1st May

Brigade HQ– TANNGOUCHA.

0600 Reported quiet night.

1200 6 Innisks reported approximately one coy enemy north of pt 416, around pt 443 and Si Ameur carrying articles. 1 RIrF were ordered to engage the target with mortar fire while 6 Innisks observed.

1930 Brigade Commander’s conference was held at Brigade HQ.

2.i.c. 1/4  Hamps visited Brigade HQ re relief of 2 LIR. Brigade Commander and IO visited Heidous.

2230 Recce patrol of 6 Innisks found pt 443 OP unoccupied but observed enemy mortar and 12 men going into position below. Our mortars and US artillery then engaged this position.

1/4 Hamps arrived in area Tanngoucha 5645.


1 RIrF.

A quiet day. The Bttn was warned in the evening of a possible counter attack by the enemy. A few changes were made in the bttn’s position, and Bttn HQ moved back about 200 yards behind a ridge. CO went on a recce.

Died on this Day:

Company Sergeant Major Frederick Fincham, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


6 Innisks – DJEBEL BOULAHOURDJEB.

No contact was made with the enemy by our night patrols but they were fired on by MGs. A strong wind blew all day causing considerable dust. A rock spring fit for drinking purposes exists close to Bttn HQ. Road head has now been advanced to Heidous and a single echelon of mules as taken the place of the double echelon previously carried.

Rations and water now arrive in the Bttn area in daylight, which adds to the comfort of the bttn. A second draft of 89 ORs, mostly from the Welch Regiment joined the bttn tonight. The A/Tk and Carrier platoons of S Coy have been reformed and A, B, and C Coys have been reorganised back to the normal three platoon organisation. The strength of these coys is approximately 110 each. It is not yet possible to reconstitute D Coy owing to shortage of officers and ORs.


2 LIR.

Battalion to be prepared to move to area south east of Medjez. 78 Division moving into 5 Corps Reserve.



2nd May

Brigade HQ – TANNGOUCHA.

0005 Lt Gibson 1 RIrF was ordered to bring up his Bttn A/Tk guns to guard the right flank. He reported bogging at Kelbine and requested permission, which was granted, to bring them up at first light.

0620 1 RIrF reported a quiet night and their defensive position improved.

2 LIR were relieved by 1/4 Hamps.

Brigade Commander sent back orders for Brigade HQ, and bttn recce parties to recce area Basin 6429 in “offensive-defensive” role. In Brigade Commander’s absence, Lt-Col TPD Scott, commander 2 LIR was to command the brigade.

Commanders 46 Division, 128 Brigade and relieving French Bttns visited Command Post.


1 RIrF.

No counter attack developed during the night, and none during the day. Two forward companies were mortared rather heavily during the afternoon. Lieut GL Care was wounded. Our mortars went into action and had some success shooting up some enemy on far slope of pt 416. Received a warning order for a move in the next few days. CO did not return today.


6 Innisks – DJEBEL BOULAHOURDJEB.

As above, but the weather has changed back to normal heat. Bttn was to have been relieved by a French unit but it didn’t arrive in time. KD blouses and trousers have been issued and SD trousers withdrawn.


2 LIR.

1100 Brigadier with battalion representatives recce new area. Lieutenant Colonel TPD Scott becomes acting Brigadier.

1800 Battalion moves off to em-busing area at Kelbine. Move by TCVs to new area.



3rd May

Brigade HQ – TANNGOUCHA.

Forward bttns reported no contact and no movement seen. US troops also reported lost contact but sending patrols to regain touch. 6 Innisks reported pt 443 clear and brought in 2 stragglers of 1/756 Mountain Regiment.

Section 1 RIrF occupied pt 443 and 1 RIrF also patrolled forward of pt 416 without contact. Further progress was impossible owing to own shelling on pt 452. Platoon 1 RIrF occupied pt 416 and one straggler of 4/756 Mountain Regiment was picked up. Subsequently two coys 1/4 Hamps pushed forward to limited objectives with mule transport.

0830 Recce parties consisting of COs and officers of relieving bttns (2 and 3 / 7 RTA) were brought from Toukabeur to Command Post.

1820 Information received from Division that deserter 5/756 Mountain Regiment stated that enemy troops had withdrawn 6kms night 2/3 May.

‘Order for move night 3/4 May’ and Brigade Admin Order No 5 was issued.

78 Division Admin Order No 20 was received expressing the intention “To maintain 78 Division and troops under command and clear all routes in divisional area for 9 Corps.”

2120 Marching personnel left HQ Brigade for Kelbine and embossed in TCVs.

2330 Brigade HQ left Tanngoucha area.


1 RIrF.

Orders for relief by the French tonight. Some difficulty handing over to the French owing to the shortage of French speakers in the bttn. Full details of the move in the Appendix.


6 Innisks – DJEBEL BOULAHOURDJEB.

Brigade is handing over present positions to 46 Division and French Infantry units tonight and bttn is to come under command 36 Infantry Brigade for a short period.  Bttn R Group recced new positions east of Medjez-el-Bab. Bttn A Group came out later. During the day, it was discovered the Germans had withdrawn during the night on the brigade front, probably owing to the recent American advance towards Mateur. C Coy moved forward along the ridge, but failed to make contact.

Hand over to the 2 RTA (French) was complete by 2130hrs and the bttn marched to Kelbine and em-bused in TCVs. Essential transport had been brought up from B Echelon. 


