6th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

0745 2 Innisks platoon position at 009299 raided by small enemy force. Attack beaten off but 2 men are missing.

Slight HF during the day.

1900 Recce party 2 LIR arrived Brigade HQ. They all spent the night at Brigade HQ. 2 LIR are to relieve 1 RIrF in positions tomorrow.


1 RIrF – 003301.

0515 Captain McKevitt’s patrol from Point 312 013307 reports enemy movement and conversation area Tamagnin 013303 about 2400 hrs.

0600 Standing Patrol from 010802 report being fired on by MG at 1830 hrs.

0800 2 Innisks report 1 platoon of left hand coy overrun.

0820 C Coy (Major CR Titterton) report having fired with SA and 2 mortars and MMGs at enemy attacking 2 Innisks and hearing screams as result/ Casualties from 2 Innisks confirmed at least 3 enemy casualties caused by our MMGs,

0845 Patrol of 1 officer and 6 sent to 008299 in effort to cut off enemy.

0925 2 Innisks report situation restored.

0935 Patrol returned. No contact made.

2350 Red verey light on their front B Coy (A/Maj Plymen) stand to.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0115 Six heavy shells land in Mortar Platoon area.

0350 B Coy mortar report. 10 rounds MG fire. Bearing 63 degrees magnetic from B Coy OP.

0500 B Coy mortar report. 2 heavy mortars on a bearing 63 magnetic landing around B Coy HQ.

0605 B Coy report Squadron Command Recce wounded in head from direct hit on B Coy house.

0615 Three enemy shells forward of Bttn HQ.

0745 10 Platoon of B Coy attacked by enemy. Enemy feint attack came on to right of platoon, whilst main attack was made from the left of platoon position at 009299. Attack was beaten off, our casualties were 7 wounded and 2 missing. Platoon Commander reported 5 enemy moving towards Furniture House. A Coy informed and platoon at 207. Our 2” mortars fire into gully to front and left of them. Listening post was also put out at 010290.

1000 CO and OC C Coy leave for B Coy. The Divisional Commander visits Bttn HQ.

1025 Two shells fall in Bttn HQ area.

1045 One shell on Bttn HQ.

1130 One shell in river below of Bttn HQ.

1140 Two shells fall in Bttn HQ area.

1230 The CO and OC C Coy return Bttn HQ.

1530 B Coy fire 2” mortars on Point 358. Enemy retaliated with mortar from Point 358.

1630 A Coy report two enemy seen at Point 278 engaged by bren. Later on, two stretcher bearers seen in same area.

1655 Point 278 harassed by artillery.

1730 B Coy report MG firing from area 012299.

1735 A Coy report MG firing on a bearing of 10 degrees from 011789.

1830 A Coy report enemy movement on the knoll. 2” mortars engage and 3” mortar stonk laid on to take place in 30 minutes time.

1910 A Coy cows return, enemy mortared area of scrub and cows returned.

1950 Cows rescued and launched again.

2100 A Coy reports that cows have gone into scrub. Enemy mortared area of Standing Patrol and cows made off towards the enemy’s lines.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1300 CO’s recce party left for forward area, but had to spend night at main 38 Brigade HQ.



7th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

2 Innisks reported minefield recce patrol of four cows was driven off by enemy mortaring at first attempt to approach Casa Nuova minefield. After being rallied at house Point 156 015287, they made a second attempt. This time enemy mortaring behind the cows results in their crossing the minefield at high speed towards the enemy. No mines were exploded.

Fairly heavy mortar and artillery HF in bttn area during the afternoon.

1925 Relief of 1 RIrF by 2 LIR completed without incident.

Rains started during the evening and was persistently heavy during the night. The four cows came back during the night and reverted to command 2 Innisks.

Slight enemy mortar and artillery HF in bttn area during the afternoon.


