June, July, August, September 1944

 

Abbreviation

11/744

145723

2 i/c

AA

A/B

Adjt

ADMS

A/L

Amn

AO

AP

Arm'd

Arty

A.T.

Bde

BLA

BM

Bn

Br

Cdo

Cmdr

CO

Conc

Coy

DF

Div

Fd

FDL

FOO

Gen Sit

GOC

HE

Incl

Inf

IO

LCI
LCT

LMG

LSI

Mag

Med

MG

MO

MT

OC

Offr

O Gp

OP

OR

Ox & Bucks

Pdr

RA

RAP

Rd

Ref

Regt

Regtl

Rly

RM

RUR

RV

SA

Sitrep

SP

SS

TCV

Tp
W/dr

X roads

11 Kompanie, 744 Grenadier Regiment

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

Anti-Aircraft

Airborne

Adjutant

Assistant Director Medical Services

Airlanding

Ammunition

Administration Officer

Anti-Personnel

Armoured

Artillery

Anti-Tank

Brigade

British Liberation Army

Brigade Major

Battalion

Bridge

Commando

Commander

Commanding Officer
Concentration

Company

Defensive Fire

Division

Field

Forward Defended Locality

Forward Observation Officer

General Situation

General Officer Commanding

High Explosive

Including

Infantry

Intelligence Officer

Landing Craft Infantry

Landing Craft Tank

Light Machine Gun

Landing Ship Infantry

Magnetic

Medium

Machine Gun

Medical Officer

Motor Transport

Officer Commanding

Officer

Orders Group

Observation Post

Other Ranks

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Pounder

Royal Artillery

Regimental Aid Post

Road

Reference

Regiment

Regimental

Railway

Royal Marine

Royal Ulster Rifles

Rendezvous

Small Arms

Situation Report

Self-Propelled

Special Service

Troop Carrying Vehicle

Troop

Withdrawn

Crossroads

 

Month and year : August 1944

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

 

1st August 1944

Place: Chateau d'Amfreville

 

0730 - Shelling of HQ reported in SITREP.  During morning the Commando left its positions at LE PLEIN which were taken over by 4 SS Bde and moved to new positions at LE MESNIL.

 

1410 - Area of HQ under mortar fire.  3 Troop have some casualties and 2 i/c is hit.

 

1630 - 2 i/c has not been evacuated yet.

 

1650 - Troops informed to collect rations at junction track X roads at 1700 hours.

 

1830 - F.O.O. and I.O. went round FDLs to inspect farm for future bombardment.

 

1930 - I.O. and Captain J.D. Reynolds MC to 45 RM Commando to inform them of shoot arranged at 1830 by C.O. and F.O.O.

 

1940 - SITREP: Bde informed "Mortaring at 1410 - 1420 hours and shelling by own Tps".

 

1945 - Tps informed that HINDS FARM will be shelled tonight 2100 hours.  Tps will take cover in case of retaliation.

 

2030 - Two casualties reported due to mortar fire.  Taken to R.A.P.  One serious and one slightly injured in the head.

 

2045 - Major M. Woyevodsky MC (2 i/c) evacuated.

 

2100 - HINDS FARM SHELLED.

 

2200 - Shelling of farm ceases.  It was not effective owing to bad visibility.  There will be repeat shoot at 0200 hours on 2 Aug 44.

 

2330 - Tps, 1 SS and 45 Commando are mortared.  Patrol from 5 Troop sent out to hedge junction 145723.  See Appx 'B' No 1.

 

2nd August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0700 - SITREP: Night uneventful.  Weather fair and clear but ground mist.  Shelling was unsuccessful.

 

0800 - Seagull and five men from 4 Troop are going to rest.  (Naval Rest Camp).

 

1030 - C.O. to Bde.

 

1210 - Mortaring to right about 200 yards from Command Post.

 

1230 - C.O. returns from Bde.

 

1330 - Artillery shoot in farm.  C.O. to HQ 6 Airborne Div with Sjt Denham (MM) and Sjt Scovell.  Interview regarding Immediate Commissions.

 

1335 - Mortaring approximately 200 yards in front of Command Post.

 

1345 - Unexploded mortar bombs near Command Post.

 

1500 - Successful shoot by F.O.O. on farm.  Many direct hits.

 

1545 - Tpr Davidson (5 Troop) sniped by enemy.  Hit in neck.  Evacuated.

 

1800 - Captain Dodd R.A. F.O.B. to see C.O.  Arranged to shoot LA PRIEURE.

 

2000 - SITREP: Weather clear and visibility good.  Arty shoot on farm at 1500 hrs successful, direct hits scored.  Enemy mortaring 1210, 1345 hours.

 

2340 - Three German deserters came in to Bde lines, on our right.  They said they expected an attack because of artillery shoots during the day.  More deserters are expected during the night.  Troops informed of this.  6 Troop report enemy (wrecked) vehicles in front of their position.

 

3rd August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0800 - SITREP: Weather clear and fine.  No incidents to report.

 

1200 - CSM Sellars IO of No 4 Commando called.

 

1500 - Farm shelled by our artillery.  Most of shells landed 200 yards short in Map Refs. 144724 and 145723.

 

1740 - 4 mortar bombs fall in front of 1 Troop.

 

1745 - One mortar bomb just by HQ.

 

1800 - Vickers firing from right together with heavy firing by artillery.  Part of propaganda scheme.

 

1810 - Mortar reported from 153723.

 

1820 - Cpl Haynes (6 Troop) wounded in right leg by mortar splinter.  Six bombs land in 1 Troop lines.

 

1850 - C.O. to F.D.Ls.

 

1900 - Captain Lorraine (IO 6 Commando) calls.

 

1920 - SITREP: Weather excellent.  Visibility clear.  Generally quiet.

 

1950 - CO 45 RM Commando calls to see CO.

 

1955 - One mortar shell lands about 30 yards from Command Post.

 

2115 - Fairly heavy mortaring by enemy.  Appears to fall in area MESNIL brickworks and 45 RM Commando.

 

4th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0020 - Report by 4 Troop that trip flare had been set off.

 

0030 - Enemy aircraft overhead.  Bombs dropped in distance.  Heavy A.A. fire.

 

0113 - Bombs dropped near F.D.Ls.  Small A/P type.  No casualties.

 

0350 - Recce patrol from 5 Troop sent out to gully 145723.  See Appx "B" No 2.

 

0730 - SITREP: Mortaring at 1955 and 2115 - 2200 hours.  No casualties.  Bombing at 0113.  Weather excellent.  Moonlight.

 

1050 - Enemy 88MM gun and 81mm mortar firing.  Mortar bombs falling in FDLs and shells in rear HQ area.  3 shells landed in 4 Troop's lines 120 Magnetic.

 

1115 - Eleven rounds mortar land near 6 Troop.

 

1120 - Twelve rounds mortar land near 6 Troop.

 

1245 - 88 mm gun on bearing 150  Reported 1 round - 6 Troop.

 

1253 - 88 mm gun on bearing 150  Reported 2 rounds - 6 Troop.

 

1300 - 88 mm gun on bearing 150  Reported 1 round - 6 Troop.

 

1310 - 88 mm gun on bearing 150  Reported 1 round - 6 Troop.

 

1445 - 4 rounds mortar on 6 Troop.

 

1600 - 4 rounds mortar on 6 Troop.

 

1720 - Intermittent shelling and mortaring of FDLs.  Enemy.

 

1835 - Vickers fired indirect during shell-fire.  1000 rounds used.

 

1915 - Vickers fired indirect.  SITREP: Visibility excellent.  Shelling intermittently.  No shells near.  Mortaring is more frequent.  Casualties nil.

 

1930 - One casualty from 5 Troop.  L/Cpl Turner.  Sniped and hit in arm.

