The Battalion are moving towards Balsorano and then are called back to the Divisional concentration area near Arce, north-west of Cassino. In the meantime the American’s have occupied Rome. In an effort to clamp down on mischief Lt-Col Young keeps troops occupied with route-marches, weapon-training, mine-detecting and manoeuvres. Leave to Rome was 3 men per Company accompanied by an officer.
- Lieutenant Colonel: Russell Young (CO)
- Major: Peta Awatere
- Temporary Major: James Matehaere
- Captains: Rangi Logan, Rangi Tutaki, Sydney Freyberg Jackson, Hamahona Mitchell
- Temporary Captain: WDP Wordley, WP Anaru
- Lieutenants: WH Prescott
- 2/Lieutenants: Peter Robson, Monty Searancke, Te Matau o te Rangi Tomoana, John Sonny Baker, Nepia Mahuika, Aylmer Kenny, Henry Harper Takarangi, Reuben Paniora, Percy Lambly, William (WSL) McRae, Ivon Harris, Henry Falwasser, James Ngapo, Mita Francis
- Attached: Capt (Rev) Wi Te Tau Huata (Padre), TF Dillon (NZMC, RMO), Charlie Bennet (YMCA); 2/Lts: J Mataora, Cleo Ronald Smith, Te Rauwhiro Tibble, John Ransfield, Joseph Carr, Sam Paniora, R Temata
- 1 June, Thurs 0600 hrs Sitrep sent to Brigade. 0730 hrs Breakfast. 0830 hrs RAP. Maj Matehaere arrives at Battalion HQ. 0900 hrs Brigadier arrives at Battalion HQ and discusses plans for the forward move, which is taking place today. CO runs through plans with Maj Matehaere. 1030 hrs IO leaves Battalion HQ to recce area for forward Battalion HQ. Maj Matehaere returns to his Coy. CO calls a conference of A, B, C and M Platoon Commanders to be at Battalion HQ at 1200 hrs. 1200 hrs IO returns to Battalion HQ having selected the area for Battalion HQ, bringing back with him four escaped prisoners of war. These men were forwarded to Brigade HQ as they had vital information re enemy positions. 1215 hrs CO’s conference. Plans being as follows: - D Coy to move first. C Coy to left of Sora – Balsorano Rd, A Coy to move through D Coy on right of Sora – Balsorano Rd, B Coy remaining in the same position. See Appendix D for Operation Order. Bren Carriers and A/Tk guns sent for and allocated as follows, 1 section to C Coy and 1 to A Coy. 1 Troop A/Tk guns to play mobile role. 1430 hrs CO off to Brigade for conference with Brigade Command. Coys moving forward. 1500 hrs IO and three Other Ranks leave Battalion HQ in Jeep for new area. Battalion HQ personnel left on foot for new area. 1530 hrs IO and party arrive in new area established Battalion HQ at MR 689478. 1600 hrs Coy established on objective, C Coy left of Sora – Balsorano Rd. A Coy right of same road. D Coy resting behind A Coy and B coy in same area resting behind C Coy. C Coy has one Platoon on Pt 351 MR 685491. 1700 hrs CO returns from Brigade and visits C Coy. 1830 hrs Brigade Command visits Battalion HQ. 1900 hrs CO returns from C Coy. 2000 hrs Hot meals arrive, also 24 hrs hard rations, delivered to Coys per jeep. CO leaves Battalion HQ to attend conference at Brigade HQ. Leaves word for all Coy Commanders to be at Battalion HQ by 2359 hrs to attend conference. 2300 hrs Coy Commanders, Artillery OP Officers, MMG, Carrier, M Platoon Officers and Doctor arrive at Battalion HQ for conference.
