The Battalion disposed itself with ‘A’ Company in Kreuzrath, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies in the forward area in Birgden and 'Sp' Company (Support Company) in the rear towards the southern end. All Headquarters, including Platoon H.Q., were set up in the spacious and well-constructed cellars of the houses, while the fighting positions themselves were slit trenches dug in the gardens and tracks. The enemy at the nearest point was less than 100 yards away, and their patrols here were so active that a high degree of alertness was observed during the hours of darkness.
Private Thomas Scully ('A' Company) recalls: "Most of the houses were badly damage and there was still dead Germans scattered around the area. I and Private 'Joe' Bainbridge were given charge of some captured German troops who had given themselves up. I decide to make then useful by getting them digging trenches in the rear garden of the house we were in. They were later taken down to Battalion H.Q. for interrogation by the intelligence officer."
Birgden was a village of the dead, badly damaged from shellfire from both sides. The streets were full of rubble, broken roof tiles and other masonry making any movement noisy and liable to alert the enemy until someone came up with the idea of wearing sandbags or some other form of cloth over one's boots.
There was some spasmodic shelling and mortaring from the enemy mainly targeted at the church in the southern corner of Birgden. Also some spandau fire was evident during the night trying to draw return fire but this was ignored by the Worcesters.
The Worcesters will probably remember Birgden most vividly for the livestock (pigs and geese), which was in plentiful supply and was to prove a welcome diet change for the men. Many of the houses were also well stocked with bottled fruit and vegetables, which were much enjoyed.
At Birgden the telephone system was the most extensive that had been laid to date. By a stroke of good fortune the 5th Wiltshire who’s HQ had been at the small hamlet of Stahe on the 11th November, had found a buried civilian telephone cable carrying several lines which went from Stahe to Birgden. As a result, the Worcestershire not only had a telephone exchange at Battalion H.Q., but a forward exchange was also established with the Companies in Birgden under command of the Signals Sergeant Jim Norton. In addition to this each Company had its own exchange. Five German switchboards and fifty odd telephones were used.
Lieut. Crossingham (‘D’ Company) will remember Birgden chiefly for a patrol, which he led in an endeavour to take prisoners for identification purposes. It was a gallant but unsuccessful effort, which only stirred the enemy into action!