War Diary: 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry

Month and year: August 1944

6th Durham Light Infantry war diary for August 1944 covering their advance from North of Bayeux to Amiens

National Archive Reference: WO 171/1290

The "References to Appendices" column for this document was empty so has been omitted.

All diaries for this unit:

Please use the contact us page to report any errors or inaccuracies.

« Return to war diaries

Page 1 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Ref: Map FRANCE 1/50,000 Sht 7F/1 CAEN 1 “A” Coy moved fwd and occupied house at 819664. Enemy had withdrawn during the night
and wes believed to be based on SERMENTOT 8163.
1000 Foot patrol from Carrier Section passed through “A” Coy fwd Pl, advanced about
100 yds along track and were fired upon by M.G.
1400 Snipers went out to locate and neutralise the M.G. post already mentioned.
They saw nothing but heard movement from house at 819642.
Sapper Pl discovered minefield of mixed A.P. and Teller Mines. 30 'S' mines
and Teller mines were picked up in Northern edge of field. Tracks in Bn H.Q. area
were swept clear of mines.
Patrol form “B” Coy reported house at 819642 not occupied.
2 P.Ws. taken by. 8. DLI and 231 Bde stated that their main force had withdrawn.
The Battalion was ordered to probe forward to line SERMENTOT 8163 to bridge
820628. This was carried out by. “A” Company on the right and “D” Company
on the left.
1130 “A” and “D” Coys established along road SERMENTOT - INGY. “B” and “C” Coys
moved up to give depth.
A section of “D” Coy under Lieut. A.R. Harvey went from “D” Coy H.Q. to make
contact with 2/5 Lancashire Fusiliers on left. They encountered a booby
trapped area and Lieut. Harvey and 4 O.Rs were wounded.
1600 A 15 cwt truck of “A” Coy was blown up by Teller mine on Bn area track at
820641, the driver and C/Sgt being wounded. The track had already been
swept by Sapper Pl, but this mine was buried at least 18 to 24 inches under
the surface.
1800 The Battalion dispositions were as follows:- HQ 817646, “A” Coy 815628,
“B” Coy 813633, “C” Coy 821636, “D” Coy 818628, “A” Ech 814675, “B” Ech 793685.
There was no opposition on the move forward, and no contact made with enemy
after the advance.
Major R. Galloway MC, wounded at VERRIERES, rejoined the Battalion and took over
command of “A” Coy.
Page 2 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
2 (cont) Capt. R.E. Evans appointed 2 i/c “A” Coy.
Capt. R.J. Bennet appointed 2 i/c “C” Coy.
Bde Commander informed C.O. that Bn was coming out of the line into reserve.
Bn to occupy area that it had just left.
3 0900 Company Commanders conference at Bn HQ to arrange details for moving out.
“B” and “C” Coys (rear coys) to move at 1000 hrs. “A” and “D” Coys (forward
coys) to move at 1400 hrs.
1400 Move completed. Dispositions as follows:- HQ 817646, “A” Coy 822657,
“B” Coy 815656, “C” Coy 827654, “D” Coy 822654.
The Sapper Pl continued clearing mines from fields on both sides of track
South from LE VESQUE 8164.
4 2100 C.O. at Bde ‘C’ Group. Plan to move West to area MONT PINCON 8345 to support if necessary an attack by 43 Division.
5 1000 C.O. at Bde ‘O’ Group. The attack on MONT PINCON successful, and our
support role cancelled. Now to be in support of 7 Armoured Division
operating in area West of THURY HARCOURT 9346. Bn at 2 hrs notice to move
from 1200 hrs. Move later postponed.
6 1100 The Corps Commander, Lieut. General Horrocks, spoke to officers and senior
NCOs of the Bn. (1) Congratulated 50 Div on its achievements in present
campaign and spoke of its high reputation in England. (2) Gave resume of
present situation with sidelights on enemy morale etc. (3) Ended a good
speech by telling the Bn that after a few days out of the line the Division
would be called on for operations in the near future.
1900 C of E Church Parade at Bn H.Q.
7 1200 C.O. at Bde ‘O’ Group. The Bde to move to concentration area near
Page 3 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
7 (cont) AUNAY-SUR-ODON 8351 to follow through attack by 43 Division.
Final objective CONDE-SUR-NOIREAV 8832. 6 DLI as Bde vanguard to be followed
by 8 & 9 DLI with 7 Armoured Division pushing down left flank and the Div
Recce Regt on the right.
1315 C.O. left to recce the new area.
1500 Battalion left area LE VESQUE and moved to area AUNAY-SUR-ODON in Bde convoy.
Route:- LE LION VERT 7964 - VILLERS BOCAGE 8157 to area 818512.
The devastating result of the R.A.F bombing effort on VILLERS BOCAGE a few
weeks previously was still in the process of being cleared when we passed
through.
Battalion to be prepared to move at 0300 hrs 8 August, to advance and contact
the enemy with CONDE-SUR-NOIREAV as final objective.
1930 L.O. from Bde to advise Battalion that time for move now put back to 1200 hrs
8 August.
Ref: Map 1/50,000 Sht 7F/3 AUNAY-SUR-ODON 8 0630 C.O. went to 7 Armoured Division at ROUCAMPS 8347 to get latest information
of their operation. Owing to the great mass of transport on the roads,
7 Armoured Division were held up South of MONT PINCON 8445. The Battalion
was unable to move at 1200 hrs owing to hold up.
1900 Battalion moved to assembly area at ROUCAMPS 833477, preparatory to making
a night advance.
2200 Night advance cancelled.
ROUCAMPS 833477 9 0630 Bde. ‘O’ Group. Bde to advance along area of main road South of LE PLESSIS
GRIMAULT
8444. Each Battalion to be supported by a Squadron of tanks of
13/18 Hussars, linked with creeping barrage of Artillery - 100 yds in
5 mins, throughout the whole advance as far South as LA CANNARDIERE 8542.
Start line - South of LE PLESSIS GRIMAULT to be crossed at 1200 hrs
0815 Battalion ‘O’ Group.
0930 Marching personnel of Battalion left area 833477 to proceed to forward
Page 4 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
9 (cont) assembly area on Northern Slopes of MONT PINCON at 843455.
9 DLI had taken over LE PLESSIS GRIMAULT during night 8/9 August.
0945 O' group moved forward to LE PLESSIS GRIMAULT to recce Start line and Forming
Up Point.
1100 Marching personnel moved from MONT PINCON to start line. The Battalion to
advance on left of road, “A” Coy right inclusive road, “B” Coy left, “D” & “C”
Coys in reserve. The Battalion was shelled almost continually in the forward
assembly area and on the move down to the start line - 1 officer & 4 Other
Ranks wounded (Lieut. P.D. White)
1200 Forward Coys crossed Start Line, and the advance went well under intermittent
shell fire.
1430 Objective at LA CANNARDIERE 8542 reached. Casualties were not very heavy
during the advance, but immediately after the objective was reached, very
heavy shelling of the whole area was suffered, resulting in many casualties.
Captain R.E. Evans was killed (“A” Coy). “B” Coy suffered most heavily,
being shelled and sniped continually and the men were prevented from digging
in . “D” Coy withdrew slightly from bottom of valley and occupied a position
in area 859430. Major J.C. Browne killed, Lieutenant R Atikinson wounded,
and Coy reduced to 1 officer and 34 Other Ranks. Three Sections from the
Carriers P1, on foot, moved forward to thicken up the position. Shelling
continued until stand to.
Locations then as follows:- “A” Coy 857425, “B” Coy 863424, “C” Coy 855430,
“D” Coy 859430.
Enemy tanks and Infantry were reported at CAUVILLE 8642
2215 Standing Patrol from Carrier Pl, on foot, established at 818424 on bridge.
Task - to give warning of approach and also to report on any movement of
enemy in area CAUVILLE. This patrol was heavily shelled before properly
settled and the Sgt i/c was wounded. Patrol withdrew slightly but re-
occupied the bridge again later. Nothing to report during the night.
