February 1944

By early February 1944, all three battalions of the Irish Brigade had been finally relieved from their defensive positions in the high Apennines and were able to withdraw for a rest period and undertake further training before being moved westwards, along with the rest of 78th Infantry Division, to join up with the New Zealand Corps to form part of 5th Army Reserve. They were advised that they would likely join in the next stage of the battle for Monte Cassino.

In the middle of February, Pat Scott is appointed as Brigadier replacing Nelson Russell, who had been Brigade Commander since July 1942.

Start to read Brigadier Pat Scott’s narrative of the Irish Brigade’s campaign in Italy, as he takes over command of the brigade.

Read Major Franklyn-Vaile’s letters home to his wife, Olive, during February 1944.

Read CQMS Edmund O’Sullivan memories of the move of the Irish Brigade to the Cassino front.

Key Dates:

2nd/3rd February: 6 Innisks/1 RIrF move to the Busso/Campbasso area. 2 LIR were already based at Baranello.

14th February: The Irish Brigade moves to Alife.

18th February: 78 Infantry Division joined 2 New Zealand Corps as part of 5th Army Reserve.

19th February: Pat Scott takes over as Brigade Commander from Nelson Russell.

24th February: Lieut-Colonel HEN ‘Bala’ Bredin takes over as commander of 6 Innisks.

February 1944 Roll of Honour:

23rd February 1944 – Fusilier Percy Todd, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

February 1944 War Diaries:

38 (Irish) Brigade.

6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2 London Irish Rifles.

Day by Day.

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