6th October

Brigade HQ – TERMOLI.

0100 COs reported and bttns mostly ashore. Plan to form perimeter defence of Termoli to ward off possible enemy attack at first light and then to continue to front line for plan already made by Divisional Commander.

0200 Brigade transport column left concentration area Campomarina (J8573).

0300 Bttns in position. 1 RIrF and 6 Innisks covering approaches from Pescara road. 2 LIR making inner perimeter.

0545 Brigade transport column arrived Termoli.

0600 Enemy recommenced shelling town.

0830 Brigade Tac HQ established H823770. Enemy shelling increased in volume and accuracy. Much MG fire. Enemy’s accurate shelling later attributed to the fact that in the church tower of Termoli two enemy spotters were located.

0915 Divisional Commander visited Tac HQ.

Enemy active on Brigade front. Advanced on tanks along Pescara road at first light this morning. Now held and shelling town. Own tanks making progress but slow.

1000 Bttn commanders reported at Tac HQ. Bttns to go to start line and advance on planned axis Pescara road – 1 RIrF right, 6 Innisks right with objective high ground to approximately grid line 81 at 1130hrs and to dig in.

2 LF came under command 36 Brigade.

1030 Main Brigade HQ left Termoli and opened at H823770.

2035 38 Brigade patrol intentions and responsibilities issued.

2030 38 Brigade informed by Division that in event of the enemy withdrawing during night 6/7 October, units would endeavour to establish contact at first light. Bttns informed.

1 RIrF.

0115 The CO issued his orders.

0200 A, B, D and HQ Coys marched to the dispersal point.

0300 They were in position.

0315 C Coy disembark.

0515 C Coy in position in reserve.

The CO was advised that the bttn would take part in an attack that day and was instructed to bring the bttn up to a start line

0800 Bttn moved to start lines. CO goes for orders.

0815 Bttn issues his orders.

1130 Bttn advances to the attack. The opposition being very thin on the ground, the chief danger was from desultory mortar and artillery fire with the occasional machine gunner firing on fixed lines. The various farm buildings on the way were cleared.

1250 The first objective was reached with A Coy leading HQ Command, C Coy. B and D Coys had six MMGs left and were out of touch. They did not reorganise on the first objective but pressed on. Their left hand platoons, being able to do so, assisted the right flank of the 6 Innisks by fire. A and C reorganised and received or the next advance.

Orders: advance to continue parallel with and on south side of Guglionisi road, then to run left handed onto the final objective. Order of march: A Coy, HQ Command, C Coy. Tanks to follow A Coy. Intermediate farms to be cleared as before.

1310 Advance continues.

A number of casualties were incurred by persistent and accurate mortar fire, which had increased in intensity.

1515 Main objectives reached.

Coys consolidated astride road facing south west. Ammunition had run short and carriers were used to replace it.

1645 Bttn was attacked in mistake by cannon firing Spitfires and Hurribombers. Attacks lasted for 3/4 hour but there were no casualties.

A quiet night.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Thomas Farrow, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Arthur Kinch, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Michael Keogh, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Corporal Arthur Villiers, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Percy Pitt, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Corporal William Merryfield, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Henry Beardmore, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Corporal Ronald Dean, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier James Dicker, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier John Jenkinson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Leonard Twiss, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Corporal James Percival, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier George Robinson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Alfred Parker, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Arthur Bedford, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2/Lieutenant Stanley White, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – TERMOLI.

0030 D were first to disembark, and half Bttn HQ with 70 of C and B Coys followed an hour later.

0130 The position in Termoli was extremely confused. Commandos and a bttn of 11 Brigade were holding the north and had beaten off a German counter attack the day before, assisted by our own carriers, and another one during the night.

Another counter attack was expected at dawn. The CO and Adjutant went off immediately to Brigade HQ to be told the situation and at 0230hrs, the Adjutant returned to lead the bttn (less half) to an assembly area. From here, the coys present were placed in defensive positions in the area of Termoli railway bridge and station.  The RIrF were on our right and a troop of commandos formed on our left. In the meantime, the rest of the bttn under Major Crocker had disembarked at about 0300hrs and joined the bttn. Captain Hodgson contacted the bttn with the MG and carrier platoons so that by first light, the fog of war began to clear.

