Major Colin Gibbs MC- Lionhearted London Irish Company Commander

The Irish Brigade website was delighted to join together recently with Michael Gibbs and Charles Ward to remember the time when Michael’s father, Captain (later Major) Gibbs, witnessed the attestations of Charles and Edmund O’Sullivan, both 20 years old, when they joined up with the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) on 18th October…

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Ripi – San Giovanni

Point 255 was only a prelude. Pat signalled us to push on at first light and get in to Ripi if we could. This was just another perched up hill top town like a miniature Piedimonte, but a long way ahead of us. When the sun rose to light it up in the background, the…

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Gustav Line – 17 May 1944

The 78 Divisional plan for Wednesday 17th was to carry through the momentum of our attack, reaching out to Aquino, which was hard up to and part of the next fortified zone of defence – the Hitler Line. Aquino was over four miles ahead, but in between lay the substantial and heavily defended village of…

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Gustav Line – 16 May 1944

Lt Colonel John Horsfall, 2 LIR “At first light, I called the company commanders in again and we ran over the final details and timings. Slap in front there, a quarter mile distant, the Pignataro road stretched away across us. Beyond it, the ground was thick with mines and covered in depth by a ring…

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Gustav Line – 15 May 1944

Major John Horsfall, 2 LIR The situation at first light on Monday 15 May was still a tense one and, at our end of this vast battle, the enemy seemed for a while to be well on the way to winning it. However, one factor stood out amidst the chaos – that beyond doubt, the…

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Major Desmond Woods – Liri Valley IV

Plan of Attack. John Horsfall then came up. He had been our 2 i/c and had seen a lot of fighting in North Africa; he was a very experienced officer and he came up to take over command of the London Irish Rifles and he called an O Group and I remember vey clearly the…

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Sgt George Guild’s photo collection

We are pleased to be able to share a number of photographs from the collection of Sgt George Guild MM, who was a platoon sergeant with F Company in the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles. We would like to thank the London Irish Rifles’ Museum for allowing us to share these intimate studies of a…

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Desmond Woods: Part III – The Liri Valley

H Company. Now, we were brought back and it was a question of what was going to happen next. We all felt that eventually we were going to get involved in the battle of Cassino and we came back to prepare for this – first of all to get  a bit of a rest after…

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London Irishman Charles Ward remembers the events of 1939

On 18 October 1939, three 20-year old men reported to Liverpool Street train station to respond to call up papers for them to join the British Army. They were met on the station concourse that morning by Captain Colin Gibbs, then Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR), who duly witnessed the attestation…

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2 LIR – July 1944

While in the Rome area many officers and men of the battalion enjoyed visits to the Eternal City, and some were received by the Pope in the Vatican.  The London Irish Rifles pipers and the bands of the two other Irish battalions in the brigade played in the precincts of the Vatican for His Holiness.…

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