The final phase of the 11th.R.S.F. history in Holland,
1944-1946, is described in their Regimental History on page
THE 11TH BN IN HOLLAND, I944,-I946, p.319
11TH BATTALION: Goodbye to "The Island"
The operation of clearing the Germans out of the eastern end of
The Island began on April 1. The Fusiliers moved to a
concentration area in Lent. The Battalion record states: " At
long last it seemed that we were to be rid of this depressing
area which, through no choice of ours, had been our hunting
ground for four months. The attack went in at 6 a.m. on
April 2, the Duke of Wellington's Regiment forcing the initial
bridgehead. At zero hour we employed an artillery rocket
projector which laid a mattress Of 360 rockets each with the
equivalent explosive charge of a 5-5-inch shell. The Battalion
broke through at about 10 a.m., 'B' and ` C ' Companies securing
the flank, 'A' and' D ' Companies going through to the final
objectives. Relatively little resistance was encountered, even
though the supporting tanks could not be used for some time as
the roads in parts were badly cratered and in others lavishly
sown with mines. The 146th Brigade passed through and the
remainder of The Island was cleared on April 3."
The Battalion moved back again to Bemmel, preparing for
"Operation Anger", the capture of Arnhem; but there was a last
minute change of plan. Arnhem was to be taken from the east and
a different brigade was to be committed in the initial stages.
Accordingly the Fusiliers crossed the IJssel, settled in Duiven
and began work on the new plan.
On April 12, the day of the attack, the leading brigade got a
firm foothold in the south-eastern quarter of Arnhem. "Our
Battalion", states the record, "followed up on April 14, broke
through the bridgehead and cleared the way to the north-west
suburbs of Arnhem. Offensive patrolling and heavy accurate 'stonking'
of likely positions brought in a considerable number of the
enemy, many of them youngsters who had little training. On one
occasion the enemy resorted to one of his underhand tricks and
four men came down the road waving a white flag. The sentry of
the forward section came out of cover to beckon them in. The
Germans immediately dropped the flag, while fire opened up from
concealed positions. We had taken precautions and our Bren
opened up and shot down the four men."
The Fusiliers next moved north-westwards to Ede, halfway between
Arnhem and Amersfoort, supported by tanks.
THE 11TH BN IN HOLLAND, I944,-I946 p.320
They harboured in an area some 4,000 yards short of the town and
formed into three concentric circles of infantry, tanks, and
soft skinned vehicles, preparatory to attacking Ede at dawn on
April 17. "A" Company captured some high ground, a key position
on the left flank in the outskirts of the town. Two squadrons of
tanks deployed on the right into wooded country, and were
closely followed by "B", "C" and "D" Companies onto their
objectives. That night the Battalion entered Ede without
incident and again moved north-westwards to Lunteren, a
delightful Dutch village which was quite undamaged. Here the
Fusiliers parted from their anti-tank guns, which could now be
held in reserve within the Brigade group, as there were no
longer any German tanks in the area. The retreating Germans were
behind the Grebbe Line and the Fusiliers followed them as far as
a position short of Scherpenzeel.
11TH BATTALION: Occupation duties and disbandment
The Battalion was at Scherpenzeel on May 5 1945, when news was
received that the Germans in North West Europe had surrendered.
The 49th Division was allotted an area of occupation 30 miles
wide, running due north and south from the Ijsselmeer to the
Waal, which included the towns of Hilversum, Utrecht and
On May 18 the Fusiliers handed over to the Highland Light
Infantry of Canada, which at that time contained two complete
rifle companies belonging to the Royal Scots Fusiliers of
Canada, one of the Regiment's Commonwealth affiliations, and
moved back to Lunteren. On May 21 they
took part in a victory parade at the Hague, at which the salute
was taken by Prince Bernhard and General Crerar; and then
passed on to Osnabruck on their way to permanent occupation
duties at Ludenscheid, south of the Ruhr. Lieutenant-Colonel P.
S. Sandilands, D.S.O., succeeded Lieutenant-Colonel Eykyn, D.S.O.,
as Commanding Officer early in November I945
In April 1946 the Battalion handed over to Belgian troops at
Ludenscheid and moved to Erwitte, between Soest and Paderborn.
At Truppenübungplatz, near Paderborn, the 11th. Battalion
relieved the 2nd Battalion and the 4/5th Battalion which were
jointly guarding a civilian internment camp. This meeting of the
three battalions was an unique event in the history of the
Regiment, and photographs were taken to commemorate the
11TH BN IN HOLLAND, I944,-I946, p.321
The respective commanding officers at the time were
Lieutenant-Colonel J. L. Maxwell, D.S.O. (2nd Battalion),
Lieutenant-Colonel M. R. J. Hope Thomson, D.S.O., M.C. (4/5th
Battalion), and Lieutenant-Colonel P. S. Sandilands, D.S.O.
The 11th. Battalion was disbanded at Paderborn in November 1946,
and the majority of the rank and file were posted to the 2nd