- 2 June, Fri 0015 hrs CO returns from Brigade and discusses plans for the show today. B and D Coys forward, C and A Coys in res. OP Officers to travel with D Coy who is now moving along foothills. B and C Coys on left of Sora – Balsorano Rd, D and A Coys on right. 1 Section Carriers attached to B Coy and 1 to D Coy. 2/Lt Baker arrives at Battalion HQ to take over the duties of the Adj. Start time 0800 hrs. 0115 hrs Slight hostile shelling of Rd MR 687476. Counter Battery work by our Artillery who had moved up during the day. 0600 hrs Reveille. Breakfast 0700 hrs. 0730 hrs Coys preparing to move forward. 0815 hrs CO leaves Battalion HQ in jeep with three Sigs and 38 Set. IO and SO follow immediately. 0900 hrs Coys contact CO stating that the advance is going well, not meeting any opposition. Tanks up at demolition MR 681504. Engineers working to get tanks across demolition. 1000 hrs CO and party arrive at proposed site for Battalion HQ MR 681505. B Coy contacts CO and says they are on their objective. 1030 hrs A, C and D Coys report they are all on their objectives. CO notifies Brigade that the Battalion is on its objective. 1100 hrs Intermittent shelling of Rd 671518. Tanks across and exploiting. Engineers move forward to next demo MR 671518. 1130 hrs CO contacts C Coy and orders Capt Jackson to detail a party to go up to Pt 994 MR 699519, taking with them 24 hrs hard rations and a 38 wireless set. 2/Lt Paniora is to stay there until sent for by the CO. 1200 hrs CO receives word from Brigade that the Battalion has to push onto the next objective. 1230 hrs CO contacts all Coy Commanders by air and gives them plans for the move forward. D Coy on right, B Coy on left, A Coy in reserve behind D Coy, C Coy in reserve following B Coy and MMG and Tanks support B and D Coys. 1 Section of Carriers to B Coy and 1 to D Coy. Start time 1430 hrs. 1300 hrs Hostile shelling of Battalion HQ area. Counter battery work by own artillery. 1400 hrs Coys preparing to move forward. 1430 hrs CO, IO and SO leave for forward areas in jeeps and travel up side Rd to proposed Battalion HQ. Coy repost advance meeting no opposition. 1500 hrs Battalion HQ set at MR 681520. Tks and MMGs up at Battalion HQ. 1600 hrs Coys establish on objective. A Coy 681525, B Coy 674523, C Coy 671521, D Coy 683529 and Battalion HQ 681520. D and B Coys forward, C Coy in reserve behind B Coy (left flank), A Coy in reserve behind D Coy (right Platoon). 1630 hrs CO visits A and D Coys. 1635 hrs Brigadier arrives at Battalion HQ, message sent out to all Coys by air requesting CO’s return. 1700 hrs COL arrives at Battalion HQ. Brigadier suggests Battalion to move forward onto next objective. CO mentions that men are very tired and feet are sore. All Coys connected to Battalion HQ by line. Men resting. 2000 hrs Rations arrived for all Coys per Coy jeeps. C and B Coys delivered by jeeps while A and D Coys delivered by carrying parties. Food also carried up to C Coy Platoon on Pt 994 MR 699519. 2200 hrs Coys reported FDLs very quiet. 2230 hrs Coy area being heavily shelled. Guards posted throughout Coys and Battalion HQ areas. 2300 hrs Rd MR 673524 being heavily shelled. CO contacted 2/Lt Paniora S by 38 set and found out that they are all well.
- 3 June, Sat 0600 hrs Sitreps to Brigade. Reveille 0700 hrs. Breakfast 0800 hrs consisting of hard rations. 0900-1200 hrs Slight shelling and mortaring of the whole Battalion front. Own tanks at Battalion HQ shoot onto crossroads running east and west also crossroads at 650540. CO and IO visited B and C Coys. Heavy Enemy shelling area 669524. 1100 hrs GOC and Brigade Commander visited Battalion HQ and discussed plans for a possible move forward. Dive bombing attack by our kitty hawks at MR 659540. Artillery OP attached to Battalion HQ locates enemy mortars firing from cliffs at MR 658538. This was duly engaged with good results by our artillery. 1300 hrs Brigade Commander visited Battalion and went into details re the situation. 21 and 23 Battalions CO’s present. 1900 hrs CO conference with all Coy Commanders plans for next move given out. 21 Battalion carrying out the attack tonight. 28 Battalion to stand by and be prepared to move out and support 21 Battalion when called upon. 1945 hrs Short service conducted by Unit Padre Capt Huata. 2000 hrs Hot meal plus 24 hrs hard rations arrived per jeeps and delivered to Coys as previous arrangements. 2330 hrs 2/Lt Paniora contacts Battalion HQ and says they are all well but short of water. Adj makes necessary arrangements to rectify this matter. Intermittent mortaring and shelling of B and C Coy areas.
- 4 June, Sun 0030 – 0430 hrs Spasmodic mortaring and shelling of Battalion sector, also light exchange of LMG fire. Our MMGs firing HF tasks general area 657545. 0600 hrs Sitreps to Brigade. 0700 hrs Breakfast, again consisting of hard rations. 0900 hrs Own artillery stonked enemy positions on the whole front and enemy counters with mortar fire. 0930 hrs Own tanks harass area 669547 with airburst and HE fire. CO speaks to 2/Lt Paniora on the 18 set advising him on the necessary stay on the ridge and giving him all the latest news re the situation. 1015 hrs CO of 23 Battalion arrives at Battalion to do recce of forward area as his Battalion is taking over our sector. 1130 hrs CO leaves Battalion HQ for a conference at Brigade HQ. 1130 hrs 2/Lt Paniora arrives down at Battalion HQ from Pt 994, wanting to take back with him four mules, rations and water for three days. The CO did not grant this, as he wanted to get the Brigade Commanders permission first. 1215 hrs CO returns from Brigade and grants 2/Lt Paniora’s permission for the mules and the rations. IO leaves Battalion for B echelon to make necessary arrangements for the rations and the mules. 1400 hrs IO returns from B echelon after making arrangements for the rations to be brought up by jeeps and leaving a man with the mules to guide them up to Battalion HQ. Enemy Stonked Battalion HQ area. 1700 hrs Mules arrived at Battalion HQ. 2000 hrs 2/Lt leaves Battalion HQ with mules and rations for Pt 994. His patrol, which consisted of 1 Officer and 13 Other Ranks and 2 Italian Muleteers, was given the task of patrolling the high hills and destroying all artillery guns mortars and Ops they found. They had as a guide an Italian who had come down from the hill and reported to Brigade HQ the location of a battery of guns. Loaded on the mules were three days rations, which were brought up per jeeps with the rest of the Battalion rations. Water was also taken up for the patrol. 2100 hrs Brigade contacts Battalion HQ and Orders that 2/Lt Paniora be recalled. Could not contact him through all wireless sets were tuned into him. 2105 hrs Brigade sends message to say 21 Battalion is sending out patrol to bring in wounded from MR 673 544 and to notify forward Coys to that effect. 2105 hrs Five Italians arrived at Battalion HQ who have come down from Balsorano. They were forwarded to Brigade HQ for interrogation. Received message from CCS that Capt Ornberg, OC B Coy, had died of wounds he had received on the 28 May 44, he was rushed to a head specialist at Naples but failed to respond to treatment. Battalion thus loses a very capable and most popular Officer. Throughout the night the Battalion sector was subjected to spasmodic mortaring and shelling.
