Source : WO 179/1994 National Archives
Thanks to Mark Hickman of Pegasus Archive for supplying the War Diary : https://www.pegasusarchive.org/
Thanks to Mark Hickman of Pegasus Archive for supplying the War Diary : https://www.pegasusarchive.org/
|PLACE||DATE||SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
|In The Field||1 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Cold 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather clear all day. Observation Post set up by the Intelligence Sec at MR 253813. Quiet all day. No enemy activity during the day.|
|8 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather clear and cold all day. Coy had battle drill in the afternoon. Int Sec personnel were given areas to patrol for enemy equipment.|
|16 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Breakfast 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Weather 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 Jan||Fairly 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 Jan||Warm 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.|
|PLACE||DATE||SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
|Field||1 Feb||Weather warm all day. Fairly quiet during the day. N.A.A.F.I. issue was given out to the Coys at 1330 hrs. N.A.A.F.I. issued consisted of Beer, Cigarettes, Chocolate Bar and matches. Some shelling, enemy fired M.G. towards our position but no casualties or damage done. A standing patrol was attacked at 0200 hrs. Standing patrol at 788935 2 wounded 1 PW taken.|
|2 Feb||Weather misty with slight rain. During the day very little enemy activity. Enemy fired M.G. over our position but no damage done. R.A.F. twin engine Bomber crashed in our area MR 76159565. Crew of aircraft were all killed. Very quiet during the day and night.|
|3 Feb||Weather fair with slight rain. Fair quiet during the day. Some S.A. Arms fire. Enemy not firing on any definite target. Enemy mortared area MR 783938 no damage done. Patrols went out during the night. Patrols were across the Meuse River no enemy opposition met.|
|4 Feb||Weather during the day was misty and slight rain. Enemy were seen digging at 782934 at 1325 hrs Betty O.P. observed enemy movement at 2215 hrs. Betty O.P. at 786934. Very quiet during the day. Some M.G. fire towards our position. No damage done. Patrol went out during the night saw Enemy Section but was too strong for Patrol so Patrol Comd did not interfere and returned to own positions.|
|5 Feb||Weather clear and warm all morning slight rain in the afternoon. During the day Enemy fired M.G. and Mortar toward our position. No damage done. A lot of flares were observed on our front. A civilian was captured at 0225 hrs by one of our patrol. Civilian was coming from Enemy line. He was questioned by the Int Officer and then sent to higher formation for further questioning. No enemy movement of any sort seen during the day and night.|
|6 Feb||Slight rain during the day and night. Enemy shelled Norma O.P. MR 78659380 during the day at intervals. No casualties or damage done. Norma O.P. observed Enemy digging trenches at 776933 at 1500 hrs. Enemy also observed maning O.P. at MR 776932. Some Enemy M.G. fire during the day and night. Enemy did not fire on any definite target and no damage was done.|
|7 Feb||Weather clear and warm all day. Enemy fired rocket on MR 758946. Two minor casualties otherwise no damage. During the night a lot of flares and Gun flashes were reported by O.P. Some M.G. fire but on no definite target. Patrol went across the Maas River. It was a fighting patrol, one Officer and thirty other ranks. Patrol went into Einde MR 7994. Result of patrol was negative.|
|8 Feb||Weather during the day was fair. As usual a lot of M.G. fire and flares were reported by O.P. Enemy fired Rockets on MR 758946. No casualties.|
|9 Feb||Weather was fair with some rain during the day and night. Enemy shelled "A" Coy Position in Buggenum MR 7893. No damage or casualties done. Some enemy movement observed across the Maas river during the day. Patrols reported M.G. firing and a lot of flare in various positions on our front. Arty flashes were reported by O.P. and forwarded to A,C.M.U. at Bde HQ.|
|10 Feb||Weather fair with slight rain during the day. Lt Proulx went on a 36 hrs Recce Patrol across the River Maas. Patrol carried 38 set for communications. Very quiet during the night. O.P. sent in bearing on M.G. fire and the following positions were located MR 78799152, 78599274, 78809190 M.G. positions are not confirmed. Some shelling in the afternoon but shells landed in flooded area. Quite a lot of Enemy activity during the night a lot of M.G. firing and quite a bit of shelling but no damage or casualties caused.|
|11 Feb||Weather fair during the day and night. During the day it was very quiet. O.P's reported M.G. fire from various directions but no damage done. During the night flares were observed but no other activity of the enemy reported. Some shelling and mortaring otherwise very quiet.|
|12 Feb||Weather clear all day with light mist during the evening. An Enemy patrol was reported by "B" Coy, and a patrol was sent to deal with it at 0140 hrs. One of our personnel were wounded in the shoulder believe two of the enemy patrol killed at that time. In the morning area was searched but nothing was found of the enemy. Flares were sent up by Enemy and a lot of M.G. and Arty fire heard by O.P's.|
|13 Feb||Weather fair during the day and night. An Enemy patrol was seen crossing river Maas by O.P. Agnes and was covered by L.M.Gs later fired on boat was capsized and Enemy heard screaming when they were in the water believed to have wounded. Some believed Enemy patrol consisted of 6 men. A patrol was sent across river Maas but met opposition and returned tried again but did not succeed and patrol returned to A Coy. A considerable amount of flares were reported by O.Ps. and a lot of M.G. fire reported during the night.|
|14 Feb||Weather clear all day some mist along river Maas, reported by O.Ps. River Maas rising very rapidly. Norma O.P. almost surrounded by water. Unidentified aircraft were reported over unit area and dropped flares. Flares and M.G. fire reported by O.Ps. otherwise very quiet on Bn front.|
|15 Feb||Weather fair during the day. All personnel were asked for sizes of Dress shirts and boots and great suspicion arising among personnel that unit returning to England. It was very quiet during the day and night very little shelling and M.G.|
|16 Feb||Weather clear all day and night. During the day there was some shelling and machine gunning. Most of Enemy shells landed on their own side of River Maas. It was learned that American forces are to relieve this unit from front lines. Destination of Unit not known at yet. All personnel wondering what is in store for this Unit.|
|17 Feb||Weather misty during the day. Fairly quiet during the day. Some M.G. fire was reported by O.Ps. Vehicles were reported to be moving in Swalmen otherwise very quiet.|
|18 Feb||Weather clear all day. During the night enemy made lot of noise in Swalimen. Some enemy M.G. fire towards our position no casualties or damage done. Word was received that he Unit is to be relieved from the front line. Destination of Unit not known. American advance party arrived at 1000 hrs Unit advance party left at 1200 hrs.|
|19 Feb||Weather warm and clear all day. During the morning personnel were getting equipment ready to move off. Enemy shelled and M.Ged our positions in the morning, no damage done. Main United States troops arrived at 1300 hrs and took up positions. Unit started to Roggel where supper was served. Unit embussed in Lorries and proceeded to ZEVENEECKEN.|
|20 Feb||Unit arrived at ZEVENEECKEN at 1100 hrs. Dinner was served at 1400 hrs. Personnel were given billets in Coy area. During the day weather was warm and clear. Unit personnel washed and cleaned up and were allowed to go to local cafes. All personnel had Dutch money exchanged into Belgium francs. All personnel had to be in Billets at 2130 hrs.|
|21 Feb||Weather clear with slight frost during the day. Reveille was at 0600 hrs. Rifle Coy personnel were told to be ready to move off in the morning. During the morning Rifle Coy personnel started to move off. Last party left at 1230 hrs. Personnel went to Ostend where they embarked on boats and proceeded to England. HQ Coy and Bn HQ remained ZEVENEECKEN until the following day.|
|22 Feb||Weather clear and warm all day. Reveille was at 0530 hrs. HQ and Bn HQ personnel embussed in Lorries at 0630 hrs and proceeded to Nivelles Airport were they emplaned at 1100 hrs and flew to England arriving at Neatheravon Airport. Sheet 122 1/63360 at 0900 hrs. HQ and Bn HQ arrived in Camp at 1500 hrs and a hot meal was served at 1630 hrs. Personnel were allowed into town in the evening. Rifle Coy personnel arrived at Docks at 2130 hrs. Entrained and proceeded to Camp.|
|23 Feb||Weather clear and warm. Parade held at 0930 hrs and Lt.Col Nicklin explained to all personnel the reason the unit returned to England. During the day Unit personnel cleaned equipment. All personnel were paid 2£ sterling in the evening. Rifle Coys arrived in Camp at 0430 hrs.|
|24 Feb||Weather clear and warm. Unit personnel still cleaning up. No training carried out during the day. A movie was shown in the evening and was enjoyed by a great number. All personnel were asked for destination for leave.|
|25 Feb||Weather fair all day. A compulsory church parade held for the Protestants and R.Cs. An inspection was held at 1330 hrs by all Coy Comds. HQ coy had ½ hour drill by Major Hilborn.|
|26 Feb||Weather clear with slight frost during the morning, warm in the afternoon. Inspection was held in the morning by Coy Comd. General Training throughout the day. A movie was shown in the evening. Pay parade held for all personnel, in the latter part of the afternoon.|
|27 Feb||Weather clear and warm all day. General training carried out during the morning. Personnel prepared to go on leave in the afternoon. Leave starting at 0600 hrs on 28 FEB 45 until 6 MAR 45.|
|28 Feb||Weather clear all day. Personnel went on leave in Special trains arranged.|
|PLACE||DATE||SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
|1 to 6 Mar||Unit Personnel on leave.|
|7 Mar||Unit personnel returned from leave in the morning. Remainder of the day personnel carried out Interior Economy.|
|8 Mar||Weather throughout the day was clear and warm. Personnel started training in TOET on all weapons.|
|9 Mar||During the day training consisted of recap on all TOETs. In the evening HQ Coy NCOs had a lecture on signal procedure by Lt Tucker, Unit signal officer. Weather during the day was clear and fairly warm.|
|10 Mar||During the morning an inspection was held by all Coy Comdrs. After the inspection, general training was carried out. In the afternoon personnel were free and proceeded to nearby towns. Weather was cloudy with slight showers in the evening.|
|11 Mar||A Church parade was held for all Protestants and RCs. Personnel were free during the entire day. A movie was shown in the afternoon by YMCA.|
|12 Mar||In the morning HQ Coy had an inspection by Maj Hilborn, HQ Coy Comd. A and B Coy went to Silk Hill on field firing exercise for the entire day. C Coy duty Coy in Camp. Signal, Mortar and Vickers Pls carried out their specialist training.|
|13 Mar||Morning insp action carried out by HQ, A & B Coy Comds. C Coy duty coy in camp. Mortar Pl went on route march in the afternoon. A & B Coy carried out battle drill training all day. In the evening a movie was shown by the YMCA supervisor.|
|14 Mar||In the morning HQ, A & B Coys had an inspection by Coy Comds. Coy personnel carried out general training after the inspection. In the afternoon A & B Coy went on small exercise on Silk Hill. Weather was cloudy all day.|
|15 Mar||A Coy went on route march in the morning. B Coy duty coy in camp. C Coy spent the day on field firing on Silk Hill. In the afternoon Mortar PL went on 3" mortar range. HQ Coy personnel were CB in the evening for dirty quarters. Personnel of HQ Coy were told to clean up their barracks. A movie was shown by the YMCA supervisor.|
|16 Mar||A Coy spent the day on the rifle ranges. C Coy carried out battle drill training. HQ coy pls carried out training with their specialist weapons. A pay parade was held for all personnel after training hours.|
|17 Mar||HQ Coy personnel had an inspection by Maj Hilborn. Int Sec were paraded before Lt Col Nicklin and were told that models and enlargements for coming operation Varsity/Plunder were to be made, and sec was told to observe the strictest security concerning the coming operation. C Coy personnel spent entire day on the rifle ranges. General training was carried out by remainder of unit. Weather during the day was clear with cold wind. A move was shown by YMCA supervisor in the evening.|
|18 Mar||Int Sec working on model and enlargement for operation Varsity/Plunder. A and C Coys carried out general training during the day. Personnel were told to prepare large packs for shipment overseas. Weather during the day was fair with slight rain in the morning. Advance party left for transit camp, including I.O. and four "I" Sec personnel who were to work on briefing arrangements.|
|19 Mar||Intensive training on all weapons was carried out by all personnel. Int sec working on model and enlargements for operation Varsity/Plunder. In the evening personnel were told to pack kit bags and have them ready to be handed in to Quartermaster stores. Large packs were handed in to Coy Quartermaster stores for shipment overseas. A movie was shown in the evening by YMCA supervisor. All personnel were CB for remainder of unit's stay in England.|
|20 Mar||Reveille was at 0500hrs. Haversack rations were issued to all personnel at breakfast. Personnel embussed on lorries at 0715 hrs and moved off to Hill Hall Transit Camp, arriving at transit camp at 1730 hrs. Int Sec completed model and enlargements at 2330 hrs. Sleeping and messing arrangments were well laid on and the only complaint was lack of hot water for troops. 8 Para Bn, 1 Cdn Para Bn and 3 Para Bde HQ shares Hill Hall Transit Camp.|
