- 7 -

The enemy in Loucelles were overcome without difficulty, but when “B” Company took up the running from "A" Company they encountered stirrer opposition on the line of the railway between Loucelles and Bas d'Audrieu. In fact, "B" Company came under a considerable amount of fire and the leading platoon, No 11 (under Lieut L.T. Morris) was unable to advance beyond the railway line. This was in spite of determined attempts to close with the nearest enemy post. In this fighting Cpl Haines and Ptes Ward and Brandon distinguished themselves. Although it was late in the day the Commanding Officer decided to take "C" and "D" Companies round in a right flanking movement against the enemy holding the villages south of the railway. This led to mopping up continuing in Audrieu during the night, an extremely ticklish and precarious business in the dark. But orders from above urged the necessity to get on to Point 103 as soon as possible, and so we continued the fight throughout the night. "C" Company had the misfortune to lose their second-in-command, Captain R.W.Tucker, M.C. This gallant and promising young officer was killed when lending a fighting petrol against an enemy locality near Audrieu Church. Meanwhile, "A" and "B" Companies remained as the firm base at Loucelles. Enemy identifications, from prisoners taken, included Panzer Grenadiers.

Early on the 9th "A" Company was ordered to enter Le Haut d'Audrieu from the west and then work northwards to link up with "C" and "D" Companies in Audrieu itself. This task was carried out without much difficulty, but Captain Royle, the Company second-in-command, was wounded. Battalion Headquarters and "B" Company then closed up and the Battalion occupied the string of villages in depth from Le Haut d’Audrieu to Bas d'Audrieu. Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer and the company commanders went forward to Point 103 to carry out a reconnaissance. Our armour, by-passing the Audrieu area while we were dealing with the opposition there, had occupied Point 103 unopposed.

It should be remembered that our force was now operating in advance of the main bridgehead, and both flanks were open. On our left the 3rd Canadian Division had not yet cleared Broney. It was men of this division who were foully murdered after being taken prisoner by the 12th S.S. Panzer Division we saw them with our own eyes, laid out in rows behind the Chateau at Pavie. On our right the Sherwood Rangers, with the 8th D.L.I. (under Lieut-Colonel R.P.Lidwill, D.S.O.),from 151st Brigade, were trying to get into St Pierre on the outskirts of Tilly-sur-Seulles. Odd parties of enemy, including some spandau groups, were hovering about on our flanks particularly on the left (the east),and Audrieu appeared to be full of "fifth column" rumours of enemy infiltration. "Hundreds of Germans" approaching from all directions was the commonest story. To counteract all this, and to be more concentrated for our move forward to occupy Point 103, the Second-in-Command decided to close up Battalion Headquarters and the rear companies ("C" and "D") on to "B" Company at Pavie. This movement was carried out on the lines of a "withdrawal forward," covered by rear parties including carriers. There were one or two minor encounters and awkward moments. Cpl Redpath, of "C" Company, distinguished himself by his steadiness and leadership in one of these encounters, and was awarded the M.M.

In the evening we moved into position on the Point 103 feature. The Battalion was disposed in the form of a protective "box" round the 8th Armoured Brigade and the Essex Yeomanry. "A" Company were to the north-west, "B" to the north-east, "C" to the south-east and "D" to the south-west. "B", "C" and "D" Companies were those most likely to meet trouble from the enemy should he decide to launch any counter-attacks. Lieut H.D. Foster joined us from the Canadian Army during the night - he was our first "Canloan" officer, and quite one of the best. The 8th D.L.I. were heavily engaged at St Pierre during the night, and part of the Battalion was forced to withdraw into the Point 103 position. The remainder held on with great determination and constituted a valuable outpost to the main position on Point 103.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

Found an error?

Found an error with this archive item? report it here!

Archive: NORMANDY 1st Bn The Dorsetshire Regiment (an extract from "Three Assault Landings")

Page: Page 7