National Archives catalogue number WO 171/5172.

 

Abbreviation

040730

926832

Adjt

Adv

Airfld

Airldg
App

Arty

A Tk

Bde

Bks

Bldg

Bn

Br

Brhead

Brit

Bty

Cas
CF

Civ

Cl

Cmd

CO

Coln

Comd

Comn

Conc

Contd

Coy

Def

Disposn

Div

Ech

Eqpt

Est

Ex

FDL

Fm

Fwd

GHQ

Gp

Gren Gds

HF

Hy

Incl

Inf

Infm

Int

KOSB

Lt

LZ

MFC

MMG

MT

Nr

OC

Offr

O Gp

Op
OR

Oxf Bucks

Pl

Posn

Pr

Pt

PW

RA

RAP

Rd
RE

Regd

Regt

Regtl

Res

Rfts

Rm

RUR

Sec

Sp
Sqn

Str

TCV
Tk

Tp

Tpt

Trng

Veh

X rds

7:30 am, 4th April

Map Reference

Adjutant

Advance

Airfield

Airlanding

Appendix

Artillery

Anti-Tank

Brigade

Barracks

Building

Battalion

Bridge

Bridgehead

British

Battery

Casualties

Chaplain to the Forces

Civilian

Class

Commander

Commanding Officer

Column

Commander

Communication

Concentration

Continued

Company

Defensive

Disposition

Division

Echelon

Equipment

Establish

Exercise

Forward Defended Locality

Farm

Forward

General Headquarters

Group

Grenadier Guards

Harassing Fire

Heavy

Including

Infantry

Information / Informed

Intelligence

King's Own Scottish Borderers

Light

Landing Zone

Mortar Fire Control

Medium Machine Gun

Motor Transport

Near

Officer Commanding

Officer

Orders Group

Operation / Observation Post

Other Ranks

2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Platoon

Position

Pounder

Point

Prisoner of War

Royal Artillery

Regimental Aid Post

Road

Royal Engineers

Registered

Regiment

Regimental

Reserve

Reinforcements

Room

Royal Ulster Rifles

Section

Support / Start Point / Self-Propelled

Squadron

Strength

Troop Carrying Vehicle

Tank

Troop

Transport

Training

Vehicle

Crossroads

 

 

Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col P. Gleadell

 

1st March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

The day was spent in preparing for mobilisation, prior to the commencement of Bn block leave the following day.

 

2nd to 9th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Block Leave.

 

10th to 11th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

These two days were spent in hurried preparation for Ex "VULTURE", a flying ex incl a move to, and stay at a Transit Camp.

 

12th March 1945

Place: Mushroom Fm

 

The BN departed for the Transit Camp (MUSHROOM FM nr BRAINTREE Essex), arriving there at about 1630 hrs.

 

13th March 1945

Place: Mushroom Fm

 

Glider loading was carried out on GREAT DUNMOW and RIVENHALL aerodromes.

 

14th March 1945

Place: Mushroom Fm

 

Ex "VULTURE".  Apart from the flying, the ex consisted of moving off to a conc area on landing, the main objects of the ex having been to practice :-

    (a) the transit camp personnel in their adm duties in connection with an airborne op,

    (b) the BN in glider loading, flying, unloading and quick move to conc areas.

The flight was made from the two airfields mentioned above, but owing to ground mist a number of gliders crash landed in fields and in some cases landed on other aerodromes a considerable distance away.

 

15th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

BN returned to BULFORD.

 

16th to 18th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

A Planning Rm was set up in the Camp in connection with OP VARSITY/PLUNDER, in which XVIII U.S Airborne Corps, comprising the 6 British and 17 U.S Airborne Divs were to be dropped EAST of the RHINE in sp of Brit 2nd Army.

 

19th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

At 1430 hrs the C.O's briefing took place in the Briefing Rm at 6 Airldg Bde HQ.

 

20th March 1945

Place: Gosfield

 

The Bn moved to a transit camp at GOSFIELD, approx 6 miles NORTH of BRAINTREE.

 

21st March 1945

Place: Gosfield

 

A planning room was set up for the detailed study of maps, aerial photographs etc by Coy Comds.