|21 Mar||Weather during the day was warm. Lt Col Nicklin gave a general briefing to all personnel at 0830 hrs. Coy Comds started to brief their personnel at 1100 hrs. All Officers were briefed by Lt Col Nicklin at 1000 hrs. The Camp Cinema was used to brief the Bn. It was necessary to brief in two sittings. The Bn was allotted three briefing huts. One showed Corps, Div and Bde plans, and two huts were allotted for briefing the Bn plan. Briefing was done mostly on enlargements of maps, and large and small air photos. Though a good deal of attention was given to the plasticine model. An ENSA show played for the troops in the evening.|
|22 Mar||Weather during the day was warm. During the entire day personnel were briefed by Coy and Pl Comdrs. Brig. Hill inspected unit briefing huts and was very pleased with the model and enlargements made by Int. Sec. Morale of the personnel was high and all personnel when not being briefed played volleyball, softball, basketball, touch football and sundry improvised sports. Sunbathing was another popular item on the schedule.|
|23 Mar||Reveille was at 0400 hrs, breakfast was served and personnel embussed in trucks and moved to airport with full G1098. Unit arrived at airport at 0830 hrs and fitted parachutes. When personnel had finished fitting chutes they left all their kit bags and weapons in their respective aircraft and returned to transit camp at 1245 hrs. After dinner personnel continued briefing. Bde Comd ordered all personnel to be in bed by 2200 hrs as reveille was to be at 0200 hrs on the following day. Church parade held for RC and Protestants at 1800 hrs. Morale - top-notch.|
|24 Mar||Reveille was at 0200 hrs. Personnel had a good breakfast, embussed on lorries at 0445 hrs and proceeded to airport arriving at 0615 hrs. Personnel put on their parachutes, emplaned and took off at 0730 hrs. The flight from England to DZ in Germany lasted approx 2 hrs and 10 mins. The flight was quiet and uneventful. Unit jumped at 0955 hrs and was widely spread due to the high speed of the aircraft when crossing the DZ. Aircraft did not slow down or lift their tails. Flak was fairly heavy over the DZ and several A/C were seen to go down in flames. On landing, most of the Bn encountered severe MG and sniper fire, which accounted for most of the casualties.|
There was very little artillery fire. Most of the casualties were on the DZ proper, which was covered by mutually supporting German positions. A good many were dropped EAST of the DZ because of the speed of the planes, and though enemy fire was not so intense, snipers were fairly active. Coys reach RVs in good time, and the Bn objectives were cleared by 1130 hrs. Positions were dug, and the Bn held against probing German patrols, who were either captured or killed. C Coy, at the North end of the perimeter, came under severe fire from 100 or 200 yards away, and were constantly repelling probing attacks by numbers of German paratroops. In the centre and South end A and B Coys respectively held the wooded country. B Coy took large numbers of prisoners. Bn prisoners constituted quite a problem because they numbered almost the strength of the Bn. It was fortunate that Germans were killed by the hundreds, otherwise it would have been impossible to corral and guard them in the early hours of the operation. In the late hours of the afternoon enemy artillery fired, quite inaccurately on the Bn perimeter. At 1500 hrs recce elements of the 15th Scottish Division linked up with the Bn, and were warmly welcomed. During the night 24/25 three were wounded by enemy shelling. Casualties for D Day were:
Killed 2 Officers, 25 Other Ranks
Missing 1 Officer, 3 Other Ranks
Wounded 1 Officer, 34 Other Ranks
Among the casualties were Lt Col J.A. Nicklin, Commanding Officer, killed. Lt J.J. Brunette, killed. Capt J.A. Clancy, Missing. Lt J.L. Davies, Wounded.
|25 Mar||Armoured column of the 15th Scottish Div arrived in Unit posns at 0430 hrs. Personnel were happy to see the tanks and bren carriers. C Coy was still being bothered during the night by occasional German, and repelled a short counterattack. Infantry troops marched into unit lines at 0800 hrs. Unit area shelled during the day. Casualties suffered were 2 killed and four wounded.|
|26 Mar||During the night it was very quiet. A Germany recce plane was shot down by Spitfires, the pilot was captured by C Coy. Squads of personnel from coys were detailed to sweep the DZ for unit equipment and casualties. Lt Col Nicklin was found dead hanging from a tree in his parachute. At 100 hrs unit received word to move to Bde Assembly area, MR 193964, sheet 4205, 1/25000. Unit arrived at area at 1630 hrs. Unit moved at 1630 hrs to MR 226453 arriving at 1845 hrs. A meal was served and unit moved to 250473 and spent the night in barns and houses.|
|27 Mar||Unit started to advance at 0530 hrs, no breakfast was served. No enemy resistance was met until unit arrived at MR 304471 at 0945 hrs. The mortar and Vickers pls set up weapons and fired on the enemy in the woods. Arty fire was also brought down on the enemy. At approx 1100 hrs a squadron of tanks and armoured cars arrived. Enemy resistance disappeared soon afterwards. 18 PW were taken. CSMI Cooper was seriously wounded and died of his wound. Advance continued and objective taken at 1315 hrs. Coys took up defensive positions. During the night unit personnel slept in barns and houses in the vicinity of objective at MR 315478.|
|28 Mar||Unit started to advance at 0800 hrs. During the advance no enemy resistance was met. Enemy ACK ACK guns fired airburst over unit. AT MR 445505 C and A Coy attacked the ACK ACK guns in wood MR 482509. The ACK ACK guns were destroyed and unit advanced to Lembeck. Coys took up defensive positions on the outskirts of the town.|
|29 Mar||Weather during the day was cloudy with a lot of rain. All personnel in Lembeck and resting. No enemy activity during the day and night. Mr Moffat issued 1 pkg peanuts, 1 chocolate bar and 20 cigarettes to each man in the unit. At 1700 hrs personnel were told to be ready to move by 1900 hrs. Unit was to move to Coesfeld by lorries. At 1930 hrs move was cancelled until 0700 hrs the following day. Personnel spent the night in Lembeck.|
|30 Mar||Weather during the day was clear with strong wind. Personnel had breakfast and embussed in RASC lorries at 0830 hrs and moved off to COESFELD at 0915 hrs. A and B Coys debussed and climbed on tanks and the advance continued. It was quite an experience for the Rifle Coy personnel at it was the first time the personnel has ever ridden on tanks. The tank crews congratulated unit personnel on their splendid cooperation, most commendable because of their inexperience in this type of work. Capt McGowan was killed and 5 ORs were wounded during the day. A Coy attacked GREVEN and crossed a bridge which was thought to be the objective. A short while later a great explosion was heard which was found to be the actual objective.|
It was unfortunate error in map reading which caused the Coy to stop on the first bridge as they could have gone on to the second bridge with little trouble. However, in taking the town, A Coy did great execution, and suffered very few casualties. The remainder of the Bn moved in shortly afterwards. There was quite heavy enemy shelling during the night which caused some casualties.
