The Sicily 1943: Peace, Security & Prosperity conference to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the landings in Sicily in 1943 in Le Ciminiere Festival Centre in Catania on 7-8 July 2023 was addressed by 38 speakers from Sicily, Italy, Canada, Germany, the UK and the US and attended by more than 250 delegates.
This is a resource devoted to the history of 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade, a Second World War formation of the British Army which, when it was formed in early 1942, comprised men who were largely from Ireland or of Irish origin.
Over the next three and a half years, the Irish Brigade would gain 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.
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.
Irish Films & Website has produced six original documentary films of a planned series of nine about the history of the Irish Brigade and its role in the Second World War named All My Brothers.
All the films were written and directed by Edmund O'Sullivan and presented by Richard O'Sullivan, co-founders of the Irish Brigade Website.
You can view all episodes of All My Brothers by clicking on the relevant item below.
Part 1. The formation of the Irish Brigade and the early experiences of Edmund O'Sullivan, a London Irish rifleman conscripted in 1939; Operation Torch and the role of the Irish Brigade in the Tunisian campaign until March 1943. The film features an interview with Charles Ward, a London Irish Rifles sergeant at the time. Location filming includes at Grandstand Film, Stuka Ridge and Tunis. 35 minutes.
Part 2. The Tunisian campaign from March 1943 until July 1943. This covers the battles for Jebel Mahdi and Tangoucha/Jebel Ang and the capture of Tunis. 26 minutes.
Part 3. The Sicilian campaign and the Irish Brigade's advance from landing beaches to Catenanuova, Centuripe, the Simetto river and Maletto. It features an interview with Angelina Vitale (born in 1922) who saw the London Irish Rifles march into Piedimonte Etneo in September 1943. 31 minutes.
Part 4. The Adriatic campaign in October-December 1943 and the Irish Brigade's deployment in the high Apennines in the winter of 1943/44. It covers the battles for Termoli, the Trigno, the Sangro and San Vitale and concludes with the story of the brigade in Castel del Sangro, Capracotta and Montenero in the Abruzzi Mountains. 27 minutes.
Part 5. The battle of Cassino from March 1944 and the liberation of Rome in June 1944. This covers the brigade's deployment on Monte Castellone overlooking the abbey of Monte Cassino and its role in the attack on the Gustav Line on 15-17 May 1944. This is followed by an account of the brigade's pursuit of the retreating German army and the audience it was granted in the Vatican by Pope Pius XIII, the first for an Allied formation. 37 minutes.
Part 6. The advance of the brigade north of Rome and the battle of Trasimeno followed by its dispatch to Egypt for rest. 27 minutes.
Part 7. The brigade's return to Italy in September 1944 and its deployment in the northern Apennines against the Gothic Line. The film will cover the battle for Monte Spaduro and its period along the Senio river in March 1945. Part 7 is due for release in the summer of 2023.
Part 8. The brigade's preparation for the final attack on the Germany army in April 1945. It covers the advance to the River Po and the end of the war in Italy on 2 May 1945. Part 8 is due for release in early 2024.
Part 9. The end of the war in Europe, the brigade's role in the occupation of southern Austria and Ted O'Sullivan's return to London in the spring of 1946. Part 9 is due for release in 2024.
To find out more about some of the men who served in the Irish Brigade in 1941-47, click on the names below.
Rifleman James Cullen
Captain Joe Beglin
Sergeant Edward Mayo MM
An account of the Brigade's actions from November 1942 to December 1943 by Brigadier Nelson Russell
War Diaries of the campaigns in Tunisia and Italy from November 1942 to May 1945:
Photographs from the album of RSM George Charnick of the 2nd Battalion of the London Irish Rifles, who was one of the most decorated members of the Irish Brigade.
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.