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Magazine article highlights the resonance of Second World War commemorations in Cassino, Rome and Normandy

June 22, 2024 |

Cassino War Cemetery south of Rome An article about the contemporary resonance of Second World War commemorations following recent remembrance events in Cassino, Rome and Normandy has been published by The Tablet,  the London monthly magazine. “But as moving as these events may be, questions will be asked about their future with increasing frequency,” article…

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Papal message for liberation of Rome thanksgiving service

June 15, 2024 |

Bishop Paul Mason, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Buendia and the Papal message read  at the Liberation of Rome Thanksgiving Service at the Cathedral Church of St Michael & St George on 15 June Bishop of the Armed Forces Paul Mason read out the text of a Papal message sent for the thanksgiving service in the Cathedral…

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Pope Francis gives thumbs up at commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Irish Brigade brigade’s audience in the Vatican

June 13, 2024 |

Pope Francis salutes the Bugles, Pipes & Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment with a thumbs up at St Peter’s Basilica on 12 June A clearly enthralled Pope Francis gave a thumbs-up sign to the pipes and drums of the Royal Irish Regiment in St Peter’s Square on 12 June at an event to mark…

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Archbishop Gallagher salutes the Irish Brigade 80 years after they met the pope

June 11, 2024 |

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, today saluted the memory of the men of 38 (Irish) Brigade who were the first Allied troops to be greeted by Pope Pius XII in the Vatican following the liberation of Rome on 4 June 1944. “This was an extraordinary…

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Rome liberation conference hears story of the end of the occupation of Italy’s capital

June 7, 2024 |

The Liberation of Rome Conference held in Anzio’s Villa Corsini Sarsina to mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the occupation of Italy’s capital on 4 June 1944 heard 40 speakers from Italy and abroad share untold stories of events in the Second World War. Some 150 delegates attended the event which was organised…

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London Irish Rifles Pipers play inside the Abbey of Monte Cassino to mark the 80th anniversary of the battles of Cassino

May 23, 2024 |

London Irish Rifles bagpipers Gerald Griffin (left) and Gary O’Connor in the courtyard of the Abbey of Monte Cassino on 13 May London Irish Rifles pipers played inside the Abbey of Monte Cassino on 13 May to mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the battles of Cassino in 1944 in which 38 (Irish)…

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Thanksgiving service to be held to mark 80th anniversary of the Liberation of Rome

May 1, 2024 |

Cathedral Church of St Michael & St George Cardinal Nichols has authorised a thanksgiving service to mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Rome to be held at the Military Cathedral Church of St Michael & St George in Aldershot at 11.30 on Saturday 15 June. The Cathedral Church of St Michael and St George serves…

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Charlie Lawson shares the story of his lost uncle with the We Have Ways podcast

March 12, 2024 |

UK actor Charlie Lawson shared the story of his uncle Royal Irish Fusiliers lieutenant John Glennie with James Holland and Al Murray in the popular weekly We Have Ways of Making You Talk Second World War podcast. John Glennie was killed in the Irish Brigade’s failed attack against German lines on the river Trigno north…

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Remembering great Italian escape of 1943-44

March 4, 2024 |

Tens of thousands of Allied prisoners of war fled from camps in Italy following the announcement of the armistice that took Rome out of the war in September 1943. Their story and the role played in it by Italians who provided them with food and shelter is being preserved in the work of the Monte…

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Role of London Irish Rifles and Irish Guards at Anzio investigated in Youtube show

February 12, 2024 |

The role of 1 Battalion of the London Irish Rifles and 1 Battalion, the Irish Guards in the Anzio bridgehead in January and February 1944 was discussed in the WW2TV Youtube show this week. Edmund and Richard O’Sullivan, founders of The Irish Brigade Website, presented the story of both battalions at a critical moment following…

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Liberation of Rome conference to highlight the Italian Campaign

January 29, 2024 |

Bookings are now open for The Liberation of Rome Conference in Anzio on 31 May-1 June 2024. The event will examine the events leading to the end of the occupation of Rome on 4 June 1944 and their contemporary resonance. The conference is supported by local, regional and central government in Italy and will hear…

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Conference hears Irish Brigade Italy campaign stories

November 13, 2023 |

Enniskillen Castle Stories of members of the Irish Brigade in the Italian campaign were told at the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (The Skins) in the Italian campaign conference in Enniskillen on Saturday 11 November. The event was opened by Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Mark Scott chairman of the Inniskillings Museum which hosted the conference. His father Robert…

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Charlie Lawson tells heartbreaking story of the uncle he never knew

October 30, 2023 |

  Actor Charlie Lawson (far left) famous for playing the role of Jim McDonald in the TV soap Coronation Street spoke this week about his uncle John Glennie, a lieutenant in the Royal Irish Fusiliers who was killed in the Italian campaign in 1943. Born in Enniskillen in 1923, John Glennie attended the town’s Portora…

