6th July

Brigade HQ – HAMMAMET.

Brigade Exercise “Marathon” for Brigade HQ and Bttns.


1 RIrF – HAMMAMET.

0900 Conference for all Coy Commanders and specialist officers on Brigade night exercises. A quiet day.

Night – Divisional endurance test begins. Bttn marched twenty three miles to lying up area.


6 Innisks – HAMMAMET.

0930 Brigade conference on Exercise “Tryout”. Divisional Commander attended points: length of time taken for recces as far down as Section Commanders. Route finding at night and intercommunication by night.

1830 Bttn left camp on Exercise “Marathon” consisting of 20 mile march followed by scheme and 22 miles march back, partly cross country by bounds. Total distance 56 miles in 36 hours. Tea was provided by frequent intervals. Heat very intense with Sirocco wind, but cooled off on 7th.


2 LIR.

Divisional exercise “Marathon” commenced. Battalion march approx 20 miles to Staging Area (Grombalia).

Died on this Day:

Rifleman John Kiely, London Irish Rifles.



7th July

Brigade HQ– HAMMAMET.

RE and Support Group concentration area K3136 reached 0430hrs 7 July.

Brigade Exercise “Marathon” – Attack by 2 LUR (left), 6 Innisks (right), 1 RIrF (reserve) down valley area K2733 starting 0600hrs. Mountain attack. Bttns layup – 6 Innisks K2833, 2 LIR 275327, 1 RIrF K316365, Brigade HQ K293374. Return route via tracks K275377 south east to road 348310 thence north east to road junction 365369 to road junction 392347, where tea was issued and much appreciated by all ranks. Return route continued via Grombalia–Sousse road. All units were within lines by 0800hrs.


1 RIrF – HAMMAMET.

Spent the day lying up. The bttn was not required in the Brigade attack and made all possible use of a rest.

Night – Bttn start to march back. First eleven miles across country through the mountains. A total of 26 miles.


2 LIR.

Exercise “Marathon” continues. Battalion did attack during the morning rested during the heat of the afternoon and marched approx 25 miles back to camp during the hours of darkness.



8th July

1 RIrF – HAMMAMET.

0700 Bttn arrived back at camp having marched 56 miles in a period of thirty six hours.

Day spent bathing and resting.

Orders for move to Sousse area in Appendices.


6 Innisks – HAMMAMET.

0800 Bttn return from endurance test in good heart.

Advance party left for overseas concentration area. Lieut Hanna to hospital.


2 LIR.

0530 Battalion returned to camp from Exercise “Marathon” Standing Orders for Sousse received.



9th July

Brigade HQ – HAMMAMET.

Advance parties from Brigade HQ and units under command and in support left for new area Sousse.


1 RIrF – HAMMAMET.

A quiet day spent preparing to move to Sousse.


2 LIR.

Special Order of the Day by Lieutenant General CW Allfrey DSO MS on 78 Division being transferred to 8th Army. Preparations for move to new Area.



10th July

Brigade HQ– IN TRANSIT.

38 Brigade left for area Sousse. Via Camp Bou Ficha (K3804), Enfidaville (K3892), Kairouan road for area Churchill (P4151). Movement tables see Appendix. Brigade locations as shown in tracing.


1 RIrF – IN TRANSIT.

Bttn move to Sousse, and as part of the 78th Division go into reserve to the 8th Army, who had invaded Sicily last night.

Captain J Ray MC admitted to hospital.


6 Innisks – HAMMAMET.

0930 Bttn moves by MT to Churchill concentration area (Camp Betty 2 – K4050). Formation signs removed.

Area is olive grove. Shade good, cooler than last area. Water situation bad – 1 quart drinking, 1 quart washing.

Road covered in deep sand. 12 miles to Sousse.


2 LIR.

Battalion moves to Sousse. Battalion HQ established 414511 (sheet 56 I/50000 Tunisia). News received of invasion of Sicily by American, British and Canadian forces.