- 5 June, Mon 0600 hrs Sitreps to Brigade forwarded per DR. Breakfast of hard rations at 0700 hrs. Enemy Artillery active on the Battalion front. 0800 hrs CO leaves Battalion HQ for Brigade HQ to attend a conference with the Brigade Commander. 0900 hrs Enemy heavily mortared Battalion HQ. One landed on the house and caused confusion among the occupants. 2 jeeps slightly damaged, but still repairable. 1000 hrs CO returns from Brigade HQ. Party leaves Battalion HQ to attend funeral at MDS at MR 68755 of Sgt Tupara and Te Purei who died accidentally. 1030 hrs Party of Italians arrives at this HQ, and are forwarded to Brigade. 1300 hrs CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders including MMG, mortar, Carriers and RMT Officers. The Battalion is allocated 20 tpt to transport personnel back to rest area at MR G729436 Sora 1.50.000 sheets 152 and 111. 1330 hrs Officers of 1 Coy of 25 Battalion arrive to recce position for the three Platoons who are taking over from our Battalion. Maj Matehaere notified that he has been selected to go and give lectures to the 10 Indian Division re mountain warfare. 1530 hrs Enemy mortar Battalion HQ heavily for 45 mins. 1610 hrs Party of Italians arrives at Battalion HQ having in their possession maps of the forward area and very important information. They were forwarded to Brigade HQ. Maj Matehaere leaves Battalion HQ for Brigade HQ as the Brigade Commander wanted to see him before he departed for the 10 Indian Division. 1715 hrs Tank Officers arrives at Battalion HQ and make for a target. The CO did not consider it wise owing to the change over which is taking place tonight. Have tried to contact 2/Lt Paniora but without success. 2 runners have been sent out to try and find him and to tell him to return to Battalion HQ. 2045 hrs 25 Battalion Officers again arrive at Battalion HQ to ensure that their men arrived on time. The relief program being as follows: - 1 Platoon to D Coy HQ, 1 Platoon to B Coy HQ, and 1 Platoon to C Coy HQ. Our Coys were to move out in the following order: - C Coy as soon as they were relieved followed by B Coy to emboss at embussing point at MR 671524. D Coy to do, likewise as soon as they were relieved and A Coy to make their way down to the embussing point. The Coys were not to move out until after last light and there will be no order of march. Coys emboss and moved off as soon as the whole Coy was there. Coys were to notify Battalion HQ that relief was completed. 2100 hrs A Coy reports they are moving down to embussing point. 2115 hrs B and C Coy reports that they are moving down to the embussing point. 2300 hrs D Coy reported they are moving down to embussing point later D Coy HQ had to return to area as relieving Platoon has lost itself. 2330 hrs Battalion HQ moved out of present HQ and moved back to the rest area per jeeps. 2359 hrs Whole Battalion established in new area and all were settled in by 2400 hrs. Coys were given a hot meal, which was being prepared in B echelon and not brought forward to the line. Battalion HQ now established at MR G729436 Sora 1.50.000 sheets 152 and 153.
- 6 June, Tues 0700 hrs Reveille. Breakfast 0800 hrs. RAP 0830 hrs. Lunch 1230 hrs. Tea 1730 hrs. 0900 – 1300 hrs Coys having showers and general clean up. Hot showers being provided by 4 Field Hygiene and situated near HQ Coy by the river at MR 728438. 0900 hrs Maj Matehaere leaves for 10 Indian Division. Issue of GS caps to whole Battalion. 0915 hrs Capt Huata and Capt Anaru left for Caserta to visit the wounded. 1020 hrs Brigade IO arrives at Battalion HQ and I Section gives him 125 MM enemy mortar, which was found in B Coys present area. Bombs were later obtained and also the base plate. CRA had especially asked all IO’s to send in one of these also 1 – 50 mm. 1300 hrs For the rest of the afternoon the men were given time for cleaning equipment and building bivvys. In general making themselves comfortable.
