149084 Major Lawrence Franklyn-Vaile, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers: 17/05/44

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by bexley84, May 17, 2012.

  1. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Continuing the series of letters sent home by Lawrence Franklyn -Vaile to his wife, this is December 1943's set which covers the period of the Faughs' advance north of the Sangro river to the Moro...and the consequent reaction to a most difficult battle period.

    December 1943

    The link to the full set:

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  2. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Two more months of Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile's letters home to his wife, Olive..

    A relative "quiet" period in Castel di Sangro during January 1944 and thence covering the period of the Irish Brigade's transfer, along with the rest of 78th Infantry Division, in expectation of supporting the New Zealand Corps.

    This is a link to the January 1944 letters - http://www.irishbrigade.co.uk/pages/eyewitness-accounts/major-lawrence-franklyn-vailes-letters/january-1944.php

    and February 1944 - http://www.irishbrigade.co.uk/pages/eyewitness-accounts/major-lawrence-franklyn-vailes-letters/february-1944.php

    Faugh a Ballagh !
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  3. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    I'm now adding a link to a further two months of Lawrie Franklyn Vailes's letters home to his wife, Olive, as we move inexorably towards May 1944 (gulp).

    March 1944 sees a largely relaxing month for the whole Irish Brigade - allowing the opportunity to commemorate the capture of one of Napoleon's eagles at Barossa in 1811 and the usual 17th March festivities...


    April 1944 would see the Irish Brigade spending a large part of the month on or near Monte Castellone as highlighted in Lawrie's letters home

    "Incidents that live in the memory.

    One night some little time ago, three of us listened to the 9 o’clock BBC News in a small ruined hut. The announcer was speaking of the bitter fighting at Cassino and I thought of you very probably also listening in and outside was the tremendous roar and thunder of our guns and the darkness was punctured with flashes of light as tracer bullets winged their way. And through the roar of artillery, came the rat tap tap of British and German machine guns and the sound of explosions. I listened to the news and I thought of you sitting quietly at home with Valerie probably sleeping and it seemed strange indeed that the same voice was probably speaking to both of us and how different were our surroundings. Out here, it seemed a grim and terrible night with death on every hand and I thought it would be very nice sitting at home with you by a comfortable fire."

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  4. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    This is a link to a final set of letters, sent in May 1944, by Major Lawrence Franklyn-Vaile to his wife, Olive.


    Lawrie was killed on the start line near to the village of Piumarola, at about 0730 hrs of 17th May 1944, as the Faughs were about to advance toward Route Six,

    The following day, Lieutenant Douglas Room wrote a letter to Olive describing the circumstances of that morning. An excerpt of that letter here:

    "..Lawrie was magnificent, quite beyond praise. He seemed to move everywhere with his tin hat on the back of his head and tommy gun slung over his shoulder. He was with me a good deal to begin with and then went over to the right. A few minutes later, I saw him walking back towards me and as he came near me, he grinned and, at that moment, the shell fell. I went to him immediately but there was nothing I could do. I spoke to him but it was obvious that he was unconscious..."

    You can read the full 10 months of Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile's correspondence with his wife here:

    I, myself, shall be at Piumarola at 7.30am on 17th May 1944 and will pause to reflect on the memory of Major Franklyn Vaile and his comrades. My thoughts will, of course, also be with Lawrie's family in Melbourne VA.

    Rank: Major
    Service No: 149084
    Date of Death: 17/05/1944
    Age: 33
    Regiment/Service: Royal Irish Fusiliers "C" Coy., 1st Bn.
    Grave Reference XI. G. 3.
    Additional Information: Son of Thomas Guy Vaile and Violette Beryl Jane Vaile; husband of Olive Franklyn-Vaile, of Blackburn, Victoria, Australia.

    best wishes
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