National Archives catalogue number WO 171/394.

 

Abbreviations

918274

AA

Adm / Admin

ADOS

Adv

AEC

Airtps

A/Ldg

Amb

Amn

Bde

Bldg

Br

Coln

Comd

Comp

Conc

Coy

CREME

DAA & QMG

DAQMG

DCA

DDME

DDOS

Div

DP

Ech
Eqpt

Est

ETA

Fd

Fm

Fwd

Gd

Gp

GSO

Hy

Inf

Infd

Infm

Instrs

Int

KOSB

LO
L of C

MR

NAAFI

OC

Offrs

Op

OR

Ord

Pet

Pk

Pl

Pr

Pro

RA

RASC

Rd

Rds

Recd

Recon

REME

Reps

Rfts

RV

SAA

Sigs

SO Edn

SP

Str

Sups

T

Tac
Tps

Tpt

Trg

u/

Veh

w.e.f.

Xrds

Map Reference

Anti-Aircraft

Administration

Assistant Director Ordnance Services

Advance

Army Educational Corps

Airborne Troops

Airlanding

Ambulance

Ammunition

Brigade

Building

Bridge

Column

Commander

Composite

Concentration

Company

Commander Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General

Deputy Assistant and Quartermaster General

Deputy Commander Artillery

Deputy Director Mechanical Engineers

Deputy Director Ordnance Services

Division / Divisional

Delivery Point

Echelon

Equipment

Established

Estimated Time of Arrival

Field
Farm

Forward

Guard

Group

General Staff Officer

Heavy

Infantry

Informed

Information

Instructions

Intelligence

King's Own Scottish Borderers

Liaison Officer

Line of Communication

Map Reference

Navy Army Air Force Institute

Officer Commanding

Officers

Operation

Other Ranks

Ordnance

Petrol

Park

Platoon

Pounder

Provost

Royal Artillery

Royal Army Service Corps

Road

Rounds

Received

Reconnaissance

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Representatives

Reinforcements

Rendezvous

Small Arms Ammunition

Signals

Senior Officer Education?

Start Point

Strength

Supplies

Transit

Tactical

Troops

Transport

Training

Under-

Vehicle

With Effect

Crossroads

 

Month and year: August 1944

Commanding Officer: Major R.D. Sellon K.O.S.B.

 

13th August 1944

Place: Grantham

 

0615 - Seaborne Ech - approx str 84 offrs, 2,180 O.Rs. with 1,100 vehs moved - S.P. STAMFORD.  D.P. WOODFORD. thence to Transit Camps S2, S3, and S5 East end of LONDON.

 

Place: London

 

2000 - All units complete in transit camps.  Additional pet (4 jerricans per veh) and amn (9 rds 75mm or 6-pr) loaded in all vehs (cars 4 str, Trucks 15 cwt & lorries 3-ton).

 

14th August 1944

Place: London

 

0800 - Veh loading into Liberty ships commenced at EAST and WEST INDIA DOCKS, also VICTORIA and ALBERT DOCKS.

 

1700 - Personnel called fwd from transit camps.

 

1900 - Loading completed and ships move down Thames.

 

15th August 1944

Place: London

 

Maj R.D. Sellon - 7 K.O.S.B. (Comd - Seaborne Ech) and Capt Hon J.B. Coventry (Staff Capt Q) moved independently with jeep and trailer, batmen & driver from Blakehill Farm to Air strip B.14 near BANVILLE to arrange seaborne ech reception.

 

Place: La Mine

 

1500 - Comd and Staff Capt proceeded to 21 Army Gp (Main) to contact Col Poole (Q Plans).  Lt-Col. Curtis, Commander designate of whole Airborne Tps (Seaborne Ech) arrived by air and contacted during evening.

 

16th August 1944

Place: Courselles

 

1730 - Seaborne Ech anchored off beaches for night.

