During October 1943, Lawrence (Lawrie) Franklyn-Vaile wrote another ten letters home to his wife Olive.
In the first letter of the month, Lawrie describes the days in early October that 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers (the Faughs) spent relaxing in Taranto (although the town is not named). He describes his first impressions of the difficult state of life for Italian civilians and his experience of shopping for some gifts to send home to his wife. This quiet period quickly became a distant memory as the Irish Brigade sailed from Barletta to front line action as they joined the successful defence of the Termoli bridgehead.
At this time, Lawrie is promoted to Captain and takes over as Second in Command of B Company and the rest of the letters during the month describe the various patrolling activities undertaken by the Faughs as the Irish Brigade push forward northwards towards and across the River Trigno. Lawrie comments on the close camaraderie he enjoys with his Company Commander Dennis Dunn and fellow officers Denis Haywood and John Glennie.
As the month continued, there is an increase in fatigue levels as the battalion holds onto an exposed position to the north of the Trigno and Lawrie’s letter of 29th October describes the calamitous result of the Faughs’ actions during the night of 27th/28th October as they and the London Irish Rifles attacked the hill top town of San Salvo.
Lt-Colonel Butler DSO, CO of 1 RIrF.
Read Lawrie’s letters home in October by clicking on the links below: