'''War Diary 757th Field Company, Royal Engineers, 1945'''
Warrant Officers 11 Class 1
Company Quartermaster Sergeant 1
Sappers and Drivers 199
January 1945, Elst.
1st – 2nd Defence of own positions Major Brown posted to H.Q.R.E as C.R.E Captain Williams assumes command.
3rd – 5th Demolished footbridge at Weterings canal.
6th Handing over infantry role to 756 Field Company and returned to Nijmegen location on 56 Brigade’s relief. Built class 5 bridge over Weterings canal. Dismantled 50 ft S/S Baily bridge at Slijkewijk, operating Woolwich ferry.
7th Operating and maintaining Woolwich ferry.
8th Operating Woolwich ferry and constructing hot baths unit in Nijmegen.
9th – 12th Operating and constructing hot baths unit.
13th Handed over Woolwich ferry to 294 Field Company.
14th – 17th Repairing roads on the island and Bund road by the river Waal.
18th – 19th Preparing for amphibious operation with Recce Reg.
20th – 22nd Lt.Little and Lt.Mac Watt returned to company. Preparing for amphibious operation with Recce Reg.
23rd Operation with 49 Recce Reg. abandoned owing to severe freezing and icy conditions. No2 & 3 Platoons on road mainternance.
24th Motor Tug for operation with 49 Recce Reg. reported frozen on sandbank of river Waal. Attempts to salvage tug abandoned because of bright moonlight and enemy observation.
25th Handed over responsibility to 294 Field Company. Resumed road repairs to island.
26th – 28th Road maintenance in 56 Brigade area. Experimenting with ice bridging.
29th – 31st No1 Platoon on road in 56 Brigade area. No2 and 3 Platoons under Corp command to erect 8 nissen huts at Groesbeek.
February 1945, Nimegen.
1st – 2nd Successfully salvaged motor tug from sandbank. No enemy interference. House in 56 Brigade area blown up with explosives to give clearer field of five for infantry. Completed nissen huts at Groesbeek.
3rd No1 Platoon road maintenance. No2 Platoon folding boat training. No3 Platoon taking over Woolwich ferry.
4th – 6th No1 Platoon road maintenance. No2 Platoon folding boat training. No3 Platoon operating Woolwich ferry. Ferry ceased operating owing to rise of water level of river Waal. Floods rising all over the island.
7th – 8th No1 Platoon road maintenance. No2 Platoon took over Woolwich ferry. No3 Platoon folding boat training.
9th No1 Platoon folding boat training. No2 Platoon operating Woolwich ferry. No3 Platoon road maintenance in 56 Brigade area.
10th Folding boat equipment handed over to 756 Field Company. No2 and No3 Platoons no change.
11th No2 Platoon handed over ferry to No1 Platoon. No3 Platoon no change.
12th No1 Platoon on ferry unable to operate at north bank owing to flooding. No2 Platoon dismantling Bailey Bridge at 683635. No3 Platoon road maintenance.
13th – 14th No1 Platoon operating Woolwich ferry. No2 Platoon training with Bailey trestle equipment. No3 Platoon road maintenance.
15th – 16th No1 Platoon operating Woolwich ferry and recce road at 718695. No2 Platoon maintaining equipment with one section under command of No3 Platoon. No3 Platoon road maintenance in Bemmel area.
17th No1 Platoon completed folding boat bridge over crater at 719695. No2 Platoon loading and unloading bridging equipment for Banger bridge. No3 Platoon road maintenance.
18th Constructing Banger bridge. No3 Platoon carrying out recce of suspected enemy demolishing of dykes at Bemmel.
19th No1 and 2 Platoons road maintenance in 56 Brigade area. No3 Platoon training on class 40 raft.
20th No1 Platoon clearing fields of fire in Elst area for 74 Field Regiment R.A. No2 Platoon road maintenance in 56 Brigade area. No3 Platoon experimenting loading DWKWs with Bailey Bridge equipment.
21st – 22nd No change.
23rd No1 and No3 Platoons experimenting with Buffaloes and DWKWs. No2 Platoon road maintenance.
24th No change.
25th – 28th No1 and No3 Platoons no change. No2 Platoon maintenance in Divisional H.Q. area at Nijmegen.
March 1945, Nimegen.
1st No1 and No2 Platoons training with class 5 and class 40 rafts. No3 Platoon maintenance in Divisional H.Q. area at Nijmegen.
