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- All My Sons & Daughters: the story of Edmund O’Sullivan, 1946-2009
- Arrival in Algiers
- Ascending Monte Castellone
- Back to Rome and onto Egypt
- Back to the London Irish at last
- Christmas in Tunisia
- Crossing the Sangro River
- Defensive positions at San Angelo
- Entering Tunis
- From Argenta to Austria
- From Termoli to the Trigno
- German raid at Montenero
- Home on Leave
- Hospitalised in Alexandria
- In clear sight of Vesuvius
- Interlude at Campbobasso
- Meeting the new OC
- North of Rome
- Out of the Line
- Peace at Last
- Point 286
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- Resting in Forli
- Setting sail from Glasgow
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- Ted O’Sullivan joins the London Irish Rifles.
- The Djebels north of Medjez-el-Bab
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- Formation of the Irish Brigade
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- 2 LIR – Apr 1943
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- Roll of Honour 1939-45
- They Shall Not Grow Old – 1 London Irish Rifles
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- War Diaries of 1 London Irish Rifles
- Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – “The Skins”
- And with the Skins and Irish Rifles
- At Rest in Rome and Egypt
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- Irish Brigade Awards: April to July 1945.
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- London Irish Raid on the Floodbank
- Northern Italy
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- Plan to capture Imola
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- Raid on Casa Tamagnin
- Ready for Action
- San Clemente
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- St Patrick’s Day in Forli
- The Beginning of a New Phase
- The Last Offensive – The Plan and Opening Phase
- The Po and the End of the War
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- April 1943 (1)
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- Point 286, Tunisia – Jan 1943 by Lt-Col Jeffreys
- Percy Hamilton – Arriving in Sicily
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- Percy Hamilton – Crossing the Trigno River
- Percy Hamilton – Djebel Mahdi
- Percy Hamilton – From Centuripe To Randazzo
- Percy Hamilton – Guelma/Hammamet
- Percy Hamilton – On Route to Africa
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- The Skins in Sicily
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Military Cross (MC).
LIEUTENANT JPF BEAMISH, 1 RIrF. DEC 1944 – ANZELLARA.
“Near ANZELLARA Ridge on the night of 1 Dec 44, Lieut Beamish of 14 Platoon C Coy was ordered to take a fighting patrol to a German position at the house Pt 166 which was 200 yards in front of our FDLs with the object of doing as much damage as possible.
Lieut Beamish took with him fourteen men organised into a support group and an assault group. On approaching the house, Lieut Beamish, who was leading, set up a number of enemy trip flares which gave away all surprise and the enemy opened fire. Lieut Beamish then posted his support group and decided to attack the buildings himself with one NCO, the rest of his force being scattered by the enemy fire. As he advanced he got into an S minefield setting off several but happily survived. His Corporal in the meantime had been badly hit by Machine Pistol fire at close quarters. Lieut Beamish then rushed the building alone as his support fire of 2“Mortars and Guns came down.
Outside the building, he encountered and silenced a German with his pistol and then threw all his grenades in and around the building. Five of the enemy bolted and were shot up by the support group.
Lieut Beamish later withdrew covering himself with a smoke grenade. On his withdrawal, he set up and wounded by another mine.
His very signal act of bravery did more than carry out the object of the raid and set an example for the whole Regiment to follow and was an inspiration to his Company. The area was held by a German platoon, which was known to Lieut Beamish and for one individual to press an assault like he did when all surprise was lost shows a pinnacle of resolution and devotion to duty.”
MAJOR JS CLARKE, 1 RIrF. OCT 1944 – CODRANCO.
“On the evening of October 7th, Major Clarke MC and his D Coy were given the task of capturing Pt 382 on the Codranco Ridge. This position was held by a Company of Germans sixty strong. Major Clarke led the assault at dusk and after two hours succeeded in taking the church and other buildings at the bottom of Pt 382. In the meantime, the Coy was too close to the objective for further artillery support, surprise had been lost and the garrison was putting up a fierce fight. However, the attack was renewed, and for several hours a bomb and small arms fight continued around the foot of the hill and in the houses beside it. Owing to the steep slope and the mud, D Coy was unable to get a foothold and the Germans were able to roll a steady stream of grenades down.
D Company finally consolidated round the church with the enemy in position 200 yards in front. The whole of the next day, Major Clarke directed artillery, mortar and MG fire on Point 382, in spite of being practically on the top himself and getting all the “shorts”. When day came, of course, his Company were completely pinned down.
