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Joint Post - Conde sur Seules : June 7 - 10

Carriers were patrolling forward of the Battalion final objective before the main body arrived and the Joint Post occupied at 1100 hours. This Joint Post was situated at an intersection of roads and where the railway viaduct crossed a small stream. It was in a valley and with thick wood on the left rear and thick hedges across the front, was a most difficult spot to defend. Its object primarily to kill up a gap between ourselves and 69 Brigade on left, to stop enemy infiltration up the line of the River Seulles. The force in the Joint Post consisted of a Platoon of D Company on bicycles, one section of Carriers and an anti-tank gun, under the Command of Captain D.J. Fenner. A similar force from 69 Brigade which was to have also occupied the Joint Post did not arrive as 69 Brigade had been held up on the St.Leger feature some distance north of Conde.

The first enemy reaction was in the afternoon when a small force attacked the Joint Post. The forward posts were engaged and there was every indication that the enemy was trying to work round the left flank covered by thick woods. In the first attack Captain Fenner was wounded by grenade splinters in the foot but did not leave the Joint Post. He reported that the enemy was coming round his left flank and fearing that they might cut the road between the Joint Post and Conde, asked for support. At about 1700 hours four carriers were sent out under Captain Daw to protect the left flank at the Joint Post. The Carriers halted on the road to the Joint Post and guns were dismounted Captain Fenner, who was now on his way back to the RAP indicated where the enemy were and the Carrier sections made an attack on the wood. The attack was successful and the enemy withdraw towards Ducy Ste Marguerite. The Carrier Platoon re-organised in the Joint Post with the original force and Captain Daw took over Command.

Later some armoured Cars were heard on the left flank coming from Ducy Ste Marguerite. About this time "D" Company was ordered to occupy and hold Conde as a firm base and left Battalion Reserve to do this with the two remaining platoons. Owing to some misunderstanding Captain Daw was ordered to leave the Joint Post so that Artillery concentrations could be brought down on the brigade. As he withdrew to contact "D" Company and re-organise in Conde the enemy moved into the area. Major Cummings, who had come down to Conde as FOO, directed an Artillery shoot on to the Railway bridge and the Carrier Platoon re-organised with "D" Company under Major Thomlinson, and secured Conde as a firm base.

On June 8 the plan was to hold Conde with me Platoon and withdraw two Platoons of "D" Company into Battalion Reserve. This Plan was changed and at 0900 hours one Platoon of "D" Company, one section of carriers and one anti-tank gun were sent off to re-occupy the Joint Post, the whole under the command of Lieut Kirk. The post was occupied without opposition but at 1100 hours the enemy fired off a. few shots and shortly afterwards an armoured car was heard coming down the road from Ducy. This car fired several rounds into the railway embankment near the forward section. The enemy attacked with some infantry and an armoured car but the attack was broken up. The armoured car had shot up a carrier but it had in turn been destroyed by our fire.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 6 Durham Light Infantry Report, June 1944

Page: Page 3