National Archives catalogue reference WO 171/406

 

Abbreviations

673705

Bn

Div

MG

OR

Regt

RV

Tac

Tp

Map Reference

Battalion

Division

Machine Gun

Other Ranks

Regiment

Rendezvous

Tactical

Troop

 

 

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer : Major C.F.H. Gough

 

17th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

1335 - Gliders land, no casualties.  One glider, owing to its position and manner of landing gives trouble in unloading.

 

1410 - Parachute party drops, less 2 OR's - casualties.

 

1530 - Capt. Park reports to R.V. with Troop less two Jeeps and three O.R.'s who are with the glider which has not yet been unloaded.

 

1540 - Proceeds to Wolfheze under command Tac H.Q.

 

1630 - Troop deploys and closes with enemy on North flank: develops into flourish of small arms fire on both sides.  The enemy slows himself and suffers in consequence.  Sections push home advantage and become involved in fairly stiff battle.  Not one loss to the Troop.

 

1800 - Capt. Park is ordered back and Troop move with Tac H.Q. to Div. Area.

 

2100 - Troop given the job of contacting 1 Para Bn who are reported to have reached the objective in Arnhem.  In darkness the Troop gets under way, reaching the main Heelsum - Arnhem road at point 673705.  Here a big battle is in progress - out of the question to make any further progress.  Division orders the Troop to return.

 

2300 - Divisional area reached and men bivouac for night.

 

18th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0630 - Capt. Park ordered to lead Squadron Recce of main road to Arnhem.

 

0700 - Main road reached 656780.  No opposition met.

 

0800 - Troop under fire from M.G.'s 708781.  Troop dismounts.

 

0830 - Foot parties sent out to find enemy.

 

0900 - Germans located 709782.  Small local actions take place - deliver some good blows causing numerous losses to the enemy.  2 O.R.'s wounded.

 

1200 - Troop relieved by 2nd Bn South Staffords and withdraws to 701784.

 

1300 - Sections come to grips with Hun infiltration and drives them back.  Enemy leaves his dead and wounded.

 

1400 - Snipers become active and individuals ferret them out.

 

1500 - Contact made with our Troops at 704772 and 688763.

 

1800 - Troop withdrawn with Squadron and spend night with Unit.

 

19th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0630 - Pull out to Recce roads 665784, 679785 South to 666763 670769 West to Heelsum 6477.

 

1000 - Enemy seen 663774 but not engaged.

 

1300 - Encounter enemy 657767 and hit him hard.  The Germans withdraw quietly and contact is lost.

 

1400 - Patrol goes forward and comes upon enemy.  Sharp battle ensues and again he breaks off.

 

1500 - Strafed by Messerschmidts - no casualties.

 

1530 - Troop returns to vehicles 663774.

 

1600 - Strong enemy attack comes in.  Troop in a perilous state.

 

1630 - Ordered to withdraw to 1st Border Regt. 675781.

 

1700 - Retire to Div H.Q. to take new task.

 

1730 - Sent to Recce for 1st Air Landing Brigade North of main Heelsum - Arnhem road, boundaries being 703787 in the east and 708784 in the west.  1 six-pounder given for support.

 

1800 - Enemy contacted 712784.  Losses imposed on him unknown.  1 O.R. casualty.

 

2200 - Standing watch carried out on the railway from houses area 705786.

 

2345 - Return to Div. H.Q. and remain there for night.

 

20th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0630 - Capt Park regroups Troop.

 

0645 - Move to wood 698787.

 

0700 - Small enemy patrol met, fire exchanged resulting in the enemy withdrawing.

 

0800 - Positions taken in area 703787 plenty of sniping and M.G. fire.

 

1030 - Ordered to contact "A" Troop.

 

1100 - Reach "A" Troop and come under heavy fire from the enemy.

 

1300 - Hun engaged at 697787, Troop has 3 OR's casualties.

 

1400 - Retire under orders to Tac. H.Q. area.  Run into local battle and become involved.

 

1430 - Reach Tac. H.Q.