 

22nd March 1945

Place: Gosfield

 

Bde Comd's co-ordinating conference.  Glider loading at GREAT DUNMOW, RIVENHALL and MATCHING airflds.  The C.O briefed the Bn and the camp was sealed at 1430 hrs.

 

23rd March 1945

Place: Gosfield

 

Detailed briefing of pls by coy and pl comds throughout the day.

 

24th March 1945

Place: Gosfield (England) - Hamminkeln (Germany)

 

D Day - RHINE Crossing.

At 0630 hrs the elements of the BN at each of the three airflds became airborne, and Op "VARSITY" had commenced.  After a 4 hr flight, the BN landed at 1040 hrs against considerable flak and some ground opposition.  The landing was very much complicated by the amount of smoke laid by the enemy over the L.Zs making it almost impossible for the glider pilots to find their bearings, and thus resulting in many crash landings.  Also, as in most cases the landings were intended to be tactical, some confusion was caused initially by the fact that many of the gliders landed in the wrong place, making it difficult for tps to orientate themselves on the ground for the first few minutes after the landing.  The Bn had been given the task of (a) sealing off and (b) capturing the village of HAMMINKELN, about 6 miles NORTH of WESEL.  Despite however the vicissitudes of the landing, the op was virtually completed in one phase by 1300 hrs, thereafter consolidation taking place.  The remainder of the day was fully occupied in digging and generally est a firm def posn, D Coy being responsible for the approaches to the village from the EAST and SOUTH EAST, A Coy for the SOUTH and SOUTH WEST, B Coy for the NORTH and HQ Coy for the WEST.  C Coy had been given the independent role of clearing the Div HQ L.Z, and consequently were not under comd of the BN until later on.  One of their pls (17 Pl), however, landed near B Coy and remained under comd O.C B Coy, one of whose pls had failed to arrive.

 

The total number of cas incurred by the BN on this day were :-

 

Killed

Wounded

Missing

Officers

3

6

7

O.Rs

24

26

74

Total

27

32

81

140

 

25th March 1945

Place: Hamminkeln

 

At 0100 hrs it was reported from Bde HQ that a large number of enemy had been seen making their way towards the Bn Area from the WEST, presumably in retreat from the Assault Divs.  A patrol was sent out by A Coy and altogether about 60 PWs were taken.  Shortly afterwards, the BN was ordered to have ready a force to counter attack the road br locality held by 2 OXF BUCKS as that Bn had been forced to blow to blow the br as a result of an enemy tk and inf attack.  A Coy was accordingly moved up to the other Bn's rear coy locality, but the necessity of the counter attack not arising, they returned to the Bn area shortly after first light.  As from first light a Bde OP in the Church Steeple was manned by Bn Int and Mortar personnel.  At approx 1000 hrs, M 10s of the 15 Scottish Div linked up with our forces in HAMMINKELN.  At 1600 hrs recce parties arrived from 5 K.O.S.B and later in the day the whole bn moved in, preparatory to taking over the village as from 0600 hrs the following day.  There was a certain amount of shelling in the area of the main X rds in the village during the evening.  Cas for the day were 3 O.Rs wounded, while it was est that 11 more O.Rs were missing.

 

26th March 1945

Place: Haddersmans Fm (2 miles West of Brunen)

 

At 0900 hrs the BN, with under comd one tp of CHURCHILL tks and one tp of M 10s, moved off, with D Coy leading, en route for the high ground about 5 miles EAST of HAMMINKELN.  The task of the BN, in conjunction with 1 RUR on the left, was to occupy this high ground, incl the gap through which ran the main rd from HAMMINKELN to BRUNEN.  D Coy met, and very quickly overcame opposition from enemy inf about 2 miles from the SP capturing nearly 60 P.W in so doing.  The advance continued more or less without incident until the final objective was reached, when B Coy encountered some opposition on the high ground, and sustained cas incl the Coy Cmd who was wounded.  The BN was finally consolidated with B Coy on the high ground RIGHT, overlooking the WESTERN end of BRUNEN, D Coy CENTRE incl the main rd, C Coy in the wooded high ground LEFT and A Coy in reserve.  Infm was received during the afternoon from B Coy that BRUNEN was already partly occupied by the AMERICANS, a report that was later confirmed.  Approx 30 PWs were taken during the day.  Cas for the day were :-

 

Killed

Wounded

Officers

-

1

O.Rs

6

10

Total

6

11

 

27th March 1945

Place: Haddersmans Fm

 

The BN remained in the same area throughout the day, but was ordered to be ready to move by 1600 hrs.  The move did not materialise, however until the following day.  Throughout the day a continuous stream of armour and other vehs could be seen moving EAST along the main rd.  Cas : NIL.

