7015959 Edward Charles MAYO, MM, 2nd Bn. London Irish Rifles, Royal Ulster Rifles: 16/05/1944

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by bexley84, May 16, 2012.

  1. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Remembering today

    Sgt Edward Mayo MM

    and 9 other men from the Irish Rifles, who were killed near to Sinagoga on 16th May 1944 during the successful breakthrough assault on the Gustav Line in the Liri Valley.

    Rfn Cyril Meldrum
    Sgt Edward O'Reilly MM
    Rfn Charles Wilson
    Rfn Michael Duncan
    Cpl Joseph Willison
    L/Sgt William Donaldson
    Rfn John Fitzgerald
    Cpl James Barnes
    Rfn Edmund Bell

    In total, there were 166 Commonwealth casualties in Italy on 16th May 1944 - 135 from British forces, 1 Australian, 3 New Zealander, 11 Canadian, 15 Indian, and 1 South African.

    We will remember them all :poppy:

    Sergeant Mayo joined 2 LIR on 18/10/39 at Liverpool St station. He was wounded twice in Tunisia and Sicily, and was awarded an MM for his part in the successful assault on the village of Heidous on 23rd April 1943.

    Casualty Details | CWGC
    Rank: Serjeant
    Service No: 7015959
    Date of Death: 16/05/1944
    Age: 24
    Regiment/Service: Royal Ulster Rifles. 2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles
    Awards: M M
    Grave Reference XI. H. 11.
    Grave Reference: I. H. 11.
    Location: Italy
    Additional Information: Son of Henry and Deborah Mayo; husband of Mary Elsie Mayo, of Dagenham, Essex.
  2. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Sgt E, Mayo at ease in 1943.

    Attached Files:

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Name Mayo, Edward
    Rank: Corporal
    Service No: 7015959
    Regiment: 2 Battalion London Irish Rifles
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia)
    Award: Military Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 23 September 1943

    Attached Files:

  4. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Thank you so much.

    When Sgt Mayo was buried, his platoon fashioned a cross with the words "The finest sergeant that ever breathed" as witnessed by his Coy Commander Mervyn Davies.

    Eddie Mayo had taken a lead wthin the platoon on the 15th May when his platoon commander 2/Lt Nicholas Mosley was wounded.

    My father had spent the previous night with Eddie Mayo in a front line trench discussing what they would do after the war finished. My father lived an additional 65 years and 8 days.

    Both Nicholas Mosley and Sir Mervyn Davies are still around to share their memories.
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Service No:7014328
    Date of Death:16/05/1944
    Regiment/Service:Royal Ulster Rifles 2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles
    Awards:M M
    Grave ReferenceXI. E. 12.

    Name O'Reilly, Edward
    Rank: Rifleman
    Service No: 7014328
    Regiment: 2 Battalion London Irish Rifles, Royal Ulster Rifles
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Sicily
    Award: Military Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 18 November 1943

    Attached Files:

  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Edward O'Reilly, also of E Coy, was kllled in the same Nebel stonk as Edward Mayo at 12 noon.

    Cpl James Barnes, who was also killed on 16th May 1944, was in H Coy and was later recommended for a posthumous Victoria Cross for his action as highlighted in Rifleman Bean's MM citation below


    "On 16 May '44, Rfn Bean was with the Bren group of the No 3 Section H Company 2/LIR when the Bn had the task of breaking through the Gustav Line at Sinagoga. Rfn Bean was with the leading section of H Coy who were in the centre. The company came under heavy fire from the start line onwards but his skilful use of the Bren and Tommy guns overcame three positions, killing some Germans and capturing others. At this stage Rfn Bean was wounded in the arm. His Pl (16 Pl) was finally ordered to attack the southern half of Sinagoga. Very heavy small arms fire was coming from here and heavy shell fire went on all the time. Cpl Barnes went ahead towards the village while Rfn Bean shot at those positions he could see. The section overcame the first part in this way. Rfn Bean then went with Cpl Barnes round the building to where an SP gun was firing at our tanks. There was heavy small arms fire at point blank range. Cpl Barnes went in with grenades and Rfn Bean kept up shooting. Cpl Barnes was then killed and Bean reorganised the section which had got split up and got into other buildings. After further firing the surviving enemy surrendered. Bean's actions played a valuable part in reducing a very strong position and he behaved most gallantly throughout. He was never deterred by the very heavy enemy fire and his conduct throughout was an inspiring example to the rest of his section."
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Blimey , just read up on Mayo on your website.
    Mayo had been previously wounded a third time. Because the wound was dressed outside an official dressing station, the wound was not officially recorded and Mayo returned to his unit.

    What a shame he hadnt had that 3rd wound recorded.
  8. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Indeed - Eddie Mayo was clearly of a certain nature.

    I grew up hearing his name, spoken every so often by my Dad. His was almost a mythical presence within the house.

    We were only able to recognise Eddie from photographs taken with CSM George Charnick DCM, Silver Star when a veteran who joined up on the same day as my father and Eddie rang me up about six months ago and was able to identify him. Eddie was the star recruit of the intake from Oct 1939.
  9. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Great thread - me and Owen visited the Casa Sinagoga area back in 2008.
  10. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Paul,

    Franco and Clara Sinagoga hosted a memorable reception for the LIR Regimental Association in May 2009, and I had the pleasure then of meeting Franco's late father, who was the same age as my father. There are a few pictures of the old part of the buildings at Casa Sinagoga in Perry Rowe's really excellent "Then and Now." I have been royally entertained by the Sinagoga family several times since 2009.

    On Jimmy Barnes's VC recommendation, and although invidious and clearly quite wrong to contrast the the hundreds of acts of valour during those desperate few weeks and months, it is noted that each of the 3 British Infantry Divisions within 13th Corps made one successful VC recommendation during the actions in the Liri Valley from 11th May onwards.

    Sepoy Kamal Ram, 3rd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment
    Captain Richard Wakeford, 2/4 The Hampshire Regiment
    Fusilier Francis Jefferson, 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.


    Rank: Corporal
    Service No: 7022505
    Date of Death: 16/05/1944
    Age: 20
    Regiment/Service: Royal Ulster Rifles, 2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles
    Panel Reference Panel 11.
    Additional Information: Son of George and Elizabeth Ann Barnes, of Three-Mile-House, Co. Monaghan, Irish Republic.

    I forgot I also had a photo of Edward O'Reilly sent to me recently by his family, which I attach.


    Attached Files:

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  11. Benguid3n

    Benguid3n New Member

    Edward O'Reilly is my great-uncle. Thank you for posting that photo of him. I had the same photo but it was cropped to just his face. The one you posted is much clearer.
    bexley84 and dbf like this.
  12. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.

    We regularly visit Italy to remember Edward O'Reilly, Edward Mayo, James Barnes and all the other lads buried or memorialised at Cassino and the other CWGC cemeteries.

    To trace some of the men's stories, we've made several films about the battle periods for the Irish Brigade in Tunisia and Italy - this one focuses on May 1944:

    best wishes

    Attached Files:

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