Source : WO 179/1994 National Archives
Thanks to Mark Hickman of Pegasus Archive for supplying the War Diary : https://www.pegasusarchive.org/

In The Field1 JanWeather clear all day. A small arms inspection held at 1400 hrs. A recce party went out consisting of Coy Comds and Lt Col Nicklin, I.O. and Asst Adjt. An Orders group held in the evening. Pay parade for HQ and Bn HQ was at 1900 hrs. A movie was shown for B Coy personnel by our YMCA Supervisor.
2 JanWeather clear and cold all day. Personnel packed equipment early in the morning and were ready to move at 0830 hrs. Unit embussed at 0900 hrs and moved to Rochefort, MR 2076, Sheet 105, 1/25,000, arriving at 1330 hrs. Coys were in position at 1600 hrs. PW brought in by A Coy at 1900 hrs. PW was a deserter from 304 Regt 2 Pz division. No other activity during the day. Patrols were sent out during the night by all coys.
3 JanCold all day. Very quiet all morning. A Coy moved forward. Coy HQ set up at Chateau Vieux de Rochefort. Slight opposition met by A Coy on advance. Opposition met at Croic St Jean. A Coy was in position at 1700 hrs. Advance started at 1500 hrs. OP set up at 1900 hrs at MR 207753. Patrols sent out by all Coys.
4 JanWeather wet all day. Snowed most of the day. 1 Pl from C Coy guarding bridge MR 204767. A Coy sent a fighting patrol to clear Power Mill woods MR 2074. Recce patrols sent out by all coys.
5 JanWeather fair all day. No enemy was seen during the day. A Coy sent out patrols during the day and night but no opposition met. B Coy moved forward to MR 195771. Orders Group held at 2000 hrs and orders were given to have all personnel ready to move to new location by 1200 hrs on the 6 of Jan 1945. YMCA was to show movie in the evening but the CO cancelled it. Two Polish deserters from the German army walked into A Coy lines.
6 JanWeather clear all day. CO, Coy Comds, Sig Officer and Vickers Officer left to recce new location at 0830 hrs. Unit started to move to new location at 1200 hrs. Unit arrived at AYE MR 2683, Sheet 91, 1" to mile at 1500 hrs. Personnel were shown to their areas and billets.
7 JanWeather clear all day. Observation Post set up by the Intelligence Sec at MR 253813. Quiet all day. No enemy activity during the day.
8 JanWeather overcast and snowing. Intelligence Section set up another OP at MR 268814. No enemy activity during the day. At 2300 hrs orders were received that all personnel were to be ready to move to new area on the morning of the 9th Jan, 1945.
9 JanWeather clear and cold. Bn started to move at 0830 hrs. Bn reached Champlon Famenine, MR 3182 at 1230 hrs. Bn relieved the HLI. Coys immediately took up positions for all around defence.
10 JanWeather clear and cold. No enemy activity during the night. In the morning orders were received to advance to ROY, MR 3378, B Coy attacking coy, captured Roy at 1100 hrs. Remainder of Bn excepting B Echelon moved up to ROY at 1500 hrs. NOTE: Enemy had withdrawn before B Coy advanced on ROY, MR 3378. B Coy recce patrol was severely mortared by enemy. Throughout the operation no casualties were suffered. Coys took up defensive positions. Transport was able to reach Bn at 2330 hrs. Transport carried blankets and rations. Patrols were sent out by coy but no opposition met. Supper was served at 0030 hrs.
11 JanWeather clear and very cold. During the early morning patrols met no enemy. At 0900 hrs, B Coy again moved forward to Bande, MR 3476, taking village with no opposition. Remainder of B Echelon moved into ROY, MR 3378, 9th Para Bn relieved B Coy at Bande at 1000 hrs. During the day very quiet. OP set up by Int. Sec in the morning at MR 345778. Op cancelled in the afternoon.
12 JanWeather clear and cold. Intelligence Section set up OP at MR 355779. Patrols were sent out during the early morning but no enemy seen. 37 civilians found beaten and shot to death in a cellar at Bande. One man from each Pl in the Bn was taken to Bande and shown the German cruelty.
13 JanWeather clear all day. Quiet during the day. Enemy aircraft activity at 2330 hrs. Enemy bombed and strafed Lignieres, MR 3579. Some bombs were dropped near ROY, MR 3378 but no damage was done. Patrols were sent out by Coys but no enemy was encountered.
14 JanWeather clear and cold all day. A Brigade Sports Meet was held at ROY. Sports consisted of 4 man toboggan race, 1 man boboggan race, wood chopping, wood sawing and snow man building. Tea and cakes were served to all personnel. Prizes were given by Brigadier HILL. A move was shown in MARCHE and personnel of this unit were taken to MARCHE by trucks.
15 JanWeather clear and cold all day. Coy had battle drill in the afternoon. Int Sec personnel were given areas to patrol for enemy equipment.
16 JanWeather clear and cold. Int Sec personnel patrolling area around ROY for Enemy equipment. Advance Party left at 1200 hrs to new area. Personnel getting equipment ready to move.
17 JanWeather clear and cold. All coys had a parade in the morning. Lt Col Nicklin spoke to the personnel about looting and taking care of the billets in the new area. In the afternoon personnel getting ready to move to rest area.
