21st September

Brigade HQ – TINDARI.

Brigade letter reference 38 Brigade Movement Order No 6 issued.

Brigade letter cancelling paras 2 and 3 of Brigade letter on moving troops.

Amendment No 1 to 38 Brigade Movement Order No 8 Appendix A issued.

38 Brigade Movement Order No 9 issued.

1 RIrF.

Battalion carried out Assault Boating exercise under coy arrangements. Lieut L Franklyn-Vaile was appointed IO vice Lieut CC Hill, who was admitted to hospital.

6 Innisks  – PATTI.

Preparation for move, Battle platoon swimming test. All passed but two. Swimming greatly improved in the bttn. As a result of our stay at sea, SS platoon raided bttn. Patrols of 3-4 men – very successful

2 LIR.

Amphibious Exercises by the Companies.

22nd September

Brigade HQ – TINDARI.

Miscellaneous instructions regarding move of 38 Brigade to Italy issued.

1 RIrF.

Captain DEH Haywood MC returned from hospital and assumed command of D Coy.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.

6 Innisks – PATTI.

Packing and loading of transport ready for move. Transport lined up for move at 1900hrs. Moved off the following morning at 0530hrs. Transport reached Messina and waited their turn to cross to Reggio but darkness prevented a crossing.

2 LIR.

Brigadier in Battalion Area. All motor transport to prepare to move to Italy.

23rd September


0330 Brigade HQ closed. Recce parties of Bttns and Bttn Commander, IO, SC, LO left Brigade HQ.

0400 Brigade Group MT column left Tindari for Messina via Olivieri (C9247) , Falcone (C9447) Barcellona (D0650), Spadafora (D2059), Bauso (D2660).

0750 Recce party arrived Reggio.

0830 MT column arrived in staging area Messina (D3655).

1500 MT column left staging area Messina for docks. Informed that column would be ferried over to mainland in two separate parties at 2330hrs, and 0330hrs 24 Sept.

1800 Recce party arrived Crotone (Z7057) via south coast route Pellaro (D4437), Melito (D5626), Bova (D6827), Bianco (D8745), Locri ((D9663), Siderno (E0165). Bocello Ionica (E1073), Monastrerace ((E25856), Soverato (E2314), Cutro (E5653).

2330 First party of MT column embarked on ferry Messina for Reggio.

1 RIrF.

Battalion transport under command of Captain JE McNally commenced journey to Taranto.

0520 SP passed.

1600 Bttn received sudden movement order.

1700 Ready to move.

1900 Movement commenced.

2200 Milazzo reached and Bttn bivouacked on the road by the beach.

6 Innisks – PATTI.

Bttn, almost to a man, was bathing in the afternoon, when the order came into move at 16000hrs (Coys were ready to move at 1605hrs – a very good performance). A, B & C Coys moved off to Milazzo at 1800hrs having had to wait for transport. Bttn HQ, and HQ and D Coys warned to move at 2100hrs, at which hour transport arrived. CO decided to move off at 0430hrs. Troops slept near transport.

Bttn transport left Messina at 0630hrs and was complete in Reggio by 0830hrs. Trasnport left Reggio at 1045hrs and had a good journey in good roads to a place on the coast (Z4440) after a run of 120 miles.

2 LIR.

0500 Motor transport column left for Messina by road.

1450 Battalion (Marching Personnel) ordered to be prepared to move by 1530.

1830 Marching Personnel left by RASC troop for Milazzo beaches.

During the morning, the battalion embarked from Milazzo beaches

TLCs took personnel to troopship Princess Josephine Charlotte.

24th September

Brigade HQ.

0200 First party MT column disembarked Reggio and proceeded to staging area D4453.

0330 Second party of MT column embarked on ferry Messina for Reggio.

0600 Recce parties left Crotone (Z7057) for Taranto. Second party of MT column disembarked at Reggio (D4547).

0900 MT column assembled in staging area (D4453).

1015 MT column left staging area D4453 for Catanzaro (Z2537) via Scilla (D5063), Bagnara ((5867), Palmi (D6714), Rosarno ((D7289).

1430 MT column halted for lunch between Rosarno and Mileto.

1515 Column resumed journey via Mileto (Y7903), Vibo Valentia (8310), Pizzo (Y8717).

1730 Recce parties arrived at 5 Corps HQ Taranto.

1830 Owing to bad diversions and darkness over River Amato (R0636), CMP control stopped further progress and column harboured for night approximately 5 miles west of Marcellinara at Z0837. Total mileage for day 94 miles.

1 RIrF.

1000 Bttn embarked on HMS Prince Leopold at West Beach.

1400 Ship sailed.

6 Innisks.

0400 Reveille.

0430 Moved off to Milazzo arriving here at Milazzo – majority of personnel bathed before breakfast (0830hrs).

Embarked on Ulster Monarch and Royal Ulsterman at 1030hrs. Sailed at 1400hrs. Sea calm during voyage, which was without incident. MT reached Crotone at 1000hrs, re-fuelled and left again at 1110hrs. Roads became bad and in some cases were unfinished.

2 LIR.

Motor transport crossed the Straights of Messina by LCMs and disembarked at Catona, joined Bde Convoy. Moved off at 1030 and halted for night at Canova 7177 (Sheets 52/53)

1400 Convoy left Milazzo for Taranto via Messina Straits.

25th September

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

38 Brigade marching personnel embarked at Milazzo  (D0859).

0830 MT column resumed journey via Marcellinara (Z1740), Tirioli (Z1742), Catanzaro (Z2436) coast road to Crotone (Z7057).

1000 Brigade Commander and IO visited 78 Division TAC HQ at Barletta (J9104).

1700 MT column harboured for night Crotone (Z7057). Total mileage for day 69 miles.

2000 Brigade Commander and IO returned to 5 Corps HQ. Marching personnel arrived Taranto. Carriers arriving slowly from various ships.

1 RIrF.

1000 Taranto reached after smooth crossing and started to disembark immediately.

1400 Disembarkation completed and Bttn marched to Divisional concentration area 3 miles outside of the town. 2/Lieut RGE Glennie and 2/Lieut HL Hutchinson were both promoted Lieut.

6 Innisks – ITALY.

MT reached Cariati by night where halt was called.

Bttn reached Taranto. Disembarkation began 1000hrs and completed by 1515hrs.

Bttn left dock area for Divisional concentration area. Marching personnel concentrated by 1615hrs. MT reached a point 8 miles from Taranto after a hard journey over unfinished roads. M/Cs suffered on this road.

2 LIR.

(MT) Continued by road to Crotone Staging Area 6957 (Sheet 48)

1200 Battalion started disembarking at Taranto Inner Harbour by TLCs.

1400 Battalion marched from dock area on to main Taranto-Brindisi road and arrived in the Bde Area 4 miles North of Taranto.