- 7 June, Wed 0700 hrs Reveille. Breakfast 0800 hrs. RAP 0830 hrs. Lunch 1200 hrs. Tea 1730 hrs. 0900 hrs CO leaves Battalion HQ for Brigade conference. 0905 hrs QM calls in all FS caps, remainder of winter wear and three blankets from each man leaving him with two. 0915 hrs 2i/c’s conference with the view of getting rid of all unnecessary and surplus equipment. Battalion was to be organised so that it would be able to take up mobile role if called upon. 0845 hrs Unit Padre Capt Huata leaves Battalion HQ to attend meeting of all Padres at Division HQ. They were lectured to by GOC 2 NZ Division. 1045 hrs CO returns from Brigade. 1100 hrs CO’s conference and all Coy Commanders attended. Training plans for the future were discussed, discipline and tattoo reports also discussed. Plans for the field exercise to be held tomorrow also given out. D Coy is to attack the feature Castagno MR 825431. Tanks from A Squadron giving close support. The purpose of the exercise was to practice Commands in the use and correct procedure of the 38 wireless set also indication of targets. 1300 hrs Capt Logan leaves Battalion HQ for 4 Brigade for details of tomorrow exercise. 1400 hrs 2i/c leaves Battalion HQ to visit MDS and forward areas. Battle dresses handed into the QM. 1530 hrs I Sgt leaves Battalion HQ for Brigade to get the latest situation reports and to find further details about the practical exercise tomorrow in which D Coy will carry out an attack totally by tanks from C Squadron 20 Armd Regiment. 1600 hrs Men resting. Very quiet afternoon spent by all. 2300 hrs Tattoo reports handed in to Vn HQ Orderly room.
- 8 June, Thurs 0700 hrs Reveille. Breakfast 0800 hrs. RAP 0830 hrs. Lunch 1200 hrs. Tea 1730 hrs. 0800 hrs 2i/c and I Sgt leave Battalion HQ for exercise area to tie up arrangements for target etc 2i/c being one of the umpires. 1000 hrs CO’s Orderly room lasting till approx 1130 hrs. D Coy leave in tpt for exercise area. 1130 hrs HQ Coy under Capt Mitchell marched for six miles to the exercise area, taking their lunch with them. Sigs Officer leaves in own jeep taking 18 and 38 sets plus operators. 1300 hrs A, B and C Coys leave Battalion area in tpt for exercise area. 1400 hrs Coys arrived at area, D Coy preparing for exercise with Tanks. 1430 hrs The exercise in progress, all spectators listening to the change of orders through a system of loud speakers, which had been erected by Division Sigs. 1600 hrs Conference of all Officers who attended the exercise. Criticism (constructive) of tactics and Sigs. and orders by Umpires and Brigadier Inglis. Coys who came down in tpt route marched back to camp. 1700 hrs CO and IO arrived at Brigade. CO discusses with the Brigade Commanders plans for tomorrows exercise. 1830 hrs Officers mess in operation for the first time tonight. 2145 hrs Film “Sex Hygiene” screened in the Battalion area. A large attendance fully appreciated it. Received message from CCS that 2/Lt Rogers of B Coy, had died of wounds this morning and was buried at the CCS. He was wounded on the 31 March during the final stages of the assault and mopping up of the town of Sora. A very efficient Officer who will be a loss to his Coy.
- 9 June, Fri Routine as for previous days. Wireless procedure using 38 sets for all Coys covering a period of 2 hrs each was conducted by the Battalion Sig Platoon. 0900 hrs CO embussed in three tonners and leave for exercise with Tanks on the Rd Alvito – S Donato (see appendix attached). The exercise was similar to the one carried out by D Coy and C Squadron 20 Armd Regiment yesterday and covered the same area. After the exercise C Coy had lunch in the field after which they marched for 6 miles back to camp. Officers mess is now established and in full use. CO and all Coy Commanders attended exercise, Capt Te Punga being umpire selected for the exercise. Constructive criticism was made by both Umpires about the whole exercise. The chief faults being procedure while using the sets, time taken for the indication of targets being too long and the cooperation with the tanks not being as it should be. Practice would rectify these faults. 1630 hrs CO calls a conference with all Coy Commanders in the Officers Mess. The conference dealt with yesterday and todays exercise with tanks and the routine for tomorrow. 1730 hrs The CO left Battalion HQ for NO 2 NZGH Caserta to visit our sick and wounded. 2145 hrs Film “Hers to Hold” screened by NZ Mobile Cinema opposite 5 Brigade HQ.
