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    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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    C.18 Camp1Briefing of all ranks.
    2Briefing for Operation.
    3Briefing for Operation.
    410Church Parade for all Denominations.
    51030Brigadier The Lord Lovat, DSO, MC. addresses whole Brigade.
    WARSASH AT SEA1400Unit embusses in TCVs and proceeds to WARSASH.
    1630Unit embarks in LCI(S) 289, 290, 291, 292 and 293.
    1730Flotilla slips and ties up at CALSHOT.
    1900Flotilla slips and ties up at STOKES BAY.
    2130Slip and sail in convoy with Force "S".
    60830In convoy hove to off beaches of NORMANDY. Sporadic shelling by enemy.
    Monitor and warship in area replying.
    0905Touch 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.
    0930Bde 46 set DIS.
    10Contact 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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    LA BRECHE1110Adjt 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.
    120045 (RM) Commando reach COLVILLE, followed by this Unit. COLVILLE being shelled desultorily.
    1230Move 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.
    15303, 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.
    1540Lieut Wills arrives with one jeep.
    1600Lieut A. Wardle reports 1 Troop HQ and remainder of 2 Troop crossing Brdge
    under smoke.
    17154 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
    running SOUTH from BAS DE RANVILLE.
    1800Snipers 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.
    1830Tanks 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
    1900Residue 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.
    2000German fighter-bombers fly over one village - no aggressive action.
    2050Gliders towed by D.Cs start to came in, (Troop carriers)
    2115Large 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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    BAS DE RANVILLE 62220Bde want 2 i/c or Adjt to report to Bde immediately to recce night posn.
    700052 i/c returns. Unit to hand over to R.U.R. and go to area SOUTH of BdeHQ
    and to be in posn by 0430 hrs.
    Activity from SOUTH . 3 Casualties from 1 Troop. Tanks and Infantry reported.
    0230CAEN area bombed by our heavies.
    0315C.O.2 i/c and Troop Cmdrs leave by jeep to recce new area.
    0330Unit leaves by road (march route) for new area.
    0430Troops allotted areas. HQ established at 114746 in orchard.
    0800ORQMS Wardle visits BdeHQ for posns of other units.
    0900BdeI.O. reports some A/Tk guns to be placed under command.
    0915B.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.
    1000Raid by enemy fighter bombers on beach area.
    1015Airborne Battery of 75 m.m. Fld Guns open fire from field next to our posn.
    11004. ME 109's fly over - no offensive action.
    1300Message 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
    1415Enemy Battery ranging on our guns in adjoining field.
    1445Shells and mortar bombs falling in our area.
    1500Reported - "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.
    1515Adjt visits Lord Lovat who has organised BdeHQ in better posns.
    15454 Tanks burning SOUTH of RANVILLE.
    A coy of DEVONS join us for a short time and then go back to RANVILLE.
    1615RANVILLE reported in our hands. Shermans reported to be in action.
    Page 4 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    BAS DE RANVILLE1710Adjt visits 1 Troop. All O.K. Vickers covering gap between 1 & HQ Troops
    1730Adjt sees Brigadier and advises him to stand his staff down,
    1900Adjt 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.
    2000Commando 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.
    2100Lt-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.
    2200Commando 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
    2400Lieut R.C. Herbert DCM MM takes out patrol. Desultory bombing and firing
    of small arms during night.
    80400Lt Herbert's patrol returns and reports no enemy encountered,
    0430Stand To.
    0530SITREP from Bde HQ. "45 Cdo in MERVILLE, Enemy Pln posn being dug in area
    144732. Half tracks reported in front of 2 Troop posn."
    0730Adjt visits BdeHQ. - 6 Troop to move forward to eastern tip of wood.
    0945BdeHQ warn us that Bn attack is imminent from area 138758 - rd130755 -
    140751 towards us.
    1000Captain Goodall , F.O.B. (HMS HUNTER) arrives and goes to 6 Troop. 3 A/Tk
    guns arrive en route for MERVILLE,
    10136 Troop report enemy infantry advancing astride rd130755 - 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.
    1020Field Regt ranging in front of 6 Troop's posn.
