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    War Diary: 6th Green Howards

    Month and year: August 1944

    The 6th Green Howards August 1944 War Diary covers their advance from La Figettes to Beaurgenier.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/1302

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    Page 1 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    FRANGEAug. 11100Bn left the rest area at LA FIGETTES, Map Ref 7672 and moved
    by TCVs into the CAUMONT area, to relieve the 5 Bn The
    Dorset Regt (130 Bde)
    2300Relief Complete with Bn HQ 719594 (LE REPAS) A Coy 741594
    B Coy 741595 (area BRIQUESSARD) C Coy 726601 and D Coy 719594.
    The relief of the 5 Dorsets took place later than it should
    have done owing to 7 Armd Div gaining priority to use the
    main rds. Not until 1930 hrs was the Bn able to move beyond
    21800As the reserve Bn, the Bn moved along the CAUMONT-BRIQUESSARD -
    AMAYE-SUR-SEULLLES rd, and occupied posns astride the rd in the
    area of LE MESNIL (7558) Move completed by 2030 hrs with Bn
    HQ 745593 A Coy 746587 B Coy 753587 , C Coy 748592 D Coy 749584.
    41630Bn moved into the area AMAYE-SUR-SUELLES (7757) and occupied
    positions on the high ground vacated by 7 Green Howards. Bn
    HQ 766577 A Coy 771580 B Coy 768576 Coy 769577 and D Coy
    51715Brig. F Knox, DSO and Capt Isaacs MC (Bde IO) lectured to all
    officers of the Bn at Bn HQ on the situation in Normandy and
    61600The Corps Comd, Lt Gen GB Horrocks, CB, DSOm MC. accompanied
    by the Brig visited the Bn and spoke to all officers and
    senior NCOs on the situation in Normandy and Brittany.
    1830The CO held the first of several short Conferences on the
    loading of the Bn's vehicles.
    Page 2 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    FRANCAAug 716002i/c, OC Sp Coy accompanied by 2i/c's A,B,C,D and Spt Coys
    proceeded by VILLERS BOCAGE to area NORTH of ONDEFONTAINE to
    make recce of Bn assembly area prior to the move fwd.
    2100C.O's Conference for all Coy Comdrs, IO, Adjt, SO, QM, RMO, 2i/c,
    and RSM. Details discussed for proposed move into Battle area.
    80930Bn left the area of AMAYE-SUR-SEULLES (7757) and moved to an
    assembly area via VILLERS BOCAGE, JURQUES and ONDEFONTAINE, at 784777
    90740Bn left assembly area in Troop Carrying lorries.
    0815Bn de-bussed and assembled near POSTY 8447.
    1030C.O's orders for attack.
    1230Bn moved fwd for battle, A and B Coys riding on tanks.
    1430A and B Coys got off tanks in area 853434
    1545H hr - start line on track 851427 - 856427.
    1630A and B Coys reached SAUCER - track 855419. C and D Coys
    ordered fwd to line SAUCER.
    Page 3 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France91700A and B Coys fighting near village of CRAPOUVILLE855414
    1745Resistance in CRAPOUVILLE overcome, A and B Coys moving forward
    together. 7 Green Howards, on left of Bn, had worked a similar line
    1830A and B coys, after fighting on high ground SOUTH of CRAPOUVILLE
    fell back to positions covering the village.
    2000C.O. confirmed that objective was now restricted.
    2130Contact re -established with C and D Coys. Position formed.
    100100One pl of D Coy went out on. recce patrol to BRIDGE 865407.
    Finding the bridge intact and not defended, they remained there
    until relieved by a pl of 5 E YORKS at 0430 hrs.
    Enemy MG's opened up at several points along the Bn front during
    the morning.
    2230A Coy moved forward to SPUR 866403 and relieved B Coy 5 E YORKS
    there. D Coy followed and dug in the area SOUTH of ROUSSAVILLE
    on A Coys left, 870405
    Page 4 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.102330A fighting patrol of A Coy went out and later established
    that the enemy was defending ST PIERRE LA VIELLE.
    110500Junction point with 7 Som L.I. established at 851413
    0530A further patrol of A Coy was sent out and confirmed that the
    enemy held PIERRE LA VIEILLE.
    0900A heavy concentration of shelling and mortar fire was brought down
    1100on A and D Coys ,D Coys especially suffering. They were also fired on
    by a tank and MG on their Ieft. During the afternoon and evening
    various warning orders were received for the Bn to move fwd
    in support of 231 Inf Bde.
    120001Finally the Bn moved out to an area round 876397, vehicles
    moving via CARVILLE 869428 and marching personel by roads and
    tracks, through 868406 and 874404.
    0045Marching tpts encountered heavy mortar fire, causing casualties
    including one killed near FARM 872405.
    Page 5 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.120130Marching Tps slightly disorganised by mortar fire and subsequent
    shelling of their route, reached their new area on time.
    0230Vehicle arrived, their entry into Bn H.Q. co-incuding with an
    attack on the HQ area by mortar or field artillery.
