Irish Brigade

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

Messages of Congratulation

The Brigade Group and all the people in it had done an outstanding job in breaking through the Gustav Line.

Messages of appreciation had reached us from the Army Commander and Corps Commander, but I would like to produce here the Divisional Commander’s personal message to us and the messages I passed onto the battalions and our supporting arms.


Copy of a personal message from the GOC, 78 Division, Major-General CF Keightley CB OBE to the Brigade Commander, 38 (Irish) Brigade.

In the field – 20th May 1944.   

The Commander in Chief, General Alexander, and the Army Commander have both sent their personal congratulations to the Division on its fine achievements during the past few days.

I endorse these congratulations with all my heart.

As the leading brigade of this division over the River Rapido, you set the speed of the advance of the division, and from the high standard you set, we never looked back.

Each of your battalions has had its battle, and in each case, battalion objectives were gained and passed. This is a fine record and reflects the greatest possible credit on every officer and man who went through the battle.

In spite of very heavy mortaring and shelling, those men who failed this great divisional team of ours were few. This is an indication of a high spirit of the battalions and I will see to it that those who run the most risks and still stick it in our battles get the consideration they deserve.

During the past 10 days, this division formed the left pincer in the attack on the Monastery and our successful and rapid advance was largely responsible for its capture.

During this advance we have –

Captured over 400 prisoners.

Killed or wounded over 300 enemy.

Knocked out or captured over 400 enemy tanks or SP guns.

Captured a considerable amount of equipment.

In addition to this, it can only be guessed what effect this advance had on loosening up the French and Polish fronts by necessitating the rapid removal of reserves from their fronts to deal with our threat.

Such actions all help to hasten the end of the war and all who have been through it may justly feel proud of the part they have played whatever that part may have been,

Signed

CF Keightley, Major General, Commander, 78 Division.


Personal Message from Brigadier TPD Scott DSO – Commander, 38 (Irish) Brigade.

In forwarding this message of well earned congratulations from General Keightley, I can only add that everyone has done his job absolutely splendidly – just as I know, they would. The motto ‘It all depends on me’ has been most fully justified by everyone and remains the secret of success.

I cannot too highly of the magnificent spirit and fighting qualities shown by all of you during the first very difficult days of the advance that brought us here.

More is yet to be done, Rome is the main objective, and the Army knows that the Irish Brigade and all the magnificent fighters in its three famous battalions are certain to rise to any occasion.

Nec Aspera Terrent.

Quis Separabit.

Faugh a Ballagh.

Field 21st May 1944.

Signed

TPD Scott, Brigadier, Commander 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade.


(To Supporting Arms).

With regard to the attached generous message sent to us by General Keightley, I would be most grateful if you will convey to all your officers and men that we attribute a large measure of our success to the magnificent assistance and cooperation, which you gave us throughout the recent battle.

Thank you very much.

Field 21st May 1944.

Signed

TPD Scott, Brigadier, Commander 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade.

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