Abbreviations

7852

A/A

Adm

Amb

Amn

A/T

Attd

Bde

Bn

Bty

CCS

Coln

Comp

Coy

CRASC

Div

Dvr

Elt

Fd

Galls

HE

Int

Locn

Lt

M/C

Med

OC

Offr

Op

OR

Pdr

Pln

Posn

Pt

RA

RASC

Rds

SP
Sup

Tp

Tpt

Veh

Map Reference
Anti-Aircraft

Administration

Ambulance

Ammunition

Anti-Tank

Attached

Brigade

Battalion

Battery

Casualty Clearing Station

Column

Composite

Company

Commander Royal Army Service Corps

Division / Divisional

Driver

Element

Field

Gallons

High Explosive

Intelligence

Location

Light

Motorcycle

Medical

Officer Commanding

Officer

Operation

Other Ranks

Pounder

Platoon

Position

Point

Royal Artillery

Royal Army Service Corps

Rounds

Start Point

Supply

Troops / Transport

Transport

Vehicle

 

 

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer : Major R. Tompkins

 

1st September 1944

Place: La Mine

 

O.C. attends C.R.A.S.C. Conference re move to Forward Area.  Preparations for move completed.  43 Vehs.  Dvrs. report to Plns.  Unit comes under command of 30 Corps.

 

2nd September 1944

Place: La Mine, Gisors

 

Coy leaves location at La Mine at 0500 hrs under Div Convoy arrangements.  Arrived Gisors 1730 hrs.  Parked up 2030 hrs.  O.C. attends Div Conference re programme for 3 Sep.  Arrangements made for drawing of Petrol in Jerricans.  Time of move off on 3 Sep. set for 0830 hrs.  A.F.W.3008/9 submitted.

 

3rd September 1944

Place: Gisors

 

Time of move off amended to 1200 hrs.  O.C. addressed personnel on subject of future action.  Further postponement of move to 1945 hrs.  Arrived Croissy(?) 2250 hrs and set up locations.  Defence measures set up.  Unit reverts to Command 2nd Army.  All vehicles stand by for use by 2nd Army.

 

4th September 1944

Place: Croissy(?)

 

Vehs. on detail to Brussels.  Arrived Arras on supplies duties.

 

5th September 1944

Place: Croissy(?)

 

Instructions received re pending move to Brussels Area, either on evening of 7th or morning of 8th Sep. in consequence of expected Div. Op.

 

6th September 1944

Move brought forward; Div moves to Amiens Area.  93 Coy to follow on morning of 7th since it is first necessary to offload ammo presently carried in order to accommodate Div Tps, the vehicles previously allotted to the Plns. being on detail.

 

7th September 1944

Place: Lot

 

Coy moves forward to Brussels Area.  Parks up for night at Lot.  5000 Gallons of Petrol collected and Petrol Point opened up for issues to Plns.

 

8th September 1944

Place: Lot, Neeryssche

 

Moved off 0815 hrs towards Louvain Area.  Progress slow.  Parked up in Neeryssche Area, Map Ref 7852.  3000 Galls. Petrol collected & distributed to Plns.  H Hour for 9 Sep. is 0900.  "D" Comp Pln situated at Map Ref 8261 (Sheet 3 Brussels. Liege) Velthem - Brysson?

 

9th September 1944

Place: Neeryssche

 

Move cancelled for today.  Rest & vehicle maintenance ordered.  Rations collected & Supply Point set up.  3000 Galls. Petrol to be collected.  A.F.W. 3008/9 submitted.

 

10th September 1944

Place: Neeryssche

 

Conflicting instructions received concerning move, viz.

(a) No move before 48 hrs

(b) Unit on 4 hrs 'Stand-by'

(c) No move before 0600 hrs 12 Sep.

 

11th September 1944

Place: Neeryssche

 

No move before 0600 hrs 13 Sep, followed by instruction to effect no move for 3 or 4 days.  Maintenance & unit training to proceed.

