WAR DIARY of 61 Recce Regt RAC October 1944
– Lt Col P.H.A. Brownrigg
Date 23rd Place DRIEL
‘Contact Patrols last night had nothing to report. The quietness of the last two days was enlivened by a deserter surrendering to one of our Officers at 0900 hrs. The Prisoner of War – from 47 Fortress* Battalion – had only been in the Wehrmacht (German Army) since June and though willing to talk knew very little.
This afternoon “B” Squadron reported 12 enemy who appeared at 7074 along the line of the railway. They were heavily and effectively engaged and not seen again.’
*a Fortress (or Festung) infantry division in the German army was used to garrison critical sites.
Reg Harper’s account of ‘the Island’ includes “the night we had a prisoner.
I was Guard Commander, doing my rounds when I encountered the sentry who had ‘found’ this person. In the pitch black of the Island, illuminated intermittently by a firework or two over towards Arnhem, it was difficult to see who or what we had. The nearest source of light was the Intelligence Office so there we took him.
Opening the door, we shoved him in, to be confronted by a bemused IO, Colonel Brownrigg and Sergeant Cotter. We then divested this disreputable figure of various knives, pistols and what have you, which were in his pockets, socks and anywhere else. The Intelligentsia questioning him did not get very far, the odd grunt as I remember. It turned out eventually that he was an American deserter………Oh, the excitement of it all!” (From the newsletter of the Old Comrades Association.)