Extract from the account of Lieutenant E A James. 18 September 1944-22 September 1944.

18th Monday. 04:00 hrs moved out South to take the 2nd Route. Progressed in stages and eventually reached area of River by Pontoon bridge. We endured heavy shellfire and Maj. P. Waddy was killed in this area by Mortar as also the C.O. I believe. I was detailed to hold the top main road by the hospital, which I did. Later Sgt Higgins came along to say every one had retired to crossroads (we were in actual fact isolated) - made way as quickly as possible, only to find no one at the crossroads. Just at that moment an armoured car arrived at the crossroads. I dived into a doorway (4 doors all locked) with no cover, but fortunately the armoured car went the other way. I then decided with my small band to go into DEN BRINK WOOD. Found a few of the 2nd [1st], but no 3rd. Everywhere we moved we were MG or sniped. So it went on until nightfall. Becoming increasingly difficult I ordered the 15 men left with me to split in 2/3’s and make their own way into Town. Felton came with me. It was very slow going and Felton was very perturbed because my watch face was illuminating. I changed it to the inside of the wrist. Eventually got out of the wood and took cover in some cultivation.

19th Tuesday. About 07:00 Jerry started shelling, and mortaring (yards?) near to us, and we felt it would be our last any moment. At 11:00 hrs there was movement from the S end and it turned out to be the 11th. After a while contacted Richard and James and made about 40 strong. Took up positions in house in Arnhem. Tanks came on the scene and so had to withdraw along lower road from station Laag to Oosterbeek. Spent night in cellar of Black House.

20th Wednesday. Tanks appeared in morning - fired direct at Black House but as luck would have it I was at the back, had to retire and Jerry infantry took possession. We counter attacked: cleared house but did not use it again on account snipers other side of road and further down. By 17:00hrs had made 3 excursions down the road but Jerry kept on returning as soon as we vacated. 20:00 hrs orders to withdraw to open ground below Church. Sgt. Higgins wounded this afternoon. Dug in on open ground. Cleminson in houses, myself forward and Bill Frazer to my rear.

21st Thursday. First light Jerry shelling, mortaring and tanks on high ground by road. Hopeless position. L/Cpl Stanley killed by my side and 6 or 7 injured. I was blown up by HE blast, but landed in my dugout. Came to 30 mins later - it seemed like two. Could neither hear nor move. After shouting for some time asked Felton to sling earth at me if he could hear me - this he did, so I assumed things were sticky and they were! Kept asking questions whereby Felton could answer Yes by throwing earth, and No, well just no earth. Later he threw written messages and explained position. Bill Frazer and Sgt Davis killed by direct hit at this time. I dived over the side and well into mucky stream, and having moved back 10 yds, found Richard had organized withdrawal to Church. Let my men through - could do nothing for seriously wounded. Came to bridge which we had to go under and dive underwater to clear grating at far end. It was here Richard was shot by sniper. Several casualties from Mortar and sniping during this ½ mile to Church. I had to “feel” everything, as stone deaf. Arrived Church area and James said I had better go to RAP which is what I did. RAP could do nothing for me so lay on floor after finding a pair long pants, grey trousers and blue jersey belonging to the house owner.

22nd Friday Still deaf. Shelling, etc terrific. 100 casualties in this RAP alone. Felton and several of the boys came along to see me.

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