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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 – 1st to 5th July 1944


1st July

Brigade HQ – PANICALE.

On 25 June, advance parties from each battalion and Brigade HQ concentrated under divisional arrangements and left for train for Caserta the next day. Information was very scarce and it was known that the division was to go to a concentration area near Rome preparatory to handing over all stores and transport before leaving Italy for an unknown destination. The whole brigade was out of the line and the remainder of the division was to be relieved of its commitments west of Lake Trasimene within the next few days. Advance parties to recce the concentration area near Rome left at 1500 hrs. Orders were issued for the brigade to move em-bused tomorrow to the new concentration area. Head of column past SP at 0500 hrs and order of march to be Brigade HQ, 6 Innisks, 2 LIR, 1 RIrF, 214 Field Coy,  D Support Group


1 RIrF – CASTLE 475881.

Admin received move order No 13 – 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade, followed by amendment.

1040 Issue bttn move order No 8.


6 Innisks – LAKE TRASIMENE.

Weather fine and sunny.

This was the last day of the bttn’s stay in the area south of Lake Trasimene and much of the time was taken up in packing and preparing for the move south.

1400 6 Innisks Movement Order issued.

1630 Brigade Commander visited Bttn HQ to discuss future moves.


2 LIR – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

1200 Bttn warned for move back to Tivoli area on 2/7/44. Advance party to leave at 1400 hrs 1/7/44,

1500 TCVs from 4 Indian Division arrive in bttn area.



2nd July

Brigade HQ – PANICALE.

0500 Brigade column passed SP for concentration area near Rome.

A halting place was arranged for units to halt for one hour at midday to make tea and have a haversack lunch. The head of the column started to arrive in the concentration area by about 1445 hrs and the whole brigade was reported in the area by 1800 hrs. It was a very long journey for the carriers, many of which broke down and were not complete until the following morning.

1600 Brigade HQ established. Map ref F 905730. Remainder of Brigade Group in areas around Brigade HQ


1 RIrF – CASTLE 475881.

0630 Left castle. Brigade SP 0730 hrs.

1830 Bttn consolidated area 8873.


6 Innisks – LAKE TRASIMENE.

Weather – fine and warm – light cloud.

0330 Reveille. Final preparations were made for the move and the bttn was em-bused by 0415 hrs.

0430 Bttn moved off and made a good journey with a one hour’s stop at midday near Viterbo.

1515 Bttn arrived in its new area, midway between Rome and Tivoli and was soon settled in, owing to the good work of the bttn advance party. Shortly after the bttn arrived, the MBU came along and was soon established and working.

In the evening, the Divisional Dance Band played in the bttn area and gave a very good performance.


2 LIR – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0400 Bttn cooks’ trucks leave for intermediate area.

0530 Bttn ready to move. Order of march – Bttn HQ,  HQ, E, F, G, H and S Coy, B Echelon.

0600 Bttn pass Brigade SP.

1400 One hour’s halt for hot meal.

1600 Bttn HQ arrive in area Stazione Lunshezza 899699. All coys and B Echelon in same area. 



3rd July

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

As soon as the battalions had settled down in the new concentration area, arrangements were quickly made to give men as much leave in Rome as possible. Daily leave trucks – as many as could be spared – were to be sent in each day from each battalion, returning camp at 2230 hrs. Therefore, every man was able to get into Rome either every other day or once every three days.  In addition to allowing the men as much leave as possible, there was considerable work to be done during the next few days getting everything ready for the handover. Vehicles had to be checked and cleaned and all G 1098 stores that were going to be taken with us to be packed and stored in crates.


1 RIrF – TIVOLI.

Day leaves to Rome. Four Canadian officers joined bttn. Major Clark MC i/c bttn. Telegram conveying congratulations of Division and Brigade Commander to Father Dan on award of MC.


6 Innisks – TIVOLI.

Weather – fine and warm.

Day passes to Rome for 30% of the bttn personnel were issued. Personnel were conveyed to Rome in unit transport.

1000 Church parade for C of Es.

The remainder of the battalion spent a quiet day cleaning up and making themselves comfortable.


2 LIR – TIVOLI.

0900 Bttn cadres recommenced. Parties proceed to Rome on day leave.



4th July

Brigade HQ – ITALY

Leave parties to Rome continue. All battalions continue preparations for handing over stores and transport.


1 RIrF – TIVOLI.

Continue day leaves.


6 Innisks – TIVOLI.

Weather fine and warm.

30% day passes to Rome continued.

The day was quiet and uneventful; and in the evening, a mobile film unit showed the film “Hide ‘Em Cowboy”, which was enjoyed by all present.


2 LIR – TIVOLI.

0800 All transport (except necessary vehicles to B Echelon in preparation for handover.

0900 Parties proceed to Rome on day leave.

1800 Bttn Sports.

1945 Bttn Sports postponed halfway through owing to arrival of Divisional Concert Party.


5th July

Brigade HQ – ITALY.

Leave parties for Rome continue. Battalions prepare stores and transport for handing over. Advance parties of 56 Division arrive during the evening. Advance party 169 Brigade report to this HQ to take over transport and all stores. Preparations commence to organise a dance to be given by officers of Brigade HQ to the officers of the Brigade Group and also to arrange a restaurant for the men as the feeding arrangements in Rome were not of the highest order.


6 Innisks – TIVOLI.

Weather fine and warm.

Quiet day with no important events. There were the usual allotment of day passes to Rome.


2 LIR – TIVOLI.

0900 Parties leave for day in Rome.

1000 All G1098 stores to be handed in to QM stores.

1800 Second half of Bttn Sports held. Prizes presented to sections and platoons.

2030 ENSA film show in bttn area.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Charles Edwards, London Irish Rifles.



 

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