An account by Major A. Consitt OC D Coy.


The Bn had two weeks combined opps training at Inverray in Feb or March 44 then moved to Bournemouth, then to Winchester, from these two places several rehearsals and practice landings were made on the South coast of England. These practices were done from the actual ships used on "D" Day, i.e. The Expire Rapier and Empire Mace.

The briefing was done in a sealed camp near Romsey, from where we moved to a transit camp at Southampton, where we embarked on either the 3rd or 4th June.

Each Company was allotted the briefing room for a period and all ranks were fully briefed on a sand table model, except that place names were not disclosed.

Dress:- Experiments were carried out during the practice landings with canvas equipment that was all fixed together and put on like a jacket, it was decided not to use this equipment on the actual operation because a man could not take off his small pack, it either had to be “All off" or "All on”.

The dress decided on was ordinary F.S.M.O. Each men carried two 24 hour ration packets, 100 rds of SAA per rifle full number of Bren and Sten mags per section. The assaulting Platoons also had the recognised scale of scaling ladders and bangalor torpedoes of the flexible type. In addition to this, about 4 men of each section, on disembarking had to carry off the L.C.As and as far up the beaches as possible, a container of 3" mortar bombs. Each man also took an extra A/gas cape to use on the L.C.A. to keep him dry, these were left on the L.C.As.

The Sea Joueney

The Bn was embarked on two L.S.I's. Two Companies and Bn H.Q. on one L.S.I. and two Companies on the other. 3" Mortars were in support of the assault Companies and also a section of assault Pioneers. The carriers and Anti-tank Platoons were carried in L.C.T's.

The Bn was embarked on two L.S.I's in order that it could be taken off in one flight of L.C.A's.

After the Bn had embarked at Southampton a final practice at embarking in L.C.A's was carried out.

On the afternoon of the 5th June all weapons and equipment were stowed on board the L.C.A's to facilitate embarking in the dark the next morning.

The journey was uneventful, an officer from each Company slept that night in the troop deck with the men so that someone was on the spot in case of any emergency such as a ship being mined or torpedoed etc.

The troops were roused the following morning at about 0300 hrs. Breakfast was served, a rum issue made to those who wanted it and sea sick tablets were taken.

I am afraid I cannot remember the time we embarked in the L.C.A's but the timing:- was good and L.C.A. loads were called for over the loud speaker system. After being lowered into the sea the L.C.A's formed up, the two

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: The landing of 5 East Yorks, 1944 June

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