|31 Mar||Weather cloudy with some rain during the day. At 1300 hrs unit started to advance on foot. During the advance enemy fired airburst - 2 casualties suffered. 8 and 9 Bns were heading the advance and after some delay the unit passed through them and took up posns on the West side of the DORTMUND-EMS Canal at 977907. Several casualties were caused by heavy enemy shelling during the night.|
|PLACE||DATE||SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
|1 Apr||Bn left previous night's position at 1000 hrs. Rain was teeming down, but soon lightened. Crossed Dortmund-Ems Canal on blown bridge which was passable only for tps on foot. Then by various side tracks to first objective at track junc 991911. No enemy were encountered except two enemy who were seen by two scouting officers. Enemy withdrew hurriedly before contact could be made. Then orders were received to take town of LADBERGEN 0093. With C Coy leading we took the town. Opposition was two 22 mm AA guns, and one 40 mm AA gun, supported by about a platoon of infantry. Most were killed though a few were taken prisoner. The troops ate well in this village much to the annoyance of Maj Hilborn, Capt Lukasffy, Capt Palmer and others, who carried hay-boxes of compo food all the way from the Western side of the Canal. They arrived in an exhausted condition, only to find the troops eating fried chicken, eggs, vegetables and various preserved fruits. One or two enemy shells fell in LADBERGEN during the night.|
|2 Apr||Weather clear early in the day, changing to cloudy with rain during the evening. Unit spent the day and night in LADBERGEN. During the day and night enemy were coming in in ones and twos to surrender. One DR was captured on his way to give orders to the German Commander in LADBERGEN and to inform him that he couldn't expect further reinforcements. He received a rude shock when he was shot in the leg. No one in the enemy HQ at IBURG, 2195 knew that we were even across the canal. Orders Gp at 1930 hrs gave information that were were to travel on lorries the next day to WISSINGEN 3207.|
|3 Apr||Weather - raining like hell. Unit embussed at 0800 hrs and drove without incident. 8 and 9 bns were in front and cleaned up any opposition enroute. Entered WISSINGEN 3207 at 2030 hrs and took up billets. Approximately 40 miles were covered during the day.|
|4 Apr||Weather - clear and sunny. Before unit moved off the T.O. went back along the route covered the day before, on an errand. He travelled in the CO's command car. The car was ambushed just to the west of WISSINGEN, and the driver was killed. The T.O. and one OR escaped. The speed of the advance had been so great that many groups of Germans like this one had been left behind to be mopped up by other units. Bn embussed at 0840 hrs and moved off at 0930 hrs. A great many PW were passed back along the axis. There was no time to question them. 8 Bn led on tanks and caused a good deal of havoc along the way. They were pinned down in the southern outskirts of MINDEN 8010, and it was decided to clear the town after dark.|
The Bn entered MINDEN 8010 at 2345 hrs, and after a long wait it was found by a scouting party to be empty. The Bn took over the town, and all was finally reported clear at 0230 hrs, 5 APR 45. Bn HQ set up in the Victoria Hotel, the best in town, and lived in grand style for the rest of the night. A peculiar feature of the day was that MINDEN was an objective of a unit of the 9th American Army, on our right. But our Bde Comd, Brig Hill, DSO, MC pushed on, and took it before they had a change to do anything about it. The Americans had laid on 350 Fortresses to bomb MINDEN if it hadn't surrendered by 2000 hrs, but they called it all off when they found our tps in the town.
|5 Apr||Weather - clear and sunny. Americans took over MINDEN in the morning, and unit moved to area KUTENHAUSEN 7915. Recce party which moved in first encountered several Germans who still wanted to fight, and took five of them prisoner. Main body of unit arrived at 1830 hrs, and large packs were issued, in anticipation of several day's rest.|
|6 Apr||Weather - foggy and rainy. Personnel cleaning up and resting. 100 ORs and 3 Offrs rfts arrived from England. Orders received to move off by route march next day, to embuss on tanks across the WESER RIVER.|
|7 Apr||Weather - clear and sunny. Unit moved off by march route in the morning and embussed on tanks (4 Bn, Grenadier Guards) at LAHDE 8520. Only A and B coys could be carried, so C Coy and BHQ B Party, with Vickers, and Mortars, went along on foot. No enemy resistance was met during the day, but 28 prisoners were taken. Unit arrived at WOLPINGHAUSEN 0225 at 2230 hrs, well after dark. Personnel bedded down for a few hours sleep before moving off early next morning.|
|8 Apr||Weather clear and sunny. Bn moved off at 0900 hrs, with C Coy, Vickers and Mortars on tanks, BHQ B party, A Coy and B Coy on foot. At LUTHE 1827 opposition was met in the form of a tank and a few infantry. Bn mounted an attack and the enemy retreated just before the town was stonked by 25 prs and mediums. The attack was carried through to RICKLINGEN 208272, where bridge 201270 was captured intact. A Coy led this attack and came under mg and arty fire from a Ferdinand SP gun, which caused 4 casualties. The bridge was found to be prepared for demolition, but RE's cut the explosives away and rendered the bridge safe. American tps of the 9 Army took over just before dark, and the Bn moved back to billeting area in LUTHE 1827.|
|9 Apr||Weather clear and sunny. Day spent in LUTHE 1827, cleaning up and resting. Large packs were again issued in anticipation of a 4 day rest, but as was usual, Bn received ordered to be ready to move the next day.|
|10 Apr||Weather clear and sunny. Bn embussed at 1000 hrs and moved off at 1030 hrs, to METEL 2340, where they debussed and marched to BRELINGEN 3241. No enemy opposition was met. Unit arrived in BRELINGEN 3241 at 1700 hrs. 4 soldiers dressed in civilian clothing were captured. One of them tried to escape and received a severe beating up for his efforts. Then, on his second attempt, he was shot dead. His papers showed that he had been a doctor, and his fellow soldiers said that he had been trying to collect German soldiers to sabotage our L of C. B Coy patrolled HELLENDORF 3542 and reported it clear. They returned, and Bn took up positions all around BRELINGEN.|
|11 Apr||Weather - clear and sunny. Personnel cleaning up and resting. German populace turned in weapons and amn. They proved to be a great nuisance because they came to "Herr Commandant" with all their petty troubles. It was a great relief when Mil. Govt officials arrived, and they could be referred to him. Bn was put on 1 hrs notice to move from 0100 hrs, 12 APR 45. Bath parade was held in the morning at Bde HQ, and Protestant and RC church parades at 1900 hrs.|