Page 5 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Prisoners taken during the advance numbered approx 100 including 3 officers
from 276 Infantry Division - a motley collection of old and young.
The area had been very strongly held, but our Artillery Barrage had shaken
somewhat the morale of the defenders and they surrendered in batched of 20
to 30.
Total Casualties in Battalion:
OFFICERS:- Killed 2 ( Major J.C. Browne, Captain R.E. Evans)
Wounded 2 (Lieut. R. Atkinson, Lieut. P.D. White)
OTHER RANKS:- Killed 7
Wounded 53 (Of whom 3 died)
Missing -
The Battalion positions were secure at 2200 hrs, with HQ at 852437.
6 & 7 Green Howards had passed through at 1500 hrs and had secured the road as
far South as LE TREMBLAY 8141.
10 The C.O. was informed by the Bde Commander that the Bde would not move today,
but to be prepared to follow up behind 231 Bde passing through on August 11th.
The day was spent in salvaging equipment from the battlefield. A German
“Slidex” Code Book was found and passed to Bde. Examination of the ditch behind
Bn Hq showed that it had been held in considerable strength - estimated 1 Coy.
The enemy had been driven out by our Artillery barrage, leaving his equipment
behind. The equipment salvaged amounted to 5 Spandaus, 25 Rifles, and approx
10,000 rounds of S.A.A.
A heartening sight was the large number of our tanks lying up in the area.
11 0730 Bde ‘O’ Group.
Page 6 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
11 (cont) The Role of the Battalion was to follow up 231 Bde and to occupy area of the
orchard at 8839, the front to follow a line running WEST to N.E.
The 9 DLI was to occupy high features Pts 249 at 8938 and 262 at 9038,
followed up by 6 DLI.
Shelling of the Battalion continued intermittently all day, Major R. Galloway MC
and 2 O.Rs. being killed, Lieut. J. Whittaker and 8 O.Rs. wounded (1 died).
C.O. decided to disband “A” Coy, sub units of the Coy earmarked to join the
other Coys when the Battalion moved out - probably August 12 - and in the
meantime Captain R.J .Bennett assumed command of “A” Coy.
The attack made by 231 Bde during the day was unsuccessful, but a second
attempt was to be made at 1945 hrs under a heavy Artillery barrage to
try and reach the set objective - the high ground along the 250 metres
contour, in area 8637 to 8837.
2100 Battalion ‘O’ Group. The C.O. put forward two plans which Coys would have
to carry out. (A) If 231 Bde attack was successful, the original plan of
151 Bde (i.e. to Pts 249, 262 and orchard) would be carried out. (B)
If 231 Bde attack was not successful, 9 DLI and 1 Battalion, 231 Bde, would
attack and attempt to reach objective (250 meters contour in 8637, 8837).
6 DLI would follow up. 8 DLI would be prepared to follow through 9 DLI if
necessary.
The Battalion reorganisation on a 3 Coy basis would be:-
“B” Coy:- Major R.G. Atkinson MC, Lieut. R. Atkinson, approx 60 O.Rs.
“C” Coy:- Major F.C. Atkinson, Lieut. G.E. Howell, approx 60 O.Rs.
“D” Coy:- Capt. R.J. Bennett, Capt. R.G. Bateman, approx 60 O.Rs.
Ref: Map 1/50,000 Sht 7F/5 FLERS 12 0730 Battalion ‘O’ Group.
Page 7 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
12 (cont) 1330 9 DLI with in support 2 Squadrons 13/18 Hussars attacked features Pts 249
and 262. Subject to this attack being successful we are to advance from
present area to occupy orchard 8839 with the object of protecting left flank
of 9 DLI. The Battalion was put at 1 hours notice to move.
1600 The order to move was received from the Bde Major, and our carriers advanced
to occupy orchard at 8839. They encountered Spandau posts at 883397,
attacked and took five prisoners but failed to clear the wood.
The C.O. was informed by Bde Commander that a Squadron of Tanks was available
to assist in our advance, and with these and “B” Coy on the left, “C” Coy on
the right the Battalion advanced. No fire support other than from tanks was
given owing to the proximity of other troops.
