21st October

Brigade HQ.

0330 6 Innisks moved from area San Giacomo to area Colle di Breccia.

Bttn HQ located at 695766.

0530 6 Innisks RV area cemetery (H7178).

0730 2 LIR patrol to pt123 (H7479) contacted enemy post. Patrol exchanged fire without loss, believed one enemy car casualty.

1000 56 Recce Regiment report pt195 clear.

1130 56 Recce reported party of 12 Germans seen digging south of Montenero and seen carrying timber to diggings.

1220 56 Recce Regiment reported two enemy guns 652757 now being fired on by own artillery.

1300 56 Recce Regiment reported enemy still in Montenero strength estimated 60. Digging party dispersed.

1500 Brigade HQ closed at present location and reopened same time at Road House Farm (752783).

1800 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

2150 6 Innisks reported enemy shelling area pt263 (6976). 1945-2015hrs.

1 RIrF.

1500 O Group, at which the CO gave orders for the Bttn to move forward to Petacciato.

2230 Bttn moved.

Captain MC Trousdell admitted to hospital.

Lieut CMF Chambers joined the bttn.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

0330 A, B, D and Bttn HQ left San Giacomo by MT for forward assembly area at Petacciato.

Arrived at Petacciato at approximately 0500hrs.

At first light, CO went forward to recce new area.

0800 CO met Brigadier.

1015 CO O Group and Recce.

1345 Bttn moved up to new position by march route and coys commenced digging in. Bttn established at H6976.

1700 A few enemy shells came over, but caused no damage.

2000 Captain Duddington took out a patrol of one platoon strength.


T/Major G Phillips posted to battalion and 22 ORs from 111 IRTD.

Brigade Comdr at Battalion HQ. W/Lieutenant HND Seymour admitted to hospital.

6 Innisks pass through battalion lines during the early morning and established themselves on the battalion’s left flank. Their Battalion HQ established at pt 263/694766.

1930 German prisoner of war from 1/64 Panzer Grenadier Regiment. Evacuated to ADS.

Patrol of one platoon commanded by Lieutenant White accompanied by Sappers. To ascertain if Bridge 6378 (over River Trigno) was mined. The patrol had a sharp engagement with enemy in the vicinity of the bridge. Sappers found no charges or mines in the bridge area.

22nd October

Brigade HQ – 752783.

0120 6 Innisks reported enemy patrol estimated strength 17 infiltrated between A and B Coys and captured MMG crew. In the subsequent melee, two of MG crew escaped. One man missing. Enemy left one dead and one MG 42. Identification: 5 Coy, 79 Panzer Grenadier Regiment.

RE reported Trigno bridge not prepared for demolition.

1000 Major AW Gibbon, A & SH, attached to Brigade HQ as acting Brigade Major vice Major FFK Ball DCLI to B Echelon.

1330 2 LIR report spasmodic shelling area 6976, one casualty.

1800 Brigade Tac HQ established H711789.

1 RIrF supported by 2 LIR ordered to take Trigno bridge before demolition by enemy.

2335 1 RIrF reported meeting strong opposition area pt 155.

1 RIrF.

0100 Bttn in position. Bttn HQ at Farm 748785. A Coy on right of road. Remaining coys on left.

1530 O Group at school 711794. Orders for attack on the River Trigno road bridge with the intention of making and securing a bridgehead.

1630 Bttn moved to assembly area school 711794.

1700 Bttn assembled.

1815 Bttn left assembly area to start line at road junction 663778.

2200 C and D Coys (Major RLC Wood and Major DEH Haywood MC) moved forward abreast with a platoon of D ahead covering them to road, and track junction 645787. Opposition from MG was met and overcome at pt155 – 645784. On reaching the road and track junction, 645787, the coys moved along the south side of the road, C Coy leading. As the leading company moved towards the object, the bridge was blown up. C and D Coys then took up a defensive position between pt115 – 6378 and the road to await the CO.

2359 The remainder of the bttn moved down the line of the road to contact C and D Coys.

Lieut Thomason and Lieut R Gamble were admitted to hospital.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – Pt 263 (H6976).

