War Diaries of 

8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars.


(March to December)


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1943 1945 1946


January and February 1944



March 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col C. Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
West Tofts, Thetford 1   C.O. left on leave till 6 March.  Maj. Phillips in command.  Regimental courses in D&M and Wireless continue.  Sqns ordered out on Troop Training.  
  2   Lecture by Mr.  Mason of Lockheeds on their Hydraulic Systems.  Maj Phillips to 22nd  Armd Bde to see A.G.  
  5   A & Q Conference at Div HQ.  Lecture on “Tank Busting” in afternoon.  

C.O. at G.O.C’s conference in London

  7   Maj Threlfall and Lt. Pegler attended investiture at Buckingham Palace to receive the M.C. and D.C.M. &  M.M. respectively.  
      Advance party left camp for TITCHWELL   A.F.V. Range .   C.O. returned from leave.  
  8   “A” and “C” Sqns to TITCHWELL.  Visited by Phantom Patrol.  
  9   C.O. to TITCHWELL.  
  12   C.O. returned from TITCHWELL with “A” and “C” Sqns.    “B” Sqn to TITCHWELL.  
  13   “A” & “C” Sqns moved to KIRKCUDBRIGHT with C.O. after C.O. had attended G.O.C’s conference at Div HQ.  

Visited by Brig Fisher from 2nd Army re mobilisation.

      Regtl waterproofing courses commenced.  
  16   Visited by Major Bastard from R.A.C. Records.  
  19   Sqns returned from KIRKCUDBRIGHT  
  20   Sqns training in THETFORD Training Area.  

Regtl Signal Exercise.  C.O. left on 3 days leave after W/T Exercise.

      “C” Sqn moved to concentration area for exercise with 131 Bde.  
  22   Lt. M.C. Walker promoted to A/Captain.  

“A” Sqn to concentration area for an exercise with 8th Armd Bde.

Visited by Maj-Gen Sir Philip Neame, VC.

  25   “A” Sqn exercise with 8th Armd Bde.  

C.O. returned from leave and attended a conference at Div HQ.

      “A” and “ HQ” Sqns practised driving through watersplash and on to L.S.T. at BUCKENHAM TOFTS.  “B” and “C” Sqns moved to concentration areas for exercise with   5 R.T.R.  
  27   “A” and “HQ” Sqns continued training at BUCKENHAM TOFTS.  
      “B” and “C” Sqns exercise with 5 R.T.R.  
      C.O. and 2i/c to shoot with 3 R.H.A.  
  28   “B” and “C” Sqns to watersplash and L.S.T.  
      C.O. to 3 days conference at CAMBRIDGE .  
  30   Regtl. Signal Exercise conducted by 2i/c  
      “A” Sqn to concentration area for exercise with 1/6 Queens  
  31   “A” Sqn Exercise with 1/6 Queens .  




(Inc.  2  Att

702 O.R’s

(Inc.  76 Att)

  31 MARCH


(Inc.  2 Att)

705 O.R’s

(Inc.  76 Att)




April 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col C. Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
West Tofts, Thetford



C.O. returned from a Corps conference at Cambridge.  Majors Phillips and Huth attended an AFV Fire Power demonstration at Lulworth. 

      3 RAF Officers from a neighbouring Sqn visited the Regt.  
  2   CO’s  conference for Sqn Ldrs to discuss future Training Programmes and promotions.  “B” Sqn moved to concentration area for an exercise with 131 Bde.  The Regt supplied 10 Umpires for the Recce Regt in a 49 Div exercise from 2nd to 5th.  
  3   C.O., Major Gwyn, Lt Kirkham and Lt (QM) O’Malley attended a conference on the Echelons at Div HQ.  “B” Sqn taking part in 131 Bde Exercise.    
      C.O. lectured to Officers and Transport NCOs on composition, roles and handling of Echelons.  
  4   C.O. gave out preliminary orders for Regtl exercises “Look-Out”, I & II.  Lt Col A.T.Smail, DSO, 11H, was present.  
  5   Regtl Exercise “Look-Out” I & II  
  7   C.O. held discussion on the exercise.  The Chief Umpire, Lt.Col A.T.Smail, DSO, 11H, spoke at this discussion.  Lt.Col. M.Carver, DSO, MC, lectured to Sqn Ldrs & 2i/c’s on the “Role of the Armoured Regt”  
  8   All Sqns used the watersplash at Buckenham Tofts.  
  9   Easter Day was declared a whole holiday throughout the Div.  
  10   Special attention was paid to maintenance.  The C.O. held a conference for senior Regtl Officers to discuss the Div TEWT and other points.  
  11   “C” Sqn moved to concentration areas for 22 Armd Bde exercise Apr 11-14.  B Veh drivers left for Lowestoft to practise wading and driving onto L.C.Ts.  “A” Sqn  left for TITCHWELL AFV Ranges.  
  12   “A” Sqn shooting at TITCHWELL  
  13   “B” Sqn shooting at TITCHWELL  

“C” Sqn shooting at TITCHWELL and carried out training on return.

  14   C.O., 2i/c, all Sqn Ldrs and 2i/cs attended a Div TEWT.  
  15   Divisional TEWT continued.  
  17   Sqns were out training in THETFORD  and STANFORD Battle Areas and in the afternoon concentrated for Regimental Exercise FLEXIBLE I  
  18   Regtl Exercise FLEXIBLE I  
  19                        FLEXIBLE II  
  20   Spent the day in maintenance.  C.O. held a conference to discuss Personnel and Echelon problems.  A discussion on Regtl exercise was held and “B” Sqn moved to conc area for exercise KELLY’S EYE II.  
  21   “B” Sqn exercise with 33 Armd Bde.    Gen Skliarou, Russian Military Attaché, came to dinner.  
  22   A party of Russian Generals inspected tanks and crews at maintenance and watched two troops co-operating with 1st Gren Guards.  
      Orders received to start moving tanks to new location on 27 Apr.  
  24   Advance party left for new location.  Brig Van der Byl, DSO, Colonel of the Regt, paid a visit.  “A” Sqn left for BOYTON AFV Range.  

“A” Sqn shooting at BOYTON.  “B” Sqn left for BOYTON.

      C.O. attended a conference at 22 Armd Bde held by D.R.A.C.  
  26   “B” Sqn shooting at BOYTON.  Adv HQ under 2i/c left for BOGNOR.  “C” Sqn moved to BOYTON.  
  27   “C” Sqn shooting at BOYTON.      “A” Sqn tanks moved by rail to BOGNOR.  
  28   “B” Sqn tanks moved to BOGNOR.  
  29   “C” Sqn tanks moved to BOGNOR.     C.O. and Adj attended a conference at Div HQ.  
  30   Main body and B Ech with the Scout Cars moved to BOGNOR.  Capt Chapman was left at WEST TOFTS i/c rear party of 30 men.  
      The Regt moved into billets in BOGNOR, a school and several private hotels providing accommodation for personnel , and the tanks were parked in a recreation ground.  


May 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col C. Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Bognor Regis.


  The day was spent in settling in to the new billets and maintenance on vehicles, including 2 Cromwell Tanks,  which had travelled by road.  
  2   The C.O. and 2i/c visited 30 Corps HQ to discuss planning.  
  3   C.O. held a conference for Sqn Ldrs to discuss leave, waterproofing, planning, map codes and training.  
  4   C.O. watched Exercise “FABIUS”.  A start was made on waterproofing.  Regtl D & M classes for spare drivers on Daimler Scout Cars were started.  
  5   C.O. held a conference to discuss re-distribution of transport and load tables.  
  6   C.O. visited 30 Corps HQ to discuss G. 1098 and other deficiencies.  
  7   A party headed by the C.O. visited D & M Wing of the AFV Schools to watch a Tank Maintenance demonstration.    
      Two men left on detachment to 11H for a Daimler Scout Car waterproofing course.  
  8   “C” Sqn out on Troop Training, and an Echelon Exercise.  
  9   HQ Recce Troop and Sqn Daimler Patrols were out for a one-day exercise.  Waterproofing and Unit courses continued.    
      One Officer and two ORs of the REME, from the Vehicle Wading School at Weymouth, arrived to assist in waterproofing.  
  10   Exercise for Recce Troop and Scout Car Patrols.  Conference for 30 Corps Signal Exercise “Lightfoot”.  
      The Rev F.L.Hone, CF., who had been left behind in Egypt, rejoined the Regt.  
  11   The Regt paraded at full strength for inspection by the GOC 7 Armd Div., Major-Gen. Erskine, CB, DSO.   
      After the inspection the Regt formed a hollow square for an address by the GOC.  He expressed his pleasure at the good turnout and went on to speak of the coming operations and the part the Division and the Regt would play in them.  He wound up by wishing the Regt good luck and good hunting.  
  12   Brig-Gen. Morrogh of the Board of AFV Design visited the Regt to discuss any problems connected with equipment then issued.    
      The first 3’ wading tests with a Cromwell Tank were successfully completed.  The Scout Car patrols were out on exercise to study the action of patrols guarding the flanks of a L of C.  
  13   All drivers and commanders attended a waterproofing film.  
  14   C.O. and 2i/c left for HQ 7 Armd Div to attend a conference.  Sig Officer and 18 Offrs left for 30 Corps HQ to take part in Signal Exercise “Lightfoot 3”  
  15   30 Corps exercise “LIGHTFOOT 3”  
  16   Wading tests with Cromwell Tk were successfully completed.  
  18   Day spent on maintenance and courses  
  20   C.O’s conference for Sqn Ldrs, Sqn 2i/cs and heads of depts to discuss all admin orders already issued.  
  21   C.O. went to HQ 7 Armd Div to obtain permission to take Non FS Cromwell Tanks overseas in lieu of Stuart Tanks which might not be available, all these tanks having been issued in very poor condition, and in need of extensive overhauls.  
  24   The Regt paraded for an inspection by Brig Van der Byl, DSO, the Colonel of the Regt.  
  26   C.O. and Sqn Ldrs visited the Welsh Guards to discuss the handling of the Armd Recce Regt.  
  28   As from 0900 hrs the Regt was at 6 hrs notice.  C.O. held a conference to recapitulate the tactical lessons brought out in training & to lay down his requirements for Regtl and Sqn Battle posns.  
  29   N.T.R.  
  30   N.T.R.  
  31   N.T.R.  


June 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col C. Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Bognor Regis  



Day spent in maintenance


Bognor Regis  



C.O. held a conference to discuss Admin orders


Bognor Regis  



Orders received for the Regt less C Sqn and the Residues to move on 4th June 44.  The C.O. spoke to each Sqn and gave them the point brought out by Gen Montgomery in his final address to Unit Commanders

Staff Table att. As Appx I.

Bognor Regis  



All vehicle were packed and stowed ready to move at 1430 hrs but at 1130hrs orders postponing the move were received


A17 Marshalling Area



The Regt less C Sqn and Residues, with a detachment of the Provost Coy, 7 Armd Div. Attached, moved out at 1430 hrs.  After a very slow journey the Regt reached A17 Marshalling Area at 2145hrs.  The tanks and B Vehs were parked by craft loads in roadside standings. 11 LCTs were allotted to the Regt on the scale of one per 9 tks or 12 B Vehs.  Drivers remained by their vehs, crews were accommodated in a tented camp with excellent catering arrangements.

Movement Order att. As Appx II

A17 Marshalling Area



‘D’ Day.  The C.O. briefed all Officers and senior NCOs and TK Comds, Maj Huth MC, Comd C Sqn & Capt Firth 2 i/c C Sqn attended.  Maps were drawn and issued and orders were received to move on the morning of 7th.

8 H Op Intrs No.1. att as Appx III




The Regt stood to ready to move off but the move was postponed possibly owing to the slow turn round of LCTs caused by bad weather conditions


A17 M.A



At 0130 hrs the 1st craft load left the Marshalling Area followed at 5 minute intervals by the remaining parties.  One Cromwell tk belonging to B Sqn could not be started and was left behind with its crew.  On arrival at R.C.R.P. 4 at Gosport all vehicles were parked by the sides of various roads leading to the hards.  Embarkation began at about 1400hrs and as each L.C.T was loaded it moved out into the stream to await sailing orders.

For details of allocation of shipping see Craft Load Tables att as Appx IV

At Sea



At 0100hrs the convoy moved out to sea.  After an uneventful voyage the landing craft beached at about 1900 hrs at Map Ref 885867 GSGS 4250,1:50,000 Sheet 7E/5 and all vehicles moved off the concentrate in the RYES area 8483, GSGS 4250, 1: 50,000 7E/5.

See 8H Op Instr No 1 att as Appx III.




The day was spent in de-water proofing and maintenance.  B Sqn came under command 22 Armd Bde.  The CO went to HQ 7 Armd Div and returned with 7 Armd Div Op Order No.22.  The Regt was leaguered in an orchard and around the hedges of a hayfield.

Op Order att Appx V.




