1st November

Brigade HQ.

0600 Nightly patrol from 2 Innisks to Spaduro contacted 5 Northamptons successfully. This patrol was a nightly occurrence to cover gap in the defences.

Heavy shelling Point 387.

1400 Enemy move observed at Pt 323 (033273).

1700 Bttn HQ 2 Innisks mortared.

1800 Standing Patrol goes out to 029267.

Local protection only during the night.

Slight shelling during the night.


1 RIrF– SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Bttn less C Coy and 1 section 3” Mortars continues to rest and reorganise.


2 Innisks – CASONE.

0900 D Coy report enemy approaching Casa Salara. DFs fired.

D Coy reports enemy moving round to the left. DFS altered accordingly and the enemy withdrew.

2000 Lt Casey and the Pioneers lay a minefield in front of RIrF coy at Point 387.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0730 Bttn still in general concentration area San Apollinare.

1000 Brigade Commander visited Bttn HQ.

1400 Bttn now in counter attack role – any part of the Brigade front. On receipt of the code word ‘Blimey’, coys will be ready within 2 hours to move forward in fighting order less mules. S Coy to be provided with 20 mules. When ready, coys to assemble on their own farm tracks as near to Tac Division. Coy Commanders to report to Bttn HQ. Cooks and A Echelon staff to occupy and claim vacated billets.

1500 Adjutant left for Admin Point, thence to B Echelon to bring forward remaining LOBs and non essential personnel etc. To return on following day.

1900 Heavy rain began to fall.



2nd November.

Brigade HQ.

0550 Heavy gun shelled coy 1 RIrF on Point 387.

38 (Irish) Brigade OO No 36 issued.

0730 Coy 1 RIrF on Point 387 shelled.

Much enemy activity observed on Mulineto road during the day.

1715 Bttn HQ 2 Innisks heavily mortared.

OC 214 Field Company RE visits Brigade. They are to take over the maintenance of the San Apollinare-Cuviola road in support of 38 Brigade.

A note on the situation:

The appalling weather has brought the advance of the Fifth Army virtually to a standstill. Any major advance was out of the question and the majority of divisions who had fought hard during the past two months were in need of a rest. The division was therefore ordered to take up defensive positions gained in the recent fighting. This meant the inevitable build up of supplies and ammunition – the slight rearrangement of positions and aggressive patrolling to determine the enemy’s positions.

Once the enemy positions were obtained either by our patrols or from PW, the harassing fire tasks could be worked out and timed accordingly.

The Supply Problem.

The other great factor to be considered was our supply route.

The last mile of the track to Brigade HQ ran down a steep galley and, after the heavy rains, became impassable, even to jeeps. 214 Field Company RE were sent up to take over the maintenance of this road and, assisted by labour from the battalions, to put it in order again. The main trouble to be overcome was the drainage of the water. This would be overcome by the construction of culverts and then the majority of the track would have to be built up with a surface of stones and rubble. In the meantime, the track was ordered to be closed to all traffic except mules.

2030 Enemy patrol, strength one platoon, seen approaching Casa Salara 035263.

Patrol engaged and dispersed by own mortars.

Same enemy patrol was engaged at odd intervals during the night.

Wadi at 022256 shelled by enemy during the night.


2 Innisks – CASONE.

1000 CO’s conference. The Adjutant goes on leave to Florence.

1400 Mortaring of Spaduro House and Bttn HQ area. Bearings sent back to counter mortar officer.

1800 Heavy shelling and mortaring of bttn area.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0700 Still raining heavily.

1400 IO and 1 OR Intelligence Section went forward to recce lying up areas for Bttn’s counter attacking role.



3rd November

Brigade HQ.

Point 362 spasmodically shelled during the day.

SP gun heavily shelled track 029258. One man killed.

Enemy seen digging at 035274, engaged by mediums.

1730 Ambush patrol from 2 Innisks goes out to 037261.

This patrol reported nothing during the night.