 

1500 - Move off on foot to hold houses as strong points.  695787 and 695788.

 

1600 - Houses held all day, enemy not seen.  Listening posts held all night - otherwise quiet.

 

21st September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0900 - Troop H.Q. acts as listening post for observation for own artillery - directions given over wireless.

 

1100 - Enemy tanks appear North of strong point 695787 - engaged by artillery - tanks disappear.

 

1200 - No.10 Section attacked by armoured Troop Carrier and supporting infantry.  Lieut. Marshall and 1 O.R. - casualties.  Remainder of Section drops back to Troop H.Q.

 

1300 - No.11 Section under Lieut. Hodge engages enemy and inflicts casualties.  Position eventually over-run by enemy.  Lieut. Hodge and some O.R.'s taken prisoner.  Enemy withdraws.

 

1430 - Supplies dropped in enemy lines.  Heavy fire prevents salvaging of containers.

 

1630 - Four patrols from No.12 Section goes to No.10 and 11 Section's old position and collects arms and ammunition.

 

1800 - Flourish of fire with enemy.

 

2200 - Patrols keep contact with "A" Troop and 156 Para Bn.  Wireless being out of action.

 

22nd September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

Heavy shellfire and mortar fire all morning.  Windows barricaded, trenches dug and in general a strengthening of the Troop position.

 

1600 - Capt Allsop visits Tp. H.Q. with wireless batteries.

 

2200 - Patrols maintained during night.

 

23rd September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0700 - Heavy barrage of mortar and shellfire.

 

0830 - Intense small arms fire.

 

0900 - Enemy advance, taking and holding houses on North side of Road from 692788 East to 698788.

 

1000 - Strong attacks supported by Mark VI tanks come in on road 695788 South to 694784.  Tanks engaged by anti-tank gun.  Tank destroys gun and kills crew.  Two troops O.R. Bren-gunners in support of gun wounded.  Gunners are now in positions some 200 yards from Section positions.  Tpr Smith volunteers to bring in wounded men.  Does so under intense fire.

 

1100 - Forward Section house 695787, destroyed by shells.  Sgt Pyper and Tpr Smith who make up that Section ordered to withdraw to Troop H.Q. 694787.

 

1500 - Another attack launched and comes in from East.  Troop engages and enemy fall back.

 

1600 - Stronger enemy force makes two-direction drive upon house - one from East, the other from West.  House hit by shells. 2 OR's casualties.

 

1630 - Withdraw to a house 150 yards South of position 694787.  Troop strength now - Capt. Park, Lieut. Pascal and 13 OR's.  Come under very heavy mortar fire.  Two O.R. casualties suffered in house.

 

1700 - Ordered to retake strongpoint 694787.

 

1730 - Contact "A" Troop and re-take strongpoint - enemy having fallen back to line 693788 East 697787.

 

1830 - Trenches sited and dug in part of house.  Being short of ammunition, Tpr Smith volunteers to collect some from strongpoint 695787.  Does so under fire.

 

2200 - Listening posts kept all night.

 

24th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0700 - Patrol out to draw water driven back by heavy M.G. fire.  2 O.R. casualties.  Germans wedge in and small battles take place.

 

1000 - More Hun patrols varying in strength fired upon and forced back.

 

1130 - Heavy attack launched supported by terrific mortar fire.  Capt. Park, Lieut. Pascal and 1 O.R. killed.

 

1300 - Attack in strength closes in upon position.  Sgt Pyper, Sgt Bentall and 4 men, without ammunition withdraw to house 25 yards from position and remain there.  House and vicinity completely surrounded by Germans.  Impossible to move from house.

 

25th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

Still in hiding.  Conference is held and a decision to make a run for it once night comes down is reached.

 

2000 - Troop escapes from house in pairs, Sgt Bentall and Sgt Pyper leading.

 

2130 - Contact made by Sgts Pyper and Bentall with a few Glider Pilots, who are on their way to cross the River Lek.  The remaining men fail to come in.

 

26th September 1944

Place: Arnhem

 

0200 - Sgts Pyper and Bentall cross the river.