 

2330 - 6 Troop report Verey light on right.

 

5th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0001 - 6 Troop report tracked vehicles moving.

 

0150 - 6 Troop report small arms fire in trees.

 

0200 - White verey light near enemy FDLs.

 

0715 - SITREP: Weather fair.  Visibility good.  Indirect fire by Vickers mixed with barrage.

 

1115 - 2 mortar bombs near 4 Troop.

 

1145 - 8 mortar bombs near 6 Troop.

 

1450 - 8 mortar bombs near 4 Troop.

 

1500 - 4 Troop positions shelled by about 12 of our shells.  F.O.O. informed and he says that they are not his guns.

 

1520 - 8 mortar bombs near 4 Troop.

 

1530 - 9 mortar bombs near Command Post.

 

1555 - 11 mortar bombs land to right of 5 Troop.

 

1625 - 8 mortar bombs land near 6 Troop.  No casualties or damage from this mortaring and shelling.

 

1900 - SITREP: Day generally quiet.  Weather - cloudy but fine, turning to sunshine.  Visibility excellent.  Not known which of our own guns shelled us.

 

2355 - Horse and cart reported to be moving along road ahead of 6 Troop.  No action.

 

6th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0700 - SITREP: Weather clear and fair.  Visibility good.  No incident other than horse and cart reported by 6 Troop.

 

1030 - 5 Troop report: Enemy mortar believed at 154730.  8 bombs landed near them.

 

1045 - Mortar bombs fall in 4 Troop lines.  One casualty.

 

1430 - Major General R. Sturges DSO visited FDLs.

 

1410 - 15 Mortar bombs near 1 Troop.

 

1425 - 8 Mortar bombs near 1 Troop.

 

1430 - 10 mortar bombs near 1 Troop.

 

1500 - Farm ahead of 5 Troop shot successfully by (5 Troop report) 25 pdrs: several direct hits.

 

1510 - 12 mortar bombs land on FDLs.

 

1515 - 16 mortar bombs land on FDLs.

 

1655 - 12 mortar bombs land on FDLs.

 

1700 - 12 mortar bombs land on FDLs.

 

1827 - 6 Mortar bombs land on FDLs.

 

2104 - 10 mortar bombs land on FDLs.

 

2148 - 10 mortar bombs land on FDLs.  SITREP: Forward troops report unusual activity of transport behind enemy lines.  Weather good.  Mortar bombs falling in 4 Troop area caused one casualty.  Bombs were believed mixture of 50 mm and 81 mm.  Visibility deteriorated.

 

7th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0130 - CSM Leyland MM out on patrol is missed by OC 4 Troop.  He went out to gully with 4 men.  Heard a grenade go off and threw several 36's and bursts of TSMG.  It transpired that CSM Leyland threw original grenade and he was located immediately.

 

0700 - SITREP: Weather cloudy to fair.  Visibility not good.  No incidents.

 

1215 - 6 Troop report noise of possible S.P. up the road in front.  Too vague for counter-attack.

 

1530 - Artillery shoot on farm preparatory to recce by 3 Troop.  Lieut Thompson and 4 ORs who went up hedge to forward of 1 and 6 Troops 15 yards from front of O.P. 14657195.  They were fired on by snipers and 2" mortars and returned without proceeding further.  O.C. 1 Troop put down seven 2" mortar bombs from field behind his O.P.  to area of hedge 148720.  Enemy replied with bursts of Schmeisser and M.G.  Shooting was not directed at anything in particular.  No damage or casualties sustained.

 

1600 - Lieut R.F. Wills, Lieut M.W. Drayton and 26 ORs join Unit from Holding Op Cdo.

 

1900 - SITREP: Weather excellent with good visibility.  On the whole a quiet day.  Fire from a bombardment set fire to some sort of dump behind farm and we then put some more shells over which started fires.  Possibly an SP was hit as ammunition of more than one kind went off.

 

2145 - Reported by 3 Troop that two enemy had infiltrated.  Patrol is rushed off to catch them.  Returned unsuccessful.

 

2150 - OC 6 Troop reported that he had been out in front of FDLs and had seen a sentry at 148718.  Decided to do a snatch later.

 

8th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0700 - SITREP: Buildings in enemy lines set alight by shell fire.  Further fire put down which caused extra blazes.  From 2215 to 0230 there were bursts of M.G. and Schmeisser which suggested nervousness of enemy, although Troops stood to in case of attack.  Nothing materialised.  Large numbers of own bombers heading SOUTH passed overhead during this period.  Intermittent shelling of enemy FDLs throughout the night.

 

9th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0700 - SITREP: Weather fine, visibility good.  Wind nil.  Yesterday was a fairly quiet day with no incidents.

 

0910 - Patrol from No 4 Commando approaching from base at corner of field 14807175; area of grid squares 1471 will be patrolled throughout the day.  Return of patrol will be notified.

 

1000 - Intended visit by A.D.M.S. is cancelled indefinitely.  OC 5 Troop brings in report on his patrol of early morning.  See Appx "B" No 3.

 

1750 - 10 mortar bombs fall in HQ area.

 

1755 - 6 mortar bombs fall - 142724.

 

1855 - 8 mortar bombs falls at road junc near HQ at 139720.  Some fell in 1 Troop area.

 

2200 - Ten mortar bombs fall at rear of HQ 137723.

 

10th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0700 - SITREP: Weather fine, visibility good.  Slight breeze.

 

1320 - 5 Troop report casualties due to mortar fire.  They have been evacuated.

 

1330 - Mortar firing on bearing of 125 magnetic from 1 Troop listening post.  Firing single bombs, each bomb falling in different area from 5 to 6 Troops.  Mortar judged to be using 200 yards range.

 

1530 - 1 Troop reports enemy mortar firing 105 Mag from their O.P.

 

1755 - 1 Troop reports three shells land in 45 Commando lines.

 

1930 - SITREP: Weather fine, clear with clouds.  Recce patrol confirmed enemy standing patrol with LMG at top of gully 146722.  At 1825 enemy mortar position at 153728 engaged with HE and smoke.

 

2300 - Several enemy planes flew low over our positions.

 

2345 - Large force of Allied bombers flying SOUTH.

 

11th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0700 - SITREP: Weather good.  Visibility fair.  No change in position.

 

1145 - 4 Troop report enemy gun firing 65 Mag. from O.P. 143723.

 

1155 - 1 Troop report mortar fire 120 from 14587179.  F.O.O. shelled area farm 147724, mortar position 151725 and S.P. gun in area 156724.

 

1315 - 1 Troop report enemy gun 114 Mag from O.P. 146718.

 

1410 - 4 Troop report possibly 2" mortars firing 140 from O.P. "A" 143723.

 

1515 - 4 Troop report S.P. gun fired 3 rounds at 120 Mag from 143723.

 

1604 - 4 Troop report S.P. gun firing 90 from "B" O.P.

 

1605 - 4 Troop report S.P. gun firing from 120 from "A" O.P.  More than 20 shells.

 

1640 - 5 Troop report 3" mortar (enemy) 70 from "B" O.P.

 

1830 - 3 and 5 Troop change places.  6 Troop are dug in on left of HQ.

 

1930 - Thick evening mist.  Burst of MG reported by 1 Troop.

 

2100 - Artillery shoot on suspected mortar and gun positions.

 

2115 - 8 mortar bombs fall at Cross roads near 45 Commando.

 

2225 - R.A.F. strafe and bomb enemy positions ahead of our FDLs.

 

2245 - 4 Troop report that 45 Commando are firing para flares over FDLs and fired Bren on hearing enemy activity.

 

12th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0430 - Propaganda broadcast to Germans by Sjt Bartlett.  From 3 Troop position.

 

0710 - Weather - misty but is clearing.  Promises fine day.  Report from 2 Troop: Mortar harassing fire tasks 0800 hours and 0800 hours on 13th.  Various targets.

