11th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

0800 Left coy 2 LIR received 50 shells on one hour.

0845 Enemy shelled Brigade HQ area and Sillaro valley.

1600 CO 1 RIrF arrives with advance party and stays the night at Brigade HQ.

2200 2 Innisks patrol to 018288 found enemy weapon pits south of road 100 – 150 yards from Casa Nuova 021288 and another at 019288. Enemy MG observed to fire across river from Casa Nuova. Patrol to Point 358 drew blank and two men left as listening post during day, 12 Dec.


1 RIrF – CASTRO SAN MARTINO.

0730 Early am orders to move up. CO, IO and Captain RSV Howard (D Coy) to Brigade. All plans back 24 hours.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0030 C Coy patrol returns. Lt Bradfield reports enemy withdrew from hill when his patrol opened up. Patrol got to approx 20 yards of enemy positions, threw grenades and fired brens. They then went in firing Tommy Guns and enemy withdrew round the left side of the hill. Patrol reports there were four trenches, which were searched and found empty, they saw 5 enemy and think they wounded one.

Message received from BM, 38 Brigade – Day for Shannon is 13th Dec 1944.

0320 Message received that Shannon takes place night 13th Dec with possibility of 24 hrs delay each afternoon at 1500 hrs.

0700 A Coy report on patrol 278 area. Lt Farrell reached 016290 heard movement on road and enemy moving south west from Sillaro House. Approached area 017285 and heard enemy movement east of this point. One bren was thrown at patrol.

1100 CO issues orders to O Group reference operation Shannon.

1200 Operation Shannon postponed 24 hrs. Continued shelling of 11 brigade area during the whole day.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0730 Sitrep: Ambush Patrol to 011301 NMS SA fire heard from Point 358 at 2000 hrs. Daylight OP saw SP gun firing from house Point 166. Engaged by our artillery.

0800 Intention night 11/12: If misty during following day, standing patrols to continue.

Pioneers still working on mortar pits in G Coy area, for 1 Recce mortars. 1 Recce mortars additional in future bttn attacks.

1915 Sitrep: Left forward coy shelled 0800 – 0900 hrs by 75 mm gun. Fifty shells landed in area with six direct hits on Coy HQ, four shells on right forward coy at 1200 hrs. Enemy artillery and mortar shoot on Bazzano (left forward coy) area at 1815 hrs. No casualties.

2000 MMGs resumed HF on Murano spur.



12th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

0700 Left coy 2 LIR harassed by shell and mortar fire.

Enemy attack 19 Infantry Brigade at same time area Casa Nuova 005317, Monte Cerere 004318 and Frassineto. Left coy 2 LIR engaged enemy with MGs and mortars and are believed to have inflicted casualties. Enemy attack finally beaten off at about 0900 hrs and enemy seen withdrawing and engaged with small arms from left coy 2 LIR.

Harassing fire continued on left coy 2 LIR for the remainder of the day.

Quiet night with slight HF.


1 RIrF – CASTRO SAN MARTINO.

Recce to bttn area. Visibility limited by fog. Major JS Clarke MC admitted to hospital.

Captain RSV Howard promoted A/Major.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0730 Sitrep: Five green verey lights seen area Muiano 0700 hrs.

Left forward coy harassed by enemy artillery and mortar fire.

Intentions night 12/13: Standing patrols to Point 312 and 009301. Ambush patrol, 1 and 4, to track at 015304. Out – first dark. In – 2200 hrs.

0800 Heavy mist over bttn area. Bttn stand to until mist clears. G Coy report enemy MG, grenade and SA fire in front of and to left of their positions. Believe 1 A&SH (19 Brigade, 8 Indian Division) being attacked. 1 A&SH reply unaware of any attack.

0825 Brigade Major reports one platoon of 1 A&SH overrun by enemy at Frassineto (009315).

0835 G Coy report enemy withdrawing under cover of smoke. Bttn artillery, mortar and MG DFs put down on withdrawing enemy.

0900 Enemy reported to be attacking 3/8 Punjabs on Monte Cerere on left flank of 1 A&SH. First attack on 1 A&SH now thought to be a diversionary one.

0930 Enemy identified as 1 Bttn 3 Para Regiment 1 Para Division reached Casa Nuova 005316 about 300 yards from summit of Monte Cerere but were beaten back by 6 RFFR.

Heavy artillery, mortar and MG fire put down by both sides all morning, during which 1 NCO G Coy was killed by mortar bomb.

1030 1 A&SH report they are still in possession of Frassineto with one enemy section holding out.

1200 1 A&SH attack to clear remaining enemy from area.

1210 All positions reoccupied by own troops. First reports claim 8 PoWs taken.

During morning, Lt Col Horsfall (1 RIrF) and Recce party arrived to recce bttn area before taking over the positions on following night.

The front quietened down during the afternoon.

Died on this Day:

Lance Corporal Frederick McLernon, London Irish Rifles.



13th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

Quiet day.

1400 A small enemy raid was repulsed by 19 Infantry Brigade in the Monte Cerere section. 1 RIrF moved forward during the morning from Castro San Martino and relieved 2 LIR in left sector. 2 LIR then moved down hill and took over right sector from 2 Innisks, who moved back to Castro San Martino.

All reliefs were completed by 1935 hrs without incident.