 

Place: La Mine

 

Comd and Staff Capt spent day making arrangements for move of Div on arrival to conc area allotted near LA MINE.  During day visits made to 21 Army Gp (Main), 21 Army Gp (Rear), HQ L of C, HQ 5 L of C S/Area, Beach HQ Courselles, and Goldsmith Transit Camp at ST CROIX-SUR-MER.  Recce carried out of conc area - area sub-allotted to Gps.

 

17th August 1944

Place: Mike Beaches

 

0830 - Seaborne Ech begins to land on beaches and go direct to Goldsmith Transit Camp.  Gp Comds and Pro, followed later by unit reps proceed ahead to carry out more detailed recce of conc area.  Move from Goldsmith T. Camp to D.P. at N.E. corner of conc area under movement control arrangements, Pro being provided by 21 Army Gp.

 

Place: La Mine

 

2000 - Div complete (except scattered elements) in conc area.

 

1800 - Div HQ est at Fm bldgs - 681756.

 

1830 - Adm conference held Div HQ - this conference to be held nightly in future.  u/Adm - HQ 5 L of C. Sub-Area.

 

18th August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

1200 - Rear elements proceeded from Goldsmith Transit Camp - whole div ech complete in conc area.  Day spent in settling in conc area - digging slit trenches, making rds etc.

 

19th August 1944

Place: Courselles

 

1000 - Polish Para Bde (Seaborne Ech) str 15 offrs 188 O.Rs with 144 vehs u/comd, land and pass over beaches to Goldsmith Transit Camp.  Met there by Comd (Seaborne ech) and Pro to guide to conc area already recced for them.  Unfortunately many vehs got separated and did not arrive Transit Camp and at end of day 53 vehs still missing - many being reported heading for front line in CAEN direction.

 

1900 - Comd visited Col Poole - 21 Army Gp (Q Plans) and informed all tpt in 21 Army Gp pooled that 93 and 250 Comp. Coys R.A.S.C. would be required in that pool and must be off loaded forthwith.  As loss of these coys would immobilise whole element, matter referred on phone to duty offr HQ Airborne Tps.  HQ Airborne Tps (Seaborne Ech) expected to arrive, but message received during evening report 'They are NOT coming'.  Mobile N.A.A.F.I. allocated to Div.  Maps covering local areas issued to all Gps.  S.O. Edn and A.E.C. instructors commenced language and ABCA classes throughout Div and produce daily news sheet entitled 'PEGASUS'.

 

20th August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

0930 to 1825 - Comd spent time on air strip B.4 waiting arrival by air of Comd Polish Para Bde and staff - did NOT arrive.  1 Airborne Div & Polish Para Bde (Seaborne Echs) under op comd - OC Seaborne Element, HQ Airborne Tps.  Minimum of tentage obtained and sub-allotted to Gps - sufficient to ensure every man has cover either in tentage, improvised shelters, barns and in or under vehs.

 

21st August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

Bare minimum additional tentage obtained 5 L of C to cover perishable articles offloaded from RASC tpt with RASC, Bdes, Div Tps etc.  Tentage obtained in nick of time, all men had cover and generally comfortable, extremely cheerful.  Continual light rain throughout day.  3 Cinema shows 'Dangerous Blondes' scheduled in recreational tent.  Due to leakage in tent, film damaged on first performance and subsequent shows had to be cancelled.

 

1900 - Local Cinema at LA MINE requisitioned for future film and ENSA shows.

 

2000 - 93 and 250 Comp Coys u/control 21 Army Gp Pool and at 24 hrs notice.  Recreational tpt to BAYEUX sanctioned (5% only NIGHTLY).

 

22nd August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

Fine day, rds and fields very muddy after previous rain - Div spent day largely improving communications, veh maintenance and general adm.  Trg programmes commence.  Polish Para Bde at last reported almost complete in conc area - only 3 vehs missing.

