War Diaries – 1st to 5th August 1943

1st August


0130 Brigade HQ and Support Group moved to new concentration area south west of Catenanuova at 5683.

0530 Brigade HQ established at 560830. 6 Innisks at 597832, 2 LIR 543822, 1 RIrF 561825.

1000 Movement table for night 1/2 August issued.

1250 Brigade Group ordered to report all observed results of own bombing.

1900 Brigade HQ closed at present location and reopened same time north of Catenanuova at 615863.

2100 Platoon 214, Field Company under command 38 Brigade wef 2200hrs 1 August. Platoon equipped with four mine detectors.

1 RIrF.

0415 Bttn moved to new area 596870 in MT.

Bttn’s 3 tonners were afterwards used for ferrying 2 LIR into new area.

2200 Bttns move again to new area 6388 preparatory to moving up to Centuripe the following morning if attack by East Surrey was a success.

The Faughs moving to Catenanuova.

6 Innisks – CATENANUOVA.

0200 A & B Coys in position. B forward on pt 250. A Coy and HQ Coy around farm 591939.

0900 MMG platoon and A/Tk platoon arrived together with rations.

1600 A & B Coys marched to lying up area in vineyard, which had very recently been evacuated by the enemy, 1 mile north of Catenanuova at 624863. C & D Coys rejoined the bttn there. 2 enemy trucks and signal stores salvaged.

2 LIR.

1600 Battalion moves down from the hills to almond groves west of Catenanuova.

1900 Battalion warned to move for probable night attack on Centuripe if attack by 1 East Surreys is unsuccessful.

2100 Battalion moved by march route to concentration area in hills below town of Centuripe and was in position by 0230 hrs. Proposed battalion attack was cancelled and commanding officer went to Brigade for further orders.

2nd August


0100 COs’ conference at Brigade HQ.

0700 1 RIrF informed that Centuripe (6591) still in enemy hands and that 8 A & SH was at 646918; left of A & SH being secure. 1 RIrF ordered to leave main road at 645905 and to make for track 642909 and attack village via pt 711, 646918.

0920 Code name list of Herman Goering Division found in area 627867 forwarded to division.

0930 6 Innisks reported enemy in area of cemetery (649918). Leading coy held up at pt 640 and now considering right flank.

78 Divisional Commander announced that today’s task for 38 Brigade was to consolidate high ground areas pt 688-pt 718-pt 702 as for a start for tomorrow.

1015 By W/T intercept, information was received that 5 Northamptons were at 660900.

1020 6 Innisks informed that a platoon of heavy mortars supporting 11 Brigade troops (5 Northamptons) would probably be able to assist.

1040 2 LIR reported pt 708 (6539120) and pt 709 and the cemetery area were enemy strong points.

1050 Division confirmed that W/T silence could be broken by 38 Brigade.

1630 38 Brigade Support Group reported that a platoon of heavy mortars under command 11 Brigade have fired on targets in Centuripe.

1730 Sitrep to Division.

1800 2 LIR Zero.

1930 One Squadron 56 Recce Regiment and one Squadron RTR under command 38 Brigade forthwith. Personal message from Army Commander received.

2000 1 RIrF Zero.

2100 Division informed of enemy egg grenades with instantaneous fuses left near rd Catenanuova-Centuripe. All Brigade Group informed.

Read the Brigade’s account of the attack on Centuripe here.

1 RIrF.

0730 Bttn marched up road towards Centuripe.

0810 Leading platoon commanded by Lt Richards came under fire from 560 in village. CO decided to take bttn round the left flank via the track west of the road to 711. Half way up the track, CO found 8 A & SH Bttn HQ, where he was told that the 36 Brigade were all in the area, also the East Surreys, who had not attacked the town the previous evening as was expected. After a brief appreciation of the situation, it was decided that with so many bttns in the same area, a coordinated was essential and the Brigadier was asked to come up. Bttn was deployed into what cover there was available. During the next few hours, several casualties were inflicted on the enemy by very accurate sniping and excellent shooting of mortars by Lt Broadbent.

1500 Brigadier arrived to coordinate plan. 6 Innisks were to attack the town from the right, while 2 LIR were to take some dominating features on the left thus enabling us to take 711 and get into the town from the east.

