Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.
Patrols had no contact, but a position was reported on east end of One Tree Hill.
0300 Messages were sent by 6 Armoured Division (repeated 38 Brigade) on 30 and 31 January ordering the move of an armoured regimental group south to Ebba Ksour N 95 night 31 Jan / 1 Feb. Coy 10 RB were included in the force (it had been found advisable to move elements of 6 Armoured Division to meet armoured threat in the southern sector).
0700 A warning order (ref above orders) was sent to 10 RB. Appendix “A” to 38 Brigade Intelligence Summary for this day contained an interesting W/T intercept from HQ Koch and a note on Italian identifications at 648090 25 Jan.
1730 Battle HQ and Rear Brigade HQ moved to establish a point Brigade HQ at Farm 592014. The movement was completed without incident.
2130 Policy on artillery activity in patrol areas was laid down by HQ RA. The object was to prevent own artillery from shelling our patrols (Appendix 76).
On this day, a “Personal Message from Commander 1st Army” was received (Appendix 78).
Moves of Brigade HQ – Jan ’43 – are given at Appendix 79.
1 RIrF – GRANDSTAND HILL.
A record of the night’s events and activities is given in the Appendix.
1700 The Bttn now had a longer front to the north than to the east and 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade, leaving their HQ at 640076, it was decided to move Bttn HQ to this location. Recce parties left and laid out the new area and all arrangements were made accordingly for a move at dawn the next morning.
1800 Patrol Jane of 1 NCO and 4 men and Mary of 1 NCO and 1 section left road Goubellat – Bou Arada eastward, the former to lie up in area farms 699130 and 700147 and the other in area 5 track junction 6811. The former was found by B Coy 6 Innisks under command 1 RIrF.
1825 Farm 698130 reported to contain 40 enemy and shortly afterwards farm 693132 to contain two enemy Armoured Companies. Shell fire was brought down on this area.
2100 10 light shells (or mortar bombs) fell in Bttn area, two on Grandstand Hill and the remainder west of it. No damage was done.
2200 Patrols Anne and Betsy left, the former of 1 NCO and 2 men to recce area Cactus farm 685087 for an attack the following night, the latter to lie up area cross tracks 6708 to ambush the “night vehicle” and destroy it.
6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.
CO Conference for Coy Commanders at 1000hrs. Support Coy consisting of Mortars, A/Tk and Vickers with a Coy HQ is finally fixed and men transferred to it to complete it from Rifle Coys. Capt Daly is in charge of the Coy with Sgt Fenwick appointed acting unpaid local W/O II as CSM. Padre holds his last service during the morning. He reports to SCF this afternoon and we will get a new padre tomorrow.
A beautifully warm day after another cold night. CO sees D Coy during the morning and goes round with Capt Daly looking at the position of the support weapons.
A very quiet afternoon. The troops, especially A, C & D Coys who patrol all night make the most of a sleep in the sun. Adjutant visits M.O. and M.O. 1 RIrF, who are sharing a farm.
1000 CO holds his usual conference of Coy Commanders to discuss the night’s patrolling and any other points that might arise. It is decided that only recce parties will go out tonight from C/D Coys with 1 Office, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl to get the lie of new patrol areas and find a way through the minefield.
CO spends a very busy day tracing the Coy areas sighting weapons and liaising 10 RB.
1130 Divisional Commander and Brigadier arrive and talk to CO who just arrives back in time. Divisional Commander asked 2.i.c. what the Bttn would like best of all at this moment. Answer – Rest and sleep.
M.O. starting a course for stretcher bearers. At the moment we are eight deficient despite the fact the M.O. did run courses before leaving Scotland.
Lt Nethersill and 9 ORs, 1 Parachute Bttn, are attached to this unit for a few days to go out on patrol or anything else we can find for them.
0200 The Bttn transport arrives.
0215 The marching personnel sent out. It takes the transport column nearly 2 hours to go less than 4 miles.
0400 New farm is established in a farm where there are also some French soldiers. The morning patrol visited all fig farms south of the Goubellat to Mahmoud road, and found nothing.
1100 Enemy shell Goubellat and two enemy M/C combinations seen between Goubellat and Mahmoud.
1120 Enemy shells fall in area Sidi Mahmoud. It is possible 2 LIR who are on our left may be called away tonight. If they do so, we must hold their position as well as our own. Patrols are sent out but nothing is found during the night.
Information is received that 2 LIR will not be moving.
2330 B Coy who have been attached to 1 RIrF returns as Goubellat is now in No Man’s Land. They had to return via Medjez-el-Bab.
Second-in-command Major DCJ Manners assumes appointment.
G Company relieve E Company in Stand By Company.
Mobile bath unit in operation at Gaffour. Half battalion have bathed.