Navigation Menu
  • Author: Jim Smythe
  • Date Posted: Friday, March 30, 1945
  • Category:
  • Address: senegallia, italy

1 March
This morning was another misty one but again it had cleared away by lunchtime. The price we are getting for our covers over our pits is 37pound 10/-. This is not bad for nothing. We are going to the harrassing possition tomorrow. Wrote two cards to Janet

2 March
We moved this afternoon around to the harrassing possition and when we are moving again we will be going out for a rest. We fired 40 rounds last night. I was off duty though. Received 9 letters today. 6 from Gran, 1 from Jocelyn and no 94 and a card from Frances she told me that she had received two parcels from me. They were the ones I sent her in Novermber from the “school”. Rained during the night. Wrote Janet card

3 March
Although it rained last night it is fine today. Fired no rounds today. This place is very quiet, we can hardly find enough to pass the time away with. There are several games of bridge on but they are for 6d a 100. Our beer issue to-day was in time just like “brasso” It was very weak stuff too. We have run a sweep on the end of the war 10/- each my date was May 4th

4 March
We fired last night late some 40 rounds, it was very dark too. Four of us went to “Clare’s” (?) cassa tonight for a party. It was wee Marvro’s birthday he is three. The Ities turned on a meal of bacon half smoked, turkey, cake and lots of vino. Left there at 2230hrs after a hame of “housey” and some supper.

5 March
To-day is another fine day and I hope it continues to be so, for tomorrow is the day that will see us on the move again, this time it is going to be back. We are going back somewhere near the area we were in Oct last year near Cerretto D’Esi.. We leave tomorrow morning at 0630 hrs and we are not expected at our destination until 1745hrs or after. We have to pack up today because there is going to be too much to do tomorrow morning as it is revelli, is 0430hrs in the morning. There is a turkey here sitting on 16 hens eggs.

6 March
Up this morning at 0345hrs packed up and moved at 0515hrs after we lined up on the road we all moved off at 0540hrs, the day so far was fine. Our trip was a fast one and the towns we went through we had been in several times before. The first one of course after leaving the FAENZA area was FORLI, then in turn there was CESENA, SAVIGNANA,REIMINI,RICCIONE,CATTOLICA,PESARO,FANO,SENIGALLIA,MONEKTEMARCIANO,FALCONARA,CHIARRAVALLEO,JESI,CERRETO D’ESI,MATALICA then we proceeded to the area which was accepted by the 4th Field last time we were out for a rest which was in Oct 1944. We are now quartered in houses. We arrived here at 1500hrs. I was very tired after the journey which was about 140 miles altogether. I was in bed very early.

7 March
Wrote Janet one card. We cleaned the gun this morning and in the afternoon there was a game of football. The weather is still good and this area is going to be alright as far as we can see it so far

8 March
Received card from Janet also three parcels from home, two were for me and one was from Norm. This one was a cake Frances had sent him. Mine were a cake and a tin of chochlate. Wrote Janet one card. 30th Battery soccer team played the rest of the Reg today and it was a draw 0-0. A very even game and a good one. Went out after tea with the boys Mac, Bill, Bob and myself there was. We went up the hill to a cassa to get some eggs .We arrived back at 2230hrs and as we were all hungary we cooked three eggs each including three gooses eggs, one of them filled the bottom of a dixie.

9 March
When we woke this morning there was a blizzard blowing and this gave me a shock because I was on picquet last night from2200 till 2300hrs and when I came off the sky was clear. By 0900hrs the blizzard was finished and the sun came out again and it was hot enogh for me to go for a shower which I did at 1100hrs. This was into MATALICA There was a hockey practice for the Reg team after lunch A party was held in our room after tea and I never got to sleep till after midnight because of the noise. Wrote Janet card.