Major Clarke attacked again at dusk and the assault was successful. Two prisoners were taken and twenty three dead found: the majority of the garrison having fled. D Coy’s success in capturing this important feature was entirely due to Major Clarke’s skilful planning and leadership which has been characteristic of his conduct in all the previous operations he has taken part in. During this action he was suffering throughout with acute fever.”
CAPTAIN GE COLE, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“This officer has been adjutant of his battalion since before the May offensive in Italy. During the operations on Monte Spaduro in October and Monte Grande in November and December his work, in conditions of personal danger and discomfort, has been outstanding. On many occasions, his care, tact, and sheer disregard for his own safety and comfort has saved his battalion casualties and fatigue.
During the battle at Spinello on 24 Oct ’44 he personally maintained close touch on the wireless with his brigade headquarters in spite of several direct hits from heavy guns on his command post. During the May and June battles from Cassino to Trasimeno he never spared himself, and was largely instrumental in the arrangements which resulted in his battalion keeping close on the heels of the enemy.
For devotion to duty when all others are overcome by the fatigue or strain of the battle, this officer’s record shows a very fine example.”
MAJOR DHM (MERVYN) DAVIES, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“On 23 October ’44, Maj Davies’ company was ordered to capture Spinello Farm in the Monte Spaduro area. The attack was carried out over open ground in daylight. Maj Davies brought his company very close up under the covering artillery and mortar fire and assaulted the farm, moving himself with the leading platoon. During very close and bitter fighting amongst the farm buildings, he was wounded by a grenade in the legs and arm. Only after the farm had been finally cleared of its very determined garrison and Maj Davies had reported its capture on his wireless did he allow himself to be taken to the RAP, after all other wounded had been evacuated.
The success of this operation was largely due to the careful planning and personal gallantry of this officer, and the repercussions of this success were vital to the success of the Divisional attack on Monte Spaduro.”
CAPTAIN DW (DESMOND) FAY, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“On 23 Oct ’44, Lt Fay was ordered to take a recce patrol to ascertain the strength and dispositions of the garrison of Spinello Farm on the Monte Spaduro area. This farm was known to have a minefield in front of it. Going out about midday with a Sergeant (Farthing) and 2 Rfn he advanced to a point some 80 yds from the farm over extremely difficult country under view from the flank and very precipitous. He left his 2 Rfn under cover and advanced with the Sgt over open grassland to the farm at the front edge of which he found a slit trench which contained 3 Germans one of whom he shot, the second escaped whilst the third he took prisoner and brought back to Bn HQ. The garrison although over 30 men strong and backed up by a Coy on a nearby feature were completely taken by surprise. This prisoner gave much information which helped greatly in the capture of the farm which took place two or three hours later. Having had to crawl a good proportion of the way, Lt Fay was very exhausted by the end of the patrol.
Later in the afternoon, he took part in a daylight attack on the farm and took over command of the company when his Coy Commander was wounded. During the early part of the night he beat off four attacks with his depleted Company and was a source of encouragement and inspiration to all, organising and improving the consolidation of his position.
The gallantry and enterprise which Lt Fay showed both in his patrol and his defence of the farm was quite out of the ordinary and can seldom have been surpassed.”
LIEUTENANT HG MONTGOMERIE, 2 LIR. DEC 1944 – CASA TAMAGNIN.
“During Dec ’44 the farm of Casa Tamagnin was a strong enemy outpost and patrol base about 800 yards in front of our positions. The enemy’s presence in it formed a definite threat to our positions and an attempt by a company to raid it by night was repulsed in mid Dec. In the last week of Dec a series of recce patrols by night and by day was led by Lt Montgomorie to discover the enemy’s dispositions and habits around Casa Tamagnin. During the course of these patrols Lt Montgomorie and two men lay up one night for one hour within 15 yards of the farm and on another disconnected three enemy booby traps.
As a result of the information gained on these patrols, Lt Montgomorie and six men covered by various covering parties, entered the farm which consisted of two buildings at 0830 hrs on a bright sunny morning. Both buildings were set on fire by incendiary grenades and approximately 25 enemy of 1 Para. Division were driven out of the houses, four of whom were seen to be killed or badly wounded. Although the farm was overlooked by a strongly occupied enemy ridge about 250 yards away. Lt Montgomorie succeeded in withdrawing his party and all covering parties without a single casualty back up the hill to our own positions.
