11th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

2 LIR and 2 Innisks move to Forli by Route 67.

Brigade Location Statement:

Brigade HQ – 438165. 2 Innisks – 447158. 2 LIR – 438164. 1 RIrF – 456154.

17 Field Regiment – 513208. 214 Field Coy – 458156. 152 Field Ambulance – 453182.

All billets for the brigade were either in Forli or just outside the town. All had previously been used by the Italians and were in a filthy and disgusting state. Two or three days were necessary to clear up the mess.


1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

38 Brigade ordered available for Corps reserve


2 Innisks – BIVIGLIANO.

0400 Reveille.

0600 Everyone completed their last minute packing and were em-bused and ready to move. The MT was assembled in the open square on the west side of the villages and, on orders from the convoy commander Major Cochrane, the convoy moved off.

A rear party, under Capt McCorkell, stayed behind to hand over. The only incident throughout the journey was when a few trucks at the end of the column took the wrong turn at Dicamano but these were soon brought back to the right road by the MTO.

The column made good time and arrived in Forli at 1145 hrs, where guides were arranged to take the MT and personnel to their respective places. Accommodation was very limited and, when first taken over, was in a filthy condition, having been used by Italian troops. The advance party worked hard and, when the main party arrived, everything had been cleaned up by the liberal use of creosote.

The town was well organised with cinemas and canteens for the men and clubs for the Officers but nobody found time to use them today, being much too occupied with settling in before dark and catching up on sleep.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0700 Bttn convoy moved off. Order of march – Bttn HQ, E, HQ, G, H and S Coys, B Echelon. Route via Highway 67.

1200 Head of column arrived in Forli.

1400 Bttn complete billeting in factory in Forli – 440164.



12th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

Final training areas and orders regarding training issued. One area was allotted for field firing, one for tank and infantry cooperation and one for practising a river crossing.

Brigade Commander went on recce of training areas during the morning.


1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

Training areas allotted by Brigade Training . Instructions issued by bttn.


2 Innisks – FORLI.

0900 The CO, 2 i/c, Adjutant and three Coy Commanders went to Florence to watch a parade for which the Inniskillings were providing the guard of honour and their Pipe Band. A few high ranking personage was expected.

1040 Brigade Commander paid a visit to the bttn and looked over the billets. For the remainder of the day, coys were busy, cleaning and improving their billets and generally making themselves more comfortable.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0800 F Coy reformed wef today.

0900 Coys carrying out own training programmes.

Signal Platoon commences Signal Course at Brigade HQ. 

1400 CO’s inspection of Coys’ Battle Orders.



13th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

Battalions commence training.

GOC visits Brigade HQ and stayed for lunch. Lt Col Saville and Brigadier T Tryon, AA and QMG 5 Corps. also came to lunch.

Brigade Commander went on recce of training areas during morning.


1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

13th/14th – Training on Section – Platoon – coy level.


2 Innisks – FORLI.

Bttn, having settled in, is concentrating on administrative checks, Allotments for the MBU was made.

Bttn HQ and the coy billets were cleaned and the approaches to the buildings cleared of mud and bricked. The mirror at Bttn HQ was set up and the wording over it (Do you look like a victorious British soldier now?) attracted much attention from the residents of the town.

General cleanliness and smartness of the Irish Regiments attracted much attention at first laughs but, after a day, whole hearted attempts by other units to follow the same example was noticed.

Notice was received from Brigade HQ that training was to commence on the 15th of February. Training programmes were to reach brigade on the 14th. Marked maps were received from Brigade HQ showing the training areas.


2 LIR – ITALY.

CO recced Forli area for outdoor coy training areas.

Five areas along railway line were decided on.

Bridge area 451165.

Station area 446168.

Factory area 440173.

Cemetery area 449178.

Canal area 431178.



14th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

Training carried out by all battalions. Brigade Commander visits training areas.


2 Innisks – FORLI.

Coy Commanders received areas for training on the 15th. Coy checked weapons and equipment in readiness for training.

1430 The CO, 2 i/c, and IO went out to recce training area ‘D’. Some of the area was known to have been mined and, in many cases, the tracks were impassable to vehicles either through mud or through bridges having been blown.

The area proved to be good for training but the only practical approach was by vehicle to Medola and to march across the footbridge to the training area.

1830 Four officers from Rear HQ of the 1st NZ Division visited the Officers’ Mess and stayed for dinner. They had been invited in appreciation of the help they had given us in finding billets in the town and for the two houses of their own, which they had given over to us.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1400 Band of the 2nd Bttn Royal Ulster Rifles gave a performance in the central dining hall.

1800 Repeat performance by RUR band.



15th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

Training carried out by all battalions. Brigade Commander visits training areas.


1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

15th/16th – Further allocation of training areas and forecast of training.


2 Innisks – FORLI.

0830 Training commenced in earnest and took the form of weapon training and small tactical exercises.

1030 The CO visited the Dorchester NAAFI Canteen to see how the troops were catered for and was very impressed by what he saw and considered the NAAFI the best he had ever seen with plenty of facilities for everything. He asked permission for his Coy Commanders to be shown around in order that they also might see the way their men’s welfare was looked after.

1400 Bttn cross country run of 3 miles was carried out with all ranks under 35 years of age. Everyone ran extremely well, the winner covering the course in 24 minutes. By evening, the first signs of stiffness was beginning to show in all those who ran; a stiffness, which for most was to last for two or three days.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0900 CO’s inspection of F Coy.

1030 CO’s inspection of billets.