16th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

Nothing to report.


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

0830 OP party under Lieut WAS Smith of two sections B Coy, two scouts Intelligence Section and Signals detachment occupied on Burnt Hill 6009 at 603088.

1010 One enemy observer observed using field glasses at 614093. As soon as spotted by our OP, he withdrew NE, crawling behind the shoulder of the hill.

The patrol also reported finding, on their way out, three bones of MG belts of German SAA.

Dusk Patrol Demon started out, Capt RM Cunningham returned command HQ Company.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

The day was fine and sunny and the Bttn relaxed. Baths at the mobile bath unit at Gafour were visited by TCVs full of troops and at the end of the day, the Bttn was unaccustomedly clean.

1845 On the move again. The Bttn formed up ready for its journey “into immediate reserve” north of Sloughia. The move, which took place for the most part along the Gafour–Medjez rd was much more comfortable than that of the preceding night and carried out without over much strain or effort.


2 LIR – Testour

1600 H Company move to Trent Bridge 4713.



17th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

154045 Capt ETU Lewis RA ChD ceased to be posted on the strength of this HQ.

223396 Capt GLC Mitchell RA ChD posted to this HQ as C of E padre attached 6 Innisks.


1 RIrF – REST AREA

0200 Detachment Bttn 6-pounder A/Tk gun platoon at 620129 sighted an enemy patrol estimated strength six, apparently bareheaded and in civilian clothes. Detachment challenged at forty yards and receiving no reply opened fire with rifles. The enemy answered with grenades and automatic fire. They then made off. The next morning search revealed a loaded Schmeisser magazine and the remains of an Eigg bomb pull igniter, proving conclusively that the approaching party were German.

0230 Patrol Demon returned reporting White Cable Farm 642123 and Farm 646113 occupied by an unknown number of enemy.

1745 OP on Burnt Hill, which had been posted all day, reported no enemy movement in their arc of observation (ranging due east to NNE).

1800 Patrols Steel and Tiger set out. Capt MJ Macdonald reported D Coy.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

The day was spent in settling down in our new abode and in discovering the general situation in the district. The weather was unaccountably good, and the change of scenery welcomed by all. During the later afternoon, Brigadier N Russell paid a visit to the bttn, saw all officers and NCOs and conveyed St Patrick’s Day greetings to all ranks. He explained to the bttn the reason for its transference from 6 Armoured Division to the 78th Infantry Division.

2 LIR

St Patrick’s Day – The officers and men were delighted at the arrival of Shamrock from Ireland.



18th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

38 Brigade dispositions: Brigade HQ 442207. 2 LIR (less one Coy) 444207. H Coy Trent Bridge (4718). 6 Innisks under command 36 Brigade 483303. 1 RIrF under command 3 Brigade Bou Arada.


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

0200 Patrol Steel returned reporting Farms 618212 and Peladan clear.

0800 Patrol Tiger returned reporting no contact with the enemy, but firing heard south of them. The sense of this was sought, but always stopped before reached.

1000 ….


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

During the morning, the bttn was fitted out on a lavish scale with new battle dresses and clothing. After dinner, the rain began again and continued for the rest of the day.


2 LIR.

Battalion training. Lieutenant Colonel JB Jeffreys relinquishes command of battalion and proceeds to rest camp, Ain Draham. Major DCJ Manners departed for 5 Corps. Lieutenant Colonel TPD Scott arrived and took over command of battalion. Major APK O’Connor joins and takes up appointment as 2-in-C. Captain BH Westcott joins battalion and takes over command of H Company.



19th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

Instructions regarding Divisional Field Firing Range issued


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

Lt Col TPD Scott and Major JW Dunnill posted to 2 LIR. Major BH Butler assumed command 1 RIrF and promoted Lt-Col. Capt DR Le P Gethin appointed A/Major and Lieut J Ray A/Capt. Lieut MC Trousdell rejoined from HQ 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade and posted to A Coy.

Normal activity during the day. No patrols sent out night 19/20 March beyond a moving proactive patrol A Coy area, which had nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

Another wet day. The Bttn is now under command of 36 Infantry Brigade and much of the morning is spent at brigade HQ viewing the sand model of the local front. Capt TR Knaggs, together with Sgt Major Glover, Sergeants Robinson, Ritchie and Cpl Bloomfield left this evening on the first stage of their journey to England, where they are to lecture on the Tunisian Campaign (we wish them good luck but not a “speedy return”)

1930 C and D Coys take over 5 Buffs Standing Patrols for tonight, owing to 36 Brigade being relieved.


2 LIR.

Battalion training.



20th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

38 Brigade Training Instruction No 1 issued.

38 Brigade Anti Malarial Order No 1 issued.


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

Lieut DH Walsh and 4 ORs returned to England to pass on their battle experience to troops at home. No activity noted during the day of our enemy or our troops. The night was quiet. No patrols were sent out by the bttn and there was nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

Another wet day with plenty of mud. The bttn is apparently now under command of 24 Guards Brigade. This causes a few headaches – ie under whose command are the 6 Innisks – 38 (Irish) Brigade, 36 Brigade, 24 Brigade, 78 Division or 1 Division. However, the Adjutant seems to have settled the matter by sewing 78 Division signs on his new battledress – the only pair in the bttn. Brigadier Russell visited the bttn in afternoon, but unfortunately the CO was out making a recce along the Medjez road and liaising with the support units. Later still, the Army Commander – General Anderson paid a visit and watched the shooting on the range.


2 LIR.

Platoon of G Company relieves section of V Company of 5 Northants at 523155. Captain Findlater (R Berks) joins battalion from 5 Corps HQ and takes over command of HQ Company.