0130 Spasmodic shelling in bttn area lasting for one hour.

0120 enemy patrol worked its way between A and D Coys to a MMG position – the crew were taken prisoner and A & D Coys opened fire as the patrol withdrew. They caused the patrol to split up and three of the MMG gun crew away. Fusilier Harris missing. One enemy casualty, a Sgt (killed) from 5 Coy, 79 PGR, an identification which proved useful to higher formations. One MG 42 was also killed.

1300 Spasmodic shelling for two hours, chiefly in A Coy’s area, caused one casualty, slightly wounded. Captain Kendall (Adjutant) admitted to hospital with suspected malaria.

RIrF ordered to take bridge over Trigno following successful patrol by LIR the previous night. LIR to advance on their right and 6 Innisks to hold present position and raid Montenero in force the following night (Two Coys A & B).

Recce patrols from A & B Coys find suitable route to Montenero.

C Coy withdrawn to guard brigade command post.

Major Gibbon went to Brigade HQ as acting Brigade Major.

2 LIR.

1400 CO and Company Comdrs on recce. ‘O’ Group at 1630 hrs.

H Company move fwd to area 648606 & establish position overlooking the River Trigno. 1 RIrF from Termoli to Battalion area.

1800 1 RIrF advance down road Petacciato–San Salvo with the intention of establishing a bridgehead across River Trigno.

Several spans of the bridge 6379 were blown shortly before 1 RIrF reached the river.

1820 The Battalion less H Company move along road behind 1 RIrF.

2300 Enemy MG and mortar fire on area in front of the Battalion. Possibly against the 1 RIrF.

2330 Battalion established in positions – H Company 546606. E Company 655764. F Company 653790. G Company 658789. Battalion HQ 656790.

23rd October

Brigade HQ.

0050 Lieut Lorrimer posted as 2.i.c. Brigade Signal section.

Two coys 6 Innisks move to Montenero.

0200 2 LIR reported in position. Bttn HQ 670793.

0210 Battery 70 Medium Regiment firing on enemy battery south of San Salvo.

0227 RA reported two enemy SP guns west of R Trigno.

0235 2 LIR firmly established and moving up behind 1 RIrF.

0240 2 LIR A/Tk guns and support arms ordered to move down.

0245 River Trigno bridge reported blown.

0330 RE report road to bridge now clear of mines.

0335 Own troops now crossing River Trigno.

0450 Bridge reported to be gapped for 200 feet. Culvert 400 yards west of bridge reported  blown, crater 60 x 20 feet.

0500 C Squadron 46 RTR and support arms ordered to move down, well on way. Both bttns in position. Two coys 1 RIrF across the river. Bridgehead of 200 yards depth formed but further progress barred by extensive minefield. 2 LIR positions: Bttn HQ 655789, E Coy 656786, F Coy 655793, G Coy 648798, H Coy 655789.

0715 Civilian reports indicate Montenero evacuated by enemy. Air task for today called off.

56 Recce Regiment ordered to proceed to Montenero.

0720 Report on bridge as follows: 100 yards north east of bridge, depth varying from one to two feet, bottom sound and accessible from Petacciato side.

0810 56 Recce Regiment 1 ½ miles south of Montenero.

0845 GOC and CRA visited Tac HQ.

0930 Corps Commander and BGS visited Tac HQ.

0945 2 LIR report movement in Farm 643810. Artillery taking target on and 2 LIR arranging snipers.

1000 Extensive Teller minefield located 650793–650803. Tracks, fields and farms all suspected to be mined.  All mines heavily booby trapped, sometimes three times and with dynamite.

1030 OC Support Coy 1 RIrF reported bttn to be extending bridgehead to depth of 500 yards. Battle casualties: 4 killed, 24 wounded (22 mine casualties).

1100 56 Recce Regiment reported Montenero clear.

1140 38 Brigade Tac HQ closed.  Control reverted to main HQ.

Extract from Times Weekly Sept 43 issued.

1515 56 Recce Regiment revert to Divisional Command wef 0001hrs, 24 October.

