Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


2 Innisks – October 1944

1st October – FANO.

1000 Order to move to Assisi at 1700 hrs received. The Commanding Officer issues orders for bttn move.

1630 It is raining hard. The transport is loaded and the bttn is standing by to move.

1930 Bttn moves out and proceeds on an all night drive to Assisi. 


2nd October – Assisi.

0800 The bttn arrived and a meal is cooked and orders to move at 1200 hrs were issued.

1000 The Commanding Officer and the Intelligence Officer commanding Support Company move to Firenzuola as advance party.

2000 Advance party arrives at Firenzuola. The Brigade Commander informs them that the brigade is taking over a sector from 88th United States Division at Castel del Rio.


3rd October – FIRENZUOLA.

1400 The bttn arrives at Firenzuola and is allotted an area. 


4th October – FIRENZUOLA.

1000 The Bttn O Group moves to Castel del Rio preparatory to take over from 88th United States Division.


5th October – FIRENZUOLA.

0800 IO and Signal Officer proceed to Castel del Rio to allot billets for Bttn HQ.

C and A Coys proceed to take over positions from 88th US Division.

B and D Coys are to remain in reserve.

The bttn area is the defence of the Carseggio ridge.

2100 C and A Coys report take over complete.


6th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1100 The CO goes to 88th Division HQ for a conference with the Brigade Commander.

B and D Coys ordered into reserve on Monte Cappello under command of 2 LIR.

1200 The Second in Command and B and D Coy commanders arrive at Bttn HQ.

B and D Coy commanders go forward to Bttn HQ, 2 LIR. The Second in Command returns to B Echelon to organise the move of B and D Coys.

1215 A Coy report that two enemy have approached the coy position. Bren guns were fired and the enemy retreated.

1700 B and D Coys arrive at Castel del Rio.

2130 B and D Coys leave for Monte Cappello.

2230 Lt Trainer MM returned from patrol and reports Carseggio (013188) clear of the enemy only crossing of river is not possible for mules. (Knee deep in water).


7th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 C Coy patrol leave for Carseggio.

1035 C Coy patrol report Carseggio clear of the enemy. Weather fine.

1400 The CO and IO visit C Coy and inspect bridge at Carseggio.

2100 Patrol (Lt Trainer MM) go forward to La Bicocia. Lt Murray and patrol of A Coy go to Point 286.


8th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0030 A Coy patrol reports Point 286 clear of the enemy.

0100 C Coy patrol report La Biocia clear of enemy. Weather wet.

1000 The CO and IO pays a visit to coys.

1100 One troop tanks arrive under command.

2200 C Coy patrol to La Vecchia and report clear of enemy.


9th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 Brigade Commander gives verbal orders for A Coy to go forward if 4.2 Mortars move forward.

1200 LIR report one killed and four wounded on patrol to Caggio (found by D Coy) by enemy mortars.

The Commanding Officer and Adjutant visit C Coy.

2100 Usual patrols to Caggio. D Coy move to A Coy’s area and revert to own command.


10th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1400 Capt Cole and Lt Scarratt leave for 2 LIR to accompany patrol going to Cardenga for 24 hours.

2100 Lt Corrigan and A Coy patrol river Gaggio. Nothing to report.


11th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1200 Castel Del Rio heavily shelled by the enemy. Several direct hits on 88 Division HQ. O Group to Brown House 1400 hrs.

2100 Lt Bradfield and patrol of D Coy recce house on river Gaggio. House reported occupied.

2330 Capt Cole and Lt Scarratt return from patrol. Two casualties returning.


12th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 CO on recce with Brigade Commander.

1200 300 aircraft bomb the Lombardy Plain. Weather fine.

1500 O Group on recce to 11 Brigade HQ.

1510 Castel del Rio shelled.

2100 Lt Prior and D Coy patrol go to Rio del Gaggio. Nothing to report.

A Coy report one German approached coy position. MMG fired and German ran way. Weather fine.


13th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 CO and IO to Brigade HQ for conference.

1600 Brigade Commander phones with orders for patrol to Gaggio and move forward as information received says enemy are pulling out.

1700 Brigade phone to say information about enemy withdrawing is false.

1900 Patrol to La Vechia and one to Gaggio bridge.

2100 A Coy report German prisoner surrendered to their patrol.


14th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1000 CO pays a visit to coys. Quiet day with nothing to report.

1800 B Coy send usual patrol to La Vechia. Adjutant to brigade for orders.


15th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1100 CO holds O Group for attack on Gaggio ridge. Another quiet day. Usual patrol to Vechia by D Coy.


16th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

Brigade Major phones to say attack is cancelled. Coy Commanders take Platoon Commanders to OP to look at ground. B Coy patrol to La Vechia.


17th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1400 CO 10 RB arrives preparatory to relief of bttn and is taken around positions by the IO.

1700 Message from brigade to say relief postponed 24 hours to 19 October.

1900 A Coy patrol to La Vechia. Nothing to report.


18th October – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1100 CO goes to hospital. Second in Command takes over command of bttn. Orders for move Apollinare received.

1900 B Coy to La Vechia to do Chinese attack. Result NTR.


19th October – APOLLINARE.

0800 CO and Coy Commander to Apollinare on recce.

1100 Relief commences. Bttn goes by TCV in coy blocks to Apollinare and concentrates.

1300 Relief completed.

1700 Bttn concentrated at Apollinare for the night.


20th October – APOLLINARE.

0800 RIrF on objective but cut off by enemy. Two coys lost.

LIR to go to Crows foot tonight. No move for us.


21st October – APOLLINARE.

0900 Orders for attack on Spaduro received. The CO and IO go to OP to look over ground. LIR did not reach objective. Attack postponed.


22nd October – APOLLINARE.

1000 CO goes to brigade. New plans formed re attack Salara ridge from west in conjunction with 11 Brigade attack on Spaduro. IO pays a visit to see route and objective.


23rd October – APOLLINARE.

0830 CO and O Group go to OP to look at ground and route.

1050 Brigade say attack is on tonight.

1400 O Group orders for attack is issued. D Coy to Salara. B Coy to Little Spaduro. C Coy track fork 029259. A Coy to go to Pt 387 if time. Zero hour 2230 hrs.

2000 Bttn starts via La Strada track peters out and we have to follow river bed, going is very bad. Half of B, C  and A Coys get lost, only D and a half of B Coy cross the start line at 2230 hrs and go into the attack.

2330 Remainder of bttn arrive at start line and C and B Coys are pushed on to objective.

They had had casualties from mines.


24th October – APOLLINARE.

0030 D Coy reports on objective. B Coy reports reached Casone.

0130 B Coy on objective, 10 prisoners.

0230 C Coy reports on objective – 4 prisoners taken. Heavy opposition from Pt 387.

0445 CO send A Coy through C Coy to Pt 387.

0535 A Coy reports on objective. 37 prisoners taken.

0700 LIR are to relieve us on Pt 387.

0915 A Coy return from Pt 387 to Casone, in area of Bttn HQ. Numerous RIrF dead found. Total casualties for battle – 3 killed in action, 10 wounded in action.

2030 D Coy sends two platoons to Casa Salara Pt 340.

2300 D Coy report on objective. Patrol through to Salalina report it clear.


25th October – CASONE.

0600 One coy LIR under command on Pt 416.

1000 Brigade informed that 56 Recce taking over LIR position and Pt 387 tonight.

1100 OC 56 Recce comes to recce positions.

1115 The CO holds and O Group.

1900 Lt Murray and patrol of A Coy, patrol to pimples forward of Casa Salara.

2000 56 Recce relieve LIR and C Coy.

2100 Patrol encounter enemy in strength.

2300 Artillery fire laid on and platoon attack launched.


26th October – CASONE.

0100 Lt Murray returned. Reports bumped enemy, casualties one wounded and one missing. Weather conditions appalling.

1000 Mortars experiencing very bad time – impossible to fire. Extremely heavy rain make conditions practically impossible. Mules are lost each night and patrolling is impossible.


27th October – CASONE.

1000 O Group. Arrangements put into operation for all available houses to be used for shelter and drying clothes. RMO starts bedded RAP. Twenty men from D Coy come in with exposure.

1100 S Coy arrives with mules. Four lost out of 12.

1800 C Coy relieves D Coy and a platoon of A relieves B Coy. No patrolling.


28th October – CASONE.

0630 CO visits coys.

1100 Arrangements made for 14 men to go back to the CAR post for 24 hours rest.

Mules arrive in daylight without casualties.

1400 Heavy shelling and mortaring of bttn area, particularly Pt 362 Spaduro.

Gunners shoot up enemy forward of the pimples and inflict many casualties.

No Patrolling.


29th October – CASONE.

1000 O Group at Bttn HQ. Reliefs – A Coy relieves C Coy complete except for one platoon.

1100 Weather is a bit better. Rain ceases. The Brigadier pays a visit to Bttn HQ.

1300 Harassing fire by mortars on pimples Pt 203.

1500 Mules arrive. Minefield to be laid forward of Casa Salara tonight.

1900 Lt Casey and Pioneers lay minefield forward of Casa Salara. Admin Point shelled – one vehicle destroyed and one OR wounded.


30th October – CASONE.

1000 CO’s conference. Admin Point gets more shelling. Admin gets worse, the road from A Echelon to Mule Point closed to all vehicles. Only bare necessities come up each day.

1500 Mortaring and shelling of bttn area. No casualties. Impossible to patrol.


31st October – CASONE.

1000 CO’s conference.

1500 Casa Salara house – 6 direct hits. No casualties. New positions dug. RIrF have one coy, on 386 under command, Lt Giles’ platoon relieves Lt Murray’s platoon.