1600 CO orders.

By 1945, no success signal had come from 2 LIR and, as time was getting short, if the attack was to be carried out in daylight, it was decided to carry on.

2000 Zero.

2050 D Coy reported they were on their first objective but not their second. While attacking the second, the Coy Commander Captain W Hanna was killed.

Sgt Brandon’s platoon had had some very close fighting on the reverse slope of the first objective before they finally took it.

Lt OPB Jewell was left in command of the coy and having reassembled the coy on the first objective put in a further attack. From this point on, communication with that coy was lost.

2230 CO ordered C Coy under Captain Clarke to send a fighting patrol to 711 to see if D Coy was there. If so, to occupy it with D Coy. Success signal was two green verey lights.

The Faughs at Centuripe.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Oswald Griffiths, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Alfred Butler, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Captain William Hanna, Royal Irish Fusiliers attached from RUR.

6 Innisks – CATENANUOVA.

0400 Orders received for Irish Brigade to advance to Centuripe, which was believed to have been captured by 36 Brigade. A warning order had been issued to coys.

0530 Bttn, less S Coy, started to advance by mule track to Centuripe, an advance of 6000 yards, with a climb of over 2000 feet. Coys moved in light order without small packs and hard rations carried, wrapped in gas capes. The Faughs were advancing along the main road on our left.

0845 C Coy in the lead came under mortar and rifle fire from the left flank and took up a position on pt 640 (653907), where they were also fired on from the ridge on the south east of the town. Bttn HQ was immediately established in the rear and the remaining coys closed under cover while recces were carried out.

Immediately in front of C Coy lay pt 708 which dominated our position.

1100 After artillery fire had been directed by 10 Field Battery under command on to enemy positions, D Coy, followed by B Coy, were ordered to move on to the ridge on the right flank and to seize the farm on the top of pt 664 (663907), which was the ground vital to the enemy’s defence. Unfortunately, the opposition from here was strong and progress was held up at a distance of 300 yards. Meanwhile, the heat on the southern slopes of the hills had become intense and because of this and the shortage of water (although wells were fortunately found in the area) and the steepness of the mountain, it was decided by the CO to await the relative cool of the afternoon before recommencing operations.

1600 D Coy were fired on by units of another brigade, which was attacking another feature on their right rear. After a little time, contact was established.

1630 Bttn HQ moved up to pt 640 and C Coy with artillery support moved forward to and scaled a 100 foot cliff to pt 708 and succeeded in gaining a foothold in the town. A Coy followed but owing to a mischance, artillery support was not available and they were fired on from both flanks.

After reorganisation, A Coy passed through C Coy into the town and encountered strong enemy resistance including a tank. House to house fighting at close quarters ensued during which Major Crocker and Lieut Morrow were wounded.

C Coy was then ordered to move east and occupy pt 709 (658914), which controls the ridge to the east of the town. This was done but the enemy got between A & C Coys and the situation became confused during the remaining hours of daylight.

1720 Zero hour for the attack by D Coy, supported by B Coy on the farm at pt 664. Over the most difficult country, and in the face of heavy fire, Lieut McClinton succeeded in gaining the objective with his platoon but was driven off b a well organised immediate counter attack. A further attack was launched by B Coy after dark, but it was then found that the enemy had evacuated the position. During the operations, Lt Ferris (D) and Lt Harpur (B) were wounded.

The Skins in Sicily.

Died on this Day:

Corporal William Williams, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Corporal Patrick Hanley, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier William Jones, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Corporal Robert Bates, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Stanley Walsh, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Haydn Dackins, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Michael Beer, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Lance Corporal John McCrorie, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2 LIR.

1200 Warning order: Brigade to attack and capture Centuripe and the surrounding features.

1 RIrF and 6 Inniskillings to capture the town.

2 LIR to capture Pts 661, 704 and 703 (639) towards the rear of the town.

1300 Battalion moves to forming up position behind forward companies of 6 RWK on Pts 610 and 668 (6291), Italy, Sheet 269-1 NW, 1/25000.

1700 Commanding Officer’s orders for the attack: F Company to capture Pt 661, G Company to capture Pt 704. H Company to Pt 703. E Company in reserve as carrying company. Battalion HQ to be established on Pt 488.

