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9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – War Diary November 1943

1st November 1943 - 992954

1345 Battalion moved from 0249422 to Point 576.  Companies took up positions as follows: - A Company 992953, C Company 989958, D Company 994958, TAC HQ HQ 992954.  No enemy contacted.


2nd November 1943 - 974961

1000 Battalion marched off in order A Company, B Company, D Company, TAC HQ to take up positions at Monte Mattone overlooking Monte San Croce.

1600 Companies dug-in without incident as follows: - B Company 974963, A Company 967926, D Company 963951, TAC HQ 974961.  Rear HQ Pugliano.  The 7 Ox and Bucks were on our left and 8 Royal Fusiliers on our right.  No enemy contacted.


3rd November/ 4th November 1943

Battalion stayed in these positions for two days.  Administration was difficult but was well handled by Major Delforce and Captain Rider with the aid of an Italian mule team.  We saw no signs of the enemy in this area.


5th November 1943

0800 Battalion less B Company moved to Filousi area 988970.


6th November 1943 - 988970

1345 D Company moved to San Martino 937996 as patrol company.  They dug-in before dusk with detachment of mortars and troop of anti-tank guns under command.  Patrols were ordered out by the Brigade.  Lieutenant Jones was battalion patrol officer.


7th November 1943

0500 The platoon of B Company suffered casualties in enemy S minefield.

0730 The party of stretcher bearers also had wounded when going to casualties aid.  Casualties numbered 14 other ranks which included three Royal Engineers personnel.


8th November/10th November 1943

A Company took over from B Company in their patrol role.  A Battalion OP was manned by intelligence section at 926001.  A great deal of enemy activity was seen on opposite sides of the River Garigliano but we were not allowed to shell them.  The enemy could be seen digging, parading for meals and testing weapons.  This they did quite brazenly but we had to leave them undisturbed.

A Company suffered one officer and three other ranks casualties on S mines.


11th November 1943 - Filousi

Battalion O group went forward to Point on a recce with Brigadier and Divisional Commander.  Our task was to capture Razor Back Ridge and Pimple to left of it (956073).

1645 Battalion left Filousi to concentration area at 988063.  Quiet night.


12th November 1943 - Canelle

0930 Battalion moved to the area Canelle.

1900 D Company moved forward to Scots Guards position to make good Battalion start line for attack on Razor Back at 956073.

Canelle was shelled intermittently all day.


13th November 1943

We welcomed Lieutenant Colonel V. Sykes-Wright who took over Battalion.

1600 Our attack cancelled.  D Company to remain in positions under command Scots Guards.

1700 Battalion less D Company withdrew to area 988063.


14th November 1943 - 995025

1000 Battalion less D Company moved concentration area of 995025.

2000 D Company started to move back.


15th November 1943

0230 D Company re-joined the Battalion and went into billets at Orcha (0002).


15th - 20th November 1943

Battalion O group was busy in this period as we were in reserves but had to be prepared to counter attack any one of 169 Brigade‚Äôs positions or go to their assistance if the enemy launched an offensive.  The rain was very heavy and conditions were bad in spite of companies taking it in turns to dry out in billets at Orcha.


21st November 1943

Lieutenant Horne RA attached to us as LO went to recce an OP with one Royal Engineer and a pioneer from this unit.  Both other ranks what killed by S mines at C. Fuello (9806).


22nd November 1943

Royal Engineers with a of our stretcher bearers suffered two more casualties trying to extricate the bodies of yesterday.


23rd November 1943

The Battalion ordered to move to Terra Corpo area tomorrow.  Advance party under Major Delforce and Captain Brookes already there.


24th November 1943

0800 Battalion moved to Terra Corpo area.  Battalion HQ 032014, A Company 028014, B Company 033014, C Company 036015. 


25th November 1943/26th November 1943 - 032014

The Battalion O group studying air photographs and details prior to the big attack on the Camino massif.


27th November 1943

Corps commander lectured all officers and WOs on the present situation. Companies practicing climbing hills.


28th November 1943/29th November 1943

Brigadier lectured all ranks on forthcoming operation.  Companies doing more hill climbing with a rucksacks.


30th November 1943

1630 Battalion embussed in motor transport.  Debussed just short of Conca where brigade personnel distributed buns.  Battalion marched to San Clemente.