Thanks to Master Corporal Graham Humphrey for all his hard work at transcribing these diaries and adding photographs and routine orders in the appropriate places!
- The 6 digit number following the date is the unit’s grid reference (i.e. map location) at the start of that day.
- MCpl Humphrey has for most days, provided a brief summary of the key items in each entry – these are shown as bullet points (like this one) at the start of each entry. The actual transcription follows the bullet points.
- You can also access a pdf version with scans of the original diaries from June-August, 1944 prepared by the Laurier Military History Archives
May 30th 842385
0630 Reveille – rather dull and a slight bit colder
0900 All “briefing” of coys having been completed the day is spent in last packing, sports, route marches and bath parades. A and B coys, the assault coys have been warned to be ready to move off first thing tomorrow morning.
May 31st 842385
- Moved to Transit Camp
- A Coy and B Coy left for transit Camp and would not see the rest of the Battalion until invasion started.
0500 Early Reveille for A and B coys who have breakfast, turn in blanks and form up
0615 Both A and B coys move off from camp under their respective Coy Comds – Major H E and C O Dalton. They are loaded on T C V’s outside the camp gate and proceed to their transit camp. A great part of the rest of the Bn were gathered to see them off as we will not see them again until we arrive in France.
0900 C and D coys carry on with preparation for move.
1200 The camp has now practically filled up again with parts of the L S T serials – C coy under Maj Nickson is J32 Serial and D coy under Maj Gordon is J30 serial. Both these officers are boat commanders and such being the case the rest of the serial comes to them to be assembled. Needless to say there is now quite a variet of units in the camp. Beach group, Airborne Engineers, RCE etc etc. The morale amongst the men is exceptionally high and about all one can hear talked about is the assault and what the individual thinks about it. Everyone is on edge and wants “D” day to dawn as soon as possible.
June 1st 842385
0630 Reveille – quite cool and dull with a hing of rain in the air.
0900 No serials are to move out today so for the most part an easy day is had by all. D coy, however proceed on a route march.
1330 C coy have a parade of their serial to get everyone formed up in their respective boat loads. This is necessary to avoid confusion in loading onto the L S I. Alternate B HQ also travels in this serial and consists of the 2 IC, Maj Lett, the Adjutant, Capt Weir, W J , the M O, “I” and Sigs Sjt and representatives from each of these latter sections. This set up is to try and avoid all of the B HQ being wiped out in one foul swoop.
June 2nd 842385
- June 2nd C Coy left for transit camp
0630 Reveille – bright and warm
0900 C coy and other att personnel prepare themselves to leave for the docks – this party consists of approx 400 men.
1130 J32 serial have an early lunch in order to move off at 1215.
1200 J32 serial form up and after the roll being checked move off to the T C V’s just outside the gate.
June 3rd 842385
- D Coy left for transit camp
0700 Reveille – very bright and warm
0800 D coy form up and move off to the docks in T C V’s. As BHQ are the only persons in camp a very quiet day is spent by these personnel. The remainder of the Bn are all about their respective craft and are having the usual shipboard good time.
June 4th 842385
- Embarked On ships Royal Piers, Southampton.
- Battalion Head Quarters left for transit camp.
0030 BHQ forms up and is lifted to the Royal Pier, SOUTHAMPTON DOCKS, where they board the command craft, L C H 239 after the usual amount of confusion. There are about fify on board this time but conditions have been fixed up considerable and almost everyone has a bunk or hammock to do some snoozing in.
1130 Word has been received that “D” day has been postponed for 24 hours. The men are very worried about an indifinite postponement. The water is quite roughy and if we miss this set of tides craft will be off loaded and troops returned to respective camps with of course will be sealed. This period would last from 14 to 28 days and the lads would sooner have anything happen than that.
June 5th Southampton
- Regiment is aboard respective ships
0900 Normal lazy shipboard day.
2000 as no word has been received to the contrary, it is taken that “D” day will be tomorrow and this is officially given out to the men which is a huge relief to all concerned. The real maps are issued, grenades are primed and a good many “last” letters are written. The spirit is very high and if the Hun could have a look at our lads tonight it would shake him considerably.
2300 One by one the ships of the convoy weigh anchor, form up and proceed out to sea. A very impressive and never to be forgotten sight.
June 6th English Channel
- Invasion aboard S.S. Monoway
- 0315 – Reveille breakfast served
- 0500 – preparations complete to transfer to LCA
- 0600 – seven miles off French coast transfer to LCA starts – Anti-seasick pills did their jobs
- 0725 – Bernieres-sur-mer in sight
- Barrage on the beach and behind starts
- A lone spitfire fighter aircraft flys over the beach and gets hit with rockets from one of the ships firing on the beach
- 0745 – H hour was suppose to be at 0745 but word sent to be postponed
- DD Tanks can’t launch due to rough sea’s, thus QOR have to take the beach by itself
- 0805 – order sent to start the approach
- 0812 – A coy on the Right and B coy on the left hit the beach
- on the beach the line between the two companies will be the railway station
- several LCA hit mines on the run in casualties light
- all QOR flame-throwers at this point are lost
- 200 yards from the water’s edge to the sea-wall – swept by enemy enfilade fire but the QOR rushed over and overcame this
- 9 platoon, A Company, was on the extreme right flank of the company, facing them was a 88mm gun position which shredded the platoon. Two-thirds of the platoon either dead or wounded
- B Company under C.O. Dalton just as unlucky, landing directly in front of a still active concrete strong point, almost half of the company was lost dashing across the beach.
- With its 88mm cannon a supporting flak ship was radioed for supporting fire onto this emplacement, but it was due to the heroic deeds of Lt. W.G. Herbert, Cpl. R. J. Tessier and Rfn. W. Chicoski which silenced it with grenades and Sten guns
- One of the LCA’s of B Company had its rudder jammed and ran ashore off course which had no enemy defence in front. Lt H. C. F. Elliot the platoon commander took initiative and took on flanking manoeuvres which convinced the enemy they had had enough. At this time B Coy was basically wiped out.’
- 0830 – Second wave lands with C and D companies and Battalion Headquarters land – B Squadron, Fort Garry Horse also lands.
- C, D companies with B Squadron advance through Bernieres-sur-mer.
- 0900 – Bernieres-sur-mer cleared
- C, D companies with B Squadron with A Company in support advance along the battalion centre line; Bernieres-sur-mer, Beny-sur-mer, Basly, Colomby-Sur-Thaon, Anguerny Heights.with great stress on capturing Anguerny Heights
- Brigade reserve, The Regiment de la Chaudiere land with 14th Field Regiment RCA with its self propelled Guns.
- 1000-1715 hrs – Continuing with the advance with the open ground past Bernieres-sur-mer they get into contact with an enemy 88mm which takes out four Priests (Sherman tanks carrying a 105 mm Gun)
- Then a detachment of QORofC riding on a tank outflank the position after seeing this fire starting and take out the gun
- Tank-infantry fighting helped take out enemy resistance along the axis of advance
- 1730hrs – the battalion reaches its d-day objective Anguerny Heights with D company advancing with its forward position in Anisy from a sharp brush with the enemy. The Carrier Platoon under Lt. S. C. Biggs after a quick fight took the ring contour 70 on the map “the Big 2 Hill”
0315 “D” day begins with a very early reveille – spirits are very high but naturally one can feel the nervous tension in the air. Unfortunately the water is still quite rough. Breakfast is served and all men who wish it are given a good shot of good old Navy rum.
0500 Men are all dressed and await the order to load into LCAs.
0600 Finally the word comes and the men file silently to their respective boats. After very little confusion they are packed in and the boats lower away. Due to the waters roughness it isn’t long before quite a few of them are quite sick – needless to say Capt Kirsch, the MO, is right up at the head of the list. At this point we are still about 7 miles off the coast of France. Intermittent gun fire can be heard but nothing tremendous has developed as yet.
0715 All hell breaks loose as the artillery and various support weapons cut loose with all they have. The shore can now be seen but it is fast being obscured by smoke being caused by our shells landing in the town, Bernieres Sur Mer MR 7F-9965.
0720 Word received at BHQ from higher formation that “H” hour has been postponed for thirty minutes. No reason is given but later it develops that the DD tanks and AVREs were behind schedule. This word only reached “C” coy as they were a few hundred yards off the beach at 0745 when they were beginning to think they would be assaulting the beach. Up to this time there has been no sign of action on the beach but now a few A Tk shells begin to drop around the LCAs which makes the heads go down in fast order. Unfortunately the postponement has definitely messed up the supporting fire and all that is firing now is an LCDF which cruised right in close to shore and let loose with alot of tracers.
0805 The assault coy got the word to go in. As yet no DD tanks or AVREs can be seen which looks rather ominous.
0815 A and B coy touch down – B coy immediately catch a packet of trouble as they are landed in front of a very heavily defended position at MR 7F-998995. Several of the LCAs of both coys are blown up by mines but only the front two or three men are injured on this. A coy are a little better off than B for they are at least able to get off the beach at MR 7F-989885. However, as soon as they hit the railway they come under very heavy mortar fire and are pinned down. Their casualties here begin to mount up – LT P C REA is wounded and Sgt Charlie Smith takes over and does a very good job in extricating his Pl until he too is wounded. The balance of A coy have managed to get through and carry on with the job. B coy meanwhile have really caught quite a packet. Lt Herbert and Cpl Tessier do a damn fine job in outflanking the enemy positions and finally the remnants of the enemy surrender. The coy has suffered very heavily. Major C O Dalton, Lt McLean, Lt Herberts, CSM Wallis have all been wounded while Sgt Harris and Morrisson have been killed. However some of the men under Cpl “Red” suddes and R F scott carry on with their job of clearing up around the beach exits although many of them are wounded to some extent.
0830 C and D coys and Alternate B HQ touch down. The casualties amongst the L C As is quite heavy almost half of them being blown up by under water mines. However the personnel get ashore without too much trouble and pass through the assault coys on the way to their positions. By now the DD tanks and AVREs are on the beach but don’t seem to be getting any place. The support all around has been very disappointing as far as we are concerned for none of the beach defences have been touched and this has caused very high casualties amongst the assaultings coys.
0900 B HQ arrive on shore, link up with Alternate BHQ and proceed through the town where a temporary HQ is set up at MR 992848. Alt BHQ detach themselves and set up in a house at MR 994854 where they earn all rights to the house by putting out a fire and gaining the everlasting thanks of the owners. At this time it is noticed that a cafe just a hundred yards off the beach is opened up and selling wine to all and sundry. Just about now the CO appears to be missing but after a frantic search he is found up forward with Brig K G Blackader who has now come ashore.
0940 There is considerable delay at this point while the coys assemble. B coy casualties being so heavy they gather just off the beach and try to sort themselves out. A coy having extricated themselves from the position on the right flank proceed to their Form up point. The R de C have now landed but are prevented from passing through us by a very accurate fire of a battery of 88mm guns located just south of Bernieres sur Mer.
1000 the 88 bty having been finally taken care of the R de C move ahead followed at a discreet distance by C and D coys mounted on tanks and other available vehs.
1400 Several stops on the road before Beny-sur-Mer MR 9880 is clear enough to move in. Here there was more delay while the R de C went on to capture Basly MR 9979.
1500 C and D coys on their tanks go forward at top speed to seize their objective and take up positions and this is accomplished without much difficulty. BHQ and other sub-units follow up more slowly but the whole Battalion is in position by 1730 hrs. BHQ is established on outskirts of Anguerny MR 0077. The only opposition at this time was encountered in the village of Anguerny. Several groups of prisoners were taken here. The Battalion was isolated for some time until the RdeC finally located at the west end of Anguerny and Colomby sur Thaon. The NSR regiment remained back at Tailleville – MR 0082 and HQ 8 Cdn Inf Bde was at Beny-sur-Mer MR9880 for the night.
You can find a list of those Killed in Action on June 6th here.
In 1994 CBC produced the following documentary base on the book “Battle Diary: A Day in the Life of Charlie Martin”:
June 7th 014775
- 0100 truck load of Germans drove into Anguerny.
- 0300 enemy patrol (12th SS) broke into A coy in the rear of B.H.Q.
- 70 Front line reinforcements arrived
0100 Quite a bit of excitement and confusion was caused by a truck load or so of “Jerries” arriving in the centre of the village, however these were dealt with in short order. The whole night was marked with confused bits of fighting. An enemy patrol broke into BHQ but was dispersed, the Officer in charge being taken prisoner.
1200 HQ 8 Cdn Bde set up in Anguerny in vicinity of our B Coy.
1300 Prisoners kept coming in in quite a steady stream – most of these were young fellows about 16 years of age and great amusement was caused by one of them who was wearing a great coat about 15 sizes too large.
1400 Alt BHQ is still established in their house at Bernieres Sur Mer and all their available time is spent combing the beaches for missing personnel and visiting the wounded in the BDS at MR999855. All the lads there are quite cheerful – the walking wounded are being shifted onto various craft and being shipped back to merrie England. The lads who fell on the beach itself were rather a disheartening sight – many of them trained for years and only lasted a few moments in action. Many a good man was lost on these beaches but they did a wonderful job. There was much activity during the day, tracking down snipers in the village of Anguerny – more prisoners were taken including a chauffeur found sleeping in a German staff car. At least twelve German vehicles, half tracks and lorries were taken captive in our area and included one staff car and one armoured O.P.
June 8th 014775
- Defensive routine in Anisy and Anguerny
0300 The night still occupied with the rooting of snipers – also some shell fire landed in our areas. Contacted by the 3 Br Div with a view to their attacking tomorrow through out D coy positions. Anisy 0175.
1200 B Ech. Is now established at BASLY 9979 and Alt BHQ moves up to join them. Otherwise a fairly quiet day is spent although a certain amount of shelling still continues.
2000 Funeral service held in BERNIERES MR997654 for 36 of our men killed in the initial stages of the assault – service taken by our padre Capt. J C Clough.
June 9th 014775
- 1700 Battalion left Anguerny and moved into Bray
0700 With the exception of a certain amount of shelling and sniping things seem to be running along fairly normally – men improve their slit trenches and try to catch up a bit in sleep.
1500 Word received that due to very heavy casualties of the 7 CIB sustained in area BRETTEVILLE L’ORGUEILLEUSE MR 9271 that the QOR will come under comd of the 7 CIB and be ready to move by 1700 hrs.
1700 Marching troops are picked up by TCVs – D Coy however is held up by shelling, which is brought down on their positions because of the 3 Br Div attacking CAMBES MR 0173. However they manage to extricate themselves and catch up. Bn is finally set up in position at BRAY MR9473 in accordance with the att trace. Slit trenches are of course the first priority. It certainly hasn’t taken long for the lads to realize that a hole in the ground is the safest place there is. A Ech is at this time established at 945739 and B Ech 945761. Things are by now getting back to a little more battle procedure. All our vehs are now in and we were very lucky in only losing two carriers in the landing. Alt BHQ has now moved more forward and is established with A Ech.
June 10 944737
- Battalion moved from Bray to Neuf Mer
0430 Stand to – a fairly normal night is spent with only the odd bomb landing in our area. Most men have now adopted the policy of sleeping right in their slit trenches.
1200 Word received that the balance of 8 Cdn Inf Cde will be moving into this area and that the R de C will take over our position.
1500 Bn moves to new position area NEUF MER MR945742.
1900 Intelligence summary number 3.
June 11 946742
- 1100 order received for attack and seizure of the high ground south of Cheux.
- (see article on les mesnil Patry battle.)
0430 Stand to as usual – a fine day is in the offing.
1000 Day being spent in clean up and further digging of slit trenches – rumours of an attack to be put in but nothing definite as yet.
1100 Word received that the Bn will attack and seize the high ground south of CHEUX MR 9066. This is to be done by D coy passing through the Regina Rifles at NORREY EN BESSIN 9270 and seizing C MESNIL PATRY MR 8970. The balance of the Battalion will then swing through them and by pass CHEUX seizing the high ground at C HAUT de BOSQ MR9066. For this operation the Battalion will be under command of the 6th Armoured regiment.
1300 Coy pull out on board their tanks and proceed to their F U P disembarking on Norrey En Besin and forming up at GR919704. The word is given and they proceed along with the tanks across the field toward their objective (error they were riding on top). Not much time elapses until all hell breaks loose from the enemy lines in the way of mortar and MG fire and the casualties are considerable. Before long there appears to be very few of the lads not wounded. At this time Lt HGW Bean gathered Sgt Sammy Scrutton and 7 other ranks and pulling a right flanking movement managed to sneak in to the town itself. As soon as the enemy spotted this the enemy became a little rattled and our lads were able to pick off at least 50 of them. However things were pretty hot and it appeared that the balance of D coy had been dispersed. Taking over a tank that came on the scene the party boarded it and returned to Norrey en Besin. From this action Lt Bean is being recommended for the military cross and Sgt Scrutton for the military medal. Out of the party of nine that went out only four came back unscathed one being left in the town, two being killed and two being brought back wounded. All in all it was a very sorry day for the Bn. When D coy called the roll 96 were listed as casualties although 58 of these were missing. The day show cost us two Coy comds. Major HE Dalton and Major JN Gordon both of whom were wounded. Lt Fleming is missing as are CSM Forbes, Sgts Mitchell and McLaughlin. However, while the day was very costly from the Bn point of view it is believed by higher formations that the show brok up a divisional attack by the enemy, so it was not in vain. (another error)
2000 The following personnel of the unit have so far been recommended for decorations. Major CO Dalton for the DSO for his action in the initial assault. Lt WG Herbert for the MC and Cpl Tessier and Rfn Chicoski for the MM for their valour in seizing enemy positions on B Coys objective in the initial assault. Sgt Charles Smith for his handling of his pl under heavy mortar fire in the initial assault. Lt HGW Bean and Sgt Scrutton for their action in D coys attack on this date.
2115 Informal Church Service held by Capt Clough which drew quite a large gathering.
June 12 946742
- Battalion moved from Neuf Mer to Bray
- Defensive routine and incessant patrols went out
0430 Stand to held as usual
0900 Looks like quite a quiet day and after yesterday most of the lads can stand it.
1500 Word received that we are to move back to our old positions at BRAY MR942737, A Ech to remain in present location. B Ech now being established at CAMILLY MR 951765.
2000 Interpretation Report No. 2.
June 13 942737
- Defensive routine
0430 Stand to as usual – Weather bright and warm.
0900 Battalion has a very quiet day being in more or less a reserve position and by the time the day is finished very good positions are being manned. All these are in accordance with Appx 3 & 4 att to this volume.
1000 Instrs re Bde PW cage.
Instrs re Sanitation.
1400 Both A and B coys busy themselves in laying defensive minefield under direction of the Pioneer Pl.
3 Cdn Inf Div Intelligence Summer d/13 Jun 44
Travel of M M G tasks.
June 14 942737
- Defensive routine
0300 Quite a noisy night due to enemy aircraft over our beaches.
0900 Another quiet day is spent with coys still improving their positions, minefields and booby traps. A and B coys are now practically surrounded by booby traps and are in a very good defensive position.
1500 Apparently A coys booby traps and trip wire work very well for two cows and a horse have just been killed by them. All the local cooks immediately dash out for a supply of fresh meat and are quite successful.
1600 A 14 man patrol under Lt Elliott of B coy is organized to go out to-night. It is found that for this patrol an issue of night vision glasses would be a great help.
2300 the usual night row starts as a few enemy aircraft appear overhead. 3 Cdn Inf Div Intelligence Summary No. 6 and No. 7.
Screed on reporting of Infantryman.
June 15 942737
- Defensive Routine
0430 Stand to has now been delegated to one man per section (in BHQ) who has to get up at stand to. This as can well be imagined is quite a popular move as far as the men are concerned.
0900 Another quiet day with still further improvement of coy positions. Screed re suspect civilians.
8 Cdn Inf Bde Daily Int Summary
8 Cdn Inf Bde MG tasks
Trace of Enemy Positions
Patrol Screed for night 15-16 June 44
1000 Patrol which was sent out last night to area CARPIQUET 9669 did not have an awful lot to report except finding of a pile of approx 40 dead Germans. This is of course news that is well received by our lads.
1100 Discussion setting up an DP out in front of B coy. It is decided to have this set up to be manned by the “I” Sec of B coy.
1400 B coy keeps themselves busy with laying a dummy minefield south of their position.
June 16 942737
- Defensive Routine
0530 Quite a rude awakening by four Fcke-wulfs straffing the streets of BRETTEVILLE. While this is some distance away the noise is certainly not lacking in quantity.
0700 Coys still improve positions
0900 We receive two Frenchman from the coys who are eventually turned over to the security personnel.
9 Cdn Inf Bde Patrols
8 Cdn Inf Bde Screed re Patrols
1000 Balance of day spent in more working of booby trapping of coy areas. Alt positions are now set up for the coys.
1200 8 Cdn Inf Bde Inf Summary and Sitrep
3 Cdn Inf Div Int Summary
June 17 942737
- Moved from Bray to Bretteville-Orgueilleuse and exchanged positions with the Regina Rifles.
0430 Stand to after a rather noisy night with arty and aircraft quite active.
1100 Rumour received that we are to move to-night, but as yet no details are available.
1300 Rumour of the move is confirmed and the 8 Cdn Inf Bde to take over the positions held by 7 Cdn Inf Bde. QOR will exchange with the Regina Rifles at BRETTEVILLE MR9571 with one coy stuck forward in NORREY-EN-BESSIN MR9270. The move will be done piece by piece and will not be completed until early tomorrow morning.
8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summary
March Table 8 Cdn Inf Bde
7 Cdn Inf Bde Route Trace
Screed re preparation of traces
Report on Patrols night 16/17 June
1800 Major S M Lett and Lt R C Rae proceed to new area of BRETTEVILLE on recce.
2100 Troops move out on line of march towards new positions and transport stands by to move later at night. A Ech to be located at SEQUEVILLE-EN-BESSIN MR921744 and B Ech at MR984783 just to the S W of BASLY.
June 18 942737
- Move from Bray to Bretteville
- Defensive routine
- Patrols sent outflanking
0130 Veh convoy get under way and after a short uneventful trip arrives at BRETTEVILLE BHQ established at 922719 in an old German barracks.
1100 Quite a few of the lads have discovered practically what seems to be inexhaustible supply of various liquors and wines. Quite a lot of trouble is experienced as some of the boys are so tired they can’t judge their capacity properly. However the matter is quickly brought under control by having picquets set up to guard the various stores: also a patrol under Capt Jack Price rounds up all the liquor that can be found in the town. About 130 bottles are rounded up which makes quite a dump. Some trouble is also had with looting but this is quickly and severely brought under control. Maj Nickson OC C coy has also instigated a police block on the road leading to his Position at NORREY-EN-BESSIN. It has been found that too much traffic soon brings down the enemy fire and naturally we try to avoid this.
1200 Proposed Patrol for night 18/19 Jun 44 Appx 31 Patrols night 17/18 Jun 44
Trace of Coy locations
Appx 32 Patrols report 17/18 June 44
Trace of A Tk defenses
Appx 33 Report of Regina Rifles Patrols 17/18
Trace of DF & DF (SOS) Tasks 16/17 Jun 44
Appx 34 Combat less #1 re patrol masters
Trace of Enemy disposition
Appx 35 Proposed Patrols 19/20 Jun
Trace of DF & DF (SOS) Tasks
Appx 36 Proposed Patrols 19/20 Jun
Screed re Snipers report
Appx 37 3 Cdn Inf Div Int Summ #9
Screed re combat lessons
Appx 38 8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summ 18 Jun 44
3 Cdn Inf Div Int Summ # 10 17 Jun 44
1300 Balance of day quiet with only occasional mortar bombs falling in C Coy area. RCE party arrives and proceeds to B coy area to demolish some K O Tanks which are there. Some confusion is caused when they charges go off as C Coy think they are coming under fire. While naturally our boys have learned an awful lot in the past two weeks they are naturally on edge and jump pretty fast towards the friendly protection of slit trenches.
1500 8 Cdn Inf Bde – 19 Jun 44 – Daily Int Summary
1700 Balance of the day spent quietly with most of the boys trying to get as much sleep as possible.
2115 Informal service held by Capt Clough in one of the nearby barns with an attendance of about 65 to seventy.
June 19 922719
- 62 Reinforcements arrived
0400 Stand to with conditions none too good. The good weather seems to have finished for it is now pouring rain.
0600 C coy seem to be having quite a time observing the enemy just a few hundred yards to the south. The enemy seem to be trying to draw our fire so they can chart our positions but we are not falling for that in the least and are gradually taping their positions to enable our big push to go through.
1000 Word is received that the various high comds of the 15th Scottish Division will visit us tomorrow to recce the situation with a view to their attacking through us in the next day or so.
1200 Information is received from C coy that they have now plotted what they think are most of the positions out in front of them and wish an “I” man to plot them. One is immediately sent to them to spend the night there and find out what information he can.
1300 Screed re patrol reports
Report of Patrols night 18/19 Jun 44
1930 Draft of 62 reinforcements arrived at B Ech and are distributed to the coys. CO’s meeting of Coy Comds mainly on administrative matters with several interesting points brought out – Sgt Overholt is mentioned as a possible Sgt to fill the vacancy of Sniper Sgt opened up by the new W E. Also a new “I” class is to start with representation from the coy. This is to fill the vacancies caused by casualties which have hit this section quite hard and also to try and form a reserve. It is also decided to have a rum issue for tomorrow morning – the weather is quite cold and wet and it certainly will be welcomed by the men.
2200 Five mortar shells land in C coy area and cause damage to the extent of the loss of one 15 cwt truck and one man who was wounded.
June 20 922719
- Defensive routine
0530 Two bombs are dropped in D coy MR91957180 area and a good bit of concussion is felt however luckily there are no casualties.
0800 3 Cdn Inf Div Sitrep Rep
Patrol report for night of 19/20 Jun 44
Proposed Patrols for night 20/21 Jun 44
Daily Int Summary QOR of C
Int Summ #10 18 Jun 44
Trace of enemy dispositions as soon from C coy
1000 It appears at first sight as though we are being invaded by the Free French Army but it soon develops that they are the French Cmdrs of the district and are putting the regular Gendarmes back into local power. There will be five of them in the town and they will control the local population but will report to us each day for any instructions. We are also giving them transportation to enable them to bring flour into the district as they only have a supply enough to last 24 hours.
1115 Several high officers of the 15 Scottish Div arrive to recce the ground for their attack through us. Put all them together with the French Officials still around it looks like an Army HQ.
1700 Balance of day fairly quiet but with a considerable number of visitors from the 15
L Div coming in after infmn,
Int Appreciation of CHEUX area
Int Summary #12 3 Cdn Inf Div
Int Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde
Report of Sniper Observation Patrolling
3 Cdn Inf Div Sitrep Report
Traces re Minefields in Bretteville area
3 Cdn Inf Div Standing Orders
2200 QOR Daily Int Summary
8 Cdn Inf Bde Sit Report
Activities of “A” Coy 20 Jun 44
Travel re Div Adm Lateral Routes
June 21 922719
- Defensive Routine
- Two Fighting patrols sent out
0700 We receive a few enemy shells in our Bn Area but fortunately there are no casualties.
0800 The usual day starts with many Officers of 15 L Div around after information to enable them to push through us easier. Quite a bit of concern is caused by A Coy locating a German wireless set concealed in a barn only a couple of hundred yards from their position. It is believed that someone sneaks in and sends out information to the enemy. If he shows up tonight he’ll get a warm reception.
1745 CO’s meeting of all Coy Commanders and all Patrol Masters, to co-ordinate a new system of patrols. To be sure of maintaining patrol superiority we are sending on fighting patrol area 915795 and on to area 935795,also C Coy is to recce the river Muc.
2030 Our 3” mortars get a little shoot on suspected enemy mortar area of ST MOUVIEU. A prompt reply is soon received and things are rather warm in the mortars area for a short time.
OP Reports to C Coy
8 Cdn Inf Bde patrol reports
A coy sniper patrol reports
QOR of C patrols for night 22/23 June 44
June 22 922719
- Ralph Allen from the Globe and Mail paid the Battalion a visit.
0700 Patrol Report on Nights activity
0800 War Correspondent, Ralph Allan of the Toronto Globe and Mail pays the regiment an early morning call. As he can now mention the unit by name he is after a story and is taken to A Ech to get details.
0930 Quite a sensation is caused by Capt “Benny” Dunkelman unearthing what is believed to an underground tunnel. All the various mayors get together and from information derived there is a possibility that these run all the way to CAEN and intermediate points.
1000 Patrols for night 22/23 Jun 44
1300 Padre and a Burial Party go to area C Mesnil Patry to bury some of our men of D coy
8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summary to 0900 22 Jun 44
Interrogation Report by Capt Dunkelman
Daily Int Summary QOR
8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summary to 0900 hrs 21 Jun 44
Screed re Shell Reps
2300 Stand-to for all coys – an attack seems to be developing from C coys left flank accompanied by heavy MG and Mortar fire.
2359 Our DF tasks 224 & 227 called for which brings down a concentration of two regiments plus one medium bty.
June 23 922719
- 2,000 Mortar bombs fell in the area
0050 Reports received from 8 Cdn Inf Bde of tanks moving in from left flank but irrespective of this coys are all advised to send out all ordinary patrols. Shortly after this all became quiet but this period only lasted for a very few minutes when it started all over again. Lt Pickup who had gone down to NORREY en BESSIN to pick up casualties was buried under a falling wall but managed to get Okay. During this fracas C coys carrier was hit and went up in flames. Also communications were broken with BHQ and it appeared as though every time they went out on the air the mortar fire came down again. Although a total of about 2000 mortar bombs fell, casualties as far as the QOR were concerned were very light only one man being killed.
0530 All coys advised to stand down but to keep definitely on alert.
0900 Morning spent with coys changing positions. A coy moves to C coy, C to D coy and D to A. This gives C coy a rest for they have been taking quite a beating in NORREY en BESSIN.
Suspected Enemy mortars
QOR of C patrol report
8 Cdn Inf Bde Patrol Report
8 Cdn Inf Bde Patrol Report for night of 23/24 Jun 44
N Shore R Patrols
1000 8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summ 23 Jun 44
1500 3 Cdn Inf Div Int Summ 23 Jun 44
2120 Quite a bit of excitement caused at B HQ by rather a hot bit of shelling.
2200 Daily Int Summ 23 Jun 44
Trace of unit Mor Fire Plan
- Defensive Routine
- 3” mortars fire on sighted enemy
0500 Normal stand-to with the weather bright and warm
0700 Patrol Report of 23-24 Jun 44
A very quiet day being spent by all ranks trying to catch up on some much needed sleep
1500 4 – 2”Mor of CM of O engaged targets in MARCELET MR9468
Patrol Programme for 24/25 Jun 44
2100 Some enemy sighted area 913697 – arty and our own 3” mortar fire immediately brought to bear and while the effect could not be seen the fire was right on target.
Daily Int Summ 24 Jun 44
Patrols for Night 24/25 Jun 44
8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summary 24 Jun 44
June 25 922719
- Attack in front of the Regiments position from the 49th Div at FONTENAY le PESNEL
0320 Request from 49 Div on right to lay smoke for their attack but due to the shortage of time this is found to be impossible.
0415 Quite a racket is caused when the whole corps artillery open up in support of the 49 Div advance on FONTENAY le PESNEL MR8767
0730 Patrol Report of night 24/25 Jun 44
A large flight of fortresses fly over in the direction of CHEUX 9167. Quite a lot of flak is sent up but the they fly on unperturbed.
0800 It seems as though it will be quite a noisy day due to all arty supporting attack of 29 Div on FONTENAY le PESNIL and ROURAY on right flank.
1115 H/Capt Clough holds Holy Communion at BHQ with quite a good attendance.
8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summary
Extract from Toronto Globe and Mail 8 Jun 44
1930 Quite some excitement caused by a dud 170 MM shell coming to rest right outside BHQs door. However, RAF bomb disposal squad soon clear it away.
44 L Bde 0 0 #2
2100 QOR Int Summ 25 Jun 44
- Cpl G. A. Hadley was mistaken and shot trying to establish liaison with the 7th Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment.
0100 A very unfortunate incident occurred in which Cpl George Hadley of B Coy was shot and killed while trying to connect with 17 Recc on our left flank. All during the night units of the 15 L Div are forming up in a position for their projected attack.
0700 Patrol Report for Night of 25/26 Jun 44
0730 Zero hour for the 15 L Div and an awful uproar breaks loose as the Corps arty opens up on their targets and the inf and tanks move fwd.
0930 Quite a favourable reports received from our front in that the 15 L Div are now in ST MAUVIEU MR9268 and have also reached the main road at about 904680.
2100 Daily Int Summary QOR
Daily Int Summ 8 Cdn Inf Bde
Word is received that there will be move to our rest area before first light tomorrow.
June 27 922719
- The Hampshire Regiment took over the Queen’s Own area
- Battalion moved to Cairon. (showers)
0700 QOR Patrol Report
0800 We are invaded by a large party of the Hampshire Regt, 43 Div who are taking over our position here in BRETTEVILLE. Also received word to be on one hours notice to move after 0900 hrs. Trace of coy dispositions at BRETTEVILLE.
Daily Int Summ 8 Cdn Inf Bde
0900 Rather a dismal day with intermittent showers coming down. There seems to be quite a bit of confusion in regard to our move but it will be probably straightened out in due course. From reports coming in A coy must have had a very miserable night being under constant shell fire.
1500 Finally get under way to our rest area. The coys were under the impression they would be transported but the only transport that appears is their feet.
1900 Finally get established in new area of Cairon. BHQ is set up in old German camp at 971747. Daily Int Summ 27 June 44.
June 28 971747
- Defensive routine
- Groups of ten go to mobile baths
0400 Stand-to is limited to one man per section and day is spent cleaning up and getting a much needed rest.
1800 Men parade in groups of ten to N SHORE R lines where a mobile bath unit is set up needless to say while the water was scarce this was enjoyed by all.
1830 A Coy suffered some shelling and casualty to the extent of one killed and one wounded.
8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summ 26 June 44
8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summ 28 June 44
2100 QOR Int Summary 28 June 44
June 29 971747
- Defensive routine
- Rest go to mobile baths
0800 The beginnings of an easy day. However this is somewhat broken by the receipt of warning order to be ready to move tonight
0900 8 Cdn Inf Bde Int Summ 29 Jun 44
1330 Further men proceed to mobile themselves
1500 M O Inspection and Muster Parades held by coys
1800 The “Big 2” Bugle – month of Jun
1900 Casualty Reports to date included killed 113, wounded 131 and missing 26
June 30 – CAIRON 970748
- Battalion moved to Marcelt to act as reserve for the Guards brigade
0400 Normal stand-to held
0900 Coys have another day in rather a restful atmosphere
Trace of enemy dispositions
Trace of Coy dispositions
Trace of A-Tk Defences
1 July 44 – CAIRON 970748
0400 Normal stand-to – not at all popular, of course.
0930 C.O. Called to Bde for conference at 1000 hrs.
1700 Word is received that the S.D. & G Highlanders are to make a diversionary attack on BRUCHY 9872 tonight at 2245. In the meantime “D” Coy construct a road block at 969744 which will be in operation at night only.
2000 For some reason or other the attack on GROUCHY is cancelled.
July 2 – CAIRON 970748
- Padre H/Captain J.C. Clough C.C.S. Was taken to hospital
0800 Another lazy day although there are signs of near future activity – it is still the intention of the Bde to capture CARPIQUET 9769 and to aid us in this the Gds [Guards] Bde at MARCELET 9468 are sending out patrols to get what information they can for us. Our attack will probably take place the day after tomorrow.
2200 Daily Int Summary
Do’s & Don’ts for Duty Offrs
Trace Bde Area & responsibilities
July 3 – CAIRON 9709748
- 1300 QOR moved off to the Form up point near Marcelet.
- Mission was to take the control buildings which lay east of the hangers at Carpiquet
0800 Still in semi rest area but will probably move to F.U.P. Tonight or possibly this afternoon.
1130 C.O. Off to O group at Bde H.Q.
1300 Bn gets under way to F.U.P. For attack at first light tomorrow.
1730 Bn H.Q. Now established at woods 137682 and outside of rather consistent shelling a fairly quiet night is had.
July 4 – MARCELET 937682
- 0700 attack went in. QOR worked into the western half of the village.
- Attack postponed until further ordered
4 July 44 – MARCELET 937682
0330 Early reveille and a bite to eat before the bn start off on its days battle. Our objective is the control buildings in the eastern half of square 9767 and of course cannot be attacked until a firm base is established in CARPIQUET 9769 which is the job of the N Shore R [North Shore Regiment] and the R de Chaud [Regiment de Chaud]. For this operation the R.W.R. [Royal Winnipeg Rifles] are under command 8 C.I.B. And have as their objective the south hangers at 962673.
0700 CO and IO leave for OP on east side of MARCELET to watch early stage of battle. The N Shore R, R. de C. & R.W.R. Are well under way – the former two are proceeding according to plan and have got well on way to objective. The R.W.R. However have met considerable trouble and are being held up.
1100 R.W.R. Finally reach objective and Q.O.R. Get in position on west edge of CARPIQUET 965690 in preparation for their share of attack.
1400 Our attack postponed due to R.W.R. Being forced off their positions in the south hangers. The day is a very rough one with continual shell and mortar fire on our positions. At the moment we are in a very precarious situation with enemy on three sides of us. However a solid base is formed and will be held at all costs.
July 5 – CARPIQUET 965690
- Defensive routine
0800 After rather an uncomfortable night due to continued shell and mortar fire the bn rises for another day although nothing of any importance occurs.
1700 F Ech vehs move up and are very lucky in getting in without losing a vehicle.
- Defensive routine
0800 Still in position and still catching considerable from “Moaning Minnie” 88’s and what have you.
1200 R.W.R. Are to revert under command 7 C.I.B. And will be relieved by “B” Coy Q.O.R. At 955678. This to take place immediately. G.O.C. holds conference in the command post and we are told we will have to hang on in our present positions for two more nights and one day. Then there will be a big attack on our left flank by 3 Br Div and the 7 & 9 Cdn Inf Bdes. This attack will have as its objective the capture of CAEN.
July 7 – CARPIQUET 965690
- Huge bomber raid on Caen
0800 Another normal night and day complete with insistent mortaring and shelling of our position.
2000 Feelings are relieved considerably by the sight of hundreds of heavy bombers “softening-up” the north side of CAEN. It certainly helps to cheer the men up after the pasting we have been taking the last few days.
Contrary to former opinions the Bde will have a job to do in tomorrows operation. After the left flank is secure the QOR will take their original objective, the adm buildings 9767 while the R de C go after the south hangers 9667.
July 8 – CARPIQUET 965690
1000 “B” Coy returns from their position at MARCELET being relieved by the coy of R de Chaud.
A great deal of noise is heard from the north where the 9 C.I.B. Is in operation. During the afternoon quite a sight is had of the enemy retreating in confusion from AUTHIE 9871.
1700 GALMANCHE 0073 and several other towns in this area are reported to be in our hands. However due to the passage of time, our attack is postponed till tomorrow morning.
July 9 – CARPIQUET 965690
- Attack on the airport control buildings occurred and the attack was successful.
0900 Coys proceed to far end of CARPIQUET for attack – C& D Coys up.
1000 Barrage opens and cos proceed with assault. Few actual enemy are encountered although some casualties are sustained by arty and mortar fire. However forward coys report “Able” by 1030 hrs and are soon in position and consolidated.
1600 F Ech vehs move up to bn and outside of the occasional shell things are quite peaceful. BHQ is established in a former air raid shelter which is very solid – too bad we didn’t have it in our former spot. A very unlucky day for Sgts with Sgt Tarzwell, Styles, Murray & Jones all being killed.
July 10 – CONTROL BUILDINGS CARPIQUE 976679
- Defensive routine as well as patrolling
0900 Things rather quiet although we received word to be on one hour notice. The N Shore R are now in BRETTEVILLE SUR ODON 9966 while the R de Chaud are at JUMEAUX 9866.
1500 The carrier pl are sent out to recce are of LOUVIGNY 0165 and also woods to north of town. If theses are not to strongly held will probably move forward.
1900 Considerable enemy activity area LOUVIGNY and move forward is postponed.
2315 A Coy sent out a patrol to area woods 010660 for Information.
July 11 – CONTROL BUILDINGS CARPIQUE 976679
- Defensive routine as well as patrolling
0630 “A” Coy return from their nights activity having been under heavy mortar fire but having been successful in pinpointing several M.G. Positions.
1400 Considerable excitement is caused by approx 16 enemy planes zooming in overhead – however they receive a very hot reception and no less than four are shot down. Some elements of the F.M.R. Of the 2 Cdn Inf Div arrive to recce the position in preparation for taking over tomorrow.
