By May 2nd the Battalion had reassembled at Montaquila at the head of the Volturno valley. They were now counter-attack reserve 2 (British) Paratroop Brigade. The whole Brigade carried on with its training programme by day, and were entertained by the Kiwi Concert Party at night. They relieved 24 Battalion on the night of 15-16 atop Colle Belvedere, staying put until the 27th when moving by transport up the Rapido valley for Sora.
- Temporary Lieutenant Colonel: Russell Young (CO)
- Majors: Peta Awatere
- Temporary Major: James Matehaere
- Captains: Rangi Logan, Rangi Tutaki, SF Jackson, Harry Lambert, HM Mitchell
- Temporary Captain: WDP Wordley, WP Anaru
- Lieutenants: JH Aperahama, WH Prescott
- 2/Lieutenants: Moana Raureti, Peter Robson, Monty Searancke, Clarence Balzer, JR Tomoana, Joseph Carr, Ivon Harris, Te Whareriri Rogers, John Baker, Wi Pewhairangi Reedy, Nepia Mahuika, Riki Smith, Aylmer Kenny, Henry Harper Takarangi, N Ngata, Reuben Paniora, John Ransfield, GH Waititi
- Attached: Capt (Rev) WT Huata (Padre), TF Dillon (NZMC, RMO), Mr DR Perry (YMCA), J Mataora, CR Smith, Te Rauwhiro Tibble, Sam Paniora
- 1 May, Mon 0700 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. O830 hrs RAP. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1700 hrs Tea. RO No 23 issued special attention to paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of these ROs. 1000 hrs A, B and D Coys have muster parade of all ranks, then a half hours lecture was given to all by the RMO on anti-malaria. The importance of keeping out of the villages was stressed on parade. 0345 hrs Part of Battalion HQ returned from the line. 1130 hrs Issue of mosquito nets. One per man. 1330 hrs Battalion HQ personnel who arrived from line this morning left to have showers at 4 NZ Mobile Showers, as own Unit Showers were not functioning. During the morning S/Sgt King and Cpl Sutherland G of A Coy left for Advance Base on their way to OCTU at Sandhurst England. 2030 hrs Pictures in B Coy lines (Yankee Doodle Dandy).
- 2 May, Tues 0700 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. O830 hrs RAP. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1700 hrs Tea. 0500 hrs Remainder of the Battalion HQ returned. RO No 24 issued. 0930 hrs Battalion HQ paraded and certain points in RO stressed to all. C Coy was also doing the same as they just returned from the line this morning with the remainder of Battalion HQ. 1000 hrs Both Battalion HQ and C Coy attended the lecture by the RMO on malaria. Deep interest was shown by all. 1000 hrs CO Orderly room held (10 cases), AWL and drunkenness. 1100 hrs Issue of summer clothing, mosquito nets etc. 1130 hrs C Coy goes through hot showers supplied by the Mobile Shower Unit. 1230 hrs Beer issue to Other Ranks on the basis of one bottle per man. Sgts one bottle of whiskey each and Officers 1/3 per bottle. 1800 hrs IO, CO and Coy Commanders to recce new area for the Battalion to hold the line. 1700 hrs Tea. First issue of Malaria pills and mosquito lotion to all ranks. 1900 hrs Mosquito nets to be put up and spraying of tents commenced. This is to be done twice daily. 1930 hrs Hot tea and biscuits supplied by the Unit YMCA. 2030 hrs Pictures held in B Coy lines. Machine broke down, unable to carry on. 2045 hrs Amendment to tomorrow’s routine given by phone. Routine to read as follows: - A full muster parade of all Battalion Coys, with the exception of one cook, one Sig, one Clerk and 4 Provosts, will be held on the Battalion parade grounds at 0900 hrs tomorrow.
- 3 May, Wed 0700 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. O830 hrs RAP. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1700 hrs Tea. Routine for today as per Syllabus. All Coys to prepare suitable training area and parade ground close to Coy area. Afternoon from 1330 hrs to 1415 hrs Arms drill, 1445 to 1500 hrs Squad drill and 1510 to 1555 hrs Arms drill. 0900 hrs Full muster parade of Battalion HQ personnel. Check up of personnel against ration state. A Coy Ditto. 0930 hrs A Coy and Battalion then lined up in open order for identification parade. Purpose – Civilian has lost a pig. Suspected man from A Coy. 0900 – 1200 hrs Coys preparing areas for parade grounds. During the morning the 2i/c Maj Awatere attended a court of inquiry in Isernia. Also from 0900 – 1030 hrs Capt Mitchell Officer in Charge Anti-Malaria squad, made an inspection of area allotted to him and with his squad attended a lecture by Maj Jones in the war against Malaria. IO and staff prepare maps for Coy Commanders of area 2 Para Brigade for use at Cos conference this afternoon. 1230 hrs Lunch and issue of 50 cigarettes and two boxes of matches. 1330 hrs Battalion HQ and attached personnel parade for RMO check on injections. Those due were injected (Typhus, TAB etc). 1400 hrs Completed issue of summer wear – 2 pairs long pants, 2 pairs shorts and two shirts KD. CO in conference with the Battalion O Group re Battalions role as counter attack force to 2 Para Brigade. During the afternoon the Coys carried out the same syllabus as yesterday. At the Cos conference it was revealed that 2/Lt Raureti, the present Battalion IO has been called in to Brigade HQs to fill the position of Brigade IO with promotion to I/Lt, a well deserved honour for a hard and conscientious worker. 1400 hrs 2/Lt Ngapo is to take over at IO to this Battalion. 1850 hrs Battalion 2 i/c’s dealing mainly with recreation. It was decided that the period from 1400 hrs to 1530 hrs will be devoted to sports of all kinds. The main idea being to keep the men occupied. 2/Lt Smith R is to go to the Brigade sports Conference tomorrow re Battalion Sports. 2030 hrs Mobile cinema continued to show in Battalion area. Tonight’s feature being San Dementrio, a large crowd attended from all units of the 5 Brigade. Weather fine with a slight southerly wind blowing. As usual the YMCA serves tea and biscuits prior to pictures.
- 4 May, Thurs 0800 hrs Routine as for yesterday, training during the morning. 0930 hrs Coys paraded independently. Coy and Platoon Command carry out a complete inspection of all equipment, with a view of adjusting any deficiencies. Parade for GOC in near future. 0800 hrs The CO left Battalion HQ to make a recce of 2 Para Brigade area. They hold the sector dominated by the German held M Croce. 0930 hrs I Sgt left to join the CO at the Jeep Head g989315 (Atina 1/50000). 1030 – 1530 hrs The CO, I Sgt and the IO of 2 Para Brigade, with HQs respectively at 963315 and 964326, the party conveyed the area from G969314 to M Passero in square 9629 to Battalion HQ 963315 and then down to the Rapido river at 960320 and up the Rapido to 966325 and back to start point. CO spoke to both Cos of 6th and 5th Battalions during the route. CO and IO return to 2 Para Brigade. 1630 hrs CO and I Sgt return to Battalion HQ. 1400 – 1500 hrs Recreational training for all troops. Basketball, quoits and baseball were popular games. C Coy marched down to the R Volturno to bathe, swim and wash clothes.
