Diary of a soldier in the East Riding Yeomanry

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by steve oz, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  2. VYN22

    VYN22 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Owen ,
    Hope to post some photos shortly.

    I was posted to E.R.Y IN 1942 as Despatch Rider.. Stationed at Bingley, Yorks and then To Rendlesham Hall Suffolk.My mate at that time, fellow D.R. Ron Longhurst was killed in a Motor bike accident. Just after, voluntary transferred to a Pack Transport Company at Fochabers, Scotland. Then to North Africa.
    VYN 22.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I was posted to E.R.Y IN 1942 as Despatch Rider.. Stationed at Bingley, Yorks and then To Rendlesham Hall Suffolk.My mate at that time, fellow D.R. Ron Longhurst was killed in a Motor bike accident. Just after, voluntary transferred to a Pack Transport Company at Fochabers, Scotland. Then to North Africa.
    VYN 22.

    I'm guessing this is him?

    He's buried round the corner from where I grew up in SE London.
    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

  4. VYN22

    VYN22 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thanks for your interest Andy. Definately my friend and correct location.
    I, with others, attended the funeral.
  5. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member


    .... our job was to close the gap in the bulge , it was done by 11th January in 2 days , we have moved up from Hodister ? : After January 8th, 1945, the 51st HD would be trying to catch up with the Germans, who were withdrawing as fast as they could. Although no major enemy opposition was encountered, progress was considerably slowed by the atrocious winter weather, mines and roadblocks. On 9 January, the 51st HD made a first bound along the high ground to the west side of the Ourthe valley. The 153 Brigade captured the villages of Warizy and Hodister, without meeting enemy resistance, apart from some shellfire. On January 10th, the advance was continued by 152 Brigade, which was supported by the Sqds of the ERY. Genes ("C" Sqd), Halleux ("B" Sqd) and Ronchamps ("A" Sqd) - to the south-west of the town of La Roche-en-Ardenne - were captured. Again enemy resistance was negligible, apart from shellfire and mines. One tank of "A" Sqd was lost to mines, just south of Halleux.

    we are wondering if we shall get the job of sorting the jerries out that are cut off , La Roache? is ours : On the 11th, the ERY concentrated at Ronchamps. After they discovered that the British held Ronchamps, the Germans retaliated with their artillery. All day long, the village was subjected to intense shellfire, which caused a lot of casualties among the infantry. On the night of 11/12 Jan, the village of Mierchamps, on the other side of the valley of the Bronse river, was captured in a night attack by the 5 Seaforth. The Seaforth completely suprised the enemy, some of them still in bed, and took, according to the War Diary of the ERY, about 100 prisoners. The tanks of the ERY were unable to support the attack, because the bridge in the Bronse valley was blown. Further to the north, La Roche-en-Ardenne, nestled deeply in the valley of the Ourthe River, was taken by the 1st Black Watch of 154 Brigade on January 11th [La Roache? is ours ]. The Germans had vacated the town and withdrawn onto the high plateau to the south and south-west of it. The following two days some fierce fighting took place on these heights, as the HD threatened to cut off the retreating German armour.

    ... we shall get the job of sorting the jerries out that are cut off ...: On 12 January, at 05.00, after the engineers had put in a new bridge over the Bronse river, "C" Sqd, ERY, moved into the village of Mierchamps. Tank engines were heard moving around in the darkness to the east of the village. A recce patrol of the ERY brought in 10 more prisoners. By midmorning a strong patrol (two platoons of infantry supported by 3rd Tp) tried to enter Erneuville, but had to withdraw in face of heavy enemy opposition. Next day Erneuville was taken by the 1st Black Watch which entered the village in from the east, but the Germans had abandoned it by then.