2300 “B” Coy proceed out on patrol to do the same job as “A” Coy did last night
July 12 – CONTROL BUILDINGS CARPIQUE 976679
- Battalion relieved by Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal.
- Battalion moved to Gaimanche (mobile baths and change of clothes)
0900 Quiet normal day with some elements of F.M.R. still around on recce.
1400 We are again visited by about twelve enemy planes with two or three being shot down.
1600 Recce party proceeds to new area and rest of bn prepare to move in early evening.
2000 Vehs and tps get under way – going out in small lots to prevent enemy seeing too much movement at once. The F.M.R. come in the same way.
2330 Troops are finally established in their rest area. GALMANCHE 018731. The lads are not pleased with the spot at all for the buildings are completely wrecked – there are dead animals and germans all over the place and it is certainly not a spot to put the mind at rest. However the best is made of a bad go and the men bed down.
July 13 – GALMANCHE 019731
0800 Breakfast is had and the boys get away groups of about a hundred to the mobile baths. These are very much appreciated especially as clean clothing is issued to each and every man.
1300 The K oc C arrive and set up to show as many pictures a day as they can. This is certainly appreciated.
July 14 – GALMANCHE 019731
0930 A very restful day although an “O” Gp is called for at Bde. Apparently our future is to relieve the 7 Cdn Inf Bde in CAEN so they can have a few days rest.
1330 All plans for relieving the 7 C.I.B. are cancelled although just what we are going to do still remains a mystery.
July 15 – GALMANCHE 019731
- Truck-loads of men were taken to St. Aubin-sur-Mer for a swim
0900 Half of the bn load into transport and are taken to ST AUBEN 0184 for a swim or anything else they want to do. These will return about 1300 hrs and the rest will go down till evening. Meanwhile plans for operation “ATLANTIC” are being formed.
July 16 – GALMANCHE 019731
0900 Rather a lazy day spent by the troops with several shows put on by the K of C. Plans for operation “ATLANTIC” still being formed.
1600 Word received that only essential transport will be moved after 2400 hrs tonight.
July 17 – GALMANCHE 019731
- 8th brigade crosses the orne just north of Colombelles
- QOR swing left through Colombelles and capture a nearby village of Giberville.
0900 Preparations and recces for operation “ATLANTIC” still continue although the troops are not informed due to security reasons. Actually it entails crossing the River Orne north of CAEN and attacking south through factory at 0769 and has as an objective of the 3 Cdn Div the capture of VAUCELLES on the south and east bank of the River ORNE.
2000 Coys proceed by foot to F.U.P. At 088719.
2230 F Ech transport move off for F.U.P. And the bn is finally complete in area by midnight.
Bde O.O. #15 “ATLANTIC”
OPERATION “ATLANTIC” – Movement Table
Arty table & trace
8 Bde Adm Order 2
3 Cdn Div Adm Order #2
July 18 – “OP ATLANTIC” 088719
- 0700 the attack starts B and A Coy leave the way closely following an artillery barrage. Supported by B Squadron 1st hussars.
0500 The men having been issued with twenty four hr packs cook themselves a bite to eat and prepare themselves for the day’s battle.
1800 An unlucky day for officers and Lt’s Rayner, McLeod & McNeily all being killed.
1900 F Echelon vehs start to move up to forward position but due to mines are stopped for the night at 095707.
July 19 – GIBERVILLE 091678
0700 F Ech joins the bn without trouble and the bn is complete once more.
0900 Casualty returns now coming in show that the battle yesterday was rather expensive in that we suffered 76 casualties. However as we took upwards of 600 prisoners, killed more than 200 and captured a great deal of his equipment, it certainly was not in vain.
July 20 – GIBERVILLE 091678
0900 Rather a rotten day with plenty of rain and lots of mud – signs of the bn moving fwd but nothing definite as yet.
2000 Move for today cancelled but bn will be prepared to move by 0700 hrs tomorrow
Daily Int Summary
July 21 – GIBERVILLE 091678
0500 Weather still rather demoralizing with the rain pouring down.
0900 Various “O” groups are held and we find that we are to move to GRENTHEVILLE 0863 – probably quite warm as far as shellfire is concerned but fairly safe as the R de Chaud will occupy SOLIERS 0862 and FOUR 0962 and the N Shore R BOURGEUBUS 0761.
1200 Coys start to move off at intervals.
1400 F Echelon transport moves off and the bn is in position by 1500. BHQ set up – in quite a solid house at 087643.
A Tk Dispositions
Daily Int Summary
July 22 – GRENTHEVILE 087643
Outside of quite insistent shelling a quiet day is spent with the men improving present positions
July 23 – GRENTHEVILE 087643
0800 With the exception of the usual rather heavy shellfire, a quiet day is spent. Word comes through that the Cdn Corps plus 7 Armd Div less 8 Cdn Bde will attack tomorrow morning at about 0300 by aid of searchlights with the objective of the high ground south of ROZUANCOURT and GARCELLES SECQUEVILLE.
2130 – Daily Int Summary
July 24 – GRENTHEVILE 087643
0800 After a very noisy night caused by enemy aircraft and shellfire the shellfire increases in intensity probably caused by the attack of the rest of the corps.
1000 Word received that our troops have reached first objective but with a very difficult time – the advance seems to definitely be held up.
July 25 – GRENTHEVILE 087643
0800 Our friend “Jerr” really got the high score this morning with a direct hit on the “I” section truck. This shell also got a trailer, 2 M/Cs and wounded Sgt Laffradi and four other men. The biggest loss in this was the month’s war diary especially as we have no other record of the months activity. However bigger problems than it have been solved so we imagine it will be to.
1500 Other than still being under intermittent heavy shellfire the day is quite uneventful. An unlucky shell killed Lt B H McRoberts of “D” Coy.
July 26 – GRENTHEVILE 087643
0100 Fairly heavy air attack with some bombs dropped in the area. However there are no casualties.
1400 Word is received that we will exchange positions with the N Shore R in BOURGEBUS 0761. As the enemy appear to hold TILLYCAMPAGNE 0760 in some considerable strength, this should be interesting. Move will take place during hours of darkness tonight.
2000 Recce parties proceed to BOURGEBUS to tee up the situation there.
July 27 – BOURGEBUS 076616
0010 Coys start off at half hour interval.
0230 CO and BHQ personnel arrive in BOURGEBUS and the bn is in position once more. Situation as far as shelling goes is very little different from our last position – its still pretty constant.
1000 Day spent in improving position as much as possible without showing too much to the enemy just across the way. Most of F Ech veh have been left north of GRENTHEVILLE 089648 as it would be a little too risky bringing them down here.
2130 Daily Int Summary
July 28 – BOURGEBUS 076616
0030 Something must have “Jerry” worried for he let loose with a heavy mortar barrage which was right on BHQ and “C” Coy positions. However only a few casualties were caused.
0700 Patrol Report – night 27/28
1300 We established an OP in church 078614 but is not very satisfactory due to enemy observation & sniping.
1700 Elements of the 4 Cdn Div – Arm’d, pay us a visit – the units represented were the Lincoln & Welland & South Alberta Regt. The reason they are here is that they expect to put on a big drive in the near future & are getting the general “dope” and lay of the land.
2130 Daily Int Summary
2300 Something must have “Jerry” excited again for quite a heavy concentration is put down right on our area – possibly 75’s.
July 29 – BOURGEBUS 076616
0300 The Hun definitely must think there is something up for very heavy concentrations are dropped during the night – probably inf 75’s. However due to the fact that the men are very well dug in only one casualty is suffered.
0700 Patrol report night 28/29 July 44.
0900 The beginnings of quite a quiet day. However none trusts “Jerry” a bit and so everyone still sticks pretty close to their slit trenches.
2100 Section leaders and a few other elements of the Lincoln and Welland Regt arrive to spend the night with us – the reason is just to get a little experience of what it is like in the front line.
July 30 – BOURGEBUS 076616
0730 Major Lett, Bn 2 I/C leaves on recce.
0900 Another quiet night and the beginnings of a quiet day once more.
1200 Further elements of the Lincoln and Welland Regt arrive. They are the relieve us tonight and the entire 3rd Cdn Inf Div is to go out of the line for a rest.
July 31 – BOURGEBUS 076616
0010 The first coy of the relieving Lincoln and Welland’s arrive and “C” coy set out by route. Due to the ticklishness of the situation around BOURGUEBUS great care has to be exercised in this change over to avoid too many casualties by enemy fire.
0330 The troops are picked up by TCVs at 038679 and lifted to their rest area near FONTAINE HENRY 978790. Everyone bes down for a couple of hrs much needed sleep.
1200 The lads begin to stir once more and take stock of the situation – the area is quite good and certainly very quiet – the guns can only be heard very faintly and there doesn’t even seem to be any AA in the neighbourhood. “A” Echelon is established here also – the K of C truck arrives and soon has pictures showing at full tilt plus a loud speaker for gramaphone records.
CASUALTIES SINCE “D” DAY
Killed in Action & Died of Wounds 7/162
Battle Exhaustion 0/39
Aug 1 – FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0830 (THAON) Map of area
A day of complete rest for practically everyone. Parties are taken down to Bernieres-sur-mer where a good swim is had by all. This is the first opportunity many of the lads have had to see again the place they landed on that memorable day almost two months ago. The K of C is running full speed with several shows a day – a very good picture too “The Sullivan’s”.
Daily “I” Summary.
Aug 2 – FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0630 It begins to look as though the rest is over. All coys have training parades while the “I: section is taken down to Bde HQ for the beginnings of a four morning brush up course.
1230 Rather a rushed parade is finally formed up and the rest of the Bde arrive for an inspection by the G.O.C., Major-General Keller. After a rather informal inspection, the men gathered round and the General said a few words about past present and future actions. He was quite optimistic and thought that todays war news was the best that had been forthcoming since the beginning of the war, nearly five years ago. Needless to say this buoyed up the men’s morale considerably.
Aug 3 – FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0830 Trg and reorganization parades continue throughout the morning.
1300 Half the Bn march to the caves of Fontaine Henry to see the Cdn Concert party consisting of half a dozen Cdn Army men and above all five C.W.A.C.s. The concert was a huge success and no doubt will be talked about for weeks to come.
1700 The Sgt’s Mess (in a marques) ahs its opening – official opening however will not be till tomorrow evening.
1800 Balance of Bn parade to concert in Fontaine Henry. These men also vote it a huge success.
Aug 4 – FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0830 Again trg parades continue throughout the day. Coys are taking turns on the nearby ranges for zeroing weapons and bringing up their shooting. The snipers and scouts are still in trg at “B” Echelon as also are the men being trained in the use of the flame-thrower carrier on carriers.
1600 Troops receive their weekly bottle of beer which as always is very welcome.
1800 Official opening of the Sgt’s Mess with all Sgts being present. There certainly are a lot of new faces. As a matter of interest only five of the original rifle coy sgts are now with the bn. Quite a party gets under way after the meal and as usual with such functions carriers well into the night.
Aug 5– FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0630 Reveille – rather dull and wet.
0800 Coys carry on with parades, some in preparation for an inspection by the Corps Commander this afternoon.
1300 Bde forms up in our area for the inspection by Lt-Gen Simmonds, our Corps Comd. He, like other Generals seem to have the habit of informal inspections and after the inspection the men gather round to hear a few words from him. He too appears to be very optimistic over the outcome of the present conflict.
1600 Meeting of all offrs re-coming operations.
1900 K of C show pictures in the caves of Fontaine henry.
2200 Offrs and Sgts unite to see a movie held in the Sgts Mess.
There appear to be signs of our rest period coming to an end and rumours are flying thick and fast.
Aug 6 – FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0630 Reveille – still a little dull and damp.
0945 R.C.’s fall in for church parade held in N Shore Lines.
1000 Protestant compulsory service held in lines and taken by the Padre – Capt Stewart.
Aug 7 – FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0630 Reveille – Misty and damp, but the day soon showed signs of brightening up.
0830 Coy parades – Coys are utilising every spare minute in training new men.
0930 Voluntary Church service
Rumours are quite accurate as to pending operation. BBC news listened to very closely all day.
0930 Offrs at CO’s “O” Group.
1400 Demonstration of German mines by R.C.E. Everyone seemed to be very interested, more so than they were back in England.
1400 Bath Parades
1730 Shows by N Shore in caves of Fontaine Henry
Aug 8 – FONTAINE HENRY 975789
0530 Reveille – Misty and cool.
0630 Early breakfast as battalion is on one hour notice at 0800 hrs.
0800 All coys busy packing for move. Much comment on heavy planes that flew overhead during the night.
0830 Word from Bde that attack was already under way.
1030 Dinner and haversack lunches were handed out.
1100 Orders came to move and the convoy moved out at 1200 hrs.
1430 Convoy was held up in CAEN due to Flying Forts dropping their bombs in the wrong places. Casualties in Allied forces as a result.
1430 Arrived at our area and men proceeded to dig in, although we are moving up some time tonight. General keller was reported slightly wounded in hand. Brig Blackader acting G.O.C. And Col Spragge acting Brigadier.
1700 “O” Group at Bde. Regt advised to dig in securely as no move likely till early morning.
Aug 9 – SOUTH OF CORMELLES
0300 Map – CAEN
Reveille and early breakfast. The men went back to sleep again after being advised of no immediate move.
0830 Men told to be ready to move at 0930. Weather clear and warm.
1100 Convoy started to new area arriving there at 1430. Operation Order “TOTALIZE”.
2300 Coys started moving out at ½ Hour intervals.
0300 “F” Echelon arrived at area 096499.
Aug 10 – LANGANNERIE 096499
0500 Jerry started his shelling very early this morning.
0900 Breakfast. Weather clear and warm
1000 “A” Coy getting accurately shelled casualties light – so far.
1700 This town is really a hot spot and there has been shelling off and on all day. Some casualties suffered.
1730 “O” Group and details of coming attack gone over with coy commanders.
2000 H Hour and the arty laid down quite a barrage.
“B” Coy was the assault coy and two of the leading sections got into the town without a shot being fired on them. No sooner were they in town than jerry tanks got behind them and cut them off.
Task table arty.
“A” Coy advanced across field under low angle shelling from 88’s mixed with mortars 100 yds from the start line. Coy came under heavy fire from automatic weapons. The advance kept on and the enemy retired leaving some equipment. In the hedge some snipers had remained after our men had gone through, they fired at our boys backs. 9 plt on the right followed by 7 plt went through second hedge, about 300 yds to the right two scout cars and a Tiger tank pinned them down on a forward slope. They were in a wheat field and every time the grain moved it was fired on.
On the left 8 plt came under very heavy fire of all types, but they continued their advance through the hedge.
At this time “B” Coy 200 yds to the left and rear, were stopped completely. Message was sent back saying the coy needed support from tank or arty. Coy stayed where they were until dark and then withdrew to regroup for another assault.
0100 Moved back to own area. Considering the heavy fire the casualties were very light. One killed, 7 wounded, 1 missing. The senior NCO’s did an exceptionally good job in controlling platoons.
2000 “B” Coy. H hour. “B” Coy started advancing. The axis of advance was along road. After advance of 500 yds they bore left. There were tanks firing on them from an unknown source and major Mills the Coy Comd was wounded. Snipers and MG’s were firing from the woods on the right. When they coy arrived at the woods they swung over to the right and Cpl Bairstow became separated from the Coy. He ran into some enemy – killing two and taking six PW. There was plenty of sniping and automatic weapons firing in the woods. 88’s and mortars started firing when the coy were 150 yds from the woods screening, in the woods prevented communications. There was approx 4 tks in woods. 12 plt as told by Cpl Tessier – We followed barrage closely and waited at the edge of woods until barrage lifted. Two Plts got forward but 12 Plt was pinned down in wheatfield until dark. We mode our way back to the road where we met Major Cottrill who put us in positions to meet possible counter attack.
As told by Sgt Suddes – 10 plt. We got into woods and into some buildings. There were snipers and MG’s firing constantly. Camouflaged tanks waited until we got into woods and then cut us off. At this point Cpl Zamaria did an outstanding job of keeping the morale of the boys up and preventing them from becoming disorganized. We were helped out by a platoon of N Shore R and Lt Robertson of “C” Coy, NSR organized a “do or die” task. When the rest of us were pinned down he went forward on a recce. How he stayed alive is a miracle. He assisted us greatly in getting out our wounded plus remainder of the coy.
2000 H hour – “C” Coy advanced, 13 plt right, 14 plt left and 15 plt in reserve. All went well until coy reached crest of slope then enemy tanks opened up. 14 Plt seemed to get the most of it as they were on slightly higher ground. 13 Plt with Coy HQ close behind kept on going under small arms fire. Then guns swung over to 13 Plt and MG fire increased, 13 Plt, Coy HQ and 15 Plt were pinned to ground. Capt Martin, Coy Comd was wounded and signaller was killed by shrapnel. Forward section of 13 Plt reached hedge but could go no further due to the heavy firing. This section could see some of the enemy tanks and sniped some of their personnel. By this time all plt officers were casualties. Rfn Kneller of 15 Plt had taken over his platoon and was trying to organize the remainder of the coy. He was told to get down and protect himself, but he kept running all over the place under very heavy fire trying to get the men together, he was still doing this when he was killed. As soon as darkness set in the men who were able to got out in ones and twos. Stretcher bearers went out later for casualties.
Aug 11 – ANTAUX
0730 Breakfast – clear and warm.
Coys here for regrouping arriving here at 0600 hrs. Boys were quite happy when told that breakfast was so soon. The chief topic of conversation was the battle of the previous night. The day was spent cleaning weapons and themselves. Everyone is hoping we will be here for a few days but no such luck.
Daily “I” Summary
1300 A few shells fell during the morning and afternoon causing casualties among them our Padre H/Capt Steward who was evacuated. This makes the second Padre we have lost.
1500 Bde “O” Group
1830 Bn “O” Group
1930 Coy Comd’s went out to recce area we are taking over from Royal Winnipeg Rifles at Bretteville le Rabet.
2100 Coy start out for new area and last coy arrives at 0130 hrs. There is 100% stand-to tonight.
Aug 12 – BRETTEVILLE LE RABET 1000504
0730 Breakfast. Weather clear and warm. The expected counter attack by the enemy didn’t materialize, probably due to the heavy concentration of arty fire that was put down during the entire night. Mr Rae our I.O. Left for the rest centre this morning.
2000 There has been intermittent shelling during the day causing casualties to two attached men from the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa.
2200 Patrols went out but didn’t contact enemy
Daily “I” Summary
Aug 13 – BRETTEVILLE LE RABET 1000504
0730 Adm Order for “TALLULAH”
Breakfast. Weather clear and warm. Coys improving positions.
1515 Coy Comds went out to recce new area.
1530 Major Lett acting CO to Bde “O” Group
1815 Men from BHQ left to reserve and clean up new quarters after cleaning up for three hours word came through that a recce officer was to go to Bde as the area had been changed.
2130 Polish armour moved in to take over our positions and Coys moved out one at a time and moved by route march to ROBERTMESNIL.
0200 Last coy arrives at area.
Major Lett and Capt Weir stayed at old position to make final preparations for coming operation which is on a large scale.
Bombing trace A
Air support plan
Daily “I” Summaries
Aug 14 – ROBERTMESNIL
0730 Breakfast – warm but quite a ground mist which showed signs however of lifting shortly.
0830 Company Comd’s “O” Group.
0930 CO left for Bde “O” Group.
1030 Final “O” Group and preparations for move to start line.
1100 Convoy of Priests and Half tracks loaded with troops left area.
1200 H Hour and alternate HQ moved off to area AOIGNELLES. On arriving at high ground overlooking town found to be heavily shelled. Turned back and parked convoy along edge of field just south of RENESMIL.
1400 Heavy bombers came over. Some mistake was made and quite a number of bombs were dropped on our own troops despite the fact that yellow smoke and flares was sent up as a warning. This business of close support by heavy bombers hasn’t seemed to work out as far as Canadian troops are concerned.
1600 Word came back from “D” Coy that objective had been reached but was a little behind schedule.
1800 QOR take objective MEZIARES and are on both sides of River LAIZE and casualties were light. Alternate BHQ in La Croix M.R.133505.
2030 Over 400 PW are just marching along the road. The operation must repeat must be going well. Capt Weir is Johnny on the spot with his Camera.
Aug 15 – MAIZURES 174473
Map – St Pierre Sur Dives
0600 Breakfast – actually it was our supper of last night.
Weather clear and mild.
Morning spent with Coys improving their positions. Several documents were sent to Bde and there proved to be valuable information in them.