- 10 June, Sat Routine as per usual. 0830 hrs Coy Commanders, Platoon Commanders and NCO’s leave Battalion HQ for exercise area, which is the same as has been these last two days. The Coys are to work out TEWTs for the exercise, one of the TEWT would be put into operation by B Coy this afternoon. The Sigs Officer and personnel were also present to supervise and coach Commanders with their procedure. 0915 hrs CO’s Orderly room. Outstanding cases dealt with. Coy personnel remaining in Camp were given two hours Signal Instruction by the Sigs Platoon. Coys who are not on Signal Instruction do two hours route march. 1430 hrs B Coy carries out the TEWT with much better results than the last two days. Signal Procedure being much better, indication of targets much quicker, the exercise showed one hundred percent improvement. 1700 hrs CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders held in the CO’s mess, which dealt with todays exercise and next weeks programme. Battalions leave quota for Bari, 1 Officer and 6 Other Ranks left at 0830 hrs this morning. Maj Matehaere I/C party. He is to have seven days leave and then report to Advance Base. 2145 hrs Film “You were never Lovelier” screened by NZ Mobile Cinema opposite 5 Brigade HQ.
- 11 June, Sun Routine as usual. 0730 hrs Capt Logan, Capt Anaru and 2/Lts Falwasser and Huata leave Battalion HQ to visit sick and wounded at 2 NZGH Caserta. 0900 hrs Church Parade cancelled owing to bad weather. 0930 hrs Church Parade conducted by Rev Huata. Brigadier attended and spoke to the troops re the effort the 2 NZ Division had played in the past action. Also gave the troops the situation on all fronts, after which the CO Brigadier Stewart and 2i/c pare took of a cup of tea. 1200 hrs The Battalion has a muster parade due to the fact that they were late for Church Parade. 1300 hrs Men having the afternoon off. 1830 hrs Padre Huata and men from the Battalion leave Battalion HQ to attend a combined concert, which is being held in the 23 Battalion area. Reps from each Battalion giving items. Weather: Showery and muggy sky overcast.
- 12 June, Mon Routine as for previous days. 0900 hrs B and C Coys doing range work. Zeroing rifles and Bren guns. B Coy from 0900 – 1200 hrs and C Coy from 1300 – 1630 hrs. D Coy on a route march of three hours, A Coy personnel who were not on a fatigue joined D Coy for this route march. Signal Platoon carrying out maintenance of wireless sets and refresher in procedure. Brigade notified Battalion of possible move forward to new area. Reps from all units to meet staff Capt at crossroads MR 626340. 1200 hrs 2i/c, IO and I Sgt left Battalion HQ for RV with Staff Capt, arrived at new Battalion area and recced positions for all Coys this was completed at 1600 hrs. 1900 hrs CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders re the move forward tomorrow. Details were not finalised as there was to be another conference tomorrow morning. A special message to all troops from Army Commander was received (see appendix A attached). 10 reinforcements marched in from Advance Base including 2 Officers – Lt Munro PS and 2/Lt Francis F, both posted to B Coy.
- 13 June, Tues 0900 hrs CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders and plans for move to new area finalised. All vehicles were to leave Battalion HQ, the head of the column passing the Starting Point MR 728436 at 1500 hrs. The Troops were to pass the same Starting Point at 2000 hrs the following being the order of march: - Battalion HQ, A, B, C, D and HQ Coy all at three minute intervals. The marching troops to be led by the IO’s jeep bearing a lit sign showing the head of the marching troops and rear brought up by Ambulance Car with a lit sign showing rear of marching troops. This was duly carried out. 1030 hrs All Coy 2i/c’s including three guides from each Coy and I Sgt left Battalion HQ with 2i/c Battalion to recce Coy areas and ascertain positions for Coys, HQs, cook vehicles and Platoon areas. Remainder of the Battalion Personnel cleaning up Battalion area and packing in preparation for the move. 1130 hrs Warning order from Brigade, No 164, received from 5 Brigade giving details of the route and the area at which the troops were to emboss. Later a signal was received from Brigade cancelling the first route for a new one, which will take, troops cross-country. IO, TO and I Personnel left Battalion HQ to recce this new route and find the embussing point. 1230 hrs The Battalion had a hot meal, and were given meal at 1800 hrs and on arrival at new HQ had a hot drink. 2000 hrs Battalion HQ passed Starting Point 728436 and the trek to the new area commenced. The men enjoyed the route march as it was so nice and cool. CO and all Coy Commanders used 38 sets for intercommunication. 2000 hrs Leading troops arrived at embussing Pt at MR 635383 where TO had 6 three tonners and 13-15 cwts waiting. 2345 hrs Battalion embussed and moved off for new area and on arrival found HQ established at MR 628309 1.25.000 Saprano. The troops had a hot drink and immediately set to and made themselves comfortable.
