Report on Activities of Detachment of 261 Fd Park Coy RE (Airborne)




Report on Activities of Detachment of 261 Fd Park Coy RE (Airborne)


17 Sep.           Detachments as follows in Transit Camps.

                       Transit Camps.UK.  (1) Lt SKINNER. L/Cpl  ROFF. Dvr WHITMORE. Dvr DAY. L/Cpl TRIM.

                       Spr CONNOLLY.  attached 4 Para Sqd RE (2) Sgt FLOWER. Spr BRYANT. Spr ANDERSON. Spr BATTERSBY Spr COLLINS. Dvr                                                         COOKSLEY attached 1 Para Sqn RE.(3) L/Sgt POTTER. L/Cpl UNDERWOOD. Spr DIAMOND. Spr BELCHER.  Spr GREENWOOD. Spr             CHEETHAM. Spr BODEN. Spr. Mac FARLANE.Spr PAGE. Dvr CLARKE J W. attached 9 Fd Coy RE.

18 Sep.           All detachments left for operation around LZ approx Weather fine. 1500 hrs without casualties. Dets (1) and (3) joined

                        ARNHEM area. respective units. Det (2) unable to contact 1 Para Sqn. Who were in ARNHEM, and spent night approx 2 miles                                                              outside town.

19 Sep.           Det (2) reported to Div HQ and became attached to. Weather fine. 9 Fd Coy RE at 0900 hrs. (Det (3) ordered to construct 40

                       ARNHEM area. crosses, and supplied Jeep and driver to assist Padre in  burying the dead. ß----  NOT TRUE.)

                        Det (1) were assisting 4 Para Bde to defend LZ and were withdrawn at approx 1430 hrs. Only two members of this party were contacted by 9 Coy                                Dets – L/Cpl ROFF and Spr CONNOLLY. The remainder were last seen withdrawing under a culvert through a railway embankment and nothing                                  further was seen of this party. This night Dets (2) and (3) moved by 9 Coy to second line defensive position, came under heavy mortar fire, but were                            not attacked.

20 Sep.          Dets (2) and (3) with 9 Fd Coy consolidating positions. Weather fine. Heavily mortared. No casualties. ARNHEM area.               

21 Sep.                                                      - - - - - Ditto - - - - -

22 Sep.          Ditto. Rations not dropped. Water cut off.

23 Sep.           As before. Increase in mortar fire and shelling. Spr MacFARLANE and Dvr CLARKE J W , wounded – the latter evacuated. Weather still fine.

24 Sep.           As before. L/Cpl. UNDERWOOD, Sprs PAGE and MacFARLANE  sent forward to assist 4 Para Sqn at dusk. Spr MacFARLANE again wounded, and                           sent to 4 Sqn RAP. No rations received.

25 Sep.          Dets ordered to withdraw across river with 9 Coy Rain at 2113 hrs. Barrage increased at 2100 hrs. proceeded to river. Spr                                                                       ANDERSON was killed by mortar bomb, and Spr PAGE wounded en route, but arrived at RV on far bank. The men underlined above                                                     were known to have returned to South bank and RV at NIJMEGEN.


APO England.                                                         (Signed) J N CHIVERS, Maj RE,

30 Sep 44.                                                                OC 261 Fd Park Coy (Airborne)




Transcribed by R Hilton

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