War Diary - CRE - November 1940

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1 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Work in progress by 294 Field Company:-

1. Structures in Alafoss Camp.

2. Battle HQ 1/7 Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.

3. Mine Dugout Force HQ.

4. Reykjavik Landing Ground.

5. Roads GARDAR, Reserve MT Company, VIDEY LSP, ARTUN, No.2 Ammunition Depot.

6. Anti-Tank Mine Instruction Squad.

3 November 1940 – Reykjavik

02:00 hours. Clocks put back 1 hour (to normal Iceland time).

3 November 1940 – Kaldadarnes

08:31 hours. German aircraft, believed HEINKEL III over at 6/7000 feet.

3 November 1940 – Artun

08:38 hours. German aircraft, believed HEINKEL III over at 3400 feet.

3 November 1940 – Reykjavik

08:44 hours. German aircraft, believed HEINKEL III disappears to West.

This aircraft dropped no bombs but machine-gunned one anti-aircraft post – presumed on recce – further developments awaited with interest.

4 November 1940 – Hafnafjordur

14:30 hours. Inspection of pill-box Hafnafjordur by G.O.C., Chief Engineer, Commander, Royal Engineers, Infantry Commanders etc and afterwards of mock-up in Reykjavik.

6 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Clear sunny weather with frost – 7 degrees Celsius below freezing tonight.

7 November 1940

Passive Air Defence discussion with Captain Loathins, Royal Fusiliers, adviser to Force Troops, at RE HQ, 19 Field Survey Company, 294 Field Company. All considered to have made satisfactory preparations.

8 November 1940

Frost continues – snowfalls tonight.

12 November 1940 – Kaldadarnes

Visit of Commander, Royal Engineers, G 1, Representatives of 70 Infantry Brigade, Officer Commanding Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. Defences reviewed, order for extra wiring given and pill-box sited.

14 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Frost continues – ground almost impossible to work: Signals busy putting cables underground in town.

15 November 1940

Snow stops work – road to AKUREYRI reported blocked in places and from now on civilian mail will be carried through blocks on pack ponies.

16 November 1940

Thaw followed by frost makes roads difficult.

17 November 1940

Reference R.O. 599 (4th October) Intelligence Officer Royal Engineers goes on 3 days local leave.

17 November 1940 – Kaldadarnes

11:53 hours. Detachment Flight 98 Squadron report hearing enemy aircraft in flight to South: also seen by civilians and identity established as German.

18 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Snow and ice conditions persisting – snow falls again at night but turns to rain by following morning.

20 November 1940 – Reykjavik


21 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Snow again falls tonight.

23 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Sleet and snow.

24 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Bright clear day and freezing.

25 November 1940 – Egilstadur

10:00 hours. Hostile aircraft seen and another one elsewhere on East Coast.

26 November 1940 - Reykjavik

Chief Engineer, Commander, Royal Engineers, RAF representatives and others discuss policy for future of Reykjavik Landing Ground.

27 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Work on roads etc continues to be interrupted by ice and snow, but 294 Field Company use their civilian labour and transport for sanding roads for which no provision seems to be made by local authority.

28 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Thaw helped by rain.

29 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Frost succeeds thaw and makes conditions more unpleasant than ever.

Various schemes for winter now in hand, viz P T Officer, Education Schemes, exhortations to study the GALLIPOLI Campaign, Force Sports Committee and ninepence per head for Other Ranks on CHRISTMAS DAY.

So far the horrors of ICELAND have been greatly exaggerated (probably inspired by local home-rulers): boredom is most insidious foe.

30 November 1940 – Reykjavik

Practise Passive Air Defence exercise by local authority in which BRITISH FORCES join.

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