    Page 5 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE811006 Troop and 4 Commando engaging enemy at close range. Field Regts, HMS
    HUNTER and 3" mortars also engage enemy,
    11306 Troop counter-attack - drive enemy half mile - take 35 P.O.W. Completely
    destroyed one enemy coy (346 InfDiv) 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.
    12006 Troop withdraw, reorganise and return to original posn.
    Heavy fire from Field Regt in support.
    1230All posns intact. 6 Commando have one Troop in support on right,
    1300B.B.C. correspondent Chester Wilmot calls.
    14001 Troop patrol under Lieut J.F. Nixon NC report woods clear on SOUTH side
    of wood LE PLEIN running EAST.
    1530Lt A Wardle and patrol from 1 Troop report NORTH side of wood clear.
    1600Adjt recovers Lt Herbert's body with help of 6 Troop.
    1700Standing patrol established in forward edge of wood - NORTH side.
    1730Lt R.G. Herbert buried in garden of CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE. Brigadier The Lord.
    Lovat is present at the service.
    1800Lt Nixon reports two enemy with 2" mortar on other aide of rd. Instructed
    to capture them.
    2115Alarm - 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.
    2130Lieut G. Pollard MC MM with patrol reports to Brigadier to receive instructions
    2200Lieut 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.
    2400Lt Pollard returns - nil report.
    90515Stand To
    Page 6 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    1115Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater DSORA and Lord, Lovat visit HQ.
    1130Sjt Bartlett to report to Bde HQ forthwith,
    1255Reported NAAFI rations will come today,
    1300First Line Reinforcements arrive at BdeHQ.
    1500Troops must not use horses.
    1520First 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,
    1553Message 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.
    1558Sjt Leyland reports that he has been informed by local inhabitants that there
    are 200 enemy in area of church at BREVILLE - Bde informed.
    1600SUNRAY 1 Troop says trip flare plan not yet laid. Will be done later.
    1610Bde say disciplinary action will be taken by Brigadier against anyone using
    local water for drinking without sterlising. All Troops informed.
    1620French 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.
    1628Warning order from Bde -"Two Officers and 30 ORs for fighting patrol 2230hrs
    to 0230 hours", 5 Troop are warned and told to rest,
    17251 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.
    18006 Airborne Div Intelligence Summary No 3 arrives,
    1845SITREP from 1 Troop - Patrol returns with nothing further to report,
    Orders for 5 Troop patrol arrive from Bde, Passed to OC 5 Troop.
    1850News sheet sent to troops,
    1900Locations of enemy weapons being used by us sent to Bde and 4 & 6 Cdos.
    128756LMG 34 - 129755 2 LMG 34, 3 Carbine, 2 Scheimeisers.also in this area.
    Page 7 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE91900130755LMG 34 131754LMG 34, 128753LMG (Russian).
    2053Alarm on left flank. Bde want SITREP at 2100 hours. Various rumours of
    21154 Commando report their being attacked. Troops ordered to stand to.
    21234 Troop ordered to take fighting patrol 500 yds WEST of our posns. 6 Troop
    ordered to stand to in a counter-attack role.
    21354 Troop patrol leaves. CHATEAU manned.
    21416 Troop arrive in HQ. C.O. holds them there.
    100135Posn restored to normal
    05005 Troop patrol to SALLANELLES report no enemy seen.
    0830Major Menday (4 cdo). asks for more support.
    0900Odd groups of enemy moving across front of 1 2 & 3 Troops.
    0930S.P. gun reported firing from 136748. -2 Troop instructed to engage with 3"
    0945F.O.B. ordered to engage S.P. gun.
    0955C.O. reports S.P. gun sited 137750. Shells landing 130751. BdeHQ 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.
    10152 i/c visits 4 Cdo as enemy infiltrating. 1 Troop report one casualty.
    10201 Troop report 3 casualties.
    1025S.P. gun reported moving from 137752 to 136747
    1110Captain Harper-Gow and one other officer arrive from Bde
    1112A.D.M.S. arrives at HQ.
    112712 P.O.W. pass through HQ escorted by 6 Cdo personnel - reported to have been
    taken in woods immediately on our left.
    1130Enemy moving (Pln) NORTH through wood in front of 2 Troop posn. Both patrols
    from 1 Troop return. Nothing to return.
