6458484 R.W. Friend 1 Bn Royal Fusiliers Normandy Action

Image of Post Bombing raid of

Post Raid Reconnaissance: Argentan, Caen

6/7 June 1944 showing importance of this area with the blasting of Nazi defences on western edge of town around D-Day


Arrived off JIG_'Green-Gold' beach on 8th and landed in France 9th June a soldier in 1/6 Queens Bn as part of 131st Infantry Brigade.

Buildupafterd-day 6458484 RW Friend
After transport vehicles arrived 10th they moved via Bayeux on 11th to Nonant for first action in Battle of Villers-Bocage in ‘Operation Perch’.
The 5th/6th Bn of Queens with 1st Tank Regiment were tasked to hold Livry as a firm base.

Unfortunately they were fighting Waffen SS Tank Commander Michael Wittman. The infamous Nazi Tank Ace of WW2!

0700 - 0900 12/06/1944 - this link shows maps of probable site where Bob copped his injury
'C' company moved up on the right of the road (811707 - 816705 ) to occupy woods at 810698 under cover of motor, m.g. and artillary fire when the enemy laid down heavy defensive mortor fire, causing several casualties. This most likely included 6458484 RW Friend.
1110 - 1400
'D' company passed through heading down the road for Verrieres (815693) but they to got caught in heavy mortor fire which killed Capt D Blessley and a Sargent causing the company to withdrawn under fire and a heavy smoke screen. At nightfall the battalion was relieved and returned to Nonant.
Detailed view of where regiment was concentrated that morning
The British/US advance was held up by stiff opposition from Wittman's 12th Panzer Tank Divisions suffering casualties (the decision by British commanding officer to withdraw forces led to his being relieved of command). It looks like 6458484 RW Friend (Bob) was wounded around 9:00 am when the enemy laid down heavy mortar fire as “C” company advanced along a road (D33?) on 1:100000 Caine-Falaise Sheet 7F/1 at ref 810712. Saint-Paul-du-Vernay/Tilly-sur-Seulles/Carcagny/Bayeux.
Most likely around Bernieres-Bocage see map above.

Bob was hospitalised in UK until December 1944. The back injury pained him for the rest of his life and was unfortunately the cause of his early death in 1987.
6458484 RW Friend was just one of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers of America, of Britain and Canada who sacrificed so much to save the world from Nazi Socialism and oppression.
"Lest we Forget"

## Here is some interesting footage which covers the Normandy Landings and the fighting, including footage of the difficulties Allies experienced around Bocage with its small fields and tall hedge rows.##

A slide show about the tank battle around Bocage


Sources
Service record 6458484 R.W. Friend
War Diary 1/6 Queens June 1944
1:100000 Caine-Falaise Sheet 7F/1 at ref 810712.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Villers-Bocage#CITEREFHastings1950
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/131st_Infantry_Brigade_(United_Kingdom)#Order_of_Battle_2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XXX_Corps_(United_Kingdom)#North_West_Europe
https://www.britannica.com/place/Gold-Beach
https://www.dday-overlord.com/en/d-day/beaches/gold-beach#
https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/maps/europe.html