70th Infantry Brigade War Diary August 1942.
1st August 1942
The Brigade Commander attended a demonstration and lecture on Fighter Aircraft at HIGH ERCALL and ATCHAM Aerodromes, SHROPSHIRE. The function of Fighter Command was also explained. This short one-day course was arranged by 49 Division HQ with 37 Wing, RAF.
3rd August 1942
All Brigade HQ Staff Officers and unit Adjutants attended a lecture and demonstration at HQ 49 Division dealing with the Link Code System and Radio Telephone procedure.
4th August 1942
Captain D.C. MacNicol, who had been with the Brigade since the early days of the War as Brigade Intelligence Officer and Brigade Transport Officer, was posted to Western Command as Staff Captain Q. (Ops).
6th August 1942
The Brigade Commander proceeded on 9 days’ privilege leave. Training films and “Next of Kin” were shown at KINGTON Cinema to the maximum number of all ranks in the district.
7th August 1942
Platoons were being put through a Field Firing Exercise on the BEACON HILL Range. During this fortnight, the whole Division was concentrated on individual training.
8th August 1942
A system of one “wireless only” day per week was introduced throughout the Brigade.
9th August 1942
1st Tyneside Scottish held an exercise with the Home Guard at MADLEY. Many useful points were brought to the notice of the Home Guard defenders of the Aerodrome.
12th August 1942
Exercise “MONTE CARLO” was held by 49 Division to test the reliability of all Motor Transport in the Division, a few vehicles being selected from each unit. G.O.C. inspected all vehicles taking part in the exercise. 70th Infantry Brigade, with its great assortment of transport, some of which was Canadian and had had 18 months on Icelandic roads, did not figure in the first ten units.
An Intelligence Course for unit Intelligence Officers and Intelligence Sergeants was held at Brigade HQ and lasted for one week.
During the continued respite from Brigade and Divisional exercises, units continued with individual training.
18th August 1942
A short refresher course for unit Gas Officers was held at HQ, 49 Division.
19th August 1942
A demonstration was given by a Bomb Disposal Unit, Royal Engineers in a field near Brigade HQ of the new types of German incendiary bombs. This was followed by a Chemical Warfare demonstration organised by Divisional HQ of D.M., Mustard, and other gases, and instruction was given in the modern gas protective measures to the spectators, of which there were 200.
21st August 1942
Major A.J.C. Prickett left 70th Infantry Brigade and began 14 days’ embarkation leave prior to taking up a new appointment as G.2. S.D. & T. in WASHINGTON, USA.
22nd August 1942
In preparation for Divisional Exercise “HOTSPUR” formation commanders were called to R.V. within the scheme area, given brief defensive orders, completed reconnaissances and sub-allotted the Brigade roles to unit commanders.
23rd – 25th August 1942
70th Infantry Brigade moved out into the PENYBONT area West of NEW RADNOR and occupied defensive positions in accordance with orders from Divisional HQ. Particular attention was paid to Anti-Tank defences. Active patrolling was carried out throughout day and night and contact with 9th King’s Own Scottish Borderers, who served as actual enemy, was made on a few occasions. There was, however, no activity on the Brigade front during the exercise.
26th August 1942
The Brigade Commander attended the Royal Artillery Field Firing Practice Camp at SENNYBRIDGE and watched 178 and 143 Field Regiments in action.
27th – 29th August 1942
The first major details of the Divisional Field Firing Exercise “JUNIPER” were disclosed at a conference to all umpires and commanders at 10:00 hours – all who attended the conference proceeded immediately to the range at SENNYBRIDGE and walked over the course.
The Brigade was bivouacked in the area of CRAY – South of SENNYBRIDGE – for the night.
The G.O.C.-in-C. Western Command watched the first day in which the 70th Infantry Brigade carried out an advanced guard action against a retiring enemy supported by Divisional Artillery and Medium Machine Guns. 1st Tyneside Scottish 3” Mortar Platoon gave an excellent exhibition of the weight of concentrated fire. During the night, 147th Brigade took over part of the 70th Brigade Sector and carried on the advance the following morning while 70th Brigade followed up on the left flank slightly in rear.
31st August 1942
The Brigade Commander and Staff Captain reconnoitred a new Brigade Group area in the NORTHWICH area of CHESHIRE.
Throughout the War Diaries of the Units in the Brigade Group there are various mentions of PENYBONT. The local History Group has prepared a leaflet on the involvement of the area in World War Two which will prove most useful, especially when used in conjunction with the War Diaries. The Local History Group's Website can be found  here.
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