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War Diary: 4th Bn County of London Yeomanry

Month and year: June 1944

The 4th Bn County of London Yeomanry June 1944 war diary starts with their move to the docks at Felixstowe, the loading of LSTs and LCTs to their landing in Normandy and fighting inland towards area Villers Bocage

National Archive Reference: WO 171/856

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Page 1 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
June 1 First party of Regt move at 1630 hrs to docks at FELIXSTOWE; loading of
LSTs and LCTs commences.
2 Loading continues.
3 Ships anchor in rivers ORWELL and STOUR when loaded.
4 Delay of 24 hours due to weather; remain at anchor.
5 Move out from river 0915 hrs, move along coast of SE England, passing
STRAITS OF DOVER in darkness.
6 D Day. Pass BEACHY HEAD in morning, arrive at bridgehead and anchor at
2200 hrs. Slight aerial activity. Some tks of Regt unload.
7 Aerial activity 0400 hrs. Landing continues by RHINOS and beaching.
Move to concentration area, area 813806. 3 AFVs drowned. 1 OR wounded.
8 For Orders see Appx A. CO makes Recce as ordered in instructions for
8 Jun, sent out evening 7 Jun. 4 CLY in suppont of 151 Bde. See Appx
Appx A Appx B.
B. Recce Sqn sent patrols out, no clashes with enemy. Patrols reach
area 810740. 1 OR wounded in action,
9 Regt remain in concentration area. Sqn Ldrs go out to recce battle posns
in support of 151 Bde. C. Sqn at 1900 hrs move up to support 6 DLI, 151
Bde, area 815740. No contact with enemy. Bde Comd issues orders for
move 10 Jun. Orders - see Appx C. Lt G.E. Moxon killed by shellfire in
Appx C
10 Regt advanced through 6 DLI area 813745; Recce Sqn leading, followed by
A Sqn left, B Sqn right, C Sqn reserve on centre line. Advance very slow.
C Sqn take up posn protection right, area JERUSALEM 8172. C Sqn KO MK IV
at 809719. Two Cromwells A Sqn KO'd by friends area 830720. Impossible
to cross stream SOUTH of rd, try to work round right flank.
Locations in evening:
B Sqn EAST of MARCEL 827694
A " 830705
RHQ 828707
Page 2 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
June 10 (cont) 1 Cromwell B Sqn KO in evening. Leaguer at 830707. One Coy Gloucester
Regt in support, who mine bdges at MARCEL (829693) and bdge at 833697.
Enemy infiltrated into BUCEELS during night.
Casualties: Lt G.Milford-Cottam wounded in afternoon. 4. ORs killed and
4 ORs, wounded in action. 3 Cromwell IV and 1 Stuart V KO.
11 Recce Sqn advance to bdges at first light. Bdges held by enemy, but kept
under observation. Attack by two coys Gloucester Regt on left-hand bdge.;
one coy Gloucester Regt with C Sqn in sp attack right-hand bdge. Both
attacks successful, and first objective, the rd parallel to river at 834695,
gained. A and B Sqns remain in reserve area BUCEELS. Two patrols Recce
Sqn pass through infantry., but held up at 839687 by two Panthers, one
disabled on rd and one covering. 2 Tp C Sqn go round to left and destroy
disabled Panther; infy with PIAT destroy other. C Sqn advance to short of
village TILLY-SUR-SEULLES in sp Gloucester Regt, who entered TILLY (8468).
C Sqn withdraw to outflank town to right; close country encountered and
one tp is ambushed area 832690 (3 Cromwells, 1 Firefly under Lt T. S. Vine).
C Sqn and Recce withdraw to battle posns NORTH side of river (830695) to
sp Gloucester Regt, who were being counter-attackced. Leaguer NORTH of
BUCEELS 830705.
Casualties: Lt T.S. Vine missing, 17 ORs missing, 2 ORs wounded in action.
12 Recce Sqn ordered to advance down CL. Order of march B Sqn, RHQ, A Sqn,
C Sqn. VERRIERES (815692) strongly held by enemy. Recce withdraw to
high ground to NORTH. B Sqn left in battle posns on ridge 810708-820712.
New orders in afternoon - Regt move at 1600 hrs to outflank to right.
Orders given verbally - see Appx D. Opposition encountered at LIVRY
Appx D