At 0515hrs Regtl HQ and B Sqn moved up through BAYEUX to another orchard at 821727, B Sqn being still under comd 22 Armd Bde and carrying out recce on the rt flank.  Int the afternoon a considerable number of spent AP shots were landing in this area and RHQ and A Sqn moved to 817732 and spent the night there.





During the morning the Tp Sgts tank of 5 Tp B Sqn was knocked out by a dug In 7.5 cm ak 40 at about 20 yds.  Four of the crew are missing and one was rescued.  At about 1300 hrs the remainder of the Regt less C Sqn came under comd 22 Armd Bde and the C.O issued verbal orders. 

See Appx VI.  G.S.G.S. 4250 6F/2

      The Regt moved out, A Sqn leading and good progress was made as far as LIVRY 7361 where the Tp Ldrs tk of 2 Tp A Sqn was knocked out by an infantryman with a ‘Raketen Panzerbuchse 43I the German equivalent of the ‘Bazooka’. Two of the crew were killed and the remainder, Lt. D Rampf included, were wounded.   
      At this moment 4 CLY to put his motor coy into LIVRY to clear the village and to take over the lead when they had done so.  The motor coy (1 RB) cleared the village but as it was then getting late, no further advance was made that evening.  Meanwhile the Brigadier had ordered 8H to recce down the main CAUMONT – CAEN road as far as the X rds at 767637.  
      At 764636 the two leading tanks of 3rd Tp A Sqn were knocked out.  Lt. Talbot-Harvey and 6 other Ranks are missing. No further progress was made and the Regt leaguered in the area 733617 with the remainder of 22 Armd Bde.    




A Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  The Regt less A & C Sqns took part in the advance of 22 Armd Bde to VILLERS BOGAGE 8157.  Bde Centre Line was:-X rds 7361 – BRIQUESSARD 74 59- Along main road through AMAYE SUR SEULLES 7758 – VILLIERS BOGAGE 8157.


      The Regt was ordered to cover the right flank parallel to the centre line.  Regtl Centre Line was:BRIQUESSARD, Rd and track junc 741594, rd and track junc 737578, rd and track junc751567 and along the secondary road running East from there to the left flank by remaining in observation in the area 7563. On reaching 737578 it was found that the track there was almost non-existent and the centre line was altered to pass through CAHAGNES 7356.   
      The leading Tp of B Sqn met a patrol of 11H who informed them that CAHAGNES was held by the enemy. RHQ returned to the Bde centre line and B Sqn continued the advance, they were fired on in CAHAGNES but got through without any casualties and moved along the Regts centre line as far as TRACY BOGAGE where they were ordered to take up a line of observation North of the village.  
      During the afternoon there were attacked by infantry supported by a TIGER tk. B Sqn held their ground and beat off the attack, losing three tanks but suffering no fatal casualties. By the evening 22 Armd Bde Gp had formed a defensive box in the area North and South of the road through ST GERMAIN 7758.  
      The enemy attacking from the North, South, East & West. The centre line to Division was cut and the Group was temporarily surrounded. The Regt Leaguered in the are 783579.    




B Sqn moved out at 0530hrs. A Sqn remained under comd 131 Bde. News was received that C Sqn had arrived in the Div area.  During the course of the day B Sqn knocked out two MK VI TIGER Tks. 


      The left flank of the Division was rather exposed, and an attack by 50 Div to straighten out the line made very little progress and the Divisional Comd decided to withdraw 22 Armd Bde behind a firm base formed by 131 Bde in the area BRIQUESSARD 7459-Le PONT MULOT 7568.  
      At about 2100hrs a heavy attack by inf supported by a few tanks developed in the South and East side of the perimeter. It was met by very heavy fire from Units within the perimeter including 5 RHA and by defensive fire put down by AGRA and US Arty from away back in the CAUMONT area.  
      The attack was beaten off. During the attack B Sqn HQ were heavily mortared Maj Dunne being wounded and Lt. De May killed.  As a result of this attack, the withdrawal which had been timed to commence at 2315 hrs, was delayed by about 1 hour.  
      However, when it did commence, it was not interfered with by the enemy and all units drove out without interference. Last to leave were B Sqn and one Coy 1/5 Queens, riding on the back of their tanks. They had held the rds and tracks leading into the East side of the village from the South, until the whole force were out of the village.  



The Regt less C Sqn leaguered in the area 735665 and the day was spent in much needed maintenance for the tanks and rest for al ranks. C Sqn came under comd 131 Bde and moved to the BRIQUESSSARD area 7459 and put out a screen of observation around the position held by 1/6 Queens.

      5 coy of 304 Pz G.R. of 2 Pz Div were opposite to them in this area and put in several attacks.  C Sqn were involved in close and confused fighting but all attacks were beaten off. Lt H.R.D Pegler was killed during the night.    



The Regt remained in reserve and good use was made of the time to repair vehicles damaged during the battle and to recover two tanks of A Sqn. C Sqn remained at BRIQUESSARD under comd 131 Bds and although some casualties were suffered all attacks were beaten off.




The Regt less C Sqn remained in reserve. C Sqn were attacked almost continuously during the night of 16/17 and by the morning of the 17th were very tired having been in their tanks for three days and two nights.  During the morning a Mk VI TIGER tank was spotted by the SSM and a 17 Tk gun from the Norfolk Yeo was brought into Sqn HQ area and the tank was knocked out.

      The Regt was credited with a half share in it. During the day, the Div Comd ordered 131 Bde to withdraw 1/6 Queens from the BRIQUESSARD box back to the area of BRIQUESSARD wood, some 1500 yds North.  The withdrawal was timed to commence at 2315hrs.  At about 2230 hrs, heavy shelling commenced which continued up till the time of the get out and was directed, principally on the exit to the village.  
      At the same time infantry made another of their attacks on the western side of the box. Some confusion prevailed but the withdrawal was effected without undue loss. C Sqn got out without any casualties, bringing two 17 pdrs on tow with them, which would otherwise have fallen into enemy hands. During the 3 days and 2 nights in BRIQUESSARD C Sqn lost 5 tanks,  1 Offr (Lt Pegler) and 7 0.Rs. killed or missing.  
      On the other hand they supported 1/6 Queens to such good effect that largely due to them the position was held and a large number of enemy killed.  C Sqn returned that night to the area of RHQ reverting to comd and leaguering at 735665    



The Regt still in reserve, dav spent in maintenance and reorganizing.


Orders were received for the Regt to move back to the area of Main Div HQ at LA BUTTE with the role of protection of that area in the event of an enemy thrust from S.E. Accordingly, C.O. ordered Sqns to recce battle posns in the area S.E. of ST PAUL DE VERNAY 7468 and 7569 and to be prepared to hold them A Sqn 744695, B Sqn 744693 and C Sqn 742701.

CO’s verbal orders att at Appx VIII




Day spent in recceing Battle Positions.





Regt still in Div reserve and no sign of the enemy attack.  As a result of experience in the first engagements 100 Sten guns were indented for and received this day.  They were issued to Tks and Scout Cars.




The G.O.C 7 Armd Div paid the Regt an informal visit. O.C. ‘A’ Sqn, Maj Threlfall, attended a TEWT held by 33 Armd Bde.




C.O attended a conference at Div HQ.  In the afternoon he lectured to all Sqn on the progress of the operations and possible roles in the future.  Classes were held for instruction on the P.I.A.T. as further supplies of this weapon had reached the Regt.




Day spent in maintenance.  Some 105mm. Shells fell in the area causing one fatal and several minor casualties to B Sqn.




Orders received to relieve 4 CLY in their present role of observation in forward posns from 749641 to 755652. C.O and O.C. A&B Sqns recced area.  A Sqn moved to 743646 at 8000hrs to be in posn to take over from CLY Sqn and send out patrols at first light tomorrow.




Regt Commander comd 22 Armd Bde w.e.f 0800 hrs.  At 0630hrs RHQ moved to are 747661, B Sqn to 743660 C Sqn to 748680.  B & C Sqns remained in Regtl Reserve.




A Sqn reported slight enemy movements on their front




Slight enemy movement on A Sqn front.  Brig Pepper, 56 Bde, visited Regt.




Under comd 56 Inf Bde.  G.O.G 7 Armd Div and Brig Pepper both visited Regt. B Sqn relieved A Sqn. N.T.R




Still under comd 56 Bde. N.T.R from RHQ, A& C Sqns,  B Sqns patrols reported very little enemy activity during the day.



July 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col C. Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
746661 1   The Regt was still under comd 56 Inf Bde.  RHQ at 74661, “A” Sqn in reserve at 743660, “B” Sqn at 743646 with patrols occupying a line of observation from 749641 to 755652, “C” Sqn in reserve at 748660.  RHQ Recce Troop supplied 3 scout car patrols to fill in “B” Sqn’s line.  Shortly after moving into position at 749641, 2 Troop “B” Sqn had one man killed, and one wounded by a shell, while they were outside their tank having breakfast.    
      There was no enemy activity on their front during the day.  During the evening 2 SWB of 56 Bde occupied the area immediately behind “B” Sqn patrols, thereby greatly strengthening the position and linking up with 2 Glosters on right and 2 Essex on left.  
  2   Still under comd 56 Bde.  “C” Sqn relieved “B” Sqn at first light but had little enemy activity on their front during the day.  “A” & “C” Sqns in Regtl reserve.                              
      In the afternoon one Sqn of 61 Recce Regt arrived in area “C” Sqn to come under comd 56 Bde and to take over “C” Sqn's role w.e.f. first light tomorrow.                                                                     

“C” Sqn ordered to maintain patrols up till last light, then concentrate in present leaguer area and be prepared to reinforce 61 Recce tomorrow if occasion demanded.

