21st March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

38 Brigade Intelligence Summary dated 20 March issued with general outline of 78 Division Area: A – own troops, B – enemy.


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

A quiet day with normal activity – nothing to report.

No patrols were sent out by the bttn. A quiet night with nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0500 Stand To. Coys on area route marches forward firing and rifle range. The rifle range appears to be very popular especially the novelty item “Pool Bull”. The remainder of Support Coy, an A/Tk platoon, who had been left with the Foresters rejoined the bttn. Still enough rain to keep the ground very muddy.

1530 Brigadier from 24 Guards Brigade paid a visit.

1930 First installment of transport left for change over with 1 Guards Brigade, who are replacing us in 6 Armoured Division.

The bttn published its recce Intelligence Summary. Some 6 Innisks being extracts from Division and Brigade summaries, which have a local interest. It is hoped that this can be a regular feature and give all ranks the complete picture of the Brigade front.


2 LIR.

Battalion training.



22nd March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

Lt J Hall, 6 Innisks IO 38 Brigade posted to 78 Division as LO.


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

A quiet day. Nothing to report. No movement seen by OP at 603088 but Farm 564146 was burning 1030hrs to 1530hrs.

Night was quiet. There was nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

Stand to at 0500 hrs. Activities during the day confirmed mainly to training. Rifle range revolver practice and field firing. A and C Coys on route march, recced routes to forming up point for possible counter attack role. Major GF Maxwell appointed GSO II (Training) First Army, left unit.

0900 Major J McCann, Capt Little, and 20 ORs left for rest camp at Ain Draham.

1000 All routes receive the first anti typhus inoculation. CO attends conference at HQ, 24 Guards Brigade.

1830 CO holds conference for all officers.

1930 Coy Commanders’ conference.


2 LIR.

H Company relieved by 2788 Squadron RAF Regiment. Lieutenant JA St Maur-Sheil joins battalion and takes over duties as Intelligence Officer. Lieutenant Howells returns to H Company.



23rd March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

Nothing to report.


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

Normal activity continued.

1300 CO attended conference at HQ 3 Infantry Brigade. Details of matter discussed are given in the Appendix.

No patrols were sent out by the Bttn, and there were no incidents. Moves as detailed in 1 RIrF OO No 4 were carried out without interference.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

Weather fine and sunny and ground rapidly drying.

0900 Capt Kingsmill (Canada) and party left to recce area near Le Kef – area 0688.

1000 Changeover with 1 Scots Guards affected as: Recce party: 0700 hrs. Troops: 1000 hrs. Order of march: A, B, C, D Coys. Dispositions: A, B, C, D Coys Innisks to A, B, C, D Coys Scots Guards respectively.

The new Bttn HQ (Farm 482312) is a pleasant surprise to everyone. Although still occupied by a French family, the house is large enough to hold the whole of Bttn HQ personnel in comfort. Some of the rooms are partly furnished, so comfort really is the word.

1545 A Coy bring in an Arab, suffering from a slight head injury. Escort report that he was arrested near their position having been observed from the enemy lines.

On interrogation by Lieut Schayek, it was revealed that the prisoner had come from farm area J 1545, where he was purchasing tobacco from his friend Thara. At the farm was an Italian soldier, who asked the prisoner what he thought of the British. After saying that “the British were good, the Italian clubbed him with his rifle. Prisoner then ran away in the direction of our lines. Brigade HQ were informed and 1 Irish Guards are to send a patrol to investigate the farm.

1900 A Coy report enemy shelling their positions. One shell landing 50 yards from Coy HQ.

2000 Recce party from Le Kef returns. Bttn is now under command of 11 Infantry Brigade.


2 LIR.

Platoon of G Company relieved by RAF Regiment. Captain GG Hall, Captain Fitzgerald, Captain Giles, Lieutenant HND Seymour and Lieutenant Cole join battalion.



24th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

Personal message received from Corps Commander congratulating all ranks on their fine performance received.


1 RIrF – REST AREA.

The day was quiet and without incident. Recce parties 1 KLSI passed taking over from the bttn.

The moves detailed in RIrF OO No 5 were carried out without difficulty or interference.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0500 Stand To. Weather fine and tracks quite hard. Patrols during night made no contact and had nothing to report.

1030 Brigade commander, 11 Infantry Brigade, and CO 5 Northamptons arrived and made final arrangements for handing over.

2130 Handing over completed and bttn HQ moves off.

2200 Arrived in concentration area – gully J/4829 – 4929.


2 LIR.

Battalion training. Lieutenant KDH Howells joins battalion.



25th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

38 Brigade Admin Order No 3 issued.

78 Division less 36 and 11 Brigades relieved by 1 Division and moved to reserve area.


1 RIrF – BEJA.

0730 Bttn arrived in new area and was disposed as shown on Trace in the Appendix. D Coy came under command 46 counter attack force (commanded by Major the Lord O’Neill), the remainder of the bttn being in reserve to 128 Infantry Brigade. Details of their role is given in the Appendix.

1130 Bttn O Group conference held, at which the situation of 128 Brigade and the situation of 1 RIrF was expounded – OP established at 258501 had nothing to report.

1300 The remainder of the day was spent in settling into the position, the Brigade Command and his staff visiting the CO.

The night was quiet. Two standing patrols were sent out by B Coy at 279451 and 253486 but had nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0600 Stand to – weather fine.

Coy activities confined to kit… inspections and practice shooting on the range.

1800 Impromptu concert. Brigadier N Russell (38 Irish Brigade), who was visiting the bttn, remained as an amused member of the audience.

1830 2.i.c. and rest party returned from Ain Draham.


2 LIR.

Lieutenant D Sutherland, Lieutenant E Lovatt, Lieutenant Lyness and draft of 27 other ranks join battalion.