 

12th September 1944

Place: Neeryssche

 

Normal maintenance etc.

 

13th September 1944

Place: Neeryssche

 

Notification received no move before 0600 hrs, 15 Sep.

 

14th September 1944

Place: Neeryssche

 

Warning Order received for move on 15 Sep to Area Lilo.  Accident occurs with Sten Gun in which one civilian of Neeryssche was killed.  Statements taken from all witnesses & passed to Div Provost Coy & local Police.

 

15th September 1944

Place: Neeryssche, Helchteren

 

Coy moves off 0625 hrs.  Arrive Lilo Area 1000 hrs.  Sets up location.  Showers & baths provided by Pit Head Baths nearby.  Capt. Richards visits [F.A.G.?] at 30th Corps H.Q. re accident involving death of civilian at Neeryssche.  Summary of Evidence taken, submitted to [F.A.G.?]

 

16th September 1944

Place: Heltchteren

 

A.F.W. 3008/9 submitted.  C.R.A.S.C. Adm Order No.1 received re division of unit into 2 blocks for move to link up with Airborne Element.

 

17th September 1944

Place: Heltchteren

 

Div Op 'Garden' takes place.  Op Instruction issued by Div HQ for linking up of Seaborne - Airborne Elements.  Block 1 to move on 18th Sep, followed later by Block 2.  Sup. Pt. opened 1100 - 1300 hrs.

 

18th September 1944

Place: Heltchteren

 

Lt. Col. Curtis visits Groups to ensure preparedness.  No move for column A before 1200 hrs 19 Sep. reported.  Int Summary No.1 received from Div HQ (Seaborne) states no contact made as yet with Airborne Elt.

 

19th September 1944

Place: Heltchteren

 

Sup. Pt. opens 0900 - 1030 hrs.  Reported no move before first light 20th Sep.  Column 'A' to move past S.P. 0600 hrs 20 Sep.  No move likely for Column 'B' during hours of daylight 20 Sep.

 

20th September 1944

Place: Heltchteren

 

Column A moves off past S.P. 0600 hrs but is held up at bridge over Escaut Canal, which Germans were mortaring.  Defence was set up and column 'dug in' ready for action.  Remained in this posn. for rest of the day.  Column B no move today.

 

21st September 1944

Place: En Route

 

Column A. - 'Stand-to' 0400 - 0600 hours.  Received instructions at 0600 to be at 1 hrs notice to move.  Moved off 2200 hrs.  Very difficult night trip.  Road not policed.  Great shortage of maps.  Unable to see signs owing to blackout.  28 Vehs took wrong road & narrowly escaped falling into enemy hands.

 

Column B moves off from Heltchteren.  Progress very slow as roads heavy with armoured vehs + other tpt.

 

22nd September 1944

Place: En Route

 

Column A - Parked up at 0515 hrs on roadside.  1 x 3 ton Austin attd to 133 Fd. Amb. has radiator smashed.  This necessitated the off-loading of 1 Amn Vehicle & spreading its load over the remaining vehicles.  The empty veh. was then instructed to collect the Med Comforts from the smashed veh.  Instruction received for move forward at 1100 hrs.  Halted at [T.C.P.?] to allow 1st Guards Armd Bde to pass.  At 1500 hrs column ordered to 'stand-to' owing to enemy break through at Uden, North of Eindhoven.  At 1520 hrs column moved forward to posn. 5 Kms North of Grave.  Personnel 'dug-in' at this point.  At 1800 hrs column proceeded to unit location South of Nijmegen.  Sentries posted & personnel instructed to rest.

 

Column B - Arrived Eindhoven 0600 hrs.  Departed 0700 hrs.  Held up at Veghel owing to enemy having cut the road near Uden.  Instructions received for move back to Eindhoven Area due to probable battle in Uden Area.