1200 On a check up of our casualties they seem to be very light.
1400 A reinforcement of Officers arrived. Among them were three former QOR ment who had returned to Canada for their OCTU training.
1800 All though there has been no warning order to move out as yet.
2000 No move tonight, but all vehicles are left loaded pending an early morning move.
2300 Enemy planes came over and there was considerable bombing. An ammo dump was hit and the explosions from that kept up throughout the night. Our casualties were of a minor nature, caused by falling ack ack shrapnel. The RAP were kept busy all night fixing up Polish Casualties that came in.
Bde I.O. Had his vehicle knocked out and spent the night here.
Aug 16 – MAIZERIES 174473
0700 Daily “I” Summary
Breakfast and the weather, is still clear and warm.
The topic of conversation was chiefly on the bombing last night.
1000 Trace in from division and we find we are right in the middle of an SOS task so a hurry up call to the FOO is put through and the situation is normal once again.
1300 Weapon inspection.
1330 Bde “O” Group
1600 Lt Auld and some of his scouts went out to recce the area we are to move into. Major Lett, A/CO returned from “O” Group with the word of no possible move.
1800 Lt Auld arrived back here and took his entire platoon back with him to do patrol work tonight.
Object to see if woods in area are clear.
1900 Coy Comd’s meeting.
Aug 17 – MAIZERIES 174473
0630 Reveille. Weather clear and warm.
0800 CO left on recce of new area and we are on one hours notice to move.
0900 Coy Comd’s called to meet CO
1100 Marching troops leave to assemble at PERRIER.
1230 “F” Ech arrive at area and three coys have already moved into town and taken up posn’s. The remaining coy “B” is moving in after dark as they have to dig in on forward slope of hill.
2000 HQ move into town – 100% stand to 2230. 50% all night.
Aug 18 – DAMBLAINVILLE
DAMBLAINVILLE MAP –
0800 Breakfast. Weather clear and mild. One of local residents returned and gave a couple of the lads a drink. This town, unlike others we have been in, isn’t damaged very much.
1200 there has been a little shelling this morning mostly in “B” Coys area. No casualties. An amusing incident happened this afternoon. Rfn W Meharg and Rfn “Bud” Edward were on their way to this area with petrol. They took the wrong road and wound up in enemy lines. Five Jerries came out and paid them 4500 francs to take them prisoners.
1630 “O” Group at Bde and Col Spragge is back as CO. There is word of a move and the area is known but when the move is to tak place has not been divulged as yet.
The RHLI [Royal Highland Light Infantry] have a recce in to take over out positions.
Aug 19 – DAMBLAINVILLE
0530 Daily I Summary
Weather clear and very warm
Coys started moving out. Leap frogging ahead of GRAND MESNIL 310379 and took up positions.
0830 “F” Ech moved to orchard close to village.
1200 Bn HQ took up position in GRAND MESNIL. Excellent position for them as they were six barrels (LARGE) of Cider.
1315 Shorty after lunch, Bn HQ was shelled causing casualties and setting fire to barn in which HQ was situated. Several trucks were damaged by shrapnel and we were forced to move back 500 yds. A 60 cwt carrying ammo was hit and set on fire. There wasn’t a chance of getting anything off loaded. The driver did a good job in driving it to an area where it would do the least damage. The CO had an advance HQ in GRAND MESNIL. Enemy planes overhead at night but no bombs were dropped in our area.
Aug 20 – GRAND MESNIL 310379
0830 Map FALAISE
Weather still good.
Recce in from Black Watch (2nd Div) who are to take over our positions. We were to take over hill feature 230 at 333381. Coys moved out as they were relieved.
1730 Bn HQ left area.
1500 CO went out in carrier but kept in touch with Bn HQ by wireless.
Daily I Summaries
1900 Bn HQ stopped just off road while coys got into position. Coys encountered no opposition when taking positions.
“F” Echelon held back as roads were mined and the pioneers went ahead to clear them.
2100 “F” Ech arrived at area and supper was served after dark in a slight drizzle. It rained throughout the night and the sigs had a tough job in laying lines to coys.
Aug 21 – HILL FEATURE 230 333381
Weather raining and visibility nil. Pws who had been cut off started to drift in. They were a mixed bunch. Russians from a labour bn, SS troops, and Wehrmacht. The bag included one RSM. Two maquis also came in looking for an L.O. Rain continued throughout the day and coys improved positions.
2030 “A” Coy sent out strong fighting patrol to ST GERVAIS object – to ambush suspected enemy patrol. Bde slipped up and sent in N Shore R patrol also. This patrol came into town in carriers. Result no Jerries showed up.
Aug 22 – HILL FEATURE 230 333381
0800 Weather clearing up but very misty.
1000 “O” Group – weather quite clear and the surrounding country can be seen for miles around.
1300 Men busy cleaning themselves and weapons also trying to dry blankets.
1400 Major Dalton who was wounded on “D” Day returned to Regt and is the comd “B” Coy. Other changes are Capt Malone another old QOR officer is back as 2 i/c in “C” Coy. This is the first time he has been with the Regt since we left England.
Aug 23 – HILL FEATURE 230 333381
0600 Reveille and the order to move has come in – weather dull and slight drizzle of rain.
0730 TCV arrive and this is a nice break for the coys as they fully expected to march. Traffic was heave and the road and progress was slow.
1300 Convoy pulled off road and dinner was served.
1530 Convoy moved on. Road was lined on both sides with various types of burned out enemy equipment and vehicles however there was a noticeable lack of artillery burned out.
2030 Coys debussed and marched to assembly area followed by “F” Ech.
2300 Coys moved into town of ORBEC and CO set up Bn HQ in town. Rear BHQ at 64720. Rained all night.
Aug 24 – ORBEC 643720
0700 Reveille and still raining.
1100 “F” Ech move into town of ORBEC. French people are quite enthusiastic about our arrival. We advanced 23 miles in the day.
0900 Bde “O” Group
Our plan has been changed and we are to take a new route. In the house where we have our HQ is a young girl of 14. The jerries shot her father yesterday when they were forced out of this town. Left ORBEC at 2000 hrs and bedded down in an orchard five miles North East.
Aug 25 – ORBEC 643720
0230 Reveille. Left area 0400 hrs. Until first light progress was slow due to the darkness.
1230 Arrived at 908846 and a combined breakfast and dinner was concerned. Civilians were gathered around all afternoon. We always thought Canadians were good scroungers but these French people have us beat.
1800 Convoy formed up and every vehicle was carrying men from the coys. Received word that Col Spragge was to be Brigadier of 7th Bde and left immediately to take over his new command.
1900 Arrived at area and coys took up posns.
Aug 26 – ORBEC 643720
0630 Reveille. Clear and warm.
0700 Bde “O” Group
0800 CO’s “O” Group
1000 Coys start marching off to objectives. Our task is to mop up wooded areas along axis of advance. The attack is in three phases and the first two are taken without opposition.
2000 Approaching third objective coys are pinned down by fire from a 75. An artillery barrage is called down and proved very effective forcing the enemy to withdraw.
0130 All coys in positions and settled for the night.
Aug 27 – LE THUIT
0700 Reveille. Fair and warm.
0915 Word from Bde that no move likely today. The boys immediately star in to get cleaned up a bit. All told we have advanced sixty eight miles in the past three days.
1600 A Coy left for Div fatigues but due to poor organization on Div’s part the coy wound up at “A” Ech where they stayed for twenty four hours.
Aug 28 – LE THUIT
Reveille fair & warm
There is a report of no move today & everyone is quite happy about it as it gives all of us a chance to reorganize and clean up.
1600 Bath parades all available transport is used but still some of the coys had to march. Total distance five miles.
- Daily “I” Summary
Aug 29 – LE THUIT
0600 Reveille – dull and raining. The order was given out that all men were to be washed and shaved before breakfast.
0900 Definite signs that our brief rest is coming to an end.
1000 K.C. Came up with rations of chocolate bars, matches etc. This pleased the boys as chocolate and matches were sorely needed.
1100 Coys just told there would be no move today. Everyone quite happy about it as it gives a little extra time to get things straightened out.
Aug 30 – LE THUIT
0500 Reveille – Raining, which is nothing unusual.
0700 Coys move off with our own transport carrying all the men they can pile on.
0900 Crossed the Seine at ELBOEUF and the convoy starts to speed up. This operation is in three phases and no opposition was met in any of them. Our final objective was the village of BOOS, but we went quite a distance past there before bedding down for the night.
Aug 31 – NEUFCHATEL
Map – NEUFCHATEL
0630 Reveille – clear with a strong hint of rain in the air – Col Lett is now Bn Comd. The chateau where we are staying is owned by a Vice Admiral Durand – Viel, retired, of the French fleet. RSM Hartnell arranged a guard of Honour, 14 O’R’s which was commanded by Capt Weir, Adjt and quite an impressive ceremony was held when the Tricolour was unfurled and hoisted to the top of the flagpole. There were tears in the eyes of all the French people with witnessed it. The flag was autographed by Major C O Dalton, 2 i/c in the absence of Lt. Col. S M Lett.
1200 Bn moved on again, but no one seems to know just how far we will go today. All along route civilians handed out flowers and every vehicle has at least one bouquet on it. An impressive sight was seen enroute. Five maquis marching a batch of sixty German prisoners along the road. Our boys gave the Maquis quite a hand.
2100 B moved into positions, supper was served and after the C.O.’s “O” Group everyone settled down for the night. A rather amusing incident happened during the night. Our scouts were out on a patrol, one of them came upon two mortars and reported it to Cpl Overy who was incharge of the Patrol. The Cpl went forward very cautiously and removed the sights, he was just going to kick the mortar over when he was challenged by a member of the crew. The Cpl’s face was certainly red when he found out it was a QOR mortar detachment.
Sept 1 – MENESLIES 554807
Map – ABBEVILLE
0700 Reveille – Weather fair and warm.
All vehicles are carrying troops. Our advance has been very rapid and it is a nice break for the boys in the coys that they are able to ride, although most of them aren’t very comfortable, but it is still better than walking. There were intermittent showers throughout the day.
1700 Arrived at MENESLIES and the coys took up their defensive positions.
Bn HQ set up in a house still occupied by civilians who kindly allowed the CO the use of a room as a Command post. The cook house is set up in a machine shop.
Sept 2 – MENESLIES 554807
Reveille – it is quite damp and very misty. Today is set aside as maintenance day and a weapon inspection has been laid on. Some of the boys have been helping themselves to tools from the machine shop and the RSM told everyone in no uncertain terms that they must be returned.
Some prisoners have been brought in and interrogated. One Jerry was discovered in the hay loft by one of the Pioneers who went into the loft for some straw.
Sept 3 – MENESLIES 554807
Reveille – The mornings in this area seem to be very misty but the day usually brightens up around 0900 hrs.
Coys improve positions and the drivers give their vehicles a good check up. Our present Padre was recalled to Brigade and we now have Capt Mowatt who was with us on a previous occasion for a couple of days. He is a darn nice fellow and well liked by the boys.
Sept 4 – MENESLIES 554807
Reveille – Cloudly and wet.
1100 Left this area and headed for the SOMME.
1405 Crossed the SOMME and the first thing we saw was one of the tanks on fire. It turned out that it had caught fire on its own hook. The “I” Section truck broke down and pulled off to the side of the road. A French civilian living near by came over and gave the boys a big basket of grapes. He informed us that the enemy had pulled out of the area the previous day taking all available horses with them.
MAP – Mouth of SOMME
MAP – RUE
2000 Bn had supper at BEAUMARIES St MARTIN on the bank of the CANCHE River.
Map – MONTREUIL
2200 Left BEAUMARIES ST MARTIN and slept along road between there and MONTREUIL SUR MER.
Sept 5 – LA CAPELL 749541
0530 Reveille – Wet and windy
0700 Bn crossed CANCHE River and proceeded to la CAPELL.
1500 Bn arrived at La Capell and Bn HQ was set up in house at 749541. Coys moved into positions at “A” Coy 753538, “B” Coy 750545, “C” Coy 754543 and “D” Coy 748538.
MAP – BOULOGNE
2230 General stand to from 2230 hrs – to 2300 hrs.
Sept 6 – LA CAPELL 749541
0745 Reveille – Fine and warm
0745 German 1:80000 map brought by Lt Auld of the Scouts. This map had the enemy D.F. Tasks plotted on it for the BOULOGNE Area, also the positions of the coastal guns. This was turned over to Bde.
0800 Information brought in by FFI as to the strength of the Garrison at MONT LAMBERT and at BOULOGNE.
Estimated strength between 5000 and 7500 all ranks.
2130 General stand to from 2230 to 2300 hrs.
Sept 7 – LA CAPELL 749541
0830 Reveille – Rain with high wind.
0830 Recce patrols out to gather information concerning enemy position around Mt Lambert.
Lt Turnbull and patrol of one section on Recce of Rottembert flushed some enemy on side of road. One man came out with his hands up when an MG from the ditch opened up wounding Lt Turnbull; his batman covered his withdrawal with a rifle and then withdrew himself.
2230 Enemy Arty laid down a barrage on La Capell.
Sept 8 – LA CAPELL 749541
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
0600 Enemy artillery laying down usual morning barrage. Quite a few shells landing near Bn HQ and the coy positions. No casualties.
1445 Bath parade for the bn to the mobile bath unit about three miles to the rear of our present position. This was the first time the boys had had a shower for quite some time and it certainly was appreciated as there was lots of hot water. Clean shirts and new socks were issued.
2000 Capt J G Price and two O.R.’s of the Snake Force were killed by enemy shrapnel. The loss of Capt Price will be felt by the Bn as he was well liked, both as an officer and a man.
2130 Stand to from 2130 to 2230 hrs.
Sept 9 – LA CAPELL 749541
0530 Reveille – clear and warm
Jerry was a little early with his usual morning greeting, five or six shells being fired. No casualties.
0900 Burial service for Capt Price and the two OR’s who were killed yesterday. The citizens of La Capell placed flowers on the graves after the service.
1545 Enemy Arty started shelling the town again, scoring a direct hit on the third house up the street from BnHQ, killing five ORs from “B” Coy and wounding three more, Counter battery work was started by our own Arty.
2300 Jerry laid a heavy barrage on the town again. He seems to have our positions pretty well taped but doesn’t seem to be able to lower his muzzle enough to hit the buildings we are occupying as his shells are landing in the fields behind us.
2350 Enemy Arty laid down another salvo. A few shells landed in the Coy positions causing a few casualties.
Sept 10 – LA CAPELL 749541
0300 One of our Recce patrols composed of two men captured an enemy patrol of three men. The Jerries on being questioned and asked why they hadn’t fired on our patrol said they didn’t think they had enough fire power. They were laying in the ditch when they heard our patrol and had with them one Schmeizer (Tommy gun) one rifle and some hand grenades.
0300 Enemy artillery laid down another barrage on the town.
0530 Jerry is pretty persistent with his shelling laying down his usual morning greeting.
0600 Reveille – Clear and bright.
1500 Enemy Arty – must have learned where Brigade was situated as he laid down a barrage of 25 shells, but they all hit on the wrong side of the road. No casualties.
Sept 11 – LA CAPELL 749541
0200 Enemy Arty firing into town from direction of Mt Lambert.
0500 Another barrage laid down by enemy.
0600 Reveille – Fair and warm.
The cooks have bartered 60 cans of bully beef for a 200 pound pig so we expect to have a fresh pork some time tomorrow. Sgt F Parrington and Emile Kaprie our cooks have done a wonderful job while we have been in La Capell. We have had fresh buns, bread and doughnuts and it certainly has been appreciated by the boys.
1400 Sgt Tony Cornett, our signal Sgt swung a heavy axe and made the blood fly around BnHQ executing the pig.
Sept 12 – LA CAPELL 749541
0500 Reveille – clear and mild
Enemy Arty a little early again with his morning greeting. It sounded as if he had moved his guns right into the main street of La Capelle before firing them.
1200 Excellent diner today from the pig. The cooks gave us roast pork, apple sauce, turnip, potatoes, bread and margarine, tea and plums.
2100 Bn started to move from La Capelle to new positions around WIRRE EFFROY.
2145 Arrive at WIERRE EFFROY. Bn HQ set up in Chateau at 781584.
Sept 13 – WIERRE EFFROY – Chateau 781584.
Reveille – bright and sunny.
Jerry has done a lot of work around here to make himself comfortable. The Chateau has two lovely bathrooms with toilet, double basins and bath tub, but there is no water. He must have been here quite awhile as there are 3 barracks for troops and five or six concrete dugouts.
0900 Air photos of Boulogne area have been given quite a going over by the Coy Commanders. The enemy has some pretty strong positions in BOULOGNE and MOUNT LAMBERT.
1700 Cooks have been busy baking again as we had fresh buns for supper.
2100 Artillery in the vicinity have been laying down a barrage on enemy positions on MT LAMBERT.
Sept 14 – LA CAPELL 749541
Reveille – Clear and cool
Hot an awful lot of activity in the Bn., Outside of getting things keyed up for the attack on BOULOGNE.
Sept 15 – LA CAPELL 749541
0800 Reveille – clear and cool.
Cooks have been busy again and bartered 12 chickens and some bully beer for a calf. Sgt Tony Comet butchered and skinned the calf, so we should have some fresh veal tomorrow.
1400 Medium bombers came over in force and dropped quite a load in the BOULOGNE area. Our own Arty has been popping shells in that direction all day.
1700 Fresh veal for supper plus some more fresh buns. Our cooks certainly are looking after the boys when the opportunity permits.
2030 “O” Group to discuss the operation for the attack on BOULOGNE.
Sept 16 – LA CAPELL 749541
Reveille – clear and cool
0200 Large fire noticed in the BOULOGNE area after heavy explosions were heard.
1100 Typhoons making things hot for Jerry around BOULOGNE and MOUNT LAMBERT.
1400 Typhies were back to pester Jerry again.
1830 “O” Group to lay plans for assault on BOULOGNE which starts tomorrow.
1900 Medium bombers were busy again trying to soften up the enemy for the attack.
Sept 17 – LA CAPELL 749541
0400 Reveille – Wet and cool
Sgt Ward of the Pioneer Plt who is the only man in the Bn who is privileged to grow a beard decided he would use this privilege and grow one. The only catch is that once he has started to grow it he must let it grow for three months before he can shave it off again.
0615 The coys started to move to the assembly area in the BOIS de SOUVRAIN MOULIN, arriving there at 0830 hrs. The bn start line extended from OLINGTHUN to la CORETTE. Our axis of advance was along the road running from L’Ermitage through la MAUTE CLUSE to WECANDENNE.
0830 Heavey bombers of the tactical air force came over in strength to soften up the defenses in BOULOGNE and MOUNT LAMBERT prior to the attack.
0955 Bn crossed the start line with “B” and “D” Coys as the forward coys. “B” Coy advanced to their first objective the village of WICANDENNE. Capt Sawyer “B” Coy Commander was wounded slightly in the should but was still carrying on. He was standing talking to a tank commander in a mine field at 704545 when a group of Jerry prisoners came in and a Jerry Sgt stepped off the path that had been cleared by the flails exploding a mine which killed both Capt Sawyer and the Jerry Sgt.
“D” Coy advanced to their first objective the village ROTTEMBERT without encountering much opposition.
1100 “A” Coy moved through “D” Coy and after being pinned down by enemy fire and a two and a half hour engagement with the enemy took their first objective, the railway station in ST MARTIN de BOULOGNE. Capt Mogarth of the anti-tank plt was using his six pounders to snipe at two Jerry mortar men who were trying to man a mortar. A direct hit was scored on one man with an AP shell which promptly ended that show.
“C” Coy passed through “B” Coy and advanced to their objective at MARLBOTOUCH.
“D” Coy advanced to take control of the main cross roads at 687541.
“B” Coy advanced to take the cross roads at 696544. The capture of these two main road junctions completely sewed up an possible chance of the enemy trying to get out of BOULOGNE.
“A” Coy consolidated their position in ST MARTIN de BOULOGNE and spent the night in the area.
Sept 18 – LA CAPELL 749541
Reveille – cloudy and cool
Bn HQ started to move to new location in BOULOGNE bu had to spend the rest of the night in a house on the roadside due to heavy shelling.
0530 “A” Coy along with “B” Coy started atack again to clear the north end of BOULOGNE. Attack was successful and several prisoners were taken. The coys consolidated their positions in the ST PIERRE area.