 

28th March 1945

Place: Rhade

 

The Bn moved by march route to RHADE, approx 15 miles EAST, a move which was without incident apart from a certain amount of H.F while passing through a small village on the line of march about 4 miles EAST of RHADE.  Cas : NIL.

 

29th March 1945

Place: Rhade - Coesfeld

 

The BN was ordered to move to COESFELD, a town approx 20 miles away in a N.E. direction, by march route.  About 3 miles from COESFELD however, the BN was halted as 2 OXF BUCKS had met opposition while trying to enter the town.  Bn HQ and C and D Coys remained in this area (S.W. of COESFELD) for the night while B Coy moved into the village of LETTE, 2 miles to the S.E., and A Coy moved to an area just NORTH of LETTE.  Cas : NIL.

 

30th March 1945

Place: Coesfeld

 

The Bn remained in this posn throughout the day, but were ordered to prepare for a move by MT to the area of the DORTMUND - EMS CANAL the following day.  50 PW surrendered to the Bn during the day.  Cas : NIL.

 

31st March 1945

Place: Huttrup (nr Dortmund-Ems Canal)

 

The Bn marched to BILLERBECK, about 6 miles NE of COESFELD, where they embussed on TCVs with the object of proceeding to the area of some high ground at HUTTRUP, just west of the DORTMUND - EMS Canal in sp of 3 Para Bde who actually had one bn over the canal.  When passing through GREVEN, however, the town was shelled and the remainder of the move was carried out on foot.  Posns were finally occupied by about midnight.  Cas : Missing 2 O.Rs.  Returned from missing : 8 O.Rs.  Str return of offrs and o.rs. rendered to G.H.Q. 2nd Ech. App. I.1.

 

 

Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col P. Gleadell

 

1st April 1945

Place: Huttrup

 

The Bn remained in this area experiencing light shell fire only.  At 1830 hrs it moved off to the blown br over the DORTMUND-EMS canal at LADBERGEN until 0400 hrs the following morning.

 

2nd April 1945

Place: Lengerich

 

At 0400 hrs the Bn moved off through the woods across country towards LENGERICH.  The Bde Comd's plan was that 2 OXF BUCKS was to seal off the town from the SOUTH by moving SOUTH of the main rd; 12 DEVON was to seal off the town from the NORTH by moving NORTH of the main rd through the woods as aforementioned, and 1 RUR was to move in to the town along the main rd axis.  The Bn moved without incident through the night and at approx 0830 hrs approached the northern outskirts of the town.  The leading pl of B Coy was fired upon while crossing the flat open ground and eventually a RIGHT flanking attack was executed by B Coy.  The next coys to take the lead, A & D Coys, were also involved in minor battles with snipers firing from houses.  By 1030 hrs the immediate opposition had been dealt with and the Bn moved in to the N.E. part of the town.  The final disposns were:- B Coy LEFT; C Coy CENTRE, and A Coy RIGHT, all in posn on the reverse slopes of the high ground with D Coy in res.  On two occasions the C.O. was ambushed by snipers firing from houses and on the second occasion Major P.R. DOBBIN, O.C. Support Coy, who was accompanying him, was killed.  In the afternoon two attempts were made by A Coy to clear some enemy who had moved in to a very strong posn 700 yds from their posn in the woods on top of the ridge.  Both attempts were unsuccessful and two officers, Lts. WHALLEY & DREW were killed.  51 prisoners were taken by the Bn during the day.  Cas suffered were three officers killed, nine O.Rs killed (which incl RSM ALLEN) one officers and three ORs wounded.