- 5 May, Fri Breakfast 0900 hrs. 1200 hrs Coy training period in Squad drill, Rifle drill and weapon training. Adj arranges details with Brigade and 21 and 23 Battalions representatives for the forth coming Brigade Parade on Monday 8 May 44 at which the GOC and probably the 8th Army Command will be present. Parade to be held on Division Calvary Parade ground across the road from our present Battalion HQ. 1000 hrs LO attached to 2 Para Brigade from 4th Para Battalion arrive at Battalion HQ with information concerning the sector now occupied by 4th Para Battalion. I Sgt arranges to meet him at Jeep Head H020331 Castle Vincenzo on the way to be shown around 4th Para Brigade sector. 1030 hrs Brigade informs Battalion that the following have won awards in recent actions: - Capt Wikiriwhi, Capt Ornberg and 2/Lt Christy Military Cross. WOI McRae and Sgt Mataira DCM, Cpl Alex MM. 1200 hrs Lunch. 1330 hrs CO in conference with Coy Commanders he dealt mostly with the coming GOCs parade on Monday. 1400-1530 hrs 2/Lt Raureti left to take over duties as Brigade IO. Coys compete in inter Coy sports. Battalion HQ played D Coy at baseball and were beaten by five runs. 1530-1700 hrs Cleaning and washing of equipment for GOCs parade. 1800 hrs Court of Inquiry held at HQ Coy over the loss of passwords by this Unit. 1930 hrs RSM demonstrated to members of A Coy a live shoot with a Bazooka. The Padres concert party performed prior to the pictures. 2030 hrs Pictures by the Mobile Cinema Unit. The screening of the VC investiture for 2/Lt Ngarimu was very much appreciated and after the main picture it was again showed in slow motion. YMCA supplied tea and biscuits as per usual.
- 6 May, Sat 0800 hrs Time signal from Sig HQ correct time previously obtained from 5th Brigade HQ. Breakfast. 0830 hrs Coys fall in for Coy inspection. 0905 hrs Markers report to RSM on D Coys Parade ground. RSM is to take over Brigade Parade. CO takes over Battalion Parade. Battalion falls in in 6 Coys A, B, C, D and 2 Coys from HQ Coy and Battalion HQ. Dress: Battle Dress, FS Caps and drill order with either rifle or Tommy gun. 0930-1015 hrs Sizing off and rearranging Coys and practicing movements for Brigade Parade. 1025 hrs Battalion marches on to Brigade Parade ground and is formed up on the left of the parade with Brigade HQ on its left and 23 Battalion in its right and 21 Battalion on its extreme right of the parade. Brigadier Stewart takes over the parade and a practice march past is carried out. 1145 hrs Personnel recently awarded decorations also fall out and line up as a preliminary exercise for Mondays big parade. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1330-1630 hrs The local unit showers were available for use. Further cleaning of equipment for Monday’s parade. 1400 hrs RSM and I Sgt make a recce of surrounding country with the object of finding a suitable place to demonstrate a live Bazooka Shoot as the former ground has been considered unsafe. 1230 hrs Suitable place found at 13343345, to be used subject to Brigade approval. 0600-2200 hrs Padre Huata and 2/Lt Searancke with 21 Other Ranks from HQ Coy travel on a three tonner for a days leave at Postano and Malfi in the Gulf of Salerno. 1400 hrs Cos Orderly room, minor case of drunkenness only. 2030-2230 hrs Yankee Doodle Dandy” shown in area by Mobile Cinema Unit.
- 7 May, Sun 0800 hrs Breakfast. 0915 hrs Coy parades. 0930 hrs Battalion church of England Parade. 100 yards west of Battalion HQ service conducted by Padre Huata, Brigadier Stewart and the BM Maj Blundell, 5th Brigade were present at the service having arrived by carat 0930 hrs and leaving at 1000 hrs. 1100 hrs March war diary posted to 2 echelon through Battalion Sigs. 1130 – 1245 hrs Cos conference with the Coy Commanders dealing chiefly with the final arrangements for the GOCs parade. “Zero” hour as a military term is obsolete and is now superseded by “H” Hour. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1400 hrs RMO carried out a medical inspection of Battalion HQ personnel. I Sgt left to make a recce of 4 Battalion area (2 Infantry Para Brigade) in the vicinity of S Pietro and Mt Mare but owing to a slip up somewhere no guide was available and so no recce was made. 1700 hrs Tea. 1800 hrs Received I Summary and three copies each of Villa Latina S Vincengo 1/25000 from Brigade IO. 1930 hrs Supper provided by YMCA. Weather fine.
- 8 May, Mon 0800 hrs Breakfast. 0830 hrs Coys parade sizing off and inspection. 0905 hrs Coy markers report to the WOII Tibble on D Coys parade ground. RSM McRae is Brigade RSM for today’s parade. 0910 hrs Coys march on. 0915 hrs Battalion parade finalizing arrangements in Battalion parade ground such as sizing off and equalising Coys in general. Battalion is lined up in six Coys. A, B and C forming one block and D, HQ one and two Coys the second. 0955 hrs One marker from each Coy reports to RSM McRae on the Brigade Parade ground. Battalion marches onto Brigade Parade ground and is in position by 1015 hrs. 1030-1145 hrs Brigade Ceremonial Parade. Gen Freyberg VC inspects the troops and the following personnel from this Battalion were decorated by him during the ceremony: - Lt-Col Young RRT, DSO, Command 28 NZ (Maori Battalion). Maj Awatere R, MC, 2i/c Battalion (and C Coy). T/Maj Matehaere J, MC. OC D Coy Capt Ornberg P, MC, OC B Coy. Capt D’Arcy CN, MC, RMO 28 NZ (Maori) Battalion. 2/Lt Baker J, MC, C Coy. 2/Lt Mataira J, DCM, D Coy. WO1 McRae M, DCM, RSM Battalion (and B Coy). L/Sgt Tukaki N, DCM, C Coy. Sgt Terito R, MM, D Coy. Cpl Hemi R, MM, A Coy. Cpl Grant H, MM, B Coy. Cpl Alex D, MM, Battalion HQ (and A Coy). L/Cpl Potae M, MM, Battalion HQ (and C Coy). L/Cpl Apihai C, MM, B Coy. Pte Rangi K, MM, Battalion HQ (and C Coy). Pte Nathan T, MM, Battalion HQ (and A Coy). Also present by invitation from this Battalion three nurses form 2 NZ General Hospital Caserta. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1400 hrs The CO holds a Court of Inquiry over the loss of one pig by a Civilian and the accused member of A Coy elected to be tried by Court Martial. 1430 hrs The Battalion 2i/c called a conference of all Coy 2i/c’s. The purpose of the meeting was to form a committee of both Officers and Sgts to discuss the question of an Officers and Sgts mess. It was decided to build both. Capt Anaru was elected Secretary of the Officers Mess and all 2i/c’s to make up the committee. The Sgts mess committee was left over until the RSM was available, but in the meantime a mess is to be erected. Sgt Roderick was ordered to find all messing equipment and transport was made available when required for gathering facilities such as tables and chairs etc. Capt Mitchell was nominated by the Committee to go into the question of procuring sufficient wine for both messes and the men. Capt D’Arcy former RMO and now at 2 General Hospital Caserta, arrived last night for the Brigade Parade and stopped the day with us. HQ Coy No 6 Platoon supply todays leave quota to Naples. 2/Lt Takarangi in charge.
