1 Special Service Bde Signals Troop War Diary June-Sept 1944

This section contains a transcript taken from the War Diary covering specific periods. It is a basic transcript for private research and educational use only. Whilst we always endeavour to achieve accuracy, we acknowledge that there may be dates and/or entries missing, and other possible errors, The actual War Diaries can be found at the National Archives in Kew. These full and complete War Diaries at Kew should be viewed by those wishing to reference/source war diary entries in any future publications to ensure historical accuracy. The UK National Archives website

Month and year: June 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. J.R. Alexander

2nd June 1944
Place: Southampton
0900 - Capt. J.R. Alexander & 4 ORs embarked for operation "Overlord".
5th June 1944
Place: Southampton
AM - One O.R. admitted to Hospital.
PM - Lt. B.A. Beattie R Signals & Lt. L. Bridger RM embarked with remainder of
Troop.
6th June 1944
Place: Normandy
0750 - Capt. J.R. Alexander & 4 ORs landed on Queen Red Beach.
L/Sjt Lewis, Sigmn McGregor, Carruthers, Sanderson wounded.
0835 - Lt. Beattie & Bridger landed with main body of Troop.
Sigmn Norton J., Pattas & L/Sjt Tasker wounded.
Place: Ecarde
1600 - Brigade H.Q. arrived at ECARDE. Lines laid to No.4 & 6 Cdos. Wireless
communication all round.
7th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
1800 - Bde HQ moved to LE PLEIN. Move completed by 2030 hrs. Lines laid to 3 &
4 Cdos, Heavy Weapons Troop & 6 Cdo.
8th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Lines completed to 45 Cdo at LE PLEIN. Line brought in from 6 Airborne Div.
Satisfactory line communication established throughout the Brigade. One OR (DR)
wounded & evacuated.
2330 - One OR (temp Op W/L III) wounded by bomb splinter & evacuated.
9th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.M. - Heavy mortaring destroyed majority of lines. Wireless communication
maintained. Lines all replaced by nightfall.
10th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.M. - Morning spent in maintaining lines and equipment.
2100 - 12 Para Bn relieved 4 Cdo at HAUGER. Rear-link detachment provided from
Bde sources. 2568780 Sgmn Morgan J. appointed L/Cpl. One O.R. (Lineman) Sigmn
Hoare J. wounded.
11th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
0830 - Bde position heavily mortared & shelled.
1 N.C.O. L/Cpl Cassey N.W. No.14649217. Cipher Op M.G. killed by mortar fire.
2300 - Bde position heavily shelled - all lines destroyed.
12th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.M. - Quiet day spent in reorganising and repairing damage caused by previous
nights shelling.
1330 - 4 Cdo returned to line in old position at HAUGER. 4 S.S. Bde took up
position in SALLENELLES area - communication established by line & W/T.
14th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - spent in improving line communication.
15th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - Line communication established with 3 Para Bde.
16th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - All round maintenance. Further U.C. 10 Line SB installed to cope
with additional lines.
17th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
1125 - Capt. J.R. Alexander, R.Signals wounded in face and evacuated to D.M.A.
(M.D.S.)
Command of unit devolves on Lt. B.A. Beattie, R Signals.
2 OR's (Sigmn Wootton J. & Hughes J) received wounds about face & body - both
were evacuated to D.M.A. (M.D.S.).
18th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Signal Command Post sandbagged. All lines terminated on terminal block. Lt.
B.A. Beattie, R Signals appointed A/Capt. vice Capt. J.R. Alexander, R Signals
evacuated as a result of his injuries. Line laid to O.P. within 300 yards of
Enemy Lines.
19th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - Routine maintenance.
20th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Major Benjamin, R.M. visited the Unit. One O.R. Op W/L loaned to
unit by S.S. Group Tac H.Q. General line maintenance.
21st June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Line from 150 FD Regt R.A. brought on to switchboard. L.A.D. line extended to
include R.M. Support Gp. L Bty. Capt. B.A. Beattie, R Signals visited O.C. 6
Airborne Div and obtained essential stores. Major G. Hurst (S.S. Group Tac HQ)
visited unit to deal with Personnel Replacements. Extensive line & stores
maintenance. One O W/L evacuated with broken wrist.
22nd June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Recce of German buried cable system carried out prior to being taken over by 6
Airborne Div. Additional line brought in from 6 Airborne Div utilising German
buried systems. Lines laid from Cdos O.P.'s to Cdos Switchboards for use to
Mortar Plotting Centre, via this Unit. Mortar Plotting Centre established at 4
S.S. Bde. Unit visited by C.O. 6 Airborne Div.
23rd June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Unit visited by Col E.C.L. Cole, R Signals C.S.O. 1 Corps. General line
maintenance. Wireless sets on 2 hourly calls. Telephone to 6 Airborne Div
brought in to Signal Office.
24th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Maintenance on Lines & Switchboards.
25th to 30th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet period. General maintenance.

