War Diaries – 6th to 10th November 1943

6th November

Brigade HQ – SAN SALVO.

0530 Bttns reported quiet night.

1500 6 Innisks and 1 RIrF ordered to move to concentration area 5888. 2 LIR remaining in present location at bridgehead over Trigno.

1818 6 Innisks reported HQ at 580888.

2000 1 RIrF reported HQ at 583863.

1 RIrF.

Lt-Col JW Dunhill DSO resumed command of the battalion.

Battalion ordered to concentrate in area 5886

1700 Marching troops left San Salvo.

1815 Arrived in new area. The transport arrived later having moved to a brigade timetable

Major AW Gibbons ceased to be attached.

Died on this Day.

Fusilier Thomas Goggin, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – SAN SALVO.

Bttn standing by to move wef 1500hrs.

1000 Brigadier and OC 1 RIrF visited Bttn HQ for conference.

1100 A Group left to recce new bttn area.

1500 IO attended conference at Brigade HQ.

1545 Marching personnel moved off to new area. Arrived new area 1745hrs, HQ at 580888 (near Vasto).

Captain DK McCalden rejoined D Coy.

Lieut C Clarke MC re-granted rank A/Captain.

Lieut RF Greer re-granted rank of Temp/Captain.

Light rain in evening.

Censorship regulations relaxed permitting mention of combat experiences at any time subject to certain restrictions.

2 LIR.

1030 Brigadier at Battalion HQ.

1100 Vasto and Cupello occupied by 11 and 36 Brigade respectively.

2100 Single enemy plane dropped five bombs towards Termoli.

Died on this Day:

Lance Sergeant John Reid, London Irish Rifles.

7th November

Brigade HQ – SAN SALVO.

0500 Bttns nothing to report over night.

0800 Brigade HQ closed San Salvo 607827 and reopened same time at station of Istonio 591897.

1 RIrF.

Battalion rested.

Major DEH Hayward MC D Coy posted to HQ Coy and assumed command.  Captain JE McNally MC C Coy posted to B Coy and assumed command.

Captain JS Clarke assumed command D Coy.  Captain NW Bass HQ Coy posted to C Coy and appointed 2.i.c.

Captain EL Gibson S Coy posted to A Coy.  Lt LW Fricke C Coy posted to D Coy.

Captain JS Clarke promoted A/Major wef 5 Nov 43

Captain JE McNally MC promoted A/Major wef 5 Nov 43

Lt RG Wilkin promoted A/Captain wef 21 Oct 43

Lt DJ. Thomason promoted A/Captain wef 29 Oct 43

Lt GL Richards promoted A/Captain wef 5 Nov.43

Captain EL Gibbon relinquished temporary rank of Captain and reverted to W/S Lieut wef 7 Nov 43.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

0730 B Echelon moved forward to San Salvo area.

1600 A Echelon moved forward and joined bttn.

1730 Brigadier visited bttn.

2 LIR.

0700 Commanding Officers to O Group.

1000 Battalion move by Companies to area 625805 where they embus in TCVs and transported to transit area north of Vasto. Battalion HQ established 580914 at 1200 hrs.

1600 Brigadier at Battalion HQ. Informed us that Castelbordino was occupied by 8 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and 2 Lancashire Fusiliers.

Mobile Bath Unit arrived in Battalion Area and all ranks had the opportunity of having a bath.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Patrick Payne, London Irish Rifles.

8th November

Brigade HQ – SAN SALVO.

1400 Brigade HQ moved from Istonio and reopened same time 558913.

1400 2 LIR reported location HQ 580914, E Coy 579913, F Coy 584914, G Coy 581913, H Coy 582911.

1410 1 RIrF reported move complete 1400hrs. HQ 583863 and Bttn concentration area 5886.

1525 6 Innisks reported moving location HQ 580888, A Coy 584789, B Coy 582887, C Coy 578884, D Coy 583885, S Coy 579887. Move complete by 1830hrs. 

1640 Situation at first light. See Sitrep.

1 RIrF.

Battalion ordered to move to area 5690.

1030 Battalion recce party

1310 Transport moved.

1400 Marching troops moved. Captain BDH Clarke rejoined.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

Move wef 1500hrs 8th November.

1000 A Group moved off to recce new area.

1230 MT ordered to move 1315. Marching personnel at 1345hrs.

1315 MT moved off to new area, arrived at 1400hrs.

1345 Marching personnel moved off, arrived at 1525hrs.

Bttn HQ at 553922.

Bivouacs and 2nd Blankets brought up. Packs issued.

1800 Heavy rain set in for the night. Majority of troops in bivouacs, remainder in farms.

2 LIR.

Battalion will move to brigade concentration area at S Lorenza 5591.

1300 Motor Transport columned moved by road to new area.

1330 Marching personnel move by track to new area. Battalion HQ establish Farm 558916 at 1430 hrs. E Company 559919, F Company 559916, G Company 558916, H Company 556917, S Company 559914.

1500 Brigadier visits Battalion HQ

9th November

Brigade HQ – 588913.

0500 Bttns nothing to report overnight.

0510 Brigade informed by Division of restriction of MT movement forward of Vasto and Montedorisio and 9158. Bttns informed.

0900 Major R Foster, G2 (Air), 5 Corps gave talk to Adjutants and IOs of bttns at Brigade HQ. Major HFW Holmes, 1 RIrF, Brigade Major 38 Brigade posted 2 i/c 1 RIrF. Major J Stewart 8 A&SH posted to this HQ as Brigade Major.

1810 Rum issue authorised all troops tonight.

1955 Sitrep. Nothing to report.

2031 Lt GE Cole LO, 38 Brigade attached to 87 Squadron 79 Group USAAF for three days.

1 RIrF. 

Battalion rested. Major HFM Holmes joined Battalion and was appointed 2.i.c. Captain Bass admitted to hospital.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

Continuous rain throughout the day.

0945 Adjutant and IO attended lecture on air cooperation by G2 Air 5 corps.

Major Bayley, OC B Coy left to go as instructor to North Africa.

Large mail, including papers, for bttn. Rum issue at night.

2 LIR.

0900 Commanding Officer’s O Group and promotion conference at Battalion HQ.

Routine wef 10th Reveille 0630 – Breakfast 0730 Midday Meal 1230 Dinner 1630 Supper 1900. No Stand to.

10th November

Brigade HQ – 558913.

0500 Bttns nothing to report.

1200 Brigade Intelligence Summary issued.

1220 Brigade informed by Division that tracked vehicles not to move except for operational purposes.

1730 Sitrep nothing to report.

1 RIrF. 

Battalion had short route march.

6 Innisks – VASTO.

Continuous drizzle throughout night and day.

Bttn carried out route march by coys from 1030 to 1230 (5 miles approximately).

1030 Brigadier Russell visited coy areas to see the conditions under which the men were living. All men under cover in either farms or bivouacs.

Bathing at MBU commenced for 150 men.

2 LIR.

Settling-in new area.