10th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, War Diary April 1940

From 70 Brigade
Jump to: navigation, search

Postings and duties were allocated to the Battalion in early April.

12th April 1940

In respect of transport – the Battalion had used a temporary scale of provision and had hired civilian cars for operational and communication purposes. These hired vehicles were now sent to a Depot at CATTERICK, presumably for return to their owners, or re-allocation to other units, and three 30 cwt trucks, eight 15 cwt trucks, 1 water cart (probably on a 15 cwt chassis), one 8 cwt truck and one motorcycle were issued from military stocks.

18th April 1940

Drafts of men were received to make the Battalion up to strength.

These were:-

100 Other Ranks from 5th (Holding) Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry,

31 Other Ranks from 8th (Holding) Battalion, Royal Leicester Regiment,

58 Other Ranks from the Durham Light Infantry, Infantry Training Centre at Brancepeth,

44 Other Ranks from 3rd (Holding) Battalion Durham Light Infantry, based at Hartlepool (this last posting being a surprise to the Battalion as they had not known these men were arriving).

19th April 1940

Accommodation for the Battalion was strained as a result of the arrival of these reinforcements. Divisional details were to be formed on 25th April, so 52 “Immatures” were sent to CHESTER-LE-STREET to be attached to the 11th Battalion. All Immatures (under 19s) were to be part of Divisional details and would not be proceeding to join the B.E.F.

20th April 1940

Final orders were received for the move overseas.

24th April 1940

The entrainment of the Battalion and its and departure as per programme went “without a hitch”.

25th April 1940

At 07:00 hours the troops arrived at LE HAVRE and proceeded on to GARE TRANSATLANTIQUE where a meal was served.

At 14:00 hours the Battalion left by train together with 11th Battalion – using cattle trucks, rather than carriages.

At 16:00 hours the train arrived at LANGUETOT STATION, to be met by Brigadier Kirkup. A march past by the 10th Battalion took place and the Brigadier took the salute.

The Billets allocated to the Battalion proved to be clean but the ground was soon churned up. A French liaison officer was allocated to assist the Battalion – Capitaine de Saint Peru.

28th April 1940

A Motor Transport Convoy left at 0930. An Appendix related to this convoy was attached to the War Diary detailing the personnel involved.

These were:-

4442979 Cpl Watkins J.

4449910 Pte Thornton S.

4452341 L/Cpl Townsend H.

4452935 Pte Addison T.R.

4453072 Pte Mayne J.G.

4454615 Pte Harbisher J.W.

4455936 Pte Moore G.

4456363 Pte Vasey F.S.

4456787 L/Cpl Edmenson C.

4457220 Pte Pawson A.

4457226 Pte Hopkins R.

4457946 Cpl Gaines F.

4458025 Pte Greenhough L.

4458061 Pte Williams W.

4459064 Pte Wylie J.W.

4459462 Pte Beckwith J.R.

4459463 Pte Marshall T.G.

4459491 Sgt Metheringham J.

There was a Church parade during the day and a Battalion concert took place in the evening.

29th April 1940

At 17:30 hours the Battalion marched to the BOLBEC VILLE station, which was reached at 2000 hours, and entrained for the journey to NUNCQ, where the task of airfield construction awaited.

30th April 1940

The Battalion reached FREVENT STATION at 0800 and marched to NUNCQ where they were accommodated under canvas.

To contact the author by e-mail with any queries, or to send information - click here.