Month and year: July 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. B.A. Beattie
1st July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Line communication established between this HQ and Ox & Bucks L Inf at Breville
prior to No.4 Commando moving in to Breville. General maintenance.
2nd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Maintenance. No.22 set installed and R.C. circuit ran in to Bde
office.
3rd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.B & C O.P. line maintenance and connected to Plotting Centre at No.4 SS Bde.
Lines run forward to F.D.L's. for connection to loudspeaker system preparatory to
Propaganda Broadcast.
4th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Propaganda Broadcast failed. Lines (thin copper) again laid, broadcast a
success. Capt. C.L. Hale, R.M. and 2 Marine O.R.'s attached this unit from S.S.
Group Signals.
5th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Propaganda Broadcast again attempted with better connectors, which proved a
success.
6th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Maintenance.
7th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
No.4 Commando moved into Breville. No.4 SS Bde took over old HQ at Hauger. Line
communication established.
8th to 9th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance.
10th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance. Two O.R.'s from No.4 Commando relieved.
11th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
C.S.O. SS Group visited unit.
13th to 15th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance.
16th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Major A.J. L**** R Signals D.C.S.O. SS Group visited unit.
17th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
No.12 Para Bn placed under command of this Brigade and included in Command Net.
Line communication established to No.12 Para Bn. 2598341 Sigmn McGregor A.M.
awarded Military Medal.
18th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
1 N.C.O. appointed L/Sgt. 2 O.R.'s relieved from No.4 Cdo. No.12 Para Bn
changed location, line communication established to them.
19th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance.
20th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Capt. C.L. Hale, R.M. & one Marine O.R. ceased attachment to this unit on
returning to U.K. Two N.C.O's went to within 400 yds. of enemy positions with
Loud-Hailer mounted on Wireless Handcart and carried out Propaganda Broadcast.
Driver Kirkman A. evacuated to U.K. with severe skin rash.
21st July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Extensive digging of drainage system after torrential rain.
22nd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Maintenance.
23rd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Renewal of cable and general maintenance.
24th to 25th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine.
26th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Sigmn Wright D, previously reported evacuated with wounds, now known to be P.O.W.
in German hands.
Sigmn Potter? D. previously reported wounded, now known to have died on a date
not yet known, buried at HERMANVILLE on 11 June 44.
*** previously reported wounded, now known to have died on a date not yet known
and buried at HERMANVILLE.
27th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Unit visited by Lt Col E.C. Cole, R Signals now C.O. 6th Airborne Div Sigs.
Routine.
28th to 29th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine.
30th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Two O.R's relieved from No.45 (RM) Cdo.
31st July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Signal Office closed down at LE PLEIN, re-opened at new location MAP REF 136716.
Unit took over from 3 Para Bn Signals.