18 JanWeather clear and cold. Reveille was at 0600 hrs and parade to move off was at 0800 hrs. Personnel embussed in trucks and moved off at 1000 hrs. A Coy remainder in ROY and did not move off to new area until 1600 hrs. All personnel minus A Coy arrived at PONDROME, MR 0570 at 1230 hrs. All personnel were shown to their billets. A movie was shown for B Coy personnel in the evening. Movie shown by YMCA supervisor, Mr. Moffatt. A Coy personnel went to MORTOUZIN NEUVILLE, MR 0472.
19 JanWeather damp with slight rain in the afternoon, freezing in the evening. During the day General administration carried out. C Coy had PT in the afternoon. In the evening a movie was shown by YMCA Supervisor Mr Moffatt for the personnel of HQ Coy. Lt Esling came to join 5 Pl, B Coy in place on Lt Insole. Rubber boots issued by QM for Rifle Coys. Unit notified that it is to move to Holland on the 22nd Jan, 1945.
20 JanWeather clear and cold. All Coy HQ personnel were issued with rubber boots. Rifle Coy personnel were issued with leather jackets. Bath parade was arranged for all personnel. Clean under clothing and socks issued by QM. Advance party left for PENNUGAN, MR 700, 1/250000. Personnel were invited to an ENSA show in BEAURANG.
21 JanWeather clear and cold all day. Voluntary church parade held for RC and Protestant personnel. Preparations are being made for movement to Holland. A movie was shown in BEAURANG and 100 personnel from this unit were invited. A movie was shown in the evening by YMCA supervisor for HQ Coy personnel.
22 JanBreakfast was served at 0200 hrs. Lorries arrived at 0300 hrs. Personnel embussed and moved at 0515 hrs. Haversack rations were issued at breakfast for all personnel. Weather during the day was clear and cold. The trip to new area was uneventful. Except for a few difficulties with the lorries everything was fine. HQ Coy kitchen was lost and 1 lorry with A Coy personnel. Lost kitchen arrived during the night. Nothing was heard of A Coy lorry. Bn arrived at ROGGEL, MR 7397, 1/50,000 at 1800 hrs. Personnel were shown to billets. Supper served at 2100 hrs. Supper was served by A,B, and C Coy kitchens for HQ and Bn HQ personnel.
23 JanWeather clear and cold all day. Nothing heard about A Coy lorry. Coys formed up at 0930 and at 1000 hrs started to move to front line positions. HQ and Bn HQ at Haelen, MR 7594, A Coy at Buggenum, MR 779941, B Coy at Brik, MR 772943, C Coy at Nunhem, MR 7695. A few enemy shells landed at Buggenum but no casualties caused. During the night patrols were sent out no enemy opposition met. Standing patrols fired LMGS during the night, enemy returned LMG fire.
24 JanWeather clear and cold all day. Int Sec set up OP at 779937. No enemy activity during the day. Nothing heard about A Coy lorry which was lost from convoy on 22 Jan. Mr Moffatt, the YMCA supervisor arrived at this HQ at 1500 hrs. Patrols were sent out during the night but no enemy opposition met. YMCA rations received, 1 bar chocolate and 25 cigarettes per man. Newspapers, magazines, playing cards were also issued to personnel.
25 JanWeather clear and fairly warm. During the day B Coy standing patrol at MR 776944 was mortared, 15 rounds landed at that position, no casualties. Our mortars returned fire. Maj Gen Bole, Commander of 6 Airborne Div visited this HQ. Engineers passed through our lines to recce the MEUSE river for possible crossings. Very quiet during the night except for some small arms fire. Some enemy seen across the Meuse river other than that nothing reported from patrols.
26 JanWeather clear all day. Some enemy shelling during the day. No casualties or damage done. Patrols went out during the night - no enemy opposition met. Two enemy prisoners turned over to this unit by the Dutch underground. PW could not be identified as they did not have any identifications on them. Enemy fired rockets on this units position during the late evening. No casualties or damage done. YMCA issue given out to the personnel.
27 JanWeather clear and cold all day. No enemy activity during the day. Enemy fired mortar and LMG towards our positions. There were no casualties or damage done. During the night enemy shelled MR 774933, B Coy's Standing Patrol. No casualties. Capt McGowan and Sgt. Anderson went on a recce patrol across the Meuse River. Patrol did not meet any enemy.
28 JanWeather clear and cold all day, with a very strong wind during the night. Very quiet during the day. Enemy OP found at MR 776932. Enemy OP was shelled and machine gunned. During the night enemy fired LMG on OP at 781937 and on B Coy standing patrol at 774933. No casualties or damage done. Own mortars fired on EINDE, 7294, and ASSELT 7293.
29 JanWeather cold and misty. Very little enemy activity. Enemy OP at 776932 was machine gunned and snipers fired on the OP. Rockets were observed to be fired about one mile to our front. Rockets did not land in this units positions. Royal Engineers passed through our lines to recce the Meuse river for a possible crossing. Protection was given by a Pl from B Coy. Lt Davies and two ORs went on a recce patrol across the Meuse River for 36 hrs.
30 JanFairly warm during the day and rain during the night. Very quiet during the night. Occasional MG fire on our positions. Very quiet during the day and night.
31 JanWarm and slight rain during the day. Occasional MG fire over our positions but no casualties or damage done. Lt Davies patrol returned at 0800 hrs. No casualties. Patrol observed enemy but did not interfere with them. (see appendix for report). Very quiet during the night. Enemy OP at 776932 was shelled by Sherman Tank. Snipers also fired on OP.
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Previous article in the series '1st Canadian Parachute Battalion': 1st Canadian Parachute Bn (1944)
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