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    War Diary: 147th Essex Yeomanry

    Month and year: September 1944

    The September 1944 War Diary of the 147th Essex Yeomanry covers the units actions during their advance from France, through Belgium into Holland

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/995

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    Page 1 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCESep 1Regiment breaks harbour at ST. SAUFLIEU at 0800 hours and continues advance
    across River SOMME.
    Air OP under command.
    1045431 and 511 Batteries in action against first opposition of day, area 088662.
    1230Regiment moves on along Centre Line.
    1255Regiment comes into action again in area 079695 in support of SRY.
    1445Regiment comes out of action, advance continues.
    1800Attack on DOULLENS supported. All Batteries in action area 145830--enemy infantry
    in open and three Anti Tank guns successfully engaged by 413 Bty OPs.
    Regiment goes into close harbour with SRY, area SUS ST. LEGER.
    2After night in close harbour with SRY, Regiment goes into action in area SUS ST.
    LEGER. RHQ established at 220950.
    Maintenance and re-arming carried out during day for Operation 'Sabot.'
    One Battery, 7 Medium Regiment, and Air OP under command.
    OP out in support of patrols by 13/18 H and SRY.
    3Regiment and 8th Armd Bde under command 50 (N) Division.
    Harbour at 220950, SUS ST. LEGER, broken at 1000 hours.
    431 Battery in support 4/7 DGs.
    Regiment in action area 621267, HERRIN. 'M' targets fired on enemy infantry.
    Support attack by 9 DLI on HOUPLIN. C Troop neutralises four 75mm guns.
    4Regiment moves to area 8030.
    413 Battery move with SRY.
    1430413 Battery in action 947345. Remainder of Regiment area 8030. RHQ at 802302.
    1700431 Battery moves into action in area 878345.
    2100413 Battery reported in action 878347.
    Air OP under command.
    5Batteries and RHQ remain in same positions.
    413 Battery continues in support of SRY. FOOs report big German force wishing to
    to surrender at DU PRE 155433. Battery spends night in close laager protected
    by SRY.
    All Regiment spends day maintaining and re-arming.
    Page 2 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCESep 5Air OP remains under command.
    6Morning spent in maintenance.
    BELGIUM1245Regiment less 413 Battery moves to area NINOVE. RHQ at 370555. Batteries in
    Appx "A"
    413 Battery remains same area in support SRY who clear enemy pocket area 1543.
    Enemy surrender - 1 Colonel, 11 Officers and 700 men.
    Support SRY in attack on 300 enemy infantry in area AUDENARDE and enemy liquidated.
    7Morning spent in maintenance.
    1545Regiment moved to area BIEST. RHQ established at 957647.
    8Regiment under command 50 (N) Div. 431 Battery in direct support 8 Armd Bde.
    FOOs with 4/7 DGs. LO with 69 Bde HQ. LO with 124 Fd Regt, RA.
    RHQ at 082810. 413 Battery and 511 Battery area 0881. 431 Battery in action
    area PAEL 2074 in support 4/7 DG and KRRC crossing ALBERT Canal at BEERINGEN.
    431 Battery fire Battery Targets.
    1500431 Battery in action 2377. Support 4/7 breakout from BEVERLOO.
    1745/1815U' targets engaged in support 69 Bde on enemy infantry and guns.
    511 Battery and RHQ move to area 0578. RHQ established at 059783.
    431 Battery move into action at 237796.
    Air OP under command.
    9Batteries and RHQ remain same position in morning.
    DF tasks fired in support 8 Armd Bde by 431 Battery.
    Bde 'A' Echelon ambushed in area 23476I - one 3-tonner 431 Battery and 1 Jeep
    LAD Section brewed up.
    1700RHQ, 413 and 511 Batteries move to area BRELAER Sq 1874. RHQ established 187746.
    10Batteries and RHQ move 0730 hours into action area centre 255775. RHQ established
    at 259779.
    Fired targets in support 8 Armd Bde during day.
    431 Battery under command Regiment again.
    11RHQ remains 259779.
    1200FOO B with 13/18 H advance on BOURG LEOPOLD. No opposition met in town, but
    Page 3 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    BELGIUMSep 11enemy found on road to North West. Fire brought down from Regiment, Herts
    Yeomanry and 84 Medium Regiment. Airburst from own Regiment - fire reported
    Numerous 'M' targets fired against enemy in Woods at sides of road and on road
    from Regiment and 86 Field Regiment.
    Belgium Battery comes under command.
    B Troop Commander as FOO maintained with SRY at GHEEL. Fires 74 Fd Regiment on
    enemy counter attacks and in support SRY.
    FOOs from 413 Battery go to 231 Bde and 1 Hamps.
    12Belgium Battery still under command.
    413 Battery FOO with SRY remains and supports them with fire from 74 Fd Regt.
