War Diaries – 1st to 5th January 1945

1st January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

1115 2 LIR saw movement in Casa Tamagnin 013303 and shelled and mortared the house during the afternoon. Five direct hits scored and much damage observed.

1950 Relief of 2 Innisks by 1 RIrF completed.

1 RIrF – 000286.

2030 Complete relief of 2 Innisks.

2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0535 C Coy Sitrep: NTR.

0620 A Coy report sending patrol to Point 358 at 0345 hrs, which returned at 0500 hrs. NTR.

0900 B Coy reports left hand gun on 278 ridge has disappeared.

1300 Heavy gun firing on Bttn HQ. Bearing 357 from 009298.

1600 Point 156 report seeing 2 men at Razzinera. East Surreys informed and they promise to stonk the house. Gunners when registering Sillaro Haystack set off flare at 019289.

1750 B Coy report gun at 014296 firing into gully in area 012291.

1800 Leading coy of 1 RIrF arrive at Bttn HQ.

1930 Relief of bttn by 1 RIrF completed without incident. Bttn marches to Calanca and embusses for Castro San Martino.

2345 Bttn reported arrival at Castro San Martino completed.


0600 Bttn still located  as follows: Bttn HQ – 00330, E Coy – 003301, G Coy – 005300, H Coy – 007307.

Sitrep: generally quiet night. Recce patrol to Tamagnin 013303 get to within 16 yards of house. Confirms area immediately north of the house booby trapped.

1200 Intentions 1 / 2: All night standing patrols to 014306 and 007302. Fighting patrol of 1 and 13 (from Battle Patrol) to Tamagnin 013303 and covering patrols to Spur 009302 and Pt 312. All out – 0400 hrs, In – 1000 hrs.

Object – to fire Tamagnin at 0830 hrs. E Coy to relieve H Coy in left forward position.

2000 Intercoy relief completed.

Sitrep: 1115 hrs – Movement seen Tamagnin and 014300.  1400 to 1500 hrs – Tamagnin shelled and mortared. Much damage southern end of building. 1500 hrs – 15 men entered house 053336. 1600 hrs – Movement and flash  as of glasses Tombina 035320.

2nd January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

0400 Fighting patrol from 2 LIR went out to lie up in front of Casa Tamagnin until light and then attack and set fire to the house. On going out, the patrol set off booby traps just outside the bttn area and were forced to return. The remainder of the brigade front was quiet. Slight harassing fire on forward positions during the day. Slight enemy movement observed.

1 RIrF – 000286.

Considerable enemy mortar activity.

2015 5’3 LAA 3” mortar complete.


1100 The CO pays a visit to all coys. Arrangements are being made to celebrate Christmas on 4th Jan.

Died on this Day:

Corporal James Woodward, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


0545 Fighting patrol to Tamagnin returned with 4 casualties after encountering booby traps at 007301.

1200 Intentions night 2/3: All night standing patrols to 014306  and 007302. Mine clearing area 007302 starts first dark. Recce patrol to Spur 009302. Out – first dark, In – 2200 hrs. Fighting patrol 1 and 13 (Battle Patrol) to Tamagnin 013303. Out 0400 hrs, In – 1000 hrs. Covering patrols to spur 009302 and Point 312. Same object as previous night.

2000 Sitrep: Movement seen 1100 hrs at buildings 030296 and 1500 hrs at buildings 027297.

3rd January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Considerable harassing fire on forward platoon 1 RIrF at Point 156 (015286) during night.

0400 Fighting patrol from 2 LIR goes out again to set fire to Casa Tamagnin.

1030 Patrol returns after being completely successful and suffering no casualties.

The fighting patrol entered north house of Casa Tamagnin at 0815 hrs after lying up for some hours 15 yards from it. After searching both storeys and finding them unoccupied, they passed through a door into a courtyard and left four men as covering party. Movement is heard in the southern house through a hole behind a straw lean to. Two incendiary grenades were thrown through the hole and the patrol returned to the north house.

Shouts were heard from the other house, which were drowned by the noise of the flames. Twenty five Huns were seen evacuating the house followed by a scorched cat. These Huns were engaged by the TSMGs of the patrol and by the covering patrol at 009302 and the MMGs at Casa Lucca 008298. Two more incendiary grenades were thrown into the straw and started to burn fiercely. The patrol withdrew at 0945 hrs with the aid of mortar and artillery smoke. The total damage to the enemy was estimated at six killed and a few more wounded. The operation was undertaken by the Battle Patrol 2 LIR commanded by Lieut Montgomorie. At 1800 hrs, the house was still burning.

1850 Patrol from 1 RIrF encountered enemy south of the road by the culvert at 017288. Both sides opened fire with no visible results. Patrol established itself at the culvert without further incident.

Another patrol later on in the evening to 018290 reported enemy slits on the knoll 015290 and an MG firing from Point 278 (015293).

2330 Patrol reports Casa Tamagnin still burning.

1 RIrF – 000286.

1850 Patrol to culvert 017288 encountered enemy patrol. Fire was exchanged, no casualties either side.

2320 Patrol to 015289 found enemy slit trenches and stick grenades but no enemy.


Bathing and preparation for Xmas dinner.

