26th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Brigade Commander visits 1 RIrF.

Recce parties 6 RWK arrive at Brigade HQ Enemy movement and MGs firing at 013303 and 022315 engaged by mortars. 2 Innisks reported the forward platoon at Point 156 was mortared throughout the night. An enemy patrol approached the culvert 017288 and dispersed after a short fire fight.

Some rocket projectiles were fired during the night.

The officers of Brigade HQ entertained Col Mikkelsen, Commander 338 Infantry Regiment and various other officers including ADMS and G 1 to dinner at Brigade HQ.


1 RIrF – 003300.

Major JR Cullen attached for Infantry Training.

0915 Movement at 014299 engaged by 3” mortars.

2115 Movement at 013303 engaged by 3” mortars.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0035 Battle Patrols, Ambush Patrol at 014292 returned. NTR.

0145 8 A&SH Patrol contacted A Coy Patrol at 05285.

0545 Six heavy shells or Rockets, land in river bed, area 013283 and 010 283. One man killed in C.

0600 Enemy mortar Point 207, 30 rounds fall in the area. Bearing from 009287 – 65 degrees magnetic. Coys report Patrols in. NTR.

0700 Lines to Valley Farm and Point 156 broken through enemy rockets.

0723 Forty mortar bombs land on Point 156. CMO fire bombard.

0900 RA OP reports seeing three men with a mortar on Point 342. 3” and 2” mortars engage target.

1625 C Coy area mortared. Sixteen bombs fall in this area. Counter mortar fire retaliatory bombard.

1910 C Coy report Patrol to Culvert 017288 returned. NTR.

2030 C Coy Patrol to Knoll 015289 returned. NTR.

2035 C Coy report 12 light mortar bombs on Point 156.

2105 Battle Patrol returns. Patrol reached 016291. Some enemy in trenches. Two trenches at 016292, one trench at 015292. Some movement at track at 018291. Unable to get close to enemy owing to clear visibility.

C Coy report four light mortar bombs in their area.

2325 C Coy digging party return. Track complete.

Died on this Day:

Lance Sergeant Thomas Kidd, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0700 Heavy fall of rain.

Baths and change of clothing at American MBU (which was placed at bttn’s disposal for the day).



27th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

6 RWK move up from rest area by day and come under command 38 Brigade. They are to relieve 1 RIrF in left bttn sector. Quiet day. 2 Innisks patrol to knoll 015289 saw enemy movement Point 278 and around Casa Sillaro. The slight thaws of the past two days caused the Sillaro river to increase its speed considerably and the ford at San Clemente 9928 became impassable. Minefields laid in the river bed by 85 US Division as part of their defensive programme were swept away. One lorry was blown up by one of these mines in an attempt to cross the ford.

1940 Relief of 1 RIrF by 6 RWK completed.

1 RIrF move back by transport to the new Brigade Rest Area at Caselline Q 8478. No enemy mortaring or shelling during the night.


1 RIrF – 003300.

0110 MG at 020316 engaged by 3” mortars.

0020 Movement at 013303 engaged by 3” mortars.

1900 Relieved by 6 RWK .


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0315 C Coy report one Nebelwerfer in area between Point 156 and Point 165.

0320 C Coy report ten light mortar bombs land in area of Point 156.

0328 3” Mortar Platoon engage Casa Sillaro and Casa Nuova.

0420 C Coy report 4 light mortar bombs on Point 156.

0627 Point 156 reported enemy movement on Knoll and Culvert. Garrison commander thought enemy forming up for attack. DF ‘Stalin’ fired by artillery. MMGs and 3” mortars fired. Attack did not materialise.

0633 Bttn MGs shoot up Scrub.

0637 RA report Shot on DF. ‘Stalin’ right, left and forward.

0639 Bttn 3” mortars fire DF for Point 156.

0645 A Coy remaining two platoons warned to stand by.

Situation – Section at Point 156 saw number of enemy in front of fire, apparently standing by. On light signal, Point 156 stonked and enemy opened up with Schmeisser. DF called for and MMGs called for. DF proved very effective.

0647 Two sections of A Coy platoon, manning Point 156, ordered forward to C3 Coy and held in immediate counter attack role.

0650 Forward section report situation clear.

2030 Battle Patrol returns from Knoll. Heard movement around Sillaro.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1000 Respirators tested in gas chamber improvised by Pioneer Platoon.



28th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Advance parties 5 Buffs arrived at Brigade HQ. They are going to take over right bttn sector from 2 Innisks tomorrow.

1600 Brigadier J Musson, Commander 36 Brigade, arrives at Brigade HQ.

Quiet night, enemy observed at Casa Sillaro engaged by MMGs. Two believed killed, remainder ran away.


1 RIrF

Bttn concentrated Florence area.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0010 C Coy Patrol to 400 yards north of Valley Farm returned to Valley Farm.

0100 Battle Patrol returns to Point 156 from Knoll, report having seen enemy movement at Point 278 and on track between Sillaro and Point 278.

0145 8 A&SH report their patrol to the river has returned.

0600 C Coy report Knoll and Gully Patrols returned.  NTR. Coys report NTR.

1125 C Coy OP at Point 207 report mortar firing on 11 Brigade front. Bearing 6 degrees magnetic. Surplus

1830 CO and CO of the Buffs visit A and C Coys forward outposts.

2115 Raid alert.

2125 Six enemy seen on path in front of Sillaro House (018293 – Point 278 – 014294). One Kensington MMG at Lucca fired. Two of the enemy were hit, fell down and did not move again. Almost certainly killed. Four ran off.

