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    War Diary: 5th Battalion Duke Cornwall Light Infantry

    Month and year: Febuary 1944

    The 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) February 1944 War Diary covers the units time in the UK moving from Worthing to Folkestone

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/1280

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    Page 1 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    GENERAL on Feb 3rd, the Bh completed the
    period of training in co-operation with tanks,
    which took place on the South Downs in the
    WORTHING area. For the rest of the month the
    Bn remained at FOLKESTONE. Cadres wereSEE Appx "E"
    started by all specialist Platoon Commanders
    in order to:- a) Train new reserves, to bring
    the number of trained specialist reserves
    to 100 %
    b) Refresh personnel already
    trained or partially trained as specialist
    reserves.
    One week was devoted to Administration,
    during which inspections were held by the
    Commanding Officer and the Brigade Commander.
    Page 2 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Worthing2The advance Party left Worthing for Folkestone
    moving in Unit Tpt. The party consisted of
    Capt D.C. Acton and 27 Other Ranks.
    The following Officers Joined the Bn, having
    been transferred to Infantry from the R.A.C.:-
    2/Lt D.E. Eccleston
    2/LT G.P. Greenacre
    2/Lt J.G. Gibson.
    2/Lt K.W. Gilbert
    3The Bn moved from Worthing to Folkestone,
    having completed a period of training in
    Co-operation with tanks lasting 18 days. All
    personnel were conveyed by rail with the
    exception of the advance Parly, Rear Party and
    Page 3 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Worthingthose other Ranks who normally travel in
    unit transport. Those Officers and Other Ranks
    Travelling by rail were divided between three
    trains.
    Folkestone4930The C-in-C 21 Army gp, visited (GEN
    Sir Bernand Montgomery KCB, DSO) visited
    43 Div with the object of seeing and addressing
    as many officers and men as possible. The
    Bn was represented by all Officers and
    480 Other Ranks. The party proceeded in
    RASC. tpt to the Cricket ground at RYE
    while the C-in-C walked through the
    ranks and later addressed the parade.
    1430All Officers and N.C.O's (down to and
    including Lance-Sergeants) attended a lecture
    Page 4 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Folkstoneon:- "Conduct if cut off from the Unit or
    captured by Capt GE Instone, M.C.
    51030The Commanding Officer gave a talk to
    the whole Bn in the garrison theatre, FOLKESTONE.
    He gave an outline of his training policy
    for the coming months, and expressed his
    views regarding discipline and leave etc.
    Immediately after the talk, the CO. spoke
    to all boxers and to the Demonstration Pl
    for the Battle School.
    61100A parade of 250 officers and Other
    Ranks attended the morning service at
    Holy Trinity Church, FOLKESTONE, at which
    the Archbishop of Canterbury preached the
    sermon. The Band and Bugles attended
    Page 5 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Folkestone7The Bn Boxing Team lost to 8th Middlesex
    Regt by 12 bouts to 3 in the second round
    of the Divisional Boxing Team. Our boxers,
    though in most cases outclassed, showed
    great pluck and determination.
    8The Commanding Officer held an admin-
    istrative inspection of two Rifle Coys (am
    A Coy , pm "C" Coy " He was assisted by
    a number of officers detailed for specific
    tasks e.g. documentation, maintenance of
    transport, sanitation etc. For the inspection, one
    platoon paraded in Battle Order, one platoon
    with kits according to the "daily" kit plate
    and one platoon with kits laid out according
    to the "monthly" kit plate
    Page 6 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Folkestone91100The Commanding officer attended a talk
    at 43 Div HQ given by the Adjutant - General.
    During his absence the 2nd-in-Command
    held inspections of B and D Coy similar
    to those held the previous day. HQ + S
    Coys were inspected by their our officers
    10In the afternoon a rehearsal was held
    for the inspection of the Bn in line on The
    Leas by the Brigade Commander the following
    day.
    111000 hrsThe Bde Commander carried out a fullFor Full Details
    to 1700 hradministrative inspection of the Bn. He wasof the Inspection
    assisted by the Staff Capt, Bde Transportand C.O's remarks,
    officer and technical expertsSee Appendices A&B
    1800Capt C.R. Dale (Bde Inf Offr) gave a
    Page 7 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Folkestone11lecture entitled. "Conduct if cut off from
    one's unit or capture" to all those Officers
    and Other Ranks who were unable to hear
    a Similar lecture given by Capt: G.E. Fustone
    MM on 7th February.
    Lt-Col Kindall REME was attached to
    the Bn from 11th - 17th Feb during which time
    he was given every opportunity of watching
    and studying infantry tactics, equipment, and
