Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


2 LIR – April 1944

1 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0030 Patrol Hugh in. NTR.

0405 H Coy’s line disconnected. Line party out.

0445 Patrol Titus in. NTR.

0505 Five shells in valley below Bttn HQ.

0510 Five shells in F Coy area.

0515-0550 Nineteen enemy shells in valley below Bttn HQ (fired from two guns, possibly 10.5cm). Probably 4.2” mortars at 843240.

0600 Brigade line reported disconnected.

Sitrep – Night 31 March/1 April. Night’s issues of rations, water and certain stores effected successfully and lift of previous night’s jettisoned stores by 20 additional mules got under way. Will continue additional process nightly to maximum pressure but doubtful of this will prove adequate to get reserves of all classes in position by end of night 2/3 April. Patrols Hugh and Joe NTR. At approx 2215hrs, Patrol Timothy made contact with enemy patrol 30 strong and succeeded in passing information back to Coy HQ. Enemy then engaged with 3” mortars and dispersed. Whole of that coy front then covered by additional patrols and rest of night NTR.Visibility very foggy. Enemy shelling at 2300hrs (2 shells), 2350 (2 shells), 0200 (2 shells) and 0505-0530 (30 shells). No casualties in forward area . One OR wounded area 1 RIrF HQ. At 0520, enemy shelling area rear platoon right forward coy

0605 Shell rep from F Coy – 15 HE in coy area from enemy 5 cm mortars. Bearing 265 degrees magnetic. From 0510-0520hrs.

0610 Three enemy shells in valley below Bttn HQ.

0645 One enemy shell in valley below Bttn HQ.

0720 Intentions for night 1/2 April- Effect daily maintenance by mule convoy. Continue placing reserves of all classes in all forward area to maximum of mule lift.

Patrols:

Right – recce patrols 1 NCO and 3 (E Coy) to area 828245. Tom 1915 -2300hrs. Dick to repeat at 2315-0300. Harry to repeat at 0315-0445. Task – to give warning of any enemy attempt to interpose between ourselves and 1 RIrF .

Centre – recce patrols, 1 NCO and three to area of saddle between E and H Coys. Cain (H Coy)1930-0015. Abel (E Coy) 0030-0400. Task – to give warning of any enemy attempts to intersperse between E and H Coys.

Left – recce patrols, 1 NCO and 3 to area 826235. Mathew 1915 – 2300. Mark to repeat at 2315-0300. Luke to repeat at 0315 – 0445. Task – to give warning of any enemy attempt to interpose between ourselves and 6 Innisks.

Special light signal – for tonight, one green verey will bring special 3” mortar DFs. All informed.

0810 Sgt Jones of Mortar Platoon reports that his detachment in gully leading up to E Coy saw party of 8 men crossing the skyline above their positions at 0245hrs. E Company commander was informed.

0815 No rations to 8 men of Mortar Platoon in E Coy’s area. F Coy supplying today. E contacted and asked to rectify.

1025 One shell in valley below Bttn HQ.

1050 Three shells in valley below Bttn HQ.

1100 Lieut Daly left D Support Group for Bttn HQ.

1120 Three shells in valley – 2 shells in F Coy’s area.

1500 Shellrep from E Coy: 1335-1500 hrs. Observed from 831243.

Area shelled 832245. 1 gun. 19 single shells from 330degree magazine.

Password wef 1400: Challenge – Bread. Answer – Butter.

1530 Nothing further to 0700hrs. Sitrep except intermittent shelling of area 833245 during afternoon. No damage. No casualties. Shelldrake Infantry.

1715 RSM Girvan in charge of loading of mules to clear up Bttn stores in area of Caira. 50 mules with Italian muleteers.

1715 CO and Battle Patrol visit H Company to see dispositions and learn lie of ground in that area.

1915 Patrols Tom and Matthew out.

1930 Patrol Cain out.

2130 Mule train arrives at Caira and is met by coy guides.

2300 Mule train for HQ Coy arrives at Bttn HQ.

2315 Patrols Dick and Mark out.


2 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0030 Patrol Abel out.

0315 Patrols Harry and Luke out.

0700 Sitrep: 1030hrs – Patrol Tom fired on from area 828246 when approaching objective 828245. Left forward coy called for requisition DF 22 at 2202 hrs. Brought down at 2210 hrs. Patrol Cain reports enemy patrol 20 strong forward of Pt 724.

Exchange of grenades. Enemy then made off toward right forward company. Right forward company warned but further NTR.

0425 Patrol Dick saw light in valley immediately in front of patrol base. Answered by light on hill on enemy side. Bearing on enemy MG 42 of 310° and mortar of 40° reported. Engaged by Tac support and own 3” mortars. On engaging, MG 42 flares went up from that area. Answered with 20 bombs from Tac Support. 0530 – Patrol Harry reported in and confirmed foregoing. 0545 – Patrol Abel in NTR. Usual nightly maintenance carried out. 0635 – sound bearing on gun firing on Caira approx 356° .

