This page tells of the Lommel Bridgehead, on the first day of Operation Market Garden.
This story was told to me by 14659090 Emrys Davies of D’ Company, 4th Battalion Welch Regiment, 160 Brigade, 53rd Welch Division, XXX Corps.
D’ Company, 4th Battalion Welch Regiment, 160 Brigade, 53rd Welch Division, XXX Corps
XXX Corps had the most difficult task of all. That of reaching and protecting, the three Airborne drops on the route North from Eindhoven, Nijmegan, to Arnhem.
On Sunday 17th September, 1944, the skies were filled with a huge Airborne armada, on its way to Nijmegan, with hundreds of gliders and troop carriers. We had to cross the Lommel Canal, which is north of the Albert Canal, and force a bridgehead into Holland.
It was pitch dark and raining, and we soaked through. All our kit was wet and the food sopping. Everyone was ‘dead beat’. Then we made the crossing.
On the 19th September, the 4th Welch advanced at 0700 hrs towards Wilreit, but were ‘held up’ at Postel, by a force of 600 parachutists behind minefields. ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies were badly ambushed in thick woods loosing two officers and many men. They got out as best they could. Another attack was made to the north-west and eventually 4th Welch got back with many prisoners taken.
This was only one action of many that took place at this time, but the one in Reusel was the most vicious of all.”