1 RIrF – September 1943

1st September.

Divisional rest period being over, Bttn started to train as per programme.

Training proved difficult as company number were low and had to be amalgamated.

2nd September.

Nothing outstanding occurred during the day.

3rd September.

Training continued as per programme.

Captain RC Hodsall joined the Bttn.


30 Corps HQ announced the immediate awards of the DSO to Lt Col BL Butler MCs to Captain JE McNally and Lieut TE Cammiade, and MMs for 7045206 L/Sgt F Cooper, 697900 L/Cpl H Lamb.

Major MLG Wood rejoined the Bttn.

5th September.

Lt-Col BH Butler DSO proceeded on 14 days leave to Cairo.

Owing to the very wet and windy weather, which had been experienced in the last day or two, the Bttn swimming sports was postponed.

Major CC Markes assumed command of the Bttn.

6th September.

A quiet day. Training continued according to programmes.

Some reinforcements: Lieut Franklyn-Vaile and Lieut JCG Glennie joined.

7th September.

Lieut W Fielding awarded an MC and 3966302 CSM J Keir, 6985964 L/Cpl Gilvear awarded MMs. An ENSA concert was given in Barcelona

8th September.

A quiet day. Nothing out of ordinary to report.

9th September.

1800 A discussion was held in the officers’ mess to discuss infantry weapons and equipment.

10th September.

A draft of 28 ORs and one officer, Lieut LW Fricko, joined the Bttn. Many old Faughs joined up in this draft.

11th September

A quiet day.

1730 A concert party “Stars in Battledress” gave a show, which was much appreciated.

12th September.

1100 Swimming Gala which should have been held last Sunday was held.

Major CC Markes left the Bttn to take command of 4th Bttn Lancashire Fusiliers stationed in Malta.

13th September.

Training continued according to programme.

14th September.

1430 RA Demonstration for all available officers was held at Tripi.

Training continued as usual.

1945 Cinema show in 2 LIR lines.

15th September.

Bttn received warning order of forthcoming move to Taranto in Italy. Carriers were to go about the 19th, marching serials on 24th, and transport on 25th.

1830 Concert by 78 Division concert party was held in 2 LIR lines.

16th September.

A quiet day. Nothing to report.

17th September.

Training continues according to programme.

Preparation for forthcoming move go on in much the same way as they did in North Africa.

18th September.

Carrier platoon under Lieut Pattinson left for Syracuse to embark for Italy. Lt-Col BH Butler rejoined the Bttn.

19th September.

Remainder of carriers left, mortars etc.

2/Lieuts SEJ White, R Phillips, JL Baker, RE Hogan joined the Bttn.

Bttn set off on 18 miles route march.

20th September.

A quiet uneventful day.

21st September.

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.

22nd September

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

23rd September.

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.

24th September.

1000 Bttn embarked on HMS Prince Leopold at West Beach.

1400 Ship sailed.

25th September.

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 JCG Glennie and 2/Lieut HL Hutchinson were both promoted Lieut.

26th September.

0800 Transport arrived after difficult road journey from Messina.

C of E and RC parade services.

27th September.

0800 12 mile route march.

28th September.

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.

29th September.

1300 Bttn main party board train for Barletta.

1700 Transport arrived at camp assembly area Barletta.

30th September.

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