    0815The Bn moved fwd again to LES FORGES 876384, to form part of firm
    base for 151 Inf Bde attack eastwards. 10 PW gave themselves
    up to the Bn as it took over from the 1 Devons.
    0915Enemy mortars, field and 88 cm guns began a series of concentrations
    on the Bn area. This continued almost without intermission until 1900 hrs.
    13309 DLI attacked Eastwards from the Bn area. They mistook our fwd
    troops for an objective and sprayed them with small arms and
    tank MG fire, fortunatly without casualties.
    1700Bn ordered to move NORTH to picquet road NORTH of LES FORGES
    C Coy left at 1700 hrs and other Coys followed, D Coy with the CO
    Tac HQ leaving at 2030 hrs.
    Page 6 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.121700Cont. -- By 2100 hrs the Bn was in positions shown in Appx A.
    The road was frequently shelled by the enemy particularly
    round X-rds 276389, where A Coy were unable to dig in until after
    darkness had fallen. Maj Norton OC C Coy and three of his men were wounded
    by a sniper during this move.
    During the day the Bn RAP at 877387 did great work in coping
    with the stream of casualties from the Bn itself, 9 DLI and others
    using the road.
    130900Several shells, fired by British Artillery shelling ST PIERRE
    LA VIEILLE, fell in Bn area
    173012 reinforcements (OR's) ex Kings (Liverpool Irish) arrived at Bn.H.Q.
    2130Maj C.M.Hull, MC, 2i/c Bn, returned and resumed his duties vice
    Maj R. Lofthouse, MC, who resumed command of D Coy.
    News of the award of the Victoria Cross to CSM Hollis late D Coy
    received at Bn.H.Q. A telegram was sent to him by air
    Page 7 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.140800Bn left LES FORGES rd for rest area NORTH of MOUNT PINCON 8346.
    Here the Bn concentrated to check equipment and receive reinforcements.
    1900Capt JMB ISAACS MC, Bde IO, Lectured to personel of the Bn on the
    excellent war situation.
    15The Bn received a welcome allotment of bathing facilities.
    1900A performance by the TT concert party was given in the Bn area
    for the Bde personel.
    172000One Officer and 64 OR's arrived as rfts from Sth Staffs Regt
    ex 59 Div. By order of higher fmn they were all posted to C Coy,
    most of the existing , C Coy split up.
    180920Bn moved from rest area to a concentration area SOUTH of ATHIS 9127
    The Bn formed the advance guard of 69 Inf Bde and moved via
    VASSY 7934 and LE PONT 8529. The Bde was following up 11 Armed
    Div and no contact was made with the enemy. The new area was occupied
    at 1230 hrs.
    Page 8 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.190930The Bn moved a further short distance to LA CALNEILLE 9523,
    arriving without incident at 1015 hrs.
    1500Five PW's, Russian "volunteers" were brought into Bn, HQ by men of the
    local resistance movement, and were sent up to Bde, HQ. one of
    the PW's, identified from his papers as a vet, later returned to examine a wounded
    horse in Bn HQ area.
    201000Bn moved by MT to an area WAST of PUTANGES 1021.
    2110Bn made further MT move through PUTANGES to VAUX LE BARDOULT 1621
    which was reached at 0030 hrs, 21 Aug.
    210130The new area was occupied without incident, in heavy rain.
    1400Coys changed areas to secure hard standings for vehicles, as fields were
    becoming very wet.
    150016 reinforcements (OR's),ex 6 DWR, arrived and were posted to B Coy.
    Page 9 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.220800The Bn moved on in MT through ARGENTAN 2618 and EXMES 4545
    to a conc area 4845 where orders were given for a quick resumption
    of the advance. The Bn moved in at 1230 hrs.
    1315The Bn moved on with B Coy as Vanguard riding on taks. After
    passing GACE, forward troops passed through 159 Inf Bde near
    LA TRINITE des LAITIERS 6048 and henceforward the Bn formed the van of the
    "Liberating Army" except for armoured cars and recce units.
    1530B Coy reached ST EVROULT ND DU BOIS 6647, where the enemy had
    cratered the road at 671471. The route was passable with
    difficulty. B and D Coys, leaving, moved over on foot and occupied
    a covering position while essantial vehicles and tanks got
    round the craters. Several French civilians were injured by
    mines and booby traps but the Bn suffered no casualties.
    The enemy had left in the morning, in the direction of LAFERTE FRESNEL
    Page 10 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.221530Cont - All main roads NORTH and SOUTH of the village were
    picquetted with carriers and A TK guns, remaining Coys de-bussed
    short of the obstacle and the Bn moved on towards LAIGLE 7843
    after a delay of about 30 minutes.
    1700Leading troops reached cross roads 702472 and was ordered to halt
    and dig in for the night in this area, some four miles short of
    LAIGLA. The Bn had advanced 40 miles in a day, the last ten miles
    as leading troops. No enemy were encountered.
    1815A Carrier patrol under Lt Scholes reached the approaches of
    LAIGLE, was shot at by an enemy anti-tank gun and return with
    useful information. One carrier was hit and burnt out another
    Became bogged while trying to return cross country and had to the left.
    2000The Bn Completed occupation OI its position WEST OF LAIGLE.