10 March
I went to the “Barracks” this morning with a few other chaps our job was to mark out the buildings that were going to be used by our Battery when we went there. The morning was just a waste of time because we never got a thing done. Our Officers are sure a dead lot now. These Barracks are called “Lanciano Barracks” and the old buildings were once P.O.W “cages” for British etc. Every building in the place is new now though and it is a very big place. Our Battery played soccer this afternoon and won by 1-0

11 March.
This mornling we had two clothing “parades” so now we all have everything we need or should have. Our Reg hockey team played the 4th Reg this afternoon and we won by 4-2. I received two smacks with a stick one on my sore knee which was only a slight one but hurt very much because any smack on my left knee now hurts ever since I had my accident. The second one was right across my left foot and this was a very hard one indeed. We went out tonight and got 67 eggs and this time we had 4 each for supper.

12 March
To-day I stayed very quiet because my foot was not very good. I don’t want to go to the R.A.P if I can help it but if there is no change tomorrow I will have to go that’s all about it.

13 March.
I had to go to the R.A.P this morning to see the Doc about my foot which is very still and sore. He is sending me out to INZGH to have it xrayed as he said that there might be a small bone broken. I left in the ambulance 1300hrs and went to 5th Fld Am where I will be staying the night. The boys are moving into the barracks on the 14th so I will miss a few days now

14 March
Left the M.D.S at 0940hrs and after a trip up the coast through the towns of FAGNO and PESARO I arrived at SENIGALLIA (where No 1 NZGH IS) just on lunch time 1245hrs. I was given a bed plus pyjamas, shirt and towel etc but I never had to go to bed. The hospital is right on the coast and it is not very warm here. FrankDobbs is in the ward I am in he was wounded before Christmas at FAENZA. A piece of shrapenel hit him just below the knee breaking his leg, he has three other wounds besides this one. These wounds have knocked him about a bit as he is very white and very thin but he will get well I’m sure. Another chap is in here too, I know his name is Merve Travathan (?) He comes from the North Island. I was in the ADV.Base Hospital with him and he came into my room to take over the day I left the club in Florence, he is hit in five places, he also has a homer I think.

15 March.
I was in this hospital all day and all I did was just walk around through the wards etc. No one bothered about me. I talked most of the day to Frank Dobbs and the other chap. Read a book “wide world” and wrote Janet a card

16 March
I was told I was leaving here at 1000hrs this morning. I did! And I went to NZRT 11 which is also in this town of SENIGALLIA. I arrived there at 1030hrs went through the R.A.P got issued with all new gear, got a paltuss and fixed my-self up for a nights stay only. In the afternoon I went to the pictures and seen a second rate show I never even bothered with its name. Wrote Janet card (1) Bed by 2200hrs

17 March
Left NZRT 11 at 0845hrs and went back to the Reg which was now in the barracks. After doing a lot of work for myself in the way of straw going through and own Q store etc I was jacked up by tea time. After tea I had a look at the four parcels that came in for me this morning. They were all from Janet. Good====== they were No 42-43 and two cakes which I know now were both good. 42 was a whole tin of choclate. Wrote Janet. It is St Pat’s day today there is the add lot of green ribbon around but I don’t know where it came from.

18 March
Up this morning at 0715hrs. After breakfast I went playing hockey into Matalica. We were playing the 5th Fld Reg for the Div Arty final. We decided to put the game off until the afternoon as the ground was very wet and sticky. We played our game at 1230hrs and we lost 5-1 so we are out of it now. Wrote mum airgraph.

19 March
I was working in the mens mess to-day and I only had enough spear time to go over and watch the football this afternoon. After I finished my work I had a wash then went into the YM and played “500” till 2030hrs then to bed and read until lights out 2330hrs.

