26th January


2 LIR moved back from area Montenero completed by first light and bttn now established at Forli.

1140 OP Castel di Sangro reported vehicle movement in Rocca Cinquemiglia during the night.

1600 Enemy shelled area 091537 – 16 shells landed.

1700 Brigade Commander visited HQ 2 LIR.

1 RIrF.

0300 Marching troops 2 LIR clear of Rionero.

0500 Platoon C Coy from road junction 0749 back to Rionero.

Routine night patrols.  R. Sangro 3ft. 9ins.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – CERRO.

Weather light rain during night. Overcast, visibility fair.

A Coy moved to point 1210 (0944).

1530 6 Innisks OO No 4 (Cerro) issued. Notice received from 1 RIrF that the only light signal they would use is red – green – red meaning “I’m in contact with the enemy”.

1745 B Coy sent a patrol to Mount Fosse (060420). Strength 1 officer and 2 sections.

D Coy sent a similar patrol to Mount Curvale (070428).

2 LIR.

0030 E Company and company loading parties pass Number 3 check post.

0130 E Company passes Number 3 check post.

0200 F Company passes Number 3 check post.

0330 G Company passes Number 3 check post.

0335 TAC HQ arrives at Number 3 check post.

0815 All companies complete have passed through Rionero. Hot tea and rum on arrival.

0930 Battalion established in billets at Forli.

1500 CO’s O Group. Issues verbal orders as to future administration details and training.

1600 Brigadier visits battalion.

27th January


0530 6 Innisks report sounds of MG fire in the area Pizzone during the night.

0930 Brigade Commander visited Cerro – HQ 6 Innisks.

1500 Enemy shelled Montenero during our shelling of Scontrone. 112 Medium Battery RA shelled known location of hostile battery and shelling ceased.

1900 Recce patrol of one officer and 20 ORs of 1 RIrF to Rocca Cinqueniglia.

1 RIrF.

Warned by Brigade to consider possibilities of raid in Rocca Cinquemiglia 0956.

1940 Lt GR Unwin and 2 men (D Coy) set out on patrol to recce approaches to Rocca Cinquemiglia. Crossed river at 081538, followed river downstream. Four men seen 098553. Small group seen 102553. Patrol moved along east slope of rocky feature running from 103555 to 106564 and reached 102568 where it was fired on at range of about 80 yards from the right. Lay up and returned direct to river at 108554. Back at D Coy 0630.

6 Innisks – CERRO.

Weather: slight rain during night but day bright and visibility good.

0400 B and D Coy patrols returned having seen no sign of the enemy on their respective features

1745 B and D Coys again sent out protective patrols of 1 officer and 2 sections to Mount Fosse and Mount Curvale. Snow clothing was issued to A, B, D Coys as these coys were living in tents. Sleigh equipment was also issued, but no sleighs.

2 LIR.

Battalion rests and re-organises.

1400 17 reinforcements join battalion.

1800 Lt Seymour MC rejoins battalion from Snow Warfare Course.

Montenero is reported to have been heavily shelled during the afternoon.

28th January


0930 Brigade Commander to Pt 1210.

1 RIrF patrol of Rocca Cinquemiglia fired on from 102569 – estimated two platoons in area of the town.

1730 Montenero shelled for 15 minutes.

1 RIrF.

1400 Enemy mortared Castel Di Sangro.  Strafe Two fired.

Routine night patrols.  R. Sangro 3ft 9ins.

6 Innisks – CERRO.

0210 Loud explosion heard south of Pizzone.

0400 B and D Coy patrols returned. No enemy seen. Coys again reminded of the importance of CB work and shell reps pro-formas issued in sufficient quantities for each officer and senior NCO to be in possession of one. A copy of this proforma was also on each telephone and wireless set within the Bttn. No patrols tonight as visibility became very bad towards nightfall.

