War Diary: No 3 Commando

Month and year: June 1944

The No 3 Commando WW2 war diary for June 1944 covers their encampment at C18 in Southampton UK, their landing in Normandy and months fighting based at Chateau d'Amfreville.

This document contained appendices which have not yet been transcribed but will be added in the future.

National Archive Reference: WO 218/65

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Page 1 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
C.18 Camp 1 Briefing of all ranks.
2 Briefing for Operation.
3 Briefing for Operation.
4 10 Church Parade for all Denominations.
5 1030 Brigadier The Lord Lovat, DSO, MC. addresses whole Brigade.
WARSASH AT SEA 1400 Unit embusses in TCVs and proceeds to WARSASH.
1630 Unit embarks in LCI(S) 289, 290, 291, 292 and 293.
1730 Flotilla slips and ties up at CALSHOT.
1900 Flotilla slips and ties up at STOKES BAY.
2130 Slip and sail in convoy with Force "S".
6 0830 In convoy hove to off beaches of NORMANDY. Sporadic shelling by enemy.
Monitor and warship in area replying.
0905 Touch down after run-in, the last half of which was under shell fire. LCI(S)
289 and 290 hit near the beach - both in sinking condition. Some casualties
in 6 Troop (LCI 290). Further casualties occur on beach. Beach under
shell fire. Commando form up under C.O. and move. to first check point.
0930 Bde 46 set DIS.
10 Contact 45 (RM) Commando in Bde first F.U.P. A11 troops in less one section
of 6 Troop. Only one Vickers and one mortar. Area of F.U.P. being mortared.
Enemy rocket propelled projectiles land to WEST of F.U.P. Lt Cowieson
treated for wounds and sent back to beach. Major JBV Pooley MC joins, and
reports his batman missing. He himself is suffering from blast.
Page 2 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
LA BRECHE 1110 Adjt contacts B.M. near COLVILLE. Posn just NORTH of COLVILLE had held
up 6 Commando but now eliminated. Bde now pushing on with help of 13/18 Hussars.
1200 45 (RM) Commando reach COLVILLE, followed by this Unit. COLVILLE being shelled desultorily.
1230 Move on to Bridge - 1074 - 5 Troop and remainder held up by snipers (one
O.R. killed). C.O. meets Brigadier. Role now changed to defence of BAS
under Brigadier Powett with 6 Airborne Div.
1530 3, 5, 4, 6 and some of 2 Troop across the bridge and taking up defensive
posns at BAS DE RANVILLE. A.O. with Admin staff also arrive.
1540 Lieut Wills arrives with one jeep.
1600 Lieut A. Wardle reports 1 Troop HQ and remainder of 2 Troop crossing Brdge
under smoke.
1715 4 enemy tanks reported on contour SOUTH of cross roads 104727. Engaged by
Airborne 3" mortars. 5 Troop have laid Hawkins 75 mines across the road
1800 Snipers reported in village. Sporadic shooting but no snipers found. Bde
report Lieut Ponsford and 3 Troop in LE PLEIN with remnants of a Para Bn.
1830 Tanks reported to have withdrawn from ridge to SOUTH. F.O.B. directs 20
rounds on Enemy Infantry digging in at 092721, front edge of wood from HMS
1900 Residue of 5 Troop under Cpl White report attack going in against 3 Div on
WEST side of River ORNE. C.O. returns from visiting HQ of Brigadier
Powett and reports R.U.R. landing by glider at 2130 hours tonight to relieve
us. We are then to revert to 1 SS Bde. 4. Commando captured OUISTREHAM.
2000 German fighter-bombers fly over one village - no aggressive action.
2050 Gliders towed by D.Cs start to came in, (Troop carriers)
2115 Large gliders carrying A/T guns and tanks coming in, towed by Liberators.
Terrific fighter cover. Considerable L.A.A. opposition from the enemy.
Page 3 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
BAS DE RANVILLE 6 2220 Bde want 2 i/c or Adjt to report to Bde immediately to recce night posn.
7 0005 2 i/c returns. Unit to hand over to R.U.R. and go to area SOUTH of Bde HQ
and to be in posn by 0430 hrs.
Activity from SOUTH . 3 Casualties from 1 Troop. Tanks and Infantry reported.
0230 CAEN area bombed by our heavies.
0315 C.O. 2 i/c and Troop Cmdrs leave by jeep to recce new area.
0330 Unit leaves by road (march route) for new area.
0430 Troops allotted areas. HQ established at 114746 in orchard.
0800 ORQMS Wardle visits Bde HQ for posns of other units.
0900 Bde I.O. reports some A/Tk guns to be placed under command.
0915 B.M. and A/Tk Officer arrive. C.O. goes with them to site two guns, one
with 4 Troop and the other with 5 Troop.
1000 Raid by enemy fighter bombers on beach area.
1015 Airborne Battery of 75 m.m. Fld Guns open fire from field next to our posn.
1100 4. ME 109's fly over - no offensive action.
1300 Message from Bde - "2 i/c with two Troops to support 45 (RM) Commando in
their attack on FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE. 4 & 5 Troops set off with 2 i/c, F.O.B.
and C.O. with party of RAMC under Sjt Spears.
See Appx 'A' No's 3 & 4
1415 Enemy Battery ranging on our guns in adjoining field.
1445 Shells and mortar bombs falling in our area.
1500 Reported - "tanks seen in numbers on SOUTH ridge SOUTH of RANVILLE"
Stragglers of RUR and DEVONS coming back. 6 Troop astride road with two
6 pdrs in support. HQ in stand-to poses astride road. 1 Troop bring
section into field. MTO mounted on jeep with ,55 Browning (camouflaged
under glider) covers gap between 1 Troop and HQ.
