Irish Brigade

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Sicily’

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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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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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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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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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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