      Word was received that the residue party under Major Gwyn, MC, had landed.  The absence of this party had been a source of considerable inconvenience, the men being badly needed to replace casualties, and the electric welding plant, which had been left in this party, for modification to tanks.  
  3   Still under comd 56 Bde but 7 Armd Div O.O. NO4. was received and preparations made to implement it.  Maj J.Gwyn, MC, and the residue party, less Lt Tisdall and the AA tanks, arrived.  
      C.O. attended an address by the CinC, Gen. Montgomery, at Div HQ to all offrs of 7 Armd Div of the rank of LtCol and upwards.  Major Dunne and Lt Rampf, who had been wounded during the advance to VILLERS BOCAGE returned from hospitals in England.  N.T.R. from Sqns.  
  4   Regt reverted to comd 7 Armd Div and came under comd 131 Bde.  At this time the whole of 7 Armd Div was in Corps reserve.   
      C.O. left with a Recce Party to choose Sqn areas.  Regt moved off at 1030hrs, RHQ leading, to the CONDE SUR SEULLES area 8373.  RHQ leaguering at 838738, “B” Sqn 838742, “A” Sqn 826727, “C” Sqn 824729.  
      In the afternoon the C.O. and Sqn Ldrs recced battle positions in front of 131 Bde’s battle position.  In the event of an attack on 50 (N) Div front the Regt’s task would be to occupy these positions and hold them until 131 Bde could occupy their position at BUCEELS, after which the Regt would withdraw to the rear of the Bde position and be responsible for flank recce and protection.  
838738 5   Under comd 131 Bde.  Day spent by Sqns recce’ing the areas selected the day before and choosing troop positions.  N.T.R. from RHQ.  
  6   Under comd 131 Bde with all Sqns at 2 hrs notice.  Sqns holding Tank Comdr's tactical courses, map reading courses and mine detector courses.  C.O. held a conference to discuss the future training of tanks in close co-operation with infantry.  
  7   Under comd 131 Bde.  G.O.C. 7 Armd Div, Maj-Gen Erskine, CB, DSO, paid a visit to the Regt and went around the leaguer area.  8H O.O. No2. issued  
  8   Under comd 131 Bde.  “A” Sqn commenced training in close co-operation with the infantry.  
      C.O., 2i/c, “B” & “C” Sqn Ldrs attended 22 Armd Bde TEWT.  Four Officers attended a  Div demonstration of DUKWs towing A/Tank guns across a river.    
      C.O. and Sqn Ldrs watched 5 R Tanks co-operating with infantry.  
      C.O. attended a GOC’s conference at Div HQ at 1700hrs.  
  9   Under comd 131 Bde.  As a result of Div Comdr’s conference on evening 8 July the C.O. carried out a recce in the area ANDRIEU 8671, and selected the battle positions shown on the trace, afterwards attending a co-ordinating conference held on the ground by Brig Hind.  Also present were C.O’s of Units of 22 Armd Bde, 5 RHA and 260 A/Tk Bty, NY.  
  10   Under comd 131 Bde.  Training in co-operation of tanks with infantry continued, 131 Bde supplying the infantry from 1/6 Queens.    
      The AA Tks, which had arrived from the UK on 9th , were handed over to 15 LAA and 65 A/Tk Regt, Norfolk Yeomanry, for use as gun towers.  Owing to the almost complete absence of German aircraft it was felt that the AA Tks wasted valuable manpower, and their disposal made the vehicle crew problem much easier.  
  11   Under comd 131 Bde.  Two Troops and “A” Sqn HQ, and one Coy of 1/5 Queens, trained together in close co-operation between tanks and infantry.  Brig Pepper, Comdr 131 Bde, attended.  
  12   Under comd 131 Bde.  Training in co-operation between tanks and infantry continued.  
838638 13   Under comd 131 Bde.  Individual training continued.  “C” Sqn were training with 1/6 Queens  
  14   Under comd 131 Bde.  Training in co-operation with Inf. continued.  Sqn courses continued.  8H Op Order No3 issued.  
  15   Under comd 1311 Bde.  Training as before continued.  C.O. accompanied Brig Pepper, Comd 131 Bde, on a recce  of the area East of the ORNE as it was known that the Regt might operate there.  
  16   Under comd 131 Bde.  C.O. held a conference to discuss a future operation on the East bank of the ORNE, and issued preliminary orders and orders for a move to a concentration area. (See 8H movement order)  
  17   Under comd 131 Bde.  At 0900hrs the Regt formed up ready to move in accordance with 8H Movement Order for this date.  After reaching new location – area 890783 – maps for the operation were issued and the C.O. held a conference to discuss it.  
      Major N.G.F.Dunne, O.C. “B” Sqn, was evacuated as a wound he had received in the VILLERS BOCAGE action had not healed, and Capt J.Robertson assumed Comd of “B” Sqn.  
890783   18   Under comd 131 Bde.   At approx 1000hrs Regt moved out on the approach march to the ORNE bridgehead .(See Appx VII, 8H, Op Order 4 for route.).  After a slow start and many hold-ups the ORNE was reached at about 2200hrs but the Regt was not able to cross and the end of the day found the Regt still on the move.  
Area 1072   19   Under comd 131 Bde.  Regt arrived and leaguered in this area in the early hours of the morning.  At 0800hrs the C.O. issued verbal orders and, after waiting for 131 Bde, moved to area 0969.  No further movement during the day.  
  20   Under comd 131 Bde.   Orders were received for the Regt to support 131 Bde in the BOURGEBUS, FOUR, SOLIERS area.    
      At 1830hrs “C” Sqn moved to this area and occupied positions of observation around the village, which was held by 1/7 Queens.  RHQ moved to 084657.  “A” Sqn sent a tank to FOUR 0962, which was held by 1/6 Queens.  “B” Sqn remained in reserve looking out towards HUBERT FOLIE 0662 and BRAS 0663.  
      Sections of the RHQ Recce Troop were allotted to Sqns.  At 2300hrs the Regt came under comd 22 Armd Bde but remained in support 131 Bde.  
  21   Under comd 22 Armd Bde.  Dispositions as for the 20th.  During the day “A” & “C” Sqns were able to observe enemy movements and dispositions on their fronts.  Some tanks were seen and targets were found for 5 RHA who carried out effective shoots.     
      5 RHA had an OP up with “C” Sqn and the B comd at RHQ.  Both Sqns were subjected to fairly heavy and accurate shellfire during the day, as a result of which Lt D.S.Scott was killed, and a tank comdr in “A” Sqn was killed.  1  
      31 Bde were to be relieved by 8 Canadian Bde, 3 Cdn Div, and the Regt was ordered to remain in support of 8 Cdn Div, reverting to comd 7 Armd Div.  
  22   In support 8 Cdn Bde.  Dispositions as before.  Relief of 131 Bde completed in the morning.  C.O. visited 9th and 2nd Cdn Armd Bdes to discuss the Regt’s dispositions.  During the day both "C" and "A" Sqns were able to report enemy movements and to observe for the RHA.  
      Four 10.5cm guns were successfully engaged, a 21cm gun knocked out, and various other targets, inc half-track carriers, were taken on.  Shelling continued during the day and several casualties were suffered.  
      At 1800hrs "B" Sqn commenced relieving "C" Sqn, the relief taking place troop by troop, and being spread over two hours to avoid bringing down enemy fire.  The relief was completed by 2300hrs, "C" Sqn returning to RHQ area.  "A" Sqn moved up a short distance to cover the area vacated by "B" Sqn, and maintained one troop in FOUR.  
      Lt.Dickenson, the L.O. at 8 Cdn Bde HQ, was wounded during a ground strafing attack by enemy aircraft and was evacuated.  
  23   In support 8 Cdn Bde.  RHQ at 084657, other dispositions as at last light, "C" Sqn being in reserve.  Sqns had nothing to report throughout the morning and there was little shelling.   
      At 1515hrs "A" Sqn observed a small party of enemy infantry moving on their front and passed information to 5 RHA.  As a result of shelling at about 1700hrs Lt. A.Brodie, "B" Sqn, was killed, and two Ors were wounded.  O.C. issued orders for “Operation Spring”, and visited "B" Sqn to inform "B" Sqn Ldr that he would be relieved by a Cdn armoured unit on 24th.  
  24   In support 8 Cdn Bde.  Dispositions as for 23rd.  Very slight activity on "A" & "B" Sqn fronts.  The takeover from "B" Sqn by a Cdn armoured unit was put forward to 1800hrs and by 2100hrs "B" Sqn was clear of BOURGEBUS and leaguered in RHQ area.    
      Owing to the almost continual shelling tank crews had been forced to remain in their tanks for 48 hours and all ranks were very tired.  The shelling also damaged several tanks although none was put out of action.  The C.O. issued orders for “Operation Spring” and put all ranks in the general picture, telling them the general plan and the role of the Regt.  
  25   Under comd 131 Bde.  At 0600hrs the Regt formed up ready to follow 1/7 Queen’s.  Order of march was "A", "C", ”RHQ”, "B", and route was 082656 – 054672 – 042661 – 047644 where the Regt halted and deployed off the road, RHQ and "B" going to area 048644, "A" & "C" Sqns going to area 045642.  
      O.C. "A" Sqn, Maj. G.W.G.Threlfall, MC, was killed by a shell bursting close to his tank whilst he was outside it, Capt R.H.Ames took over comd of the Sqn.  As the advance had halted and RHQ was in a closely packed gun area, "B" Sqn were moved to their last leaguer area 082657 and RHQ moved to 058654 for the night.  "A" & "C" Sqns remained where they were.  
058654  26   Under comd 131 Bde.  "B" Sqn returned to RHQ area.  131 Bde were ordered to form a firm base in the area East and West of BEAUVOIR FARM 0461 and in the afternoon the Regt moved up to take over from the 22nd Armd Bde.  "A" Sqn taking up positions on the left with Sqn HQ at 045626 and "C" Sqn Rt with Sqn HQ at 041621.    
      This area was under shellfire and the rest of the day was largely spent in the tks or in slit trenches.  "B" Sqn remained in regtl reserve at 042629.  17 Pdrs and M10s of the Norfolk Yeomanry were also brought up to this position and some of the "C" Sqn tanks were dug in by an armoured bulldozer.  
041626  27   Under Comd 131 Bde.  Dispositions as for 26th.  During the day "A" & "C" Sqns were able to see slight enemy movements and a tp of "C" Sqn successfully engaged a small party of inf with the 75mm.    
      An OP and a suspected OP were spotted, a NEBELWERFER Bty was located and as both Sqns were shelled on and off all day, numerous shell reps. were sent in.  RHQ area was also shelled.  
  28   Under Comd 131 Bde.  Dispositions as for 27th.  A Tp of "C" Sqn engaged an OP in a factory South of VERRIERES 0560.  Small inf movements were observed.  Various dust clouds were also observed over rds in dead ground to the Sqns.    
      RHQ came under fairly heavy shellfire and moved to the dead ground 043632 where the enemy could no longer observe his fire.  
      Orders were received for the Regt to move West of the ORNE on 29 Jul. and the C.O. issued a warning order.  
043632  29   Under Comd 131 Bde.  Sqn dispositions as for 28th.  Very slight enemy movement could be observed on "A" & "C" Sqn fronts.  Enemy shelling continued on the same scale.  T  
      he C.O. of the R Scots Greys arrived at RHQ to discuss the takeover from the Regt.  Sqns were ordered to remain in position in the usual way until last light.  "B" Sqn and part of RHQ Recce Tp left for the new location in the area 772741.    
      Orders were issued for the Regt to move at 0100hrs 30 Jul.  Order of march – RHQ, "A", and "C", with the MO’s two half-tracked vehs and the ambulance bringing up the rear.  
  30   The Regt completed a difficult night march, without incident, from area IFS (M.R. 043632) back to the BOCAGE country, and harboured in area JUAYE-MONDAYE, arriving at approx 0730hrs.    
      Sqns and Echelons were all harboured in adjacent fields.. The remainder of this day and 31 July were spent on maintenance and refitting for future ops.  
  31   Maintenance.  Op order No 5 issued. (Appx IX).  