|12 Apr||Weather clear and sunny. No change. Bn put on 6 hrs notice to move.|
|13 Apr||Weather clear and sunny. Bath parades were carried on, and YMCA issued was made. Word was received at 2200 hrs to be ready to move the following morning.|
|14 Apr||Unit ready to move at 0900 hrs and moved by march route at 1100 hrs to new area in CELLE 5548. Int Sec went ahead and built bridge across creek at 485475. It was christened POKMOUCHE BRIDGE, POKMOUCHE being the home town of "Blackjack" Blanchard, a member of the Int Sec. Unit arrived at CELLE 5548 at 1830 hrs. Billets were taken up, and during this process several suspect "werewolves" and 1 suspect Gestapo agent were turned up. These were passed back to Bde HQ. Advance party left for new area South east of UELZEN 9089.|
|15 Apr||Weather clear and sunny. Unit at 1 hr notice to move. Vehicles arrived at 1630 hrs and unit moved to ESCHEDE 6962, arriving at 1945 hrs. Billets very crowded here, as several units from another fmn had already moved in. Proposed area SE of UELZEN could not be occupied since it had not yet been cleared by 6 A/L Bde, whose task it was to clear it. Early in the evening an enemy aircraft dropped a large bomb on B Coy killing 2 and wounding 2. Unit warned for move following day.|
|16 Apr||Weather clear and sunny. Unit embussed on lorries at 0730 hrs and moved off at 0830 hrs. Arrived at NETTELKAMP 919799 at 1400 hrs. It was a dusty trip and we had a very dirty looking bn when we arrived. NETTELKAMP had been occupied by 6 A/L Bde before us, and billets were left in a deplorable condition. Orders group in the evening gave warning to be ready to move at 0230 hrs.|
|17 Apr||Reveille 0200 hrs. Breakfast 0300 hrs. Move off 0330 hrs. Bn moved by night with no opposition to HANSTEDT II 970886, arriving at 0630 hrs. For the first time, a mobile radar section travelled with the unit. Its function was to locate tanks, guns, mortars, etc. At 0700 hrs tanks arrived and the unit embussed and moved on RATZLINGEN 975906. 9 Bn was already in the town and having some trouble. The enemy withdrew, having suffered some casualties, and our Bn mounted an attack on RIESTEDT, to which the enemy had withdrawn. The Bn attacked, dismounted over open ground with tanks and artillery giving fire support. As the Bn moved forward the tanks moved with them, and the enemy left behind in RIESTEDT three SP guns and a number of dead soldiers. RIESTEDT was taken by 1330 hrs. The Bn dug in and placed anti-tank guns, expecting a counter attack with armour. This failed to materialize. A number of germans were observed in wood 955923 and were engaged by mortars. This discouraged them and a two man patrol went out and captured them, about twenty-five in all. At 2100 hrs enemy shelled the town, but no casualties were suffered. At 2200 hrs two men of a German patrol were captured. They were advance guard for twenty more who escaped across country when the shooting started. Our casualties for the day were 1 sgt killed, 1 sgt wounded, 1 cpl wounded.|
|18 Apr||Stand to 0515 to 0630 hrs. Morning very quiet. at 1400 hrs enemy shelled B Coy posn at south end of village, dropping about 10 shells. No casualties. B Echelon arrived and large packs were issued. Enemy shelled again at 1900 hrs. No casualties. Our mortars again fired on wood 955923, where a few straggling enemy were seen. 117 PWs taken from 1600 hrs 17 APR to 1600 18 APR. C Coy sent patrol to SUTTORF 990950 and reported it clear except for a wounded German and an attendant. During the night, Capt Clancy, who had been taken prisoner on 24 MAR on the DZ turned up having escaped from a marching column of PWs. He took command of A Coy.|
|19 Apr||No enemy activity during day or night. Unit warned to be ready to move back to HANSTEDT II 970886, the next day. 20 Germans including 1 Lt Col surrendered the next day.|
|20 Apr||Weather clear with occasionally showers. At 0700 hrs advance party left for HANSTEDT II 970886 to arrange billets. At 1015 hrs unit moved off on foot, arriving at HANSTEDT II 970886 at 1200 hrs. Unit settled down to rest and clean up.|
|21 Apr||Weather - cloudy and dull, with heavy rain in the morning. Advance party left for KOLKAGEN 772103 at 1000 hrs. A great deal of time was wasted by a woman who claims to have been raped, and who had two witnesses. All their stories conflicted, and on parade they could not all pick out the man. It was thought that this might be the first of the German attempts to obey orders to hinder us by any means possible. Lorries arrived at 1640 hrs and Bn moved off at 1730 hrs, arriving at KOLKHAGEN at 2030 hrs. Unit took up billets and prepared for a good rest.|
|22 Apr||A day of rest and recreation, with PT and games, and some weapon training. A & C coys had some weapon trg, B Coy had PT, Mortars checked weapons and Vickers set up guns against air attack. 6 Germans taken PW during day. Location KOLKHAGEN 772103.|
|23 Apr||Weather clear. Personnel cleaning up for CO's inspection the following day. 5 Germans taken PW during day. Location KOLKHAGEN 772103.|
|25 Apr||Weather clear and warm. Bde Comd inspected B Coy and B Ech, and all enemy vehicles. A and C Coy did drill and PT with games. Movie shown by YMCA in afternoon and evening. Location KOLKHAGEN 772103.|
|26 Apr||Weather clear and warm with occasional showers in the afternoon. Vickers and Mortars engaged in Brigade competition shoot. Rifle coys engaged in sports and drill. Movie shown by YMCA in afternoon and evening. Location - KOLKHAGEN 772103.|
|27 Apr||Weather cloudy. RC Padre visited RC personnel, and said Mass in the afternoon. Coys on PT, drill and seeing movies.|
|28 Apr||Cloudy and raining in the morning. Clear and warm in the afternoon. Unit warned for move on 29th. Large packs returned to B Ech. Movies shown in afternoon and evening. Advance party left for HOLZEN 903200, in the evening.|
|PLACE||DATE||SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
|Field||1 May||Weather - Foggy early in the morning, with heavy showers throughout the day. During the night 30 Apr/1 May "C" Coy posns. shelled, presumably by American Arty. Firing from the W bank of the Elbe, in support of the American enlargement of their bridgehead. No casualties were caused, though it was a matter of hours before contact was made with Americans responsible for shelling. It caused a great deal of concern to "C" Coy. since there was an amn. train on the railroad which was in their area.|
Throughout the day patrols were carried out by "C" and "A" Coys., which netted a good number of prisoners. In one case, a Czeche airman led a patrol to a German platoon position, assuring the patrol that the Germans wanted to surrender. The information was true, and the Germans gave in without firing a shot. Contact was made at 1000 hrs. with the Americans on the right. For the remainder of the day those not engaged in patrolling rested and prepared for the next day's advance.
