Brigade HQ – TEBOURSOUK.
It was heard that air OPs would probably be operating in the vicinity of our forward positions.
2130 Commander 2 LIR was called to Brigade HQ and received provisional orders to go forward and occupy area J6529 with a view to Brigade attack on Ksar Tyr (J7630).
During the morning, there was considerable enemy air activity along rd : Bou Arada – El Aroussa. In the afternoon, this was continued and there were also aircraft on rd : El Aroussa – Testour. Movement on these roads was found to be particularly dangerous at 0830 and 1630 when the cloud was low. At 0830 2 ME 109 Fs flew down Le Kef road from Le Kris and machine gunned a French convoy going east. On this day, a letter was issued to the Bttns stressing the offensive AA policy that must be adopted throughout the brigade.
1 RIrF – LE KEF.
0800 Bttn moved to last lap.
1200 Bttn halted to await for darkness. Advance parties set out to recce defensive positions.
1930 Bttn restarted.
6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.
0830 The CO and IO go to see A Coy along the El Aroussa to Bou Arada road. An ME 109 came out of the low flying clouds and put in a burst of machine gun fire through the car and disappeared within a few seconds. CO was hit on the right side of the head and IO through the skull. Also the AA sentry was slightly wounded. The driver (the only other occupant was not hit and was able to return to Bttn HQ immediately and collect the MO). They were all immediately evacuated to 165 Field Ambulance at Djebedi Ahmed, which was quite near at hand. MO returned and reported that the CO was not serious, Lt Carruthers grave and Fusilier Smith slightly hit. All three were later evacuated to MDS Thibar. Major Allen saw the CO at the Field Ambulance station before he left.
Major Allen spends day with A Coy and returns at 1700hrs. There is a stream of visitors all day and right up to 2359hrs to Bttn HQ of all units under command and from LOs from Brigade and Division. Brigade clamouring for information of A Coy show last night and also require more information of enemy prisoners.
Communication is not easy. A Coy positions are 8 miles in front of Coy HQ, and Coy HQ is 25 miles away from Bttn HQ along a road which is a death trap from the air by day. Bttn HQ is 30 miles forward from Brigade HQ.
Bttn now has under command a Squadron of 16/5 Lancers, Battery 152 Field Regiment, Troop 72 A/Tk Regiment, 2 sections 51 LAA Regiment, Squadron Derbyshire Yeomanry, 1 section 5 Squadron Royal Engineers, Sub section Divisional Provost Coy, Coy 1 Field Ambulance.
2200 Major Baxter arrived from Corps. He is a camouflage expert. The Pioneers go out with him and during the night erect 18 dummy tanks and 24 slit trenches with the aid of our Pioneer platoon at a point East of El Aroussa.
2300 B Coy takes over from C Coy at Goubellat and report the takeover is complete. C Coy comes back into reserve for a well deserved rest. Maxwell, in particular, has put up a good show and carried out extensive patrols and sent back interesting and useful information.
Major CHB Allen assumes command in place of Lt-Col Maccartney–Filgate evacuated to base. Lt Daly takes over duties temporarily as IO and has a very long day. Sgt Lloyd, Intelligence Sgt, also has a busy day and puts up a good show
0845 Two Messerschmitt fighters machine-gun transport column and hit one French truck inflicting casualties on road outside battalion HQ.
Battalion is ordered to move to forward area Medjez el-Bab.
1900 E Company moved to new positions.