Over the following linked pages, the Irish Brigade website reproduces Pat Scott’s account of his time as Brigade Commander of 38 (Irish) Brigade from February 1944 when he took over command from Nelson Russell until July 1945 when the brigade were involved in ongoing security duties across southern Austria.
“I am taking up the Irish Brigade story from where Nelson Russell left off. I am only too conscious of the fact that it will be quite impossible for me to write this story in anything like Nelson’s brilliant style, which was guaranteed to bring laughter and tears to your eyes on almost any page of it which you read.
I had left the brigade, with rather mixed feelings, to command 12 Brigade on 7th July 1943, and so missed seeing the brigade perform in Sicily and the first part of the Italian campaign. In November, I was switched to the 128 (Hampshire) Brigade, who were operating on the River Garigliano on the west coast of Italy.
Soon after the crossing of the Garigliano in January, I broke my ankle and retired from active operations for what the doctors told me would be about three months. After about three weeks in hospital, I limped off to see the military secretary who lived around the corner, and told him that I was to go to a convalescent depot for about six weeks. I said that, if by any accident of war, the Irish Brigade became vacant, I would be available at once, but it would be at least two months before I would be available for any other brigade.
I had been at the convalescent depot for just twenty four hours when the military secretary rang me up to ask if I would be fit to go back to the Irish Brigade, as it was going vacant. Next day, I saw General Keightley, the Divisional Commander, an old friend of ours from 6 Armoured Division days, and told him that the one thing I really did want to do above all else was to return to the Irish Brigade, but that I would not be able to walk for about three weeks and goodness knows when I would be able to climb the Djebels again. This limitation did not seem to worry him and he promised that we would be the last brigade to do anything, and that if we could be kept out of the mountains we would be, if not I would have to be content to sit at the bottom and let a CO carry on…………….He kept his promise well.”
FEBRUARY – JUNE 1944
JULY – SEPTEMBER 1944
OCTOBER 1944 – FEBRUARY 1945
FEBRUARY 1945 – MARCH 1945
BRIGADE AWARDS AND HONOURS
MARCH – APRIL 1945