2 LIR.

0030 Head of column arrives De-busing Point.

0430 Battalion in position Battalion HQ established 645293, E Company Point 205 (6529). F Company 646295 G Company 653297, H Company 652293.

Information Enemy in positions Sidi Abdullah 7232, Cactus Farm 723327, Area of Reservoir and Point 133 (7233). These were the positions the enemy had counter-attacked and held on 30/4/43.

Own tps – established – 11 Brigade area Sidi Hediene (7031) and Peters Corner. 36 Brigade with under command 6 Innisks in position exclusive and North of Zradune Farm 686352.

38 Brigade with under command 2 Hamps and A Squadron Northern Irish Horse in counter attack role on other two Brigade fronts. Patrol from E Company to recce wadi and Tk June (6727). No contact made. Patrol from H Company to recce Sidi Bou Dib (6725). No contact made. Lieutenant GE Cole and Lieutenant HDW Seymour attached to 38 (Irish) Brigade.



4th May

Brigade HQ – MEDJEZ.

Patrols 2 LIR had nothing to report.

0330 1 RIrF reported in new location 6428.

0500 6 Innisks reached new location under command 36 Brigade.

0515 Brigade HQ arrived in new location 637278. 2 LIR were established at 647294.

0845 Brigade Commander visited 1 RIrF and 2 LIR.

Representatives of 256 Battery 64 A/Tk Regiment called at Command Post.

Copy of 5 Corps I/9 dated 3 May and 9 Corps Operation Instruction No 7 were received.

A trace of minefields in 78 Division area was issued to all concerned.

1915 A Squadron, 56 Recce Regiment reported desultory shelling in area of OPs and MG fire area 730240.

The Brigade was disposed as shown on trace in Appendix.

2/4 Hamps moved under command the Brigade to area Fort MacGregor 6526.

Night recce patrols on the Brigade front had nothing to report.


1 RIrF.

A quiet day. Role in new area was to form a back stop for the impending advance. 78 Division were to form the back stop and the Irish Brigade less 6 Innisks were on the extreme right flank. The bttn position was out of shell range


6 Innisks – MEDJEZ/TUNIS ROAD.

Bttn arrived at pt 68 (6735) at 0545hrs and came into brigade reserve with a counter attack role, supported by 48 Bttn RTR. A Coy with under command 2 A/Tk guns and 2 MMGs took up a forward position on pt 151 (6836) with the role of immediate counter attack onto any of the three forward bttn positions. This feature had previously been occupied by 6 RWK, who now moved forward to take over position of a bttn from 4 Division. The bttn dug in a shallow gully with a flowing stream, which added to the comfort of bttn during a very hot, dusty day. Recces for the c/a roles of the bttn were carried out. K/D shorts and hose tops were issued. All transport, other than carriers and A/Tk portees, were sent back to a Brigade A Echelon transport area. The bttn has now been on a mule borne basis for a month and for the past fortnight has been fighting continuously on steep mountainous country with the minimum comfort and no blankets or greatcoats, on compo rations. The return to the plains, in spite of the heat and dust is a welcome relief to all ranks.


2 LIR.

2000 F & G Companies send out fighting patrols each one platoon strong. Patrol from F Company to establish base in wadi in Sidi Bou Dib and make contact by sending out small patrols. No contact made. Patrol from G Company to recce and make contact with enemy in area wadi 6728. This patrol failed to reach its objective and made no contact with the enemy.



5th May

Brigade HQ.

A trace of positions of own troops was issued to all concerned.

NIH less two squadrons moved to 642274.

78 Division Operation Instruction No 27 was received. Information of the coming attack was given and the intention expressed “to hold the firm base and protect the flank of 4 Division.”

1600 Sitrep was sent to 78 Division. Day OPs 56 Recce Regiment had observed digging and signs of enemy occupation on Brigade front.

1935 Information was received from Division that transport to lift three bttns would arrive am 6 May in unit areas. Brigade was to be prepared to move at short notice from the arrival of transport.

A letter quoting examples of bad W/T security was received from 78 Division.


1 RIrF.

No change in bttn positions. A quiet day spent resting and cleaning after several weeks in the mountains.


6 Innisks – MEDJEZ/TUNIS ROAD.

1200-1330 A few enemy shells in bttn area. No damage or casualties.

1530 O Group to give details of move to relieve RWK.

1815 Leading coy left the gully. The new area with Bttn HQ in Crully 676352 is not far so the personnel carried their kit. A Coy remains in its former position. B Coy pt 144. C Coy reverse slopes of 688357. A/Tk guns spaced between C Coy and RR 683354. Their rear positions are unprotected by SA.

The role of the bttn is to form part of a line protecting units concentrating in Medjez area.

Steady wind made the day very dusty. The new position is away from the road and grass covered so will not be affected.


2 LIR.

1200 Information – Objective Tunis: 36 Brigade and 11 Brigade to take Point 141 (7338) and Point 123 (7335) respectively at 1700 hours. At 0300 hours 6/5/43, 4th Division right of Medjez-Tunis road and 4 Indian Division on left. On reaching features Point 157 (7542) and Djebel Frendj the 6th and 7th Armoured Division will advance to Massicault. US 1st Armoured Division to Tebourba and 1st Armoured Division to push east from Sebcret El Kourzia area.

Captain Neely appointed Adjutant vice Captain TWH Wilson to be 2-in-c G Company.