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7th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers – Juin 1944 – After Action Reports

7th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers – Juin 1944

53ème division d’infanterie américaine
After Action Reports

CO: Major WH Clement
Location – Maidstone
3rd June – Battalion strength, 36 officers, 792 other ranks.

4th June – 1130 – CO conducted cloth model exercise on action in various areas after landing on the Continent. All officers and sergeants attended.
1430 – Conducted further cloth model exercise for officers only.
1630 – CO addressed all ranks on the football field and passed on messages from General Montgomery
Preparations for War continues. Waterproofing of vehicles now completed in first stage. Trial loading held last week

5th June – Preparation for War continues.

6th June – News received of Allied landings on the continent.

8th June – The Colonel of the Regiment (Major-General NM Wilson) addressed the Battalion and bade us farewell. The Brigade Command did so afterwards. Overlord Order Instructions No.1 issued, the first men received Op Instructions to be issued by the Battalion.

10th June – 0930 – CO, Adjutant and Intelligence Officer to Brigade to study certain possible lines in France. Battalion strength 37 Officers, 823 other ranks.

11th June – 1000 – Brigade Church Parade in Mote Park followed by an address from the Division Command.

13th June – 1800 – CO conducted Cloth Model on Night attack. The Battalion is still loaded and vehicles waterproofed ready to move off at short notice.

15th June – Battalion Recce Party under Captain Davie left for Marshalling and Embarkation. Areas the Battalion is now tied up to leave England.

16th June – 1400 – Adjutant to Brigade to receive movement instructions Battalion Order Groups at 1615 hours. The Battalion leaves tomorrow.

17th June – Final preparations completed. The Battalion is absolutely ready to move. Vehicles leave at 1000 hours to go to a Marshalling area North of the Thames. Marching troops leave by rail at 1600 hours to go to a Marshalling area North of Lewes. The preparations for this move have gone very smoothly owing to the hard work of all ranks specifically the CO, 2IC, Adjutant and Orderly Room Staff under Sergeant Phillips. The morale of this Battalion is at its very highest and all are already to take what is to come at to give it. So after almost four years of waiting the 7th Battalion goes to War.
1949 – Marching troops arrive dat Marshalling Camp 2 miles North of Isfield after an uneventful train journey.

Location – Marshalling Camp, Isfield
18th June – Battalion strength 36 Officers and 812 other Ranks.

19th and 20th June – Marching troops carried out training and after marched in organized bodies to Isfield.

21st June – Marching troops should have left for Embarkation Area today but was postponed. The 2IC (Major GFT Dixon) is commanding the Marching Troops, and the CO the transport.

22nd and 23rd June – Marching troops departure still delyed. The camp provides cinema and stage shows and the Fusiliers sing to assist in passing the time.

Location – The English Channel
24th June – First craft load of marching troops left the Marshalling area in transport for Newhaven the port of Embarkation. The Battalion is split up between the LCI (large) having approximately 190 all ranks abroad each craft, the 2IC is in command of one, Major Menzies the second and Major  the third. Battalion embarked at 1500 hours. At 2000 hours the convoy formed up in the Channel outside the Harbor. At about 2400 hors the convoy sailed.

Location – The Field
25th June – After a very calm crossing, the Battalion arrived at its destination – the coast of Normandy. At 1330 hours the fist men disembarked onto a pontoon at La Riviere near Ver Sur Mer (map ref 9285). After disembarking straight to Assembly Area near Creully. At about 2000 hours the Battalion was lifted by Troop Carrying Company, RASC to the Brigade Concentration area near Trungy (7771) – south of Bayeux. Hear the Battalion Advance Party under Captain J Davies put the Battalion into form. We are in rear of 50th Division who are fairly thin on the ground therefore we had to take a proper Battalion defensive position.

26th June – Quiet day spent improving positions. The transport has still not arrived. In the afternoon the Intelligcent Officer (Lt CP Dryland) went to 10 DLI to spend the night with that unit in the frontline.

27th June – The Battalion transport arrived this morning. We are now all present in France,. NO casualties in route to either personnel or vehicles.

28th June – Waiting for movement orders, CO and Intelligence officer to Brigade in morning.

29th June – 1600 – CO attended conference held by General Montgomery at Divisional HQ but was called out in middle and given orders to move. Recce Parties left at 1700 hours for the new position at Bretteville L’Orgueilleuse (9272) when we are the taking over from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.

30th June – 1830 – Battalion marching troops and transport arrived and took over position. Day spend improving position.

We are not yet in the front line but about 3 miles from the nearest Bosch. So ends the eventful month of June 1944. Next month the Battalion will test its metal against the Huns having waited 5 years for the opportunity to do so.

IO, 7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers

3rd July 1944

Appendix No. 2

7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers

Overlord, Secret

8 June 1944

Op Instr No.1

Ref Maps: GSGS 2738, 1:250,000 Sheets 3a and 8
GSGS 4249 1:100,000 Sheets 6F and 7F (Limited Distribution)
GSGS 4250, 1:50,000 Sheets 6E6, 7E5,7E6, 6F2, 7F1, 6F4, 7F3, 7F4, 6F6, 7F5, 7F6.

