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Irish Brigade

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

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Major Colin Gibbs MC- lionhearted London Irish company commander

Michael Gibbs and Charles Ward with Edmund and Richard O’Sullivan at the London Irish Rifles depot in Camberwell in March 2016 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…

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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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CQMS Edmund O’Sullivan with the London Irish Rifles

Edmund O’Sullivan was called up in October 1939 to join the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles and he would proudly serve with them for nearly 7 years. After completing basic training in South London, Edmund was posted as a Rifleman into G Company commanded by Major Colin Gibbs as the London Irish Rifles spent 2…

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Major Sir Mervyn Davies, 1918 – 2015

Lieutenant (David Herbert) Mervyn Davies joined the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) at Guelma in Algeria as a (Temporary) Captain on 14th June 1943, while the Battalion was resting after their exertions over the previous six months in Tunisia and about to embark on a round of renewed training in preparation for the…

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Welcome to the Irish Brigade Website

0SHARESShareTweetGooglePinterest About the Irish Brigade Website Collapse 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…

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Sgt Charles Ward Diary Entries

“As the war clouds gathered over Europe in 1939, the government decided that, as a precaution, young men aged 20 would be called up for six months to train as a reserve for the armed forces. My call up papers arrived telling me I was to report on Salisbury Plain to train in the Royal…

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The assault on Casa Sinagoga, 16th May 1944

Major John Horsfall took over command of the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) on the afternoon of 15th May 1944 following the death of the battalion’s commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel Ion Goff. This excerpt, taken from his exceptionally evocative memoir ‘Fling Your Banner To The Wind’, describes the events of 16th May 1944 as…

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Sanfatucchio, 20th/21st June 1944

Lieutenant Colonel John Horsfall had taken over command of 2 London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) during May 1944 and continued in that role as the Irish Brigade advanced north of Rome. In this excerpt of his memoir, ‘Fling Your Banner to the Wind’, Lieut Colonel Horsfall describes the events of 20th and 21st June 1944…

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Pucciarelli Ridge

In the early afternoon of 21st June, the Skins were directed on Pucciarelli. to the right of the Irish Rifles. They met a fair amount of opposition there during the morning. I went to see John Horsfall about six o’clock in the evening. I had started off with John McClinton driving my Dingo, but we…

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