Month and year: August 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. B.A. Beattie
1st August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Extensive Line Maintenance.
0200 - All sets changed frequency.
0315 - Whole area heavily shelled.
0350 - All lines broken by heavy shelling.
1500 - All lines repaired and large dugout constructed to accommodate W/sets.
3rd August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Constant mortaring necessitated extensive line maintenance. Wireless dugout
construction continued.
4th August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Extensive line maintenance continued and a lateral connecting up flanking troops
was laid behind Commando forward positions. Sets withdrawn from No.4 Commando
for overhaul and sets moved into dugout christened Radio City. 2 O.R.s sent to
Rest Area.
5th August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Duplicate legs laid to Nos 4 and 45 Commandos and extensive line maintenance.
Complete changeover of duties.
6th August 1944
Routine. Broadcast on loud hailer. As a result 7 deserters gave themselves up
to the Brigade on our flank.
7th August 1944
7 O.R. reinforcements arrived from U.K. C.S.M. Larkham returned to U.K. Sgt
Mepham appointed L/A/C.S.M. Sigmn Henley W. appointed L/A/U/L/Cpl
8th August 1944
Usual mortaring.
9th August 1944
4 O.R.s sent to Rest Camp. 45 Commando detachment relieved and Brigade visited
by Major-General R.E. Laycock D.S.O. Chief of Combined Operations.
10th August 1944
Routine.
11th August 1944
Driver Jameson evacuated.
12th August 1944
New intake of Regimental Signallers tested.
13th to 14th August 1944
Routine maintenance.
15th August 1944
Sign Dege C.B. wounded by mortaring. Mortaring necessitated extensive line
maintenance.
16th to 17th August 1944
Mortaring and shelling heavy. Extensive line maintenance. L/Cpl Walker J. and
Sgmn Pollock wounded. 3 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
18th August 1944
Operation Paddle commenced. Unit established H.Q. at Bavent.
19th August 1944
Place: Bavent
In Bavent lines to Nos 6 4 and 45 Commandos and A Echelon.
20th August 1944
Place: Angroville
Left Bavent for Angroville.
21st August 1944
Place: Angroville
Battle of Angroville heights. Communications from TAC HQ to Div stepped up at
Main HQ. Communication faded out completely at night. Units cut off from
supply.
22nd August 1944
Place: St Vaast en Auge
0300 - Ran gauntlet at 0300 and got through with batteries. Mobile advance to
St. Vaast en Auge. Heavy rain swamped two No.22 sets. Maintenance and supply
becoming very difficult owing to distance between Advance and Rear H.Q.s and
short duration of stay at one place. Transport limited so that only the minimum
of stores and personnel can be lifted. Lt Garnons-Williams joined from H.O.C.
with two O.R.s.
23rd August 1944
Place: Duibee
Moved from St. Vaast en Auge to Duibee le Hair Tondue. Operation for crossing
river and passing in front of Pont L'Eveque planned and mercifully cancelled.
Men very tired and equipment in need of maintenance.
24th August 1944
Place: Quetteville
Recce party crossed river Auge at Pont L'Eveque and commenced an operation with
the minimum of equipment and no reserve batteries before Main HQ could move. No
communication due to the fact that we were too close to the enemy and had to
close down wireless sets.
25th August 1944
Place: QuettevilleOne Troop per Commando sent forward to cut enemy off. No contact with enemy.
Communication between Tac HQ and forward troops utilising A wave 46 set. Cpl
Whalebelly posted to 2nd Army Sigs. L/A/U/L/Cpl Henley appointed A/U/L/Cpl.
Communication between Tac HQ and Main HQ failed due to close wooded and hilly
nature of country.
26th August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
0410 - Rover set used as step-up and communication established. Units given 24
hrs rest at an evacuated hospital 3 miles E of Beuzeville.
27th to 29th August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Resting re-equipping and general maintenance.
30th August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Bde came under 1 Corps at first light. Cdo B wave changed frequency 2495 k/cs.
Rear link changed Frequency to 2232 K/cs and opened up on 1 Corps C.9 net on W/T.
31st August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Three members of troop went to Paris for parade down Champs Elysees behind R.M.
Band Plymouth Division. Lt. Bridger took over 3 Cdo Signal Troop from Lt. Skelly
who joined Brigade Signal Troop.

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. B.A. Beattie
1st September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Reorganisation and General Rest. Driver Jameson rejoined from Hospital.
2nd September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
3rd September 1944
Place: St. Maclou4th September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Returned equipment to R.S.D. and certain equipment to 4 S.S. Bde.
5th September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
More stores returned.
6th September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Left St. Maclou and returned by lorry to Arromanches where we spent the night.
7th September 1944
Place: Arromanches
Stayed in Camp, embarked in evening on L.S.T.
8th September 1944
Place: L.S.T.
Sailed across to England in convoy and anchored in CALSHOT for the night.
9th September 1944
Place: Gosport
1000 - Disembarked at Gosport.
Place: Rec. Camp.
1700 - Arrived No.2. Camp S.S. Group Reception Camp.
10th September 1944
Place: Rec. Camp.
Re-equipped and cleaned up.
11th September 1944
Place: Rec. Camp.
Off on Disembarkation Leave until 26 Sept.


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