0825 Intentions night 2/3 April: Carry out internal relief of right forward and reserve coys. Start laying AP minefield in saddle area 830239. Patrol Tummy – Battle Patrol to area 828245. Task – to cover relief of right forward company. – 2015 – 0400 hrs. Patrol Webb – 1 Officer and 10 ORs. Task – to lie up in area 829232to cover mine laying 2015 -0400 hrs. Recce patrols – Tea (2030-2330), Mile (2330 – 0230), Sugar (0230 – 0500). Strength – 1 Officer and 3 ORs. Task – to area 829238 to give warning of enemy approach. One Green verey light for supporting 3” mortar DF for all patrols.

H Coy to supply patrols Webb, Tea, Sugar and Milk.

1400 Enemy airbursts (ranging shells) over road 863238 and hill Fucciata.

1405-1415 Three or four enemy guns, firing singly at 30 second intervals, shelling areas (1) 841245 – sound bearing 320°. (2) Road 851236 – 7, sound bearing 290°. (3) Hill 8523 – sound bearing 240°. Bearings taken from Bttn HQ.

1420–1700 Enemy guns change target areas. ADS from 320° – north slopes of hill 851237 and 847243 – road 862236 – Ken’s mortars in valley 840238.

Shelling continues – from sound bearing 240° magnetic (probably 2 guns) – on track 863235, 863233 in valley below Bttn HQ and ADS. Airburst over road 862236. From sound bearing 290° on hill 2523 and ADS. From sound bearings 320° and 330° on track 859234. Artillery inf. All battalions from Bttn HQ.

1700 Sitrep: 0755 – 3 shells in F Coy area. No casualties.

1400-1700 Enemy shelling and mortaring areas Caira, ADS and B Support HQ. Mortaring 841244. Hit between main buildings and outhouses of ADS. Sound bearing of 285° from 837241. Otherwise NTR from 0700 hrs.

1745–1815 Enemy shelling area of road 844243–4, 844240, area of B Support Group and valley below Btttn HQ.

1806 One OR wounded by shrapnel in H Coy area.

1816 Two shells area B Support Group. Sound bearing – 170° from 837238.

1818 Three shells area 845242. One per minute.

1825 Enemy shelling of ADS. Sound bearing – 285° from 837241.

1920 E Coy ‘bracketed’ by enemy shelling.

1935 E Coy’s signal line broken by shellfire. 14-16 shells – 2 duds. Direct hit on E Coy HQ by 17cm shell. No casualties.

2003 Three shells to left of Brigade HQ.

2225 E Coy report on gun flash on bearing of 290°. Eight seconds between flash and sound.

2310 Major Phillips and Lieut St Maur Sheil arrive at Bttn HQ.

2330 F Coy relief of E Coy completed.

Map reference 789251 reported to Tac 17 Field Regiment as likely enemy gun position.


3 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0129 Three shells on road and ADS.

0133 Seven shells on road and ADS.

0155–0600 Enemy shells pass over area of Bttn HQ at following times:

0150 (3), 0242 (3), 0315 (1), 0336 (4 – 3 duds), 0338 (2), 0400 (1), 0505 (2), 0600 (4).

0315 Brigade line disconnected.

0450 Patrol Tommy in. Reports movement in area 828247 (not thought to be enemy).

0600 Sitrep: Patrols NTR. Minefield not yet complete. No enemy shelling in Bttn area last night.

0920 Intentions. Night 3 / 4 April. Reliefs. G Coy to occupy E Coy position when relief completed. E Coy will withdraw to B Echelon. Continue laying AP mines in area 830239. Effect daily maintenance and build up reserves in forward areas.

Patrols – Recce patrols PIP (1930-1045), Squeak (1045-0200) and Wilfred (0200-0515). Objective – 828245.Route out – alternately from right forward, rear and left forward plus F Coy. F Coy to supply. Task – to give warning of enemy approach. Ambush patrol Popeye (2030-0400) – 1 Officer and 10 ORs. Objective – 828239. Route out and in – from left forward and F Coy. F Coy to find. Task – to protect mine laying.

Ambush patrols – H Coy. Each 1 Officer and 10 men. Buck (2015 – 0030) and Ryan (0030-0500) . Objective – 827233. Route out and in – through H Coy’s FDL. Task – ambush enemy attempting to penetrate left outer Bttn area.

1130 One enemy shell in E Coy area.

1215 Three shells on Hill 446.

1600 Four shells on Fucciata behind MDS.

1630 Four shells at 847237 and mortar bombs at 827232.

1650 Four shells (possibly 15 cm) on road between 846238 and 849237 (small explosions and fire on side of road followed for 10 minutes).

1730 Sitrep: Slight mortaring of areas 837241 and 832242 during afternoon. No damage or casualties. One day’s reserve rations now held in forward areas.

2130 Enemy shelling Cavendish Road.

2315 F Coy report suspected German OP at 804264.


4 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0030 Patrol Pip reports noise of digging and voice half way up Monte Caira.

0135 E Coy reports 8 Platoon relieved. Relief of 7 Platoon in progress.

0140 Lines to brigade and 1 RIrF broken. 1 RIrF line ordered to be repaired – contact with brigade to be made that way.

Rear link open during break.

0210 Relief of E Coy completed.

0315 Line to 1 RIrF now repaired.

0350 Patrol Squeak reports 825245 as possible reference point of sounds and movement reported by Patrol Pip. Mortar Support informed. Patrol Wilfred asked to confirm.