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Fusilier Anthony Addis

October 26, 2023 |

We received details of the life and service career of Fusilier Anthony Addis, from William Best, the husband of Anthony’s niece. Fusilier Addis served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers in Italy and died in hospital of wounds suffered at the River Trigno at the end of October 1943.  He would be re-interred a year later…

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Termoli plans monument, museum and documentary to commemorate the landings of 1943

October 10, 2023 |

Plans are being developed for a new memorial and a larger Second World War Museum in Termoli and a documentary film to commemorate the landings and battle there on 3-6 October 1943. The town and the surrounding area were the scene of the largest tank battle in the Italian campaign in the Second World War…

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Irish Brigade at the Battle of Termoli in October 1943

October 9, 2023 |

The latest edition of This Week in the Italian Campaign tells the story of the Battle of Termoli on 3-6 October and the role of 38 (Irish) Brigade in repelling 16 Panzer Division. The battle began with special forces landings on the night of 3 October. On 5 October, 16 Panzer came close to taking…

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Sicily conference report published

October 6, 2023 |

An 85–page report on the proceedings of The Sicily Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference on 7-8 July has been published this week. It covers a total of 40 speeches and presentations and the conference’s recommendations. You can see the report here: The Sicily Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference report

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Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the Italian campaign conference to be held in November

September 30, 2023 |

A half-day conference about the role of The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the Italian Campaign is to be held at the Inniskillings Museum in Enniskillen on Saturday 11 November. The event will also review the role of 38 (Irish) Brigade in the campaign. Speakers are: Chairman of the Inniskillings Museum Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Mark Scott…

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Angelina Belfiore, 101, tells her eyewitness story of the arrival of the London Irish Rifles in her hometown

August 26, 2023 |

The story of the arrival of  the London Irish Rifles in Piedimonte Etneo in September 1943 after the end of fighting in the Sicilian campaign has been retold in a news report published this month by La Repubblica, the national Italian newspaper. Eyewitness Angelina Belfiore, 101 in July, was 21 and living at home with…

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Rifleman James Gerard Murtagh, 1912 -1943

August 11, 2023 |

The invasion of Sicily, known as Operation Husky, took place exactly 80 years ago and the recollections of that time remains especially vivid for families of the fallen as well as the local people on the island who greeted Allied soldiers as liberators. The memory of James Murtagh, a 31 year old Rifleman from Lurgan,…

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Message from King Charles launches commemorations of the 80th anniversary of Sicily landings

July 19, 2023 |

King Charles, the son of a Sicily campaign veteran, sent a message of support to The Sicily Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference held earlier this month in Catania to launch commemoration events for the 80th anniversary of the landings on the island in 1943. “His Majesty has asked me to thank you for coming together to…

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Minneapolis family heads to Sicily for WWII commemoration

June 29, 2023 |

Marian Johnson (right) with daughter Hayley and grandson Owen   Three generations of an Edina family are heading to Sicily next month to join the commemoration of Allied landings on the island, which took place at a turning point in the Second World War, 80 years ago. Mother of five, Marian Johnson, will be joined on…

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Joe Mantegna, drawing on his Italian roots, lends his support for the Sicily Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference

June 27, 2023 |

Italian-American actor, movie star, director and philanthropist Joe Mantegna says his Sicilian roots and the experiences of his parents’ generation in the Second World War are behind his support for The Sicily Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference at Catania’s Le Ciminiere Festival Centre on 7-8 July. “In my career I’ve portrayed many characters who dramatize…

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Top speakers to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Sicily landings at Catania conference

June 22, 2023 |

  More than 30 speakers from Italy, Canada, Germany, the UK and the US will address the Sicily Peace, Security & Prosperity conference in Catania on 7-8 July organised in partnership with Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the landings in Sicily. The event will be followed by…

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IFPSP founder Gregory on when he was inspired to memorialise Canada’s Husky role

June 22, 2023 |

Founder of the International Forum for Peace, Security & Prosperity (IFPSP) Steve Gregory was inspired to preserve the memory of Canada’s role in Operation Husky in 1943 while on a family visit to Sicily more than a decade ago. “Everywhere I went, I asked questions about the Canadians in Sicily and they would look at…

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Swift success in Sicily was built on the lessons of the Tunisian campaign

May 11, 2023 |

At 1445 local time on 13 May 1943, 18 Army Group Commander General Harold Alexander sent the following signal to UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill in London: “Sir, it is my duty to report that the Tunisian campaign is over. All enemy resistance has ceased. We are masters of the North African shores.” One week later, American,…

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Countdown to Husky: Operation Mincemeat

April 30, 2023 |

Charles Cholmondeley (left) and Ewen Montagu with the van taking the body of Glyndwr Michael to Scotland on 17 April 1943 At 0415 on Friday 30 April 1943, the body of Glyndwr Michael was taken out of a sealed container on the deck of the Royal Navy submarine HMS Seraph which had surfaced off Huelva on…

