The research and trying to recreate the actual units is proving to be very enjoyable! Never painted any Flames of War stuff before and definitely nothing in this scale! After years of painting only in 28mm painting in 15mm is proving to be a novel challenge!!
67184 Lieutenant Colonel Humphrey Reginald Woods, D.S.O, M.C & Bar.
The King's Royal Rifle Corps
Commanding Officer of the 9th.Bn. Durham L.I
Killed in action on 14th.June 1944, aged 28.
Son of Colonel Reginald Herbert Woods, O.B.E.,M.C., and Ivy Oswald Woods, of
He is buried in Plot XV.F.26 Bayeux War Cemetery.
Sgt.Charles Eagles, who was feet away from him when he was wounded by mortar fire,
remembers his last words being, "surely they haven't hit me?"
Major John Mogg 9th Durham Light Infantry
Major John Mogg was the second in command of the 9th.DLI. He had joined the Battalion in a sealed camp, one week before D-Day.
The following is his account of the action, which was written in the 1970's for the Staff College.
' We crossed the Start Line at 10:15 on the morning of
the 14th. behind an immense fire plan from the Corps Artillery and the
Air. The wood literally appeared to be devastated immediately to our
front some three hundred yards away.
Typhoons with rockets
and bombs straddled and plastered the wood. We crossed the SL with
infantry leading two platoons up and one in reserve trying to keep up
with the timings of the Artillery and Air support. In the Bocage the
normal form was for infantry to lead but supported very closely by tanks
from the flanks and in certain cases with individual tanks travelling
with the infantry. This helped communication and was greatly different
to the battles in the desert and in the open country of the Goodwood
operation and the NW German plain later on.
As we crossed
the standing corn, and supported by 4/7th.RDG, the barrage gradually
lifted and we thought we should reach the wood with little difficulty.
Gradually the enemy came to life. Two tanks opened up from the wood and
withering fire from Spandaus caught the leading companies in enfilade
fire. There were many casualties but the leading companies reached the
wood where bitter fighting ensued. The enemy were well dug in and had
sited their Spandaus to give excellent cross fire. We discovered
afterwards that many of the Spandaus which had continued to fire during
the barrage had string attachments enabling the enemy to fire on fixed
lines from the bottom of the trench.
'A' Coy on the left
suffered tremendous casualties, including all their Officers. 'C' Coy on
the right were making some headway with heavy fighting towards
At this stage the Commanding Officer ordered
the two reserve companies to pass through and try to gain the objective.
'B' Coy passed through 'A' but immediately suffered heavy casualties,
losing all their Officers but one.
The Commanding Officer
was with his Tac HQ following 'A' Coy on the left. I was with 'C' Coy on
the right and we had a conversation on the wireless. It was clear that
the companies on the left would make no further progress and he ordered
me to push on with the two right hand companies to Lingevres. He would
withdraw the remnants of 'A' and 'B' and reinforce us on the right.
Three minutes later he was killed by a mortar bomb and his IO was
By noon I found myself in command of what was
left of 9 DLI in the village of Lingevres, with 'D' Coy fairly strong,
'C' Coy at about one platoon strength and the remnants of 'A' and 'B' on
their way to reinforce us. I had a quick 'O' Group.
ordered 'D' Coy to occupy the East and SE edge of the village facing
towards Tilly and 'C' Coy of one platoon to look after the approaches
from the South. I made a DF fire plan with my gunner, Ken Swann of 86
I ordered the support weapons to move forward,
putting the carriers to guard the Western approach and set up my Bn. HQ
in the area of the Bridge over the stream just North of the village and
on the Bn axis. I sited the five remaining A.Tk. guns singly, facing
down the road approaches. This was a fatal mistake as in the first
counter attack four of the five were knocked out by advancing tanks
coming down the road. It taught me never to site A.Tk. guns to fire
frontally, but always to engage tanks from a flank.
midday onwards enemy tanks attacked the village, but luckily with no
infantry support, but much shelling. I ordered three tank hunting
patrols to go out and accompanied one myself. A very inexperienced and
foolish thing to do when I was commanding a Bn. I only mention it as an
amusing side line in that having crept under Bocage banks across four
fields and sited the PIAT A.Tk. weapon on top of a bank to fire at a
Panther tank I ordered the gunner to fire, the Geordie said " I don't
know how the bloody thing works". He had carried it across the channel
and for seven days in Normandy!! A lesson perhaps. In fact the Panther
was eventually made a non-runner by this PIAT and the crew 'baled out'.
At about 1630 the expected counter attack
materialised, developing strongly on the left flank. The attack was
mostly from enemy tanks supported by about a company of infantry. A call
for support from our Artillery and the Air assisted in repelling the
By nightfall we still held the village
and were in touch with the 6th. DLI in Verrieres. At about nine o'clock
we were relieved by the 2nd Glosters and heaved a very large sigh of
The casualties between 10:15 and 21:00 hrs. amounted to:-
22 Officers and 226 Other Ranks Killed wounded or missing.
Major Mogg was awarded a D.S.O. for this action and for destroying a
Panther tank at close range with a PIAT. He went on to become a General
in the Post- War British Army.
Sadly, General Sir John Mogg died on the 28th.of October 2001.
The CO and 2ic of 9th Bn DLI:
Sniper teams attached to the Btn HQ: