

    28 August
    Artillery was active on both sides during the day.
    Traffic on the passes slightly decreased but still above normal.
    During the night 28/29 August two recce patrols went out:-
    (a ) Lieutenant FERGUSSON-CUNNINGHAME formed an Observation Post on the escarpment and lay up during 29 August.
    (b ) 2/Lieutenant HASTINGS went from ALAM EL KIDAD to Point 14, thence to the main Italian road and back.
    No enemy were seen or heard.

    29 August
    A great deal of artillery activity took place in the coastal area during the day.
    The enemy guns - both 88mm and 105mm started at 0950 hours and continued throughout daylight, the percentage of duds from the 88mm guns being very high.

    30 August
    A quiet day.
    Our guns on the coastal road fired from 0130 hours to 0140 hours and a patrol under Lieutenant RAMSAY went out to Point 14.
    When our guns had stopped firing the patrol went to investigate only to find that the guns had been firing very far short of their target - which was Point 10.
    The patrol neither saw nor heard enemy.
    Otherwise a quiet day.
    An increase of tanks on the top of the escarpment has been reported during the last two days.

    31 August
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    1 September 1941
    The day was quiet until the evening when enemy batteries opened fire on the THYDIAN area.
    Traffic on HELFAYA PASS and SOLLUM HILL is back to normal.
    Lance-Sergeant GLENDINNING lay out during the day on the coast to observe enemy movement.

    2 September
    A quiet day.
    Desultory enemy shelling in retaliation against our sniping gun on the coast.

    3 September
    Lieutenant RAMSAY lay up on Point 15 to observe enemy throughout the day.
    2/Lieutenant SHAW-KENNEDY rejoined the Battalion having attended an intelligence Course in CAIRO.
    He is to relieve Lieutenant TIMPSON as Staff Officer FAIT Column.
    Lieutenant TIMPSON is earmarked to relieve Captain CRICHTON-STUART on the LONG RANGE DESERT GROUP.
    Lieutenant RAMSAY and Lance-Sergeant STEWART returned at dusk with their report, for which they were complimented by the Brigadier.

    4 September
    A quiet day except for a certain amount of enemy shelling.
    A recce patrol under Captain GRANT-WATSON went out to WADI SHABA during night 4/5 September.
    Lieutenant D.S. ROBERTSON rejoined the Battalion from the L.O.B. Detachment at DABA and was posted to G Company for duty.
    During the night 4/5 September F Company (less one Platoon which remained under command Left Flank in CHAR Column) was relieved by Squadron CENTRAL INDIA HORSE.
    F Company moved up to a bivouac area to the EAST of BUQ-BUQ Water point.
    The plan is to lay a minefield from the sea to the Escarpment WEST of BIR TASHDIDA the approximate depth of which is to be 3,000 yards.
    F Company (helped by Right Flank and Battalion H.Q.) will find the necessary carrying party of 90 men.

    5 September
    A quiet day except for a certain amount of enemy shelling.
    He fired a large number of dud rounds.
    Listening posts out during night 4/5 September had nothing to report.

    6 September
    2/Lieutenant CRITCHLEY took recce patrol to find a suitable lie-up on the Escarpment but did not find a good place so returned early morning 6 September.
    Lieutenant CLARKE lay up on Point 15 during the day coming in at dusk with a useful report which amplified that of Lieutenant RAMSAY.
    Just before dusk ten enemy approached ALAM EL KIDAD and Lieutenant CLARKE came in from his Observation Post.
    Carriers attempted without success to cut off the enemy party.
    During the day G Company Carriers at ALAM BARGHUT were ground-strafed by seven ME 109S - no damage or casualties.
    Accurate enemy retaliation against our sniping gun on the coast road - one round falling within 2 feet.

    7 September
    0930 Hours Divine Service at Battalion H.Q.
    A certain amount of enemy air activity over BARRANI, where the Landing Grounds were ground-strafed.
    Lieutenant J.A.L. TIMPSON left the Battalion to join the LONG RANGE DESERT PATROL where he is relieving Captain M.D.D. CRICHTON-STUART.
    2/Lieutenant G.C. LAMPSON refined the Battalion after completing a Course at the MIDDLE EAST Signal School.
    1915 Hours Right Flank reported six vehicles approaching Point 14.
    They halted and approximately 60 men debussed.
    Intermediate gun opened fire and the enemy re-embussed and moved off to the WEST.
    H.Q. 22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operation Instruction No. 8 received.

    8 September
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 12 issued. 2SG Operation Instruction No. 12 at APPENDIX A
    This Instruction deals with certain amendments to the plan for withdrawal should it become necessary.
    Lieutenant CLARK complimented by the Brigadier on his report after lying up during daylight 6 September.
    Bombing was heard during the afternoon in the direction of SOLLUM.
    A start was made during the night 7/8 September on the new minefield.
    This work now goes on nightly - F Company finding the bulk of the carrying parties on the sector bounded by the main and coast roads.

    9 September
    Lieutenant-General CUNNINGHAME, the new Commander WESTERN DESERT FORCE, visited the forward area and motored up to G Company area on the main Italian road.
    The Commanding Officer attended.
    Lieutenant D.S. ROBERTSON lay out under a derelict enemy vehicle on ALAM EL KIDAD during the hours of daylight to report enemy movement in the general direction of WADI SHABA and HALFAYA PASS.
    2/Lieutenant Sir H. ASTLEY-CORBETT did the same thing under orders of CHAR Column on the escarpment.
    One ME 110 twice circled Battalion H.Q. and the BUQ-BUQ water point during the afternoon.
    Captain J.D.C.S. MACRAE took a recce patrol out during the night 9/10 September and visited ALAM EL KIDAD, Point 15 and Point 14 but neither saw nor heard any signs of the enemy.
    Minelaying is going on nightly.
    During the night 9/10 September 1500 were put in in front of G Company.
    The nights area now getting colder and the days less hot.

    10 September
    Hostile batteries were active throughout the day, retaliating against our sniping gun on the coast road.
    During night 9/10 September Centre Section guns carried out a night shoot.

    11 September
    Captain GRANT-WATSON took recce patrol to area WADI SHABA during night 10/11 September and approached close to an enemy position.
    He heard the noise of talking but could not distinguish what language was spoken.
    He saw at least one man moving about.
    He fired a verey light but could only make out a stone sangar to his front.
    The very light was answered by one round SAA from the enemy.
    Owing to the brightness of the moon the patrol then withdrew.
    Major DRURY-LOWE rejoined the Battalion from I.B.D.
    It was learnt that during 10 September the greatest number of enemy rounds to date were fired at the sniping gun - 204.
    So far since the Battalion took over in the forward area there have been no casualties from enemy shelling.
    One ME 110 circled Battalion H.Q. during the morning.

    12 September
    Lieutenant RAMSAY lay up during the day on Point 15 to observe the enemy.
    A quiet day except for enemy shell-fire at our sniping gun.
    The evening Tac/R aircraft reported ten enemy A.F.Vs at the bottom of WADI SHABA.
    Captain GRANT-WATSON took out a fighting patrol to try and located them and, if possible, attack them with sticky bombs.
    However the patrol saw and heard nothing.
    Minelaying continued during night 12/13 September.

    13 September
    Lieutenant RAMSAY submitted an exceptionally good report as a result of his lie-up with Lance-Sergeant FRASER during daylight 12 September.
    He had managed to spot most of the enemy posts between the sea NORTH of Point 10 and KAFRET HABBUNI.
    He had seen nothing of the alleged A.F.Vs spotted by the Tac/R aircraft.
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operation Instruction No. 9 received.
    This instruction orders FAIT Column to fight on the general line of the new minefields before the code-word for any possible withdrawal is issued.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Instruction No. 13 issued - based on the Brigade Instruction No. 9. 2SG Operation Instruction No. 13 at APPENDIX B
    F Company Carried Platoon under command 2/Lieutenant I. WESTON-SMITH are made responsible for protection of a Squadron ‘I’ Tanks which are arriving in the coastal area 14 September and will be in Brigade reserve. (This order for the Carriers was later cancelled.)
    1200 Hours The Commanding Officer went to Brigade H.Q. to take command of the Brigade during the absence of the Brigadier.
    Major GRANT to command the Battalion.

