There the prospects were anything but bright.
Accomodation, especially in the town jail, looked pretty grim and the
civilians were not friendly.
However the Regiment took over the town and soon became an accepted part of the
So much so, in fact, there were many requests for leave passes there long after we left.
It was here that the first encouraging word on new vehicles was announced.
This plan, EXERCISE “SWAP”, didn't however actually get
going until a month or so later.
The usual smartening-up program was carried out and really intensive
training laid on.
A Memorial Service was held on the 12th November.
The Mayor of the town held an official reception for the Officers which was a
decided success despite language difficulties largely owing
to some very fine pre-war liquors.
All ranks were in good spirits although the training program did not allow them
to get around town as much as they would have liked.
A musical concert in the Officers' Mess was enjoyed by the officers
and many beautiful signorinas (adequately chaperoned) ending with
the beautiful signorinas wending their homeward way still adequately
On the 23rd November the
Brigadier H.A. Sparling inspected the men, vehicles, equipment and
officers bar expressing satisfaction with everything
Leaves to ROME and FLORENCE had started again and were very popular.
On the 27th November the Regiment left for the front again amidst much weeping
and wailing from the local inhabitants who had become rather
fond of the unit.
The first position was just across the RONCO about five miles S.E. of RUSSI.
The roads were good but the fields were very soft and it was impossible to dig pits.
Living quarters were now much easier to obtain firstly because there were more houses but
mainly thanks to the efforts of our Italian Liason Officer Capt. Philip
He always started very gently but if not
successful ended with his famous “But it is necessary to oblige”.