    Page 8 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE102100Message 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.
    11504-Commando reported being shelled and mortared.
    1155Shelling and mortaring in our area (Approx 10 rounds). 1 Troop request jeep
    for lying casualties.
    1200Tele 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.
    12151 Troop take over CHATEAU. 6 Troop take over 1 Troop's posns, Shelling
    1240SITREP 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.
    1440BdeH.Q. state Shermans in our area - no accidents please,
    144515 enemy reported at 115764 by 4. Commando.
    1510Shelling 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.
    16433 Troop want jeeps to fetch wounded.
    1650O.C. 1 Troop (10 Cdo) arrives to meet guide from 4 Cdo. Both depart,
    1650More shelling on 1 Troop's posns,
    1710Casualties reported - 28 all ranks, 1 Troop's strength is 1 and 32,
    1740OC 3 Troop arrives and reports 10 casualties and strength 30 all ranks.
    1800C.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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE102100C.O. departs on patrol to SALLANELLES.
    21052 i/c departs on patrol to LONGUEMERE.
    2240Sjt 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.
    230017 P.O.W. incl one Officer return from SALLAEELLES.
    2305D.R. arrives to say that shells in C.OsS.P. Gun uncapped and may burst
    2310C.O. returns and reports that he went through SALLANELLES. That enemy
    left SALLANELES AT 1600 hours.
    110430Stand to.
    0600Bn Black Watch attack BREVILLE.
    06301 Troop (45 Cdo) to clear SALLANELLES under Captain M Woyevodsky. One S.P.
    Gun to shell houses at LONGUEMERE.
    0700Major Hopson with one S.P. Gun starts for LONGUEMERE. S.P. Gun crosses
    Hawkins mine near CHATEAU gates and a track is damaged.
    0730Major 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.
    1000ORQMS Wardle becomes Lieutenant and Adjutant Wardle.
    1200Patrol returns from SALLANELLES with-wounded and prisoners. Pill boxes
    to N.E. still occupied by the enemy.
    1645Sjt Edmunds and five others buried in orchard CHATEAU d' AMPREVILLE.
    2000Cmdr 4 SS Bde arrives at 1SS Bde. 47 and 48 Cdos coming into line to relieve
    210012 Para Bn relieved and pass through our lines.
    Page 10 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE112130Own shells fall in FDLs.
    2133Severe mortaring of HQ. Captain B.D. Butler MC and five others killed. Lt
    T.N. Skelly and three others wounded.
    2235Bde conference of mortar Officers.
    120030Lt Pollard and patrol from 4 Troop to SALLANELLES woods.
    02002 i/c visits FDLs.
    0930Command 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 BdeHQ.
    1150Visit by Major Menday from 4 Commando.
    1335Message from BdeHQ. "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.
    1340Code names for place names and report lines have been compromised and will
    not be used.
    1430No 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.
    1510Artillery on BREVILLE.
    16253 Troop patrol has reached its objective.
    1725Major B.D. Butler and five others buried in garden at CHATEAU d'AMFREVILLE.
    1725C.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.
    18304 Troop change porn.
    1930French Troop back to CHATEAU. Changeover now complete.
    2100Bde say “Ensure all rds kept clear between 1700 and 2300 hrs . All informed.
    Page 11 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE122100Major Hopson leaves to contact 13/18 Hussars to guide tanks as Sqdn Ldr
    cannot be found,
    2120C.O. and fighting patrol of 50 (found from 1, 3 & 6 Tps) with Capt Nixon
    and Lieut Ponsford leave.
    2145Barrage 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.
    2200Fire is moved to bear on BREVILLE woods.
    2215Infantry seen to enter village. Little opposition.
    2230Shell fire (or mortar) on 3 Commando's posns. 2 i/o returns to HQ and
    receives near miss.
    23001 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.
    23136 Troop's lines under enemy shell fire.
    2314Message 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.
    2317Message from 5 Troop Send us jeep immediately.
    130050One 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.
    01202 i/o and RSM leave to inspect HQposns and French Cdo Troop's posns.
    0220First party of night patrol return - Medical Officer and Signals.
    0230Lt 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.
    0300Captain Nixon reports to Command Post.