 

1100 - Message recd from Airborne Tps ordering Lt-Col. Kinvig (CREME), Capt Arnsby (SOPT) and Capt Bunzley (DCA) to return U.K.  Tpt and passage arranged and party left approx 1300 hrs.  Div Location Statement issued.

 

23rd August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

Movement Instruction No.1 issued.

 

24th August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

Recce for and improvising local ranges for trg purposes.  Welfare equipment recd and issued throughout Gps.  S.O. Edn acting as Welfare offr.

 

26th August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

Polish Para Bde Gp u/adm control HQ 5 L of C. Sub-Area through Seaborne Echelon.

 

29th August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

1000 - Message from 21 Army Gp ordering following to return to U.K. - to proceed to Star Assembly Area 955847 by 1900 hrs.  REME - wireless jeep and trailer plus crew, HQ RASC jeep, trailer, one offr, 3 O.Rs. 250 Comp Coy.  25 jeeps & trailers, 1 W.O. 29 O.Rs. fitters kits etc.  Each Para Fd Amb 8 O.Rs.  181 Fd Amb 15 O.Rs.

 

1100 - Message from 5 L. of C. ordering One Pl 93 Comp Coy return U.K. during day.

 

1645 - Both parties, under comd Capt Naylor R.A.S.C. left LA MINE for STAR assembly area - move completed 2200 hrs.

 

31st August 1944

Place: La Mine

 

0730 - Message from 5 L of C - w.e.f. 2300 hrs 30 Aug 93 Comp Coy at 24 hrs to move - vehs recalled and loading started.

 

2200 - Message from Airborne Tps - warning probable move first light 2 Sep.  All units informed immediately.

 

 

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer: Major R.D. Sellon K.O.S.B.

 

1st September 1944

Place: La Mine

 

0800 - Units arranging for probable move.

 

1300 - Information received Seaborne Ech would move first light 2 Sep to Conc area SOUTH of CISORS.

 

1330 - Conference called at Div H.Q. at which all movement details issued verbally.

 

1645 - Staff Capt 'Q' and small adv party each unit proceeded to new location.

 

2200 - Comd received orders from G.S.O.1 (Ops), 21 Army Gp to contact 30 Corps Rear H.Q. near PACY SUR EURES - SOUTH of the SEINE.

 

2nd September 1944

Place: Cisors

 

0800 - Adv party arrived new location, carried out recon for main body.

 

Place: La Mine

 

0530 - Comd proceeds independently to contact 30 Corps, but finds on arrival at M.R. given 30 Corps Rear left there 48 hrs before.  Obtained possible fwd location, some 100 miles further on, from H.Q. 43 Div - this was confirmed later at Field Marshal Montgomery's Tac H.Q. encountered by chance en route.  30 Corps contacted about 1730 hrs 10 miles SOUTH of AMIENS.  Made arrangements for sups, pet fwd move next day, probably to ARRAS area, from which Comp and party could go forward to contact Airborne Tps.

 

0530 - 1 Airborne Div and Polish Bde H.Q. on ground that night or early next day in LILLE area.  Comd proceeds 65 miles to Seaborne Ech in conc area and conference to arrange next day's move held.

 

0530 - Seaborne Ech (Main Body) move off from area LA MINE via by-pass BAYEAU - CAEN - LISEUX - EVREUX - VERNON - THILLIRURS - SUR EURES - CISORS.

 

Place: Cisors

 

2200 - Div H.Q. established CHATEAU of CISORS - only recently evacuated by German medical unit.  Whole of Ech under Comd 30 Corps.

 

2330 - Move completed - tps dispersed for night, mainly in and around local wood.  Party remained overnight prepared to move 0900 hrs, 3 Sep.

 

3rd September 1944

Place: Cisors

 

0600 - Comd proceeds independently to 30 Corps Rear H.Q. with Lt. Hopkins, A.P.I.S. and Lt. Drake, R.A.S.C. as 'G' and 'Q' L.Os.  On arrival at 0800 hrs, informed Operation LINNET cancelled.  - decided to remain in a temporary area 15 miles S. of AMIENS.

