National Archives catalogue number WO 218/65.

 

June, July, August / September 1944

 

Abbreviation

1074

2 i/c

6/858

AA

Adjt

Admin

ADMS

Air Ldg

Ammn

Arty

A & SH

A/Tk
Att

Bde

Bdy

BM

Bn

Bty

Cdo

Cf

CO

Comd

Coy

Cmdr

CRE

DA[G?]QMG

Div

DMA

DR

FB

FDL

Fig

Fld

FMA

FOB

FOO

FUP

Fus

Fwd

Gren

HE

Incl

Inf

IO

Junc

LAA

LCI

LMG

LO

Mag

MG

MO

MTO

OC

O Group

OP

OR

Pdr

Pln

Posn

Pt

Pz

RA

RAMC

RAP

Rd

Rds

RE

Ref

Regt

Rfts

RM

Rt

RUR

RV

SITREP

SP

Sqdn Ldr

SS

TCV

Tgt

Tk

Tp

Twds

U/S

X roads

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

6 Kompanie, 858 Grenadier Regiment

Anti-Aircraft

Adjutant

Administrative

Assistant Director Medical Services

Airlanding

Ammunition

Artillery

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Anti-Tank

Attached

Brigade

Boundary

Brigade Major

Battalion

Battery

Commando

Chaplain of the Forces

Commanding Officer

Commander

Company

Commander

Commander Royal Engineers

Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General

Division

Divisional Maintenance Area
Despatch Rider

Firm Base

Forward Defended Locality

Figure

Field

Forward Maintenance Area

Forward Observation Bombardment

Forward Observation Officer

Forming Up Place

Fusilier

Forward

Grenadier

High Explosive

Including

Infantry

Intelligence Officer

Junction

Light Anti-Aircraft

Landing Craft Infantry

Light Machine Gun

Liaison Officer

Magazine

Machine Gun

Medical Officer

Motor Transport Officer

Officer Commanding

Orders Group

Observation Post

Other Ranks

Pounder

Platoon

Position

Point

Panzer

Royal Artillery

Royal Army Medical Corps

Regimental Aid Post

Road

Rounds

Royal Engineers

Reference

Regiment

Reinforcements

Royal Marines

Right

Royal Ulster Rifles

Rendezvous

Situation Report

Self-Propelled

Squadron Leader

Special Service

Troop Carrying Vehicle

Target

Track

Troop

Towards

Unserviceable

Crossroads

 

Month and year : June 1944

Commanding Officer : Lt. Col. P. Young DSO MC

 

1st June 1944

Place: C.18 Camp

 

Briefing of all ranks.

 

2nd June 1944

Place: C.18 Camp

 

Briefing for Operation.

 

3rd June 1944

Place: C.18 Camp

 

Briefing for operation.

 

4th June 1944

Place: C.18 Camp

 

1000 - Church Parade for all denominations.

 

5th June 1944

Place: C.18 Camp

 

1030 - Brigadier The Lord Lovat, DSO, MC, addresses whole Brigade.

 

Place: Warshas at Sea

 

1400 - Unit embusses in TCVs and proceeds to WARSHAS.

 

1630 - Unit embarks in LCI(S) 289, 290, 291, 292 and 293.

 

1730 - Flotilla slips and ties up at CALSHOT.

 

1900 - Flotilla slips and ties up at STOKES BAY.

 

2130 - Slip and sail in convoy with Force "S".

 

6th June 1944

0830 - In convoy hove to off beaches of NORMANDY.  Sporadic shelling by enemy.  Monitor and warship in area replying.

 

Place: La Breche

 

0905 - Touch down after run-in, the last half of which was under shell fire.  LCI(S) 289 and 290 hit near beach - both in sinking condition.  Some casualties in 6 Troop (LCI 290).  Further casualties occur on beach.  Beach under shell fire.  Commando form up under C.O. and move to first check point.

 

0930 - Bde 46 set DIS.

 

1000 - Contact 45 (RM) Commando in Bde first F.U.P.  All troops in less one section of 6 Troop.  Only one Vickers and one mortar.  Area of F.U.P. being mortared.  Enemy rocket propelled projectiles land to WEST of F.U.P.  Lt Cowieson treated for wounds and sent back to beach.  Major JBV Pooley MC joins, and reports his batman missing.  He himself is suffering from blast.

 

1110 - Adjt contacts B.M. near COLVILLE.  Posn just NORTH of COLVILLE had held up 6 Commando but now eliminated.  Bde now pushing on with help of 13/18 Hussars.

 

1200 - 45 (RM) Commando reach COLVILLE, followed by this Unit.  COLVILLE being shelled desultorily.

 

1230 - Move on to bridge - 1074 - 5 Troop and remainder held up by snipers (one O.R. killed).  C.O. meets Brigadier.  Role now changed to defence of BAS DE RANVILLE under Brigadier Powett with 6 Airborne Div.

 

1530 - 3, 5, 4, 6 and some of 2 Troop across the bridge and taking up defensive posns at BAS DE RANVILLE.  A.O. with Admin staff also arrive.

 

1540 - Lieut Wills arrives with one jeep.

 

1600 - Lieut A. Wardle reports 1 Troop HQ and remainder of 2 Troop crossing Bridge under smoke.

 

1715 - 4 enemy tanks reported on contour SOUTH of cross roads 104727.  Engaged by Airborne 3" mortars.  5 Troop have laid Hawkins 75 mines across the road running SOUTH from BAS DE RANVILLE.

 

1800 - Snipers reported in village.  Sporadic shooting but no snipers found.  Bde report Lieut Ponsford and 3 Troop in LE PLEIN with remnants of a Para Bn.  See Appx 'A' No 2.

 

1830 - Tanks reported to have withdrawn from ridge to SOUTH.  F.O.B. directs 20 rounds on Enemy Infantry digging in at 092721, front edge of wood from HMS SERAPHIS.

 

1900 - Residue of 5 Troop under Cpl White report attack going in against 3 Div on WEST side of River ORNE.  C.O. returns from visiting HQ of Brigadier Powett and reports R.U.R. landing by glider at 2130 hours tonight to relieve us.  We are then to revert to 1 SS Bde.  4 Commando captured OUISTREHAM.

 

2000 - German fighter-bombers fly over one village - no aggressive action.

 

2050 - Gliders towed by D.Cs start to come in, (Troop carriers).

 

2115 - Large gliders carrying A/T guns and tanks coming in, towed by Liberators.  Terrific fighter cover.  Considerable L.A.A. opposition from the enemy.

 

2220 - Bde want 2 i/c or Adjt to report to Bde immediately to recce night posn.

 

7th June 1944

Place: Bas de Ranville

 

0005 - 2 i/c returns.  Unit to hand over to R.U.R. and go to area SOUTH of Bde HQ and to be in posn by 0430 hrs.  Activity from SOUTH.  3 Casualties from 1 Troop.  Tanks and infantry reported.

 

0230 - CAEN area bombed by our heavies.

 

0315 - C.O. 2 i/c and Troop Cmdrs leave by jeep to recce new area.

 

0330 - Unit leaves by road (march route) for new area.

 

0430 - Troops allotted areas.  HQ established at 114746 in orchard.

 

0800 - ORQMS Wardle visits Bde HQ for posns of other units.

 

0900 - Bde I.O. reports some A/Tk guns to be placed under command.

 

0915 - B.M. and A/Tk Officer arrive.  C.O. goes with them to site two guns, one with 4 Troop and the other with 5 Troop.

 

1000 - Raid by enemy fighter bombers on beach area.

 

1015 - Airborne Bty of 75 m.m. Fld Guns open fire from field next to our posn.

 

1100 - 4 ME 109's fly over - no offensive action.

 

1300 - Message from Bde - "2 i/c with two Troops to support 45 (RM) Commando in their attack on FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE.  4 & 5 Troops set off with 2 i/c, F.O.B. and C.O. with party of RAMC under Sjt Spears.  See Appx 'A' No's 3 & 4

 

1415 - Enemy bty ranging on our guns in adjoining field.

 

1445 - Shells and mortar bombs falling in our area.

 

1500 - Reported - "tanks seen in numbers on SOUTH ridge SOUTH of RANVILLE".  Stragglers of RUR and DEVONS coming back.  6 Troop astride road with two 6 pdrs in support.  HQ in stand-to posns astride road.  1 Troop bring section into field.  MTO mounted on jeep with .55 Browning (camouflaged under glider) covers gap between 1 Troop and HQ.

 

1515 - Adjt visits Lord Lovat who has organised Bde HQ in better posns.

 

1545 - 4 tanks burning SOUTH of RANVILLE.  A coy of DEVONS join us for a short time and then go back to RANVILLE.

 

1615 - RANVILLE reported in our hands.  Shermans reported to be in action.

 

1710 - Adjt visits 1 Troop.  All O.K.  Vickers covering gap between 1 & HQ Troops.

 

1730 - Adjt sees Brigadier and advises him to stand his staff down.

 

1900 - Adjt stands half HQ down.  F.M.A. at 111747 - rear of our HQ - has tried to get more ammn for Airborne 75 m.m. from MOLAR.  Our S.P. guns firing heavily on WEST side of RIVER.

 

2000 - Commando ordered to close on Bde HQ.  Adjt to Bde to receive orders from Brigadier for unit to take over defences at CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE with Lt-Col Otway O.C. Para Bn - he has only 80 men.

 

2100 - Lt-Col Young and 4 and 5 Troops having taken MERVILLE.  2I/C killed, 4 and 5 Troops suffered almost 50% casualties.  Lieut A. Williams missing.

 

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

2200 - Commando arrives at LE PLEIN and takes over defences.  1 Troop and HQ with one Vickers defend CHATEAU.  4 and 5 Troops rest in garden.  6 Troop on rd junc 130755.

 

2400 - Lieut R.G. Herbert DCM MM takes out patrol.  Desultory bombing and firing of small arms during night.

 

8th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0400 - Lt Herbert's patrol returns and reports no enemy encountered.

 

0430 - Stand To.

 

0530 - SITREP from Bde HQ.  "45 Cdo in MERVILLE.  Enemy Pln posn being dug in area 144732.  Half tracks reported in front of 2 Troop posn."

 

0730 - Adjt visits Bde HQ. - 6 Troop to move forward to eastern tip of wood.

 

0945 - Bde HQ warn us that Bn attack is imminent from area 138758 - rd 130755 - 140751 towards us.

 

1000 - Captain Goodall, F.O.B. (HMS HUNTER) arrives and goes to 6 Troop.  3 A/Tk guns arrive en route for MERVILLE.

 

1013 - 6 Troop report enemy infantry advancing astride rd 130755 - 140751.  3 Troop informed of this.  One Vickers moved up from CHATEAU to support 6 Troop in counter-attack.  3" mortar O.P. with 6 Troop.

 

1020 - Field Regt ranging in front of 6 Troop's posn.

 

1100 - 6 Troop and 4 Commando engaging enemy at close range.  Field Regts, HMS HUNTER and 3" mortars also engage enemy.

 

1130 - 6 Troop counter-attack - drive enemy half mile - take 35 P.O.W..  Completely destroyed one enemy coy (346 Inf Div) which had travelled 200 miles since invasion.  Captain J. Alderson wounded.  Lieut R.G. Herbert DCM MM killed.  Sjt Dennis and others wounded.  3 Troop harass enemy with vickers and 3" mortars.  See Appx 'A' No.5.

 

1200 - 6 Troop withdraw, reorganise and return to original posn.  Heavy fire from Field Regt in support.

 

1230 - All posns intact.  6 Commando have one Troop in support on right.

 

1300 - B.B.C. correspondent Chester Wilmot calls.

 

1400 - 1 Troop patrol under Lieut J.F. Nixon MC report woods clear on SOUTH side of wood LE PLEIN running EAST.

 

1530 - Lt A Wardle and patrol from 1 Troop report NORTH side of wood clear.

 

1600 - Adjt recovers Lt Herbert's body with help of 6 Troop.

 

1700 - Standing patrol established in forward edge of wood - NORTH side.

 

1730 - Lieut R.G. Herbert buried in garden of CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE.  Brigadier The Lord Lovat is present at the service.

 

1800 - Lt Nixon reports two enemy with 2" mortar on other side of rd.  Instructed to capture them.

 

2115 - Alarm - 6 Commando reported being attacked.  We are ordered to send out fighting patrol WEST of LE PLEIN to clear woods - possible infiltration by enemy.  Patrol to return to 6 Cdo lines about 2355 hours.

 

2130 - Lieut. G. Pollard MC MM with patrol reports to Brigadier to receive instructions.

 

2200 - Lieut Nixon reports his enterprise to capture a German having failed owing to our own mortar fire.  He had subsequently to retire owing to this fire.

 

2400 - Lt Pollard returns - nil report.

 

9th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0515 - Stand To.

 

0900 - HMS RAMILLIES shells GONNEVILLE SUR MER.

 

1030 - Navy shells BAS DE BREVILLE.

 

1115 - Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater DSO RA and Lord Lovat visit HQ.

 

1130 - Sjt Bartlett to report to Bde HQ forthwith.

 

1255 - Reported NAAFI rations will come today.

 

1300 - First Line Reinforcements arrive at Bde HQ.

 

1500 - Troops must not use horses.

 

1520 - First Line reinforcements arrive and are posted to Troops.  C.O. informed by 3 Troop that their bicycles were left, some in the area of beach and some on the road SOUTH of LE PLEIN.

 

1553 - Message quoting lay-out of mines received from Bde - "Minefield layout from SOUTH side of rd up to first line of trees and bushes 122756, cross rds Sheet 7F in line with rd block".  All Troops informed.

 

1558 - Sjt Leyland reports that he has been informed by local inhabitants that there are 200 enemy in area of church at BREVILLE - Bde informed.

 

1600 - SUNRAY 1 Troop says trip flare plan not yet laid.  Will be done later.

 

1610 - Bde say disciplinary action will be taken by Brigadier against anyone using local water for drinking without sterilising.  All Troops informed.

 

1620 - French Civil Affairs Officer visits C.O. and as a result C.O. puts room in CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE 'out of bounds' to all ranks and for use of owners.

 

1628 - Warning order from BDE - "Two Officers and 30 ORs for fighting patrol 2230 hrs to 0230 hours".  5 Troop are warned and told to rest.

 

1725 - 1 Troop patrol machine gunned from the air - no casualties.  As a result enemy on the route notice them.  OC patrol to try to capture one for identification but to risk no casualties in themselves.

 

1800 - 6 Airborne Div Intelligence Summary No 3 arrives.

 

1845 - SITREP from 1 Troop - Patrol returns with nothing further to report.  Orders for 5 Troop patrol arrive from Bde.  Passed to OC 5 Troop.

 

1850 - News sheet sent to troops.

 

1900 - Locations of enemy weapons being used by us sent to Bde and 4 & 6 Cdos.  128756 LMG 34 - 129755 2 LMG 34, 3 Carbine, 2 Scheimesers also in this area.  130755 LMG 34    131754 LMG 34.    128753 LMG (Russian).

 

2053 - Alarm on left flank.  Bde want SITREP at 2100 hours.  Various rumours of infiltration.

 

2115 - 4 Commando report their being attacked.  Troops ordered to stand to.

 

2123 - 4 Troop ordered to take fighting patrol 500 yds WEST of our posns.  6 Troop ordered to stand to in a counter-attack role.

 

2135 - 4 Troop patrol leaves.  CHATEAU manned.

 

2141 - 6 Troop arrive in HQ.  C.O. holds them there.

 

2155 - 4 Troop (Lt Pollard's runner) returns with the following message - "An officer of 6 Troop (45 Cdo) states that he has seen parties of 30 enemy passing from NORTH."

 

10th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0135 - Posn restored to normal.

 

0500 - 5 Troop patrol to SALLANELLES report no enemy seen.

 

0830 - Major Menday (4 Cdo) asks for more support.

 

0900 - Odd groups of enemy moving across front of 1 2 & 3 Troops.

 

0930 - S.P. gun reported firing from 136748.  2 Troop instructed to engage with 3" mortar.

 

0945 - F.O.B. ordered to engage S.P. gun.

 

0955 - C.O. reports S.P. gun sited 137750.  Shells landing 130751.  Bde HQ informed.  Casualties reported in FDLs.  S.P. gun reported back in the posn four degrees right.  6 Troop posn now shelled.  1 Troop say they have no casualties.

 

1015 - 2 i/c visits 4 Cdo as enemy infiltrating.  1 Troop report one casualty.

 

1020 - 1 Troop report 3 casualties.

 

1025 - S.P. gun reported moving from 137752 to 136747.

 

1110 - Captain Harper-Gow and one other officer arrive from Bde HQ.

 

1112 - A.D.M.S. arrives at HQ.

 

1127 - 12 P.O.W. pass through HQ escorted by 6 Cdo personnel - reported to have been taken in woods immediately on our left.

 

1130 - Enemy moving (Pln) NORTH through wood in front of 2 Troop posn.  Both patrols from 1 Troop return.  Nothing to return.

 

1135 - Message from Bde "Dead must be reported with 6 Fig map ref" - passed to M.O. and Padre.  1 Troop report L/S Short, Tpr Hemp and a French soldier wounded.

 

1150 - 4 Commando reported being shelled and mortared.

 

1155 - Shelling and mortaring in our area (Approx 10 rounds).  1 Troop request jeep for lying casualties.

 

1200 - Tele Camfield (FOB's party) wounded.  4 Cdo Troop under Captain Hutchinson in front of 1 Troop.  Adjt visits Major Menday who had been hit.  C.O. arranges to put 1 Troop in the CHATEAU in front and on left of their posns.

 

1215 - 1 Troop take over CHATEAU.  6 Troop take over 1 Troop's posns.  Shelling continues.

