We have been sent a remarkable memento of the Irish Brigade’s time in Italy.

During 1944, the Brigade published a book of songs that soon became a staple musical accompaniment to their relaxed periods out of the line. On St Patrick’s Day in March 1945, the Brigade HQ hosted a social occasion to which they invited members of the Polish Corps who were nearby and we have been sent a copy of the songbook signed by Brigadier Scott and presented to their Liaison Officer Andrew Tarnowski.

Pat Scott recalled this period:

“On the 11th (March 1945), I went to call on my old friend. Colonel Nowina, Commander of 6 Lwow Brigade. We greeted each other with great affection and told each other all about our battles since we last met near Monte Cassino. His English had improved out of all recognition – especially his slang. A couple of days after that, I had lunch at the Carpathian Lancers where he was also a guest. The entente cordiale with our Polish neighbours was excellent. We established direct communication with them at all levels and they gave me a most amusing person as Liaison Officer – one Count Andrew Tarnovsky. Andrew was a great character and caused us a lot of laughter at one time or another. He was a pretty hard case.

We were in the line on St Patrick’s Day so, of course, we could not do much about it….

…In the evening, somehow or other, news that there might be a party at our Headquarters had leaked out to the Carpathian Lancers – possibly through the bold Count Andrew. Anyway, about midnight some of them turned up to see if anything was going on, so of course, they had to entertained. One of them brought an accordion with him so there was evidently malice aforethought in their visit…”

We would like to thank Andrew Tarnowski’s daughter, Maria, for sending this most treasurable item.

Andrew Tarnowski (right) in Rome, 1944.


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