10th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, War Diary September 1940

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1st September 1940

The Battalion’s transport arrived at GLASGOW.

3rd September 1940

Sixteen new trucks and stores to equip the Battalion to G1098 scale were received. (It has been mentioned elsewhere on the Website that this scale was that laid down for Units at full strength and fully equipped – it covered all weapons, ammunition and both personal scale and Unit levels of stores of clothing and equipment.)

5th September 1940

50 Immatures were posted to 13th Battalion of The Durham Light Infantry (a Home Defence Unit) at GATESHEAD. (It is assumed that these young men were under the age of 19 and therefore not liable to be sent overseas – unfortunately the War Diary does not give their names and the fact that they were transferred to another DLI Battalion means that their transfer does not show up in the Enlistment Book entries.)

6th September 1940

Drafts were received for the Battalion – 50 Other Ranks from the Border Regiment at WORKINGTON (who, thanks to the help of the Museum staff in Carlisle have been able to be identified from the Enlistment Books), and 100 Other Ranks from Kings Own Royal Regiment LIVERPOOL (unfortunately, this is a manuscript error in the War Diary – after some time spent in frustrating enquiry, for both the Regimental Museum and the author, it was discovered from the DLI Enlistment Books that the men were actually from the King’s Regiment, which allowed identification of the men transferred to proceed. This is not the only occasion on which transferring Regiments have been incorrectly identified in the Brigade’s War Diaries).

11th September 1940

The main body of the Battalion left CREDITON by train for GOUROCK.

12th September 1940

A. B. C and D Companies embarked on H.M.Transport ULSTER MONARCH, Battalion HQ and HQ Company sailed on the armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL.

13th September 1940

The 10th Battalion sailed from GOUROCK. Unfortunately, most men were seasick as the journey was very rough. Two destroyers escorted the troopships until 04:00 hours on the 15th September.

16th September 1940

The convoy docked at Reykjavik at 14:30 hours. HQ Company disembarked in HMS SKYRACK. H.M. Transport ULSTER MONARCH docked at 15:00 hours and unloading began.

17th September 1940

The rest of the Battalion disembarked, with the exception of D Company.

18th September 1940

D Company continued up the West coast of Iceland to Bordeyri and Blonduos on H.M.T. ULSTER MONARCH. The B Company advance party sailed the shorter distance up the West coast to Akranes on the S.S. TORNDENSKJOLD.

19th September 1940

The rest of B Company, the Carriers and Mortars were then sailed up the coast to Akranes on board SS TORNDENSKJOLD which had returned to Reykjavik after transporting the Advance Party of B Company. The troops were billeted in the school until their Nissen Huts were made ready.

20th September 1940

The Advance Parties of Battalion Headquarters, HQ, A and C Companies were transported up the West coast to Borganes on HMS SKYRACK. 1 Platoon of D Company was left at Bordeyri in billets, while the rest were transported onwards to Blonduos and were accommodated in huts.

21st September 1940

The Carriers and Mortars were unloaded and left the Akranes dockside. Two Sections of the Carrier Platoon and 3 trucks proceeded to Blonduos, 1 truck and 1 motorcycle went to Akranes and the rest proceeded to Borganes.

22nd to 26th September 1940

Parties of 80 men each day were transported from Reykjavik to Borganes by sea – and occupied tented camps which had been put up by 1st/5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment. Huts were being erected by Royal Engineers but at this point were incomplete, though temporary ends had been fitted. A Company moved into tents.

25th September 1940

A severe gale arrived during the night. Tents and marquees were blown down, clothing and bedding made very wet as a result of this fierce weather (perhaps an early foretaste of what was to come over the next seventeen months!).

26th September 1940

Tropal coats were issued to the troops. A Rum issue took place at 22:00 hours.

Rum was issued every Monday and Friday to all ranks that were living in tents.

27th September 1940

Defence areas were allotted on the Borganes PENINSULA.

28th September 1940

Work was underway to complete the Nissen Huts. The 10th Battalion formally relieved the 1st /5th West Yorkshire Regiment and occupied some new defence areas.

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