 

3rd April 1945

Place: Lengerich - Hasburgen

 

At 0900 hrs the Bn moved off in an easterly direction with D Coy leading, the object being to secure the high ground six miles EAST of LENGERICH.  A sqn of the tks of the GREN GDS was under comd and by 1500 hrs the operation was successfully completed with no opposns.  During the day 56 prisoners were taken incl one officer.  A 36 hour rest was now the programme as the Bde had been in action and on the move for 11 days without a break.  Late at night, however, the rest period was cancelled and the Bn was ordered to be prepared to move by MT not before 040730.

 

4th April 1945

Place: Holzhausen

 

The Bn moved embussed to HOLZHAUSEN, a small town about miles WEST of LUBBECKE, where it remained for the night.  As far as this Bn was concerned the move was made without incident, though 1 RUR, which was the leading Bn on the line of march, was held up at one pt.  Great crowds of foreign workers, mainly Jugo-Slavs, gave a vociferous welcome to each veh as it passed by.

 

5th April 1945

Place: River Weser near Petershagen

 

The Bn moved by MT in the direct of the river WESER, and debussed on the western edge of the HEISTERHOLZ FOREST, from whence they proceeded on foot to a factory area on the river edge on the other side of the forest.  2 OXF BUCKS had been given the task of crossing the river at TODTENHAUSEN, about two miles to the SOUTH, and forming a brhead on the far side to incl the villages of WIETERSHEIM and FRILLE.  12 DEVON were given the task of crossing in the area of the factories and securing a br head incl the villages of LAHDE, BIERDE, QUETZEN and MASLOH.  A cl 9 br was being built in the area of 12 DEVON crossing place by the REs and a cl 40 br further NORTH at PETERSHAGEN.  The latter brhead was to be secured by 1 RUR, passing through 12 DEVON on the following day.  The Bn comds plan was for D Coy, followed by B Coy, to cross that evening and for A Coy, R Gp, C Coy and Bn HQ to cross on the following day in that order.  D Coy crossed at 1930 hrs and quickly est themselves in a small hamlet on the other side of the river, but owing to a hitch in R.A. comns B Coy did not follow until just after midnight.  They eventually reached the WEST end of LAHDE 060400.

 

6th April 1945

Place: Lahde

 

A Coy moved across the river just before first light, followed closely by R Gp and the Recce Pl who moved into B Coy area at the WEST end of LAHDE.  Both B & C Coys were having considerable trouble with enemy firing from houses in the central and eastern parts of the village.  Also at 1000 hrs fire was opened on the bldgs in which R Gp, B Coy HQ and the RAP were housed.  B Coy finally secured the fork rds at the EAST end of the village, and 1 RUR passed through towards their objectives.  Meanwhile D Coy was adv towards its final objective (MASLOH) and C Coy, which had now crossed, moved through B Coy towards BIERDE.  A Coy also moved to its objective just S.E. of LAHDE and B Coy moved in to the same area, preparatory to continuing its adv on to QUETZEN.  At approx 1500 hrs D Coy, which was adv towards its objective, was ambushed by four PANTHER tks.  The a tk guns were still not across the river and 51 of the Coy, incl Lts OGDEN, REAKES and WHITE were captured.  The six pr guns of the Bn were rushed up as quickly as possible and two guns reached C Coy at BIERDE in time for them to repel a tk attack in which three enemy tks were knocked out.  The remainder of D Coy was withdrawn to A & B Coys firm base posn and at 2000 hrs Bn HQ joined R Gp at the eastern extremity of LAHDE.

 

7th April 1945

Place: Lahde

 

At 0400 hrs A & B Coys moved forward without opposition to QUETZEN and MASLOH respectively.  Thus disposed the Bn continued to hold the area throughout the day.  Lt REAKES rejoined the Bn after escaping from captivity.  Str return of Officers and ORs rendered to GHQ 2nd Ech.

 

8th April 1945

Place: Lahde - Rehburg

 

In the morning A, B and D Coys, in conjunction with 2 OXF BUCKS on their RIGHT, carried out a wood clearing op in the BAUM LANDWEHR FOREST.  No opposition was encountered and at 1400 hrs the "exercise" was declared over.  At 1530 hrs 82 rfts, 54 of whom were of the DEVON regt, joined the Bn.  At 1630 hrs the Bn moved by march route to REHBURG and was infm that it would be there for a minimum period of 48 hrs, or until the RUR pocket was cleared.  The programme during this period was to be rest and maintenance.