1. This instr gives infm and instrs on various matters in connection with Op OVERLORD>

2. Air Riad Warning
The following system may still be in force when 53 Div lands:–
By Day
Army are not laying down any universal system of raid warnings by Day. Each beach will be arranging the most suitable method available which may be the ships hooters and sirens or short blasts on whistles. It will be the duty of Comds of parties on landing to find out what warning system is in use.
By Night
In the early stages the only form of warning will be given by ship’s siren:–
Alert … … … … 4 series of 3 short blasts.
All clear …… One prolonged blast
It is intended ultimately to make more elaborate arrangements, using air-raid sirens of the type in general use in the UK.

3. Blackout
Complete blackout as recognised in UK will be observed during hrs of darkness unless special instrs are issued to the contrary.

4. Orders for opening Fire at Aircraft after landing
a) Engagement by SA fire or by ALL units OTHER THAN 116 LAA Regt.
Will not open fire unless the enemy markings can be clearly seen or the aircraft is committing a hostile act, and ONLY UNDER SUPERVISION OF A NCO.
b) There will be NO firing at aircraft when friendly fighters are in the air.

5. Preservation of Civ. Installations
Particular care will be taken to avoid damaging, as far as possible:–
Power Stations
PTT Bldings and Repeater Stations
Canal Locks
Ry Wksps and Loco Depts
Cables, telegraph lines, power cables
Any Bldg likely to be useful for mil purposes, such as Hosps, schools, Monastic Institutes, etc.

6. Preservation of Antiquities and Historical Monuments
It is the duty of all ranks to preserve and protect antiquities and historical monuments unless it beyond doubt that they are in use by the enemy.

7. Signal Security
NO Telephone Lines, either Fd Cable or repaired enemy permanent routes, can be considered secure in the initial stages, owing to danger of enemy agents being left behind. As line comms are developed further instructions will be issued.

8. Time
a) The official time for Op OVERLORD is ZONE B time, i.e. Brit Double Summer Time.
b) Time Sigs will be taken from:–
i) BBC Time Sigs
ii) Joint Force Broadcast (about which details will be issued later)

9. Passwords
Passwords will be made known to ALL ranks, and will be changed at 1200 hrs.

10. Method of Challenging
The Passwords will be used as means of identification challenging in the following way:–
a) Second British Army. If the Password and answer from 1200 hrs on one day to 1200 hrs the next day is ‘Eggs and Bacon’, the method is:
Challenger: “Halt, who goes there?”
Answer: “Friend”
Challenger: “Advance friend and give password.”
Answer: “Eggs”
Challenger: “And Bacon, – Pass Friend”

b) First US Army
I) Different passwords are used by each of the following:–
Army HQ and Army Troops
Corps HQ and C Troops
Div HQ and within Divs
II) The Challenger does NOT identify himself
III) The method in use is:
Challenger: “Halt, who goes there?”
Answer: “Friend”
Challenger: “Advance Friend, and give the password.”
Answer: “Eggs”
Challenger: “Pass Friend” – (if he is satisfied with the answerer’s identity)
Challenger is not statisfied, he will say. – “Give the Parole.”
Answer: “And Bcaon”
Challenger: “Pass friend.”

Captain JLK/SM Adjutant 7th Bn, The Royal Welch Fusiliers
Time of Sig 1230 Hours

7th Bn. The Royal Welch Fusiliers

Appendix A to Op INSTR No.1

Overlord

Secret

8th June 1944

To: 2i/c, SO, and IO

1. Intercomn.
Tac R Broadcasts
Results of the Second Army Tac R and certain reslected Ph R Results together with main items of 21 Army Gp will be broadcast on a frequency of 4,790 Kos as under:–
a) D to D+14 Every Odd Hour
b) D + 8 to D + 14 in the intervals of (a)
c) D + 14 onwards Probably every odd hour.
In the absence of Tels, the times of (b) are NOT known, and it will only be possible to pick up (b) by keeping continuous watch.

2. ALL Formations and Units capable of receiving the broadcast will do so forthwith. Sig Instrs are being issued separately.

Capt., JLK/SM Adjutant, 7th Bn, The Royal Welch Fusiliers

7th Bn. The Royal Welch Fusiliers

Appendix B to Op INSTR No.1

Overlord
Secret

8th June 1944

To: 2i/c and SO

1. Comns, Afloat
a) No 53 Div Wireless Set will operate from the time it moves to the Marshalling Area to the time it is ordered to open up in France.
b) During the voyage should it be necessary to send a vital message, such comns as are available on the ship or craft employed.
2. Comns on arrival in FRANCE
While the Div is conc in France comn will be mainly by IO and DR.
ONLY the Inf. Bde Links of the Div Comd Net will open up on a landing without receiving specific orders EITHER to keep a listening watch OR to open up.

Capt., JLK/SM Adjutant, 7th Bn, The Royal Welch Fusiliers

 

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