1515 Adjt visits Lord Lovat who has organised Bde HQ in better posns.
1545 4 Tanks burning SOUTH of RANVILLE.
A coy of DEVONS join us for a short time and then go back to RANVILLE.
1615 RANVILLE reported in our hands. Shermans reported to be in action.
Page 4 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
BAS DE RANVILLE 1710 Adjt visits 1 Troop. All O.K. Vickers covering gap between 1 & HQ Troops
1730 Adjt sees Brigadier and advises him to stand his staff down,
1900 Adjt stands half HQ down. F.M.A. at 111747 - rear of our HQ - has tried
to get more ammn for Airborne 75 m.m. from MOLAR. Our S.P. guns firing
heavily on WEST side of RIVER.
2000 Commando ordered to close on Bde HQ. Adjt to Bde to receive orders from
Brigadier for unit to take over defences at CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE with Lt-
Col Otway O.C. Para' Bn he has only 80 men.
2100 Lt-Col Young and 4 and 5 Troops having taken MERVILLE. 2I/C killed, 4. and ,
5 Troops suffered almost 50% casualties. Lieut A. Williams missing.
2200 Commando arrives at LE PLEIN and takes over defences. 1 Troop and HQ with
one Vickers defend CHATEAU. 4 and 5 Troops rest in garden. 6 Troop on
rd junc 130755.
2400 Lieut R.C. Herbert DCM MM takes out patrol. Desultory bombing and firing
of small arms during night.
8 0400 Lt Herbert's patrol returns and reports no enemy encountered,
0430 Stand To.
0530 SITREP from Bde HQ. "45 Cdo in MERVILLE, Enemy Pln posn being dug in area
144732. Half tracks reported in front of 2 Troop posn."
0730 Adjt visits Bde HQ. - 6 Troop to move forward to eastern tip of wood.
0945 Bde HQ warn us that Bn attack is imminent from area 138758 - rd 130755 -
140751 towards us.
1000 Captain Goodall , F.O.B. (HMS HUNTER) arrives and goes to 6 Troop. 3 A/Tk
guns arrive en route for MERVILLE,
1013 6 Troop report enemy infantry advancing astride rd 130755 - 140751. 3 Troop
informed of this. One Vickers moved up from CHATEAU to support 6 Troop in
counter-attack. 3" mortar O.P. with 6 Troop.
1020 Field Regt ranging in front of 6 Troop's posn.
Page 5 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 8 1100 6 Troop and 4 Commando engaging enemy at close range. Field Regts, HMS
HUNTER and 3" mortars also engage enemy,
1130 6 Troop counter-attack - drive enemy half mile - take 35 P.O.W. Completely
destroyed one enemy coy (346 Inf Div) which had travelled 200 miles since
invasion. Captain J. Alderson wounded. Lieut R.G. Herbert DCM MM killed.
Sjt Dennis and others wounded.
3 Troop harass enemy with vickers and 3" mortars.
1200 6 Troop withdraw, reorganise and return to original posn.
Heavy fire from Field Regt in support.
1230 All posns intact. 6 Commando have one Troop in support on right,
1300 B.B.C. correspondent Chester Wilmot calls.
1400 1 Troop patrol under Lieut J.F. Nixon NC report woods clear on SOUTH side
of wood LE PLEIN running EAST.
1530 Lt A Wardle and patrol from 1 Troop report NORTH side of wood clear.
1600 Adjt recovers Lt Herbert's body with help of 6 Troop.
1700 Standing patrol established in forward edge of wood - NORTH side.
1730 Lt R.G. Herbert buried in garden of CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE. Brigadier The Lord.
Lovat is present at the service.
1800 Lt Nixon reports two enemy with 2" mortar on other aide of rd. Instructed
to capture them.
2115 Alarm - 6 Commando reported. being attacked. We are ordered to send out
fighting patrol WEST of LE PlEIN to clear woods possible infiltration by
enemy. Patrol to return to 6 Cdo lines about 2355 hours.
2130 Lieut G. Pollard MC MM with patrol reports to Brigadier to receive instructions
2200 Lieut Nixon reports his enterprise to capture a German having failed owing
to our own, mortar fire. He had subsequently to retire owing to this fire.
2400 Lt Pollard returns - nil report.
9 0515 Stand To
Page 6 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
1115 Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater DSO RA and Lord, Lovat visit HQ.
1130 Sjt Bartlett to report to Bde HQ forthwith,
1255 Reported NAAFI rations will come today,
1300 First Line Reinforcements arrive at Bde HQ.
1500 Troops must not use horses.
1520 First Line reinforcements arrive and are posted to Troops.
C.O. informed by 3 Troop that their bicycles were left, some in the area of
beach and some on the road SOUTH of LE PLEIN,
1553 Message quoting lay-out of mines received from Bde -"Minefield layout from
SOUTH side of rd up to first line of trees and bushes 122756, cross rds
Sheet 7F in line with rd. block" All Troops informed.
1558 Sjt Leyland reports that he has been informed by local inhabitants that there
are 200 enemy in area of church at BREVILLE - Bde informed.
1600 SUNRAY 1 Troop says trip flare plan not yet laid. Will be done later.
1610 Bde say disciplinary action will be taken by Brigadier against anyone using
local water for drinking without sterlising. All Troops informed.
1620 French Civil Affairs Officer visits C.O. and as a result C.O. puts room in
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILIE 'out of bounds' to all ranks and for use of owners.
