Source : WO 179/1994 National Archives
Thanks to Mark Hickman of Pegasus Archive for supplying the War Diary :
Carter Bks,
1 JanClear and warm. In the morning all personnel were given 48 hrs leave.
2 JanOnly a few men left in camp. Remainder on leave.
3 JanWindy and cloudy all day. A coy built a pl defence locality in conjunction with RE. B coy the same plus the laying of mines, setting of booby traps, etc. Mortar pl and C coy as per syllabus fired 3 in mortar and MMG plus A/tk pl went on a ten mile forced march. Unit Padre att to 3 Bde.
4 JanVery clear and warm.
A coy practiced in the use of Bangalore torpedoes. B coy- mine laying and C coy personnel were briefed on the night jump and exercise to take place on Jan 5. Mortars made a forced march and signals received a demonstration in the use of airborne pigeon equipment.
In the evening a quiz contest was held and prizes were given to the winners.
5 JanVery cold and windy in the morning, clear and warmer in the afternoon.
A Coy on mine laying and attack, B Coy minefield breaching and attack. C Coy packed containers in the morning and embussed for their airfield at 1400 hrs. The C Coy jump was made at 2000 hrs, one man received minor injuries on landing. Brig Hill jumped with the first stick. A funeral was held for Pte Price who was killed in an accident on the night of Jan 1.
6 JanClear and bright all day.
General training was carried out. Coys carried on with mine laying trg under supervision of RE. A and B Coys completed a ten mile forced march in the afternoon. C Coy still on exercise "Midnight". Mortars went on a short exercise called "Long Carry".
7 JanClear and warm all day.
Bn received inoculation typhus with the exception of C Coy still out on exercise. Mortar pl was briefed by Lt Cote for short night exercise.
8 JanClear and warm in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon.
Bn Comd's inspection followed by march past during which Lt Col G F P Bradbrooke took the salute. In the afternoon A Coy witnessed a battle drill demonstration and B Coy packed containers for a night jump. This jump was cancelled because of high wind in the evening.
9 JanClear and warm all day. A Roman Catholic and protestant church parade was held for all personnel. In the afternoon, Capt Loudeh of the 6 Airborne div Security section gave a very interesting lecture on security to the Bn. A movie was shown to the men in the gym in the evening.
10 Jan100 personnel of A Coy made balloon descents. B Coy carried on weapon training and C Coy were on the rifle ranges. MMG pl were on the 30 yd range and signals went with the A/tk pl on a route march. The weather was clear and warm all day.
11 JanVery cold and wet all day. A Coy completed a 10 mile forced march in the morning and trained on Bangalore torpedoes during the afternoon. B Coy used the 30 yd ranges and carried out recreational training. C Coy also used the 30 yd ranges and completed the Bde physical tests. MMG pl were on an all day exercise.
12 JanWeather clear and cold. A Coy on 30 yd range TOET's and inoculations. B Coy made 100 balloon descents while C Coy carried weapon training and organised sports.
13 JanPractical experience of mine laying and mine field breaking for A Coy carried out weapon trg in the morning and a 10 mile forced march in the afternoon. HQ Coy on the range all day.
14 JanQuite clear and warm. Personnel from Mortar Pl. Int Sec and Signal Pl made a balloon jump in the afternoon. Officers from an American Para Bn visited the jump field and watched the descents. A Coy in the ranges and B. & C Coy trg was carried out as per syllabi.
15 JanFoggy and cold all day. Bn Comd's inspection in the morning followed by Bn Administration. A weekend leave was given to a few personnel from the Bn Orderly Rm. Remained of Bn on recreational trg.
16 JanFoggy and cold all day. A voluntary church parade was held for all Protestants and Roman Catholics. In the afternoon, P.A.D. Exercise "Boomer" was held. At 1400 hrs all personnel took shelter in trenches. Explosions and thunder flashes were set off in different places. The gas alert was sounded and some tear gas bombs were set off in the camp area. All personnel were dismissed at 1440 hrs.See Appendix "F"
17 JanCloudy and cold. A Coy practiced Grenade throwing in the morning and in the afternoon they had recreational trg, while B Coy was on the 30 yard range with Stens and also a 10 mile forced march. C Coy on the 30 yard range with Stens and they also practiced throwing Grenades. The Bn was photographed by Coys as were also the Officers and Sergeants. Signal Pl was out with the thirty eight sets and practiced R/T procedure.
18 JanCold and cloudy all day. A Coy on the Sten range and were tested on the T.s O.E.T. B Coy listened to a lecture on security by the IO and then saw trg films. C Coy on a route march and exercise. Int Sec went out by lorry to study the DZ for a Bn mass jump which is to take place on the 20th Jan.
19 JanClear and cold all day. The majority of the Pls were engaged in Administration and being briefed in the forthcoming exercise. A movie was shown in the evening under the supervision of the YMCA Supervisor.
20 JanVery foggy and damp in the morning. Reveille was at 0400 hrs. Bn embussed at 0700 hrs and proceeded to the Airport. The jump was postponed for two hours due to the heavy fog but the Bn emplaned at 1200 hrs and jumped at 1315 hrs. The jump was very successful and there were no casualties. A number of CMHQ personnel were present to witness the drop and they expressed a great deal of satisfaction at the way in which the Bn cleared the aircraft and moved off the DZ to the RV. The Bn was then formed up, embussed in trucks and returned to Camp.
21 JanClear and warm. Thirty men from the Bn made kit bag jumps from Albemarles and landed on the Div DZ. All personnel preparing to proceed on 10 day leave. Men going to Scotland left by special train at 2120 hrs.
22 -31 JanA skeleton crew left in camp while the remainder of the Bn proceeded on 10 days leave.
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