- 9 May, Tues 0730 hrs Reveille. RO No 27 issued today. 0800 hrs Breakfast. Syllabus for today. 0900-0950 hrs Squad Drill. 1005-1145 hrs Route March. 0930-1000 hrs CO holds a conference with all Coy Commanders. It was arranged during this meeting that lights out would be 2300 hrs. Tattoo reports to be in Battalion HQ at 2230 hrs. It was also announced by the CO that as from 0500 hrs today 28 NZ (Maori) Battalion ceases to be Battalion in counter attack role to 2 Para Brigade. The CO also read a letter from Division HQ explaining the alterations to be put into effect immediately re No 2, 4 Platoon and 5 of HQ Coy. No 2 is to be abolished while No 4 is to be reduced to 2 sections of three carriers each and No 4 Platoon is to consist of only four six pounders. All surplus personnel from these platoons are to be transferred to rifle Coys with an allocation of sixteen to each Platoon and four to the Sig Platoon making a total of 76 Other Ranks altogether. The conference confirmed all arrangements for Officers and Sgts messes as being finished. 1000 hrs Cos Orderly room, numerous cases of AWL while being on days leave to Naples, most were sentenced to CB and pack drill. The CO also continues to hear evidence further in the case of Pte Pram, A Coy, accused of stealing one pig from a local civilian. He is to be tried by FGCM. Battalion 2 i/c and all the Coy 2i/c’s and the Sgts continue to scrounge material for the different messes. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1330-1600 hrs Inter Coy sports. The CO and Maj Matehaere contested in deck quoits. 1700 hrs Dinner. 1830 hrs 5 NZ Infantry Brigade Band gave a band recital of popular tunes and marches near the YMCA tent. Weather fine and warm. CO leaves for Caserta by Staff car. Division orders received announcing that summer wear will be in force as from tomorrow. 1800-1900 hrs Defaulters do pack drill. 2/Lt Rogers was in charge of leave personnel to Amalfi today (1 Officer and 21 Other Ranks).
- 10 May, Wed 0700 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. Syllabus for today 0900-1200 hrs Route March by Coys. 2/Lt Robson Sigs Officer is in charge of Battalion leave personnel to Amalfi (1 Officer and 21 Other Ranks.) 0900 hrs Battalion sports held on Brigade Parade ground the results were to determine competitors to represent Battalion in coming Brigade sports. CO visits 10 Corp HQ to attend a Malaria lecture. 1000 hrs Officers and Sgts mess being erected in the Battalion area. All Sgts assisted. 1245 hrs Transport was made available for troops as far as the 23 Battalion area to see the ENS show. 1800 hrs Defaulters do pack drill for two hours. 1900 hrs 23 Battalion Officers compete with our Battalion Officers in a game of quoits and basketball. Hot cup of tea supplied by the YMCA. 2300 hrs A sketch of Cassino area has been completed for the CO conference tomorrow. 2200 hrs Leave personnel return from Amalfi. Warning order received from 5 Brigade that 5 Brigade is to take over from 6 Brigade area on the Belvedere Sector. 28 Battalion is to relieve 24 Battalion on night 14/15.
- 11 May, Thurs 0700 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. 2/Lt Searancke conducts summary of evidence in the case of Pte Pram, accused of taking a pig without asking. 1100 hrs Leave personnel depart from Camp Base on two three tonners. 1130 hrs Battalion parade followed by a lecture by the CO (The situation in Italy). 1300 hrs Brigade sports. I Sgt leaves for the front. 200 hrs Officers and Sgts party held in Battalion area. Sgts from 21 and 23 Battalion visited Sgts from this Battalion. Half of the Sgts of this Battalion visited Sgts in 21 and 23 Battalion areas. 1900 hrs Transport was made available to take personnel to the 23 Battalion concert at the El Djem. 2300 hrs 13 Corp attacks on Cassino and south. The attack is to take place from the village, Cairo (845250 Terelle) along the whole front to the Mediterranean. “H” Hour is 2300 hrs on which approx. 200 artillery guns will open up and pound the whole front. The infantry is to attack at approx 0030 hrs. Pay books received back from base pay office. CO paid for the wine tonight. Weather fine and warm.
- 12 May, Fri 0730 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. Officers and Sgts mess now in use. 0900-1200 hrs Route march by Coys. 1000 hrs CO’s Orderly Room. AWL charges. 1045 hrs Coy Commanders and I Sgt leave for 23 Battalion area to meet their representatives Officers and discuss the positions we are taking over from the 24 Battalion. This was possible because 23 Battalion held the area when we were in the line before. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1300 hrs The men were paid today in Battalion HQ by 2/Lt Robson. 1330 hrs Sitrep of the Division log was received from 5 Brigade HQ showing the progress and the counter attacks of this mornings offensive in the 13 Corp Front. Progress slow but satisfactory. Transport was provided to take personnel to the Kiwi Concert Party in the El Djem. This is the first time that we have seen this party since Tunisia from where they went home to NZ on leave. The performance was up to their usual standard. Gen Freyberg VC attended. Showers were made available today. Numerous formations of HY bombers and fighters were over the area most of the day. 1700 hrs Trace of the latest 13 Corp dispositions were received from 5 NZ Brigade. Tea. 2030 hrs Mobile Cinema in Division Calvary’s area. Confirmation by the LO of earlier message that pending move to the Belvedere Sector has been cancelled for 24 hours.