First light saw the CO and Lt-Col CH Butler of the RIrF at an OP with an officer from the Commandos, where the ground for the day’s attack was pointed out. The enemy attack at dawn did not materialise but Termoli was bombed soon after first light.

Orders were then received from Bttn HQ for a two bttn attack, supported by tanks on either flank, on the area rd junction 803767–pt 161–San Giacomo, with the object of enlarging the Termoli bridgehead with RIrF right and 6 Innisks left. Information, both about the enemy’s strength and dispositions, and the locations of our own troops was almost nonexistent, but it was known that the enemy were supported by tanks.

0800 Hasty recces were completed and, at 0905, the bttn moved out of Termoli to an assembly area where it was met by the remainder of S Coy. The state of the ground, however, prevented cross country movement by vehicles other than tanks. The bttn had no artillery support as none was yet available.

1030 The attack started across broken country suitable for infantry. Communication within the bttn was by runner only, as no wireless batteries were available in the country. A tank battle proceeded on both flanks of the bttn, which progressed steadily forward with coys leapfrogging each other.

1300 The CO was wounded by fire from a tank and Major Crocker took command.

By the time the final objective (San Giacomo) had been reached, the enemy had already evacuated it, and in fact Bttn HQ was the first to enter the village after a long and arduous advance across very broken country.

Coys quickly followed and were allotted defensive positions on the outskirts of the village, which were occupied soon after dusk.

2100 OC S Coy brought up supporting weapons and rations after a patrol had cleared the road between and ourselves and the RIrF and the meal was very welcome after the long and arduous day. The welcome given to our troops by villagers spoke for itself. A 50% stand to was ordered for the night but no counter attack developed.

Casualties were 4 ORs killed, CO and 14 ORs wounded. Two enemy PoWs were taken.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier William Timmins, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier William Smith, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Moffat McCormack, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2 LIR.

0130 Battalion disembarked at Termoli (8378). Moderate enemy shelling of harbour and docks during disembarkation. Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer recced Battalion positions.

0130 ‘F’ vehicles left their harbour area and proceeded by road to Termoli. Arrived without incident 0600 hrs.

0230 Battalion HQ Advance Party and E Company arrived in town of Termoli & took up positions. Battalion HQ established in main street.

0300 Battalion “O” Group on recce. F Company disembarked completely. Remainder of Battalion disembarked at 30 minute intervals and went straight to their allotted positions. E Company in area of Station. F, G & H Companies in the town.

0700 German attack on Termoli. First thrust against 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers (2 LFs) in positions north of the town. Enemy shell the town. Battalion under temporary command of 11 Brigade.

1000 Enemy repulsed. Battalion back under command of 38th (Irish) Inf Brigade.

Two companies under orders to proceed to 2/LFs should they require them.

1015 6 Innisks & 1 RIrF attack through 2/LFs positions.

They encounter slight opposition and advance between 3 to 4 miles. 2/LIR in reserve.

1400 Battalion attack on two company front. H Company on right. E Company left. Objectives, Cemetery and high ground to the West. These were taken in 30 minutes.

1530 Battalion HQ moved forward to the Railway Station. G Company moved forward as defence Company on E Company’s left rear. Battalion positions were consolidated & preparations for German counter/attack were made. F Company moved forward over Rly. S Company to Rly Stn.

A/Major BH Westcott wounded in action. Admitted to hospital.

Captain Rev H Graydon granted award of MC.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Oliver Whitham, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Graham Fenn, London Irish Rifles, attached from Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Rifleman James Kelly, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Ivor Morgan, London Irish Rifles.

Corporal Edward Murphy, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Stanley Peers, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman John Wilson, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman William Jenkins, London Irish Rifles.

7th October

Brigade HQ – TERMOLI.

0630 12 CTR reported all tanks in position. Otherwise nothing to report.

