War Diary: 4 Royal Welch Fusiliers

Discussion in '53rd (Welsh) Division' started by Swiper, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    June 1944 – War Diary
    4h Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers
    From 1st June 1944 to 30th June 1944
    Appendices A to G

    Location – Linton
    Commanding Officer Lt Col JAM Rice Evans
    1st June – Administration for Battalion

    2nd June – All Officers, NCOs, and Warrant Officers attending a lecture on air attack at the Granada Cinema in Maidstone.

    3rd June – CO inspected all billets.

    4th June – All officers ttended cloth model exercise by Brigade in the lines of 7RWF.

    5th June – Battalion practiced firing [small?] weapons

    6th June – Padre held service at 5/camp in Linton during D Day.

    7th June – CO addressed the Battalion today.

    8th June – Colonel of the Regiment visted Battalion. Brigadier addressed Battalion too. I Summary No.1 issued [See Appendix A]

    9th June – Defence TET for all ranks at Hollingborune, pioneers attended demonstration at Mote PK given by 555 Field Company. I summary No.2 Issued [See Appendix B]

    10th June – Admin for Battalion

    11th June – 0900 – Conference in lines of A Company for Company Comanders and staff. I Summary No.3 Issued [See Appendix C]

    12th June – Battalion practiced use of German weapons.

    13th June – CO inspected all Mechanical Transport [Battalion?][1], used German weapons again. I Sum No.4 issued. I Sum No.5 issued. [See Appendix D and E]

    14th June – Admin for Battalion, I Sum No.6 issued.

    15th June – 1015 – Conference of Battalion HQ advance party staff left under [H Griffith?]
    16th June – 1415 – Officers study period held at Battalion HQ. German pilot-less planes[2] flew over this area night 15/16 we today [hear] a mention [it was] shot down by A/A and fighters.

    17th June – 0825 – Battalion mechanical transport left Linton for marshalling area prior to embarking for France arriving at the area Tilbury that evening.
    1230 – Marching troops left Linton arriving at Marshalling area Haywards Heath that evening.

    Location – Marshalling Areas
    18th June – Battalion rested in respective marshalling areas.

    19th June – Mechanical transport Marshalling Area Tilbury were loaded about US Ship Cotton Mather. Marching troops remained at Hatwards Heath.

    20th June – Remaining personnel embarked on Cotton Mather at Tilbury, sailed out of Tilby and took position in convoy off Southend. Meanwhile marching troops at Hayward Heath remained in camp awaiting orders to move to embarkation area.

    21st June – Mechanical transport off Southend, Marching troops at Haywards Heath.

    22nd June – Mechanical transport off Southend, Marching troops at Haywards Heath.

    23rd June – Mechanical transport off Southend, Marching troops at Haywards Heath.

    24th June – Mechanical transport sailed for Normandy in convoy. Marching toops to embarkation Newhaven and sailed for Normandy.

    25th June – Marching troops disembarked area Vere 9387, France. Arriving at farm 769724 in the evening. Meanwhile the mechanical transport at sea all day arriving off coast of Normandy, at 2200 hours approx where we lay off the beach 9586.

    Location – St Andre
    26th June – Headquarters set up at 768724. Mechanical transport lay off aforementioned beach awaiting unloading.

    27th June – Mechanical transport disembarked and proceeded to area 768724.

    28th June – Battalion in concentration area 768724

    29th June - Battalion in concentration area 768724

    30th June – 0030 – Battalion moved to area Bretteville and took up defensive positions in reserve. [See Appendix G]

    [1] In text as M.T. Bn

    [2] V1
    von Poop likes this.
  2. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Ok first part of this up as well, hoping to finish this to September tomorrow.
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    July 1944 – War Diary
    4th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers
    From 1st July 1944 to 31st July 1944

    Location – Bretteville
    1st July – Battalion concentrated in Brettville area in defensive positions. See Appendix A and [illegible No.3 issued?]. In the evening Battalion took over defensive positions from 44 Brigade area 9264. Battalion HQ at 922647. 2 Companies in defensive positions at Tourville. [Appendix A + B]

    Location - Tourville
    2nd July – Battalion in defensive positions. Light Slight shell fire in the morning and afternoon. Slight activity by the low flying German aircraft.