 

1240 - SITREP from Bde - "Attack appears to be in 2 Bn strength with three prongs, left prong more or less shattered by 4 Cdo who have caused heavy casualties to enemy".  2 Troop report attack.  One enemy (Polish) surrenders.  Enemy infantry appear to have withdrawn.

 

1440 - Bde H.Q. state Shermans in our area - no accidents please.

 

1445 - 15 enemy reported at 115764 by 4 Commando.

 

1510 - Shelling recommences on 6 Troop's posn.  OC 6 Troop arrives HQ and says enemy infantry in front have 'packed up'.  He wants to change posn - C.O. agrees providing he does not move back.

 

1643 - 3 Troop want jeeps to fetch wounded.

 

1650 - O.C. 1 Troop (10 Cdo) arrives to meet guide from 4 Cdo.  Both depart.  More shelling on 1 Troop's posns.

 

1710 - Casualties reported - 28 all ranks.  1 Troop's strength is 1 and 32.

 

1740 - OC 3 Troop arrives and reports 10 casualties and strength 30 all ranks.

 

1800 - C.O. arrives from Bde and states he has been allotted two S.P. guns to use against SALLANELLES and LONGUEMERE.  He will take two jeeps manned by party from 5 Troop as escort.

 

2100 - C.O. departs on patrol to SALLANELLES.

 

2105 - 2 i/c departs on patrol to LONGUEMERE.

 

2240 - Sjt Maguire returns and is ordered to report to Bde.  Says SALLANELLES evacuated by enemy.  Some own and enemy wounded left behind.  He returns from Bde and is sent with Padre (Capt C. Pritchard Cf) and jeep to bring in the wounded.  9 Para Bn pass through to take over from 4 Cdo who are going to rest.

 

2300 - 17 P.O.W. incl one Officer return from SALLANELLES.

 

2305 - D.R. arrives to say that shells in C.Os S.P. gun uncapped and may burst prematurely.

 

2310 - C.O. returns and reports that he went through SALLANELLES.  That enemy left SALLANELLES at 1600 hours.

 

11th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0430 - Stand to.

 

0600 - Bn Black Watch attack BREVILLE.

 

0630 - 1 Troop (45 Cdo) to clear SALLANELLES under Captain M. Woyevodsky.  One S.P. Gun to shell houses at LONGUEMERE.

 

0700 - Major Hopson with one S.P. Gun starts for LONGUEMERE.  S.P. Gun crosses Hawkins mine near CHATEAU gates and a track is damaged.

 

0730 - Major Hopson with other S.P. gun goes to edge of wood at 135754 and shells houses at LONGUEMERE.  They are covered by patrol from 6 Troop under Capt Nixon.  Enemy in BREVILLE put up 5 c.m. mortar smoke.

 

1000 - ORQMS Wardle becomes Lieutenant and Adjutant Wardle.

 

1200 - Patrol returns from SALLANELLES with wounded and prisoners.  Pill boxes to N.E. still occupied by the enemy.

 

1645 - Sjt Edmunds and five others buried in orchard CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE.

 

2000 - Comd 4 SS Bde arrives at 1 SS Bde.  47 and 48 Cdos coming into line to relieve Paratroopers.

 

2100 - 12 Para Bn relieved and pass through our lines.

 

2130 - Own shells fall in FDLs.

 

2133 - Severe mortaring of HQ.  Captain B.D. Butler MC and five others killed.  Lt T.N. Skelly and three others wounded.

 

2235 - Bde conference of mortar Officers.

 

12th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0030 - Lt Pollard and patrol from 4 Troop to SALLANELLES woods.  See Appx. 'B' No 1.

 

0200 - 2 i/c visits FDLs.

 

0930 - Command Post transferred to CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE.  O.C. 1 Troop brings in 88 m.m. shell which landed behind 6 Troop's lines.  Shell sent to BDE HQ.

 

1150 - Visit by Major Menday from 4 Commando.

 

1335 - Message from Bde HQ. "Fighting patrol approx weak Troop strength to EAST side of wood Sq 1476 -, 1475 to act as flank guard to V.E.G.  Patrol to go out at once.  To remain out until 1700 hrs and return through our FDLs.  To patrol vigorously."  See Appx 'B' No.2.

 

1340 - Code names for place names and report lines have been compromised and will not be used.

 

1430 - No 1 French Troop put under Cmd, brought back into reserve at CHATEAU.  4 Troop take over their posn and are placed under comd Captain Bartholomew.  Exchange not to take place after return of 3 Troop patrol.

 

1510 - Artillery on BREVILLE.

 

1625 - 3 Troop patrol has reached its objective.

 

1725 - Major B.D. Butler and five others buried in garden at CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE.  C.O. and Sqdn Leader/Major Wormersley of 13/18 Hussars come on recce for assault on BREVILLE by 12 Para Bn.  Carry out recces with 2 i/c and select five posns to support the attack from the orchards EAST of 5 Troop's posns.

 

1830 - 4 Troop change posns.

 

1930 - French Troop back to CHATEAU.  Changeover now complete.

 

2100 - Bde say "Ensure all rds kept clear between 1700 and 2300 hrs.  All informed.  Major Hopson leaves to contact 13/18 Hussars to guide tanks at Sqdn Ldr cannot be found.

 

2120 - C.O. and fighting patrol of 50 (found from 1, 3 & 6 Tps) with Capt Nixon and Lieut Ponsford leave.  See Appx. 'B' No's 3 & 4.

 

2145 - Barrage on BREVILLE commences - Shells fall short in 6 Cdo's FDLs.  Brigadiers Lovat and Kindersley seriously wounded.  Major Hopson places tanks in orchard which open fire on BREVILLE and BREVILLE woods.  Result of barrage is terrific - many fires.

 

2200 - Fire is moved to bear on BREVILLE woods.

 

2215 - Infantry seen to enter village.  Little opposition.

 

2230 - Shell fire (or mortar) on 3 Commando's posns.  2 i/c returns to HQ and receives near miss.

 

2300 - 1 Troop reports; Armour going into attack - being heavily shelled.  Send stretcher for one casualty.  4 Troop area being shelled.  1 Troop lines under shell fire.

 

2313 - 6 Troop's lines under enemy shell fire.

 

2314 - Message from Brigadier: "I have become a casualty but I can rely on you not to take one step back - you are making history."  Sent to all Troops.

 

2317 - Message from 5 Troop : Send us jeep immediately.

 

13th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0050 - One POW brought in.  Nationality Polish.  Regt is 8/58 Grenadier Regt.  He says his Bn has only approx 80 men left.  3 Bn should have relieved 2 Bn.  He was in BREVILLE tonight when 12 Para Bn attacked.  According to him they were routed.  POW has been forwarded to Bde.

 

0120 - 2 i/c and RSM leave to inspect HQ posns and French Cdo Troop's posns.

 

0220 - First Party of night patrol return - Medical Officer and Signals.

 

0230 - Lt Ponsford and his party return with 3 POW.  Says he picked them up on rd 153765 just outside GONNEVILLE.  HQ and 6 Troop arrive back from patrol.  No casualties.

 

0300 - Captain Nixon reports to Command Post.

 

0322 - C.O. returns from patrol.  All patrols have now returned safely.  Names of POW captured by 3 Troop Hermann LEHMANN (Gerfreiter) Julius HAAG (Obergerfreiter) Josef CZARKOWSKY (Obergerfreiter).  All of 6/857 Grenadier Regt.

 

0335 - C.O. sends message to Bde "Shall I come now or wait until later in the morn".

 

0855 - Captain Marting calls to see C.O.

 

0900 - Captain Woyevodsky calls on C.O.

 

1035 - Message from Brigade: "Intelligence personnel calling to collect exact FOL."

 

1040 - Enemy A/Tk elements reported in GONNEVILLE.

 

1055 - Visit by Lt-Col Black ADMS SS Group.

 

1240 - Weak enemy shelling commences on our left flank.  3 shells, one every ten seconds with break of sixty five seconds between salvoes.

 

1430 - Lieut-Col Mills-Roberts calls to see C.O.

 

1645 - Major Hopson and O.C. 3 Troop leave on recce patrol.

 

1730 - Burial of casualties.

 

1835 - Major Hopson and party return.

 

2155 - Standing patrol at farm 144764 was surrounded by approx 40 enemy.  Patrol withdrew - 4 men left behind.  Own aircraft bomb this area.  One man returns to report this.  See Appx 'B' No 5.

 

2200 - Message from Bde "Recce patrol to area 132749 - 137749.  Warn Para Bn."

 

2220 - Major Hopson and fighting patrol leave.

 

2350 - Enemy aircraft bombing the area.

 

2357 - Bombs now falling close to our posns.

 

14th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0015 - Bombing appears to have ceased.

 

0330 - Bombing has begun again.

 

0345 - Major Hopson and party return to lines.  Surrounded party have also returned.

 

1035 - The following counter-battery tasks have been engaged during the last two days.  GONNEVILLE area by fighter-bombers and rocket ships.  Battleships directed by aircraft on VARRAVILLE area.  Cruiser area shoot on 13 Jun.  Battleship shoot on 14 Jun directed by aircraft.

 

1140 - Message from No 4 Cdo: "Rifle shots heard from area wood 1375".

 

1835 - Message from Bde "Two recce patrols, one of 4 men and one of 5 men will leave this HQ by the following route.  First - 139763 to rd 149760 thence SOUTH of GONNEVILLE to VARRAVILLE.  Second - BREVILLE wood 152743 thence NORTH of RETEVILLE to VARRAVILLE.  Both patrols will return by own respective routes.  Both patrols will leave HQ at 2230 hours and return approx 0400 hours.  Part of patrol may not return until night 15/16 Jun."

 

1929 - C.O. leaves for 6 Troop.

 

2215 - C.O. leaves on patrol with 6 Troop.  See Appx 'B' No 6.

 

15th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0120 - Message from 1 Troop: Strong enemy patrol in front of lines.  Am standing to.

 

1000 - Enemy shells falling in Commando area.  French Troop patrol leaves for LONGUEMERE and also standing patrol for cross rds and beyond.  See Appx 'B' No.7.

 

1230 - Patrol returns.  Report that patrol moved along in direction of BAS DE BREVILLE, searched buildings at cross rds at 143752, passed junc and were fired on by small arms and mortar.  Patrol withdrew leaving standing patrol at farm.

 

1245 - Major Hopson leaves with Lt Hunter to site A/Tk guns.

 

1345 - Major Hopson returns.

 

1430 - 1 Troop reports shells falling in their area.  Two snipers sent out to contact enemy - L/Cpl Machin and Tpr Leedham.  See Appx 'B' No.7.

 

1530 - A patrol consisting of two Officers and 30 men being sent out by 4 Cdo.  Will return through our lines.

 

1715 - Message from Bde: "The following areas are being mined to be completed by 1800 hours 16th.  1. Through wood from pt 12847604 to 13047606.  2. From pt on road 13047604 to rd junc 13167610.  3. Dummy minefields are being prepared.  Areas will be notified later.  See Appx 'B' No.7.

 

1725 - Captain Bartholomew made patrol from LE PLEIN to 144750.

 

1900 - C.O. and party leave to watch mortars fire on enemy posn NORTH of BREVILLE.

 

2030 - C.O. returns and then leaves for Bde.

 

2110 - 4 Cdo have orders to stand to because of concentrated fire on 47 Cdo on left.

 

2230 - French Cdo sent out fighting patrol to search cross rds 144752.  See Appx 'B' No.7.

 

2300 - Patrol of one Officer and 12 ORs from 4 Troop left cross rds 144752 to ambush enemy.  Should return at first light.  See Appx 'B' No.7.

 

16th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0139 - High authority warns us that there is indication that attack may be put in by enemy from SOUTH and NORTH EAST about 0400 hours today.  We stand by to report all developments.

 

0550 - 1 Troop reports spasmodic rifle fire in front of posn coming from direction of wood.  Otherwise all is quiet.

 

0605 - 6 Troop SITREP - Nothing to report.

 

0715 - Message to 4 Cdo: "Other than spasmodic rifle fire nothing to report."

 

0730 - 1 Troop report half of Troop standing down.  All quiet.

 

0755 - 7 more mortar bombs landed on right of 1 Troop's posn.

 

0815 - Message from Bde: "SUNRAY's conference ordered for today postponed".

 

0935 - Message from Bde: "Report received says enemy halted between ESCOUVILLE and HEROUVILLE and that enemy is trickling back in twos and threes.  Attack was on Bn scale.  Satisfactory slaughter is reported.  Enemy may try again elsewhere.

 

1330 - 1 and 6 Troops send patrol to LONGUEMERE FARM.  See appx. 'B' No 8.

 

1430 - Message from Bde; "POW states attack being made on BREVILLE supported 150 aircraft.  RAF support has been asked for between 1400 and 1500 in area of GONNEVILLE - LE BAS DE BREVILLE - PETTITVILLE.  Everyone will be warned to show identification to British aircraft."

 

1445 - 1 Troop report enemy mortar smoke on farm.

 

1500 - Patrol reports being in posn and that mortar fire is coming from area BREVILLE.

 

1540 - Patrol reports - "Sniping from our left rear".

 

1600 - Patrol reports - "No sign of enemy".

 

1610 - Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater DSO and Captain C.S. Head MC visit C.O.

 

1633 - Report states enemy cleared from HEROUVILLETTE AND ESCOUVILLE and still slowly withdrawing.

 

1655 - 6 Cdo cannot go to LONGUEMERE tonight as we have got patrol there.

 

1700 - Brig Durnford-Slater and Captain Head leave.

 

2300 - Message from forward troops - All quiet and nothing to report.

 

17th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0440 - Message from Bde: "About 40 enemy reported at 133742.  Keep lock-out for similar parties which may be about."  This message sent to all Troops.

 

1140 - Lieut Cunningham brings his patrol report to C.O.  See Appx. 'B' No 9.

 

1200 - C.O. goes to Bde HQ.

 

1325 - Three shells landed in 1 Troop area - coming from direction SALLANELLES.

 

1330 - Lieut Lockley (3 Tp) and Lt Pollock (5 Tp) are warned for patrol tonight.  Each will take five selected men (volunteers) from own troop.  One German speaking intelligence man will accompany each Officer.  Lt Lockley will patrol GONNEVILLE area and Lt Pollock CARREFOUR area.  See Appx 'B' No 10.

 

1340 - Shells falling in our area coming from northerly direction.

 

1336 - Shell report sent to Bde HQ.

 

1400 - Shells are still falling in our area.

 

1425 - Captain J.J. Selwyn MC 13/18 Hussars calls on C.O.

 

1500 - Visit by RM Liaison Officer from Bde.  Established that certain personnel posted as missing are actually killed and buried in G.R.U. area.

 

1800 - C.O. visits 6 Troop.

 

1830 - 6 Troop patrol relieving 45 Cdo patrol at LONGUEMERE FARM.  Pioneer patrol section under L/S Wilson and with Sjt Denham (MM) and covering party go to clear path through wood ahead of posns in readiness for Major Grey's (45 Cdo) attack tonight.  See Appx. 'B' No's 11 & 12.

 

1915 - I.O. at Bde confirms two German speakers reporting to us 2100.  One per patrol.

 

2035 - L/C Machin and Tpr Leedham report having covered area of power house and rd.  Started out three hours ago.  But for snipers and A.A. fire coming from rt rear of farm in the area of gliders there is no sign of Germans.

 

2122 - No 45 Op Order arrives.

 

2300 - 5 Troop want to warn RUR that they have patrol going to LONGUEMERE.

 

2320 - 5 Troop send in details of patrol and these are forwarded to Bde with a request that RUR be warned.

 

2350 - RUR warned re your patrol tonight - received from Bde.

 

18th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0300 - Message from Bde: "Between hours 2115 - 2200 hours 18 Jun own aircraft will be seeking out and bombing battery posns along rd NE from LONGUEMERE to LE PETIT HOMME.  Own patrols will not operate within 1000 yds of this line between 2000 and 2300 hours.  Time to be notified later of registration of R.A. targets by air observation of area N.E. of LE GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON.  Own patrols to await notification of time before starting out."

 

0445 - C.O. leaves to go on patrol.

 

0550 - No 45 Cdo's Operation off.

 

1030 - Unexploded bomb in 6 Troop area.  Captain Holmes informed - says he will take action immediately.

 

1115 - Bde message states "Detain all civilians having cards signed "Lt Michael" and inform this HQ".

 

1500 - No 41 Cdo (4 SS Bde) report capturing enemy radio location station.  5 and 205 enemy captured.

 

1700 - All troops warned of two patrols.  2 i/c warns Bde.  Two Officers and 30 ORs to LONGUEMERE and GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON leaving 1700 and returning 2000 hours.  Small patrol from 4 Troop to cross rds beyond LONGUEMERE to engage enemy at LA BAS DE BREVILLE with 2" mortar and LMG at 2300 hrs tonight.  See Appx. 'B' No 14.

 

1830 - B.M. 6 Air Ldg Bde arrives to discuss patrols.  Captain Pollard to wait until we find times of airborne patrols.

 

1930 - Capt Bartholomew arrives to discuss Vickers and mortars.  4 jeeps laid on to report to 2 Troop at 0330 hours on 19th.

 

2010 - 2 i/c's patrol reports area LONGUMERE and GDE FME DU BUISSON clear of enemy.

 

2130 - 1 Troop wants information re battle going on on 4 Troop's front.  C.O. returns.

 

2145 - Sjt Bartlett reports back from Bde and says there is going to be an attack on pill-boxes EAST of SALLANELLES tonight.  2 Troop reports that shells have landed in farm occupied by French Cdo Troop.

 

2210 - Message from Bde: "Gulley 131761 to 128765 completely mined.  Completed tonight."  All Troops informed.

 

19th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0445 - C.O. leaves for Operation "JOLLY".

