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British Army

The Battle at Grimbiemont

The Battle at Grimbiemont
 
Although not a member of the Black Watch Regiment, a very fine Scottish Infantry Battalion, we were in the same vicinity area, we would have been on their immediate right.  Possibly the River "L'Ourthe" would have marked the Divisional Boundary Line.  
 
I was part of the "C" Company, 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, 158th Brigade, 53rd Welsh Division, 30th Corps.  We took over from an American Battalion of 84th Infantry Division in a defensive position in Verdenne and Marenne on January 1st, 1945. 

  

 

We soon moved forward to the heavilywooded area of the Bois Monseu, an exposed and open position which owing to the extreme severe Artic weather condition made it almost impossible to move vehicles along the frozen roads. This move in my opinion was a mistake as we could not dig into the hard ground which was also stones and rocks so we could not get any protection from the enemy shellfire.  So we retreated into the forest for some shelter behind the fir trees.  We were in this situation for some days until January 5th.

Photo: Private Dennis Gorton

It was almost impossible to sleep and only a small amount of food was available to the forward troops this had to be carried to the men in their position so that eventually a large number of Casualties was from frostbite to arms and feet.  Wounded soldiers had to be carried back for medical treatment a distance of 2 to 3 kilometre's by stretcher. 
 
Bearers in freezing temperature, we attacked and captured our objective of Grimbiemont, in a snowstorm which probably helped to cover our movements through the deep snow on the 7th January 1945. 
 
By 1430 hours the enemy had been defeated and our Battle had ended, my Company "C" and most others were down to fewer than a normal platoon strength, we could not have resisted a counter attack from the German 116th Panzer Division, very good determined troops indeed. 
 
It is recorded in Official Accounts that the 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of the 51st Division relieved us from our position in the village of Grimbiemont.  And the enemy had withdrawn in the direction of La Roche.  We were exhausted and very hungry for food.  
 
 "C" Coy, 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. 19th May 1944 (Kent, England) Most of these soldiers would have taken part in the Ardennes Battle.  1st from right, first row: Private Dennis Gorton
 
Pvt Dennis GORTON

"C" Company,

1st Battalion,

East Lancashire Regiment,

158th Brigade

53rd Highland Division

East Lancashire

Campaigns:

Battle of the Ardennes,

Belgium