1900 The attack went in and objective reached by 1930 hours. “B” Coy suffered
2 casualties, “C” Coy captured 2 prisoners and claimed 5 killed. “D” Coy
then moved up, and the Carrier Pl in an Infantry role moved to the right of
“C” Coy. The axis of the Battalion advance was subjected to very heavy
shelling, Capt. G.B. Hawkins (who died later) and the I.O. Lieut. N. Myers
being wounded.
Other casualties were:- Other Ranks - Killed 4
Wounded 9
Missing 1
Battalion HQ was established at 873399. The Battalion held the position.
Ref: Map 1/50,000 Sht 7F/3 AUNAY-SUR-ODON 13 151 Bde relieved by 129 Bde (43 Div) and came into Div reserve.
1200 The relief completed and the Battalion moved back in transport to a rest area
at MAUNAY 8247 with Battalion HQ at 833476.
14 The Battalion rested and parties were transported to “A” Ech for baths
Lieut. G.A. Patterson assumed duties of I.O.
Page 8 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
15 Preparations were put in hand for future operations, kit was renewed, and
the cleaning up programme continued. The Bde Commander made an informal
round of the Battalion during the course of the morning.
Parties from each Coy attended cinema shows in the afternoon and evening
Capt. L. Attenborough, Lieut. W.T.A. Davey and 14 O.Rs. rejoined the Battalion
from hospital.
16 1300 C.O. and Q.M. went to conference at Bde HQ.
Entertainment facilities were enjoyed again by the Battalion.
Capt. L. Attenborough posted to “D” Coy.
Lieut. W.T.A. Davey appointed 2 i/c “B” Coy.
17 C.O. attended ‘O’ Group at Bde reference move in support of 11 Armoured Div.
Capt.D.M Corbett appointed 2 i/c “C” Coy.
Ref: Map 1/100,000 Sht 7F CAEN-FALAISE 18 Major K. Wood appointed O.C. “D” Coy.
Capt. L. Attenborough appointed 2 i/c "D" Coy
C.Os.’O’ Group Plan - Bde to follow up behind 11 Armoured Div in Battalion
groups - 8 DLI leading, followed by 6 and 9 DLI groups to protect left flank
of 30 Armoured Bde when and where necessary.
0930 Advance Party (composition OC “HQ” Coy - Capt. A. E. Short, ‘I’ Sgt and I representative
from each Coy in ‘I’ Sec 15 cwt ) departed to recce new leaguer
area at ST HONORINE LA CHARDONNE 932279.
1025 Main body moved off. No ontoward happenings on route, passed through very
excellent countryside especially the valley of CONDE-SUR-NOIREAU 8832.
More well carried out.
1130 Advance Party arrived in new area.
1420 Main body arrived in new area.
1700 C.O. to Bde ‘O’ Group. Battalion to be prepared to move to new leaguer area
MEGUILLIAM 0223. Pockets of enemy believed to be in and around forests NORTH
NORTHEAST of PUTANGES 1921 and ARGENTAN.
Page 9 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
18 (cont) 1900 Advance Party moved to recce new area.
2200 Advance Party returned from recce.
2315 C.O. at Bde ‘O’ Group - Change of Plan. 29 Armoured Bde to take. Southern
route to ECHOUCHE as bridge at PUTANGES was blown. 8 DLI to cross and
make bridgehead.
ST HONORINE LA CHARDONNE 932279 19 Our Advance Party, while making reconnaissance of our new area, contacted
5 O.Rs. from 3 British Division (near COURTEILLES 1322) who had escaped
from a retreating German Pioneer Battalion whilst it was being straffed.
The O.Rs, had been captured in the VIRE Sector on night 14/15 AUGUST.
They stated that the Germans had been travelling in circles and in complete
confusion, and described the chaos and low morale among the Germans. Their
general impression was that the better class of German Infantry had got away,
leaving behind Russians, Greeks, Poles to more or less fend for themselves.