0430 Three shells from bearing 270° magnetic.

0515 Brigade lines now ok.

0525 Patrol Wilfred in. Confirmed sounds reported by Squeak. Sounds ceased at 0420.

0530 Two red flares and a grenade from area of 1 RIrF.

0535 2” Mortars engaging area 825245.

0550 Enemy mortar fire on F Coy forward slopes from bearing 260°.

0615 F Coy report fire in gully towards Monte Cairo caused by counter battery area.

0745 Body of German soldier found in front of area of H Coy’s left forward platoon. Evidently killed by grenade exchange a few nights ago.

0815 Five shells (dud) in area of mule harbour.

0830-0930 Enemy shelling along valley and gully. About 20 shells at Pts 840248, 841247, 841243 and area Pt 754 (830243).

0930 Enemy mortars (probably 3 barrelled mortar) firing from approximately sound bearing 240° into gully 840248.

Intentions night 4/5 April: Continue laying mines in area 830239. Effect normal maintenance.

Patrols – Apple (2000-0015) and Sammy (0015-0500) from F Coy. One officer and 10 ORs; Objective – 827244. Route – out through left forward coy, in through centre and reverse.

Ambush patrol Topsy (2015-0400) by Battle Patrol. Objective – 826238. Route – out and in through right forward platoon.

Ambush patrols Peter (2015-0030) and Piper (0030-0500) from H Coy. Objective – 827234. Route  – out and in  through left of left forward coy. Task of all patrols (less recce) – ambush all enemy moving in the immediate area of patrols.

1315 F Coy report slight mortaring of coy area by four enemy mortars 1245-1300 hrs . No casualties.

1630 Dead German (reported at 0745 hrs) identified as belonging to 211 Grenadier Regiment, 71 Infantry Division. Identity and paybook sent to brigade.

1745 Two shells on 4.2” mortars. No casualties.

1750 Slight enemy shelling 3” mortar position and right forward company. No casualties.

1820 Fourteen shells in and around Bttn area. Sixteen shells in H Coy area – sound bearing approximately 260° from 829239 – including seven duds. F Coy report sound bearing 250° from 830242 – 18 seconds between gun explosion and shell explosion.

1955 Sgt Major Long H Coy hit in jaw by shrapnel. Slight wound, will return to coy in morning.

2130 Lieut Seymour and Lieut Lovatt report at Bttn HQ.

2240 E Coy report 4 casualties and H Coy 3 casualties from shelling.

2255 Light seen on Monte Cairo. Bearing 320/5° from 829240.


5 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0005 Patrol Apple in. Nothing to report.

0200 1 RIrF report patrol shooting. F Coy informed.

0206 IO RIrF informs us re shooting of DF 12. OK given. F Coy informed.

0220 Four shells, direction of G Coy.

0225 Patrol Topsy in. Nothing to report.

0230 F Coy report mortaring on 830242. One wounded. Counter mortar officer asked for Shamrock.

0245 Pioneers report one leg of AP minefield at 830239 completed – 108 mines.

0250 MMG Platoon report enemy MG firing from 3° right, 2° below top of Monte Cairo – observed from 829244.

0300 IO of 1 RIrF reports that, at 0200hrs, Patrol Greedy encountered Bosche. Both sides opened up. Bosche withdrew roughly to DF 12 and latter fired.

0305 Enemy gun firing on flash bearing 250° from 827244.

0600 Sitrep: Slight evening shelling and mortaring of area. Sixteen shells in area 829239. One OR slightly wounded. Mortar bombs in area 830242. One OR wounded. Half a minefield at 830239 now completed. Patrol Sammy heard enemy movement (5 or 6 men) area 825244. Other patrols nothing to report. Daily maintenance ok, Building up of reserves affected by the fact that muleteers dumped stores halfway up hill and refused to go any further. Another day’s hard rations got forward – two now held.

0835 Intentions night 5/6 April: Continue laying of minefield. Continue to build up reserves in forward area. Patrols – Ambush patrols Toffee (2030-0015) and Apple (0015-0530) – F Coy. Strength – one officer and nine ORs. Objective – 827245. Task – prevent infiltration between 2 LIR and 1 RIrF. Ambush Patrol Duggy (2000-0300) – Battle Patrol. Objective – 827239. Task – protect laying of minefield. Route – out and in through right platoon of left forward coy. Listening posts Swan (2030-0045) and Edgar (0045-0530) – H Coy. Strength  – 1 NCO and 3 ORs. Objective – 827237. Task – to give warning of enemy approach. Listening Patrol (last light and first light) – G Coy. Strength 1 NCO and 2 ORs. Objective – 834245.

1300 G Coy ask for all rations less 1 section to be sent to forward position. Mule point warned.

1410 All coys advised to send three guides to G Coy HQ and all available mule ropes.

1540 Four rounds from 88mm on Lieut-Coles’ platoon F Coy. Sound bearing – 270° from 830242. Passed to Sheldrake.

1730 Sitrep: Nightly maintenance ok. Patrol Sammy heard slight movement in area 825244. Slight shelling and mortaring of bttn area.Two ORs wounded.

1740 Four enemy shells in H Coy area.

2115 F Coy report 2 enemy mortars in area 821252. Bearing of 325° from 830242. Possible source of harassing fire on right forward company.