 

23rd September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

Column A - At approx. 0100 hrs Guards 25 Pdr Bty situated near location put up strong barrage.  Reveille 0630.  Vehicle & Arms Maintenance carried out.  501 Rds of 50 m.m. Ammo issued to American Airborne Ordnance.  2 x 3 ton loads of Amn. taken to Driel.  See Appendix G.  4 x 3 ton loads of Amn + 1 x 3 ton load of Compo taken to Driel.  See Appendix H.  2 Dvrs, part of Second Lift, report to unit location.  See Appendix J.

 

Place: En Route

 

Column B - At 0200 hrs returned to Eindhoven Area & parked up.  50 Div went forward all during the day.  Order received for move at 1900 hrs to link up with Coln 'A'.  'Dug-in' for night South of Veghel.  A.F.W. 3008/9 submitted.

 

24th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

Column A - Await opportunity to get through to Div Airborne Elt.  Expect arrival of remains of unit with Column B.  They arrive at 1100 hrs.

 

Column B - Moved off 0700 hrs & arrived Nijmegen 1100 hrs and linked up with Column A Party.  Evidence of heavy engagement having been fought around Uden.

 

25th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

1300 hrs.  Order received to off-load vehicles in readiness to move up towards Arnhem Area to pick up Airborne Elt. personnel.  Vehs. not required eventually.  1 x 3 ton of Amn. delivered to Polish Para Bde.  See Appendix L.  10 x 3 ton proceeded to 3 C.C.S. to collect stretchers & deliver them to Airborne Elt. location.  4500 Rations also delivered to this locn. together with 2000 Sup. of Medical Comforts.

 

26th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

2 x 3 ton report to Airborne [A.D.Od.?] to collect clothing.  Instructions received to issue to 82 Airborne Div (U.S.) all 75 m.m. & 2104 Rds 6 Pdr.  This was collected by the Americans.  80 Rds of 6 Pdr. issued to 2 A/T Bty R.A.  30 x 3 ton vehs. instructed to proceed to bridge South of Nijmegen to assist in the transportation of Polish Para Bde to Grave.  Location was recced for expected arrival of B Pln from U.K. [today?].  Lt. Lyon bringing Jeeps, trailers, M/Cs.  Guide sent to Air Strip to lead party to locn.  S.P. opened 1600 hrs.  P.P. opened 1600 hrs.  Bomb landed near 'D' Pln lines.  Dvr struck by piece of shrapnel but no injury reported.  Constant enemy air activity during the day.  1 Veh. of 'A' Pln struck by Anti-Personnel Bomb & burnt out.  No casualties.  Lt Lyon reports with 53 O.Rs, 40 Jeeps & trailers & 5 M/Cs from U.K.  1 Vehicle runs into shell hole in darkness and is damaged beyond repair.  No casualties.  1 Vehicle smashes into a tree & is badly damaged.  Dvr. taken to hospital, suffering from concussion.

 

27th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

Instructions received for Advance Party of 1 Offr & 1 O.R. to proceed to U.K.  Capt Crews and 1 Dvr. depart 0900.  S.P. opened 1600 hrs.  'B' Pln proceed on petrol duties.  Capt. Crews & 1 Dvr. report to location as no aircraft available.  Instructions received for departure of Seaborne Tail to U.K.  93 Coy to convey personnel of Para Units to Deist on 28 Sep.  Coy to remain under command [D.D.S.T.?] Airborne Tps and return later to U.K.  Heavy artillery, Aircraft activity.

 

28th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

Capt. Crews & 5 O.Rs depart as Advance Party to U.K.  25 x 3 ton vehicles carry Para Bn personnel to Deist Airfield.  43 x 3 ton carry Seaborne Elt. to coast for return journey to U.K.  Heavy enemy air activity between 1900 and 2300 hrs.  Some shelling.  No casualties reported.  Instructions received for 20 x 3 ton to stand by from 0600 29 Sep. to assist in move of Lt A/A Bty.

