26th September

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

Clocks set back one hour. Recce parties waiting at Taranto for Brigade Group to concentrate.

0630 MT column resumed journey via Rocca (Z5801), Strongoli (Z6378), Cariati (U5305).

1200 MT column halted for lunch U 2315.

1300 MT column resumed journey via Corigliano (U1613), Trerisacce (U1643), Sibari (U1130).

1700 Arrived staging area Sibari (U1130). Total mileage for day 99 miles. Marching personnel disembarked Taranto.


1 RIrF.

0800 Transport arrived after difficult road journey from Messina.

C of E and RC parade services.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.


2 LIR.

(MT) By road to area 1335 (Sheet 43) thence to Taranto and joined Battalion at 1200 hrs on 27.9.

20% of Battalion allowed on leave to Taranto.



27th September

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

Recce party waiting at Taranto for Brigade Group to concentrate.

0700 MT column left staging area Sibari for Bari taking north toad 12 km west of Taranto (cross roads P5817) via Gioza Del Colle ((P4748), Cassamassima.

From Bari, column proceeded by coast road via Giovanazzo ((P2491), Molfetta (P1743), Bisceglia (P0996) to Trani (P0301).

1800 MT column arrived Trani and harboured for night off road Trani–Corati, 1½ miles north of Trani


1 RIrF.

0800 12 mile route march.


6 Innisks – ITALY.

Transport arrived at Taranto at 0800hrs. Carriers and Mortar platoon were already there.


2 LIR.

20% of Battalion allowed on leave to Taranto.



28th September

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

Brigade Commander visited 78 Main HQ with Brasco (Acting Staff Captain).

Brigade Group less Brigade HQ concentrated area Taranto and orders by move of transport by road, personnel by rail issued.

0900 BTO and Camp Commandant left concentration area to recce Brigade area after receiving orders from 78 Division.

Brigade Commander visited area and Brasco joined BTO and Camp Commandant on recce.

1430 Brigade HQ established 1 ½ miles north of Andria (J9296) in the house of the Ceci family.

Bttn locations 6 Innisks (J9297), 2 LIR (J9300), 1 RIrF ((9298).


1 RIrF.

Advance party under command of Captain JK Brown left for Barletta. The rest of the men were given leave to visit Taranto in two parties: morning and afternoon.

Lieut DF Thomason (B Coy: 2 i/c). Lieut DR Stapler (C Coy), and Lieut RW Gamble (S Coy: OC Carriers) joined the Bttn and joined the coys noted.


6 Innisks – ITALY.

Bttn route march.


2 LIR.

0830 Battalion: route march, 12 miles. Companies march independently.

80% of Battalion allowed out on leave in the afternoon.

1430 Advance Party consisting of Major Conroy & four other ranks left by road for new area 3 miles SW of Barletta.



29th September

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

1400 Brigade Commander, IO, Signals Officer arrived at Brigade HQ from Taranto.


1 RIrF.

1300 Bttn main party board train for Barletta.

1700 Transport arrived at camp assembly area Barletta.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.


6 Innisks – ITALY.

Transport left for concentration area for Andria at 0800hrs.

Marching personnel left for Railway Station–Narsasi – at 0930hrs arriving at 1030hrs. Midday meal served at 1230hrs. En-trained at 1345hrs but owing to non arrival of engine, departure was delayed until 1730hrs.


2 LIR.

0900 Battalion Transport left for new area.

1100 Battalion Marching personnel move to Railway Station. North of Taranto.

1600 Battalion Transport arrived at new area 0 9298, 3 miles south of Barletta.

1700 Bde Marching Personnel move by train to Barletta Station.



30th September

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

Marching personnel arrived in Brigade concentration area by rail.

Extract from 78 Division draft: Admin Order No 7 dated 29 Sept 43 issued.


1 RIrF.

1700 Main party arrives Barletta after an uncomfortable train journey lasting 26 hours.


6 Innisks – ITALY.

Uncomfortable night spent on train. Breakfast at 0700hrs – monotonous journey. De-trained at Barletta at 1500hrs, orders for Trani having been cancelled. Hot tea served to bttn, who then marched to Andria, where camp was sited. Water facilities were very bad.

Coy Commanders’ conference at 1730hrs.

CO attends conference at Brigade.


2 LIR.

1730 Marching personnel arrive at Barletta Station and march to new area arriving at 1845.

During the month until embarkation to Italy the Battalion trained under company arrangements.