2140 Mortar fire from 829244. Passed to Sheldrake.

2205 F Coy report mortar fire from 829237 – bearing of flash 320°. H Coy report mortar fire from 826237 – bearing of flash 323°.

2206 Map ref code compromised.

2300 Lieut White MC left Bttn HQ for B Echelon.

67203 T/Major HEN Bredin MC (RUR) posted to command 6 Innisks wef 16/3/44.

P/66183 T/Major JH Coldwell-Horsfall MC (RIrF) posted to bttn wef 16/3/44. Assumed duties as second in command.


6 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0055 Patrol Toffee in. Nothing to report except for shooting of Hamilton target (821256) by 4.2” mortars. F Coy report that Cpl Wyatt killed and Cpl Barrett wounded.

0130 PSM Fraser reports that mines were carried up without mules. None laid owing to time taken in carrying.

0240 Patrol Duggy in. Reports digging heard in area 821239, otherwise nothing to report. Patrol Toffee in. Reports having heard shouting at 821256 when this area was engaged by 4.2” mortars.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

0835 Intention night 6/7 April: Effect internal relief of left forward coy. Continue laying minefield. Effect normal maintenance and build up reserves of all classes.

Patrols – Nigger (2015-2359) and Punch (0015-0500) – F Coy.

Strength – 1 NCO and 3 Ors. Objective – 827244. Route – in and out through right forward platoon of left forward coy.

Ambush patrol Judy (2015-0400) – F Coy. Strength – one officer and 9 ORS. Objective – 827240. Route –in and out through left forward platoon of right forward coy. Task – protect right flank, internal relief and cover mine laying. Ambush patrol Jill (2015-0400) – one officer and Battle Patrol. Objective – 825236. Task – protect flank left forward relief. Listening post Lizard (2030-0530) – G Coy. Strength – one NCO and 2 ORs. Objective – 833246. Task – give warning  of enemy infiltration between 2 LIR and 1 RIrF.

1455 Six mortar bombs in area 830242.

1500 Two mortar bombs in area 836236.

1800 Sitep to brigade.

1810 Fourteen enemy shells between Bttn HQ and F Coy (including four duds). Sound bearing 285°. Case of unexploded shell 2 foot long, 8” in diameter.

1845 Four shells (17 cm) area Caira.

F Coy report 23 heavy shells (5 duds) in their area from 1755-1845. Sound bearing 230° from 830242.


7 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0001 Patrol Nigger in. NTR except digging heard at 821239.

0420 Patrol Judy in. NTR.

0430 Patrol Jill in. Reports 9 dead bodies in area 825234 – 2 Germans and the rest French. Approximately 10 days old. No identification. Digging or drilling heard area 821239.

0430 Relief of H Coy fully effected. Pioneer Officer arrived Bttn HQ.

0530 Patrol Lizard in. NTR.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

0835 Intentions night 7/8 April: Relieve H Coy with E Coy, former to withdraw to B Echelon. Continue laying of minefield. Carry out normal maintenance and building of reserves in forward areas.

Patrols – Recce patrols Beade (2035-0500)- F Coy.  One NCO and 3 ORs. Objective – 827238. Tasks – to give warning of enemy approach. Ambush patrol Jean (2015-0040) – G Coy. One officer and 9 ORs. Objective – 825236. Task – ambush any enemy moving in area of objective. Standing patrol Patience (2015-0530) – H Coy. One NCO and 2 ORs. Objective – 813246. Task – give early warning of enemy approach.

1845 F Coy report mortar fire from Hamilton.

1856 Thirty rounds fired by our 4.2” mortars on Hamilton.

2045 Enemy mortaring – bearing 182° from 833242.

2105 Transport heard – 220° magnetic from 830242.

2359 RSM reports no extra mules. Will try and lay on 30 for tomorrow.


8 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0040 Patrol Jean in. NTR.

0041 F Coy report mortar firing – bearing 240° magnetic from 833244.

0110 Seventeen TAC report above mortar probably at 820235. Engaged.

0200 Inter coy relief completed.

0500 Patrol Beade in. Reports digging and sawing heard 822247.

0510 Patrol Ellen in. Reports heavy lorry at 823 239 at 2100 hrs. At 0200, more lorries and tracked vehicles heard some location moving towards San Lucia.

Twenty mortar bombs on bttn area.

0830 Intention 8/9 April: Carry out closer investigation area 823239 re noise of MT. Start laying 3rd leg of minefield. Effect normal maintenance and ferrying forward reserves of all classes. Patrols – Recce patrol York (2015-2345) – F Coy. One NCO and 3 ORs. Objective – 827244. Task – to give warning of early attempt to penetrate between 2 LIR and 1 RIrF. Patrol Hull to repent at 0015-0500.

Recce patrol Bath (2030-0400) – one officer and Battle Patrol. Objective – 827239. Route – out and in through left platoon right forward company. Task – provide information  on which enemy working parties and transport can be engaged by artillery or heavy mortars. Ambush patrol Cowes (2030-0445) – G Coy. Objective – 825236. One officer and 9 ORs. Task – ambush enemy left forward coy area. Listening post Herald (2015-0530) – E Coy. One NCO and 2 ORs. Objective – 833246. Task – give warning of enemy approach between 2 LIR and 6 Innisks.