On the previous day, (18 August) the road East from and including COURTEILLES
was jammed with retreating transport, horse-drawn and M.E.T. Half-tracked
vehicles. had been stripped of their tracks and were now running on the bogies.
In places the road had been so congested that the ex- P.Ws. claimed to have
seen the retreating enemy climbing over the tops of the vehicles.
Treatment from the Germans was considerate and courteous, but the food was
very poor. All personal belongings except letters and documents but including
money etc were returned to them. They were promised good treatment - light
farm work and outdoor sports in a German P.W. Camp.
The ex-prisoners said that, but for the German officers, they could have
marched off the whole Battalion back to our lines. The Germans were filled
with the unholy dread of our Air Power and Artillery.
0530 The Advance Party left for new area.
0615 Advance Party arrived new area. Main body due to leave from 0500 hours onward.
Page 10 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
19 (cont) 0900 C.O. at Bde ‘O’ Group. Battalion to revert to the original plan. A
Battalion of Monmouthshires had established a bridgehead over the river at
PUTANGES without opposition, and the 29 Armoured Bde were to push through as
soon as the R.Es. had completed the bridge.
1030 Main body moved off to new leaguer area at CHATEAU 022235.
1130 Battalion arrived in new area, but expected to move forward to Pt 237. Map
Ref 082206 after 1600 hours if 8 DLI pushed through PUTANGES.
1345 The Advance Party moved off to recce new area at COURTEILLES 1322.
1500 Two German prisoners taken in a barn by “S” Coy.
Two French Gendarmes reported that a party of Germans was in a forest near our
area. Capt. I.A. Daw MC with one Gendarme on Carrier searched the wood but
without success.
2100 No further move today.
2330 Advance Party returned from recce.
CHATEAU 022235 20 0700 Advance Guard moved off to COUTEILLES 1322.
As leading Battalion in a semi-tactical move, the Battalion was split into
two groups - an advance and the main body.
Composition of Advance Guard:- O.C. Major K.Wood, Carrier Pl, 1 Seo
Mortars, Carriers, 1 tp 13/18 Hussars, 1 Sec 505 Field Coy R.E., “D” Coy
in T.C.Vs, the. Ambulance Jeep.
Composition of Main Body- Bn ‘O’ Group, Bn HQ, “C” Coy & “B” Coy in T.C.Vs,
Mortar Pl (less one Sec) A/Tk Pl, 1 P1 505 Field Coy R.E. (less one Sec)
0720 Advance Guard arrived new area.
0745 Main Body moved off, taking the lead from 8 DLI.
1100 Main body arrived in new area 133224. Nothing to report on the route.
1610 Recce Party moved off to area 2323.
1815 Main Body moved off.
Page 11 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
20 (cont) 1915 Recce Party arrived in new area.
1930 Main Body arrived. Bn HQ in OCCAGNES 229231.
Our tasks to clear parts of woods to N.W. of our area Map Ref 2425.
Heavy rain commencing in the late evening lasted throughout the night, making
conditions very unpleasant.
Seven prisoners were brought in, two together from a village one of whom
was Turkestan and unable to speak the language of his German friend.
The remaining five were brought in by Capt. I.A. Daw MC on his return from
patrol.
A fair amount of M.E.T. was observed knocked out on our route to this area,
and small numbers of German dead found in the woods, probably killed by
our Artillery.
OCCAGNES 2323 21 0730 Rain ceased, and “B” and “C” Coys commenced to clear wood in VORCHE area 2425.
No contact was made with the enemy, although fair numbers of dead were found.
On completion of wood clearing, the Companies were to take up new positions
in EAST VORCHE area.
1030 On the track from OCCAGNES to VORCHE, Capt. L. Attenborough and his driver
in jeep were blown up by a prepared charge. Two further charges were found
by 505 Field Coy R.E. in same area.
Rain again hampered operations.
1330 All Coys in new area VORCHE. Bn HQ had not yet moved when orders were received
for the Battalion to move to area BON MENIL 3223 joining the Coys en route.