1800 F and G Companies moved forward into the attack and after very little opposition were established on their objectives by 2000 hrs.

2000 H Company moved forward to attack pt 703 and after clearing small pockets of resistance in the way of snipers and machine gun posts were in position by 2100 hrs.

2100 Battalion locations were as follows;

F Company Pt 661 632921. G Company Pt 704 637920. E Company Pt 644920.

E Company and Battalion HQ Pt 688 632915.

The London Irish Rifles at Centuripe/Salso river.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Bernard Radford, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Norman Wildgoose, London Irish Rifles.

3rd August


0055 1 RIrF reported first objective taken and CO about to carry out his original plan

0200 RE section ordered to go out and fill crater at 647905 on rd Catenanuova-Centuripe.

0350 1 RIrF  reported hill 6490 now in their hands. Little opposition. Flank coy 6 Innisks joined with coy 1 RIrF in Centuripe and are trying to find out if there is any enemy in the town.

0400 38 Brigade Support Group report platoon Heavy Mortars 645894, another 650886. Remainder of group still west of Catenanuova.

0405 1 RIrF troops reported at 649917 (church area), and apparently finding little opposition.

0720 Pt 718 (656923) occupied by B Coy 1 RIrF at 0600hrs without opposition. Enemy believed to have evacuated Centuripe during night.

0900 2 LIR report situation normal.

0915 PoW taken by 6 Innisks south of Centuripe identified as of 7 Coy 3 Para Regiment.

HQ RA reports all bridges north of Centuripe blown. Targets for today’s bombing received.

0951 2 LIR request their MT to go up to Centuripe.

An Italian deserter from 30 Artig. Regiment was brought in. Stated he had come from Messina and was asking his way home to Syracuse. Forwarded to PoW cage.

1025 Artillery recce party report road crater 582930 and 581944. RE working on the first and it will be clear in six hours. Second has mines around it, and so far no one is working on it.

1029 Division informed Brigade that no transport was to be allowed on the north road to Centuripe. All Brigade Group informed.

1125 Brigade requested permission from Division to move 2 LIR mortars, A/Tk guns and carriers to 650885. This request was agreed to.

1214 Division ordered that no vehicles other than those operationally essential will move into Centuripe or north of it.

1430 A Squadron 56 Recce Regiment report unable to get vehicles over wadi 667930. Carriers reached 665940 but cannot get further. Foot patrol from 665940 to line of road from bridge 682947 – Regalbuto. No enemy seen. Vehicles fairly heavily shelled whilst trying to cross wadi from high ground 675980. Brigade HQ moving to 647894.

1500 Division ordered that convoys in excess of 5 vehicles will move onto road Catenanuova-Centuripe. Timings to be applied for at Q Command Post.

1600 A Squadron 56 Recce Regiment report that bridge 683948 was reached by a foot patrol. The bridge was found to be blown for about 100 yards. The river bed is thick and no crossing could be found for 300 yards on either side of the bridge. No enemy seen.

1900 Brigade Tac HQ established north of Centuripe at 669923.

6 Innisks report locations – Bttn HQ 668929, A Coy 669928, B Coy 667933, C Coy 668930, D Coy 666930, S Coy Centuripe. Brigade Major visited Divisional HQ and make arrangements to get A Squadron 56 Recce Regiment to new location.

2115 Conference at Brigade HQ attended by COs’ 38 Brigade, Support Group and 17 Field Regiment.

1 RIrF.

0021 C Coy success signal. A Coy sent forward to gain further objective in town – Church Hill. Success signal is two green verey lights

0300 Success signal from town.

0545 Command post established at cemetery 711.

As D Coy had already taken A Coy’s objective before A Coy arrived at the cemetery, A and C Coys were both there. D Coy had fired the success signal at 0021.

0600 A Coy went forward to relieve D Coy and B Coy occupied 718.

0630 Bttn, less B Coy who remained on 718, consolidated in the town.

0830 Bttn moved out of the town and a patrol of one platoon under Lt JB Cammiade was sent out to see if the bridge over the Salso was held or not.

1500 Bttn less transport advanced by march route across very rough country until main road was reached to take up positions on near bank of Salso. No transport other than jeeps and carriers could be taken forward owing to a large crater in the road, which was constantly shelled making repair work difficult.

