Brigade HQ – MAHMOUD GAP.
Night patrols had no contacts but there were two interesting discoveries: a) at 2215, 2315 and 0015, an Armoured Car with lights followed routes 709187 – 690211 – 703225. This looked like a continuous triangular patrol. B) Farm 698173 was strongly wired all round. This farm was at the end of “Page’s Wadi” and was thought to be a patrol base.
The weather was unsuitable for aircraft and there was no enemy air activity.
0830 Enemy attacked O.P. in area 6808. Later enemy of about one company were in area 6606 – 6607 and there were 60 enemy in area 6408. Two Coys 10 Rifle Brigade and half a squadron 17/21 Lancers attacked north astride the main road.
1605 Two troops of 17/21 Lancers reported to be nearing their objective.
38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade Summary was issued (Appendix 19). A letter was sent informing Bttns of the Regulations now in force to restrict Arab movement (Appendix 20). 6 Innisks were placed at 2 hrs notice to move and one coy 2 LIR with a squadron of 2 Lothians was at ½ hour notice to operate south of Goubellat.
2359 Bttn Commanders were summoned to Brigade HQ. 6 Innisks were ordered by W/T to be prepared to move at 0200 hrs on 11 Jan. In this event 2 LIR were to send a Coy to take over their position.
Tracing at Appendix 21 shows Brigade dispositions as they had been since 29 Dec.
1 RIrF – DOUAR.
0900 Twenty men and 8 vehicles of the enemy were observed by B Coy at 670217. He shelled them with his support artillery and they went to ground.
1400 The enemy had been making use of the low cloud and mist for considerable movement of single vehicles. B Coy observed two in the area of farm 690211 and shelled them. They took shelter in the farm where he pinned them by shellfire, keeping them under observation. No further movement was seen before nightfall.
6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.
CO holds conference of O Group at 0900 hrs in Bttn Admin HQ in farm. Bttn at 2 hrs notice to move. It will be a difficult job. The hill is now a sea of mud after 5 hrs of rain during the night. IO called to conference at Brigade HQ 1130hrs.
1000 An explosion is heard in C Coy area. A truck has blown up and it is found that Lieut Andrews has been killed. Also one fusilier. Cpl Christie, who was 60 yards away, receives an eye injury. It is expected that the Bttn will move tonight. It is decided to form Coy dumps at bottom of hill and Bttn HQ is moved into Bttn admin farm. It has rained hard all the morning and difficulty is experienced in getting guns and vehicles down the hill.
1500 Padre buries the remains of Lieut Andrews and Fusilier Beggs in Bttn HQ farm.
CO writes operations order which he dictates to L/Cpl Slewson (HQ Coy clerk).
Coys busy all afternoon sliding down hill with Coy dumps.
2359 Warning order: Bttn will move at 0200hrs. CO to be at Brigade 2359hrs.
2345 CO leaves for Brigade with I.O. Coys warned to vacate hill and concentrate around their Coy dumps on road. Coy vehicles (two per Coy and W/T truck) are ordered up.
1250 F Company at 2 hrs notice to move to take over Inniskillings’ positions.
1310 E Company day patrol help Recce Corps to round up 12 Arabs for interrogation.
1605 H Company at 30 minute notice under command 2 Tps C Squadron, 2nd Lothians.
2359 F Company moved to 6th Inniskillings’ positions.