    14 September
    0900 Hours An enemy patrol attacked Point 19, held by No. 9 Platoon Right Flank (Commander:- 2/Lieutenant HASTINGS).
    Twenty men were reported as having crossed our minefield in front of Point 19 on foot.
    An enemy section with three automatic weapons also infiltrated our F.D.L.S. along the side SOUTH of the coast road and engaged the left forward section of No. 9 Platoon, (Commander: Lance-Sergeant TODD).
    The section commander was killed and Guardsman BLEAKLEY (Platoon runner) was wounded.
    The enemy patrol was engaged by our forward sections and withdrew to the WEST, firing a Red Verey light as they did so.
    This Signal caused the enemy artillery to open fire on Points 19 and 20.
    This artillery fire was kept up almost without a pause throughout the day.
    (Up to 1500 hours 639 rounds were fired and it continued at the same intensity with only intermittent pauses up till dark.)
    As it withdrew the enemy patrol was engaged by the Intermediate Gun from area BIR THYDIAN.
    A vehicle was also reported advancing SOUTH of ALAM EL KIDAD.
    It turned back, however, before coming within range of small arms fire.
    Meanwhile it had been reported that a force of enemy A.F.Vs (strength estimated 40) were moving along the top of the Escarpment and were being engaged by our Columns in the Desert sector.
    Reports were received during the day of these A.F.Vs but it was not until 1900 hours when the Commanding Officer returned from Brigade H.Q., having been relieved in command on the return of the Brigadier, that information was received that a further enemy force of 100 Tanks and 500-600 MET were attempting to encircle our left flank on the Escarpment.
    This force caused the desert columns to withdraw and the code-word ‘BICYCLE’ was given to the Battalion for 1930 hours.
    During the whole day the two leading Platoons of Right Flank had been subjected to very heavy shell fire.
    The only casualty from shelling, however, was Sergeant HENDERSON who was wounded in the arm, but not evacuated.
    Owing to the enemy movement on the top of the Escarpment the Artillery Observation Post (F.4.) with escort formed by Left Flank had withdrawn from below MINQAR EL ARAQIB, during the afternoon.
    1930 Hours On receipt of ‘BICYCLE’ the sniping gun on the coast road was withdrawn and Right Flank and G Company, with troops in support, withdrew to the line BUQ-BUQ Water-point - Point 44.
    No. 7 Platoon (Commander:- Lieutenant RAMSAY) was ordered to remain approximately one mile WEST of the wells, whilst at the water point itself was one Platoon 1st BUFFS (Commander 2/Lieutenant WHITLOCK).

    15 September
    0200 Hours No further information was received of enemy movements, nor were any orders issued to the Battalion by Brigade H.Q. until, at 0200 hours, the code-words ‘COACH’ and ‘CARRIAGE’ were given.
    Action on these code-words was, however, modified as follows:-
    Instead of all troops withdrawing from the BUQ-BUQ position as original ordered the following small parties were to be left behind:-
    (a ) On the Water Point
    Lieutenant RAMSAY - Commander
    one Platoon Right Flank, 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    one Platoon 1st BUFFS
    one Section, 25-pounders, RAA
    two Anti-Tank guns
    one Sub-Section ROYAL ENGINEERS

    (b ) On The Main Italian Road
    Lieutenant ROBERTSON - Commander
    one Platoon G Company, 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    one Sector, 25-pounders, RAA
    two Anti-Tank guns

    Each party had one No. 11 Set, which could speak to the other party, but - once the Battalion had left - to no one else.
    The Commanding Officer had intended to remain with his No. 9 and 11 Sets to take responsibility for any possible blowing of the Wells and to provide communication with the outside world.
    He was, however, ordered back by the Brigadier.
    Thus the two detachments were left far ahead of our own troops with no communication to the rear.
    Their orders were to obscure and delay the enemy, but not to risk heavy casualties or the chance of being captured by an outflanking movement to the SOUTH.
    Near Sidi Barrani 0330 Hours Battalion H.Q. moved back to KILO 129 on the road BARRANI - MATRUH.
    0350 Hours FAIT Column moved back to BIR MASUD (EAST of BARRANI).
    F Company moved ot a position in rear of Battalion H.Q. and HOPE Column moved to ALAM EL DAB and thence to ALAM EL SHAMIKH.
    Battalion H.Q. and Columns were in position in their new locations by daylight 15 Septemer.
    1000 Hours Lieutenant ROBERTSON, on main road near Point 44, heard first a motor-cycle and then movement of heavy M.T. to his SOUTH and SOUTH EAST.
    He had previously, at 0800 hours, been machine-gunned by a HURRICANE fighter.
    He consulted Lieutenant RAMSAY, who had seen enemy on foot about two miles WEST of him on the Coastal road.
    Taking the above facts into consideration and due to the fact that he had no communication whatsoever to his rear whence he could obtain reliable information, Lieutenant RAMSAY, shortly after 1000 hours, ordered the Wells to be blown by his sub-section of ROYAL ENGINEERS.
    Subsequently he and Lieutenant ROBERTSON with their respective detachments withdrew.
    They rejoined the remainder of the Battalion at approximately 1200 hours.
    During the morning information was received that the enemy forces on the Escarpment had withdrawn and at 1245 hours an order was received that the Battalion would advance again and reoccupy positions EAST of the main minefield between the sea and the Escarpment.
    1445 Hours The Columns moved off at 1445 hours.
    The axis of the advance for FAIT and HOPE Columns was the Italian telegraph line and for CHAR Column the track BARRANI - ALAM EL RIMTH.
    Buq-Buq The move forward was uneventful and Right Flank and G Company were in position EAST of the main minefields by 2000 hours.
    Listening posts were put out on the two roads and Verey Lights and movement were reported from the direction of Points 19 and 20.

    16 September
    During the morning patrols of Carriers were sent out by both Right Flank and G Company.
    Points 19 and 20 were reported clear of the enemy, as also was ALAM BARGHUT.
    During the night 16/17 September fighting patrols were sent out as under:-
    (a ) Right Flank - To Points 19 and 20 - ALAM EL KIDAD - Point 15 - Grid Line 532.
    On completion of the patrol, during which no enemy was seen or heard, Points 19 and 20 were re-occupied.
    A line party under 2/Lieutenant COATS accompanied this patrol and repaired the lines to Points 19 and 20.

    (b ) G Company - To ALAM BARGHUT and Point 22.
    No enemy seen or heard Artillery Observation Post was re-established on BARGHUT.

    The sniping gun was again sent out along the coast.
    2nd Battalions SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 12 issued in connection with reliefs. 2SG Operation Order No. ? at APPENDIX C

    17 September
    During 17 September Platoon Commanders and two NCOs per Platoon, F Company, recced Right Flank positions and main minefields.
    One Platoon F Company moved to area EAST OF TASHDIDA ready to find a fighting patrol on night 17/18 September if required. Nominal Roll of Officers 2SG at APPENDIX D
    Divine night 17/18 September a recce patrol under Lieutenant BOWES-LYON went Westward beyond Point 10 but saw no enemy.
    They did, however find a number of benches and dug-outs near Point 10.
    Also during the night F Company (less one Platoon with CHAR Column) relieved Right Flank in the TASHDIDA area.
    On relief Right Flank moved to an area WEST of the Wells at BUQ-BUQ.

    18 September
    A mild dust-storm blew during the day.
    During the night 18/19 September the following activities took place:-
    (i ) one Platoon Right Flank relieved Platoon F Company in CHAR Column. This Platoon rejoined F Company early on 19th September.

    (ii ) Fighting Patrol under Lieutenant BOWES-LYON went out to secure an identification from the area Point 10 and beyond, if necessary.
    They encountered the enemy at Point 10 and met M.G. fire.
    The enemy also brought down heavy defensive fire from their Artillery.
    The patrol were forced to seek cover in the sea.
    Lieutenant BOWES-LYON and Sergeant WORKMAN did not return with the remainder of the patrol.
    Two Sergeants and two Guardsmen were wounded.

    (iii ) Fighting patrol under Captain GRANT-WATSON went to WADI SHABA to secure an identification.
    They encountered enemy M.G. posts at the foot of the Wadi.
    Grenades were thrown and Lance-Corporal MORRISON attacked one enemy post with a Tommy-gun.
    Several casualties were inflicted on the enemy.
    Captain GRANT-WATSON went to search one enemy dead body and whilst doing so was knocked over by the blast from an enemy shell or mortar bomb.
    The patrol then withdrew.
    Guardsman HEWITT was wounded in the back.

    19 September
    Lieutenant The Honourable J.P. BOWES-LYON and Sergeant WORKMAN reported ‘Missing - Believed Killed’.

    The names of the other men wounded in F Company during the night 18/19 September are:-
    Sergeant TINGLEY
    Lance-Sergeant FAULTS
    Guardsman PEARSON, and
    Guardsman MULLIN

    During the afternoon the enemy batteries shelled the Pl. H.Q. at Point 19.
    The following were killed:-
    Lance-Corporal BRYDEN, and
    Lance-Corporal CRICHTON.
    Guardsman TWEEDIE was severely wounded.

    A Fighting Patrol under 2/Lieutenant BUTTER was sent to WADI SHABA during night 19/20 September but saw no enemy.

    Rank: Lieutenant
    Service No: 42445
    Date of Death: Between 18/09/1941 and 19/09/1941
    Age: 31
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Grave Reference: 1. F. 2.
    Additional Information: Master of Glamis. Son of Patrick Bowes-Lyon, 15th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and of Lady Dorothy Beatrice Godolphin Osborne, of Glamis Castle, Angus. Cousin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    Rank: Serjeant
    Service No: 2695548
    Date of Death: Between 18/09/1941 and 19/09/1941
    Age: 25
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards
    Grave Reference: 1. F. 3.
    Additional Information: Son of Alexander and Margaret Stevenson Workman, of Glasgow.