August 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col C. Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
772741  1   Under Comd 22 Armd Bde.  Regt moved at 0830hrs.  Order of march : "B" Sqn, "A" Sqn, RHQ, "C" Sqn.  Route : X rds 7772 – X rds 7663 – rd junc 7563 – CAUMONT BY PASS – CAHAGNES 7356 – X rds ROBIN 7553 – JURQUES 7551 – MESNIL AZOUF – MONT PINCON 8345.  Progress was very slow and by last light RHQ had just reached outskirts of CAGHARNES when the order to halt was received.  Leaguered 728568.  
      During the night enemy aircraft was active and casualties were caused in the A2 Ech.  
751541  2   Still under comd 22 Armd Bde.  "B" Sqn was given the role of left flank protection to the advance of 1 R Tks on AUNAY-SUR-ODON 8351.  "A" & "C" Sqns were left in reserve.  "B" Sqn moved at approx 0600hrs advancing one tp up.    
      Good progress was made to rd junc 7754 but here the leading tk was knocked out by a well sited A/T gun and the route was abandoned in favour of one to LA VALLEE 790539 but just WEST of LA VALLEE the leading tank was knocked out and the Tp Ldr with his sole remaining tk withdrew.  No further adv was made, 1, 2, and 4 tps remaining in observation S.E. of the rd junc 7754.  The whole Regt leaguered in area 751541.  
  3   Under Comd 131 Bde.  "A" Sqn comd 1/7 Queen’s whose role was to clear the wood in area 7753.  This operation was successfully completed by approx 1700hrs.  at1712hrs 1/6 Queen’s reported that they were being attacked and would need tank sp.  C.O. 8H went forward to HQ 1/6 Queen’s at 785519 after ordering "C" Sqn to be in readiness.    
      Although it seemed that infantry rather than tks were required "C" Sqn , HQ and two tps moved into posn and stayed until 1/6 Queen’s were withdrawn at last light.  "C" Sqn took 10 P.W. from 3/276 FELD ERSATZ BN.  
  4   Under comd 131 Bde.  "A" and "C" Sqns were in firm bases with 1/5 and 1/7 Queen’s respectively.  "B" Sqn remained in reserve.  "C" Sqn  in area 778525 could observe considerable enemy activity.   
       Targets were spotted for 3 RHA and a large MET colmn withdrawing SOUTH was reported to AGRA who engaged it successfully.  At 2230hrs the C.O. returned from a confce at 131 Bde HQ and issued verbal orders for an advance to AUNAY-SUR-ODON 8351 to take place the following day.    
      "B" Sqn was to give left flank protection to this adv., followed by the remainder of the Regt.  Route ; X rds ROBIN 7553 – tank track 6935 – ST GEORGES d’AUNAY 7952 – X rds 812547 – LONGVILLERS 8354  
  5   A thick mist delayed "B" Sqn who moved at 0730hrs.  Satisfactory progress was made to rly line 804541 where the rd was found to be mined.  RHQ moved at 0900hrs to X rds 7553 where orders to halt were received from Bde.    
      After one hour the move continued to 787528 where the Regt less "B" Sqn halted again until 1900hrs.  Then a move was made to 807544 where "B" Sqn had halted and the Regt leaguered in that area.  
807544  6   Under comd 131 Bde.  No orders to move were received and the day was spent in maintenance and rest.  
  7   Under Comd 131 Bde.  No orders to move were received and the C.O. left for 131 Bde HQ to receive fresh orders.  On his return he issued verbal orders for a move to area 842494 and in amplification of 7 Armd Div Op Instr. No 2.  
      The Regt moved in the early evening, route 807544 – X rds 812547 – AUNAY  SUR ODON – 842494 where the Regt leaguered.  
842494  8   RHQ, "A" and "B" Sqns were on the move at first light.  "B" Sqn was under comd 131 Bde with a frontal reconnaissance role on Route A.  (See Appx).  
      8H less "B" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde Gp, with "A" Sqn leading and "C" Sqn in reserve were to follow Route B.  By 1000hrs the leading tps of "A" Sqn were NORTH of CAUVILLE 0742 where the adv was held up by enemy A/T fire and the Sqn remained in observation while arty fire was brought down.   
       "C" Sqn had been given the task of guarding the X rds at VALLEE 880471.  RHQ meanwhile had collected 4 enemy deserters at 880471 who had unexpectedly emerged from the woods.  "B" Sqn had been held up in the area LE PLESSIS BRIMOULT 8444 and no further advance was made that day.  "A" Sqn with 1.5 Queen’s was given the task of firm-basing the area of the X rds 871458 for the night.  RHQ withdrew to leaguer area 867474.  
867474 9   Regt less "B" Sqn under Comd 22 Armd Bde.  "B" Sqn under Comd 5 R Tanks who were under comd 131 Bde.  "A" Sqn in area X rds 8754, "C" Sqn in reserve near RHQ.  "A" Sqn had nothing to report at first light although their night leaguer had been in very close country with enemy infantry known to be in the nearby woods.   
      "A" Sqn were given a holding role and tps were not pushed out very far, with the exception of a tp ordered to recce in the direction of LA LANDE 8644 to find out if the enemy was still holding the line he had held on the day previous.  This tp was able to observe small enemy inf movements during the day and passed back valuable information during the day the gist of which was that the enemy had withdrawn most of his forces from his line of 8.10.44. At about 0900hrs RHQ moved to 869465 and "B" Sqn reverted to comd.  
869465  10   Under Comd 22 Armd Bde.  "A" Sqn with patrols out on a line of observation running roughly along the line of the high ground from 760460 to 772456.  "B" & "C" Sqns in reserve.  One Scout Car section of RHQ Recce Tp occupied the position previously held by a Tp of  "B" Sqn at 846449.  
      Shortly after first light a Tp of "A" Sqn and a Pl of “I” Coy 1RB recce’d and occupied Pt 281 – 8744 capturing five prisoners with no loss to themselves.  Orders were received to revert to Div Comd at 1200hrs at 1400hrs the Regt moved to 860478 to rest and refit with no commitments at all.  
860478  11   All Officers and NCOs paraded at 0930hrs to attend a talk by Lt.Gen Horrocks, Comd 30 Corps, at which he spoke of the achievements of the division under his command.  
      Maintenance was carried out from 0900hrs to 1200hrs the rest of the day being observed as a holiday.  Arrangements were made for baths for the men, cinemas and ENSA shows, and changes of kit and equipment.   
       The B and A2 Echs were brought up and the Regt was camped together again for the first time since leaving BOGNOR in June.  
  12   Day spent in maintenance and recreation.  Veh and tk crews were reorganised and the gaps caused by recent casualties were partially filled by inter Sqn transfers.  
  13   In Div reserve.  Maintenance and rest.  
  14   In Div reserve.  Maintenance and rest.  
  15   In Div reserve.  Maintenance and rest.  In the afternoon the C.O. issued orders.  7 Armd div was to move EAST of the ORNE to operate under comd of the CDN ARMY in the area of ST PIERRE SUR DIVES 8649.  
      Route : X rds 880471 – HAMARS 8948 – X rds 9457 – AMAY SUR ORNE 9657 – CLINCHAMP SUR ORNE 0057 – LAIZE LA VILLE 0157 – ROUBANCOURT 0558 thence via a tk track to CINTHEAUX 0853 – ST SYLVAIN – concentration area 1056.  Order of march : RHQ, "A", "B", "C", A1 and B Echs.  
  16   Under Comd 131 Bde.  8H start was delayed by other units.  At approx 0900hrs RHQ moved into posn in the coln.  Going was slow during the morning but speeded up in the afternoon.  By 1800hrs the Regt arrived in the leaguer area (099562).    
      Late in the evening the C.O. attended a conference at 131 Bde and arrangements were made for verbal orders to be given out at first light on 17 Aug.  
099562  17   At first light the C.O. issued his orders to amplify orders of comd 131 Bde.  (See Appx).  
      "C" Sqn came under comd 1/6 Queen’s, "B" Sqn under comd 1/7 Queen’s forthwith for the operation against LISIEUX.  "A" Sqn came under comd 1/5 Queen’s (in reserve) for the move.  HQ 8H under comd 131 Bde was to move with the main body.  (For S.P. and routes see Appx).  
      RHQ moved shortly before midday and by approx 1330hrs received orders to pull off the rd at 204527.  At approx 1600hrs RHQ moved to the area 248508 where they eventually leaguered.  "B" & "C" Sqns meanwhile had met stiff opposition EAST of ST PIERRE SUR DIVES and "C" Sqn had one tk knocked out by a bazooka.    
      The advance was held up and Bde decided to advance on LIVAROT 4772 the following day. (See Appx).  
248508  18   Under comd 131 Bde.  Under the amended plan 1/6 Queen’s Gp was to take the NORTHERN route : BOISSEY 326491 – LA SAMINIERE 439720 – LIVAROT and 1/7 Queen’s Gp  the SOUTHERN route  : MITTOIS 306481 – QUEVRUE 324473 – rd junc 408723 – LA SAMINIERE – LIVAROT.    
      In the morning HQ moved to 285493.  On the NORTH route "C" Sqn made progress though they were hindered by many unreliable civilian reports.  In the area of LA SAMINIERE they met A/T guns which knocked out the leading tank of 5 Tp.  3 Tp took the lead but also had its leading tank knocked out.    
      The A/T gun concerned was accounted for by the Tp Ldr but his own tank was knocked out by another gun and he himself killed.  "B" Sqn had also been having a difficult task in the area of MONTVIETTE 4273 which was strongly held.  The country here was definitely unsuited to tanks and the Queen’s infantry led, closely supported by "B" Sqn.    
      Throughout the afternoon casualties and damage was caused to our troops by the attacks of our own fighter aircraft, and the Intelligence Officer was badly wounded.  RHQ leaguered at 285493.  
  20   Under Comd 131 Bde.  At 0900hrs RHQ moved to the area BOISSEY 333493.  Orders were received that 8H would revert to Div reserve at 2215hrs, less "A" Sqn which would come u/c 22 Armd Bde.  (See Appx).  
      During the day "A" and "B" Sqns assisted 131 Bde in mopping up operations.  RHQ leaguered at BOISSY.  
333493  21   Maintenance and rest in Div reserve.  Reinforcements arrived from the NORTHANTS YEOMANRY.  
      "A" Sqn was patrolling the main rd LIVAROT – LISIEUX  (5387)  8H LESS "A" Sqn ordered to move to area 467765 on 22 Aug there to remain in Div reserve.(See Appx).  
  22   8H less "A" Sqn moved at approx 1300hrs.  Route : BOISSEY – LA SAMINIERE 4372 – LIVAROT 4672 – 467765 where the Regt leaguered still in Div reserve.  
467765  23   In Div Reserve.  Maintenance and rest.  "A" Sqn reverted to Regtl Comd.  
  24   In Div Reserve.  8H ordered to move on afternoon of 24 Aug to a new conc area at 654863.  The Regt moved at approx 1630hrs.  Route : 467765 – X drs 494792 – FERVAQUES 5476 – x rds 592742 – rd junc 608782 – GLOS 5785 – X rds 800871 – 654868 where the Regt leaguered.  
654863   25   Maintenance and rest.  Orders were received in the evening that 8H would move to the area East of PONT-AUTHOU 8896 on 26 Aug  
  26   At 0815hrs the Regt moved. Route : L’HOTELLERIE 6686 – X rds 7086 – ST AUBIN 7189  where they halted for one hour.  The advance then continued to ST GEORGES DU VIVRE 8096 – PONT AUTHOU 8895 – 915963.  At 1500hrs 8H came u/c 131 Bde and the C.O. attended a Bde confce.    
      At approx 1600hrs "B" and "C" Sqns sent patrols to the area of BOSQ RENOULT 9300 to take over there from 22 Armd Bde.  Their orders were to cover the switch of the divisional centre-line, and to lead the enemy to think that the advance on ROUTOT was continuing by this route.  
      At last light RHQ drew back to firm base PONT AUTHOU with 131 Bde.  RHQ leaguered 895960.  
895960  27   8H was given the role of doing right flank protection to the adv of 22 Armd Bde on ROUTOT and were directed on the area of Pt 138 972093.  The Regt moved with two Sqns up, right "C" Sqn, left "B" Sqn, "A" Sqn reserve.  
      During the morning "C" Sqn made good progress to the line NORTHINGS 05, then halted waiting for "B" Sqn who had been held up by a rd block and mines in the BOSQ RENOULT 9300.  After 1300hrs both Sqns made good progress until "B" Sqn was again held up in the area of ST HILAIRE CHAU 9507 by inf and A/T guns whose posns were not discovered until 2 tks had been knocked out & 9 casualties caused.   
      "C" Sqn meanwhile cut the main rd BOURG ACHAT – ROUTOT.  One tank was knocked out here by A/T fire from the EAST, but the crew escaped.  51 Highland Div then passed through "C" Sqn to secure the area and both Sqns were withdrawn to the area of HQ leaguer at 964034.  
964034 28   8H was given no task and the morning and early afternoon were spent in rest and maintenance.  At 1800hrs the Regt moved to a new Div conc area at LIEUREY 747953 and leaguered at approx 2000hrs.  
747953  29   In Div Reserve.  The morning’s maintenance was prevented by rain and at midday the C.O. issued a warning order for a move to a fresh area S.W. of LOUVIERS.  At 1735hrs the Regt moved out.  Route : LIEUREY – GIVERVILLE 7891 – rd junc 791864 – FONTAINE 8884 – X rds 9980 – X rds 0279 – rd junc 067771 – 094783 where the Regt leaguered at 2100hrs.  
094783 30   Again no maintenance was possible owing to rain.  Offrs from the NORTHANTS YEOMANRY now joined the Regt.  In the afternoon the C.O. went to a Div confce. and the Regt stood by ready to move the morning of 31 Aug.  
  31   At 0030hrs 8H Op Odr No 6 was issued. (See Appx).  
      The Regt moved out before first light & RHQ crossed the start line at 0745hrs.  The crossing of the R. SEINE was delayed by br repairs and movement on the congested rds was slow.  In the late afternoon & evening however good progress was made and the Regt leaguered in area 640301.  


September 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. C.Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
640301  1   U/C 131 Bde.  At first light the adv. to the R. SOMME continued.  O of M was "A" Sqn, Det RE, C Coy 1/7 Queen’s, RHQ, D Bty 3 RHA, "C" Sqn, "B" Sqn, A1 Ech.  Excellent progress was made and by approx 1400hrs the leading tp of "A" Sqn was within sight of the SOMME.    
      The centre line had been changed slightly earlier and 8H objective was the br. at HANGEST 9469.  "A" Sqn reported this blown and the leading tp. halted in the area 9069 in observation of the enemy on the NORTH bank.  RHQ halted in the area 876643 for the afternoon. In the evening the C.O. issued verbal orders for the crossing of the R. SOMME by the bridge in 0760, the move to take place that night.    
      8H moved out at approx 2300hrs.  Route : rd junc 873636 – MONTAGNE-FAYEL 8762 – X rds MOLLIENS 9058 – BRIQUEMESNIL 9457 – PERRIERES 0158 – rd junc 063593 – X rds 070601 .  
      LONGPRE 0761 – X rds 083627 – X rds 061647, Where the Regt went into close leaguer for the night.  
061647  2  

At first light the C.O. issued verbal orders.  8H intention was to capture ST POL 1611 and to secure the high ground to the NORTH.  Method : The Regt would move, one Sqn up, along the centre line X rds  061647 – ST VAST 0366 – VIGNACOURT 0371 – SANDAS 0981 – DOULLENS 1586 – FREVENT 1200 – ST POL.  Order of March  : "C" Sqn, Det RE, Tp 258 Bty NY, Tac HQ, C Coy 1/7 Queen’s, D Bty 3 RHA, "A" Sqn, RHQ "B" Sqn.

      Again excellent progress was made and in the early afternoon "C" Sqn were in contact with the enemy immediately SOUTH of ST POL.  The town was strongly held with an A/Tk gun on the main rd.  ST POL -FREVENT.  Two "C" Sqn tanks attempting to force a passage were knocked out.  A half-track of the M.O. which was sent along this rd to pick up casualties from the ROYALS was brewed up.  Nevertheless by last light our patrols had succeeded in cutting all but one of the enemy’s lines of retreat.  RHQ leaguered at 153077.  
153077 3  

At approx 0400hrs 8H was ordered to send strong patrols into ST POL.  The task was carried out before first light by 1/7 Queen’s who reported that the town was still stubbornly held.  A plan of attack was drawn up by the C.O. but 131 Bde ordered its postponement and 8H were then warned to disengage and to stand by ready to bypass ST POL to the EAST. At approx 1200hrs "A" Sqn came under comd 22 Armd Bde who were to lead the adv. on the new centre line.  Meanwhile 8H had been collecting a considerable bag both of prisoners and tpt. in the area ST POL and WEST of FREVENT where "B" Sqn had carried out a number of successful skirmishes against an enemy struggling to withdraw through our centre line.  Apart from one Tp Ldr of "C" Sqn, severely wounded by shrapnel, our own casualties were light.