20 March
Up this morning at 0610hrs. We had to hand all our blankets in to be changed all because (they said) of an outbreak of “crabs” in 29bty. A very nice day to-day the sun is getting some heat in it now. Wrote Janet 3 cards. Received 1

21 March
There was a football match on this afternoon, our Reg played the 5th Reg and we won by 19-8. It was a great game. Wrote Janet 2 cards

22 March
Div Arty parade this morning we went on the first one, our own troop parade at 0930hrs and we were not fallen out until 1145hrs , one chap fainted. Played soccer in the afternoon against 27 Battery 5th Fld Reg. We lost 4-1. Wrote Janet card. There was a concert on in our YM hut after tea but as the Ities who put it on were very poor I never stayed there long

23 March
Our 0900hrs parade was the only one we had today. We are going out for two days on a manovour with our new 9th Brigade, tomorrow we are going to fire a barrage for them. Moved at 1800hrs and after traveling some 30 odd miles we put the guns “in action” then bedded down for the night. I am not feeling very well don’t know exactly where I am sick yet it sounds funny I know. Wrote card , Unfinished.

24 March
During the day there was only four shots fired by each gun soley for practice they were, each gun fired the opening round of the barrage, to see if everything was going right. The first barrage was fired at 2200hrs this was of 45 rounds. The second one was at 2400hrs, this was also for 45 rounds. Only two chaps were hurt in both barrages and these were only hurt by flying stones. I am still feeling out of sorts, it is the old complaint of nervous “skin:” headache over right eye and this time a bad cough.

25 March
Two of us came back early this morning by RGQ trucks this was necessary because of a hockey match we are playing this afternoon against the 9th Inf Brig. I hope the ground is alright because we had a very heavy frost this morning. This place where we done the shooting was large enough to hold all three fld reg’s and it was 2000ft above sea level. The hockey proved to be a very close game and we just managed to win by 4-3. I am still feeling out of sorts. I thought a good run around would help me sweat it out but no!

26 March
To-day we were back to normal again parades etc were enjoyed by all!. We won’t be here very much longer because everything points to our getting ready to move any day. Tents have to be fixed up, all extra gear dumped. Rations were handed out , these are our 3 day extra rations we carry all the time on the quad. Finished the card I started to write on the 23rd. Played bridge for an hour after tea but still feeling out of sorts. I hope I am alright tomorrow

27 March
Woke up this morning only to find I had a sore throat so I went to the RAP. I told the Doc how I felt, how long I have been getting these attacks and everything about myself. The Doc told me that I had a very rare complaint there is no known cause and no know cure but he told me there was nothing to worry over as it was not serious in anyway. He wants to see me when I get my next attack “straight away” if I can. I am having the odd pill and after two a day of these for two days he said I would be right again. Div Arty hockey is playing a game today but I can’t play because I don’t feel up to it really.

28 March
I am still out of sorts, but I think I will be right again in the morning. We went out this morning for another shoot for the officers was back again by 1400. After tea I wrote Janet card (1)

29 March
Played hockey for the Div Arty to-day, we played two games. The first one was against 4th Brigade when the full time was up we were still without any score and so there was no draw in this comp. “Overtime” had to be played not until 35 minutes afterwards did the game end our inside-right flicked a goal from the edge of the ——- . We won 1-0 we then had to play in the final. The final was Div Arty v Armd Reg. We beat the Armd Brigade by 3-1 so we won the Div Brigade Comp. I was unable to play in the second game because the over play in the first game took too much out of me after being ill. I was pretty weak when it ended. I was very tired when I got back to camp 1830hrs so I was in bed by 2000hrs.

30 March
A very quiet day no sports at all. Everything points towards an early move up the front for us. Mac went away today and now we have 40 eggs for our trip, it will be within the next two days I’m sure

31 March
Today’s the day. We leave here at 1715hrs for the front, we are going straight into action in this one trip. I don’t think we will get any sleep at all because we have about 150 miles to do half of it in the dark. We went back into the FAENZA area once again. We went up the old route again to FORLI turned right and droped the guns “into” action at 0345hrs then went to bed. We were given three rooms in the house for the night. The range is close, our nearest point to the Senio River is 2300yds.