21st May

Brigade HQ.

A report on lessons of the campaign 7 April – 8 May was forwarded to 78 Division.


1 RIrF.

A quiet day. Nothing to report.


6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES.

1030 Divisional Commander’s conference in La Colleaie, Tunis. All Officers, WOs and Sgts attended.

The Divisional Commander spoke about the forming of 78 Division and its subsequent history. He referred to the 38 (Irish) Brigade as the youngest member, but said it had settled down well in the Division. He spoke about Divisional “esprit de corps” and gave a hint of our future by saying the Division was to be made up to strength and was not going home.


2 LIR.

1030 Lecture by Divisional Commander in La Colisee Cinema, Tunis.



22nd May

Brigade HQ.

A message was received from 78 Division that the rest period would finish night 23/24 May and training commences 24 May. The letter at Appendix was sent to Bttns.

1 RIrF.

Bttn still getting reorganised. Training programmes being made out. Being so near the sea, every man had ample opportunity for bathing almost every day. Party returned from Bougie with kit bags.

6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES.

1415 Conference on performance of weapons according to a Brigade questionnaire,

2000 CO attends similar conference at Brigade.

Lt McClinton sent to hospital.



23rd May

Brigade HQ.

0930 Brigade Church Parade was held in 2 LIR lines.

1100 150 all ranks of the Brigade attended First Army Thanksgiving Service at Carthage.

1200 Presentation of awards was made by Army Commander at 78 Division Car Park. Brigade Commander and Staff Captain attended and the massed drums and pipes of the Brigade played during the ceremony.

2100 Bttn Commanders attended Brigade HQ to discuss 5 Corps Questionnairre.

2315 Warning order was issued to Bttns re advance parties for move to Guelma.


1 RIrF.

Nothing to report.

PSM Daniel O’Brien, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES.

0930 Brigade Service in LIR lines. Special Thanksgiving and Remembrance. Brigade RC service in Maxula Reges.

1400 D Coy reformed under Captain Duddington. Men drawn from other coys to make up strength . Each Coy is now about 90 strong.

1730 Football match v team of Maxula Reges. The match was fairly even. The French won 2-0.

1830 Officers of the Bttn entertained by Mayor and Council in La Municipalite. On the arrival of the CO, the band played the British and French national anthems. The CO, in a short speech, expressed the thanks of the officers and men for their hospitality. The Mayor replied suitably.

1845 Dance given by Bttn – opened on the palm fringed square. There were numerous partners and music was provided by the Bttn band with some local help. An exhibition of Irish Dancing by Fusilier Duff, accompanied by Fusilier Kane on the pipes was greatly appreciated.


2 LIR.

Warning Order – 78 Division to move to Guelma area.



24th May

Brigade HQ.

1500 Lt-Col Livock 8th Army visited this HQ and was given answers to 5 Corps Questionairre by Brigade Commander. A copy was also sent to 78 Division.


1 RIrF.

Rest period still in progress. Bttn still in same area.


6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES.

0650 RSM’s drill for all ORs. Drill in the Bttn has not been good lately. Probably due to so many men being from different units.

1600 Provisional orders received for move of Bttn to Guelma (Algeria).

Captain Kerr re-joined Bttn after short illness.


2 LIR.

Warning Order – Advance parties to new area to move at first light 25/5/43. This was later postponed to 25 May 43. 



25th May

Brigade HQ.

A letter was received from 78 Division on 3” Mortar. As a result, the letter at Appendix 31 was sent to Bttns.

78 Division Admin Order No 21 dealing with the new order (Guelma) was received.


1 RIrF.

A quiet day. Nothing to report.


6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES.

0615 Daily PT for all ranks started.

1400 Lieut McKenna (QM) left for Guelma.



26th May

Brigade HQ.

38 Brigade Movement Order No 2 was issued expressing the intention “38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade will move to Guelma 28-29 May.”

Brigade letter re move of carriers was sent to Bttns.


1 RIrF.

Received warning order to be prepared to move on the 28th. Carried out a few preparations.


6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES.

0800 Captain Kerr left with advance party.

A strong wind lowered the temperature considerably.


2 LIR.

Advance party to Guelma.



