positions. The enemy was still in the area, however, and the reserve Company came under Mortar and Spandau fire on its way down, suffering its first casualties. The objective had not been gained without losses. Major J.A. Leybourne, MC, OC 'C' Company and 2nd Lieut J.R. Hannah MM were wounded and the Company had generally had considerable losses.

By 2100 hours the Battalion was established with 'C' and 'D' Companies forward to the SOUTH, with 'A' and 'D' Companies in the rear, one of Coys straddling one village. Bn HQ was established approx 250 yards outside the village in rather more open country. The 8th ARMOURED BRIGADE moved up in support of night patrols which went WEST to safeguard the bridge over the SEULLES, one main entry from TILLY, heavily held by the enemy.

The night of the 9/10 June was quiet, perhaps deceptively so. The odd spandau had been forced to withdraw, and throughout the night there was nothing to be heard save counter shelling from both Artillery. Stand To passed without incident, but at 0615 hours the counter attack came with great suddenness, the brunt being borne by the RIGHT forward Company - 'C' Company.

The attack came quickly by infiltration which could hardly fail to succeed, as the village was overgrown and threaded with narrow wooded lanes and tracks. 'C' Company were heavily shelled and Mortared, losing Capt J.N. Wheatley 2 i/c and Lieut J.D. Mould, who were both killed. The sole remaining Officer Lieut C.H. Galvin was wounded.

'C' Company were over-run by the enemy thus threatening the flanks of both 'A' and 'D‘ Companies. It was then decided to withdraw both Companies about 500 yards and to form a defensive ring around Bn HQ as there was no defence now between Bn HQ and the enemy, this was completed almost without incident, except that ‘A' Company HQ became cut off from the rest of the Company and had to withdraw via Point 103 and then come back to ST PIERRE , it was during this withdrawal that Lieut H. Waggott 'A' Company was killed.

The arrival of reinforcements from the 8th ARMOURED BRIGADE helped to ease the situation, however, and by 1130 hours the crisis had passed, and our own tanks were in the village. Communication between Companies was restored and by 1400 hours the Battalion was re-organised EAST of ST PIERRE, firmly based in the area of Bn HQ looking into the Village towards TILLY. The village itself was No Mans Land.

Throughout the morning, reports of the progress of 7th ARMOURED DIVISION had been coming in, and they were advancing on TILLY. Patrols revealed that the bridge over the SEULLES outside ST PIERRE was still intact. During the afternoon TILLY was heavily shelled, in preparation for the forthcoming attack.

In the evening Lt-Col Lidwill re-assumed Command of the Battalion and our troops were reinforced by a squadron from the 8th ARMOURED BRIGADE. Evening patrols revealed the presence of

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry Report, 1944 June

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