1 RIrF – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

C Coy cooks’ tents displays eight shrapnel holes. The only casualty being a box containing two rum jars, one of which was broken (the empty one). Mule track in shocking condition; mules stuck belly deep and drowning, just short of Gesso Cemetery, had to be shot.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Grey-Allen, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


2 Innisks – CASONE.

0600 Bttn area shelled and mortared heavily. CM and CB retaliate.

1100 D Coy area shelled. One OR killed. Spaduro House heavily shelled.

1500 Mediums engage digging parties at Casa Moletta

1800 Reliefs carried out without incident – C Coy relieved D Coy and A Coy relieved B Coy.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0800 25 ORs from H Coy assisting REs on road maintenance.

1700 Owing to the bad state of the road, Bttn supplies came forward on mules from Sassoleone, about a mile from Bttn HQ.

1730 Lt K Lovatt, Signal Officer, rejoined Bttn from CRU.



4th November

Brigade HQ.

0550 Bttn area, 2 Innisks, heavily shelled. Shelling lasted about twenty minutes. Increased shelling of forward position during the day.

Harassing fire tasks on known enemy targets carried out during the night.


1 RIrF – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Our men had to replace the muleteers who, with the mules, are exhausted.


2 Innisks – CASONE.

0600 Heavy shelling of bttn area. Spaduro House hit with mortar bombs but no casualties. The CO paid a visit to the coys.

1030 Enemy gun registers three direct hits on Spaduro House. It is decided to evacuate artillery OPs from this house and use Point 387 as an OP.

2000 Enemy shelling C Coy area. No casualties.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Steve Spice, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0700 G Coy assisting REs on road maintenance.

1700 Several ORs from each coy proceeded on 48 hours rest to Divisional Rest Camp at Castel del Rio.



5th November

Brigade HQ.

Local protection patrols only during the night. Nothing to report.

Road maintenance continues. Resistance given by 2 LIR and 1 RIrF.

1730 Recce patrol 2 Innisks goes out to 037266.

Fifteen enemy seen at 036266 and two MGs seen firing from 037266. Approaches along the ridge are wet still, but drying.

1925 Warning Order issued. 2 LIR are to relieve 2 Innisks in present locations.

2 LIR to take over command of sector including C Coy, 1 RIrF, Mortar Platoon.

1 RIrF and two platoons MMG D Support Group.

2 Innisks are to return to the castle in Castel del Rio for a few days rest.

D Coy 1 RIrF is to relieve C Coy night 7/8 November.


1 RIrF – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Nothing to Report.


2 Innisks – CASONE.

1000 CO’s conference.

1200 Brigade inform us that we will be relieved the night of 6th/7th Nov.

1400 The CO and Coy Commanders of 2 LIR visit Bttn HQ preparatory to taking over from the bttn.

1700 2 LIR O Group return.

2100 Patrol of C Coy to Pimples forward of Casa Salara. On return, they report enemy heard on features.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1015 Bttn parade for CO’s lecture at Bttn HQ. Chief topic being rumour mongering, exaggeration of casualties etc. Bttn informed that they would relieve 2 Innisks on 6/11/44.

1300 CO, IO and Intelligence Sgt with coy guides, proceeded on recce to 2 Innisks’ positions.

1730 CO’s recce party returned.

1830 CO’s O Group at Bttn HQ – Bttn to move off on 6 Nov from coy positions and rendezvous at Brigade HQ at San Apollinare, thence to move at 1730 hrs by ‘personnel’ track to 2 Innisks’ positions.

Order of March – G Coy, E Coy and MMG Platoon, H Coy, Bttn HQ and Mortar Platoon. G Coy to relieve right hand coy with one platoon in eastern Salara (034263) and remainder around track junction 029259. E Coy to relieve left forward coy in area Spaduro House (029263). H Coy in reserve at western Salara (022263). Bttn in Casone farm at 023258. Mortar Platoon to take over 2 Innisks’ mortars with forward coys. Forward positions to be dug by 2 Innisks for 2 LIR’s MMGs. All ammunition, tools, water cans etc to be taken over from 2 Innisks. CO’s Recce Group and Coy Commanders to move forward at 0900 hrs 6 November.

Billets vacated by bttn to be occupied by 1 RIrF.