War Diaries – 20th May 1943

Brigade HQ.

A questionnaire circulated by 5 Corps was received and forwarded to Bttns.

Victory March.

General Eisenhower took salute in a Victory Parade march past in the Avenue Gambetta, Tunis. Some 22,000 troops of all arms and nationalities involved in the Tunisian campaign marched past.

1 RIrF.

Victory March through Tunis. Extremely hot day. Bttn well represented in the Brigade group. The remainder were allowed to watch.

6 Innisks – TUNIS.

1150 Start of Victory Parade. The Bttn led the Brigade, following the Rifles. The officers led, followed by the Bttn with the WOs bringing up the rear, all nine abreast. Aircraft flew overhead and the streets were lined with tanks and guns. General Eisenhower and General Giraud took the salute.

The Bttn returned to camp by transport arriving at 1530. Spectators were allowed, as many as wished to go and the 15% ban was lifted – they commented on the smartness of our KD shorts in comparison with some Allied uniforms.

1830 The kit bags and officer’s boxes left in Bone arrived here. Also the band kit, much damaged.

2 LIR.

0600 Transport moves to other side of Tunis.

1140  Battalion formed up in the Parade ready to move off. 78 Division leads contingent of British troops: the order of march being Royal Artillery Royal Engineers 11 Brigade 26 Brigade, 38 Brigade. The battalion was represented by some 130 men. They looked extremely well and smart and marched well. Every man was wearing a caubeen and hackle adding an additional splash of colour to the gay scene. All the officers of the three battalions marched in front of the brigade. Those representing the battalion included the four who were left out of the original battalion which came out in November last year. They were Major APK O’Connor, Major JD Lofting, Captain RC Cockburn, Captain GG Hall, Captain TWH Wilson, Lieutenant JD O’Rourke, Lieutenant Tasker, Lieutenant AG Howell, Lieutenant CRM Heaps, Lieutenant MJ Hughes.

Ref to appendices – Photos of entry into Tunis 2 copies. Marked ‘A’

Copy of battalion Training Instructions No-1 issued 20 May marked ‘B’.