(735613). A Coy 15 Rifle Brigade attack, supported by B Sqn on right.
Village cleared by last light, Leaguer at Xrds 733817.
Casualties: Lt F.D. Mortimer wounded in action.
Page 3 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
June 13 Regt move fwd first light towards VILLERS BOCAGE (8157), A Sqn leading,
followed by A Coy RB. No opposition, and A Sqn reach feature EAST of
VILLERS BOCAGE (area 8358). Coln split at 823578 by two Tigers, RHQ
brewed up complete. A Sqn continue and take up battle posns. B Sqn
hold town, but unable to get through to A Sqn. A Sqn surrounded and
attacked at 1000 hrs by Tigers and infy. Call for immediate assistance,
but none could get through. At 1030 hrs, CO, who was with A Sqn, reports
posn untenable, withdrawal impossible. 1035 hrs all stations go off the
air. B Sqn ordered to hold village at all costs. 4 Tp B Sqn, with infy
and A tk guns under Lt L. Cotton, MM, after a 6 hours street battle, destroy
4 Tigers and 3 Mk IV, 1600 hrs. B. Sqn reports village still held by us, but
infy in area 820575. 1/7 Queens attack, but fail to clear opposition.
B Sqn Ldr (now acting CO) ordered to withdraw Regt to 780580. This
carried out without further loss. C Sqn cover withdrawal.
Major I.B. Aird takes over command of Regt, Major E.P.MacColl 2IC
Capt F.A. Jarvis, MC, commands B Sqn, Capt K. H. Hiscock commands C Sqn.
Missing: Lt Col The Viscount Cranley, MC (CO), Major A. Carr. (2IC), Major
P.M.R. Scott, MC & bar (A Sqn Ldr), Capt B.W.G. Rose (Adjt), Capt R.R.B.
Brown, Capt A.R. Smith, Lt D. Colvin, Lt W.F. Garnett, Lt D.L. Sellers, Lt
L.P. Hurley (UDF), Lt P.H. Strode, Lt R.S.A. Ingram.
Wounded:- Lt J.S.W. Simonds, MM, Capt H.I.C. MacLean (remained at duty),
Capt P. Dyas (remained at duty)
76 ORs missing, 5 wounded in action, 4 killed in action
xVeh casualties see footnote
14 Regt in reserve, two Tps forward covering A tk guns. Nothing during day.
2000 hrs enemy inf attack at 785576. C. Sqn go forward to seal break-
through. Enemy driven back with heavy losses. 2230 hrs posn restored.
C Sqn withdraw to reserve
xVeh casualties, 13 Jun: 20 Cromwells, 4. Fireflys, 3 Humber SCs, 3
Staurts, 1 1/2 - track.
Page 4 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
June 15 0015 hrs Regt withdraw to 730672. One Firefly drops out, but recovered
later. 1 Stuart V lost EA.
Still in reserve. Reorganisation on two Sqn basis. Nothing to report.
16 In reserve.
17 Shelled 0030 hrs.; 2 ORs killed, 2 ORs wounded.
Capt F.A. Jarvis, MC, to be Major, commanding B Sqn; Capt K.H. Hiscock to
be Major, commanding A Sqn (temporarily commanding C Sqn until arrival of
18 new CO). Lt L. Cotton, M.M, to be Capt.
A Sqn re-forms and organises on two tp basis.
19-20 NTR.
21 Recce by CO of battle posns of 1 R Tks, area 752645-756645-758651.
22 Recce by Sqn Ldrs of 1 R Tks area. New CO arrives 2100 hrs.
Lt Col Rankin takes command of Regt, Major I.B.Aird 2IC
Major E.P. MacColl, MC, OC C Sqn, Major F.A. Jarvis, MC, OC B Sqn
Major K.H. Hiscock DC A Sqn
23 B Sqn take over from 1 R Tks at 0800 hrs. Tps at areas 750645, 756645,
759651. Recce Sqn link tps at 750645 and 756645. Sqn HQ and reserve tp
at 742657. RHQ move to 745662. C Sqn in area 750661. A Sqn with
A 2 Ech area 733694 No enemy seen on B Sqn sector. B Sqn leaguer with
Recce Sqn at 742657.
24 NTR.
25 Slight mortar and MG activity on B Sqn. Cpl Hoar returned to our lines
26 Relieved by 8 H at 0800 hrs; moved to 746692. Offensive on Eastern
sector begins.
27 Moved to 748700 to make room for 56 Bde in the evening.
2/Lt K. Horsley, BEM, joined Regt from 59 Trg Regt, to B Sqn, 2/Lt T. Tunni-
cliffe from 57 Trg Regt, to B Sqn, and 2/Lt D.P.M. Evans, from 59 Regt to RHQ.
28 Recce by CO of possible battle posns in case of armd break through
Page 5 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
June Lt N.R. Cleaver joined Regt. to A. Sqn.
29 NTR. A Sqn still in process of re-forming.
30 NTR.