    FOOs from 413 Battery remain with 231 Bde and 1 Hamps.
    FOO with 1 Hamps stonks OOSTHAM from information given by civilians - unable to
    C.B. tasks fired from RA Group against active H.Bs suspected in area woods Sqs
    1987 and 2087.
    130850/0900H.F. tasks fired by RA Group on likely enemy areas.
    FOO returns from SRY.
    FOOs return from 231 Bde.
    8 Armd Bde Group (including 147 Essex Yeomanry) comes under command 50 (N) Div.
    FOOs sent to 4/7 DG and 12 KRRC for operations 14 Sep 44.
    140750Fire Plan in support Belgian Bde arranged but not fired. FOOs with Belgian Bde
    and 4/7 DG.
    Regiment moves to area BOURG LEOPOLD 2682. RHQ established at 264826 at 1400 hrs.
    15Regiment remains same area. Full maintenance carried out.
    16Regiment moves to area 3494. Batteries come into action. RHQ at 348942
    Ammunition dumping for Operation 'Garden' completed.
    Regiment under command 43 Division.
    171435Regiment takes part in Guards Armoured Division Fire Plan, Operation 'Garden', in
    support breakout by Armoured Irish Guards.
    Appx "B"
    2350Fire Plan engaged by Regiment in support of 53 Division.
    180200/0315- Regiment stands to when GERMAN counter attack bridgehead - no action occurs.
    Page 4 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    BELGIUMSep 181200V' targets engaged on enemy infantry attempting to cross canal.
    2000Bridgehead bombed; some fall in vicinity of gun area. No damage or casualties.
    19Regiment engages Fire Plan in support of attack across canal by 3 Br Division.
    2345Regiment remains same area. No firing during day. 413 Battery prepares to move.
    20413 Battery move 0415 hours in SRY Group to area EINDEHOVEN in protective role.
    147th (Essex Yeomanry) Fd Regt RA, less 413 Battery, move 1430 hours as part of
    130 Bde Group. Representative with 130 Bde HQ and FOOs with 13/18 H, KRRC and
    7 Hamps.
    HOLLANDRegiment harbours for night on road between VEGHEL and GRAVE.
    21Regiment moves out of harbour 0700 hours and comes into action in area 6857, less
    413 Battery. RHQ established at 685574.
    22Regiment in support of 214 Bde, in attacks to get supplies in DUKWS through to
    1 Br Airborne Division. 5 DCLI succeed late pm.
    Regiment moves to new area pm. RHQ established at Convent at 683617.
    Numerous tasks fired in support of Bde. FOO from 431 Battery with 7 SLI.
    230730431 and 511 Batteries cross River WAAL. RHQ remains same place.
    431 and 511 Batteries into action in area NORTH half 7163.
    'U' targets fired in support 214 Bde throughout day. E Troop Commander FOO with
    1 Worcs.
    1600511 Battery moves under command 43 Div Recce Regt with 12 KRRC to a gun posn at
    Regiment less 413 and 511 Batteries supports 214 Bde attack on village of ELST.
    431 Battery suffered harassing fire about 2000 hours. No casualties.
    24Regiment continues in support of 214 Bde. 413 Battery in support SRY; 511 Battery
    in support 43 Div Recce and 12 KRRC in same areas; 431 Battery move to area
    centre 675696. Some 'U' targets fired.
    431 Battery support 214 Bde attack to relieve Airborne Bde.
    25RHQ and Batteries at same locations.
    431 Battery fire in RA Fire Plan to assist withdrawal of Airborne Bde.
    26RHQ and Batteries remain same location.
    Some 'U' targets fired during day.
    27431 Battery moves to new gun positions in morning at 625705.
    Page 5 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    HOLLANDSep 27RHQ moves to GEKVOORT; established at 624704.
    Approx 1430431 Bty fire smoke screen in support 130 Bde attack.
    FOOs with 12 KRRC from 511 Bty, with 179 Fd Regt from 431 Bty, with 4/7 DG from
    431 Bty.
    28431 Bty have FOO s with 12 KRRC, 511 Bty have FOOs with 43 Recce Regt.
    511 Bty moves to gun position centre 622700.
    Several 'M' and 'U' targets fired in course of day.
    DF tasks fired in support of KRRC after dark.
    29FOOs same as for 28 Sep and Batteries remain same locations.
    431 Bty engage Battery Targets in support 12 KRRC during day.
    511 Bty engage Battery Targets in support 43 Recce Regt during day.
    0900431 Battery engage enemy mortars 532724 and 541722 and direct hit observed.
    Enemy seen using School at 530703 as strong point from which patrols continuously
    sent out. Engaged by 511 Battery at irregular intervals during day. Hits
    2125Regiment engages enemy mortar(s) 59147652 - tremendous firework display as result
    of hit(s).
    30FOOs same as for 29 Sep.
    Enemy activity round barges in the river at 510698 harassed by 511 Battery throughout
    Extensive HF programme engaged by both 431 and 511 Batteries after dark.Appxs "C" to "H" (AFsW3008 and 3009) enclosed.