National Archives catalogue number WO 171/1387.

 

Abbreviation

2 IC

Adjt

A Tk

Bn

Comd

Coy

FOB

IO

KSLI

LCI 

LCT

MG

MO

OC

Pl

Pnr
QM

SO
TO

Second-in-Command

Adjutant

Anti-Tank

Battalion

Commander

Company

Forward Observation Bombardment

Intelligence Officer

King's Shropshire Light Infantry

Landing Craft Infantry

Landing Craft Tank

Machine Gun

Medical Officer

Officer Commanding

Platoon

Pioneer

Quartermaster

Staff Officer

Transport Officer

 

Month and year : June 1944

Commanding Officer : Lt-Col. H.O.S. Herdon

 

4th June 1944

Place: France

 

The Battalion embarked to take part in Operation 'NEPTUNE' - the invasion of NORTH WEST EUROPE - as follows :-

 

Marching Personnel - Four Rifle Companies and Battalion Headquarters in three LCIs.

Essential Vehicles and 'S' Company (less two sections Carriers) ) in LCTs.

 

The embarkation was carried out in the evening and the fleet put to sea about 2100 hrs.  Officers of the Battalion were distributed as follows :-

 

'A' COY -

OC - Capt HC ILLING

2 IC - Capt MLB HALL

PL COMDS - Lt KStB ADAMS : Lt J ERSKINE : Lt OW JARVIS

 

'B' COY -

OC - Maj GEE ROSS

2 IC - Capt JFK JERRAM

PL COMDS - Lt A DOCKERTY : Lt DA FIELD : Lt DSB ROBERTS

 

'C' COY -

OC - Capt WT BARRATT

2 IC - Capt RW HEATH

PL COMDS - Lt MR McCRORY : Lt R PRATT : Lt KA TAYLOR

 

'D' COY -

OC - Maj TG BUNDOCK

2 IC - Capt CO BLAKEY

PL COMDS - Lt C BRIGGS : Lt EE DENTITH : Lt VC WALTON

 

'S' COY -

Maj M RYAN - OC

Capt PB WATERWORTH - OC Carrier Pl

Lt AR ALLEN - 2 IC Carrier Pl

Lt PM HEALEY - OC Mortar Pl

Capt AJM BANNERMAN - OC A Tk Pl

Lt J BINDLESS - 2 IC A Tk Pl

Lt AG WILSON - Assault Pnr Pl Comd

 

'HQ' COY -

Maj TL BROCK - OC

Lt JR CLARKE - SO

Lt AP ROBERTS - TO

Capt SJ WILLIAMS - QM

Capt JHT LAWTON - MO

Capt(Rev) J AUSTIN - Padre

 

BN HQ -

Lt-Col HOS HERDON - CO

Maj RG KREYER - 2 IC

Capt W PIKE - ADJT

Lt PWF LAMB - IO

 

FOB -

Capt J LEE

 

5th June 1944

Place: France

 

An uneventful passage across the channel in the direction of NORMANDY.

 

6th June 1944

Place: France

 

'D' DAY - 'H' HOUR - 0725 hrs.  The marching personnel and the three LCIs were due to touch down at 0955 hours.  The three LCIs approached the beach at LION-SUR-MER, on time, together.  The beach was under mortar and shell fire and there were still some snipers left in the houses along the promenade.  'C' Coy's LCI hit a mine on the beach, and was also hit by a shell, whilst 'D' Coy's LCI had both its ramparts shot away.  This and the sniping and shelling on the beach caused a certain amount of confusion in disembarkation, and the Battalion suffered a few casualties; but by 1130 hours, all four companies and Bn HQ were concentrated in the Assembly Area about -mile SOUTH of LION-SUR-MER.  'A' and 'C' Coys came under accurate small arms fire and MG fire in the Assembly Area from German positions to the WEST.  The Brigade plan was then altered and the Battalion was ordered to disengage to the EAST and proceed to another Assembly Area EAST of HERMONVILLE.  'A' and 'C' Coys suffered some casualties in the Cemetery at LION-SUR-MER whilst disengaging.  Lt R PRATT was wounded at this time.  The German Strong Point SOUTH of COLLEVILLE-SUR-ORNE was still holding out and 2 KSLI and 1 NORFOLK, who were advancing by the original axis, had suffered casualties from this position.  For this reason the Battalion was ordered to advance along the axis COLLEVILLE-SUR-ORNE - BENOUVILLE - BLAINVILLE.  BENOUVILLE was found to be held and 'A' Coy put in a successful attack on this position at about 1830 hours.  'D' Coy was now ordered to take over the defence of the bridges over the ORNE from the Airborne Division.  The rest of the Battalion continued on towards BLAINVILLE, meeting opposition the whole way from a German Mobile Delaying Force armed with MGs and A tk Guns.  The Battalion halted for the night on the outskirts of BLAINVILLE at midnight, having had four killed and thirty-five wounded.