Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit

Welcome to the Irish Brigade Website

This is a resource devoted to the history of 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade, a Second World War formation of the British Army. When it was formed in early 1942, it comprised men who were largely from Ireland or of Irish origin. The Irish Brigade gained an unrivalled reputation during Allied campaigns in Tunisia, Sicily and mainland Italy.

This is a living project that aims to preserve the memory of the thousands of men who served with the brigade during the Second World War and to build bonds of friendship today among the people of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Tunisia and Italy.

We welcome comments and suggestions about this website. Your messages can be sent using the email dialogue box at the bottom of the page.

Edmund (Gerard) and Richard O'Sullivan were inspired to create the website by their father Edmund, who served with the 2nd Battalion of the London Irish Rifles from 1939 to 1946, and their mother Patricia (nee Webb), who served with the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) from 1942 to 1946. Edmund O'Sullivan is photographed right bearing the insignia of his rank as sergeant major in the summer of 1945.

Read the story of Colour Sergeant Edmund O'Sullivan before and during the Second World War

Read Edmund and Patricia O'Sullivan's life stories after 1945.


October 2018 - We have started a series of PodCasts about the Irish Brigade here.

Part 1 - Origin and Leadership.

Part 2 - The Men of the Irish Brigade.

Part 3 - Operation Torch: The Strategic Factors.

Part 4 - The Irish Brigade arrive in North Africa.

Part 5 - December 1942 to March 1943 campaigning in Tunisia.

Part 6 - The role of the Irish Brigade in the battle for mountains west of Tunisia in April 1943.

In March 2018, we started to film the route of the Irish Brigade from Algiers to Villach during the period from November 1942 to May 1945.

The completed films will start to become available here and added on YouTube.

Parts 1/2: Tunisia.

Still photographs from our filming in Tunisia during March 2018 can be found by following this link.

Part 3: Sicily.

Still photographs from our filming in Sicily during June 2018 can be found by following this link.

The Massed Pipes of the Irish Brigade in front of St Peter's Basilica in June 1944

 (Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum).

The Irish Brigade website pays tribute to all those who served with the infantry battalions of the Irish Brigade but we should not forget the support provided to them by men of 56th Reconnaissance Regiment, 17th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery, 1st Kensington Regiment, 214 Field Squadron of the Royal Engineers and numerous armoured regiments as well as the RAF, Royal Navy, RAMC, Royal Signals, RASC, REME and RAOC.

With the greatest respect and utmost humility, we salute them all.

This website is a private, non-profit initiative dedicated to the memory of Edmund O'Sullivan, Colour Sergeant, E Company of the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles during its campaigns with the Irish Brigade from November 1942 until May 1945.

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Paul Fitzgibbon
Paul Fitzgibbon

A twisting pathway of discovery has lead me to this amazing website. A letter from Egypt dated 20.11.1945 from Edmund O’Sullivan was found quite recently in a battered old brown suitcase, along with letters from my father to my mother, not long before he was killed on 22nd February 1943 near Bou Arada. My father, Rfn Albert Fitzgibbon 7022276 E Coy, 2 LIR was serving in the same Company as Edmund O’Sullivan and this website has been invaluable to me at almost 75 years old to learn of what my father, and everyone, endured during his part in the 2nd… Read more »