Men of the Battery in action at Oosterbeek, firing towards arnhem, at the background the church at oosterbeek low

18 September 1944: The battery took off from Manson, Kent, and landed at 14.30hrs. Positions were taken up in the scrub, beside 1 battery. At 16.30 the Battery moved to cabbage patch where it spent the night digging in.

Captain Chard dropped with 4 Para Brigade. His party landed intact, Gunner Reddy had a badly sprained ankle. No contact was made with the Battery on wireless. Battery was in action within one hour of landingt (15.35hrs). less one gun load a C Troop (Sergeant Clark, and one ammuntion load of D Troop (Bombardier Spendlove). Gun load presumed to have landed in Holland, other load never left England. The Battery met the C.R.A at the check point and moved with little interference from the enemy. All gliders made good landings. Considerable difficulty was met in detaching tail. On night of 18 September location of HQ 4 Para Brigade was obscure, so Battery commander decided to remain with the battery until further information was received. About 22.00hrs information was received that South Staffs and 11 para battalion were being ordered to put in an attack on Arnhem during the night, to join up with 1 para Brigade who were belived to be in the area of Arnhem Bridge. Captain P.A.Taylor was ordered to report to 11 Para Battalion to afford artillery support, about 23.00hrs Captain Chard arrived on gun position. Shortly afterwards the B.C. was ordered to report at once to Divisonal HQ where he was told by Brigadier Hicks that he was to deliver an impotrant message to Commander 4 Para Brigade, that he was to attack the Koepel feature. He was told to proceed on foot across the railway immediately north of the battery position where it was supposed that HQ 4 Para Bde was located, as a result of information from Captain Chard the B.C. demurred as he was of the impression that 4 PAra Bde HQ was some 7 miles further west and that the position indicated was strongly hled by the enemy. Eventually the B.C was allowed to proceed by truck using his own judgment. B.C. and Captain  Chard reported to 4 Para Bde, north of the town of Wolfheze.

 

19 September 1944: After a noisy night the Battery Commander Major J.E.F.Linton and Captain P.A.Taylor reported at 4 Para Bde. During the morning the battery fired into the bridge area and  "M" targets were engaged. There was considerable sniping and enemy aircraft were overhead for a short time. The first re-supply was dropped from Stirlings and Dakotas about noon, some of our planes being shot down. About 16.00hrs 4 Para Brigade were pushed back over the railway line to the north of the gun position and the enemy closed in. The battery was then ordered to pull back to Oosterbeek by sections. D Troop moved first and C troop guns pulled out just before dark as SP guns toop up positions at the north end of the area and openend fire.  The guns took up postion after dark and the battery spent night digging in. This area was later to be known as the Thompson Force area. At first light the B.C. and Captain Chard joined 156 Para Bn who were given the role of attacking and seizing Koepel. At this time 156 Bn had reached area Dreyenseweg. Before the attack on Koepel could be launched it was essential to seize the high wooded area around Lichtenbeek. 156 Bn enetered western side of this wood about 10.00hrs and endeavoured to move eastwards through it. the Battalion was however heavily and continously sniped and repeatedly engaged by SP guns and tanks, which moved in and out of the rides of the woods. By 1400 hrs the Battalion had reached te general line of the road Dreyenseweg but by this time had suffered approx 50% casualties, It was decided it was not possible to proceed with the attack and a defensive position was taken up in the S.W. edges of a wood.

The KOSB were in position north of this wood around a large house, but had not been seriously engaged. 10Bn were held up on the main road further north. About 16.00hrs Regimental Commanders were ordered to report to Brigade HQ in the wood 2 miles to the west, north of the railway. Orders were then given for 156 and 10 Bns and KOSB to withdrew to Wolfheze area, moving along north edge of railway, starting 16.30hrs, As the levelcrossing to the west was alleged to held by the enemy, transport had to move by separate routes to the foot parties and to cross at a place prepared by the Royal engineers. The withdrawal commenced at 16.30hrs but was conducted in a disorderly manner altough the enemy fire was at long rnage and not heavy. The BC, Captain Chard and Lt Halliday moved in rear of Brigade in case any targets should appear which might be suitable for engagement with artillery, no such targets appeared through the party was engaged by our own troops unnecessarily. About 17.30hrs this party reached the level crossing which was held by KOSB and not by the enemy. The BC reported to Colonel Payton Reid and asked for orders and any information re whereabouts of 4 Para Brigade. Owing to transport being moved by a separate route the only possible means of communication to the guns was by the 68 set carried by Capt Chard and Lt Halliday. It was impossible to establish communication with the guns from this position so BC obtained permission from Colonel Payton-Reid to rejoin 4 brigade who were thought to be in position somewhere to the east and south of the road. After a prolonged searxh through the wood no trace was found of 4 Brigade and eventually this party, complete, reported to Divisional HQ at dusk. Major Linton picked up his transport there and rejoined the Battery. Captain Chard remained at Divisional HQ in case contact should be made later with 4 Brigade.

Captain P.A.Taylorhad been detailed by the BC to join 11 Para Bn as FOO on the evening of 18 Sept. This Battalion had been detailed to proceed together with South Staffs to effect a junction with 1 Para Bde who had been cut off in Arnhem. On the 19th, on reaching the outskirts of the town, the infantry were suyprised by a number of tanks which suddenly appeared in the streets. Considerable confushion ensued but Captain Taylor put a 6 pounder anti tank gun into action in the street and himself acting as loader and No.1 waited until a tank appeared at short range and scored a direct hit with his first round. Subsequently he used this gun to stalk another enemy tank which was lurking in the town and probably scored at least one hit on it.