 

1015 - Staff Capt Q and Gp reps proceed independently to recce temporary area for halt clear of rd about 15 miles S. of AMIENS from Seaborne Ech would be later called fwd to ARRAS area on orders issued by 30 Corps, when rds sufficiently clear.  As already stated above, owing to Operation LINNET being cancelled, it is later decided to stay over night.

 

1030 - Due to inability to obtain pet at F.M.C. ordered by 30 Corps to produce it, unable to proceed as arranged at 0900 hrs - move off postponed until 1200 hrs.

 

1130 - Move again postponed until 1500 hrs, as pet still not obtained.

 

1500 - Move on to area CREVECOEUR - CONTY.  Move completed by approx 2230 hrs - scattered elements arriving during night.

 

Place: Crevecoeur

 

Scattered parties Germans rounded up and handed over to Pro Coy for onward transmission to nearest P.O.W. Cage.

 

2000 - Div H.Q. est in building CREVECOEUR - M.R. 918274 (previously occupied by Hitler Youth Movement).

 

2100 - Conference held at Div H.Q. to arrange local admin.

 

2115 - Message received from Comd, Seaborne Bodies, Air tps (new title decided on S.D., 21 Army Gp), originated at 1730 hrs, that Ech not now under Comd 30 Corps, but under 2nd Army (through him) for Op Comd and 2nd Army Tps direct for Admin.  No move from present (CONTY) area for 24 hrs after arrival.  Second line tpt required for work of exceptional importance (100 3-ton lorries of 93 Coy, R.A.S.C. and units) to be off- loaded and ready to move 0800 hrs, 4 Sep.

 

2300 - Message received instructing no move for 48 hrs, day spent on veh maintenance and settling in.

 

4th September 1944

Place: Crevecoeur

 

Div settling in area sub-allotted to them.

 

1100 - Message from Div L.O., 30 Corps (Lt Hopkins) instructing Ech to move NORTH of VITRY - M.R. 6304, route via DIAMOND to ARRAS and then via CAVRELLE and FRESNES (30 Corps H.Q. located S.W. of LILLE. M.R. 6425).  In view of message from Comd, Seaborne Bodies no action taken.

 

1200 - Lt. Hopkins arrived and in accordance with instructions remained at Div H.Q.

 

5th September 1944

Place: Crevecoeur

 

Location Statement issued Attached at Appx 'A'.

 

1600 - All units warned possible move BRUSSELS area evening 7 Sep, more likely morning 8 Sep (to be completed in 2 days).  R.A.S.C. tpt details for 6 Sep cancelled.

 

2115 - Units informed move starts 0600 hrs, 7 Sep.  Adv recce parties move BRUSSELS 6 Sep.

 

1800 - Dance and Reception for Div Tps held in local garage, many local inhabitants and F.F.I. attend.  F.F.I. caused a scene by turning out all girls at pistol point, who had anything to do with the Germans during their occupation.

 

6th September 1944

Place: Crevecoeur

 

0045 - Gps informed move put fwd.  Short move to area N.E. of AMIENS not before 1300 hrs, 6 Sep.  Long move to BRUSSELS area, 7 Sep.  Normal recce parties report Staff Capt 'Q' outside LAAKEN Palace, BRUSSELS, at 061545 hrs. to meet Comd, Seaborne Bodies for instrs.  Recce parties for short move report Comd, Seaborne Ech x-rds N.1561, 1400 hrs.  Airborne Corps Tps under comd for move purposes only.

 

0900 - Staff Capt 'Q' and adv party proceed to BRUSSELS area.

 

0930 - Conference held Div H.Q. when all movement instrs issued verbally.

 

1030 - Main body adv recce parties for short move proceeded to area N.E. of AMIENS.