1 RIrF – 003301.                        

0100 B Coy stand down. All quiet.

2000 Relieved by 2 LIR. Bttn move by MT to Castro San Martino.

Died on this Day:

Captain Geert Coetzee, Royal Irish Fusiliers, seconded from South African Armoured Corps.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0130 Area between Bttn HQ and mortars shelled (8 shells). Bearing 65 degrees from 009298.

0220 B Coy area mortared. Bearing 86 degrees from 009298.

0240 Six shells in river area between Bttn HQ. Bearing 65 degrees from 009299. B Coy OP.

0255 Eight shells C Coy area.

0405 Medium gun shelling B Coy. Bearing 85 degrees from B Coy OP.

0620 Ten shells on C Coy area.

1105 Area 156 shelled. Bearing 45 degrees from 011288.

1200 Same gun fires on Ripiano.

1258 Six shells fall in Bttn HQ area. Casualties, one wounded Fusilier McCoo.

1300 B Coy mortared from Point 358. 3” mortars engage.

1400 Six shells in Bttn HQ area.

1458 Six shells in Bttn HQ area, bearing 57 degrees from 009298.

1510 B Coy mortared from Point 358. 3” mortars engage.

1555 Twelve shells fall in Bttn HQ area from same guns.

1655 Bttn HQ shelled. Approx 8 shells from same gun.

1700 B Coy one wounded (slight) from mortaring.

1735 B Coy report MG firing from Point 358. 3” and 2” mortars engage.

1855 Patrol from 1 East Surreys contact own patrol at 003285.

2025 A Coy’s patrol returns from the knoll. Report it unoccupied and finding of box of Schu mines.

2055 One platoon B Coy reported clear, movement also reported in front of the leading platoon.

2150 A Coy patrol returns, and reports that box of Schu mines was in fact an empty grenade box.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0800 Bttn em-bused.

1200 CO’s Recce Party arrived in 1 RIrF positions.

1400 Bttn arrived de-busing point 975279. Proceeded march route to mule point 994302.

1500 Bttn arrived at mule point, where stores were already being unloaded and split into mule loads.

1600 Bttn moved forward along mule track to 1 RIrF positions.

1925 Relief completed. Location: Bttn HQ – house 003301, E Coy – Point  435 003301, G Coy – 007307, H Coy – 005300.

Mortars in H Coy area, MMGs in E coy area.

Battle Patrol in position near Bttn HQ.

2000 Sitrep: 1925 hrs relief of 1 RIrF carried out without incident.



8th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

Rain all day.

1100 Enemy movement seen by 2 Innisks at 015293.

Slight mortar fire in bttn area.

1330 The MP for Ipswich, Mr Stokes and Lt-Col Profumo visit Brigade Commander. They wished to see the conditions of front line troops generally and to learn our complaints and needs and our views in general. It was impossible for them to visit a bttn due to the time factor and a walk up a nearby hill to see the ground proved fruitless due to the rain and mist. Lt Col Bredin, Commander 2 LIR, came down to Brigade HQ to see them and also Rev D Kelleher RA ChD.

Rfn Barry 2 LIR spoke to Mr Stokes and in general expressed and represented the thoughts and wishes of the men themselves.

A telegram was later received thanking the Brigade Commander for his hospitality and how interested and impressed Mr Stokes was with everything he saw.

Visibility was very much reduced during the afternoon due to the heavy mists and rain.

Considerable enemy MT movement was heard up till midnight and vehicle lights were seen on the track leading up to Casa Murano 022315. Lights, believed to be torches were also seen in the Tamagnin area and gave every indication that a relief was taking place.

Shelling during the night including some phosphorous shells on A Coy 2 Innisks at Point 165 009287.


1 RIrF – CASTRO SAN MARTINO.

Much bathing and laundering. River not fordable today.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0025 B Coy HQ and platoon handed over to C Coy.

0650 Gull Patrol NTR. Mortared at 1915 hrs. A Coy reports enemy unusually quiet during night, no reactions to our Vickers HF on Sillaro and surrounding places.

