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    War Diary: 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers

    Month and year: June 1944

    The 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers 1944 War diary covers the unit embarking at Lyminton, landing East of Arromanches and fighting inland through Sully, Vaux-sur-Aure, Ellon and Buceels

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/1380

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    Page 1 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    APO11600Trg under coy arrangements
    21400ULO party left the Bn.Appx A:- AFs W 3008 - 9E
    21600Trg under Coy arrangements
    31430Bn left Marshalling Area to embark
    31730Bn embarked on 3 US Navy LCI (L) S at LYMINGTONappx "B":- Bn. Orders
    31900Bn arrived SOUTHAMPTON water
    4Bn spent the day on the docks where recreation was laid on for them.
    52030Bn sailed for FRANCE.
    61200"D" Day. Bn landed in FRANCE on the coast of NORMANDY one mile EAST of
    61700Bn arrived in Assembly Area. Fwd Body commanded by Major F.F.S. Barlow
    with "D" COY under comd cleared R.D.F. Station at map ref 814837.
    62350Fwd Body captured bridge at VAUX-sur-Aure and held it till the main body
    arrived. Bn established defensive locality Vaux-sur Aure. Active
    patrolling by enemy during the night twelve prisoners taken.
    Page 2 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    APO70515Bn continued advance to area 7881 and established a firm defensive locality
    forming part of the defensive perimeter of 50(N) Div bridgehead.
    70730"A" Coy detailed to capture bridge at SULLY ran into strong enemy position
    and having fought a fierce action was forced to withdraw to Bn Area.
    81215"A" & "B" Coys supported by one Sqn RTR one 6" cruiser, and one fd regt
    arty attacked CHATEAUX at SULLY. The chateaux had 14 ft concrete shelters
    with a defensive network of underground channels and pill boxes. It was
    held by about 200 Germans. "A" & "B" Coys showed very great skill and dash
    and on many occasions pls got right up to the chateaux. The battle developed
    into close fighting in the orchards surrounding the chateaux. Eventually
    "A" & "B" Coys were forced to withdraw owing to an enemy counter threat
    from the rear. They had taken 50 prisoners, 3 88 mm AA/Atk guns and
    inflicted numerous cas on the enemy. "A" & "B" Coys withdrew under fire
    to the East of the river where they were relieved by "C" Coy who held the
    position during the night. During this action Lt-Col CRADDOCK was
    Page 3 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    8wounded in the shoulder and Major F.F.S. BARLOW assumed command of th Bn.
    82230"C" Coy patrolled the area of the chateaux all night and by the morning
    reported that the Germans had vacated it.
    91100Bn patrolled areal North of a line SULLY - VAUX-sur-AURE and encountered no
    1600"C" Coy contacted 1st US Div left flank tps at SULLY.
    91600First enemy aircraft seen (Fockewolf 190) flew over Bn area.
    2030Enemy bombers attacked beaches,
    100830Bn comes under comd 7 Armd Div.
    0900Bn ready to follow up advance of 7 Armd Div towards VILLERS BOCAGE.
    1400"B" Coy, escorted by the Carrier pl moved fwd and took over bridges at
    794733 - 789728 - 784721 from the armour.
    2000"D" Coy moved fwd escorted by carriers and took over bridge at 784716.
    2030Bn moved fwd to conc area ELLON 8073.
    110045Coy Comds Conference.
    Page 4 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    110100"D" Coy established fighting patrol bridge 785707.
    0930"D" Coy took over bridge from fighting patrol and pushed fwd to try and get
    bridge at LA BELLE EPINE775690. They became involved in a tank battle
    and got pinned by enemy cross mortar fire and MMG fire. They also came in
    for some shelling probably from our own guns.
    1500OC "D" Coy returned with his coy to bridge 785707 as he could not get on
    16002 DEVONS on right had by now pushed on to LA BELLE EPINE and taken the
    bridge. They had also finished taking over the five bridges held by the
