Copy of the actual Line Diagram issued by the Signals Platoon 7th/9th Royal Scots

when in position on the west bank of The Rhine.

'On Saturday evening 10th March 1944 the 7th/9th Battalion reached Xanten, a small town less than a dozen miles east of Goch and about three-quarters of a mile from the west bank of The Rhine.' [The First of Foot, Augustus Muir,(1961), page 403]

This diagram was kindly given to me by Mr James Cairns.

Mr James Cairns is the son of the late Lance-Corporal David Cairns of the 7th/9th Battalion Signals Platoon. David Cairns was the Signalling N.C.O. in charge of the signals terminal attached to 'B' Company, commanded by Major (later Colonel) Hugh Rose whose distinguished conduct during the battle to capture the German Garrison Headquarters located in the Hotel Britannia, Flushing, Walcheren, was recognised by the award of the Distinguished Service Order.

Lance-Corporal David Cairn's wireless set was the only 'out station' in communication to Battalion Headquarters during the attack, the other wireless sets had been damaged by exposure to the very heavy flooded water pouring in from the Scheldt Estuary, despite the wireless sets being held aloft just as other equipment like machine-guns and rifles were carried above the heads of the men of the attacking column making its way to attack the Hotel Britannia. For the outstanding achievement of maintaining communication under such hazards Lance-Corporal David Cairns received the award of a Mention-in-Despatches.

The telephone network diagram shows lines radiating out in all directions. An analysis shows the forward deployment of three rifle companies. On the left to 'C' Company, 'B' Company in the centre and 'A' Company on the right. They are also linked to each other by line. On the extreme left flank is the Carrier Platoon with a line linked into 'C' Company, but the diagram shows that Carrier Platoon line extends through its Platoon Headquarters to Carrier Section(s) located on the river bank. The three-inch Mortar Platoon is looped into the line going to 'C 'Company.

Around Battalion Headquarters are 'command' links to the Battalion Commander (C.O.), Adjutant and I.O., to 155 Infantry Brigade Headquarters and also to the Royal Artillery switchboard which has its own line forward to its Forward Observation Post. The diagram shows the line to the Battalion Intelligence Officer has an extension to an Intelligence Section Observation Post located in a church. 'D' Company in the rear, in reserve, is linked up by a line which also links to Support Company Headquarters and the Regimental First-Aid Post. The battalion on the left is the 4 KOSB and is connected to main battalion HQ switchboard, whilst the 6 Cameronians on the right is linked through 'A' Company. It is a formidable set-up of communication, providing complete integration. There is even a line from the Battalion switchboard to the Officers Mess . . . luxury indeed!

 

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