Ark Force Orders
9th June 1940
The following is a copy of the exact order given to ARK Force and is taken from the Historical Section of the Cabinet Account.
9 June 40.
51 Div Operations Instruction
Brigadier A.C. Stanley Clarke, D,S.O.,
154 Infantry Brigade.
1. Enemy have now entered ROUEN consequently our move South to cross the SEINE is now impossible.
2. Commander IX Corp has decided to move towards HAVRE in the hope of reaching there before enemy forces.
3. IX Corps will move by 20 to 25 Kilometre moves along the Coast but cannot at the best reach HAVRE before 13/14 June at the earliest to embark that night.
4. Two battalions of French troops and twenty 75's are stretched on the line FECAMP-LILLEBONNE as a protection to HAVRE. These will come under your command.
5. You will proceed to-night with under your command:-
Two fd. Regts R.A.
'A' Bde. (late Beauman Force)
0ne Bty. 51 A/Tk Regt.
KENSINGTONS less two Coys Machine-Guns
"B-. 51 A/n Re,-.
To FECAMP and to-morrow will organise the line FECAMP - LILLEBONNE for defence against enemy AFVs and motorised infantry, paying especially attention to the Southern portion of the line near the SEINE. The 236 Fd.Coy will prepare the necessary demolition.
6. It is my intention, should we reach you line, to push forward to form an immediate bridgehead around HAVRE – whilst you forces withdraw to the landing places.
7.Should it be apparent that enemy attack from the South or East on the IX Corps has made any organised evacuation from HAVRE impossible you will withdraw and evacuate at HAVRE as many men of your Force as you can , having destroyed all material and taking off such equipment as can be carried.
8. Keep in touch with wireless.
9. If I find HAVRE impractical I shall endeavour to evacuate as many IX Corps as possible from Northern ports or beaches.
Comd. 51 Div.
Arrangements for move
The undernoted units will move as shown..
Route to be followed - main road DIEPPE-FECAMP.
Provost will police main road and where possible assist in moves to main road.
154 Bde. Representative will meet units at Mairie in FECAMP and direct units to locations.
1. 17 Fd. Regy. Move immediately.
2. 1 Kensingtons (less 2 Coys) Leave location 2100 hrs.
3. 75 Fd. Regt. Leave location 2130 hrs. Move to main road via ARCHELLES - ST.AUBIN -sur_Seie.
4. R.S.F. Marching personnel will be embossed at 15 R.A.S.C. lorries at 2300 hr, at APPEVILLE CHURCH. Unit transport following marching personnel.
5. A Bde. Part marching personnel will be embossed on MARTIN EGLISE - ARCHELLES Rd. in 15 R.A.S.C. Lorries head of column at A in ARCHELLES at 2300 hrs. Remainder will be embossed in A Bde’s lorries under Bde. arrangements. Proceed to main road vi ARCHELLES- ST.AUBIN-sur-Scie.. Unit transport follows ‘Busses.
6. 154 Bde. marching personnel will be embossed on TOTES-DIEPPE rd in 40 R.A.S.C. lorries – head of column at X rds ST.AUBIN-sur-Scie at 0001 hrs. Unit transport follows busses.
7. 154 Fd. Amb. Leave location 0100 hrs
A.A. & Q.M.G
The movement of certain troop belonging to Ark Force began without delay and at 1830 hrs a conference was held at Arques to give verbal instructions to commanders for the withdrawal of the main body.
It should be noted that the rate of withdrawal was governed by the fact that most of the French were marching infantry.
51 Div. had M.T. enough to have moved much faster.