2 RUR withdraws from Bossuyt to Turcoing

Wednesday, 22 May, 1940

Retreat to Dunkirk

The 2nd Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles spent the night of 19 May digging new defensive positions facing a canal and river line near Bossuyt, Belgium. At dawn on 20 May 1940, 2 RUR observed German troops on the opposite bank. Despite their presence the Battalion had a quiet day resting and improving the defence works.

The 21/22 May continued to be warm and sunny and, although attacking relentlessly and successfully against the French, the enemy failed to press home any attack on 9 Infantry Brigade's front.

During these two days the Rifles discovered that the retreat had certain advantages; cream, eggs, butter and champagne were easily obtainable in a countryside not yet ravaged by war. One officer even shaved in hot gin!

On the morning of 22 May, the Battalion received orders to withdraw 12 miles to Turcoing, France during the night 22/23 May. The enemy once again made no attempt to follow.