    ... C squad got 60 prisoners , 4 half tracks and a car complete with crews : According to the War Diary of the ERY, in the afternoon of Jan 13th, 10 enemy soldiers, hiding in the woods to the east of Mierchamps, were taken prisoner, together with seven halftracks. All halftracks were taken intact, containing, ammunition, rifles, grenades, a 20 mm antiaircraft cannon, American clothing, cigarettes, foodstuffs and a quantity of civilian clothing.

    now the bulge is straightened out , we have nothing on hand.: On 14 Jan the British troops linked up with units of the 3rd U.S. Army, coming from the south. The 5th Camerons met the 87th U.S.Infantry Div near Champlon. On the same day a troop of the 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry contacted a patrol of the 17th Airborne Div near Warempage. The Germans, however, had escaped encirclement. On Jan 14th, they had already fallen back to the east of the Ourthe and continued to withdraw in the direction of Houffalize.

    Jerry bombed us big last night: From 14 January dispostitions of the battalion were as follows: RHQ at Beausaint, "A" Sqd at Ronchamps, "B" Sqd at Ronchampay and "C" Sqd at Mierchamps. According to the War Diary of the ERY this bombing took place on the night of 14/15 January. At 00.30 on 15 January RHQ was bombed with AP bombs in the village of Beausaint. Later in the day at 18.00 a single aircraft strafed the positions of RHQ and "A" Sqd.


    I hope this is of interest.

    It certainly was of interest. In fact your efforts deserve a map.

    As can be seen, it was not just horrible weather but combined with the terrain, Jerry didn't need to put up much resistance. Still, all casualties are tragic.

    Chris C likes this.
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  7. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    For wider views the original map becomes even less readable, so I end up doing alot of manual labeling.

    So for now, let's use Google maps and see if we can sort out where each unit is.


    Attached Files:

  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  10. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    Oh good, Stolpi, you pulled us back to the ERY. We were heading off thread, and probably to a yellow card from the Mods.:p

    Here's an updated map with colored coded marks. Color coded WD below. I added [ ] remarks.


    10 Jan

    06.00 Reveille

    07.30 'C' Sqn moved out in support of the 5 SEAFORTHS from HAMPTEAU led by two sections of Recce Tp.

    09.05 'B' Sqn moved out with 2 SEAFORTHS

    09.35 'C' Sqn reached their RV at HODISTER (held by A.& S.H.) and a recce was made on foot by the Sqn Ldr and the C.O. of the Inf. A recce Tp was sent forward to the X Rds at 391789 and, after reaching this point to move down main road to cover the Battle Group's flank. Forward elements were held up South of X Rds by deep snow drifts which they passed through with difficulty. From 391786 the road was heavily mined to GENES. The forward Coy of the Inf by-passed these and the leading troop of 'C' Sqn, 3 Tp, swung out to the left and worked its way into the centre of the village of GENES. The Recce Tp had taken one prisoner of 11 Pz Grenadiers. The South part of GENES was clear of mines and the forward Coy and 3 Tp consolidated at 389774.

    10.00 After 1 hours delay the rest of 'C' Sqn moved into the village with the 5 SEAFORTHS.

    11.15 The enemy shelled the road to the North of X roads 391789. No shells fell in the village of GENES.

    12.00 'B' Sqn with 2 SEAFORTHS occupied HALLEUX 405773, a troop covering NE and South approaches respectively. An Inf patrol reported PETIT HALLEUX held.

    14.00 RHQ moved to 402803. [Hodister] 'A' Sqn passed through 'B' Sqn with 5 CAMERONS to capture RONCHAMPS 4174. They were held up by shelling, later by mines and bridge at 407758 blown. 1 Troop got across. The Tp Ldr was informed that roads had been cleared of mines by Pioneers, but his leading tank was later mined.

    21.00 The Sqn joined its Inf through mines, darkness and bad roads at RONCHAMPS. 7 prisoners of 304 Pz Grenadiers were taken.

    11 Jan

    04.00 2 SEAFORTHS sent two Coys into RONCHAMPAY 4275. 'B' Sqn moved through 'A'Sqn into the village. 20 prisoners were taken. Positions at all round defence were taken up.

    07.00 Sqn Ldr of 'C' Sqn with his Inf C.O. went to contact 5 CAMERONS in VECMONT 418748. This village was being heavily mortared and enemy were seen moving down from the high ground North of MIERCHAMPS 427735. Infantry patrols had reported MIERCHAMPS held.