 

9th April 1945

Place: Rehburg

 

A day of rest and maintenance.

 

10th April 1945

Place: Rehburg - Osterwald

 

At 1600 hrs the Bn moved by MT to OSTERWALD in order to straighten the line, as there was at the time a salient cleared in that area but not occupied by our tps.  Patrols were sent out into the woods to the NORTH of the village but no enemy were encountered.

 

12th April 1945

Place: Osterwald

 

Day of maintenance.  3 Ors of D Coy who were captured on 6 APR escaped from the Germans and rejoined the Bn.  They effected their escape by falling out of the line of march and were abandoned by their guard owing to the close proximity of the advancing Americans.

 

13th April 1945

Place: Osterwald

 

Another day of rest and maintenance.

 

14th April 1945

Place: Osterwald - Bostel

 

At 1200 hrs the Bn moved from their rest area at OSTERWALD by MT via CELLE to area BOSTEL, about 3 miles from CELLE.  The Bn remained in that area all night.  10 prisoners were taken during the day.  Strength Returns of Officers and ORs were rendered to GHQ 2 Ech.

 

15th April 1945

Place: Bostel - Wrested

 

At 1445 hrs the Bn left BOSTEL in TCVs and moved through ESCHEDE 6362 and the SPRACKESE FOREST to WRESTED.  Some enemy air activity was directed against the x rds at 8574 whilst the Bn coln was in that area.  Three bombs were dropped but no damage nor cas were sustained.  The Bn arrived at WRESTED about 2000 hrs and took up def posns covering the village.  Many Allied PWs and foreign workers were liberated there.  Four German ORs were taken prisoner.

 

16th April 1945

Place: Wrested - Lehmke

 

The Bde moved fwd with 12 DEVON on the LEFT and 2 OXF BUCKS on the RIGHT.  1 RUR was to move close behind 2 OXF BUCKS so as to be able to switch quickly to support either them or this Bn.  At 1230 hrs A Coy moved up and occupied STEDERHOF 9283.  The opposition was not strong and consisted mainly of a few snipers and SP guns.  The br at 926832 had been blown and a br from a Churchill tk was used to get tpt over the river.  C Coy passed over the br and pushed on to ESTERHOLZ 9484.  Meanwhile Bn HQ had joined R Gp at STEDERHOF and was est there.  C Coy found ESTERHOLZ occupied and attacked round the right rear of the enemy killing 6 Germans and capturing 67 others, incl 1 Officer, without loss.  By then news had been received that 1 RUR had crossed the Bn front and had captured the Bn's next objective, LEHMKE.  This was done because the bulk of the Bn was held up at the blown br at STEDERHOF.  Orders to move fwd were received from Bde and the Bn and passed through C Coy and occupied LEHMKE where several large fires were burning fiercely.  O Gp was held at 2000 hrs and orders were issued for the Bn to remain and hold LEHMKE.  97 PWs were taken during the day and the Bn sustained no cas.  B Coy took up posn in EMERN 9783 which had been unoccupied.  During the night 16/17 3 Para Bde passed through the Bn Area.

 

17th April 1945

Place: Lehmke

 

The weather was good and the Bn spent the day on maintenance.  Maj W.F. BARROW rejoined the Bn about 2000 hrs, having escaped from captivity in company with Capt KEITH THOMAS of the Lt Regt RA.  These officers had been captured on landing on MAR 24 and had both sustained wounds in the head.  At 2030 hrs the CO held O Gp and announced that the Bn would move from its posn at midnight and would adv through 3 Para Bde to capture ROSCHE 0292.  10 German ORs were captured during the day.  There no cas.  At 2345 hrs A Coy, which was the leading coy was formed up on the rd ready to pass the Bn SP at midnight.