      At approx 2000hrs 8H moved out to join 131 Bde coln. which was already passing up the new axis.  Route : rd junc 140058 – BUNEVILLE 1705 – TERNAS 2007 – rd junc 239091 – X rds 3306 – rd junc 353090 where orders were received to leaguer for the night.  RHQ leaguered 349101.  "B" Sqn were called out to protect 131 Bde HQ who were leaguered on the rd. SERVINS – HERSIN 390178 and had received reports of enemy tk. movements from the local FFI.  The night, however, was uneventful.  
349101    4   No orders to move had been received at first light but the C.O. went to a conference at 131 Bde HQ and the Regt stood to their vehicles.  On his return the C.O. issued verbal orders for the continuation of the advance to GHENT in which 8H was again to lead.    
      The time of start was to be notified by 131 Bde, but though the Regt stood by in readiness throughout the morning the operation was eventually cancelled and 8H was ordered to hand over its immediate petrol supplies to 30 Corps on our right.  "A" Sqn in the area HERSIN 3918 reverted to Regtl comd.  
  5   No orders to move had been received, so the Regt remained in the leaguer area to spend a day of maintenance and rest.  Communications with 7 Armd Div soon became impossible and it was evident that 8H was dropping well behind the main adv.  
      The C.O. therefore decided to move fwd on the 6 Sep, subject to Divisional approval and an Operation Instruction was issued (See Appx II).  Permission was however refused by Division owing to the lack of rd space.  8H was ordered to remain in its present location to rest and refit and with no commitments whatsoever. Appx II
  6   Maintenance and rest was considerably hindered by continuous rain.  HQ leaguer area was sited on low ground which soon became boggy so a recce party was sent to find billets in the village of CAMBLIGNEUL 3610 and it was arranged that RHQ move there the following day.  
  7   RHQ moved into billets area 362101.  Maintenance and rest in Div Reserve.  
362101  8   Maintenance and rest in Div Reserve.  Hot showers for the Regt were organised in the town of HERSIN 3717 near A2 and B Echelons.  Leave parties now began to visit the neighbouring towns, war memorials and last war battlefields.  
  9   Maintenance and rest in Div Reserve.  
  10   Maintenance and rest in Div Reserve.  Orders were received for the Regt to move to area 1 m. EAST of OORDEGEM 325683 in Belgium on 11 Sep.  8H Movement Order 11 Sep 44 was issued.  (See Appx III) The Regt was to remain in Div Reserve. Appx III
  11   The Regt moved at approx 0730hrs and crossed the Belgian frontier at approx 1100hrs.  By 1600hrs RHQ was in its leaguer area 300695, "A", "B", and "C" Sqns leaguered close to RHQ.  
300695  12   In Div Reserve.  The day was spent in refitting and maintenance.  In the afternoon 8H was ordered to move to a new Div concentration area EAST of MALINES. (See Appx IV). Appx IV
  13   8H moved at approx 1200hrs. and reached its new location 751762 at approx 1600hrs.  The Regt appeared likely to remain in this rest area for several days and arrangements were therefore made to send leave parties to BRUSSELS and passes were granted to the town of MALINES.  
751762  14   Leave parties were sent off in the morning and the remainder of the Regt carried out maintenance.  Orders were received from Division for RHQ and two Sqns to stand by in readiness for a move to a fwd concentration area.  (See Appx V) Appx V
      In the Evening the C.O. attended a conference at Div HQ and issued orders at 2100hrs for a move on 15 Sep.  8H with tps under comd  (See 8H Op Order No 7) were to relieve recce elements of 15 (S) Div and 53 Div by 1200hrs 15 Sep.  Method : Right "A" Sqn, left "B" Sqn.  Reserve at 30 mins notice "C" Sqn.  Inter Sqn bndry : NORTH - SOUTH rd, BOUWEL – HERRENTOUT inc. "B" Sqn.  I Coy 1 RB were to cover the wooded area right and left of the inter Sqn boundary.  
  15   8H with under comd  I Coy 1 RB and CC Bty 5 RHA moved out at 0915hrs.  Route : X rds 7776 – WAVRE NOTRE DAME 7878 – KONIGSHOYCKT 8182 – LIERRE where the C.O. ordered a halt owing to a report received of enemy in HERENTHOUT 9186.  The Recce Tp was sent to investigate and to establish standing patrols in this area.   T  
      hey found that the enemy had withdrawn 2 hrs previously.  Meanwhile I Coy 1 RB had found 15 (S) Div recce elts in difficulties in the area 930906 where they were trying to recover a ration lorry under enemy fire from across the canal.  The lorry was found to be brewed up and the rations unsalvageable.  
      On "B" Sqn sector there was little to report during the day apart from enemy digging across the canal.  "A" Sqn reported considerable enemy activity in and SOUTH of HEERENTHALS 9690 where all brs across the canal were found to be blown.  At 1915hrs the C.O. attended a conference at 131 Bde and on his return issued fresh orders.    
      As from 0800hrs 16 Sep. 8H was to come under comd 131 Bde and take over responsibility for a new sector.  Right; the line of the canal LIERRE 7886 – canal junc 856923.  Left; 71 Northings line to 710982.  RHQ leaguered 884860.  
884860 16   At approx 0800hrs "C" Sqn moved to take over on the left of the new sector and "B" Sqn leap-frogged patrols from EAST to WEST to cover the right.  "A" Sqn came into reserve.  RHQ moved at 1230hrs, the old sector having been handed over to 1 R Tks.  
      Route : LIERRE – rd junc 740900 – chateau 745930.  I Coy 1 RB remained under comd 8H in reserve with "A" Sqn.  
745930  17   Under Comd 131 Bde.  During the day "B" Sqn did some successful sniping across the canal.  Heavy enemy mortar fire caused 2 casualties in "C" Sqn.  Apart from this the Sqns had nothing to report.    
      At 2100hrs the C.O. returned from a conference at 131 Bde and gave out verbal orders.  8H under comd 131 Bde  were to hand over their sector to 11 Hussars on 18 Sep and move to 131 Bde sector NORTH of the ALBERT CANAL in the triangle AART 0793 – MEERENTHALS 9790 – MET PUNT 0486.    
      On arrival there "A" Sqn would be in sp. 1/5 Queen’s, "C" Sqn in sp 1/7 Queen’s and "B" Sqn in reserve with RHQ.  The Regt was to fall in behind 131 Bde coln at S.P.  PUTTE 8277 on the move to the new area.  
  18   Under comd 131 Bde.  8H moved out at 0720hrs.  Route : rd junc 739900 – LIERRE 7886 – KONINGSMOYCKT 8182 – X rds 0481 – rd fork 0486 rd junc 035870.  RHQ and "B" Sqn moved to area VELVEKEN 0487, "A" Sqn to 019877, "C" Sqn to area BOEKEL 0189.    
      There was little enemy activity, though Germans occupied MEERENTHALS and had FDLs to the EAST of it, and, as 131 Bde had a holding role only, 8H was enabled to carry out a limited amount of maintenance.  At last light "C" Sqn moved to 017893.  RHQ leaguered at 045880.  
045880 19   Under comd 131 Bde. A quiet day.  The Regt carried out maintenance in so far as its role permitted.  
  20   Under comd 131 Bde.  Maintenance as on 19 Sep.  At 1800hrs 8H reverted to Comd 7 Armd Div in readiness for a new role on 21 Sep.  (See Appx) At 2000hrs the C.O. issued verbal orders for the move, and for the relief of 44 Bde 15 (S) Div.   
      Method : right sector "B" Sqn with in sp 1 RB less two coys; left "C" Sqn.  Inter-Sqn bndry., road DESSCHEL 1696 – MOLL 1690.  "A" Sqn to remain in reserve.  

At Approx 0730hrs 8H moved. Route : rd junc 085870 – rd fork 0486 – GMEEL 0788 – MOLL 1690.  RHQ remained at the school 167908.  The take-over was uneventful and the Sqn had little to report.  At midday an order was received from 7 Armd Div that 8H would extend its area of responsibility EASTWARD. (See Appx).

      This the C.O. felt unable to do with tps then under comd.  It was therefore arranged that the remainder of 1/6 Queen’s bn. come under comd 8H and take over responsibility for the new sector.  The Coy 6 Queen’s already under comd relieved     5 DG in that area by last light.  
167908  22   There was little enemy activity during the day apart from digging and mortaring.  6 Queen’s Bn came under comd 8H an the regt’s right flank.  RHQ remained in the leaguer area 167908.  A Tp of "C" Sqn in the afternoon came across four American airmen who had baled out of their machine and evacuated them.  
  23   Reports were received that the enemy was thinning out and possibly withdrawing NORTH of the JUNCTION CANAL and our patrols were more active.  8H tps were unable to cross the canal as all bridges were blown but a 1 RB patrol crossed by a footbridge and reported RETHY 1599 clear.    
      The French and Belgian L.Os att to 8H also crossed and returned with a GAF deserter.  He had left his unit two days previously and was unable to supply any useful information.  8H came under comd 131 Bde and orders were received for a move to the area of EINDHOVEN on 24 Sep.  
  24   8H reverted to comd 7 Armd Div and moved at first light as per Movement Order.  RHQ leaguered at 379140.  No maintenance was possible owing to rain.  At approx 1700hrs the C.O. attended a conference at 131 Bde.  At 2300hrs he issued verbal orders.    
      Information the enemy had cut the 30 Corps Centre line with inf and tanks at approx 4534.  8H was under comd 131 Bde, with under comd of 8H 5 Queen’s bn and one coy 7 Queen’s bn.  Intention: 8H Gp would simultaneously clear 30 Corps centre-line between ST OEDENRODE 4232 and canal 473369, and attack and capture SCHIJNDEL 4137.    
      Method : "A" Sqn, with under comd one Coy 7 Queen’s bn would advance on SCHINDEL, Route : main rd ST OEDENRODE 4232 – SCHINDEL 4137.  "B" Sqn would give left flank protection to adv of "C" Sqn by sending patrols up rd, rd junc 426328 – OLLAND 3834  
379140   25   At  0700hrs 8H moved.  The Order of March was "A" Sqn, "C" Sqn, RHQ, "B" Sqn.  Before "A" Sqn reached ST OEDENRODE, 131 Bde reported that this Sqn’s role was to be carried out by 5DG.  "A" Sqn therefore reverted to 8H reserve and moved to 426328 with RHQ.  With inf assistance "C" Sqn cleared the woods 4234 and 4334 while the leading tp on the main rd to SCHINDEL reached 419354.  It became evident that the enemy was holding the line of  the rly EAST of SCHINDEL in some strength with FDLs on the dyke 425367 – 410362 and "C" Sqn was therefore not ordered to continue the advance.    
      Meanwhile "B" Sqn had been successfully protecting the left flank of "C" Sqn with 3 tps echeloned back from the leading tp of "C" to the rd at 401329, and had been subjected to considerable mortar fire and shelling.  At last light 5 Queen’s bn. firm based the area NORTH and NW of the woods cleared during the day, and the Sqns withdrew their patrols for the night.  During this operation 8H captured an enemy ambulance, knocked out three enemy transports and also two 88mm A/T guns – whose destruction was confirmed by P.W. taken on Sep 26.  
426328  26   At first light patrols from "B" and "C" Sqns again went fwd and harassed the enemy FDLs, overrunning several posns.  Fifteen prisoners were taken from 1035 GR of 59 Div.  This Div had returned from CALAIS and had once again crossed our path NORTH of ST POL.  Again there was heavy mortar and shellfire on our fwd Sqns and several casualties caused.  Night dispositions were as for 25 Sep.  
  27   B" and "C" Sqns sent out patrols at first light.  8H role was still a holding one and there was little to report during the day.  At approx 1100hrs 8H less "B" and "C" Sqns were ordered to move to a new area SOUTH of VEGHEL, "C" Sqn to remain in its location until relieved by 158 Bde of 53 (W) Div.  "B" Sqn was to come under comd 158 Bde on its arrival  and to act as a mob reserve.    
      At 1530hrs RHQ less Tac HQ moved to 463357.  Tac HQ and "A" Sqn followed at last light.  During the night the enemy counterattacked on our right flank but "B" and "C" Sqns reported all quiet.  An L.O. from 131 Bde arrived with orders for "A" Sqn to carry out operation NW of VEGHEL but this was almost immediately cancelled and "A" Sqn remained in reserve.  
463357  28   8H less "B" Sqn was still under comd 131 Bde, "C" Sqn was relieved and moved to RHQ area.  There was sporadic shelling in the area of "B" Sqn HQ during the day, otherwise nothing to report.    
      The Regt was ordered to move, less "B" Sqn, to the area of 7 Armd Div HQ at 1500hrs.  This order was however cancelled but 8H less two Sqns came under comd 131 Bde.  
  29   At 1200hrs the whole regt came under comd 15(S) Div who had taken over the sector.  8H was now a mob reserve with a counterattack role. (See Op Order att at Appx X) Appx X
  30   Under comd 15 (S) Div.  As far as commitments allowed the regt carried out maintenance.  In the afternoon hot showers were arranged at a nearby farm.  