    09.30 'C' Sqn moved out with the 5 CAMERONS [SEAFORTHS?] and formed up on the road to North of X Rds at VECMONT arriving in posn at 1200 hrs. A section of Recce was sent to rd junction 414745 to observe the main road to the West. Another section was sent to road junc track 414743 to observe the track running West and the road running to MIERCHAMPS. This section reported a road block and mines at 411740 and the noise of AFVS in a wood near the road block. The Sqn moved out with 1 Coy of the 5 SEAFORTHS and 1 Tp up to capture MIERCHAMPS. A track to the West of the main road was used to by-pass the road block. This was very difficult for the tanks and one tank became ditched en route. The bridge at 416737 was blown in front of the leading Inf. The Inf forded the river, but support vehicles could not cross this obstacle. The Inf and tanks were now under continuous shell and mortar fire. The Inf formed a bridgehead and the two forward troops remained on the West side of the river in contact with their Companies.

    14.00 RHQ moved to 405773[Halleux]. 'A' and 'B' Sqns were shelled all day. There were no casualties. One 'A' Sqn tank was hit by a shell and demolished for 24 hours.

    12 Jan

    03.45 The bridge at 416737 was now rebuilt by the Pioneers and was ready for Tks. 'C' Sqn passed over the treacherous track to join the 5 SEAFORTHS, in

    05.00 MIERHAMPS which the Inf had captured, having caught the Germans unawares, some of them in bed. About 100 prisoners had been taken. 'C' Sqn put out defensive posns immediately and stood to at 0730. Tank engines were heard in the woods to the East of MIERCHAMPS. One Sec of Recce was sent to above at 426736 under comd Capt. M.C.W.P.CONSETT. A further section was sent to X Rds 421729. This section spotted Germans running into a nearby house. They dismounted, surrounded the house and closed on it, firing as they went and calling for the Germans to come out. They captured 10 German prisoners and several small arms weapons, 3 Spandaus and 3 Bazookas. As the prisoners were being marched back a German light tank appeared on the road to the South. Capt. CONSETT had only two Scout Cars in this partol, and no A/Tk weapon. The tank did not fire, and soon afterwards disappeared. No contact was made with the tanks believed to be in the wood.

    11.00 A strong patrol of 2 platoons supported by 3 Tp ordered to see whether the village of ERNEUVILLE 4370 was held. This patrol was not fired upon until it reached the high ground at the North end of the vilage. 3 Tp destroyed the first machine gun to open up on the infantry. 3 other Spandaus and sniping from the bedroom windows revealed that the village was well held. The patrol was ordered to withdraw, but in the street fighting 2 sections of inf were cut off
    from the main body. Lt. BULFEN charged, 3 Tp using 3 tanks covered by his own tank to extricate these sections and
    finally went forward in his own tank to bring out the four remaining men. The whole party returned complete with the inf
    officer wounded. The Sqn harboured in observation in MIERCHAMPS.

    Lt. D.K.HOLBROOK rejoined the Regt.

    Attached Files:

  11. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  12. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  13. Camulard

    Camulard Junior Member

    Very interesting. I'm looking for war diairies about Le Havre battle (I live near this town).

    Corrections : "(...)
    Sept 7th : Moved through Balbeck to Crinquctote??. (...) " The name's town are Bolbec and Criquetot-l'Esneval exactly. What is the name of the soldier who wrote this war diary ?

    Do you know where it was take the photo of the soldiers with tank ?
  14. Steve oz2

    Steve oz2 Member

    Sorry to take so long to reply.
    Yes i do
    He was my grandfather
    Joseph Benjamin Priestley
    Regards steve
  15. Steve oz2

    Steve oz2 Member

    Glad to see this thread is still running.
    Ive been MIA for past 6 yrs divorced moved house and changed email lol.
    Glad to be back
    Hoping to catch up with replies.
    Cheers steve oz2 formerly known as steve oz
  16. liesbethblogt

    liesbethblogt Liesbeth Blogt

    Thanks for posting this, gladly read it answhered so many questions. Very special to read about George Dry this way. Trying to follow his footsteps so anyone who can help me with more information about him is welcome to mail me liesbethblogt@hotmail.com.

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