 

29th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

10 Vehicles return from Deist.  1 Jeep on detail to Brussels carrying Col. [Bond D.D.S.T.?]

 

30th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

2 x 3 ton on detail to Brussels.  A.F.W. 3008/9 submitted.  Lt. Martin returns from Deist with 15 x 3 ton.  Reported injury to 1 Dvr. from shrapnel owing to enemy shelling of road near Eindhoven.  Some damage to car.

 

 

Appendix G

 

On 23 Sep at approx 1700 hours 2 x 3 ton vehicles loaded with 75mm HE, 6 Pdr and 17 Pdr were instructed to proceed with a Major of the Royal Artillery to DRIEL, West of ARNHEM.

 

The intention was to ferry this load of Ammunition across the RHINE.

 

The vehicles were unable to get through on account of heavy enemy fire and so took cover 1 mile SOUTH of DRIEL.

 

At 241100 they proceeded to the Ferry and off-loaded the Ammunition at the Ferry Head.

 

They then returned to unit location.

 

 

Appendix H

 

At 231730 A, 4 x 3 ton loaded with Ammunition and 1 x 3 ton of Compo, proceeded to DRIEL, led by Capt Millar and Sgt Smith.

 

They were held up at VALBURG until 231915 as a battle was in progress 3 miles North East at ELST.  They were advised to harbour for the night and proceed at first light.

 

At 240700 A they proceeded to DRIEL and off-loaded the Ammunition at the Polish Para Bde H.Q.  During the off-loading period of approx 4 hours they were under constant fire from Mortars, Shells and Aircraft.  1 x 3 ton of Compo Packs remained with the Polish Forces.

 

During the return journey of the 4 x 3 ton, shells were dropping around the road for approx the first mile of the trip.  The vehicles reported to unit lines at 241300 with no casualties to report.

 

 

Appendix J

 

At 1600 hours on the 23 Sep. Dvrs Speller and Clark of this unit reported to Coy location at NIJMEGEN.

 

They stated that together with 8 other members of this unit SECOND LIFT, they took off in Gliders from HARWELL AERODROME, U.K., at 181215 A.  Their Glider, which was No 4, was hit by Flak and made a forced landing at MOLENBROOK, Sheet 2A and 3A, Map Ref 3647.  They salvaged their Jeep and, with the assistance of 2 Dutch Patriots reached the American lines.  They then made their way to this unit location.

 

 

Appendix L

 

At 1300 Hours on 25 Sep 1 x 3 ton proceeded to the Polish Para Bde H.Q. at DRIEL under command of Sgt Smith.

 

1 mile NORTH EAST of VALBURG the road was very soft and in a bad state due to tanks.  At 1430 hrs 2 miles SOUTH of DRIEL the vehicle skidded into the ditch, but was retrieved with the assistance of a 'Duck' and proceeded forward.

 

At approx 1 mile SOUTH of DRIEL the road gave way under the near-side wheels causing the vehicle to slide into the ditch.  Efforts were made with the help of two tanks to recover it, but without success.  The vehicle was then off-loaded, the ammunition being carried over the bridge and stacked under a tree.  Sgt Smith then commandeered the first empty vehicle which passed; this was a 'Duck'.  The ammunition was loaded into this vehicle which then proceeded with Sgt Smith to Polish Bde H.Q., arriving there at 251610 A.

 

The Polish Bde refused to accept the ammunition in daylight on account of their location being under constant enemy observation.  They agreed, however, to sign for it.

 

Sgt Smith then proceeded to the location of the 'Duck' Coy which was situated approx 1 mile SOUTH of DRIEL.  He there made arrangements with an RASC Officer to have the ammunition taken up at dusk.  During this time, Allied Mitchell Bombers, escorted by Tempests and Typhoons made a bombing attack on the enemy artillery positions, which were situated on the high ground NORTH of the RHINE.  1 Mitchell and 1 Typhoon were seen to crash; one pilot, it is thought, came down just inside the Polish Positions.

 

Sgt Smith then returned to Coy lines and reported the location of the ditched vehicle.  Instructions were then given to Workshops to recover this vehicle.  This was duly completed on the morning of the 26th Sep.