National Archives catalogue reference WO 171/407

 

Abbreviations

APM

Bde

Div

Assistant Provost Marshal

Brigade

Division / Divisional

 

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer : Major O.P. Haig

 

1st September 1944

Place: Stubton

 

At this time the Company is still very scattered, 3 Sections being under command of Brigades, 32 N.C.O's already in Belgium with the transport and the H.Q. and 1 Section at Brize Norton in the south of England.

 

15th September 1944

Place: Stubton

 

Gliders loaded for Operation "Market".

 

16th September 1944

Place: Stubton

 

Briefing for Operation "Market".

 

17th September 1944

Place: Stubton

 

First Lift take off for N.W. Europe; this included all the Airborne Element of the Provost Company with the exception of No.2 Section under command of 4th Para. Bde., and remainder of Advance Div. H.Q.

 

18th September 1944

Place: Stubton

 

Take off of 2nd Lift which included the remainder as mentioned above.

 

17th-25th September 1944

Place: Nr. Arnhem

 

It is impossible to give a complete picture of the Operation since contact was only made in the very early stages with Nos. 1 and 2 Sections, and of these two Sections only one N.C.O. from No.1 Section has so far returned.  At Div. H.Q. the Company Commander and all Airborne personnel landed safely, including the Jeep.  A Prisoners-of-War cage was established on some hard tennis courts and by the morning of 21st September there were some 200 prisoners, including 4 women and 2 officers.  Of the 200 prisoners taken up to this time 60% were S.S. - the remainder Wehrmacht.  There were few between the ages of 20 and 40.  After the fourth day the weather closed in and very few supplies were dropped and still less landed in the right place with a result that for five days no rations were issued to the prisoners.

 

25th September 1944

Place: Nr. Arnhem

 

Shelling and mortaring has become very heavy and snipers have infiltrated into our positions.  A.P.M. and R.S.M. both wounded.

 

26th September 1944

Place: Nr. Arnhem

 

Men were briefed for withdrawal across the river tonight at 1500 hours.  Div. H.Q. moved 2230 hours, Provost Party some 2 hours later, Cpl. Dale and L/Cpl. Storry remaining behind with the prisoners until the last Party is clear.  The Provost Party under Captain Gray ran into opposition on the way down to the river and Captain Gray received wounds from which he subsequently died.  Only one of the Party succeeded in getting across the river.  Out of a total of 5 Officers and 66 Other Ranks who took part in the Operation 1 Officer and 11 Other Ranks returned.

 

27th to 28th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

Meet up with our Seaborne transport and manage to get cleaned up a bit.

 

28th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

1500 - Talk to all those who returned by Lieut. Gen. F.A.M. Browning, Corps Commander.

 

29th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

Move to Louvain.

 

30th September 1944

Place: Brussels

 

1600 - Emplane Brussels Air Port, land Barkstone Heath 1930 hours.  A band and bacon and eggs arranged by War Office in one of the hangars.