This is a resource devoted to the history of 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade, a Second World War formation of the British Army that, when it was formed in early 1942, 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 website 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 which can be found by scrolling down.
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.
News and articles
We shall continue to provide information and detail of our continuing research into the history of the Irish Brigade during the Second World War, including feedback from veterans and families of the men who served with the brigade. Some recently added articles can be found here:
- Rifleman James Murtagh MM at Maletto.
- Father Daniel Kelleher MC.
- Major Colin Gibbs MC.
- Captain William Hanna.
- Charles Ward remembers his time with the London Irish Rifles and Special Operations Executive.
- Lieutenant Desmond Fay at Casa Spinello, October 23rd 1944.
- Major Sir Mervyn Davies MC 1918 – 2015.
- Edmund O’Sullivan joins the London Irish Rifles, September 1939.
- Captain Strome Galloway at Stuka Farm, February 1943.
- Canadians serving with the Irish Brigade.
- Sergeant Edward Mayo’s family photographs.
- Fusilier Edward Graham.
Month-by-month campaign narratives
We have now completed commemorating the progress of the Irish Brigade from their arrival at Algiers on 22 November 1942 until their entry into Austria in early May 1945 by adding a detailed month by month guide to their journey through Tunisia and Italy.
Official documents and accounts
Click on the following links:
- Read about how the Irish Brigade was formed.
- Details of more than 1,000 men who died serving with the Brigade click are here.
- To read first hand accounts written by men who served in the Irish Brigade click here.
- To read an account of the Brigade’s actions from November 1942 to December 1943 written by Brigadier Nelson Russell
- To read an account of the Brigade’s actions in Italy from March 1944 to July 1945 written by Brigadier TPD Scott.
- To read the Brigade and Battalions’ war diaries, the day by day accounts of the campaigns in Tunisia and Italy from November 1942 to May 1945, click on the following links:
- To view the citations for honours and awards awarded to men of 38 (Irish) Brigade.
- To read the Regimental History of the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles.
Battlefield tours and guides
- A detailed battlefield walking guide to the Bou Arada area where the Irish Brigade fought its first actions during January and February 1943.
- A detailed battlefield walking guide to the Liri Valley for the period 14 to 17 May 1944.
- A visit report from the Liri Valley and a narrative guide to the Irish Brigade’s assault on Sanfatucchio and Pucciarelli on 21 to 25 June 1944.
You can view other photographs that have been sent to us here.
Full tribute is given here to all the men, who served with the three infantry battalions of the Irish Brigade but we should not forget the remarkable 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.
Faugh a Ballagh Nec Aspera Terrent Quis Separabit
Irish Brigade Pipes and Drums in front of St Peter’s Basilica during July 1944
(Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum).
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.