December 1942

During the first part of December 1942, both 6th Inniskillings (6 Innisks) and 2nd London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) established themselves in central northern Tunisia before taking part in defensive and forward patrolling activity. The brigade’s third battalion, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers (1 RIrF), joined the other two battalions later in the month and, by the end of December, they all took part in several sharp encounters with the German outlying forward units. The end of the year would see enemy aircraft activity across the whole area continuing to harass the Irish Brigade’s positions.

1 RIrF’s first encounter with the German defensive forces at the “Battle for the Mosques”.

2 LIR’s account of their actions when they reached the Tunisian front line.

CQMS Edmund O’Sullivan’s description of Christmas 1942 in the line in Tunisia.

Key Dates:

1st December – 2 LIR remain in Bougie until 6th December, while 6 Innisks embark from Algiers to travel onto Bone.  1 RIrF are still at sea on route for North Africa.

3rd December – 6 Innisks arrive in Bone and remain there until 7th December.

6th December – 2 LIR leave Bougie on route for Teboursouk in Tunisia via Constantine, taking three days to reach their defensive positions there.

7th December – The ship carrying 1 RIrF is involved in a collision with another vessel and has to dock at Gibraltar for three days of repairs. 6 Innisks leave Bone for Teboursouk and arrive there on 9th December at the same time as 2 LIR.

9th December –  6 Innisks and 2 LIR establish themselves at Teboursouk, and start to undertake defensive duties and then commence aggressive forward patrolling.

10th December – 1 RIrF arrive in Algiers, before sailing onto Bougie and arrive there on 11th December.

11th December – 1 RIrF remain in Bougie until 18th December.

18th December – 1 RIrF travel from Bougie to Djebel el Alkhout arriving there on 21st December.

From 19th December onwards – 6 Innisks and 2 LIR continue on active defensive/forward patrolling duties south and east of Goubellat towards Bou Arada and El Aroussa, and are joined in the area on 21st December by 1 RIrF.

20th December – Lt-Col Macartney-Filgate, CO of 6 Innisks, is wounded by enemy air action. Major Heaver Allen takes over command of 6 Innisks.

December 1942 Roll of Honour:

Link to photographs from CWGC cemeteries.


8th Dec – Sergeant Rowland Farthing, 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

10th Dec – Rifleman Ronald Childs, 2 London Irish Rifles.

11th Dec – Rifleman Charles Brady, 2 London Irish Rifles.

11th Dec – Lance Corporal Richard Clutterbuck, 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st Dec – Fusilier James Purdy, 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

26th Dec – Rifleman Harold Kershaw, 2 London Irish Rifles.

27th Dec – Lieutenant Desmond Moore, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers (attached from Worcestershire Regiment).

27th Dec – Fusilier Leonard Thoroughgood, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

27th Dec – Fusilier Thomas Williams, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

27th Dec – Fusilier Daniel Downing, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

28th Dec – Fusilier Joseph Roche, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

28th Dec – Fusilier Jack Rodin, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

28th Dec – Lance Corporal Samuel Kane, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

28th Dec – Fusilier James Montgomery, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

28th Dec – Fusilier Alfred Robinson, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

29th Dec – Fusilier Albert Deakin, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

29th Dec – Fusilier Norman Kyle, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

29th Dec – Fusilier Richard Eales, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

29th Dec – Fusilier Arthur Cross, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

31st Dec – Fusilier William Farnan, 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

December 1942 War Diaries:

38 (Irish) Brigade.

6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2 London Irish Rifles.

Day by Day.

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