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    War Diary: 10th Battalion Durham Light Infantry

    Month and year: May 1944

    The 10th Battalion Durham Light Infantry May 1944 war diary covers their time at Thetford in the UK including taking part in exercise LULU and SHISHAH

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/1292

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    Page 1 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Thetford.May 1Bn. night river crossing exercise at 76/4199. Object: to practise Bn. crossing river on 2 Coys. front and passage of
    carriers and A.TK. guns on to objective. A Coy in reserve were used to provide party to carry the A.TK. raft Mk. 2
    to river and also covering fire power. Full scale amn. was carried; 3" Mortars with amm. were man - handled.
    Two crossing points with three Mk. 3 assault boats at each point were used to ferry personnel. Sniper and Int personnel
    acted as enemy "logging" all movement observed from their O.P's.
    May 4Admin. inspection by Bde. Comd. Personnel of the Bn. were inspected in Battle Order during the morning, and Coy. and
    Pl. stores and mens' kit inspected in the afternoon. Bde. Staff inspected all accounts and office administration.
    May 8Bn. Mortar Pl. demonstrated short range firing without secondaries. Pl. Comd. then explained to all Offrs. and N.C.O's
    the location of mortars by examination of bomb craters.
    May 9Bn. Ex. "LOLO". The Bn, was at full W/E vehicles and personnel . Objects: (a) To practise the move into a conc. area
    under special conditions. (b) Advance parties in their duties. (c) Op. loading of vehicles. (d) Loading vehicle
    party personnel. (e) Troop carrying with main body vehicles. (f) To consider final adjustments to load tables and
    composition of parties. It was found that personnel of the Bn. could all be carried on vehicles for short distances.
    After the Ex. final load tables were issued.
    May 13Div. Ex. "SHISHAH". Object of Ex. (a) To practise the move forward of the Div. from the Marshalling Area where
    craft parties are formed, thence overseas and re-concentration prior to the advance to contact. (b) To practise
    Page 2 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    ThetfordMay 13the advance to contact. 2 i/c with advance party had left on eve of 12th. Bn. embussed with vehicles loaded for sea
    voyage and reached marshalling area at 1530 hrs. to join 70 Bde. gp. at W of Swaffam. After shell scrapes were dug
    Coys. amused themselves with football tournaments and camp fire concerts.
    1470 Bde. Gp. moved in jumbled order to JIG and KING beaches where landing tickets were handed to sector control rep on
    ex. by Div. Pro. Craft loads of vehicles embarked at KING beach and personnel at both KING and JIG beaches. Routes from
    disembarkation beaches to conc. areas had been taped, and the Bn. was all present at 1200 hrs. E of GOODERSTONE 66/2320.
    Move from marshalling area to conc. area was orderly and simple and in action will obviously not be the same.
    150900Bn. moved out of conc. area behind 1 T.S. who were in van gd. Enemy had crated rd. at CROXTON 3205 which delayed advance
    and this evening the Bde. GP. took pos. N of THETFORD sending out patrols to river Little Ouse. 147 Bde. were on our left
    with 146 Bde. in reserve. 147 and 70 Bdes. had advanced from conc. area on different axes and minor adjustments had to be
    made on the front this evening. Two reece patrols from "C" Coy. sent down to Little Ouse failed to contact enemy.
    1611 D.L.I. were sent S of Thetford to take lightly held enemy pos. and reported their objective clear at 1000 hrs. The
    Ex. finished at midday and the B. marched back to Camp.
    18A general "let-up" on training was ordered and rifle coys. each spent 3 days camping. recently joined Pl. Comds. were
    able to live out with their commands and the non-tactical setting was a chance for Coys. to do recreational P.T.
    20A Tk, Pl. left for the marshalling area 98/4438.
    Page 3 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    ThetfordMay 22Bn. Sandmodel Ex. "Village Fighting" for all Offrs. The role of tanks in street fighting was discussed and also
    the equipment necessary for a rifle Coy. in such an operation.
    23Vehicles began first stages of waterproofing today.
    27"Increment" vehicles left for marshalling area today.
    28Div Comd addressed 70 Bde. Gp. this morning. He spoke of the reputation of the Div. and ran over its history since
    he had taken command just one year ago.
    29C.O. addressed all Coys and passed on a message from General Montgomery who had confidently prophesied the end of
    the campaign against Germany by Christmas 1944.
    30Bn. route march 14 miles with battle order and full scale arm.