War Diaries – 11th to 15th November 1943

11th November

Brigade HQ – 558913.

0500 Bttns nothing to report. Brigade Intelligence summary issued.

1000 Brigade Commander attended conference at Divisional HQ.

1630 COs’ conference at Brigade HQ.

1700 Brigade Sitrep nothing to report.

1 RIrF.

Captain EE Rawlings posted to 152 Field Ambulance.

Captain WH Lang rejoined and appointed RMO.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

Temp Captain SJ Bunch re-granted rank of Temp/Major wef 3 November 1943.

A/Captain C Clarke MC (D Coy) assumed command B Coy.

2 LIR.

Mixed divine service.

Representative football match in afternoon. 2 LIR v 1 RIrF. Result 2 LIR 8– 1 RIrF 1.

12th November

Brigade HQ – 558913.

0500 Bttns nothing to report. Brigade Intelligence Summary issued.

1715 Brigade Sitrep nothing to report.

1 RIrF. 

Training under coy arrangements including field firing.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – SAN SALVO.

Coys commenced training on Field Firing Ranges.

Ranges –  2 small arms and 2” mortar.

One TSMG and grenade.

One 3” mortar.

Bttn given allotment at Vasto Cinema (80 men).

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Thomas Hill, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Corporal Robert Walker, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2 LIR.

Route Marches under company arrangements.

Battalion had use of Mobile Baths up till 1630 hrs.

2100 Commanding Officer called to Brigade.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Kenneth Cullern, London Irish Rifles.

13th November

Brigade HQ – 558913.

0500 Bttns nothing to report. Brigade Intelligence Summary issued.

Personal message from General Dwight D Eisenhower, dated 8 Nov 1943 received.

Brigade IO recced proposed Brigade assembly area.

1645 Brigade Sitrep nothing to report. Defence plan for Brigade HQ issued.

1 RIrF.

Training and field firing.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

Training continued on Field Firing Ranges.

Parties from each coy went to ENSA show at Vasto in afternoon and evening.

Pioneer Platoon received orders for repair of track running north to main Vasto to Pescara road. Track to be made suitable to carry supply vehicles.

Three printed Xmas airgraphs and free airmail letters issued.

2 LIR.

Route marches under company arrangements.

H Company under direction of Intelligence Section practice river crossing in daylight.

14th November

Brigade HQ – 558913.

0500 Bttns nothing to report.

1000 COs’ conference at Brigade HQ. Brigade Intelligence Summary issued.

1755 Brigade informed by Division that two Italian monks dressed in brown expected to pass through our lines from north 15–17 November. Bttns ordered to pass any such persons answering this description immediately to this HQ.

2300 Division informed brigade that road Casalbordino-River Sangro under control 5 Corps wef 17 November and authority to use must be applied for from Division by 0700hrs previous day.

1 RIrF.

Drill parade followed by church parades. After church parade, the CO addressed all ranks.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

Period of four days intensive training commenced with bttn route march at 0800hrs. Route distance – 8 miles.

1145 RC and C of E church services held.

1700 IO and one section of Battle Platoon left for attachment to 6 RWK for purpose of recce of assembly area and routes across River Sangro for operation “Encroach”.

2 LIR.

Divine service for all denominations other than RCs conducted by Lieutenant Colonel (C F Class II) V Pike, 5 Corps. RC services in Chapel San Lorenzo.

Representative football match; 2 LIR v 6 Innisks. Result 2 LIR 1  6 Innisks 0.

15th November

Brigade HQ – 588913.

0500 Bttns nothing to report.

1415 78 Division movement table night 16/17 received.

Brigade Intelligence Summary issued.

1532 Brigade movement order O.560 issued.

1 RIrF.

A scheme designed to test the system of command and control in the field

In the evening a large draft arrived of 189 men.

The following officers also joined –  Lt JTG Day, Lt R Blythe.  The following rejoined from hospital Lt JB Cammiade MC, Lt .JD Broadbent.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

Bttn carried on with training despite continuous rain throughout the day, which turned the bttn area into a sea of mud.

A large party attended 36 Brigade Concert Party at Vasto in the afternoon.

25 reinforcements joined the bttn among them being many who had been with the bttn in North Africa or Sicily.

Lieut JK Beglin joined the bttn.

There was a rum issue during the evening.

2 LIR.

Intelligence Section and two pioneers proceed to headquarters. 44 RTR 463928 to make a sand model of area Fossacesia 3904.

Warning order to move (later postponed).

Lieutenant JD O’Rourke rejoined from hospital and took over duties of Intelligence Officer.