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    War Diary: 4th - 7th Dragoon Guards

    Month and year: October 1944

    The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards October 1944 War diary covers the units actions in the Netherlands around the Nijmegen / Bemmel area

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/838

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    Page 1 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    1Padre held Church Parade Service for those in the OOSTERHOUT area in the
    morning, and during the service flap warning was received, and the Regt.
    placed at an hours notice to move, but no move was made during the day,
    but Capt.D.J.B.Richards (OC "B" Sqn) had to make a number of recces with
    the DCLI.
    20800"B" Sqn. with the DCLI West of BEMMEL and remained throughout the day in
    that area. The Hun had put in an attack which met with a little success
    to the N.E. near. ELST.
    1500013/18 H relieved Sqn of their commitments with the DCLI. The Regt.
    less "A" Sqn. now under comd. 50 Div. "A" Sqn. remaining with 214 Inf. Bde.
    1900Commanding Officer held O Gp at which the following orders were issued.
    Information - Enemy approx. 30 tanks and 3,000 enemy are to the East
    flank of the Island. Included in these are S.S. Tps from 9 and 10-Pz.Divs.
    Own Tps. 50 Div. were now on the Island, and had the job of securing the Eastern
    flank in the BEMMEL area. 43 Div would stay on the Inland for the time being
    Page 2 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    2 Contd.The Regt. less "A" Sqn now in support of 151 Bde.
    Our intention - 151 Bde with Regt in support will clear area East of BEMMEL
    to HAALDEREN, our object being to cover the Inf. while they consolidate their
    positions, but taking every opportunity of shooting any Bosche they saw.
    Method. At a time - probably P.M. 3rd October at first light "B" Sqn would
    move to area near 8. DLI West of BEMMEL and in an emergency would support
    8 DLI. Attack will be carried out by 8 DLI and 6 DLI. "C" Sqn. when the
    attack had started would move into "B" Sqn area and OC "C" Sqn. would recce
    the area round the 9 DLI. RHQ would go with 151 Bde with the usual two
    3"B" Sqn moved out at first light to join 8 DLI at RESSEN, and stayed the
    day and night with them. As the weather was wet and dull the Typhoons
    attack could not take place. Therefore the 151 Bdes attack was postponed.
    Major I.G.Gill MC commanded "A" Sqn and Captain W.P.Riley "C" Sqn.
    The Commanding Officer and the Adjutant visited "A" Sqn area by 215 Bde in
    Page 3 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    3 Contd.the evening.
    41030"O" Gp. Brigadier G.E.Prior-Palmer called in the morning and gave the
    Commanding Officer certain information telling us that we should probably
    be on the Island till 7 October when we should go back and rejoin the Bde.
    S of NIJMEGEN, 2nd U.S. Forces were coming into the Island with Units of
    the 4 A.Bde. (the latter to take over 13/18 H commitments).
    Intention - The original attack which was postponed was to be carried out
    more or less according to the plan (i.e. 50 Div. clearing the Hun back E of
    BEMMEL and from the edge of the Orchard dominating the open ground NE of
    Method - DLI on right, 9 DLI on left, "B" Sqn. to support both Bns and on
    5 October 6 HLI would mop up HAALDEREN. Big fire support laid on and
    Typhoons. To-night "B" Sqn would lay back near 151 Bde. HQ and to-morrow
    would move out at first light to original position prior to shooting in the
    6 HLI. "C" Sqn would move out into "B" Sqn area.
    Page 4 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    4 Contd.1330151 Bde HQ would move up to the BEMMEL road just W of RESSEN where RHQ would
    move. Orders end. The attack went well and by 1800 hrs. all the Inf. were
    on their objectives, "B" Sqn. giving excellent support and killing a lot of the
    5"A" Sqn to the W had to send a Tp out to the ORPHEUSDEN area where the enemy
    put in a Coy attack. This Tp did good work and had a good shoot. "C" Sqn
    relieved "B" Sqn at 1000 hrs. "B" Sqn moving to reserve W of RESSEN, RHQ
    moved back to OOSTERHOUT.
    6"A" Sqn involved again with two Tps one of them carrying out successful
    indirect shoot at long range. "C" Sqn. saw the Inf into HAALDEREN which
    was occupied without any trouble though there was considerable mortar fire
    at times, and Lieut.D. Mann was wounded.
    1830"O" Gp. was held. "A" Sqn were to stay on the Western approaches, the Regt.
    remaining under comd 50 Div in reserve to support if necessary 151 Bde (to
    the right),508 Para. Regt. U.S. Army (in the centre) 160 Bde of 53 Div (on
    Page 5 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    6 Contd.the left). "C" Sqn would remain near RESSEN, "B" Sqn. staying in the
    OOSTERHOUT area and the Tac RHQ near RESSEN. All Sqn Ldrs had to carry out
    many recces of routes to be taken in case of counter attack or enemy
    penetration. Lieut-Colonel L. Williams formerly 2nd-in-Comd. and Sqn.Ldr.
    of "C" Sqn. now commanding 53rd Recce Regt. visited us.
    7Nothing to note.
    8Commanding Officer held a short Conference in the afternoon 44th RTR
    should be arriving soon to take over our positions. The Regt. did not
    leave the Island on the 7th October as originally promised.
    9Nothing to report. Little shelling near "C" Sqn. and Tac RHQ locations.
    1044th RTR relieved the Regiment, and the Regiment moved over the Bridge
    through NIJMEGEN to rest area along the South bank of the WAAL at WEURT.