 

0815 - 3 Troop listening Post heard movements to right and in farm.

 

1200 - Tpr. Bennett. (3 Tp) reports to have escaped and has got back.  Several ORs killed at Rest Camp. BELLA RIVA by enemy bomber (Crash).  None from 3 Cdo.

 

1400 - 12 Mortar HE land in area 200 yds W of HQ & area of cross roads 140727.

 

1450 - 4 Mortar bombs land in front of HQ.

 

1530 - Asked Bde to include new DF Task.  15057266 to 15167230 to 15147210.

 

1610 - 3 Tp report 4 Germans seen in area of farm.

 

1700 - 14 Mortar HE fell in area of front of HQ area.

 

1615 - RA Shell farm.

 

1800 - Enemy shell and mortar road by 45 RM Cdo.

 

1810 - 4 Tp report firing from "A" O.P. 85 degrees.

 

1815 - 3 Tp report shell fire from 105 degrees.  Falling by unit left of 3 Tp, in area of cross roads.  Approx 3 guns.

 

1825 - 2 Tp Vickers fired at suspected MT Park 166704.

 

1812 - 3 Tp report firing from 144 degrees behind farm house.

 

1820 - 9 Mortars in area of HQ.

 

2000 - Own mortars fired 13 bombs HE Harassing fire.

 

2050 - 1 Tp report cannot hear point of origin of mortars.

 

2056 - 3 Tp report mortar too far away to hear point of origin.

 

2255 - 1 Tp firing Browning MG.  4 Tp 2" Mortar.  Enemy reply with MG 34 & Mortar in area of 5 Tp.  Several flares from farm 146724.

 

13th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0210 - Message from Bde that enemy agents may attempt to get into our lines wearing civilian or American uniforms.

 

0335 - 4 Tp report SP Gun on bearing 115 degrees from "A" OP.  Horse & cart moving road 151727.

 

0715 - Weather fine - no mist.

 

0805 - Cpl. Robinson, 1 Tp killed by sniper in 1 Tp area Forward Listening Post.  Enemy had crawled forward into centre of hedge between two posts.  Three snipers were seen and were possibly killed by LMG fire.

 

0900 - 3rd post to be put in forward hedge under charge of 1 Tp.  1 & 3 by day.  1 & 6 by night.  Found by reserve tps.

 

1020 - 4 Tp report movement left of farmhouse 146724.  Shelled by our artillery.

 

1130 - Brigadier visits FDLs.

 

1200 - 1 Tp recover body of 1 German from in front of lines, 8 yds in front of post.

 

1325 - 3 Tp report activity (smoke) 300 yds in front of OP.  4 Tp report working party by bridge 147723.

 

1330 - Both areas shelled by RA.

 

1800 - Heavy mortaring in area 3 Tp, 1 Tp, in front of HQ and between 4 & 6 Tps.  Line cut to 1 & 4 Tps.  Own artillery replied on known mortar positions.  1 Tp. 1 wounded.

 

1845 - 1 casualty in 1 Tp. - Sig. Stokes, not serious.

 

1850 - 1 Tp report mortar from 102 to 113 "M".

 

2000 - HE Mortar fire on targets enemy mortar 1150 yds, position 159725, 155731, 153718.

 

2126 - 2 Tp report enemy AA Guns 80, estimated range 1000 yds.

 

2130 - 4 Tp report AA Gun 50 from "B" OP.

 

2200 - Mortaring on FDLs.

 

2315 - 1 Tp send out patrol to other German bodies in field in front of Listening Post.  Nothing found.

 

14th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0435 - 4 Tp report horse & cart heard in area of farm.

 

0545 - 4 Tp report enemy movement in farm area - shelled by own artillery.

 

0740 - 1 Tp report MT vehicle on bearing 112 from OP.

 

0800 - 4 Tp report MT heard in area of farm.  Weather - thick morning mist cleared.

 

1100 - 2 Enemy reported in farm 146724.

 

1510 - 7 Mortar bombs in area of FDLs by 4 Tp.

 

1615 - 8 Mortar bombs land in 1 Tp.

 

1653 - 3 Tp report movement in farm - RA shell it.

 

1725 - 3 Tp report movement in farm - RA shell it.

 

2000 - HE Mortar fire on enemy positions by 2 Tp.

 

2127 - Shelling in HQ area.

 

15th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0135 - 4 Tp report sound of enemy movement in farm.  3 Tp report OP fired Bren.  Germans replied with flares and mortar from farm.  4 Tp report 5 mortars firing from farm - Farm shelled.

 

0600 - 3 Tp report small patrol of 3 men approached their lines along LMS of gully.  On being fired at they withdrew and were later seen to return to farm.

 

0715 - Weather fine - visibility good.

 

0900 - 2 Offrs & 30 ORs required for hazardous & special task.

 

1255 - Heavy mortar fire in HQ area - 18 bombs & 6 shells.

 

1400 - Heavy mortar fire in HQ area - 6 shells, 10 Bombs.  1 Casualty in 1 Tp & 2 in 6 Tp.

 

1420 - Heavy shell fire in HQ area - 6 shells.

 

1515 - Mortars HE fire on FDLs 149721 and orchard behind farm 146724.

 

1650 - Mortaring in area rear of 4 Tp & in front of HQ.

 

1715 - Heavy mortar fire in HQ area - 5 bombs.

 

1910 - 12 Mortar bombs in HQ & 2 Tp area.

 

1930 - Whole area mortared - no casualties.

 

2330 - Enemy LMG fire at own FDLs.

 

16th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0115 - Enemy active on front - considerable SA fire heard.

 

0715 - Weather fine - visibility poor - early mist.

 

1502 - Enemy MG opened up from position on road in front of 1 Tp.  Mosquito nets issued.

 

1910 - 3 Tp report that from their forward OP, no signs of enemy can be seen.  Observation for 30 minutes.

 

1915 - 4 Tp report that 2 Germans seen in farm area by gully.  Sending out patrol to capture them.  FOO has been informed to hold artillery fire until patrol return.

 

1925 - 3 Tp report one German seen in area of farm wearing soft cap & no arms.

 

1940 - 3 Tp report 2 Germans as above.

 

2000 - 3 Tp report 8 enemy (soft caps, no weapons) leaving farm and moving along hedge to road.

 

2030 - 1 deserter gave himself up to 45 RM Cdo, stated they relieved previous unit last night.

 

2040 - Shell fire in HQ area.

 

2100 - HQ mortared - 2 wounded.

 

2150 - 2 rifle shots from enemy FDLs.

 

2210 - "PADDLE" Advance - warning order.

 

2300 - 4 Tp recce patrol in front of FDLs.

 

17th August 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0105 - Enemy mortar area in rear of 4 Tp., Vickers and mortar reply to enemy.

 

0130 - 1 Tp report movement on road.  Exercise "PADDLE" commences.

 

0615 - Order received for Exercise 'PADDLE', 1 SS Bde was to advance on BAVENT - in order 4 Cdo, 6 Cdo, 3 Cdo, 45 RM Cdo.  On arrival 3 Cdo would push forward to PETTEVILLE & VARAVILLE.

 

0810 - 3 Cdo advanced on left of road, passed BAVENT and PETTEVILLE without opposition.

 

1140 - CO with 4 & 5 Tps proceeded across country towards VARAVILLE.

 

1235 - Leading Section fired on by 2 LMGs near La RIVIERE Farm from 178755.

 

1315 - 2 Patrols from 4 Tp unable to advance forward.  CO ordered remainder of Cdo into position round PETTEVILLE.

 

1845 - Tps in position, patrols under Lt Ure & Lt Wills sent to VARAVILLE.

 

2015 - Patrols returned with information that enemy had withdrawn from VARAVILLE.