    Page 12 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE130322C.O. returns from patrol. All patrols have now returned safely.
    Names of POW captured by 3 Troop
    Hermann LEHMANN (Gerfreiter)
    Julius HAAG (obergerfreiter)
    Josef CZARKOWSKY "
    All of 6/857 Grenadier Regt.
    0335C.O. sends message to Bde "Shall I come now or wait until later in the morn".
    0855Captain.Marting. calls. to see C.O.
    0900Captain Woyevodsky calls on C.O.
    1035Message from Bde : "Intelligence personnel, calling to collect exact FOL."
    1040Enemy A/Tk elements reported in GONNEVILLE.
    1055Visit by Lt.Col BLACK ADMS SS Group.
    1240Weak enemy shelling commences on our left flank. 3 shells, one every ten
    seconds with break of sixty five seconds between salvoes.
    1430Lieut-Col Mills-Roberts calls to see C.O.
    1645Major Hopson and O.C. 3 Troop leave on recce patrol.
    1730Burial of casualties.
    1835Major Hopson and party return
    2155Standing 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.
    2200Message from Bde "Recce patrol to area 132749-137749. Warn Para Bn"
    2220Major Hopson and fighting patrol leave.
    2350Enemy aircraft bombing the. area.
    2357Bombs now falling close to our posns.
    150015Bombing appears to have ceased.
    0330Bombing has begun again.
    0345Major Hopson and party return to lines. Surrounded party have also returned.
    Page 13 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE141035The 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.
    1140Message from No 4 Cdo : "Rifle shots heard from area wood 1375".
    1835Message 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 rd149760 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."
    1929C.O. leaves for 6 Troop.
    2215C.O. leaves on patrol with 6 Troop.
    150120Message from 1 Troop: Strong enemy patrol in front of lines. Am standing to.
    1000Enemy shells falling in Commando area. French Troop patrol leaves for
    LONGUEMERE and also standing patrol for cross rds and beyond.
    1230Patrol returns. Report that patrol moved along in direction of BAS DE BREVILLE, searched buildings at cross rds143752, passed jump and were fired on by small arms and mortar. Patrol withdrew leaving standing patrol at
    1245Major Hopson leaves with Lt Hunter to site A/tk guns.
    1345Major Hopson returns.
    14301 Troop reports shells falling in their area.
    Two snipers sent out to contact enemy - L/Cpl Machin and Trp Leedham"
    1530A patrol consisting of two Officers and 30 men being sent out by 4 Cdo. Will
    return through, our lines.
    Page 14 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE151715Message from Bde: "The following areas are being mined to be completed by
    1800 hours 16th. 1. Through wood from pt12847604 to 13047606
    2.From pt on road 13047604 to rd June 13167610.
    3.Dummy minefields are being prepared. Areas will be
    notified later."
    1725Captain Bartholomew made patrol from LE PLEIN to 144750.
    1900C.O. and party leave to watch mortars fire, on many posns NORTH of BREVILLE.
    2030C.O. returns and than leaves for Bde.
    21104 Cdo have orders to stand to because of concentrated fire On 47 Cdo on left.
    2230French Cdo sent out fighting patrol to search cross rds144752.
    2300Patrol of one Officer and 12 ORs from 4 Troop left cross rds144752 to
    ambush enemy. Should return at first light
    160139High 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.
    05501 Troop reports spasmodic rifle fire in front of posn coming from direction
    of wood. Otherwise all is quiet.
    06056 Troop SITREP - Nothing to report.
    0715Message to 4 Cdo - "Other than spasmodic rifle fire nothing to report."
    07301 Troop report half of Troop standing down, All quiet.
    07557 more mortar bombs landed on right of 1 Troop's posn,
    0815Message from Bde : "SUNRAY's conference ordered for today postponed".
    0935Message 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
    13301 and 6 Troops send patrol to LONGUEMERE FARM.
    Page 15 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE161430Message 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."
    14451 Troop report enemy mortar smoke on farm.
    1500Patrol reports being in posn and that mortar fire is coming from area BREVILLE.
    1540Patrol reports - "Sniping from our left rear".
    1600Patrol reports - No sign of enemy
    1610Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater DSO and Captain C.S. Head MC visit C.O.
