Irish Brigade

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers’

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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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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The Irish Brigade’s epic attack at Centuripe

Cliffs on the southern edge of Centuripe viewed from the south The attacks by 78th Division on Centuripe were initially thwarted but the Divisional Commander, General Evelegh, now called the Irish Brigade forward to continue the assault. While 2 LIR laid on a preliminary attack on three flanking hills to the west of Centuripe, the Faughs…

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Centuripe 1943 – an eyewitness account

Salvatore Biondi (second from right) with Duncan McNally (second left), David Hamilton (left)and Edmund O’Sullivan in Centuripe in 2014 The celebrated attacks by 78th Infantry Division, which included the Irish Brigade, on the Sicilian mountain top town of Centuripe on 2nd August 1943, was recently remembered by Salvatore Biondi, an eight year old at the…

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The life and legacy of Major John E McNally MC

Duncan McNally has kindly sent us further details about his father, Major JE McNally MC. We would like to thank Duncan, his mother Elisabeth, and his two sisters for their kind permission to add this story to the Irish Brigade website. “Like many in the Irish Brigade, Dad was not born an Irishman, and was…

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Prince Harry at Cassino ceremony 2014

A party of London Irishmen and Royal Fusiliers attended a British Service of Remembrance to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign, which was held at Cassino CWGC Cemetery on 19th May 2014. In attendance was His Royal Highness, Prince Henry (Harry) of Wales and government officials from Commonwealth nations whose men served in…

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Preparing for the storm at Monte Trocchio in May 1944

Monte Trocchio, at over 400 metres, proved an excellent viewing platform for the Allies in early 1944 after it had been first occupied by American forward units in the middle of January. During the Cassino campaign, it was used by Air Force spotters, nicknamed ‘Rover David’, that were able to call up sorties when requested…

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