6th May

Brigade HQ

2 LIR carry out Scheme A during morning and early afternoon and Scheme B during the night.

1 RIrF carry out village fighting exercise in Capua.

Recreation, leave allotments, cinema shows and ENSA shows continue.

1 RIrF.

Bttn exercise – town fighting.

6 Innisks – FORMICOLA.

0030 Second phase, the attack on Mt Erasmo (W 2091) then got under way, but before it finished, the enemy counter attacked, using 2” mortar smoke bombs and flares – so many that this part of the exercise had more flashes and bangs than in a real battle.

The attack by A and B Coys went on, leaving C Coy to deal with the counter attack.

Some tanks (represented by carriers) broke through, but our A/Tk guns, which were moving up the road, were warned in time and were able to get into a position to deal with them effectively.

Lt AJ Wilton rejoined the bttn and is posted to A Coy.

0045 Exercises ended and troops returned to billets, tired but satisfied that their series of exercises were finished and that they had won praise from their commanders.

D Coy had not taken part in the Night Exercise as they were to act as enemy for the other bttns in the Brigade who were doing the same series of exercises.

0800 D Coy left the bttn area but the remainder of the coys had a late reveille and were at coy commanders’ disposal for individual training for the remainder of the day.

1000 Parties from each coy left in unit transport for day visit to Naples, returning at 1930 hours.


0600 Warning Order for Battalion exercise night 6/7 May.

Bttn R and O Groups rv 219889 at 1730 hrs.

Coy R and O Groups rv 219889 at 1800 hrs.

Platoon R and O Groups rv 219889 at 1900 hrs.

Main body leaves camp at 1900 hrs by march route to reach FUP at 2030 hrs.

0800 Bttn exercise.

1700 R Group move off for bttn night exercise.

1900 Bttn moves off for area of exercise

7th May

Brigade HQ

1 RIrF carry out Scheme A starting at 1200 hrs. This was not executed in quite the dash that the Brigade Commander desired and as the bttn left very little time between the end of Scheme A and the preparations for Scheme B, the Brigade Commander ordered the night attack to be postponed and to take place on night 8/9 May. The remaining two bttns spent their time in interior economy and preparing light scale of transport.

Recreation and shows for the troops during the evening.

1 RIrF.

Bttn exercise – daylight attack.

6 Innisks – FORMICOLA.

1100 CE church service was held on the football ground in D Coy area and the service was taken by 78 Division Senior Chaplain.

The remainder of the day was free to troops and the usual party went for a day visit to Naples.


0100 Bttn arrives back in camp.

8th May

Brigade HQ

Coy training and interior economy by all bttns.

1 RIrF prepare for Scheme B and CO holds O Group at 1600 hrs. Scheme carried out with great enthusiasm and a vast improvement on Scheme A.

78 Division Operational Order received regarding further ops.

1 RIrF.

Bttn exercise – night attack.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier James Montague, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – FORMICOLA.

0900 CO spoke to all officers of the bttn and told them the general plan for the forthcoming offensive, which was 13 Corps to attack the Adolf Hitler Line and carry on to the Valmontone Line and break it, if possible.

4 Division and 8 Indian Division to cross Rapido and continue to Adolf Hitler line and we, 78 Division, to go through it.

Lieut Colonel of our sister regiment (Princess Louise Canadian Regiment) visited CO.

1500 FSS S/Sgt lectured the bttn on enemy agents and their methods.

In the evening, the Officers’ Mess held a party, which was attended by the Divisional Commander, Lieut Colonel of Princess Louise Regiment and some officers of the supporting units.


0900 CO’s conference on future operations and previous night exercise.

1400 Lieut Lyness appointed Bttn IO.

9th May

Brigade HQ

Coy training and preparations for moving on light scales carried out by all bttns.

The Brigade Pipe Band, now some 25 pipers and 8 drummers and buglers play Retreat for 152 Field Ambulance in their own area. The previous night, the band played for the 56 Recce Regiment. Their performance was good and well appreciated.

1 RIrF.

Verbal warning order. Bttn to move 10/11 May.

6 Innisks – FORMICOLA.

An advance party under Captain EJ Griffiths left for concentration area at H079070.

0930 RASC vehicles for carrying troops reported to the bttn and were shown to the parking area by MTO.

The 2.i.c. Major GF Maxwell went with Sgt RT O’Connor to WOSB in order that a test for an immediate commission would be carried out.

Most of the day was spent in making preparations for the move at night. Also in making farewells to the very friendly people of Formicola.

The CO went on to the concentration area.

2200 Bttn transport was formed up and ready to go.

2330 Column moved off, passing SP at 2345 hours. Journey was good with very few halts. Lieut PA Hamilton and Lieut AJ Wilton are appointed A/Captains.


1130 Lecture on Security given by FSS Sgt to all available NCOs of bttn.

1700 CO’s O Group dealing with move to new divisional concentration area near Presenzano (0607). Bttn warned for probable move the following day. B Echelon to remain in present area as well as all unnecessary stores.

10th May

Brigade HQ

38 Brigade Group warned to move. 6 Innisks, 2 LIR, 1 RIrF, Brigade HQ, coy 152 Field Ambulance and B Squadron 16/5 Lancers to move at 2330 hrs for Divisional concentration area south of Presenzano.

Remainder of Brigade Group – 254 A/Tk Battery RA, D Support Group (less heavy mortar platoon who are already committed in San Angelo sector), 280 LAA Battery RA, 214 Field Company RE and remainder 152 Field Ambulance to move up to concentration area night 11/12 May.

1700 Brigade Commander leaves for concentration area.

2330 Head of Brigade column passes Starting Point.

1 RIrF.

1150 Admin movement order issued – move to Presenzano.

6 Innisks

0330 The bttn arrived at the new area and were shown to positions by Captain Griffiths and his men who had also managed to erect most of the bivouacs for the troops.

Reveille was not until 0730 hours.

1115 The Divisional Commander, accompanied by the Brigadier, arrived to talk to the bttn, giving them the general plan of the forthcoming offensive. The Brigadier spoke afterwards and after a short break, the CO went into more detailed points, which were likely to affect the bttn.

2300 Flashes and continual rumbling from the front indicated that the offensive had started.


1230 Bttn advance parties leave for new concentration area.

2330 Bttn em-bused ready to move.