    1633Report states enemy cleared from HEROUVILLETTE AND ESCOUVILLE and still
    slowly withdrawing.
    16556 Cdo cannot go to LONGUEMERE tonight as we have got patrol there.
    1700Brig Durnford-Slater and Captain Head leave,
    2300Message from forward troops - All quiet and nothing to report.
    170440Message from Bde : "About 40 enemy reported at 133712. Keep look-out for
    similar parties which may be about." This message sent to all Troops.
    1140Lieut Cunningham brings his patrol report to C.O.
    1200C.O. goes to Bde HQ.
    1325Three shells landed in 1 Troop area - coming from direction. SALLANELLES,
    1330Lieut 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.
    1340Shells falling in our area coming from northerly direction.
    1336Shell report sent to BdeHQ.
    1400Shells are still falling in our area,
    1425Captain J.J. Selwyn MC 13/18 Hussars calls on C.O.
    1500Visit 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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE171800C.O. visits 6 Troop.
    18306 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.
    1915I.O. at Bde confirms two German speakers reporting to us 2100. One per patrol.
    2035L/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.
    2122No 45 Op ardor Arrives.
    23005 Troop want to warn RUR that they have patrol going to LONGUEMERE.
    23205 Troop send in details of patrol and these are forwarded to Bde with a
    request that RUR be warned.
    2350RUR warned re your patrol tonight - received from Bde.
    180300Message 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."
    0445C.O. leaves to go on patrol.
    0550No 45 Cdo's Operation off.
    1030Unexploded bomb in 6 Troop area. Captain Holmes informed - says he will
    take action immediately.
    1115Bde message states "Detain all civilians having cards signed "LT Michael"
    and inform this HQ".
    1500No 41 Cdo (4 SS Bde) report capturing enemy radio location station. 5 and 205
    enemy captured.
    Page 17 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE181700All 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.
    1830B.M. 6 Air Ldg Bde arrives to discuss patrols. Captain Pollard to wait
    until we find times of airborne patrols
    1930Capt Bartholomew arrives to discuss Vickers and mortars. 4 jeeps laid on
    to report to 2 Troop at 0330 hours on 19th.
    20102 i/c's patrol reports area LONGUEMERE and GDE FME DU BUISSON Clear of enemy.
    21301 Troop wants information re battle going on on 4 Troop's front.
    C.O. returns.
    2145Sjt 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.
    2210Message from Bde : "Gulley 131761 to 128765 completely mined. Completed
    tonight" All Troops informed.
    0445C.O. leaves for Operation "JOLLY".
    0600C.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 (BdeHQ.) who is wounded and in
    German R.A.P.
    0910Captain Nixon reports to C.O.
    0940Captain Collins reports to C.O.
    1010French civilians given permission to bury dead animals in front of 4 Troop.
    1100Captain Peille calls on C.O.
    1115Major Woyevodsky calls to see C.O.
    1430Captain Peille leaves.
    1510C.O. leaves for tour of our FDLs.
    Page 18 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE191705C.O. returns.
    1935Enemy shelling has commenced.
    2005C.O. returns from 45 (RM) Commando
    Received Operation Order "THAW". All troops informed,."
    200620Message from 4 Cdo "Some our men will be coming shortly through your
    lines on patrol". All troops informed.
    0945Message from 4 Commando : "Recce patrols will operate LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON
    1000 to 1200 hours and 1600 to 1700 hours today".
    1200Brigadier Mills-Roberts calls to see C.O.
    145012 gunners with 17 pdrs are moving into 1 Troops posns
    15256 Cdo given permission to fire mortars from our poem with certain
    reservations under supervision Captain Bartholomew.
    1655C.O. visits FDLs.
    1700Message from Bde "No marked maps will be taken on patrol, and no maps
    other than with Div Area will be kept forward of Bde.
    1945C.O. returns.
    2015Intelligence Sjt reports on patrol - says 6 Cdo operating from LONGUEMERE
    wood area towards GONNEVILLErd. starting 2300 hours.
    4 Cdo patrol expected back from GONNEVILLE. May enter lines at any point
    Troops informed of this.