1000 CO and IO leave for Travellato OP.

1130 CO and IO return to Bttn HQ. Visibility perfect and excellent view of bttn front was obtained.

1300 A Coy report seeing movement in area between Point 278 and knoll at 1100 hrs.

Intentions night 8/9: Recce Patrol to Point 278. Out last light, in 2400 hrs. Recce Patrol to Point 358 013298 out last light, in on completion. Standing Patrol 005285 from dusk to dawn to contact patrol of 1 East Surreys proceeding from 008283.

Standing Patrol 006290 dusk to dawn, normal standing patrols at house 013288 for 24 hrs.

1850 Ripiano area shelled.

1900 C Coy forward left platoon report movement to their front. Bren fire, no response from enemy.

A Coy report patrol from 278 returned. Spandau fired from Nuova area at 1915 hrs.

2000 Ripiano again shelled.

2115 A report 4 casualties, due to shelling. Line to A Coy dies.

2215 A Coy line through. Two direct hits on A Coy house. Shells coming from south side of river. A Coy patrol report in. NTR.

2245 MO reports 3 casualties. B Coy personnel under command A coy evacuated as a result of shelling of A Coy HQ.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0730 Sitrep: Voices and coughing heard in area Tamagnin 013303. Slight mortaring, shelling and machine gunning Bttn area during night. Otherwise NTR.

0800 Intentions night 8/9: all night Standing Patrols to Point 312 013307 and 012302. Recce Patrol to 014304, strength 1 and 2. Time out – first dusk, in – 2100 hrs.

Bttn Mortar and MMG platoons using mortars and MMGs taken over from 1 RIrF.

Flash spotting troop from BYO Yeomanry operating in bttn area with their HQ at Bttn HQ.

Reserve platoon from E Coy also based at Bttn HQ.

1400 Weather – heavy rain.

1930 Sitrep: One enemy seen at Point 166 at 1200 hrs. Slight mortaring of left forward coy during morning. No casualties. Otherwise NTR.

2100 Weather – still raining.



9th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

A quiet day. Very slight harassing fire. A light gun fired on to the Boston Byway during the morning (Boston Byway is the track leading to the Mule Point at La Casetta 995002).

Rain stopped during the day and visibility improved.

Patrol from 2 Innisks observed enemy estimated to be two sections dug in north and south of Point 358 013298.

Patrol from 2 LIR heavily fired on from 016304.

There was considerable mortar and MG HF during the night.


1 RIrF – CASTRO SAN MARTINO.

Conference. Coy Commanders’ leave party to Florence.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0003 Line dies to C Coy.

0012 Heavy concentration of shells on San Clemente (40).

0015 Line through to C Coy.

0110 San Clemente cross roads shelled. A Coy report line party to Furniture House mortared after mending break, thought to have been en route.

0230 Eight rounds of harassing fire on San Clemente.

0300 Line to A Coy dies. Through by wireless.

0340 Line to A Coy through.

0930 CO visits C Coy and 2 LIR.

1025 A Coy sending bearing of enemy tank firing. Bearing 65 degrees from Point 156.

1100 Il Sasso OP reports seeing enemy gun at the cemetery 059302

1335 A Coy report enemy gun firing, bearing from 010288, 80 degrees.

1805 C Coy report enemy gun firing on a bearing of 64 degrees from 009298.

2015 Sgt Kelly Pioneer Sergeant and RE Sgt from 214 Field Company return after laying mines forward of C Coy area.

Intentions day of 9th, if misty. Man night positions with Standing Patrols at 017288, 011298, 006290.

Intentions night 9/10 Dec: Fighting Patrol to Point 358. Out 2030 hrs, in 2130 hrs.

Standing Patrols at 017287 – 005285 – 006290 and 010290. From dusk to dawn.

2030 A Coy patrol to 005290 reached a point 200 yards east of Sillaro. No sign of enemy and no movement seen.

2130 Patrol of 1st East Surreys arrived and contacted our river patrol.

2210 C Coy patrol to 358 return reporting enemy dug in on north and south side of feature. Estimated to be one section on each side. Small mortar observed to be firing from reverse slope of 358. 3” and 2” mortars stonk area of enemy mortar. OP Il Sasso report mortar firing on a bearing of 35 degrees. 3” mortars correct range up 100 yards right two degrees.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0700 Weather – fair.