- 14 June, Wed 0700 hrs Reveille. Breakfast 0800 hrs. RAP 0830 hrs. Lunch 1230 hrs. Tea 1730 hrs. 0900 hrs Coys building bivvys and hanging out blankets. 0930 hrs Nominees for OCTU went up before the Brigade selection Board. CO also went up to Brigade as he was one of the selection board men. Men were paid today. 1400 hrs Short Arm inspection for all Battalion. Also general check up on inoculations. 1800 hrs CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders which dealt with the following matters: - AB 64s to be checked immediately, all promotions and awards to be checked, conduct sheets to be up to date, cap badges to be charged to the men deficient and all ranks to be properly dressed in and out of Battalion area. The Syllabus for the next few days was decided upon as follows: - 0600 hrs Reveille. 0630-0730 hrs drill and RAP. 0800 hrs Breakfast. 0900-1000 hrs Coy inspection and instruction in Sig procedure. 1000-1200 hrs Route marching, range, SAT on alternate days. 1230 hrs Lunch and one hour each afternoon was to be devoted to recreational training. This hour was left to the discretion of the Coy Commanders to decide upon. 1730 hrs Maj Awatere left Battalion HQ for a visit to 12 NZ CCS.
- 15 June, Thurs 0600 hrs Routine as laid down in CO’s conference yesterday was strictly adhered to by all Coys. 1300 hrs Pay being issued to the remainder of the Battalion HQ personnel. For the rest of the afternoon the Battalion resting and nothing at all to do. 1900 hrs Concert by South Africans held in Division area and attended by a large number of Division personnel. 2000 hrs Col Fairbrother who recently returned from Furlough in NZ, visited Lt-Col Young. 2115 hrs Pictures in the Brigade area showing Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in “Girl Crazy.” Weather: The sky at this time had turned quite black and signs of rain imminent. Still night with very little breeze. Bright sunshine in the morning by midday overcast.
- 16 June, Fri 0600 hrs Usual routine as for previous mornings. C Coy Officers left Battalion HQ per CO’s car for Caserta to visit the sick and wounded. 0900 hrs Battalion Sigs personnel carrying out wireless procedure and maintenance also giving the backward personnel in Sig procedure instruction. 1000-1200 hrs Route march carried out by Coys. A Coy on the range zeroing rifles and improving in shooting. 1210 hrs Battalion muster parade, CO gave lecture on VD, Malaria precautions and discipline. He emphasised the fact that the number of VD cases in this Battalion was becoming serious. Another point brought out was the fact that Coys were submitting a wrong tattoo report at night. Men were found wandering around the area at 0030 hrs and the tattoo reports stated that all were present and correct thus he gave instructions for the Battalion Provosts to inspect all lines at 2300 hrs each night. 1430 hrs Battalion I Section off to see enemy burnt out tanks and Spandu guns along highway 6. 1400 -1700 hrs Hot showers provided by the Unit Mobile showers for D, C ad HQ Coys. 2000 hrs Officers returned from HQ Coy. Weather: - Fine and still with signs of rain still imminent. However dark clouds increased but no rain yet. Sky overcast and war atmosphere.
- 17 June, Sat Routine as for previous mornings. 0745 hrs CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders dealing with the following matters: - A check of all rifles was to be held by all Coys as three were found in our last area. Still helmets, identity discs and field dressings are to be checked and a return submitted to Battalion HQ by 1600 hrs. Late passes could be issued at the discretion of Coy Commanders and a list of names was to be at Battalion HQ by 1800 hrs. HQ Coy on the range zeroing rifles and having more practice with the TSMG and Bren. OC HQ Coy asked permission from CO to take carriers down highway 6 onto the range, so as to give carrier personnel practice in the use of the browning’s. This was granted. 0900 hrs Battalion HQ personnel leave for range. C Coy having an identification parade re the suspected man who had attempted to obtain vino from Italians by flourishing a pistol. Kit inspection of whole Battalion carried out by Coy Commanders for enemy equipment. Syllabus for the next week will be the same as for this. 1300 hrs Battalion HQ personnel have muster parade for the other Coys (identification). 2300 hrs The long waited for rain had at last commenced and increasing in intensity by 2359 hrs. Men who were sleeping outside for the past few nights were caught unaware though the rain was preceded by lighting and thunder. Weather: - Fine and sunny but sky still overcast. Slight break at times but possibility of rain tonight.
- 18 June, Sun 0700 hrs Reveille. RAP 0730 hrs. Breakfast 0800 hrs. Rain still unabated and the men took this opportunity to lie in late. 0700 hrs First quota of 22 men for Rome leave left per own tpt under Capt Wordley. Dress laid down for leave as follows: - long strides with gaiters and shirts with long sleeves. 0930 hrs Break in the weather and the Battalion Padre took this opportunity to hold a church parade. Capt D’Arcy RMO visited Battalion and returned that night to 2 NZ General Hospital. 1200-1800 hrs Nothing done at all as it was raining hard. 1900 hrs Coy Commanders conference and details brought out. For the remainder of the afternoon the men having singsong card games etc. at Unit YMCA. Rain again had set in but only slightly but this did not make the men uncomfortable as their bivvys were well erected. NB: 1100 hrs Roman Catholics parade in Brigade HQ area. Weather: - Drizzle all day with only slight breaks, very little wind.
