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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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    FOLKESTONEGENERAL:- 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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    cycle rally, in which the whole Bde were
    2The 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.
    3A congratulatory message was recieved by the
    Commanding Officer, from the Divisional Comdr,
    in which he stated "great credit reflects on the
    whole Bn".
    4Exercise Duchy began at P.M. today, the
    Bn marcing out to a concentration area. Where
    the night was uneventful, but early next
    5morning a start was made an the allocated route,
    three coys and one on bicycles
    Page 3 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    5the exercise consisted chiefly of "mopping up"
    enemy points of resistance, and exercised the
    cycle company.
    7During the morning a Carrier Cadre began and
    in the afternoon a montar Cadre.
    1930A Farewell party for the visiting Amercans was
    held in H.Q Coy dining hall
    8The American troops left the Bn this morning
    to rejoin their own units
    1730A conference on Ex Duchy was held by the Bde
    Leading trials as per new WE for vehicles were
    carried out today, and many adjustments were
    9The Div. Comd watched D Coy on Boating practice
    Page 4 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    9and the Signal Cadre practising Ground / Air
    10A Coy held a Bicycle Scheme
    11B & C Coy proceed to Beechborough on a Fd Firing Scheme
    12C & 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.
    13In the Bde Stetcher Bearer Competition held today
    the Bn won 1st place, the results being
    Page 5 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    135 DCLI 64%, 7 Som L.I. 50% and 1 WORC R. 48%
    1800All Officers attended a lecture on the operation of
    the SLIDEX Code followed by :-
    1845a Conference on Loading Trials - Light Scales
    15a 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
    1000Loading trial, Light Scaler were carried out
    during the morning and from the ensuing deductions
    necessary alterations were made. Vehicles & contents
    were afterwards weighed.
    1200The Bn was present at the Garrison Theatre
    Folkestone to hear a security lecture given
    given by Capt Nallmark??? the Div Security Officer
    161700a Bde Cloth model Exercise was attended
    Page 6 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary 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
    17The 18- Set Cadre for Officers finished today.
    19A 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
    20Today 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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    from 0715 ats 0740 hr.
    There was a cross-channel shelling dual during the
    21A 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
    221400The Commanding officer Lieut Col J.W. Atherton TD
    lectured the Bn at the Garrison Theatre Folkestone.
    1500Under 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.
    24A Corps exercise 'SHUDDER' began today this
    Page 8 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    24Bn 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.)
    27A & B Coy today began their march to Chatham
    area for the watermanship training.
    29The Pl Comds Course at 43 Div Battle school dispised today.
    A & B. Coys Commenced Training with assault Pl. RE's
    at medway.
    30A & B Coy's continued training at Medway and returned
    to Folkestone by M.T.
    C & D Coys proceed to Medway by M.T.