11th May – 866175/8966173.
2159 Bttn less A and B Echelons left for Assembly Point.
2335 RAP reached and coys proceeded to X and Y crossings. Heavy mortar and machine gun fire encountered and many casualties sustained.
0035 Command Post established 250 yards east side of Y crossing, unable to cross owing to boats being destroyed. Command Post consisted of CO, RA Battery Commander, IO and RSM.
0115 No communications with any coys. Many casualties passed through to rear. One wounded man brought in a prisoner, who was despatched to Brigade HQ forthwith.
0130 A Echelon left for Brigade Assembly Point.
0202 Intelligence Sergeant joined Command Post and gave news of wires and mines contacted by A Coy. OC S Coy last seen carrying 18 set forward.
0207 Contact made with D Coy, who reported approaching Green Lane. Heavy casualties reported by them. No W/T contact made with control or any other coy. Signal Officer reported missing, last seen by Signal Sergeant being swept down the river.
0245 A Echelon reported reaching Assembly Point.
News received that OC A Coy was missing and OC B Coy was wounded whilst passing through a minefield.
0430 Rear HQ, consisting of Adjutant, 18 set, 22 set and one member of the I Section attempted to reach the Command Post but was compelled to return owing to the absence of a bridge or ferries causing a stream of traffic to back up along the road. C Coy led by Major Tuohy had suffered many casualties on passing through a minefield covered by enemy fire. It was so depleted that they were unable to gain their objective. OC C Coy withdrew his company to the near side of the minefield and consolidated the remaining personnel of his company on a line formed by an irrigation channel about 150 yards from the enemy strong points.
Major Tuohy, although under heavy fire at the time, personally collected the remnants of the other coys which had become disorganised owing to heavy casualties sustained and withdrew them to his line of consolidation.
Fire was kept up throughout the night on the enemy in order to avoid a counter attack.
0830 Rear HQ arrived at Brigade HQ. No communication with main body had been made. The adjutant received instructions to collect reinforcements and proceed to main body.
1000 Adjutant went forward with approx 30 men. Rear HQ went forward by the only possible vehicle route but failed to get through owing to the road being blocked. Rear HQ received instructions to return to the Assembly area. RSM arranged Assembly area for remnants of bttn and 2 Somerset LI at area 875191.
1330 OC D Coy arrived at Assembly area.
OC D Coy reported having reached objective but had suffered very heavy casualties and was forced to withdraw. News also received that the Commanding Officer had been severely wounded and that the I Sergeant had been killed. The IO also had received wounds.
1410 The Adjutant returned to the Assembly area having failed to contact the Command Post.