    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Service No: 2695855
    Date of Death: 19/09/1941
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Grave Reference: 1. G. 6.

    Rank: Guardsman
    Service No: 2697412
    Date of Death: 19/09/1941
    Age: 21
    Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
    Grave Reference: 1. G. 7.
    Additional Information: Son of Jessie Crichton, of Parkstone, Dorsetshire.
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    1 October 1941
    El Daba
    Company Training carried out according to programme submitted.
    Lieutenant BRUCE returned where he had been sent as Liaison Officer.

    2 October
    Nothing unusual to record.

    3 October
    Nothing unusual to record.

    4 October
    Nothing unusual to record.

    5 October
    Divine Service for all Denominations during the morning.

    6 October
    Course for young NCOs started - drill, weapon training and Regimental duties - under the Adjutant.

    7 October
    M.T. Course under Transport Officer started.

    8 October
    Company Training carried out.

    9 October
    Company Training carried out.

    10 October
    Company Training carried out.

    11 October
    Guardsman CALDER tried by Field General Court Martial having refused to accept the Commanding Officer’s award.
    A Battalion Concert was held in the evening.

    12 October
    Divine Service during the morning for all denominations.

    13 October
    Lance-Sergeant EVITTS went on junior Leaders’ Course at the MIDDLE EAST TACTICAL SCHOOL.

    14 October
    Nothing unusual to record.

    15 October
    Captain HAMILTON to MIDDLE EAST TACTICAL SCHOOL on Company Commander’s Course.

    16 October
    Battalion Exercise.
    The Battalion left camp at 0600 hours.
    Exercise consisted of a move to the EL GAMUSA - ALAM HALIF area where a defensive position was taken up.
    A night march followed and the Battalion went into Laager during the dark.

    17 October
    The Battalion broke Laager at 0500 hours and did an approach march towards the main MATRUH - ALEXANDRIA road.
    The Exercise ended at 0700 hours.
    Breakfasts were eaten in the field and the Battalion returned to Camp 1700 hours.

    18 October
    Conference on the Exercise was held at 1130 hours followed by an Officers Mess meeting.

    19 October
    Brigadier SCOTT-COCKBURN (Commander 22 ARMOURED BRIGADE) visited the Commanding Officer and brought the news that the Battalion is to leave the 22 GUARDS BRIGADE and move to the area BURG-EL-ARAB probably about 22 October.
    Battalion Sports were held during the day.
    The Pipe Band of 2nd Battalion The TRANSVAAL SCOTTISH came over from EL ALAMEIN with a party of their Officers and Other Ranks.
    Lieutenant-General CUNNINGHAME (Commander 8TH ARMY) visited the Battalion during the afternoon and had tea in the Officers’ Mess.
    A Battalion Concert was held in the evening.
    The Commanding Officer announced to the Battalion that Captain and Quartermaster J.H. HOLDEN MBE had been posted to a Staff appointment at G.H.Q. MIDDLE EAST FORCES and would leave the Battalion on 21 October.

    20 October
    0300 Hours Signal arrived from 8TH ARMY that the Battalion would move to BURG-EL-ARAB on 22 October.
    Advance Party under Captain CAMERON warned ot be ready to go to BURG-EL-ARAB on 21 October.
    Battalion Exercise (due to take place 20-21 October) was cancelled.

    21 October
    Captain and Quartermaster J.H. HOLDEN MBE, left the Battalion to take up a Staff appointment at G.H.Q. MIDDLE EAST FORCES.
    Advance Party under Captain CAMERON left for BURG-EL-ARAB.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Movement order No. 11 issued. 2SG Move Order No. 11 at APPENDIX A
    Preliminary packing up carried out during the day.

    22 October
    El Daba Battalion moved off from DABA leaving behind small rear parties.
    Battalion arrived in area approximately 10 miles SOUTH of BURG-EL-ARAB as ordered.
    Burg-El-Arab No sign was found of H.Q. 22 ARMOURED BRIGADE there as was expected.
    The Battalion bivouacked for the night.
    The 22 ARMOURED BRIGADE was rung up from BURG-EL-ARAB and it was arranged that the Commanding Officer and Adjutant should go in to see the Brigadier at AMRIYA early on 23 October.

    23 October
    Commanding Officer, Adjutant and Signal Officer with W/T trucks went to H.Q. 22 ARMOURED BRIGADE.
    Here the Staff Captain and Brigade Intelligence Officer were seen, and orders were received for the Battalion to move to KILO 138 on the main ALEXANDRIA - CAIRO desert road.
    These orders were transmitted to the Battalion by W/T.
    Kilo 138, Alexandria - Cairo Road The Commanding Officer and Adjutant went forward to recce the area and found it had been sited in very soft sand.
    However - there being no communication with 22 ARMOURED BRIGAE - the Battalion duly arrived and many trucks became stuck in the loose sand before Companies finally settled into their allotted areas.

    24 October
    Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer visited H.Q. 22 ARMOURED BRIGADE at AMRIYA and authority was obtained to recce a new Battalion area near KILO 116 where harder standing could be found for transport.
    Major GRANT carried out this recce.
    While he was away Brigadier CAMPBELL (Commander 7 SUPPORT GROUP) visited the Battalion and gave more detailed information as to the future role of the Battalion.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Movement Order No. 12 issued.

    25 October
    Advance Party under Major GRANT went to KILO 116 and made detailed recce for new Battalion area. APPENDIX B

    26 October
    Divine Service for Church of Scotland and Church of England at 0930 hours.
    M.T. Convoy under Captain GRANT-WATSON and Lieutenant DAWSON left for DABA.
    M.T. is to bring to the Battalion various stores and equipment which could not be moved with the Battalion originally.
    Captain GRANT-WATSON is to be in command of the details at DABA.
    Captain INGILBY left to take command of a Field Maintenance Unit.

    27 October
    Course for young NCOs, Signallers and Drivers were restarted.
    Daily have parties of ten men for two clear days in ALEXANDRIA began.

    28 October
    The Signal Officer gave a Lecture to Officers and Warrant Officers on the new Signal procedure.

    29 October
    Nothing to record.

    30 October
    Nothing unusual to record.

    31 October
    Nothing unusual to record.
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    1 November 1941
    Kilo 116, Road Cairo - Alexandria
    Lieutenant HOULDSWORTH arrived from DABA with the remaining Carriers.

    2 November
    Nothing unusual to record.

    3 November
    Received a signal (not addressed to the Battalion) from Intelligence officer 22 ARMOURED BRIGADE to the effect that the Battalion and one Battery 2 R.H.A. - were expected to pass AMRIYA level crossing at 0900 hours.
    The messages was received at 1230 hours.
    Reply sent asking for further instructions and suggesting November 6th as first possible date for a move owing to state of transport.
    Destination was to be BIR KENAYIS on the MATRUH - SIWA road.
    No reply was received from 8 ARMY on this day.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Movement Order No. 13 was issued. 2SG Move Order No. 13 at APPENDIX A

    4 November
    Battalion remained standing by for orders to move.
    Lieutenant HOULDSWORTH sent forward to MATRUH to draw up twenty-five new Carriers to complete establishment.
    1900 Hours Movement Order received from 8 ARMY.
    The Battalion is to move at 0730 hours 5 November to BIR KENAYIS, staying night 5/6 November at FUKA.
    Amendment to Movement Order No. 13 was issued. Amendment to 2SG Move Order No. 13 at APPENDIX B

    5 November
    0730 Hours Battalion moved off in the following order:-
    Battalion H.Q. and H.Q. Company
    Left Flank
    G Company
    Right Flank
    F Company
    B ECHELON and L.A.D.

    Lieutenant BOYLE had gone ahead with Company guides and met Major CATT at FUKA where they recced the Battalion bivouac area.
    1600 Hours Battalion reached FUKA 1600 hours and bivouacked for the night.

    6 November
    Minquar Ziwa El Bahari
    0630 Hours Battalion moved from FUKA at 0630 hours and reached BIR KANAYIS 1130 hours.
    Captain CRICHTON-STUART had gone forward for orders.
    At BIR KANAYIS he left a guide with instructions for the Battalion to move on down the SIWA track as far as BIR GELLAZ where more guides would meet.
    1530 Hours At 1530 hours Captain CRICHTON-STUART returned having found H.Q. 4 ARMOURED BRIGADE (under whose orders the Battalion now is).
    He had received orders for the Battalion to move to an area immediately SOUTH of MINQUAR ZIWA EL BAHARI.
    The Battalion reached this area before dark and bivouacked for the night.
    The Adjutant and Quartermaster visited Brigade H.Q. and arranged for water, rations, petrol and medical necessities.

    7 November
    1000 Hours Brigadier GATEHOUS (Commander, 4 ARMOURED BRIGADE) visited the Battalion at 1000 hours.
    At 1400 hours the Battalion moved to a new area about one mile EAST of its previous position.
    Commanding Officer and Major GRANT visited Brigade H.Q.
    Major-General GOTT (Commander, 7 ARMOURED DIVISION) visited the Battalion.