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Countdown to Husky: Canada joins the campaign

April 17, 2023 |

The sun was shining brightly on the afternoon of 23 April 1943 when Commander of the First Canadian Army Lieutenant General Andrew McNaughton (see left, below) strode into the War Office in Whitehall. It was St George’s Day and it had been more than two years since the last German bombing attack on Britain’s capital. The…

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Countdown to Husky: the false start and the final plan

April 16, 2023 |

Original plans called for widely dispersed landings and the early capture of both Catania and Palermo. The final plan concentrated Allied forces in the south-east of Sicily (Source: www.canadiansoldiers.com) Fully-engaged with the effort to defeat Axis forces in Tunisia in the spring of 1943, Allied commanders in North Africa were nevertheless presented with plans for…

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Stars in the Sicilian campaign: Audie Murphy

March 18, 2023 |

Seething with frustration, 18-year-old Corporal Audie Murphy landed on the Seventh Army’s western-most landing beach at Licata on 10 July 1943 three hours after his battalion’s first wave. “…the timing got snarled in the predawn confusion; and we came in late, chugging ashore like a bunch of clucks in a ferryboat.” Murphy wrote in his…

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Stars in the Sicilian campaign: Alan Whicker

March 15, 2023 |

Holding his camera over his head, Alan Whicker waded ashore near Pachino from a tank landing craft soon after dawn on 10 July 1943. “I took my first sodden steps on the long march towards the Alps,” Whicker wrote in his 2005 book Whicker at War. “So far, so surprisingly good…Standing tense on that soft…

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Stars in the Sicilian campaign: Christopher Lee

March 14, 2023 |

At six foot five inches, it was almost impossible for Christopher Lee to go unnoticed and that helped make him a star best known for playing the part of Count Dracula 10 times. But in the Second World War, he played a less obtrusive role as an RAF intelligence officer which brought him to Sicily…

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Stars in the Sicilian campaign: Douglas Fairbanks Jr

March 13, 2023 |

The transition of Douglas Fairbanks Jr from Hollywood action hero to combat veteran was completed off the coast of Sicily near Gela in the early hours of 10 July 1943. Among those on the deck of Admiral Henry Hewitt‘s flagship USS Monrovia in the darkness before dawn, Fairbanks had spent the previous evening coaching Seventh…

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Stars in the Sicilian campaign: Alec Guinness

March 11, 2023 |

Famous as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Oscar-winner Alec Guinness had a starring role in the landings in Sicily on 10 July 1943. Born to an unmarried mother in April 1914, Guinness left school aged 18 to work in a London advertising agency. Determined to…

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Remembering the dead of the Sicily campaign

March 4, 2023 |

The CWGC Catania War Cemetery, the largest in Sicily, has 2,135 graves The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries in Catania and Syracuse contain the remains of 2,410 men who lost their lives between the start of the Sicilian campaign on the night of 9 July and the end of August 1943. The overwhelming majority…

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Sgt Raymond Phillips at Centuripe

February 12, 2023 |

It’s been nearly 80 years since the Irish Brigade’s remarkable assault on the hill-top town of Centuripe in August 1943. Led by the 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (the Skins), the brigade fought their way into the town after prolonged assaults on the evening of 2nd/3rd August 1943 and, following its capture and the crossing…

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Photo portrait initiative to mark the 80th anniversary of Operation Husky

January 31, 2023 |

Canadian Agira CWGC War Cemetery with photo markers Photographic portraits of Americans, Britons and Canadians who died in Sicily in 1943 are to be placed in the island’s war cemeteries this July as part of the 80th anniversary commemorations to mark Operation Husky. The project was initiated in 2019 by Jimmy Hilgen, a police sergeant…

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Churchill, Roosevelt and history’s most momentous press conference

January 24, 2023 |

It was noon on 24 January 1943 and around 20 American and British reporters and photographers had gathered on the lawn of the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca. Most had flown in the previous day from Algiers, the location of the headquarters for Allied forces fighting in Tunisia. They were arranged before three empty chairs. The…

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Catania to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Sicily landings

January 23, 2023 |

A series of events are planned in Catania in July to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Sicily, the city’s Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943 has announced. They include the Sicily 1943: Peace, Security &Prosperity conference on 7-8 July which will tell the story of the landings and how peace in Sicily was…

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How Operation Husky in July 1943 made Overlord possible in June 1944

January 13, 2023 |

Allied commanders of Operation Husky in Tunisia in 1943. Commander-in-chief General Dwight Eisenhower (left), Air Commander-in-chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (second left) and  General Montgomery (not in the picture) were commanders in Operation Overlord.  General Harold Alexander, land forces commander in Husky (second right), remained in Italy. (© IWM CNA 1075) AT a…

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