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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 31st July 1944


26th July

Brigade HQ – QASSASSIN.

Leave parties commence to Cairo, Alexandria and Ishmalia. 25% of unit strength to go at one time for a total period of five days. Day leave is permissible as well to all these three towns, but the majority of the men take advantage of the short distance to spend of their time in Ishmalia.


1 RIrF – QASSASSIN.

Light training and day leaves.


6 Innisks – QASSASSIN.

Weather was warm and bright.

0530 Leave party for Alexandria left camp for the em-busing point and were carried off on a RASC convoy.

0700 Leave party for Cairo left.

0830 Leave party for Ishmalia left.

1400 Lt Col J Kerr spoke to the bttn on the disbanding and introduced Lt Col R Scott as the CO of the 2nd Bttn.

Lt Col Scott expressed his sympathy at the disbandment and extended a hearty a hearty welcome to those people of the 6th, who would be joining the 2nd Bttn.

1430 Swimming parties were organised and taken to Ishmalia on unit transport. The usual party attended the ENSA show in the evening.


2 LIR – EGYPT.

0515 Five day leave parties proceed to Cairo, Alexandria and Ishmalia.

0830 Parties proceed to Cairo and Ishmalia on day leave.

1100 Brigade visits Bttn HQ.

1800 Brigade HQ Guard of 2 NCOs and 18 men supplied by bttn.



27th July

Brigade HQ – QASSASSIN.

0820 Brigade Commander Conference. Subject was the amalgamation of the 2nd and 6th Battalions of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

For the last three days, two Inniskillings’ COs had been drawing what was to form the nucleus of the new battalion and the Brigade Commander’s conference was held with the other two battalions’ COs present to discuss, who could go to the London Irish and the Irish Fusiliers out of the surplus made by the amalgamation of the 2nd and 6th Bttns, Inniskillings.

Day leave parties and training continue.


1 RIrF – QASSASSIN.

Continue.


6 Innisks – QASSASSIN.

Weather very warm and bright sunshine.

The day was very quiet with the normal parades in the morning and swimming parties in the afternoon.

1030 The bttn was visited by General Stone (CIC, ME).

A conference was held at Brigade HQ on the subject of the disbandment of 6 Innisks and arrangements were made to absorb as many of the personnel as possible into the other two bttns so that they would not have to leave the Irish Brigade.

The usual party went to the ENSA show in the evening.

Other troops visited the many cinemas and canteens in the area.


2 LIR – EGYPT.

0830 Day leave parties to Cairo and Ishmalia.

1800 Warning Order for Advance party to be ready for move to new area.



28th July

Brigade HQ – QASSASSIN.

0830 Brigade Commander Conference continues.

Early morning PT and training periods and day leave parties continue.


1 RIrF – QASSASSIN.

Brigade conference.


6 Innisks – QASSASSIN.

Weather very warm with bright sunshine.

The day was very quiet with the normal parades in the morning and swimming parties in the afternoon.

Notification was received that the whole of the brigade allotment for the next leave period would be given to 6 Innisks in order that everyone would get their leave before the disbandment.

6 Innisks Camp Standing Orders were issued to all concerned.


2 LIR – EGYPT.

0830 Day leave parties for Cairo and Ishmalia



29th July

Brigade HQ – QASSASSIN.

1400 Brigade Commander leaves for Cairo to visit GHQ Cairo. Certain problems to be discussed as the Brigade Commander is acting Divisional Commander. He is then going on to Sidi Bishr, just outside Alexandria, to see 2 Innisks.


1 RIrF – QASSASSIN.

Continue light training.


6 Innisks – QASSASSIN.

Weather very warm and bright.

Another quiet day with normal routine.

In the evening, a party from the Sergeants’ Mess went to Ishmalia to a dance. Instructions on the new leave policy (6 Innisks Leave Instruction No 2) were sent out and also a warning that personnel for Alexandria would leave tomorrow, 30th July, instead of on the 31st with the remainder. This was made necessary by the arrangements for this party to stay in Amiriya Transit Camp for the night 30th/31st July continuing to Alexandria early on the 31st.


2 LIR – EGYPT.

0830 Day leave parties for Cairo and Ishmalia.



30th July

Brigade HQ – QASSASSIN.

0600 Leave party to Alexandria depart. They leave a day early in order to spend one night at Amiriya Transit Camp and then onto Alexandria the next day. Early morning PT and training periods and day leave parties continue.


1 RIrF – QASSASSIN.

Received reinforcements.


6 Innisks – QASSASSIN.

Weather fine and warm.

0530 Leave party left for Alexandria.

The remainder of the bttn spent the day in packing up, paying out etc, and making all the necessary arrangements for leave.

Arrangements had been made with 2 LIR for them to supply a guard for the camp, as the first leave party were returning on the transport, which carried the second group to the leave towns. This meant that there would not be anybody in the camp except for the four officers and about six fusiliers, who did not wish to go leave.

1700 2 LIR Guard arrived and were shown to the Guard Room and posts by the RSM.


2 LIR – EGYPT.

0700 Five day leave party to Alexandria and one day leave to Cairo.

0900 CE and RC church services.



31st July

Brigade HQ – QASSASSIN.

0600 Leave parties to Cairo and Ishmalia depart.

All transport taking leave parties will bring back leave parties, whose leave has finished.

Early morning PT and training periods and day leave parties continue.

Farewell message received from Major General CF Keightley on his departure from the Division. He had gone to command 5 Corps.


6 Innisks – QASSASSIN.

Weather fine and warm.

0630 RASC transport for the leave party to Cairo arrived and the bttn, which was paraded on the Bttn Parade Ground, was embossed.

0700 Convoy left for Camp 16 Qassassin where it joined the main convoy to Cairo.

0800 Transport with the personnel for leave at Ishmalia left to join the main convoy to Ishmalia.

The rest of the day was very quiet with nobody in the camp except the 2 LIR guards. The officers had their meals at the Officers’ Club, which was not very far from the camp. In the evening, personnel from the leave party returned, but as these were comparatively few in number, the camp still retained its deserted appearance.


2 LIR – EGYPT.

0830 Day leave parties proceed for Cairo.



 

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