- 19 June, Mon 0600 hrs Reveille. 0630-0730 hrs RAP and also drill carried out by all Coys. Due to the drill area being muddy, Coys drilled for half an hour and the other half on route march. Daily leave again to Rome consisting of 22 men left on own tpt under Capt Anaru B Coy 2i/c. 0730 hrs B Coy on the range zeroing rifles and practice shoot. 0930 hrs Unit Padre leaves Battalion to visit our sick and wounded in 2 NZ General Hospital. 1000 hrs CO’s Orderly room, several cases dealt with. 1245 hrs D Coy leaves Battalion for the range zeroing rifles and practice shoots. 1600 hrs Battalion holds a late night tattoo being at 0030 hrs. Issue of Patriotic parcels and five packets of cigarettes to all ranks. Weather: Showery with slight breaks. Visibility restricted later improving at 1900 hrs.
- 20 June, Tues 0500 hrs Roman Catholics under 2/Lt Takarangi left for Rome. Routine as for yesterday ie. Reveille 0600 hrs, 0630-0730 hrs Drill and SAT. CO and all Coy Commanders less OC HQ Coy and OC A Coy left per CO’s car for Rome. 0730 hrs Padre, IO and Sgt left Battalion HQ for 12 NZ CCS stationed near Alatri. The Padre had been asked to take a concert party to the CCS and he went there to make final arrangements re stage etc. 1000 hrs C Coy on the range further shooting. Weather: Fine and sunny in the morning but by midday overcast. Rain fell at 1600 hrs and lasting practically all night.
- 21 June, Wed 0600 hrs Routine as for previous days. 0700 hrs D Coy on the range carrying out further practice shoot. Leave personnel for Rome depart with 2/Lt Baker J as Officer i/c party. 0900 hrs Coys carry out inspection of arms and lines after which they had two hours route march. 1000 hrs Signal Platoon carried out revision of Morse taking and sending. 1100-1200 hrs All Sig personnel returned from Coys for revision of wireless procedure. Syllabus was carried on to 1230 hrs. 1300 hrs Excepting for one hours recreational training, which has been left to the discretion of the Coy Commanders to decide upon Coys have the afternoon off. 1900 hrs CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders, details for leave to Rome (see appendix “E” attached), also future trainings were discussed. As the Battalion will be here for some time routine is to be changed from tomorrow 22 June 44. 0630-0730 hrs Drill. 0900-1100 hrs Route march or Sig work. This was left to the discretion of the Coy Commanders. 1100-1200 hrs SAT. All Coys Sigs returned to Sig Platoon for training. 2115 hrs Film “Lets Face it” starring Bob Hope and Betty Button was shown in the Brigade area and was attended by a large crowd of both soldiers and Italians. Maj Awatere arrives in from CCS. Weather: Fine and clear with good visibility.
- 22 June, Thurs 0600 hrs Routine as per previous mornings. 0700 hrs Leave party departed for Rome under 2/Lt Smith. HQ Coy on the range carrying out practice and competitive shoots. 0830 hrs 2i/c carried out inspection of Battalion lines. No Italian civilians are to pass through the Battalion area unless in possession of a permit issued by Battalion HQ. 1000-1100 hrs all Sigs attached to Coys called into Sig Platoon for training. 1300 hrs C Coy left for the range and carried out TSMG, Bren Gun and rifle shoots. Reinforcements marched in from Advance Base (see appendix “F” attached). 1430 hrs Padre and concert party left for 12 NZ CCS. Party consisting of 46 Other Ranks. 1900 hrs Lectures by 2/Lt McRae on Tank and Infantry cooperation. Malarial by 2/Lt Carr J. Both the lectures were appreciated by all Officers. 2300 hrs Concert party back from CCS on own tpt. Concert was quite a success. Weather: Fine and hot and very good visibility.
- 23 June, Fri 0600 hrs IO and Sig Officer left per CO’s car for Rome. 0700 hrs Training as set down by the CO carried out till 1200 hrs. 1330 hrs Medical inspection for Battalion HQ and attached personnel. 1445 hrs Medical inspection of all Battalion personnel in the following order: - A, B, C, D and HQ Coy. Showers for C Coy in the afternoon. The Adj Capt Tutaki and Mitchell OC HQ Coy left for two days leave to Rome along with other Officers of 5 Infantry Brigade. 2/Lt JS Baker 2i/c C Coy is acting Adj 1715 hrs Pay issued to leave personnel. Battalion 2i/c Maj Awatere and the messing Officer 2/Lt Hau left per 15 cwt for Rome to get as much material and requisites as possible for improvements to the Officers Mess. 1830-2330 hrs Kiwi concert party performed again in Rear Division area. Picture shown by NZ Mobile Cinema Unit in Brigade area showing general war and NZ pictorials. Weather: Hot and sunny with a slight breeze. Ideal weather for swimming.
