11th April

Brigade HQ

0600 Brigade Group commences to move to Assembly Area north of Lugo. In this area, all tanks, Kangaroos and assault RE detachments linked up and coordinated with their respective battalions.

Brigade Locations:

Main Brigade HQ – 336385.

Rear Brigade HQ – 434350.

2 Innisks – 340408.

2 LIR – 343394.

1 RIrF – 343398.

D Support Group – 336396.

254 A/Tk Battery – 346390.

214 Field Company – 344392.

152 Field Ambulance – 337396.

Bays – 341404.

9 Lancers – 343394.

1700 B Squadron 51 RTR (Flails) and C Squadron (Crocodiles) now under command.

2100 Brigade Commander holds a conference.

Brigade Group will be required to pass through bridgehead tomorrow being formed over the River Santerno by 8 Indian Division tonight. 2 NZ Division already have troops across the river but bridgehead is not firm yet.

Enemy resistance is fairly heavy. He is supported by Tiger Tanks and there is quite a lot of mortaring and a considerable number of mines.

Plan for Brigade Group is as follows:

Attack out of 8 Indian Division bridgehead will be done by 2 Innisks right, 1 RIrF left. Each bttn supported by a squadron of Bays and Crocodiles will advance to the Scolo Conselice bounded by the River Santerno on the right and Scolo Fossotone on the left. Once these two bttns have reached the Scolo Conselice or they think the time had come to unleash the remaining bttn, if they themselves are held up or spent, 2 LIR in Kangaroos (4 Hussars) supported by 9 Lancers with Assault RE detachments will advance to the River Reno. (this mobile force to be directly under command 2 Armoured Brigade).

A barrage would be laid on to support the attack out of the bridgehead should it prove necessary.


1 RIrF

Move to north at Lugo. Bttn HQ 34223990.

‘O’ Groups plans for daylight move.


2 Innisks – LUGO.

A quiet day in which all coys tied up every detail with their respective troops of tanks and then rested, waiting until the Santerno bridgehead had been made large enough to allow us to get in and then break out for our own part in the battle.

1100 The CO spoke to the whole bttn on the form in which we would be fighting, namely the break out from a bridgehead and then the pursuit. After the CO’s talk, the Squadron Commander working with us, Major C Rich and his troop commanders were introduced to the bttn to make sure that everybody knew who was who; then the coys went back to coy areas and troop commanders discussed tank tactics with the coys.

1300 Bttn placed at 3 hours notice to move. Information was received that the Gurkhas of 8th Indian Division had formed a bridgehead but that it was not yet big enough for us to get in.

2100 The CO attended an O Group at Brigade HQ and learned that the bttn was to move at 0600 hrs on 12th April, the plan being to break out of the Indian Division bridgehead and then advance up the west side of the Santerno on a two bttn front. Innisks right, RIrF left. When the CO returned from Brigade HQ, he held his own O Group conference at which he passed on all information learned at the Brigade HQ and gave his order of attack, which was A Coy right, B Coy left, each with a troop of tanks. These would be followed by Squadron HQ and the CO’s Tac HQ, which consisted of CO, IO and Battery Commanders with two signals for the three sets. All of Tac HQ travelled in one tank.

C Coy followed A and D Coy followed B with Main HQ, S Coy Crocodiles assault section of REs in the centre. Reserve Coys and tanks had orders not to come close enough to become involved in the battle as this would hinder their deployment. Timings would have to be given out in the bridgehead after a recce had been made.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0630 Bttn advance party proceed to assembly area near Lugo.

1000 Bttn main body move to TCVs.

Bttn HQ in farm 343395 with coys nearby.

1245 Brigade Commander visits Bttn HQ,

Information – Bttn Kangaroos now being used by 8 Indian Division in the assault on the enemy Santerno Line. 2 NZ Division already have one coy across the Santerno.

1600 Bttn warned to be at 2 hours notice from 1000 hrs 12 April. Advance party u/c MTO ready to go forward and recce routes as soon as the New Zealanders make a sizeable bridgehead over the Santerno.

