National Archives catalogue reference WO 171/406

 

Abbreviations

634808

Bde

Bn

MG

OR

Posn

RAP

Regt

Sec

SP

Sqn

Map Reference

Brigade

Battalion

Machine Gun

Other Ranks

Position

Regimental Aid Post

Regt

Section

Self-Propelled

Squadron

 

 

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer : Major C.F.H. Gough

 

17th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

1020 - Glider element takes off from Tarrant Rushton.  Parachute party airborne.

 

1335 - Glider party lands.

 

1410 - Parachute personnel drop.  Troop unlucky on landing.  No.2 Section Gliders are not located and it is presumed that they had to cast off.  No.3 Section unable to remove jeeps from Glider which has had a bad crash landing.  Lieut Guthrie has a bad gun shot wound accidentally self sustained in hand.  1 O.R. casualty.

 

1745 - With the assistance of Lt.Col. Murray, Glider Pilot Regt. and two subalterns of the Glider Pilot Regt. Troop HQ Glider is unloaded at long last.

 

1750 - No.1 Section vehicles, whose Glider had had bad crash landing, join Troop intact.  Troop assembles less Jeeps already mentioned and drives of said Jeeps.

 

1755 - Troop under Capt Grubb under orders from Divisional HQ move to area 634808 and remain there for that night.  No contact made with the enemy, a very peaceful night.

 

18th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0650 - Move out from bivouac area and join Squadron.

 

0700 - Travel down the road with Squadron in the direction of Arnhem.

 

0800 - Under fire.  Sections carry out dismounted action in support of "D" Troop on North of road.  No enemy contacted.

 

0845 - Troops ordered back to deal with enemy infiltration.

 

0900 - Held down by MG and sniper fire in area 706783.  Patrol North to 707785.  Enemy located by 2 Sec on Railway Embankment 708784 in strength.  Enemy engaged with grenades.  Sec ordered to return to Troop.

 

1000 - Recce road 703784 North to 704786, enemy observed.  Civilian reports enemy to be SS. Troops.

 

1130 - Withdraw to 698785.  Capt Grubb ordered to push back to Arnhem.  No.3 Section Jeeps report in.

 

1200 - Troop HQ established 702784.  Patrols to weed out snipers make their way North of main road.  Some spirited brushes with the Germans.

 

1430 - No.2 Section Jeeps arrive by Second Lift and report to Squadron H.Q.

 

1700 - Relieved by 2nd Bn South Staffordshire Regt.  Report to Squadron.  Move with Squadron to small wood area 692785.  Commence to dig in.  That night standing watch maintained.

 

19th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0630 - Troop are out on road west to 665784.

 

0730 - Capt Grubb sites Troop HQ at 657779.  Lt Galbraith with No.2 Sec patrol Dropping Zone.  Intended to outflank and observe the town of Heelsum.  Lt Wadsworth who has taken command of No.3 Sec recce the road 656780 South to 658772.  Lt Stevenson has No.1 Section to Patrol Main Road West.

 

0900 - No.2 Sec encounter German Mk IV Tank supported by infantry.  They are observed by enemy who inflict 1 O.R. casualty.

 

1445 - Small enemy patrol cycle along the road into Lt Stevenson's Section.  One killed, two wounded and one prisoner - prisoner and wounded sent back to Sqn.  Patrol activity continued throughout the day but no further incidents occur.

 

1700 - Capt Grubb ordered to return to Squadron.

 

1800 - Troop in position to observe the railway, area 693796.  Nothing seen or heard.

 

1930 - Withdraw to Squadron.  Brush enemy and suffer 3 O.R. casualties before re-joining Squadron.  Men man trenches used on previous night.

 

20th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0630 - Troop leave harbour and proceed North to take up positions of observation.

 

0730 - Capt Grubb and Troop HQ at 696788, No.1 and 2 Sections in a small wood 697791, and No.3 Sec in N West corner of large wood 6978.

 

0800 - Lt Stevenson and Lt Galbraith's sections keep railway line under surveillance and attempt to make contact with K.O.S.B.  Owing to heavy fire the Sections are unable to make contact and withdraw to original positions.