 

1300 - Main body, Seaborne Ech move off - S.P. - x-rds ROSSIGNOL 053416 - turn left ST. SAUFLIEU-HEBICOURT - DURY - AMIENS - D.P. x-rds 116583 (on rd from AMIENS to ALBERT)

 

2000 - Div dispersed for night - Div H.Q. est farm cottage M.R. 5344.

 

7th September 1944

Place: Amiens

 

0530 - Move scheduled to start at 0600 hrs - owing to refuelling difficulties, move postponed until 0900 hrs.

 

0900 - Main body moved off - AMIENS - ALBERT - BAPAUME - ARRAS - DOUAI - ORCHIES - TOURNAI - ARTH - ENGHEN with D.P. at x-rds 4039.  Div H.Q. est at cottage N.W. of HAL.

 

Place: Enghen

 

2230 - Whole Ech (except scattered vehs) past D.P. and in temporary locations N.W. Hal.

 

8th September 1944

Place: Hal

 

0800 - Seaborne Ech move off by-passing BRUSSELS, 1200 hrs - Ech parked temporarily on roadside outside LOUVAIN, and orders received to move into bivvy area S.W. of LOUVAIN

 

Place: Louvain

 

1500 - Ech commenced dispersing to area LOUVAIN - MOORBEEK - OVERYSSCHE - LOONBEEK 7950 - TERVUEREN - 7543.

 

1610 - Div H.Q. est at TERBAN MONASTERY, J.8456.

 

1800 - Conference held Div H.Q.

 

2000 - Return requested of missing vehs and list of vehs requiring local repair and those requiring replacement. 

 

2030 - Units warned - no move before 0900 hrs, 10 Sep.

 

9th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

Rest Day throughout Div, except for local veh maintenance.

 

1430 - Civil Reception for British tps held at LOUVAIN.  Offrs attended opening ceremony.

 

1515 - Notification - At Unit Comds discretion 50% personnel may proceed to LOUVAIN or nearest village (NOT BRUSSELS).

 

2100 - Statement fwd to Comd, Seaborne Bodies of vehs requiring replacement.

 

2245 - Verbal message vis Comd. Seaborne Bodies L.O. - No move under 48 hrs.

 

1430 - Reps REME and ADOS proceeded to contact Comd, Seaborne Bodies at HQ 30 Corps, to arrange veh replacements on AFG.

 

1043 - Being unable contact Comd, Seaborne Bodies, information passed to REME and ADOS, 30 Corps.

 

10th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

0700 - All Gps informed - No move 48 hrs.  Veh maintenance will continue.

 

0915 - All Gps informed - In view of written message 'No move before 1100 hrs 10 Sep' notification of message orientated at 0700 hrs must be held in abeyance pending confirmation.  All Gps placed at 4 hrs notice.

 

1500 - All Gps informed no move before 0600 hrs 12 Sep - at 6 hrs notice from 2359 hrs 11 Sep.

 

1500 - NAAFI rations to be drawn 11 Sep.

 

11th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

1300 - Gps informed no move probable before 0600 hrs 13 Sep - six hrs notice to move from 2359 hrs 12 Sep.  50% offrs and men allowed out nearest village or LOUVAIN (No recreational tpt).

 

1307 - Gps informed Flannagan and Allen, Florence Desmond, and Kay Cavendish will give show at Div HQ 1530 hrs - 100 Each Gp may attend.

 

1530 - ENSA show given in grounds Div HQ.

 

1830 - Gps warned improbable any move for 3 or 4 days.  Six hrs notice cancelled.  Trg to commence gp arrangements.

 

12th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

1030 - Permission obtained for limited amount recreational tpt to BRUSSELS, 12 13 and 14 Sep.  Throughout Ech, 22 lorries allowed daily, for period 1500 to 2300 hrs.  50% offrs and men allowed out of div.  Area at any one time, including local village, LOUVAIN and BRUSSELS.  Pro to provide patrols in BRUSSELS and LOUVAIN, to check turnout, behaviour, and passes.