1000 The CO’s carrier and the half track were heavily shelled on the road 100 yds south of the station at 697538.
Lt Stewart of the Lorne Scots who was attached to the QOR of C battle experience was killed by a Jerry sniper with an MG. Capt Parkinson and CSM Hess of HQ Coy went out to pick up Lt Stewart. After picking him and a Sgt from “D” Coy up, were on the return trip when they got twisted in their directions and ended up on a bridge crossing the LIANE river where an enemy MG opened up on them, almost cutting their jeep in two. Capt Parkinson and CSM Hess and Signalman Frost who was with them sustained a broken knee cap diving out of the jeep. CSM Hess and Signalman Frost are in the hospital and Capt Parkinson later died of his wounds.
1600 Bn HQ set up at College at 68255468 which had been formerly occupied by German Marines.
Sept 19 – BOULOGNE College 68255468
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
Coys remaining static in present positions.
0900 Enemy 75 from strongpoint at 675547 is keeping things fairly warm around Bn HQ.
1630 “A” Coy moved forward against enemy strong point at 675547 but were forced to withdraw to ST PIERRE by heavy enemy fire. Valuable information was obtained as to the position of the enemy weapons. No doubt this attack also caused Jerry to spend a nervous night.
Sept 20 – BOULOGNE College 68255468
0800 Reveille – Cloudy and dull with rain.
Some of our AVRES and tanks took a crack at an enemy pill box which has been causing a lot of trouble, but failed to move the enemy. His position here was pretty strong consisting of the pillbox itself, plus three outer walls of heavily reinforced concrete. Our neighbouring unit in the Bde the NSR’s who were on our right flank during the attack did a nice job in cleaning up four 13 inch guns the enemy had at WIMILLE.
1900 Capt Dunkelman of the mortar platoon while firing a few bombs at the enemy strong point at 675547 dropped one bomb down the chimney of the pill box exploding the ammunition inside which no doubt caused plenty of consternation in the enemy ranks.
Lt Early Stoll was wounded tonight and later died of shock while in the hospital. He was a former NCO in this unit and had previously served in Africa. He was recommended for a commission just prior to “D” Day. He rejoined the unit in July as “Sniper Officer”.
Sept 21 – BOULOGNE College 68255468
0530 Reveille – Cloudy and cool
“A” and “B” Coys attacked strong enemy gun positions in the area around the pillbox at 675547, and after some stiff fighting cleared the area of the enemy, also clearing out the pillbox a the same time.
“C” Coy advanced and took out enemy strong point around NAPOLEON’S MONUMENT at 688556.
1750 Heavy bombers were over to lay a few on FORT-de-la-CRECHE to soften it up for tomorrows attack.
1830 “O” group to discuss plans for tomorrows attack.
Sept 22 – BOULOGNE College 68255468
0700 Reveille – cloudy and cool.
“C” and “D” Coys – made assault on Fort-de-la-Creche. This wasn’t one of our original objectives, but our neighbouring battalions were having difficulty with it and it had to be cleaned up. Major Neil Gordon, “C” Coy Commander, who was wounded in the charge of “The Modern Light Brigade” on June 11th and who returned to the unit from England just before the Boulogne show, fired a Jerry 50mm Ack Ack gun at the Fort and the Jerries started coming out with their hands up. There is only one major point of resistance left in the BOULOGNE area and this is the Fort at le PORTEL which is South East of the city.
1200 RSM E W Martnell was confirmed in rank today and was presented with a whip (a set of cat and nine tails)
1400 A few Typhoons over the area taking a whack at le PORTEL.
1800 “A” Coy and the Pioneer plt left BOULOGNE to recce area around CALAIS for the bn move tomorrow.
1900 Recce party arrived in area around WISSANT. The Pioneer plt who recced this area were met with either hostile or curious stares by the inhabitants of the village.
The citizens of la CAPELL have taken up a collection to buy flowers to perpetuate the graves of the men of this unit who were buried there.
2000 Its pretty quiet around here tonight now that most of the opposition in this area has been cleaned up. Total casualties to-date for the BOULOGNE show are 100 all ranks.
Sept 23 – BOULOGNE College 68255468
0700 Reveille – Wet and cool
Bn started to move from BOULOGNE area for CALAIS.
0730 Crossed the start line at 687542 and followed main BOULOGNE – CALAIS road through MARQUISE,turned left at ST INGLEVERT and proceeded North West to HERVELINGHEN. Bn stopped here for a few hours while the area on our front was recced.
1200 Coys proceeded to defensive positions.
1700 Bn HQ set up at former enemy hospital at 47722.
2000 Remainder of Bn HQ spent the night in slit trenches on the NW slope of T COUPLE while the sky opened up and let down a cloud burst.
2230 Fighting patrol sent out by “A” Coy to determine if enemy were occupying ESCALLES and HAUTE ESCALLES.
Sept 24 – HOSPITAL 47722
0500 Reveille – Rain with high wind.
“A” Coy patrol reports no enemy in either ESCALLES or HAUTE ESCALLES. Flares fired from area of observatory at 778751.
1800 Medium bombers over area again although visibility was poor.
1930 Rum ration issued along with tea, jam and biscuits.
Sept 25 – HOSPITAL 47722
0800 Reveille – cloudy and cool.
An FFI by the name of Louis passed information to 3rd Cdn Inf Div about communication cables between CALAIS and Cap-Gris-Nez. This information along with Louis was passed on to us by Div.
1035 Pioneer plt guided by Louis went into minefield where cable was buried and proceeded to cut the cables. One six inch cable was but by had with an axe, ad the other six inch cable plus ten 2 to three inch cables were cut by demolitions.
Sept 26 – HOSPITAL 47722
1000 Reveille – clear and cool
Heavy bombers of RAF (Lancasters) attacked Cap-Gris-Nez. This bombing lasted for two hours and from what could be seen from our positions the defenses there took quite a pounding.
1430 Bn started leaving for the mobile bath for a much needed shower. The boys were pretty disappointed when no clean underwear was forthcoming.
Sept 27 – HOSPITAL 47722
0430 Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
20 enemy deserters from Cap-Gris-Nez walked into “A” Coy kitchen to give themselves up. They claimed yesterday’s bombing hadn’t done an awful lot of damage except to morale, but thought another bombing would soften the defences up a lot.
0900 Coys left present positions for march to Mesnil where we are presumably going for a rest.
1400 Coys arrive at MESNIL and move into allotted areas.
1500 Bn HQ left present positions at 757722 for MESNIL.
1600 Bn HQ arrived at MESNIL and Bn HQ set up at farm at 816576.
Sept 28 – MESNIL 816576
0300 Reveille – clear and mild
QOR of C detailed for special operation and to come under direct command of th 3rd Cdn Inf Div.
0830 CO and Recce Group left MESNIL to recce new area for Bn between GRAVELINES and CALAIS.
0900 Coy Commanders meeting.
1130 Vehicles formed up ready to move off.
1200 Bn left MESNIL by T.C.V.’s for new area.
1630 Arrived in new area. Bn HQ set up at 016800. Coys moved into defensive positions at “A” Coy, 995810, “B” Coy 989789, “C” Coy 008805, “D” Coy 015790 and A/Tk Plt at 986794.
2100 Message received from Div of conference to be held with Garrison Commander at CALAIS at 1000 hrs 29 Sept 44.
Sept 29 – GRAVELINES and CALAIS 016800
0830 Reveille – clear and cool
“D” Coy moved into new position at 939765.
0900 “C” Coy moved into new position at 944768.
1202 Message received from 3rd Cdn Inf Div of 24 hr truce to allow evacuation of civilians from CALAIS. The story behind this is that the Garrison Commander at CALAIS sent out a representative who contacted the GOC and made arrangements for a conference. At the conference the Garrison Commander wished to declare CALAIS and open city, naturally the GOC couldn’t see this with the enemy sitting right in the place and with no way of getting out. Next the commander wanted 48 hrs to evacuate the civilians but was told he could have 24 hrs.
1930 Rum ration issued.
2000 Coy Commanders meeting.
Sept 30 – GRAVELINES and CALAIS 016800
Reveille – cloudy and cool.
0010 Six deserters gave themselves up to “D” Coy. Two of them were marines and the other four were infantry from the 2nd Coy, 147 Regt. They state that there is an officer and 50 OR’s at La TURQUERGE farm at 923755. They have 2 Czech LMG’s, 2 MG’s 34 and one 20 mm gun. They claim to have destroyed the gun before leaving. The men there wish to give themselves up but the officer won’t let them.
1100 “O” Group.
October 1 – GRAVELINES and CALAIS 016800
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
Rear BHQ moved up to forward BHQ at chateau at 916765 le Beau-Marais.
0930 “A” Coy moved forward from Forst Vert to the town of COURGAIN, meeting no enemy opposition.
1110 “A” Coy moved forward again into the centre of Calais where they contacted patrol of R.W.R.’s who informed them that the city had fallen at 0900 hrs.
October 2 – Le Beau-Marais 916765
Reveille – Wet and cool
0950 Bn left present area around Le Beau Marais in square 9176 and proceeded from there along the main road to GRAVELINES. From GRAVELINES turned south and proceeded along secondary road running along the MARAICK CANAL and the MEUTSTROOM RIVER to la RECOUSSES, where we picked up “A” Ech. Turned south east and travelled along main road ST. OMER Road for about 2 miles and then turned East and proceeded to WATTEN. From Watten took secondary road running N.E. Along the COLME CANAL to LOOBERGHE. Turned S.E. And proceeded to L’ERKELSBRUGGE, took the main highway running N.E. To ZEGERSCAPPEL, turned east and travelled to WORMHOUT, turned south and travelled along the main highway to CASSEL, turned east and proceeded to TERDEGHEM where we arrived at 1630 hrs. Bn HQ set up in Chateau at 331572. Coys proceeded to allotted areas around TERDEGHEM. “A” Coy at 339569, “B” Coy at 341457, “C” Coy at 345565, “D” Coy at 342572 and “Sp” Coy at 353568. The people in this area don’t seem any too friendly, and were reluctant to let the men use their buildings to sleep in At our present location we are a little over four miles from the Belgian border. We lost two men at Le Beau-Marais before we left there. The first one was Rfn Beaver who was killed when the carrier he was driving hit one of the posts on the corner of a road block turning it over. The second man was Rfn Bennet of the Pioneers. They had uncovered two Jerry improvised mines mad of Arty shells. An English Officer came up and started fooling around with the mines, after being told to leave them alone, setting them off and killing both himself and Rfn Bennett.
October 3 – TERDEGHEM CHATEAU 331572
Reveille – Wet and cool
0900 Call from Brigade to pick up air photos and new maps of Belgium and Holland.
0915 Maps arrived from Bde and were sorted out for distribution to the Coys.
1300 Intlligence Summary No 44 arrived from Bde.
1900 Coy Commanders meeting to discuss new operations and the general situation. The men have enjoyed the little rest we are getting here even though the weather has been pretty miserable. Mr Monahan of the K of C War Services put on three shows daily in a Cafe, beside the church in the Village, the picture was “Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble”.
October 4 – TERDEGHEM CHATEAU 331572
Reveille – Wet and cool.
0930 Air photos received from Bde concerning new area of operations.
1100 Route trace and movement order received.
1200 “O” Group
1330 Bn vehicles ready to move off to new Bde area between URSEL and OOSTWINKEL.
1350 Bn started to move from present area at TERDEGHEM by TCV’s for the long haul to KRUIPUIT, the new Bn area. Passed through STEENVOORDE on our way to the Belgian border, which we crossed at 1515 hrs.
1530 Passed through POPERINGHE which is a fair sized city and got our first real look at the architecture in Belgium. Things seem fairly prosperous here as the stores seemed to be well stocked. There was plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and the heavy Dutch brown bread. We also saw electric irons, stoves, bicycles and plenty of furniture, although we heard that most of this stuff was pretty high in price and had to be obtained on the black market. Three was little evidence of any war damage and everything seemed fairly normal. There is quite a difference here to what we saw in France. The country is much cleaner and the buildings are quite modern, in fact the whole thing reminds on of Ontarion more than anything we’ve seen so far. There was both electric and steam railways operating between here and YPRES, where we arrived at 1550 hrs. We proceeded N.E. From here passing through the city of ROULERS and from there to PITTHEM and THIELT. Still travelling N.E. We crossed the GHENT CANAL at 1800 hrs and proceeded from there through URSEL to KRUIPUIT, our destination, where we arrived at 1850 hrs.
1930 Bn HQ set up in house at 050925. The Coys took up positions at “Sp” Coy 037923, “A” Coy 060935, “B” Coy 060934, “C” Coy 057932, “D” Coy 047924.
Trace Conc Area Op SWITCHBACK
Code words for Op SWITCHBACK
Op and Maintenance Routes
Map ZEEBRUGGE – BRUGES
Trace “P” SWITCHBACK
Int Summary 4 Oct 44
Map – GHENT 1/100,000
Map – ZEEBRUGGE – BRUGES
October 5 – KRUIPUIT 050925
Reveille – Clear and cool.
0930 Maps and aerial photos for new operations issued to Coys.
1120 New defence overprints and aerial photos received from Brigade.
1130 We have six new vehicles in the battalion today, which we have never seen or heard of before. These new vehicles are called “WEASELS” and at first appearance look like a small carrier. Actually they are an amphibious CARRIER. They are equipeed normally with a No 19 Wireless set and a signal spot light, and will carry 4 men and their equipment. “A” Coy Commander Major Medland on receiving his was just like a boy with a new toy and wanted to try it out, and was last seen heading down the road a mile a minute.
1900 “O” Group
1930 Coy Commanders meetings
Plans were laid at this meeting for our part in the operation “SWITCHBACK”, but had to be cancelled as the bridgehead across the LEOPOLD CANAL hadn’t been enlarged enough
October 6 – KRUIPUIT 050925
Reveille – Clear and bright.
0800 Projected move has been cancelled so we expect to say in our present area for a couple more days. Coys are spending time cleaning and repairing equipment. The people here seem quite friendly and although we have heard rumours that about 60% of them are pro Nazi we have seen no evidence of this.
1700 We had a very good meal tonight with plenty of fresh vegetables. We actually had corn on the cob and along with this fresh tomatoes and some of the finest grapes we have ever seen. The men in the Bn are being allowed the freedom of the town tonight and seeing as there are three pubs in the place which have a good supply of Belgian beer, which is the nearest thing to Canadian beer that we have seen yet, the boys should have a good time.
1900 Coy Commander’s meeting.
C.O. #21 Op “SWITCHBACK”
Arty task Table Op “SWITCHBACK”
October 7 – KRUIPUIT 050925
Reveille – Clear and bright.
0800 The situation on our front along the LEOPOLD CANAL is practically unchanged. The enemy has been sending out patrols in some force and has infiltrated through the lines on several occasions. Our C.O., Lt Col S.M. Lett gave some of our new reinforcements a pep talk and told them how proud they should be to be in Canada’s fines fighting Regiment.”A” Coy are still looking for their Co Commander, Major Medland. When last seen he was sitting in his new Weasel looking at the boys through the hedgerows.
1900 Coy Commander’s meeting.
Typhoon targets – Op “SWITCHBACK”
October 8 – KRUIPUIT 050925
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
0800 The situation up front hasn’t improved in any way so we are still sitting in the area around KRUIPUIT waiting for things to break.
The men are a little disappointed that they can no longer spend their French money in Belgium. Some of the boys have accumulated quite a bit, and unless they can dispose of it soon, they can make it home with them to paper their bedrooms. The paymaster put in a rare visit and changed the French notes (up to a limited amount) into the local currency.
1645 Additional air photos received from Bde, covering the area between the LEOPOLD CANAL and the SCHELDT ESTUARY.
October 9 – KRUIPUIT 050925
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
0800 Situation along the LEOPOLD CANAL is still unchanged.
Coys carrying out normal routine. The men are in very good spirits and are enjoying their rest in this area.
1600 Company Commander’s meeting.
“A” Coy were fortunate as they were able to get to the mobile showers and get a good hot bath.
2000 Coy Commander’s meeting to discuss new plans for projected move tomorrow. The men are still being allowed the freedom of the town and are enjoying the local brew very much.
October 10 – KRUIPUIT 050925
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
0815 The C.O. Left for “O” Group at Bde.
“C” Coy went to mobile showers, about ten men had gone through when orders came through for them to return.
1400 Orders from Bde, for move to SLUISKIL.
1545 Bn left present area at KRUIPUIT.
1555 Crossed LYS DERIVATION CANAL and headed for EECLOO, passed through the town at 1600 hrs. The civilian population here seemed to be carrying on the normal routine the same as they would in peacetime. Passed through the towns of LEMBEKE, OOST EECLOO, ERTVELDE.
1710 Bn reached the CANAL at SELZAETE just this side of the Dutch border.
1715 Crossed the border into HOLLAND and passed through town of SAS-VAN-GENT.
1735 Bn arrived at SLUISKIL on the NEUZEN CANAL, Bn HQ Set up in buildings at 281052. The Coys took up defensive positions at SP Coy 275068, “A” Coy 283054, “B” Coy 283055, “C” Coy 272067 and “D” Coy at 273055. “C” Coy n reaching their allotted position found the NSR’s occupying their quarters so requested them to move.
October 11 – SLUISKIL 281052
Reveille – Clear and cool.
0445 “I” Summary and Administration Order for operation “SWITCHBACK” received.
1430 Coy Commanders and C.O. Out on Recce of area for our new “Ops.”
1800 The men are being allowed out tonight so the pubs will probably have quite a few of the boys trying to pawn off their French notes in the hopes of receiving Dutch currency in change.
2100 Coy Commanders meeting.
Intelligence Summary (Oct 10)
C.O. #22 Op “SWITCHOVER”
Arty Task table
October 12 – SLUISKIL 281052
Reveille – Clear and cool.
1400 Bn moved off from SLUISKIL to assembly area 246113. Most of “F” Echelon being left behind to go back to “A” Ech.
1600 Embarked in a weird and wonderful vehicle known as “BUFFALOS”. It is amphibious and was new to us.
1645 Disembarked at 192144 and moved up road to position.
1715 Arrived at areas allotted and Jerry immediately started to lay down a mortar barrage, maing things pretty hot in the bridgehead area.
Bn HQ set up at 178152 and Coys at, “A” 175150, “B” 184149, “C” 176153, and “D” 183154.
Major Cottrill wounded and one jeep damaged by mortar fire was all our casualties.
October 13 – SLUISKIL 281052
Reveille – Bright and clear. Considerable action going on all night.
0845 Jerry started mortaring.
0900 Adv BHQ was set up in BIERVLIET 18051108.
1200 A Spitfire chased a Focke-Wulfe right over town and while firing at him managed to strafe the main street. However there was no casualties.
Present locations of Coys,
“A” 177107, “B” 181111, “C” 181112, “D” 178110.
Typhoons were in action and did plenty of damage, including two houses, which by the explosions, we figured were ammunition dumps. Some prisoners taken.
Arty Task table and trace
October 14 – BIERVLIET 18051108
Reveille – Bright and clear.
0900 A few more prisoners brought in.
1030 German Arty, landed a few heavy ones in town. Casualties was confined to the Sigs jeep, damaged. “Tiffy’s were active all day and there were some medium bombers. At one time the “Tiffy’s” got a little off the beam and we had to get under cover.
1930 Left our present posn.
2030 Set up BHQ at farm 17950710.
2100 C.O. And I.O. Went to “O” gp at Bde.
Intelligence Summary (#48)
October 15 – Farm 17950710
Reveille – Bright and clear.
0900 C.O., I.O., Scout Officer and Sigs Officer went on recce. Several chickens were liberated this morning, they tasted pretty good.
1600 The remainder of “F” Ech came back from “A” Ech. They managed to get a shower while there. Also were inspected by two girls to find out who had robbed them. Needless to say BHQ were not picked out as culprits.
1600 Lots of vehicles and M 10’s are rolling in now that the roads are cleared.
October 16 – Farm 17950710
Reveille – Cloudy and wet.
Quite a few prisoners, all types, sizes and ages. A few of our casualties have been brought in for treatment.
1200 The coys had reached their objectives by this time with “A” Coy at 144106, “B” 141088, “C” 147093, “D” 147107 and Advanced BHQ at 158087. IJZENDIJKE was well defended but “A” & “B” Coys still kept on with their advance.
1900 “A” & “B” consolidated on either side of the town. Many prisoners and we had some casualties. “A” Coy were fied on by M 10’s until they were informed that they were firing on their friends. Lt King of “A” Coy got some Jerry shrapnel in the back and Rfn Sawka also of “A” had his leg blown off by what was probably a 105.