1628 Warning order from Bde -"Two Officers and 30 ORs for fighting patrol 2230hrs
to 0230 hours", 5 Troop are warned and told to rest,
1725 1 Troop patrol machine gunned from the air - no casualties. As a result
enemy on the route notice them. OC patrol to try to capture one for
identification but to risk no casualties in themselves.
1800 6 Airborne Div Intelligence Summary No 3 arrives,
1845 SITREP from 1 Troop - Patrol returns with nothing further to report,
Orders for 5 Troop patrol arrive from Bde, Passed to OC 5 Troop.
1850 News sheet sent to troops,
1900 Locations of enemy weapons being used by us sent to Bde and 4 & 6 Cdos.
128756 LMG 34 - 129755 2 LMG 34, 3 Carbine, 2 Scheimeisers.also in this area.
Page 7 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 9 1900 130755 LMG 34 131754 LMG 34, 128753 LMG (Russian).
2053 Alarm on left flank. Bde want SITREP at 2100 hours. Various rumours of
2115 4 Commando report their being attacked. Troops ordered to stand to.
2123 4 Troop ordered to take fighting patrol 500 yds WEST of our posns. 6 Troop
ordered to stand to in a counter-attack role.
2135 4 Troop patrol leaves. CHATEAU manned.
2141 6 Troop arrive in HQ. C.O. holds them there.
10 0135 Posn restored to normal
0500 5 Troop patrol to SALLANELLES report no enemy seen.
0830 Major Menday (4 cdo). asks for more support.
0900 Odd groups of enemy moving across front of 1 2 & 3 Troops.
0930 S.P. gun reported firing from 136748. -2 Troop instructed to engage with 3"
0945 F.O.B. ordered to engage S.P. gun.
0955 C.O. reports S.P. gun sited 137750. Shells landing 130751. Bde HQ informed
Casualties reported in FDLs. S.P. gun reported back in the posn four degrees
right. 6 Troop posn now shelled. 1 Troop say they have no casualties.
1015 2 i/c visits 4 Cdo as enemy infiltrating. 1 Troop report one casualty.
1020 1 Troop report 3 casualties.
1025 S.P. gun reported moving from 137752 to 136747
1110 Captain Harper-Gow and one other officer arrive from Bde
1112 A.D.M.S. arrives at HQ.
1127 12 P.O.W. pass through HQ escorted by 6 Cdo personnel - reported to have been
taken in woods immediately on our left.
1130 Enemy moving (Pln) NORTH through wood in front of 2 Troop posn. Both patrols
from 1 Troop return. Nothing to return.
Page 8 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 10 2100 Message from Bde "Dead must be reported with 6 Fig map ref" - passed to
M.O. and Padre.
1 Troop report L/S Short, Trp Hemp and a French soldier wounded.
1150 4-Commando reported being shelled and mortared.
1155 Shelling and mortaring in our area (Approx 10 rounds). 1 Troop request jeep
for lying casualties.
1200 Tele Camfield (FOB's party) wounded, 4 Cdo Troop under Captain Hutchinson
in front of 1 Troop, Adjt visits Major Menday who has been hit, C.O.
arranges to put 1 Troop in the CHATEAU in front and on left of their posns.
1215 1 Troop take over CHATEAU. 6 Troop take over 1 Troop's posns, Shelling
1240 SITREP from Bde - "Attack appears to be in 2 Bn strength with three prongs,
left prong more or less shattered by 4 Cdo who have caused heavy casualties
to enemy".
2 Troop report attack. One enemy (Polish) surrenders, Enemy infantry
appear to have withdrawn.
1440 Bde H.Q. state Shermans in our area - no accidents please,
1445 15 enemy reported at 115764 by 4. Commando.
1510 Shelling recommences on 6 Troop's posn, OC 6 Troop arrives HQ and says
enemy infantry in front have 'packed up', He wants to change posn - C.O.
agrees providing he does not move, back.
1643 3 Troop want jeeps to fetch wounded.
1650 O.C. 1 Troop (10 Cdo) arrives to meet guide from 4 Cdo. Both depart,
1650 More shelling on 1 Troop's posns,
1710 Casualties reported - 28 all ranks, 1 Troop's strength is 1 and 32,
1740 OC 3 Troop arrives and reports 10 casualties and strength 30 all ranks.
1800 C.O. arrives from Bde and states he has been allotted two S.P. guns to use
against SALLANELLES and LONGUEMERE. He will take two jeeps manned by party
from 5 Troop as escort.
Page 9 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 10 2100 C.O. departs on patrol to SALLANELLES.
2105 2 i/c departs on patrol to LONGUEMERE.
2240 Sjt Maguire returns and is ordered to report to Bde. Says SALLANELLES evacuated
by enemy. Some own and enemy wounded left behind. He returns from Bde
and is sent with Padre (Captain C. Pritchard Cf) and jeep to bring in the
9 Pare, Bn pass through to take over from 4 Cdo who are going to rest.
2300 17 P.O.W. incl one Officer return from SALLAEELLES.
2305 D.R. arrives to say that shells in C.Os S.P. Gun uncapped and may burst
2310 C.O. returns and reports that he went through SALLANELLES. That enemy
left SALLANELES AT 1600 hours.
11 0430 Stand to.
0600 Bn Black Watch attack BREVILLE.
0630 1 Troop (45 Cdo) to clear SALLANELLES under Captain M Woyevodsky. One S.P.
Gun to shell houses at LONGUEMERE.
0700 Major Hopson with one S.P. Gun starts for LONGUEMERE. S.P. Gun crosses
Hawkins mine near CHATEAU gates and a track is damaged.
