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10th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment – War Diary October 1943

4th October 1943 Linguaglossa

Battalion training course for junior officers and senior NCO's started.

6th October 1943

2028 Message received from Brigade. Brigade to move to mainland shortly, as forecast in D.O. letter from Brigadier to CO dated 20th September.

8th October 1943

1730 Brigade O Group. Brigade to move on October 10th. 12 x 15-cwts, 3 carriers issued to battalion from 30 Corps vehicle park.

9th October 1943

0900 Battalion O Group. Details of battalion move - see Battalion Movement Order issued later. 1000: Divison Commander visited battalion and met company commanders.

He said "good-bye", and wished the battalion the best of luck.

1000 Lieutenant F.D. Jones left on advance road recce party.

pm Transport issued from 30 Corps:- 16 x 15-cwts, 4 x 3-ton, 4 Jeeps, 4 carriers.

1600 Brigade Movement Order No.1 received.

1830 Amendment to Brigade Movement Order received.

2000 Battalion Movement Order No.2 issued.

10th October 1943

0650 Battalion Road Group moved off in accordance with Movement Order. They crossed Messina Straits in LCT from Messina to Gallico marina and proceeded on route laid down, staging as set out in Appendix A.

0710 Battalion (marching troops) left in TCV for Messina.

0745 MT road party moved off in accordance with Movement Order. They crossed the straits as did Battalion Road Group and proceeded on route laid down staging as set out in Appendix A.

1000 MT sea party left for Messina.

1100 Messina Battalion arrived Messina.

11th October 1943

1330 Battalion embarks on S.S. Royal Ulsterman, and MT party in LST.

12th October 1943

1130 Battalion disembarked from S.S. Royal Ulsterman, which was required at Augusta, and returned to Transit Camp.

1300 LST left Messina.

1215 Nr. Salerno Road group arrived Salerno, and informed that when battalion arrived, they would go to Brigade harbouring area near town.

13th October 1943 Near Salerno

0800 LST arrived Salerno and MT disembarked and proceeded to harbouring area.

1500 Messina Battalion embarked in four LSIs.

14th October 1943 Salerno

1010 Battalion disembarked Salerno and proceeded to harbouring area.

15th October 1943

1730 Brigadier visited battalion and said that Brigade was now in 56 Division, and would probably move to join them on October 18th.

16th October 1943

1330 Verbal message received from Brigade. Brigade prepare to move October 17th. Recce parties to be at Brigade HQ at 1500 hrs today. Battalion O Group called for 0930 hrs 17th October.

17th October 1943

1115 Movement order: Battalion to be on start line at 0700 hrs 18th October.

18th October 1943
0700 Battalion left harbouring area.

1330 Caserta Battalion arrives at new location - Royal Palace, Caserta. Billetted in Palace.

19th October 1943

1945 Warning Order: Battalion prepare to move at 0730 hrs 20th October to take up reserve to 201 Guards Brigade, on right flank.

2300 One officer per company to report forthwith to HQ 201 Brigade at Bellona 1984.

2330 Battalion ordered to move off at 0600 hrs 20th October.

20th October 1943

0200 Recce group moved off to 201 Guards Brigade at Bellona 1984 and thence to Pignataro 1487.

0600 Battalion moved off in transport to Pignataro 1487.

0920 Marching troops arrive.

1200 Message from Brigade: 10 Royal Berkshires temporarily under command 201 Guards Brigade to relieve 3 Coldstream Guards and hold feature 1489. NOT to be employed operationally.

1330 Feature 1489 under enemy artillery and mortar fire but D Company take over from C Company 3 Coldstream Guards without casualties.

2300 'C' Company patrol under Lieutenant Griffiths with two ORs went out to recce area up to 2000 yards north of Point 300 133896.

2330 CO visited D Company.

21st October 1943 Pignataro

0215 CO returned from D Company.

0310 Lieutenant Griffiths returned from patrol. Reported meeting enemy patrol of three at 138904 and saw 27 Germans carrying arms, ammunition., blankets etc. coming from a northeasterly direction.