Bomb line for 7 October, 2 miles west of River Simarca (7978) south to 750822.

6 Innisks reported all troops and support arms in position, otherwise nothing to report.

1000 36 Brigade reported enemy to be withdrawing west.

1105 Division altered bombline to 7082– rd to 6565– 7149. Brigade positions as per trace.

1630 2 LIR reported enemy shelling road 800765–805767 1530hrs.

1 RIrF  reported intermittent enemy shelling area road 794–788755–784737.

1635 6 Innisks reported enemy shelling San Giacomo (H7870) from direction of Guglionesi (H7668). Shells fell in village and in valley in front of village.

1800 6 Innisks located enemy guns at 760695 and 760689 and requested M target.

6 Innisks contacted 5 Buffs in area 798716. Patrol contact small number of enemy in area 789716. Patrol opened fire and later, a car was found abandoned at 785721.

2 LIR reported that patrol saw two suspicious looking men in civilian clothing near buildings at 790785. When hailed, the men refused to stop and the patrol opened fire killing both. Both men were found to have German documents and were identified as I 64 Panzer Group Regiment.

1830 6 Innisks reported noise as of engines warming up (7 tanks) in valley west of Guglionesi at 1800hrs.

2100 1 RIrF patrols to 7750, 7677 and 7775. Nothing to report.

2330 Situation on Brigade front and future intention see Sitrep.

1 RIrF.

0500 Stand to for an hour. A and B Coys sent out patrols to their immediate front but found nothing.

0700 B Coy sent a platoon to search re-entrant on our left flank but again found nothing.

1000 Brigade Order Group Orders: Bttn will regroup. B Coy was to move to the high ground on the north of the Guglionisi. ¾ mile this side of the Brick Factory. D Coy was to take over B Coy’s old position. Bttn HQ moved to a building 200 yards from the road.

1100 Bttn in new positon.

1400 CO held office. A, B and C Coys sent out patrols to their immediate front. Nothing seen.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

The night 6/7 October passed quietly with spasmodic shelling our right.

0430 Stand to. Coy positions were changed to make full use of ground, Bttn supporting arms were put in position at first light. Two Platoons of Mortars and 1 of MGs from the Brigade Support Group, and one troop of 6 pounder A/Tk guns were allotted to bttn in support. One carrier was knocked out by shelling.

Lieut McVie was evacuated with shell shock.

2 LIR.

A/Lieutenant Col H Rogers granted temporary rank of Lieutenant/Col.

W/Lieutenant MOW Clarke MC admitted to hospital

0745 Intelligence observation post established 155/803780 with E Company HQ.

1000 G Company take 5 prisoners of war (2 Wounded) hiding near their positions.

1030 Brigadier at Battalion HQ.

1230 Battalion HQ moves forward to Farm 155/810770.

1530 Spasmodic enemy shelling of area 155/800765.

Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer establish command post in E Company area.

8th October

Brigade HQ – TERMOLI.

0500 1 RIrF reported by 788770 intact and no mines. South of bridge impassable to tanks and probably also for infantry.

0510 2 LIR reported quiet night and nothing to report.

0518 6 Innisks reported quiet night.

0720 6 Innisks reported information from Italian civilians estimated 300 enemy with tanks in Montenero ((7082)

1200 Bombline today Montenero (7082)–Montecilfone (7066)–Casacalenda (7048).

1250 38 Brigade requested aircraft target Montenero station (H7081). Target accepted 1515hrs. 2 LIR reported Simarca bridge not blown but culvert 100 yards north west blow. Desultory enemy shelling of bttn areas all day. 2 LIR locations: HQ 820782, E Coy 808782, F Coy 818782, G Coy 804708, H Coy 810785. Support Coy under Brigade arrangements.

1500 6 Innisks reported all quiet. Bttn HQ (Main and Tac) closed at …and opened same time at 823780 in Termoli. The house occupied was formerly HQ of Kampfgruppe Rau.

