On 21 Dec 43, the L. Edmn R secured a foothold in ORTONA and moved it’s B.H.Q. to the outskirts of the town at 334163. Command Post 2 Cdn Inf Bde HQ was established at 348133. The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada were ordered to move into ORTONA that night and to enable the Bde Comd to have first hand information of the situation, it was important that line communication be established between the Command Post and the L. Edmn R as soon as possible. Demolitions and danger to the line from shell fire made it impracticable to lay the line along the axis of the road. On the other hand, it was known that the approaches to the town were well mined and that to lay line across country would be an extrememly hazardous operation. The danger was increased by the fact that it was now dark and, since there was no moon, it was impossible to discern any indication of mines. Nevertheless, Capt. Galbraith with two linemen carrying two miles of cable and a telephone, set off. During the journey to L Edmn R the party passed through a minefield realizing they had done so only when they saw a sign warning them not to traverse the Area they had already crossed. On their return they again came in this minefield. It was too dark to ascertain its limits and time was too short to allow an extensive recce. Capt. Galbraith therefore, led his party again through the minefield, this time coming across the body of a soldier who, it was subsequently ascertained, had been killed by one of the mines with which the area was strewn. During this whole period the party was constantly under shell fire. Through the courage, determination and devotion, to duty of Capt Galbraith, line communication was established with the L Edmn R wihtin two hours and the conduct of the operation greatly assisted. [“K” Sec, 1st Canadian Infantry Divisional Signals]

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