1st Tyneside Scottish December 1940

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2nd December 1940 BALDURSHAGI

A Field Firing exercise was held on this day at KLEIFARVATN (Possibly delayed from early November). Battalion HQ, A and C Companies and part of HQ Coy participated. Information on the exercise is set out on Appendix 1 attached to the War Diary – for details see below.

The Battalion Concert Party returned from its tour.

3rd December 1940

C Company’s Advance Party proceeded to Brautarholt.

4th December 1940

B Company were relieved at Brautarholt by C Company (Commanded by Capt A Walton) and rejoined the Battalion. The Brigadier held a conference to discuss the Field Firing exercise in the Battalion Officers’ Mess.

16th December 1940

2/Lt J.S. Highmore, 2/Lt T.D. Ross, a Platoon of D Company and several attached troops proceeded to Selfoss to relieve the detachment based there. Details were set out on Appendix 2 attached to the War Diary – for more information see below.

17th December 1940

Capt A. L. Campbell, 2/Lt M. D. Tatham and one Platoon of D Company, with attached troops, returned from Selfoss and rejoined the Battalion.

18th December 1940

Lt Col Oxley, Capt W. L. McGregor (Adjutant) and 2/Lt H B Boyne (Intelligence Officer) took part in a TEWT at the Canadian Camp at Alafoss.

19th December 1940

The guests at an Officers’ Mess Dinner included Maj-Gen Curtis, the G.o.C., Lt Col H L Davies, GSO1, Brigadier Kirkup, Lt Col Ware (11th DLI), Lt Col Marley (10th DLI) and Maj E L Brittain DADMS.

Electric current was switched on to part of the Camp.

25th December 1940

Lt Col Oxley visited all of HQ, A, B, D and R Companies at their Christmas dinner.

Christmas pudding for all ranks was gifted by the Trawler Owners of Hull, St Andrews Dock, Hull, who also presented 50 cigarettes per man.

28th December 1940

Number 3 Platoon of R Company, commanded by 2/Lt Whitehead, at Saurbaer pass was relieved by No 8 Platoon of A Company, commanded by 2/Lt A. K. A. Ogg and returned to rejoin the Battalion at the main Camp. The background information on the relief was set out in Appendix 3 attached to the War Diary – for details see below.

30th December 1940

2/Lt J. W. Barron assumed command of B Company in the absence of Capt Chudleigh in hospital.

Appendices attached to 1st Tyneside Scottish December 1940 War Diary.

Appendix 1 – Administrative Instructions for Field Firing Exercise 2nd December 1940

This Appendix detailed the instruction for preparing for the field firing exercise. The detachment, which consisted of Battalion HQ together with A and C Companies, two Sections of the Carrier Platoon, plus the CO’s Carrier, was to be commanded by Major K K Walmsley.

Reveille for those taking part was 05:30 hours with breakfast at 06:30. Carriers were due to travel independently and would leave Camp at 07:00 hours.

Dress was full Battle Order with Steel helmet and Leather Jerkin. Tropal Coats would be worn on top of equipment but would be left in the vehicles on debussing. Gumboots would not be worn.

The ammunition issue was listed as 3 times 28 round magazines per Bren Gun, 10 rounds S.A.A. per rifle, 8 rounds per Anti-Tank Rifle, and 4 smoke bombs per mortar.

Company Commanders were to arrange with the Cook Sergeant for haversack rations to be ready by 10:00 hours on 2nd December and these would be taken to the exercise area together with containers of hot tea in time for a lunch break at 13:30 hours. The President of the Mess Committee would arrange rations for the Officers and all men would have a hot meal on their return to Camp after the exercise.

The Signals Officer would arrange for four Signallers per Company to be available for the exercise while HQ Company would arrange for two stretcher bearers to be available per Company – both groups of men to report to Companies at 07:05 hours.

Appendix 2 – Administrative Instructions for relieving the Selfoss detachment – issued 12th December 1940.

This Appendix detailed the arrangements and timings for relieving the Selfoss Platoon. The arrangements were exactly as previously and concentrated on the handing over of stores, documentation and the arrangements for identifying those men from Signals, the Stretcher Bearers and Drivers who would accompany the relieving Platoon.

Appendix 3 – Administrative Instructions for the relief of the Saurbaer Detachment – issued 24th December 1940.

This brief Appendix set out detailed arrangements for relieving the Saurbaer detachment – 2/Lt Ogg and his batman were to travel there on 27th December 1940 to take over the defence scheme with the Platoon following the next day under the command of the Platoon Sergeant. Again, the document was largely concerned with stores handover and recording the change in the troops manning the position. It is interesting that Lt Ogg’s message form, notifying the successful completion of the relief, has survived in the War Diary.

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