October 17 – Outside IJZENDIJKE 158087
Reveille – Cloudy and wet.
0900 The attack on IJZENDIKE was resumed. “D” was the first into town and Jerry had moved on.
1500 Rest of Bn went in. We were greeted by civilians fresh from their cellars who all wanted to shake our hands, feed us and to see the “Kanadeesh” or some such name. However Jerry whistled a few shells in and we had a magical disappearing act. The shelling started large fires in town. 15 plt attempted to go through town but were stopped on the outskirts by heavy mortar fire.
October 18 – IJZENDIJKE 158087
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
0830 “C” Coy went out towards the position from which they had been mortared the previous night. On arriving, all they found was six very forlorn Germans who were only too willing to surrender. We used them to peel potatoes back at rear BHW. The Jerry’s are very good at that job. They peel very fine, not like our boys, who just cut the feel off.
1530 “A” & “C” Coy moved on toward TURKEIJE and took up positions between the two towns. Plenty of mortar and other stuff sent over by Jerry.
Intelligence Summary #49
October 19 – IJZENDIJKE 158087
Reveille – Rain with high winds.
0800 Coy Commanders meeting at BHQ. Good news for the boys. 48 hrs leaves to Brussels are starting. It will be nice to have a couple of nights between sheets again. Its been a long time without leave.
October 20 – IJZENDIJKE 158087
Reveille rain with high wind.
During the night a German army cook walked into a house occupied by D Coy. Quite a lot of excitement trying to figure out how he got in.
0930 First batch of men for 48 hrs leave left for “A” Ech, 2 officers and 18 OR’s. We all hope they enjoy themselves.
1000 Adv BHQ set up in STEENHOVEN 076113. The coys are set up in front on the road to OOSTBURG which is one of the Jerry’s main points of resistance in this pocket.
October 21 – STEENHOVEN 076113
Reveille – Misty and cool.
There was occasional shellfire during the night.
1545 We had a grandstand view of Typhoons giving SCHOONDIJKE a going over. This is one of the places that gives us plenty of trouble.
1630 “B” Coy went back as they were stopped by mines. After these had been looked after they went forward but had to consolidate 500 yds short of their objective.
October 22 – STEENHOVEN 076113
Reveille – Misty and cool
0815 Bn O Gp at 0815. During the morning some of our 5.5’s dropped a few hort, this made us realize as never before that this is a war of movement. He who moves the fastest, lives the longest.
1730 “C” Coy moved up in support of “B” Coy who were being considereably annoyed by Jerry. During the move, “C” Coy jeep hit a mine. The jeep was total wreck but the driver, Rfn Hayes, fortunately was not wounded badly. During the night a patrol of Jerry’s got around “A” Coy’s positions but were shot up by 13 plt.
Intelligence Summary Appx 32
Intelligence Summary Appx 33
Trace for OC #23 34
Intelligence Summary Appx 35
Intelligence Summary Appx 36
Intelligence Summary Appx 37
October 23 – STEENHOVEN 076113
Reveille – Cloudy and Cool
0930 RAP moved from IJZENDIJKE to WATERLANDKERKSIE.
0300 Another quota left for “A” Ech to go on 48 hr leave. Officers can go either to ANTWERP or BRUSSELS. The I.O. Decided to go to the former.
1600 A fighting patrol from “C” Coy attempted to go along road to OOSTBURG. They met with a hot reception and had to retire. No casualties but they did manage to bring back one P.W.
1900 Bn O Gp. “C” Coy won draw to go to Canadian Army show in EEKLOO next day. 23 men to go. Op “SWITCHBACK”
October 24 – STEENHOVEN 076113
Reveille – Cloudy and Cool.
1030 Fighting patrol from “C” Coy went out again toward OOSTBURG but met with another hot reception. Had six casualties, none very bad. The first men returned from 48 hr leave in BRUSSELS. Everybody had a great time. All day in IJZENDIJKE, the civilians were repairing damage done.Its going tob e some job.
1300 Some of the Queen’s own went to IIKLOO to see the Canadian Army Show.
October 25 – STEENHOVEN 076113
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
0600 “C” Coy moved forward and relieved one coy of R de Chaud.
1315 “A” Coy started forward with “D” to attack OOSTBURG. One of the Flame throwers with “A” Coy struck a mine and the two men in it were killed. A heavy smoke screen was put down to assist the attack on the open road into the town. The houses on the outskirts were soon taken. No 8 platoon made a wild bayonet charge to gain as their objective the first crossroads in town.
1900 Tactical BHQ set up in dugout at 04151070. With relatively slight opposition the rest of the coys all got on their objectives in town. There was some heavy mortaring and few shells came from FLUSHING. Our casualties were fairly heavy. R.A.P. Moved from IJZENDIJKE to WATERLANDKERKJE.
Intelligence Seummary Appx 39
October 26 – STEENHOVEN 076113
Reveille – Misty and cool.
0615 “O” Gp. Plans were laid for the continuation of operations in the OOSTBURG area.
0745 Recce car from 7 Recce ran over two mines about 20 yds from BHQ. Killed the commander.
0820 M 10’s started lacing buildings NORTH of our present positions, at point blank ranges to clear out any enemy prior to “B” and “C” Coys advance to clean out other end of town.
1000 BnHQ set up at 04021125, “A” Coy 040011, “B” 040113, “C” 045117, “D” 039117, Mortars and Carriers 063112.
2000 “O” Gp. The day’s work satisfactory.
Op Instr #25 Appx 40
Trace OO #25 Appx 41
October 27 – OOSTBURG 04021125
Reveille – Cloudy and cool with fair wind.
1515 One P.O.W. From 301 FLAK bn, brought in by “D” Coy. He had been left behind to listen fro “PANZERWAGENS” and had been cut off. He produced a mouth organ and gave us an organ recital which was quite good but fate in the shape of Bde PW Cage at last took him from us.
1600 “A” Coy moved ahead.
1800 24 PW’s brought in by “A” Coy and 29 by “B”
2000 O Gp at Bde.
2339 O Gp at BnHQ. Our arty and mortars were busy all night.
Intelligence Summary Appx 42
October 28 – OOSTBURG 04021125
Reveille – Clear and cool.
With the first clear day for awhile we got lots of air support. Typhoons started out early and made things pretty hot for Jerry. According to PW’s they are a great morale breaker as well as doing alot of damage.
0900 Coys started bringing in PW’s and by noon we had 46 including 1 officer.
1300 Some Jerry Arty shells landed in town. Some damage but no casualties.
1800 Total bag of PW’s today is 129 including 2 Officers.
Intelligence Summary Appx 43
October 29 – ZUIDZANDE 016133
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
BnHQ at 016133 in town of ZUIDZANDE. A Coy 010140, “B” 003137, “C” 994131, “D” 00601315. It was a day spent moving into these positions with very slight opposition. The Bn moved on to RETRANCHMENT overlooking the VITWATERINGS canal. A number of Jerry’s surrendered and we rounded up some more in the cellars of the town.
1900 “B” Coy moved to 002137.
Information from civilians was that the enemy had withdrawn the previous day in the direction of TERHORSTEDE, due WEST of us.
Intelligence Summary Appx 44
Op SLUIS Appx 45
Intelligence Summary Appx 46
Complete set 1/25,000 maps from Op “SWITCHBACK” Appx 47
October 30 – ZUIDZANDE 016133
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
A day starting with early morning moves.
0130 tac BnHQ went to 994131.
0200 “C” Coy at 97401383 and “D” 97501385
0300 “A” Coy at 994144, “B” 985144 and “C” 97151430
1400 Royal Winnipeg Rifles passed through our positions. We had some shelling during the day, but no casualties. Though we lost Major Medland of “A” Coy through sickness. Lt Pond 2 i/c of the coy took over.
1630 “B” Coy took up position at 971343. Coming under very heavy mortar fire. Our six pdrs returned fire and knocked out a haystack which was actually a camouflaged blockhouse.
October 31 – 994131
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
0200 Forward formations of the 9th Bde started to move through us in the first phase of crossing the canal. For us it was a day spent in preparation for what we all hope will be the end of the SCHELDE pocket. From information received, and our own observations, we feel sure that the enemy here have just about had enough. The PW’s that have come in lately have not been of the same calibre as before. Even the Paratroops we have taken seem to have lost their old arrogance.
November 1 – TERHOFSTEDE 994131
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
0830 Rear BHQ moved up to Tac BHQ at the village of TERHOFSTEDE.
0900 Tac BHQ left TERNHORSTEDE. SP, A, B, C, and D Coys left their poisitons around RETRANCHMENT and TERHORSTEDE and set out for SLUIS which had been cleared of the enemy by the North Shore Regt. Earlier in the day. The enemy had felled trees across the road at MR 973107. This road block was about 50 yds in depth and our vehicles couldn’t be brought forward until this had been cleared up by the R.C.E.
However the Coys proceeded forward on foot passing through SLUIS and advanced as far as the ville of ST ANNA TER MUIDEN arriving their at approx 1115 hrs. The Bn spent the night in this area after recces had been carried out. The area between our present position and our objective at WESTCAPPELLE has been flooded to a considerable extent and the nature of the country affords little protection. However the enemy seems to have lost considerable of his fighting spirit. He definitely doesn’t like the artillery barrages we lay down, and from his own account our typhoons certainly don’t help to boost his morale.
2300 54 Prisoners have been brought in since we arrived at ST ANNA TER MUIDEN.
Map – Ghent, 1:100,000 Appx 4
Map – Zeebrugge Bruges, 1:50,000 Appx 5
Map – Sluis, 1:25,000 Appx 6
November 2 – ST ANNA TER MUIDEN
Reveille – Wet and cool
0925 Bn started to advance from present position around ST ANNA TER MUIDEN to our objective at WESTCAPPELLE.The road between these two towns is under a foot to a foot and a half of water about a kilometre and a half, and certainly didn’t make the boys feel any more comfortable when they had to wade through it. Jerry had also blown a huge crater completely cutting the road and had felled trees on the far side of it, however the EEngineersmade a bypass around it till such time as it could be cleaned up.
1100 “A” Coy with one M10 in support moved through WESTCAPPELLE and took out enemy strongpoint at 911122 just north of the town. The enemy gave practically no resistance here and one medical officer and 14 other ranks were taken prisoner. This strong point had been a former enemy HQ and had a pillbox which was very well camouflaged and looked like a barn. Two enemy guns were captured here a 75 mm and a 37 mm and two staff cars.
The commander of the enemy garrison in our immediate area came in to Tac BHQ to make arrangements for the surrender of his men. He was given four hours to have this completed, and as the country between WESTCAPPELLE and the LEOPOLD CANAL, where most of the garrison were, was practically all under water we had to round up all the “Weasels” we could lay our hands on to bring the prisoners in. This Jerrying job was completed by five o’clock and we had 4 officers and 153 other ranks as prisoners. This capture of WESTCAPPELLE was our final phase in the cleaning up of the SCHELDT pocket. The 9th Bde are on their final objectives along the coast and this will finish the fighting in this area. The total number of prisoners taken since the commencement of the “OPERATION SWITCHBACK” by the 3rd Cdn Inf Div is 289 Officers and 12,418 other ranks.
There are rumours of a move to a rest area which must have some truth to them as a recce party left today to make arragements for it.
Map – Zeebrugge N.W. 1:25000 Appx 7
ISUM – 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 8
00 – RELAX Appx 9
November 3 – WESTCAPPELLE 994131
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
Word passed around to the men that we are going to GHENT for a rest. Naturally this put the men in the highest spirits and the big question in everyone’s mind at present is “How long will we be there.”
1030 Early Dinner.
1100 The bn was loaded on TCVs and bn vehicles and the long drive was started for GHENT. We passed through SLUIS, which is nothing but a mass of wrecked buildings resembles what was left of CAEN from here we proceeded to DRAAIBRUG passing through the town and turned south and headed for AARDENBURG and the LEOPOLD and LYS CANALS. At MALDEGEM we turned south east and passed through EECLOO and WATERSCHOOT and were on the last lap before entering the city of GHENT.
1700 Bn arrived at GHENT and it seemed as if the whole city were out to welcome us. The streets were lined with school kids about four deep, each with a flag or flowers in their hands, the drivers of the vehicles had a difficult time driving through the city as the crowds insisted on pressing close to talk and shake your hand.
ISUM – 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 10
MOVEMENT ORDER – No 1 – OPERATION RELAX Appx 11
Map – GHENT Appx 4
ISUM – 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 12
Message – Lt-Gen G.G. Simonds Appx 13
Bn proceeded from GHENT to LEDEBURG which is a suburb of the city.
Representatives of the city and police assisted in sorting out the chits for billeting the men in private homes.
Bn HQ was set up in the Auditorium of the Commune (City Hall) LEDEBURG
November 4 – LEDEBURG
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
The men enjoyed a good nights rest, and it was really something to be able to crawl into an honest to goodness bed with nice clean white sheets. Most of the civilians with whom the troops were billeted wanted the men to eat with them in their homes, but most of the boys refused as the food situation although somewhat improved, isn’t any too good yet.
Most of the coys were issued with winter underwear and woollen gloves and every effort is being made by the Quartermaster to see that the men all get new uniforms.
1000 Pay- parade – Most of the men drew so much that the paymaster ran out of money and the parade was temporarily called off till he could go to the bank and draw some more money.
It didn’t take the boys long once they had some money in their pockets, to start out to see the town.
November 5 – LEDEBURG
Reveille – Cloudy and cool with high winds.
0900 Approximately 200 men from the bn paraded in GHENT to attend an inspection and investiture of the 3rd Cdn Inf Div by Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, ECB., DSO, Commander in Chief, 21 Army Group
Order of Investitures
1030 Tps of the 3rd Cdn Inf Div along with the attending bands were formed up in a three sided square facing the Commander-in-Chief.
1100 Arrival of Commander-in-Chief.
1110 Investiture of recipients of awards. The following members of the QOR of C were decorated by the C-in-C, Major Charles Osborne Dalton, D.S.O., Capt Harvey George Bean, M.C., C.S.M. Samuel Thomas Scrutton, D.C.M. Sgt Rene Joseph Tessier, M.M., and Lieut. W.G. Herbert, M.C.
Orders from the C.O., Lt Col S.M. Lett, that all Officers, Warrant Officers and Sgts will at in their respective messes as it seems that this is the only opportunity that he gets to pass on any orders as the rest of the time its quite a task to find everyone as the boys are certainly taking advantage of their rest. They have visited practically every cafe, bar, restaurant, and cabaret in GHENT.
November 6 – LEDEBURG
Reveille – bright and clear.
0900 Coy parades and inspection of weapons and later a church parade. The men had the afternoon off and are certainly making the most of their free time.
1730 Informal dinner in the Sgts Mess. New members of the mess were introduced and each one stated what his particular job was in the unit.
They CITY of GHENT is really a busy place these days, what with all the troops who are in the city and all the supplies which are rolling through it it is one continual roar of motion.
November 7 – LEDEBURG
Reveille – Clear and cool
0900 Coy parades and inspection. There is a rumour of a move so most of the men are staying fairly close to home.
There is plenty of entertainment here in GHENT. ENSA have theatres here and the Canadian Army show is playing in the city, so between these and the Cabarets etc the boys find plenty to fill their spare time.
MOVEMENT ORDER & TABLE Appx 15
BN MOVEMENT ORDER Appx 16
1900 Officer’s Mess dinner. Major C.O. Dalton as President of the Mess introduced the guest, which includeded Brigadier J.G. Spragge, D.S.O., O.B.E., E.D. Our former C.O., Lt Col Roberts, acting Bde Commander, 8 Cdn Inf Bde. Major Neil Gordon, former O.C. Of “D” Coy and now 2 i/c of the North Shore Regt. Col McClain, Military secretary to C-in-C, 1st Cdn Army. Speeches were made by the Commanding Officer LCol S.M. Lett, Brigadier Spragge, LCol Roberts, Major C.O. Dalton, LCol McClain and Major Neil Gordon. The episode of the evening occurred when Capt Hamilton and Capt Dunkleman proceeded to light up cigarettes before the Toast to the King. Major C.O. Dalton in his own inimitable manner made a few remarks on the iniquities of this procedure and directed that the culprits would pay for their sins in the following manner. Capt Hamilton would buy one round of drinks for the Mess. Capt Dunkleman would ascend to the peak of the Mess roof by means of a ladder and from this lofty height address the assembled multitude. In view of the fact that the only ladder available was a fairly precarious one Capt Dunkleman had quite a struggle ascending to his lofty perch.
November 8 – LEDEBURG
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
0830 Bn prepared to move to new location at EYNE but due to the usual administration difficulties we didn’t leave LEDEBERG till 0915 hrs. On our departure the school children were out again to wish us farewell. The men have been royally treated by the citizens of GHENT and LEDEBERG and most of them don’t feel any too happy about leaving the place.
1130 Bn arrived at EYNE and was given a warm reception by the people. The citizens of the town were quite disappointed that the ment were not allowed to stay at private homes and many of them approached the men on the side ot see if they wouldn’t come to their homes.
1200 Coys moved to their allotted quarters in the town.
1400 Coy parades and weapon inspection. After this was over the men were allowed out till 2200 hrs.
2000 K of C show in Sp Coy lines “Higher & Higher” – Frank Sinatra.
Map – Ghent, 1 : 100,000 Appx 4
Map – Tournai, 1 : 100,000 Appx 17
November 9 – EYNE
Reveille – Wet and cool.
0900 Coy parades and training. Most of the coys were given lectures by the Coy Commander on German Organization, identification of P.O.W.’s and enemy mines.
New maps received from Bde., covering the area north of the SCHELDE and ARNHEIM and NIJMEGEN, this is where the bn will probably resume operations after our re-organization is completed.
The men are in good spirits and we’ve received quite a few reinforcements, so the Bn is finally up to strength again. The taverns (cafes) in the town are doing a wonderful business as the men are consuming a fair amount of beer and cognac.
2000 K of C show in “C” Coy lines “Madame Curie” with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
Trace – TOWN PLAN – EYNE Appx 18
November 10 – EYNE
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
0900 Coy Parades and training.
1350 K of C show for “B” Coy.
The Coys are packing equipment preparatory to move. Each Coy is being supplied with a carrier fitted with a No 22 wireless set. This should improve inter-communication considerably.
1830 Bn packed and ready for move to new area near NIJMEGEN. This will be a long hard drive as most of it will be done in the dark and it is approx 130 miles from our present location.
2300 Word received to bed down for the night as no probable move before morning.
OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO 26 Appx 19
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO 46 – PARTS I AND II Appx 20
November 11 – EYNE
Reveille – Clear and cool
0800 The Bn is ready for the move to the front. It is exactly one week since the operation on the SOUTH side of the SCHELDE was completed and the bn left for a rest at LEDEBERG (GHENT). Now with reinforcements, and reorganization completed the boys, although they will all hate to see the end of this, will all more or less be glad to get back into action again.
1630 Bn started move from EYNE for the long trip to NIJMEGEN. Proceeded NORTH along main road arriving in GHENT at 1730 hrs. Travelling from here in a NORTH EASTERLY direction we passed through the towns of LOKEREN and ST NICOLAS arriving in ANTWERP at 2130 hrs. On entering the City of Antwerp from the WEST the main road passes under the SCHELDE RIVER by means of a tunnel. This tunnel is about a mile long and although it is still under construction is really something to see. It is being faced with white tile and is lighted from both sides by amber flood lights which makes on look an unearthly green-grey colour. The convoy stopped for about an hour which gave the drivers and men a chance for a cat-nap.
2230 Left Antwerp and proceeded NE to TILBURG.
MAPS – LILLE GHENT, BRUSSELS LIEGE, WALCHEREN AMSTERDAM, 1:250,000 Appx 21
November 12 – EYNE
Reveille – cold and wet
0100 Between intermittent hail and rain the convoy pushed on towards NIJMEGEN, from this time on, practically everytime we stopped we were minus a few more vehicles. At one time we had only four vehicles left in the convoy, but by the time we reached HERTOGENBOSCH we were reinforced by a few more who had taken the wrong road. “B” Coy had quite a time with Sigs carrier throwing tracks, finally the carrier ended up on the railway line between ANTWERP and TURNHOUT holding up the train runing between these two places for approx four hours, but with assistance from the engineer and fireman and some passengers finally got it fixed and off the right-of-way.
