Irish Brigade

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Irish Brigade’

Major Colin Gibbs MC- lionhearted London Irish company commander

Michael Gibbs and Charles Ward with Edmund and Richard O’Sullivan at the London Irish Rifles depot in Camberwell in March 2016 The Irish Brigade website was delighted to join together recently with Michael Gibbs and Charles Ward to remember the time when Michael’s father, Captain (later Major) Gibbs, witnessed the attestations of Charles and Edmund…

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The Irishmen who fought at Cassino

Over 100,000 men from the island of Ireland served with the Allied Forces during the Second World War. When the 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade was formed in early 1942, a significant number of the men serving within its three constituent infantry battalions were either Irish born or had direct ancestry connections to Ireland. Brigadier Pat…

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London Irishman Charles Ward remembers the events of 1939

On 18 October 1939, three 20-year old men reported to Liverpool Street train station to respond to call up papers for them to join the British Army. They were met on the station concourse that morning by Captain Colin Gibbs, then Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR), who duly witnessed the attestation…

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How the Irish Brigade crossed the Salso in 1943

Following the capture of Centuripe, the Irish Brigade pressed forward but were hampered by craters in the road down to the Salso river. Due to these delays, plans were made to attack across the river on the afternoon of 4th August and, despite some opposition, a bridgehead was secured by 430pm. The view northwards from…

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Sicilian campaign overview

Looking towards Etna from Centuripe Brigadier Nelson Russell provided a succinct overview account of the Sicilian Campaign and how the Irish Brigade affected its outcome: “The British 8th Army was to land on the beaches on the east coast of the island, south of Syracuse, capture Syracuse, and so have a port; then drive the…

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Sicily pilgrimage for Irish Brigade website

On the 71st anniversary of their father’s journey through Sicily, the Irish Brigade web site co founders, Edmund and Richard O’Sullivan recent visited the island to trace his war time route from Cassibile to Patti. They were absolutely delighted to have been joined on their trip by Duncan McNally and David Hamilton, whose own fathers, Major…

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Piedimonte Etneo

One of the highlights of the Irish Brigade web site co founders, Richard and Edmund O’Sullivan recent visit to Sicily, was their attendance at a commemorative ceremony and conference in Piedimonte Etneo on the north eastern slopes of Mount Etna. For 33 days, from 8th September to 11th October 1943, the people of Piedimonte Etneo…

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London Irish Piper Jeff Jeffrey remembers

We have been in recent contact with Jeff Jeffrey, who served with the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) in Italy and Austria from 1943 to 1946. Jeff, who now lives in Australia, joined the LIR Cadet Company at the age of 16 in 1941 when he was first given the opportunity to play…

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Remembering Rifleman James Murtagh MM

Catania CWGC Cemetery In July/August 1943, two battalions of the London Irish Rifles were in action in Sicily, their 1st Battalion (1 LIR) with the 50th (Northumbria) Division fighting along the east coast of the island and the 2nd Battalion (2 LIR) with the Irish Brigade on the west side of Mount Etna. During the…

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