 

18th April 1945

Place: Rosche

 

The Bn carried out a peace move to RATZLINGEN, which was held by 3 Para Bde, before turning EAST and moving tactically towards ROSCHE.  The adv began at approx 0130 hrs and by 0500 hrs the Bn was entering ROSCHE which was being held in no great strength.  The Bn tpt followed some time after the marching personnel and following that was 2 OXF BUCKS then 1 RUR.  B Coy moved round behind the village under cover of darkness and est themselves astride the main rd running EAST and capturing the two brs.  Simultaneously D Coy attacked the WESTERN edge of the village and cleared through to B Coy.  C Coy exploited the success and crossed the brs and occupied PRIELIP.  By 0900 hrs opposition had ceased and the Bn was disposed with B and C Coys covering the EAST of the village, A Coy the WEST and D Coy and Bn HQ in the CENTRE.  Many enemy were killed during the action and 51 were taken prisoner, also one SP gun was knocked out by a PIAT fired by Pte MEARS of D Coy.  Own cas were two wounded.  During the morning 2 OXF BUCKS moved through to a small village to the SE, also 17 pdr atk guns were placed in the Bn Area.  All civs were ordered to hang white flags outside their houses, in which they were confined for the first 24 hrs.  C Coy patrolled fwd 1000 yds.  Mines were found on the road ROSCHE-JARLITZ running NW from the Bn Area and the Bn watercart was blown up.  The mines were later lifted by the Pioneer Pl.

 

19th April 1945

Place: Rosche

 

The night was spent quietly in ROSCHE and during the morning a fighting patrol was briefed with orders to patrol to the area of SCHWEMLITZ via BORG, to the NORTH of the Bn Area, and to eliminate any small enemy pockets and locate any larger forces.  The patrol was commanded by Maj E.C. STRAWBRIDGE and consisted of the Recce Pl one pl of B Coy, and FOO and a MFC from the Mortar pl.  The Mortar pl moved into 2 OXF BUCKS area in order to give sp.  The patrol left the Bn Area at 1430 hrs and proceeded to BORG which they reported clear.  SCHWEMLITZ was observed to be held by approx 40 enemy who were engaged by arty and mortar fire.  The patrol returned at approx 2000 hrs bringing with them one civ who was found walking towards enemy lines.  No cas were incurred and no PWs taken.

 

20th April 1945

Place: Rosche

 

An O Gp was held at 1215 hrs but no orders for moving were received and patrolling continued.  Capt R.W. HARTLAND commanded a patrol of two pls D Coy with object of ensuring that BORG was still clear and to proceed via KLATTEN BGE to SCHWEMLITZ and harass any enemy there.  One sec MMG, one Mortar Pl, and one Bty RA was in sp.  BORG and KLATTEN BGE was found to be clear and SCHWEMLITZ was found to be clear apart from 3 enemy who were taken prisoner by the patrol.  C Coy also carried out two recce patrols EASTWARDS to TEYENDORFER FOREST, about 1000 yds EAST of its FDLs.  One pl of enemy was located on the fwd edge of the forest.  11 Pw were taken during the day, one of them in civ clothes in the hospital at SCHWEMLITZ.  Mobile baths were est in the village and bathing of the Bn commenced.

 

21st April 1945

Place: Rosche

 

The Bn continued maintenance during the day and a U.S. Div moved from SOUTH to NORTH across the Bn front.  9 Para Bn left the area of NATELN and that place was then occupied by a standing patrol supplied by B Coy.  Str return of Officers and ORs were rendered to GHQ 2nd Ech.

 

22nd April 1945

Place: Rosche

 

Lieut-Gen R. Gale, DSO, MC, OBE, Comd BRIT Airborne Corps visited the Bn at 0900 hrs.  The Bn recce party under comd Major E.J. WARREN left to recce the Bn billeting area at STADORF.  A Church Parade was held in the village church at ROSCHE and was conducted by the Bn padre, Rev. J.W. Hall C.F.  Three PW were brought in during the day.  The C.O. held O Gp at 1900 hrs and orders were issued for the Bn to move to STADORF area the next day.