1600 2 LIR reported desultory shelling of bttn areas. Patrols to farm 7878 – 7978 reported all clear of enemy. Recce made of T Simarca.

2020 Brigade Group artillery shelled vehicle concentration area Station Di Montenero (H7081) with good results.

2300 1 RIrF report all quiet. 12 CTR reverted to be under command 1 Canadian Infantry Division. Summary of patrol report 8/9 October issued. Bttns informed that area Brickworks and Termoli Railway Station would not be occupied after 12 CTR vacated these areas without authority from Brigade HQ. 

1 RIrF.

0500 Stand to and defensive patrols out on coy front.

0630 Italian civilian reported presence of Germans behind a ridge approximately one mile in front of C Coy’s position, German artillery strafed area.

1430 A Coy sent patrol to report on area between them and area of coast road immediately to their front (MR780773). They were mortared 400 yards west of objective but saw no enemy.

1510 C Coy sent patrol to area in front of them (objective: MR766758), but saw no enemy.

Intermittent shelling of area in front of B Coy.

No casualties.

2330 Recce: Patrol under 2/Lt Phillips investigated ridge in front of C Coy’s position but found no enemy (MR760741).

Stand to and defensive positions.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier John Jones, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

The day passed quietly with spasmodic shelling being the only enemy activity. Coys were able to check and improve their positions. The CO, whose head wound proved to be only superficial, came from Termoli to visit the bttn.

2 LIR.

0100 Battle Patrol (SS Pl) of 7 other ranks to make contact (if possible) with the enemy. Patrol reached area 155/762787. No contact made.

0545 Commanding Officer and RA (Royal Artillery) Officer to Command Post.

1000 Patrol of SS Platoon commanded by Lt HND Seymour crossed the River Simarca to make contact with enemy. Patrol searched houses along Rly (Railway) line running NW, nothing was found. Information from civilians say that German troops were in the vicinity, dressed in civilian clothes. Patrol found two suspects, killed them and documents revealed that one belonged to the 1 Battalion/64 Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the other to the second Battalion of the same regiment.

1000 Patrol of three men sent to Bridge (155/789771).

1730 Standing Patrol of one Platoon (G Company) established in area of bridge to prevent enemy attempts to destroy it.

W/Lieutenant TWH Wilson rejoined the Battalion from hospital.

T/Capt K Neely & W/Capt LJ Samuels, RAMC, Mentioned in Despatches.

A/CSM J Hamilton & A/Sergeant E Mayo awarded the MM.

The following other ranks were Mentioned in Despatches:

W/CQMS C Jones, A/Sergeant H Donaghy, MM, W/Cpl J Holden, W/Cpl J Walsh, W/Cpl H Butler, Rfn J Dowding, Rfn P Salmon.

The following deceased other ranks were Mentioned in Despatches:

Cpl J Hamilton, Lance Corporal A Doherty, Lance Corporal F McDonald, Rfn R Linihan.

9th October

Brigade HQ – TERMOLI.

0545 Patrol 2 LIR reported to have reached 751799 without contact. A patrol to Petaciatto (H7179) was fired upon from area 7280. Enemy gun positions observed at 710810 and 7079. Enemy MT and tank activity was heard from beyond T Tecchio.

0630 6 Innisks reported some enemy activity on left flank and enemy shelling in area. no damage or casualties reported . Recce patrols to pt 149 (7372), but made no contact.

0830 1 RIrF patrol to 760742 made no contact.

0915 Details of Brigade patrols on night of 8/9 October see Appendix.

1300 Informed by 36 Brigade that 56 Recce Regiment (A Squadron) on recce from 773705–743709–757717 from 0700 – 1730hrs on 10th October.

1530 Enemy shelling reported in area 784764. Estimated position of guns 715793.

1635 6 Innisks patrols to 7073 reported enemy guns in area 704679 and 722679. No enemy seen.

1800 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

1945 1 RIrF reported recce patrol to Petaciatto (H7179). Estimated enemy strength in town and on forward slopes said to be approximately one battalion. Patrol observed on 88 gun firing from 725790. Enemy AA was seen north of Petaciatto.

