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
PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
BENOUVILLE1Slight shellfire morning. Coy laid 1075 mines in 2 1/2 hrs
during night. 1 NCO wounded by booby trap. Weather showery
2Heavy 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.
3Quiet day. More mine laying during night. Continuous rain.
4Quite day. Mine laying in bright moonlight brought down heavy
shellfire. Lt. E. McColl and 1 OR wounded. Weather slightly
better
5Intermittent 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.
6Quite day. 3 NCOs out with Inf patrols. Heavy shelling
in middle of night - no casualties. Weather hot and sunny.
7Gap 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.
8Attack 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.
9Further work on opening up routes forward to LEBISEY. Coy
Page 2 of 4
PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
BENOUVILLE9Coy moved up to location North of Caen.
CAEN10Coy engaged on clearance work in CAEN. Heavy mortar fire
11Coy moved to HERMANVILLE.
HERMANVILLE12Company engaged in lifting minefield near CAZELLE.
13More minefield lifting at CAZELLE. Mines returned to BAD.
First bread issue
14Most of Coy at Div Rest Club.
15Day spent in sorting out admin.
161 Pl started building improved bridge over ditch to give
access to canal bank from road BENOUVILLE - BLAINVILLE.
3 Pl minelifting.
171 Pl completed bridge. Jeep ferry constructed south of
BENOUVILLE from improvised decking and FBE MK II.
18Maintenance and operation of Jeep ferry. 2 Pl engaged in
clearing airstrip during evening.
19Residues arrived. Weather good.
ESCOVILLE20Coy moved to ESCOUVILLE. Enemy shellfire during night.
Page 3 of 4
PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
ESCOVILLE20Capt Osterloh and 2 ORs wounded. Very heavy rain and roads
very boggy.
21Work on fwd route to BANNEVILLE hampered by heavy
rain and mud. Some enemy air activity.
22Intermittent shelling during day. No casualties.
23Sommerfeld track laid on forward route. Slight shelling.
24Continued work in tracking. Slight shelling. Painting
signboards for marking routes.
25Work on track completed. Coy moved to HERMANVILLE to rest.
Weather good.
26Men resting. Baths and laundry.
27Morning spent cleaning up. Inspection by Div Comd in
afternoon. Capt. J. St. J. Baxter posted as 2 i/c. Weather
cloudy.
28Maintenance of vehs and equipment. Concert party and
pictures. Weather cloudy.
29Pls engage din clearance of own minefields at BENOUVILLE.
Page 4 of 4
PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
ESCOVILLE29and BEAUVILLE. Weather dull.
30Completion of minefield clearance. Cy moved to ESCOVILLE
31Day spent working on tracks. Cot moved to CAZELLE in
evening.