BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

31 August 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


My Dad's Wartime Diaries 7 of 7

by cornwallcsv

Contributed by 
People in story: 
David Robins
Location of story: 
Bougie, Tabolous, Ain Beida, Sicily, Syracuse, Catania
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
14 July 2005

The following story has been submitted to the website by BBC Radio Cornwall CSV Producer Nina Davey, on behalf of the author, David Robins who understands the site's terms and conditions.

June 20th left Bougie stopped at Tabolous …………..

June 21st left Tabolous arrived Ain Beida ……..

June 22nd left Ain Beida ………

July 5th embarked LST at SFAX ………

July 8th sailed for Sicily …

July 10th first initial landing at 0245 we arrived at 1300 …..

July 11th went ashore took up gun position near village on the beach….

Monday 12th quite day plenty of Jerry ack ack gun left here .went out had one raid last night saw plane come down in sea in flames …..

Tuesday 13th quite day and night ……

Wednesday 14th quite day raid last night on the ships could see the flash of there guns and feel the explosions of the bombs, three down in flames, night fighters up….

Thursday 15th nothing much happened ………

Friday 16th the same ……..

Saturday 17th same again……..

Sunday 18th moved further up the coast……..

July 29th getting lazy about the diary, any way nothing doing, we are now defending a drome they send plenty of fighter bombers up but that is the only activity…..

Sunday 8th august move to Syracuse big raid during the night on august 9th bombs dropped 100 yards away thought it was our lot………..

August 28th moved to Catania…………

August 29th went back to fetch lorry stopped the night where it had broken down, raid during the night whilst watching the barrage ack ack shell burst amongst five of us , injured one in neck and legs, what a time we had but he is getting along OK…….

August 31st moved to another site near some houses get our washing done. The young fellows are OK one speaks English….

September 8th moved to Messina town practically in ruins hardly a building undamaged .nice view of Italian mainland………..

Thursday 23rd December have neglected the diary partly because of laziness mainly because nothing to write about, I have arrived back in Catania very nice place better than Messina, cleaner not bombed so much , plenty of fun here shopping hoping to have more Christmas …..

February 12th 1944 moved from Catania Feb 12th arrived at foccia 23rd Feb after a fairly long ride , pretty bad over the mountains , snow and ice , my lorry turned broadside on one bend . Country side very nice . People seem rather primitive the woman do the washing at the streams, I imagine it would be very cold , also they dress queer they wear long skirts and have a bundle of skirts tied in a lump at the back.
The villages are very dirty no roads just mud with all the rubbish just thrown out….

June 18th it is now June the 18th have neglected diary because nothing startling has happened the guns have not fired a shot since the beginning of Sicily , we are now near Naples looking after a aerodrome but the fighter planes here have moved up with the push, which is now about 200miles beyond us . Everything is boring might just as well be home for all the use we are out here, I reckon the ack ack is finished wish I was in the French do!..

June 26th moved 105 miles past Rome had an afternoon in Rome saw St Peters very lovely building, have left Rome , are now at Orbettelo a little island joined to the mainland by a causeway . very quite, looks like moving on in the morning….

July 12th arrived at follonica in the harbour near the sea , bathing every afternoon moving up further tomorrow…

19th July at 1 o’clock in the morning it’s a lovely war! Arrived at Cecina five minutes from the sea, caught a young rabbit getting quite tame, arrived at Torcoli about 2 miles from the advance Jerry lines , guns now used for field , but not much doing yet.

28th July had two moves since cannot think of the name of this place, just a small village still following up, done plenty of firing………..

15th September forgotten to mention the last two places but we are now at a place called pescia

25th September moved up into the mountains appenninos two thousand five hundred feet above sea level and Boy is it Cold, in front of us there are bigger and not better mountains, on the highest is that cold stuff snow, according to reports the recce corp. cannot find Jerry I hope he keeps going so that we can get mobile……….

Oct 2nd moved one more onto the Brazilian front lousy weather…….

Oct 10th near Bagni Di Lucca wagon lines in small mountain village called Chifenti

Oct 23rd away on a course driving bren gun carrier , ten days quite a nice change , near Montecatini still on the course went to try to get some new carriers but could not get through having quite a good time out every night, organised in a casa dance and a glass of wine, had our last move Regiment is being split up.
Now at Staggio nr Siena lousy journey left Lucca at 8oclock at night arrived 5,30 in the morning nearly fell asleep driving….

Dec 8th Now at IRTD for two months training not so bad so far. Been here for two weeks plenty of rifle training, PT, route marches. Arrived in dock Feb 12 left hospital March 13th for Con depot.
Left Con Camp on the 3rd April arrived back IRTD 4th .
left 6BN for 2CRU at Venice on the 12th June arrived at N2 transit camp Acorna on the 13th after 24 hours train journey spending the night camp in Vetz near beach went in for a dip, good times come to an end. Went on LCI……

June 15th pulled out at 23.30 sea very calm pulled in at Venice 2.30 Saturday, very nice sights go for miles around small islands before reaching docks plenty of gondolas, never stopped worst luck straight on a train to Udine 2 CRU Sunday morning pretty lonely camp but fairly easy. Left CRU Saturday June 23rd arrived at Glufenburg 25th June , quite a nice little spot…

Going on leave July 20th 1944…

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Diaries Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy