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brought up, however and by 1000 hours the enemy SA fire had slackened considerably although Panthers were reported near 'B' Company's positions.

At 1100 hours 'C' Company began to move down the RIGHT flank meeting with little opposition, and took up positions in the PARC near 'B' Company. Enemy shelling and Mortar fire was fairly heavy through the morning, and both Companies received a number of casualties. When 'C' Company was in position 'A' and 'D' Companies moved up under shell and spandau fire and by 1700 hours the Battalion was based in the PARC DE LA MERE 800 - 1,000 yards from the main enemy centre of HOTTOT.

The 6th DLI on the LEFT and the 6th and 7th GREEN HOWARDS on the RIGHT flanks also moved forward during the day, in an attempt to straighten the line.

Col Lidwill took over Command of the Battalion once more during the afternoon. In the evening Capt J .G. Walker, the Adjutant was killed by shell fire, Lieut L. Barton (Signal Officer) and Lieut G.S. Gibbons (i/c Carriers) both being wounded. Lieuts G. Robertson and G.E.R. England of 'B' and 'D' Companies were also wounded during the day.

For the next twelve days, the Battalion remained in those positions, having for tactical reasons come under command of 231 BRIGADE. On 19th June 231 BRIGADE moved through us in a vain attempt to take HOTTOT, and settled down with the DEVONS forward of us on the high ground overlooking the objective and the HAMPSHIRES on our RIGHT flank out towards the Chateau de CORDILLON. The area was very heavily shelled and Mortared during the day. Capt A.J. St George and Lieut H. Welch OC and 2i/c 'C' Company being killed during the evening.

On Tuesday 20th the 231 BRIGADE positions were stablished and active forward patrolling continued in order to probe the enemy defences. The Battalion continued to undergo heavy Mortar, Shell and Spandau fire, and sustained for their third successive day a number of casualties. The 231 BRIGADE positions were counter attacked during the evening, but the enemy was beaten back without difficulty.

Wednesday and Thursday 21st and 22nd June were on a similar pattern - spasmodic and at times concentrated shell and Mortar fire with constant spandau activity during the night. The Battalion continued its patrolling activities and received further reinforcements of 7 Officers and 89 Other Ranks (Major W.T. Woodruff arrived to become 2i/c).

From Friday 23rd June until Tuesday 27th June the status que remained unaltered. The enemy defence line proved strong and heavily defended, with a certain amount of armour, mainly used as artillery. The main activity during this period was confined to counter battery artillery fire and shelling on both sides was constant and heavy.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

Page: Page 6