1445 Five shells in bttn area.

1650 Enemy leaflets seen falling in area 846257.

1810 Enemy shelling left of G Coy. 12 – 14 shells. 250° from 832242..


9 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0130 Patrol Bath reports by radio, mortar heard in rock gully.

0220 Pioneers report minefield prepared for laying.

0400 Patrol Bath in. Contacted and engaged 2 German patrols each 4 men strong. One German wounded but could not be recovered. Estimated 821239 held by 1 platoon. No movement or MT movement heard.

0445 Patrol Cowes in. Heard about 2 trucks and motor cycles moving towards San Lucia at 0430hrs. Patrol York in. Reports digging to,; their front and movement along  gulley in southerly direction. Herald in. NTR.

0510 Eighteen shells (8 duds) in valley below Bttn HQ.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

0845 Spasmodic shelling of Caira.

0900 Intentions night 9/10 April: Attempt ambush enemy patrols believed to be working area 827239. Continue laying of minefield. Effect normal maintenance – build up reserves –clear up items dumped along track on previous nights.

Patrols – Ambush patrol Penguin (2015-0430). F Coy. One officer and 9 ORs. Objective – 817 245. Task – ambush enemy attempting to approach coy front. Ambush patrol attempting to approach coy front. Ambush patrol Owl (2030-0400) – one officer and Battle Patrol. Route – out and in through left forward platoon and left forward coy. Task – Attempt ambush any patrols working in immediate area and provide timely information of enemy activity in area between 821238 and 805231. Recce patrols Pigeon (2215-0030) and Woodcock (0030-0500) – G Coy. Each one officer and 3 ORs. Objective – 828234. Task – give warning enemy approach left flank. Bttn area. Listening post Parrot (E Coy) – One NCO and 3 ORs. Position – 834247. Task – give warning of any enemy attempt to infiltrate between 2 LIR and 1 RIrF.

1900 F Coy report 5 mortar bombs possibly from 817241. Unable to observe owing to rain and mist.

2210 G Coy report 3 shells from our guns landed in coy area. 


10 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0100 Patrol Pigeon in. NTR.

0415 Patrol Owl in. Reports area Bath quiet but movement heard 822245, believe platoon position.

0430 Patrol Penguin in. NTR.

0530 Patrol Woodcock in. NTR.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

Daily maintenance only partially completed owing to slippery tracks.

0830 Intentions night 10/11 April: Relieve present right forward coy (F) by present reserve coy (E). Effect normal maintenance and clear up loads jettisoned night 9/10 due to slippery tracks. Start laying second minefield area 828236. Patrols – ambush patrol Harrogate (2015-0400) – one officer and Battle Patrol. Objective – 827245. Task – cover relief of forward coy.

Recce patrols Leeds (2015-0100) and Sheffield (0115-0500) – G Coy. One officer and 3 officers. Objective – 829238. Task – give warning of enemy approach bttn area. Recce patrols Coventry (2215-0030) and Doncaster (0030-0500) – G Coy. One officer and 3 ORs. Objective – 828234. Task – as above. Listening post Darlington (2030-0430) – E Coy. One NCO and  2 ORs. Objective – 834247. Task – give warning enemy infiltration on right flank.

1530 F Coy report 6 mortar bombs in coy area.

1540 F Coy report 3 mortar bombs in coy area.

1730 Sitrep to brigade: Wiring of right hand platoon of left forward coy completed and that of left forward platoon of same coy commenced. C/M task Shamrock fired in reply to mortaring at 1530. General salvage tasks conducted in bttn area in few parts not under observation.

264993 W/Lieut W Gentle posted from x(iv) list.


11 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0145 Patrols Leeds and Coventry in. NTR.

Pioneers report new track almost complete.

0410 Patrol Harrogate in. Report MT activity about 2200hrs on road leading to San Lucia.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

Relief of F Coy carried out ok.

0830 Intentions night 11/12 April: Relieve F Coy, in reserve role with H Coy. Former to withdraw to area B Echelon on completion of relief. Carry out normal maintenance – build up reserves – clear up stores jettisoned on previous night – continue laying second minefield. Patrols – Recce patrols Sturgeon (2015-0015) and  Cod (0015-0445) – E Coy. One NCO and 3 ORs. Objective – 827246. Recce patrols Salmon (2030-0030) and Trout (0030-0430) – E Coy. One NCO and 3 ORs. Objective – 828238. Tasks – give warnings of enemy approach and provide information of enemy movement on their front.

Ambush patrol Shark (2030-0400) – G Coy. One officer and 9 ORs. Objective – 827235. Task – ambush any enemy approaching coy area.

1150 E Coy report Nebel observed firing from 814233 at 0030hrs.

1945 Harassing fire arranged for MT movement on San Lucia road about 2130-2200 hrs.

2010 Captain Hall and Lieut Craig report at Bttn HQ.


12 April– IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0230 Relief of F Coy completed.

0415 Patrol Shark in. NTR.

0430 Patrol Cod reports MT movement on track 823239 – San Lucia. All other patrols NTR.

0830 Intentions night 12/13 April: Carry out normal maintenance and collection of stores jettisoned on previous mule runs. Continue laying minefield. Patrols – Ambush patrol Bull (2030-0400) – E Coy. One officer and 9 ORs. Objective – 828245. Task – Ambush enemy infiltrating between 2 LIR and 1 RIrF.