2145 CO’s ‘O’ Group on forthcoming move forward. 2 NZ bridgehead to be enlarged and consolidated for 38 Brigade to move through.


12th April

Brigade HQ

1130 The bridgehead over the Santerno formed by 8 Indian Division is now as follows – 320453 – 312450 – 309439 – 312427.

Plan now slightly adjusted. 36 Brigade will break out of the bridgehead first and attack west in the direction of San Patrizio 2746 and Conselice 2749.

When they were clear, 38 Brigade will attack north.

36 Brigade moved into the bridgehead and started their attack at 1800 hrs. 1 RIrF and Bays managed to get across the river in time to take up positions but 2 Innisks were delayed due to shelling of the bridge and the congestion on the roads and did not arrive over the river till 1912 hrs. They concentrated around their Bttn HQ at 321447. Due to this delay, all attacks were postponed till dawn and 1 RIrF told to maintain contact by patrolling. Their locations were as follows:

HQ 313446 and coys at 315444, 312444, 316443, 317444.

Patrols during the night from 1 RIrF made contact with the enemy at several points.


1 RIrF

Start delayed for bridge repair. Late afternoon move HQ and four rifle coys plus 2 squadrons (A and C) into bridgehead. Bttn HQ 313446. Tac recce party caught in sharp stonk. No casualties.

2100 Sharp stonk area in 313447. A Squadron Queens’ Bays 2 casualties. B Coy (Major Phelan MC) one casualty.


2 Innisks – LUGO.

0500 Reveille and preparations for move.

0515 Information from Brigade HQ that the move has been put back to 0700 hrs and recce parties to stand by from 0600 hrs. This postponement occurred several times during the day and recce parties were assembled and stood down accordingly. Eventually the recce parties consisting of the CO, IO, Battery Commander and Coy Commanders with runners got off. They stopped for some latest information at the HQ, where our own Brigade Commander was discussing latest events with the Indian Brigade Commander. Then the party went on to the Bttn HQ of the unit, which had formed the bridgehead and the CO took the party onto a suitable assembly area.

1650 The main body of the bttn left Lugo by march route.

1720 The CO decided to leave the S Coy weapons on the east side of the Santerno as it was now obvious that it was too late to start a battle today.

1910 Preparations were made for starting the advance at first light on the 13th and then everybody got as much sleep as possible in readiness.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0830 Kangaroos move into bttn area. Bttn in state of readiness all day but no move was made.



13th April

Brigade HQ

0630 1 RIrF and 2 Innisks commenced advance north, west of River Santerno. 1 RIrF met several enemy strong points along the Scolo Fossotine was held along most of its length. Resistance was not strong.

0830 By this time, the two attacking bttns had advanced about half way to their objectives. 1 RIrF forward elements at 313471, 307475, 303478.

2 Innisks forward elements at 313481, 318475, 317475.

A strongpoint at 294474 held the Irish Fusiliers up for a short while but a company successfully dealt with it eventually and took several prisoners. Two troops of tanks and some infantry then advanced up the west side of the Scolo Fossatone providing flank protection and helping to turn the enemy’s defences along the canal.

Another strongpoint was met at the bridge 304488 but again did not hold the Irish Fusiliers up for long. More prisoners were taken here.

2 Innisks were assisted in the clearing of the possible enemy strong points at San Bernadino 320495 but the advance of elements of 8 Indian Division from the east on the far side of the Santerno. Even so, fairly heavy opposition was met in this sector.