 

1030 - Owing to grave shortage jerricans, empties to be collected and return to Pet Pt forthwith.

 

1745 - Amn Depot located at FORET DE MEERDAEL M.R. 8650.  RA Gp detailed provide gd for night, to await relief from 30 Corps.

 

13th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

1630 - Informed and Gps warned - No move before 0600 hrs 15 Sep.  Gps at 6 hrs notice w.e.f. 2359 hrs 14 Sep.

 

1700 - At request 30 Corps, detailed list of eqpt, bedding, clothing etc submitted to Comd Seaborne Bodies, including kit coming airborne and that carried seaborne for both airborne and seaborne parties.

 

1800 - Visit by Col Loring (DDOS) and Col. Shorrock (DDME) HQ Airtps.

 

2000 - Major General Urquhart, Comd 1 Airborne Div, Lt-Col Loder-Symonds, Maj D.J. Madden G2 (Air) together with pilot arrived by plane and stayed night.

 

2005 - OC REME Workshops and OC Ord Fd Pk instructed to report DDME and DDOS respectively at airfield LOUVAIN 1000 hrs 14 Sep.

 

2055 - Gp Comds informed RV Div HQ 0845 hrs 14 Sep to meet Gen. Urquhart.

 

2227 - Comd Corps Tps also infd meet Gen. Urquhart - 0845 hrs 14 Sep.

 

14th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

0900 - Gp Comds and Staff offrs addressed by Maj-Gen Urquhart - Conference Room Div HQ.

 

0930 - Maj-Gen Urquhart and staff offrs left Div HQ.

 

1200 - Gps warned - usual recce parties report Comd Seaborne Bodies, at 30 Corps REAR (N of DIEST) 1500 hrs - Kits to be taken.  LOs to report same place 0900 hrs 16 Sep.  Movement conference Div HQ 1700 hrs.  DAA & QMG 1 A/Ldg Bde report this HQ 1500 hrs owing alteration order of march.

 

1430 - Staff Capt (Q) left Div HQ in charge recce parties. 

 

15th September 1944

Place: Louvain

 

0700 - Main body move off via DIEST - BEERINGEN - to conc area LIAO - HELCHTEREN Sheet 3 K37.  Move completed by approx 1145 hrs.

 

Place: Helchteren

 

1210 - Tac HQ est at CAPE map ref 3575.

 

1210 - Infm recd from Comd. Seaborne Bodies that further elt Corps Tps now moving in our coln placed under Seaborne Ech forthwith.

 

16th September 1944

Place: Helchteren

 

1545 - Gps infd no further move to-day.  8 hrs notice wef 0600 hrs 17 Sep.  Ech split up into 3 colns for future move fwd - details at Appx 'B' attd.

 

2315 - All Units concerned issued with Serial Nos for movement purposes - see Appx 'C'.

 

17th September 1944

Place: Helchteren

 

1000 - Gp Comds A plus selected offrs Coln 2 and 3 met Comd Seaborne Bodies at HQ 30 Corps Rear when preliminary instrs given verbally.

 

1145 - Offrs attending conference 1000 hrs warned to meet same location 1730 hrs to receive detailed orders.

 

18th September 1944

Place: Helchteren

 

0745 - Adm Instrs issued by Comd Seaborne Bodies concerning move distributed to Unit level - no spare copies held this HQ.

 

0935 - No move for Coln A before 1500 hrs - half hrs notice from 1430.

 

1027 - Report centre of move to Ech SP will be est at x-rds HELCHTEREN at H - 20 mins.

 

1320 - Gps informed no move before 1600 hrs - unlikely to take place before first light 19 Sep.  Coln A to be formed up on side rd and tracks by 1500 hrs.  Tps confined to bivvy area.

 

1507 - No move before 1800 hrs.

