Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


April 1945

The start of April 1945 found the Irish Brigade still at Forli but keenly aware of the imminence of the 8th Army’s attack on German defensive lines south of the River Po.

The training period was interrupted for the Skins on the 2nd of the month when they were again called forward to take up positions on the Senio Floodbank and the Irish Rifles were expected to take over these positions on the 5th but this changeover was cancelled and it was then confirmed that all three battalions of the Brigade were to be brought together in Forli on 7th April.

News started to emerge that assaults of 5 Corps units (which included 1 LIR) had commenced across Lake Comacchio and orders came that the opening of 8th Army’s main assault, code-named ‘Buckland’, would be timed for the evening of 9th April 1945…it was yet another ‘D Day’ for the men who had “dodged” the beaches of Normandy.

The Irish Brigade were to join in the attack with the rest of 78th Division, a few days after ‘Buckland’ had been launched.

Read a day by day narrative of Operation ‘Buckland’.

Read Pat Scott’s account of the Irish Brigade’s involvement in Operation ‘Buckland’.

Read Lieut Colin Gunner’s account of the Faughs’ final advance.

Read CQMS Edmund O’Sullivan’s account of the advance to the River Po.

By 25th April 1945, the Irish Brigade had reached the banks of the River Po and offensive activity finally came to an end for them during the morning of that momentous day. Very few of the men within their ranks had journeyed all the way from Algiers but there was now an opportunity for them for short a pause for reflection to remember the hundreds of their friends and comrades who were unable to join them in their celebration of complete and final victory over tyranny in Southern Europe.

Final Surrender in Italy would be confirmed for 2nd May by which time plans were afoot for the Irish Brigade to advance into Southern Austria to take part in a new chapter of multi national peacekeeping.

Read Pat Scott’s account of the final days of the war for the Irish Brigade in Italy.


April 1945 Roll of Honour:

4th April 1945 – Fusilier Roy Ord, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

8th April 1945 – Fusilier Stanley Hughes, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

13th April 1945 – Lance Corporal Samuel Maddison, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

13th April 1945 – Corporal Timothy O’Farrell,  Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

13th April 1945 – Rifleman Arthur Ray, London Irish Rifles.

13th April 1945 – Corporal William Coyle, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

14th April 1945 – Lance Sergeant Leslie Caines, London Irish Rifles.

15th April 1945 – Lance Corporal Edwin Edland, London Irish Rifles.

15th April 1945 – Rifleman Albert Storrar, London Irish Rifles.

15th April 1945 – Lance Corporal William Webb, London Irish Rifles.

16th April 1945 – Rifleman William Devlin, London Irish Rifles.

17th April 1945 – Fusilier Frederick Hyde, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

17th April 1945 – Fusilier Alexander Carlin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

17th April 1945 – Fusilier Sydney Knapp, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

17th April 1945 – Fusilier John Edwards, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

17th April 1945 – Sergeant John Neary, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

17th April 1945 – Fusilier William McAllister, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

17th April 1945 – Fusilier Dennis Levis, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

17th April 1945 – Fusilier Christopher Rogers, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

18th April 1945 – Fusilier David Kay, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

18th April 1945 – Lance Sergeant John Meredith, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

18th April 1945 – Fusilier John George, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

18th April 1945 – Fusilier Laurance Kavanagh, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

18th April 1945 – Sergeant Charles Parkin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

18th April 1945 – Fusilier Harold Bunn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

18th April 1945 – Fusilier Dennis Quinney, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

19th April 1945 – Lance Corporal Ernest Marriott, London Irish Rifles.

19th April 1945 – Rifleman John Gainey, London Irish Rifles.

20th April 1945 – Corporal Frederick Hipkin, London Irish Rifles.

21st April 1945 – Lance Sergeant Robert Sharman, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Kenneth Biggs, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Patrick Essling, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier William Emmerson, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Corporal Charles Cornwall, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Lance Corporal Clifford Barron, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Lance Corporal Robert Monaghan, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier George Horton, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Sergeant John Geoghegan MM, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Robert Roberts, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Alexander Wyllie, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Alfred Robinson, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Stanley Furmage, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Alfred Standish, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier David Burrell, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Albert Tilson, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Lance Corporal Albert Packham, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Rifleman Maurice Irlam, London Irish Rifles.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Frank Lee, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Arthur Boddis, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier John Duffy, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

21st April 1945 – Fusilier Sidney Chandler, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

24th April 1945 – Fusilier William Lunn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

24th April 1945 – Rifleman Edwin Yates, London Irish Rifles.

26th April 1945 – Rifleman Edwin Hunt, London Irish Rifles.


Links to the transcribed April 1945 war diaries.

38 (Irish) Brigade.

2 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2 London Irish Rifles.



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