    Page 11 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.230700The Bn continued to act as advance guard to 69 Inf Bde, with
    A Sqn 4/7 DG and other supporting arms under Command. B Coy
    still led. The route led NORTH of LAIGLE by X-rds 791467 through
    RUGLES 8548 and AMBANAY 8650.
    1000Recce and vanguard held up by Tellermines, then by road-block
    of felled trees. These obstacles were NOT defended and imposed
    only a shortdelay. A detour was eventually found by the CO,
    who was the first in the Bn to enter RUGLES.
    1230Leading troops entered RUGLAS amid tremendous enthusiagm.
    The inhabitants brought out wine and spirits, besides the bouquets
    and ribbons which had been showered on us all along the route.
    The Crowd impaired movement to some extent. All were dressed in
    uniform, if any, or best clothes. The main bridge in RUGLES was intact
    1400The vanguard was in position NORTH of AMBENAY 8650 and the remained
    of the Bn moved up to complete the position.
    Page 12 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.230500The first of several patrols was sent NORTH from AMBENAY.
    A troop of tanks and three Carriers produced three sheepish prisoners
    apparently Mongolians. This was the only contact made with
    enemy troops during this phase of the pursuit. Many reports
    of enemy were received from civilians and followed up, without
    result. Patrols combed the areas far NORTH and NE as LA NEUVE LYRE 8857
    and QUERNANVILLA 9555.
    241030Bn HQ moved a short distance to take advantage of buildings,
    as some shelter from the heavy rain was desirable.
    1715CO called to Bde HQ for orders. Thse were for a short move
    SOUTH of RUGLES, after which the Div was to advance on the right of
    43 Inf Div and take over the MANTES bridgehead over the SEINE
    from US forces.
    2200The above orders were cancelled by phone and the Bn remained
    at AMBENAY.
    Page 13 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.25The Bn spent a quiet day at AMBERNAY. Fine weather facilitated
    drying and general cleaning up.
    1715A Carrier patrol made a wide sweep of the Bn sector as far as
    931567 without contacting enemy, though some reports were received
    of his withdrawal on the morning of 25 Aug.
    260700The Bn was prepared to move, but owing to numerous traffic
    difficulties no movement was possible before 0910 hrs. Further
    confusion was met onthe way. The route was through US XIX Corp
    area and they had allotted the road to British troops for a
    limited time. However, by 1500 hrs the bulk of the Bn had moved
    through CONCHES 0060 EVREUX 1060 and PACY sur EURE 3667 to an
    area between PACY and BONNIERES 5067. Part of Support Coy
    arrived at 1830 hrs and the rest of this Coy was compelled to
    harbour on the road. The weather was glorious, and in spite of
    interruptions the town of the beautiful EURE countryside, peopled
    Page 14 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.260700cont - by friendly and generous allies, was much enjoyed.
    271900The remainder of the Bn, consisting of most of Sp Coy and the RAP
    .reached the Bn area. A very heavy thunderstorm during the
    night soaked the Bn.
    28The day was spent on PT, route marches and rest.
    291430Capt Gunn and 29 OR's ex 6 DWR, and 9 OR's ex KINGS (Liverpool Irish)
    arrived as reinforcements.
    2300The Bn moved off in MT. The night was fairly clear after a
    day of unbroken rain.
    300150The head of the Bn column reached the position bridge (SAUL)
    at VERNON. Movement was slow.
    0300After further delays owing to traffic ahead the Bn began moving
    out of its concentration area about a mile EAST of VERNONNET,
    in 4672. The last vehicle arrived at about 0530 hrs. Tracks
    and fields were very muddy.
    Page 15 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.300300cont- Searchlights were used to Create "artificial moonlight"
    which was of great assistance.
    1530The Bn moved on again, having received orders at rather sharp
    notice, this route was through MONTAGNY 6883 to BEAUGRENIER 6885.
    Here the Bn occupied the village and put out posts on the roads
    leading into it, though one tank had already passed through.
    1900Acting on a civilian report, the 2i/c and IO visited NUCOURT
    715797 where there was said to be a depot for assembling
    and storage of flying bombs (V1). The village was deserted.
    On the site were large tunnels with railway lines entering,
    overhead protection being of reinforced concrete up to 12th thick
    No actual missiles were seen but the apperance of the site
    confirmed the report. Civilians reported that the bombs when
    assembled were lauched from L'ISLE ADAM near PONTOISE
    Page 16 of 16
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    France.310700The Bn left BEAUGRENIER and moved still in MT, through
    CHAUMONT-en-VEXIN 7490 to VILLOTRAN 8598, and harboured in and
    roung the chateau there at 1400 hrs.
    The month began with the Bn Closely following-up forward units
    in the CAUMONT fighting. From 9 to 13 Aug it was engaged in the drive
    from AVNAY towards CONDE-SUR-NOIREAN in which the enemy lost
    heavily and was pushed steadily northwards. After a short rest
    the Bn took up the lorried pursuit role and were leading
    Allied troops from 22 to 24 Aug except for recce elements.
    Between 18 and 31 Aug nearly 200 miles were covered in MT moves.