1700 Bttn, less A Coy, were in position A Coy had got lost on the march down the mountain.

Lt Cammiade’s patrol had by now crossed the river and met some opposition. The country was very flat and thickly covered with short bushy topped orange trees. Visibility was never more than about ten yards. The patrol with grenades and TSMGs accounted for at least one MG 34 before withdrawing at dusk.

One night patrol was sent out to cover an RE working party, but came under very heavy fire from 3 MGs, while crossing the river and had to withdraw.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Thomas Davies, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Robert Roberts, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – CENTURIPE.

0330 Town reported clear of enemy. D Coy, which had been ordered to work along the ridge after the occupation of pt 644 found it clear of the enemy and made contact with C Coy on pt 709.

0630 Bttn HQ moved into the town and B Coy also came in from the east. The road now being open, rations and S Coy were brought up and the Bttn spent the day reorganising. The town has suffered severely from shelling and bombing but the civilian population were pleased to see us in place of the Bosche.

The enemy consisted of the 3rd Parachute Regiment.

Total casualties were 8 ORs killed. Four officers and 36 ORs wounded.

1830 Brigade moved north from the town and the Innisks took up a position round 667929 in a square formation with Bttn HQ in the gully.

The night was quiet. The REs  started bulldozing a bypass round the a blown bridge over the gully  

2 LIR.

1000 Battalion moves to concentration area about one mile west of Centuripe.

O Group moved forward Pt 620 658932. Intention of 38 Brigade to occupy foothills north of Centuripe leading down to the River Salso.

1700 Battalion moves through town and down through hills to positions one mile from River Salso. E Company 661391; F Company 668941; G Company 667937; H Company 663943.

Battalion HQ established 664837 (Sheet 269-1 Italy 1/50,000).

2100 Patrol Programme for night 3/4 August.

Patrol A (Lieut O’Connor) to patrol to R June 659957.

Patrol B (Lieut White) to Viaduct 697964.

Patrol C (Lieut Lyness) to go to Carcaci 690965.

All three patrols left at 2100 hrs and returned at approx 0500 hrs. They made no contact with the enemy but gained valuable information with regard to the topography of the land over which the battalion was due to advance. Close wooded groves, many terraces and small houses showing signs of recent Germany occupation. The River Salso was fordable and the Bridge at 700957 was blown.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Harry Imbush, London Irish Rifles.

4th August


0545 1 RIrF reported a quiet night. Patrol from B Coy sent out to cross River Simeto and proceed along main road was not able to make progress owing to heavy LMG and mortar fire from the far bank. Patrol from A Coy not yet returned.

0845 2 LIR warned to be prepared to move at short notice.

0859 Brigade Commander inquired at 1 RIrF what offensive action they were making as it was not thought there were so many enemy capable of holding up so many of our troops.

0900 Small recce party from 2 LIR made recce of River Salso for crossing. No opposition.

1019 1 RIrF report their locations to be the same as on 2 August.

1140 BTO ordered to report to Tac HQ with W/T set for traffic control duty.

1150 Brigade Major issued orders for mules of all bttns to proceed to Centuripe on night of 4/5 August loaded with ammunition and rations.

1200 Division requested reports of all patrols entering Piano D’Aragona (6994) to be passed through RA channels to enable harassing fire programme to be switched

1213 Coy Commanders 6 Innisks ordered to report at HQ 6 Innisks at 1230hrs.

1420 Traffic Control timings for north bound traffic to Centuripe received.

1430 Camp Commandant made recce of new area for Brigade HQ for possible move night 4/5 August.

1500 Artillery barrage on objective north of Salso supporting brigade.

1630 Heavy Mortar Platoon 38 Brigade Support Group, in support of 1 RIrF assisted advance by engaging enemy on top and behind escarpment 668947. MMG Platoon engaged observed enemy and carried out harassing fire on road 697955 – 699958.

1715 2 LIR report objectives taken without casualties. 1 RIrF encountered some resistance. Present location of Brigade: Brigade HQ 661922, 6 Innisks 6894, 2 LIR 685953, 1 RIrF 688944. During the early hours of this morning, 38 Brigade pushed forward – right 1 RIrF, left 2 LIR.

