War Diaries – 24th January 1943

Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.

Patrols were reported digging north east end of Rir Rabat (6609). Farm 672104 was occupied. Local patrols had no contact, but Hill 286 was lightly held.

In consequence of a letter received from 6 Armoured Division a note on the “The destruction of immobilised enemy tanks and guns” were sent to Bttns, emphasising that RE personnel will not always be available for this vital task. A request was made for a bombing attack on suspected HQ at Farm 748154 as this was out of range of artillery fire.

2200 Brigade Battle HQ moved to new location 640076.

2200 Brigade Intelligence Section arrived at Farm 629058.

2300 Remainder Advance Brigade HQ returned to Farm 553025.


A detailed account of the events of the night is given in the Appendix.

The general policy of the Bttn Command was that all personnel should rest as much as possible by day with “observed sentries” covering the front with observation, and men resting at or near their posts otherwise. For this reason the majority of the Bttn’s activity on Grandstand was night activity. Sporadic shelling being usually the only noteworthy event during the day. This, however, was frequent, although it did little damage and every occurrence of it is not noted in detail.

6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

Another quiet day checking up and wiring positions.Lt McVie and 13 ORs arrived as 1st reinforcement. Lt McVie posted to D Coy.

2120 Automatic fire, believed (to be) enemy heard in front of B Coy old position.

2205 Slight activity in general direction 1 to 1 1/2 miles east of road. Guards report it is probably some of their boys.

2330 Brigade establish a battle HQ 1000 yards south of Bttn position.

2335 B Coy report noise of a tank forward of their position near the road.

2 LIR.

6 Officers and 96 reinforcements arrive.

1830 Fairly heavy enemy artillery shelling. Shells falling in F Company positions. One corporal killed. Own artillery replied very much more vigorously.

Lance Sergeant Patrick Ward, London Irish Rifles.