 

2020 - 3 Cdo moved to VARAVILLE, 1 deserter (Polish) brought in.

 

2210 - Tps dug in.  5, 3, 1 Tp North of village.  4, 2, 6 Tps South of village.

 

2330 - Capt Ponsford & L/S Gray went on recce patrol to bridge over River Dives.  Found bridge intact, but guarded by sentries.

 

18th August 1944

0600 - Quiet night, a little shelling from coast bty near HOULGATE.

 

0900 - No information from Bde.  Tps resting.

 

1500 - Patrols under Lt Thomson, 3 Tp, ordered to recce bridge area.  Fired on 400X from bridge.  Capt PONSFORD worked forward with rest of tp to PONT de VACAVILLE.  The bridge was down and tp engaged the enemy.  Tpr Melville was killed.  Tprs. Turpin & Hawkesworth wounded.  L/S Osbourne also wounded.  The patrol was withdrawn under smoke screen.

 

2000 - Patrol returns.  IO to Bde with information.

 

1945 - CO ordered to Bde.  Plans to cross River Dives near DOZULE, 4 Cdo on right, 3, 6, 45 RM on left.

 

2000 - CO warned and ready to move.

 

2005 - CO & IO proceeded to PLAIN GRUCHET.  Owing to blown bridges were unable to see country.

 

19th August 1944

2030 - Bde Commander orders move to PLAIN GRUCHET.

 

2230 - Ready for move.

 

2315 - HQ, 5, 4, 1, 3 Tps arrive PLAIN GRUCHET.

 

20th August 1944

During advance from this stage, notes for War Diary carried by I.O., were exposed to rain, and were also made partly illegible by the fact that the I.O. had, on many occasions to ford rivers and streams.

 

0010 - 6 Tp arrive.

 

0110 - 1 SS Bde moves, road to Railway to farm 239725.

 

0230 - 4 Cdo advance on left of railway line.  SS Bde moves N of Rly line 731729 to 239738 to village 244748.

 

0310 - Reached end of Rly line and turned off.  Considerable firing on right flank.

 

0515 - Reached village, 1 German was shot coming out of village.  Battle started.

 

0645 - Gunners shelled 3 Gun Battery, near HOULGATE.

 

0530 - 6 Tp reach village 244746, 1 German shot.  4 & 5 Tps clear village, 8 Prisoners.  3 Tp chased SP Gun on Hill.  1 Tp cleared left flank.  Ritchie killed.  1 wounded.  744 Coy 9 (Coy Cmdr wounded) were defending village.

 

0645 - Village cleared.  45 Cmdo pushed by on right, 6 Cdo pushed onto feature 7425 and found it clear.  6 Tp/3 Cdo cleared Ht d'Angoville.  1 Tp sent out patrol to feature 2475, cleared hills and took 1 prisoner.

 

0800 - Established around village.  4 & 3 Tps on North, 1 on left flank, 6 Tp on Hill d'Angoville.  45 Cdo on right and 6 Cdo on top.

 

0810 - Mortared from area 249732.  S.P. Gun now silent.

 

0830 - 1 Tp bring in prisoner - Arty Regt.

 

0840 - 6 Tp report firing at enemy movement in LE QUESNAY 239746.  3 Tp reported no sign of S.P. Gun, met slight opposition and moved S.E.

 

0845 - 6 Tp.  4 casualties from sniping by enemy in farm at LE QUESNAY & A.T. Gun at 246736.  Sgt. Leech, Warren and Clark wounded.

 

0900 - 3 Tp after being up at Cross Roads 254752 reached CRECQUEVILLE and were recalled.

 

0930 - A.T. Gun withdrawn from farm.

 

0944 - 3 Tp sent to reinforce 6 Tp on HILL ANGOVILLE.  5 Tp report gun firing due South of its position.

 

1000 - HQ & 3 Cdo area 245746, 6 Cdo area 246752, 45 Cdo 254751.

 

1100 - Heavily Mortared.  Pos now - 6 & 3 Tps together.  1 Tp 238748.  3 Tp report pinned down by S.P. Gun firing down valley.

 

1200 - Intermittent Mortar and Shelling - several casualties.

 

1420 - 4 Tp.  Nothing to report.  1 Tp reports attempted snatch on 2 men from their position.  Failed and men disappeared.  1 Tp position under constant observation from Hills East.  Had heavy shelling, but only two casualties & 1 missing, after chasing three Germans, who had driven up in a car.

 

1510 - 45 RM Cdo attempt to push N.E. to 270268.

 

1600 - An attack on 6 Cdo by 30 Germans resulted in 3 of them dead, 1 prisoner and 1 deserter back to rear Bde HQ.

 

1800 - Still no news of road.  Own troops believed in DOZULE.  Brig wondering whether to risk trying to send wounded down road.

 

1900 - 3 Tp moved up to 1 Tp on HILL SIHIAHON.  45 & 6 Cdo area 245753 covering roads leading S, E & W of ridge.  1 SS Bde & 3 Cdo area 244745.  5 Tp & 4 Tp covering road North area 244747.  1 & 3 Tps area 237749.

 

CASUALTIES - to Bde, 45 wounded, 6 killed.  Enemy, 25 prisoners, number killed and wounded.  Two main German OPs for area knocked out.  3 - 20 mm Flak guns taken.  Several MGs taken.

 

2030 - 1st Jeep across Bridge 246736 - casualties being evacuated.

 

2200 - Amn., Food etc., and 2 Troop arrived at HQ.

 

2400 - Night quiet - no enemy infiltration.

 

21st August 1944

NB. 1st day since "D" Day that 1 SS Bde has got British Tps in front of it.

 

0530 - Ox & Bucks moved through lines and were advancing North along road 2777.

 

0600 - Lt. Thomson and 20 men arrived from back areas.

 

0800 - 3 Cdo (5 & 4 Tps under 2nd i/c) orders to clear area 240737 to incl. Br 228744 and farm LE QUESNAY - consolidate in area.  45 Cdo follow up and clear road from there to incl PONT de VACAVILLE 2276 & X Rds PERIERS en AUG to 2376.

 

0920 - 5 & 4 Troops moving out.  Casualties - Killed:- Tps. Richards & Robbins.  Died of wounds:- Tpr. Warren.  Wounded. Sgt. Leech.  Tprs. Clark, Dawes, Furber, Lamb, Lt. Drayton.

 

1045 - 45 Cdo (4 Tps) supported by 150 Fd Regt moved off to clear BRUCOURT 2275.

 

1130 - 5 & 4 Tps report LE QUESNAY reached - no opposition.  Gen Sit.  6 A/L Bde (Devons & Ox & Bucks) pushed N.E. along road towards PONT L'EVEQUE.  3 Para Bde pushing North to take DOZULE and continue advance.  5 Para Bde in area PONT EN AUGE.  4 SS Bde in area South of DOZULE - 48 at St. LEGER - DULOSQ, S.E. of DOZULE.  3 German prisoners report confusion in DOZULE - enemy withdrawing.

 

1145 - 4 Tp report contact with 45 Cdo & area BRUCOURT 225750 clear of enemy.

 

1200 - Sunray leaves to recce LE QUESNAY for HQ.  4 Tp captured 7 prisoners 11/744.  4 Tp in area BRUCOURT Village.

 

1400 - Transport arrives from Bde rear area.

 

1600 - HQ moved to LE QUESNAY.

 

1615 - In position as follows:- HQ - LE QUESNAY.  1 & 3 Tps on Hill 237749.  6 Tp. 237741. - 5 Tp. X Rds, Rly Bridge 223746 & 2 Tp. - 227749.  Situation quiet.

 

1900 - Troops resting as far as possible.  Weather been very wet for last 24 hours.  HQ reasonably comfortable at last.