 

23rd April 1945

Place: Rosche - Stadorf

 

The Bn marching personnel left ROSCHE at 0800 hrs and marched to STADORF, arriving there at approx 1500 hrs.  The route was through the much damaged and recently captured town of UELTZEN.  Bn HQ, B Coy, HQ Coy and Sp Coy were billeted in STADORF, A & C Coys in GR SUSTEDT and D Coy in WITTENWATER.  The Bn was now in a trng area and accordingly trng programmes were organised on a Coy basis.  Three Pws were found during the day.

 

24th April 1945

Place: Stadorf

 

Coys commenced trng and maintenance was started on the Bn eqpt.  A Cadre was also commenced for Junior NCOs, organised by Major E.J. WARREN and commanded by Lt J. BOX.  NCOs of the Recce Pl were the instructors.

 

25th April 1945

Place: Stadorf

 

Orders were received from Bde that the Bn would move to an area NORTH of Bde's location at EBSTORF.  The Bn Recce Party to recce the new area of HANSTEDT I at 1030 hrs and O Gp concerning the Bn move was held at 1700 hrs.  One PW was found in the area during the day.

 

26th April 1945

Place: Stadorf - Hanstedt I

 

The Bn moved by march route to the area HANSTEDT I, where Bn HQ was est.  C, HQ and Sp Coys were also billeted in this area.  A Coy was at BRAUL, B Coy at BODE and D Coy at TEENDORF.  Three PWs were found in the area during the day.  The trng policy was to continue in this new area.

 

27th April 1945

Place: Hanstedt I

 

The C.O. inspected the Bn by Coys in their own areas.

 

28th April 1945

Place: Hanstedt I

 

The Bn recce party under comd Major E.J. WARREN left for RADENBECK.  Three Officers and seven O.Rs joined the Bn from the Residue at BULFORD, England.  Str returns of Officers and O.Rs rendered to GHQ 2nd Ech.

 

29th April 1945

Place: Hanstedt I - Radenbeck

 

The Bn left HANSTEDT I at 1000 hrs by march route and arrived at RADENBECK at 1745 hrs.  The Bde was conc in this area awaiting its turn to cross the river ELBE and join 3 Para Bde, which was already across.  On arrival in this area 6 BRIT Airborne Div was placed under comd of 18th U.S. Corps with the object of representing the BRIT Army in the expected link up with the RUSSIANS.

 

30th April 1945

Place: Radenbeck

 

At 1800 hrs the Bn moved from RADENBECK and proceeded by march route to cross the ELBE on a cl 9 br in the area of LAUENBURG.  Tpt was reduced to a minimum, the only hy tpt accompanying the Bn being three 3 tonners carrying blankets.  B Ech remained in the area and followed later.  The river was crossed without incident at approx midnight and by 0600 hrs 1 MAY the Bn was in posn in the area of BICKHAUSEN (L5/9336).

 

 

Month and year : May 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col P. Gleadell

 

1st May 1945

Place: Bickhausen

 

The Bn crossed the R ELBE at midnight and took up posns in BICKHAUSEN area at 0600 hrs and having marched throughout the night, rested during the day.  At 1730 hrs the Bn moved further fwd and took up posns at SCHWANHEIDE (9641).  C & D Coys were left in their former posns at BICKHAUSEN.  B Ech had moved up during the day and travelled with the Bn to the new area.  This move was completed by 1900 hrs.

 

2nd May 1945

Place: Schwanheide

 

At midday news was received of the surprising advance made by 3 Para Bde, who had reached the Baltic Coast at WISMAR.  The Bn was consequently put at short notice to move.  At 1700 hrs the Bn left SCHWANHEIDE in its own tpt, some personnel travelling on the guns and tpt of 53 Lt Regt. R.A. and moved in the direction of WISMAR.  All through the night the Bn passed thousands of dejected Germans who had laid down their arms, whilst for several miles the roads were littered with abandoned German vehicles and equipment.  D Coy were dropped off en route for the purpose of taking over a large P.W. cage which had been set up at GADEBUSCH, containing 20,000 tps of all types incl women.

 

3rd May 1945

Place: Saunsdorf

 

The Bn arrived at SAUNSDORF at 0200 hrs and moved off again at 1100 hrs for HOHEN VEICHELN on the SCHWERINER SEE and about 10 miles SOUTH of WISMAR.  On entering the village there was great confusion as the area was inundated with German tps & civilians who had fled from the Russians now only a few miles away.