    8 November
    G Company left Camp at 1300 hours to take part in a Brigade Exercise.
    Commanding Officer, Major GRANT, Adjutant and all Company Commanders attended the Exercise as spectators.
    2/Lieutenant Sir H. ASTLEY-CORBETT arrived with the 25 new Carriers drawn up at MATRUH.

    9 November
    1030 Hours Lieutenant HOULDSWORTH arrived at the Battalion with four new W/T 8cwts drawn up at MATRUH.
    With him was 2/Lieutenant WHITELEY who had been in charge of the rear party at KILO 116. Nominal Roll of Officers 2SG at APPENDIX C
    1200 Hours Lieutenant FERGUSSON-CUNNINGHAME arrived with the original Carriers which had travelled by rail from AMRIYA to MATRUH.
    Divine Service for all Denominations during the morning.
    1300 Hours The Commanding Officer lef to visit the forward area with Brigadier GATEHOUSE.

    10 November
    0900 Hours Captain DRURY-LOWE and Captain MACRAE reported at 0900 hours to Officer Commanding 3 ROYAL TANKS and 5 ROYAL TANKS respectively.
    Left Flank carried out a leaguering practice at 1100 hours and Right Flank at 1500 hours.
    Major GRANT inspected Battalion transport packed and ready for war during the morning and afternoon.
    A Convoy left for DABA at 0800 hours taking unwanted stores and all the Battalion dogs of which there are a large number collected at various times.

    11 November
    1000 Hours Major GRANT, Company Commanders, Adjutant, Intelligence Officer, R.S.M. and C.S.Ms attended a Demonstration of the formation of at Tank Leaguer given by 3 ROYAL TANKS.
    Commanding Officer returned from his visit to the forward area.
    2/Lieutenant CRITCHLEY was member of a Field General Court Martial at H.Q. 5 ROYAL TANKS.
    Day spent in garnishing camouflage nets etc.
    All Companies fired their Bren guns.

    12 November
    Commanding Officer and Adjutant attended a Conference at Brigade H.Q.
    The Brigadier gave an outline of the probable role of the Battalion in the forthcoming offensive.
    4 ARMOURED BRIGADE Operation Order No. 1 received giving details of the move forward on 14 November to a Concentration Area at ALAM DIQNASH. 2SG Operation Order No. 13 and Amendment at APPENDIX D

    13 November
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 13 issued dealing with the move of the Battalion to Concentration Area on 14 November.
    1015 Hours Brigadier GATEHOUSE visited the Battalion at 1015 hours.

    14 November
    0910 Hours The Battalion moved from bivouac area at 0910 hours and formed up on the Brigade Start Line at EL RABDA.
    Right Flank and G Company covered the right flank of the Brigade B Echelon and Left Company the left.
    F Company and H.Q. Company followed in rear.
    Advance Battalion H.Q. travelled with H.Q. Brigade B Echelon (Commander Major TERRETT, ROYAL TANK REGIMENT).
    1530 Hours Orders were received from Brigade H.Q. for two Companies to go respectively to 3 and 5 ROYAL TANKS and cover their leaguers.
    Right Flank and G Company were accordingly despatched.
    The remainder of the Battalion were responsible for the protection of Brigade B Echelon.
    1745 Hours The latter leaguer was formed at 1745 hours.
    A hot meal was cooked first before going into leaguer.

    15 November
    On the Move 0545 Hours Leaguer was broken at 0545 hours and the Brigade was due to move off at 0730 hours.
    0900 Hours However a very thick ground mist prevented any move being made until 0900 hours.
    BAR BASUR was reached at approximately 1000 hours and the Brigade Concentration Area at ALAM DIQNASH at 1230 hours.
    Alam Diqnash The Battalion area is an area of six square miles.
    Left Flank and G Company were put on the WEST face, Right Flank and F Company on the EAST face with Battalion H.Q. and H.Q. Company in the centre.
    During the move a number of vehicles became casualties.
    This was due in no way to lack of maintenance or to idleness on the part of the M.T. Staff, but purely to the age of most of the transport in the Battalion.
    Some of Right Flank’s and F Company’s trucks are 1936 Morris vehicles which have been in constant use since that date.
    This in spite of repeated reports and visits to various Headquarters.
    On arrival at the Brigade Concentration Area the Commanding Officer went to Brigade H.Q. once more to press for replacements.

    16 November
    Commanding Officer, Second-in-Command, Adjutant, Company Commanders, Transport Officer, Signal Officer and Intelligence Officer attended a Conference at Brigade H.Q. where the Brigadier gave out orders for the attack which is imminent.
    The actual date of D1 was not given but the plan was fully explained.
    The Divisional Commander visited Brigade H.Q. after the Conference.

    17 November
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 14 issued, dealing with the attack which is to start 18 November 1941. 2SG Operation Order No. 14 at APPENDIX E
    The Commanding Officer held a Conference for all Officers, all Warrant Officers and all NCOs down to and including Section commanders.
    At this Conference the plan of the approach march was fully explained and the Operation Order was gon through.
    1630 Hours H.Q. 102 R.HA.. (N.H.) and one Battery joined the Battalion.
    One Troop was attached to Right Flank and G Company respectively, one Section to Left Flank and one Section with the Rgt.
    H.Q. remains with Battalion H.Q., in reserve.
    Companies league red at Battalion H.Q.

    18 November
    0800 Hours The Battalion moved off at 0800 hours.
    On the Move Battalion was disposed as under:-
    Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 03.44.49.png
    1230 Hours Frontier wire reached 1230 hours at Boundary Post 70.
    1700 Hours Right Flan ordered forward to protect the leaguers of the armoured Regiments of the Brigade.
    1715 Hours Brigade B Echelon leaguered at GABR GARRARI.
    Quiet night 18/19 November.

    19 November
    Gabr Garrari
    0545 Hours Leaguer broke and dispersed 0545 hours.
    5 Company RASC replenished in Brigade area during the morning.
    Quiet morning.
    Various groups of enemy tanks and A.F.Vs were reported between the TRIGN EL ABD and the TRIGH CAPUZZO.
    1620 Hours At 1620 hours 8H. reported about 100 enemy tanks advancing SOUTH.
    Right Flank rejoined the Battalion.
    F Company moved to the front of the leaguer with Right Flank
    G Company on the EAST and H.Q. Company and Left Flank in rear.
    1645 Hours 5 ROYAL TANK REGIMENT were ordered to engage the enemy.
    1700 Hours 8 H. and 5 ROYAL TANK REGIMENT formed up across the enemy’s line of advance.
    8 H. reported enemy tank in flames.
    3 ROYAL TANK REGIMENT reported that they were moving SOUTH on the EAST flank of the enemy.
    1755 Hours Action broken off between the tanks owing to failing light.
    2030 Hours The Battalion went into leaguer in the dark at 2030 hours in the dark. [sic]

    20 November
    The armoured Regiments of the Brigade were engaged in tank battle during the morning.
    Brigade B Echelon remained in the GERRARI area.
    1600 Hours F Company and G Company ordered to Brigade H.Q. to protect tank leaguers.
    1630 Hours Tank battle resumed 1630 hours.
    F Company were subsequently sent back from Brigade H.Q. and rejoined the Battalion just before it moved off to go into leaguer with Brigade B Echelon.
    Battalion moved five miles SW.
    Lieutenant BOYLE with two Platoons Left Flank was detailed as escort for B Echelon K.D.G.s.
    G Company were sent back from Brigade H.Q. and leaguered separately at GERRARI, only to be ordered forward again at about 2100 hours, when Brigade asked for a Company to be sent up again.

    21 November
    Leaguer broke up normal time and a quiet morning followed.
    Brigade B Echelon were ordered to move NORTH at midday and arrived at BIR EL MCHEIZEN (454386) at last light.
    A tank battle was then taking place at REGHEM (442393).
    Before moving NORTH G Company were sent for to deal with prisoners and subsequently Right Flank were also asked for.
    Bir El Mcheizen In point of fact fifteen prisoners were produced.
    There Companies rejoined the Battalion during the move near BIR BU MELIHA (465383).
    F Company had been despatched to join Brigade H.Q. during the move up.
    It remanned to protect tank leaguers.

    22 November
    Leaguers broke early and the Battalion moved off with Brigade B Echelon in a southerly direction to GABR FATMA (446372).
    Gabr Fatma On the way a few shells fel among the leading vehicles.
    These were fired by our friends, the 22nd ARMOURED BRIGADE.
    Remainder of the day spent quietly near GABR FATMA.
    Lieutenant HASTINGS with one Platoon Right Flank was detailed as escort for the Brigade replenishment convoy.
    B Echelon leaguered half a mile SOUTH
    In the evening several tank encounters took place.
    An intercept in the Battalion forward link made it appear that Brigade H.Q. had been surrounded or captured.
    No communication could be established with Brigade H.Q.
    The Commanding Officer motored six miles NORTH with the No. 9 Set in order to gain touch.
    K.D.G. were spoken to and it was discovered that F Company were with them.
    This was at about 2330 hours.
    Earlier in the evening, at about 1930 hours the following message was received ostensibly from Brigade H.Q.:
    “What is your location? Have you any news?”
    This was regarded as false.
    A further message at about 2330 hours was received, purporting to come from H.Q. 4 ARMOURED BRIGADE, ordering one Company to report four miles NW of SIDI REZEGH the following morning.
    This was also considered to be a spurious message.
    The caller was challenged by being asked the Brigade Major’s nickname.
    No reply was received to this challenge.
    K.D.G. were then warned to regard with suspicion any orders purporting to come from Brigade H.Q.