Recce patrols  Leopard (2015-2359) and Panther (0001-0500) – G Coy. One NCO and 3 ORs.Objective – 828238. Task – give warning of enemy approach. Ambush patrol Tiger (2030-0300) – one officer and Battle Patrol. Objective – 827235. Task – ambush enemy attempt approach left flank of bttn area.

1730 Sitrep to brigade. NTR.

2315 G Coy report own artillery put 2 or 3 rounds in their area.


13 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0055 Patrol Leopard in. Reports shouting heard 823239 and half tracked vehicles heard leaving this location on two occasions between 2030 and 2359 moving towards San Lucia.

0355 Patrol Tiger in. Reports no enemy patrol activity but half tracked vehicles heard direction of San Lucia 1030-0145hrs. Enemy sniper fired three times from position 400 yards left front of patrol.

0520 Patrol Bull in. NTR.

0525 Patrol Panther in. Reports noise of mule carts and motor cycles throughout night.

0600 Sitrep to brigade. Enemy mortaring at 1700 hrs caused 3 wounded in left forward company.

0615 G Coy report mules missing.

0830 Intentions night 13/14 April: Carry out normal maintenance and collect stores jettisoned on previous nights. Continue laying minefield. Patrols – Recce patrols Plum (2030 -0045) and Apple (0100 – 0500) – E Coy. One NCO and 3 ORs. Objective – 827245. Task – give warning on enemy on right flank. Recce patrols Fish (2015 – 0015) and Paste (0030 – 0430) – G Coy. One NCO and 4 ORs. Objective – 828238. Task – give warning of enemy approach to centre of bttn area. Ambush patrol – Chips (2030 – 0300) – One officer and Battle Patrol. Objective – 827236. Task – ambush any enemy attempts to approach left flank of the bttn area.

1100 Two Polish officers and Brigade Major visited Bttn HQ and saw CO.

1501 Enemy mortars firing from 822235 area.

1525 Ten shells (3 duds) in area 829235.

2150 Lieut Colonel Goff returned to B Echelon. Major Horsfall arrived to take over command. Captain Grannell and Lieut Shillidy (Kens) also reported at Bttn HQ.

2350 Brigade line disconnected. Contract through 6 Innisks; Rear link W/T opened up.


14 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0130 H Coy reports 3 mules missing. Tracks slippery through rain. Brigade line now open. W/T closing down.

0300 Patrol Chips in. NTR.

Mine laying party (Pioneers) in. Unable to continue owing to rain.

0400 E Coy report 9 mules arriving, 7 missing.

0510 Patrol Fish in. Reports small enemy patrol passed their front at 2130 moving south to north. Noise heard in farm 823239. At 2300, three heavy trucks heard going toward Monte Cairo.

Patrol Paste in. Reports noise and working parties until 0400 hrs left of farm 823239 at 300 yards.

0525 Patrols Plum and Apple in. Report MT on track going north from 823239 from 0130 to 0300.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

1115 Intentions night 14/15 April: Effect daily maintenance and internal relief of left forward company. Continue laying minefield. Standing patrols – Carol (one officer and one section E Coy) – track 826244. Lewis (one section G Coy) – 826239. Talk (one section H Coy) – 825236. All patrol 2045 – 0530. Tasks – ambush and give warning of enemy ambush.

1730 Sitrep to brigade. Bttn HQ personnel interchanged.

1800 Enemy shelling area 843242 – 4. Ammo dump corner of track 843242 hit. No bttn reserve there.

2355 Right forward coy reports 3 mortars firing – bearing 290° magnetic from 830243.


15 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0030 Lines to left forward and reserve coys disconnected.

0106 E Coy report Cpl Underwood wounded by mortar fire.

0130 Internal relief completed.

0555 Sitrep: All patrols in. NTR.

0740 Intentions night 15/16 April: Effect normal maintenance. Complete wiring of minefield with dannert. Relief of reserve coy (G). Standing patrols – E Coy – 828245. F Coy – 825234. Both one section. 2300 – 0500. Battle patrol to area 824200. Task – location and elimination, if possible, of enemy mortar post in valley in that area. Time out – dusk, time in – completion of task.

1700 Sitrep to brigade.

1721 G Coy report twelve enemy bombs 835240 and 835242.

2030 Re leave to Bari, 5 ORs to go tomorrow. Two officers every fifth day.

2145 E Coy report position of enemy mortar between 825239 and 825242.

2315 Lines to right forward and reserve companies disconnected.


16 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0040 Relief of 2 platoons completed.

0046 All single lines in working order.

0100 Right hand platoon H Coy report enemy in house at 823239.

0230 Battle patrol in. Report enemy mortar at approximately 824242.

0550 Sitrep to brigade.

0830 Intentions night 16/17 April: Completion of minefield. Effect normal maintenance. 3” mortar tasks on information gained in last 48 hrs. Standing patrols – Ash (E Coy) 829246, Maple (F Coy) 827241, Leaf (H Coy) 826238. All patrols – one section. Out – 2045. In – Ash 0500, Maple and Leaf 0430.

1720 Sitrep.

2238 Twelve enemy mortar bombs on right forward company.


17 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0535 Patrol Ash in. NTR.

