Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.

Coy 10 RB moved from 5905 to Argoub as ordered. Patrols reported no movement west of rd Goubellat – Bou Arada, and made no contact east of east of rd though Cactus Farm (686085) was still occupied and there was digging on Mehallah. A mine laying patrol to area 7109 distributed copies of Africa Post.

Brigade Intelligence Summary was issued, including a trace of minefields in the Brigade area.

Command visited 6 Armoured Division and 1 Parachute Brigade (628998).

2 LIR took up positions as given in Intelligence Summary 3 Feb.


1 RIrF – GRANDSTAND HILL. 

The events and activities of this night are contained in the Appendix.

2050 Normal activity – B Coy 6 Innisks ceased to be under command. Capt DR Le P Gethin promoted A/Major wef 22 Jan 43. Lieut MJ Macdonald promoted A/Capt wef same date.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD. 

0600 CO sees D Coy come in from their night area.

1000 Patrol coordinating conference. C Coy will send fighting patrol to clean up Barka and D Coy a fighting patrol to clear up Mehalla.

D Coy will also have some watch and warn patrols as last night and send a standing patrol between D and RIrF;s positions.

1030 Warning from Brigade; B Coy still under command 1 RIrF will probably be relieved tonight and go into reserve.

Another NAAFI supply is issued during the morning – each man gets 130 cigarettes (90 Ardath, 40 Woodbine) – a box of matches – a bar of chocolate – a small supply of soap – writing paper and envelopes – chewing gum. Razor blades were all issued to the lucky few. Everyone wants to know where the decent cigarettes get to – the last three issues were State Express 333 cork tipped and Ardath. The favourite cigarette with the troops is definitely Players or Capstans. A fresh supply of Irish whiskey (no Scotch) is allotted to officers.

Adjutant is given 3 bottles of whisky and 2 bottles of lemon squash to allocate to 4 officers. Decides to draw for it and amid much mirth he gets the cordial. But later 2.i.c. produces another bottle of Irish from up his sleeve so all is well.

1200 2.i.c. visits Field Cashier and draws money for coy pay. He comes back with the news the franc is only now worth 200 franc for £1. But to make up for it, we are to get Egyptian notes of colonial allowance. No one can find out what this is, or what colonial allowance we are drawing now.

1800 News gradually trickles through that B Coy are being relieved by a Coy of 2 LIR and that they are going back into reserve, and that they will all get a bath tomorrow from a mobile bath unit at Gafour. This is the first time we have heard of or used a Bath unit since our arrival in this country.

Our water truck has broken down after much hard work over all kinds of hard ground. Brigade are sending a 3 ton water truck round with the ration lorry.

The recent spell of hot weather has awoken the flies from their winter coma – extra precautions must be taken with latrines especially in this gully where we now are.

CO and Capt Little watch Lieut Dicker take Coy out and put them into their night positions.

1900 The party of 1 squadron Parachute Bttn RE attached to us are ordered to go. We are sorry to lose them – they are grand chaps. But one of their Sergeants is out in enemy territory, blowing up vehicles and laying mines.

2130 B Coy report that they have handed over to a company 2 LIR.


2 LIR.

1200 Battalion warned to be prepared to move tonight to 10th Battalion Rifle Brigade area.

1330 Commanding Officers’ conference. Gives orders as follows. Battalion will take over the following positions from 10th Battalion Rifle Brigade, H Company 683/5808 and area to north, E Company 612083 G Company 625089, Battalion HQ 615082, F Company take over from 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at 323/636088 in support of C Battery 152 Field Regiment (Ayrshire Yeomanry).

1410 Commanding Officer and Company Commanders move off to recce new area.

2100 Battalion HQ established 612080, E Company 612080 F Company 632082, G Company 621085, H Company point 683/5808.