2 Innisks and 1 RIrF reached lie approx 51 Northing by midday and gave the word for the Mobile Forces to pass through. The Mobile Force took some time to get under way and, at 1330 hrs, the leading squadrons were out in the open with only the enemy in front. It was found that, on all occasions, great difficulty was experienced in getting through the mass of vehicles, which accumulated behind our own FDLs. The time of advance was due northwards through a thousand yards wide corridor hemmed in on the right by the Santerno River, on right the Fossatone Canal. The object of 2 LIR was to secure crossings over the Conselice Canal and, if possible, exploit to the River Reno. Little resistance was encountered at first as the other two bttns had given the enemy a good shaking and he was on the move back. Scattered enemy Bazooka men were met and one tank lost through the fire of an A/Tk gun, whilst a number of PW were taken. Resistance was encountered in the village of La Frascata. This was rapidly bypassed but, as the leading tanks arrived at the canal, the bridge 316534 was blown immediately in front of them. A quick crossing of the canal was forced over the remains of the bridges, our own troops getting into the houses on the far back so rapidly that few of the defenders managed to escape.

That night, the bridgehead was enlarged and a bridge built by the Sappers.

2 Innisks locations – HQ 317515 with coys 318516 – 317516 – 316515 – 317513.

1 RIrF locations – HQ 307505 with coys 300505 – 410524 – 303514 – 297501.

PW total for the day was 2 officers and 157 ORs, mainly from 362 Division.


1 RIrF

0030 Patrols to 310452 and 299452 report no contact. Track vehicles heard moving north area 288453.

0230 A Coy (Capt L Manson) and 1 section Pioneers start 308447 to 308464.

0345 A Coy at 311457 report all houses cleared, no mines.

0530 Tac HQ moved to 302467.

0540 B Coy (Major Phelan MC) moved up to 309462.

0600 C Coy (Major Howard) occupied 311470.

0620 A Coy establishing 298480.

0650 A Coy (Captain Manson) and tanks report Bosch at 306482. Artillery to engage.

0704 First lot of PoW arrive at Tac. 13 PoWs.

0707 Five more PoW.

0740 D Coy moving to 298472.

0802 D Coy report enemy gun 309475.

0832 B Coy moving toward 311470.

0845 D Coy (Major AJ Wilton) cleaning up area 298472. B Coy passing through.

0917 D Coy sending one platoon west of Canal 292472.

0937 B Coy (Major Phelan MC) on way to 306482.

1005 B Coy proceeding to road junction 304487.

1023 B Coy proceeding to 308491.

1025 Engineer recce party with D Coy at 293474.

1045 Two B Coy casualties at 306482.

1050 C Coy moving to 306482 following B Coy.

1107 Tanks report mines area 304487. Pioneers to investigate (found no mines in area).

1435 C Coy recce at 304487 report bridging possibilities good.

1515 D Coy (Major AJ Wilton) moving north on west side of canal. A Coy (Captain Manson) on east side toward 307505.

1545 B Coy (Major Phelan MC), 1 platoon at 515 Northing.

1634 D Coy proceeding toward canal and railway crossing 311532, ordered to go no further.

1715 Bttn received orders to hold a flank, line of railway from 311532 to 280498.

1815 O Group.

2025 Tac opens at 308509. Coy HQ. D – 310521, C – 307515, A -297501, B – 304507 with patrols forward to line of road north from Conselice 274493.

Total PoWs 106 in an advance of 8,000 yards.

Died on this Day:

Corporal William Coyle, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


2 Innisks – RIVER SANTERNO.

0625 The bttn was up and ready to start their first big part in the offensive.

Everybody was ready in their correct order and waiting for the CO to give the word to start. There was no artillery preparation apart from some deep shelling on possible strong points, which lay some way ahead.

0630 The word to start was given and A and B Coys moved off with their tanks. A right and B left. They had to travel through thick vines and infantry and tanks travelled close together so as not to risk bazooka fire. Progress was fast at first with spasmodic harassing by mortars and MGs. A Coy on the right had the task of clearing all houses on the road running alongside the river and also the dugouts in the river bank, for this road was to become the main supply route as we progressed. One or two prisoners were taken in doing this, most of them willingly enough. It was not until the report line Joan (a road running across our front at 3048) was reached that serious opposition was encountered. Both coys reached report line Joan with two platoons up and one back. This road was well built up and all the houses had been turned into strong points. D Coy on the left met trouble first when their left forward platoon met Spandau and mortar fire causing some casualties, the first being Lt WP Hohne, who was also the last officer commanding a platoon in B Coy. Only two minutes later, A Coy on the right was having the same trouble and being heavily shelled by tanks at the same time.