27th May

Brigade HQ.

Amdt No 1 to 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade Movement Order No 2 was issued.

1800 Guards found by Brigade on VPs in Tunis area were taken over by 24 Guards Brigade.


1 RIrF.

Packing up and preparing for the move tomorrow. Bttn was ready to move by 1900hrs in the evening.


6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES.

1430 Conference about move.

Packing of vehicles is difficult owing to the amount of surplus kit. – chiefly mess kit and Italian tents. Several trailers have been acquired to ease the situation.

This was our last day in the Batierie. During our stay, the place has been transformed from a dirty heap of rubbish to a clean barracks.


2 LIR.

1030 Commanding Officer with Intelligence Officer and Captain Westcott move off to recce grounds in new area. 2 LIR Movement Order No-2 issued together with march table for move to new area App C.

1600 Carrier Platoon under command Captain R Cockburn left unit area for 78 Division Concentration Area 925505 (Sheet 20 Tunisia 1/50000) Battalion prepared to move.

Captain R W Jelf attached to 1 Division pending posting to KSLI.



28th May

Brigade HQ.

0700 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade closed at St Germain.

Brigade moved to staging area (H6644) via Tunis, Dedjeida, Mateur, Sedjenane.

1700-2000 Brigade arrived in staging area (H6644).

An order was received from 78 Division to detail one officer and one infantry section to demonstrate mountain warfare pack equipment to various units for 2 weeks.


1 RIrF.

Full details of the day in Appendix.


6 Innisks – MAXULA REGES TO LA CROIX

0755 The Bttn in 77 vehicles passed Bttn SP and

0800 Proceeded via Brigade SP (1451). Skirted west of Tunis.

0910 To Divisional SP (9158). 10 Minutes late, and proceeded without incident via Mateur and Tabarka to the Divisional staging area, 4 miles south west of La Croix (H 6542).

2100 Conference for tomorrow’s orders.


2 LIR.

Battalion advance party move to Staging Area 608405 (Sheet 4 Tunisia).

0600 Battalion left for new area. Arrived at Staging Area 0720 hours.

Lieutenant A C Howells and Lieutenant M G Hughes admitted to hospital.



29th May

Brigade HQ.

0945 Brigade HQ and Bttns left staging area (H6644) for Guelma via La Tarf, Morris, Duzerville.

1700 Brigade HQ established (G670036), 6 Innisks (G667046), 2 LIR (G695080), 1 RIrF (G667047).


1 RIrF.

Continuation of move to new area.

1100 Bttn arrived in new area, a few miles north of Guelma. It was found to be very exposed to the sun, with very little shade. Chief attraction to the men was a swimming pool coming from a naturally warm spring, only about 500 yards from the camp.


6 Innisks – LA CROIX TO GUELMA.

1230 Bttn moved off from staging area. Proceeded via Rommes Souk, Le Tarf, Duzzeervlle to new Brigade area. This is about 4 miles north of Guelma and 1 mile north of Heliopolis.

The Bttn area (west of road) is barren of shade and the lines are cramped.  A pipeline supplies all coys except A with A. Part of the area appears malarious.

A hot Roman Bath is opposite the lines. Guelma offers an officer’s club, cinema, NAAFI, theatre and cafes.


2 LIR.

1030 Battalion left Staging Area. Arrived 78 Division concentration area at 1830 hours.

Battalion HQ established 660045 (Sheet 54 Algeria). Companies established in open ground around Battalion HQ.



30th May

1 RIrF – GUELMA.

No training. Spent the day settling in, putting up tents etc.


6 Innisks – GUELMA.

Swimming pool declared open at all times. The weather is oppressively hot from 1000 – 1700hrs. Vehicles centralised for maintenance.



31st May

Brigade HQ.

Trace was forwarded to 78 Division of Brigade Training Areas.


1 RIrF – GUELMA.

Coy training started. Preparations for the Brigade training camps, which were to operate on a twenty eight day programme.


6 Innisks – GUELMA.

0530 Reveille early to get the day’s work over before the heat.


2 LIR.

1100 Commanding Officer with Intelligence Officer and Company Commanders recce new area 697088 for battalion area.