This double relief took place so that the impending attack down the road to Castel San Pietro would not find us with battalions in the wrong positions. Plans had been made with each battalion being given a specific objective and each day gave further opportunities for Commanders to make recces and study the ground. It was therefore undesirable for battalions to be suddenly told to go for another objective, originally given to one of the other battalions and therefore to keep them in the right position preparatory to the attack, this double relief was carried out.

Slight mortaring of left coy 1 RIrF during the night and about 20 shells fell in the Bttn HQ area 2 LIR around midnight.


1 RIrF – 003301.

1920 Relieved 2 LIR complete. Relief made


2 LIR – ITALY.

0800 Morning spent in preparations for handing over to 1 RIrF.

Intention: Bttn HQ, E and H Coys to be relieved in daylight. G Coy to be relieved at first dark. Bttn then to move over to right flank and relieve 2 Innisks.

1000 1 RIrF recce party moves in to bttn area. First mule train leaves for mule point 994302 with bttn stores.

1400 Main body of 1 RIrF arrives bttn area. Second mule train leaves for mule point.

1630 Bttn HQ moves off and proceeds down gully to house 000286 and take over from 2 Innisks.

1700 Relieving coy 1 RIrF arrived G Coy area but relief was held as enemy attack appeared to be developing on left flank against 1 A&SH.

1930 Relief completed and G Coy proceeded by same route as Bttn HQ to reserve area.

2100 G Coy in position. Location: Bttn HQ – 000286, E Coy – 008298 with one platoon at Sasso 008294, G Coy – 004287 and H Coy – 008287 with one platoon at Ambush House (015287).

Mortars – 001287 and MMGs in E Coy area.



14th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

Attacks by 36 Brigade as preliminary to the impending Divisional attack were not successful. Operation may or may not take place 16/17 Dec.

The road to area 005286 was mortared during the day.

Enemy situation:

II Bttn 289 Regiment has now been identified on the 8th Army front and it is presumed that 3 Para Regiment has now extended its boundary southwards to the River Sillaro bringing another battalion into the line.

1500 GOC and CRA visit Brigade Commander.

1620 One shell from our own 75 mm guns fell in 1 RIrF area.

1830 Verey lights seen in area Monte Merlo.

2150 Castel del Rio heavily shelled by 17 cm and 21 cm calibre guns. Considerable damage to Rear HQ 78 Division. The Brigade Admin Points escaped and very slight damage was caused in their areas.


1 RIrF – 003301.

0515 B Coy OP reports movement area 013313.

1600 C Coy (Major CR Titterton) report one 75 mm shell fell short in area. No casualties our MMG destroyed.

2220 Another short into C Coy area.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0600 During night, an attack by 36 Brigade on the right flank against Camaggio had the effect of bringing down heavy enemy DF on bttn area but caused no casualties.

1000 Intentions 14/15: Standing Patrol to Point 358 (1) Out –first dark, In – 2200 hrs. (2) Out – 0430 hrs, In – first light. Fighting patrol of 1 and 6 to 017290. Out – midnight, In – on completion of task.

1930 Sitrep: Quiet day except for mortaring of road between forward and reserve coys. During morning, own aircraft bombed road forward of bttn positions but results could not be observed. Two red and 1 green verey lights seen over Monte Merlo area 1830 hrs.



15th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI 979283

0200 Patrol from 2 LIR returns from area Casa Il Sillaro. They located enemy listening post at 018290, who threw grenades at them. This started up general firing of MGs from the direction of Casa Il Sillaro.

0415 Enemy patrol about 20 strong attacked platoon 1 Surreys in Casino Bernadi 015283. Platoon 2 LIR at Pt 156 014287 fired on 6 enemy seen on far side River Sillaro at 0430 hrs.

Patrols from 1 RIrF returned NMS. Lights were seen in area Pt 166 019303.

Slight shelling.

Major JD Stewart (8 A & SH) 2.i.c. 1 RIrF leaves the brigade to assume command of 6 RWK (36 Brigade).

0800 Brigade Commander leaves for Castro San Martino. He is going to spend the night with 2 Innisks in this area.

0830 Lt Col Bredin arrives and assumes temporary command of the brigade, Quiet day. Morning mist. Clear for rest of day, becoming colder towards evening.

1900 2 LIR reports enemy laying smoke canisters on the Sillaro ridge. This may have been a ruse to distract attention from an enemy patrol that later approached forward platoon 2 LIR at house Pt 156 014287 and was dispersed by Mortar DF.

Patrol from 2 LIR was sent out to search area beyond house but found nothing.


1 RIrF – 003301.

2300 Recce patrol (Lt R Unwin and including Sgt Cross DCM) reported that they reached the spot about 25 yards from Tamagnin 013313, encountering no mines, no wire, no sentries but heard voices inside the buildings..


2 LIR – ITALY.

0730 Sitrep: Fighting Patrol clashed with enemy patrol. Own casualties – 1 wounded. Standing patrols NTR. At 0430 hrs, six enemy crossing river bed from south to north at 013284 engaged from our area at Point 156 by SA fire. Enemy made off. Red verey lights observed area Monte Merlo and SA fire and explosions heard area Casio Benardi (015282).

CO took over command of 38 Brigade in Brigadier’s absence. 2 i/c Major Palmer took over command of bttn.

Intentions 15/16: All night standing patrol to Point 358 (013298).

1930 Sitrep: Enemy seen lying down smoke canisters on Sillaro Ridge, Otherwise quiet day.

Bttn stand to in expectation of an enemy attack under cover of smoke. Artillery and mortar DFs put down on likely forming up area. Attack did not materialise.