0812 B Coy remained engaging the enemy in their house while A Coy pushed on down the river bank and when they were past the road, one platoon of B Coy attacked the first house using one of A Coys’ tanks for support. Owing to the house dominating the approached for a distance of 300 yards, it was necessary to go in with all guns firing. The tanks supporting from a flank and the infantry firing Brens from the hip as they advanced. This method was successful and, after a sharp clash at the house, the platoon was in.

1030 Once established on the road, the Coy was soon pushing one platoon through another in a westerly direction, clearing each house until the enemy had either been killed, captured or had ran off. This particular phase of the battle cost the enemy 8 killed, 56 PW, 7 Spandaus, 8 Bazookas, 15 Schmeissers and numerous other small arms.

Our losses were one killed and four wounded. While B Coy were mopping up their house, A Coy had managed to get forward nearly a 1,000 yards along the river bank adding to the general disintegration.

1050 Codeword Spent was passed to Brigade HQ indicating that it was now a good time for 2 LIR to come through on Kangaroos of this particular defence line.

1130 2 LIR to come through on Kangaroos of this particular defence line.

When the Commanding Officer saw that the enemy were withdrawing in a northerly direction after the breaking of their line, he ordered C and D Coys to go forward through A and B and so continue the chase.

1133 Information was received from Brigade HQ that the air OP had seen movement coming south and east from a point of us and, in view of this, the CO directed that C and D Coys should not go forward after passing A and B Coys.

1140 C and D Coys were in front of A and B and B Coy were still collecting prisoners as they continued their mopping up operations on report line Joan.

1217 LIR on Kangaroos were now 1,500 yards behind us and coming up. C and D Coys started edging forward again their chief resistance being mortar fire. A steady trickle of PW were coming in all the time and the Battle Patrol, whose job it was to collect them, were kept very busy. C and D Coys continued advancing against scattered opposition ad shellfire. PW were still coming in and these were sent to the two rear coys for disposal. These two coys were still finding odd groups of Bosche to clear, while the leading coys had overrun and passed.

1321 C Coy met another area of strong resistance at 317513 from the group of houses there, which slowed down the advance somewhat. Artillery was used on this target and the coy attacked gaining the first houses, after which the others soon fell.

1350 C Coy reported that a strong force of enemy (estimated at 100) were moving on them in counter attack formation. C Coy’s own fire held up this force ad kept them at a distance at which artillery could be usefully employed against them. This was done and points, at which shots should fall, was estimated accurately enough by the forward platoon commander to make one alteration only, necessary to bring the fire on to the target area. Once the artillery knew that all the shots were in the right area, the intensity of fire was stepped up and the counter attack was dispersed, some enemy withdrawing, others hiding in the houses, from where they were routed out by mopping up parties. While the counter attack was in progress, the LIR I Kangaroos were coming up from behind and passing on our left.

1400 LIR passing through D Coy.

1410 Forward troops were ordered to put up red verey lights as recognition signals for other formations.

1456 Recognition signals fired again. The bttn had been pushing on since the counter attack finished and the LIR had not yet passed our forward troops.

1515 Positions at this stage were A Coy – 319504, B Coy – 314495, C Coy – 315517, D Coy – 316495.

1530 C Coy moved forward again and reached report line Molly, a road running west from La Ciovecca, a village at 3152. Strong resistance was met in this village from SA, mortar fire and shelling.

1615 Our own artillery was brought to bear on this village and, after a period of firing, HE changed to smoke, under cover of which C Coy entered the village. Fighting in the village was stiff and progress slow but, by 1815 hrs, C Coy had established positions half way through the village.

1700 The 9th Lancers and the LIR reached report line Molly, contacted our own tanks and were moving on. This considerably eased our position as the enemy withdrew from the remainder of the village. Other coys were quickly moved up and established in defensive positions, C Coy in the village, A Coy protecting the eastern approaches, D Coy the west, while B Coy protected the rear, the last being very necessary as our own troops operating on our left, were pushing the enemy towards us.

