Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


2 LIR – December 1942

Bougie, Algeria.

1 to  4 December 1942

Battalion at unit concentration area.

Unloading supplies from ships in harbour.

Irish Brigade comment: now named Bejaia, the port is about 100 miles east of Algiers on the coast of Algeria. The Brigade had disembarked in Algiers but then travelled by train to Bougie. Brigade members were mystified why they hadn’t travelled by ship directly to the port.


6 December

Battalion move by road to divisional concentration area. (Armoured) carrier, mortar and anti-tank platoons follow as separate unit.

Tunisia

6 December

First night. Battalion reached Le Kroub, 15 kilometres east of Constantine (Algeria).


7 December

Crossed Tunisian border. Rest at Guardimaou.

Commanding officer and Company commanders went forward to recce battalion positions.


8 December

Third night. Battalion parked on roadside near Nebeur 10 kilometres north of Le Kef.

Carriers, mortars and anti-tank platoons take up defensive positions in Teboursouk area.


Teboursouk/Tunisia

9 December

Battalion HQ established 5 kilometres south of Teboursouk (map reference 278 023). E, F, & H companies dig in on hills. G company (at) 344068.

Battalion in defensive positions on right flank of 1st Army.


10 December

11 platoon moved out to Bou Arada to recce for F Company.

Rifleman Childs (carrier platoon) accidentally killed by 75 grenade.


11 December

Remainder of F company, 1 squadron of tanks, 1 troop of 25 pounders, 2 Bofors under command of Major Nicholson (of) 25 Lancers, moved off to patrol in Pont du Fahs area.

2 sections of 16 Platoon on standing patrol in Le Krib area.


11 December

17 Platoon moved to area 273 991 to standing patrol to protect gunners


12 December

First report of F Company. 2 accidental casualties. 1 fatal.


13 December

18 Platoon moved into divisional reserve.


14 December

18 Platoon moved from divisional reserve.


17 December

Commanding officer visited F Company at El Aroussa.


19 December

F Company return to battalion after successful patrol activity and take up former positions.


20 December

0845 2 Messerschmitt fighters machine-gun transport column and hit one French truck inflicting casualties on road outside battalion HQ.

Battalion is ordered to move to forward area Medjez el-Bab.

1900 E Company moved to new positions. 


21 December

0700 Commanding officer went off to recce new area to rendezvous in hills east of Medjez el-Bab with company commanders.


22 December

1900 Battalion moved by motor transport to area 5012.


24 December

0900 Battalion moved by motor transport to 6515. Battalion HQ established at Farm 653130. Motor transport returned to A Echelon area 5012, less essential vehicles.


25 December

Forward observation post established in mosque on Si Attia with assistance of DYs (Derbyshire Yeomanry) (6th Armoured Division OP Number 2).

Companies send out local patrols but no contact was made with enemy.

Best wishes for Christmas received from General Officer Commanding; Divisional Command and Brigade Command.

Major J McCann to 6th Battalion Inniskillings as second-in-command.


26 December

Battalion HQ moved to Farm 662 140.

Lieutenant C (Charles) J Reidy posted to 6th Armoured Division as liaison officer.

Companies (?) attacked Fm (farm) 714 134 but found no enemy. Two men of H Company injured by grenade.

F Company patrol area 695127 to ambush enemy motor transport but have no luck.

H Company patrol area 705147 from 1800 to 0200 hrs, with no result.


27 December

1400 Observation post observes 8 parachutists in farm 718154 with machine gun. They retire into buildings when fired upon by H Company’s light machine guns.


28 December

0200 E F & Companies attack farm 713157, found no enemy, and were informed by French occupant that Germans had left at 1800 hrs on previous evening.

1500 Observation post observed considerable activity west of Goubellat.


29 December

0100 Battalion moved back to area 5919 by transport.

E Company 5617. F Company 5517. G Company Pt 308 5618. H Company 5519. Battalion HQ 558187.

Standing patrol sent out to Rd June 578192.

Companies send out local patrols but do not have luck to contact enemy.


30 December

Battalion at two hours notice. Ready to move to Pichon to support French troops.

Lieutenant V C Joseph admitted to ADS 1 Forward Ambulance.


31 December

Battalion back to normal under brigade control.

Battalion allotted daily patrol area 56-66-16 from 0800 hrs-1200 hrs.

Quartermaster from NAAFI with cigarettes and whiskey for battalion which finishes the old year off nicely and gives us good heart for the New Year.