War Diaries – 22nd October 1943

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.

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 (2 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.