- 13 May, Sat 0730 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. Syllabus for this morning: 0900-1200 hrs Route march by Coys. 0930 hrs 2/Lt Falwasser, W Reedy and Capt Ornberg, as president, continue taking summary of evidence in the case of Pte Pram PP. 1000 hrs Brigade I Sector confirm reports of progress on the Cassino sector received yesterday. 1015 hrs 75 Reinforcements arrive at Battalion HQ and were allocated as follows: A Coy 10, B Coy 20, C Coy 12, D Coy 18 and HQ Coy 15. Three Officers also marched in with reinforcements, Capt Lambert HQ Coy, 2 Lt McRae D Coy and 2/Lt Lambly A Coy, from OCTU Base Camp Maadi. During the morning a detachment of the American Photographic Unit arrived at Battalion HQ and made a film of the Maori soldiers in action. Maj Awatere Battalion 2 i/c ably cooperated with the help of two representatives from each Coy. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1300-1600 hrs CO drafts Battalion Operation order for pending move to Belvedere Sector. 1310 hrs Transport provided to the second showing of the Kiwi Concert Party. 1815 hrs CO calls a conference of the Battalion O Group – details pending move as per attached OO. 2030 hrs Pictures shown in the Brigade area by Mobile Cinema Unit. Six days leave personnel leave for Bari this morning – allocation 4 from each Coy and 5 from HQ Coy. Previous draft arrives back at Battalion HQ at 1800 hrs. This morning Capt Logan went to Acquafondata to arrange details of relief of 24 Battalion by this Unit Tuesday night.
- 14 May, Sun 0730 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast and time signals. 0915 Coys parade. 0930 hrs Battalion parade in area next to the YMCA. Church of England service conducted by Padre Huata followed at 1030 hrs by Holy Communion in YMCA. 0900-0945 hrs I Sgt makes recce of Kohi route as far as Filignano as this is the proposed route for Battalion when we move to the Belvedere Sector. 1000 hrs Brigade IO arrives to explain the progress of recent 8th Army and 5th Army attacks, satisfactory. 0930 hrs Brigade informs Battalion that the move to Belvedere Sector has been postponed a further 24 hrs. All surplus to new establishment in HQ Coy were marched out to various Coys at 0900 hrs. Daily leave to Naples has been suspended, but three days leave to Campobasso and six days leave to Bari will continue but only for B echelon personnel, until Battalion withdraws from the line. 1230 hrs More details of the attack received from Brigade. GOC was at Brigade HQ at the time. This was put through to the Coy Commanders by the CO. 1240 hrs Leave personnel from Campobasso report back to Battalion. 1300 hrs The 23 Battalion basketball team arrives to play Battalion. The Four Bren Guns and minesweepers, previously A/A Platoon, were distributed one each to the four rifle Coys. CO instructs A coy to have personnel shown the use of a mine detector and its operation. A Coy has no one who has had experience in this instrument. 2000 hrs 5 Brigade I Section rang Battalion altering the plans on the 13 Corp Front. They all were making a thrust towards Highway 6 and behind Monte Cassino and cutting highway 6 where they are all to meet 78 Br. Division who were pushing through 4 Br Division Sector south of Cassino and Monastery hill.
- 15 May, Mon 1700 hrs 23 TCVs under Command Lt Plumtree report to Battalion HQ for transporting troops forward tonight. Hot meal for all troops going forward was turned by the cooks. 1740 hrs All fighting troops embus in TCVs which line up on Kohi track facing Filignano and north of Battalion HQ. 1800 hrs Battalion convoy moves off with the CO’s jeep leading. Order of march: - Battalion O Group consisting of CO, I Sgt, RSM, Sigs Officer and Coy Commanders with one representative from each Platoon and mortars all in five jeeps followed by one fifteen cwt carrying one section of eight men from C Coy, followed by the TCVs carrying A, B, C and D Coy troops with the mortar 3 x tonner bringing up the rear. The convoy made good time along Kohi track through Filignano and onto crossroads at 036260, then turned west along Rd to Acquafondata reaching staging area at 1930 hrs where a halt was called to await for last light and for orders from Brigade to move forward. 2035 hrs Convoy moves off with the O Group followed by 15 cwt with section from C Coy leading following the Rd as indicated in Brigade Operation Orders No 29. 2145 hrs O Group and attachment pass through lying up area and arrive at Upper Jeep Head at 2300 hrs where a guide was waiting to lead them up to 24 Battalion HQ. 2400 hrs O Group and Platoon representatives arrive at 24 Battalion HQ (G846284) and the Coy Commanders and Platoon reps carry on to their respective Coy HQs and make recces during the hours of darkness. Meanwhile the fighting troops had debussed at G890252 on Tui track (see Trace) and marched on foot along Tui track to lying up area (856264) where they settled down for the remainder of the night and next day.
- 16 May, Tues O Group and Platoon reps utilise the day in their respective positions studying the ground and gleaning all information about it and off the enemy on our immediate front from the troops we are relieving tonight. 1430-1600 hrs Heavy rain set in but it cleared at 1600 hrs when visibility almost became perfect. 1700 hrs CO rang lying up area and was told by Lt Balzer that he had made a recce of the approaches to the route up the mountain and was quite confident that they could find their way up tonight ----- told by the CO to pass his information onto the Coys. 1710 hrs Brigadier Parkinson, Commander 6 NZ Brigade, rang 24 Battalion HQs inquiring from the CO if there was any more information required by him…assured by the CO that everything was understood. 2300 hrs Guides supplied by the 24 Battalion, pick their respective Platoons up as they pass 25 Battalion HQs and lead them straight into their positions. 2345 hrs RAP completes changeover. Supplies and ammunition arrive by mules.