    23 November
    0930 Hours At 0930 hours a Liaison Officer arrived from 7 Sp. Group with orders for the Battalion to join that formation.
    1030 Hours At 1020 hours the Battalion (less F Company who had not by then rejoined from a previous role) moved off and arrived en route at H.Q.
    Hareipet En Nbeidat 7 ARMOURED BRIGADE at about three miles SOUTH of CHARRUBET EZ-ZGHEMAT (435388).
    Verbal orders came from Commander 7 ARMOURED BRIGADE to report to H.Q. 7 ARMOURED DIVISION, which was 5 1/2 miles from SIDI REZEGH (429407) on a bearing of 170 degrees.
    The Battalion started off and at about HAREIPET EN-NBEIDAT (4339) came upon 5 S.A. BRIGADE.
    It was here learnt that they were expecting a tank attack immediately.
    Continuous shelling was taking place.
    Commander 7 ARMOURED DIVISION had just left and had given orders that the Battalion would be under orders of 5 S.A. BRIGADE.
    Within half an hour the attack developed.
    Left Flank were ordered to support 3 TRANSVAAL SCOTTISH.
    Right Flank and G Company were to hold reserve positions.
    The entire B Echelon of 5 S.A. BRIGADE was inside the perimeter of the defence.
    This transport with some Armoured Cars began moving East as soon as the attack began.
    Tanks and lorried infantry eventually overran the position and the remnants of the Brigade together with 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS withdrew in some confusion.
    1900 Hours Battalion H.Q. the officers of Right Flank with one Platoon Right Flank and about 60 South Africans made their way to 446376 where they leaguered for the night at 1900 hours.
    W/T communication was established with Major GRANT who had with him G Company and parts of Left Flank and Right Flank apparently at 440380.
    There was no news of F Company and the remainder of Left Flank.

    24 November
    Area 446376
    The Battalion was ordered to join 7 Sp. Group which was about two miles SOUTH of the night leaguer position.
    1300 Hours By 1300 hours Major GRANT’s party arrived and most of F Company.
    It was heard then that Captain DRURY-LOWE, Captain CRICHTON-STUART and about half of Left Flank had escaped, but their exact location was unknown.
    Very shortly after arrival with 7 Sp. Group, H.Q. 7 ARMOURED DIVISION was shelled and 7 Sp. Group was put at 20 minutes notice to move.
    1330 Hours At about 1330 hours 7 Sp. Group moved.
    The Battalion and B Echelon Sp. Group moved on a bearing of 135 degrees.
    A tank battle was then taking place about six miles SW and during the move it was learnt that 30 enemy tanks were in the area BIR GIBNI (4735).
    On the Move After about an hour’s travel another enemy column was approaching from the NW.
    After 9 miles in view of what could be seen of the tactical situation course was altered to 98 degrees.
    Shortly after changing course Lieutenant CRITCHLEY, who was rescuing the crew of a truck which had been ground strafed by a TOMAHAWK, was taken prisoner by three German armoured cars.
    After a short while they left him having ordered him to join an enemy column coming from the WEST.
    He motored in the opposite direction and rejoined the Battalion.
    1830 Hours At about 1830 hours the Battalion joined 7 Sp. Group just NORTH of BIR GIBNI facing SOUTH.
    It was then known that there was an enemy tank leaguer within five miles.
    2100 Hours At 2100 hours 7 Sp. Group and 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS moved off again SW.
    On the way the tail of the column was fired on by tanks.
    The enemy shooting was extremely poor and there were no casualties.

    25 November
    0300 Hours The Column arrived at Point 172 (460341) at about 0300 hours.
    Four Columns were formed as follows:-
    (a ) CURRY Column - which included G Company
    (b ) DOUGLAS Column
    (c ) WILSON Column
    (d ) MAYFIELD Column, which consisted of the following:-
    Point 172 (460341) 60 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY
    two Troops Anti-Tank
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    Battalion H.Q. 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    Right Flank & F Company, 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    one Section ROYAL ENGINEERS

    Orders were given for the a/m columns to guard the Field Maintenance Centre at Point 172.
    The Battalion was allotted the EAST face.
    During the day CURRY Column moved out to ALAM EL ABIAD (4535) and DOUGLAS Column to GARET ED DOMA (4734) in order to harass any enemy seen.
    During this day the enemy were pushing columns of MET and tanks down the TRIGH EL ABD to LIBYAN SHEFERZEN (4934).
    The Battalion was left in sole charge of the dump.
    It was learnt that Captain DRURY-LANE and a part of Left Flank were with 4 ARMOURED BRIGADE and that Lieutenant BOYLE and some more of Left Flank had escaped from the battle of 23 November but were not yet accounted for.
    During the night Right Flank was sent out to lie astride the TRIGH EL ABD to intercept any enemy B Echelon which might be using it to replenish the force which he had assembled at SHEFERZEN.
    Unfortunately no vehicle was seen or heard.

    26 November
    Brigadier MARRIOTT visited the Battalion and arrangements were made for its relief by 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
    Gabr Fahat 1300 Hours This relief took place at 1500 hours and MAYFIELD Column, H.Q. 7 Sp. Group and WILSON Column moved to about two miles SOUTH EAST of GABR FAHAT (4536) arriving at 1720 Hours.
    Left Flank were ordered to remain with 4 ARMOURED BRIGADE and those details of Left Flank with the Battalion were despatched there.
    It was established during the day that Lieutenant BOYLE and approximately 80 Other Ranks were still unaccounted for.
    2/Lieutenant CALVOCORESSI, Drill Sergeant RICHMOND DCM and 15 Other Ranks rejoined the Battalion.
    It was reported that Captain INGILBY, Commanding Field Maintenance Unit near Point 172 had been taken Prisoner on 24 November. (It was later established that Captain INGILBY was safe having been in the hands of the enemy, but escaped.)

    27 November
    Battalion remained same area and leaguer broke normal time.
    0930 Hours Conference at H.Q. 7 Sp. Group 0930 hours.
    Alternative roles for MAYFIELD Column were:-
    (a ) Remain in present role of harassing enemy, or
    (b ) Move WEST in the direction of GAZALA for Column work.
    1230 Hours It was reported at 1230 hours that an enemy column of approximately 50 tanks with a large number of MET was moving WEST along the TRIGH CAPUZZO.
    Later it was reported that 4 and 22 ARMOURED BRIGADES were in position and eventually engaging the enemy.
    1600 Hours At 1600 hours CURRY Column was ordered to provide two detachments for mopping-up operations.
    G Company found two Platoons for these parties.
    1720 Hours Battalion was put at half an hour’s notice to move; but eventually went into close leaguer at 1720 hours.
    Little information was forthcoming about the result of the tank battle.

    28 November
    A quiet day as far as MAYFIELD Column was concerned.
    CURRY Column had a good chance after an enemy column which lasted most of the day.
    No news as to the result of the tank battle of 27 November.
    Two Observation Posts were out during the day with carrier escorts commanded by Lieutenants CLARKE and HOULDSWORTH.
    G Company accompanied CURRY Column during its chase of the enemy column.

    29 November
    On the Move MAYFIELD and CURRY Columns were out early, being ordered to seek out and harass any enemy columns which they could find.
    G Company with CURRY Column were soon busy with enemy concentrations of MET on the TRIGA CAPUZZO.
    MAYFIELD left the leaguer area on a bearing of 60 degrees, but soon changed to one of 110 degrees.
    A column of MET was sighted on this latter bearing, but on closer investigation it proved to be friendly.
    1200 Hours Course was then altered more to the NORTH and the TRIGH CAPUZZO was reached at 1200 hours.
    Orders were then received for MAYFIELD Column to split - one half to investigate SIDI AZIZ and the other to engage an enemy strong point at GASR EL ARID (4639).
    Hardly had these orders been put into operation when they were countermanded.
    Information was received that the enemy was preparing to attack our line which was EL DUDA (4241) - SIDI REZEGH (4241) - Point 175 (4341).
    The Column was ordered to move WEST with all possible speed with the object of engaging the enemy in this forming up positions.
    Bir Beuid The Column reformed and reached the area near BIR BEUID (460398).
    DOUGLAS Column came in on one night and CURRY Column on the left.
    At last light the Column was ordered 12 miles South to leaguer.