 

1657 - Gps informed no move Coln A before 1200 hrs 19 Sep.

 

1735 - Int Summary No.1. issued. 

 

19th September 1944

Place: Helchteren

 

1150 - Code names throughout op issued to all Gps.

 

1150 - Int Summary No.2 issued.

 

1235 - Gps informed no move A before 1700 hrs.  Executive order probably extremely short notice.  No official halts from during night or if held up.  Normal recce parties report Div HQ 1700 hrs.

 

1515 - Gps notified no move to-day.  Probable move first light tomorrow.  Recce parties need not now report 1700 hrs.

 

1940 - Message from Comd Seaborne Bodies 'Be prepared to move 0600 hrs 20 Sep'.  Rfts Corps Sigs ETA tomorrow (50 vehs 235 personnel) will now move coln B.

 

2000 - Instructed Gp Comds Coln A to be ready to move 0600 hrs 20 Sep.  Normal recce parties will r.v. Tac HQ 0545 hrs.  Comds colns B and C informed of ETA Sigs and to make all arrangements.

 

1900 to 2303 - Definite move order.  Comd Gp leaves location 0550 hrs 20 Sep passing Div HQ 0600 hrs.  Other gps follow as arranged.  No move coln B daylight 20 Sep.  Probable no move Coln C before 22 Sep. 

 

20th September 1944

Place: Helchteren


0550 - Col A moved off via 30 Corps SP map ref 355961 and was instructed to park temporarily 5 miles NORTH of ESCAUT CANAL on rd to EINDHOVEN.

 

0800 - Gps warned verges of rd N of CANAL not clear of mines.  Mine detection parties to be provided before verges usable.

 

0810 - On instrs at Corps SP that crashed glider located about 1 m fwd, party proceeded to salvage amn etc reported there.  Mortar and .303 SAA collected from Horsa glider LH 956 and party rejoined coln.

 

1100 - Coln infd held up due to enemy mortaring small br in EINDHOVEN.  Armour going fwd to clear way before coln moves on.

 

1220 - Gps informed remain present location for night - 43 Inf Div passing through to clear rd ahead.  Comd Seaborne Bodies visiting Gps 1230 onwards to discuss defence arrangements.

 

21st September 1944

Place: On the rd about 5 mls North of Dutch Frontier

 

0600 - The Order of March of the Seaborne Echelon is now as follows:

 

(a) Coln A halted on rd HETCHEL - EINDHOVEN with its tail just NORTH of the DUTCH frontier.

Comd Gp
Medical Gp
RASC Amn Vehs Gp
RA Gp
1 Para Bde Gp
4 Para Bde Gp 
1 Airldg Bde Gp
Div HQ Gp
Corps Sigs Gp

(b) Coln B Left behind in HETCHEL area, but moved up in rear of coln A on evening 21 Sep.

Corps Tps Gp 
Div RASC ( less Amn Vehs)

(c) Coln C Left behind in HETCHEL area.

Polish Para Bde Gp
Div Tps Gp

 

0600 - Gps placed at 1 hours notice to move.

 

1945 - Coln A moved off along route EINDHOVEN - ST ODENRODE - UDEN - GRAVE Bridge - NIJMEGEN.  This was a very difficult night move at high density with no head or side lights and much traffic congestion on the rd, particularly at EINDHOVEN, so bad that to get through at all it was necessary to double and even treble bank.  There was considerable enemy activity and shelling quite close on each flank from EINDHOVEN on wards. 

 

22nd September 1944

Place: On the rd about 5 mls North of Dutch Frontier

 

0300 - Comd Medical and RASC amn Gps managed to get past all obstructions and halted at about 0330 hrs with head at TCP at ESCHAREN, about two miles SOUTH of GRAVE Br, having sustained a few veh casualties through accidents en route, (one or two of these vehs were subsequently destroyed at VEGHEL by enemy action).  RA Gp and remainder of Coln A however got held up in EINDHOVEN behind a Hy AA Regt and moved up behind them.  Coln A was split.  The AA Regt was attacked by German Tanks at VEGHEL and considerable number of vehs destroyed, but fortunately the head of the RA Gp was just SOUTH of the CANAL at VEGHEL, and they, and the remainder of the coln, escaped attack in the enemy break-through on the route.