0730 Major Hopson with other S.P. gun goes to edge of wood at 135754 and shells houses
at LONGUEMERE. They are covered by patrol from 6 Troop under Capt Nixon.
Enemy in BREVILLE put up 5 c.m. mortar smoke.
1000 ORQMS Wardle becomes Lieutenant and Adjutant Wardle.
1200 Patrol returns from SALLANELLES with-wounded and prisoners. Pill boxes
to N.E. still occupied by the enemy.
1645 Sjt Edmunds and five others buried in orchard CHATEAU d' AMPREVILLE.
2000 Cmdr 4 SS Bde arrives at 1SS Bde. 47 and 48 Cdos coming into line to relieve
2100 12 Para Bn relieved and pass through our lines.
Page 10 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 11 2130 Own shells fall in FDLs.
2133 Severe mortaring of HQ. Captain B.D. Butler MC and five others killed. Lt
T.N. Skelly and three others wounded.
2235 Bde conference of mortar Officers.
12 0030 Lt Pollard and patrol from 4 Troop to SALLANELLES woods.
0200 2 i/c visits FDLs.
0930 Command Post transferred to CHATEAU d' AMFREVIILLE. O.C. 1 Troop brings
in 88 m.m. shell which landed behind 6 Troop's lines. Shell sent to Bde HQ.
1150 Visit by Major Menday from 4 Commando.
1335 Message from Bde HQ. "Fighting patrol approx weak Troop strength to EAST
side of wood Sq 1476 -, 1475 to act as flank guard to V.E.G. Patrol to go
out at once. To remain out until 1700 hrs and return through our FDLs. To
patrol vigorously.
1340 Code names for place names and report lines have been compromised and will
not be used.
1430 No 1 French Troop put under Cmd, brought back into reserve at CHATEAU. 4
Troop take over their posn and are placed under comd Captain Bartholomew.
Exchange not to take place after return of 3 Troop patrol.
1510 Artillery on BREVILLE.
1625 3 Troop patrol has reached its objective.
1725 Major B.D. Butler and five others buried in garden at CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE.
1725 C.O. and Sqdn Leader/Major Wormersley of 13/18 Hussars come on recce for
assault on BREVILLE by 12 Para Bin. Carry out recces with 2 i/c and select
five posns to support the attack from the orchards EAST of 5 Troop posns.
1830 4 Troop change porn.
1930 French Troop back to CHATEAU. Changeover now complete.
2100 Bde say “Ensure all rds kept clear between 1700 and 2300 hrs . All informed.
Page 11 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 12 2100 Major Hopson leaves to contact 13/18 Hussars to guide tanks as Sqdn Ldr
cannot be found,
2120 C.O. and fighting patrol of 50 (found from 1, 3 & 6 Tps) with Capt Nixon
and Lieut Ponsford leave.
2145 Barrage on BREVILLE commences - Shells fall short in 6 Cdo's FDLs. Brigadiers
Lovat and Kindersley seriously wounded. Major Hopson places tanks in
orchard which open fire on BREVILLE and BREVILLE woods. Result of barrage
is terrific - many fires.
2200 Fire is moved to bear on BREVILLE woods.
2215 Infantry seen to enter village. Little opposition.
2230 Shell fire (or mortar) on 3 Commando's posns. 2 i/o returns to HQ and
receives near miss.
2300 1 Troop reports; Armour going into attack - being heavily shelled. Send
stretcher for one casualty.
4 Troop area being shelled. 1 Troop lines under shell fire.
2313 6 Troop's lines under enemy shell fire.
2314 Message from Brigadier "I have become a casualty but I can rely on you not
to take one step back - you are making history." Sent to all Troops.
2317 Message from 5 Troop Send us jeep immediately.
13 0050 One POW brought in. Nationality Polish. Regt is 8/58 Grenadier Regt. He
says his Bn has only approx 80 man left. 3 Bn should have relieved 2 Bn.
He was in BREVILLE tonight when 12 Para Bn attacked. According to him
they were routed. POW has been forwarded to Bde.
0120 2 i/o and RSM leave to inspect HQ posns and French Cdo Troop's posns.
0220 First party of night patrol return - Medical Officer and Signals.
0230 Lt Ponsford and his party return with 3 POW. Says he picked them up on rd
153765 just outside GONNEVILLE.
HQ and 6 Troop arrive back from patrol. No casualties.
0300 Captain Nixon reports to Command Post.
Page 12 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 13 0322 C.O. returns from patrol. All patrols have now returned safely.
Names of POW captured by 3 Troop
Hermann LEHMANN (Gerfreiter)
Julius HAAG (obergerfreiter)
All of 6/857 Grenadier Regt.
0335 C.O. sends message to Bde "Shall I come now or wait until later in the morn".
0855 Captain.Marting. calls. to see C.O.
0900 Captain Woyevodsky calls on C.O.
1035 Message from Bde : "Intelligence personnel, calling to collect exact FOL."
1040 Enemy A/Tk elements reported in GONNEVILLE.
1055 Visit by Lt.Col BLACK ADMS SS Group.
1240 Weak enemy shelling commences on our left flank. 3 shells, one every ten
seconds with break of sixty five seconds between salvoes.
1430 Lieut-Col Mills-Roberts calls to see C.O.
1645 Major Hopson and O.C. 3 Troop leave on recce patrol.
1730 Burial of casualties.
1835 Major Hopson and party return
2155 Standing patrol at farm 144764 was surrounded by approx 40 enemy. Patrol
withdrew - 4 men left behind. Own aircraft bomb this area. One man returns
to report this.