Read the Brigade’s account of the crossing of the Salso river here.

1 RIrF.

Bttn ordered to establish a bridgehead over the river

1330 CO’s orders.

1500 B Coy on the left and A Coy on the right crossed the start line.

B Coy was held up for some time in the river.

A Coy got across and onto their objective.

C Coy was ordered to go through a Coy and wheel left along the river bank to assist B Coy. This was successful and B was able to get forward.

It was decided by the Brigadier only to hold the short bridgehead

Lt B St Q Power and Captain JS Clarke were wounded in this attack.

2000 Bttn held 684948.

While in this area, bttn was ordered to push and establish a bridgehead over the Simeto.

The Faughs at the Salso.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Daniel Enright, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Charles Mulcaster, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – CENTURIPE.

0600–0700 Vehicles moving around diversion past Bttn HQ raised dust, which brought down shellfire.

1100 OP reports  RIrF have reached river south of bridge 683947 (blown).

1230 CO returns from Brigade HQ. Explains bridgehead is to be formed over the River Salso.

1430 Command Group moves to HQ RIrF on cliff 678943.

1500 Bttn takes over position of RIrF as they move across river. The bridgehead was formed by RIrF right, LIR left with heavy barrage.

1700 Forward bttn well forward and consolidating Innisks’ position, forming local protection for RE bridging party. Two coys each side of river, but later the two rear coys were also ordered forward across river.

Spasmodic shelling till dusk and quiet night. Lieut RH Richardson wounded.

The Skins at the Salso.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier David Jones, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Lance Sergeant John Loughrey, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier John Williams, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2 LIR.

0900 Small patrol recces River Salso for possible motor transport crossing. None available. E Company arrive in almond grove East of Battalion HQ at 667936. They were shelled whilst arriving down the road from Centuripe. No vehicles were damaged but the Carrier Platoon sustained a few casualties.

1100 Recce patrols from F and H Companies cross River Salso. Enemy machine gun posts identified.

1200 Commanding Officers’ orders for the forming of the bridgehead across River Salso.

F Company right; E Company left followed by G and E Companies respectively.

1500 Artillery barrage commences prior to battalion attack. Companies begin to move forward and advance just behind the barrage. All objectives were successfully taken, only one or two positions being encountered and these mainly from the right flank where the 1 RIF were doing a similar task in forming the Brigade bridgehead.

1700 All companies on their objectives.

E Company 676959; F Company 686953; G Company 682950; H Company 680954.

1900 Battalion HQ move across river and established at 678953.

2100 G Company moves forward and take up positions on the South bank of the River Simeto.

2300 F Company move forward and take up positions on the left of G Company.

5th August


0800 E Coy 2 LIR reported to be in Carcaci (H6896).

0900 Two forward coys of each bttn now over River Simeto at 7095.

0950 Contacted Canadians at 7097.

1100 Enemy approx 100 strong, counter attacked 2 LIR. Attack easily beaten off with heavy casualties to enemy.

1600 Road junction 704955 in our hands, although there was a certain amount of opposition from enemy holding out in the houses around road junction. Bridgehead held as follows – 1 RIrF excl. 705954 – 705944, 2 LIR 701957 – 969964, 6 Innisks in reserve.

Divisional Commander’s Special Order of the Day received.

Read the Brigade’s account of the crossing of the River Simeto here.

1 RIrF.

0100 Bttn advanced. D Coy on the left with Maccarone as their objective, C on the right with order to take 225. Success signals were arranged and the other two coys remained in reserve with Bttn MG, which was to move up to the railway bridge 692952.

0330 C Coy’s success signal went up.

0530 D Coy reported that they had been forced to withdraw. C Coy were still there, but only just over the river and not on 225.

0600 Command post established 700948.

Although C Coy had crossed the river, they had been unable to gain their objective and were held up as the foot of the escarpment. No communication was open to them, and it was difficult to see them owing to the very thick orange groves. A Coy was ordered to assist them and a tremendous fire plan was arranged. A Coy’s leading platoon, under heavy fire, crossed the start line and proceeded down the escarpment into the river bed. A number of enemy MGs opened up on them from the top of the escarpment on the enemy side of the river but led by Lieut McNally and under an effective 3”mortar smoke screen, they managed to get over. From then on, it became a very slow and extremely difficult battle, but they went steadily forward until they reached their objective. From the command post, several Germans could be seen running away from the area, and these provided excellent targets for our TMGs.