- 17 May, Wed 0010 hrs B Coy reports in as they pass up on their way to their positions. 2/Lt Kenny with HQs Platoon also report in. 0030 hrs Battalion HQ reports in and takes over. 0045 hrs IO, 5 Brigade, telephoned inquiring how the changeover was taking place, informed by I Sgt that so far it was going very satisfactorily. IO also informed us that CO 23 Battalion Lt- Col Blundell had been evacuated having broken his wrist when his Jeep toppled over the bank on the north Rd. 0100 hrs Both Capts Jackson and Ornberg report that all trench stores and equipment in their respective positions were in order and accounted for 0140 hrs D Coy reports Richmond successfully. 0130 hrs Richmond from C Coy. 1335 hrs Heavy mortaring area between Battalion HQ and C Coy, no casualties. 0200 hrs Richmond from A coy. 0217 hrs Richmond from B Coy. 6 Brigade HQs informed that Richmond was now in control, this being the code word for the completion of the changeover by 28 Battalion from 24 Battalion. Weather no fine though visibility is very poor due to heavy smoke from the Cassino area. 0900 hrs CO telephoned A Coy and inquired how their positions were like during the night, informed by Capt Wordley that everything had been quiet. 1040 hrs Capt Ornberg reports all quiet on his front. 1050 hrs The Mortar Officer rang Battalion HQ reporting that he had settled in and that equipment and stores taken over were as previously stated but asked for extra Sig cable to replace line to OP as that was badly knocked about. Phoned through to Sigs for immediate attention. 1100 hrs CO visits mortar Platoon and HQ Platoons areas and arranges with the Mortar Officer to man Mortar OP at first light tomorrow morning. 1315 hrs CO telephoned Capt Logan at BI and arranges for the following equipment to be brought by tonight’s Jeep train: - Water sterilizer and powder, disinfectant, 120 mortar bombs per night, 20 x 2 gallon water cans, 2 reels Don 5 wire and that the rations were to be packed in large sacks if possible. 1400 hrs Lt Sanders, i/c 8 Platoon 3 Coy MMG reported to Battalion HQ personally that he is relieving present MMG with his own Platoon tonight. Heavy rain and sleet. Command post flooded and had to be evacuated into lower room in Sigs House which was fairly dry. 1500 hrs B Coy reports enemy movement 1000 yards forward, reported to Brigade and is engaged successfully by 4.2 Mortars. 1800 hrs C Coy calls for Stonk “Munga” as hostile shooting from that area… 3” Mortar crew informed, who then put over 30 rounds silencing the hostile shelling. Artillery also informed. 2000 hrs CO returns. 2100 hrs Capt Jackson reports from outpost that artillery Barrage successful. Movement heard, suspected drilling past bridge and RAP reported to Battalion HQ. 2130 hrs Brigade IO phoned inquiring after position and was assured that everything was alright and under control. 2240 hrs Sitrep received from Brigade. 2312 hrs Left neighbours mortars active. Battalion front quiet. 2345 hrs 2/Lt Ransfield and 4 Other Ranks from BI arrive at Battalion HQ.
- 18 May, Thurs 0030 hrs Lt Carter with two Other Ranks report in to Battalion HQ as Artillery Ops. 0305 hrs MMG line repaired. Considerable use of flares by the enemy reported by the forward Coys and shortly afterwards the enemy planes bombed the sector on our left held by the Poles. 0950 hrs Capt Wordley informs Battalion that the enemy was very quiet in A Coys sector last night. 1000 hrs B Coy calls for Stonk “Murder” and our 3” Mortars engage it by harassing fire. CO rang 2/Lt Falwasser at Jeep Head and arranged with him for extra mules to be put on tonight. 1200 hrs BM rings the CO and arranges for attached engineers to return to their unit. He also informed the CO, an unconfirmed report, that Monastery Hill had been occupied by the Poles. 1230 hrs Brigade IO reports that people on our right had intercepted an enemy message indicating that all guns were to be trained on his own occupied village of Terelle…CO warned A and B Coys to keep a sharp lookout on the village but nothing unusual happened around it all the afternoon. 1400 hrs A message was received from Brigade asking for three nominations as instructors at Base Camp Maadi, referred to C Coy as they have a surplus of senior NCOs. 1500 hrs B coy reports enemy movement approximately 100 yards forward of their FDLS. 3” Mortar informed and they lay down harassing fire. 1520 hrs C Coy nominates Sgts Kaua and Poutu as instructors. 1620-1635 hrs Ten shells in area below Battalion HQ…Counter battery work by our artillery. 1630 hrs Brigade IO telephoned informing us that Sitreps were required by Brigade at 0600 hrs and 1640 hrs daily to be sent in by fullerphones. 1700 hrs Battalion OP in C Coy FDLs reported heavy hostile shelling of troops holding our right flank. 1725 hrs Light hostile mortaring in B Coy area from Sangarsat G84202863 and were engaged by our own Mortars successfully. 1810 hrs BM informs CO that the town of Cassino which had defied both the 5th and 8th Armies at various times during the past four months had at last been captured. Report re Monastery Hill received earlier in the day confirmed. 1920 hrs Dispatches from Brigade arrive per DR. 1920-1940 hrs Hostile shelling of area from direction Villa Latina. Both artillery and 5th Brigade informed. 2215 hrs Hostile enemy LMG fire from Pt 461 onto C Coys FDLs silenced by artillery fire. 2300-2325 hrs Hostile shelling around Battalion HQ, direction not determined. Rations and mortar ammunition arrive by mules. Lt Hutchinson i/c MMG Platoon with 23 Battalion on our left flank arrive at Battalion HQ to tie up arrangements for him to give Support fire along our B coy front should we require it. Signal to be two red flares.
- 19 May, Fri 0030 hrs Capt Wordley reported enemy vehicles with headlights on moving along road from Belmonte to Atina, reported to Brigade, but no action taken as we could not pin point their exact locations. 0145 hrs B Coy reports movement and digging at approx G840286, engaged and silenced by our own 3” Mortars. 0215 hrs Second mule train carrying mortar ammunition arrive at Battalion HQ and go straight up to the Mortar positions. 0400 hrs Shelling of Battalion HQ area for 1/4 hour, no casualties. 0600 hrs Sitrep to Brigade HQ verbally and by fullerphone. 0700 hrs Odd shells bursting around area on “machine gun” hill (84842821) and on our right of D Coys position (84402794). 0600-0900 hrs Hostile mortar shelling and sniping of B Coys FDLs from Sangars immediately forward, engaged by our own 3” Mortars firing a hundred rounds HE, enemy counter mortared but no casualties. During the night B Coy dispersed and silenced enemy movements and digging forward of No 11 Platoon (84172847) by the use of LMG fire and 2” Mortars. 0930 hrs Brigade IO telephoned informing the CO of the successful advance now in progress in the Liri Valley and on the 5th Army front. 1245 hrs BM telephoned ordering 3” Mortars to engage area Pt 730 and feature around G831280 as follows: - One round each gun every five minutes, to continue for one hour commencing at 1330 hrs. 1345 hrs Adj 23 Battalion rang reporting that mortar shot was falling very close to their FDLs. Mortar Officer informed and ordered to liaise with 23 Battalion before shooting again. All Coys report a very quiet morning. 1400 hrs BM rang inquiring whether we were getting shelled…No 1430 hrs Reported to Brigade, end of mortar shoot, informed not required any further, passed on to Mortar Officer. 1600 hrs Sitrep to Brigade. 1645 hrs Hostile shelling of area around walls and feature occupied by MMG. 1930 hrs OP (A Coy) reports Support gun firing on area, bearing five degrees and approx. 200 yards away. Brigade and artillery informed for action. Capt Jackson made a request that a sniper be sent down to his area and after consulting Capt Wordley, A Coy. The CO gave instructions for A Coys sniper, Pte Pram, to move down to C Coys area before first light and to do the sniping. Spasmodic shelling of area. 2330 hrs Maj Luxford, OC I Coy MMG, reports in to Battalion while making the rounds of his various guns in our area.