2200 Message from Bde "Recce patrol to area 132749-137749. Warn Para Bn"
2220 Major Hopson and fighting patrol leave.
2350 Enemy aircraft bombing the. area.
2357 Bombs now falling close to our posns.
15 0015 Bombing appears to have ceased.
0330 Bombing has begun again.
0345 Major Hopson and party return to lines. Surrounded party have also returned.
Page 13 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 14 1035 The following counter-battery tasks have been engaged during that last two
days. GONNEVILE area by fighter-bombers and rocket ships. Battleships
directed by aircraft on VARRAVILLE area. Cruiser area shoot on 13 Jun.
Battleship shoot on 14. Jun directed by aircraft.
1140 Message from No 4 Cdo : "Rifle shots heard from area wood 1375".
1835 Message from Bde "Two recce patrols, one of 4 men and one of 5 men will leave
this HQ by the following route. First - 139763 to rd 149760 thence SOUTH
of GONNEVILLE to VARRAVILLE. Second - BREVILLE wood 152743 thence NORTH of
BREVILLE to VARRAVILLE. Both patrols will return by own respective routes.
Both patrols will leave HQ at 2230 hours and return approx 0400 hours.
Part of patrol may not return until night 15/16 Jun."
1929 C.O. leaves for 6 Troop.
2215 C.O. leaves on patrol with 6 Troop.
15 0120 Message from 1 Troop: Strong enemy patrol in front of lines. Am standing to.
1000 Enemy shells falling in Commando area. French Troop patrol leaves for
LONGUEMERE and also standing patrol for cross rds and beyond.
1230 Patrol returns. Report that patrol moved along in direction of BAS DE BREVILLE, searched buildings at cross rds 143752, passed jump and were fired on by small arms and mortar. Patrol withdrew leaving standing patrol at
1245 Major Hopson leaves with Lt Hunter to site A/tk guns.
1345 Major Hopson returns.
1430 1 Troop reports shells falling in their area.
Two snipers sent out to contact enemy - L/Cpl Machin and Trp Leedham"
1530 A patrol consisting of two Officers and 30 men being sent out by 4 Cdo. Will
return through, our lines.
Page 14 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 15 1715 Message from Bde: "The following areas are being mined to be completed by
1800 hours 16th. 1. Through wood from pt 12847604 to 13047606
2.From pt on road 13047604 to rd June 13167610.
3.Dummy minefields are being prepared. Areas will be
notified later."
1725 Captain Bartholomew made patrol from LE PLEIN to 144750.
1900 C.O. and party leave to watch mortars fire, on many posns NORTH of BREVILLE.
2030 C.O. returns and than leaves for Bde.
2110 4 Cdo have orders to stand to because of concentrated fire On 47 Cdo on left.
2230 French Cdo sent out fighting patrol to search cross rds 144752.
2300 Patrol of one Officer and 12 ORs from 4 Troop left cross rds 144752 to
ambush enemy. Should return at first light
16 0139 High Authority warns us that there is indication that attack may be put in
by enemy from SOUTH and NORTH EAST about 0400 hours today. We standby to
report all developments.
0550 1 Troop reports spasmodic rifle fire in front of posn coming from direction
of wood. Otherwise all is quiet.
0605 6 Troop SITREP - Nothing to report.
0715 Message to 4 Cdo - "Other than spasmodic rifle fire nothing to report."
0730 1 Troop report half of Troop standing down, All quiet.
0755 7 more mortar bombs landed on right of 1 Troop's posn,
0815 Message from Bde : "SUNRAY's conference ordered for today postponed".
0935 Message from Bde - "Report received says enemy halted between ESCOUVILLE
and HEROUVILLE and that enemy is trickling back in twos and threes. Attack
was on Bn scale. Satisfactory slaughter is reported. Enemy may try again
1330 1 and 6 Troops send patrol to LONGUEMERE FARM.
Page 15 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 16 1430 Message from Bde; "POW states attack being made on BREVILLE supported 150
aircraft. RAF support has been asked for between 1400 and 1500 in area of
GONNEVILLE - LE BAS BREVILLE - PETTIVILLE. Everyone will be warned to
show identification to British aircraft."
1445 1 Troop report enemy mortar smoke on farm.
1500 Patrol reports being in posn and that mortar fire is coming from area BREVILLE.
1540 Patrol reports - "Sniping from our left rear".
1600 Patrol reports - No sign of enemy
1610 Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater DSO and Captain C.S. Head MC visit C.O.
1633 Report states enemy cleared from HEROUVILLETTE AND ESCOUVILLE and still
slowly withdrawing.
1655 6 Cdo cannot go to LONGUEMERE tonight as we have got patrol there.
1700 Brig Durnford-Slater and Captain Head leave,
2300 Message from forward troops - All quiet and nothing to report.
17 0440 Message from Bde : "About 40 enemy reported at 133712. Keep look-out for
similar parties which may be about." This message sent to all Troops.
1140 Lieut Cunningham brings his patrol report to C.O.
1200 C.O. goes to Bde HQ.
1325 Three shells landed in 1 Troop area - coming from direction. SALLANELLES,
1330 Lieut Lockley (3 Tp) and Lt Pollock (5 Tp) are warned for patrol tonight.
Each will take five selected men (volunteers) from own troop. One German
speaking intelligence man will accompany each Officer. Lt Lockely will
patrol GONNEVILLE area and Lt Pollock CARREFOUR area.