0730 Sitrep: Recce Patrol to 014304 starting from Point 312 012307 could not go direct because of landslides made when trying to go down gully. They worked along ridge and down into valley at 016305, where they contacted a listening patrol of 2 men who made off. They proceeded another 30 yards but found nothing else. They saw light in area 018304, possibly torches and heard mules, probably on Tamagnin track.

1000 Enemy mortaring of Bttn HQ area. No casualties. For approx 1 hour, single enemy 88 mm gun shelled valley in which Bttn Mule Point is established.

1030 Intentions night 9/10: All night Standing Patrols Point 312 0122207 and 010302. Fighting Patrol to clear area 017305 – strength 1 and 7.

1130 CO 2 Innisks (right flanking bttn) visited Bttn HQ.

1200 Brigade Commander and Liaison Officer visited Bttn HQ.

Pioneer Platoon digging 4 new mortar pits in G Coy area.

1930 Sitrep: 1000 hrs – 88 mm gun shelling Bttn HQ area and road near mule point. Slight mortaring left forward coy at midday. 1900 hrs – aircraft flares over right front of bttn, believed own aircraft.

2300 Enemy MG tracer landing in E Coy area.



10th December

Brigade HQ – PASSITEMPI.

1100 Movement seen at Point 358 by 2 Innisks.

Again a light gun, probably a 75 mm infantry gun, harassed left coy 2 LIR during the morning.

Excellent visibility all day.

1735 Single enemy aircraft flew over Brigade HQ and nearby gun area and dropped a bomb in area 9827 south of River Sillaro. Considerable LAA fire was directed against the aircraft.

2 Innisks patrol to Point 358 found 4 unoccupied trenches. Enemy withdrew as patrol approached. Patrol to 016294 reached 016290 and heard movement area Sillaro, then moved to 018289. Further enemy movement heard and patrol fired on.


1 RIrF – CASTRO SAN MARTINO.

Conference. Coy Commanders discuss arrangements for expected move and battle.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0700 C Coy report patrol sent out again to Point 358 returns. Enemy still in occupation on north and on south side of the Pimple. C Coy Sitrep – mortared by light mortars during the night. No casualties.

1100 C Coy report movement on Point 358 012298.

Intentions day 10 Dec, if misty: Man night positions with Standing Patrols at 017288 – 011298 – 006290.

Intentions night 10/11 Dec: Fighting Patrol to Point 358 0122298 – Out, last night. In, 2400 hrs.

Standing Patrols all night at 007288, 010290, 007290 and 005285. East Surreys contact patrol 005285.

1615 Brigade Major visits Bttn HQ.

1635 C Coy report gun firing on bearing of 61 degrees from 008294.

1725 Enemy aircraft bomb Clemente area.

2110 C Coy patrol returns.

2215 A Coy report Spandau firing from direction of haystack 019289.

2250 B Coy report arrival of 1st East Surreys patrol.

2320 B Coy report patrol of 1st East Surreys leaving.

2340 East Surrey patrol reports back to unit.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0730 Sitrep: Fighting Patrol to 017305 found 10 or 12 waterlogged slit trenches. Own searchlights forced patrols to keep off skyline. On return, was harassed by heavy enemy MG fire.

Intentions night 10/11: Standing Patrol from E and G Coys to Point 312 and 009301. Battle Patrol to provide ambush patrol of 1 and 3 to 011301. Out – first dark, in – 2200 hrs.

MMG harassing fire on Murano spur.

1000 Pioneer Platoon continue digging of new mortar positions.

1915 Left forward coy (G) harassed during morning by 75 mm gun. Slight mortar HF on rest of bttn area during day. One casualty.

2000 MMGs from E Coy position began firing on Murano spur and continued at intervals for about 2 hours.