|2 May||Darn broke, cold and foggy, on a history-making day. Tanks of the Scots Greys arrived along with T.C.V.'s. The Bn. embussed at 0500 hrs., with "B" Coy. on the tanks, and "C" and "A" Coys. on T.C.V's. The original plan was to reach Wittenberg by noon. Because of lack of opposition this objective was reached at 0920 hrs. Brig. Hill decided to push on as far as was possible, since it appeared that resistance was fast crumbling.|
A refuelling stop would be made at Lutzow 2867 L/S 1/100,000 where tanks would be filled with all the reserve petrol the TCV's were carrying. In a wood at Lutzow just before the refueling point, we came across a German workshop detachment, numbering some 3,000 troops, who had had orders to surrender. The confusion was indescribable in that wood. German civilian woman, men and children were there with the troops, and when the troops lined up three deep on the road, many had their wives and children with them, to accompany them on the trek back to P.W. cage. This was because the rumor was ripe that the Russian Army was only nine miles away. The civilians and soldiers were terrified of the Russians, and wanted only to be taken by us.
After refuelling the tanks we moved off again at top speed. All resistance had collapsed, because the Germans wanted us to go as far as possible. They reasoned that the more territory we occupied, the less the Russians could occupy. Thousands of German troops lined the roads and crowded the villages, some even cheering us on, though most were a despondent looking mob.
On reaching Wismar, 1/100,000 sheet, "B" Coy. was sent straight through the town to take up positions beyond the railway and astride a main road leading into town from the north. "C" Coy. was sent to the East edge of the town to cover bridges and the road leading in from the East. "A" Coy was held in reserve in the area of the Market Place, near Bn. H.Q., which was setup in PRUNDT's Hotel on ABC Strasse. All Posns. were reported covered at ____ hrs., and the situation was well under control. All afternoon and all through the night German refugees and soldiers came through our lines by the thousands. They constituted a serious traffic problem, and finally orders were issued to turn them out into the fields, since it was impossible to cope with them. On the night of 2 May, a Russian officer arrived in a jeep, with his driver. It was quite unofficial, since he had no idea that we were in Wismar until he came to our barrier. He had come far in advance of his own columns, and was quite put out to find us sitting on what was the Russians' ultimate objective.
|3 May||Weather - Clear & Sunny.|
German refugees and troops still streaming in. Houses being cleared of German soldiers in hiding, and comfortable billets being assured for our troops. Orders were received to keep pushing PWs back along the Div. Axis, and to divert refugees to the fields.
Hundreds of escaped Allied PWs came in, their only concern being to get back to airports and ports, and thus safely back to England. Some, in work camps, sent representatives, who made arrangements for transport and petrol to take them direct from their camps to Luneburg airdrome, where a ferry service for PWs was already in operation. Most were told to take any unattached German vehs. they could find, whereupon they would be supplied with petrol and sent on their way.
There was considerable visiting being done between officers of the Bn. and Russian officers. It turned out that the Bn. had several excellent Russian speakers, one of whom was attached permanently to General Bol's staff, for the "high level" work. The General was very pleased with his work.
Maj. Hilborn acted as chief liaison officer between the Bn. and the Russians, and was wined and dined by them at great length. He brought in several distinguished visitors, who proved to be the most persistent and thirsty drinkers we have ever met. They could stow away prodigious quantities of the stuff and it was amazing the way the way they stood up to it (until they finally sagged into comas).
The first contact was made between "C" Coy. and the Russian Scout Officer on the night of 2/3 May, but the first contact with numbers of troops was made by "B" Coy. to the North of Wismar, with Lt. P.G. Insole doing the handshaking and Vodka-drinking on behalf of the Battalion.
A wine-cellar was found in "A" Coy's position, but it had been looted of all the champagne and better wines by refugees, during the night. "A" Coy. placed a guard on he remainder in order to stop all the civilians looting the ordinary "table" variety that was left.
|4 May||Weather - Warm & Clear.|
Russian-British liaison still at a high pitch, with much drinking and hand-shaking.
We received word that the number of German PWs taken by the Div. on 2 May had totalled somewhere in the vicinity of 15,000.
News also came through that the German Armies in Northwest Europe had surrendered unconditionally to Field-Marshal Montgomery. This was great news, but still not what we were looking for, namely, unconditional surrender of the German nation to all the United Nations. However, it was a good start.
|5 May||Weather - Warm & Clear.|
Prisoners and refugees were still streaming back, along with great numbers of our own troops (P.W.X) who had been liberated by the Russians.
Our own troops rested and cleaned up, and in the evening the Y.M.C.A. showed a movie.
|6 May||The weather remained bright and clear, and the main problem was how to keep the troops contented and busy. The "No fraternisation" rule did not help at all, but most of the troops complied with it. There were one or two cases which were severely dealt with, but these were rarities. The German women did not help any, because they knew the troops could not touch them. They flirted openly, and generally made things miserable, especially in the evenings. It was finally found necessary to put the park in the Battalion area out of bounds.|
During this period the wine that was left in "A" Coy. area was distributed, and the guard was taken off. The morning after, it was discovered that a Frenchman, who had worked in the cellar, had brought in his friends, and they had broken down the wall to an unsuspected cache of champagne. The whole cache, thousands of bottles, were removed before morning. "A" Coy. had to resume the guard to prevent any future "discoveries" by the thirsty population.
The problem of recreation was partly solved by the Y.M.C.A., which did invaluable work in providing equipment for softball, football, rugby and other games. Every day those who wished could either go sailing in the luxury boats on the Harbor, or go on a swimming party, for which recreational transport was provided.
On the morning of 7 May, we awoke to the news that "unconditional surrender" terms had been signed by the Germans, surrendering everything to the Allies.
This is what we had been waiting and fighting for, for five years and eight months of bitter warfare. And the celebration was worth all the waiting. The gin, whiskey, vodka, wine schnapps flowed, and everybody had a grand time acquiring the inevitable hangover.