It is worthy of mention that the operation had been planned for the previous morning but was postponed after four casualties had been sustained over one of our own booby traps during the approach to the farm. The bold and resolute leadership of this officer coupled with the skill and perseverance he showed in all his work leading up to the raid on the farm was almost entirely responsible for the success of this venture and is worthy of the highest praise.”
LIEUTENANT N (NICHOLAS) MOSLEY, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“During the attack on Casa Spinello near Monte Spaduro (Spadura) on the evening of 23 October ’44, Lt Mosley commanded the assault platoon which was first into the farm buildings. After bitter fighting amongst the buildings, they were cleared of the enemy except for two who maintained resistance from beneath the floor of a building. Lt Mosley personally disposed of these two with his tommy-gun and a grenade. His company commander becoming a casualty, Lt Mosley took over temporary command of the Coy (Company) and rapidly prepared for counter attack under very heavy shelling and mortaring. Another officer arrived and took over command of the Coy, but Lt Mosley, throughout three counter attacks which followed in the early part of the night, behaved with the greatest gallantry, exposing himself frequently to enemy fire with complete disregard for his own safety, in order to direct fire and to keep alert his men, who were very tired.
This officer’s leadership, gallantry and tirelessness was in large part responsible for the capture and still more in the holding of this important position.”
LIEUTENANT GH MURRAY, 2 INNISKS OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“Lt GH Murray commands a platoon of C Coy 2nd Bttn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. This Coy’s objective in the Bttn attack on the night of 23/24 Oct 44 was the high ground at M.R. 029250.
On nearing its objective the Coy came under heavy MG fire and Lt Murray was ordered to assault and clear the area from which the fire was coming.
Lt Murray led the forward section, which was to destroy the nearest MG up the hill, skilfully avoiding the intense fire which was being brought to bear upon them.
On nearing the position he led the bayonet charge which overcame the post and silenced the MG. Lt Murray personally killing one of the enemy.
This section’s task completed, he joined the assault of the second section on the other MG post. This too was taken. His cheerful leadership throughout was an inspiration to his men and undoubtedly carried them onto its objectives.
Lt Murray showed outstanding courage and initiative and by his quick decisions and personal disregard to danger set an example to his Platoon thereby ensuring the success of its attack.”
LIEUTENANT GR UNWIN, 1 RIrF. OCT 1944 – FONTANELICE.
“On the 7th October, in the FONTANELICE area, when his Coy did a night attack on a feature held by the enemy. Lieut Unwin distinguished himself by his conspicuous gallantry under fire.
Soon after crossing the start line the Coy came under enemy mortar fire and the leading platoons sustained casualties. Lieut Unwin rallied them and continued towards the objective with his own men and some stragglers from another platoon whom he took under command.
This officer was among the first to reach the objective where he came under enemy MG and grenade fire. More casualties were sustained but Lieut Unwin continued to scale the steep slopes of the objective firing his tommy gun at the enemy.
Owing to his action and his disregard of safety it was possible to evacuate the wounded before the Company Commander ordered a withdrawal.
On this night and in the successful attack of the next night, Lieut Unwin was in the very hottest of the enemy fire. No less than three times, shells landed almost at his feet killing and wounded men all around him, but he remained cool and collected, an inspiration to his men.
His gallantry and leadership are of the highest order.”
Distinguished Service Medal (DCM).
CSM R ROBINSON, 1 RIrF OCT 1944 – FONTANELICE.
“Sgt Robinson has commanded a platoon in action for the past year. His leadership and courage are a constant inspiration to his men. On the night of 8th October, after having played a conspicuous part in the capture of a feature in the FONTANELICE area, he led a platoon forward to mop up on the front. His ten men bumped an enemy platoon around a house, subsequently found to be held by a company, some 500 yards away from our forward positions and came under fire from MGs and mortars. Sgt Robinson closed with the enemy and with four other tommy gunners accounted for an enemy section and two other Germans who tried to rush them from a flank.
Sgt Robinson was hit in the head and back by grenade fragments and others of his patrol were wounded by SA fire. He then reorganised his force and continued the fight for over an hour and personally saw to the evacuation of the wounded men without any thought of going back himself in spite of his own injuries. Satisfied that all possible has been done, Sgt Robinson organised the withdrawal which was carried out under heavy MG and mortar fire. He personally assisted in carrying other wounded men back and returned with valuable information. His conduct throughout was most gallant and a source of praise amongst his men. His admirable leadership in this action is only equalled by similar conduct in the past. He was subsequently evacuated to hospital but his example and courage remain an inspiration to his men.”