2nd – 3rd No1 and No2 Platoons dismantling rafts. No3 Platoon equipment maintenance.
4th – 5th No change.
6th No1 Platoon maintenance in Divisional H.Q. area. No2 and No3 Platoons weapons training.
7th No change.
8th No1 and No2 Platoons training C.R.E. inspection. No3 Platoon maintenance in Divisional H.Q. area.
9th No1 and No3 Platoons training. No2 Platoon maintenance in Divisional H.Q. area.
10th No1 and No3 Platoons training C.R.E. inspection. No2 Platoon maintenance in Divisional H.Q. area.
11th Company moved at night to new location reserved for 56 Brigade. No1 and No2 Platoons road repairs in 56 Brigade area. No3 Platoon with S.W.B’s having trouble with snipers from ruined Hemmen Castle. They attacked and took the castle and left a section to protect the R.E. section while booby traps were laid in the basement and adjacent buildings. As a result over 70 Germans were killed.
12th No1 Platoon road maintenance at Valburg. No2 Platoon road maintenance at Nijmegen – Elst. No3 Platoon road maintenance at Andelst – Zetten.
13th – 14th All Platoons road maintenance and demolishing houses to provide rubble.
15th No1 and No3 Platoons road maintenance. No2 Platoon road maintenance and setting booby traps.
16th All Platoons road maintenance.
17th No change.
18th No1 Platoon maintenance of equipment, party attached to 49 Recce for night patrol. No2 Platoon mine clearing parties for Glosters. No3 Platoon constructing class 40 Baily Bridge at 611729.
19th Road checks for mines and road maintenance.
20th Road maintenance.
21st No1 and No2 Platoons road maintenance. No3 Platoon mine Recce and felling trees in Reichwald forest for camouflage.
22nd No1 and No2 Platoons road maintenance. No3 Platoon camouflaging open road by drill 9in earth auger hole and planting sawn trees. Removing decking from bridge at 611729.
23rd No1 and No2 Platoons road maintenance. No3 Platoon camouflaging open road.
24th No change.
25th No1 and No2 Platoons booby trapping houses. No3 Platoon road maintenance and demolishing bridge at 588727.
26th Road maintenance. Two houses blown down for 49 Recce Reg at 569709.
27th Road maintenance.
28th Road maintenance.
29th No1 Platoon maintaining equipment. No2 Platoon road maintenance on Oosterhout – Slijk – Ewijk roads. No3 Platoon asphalting road at Oosterhout.
30th – 31st Road maintenance on Oosterhout – Slijk – Ewijk roads.
April 1945, Elst.
1st Oosterhout – Slijk – Ewijk area handed over to 13 Canadian Field Company. All Platoons maintaining vehicles and equipment. No3 Platoon stretching hessian across planted trees at night, to give further camouflage to traffic movements in Glosters-Essex area.
2nd No1 and No2 Platoons standing by for road clearance and bridging operation. No3 Platoon resting.
3rd No1 Platoon mine clearing. No2 Platoon standing by to bridge. No3 Platoon resting. At 22:30 hrs 30 shells fell in company area, no casualties.
4th Recce party of No2 Platoon landed with Platoon of Glosters on north bank of Neder-Rijn near the meeting of the meeting of the Ijssel. Found area clear of mines, but were driven back by enemy small arms fire, no casualties.
5th All Platoons on road repairs.
6th All Platoons on road repairs. No1 and No2 Platoons knocking down damaged houses for No3 Platoon to fill pot holes on bund road east of Driel, work interrupted by spandaus from Arnhem opposite.
7th No1 Platoon construction of sign postings for L.T.V. route cross country. No2 Platoon construction work for “B” vehicles entrance to L.T.V. - F.A.A. No3 Platoon constructing L.T.V. crossing over ditches in F.A.A. All work in area east of Driel and west of railway.
8th All Platoons maintaining vehicles and equipment.
9th No1 Platoon clearing roads in Groessen – Angerton – Westervoort area. Remainder of company moving to new location.
10th No1 Platoon clearing ferry exit on Neder – Rijn opposite Huissen. No2 Platoon filling anti-tank ditch on road Westervoot – Zevernaar. No3 Platoon filling crater in road and removing 500Kg bomb from road to Westervoort.
11th No1 Platoon clearing area of 56 Brigade Tactical H.Q. in Westervoort. All platoons engaged in loading equipment into weasel tracked vehicles for operation Anger.
