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    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

    The "References to Appendices" column for this document was empty so has been omitted.

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    Page 1 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    3RHQ afloat
    4Attempt to set sail for OVERLORD. Overlord postponed 24 hours owing to adverse weather
    5OVERLORD 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
    SP 25-pr, 511 Battery, knocked out two A/Tk guns at Le Hamel with open site shooting.
    RHQ established by 1200 hrs 908863.
    1430FOOs with 1 Hamps reported still mopping up in Le Hamel
    RHQ established night 6/7 June 836828
    7431 Battery supported Royal Marine Commando attack on PORT EN BESSIN.
    Remainder of Regiment in support 56 InfBde.
    BAYEUX reported captured by 1530 hours.
    Location RHQ 1745 hours - 830757.
    8RHQ moved 0830 hours to RUCQUEVILLE874774.
    One troop continued to support Royal Marine Commando. Remainder of Regiment under command
    8 ArmdBde.
    Regiment in conjunction with 86 fdRegt supported 8 ArmdBde attack - areas BRONAY, PUTOT
    , Attack meets stiff opposition.
    RHQ spends night same position.
    Major C.J. Sidgwick, Battery Commander, 413 Battery, wounded - Capt E.C.B. Edwards assumes
    Several 'Y' targets engaged.
    98 ArmdBde advance from RUCQUEVILLE area to Point 103 Square 8570.
    RHQ established at 854707 - all vehicles arrived safely.
    Regiment and 8 ArmdBde now two miles further into France than any other Allied Unit.
    Sundry 'M' targets shot - fire support given by 86 fdRegt 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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    FRANCE10Heavy attack on ST. PIERRE reported 0700 hours by FOO.
    24 Lancers and Regiment support 8 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
    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 fdRegt.
    7 ArmdDiv reported by FOOs coming down on WEST flank of RIVER SEULLES.
    413 Battery gun position mortared at short range between midnight and 0100 hours.
    11Supported 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.
    12Supported 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 InfBde.
    13Move completed by 0200 hours.
    Several Regimental targets fired in support of 56 InfBde during morning.
    RHQ moved to 832737 by 1400 hours.
    14Attacks by 151 InfBde supported.
    15A quite day following successful actions by 231 and 151 Bdes
    16Barrage 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.
    17Fire pan fired in support of 49 and 50 Divs. attacks on ST. PIERRE and TILLY-sur-SEULLES
    Moved at 2200 hrs to 847725 and came under Comd 49 Div. together with 8 ArmdBde.
    18All guns rested for maintenance and overhauls for 24 hours. No shooting during day.
    Page 3 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    FRANCE19Two 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.
    20After 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 fdRegt claimed to have spotted it and undertook to silence it.
    Implacable postponed 24 hours.
    22Commanding 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.
    23Counter mortar shooting carried out.
    OP with Recce Regiment at 885729 mortared about midnight - no damage or casualties.
    24Preparations for Implacable.
    25Implacable begins. Two barrages fired in morning in support 49 Div attack on TESSEL Wood
    Regiment in direct support 8 ArmdBde.
    Many concs and fire plans fired throughout day.
    26Implacable continues.
    8 ArmdBde 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
    27Day spent firing HF tasks in support 49 Div, especially on 70 Bde front.
    8 ArmdBde rest and re-equip.
    Page 4 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    FRANCE28Documents 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.
    29Further 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 DLI in attack on BRETTEVILLETTE, and targets taken
    on in support 4/7 DGs.
    30Numerous HF tasks fired during day and night.