 

2020 - CO visits Bde - orders to withdraw into Unit areas and rest preparatory to early move tomorrow.  6 Tp withdrawn to area of HQ.

 

2130 - Bde situation:- 3 Para Bde reached ANNE BAULT.  6 A/L Bde to N.W.  Plan for SS Bdes to follow up tomorrow.

 

2135 - Lt. Johnston, Sgt. Hill, Bdr. Peel.  Tprs. Stones, Johnson, McGurk, Taylor, Green, Watts, Bull, Masterson, Moss & Bluett arrived from UK.

 

22nd August 1944

0000 - Lt. Johnston takes over 2 Tp vice Capt. Reynolds (evacuated to hospital).

 

0645 - Warning order to move.

 

0700 - Weather fine.

 

0945 - Move to Bde joining up area.

 

1035 - 6 A/L now at St. HEULAND (30/30).

 

1100 - 3 Cdo in concentration area.  Moving N.E. to area 3078.

 

1235 - American Pilot, joined Resistance Movement, stated that the Germans moved out last night.  Whole river 40 miles this side of LE TOUQUE from DEAUVILLE to PONT LE EVEQUE (Mt CANISY) completely overlooked by St. PIERRE.  Mt. CANISY very strongly fortified, 2000 Germans in TROUVILLE.

 

1300 - CO & IO forward - civilians appear pleased to see troops.  Little damage to country.

 

1515 - 3 Cdo in conc. Area (295782).

 

1530 - R.U.R. reached river at LE TOUQUES.  Belgians passed Villers SURMER at 0800 hrs towards Mt. CANISY.  Bde recce to find new conc. area.  Found R.U.R. there and Bde - RUR patrols reached river, 5 Para Bde supposed to be across at PONT L'EVEQUE.

 

1635 - CO returned to X Rds 295782.  No news from Bde.

 

1900 - CO recces area for night at La GRANDE FERME de COLVILLE 303795.  Filled with refugees from HOULGATE.

 

2000 - 6 A/L Bde try to cross river.  Belgians in North of DEAUVILLE, RUR at LES TOUQUES.  Front held as follows:- Belgians in DEAUVILLE - RUR, N & NE sides of Mt. CASINY - Bde HQ & reserve Bns area X Rds VAUXVILLE 4207. - 1 SS Bde area X Rds 3078 - 5 Para Bde in PONT L'EVEQUE.

 

2030 - Rd VAUXVILLE to X Rds 3078 shelled by heavy gun from NE of river, no damage.

 

2300 - No news - Bde remains in rest in concentration area.  Very wet, heavy rain.

 

23rd August 1944

0715 - Weather clearing after wet night.  Whole Bde (less 3 Cdo) soaked during night.

 

0900 - 6 A/L Bde situation as follows:- Belgians in DEAUVILLE -, RUR failed to get across river TOUQUE last night.  - 5 Para Bde crossed at PONT L'EVEQUE, supported by 4 SS Bde.  Corps Plan - 1 Corps (49, 7 Arm'd & 6 A/B) will advance to SEINE from coast to line PONT L'EVEQUE - 6 A/B on left, 7 & 49 on right.  - 1 SS Bde will follow 5 Para Bde & 4 SS Bde, route PONT L'EVEQUE - BEUZEVILLE.

 

0920 - CO leaves the BM to recce concentration area near LA HAIE TONDUE (4601).

 

1115 - 3 Cdo leaves La Gde COLVILLE and is established at VASSE (464005).

 

1300 - PARIS fallen, Heard on news.  Inhabitants very friendly - at last HQ comfortable.  Germans appear to have treated people well until retreat started.  Little equipment and stores have been left behind.

 

1400 - 3 Cdo Establishment:- CO - Lt-Col. Young.  AO. - Major Martin.  2nd i/c - Major Bartholomew.  Sigs - Lt. Skelly.  1 Tp - Capt. Collins.  2 Tp - Lt. Johnston.  3 Tp - Capt. Ponsford.  4 Tp - Capt. Pollard.  5 Tp - Lt. Pollock.  6 Tp - Capt. Guernsey.  IOs - Lts. Rae & Bartlett.  Adjt - Capt. Wardle.  MO - Capt. Moore.

 

1645 - Informed 5 A/L Bde have withdrawn this side of the River TOUQUE.  Arty to shell it.

 

1805 - O Gp ordered to stand by at 15 minutes notice.

 

1920 - Bde Cdr recce of area in preparation for attack on PONT L'EVEQUE.  4 SS Bde will take high ground SE of PONT L'EVEQUE by 0800 hrs.  1 SS Bde will cross river in darkness and on 4 SS Bde's consolidation on Hill, push North to capture high ground NE of town.  Then both Bdes capture the town from the rear.

 

2035 - Bde Cdrs Orders - 1 SS Bde would cross river S of PONT L'EVEQUE in 2 columns.  3, Bde HQ & 4 - and 6 & 45 Cdos.  The crossing would be taped by 1 Tp of 4 Cdo.  The column would then move to LES FONTAINES (5603) and from there 3, Bde HQ, 6, 45 and 4 Cdo would advance North into FORET BRUMMARD.  When 4 SS Bde was in position on ST JULIEN SUR CALONNE and 1 SS on SW edge of BOIS DE BRUMMARD, the attack would be made West into PONT L'EVEQUE.

 

2215 - COs orders to Troop Comdrs - ready to move at 2345 hrs, to reach Starting Point at 0100 hrs.

 

2330 - Operation cancelled - Cdo remained in area VASSE for night.

 

24th August 1944

0715 - Situation quiet - weather dull.

 

0900 - CO to report to Bde - 6 A/L reported to have crossed at TROUVILLE.

 

0930 - RUMANIA asked for Armistice - MARSEILLES fallen.

 

1030 - 6 A/L Bde has 3 Bridge Heads across R TOUQUE.

 

1100 - COs Orders - followed by COs parade for all troops.

 

1200 - CO inspects HQ, 1, 2 & 3 Troops.

 

1215 - 7 Para Bn reported across PONT L'EVEQUE.  Civilians reported Germans have retreated.  Orders to be at 2 hrs notice to move.  Weather very wet, still drizzling.

 

1830 - 3 Cdo established in SURVILLE.  5 Para Bde held up on line ST GALIEN to ST BENOIT d'HERBETOT - Div intends to push 1 SS Bde through 5 Para Bde and attack high ground South of BEUZEVILLE.

 

1835 - Deserter Unter Offizer KARL LOFFLER, Regtl Staff 731 Inf Regt, stated that Regtl HQ had withdraw to BEUZEVILLE last night.

 

1900 - Orders to be ready to move at 0800 hrs.  CO to orders at Bde.

 

1925 - Message that tanks and Arm'd cars are to be used South of ST BENOIT D'HERBETOT.

 

2025 - 3 Cdo moved to concentration area South of Rly Bridge 576056.  Remained there until 6 Cdo passes Le THEIL JONQUINS Road.

 

2220 - 3 Cdo moved off from Bridge followed by 1 SS Bde & 4 Cdo.  Moved inc. 580076 & 595084.  After a difficult journey arrived at QUETTEVILLE at 0645 hrs.  Wet.

 

25th August 1944

0630 - Situation as follows:- 6 Cdo, 6208.  - 45 Cdo area MODERIE, - 3 Cdo as follows.  HQ - 613078.  1 Tp - X Rds 612077.  2 Tp - Area HQ.  3 Tp - 603082.  4 Tp - 604 086.  5 Tp - 602079.  6 Tp - 604078.

 

0645 - CO curses Brigadier for chucking his rifle over a fence.  RA, OPs arrive.

 

0700 - Situation.  Enemy cleared out between 0000 & 0200 hrs yesterday.  Village badly shelled by Med Arty.  Believed to have evacuated BEUZEVILLE & w/dr towards SEINE.