0700 10 Royal Berkshires return to command of 168 Brigade. Brigadier visited battalion.

1145 CO and IO to Brigade for O Group.

22nd October 1943

1730 Brigade O Group. Brigade ordered mop up valley north of Brigade position.

2115 Battalion O Group. Ditto.

23rd October 1943

0225 Brigade Operational Order No. 1 received.

0915 Brigade O Group. Operation cancelled. Battalion ordered concentrate Rocclietta.

1050 Battalion O Group. Ditto.

1130 Battalion Warning Order for move.

1700 Battalion Operational Order No.1 issued.

2120 Battalion passed Battalion start point.

2215 Battalion passed Brigade start point.

24th October 1943 133922

0315 Battalion arrived concentration area.

0800 CO returned from recce with Brigadier. London Irish Rifles to attack Point 487 (1292). Battalion to attack through to Points 410, 466 and 407.

0820 Company commanders forward for recce and orders. A Company to capture Point 410, D Company to Point 407, B and C Companies Point 466.

0900 Artillery plan received.

1500 Battalion moves. Order of march - C, B, Battalion HQ, A, D.

1600 Battalion arrives area 1192.

1630 Battalion moves to objectives Point 466 and Point 407.

1800 112923 Point 466 occupied no resistance. Point 407 not reached by darkness.

25th October 1943

0600 D Company occupy Point 407.

1040 Battalion HQ and A, B, C Companies move Point 407.

1230 102917 Battalion arrived Point 407.

1730 Zuni Battalion HQ moves to Zuni. Tac HQ remains previous location.

26th October 1943

1000 Tac HQ joins Main HQ Zuni.

1200 108908 A and B Companies concentrate Zuni 108908.

27th October 1943

1630 Battalion HQ to 109708.

2030 One platoon Grenadier Guards to relieve D Company arriving 0630 – 0700. One Platoon Coldstream Guards to relieve C Company arriving battalion 0700 – 0700.

28th October 1943

0030 Brigade Operational Order No. 2. Brigade to capture railway cutting 0792. Battalion at two hours notice as reserve.

0840 Zuni Battalion concentrate Zuni.

1110 CO to Brigade. Battalion to concentrate 084917 not before ?tanks?

1900 Battalion ordered move earliest 29th October.

2105 Battalion ordered move.

29th October 1943

0130 168 Brigade Operational Order No.3.

0530 Detail for move issued.

0730 Battalion moves.

0900 083917 Battalion concentrated.

1310 CO to Brigade 1 London Irish Rifles to attack Point 250 057958. Battalion to attack Point 332 051964.

2000 Battalion O Group. Orders for attack.

2150 Battalion Operational Order issued.

30th October 1943

0530 Battalion moves.

0755 Battalion arrived FUP.

0800 London Irish Rifles take Point 250.

0830 OC D Company wounded.

1100 066954 Battalion HQ established.

1100 072959 C Company in reserve area.

1120 D Company reach objective.

1245 Battalion HQ mortared.

1330 A Company reached objective. Cleared of enemy.

1445 Important map found on PoW.

1515 Enemy transport observed in Furnolo. Shelled by artillery.

1615 Patrol Orders: A Company to 043963. B Company to 049973.

2310 Orders for 31st October.

31st October 1943

0712 1 London Scottish in Teano!

0720 Gloriani C Company established in Gloriani. Clear of enemy.

1230 054962 Main Battalion HQ new position established.

1415 Tac HQ established.

1515 Civilians report Roccamonfina clear of enemy. All bridges Teano - Roccamonfina blown, road Roccamonfina - Conca blocked and mined.

1900 Brigade Warning Order for Advance 1st November.

2200 Brigadier visit Tac HQ. Battalion to advance to Roccamonfina via Monte Alano.

2215 Orders received for patrol.

2300 Battalion Operational Order for advance. Issued PoW log for month attached.