1100 Main body of convoy arrived at NIJMEGEN but we are still minus quite a few of our vehicles. Jerry lobbed a few shells over while we were here. The troops were unloaded form the TCVs and proveeded on foot from here to BERG EN DAL where we relieved the 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82 US AIRBORNE DIVISION. “C” Coy on arrival at BERG EN DAL were minus their Coy carrier along with CSM Chivers and their Sigs carrier. “B” Coy still having trouble with their carriers.
1200 Bn HQ set up at 75135936, “Sp” Coy at 75205926, “A” Coy 75155938, “B” Coy 75105914, “C” Coy 75005957 and “D” Coy at 75255955. The Scout Pl set up two O.P.s one at “C” Coy and one at “D” Coy. We are the rear Bn of the Bde in our present position so have pretty comfortable quarters. The main road running through our positions is right on the border at this spot, so some of our men are in Holland and some in Germany.
2115 Jerry started firing a few mortars bombs and Arty shells, but the only serious damage done was to “D” Coy’s kitchen and “C” Coy’s latrine.
PERIODIC REPORT – 504 PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGT. Appx 22
MAP – NIJMEGEN, 1:25,000 Appx 23
November 13 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – Cloudy and cold with heavy frost.
The remainder of our missing vehicles and men turn up, that is the vehicles that would run. Quite a few of our vehciles need repairs especially the carriers which are pulling loads far above what they were intended for. Recce Patrols out from all the coys to get a good look at the ground on our immediate front.
Maps and air photos turned over to us by the Americans are getting a good going over as we haven’t received maps from Bde covering our area. Our amateur electricians in the bn are having a field day “improving” up our lighting system. Practically every building we occupy had lights when we moved in but now we either haven’t any at all of they are so dim you can’t see to work.
The boys have been doing quite a bit of bartering with the “Yanks” before they finally pull out.
2030 Jerry laid down a few mortar bombs in the Bn area, but there were no casualties.
MAPS – GROESBEER – 12 N.W. EASTERN HALF 1:25,000, WESTERN HALF 1:25,00 Appx 24
TRACES OF COY POSITIONS – BERG EN DAL Appx 25
MESSAGE – 8 CDN INF BDE Appx 26
DUTCH PATROLS Appx 27
PASSWORD Appx 28
November 14 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – Cloudy and cold.
0800 The coys are busy fixing up their slit trenches and houses and doing training in general.
0900 Regimental refresher course started for reinforcements, both old and new. The men are given weapon training, foot drill, field craft, small arms and lectures and a brief summary on the history of the Battalion. The school has made quite a difference to the meal parades around BHQ. They used to last for 15 min. But now take a half hour or more. The morale of the troops is pretty high as we’ve got good quarters and the K of C have a show set up in the schoolhouse just down the road.
1730 Jerries Nebelwerfers are busy again but so far have done no damage.
November 15 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – Cloudy and cool with ground mist.
0900 Coy training, maintenance on vehicles and care of weapons.
1400 Jerry mortar fire cut our power lines so will have to do without until they are repaired. “B” Coy has a guard on two of the bridges crossing the WAAL CANAL, but spent a quiet time during their tour of duty. There has been plenty of mail coming in and we’ve had two deliveries today which is rather unusual, but the Xmas parcels are starting to come in so the boys on the ration truck will no doubt be busy from now on.
1900 “C” Coy paraded to the show in the schoolhouse to see that old thriller “Captain Blood” although the parade was more like column of bunches that column of route.
2300 Jerry laying down his usual night barrage which is really more of a nuisance than anything else.
November 16 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – Clear and cold.
Heavy frost during the night which formed a scum ice on the mud puddles. The Bn today is commencing a seven day rest and training period. The other two bns of the bde have been relieved and are moving back to areas around NIJMEGEN. Our C.O., S.M. Lett has asked permission to stay in the area in which we are now located.
0900 Coy parades and training. There has been a certain amount of gum beating about the training but that is the usual thing in the army. The men are in good spirits and there are shows every night in the schoolhouse to help keep them happy.
1100 “B” Coy moved to new location at 748594. Remainder of coy who were on guard at the bridges returned to Coy after completing tour of duty.
The R.S.M. Mr Hartnell, CSM Chivers and CSM Ives left this morning for a two day leave in Paris.
APPX “a” CODE NAMES Appx 29
OO No 10 TRACE “X” Appx 30
D.F. & D.F. (SOS) TASKS TRACE AND ORDER Appx 31
Inspection by G.O.C. Order Appx 32
November 17 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – cloudy and cool with frost.
0200 Enemy patrol worked its way up the draw behind “C” Coy HQ in the Hotel Groot Berg en Dal, they were heard by the guards and shots were exchanged ub no casualties were suffered on either side.
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO 53 Appx 33
00 27 Appx 34
0245 General stand-to ordered but outside of the usual mortar fire everything was quiet.
0815 Coy parades
0900 Bn parade in field behind Bde.
0930 Major General Spry, General Officer Commanding of the 3rd Cdn Inf Div arrived to talk to the Bn. The Bn was formed up in a three sided square and after the General Salute was given the the officers of the Bn., General Spry called the men to rally around his recce car. After putting them at ease and telling them to smoke he told us of the wonderful reputation held by the 3rd Cdn Inf Div, and that they had successfully completed every job upon which they had been called to do. He also stated that until recently he had had no idea that the exploits of the Dic were so well known. Mention was also made of the visit of the 3rd div to GHENT and the reputation they had left behind them in that city.
1030 Bn returned to respective areas and training syllabus was continued.
2200 One prisoner captured in “D” Coy area. He claimed he came in to give himself up, but for a man who was suppose to be surrendering he was pretty heavily armed as he had a P.38 (pistol) 6 hand grenades and a knife. However some valuable information was obtained from him and Div were hollering for him to be sent back there immediately as he was the first P.O.W. That has been taken by the Div. Since 3 Nov 44 when we concluded operations in the SCHELDE area.
APPX “A” I SUM OO No 27 Appx 35
Trace “O” oo No 27 Appx 36
Trace “P” oo No 27 Appx 37
Trace “Q” oo No 27 Appx 38
Trace – Stand to Positions Appx 39
Trace Minefields Appx 40
Extracts from 3rd Cdn Div O.O. No 10 Appx 41
November 18 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – Wet and cold.
Coys parades and training.
Things are very quiet around here at present and probably will be as long as we are in a reserve role. There has been very little activity on our present front outside a few mortar bombs and the odd rocket projectile. The miserable weather hasn’t helped to boost the men’s spirits any but otherwise they appear to be quite happy.
1330 Officers and Sgts liquor ration arrived so there ought to be a few happy souls in the bn tonight. The veer ration, of which we are supposed to get a pint a week, is awfully slow in coming and we have only seen it a few times since the invasion began.
1845 Major H E Dalton, Mk II had the officers up for a few drinks and a conference.
1900 A few mortar bombs coming over from the area around WYLER MR Sq 7858, but there was no damage done and no casualties.
November 19 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – clear and mild
0900 Coy parades and inspections
1000 R.C. And Protestant Church parades.
Leaves have started again and there are four cities where hotels and all the necessities for a good time are available, these are PARIS, BRUSSELS, ANTWERP, and GHENT the only trouble is that you don’t get your choice of which on you’d like to spend your leave in.
1400 No 10 Platoon of “B” Coy went to the range to fire the PIAT. L/Cpl Dearness was hit in the thigh by the spent casing of the propellant charge, but failed to get a “blighty” as it happened to hit a pocket in which he was carrying a cigarette case.
1730 jerries “Nebelwerfer” were busy again but no damage was done and no casualties.
2300 General stand to due to active enemy patrols in “C” Coy area.
November 20 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – cloudy and cold.
0005 Stand down ordered. The remainder of the night was quiet.
Today is the last day of the Regimental School and the reinforments will be sent to their allotted coys. The school was given a pep talk by the C.O., LCol Lett, DSO.
The scouts were given a talk on Prisoner of War identification and the organization of the German Army by the I.O., Lt J.S. Choppin.
1415 The bn rehearsed counter attack plan “B”. This rehearsal was carried out over the actual ground laid down for the plan and drew quite a response form Jerry in the way of MG and Mortar fire. One mortar bomb coming close enough to the C.O.’s carrier to cut a nice new serial in half. The C.O. Promptly picked up the broken half and speared a turnip on it and went around conducting the rehearsal using this as a baton.
1700 “B” Coy have a hunch that the Bn will be mocing soon as tonight was the first time they’ve been able to get their lights going since we arrived here.
November 21 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – wet and cool.
Coy parades and training
The Bn is getting equipment ready for move to new location on the WAAL River.
Enemy M.E. 109 flying over area probably taking air photos or on recce. He didn’t linger long over the area as he got a pretty warm reception from the Ack/Ack batteries.
C.A. Role Appx 42
Enemy Mortar positions Appx 43
Amendment No 2 to O.O. No 27 Appx 44
Relief Instructions Appx 45
Movement order Appx 46
“I” Summaries No 54 Appx 47
“I” Summary No 55 Appx 48
November 22 – BERG EN DAL 75135936
Reveille – Cloudy and Cool with rain.
The Bn is ready for the move to relieve the SDG’s near the WAAL River. This country is all folder country and quite a bit of it is already flooded.
1200 the first platoon of “D” Coy moved off at 1200 hrs on foot, the remaining platoons following at one hour intervals and the coy vehicles bringing up the rear. Coy HQ set up at 76876297.
1400 “A” Coy forward group left positions in BERG EN DAL and proceeded to new area.
1500 “A” Coy HQ arrived in new area and took over from the SDG’s. Coy HQ set up at 76356238. Bn HQ set up in house at 76006345.
1600 “C” Coy left present position in BERG EN DAL.
1800 “B” Coy left BERG EN DAL with on hour intervals between platoons and Coy vehicles bringing up the rear.
1940 7 Platoon of “A” Coy reported in to Coy HQ and took up position at 76806188. 11 Platoon of “B” Coy took a few wrong turns and ended up in the woods south west of NIJMEGEN. A runner was despatched to guide them in and they arrive din their area at 2320 hrs. The coy also had to leave a carrier and a 15 cwt in a ditch which they couldn’t get them out of.
2030 8 Platoon of “A” Coy reported in and took up positions at 76546156.
“C” Coy took up position in area around factory at 77476296.
2320 “B” Coy completed move and set up in area 76366399.
2359 Move practically completed and Bn ready for operations.
MEMORANDUM OP SWITCHBACK Appx 49
November 23 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – cloudy and cool with ground mist.
One of “A” Coys outposts was startled by a ground flare, immediately followed by a burst from a SCHMEIZER (Germany tommy gun) which went through doorway in barn where they had their Bren gun set up. The bren gunner was hit by two shots in the leg and was unable to return fire. Approximately 20 minutes later a Jerry came in and gave himself up. He was identified as coming from the 1/1052 Grenadier Regt. After being checked at Bn HQ he was turned over to Bde.
“B” Coy’s 15 cwt was pulled out of the ditch by a recovery vehicle from Bde. Some of 12 platoon had to move back from their forward position as the ground in the area is badly flooded and is gradually getting worse.
“D” Coy sent men for a dental check up at “AA Ech, also some for a bath parade and some to the movies. Jerry has an O.P. In the factory chimney across the river from “C” Coy., thus cutting down considerably on movement in this area. Most of the coys rations have to be packed in on men’s backs as movement on the dyke roads is almost sure to bring down enemy fire.
1800 Standing patrol from 14 plt of “C” Coy won the race with jerry to see who would occupy the buildings at 780625. this particular patrol has been called the “Rat Race” as it has always been touch and go between Jerry and us to see who would occupy this particular bit of no man’s land. The cout plt are going to occupy these buildings during the day from now on so it ought to put a crimp in the enemy’s activity in this area.
2200 A recce patrol from “A” Coy made a reconnaissance of the dyke at 76406115 to 77206124 but no information was obtainable as the patrol was unable to reach their objective at the Rd junction at 77686158.
Patrol Report Appx 50
Patrol Report Appx 51
November 24 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Cold and wet.
0800 “B” and “C” Coys had to take cover from enemy mortar and arty fire. Arty fire coming from across the river in vicinity of factory at 784637.
1030 Recce patrol under CSM C.C. Martin of “A” Coy to recce area of road junction at 776616. Patrol advanced to within 50 yds of this point.
Enemy standing patrol of 6 men observed in the woods south of this road junction. The road block at 775616 was found to be booby trapped. Patrol suffered no casualties. Major Medland O.C. Of “A” Coy went up on a recce in an “Auster” flying O.P. To observe area around QUER DAM and the road junction 776616.
No 11 Platoon of “B” Coy had to move from their present position due to more flooding in this area.
“D” Coy sent more men on dental and bath parades.
The flooding in this area is getting serious and is cutting down still farther on movement of both men and vehicles.
2200 Recee patrol from “A” Coy under CSM C.C. Martin to make recce of area at dyke and road at 77686158.
Projected Patrols Appx 52
Patrol report Appx 53
November 25 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Cold and wet
1100 “B” Coy, HQ and kitchen under Enemy 105 mm Arty fire. 8 Shells were dropped in the area but only one casualty was suffered and this was Sgt Tessier, (MM).
The route in to “C” Coy was under sporadic mortar fire and to make matters worse some of it is now under water.
1600 One shell landed near “D” Coys kitchen but no damage was done and no one injured.
1430 “D” Coy HQ and vehicles started moving off at 15 minute intervals on change over with “B” Coy. Platoons moving off at 30 minute intervals.
1730 “B” Coy started to move back to old “D” Coy area.
2030 Move of “B” and “D” Coys – completed.
Some enemy mortar fire and movement on our front which was silenced by our 3 inch mortars.
Intelligence Summary Appx 54
Report on OPERATION SWITCHBACK Appx 55
Intelligence Summary Appx 56
Projected patrols Night 25/26 Appx 57
Patrol report Night 25/26 Appx 58
November 26 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – clear and cool
0230 “A” Coy sent out a Recce patrol under Lt Boose to recce area of raod junction at 77696747.
0800 Flooding in “C” Coy area has spread quite a bit and has reduced to routes in to the coy to one and one only. The men are getting a little tired of nothing but mud and water and not being able to move around much. “B” Coy sent men out for a dental check up and bath and a bit of entertainment at the movies.
1830 A fighting patrol was sent out to seize the buildings at 780625 and bring back a prisoner. The buildings were taken by the patrol but no POWs were taken. The night was fairly quiet except for some mortar and small arms fire.
Projected patrols Night 26/27 Appx 59
Corps Arty HF Program Appx 60
Patrol Report Night 26/27 Appx 61
November 27 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Cloudy and cool with rain.
0300 A recce patrol from “A” Coy sent out to recce area of Enemy strongpoint at 778616.
1600 Enemy Arty laid down a barrage in the bn area but instead of the usual HE or airbursts this lot consisted of propaganda leaflets.
1800 Standing patrol to occupy buildings at 780625. Even though we are now occupying these buildings during the day as well as at night Jerry still sends patrols to the orchard in the area of these buildings.
2200 Enemy artillery keeps pounding away at the NIJMEGEN BRIDGE but no real damage has been done to it yet.
SP FIRE Plan OP “CLICK” Appx 62
PROJECTED PATROLS night 27/28 Appx 63
PATROL REPORT night 27/28 Appx 64
Intelligence Summary Appx 65
November 28 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
0800 17 Platoon of “D” Coy were flooded out and the men were forced to leave the forward positions and move back to dryer ground.
1200 26 reinforcements arrived at “A” Ech. Here they will undergo a weeks training before being sent up to “F” Ech.
1800 Standing patrol sent out from “B” Coy to occupy buildings at 780625.
2000 “A” Coy formulate plan for attack on Enemy strong point at 777615.
Arty SP 8 Bde OP “CLICK” Appx 66
PROJECTED PATROLS night 28/29 Appx 67
PATROL REPORT night 28/29 Appx 68
Intelligence Summary Appx 69
November 29 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Fair and cool.
0410 8 platoon of “A” Coy under command of Lt Boos started attack on enemy strong point at 777615. The platoon reached the road junction at 776615 when the enemy opened fire at point blank range severly wounding Lt Boos and two other men. The enemy had this area pretty well taped and 8 platoon were forced to withdraw. This left the men on the left flank out on a limb and CSM Martin with two men from 8 plt went out and worked them out of this difficult spot. Penetration into the strong point wasn’t achieved but some valuable information was obtained.
PROJECTED PATROLS night 29/30 Appx 71
PATROL REPORT night 29/30 Appx 72
Intelligence Summary Appx 70
0630 “A” Coy after withdrawal had a 10070 stand to. The remainder of the day was fairly quiet except for the odd bit of enemy fire.
1800 Standing patrol from “B” Coy to occupy the buildings of the “Rat Race” at 780625.
2200 Some enemy activity but night pretty quiet.
November 30 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Fair and cool.
“B” Coy sent men on bath and dental parades.
0900 Some enemy fire landing in “D” Coy area but no casualties were suffered. 16 and 17 platoons were forced to move to new positions as the water is still rising in this area.
1800 Standing patrol to the “Rat Race” at 780625.
Observation patrol from “A” Coy to observe enemy strong point at 778614.
Recce patrol under Lt Haynes to recce the area of EINKJESHOF at 793619.
Projected patrols Night 30-1 Appx 73
Patrol instructions and reports Night 30/1 Appx 74
Big Two Bugle and news Sheets. Appx 75
December 1 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Cloudy and cool.
0800 “D” Coy reports water still rising high in their area. 16 Plt is moving back to higher ground. 16 & 17 Plts to go under command of other companies because of their positions.
0900 The C.O., LCol S.M. Lett, DSO, to Bde for “O” group.
1455 Olga three reported man digging in vicinity MR 792619. Weapon brought in. 13 Fd Bty brought fire to bear – activity ceased.
1700 16 Plt “D” Coy to come under command “B” Coy. 17 Plt “D” Coy under command “A” Coy
1800 “B” Coy relieving “C” Coy at half hour intervals.
1800 Standing patrol from “B” Coy to occupy buildings at 780625.
1930 Recce patrol from “A” Coy recce area of MOSTERD DIJKJE and CROOKED DYKE.
2130 Enemy Arty firing in area NIJMEGEN BRIDGE.
Patrol report – ½ Dec 44 Appx 5
Projected patrols – ½ Dec 44 Appx 6
December 2 – OOIJ ERLEKOM WECHEREN 76006345
Reveille – Cloudy and cool – high wind.
1000 Typhies came over and bombed enemy strong point at 777615 and positions along river bank.
1915 Our bn to change positions with N.S.R., BnHQ left present position and moved to old N.S.R. H.Q. At 75336390, arrives at 2000 hrs.
2145 An enemy fighting patrol of six or seven men worked their way up between 7 plt of “A” Coy and R de Chaud Regt. The patrol had covering fire from dyke in their rear, and managed to get close enough to fire a grenade. The enemy asked 7 plt to surrender but were beaten off. We sustained 3 casualties.
0200 Move completed excepted for anti-tank personnel who will move at first light. Credit is due, to the drivers of the vehicles as the roads were very poor and the night extremely black. “A” Coy took over positions at factory in area GROENLANDER MR 74206504. “B” Coy took over position at factory MR 766640 in area PALS. “C” Coy took over area MR 747619 at PERSINGEN. “D” Coy took over rd Juno MR 755644.
2100 Contact patrol from “C” Coy to contact R de Chaud at rd and dyke juno 753614 every two hours.
2200 Contact patrol from “B” Coy to contact N Shore R at 774633 every two hours.
2200 Contact patrol consisting of 2 sections carriers to contact DW at NIJMEGEN BR MR 7163.
Projected patrols 3-4 Dec Appx 9
Patrol reports 3-4 Dec Appx 10
December 3 – 75336390
Reveille – Cold wet strong wind.
0800 “D” Coy reports water is still rising in all places. Men are attempting to fix road in this area, as it is covered by water in places.
1800 Standing patrol by “B” Coy to occupy building at MR 780625
Projected Patrols 2-3 Dec Appx 7
Patrol report 2-3 Dec Appx 8
December 4 – 75336390
Reveille – cold and wet
0800 new positions are more comfortable than the old ones, so rifle coys are taking the opportunity to dry out.