1340 Shells falling in our area coming from northerly direction.
1336 Shell report sent to Bde HQ.
1400 Shells are still falling in our area,
1425 Captain J.J. Selwyn MC 13/18 Hussars calls on C.O.
1500 Visit by RM Liaison Officer from Bdo. Established that certain personnel
posted as missing are actually killed and buried in G.R.U. area.
Page 16 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 17 1800 C.O. visits 6 Troop.
1830 6 Troop patrol relieving 45 Cdo patrol at LONGUEMERE FARM.
Pioneer patrol section under L/S Wilson and with Sjt Denham (MM) and
covering party go to clear path through wood ahead of posns in readiness for
Major Grey's (45 Cdo) attack tonight.
1915 I.O. at Bde confirms two German speakers reporting to us 2100. One per patrol.
2035 L/C Machin and Trp Leedham report having covered area of power house and rd.
Started out three hours ago. But for snipers and A.A. fire coming from rt
rear of farm in the area of gliders there is no sign of Germans.
2122 No 45 Op ardor Arrives.
2300 5 Troop want to warn RUR that they have patrol going to LONGUEMERE.
2320 5 Troop send in details of patrol and these are forwarded to Bde with a
request that RUR be warned.
2350 RUR warned re your patrol tonight - received from Bde.
18 0300 Message from Bde "Between hours 2115 - 2200 hours 18 Jun own aircraft will
be seeking out and bombing battery posns along rd NE from LONGUEMERE to LE
; Own patrols will not operate within 1000 yds of this line
between 2000 and 2300 hours. Time to be notified later of registration of
R.A. targets by air observation of area N.E. of LE GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON.
Own patrols to await notification, of time before starting out."
0445 C.O. leaves to go on patrol.
0550 No 45 Cdo's Operation off.
1030 Unexploded bomb in 6 Troop area. Captain Holmes informed - says he will
take action immediately.
1115 Bde message states "Detain all civilians having cards signed "LT Michael"
and inform this HQ".
1500 No 41 Cdo (4 SS Bde) report capturing enemy radio location station. 5 and 205
enemy captured.
Page 17 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 18 1700 All troops warned of two patrols. 2 i/c warns Bde.
Two Officers and 30 ORs to LONGUEMERE and GRANDE DU BUISSON leaving
1700 and returning 2000 hours.
Small patrol from 4 Troop to cross rds beyond LONGUEMERE to engage enemy
at LA BAS DE BREVILLE with 2" mortar and LMG at 2300 hrs tonight.
1830 B.M. 6 Air Ldg Bde arrives to discuss patrols. Captain Pollard to wait
until we find times of airborne patrols
1930 Capt Bartholomew arrives to discuss Vickers and mortars. 4 jeeps laid on
to report to 2 Troop at 0330 hours on 19th.
2010 2 i/c's patrol reports area LONGUEMERE and GDE FME DU BUISSON Clear of enemy.
2130 1 Troop wants information re battle going on on 4 Troop's front.
C.O. returns.
2145 Sjt Bartlett reports back from Bde and says there is going to be an attack
on pill-boxes EAST of SALLANELLES tonight.
2 Troop reports that shells have landed in farm occupied by French Cdo Troop.
2210 Message from Bde : "Gulley 131761 to 128765 completely mined. Completed
tonight" All Troops informed.
0445 C.O. leaves for Operation "JOLLY".
0600 C.O. returns with German POW. POW belongs to 6/857 Gren Regt. It is a
mixed coy of poles, They had Rfts last Wednesday or Thursday, He
mentioned capture of Captain Hilton-Jones (Bde HQ.) who is wounded and in
German R.A.P.
0910 Captain Nixon reports to C.O.
0940 Captain Collins reports to C.O.
1010 French civilians given permission to bury dead animals in front of 4 Troop.
1100 Captain Peille calls on C.O.
1115 Major Woyevodsky calls to see C.O.
1430 Captain Peille leaves.
1510 C.O. leaves for tour of our FDLs.
Page 18 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 19 1705 C.O. returns.
1935 Enemy shelling has commenced.
2005 C.O. returns from 45 (RM) Commando
Received Operation Order "THAW". All troops informed,."
20 0620 Message from 4 Cdo "Some our men will be coming shortly through your
lines on patrol". All troops informed.
0945 Message from 4 Commando : "Recce patrols will operate LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON
1000 to 1200 hours and 1600 to 1700 hours today".
1200 Brigadier Mills-Roberts calls to see C.O.
1450 12 gunners with 17 pdrs are moving into 1 Troops posns
1525 6 Cdo given permission to fire mortars from our poem with certain
reservations under supervision Captain Bartholomew.
1655 C.O. visits FDLs.
1700 Message from Bde "No marked maps will be taken on patrol, and no maps
other than with Div Area will be kept forward of Bde.
1945 C.O. returns.
2015 Intelligence Sjt reports on patrol - says 6 Cdo operating from LONGUEMERE
wood area towards GONNEVILLE rd. starting 2300 hours.
4 Cdo patrol expected back from GONNEVILLE. May enter lines at any point
Troops informed of this.
2155 Weather reports shows possibility of dense mist between dusk and dawn
tomorrow morning.
21 0940 1 Troop reports "All Quiet" on their front. Patrol passed through their
lines as informed.
1130 Visit by Lieut-Colonel Mitchell R.A.
1425 Order of the Day by Brigadier Mills Roberts :- "The Corps Cmdr Lt-Gen
Crocker, CB, DSO, visited this HQ yesterday, He expressed his complete
satisfaction with the behaviour of the Brigade in the difficult task they
Page 19 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 21 had been allotted, and his confidence that whatever happened or were called
upon to be would be done with the same skill and persistence."