Prime Minister Churchill proclaimed May 8 "Victory in Europe" (VE) Day, and the celebrations were carried on and on, partly consisting of joint celebrations with the Russians.
|11 May||Weather - Sunny & Clear|
3 Para Bde., consisting of Bde. H.Q., 8, 9, and 1 Cdn. Para Bns., marched past Maj. Gen. Bols, Divisional Commander, at 1100 hrs. A very creditable showing was made despite the fact that none of the units had marched past for months. The German people turned out en masse to watch docilely but sullenly.
|12 May||Weather - Sunny and Clear.|
The Battalion carried on with sports and beach parties, and generally tried to keep busy and amused.
|13 May||Weather - Sunny Clear.|
A memorial and thanksgiving service was held in the Nikolsikirche in Wismar. Lt. Col. Eadie rad the lesson to a congregation that packed the church.
|14 May||Weather remained sunny.|
Time spent in recreation, resting and cleaning up. Preparations were made for a move to Luneburg, to take place on 19 May.
|19 May||Weather - sunny and clear.|
The Bn. embussed in the morning and moved to Luneburg, where the night was spent in bivoac two miles from the airdrome. The move was a little mixed up when a convoy of American trucks carrying P.W.(X) cut in on our convoy and rode double-banked, cutting in and out, for about ten miles.
|20 May||Weather - Cloudy and fine.|
First party left for the airport at 1000 hrs. and emplaned at 1330 hrs. There was one refuelling stop at Brussels, and the group arrived at an airdrome near Newbury at 1900 hrs. Tea and sandwiches were laid on and helped morale after the long trip. Thence by T.C.V. to Bulford, arriving at 2030 hrs.
|21 May||Second party arrived Bulford at 1400 hrs. Rest of day spent resting and settling in.|
|22&23 May||Weather - Cold & rainy.|
Days spent in preparation for 9 days leave.
|24,25,26,27 May||Weather - Cold & rainy.|
Days spent on leave. On 27 May a call was sent out, recalling all personnel from leave.
|28,29,30 May||Weather - Cool with showers.|
Unit packed up and preparing to move by night of 31st May.
|31 May||Weather - Showery.|
First draft left by train for 3 Cdn. Repat. Deport at Cove, near Farnborough. The draft was given a royal sendoff by Gen. Bols, Brig. Hill, and a great many members of the staff. They had decorated Bulford siding with flags and bunting, and had a band standing by to play us away. A large parachute badge and a large gold maple leaf were made up on plywood, and added a distinctive touch to the decorations.
There was a great deal of handshaking all around, and finally the draft moved out in the train to the accompaniment of the strains of "Auld Lange Syne." It wad the end of almost two years' association with the British 6th Airborne Division, and though we felt sad at parting with so many friends, we could look forward to meeting soon our families and friends at home, who had done so much for us.
But in everyone's mind, as we left Bulford, was the thought that many who had joined us later, were being left behind, in English fields, in Ranville Cemetery in Normandy, other cemeteries in Belgium and Holland, and latterly, on the Dropping Zone and in other places scattered through Northwest Germany.
|PLACE||DATE||SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
|No. 3 Repat.|
|1 Jun||Weather fair and warm. All B.n. personel are now split up in Military Districts. A Medical and Dental parade was held in the morning for Military Districts 1&2. Afternoon was spent by personnel cleaning equipment.|
|2 Jun||Weather fair and warm. Second party arrived from Bulford, Hants. at 1030 hrs. Personel were given their sleeping quarters by M.D's. Afternoon was spent at sports and interior economy.|
|3 Jun||Weather very cloudy. Bn. was preparing for a 72 hrs. leave, which is given to all personel in Repat. Depots.|
|4 to 7 Jun||Bn. spending 4 days leave in London and surrounding area.|
|8 Jun||Weather fair and warm. Bn. all returned from leave. Documentation was held in the morning to find out where all personnel were going on their 30 days Disembarkation leave. Afternoon was spend by all M.D's. having Clothing Parade.|
|9 Jun||Weather fair and warm. Bn spent most of the day getting equipment ready. Mail had to be straightened up so all personel were paraded to Post Office.|
|10 Jun||Weather cloudy and cool. Bn was paraded to Paymaster and each man received £2 for boat money. All drafts were warned as to what time they would be leaving Repat. Depot.|
|11 Jun||Weather very cloudy and rained occasionally during the day. M.D's. 1,3,6,7, left at 1400 hrs. M.D. 10 left at 1700 hrs. and M.D. 2 left at 1900 hrs. All personel were given a 24 hour ration pack and a package of Canadian Cigarettes.|
|12 Jun||Weather very cloudy and cool. M.D's. left in camp went at 0800 hrs. this morning.|
ISLE DE FRANCE
|13 Jun||All Bn personel now on board the liner ISLE DE FRANCE. Morale was very high. All troops in high tension for boat to set sail for Canada.|
|14 Jun||Weather fine and clear. Ships Orders were read to All Ranks of the 1st. Can. Para. Bn. Morale very high by All Ranks aboard ship.|
|15 Jun||Weather fine and clear. At 2100 hrs. a shudder went through the boat and then we knew that we were on our way to Canada. Cheers went up from All Ranks on board.|
|16 Jun||Boat still on it's way o the Promised Land. Everything in good order.|
|17 Jun||Weather fair and cool. Everything went well all day until 1900 hrs., when a serious and fatal accident happened on D deck. Cpl. Payette was accidently shot, with an enemy pistol fired by Cpl. Kurtow. A Court of Inquiry was held immediately and proceedings were made for a Court-Martial about ship.|
|18 Jun||Everything going along as usual except for the fact that officers were detailed to be Members of the Court-Martial and final proceedings were made on the accidental shooting of CPL. PAYETTE.|
|19 Jun||Weather fair and warm. CPL. PAYETTE was buried at sea at 0500 hrs. this morning. At 1000 hrs. CPL. KRUTOW's Court-Martial was held in the Officer's Lounge. It lasted until 1700 hrs.|
|20 Jun||Everything going fine aboard ship. All Ranks anxiously awaiting for boat to dock.|
|HALIFAX, N.S.||21 Jun||Weather foggy and cool. Boat docks at 1000 hrs at pier No. 5 Halifax Harbour. All troops started cheering as loud as they could. Much noise was added by all the boats and trains whistles, giving the V sign. At 1300 hrs Bn personel were taken off the boat for a reception the City of Halifax had planned for our home coming. Sandwiches and fruits were served and at 1400 hrs. Bn moved off in Double Column of Route, through the streets of the City. On Sackville St. at North Gate R.A. Park, Major General A.E. Walford, CBE MM ED, Adjutant General, took the salute and on the Garrison Grounds, speeches from Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King and Defence Minister McNaughton were read. The Mayor of the City of Halifax gave to our Commanding Officer, Lt-Col. G.F. Eadie, the Key to the City and the flag of Nova Scotia. After the ceremony, refreshments were served to personel. Just before marching back to the boat, it began to rain very hard, but the parade continued on through the streets of crowded cheering people.|
|22 Jun||Bn was dispersed by M.D's. on special trains, on which good service was enjoyed by all.|
|22 to 30 Jun||Bn is on the 30 days Disembarkation Leave.|
- 24th March 1945
Distinguished Conduct Medal - Green, George WilliamOn 24th March, 1945, Corporal Topham, a Canadian medical orderly, parachuted with his Battalion onto a strongly defended area east of the Rhine. At about 1100 hours, while treating casualties sustained in the drop, a cry for help came from a wounded man in the open. Two medical orderlies from a field ambulance went out to this man in succession but both were killed as they knelt beside the casualty.
