47 CDO RM - Cutting off the Germans at Fecamp
Unit/ Formation: 47 Cdo RM
Period/ Conflict: World War II
Date/s: 2 September 1944
On the morning of 31 Aug 1944 the Commando moved in Motor Transport to the SEINE ferry crossing at DUCLAIR. By this time the German withdrawal from NORMANDY had become a rout. The only signs of the enemy were the masses of burnt out and abandoned vehicles beside the roads and stacked up around the river crossings.
Everwhere the RAF had left their mark. Occasional1y small scattered bodies of enemy were found but they were all lost and disorganised and rarely, if ever, showed fight. The French people came out in style to greet their liberators and the term B.L.A. really began to have meaning.
The Brigade crossed to DUCLAIR in Infantry Assault boats and the Commando after searching the area East of BARENTIN moved across to occupy a position on the road BARENTIN - LE HAVRE.
On the afternoon of the next day, 1 Sept. the Commando moved by every available vehicle and by Motor Transport ferry system to CANY BARVILLE. A considerable number of enemy were reported in LE HAVRE, but the Coastal defences were being evacuated.
After a recce by X-Troop on 2 Sept. the Commando moved again to FÉCAMP on the coast thus cutting the last escape route from LE HAVRE. The reception at FÉCAMP was beyond description and during the whole stay in this town the Commando’s reputation of 'Liberators' never waned. On Sunday, 3 Sept. the unit took part in a ceremonial church parade and the CO laid a wreath on the War Memorial.
When we got to a town called Fécamp, there was a Benedictine Monastery and we ended up with crates of Benedictine in grateful recognition [Mne Fred Wildman]