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Grandad's WWII Diary

Grandad’s WWII Diary – Tuesday 23rd June (cont) – Saturday 27th June 1942

June 23 - 27

Click here for entry for Thursday 18th June (cont) – Tuesday 23rd June 1942

Tuesday 23rd June (cont.)

… out – each platoon separated – will not have much chance of retreating if Jerry pushes.  First put my gear in dugout but all have countless bed bugs so shifted in another’s(?) pit.  Jerry planes over at night bombing Matruh & surrounding dumps.  Ack-ack and search-lights going all night.

Wednesday 24th June

Day 443

Cleaning out trenches and making weapon pits.  Jerry recce planes were at intervals during day.  Bombed Mersa & surrounding dumps heavily at night.  Ack-ack left him rather light.

Thursday 25th June

Day 444

Shifting out into desert.  Matruh being taken over by Indians back from Sollum.  Sixth Brigade remaining at Amyria.  Marched off at dusk passing Matruh then across to desert travelling until midnight.

Friday 26th June

Day 445

Headed south of Mersa – 4th & 5th brigades dug in on escarpment.  Flight of German Bombers over at night.  Bombed 21st Battalion causing heavy casualties.  Over several times before daylight.

Saturday 27th June

Day 446

Jerry attacked Mersa – driven off then his columns headed towards us.  Seems to have huge quantities of armoured vehicles – convoys stretched length of horizon.  Artillery began at 11AM then all day pounded hell out of us.  Our guns keeping his heavy tanks off.  Shells landing very close to our holes.  Blasts covering us with sand.  Several of our lorries being set on fire.  Jerry columns surrounding our position – situation getting very serious.  Shells coming from all directions – orders to move at dark.  Leaving all…

The following extract from World War 2 Timelines website in order to put the above into perspective.  


24/06/1942 The Germans advance into Egypt as the British retreat continues. Sollum and Sidi Barrani are evacuated by the Eighth Army.
25/06/1942 The Germans capture Sidi Barrani, Sollum and the Halfaya Pass in Libya as the Eighth Army retreats to Mersa Matruh in Egypt. General Auchinleck relieves Lieutenant General Ritchie and takes personal command of the Eighth Army, with plans to hold Rommel if he could at Mersa Matruh, but more definitely at the El Alamein line, or if that failed the Suez Canal.
26/06/1942 Rommel is made a Field Marshal and launches attacks against Mersa Matruh. Meanwhile, Kesselring, Cavallero (Italian Chief of Staff in Rome) and Bastico (Italian C-in-C in Libya) arrive at Rommel’s HQ and give permission for him to continue his advance in to Egypt.
27/06/1942 German troops begin to outflank the British positions at Mersa Matruh. As this happens the British start to withdraw towards the El Alamein line, confirming radio intercepts that had indicated they would.

Click here for entry for Saturday 27th June (cont) – Thursday 2nd July 1942


About The Sock Mistress

Slight fixation with socks. At last count, I had enough pairs of socks to last 14 weeks without having repeat a pair. IT geek by profession. Disney nut. 3rd world loan shark (http://Kiva.org ). Finds humour in the inappropriate. Holiday planner extraordinaire. Mum to doglets. Crazy Dachshund lady.


10 thoughts on “Grandad’s WWII Diary – Tuesday 23rd June (cont) – Saturday 27th June 1942

  1. Day 444: “Marched off at dusk ??? Matruh” = “Marched off at dusk passing Matruh”

    Posted by a gray | November 11, 2014, 5:46 pm
  2. Your grandfather’s journal must provide a fascinating insight into WWII. I look forward to reading some more!

    Posted by Alex Cochrane | November 11, 2014, 10:54 pm
  3. This getting good. I like how you have the actual diary and not just the transcription. And do you do all the work on it or have you a team?

    Posted by suchled | November 13, 2014, 9:39 am


  1. Pingback: Grandad’s WWII Diary – Thursday 18th June (cont) – Tuesday 23rd June 1942 | 14 Weeks Worth of Socks - November 11, 2014

  2. Pingback: Grandad’s WWII Diary – Saturday 27th June (cont) – Thursday 2nd July 1942 | 14 Weeks Worth of Socks - November 13, 2014

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