26th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

Lt FJA Clarke posted this HQ as LO vice Lt J Hall.

38 Brigade’s dispositions as attached as Appendix 28.


1 RIrF – BEJA.

1030 The CO with commanders of various support arms made a recce of Djebels Ouden 2448, Hanaya 2649, Zebla 2650 and Kef Agab 2749, with a view to their seizure in the event of a threat from the north.

1645 General KAN Anderson CB MC visited the Bttn and wished it “Good luck”.

1800 Captain Allgood, 97 Infantry Regiment (US Forces) reported to recce the bttn area with a view to his bttn taking over on its relief by 8th Army on Kasserine.

1815 O Group conference at which training to be carried out in the present area and recces of the areas named above (1030 hrs) by Coy commanders etc were detailed.

Night was quiet. Standing patrols at 280481 and 263477 had nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0600 Stand to. Weather fine.

0900 Major Bunch, Capt J Norman and 79 ORs leave for rest camp at Ain Draham. The duties of Adjutant now rest with Capt N Kingsmill (Canada). Coys on training, which included a lecture on tanks by 142 RAC, and an inspection by CO.

1800 Impromptu concert under the guidance of Capt RA Ablett.


2 LIR.

Draft of 40 other ranks join battalion.



27th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

Divisional Commander’s message dated 26 March received. In 38 Brigade Intelligence Summary dated 26 March.


1 RIrF – BEJA.

0930 The CO with commanders of various support arms made a recce of area Munchar 3140 with a view to counter attack in event of a threat from the east.

The day was quiet. Training was carried out largely with the purpose of removing the physical effects of 3 months holding a defensive position, but also with the purpose of practising the troops in the rapid occupation of the features recced 1030 hrs 26 March. 57 ORs and Lieuts WG Bigger, HT Emmins, WJ Chapman, B Osborn and W Hanna reported: posted the first two to B Coy, and the remainder to D, C and A Coys respectively.

Night was quiet. Standing patrols at 280481 and 263477 had nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0830 Coys in training as per programme.

Reorganisation of HQ and Support Coys. Major DT Little is now in Support Coy.

1200 The bttn was pleased to welcome back Capt A Ferris, who arrived with Lieut Halpin and 12 OR reinforcements. Capt Ferris now seems fully recovered from the wounds he received in the battle for ‘Two Tree Hill’.

1400 CO inspection of HQ Coy platoons.

1830 Officer of 1 Recce reported that C Squadron was standing to and that a patrol had been sent out. He could give no further information.

1900 Explanation received from 1 Recce regarding previous information. Patrol and ‘Stand to’ had been ordered because one of their patrol cars had run over a mine.


2 LIR.

Battalion moved by TCV to area 013798 (near Le Kef).



28th March

Brigade HQ – TESTOUR.

HQ 38 Brigade and 6 Innisks to pass under command 46 Division. Recce parties to reach 46 Div HQ by 1000 hrs 29 March. 5 Grenadier Guards to come under command 24 Guards Brigade to relieve 6 Innisks.

38 Brigade HQ closed present location 442207 at 1900 hrs and moved to Beja via Teboursouk and Thibar.

38 Brigade HQ opened at Farm Venec 2300 hrs.


1 RIrF – BEJA.

A quiet night with nothing to report. Major H Rogers reported and assumed the appointment of 2.i.c.

A quiet night. Standing patrols at 250487 and 263477 had nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0600 Weather fine – rain later in day.

0900 CO together with officers attend demonstration by the tanks of A Squadron 142 RAC.

The demonstration was originally intended to show the suitability of slit trenches when attacked by tanks. Unfortunately, the trench occupied by the CO and Capt N Kingsmill (Canada) was not equal to the strain imposed on it by a Churchill and collapsed. Neither was hurt but it is clear that both the CO and Capt Kingsmill now have more faith in tanks than in trenches

1800 C of E Church service by Capt Mitchel.


2 LIR.

0215 Battalion arrives new area for training.

1200 Church parades.



29th March

Brigade HQ – BEJA.

Lt DGF Kirkham RUR ceased to be attached to this HQ and returned to 2 LIR.


1 RIrF – BEJA.

Nothing to report during the day. Training was carried out by coys – marches combined with sector familiarisation. Heavy rain and mist made the OPs unable to observe much.

A quiet night. Standing patrols at 280481 and 263477 had nothing to report. A patrol of 2/5 Leicesters was intending to contact the latter during the night but failed to contact owing to the conditions.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0700 Party under Capt N Kingsmill left to recce new bttn area near Beja (343371).

1000 Recce party from 5 Grenadier Guards arrive and arrangements are made for handing over.

1030 Road recce party leave for Beja.

2110 Handing over completed and bttn crosses start line. Order of march: A Coy, Bttn HQ, B, C and D Coys.


2 LIR.

Battalion training.



30th March

Brigade HQ – BEJA.

Nothing to report.


1 RIrF – BEJA.

The day was quiet. A ‘rifle’ meeting was held at Bttn HQ. OPs had nothing to report.

Night quiet. Standing patrols 280487 and 263477 had nothing to report.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0430 The bttn arrives at its new position and Bttn HQ is established in Farm 343371. Thick mist and rain added to the darkness, making the journey very trying for the drivers of all the vehicles.

1100 CO’s conference.

Remainder of the day spent in making local recce and settling down in new positions.

1800 C Coy send Standing Patrol to be at Oued Zarga.

A, B, and D Coys local patrols only.

2130 Report received from C Coy, that PET lorry had run over minefield in their area. On investigation, it was found that the patrol lorry had run over a mine placed on the side of the road in C Coy’s area. Sentries had been placed on the road and acted as guides to incoming vehicles. The patrol lorry was in convoy and was preceded by the QM’s car and ration lorry. These had been guided through the minefield, but the driver of the patrol apparently did not wait for the guides and ran too close to the side of the road. Occupants of lorry and load were undamaged but two sentries were wounded. These were evacuated at 2400hrs.


2 LIR.

Battalion training.



31st March

Brigade HQ – BEJA.

Dispositions 38 Brigade as given in 38 Brigade Intelligence Summary dated 31 March.


1 RIrF – BEJA.

A quiet day. Firing carried out on local range. A forward firing course recced by CO and scheme prepared.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0530 Stand to. Weather cold – rain during day. All coys normal. Patrols from A, B, C and D. Coys had nothing to report.

1000 CO holds conference for patrol leaders and explains object and reason of forthcoming patrols.

1015 Daylight patrol under command of Lieut Beeching went to Djebel Mahdi to recce suitable area for bttn forming up point.   

1430 The Bttn is reinforced by four dogs – complete with name and number. It is fervently hoped that the dogs are not as hungry as they appear. However this might prove useful – ‘Bulb rations’ are unlikely to spoil their appetite for any enemy they might encounter.

1630 CO interrogates patrol leaders and arranges patrols for night 31 March/1 April.

1930 Patrol under Capt Bradley left Plateau Farm, Sidi Amoued, and went out through Recce OP pt 286 and along Mortar Alley. A patrol was heard 200 yards in front of Recce OP at 2000 hrs. Two working parties (enemy) were heard at 428409 Patrol withdrew at 0330 hrs.


2 LIR.

Battalion training.