October 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. C.Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1   Under Comd 15 (S) Div, with the role of a mobile reserve.  (See 8H Operational Order No 8). During the night 30 Sep/1 Oct the enemy counter-attacked on our sector but this attack was broken up by our mortar and arty fire and 8H was not called out.  During the day the regt carried out maintenance as far as commitments allowed.    
      At 1700hrs the C.O. gave out his orders for an attack on WEIBOSCH 4237 and SCHIJNDEL 4038, to be carried out in conjunction with 158 Bde of 53 (W) Div.  The attack was planned for 4 Oct but was cancelled on 3 Oct.  
  2   Maintenance and rest in 15(S) Div res.  
  3   8H came under comd 51 (H) Div who were relieving 15(S) Div but the regt’s role remained unaltered.  
  4   Under comd 51(H) Div in mobile res role.  5 Queen’s left comd 8H.  During the morning the C.O. gave a talk to all Sqns and echelons in which he dealt with the current war situation, and stressed the necessity of adopting a non-fraternisation policy towards German civilians when the regt had crossed the Reich’s frontiers  
  5   Under comd 51(H) Div in mobile res role.  Leading elts of 107 RAC of 34 Tk Bde arrived in 8H area preparatory to taking over.  The relief was to be completed by 8 Oct when 8H would revert to comd 7 Armd Div, and, less one Sqn under comd 131 Bde, would relieve 5 R.Tks in VEGHEL 4837.  
  6   8H less two Sqns under comd 131 Bde and responsible for the defence of VEGHEL 4837.  At approx 0900hrs "A" Sqn moved to VEGHEL to relieve Sqn of 5 R Tks.  The enemy was holding the WEST bank of the ZUID WILLEMS CANAL as far as EASTINGS 45, so patrols from HQ Recce Tp were sent to the area 4539 during the morning to counter possible enemy crossings.  
      These standing patrols remained out until last light but reported no enemy movement.  At approx 1500hrs RHQ less Tac HQ moved to area 473375.  Tac HQ and "C" Sqn remained in their old locations until the takeover by 107 RAC was completed, after which "C" Sqn came into reserve in VEGHEL.  "B" Sqn had moved in the early morning to the area LOOSBROEK 4544 and came under comd 131 Bde as a mobile res.    
      On 8H arriving at VEGHEL, 621 Fd Sqn RE came under comd with tps disposed along the line of the rly 463378 – 472383.  
472383 7   8H less "B" Sqn under comd 131 Bde and responsible for the defence of VEGHEL.  At first light Recce Tp patrols moved out to the same area as on 6 Oct but again they had nothing to report.  As far as possible HQ, "A" and "C" Sqns continued with maintenance.  Morning stand-to which had been in force since 30 Sep was continued from 0600 to 0630hrs.  
      Evening stand-to was discontinued as the enemy did not appear active in 8H sector.  
  8   8H less "B" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  At first light Recce Tp patrols went out as usual.  Again they had nothing to report though in the late afternoon small parties of enemy inf estimated at 12 men succeeded in crossing the canal at 425409 and 437405, overrunning a Queen’s Bde O.P. at the former location.  
      Civilian reports placed these enemy patrols as far EAST as the area 4739 but no trace of them could be found and it was assumed that they had succeeded in re-crossing the canal although the post at 425409 had been re-established.  During the day "B" Sqn sent a successful fighting patrol, consisting of two tps, to MIDDELRODE 4042.  
      Although the enemy reacted strongly and put down hy DF with mortars and arty out tks reached the EASTERN outskirts of the village and shot up numerous enemy in the village.  They were however unable to obtain a P.W. for identification purposes  
  9   8H less "B" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  During the day Recce Tp patrols reported only stray rifle shots WEST of the canal.  During the afternoon the enemy shelled VEGHEL, five rds of hy calibre landing in the vicinity of the cinema which was in use by our own tps at the time.  There were no casualties.  
  10   8H less "B" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  At midday a Daimler patrol of the Recce Tp found itself attacked by converging rifle and MG fire.  It was unable to gain observation of the enemy and withdrew.  "A" Tp of "C" Sqn was sent out but found no trace of the enemy.  T  
      he Daimler patrol was restored, with light tks in close sp, and a foot patrol was maintained on the bank of the canal itself.  "A" Sqn relieved "B" Sqn in the area LOOSBROEK and came under comd 6 Queen’s bn.  "A" Tp supported by Inf undertook a fighting patrol to 402445.  Four enemy, possibly more, were killed, and useful identifications obtained.  
  11   Under comd 131 Bde.  Recce Tp patrols were sent out as for 10 Oct but had nothing to report during the day.  Leave parties were sent to EINDHOVEN and re-painting and general maintenance of all vehicles continued.    
      One coy 6 Queen’s Bn. came under comd 8H at 1800hrs and 8H area of responsibility was re-defined : bdy between 8H and 6 Queen’s all inc 8H line of rly 479385 – canal br 464377.  
  12   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  Recce Tp patrols went to area 4539 at first light but had nothing to report during the day.  621 Fd Sqn RE left comd 8H at 0900hrs, their posns along rly line 479385 – canal br 464377 being taken over by one coy 6 Queen’s bn.  Refitting and maintenance was carried on as usual.  
  13   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  Again there was nothing to report from Recce Tp patrols on the ZUID WILLENS CANAL.  One Offr per Sqn was granted 48Hrs leave to ANTWERP  
  14   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  Again there was nothing to report from Recce Tp patrols on the ZUID WILLEMS CANAL, but considerable mine-laying activity on the part of the enemy was reported from the remainder of the Div front.  T  
      he C.O. held a conference on training and programmes for the following courses were approved :- Offrs Cromwell D&M Course, Tk Comd Course, Offr Patrol Leaders Course, Wireless Ops Course, Map-reading course.  In the afternoon a football match was played against a local team, resulting in a win for 8H.  
  15   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  At first light Recce Tp patrols went out as usual but had another quiet day.  Leave parties were sent to EINDHOVEN.  
  16   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  Courses, as planned, commenced and continued throughout the morning.  Recce Tp patrols had nothing to report.  
  17   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  "C" Sqn who were ready to relieve "A" Sqn as mobile res in LOOSBROEK area 4544, were ordered not to do so and remained under regtl comd at VEGHEL.  Recce tp patrols were accompanied by "B" Sqn Daimler sec.  They had little to report beyond desultory firing SOUTH of the ZUID WILLEMS CANAL  
      Durimg the day 8H signal personnel were inspected by the O.C. 7 Armd Div Sigs.  At 1100hrs the C.O. attended a conference held by the Div Comd to discuss future ops.  
  18   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.   Recce Tp patrols and courses as usual.  The C.O. gave a talk to all Sqns on the present war situation and outlined the regt’s possible future role.  At 1100hrs the C.O. himself attended an address by the Army Commander at NISTELRODE 5047.  
  19   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  Recce Tp patrols were out at first light but had nothing to report during the day.  Recce parties were sent out to 8H concentration area for the coming operation, in the area ZANDKANT 4443.  
      The repainting of vehicles was completed.  
      Sixty offrs and Ors attended an ENSA performance in VEGHEL.  
  20   8H less "A" Sqn under comd 131 Bde.  Recce Tp patrols were sent out as usual but had nothing to report.  During the day maintenance was completed and courses ended..  
      "B" Sqn moved to VEGHEL to a new conc area at 438432 and came under comd 7 Queen’s bn. in readiness for the forthcoming operation.  
  21   Under comd 131 Bde.  8H relieved of all responsibility for the defence of VEGHEL.  At 1000hrs RHQ moved to 8H conc area at 443436 and "C" Sqn moved to442448 where one section HQ Recce Tp came under comd.  "A" Sqn moved to 461448 coming under comd.  "A" Sqn moved to 461448 coming under comd 5Queen’s bn in readiness for operation ALAN phase I which was to commence on 22 Oct. See Appendices
443436  22   Under comd 131 Bde.  The attack was delayed slightly owing to bad visibility but by 0730hrs "B" Sqn were across the S.L.  "B" Sqn’s rt hand tp suffered an early casualty when one tank was lost on a mine at 403435 and the remainder of the tp were held up  by an enemy strongpoint at 3898435 throughout the morning.  
      The left hand tp reached the main rd DINTER-MIDDELRODE without incident at 406430.  Here the Tp Ldr’s tank was mined and almost immediately engaged by a med. cal. A/Tk gun firing from the area 396429.  Another tp, sent down to assist, had two tks bogged and the tp ldr shortly afterwards was sniped in the area 400431.  The rt hand tp together with the res tp brought heavy fire to bear on the houses at 398435 knocking out one 75mm A/T gun there.  A simultaneous attack overran the area and they then brought fire to bear on the enemy withdrawing along the MIDDELRODE- BERLIKOM rd.  "B" Sqn 2i/c was wounded by shrapnel.  
      On the rt "A" Sqn, with 5 Queen’s Bn, had similar difficulties with boggy ground and mines, losing two tanks on the latter.  The ARVs grouped under the RTA – an arrangement which was found to work very well  - dealt with  two bogged tks.  "A" Sqn made steady progress in bitter fighting against the dug-in infantry, and few prisoners were taken but many enemy killed.  By last light the fwd tp of "A" Sqn was in DOORNHOEK at 386448 and 5 Queen’s bn established themselves along line DOORNHOEK – river 382440.    
      "A" Sqn went into close leaguer, area 394444.  "B" Sqn leaguered 407436 and during the night 7 Queen’s entered MIDDELRODE without difficulty, the enemy having withdrawn under cover of darkness.  On the right "C" Sqn who had been observing the wood 4147 – 4146, had nothing to report.  
  23   Under comd 131 Bde.  "B" Sqn, its task completed, reverted to comd 8H during the morning.  "C" Sqn’s role was as for 22 Oct and again they had nothing to report.  "A" Sqn gave right flank protection during the day to 5 Queen’s, who advanced against weakening opposition to BERLICUM and the line of the dyke 3745.  
      At approx 1600hrs "A" Sqn also reverted to comd 8H and withdrew to leaguer close to RHQ.  
  24   8H came under comd 22 Armd Bde for the operation DON.  During the morning the regt stood by in readiness to move to a fwd conc area SOUTH of the ZUID WILLEMS CANAL, and at 1330hrs recce parties were sent out.  The Regt followed at approx 1500hrs.  (For route and march table see Appx).  
      RHQ leaguered at 412393.  At 2100hrs the C.O. attended a conference at 22 Armd Bde (See Appx) and on hid return issued verbal orders.  
412393  25   8H under comd 22 Armd Bde.  The br at ESCH 3037 was not completed so the Div was compelled to adv on a single centre-line via the br at HAL 3240.  The leading elts. of 11H were unable to pass through br hd owing to stiff opposition from enemy inf and 88mm A/T guns.  8H therefore received no orders to move during the morning.   
      At 1500hrs, however, 8H Gp and 1RB less 2 coys plus coy 7 Queen’s and det RE were ordered to move to a conc area 3135 preparatory to a night attack over the river by 1 RB in the area 2635.  RHQ leaguered at 315357.  During the night a patrol of 1 RB found the brs at 273344, 267353, 263349 all blown, though inf might cross at the last mentioned br.  In view of the impossibility of getting armour across the river DE AA at this point, the attack by 1RB did not take place.  
315357   26   At 0715hrs the cl. br at ESCH was reported to be nearing completion.  8H was therefore ordered to follow up the main advance over this br when it was completed, and to take over the role originally allotted to 1 R.Tks.  (See Appx). One Tp of "C" Sqn was left at the br 263329 to harass the enemy at this point and divert his attention from the main br hd.  
      Satisfactory progress was made during the morning by 5 and 1 R.Tks and at approx 1600hrs 8H moved from the area 315357 to follow up 1R.Tks.                                                              
      The C.O. went ahead to UDENHOUT where he found 1 R.Tks engaged in mopping up the enemy rearguard.  
      At last light 8H were ordered to assist 1 R.Tks in defending UDENHOUT during the night .  At approx 1900hrs the Regt arrived and went into posns previously recce’d by the C.O.  RHQ went into close leaguer in the area 211387.  "B" Sqn took over responsibility for the NORTH-SOUTH rd in area 320392 up which, it was expected, enemy rearguards would withdraw.  
      At 2200hrs the C.O. issued verbal orders for the capture of LOON OP ZAND 2539 on the following day.  Method : 8H was to advance with one Sqn (C) up along the centre-line.  X rds 203380 – rd junc 287400 – LOON OP ZAND.  In the event of strong opposition being met on this route "C" Sqn was to exploit alternative routes and would be supported in this by "A" Sqn NORTH of the centre-line and "B" Sqn South of it.  
      Order of March : "C" Sqn, Tac HQ, "A" Sqn, K Bty, RHQ "B" Sqn, A1 Ech.  "B" Sqn was to remain responsible for the NORTH-SOUTH rd 320393 until relieved by 5DG.  The tp of "C" Sqn which had been left at the br 263349 had been subjected to continuous sniping but in return claimed 20 enemy dead.  
211387  27   Under comd 22 Armd Bde.  The night was uneventful and shortly after first light "C" Sqn passed through 1R.Tks.  First contact was made at 187400 where inf were dug in at the side of the road, and rd itself was covered by A/Tk fire.  The leading tp was held up and it was decided to develop the SOUTHERN route X rds 192890 – rd junc 180380 – rd junc 179381 – rd junc 157380.  
       Good progress was made on this route and shortly after midday "C" Sqn had their tps established WEST of the main rd TILBURG – LOON OP ZAND in the area 155392.  Here they were held up by dug in inf and arty.  Meanwhile No 4 Tp of "C" Sqn, in endeavouring to develop the main axis of adv at 187400 had successfully dealt with the inf but had lost two tks to A/Tk guns sited NORTH of the main rd8H and 7 Queen’s Bn now reverted to comd 131 Armd Bde and were ordered to attack LOON OP ZAND from the SOUTH.  T  
      he C.O. issued verbal orders to the Sqn Ldrs of "A" and "C" Sqns.  "A" was to support 7 Queen’s bn in the attack, while "C" Sqn with the tps already in posn, were to provide left flank protection.  The attack went in at 1700hrs but encountered stiff opposition and by last light were held up on the 385 Northing.  RHQ leaguered at 171383  
171383 28  

Under comd 131 Bde.  The attack by "A" Sqn and 7 Queen’s bn on LOON OP ZAND was to have been continued at first light but was postponed until 0815hrs owing to enemy shelling of the F.U.P.

