Fired on in morning by mortars from spit.
4xMMG and 1x6 pdr a tk covered Cdo through SALLENELLES.
Shelled on moving off at 1300 hrs.
New bde sit brought back from Bde that night and orders to hold MERVILLE at all costs.

WD Jun 44
7 Jun

No. 4 Cdo. - HAUGER - It was to be four days and nights before the Unit had opportunity to rest.
Proved to be fairly quiet, but the Unit continued digging in and the camouflage of weapon pits.
Two sections of D Tp, under Lieut J.S. Hunter Gray, moved off to patrol in the SALLENELLES direction and made contact with a cycle patrol of No. 6 Cdo. The patrol met with intermittent sniping during the afternoon, further patrols went out at night, but no contact was mode with the enemy.
At 2130 hrs A Tp reported enemy moving in the fields about 300 yds from their position and trying to infiltrate through the open fields into the woods in their rear. The enemy were engaged until darkness and after dark, a very thick hedge where the enemy was thought to be digging in for a mortar or infantry gun position, was sprayed with K gun fire. MG and mortar fire were directed at A Tp from behind a strip of woodland in front of their positions for an hour.

WD Jun 44
7 Jun

6 Commando
In the Field. Commando is mortared.

7 Jun

45 RM Cdo. Cdo ordered to withdraw and dig in south of SALLENELLES Mortared from strong point.
1300 - Ordered to capture FRANCEVILLE.
On adv came under by fire.
1705 - Began attack on FRANCEVILLE
Two Cdo’s reached North end or village.
2100 - Enemy counterattacked with Mortars and MG.
Bde set was gone and Cdo could get no sp.
3" mortars out of action thro' cas.
Withdrew to MERVILLE.

7 Jun

In the morning on instrs from Bde the Cdo withdrew from MERVILLE and dug in South of SALLENELLES. Casaulties to date were one other rank killed, Lt. Col. Ries and 16 other ranks wounded, and Lt. Nelson Sigs Offr, Lt. Kennedy Int Offr and Lt. Winston and 28 other ranks missing.
During the morning the Cdo came under fire from mortars in the area SPIT 135773. At 1300 hrs the Cdo was warned to move again to its objective FRANCEVILLE and when it moved at 1300 hrs came under heavy shell fire. A 6 pdr gun and 4 MMGs gave us covering fire while passing SALLENELLES.
At 1705 hrs the attack on FRANCEVILLE commenced and two troops managed to get to the Northern end of the village. The enemy counter attacked with mortars and MMGs at 2100 and as the Cdo had lost its 3" mortars through casualties and also its Bde set it was impossible to get any support so it was driven back to MERVILLE. That night three men were sent back to Bde to report the situation. They returned in the morning with another Bde set and orders that MERVILLE must be held at all costs.


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Archive: 6 Airborne Div.: H.Q. War Diary, 1944 June

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