    All personnel getting into billets of some sort.
    Admin conference was held, and maintenance and other programmes were laid
    on for next few days.
    Page 6 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    11,12,)The Regiment in WEURT area enjoying a rest and carrying out Maintenance etc.
    13,14,)On the 13th Sqn Ldrs carried out a recce with the Commanding Officer of the
    43 Div area SE of NIJMEGEN where we were to move on the 15th to relieve the
    15The Regiment moved to 43 Div area NE of MOOK, "A" Sqn. with the 129 Bde. and
    "C" Sqn. with the 130 Bde. "B" Sqn. being in reserve with RHQ in area S of
    16Nothing to report. Certain amount of enemy shelling occurred in the area.
    17Nothing to report.
    18"B" Sqn. relieved "A" Sqn. with the 129 Bde. "A" Sqn. carried out a rehearsal
    of tabloid demonstration to be given tomorrow to Brigadier, C.Os..and Coy
    and Platoon Comds of 130 Bde.
    The Commanding Officer held Conference in the evening. 8 Armd. Bde. less
    3 Armd. Regts. moved W to HORSSEN (West of NIJMEGEN) where they took over
    responsibility with the 12 KRRC and 43 Div. Recce Regt. for the Western
    Page 7 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    18 Contd.approaches S. of the River.
    19"A" Sqn. carried out demonstration for the Inf. in the afternoon comprised
    of the Echelon under the RSM playing the part of the Inf. The demonstration
    was successful in showing the desirability of only having one Tp up supporting
    two Platoons in an advance on 200 yd. front, with a second Tp behind as against
    one Tp with each Platoon. GOC 43 Div. (General Thomas) watched latter part
    of the demonstration. The Adjutant and I.O. attended the demonstration by night
    of Crocodiles flame throwers, and saw how the Inf. can work over the ground on
    to which the flame has been thrown. RHQ had a large number of shells landing in
    their area during the night, but the only casualties were two wounded and a 15 cwt.
    20Nothing to report. 8 Armd. Bde. Concert Party gave two performances which were
    very good. Captain G.R.W.Harker organized this party, turns being given by
    personnel from all Units of the Bde.
    21"A" Sqn. relieved "C" Sqn. of their duties with 130 Bde. in the morning.
    Page 8 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    21 Contd.During the past week Lieut. General B.G.Horrocks, C.B., D.S.O., Comd.30 Corps
    had given a talk to members of 43 Div. on the last big operation, i.e. advance
    into HOLLAND with a few details of the future. A few Officers, WOs and Sergts.
    of the Regiment were allowed to attend.
    22Nothing to report.
    23In the afternoon "B" carried out Inf. co-operation training in the
    Quarry with Tps of 130 Bde.
    24"B" and "C" Sqns. carried out plan with two Tps each with Inf. of 130 Bde.
    "C" Sqn. also carried out a shoot against a Panther target which Brigadier
    G.E.Prior-Palmer attended.
    25The Adt. returned with Major I.G.Gill MC from the 30 Corps Rest Camp. at
    ANTWERP having been lucky enough to have had a day's extension of leave,
    "C" Sqn. relieved "B" Sqn. of their duties with the 129 Inf.Bde, (the
    forward Bde) and "B" Sqn. went into reserve at MALDEN. REME inspection
    teams from Workshops who had been inspecting "B" and "C" Sqns tanks for
    Page 9 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    /overhaul programme continued their inspections to-day. "A" Son. carried
    out field firing with 129 Inf. Bde.
    26"B" and "C" Sqns REME inspections completed. "B" Sqn. in particular got
    a very good report for their maintenance. Sqns. recced new area at WINNSEN (near
    South bank of WAAL) W of NIJMEGEN, whereto Regiment was to move to-morrow for
    5 days rest.
    "C" Sqn. carried out field firing with 129 Inf. Bde.
    The Commanding Officer and Son Ldrs of 13/18 H who were. taking over from us
    to-morrow called in the morning
    27The Regiment was relieved of responsibility with 43 Div. to-day by 13/18 H
    and moved to rest area at WINSSEN. Some selected "C" Sqn. tanks went to
    8 Armd. Bde W/s in the evening for overhaul: 9 "B" Sqn. tanks should have gone
    to-day to 823 Tk Tp W/s at GRAVE but owing to delay in issue of W.D.Nos to the
    Sqn. this was not possible till following morning. REME"Z"lorry team
    commenced inspection of all wireless sets in the Regiment.
    Page 10 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    286 Officers and 130 O.Rs proceeded to the 8 Armd.Bde Rest Camp at LOUVAIN from
    where they could go for the day to BRUSSELS: duration of holiday 3 days
    including travelling.
    29The Padre held Service for Sqns. at which the 30 Corps D.A.C.G. preached the
    sermone. The Commanding Officer, 2nd-in-Comd. and Adjutant visited the SRY
    on the Island and found out details of our duties there when we relieve the
    SRY on 2 Nov. The Commanding Officer and Adjutant returned across the River
    using the Class 9 Ferry run by the REs. The Bde I.O. (Captain P.J.R.B.Barlow)
    called in the morning).
    30Another party of 6 Officers and 130 O.R.s went to the Brigade Rest Camp and
    the previous party returned to-day. The Commanding Officer and Major S.R.M.
    Jenkins MC also went on leave for 3 days. Major W.P.Riley immediate award
    or The MC was announced to-day. The Regiment had to supply by night at
    DEEST (near "B" Sqn a section to watch the river WAAL to the West. "B" Sqn.
    did this job last night, and the Recce Tp were to do it to-night and to-morrow
    Page 11 of 11
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    30 Contdnight.
    31Attached at Appx "A" are copies of the News: Letters for preceding periods.