    30 November
    The Column moved forward from the leaguer area 8 miles.
    It was to be in reserve.
    CURRY and DOUGLAS Columns were engaging enemy MET on the TRIGH CAPUZZO.
    Day spent in same locality.
    1600 Hours At 1600 hours Column was ordered to move to area Point 193 (457401).
    Point 192 (457401) This point was reached at last light and the column league red in that area.
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    1 December 1941
    Point 192 (457401)
    Orders received to push Right Flank and F Company with Observation Post parties and Carriers to Point 172 (455405) and 183 (461404) respectively.
    These orders were countermanded just after the Companies had started.
    Observation Post parties with Carriers remained but the Companies were pushed back behind the Guns which were in action, about half-a-mile SOUTH of Point 192.
    During the rest of the day various targets of MET were engaged by the guns.
    1030 Hours At 1030 hours Right Flank were ordered WEST with Observation Post parties to a position from which BIR SCIASCUF (449403) could be kept under observation and engaged by the guns.
    A concentration of enemy MET with a few tanks had been reported in this area.
    The Column withdrew four miles SOUTH at last light to leaguer.

    2 December
    The Column broke leaguer early in the dark.
    Orders had been received the previous evening to push forward again to the Point 192 area to engage any enemy which could be found in the valley NORTH of Point 192 and NORTH of that again in the direction of GAMBUT.
    Observation Post parties with Carriers were sent forward and arrived at Point 192 in time to see a large enemy Column of transport moving EAST in the valley.
    This excellent target was quickly engaged with good effect.
    During the remainder of the day, various groups of enemy transport were engaged NORTH of Point 192.
    1600 Hours At 1600 hours, Brigadier CAMPBELL, Commanding 7 Sp. Group visited Column H.Q. and orders were received for the Column to move to the East.
    It appeared that 21 German Armoured Division had been located in the area MENASTIR (5039) - BARDIA (5139).
    The orders for the Column were to locate the tail and Southern Flank of the enemy Division, thought to be in the approximate area ABAIR EL MAGAIER (481389).
    Having located it, the Column was to keep contact and harass it to the maximum extent, wherever it went.
    1630 Hours The Column moved off at 1630 hours.
    After moving about 6 miles ESE, a large concentration of enemy MET with some tanks was sighted NORTH in the area GASR EL ARID (468399).
    A recce party under Captain MacRAE had also located this concentration and reported that it appeared to be going into leaguer.
    A patrol of 11 H. was met shortly after this with the news that another enemy Column of MET and tanks was approaching from the EAST.
    The Column accordingly altered course to the SOUTH and went into leaguer in THE AREA 473392.

    3 December
    Area 473392
    An early start was made from leaguer.
    The enemy Column was located in the area GASR EL AHID and engaged by the guns.
    0930 Hours Their fire was answered by enemy 75’s and the Column disengaged the enemy at 0930 hours.
    Area Bir Beuid, 462398 The Column then moved WEST to the area 463397 and continued to engage the enemy in the GASR EL ARID area.
    A few enemy tanks were reported and they together with enemy guns replied to our fire.
    There were no casualties.
    During the day the same enemy concentrations were continually engaged.
    The shooting was good and much damage was done.
    At least one direct hit on an enemy tank was … [text obscured] … two more were disabled
    A quantity of enemy lorries were damaged.
    The Column withdrew three miles SOUTH at last light to leaguer.

    4 December
    Area 463393
    MAYFIELD Column was in reserve during the day in area 463393.
    The enemy Columns of the day before had withdrawn to the WEST and were being engaged by the other Columsn of 7 Sp. Group.
    Orders were received in the evening to move the following day to the area Point 192 (456401).

    5 December
    Point 192 (456401)
    Leaguer broke normal time and the Column arrived at Point 192 at first light.
    Observation Post parties had been sent forward, but found no sign of the enemy.
    WILSON Column, during the morning relieved a NEW ZEALAND hospital, which had been in enemy hands in the Wadi at 444403.
    This hospital had been captured by the enemy after his attack on the NEW ZEALANDERS.
    Lance-Sergeant McCONNELL, who had a leg run over by a tank at HAREIFET EN NBEIDAT, was rescued and evacuated through the Battalion R.A.P.
    G Company also rescued a party of about 400 NEW ZEALANDERS who were being marched WESTWARDS by an Italian escort.
    1500 Hours F Company was ordered at 1500 hours to assist WILSON Column and eventually take over in the ‘HOSPITAL’ Wadi at 444403.
    Just before last light the Column was ordered to move to the area Point 175 (438404).
    There Column league red, F Company rejoining after dark.

    6 December
    Point 175, 438404
    Leaguer broke normal time and the Column moved about a mile SOUTH of Point 175, so as to avoid showing itself on the crest.
    A mining party had been sent out during the night 5/6 December to block the TRIGH CAPUZZO.
    These mines were ordered to be lifted during the morning and this was accordingly done.
    1200 Hours At 1200 hours the Column was ordered to move forward to the area 435404 on the ridge overlooking the valley between SIDI REZEGH and BELHAMED.
    F Company was sent on with the Observation Post parties and Carriers to the Aerodrome at SIDI REZEGH.
    Right Flank with one Battery 60 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY was sent to area 425404.
    The guns engaged enemy infantry and guns who were holding the ridge from Point 177 (413405) to SIDI MEIMUN (420404).
    At last light the Column concentrated and moved three miles SOUTH to leaguer.
    Orders were received that on 7 December the Column was to move WEST with half of it to the NORTH and half to the SOUTH of the Escarpment held by the enemy, with the object of dislodging them from it.

    7 December
    Area 425400
    Right Flank and one Battery moved NORTH of the SIDI MEIMUN escarpment and were soon in action against an enemy Battery, firing from area 425405.
    This Battery was successfully silenced.
    Right Flank Carriers, under Command Captain MACRAE, were ordered in to mop up enemy infantry.
    As they were closing with the enemy, four enemy Anti-Tank guns opened up on the remainder carried on, silenced the Anti-Tank guns and captured 41 Italians.
    F Company also with one Battery were SOUTH of the same ridge and were also engaged with the enemy infantry and guns.
    The Column moved three miles SOUTH EAST to leaguer at last light.

    8 December
    Leaguer broke normal time and Column moved forward to same area as on 7 December.
    The enemy had, however, withdrawn from the ridge which was being engaged on that day.
    1500 Hours At 1500 hours orders were received that the Column was to be relieved by the 1 SOUTH AFRICAN DIVISION and South African advance parties arrived shortly afterwards.
    Point 181, 431378 On completion of the relief, the Column concentrated and moved to Point 181 (431378) were it league red for the night.

    9 December
    7 Sp. Group had, the previous evening, concentrated SW of BUR GUBI (4137).
    Orders were now received to move on WEST and NW with the object of harassing the enemy and cutting his line of withdrawal in the GAZALA area.
    Bir Beuid, 399383 1330 Hours MAYFIELD Column was in reserve and was ordered to move to the area BIR BEUID (399383) which was reached at 1330 hours.
    Here the Column remained for the rest of the day in reserve, league ring one mile NW.

    10 December
    During the morning the Column remained in the same area.
    The 4 INDIAN DIVISION to the NE was dive-bombed several times, but the Column was not visited.
    1230 Hours At 1230 Hours orders were received for the Column to move to Point 166 (376414) and thence to ELUET EL TAMAR to harass enemy on the road TOBRUK - GAZALA.
    On the day up to Point 166 the head of the Column was dive-bombed and the following casualties were sustained by F Company:-
    Guardsman PATON
    Guardsman PEACOCK
    Lance-Sergeant LIPTROT
    Guardsman DAVIES
    Guardsman McCONNELL

    1500 Hours At 1500 hours the Column arrived at Point 191 (375425) only to find the area very congested.
    WILSON Column was already in action and the 4 IND. DIVISION was pushing on on our right.
    Bir El Rigel Accordingly MAYFIELD Column was ordered back to BIR RIGEL (377419) where leaguer was formed at last light.

    11 December
    Leaguer broke normal time and the Column remained in the same area, during the morning.
    Some much needed maintenance was carried out to Carriers and other vehicles.
    Enemy aircraft were more in evidence than previously and the Tp. A.A. attached to the Column were in action several times.
    Three JU 88’s were seen to crash, but they were not claimed by the Column.
    1130 Hours At 1130 hours the Column was ordred to move to an area NORTH of the TRIGH ENVER BEY at U.8565.
    After going about 8 miles the head of the Column was fired upon, by an enemy Column (estimated strength 14 Tanks and 400 MET).
    No information of this Column had been given to the Column by H.Q. 7 Sp. Group in their orders.
    On the Move The guns, however, came into action with great speed and it was not long before the enemy guns were silenced.
    During this short engagement the following casualties were sustained:-
    Guardsman HILL
    Guardsman ADAMSON (servant to Lieutenant MARSHAM-TOWNSHEND, who was in the same P.U. as HILL when he was killed.)