2130 A/Brigadier rang re reinforcements. Will ring again tomorrow.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1030 CO’s O Group on forthcoming move forward. Bttn to relieve 56 Recce.



29th January

Brigade HQ – L’OLMO 8578.

Quiet night. Brigade Commander and Brigadier Musson, Commander 36 Brigade, go round brigade sector and visit OP at Casa Lucca, 5 Buffs relieve 2 Innisks in right bttn sector. HQ 36 Brigade moved up during the day and, after relief of 2 Innisks was complete, took over command of the sector. Brigade HQ moved to Brigade Rest Area. HQ at L’Olmo Q 859781. 2 Innisks move back to Rivigliano Q 8482. 2 LIR relieve 56 Recce and come under command 11 Brigade.


1 RIrF

29th to 31st January – NTR.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0300 Patrol to C Coy to Valley Farm area returned. NTR.

0315 Two enemy shells fall in Bttn HQ area.

0320 Six shells fall in Bttn HQ area.

0525 Map reference of enemy who fired during the night 032244.

0540 Too bright for patrol to Point 156 going out just before 0600 hrs.

0815 Stand to.

0830 The CO took CO 5th Buffs around B Coy positions at Sasso Di Lucia.

1430 5th Buffs arrived at the de-busing area where they stayed for a meal.

1500 B Coy’s relief moved off so that they could be just behind Sasso ridge by last light. Arrangements were made for one platoon of the reserve coy’s relief to accompany the coy relieving C Coy in the right forward coy area. These were to relieve the platoon of A Coy at Point 156.

1830 Maintenance and stores vehicles came through and guided the stores vehicles of the incoming unit. Marching personnel of 5th Buffs passed Clemente cross roads.

1930 A Coy less one platoon were relieved and started off for the em-busing point of Calanca. Bttn HQ followed soon after them.

2030 There was a long wait while B and C Coys were relieved owing to the distance to be covered and also because of the icy roads. Smoke canisters were prepared for use in case the moon rose before the relief was completed. C Coy sent out its platoons as they were relieved and were all clear by 2025hrs. Taking with them the platoon of A Coy from Point 156. B Coy being the last to be relieved arrangements were made to bring up their TCVs to Clemente cross roads, thus saving a two mile walk and more important time. Special arrangements had been made with the CMP to allow our vehicles through the Scarperia pass, although it would normally be closed to all traffic after 2130 hrs. This ensured the bttn a smooth running journey and the while bttn arrived in its new area without mishap.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0900 CO’s recce party left for forward areas.

1400 Bttn em-bused ready to move.

1430 Bttn convoy moved off from Castro San Martino.

1500 CO’s recce party arrived 56 Recce positions.

1700 Bttn convoy arrived de-busing point Cuviolo 996227 and proceeded by march route to forward area.

1740 Bttn passed through San Apollinnare. Route thence along valley R Di Sassatello.

2015 Bttn HQ arrived at Casone 023257.

The treacherous condition of the track, due to snow and ice, made the going difficult, especially for the mule teams, the main body of which arrived in the forward positions around midnight. Odd mules were being brought in at various hours during the night and, in one or two cases, the mule broke a leg in falling and had to be destroyed, its load having to be manhandled up the mountainside to the forward positions.



30th January

Brigade HQ – L’OLMO 8578.

Battalions settle in new area.

Brigade location settle:

Brigade. HQ – Q 859781.

2 Innisks. HQ – Q850821. Remainder bttn billeted in Rivigliano Q 8482.

1 RIrF. HQ – Q 848790, A Coy – Q 859813, B Coy – Q 845791, C Coy – Q 848819, D Coy – Q 843793, S Coy – Q 855783.


2 Innisks – BIVIGLIANO.

0020 Bttn was complete in its new area and guides showed everyone to their respective billets. The advance party had worked hard and all the billets had been cleaned up and made habitable. Cooks had prepared hot meals for everyone and, very soon after it arrival, the bttn was comfortable and well settled in. Reveille and breakfast were made later owing to the lateness of everyone getting to bed and the rest of the day was spent improving billets and adding small comforts.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1200 Intentions night 30/31: Routine contact patrol to 5 Northants. Out – 1130 hrs, In on completion. Standing patrol (E Coy) 1 and 6 to Casalino 036258. First dark – 2100 hrs, and 6 from Battle Patrol to gully 034267. First dark – 2230 hrs.



31st January

Brigade HQ – L’OLMO 8578.

As the brigade is situated only a few miles from Florence, the maximum day leave to that city became effective and also seven day leave vacancies to Rome and Florence continued.  Battalions organise their billets and carry out normal administrative duties


2 Innisks – BIVIGLIANO.

The day was again spent in making billets more comfortable and also providing facilities for entertainment. Officers and Sgts’ Messes were established and one house was given over to be used as a Recreation Centre. A wine bar was opened in one of the rooms and an Information Centre upstairs. Most people took advantage of the opportunity to clean up, wash clothes, write letters and generally catch up on all the things which their spell in the line had caused to be neglected.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0700 Sitrep: Patrol to Casalino in 2200 hrs. Reports no houses, only haystacks at Casalino. At approx 2100 hrs, enemy mortar and MMG DF straddled gully 100 yards short of patrol. Otherwise quiet night. NTR.

1200 Intentions night 31/1:Normal contact patrol to 5 NN at 029265 at 0315 hrs. Recce patrol 1 and 5 (Battle Patrol) to leave covering party area 034268 and recce forward to investigate Boschi 042271. Out first dark, In on completion.