      There was stiff fighting all day against enemy MGs, mortars and arty.  The first objective was captured at 1130hrs and one tp of "A" Sqn KO’d two 50mm A/Tk guns at 158391 and 159392.  At 1430hrs the same tp disabled an enemy S.P. gun at the rd junc 157898.  The left hand tp found strong opposition at 154396 and street fighting continued until 1645hrs when 1/7 Queen’s consolidated along the line of the rd 159398 – 152398  
      "A" Sqn had suffered no casualties and 8H bag was one S.P. gun disabled, two 50mm A/Tk destroyed, and 9 P.W.  During the afternoon "C" Sqn supported 5 Queen’s bn. in an attack to clear the rd WEST of 7 Queen’s bn.  They reached the line of the 395 Northing but were heavily shelled and mortared and forced to withdraw.  
  29   Under comd 131 Bde.  8H less "C" Sqn came into 131 Bde reserve.  "C" Sqn under comd 5 Queen’s bn. continued the attack to clear the rd running WEST from LOON OP ZAND.  Bitter fighting took place with determined enemy rearguards in the area 1339 and 1239 but by midday the rd was securely held and our tks were thrusting WEST to the woods and on to the X rds 1039.  At approx 1600hrs 8H was ordered to move to the area X rds 1038.  Route : 171383 – rd junc 1538 – rd junc 161358 – canal 154845 – thence along the canal to main rd 136350.  "C" Sqn reverted to comd 8H and the regt leaguered in area 1137.  
      In the morning O.C. "C" Sqn had suddenly encountered a German offr hiding in a slit trench and, with great presence of mind, had taken him prisoner by the simple expedient of jumping on his stomach.  
  30   Under comd 131 Bde.  At first light "B" Sqn took 7 P.W. from 256 Volks Grenadier Div.  These had been cut off from the general withdrawal by the arrival of our tks and had gone into hiding.  During the night 7 Queen’s bn. patrols had found DONGEN (0640) still occupied.  11H patrols set out at first light to recce this town, and "B" Sqn 8H stood by in readiness to follow up and secure the town.  
      At approx 0830hrs 11H reported that DONGEN was clear and three tps of "B" Sqn immediately went to take up posn. at the canal br 0439, river br 059407, and at 059420.  In view of the progress of 22 Armd Bde to the NORTH and NORTH WEST these patrols were withdrawn about midday.  
      The remainder of the regt entered DONGEN at approx 1100hrs and took up comfortable quarters there, still in 131 Bde reserve.  The remainder of the day was spent in maintenance and recreation.  
063404  31   Under comd 131 Bde.  At 0900hrs the C.O. attended a conference at 131 Bde.  
      131 Bde was to relieve the elts of 51 (H) Div along the line of the R. MAAS between 10 and 20 Eastings.  8H was to remain under comd 131 Bde in the role of mobile reserve.  The regt stood by ready to move at midday but recce parties to the new area found that 51 (H) Div were still in occupation and would not be ready to move out until1 Nov.  8H move was therefore postponed and the remainder of the day was spent in maintenance and recreation  


November 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. C.Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
063404  1   Under comd 131 Bde.  The morning was spent in maintenance and in preparation for the move to the new area .  At 1330hrs 8H moved and arrived at SPRANG 1444 at approx 1530hrs.  RHQ leaguered 138845 with "A" Sqn on their immediate left, "B" & "C" Sqns on their right.  Billets were found for men and offrs, and the regt settled down to a short rest in 131 Bde reserve.  SPRANG was shelled during the morning but no further shelling took place after the regt’s arrival.  
138845  2   Under comd 131 Bde, in Bde reserve.  During the C.O. and all Sqn Leaders made a recce of 131 Bde forward posns in the area WAALWIJK 1546 – CAPELLE 1047 – WASPIK 0747.  Routes to be used if 8H were called out were decided upon.   
       Sqns spent the morning in maintenance and in the afternoon were left free for recreation.  131 Bde reported enemy still NORTH of OUDE MAASJER, but apart from occasional shelling in WAALWIJK our front was quiet.  
  3   Under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  Leave parties were sent to TILBURG.  The remainder of the Regt spent the day in maintenance.  Fitting of new tracks was continued.  During the day the C.O. attended a confce at 131 Bde and on his return he issued verbal orders to Sqn Ldrs. (See Appx). Sqn Ldrs then carried out a reconnaissance of battle posns.  

Under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  The morning was spent in maintenance and in loading tanks with HE amn.  Between 1500hrs and 1530hrs the Sqns moved to the area 1545 and took up battle posns.  They were followed by RHQ consisting of two tanks and two scout cars.  Phase I of the operation commenced on time and several fires were soon observed on AFWATERINGS ISLAND.  There was surprisingly little counter-battery fire from the enemy, none landing in the 8H area.  Phase II was postponed for 15 mins, but the fire programme carried out according to plan.  RHQ & Sqns then returned to SPRANG.  8H fire op was referred to as “extremely effective” by the Comd 152 Bde, 51 (H) Div.

      During the day Lieuts. Anstey, Jephson and Rampf, all of whom had been wounded in NORMANDY, rejoined the regt.  
  5   Under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  During the morning leave parties were sent to TILBERG.  The Padre conducted a service in the local Church.  Arrangements were made for the resumption of regtl courses which had commenced at VEGHEL 4737.  
  6   Under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  Courses recommenced and maintenance was carried out as usual.  "C" Sqn was ordered to move into the AFWATERINGS ISLAND in sp of 5 Queen’s bn, who had commenced the relief of 51 (H) Div in this area.  "C" Sqn set up their HQ at 255467.  
  7   Under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  The day was spent on courses and maintenance.  "C" Sqn had nothing to report and the enemy was generally quiet on the Bde sector.  
  8   8H less "C" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde.  Courses and maintenance continued as usual.  Two offrs were granted 48Hrs leave to BRUSSELS.  8H was warned during the day of impending relief by elts 4 Cdn Armd Div to be followed by a move to a new area MAESEYCK. (Ref Map 1/100,000 BELGIUM Sheet 4) (See Appx).  
  9   8H less "C" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde.  Courses and maintenance continued during the morning and leave parties were sent to TILBURG.  "C" Sqn returned to comd 8H and moved back to SPRANG.  No Sqn was sent to relieve them owing to the impending move.  
  10   8H under comd 22 Armd Bde.  Courses and maintenance as usual.  The C.O. attended a confce at 22 Armd Bde HQ.  (See Appx) 8H prepared to move on 11 Nov to the new area , having been relieved by elts 4 Cdn Div.  During the night 10/11 Nov the order came that the regt would cross the Bde SP at 0930hrs 11 Nov.  
  11   At approx 0830hrs 8H moved out.  Order of March ; RHQ, Recce Tp, A1, "A" "B" & "C" Sqns.  Route : SPRANG 1444 – LOON OP ZAND 1539 – X rds 1037 – br 1334 – rd junc 157333 – X rds 1430 – rd junc 1427 – POPPEL 1219 – MERXPLAAS 0010 – GIERLE 9900  
      LICHTAERT 0295 – CASTERLE 0697.  At 072960, which was reached at 1145hrs, the regt made a halt for lunch.  The route continued to GHEEL 0888 – MOLL 1690 – LOMMEL 3194 – OVERPELT 3892 – NEERFELT 3994 – LILLE ST HUBERT 4294 – PETIT BROGEL 4088 – PEER 4084 – rd junc 4078 – MEEUWEN 4580 – X rds 5081 – GRUITRODE 4978 – NEERGLABBEEK 5178 – OPOETEREN 5476 – NEEROETEREN 5778 – MAESEYCK 6379..    
      RHQ and "C" Sqn entered the barracks at 628795,  "A" and "B" Sqns leaguered on the main rd slightly further East.  At 1805hrs 8H came under comd 131 Bde who had already relieved 53 (W) Div in the area ITTERVOORT 6687.  
628795  12   Under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  The day was spent in maintenance and preparation for the coming ops. (See Appx).  
  13   Under comd 131 Bde.  Maintenance and rest in Bde res.  The C.O. attended a confce at 131 Bde HQ and he and Sqn Ldrs made their recce of the area WEST of WESSEM 7086 and the lock at 691879. (See Appx).  
      At 1700hrs the C.O. issued verbal orders for the operation WINDSOR I. (See Appx).  
  14   8H under comd 131 Bde.  The morning was spent in loading tanks with HE amn and general preparation for the afternoon.  At 1430hrs "C" Sqn moved out to come under comd 7 Queen’s bn at THORN.  The remainder of the regt moved out at times as ordered, and fire tasks were carried out.  Enemy defensive and counter-battery fire was heavier than usual but no casualties were suffered by "A" and "C" Sqns.    
      Direct observation of targets and fire effects was difficult to obtain owing to extremely poor visibility and to smoke put down in front of the target area 6987 by the RHA.  "C" Sqn with two tps fwd gave close sp to 7 Queen’s bn.  As was later shown by P.W. reports the attack took the enemy by surprise and, from the start, sp fire was extremely accurate.  Enemy D.F. and spandaus caused fairly heavy casualties amongst our infantry but none to 8H tk crews.    
      Several tks were however bogged during the adv and going was extremely bad.  By 1645hrs "C" Sqn tks were up with the inf at the lock gates and the lock itself was found to be intact.  Only 5 P.W. were taken and it was evident that the enemy, who were known to be thin on the ground, had made no serious efforts to hold up our adv.    
      No A/Tk defences were encountered.  Shortly after last light 8H less "C" Sqn withdrew to MAESEYCK.  "C" Sqn remained fwd under comd 7 Queen’s bn as a mobile Armd res., and two tps were left at the lock gates until the inf had finally consolidated their posn there.  
  15   8H under comd 131 Bde.  The day was spent in refitting and maintenance and W/T classes recommenced.  "C" Sqn remained under comd 7 Queen’s bn in area ITTERVOORT 6687 with two tps fwd.   
      There was hy shelling and mortaring by the enemy on this sector but no attempt at a counter-attack was made, the enemy being fully occupied by the adv SOUTH and EAST of 53 (W) Div on our left.  
  16   8H under comd 131 Bde.  Maintenance and courses were continued until 1100hrs when the C.O. gave a talk to "A" and "B" Sqns on the general situation of German forces in the WEST and on the significance of the ops begun on 15 Nov by 2nd Army.  
      The progress SOUTHWARD across our front by 53 (W) Div and the subsequent withdrawal of the enemy from the WEERT CANAL relieved "C" Sqn from its role of mob res.  "C" Sqn returned to MAESEYCK and reverted to comd 8H.  Lt Pott joined the regt and was posted to "B" Sqn.  
  17   8H under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  Maintenance and courses as usual.  At 1200hrs the C.O. repeated his lecture of 16 Nov to "C" and HQ Sqns.  
  18   8H under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  The C.O. held a confce on training during the morning.  In the afternoon 8H played 11H at football and won 3 – 0.  The Regt received complimentary tickets to visit the local cinema where a Belgian resistance film was showing.  Before the performance the C.O. was presented with a bouquet of flowers in token of the gratitude of the people of MAESEYCK.  
  19   8H under comd 131 Bde in Bde res.  The padre held a Church service in the morning.  In the afternoon  an 8H football team played MAESEYCK winning 3 – 2.  A Regtl dance was held in the evening a local dance hall.  Lt Gould joined the regt and was posted to "C" Sqn.  
  20   8H under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  The Tnk Comds course commenced at SPRANG was continued and D & M courses recommenced.  Sqn courses on gunnery and enemy weapons were begun and regtl wireless class continued as usual.  
  21   8H under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  Courses and maintenance as usual.  A leave party of Offrs and men was sent to BRUSSELS for 48Hrs.  
  22   8H under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  Courses and maintenance as usual.  
  23   Under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  Courses and maintenance during the day.  
      An HQ Sqn dance was held in the evening.  
  24   Under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  Courses and maintenance continued.  
  25   Under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  Courses and maintenance continued during the morning.  At 1430hrs the new Div Comd, Maj-Gen Lyne, paid an informal visit to the unit.  A "B" Sqn dance was held in the evening.  
  26   Under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  The Padre held a Church service in the morning and the remainder of the day was spent in internal economy and recreation.  In the evening "A" Sqn held a dance.  
  27   Under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  Approx one half of the Offrs of 8H attended a talk by Maj-Gen Lyne.  A SHERMAN D & M course commenced and other courses continued as usual.  
  28   Under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  At approx 0900hrs MAESEYCK  and the area SOUTH of the barracks was shelled by 105mm guns from across the R MEUSE.  A leave party Offrs and Ors went to BRUSSELS.  Courses and maintenance continued as usual.  
  29   Under comd 7 Armd Div in Div res.  During the morning the C.O. attended a confce at Div in connection with the coming move of the Regt EAST of the R MEUSE, the regt commenced preparations to move on the night 30 Nov.  
  30   At 0900hrs the C.O. attended a confce at Div HQ.  A move that night appeared unlikely & it was eventually postponed until the night 1/2 Dec.  The remainder of the Offrs attended a 2nd talk by Maj-Gen Lyne.  During the morning a test of the CHALLENGER and its tendency to throw tracks again proved.  


