War Diary: 147th Essex Yeomanry

Month and year: June 1944

The June 1944 War Diary of the 147th Essex Yeomanry covers the unit from Southampton and their fighting in Normandy to Brettevillette.

National Archive Reference: WO 171/995

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Page 1 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
FAWLEY SOUTHAMPTON 1 RHQ Established at Camp B2, FAWLEY
3 RHQ afloat
4 Attempt to set sail for OVERLORD. Overlord postponed 24 hours owing to adverse weather
conditions.
5 OVERLORD expedition sails
6 "D" Day OVERLORD. H Hour - 0730 hours.
RHQ lands 0930 hours on Jig Red Beach.
Major R.B. Gosling, Battery Commander, 431 Battery, wounded - Capt M.G. Beale assumes
command.
SP 25-pr, 511 Battery, knocked out two A/Tk guns at Le Hamel with open site shooting.
RHQ established by 1200 hrs 908863.
1430 FOOs with 1 Hamps reported still mopping up in Le Hamel
RHQ established night 6/7 June 836828
7 431 Battery supported Royal Marine Commando attack on PORT EN BESSIN.
Remainder of Regiment in support 56 Inf Bde.
BAYEUX reported captured by 1530 hours.
Location RHQ 1745 hours - 830757.
8 RHQ moved 0830 hours to RUCQUEVILLE 874774.
One troop continued to support Royal Marine Commando. Remainder of Regiment under command
8 Armd Bde.
Regiment in conjunction with 86 fd Regt supported 8 Armd Bde attack - areas BRONAY, PUTOT
EN BESSIN
, Attack meets stiff opposition.
RHQ spends night same position.
Major C.J. Sidgwick, Battery Commander, 413 Battery, wounded - Capt E.C.B. Edwards assumes
command.
Several 'Y' targets engaged.
9 8 Armd Bde advance from RUCQUEVILLE area to Point 103 Square 8570.
RHQ established at 854707 - all vehicles arrived safely.
Regiment and 8 Armd Bde now two miles further into France than any other Allied Unit.
Sundry 'M' targets shot - fire support given by 86 fd Regt in addition.
FOOs with 1 Dorsets reported heavy and bitter fighting at ST. PIERRE.
ST. PIERRE held by us at last light. Enemy holding TILLY-sur-SEULLES. Dividing line
between troops being RIVER SEULLES.
Page 2 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
FRANCE 10 Heavy attack on ST. PIERRE reported 0700 hours by FOO.
24 Lancers and Regiment support 8 Infantry">DLI and beat off attack, after ST. PIERRE partially overran 1 FOO lost
Fighting develops; heavy enemy counter attacks beaten off throughout day.
Major C.H. Gosling, Battery Commander, 511 Battery, Wounded - Capt G.M. Lyon assumes
command.
Mortar shells land in "A" echelon area - causing casualties.
431 Battery position comes under enemy machine gun fire at midday - enemy driven off.
CRISTOT strongly held by enemy. Several Regimental targets fired on CRISTOT - some in
conduction with 86 fd Regt.
7 Armd Div reported by FOOs coming down on WEST flank of RIVER SEULLES.
413 Battery gun position mortared at short range between midnight and 0100 hours.
11 Supported fighting patrols of 4/7 Dragoon Guards and Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in morning.
Attack on CRISTOT by Green Howards supported in afternoon - attack not successful.
Own positions shelled by air bursts from 88mm guns, and attacked at 1900 hours by Tiger Tanks.
Six Tigers reported carrying out attack. Difficulty in engaging owing to ground and
closeness of own troops.
RHQ and Battery positions machine gunned, several casualties resulting.
Attack drawn off at dusk and position restored.
Quite night - no alarms.
12 Supported vigorous patrolling by Armd Regiments as from first light.
Regiment fired farewell 'M' target on CRISTOT and goes to new position at 835735 in
support 56 Inf Bde.
13 Move completed by 0200 hours.
Several Regimental targets fired in support of 56 Inf Bde during morning.
RHQ moved to 832737 by 1400 hours.
14 Attacks by 151 Inf Bde supported.
15 A quite day following successful actions by 231 and 151 Bdes
16 Barrage fired on CRISTOT in support of 49 Div. Barrage completed approx 1345 hrs.
Regiment moved to 787716 on the BUTTE DE GROS ORNE feature.
All Regiment in action by 1600 hours in new position.
17 Fire pan fired in support of 49 and 50 Divs. attacks on ST. PIERRE and TILLY-sur-SEULLES
respectively.
Moved at 2200 hrs to 847725 and came under Comd 49 Div. together with 8 Armd Bde.
18 All guns rested for maintenance and overhauls for 24 hours. No shooting during day.
Page 3 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
FRANCE 19 Two barrages fired as from 1300 hours in support 50 (N) Div attack on HOTTOT.
Maintenance completed by 1100 hours - all Batteries reported back in action.
20 After a quite morning devoted to maintenance numerous HF tasks were fired in the afternoon
on enemy troops forming up to the EAST and SOUTH of FONTENAY-le-PESNEL till about
1900 hours.
In the evening 511 Battery reported shelling about 300 yards to the EAST of their position
by an 88 mm gun. 69 fd Regt claimed to have spotted it and undertook to silence it.
Implacable postponed 24 hours.
22 Commanding Officer inspects all MT during day.
'F' Troop gun position shelled about 1330 hours. CB action put into effect. No further
trouble. Red smoke fired for RAF, who bombed guns.
Preparations for attack continue.
Implacable postponed.
23 Counter mortar shooting carried out.
OP with Recce Regiment at 885729 mortared about midnight - no damage or casualties.
24 Preparations for Implacable.
25 Implacable begins. Two barrages fired in morning in support 49 Div attack on TESSEL Wood
feature.
Regiment in direct support 8 Armd Bde.
Many concs and fire plans fired throughout day.
26 Implacable continues.
8 Armd Bde attack on RAURAY supported early morning.
Barrage in support 15 (S) Div begun at 0730 hours and completed 1015 hours.
Regiment moves new gun area - guns 844691
RHQ established 838704 at 1500 hours.
Country reported very difficult for armour.
Regiment claims two Tiger tanks KO'd
27 Day spent firing HF tasks in support 49 Div, especially on 70 Bde front.
8 Armd Bde rest and re-equip.
Page 4 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
FRANCE 28 Documents captured during day by Captain R.R.B. Foreman from German Panther Tank revealed
it belonged to 2 SS Pz Div.
Numerous HF tasks fired PM.
29 Further extensive HF plan fired by Regiment early am and also fire plan fired to
neutralise enemy mortars.
413 Battery position bombarded at 1300 hours - some casualties caused.
413 Battery move to new position. Later all Btys move to pt.103
Fire plan fired in support 10 and 11 Infantry">DLI in attack on BRETTEVILLETTE, and targets taken
on in support 4/7 DGs.
30 Numerous HF tasks fired during day and night.