War Diaries – 21st to 30th June 1943

21st June


Training continued as per programme.

1800 Lecture on the new inter battalion map reference code.

A small…

6 Innisks – HELIOPOLIS.

Platoon training starts.

The part played by the bttn in the N African campaign has been written by eyewitnesses, edited by Capt Hanna,

2 LIR.

All personnel attending courses at the Brigade Battle School re-joined the Battalion. A/Tk Platoon re-joined the Battalion.

22nd June


Nothing of interest to report. During the whole of this period, with the exception of some fairly strenuous training, the bttn was having a very quiet time. 

23rd June

Brigade HQ – GUELMA.

Advance parties left for Hammamet area 470186.


Advance party left Bttn and proceeded to new area at Hammamet.

1800 Bttn paraded for exercise.

Object of exercise – practise getting into a defensive position as quickly as possible.

Night: Bttn slept out. Warning order for impending move.

6 Innisks – HELIPOLIS.

Advance party moved to Hammamet.

2 LIR.

Advance Party under Lieutenant Barker move to new area at Hammamet.

Battalion Move Order issued.

Battalion Exercise:

Object – To exercise the Battalion “R” and “O” Groups and the rapid deployment of the battalion.

This exercise was held to discover the weaknesses and the best method of dealing with the Battalion Recce and Order Groups under the new Battalion Higher Establishment. “S” Company Commander must be included in the Recce Group and he must bring up with him his Platoon Commanders or a representative so that they may receive orders at the first possible opportunity.

It is essential that the Anti Tank Platoon Commander is well forward with Officer Commanding “S” Company at Forward Battalion HQ during the initial stages in order that the guns may be brought up immediately into position as soon as consolidation is about to take place.

Company Sergeant Majors are invaluable at the “O” Group and always come forward with the Company Commander.

24th June


Bttn returned from exercise. Remainder of the day spent resting.

2 LIR.

Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer left for new battalion area.

25th June

Brigade HQ.

Brigade HQ left for Hammamet area via Duvivier, Souk Arras (N 1381), Gardimaou (H5503), Souk el Khemis (J0125). Staged at Souk el Arba (H8511) for night.


Bttn moved from Guelma to Hammamet, staying for one night at Souk al Arba.

6 Innisks – IN TRANSIT.

Bttn moved via Heliopolis, Souk Aras. Souk el Khemis to staging area.

2 LIR.

Battalion moves to Hammamet. Leaves 0730 hrs. Arrived at Staging Area (Souk El Arba) at 1650 hrs.

26th June

Brigade HQ.

Continued to Hammamet area (470186) via Medjez el Bab (J5834), Tunis (K0755), Grombalia (K3836).

1800 Brigade Headquarters established at 468185. Tracing is attached showing dispositions of the Brigade Group.


1630 Bttn arrived in new area.

6 Innisks – IN TRANSIT.

Bttn continued via Souk el Arba and Tunis to new Divisional area near Hammamet. Bttn area is situated in olive grove (K 1846) between the main road and the railway. The trees afford plenty of shade, but ground is very sandy. Water is available from wells.

The men have still got bivouac and sand fly nets. Many of the officers still have Axis Tenteage, but there are no accommodation stores.

2 LIR.

Battalion leaves Staging Area for remainder of journey to Hammamet. Arrives at new location 1730 hrs. Battalion HQ established 461171 (Sheet 37, Tunisia 1/50,000.)

27th June

Brigade HQ – HAMMAMET.

Conference at Brigade HQ 1800hrs. COs and OCs arms under command attached.

Trace of training areas attached.

38 Brigade Admin Order No 1 issued and attached.

Security Instruction No 2 issued and attached.


Quiet day. Bttn settled into new area.

6 Innisks – HAMMAMET.

Recce and allotment of training area. The area covers about 3 square miles west of the main north of the camp.

The new camp is within close proximity of the sea (approximately 3 miles), where there are ideal facilities for bathing. The scrubby nature of the training area has also better facilities than the last area. Heat and dust are considerable and there is a high degree of humidity.

2 LIR.

Company training re-commences.

28th June


Training continued. Nothing of major importance took place. Training programme.

6 Innisks – HAMMAMET.

Bttn training programme continued with Platoon and Coy training.

Major WD Davies joined the bttn from the KRR and took over 2nd in command. Four Officers per day are now being granted 48 hours leave in Tunis.

2 LIR.

Company Training.

29th June 


Company and platoon training as programme – otherwise a quiet day.

6 Innisks – HAMMAMET.

Captain RM Bayley appointed A/Major

2 LIR.

Battalion Exercise

Object – To exercise the Battalion in the rapid staging of the attack and consolidation of the objective. The Battalion was commanded by Major APK O’Connor.

Students attending course at the 18th Army Group Battle School re-joined the Battalion.

30th June

Brigade HQ – HAMMAMET.

Instruction of Brigade Group Exercise “Tryout” (3-4 July) issued.

Captain G Bird III (I) 78 Division lectured bttns on British PoWs.

General B Montgomery, Commander 8th Army visited 38 (Irish) Brigade Group.

He visited and spoke to bttns in their own lines, and later visited Brigade HQ and Support Arms, who were formed up at K459190 at 1815hrs.

The General welcomed the brigade into the 8th Army and all ranks gave the General a hearty welcome.

Lieut JD Long (130432), 6 Innisks, posted this HQ as LO.


1630 Bttn was visited by General Sir Bernard Montgomery KCB DSO. 

6 Innisks – HAMMAMET.

Bttn visited by General Montgomery, who announced the changing of the 78 Division to 8th Army. 

2 LIR.

Company Training

1730 The Battalion inspected by General Sir BL Montgomery. He spoke to the Commanding Officer, 2nd in command, Adjutant, all Company Commanders and the RSM. Afterwards he spoke to all ranks, asking them where the best soldiers came from. He had many replies, but he told them that all the best soldiers came from Ireland and how pleased he was to have them all in his Army.

T/Captain Fitzgerald and T/Captain Hall promoted to A/Majors