- 24 June, Sat 0600 hrs Reveille. RAP 0730 hrs. Syllabus as usual. Leave personnel for the Isle of Ischa left per unit tpt. 0900-1230 hrs B Coy on the range carrying out competitive shoots. 1400 hrs CO’s Orderly room. IO and Sgt left per jeep to recce area for snipers exercise. 1600 hrs CBs carry out usual pack drill lasting till 1700 hrs. 2330 hrs Capts Mitchell and Tutaki returned from two days leave in Rome. Weather: Still hot. Visibility good but later restricted owing to overcast and cloudiness.
- 25 June, Sun 0700 hrs Reveille. 0800 hrs Breakfast. 1230 hrs Lunch. 1730 hrs Tea. 0930 hrs Divine service held in Battalion area by Unit Padre after which there was Holy Communion n the Unit YMCA. 2 OCTU candidates from this Battalion left for final interview at Divisional HQ. The men swimming and having an easy day. Weather: Showery, sky overcast, visibility nil.
- 26 June, Mon 0600 hrs Reveille. 0630-0730 hrs Route march as the ground was too wet for drill. Leave personnel as usual leave Battalion HQ for Rome. 3 Officers from this Unit go on overnight leave to Rome. 0600 hrs D Coy leave on four hours route march, breakfast was taken out to them per Coy jeep. 1000 hrs CO’s Orderly room. Pte Tuahine R being charged with AWL Desertion and masquerading as Sgt. 1330 hrs CO and IO leave Battalion HQ to inspect ground which will be used for snipers exercise. 1500 hrs Recreational training by Coys. 2115 hrs Pictures in Battalion area featuring Anna Neagle in “Forever and a Day.” Quite a big crowd in attendance. 2300 hrs 3 Italian civilians were caught stealing petrol. One guard came to grips with them and suffered knife wounds, but finally overpowered them. They were forwarded to Brigade HQ under escort. Weather: Very hot, sky clear, visibility good.
- 27 June, Tues 0600 hrs Reveille. 0630-0730 hrs Arms and foot drill. 0900 hrs Coys parade and inspection of arms. Leave personnel for Rome depart per own tpt. 0945 hrs I.O and party of men leave for S. Giovanni to prepare trenches for the snipers exercise MR 594373 Arce 1.25.000. 1000 hrs CO’s Orderly room. Pioneers building targets for tomorrows exercise. CO’s conference with all Coy Commanders re tomorrows exercise (for orders see appendix J). 1745 hrs Lecture by Capt Marsden on the organisation of Brigade HQ. Word was received that the Battalion is given leave to Salerno for 7 days starting from tomorrow. A Coy including Sigs have been improving procedures with the tanks.
- 28 June, Wed 0600 hrs Reveille. 0630-0730 hrs Arms and foot drill. 0800 hrs Breakfast. 0600 hrs C Coy left for a route march of six hours. 0755 B Coy on the range. Pte Poriana T marched out to Brigade prior to marching out to Advance Base. A Coy in Unit tpt leave for combined Operations with tanks in the area southwest and on the slopes of Mt Viari and Pt 468 MR 587427 1.50.000 Sora. Sniper exercise carried out by Coys 2nd grade snipers was a success and that it brought out points which will make tomorrows exercise a success. Late mess for Officers as CO and Officers who were out did not return till 1800 hrs. 1930 hrs Reading of “Current Affairs” by 2/Lt Harris A Coy. Capt Mitchell OC HQ Coy and IO leave Battalion HQ to recce area for range work. B Coy suffered one casualty today as a result of testing enemy rocket firing weapon. Pte Hohua H who was buried at Cassino. All available Coy personnel attended funeral.
- 29 June, Thurs Routine as for previous days. 1015 hrs Snipers off again on another exercise (Coy No 1 snipers). For rules of exercise and details see appendix “J” attached. The Brigade Commander Staff Cat and Brigade Maj Were all present at this exercise. The exercise was quite a success, competitors and onlookers enjoyed the whole show. D Coy was first, C Coy second, A Coy third and B Coy last. Points 32, 31, 30 and 29. 1000 hrs Coys on route march and C Coy combined route march with field firing. 1700 hrs Brigade Commander arrives at Battalion and stayed for tea with the Officers at 1900 hrs. 2/Lt Francis B Coy read “Current Affairs” which was followed by general discussion. Brigade Commander spoke to Officers re the war situation. Weather: Hot and still with very good visibility.
- 30 June, Fri 0600 hrs Routine as usual. 1015 hrs IO with other Officers leave Battalion to see A/Tk range and to recce possible area for Battalion manoeuvers with tanks. Coys on route march. C Coy carried out field firing exercise. Capt Mitchell makes arrangements with 4 NZ Armd Brigade for the use of their exercise ground, for the purpose of attack and 3” mortar practice. Personnel from this Unit leave for baths re training for swimming events. Weather: Very hot, sky clear, wind nil, visibility very good.
Reference: Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
28 (Maori) Battalion war diary, R23517749, ADQZ 18886 WAII1 1666 DA 68/1/53-54