    The Column then moved SOUTH on to the TRIGH CAPUZZO.
    The Commanding Officer was ordered forward to H.Q. 7 Sp. Group and the Column moved on along the TRIGH, leaguering that night one mile SE of Sp. Group H.Q.
    Area 356412 It had been reported that there was an enemy tank leaguer of Italian M.13s within three miles and F Company was sent out two miles to the NORTH to watch it.
    However the Tanks moved off during the night.

    12 December
    Leaguer broke usual time and breakfast was eaten as soon as the Column had dispersed.
    During breakfast two M.E. 110s came over and oen was hit by the Anti-Aircraft Guns at Sp. Group H.Q.
    It crashed later.
    Column moved forward behind Sp. Group H.Q. about five miles.
    1330 Hours At 1330 hours the Guns were ordered forward into a long wadi from which they were to engage enemy targets in the area U. 8370.
    F Company went forward as protection for the guns.
    The Column concentrated to leaguer with its head on the TRIGH CAPUZZO.
    During the day 3 IND. DIVISION and the gun position had been dive-bombed several times, but the Battalion had not been attacked from the air at all.

    13 December
    Leaguer broke early, the guns being ordered forward again to the same area as had been occupied 12 December.
    The Column reached this area in the same wadi at first light and the guns were brought into action.
    Almost at once the enemy replied with gunfire from his position (which stretched from GAZALA, S.W. to the TRIGH CAPUZZO).
    The following casualties were sustained by F Company from this shelling.
    Guardsman MILROY
    Lance-Sergeant FORREST
    Guardsman PARK
    Guardsman KEEPING

    One Troop of guns were moved and the remainder of the Column with Battalion H.Q. moved a short distance back behind a ridge.
    During the course of the day the guns of the Column, continued to engage targets in the enemy position.
    There were several dive-bombing attacks, one of which was directed against the guns and fell close to Right Flank.
    No casualties were suffered by the Battalion.
    1630 Hours At 1630 hours orders were received from Sp. Group by Liaison Officer to the effect that the Battalion was to rejoin 22 GUARDS BRIGADE 14 December.
    Area 356410 Accordingly, the Column leaguered in area 356410.

    14 December
    60 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY left MAYFIELD Column to join HUGO at 0730 hours.
    G Company rejoined the Battalion from CURRY Column at the same time.
    Point 166, 377413 1030 Hours At 1030 hours the Battalion (less Left Flank) started for area Point 166 (377413) arriving there at 1400 hours, where Left Flank rejoined the Battalion.
    One Troop 1 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY joined the Battalion from H.Q. 22 GUARDS BRIGADE.
    1730 Hours Battalion leaguered by Companies at 1730 hours.

    15 December
    Point 186, 369396
    At 1000 hours orders were received for the Battalion to move to area Point 186 (369396) where 22 GUARDS BRIGADE were concentrating.
    This area was reached at 1200 hours.
    Remainder of day spent in maintenance to vehicles and equipment and in cleaning up generally.

    16 December
    The day was spent carrying out much needed maintenance and reorganisation.
    During the time since the campaign had started the Battalion had never been stationary in one place for any length of time, and a day for maintenance for vehicles was accordingly much appreciated.

    17 [in pencil: ?16] December
    During the morning the programme of maintenance was continued.
    1400 Hours At 1400 hours, however, news was received that the enemy had counter-attacked our forces in front of his GAZALA position.
    The Battalion was immediately placed at 1/2 hours notice, to move.
    Any possible move was complicated by the fact that a convoy of 10 x 3-tonners had been sent to TOBRUK at first light to draw reserve petrol.
    However, it was found that the essential majority of the Battalion could be moved.
    1500 Hours At 1500 hours definite orders were received to move.
    The Commanding Officer was ordered forward to accompany the Brigadier on a recce, and the Battalion was to re-organise as under:-
    (a ) MAYFIELD Column
    203 Battery, 51 Field Regiment, ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Troop Anti-Tank
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    Right Flank with Left Flank Carrier Platoon

    (b ) GRANT Column
    436 Battery, 51 Field Regiment, ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Troop Anti-Tank
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    G Company with F Company Carrier Platoon

    17 December
    F Company and Left Flank with H.Q. Company to remain Point 186 under Command Major P.H. CATT.
    1630 Hours The two Columns moved off at 1630 hours.
    Battalion H.Q. accompanied MAYFIELD Column which leaguered at U. 9763.

    18 [in pencil: ?17] December
    Area U.9763
    During the morning MAYFIELD Column relieved HUGO Column of 7 Sp. Group and GRANT Column - WILSON Column of the same formation.
    However, the enemy had meanwhile withdrawn from the GAZALA position and the Battalion received orders to return to Point 186.

    19 [in pencil: ?18] December
    Point 186, 369396
    Both Columns accordingly started EAST leaguering en route and arriving back at their old area at Point 186 early on December 19.
    It was now learnt that 22 GUARSD BRIGADE with attached Troops was to form a striking force directed in the general direction of BENGASI.
    Originally it had been the intention to sent this force by way of MENGAR ED DGHEILI (S.73) - SAUNNU (X.75).
    Owing, however to the precipitate retreat which the enemy was making from GAZAL and DERNA, this route was altered to HALLABET ET EZBA (U.11) - MSUS (S.91) - ESC SCELEIDIMA (S.41).
    [in pencil: 19] 1400 Hours Commanding Officer and Adjutant attended a Conference at Brigade H.Q. at 1400 hours where detailed orders for the move were issued.
    1700 Hours Orders were issued verbally by the Commanding Officer and confirmed in note form in writing.
    2300 Hours At 2300 hours Lieutenant MARSHAM-TOWNSHEND went to Brigade H.Q. to guide in Transport to make up the Battalion to strength.
    This Transport was to come from a NEW ZEALAND Brigade, and Lieutenant ROMBER had been despatched earlier in the day to collect it, but owing to counter-orders from Army H.Q., had not made contact with it.

    20 December
    0750 Hours - 0830 Hours The Battalion moved off at 0750 hours and crossed the start line, 36 North and South grid line and 0830 hours.
    2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS with Troops under Command moved in the formation as under:-
    0830 Hours Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 02.33.20.png
    1145 Hours Halts were at 15 minutes to every even hour, with half an hour at 1145 hours.
    1730 Hours The Column leaguered at 1730 hours in the area SOUTH of HALLABET ET-EZBA.

    21 December
    0730 Hours Column moved off at 0730 hours.
    An uneventful day except that a few Thermos bombs were encountered after about two hours running.
    One gun-tower was damaged and also one Armoured Car of 11 H.
    The Column leaguered SOUTH of MSUS in area S.8811.

    22 December
    0700 Hours Column moved off 0700 hours reaching MSUS landing ground at 0800 hours.
    Here there was a pause whilst the route across a deep wadi was reconnoitred.
    During this pause two ME 109(f)s ground straffed the Column.
    Guardsmen BATES and SLOAN were wounded.
    After crossing the wadi a halt was ordered for breakfast.
    The Column then moved on.
    It was now organised into two sub-Columns as follows:-
    (a ) GRANT Column
    436 Battery, ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Troop Anti-Tank
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    Detachment ROYAL ENGINEERS
    (b ) MAYFIELD Column
    Battalion H.Q. 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    203 Battery, ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Troop Anti-Tank
    one Troop Anti-Aircraft
    Detachment ROYAL ENGINEERS
    H.Q. Company 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    Right Flank & G Company

    GRANT Column led, followed by MAYFIELD Column.
    It had been reported that the pass at SCELEIDMA (S.41) was full of energy.
    It was later, however, reported that the energy were in position there.
    When, therefore, GRANT Column came within range, 436 Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY were brought into action.
    The remainder of the day was spent opposite SCELEIDIMA.
    1400 Hours The gun position was dive-bombed by four STUKAS at 1400 hours, but there were no casualties.
    The two Columns leaguered separately night 22/23 December.

    23 December
    Sceleidima S.41
    During the night the enemy evacuated SCELEIDIMA and the fort there was occupied at first light by Left Flank.
    Both Columns remained in that area during the morning.
    1530 Hours At 1530 hours orders were received for the Columns to push forward into the Coastal plain.
    1600 Hours Both Columns accordingly started forward at 1600 hours.
    After going 11 miles, Columns halted and leaguered separately.
    The intention was for both Columns to push forward at first light 24 December to within range of the main BENGASI - AGEDABIA road and harass the retreating enemy known to be moving SOUTH along it.