1430 Advance recce party left for new area.
1510 Main Body moved off. On arrival at BAILLEU 2824, it was found that the road
BAILLEU - BON MENIL was impossible owing to the remnants and debris of a
German Column blocking the road and surrounding area. The rifle coys debussed
and marched to their areas, and the Battalion transport moved via LE TELLIER
2821 and CRENNES 2921.
Page 12 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
21 (cont) 1730 Advance Recce Party arrived in new area.
1800 Main Body arrived in new area BON MENIL 3223.
Units of 80 U.S. Div were holding positions around BON MENIL and our duty was
to relieve them next day. The Americans had been steadily shelling CHAMBOIS
4051 and the surrounding forests, and just after our arrival w white flag was seen
to the North and then a steady stream of Germans appeared. A few more shells
were sent over and more Germans appeared, resulting in a haul of over 300 German
P.Ws.
2130 C.O. at Bde ‘O’ group Intention tomorrow that 8 DLI move to position at
ST EUGENIE 3322, 9 DLI push on to CHAMBOIS 4051, 6 DLI to remain and establish
P.W. Cage. Recce patrols to be sent out to areas N & N.E. of CHAMBOIS.
Today a total of 26 P.Ws. were taken by the Battalion.
BON MENIL 3223 22 0900 C.Os. ‘O’ Group.
Sun shining again after heavy rain.
1000 U.S. Forces Captain arrived at Bn HQ with certificate in duplicate which he
required the C.O. to sign, showing that we had taken over from the U.S. Forces.
1210 On U.S. troops vacating their positions, our Coys took up tactical positions
and Bn HQ moved into village BON MENIL.
1400 Bde ‘O’ Group. 6 DLI to move to area North of FOUGY 4049 and 8 DLI to 4048.
9 DLI in CHAMBOIS 4051. 69 Bde to lead. No T.C.Ls. available, and rifle Coys
have to march.
1430 9 Dorsets arrived to relieve us.
1500 Marching personnel moved off.
1530 Battalion transport moved off.
1615 Battalion arrived in new area and HQ established 405495.
20 P.Ws. taken today (3 from 6 Coy TT Bn 84 NEBELWERFER REGT).
1700 News received that Allies were in PARIS.
Page 13 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
22 (cont) Further operation orders were received that Battalion would move to area
BOURTH 9242. 11 Armoured Div would move on to LAIGLE 7842, 9 DLI would
effect a river crossing there and clear the woods EAST of the town. 9 DLI
would lead, followed by 8 and 6 DLI.
Ref: Map 1/100,000 Sht 8/G MARTAGNE - NOGENT LE ROTROU 23 1045 Battalion moved off to area Bourth 9242 preceded by recce party.
1700 Battalion arrived in area LE PONT THEBOULT 964468, EAST of BOURTH.
1/100,000 Sht 8F LISIEUX - BERNAY. Task-to clear woods bounded by two roads to BRETEUIL 0048 and road running at
right angles to both to VERNEUIL 0038. The rifle Coys began this task, with
one detachment of the Sapper Pl to each Coy to clear tracks. Nothing was
found and the task was discontinued when darkness fell.
We were the first English to arrive in this area, and at first the local people
took us to be Americans, but on finding their mistake we received a tremendous
welcome. They said they had been unable to understand the Americans.
Bde Commander informed C.O. that we would probably remain 3 days.
News received that Roumania had accepted Russias peace terms.
One P.W. from 12 SS Panzer Division brought in by C.M.P.
LE PONT THIBOULT 964468 24 0745 Wood clearing was continued but nothing found.
43 Division passed through our area today.
1100 Advance recce party at 2 hours notice to move. This party was to consist
of 2 i/c, Coy Commanders and to be self supporting for a few days.
Major G.L. Wood DSO, MC was also to be in charge of the whole Bde Advance Party.
News received that Romania had declared war on Germany.
69 Bde now N.W. of us at RUGLES 8548.
1500 Bde ‘O’ Group. Orders received for move. Start point 9339.
Move to area near MANTES GASSICOURT on River SEINE where we would be met by
guides from the U.S. Forces. Object:- To take over the bridgehead from the
U.S. Forces and hold it whilst ll Armoured Division passed through.