- 20 May, Sat 0030 hrs 2/Lt Baker arrived at Battalion HQ from Acquafondata (BI) to tie up supply arrangements with forward Battalion. 0040 hrs Artillery supporting our flanking formations are kept very busy on harassing tasks. Fairly quiet night. 0800-0900 hrs Slight hostile shelling of area. Bearings and approx positions of these guns forwarded to Brigade. 1100 hrs All Coys informed that carrying parties and water carriers must not leave their Coy areas before 2100 hrs. 1120 hrs Sgt Hogan NCO in charge of section holding outpost position in C Coys area reports Spandu fire from Pt 461. Brigade and artillery informed for action. 1130-1145 hrs Hostile shelling of area below Battalion HQ countered by our Artillery fire. 1330 hrs B Coy reports enemy movement 500 yards forward of A Coys FDLs, A Coy informed by telephone. 1345 hrs Adj informs Jeep Head Officer, 2/Lt Falwasser, that all requirements for forward Battalion will be phoned through to him at approx. 1600 hrs for relaying back to BI and for delivery that night. 1415 hrs Lt-Col McIlroy, CO 21 Battalion arrives at Battalion HQ with his IO on a visit. Very quiet. 1705 hrs Hostile shelling of Battalion HQ and wells area – 2 guns- caliber 50 mm. 1708 hrs More shelling around the same area – break in Battalion HQ – Brigade line. 1750 hrs Shelling report from Capt. Wordley- 2 guns firing from direction Cifalco on 40 and 48 Degrees respectively. Engaged by artillery without visible results. 1900 hrs Hostile shelling continues but is eventually silenced by the artillery. 1930 hrs Capt Marsden informs us to observe as the artillery is firing smoke to register before laying down a troop shoot on the Cifalco area. 2245 hrs Sgt Kaua selected for tour of duty at Base Camp, Maadi, reports into Battalion HQ on his way to BI and thence onto Egypt. 2350 hrs Heavy shelling by Mortars on areas 85652845 to approx 85542992. Brigade was informed and artillery shoot was brought down on it and was very successful.
- 21 May, Sun 0030 2/Lt Ngapo TJ reports into Battalion HQ and takes over as IO. 0200 hrs A Coy reports enemy working party in area G84602863 and were engaged by the Coys own 2” Mortars and LMG fire. Capt Ornberg reports small arms fire grenade exchanges on B Coys front, no casualties. There was only slight shelling of the area during the rest of the night and early morning. 0600 hrs Sitrep to Brigade. 0900 hrs Movement observed forward of A Coy dispersed by artillery fire. 1030 hrs Hostile shelling of area G85652845 from direction Atina. Engaged by artillery but actual results not observed. 1030-1130 hrs CO receives verbal reports from all Coy Commanders re the general situation on their own individual fronts. 1400 hrs Requirements telephoned through to Jeep Head for immediate action. 1700 hrs Brigade IO informed that the situation was very quiet. 1800 hrs A Coy reports one enemy vehicle with men grouped around it on road at G83453390 and one gun firing from 83303341. Engaged by artillery fire. 1830 hrs B Coy visited by the CO. 1950 hrs Brigade IO rang asking for cross bearing onto heavy gun firing onto 23 Battalion area. A Coy asked to cooperate and result phoned through to Brigade HQs. 2020 hrs Hvy mortaring on B Coys left flank. RSM shoots up two enemy Sangars just forward of B Coys FDLs with his bazooka. 2050 hrs A Coy reports hostile gun firing on bearing 310 degrees. Brigade informed and target is engaged by artillery. 2030 hrs IO and I Sgt make the rounds of all positions on C Coys area.
- 22 May, Mon A Coy reports AP gun firing from road at approx. 83453390. Information passed onto Brigade for action. 0230 hrs Slight mortaring around mortar positions. Rather a quiet morning. 0600 hrs Sitrep to Brigade. 1030 hrs Slight mortaring of Battalion HQ area. 1035 hrs CO rings Brigade for information of flanking formation. 1500 hrs Mortars telephone asking permission to use them on targets called by B Coy. 1505 hrs Brigadier and Brigade IO arrive at Battalion HQ on a routine visit. 1700 hrs Slight shelling around 16 Platoon area. 1820 hrs OP C Coy reports gun firing onto Battalion area on a bearing 341 degrees. Information passed onto Brigade. 1850 hrs 2/Lt Searancke and 2/Lt Ngapo were informed by the Adj that they are to report to Brigade HQ by 1600 hrs to attend a lecture on Counter Mortar Work by CRA. 1930 hrs More hostile shelling of Battalion area. 2000-2359 hrs Slight shelling of area and counter battery work by our own artillery.
- 23 May, Tues 0150 hrs Heavy mortaring of Battalion area, with counter mortar work by our own 3” mortar. 0330 hrs C Coy reports positions of enemy mortar firing onto their right flank, engaged successfully by artillery. 0620 hrs Inquiry from Brigade as to nights activity, informed that it has been very quiet since midnight. 0845 hrs Heavy mortaring of area around G84912823. Countered by our own 3” mortars. 0915 hrs The CO leaves Battalion to visit the shattered town of Cassino, taking with him 2/Lt Ransfield and RSM McRae, the latter to help locate our dead of the previous battles. 1000 hrs B Coy using bazookas shattered two enemy Sangars drawing heavy enemy mortaring on their area. Mortar Officer asks for permission for counter mortar shoot on targets forward of B Coy, especially on target “Mena,” granted. 1100 hrs Hostile shelling of Battalion HQ area, counter battery work by own artillery. 1530 hrs 2/Lts Searancke and Ngapo leave Battalion HQ for Brigade to attend Counter Mortar lecture by CRA (84982697). CO attended lecture at Brigade HQ. More shelling of Battalion HQ area. 1600 hrs More shelling of Battalion HQ area, counter battery work by own artillery. 1630 hrs Sitrep to Brigade. 2/Lt Hutchinson, MMG Officer with 25 Battalion, rang re signals from our front should enemy counter attack. Suggested 11 Platoon giving signal of two red flares to obviate confusion with the use of the ordinary flares form A and C Coys FDLs. Contacted 11 Platoon B Coy, the signals being adopted. 2130 hrs Conference of all Coy commanders at Battalion HQ re possible move forward. 2200 hrs Hostile shelling of Battalion HQ area, counter work by own artillery.