2250 Sitrep reference patrols attached as Appendix.

1 RIrF.

0815 Recce patrol under Sgt Montgomery were sent to Petaciatto and succeeded in contacted the enemy.

1030 A Coy shelled. Two light casualties.

Intermittent shelling around A and B Coys.

Captain NW Bass rejoined from hospital.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

Once again, the only activity was from enemy shell fire and a few shells fell on the town. There was one casualty, slightly wounded.

2 LIR.

0400 Patrol of 25 other ranks commanded by Lieutenant White went forward to make contact. No Contact was made with the enemy infantry. The Patrol was fired on by heavy guns and mortars from areas 7079 & 7280.

0900 Commanding Officer and IO (Intelligence Officer) tour Company areas. Divisional Commander in Battalion area.

Intermittent enemy shelling of G Company area during the day.

Standing Patrol as for the 8th.

10th October

Brigade HQ – TERMOLI.

0630 6 Innisks reported all quiet. 1 RIrF reported early shellfire area 0300-0500hrs, otherwise to report.

1024 AASC clarified position as to bombings. Brigade to submit always through Tentacle. Division will only supplement bomb lines if it is thought that the brigades are not in a position to know the limits of forward troops on their own front.

1635 2 LIR reported many enemy patrols at 786771 1530hrs and 762765 1625hrs. Spasmodic enemy shelling throughout the day.

1 RIrF reported all quiet. Enemy gun located 743768.

1720 6 Innisks reported two enemy aircraft over Bttn area, otherwise nothing to report.

1845 Orders for transport check Termoli-San Giacomo issued.

2030 6 Innisks reported change over completed with interference.

2055 1 RIrF reported 5 casualties through enemy shelling, otherwise nothing to report. Civilian reports indicate OP at pt 286 (6875) composed of four semi-tracked vehicles.

2110 1 RIrF reported change over completed.

Letter on attachment of 8 Indian Division personnel to 38 Brigade issued. Situation brigade front see Sitrep.

1 RIrF.

0500 Stand to and defensive patrols.

1600 Captain BDH Clark admitted to hospital. Lt DFT Thomason takes over as Adjutant.

Orders Group. Orders: Bttn was move into reserve into the area that it took up on the night of the 5th.

1400 C and D Coy positions were to be taken over by 6 Innisks. B Coy positions were to be taken over by 2 LIR. Brigade support weapons to remain. A 15 cwt truck per coy to report at 1730 to take away heavy kit. Coys were to march away: D, HQ and S moving first. Bttn timings so arranged to ensure a smooth withdrawal.

1845 Bttn starts to withdrawal. On arrival at new position, Bttn HQ houses temporarily in building MR815780.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

Died on this Day:

Lance Corporal Frederick Tinsley, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – SAN GIACOMO.

Major BL Bryar joined the bttn as 2.i.c. The CO returned to take command of the battalion and on the night of 10/11 October, coy positions were changed slightly.

The enemy continued his spasmodic shelling but was now concentrating more on the San Giacomo-Termoli road, and gun positions west San Giacomo.

Major AW Gibbons MC also joined the battalion today and assumed command of C Coy. Many civilians come through from the enemy’s lines bringing information, which often proved valuable.


Am Intermittent enemy shelling of area from unobserved positions.

Am Enemy fighter-bombers attack area of Termoli harbour.

1500 CO’s “O” Group.

1530 Corps Commander and Divisional Commander in battalion area.

1700 Brigadier in Battalion area and visits Battalion HQ.

1900 H Company withdrawn into Battalion reserve. Carrier Platoon and MMG Pl; take over positions. F Company from reserve to area 155/791758.

1930 Patrol ‘June’ 8 other ranks commanded by Lieutenant O’Connor went forward to investigate enemy machine gun posts at road junction 155/722790. Patrol stated that they were stalked by enemy patrol in area 155/75885 & reached no further than 753784.

Standing Patrol at bridge 789771 to be replaced by a section to stay in the area all day. A Platoon to take up position nightly north of the road.