L/SERGEANT H SYE, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“On 21 Oct ’44 on the occasion of H Coy’s night attack on Hill 387 of Monte Pieve the a/m NCO was at the outset Pl Sgt. Early in the attack his platoon which was leading the Coy came under intensive small arms fire and heavy shelling. Considerable casualties were caused and the Pl commander killed. L/Sgt Sye immediately rallied the few remaining men of his platoon and continued to press up the steep slopes towards the objective. All the time he was facing heavy MG fire and grenades at short range, but despite this he pressed on with total disregard for his personal safety.
By crawling forward he attacked single handedly one MG post and killed or wounded all of its occupants. Not content with this feat, he tried twice more to reach another MG post but was severely wounded in the attempt.
Throughout this attack, as on so many previous occasions L/Sgt Sye behaved with great personal courage and the highest quality of leadership.”
Military Medal (MM).
FUSILIER J BIRCH, 1 RIrF. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“Fusilier Birch has been a stretcher bearer in D Coy throughout the TUNISIAN, SICILIAN and ITALIAN campaigns. He has taken part in every battle fought by this Regiment and has throughout shown the highest devotion to duty in caring for and evacuating casualties.
During the battle of SPADURO and in particular on the 21st October, D Coy has had many casualties from MG fire in a forward position on 416. Birch went forward in full view under German MG fire at 300 yards and gave treatment to the casualties, evacuating most of them although the enemy paid no heed to the Red Cross. It was remarkable that Birch was un-hit. He and L/Cpl Pendrey succeeded in getting the remainder out at dusk.
His total disregard for his own safety has been a source of wonder amongst D Coy and was an inspiration to everyone in the very trying circumstances of the day. His gallantry is only equalled by his constant cheerfulness not only on this but on all previous occasions.”
FUSILIER AW CARTER, 1 RIrF. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“During the battle of SPADURO, Fusilier Carter was manning an MG position on the top of Pt 416. This position was very exposed and in full view of the enemy. Fusilier Carter manned this post for four days and the enemy throughout did their utmost to destroy his position with MG fire, mortars and artillery of heavy calibre. Carter maintained his gun in action continually and did more damage to the enemy than any one other weapon or sub unit. On one occasion, a 150 shell burst just beside his position within a matter of feet. How Carter survived is a mystery but his gun was firing twenty seconds later. Carter destroyed two German MG posts complete with their crews near the 387 ridge and dropped a good many other Germans whenever movement was seen. He shot down all the Germans that ran from SPINELLA after the tanks shelled that locality. This great personal courage and devotion to duty, besides inflicting great damage on the enemy, greatly helped the Irish Rifles in their attack and his conduct was an inspiration to the rest of the MG platoon who thenceforth were determined to rival his deeds.”
CQMS JJ DUFFY, 1 RIrF. OCT 1944 – CODRANCO.
“CQMS Duffy is Colour Sergeant to D Company. On the night of 7 October 1944, D Coy attacked Pt 382 from M.CODRANCO. This attack met fierce resistance and after several hours fighting the Coy consolidated 200 yards short of Pt 382. They were then very short of ammunition and under heavy SA fire. CQMS Duffy himself led forward mules with ammunition and food to D Coy under the noses of the enemy. His column was shot up all the way and suffered severely but Duffy managed to get the essential supplies to D Coy. His action saved the day and made possible the ultimate success of the operation. His conduct has been of a similar pattern in all the actions in which he has taken part and his bearing and devotion to duty have been an inspiration at all times.”
CORPORAL EW FLAVELL, 2 LIR. OCT 1943 – SPADURO.
“Cpl Flavell was commanding one of the sections, that was giving close fire support during the attack on Casa Spinello on 23 Oct ’44. At about 1900 hours, after the attack had succeeded he was wounded in the thigh. Although he had every opportunity to be evacuated to the RAP he remained at his post keeping his gun firing as counter attacks were beginning to come in.
Another company with extra ammunition and grenades were ordered up to reinforce but ran into a minefield. Cpl Flavell volunteered with the help of another man to guide them around it to his own Coy position. This he accomplished in the dark, over rough country and under heavy defensive fire. Only after this did he allow himself to be evacuated.
