Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


1 RIrF – March 1944

1st March. 

Platoon Training.


2nd March.

Platoon Training.


3rd March.

Platoon Training.


4th March.

Platoon Training.


5th March.

Platoon Training.


6th March.

Platoon Training.


7th March.

Platoon Training.


8th March.

Platoon Training.


9th March.

Platoon Training.


10th March.

Platoon Training.


11th March.

Platoon Training.


12th March.

Platoon Training.


13th March.

Platoon Training.


14th March.

Platoon Training.


15th March.

Platoon Training.


16th March.

Platoon Training.


17th March.

Battalion under four hours notice to move wef 0001 hours


18th March.

Platoon Training.


19th March.

Platoon Training.


20th March.

Platoon Training.


21st March.

1445 Message from Brigade:- TAC recce parties incl coys RV railway crossing 988117 1800 hrs.  General move expected midday 22 March.

1600 CO, IO, one Intelligence Fusilier and Coy Commanders (less HQ Coy) left for recce.  Not returning.


22nd March.

Move order received from Brigade (Appendix).

1255 Move order issued.

1400 Order for taking up defensive position east bank of river Gari 2716.

1615 Head past Battalion SP. Head past Brigade S.P.

1800 Head at 993122.  Progress forward from there very slow.

2030 Head at DP. (station 923140).  Coys marched to respective areas in order A, C, B, D, S, Bn. HQ.  Blankets and stores ferried forward by jeeps and carriers.


23rd March.

0200 Relief complete. A, B, C Coys put out protective patrols.

0900 Patrol warned for night.  One section D Coy listening post 861142.  One section D Coy listening patrol 881136.  Battle patrol (Lt RW Gamble and 9 men) ambush patrol 877132.

1830 18 mortar bombs 874145 (A Coy’s night position, but A Coy had not yet moved forward).  Counter mortar organisation.  Each forward Coy one OP and fourth OP manned by 1 Section.


24th March.

0300 Patrol returned NTR except Battle Patrol which had heard voices and tracked vehicles across river.

0545 8 mortar bombs 880147 (A Coys day position – one OR slightly wounded).

0900 Three patrols warned.  All ambush patrols of NCO and 9 men.  One of Battle Patrol 877132.  Two from D Coy to 872140 and 866143.

1800 6 mortar bombs 880149.


25th March.

0130 7 shells area 87114.

0134 8 shells area 8814.

0300 All patrols back.  NTR except Battle Patrol which at 2100 hrs heard and saw about 20 vehicles with lights about 875124, and at 2130 hrs heard 4 bursts MG fire about 887127.

0900 Received warning order to move night 25/26 to area 9804. Following patrols warned:  D Coy NCO and 9 men ambush patrol at each 866143 and 870136.

Lt RW Gamble and 9 men Battle Patrol 877132.  All to return on single white verey light being fired from B Coy area, which they ACK with one white verey light.

1000 Visit by Brigade Commander with reps 2 NZ Cavalry to hand over sector night 25/26 to 2 NZ Cavalry and move to area 9804.

1225 OP No 4 took bearing on flash of Nebelwerfer, target identified and shot up.

1520 OP No 4 again got a flash bearing.

1835 Op No 4 took another flash bearing, target engaged, burst into flames.

1930 12 mortar bombs on A Coys night position.  No casualties.  Sound bearing taken and two likely targets engaged.

2000 A Coy relief complete.


26th March.

0200 Relief complete.  Coys moving away by coy groups.

0500 Rear party arrived new location 989053.


27th March.

1230 Warning order received for move to Mt Castellone area (8324).

Admin and rest.


28th March.

Admin and rest.


29th March.

Admin and rest.

Movement order No 4 issued.


30th March.

Admin and rest.

1500 Recce party leaves.

1530 Main body moved.

1700 Recce party arrived San Michele 9023 and awaited darkness.

1800 Main body arrived San Michele and settled down in bivouacs.

1830 Recce party forward with guides from III/4 RTT.

1930 Recce party reached Battalion HQ III/4 RTT 841245.  Coy commanders went to coys with their opposite numbers:  B Coy area 840251, D Coy area 830250, C Coy in reserve area 847260, A Coy in reserve at CAIRO 84224.  D Coy to have 2 MMGs under command, remainder MMGs and all 3” mortars area 843247.


31st March.

1925 Marching troops left San Michele guided by IO (returned for purpose) with one platoon from rear coy to be dropped off at all turnings.

2240 All marching troops past track junction 844242.