1830 Bttn HQ was brought up to join Tac HQ and was set in the village behind C Coy.

1900 The Brigade Commander arrived at Bttn H to see the Commanding Officer. He congratulated him on the fine advance the bttn had made, and discussed future plans, the immediate part being that we should probably stay in that area for tomorrow, after which we must be prepared to continue the chase. He also warned us of the possibility of Bosche trying to escape through us from the east. There were many partisans in La Giovecca, many of whom were flaunting their armbands quite unwortherly but there were others, who were really genuine, had been wounded in attempting to save a bridge and had prepared detailed maps of minefields and defences. The day’s battling had been hard and. almost without exception, had been carried out at Platoon Commanders’ level and all, including the Sgt Platoon Commanders, had proved equal to the task. The score for this day’s fighting was numerous killed and wounded and 107 taken prisoner. Own troops, 8 killed, 14 wounded.

2030 Enemy fired last salvo of guns into the village, which killed two men caught in the open. Protective patrols were sent out at night but no enemy was met and the bttn had a quiet night. From midnight onwards, REs with bridging equipment, were going through us to build a bridge over a canal, which the LIR had crossed.

Died on this Day:

Lance Corporal Samuel Maddison, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Corporal Timothy O’Farrell,  Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Herbert Hughes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0600 Bttn move off in Kangaroos to cross the Santerno. 1 RIrF and 2 Innisks to attack first.

1200 CO orders G Coy, with A Squadron 9 Lancers and H Coy; with C Squadron 9 Lancers, to move forward, E and F Coys in reserve.

1330 G Coy now passing through 2 Innisks, leading troops of the brigade. H Coy moving up behind.

1340 G Coy report number of enemy firing on the right and some enemy dead in houses on their left.

1500 One of A Squadron’s tanks hit by enemy A/Tk gun causing 2 casualties.

1510 G Coy report clearing a number of houses and taking some PWs.

1520 2 more PWs taken. Identification 1021 Regiment.

F Coy now passing through Bttn HQ.

1605 G Coy still moving with H Coy close behind. Two more PWs take.

1615 Location of Bttn H, now 311501.

1630 H Coy now moving through G Coy with the intention of capturing bridge over the Conselice Canal at 31653350. G Coy to move right and clear H coy’s right flank.

1635 Five more PWs taken. A Squadron blow the barrel off an enemy A/Tk gun.

1700 H Coy reach bridge which is only slightly damaged but not strong enough to take tanks. H Coy ordered to cross to far side whilst tanks give covering fore. E Coy order forward to support H Coy. Meanwhile, G Coy on right found the country too thick and dismounted from their Kangaroos to clear the farms on foot.

1730 Artillery engage area north of E and H Coys’ bridgehead.

15 PWs, including 1 officer, captured.

1820 Another 12 PWs taken.

1850 Total of PWs in forward area now 50.

2000 Bttn HQ moves into farm 313521. E Coy at 316535 with a forward platoon at road junction 314538. F Coy at 317524 with a platoon at 314531. G Coy at 324529 with a platoon at 324533. H Coy at 317535 with a platoon at 319536.

Patrol intentions – F Coy to send patrol to crossroads 328524. Time out, 2300 hrs, in 0100 hrs. Out 0400 hrs, in 0600 hrs.

2100 Total PWs at Bttn HQ, now about 80.

2200 CO’s conference with Armour Commanders. Tomorrow’s intentions – to reach the River Reno (German Paula line) and, if possible, to cross it. E Coy to operate with C Squadron 9 Lancers; F Coy with B Squadron 4 Hussars; G Coy with B Squadron 9 Lancers; H Coy with A Squadron 9 Lancers.

Pioneers to go with each coy as the area is heavily mined. Time of move forward approximately first light.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Arthur Ray, London Irish Rifles.