0537 Other patrols. NTR.

0550 Sitrep. Minefield completed except for wiring.

0830 Intentions night 17/18 April: Effect normal maintenance. Complete wiring of minefield. Standing patrols – Thrush (E Coy) 828244, Robin (F Coy) 828241, Cuckoo (H Coy) 827237. All patrols – one section. In – E Coy 0500, F and H 0430. Verey light green.

1700 Sitrep to brigade.

2015 Second in command at 1 RIrF HQ.

2040 E Coy report enemy shelling

2050-2100 Heavy enemy shelling south of bttn area. Ammo dump in valley below hit.

2200 Captain Cockburn reported 4 men slightly wounded by enemy shelling on way back to mule point.

CO arrived at Bttn HQ. Second in command returned to B Echelon.


18 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0045 5th day reserve ration arrived.

0530 All patrols NTR.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

0830 Intention night 18/19 April: Carry out relief of right forward coy by present reserve coy. Continue normal maintenance and build up of reserves. Standing patrol – Eggs (E Coy) 828244, Bacon (F Coy) 828239, Mash (H Coy) 827236. All patrols – one section. Out – 2045. In – E and F 0445, H 0500. Light signals – succession of green very lights indicates enemy attacks in strength. Signals for forward coys unchanged (2 Reds = I am being attacked). Intercoy reliefs will be carried out by successive platoons in order – right forward, left forward, centre. Each platoon relief will be completed before newt stars. Code word Gravy to be sent by both coys when relief completed

1531 H Coy report concentration of vehicles and tanks – bearing 175° probably west of San Angelo.

1720 Sitrep to brigade.

1955 Nine enemy shells on left forward coy from 822241.


19 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0240 F Coy report relief completed.

0355 E Coy report relief completed.

0455 Patrol Bacon in. Report noise, probably digging, left front.

0530 Patrol Mash in. Also report probable digging in valley 2200 hrs.

0610 Patrol Eggs in. Report MG fire right front.

0830 Intentions  night 19/20 April: Relieve E Coy, in reserve, by G Coy. E Coy to withdraw to B Echelon on completion of relief. Carry out normal maintenance and build up reserve rations. Standing patrols – Daffodil and Daisy (F Coy) and Buttercup (H Coy). Objectives, timings, tasks and strengths all as for patrols Eggs, Bacon and Mash.

1230 F Coy report 12 mortar bombs approximately 821237 – bearing 260° from 830243.

1410 H Coy report 4 enemy shells – sound bearing 265° G.

1730 Sitrep to brigade.

1740 Enemy shelling approximately 20 rounds. Two guns possibly at 805218 and 825244.

1830 H Coy report 3 casualties from mortar fire.

2205 CO at 3” Mortar HQ – proceeding to F Coy.

2215 Lieut Seymour and RSM report at Bttn HQ.

62663 Captain RW Boyd posted to bttn from 6 Innisks.


20 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0110 G Coy report relief completed.

0115 F Coy report shelling of right hand platoon.

0120 Signals report H Coy line disconnected.

0130 H Coy report relief completed.

0300 H Coy line reported ok.

0545 Sitrep to brigade. Patrols – Buttercup heard enemy patrol 825236 moving south (0120 hrs). No contact. Daisy NTR. Daffodil reported enemy MG about 400 yards way – bearing 360° from 828244.

0830 Intentions night 20/21 April: Carry out normal maintenance. Standing patrols Hasty (F Coy) 828244, Havoc (G Coy) 828239, Hotspur (H Coy) 827236. All patrols – one section. Time out – 2045, time in – F & G Coys 0445 hrs, H Coy 0500 hrs. Tasks – give warning of enemy attempt to approach bttn area.

0930 Left forward platoon H Coy report that, at night, when transport moves down road 967246 – 8632332, a red verey light if fired from Monastery Hill and is answered by red verey light from Monte Cairo (7925), 3 guns then open up – 2 on bearing 233° M and 1 bearing 275° M. Both bearings taken from 828236. RA and brigade informed.

1630 Tanks reported at 840162 registered by our medium artillery. Poor visibility made results ineffective.

1650 F Coy report enemy mortaring to their left from 818242.

2230 F Coy report 2 heavy guns firing from Monte Cairo 250° and 260° from 829241.


21 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0025 G Coy report enemy shelling – 235°M from 834239.

0400 CO and 3 Polish Officers leave Bttn HQ for tour of coy areas.

0500 Patrol Hotspur in. Report that gully 825236 was engaged by our heavy mortars at 2315 hrs. Noise of shouting and mules screaming following. Enemy mortar firing from  that area did not fire again. Otherwise NTR.

0505 F Coy reports CO and party arrived.

0550 Patrol Hasty in. At 0230 heard sounds of men climbing 3-400 yards in front of them. Otherwise NTR.

0559 Mortar Platoon reports CO’s party returning.

0600 Patrol Havoc in. Reports noise of working party to their left up to 2359 hrs. Otherwise NTR.

0620 Heavy enemy mortaring of forward area.

0830 Intentions night 21/22 April: 1. Patrols Janus (1 and 3 C Coy) 827243 – 2045/0500 hrs. 2. Jaguar (1 and 3 F Coy) 828239 – 2045/0500 hrs. 3. Jervis (Battle Patrol) 826237 – 2100/0200 hrs. 4. Juniper (1 and 3 H Coy) 828236 – 0200/0500 hrs. Tasks – Patrols 1,2 and 4 are recce patrols and will report all transport movement heard and any other enemy activity to their front. 3 is an ambush patrol and will frustrate any attempt by the enemy to approach of bttn area.

