January 1944 saw Captain Lawrence (Lawrie) Franklyn-Vaile continuing to command B Company as an acting Major. The Irish Brigade were brought forward to take up defensive positions near to Castel di Sangro in appalling wintry conditions and, early in the month, the Faughs relieved 2 Lancashire Fusiliers with the administration of the town now largely coming under the control of Major Jimmy Clarke, OC of D Company.
Lawrie’s letters home during January describe the relative peace of this period although the Faughs continued to undertake extensive patrolling activity into the surrounding mountains to deter the potential for German raiding parties coming into the town. A number of new officers, including some South Africans, joined the battalion as they continue to rebuild strength after the large amount of casualties suffered during the autumn campaign along the Adriatic coast.
Buildings in the centre of Castel di Sangro where Major Jimmy Clarke set up his HQ.