1510 Message from 4 Cdo : "Recce patrol from this Unit will be in area LA GRANDE
1600 to 1800 hours 21st."
1550 Message from Bde: "46 (RM) Cdo will fire red verey lights if an emergency
occurs in their dump.
1700 Message to Troops "Area LA GDE FME DU BUISSON will not be used by patrols
between 0900. and 1100 hours 22 June 44."
Lieut-Col C.E. Vaughan, MBE, calls to see C.O."
1900 Details of patrols: To LA GDE FME DU BUISSON. FUP at FME. Wood 147754
to be shelled for 6 minutes from 0100 hrs and at 0106 barrage divides left
and right leaving wood free (with safety margin). F.B. at FME. Patrol
gees into wood area of rd 0100 to 0115 hrs. Patrol will return by same
route - 145752 to 147754.
1920 C.O. returns to HQ.
1940 C.O. goes to Bde.
2130 1 Troop report white verey light NORTH LONGUEMERE FARM, Bde informed,
2140 C.O. returns from Bde.
22 0600 Reported that 6 Cdo patrol caught by own arty fire. One killed and ten
Four rocket mortar shells land approx 1/4 mile behind Bde HQ. DMA ammn on
fire and exploding.
0825 Message from Bde: "NO patrol will take place between 0800 and 1200 hrs in
area of LA GDE FME DU BUISSON. owing to arty register today." Tps informed.
1000 C.O. goes to Bde
1100 C.O. returns.
1130 Lt-Col Logan, OBE CRE Calls to see C.O. to arrange our water supply, If
possible water in pond near CHATEAU will be converted into drinking water.
Page 20 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 22 1200 C.O. gets details of patrol activities for tonight.
1300 Hawkins grenade is accidentally detonated in corner of CHATEAU garden and
L/Sjt Salisbury is slightly injured.
1450 Lt-Col I. McAlpine (OC Holding Op Cdo) calls to see C.O.
1700 Captain Ponsford out on recce for tonight's mock battle.
Patrol Leaders report for briefing."
2000 C.O. goes on preliminary recce to GDE FME DU BUISSON
2200 C.O. returns.
2300 Patrol leaves for MISSION.
23 0200 Captain Pollard O.C. 4 Troop reports on patrol
0300 Captain Nixon reports on patrol.
0500 Captain Ponsford reports on patrol.
0520 L/C Littler reports on recce patrol
0900 Adjt to Bde HQ for conference. I.O gives details of certain security
1110 Officer of Counter-Mortar Organisation call in search of O.P. Major
Bradfield R.A.,I.O. for SS Bde (No 4) Major Flewitt I.O. for 1 SS Bde,
Captain Sooby L.O. of 4 SS Bde and Captain Reeves of 45 Cdo.
1325 Rocket ships firing on FRANCEVILLE.
1330 Shells dropping in our area. 1 Troop reports they are coming from
SALLANELLES AREA and dropping about 300 yds to their rear. Bde informed.
1810 Message from 1 Troop : "Approx 1735 hrs short burst of MG fire came from area
143757. Not directed at our lines.
2150 Troops informed of fighting patrol tonight, to clear area reported clear
by Captain Nixon last night.
24 0130 Listening post report in. Observations sent to Bde. Nothing hears of
Cpl Lawrence.
Casualty from 45 Commando evacuated.
Page 21 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 24 0900 4 Commando proceed to surround themselves with mines.
1140 Snipers sent out to area NORTH of LA GDE FME DU BUISSON.
Message from 1 Troop "Four smoke shells landed 134753".
1145 Message from 1 Troop , "Shells were 2 Troop registering at 1130 hrs".
1245 One enemy dead known to be at 142763. Reported killed by our snipers on
23rd June. Request permission from Bde to recover body for identification,
1415 Message from 4 Cdo "Sniping patrol operating area LONGUEMERE FARM and wood
142757 1400 to 2100 hrs today.
1500 6 Troop patrol leaves,
1530 Brigadier Mills-Roberts visits lines in company with 2 i/c.
1830 2 i/c takes out snipers L/C Lewis and Trp Lewis to BUISSON
2030 2 i/c returns with party, Reports nothing seen.
25 0035 Message from 4 Troop "I am standing to. Verey lights approx 500 yds in
front. Small arms fire ahead and on left flank."
0200 message from 4 Cdo . "Small party of ours still to return."
0600 Distinct rumble of guns heard all night - indicates opening of our offensive
1100 3 Officers and 42 men arriving shortly -(reinforcements)
1200 Two snipers return and report two enemy killed and one wounded. They report
being relieved by TSM. Edwards and L/Cpl Osbourne.
1710 TSM Edwards and L/C Osbourn return - two more enemy killed.
1800 Two snipers fran 1 Troop go out to cover area EAST of BUISSON wood
Message from Bde: "Following rds which are in full view of enemy and subject
to shelling will not be used until further notice between 0500 hrs and 2300
hrs. First - cross roads 045780 - PERIERS SUR DAN. Second. - Cross rds
067775 - rd 059757. Cross rd. 072767 - BEAVILLE 064749. Only exception
are staff officers and DRs. ".
2000 big battle around CAEN reported to be going well. Bde says tanks may
operate in this area early tomorrow.
Page 22 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 25 2200 Captain and 5 ORs to area LA GRANDE FME DU BUISSON to look for snipers of
1 Troop who have not yet returned.
Message to all troops :- Cdo patrol operating in area EAST of LONGUEMERE,
midnight to 0400 hrs."
26 0215 1 Troop report firing on their left and bugle sounding on their right.