1730 Sitrep to brigade.

1900 Lieut Hawkins evacuated – suffering from dysentery


22 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0220 Patrol Jervis in. Reported noises of enemy working and talking in gully from 2130 to 0200. Own 3” mortars engaged correct target.

0530 All patrols in. NTR.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

0830 Intentions night 22/23 April: Carry out normal maintenance. Patrols – Gin (1 and 3 F Coy), Sherry (1 and 3 H Coy), Port (1 and 3 H Coy). Objectives, times and tasks as for patrols on night 21/22 April.

1630 H Coy report 12 shells bttn area from 820235. Own mortars replied.

2100 G Coy line reported disconnected.

2140 G Coy line reported OK.

2250 H Coy report movement in front of them. 3” mortars fired DF.

245354 W/Lieut MH Hawkins admitted ADS and posted to x(ii) list.


23 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0200 Patrol Sherry in. Reports that, at 2200 hrs, heard sound of water being drawn from well at 825237. Enemy mortar located 825239. Nebel fired three salvos from 823232.

0510 Patrol Port in. Confirms Nebel reported by Sherry. It fired twice more at 0430 hrs.

0515 Patrols Whisky and Gin in. NTR.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

0830 Intentions night 23/24 April: Carry out normal maintenance and begin thinning out surplus stores. Standing patrols – Capstan (Battle Patrol) 827244, 2045 – 0500 hrs. Player (one section G Coy) 828820, 2045 – 0500 hrs. Tripod (one section H Coy) 826237, 2100 – 0200 hrs. Trident (one section H Coy) 828236, 0200 – 0500 hrs. Tasks for all patrols – give warnings of enemy attempt to approach our FDLs.

1700 H Coy report enemy shelling. Sound bearing 295°. Nebel reported by left forward platoon. Visible in daylight.

1800 Sitrep to brigade.


24 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0235 Patrol Tripod in. NTR.

0315 G Coy reports enemy gun shelling rear of night positions, 228°M.

0500 Patrols Player, Trident and Capstan in. NTR.

0530 F Coy mortared from sand pits 817242. Direct hit on forward VMG  post –one killed, 2 wounded.

0600 Sitrep to brigade.

0830 Intentions night 24/25 April:Receive advance party of 16 Polish Bttn. Thin out non essential equipment and stores. Standing patrols – Mercury (G Coy) – 827240. Apollo (F Coy) – 828245, Mars (H Coy) – 827236. All patrols: Tasks – break up enemy attack attempting to reach Bttn FDL. Strength – one section. Out – 2045, In – 0430.

1045 F Coy report enemy mortaring. 350° from left forward platoon.

1800 Sitrep to brigade.

1830–1900 Persistent enemy shelling by heavy artillery of gully between F and G Coys. Gun estimated to be at 754238.


25 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0200–0230 F and G Coys. Brigade and 1 RIrF lines cut. Mule and jeep tracks heavily mortared. Mules dispersed. One Polish Sergeant and 2 Indians wounded.

0530 All patrols in. NTR.

0630 G Coy reports line through. Personnel of Polish advance party all present. No mules.

Sitrep to brigade.

0830 Intentions night 25/26 April: On completion of relief by 16 Polish Bttn, bttn will withdraw to divisional concentration area. Standing patrols – Venus (F Coy) 828244, Juno (F Coy) 828240, Diana (H Coy) 828237. All patrols: Strength – One section. Task – to break up any enemy attempt to interfere with relief. Time out – 2030 hrs, In when relieved by 16 Polish Infantry Bttn.

1730 Sitrep to brigade.

2030 CO’s control group established at Halfway House to meet incoming Polish Bttn.

2215 Two Polish coys with mule train arrive at Halfway House – CO led first coy to Piccadilly Circus 838237.

Bttn guides brought up second coy. Battle patrol acted as guides from Piccadilly Circus forward. One coy relieved right forward coy (F Coy). Other coys relieved reserve coy (G Coy).

2315 Two more Polish coys arrive to relieve left right forward coy (H Coy), remaining coy to go into brigade reserve in 1 RIrF area.


26 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0230 Bttn HQ main party, under command Lieut Seymour, left Bttn HQ area to proceed via mule track to the Inferno 891235 where bttn transport was waiting. Total bttn relief completed and coys withdrawn from forward area.

0405 CO and control group left Bttn HQ area.

0430 Bttn main party arrived at Inferno and proceeded to new area on transport.

0730 Bttn HQ, all coys and B Echelon now situated in area of Pontelatone.


27 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

Rest period. NTR.


28 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0900 Bttn leave parties proceed to Army and Divisional Rest Camps.

1300 Leave parties to cinema and ENSA theatre at Capua.

1700 CO’s conference – Coy commanders and seconds in command and platoon representatives of HQ Coy.

2130 Draft of 50 reinforcements for bttn.


29 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

1330 CO’s lecture to all WOs and Sergeants.

1800 Massed bands of brigade played ceremonial retreat.


30 April – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

1700 CO’s conference on street fighting exercise for following day.