This NCO’s gallantry devotion to duty and disregard of the fact that he was in great pain resulted in much needed men and ammunition arriving at the correct spot in time, and is worthy of the highest praise.”
L/SERGEANT J GEOGHEGAN, 2 INNISKS. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“During the night 23/24 Oct 44, L/Sgt Geoghegan was commanding a section of 13 Platoon C Coy, 2nd Bttn The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The Bttn was attacking over difficult hilly country.
During the approach march the Coy was subjected to enemy MG fire at short range from the left flank, but L/Sgt Geoghegan not waiting for further orders swung his section towards the fire and at great speed made direct for the enemy. On approaching the post he ordered a bayonet charge which he himself led. This was a highly successful charge, completely silencing the MGs and resulting in two dead Germans and five prisoners. During the bayonet charge, Sgt Geoghegan was himself wounded through the shoulder but disregarding this he gathered his section and rejoined his platoon again, refusing to be evacuated until the Coy had taken its objective.
The behaviour and bearing of L/Sgt Geoghegan has always been a byword in his Platoon and on this occasion an example of the finest traditions of leadership.”
SERGEANT W GOLDIE, 1 RIrF. DEC 1944 – TAMAGNIN.
“On the night of 18 December 1944, D Company 1st Bttn Royal Irish Fusiliers, carried out a local raid on the strong point TAMAGNIN.
Sgt Goldie was Platoon Sergeant of one of the two platoons involved in the assault on the houses. The assault group formed up and, under supporting fire from the third platoon, they charged from a distance of 120 yards. Just over halfway the enemy opened up from every conceivable angle and aperture of the buildings and the advance was temporarily halted. Cover was sought and commanders carried out a brief reconnaissance. During this period, Sgt Goldie attended to the evacuation of three men, necessitating his dragging them one by one back to the cover of the start line, under direct fire from a MG 34.
No sooner had he completed this when his platoon commander gave him his plan and they gathered a handful of men and a Bren gun together and started the final assault on the house. This action was met with a hail of machine gun and machine pistol fire and grenades thrown from the upper windows, but Sgt Goldie continued, oblivious of his own safety, to the outer wall. From there, he urged his men forward, grenades bursting, within a matter of yards of him, until eventually the smallest of the buildings was cleared.
A determined enemy counter attack from a flank caused the operation to be called off, and the Company commenced a laborious up-hill trek to their own positions. Seeing the predicament of the main body – burdened as they were with nine casualties and short of ammunition – Sgt Goldie took his small party by a different route and distracted the enemy’s attention and fire with such success that all casualties were eventually evacuated and the entire Company regained their own area.
By his courageous example under heavy fire, Sgt Goldie greatly inspired his men in the assault on TAMAGNIN and the whole Company owe much to him for his resourcefulness and initiative in the ultimate withdrawal from the objective.”
CSM J NOLAN, 2 INNISKS. DEC 1944 – CASA LUCCA.
“CSM Nolan is Company Sergeant Major of B Company 2nd Bttn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
On the 6 December 1944, his company was holding the area of CASA LUCCA and the hill feature immediately in front of it.
During the early hours of the morning a determined raid was made by a strong raiding party of the German 1st Para Division on the area of company headquarters and the forward platoon. This raid was accompanied by an intense mortar bombardment. The two sentries outside company headquarters were seized by the enemy and the forward platoon was almost overrun.
CSM Nolan setting a superb example of courage and determination immediately organised his company headquarters into a fighting section and drove the enemy from the area of CASA LUCCA. In the course of the fighting, CSM Nolan was seriously shaken and cut by the enemy grenades, which was thrown to him.
Then quite regardless of the heavy small arms fire he went forward by himself to the area of the forward platoon where he organised the remnants of the platoon into a counterattack force and personally led a determined and vigorous counterattack which drove the enemy in confusion from the important feature which they had succeeded in occupying.
By his coolness, initiative and great personal bravery CSM Nolan was alone almost entirely responsible for driving off the raiding force before they could inflict serious casualties and for restoring a situation in which the security of the entire battalion positions was threatened.”
CORPORAL H LAWTON, 1 RIrF. DEC 1944 – TAMAGNIN.
“On the night of 18 December 1944, L/Sgt Lawton’s platoon of D Company, the Royal Irish Fusiliers participated in the raid on the strong point TAMAGNIN.