    3rd July – Slight mortar and shelling and activity by low flying German aircraft in the evening the Battalion pulled back to Cheux and went to ground. Considerable shelling all night.

    Locaiton – Cheux
    4th July – 1300 – Battalion moved South West to area Rauray and went to ground in defensive position. Slight activity by enemy mortars.

    5th July – Slight shelling and mortar fire from enemy. Report to hand suggest Enemy building up in area Brettevillette. [See Appendix C, D + E]

    6th July – Recce patrol to Brettevillette report enemy there during evening of 5/6. Snipers report of observation on Brettevillette during daytime from position 200’x’ east of Village says No Germans in Brettevillette. Conclusions are the enemy occupy the village at night and clear out during the day. Slight mortar and arty fire.[See Appendix F+G]

    7th July – Slight shelling and mortar fire from enemy today see Appendix H.

    8th July – Now pronounced decrease in mortar fire from enemy. Orobably due to Counter Battery fire and good reporting of [same?]. [See Appendix I and J]

    9th July – Patrol under command of Lt Suttic led fighting patrol against enemy area Brettevillette, fire was exchanged. 1 enemy being killed and flare given. Patrol retired after mortar fire was brought to clear the appearance of enemy moving. [See Appendix K]

    10th July – Fighting patrol led by the Lt [Purchare] left lines and penetrated ground as follows. 884646-883649-880646-Orchards 880644. No enemy encountered. Slight shelling and mortar fire from enemy. [See Appendix L + M]

    11th July – Patrol report no enemy. Our guns shelled D Company area by mistake. [See Appendix N + O]
    12th July – Slight enemy air activity. Slight mortar fire. [See Appendix P + Q]

    13th July – Battalion moved over to Liesters and moved to concentration area. G De Farm 9070 for rest and preparation for future ops.

    Location – Le Saullets 9070
    14th July – Battalion rested as far as possible. Slight air activity from single engined fighter.

    15th July – Battalion prepared for move in connection with future ops. The Brigade came under the 15th Scottish Division from this date onward.

    16th July – Battalion moved at 0100 hours from Concentration Area to area Bas de Mouen 946653. attack by 15th Scottish Division proceeding. Battalion at 20 mins to move.
    Slight arty and mortar activity – minor casualties.

    Location – Bas de Mouen
    Battalion moved up at 2215 hours to defensive position area 925614. Enroute Tourville area 9364 bombed. C Company was under command 7 RWF to cover exits from Evrecy 9259 whilst 7 RWF attacked Mondeville 9358, supported by tanks.
    Position occupied was taken up as a firm base for attack the following involving marching on to Evrecy. Arty and mortar activity during occupation of position. Very thick ground mist.

    Location - 925614
    17th July – 7 RWF was unsuccessful and the clearing of Evrecy was cancelled. C Company returned to Battalion area.
    Battalion ordered to clear Evrecy at dusk 17th July. Throughout the day sniper activity in the cornfields south of our positions. Heavy arty and mortar fire.
    At 2100 hours A and D Companies crossed Start Line for attack on to Evrecy. B Company moved up in reserve. Artillery support for attacks arranged by the CRA. No tank support. Carrier platoon used as right flank protection.
    2115 – Lieutenant-Colonel Rice Evans wounded and evacuated. Major TG Cumberland assumed command.
    The attacked proceeding during initial stages but very heavy enemy machine gun fire was encountered. The fire came from guns in derelict tanks and hidden posts in the positions. The two leading Companies suffered very heavy casualties and were pinned down. All Officers of the three attacking Companies with the exception of one officer of D Company became non-effective and NCOs took command of the remaining men ordered a withdrawal.
    Then continued to [withdraw] from the scene of action and were organized in a defensive position in the area vacated by the [heavy puot 5??] the attack.

    18th July – Rifle Companies strength at about 0600 hours 18th July totaled in all 5 Officers and approx 150 Other Ranks. But casualties continued to [return].
    Stragglers still coming in.
    Enemy arty and mortar fire extremely heavy. Battalion organised on three Company bases.
    1500 – Battalion moved to area 920620 to fill the gap between Kings Own Scottish Borderers on right and 7 RWF (who took over positions from Gordon Highlanders) on left. A Company area 926615, B Company 927616 and C Company area 927612. Battalion HQ at 920620. [Screen positions?]

