was carried out here and, as a result, a plan was made for large scale assault on the enemy at Caino di Sopra. The plan worked well, pra was found to be unoccupied by Coy whilst D Coy met heavy opposition on the far side of the canal. At 0500 hrs D Coy began to withdraw in order to be on the east flank of the canal by daylight. Eighteen casualties were sustained.

We relieved the 1st LIR on the night /24th at approximately 0100 hrs arriving at Ponte at 1900 hrs. HQ was situated in Fulicii. The high ground to the North and North West was held by 129 Panzer Grenadier Regiment and was of great tactical importance as it guarded the entrance to the plain north of the Garigliano. Came the end of the month and we were relieved by the 1/4th Hampshires at 2300 hrs and we in turn relieved the R. Berks at 0130 hrs.

December was notable mainly for the attack on Camino-Massif in which the Battalion took part. For this operation of breaking the enemy's Winter Line, 139 Bde was given the task of entering the Calabritto Basin and protecting the left flank, whilst 56 Division moved to the mountain and attacked the Massif proper. This role was successly carried out by 2/5th Leicesters and the Foresters and B Coy 16th DLI. Whilst fighting on the Western heights was still in progress, the remainder of the Battalion was used to attack the Cocuruzzo Spur which formed the Western side the Calabritto Basin. This attack which was made from the high ground on the enemy's left flank, completed the task of finally opening the Basin.

HaIf-way through the month found us at Campo where considerable working parties were lent to the RE's to help repair the Calabritto Cocuruzzo track. On the 21st we marched to Le Vague and took over from the 5th Hampshires at San Carlo, this area proved to very quiet and on Jan 1st we were relieved by 46 Recce Rgt. and took abode in Le Vaglie again.

1944 started off with our delayed Christmas dinner, which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. By the 6th we were in the line again relieving the 6th Y&L on the slopes of Mount Maggiore. B Coy moved over the River Peccia and established themselves in a small wood and were heavily shelled the next day. 5th Foresters. were to have been relieved by us but a change of plan resulted in us advancing some 1,000 yards to positions North and South of Cedra. However, the Foresters did eventually take over from us and we moved to our former positions East of Peccia and spent a fairly quiet time. The Battalion moved into the La Murata area and were told to be ready to switch over with the 6th Y&L on Jan 25th in the Suja area. After marching from Sessa and crossing the Garigliano the Battalion effected the relief of the Y&L's, Coy for Coy, by 0430 hrs. Considerable fighting took place in these positions, the enemy defending strongly and frequently counter-attacking. Siola was a source of trouble and many Artillery concentrations were called down in that area.

John Cawdron MM and Sam Cawdron

Cpl John Cawdon MM of the 16th DLI is pictured here at front, with his brother Cpl Sam Cawdron of the 58th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, standing at the right with two other members of the latter unit, in Naples in early 1944. After the 58th HAA disbanded in August 1944, Sam Cawdron transferred to the 16th DLI and served in the MT Section of HQ Company. Photograph courtesy Sam Cawdron.

The letter card at top right, click on the image for a larger version, was sent on the 21/11/43 by Cpl John Petty of B Coy. Image courtesy of F Wiercx. The 16 DLI Christmas card at centre is courtesy of Ernie Scriven.

16th DLI Christmas Card
Cpl J Petty B Coy 16 DLI, card