    2155Weather reports shows possibility of dense mist between dusk and dawn
    tomorrow morning.
    2109401 Troop reports "All Quiet" on their front. Patrol passed through their
    lines as informed.
    1130Visit by Lieut-Colonel Mitchell R.A.
    1425Order 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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE21had been allotted, and his confidence that whatever happened or were called
    upon to be would be done with the same skill and persistence."
    1510Message from 4 Cdo : "Recce patrol from this Unit will be in area LA GRANDE
    1600 to 1800 hours 21st."
    1550Message from Bde: "46 (RM) Cdo will fire red verey lights if an emergency
    occurs in their dump.
    1700Message 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."
    1900Details 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.
    1920C.O. returns to HQ.
    1940C.O. goes to Bde.
    21301 Troop report white verey light NORTH LONGUEMERE FARM, Bde informed,
    2140C.O. returns from Bde.
    220600Reported that 6 Cdo patrol caught by own arty fire. One killed and ten
    Four rocket mortar shells land approx 1/4 mile behind BdeHQ. DMA ammn on
    fire and exploding.
    0825Message 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.
    1000C.O. goes to Bde
    1100C.O. returns.
    1130Lt-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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE221200C.O. gets details of patrol activities for tonight.
    1300Hawkins grenade is accidentally detonated in corner of CHATEAU garden and
    L/Sjt Salisbury is slightly injured.
    1450Lt-Col I. McAlpine (OC Holding Op Cdo) calls to see C.O.
    1700Captain Ponsford out on recce for tonight's mock battle.
    Patrol Leaders report for briefing."
    2000C.O. goes on preliminary recce to GDE FME DU BUISSON
    2200C.O. returns.
    2300Patrol leaves for MISSION.
    230200Captain Pollard O.C. 4 Troop reports on patrol
    0300Captain Nixon reports on patrol.
    0500Captain Ponsford reports on patrol.
    0520L/C Littler reports on recce patrol
    0900Adjt to Bde HQ for conference. I.O gives details of certain security
    1110Officer 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.
    1325Rocket ships firing on FRANCEVILLE.
    1330Shells dropping in our area. 1 Troop reports they are coming from
    SALLANELLES AREA and dropping about 300 yds to their rear. Bde informed.
    1810Message from 1 Troop : "Approx 1735 hrs short burst of MG fire came from area
    143757. Not directed at our lines.
    2150Troops informed of fighting patrol tonight, to clear area reported clear
    by Captain Nixon last night.
    240130Listening post report in. Observations sent to Bde. Nothing hears of
    Cpl Lawrence.
    Casualty from 45 Commando evacuated.
    Page 21 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE2409004 Commando proceed to surround themselves with mines.
    1140Snipers sent out to area NORTH of LA GDE FME DU BUISSON.
    Message from 1 Troop "Four smoke shells landed 134753".
    1145Message from 1 Troop , "Shells were 2 Troop registering at 1130 hrs".
    1245One enemy dead known to be at 142763. Reported killed by our snipers on
    23rd June. Request permission from Bde to recover body for identification,
    1415Message from 4 Cdo "Sniping patrol operating area LONGUEMERE FARM and wood
    142757 1400 to 2100 hrs today.
    15006 Troop patrol leaves,
    1530Brigadier Mills-Roberts visits lines in company with 2 i/c.
    18302 i/c takes out snipers L/C Lewis and Trp Lewis to BUISSON
    20302 i/c returns with party, Reports nothing seen.
    250035Message from 4 Troop "I am standing to. Verey lights approx 500 yds in
    front. Small arms fire ahead and on left flank."
    0200message from 4 Cdo . "Small party of ours still to return."
    0600Distinct rumble of guns heard all night - indicates opening of our offensive
    11003 Officers and 42 men arriving shortly -(reinforcements)
    1200Two snipers return and report two enemy killed and one wounded. They report
    being relieved by TSM. Edwards and L/Cpl Osbourne.
    1710TSM Edwards and L/C Osbourn return - two more enemy killed.
    1800Two 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 - rd059757. Cross rd. 072767 - BEAVILLE 064749. Only exception
    are staff officers and DRs. ".
    2000big battle around CAEN reported to be going well. Bde says tanks may
    operate in this area early tomorrow.