 

1000 - No.1 and 2 Sections observe SP Guns and infantry on road 699790.  Enemy engaged by small arms fire.  Enemy withdraw and then move Section in a wide sweep where they bump No.3 Sec.  No.3 Section withdraws to 697787, leaving a small force to keep enemy occupied.

 

1100 - "D" Troop have come up in support - intention - to shove in counter attack.  Position heavily shelled and mortared, impossible to launch counter attack.

 

1400 - Capt Grubb withdraws Troop to Squadron 692785 - working West through back streets.  Skirmish evolves and one OR is wounded.

 

1430 - Reach Squadron.

 

1500 - Troop re-groups.  Set out again - this time on foot to take strong points which are to be held in the area 696783.  Three houses taken.  Windows and doors mostly shattered.  Individual positions strengthened mostly through use of furniture and mattresses.  No contact made with enemy.  The night undisturbed.

 

21st September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0700 - Patrols comb local streets but fail in raising any Germans.

 

1000 - German voices and tracked vehicles heard.  Presume that it is an SP Gun.

 

1100 - Surmise correct.  S.P. Gun shells Troop HQ and No.2 Section Strong Point.  L/Sgt Williams and Tpr {Mann} immobilise Gun with PIAT.

 

1200 - Lt Stevenson and section come under very heavy small arms fire and MG fire.  Stiff German attack closes in and uses bundled stick grenades.  Lt Stevenson evacuates house - has 1 OR casualty.  Germans occupy house.

 

1300 - House attacked and retaken with aid of PIAT.  Later set on fire by enemy Grenade and burnt down.

 

1330 - Mark VI tank blasts the house which Troop HQ and Lt Galbraith's section are holding.  Capt Grubb withdraws to house on South side of road near to 156 Parachute Bn.

 

1430 - No.1 and 3 Sections come in and stay.

 

22nd September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0900 - Long and successful patrol to KOSB position carried out by Lt Wadsworth and two O.R's.  Small parties sent out at intervals to forage for food and water.

 

1030 - Capt Allsop visits Troop.  Brings much needed PIAT bombs.  All day German troops present themselves in two's and three's to be shot.  They were obliged.

 

23rd September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

Under light mortar fire and increased sniping for the whole of the morning.  Lt Galbraith steadily increases the number of sniper kills.

 

1200 - S.P. Gun has moved in close and is systematically destroying the houses on the South side of the road.  Troop falls back through gardens to next road South.  Capt Grubb wounded and is evacuated to R.A.P.  Strong point 695787 held by Troop HQ, No.2 Section and No.3 Section.  No.1 Section hold a house in area 696788. Lt Galbraith takes command of the Troop.

 

1400 - Heavy MG fire and sniping.  Enemy patrols close in - many brief engagements, losses imposed on the German troops.  The Troop has one OR casualty.

 

24th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0100 - Lt Galbraith sites weapon pits in gardens of the houses and Sections dig in.

 

0630 - Enemy mortars open up accompanied by shellfire.  All morning enemy seeps through.  Impossible to move.  In the afternoon enemy attack repulsed and heavy losses inflicted.  Our casualties - on O.R.

 

25th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0730 - Intense MG and rifle fire.  Enemy patrols everywhere and completely dominate the situation.  Bundled stick grenades used against the house.  2 O.R's casualties.

 

0900 - Lt Galbraith orders Troop to evacuate houses and hold trenches dug previous night.

 

1500 - Troop receives orders to withdraw to area 695784 from HQ 4 Para Bde.

 

1530 - Regroup in house area 695784 just North of main Arnhem road where the Troop amalgamates with small party of Glider Pilot Regt.

 

1600 - Orders received to evacuate positions that evening and River Lek.

 

1730 - Sgt V{?} sent to contact 156 Para Bn.

 

1900 - 156 Bn come into Troop posn.

 

2000 - Troop thins out and reports into 4 Para Bde HQ.

 

2045 - Evacuation carried out with 4 Para Bde.  3 O.R.'s casualties.  Journey down to river bank compares with detailed narrative given previously. {See Troop HQ}

 

26th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0300-0400 - Majority of Troop crosses River Lek.