December 1944

Commanding Officer: Lt.Col C.Goulburn

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
629796  1   Under comd 7 Armd Div.  The day was spent in preparing to move night of 1/2 Dec to the area of GREVENBIGHT 6273 and there to come under comd 5 Gds Armd Bde.  (See Appx). Sqn recce parties left for the new area at 0900hrs.  In the afternoon the C.O. and Sqn Ldrs recce’d the posns to be taken over on 2 Dec 44.  
  2   8H moved out at 0100hrs,  RHQ and "C" Sqns arrived GREVENBIGHT 6373 at approx 0600hrs, "A" and "B" Sqns went direct to Sqn areas to take over from 2 Armd I.G. and 2726 RAF Sqn.    
      This take-over was uneventful and was completed by 1800hrs.  At 1400hrs an Offr from 1 RB lectured "A" Sqn on dismounted patrolling and this Sqn sent out its first patrol of this nature at 1800hrs. (See Appx).  "B" Sqn did not send out patrols and had nothing to report.  RHQ located 630732.  
630732  3   Under comd 5 Gds Armd Bde.  There was little enemy activity during the day but move seen in OUD ROOSTEREN and six rounds 8.8cm shellfire was put down in "B" Sqn’s area.  During the day our tks shelled the area opposite us across the VLOED CANAL.  During the night more successful patrols were sent out. (See Appx).  
  4   Under comd 5 Gds Armd Bde.  "A" and "B" Sqns reported more enemy movement during the day and the usual intermittent small-arms fire.  Enemy 105mm guns shelled ROOSTEREN and GEBROEK, and our tks replied with harassing fire on OUD ROOSTEREN and DIETEREN. For patrols see Appx. .
      A civilian from SUSTEREN was picked up and on being interrogated gave useful inf. about the enemy on our front.  
  5   Under comd 5 Gds Armd Bde.  Enemy were seen during the day at 667780 and the br 663774 whilst a sniper was located at 685752.  At 1800hrs "B" Sqn area was again shelled with 30 rounds of 15cm calibre.  Our tks brought down harassing fire on OUD ROOSTEREN and DIETEREN.  "C" Sqn went in sp 1 RB with HQ at BUCHTEN 6573 and one tp in NIEUWSTADT 6872.  
      After last light "B" Sqn reported a tk or SP gun starting up in the area 663772, tending to confirm earlier Tac R reports of enemy armour on our front.  Our patrols were again active overnight (See Appx) but had little to report.  It was becoming evident that the enemy did not man his adv outposts every night.  
  6   Under comd 5 Gds Armd Bde.  During the morning 11H elts arrived preparatory to taking over from 8H.  22 Armd Bde relieved 5 Gds Armd Bde and 8H reverted to their comd.  There was little enemy activity during the day although GREVENBIGHT was shelled at 1220hrs.  
      By 2100hrs 11H had completed relief of "A" Sqn, which took over "C" Sqn area in GREVENBIGHT.  "B" Sqn was to be relieved at first light 7 Dec.  There were no "B" Sqn patrols out, but to ensure no interference with the takeover a demonstration of strength had been arranged for 2000hrs.  
      At this time our outpost in the area 664785 opened up with all arms sp by fire from the tks.  To the tp ldrs surprise his fire was answered by an enemy patrol est 10 – 12 men barely 100 yds to the NORTH.  Visibility was nil and our outpost might easily have been surprised by this patrol who continued to give trouble until 0200hrs 7 Dec.  
  7   Under comd 22 Armd Bde.  By 0700hrs 11H had completed the takeover from "B" Sqn who reverted to 8H reserve in GREVENBIGHT.  8H less "C" Sqn was now in 22 Armd Bde reserve, having completed successfully 4 days in a semi-dismounted role.  The Regt had suffered no casualties, and keen patrolling had gained useful inf about the enemy.  
  8   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  The day was spent in maintenance and rest.  Programmes for fresh sqn courses were drawn up, "C" Sqn, still in sp 1RB, had nothing to report during the day.  
  9   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  The day was spent in maintenance and courses.  "B" Sqn remained in sp 1RB.  
  10   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  The Padre held three church services in the morning.  During the afternoon a football match was played against 11H resulting in another win for 8H.  
  11   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  Courses and maintenance as usual.  
  12   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  Courses and maintenance.  
  13   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  Sqn courses and maintenance in the morning.  At 1400hrs a team of offrs played "B" Sqn at football and lost 6 goals to nil.  
  14   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  Sqn courses and maintenance.  
  15   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  A new Regtl W/T course began with courses for beginners and an upgrading class.  A two-week Tk Comdr Course also commenced.  
  16   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  At 0900hrs a party of two Offrs and 18 Ors left for 7 Armd Div School to attend the following courses :- D & M Instrs, D & M B Vehs, Gny Instrs, Gun-laying, Crew Comds.  Sqn courses and maintenance continued.  At 1445hrs the C.O. visited the Div Comd in connection with future ops.  
  17   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  During the morning "A" Sqn relieved "C" Sqn at BUCHTEN with one tp in sp 1RB at NIUEWSTADT.  "B" Sqn prepared to relieve 1 Coy 1RB, in a dismounted role at HOLTUM 6573. (See Appx).  
      Enemy fighter bombers were seen over the area at 1900hrs and small bombs were dropped in the area of LIMBRIGHT and SITTARD.  It was not clear whether this was preparatory to a German offensive in our sector, or a reconnaissance in strength to discover our own intentions.  
  18   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  At 0900hrs a 3” mortar course commenced.  It was hoped that the Regt., when acting in a dismounted role, would be able to provide its own mortar support.  
      In view of the recent air-activity, and reports of parachutists and saboteurs in the MONSCHAU area, guards were doubled and arrangements made for the dismounted defence of HQ area.  There were also reports of considerable movement behind the enemy lines facing us and the possibility of an enemy attack in our sector could not be ignored.  
  19   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde reserve.  During the day "B" Sqn moved to HOLTUM coming under comd 1RB and relieving I Coy 1RB.  "B" Sqn sent out one patrol night 19/20 Dec. (See Appx).  
      Shortly after dark "B" Sqn outposts reported more tk movt in area SUSTEREN 6775.  
  20   8H less "B" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde res.  At 0830hrs the C.o. left for ENGLAND on compassionate leave.  Maj Phillips assumed comd with Maj Huth as 2i/c.  
      At appprox 0900hrs "B" Sqn outposts engaged an enemy patrol of 10 to 15 men to their immediate front.  This patrol had evidently come in under cover of fog and been caught when the fog suddenly lifted.  Some casualties were caused to the enemy.  
      On 11H front a similar incident occurred and 8 enemy were reported just NORTH of GEBROEK 6575.  They proved troublesome and one tp of "A" Sqn was sent out to deal with them.  At least one cas was caused to the enemy.  It was evident that the enemy was probing our defences strongly, but his ultimate intentions were not yet clear.  At approx 1430hrs "B" Sqn HQ was heavily shelled and some direct hits scored.  A number of men received cuts from splintered glass.  For patrols see Appx. For 8H role see Appx.  
  21   8H less "B" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde res.  The day was quiet except for propaganda shells and mortar airbursts containing leaflets directed at "B" Sqn at HOLTUM.  
      One leaflet was in the form of a Christmas Card with the following inscription :- “ We thought you would be home for Christmas.  Well boys – take it easy – you’ve been promised so many things.  Its not your first and certainly not your last disappointment – Cheer up – console yourself with Jerry.  He wishes you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and the best of luck in the NEW YEAR”  
  22   8H less "B" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde Res.  During the morning I Coy 1RB relieved "B" Sqn at HOLTUM and "B" Sqn reverted to comd.  8H in GREVENBIGHT.  
      "C" Sqn’s move to area LIMBRIGHT was finally cancelled and 8H role was redefined in 8H Op Instr No. 12 dated 22 Dec. (See Appx).  
  23   8H under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde res.  The day was spent in courses and maintenance.  
  24   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde res.  As "C" Sqn was to relieve I Coy 1RB at HOLTUM on 25 Dec, they celebrated Christmas on 24 Dec.  
  25   Under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde res.  "C" Sqn left for HOLTUM at approx 1200hrs and the takeover was completed by 1500hrs.  During the morning Maj Huth gave a lecture to the Sqns on security points arising out of operations in the Ardennes.  
      Christmas dinners were greatly enjoyed and offrs waited on men in traditional manner.At approx 1500hrs the Brig comd 22 Armd Bde visited the Regt.   
      The enemy was generally quiet throughout the day and singing heard from his lines showed that he too was celebrating.  Fresh identifications of enemy armoured formations in the Ardennes revealed that he had little or no reserve for an attack in our sector. For "C" Sqn patrols see Appx  
  26   8H less "C" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde res.  At 0530hrs the enemy sent a strong fighting patrol into 11H posns at GEBROEK.  The small post was forced to withdraw leaving their vehicles which could not be started owing to the freezing weather.    
      GEBROEK was heavily shelled by our guns and at 1100hrs two tps from "A" Sqn were sent to retake the village.  They found that the enemy had withdrawn after burning the abandoned vehs.  
      8H prepared to take over responsibility for GEBROEK ON 27 Dec. (See Appx).  
  27   8H Less "C" Sqn under comd 22 Armd Bde in Bde res.  During the day the following reliefs took place :-  "A" Sqn 8H relieved "C" Sqn 11H in GEBROEK with HQ remaining in        BUCHTEN.   
                         "B" Sqn 8H moved to BUCHTEN in sp of "A" Sqn  
                         "C" Sqn was relieved at HOLTUM and reverted to comd 8H in GREVENBIGHT in readiness to sp 11H  
      "A" Sqn at last light had nothing to report from GEBROEK.  No patrols were sent out this night or those following owing to the extensive mining which had been carried out round the perimeter defences.             
  28   8H under comd 22 Armd Bde.  A very quiet day was reported by "A" Sqn.  The remainder of the Regt continued maintenance and Sqn courses.  
  29   Under comd 22 Armd Bde.  At approx 1130hrs a mortar demonstration was held to mark the close of 8H mortar course.  Again "A" Sqn had nothing to report and it appeared that the enemy had turned his attention to 52 (L) Div front to our EAST.  
  30   Under comd 22 Armd Bde.  During the day "C" Sqn relieved "A" Sqn in GEBROEK and BUCHTEN.   Before take-over was complete the enemy shelled GEBROEK with 88mm’s.  From 1630 to 1700hrs, enemy 105mm’s were active in the same area.  Otherwise "C" Sqn had nothing to report.  The C.O. returned from leave at 2000hrs.  
  31   Under comd 22 Armd Bde.  Again "C" Sqn had nothing to report at GEBROEK.  At 2000hrs at approx 659758 one trip flare was sent up and a mine exploded.  Nothing further was heard or seen of the enemy patrol, if patrol there was.  
      In the evening HQ and "A" Sqns held a combined dance in GREVENBIGHT.  



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