Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


1 RIrF – August 1944

1st August – QASSASSIN.

Continue light training and leave. Received draft of 2 and 31 from 2 Skins.

2nd August – QASSASIN.

Admin received move Order No 14 – 38 (Irish) Brigade plus Appendix A.

3rd August – QASSASSIN.

Received further detail re above above.

4th August – QASSASSIN.

Leaves continue, all ranks taking advantage of facilities provided.

5th August – QASSASIN.

1 RIrF Move Order No 2 issued.

6th August – QASSASIN.

High wind and dust storms. Packing preparatory to move. Captain Chambers and Major Crehan rejoin battalion on discharge from No 1 General Hospital.

7th August – QASSASSIN.

0400 Reveille. Bttn moved to Sidi Bishr area. First trucks rolling in about 1700 hrs. Some arrived very late through having run out of petrol. First glimpses of Alex, led one to anticipate much in the way of entertainment and relaxation. The camp is set among sand dunes and date palms and is not far from bus and tram lines or the beach.

8th August – SIDI BISHR.

Made recce of rifle ranges. Troops proceed to make themselves comfortable.

9th August – SIDI BISHR

IO, Sergeant, and two Fusiliers start a photo interpretation course under divisional instructors. PT course carries on at Brigade Training consists of PT, conditioning marches and range work for bttn.

10th August – SIDI BISHR.

Day leaves organising to Alex. 23 ORs s/o to CMC.

11th August – SIDI BISHR.

Officers’ mess ‘dine in’ night with guests from other units. CO proceeded to Cairo for conference re disturbances in Cairo personnel of 78 Division.

12th August – SIDI BISHR.

Police Commissioners dance well attended and looked like a Brigade reunion. Pipe Band at this unit entertained with music and dances.

13th August – SIDI BISHR.

CO addressed the bttn on the subject of the recent demonstration in Cairo and the possible consequences. Lieut Doyle to hospital

14th August – SIDI BISHR.

Captain Rawlings to hospital. Discussion in the Mess on the merits of an Empire Army to garrison the Empire and its outposts.

15th August – SIDI BISHR.

Invasion of southern France received with enthusiasm. I section construct 20 foot sand model for CO’s talk on the battle of San Giovanni

16th August – SIDI BISHR.

Early morning demonstration by camp guard for any locals lurking around.

17th August – SIDI BISHR.

Lecture by CO on tank cooperation, followed by sand table discussion. The latter was attended by Tank, Skin and Brigade officers and officers from the Egyptian Army.

18th August – SIDI BISHR.

Coy representatives heard an excellent talk at brigade on escapes and escape devices.

19th August – SIDI BISHR.

Major McNally left unit for METC. Advance party left.

20th August – SIDI BISHR.

Captain Rawlings rejoined unit. 100 men and assorted officers stood by to assist in expected Greek riots in Alex which did not materialise.

The following decorations were awarded wef 30th May:

DSO.

Lt Col JH Horsfall, MC.

MC.

Captain GL Richards, MM.

Lieut JV Lloyd.

DCM

6976361 CSM P Payne.

7047043 Sgt A Cross.

MM

7012472 CSM Storey.

6975123 Sgt P Bunting.

7046643 Sgt F Higgins.

7044677 Sgt S Sanderson.

3777718 L/Sgt G Mammell.

3774728 L/Cpl Girvan

22ndAugust – SIDI BISHR.

Brigade Boxing Championships were held, the LIR winning 3, the Skins 2 and this unit 3.

23th August – SIDI BISHR.

Visit by Divisional Commander, Major General Butterworth DSO.

Mr Hansen to hospital. A brigade party was held in the officers mess (LIR) for the Skins.

24th August – SIDI BISHR.

Brigade boxing team took on the RAF and won four out of six bouts. Should have won five, only one lad had the misfortune to foul his opponent.

25th August – SIDI BISHR.

Officers entertained the Sergeants in the Officers Mess. The party was a success.

26th August – SIDI BISHR.

Lieut Carver, Lieut Tyler, Lieut Lloyd Davis, 2/Lieut Beaver, 2/Lieut Melliard and 2/Lieut Pretorius joined the unit. Officers’ Mess Dance attended by guests from LIR, Skins, Brigade, ATS, WRNS, WAAF was a great success.

Further decorations awarded –

MC – Capt Phelan, Capt Manson.

MM – Fusilier Hobden.

MBE – Lieut E Macginnis.

27th August – SIDI BISHR.

Major Crehan to hospital with burst eardrum. MT left for embarkation.

28th August – SIDI BISHR.

I Section building another 20 foot model. This time of the area north of River Sangro to San Vito.

29th August – SIDI BISHR.

This am, officers and NCOs listened to lectures on village clearing mines etc. In afternoon, IO gave a short talk on Security.

30th August – SIDI BISHR.

Captain RCP Jefferies joined bttn.

31st August – SIDI BISHR.

Visit from General Paget, C in C, MEF. Sgt’s Mess ‘Stag Party’ for Navy, well attended with visitors from  Officers’ Mess.