Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


Edward O’Reilly

Edward O’Reilly, a 24 year old from Co Cavan, was a Corporal in E Company in the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) when he was killed with Sergeant Edward Mayo MM near to Sinagoga on 16th May 1944.

Edward had served with 2 LIR throughout the Irish Brigade’s campaigns in Tunisia and Sicily, and had been awarded a Military Medal in August 1943 for his actions at the River Simeto.

His citation read as follows:

“This NCO was with a leading section on the attack on Sperina on 12 Aug ’43. His section was earlier held up by enemy snipers, MGs and Mortars. Using great skill and in spite of continual sniping and MG fire, this NCO stalked an enemy post and single handedly cleared it and took ten prisoners. He then forced two of his prisoners to dismantle an MG in a second post which he had also cleared.

This action was instrumental in allowing the remainder of his Platoon to move forward and reach their objective. L/Cpl O’Reilly set a fine example throughout the day and his skill and daring are deserving of recognition. I recommend the immediate award of the MM.” 



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