    24 December
    Area S.2314
    0200 Hours However, at 0200 hours, 24 December orders were received from Brigade H.Q. for the whole force to move SOUTHWARDS at first light.
    For this purpose it was to be re-organised as under:-
    (a ) MAYFIELD Column
    203 and 436 Batteries ROYAL ARTILLERY (less one Section)
    two Troops Anti-Tank (less one Section)
    two Troops Anti-Aircraft
    Battalion H.Q. 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS
    Right Flank
    (b ) GRANT Column
    one Section 436 Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY
    one Section Anti-Tank
    G Company, F Company, Left Flank

    G Company had the previous day been detached as a small Column to area X.5591 and F Company had remained at SCELEIDIMA.
    Both these Companies were ordered to join GRANT Column as soon as possible after first light.
    0700 Hours Cons. moved off at 0700 hours.
    After going 18 miles on a bearing of 170 degrees, information was received from 11 H. that a large Column of enemy MET escorted by two tanks, three 8-wheeled Armoured Cars and some guns was moving fast down the main road from MAGRUN (S.00).
    MAYFIELD Column accordingly altered course in order to engage this target.
    GRANT Column was ordered to continue on the distance and bearing as ordered.
    After going about 2 1/2 miles the head of MAYFIELD Column with Observation Post parties in front, came within sight of an enemy position, running NORTH and SOUTH.
    It appeared to be held by infantry dug-in with concentration of MET behind.
    Patrols of 11 H. were engaging the enemy to the NORTH of the Column.
    The guns were brought into action and the enemy replied with artillery fire.
    Right Flank were fairly heavily shelled for a short time.
    They suffered the following casualties:-
    Lieutenant M.J.A. GORDON
    Guardsman GIBB
    Guardsman MARTIN

    The Company was ordered to withdraw half a mile under cover from the shell-fire.
    During the remainder of the day the guns continued to harass the enemy position.
    Area SEDA FOMM, X.28 1530 Hours At 1530 hours one Troop of 203 Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY was ordered to move five miles NORTH to engage enemy guns which were proving themselves a nuisance ot patrols of 11 H.
    One Platoon Right Flank went with this Troop as escort.
    1745 Hours At 1745 hours both Columns moved to leaguer five miles to the EAST.

    25 December
    Area X 0649
    0630 Hours Leaguer broke at 0630 hours.
    The two Columns reverted to their orignal organisation and moved off SW.
    After going 25 miles a halt was ordred and a hot meal was eaten.
    The Commanding Officer made a recce in the direction of SIDI FRAG, (X.04).
    On his return, both Columns moved to area X. 0649 and leaguered.
    Divine Service was held in leaguer for all Denominations.
    Telegrams of Christmas Greetings had previously been sent to H.M. The KING, H.R.H. The Colonel of the Regiment and to the Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding the Regiment.
    26 December Leaguer broke at first light and breakfast was eaten as soon as vehicles had been dispersed.
    The guns were moved forward and came into action against the WEST flank of the enemy position, which he was holding NW from AGEDABIA (X.12).
    G Company was detailed as escort for the guns and the remainder of the Battalion was dispersed in rear.
    Area X.0846 1200 Hours Brigadier MARRIOTT, Commander 22 GUARDS BRIGADE, visited the Battalion at 1200 hours and issued orders for an attack during the night 26/27 December on the WEST flank of the enemy position.
    Commanding Officer, Second-in-Command, Adjutant and Company Commanders then went to TURKISH FORT (X.0345) and there verbal orders were issued for the attack.
    These were confirmed by 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 14. 2SG Operation Order No. 14 at APPENDIX A
    Companies formed up in M.T. immediately WEST of the bend in the main road (X.0447), in the following order:-
    Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 03.13.32.png
    2130 Hours Battalion assembled this area by 2115 hours and moved off at 2130 hours.
    Bearing 215 degrees, distance two miles.

    After going two miles the Battalion debased and proceeded on foot on a further five miles on the same bearing.
    One No. 9 Set, the R.A.P., with Amb. Cars and Medical Officer, and a Forward Observation Officer from 51 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY, brought up the rear in M.T.
    Major GRANT accompanied this party.
    On completion of five miles the Battalion halted and formed up for the approach march to the objective as under:-
    Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 09.08.09.png

    27 December
    The bearing for the approach march was altered to 95 degrees after consultation with the Artillery Forward Observation Officer, who had by then collated the results of a quick survey he had completed in before dark.
    0130 Hours At 0139 hours the Artillery opened fire.
    Two Batteries 51 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY with 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS, one Battery with 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS were to fire on targets in area X.03 lifting at 0330 hours, 0430 hours and 0530 hours.
    The Artillery Regiment with 22nd ARMOURED BRIGADE was also to engage targets on the EAST of the enemy position in the area AGEDABIA.
    The Battalion started the advance at 0130 hours.
    Nothing of note occurred during the march, except that twice the Battalion had to halt behind the Artillery supporting fire, until it lifted.
    There were two heavy rainstorms which soaked everyone to the skins and made these halts very cold.
    0630 Hours At approximately 0630 hours as it was beginning to get light, enemy positions were observed on the right of the Battalion.
    Right Flank, who were on the right rear of G Company engaged these positions with immediate success.
    Captain MACRAE and Lieutenant CLARKE with approximately one and a half Platoons silenced and captured three enemy guns.
    They inflicted casualties, (estimated 100) on the enemy and took a number of Prisoners, some of whom were killed later by enemy shellfire.
    Matters were not, however, so fortunate for the remainder of the Battalion.
    Left Flank and G Company found themselves in a long shallow wadi running NORTH from the enemy position and overlooked by a number of low hills in the semi-circle.
    F Company and part of Right Flank were similarly placed but slightly to the WEST of the other two Companies.
    The S.O.S. signal (three green lights) was fired but produced no results from our guns.
    It was then decided by the Commanding Officer that a withdrawal was necessary.
    X.03 Accordingly, the signal (two red lights repeated) was put up.
    The Battalion withdrew NORTH under continuous fire of all kinds ot the main road and rendezvoused at the REST HOUSE in area X.0648. List of Casualties suffered by the Battalion, night 26/27 December at APPENDIX B [Not included in file]
    28 Prisoners were brought in by Right Flank.
    The remainder of the day was spent in reorganising.
    A Company of 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS had taken over the protection of the guns p.m. 27 December and continued with this duty during 27 December.
    1200 Hours The Brigadier visited the Battalion at 1200 hours.
    The Battlion leaguered separate from the guns one mile EAST of the Main road.

    28 December
    0630 Hours Leaguer broke 0630 hours and dispersed half-a-mile to the EAST.
    1000 Hours F Company was ordered at 1000 hours to relieve the Company of 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS which were still doing escort to the guns.
    During the day, the guns carried out harassing fire against the enemy position.
    At 1630 hours till last light, one enemy gun, thought to be a Coast Defence piece, shelled the Battalion and the A.D.S. attached.
    No casualties were caused and there were a large number of duds among the rounds.
    The Battalion with Troops, under Command leaguered two miles on a bearing of 45 degrees.

    29 December
    After breaking leaguer, the guns moved back to the same position as that occupied on 28 December.
    F Company continued as escort.
    Captain CRICHTON-STUART had taken over Command of F Company on 28 December, and Lieutenant BURT joined the Battalion from Staff Employment on the same day.
    The remainder of the Battalion dispersed 1 3/4 miles from the leaguer on a bearing of 220 degrees.
    A quiet day.
    Harassing fired carried out by the guns.
    G Company sent a patrol of one Platoon under Command Lieutenant ROBERTSON to recce, the coast line SOUTH of the bend in the main road at X.04.
    One Platoon Left Flank under Command Sergeant MORRISON was ordered to the water tower point at EZ ZUETINE (X.0247) for protection of ROYAL ENGINEERS Section which were working there.
    1400 Hours At 1400 hours orders came by Liaison Officer for 51 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY, to come into support of 3rd Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
    8 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY are to support 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS.
    1730 Hours Advance Party of the latter Regiment arrived at Battalion H.Q. at 1730 hours.
    1800 Hours The Battalion leaguered with 436 Battery one mile on a bearing of 40 degrees.

    30 December
    0700 Hours Leaguer broke 0700 hours.
    436 Battery with Right Flank as escort returned to the same gun position as occupied 29 December
    8 Field Regiment ROYAL ARTILLERY arrived during the morning and took over from 436 Battery.
    1145 Hours Brigadier visited the Battalion at 1145 hours.
    Guns continued to harass the enemy position during the day.
    Battalion leaguered with all Troops under Command on a bearing of 60 degrees for 1 1/2 miles.

    31 December
    0700 Hours Leaguer broke 0700 hours.
    Right Flank again escort to guns, which returned to same gun positions.
    22 GUARDS BRIGADE Operation Order No. 29 received by Liaison Officer at 0900 hours.
    This order gave details of action to be taken if a withdrawal should become necessary.
    X.0847 0900 Hours - 1100 Hours 2nd Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Operation Order No. 15 issued 1100 hours. 2SG Operation Order No. 15 at APPENDIX C
    During the day the guns continued their harassing task.
    The enemy air was more in evidence, but did not trouble the Battalion Leaguer was formed at 1830 hours 1 1/2 hours on a bearing of 55 degrees.
    A wet and uncomfortable night.
    lostinspace likes this.
  16. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Thanks for this!

    The complaints about the disorganisation make me respect Lt.Col. Mayfield a lot. It is especially notable in the light of the close attention paid by G.H.Q. M.E. to the treatment of the Empire POWs after the capture of Bardia and Halfaya in Jan. 42.

    All the best

    dbf likes this.

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