- 24 May, Wed 0115 hrs Mules arrive with supplies. 0215 hrs Hostile shelling throughout the night. 0600 hrs Sitrep to Brigade. 0945 hrs Shelling of area 84552836-counter mortar work by own artillery. 1740 hrs Heavy shelling of B Coy area. Casualties: 3 wounded. 2145 hrs C Coy reports own shells dropping short in own area. Contacted artillery. Heavy mortaring of Battalion HQ area, counter battery work by own artillery. 2200 hrs Communications with Brigade and Coys severed by hostile mortaring. 2245 hrs Communications through to Brigade and all Coys. Due to the heavy shelling and mortaring, the CO rung 2/Lt Falwasser at lower Jeep Head and arranged that mules should come up with Coy rations at 15 minute intervals.
- 25 May, Thurs 0130 hrs Mules arrive. The situation very quiet. 0330 hrs Hostile shelling of area counter work by own artillery. Casualties for 24th: killed one and wounded 15. 0430 hrs A Coy reports own shells falling in area. Reported same to artillery OP. 0500 hrs Intermittent hostile shelling of Battalion sector. 0600 hrs Sitrep to Brigade. 0715 hrs A Coy reports explosion bearing 345 degrees. 0720 hrs C Coy reports two bridges MR 854298 and 846302 demolished by enemy. Further explosion reported approx MR 846302. 0730 hrs ADS ring us wanting to arrange transport for three of our men who had died there and had to be taken to CCS for burial. Arranged through BI. 0715 hrs Battalion HQ mortared. Sigs Report Brigade line cut. 0800 hrs Brigade line repaired. 1100 hrs Battalion sector very quiet. IO leaves for 23 Battalion to tie up code names and make himself acquainted with the general plan of the attack. 1400 hrs IO returns from 23 Battalion and passes onto the CO all the information he has received from 23 Battalion. 2000 hrs CO’s conference re possible move forward to Belmonte. 2215 hrs Intermittent shelling of Battalion sector throughout the night.
- 26 May, Fri 0240 hrs Mules arrive with rations. 0315 hrs Hostile shelling of Battalion sector, counter battery work by own artillery. 0620 hrs B Coy reports ending down one prisoner to Battalion HQ. 0815 hrs Set prisoner to Brigade HQ. 0945 hrs Shelling of area 84572853. Counter battery work by own artillery. 1135 hrs ADS rings Battalion HQ wanting No, Rank and names of Sgt Trainor and Ptes Tuhoro and Fisher. Information required for death certificate. 1510 hrs Heavy shelling of Battalion sector. 1820 hrs C Coy reports ten Germans carrying stretcher marching down road into Essex lines. 2200 hrs Eight reinforcements arrive at Battalion HQ. One intelligence, two Sigs, two water carriers and three A/Tk. 2315 hrs Hostile shelling of Battalion sector. Counter battery work by own artillery. 2359 Sector very quiet. L/Cpl Potae detailed to take three men from C Coy and recce position occupied by D Coy 23 Battalion who were moving out and our C coy were taking over the positions. The three men were to remain there as Platoon guides.
- 27 May, Sat 0600 hrs Sitrep to Brigade. 0800 hrs Battalion sector very quiet. There has been no enemy activity since approx. 2330 hrs. 0900 hrs C Coy ordered to recall out post and prepare to move forward and occupy positions as already detailed. 0930 hrs C Coy rings Battalion HQ and says they are ready to move. 1000 hrs Brigade rings CO and informs him that the Battalion was to move back to A echelon (MR 890252). 1015 hrs CO rings CO Commanders telling them to make preparations to move back. Coys could make their own way down, either by the mule track or down the hill through C Coy area. The Coys decided to make their own way down to the road through the C coy area thence along Rd to A echelon. 1130 hrs Coys preparing to move down to A echelon. L/Cpl Potae detailed to get the three men who had been sent up to D Coy 23 Battalion to act as guides for our C Coy when taking over from them. C Coy rings Battalion HQ saying that they are ready to move, CO gives them permission to do so. 1200 hrs D Coy rings and says that they are ready to move out, CO gives them permission to do so IO and one Pte leave Battalion HQ for A echelon to recce areas for Coys as the CO could not get definite word as to whether our B echelon had been moved up. All Coy spare equipment, blanket rolls etc were carried out by mules. 1230 hrs CO leaves for lower Jeep Head thence to A echelon by jeep. 1300 hrs A and B Coys leave for A echelon. 1400 hrs CO arrives at A echelon. IO arrives and finds that areas have already been allocated to Coys. 1430 hrs CO and IO leave Battalion HQ to recce road up to Belmonte. 1600 hrs CO and IO return from recce. 2000 hrs CO’s conference re possible move forward to Atina. 2100 hrs The Battalion established at MR 889258 (Terelle, 1/25 000). The Battalion spends a very quiet night which is appreciated by all ranks.
- 28 May, Sun Breakfast 0700 hrs. RAP 0730 hrs. 0800 hrs Battalion preparing for move to area Atina MR 815829 (1/25 000, Atina). 0830 hrs CO leaves Battalion to recce area Atina. 0900 hrs IO and four others leave Battalion HQ to take minesweeper forward and to contact CO. 1000 hrs Party and CO meet on the road north of Atina, then proceeded on to recce area for forward Battalion. 1345 hrs Area decided on MR 819359 (1/25 000, Atina). 1430 hrs 21 Battalion passed through area on foot cross the river and proceeded in the direction of Sora. No shelling or mortaring of the area at this time. 1730 hrs Battalion moved the following order, carriers, C Coy, D Coy, Battalion HQ followed by A and B Coys with the A/Tk bringing up the rear. Carriers and C Coy settled in when enemy shelling started, shells landing along main Rd and to the right. Transport being fairly close together offered a good target, resulting in two three tonners being put out of commission. Casualties suffered seventeen in all including three Officers. One killed and buried MR 819359, Pte Paki. 2030 hrs CO and IO left for Brigade and went into details with the Brigade Commander re a probable move forward by the Battalion. 2045 hrs Hot meal brought up plus 24 hrs hard rations. These were issued to the men to be carried on the person. 2230 hrs CO and IO arrived in from Brigade and conferred with all Coy Commanders. Details for the move forward given out, time for starting and the amount of transport to be taken. 2300 hrs IO and 2 other I Section personnel left to make a recce of the Rd. and also for a new Battalion area. New area to be past the second demolition. Party proceeded down the main road till the second demolition was reached. 21 Battalion was then contacted and Battalion area decided upon to be 250 yards from 21 Battalion HQ.