Half way to the objective, the platoon came under extremely heavy fire from the buildings and the advance was temporarily checked. Realising the value of closing with the enemy, L/Sgt Lawton crawled forward with a Bren Gunner and got to within ten yards of the house, when they set off several booby trapped grenades, happily surviving. Despite the knowledge of this additional danger, he continued up to the house where he grenaded the first two rooms.
The fire from the upper floor, however, had not abated, and the remainder of the platoon was still pinned down. This left L/Sgt Lawton and his Bren Gunner in the sole position whence the enemy counter attack could be perceived, as it came from behind the house. He immediately engaged this new enemy, at the same time warning the Company of their approach. The order was given to withdraw and he remained firing to the last possible moment before withdrawing behind the main body of the Company.
Throughout the whole action, L/Sgt Lawton showed a complete disregard for his own safety and was an inspiration to his men, in particular the Bren Gunner who accompanied him. But for his steadfast action at the completion of the operation, the Company might have become involved in a running fight with disastrous results.”
CORPORAL T O’FARRELL, 2 INNISKS. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“During the night 23/24 Oct 44, Cpl O’Farrell was commanding a section of 13 Platoon C Coy, 2nd Bttn The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The Coy objective was a hill feature MR 029259. 13 Platoon was left forward Platoon of the Coy.
Half way up the hill, the Platoon came under MG fire at close range from three different points. Most of this fire came down on Cpl O’Farrell’s section, but he, showing complete disregard for his own personal safety quickly decided on a route forward and got his section into a position from where he led his men from a bayonet charge against one of the MG posts.
Despite the enemy’s fire and grenade throwing Cpl O’Farrell went into the charge ahead of his section firing his M3 and killing and wounding most of the enemy in his MG position. Carrying on to the second position he accounted for more of the enemy and took several prisoners.
By the skill, tenacity and dogged determination with which Cpl O’Farrell led and inspired his section, the enemy posts were wiped out, and it was largely due to this that the Coy gained its objectives.”
FUSILIER AB PENDREY, 1 RIrF. OCT 1944 – CODRANCO.
“L/Cpl Pendrey is the senior stretcher bearer of D Coy. His gallantry and efficiency as a stretcher bearer has saved many lives in the past year and his conduct is a constant source of admiration amongst his men.
On the 7th October on M.CODRANCO he displayed great gallantry in the treatment and evacuation of casualties from the attack on Pt 283.It was a miracle he was un-hit as this took place under heavy fire from German MGs at a range of less than 100 yards and even grenades were being thrown near him.
Again at Pt 416 in the battle of SPADURO, he went forward in daylight, under fire from German MGs at 300 yards who ignored the Red Cross and evacuated wounded for our forward positions.
His sympathy, efficiency and courage in the heat of battle has been a source of great confidence to the men knowing as they do that they are assured of prompt treatment and that nothing will stop Pendrey in his efforts to help them.”
CORPORAL B RUSH, 2 INNISKS. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“On the night of 23/24 Oct 44, the 2nd Bttn The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were attacking over difficult hilly country. Cpl Rush was a section commander of 14 Platoon.
This Platoon had as an objective a hill position at MR 029259 from which two enemy MGs were firing. Whilst approaching this objective the Platoon came under the full force of the enemy fire and Cpl Rush’s section being in the lead was momentarily pinned down. He quickly rallied his men and with all speed led them on towards the enemy positions, encouraging them by his own gallantry.
The section reached the first MG position overcoming it with grenades and automatic fire of Cpl Rush’s M3. He personally accounted for at least three of the enemy. Cpl Rush quickly disposed his section in the enemy position, moving around in the open and showing a complete disregard for his own safety.
Cpl Rush’s courage and leadership undoubtedly had a large bearing on the success of the sections.”
CORPORAL L TOMKINSON, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“Cpl Tomkinson commanded the right leading section in the attack on Casa Spinello on 23 Oct ’44. His task was to capture and consolidate in the second house on the feature. During the initial assault most of the section were wounded and only Cpl Tomkinson and one Rfn were left to complete the task.
This NCO ran forward on his own round the right hand side of the house disregarding the heavy MG fire that was brought to bear on him from the rear and right of the house, and the grenades that were being thrown from the back. From a position he took up by the right corner of the house, he beat down every opposition from the rear rooms and the back of the house with his sub machine gun and grenades. He then entered the house and started to clear the rear rooms. 14 German prisoners mostly wounded were taken from the positions and rooms which he had silenced.