 

0600 - C.O. returns with German POW.  POW belongs to 6/857 Gren Regt.  It is a mixed coy of poles.  They had Rfts last Wednesday or Thursday.  He mentioned capture of Captain Hilton-Jones (Bde HQ) who is wounded and in German R.A.P.

 

0910 - Captain Nixon reports to C.O.  See Appx 'B' No 13.

 

0940 - Captain Collins reports to C.O.

 

1010 - French civilians given permission to bury dead animals in front of 4 Troop.

 

1100 - Captain Peille calls on C.O.

 

1115 - Major Woyevodsky calls to see C.O.

 

1430 - Captain Peille leaves.

 

1510 - C.O. leaves for tour of our FDLs.

 

1705 - C.O. returns.

 

1935 - Enemy shelling has commenced.

 

2005 - C.O. returns from 45 (RM) Commando.  Received Operation Order "THAW".  All troops informed.

 

20th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0620 - Message from 4 Cdo - "Some of our men will be coming shortly through your lines on patrol".  All troops informed.

 

0945 - Message from 4 Cdo: "Recce patrols will operate LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON 1000 to 1200 hours and 1600 to 1700 hours today".

 

1200 - Brigadier Mills-Roberts calls to see C.O.

 

1450 - 12 gunners with 17 pdrs are moving into 1 Troops posns.

 

1525 - 6 Cdo given permission to fire mortars from our posns with certain reservations under supervision of Captain Bartholomew.

 

1655 - C.O. visits FDLs.

 

1700 - Message from Bde "No marked maps will be taken on patrol, and no maps other than with Div Area will be kept forward of Bde.

 

1945 - C.O. returns.

 

2015 - Intelligence Sjt reports on patrol - says 6 Cdo operating from LONGUEMERE wood area towards GONNEVILLE rd starting 2300 hours.  4 Cdo patrol expected from GONNEVILLE.  May enter lines at any point.  Troops informed of this.

 

2155 - Weather reports show possibility of dense mist between dusk and dawn tomorrow morning.

 

21st June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0940 - 1 Troop reports "All Quiet" on their front.  Patrol passed through their lines as informed.

 

1130 - Visit by Lieut-Col Mitchell R.A.

 

1425 - Order of the Day by Brigadier Mills Roberts:- "The Corps Cmdr Lt-Gen Crocker, CB, DSO, visited this HQ yesterday.  He expressed his complete satisfaction with the behaviour of the Brigade in the difficult task they had been allotted, and his confidence that whatever happened or were called upon to do would be done with the same skill and persistence."

 

1510 - Message from 4 Cdo: "Recce patrol from this Unit will be in area LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON 1600 to 1800 hours 21st."

 

1550 - Message from Bde: "46 (RM) Cdo will fire red verey lights if an emergency occurs in their dump.

 

1700 - Message to Troops: "Area LA GDE FME DU BUISSON will not be used by patrols between 0900 and 1100 hours 22 Jun 44."  Lieut-Col C.E. Vaughan, MBE, calls to see C.O.

 

1900 - Details of patrols: To LA GDE FME DU BUISSON.  FUP at FME.  Wood 147754 to be shelled for 6 minutes from 0100 hrs and 0106 barrage divides left and right leaving wood free (with safety margin).  F.B. at FME.  Patrol goes into wood area of rd 0100 to 0115 hrs.  Patrol will return by same route - 145752 to 147754.

 

1920 - C.O. returns to HQ.

 

1940 - C.O. goes to Bde.

 

2130 - 1 Troop report white verey light NORTH LONGUEMERE FARM.  Bde informed.

 

2140 - C.O. returns from Bde.

 

22nd June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0600 - Reported that 6 Cdo patrol caught by own arty fire.  One killed and ten wounded.  Four rocket mortar shells land approx mile behind Bde HQ.  DMA ammn on fire and exploding.

 

0825 - Message from Bde: "No patrol will take place between 0800 and 1200 hrs in area of LA GDE FME DU BUISSON owing to arty register today."  Tps informed.

 

1000 - C.O. goes to Bde.

 

1100 - C.O. returns.

 

1130 - Lt-Col Logan, OBE CRE calls to see C.O. to arrange our water supply.  If possible water in pond near CHATEAU will be converted into drinking water.

 

1200 - C.O. gets details of patrol activities for tonight.

 

1300 - Hawkins grenade is accidentally detonated in corner of CHATEAU garden and L/Sjt Salisbury is slightly injured.

 

1450 - Lt-Col I. McAlpine (OC Holding Op Cdo) calls to see C.O.

 

1700 - Captain Ponsford out on recce for tonight's mock battle.  Patrol Leaders report for briefing.  See Appx. 'B' No 15.

 

2000 - C.O. goes on preliminary recce to GDE FME DU BUISSON.

 

2200 - C.O. returns.

 

2300 - Patrol leaves for BUISSON.

 

23rd June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0200 - Captain Pollard O.C. 4 Troop reports on patrol.  See Appx 'B' No 16.

 

0300 - Captain Nixon reports on patrol.  See Appx 'B' No 17.

 

0500 - Captain Ponsford reports on patrol.  See Appx. 'B' No 18.

 

0520 - L/C Littler reports on recce patrol.  See Appx. 'B' No 19.

 

0900 - Adjt to Bde HQ for conference.  I.O. gives details of certain security measures.

 

1110 - Officer of Counter-Mortar Organisation call in search of O.P.  Major Bradfield R.A., I.O. for SS Bde (No 4) Major Flewett I.O. for 1 SS Bde, Captain Sooby L.O. of 4 SS Bde and Captain Reeves of 45 Cdo.

 

1325 - Rocket ships firing on FRANCEVILLE.

 

1330 - Shells dropping in our area.  1 Troop reports they are coming from SALLANELLES AREA and dropping about 300 yds to their rear.  Bde informed.

 

1810 - Message from 1 Troop: "Approx 1735 hrs short burst of MG fire came from area 143757.  Not directed at our lines.

 

2150 - Troops informed of fighting patrol tonight, to clear area reported clear by Captain Nixon last night.

 

24th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0130 - Listening post report in.  Observations sent to Bde.  Nothing heard of Cpl Lawrence.  Casualty from 45 Commando evacuated.

 

0900 - 4 Commando proceed to surround themselves with mines.

 

1140 - Snipers sent out to area NORTH of LA GDE FME DU BUISSON.  Message from 1 Troop: "Four smoke shells landed 134753".  See Appx.

 

1145 - Message from 1 Troop: "Shells were 2 Troop registering at 1130 hrs".

 

1245 - One enemy dead known to be at 142763.  Reported killed by our snipers on 23rd June.  Request permission from Bde to recovery body for identification.

 

1415 - Message from 4 Cdo: "Sniping patrol operating area LONGUEMERE FARM and wood 142757 1400 and 2100 hrs today.

 

1500 - 6 Troop patrol leaves.  See Appx 'B' No 21.

 

1530 - Brigadier Mills-Roberts visits lines in company with 2 i/c.

 

1830 - 2 i/c takes out snipers L/C Lewis and Tpr Lewis to BUISSON.

 

2030 - 2 i/c returns with party.  Reports nothing seen.

 

25th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0035 - Message from 1 Troop: "I am standing to.  Verey lights approx 500 yds in front.  Small arms fire ahead and on our left flank."

 

0200 - Message from 4 Cdo: "Small party of ours still to return."

 

0600 - Distinct rumble of guns heard all night - indicates opening of our offensive.

 

1100 - 3 Officers and 42 men arriving shortly (reinforcements).

 

1200 - Two snipers return and report two enemy killed and one wounded.  They report being relieved by TSM Edwards and L/Cpl Osbourne.

 

1710 - TSM Edwards and L/Cpl Osbourne return - two more enemy killed.  See Appx. 'B' No 22.

 

1800 - Two snipers from 1 Troop go out to cover area EAST of BUISSON wood.  See Appx. 'B' No 23.  Message from Bde: "Following rds which are in full view of enemy and subject to shelling will not be used until further notice between 0500 hrs and 2300 hrs.  First - cross roads 045780 - PERIERS SUR DAN.  Second - Cross rds 067775 - rd 059757.  Cross rds 072767 - BEAVILLE 064749.  Only exception are staff officers and DRs."

 

2000 - Big battle around CAEN reported to be going well.  Bde says tanks may operate in this area early tomorrow.

 

2200 - Captain and 5 ORs to area LA GRANDE FME DU BUISSON to look for snipers of 1 Troop who have not yet returned.  Message to all troops: "Cdo patrol operating in area EAST of LONGUEMERE, midnight to 0400 hrs.

 

26th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0215 - 1 Troop report firing on their left and a bugle sounding on their right.

 

0950 - C.O. goes to Bde HQ.

 

1050 - C.O. returns from Bde.

 

1100 - Message from 4 Cdo: "3 snipers from this Unit will be working from LONGUEMERE FARM 140755 NORTH to N.E. to area 150763.  Time out 1130 until 2100 hours.  They will return through your lines by 2100 hrs latest."

 

1200 - Reinforcements arrive - 4 Officers and 47 ORs.

 

1500 - Message to all troops "6 Commando will be firing into the air at 1600 hrs".

 

1730 - Two snipers leave for GDE FME DU BUISSON.  See Appx. 'B' No 24.  Two snipers return from LONGUEMERE FERME.  See Appx 'B' No 25.

 

1835 - C.O. goes on tour of FDLs.

 

27th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0130 - 3 Troop patrol leaves for are GDE FME DU BUISSON to capture prisoner.  See Appx. 'B' No 26.

 

0630 - 3 Troop's patrol returns and reports following personnel missing:- TSM Edwards, Tprs Barnes, O'Connell, Roberts, Bennet, Kingsley.  One prisoner brought in.

 

0710 - Maplay has been compromised.  This information received from Bde.  Captain Pollard and two snipers leave for GDE FME DU BUISSON to search for personnel missing from 3 Troop's patrol.

 

0900 - Sniper reports: "Enemy at 142766 (corner of hedge at 0800 hrs - about 40 strong, keeping well down - no target)"

 

1000 - C.O. leaves for GDE FME DU BUISSON.

 

1020 - Lt-Col Tilley D.A.G.Q.M.G. and Major Hunt call at HQ.

 

1530 - Message from Bde: "R.A. are being sniped at in area of gliders by our troops"  All troops informed.

 

1540 - Message from: "Owing to temporary change in policy R.E. booby trap patrol is postponed pending further instruction."

 

1800 - I.O. tours FDLs.

 

1830 - Violent explosion shakes CHATEAU.  Enquiries reveal that own demolitions are being carried out.

 

2030 - Cpl Grant (3 Troop) reports having been in area to left and forward of LA GDE FME DU BUISSON and after observing for one hour saw no sign of enemy.

 

28th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0010 - Two 3 Troop snipers report to HQ and then go on to Bde with Capt Ponsford.

 

0915 - French civilian visits C.O.

 

1030 - I.O. to 4 Cdo and 4 SS Bde.

 

1100 - Enemy S.P. gun firing over our posns to rear.  Fired six shells approx. 146754.  In all probability patrol covering gun.

 

1345 - Major-General R. Sturges, DSO and Brigadier Mills-Roberts arrive at HQ.  C.O. accompanies him then round our FDLs.

 

1400 - Message from Bde: "W.E.F. receipt of this message road 131758 - 123761 is a one way route in westerly direction."  L/Cpl Ferrie and Tpr McGonnigle of 3 Troop report returning from snipers' return.  Report two enemy killed.

 

1530 - I.O. to 4 Commando and No 4 SS Bde.

 

1735 - 4 Commando inform us that they will be working in area LONGUEMERE and along N.W. between 0200 and 0500 hrs 29 Jun.  All troops are informed.

 

2133 - Information to all troops regarding 45 Commando's operation against area 147750.  Arty barrage to commence 0300 hours.  Assault H + 20 hours.

 

2200 - French patrol of seven operating between 2200 hrs and 2359 hours in area LA GDE FME DU BUISSON on 28 Jun 44.

 

29th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

1015 - Owners of CHATEAU call to see C.O.

 

1045 - Intelligence Sjt reports of 45 Cdo's operation of last night.  Says it was a success.  Many Germans presumed killed by use of grenades thrown into dug-outs.  No enemy prisoners taken.  Own casualties 1 Officer and 2 ORs slightly wounded.

 

1100 - Message from Bde: "All SEAGULLS to report to this location at 1245 hrs today".

 

1230 - I.O. returns from 6 Airborne Div HQ and reports - "Bridgehead across ODON (NORTH EVRECY, 10 EAST NOYERS, 10 EAST of YERSON).  I, III and IV Bns 235 Pz Gren Regt have been identified in area BRETTEVILLETTE.  There are no enemy tanks operating in the CHERBOURG Peninsula.

 

1300 - Adjt returns from Conference at Bde HQ.

 

1430 - Message from Bde: "Two Polish enemy deserters who surrendered to 4 Cdo today were originally of 857 Gren Regt.  They have since (about a week ago) been formed into 346 Fus Bn."

 

1820 - 3 Troop send patrol out into area of LONGUEMERE.

 

2040 - 8 shells land in 1 Troop's area.  3 Troop patrol reports "Sniper L/C Hawkesworth has killed one enemy sentry in area GDE FME DU BUISSON."

 

2045 - Shells landing in No 4 Commando's area.

 

30th June 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0400 - Patrols from 3 and 6 Troops going out.  3 Troop to GDE FME DU BUISSON and 6 Troop to LONGUEMERE.

 

0545 - Enemy movement seen by Lt Thomson's party (3 Troop).  Sentry shot by Cpl Grant.

 

0700 - 3 Troop patrols return to our lines.  See Appx. 'B' No 28.

 

0800 - 6 Troop's patrol and reports having seen no enemy movement.

 

1100 - Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater calls to see C.O.

 

1415 - Message from Bde: "4 SS Bde will operate in area LE GDE FME DU BUISSON during the hours of 2300 and 0100 hours in conjunction with elements of 6 Air Ldg Bde on night 2/3 Jul 44."  A fighting patrol from 6 Air Ldg Bde will operate in area of cross roads 144751 during hours of darkness tonight."

 

1600 - 6 Commando are registering Vickers MG firing in direction LONGUEMERE.  C.O. goes to BREVILLE.

 

1630 - C.O. returns.

 

1820 - 3 Troop send out patrol to LE GDE FME DU BUISSON.

 

2025 - 3 Troop patrol returns.  See Appx. 'B' No 29.

 

2100 - Enemy shelling of whole area commences.

 

2130 - Fighting patrol of 1 Officer and 10 ORs from 6 Cdo will operate in area of DU BUISSON, between 0300 and 0600 hours on 1 Jul 44.  Will proceed in and out through No 4 Commando Lines.  No 3 Commando Training Instruction No 9 issued to troops.

 

 

Appendix "A" No.2

Report on the Activities of 3 Troop, No 3 Commando in Normandy, on "D" Day - 6 Jun 1944

 

LANDING

3 Troop's L.C.I. landed well on time (H + 105) and the troop immediately disembarked at top speed, although there was some slight confusion caused by the difficulty in handling bicycles.  The Troop crossed the beach under fairly heavy enemy shell fire but suffered only one or two casualties, including Lieut. E.F. Lewis.  The Troop then contacted the rest of the Commando at the F.U.P. and then pushed on inland across swampy ground.  The bicycles, with their loads of 3" mortar bombs, made this a very strenuous task.  Quite a number of the men had been unable to get their cycles ashore.

 

ADVANCE

Once across the swamps the Troop infiltrated inland along hedges and fields until our forward tanks were contacted.  A path fit for cycling was reached near ST AUBIN d'ARQUENAY (0977) and the Troop led by Captain E.R. Westley pushed on towards the bridges at BENOUVILLE (099749), overtaking various formation of No 1 SS Bde en route.  The Troop crossed the bridges as a body and at this time one bridge was under fire from an enemy sniper.  One casualty occurred here.  At the EAST end of the second bridge Brigadier The Lord Lovat was met.  Captain Westley reported to him and he was instructed to take the troop along the main road towards SALLANELLES (1377) and contact a Para Bn holding the high ground to the EAST of the road.  At cross roads 122756 Captain Westley contacted OC 9 Para Bn who asked for assistance in attacking and destroying an enemy strong point at LE PLEIN 128751.  After consultation with the Bde Comdr, 3 Troop were given orders to make an attack in conjunction with the Para Bn.

