Home » Second World War » Month by Month » January 1943.

January 1943.

While 1 LIR continued with its defensive duties in Northern Iraq, January 1943 saw the 2 LIR facing its first significant actions on the low lying hills north of Bou Arada in Tunisia.

On 11th January, H Company, later supported by G Company, relieved a squadron of 2 Lothian and Border Horse, which had been “bogged down” near to the Goubellat and Bou Arada road and recovered several tanks in the process, but suffered casualties of 4 killed and 12 wounded of their own. H Company was reported to have gone into action singing “You Are My Sunshine”.

In a more significant action, which continued throughout 20th and 21st January, the battalion was ordered to capture Hills 279 and 286, just to the east of the Goubellat to Bou Arada road. Although initially capturing these points and holding them, at great cost, through the daylight hours of 20th January, they were counter attacked by a strong force of infantry, armoured cars and tanks, and it was only with the intervention and support of 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers, that the Brigade’s position was stabilised by the afternoon of 21st January. During this action, the battalion suffered the highest casualties of its 30 months of front line service with around 250 men either being killed, wounded or captured – with a total of 47 deaths was later confirmed. The Regiment’s battle honour of “Bou Arada” was very hard won indeed.

A full account of the battle of Hill 286 can be found by clicking here.


Key Dates:

1st to 10th January – 2 LIR continue offensive patrolling across the Goubellat and Bou Arada plains.

11th January – G and H Companies recover tanks of 2 Lothian and Border Horse to the south of Goubellat.

12th to 19th January – 2 LIR, along with the other battalions of the Irish Brigade, continue patrolling activity north of Bou Arada near to a ridge, which was dubbed “Grandstand”.

20th to 21st January – Attack on Hill 286, provoking a massive German counter offensive. 2 LIR suffer 250 casualties.

22nd January to 31st January – 2 LIR withdraws for rest: over 200 reinforcements arrive to supplement the battalion’s now much depleted headcount.


Roll of Honour, January 1943:

Rifleman WT Tracey 10/01/1943 Brookwood Memorial UK 1 LIR

Rifleman JA Griffin 11/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Sgt JF Hogan 11/01/1943 Massicault Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman JM Hogan 11/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Sgt J McLoughlin 11/01/1943 Medjez-El-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman D Fraser 12/01/1943 Thibar Seminary Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman LW Andrews 18/01/1943 Brookwood UK 1 LIR

Rifleman D Connery 19/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Sgt GE Atkinson 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman JW Baxter 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Captain JP Carrigan 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman DJ Connolly 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman EA Cooling 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Cpl TW Cram 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Sgt P Crouchman 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman HE Deards 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman W Duncombe 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman WB Fourt 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman ET Gant 20/01/1943 Thibar Seminary Tunisia 2 LIR

Sergeant DR Griffin 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Cpl E Hall 20/01/1943 Massicault Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman J Hamilton 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman AA Harris 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Cpl J Loughbridge 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman R McCracken 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman WT McDowell 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Lt JM McGranahan 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Cpl SJ Meager 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman J Mills 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman E Murphy 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Cpl R Norland 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Lt VLW Pottinger 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Cpl H Robinson 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Sgt G Rock 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman T Sinodorou 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman J Smyth 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman GB Trivett 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman WJH Viney 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman R Wallace 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman FT Waller 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Sgt J Whelan 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman PE Williams 20/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Lt EHE Beechey 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Cpl CH Booker 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman HA Crofts 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman HA Dunham 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Captain SM Ekin 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman RF Figg 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Captain H Henderson 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman E King 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman HF Mangan 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman M McInerney 21/01/1943 Massaicault Tunisia 2 LIR

Lt RJ McKenna 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Cpl MNJ Rickard 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman G Wyman 21/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Sgt P Ward 24/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

L/Cpl GP Slocombe 25/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR

Rifleman FJ Ware 29/01/1943 Medjez-el-Bab Tunisia 2 LIR


Read The London Irish At War – January 1943.

Read February 1943 here.