Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


1 RIrF – February 1944

1st February.

1000 Advance party (one officer, one OR per coy) to new location.

1130 Advance party incoming unit arrived.

1230 Castel Di Sangro shelled.  Strafe Two fired.

1700 Movement Order No 2 issued.

1800 Reps incoming unit go to each coy.

Routine night patrols.  R. Sangro 3ft 6ins


2nd February.

0600 Heavy mist.

1000 Incoming unit arrives and wait 2 miles behind Rionero.  Incoming coy moved up to pt 1210 (0944) to relieve A Coy 6 Innisks.

1200 Mist clears.

1430 Relief A Coy 6 Innisks complete.

1630 A Coy 6 Innisks leave Rionero by TCV and cease to be under command on passing Brigade SP.

1730 Unit vehicles forward to Castel Di Sangro and pt 1041 (0946) to  offload incoming unit’s weapons and stores and load up with our B, C and D Coys.

A Coy by TCV to 102475, thence march to protect road Castel Di Sangro – road junction 0749 during take-over.

1800 Incoming coys (two) by TCV to 102475 thence march to Castel Di Sangro.

1830 HQ Coy and unit vehicles A Coy leave Rionero.

Incoming coy TCV to pt. 1041 (0946) to relieve C Coy.

2100 C Coy relieved leaves Rionero by TCV.

2110 Incoming coys (2) reach Castel Di Sangro.

2200 Unit vehicles (B and D Coys) from Castel Di Sangro reach.

2230 Rionero and leave for Campobasso.

3rd February.

0200 B and D coys embussed in TCVs at 102475.

0210 A Coy embussed at 102475.

0230 A, B, D Coys leave Rionero.

0300 CO, I.O, OC HQ Coy, Rear Link signals vehicle left Rionero.

0730 All vehicles reported in at Campbasso


4th February.

Admin.  Lt G Coetzee joined.


5th February.

Admin.


6th February.

Training. Snow.


7th February.

Training. Snow.


8th February.

Training. Snow.


9th February.

Training. Snow.


10th February.

Training. Fine.


11th February.

Training. Snow.


12th February.

Training. Dull.


13th February.

Training. Cloudy.


14th February.

1230 Verbal warning order from Brigade for move.  Purpose and destination unknown.  Advance parties ready to move at once.  Main body not to move before 0830 hrs 15 Feb.

1530 Received 38 Brigade 039 warning order for move.

1800 Verbal warning order from Brigade.  Main body moves 1030 hrs 15 Feb.

2045 Received 28 Brigade March Table No 15 (Appendix).

2130 Adv party left for Alife 2803.

2159 Issued March Table No 3.


15th February.

0900 Verbal instruction from Brigade Major to cross SP half an hour earlier than time stated in written order.

1000 Head past Battalion SP.

1035 Head past Brigade SP.

1500 Head at Brigade DP.  No signs of guides.  Enquiry from Provost elicited the information that Division was gone north of R. Volturno near Capua (N1778).  Route road junction N2597 – Caiazzo N3086 road junction N2

1655 Head arrived N188801 where Battalion was to concentrate 18812.

1715 Tail arrived.  All vehicles except pioneer ammunition truck and HQ Coy 3 tonner.  Weather mild and coys had about one bivouac tent for every 3 men.  Battalion at 6 hrs notice.

1945 Visited by Brigade Commander (Brigadier Nelson Russell DSO MC) who estimated our stay in present location at least 4 or 5 days.

2300 Message from Brigade giving their location Vitulazio N1884 and Admin details.


16th February.

1130 Remaining vehicles arrived (one Ammunition lorry and HQ coy 3 tonner).

Platoon training.


17th February.

Platoon training.


18th February.

Platoon training.  Divisional Commander at conference announced that this Division was in Army reserve and its probable role would be exploitation of the intended break-through the German Cassino – R. Garigliano line.  Special order of the day by Brigadier N Russell DSO. MC.  Brigadier TPD Scott DSO assumed command of 38 (Irish) Inf. Brigade


19th February.

Platoon training.


20th February.

Rest day (Sunday).


21st to 27th February.

Platoon training.


28th February.

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


29th February.

Platoon training.