 

ATTACK ON LE PLEIN

At approximately 1400 hours on D day, 3 Troop mounted on bicycles reached the cross roads below LE PLEIN at 122756.  The 9 Para Bn (what there were left of them) were holding this position and Captain Westley conferred with their Colonel.  Soon after we arrived Major Rushforth of 45 (RM) Commando arrived with his troop and the three forces decided to combine and attack the place covered by 3" mortar fire from No 6 Commando who were in the area.  We were to supply the mortar bombs.  A recce was made around the left flank and a plan decided on, 9 Para Bn were to give us covering fire from the area of CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE and the two Commando Troops were to assault the town straight up the hill from the cross roads.  Just before this attack was fulfilled Major Rushworth was called away by his C.O.  The mortar bombs which we had been carrying on our bicycles were found to be of no use, the charges having been removed.  At this stage Brigadier The Lord Lovat arrived and ordered 3 Troop to carry on and put in the attack.  At about 1530 hours the Troop moved up the road leading to the town, a section each side of the road.  "A" Squad of 5 Section was detached and put out on the left to support us with what fire they could, but later they rejoined the troop as there was no possible position which they could use.  When we reached the buildings (now Bde HQ) heavy small arms fire was opened up on us from houses about 50 yards to our front on the left of the road.  Tprs Osbourne and Jennings returned this fire with Brens fired from the hip.  Captain Westley, L/Sjt Hill and Tprs Harnett and Dean were casualties, Tpr Dean being killed.  The Force withdrew rapidly, bringing the wounded and killed with them.  Until they were down the road and under cover Tprs Osbourne and Jennings maintained their fire in the open and then withdrew.  It was obvious that this route of advance was impossible and that the Troop needing reforming.  Captain Westley was bleeding badly from his right arm and ordered me to take command.  I sent Sjt Synnott and his squad up the road we had withdrawn from to stop the enemy infiltrating down the road and to engage them.  L/Sjt Salisbury and squad went right round to the right of the town to cause a diversion and I went up towards the middle of the town with L/Cpl Hodgson and Cpl Lawrence to carry out a recce for the main assault.  Using a small path we soon found a good position opposite the school buildings and we could see the enemy strong points from where we were.  Cpl Lawrence went back and brought up the remainder of the troop.  I sent Sjt Edmunds and four men to clear the buildings to our immediate right and laid 2" mortar HE on the Post Office building.  The enemy had been observed in this building and in the surrounding area.  The Bren also took up the fire-fight and the building was plastered with fire, 2" mortar smoke also being fired at the same building.  It was found extremely difficult to get the mortar barrel low enough and the first three smoke bombs cleared the roof and set a farm building alight 150 yds to the rear of it.  Eventually they got the range and a smoke bomb entered one of the windows and others bounced off the walls.  While this was happening the buildings to our left were being cleared.  The Post Office was then assaulted and several enemy were killed withdrawing.  The assault party which was then joined by Captain Westley with his wounds dressed, pushed on and took approximately fifteen enemy prisoner in the far side of the town.  Sjt Edmunds' clearing party accounted for another six and Sjt Synnott accounted for several more who gave themselves up when he advanced.  The troop took up position forward of the town along a hedgerow which they held for the next five days.  During the evening I went round to contact O.C. 6 Commando and returned at 2030 hours to learn that enemy mortar bombs had landed close to the Post Office and killed T.S.M. Coaker and wounded three others (not of 3 Commando) the identity of whom I have never discovered.

 

(Sgd) K.D. PONSFORD Captain, O.C. 3 Troop.

FIELD

2 Jul 44.

KDP/RH

 

 

Appendix "A" No.3

Report on an Attack by 4 Troop on an Enemy Gun Battery at Merville and the Subsequent Withdrawal

 

Maps Used :- Sheet 40/16 N.E.

                      Sheet 40/16 N.W.

 

1. At about 1330 hours 7 Jun 44 4 Troop was in a defensive position in the area stone quarry 114749.  The Troop was suddenly ordered to move back and take part in a general attack by 45 (RM) Commando on FRANCEVILLE PLAGE.  Captain BD Butler MC moved off with Major JBV Pooley MC RA to an "O" Group at 45 Cdo HQ and Lieut G Pollard MC MM moved the Troop up the main rd towards SALLANELLES.

 

2. FIRST CASUALTIES

Just short of the R.V. 126764 the Troop suffered its first casualties of the campaign.  The enemy was shelling the road spasmodically, and although we were moving under the shelter of a barn two lucky shells caused casualties.  Tpr Hickey was wounded in the shoulder, Tpr McAllister was hit in the hand and Cpl McDonald was knocked out by the blast and did not take part in the subsequent operations of the day.

 

3. THE PLAN

At the R.V. we were joined by Captain Butler who explained are part in the attack.  5 Troop under comd Captain Woyevodsky would attack a gun battery at MERVILLE and would be given fire support by 4 Troop.  Following the attack 4 Troop would take over the lead to the outskirts of FRANCEVILLE and then the force would develop EAST on the fringe of the town.

 

4. THE ATTACK

No 5 Troop who were only carrying their arms and ammn as opposed to 4 Troop's full equipment, led the way to the Battery, and from the area rd junc 158774 formed up to attack.  4 Troop moved one section to provide fire support and 5 Troop under Major Pooley moved around the right flank.  Two LMGs which began firing from the battery area were quickly silenced by the fire of 4 LMGs and the A/Tk rifle.  The 2" mortar provided a smoke screen to cover 5 Troop over an open piece of ground.  Shortly after the attack had begun Sjt King with one section of 5 Troop appeared and said he had lost touch with the remainder of his Troop.

 

5. LAG

There was no signal from the attacking troop and after about twenty minutes Lieut Pollard moved 7 Section up on the left and had almost reached the wood when heavy shell or mortar fire came down upon them.  Tpr Abrahams was wounded in the arm and as there appeared to be no advantage in remaining in the area Lt Pollard rejoined the Troop.  When the shelling had cleared, 7 Section again moved up on the left and on the way contacted a party of the C.O's who joined Captain Butler.

 

6. THE BATTERY TAKEN

7 Section moved into the battery area without opposition and made contact with the section of 5 Troop who were mopping up the area, and dealing with a few remaining snipers.  The remainder of the Troop then arrived and consolidation began in the area of MERVILLE.  Attempts were made to blow the guns and while this operation was proceeding Major Pooley was shot in the head and killed by a sniper who still resisted in one of the casemates.

 

7. COUNTER ATTACK

The force lingered in the objective area and signs of enemy activity began when a low trajectory gun from close range opened fire in the wooded area E.N.E. MERVILLE.  The first shell caused several casualties and Lt Williams went off with 'A' squad to attempt to silence the gun.  A curious incident here occurred.  From one of the houses through the trees came the sound of a shot - not fired by our force - and then cries of definite Teutonic origin.  A theory forwarded by Captain Butler is that this was a German shot by his own gang of determined fanatics.  From the activities and resistance of the enemy in the casemates I can well believe this to be so.

 

CASUALTIES MOUNT UP

The patrol, which was not seen again, evidently ran into trouble for LMG fire was heard, and there were sounds of Bren and MG 34's firing.  Meanwhile our casualties began to mount.  Tpr Lambert, believed killed, was hit by a shell, and Tprs Chapman and Chatham were wounded.  5 Troop also reported casualties further into the village where they held the cross roads.  A party of about nine were moved into a bomb crater and immediately a bomb exploded in it.  Tpr Mills and Tpr Dunne were badly wounded here, and Tpr Barber was hit in the back as he was moving along the road.  An attempt was made with a 2" mortar to silence the gun but without success.

 

WITHDRAWAL

Captain Butler decided to withdraw the force, and unfortunately the only practicable way lay through a minefield.  A number of casualties here occurred, chiefly through "S" mines.  Tpr Smith, L/Cpl Creswick and TSM Hubbard were wounded.  After the minefield the force reorganised by the woods and then moved off in an orderly fashion, 5 Troop leading towards SALLANELLES.  Near SALLANELLES a party of 45 (RM) Cdo was contacted and they moved back with us.  One the way back Tpr Napier was hit in the arm by a shell splinter but carried on and reached the RAP.  Our lines were reached without further incident.

 

THE WOUNDED

I should like to add an especial word of praise concerning the behaviour of the wounded.  They were extremely patient uncomplainly, and in the face of their peril of being completely abandoned, extremely cheerful.  In particular I would mention the attitude of L/Cpl Creswick and Tpr Smith, who set an example I shall be a long time in forgetting.  Attached is a complete list of our casualties.

 

(Sgd) Gordon Pollard Lieut, No 3 Commando.

 

 

Appendix "A" No.4

The Account of the Attack on Merville Battery (155775) 7 June 1944

 

Troops taking part :- No 4 and 5 Troops

In Command :- Major J.B.V. Pooley MC RA.

Object :- To take and destroy the guns in the battery.  (No explosives were taken as the object was not known until too late.  No time was given for the preparation of this operation)

 

NARRATIVE

The Force left SALLANELLES with 5 Tp leading and took the direct route to the rd junc at 155768 at pt C.  There the plan was made as follows:-

 

(i) 4 Tp to take up posn along edge of wood at pt D to carry out fire-fight until they saw 5 Tp assaulting the posn, then to move up and consolidate.

(ii) 5 Tp to move round the right flank to pt A and assault battery.

 

This plan was carried out with the following incidents.

 

(i) 10 Section of 5 Troop got left behind and did not arrive on the battery until after the assault had gone in by 9 Section and mopping up was taking place.

(ii) 9 Section were sniped all the way to pt A from the battery and finally had to assault through a minefield to get at the battery, thereby losing three men.

(iii) The Germans in the battery possessed fanatical courage and fought until they died.

 

During the mopping up of the position Major JBV Pooley MC was killed.  The enemy then began to shell the battery and both troops withdrew to the rd running NORTH from the Battery.  For an hour after this the enemy brought down heavy fire on our posn inflicting further casualties until it was decided to withdraw from the posn altogether.  The only method of withdrawal was through another minefield, which was carried out with further casualties.  From there the route back was along track from the Battery to SALLANELLES, where the Force joined up with the remainder of the Brigade.

 

SKETCH SHOWING ATTACK ON BATTERY

 

 

Appendix "A" No.5

Report on the Activities of 6 Troop Against the Enemy at Le Plein on 8 Jun 44.

 

At noon on 8 Jun 44 6 Troop, No 3 Commando under the command of Captain J. Alderson were in a defensive position at LE PLEIN in the area of 131756.  The Troop was being attacked by a strong force of Germans which was part of a Battalion attack being put in against the Commando's line.  6 Troop were under enemy fire coming from houses at 132755, hedges to their front and from the wood at 137757.  An M.G. was also firing from 132754 but this was located and Sjt Evans G who ordered 2" mortar H.E. to be laid down on this posn with success.  The M.G. posn at 132754 was observed by Tpr Forsyth who quickly put it out of action with fire from his Bren.

 

The enemy attack was eventually repulsed and Captain Alderson gave orders that the troop would clear the area to their immediate front.

 

The Troop formed up at 131754 with 11 Section under Captain Alderson to advance along rd from 131754 to 137752.  12 Section under Lieut R.G. Herbert DCM MM was to clear the orchard on the left of the rd.

 

12 Section entered the orchard at 131756 and extended into line with Lt Herbert controlling the advance from the centre and with "C" Squad on the left and "D" Squad on the right.  The Section was at this time under fire from Mgs in the woods at 137757 and from S.A. to their front, and from houses to their right.

 

The advance continued through the orchard for about 80 yards to a hedge without the enemy being observed.  Just as the advance was to be continued 12 Germans were seen to run from the rd into the houses.  Sjt Evans G ordered his squad to engage the enemy whilst he went forward to warn Captain Alderson who was still advancing down the road.  Captain Alderson on learning of the enemy's posn immediately set about clearing them from the houses.

 

Sjt Evans on rejoining his squad found that they had advanced a further 50 yards and sustained two casualties.  The two squads of 12 Section then rejoined under Lieut Herbert and reached a point 133756.  Failing to penetrate the hedge bordering the second orchard Lt Herbert led his section along a lane and in towards the road.  When advancing along this lane the section was fired on by eight Germans who had an MG posn in a ditch.  The Section engaged them and two were killed, three wounded and the remaining three surrendered.  The Section then arrived at junc of track and road at 132754 and joined up with Captain Alderson and his section who had succeeded in clearing the enemy from the houses.

 

Captain Alderson here ordered his 2" mortars to engage the enemy MG posns in hedge at approx 134756.  An attempt was made to enter the orchard on the left of the road but all means of entry were under heavy enemy fire.  It was decided to continue the advance along the road.  Sgt Evans A and his squad were sent to assist Lieut Wardle's party (1 Troop) who were clearing the field on the right of the road.

 

With Captain Alderson and Lieut Herbert leading the Troop advanced down the road for a distance of 30 yards when they were fired on by enemy positioned in the ditches on either side of the road.  The advance was non-tactical but owing to the shining example set by the two Officers, the Troop's complete disregard for danger and the speed of the attack the enemy were completely demoralised.  6 Troop's fire inflicted many casualties and those who were not killed or wounded surrendered.

 

The prisoners were sent back to Commando HQ and the advance continued for another 300 yards when the troop again came under fire from a ditch 137753.  Captain Alderson entered the field in which the enemy MGs were positioned but was shot in the leg by one of the enemy.  Lt Herbert led the troop on and engaged the positions by firing a bren gun from the hip.  He continued for about 20 yards until he was hit and killed.  The Troop still engaged the enemy forcing them to disengage and leave their weapons in their positions.

 

The area was now coming under heavy M.G. fire directed from 134755 so Captain Alderson although wounded gave the order for his Troop to withdraw.  This was carried out without further casualties.

 

The strength of the Troop at the beginning of the counter-attack was 2 Officers and 39 Other ranks.  Total casualties in the troop were 1 Officer killed and 1 Officer and 7 ORs wounded.  Total casualties inflicted on the enemy cannot be estimated but many were killed and wounded while 40 were taken prisoners.  A patrol sent out later brought in Lieut Herbert and also many MGs and LMGs left by the enemy in their hasty retreat.

 

 

Appendix "B" No.1

 

Subject: Patrol.

To:- Adjutant No 3 Commando

From:- O.C. 4 Troop.

 

TYPE.  Fighting patrol, 1 Officer, 11 O.R.s.

TASK.  To investigate wooded area NE SALLENELLES, as far as 145775 and to kill or capture any enemy in that area.

DATE.  12 June 44.

TIME OUT.  0115 hours.

TIME IN.  0345 hours.

ROUTE.  Through F.D.L.s at 132672 and to wood via road to SALLENELLES.

ACTION.  Patrol swept the area detailed and failed to contact any enemy.  2" mortar flares and 2" mortar H.E. bombs were fired and also small arms in an endeavour to provoke a reply but without success.

 

(Signed) G. Pollard. Lieut.

 

 

Appendix "B" No.2

 

Subject: Patrol Report.

Map: Sheet 7F/2

To: The Adjutant, No.3 Commando.

From: O.C. 3 Troop

 

On the 12th Jun 44 I was ordered to take 40 men on a fighting patrol to the area of the forward edge of the wood (138757).  It was to be of weak troop strength and to consist of 40 men and myself.

 

The object was to attack as flank protection to a battalion attacking BREVILLE during the afternoon.

 

We left Commando H.Q. at 1400 hours and made our way to SALLONELLES via HAUGEN.  We then cut across country through the R.M. Commando lines to the T junction leading down to the farm 137765.

 

On approaching the T junction a light German patrol of one officer and three men were seen approaching, approximately 150 yards to our front from the area of the farm 139675.  These were observed for a short period and then engaged.  They went to ground and other Germans were seen in the farm buildings.  I then decided to attack the farm.  This we did straight down the road.  The 2" mortar was fired at low angle and the Brens worked ahead in bounds giving covering fire to the troops in the ditches.

 

On the way down the road we shot a German trying to escape, evidently one of the patrol who had been left behind to give the remainder cover for their withdrawal.  He was armed with a machine pistol and was still alive after we had cleared the farm - from where the enemy had escaped we brought the prisoner in and laid him down.  He appeared badly wounded and unable to move by himself.  I sent a man back to the troops of a R.M. Commando and asked them if they would come with a stretcher and get him.  This they agreed to do.

 

I then observed of the enemy 300-400 yards away, due East of the farm.  They were moving away from the wood which was to be our objective.  On the way up we were sniped at from a farm building beyond the edge of the wood as we approached it.  We did not return the fire.

 

There were quite a number of dead Germans at the far end of the wood.  They appeared to have been killed from Mortar fire and had been there for at least five or six days.

 

The area we occupied had previously been held by British forces for deep trenches had been dug and a great deal of British kit lay about including the very large haversacks and a strip-Lewis (which was U/S) and about 30 mags for the latter.

 

While we were in this position we saw nothing of interest except that BREVILLE was getting one of its many poundings by our guns and mortars.

 

We withdrew from the position at 1720 hours after informing H.Q.  On reaching the farm we discovered that the R.M. Commando had come down for the German and had gone back for a stretcher, but during this time they took to get it, the prisoner with the aid of one of his comrades had succeeded in making his escape.

 

We returned to our own lines without further incidences.

 

(Signed) K.D. Ponsford.

O.C. 3 Troop

13th June 44.

 

 

Appendix "B" No.3

 

Subject:- Night patrol report of 12 June 44.

To:- Adjutant No 3 Commando.

From:- O.C. 6 Troop.

Map Reference 7.F./2.

 

Patrol consisted of 4 Officers and 65 O.Rs.  Started off from Commando H.Q. at 2200 hours in the direction of GONNEVILLE.

 

OBJECT.

Firstly to create a disturbance in the GONNEVILLE area.  Secondly to capture prisoners.  Route taken by patrol through Farm House 139765 which was reported to be occupied by the enemy.  The Farm House was found to be unoccupied and the patrol reformed in the area.  At this point the attack on BREVILLE was in progress and enemy guns firing tracer were observed on our right flank in considerable quantity, 140759 area.  The patrol advanced to a point on the road 153765 having first inspected diggings at point 140766 which appeared to have been British as British equipment was lying in the area.  The hedgerow on the near side of the road GONNEVILLE to BREVILLE was occupied by the enemy who could be heard talking.  It was then decided that half the patrol under Lieut-Colonel P. Young, DSO, MC. should remain watching the road and hope to capture prisoners, whilst Captain J.F. Nixon, MC. and the remainder should advance towards GONNEVILLE and create a disturbance.  The patrol advanced until the voices of German soldiers could be heard very distinctly quite close to the town itself.  The patrol then spread out on the ground and opened fire from 2 2" mortars and all available small arms.  When ammunition expenditure had reached a high percentage the patrol withdrew in the direction of the Farm.  The Germans did not attempt any opposition but put up illuminating flares.  As arranged both parties of the patrol withdrew to Commando H.Q. independently.  Colonel Young's party captured 3 prisoners from the hedgerow and then having fired into the hedgerow withdrew.  This patrol was fired on by the enemy on its withdrawal.

 

CONCLUSION.

Enemy in occupation of GONNEVILLE area but area from Commando H.Q. to GONNEVILLE not occupied by static force.