1300 Rear Bttn HQ heavily shelled and mortared with the German six barrelled mortar. Captain CPTD O’Farrell was killed.

1500 Bttn HQ established at the command post. A & C Coys being firmly established on 225, the CO ordered B Coy to sweep along the escarpment from east to west and clear the village while our platoon from A Coy attacked 232.

1600 B Coy crossed the start line. With a strong artillery support and in spite of the very heavy fire that they came up against, they gained their first objective. Our A/Tk came into action for the first time and effectively blasted the top story of the house. While B Coy was advancing on their second objective, they were heavily counter attacked, and some of them had to withdraw. The remainder remained in a very exposed position and did what damage they could.

One platoon under Lt Trousdell attacked 232, they met with such heavy MG fire from their right rear flank while completely in the open and from about 30 yards range that at about 1645, they had to withdraw. They reformed, however, and sent a section to clear up the MG post. When this was done, they attacked again, but evidently the section had missed another MG in the same area, they were again forced to withdraw, owing to this, another MG on the objective and some of own shelling, which was falling amongst them. Another platoon from C Coy under … was sent out to the right and with tremendous support from the rest of A and C. Coy’s brens arrived on the objective at about 1800.

1945 One coy from 6 Innisks came under command and was ordered to attack the village with B Coy’s assistance. By 2030, they had reached both their objectives. The attack had been carried out extremely well and the drill used for clearing the houses was excellent. Opposition was less than before. All the objectives were now in our hands and the bridgehead over the Simeto was formed.

D Coy 6 Innisks under Captain McCaldin also came under command and the two Skins’ coys came under the local command of Major Savage 6 Innisks, C Coy Commander. Major Savage was later killed. D Coy had also gone into the village and gave some valuable assistance to the Innisks when they were attacking the second objective. When the position was finally consolidated, B & D Coys 1 RIrF were withdrawn across the river.

Captain Hayward, Captain JS Clarke, and Lieut Cammiade were wounded during the course of this action.

The Faughs at the Simeto river.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier John Steel, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Sergeant Oswald Henderson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier George Hill, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Christopher Gill, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Thomas Parsons, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Sergeant Michael McGuinness, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Ernest Bee, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier James McNulty, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Raymond Nixey, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lance Corporal Peter Graal, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Thomas Steele, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Major Charles O’Farrell, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – CENTURIPE.

1030 Preparations for crossing second river (Simeto).

CO goes forward to house 688949 for O Group. Enemy shelling this area, wounded Major Little, Captain McPhillips and Captain Duddington and one OR killed and one wounded.

One Portee burnt out – some ammo saved.

1200 Bttn HQ moves up to Orange Grove 693955.

Rifle Coy also stepped up.

S Coy in large house 688949. Good water here.

1200 Creeping barrage in the vicinity of the Bttn HQ.

One lot.. fell among the HQ. 1 OR wounded (not seriously).

1500 CO goes forward to RIrF and LIR across the river.

1600 C Coy called into the assistance of RIrF. After a change of plans, while preparing to attack St Maria 711953, they were diverted to clear the village of Macaioni 704955, which they did with outstanding success at 1945-2045hrs, establishing themselves on Y705954.

They took some PoWs. About 30 enemy were seen running away into the hills. These were engaged by MGs and mortars.

C Coy won the highest praise from the RIrF for their part in the attack.

D Coy crossed the river to the village behind C Coy and relieved coys of the Faughs in that area.

During the night, Major Savage, who had led the attack, was shot accidentally by a fusilier of the RIrF, who mistook his identity.

During the night, the enemy heavily shelled the ridge behind the River Salso causing many casualties in men and vehicles. Innisks’ A Echelon sustains 1 OR wounded and 1 M/C destroyed.

Died on this Day:

Lieutenant Samuel Morrow, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Robert Trainor, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Private Frederick Birch, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers attached from ACC.

Lance Corporal Samuel Wilde, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Kenneth Way, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2 LIR.

