Two Skins killed together in Italy.

On 30th December 1943, a patrol of Inniskillings was sent out in blizzard conditions from the mountain fastness of Capracotta which, at 5,000 feet above sea level, looks down over the valley of the upper Sangro river. Two men from the patrol to Guidre, Captain Joe Beglin and Corporal David Marshall, would be killed on…

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The Faughs at the Trigno river, 27th/28th October 1943

Brigadier Nelson described the background to the Irish Brigade’s assault on the hill top town pf San Salvo, three miles north of the River Trigno close to the Adriatic coast of eastern Italy: “The Bosche did not hold the river line either on the Trigno or the Sangro. His main defences were about three miles…

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Captain Michael Tasker in Tunisia and Italy

We were pleased to see the story of Michael Tasker being featured in the recent BBC documentary series, ‘A House Through Time’ and noted the references to his service with the 2nd Battalion London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) during the Second World War. In the making of the programme, we were able to help the…

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CQMS O’Sullivan crossing the Trigno river

“At that time, the Trigno was only about 20 or 30 yards wide and generally less than a foot deep. Its mighty bridge, which catered for a raging torrent, was about 600 yards long but about 50 yards was blown in the middle. E Company was sent to relieve the Faughs at the bridgehead. I…

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Major Desmond Woods at the Trigno river

Major Desmond Woods MC joined 2 LIR after the battles near Termoli and was almost immediately leading a patrol forward from Petacciato to guard a newly built bailey bridge over the Trigno river. “Well, to cut a long story short, the Irish Brigade, as it approached the Trigno… the Germans must have got wind that…

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Desmond Fay at Monte Spaduro

In October 1944, the Irish Brigade were involved in desperate fighting north of Florence in the mountainous area near Monte Spaduro. Amongst those present at Spaduro was a young lieutenant, Desmond Fay, who was awarded a bar to the Military Cross for his extraordinary courage: “On 23 Oct ’44, Lt Fay was ordered to take a recce…

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Lieutenant Nick Mosley at Monte Spaduro

Lieutenant Nicholas Mosley joined the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) during December 1943 and stayed with the battalion until the end of the war in Italy. He was platoon commander in E Company during the winter period in the Apennines of central Italy before the battalion moved to the Cassino front in March.…

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Fusilier Christopher Mangan in Italy and Austria

We have been contacted by the family of Fusilier Christopher Mangan who served in Italy and Austria with the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (1 RIrF). In their notes to us, Christopher’s son, Philip, and grandson, Shane, have provided details of his service record but, although most elements are clear,  Shane continues to uncover further…

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The Faughs at Monte Spaduro

An account of the battle period at Monte Spaduro on 19th/20th October 1944 was published in the Royal Irish Fusiliers’ Regimental Journal, ‘Faugh a Ballagh’ in 1945. It was written by the Faughs’ Commanding Officer, Lt Colonel John Horsfall, who would update this contemporary version in his marvellous memoir, ‘Fling Our Banner To The Wind’…

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Corporal Edward O’Reilly MM

We have received a note from Ben Guiden, the great nephew of Corporal Edward O’Reilly, who served with E Company 2 LIR in Tunisia and Italy and was killed near Cassino in the early afternoon of 16th May 1944, alongside his platoon commander on that day, Sergeant Edward Mayo MM. In his note to us,…

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