 

Patrol Commanded by Captain J.F. Nixon, MC.  No 3 Troop attachment by Lieut Ponsford comprising of 1 Officer and 35 men.  No 1 attachment by Sgt Firth comprising 1 N.C.O. and 10 men.  No 6 Troop attachment by Sgt Evans (69) comprising of 1 N.C.O. and 8 men.  H.Q. attachment (Medical Staff) under Captain E.L. Moore, MC.  The patrol supervised and commanded by Lieut-Colonel P. Young, DSO, MC. and a small party of H.Q.

 

Signed. J.F. Nixon. Captain.

Field.

WMH.

 

 

Appendix "B" No.4

 

Subject:- Patrols.

Map Sheet:- 7F/2

To:- Adjutant, No.3 Commando.

From:- O.C. 3 Troop.

 

On 12 Jun 44, I was ordered to take out volunteers from 3 Troop on a large fighting patrol which was commanded by Captain Nixon (3 Commando); There were 37 of 3 Troop in all.


We were to go to the area GONNEVILLE in order to discover the disposition of the enemy in that area and capture prisoners.  We started at 2145 hours and made straight for the farm 139765 which we had previously taken the same afternoon.  No enemy was met or opposition sighted up to this point.  It was then decided to cut straight across country under cover of darkness to GONNEVILLE and form further plans when we got there.  The country was crossed without incidence and we halted 100 yards short of the main GONNEVILLE-BREVILLE road, about 400 yards outside GONNEVILLE.

 

A Party under command of Captain Nixon was sent 200 yards left of our forming-up position.  I took one section (5) of 3 Troop a 100 yards to the right and the C.O. 3 Commando remained in the centre with 6 Section 3 Troop and his party to give covering fire if required.

 

Captain Nixon's party were to act as a diversion.  My party was to push on to the road, ambush some Germans and bring back some prisoners.  Just as we were approaching the road, reference 152763, a burst of automatic fire came from our left approximately 300 yards which sounded like an MG 34.  This fire was immediately returned and the firing continued for a short period perhaps 30 seconds.  After that there was no more firing for some time.

 

Up to now my party, one squad forward, one about 30 yards in the rear, had been working forward in short bounds, approximately 20 yards and had been stopping to listen.  We took advantage of the noise of shell fire which was going on periodically to move forward and when the fire was opened to our left we made a large bound forward which brought us to a position about 10 yards from the hedgerow which runs along in front of the main road, the road being raised approximately 4 feet.

 

We then had a period of listening for about 2 minutes when we heard a party of three moving down the road in the direction of BREVILLE.  At this we moved up right forward to the hedgerow.  I made for a gap but found it was boarded up and that I could not get through the hedge without causing a disturbance.  I therefore stopped and listened.  About 2 yards to my front I heard deep breathing of a man asleep.  I ordered Cpl. Lawrence to come forward and gave him instructions to awaken the man and tell him to come with him.  Also that if he made a noise we would shoot him.  Just as he was about to carry out these instructions the three men were heard coming back along the road and so we waited until they had passed.  When all was quiet he did as I instructed.  The man went for his MG 34.  Cpl. Lawrence caught hold of him and I got the weapon.  He came out without causing any trouble except that he spoke rather loudly.  However he did not rouse anyone so all was well.

 

The prisoner was searched and he and his weapon were sent back under the command of Cpl. Barnes and his squad.

 

With exactly the same procedure we went to another trench and took two more prisoners.  They made more noise than the previous one but they soon quietened down with firm handling.  We then decided to withdraw while the loss of these men remained undiscovered.

 

I looked round for the remainder of the party but could not find them in the dark and not wanting to make a noise decided to push back to the farm and wait for them there.  We got back without incident and waited for approximately 15 minutes during which time some shots were fired through the farm-yard from the wood on the left of the farm.  Not knowing whether the other parties had returned or not I decided to wait no longer and withdrew to our lines arriving at H.Q. at 0245 hours approximately.

 

(Signed) K/D/Ponsford.

O.C. 3 Troop.

 

 

Appx "B" No.5

 

Subject: Patrols.

To:- Adjutant No 3 Commando

From:- 4453883 L/Sgt Synnott. J. F. 3 Troop.

Map Reference. 7.F./2.

 

On 13 June 44 at 1630 hours I went out on patrol from Commando H.Q. to LA GDE FME DU BUISSON taking the normal route in order to hold the Farm for a patrol passing through same night.  On arrival at the Farm I found it unoccupied and posted my men (12) in number in defensive positions in and around the Farm buildings.  Shortly after arrival an observer reported enemy activity in the area of the diggings 144768.  (6) of the enemy were observed at the same time.  At approx 1730 hours a party of 6 enemy were seen to move off in a NORTHERLY direction.  They were seen no more.  At approx 2045 hours it was reported that there were enemy reported in the orchard on the left hand side of the Farm as it approached from our lines.  They were then seen to work round the far wall of the Farm, across the lower gate.  As they passed they were counted and found to be 40 in strength including 1 Officer and 4 L.M.G.  The main force of the enemy took up position in and around the right hand orchard with the L.M.G. in position along the further hedgerow of the orchard at approx 2100 hours.  I decided to withdraw my force up the road to the T junction 137765.  I was unable to warn 4 of my force to withdraw owing to the fact that the Farmer had locked the doors.  L/Cpl Grant and myself went back to the Farm to withdraw these men but just then a force of British Marauders heavily bombed the area of the T junction.  This caused a great deal of dust and smoke which gave us cover to withdraw.  On arrival at the T junction I found that my main force had withdrawn to the valley 133765.  I searched the area of the T junction and found a Sgt of 47 R.M. Commando who was wounded.  I dressed his wounds and arranged a stretcher party.  My main party had suffered no casualties and I sent a runner off to Lieut Ponsford to warn him that I had been forced to withdraw from the farm.  I then moved the main force down the road to the Farm where I observed the enemy approaching through the orchard on the right.  I decided that the force was not strong enough to attack the enemy so I returned to the T junction placed my force in a position of defence until Major Hopsons patrol arrived and I informed him of the strength and disposition of the enemy.

 

Signed.  4453883 L/Sgt Synnott J.F.

WMH.

 

 

Appx "B" No.6

 

To: Adjutant No 3 Commando.

From: O.C. 6 Troop

Subject: REPORT ON PATROL ON EVENING OF 14.6.44 (MAP 40/16 N.W.)

 

A patrol consisting of two officers and 26 O.Rs of 6 Troop 3 Commando, left 3 Cdo lines at 1930 hours on 14.6.44, in the direction of LONGUEMERE WOODS along the rd.  The patrol cleared and occupied farm house at 139753 and proceeded on either side of the rd down to the X roads at 144751.

 

Acting on the information acquired by a previous recce patrol of this troop, the patrol was equipped with two jeeps which collected one German Heavy mortar gun tripod and base plate from a farm at 143750.  A shooting van abandoned on the rd at 143748 was successfully towed into a safe posn behind the patrol.

 

Col Young with a small party advanced along the rd in the direction of GONNEVILLE and observed a small party of the enemy in field at 144752 and sent back information to Captain Nixon to bring fwd the reinforcements required and which were astride the X rds and holding the rds.  Captain Nixon advanced towards GONNEVILLE and failed to contact Col Young but observed him across the field at 144753.  As Captain Nixon was advancing across the field two Germans rose from the middle and ran to the corner of the field nearest GONNEVILLE.  All ranks immediately opened fire and it is believed that one German was hit.  An enemy LMG opened fire but Captain Nixon and his party gained the hedgerow without casualties, and caught up with Col Young.  The party then withdrew as a whole to the farm at 139753.  Shots were exchanged during this withdrawal, but they were obviously not aimed shots.

 

At the farm the party was reorgansied and the whole patrol together with the two jeeps and captured car, returned down the rd to Unit lines.

 

CONCLUSION

Enemy not in occupation of area up to and incl the X rds at 144751, but small standing patrols being sent out from GONNEVILLE - this place obviously occupied by the enemy along the main rd.

 

PATROL CONSISTED OF :-

        Patrol Cmdr :-  Captain J.F. Nixon, MC

                                Lieut Cunningham. and 26 O.Rs.

        Patrol under supervision of Lieut-Col P. Young DSO, MC.

 

(Signed) J.F. Nixon, Captain,

O.C. 6 Troop.

 

 

Appx "B" No.7

 

SUBJECT: PATROLS (REPORT) 150600 B - 160600 B

 

1030 hours  Strong French patrol one Officer and 20 ORs occupy farm at 140754 without interference.

 

1200 hours  Recce patrol to X rds 144752 driven off by enemy small arms fire.

 

1530 hours  Two snipers from 1 Troop No 3 Cdo penetrate to area of X rds 144752.  Observe enemy, four in number, near house at 143752.  Shoot two and withdraw under enemy MG fire.

 

1900 hours  Vickers Section and Mortar section with covering infantry proceed in jeeps via BREVILLE by agreement with I RUR to 138747 and engage enemy in area X rds 144752.  100 rds 3" mortar HE and several thousand rds Vickers fired into area.  Three enemy observed near houses 143750.  Enemy reply with MG, 20 mm A.A., and rifle fire.  Force withdraws via BREVILLE at 1930 hrs without casualties.

 

2230 hours  French send fighting patrol to search X rds 144752 and area immediately NORTH and SOUTH.  No trace of enemy found.

 

2300 hours  Patrol of one officer and 12 ORs from 4 Troop 3 Cdo left at X rds 144752 to ambush enemy should he return at first light.

 

DEDUCTIONS  Enemy appears to hold area BAS de BREVILLE and to have a standing patrol at X rds 144752 by day.

 

2100 hours  3 Troop 3 Cdo supported by a troop of 4 Cdo under Major Porteous leave to investigate area GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON and rd GONNEVILLE - BREVILLE.  3 Troop suffer one casualty (killed) by own anti-personnel mine laid in 4 Cdo area on approach to farm.

 

2300 hours  GDE FME DU BUISSON and orchards cleared.

 

0030 hours  "C" Tp 4 Cdo occupy farm while 3 Tp 3 Cdo proceed towards rd GONNEVILLE - BREVILLE.  The rd was reached at about 148760 and patrolled for some distance.  It seemed to be thickly held, and everyone was very alert.  There was the noise of weapons in trenches and people being halted on the rd.  It was not possible to penetrate the line.  The patrol withdrew from the rd at 0245 hrs via the farm.

 

CONCLUSION  The line was so much more active than previously that it is possible that there are new troops in the area or that they are forming up for an attack.

 

(Sgd) DC HOPSON, Major,

No 3 Commando.

Field

16 JUN 44

RH/

 

 

Appx "B" No.8

 

SUBJECT:  PATROL REPORT

TYPE:  STANDING PATROL

AREA:  FARM BUILDINGS - M.R. 140755

STRENGTH  One Officer and 23 O.Rs.

OBJECT:  TO HOLD LONGUEMERE UNTIL RELIEVED

-------------------------------------

 

The patrol was ready by 1325 hours and left 1 Troop lines at 1345 hours.  On approaching to with 300 yds of FARM a quick recce was made and it was found the FARM was unoccupied.  The patrol then took over the area, being split into four groups.  Three with bren guns facing NORTH EAST and WEST, HQ in rear making WEST point of square.  Patrol did not use buildings at all.

 

Observations posts of two men each were placed out, one to watch X rds 144752, the other the woods to the WEST of the posn.  They reported every half hour to Tp HQ.

 

During the occupation there was desultory shelling and mortar fire coming from our own and enemy posns.

 

At 1930 hours a Smoke screen was laid on the track 148753 and the relief patrol of 45 Cdo appeared through it.  Handing over was completed thoroughly and patrol returned to its lines at 1955 hours.

 

No enemy movement was observed during this time.

 

(Sgd) CEA Collins, Captain,

O.C. No 1 Troop.

16.6.44.

Field.

 

 

Appx "B" No.9

 

To: Officer Commanding No 3 Commando.

Subject: RECCE PATROL                Date: 16-17/6/44.

Strength: One Officer and five ORs.

Object: To find enemy dug in defences.  Capture a prisoner

 

Sir,

On the night 14 Jun 44 I left LONGUEMERE FARM (139755) Map 7/F/2 at 2230 hours with 5 ORs to find enemy dug in defences on rd 169792-143751 and secondly to capture a prisoner.  I met no opposition going over X rds 143752 and only saw weapon slits as previously noted.  The patrol moved along the WEST side of the rd until reaching a pt 146756 where German voices were heard on the other side of the rd.  It was not possible for the interpreter to understand what was being said.  Whilst I was issuing orders a party of Germans, about 12 - 15, left this posns and moved NORTH along rd.  Another party could be heard moving EAST through the wood.  When the place was quiet I decided to capture an enemy sentry but he must have heard us as we were crossing the rd for two MGs and a number of carbines and rifles opened up on us.  We returned to cover and the enemy continued to fire wild for about five minutes.  When the firing ceased I tried to locate the patrol but failed to do so.  I therefore moved further NORTH along hedgerow but was fired on by an MG posn approx 146758.  As I was on my own I decided to return to LONGUEMERE FARM and collect the patrol.  I arrived at the farm and found only two of my patrol there.  I waited for the others until 0315 hours and then returned to No 6 Cdo lines with standing patrol.  I reported to Bde HQ and also wrote out patrol reports.

 

Conclusions drawn from patrol

That enemy is holding pt 146756 in some strength, is very nervous and appeared to be dug in although I didn't see the defences.

 

Two of the patrol reported in about 0600 hrs to their own Cdo and stated that when the firing started they took cover as ordered, then moved forward and failed to hear me ordering them to withdraw and eventually made their own way back.

 

Casualties

Own: One Cpl (45 RM Cdo) Missing.

Enemy: Nil.

 

(Sgd) A.J. Cunningham, Lieut, (A & SH)

Patrol Cmdr.

 

Commanding Officer's conclusions on Lt Cunningham's patrol on night 16/17 Jun 44.

Area of wood bounded by rd 147757 - 148758 is held as Pln Posn with supporting forces to the EAST.

 

 

Appx "B" No.10

 

Subject: PATROLS - NIGHT OF 17-18 JUN 44.

 

1.  Patrol consisting of one Officer and 6 ORs left at midnight, returning at 0430 hours, with intention of bringing back a prisoner from area BAS de BREVILLE, M.R. 1475.  Route taken : Commando lines at tk junc 139752, along outside of hedge to bend in rd 143752.  Two of patrol went along rd, rest of party through wood making R.V. at shelled house 145752.  Officer and one OR proceeded eighty yds along rd.  Enemy had started indiscriminate shooting (MG 34) with the aid of Verey lights.  Enemy were found to be holding the line of the wood in defended depth, and patrol drew enemy fire with aimed rifle shots on right flank.  Enemy answered with another MG 34 and two rifles.  Their appeared to be friendly patrol activity on Airborne side of bdy rd 147748.  Ascertained that enemy is holding wood 147752, unlikely that snipers are our side of BREVILLE GOUVILLE rd; no outposts, listening posts or standing patrols are in evidence.  There is complete absence of enemy patrol activity WEST of this rd in LONGUEMERE district.

 

2.  Patrol consisting of one officer and 7 ORs left at midnight returning at 0400 hours, with intention of bringing back prisoner.  Route taken from Cdo lines.  They encountered trip wire and booby traps at 135761 (4 Cdo lines).  Patrol moved EAST skirting orchards SOUTH of LE GDE FME DU BUISSON towards main GONNEVILLE - BREVILLE rd at 146756.  Area at this pt was too open for advance and patrol moved NORTH to 146758.  Patrol attempted to penetrate enemy lines several times until 0305 hours, and withdrew to LD GDE FME DU BUISSON.  No enemy were encountered and the patrol was not fired on.

 

(Sgd) P. YOUNG,

Lieut Colonel,

Commanding No 3 Commando.

18 Jun 44.

 

 

Appx "B" No.11

 

To:- Lt-Col P. Young. DSO. MC.   O.C. No 3 Commando.

From:- O.C. 6 Troop.

Subject:- Static Patrol of 17 June 44 by No 6 Troop.  3 Commando.

 

Comprising of 1 Officer (Captain J.F. Nixon MC) and 35 O.Rs.  Relieved by No 45 R.M. Commando at Longuemare Farm 139753 at 1830 hours 17 June 44.  On arrival 2 reconnaissance patrols were sent out immediately to cross roads 144750.  They reported nothing observed.  At 2000 hours another reconnaissance patrol proceeded down the hedgerow to left of farm to position 143753 and returned without observing anything.  At 2010 hours shots were heard to the right of our position and 2 reconnaissance patrols were sent out to investigate.  They reported nothing observed and at 2100 hours a reconnaissance patrol was sent out to the cross roads and reported no enemy within the vicinity.  The patrol then withdrew at 2145 hours.

 

Patrol Leader Captain J.F. Nixon MC. and 35 O.Rs.

 

Signed. J.F. Nixon.  Captain.

No.6 Troop.

3 Commando.

Field.

18 June 44.

 

 

Appx "B" No.12

 

To:- Lt-Col. P. Young. DSO. MC.  CO. No 3 Commando

From:- O.C. 6 Troop.

Subject:- Static Patrol of 17 June 44 by No 6 Troop.  3 Commando.

 

From 1945 hours Mortar fire was observed from the enemy position at approx 145754 firing in the direction of approx wood 130760.  During this period and up till 2115 hours, it was suspected that mortar shells were landing in our area fired from the [road or rear?] - the shells landed sufficiently close for shrapnel to penetrate our position.  Some machine gun fire undoubtedly came from the enemy mortar position at 145754 but some also undoubtedly came from a position to our right flank - suspected to be Airborne position.

 

Signed. J.F. Nixon.  Captain.

O.C. 6 Troop.

No 3 Commando.

Field.

