2 LIR – June 1943

1 June

Major DW Conroy rejoins Battalion from X (iv) list.

Lieutenant BC Stigant admitted to hospital. 

2 June

Battalion moves by Companies to new location. Battalion HQ established 695082 (Sheet 54 Algeria 1/50,000).

Captain TL Laister (late Adjutant) visited the Battalion.

He took many photographs, including a group of officers (Photographs att. Appendix).

He also wrote the History of the Irish Brigade for publication.

Major JW Dunnill awarded the DSO and Rifleman Bishop received a Commendation certificate.

3 June

Platoon and Company Training commences. Signal Cadre is started under the Signal Officer – Lieutenant Lovatt.

Lieutenant Glasgow and the remainder of the Carrier and Mortar Platoons rejoin their Platoons at La Mornaghia for training at a Brigade Carrier and Mortar Training School.

4 June

Companies construct their own ranges. 2-i-c recces Field Firing Range. 4 Officers and 20 NCOs attend Course Number 1 at the Brigade Battle School. Lieutenant Lyness posted there as an Instructor and Lieutenant White as Officer Commanding Demonstration platoon.

5 June

Snipers Course commences under the Intelligence Officer. Duration 10 days. 4 men per Rifle Company attended.

W/Lieutenant Harper (RUR) joined the Battalion from X(iv) list and posted to 6 Innisks the same day.

6 June

Anti Tank Platoon attached to 64 A/Tk Regiment RA for training and firing. Duration about 3 weeks.

7 June

Pioneer Platoon attached to 214 Field Company RE for training. Duration one week.

W/Lieutenant BC Stigant rejoined the Battalion from hospital.

W/Lieutenant Wilkin posted to 1 RIrF.

W/Lieutenant Wade posted to Lancashire Fusiliers.

8 June

W/Lieutenant Bird and 2/Lieutenant Daly joined the Battalion from X(iv) list

9 June

Company Training.

10 June

Company Training.

11 June

3 Officers and 20 NCOs attended the Course Number 2 at the Brigade Battle School.

W/Lieutenant KDH Rowlette and W/Lieutenant M Tasker promoted A/Captain.

12 June

Lieutenant Clark in charge of a party of Officers and NCOs per Company to go to Phillipeville to inspect LST and MLC.

13 June

Company Training.

14 June

Intelligence Section attended divisional intelligence course. Duration four days.

T/Captain DHM Davies (Welsh), T/Captain J KH Culverhouse (RE)

W/Lieutenant GT Griffiths (RWK) W/Lieutenant EJ Griffiths (Welsh) joined Battalion from X(iv) list.

T/Captain KS Grannell (RUR) joined Battalion from RWK

T/Captain WH Westcott admitted to hospital.

Seven Officers and 27 NCOs attended Course Number 3 at the Brigade Battle School.

15 June

Three Company Commanders, 3 Platoon Commanders, and 4 Platoon Sergeants attended courses at 18 Army Group Battle School.

16 June

2’’ Mortar Course for all Platoon detachments under the 2 i-c. Duration 2 days.

17 June

Company training.

18 June

HM The King visited the Division. The Battalion lined the route to Divisional HQ and the King spoke to Brigade Command Group including the Commanding Officer – Lieutenant Colonel TPD Scott.

19 June

Warning Order received. Advance Party to move on 21st to new area at Hammamet. (This was later postponed to 23rd).

20 June

T/Captain WH Westcott rejoined Battalion from hospital.

T/Captain Findlater admitted to hospital.

21 June

All personnel attending courses at the Brigade Battle School rejoined the Battalion. A/Tk Platoon rejoined the Battalion.

23 June

Advance Party under Lieutenant Barker move to new area at Hammamet.

Battalion Move Order issued.

Battalion Exercise

Object – To exercise the Battalion “R” and “O” Groups and the rapid deployment of the Battalion.

This exercise was held to discover the weaknesses and the best method of dealing with the Battalion recce and Order Groups under the new Battalion Higher Establishment. “S” Company Commander must be included in the Recce Group and he must bring up with him his Platoon Commanders or a representative so that they may receive orders at the first possible opportunity.

It is essential that the Anti Tank Platoon Commander is well forward with Officer Commanding “S” Company at Forward Battalion HQ during the initial stages in order that the guns may be brought up immediately into position as soon as consolidation is about to take place.

Company Sergeant Majors are invaluable at the “O” Group and always come forward with the Company Commander.

24 June

Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer left for new Battalion area.

25 June

Battalion moves to Hammamet. Leaves 0730 hrs. Arrived at Staging Area (Souk El Arba) at 1650 hrs.

26 June

Battalion leaves Staging Area for remainder of journey to Hammamet. Arrives at new location 1730 hrs. Battalion HQ established 461171 (Sheet 37, Tunisia 1/50,000.)

27 June

Company training re-commences.

28 June

Company Training.

29 June

Battalion Exercise

Object – To exercise the Battalion in the rapid staging of the attack and consolidation of the objective. The Battalion was commanded by Major APK O’Connor.

Students attending course at the 18th Army Group Battle School rejoined the Battalion.

30 June

Company Training

1730 The Battalion inspected by General Sir BL Montgomery. He spoke to the Commanding Officer, 2nd in command, Adjutant, all Company Commanders and the RSM. Afterwards he spoke to all ranks, asking them where the best soldiers came from. He had many replies, but he told them that all the best soldiers came from Ireland and how pleased he was to have them all in his Army.

T/Captain Fitzgerald and T/Captain Hall promoted to A/Majors.