War Diaries – 22nd December 1942

Brigade HQ – TALLYHO CORNER (J5217).

1500 Brigade HQ moved to new location J5216. This was bare scrub land east of road and vehicles had to be dispersed and well camouflaged with cuttings of coniferous scrubs. The day was wet and there was no air activity.


1030 Bttn ‘O’ Group conference for evening ops

1800 Bttn transport reloaded tactically to cut down the vehicles employed owing to the air situation over battle area.

The object was to preserve as a reserve about one third of the Bttn ‘F’ transport  in ‘A’ Echelon during active ops so that in the event of severe transport casualties by air attack the Bttn could not be without.

1930 CO attended 2nd Brigade ‘O’ Group on impending ops.

 6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0400 Captain Houston OC B Coy is captured. Cpl Doyle states this is how it happened: “Captain Houston went forward driven by Cpl Doyle to look forward for 10th Platoon. After he got out of the car, he walked along the road for 30 yards. He crossed over the road several times and must have passed the enemy patrol before he was captured. Cpl Doyle, who was still in the truck, was pounced but was able to turn his truck and get away.

0450 On Cpl Doyle’s information, Major Maxwell and 6 picked men and 1 section of carriers go forward to investigate. A few shots fired, Maxwell attacked with grenades – definitely killed 2 enemy. A piece of grenade – probably thrown by the enemy gets Maxwell in the calf.

Night’s casualties – 2 Coy commanders, and 20 ORs and not even an identification to show for it.

1000 Adjutant goes to Division. Sees Divisional commander and explains last night’s show. CO spends day going around Coys and attends conference at Brigade HQ at 1800hrs.

It is decided to move Bttn HQ after dark to the protection of D Coy. Bttn HQ is not well armed. Most men are specialists and mostly carry pistols.

1800 Bttn HQ moves down the road to Goubellat and harbours in from where B Coy was dive bombed the day before. A fig farm with plenty of cover with a commanding view of enemy positions – the only evidence of the strafing the farm had the day before are two dead cows lying rotting in the yard.

 2 LIR.

1900 Battalion moved by motor transport to area 5012.