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War Diary: 5th Battalion Duke Cornwall Light Infantry

Month and year: March 1944

The 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) March 1944 War Diary covers the units time in the UK while based at Folkestone

National Archive Reference: WO 171/1280

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Page 1 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
FOLKESTONE GENERAL:- At the beginning of the month
the Battalian took part in a demonstration put
on before H.M. The King. A message was
received the commanding officer, from the
Divisional Commander, Congratulating the Bn
on the "excellent demonstration".
Training during the month was varied
consisting chiefly of range classification,
a two-day exercise "Duchy", Signal cadre,
Int Course, and bicycle schemes.
At the end of the month the Bn went to
Chatham area and carried out watermanship
training on the MEDWAY.
The Bn was successful in winning both
the Stretcler Bearer competition and the motor
Page 2 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
cycle rally, in which the whole Bde were
Contestants.
2 The Bn took part in a demonstration at
KELK HILL . HM. the King, the Corps Comd and
Divisional Comd were present, and were
impressed with the good results.
3 A congratulatory message was recieved by the
Commanding Officer, from the Divisional Comdr,
in which he stated "great credit reflects on the
whole Bn".
4 Exercise Duchy began at P.M. today, the
Bn marcing out to a concentration area. Where
the night was uneventful, but early next
5 morning a start was made an the allocated route,
three coys and one on bicycles
Page 3 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
5 the exercise consisted chiefly of "mopping up"
enemy points of resistance, and exercised the
cycle company.
7 During the morning a Carrier Cadre began and
in the afternoon a montar Cadre.
1930 A Farewell party for the visiting Amercans was
held in H.Q Coy dining hall
8 The American troops left the Bn this morning
to rejoin their own units
1730 A conference on Ex Duchy was held by the Bde
Comd.
Leading trials as per new WE for vehicles were
carried out today, and many adjustments were
made.
9 The Div. Comd watched D Coy on Boating practice
Page 4 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
9 and the Signal Cadre practising Ground / Air
Recognition.
10 A Coy held a Bicycle Scheme
11 B & C Coy proceed to Beechborough on a Fd Firing Scheme
scheme
12 C & D Coy proceeded is Buchborough on Fd Firing Scheme
N.C.O.s returned from 43 Div Battle School, having
completed course.
The following promotions of officers were announced
in B.O. Part???
Capt A.Y.E Kitchen to Major. Lient T.H Gobson to Captain
Lient CL. Blackwell to Captain. 2/Lieut KW Gilbert to W/S Lieut
2/Lieut G.P.Greenacre to W/S Lieut.
13 In the Bde Stetcher Bearer Competition held today
the Bn won 1st place, the results being
Page 5 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
13 5 DCLI 64%, 7 Som L.I. 50% and 1 WORC R. 48%
1800 All Officers attended a lecture on the operation of
the SLIDEX Code followed by :-
1845 a Conference on Loading Trials - Light Scales
15 a PL. Comds Course assembled at 43 DIV Battle School
today and was attended by four Oficers and 5 W.Os & N.C.O.s
of this Bn
1000 Loading trial, Light Scaler were carried out
during the morning and from the ensuing deductions
necessary alterations were made. Vehicles & contents
were afterwards weighed.
1200 The Bn was present at the Garrison Theatre
Folkestone to hear a security lecture given
given by Capt Nallmark??? the Div Security Officer
16 1700 a Bde Cloth model Exercise was attended
Page 6 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
by all officers.
During the day the Bde Comd visited the Bn and
watched the Signal Pl training.
The Bde Comd, Col Besley, Major Bruford TD and the
Bde Major of 179 Fd Regt were present at a
Dinner Party held in 'A' Offrs Mess this evening
17 The 18- Set Cadre for Officers finished today.
19 A Bde Motor Cycle Rallyconsisting if 20 offrs
from each Bn, was held today. This Bn
was successful the result being -
(1) 5 DCLI 3080 marks, (2) 1 WORC R 2980 (3) 7 SOM LI 2850.
Lient T.J.T. Aylwin 5 DCLI was leading competitor
20 Today began a routine change, Reville being
at 0645 hrs on Mons'. Tues'. Thurs' and Fris, to enable the
whole Bn to do Physical Training on these mornings
Page 7 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
from 0715 ats 0740 hr.
There was a cross-channel shelling dual during the
evening.
21 A waterproofing Course look place within the Bn,
and several vehicles were waterproofed and 'Dipped'
at Nythe
D Coy held a bicycle scheme.
Another duel look place this evening
22 1400 The Commanding officer Lieut Col J.W. Atherton TD
lectured the Bn at the Garrison Theatre Folkestone.
1500 Under the direction of members of the A C.E. a
demonstration of mess Tin cooking of the Compo packs
was held, and several methods of cooking these
commodities were demonstrated.
24 A Corps exercise 'SHUDDER' began today this
Page 8 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
24 Bn supplying Officer umpires.
Two officers T/mayor Vuwdrey 66135 and A/Captain T.H. Jobson P.95618
received medal awards, the later the africa star and the
former the 1939-43 star. During the month ORs eligible
for these awards also recieved official information that
were entitled to wear them.
Lieut R.G. Williams 266426 was promoted Captain (R.A.M.C.)
27 A & B Coy today began their march to Chatham
area for the watermanship training.
29 The Pl Comds Course at 43 Div Battle school dispised today.
A & B. Coys Commenced Training with assault Pl. RE's
at medway.
30 A & B Coy's continued training at Medway and returned
to Folkestone by M.T.
C & D Coys proceed to Medway by M.T.

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