Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


6 Innisks – June 1943

1st June – HELIOPOLIS.

Awards confirmed by GOC in C 1st Army to Lieut C Clarke MC, and L/Cpl EH Teare DCM.

Lieut DFS Schayek rejoined Bttn on recovery from wounds.


2nd June – HELIOPOLIS.

Sgt Hadden and L/Cpl Herbert awarded Commendation Cards.

The MMG Platoon disbanded as a separate unit. Two sections of Carriers Platoon to be linked with MMGs. 


4th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Bttn commences individual and weapon training. In addition to an Officers’ and Section Leaders’ course under Bttn arrangements, Brigade specialist courses for Signals, SBs, carriers and mortars are being held.

A/Tk Platoon is attached to 64 A/Tk Regiment RA, and Pioneer Platoon is attached to Field Coy RE.


5th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Captain McPhillips joined the Bttn and took over A Coy. Lieut JBA Miller, Lieut JE Mathew, Lieut JD Long also joined the Bttn along with 10 other ranks.


9th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Retreat played on football ground by massed Pipes and Drums of Brigade.


10th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Major PR Savage joined the Bttn  and took over C Coy.

Major SJ Bunch reverted to T/Captain.

Captain RJ Dilson posted to 152 Field Ambulance.

Lieut KFC Brown RAMC joined this unit.

30 ORs transferred from LIR.


12th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Bttn Sports Meeting. A Company won Company prize.

Captain DK McCaldin MC returned to Bttn on recovery from wounds.


14th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Lieut A Ferriss appointed assistant Adjutant.


17th June – HELIOPOLIS.

The Bttn lined the road outside the camp on the occasion of the visit of HM the King to inspect 78 Division.


18th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Waterloo Day. Training continued as usual for a future Waterloo. Football March – Officers v Sergeants. Waterloo night celebrated in traditional manner in Officers’ and Sgts’ messes. Brigadier Russell and L-Col Butler were guests. There was considerable numbers of cases of mild dysentery caused by flies, which are as bad as the heat and the dust.


19th June – HELIOPOLIS.

Bttn inter platoon shoot. Bttn HQ were the team winners. A Plate shoot was won by officers.


20th June – HELIOPOLIS.

The officers of the Bttn entertained in the Sgts’ Mess.


21st June – HELIOPOLIS.

Platoon training starts.

The part played by the Bttn in the N African campaign has been written by eyewitnesses, edited by Capt Hanna,


23rd June – HELIPOLIS.

Advance party moved to Hammamet.


25th June – IN TRANSIT.

Bttn moved via Heliopolis, Souk Aras. Souk el Khemis to staging area.


26th June – IN TRANSIT.

Bttn continued via Souk el Arba and Tunis to new Divisional area near Hammamet. Bttn area is situated in olive grove (K 1846) between the main road and the railway. The trees afford plenty of shade, but ground is very sandy. Water is available from wells.

The men have still got bivouac and sand fly nets. Many of the officers still have Axis Tentaga, but there are no accommodation stores.


27th June – HAMMAMET.

Recce and allotment of training area. The area covers about 3 square miles west of the main north of the camp.

The new camp is within close proximity of the sea (approximately 3 miles), where there are ideal facilities for bathing. The scrubby nature of the training area has also better facilities than the last area. Heat and dust are considerable and there is a high degree of humidity.


28th June – HAMMAMET.

Bttn training programme continued with Platoon and Coy training.

Major WD Davies joined the Bttn from the KRR and took over 2nd in command. 4 Officers per day are now being granted 48 hours leave in Tunis.


29th June – HAMMAMET.

Captain RM Bayley appointed A/Major


30th June – HAMMAMET.

Bttn visited by General Montgomery, who announced the changing of the 78 Division to 8th Army.