0950 C.O. goes to Bde HQ
1050 C.O. returns from Bde.
1100 Message from 4 Cdo: 3 snipers from this Unit will be working from
LONGUEMERE FARM 140755 NORTH to N.E. to area 150763. Time out 1130 until
2100 hours, They will return through your lines by 2100 hrs latest.
1200 Reinforcements arrive - 4 Officers and 47 ORs
1500 Message to all troops "6 Commando will be firing into the air at 1600 hrs".
1730 Two snipers leave for GDE FME DU BUISSON,
Two snipers return from LONGUEMERE FERME"
1835 C.O. goes on tour of FDLs.
27 0130 3 Troop patrol leaves for area GDE FME DU BUISSON to capture prisoner.
0630 3 Troop's patrol return and reports following personnel missing :-
TSM Edwards, Tprs Barnes, O'Connell, Roberts, Bennet, Kingsley.
One prisoner brought in
0710 Maplay has been compromised. This information received from Bde.
Captain Pollard and two snipers leave for GDM FME DU BUISSON to search for
personnel missing from 3 Troop's patrol.
0900 Sniper reports : Enemy at 142766 (corner of hedge at 0800 hrs, - about 40
strong, keeping well down - no target)"
1000 C.O. leaves for GDE FME DU BUISSON.
1020 Lt-Col Tilley D.A.G.Q.M.G. and Major Hunt call at HQ.
Page 23 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 27 1530 Message from Bde: "R.A. are being sniped at in area of gliders by our
troops" All troops informed.
1540 Message free Bde: "Owing to temporary change in policy R.E. booby trap
patrol is postponed pending further instruction."
1800 I.O. tours FDLs.
1830 Violent explosion shakes CHATEAU. Enquiries reveal that own demolitions
are being carried out.
2030 Cpl Grant (3 Troop) reports having been in area to left and forward of LA
and after observing for one hour saw no sign of enemy.
28 0010 Two 3 Troop snipers report to HQ and then go on to Bda with Capt Ponsford,
0915 French civilian visits C.O.
1030 I.O. to 4 Cdo and 4 SS Bde.
1100 Enemy S.P. gun firing over our posns to rear. Fired six shells approx.
146754. In all probability patrol covering gun.
1345 Major-General R. Sturges DSO and Brigadier Mills-Roberts arrive at HQ.
C.O. accompanies them round our FDLs.
1400 Message. from Bde : "W.E.P. receipt of this message road 131758 - 123761 is
a one way route in westerly direction."
L/Cpl Ferrie and Trp McGonnigle of 3 Troop report returning from snipers'
return. Report two enemy killed."
1530 I.O. to 4 Commando and NO 4 SS Bde.
1735 4 Commando inform us that they will be working in area LONGUEMARE and along
N.W. between 0200 and 0500 hrs 29 Jun. All troops are informed.
2133 Information to all troops regarding 45 Commando's operation against area
147750. Arty barrage to commence 0300 hours, Assault H + 20 hours.
2200 French patrol of seven operating between 2200 hrs and 2359 hours in area
29 1015 Owners of CHATEAU call to see C.O.
Page 24 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 29 1045 Intelligence Sjt reports on 45 Cdo's operation of last night. Says it was
a success. Many Germany presumed killed by use of grenades thrown into
dugouts, No enemy prisoners taken. Own casualties 1 Office and 2 ORs
slightly winded.
1100 Message from Bde "All SEAGULLS to report to this location at 1245 hrs today".
1230 I.O. returns from 6 Airborne Div HQ and reports - "Bridgehead across. ODON
Px Gren Regt have been identified in area BRETTEVILLETTE. There are no
enemy tanks operating in the CHERBOURG peninsula.
1300 Adjt returns from Conference at Bde HQ:
1430 Message from Bde. "Two Polish enemy deserters who surrendered to 4 Cdo
today were originally of 857 Greens Regt. They have since (about a week ago)
been formed into 346 Fus BN."
1820 3 Troop send patrol out into area of LONGUEMARE.
2040 8 shells land in 1 Troop's area.
3 Troop patrol reports "Snipers L/C Hawkesworth has: killed one enemy sentry
2045 Shells landing in No 4 Commando's area.
30 0400 Patrols from 3 and 6 troops going out. 3 Troop to GDE FME DU BUUISSON AND
6 Troop to LONGUEMARE.
0545 Enemy movement seen by Lt Thomson's Party (3 Troop). Sentry shot by Cpl
0700 3 Troop Patrols return to own lines.
0800 6 Troop's patrol returns and reports having seen no enemy movement.
1100 Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater calls to see C.O.
Page 25 of 25
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE 30 1415 Message from Bde : "4 SS Bde will operate in area of LE GDE FME DU BUISSON
during the hours of 2300 and 0100 hours in conjunction with elements of
6 Air ldg Bde on night 2/3 Jul 44. "A fighting patrol from 6 Air Ldg Bde
will operate in area of cross roads 144751 daring hours of darkness tonight."
1600 6 Commando are registering Vickers IC firing in direction LONGUEMARE.
C.O. goes to BREVILLE."
1630 C.O. returns
1820 3 Troop said out patrol to LE GDE FME DU BUISSON.
2025 3 Troop patrol returns.
2100 Enemy shelling of whole area commences.
2130 Fighting patrol of 1 Officer and 10 ORs Pram 6 Cdo will operate in area
of DU BUISSON, between 0300 and 0600 hours on 1 Jul 44. Will proceed in
and out through No 4 Commando Lines.
No 3 Commando Training Instruction No 9 issued to troops.