 

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

The C.O. called an O Gp and coys were allotted various tasks.  Rd blocks and Check pts were est, all movement was stopped and separate areas set aside for P.Ws and civilians.  The latter were mainly travelling in large horse drawn waggons, this of course making our task more difficult.  During the day thousands of P.Ws were taken into our temporary cages and dumps for enemy equipment set up.  Russian shells and mortar bombs fell just outside our FDLs during the afternoon.  Recognition Very lights were put up in C Coy area and answered by the Russians during the night.

 

4th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

At 0900 hrs a Russian soldier entered the village.  He stated that he had been sent to ascertain whether or not there were allied tps occupying it.  A small party returned with him to the Russian lines to make contact.  In the meantime one of our own contact parties under Maj. Bannister had already linked up.  The official Bde link up was made at the Russian Regtl H.Q. at VENTSCHOW where the C.O. and other members of the Bn were entertained to dinner at 1000 hrs.  Arrangements were made for the Bde Comd to meet the Russian Div comd at 1330 hrs at their H.Q.

 

5th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

The work of clearing up the village and sorting of P.Ws. and civilians contd. many civilians being employed to clear the area of litter and remains of German eqpt.

 

6th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

A Div Church Service was held at WISMAR church and in the evening Revd Hall C.F. the Bn padre conducted a service in the village church at HOHEN VEICHELN.

 

7th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

The work of getting the village organised contd.  Every building was numbered and all Germans living in the village regd giving age and occupation.  A plan of the village was prepared.  Some members of the Bn visited a German Conc Camp today and subsequent days.

 

8th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

Bn holiday for V.E. day.

 

9th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

The day was spent on maintenance, washing of kit etc.  1000 hrs., C. of E. Thanksgiving Service Village Church.

 

10th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

Adjts Parade.

 

11th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

The Bde comd visited the Bn and took the salute at a march past.

 

12th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

Coys arranged Sports Day.

 

13th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

A church service was conducted in the village church by Bn padre.

 

14th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

Adjts Parade.

 

15th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

Movement order for U.K. issued.

 

16th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

The day was spent packing up and handing over to the incoming unit.

 

17th May 1945

Place: Hohen Veicheln

 

At 1100 hrs the Bn convoy left for LUNEBERG arriving at Arty Bks at 1730 hrs where the Bn spent the night.

 

18th May 1945

Place: Luneberg

 

Reveille for the personnel who were to fly back was at 0315 hrs and this party moved off on T.C.Vs. for FASSBURG airfield at 0445 hrs. arriving at 0700 hrs.  None of the Bn were able to take off this day however as only 16 planes of the 60 expected arrived owing to bad flying weather.  The day was spent on the airfield and at night the men bivouacked beneath captured German aircraft etc.  The Road-Sea party consisting of the Bn tactical tpt left at 1100 hrs.

 

19th May 1945

Place: Luneberg

 

The Bn commenced emplaning at 1200 hrs.  The route was as follows - FASSBURG - HANOVER - RHUR - ROERMOND - BRUSSELS (where hr was spent in NIVELLES airfield) Cap GREZ NEZ - DUNGENESS - REIGATE - NEWBURY.  The landing was made on GREENHAM COMMON airfield the first plane touching down at 1700 hrs.  The landings were made with some difficulty owing to very thick cloud formations and heavy ground mist and one plane made a landing at RIPLEY Surrey.  The Bn was conveyed from the airfield to BULFORD by tpt.

 

20th to 22nd May 1945

Place: Bulford

 

These three days were spent settling in, sorting kit and maintenance.

 

23rd May 1945

Place: Bulford

 

All personnel who had returned were despatched on leave.  Those with an A & S group no. of under 27 receiving nine days and those with 27 and over receiving 28 days.  The Road-Sea party returned having sailed from CALAIS.

 

25th May 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Road-Sea party despatched on leave.

 

23rd to 31st May 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Bn on block leave.  A record of the Bn's MOVEMENT since crossing the RHINE showed that the Bn in 41 days ending 4th May, had travelled 369 miles - 168 on foot and 201 on tpt.