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Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


War Diaries – 25th April 1943

Brigade HQ – KELBINE.

0620 6 Innisks reported being sniped.

0755 Rear brigade reported 3 deserters of Z/962. These were interrogated and gave information of MG post, which was communicated to 138 Field Regiment, 1 RIrF and Troop NIH.

0915 After consulting RA, Zero was fixed for 1230hrs.

1040 Information was received that a deserter captured by 36 Brigade said the garrison had been ordered last night to withdraw. 2 LIR were ordered to see of Heidous was clear and, if so, go on to pt 322.

1045 Commander 138 Field Regiment notified that registration completed. US troops now at pt 485. Two enemy coys withdrew up Farm Du Bed Valley. During the morning, a mule train reached 6 Innisks unmolested.

1140 2 LIR reported our artillery had been engaged saddle pt 620 and 622.

1230 Zero hour for 1 RIrF attack.

1235 1 RIrF reported left coy on start line and no opposition.

1305 D Coy nearly on pt 622. Some trouble in Butler’s Hill.

1340 6 Innisks were to take advantage of 1 RIrF attack to work their way forward and at 1340 their smoke screen could be seen on Tanngoucha.

1400 6 Innisks to 1 RIrF: “Coy on right can get in with grenades. Only a few snipers.”

1405 Identifications reported: “Butler’s Hill 10/756, 3/962 and 1/962.

1410 Decided to send coy 2 LIR as 1 RIrF reserve.

1415 White flag seen on Tanngoucha. 6 Innisks occupied pt 620.

1 RIrF reported Butler’s Hill and pt 622 taken with over 30 PoWs.

1420 Forward move of artillery discussed. Essential to cover ground while this being done.

1540 Decided to send wire to Bttns, and keep tanks forward (as measure against counter attack) until last light.

1600 1 RIrF coys reported at 562456, 560460, 555455, 558457.

1610 6 Innisks ordered to hold pt 620 and patrol to Halfa after dark.

1620 6 Innisks said day patrol to Halfa reported no sign of enemy or trenches – this was confirmed by a PoW, who said his coy (10/756) had moved east from there.

1815 2 LIR reported coy moving forward to Heidous. No opposition.

1820 Entering Heidous.

1845 6 Innisks coys at 569457, 567454, 564454.

6 Innisks and 1 RIrF were ordered to get forward companies on Halfa and Ahmar and prepare to go forward after first light 26 April.

Night Quiet Night – 6 Innisks patrolled Halfa and both Bttns started getting their forward company up without incident. 2 LIR kept a coy in Heidous, there was nothing to report.


1 RIrF – KEF EL TIOUR.

A Coy attack Butler’s Hill and D Coy point 622. Zero hour 1230. A Coy come under heavy MG fire and had difficulty in getting on. Troop of tanks in support managed to get onto Butler’s Hill and helped neutralise fire. A Coy suffered heavy casualties. Coy Commander Captain MT McDonald was wounded

1415 Butler’s Hill and pt 622 reported taken. Full account of attack on 622 by D Coy in Appendix.

1600 Disposition of coys 562456, 560460, 555455, 558457.

1745 Received orders for further advance. Ordered to send one coy to Ahmar 484.

Read the battalion’s account.

Lance Sergeant Hugh Blair, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Corporal William Ball, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lieutenant Peter Sillem, Welch Regiment attached to the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier James Tilson, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Douglas Constable, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lance Corporal Michael Rogan, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Cyril Willis, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier John Duval, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lance Corporal James Clarke, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Leonard Keating, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Anthony Young, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


6 Innisks – TANNGOUCHA.

38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade makes third and successful attempt to capture the strong and dominating Tanngoucha and pt 622 features. The RIrF on our left attack pt 622 and Butler’s Hill, while we were to get onto Tanngoucha as opportunity offers. B Coy move up to take over right rear coy of 1 RIrF.

Zero at 1230hrs. A Coy and smoke put down by FOO with 6 Innisks are able to give material assistance to the capture of pt 622, where a number of prisoners were taken. As soon as this is complete, A Coy and C Coy advance under small arms covering fire from B Coy and 1 RIrF to Tanngoucha and the saddle on the left. Little enemy resistance is encountered and occupation is complete by 1440hrs. Remainder of Bttn comes up to consolidate with A Coy at the forward end of Tanngoucha, C Coy at the rear, B Coy in reserve on the middle between Tanngoucha and pt 622. MMGs and 3” Mortars are distributed under commanders of coys, and Bttn HQ remains in previous location. Considerable quantities of German and captured British equipment were found on the rock.

59 prisoners were taken. Casualties today were: 16 ORs. The body of Lieut Hill was found and removed for burial.

After occupation, the position was heavily shelled by the enemy but without causing casualties. Patrols during the night failed to make contact with the enemy.

The battalion’s account here.

Fusilier Henry Boyd, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR.

Battalion to patrol into enemy territory to ensure that they do not evacuate positions unknown to us.

1 RIrF to attack Point 622 (5645) at 1250.

1030 Several enemy ran from Pimple as our artillery shell it.

1200 Artillery lay barrage on Tanngoucha and Point 622.

1230 1 RIrF advances on Point 622 on 2 company front supported by 5 Churchills, C Squadron 142 RAC.

1250 Artillery lay heavy smoke screen across Tanngoucha. All opposition overcome.

15 prisoners of war taken.

1340 6 Innisks advance on to Tanngoucha. No opposition.

1430 Enemy shell Point 622 and Tanngoucha. 48 shells.

1500 G Company under command 1 RIrF take up positions on Point 622.

1730 E Company advance on to Heidous and Sandy Ridge.

1900 E Company established.


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