14th April

Brigade HQ

Before dawn, patrols from 2 LIR were feeling forwards towards Lavezzola and the River Reno. Two columns of armour followed up and the River Reno was reached by 0540 hrs, another 50 PW being taken. During the morning, contact was made by 9 Lancers with the Cremona ICC at 345543.

1300 2 LIR managed to get two platoons across the River Reno by means of the wrecked railway bridge 317563. These two platoons advanced towards the factory 316567. One platoon got into position and the other was still moving up when they were counter attacked heavily. A fierce fight took place but most of them were taken prisoner. 2 LIR locations HQ 312549 with two coys 314564 and other coys 324556 and 313550.

1600 Brigade HQ moved to La Palazzina 318524.


1 RIrF

Patrols (Lt C Gunner) brought in 5 PoW.

1700 Patrol to area 281548 to 303565 found canal bank held in considerable strength and found themselves overlooked from north (Bastia 308571) and west. One casualty.


2 Innisks – RIVER SANTERNO.

When the bttn awoke the next morning, it was found that the impetus, which we had given to the battle, had been maintained and that forward troops had gone as far that we were no longer operational. One platoon of A Coy with one troop of tanks patrolled the area east of the village in case there were any odd Bosche still roaming about, but they only found four. Everybody was in need of a day’s rest to clean up, reorganise and attend to domestic points and the opportunity was taken to do these things. Billets were adjusted for comfort and not for defence, D Coy moved into the village and Bttn HQ moved to move suitable buildings and A Echelon came up too.

There was no activity during the day or night. Coy Commanders and Officers of B Squadron Bays were invited to dinner at the Command Post Mess, where many of yesterday’s battles were relived.


2 LIR –ITALY.

0730 First report say G Coy and B Squadron are meeting no opposition. E Coy capture 8 Germans in the act of laying mines. PWs point out location of mines.

0740 Bttn HQ move to to 318521.

0750 15 PWs taken.

0815 E Coy report slow going owing to area being heavily mined. Civilians show us the location of enemy mines. G Coy, moving over to E Coy’s right flank, report good progress.

Identification of PWs – 1060 Regiment, 362 Infantry Division.

0825 Seven more PWs taken. E Coy now 50 yards south of Lavezzola village (312549).

0830 REs now cooperating with E Coy by lifting mines and rendering booby traps harmless. E Coy and C Squadron ordered to keep going along the road until they reach the bridge over the River Reno at 314564.

0840 Eight more PWs taken.

0900 G Coy now at 336548 with no enemy opposition.

0930 E Coy 300 yards short of bridge. Too many mines in the area for the REs to cope with, so ‘Flail’ tanks were called forward to explode the mines.

0940 Recce party from E Coy moving up to bridge. Recce party from G Coy moving up to river.

1200 Railway bridge over the Reno reported blown. No enemy seen but plenty of Italian partisans in the area. Road bridge at 314564 reported blown.

1230 Two platoons of E Coy ordered across river to form a bridgehead.

1330 Bttn HQ now in Lavezzola village (312550).

1400 E Coy bridgehead being counter attacked. MO to go forward and collect casualties. F Coy move up to support E Coy.

1430 E Coy report their bridgehead eliminated. Some troops got back to our side of the river. Bttn request for air action.

1435 56 Division units moving west on enemy side of the Reno now in square 3456 and sending patrol over to our side to contact us. G Coy warned to keep lookout for them.

1530 Sitrep from E Coy Commander that one platoon was captured by the enemy and one section of the other platoon regained our side of the river. Fate of other two sections not yet known.

1605 Own aircraft bombed and rocket fired area on enemy side of river. This was followed by two more attacks in the course of the next hour.

1715 Nine more PWs brought into Bttn HQ. Identifications – 40 Regiment, 42 Jaeger Division.

1745 38 Brigade Commander, 2 Armoured Brigade Commander and CO held conference at Bttn HQ. Bttn to stay this side of river for the night.

1800 CO and IO visited forward coys. During this period, a patrol from 1 LIR crossed the Reno and established contact with G Coy. This is the first time in the war that the 1st and 2nd Bttns of the LIR have held a common front.