 

Place: South of Grave Nijmegen

 

1400 - Staff Capt and recce parties proceeded to recce S.E. of NIJMEGEN.

 

1545 - Comd Medical and RASC amn Gps proceeded via GRAVE Br to the concentration area allotted, only 600 yds from the German frontier.

 

1800 - HQ established ERICA HOTEL (740598).  Rest of coln still held SOUTH of enemy break-through at VEGHEL.

 

23rd September 1944

Place: South of Grave Nijmegen

 

1830 - RA Gp, followed by remainder of Coln A and Coln B reach concentration area S.E. of NIJMEGEN.

 

2300 - Concentrations of Colns A and B completed.

 

24th September 1944

Place: South of Grave Nijmegen

 

0900 - Major HODGES, DAQMG, 1 Airborne Division arrives at HQ at ERICA HOTEL, having crossed the lower RHINE from the battle WEST of ARNHEM.  He and Capt COVENTRY go forward that evening to DRIEL on the SOUTH bank of the LOWER RHINE to supervise the despatch of sups and NAAFI Packs in DUKS, to the pressed airborne personnel.

 

25th September 1944

Place: South of Grave Nijmegen

 

0900- Major SELLON sent to a conference at Airborne Corps HQ to decide on adm arrangements for the withdrawal of the survivors of the Division from ARNHEM.  Arrangements have to be made to feed, re-clothe and house about 2,000 survivors, and for this purpose two large buildings are taken over; the larger a school which could cater for approx 1200, and the smaller, a school building known as "The Pagoda" for approx 800.

 

1500 - Extra rations, rum, blankets, stretchers and clothing are obtained from 30 Corps resources, and the two "hotels" are staffed and organised.  Major JESSOP, 1 Para Bde and Major EYLES, DAA & QMG 4 Para Bde, Seaborne Echelon at the school, and Major BALMER, DAA & QMG 1 Airldg Bde with personnel from 1 Airldg Bde at the Pagoda.

 

2200 - All arrangements are complete for reception of survivors, including preliminary documentation to find out the names and units of survivors.

 

2330- First survivors begin to arrive.

 

26th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

0600 - Last survivors arrive.  Owing to the number exceeding the estimate of 2,000 given, it became necessary to take over another building, a Police Barracks, which is staffed by seaborne personnel of RA Gp.

 

1700 - General BROWNING sees survivors on parade.  Normal Div HQ Staff assume control of survivors and Seaborne Echelon which, however, keeps it separate identity in view of its future move back to U.K. by sea.

 

2100 - Coln C arrives concentration area and Polish Para Bde Seaborne Echelon ceases to be under command.

 

27th September 1944

Place: Nijmegen

 

In concentration area SE of NIJMEGEN.

 

28th September 1944
Place: Louvain

 

0700 - Seaborne Echelon moves to a new concentration area in and around LOUVAIN, followed later in the day by airborne survivors.  HQ established at MON CRESOR Monastery.

 

29th and 30th September 1944
Place: Louvain

 

In concentration area in and around LOUVAIN.  All personnel survivors and some seaborne personnel required urgently in U.K. fly home from BRUSSELS Aerodrome, leaving the bulk of Seaborne Echelon personnel and all vehs to come home by sea.  Orders got out P.M. on 30th for move on 1 Oct by road to ARROMANCHES, the "Mulberry" port on the coast of NORMANDY NORTH of BAYEUX.  This would involve a 3 days road move.  Later however orders are received NOT to move on 1 Oct as it is probable that embarkation will be from OSTEND instead.