    organisation.
    12The Commanding Officer proceeded on
    Privilege Leave (12th - 21st Feb). During his
    absence major R.W. James Commanded the
    Bn.
    1700All Officers attended a lecture entitled
    Page 8 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Folkestone12Photographic Interpretation" given by Capt Booth
    14The Commanding officers 1st Training DirectiveCopy at Appx "C"
    was issued.
    151415A film unit visited the Bn and showed
    selected training films to D Coy
    1415The APM 43 Div visited the Commanding
    officer
    16The RQMS attended a five-day Admin Ex
    run by 43 Div to practise the system of
    supply in the field and the lay-out of the
    Div Admin Area.
    17 & 18Capts Cavill, Acton and Nunn attended a
    two-day Course on "Hygiene" given by 213 Fd
    ambulance
    181400The Band played at the FOLKESTONE Corporation
    Page 9 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    ground on the occasion of the presentation of
    a flag by the Mayor to the Civil Defence
    Services.
    191400The Band played again at the Folkestone
    Football ground to a large crowd which
    had come to watch the final of the Folks-
    -tone Football league.
    20A church parade was held for two Coys.
    1200An Eliminating contest to determine the 3
    finalists in the Silver Bugle Competition was
    held. The three successful Competitors were
    Cpl Turner, Cpl Foulger and L/Cpl Beach
    20 to 24The A/Tk Pl attended a Bde A/Tk Concentration
    at Lydd ranges during which time all
    members of the A/Tk Pl had a Considerable
    Page 10 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    amount of practice firing. The results obtained
    were quite satisfactory
    211000All available Officers, Warrant-officers and
    N.C.O's attended a lecture on "Care of Small
    Arms" given by Capt H.T.H. Moorfield REME.
    The 2nd-in-Command (Major RW.James)
    gave a lecture to the Demonstration Pl
    and inspected it before moving off to
    the Divisional Battle School.
    A War Office Personnel Selection Team
    visited the Bde to test all those who for
    any reason were not available when the
    Bn was tested in December.
    225 Officers (Capt Cavill, Lieuts Lough & King,
    2nd Lieuts Gibson of Eccleston) attended a practice
    Page 11 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    22in Correction of Artillary fire with 18 Sets, held
    at LYDD ranges.
    23A rehearsal was held for the visit on the
    following day of the actions Colonel of the
    Regiment - Lt-Gen A.N. Floyer- Acland CB., DSO.,MC.
    1 Offer and 10 Others Ranks of the
    American Army arrived on an attachment
    to the Bn for a fortnight. The Bn despatched
    a similar party to an American Bn stationed
    at DORCHESTER. The object at the Exchange
    was to further the good relationship
    existing between the American and British
    armies and to promote a fuller understanding
    of each others manners and customs.
    Major Sayers arrived on a short visit,
    Page 12 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    and left the following afternoon.
    24Lt-Gen A N. Floyer-Acland C.B., DSO, MCFor Details of visit
    visited the Bn.see Appx D
    Capt D.C. Acton who had been in the Bn
    since early in 1940 was posted to the I.T.C.
    at Colchester.
    Capt P. Gordin who left the Bn in April
    1943, was reposted from the I.T.C. Colchester.
    1000The finals of the Silver Bugle Compatition
    were held. Major Sayers who presented the
    Bugle to the Bn when he left, was one of
    the adjudicators. The winner, Cpl Foulger, received
    the Bugle from the Commanding Officer.
    25Lt Jobson and 10 W.O.'s and NCO's attended
    a half-day Course on "Care and Maintenance of
    Page 13 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Folkestone25Rafting Equipment" run by 207 F.P. Coy.
    26The Pioneer Pl took part in a Div demonstration
    of blowing and digging slit tranches and
    weapon pits, held at NORTHIAM. The
    pioneer platoon of this Bn was responsible
    for demonstrating an A/TK gun pit.
    2719 NCO's left to attend a Course at
    the Div Battle School.
    Several Offrs and N.C.O's. is attended a
    recce of a demonstration which the Bn is
    to provide for cartain eminent people on
    2nd Mar. The Bn has been specially selected
    for this task by the Divisional Commander.
    28A preliminary rehearsal was held for the
    forthcoming demonstration by the Bn.
    Page 14 of 14
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    28The demonstration will be an attack by
    a Coy on a German isolated position of
    approximately a platoon in strength, followed
    by the Consolidation by a second Coy on
    a reverse slope position.
    Captain J.B.B. Aimers relinquished the
    appointment of Adjutant, and was succeeded
    by Captain WAR Gasman who handed over
    the duties of Signal Officer to Lt RM Stock.
    291400A film unit visited the Bn and showed
    selected training films to "B" Coy.
    The Commanding Officer held a conference
    of all Coy Comds.

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