Page 14 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
24 (cont) The afternoon was spent in general cleaning up and baths were provided at
“A” Ech.
1730 C.Os. ‘O’ group - Advance Party to be prepared to move at daybreak tomorrow.
2300 Message received that move of Battalion was postponed until further orders.
25 No move today. Time spent in general recreation.
47 Reinforcements expected but did not arrive.
2100 Warning Order received to move at 0500 hours tomorrow.
Tactical Advance Party cancelled and original recce party substituted. No
supporting arms with Battalions. Destination - PACY SUR EURE 3665.
Ref: Map 1/100,000 LOUVIERS - EVREUX 26 0500 Advance Recce Party left.
0526 Main Body crossed Start Line, Order of March: 149 Field Ambulance: Headquarters
151 (Durham) Infantry Brigade: 6th -8th -9th Durham Light Infantry.
0830 Arrived new area PACY SUR EURE 3665
1400 Approximately 6 German aircraft appeared NORTH of our position, believed
strafing, and one of our Artillery Air Reconnaissance Planes was shot
down. Our AA fire was intense but no results were observed.
2100 News received that BULGARIA had declared herself Neutral and was disarming
and interning German troops entering from ROMANIA.
The weather today was excellent and the RAF took good advantage of it.
Since our arrival the noise of Artillery fire has been audible to the
NORTH EAST of our area.
PACY SUR EURE 3665 27 After another very wet night the day turned out to be very sunny and dry.
Church Parades were held in the morning. The opportunity was also taken
to assemble a Field General Court Martial for the trial of several cases
which had been pending.
1400 HQ Company went out on a route march.
Page 15 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
28 The weather cleared after night of thunderstorm, and training was carried
out under Coy arrangements.
1330 2 Officers and 116 O.Rs. arrived from 10 and 11 DLI as reinforcements.
The officers were Capt. C. Harrison and Lieut. S. Seggie.
1500 C.O. at Bde Confference.
1800 C.Os. Conference - Probable stay in this ares - 48 hours. New Plan -
30 Corps to consist of 2 Recce Regts, 2 armoured Division, 1 armoured Bde,
50 Division all directed on Amiens. On left would be 12 Corps consisting
of 7 Armoured Division, 43 Division ( When finished making bridgehead over
River SEINE). The Canadian Forces would advance along the Channel Coast.
On the right, the 19 U.S. Division would advance and deal with the Flying
Bomb Sights.
Today, 8 Armoured Bde passed through 43 Division. Tomorrow, 231 Bde would
go through 43 Division, then 11 Armoured Division through 231 Bde followed
by the Guards Armoured Division, and then 50 Division. Our task again
would be to protect left flank of 11 Armoured Division.
“A” Coy was once again reformed with Capt. D.M. Corbett in Command.
Ref: Map 1/100,000 Sht 9E NEUF CHATEL-ROUEN 29 1030 Warning Order received to move at 1700 hours.
Weather again very wet after a good night.
Capt. D.M. Corbett assumed Command of “A” Coy.
Capt. G. Harrison assumed Command of A/Tk Pl.
Capt. R.J. Bennett assumed 2 i/c “C” Coy
Capt. W.T.A Davey assumed 2 i/c “B” Coy
1400 Battalion ‘O’ Group. Battalion to move to area of HEUBECOURT 4978 on other
side of River SEINE.
1900 Battalion arrived area HEUBECOURT 499783
C.O. was called to Bde and given orders that the Battalion would move to area
TOURNY 4983 and take up defence positions around the village.
2030 Recce party moved off.
Page 16 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
29 2100 Battalion moved off.
2130 Recce party arrived in new area.
2145 Battalion arrived in new area. Locations:- Bn HQ 496833, “A” Coy 500844
“B” Coy 486836, “C” Coy 492826, “D” Coy 492847.
2245 Battalion ‘O’ Group - Tomorrow Coys would move forward in bounds as part of
left flank protection to the Armour.
30 0915 Recce Group moved off to area GUITRY 4986.
