16th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

Training carried out by all battalions.

Capt Coleridge (Bays) attached to brigade with three tanks from 2nd Armoured Brigade for infantry cooperation.

2000 Orders received to carry out recce for Operation Backstop. This operation was planned to counteract an attack by the enemy across the Senio and Lamone rivers and then south to cut Route 9 east of Faenza.

The line to be taken up stretched between the Lamone and Montone rivers about five thousand yards north of Route 6.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0830 Normal training continued with tactical exercises on a platoon and coy level.

Notice was received from brigade that positions had to be recced for the defence of the Reda Line, a projected plan, which would become effective if the enemy broke through north of Faenza, this recce to be carried out at 1000 hrs 17th Feb.

Coy Commanders were notified and the necessary maps issued.


0900 Coy representatives reported to Brigade HQ for recce of bttn area in defensive role in the event of an enemy breakthrough.

Capt W Gentle resumed duties of Bttn IO.

1600 All personnel to carry out 15 minutes Rifle Drill daily.

1615 REs complete 30 yards range near Bridge area.

17th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

0900 Brigade Commander, OC 8 Royal Tanks and OC 214 Field Company go on recce of Operation Backstop.

1000 Recce parties from 2 Innisks, 2 LIR, 1 RIrF, 254 A/Tk Battery, 17 Field Regiment, 93 A/Tk Regiment (150 Battery) RV at Brigade HQ to receive detailed orders regarding the recce for Operation Backstop.

1700 Brigade Massed Pipe Band played in Forli Square together with the Band of the Royal Ulster Rifles. Officers of the Brigade Group were entertained afterwards by the Officers of Brigade HQ.

1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

Recce brigade defensive position Albereto.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0830 Bttn less CO, IO and Coy Commanders set out on a 10 mile route march south of Forli.

0930 CO and IO attended a conference at Brigade HQ on the defence of the Reda Line.

At this conference, a map marked with positions to be occupied was issued and also the OO affecting it. Warning was given not to wander across fields too much during recce as there were mines known to be in the area.

1000 CO met Coy Commanders at Brigade HQ and gave them the positions they would occupy. Then, in company with the Squadron Commanders of the tanks that would assist in the defence of the bttn area, went out to visit the positions, meeting each Coy Commander and Tank Commander in their respective positions to discuss points with them.

1100 At a point approximately half way round the route march circuit, Captain Long gave a demonstration of the WASP flame thrower.

1730 Brigade Pipe Bands together with the Silver Band of the RUR played Retreat in the town square It was an impressive ceremony and attracted a large crowd of spectators. This was followed by drinks and light refreshments supplied by Brigade HQ in the AMGOT building to which officers from each department of the division were invited. The Divisional Commander was also invited.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier John Fitzpatrick, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


0900 All G 1098 instruments handed in for REME inspection.

1800 Brigade Pipe Band and RUR brass band played ceremonial retreat in town square.

18th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4318.

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

1300 Brigadier TPD Scott DSO returns from home leave and visited 2 LIR at lunch time.

Church Parade and Divine Services held at Forli.

1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

Mine training arranged by Pioneers.

2 Innisks – FORLI

0900 The RCs paraded with the Bttn Pipe Band and marched to church in Forli.

The C of Es attended a voluntary service in the NAAFI.

1000 The IO went to the training area to recce site for a rifle range. This was made necessary as the allotment of the bttn on the existing range was one day, which the CO refused, deciding to build his own. A suitable site was found on the northern edge of D training area Ref 467066.

1400 A Sgt and three men were sent to live in a farm by a range to supervise its building by fatigue parties sent out each day and to maintain the range targets etc when firing commenced.

1430 Training programmes were issued to coys.


0900 IO, SO, I Sgt, Sig Sgt and coy representatives visited bttn counter attack and defence area

19th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4318.

Individual and platoon training by all battalions.

Brigade Commander visits 2 Innisks.

Lt Col J Preston DSO goes to Main Eighth Army to take up the Appointment of Colonel GS. Brigade Commander dines with 1 RIrF in the evening.

1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

Further recce of Backstop position.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0830 Bttn training continued as usual.

0900 A five days’ Snipers course was started under the direction of the IO.

Coy Commanders left for a more detailed recce of the Reda Line positions.

1000 CO Battery Commander and IO left for Reda Line to arrange final positions with Coy Commanders. The CO changed  most of the positions to points further forward where better fields of fire could be obtained.

1300 Final positions were established and support weapons sited, also 3” Mortars and Artillery DFs, were fixed and the CO returned.

1400 Platoon Commanders went out to the Reda Line and met Coy Commanders who showed them around the area and allotted their positions.


0845 Coys begin day’s training with 15 mins Rifle Drill.

20th February

Brigade HQ – FORLI 4316.

Platoon and individual training by all battalions.

Brigade Commander visits 1 RIrF.

1 RIrF – FORLI 4515.

Brigade conference to coordinate defensive position.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0830 Coys continued with their training.

The rifle range was ready for use but owing to other commitments. Coys could not as yet take advantage of it.

1430 The CO, 2 i/c, and IO went out to ‘A’ training, area to recce ground for a river crossing exercise, which was to take place shortly.

1730 The IO attended a Conference at Brigade HQ to coordinate our changed positions on the Reda Line and to tie up with the flanking units and supporting arms.


0830 Snipers’ Course commenced, under L/Sgt C O’Connor (2 ORs from each rifle coy).