Without hesitation and on his own initiative, Corporal Topham went forward through intense fire to replace the orderlies who had been killed before his eyes. As he worked on the wounded man, he was himself shot through the nose. In spite of severe bleeding and intense pain, he never faltered in his task. Having completed immediate first aid, he carried the wounded man steadily and slowly back through continuous fire to the shelter of a wood.
During the next two hours Corporal Topham refused all offers of medical help for his own wound. He worked most devotedly throughout this period to bring in wounded, showing complete disregard for the heavy and accurate enemy fire. It was only when all casualties had been cleared that he consented to his own wound being treated.
His immediate evacuation was ordered, but he interceded so earnestly on his own behalf that he was eventually allowed to return to duty.
On his way back to his company he came across a carrier, which had received a direct hit. Enemy mortar bombs were still dropping around, the carrier itself was burning fiercely and its own mortar ammunition was exploding. An experienced officer on the spot had warned all not to approach the carrier.
Corporal Topham, however, immediately went out alone in spite of the blazing ammunition and enemy fire, and rescued the three occupants of the carrier. He brought these men back across the open and, although one died almost immediately afterwards, he arranged for the evacuation of the other two, who undoubtedly owe their lives to him.
This K.C.O. showed sustained gallantry of the highest order. For six hours, most of the time in great pain, he performed a series of acts of outstanding bravery and his magnificent and selfless courage inspired all those who witnessed it.
Distinguished Conduct Medal - Kemp, John McKayCSM GREEN landed by parachute east of the RHINE on 24 March 1945. Fire round the dropping zone was extremely heavy, and it was largely due to the leadership and drive of this WO that opposition was quickly overcome and the company collected as its rendezvous.
Immediately afterwards the company was directed on a village. A strong and determined enemy force was holding a group of fortified houses on the edge of the village. The attack was checked and success hung in the balance. In this emergency under heavy fire, CSM GREEN lead a PIAT detachment up to the first house. Having organized covering fire, he led the assault himself on to the house. After capturing it, he then cleared all the remaining houses in succession. The enemy was full of fight but was worsted by the vigour of CSM GREEN's attack.
This WOs quick and determined action was of the greatest value in clearing a dangerous obstacle and restoring the impetus of the advance. His contempt for danger and eagerness to close with the enemy were an inspiration to the men.
Military Medal - Bray, Aurelle24 Mar 45, DIERSFORDTER WALD.
Immediately after the parachute drop, CSM KEMP'S company had to storm a strongly fortified enemy position covering the RHINE approaches. The coy cam under heavy enemy mortar and MG fire and several of its officers were killed. CSM KEMP immediately assumed command of the men in his area and speedily re-organised them. With complete disregard for his personal safety he led the attack on the enemy LMG positions which were holding them up. Again under heavy fire he stormed and captured the houses which formed the backbone of the defence of the positions. By his readiness to assume responsibility and by his inspiring conduct under fire, he achieved the early capture of a vital objective.
Silver Star - Eadie, George FraserOn 24 Mar 45, after landing on the Dropping Zone North of DIERSFORDTER WALD, GERMANY, Sgt BRAY came on a platoon of another Battalion pinned down by heavy enemy MG fire. He assumed command of the platoon and immediately led three of the men in an assault on the MG nest. After assaulting and capturing the MG, Sgt BRAY proceeded to his own platoon objective.
On arriving before his own platoon objective, he discovered that he was the only member of the platoon to reach there. Knowing full well that it was vital to capture the objective to ensure the carrying out of his Battalion's plan, he moved straight on with a Sten gun as his only weapon. By this outstanding act of courage, he captured the feature and 16 German Luftwaffe troops.
Two other members of his platoon then joined him and dashing forward they captured a further 45 prisoners.
By his outstanding initiative, courage and leadership he ensured that the objective was captured and the lives of many of his platoon and coy were saved.
Lieutenant Colonel George EADIE (then Major) 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion for gallantry in action against an armed enemy of the United States in the vicinity of WESEL, GERMANY on the 24th March 1945. Lieutenant Colonel EADIE parachuting into GERMANY at H-Hour quickly organized his Battalion and led it against extremely defended position. His aggressiveness personal leadership and courage carried his battalion forward in a driving attack which destroyed the enemy and permitted a rapid consolidation and exploitation of the area. Constantly to the fire, Lieutenant Colonel EADIE, by his bravery, intrepid action and gallantry, contributed materially to the success of the airborne mission.
Roll of Honour
- 6th January
- 19th January
Died as POW. Captured 6th June 1944.
- 2nd February
- 18th February
- 7th March
- 17th March
- 24th March
Bithrey, Reginald Charles
Brunette, Jack J.
Buell, Jack Donald
Clarke, Charles Hartley
Coulson, Jack Ambrose
Cummer, Harold Edward
DeSalliers, Leon Lucien
Dodge, Fletcher Earl
Escaravage, John George
Germann, Vincent Francis
Jones, Lewis Stanley
Lindstrom, Alvin Gordon
Mason, James Gordon
McCargar, Harold Eugene
McLaughlin, Douglas Norman
McNally, Andrew John Jerad
Miska, Theodore Gregory
Nickerson, Robert Alan
Nicklin, Jeff Albert
Robertson, Donald Kenneth
Shaubel, Robert Jay
- 27th March
Cooper, Dennis Akroyd
- 28th March
- 30th March
- 31st March
Robinson, Norman Wesley
Taylor, Kenneth Walton Albert
- 4th April
- 7th April
- 8th April
Pigeon, Romeo Edward
- 12th April
- 15th April
Church, Lloyd George
Killed by enemy aircraft dropping bomb (See War Diary)
- 17th April
- 25th April
- 14th June
Accidentally shot whilst on board vessel for return to Canada (See War Diary)
- 12th December