War Diaries – 6th to 10th January 1945

6th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

1100 Brigade Commander returns.

Very quiet day. Practically no harassing fire. Snow commenced falling. Ambush patrol of 1 and 3 from 2 LIR to Casa Tamagnin had a fire fight in that area at 2000 and 2200 hrs but did not return at the correct time.

1 RIrF – 000286.

Snow makes patrolling difficult. Snow clothing asked for.


1100 CO’s conference reference move to relieve 2 LIR.

1600 Admin order ref move issued.


0100 Lt JAS Hunter fell and fractured his ankle.

0800 Weather – raining and snowing alternately. Visibility 100 -150 yards. Forward coys put out listening posts.

Sitrep: Recce patrol reports enemy post stream junction 016308 and light at Point 166. Enemy seen at Tamagnin. Digging heard during night on spur 014301. Light HF whole front.

1200 Intentions 6/7: All night standing patrols 014306 and 007302. Ambush patrol 013301. Out – 1645 hrs, In – 2230 hrs.

Intentions night 7/8: 2 Innisks relieve 2 LIR. Bttn then move to sector reserve area Travellata

1430 Weather – now snowing hard.

2000 Still snowing. Sitrep: NTR.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Timothy O’Mara, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman  Henry Jordan, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Joseph Foley, London Irish Rifles.

7th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Patrol was sent out at 0400 hrs to try and contact the ambush patrol that failed to return. They themselves returned at 0700 hrs without finding any traces. Heavy fall of snow occurred during the night. There was nearly two feet of snow on the mountain tops. 2 Innisks relieved 2 LIR by 1930 hrs. 2 LIR to Travellata. Enemy seen and heard at various places on brigade front at last light and were engaged by Vickers MG.

1 RIrF – 000286.

1737 Vickers at 008298 engaged movement at 017293.


0830 Bttn em-buses and moves to Mule Point, Roads are in very bad condition, due to ice and snow.

1430 Bttn arrives at Mule Point where hot meal has been provided.

1600 Bttn commences to relieve 2 LIR.

1930 Bttn relieved without incident.

2100 Brigade report. Royal Scots report Tamagnin burning. C Coy state no fires or lights in Tamagnin area.


0515 Ambush patrol to Tamagnin not yet returned. Recce patrol of 1 and 3 (from Battle Patrol) left to search for them,

0600 Sitrep: Ambush Patrol to Tamagnin not returned. Recce patrol out 0515 hrs to search for them. Firing and shouts heard in area Tamagnin 2200 hrs. Otherwise NTR.

0730 Recce patrol returned. Failed to find any trace of ambush patrol, Lt JR Newberry and 3 ORs.

0800 Average depth of snow now 1 foot.

1600 Relief of bttn by 2 Innisks commenced.

1930 Relief completed.

2055 Bttn now under command 11 Brigade in locations as follows: Bttn HQ – 991285, E Coy – 007263, G and H Coys – 998273.

8th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Snow made patrol movement difficult during night and roads and tracks exceedingly difficult owing to heavy frost.

Tamagnin still shows signs of enemy occupation. Enemy patrol in complete snow clothing approached to within 50 yards of Point 156. They were engaged by Bren and scattered. Bloodstains in snow indicate casualties caused. Blizzard sprang up from 1600 – 1700 hrs. Intense wind and snow showers.

1 RIrF – 000286.

0600 Enemy patrol in snow clothing engaged by our patrol at 015288.

0630 Search of area produced one enemy cap, covered with white goose bandage and blood on the snow confirms at least one enemy casualty.

1030 OP reports snow reveals heavy pedestrian traffic around Sillaro 017293 with all tracks converging at one point.

1925 Enemy mortar caused one casualty among crew of Canadian tank 009286. Stretcher jeep sent.

2030 Our patrol at 015288 engaged considerable body of enemy, estimated 10 to 15. Cpl Nanton wounded. DF 24 – 23 and 3 fired by 3” mortar and the area 017293 harassed by 25 pounder.

2050 Patrol out to area of encounter.

2145 Patrol found many blood stains and heard movement close then were engaged by light mortar at close range. Returned and further DF brought down.

2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0600 Standing Patrols report back with NTR. All coys report NTR.

1000 Four light mortar bombs in area of B Coy and Bttn HQ. CO decides not to send out any patrols as tracks in snow will give away positions.

1315 C Coy report one man leaving Tamagnin.

1615 Visibility very bad due to blizzard. OPs are sent forward and report visibility only 30 yards.

1700 The CO and Signal Officer pay a visit to C Coy.

2000 Blizzard dies down and visibility now normal.


E, G and H Coy billets were left in bad condition by previous occupants. Coys spent day in attempt to make billets habitable. Supplies etc were brought forward from Bttn HQ  at San Clemente and ferried across ford by jeeps. Loads had to be manhandled last 300 yards to coy billets as a heavy fall of snow rendered the road impassable. E Coy supplies went by jeep to Ripiano, thence by mule train  to coy area.

9th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Patrol 1 RIrF to culvert clashed with large enemy patrol. Fire fight ensued and believed caused several casualties. Inspection of area later showed many bloodstains in snow. Bright sun during day. Snow still thick.

1 RIrF – 000286.

0125 C Coy (Lt J Beamish) report Cpl Carruthers and one man missing from patrol to 010292. They had gone leaving two, to contact patrol from D Coy.

0930 Lt Beamish reports footprints leading from 010292 toward enemy position, crossing valley at 013291.

1725 Enemy MG firing at our position at Point 156 (014287) from area 020288 silenced by 3” mortars.

2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0600 Coys report NTR.

1000 Many tracks leading from Anzellara house observed. One leading to an obvious well and others leading to slit trenches. Track activity is also observed along Anzellara – Muiano ridge.

1100 One mule seen at Cassa Volte.

1130 Brigade Commander visits Bttn HQ.

1445 Three enemy seen at Volte and 1 at Muiano.

1730 MMGs engage Anzellara and tracks observed earlier in day.


Quiet day. NTR.

10th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Very quiet night. Very cold through day but sunny. 19 degrees of frost during day.

1 RIrF – 000286.

1045 Tracks and movement indicate that Tamagnin 013303 is again occupied.

2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0050 One red verey light reported fired from Cereto ridge.

0630 MMGs again fire on Anzellara.

0930 RC Mass held in Bttn HQ. 3” mortars firing 1100 to 1300 hrs on Point 342, Anzellara, Antrim, Cereto and Point 297.

1045 CO visits C Coy.

1200 LO from US 85th Division visits Bttn HQ reference takeover of 85th Division on our left.

1615 C Coy HQ mortared. Bearing of 67 degrees from Sopra. Counter mortar fire retaliatory bombard. A Coy OP reports seeing one man at Casa Volte. Artillery OP reports seeing a goat at Volte.

1845 A Coy reports one red flare on a bearing of 50 degree from OP followed by two red flares on a bearing of 70 degrees.

2200 Flash bearing on gun reported by C Coy. Bearing taken from 005309 – 95 degrees magnetic. Passed to counter battery.


Quiet day. NTR.