The determination, gallantry and example of this NCO, who has been fighting continuously since Jan ’43 was quite outstanding and undoubtedly saved his Company many casualties.”
RIFLEMAN EC WARREN, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“On the evening of 21 Oct ’44 H Coy attacked Hill 387 North of Monte Pieve, Rfn Warren was attached to the Coy as a stretcher bearer. The attack went in under extremely heavy small arms and mortar opposition, casualties were high and eventually the remnants of the Coy consolidated what gains had been made.
During all the fighting and through the many hours of darkness, Rfn Warren kept enthusiastically at his job, always cheerful regardless of his own safety and on at least three occasions going forward of our lines to bring in wounded or to make certain whether a comrade was dead or not.
Rfn Warren displayed great courage during this engagement, as he has always down in the past and further to doing his job, he is an inspiration to the men around him around him in and out of battle and is very deservedly worthy of recognition for this action.”
CQMS F WHITE, 1 RIrF. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“During the period 18th to 22nd October, CQMS White was responsible for bringing the Coy mule teams to HQ Coy in the area of Pt 416. The track was under constant shell fire and also all troops in the 416 area were so pinned by MG and shell fire that movement was rarely possible. Casualties were suffered nightly on the approaches to the buildings at 401 alone. On the 19thOctober HQ mule team was heavily shelled and many mules lost. Undaunted, CQMS White personally rallied the panicky muleteers, got the survivors together until they reached the Coy. As the attack on Monte SPADURO was then in full swing, the German DF was falling in this area with great intensity; CQMS White’s act in coming forward into the inferno when he could have held back until later was therefore extremely gallant. As it was, he saw to the offloading of the mules, the ammunition and distribution under constant fire and more or less unaided. Until this has been done he refused to take cover. In doing this, he was going far beyond his duty which lay in the supply of Bttn HQ only and such few members of HQ Coy present but on this occasion he took charge of the combined mules teams and without his leadership, courage and guidance, it is doubtful whether either C Coy or S would have received their essential supplies.”
American Silver Star.
CSM GJ CHARNICK, 2 LIR. OCT 1944 – SPADURO.
“1. Under the provision of AR-600-45 it is recommended that CSM George Charnick 2nd Bttn London Irish Rifles be awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action on 22nd October 1944.
2. On the night of 22/23 October the London Irish Rifles attacked Hill 387. The attack was pressed home forcibly, but after heavy casualties on both sides the LIR had to withdraw slightly, as they had pushed on too far thus exposing their right flank. A supply train followed up the attack but in the dark and under the confusion caused by heavy mortaring and shelling it ran into a minefield.
3a) The terrain was steep – there were few tracks or marked routes – enemy minefields were known to exist but were uncharted or marked.
b) The night was fine, in its early stages, and then poured with rain making visibility nil.
c) The enemy was prepared to resist all attack and fought stubbornly – mortaring of all back areas was nearly continuous.
d) Morale on both sides was high.
e) The battalions had 3 officer and 20 OR casualties, including some bringing up supplies.
f) The effect of this deed was to bring up essential supplies and also save the life of at least one man.
4) To my knowledge the facts as stated in this citation are true.
5) At the time of the incident CSM Charnick held his present rank of W/Warrant Officer Class II.
6) Since the 22 Oct CSM Charnick has continued to serve this battalion with honour, credit and devotion.
7) He has no other awards.
8a) No 7015855 CSM Charnick G, 2nd Bttn London Irish Rifles, Infantry, British Army for gallantry in action on the night of 22nd October in the vicinity of Monte Spaduro.
b) CSM Charnick was left at Battalion HQ to organise ammunition supplies while his company moved to repel an enemy counter attack. During the night his company became heavily engaged and part of it ran in to an enemy minefield. Without guides this warrant officer led up an ammunition party to contact the company who were in a farm which was being counter attacked by the enemy. He delivered the ammunition and himself organised and effected the removal of two wounded officers and two wounded men from the interior of an enemy minefield. All this was done under intense enemy shell and MG fire in the middle of the night over unknown terrain which had only been captured during that evening. CSM Charnick’s energy and gallantry in the face of unknown dangers not only had a great bearing on the success of the operation but saved the life of at least one man.
c) He has served in a front line unit since the beginning of the North African campaign and has been twice wounded.
He entered service from 25th April 1939. His home address is Dagenham, Essex, England.”