    Page 22 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE252200Captain 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."
    2602151 Troop report firing on their left and bugle sounding on their right.
    0950C.O. goes to BdeHQ
    1050C.O. returns from Bde.
    1100Message 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.
    1200Reinforcements arrive - 4 Officers and 47 ORs
    1500Message to all troops "6 Commando will be firing into the air at 1600 hrs".
    1730Two snipers leave for GDE FME DU BUISSON,
    Two snipers return from LONGUEMERE FERME"
    1835C.O. goes on tour of FDLs.
    2701303 Troop patrol leaves for area GDE FME DU BUISSON to capture prisoner.
    06303 Troop's patrol return and reports following personnel missing :-
    TSM Edwards, Tprs Barnes, O'Connell, Roberts, Bennet, Kingsley.
    One prisoner brought in
    0710Maplay 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.
    0900Sniper reports : Enemy at 142766 (corner of hedge at 0800 hrs, - about 40
    strong, keeping well down - no target)"
    1000C.O. leaves for GDE FME DU BUISSON.
    1020Lt-Col Tilley D.A.G.Q.M.G. and Major Hunt call at HQ.
    Page 23 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE271530Message from Bde: "R.A. are being sniped at in area of gliders by our
    troops" All troops informed.
    1540Message free Bde: "Owing to temporary change in policy R.E. booby trap
    patrol is postponed pending further instruction."
    1800I.O. tours FDLs.
    1830Violent explosion shakes CHATEAU. Enquiries reveal that own demolitions
    are being carried out.
    2030Cpl 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.
    280010Two 3 Troop snipers report to HQ and then go on to Bda with Capt Ponsford,
    0915French civilian visits C.O.
    1030I.O. to 4 Cdo and 4 SS Bde.
    1100Enemy S.P. gun firing over our posns to rear. Fired six shells approx.
    146754. In all probability patrol covering gun.
    1345Major-General R. Sturges DSO and Brigadier Mills-Roberts arrive at HQ.
    C.O. accompanies them round our FDLs.
    1400Message. 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."
    1530I.O. to 4 Commando and NO 4 SS Bde.
    17354 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.
    2133Information to all troops regarding 45 Commando's operation against area
    147750. Arty barrage to commence 0300 hours, Assault H + 20 hours.
    2200French patrol of seven operating between 2200 hrs and 2359 hours in area
    LA GDE FME DU BUISSON on 28 Jun 44.
    291015Owners of CHATEAU call to see C.O.
    Page 24 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE291045Intelligence 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.
    1100Message from Bde "All SEAGULLS to report to this location at 1245 hrs today".
    1230I.O. returns from 6 Airborne Div HQ and reports - "Bridgehead across. ODON
    (NORTH EVRECY, 10° EAST NOYERS 10° EAST of YERSON). I, III and IV Bns 235
    Px Gren Regt have been identified in area BRETTEVILLETTE. There are no
    enemy tanks operating in the CHERBOURG peninsula.
    1300Adjt returns from Conference at BdeHQ:
    1430Message 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."
    18203 Troop send patrol out into area of LONGUEMARE.
    20408 shells land in 1 Troop's area.
    3 Troop patrol reports "Snipers L/C Hawkesworth has: killed one enemy sentry
    in area GDE FME DU BUISSON.".
    2045Shells landing in No 4 Commando's area.
    300400Patrols from 3 and 6 troops going out. 3 Troop to GDE FME DU BUUISSON AND
    6 Troop to LONGUEMARE.
    0545Enemy movement seen by Lt Thomson's Party (3 Troop). Sentry shot by Cpl
    07003 Troop Patrols return to own lines.
    08006 Troop's patrol returns and reports having seen no enemy movement.
    1100Brigadier J.F. Durnford-Slater calls to see C.O.
    Page 25 of 25
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    CHATEAU d' AMFREVILLE301415Message 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."
    16006 Commando are registering Vickers IC firing in direction LONGUEMARE.
    C.O. goes to BREVILLE."
    1630C.O. returns
    18203 Troop said out patrol to LE GDE FME DU BUISSON.
    20253 Troop patrol returns.
    2100Enemy shelling of whole area commences.
    2130Fighting 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.