38th (Irish) Brigade from Algiers to Austria, a film series.

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by bexley84, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Over the past few years, I have been tracing my father, CQMS Edmund O'Sullivan's war time service with the 2nd Bn, London Irish Rifles who were with the 38th (Irish) Brigade, who fought all the way from Algiers to Austria, first with 6th Armoured Division and then 78th Infantry Division, from November 1942 to May 1945.

    As a small tribute to our father and his friends and comrades who left their families to carry our their duties in so many far away places, my brother, Edmund, and I have embarked on a filming schedule to record their war time journeys and today we are proud to publish Part 1 of the series, which covers the period in Tunisia from November 1942 to March 1943.

    The link is here:

    As our films are largely based on the experiences of men who served with the Irish Brigade, it will necessarily not cover all the specific battles in Tunisia (and later in Italy) but I'm sure you would agree that there is ample written accounts of the campaigns to be found elsewhere. Hopefully, our films will stimulate further reading and learning for us all.

    Dad was one of those who made it all the way and one of his abiding thoughts, over his long post war life of 65 years, were of his friends who are buried in the many CWGC cemeteries across Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Italy and Austria. We will remember them !

    I hope you enjoy the film(s).

    Faugh a Ballagh !

    ps Part 2 will be published within a few weeks and we are filming in Sicily for Part 3 next week so watch this space.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Have just watched Part 1 in it's entirety...............

    Very professional and beautifully told !

    Looking forward to viewing Part II :)

  3. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Thank you Ron.
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I’ve just watched your film. Well Done!

    Looking forward to Part 2.

    My uncle was with 360 Battery, 138 Field Regiment from “Algiers to Austria”.


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  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Congratulations Richard for a superb account of the Irish Brigade’s campaign. Very much looking forward to the next period when they joined the Battleaxe division where my father served with 56th Reconnaissance Regiment. Their commanding officer was Lieutenant Colonel Kendal Chavasse DSO, commissioned into the Royal Irish Fusiliers. His Humber LRC was named Faugh a Ballagh.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Tony. Yes, 56 Recce did a superb job in Tunisia and Italy...Chavasse was a Faugh, wasn't he? Commissioned on the same day in 1924 as Brigadier Pat Scott.
  7. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Thank you Steve. Heroes all.
  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Sorry Richard, post edited.
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  9. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    my typos are legendary...
  10. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    My father, Edmund O'Sullivan, joined the army 79 years ago today - 18th October - so I'm pleased today to share a link to Part 2 of our film series tracing the journey of my Dad and his comrades, which you can view on You Tube.

    Part 3 covering Sicily will hopefully be in my Christmas stocking.

    My Dad would later recall the first day of his 6 1/2 years of army service:

    "The next morning, I was up early. After a good breakfast, I dressed in a Harris tweed jacket, sports shirt with club tie and brown brogue shoes and set off to Liverpool Street station where I was to report to the officer commanding the London Irish Rifles. I carried a small attaché case with a few personal items, including my missal. I arrived well before the stated time.

    Captain Gibbs, who was in charge of the reception party, was ready to receive me at his desk which was a blanket-covered table. He was very tall and correct but very pleasant, particularly as I meticulously addressed him as: ‘Sir.’ He questioned me about my background and my work. I told him I worked for Hawkes of Savile Row. ‘The regimental tailors!,’ he declared. I had never seen Gibbs’ name on any order so I assumed that he, like so many others, could not afford our high prices.

    Not all the 96 recruits were as eager as I to become a soldier. It was well into the afternoon before the final stragglers turned up. Meanwhile, we were given one shilling (5p) which we spent in the railway restaurant. When it was time to move off, we were assembled into three ranks and, to our surprise, marched to the tube station. Here, we were packed into an ordinary service train. We travelled on the District Line to Southfields south of the River Thames where we assembled into four platoons before marching off. We still had no idea of our destination. I had spent almost the whole of my first day in the army travelling from south-east London to south-west London via north-east London. We made our first route march, which was about two miles, to Barker’s sports ground on Church Road, Wimbledon.

    We were directed into a large hall. The first platoon of 24 men was spaced out on the far side. My platoon was given the side where we had entered. A third platoon filed down the centre and the fourth one was positioned at the far end. There were no seats, so we were told to put our cases down and squat. Each platoon was commanded by a sergeant assisted by a corporal..."

    More here:
    Ted O’Sullivan joins the London Irish Rifles

    best wishes
  11. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Bob Plant once sang: "It's been a long time.." and it certainly has been.

    Hopefully Parts 4/5/6 will be with us much sooner..
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  12. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Well done Richard.

    Can't wait for the next instalments.

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  13. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    It was ìnevitable, I suppose, that we used to refer to Centuripe as Cherryripe :)

    Thè Sicily episode certainly moved at a pace...... looking forward to Italy !

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  14. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Part IV that was premiered in Omagh on Tuesday night - attended by Patrick Butler, the son of Lt-Col Beauchamp Butler who was killed at the Trigno river on 27th October '43 and the evening was hosted by David Marshall, whose uncle was killed near Capracotta on 30th December '43.

    Part V - covering the Cassino/Liri Valley period will be published in May.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Congratulations on another fine film.
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  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Every new chapter seems to get better than the previous one and, dare I say it, even more professional.

    The names of all the locations revive memories I thought I had lost forever and for that, so many thanks.

    Looking forward so much to the rest of the series

    With regards to the rest of your crew

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  17. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Thank you so much your kind words which I'll pass onto Edmund and Harry.

    best wishes and hope to see you during the year,

  18. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Part 5 has been published to time with the 76th anniversary of the start of the final assault on the Gustav Line near Cassino on 11th/12th May 1944.

    Enjoy and please share.

    Faugh a Ballagh !

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  19. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Apologies for not writing sooner to congratulate you and your team on another super section of "All my brothers"

    This one was of particular interest to me as it took in Cassino.

    Keep up the good work and regards to all the crew

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  20. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Thank you Ron.

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