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War Diary: 17 Field Company R.E.

Month and year: July 1944

17 Field Company July 1944 War Diary covering their actions around Benouville including laying minefields and Bailey Bridges.

National Archive Reference: WO 171/1518

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Page 1 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
BENOUVILLE 1 Slight shellfire morning. Coy laid 1075 mines in 2 1/2 hrs
during night. 1 NCO wounded by booby trap. Weather showery
2 Heavy shellfire at intervals throughout day. Truck loaded
with mines hit by shellfire - none exploded. Coy burying and
booby-trapping mines during night. 1 NCO killed by shellfire.
3 Quiet day. More mine laying during night. Continuous rain.
4 Quite day. Mine laying in bright moonlight brought down heavy
shellfire. Lt. E. McColl and 1 OR wounded. Weather slightly
better
5 Intermittent shellfire during day. Heavy enemy barrage at
2000 hrs. 1 OR wounded. More minelaying during night. 1 NCO
killed. 1 OR died of wounds. Comd 185 Inf Bde pad visit.
6 Quite day. 3 NCOs out with Inf patrols. Heavy shelling
in middle of night - no casualties. Weather hot and sunny.
7 Gap cleared through LE HOMME minefield in early morning by
3 Pl. Preparations throughout day for OP CHARNWOOD. Coy
Battle HQ moved to location 185 Inf Bde.
8 Attack on LEBISEY WOOD. Pls all with forward infantry and
engaged on clearing routes. Lt. E. Cruch and 8 ORs wounded.
2 ORs killed. 1 Prisoner taken by 2 Pl. 2 vehs and 1 MC
knocked out.
9 Further work on opening up routes forward to LEBISEY. Coy
Page 2 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
BENOUVILLE 9 Coy moved up to location North of Caen.
CAEN 10 Coy engaged on clearance work in CAEN. Heavy mortar fire
11 Coy moved to HERMANVILLE.
HERMANVILLE 12 Company engaged in lifting minefield near CAZELLE.
13 More minefield lifting at CAZELLE. Mines returned to BAD.
First bread issue
14 Most of Coy at Div Rest Club.
15 Day spent in sorting out admin.
16 1 Pl started building improved bridge over ditch to give
access to canal bank from road BENOUVILLE - BLAINVILLE.
3 Pl minelifting.
17 1 Pl completed bridge. Jeep ferry constructed south of
BENOUVILLE from improvised decking and FBE MK II.
18 Maintenance and operation of Jeep ferry. 2 Pl engaged in
clearing airstrip during evening.
19 Residues arrived. Weather good.
ESCOVILLE 20 Coy moved to ESCOUVILLE. Enemy shellfire during night.
Page 3 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
ESCOVILLE 20 Capt Osterloh and 2 ORs wounded. Very heavy rain and roads
very boggy.
21 Work on fwd route to BANNEVILLE hampered by heavy
rain and mud. Some enemy air activity.
22 Intermittent shelling during day. No casualties.
23 Sommerfeld track laid on forward route. Slight shelling.
24 Continued work in tracking. Slight shelling. Painting
signboards for marking routes.
25 Work on track completed. Coy moved to HERMANVILLE to rest.
Weather good.
26 Men resting. Baths and laundry.
27 Morning spent cleaning up. Inspection by Div Comd in
afternoon. Capt. J. St. J. Baxter posted as 2 i/c. Weather
cloudy.
28 Maintenance of vehs and equipment. Concert party and
pictures. Weather cloudy.
29 Pls engage din clearance of own minefields at BENOUVILLE.
Page 4 of 4
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
ESCOVILLE 29 and BEAUVILLE. Weather dull.
30 Completion of minefield clearance. Cy moved to ESCOVILLE
31 Day spent working on tracks. Cot moved to CAZELLE in
evening.