18 June 44.

 

 

Appx "B" No.13

 

To : O.C. No 3 Commando

From : Officer Commanding 6 Troop

Subject : PATROL on 19th JUNE 44. BY 6 TROOP, NO 3 COMMANDO

 

Arrived at LONGUEMERE FARM at 0345 hours.  Artillery barrage observed at 0445 hours.  At 0500 hours enemy L.M.G. fire was observed 200 yards to our left front.  This was immediately engaged by 2" mortar and enemy posn was either knocked our or moved.  No 45 RM Commando were observed moving fwd and later withdrawing.  Slight enemy movement to our immediate front was engaged by 2" mortar.  The patrol withdrew on receipt of orders relayed by Captain Bartholomew (No 2 Troop).  Patrol under cmd of Captain J.F. Nixon M.C., consisting of 2 Officers and 30 O.Rs.

 

(Signed) J.F. NIXON, Captain,

Officer Commanding 6 Troop.

Field.

19.6.44.

RH/

 

 

Appx "B" No.14

 

PATROL REPORT

Type :- Strong Recce

Task :- To discover Enemy Opposition in Area Rds 144751

Date :- 19 Jun 44.

Time Out :- 0330 hours

Time In :- 0455 hours

Strength :- One Officer and Seven Other Ranks :-

Captain G. Pollard MC MM.

L/Sjt McDonald.

Tpr Stewart and Tpr Clinting - 2" Mortar

Tpr Woods - P.I.A.T.

Sjt Scott

Cpl White (LMG)

Sjt Roddis

 

REMARKS

Suspected enemy locations at wood 148752 were mortared and brought under small arms fire from area of house 143749.  Two enemy LMG returned the fire spasmodically from N.E. wood in area between wood and road 145753.  The enemy put up one flare from wood area and there was the sound of a mortar being fired once.  The patrol withdrew at 0435 hours.  As patrol moved away an M.G. fired, probably from area and position 147754.

 

 

Appx "B" No.15

 

PROGRAMME - PATROL ACTIVITY - No 3 COMMANDO

NIGHT 22/23 Jun 44

--------------------------------------

No 1 SS Bde

No 4 SS Bde

------------------

(1) An attempt will be made to deceive the enemy with a "fire fight" between two "patrols", one using all enemy weapons and the other using all British weapons.  The Section using enemy weapons will fire from approximately 143758 firing in the direction of the line 143758 - 147767 - 150778.  The Section using British weapons will fire on the line from 140763 to 152765.  Fire will commence at 2350 hours and cease at 0001 hours.

 

(2) Three small patrols will operate as follows commencing approx 0005 hours.

        (a) A patrol of one Officer and three other ranks will leave 140763 proceeding to 143768 and returning morning of 23 Jun 44 before daylight.

        (b) A listening patrol of one Officer and one other rank will leave 140763 to proceed to approximately 148764.  They will remain in this area until night 23/24 Jun 44 when they will return.  This listening patrol will be covered by two snipers who will proceed with them to approximately 146764 where they will stay covering the listening patrol until night 23/24 Jun 44 when they will return to our lines.

        (c) A fighting patrol will leave this Unit's F.D.Ls at approximately 2300 hours 22 Jun 44 at approximately 131755 to 140753 to 144753 to 146757 and then return to our F.D.Ls.

 

(3) It is requested that Bdes warn all Units under command with especial reference to No 46 (RM) Commando listening point at 140764.

 

(Sgd) P. YOUNG Lieut-Colonel,

Commanding No 3 Commando.

Copies to:- 46 (RM) Commando.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 Troops.

In the Field.

RH/

 

 

Appx "B" No.16

 

To:- Adjutant, No. 3 Commando.

From:- Captain G. Pollard, MC, MM

 

Type:- Recce.

Task:- To examine area 143768.

Strength:- 1 officer 5 O.R.s.

Route:- Through LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON.

Time out:- 0030 hours.   Time in:- 0200 hours.

 

Following the mock battle between 3 and 6 troops, the patrol moved through the orchard north of LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON.  On the fringe of the orchard, Sgt. Scott, Tpr. Stewart, and Tpr. Selby, remained with the mortar and Captain Pollard, L/Sgt. McDonald and Cpl. White, crawled through the cornfield to within 50 yards of the enemy positions.

 

Enemy were heard moving along the wood fringe between 142767 and 143768, and a mortar flare provoked a flare in reply from the area 141768.  2" mortar H.E. was dropped along the road fringe and the enemy put up another flare from the area 143768.  An L.M.G. had fired earlier from this locality and odd rifle shots had occurred in this area when the patrol was in the orchard.  Captain Pollard and Cpl. White crawled to within 30 yards of the wood and the enemy put up another flare from the area 142768.  They returned to the 2" mortar and directed fire onto the respective enemy areas.

 

A flare which went up during this period was quickly spotted and its origin at 141768 mortared.

 

The patrol withdrew through 3 Troop at 0200 hours.

 

(Signed) G. Pollard, Capt.

O.C. 4 Troop.

 

 

Appx "B" No.17

 

To:- Lieut-Col. P. Young, DSO, MC.

From:- Captain J.F. Nixon, MC.

Subject:- Night Patrol of 22-23 Jun 44, by No.6 Troop, 3 Commando.

 

Patrol under command of Captain J.F. Nixon, MC, comprising of one officer and six other ranks.  Left Commando lines at 2320 hours.

 

Located position hedgerow 144755 when mock-battle began at 2359 hours, in woods surrounding LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON, although it was difficult to say whether the enemy were replying to this fire, no fire was returned from our immediate area, and when firing ceased, the patrol moved forward to position 145757.

 

Patrol lay up in this position until 0115 hours and voices could be heard to our left flank.  Part of the Patrol reconnoitered down the hedgerow as far as the road, but the voices appeared to come from a greater distance than previously estimated.

 

It has been quite clear that there were no standing patrols in our area.

 

The Patrol withdrew to the nearby hedgerow and having put up an illuminating light fired in the direction of voices.  Contrary to expectation, the enemy did not return the fire and the Patrol withdrew through LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON.

 

Conclusion:  Enemy standing patrols in that area not regular.  Enemy more relying on main defensive positions which lie further towards GONNEVILLE, or on the opposite side of the road.

 

(Signed) J.F. NIXON, Capt.

O.C. 6 Troop.

In the Field.

23 Jun 44.

 

 

Appx "B" No.18

 

Subject:- Patrols, night of 22-23 June 44.

To:- The Adjutant, No. 3 Commando.

From:- Captain K.D. Ponsford, O.C. 3 Troop.

 

Object:  To stage a fire fight between two sections one 'British' and the other 'German', thus tempting the enemy to come out from his lines to investigate.

 

Method:  At approximately 2300 hours I took the Troop towards LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON, 139765.  As we were going through No. 4 Commando lines two shells landed in the area of the farm.  After a short time it was evident that the gun was shelling a wide area.  We therefore pushed on to the farm and took up position - one section in the orchard to the right of the farm as it is approached from our lines, and one in the orchard 300 yards East, - both looking out on the corn field.  At 2355 hours, fire was opened by the 'British' who fired in the direction of the GONNEVILLE-BREVILLE road.  The 'Germans' returned the fire with German automatic weapons and the fire fight continued for approximately ten minutes.  During this time, at least two and possibly three automatics opened up 400 yards to the left of the farm 142768 on both the 'British' and 'German' positions.  They also used many illuminating flares and dropped light mortar bombs near the 'German' positions.  Five more illuminating flares were put up by the Germans in the next hour and a small amount of firing was heard around the same area.  After one hour the section posing as the 'Germans' withdrew to the farm where all round defence was taken up by the whole troop.  Nothing more was reported except three shots which were fired at the farm from the area of the wood 141761 at 0345 hours.  At 0410 hours Lieut. Pollock's party reported in.  We waited another 20 minutes and were relieved by 46 R.M. Commando.  We returned to Commando HQ without further incident.

 

(Signed) K.D. Ponsford. Capt.

O.C. 3 Troop.

 

 

Appx "B" No.19

 

Subject:- Patrols - 22-23 June 44.

To:- The Adjutant, No. 3 Commando.

From:- 14316405 L/Cpl. Littler, R. No. 3 Commando.

 

The Patrol started when leaving the LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON, Lieut. Pollock in charge of the covering party with Sgt. Johnson of 5 Troop.

 

Cpl Lawrence, Tpr. Young and myself had been detailed to get a prisoner.

 

The patrol reached the hedgerow running parallel to the belt of trees running in front of the main road where the enemy were known to be.

 

The covering party under Lieut. Pollock were sent to the left and line of the hedgerow to give covering fire to Cpl. Lawrence's party.

 

The instructions I received from Cpl. Lawrence were that if possible we would get the prisoner by creeping up to the enemy positions and getting one by surprise, Cpl. Lawrence to speak to him in German to persuade him to come quietly.  If we were detected and fired on, we were to make our own get-away.

 

We crossed the open piece of ground towards the enemy positions and I could hear the enemy moving.  I estimated that there was about 20 men in the immediate vicinity.  I saw Cpl. Lawrence kneel down by the side of a trench containing a German, and speak to him.  He then shot him with one bullet from his tommy gun.

 

The German screamed and a machine gun fired across us and a party of Germans came running to the scene.  Cpl. Lawrence appeared to me to be attempting to get the German's pay book out of his pocket.

 

After the first burst of machine gun fire from the enemy from the left another one fired a few seconds later.  The shots went high.

 

Tpr. Young and myself then split up and made for the hedgerow where we waited for a short time, but did not see Cpl. Lawrence again.  We then decided to get back along the route given to us.

 

In my opinion Cpl. Lawrence either made a getaway along a different route or he was captured by the enemy.  The covering party never opened fire and returned to the Camp shortly after the arrival of Tpr. Young and myself at 0445 hours.

 

(Signed) L/Cpl. Littler, R.

14316405.

 

 

Appx "B" No.20

 

Subject:- Snipers Report.

To:- Adjutant No 3 Commando.

From:- O.C. 3 Troop.

 

Two snipers were sent out from this Troop (L/Cpl Hanson and Tpr Lewis) to the area NORTH of LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON at 1130 hours 24 June 44.  At 1500 hours they reported back with the following information.

 

They went to LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON which was occupied by a standing patrol of No 46 R.M. Commando.  They crossed the orchard NORTH of the farm and using the cover of the hedgerow moved up to a point 142766 (junction of hedgerows) from which they observed a working party approximately 10 men working in the area to their front 767144.  They were lopping branches off trees evidently clearing a field of fire for a weapon firing towards the farm.  They also observed what looked like two enemy M.G. posts forward of the working party in two bomb craters beyond these positions a heavy mortar or gun was firing from the area of the woods (exact location unknown) towards the bridges.

 

The snipers withdrew to the farm and asked 46 R.M. Commando to give them assistance.  This was not forthcoming and so they returned to 3 Commando area and reported the matter to me.  46 R.M. Commando Intelligence Officer was informed and appeared to know all about it.  1 SS Brigade was also informed.

 

(Signed) K.D. Ponsford. Captain.

In the Field.  24 June 44.

WHH/

 

 

Appx "B" No.21

 

To : Adjutant No 3 Commando

From : O.C. 6 Troop

Subject : PATROL - 24 JUN 44 BY 6 TROOP No 3 COMMANDO

Strength : Captain JF Nixon MC and seven other ranks.

 

The patrol left Unit lines at 1500 hours 24 Jun 44, as covering party to an R.A. Forward Observation Officer.  Took up position at LONGUEMERE FARM and withdrew after shoot to track junction 138752.  Another shoot was covered and then patrol withdrew at 1630 hours.

 

LONGUEMERE FARM and immediate surrounding area unoccupied.  Large dog (Alsatian) observed on road running to Cross roads.  Suggest that this may have been German Police Dog.

 

French Commandos were seen in small parties all over the area.

 

No casualties to own troops.

 

(Sgd) JF NIXON Captain,

Officer Commanding 6 Troop.

No 3 Commando.

In the Field

24 Jun 44.

 

 

Appx "B" No.22

 

Subject : PATROLS - SNIPING

To : The Adjutant

From : C.S.M. Edwards (3 Troop)

 

I left the GDE FERME DU BUISSON at 1230 hours 25 Jun in company with L/Cpl Osbourne by the WEST gate.  We moved down the hedgerows on EAST side of orchard NORTH of Farm to a point 142767.  Here we observed and reported enemy posns in hedgerows 140768 to 143769.  There was no movement of any kind so after approximately twenty minutes we moved back to the orchard then down hedges on WEST side of orchard to investigate area around point 139766.  No enemy were observed in this area so we moved along line of trees to original posn 142767 endeavouring by exposing ourselves to draw enemy fire.  This met with no success.  An enemy mortar was heard firing EAST of our posn so I decided to try to locate it.

 

At 1500 hours we returned to the Farm where we were joined by Sjt Byrne of No 4 Commando.  We left the Farm by the EAST gate and moved along to hedge junc 142764 then NORTH to area of bomb crater 144765.  Here L/C Osbourne moved out of cover into cornfield and proceeded to shout and wave his arms as though moving a section of men.  After he had been doing this for some two minutes he reported enemy movement at hedge junc 146766.  Sjt Byrne and I then saw a group of enemy standing in a gap in hedge.  We each selected a target and fired.  Both enemy collapsed in a manner suggestive of being hit.  We were then fired upon by M.Gs.  We then returned to the Farm at 1545 hours.  Small numbers of enemy were later observed in that area by standing patrol of No 46 Cdo.  Returned to Commando lines 1700 hours.

 

 

Appx "B" No.23

 

Subject : PATROLS

To : The Adjutant

From : Tpr Wilson (1 Troop)

Date : 25 Jun 44.

Route : Through 1 Troop lines along edge of wood 135755 and to LONGUEMERE from moving along edge in northerly direction to orchard 139755 and through the woods to LE GDE FERME DU BUISSON.

 

All was quiet and I went forward (EAST) to a line of poplar trees 146759.  Made O.P. in a tree.  Nothing was seen or heard so I went forward again to a domed building 147755.  From here children's voices were heard in buildings in wood 149757.  No enemy were seen or heard.

 

 

Appx "B" No.24

 

Subject:- Snipers Report.         No 3 Commando.  26 June 44.

To:- Adjutant.

From:- 4206724 Tpr Gaston C.J.  5 Troop.

 

Trooper Crompton and myself took up a position near X Roads 143751, we saw no enemy, but heard a mortar firing from wood 142748.  It sounded like a multi barreled mortar firing on BREVILLE.  A Gun was also heard firing from approx 149746.

 

 

Appx "B" No.25

 

Subject:- Snipers Report.         No 3 Commando.  26 June 44.

842004 L/Cpl Hanson T.D. & 2722253 Tpr Hawkesworth J.

Time Out 1300 hours.

Time In 1815 hours.        O.P. 142763.

 

INCIDENTS.

Observer in tree.  Snipers on the ground immediately below the tree.  Saw movement in enemy area behind Road 146756 to 152764 and behind line 152765 to 143768.

 

1500  Observer suddenly observed 3 enemy one of whom was making signs to the other who was in front of him.  They were immediately in front and 25 yards away.

 

The observer couldn't warn the snipers and unfortunately did not have his own rifle up the tree with him.

 

The 3 enemy walked towards the tree but stopped when 15 yards away and turned back.  The leader was very young.

 

After that the observer saw nothing.

 

Whilst the observer was in the tree and at approx 1500 hours the snipers saw two civilians near the bomb crater near the hedgerow at about 300 yards in his immediate front.

 

The civilians went away into the hedgerow and about 30 mins later they returned with two men behind them dressed in British uniform, wearing steel helmets.  One of them was armed with a gun, which looked like an M.G. but appeared to have a bigger butt than usual.  They walked down the hedgerow directly in front of him in a SOUTHERLY direction and then disappeared from view.  They did not come in to our lines.

 

REMARKS.

O.C. 3 Troop took snipers to report to 1 SS Bde at 1845 hours.

 

 

Appx "B" No.26

 

SUBJECT : PATROLS

TO : ADJUTANT No 3 COMMANDO

FROM : CAPTAIN K.D. PONSFORD

OBJECT : TO CAPTURE A PRISONER FROM THE AREA OF 146766.

 

COMPOSITION : The Troop was divided into four parties two squads comprising six each as assault squads and two squads of fifteen in each acting as a firm base and support section.  In these two squads there were five Bren guns and two 2" mortars.

TIMINGS : We left the GDE FME DU BUISSON at approx 0150 hrs.  We arrived 150 yds short of the posns to be attacked 0300 hrs.  The prisoner was taken from his position at approx 0400 hrs.  The main body withdrew to FME at 0420 hrs.

 

NARRATIVE :

On the night  of the 26 Jun 44 we advanced through 4 Cdo lines and arrived at the orchard of the GDE FME DU BUISSON at 0115 hrs.  The farm was not being held by a standing patrol of 4 SS Bde as we had been informed, and a little time was wasted getting through the orchard.  We then struck out for the pond in the middle of the cornfield and this we used as a check point.  From there we moved closer to their lines and passed two distinct lines of bomb craters.  We saw several deep slit trenches, both in the sides of the bomb craters and in the wheat field.  These posns were empty and were probably used as day posns.  The support took up posn from 146765 to 147764.  The assault squads then moved fwd about 50 yds.  I then took my squad up to the hedge and they cut the rd at 147766.  I called up the other assault squad under CSM Edwards and sent them up to the rt along the rd to a suspected MG posn in the junc of the hedgerow, a few minutes after he had gone a cough was heard to the left down the rd.

 

Cpl Spencer and myself went to investigate.  We crossed the rd and crept down the hedge on the far side of the rd.  Nothing was seen or heard.  We found a telephone wire so Cpl Spencer cut this while I returned for the remainder of the squad.  This time we moved down the rd itself to the left.  Each side there were very deep slit trenches and dug outs with a great deal of head cover.  We searched these on either side of the rd as we went down but they appeared to be empty.  When we were about twenty yds down the rd there were a few bursts of automatic firing from CSM Edwards' area.