1400 Representative of 61 MP (US) arrive at HQ reference a report received by them of enemy agents in the area. Local priest informs us that there were some enemy agents arrested here some time ago.


0600 Sitrep: 1 mine found and cleared 007301. Fighting patrol to Tamagnin now on way with covering patrols at Point 312 and spur 009302.

0815 Fighting patrol reported to have entered Casa Tamagnin.

1015 G Coy report sniping at their positions.

1030 Patrol returned from Tamagnin.

1200 Intentions 3/4: All night standing patrols at 014306 and 007302. Recce patrols to spur 009302. First dark to 2300 hrs.

2000 Sitrep: Fighting patrol (commanded by Lieut HG Montgomorie MC) entered Casa Tamagnin 0815 hrs from north end. After searching both stories, and finding it unoccupied, patrol passed through door into courtyard, leaving 4 men as covering party. Movement heard in south house through hole behind straw lean to. Two incendiary grenades were thrown through hole and patrol returned to north house. Shouts heard from south house, which were drowned by noises of flames. 25 enemy seen evacuating blazing building from south and west. These were engaged by SMGs of patrols, covering patrol at 009302 and MMG section at Casa Lucca.

Two more incendiary grenades were thrown into straw and south house, which started to burn fiercely. Patrol withdrew 0945 hrs under cover of smoke from 3” mortars and 25 pounders. Patrol returned 1030 hrs. No casualties. Single enemy grave seen in rear of south house. Damage inflicted – 4 enemy killed, 2 more probably killed by MMG fire, several probably perished in blazing room.

1015 hrs – Right forward coy reported sniping at their positions and MMGs at Casa Lucca. One machine gunner slightly wounded. 1800 hrs – Casa Tamagnin still burning and man exploding.

4th January

Brigade HQ –SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

0830 Brigade Commander goes to main Bttn 78 Division HQ and then on to 2 Innisks at Castro San Martino to take part in their late Christmas celebrations.

Slight HF during the day. Lt-Col Baker RA assumes command of the brigade. Intermittent shelling of left company 2 LIR between 1400 hrs and 1500 hrs. Very heavy shelling and mortaring of right company 1 RIrF during the earlier part of the night.

2300 Recce patrol from 2 LIR to Casa Tamagnin 013303 reported the house still burning and enemy digging and talking at intervals from the ridge 015302.

1 RIrF – 000286.

2208 Heavy enemy mortar activity countered by own 3” mortars and 5’3 LAA 3” mortars. We suffered three slight casualties.


0800 Reveille by massed bugles.

0930 Church Services.

1100 Drums and Pipes play in square at Bttn HQ.

1200 Sgts visit Officers’ Mess.

1300 Men’s Dinner. CO, 2nd in Command, and Adjutant visit all coy dining halls.

1400 Officers visit Sgts’ Mess.

2000 Dinner in Officers’ Mess. Brigade Commander and LOs, Office Commanding 10 Battery, 17th Field Regiment attend.


0600 Sirep: Regular light mortaring of our mortar positions until midnight. Fired 20 rounds 3” mortar bombs Tamagnin and Antrim. Recce patrol reported Tamagnin still burning 2330 hrs.

1200 Intentions 4/5: All night standing patrols 014306  and 007302. Recce patrol to Tamagnin. Out – 1630 hrs, In – 2300 hrs, with covering patrols. Out – 1630 hrs, In – 2330 hrs.

1255 E Coy report their OP being sniped at.

2000 Sitrep: 1255 hrs – unlocated sniper firing at OP 008305. Intermittent shelling left forward coy from 1400 to 1500 hrs.

5th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Slight harassing fire during the day.

A sniper fired at the OP 008317 at 1440 hrs.

1630 Left company 2 LIR mortared.

Patrols at night reported digging at 015289 and an enemy post at stream junction 016308.

Brigade Commander visits Divisional Pantomime at Castel Del Rio.

1 RIrF – 000286.

Suspicious haystack area 019289 engaged by Browning MG with incendiary bullets and later hit ten times by .75s with no effect. Heavy enemy mortaring all day. 1 casualty.


Quiet day – bathing for the men.


0600 Sitrep: Recce patrol to Casa Tamagnin returned. Houses still burning. Coughing and talking heard 1830 hrs close to and south west of house. Patrol fired on from direction of Casa Muiano (022315). 2359 hrs – covering patrol returned from spur 009302 and reported digging and talking at intervals on ridge 015302.

1200 Intentions night 5/6: All night standing patrols  014306  and 007302. Listing patrol 009302 – first dark to moonrise. Recce patrol to stream 016308. Out – 2330 hrs, In – 0400 hrs.

1530 – 1700 Enemy mortaring of E Coy area.

2000 Sitrep: 1440 hrs – sniping at OP 008317. 1550 hrs – Movement seen area Muiano 021315. 1630 – 1700 hrs: left forward coy mortared.