21st December

1 RIrF.

The following officers joined the battalion: Captain BL Kentish (attached A Coy), Lts N Plymen (posted to B Coy), CR Titterton (posted to D Coy)

6 Innisks.

1330 Training was restricted owing to the number of men on light duties after the TAB inoculations. Firing on range continued and platoon training carried out. All coys started making preparations for Xmas; building ovens and buying poultry etc.

1530 12 Reinforcements arrived including Lieut Stewart and many who had been with the bttn previously.

2000 News came through that the bttn was to move to Isernia next morning.

2/Lieuts Sorrell and Walker joined the bttn. T/Captain Hingston MC attached this unit.

2 LIR.

0830 E & G Companies proceed to billets in Campobasso in Brigade transport.

1800 Lt Col Goff visited sergeants’ mess and spoke to Warrant Officers and Sergeants.

T/Major DW Conroy posted to x(ii) List.

22nd December

Brigade HQ.

0110 Movement order for 6 Innisks move to area Isernia under command of 56 Recce Regiment issued.

Brigade Command special order of the day issued.

1 RIrF.

Captain TB Cammiade rejoined from hospital.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks.

0500 Bttn started making preparations for the move and by 0900hrs everything was ready.

1045 Bttn started off in coy blocks in the order: S, D, C Coys, Bttn HQ, B Echelon, A and B Coys; travelling via via Volturno, Vinchiaturo, Isernia.

Owing to a delay in the full number of RASC vehicles arriving at Casalnuovo, HQ Coy was held up until 1200hrs.

1530 Bttn was in Isernia and all coys shown to their billets.

2000 A and B Coys ordered to move on following morning: A Coy to Pescopennataro 2464, B Coy to Vasto Girardi where they came under command of 56 Recce Regiment.

2 LIR.

Battalion prepares for Christmas activities.

Local purchases made. A/Capt Glasgow (RUR) to x(ii) List.

The under-mentioned officers joined from x(iv) List:-

T/Captain DHM Davies (Welch)

W/Lt H Culverhouse (Royal Engineers)

W/Lt JD Searles (RUR)

W/Lt KVH Wessels (UDF)

W/Lt HND Seymour MC (RUR)

A/Captain J St Maur Shiel (RUR)

W/Lt AS Hunter (Middlesex)

Lt & QM D Aitkenhead (RUR)

W/Lt F Ebing (UDF)

W/Lt C Cramb (UDF)

W/Lt M Hawkins (Rifle Brigade)

W/Lt N Mosley (Rifle Brigade)

W/Lt JR Bruckmann (UDF)

23rd December

Brigade HQ.

Lieut GE Cole (RUR) posted to 2 LIR.

Lieut JF McClinton MC 6 Innisks posted this HQ as LO.

1 RIrF.

Captain BDH Clark and Major JS Clarke returned from leave.  Following officers joined:  Major DRT Dawson (assumed command A Coy), Lt BD Room (posted to C Coy).

6 Innisks.

A and B Coys moved off to their new areas.

0830 Captain Dicker appointed OC HQ Coy.

1010 24 men from HQ and C Coys went off to Divisional rest camp at Campobasso for three days. 6 men from S Coy went off for 6 days to Naples. Captain Kerr (A/Adjutant) appointed A/Major and takes over command of D Coy.

Lieut JF McClinton rejoined from hospital – Africa Star ribbons were issued to all ranks entitled to the award.

2 LIR.

Leave party proceeds to rest camp – Campobasso.

Issue of ribbon of North Africa Star authorised by commanding officer to all eligible personnel on Christmas Day.

24th December

1 RIrF.

1730 Verbal warning ordered received for move to Castel Petroso not before 1030 hrs 27 Dec. 43.

6 Innisks.

Preparations made for Christmas Day – Lieut JF McClinton was posted to Brigade HQ as LO.

2 LIR.

Warning order for battalion to move on 27/12/43 to Carpinone.

Special order of the day received from the Brigadier congratulating battalion on its victories in the Italian campaign and conveying Christmas and New Year greetings.

Special order of the day issued by Commanding Officer conveying his Christmas greetings to all ranks.

1900 Band of HM Irish Guards visit battalion and give concert. An excellent performance, greatly appreciated by all ranks.

25th December

Brigade HQ.

Army Commander’s Christmas Message received.

Divisional Commander’s Christmas Message received.

Brigade Command visited bttns.

6 Innisks.

1200 CO and Coy commanders visited the area.

1300 CO visited each coys’ dining room and extended his best wishes to all ranks.

2 LIR.

1030 Church of England and Roman Catholic church parades.

Brigadier visited Battalion. Visited officers and Sergeants messes and then attended men’s dinners and was vigorously cheered. Christmas dinner was excellent and greatly appreciated by all. 2 i/c (Major HEN Bredin MC and Bar) and Intelligence Officer went to companies in Campobasso and visited Christmas dinner there.