 

I decided to take my squad up behind the hedge on the far side of the rd and work up to the assistance of CSM Edwards and his men should they require it.  As we were moving up MGs appeared to open up from all directions firing very high and wildly over the cornfields to which our covering party was operating.  The fire was immediately returned.  The German Posts to our flanks being engaged and the posts in our area fired at above our heads.  We were approaching the pt where we had previously cut the rd when a German ran out of his dug-out twds us to enquire what went on.  Cpl Spencer informed him that he had picked the wrong side and that he was a prisoner.  He made no attempt to resist.  He had no arms on him and appeared dazed having just woken up.  The firing in CSM Edwards' area had stopped and so I sent a runner off to contact him, and tell him that we had a prisoner and that he was to withdraw immediately with a covering party.

 

He went off and I told Cpl Spencer to tell the prisoner to direct us to his HQ.  There was a good deal of noise at the time and he must have misunderstood for he asked the prisoner the best way of getting back to his lines to avoid the MG fire.  We moved back in an open field in which there were several more dug-outs and shell craters and I saw that the job would take too long.  I halted the squad and told them that we had better get back as dawn was breaking and it was getting light rapidly.  It was then that I discovered that the prisoner was endeavouring to take us well back into his lines and also that Cpl Spencer had mistaken my instructions.  The runner I had sent off to contact CSM Edwards had run into trouble.  As he had approached the hedgerow he saw a party of four Germans moving up the rd.  They spotted him and one approached him.  "HAINDE HOCH" and the German turned on his heel and ran away at this challenge.  My runner gave him a burst with his TMC but did not whether he him or not.  The remainder opened fire on him and he withdrew and reported to me.  By the time we got back to the rd the fire around the support section and in the area of the rd was pretty intense.  I saw several Germans scurrying around obviously in panic but did not wish to draw unnecessary attention to the party.  We dashed across the rd as a body and right back to the covering party.  I noticed that there were several bomb craters quite close to the rd which do not appear on the aerial photographs.  I enquired if CSM Edwards' party had got back and on hearing they had not, decided to wait a short time for them.  Shortly after arrival the enemy started mortaring us with two of their 2" mortars, one in the area right of where TSM Edwards' squad got to and one in the field on our left.  They had definitely got the range, for the bombs were bursting among us.  One actually landed in the bomb crater in which some of us were taking cover.  Not one of us was touched by it.  (They appear to have even less effect than our 69 grenades) *.  After waiting five to ten minutes I decided it would be dangerous to wait longer for the Germans could definitely see us by now and their fire was become effective.  I therefore ordered everyone to withdraw.  They did so at the double getting as much cover as possible from the corn.

 

It was very nearly daylight by the time we reached the farm, but strangely enough we were not fired upon.  Keeping a small covering party round the farm I sent the prisoner and most of the force back to our lines.  I waited nearly an hour, three men who had lost their way came in but none of CSM Edwards' squad.  Apart from one who was left at the point at which we cut the rd. Tpr Kingsley was the only one who did not return from the support section.

 

* The Mgs were also firing more accurately.

 

(Signed) KD PONSFORD. Capt.

O.C. 3 Troop

 

 

Appx "B" No.28

 

Subject: PATROLS - 30 JUN 44

To: O.C. 3 Commando

From: Captain K.D. Ponsford O.C. 3 Troop

Object: To ambush and capture a MG team as they moved to a forward posn and snipe enemy in the vicinity.

Composition of patrol:- 2 Officers and 18 ORs.  Two parties of one Officer 2 Bren gunners and 2 snipers.  A covering party acting as a firm base and one Sjt, 2 mortar men, 2 Bren teams, 2 riflemen and 1 TMC man.

Timings: Arrived GDE FME DU BUISSON at 0415 hrs.  Ambush parties in posn 0430 hrs.  Enemy shot at 0545, 0555 and 0612 hrs.  Withdrew at 0700 hrs.

 

Narrative

On arrival at the farm which was unoccupied, the covering party took up posns and Lt Thomson took his party up the hedgerow to the left of the farm, next to the cornfield.  He dropped off his Bren half way up the hedgerow to cover the hedgerow and the other side of the field along which I took my party and dropping off the Bren Group approximately opposite his.  We then took up posn at the two hedgerow juncs - 143765 and 144764 respectively.

 

No movement was observed until 0545 when Lt Thomson's party observe a sentry move down the hedgerow 146767 from right to left.  He made no attempt to make use of cover.  He stood in a gap and was immediately shot by Cpl Grant.  The sentry fell to the ground.  Ten minutes later three men doubled out using cover and went in to a supposed MG post.  A little later a German walked out from the same posn along the hedgerow but made a sweep back from the area in which the sentry had been shot.  He was carrying something on his shoulder.  He walked straight towards us and made a perfect target.  Cpl Grant shot him.  He fell in a heap and Cpl Grant shot again.  The German did not move again and was seen to be in the same posn when we left.  A little later one of the MG crew who must have observed our party came out of the bushes, knelt down in a fire posn behind a tree and took aim.  Cpl Grant saw him and fired a shot at him.  He disappeared but it is unlikely that he was hit.  We observed for another hour but no movement was seen.  We then withdrew to the farm and went back to camp.  No one shot was fired by the enemy, consequently there were no casualties on our side.

 

(Sgd) KD Ponsford, Captain,

OC 3 Troop.

30 Jun 44

In the field.

 

 

Appx "B" No.29

 

Subject:  PATROLS ON 30 JUN 44

To   OC 3 Commando

From   Lieut J Thomson (3 Troop)

 

Object  To observe enemy activity and posns in vicinity LE GDE FME DU BUISSON and to snipe any good targets.

Composition  Patrol consisted of 1 Bren team (NCO i/c and 1  & 2) 2 Riflemen 2 snipers and commanded by Lt Thomson.

Timings  Patrol went out 1820 hrs.  Enemy sentry shot 1939 hours.  Patrol withdrew to base (Farm) 1943 hours.  Farm area shelled - 2020 - 2040 hours.  Patrol withdrew to Camp 2035 hours.

Narrative

The patrol proceeded through No 4 Cdo lines to LE GDE FME DU BUISSON.  The farm area was searched and the bren team placed near water pond at corner of orchard.  I placed a machine carbine in the farm loft as look-out.  The 2 riflemen I placed out on the ridge parallel to track leading through farm covering left side of hedgerow leading to enemy lines.  I advanced down rt side of hedge with 2 snipers, using the ditch.  I brought both snipers into a posn of observation in hedge 300 yds and parallel to enemy's line.  At approx 1935 I observed a German sentry moving between trees.  Tpr Hawkesworth took aim and fired.  Sentry fell on his face.  Tpr Hawkesworth again fired at sentry.  I waited a further two mins and there was no return fire.  We then withdrew to farm and took up posn of defence.  At 2015 hrs I contacted 47 Cdo patrol at T junc and reported incident.  Nothing further was observed from farm area.  At 2032 hrs enemy shells began falling in area so I withdrew patrol at 2035 hours.

 

Sniping Posn - 144764.  Enemy sentry - 147766.  Enemy shells - 139759.

 

 

Appx. "E" No.1

 

KILLED IN ACTION

OFFICERS

86404

Major J.B.V. Pooley, M.C.

RA

7 Jun 44

3384201

Lieut R.G. Herbert, D.C.M., M.M.

Northants

8 Jun 44

85925

Major B.D. Butler, M.C.

E. Surreys

11 Jun 44

 

OTHER RANKS

2623256

Gdsn Dean R.

Grenadier Guards

6 Jun 44

2697390

Gdsn Campbell L.

Scots Guards

6 Jun 44

5620234

Sjt Coaker V.

Devon Regt.

6 Jun 44

6297219

L/C Hunt J.

The Buffs

8 Jun 44

6202408

L/S Winser F.J.

R.A.(S/L)

10 Jun 44

3912679

Pte Mills S.W.

S.W.B.

10 Jun 44

5500444

L/S Edmunds W.J.

Hants Regt

10 Jun 44

2764113

L/C Hodgson G.

Black Watch

10 Jun 44

5958415

Pte Tupper J.W.

Bedfs & Herts

11 Jun 44

14604360

L/C Bridle D.

Royal Scots

11 Jun 44

2060012

Fus Nixon W.

Royal Fusiliers

11 Jun 44

6344028

Sjt Speirs W.

R.W.K.

11 Jun 44

2187190

Pte. Martin J.

K.O.S.B.

11 Jun 44

13116432

Pte Taylor B.

Lincoln Regt

11 Jun 44

5114173

Pte Cotterell L.

R.W.K.

10 Jun 44

5192610

Pte Mitchell S.

Gloster Regt

12 Jun 44

5501415

Pte Rabbetts F.

East Surreys

15 Jun 44

 

MISSING

OFFICERS

130209

Lieut E.A. Kiaer

Royal Fusiliers

6 Jun 44

237917

Lieut E. Williams

South Lancs

7 Jun 44

 

OTHER RANKS

6148272

L/S Port R.A.

R.A.(Fld)

7 Jun 44

14241796

L/S Gray R.

R.A.C.

7 Jun 44

5956944

Cpl Underwood L.H.

Bedfs & Herts

7 Jun 44

5343125

Pte Parsons S.

Royal Berks

6 Jun 44

3451206

L/B Johnson A.

R.A.(LAA)

6 Jun 44

3654857

Pte Pearson H.

Loyal Regt

6 Jun 44

95991

Gnr Hughes H.

R.A.(Field)

6 Jun 44

6297857

Pte Cadman R.

The Buffs.

6 Jun 44

7886937

L/S Sinclair A.

13/18 Hussars

6 Jun 44

14317317

L/B Hill R.

R.A.(Field)

6 Jun 44

2734393

L/C Owen W.

Welsh Guards

6 Jun 44

5445212

Pte Davies R.

D.C.L.I.

6 Jun 44

6104834

Pte Vernon C.T.

South Staffs

6 Jun 44

2082283

Gnr Bell K.T.

R.A.(S/L)

6 Jun 44

3453645

CSM Shaw H.

Lan Fus

6 Jun 44

14203844

Pte Cardozo E.

D.C.L.I.

6 Jun 44

5958979

CSM Edwards R.

Bedfs & Herts

27 Jun 44

2622842

Gdsn Barners H.

Grenadier Guards

27 Jun 44

14434371

Fus O.Carroll J.

R.I.F.

27 Jun 44

2738413

Gsn Roberts D.

Welsh Guards

27 Jun 44

849443

Gnr Bennett M.

R.A.(HAA)

27 Jun 44

13116367

Pte Kingsley A.

Pioneer Corps

27 Jun 44

14207340

Pte Goody E.

Gloster Regt

6 Jun 44

3066792

Pte Sutton H.

Royal Scots

6 Jun 44

59514029

Pte Quinn C.

Bedfs & Herts

6 Jun 44

4105253

Pte Jordan R.

Herefords

7 Jun 44

2664194

Gdsn Griffiths E.

Coldstream Guards

7 Jun 44

2665330

Gdsn Patterson S.

Coldstream Guards

7 Jun 44

4209975

Fus Evans A.

R.W.F.

7 Jun 44

2696459

Gdsn McDonald A.

Scots Guards

7 Jun 44

2696232

Gdsn Gowans D.

Scots Guards

7 Jun 44

5193361

Pte Airey J.

Gloster Regt

7 Jun 44

5187537

L/C Hughes D.

Gloster Regt

7 Jun 44

5960948

L/C Lewis A.

Bedfs & Herts

7 Jun 44

3663641

Pte Dunne J.

South Lancs

7 Jun 44

5726870

Pte Masterson

Dorset Regt

7 Jun 44

3653898

Pte Lambert C.

H.L.I.

7 Jun 44

5114801

Pte Chatman S.

Royal Warwicks

7 Jun 44

3448201

Pte Nolan J.

Kings Regt

6 Jun 44

3973058

Pte Farrell T.

Welch Regt

6 Jun 44

5958397

Pte Chapman K.E. (MM)

Bedfs & Herts

7 Jun 44

6845643

L/C Russell P.

K.R.R.C.

7 Jun 44

5479277

Pte Strowger A.

Hants Regt

7 Jun 44

14676844

Pte Whittaker R.

D.W.R.

7 Jun 44

10543172

L/C Bowder W.S.

R.E.M.E.

8 Jun 44

7383534

L/C Race J.

R.A.M.C.

6 Jun 44

7259796

L/C Reid J.

R.A.M.C.

7 Jun 44

PLY/X 10288

Mne McLaughlin W.

Royal Marines

6 Jun 44

6387016

Cpl Lawrence E.

Buffs

23 Jun 44

6387023

Pte Laddie M.

R.W.K.

6 Jun 44

 

WOUNDED IN ACTION

OFFICERS

229030

Captain E.R. Westley

R.A.

6 Jun 44

113655

Captain J. Alderson

Seaforth Highlanders

8 Jun 44

1090170

Lieut E.F. Lewis

Royal Warwicks

6 Jun 44

187832

Lieut A. Cowieson

Cameron Highlanders

6 Jun 44

247103

Lieut D.E. Johnston

Royal Scots

6 Jun 44

288231

Lieut A. Wardle

South Lancs

10 Jun 44

302710

Lieut T.N. Skelly

Royal Corps Signals

11 Jun 44

249313

Lieut R.F. Wills

13/18 Hussars

10 Jun 44

 

OTHER RANKS

2658799

Gnr

Jordan W.

R.A.(LAA)

6 Jun 44

5255533

Sjt

Hubbard S.

Worcester Regt

7 Jun 44

4458431

Sjt

Dowding J. (MM)

D.L.I.

6 Jun 44

14241797

L/S

Hill H.L.

Royal Warwicks

6 Jun 44

6482248

Cpl

White H.G.L.

Royal Fusiliers

6 Jun 44

2719866

Gdsn

Harnett P.

Irish Guards

6 Jun 44

5780355

Pte

Watts F.

Royal Norfolks

6 Jun 44

3187683

Pte

Dunlop T.

K.O.S.B.

6 Jun 44

927138

Gnr

Abbott J. (MM)

R.A.(Coast)

6 Jun 44

6095272

Pte

Marlow W.G.

C.M.P.

6 Jun 44

6288218

CSM

Smith W.T. (MM)

R.A.S.C.

6 Jun 44

4914763

Pte

Bird A.

South Staffs

6 Jun 44

2880541

Pte

Duncan T.

Gordon Highlanders

6 Jun 44

2828214

Cpl

Mears F.

Seaforth Highlanders

6 Jun 44

6482251

Cpl

Wormley W.

Royal Fusiliers

6 Jun 44

14290183

Pte

Heale W.

D.C.L.I

8 Jun 44

6461913

Fus

Barnes R.

Royal Fusiliers

7 Jun 44

49227475

Pte

Green A.R.

South Staffs

7 Jun 44

909848

Gnr

Licbohonts F.

R.A.(Field)

6 Jun 44

5948937

Sjt

Leech J. (MM)

Bedfs & Herts

8 Jun 44

14241660

L/S

Dennis T.

Cheshire Regt

8 Jun 44

14241824

L/Cpl

Holmes K.

Devon Regt.

6 Jun 44

14205785

L/Cpl

Guest A.

Beds & Herts

6 Jun 44

3973646

Pte

Farmer H.

Welch Regt

6 Jun 44

4195704

Pte

Manns R.

Worcester Regt.

8 Jun 44

2762662

Pte

Hogan P.

Black Watch

6 Jun 44

14224093

Pte

Wheeler L.G.

S.W.B.

8 Jun 44

5440001

Pte

Agras A.

D.C.L.I.

6 Jun 44

3386716

Pte

Scragg T.

East Lancs

6 Jun 44

2665268

Gdsm

Chew C.

Coldstream Guards

7 Jun 44

5891321

Pte

Coulson A.

Northants

7 Jun 44

4209969

Fus

Habberfield A.

R.W.F.

7 Jun 44

2829409

Pte

Fraser G.

Seaforth Highlanders

7 Jun 44

3535668

Pte

Fowler C.

Seaforth Highlanders

7 Jun 44

2701087

Gdsm

Berwick R.

Scots Guards

7 Jun 44

2723333

Gdsm

Moss W.

Irish Guards

7 Jun 44

2697213

Gdsm

Henderson J.

Scots Guards

7 Jun 44

14383575

Pte

McLuckie W.

K.S.L.I.

7 Jun 44

1465655

Pte

Robb A.

Cameron Highlanders

6 Jun 44

2697090

Gdsm

McAllister J.

Scots Guards

7 Jun 44

7887844

CSM

Briggs G.

R.T.R.

6 Jun 44

6103830

L/Cpl

Coomber P.

Queens Royal Regt.

7 Jun 44

5185331

Pte

McGurk I.

Glosters

7 Jun 44

14202153

L/Cpl

Darby G.

Devons

6 Jun 44

5510151

Pte

Coffin R.

Hants Regt

7 Jun 44

1798894

Pte

Torbett J.

Kings Own Royal R.

7 Jun 44

3915670

Pte

Morris J.

S.W.B.

7 Jun 44

6099175

Pte

Hammond L.

Queens Royal Regt.

7 Jun 44

5624626

Pte

Allen A.

Devons

6 Jun 44

5110363

Pte

Hardman W.

Royal Warwicks

7 Jun 44

6202653

Pte

Creswick P.

Kings Regt.

7 Jun 44

14652986

Pte

Taylor F.

Kings Regt.

7 Jun 44

6353021

Tpr

Hickey R.

R.A.C.

7 Jun 44

4079711

Pte

Barber R.

S.W.B.

7 Jun 44

5783477

Pte

Beddows H.

Royal Norfolks

7 Jun 44

2665339

Gdsm

Mills R.

