National Archives catalogue number WO 169/10352.

 

Abbreviations

Bde

Bn

Comdr

Coy

Div

Pt

R Sussex R

Brigade

Battalion

Commander

Company

Divisional

Part

Royal Sussex Regiment

 

Month and year: July 1943

Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. K.B.I. Smyth

 

 

1st July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

156 Para Bn exercise.  Bn HQ & Coy HQs take part.

 

4th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Bn night attack exercise - General idea & operation order No.1 issued.

 

5th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Bde issues instructions & orders for exercise BELVOIR on 6/7 July.

 

6th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Administrative instruction exercise BELVOIR issued.  Operation orders exercise BELVOIR issued.

 

7th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Bn holds all positions as ordered in Operation Order.  Bn returns to camp on close of exercise.

 

8th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

General Sir B.L. Montgomery visits the division.  Bn provides a party of 200 who line the road outside Div HQ.  The general addresses the men of the Bde.

 

10th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Message received from Bde that Bn will be prepared on 48 hours notice from reveille 11 July to assume state of readiness for operations.

 

11th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Bn prepares to assume a state of readiness.  Message from 8 Army Comdr & Div Comdr are received.

 

15th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Demonstration is given to the whole Battalion of the firing of foreign weapons.

 

16th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

20 men of B Coy demonstration to the Bn how all weapons can be carried on the man when jumping & using no containers.  The jump was a great success.  Warning order is received from Bde for Bn & Bde exercise JERBOA, in four parts, taking place the following week.  Instructions on Exercise JERBOA are issued to coys.

 

19th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Exercise JERBOA I involving 156 Bn dropping.  Bn HQ, only, takes part in exercise, acting as rear link on wireless.

 

21st July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

0945 - The Div. Comdr. Major General G.F. HOPKINSON OBE. MC. visits and inspects the Battalion.  After the inspection he gave a short talk on recent airborne operations by the division in SICILY.  Briefing for exercise JERBOA II which is taking place 22/23 July.

 

22nd July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Operation Order for exercise JERBOA II issued.  Whole Battalion, jumping strength 488 all ranks, prepares for night jump.

 

23rd July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

0230 - First half of Bn drops.  Only a few minor casualties.  Exercise is successful - percentage at the first objective about 78% which includes injured & those dropped widely.

 

1200 - Exercise closes.

 

25th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

Conference for all officers on Exercise JERBOA II at Bde.  The Bde comdr discusses the type of operation that the Bde may be required to carry out.

 

26th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

D Coy go out on 3 day exercise.  Lt. HENRY. R. SUSSEX R. is posted to the Bn.

 

27th July 1943

Place: Kairouan

 

0200 - One platoon of D Coy is attacked by Arabs & shots are fired.  5496326 Cpl. VICKERS. J. is accidentally killed & two others wounded.  Exercise JERBOA Pt III & Pt IV is cancelled.