 

0830 - Jeeps arrive - Communication through to all Tps.

 

1100 - 1 SS Bde in area QUETTEVILLE - Bde HQ established at 612015.  Situation as follows:- 4 SS, 3 Para, 5 Para & 1 SS Bdes in area BEUZEVILLE - TOUTANVILLE.  6 A/L, Dutch & Belgians attacking HONFLEUR.  49 Div expected in PONT AUDEMER tonight.

 

1300 -  6 A/L reported to be in HONFLEUR, 49 Div in CORMEILLES.  HQ move to house in Orchard - 1 Tp move to X Rds (603075) and are replaced by a troop from 6 Cdo.

 

1430 - Situation quiet - Cdo resting and cleaning up - digging in as area is under shell fire from LE HAVRE.  Maquis report Local Resistance Movement strong.  Germans evacuated to BEUZEVILLE about 2 am.  No deserters or prisoners found.

 

1730 - 8 Para fighting in area South of BEUZEVILLE.  4 SS Bde advance checked by this fighting and engaged there.  1st Canadian Para Bn waiting to go through.  9 Para trying to cross North of BEUZEVILLE.  Germans still hold BEUZEVILLE.

 

1800 - 2 shells landed in area.  9 Para, supported by 3.7 Med & Fd Arty attacked North of BEUZEVILLE.

 

1930 - 4 SS Bde & 3 Para Bde attacks appear to have been rather fruitless.  No news.

 

2130 - Rumour of Bde attack at Bde HQ.  5 Para at 1 hrs notice from 0700 hrs tomorrow.

 

2205 - C.O. to Bde.  Returns on that order that 1 Tp from each Cdo is to infiltrate North of enemy lines and cut the roads leading NW & W from BEUZEVILLE.

 

2230 - 3 Tp briefed for this patrol.

 

26th August 1944

0230 - 3 Tp leaves on road.  Route N of BEUZEVILLE - BOULLEVILLE - ST MACLOU.

 

0700 - Weather fine - all troops reached area BEUZEVILLE (6710) and were in position by first light.

 

0945 - Preparatory order for Bde to move to area BOULLEVILLE.  3 Tp reported in area ST MACLOU 6911 at 0630 hrs - Germans left 2 hours before in a very great hurry.  People all very friendly.

 

1200 - 3 Cdo moved on foot to new area.  CO recced area & settled in quite comfortably.

 

1500 - Bde now concentrate in area of ST MACLOU - BOULLEVILLE.  4 SS Bde in area East of ST MACLOU.

 

1510 - Troops arrive and are given areas:- 1 & 2 Troops , 666106.  3 Troop, 668109.  4 & 5 Troops, 672106.  6 Troop, 669106.  HQ, 668106.  Bde HQ. established Les FORGES 676114.

 

1915 - Bde ordered 24 hours rest for all troops.  Troops dug in, otherwise are resting.  Local protection only.

 

2000 - Civilians say Germans left last night, very tired and dirty, no rations or transport.  HQ. 4 Cdo - 674107.  45 Cdo - 675123.  6 Cdo - 658115.

 

2400 - Night quiet - weather fine.

 

27th August 1944

0715 - Weather fine - situation still quiet.

 

0900 - No news from Bde.

 

1100 - COs. conference for Troop Comdrs.  48 hours rest, and refit in present locations.  Proposed move to Army Group.

 

1200 - 6 A/L Bde at West bank of River RISLE.  56 Bde in P'ONT AUDEMAR.  7 Arm'd Div in MONTFORT & PON'T ANTMON.  6 A/B Div & 5 & 3 Para Bdes moving into area PONT L'EVEQUE.

 

1215 - Brig. Durnford-Slater visits HQ to stay the night.

 

1400 - CO & IO toured country.  CO inspected 4, 5 & 6 Troops.

 

1900 - Brig. Durnford-Slater.  Brig. Mills Roberts.  Lt. Col. Code.  Major Bissett, and Capt. Dawson to dinner.

 

28th August 1944

0715 - All quiet.  Rest Today.  Recreational trips to DEAUVILLE.

 

1200 - 49 Div have taken over Front.  1 SS Bde resting at BOULLEVILLE.  Rumours that 6 A/B Div are due to return to ENGLAND.

 

1400 - CSM Edwards & L/Cpl. Reed escaped P.O.W. returned to 3 Cdo.  Due to go on leave.  Stores attached.  Tpr. Coleman returned from hospital.

 

CSM Edwards. - On night 27 June 44, captured on a patrol East of Longmare Farm.  They were taken back to a camp some 20 miles from GONNEVILLE, where he remained for 7 days.  On the third attempt to escape with an American pilot.  While in a detail outside the camp, they disarmed the Guard and escaped, taking the Guard with them.  They went about 4 miles and managed to contact some French Resistance.  They were forced to dispose of the Guard, as an attempt to get back to own lines was not possible.  They remained in the district between GONNEVILLE, VARAVILLE & LISEUX, moving from farm to farm during this period, they co-operated with the Resistance in harassing the German supply routes, sentries and small bodies of men with considerable success.  On 21 Aug 44, he gave himself up to the Seaforths, who had advanced towards LISEUX, and on 28 Aug 44, rejoined the Unit.  Reported excellent organisation of the Resistance, and low morale of German Troops, in particular, the SS Troops in the district.

 

L/Cpl Reed. - Captured at Merville Battery, together with several wounded, whom he accompanied to a Base Hospital near PONT L'EVEQUE.  Here he stayed as the Germans were having heavy casualties and were short of medical Staff.  He stayed there until the arrival of the Airborne Troops across the River on 24 Aug 44.  During the latter period, they cleared 2700 casualties, and buried 270 in grave yards.  He stated that our prisoners received excellent attention.

 

29th August 1944

0715 - Weather dull and misty - all quiet.

 

1000 - Visited Bde.  Saw Brigadier, still trying to get 1 SS Bde into Army Group Reserve, and NOT Corps Reserve.  Meantime, Bde to rest and refit as far as possible.  4 SS Bde invited CO & 2 Officers to party tonight 1830 hrs at ST MACLOU.

 

1100 - Adjt attempting to recover 2 Jeeps on loan to Bde HQ, 1 to Marchioness of Queensbury and 1 to Naval and Marine Rest Camp.  Bde evening out, transport throughout Bde.  Transport inspected by AO.  Troop Jeeps not satisfactory.

 

1130 - L/Cpl. Reed gave further details of his escape.  On D + 1 he was left behind at Merville Battery with some wounded.  The Germans re-occupied the Battery, and for the next 3 days he was employed looking after wounded, digging graves etc.  He buried 8 Airborne soldiers and Major Pooley (2 i/c).  On 10 June 44, he was evacuated with wounded to Hospital 714, Chateau Cassard, PONT L'EVEQUE (equivalent to our Field Ambulance).  Owing to shortage of staff he was employed as a medical orderly, and was well treated on the whole, but not allowed to leave the grounds.  He was contacted and helped by French Resistance and could have escaped.  He decided to stay with the British wounded (including Capt. Hilton Jones, who was badly wounded).  During the time he was there 2700 cases passed through his hands and 264 were buried.  Prisoners received excellent treatment.  On 16th Staff pulled out, he was left behind with 4 British & 5 German wounded, and told to hand over the hospital to the British.  On 19th he gave himself up to 6 A/B Div.

 

1800 - CO returns from Bde.  From 0001/30 1 SS Bde is in 1 Corps Reserve.  6 A/B Div returning to ENGLAND.

 

1900 - 2/LT Bartlett & Gnr. Selby return from hospital.

 

30th August 1944

0715 - Weather wet.  1 SS Bde now in 1st Corps Reserve - Lt-Gen CROCKER.

