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    War Diary: 231st Infantry Brigade Workshop

    Month and year: July 1944

    The July 1944 war diary for the 231st Infantry Brigade Workshop covers the units actions in Normandy during July including the overhaul of 25 pdr guns.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/716

    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
    FRANCEJul 1Location M.R.784779.
    16Recovery Section detached to M.R.776693. Strength of Rec.Sec.Det. - 1 Officer
    12 O.Rs., 2 Scammells, 2 Trailers, 2 - 15 cwt Trucks & 2 Motor Cycles. Rear
    Party embarked U.K.
    18Rear Party, less 4 O.Rs. and Diamond T Tractor disembarked and joined unit.
    3 tonner despatched to Rec.Sec.Det.
    19Five deserters from other units arrested in barn of adjacent farm.
    20Small shell landed in Workshops location.
    214 O.Rs. and Diamond T Tractor arrived.
    23T Type wireless repair truck attached Brigade H.Q., A Echelon.
    26Rec.Sec.Det. re-joined unit. First fresh rations received.
    27Lecture on Current Affairs by N.C.O. from A.E.C.
    28T Type wireless truck returns. Entire Telecom. Sec. attached 90th. Fd.Regt.R.A.,
    for priority overhaul of sets. Arrangement cancelled for operational
    reasons after 1 1/2 days.
    29Unit moved to new location M.R.816723. (Area near air strip with occasional
    bombing and shelling). Digging completed.
    30Rec.Sec. detached to M.R. 794666.- strength 1 Officer, 13 O.Rs., 2 Scammells,
    2 Trailers, 1 - 3 tonner, 2 - 15 cwt trucks and 2 Motor Cycles.
    (See sheet 2 for General Notes ).
    Page 2 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    FRANCEJUL 31notes
    1. WORKSHOPS - see Appendix A for detail. Workshops have become busier
    and all sections except M.T. and Armourers have been latterly
    up to capacity. As M.T. Sections have been slack, the following
    have been built up from scrap:-
    1 - 15cwt.
    3 - cariers.
    2 - Jeeps.
    74 Fd. Regt. R.A. have been sending in one 25 pdr per day for
    overhaul. It is noticeable that out of the 19 guns overhauled
    from them, 4 barrels have been provisionally condemned. There
    is no clear reason why the proportion should be so high.
    The 9 KW 110V generator issued before leaving U.K. has
    been mounted on 15 cwt truck, as the standard mounting on 1 ton
    trailer seemed unsuitable. This generator has been invaluable.
    Before it arrived with rear party, X machinery lorry generator
    had gone out of action and it was found that the M lorry gen-
    erator would not drive both lorries on full load,i.e. without
    9 KW generator, there was no standby service of power when X
    lorry was out of action.
    The 9 HP petrol engine has not been fitted in servicing trailer,
    as from observation of another trailer, the engine vibrated badly
    and tended to heat up. It is satisfactory to work this trailer
    near the generator, on the electric motor. On the other hand, the
    portable washer cannot normally operate near the generator, and it
    is proposed to fit this with a motor cycle engine, similar to makers'
    civilian specification.
    ( continued on sheet 3 )
    Page 3 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    A great deal of textile work has been on hand, chiefly manufacture
    of shelters and penthouses. This would appear to be due to the fact
    that tentage has not been issued. It is a big load for 2nd. Line Wksps.
    which might have undertaken by civilian manufactifrers at home.
    Alternatively, full coach trimmers kit should be issued.
    2. STORES SECTION - see Appendix B for details.
    Stores Section are now unable to carry all their stores, due to
    the quantity of additional scaling which has followed. It is most
    desirable to have these stores. but at the moment they involve double
    There is difficulty in obtaining metal if it is not held in Stores
    Section or 150 Inf. Tps.Sub-Park, and it is thought that there may be a
    general shortage in the country.
    3. RECOVERY SECTION - see Appendix C for detail.
    This unit has an officer i/c Recovery Section. This has proved
    invaluable on detachments this month, as section have twice been asked
    to undertake recoveries which were dangerous and unjustified. Recovery
    Officer has been able to recce and refuse to risk vehicles until area
    was safe.
    4. GENERAL - Weather has been poor, and tarpaulins and sisal sheets have
    been used to build bivouacs. It would have been impossible to house all
    personnel satisfactorily without the sisal sheets issued for waterproofing,
    and is thought that some tentage should be provided.
    Page 4 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Wireless intercommunication has not been used or required,
    Standard 21 Army Group REME axis signs and pennants have not
    proved clear: rectangular board type signs seem to be the best
    answer, and some have been manufactured.