58th Light Aid Detachment
Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
War Diary

Editor's Note:   This page contains a trans­crip­tion of the war di­ary of the 58th Light Aid Detach­ment of the Royal Cana­dian Elec­tri­cal and Mechan­ical Engi­neers for the dates of the bat­tle of Ot­ter­loo.  This light aid detach­ment was assigned to the 17th Field Regi­ment, Royal Cana­dian Artil­lery, and was respon­sible for the main­ten­ance and repair of the field regi­ment's equip­ment.  Those items damaged be­yond local repair were sent to work­shops far­ther back.  Mi­nor spel­ling and punc­tua­tion er­rors in the ori­ginal have been cor­rec­ted and large num­bers of ab­bre­via­tions and ac­ro­nyms have been spel­led out.  Mili­tary ranks and unit names have been spel­led out. One over­struck date and one incor­rect date in the ori­ginal have been ren­dered cor­rectly here.  This trans­crip­tion was made from a photo­graph of the ori­ginal war diary loca­ted at Lib­rary and Arch­ives Ca­nada and con­tained in box 16296 of re­cord group 24. 
 
Arnhem
Breakfast was at 0700 hours.  We moved with the regimental headquarters of the 17th Field Regiment at approximately 0830 hours for a new location.  We set up in a new location in what used to be a German barracks but only remained here for a few hours.  Dinner was served and the order to prepare to move came.  We moved at approximately 1500 hours to a location in Otterloo.  The men were made comfortable for the night.  Stand-to came at approximately 2340 hours and the battle for Otterloo started.  In a short while small arms fire became intense and mortars began to fall in the area.

Otterloo
At 0100 hours small arms file is still whistling through the trees and mortars are landing in the area.  Everyone is a little on the jittery side as the enemy draws closer and the evening passes.  We are laying down a withering small arms fire but the enemy still continues to draw closer to our position.  At 0200 hours orders came down to hold fire and fire only when necessary.  Word was received that the Irish Regiment of Canada and tanks are coming to our assistance and everyone is determined that the enemy will not break through until aid comes.  The hours drag by and the enemy machine gun fire becomes more intense.  First light breaks at 0530 hours and still no tanks but the Irish Regiment of Canada is reported to have come up on our left flank.  Shortly after daybreak tanks came to our assistance and with flame throwers put the enemy to flight while parties were detailed to carry out mopping up duties behind the tanks.  We all breathed much easier and caught a few winks of sleep.  In the afternoon Assistant Quartermaster Sergeant Heywood inspected the damaged guns and vehicles and made arrangements with the advanced workshop detachment of the 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade to pick up the damaged equipment.  The wagon line vehicles of Fox Troop of the 17th Field Regiment were a complete loss.  The evening was spent in preparing defences for another attack if it should come.  Phones were installed from different defence locations so that we could be in touch with the regimental headquarters of the 17th Field Regiment at all times.  The evening remained cool and quiet.