10th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, War Diary January 1941
For a more complete picture of activity this War Diary should be read in conjunction with the 70th Infantry Brigade War Diary for the same month.
1st January 1941
A Manning Exercise was carried out to exercise the Battalion’s mobile role and to test P.A.D. (Passive Air Defence) and gas defences. A rum issue was made afterwards.
3rd January 1941
The Brigadier lectured the Battalion on training.
6th – 9th January 1941
Training exercises were carried out by the Battalion.
7th January 1941
A Childrens’ Party was organised - with 40 local children and helpers taking part.
“In Blonduos at least, the entente between Iceland and Britain grows stronger”.
12th January 1941
The Battalion’s Carriers moved location to reflect the new dispositions of the troops.
13th – 14th January 1941
A Battalion Patrol examined a suspicious fishing Trawler – but found all was clear.
16th January 1941
A Ship arrived at Blonduos without warning. The vessel, in accordance with security procedures was boarded, checked, and found to be OK.
Force HQ was contacted to ensure that the communications errors that had occurred on this occasion were not repeated, as artillery had been loaded and trained on the vessel while the clearance process was underway.
21st January 1941
C Company carried out training near LAUGAFOSS in conjunction with artillery.
22nd – 23rd January 1941
The Battalion noted that overnight there was the coldest weather yet experienced in Iceland with 25 degrees of frost at Borganes and Blonduos. The first cases of frostbite were treated by the unit medical staff.
Night skating was started as a recreation. This was a very popular activity due to presence of local Icelandic girls (known as “Stulkas”). Whist drives and games were also used as recreational activities.
Some camps used by the Battalion still have no electric light, and the necessary engineering work was awaited.
24th January 1941
The establishment of the Battalion’s Ski platoon was completed, with the rest of the specialist kit having arrived.
Training of the Ski Platoon took place at BAULUSANDAR – 50 miles from Borganes – with officers acting as instructors.
27th January 1941
The 11th Battalion DLI Concert Party gave an excellent performance.
Part of harbour at Borganes was frozen – the ice in the Fjord was thickening.
30th – 31st January 1941
People were seen, from the Battalion’s Coast Watching Post at Skagastrond, walking on the frozen sea across the bay.
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