12th Tactical H.Q. moved to new location. All Platoons under command of 56 Brigade for assault on Arnhem, operation Anger. Glosters crossed Ijssel in buffaloes at Westervoort and formed bridgehead. South Wales Borderers followed through with No3 Platoon to go direct to Arnhem. South Wales Borderers short of manpower, so sappers of No3 Platoon were placed in each section for house to house fighting and booby trap clearing. S.W.Bs held up on outskirts by spandaus and rang back for mortar and artillery support to proceed. Essex crossed and went to silk factory with No1 Platoon in support.
13th After capture of Arnhem company reformed. All Platoons clearing public buildings and houses for booby traps etc. At 19:00 hrs Tactical H.Q. moved to Arnhem power station. 2 sappers wounded in the assault.
14th Platoons continue clearing routes through Arnhem. Tactical H.Q. moved to new area near telephone exchange, telephones all in operation.
15th Company moved to new area near telephone exchange in support of 56 Brigade. All Platoons engaged in clearing routes through Arnhem and demolishing buildings to prevent fires spreading. Slight shelling of area during the night 14th – 15th no casualties.
16th No1 and No3 Platoons clearing route through Velp, No2 Platoon maintenance of equipment.
17th Company in support of 56 Brigade advancing along north bank of Neder – Rijn. Tactical H.Q. moved to Oosterbeek. No1 Platoon moved to location of Essex in Renkum. No2 Platoon supporting Glosters on route clearance in Arnhem and Heelsum – Wageningen road. No3 Platoon supporting South Wales Borderers on route clearance Arnhem – Oosterbeek and Heavedorp – Heelsum.
18th – 19th No1 Platoon clearing road Heelsum – Wageningen. No2 Platoon clearing road and verges Heelsum – Bennekom. No3 Platoon clearing roads in area north of Renkum.
20th – 21st No1 Platoon collecting stores for improvised bridge. No2 Platoon constructing class 9 ferry at Renkum and clearing approaches. No3 Platoon clearing road Bennekum – Ede.
22nd Company church parade and resting.
23rd No1 Platoon building class 40 improvised bridge on site of existing class 18 bridge. No2 Platoon operating ferry at Renkum. No3 Platoon repairing road Wageningen – Arnhem badly damaged by tanks.
24th Company moved to new location in support of 56 Brigade. No1 Platoon finishing class 40 bridge. No2 Platoon removed 4 road blocks on road Bennekom – Nergena and carried out road repairs in company area. No3 Platoon on ranges near Bennekom.
25th No1 and No2 Platoons road maintenance and range practice. No3 Platoon built class 9 and class 5 pontoon rafts to operate belaying ferry at Renkum and constructing grenade range.
26th No1 Platoon range and road maintenance. No2 Platoon repairs to Heelsum – Bennekom road. No3 Platoon belaying ferry and grenade throwing.
27th No1 Platoon maintenance to ferry. No2 Platoon repairs to south approach to Renkum ferry and road signs on route to Zetten. No3 Platoon equipment maintenance.
28th No1 Platoon belaying SWR cable for ferry and unloading Bailey pontoon equipment for class 18 ferry. No2 Platoon road repairs and grenade throwing. No3 Platoon preparing Bailey bridge site on Woudenburg – Ede road near Woudenburg. Truce with enemy in this sector to get vital food supplies to northern Holland population.
29th All Platoons maintenance to equipment and stores.
30th No1 Platoon constructing class 18 ferry at Renkum. No2 Platoon maintenance and ranges. No3 Platoon preparing bridge site.
May 1945, Renkum
1st No1 Platoon constructing / operating flying ferry at Renkum. No2 Platoon dismantling class 9 and class 5 support rafts and road maintenance. No3 Platoon building class 90 D/S Bailey bridge.
2nd No1 Platoon flying ferry. No2 Platoon maintenance. No3 Platoon building Bailey bridge.
3rd No1 Platoon rifle range. No2 Platoon Bailey bridging. No3 Platoon rifle range and flying ferry. One section of each Platoon clearing road blocks in German territory with the Red Cross and under a white flag, assisted by German Engineers to get food supplies through to Dutch people.
4th No1 Platoon road maintenance. No2 Platoon Bailey bridging.
No3 Platoon road maintenance and flying ferry. Sections working with the Red Cross.
5th No1 Platoon Bailey bridging. No2 Platoon road maintenance and flying ferry. No3 Platoon rifle range. Sections still working with Red Cross.
6th Completion of Bailey (Victory Bridge) at Woudenburg. Sections still working with Red Cross.