0945 Battalion moved off.
0935 Recce Group arrived in new area.
1015 Battalion arrived in new area. “D” Coy moved on to MOUFLAINES 9050, “D” Coy
passed through to LE THIL EN VEXIN, “A” Coy passed through to DOUDEAUVILLE
5498. Bn HQ remained in HACQEVILLE 508942.
1300 12 P.Ws. taken by “B” Coy in LE THIL EN VEXIN
1415 1 P.W. taken by “A” Coy.
1615 1935 Bn HQ moved by to DOUDEAUVILLE, and as Coys moved forward Bn HQ again moved
to LE MESNIL SOUS VIENNE 601048.
The enemy were reported to be in LE FOREST DE LYONS but on a search
being made by “B” Coy nothing was found.
Location:- “A” coy 5904, “B” Coy 6208, “C” Coy 6410, “D” Coy 6006.
On the way up to this area , the I.O. Lieut. R.C. Patterson was handed
at LONGCHAMPS 5602 - two letters by a Flight Sgt BROWN who had come down in
the area on 8 JULY 44: He wished them to be censored and sent to his relatives
in England. The Flight Sgt had been very well looked after by a French
family and well supplied with food and cigarettes through the Resistance
Movement. He was full of high praise for the Army boys, a great tribute
from the R.A.F. !!!
Map AMIENS 31 0830 Battalion ‘O’ Group. Battalion to move on again in support of Armour.
AMIENS having our objective, and our task to defend bridges there on the SOMME
The Battalion concentrated at LES FLAMMANTS 6208.
Page 17 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
31 (cont) 1045 The Battalion moved off with “B” Coy in the lead.
The route taken was LES FLAMANTS - NEUFMARCHE 6308 - ST GERMER 6810 -
SENANTES 7315 - HANVOILE 7617 - CRILLON 8018 - BEAUDENUE 9135 - FLEURY 9541 -
DURY 0752.
En route it was noticed that the Maquis were out in numbers clearing woods
and shots were very frequently heard. When we entered CONTY 9841 there was
a small battle going on in a wood between the enemy and the Maquis. “C” Coy
was directed by the C.O. to lend a hand. Later a party of approx 50 enemy
were seen marching towards the main road bearing a white flag.
Further orders were received by the C.O. to go forward to AMIENS.
1610 The Battalion continued on its journey to AMIENS.
1720 Arrived area DURY to concentrate at 083545.
News received that 7th German Army Commander, Gen Von Hauser, had been captured
in AMIENS.
1915 Six enemy shells landed 700 yds West of Bn HQ. Casualties were 1 O.R. killed
and 6 Wounded.
C.O. went forward to arrange the taking over from 51 Bde which was already
in AMIENS. With Coy Commanders he also made a reconnaissance of the area
to be taken over by Coys.
2055 Bn HQ established at 104577. "B" and "D" Coys took over the defence of the
main bridge, their locations being 106587 and 614585 respectively. “A” and
"C" Coys were in reserve with "A" Coy at 610576 and "C" Coy at 603581.
A tremendous reception was given us by the civilians as we entered the City.
Apparently the enemy had just moved out that morning at 0700 hours, but approx
100 were still holding out in the Citadel. They however surrendered after
we shelled the Citadel.
The Maquis and French Police seemed to enjoy helping out C.M.Ps. to march
the prisoners through the streets. The prisoners were a motley collection
of Mongols, Russians, Turks etc and all looked pretty well down-trodden.
Page 18 of 18
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
31 (cont) A column of collaborators was seen being marched by the Maquis through the
streets to have their heads shaved, most being females both young and old.
Capt. I. A. Daw MC and his Carrier Pl were given the task of guarding the P.W.
Cage at BUYON 0449.
Total Casualties for the month were:-
Officers killed 3
wounded 11 (of whom 1 died)
OTHER RANKS:- Killed 23
Wounded 88 (Of whom 6 later died)
Missing 6
In the Field Oct 1944
Lieut-Colonel
Commanding 6th Bn The Durham Light Infantry.