War Diaries – 5th February 1943

Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA. 

Again no movement was reported west of the road and a patrol north west into the hills found no trace of enemy. A patrol had a brush with a party covering digging on forward slopes of Bir Rabai. There was an enemy patrol south of pt 279 and enemy were again at area 6710.

Intelligence Summary was issued and the following conclusion drawn: “No identification of the enemy on this front has been obtained since the deserter of A.24 on 25 Jan 43. It is probable that a depleted A.24 backed up by a portion HGJR (exact strength and identification unknown) continue to occupy the ground from 68 grid lines to Sebkret el Kourzia.” Information own troops was issued to Bttns as Appendix B to Intelligence Summary. During the day, minor vehicle activity was noticed in the back area and at farms in 6913 continued to be active. On this day, a message was sent informing Bttns that 56 Recce Regiment would be operating west of rd Goubellat – Bou Arada as far south as grid line 13. This was made the Brigade north limit of patrolling west of the road.


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

Activities normal except that great attention was paid to observation of Ber Repoal 6609 as a result of the report by Patrol Alex and as a prelude to Patrol Hope. Some discolourations believed to be the spoil of newly dug slit trenches was noted

6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD. 

Conference at 1000 hrs to discuss patrols for tonight. Lt Dickie and 10 men from C Coy to approach Barka from

the east, go over Mehallah and come back over pt 286.

Lt Davidson to go and lie up all day, south and east of Barka in farm and watch for enemy movement.

CO visits MO and A Coy during the morning.

1800 CO holds conference in RAP with Adjutant, MO and Pioneer Officer to sort all and try to fix where all our dead are buried. Good conference and much was accomplished.

1900 CO interviews five Fusiliers, who have been returned to the unit from Casualty Clearing Station. They are shell shocked cases but have to be interviewed and find out how/why things got to CCS and if they are fit to be in fighting unit. Four are found to be genuine cases and in the fifth case a doubtful case and it is suggested he be posted to Pioneer Unit.

2000 CO goes to see B Coy, who have taken over pt 279 from D Coy and D Coy have gone back for 48 hrs rest and baths at Gafour. The baths are much appreciated.

2 LIR.

0645 Mortar and tracer fire and red and white flares observed from battalion HQ approximate to area of 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment.

0940 Area 6607 dive bombed by Jus 87.

1820 Patrol ‘Lyles’ to farm 617112 (report that it had been occupied by 50/60 Germans three day previously).

1830 Patrol ‘Tate’ to ambush enemy using Cross tracks 591140 (nil result).