    Location - 920620
    Carrier platoon on forward slopes about 200 yards South of C and B Companies.
    Enemy arty and mortar activity throughout day.

    19th July – Brigadier ordered screen to move up to line of road Le Bon Repos 9461-Evrecy as enemy were believed to be withdrawing. Initial arrangements for Carrier platoon support by arty, were cancelled, and a platoon of B Company were ordered forward with Carriers on flank. Carriers were confronted with an self propelled gun and withdrew. Platoon of B Company then ordered to attack gun positions – 3060 100 hours. Attack preceded by 10 minute concentration by arty on line of road. Carrier platoon were to seize line of road with infantry and support. Support platoon gained line of the road and exploited Southwards. The platoon doing this passed from observations. Support by arty for further attack not possible as position of platoon was not known. Reserve section of this platoon did get lack lust no information of platoon Commander (lt Walker) or the two other sections. Attack by two platoons of B Company supported by C Company was arranged with [illegible] at 1420 hours. But Brigade Command would not permit it to proceed. Patrols all day and night failed to locate Lt Walker or his men. Activity throughout the day and night by enemy snipers and mortars.

    Location - 930620
    20th July – Quiet day – no pronounced activity.
    1800 Battalion relieved by 6 RWF. Relief completed by 2200 hours and Battalion moved into ‘just’ area South of Tourville. Battalion HQ at 923636. Slight shelling by enemy. Torrential rains.

    Location - 923626
    21st July – Day spend reorganizing men and equipment. Slight shelling by enemy – some casualties. Everything covered in mud.

    22nd July – Quiet day, still very slight enemy shelling in Battalion area.
    Lieutenant Colonel H F Tedder R War assumed command of the Battalion.

    23rd July – Battalion still in rest area. Shelling negligible.

    24th July – Quiet day with minor shelling by enemy.

    Commanding Officer – LtCol HF Tedder R War
    25th July – 0720 – CO and [officers?] moved for recce of Battalion area at Chateau de Fontain 9763.

    1520 – Battalion left area and moved to Miebord 964647 preparatory to moving into defensive positions.

    Location – Miebord 9661
    2320 – Relief of 4th and 5th Battalion Dorsets’ commenced and completed by 0140 hours 26th July. Battalion HQ at 973639. A Company at 968632. B Company at 971634, C Company at 974634. Support Company at 972640.

    26th July –Battalion area shelled and mortared throughout day, no enemy activity of any importance. Patrol during night reported activity by snipers but no enemy contacted. [See Appendix R]

    27th July – Enemy arty and mortar activity on increased scale – Nebelwerfers used several times. Enemy sniper activity during dusk and early hours of darkness quite considerable. Enemy air activity during night but no attacks made on Battalion. Patrols active during whole night. [See Appendix S]

    Location – Chaude Fontaine
    28th July – Enemy mortaring increased during daylight. Patrols active during night – endeavoring to build up tactical layout of enemy over Battalion front. [See Appendix T]

    29th July – Enemy mortaring decreased during daylight but considerable shelling and mortaring at dusk as a result of raid carried out by 160 Brigade on enemy. Patrols out at night – tactical layout of enemy becoming clearer but no identifications. [See Appendix U]

    30th July – Pioneers lifted minebelt within our lines – 451 fellowmines lifted– Slight mortaring just infantry activity throughout day – including – no enemy appears to pass by day. Our patrols active at night [See Appendix V]

    31st July – Very slight enemy activity all day. Battalion reorganized on a [face?] Company (Rifle) bases. A Company at 971640 [See Appendix X]
    1900 – A Company pulled out of area to position at Miebord 9664 to prepare for raid the following day. C Company positions occupied by A Company 7 RWF for duration of raid. C Company move 965649.
    Patrols out by night. Enemy believed to be withdrawing – enemy tanks observed moving South at dusk. [See Appendix Y]

    Lt Col Tedder,
    Comd 4 RWF
  4. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    Interesting to read/study for all who are interested in the Battle for Normandy.
  5. Thankyou Swiper, your records have led me to understand why my father used to scoff at the word Evrecy. I never realised how savage the fighting was. Thankyou.

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