Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


October 1944

During October 1944, the Irish Brigade took part in a series of bitterly fought encounters during a period when they came under command of 5th Army in support of their advance towards Bologna. Determined German resistance had emerged at the Gothic Line which formed an almost impenetrable defensive barrier that impeded the plans for an advance onto the plains of northern Italy before winter.

Under command of the US 88th Division, on 7th October, the Faughs started to clear German positions on Monte Codranco, north of Castel del Rio, but it took three nights for them to complete the task. After reverting to 78th Division, the Irish Brigade were then ordered to attack the area dominated by the mass of the Monte Spaduro massif. The initial attack on Spaduro during the night of 19th/20th October was led by the Faughs but the assault was thwarted when both A and B Company were overrun by carefully planned German counterattacks.This would result in the battalion being withdrawn from the line to regroup on a three company basis.

The Irish Rifles were then called forward and, after several days of planning, their attack went in on the night of 23th/24th October. Despite determined German defensive action, they were able to take over Casa Spinello, which opened up the way forward for the rest of the division. The advance was continued by the Skins and as a result of these actions, 11 Brigade were able to take over the whole of Monte Spaduro.

Immediately after the battle, the rains came, which meant that large scale operations on the Italian front would now be suspended until the weather improved in the springtime. A long dispiriting winter now lay ahead for the Allied armies in Italy.

Read Pat Scott’s describing the period when the Irish Brigade joined the 5th Army.

Read Pat Scott’s account of the Irish Brigade’s advance towards Imola.

Read Pat Scott’s account of the battle period at Monte Spaduro.

Read John Horsfall’s description of the Faughs’ assaults during October 1944 on Codranco and Monte Spaduro.


Key Dates:

4th October: The Irish Brigade transfers under command of 5th Army.

7th – 9th October: 1 RIrF assault on Monte Codranco.

19th/20th October: 1 RIrF attacks on Monte Spaduro are repulsed.

23rd/24th October: 2 LIR join final successful assault on Monte Spaduro.


October 1944 Roll of Honour:

8th October 1944 – Fusilier Alfred Hall, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

8th October 1944 – Lance Corporal John Cairns, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

9th October 1944 – Fusilier Spencer Jones, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

19th October 1944 – Company Sergeant  Major Edward Crowley, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

19th October 1944 – Fusilier Robert Hodson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Victor Turner, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Henry McCabe, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Rifleman Richard Evans, London Irish Rifles.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Charles Johnston, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier John Muldoon, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Ernest Winder, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Rifleman Frederick Murphy, London Irish Rifles.

20th October 1944 – Rifleman William Fisher, London Irish Rifles.

20th October 1944  – Fusilier Frank Batty, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier George Webber, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Harold Jones, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Walter Holmes, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier George White, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Francis Haveron, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Corporal Alexander Smith, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier William Smith, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Leonard Baird, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier William Royle, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Albert McCulloch, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Sergeant Harry Elliott, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Major Maurice Crehan, Royal Irish Fusiliers, attached from the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

20th October 1944 – Fusilier George Burchett, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Corporal Patrick Gallagher, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier John Manning, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Corporal William Murphy, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

20th October 1944 – Fusilier Alan Jenkins, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

21st October 1944 – Lance Sergeant Frank Janes, London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944 –  2nd Lieutenant Stephen Thompson, London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944 – Corporal Bernard Gage, London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944 – Rifleman Thomas Galligan, London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944 – Lieutenant Christopher Cramb, London Irish Rifles, seconded from South African Armoured Corps.

21st October 1944 – Rifleman James Bryning,  London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944 – Rifleman James Blair, London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944  – Rifleman William Murphy, London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944 – Rifleman Aubrey Eaton, London Irish Rifles.

21st October 1944 – Lance Corporal Thomas Borrett, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

22nd October 1944 – Rifleman William Collins, London Irish Rifles.

23rd October 1944 – Corporal Patrick Long, London Irish Rifles.

23rd October 1944 – Fusilier Frank Hughes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

23rd October 1944 – Rifleman Richard Birkett, London Irish Rifles.

23rd October 1944 – Lance Sergeant Albert Ward, London Irish Rifles.

23rd October 1944 – Rifleman Frederick Pritchard, London Irish Rifles.

23rd October 1944 – Lieutenant John Bruckmann, London Irish Rifles, seconded from South African Armoured Corps.

23rd October 1944 – Major Ronald Boyd MC, London Irish Rifles.

24th October 1944 – Corporal George Riley, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

24th October 1944 – Fusilier Albert Kinsman, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

25th October 1944 – Sergeant William Farthing, London Irish Rifles.

30th October 1944 – Rifleman Dennis Connelly, London Irish Rifles.


Links to the transcribed October 1944 war diaries.

38 (Irish) Brigade.

2 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2 London Irish Rifles.



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