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ward in the rain to ST GATIEN (5210). There was an hour' s halt at TOURGEVILLE (4308) Cor the mid-day meal, and a further delay at TOUQUES where the Canadian Battalion had to cross the river by ferry, but the day's objective was reached by 1830 hrs. The only enemy opposition encountered during the day was at the outskirts of ST. GATIEN, when a German S.P. gun fired eight rounds, without however inflicting any casualties. The Battalion spent the night in the town, having advanced fourteen miles that day. On the morning of 25 Aug they were on the road again by 0800 hrs, and two hours later, after passing through ST. BENOIT - D'HÉBERTOT, had reached LA MODÉRIE (621080) on the outskirts of BEUZEVILLE. Here they halted.

35.  A strong enemy position in BEUZEVILLE was holding up the Brigade's advance. 8 Para Bn attacked on the south side of the town, while 9 Para Bn moved in from the north-west. Both battalions were successful in dislodging the enemy by late afternoon. At 1900 hrs 1 Can Para Bn was called on to move forward, and to push on to MON MAUGIER (6612). Skirting BEUZEVILLE on the west side, the Canadians, now off the main road, and travelling by track and footpath through woods and across open fields, by 2300 hrs had got no further than 622103, a point still four miles from MON MAUGHER. Here they stopped for four hours, at first light pushing on again to their destination, which they reached at 0740 hrs. Companies took up defensive positions, but no enemy was seen. Nor were any more enemy elements encountered by the Canadians during the remainder of their stay in France.

36.  Nightfall of 26 Aug found the units of 3 Para Bde resting in the BEUZEVILLE area, The remaining formations of 6 Airborne Div - 5 Para Bde, Royal Netherlands Brigade, 4 S.S. Bde, 1 S.S. Bde, 1 Belgian Group and 6 Airlanding Bde - were grouped in that order along the left bank of the RISLE River from PONTAUDEMER (7608) to its junction with the SEINE at BERVILLE-SUR-MER (6618) (W.D., S.D. First Cdn Army, Aug 44, Appx 324, Location. Statement). On the Division's right brigades of 49 (W.R.) Inf Div were closed in around PONT-AUDEMER, ready to take over or pass through the positions of the airborne formations. On 28 Aug orders were given for 6 Airborne Div, less 1 and 4 S.S. Bdes, to move into 21 Army Gp Reserve on the afternoon of 30 Aug.

37.  It was no mean feat that the units of 6 Airborne Div had accomplished since the beginning of their campaign in the early hours of D-day. In all phases of the operation -- the initial assault, when in spite of dispersal they had speedily gained all their objectives; the long and trying period of holding the area between the ORNE and the DIVES in the face of frequent and determined attacks by a more heavily armed opponenet; and the final rapid advance to the RISLE River, during which a very inadequate scale of transport had failed to keep them from maintaining contact with the retreating enemy -- in all these phases they had borne themselves well.

38.  For a week, 1 Cdn Para Bn rested at MON MAUGHER. Personnel were allowed to visit BEUZEVILLE, twenty-five percent of the unit strength at a time. On 4 Sep, T.C.Vs. carried the battalion to Concentration Area No. 60 near ARROMANCHES, and embarkation took place two days later. By late afternoon on 7 Sep, all ranks were back at BULFORD, in the barracks they had left three months before. From 12 to 24 Sep the entire battalion was on leave. On its return general training became the order of the day, a role that was to continue for 1 Cdn Para Bn until a Christmas Day embarkation at FOLKESTONE marked the beginning of another chapter in the unit's history.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in France (6 June - 6 September 1944)

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