0400 F and G Companies dig in and established along river bank.

0600 E Company move forward to left flank at Carcaci.

0700 Battalion HQ and H Company move to Railway Station at 695958.

0800 E Company established with 9 Platoon on the river bank on the left of F Company. 8 Platoon supporting them and 7 Platoon and Company HQ at Carcaci.

For the remainder of the morning, G Company and the forward Platoon and E Company engaged the enemy across the river with machine gun and rifle fire and the forward companies were shelled and mortared in their positions.

0900 E Company contact the Canadians on our left flank and the general picture is clarified.

1015 E Company report force of about 50 Germans attempting to infiltrate around the left flank of the battalion.

1100 The Brigade Sp Group arrive and engage these enemy with heavy mortars with considerable accuracy causing heavy casualties. As enemy retreats across open country from the hills they are engaged with MMG fire causing them to retreat in disorder well beyond the river.

1300 Commanding Officers’ orders for the attack to form the bridgehead across the River Simeto.

1 RIF on the right

2 LIR on the left of the main Centuripe-Aderno road.

6 Innisks to enlarge the bridgehead once situation is established.

F Company right; H Company left; G Company in support.

E Company and Battalion HQ remain present location.

1500 Artillery barrage commences prior to the attack.

1530 F and H Companies move forward. Great difficulty was experienced clambering up the steep sides of the far river bank and there were only three places in which the companies could get up this forming bottlenecks which had to be crossed. The forward platoon of F Company suffered casualties in the initial stages including the Platoon Commander Lieutenant HG Allen, who was killed.

The other two platoons of F Company worked their way round to the right flank and after fairly heavy fighting took up positions about a hundred yards forward of the river bank where they had the best fields of fire.

H Company on the left had similar difficulties. The leading Platoon managed to gain some ground in front of the river and when it was help up the remaining platoon moved right handed to gain their objective. This they did: 16 Platoon sustaining heavy casualties including the Platoon Commander Lieutenant AG Howells, who was killed.

1730 These two forward companies held their positions for the remainder of the afternoon and evening, but were unable to exploit them for the remainder of the afternoon and evening due to the number of snipers who infiltrated forward.

2000 At dusk, G Company moved across the river to assist the forward companies and also brought them reserve ammunition and supplies. Mortars and MMGs are manhandled across the river.

The enemy retired that night to the hills around Aderno.

Two companies of 6 Innisks crossed the river to enlarge the bridgehead.

2200 Situation on Battalion front established as follows:

F Company 703958; G Company 701962; H Company 703961.

E Company and Battalion HQ remain present location.

Topographical note: When the battalion left the assembly area near Catenanuova and moved into the hills on August 1st, there was no period when normal transport, except an occasional jeep when we were in the vicinity of a track, was able to be brought forward to the battalion during the next six days of fighting. Mules were not available and so during the time the battalion fought at Centuripe and forged the two bridgeheads across the Rivers Salso and Simeto, everything had to be carried on the man. All supplies, if the jeeps were unable to bring them forward, were carried by the reserve company and also they had to manhandle the 3” mortars and MMGs and the Brigade Rear link.

Coupled with the difficult country over which the battalion operated, this proved to be the chief difficulty and made the operation a tiring and tedious one.

W/Lieutenant RG Allen (RUR) killed in action.

W/Lieutenant AG Howells (Beds & Herts) killed in action.

The London Irish Rifles at the Simeto river.

Died on this Day:

Lieutenant Alfred Howells, London Irish Rifles attached from Beds/Herts Regiment.

Rifleman Robert Chapman, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Arthur Hunt, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Samuel Garratt, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Frederick Sargeant, London Irish Rifles.

Lance Sergeant Victor Hooke, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Stanley Curwen, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Dawson Patterson, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Augustus Fitzpatrick, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Robert Mark, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Andrew Gardiner, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman George Haggerty, London Irish Rifles.

Corporal James McCrone, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Godfrey Orr, London Irish Rifles.

Captain Rufus Allen, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Joseph Forde, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman William Cathcart, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Ernest Crisp, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Norman Hopkinson, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Robert Lee-Kinch, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman William Fitzgerald, London Irish Rifles.

Corporal John Rodden, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Joe Mullan, London Irish Rifles.