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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 – 26th to 29th February 1944


26th February

Brigade HQ.

36 Brigade move forward to Divisional concentration area. 38 Brigade to remain in present locations. Rain all day. Operations hampered and delayed. Indoor training, where possible, by battalions.


1 RIrF.

Platoon training.


6 Innisks – BELLANA.

Weather wet, visibility fair, wind light.

There was no outdoor training owing to the bad weather. Weapon training was carried out and lectures given on the situation on the Anzio bridgehead and around Cassino.

1315 The Brigadier paid a social visit to the bttn.

1730 The CO held his daily conference. The subjects dealt with were

  1. A recce to be made for a bttn exercise including a river crossing.
  2. Discussion on observations of the river crossings by 2 LIR.
  3. Admin points.

The CO agreed to the employment of two civilians in each coy cookhouse. Their particulars to be registered in Bttn HQ.

Lieut PA Hamilton rejoined this unit from hospital and is posted to B Coy.


2 LIR.

0630 Fairly heavy rain.

0800 Company training. River crossing exercise by Battle Patrol and Pioneer Platoon.

1000 Rain commences.

1030 Company bathing parades.

1200 CO’s Conference.

1400 Company Bathing Parades.

1700 Bttn HQ Guard supplied by S Company.

1800

Weather:- Fairly heavy rain since 1000 hrs.



27th February

Brigade HQ.

MMG D support Group reverted to command 56 Recce. Rear division move forward to Divisional concentration area. Rain all day. Operations postponed.


1 RIrF.

Platoon Training.


6 Innisks – BELLANA.

Weather wet, visibility fair, wind fair.

Owing to heavy rain, it was not possible to do any outdoor training and the day was taken up with inside work such as lectures; in particular the 5th Army front, tactical handling of weapons and a complete check of kit.

0930 Divine services were held for C of Es and RCs.

1200 The bttn was addressed by the new CO Lieut-Col HEN Bredin MC. He introduced himself and brought out some points, which he wants carried out.


2 LIR.

0700 Morning dry but overcast.

0930 Voluntary C of E and RC Church Services.

0930 CO’s Inspection of Company books and files.

1030 Cinema party leaves for Caserta.

1900 Lt Col Bredin MC and party of officers from 6 Innisks arrive for dinner in Officers’ Mess.

Weather:- Heavy showers throughout day.



28th February

Brigade HQ.

0800 Rain stops. 6 Innisks carry out bttn scheme.

1400 Boxing match 2 LIR and 1 RIrF. 2 LIR won. Brigade Commander to 78 Division HQ for conference. TEWT on cooperation with tanks arranged to be held on 1st March, now postponed to 2nd March. Officers down to coy commander and equivalent from all three battalions to attend. COs to act as DS to their own bttns. TEWTS on similar lines to be arranged within battalions down to NCOs.


1 RIrF.

Following immediate award notified under 13 Corps 1279/12/A dated 22 Feb.  MM. to No 3860577 Sgt T Lyth.

6 Innisks – BELLANO.

Weather overcast, visibility good, wind light.

A bttn exercise was held to practise control in a night attack.

1830 The CO held his conference and the points discussed were:

  1. The bttn exercise – lessons learnt.
  2. Tuesday A and B Coys to practise river crossings with a night exercise.
  3. Wednesday evening patrol exercise.
  4. A duty piper each day and the pipes and drums to play at Guard Mounting when available.

A boxing tournament was held between 2 LIR and 1 RIrF. Many officers and men attended. In the evening, a bttn concert was held in which a number of guest artistes from 10 Forward Battery took part. It was a good show and very much appreciated by those who attended.


2 LIR.

0630 Morning – showery.

0800 Company training.

1430 Brigade Boxing Contest 2 LIR v 1 RirF.

Very good show and high standard of boxing.

Result –

2 LIR 18 points (eight bouts)

1 RIrF 15 points (bouts)

Brigadier present.

1430 CO’s Office.

1730 MO’s lecture to NCOs.

Bn HQ Guard supplied by E Company.

1900 CO 2 i/c and IO go to dinner with Brigadier.

Captain Jones-Davies (RA ChD) attached to bttn as C of E Chaplain in places of Captain Graydon BA MC who ceases to be attended.

Weather:- Sunny and mild with occasional showers.



29th February

1 RIrF.

Platoon training.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.


6 Innisks – BELLANA.

Weather showers, visibility good, wind light.

The bttn carried out normal training, including river crossings with assault boats, 30 yards range etc.

1730 The CO held his daily conference, subjects discussed were:

  1. TEWT and bttn exercise with tanks.
  2. Wednesday – night patrols. Each company to find a patrol and one officer as an umpire.
  3. Admin points.

2 LIR.

0630 Considerable rain during night and still raining.

0800 Company training.

0830 Leave parties proceed to Campobasso.

0900 CO, adjutant and IO proceed to Naples to visit Lt Col McCann.

1400 Football match. H Company and S Company postponed owing to rain.

1700 Bttn HQ Guard supplied by F Company.

1830 CO, adjutant and IO return from Naples.

Weather:- Frequent showers during the day. Ground very muddy.



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