    1800By this time the whole Bn was conc in area ELLON ready to move up behind
    2130Recce Gp goes fwd to recce Bn pivot.
    2230Bn moved into pivot posn area BUCEELS.
    120530Bn withdraw to rest area JERUSALEM 8172. Day spent in organised rest with
    Page 5 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    120530a defensive position sighted.
    1900Bn Recce Gp moved to area BUCELLS to recce Bn defensive locality.
    Bn came under comd 50 Div.
    2000Bn moved in a defensive locality BUCELLS with under comd one tp. M.10 ATK
    23152 GLOS withdrew through Bn posn and the Bn became part of fwd tps 50(N) Div.
    2345Active patrolling during the night.
    130600Patrolling continued during the day.
    1400DLI attacked line TILLEY - VERRIERE through Bn position. Bn area and
    particularly Bn HQ came under accurate mortar fire which lasted for about
    three hours with spells of quiet in between. The RMO who had only
    just joined us from the Fd Amb was killed by a direct hit in the RAP.
    Padre was injured in the leg.
    2300DLI withdrew through Bn area. Patrolling during the night.
    140800Vigorous patrolling of enemy positions in TILLEY sur SUELLES. These patrols
    Page 6 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    14800were extremely good and in every case got right up to the enemy positions.
    The results of this infm influenced the whole course of the battle on the
    following day.
    1400Another attack went through the bn posn and succeeded in getting on to the
    TILLEY line at LINGEVRES and VERRIERE. During this attack the Bn area was
    shelled and mortared. One pl of "C" Coy patrolled in strength and got
    into TILLEY but had to withdraw owing to shell fire.
    1800"C" Coy took over part of the GLOSTERS area at ST PIZAIRE as the latter
    were called fwd to help the DLI attack.
    2300Active patrolling during the night.
    150800A patroll tried to get into TILLEY but found it re-occupied.
    1400The Bn handed over posn to 2 ESSEX and went back to rest area ELLON.
    161600The Bn rested and went into BAYEUX for baths. The Commanding Officer told
    the Bn that the Brig Comd and the Div Comd had been entirely satisfied with
    the conduct of the Bn since they landed and congratulated the Bn on their behalf.
    Page 7 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    17Bn rested all day.
    18Bn rested and CO attended Conference at Bde.
    19Bn rested and the CO went on a recce visit of offrs to 148 Regt RAC.
    201100Recce of emergency defensive localities by: CO and Coy Comds. Bn still
    210900Offrs and NCOs liaison visit to 148 Regt RAC.
    22Rest at ELLON.
    1430C of E Service.
    230900Recce party moved to area LA SENAUDIERE 7868 to recce Bn defensive posn.
    1015Bn arrived at LA SENAUDIERE and came under comd 69 Bde 50 (N) Div for ops
    only. Bn took over from 233 Fd Coy RE and thus filled a gap in the 69 Bde
    defensive posn. Bn dug in.
    2300Local patrolling during night to contact flanking tps.
    240900Commanding Officer attended Bde Conference for planning. CO went on recce
    of new battle area.
    Page 8 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    1400Fwd Coys under intermittent mortar fire and shelling.
    2300Contact patrols during the night.
    25Coy Comds recce of new battle area. Fwd coys shelled and mortared
    periodically, particularly bad at 1300 hrs. Maj G Dauncey took over 2IC
    temporarily in the absence of Maj JT Boon who went to B Ech with dislocated shoulder
    26Fwd Coys shelled and mortared.
    2300Rear Coys took over from fwd coys. Patrol activity during the night.
    2714006 GH attacked LA TAILLE on our left. "D" Coy sent a standing patrol out
    to observe LONGRAYE during this attack.
    2300"D" Coy patrol stayed out all night and were shelled badly but few cas.
    Patrolling active during the night.
    280830Bn moved out of posn to Bde conc area 747687. 7 GH took over posn.
    Spent day digging in and resting.
    29Rest in conc area. CO's recce of GRANVILLE battle area.
    Liaison with 1 RTR.
    30Coys practised working with 1 RTR C Coy gave demonstration for Div Comd.