War Diaries – 1st to 10th November 1942

1st November


1st to 7th: Training on a limited scale continued. The transport was on immediate notice to move to port for loading.

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE. 

First Battalion received its embarking tables. The unit is to travel in three ships. CO and Adjutant, spent a long time on tables and strengths, and completed tables are attached and marked A. CO and 2 i/c inspected all Coys in full equipment, D Coy having the best turnout.

CO      Lt-Col TT Macartney-Filgate

Adjutant         Captain J Norman

2 i/c     Major CH. Allen

2nd November

6 Innisks  – MAYBOLE.

Orderly Room staff worked until 0245hrs to complete the embarking tables and made a good show of it. Colonel Scott (Royal Irish Fusiliers) visited the unit before lunch to pick up any hints on embarkation of vehicles. Divisional Commander visited the CO and 2 i/c in the afternoon to introduce his (Divisional Commander’s) new 2 i/c. In the evening the Battalion held a dance in the town hall (a good show).

Divisional Commander (6th Armoured Division), Major-General Sir Charles Keightley, appointed 19 May 1942

3rd November

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE. 

Lieutenant Long was found unfit to travel overseas – has to see an eye specialist and probably be re-graded B or C. CO visits R Coy shooting on the range, the shooting is quite up to standard.

4th November

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE.

The CO Major Allen, Major Maxwell and Captain Bayley went to tea with the Marquess of Ailsa – a very austere tea. Lieutenant Hill takes the place of Lieutenant Long in R Coy and 2/Lieutenant Le Poer-Power is posted to A Coy.

5th November

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE. 

Lieutenant Cassidy who took the vehicles to Liverpool returns, all vehicles having been loaded. He, states security at the port was non-existent. CO inspected new draft to R Coy. All young and keen. Draft came from 8 Kings. Captain’s Ferriss and Bayley proceed in advance as ships security and baggage officers respectively.

6th November

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE.

Warning order for rail move received at 0935hrs. The Battalion having received the newest type respirator, all ranks go through the gas chamber under supervision of Lieutenant Burton.

7th November

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE.

Brigade Commander arrived in Officers’ Mess for a drink and to say “goodbye”. C and D Coys and small party of HQ Coy en-trained at 2359hrs for Liverpool. They will sail in P.26. Major Maxwell is in charge of the party.


1st party of transport moved for loading at Birkenhead. 

8th November

Brigade HQ – CUMNOCK.

Four Officers and 41 ORs left this HQ to embark for service overseas.


Remainder of Transport less B Echelon moved for loading at Glasgow.

8th to 14th: Training continued on a limited scale and full preparations for departure of the main body was completed.

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE.

BBC announce that American forces have landed in NW and N Africa, and that British forces are on the way. Our unknown destination is beginning to look a bit less “unknown”. A and B Coys and small party of HQ Coy depart by train at 0100hrs 9 Nov ‘42 for Liverpool, under command of Major Allen.

9th November

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE.

Only Battalion HQ and HQ Coy now left in Maybole. Everyone busy loading and packing up.

10th November

Brigade HQ – CUMNOCK.

Three Officers and 36 ORs left this HQ to embark for service overseas.

6 Innisks – MAYBOLE.

The last of the Battalion 12 officers and 253 ORs entrain at 1030hrs for Glasgow. Not one single man of the whole Battalion who signed the warning order was absent. Officers and WOs had a good lunch on board with white bread. There was a good deal of confusion on the top deck owing to the same accommodation being allotted twice over. The men received no meal until tea-time – and then only bread and jam – and it was badly distributed from the galley. Once on board no officer or OR is allowed on shore, so all physical contact with land is broken. Divisional Commander, Commander Armoured Brigade and CRA are on board ship P.46  “Nea Hellas” late “Tuscania” 16,900 tons. There are 4138 officers and ORs on board. It is very crowded and training will be harder than it sounds.

CRA – Commander, Royal Artillery.