1 RIrF – November 1944

1st/2nd November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Bttn less C Coy and one section 3” Mortars continues to rest and reorganise.

3rd November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

C Coy cooks’ tents displays eight shrapnel holes. The only casualty being a box containing two rum jars, one of which was broken (the empty one). Mule track in shocking condition; mules stuck belly deep and drowning, just short of Gesso Cemetery, had to be shot.

4th November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Our men had to replace the muleteers who, with the mules, are exhausted.

5th/6th November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Nothing to Report.

7th November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

C Coy relieved by a coy of LIR while D Coy into Salara 021263 u/c LIR.

8th November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

O Group to discuss future move into line and subsequent role as Brigade reserve and move to Castel del Rio rest area.

9th November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Route to Casone 022258 and reserve 3” Mortar position recced.

10th November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Recce diversion on Gesso mule track supplying A/Tk guns and Spinella. There are now two jeeps and seven dead mules in the mud on one stretch of track 25 yards long.

Party at Bttn HQ for officers and Sgts of B and C Coys. Major R Titterton on leave to get married.

11th November – SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Pioneers cleared five mules and one jeep from Gesso track. Party for officers and sgts at S and HQ Coy.

12th November –SAN APOLLINARE 005230.

Pioneers dug out remaining mules and jeep on Gesso track and taped track to Casone.

13th November – CASONE 022258.

Relieved 2 LIR. Completed 1925 hrs.

Tac HQ Casone 0222258. B Coy – 027263. D Coy – 027258. C Coy – 032255 with one platoon at 032253 and a company of 2 Innisks u/c at 022263.

14th November – CASONE 022258.

1210 B Coy had 35 mortar bombs at Spaduro.

1740 Eight 170s in Spaduro. 2 hits.

15th November – CASONE 022258.

Mortaring and shelling on bttn area. Lt Hanssen and 3 ORs wounded by one of our own mines.

16th November – CASONE 022258.

Considerable enemy movement seen and engaged by artillery.

0930 White ambulance seen to remove 4 stretcher cases.

A/Tk position on Gesso received direct hit. No casualties.

1115 A/Tk guns engaged enemy HQ at Scaglia 046285 scoring 12 hits in 14 shots.

1220 Direct hit by mortar bomb on 3” Mortar OP. Killed Sgt de Negri and wounded one. CMO retaliated.

Further movement engaged throughout the day.

17th November – CASONE 022258.

0740 Enemy movement and SP gun engaged by Artillery.

0810 OP shelled by guns 53 and 58.

Countered by CMO.

1035 Gesso ridge being heavily shelled.

1100 Direct hit on A/Tk house buried ammunition. No casualties.

1200 Casa Ortica 041279 has been sandbagged and movement observed there.

1225 D Coy establish wireless communications with Casa Salara, line having been out since 1st light.

1600 Movement at Ortica engaged by 17 Field who registered 3 direct hits.

18th November – CASONE 022258.

0600 B Coy area shelled and MG-ed.

2040 Relieved by 8 A&SH.

19th November – LA STRADA.

Plans made for removal of A/Tk guns. Another direct hit on Gesso house today buried rations. One gun destroyed.

Party at HQ for Officers and Sgts of D Coy.

20th November – LA STRADA.

Tanks to tow A/Tk guns to 019243 from where a tractor will remove them. Bttn at rest.

21st November – LA STRADA.

Tank failed to remove A/Tk guns. Nearly dug itself in instead. Guns will have to be left.

22nd November – CASTEL DEL RIO.

Bttn relieved by 8 A&SH and moved to Castel del Rio.

23rd November – CASTEL DEL RIO.

Baths and showers for bttn. Party in Officers’ Mess for Sgts.

24th November – CASTEL DEL RIO.

R Ops to 2 Innisks. Mess dinner

25th November – CASTEL DEL RIO.

Sgts’ Mess Dinner.

26th November – 0030.

1830 Relief of 2 Innisks complete. Bttn HQ – 003301. B Coy – 006307. D Coy – 003302. C Coy – 005300. RE set up to plot minefield.

27th November – 0030.

Slight shelling in area. Conference with Brigadier, Lt Col Bredin, Lt Col Baker RA.

28th November – 0030.

Slight mortaring and shelling of bttn area.

2100 B Coy patrol (Lt Gunner) reports Black Ridge 009306 to Point 312 clear but found 3 slit trenches at Point 312 (014306).

2205 B Coy reports Rifle, TSMG and grenades area Casa Tamagnin 012302.

2355 Fusilier McLean and Fusilier Kincaid reports patrol reached a point 200 yards east of Tamagnin and 50 yards south of track where they were engaged by 3 enemy. Fight ensued. Two enemy killed. Captain Coetzee wounded and unconscious and had to be left behind.

29th November – 0030.

1430 Enemy movement area Tamagnin engaged by 3” Mortars.

Shelling and mortaring and MG fire in bttn area.

2315 D Coy patrol (Lt Beaver) engaged in area 015307 and Sgt Howell fatally wounded.

30th November – 0030.

0600 Standing Patrol area Point 312 report scream from area of MG target at 0100 hrs.

General shelling and mortaring on bttn area.

2015 D Coy patrol (Lt Beaver) report enemy on both sides of Black Ridge (007306 to Point 312).

2020 B Coy call DF 5. Grenade and Schmeisser fight at OP (007306).

2035 B Coy corrects DF to bring closer.

2050 B Coy called DF 3.

2055 B Coy calls repeat.

2100 B Coy reports all quiet.

2345 D Coy patrol returns. Made no contact after fire fight at B Coy OP.

B Coy Standing Patrol at 312 attacked. Sgt Trickett wounded and captured.