War Diaries – 1st to 5th March 1945

1st March

Brigade HQ – FORLI 432171.


2 Innisks – Individual training. Games and sports.

2 LIR – Beating and Field Firing.

1 RIrF – Field Firing.

Brigade Commander visits training areas in the morning and boating exercises at midday.

The Pipes and Drums of 1 LIR played Retreat in Forli square at 1700 hrs after which the officers entertained the Brigade Commander and a considerable number of officers of the brigade.


Nothing to Report. Lt SD McIlhinney admitted to hospital, sick.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0830 Coys carry out normal training. Two on field work and two on assault boat training. I Summary No 1 was issued.  Weather bright and clear.


0800 Bttn still located in Becchia Factory, Forli.

0900 F Coy proceeded on Field Firing in Area D7 (just south east of Meldola). H Coy marching to same area prior to Field Firing in the afternoon.

2nd March

Brigade HQ – FORLI 432171.


2 Innisks – Field Firing.

2 LIR – Wasp demonstration. Films. Boating.

1 RIrF – Night attack formations. River crossing approach and boat handling.

Training films were shown for the brigade in the Oak Cinema Forli at 1100 hrs.

Brigade Commander visited a Tank Demonstration near Ravenna showing the use of grousers on Sherman tank tracks.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0830 The rifle range was allotted to HQ. Coy for the day and the rifle coys continued with their Field training and assault boat drill. The Rifle Coy Commanders and the IO made a recce of the area over which the exercise Bologna is to take place.

1400 A brigade Boxing tournament was arranged and some very good fights took place and all present had a very enjoyable time.


0800 Normal training programmes carried out.

1100 Inter-Bn football match at the Stadium Ground, Forli.

Result: 2 LIR 2 1 RIrF 2.

1400 Brigade Boxing Tournament in the Dorchester Club, Forli.

The Bttn won 7 out of 12 fights.

1500 Chief Umpires for Bttn street fighting scheme proceeded to Calisese 6402 for conference and recce with Divisional Chief Umpire.

3rd March

Brigade HQ – FORLI 432171.


2 Innisks carry out Night Attack Exercise commencing 1800 hrs.

2 LIR carry out Street Fighting Exercise at Calisese M 6402.

1 RIrF – practice river crossings in assault boats and bridging exercises over R Montone north of Forli.

Brigade Commander visits 2 LIR on their exercise and 2 Innisks on theirs in the evening.


Coys practise river crossing for exercise PO.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0900 The Commanding Officer attended a river crossing demonstration given by the 2nd New Zealand Division on the Lamone river.

1645 Bttn em-bused for exercise Moonshine; an exercise designed to test communications and direction finding by night. The Bttn Boxing team, who fought the previous day, did not take part in the exercise as Brigade HQ had arranged a special dinner for the Brigade Boxers.

2200 Exercise Moonshine finished, the chief point being that 38 set operators should be trainer more.


0800 E and H Coys moved off in transport to Calisese village for Exercise Bologna.

1300 Exercise ended. E and H Coys returned to billets.

F & G Coys arrive Caliese to do same exercise.

4th March

Brigade HQ – FORLI 432171.


2 Innisks – Street Fighting Exercise at Calisese M 6402.

2 LIR – Practice river crossings in assault boats and bridging exercises.

1 RIrF – Carry out full scale River Crossing Exercise commencing 1000 hrs.

Brigade Commander visits 1 RIrF during their scheme.


Exercise PO. All types of crossing went smoothly with the exception of Olafson bridge.

Warning order for move into 169 Brigade sector.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

The bttn was engaged on exercise Bologna; an advance across country dotted with farm houses, with a village to clear at the conclusion. The exercise was in the form of a two coy attack, therefore two coys were exercised in the morning and two in the afternoon; the skeleton Bttn HQ remained for both parts of the exercise.

1145 The bttn received a Warning Order from Brigade HQ that the bttn would be committed operationally 10th /11th March.

1930 All the Sergeants of the bttn were invited to the Officers’ Mess – an enjoyable evening.


0800 All available personnel from all coys proceeded on preparation for Exercise Po.

2230 Warning order that 38 Brigade would relieve 169 Brigade (56 Division) by 0600 hrs 11/3/45.

5th March

Brigade HQ – FORLI 432171.

0930 Brigade Church Service was held in the Apollo Cinema, Forli and was conducted by the Reverend Victor Pike OBE ACC 8th Army.

After the service, the brigade led by the Brigade Pipes and Drums marched past a saluting base and the salute was taken by the Brigade Commander.

Brigadier A Low, Deputy Commander, Rome area, was present at the ceremony.

The ceremony was held on the occasion of the celebration of Barrosa Day by the 1 RIrF.

In the evening, the Brigade Commander and other officers were invited to dine with the Irish Fusiliers.

78 Division OO No 4 dated 5 March received. This order gave details of relief of 56 (London) Division commencing 10 March.


Further warning order.

2 Innisks – FORLI.

0930 Brigade Church of England Service held in the Apollo Cinema. Major EH Cochrane led the Bttn Parade. The Regimental Drum and Pipe Band attended.

Church Parade for RCs held in St Lucia Church. Lieut MG Murray was in charge of the party.

1400 An RSA Concert for 38th Brigade only at the Esperia Theatre. After Church Parades in the morning, the rest of the day was treated as a holiday. The CO and several officers went to the 1 RIrF Officers Mess for Barossa Day celebrations.

The Sergeants were invited to the 1 RIrF Sergeants’ Mess.

1730 Order for exercise Po issued.


0900 Day of rest. Ceremonial Church Parade for C of E personnel, including a Brigade march past. The Salute was taken by the Brigade Commander.

1100 CO’s ‘O’ Group for Exercise Po.