1900 Local Partisan leader offers the services of his Partisan Group for patrol activities with the bttn.

2000 Btttn casualties for the day – 1 OR killed and 4 wounded; Lt Campbell (9 Pl, E Coy) and 35 ORs missing, majority believed PW.

2100 F Coy patrol over the Reno to see if enemy still in position now cancelled.

Died on this Day:

Lance Sergeant Leslie Caines, London Irish Rifles.



15th April

Brigade HQ

Slight mortaring and shelling 2 LIR area during the night.

0600 2 LIR reverting to command 38 Brigade.

B Coy 1 RIrF commenced operation to clear marshland up to River Sillaro on brigade left flank. A strong point was established at 282548 and patrols were sent out east and west along the river bank. The enemy was holding the far bank of the river and had made strong points in the houses round about. A plan was tentatively discussed for a possible advance to clear. This task was eventually taken on by 36 Brigade and the 1 RIrF were given orders to concentrate as soon as possible around this HQ. Squadron 56 Recce will relieve B Coy 1 RIrF at first dark.

2300 1 RIrF report B Coy relieved and back in concentration area. All information concerning the sector was passed to Squadron 56 Recce. They reported about 60 shells in the coy area during the day and that they would never have got into position on the bank of the Sillaro had it not been for the early morning mist.

2330 OC 214 Field Company reports that the Bailey Bridge erected at 317563 over the River Reno should be ready by about midday tomorrow.

Message received from 78 Division placing the brigade at four hours’ notice to move as from 0600 hrs. 9 Lancers to be at 2 hours’ notice. The Bays had been posted to under command 11 Brigade at short notice this evening and the 9 Lancers were to cooperate with the brigade for future ops.


1 RIrF

B Coy (Major Phelan MC) with one section, 3” Mortars and 1 section MGs to area 281548 and 303565. Operation cancelled to move forward. 36 Brigade to continue mopping up. 2 casualties.


2 Innisks – RIVER SANTERNO .

Another quiet day with no activity. B Squadron Bays passed from our command to take part in somebody else’s battle. Information was received that the bttn would be moving off into battle again on the 16th and that our tanks would be B Squadron of the 9th Lancers, when we were to contact at 0800 hrs on 16th April before moving off. The necessary preparations for the move were made and then everybody rested as much as possible in readiness.


2 LIR –ITALY.

0900 Locations – Bttn HQ in Lavezzola village. F Coy in area from road bridge 314564 to rail bridge 317563, with G Coy on the right in area 322562. The remaining platoon of E Coy in reserve behind F Coy. H Coy and A Echelon in village with Bttn HQ

1200 H Coy platoon with Pioneers and Partisan guides to patrol and mine sweep the road from the village to Case della Bisa 303505 on the bttn left flank.

1230 Sgt Vance of F Coy, puzzled by sudden quiet on the enemy side of the Reno, crossed over by the railway bridge and established contact with D Coy, 9 RF, 56 Division, who had advancing from the east. F Coy, thereupon, sent contact standing patrols to keep liaison with the 9 RF.

1400 Enemy machine gunner began to concentrate his fire on the rising piece of road from 31255605 to the road bridge.

L/Cpl Webb, who drive his carrier up this piece of road in the evening, received a burst of MG fire in the stomach and died later in the MDS.

1430 Allied fighter bomber activity to the north of F Coy.

1700 G Coy brought back from their positions to the village as territory to their front now held by 56 Division.

1800 Sitrep: 20 mortar bombs landed in Lavezzola in H Coy’s area during early afternoon. Sporadic mortar fire on FDLs during morning.

1830 Patrol to houses 311565 found them clear.

2000 Intentions night 15/16 – H Coy sniping patrol, consisting of 1 Bren gunner, 1 SMG and 1 sniper, to area houses 311565. Time out – 0500 hrs. In – 0900 hrs.

Died on this Day:

Lance Corporal Edwin Edland, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Albert Storrar, London Irish Rifles.

Lance Corporal William Webb, London Irish Rifles.