War Diaries – 22nd February 1943

Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.

Patrols had no contact but there was considerable vehicle activity near pt 286.

Brigade Intelligence summary was issued, a description of the German Anti Personnel Mine appeared at Appendix B.

0045 Brigade OO No 12 was issued expressing intention “to carry out certain inter Bttn reliefs night 22/23 Feb.”

0120 Received ‘Y’ Division message enjoining vigilance against parachutists.

2130 Order received from ‘Y’ Division about exclusive vehicle movement.


The other events of the night are recorded in detail in the Appendix.

0930 Bttn O Group assembled at Bttn HQ and the method of the relief of 1 RIrF was discussed, settled and published. Detail is given in Appendix.

1430 Three JU-87Bs dropped 6 bombs just outside Bttn HQ, the attack being immediately preceded by shellfire HE for diversion (?) and three smoke shells as aiming mark. No damage was done, though one man was slightly wounded by flying debris.

1640 Six JU-87Bs dropped 18 bombs in area 6307, again preceding their attack with HE and smoke shells.

1830 the moves outlined in Appendix started.

6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

72 A/Tk Regiment move out without letting us or Brigade know during the night and then return.

1000 Usual conference on patrolling and tying up ends for inter coy moves.

B Coy are warned to move south with Divisional reserve force. There are only two officers in the coy at present and as both are an hours’ run from coy at Bttn conference, there is some difficulty. Eventually it is decided to send a RIrF Coy. But not before this coy had started south. The coy is brought back but Coy Commander was forward doing some recce and it was some time later before he arrived back.

1600 Coordinating conference for changeover.

1630 Four enemy smoke shells – probably mortar land plumb in Bttn HQ area – one, within a yard of CO car and one 2 yards from orderly room. Immediately afterwards, the position was dive bombed by twelve planes, but the bombs fell a hundred yards to the east. The Carrier Platoon was also bombed and one fusilier was killed.

It is decided not to move C Coy. The coy of 1 RIrF will now take over West Hill from A Coy and C will remain in the farms on Bou Arada to Goubellat rd. We now have therefore four Coys strung out east of rd Goubellat to Bou Arada with one coy RIrF in reserve for immediate counter attack, and the other two RIrF coys further back in reserve and resting.

Fusilier John Murphy, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2 LIR.

1030 Battalion HQ warned to move into wadi with HQ Company.

1425 Dive-bombing attacks by 6 Junkers 87 on area 6308. Bombing prefaced by mortar bomb ranging. One man wounded by mortar.

1500 One sergeant and one rifleman from Carrier Platoon kidnapped while drawing water at 633093. Rubber shoes used by enemy found nearby.

1640 Area wadi 6307 dive-bombed by 12 Jus 87. Area ranged by mortars. No casualties.

1900 Battalion HQ moved to Olive Grove 623076. H Company take over gully 6408 from 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers and mountain standing patrol 647090. Observation Post at 592093 (Intelligence).

Rifleman Albert Fitzgibbon, London Irish Rifles.