War Diary: 7th Bn Royal Tank Regiment

Month and year: June 1944

Follows the 7th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment from Fort Gomer, Gosport water proofing the vehicles to their landing in Normandy and fighting in areas Cheux, Cully, Grainville-sur-Mer and Colleville.

National Archive Reference: WO 171/868

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Page 1 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Field 3 Major.W.R.Hughes posted to RAC Depot.
Strength of Unit 47 Offrs and 759 ORs, 1 Offr and 26 ORs (LAD REME)
plus Chaplain.
5 Lieut.G.R.Archer posted to 257 Corps Del Sqn.
6 D Day - Invasion of Europe began.
9. Lieut.D.W.Evans and Lieut.C.M.Bland posted to 2 Armd Rft Unit
10 Strength of Unit 43 Offrs and 722 ORs, plus 1 Offr and 25 ORs (LAD REME)
and Chaplain.
11 Unit started move to marshalling Area A.1.
15 Move to Marshalling Area completed. Bn HQ and tanks in Camp A19 (FORT
, GOSPORT) remainder in Camp A18
16 Preparations and waterproofing completed. Unit ready to move to embarkation
17 Strength of Unit 43 Offrs and 721 ORs, plus 1 Offr and 26 ORs (LAD REME)
and chaplain.
18 0415 hrs Unit started move to Embarkation Area at Gosport and embarked during
day on LCTs and LSTs. Bn HQ on LCT 802. 2100 hrs sailed - sea very calm.

Continued/Sheet Two.
Page 2 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Field 19 1000 hrs arrived off JUNO beach COURSEULLES SUR MER (T9885). Sea too
rough to land.
20 0200 Craft driven on beach by strong winds.
0600 Disembarked and proceeded to Conc Area.
1100 Bn HQ in Conc Area.
1200 Bn HQ in orchard at 884785 (Sheet 7F/1) just North of Brecy.
Rough sea prevented majority of unit landing
21 Rough sea prevented majority of unit landing
22 Remainder of unit landed abd concentrated. One LCT hit mine - six CHURCHILL
tks lost. Lts BARRET and BROWN wounded but rejoined unit.
Recce carried out for first operation - an attack on CHEUX.
23 Further Recces carried out.
24 Further Recces and final preparations carried out.
Strength of Unit less Residues 42 Offrs and 675 ORs plus 1 Offr and 22 ORs
(LAD REME), and Chaplain, Residue 1 Offr & 45 ORs.
25 0005 Unit moved to Assembly Area at 910755 (Sheet 7F/1) just south
2145 F Ech moved to FUP (which was also S.L.) on track 896708 to
26 0730 Fwd tps crossed SL, C Sqn with 9 Cameronians, B Sqn left with
Glas Highlanders and A Sqn and Seaforths in reserve. C.L. Track 899709
- Track junc 906692 - rd & track junc 906679 - CHEUX. Objective 100 ring
contour SOUTH of CHEUX.

Continued Overleaf.
Page 3 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Field 26 0800 C & B Sqn ran into minefiekd approx 400x south of Le Mensil Patry (9070
Sheet 7F1). C Sqn loosing 5 tks and B Sqn 4 tks. Lieut.C.B.Thompson
256570 wounded by a sniper and Capt.Webb wounded whilst changing tks. Adv
continued slowly.
1030 appx CAEN-FONTENANY rd reached.
1100 CHEUX village occupied and A Sqn & Seaforths called fwd to gain objective.
A Sqn engaged by enemy from right flank on line of CAEN-FONTENAY rd and
fwd slope of objective secured by 1630 hrs. Leiut.R.E.Barret 268997 killed.
2100 Bn released to fwd rally and formed laager at 899686.
Offrs. Casualties
Lieut Barret.R.E Killed
Capt.Webb.A.E Wounded
Lieut.Thompson.A.E. Wounded.
Lieut.Pattison.C.B. Wounded.
Lieut.Berry.S.A Wounded.
Lieut.Ward.D.L. Wounded.
Lieut.Bell.I.G.D (RAMC) Wounded.

Killed. 10.
Wounded. 16.
0500 C Sqn and HLI attacked to gain river crossing south of GRAINVILLE-SUR-ODON
but held up on high ground to south of CHEUX by Panthers and Mk.IV tks,
knocking out at least three enemy tks. Remainder of Bn moved to harbour at
908692, C Sqn rejoining Unit at about 1900 hrs.

Continued overleaf.
Page 4 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Field 27 ORs. Casualties
Killed. 1.
Wounded. 4.
28 Counter counter-attack roles recoenoitred.
1630 Bn (less C sqn) and 8 R.Scots formed up on SL rd CAEN - FONTENAY CL 90
grid line objective 900642. C Sqn remained in support of 4 S.L.I
Capt.Paul,Lieut.Muscroft and Lieut.Clapham joined unit.

ORs. Casualties. Wounded. 1.
1900 Fwd tps crossed SL.
2100 Contact with enemy made just North of GRAINVILLE 9064. Bn laagered
night 28/29 at 897657.
29 Objective gained during the morning but could not be consolidated. Enemy
opposition increased during the afternoon and objective changed hands
1800 Strong enemy counter-attack mounted by 1st.SS.Pz Div. The enemy gained
some ground and we lost 12 tks.
2100 C Sqn took up defensive position at 905674.
2200 Bn withdrew to fwd rally at 902685 to reform.

Offrs. Casualties.
Lieut.S.T.Offen. Killed
Lieut.P.Meadows. Wounded.

Killed. 1.
3 Missing, Believed Killed

Continues Overleaf
Page 5 of 5
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Field 30 1400 Bn moved fwd to relieve the 9.R.Tks in support of the inf at COLLEVILLE 9264.
C Sqn moved fwd to extricate inf from south of R.ODON and remainder of Bn
harboured at 918648.
Casualties NIL. Lieut.Clapham sick and admitted to hospital.

G.Gaisford. Lieut Colonel,
Commanding, 7th Bn. Royal Tank Regiment