 

1100 - COs. parade - informed Cdo of position that it would not be returning to ENGLAND, but if possible it would continue the campaign here.  Explained it was really a choice of here or BURMA, and he for one preferred here.  Sgt. Denham, (4 Troop) Commissioned and posted to 4 Troop.  Sgt. Scovell, (HQ) Commissioned and takes over M.T.O.

 

1800 - CO. 2 i/c and AO, went to party held by 4 SS Bde HQ.  Marine Band (PORTSMOUTH Division) played in BEUZEVILLE & ST MACLOU.

 

31st August 1944

0715 - Weather fine.  Captains Pollard & Collins, and 13 ORs left for PARIS.  Detachment of each Cdo required for large parade to be held today in the entry by L'Arc de TRIOMPHE.

 

1100 - CO visited German HQs. at GLANVILLE & PONT D'AVOIE located in two Chateaux.  Very strong dug outs.  Caretaker said Germans had behaved correctly on the whole.

 

1800 - Heard British 2nd Army is at AMIENS, Canadians at ROUEN, Americans at LAUON, RHEIMS, CHALONS & SOISSONS, advancing towards LUXEMBOURG.  4 SS Bde left area.

 

 

Month and year : September 1944

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

 

1st September 1944

Place: Beuzeville

 

0715 - Weather dull.  4 SS Bde attached to 51 Div.  1 SS in Corps reserve.  Rumours of return to ENGLAND.

 

0900 - CO and IO visited PARIS - a few Troops there, only Americans.  SS Brigades parade through PARIS on 31st a failure as arrived too late.  Unit training under Troops commenced in area BEUZEVILLE.  Refitting has been temporarily stopped.

 

2nd September 1944

0715 - Weather fine.

 

1200 - News - Americans reached SEDAN and METZ - British reached AMIENS, ABBEVILLE.

 

2000 - Captain De Johng visited HQ (Div Security Officer).

 

3rd September 1944

0900 - Official News - 1 SS Bde to return to U.K. on 6/7 Sep.  All transport, less three 3 tonners, and 1 jeep, and all stores to be returned.

 

1200 - 51 Div and 3 SS Bde occupied ST VALERY.  2nd Army is some 50 miles ahead.  2nd i/c and Adjt left for 24 hours in PARIS.

 

1300 - All MT returned to HQ lines.

 

4th September 1944

0900 - 1 SS Bde is to depart ST MACLOU 061000.B., for REVIERS - ARROMANCHES.  10 jeeps, 10 trailers, 2 15 cwts and 1 water trailer handed to 4 SS Bde.

 

1200 - Informed that 45 RM Commando is to remain in FRANCE.

 

1400 - CO's parade.  Satisfactory turn-out.  Unit strength now 363.

 

1800 - Message of congratulation from H.M. The King to A.E.F.

 

[Note: The page covering the remainder of 4th to possibly early 6th September has been torn. All times during this period are missing but most of the text is intact, as below. Suspected that first entry "L/Sgt Osbourne" is 4th September, then next "45 RM Commando" is 5th September. Final entry "Commando paraded and moved" is most probably 6th September.]

 

L/Sgt Osbourne MM arrived back from 34 RHU RUGLES (South of EVREUX).

 

45 RM Commando now coming to U.K.  All transport less 2 jeeps and 3 3 Tonners handed to VRD 1 Corps today.

 

BBC News - British in ANTWERP and 30 miles into HOLLAND.  FINLAND now out of the war.  No news of the Americans.

 

2nd i/c and Adjt returned from PARIS - enthusiastic reception, seemed to have enjoyed the trip.  Group HQ at ST MACLOU Chateau - Brigadier JF Durnford-Slater DSO away for three days.

 

[Commando?] paraded and moved off from BOULEVILLE.  CO and Adjt proceeded [?]ly.

 

6th September 1944

0915 - Commando reached R.V. ST MACLOU Cross Roads.  No sign of transport.

 

1400 - No chance of move until evening.  Vehicle party moved off under Lt Scovell.

 

1500 - 30 3 Tonners arrived and lifted 45 and 6 Cdos.

 

1530 - Transport arrives.  14 TCVs for 3 Commando.

 

2140 - Arrive 60 Transit Camp, ARROMANCHES via PONT L'EVEQUE, DOZULE, CAEN and CRUELLY.  Raining hard, a dark night.  Captain Reynolds and Lt Baikie arrived early and took charge.

 

2330 - Men in tents, insufficient blankets, (not one per man as laid on).  A meal served about midnight.  General noise in adjacent prison camp - prisoners did not appreciate the rain.

 

7th September 1944

0730 - Reveille - still raining.  Breakfast received and general rumour has it that we are due to leave at 1100 hours.

 

1300 - Dinner started - due to move between 1400 and 1600 hours.  Unlikely as boats are not due until 1400 hours and will then be unloaded.  52 Div passing through - possibly reinforcements for Divs fighting - 59 and 43 rumoured to have been split already.

 

1700 - 4 Commando and a third of 45 RM Cdo move to beach.

 

1830 - Bde HQ and 6 Commando move to beach.

 

2030 - Ordered to move to beach.  Cdo was ready when order was cancelled as ferry had broken down.

 

2230 - Received orders to move to beach.  Commando ready to move off very quickly.  Dark night.  Moved off order 45 RM then 3 Cdo (HQ, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Troops).

 

2345 - Arrived at Pier and marched down to LCT.  Embarked on LCI (with CO & 2 i/c).

 

8th September 1944

0030 - Changed from LCT to LSI (PRINCESS MARGARET).  Men rather cramped as ship was overcrowded.

 

0730 - Ship sailed - due in at PORTSMOUTH about 1700 hours.  All meals have to be cooked by own men.

 

1615 - Berth at SOUTHAMPTON Old Docks.  Met by GOC SS Group and Portsmouth Div RM Band.

 

2010 - Entrained at SOUTHAMPTON for PETWORTH.

 

9th September 1944

0045 - Arrived PETWORTH and moved into No 3 Reception Camp - reception arrangements were good.

 

0900 - Men reclothed etc.  Unit reorganisation.

 

10th September 1944

Commanding Officer's Parade cancelled.  Pay parade.  Troop billets, stores and equipment sorted out.

 

11th September 1944

0600 - Unit proceeded on 14 day's disembarkation leave.

 

 

Appx "B" No.1

 

PATROL REPORT

 

Standing patrol at hedge junction 145723.

Period - 2300 hrs 1 Aug 44 to 1100 hrs 3 Aug 44

Patrol Commanders.  L/Cpl. Littler and L/Cpl. Keveren.

 

Incident Log

 

2345 hrs.  Tiles in farm yard heard rattling for 45 minutes.

 

0315 - 0515 hrs.  Horses heard on road East of position - also tracked vehicles.

 

1100 hrs.  Enemy artillery firing 105 from patrol.  Fresh guns.

 

1215 hrs.  Tiles rattling in farm yard.

 

1300 hrs.  Two enemy heard screaming during Artillery shoot.

 

1415 hrs.  Short bursts of fire.

 

1445 hrs.  Sniper fired one shot towards patrol.

 

1515 hrs.  Tpr. Davidson shot by sniper from hedge North of patrol.

 

1600 hrs.  Board from farm window removed.

 

1615 hrs.  Door of cottage East of farm now open.

 

1930 hrs.  German light mortar bomb landed 200 yards S.E. of patrol.

 

2000 hrs.  Motor cycle moves across front.

 

2100 hrs.  Ten 2" mortar bombs fired on farm area.  Enemy replied instantly, firing mortar from roughly East to target well to our left.

 

0245 hrs.  Tiles rattling in farm.

 

0740 hrs.  Enemy seen crawling into right hand cottage doorway.

 

0900 hrs.  Tps Downs sniped at enemy walking out of same doorway, believed hit.