2 LIR.

0930 CO recces Forli in conjunction with defence scheme. Written instructions issued dated 29 January 1944.

1700 CO’s conference on training and future moves.

29th January


1000 Brigade Commander to M Croce.

No enemy activity during the day.

Recce parties from 3 Carpathian Division arrived, and were established in the various brigade locations.

2205 MG fire reported area Pizzone.

1 RIrF.

2010 Coy relieved A Coy David position.

Routine night patrols.  R. Sangro 3ft 9ins.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – CERRO.

1310 6 Innisks’ OO No 5 (C Coy) was issued. 6 Innisks’ Periodical Intelligence summary issued.

1745 B and D Coys send usual protective patrols to Mount Fosse and Mount Curvale.

2 LIR.

0830 2 i/c with small billeting party proceeds to Barenello 4625 Sheet 162 1/100,000.

0900 CO’s inspection of billets.

1700 CO’s conference to issue forward orders for advance parties to move to new area at Baranello.

1730 Brigadier 1st Carpathian (Polish) Brigade visits the CO.

30th January


0945 Brigade Commander to Pt 1191.

1100 GQ and AQ 78 Division visited Brigade HQ.

78 Division Admin Instruction No 16 received.

78 Division OO No 14 received.

1 RIrF.

Brigade to be relieved this sector by 1 Carpathian Rifle Brigade Group.

1000 Reps 1 Carpathian Rifle Battalion arrived.

1730 Road junction 0749 shelled.  Strafe Two fired.

1830 Lt GR Unwin again tool recce patrol of 2 men and observed enemy at 098553 again – this time from rear.  Apparently a listening post occupied by night only.  Major PCS Heidenstam joined.

6 Innisks – CERRO.

0415 Goums from VIII Tabor called down artillery DF tasks onto 033406 to cover the withdrawal of their patrols from Pizzone (0340). The Goums reported Pizzone heavily booby trapped and mined.

1400 CO’s conference was held at which it was announced that the Bttn was to be relieved by the Carpathian Rifles and that the Bttn was to be clear of the roads by 3rd February.

1515 CO left for conference at Brigade HQ. Training programme issued to all coys to commence at new location.

1715 6 Innisks’ OO No 6 (D Coy) issued.

1730 Patrols to Mounts Fosse and Curvale as before.

2 LIR.

1100 Church parades.

1330 CO visits 6 Innisks in conjunction with c/a role on their positions.

1700 Pipe band plays retreat in Forli square in presence of Brigadier.

1900 CO’s conference. Movement order for battalion to Baranello issued.

31st January


Quiet day – details for relief by 3 Carpathian Division complete. No enemy activity.

1 RIrF.

‘Admin Arrangement Rionero Area’ issued to incoming unit.  Routine night patrols.  R. Sangro 3ft 9ins.  Capt RW Collis joined.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – CERRO.

0400 Patrols returned and reported no sign of the enemy. The weather was fine, low flying clouds during early morning. Visibility poor in Cerro and San Vincenzo but clear at B and D Coys. C Coy and A/Tk platoon were warned to keep careful watch until visibility had improved.

0915 Officer from Bttn HQ leaves to meet representatives from relieving unit.

1000 CO’s conference at which orders were issued for the handing over to the Carpathian Rifles, also for the move of the bttn from Cerro to Busso (1628). Notes were issued on stores to be handed over and certificates to be obtained. Operational Instructions issued.

1100 Representatives from 2 Carpathian Rifles arrived and were taken to the respective coy areas and shown the general layout etc – C Coy started ferrying packs and non essential stores to dump ‘Red House’ (086391).

1745 Usual patrol to Mounts Fosse and Curvale.

2335 Movement order issued. Instructions for advance party issued. Training programme issued (to commence at Busso).

2 LIR.

0630 Advance parties proceed to Baranello.

1030 Advance parties from III battalion 1st Carpathian Rifle Brigade arrives.

1800 CO’s conference to issue final verbal orders for move to Baranello on 1st Feb.

Administration order issued.