- 29 May, Mon 0300 hrs Battalion moved into the new area in the following order: - A, B, C, Battalion HQ followed by D Coy with carriers and A/Tk bringing up the rear. 0500 hrs By this time the Battalion was settled in houses on the main Rd and sentries were posted outside each building. Guides were waiting at battalion HQ to lead the carriers and A/Tk into their respective areas. These areas being behind D Coy HQ. 0530 hrs Hot meal brought per Coy jeeps plus twenty-four hrs hard rations. Word was received that 21 Battalion had entered Vicalvi. Own tanks and staghounds moved up the road towards Vicalvi. 0545 hrs CO and IO went forward to 21 Battalion HQ to recce area. Brigadier arrived and plans for the attack on the br MR. 0915 hrs CO and IO return from 21 Battalion, a verbal message was passed throughout the Battalion to be prepared to move forward by 1000 hrs. 0945 hrs CO with 22 set on his jeep left for the new Battalion HQ area and from there gave instructions to all Coys to move on foot immediately. 1000 hrs Battalion left with Coys making their own way through the trees to their respective areas. 1130 hrs battalion settled in and HQ established at 788388 (1/50 000 Sora). 1300 hrs Brigade Commander arrives at Battalion HQ with Capt Marsden LO and runs through details briefly with CO. 1400 hrs Quiet afternoon. 1930 hrs CO’s conference with Brigadier in attendance, OC Armed Regiment, OC Division Calvary, Artillery OP Officers and Coy Commanders with the exception of B and D Coy Commanders, as they were too far away. Information being passed over the air to them. General outline of attack. C and A Coys on the right of the road, D and B on the left of the road. One squadron of tanks, followed by a squadron of Division Calvary Staghounds, tanks and staghounds proceeded by bulldozer. On the right flank, C Coy was leading with A Coy mopping up. 1930 hrs A Coy detailed one section of men as a covering party for the bulldozer. On the left flank D Coy leading with B Coy mopping up. C and A Coys to go onto high ground northwest of the bridge and D and B Coys south of the river forming a bridge head for the armour, also to enable the engineers to build the bridge. Start time being 2200 hrs. 2130 hrs Hot meals arrive per Coy jeeps. A and C Coys have meal before moving onto the start line. D and B Coys being too far away did not have a hot meal. 2015 hrs CO leave Battalion HQ per armoured car with the artillery OP Officer taking with him two Division Sigs and one Battalion Sigs. The remainder of Battalion HQ remaining behind until next morning. The Battalion moved through onto their objectives, C Coy being the only Coy who met any opposition and that was slight. Coys finally reaching their objectives and consolidating on same before first light. Casualties: nil.
- 30 May, Tues 0630 hrs IO arrives at Battalion HQ and finds them established at MR 724436, with A and C Coys north of the river and D and B Coys south. Tanks with Battalion HQ. Engineers unable to build the bridge due to heavy mortar fire from direction Sora. 0700 hrs Own aircraft bomb Battalion HQ. Casualties: 2 wounded. D Coy detailed to take the village of Brocco MR 705454 and C Coy Pt 572 MR 715449. D Coy came under heavy mortar fire about 500 yards from the village but finally took the village after some heavy fighting. C Coy arrived on their objective without meeting any opposition. A and B Coys remain in same areas. 1030 hrs C and D Coys being heavily mortared and shelled. 1100 hrs Hostile shelling of Rd 725435, counter battery by own artillery. Having trouble with wireless sets unable to contact Coys. 1230 hrs Wireless sets much better CO’s conference all Coy Commanders attend with the exception of Maj Matehaere, who is still fighting for the village. CO discusses plans for the attack on Sora. 1330 hrs C Coy calls Battalion HQ and says the enemy is putting in a counter attack on their positions. C Coy beats the enemy off, inflicting heavy casualties in him and causing him to flee in panic. Evidently the enemy did not think the hill was occupied. 1400 hrs IO leaves Battalion HQ for B echelon with information re the delivering of the evening meal. The CO finalises plans for the attack. D Coy on right and B, A and C Coys supporting arms – see Operation Order attached. 2100 hrs Coy jeeps arrive with hot meals. Jeeps deliver A and B Coys, A and D Coys carried up to them. 2130 hrs Officers from 23 Battalion who are taking over our positions arrive, followed by two Coys to take over D and C Coy positions. A and B Coys move across river onto that start line. B Coy being heavily mortared suffered heavy casualties. C Coy informs Battalion HQ that they are moving down onto the start line. D Coy remaining in the village until relieved by A Coy of the 23 Battalion. 2200 hrs A, B and C Coys leave the start line relieving infantry on the way up to positions. 2230 hrs Brigade contacts Battalion and orders the Battalion to halt and return to former positions. C Coy returning to position on point 572. A and B Coys taking up defensive positions where they were. Brigade will not let attack continue until the bridge has been finished. 2359 hrs Engineers report that they will have the bridge ready for crossing by 0800 hrs.
- 31 May, Wed 0200 hrs C Coy report that they are back in their former positions. The two relieving Coys on their way to C and D Coys. 0300 hrs Intermittent shelling of Rd and Battalion HQ area. 0500 hrs Change over complete. C Coy on the way down to start line. 0630 hrs C coy report they are down on the start line. 1000 hrs Engineers report that the bridge is complete. CO orders the Coys to move forward. 1030 hrs CO leaves Battalion HQ in jeep with 22 set and Sigs. IO following also Sigs. 1100 hrs Coys moving forward meeting no opposition, CO in touch with them by wireless. 1200 hrs A Coy on the outskirts of Sora meeting slight opposition, being mortared. Tanks in the centre of town shooting up strong points and targets as indicated by the Infantry. 1300 hrs B Coy meeting strong opposition at the rly Station, A/Tk guns firing on tanks. B Coy given the task of capturing or destroying same. D Coy on the right flank being heavily mortared. 1400 hrs A, B and C Coys well into town, meeting very little opposition. The town being heavily shelled. 1600 hrs The town in our hands. Whole area being heavily shelled by enemy. Battalion HQ established 687 456. A Coy 683 464. B Coy 687 475. C Coy 679 466 and D Coy 702 473. RAP with Battalion HQ. 1800 hrs CO visits Coys. Capt Jackson arrives at Battalion HQ. 1830 hrs CO returns. 2000 hrs Coys are instructed to post guards. At 1500 hrs the GOC with Mr Fraser (PM) arrives at Battalion HQ and said a few words to the men. Left Battalion HQ at 1530 hrs.
Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
28 (Maori) Battalion war diary, R23517749, ADQZ 18886 WAII1 1666 DA 68/1/53-54