Coldstream Guards

7 Jun 44

5958457

Pte

Abrahams C.

Beds & Herts

7 Jun 44

5251439

Pte

Napier C.

Worcester Regt.

7 Jun 44

4203619

Fus

Smith W.

R.W.F.

7 Jun 44

5957044

Pte

James E.

Beds & Herts

7 Jun 44

14222615

Pte

Betts G.

S.W.B.

8 Jun 44

14241711

Pte

Kendray H.

Black Watch

8 Jun 44

14317814

Gnr

Hardy E.A.

R.A.(Coast)

6 Jun 44

5188561

L/Sgt

Gower R.H.

Glosters

10 Jun 44

5840559

L/Cpl

Ashby A.

Royal Berks

11 Jun 44

5190505

Pte

Saunders A.G.

Glosters

10 Jun 44

6297303

Pte

Chillingsworth A.

Buffs

10 Jun 44

5891551

Pte

Robinson T.G.J.

Northants

10 Jun 44

5193984

Pte

Lawrence D.

Glosters

10 Jun 44

5882470

Pte

Sawyer J.

Northants

10 Jun 44

5051480

Pte

Smith H.

North Staffs

10 Jun 44

2092512

Gnr

Hill R.

R.A.(S/L)

10 Jun 44

14202132

Pte

Caddy A.

D.C.L.I.

10 Jun 44

5676627

Pte

Gleed R.

S.L.I.

10 Jun 44

14241798

L/Cpl

Irving R.

Border Regt.

10 Jun 44

2939786

Pte

Ellis S.

Cameron Highlanders

11 Jun 44

3973864

Gnr

Parsons S.

R.A.(Field)

10 Jun 44

2701060

Gdsm

Melville N.

Scots Guards

10 Jun 44

2660366

Gdsm

Collins R.

Coldstream Guards

10 Jun 44

833895

Gnr

Bluett G.

R.A.(Field)

8 Jun 44

4077794

Pte

Bland C.

S.W.B.

11 Jun 44

6930078

L/Sgt

Webster R.

Rifle Brigade

11 Jun 44

6899474

Rfm

Hayward L.

K.R.R.C.

11 Jun 44

6854343

Rfm

Clarke R.

K.R.R.C.

11 Jun 44

5960532

Pte

Walker F.

Beds & Herts

11 Jun 44

2656360

L/Sgt

Crick F.

Coldstream Guards

7 Jun 44

5119685

L/Sgt

Shelley J.

Royal Warwicks

7 Jun 44

5437311

L/Sgt

Short C.

Recce Corps

10 Jun 44

5733728

Pte

Wheeler T.

Dorsets

10 Jun 44

1948356

Cfn

Hemp C.

R.E.M.E.

10 Jun 44

5387712

L/Sgt

Swadling A.F.

O.B.L.I.

11 Jun 44

6297856

Pte

Good A.

Buffs

28 Jun 44

4545936

Pte

Dean C.

West Yorks

12 Jun 44

3663529

Pte

Whitney D.

South Lancs

12 Jun 44

5933452

Pte

Jakes C.

Suffolk Regt

12 Jun 44

2664427

Gdsm

Holchan T.

Coldstream Guards

12 Jun 44

6349636

Pte

Dornett R.

Royal West Kents

12 Jun 44

1853123

Gnr

Shaw A.

R.A.(L.A.A.)

12 Jun 44

6107103

L/Cpl

Stones M.

Queens Royal Regt

12 Jun 44

6353644

Pte

Harding L.F.

Royal West Kents

10 Jun 44

2701788

Gdsm

Ferguson F.

Scots Guards

7 Jun 44

5194060

Pte

Neale D.

Glosters

8 Jun 44

7358474

L/Cpl

Wadge E.

R.A.M.C.

11 Jun 44

2616675

Gdsm

McMillan

Gren Guards

6 Jun 44

 

ATTACHED PERSONNEL WOUNDED IN ACTION

PO/X 103365

Marine

Morgan H.

Royal Marines

10 Jun 44

PLY/X 102731

Marine

Howell H.

Royal Marines

11 Jun 44

P/JX 271164

Tel

Camfield B.

Royal Navy

10 Jun 44

 

WOUNDED AND REMAINING ON DUTY

6341738

CSM

Gordon E.

R.W.K.

11 Jun 44

6212785

L/Cpl

Sayers J.

Middx. Regt.

10 Jun 44

6482294

L/Cpl

Fletcher E.

R.Fus.

7 Jun 44

 

ATTACHED

6305479

Pte

Spencer T.

Buffs.

10 Jun 44

 

FURTHER PERSONNEL WOUNDED

6482283

Cpl

Binnie J.J.

Royal Fusiliers

2 Jul 44

857108

Bdr

Saggers K.

R.A.(Field)

2 Jul 44

881839

Sjt

Saggers S.

R.A.(Field)

2 Jul 44

 

 

Appx "H" No.1

F.O.B.'s Report on Period of Absence from No 3 Commando during June 7th and 8th. 44.

 

MAP. 1/25,000.  40/16 N.W. & N.E.

 

June 7th.  1400 hours.

Attended orders at 128754 (H.Q. 45 R.M. Cdo) for attack by 45 Cdo and 4 and 5 Troops No 3 Cdo on FRANCEVILLE PLAGE, MERVILLE Battery, and EASTWARDS along coast to about 175 grid line.  My orders were to move with Major Pooley, and on his order to bring down fire from Fleet Destroyer (4 x 4.7") on D.F.Ps 172793 and 173793 prior to an attack on their positions.

 

At completion of above mentioned orders I discovered that the Jeep which brought F.O.B. party (myself and 3 Telegraphists) had returned with 68R set aerials.  I immediately dispatched Telegraphist Blyth in a nearby Jeep to bring back aerials.  He never found the runaway Jeep and finally joined me at road junction 133769 at approx 1530 hours.

 

1500 hours.

Decided not to wait for Blyth but proceed to O.P. at 132766 in the hope that they had spare aerials.  At this time C.O. No 3 Cdo and party arrived.

 

1530 hours and onwards.

Collected aerials from above mentioned place and proceeded to road and track junction 135771.  Major Lewis (6 Cdo) indicated the route of 4 and 5 Troops to me, saying that he did not know whether it was still clear.  I proceeded with all speed along track to corner of wood 144769; and on to bomb hole at approx 148773.  In this hole were an R.M.  S.M. and about 20 Marines.  I was informed that the exit was covered by snipers.  I remained there about 5 minutes and learnt that they did not know the whereabouts of 4 and 5 Troops.  There was at this time firing in an EASTERLY direction at approx 1600 hours.

 

I proceeded to X tracks 152777 followed at 2 minutes interval by R.Ms.  At this place was a R.M. Officer and some R.Ms.  He also did not know where 4 and 5 Troops were.  At this stage I considered it was advisable to search further for 4 and 5 Troops, and in any case I knew that No 3 and No 45 Cdos would join prior to my fire being required on above mentioned D.F.Ps. therefore I decided to remain with 45 Cdo.  At this time Mortar Bombs were falling near the cross tracks.  I moved up path to 151758 where there was an R.M. Tp.  The R.Ms. had a wireless and endeavoured without success to get in touch with 4 and 5 Troops.  After 15 minutes they moved to 155780.  I climbed the tower 156781 but saw nothing of interest.  We then moved to road junction 152785; R.Ms. blowing up A/Tk gun at approx 154783.  At road junction 152785 I reported to Major Gray (O.C. 45 Cdo) who was out of touch and had no knowledge of movements of 4 and 5 Troops.  Time approx 1930 hours.  Exclusive of R.Ms. with whom 45 Cdo were at this time street fighting in FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE.

 

2030 hours.

Went with Major Gray to Troop position centred on 144788.

 

2100 hours.

Tried to shoot on 140791 (Dug in TL and DFP), and was attached to two ships in succession for the purpose, but in both cases the ship was detached from me for an unknown reason just as fire was about to brought down.

 

2200 hours.

Withdrew with Troop to 149783.

 

2300 hours.

Sent sitrep and request for ammunition to 1 SS Bde via H.Q. ship, 45 Cdo having at that time no other means of communication.  This message got through though inaccurately to 1 SS Bde.

 

2345 hours.

Withdrew with 45 H.Q. to MERVILLE-FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE.

 

June 8th

0500 hours.

Again sent sitrep to 1 SS Bde.

 

1200 hours.

At O.C. 45 Cdo's request I brought down direct fire from Fleet Destroyer on the following targets in the enemy's rear.  The times of these targets are uncertain, but the last was at about 1700 hours.

141791

162793

172793

173793

)

) DFP.

)

)

6 Salvos - 24 Rds 4.7"

6 Salvos - 24 Rds 4.7"

12 Salvos - 42 Rds 4.7"

12 Salvos - 48 Rds 4.7"

 

1730 hours.

Cdo withdraws from MERVILLE.  Arranged with O.C. 45 Cdo to shoot up MERVILLE as Troops withdrew to confuse enemy.  This was done with 5 salvos (excluding ranging) 4.7" H.E. from an O.P. at 149778.  The last members of the Cdo withdrew past us while ranging was in progress.  The shoot was completed about 5 minutes later.

 

Spent night in Le Plein Church with 45 Cdo.

 

June 9th

0900 hours.

Reported to C.O. No 3 Cdo.

 

Signed.  J.E. Hodgkin.  Captain, R.A.

F.O.B. No 3 Commando.

Field.  29 June 44.

JEH/WHH.

 

 

Appx "H" No.2

FOB No 3 Commando Diary & Report of Operation "Overlord" up to and Incl. June 23rd 1944.

 

Reference Map Sheet:

 

JUNE 6TH   Landed with H.Q. No 3 Commando at H + 105 minutes.  There were no casualties in the party although our bicycles had to be left in the Landing Craft.  Arrived at RANVILLE (105736) in afternoon, and did observed shoot.

Tgt :-

O.P. :-

Ammn :-

Result

Inf at 092722 and wood to SOUTH (known to hold enemy)

103732 (Para Bn F.D.L.)

30 rds 4.7" H.E. from HMS SERAPIS.

Inf took to slit trenches.  Fire was then put down on wood.

 

JUNE 7TH   at 0300 hrs moved with 3 Cdo to 113745.  At about 1400 hrs attended orders at 45 (RM) Cdo for attack by them and 4 & 5 Tps No 3 Cdo on SALLANELLES (1376) and FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE (1578).  My orders were to move with 3 Cdo, and on instructions of 2 i/c to call for direct fire on D.F.Ps at 172793 and 1737930.  However No 3 Cdo were never in a position to require this fire, and for various reasons at approx 1800 hrs I was with 45 (RM) Cdo (4 & 5 Tps No 3 Cdo having returned) in FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE.  This Unit was at this time and subsequently for 24 hours in an isolated position.  I was therefore unable to return to my own Unit.

 

At approx 1900 hrs I endeavoured to harass enemy position 140791 from an O.P. 142792.  For some unknown reason we were twice attached and then detached from ships before fire was brought down.  The troop I was with then withdrew further inland.

 

At about 2300 hrs I endeavoured to pass a message to 1 SS Bde via BCW, 45 Cdo having no direct means of communication.  This message did get through but incorrectly.  At approx 2359 hrs 45 Cdo withdrew to a position centred on HERVILLE - FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE (1577).

 

JUNE 8TH  It was not possible to establish an O.P., the only possible place being under continuous enemy sniping fire, as well as the route to it.  I was however able to be of use by bringing down Ship's direct fire on enemy's rear, or call from OC 45 CDO.

 

Tgts engaged were as follows:-

141791

162793

172793

173793

)

) DFP.

)

)

24 4.7"

24 4.7"

48 4.7" two shoots

48 4.7" two shoots

 

At about 1800 hrs 45 Cdo decided that the position was not permanently tenable, and withdrew towards AMFREVILLE (1275).  Observed fire was brought down on MERVILLE (1577) from an OP at 147775.

one Tgt : MERVILLE (Harassing fire)

               20 4.7" FFE.  Fire accurate.


The Cdo (45) omitted to leave a covering party for us, and the last man passed us five minutes before the shoot was completed.  It was at this stage that Telegraphist Blyth distinguished himself by carrying the 68 R Set to cover.  This involved crossing 500 yds of more or less open ground (in some cases crawling provided cover) under enemy observation from right and partly the left flank and therefore M.G. fire.  There was at the same time the threat of enemy appearing in the rear.  We rejoined 1 SS Bde at dark without any further incident.

 

JUNE 9TH   At 0900 hrs party rejoined No 3 Cdo to replaced Capt Goodall who had taken over in our absence.  Bdr Samler joined No 3 Cdo with jeep on June 8th, and had nothing to report beyond the fact that he had a very wet landing involving the loss of some kit.  For some unknown reason he was not allowed to report to No 3 Cdo earlier than June 8th.

 

At 1000 hrs in response to a request by FOO Major att 1 SS Bde 15 salvoes were fired by BB oii at GONNEVILLE-SUR-MERVILLE (1000 X 1000 yds).  Enemy had been reported to be massing there.

 

JUNE 10TH   Successful neutralizing shoot on 75(?) mm S.P. gun.

Tgt
O.P.

FFF

TNK 136748

131752

5 FBSF from DD.

S.P. moves away and stops firing.  Telegraphist Camfield wounded in the back by shell splinter (105 or 155 mm).

 

JUNE 11TH   Direct shoot 5 salvoes DD on HQ 187794.  Tried to do shoot DFP 139777  OP 132766 in support of a raid, but was unable to make contact on SW.  I was successfully attached to VSN, COQ and VSS, my own ship for the day having been detached before the raid.  I was 'through' strength 5 on BCW and my set worked perfectly on SW with same crystal next morning.  I have therefore reason to suppose that the fault did not lie at my end.  This all occurred at about 2130 hrs.

 

JUNE 12TH   No shoots carried out.

 

JUNE 13TH   Blind FUP 162753 - AY 1600   60rds 4.7"   QQ10

 

JUNE 14TH   158765 - AY 2500 - 60 6"   QQ20   Partial Observation ) VSY

                       183758 - AY 1600 - 69 6"   QQ20   Blind                      ) VSY

 

JUNE 15TH   150753 - AY 1600 - 33 6"   1530 hrs VSY ) blind

                       156754 - AY 1600 - 30 CR   1630 hrs  ?   )    "

                       147752 (OP 140755) - 15 CR Observed shoot prior to night raid.

 

JUNE 16TH   162754 - AY 1600   1220 - 35   40 4.7"   VSG

                     ( 158764 - AY 2500   1335 - 45   60 6"      HBW ) in response to urgent

                     ( 182757 - AY 900    1440 - 50    24 6"      HBW ) request to harass

                     ( 158754 - AY 1600   1410 - 20   16 6"      HBW ) impending attack.

    BLIND.

                     ( 163762 - AY 900   1535 - 50   32 4.7"  (USG)

                     ( 154756 - AY 1600    1915 - 25   40 4.7"  (USG)

 

JUNE 17TH   157764 - AY 900   0635 - 0645   40 4.7"   (UGX)

                       167755 - AY 900   1120 - 1130   40 4.7"   (UGX)  BLIND

               DFP 146754 - DGR F8 F8   1430 hrs   30 4.7"   (UGX)  O.P. 140754

 

Communication with UGX was unsatisfactory.  Called for one hour (1005 - 1105) before contacting her.

 

JUNE 18TH   157761 - AY 900   20 4.7"   1900-10 hrs.   6 AGN.

                       Ship did not know what FDLs were and reported SSS.......T (in that order).

 

JUNE 19TH   The following blind shoots were done in support of raid by 45 RM Cdo on Pl position 147757.  FOB party remained with Raid HQ at 141759.

                       162767 - AY 900   0445 - 55   40 4.7" (CQMF)

                       162757 - AY 900   0505 - 15   40 4.7" (CQMF)

                       154705 - AY 900 - approx 0545 - 0555   40 4.7".  This last shoot was in progress as we withdrew after raid.

                       158765 - 162765   2100 - 2103 hrs.   32 4.7" (NKY) Blind.  This was done prior to a patrol along this road by No 4 Cdo.  (This patrol never reached this point.)  In the above mentioned raid a prisoner was captured, who stated that due to its extreme accuracy the fire of the ships was feared far more than that of Mortars and artillery.

 

JUNE 20TH   No shoots were carried out.

 

JUNE 21ST   151759   1045 - 55   32 4.7"   (NKY)       )

                      156758   1355 - 1415   32 4.7"   (NKY)   ) BLIND

                      102754   1950 - 2010   32 4.7"   (NKY)   )

 

JUNE 22ND   155759   1150   20 rds 4.7"   (NKY)   )

                       163756   1415    -- do --       (NKY)   ) BLIND

                       158756   1920    -- do --       (NKY)   )

                       168751   1930    -- do --       (NKY)   )

 

JUNE 23RD   159753   1430   20 rds 4.7"   (NKY)   )

                       163755   1440    -- do --       (NKY)   ) BLIND

                       163749   1940    -- do --       (NKY)   )

                       159756   1955    -- do --       (NKY)   )

 

F.O.B. No 3 COMMANDO - GENERAL POINTS

 

1. COMMUNICATIONS

Except in the cases previously mentioned, this has always been highly satisfactory, it never being necessary to use the 22 set.

 

2. PERSONNEL

All members of the party have carried out their duties successfully and with enthusiasm.

 

3. SPECIAL REPORT ON TELEGRAPHIST BLYTH

In my opinion he possesses qualities which would enable him to undertake a job of greater importance than that of a bombardment telegraphist.  He is intelligent and keen.  He has for some time before this Operator made several applications through Lieut Baker RNVR (at DUNDONALD) to join the Fleet Air Arm.  This application was never turned down and I strongly recommend that it goes through on our return to ENGLAND.

 

Captain R.A.

F.O.B., No 3 Commando.

24 Jun 44

JEH/RH