alt="R W Friend 6458484 1/7 Royal Fusilers Pembroke Garrison Army Education Board"

NWE  4/6/1944 - 28/6/1944




Stationed at Kings Lynn, Norfolk 6458484 R W Friend was transferred to 1/6 Queens Regiment end of March 44 because the 11 Bn Royal Fusiliers was disbanded.
Embarked for Normandy at Tilbury Docks on 4th June 44 and disembarked on 9th at Sword Beach as part of 2nd Army UK, 131st Infantry Division.

Queens regiment involved in Battle of Battle of Villers-Bocage  (fighting the infamous Waffen SS Tank Commander Michael Wittman) alongside 7th Armoured Div aka "Desert Rats".

At dawn on 12 June, the British 7th Armoured Division (aka "The Desert Rats") supported by 131st Infantry Brigade (Queen’s Brigade as it was composed of Queens Royal Regiment BN’s) passed through the Caumont Gap south of Bayeux and headed for Villers-Bocage and the ridge beyond. On the right flank the US 1st and 2nd  Infantry Divisions attacked along the narrow lanes with high hedge rows around small paddocks and woodlands  (the bocage) to the west of Caumont. There was considerable shell fire between the tank and infantry units on each side and unfortunately RW Friend was seriously wounded by a mortar bomb. He was repatriated to the Park Prewett military hospital, Basingstoke and was not fully fit for duty until Dec 1944.


Click above map to view approximate site of R.W. Friend's wounding. You can see the terrain and the type of the fighting in the first 25 mins of this video

The allies did not break out of the area around Caen until mid August during Battle of the Falaise Pocket












Documents >> Site of Fusilier RW Friend's landing in France and probable location where he sustained injury near Caen - use date in this link for map details.
>> Above as pdf
>>Video of Normandy with coverage of fighting around BOCAGE showing the area where Bob was injured
>> Slide show of Whitman's tank action around Bocage

Robert William Friend 6458484 1/7 (City London Regiment) Royal Fusiliers