 

1000 hrs.  About 3 rifle shots fired from West side of farm.

 

1045 hrs.  2" mortar fired on farm.  No reply from enemy.

 

Deductions

 

Signs of activity rather more in cottage North of bridge at 147724 than in farm a few yards to West.  Possible enemy gun position S.E. of Le Prieme.

 

Signed.  Lieut Wassell.

 

 

Appx "B" No.2

 

Patrol Report.

 

TYPE.  Standing patrol.  Patrol at forward post - 1100 hrs 5 Aug 44 to 1100 hrs 6 Aug 44.

STRENGTH.  2 Snipers 0600 - 2200 hrs.  1 NCO and 4 ORs - 2200 hrs - 0600 hrs.

 

Incident report.

 

1100 - 2400 hrs.  Occasional noises in Farm.  German mortar firing from position 63 magnetic.

 

0015 hrs.  2 enemy seen to move out into moonlight from hedge East of our position and walk in again quickly.  No apparent purpose (attempt to draw fire?)

 

0030 - 0045 hrs.  Transport activity on track across front - horse drawn vehicle moving North along track running South from Farm at 147724 followed by lorries started up and moving presumably along track running East from Farm.  These noises heard by two F.D.L.s but NOT by forward post.

 

0115 hrs.  Two bursts of Bren about 100 yards to our left followed by a burst of German M.G. fire.  A grenade thrown, screams and groans.

 

0215 hrs.  All patrol stands to on orders from Lieut Wassell.  German flares sent up 50 yards to our right from somewhere to our front.

 

0500 hrs.  P.I.A.T. fired from position in Farm.

 

0600 - 1100 hrs.  Occasional noises in farm.  No movement observed on front.

 

Signed.  R. Wassell, Lieut.

B.L.A.

5-6 Aug 44.

 

 

Appx "B" No.3

 

PATROL REPORT.

 

Report on recce patrol East along gully towards German F.D.L.s.

 

Object:- to ascertain whether:-

(a) A section could move up to the gully at night with reasonable quiet.

(b) Full information about German line.

(c) Any other information.

 

Patrol Strength.  1 Officer and 1 N.C.O.

 

Route.  Into gully at West end, then along South edge moving down to observe gully at three places.  Back to own forward post direct from German line.

 

Time out.  2345 hrs.

 

Time in.  0410 hrs.

 

Approx 0100 hrs - laid up for 45 minutes because of passing patrol (later proved to be friendly).

 

Discerned British Mk V mine tampered with by Germans - wire at 18" from fuze and mine not uncovered.  Went into gully to discover a good deal of undergrowth, some probably placed there as part of defensive plan.

 

Heard foot placed hurriedly on plate in gully about 40 yards from end.  Threw two grenades in and doubled back to own forward position.

 

On returning heard German grenades going off, saw fire moving about rapidly on the edge of the gully and heard him reply with M.G. bursts from position just attacked.

 

Deductions.

 

1.  The gully is too thick with undergrowth for a section to move up at present as two men made sufficient noise.

 

2.  The Germans regularly patrol at least top of gully half way to own lines.  Too afraid of booby traps to lift own mines.

 

3.  At the time of patrolling there was a post of about six men 20 yards from the end of the gully, equipped with M.G.  Possibly only one sentry.

 

4.  At least two probably killed by 2 grenades and two Bren bursts.  No groans heard.  The sentry who originally saw us was presumably killed at the post and the post when awakened did not seem to know where we were.

 

5.  Presence of wire confirmed neither way.

 

9.8.44.

Signed.  R.P. Wassell Lieut.

 

 

Appx "E" No.1

List of Battle Casualties Which Occurred in No 3 Commando During the Month of August 1944.

 

KILLED IN ACTION

2701062

Gdsn

Melville H.

Scots Guards

18 Aug 44

72278

Pte

Robbins A.W.

S.L.I.

20 Aug 44

4868603

Pte

Richards G.W.

H.L.I.

20 Aug 44

4348555

Pte

Warren E.

Herts Regt

20 Aug 44

5190502

Cpl

Robinson J.

Glosters

13 Aug 44

 

MISSING

6177109

L/C

Stones H.

Queens R.R.

20 Aug 44

 

WOUNDED

3605378

L/Sgt

Barnes J.

Border Regt

1 Aug 44

2720672

Gdsn

Brindle J.

Irish Guards

1 Aug 44

5570134

Pte

Archer R.

Wilts Regt

1 Aug 44

14408427

Pte

Bowers E.

Middlesex Regt

1 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

5727886

Pte

Parker G.

Dorsets

1 Aug 44

4279417

Gnr

Hall J.

RA Field

1 Aug 44

7893283

L/C

Hockett J.

R.T.R.

1 Aug 44.  Remaining at Duty

7022513

Pte

Goughlin

London Irish

1 Aug 44.  Returned to Unit

5948675

L/C

Collins E.

Herts Regt

1 Aug 44

5511609

Pte

Coates J.

Hants Regt

1 Aug 44.  Now with Unit.

14643796

Pte

Bird B.J.

Herts Regt

1 Aug 44

5958764

L/C

Luther E.H.

Herts Regt

1 Aug 44

4378856

Cpl

Edwards W.J.

S.W.B.

2 Aug 44.  Remaining at Duty

14282682

Fus

Davison D.

R.S.F.

2 Aug 44

5499541

Bdr

Hayes R.E.

R.A. Light AA

3 Aug 44

14317315

L/C

Turner R.K.

17/21 Lancers

4 Aug 44

820761

L/Bdr

Bright A.

RA. Field

6 Aug 44

7045879

Cpl

Perks C.

R.I.F.

10 Aug 44

4697991

Gnr

Coupland R.

RA. Field

10 Aug 44

403261

Pte

Mart G.

Hereford

10 Aug 44

3247554

Fus

McLean J.

Royal Inniskilling Fus

10 Aug 44

14329794

Fus

Dunwell J.

R.S.F.

10 Aug 44

7884404

Tpr

Vickeridge J.

R.A.C.

10 Aug 44.  Now with Unit.

3910506

Pte

Williams D.T.

S.W.B.

9 Aug 44

853144

Gnr

Stokes T.F.

RA. Coast

13 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

14241767

L/Sgt

Hewitt D.

R.A.C.

15 Aug 44

3606777

Cpl

Fahy W.J.

Lan Fus

15 Aug 44

2880451

Pte

Duncan T.

Gordons

15 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

1556888

Gnr

Beales R.

RA. Searchlight

15 Aug 44

1454722

Spr

Cardoza D.

R.E.

16 Aug 44

14527657

Pte

Brown D.

S. Staffs

16 Aug 44

6143678

Pte

Harding D.C.

R.W.K.

16 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

6402128

Pte

Lathrope C.

R. Sussex

17 Aug 44

14558054

Pte

Fennessey F.

Herts Regt

7 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

14403533

Pte

Tilson A.C.

Herts Regt

17 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

49144763

Pte

Bird A.H.

S. Staffs

16 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

3974535

L/Sgt

Osbourne V.A. (MM)

Welch Regt

18 Aug 44.  Now with Unit

2722253

Gdsn

Hawksworth W.

Irish Guards

18 Aug 44

5962088

Pte

Larkham L.S.

Herts Regt

18 Aug 44

2623417

Gdsn

Brooks A.

Welch Guards

11 Aug 44

833144

Gnr

Stokes T.F.

RA. Coast

13 Aug 44

5948937

Sgt

Leech J. (MM)

Beds & Herts

20 Aug 44

5123639

Pte

Furber W.

N. Staffs

20 Aug 44

3606961

Pte

Lamb J.

S. Lancs

20 Aug 44

1430566

Gnr

Clark T.

RA. Field

20 Aug 44

1090328

Gnr

Dawes C.

RA. Field

20 Aug 44