Brigade HQ– BRONTE.

0600 1 RIrF is reported beyond road junction 8119. Patrols of 1 RIrF contacted 9 US Division on the eastern edges of Randazzo. No opposition and patrols ordered to leave. US troops occupying Randazzo.


1 RIrF.

0130 Remainder of Bttn, with A Coy leading, followed by Bttn HQ. C Coy moved off down the road. When about 3 miles from the final objective, the leading platoons of B Coy under Lieut Bolton ran into an ambush, three were killed and four seriously wounded by about 4 MG 34s. The reason why this platoon had got so far ahead was because the main body of the coy had encountered a number of S mines. Major HGC Garratt was wounded. They became so numerous that the CO decided to leave the road. The remaining three miles were over most difficult country. Vineyards with every now and then very high stone walls and terraces. The last mile was over a very open patch of lava, which in the darkness was very difficult to negotiate. It was impossible for mules even to follow up and they were left to follow up in daylight. The rear link also had to be left behind for the last mile. Two miserable PoWs were taken during the advance. At dawn, the Bttn got back on the road and continued to advance somewhat faster. A detour had to be made at one point to avoid running into some shell fire put down by Americans.

0830 Bttn established the road junction 8119.

S and Teller mines were numerous but, with some assistance from Americans who had arrived soon after us, they were cleared.

The Bttn having been 36 hours with no sleep and very little sleep, were by now pretty well exhausted, and the rest of the day was spent resting as 11 Brigade were going through us and were out of contact with the enemy. The Divisional and Brigade commanders both came down during the day to congratulate the CO – for our work the Bttn had done under such difficult circumstances. In particular, the advance from Maletto to Randazzo after a hard 24 hrs fighting.

2000 HQ, S, B and D Coys had to move again as their areas had already been allotted to some gunners as gun positions. They eventually settled down just as darkness was falling.

During these actions, Lieut HCP Hamilton, Lieut JA Finlay and Major HGC Garratt were wounded and Lieut WT Bolton died of wounds. Lieut JA Smith was admitted to hospital.

Fusilier Edward Graham, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lieutenant William Bolton, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Thomas Baybutt, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


6 Innisks – BAGGIORAZZO.

0600 A Coy patrol reported ridge Baggiorazzo clear of enemy. Rations somewhat depleted owing to difficulty with mules and harness – arrived at 0400.  A good well was found in A Coy area. Water bottles filled and mules watered.

0830 Bttn moved off to Mortar Corner and was allotted coy areas.

1100 CO returned from Brigade, with the news that RIrF and Americans were in Randazzo. Bttn settles down to rest.


2 LIR.

0300 11 Brigade pass through battalion area moving up road to Randazzo.

0700 Sit Rep:  RIF one mile from Randazzo.

6 Innisks at 7812.

11 Brigade enter Randazzo with the Americans.

Roads and town heavily mined.

2 LIR remain in present location.

0900 Lt-Col Rogers re-assumes command of the battalion.

1600 G Company return to battalion area from Sperina.

1700 Battalion locations as follows:

E Company 777135; F Company 774136; G Company 775135; H Company 778136; Battalion HQ 772135. S Company to move into area 753133 on the following morning.

The total casualties of the battalion in the Sicilian Campaign were –

3 Officers killed and 1 wounded.

21 ORs killed, 50 wounded and 15 missing.