War Diaries – 8th January 1943


No contact was gained in local recce or by patrols north of Goubellat.

A patrol of 30 Germans attacked Bou Arada (6201). By 0700 hrs, the position attacked was clear of the enemy. French casualties were slight, enemy unknown. An Arab picked up in 1 RIrF area by Bttn I.O. was brought to Brigade HQ. He was immediately recognised as a Cpl in 4 RTT by Lt Doumic and proved to have come from Tunis in Arab clothes with important information.


0830 Arab corporal was sent to HQ 6 Armoured Division and thence to 5 Corps where he underwent a prolonged interrogation by British and French Intelligence. A letter was sent to 6 Armoured Division in reply to one dated 3 Jan on lessons learnt from the present campaign.

On this day, movement forward of the eastern hills was slight but area 7115 continued to be active.

6 Armoured Division Operational Order (O.O.) No 6 was received. A force will be assembled in area Bou Arada – El Aroussa to meet any enemy attack on Bou Arada.

2200 Letter was sent to Bttns on policy of bombing French farms (Appendix 14).


Details of the activities of the night 7/8 Jan are contained in the appendix. Patrols Whisky and Bone consisting of one officer and one platoon at dawn searched wadis leading south from tracks 629241 and 623230. Their report was also negative.

6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0300 Sgt Solly and Sgt Rultus have returned but have had no luck.

0500 Sgt O’Connor is now 2 hrs overdue. The carrier platoon is laid on to go out at dusk with Sgt Solly and Rultus to recce area and find Sgt O’Connor.

0705 Carriers go out and find Sgt O’Connor. He had got lost twice and decided to wait until first light. Probably this was a correct move.

0930 CO and Brigadier brief C Coy who are going out patrolling tonight.

1215 CO leaves for Brigade. He is going to Teboursouk for an address by the Army Commander.

1315 One platoon of D Company goes to 1 Field Ambulance where a bath apparatus has been put at their disposal and it is greatly appreciated.

1730 CO returns and sees C Coy at Bttn Admin HQ before they set off.

1800 CO called to Brigade for conference.

C Coy leave for “stop” and send out two standing patrols under Lieut Buck and Sgt Solly and a small patrol of Lieut Andrews and two fusiliers to recce. All three patrols returned at 0300hrs and 0400hrs as ordered with nothing to report.

2100 CO holds O Group conference at Bttn HQ. Twelve people squash into dug out and receive orders.

The Bttn is under 6 hrs notice to move to El Aroussa where a possible German breakthrough is contemplated. B Coy is under 2 hrs notice to move out – rest of Bttn at 6 hrs notice wef 0400hrs 9 Jan ’43.

2 LIR.

1200 Commanding officer attended Army Commander’s conference at Tebourksouk.

2000 F Company at five hours’ notice to move.