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Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


War Diaries – 6th to 10th February 1944


6th February

Brigade HQ – CAMPOBASSO.

1600 Snow falls in Brigade area. Junior Leaders’ School returns from Forli.

Road to Campobasso blocked. Work on clearing roads to Busso and Baranello being carried out.


1 RIrF.

Training. Snow.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.


6 Innisks – BUSSO.

0730 Holy Communion was held for C of Es.

0930 a voluntary morning service was held for C of Es and Mass was celebrated for the RCs.

A snow plough attached to a jeep was used to clear the Busso to Campobasso road.

The under mentioned officers joined this unit and are posted to coys as shown.

Capt AG Kemp HQ Coy as IO, Captain RJT Irwin A Coy, Lieut H Cross D Coy.

Captain EW Kendal OC D Coy made a recce of the training area.

A leave party left for Campobasso.


2 LIR.

0700 Snow during the night. Approximately 2 inches deep on roads and low ground.

1030 Voluntary CE & RC Church Parade.

1200 CO’s Office.

1300 Leave parties proceed to cinema show at Campobasso.

1800 Bttn HQ Guard provided by S Company (Duty Company).

1900 Leave parties return from Campobasso.

Weather: – heavy snow fell at intervals during the day. Now deep on high ground but local roads still fairly clear.



7th February

Brigade HQ – CAMPOBASSO.

0900 Heavy snow all night. Roads partially blocked. Snow all day. Most main roads now blocked. No communication to Isernia, Termoli, Larino, Luceria.


1 RIrF.

Training. Snow.


6 Innisks – BUSSO.

Weather : snow hard, visibility poor, wind fresh.

Bttn training was to have commenced this morning, but owing to heavy snowfall during the night, it was impossible to carry out any training outside.

Personnel were employed digging paths through the snow. The Busso to Campobasso road is now bound. A jeep was again employed in towing a snow plough and eventually cleared the road.

Small arms training was carried out in billets.

An Information Room is opened by the I section for the use of officers and ORs.

Daily recreational transport to Campobasso will leave Bttn HQ at 1500hrs as opposed to 1600hrs notified on 3rd February.


2 LIR.

0630 Heavy snow during night. Approximately 12” deep on local roads. Some traffic possible with skid chains. Snow still falling.

0800 Outdoor training cancelled because of snow.

1200 CO’s office.

1800 Bttn HQ Guard supplied by F Company (Duty Company).

1930 Regimental dinner in Officers’ Mess.

Guests:

Lt Col Dunhill, DSO Adjt and 2 i/c 1 RIrF.

Captain JD O’Rourke proceeded to take over appointment of Brigade IO. Lt JD White, MC takes over as Battalion IO.



8th February

Brigade HQ – CAMPOBASSO.

Snow stops. Roads being cleared slowly. Roads to 2 LIR and 6 Innisks passable to vehicles with chains. No communications with D Support Group. Indoor training. T/Captain JD O’Rourke takes over duties as Brigade IO vice T/Captain J Hobbs posted.


1 RIrF.

Training. Snow.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.


6 Innisks – BUSSO

Weather: snowing, visibility poor, wind light.

Conditions of ground outside still unsuitable for outdoor training. Small arms training is continued in billets. Digging parties were sent out to clear the roads of snow. The road to Campobasso was impassable in the evening. Three bttn officers were unable to return until the next day.


2 LIR.

0630 New snow fell during the night. Morning bright but cold.

1200 CO’s Office.

1300 Leave Parties proceed to Campobasso.

1800 CO’s conference.

1800 Bttn HQ Guard provided by E Company (Duty Company)

1900 Leave parties return from Campobasso.

Weather. More now at intervals during day, but roads still open to transport using skid-chains. Main Campobasso road kept open by clearing parties. No outdoor training possible during the day.



9th February

Brigade HQ – CAMPOBASSO.

Slight snow. Colder. Freezing during the night. Indoor training and discussions carried out by bttns.


1 RIrF.

Training. Snow.


6 Innisks – BUSSO.

Weather; snowing, visibility poor, wind fresh.

The Bttn continued to carry out indoor training.

A case of diphtheria has occurred in the bttn within the last few days. The section concerned is in quarantine and is therefore out of bounds to all ranks. A Sergeants’ mess meeting is held.

A sand table model is completed by the I section for indoor exercises.


2 LIR.

0630 Snow falling lightly.

1200 CO’s Office.

1300 Recreational transport to Campobasso cancelled owing to road conditions.

1800 Bn HQ Guard supplied by H Company (Duty Company).

Weather:- Light snow at intervals during day. Roads now difficult for transport. No outdoor training possible during day.



10th February

Brigade HQ –  CAMPOBASSO.

Slight snow. Indoor training carried out by bttns, except 1 RIrF, who were able to move on the main roads in Campobasso and carry out route marches etc.


1 RIrF.

Training. Fine.


6 Innisks – BUSSO.

Weather: fine, visibility good, wind fresh.

In the morning, the bttn was employed on indoor training in the afternoon.

Coys went for a ‘run and walk’.

A Battle Inoculation Course has been started for men with no battle experience.

1100 The Brigadier paid a social visit to the bttns and was introduced to all new officers.

Baths were available for coys.

Three officers and 75 ORs left for the 8th Army rest camp, San Spirito near Bari.

Recreational transport was available for the first time in 3 days.

A Bttn Hall is inaugurated and is named ‘Sangro Hall’.

B Coy held a concert and, with the help of some local civilians, had an enjoyable time.

2/Lieut R Phillips MM is transferred to HQ Coy and appointed Pioneer and Salvage Officer.

The under mentioned bttn appointments will take effect from today:

Captain AC Kemp Bttn Gas Training officer, 2/Lieut CR Wilkie Educational Officer, Lieut JR Stewart Bttn Entertainments Officer.


2 LIR.

0630 No further snow during night, but road conditions icy.

1200 CO’s Office.

1300 Leave parties proceed to Campobasso.

1400 Brigadier visits Bttn HQ on informal visit.

1800 Bttn HQ Guard supplied by G Company (Duty Company).

1900 Leave parties return from Campobasso.

Weather:- Day bright with slight thaw. Road conditions better locally. Sky again overcast at last light.



 

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