6 Innisks informed by Brigade Commander that they will occupy Montenero this afternoon. 1 RIrF will enlarge bridgehead but will not go too far until A/Tk protection is able to cross the river.

Detachments REs and A/Tk will arrive tonight.

Mine lifting will continue on western bank of river.

Limited patrols to gain contact will be arranged if defensive work permits.

Army Commander’s message on anniversary of Alamein received.

2 LIR informed that they will consolidate and send forward vigorous patrols, one to recce possible river crossings and another to gain contact with enemy.

2 LF will occupy high ground east of river crossing tonight. This will be the brigade programme for the next few days.

1830 56 Recce Regiment reported leading patrols entered 1045hrs and town occupied by 1130hrs. Mines encountered and lifted, 646746, 646739 and also observed in track 640728 and 644729 – not cleared. Montenero-Tavenna road deeply cratered at 652700 and bridge on Mafada road at 638737 and 686738 blown. 2 LIR will get in touch with 2 LF as soon as possible, by first light at the latest.

2335 6 Innisks locations: Bttn HQ 646729, 648731, 648726, 648728, 645728.

Captain GK Parsons OC Brigade Signals Section ADS.

1 RIrF.

0300 C and D Coys crossed the river on the north side of the bridge under orders from the CO, who had arrived shortly before. They met no opposition but on reaching the far bank were stopped by a minefield.

0430 The area of consolidation occupied by C and D Coys was too limited so D Coy was ordered to withdraw to the east side of the river to area Farm 636783.

0800 B Coy (Major JW Dunn) moved across the river and took up a position on the north side of the river. C Coy moved to the south side. A Coy (Major PJ Proctor) was established in area 632793. Bttn HQ near road and track junction 624790.

1020 Enemy shelled area 6378.

1350 Bttn HQ moved up track to 634787.

1405 Enemy shelled area Bttn HQ.

1900 RE party arrived for mine clearing.

Throughout the night, the enemy regularly shelled the road 6378.

Died on this Day:

Corporal Frank Hare, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Harry Slinger, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier David Owen, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Clifford Bass, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Sergeant Percy Allison, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier John Robinson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Lewis Brown, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier James Bill, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – Pt 263 (H6976).

56 Recce reported Montenero clear of enemy, but area mined.

1230 Bttn ordered to Montenero.

1400 Bttn moved off by march route in following order: A, B, Bttn HQ and D Coy. Recce party moved forward by transport.

1530 O Group at OP in Montenero.

1615 A Coy arrived and moved into position, closely followed by the other coys including C Coy, which was released by brigade at 1330hrs. By dusk, all coys were in position and the town was strongly defended. Bttn HQ at 648729.

DF tasks arranged.

2 LIR.

1 RIrF establish bridgehead with two companies (B & C Companies.). No serious opposition.

0815 Brigadier cancels Artillery bombardment of Montenero 6473 and orders 56 Recce (under command of 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade) to enter the town. Town found to be clear.

0930 H Company report enemy OP Farm 634610. Arty shell it.

1730 Battalion HQ move to position more central to companies at 663790.

6 Innisks established at Montenero. 2 LFs on our right flank.

Died on this Day:

Lance Corporal Martin Byrne, London Irish Rifles.

24th October

Brigade HQ.

0035 1 RIrF reported spasmodic shell fire in gully 633791 and on road.

0123 Commander 1 RIrF requested RE to commence work immediately on crater at 634793, because otherwise impossible to get A/Tk guns forward.

0220 RE informed of 1 RIrF request and RE replied matter in hand.

0530 2 LIR patrol reported no contact with enemy. 2 LIR contacted Recce patrol to river for crossings found two probable crossings 400 yards north east of bridge and another approximately one mile north east. Intervening ground impossible owing to high banks. South west of bridge, good crossing for quarter mile.

0615 1 RIrF reported that forward companies had patrolled 1000 yards towards San Salvo and searched all farms and houses without contact. Situation on brigade front see Sitrep.