7th May Woudenburg, Cessation of Hostilities in North West Europe at 08:00 hrs. Peace treaty signed at Wageningen in Holland by Canadian commander and German commander. Company established new location in occupied zone. Sections still under the Red Cross.
8th No1 Platoon route clearance Zeist – Utrecht – Amersfoort. No2 Platoon cone area marking of German infantry area 361 Infantry Division. No3 Platoon maintenance to route Zeist – Oriebergen and Doorn – Leersum – Renen. Repair by RO1 and RO2 of flooded areas, road blocks, local residence and public utility areas Amersfoort – Soest – Baarn.
9th No1 Platoon filling in crater at Soesterburg. No2 and No3 Platoons route maintenance and constructing water point in German 361 infantry cone area and clearing landing strip.
10th – 11th No1 Platoon filling in crater at Soesterburg. No2 and No3 Platoons route maintenance.
12th No1 Platoon filling in crater at Soesterburg. No2 Platoon clearing road blocks on routes Amersfoort – Apeldoorn and Apeldoorn – Nijkerk. No3 Platoon marking and lifting German minefields, assisted by German Engineers.
13th No1 and No2 Platoons maintenance to equipment and stores. No3 Platoon clearing minefield with German Engineers. Corporal Russell lost foot on shoemine.
14th All Platoons sent contingent to 56 Brigade parade in Amersfoort.
15th All Platoons maintenance of equipment and stores.
16th Company moved to Bennekom
17th All Platoons maintenance of equipment and stores.
18th – 19th Company resting.
20th – 25th Company moved to Divisional cone area in Germany. Company H.Q. established at Osnabruck.
26th All Platoons on drill, P.T. and A.B.C.A. lectures.
27th – 31st No change.
June 1945, Osnabruck
1st Advance party left for Unna, Reg, Bez and Arnsburg in the province of Westphalia. Rest of Company, no change.
2nd – 3rd No change.
4th Company left for Unna without incident and took temporary residence.
5th – 10th Settling into billets and improving requisitioned German houses.
11th – 17th United States troops moved out and company took over vacated houses. Recceing routes and bridges in 56 Brigade area.
18th – 28th Area recce commenced, then held up pending confirmation of previous government and U.S. Recce’s in the same area. No1 Platoon constructing barbed wire fence around company canteen, the Don’t Fence Me In. No2 Platoon constructing cookhouse at 56 Brigade H.Q. Two sections of No3 Platoon on loan to Royal Engineers pre-vocational divisional school at Arnsburg for preparatory constructional work. All Platoons occupied making and painting road signs for brigade area.
28th Lt.Saunders R.E. posted to 49 Divisional Battle School as acting Captain. Captain F.J.Connel re-posted to unit as 2 I/C
29th – 30th No change.
July 1945, Unna
1st – 31st Completed Engineers services work at R.E. pre-vocational school at Arnsburg by renewing staircase as the original one damaged by bombing, also new doors and windows. Work for R.A.S.C. for displaced persons at Wickede and ordinance Field Park at Sundern. Work for officers at Brigade R.A. and on two displaced persons camps in Dortmund area. Lt Wheeler and Lt Whickman posted to South East Asia command. German fraternisation ban in progress.
August 1945, Unna
1st – 31st Area recce for engineer stores and battle field clearance. Making M.T. workshops and office shed for unit. Perimeter wiring for Prisoner of War camps at Hamm and Unna, including electric lighting for 56 Brigade. Maintenance tasks on autoban Sise-Hamm. Preliminary action on demolition orders of battlefield clearance. Repairs to bomb blasted building for use as unit education centre. Major Brown posted to 3rd Division R.E. and C.S.M Prince posted to 12th Corp Troops R.E.
September 1945, Unna
1st – 30th Perimeter wiring and electric lighting of Prisoner of War camps at Unna and Hamm. Demolition orders of battlefield clearance. Repairs to bomb blasted building for use of Unit Education Centre. Making workshop and office for M.T unit. Maintenance to autoban Sise-Hamm.
October 1945, Unna
Completed minefield clearance by German Engineer P.O.Ws under No3 Platoon supervision for 1st Corps District. Completed wiring and lighting at Prisoner of War camps at Unna and Hamm. C.S.M Hughes R.E. posted to H.Q.R.E as R.S.M with S/gt Plunkett assuming duties of C.S.M. C.Q.M.S Wright left unit on release.
757 Field Company R.E. dispended in November 1945.