March 1943

During the first few days of March, the three battalions of the Irish Brigade continued to clear German forces from the areas near to Stuka Ridge and Grandstand and, by 9th March, it became evident that all enemy offensive activity in the area had been completely thwarted, and the brigade was able to reassert routine patrol activity.

On 5th March, the Irish Brigade received notification that it would be joining 78th (Battleaxe) Infantry Division within a few days, and changing places with 1 Guards Brigade, and ten days later, the brigade started to be relieved by units of 1st Infantry Division with 2 LIR and 6 Innisks being withdrawn to rest areas near to Testour, and 1 RIrF joining them a week later in the Beja area.

On 18th March, Lt Col TPD (Pat) Scott was appointed the new Commanding Officer of 2 LIR to replace Lt-Col JB Jeffreys with Lt-Col BH (Beauchamp) Butler taking over command of 1 RIrF.

In the last week of March, 1 RIrF and 6 Innisks were again ready to move to forward areas, while 2 LIR, after receiving substantial amounts of reinforcements, continued to undergo intensive battalion training programmes. 2nd Hampshire Regiment (2 Hamps) joined the brigade as a short term replacement for 2 LIR.

As the month came to end, the Irish Brigade, less 2 LIR, and with 2 Hamps under command, were preparing for major offensive activity with the rest of 78th Division in the mountainous area of the Oued Zarga/Medjez-el-Bab sector.

Key Dates:

5th March: The Irish Brigade received notification that they would be transferring from 6 Armoured Division to 78 Infantry Division.

15th March: 6 Innisks and 2 LIR are withdrawn to rest camp.

18th March: Pat Scott takes over command of 2 LIR, with Beauchamp Butler taking over as commander of 1 RIrF.

22nd March: 1 RIrF return to join the rest of the brigade at rest camp.

March 1943 Roll of Honour:

Link to photos from CWGC Cemeteries.


1st March – Sergeant Angus Gardiner, London Irish Rifles.

2nd March – Captain William Daly, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2nd March – Lance Corporal Cubitt Black, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2nd March – Fusilier Ernest Towle, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2nd March – Rifleman Richard Merley, London Irish Rifles.

3rd March – Fusilier Douglas Smart, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

4th March – Fusilier Robert Dougan, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

5th March – Fusilier James Thompson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

7th March – Fusilier Alfred Daniels, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

7th March – Sergeant William Cahill, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

7th March – Lieutenant John Baggs, Royal Irish Fusiliers, attached from the Royal Ulster Rifles.

11th March – Sergeant Armand Lortie, Royal Irish Fusiliers attached from Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Canada.

15th March – Fusilier James Forbes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

15th March – Fusilier Sidney Dobson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

March 1943 War Diaries:

38 (Irish) Brigade.

6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2 London Irish Rifles.

Day by Day.

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