0800 6 Innisks reported no enemy activity on their front. Enemy shelling and MG fire head on right flank.

1 RIrF reported enemy M/C combination, came down San Salvo road and was stopped by SAA fire at 628803. The driver and M/C combination escaped but the passenger was captured. Identified as 9 Coy Panzer Group Regiment.

1100 Division ordered that no vehicles other than essential recce parties, staff cars or jeeps will move forward of road junction 712802, except of hours of darkness.

1700 6 Innisks reported one A/Tk in position.

1900 Situation on brigade front – see Sitrep.

2020 6 Innisks reported 5 A/Tk guns in position.

1 RIrF.

0530 Enemy patrol bumped into C Coy MG fire exchanged. No casualties.

0750 An enemy M/C ran into C Coy’s position and the rider was captured. He was from 9 Coy 11/79 PGR. 

1830 A very heavy enemy artillery concentration on area between Bttn HQ and road.

2030 Patrol of NCO and 2 men from battle patrol went to area Long Farm 620804.

There had been intermittent shelling of our positions during the day but the night was quiet.

6 Innisks – MONTENERO.

Fire plan coordinated at first light. . No enemy activity on our immediate front but some shelling was observed to our north. The task of clearing the enemy mines was continued and completed by the pioneer platoon and a detachment of REs. At night, a patrol was sent to establish a position on high ground H6375 and to observe river line.

2 LIR.

0730 Brigadier at Battalion HQ. Lieutenant JD White & A/Captain JA St Maur-Sheil admitted to hospital.

1000 CO’s “O” Group.

8th Indian Division on 78th Division left flank take Palata.

1930 IO & 2/ic recce River Trigno for Battalion forming up area and crossing. Returned at 0200 25th. No suitable places found.

2000 Battle Patrol commanded by Sgt Stalker crossed River Trigno to make contact with enemy, if any, in area 630830. Returned at 0300. No contact.

25th October

Brigade HQ.

0500 Bttns reported no enemy activity during night.

0600 Sitrep. Patrols report enemy astride road half mile south east of San Salvo.

RE diversion now available for single file traffic.

1445 1 RIrF reported further points reached by patrols night 24/25 618821 and 627827. Enemy located on ridge 618823 but strength unknown. Cable winding heard area 622823. 6 A/Tk guns now in position, none west of river owing to diversion being only passable fro west to east.

1345 Orders for possible moves of Brigade units 26 October issued.

Lieut RD Room, OC Defence Platoon admitted to 152 Field Ambulance.

1800 6 Innisks reported patrol to pt176 (6075) in position and established two OPs.

2155 6 Innisks patrol to Mafalda returned 2115hrs with 4 PoWs identified 5 Coy 79 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 2 more enemy wounded, one of whom escaped and the other Mafalda. 3 MG 42s and one M/pistol captured. Patrol commander’s patrol is attached.

1 RIrF.

During the day, there was considerable shelling of the bttn area especially B Coy’s position.

2000 Heavy shelling.

2030 Patrol of NCO and 2 men from the Battle Patrol went to area Long Farm 620804.

RE began work on the bridge but had to give up owing to heavy shellfire.

F Coy of 2 LIR was put under command of CO.

6 Innisks – MONTENERO.

Day quiet, patrolling being the only activity. One patrol, strength one platoon was sent out at 1130hrs to find out enemy situation in Mafalda. Three escaped PoWs came through our lines, two from RASC and one 1st Sherwoods.

1500 Three Sections made a sweep of farms in area H6173-6273-6174-6274. Montenero bombed by enemy aircraft. No casualties.

2 LIR.

1630 Eight enemy fighter bombers (FW 190s) bomb and strafe brigade fwd areas and battalion areas. No damage or casualties.

1930 Intelligence Sgt & seven OR recce River Trigno north of bridge for possible crossing place. Returned at 0130 hrs. Nil result.

1930 E Company move from present location to cross River Trigno and establish themselves in area of wood 634810 under command of 1 RIrF. Eventually, the company did not cross the Trigno and lay up in area of 1 RIrF Battalion HQ.