2100 Contact patrol from “C” Coy to contact R de Chaud at Road and dyke junction 753614 every two hours.
2200 Contact patrol from “B” Coy to contact N Shore Regt at 774633 every two hours.
2200 Contact patrol from “C” Coy to contact N Shore Regt at 765616 every two hours.
Patrol instructions Appx 10
Relief instructions Appx 11
Projected patrols 4-5 Dec Appx 12
Patrol Reports 4-5 Dec Appx 13
December 5 – OOIG 75336390
Reveille – cold and wet
0930 Recce party from Regina Rifle Reft arrives to look over our area prior to our move to reserve area tomorrow.
1330 Regina recce party comes back again.
2100 Contact patrol from “C” Coy to contact patrol from R de Chaud at Rd and Dyke Junction 753614.
2200 Contact patrol from “B” Coy to contact N Shore R at MR 774633.
2200 Contact patrol to contact N Shore Regt at MR 765616 from “C” Coy
Projected patrols 5-6 Dec Appx 14
Patrol reports 5-6 Dec Appx 15
ISUM – 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 16
ISUM – 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 17
Entertainment Schedule Appx 18
December 6 – OOIG 75336390
Reveille – Misty and cool
0800 Bn preparing to change over with Regina Rifle Regiment.
1330 BHQ leaves for new area MR 71435860.
1500 “A” Coy leaves for new area.
1800 “B” Coy leaves for new area.
1800 “C” Coy leaves for new area.
“SP” Coy will change gun for gun and mortar for mortar as per arrangement with incoming unit.
1800 Command is taken over by Regina Rifles.
2000 Move is completed and bn is quickly billeted in houses in new area. The main topic of conversation is the chances of getting a hot bath.
Projected patrols 6-7 Dec Appx 19
Patrol reports 6-7 Dec Appx 20
Change over order Appx 21
December 7 – DRIEHUIZEN 71435860
Reveille – Weather Cloudy and damp.
0800 Coys begin their training syllabus, with some going on bath parades. The rest of the morning consisted of maintenance, and general cleaning up. The men are in good spirits, as the K of C have drawn up an entertainment schedule, and it is a very nice change from the mud of our last location.
1300 Cdn Legion Show “Haversacks” held at the “Canada House”. Fifteen men from each coy attended.
Study period notice Appx 22
December 8 – DRIEHUIZEN 71435860
Reveille – Weather cloudy and cool.
0800 Coys training according to syllabus laid down. Arranging for dental parades. Beer issue of two quarts to every man.
1750 Cdn legion show “Haversacks”.
Amendment No 3 to O.O. No 27 Trace Q Attached Appx 23
December 9 – DRIEHUIZEN 71435860
Reveille – Cold and wet with snow.
0800 Coys out on route marches.
1230 ENSA Show “There’s Luck” held at Graces.
1300 Cinema Winter Gardens at NIJMEGEN.
1730 Cdn Legion Show “Haversacks”
1730 Cinema Winter Gardens at NIJMEGEN.
December 10 – DRIEHUIZEN 71435860
0800 Reveille – Weather cold and cloud – snow, disappearing.
1000 Voluntary Church parade.
1300 “Cinema” Winter Gardens, NIJMEGEN.
1730 “Cinema” Winter Gardens, NIJMEGEN.
2000 Officers’ Dance
Arty D.F. & SOS Task. Appx 24
D.F. & SOS Task table No. 3 Appx 25
December 11 – DRIEHUIZEN 71435860
0800 Reveille – Cold and Cloudy
Coys carry on with training.
2000 “Regimental Dance” wasn’t very successful owing to scarcity of women in this area.
December 12 – DRIEHUIZEN 71435860
Reveille – weather cloudy and cool.
0800 C.O. And Coy Commanders recce SD&G area.
2000 Sgt’s dance was quite successful.
December 13 – DRIEHUIZEN 71435860
0800 Weather foggy and damp.
Bn preparing to move to near area, to take over from SD&G. Rifle Coys will R.V. At “B” Coy HQ, SD&G and will be met by guides. Sigs will leave line party at present location, which will come forward on morning of 14 Dec. 44.
1400 Sub units come on air.
1430 BHQ arrives new area MR 75505894
1500 SP Coy arrives new area MR 74985946
1630 “A” Coy arrives new area MR 76795855
1630 “B” Coy arrives new area MR 75905905
1700 “C” Coy arrives new area MR 76505805
1700 “D” Coy arrives new area MR 76915939
1900 QOR of C takes over command.
We make acquaintance with our old friend “Moaning Minnie” again, bombs land in N Shore R area.
0215 Man with wheelbarrow heard in front of 8 Plt Position.
0400 8 Plt reports noise of wheelbarrow again.
Change over order. Appx 26
“I” Summary, 8 Cdn Inf Bde. Appx 27
December 14– WYLER BERG 75505894
0800 Reveille – Cool with ground mist
1420 Two enemy observed in area 200 yds south of 9 Plts position sent out men to investigate and enemy fled.
1800 Contact patrol “D” Coy to contact RWR at MR 76845942. Recce patrol from “A” Coy to recce vicinity twin buildings 778586.
1825 MR 77045776. At 1825 “B” Coy Platoon reported two salvoes of rockets released directly from their front. Horse and cart movement heard at 1942 hours on bearing of 115′ to 123′. At 2050 hrs two men moved from right to left in general direction cross roads 771576. Sheldrake engaged target 308 at 2110 hrs and wagon movement ceased. A sniper fired periodically at “C” Coy during the night. Horse and wagon movement heard again at 0230 hrs and 0310 hrs.
Projected patrols 14-15 Dec Apprx 28
Patrol report 14-15 Dec Apprx 29
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Apprx 30
December 15– WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – foggy and cold
0800 Snipers reported that the enemy were felling trees across main road east of their position which is MR 777587, and also constructing pill box or large dugout south of rd blocks at approx MR 77745870 MR 77045776 12 Plt “B” took over from 10 Plt. At 2030 hrs horse and wagon heard, fire was brought to bear and all activity ceased. Between 200 hrs and 0010 hrs flares and small arms fire was seen in vicinity of target K4. At 0120 fire was brought to bear on vicinity of horse and cart, activity ceased. At 0125 and 0300 hrs mortar fire was brought down on target K4. At 0430 fire brought to bear on horse and cart heard at target C5, movement ceased.
Enemy mortar fire and shellfire landed in 8 plt “A” Coy area between 0945 hrs and 1025 hrs, one casualty from shrapnel. Enemy mortar fire landed between 1600-1630 hrs, two minor casualties were suffered. Rifle and MG firing at “A” Coy area at 1800 hrs. At 2015 one enemy was observed crawling towards 7 plt position. Two thirty-six grenades were thrown and enemy retired. Between the hrs of 2140 and 2315 sounds of digging and cart were heard. Considerable movement detected in front of 8 plt position at approx 300-400 yds. CH of O fired 3” mortar shoot on target C5 and repeat, it landed 100 yrds left of target. At 0010 heavy hammering about 1000 yds front of their position and digging around target C5. At 0120 hrs there was horse and cart movement of “A” Coys position at bearing of 145′. In B C D Coy’s areas there was little activity with some mortar fire and MG. The sounds of horse and cart on all fronts are believed to be a record or some such sound device.
1800 Contact patrol from “D” Coy to contact RWR at 76845942 every two hours. Recce patrol from Coy to investigate enemy activity between (Inc.) 77185761 and 77465792.
Projected patrols 15-16 Dec. Appx 31
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde
December 16– WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – Cloudy and cool
0800 Olga II reported considerable flashlight flickering on their front, also enemy mortar fire from 130′ and 135 degrees. “A” Coy – A German patrol set off trip flares in area third child and fired Schmeiser at CSM. At 2230 hrs two enemy were believed to set off a mine approx 500 yds in front of “K” house. At 0615 “C” Coy was shelled very heavily and at 0710 the line to “K” house was reported out.
Report on enemy attack on “K” House
On the afternoon 16 Dec the enemy fired shots which landed at haystack at 76986764, this was a ranging shoot. On the morning 17 Dec the rear section leader at “K” House observed enemy in the hedge at 77205794. He immediately engaged the enemy with his Bren Group and Sten Gun, the enemy dispersed. Immediately after this enemy mortar and MG fire from vicinity of Xrds 77225768 pinned down the two front sections of “K” House. As this was happening some enemy rushed into the Plt HQ from the rear of the house and threw hand grenades into the HQ, inflicting several casualties. Lt. Lee, the Plt Comd. Was wounded and clambered through a cellar window, he was not seen again. The rear section engaged the attackers but as the enemy shelling was very intense and did not let up, they were forced to withdraw to “C” Coy area. The remaining sections stood fast. A counter-attack by a Plt under Lt. Gauthier was pinned down at MR 76845784 by heavy MG fire. The enemy then brought down a heavy concentration on “K” house forcing the two remaining sections to withdraw. The enemy then occupied “K” House with about twenty men. Our arty are engaging it at the time of writing this report.
1800 Contact patrol to RWR [Royal Winnipeg Rifles] at MR 76845942 at 1800 hrs, by “D” Coy. Recce patrol along main road and high ground between 77605888 and enemy strong point 77725868 by “D” Coy.
Projected patrols 16-17 Appx 33
Patrol reports 16-17 Appx 34
Corps Arty fire plan with trace Appx 35
D.F. (SOS) tasks misc. Targets (Trace) Appx 36
Amdt to arty trace 15 Dec. Appx 37
December 17 – WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – Cloudy and Cold.
0800 Olga II reported shelling and mortaring in their area from bearing 118-125 degrees. There was some flashlight activity between the hrs of 1906 and 2000. “A” Coy reported moaners in their area and an unidentified aircraft dropping flares and bombs on bearing of 158 degrees. 7 Plt “A” Coy saw three enemy in area of their position. Plt held fire owing to wire laying parties which were out at that time. Plt Comd and three OR’s searched the area. B C D Coy fronts were fairly quiet except for our old friend the horse and cart.
1800 Recce patrol from “D” Coy, to recce area 77445866 to enemy trench at 77565854.
Contact patrol to RWR, from “D” Coy, every two hours.
0230 18 Plt reported sound of wagon and fired 4.2” Mortar.
Admt to task table No.3 Appx 38
Projected patrols 17-18 Dec Appx 39
Patrol report 17-18 Dec Appx 40
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde. Appx 41
December 18 – WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – Cold and foggy.
0255 Olga II reported a rocket fired at 120 degrees also shelling at 140 degrees.
0710 Two fires were seen from Olga II at Approx 1500 yds
1850 Olga II reported considerable MG fire approx 800 yards from their position.
1800 Contact patrol from “D” Coy to contact RWR at 76845942.
2100 Recce patrol from “D” Coy to recce from 774584 to enemy position 77755850.
2210 “A” Coy reported strange lights dropped by unidentified aircraft, bearing 127 degrees. The night was fairly quiet on all coy fronts except for sporadic MG fire and mortar fire.
Christmas Greetings from Field-Marshall Montgomery Appx 42
Order from General Eisenhower Appx 43
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 44
Projected patrols 18 Dec 44 Appx 45
December 19 – WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – wet and ground mist
Plan to attack “K” House – at 0520 hrs 19 Dec 44 a “B” Coy Plt under command Lt. A. Deans were to attack and take “K” House. The plt were to group in “C” Coy lines, the section which was to give covering fire were to adv on the right through the NSR’s [North Shore Regiment] to the haystack at MR 76905766. The assault section with Plt HQ and the mop up section were to advance 200 yds to the left of the Waldgraff Rd. The covering fire section were to open fire when the Arty fire lifted. Assault section to clear the west orchard at the rear of the house and the house itself. The mop up section to go through and clear and east orchard. The covering section on to take up position north of “K” House on signal. (77 Grenade)
The covering section arrived at the NSR’s position and were only able to advance 600 yds, when they forced to ground by our own arty and mortar fire. The balance of the Plt arrived at 15 Plt position where they came under enemy mortar fire and suffered five casualties including the Plt Comd. The assault section and the remainder of the mop up section under Lt Dean moved forward through smoke and took the objective. No small arm fire was encountered from the enemy and the final mopping up was done by the assault section owing to the fact that the covering section did not arrive. Reorganization and consolidation was carried out by Lt Deans under considerable difficulty due to enemy small arms fire from the areas 77705806, 77065750 and 77305758. Lt Deans evacuated the casualties but refused to come out himself. An 18 set and stretcher bearer were sent forward and reached the Plt Position Lt Deans called for reinforcements and ammunition. A section from 10 Plt was sent forward, they advanced as far as 13 Plt positions and were pinned down by heavy MG fire and from the above mentioned areas. Due to the fact that it was now daylight and the section had 8– yds of open country to cross to reach the Plt Positions, they withdrew to their original position. Spasmodic mortar and small arms fire continued from the enemy all morning. There was RQ enemy equipment or personnel in the post. Our own equipment that had been in the post previous to the enemy’s attack in the early hours of the morning 17th was missing. L/Cpl Chard who was in charge of the stretcher bearers led his men forward under heavy fire and evacuated both “B” and “C” Coy casualties. He then returned to “K” House with the sigs to report to Lt Deans to ascertain if there were any more casualties, finding there were none he returned again to the Coy Comd. On hearing that there were some wounded left in the fields he returned alone and checked the area thoroughly and finding none he returned to R V under heavy MG fire.
1800 There was a contact patrol by “D” Coy to contact RWR at 76845942.
Patrol report 18-19 Dec Appx 46
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 47
DF & SOS Task Table #4 Appx 48
Fire Plan Exercise “K” Appx 49
Projected patrols 19-20 Dec Appx 50
Patrol report 19-20 Dec Appx 51
December 20 – WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – Cloudy and cool with ground mist.
1500 CSM Martin “A” Coy reported an enemy minefield running from 776584 to 776583 and that the mines are of an unknown type, also enemy digging at MR 776584 and that a new trench had been dug across road since 18 Dec at MR 777581. At MR 778583 CSM Martin reports enemy using periscope in trench.
2047 “A” Coy reports enemy trucks moving in vicinity MR 780580. This area was engaged by 4.2 mortars damage to enemy was unknown owing to bad visibility, making pin-pointing of target very difficult. On all Coy fronts the night was very quiet except for two bursts of MG fire and the odd rifle shot.
1800 Contact patrol from “D” Coy to contact RWR at 76845942 at 1800 hrs.
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 52
Projected patrols 20-21 Dec Appx 53
Patrol report 20-21 Dec Appx 54
December 21– WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – Cold with heavy mist
0300 Olga II reported flares at 130 degrees. There was considerable flare activity on our front between 0300 and 0530 hrs.
1800 Olga III reported buzz bomb proceeding WEST from due NORTH of their position. Patrol from “D” Coy to contact HLI of C at 76845942.
2200 “A” Coy reported suspicious noises in front of 9 Plt, flares were put up but nothing seen. 3” Mortar was brought to bear on the area MR 777585.
The night was fairly quiet on B C & D Coy sectors, except for enemy mortar and sniping.
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 55
Projected patrols 21-22 Dec Appx 56
Patrol report 21-22 Dec Appx 57
December 22– WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – Cloudy and damp
1305 Olga I reported enemy working at trench MR 77725818, enemy were also seen on road 138 degrees approx 1000 yds and at road MR 77915785 at 138 degrees.
1453 Between 1453 and 1522 Hrs 9 Plt was shelled, bearing 155 degrees and 7 Plt was mortared from 82 degrees.
1723 Enemy MG firing at Olga II area, bearing 130 degrees. B & D Coy sectors were quiet except for mortar fire during the night at Approx 0545 hrs.
1800 Contact patrol from “D” Coy to contact HLI of C at MR 76845942.
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 58
Projected patrols 22-23 Dec Appx 59
Patrol reports 22-23 Dec Appx 60
December 23– WYLER BERG 75505894
Reveille – Fair and cold
0800 Preparing to change location with NSR who are in reserve area.
0900 Recce parties from NSR arrive to meet QOR guides, to take them to Coy areas. Platoons in each Coy are to change at half hour intervals with NSR. Mortar Plt and A/Tk Plt will exchange mortar for mortar and gun for gun.
1400 BHQ leaves for new area and Plts begin to interchange with NSR.
1430 All QOR vehicles cleared of area.
1700 Change of Command, QOR of C ceases responsibility for signals. BHQ now situated at MR 74235779, SP Coy at 74945946, “A” Coy in area 73885908, “B” Coy at MR 75105915, “C” Coy at 74125665, “D” Coy at 74845790.
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 61
Movement order Appx 62
Projected patrols 23-24 Dec Appx 63
Patrol report 23-24 Dec Appx 64
December 24– DECKERSWALK 74265779
Reveille- Clear and cold
0800 Morning consisted of bath parades and general clean up , the new area is quite an improvement from the last one, as everybody is in building.
1500 Show in the sanitorium put on by 14 Fd Reft YMCA “Lady, let’s Dance”.
2000 “Stand-To” owing to paratroops alarm, to last until first light.
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 65
Projected patrols 24-25 Dec Appx 66
Patrol report 24-25 Dec Appx 67
December 25 – DECKERSWALK 74265779
Reveille – Cold and Clear
0800 No Christmas Celebrations as they have been postponed until later date.
0930 Church service and Communion in Sanitorium, by Capt Mowatt, QOR Padre
2000 Fifty per cent Stand-to until first light.
December 26 – DECKERSWALK 74265779
Reveille – Cold and clear
0800 Bath parades are being held at Herg-En-Dal.
1500 “B” Coy area was shelled, there were no casualties.
2000 Fifty per cent Stand-to until first light.
2345 “B” Coy area shelled, no casualties
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 68
Projected patrols 25-26 Dec Appx 69
Patrol report 25-26 Dec Appx 70
December 27 – DECKERSWALK 74265779
Reveille – Cold and clear
0800 Bath parades. This morning we received our copy of the “Big Two Bugle” Christmas edition, printed and edited by our BOR staff, who had to work overtime to get it out.
1500 Show by YMCA “Blondie on a Budget”
1800 Show by YMCA “Blondie on a Budget”
2000 Fifty per cent stand-to until first light
2100 Enemy plane shot down over this area. There was considerable enemy aircraft activity over this area between 2100 and 2200 hrs.
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 71
Projected patrols 26-27 Dec Appx 72
Patrol reports 26-27 Dec Appx 73
December 28 – DECKERSWALK 74265779
Reveille- Cold and clear
0800 Enemy aircraft activity, dropped three bombs in Nijmegen area.
1200 Sgts dinner held in the Sanitorium, the C.O. Col S M Lett and 2 IC Major H E Dalton and the Adj[utant] Capt J P Secord attended.
2000 Fifty per cent stand-to until first light.
Cinema held in the sanitorium by 13 Fld Regt “Roger Touchy, Gangster”
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 74
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 75
December 29 – DECKERSWALK 74265779
Reveille – Fair and cold
1115 Fifty per cent of battalion have their christmas dinner at Berg-en-Dal. Beer was served, also orchestra, making it a big success.
2000 Fifty per cent stand-to until first light
Projected patrols 27-28 Dec Appx 76
Patrol reports 27-28 Dec Appx 77
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 78
December 30 – 75655721
Reveille Fair and cold
0800 Bn preparing to change locations with Regt de la Chaudiere
1115 Remainder of battalion attended Christmas dinner at Berg-en-Dal
1200 QOR Recce party to N Shore area
1700 “C” Coy arrives in new location MR 7525723
1800 BHQ arrives at R.de Chaud BHQ. It was a very clear night but convoys moved slow owing to very slippery roads.
1900 “A” Coy takes of from “A” Coy R de Chaud in area MR 75655721
2000 “B” Coy arrives and takes over R de Chaud posn at MR 75835766.
2100 “D” Coy arrives MR 75635627. Sp Coy to change over by mutual agreement with R de Chaud Mor Plt will exchange mortar for mortar and A/Tk Plt to exchange gun for gun. Coy cookers will not be taken to Coy lines. Command taken over by QOR of C at 2100 hrs.
2200 Standing patrol by carrier plt to maintain contact with R de Chaud and North Shore Regt along East Edge of wood from 759574 to 763584.
Projected patrols 28-29 Dec Appx 79
Patrol reports 28-29 Dec Appx 80
Projected patrols 29-30 Dec Appx 81
Movement order Appx 82
Christmas memo Appx 83
Patrol report 29-30 Dec Appx 84
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 85
Projected patrols 30-31 Dec Appx 86
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 87
Patrol reports 30-31 Dex Appx 88
December 31 – 75655721
Reveille – fair and cold
1120 Approx twenty mortar bombs landed in BHQ area inflicting three casualties
1800 Standing patrols to contact “C” Coy R de Chaud at MR 746569 every two hours
Standing patrol to contact N Shore Regt at MR 761583 every two hours during darkness
Coy sectors were fairly quiet until at Approx 2400 hrs. Intense enemy MG fire on all sectors.
“I” Summary 8 Cdn Inf Bde Appx 90
“I” Summary 3rd Cdn Div Appx 91