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January 1944

During January 1944, while the 2nd Battalion (2 LIR) continued their defensive duties in appalling conditions in the high Apennines of Central Italy, the 1st Battalion (1 LIR) joined a 5th Army wide attack across the Garigliano River which was largely intended as a diversionary assault in support of the impending landings at Anzio.

On 19th January, 1 LIR joined the 56th Division assault on the hill top town of Castelforte. For four days they battled determined German defences, before the division was able to securely establish the Garigliano bridgehead positions. Over this period, the battalion suffered nearly two hundred casualties, before they were withdrawn to positions south of the river. A few days later and after they had re-crossed the Garigliano, 1 LIR now received updated orders that they would now be transferred, along with  the rest of 168th Brigade, to join the bridgehead forces at Anzio, who were now facing a massive German counterattack intended to throw them back into the sea.

Meanwhile, on the same day as 1 LIR’s initial advance towards Castelforte, a German raiding party had attacked 2 LIR’s defensive positions near to Castel di Sangro and captured over twenty men from E Company. As a direct result of this raid, the battalion is moved off their extremely vulnerable mountain top positions and are withdrawn for a period of rest and training.


Key Dates:

19th January – 1 LIR join 56th Division’s assault on Castelforte.

19th January – A German raiding party attacks 2 LIR’s positions near to Montenero.

23rd January – 1 LIR move back to reserve positions south of the Garigliano River.

26th January – 2 LIR move back to reserve positions near to Campobasso.


Roll of Honour, January 1944.

Sgt WT Budd 11/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

2 Lt RJ Budd 12/01/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman BR Jenner-Akehurst 15/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman AH Williams 17/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman GPW Jackson 18/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman L Bradbury 19/01/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 2 LIR.

Rifleman J Cullen 19/01/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 2 LIR.

Sgt GT Murphy 19/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman CJ Slevin 19/01/1944 Sangro River Italy 2 LIR.

Rifleman R Smith 19/01/1944 Sangro River Italy 2 LIR.

L/Cpl AJ Webb 19/01/1944 Sangro River Italy 2 LIR.

Rifleman WC Fisher 20/01/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman W Hamill 20/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman TJ Kirkland 20/01/1944 Sangro River Italy 2 LIR.

Cpl AE Creed 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman RH Dickson 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

L/Cpl R Gill 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman HB Higginbottom 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman TR Millard 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Lt JK Morley-Mower 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman J Newman 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman WS Twine 21/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman LH Berry 22/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman AC Bickham 22/01/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman CJ Chapman 22/01/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman J Curry 22/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Cpl AJ Hiles 22/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

L/Cpl PA Thompson 22/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

L/Cpl GAR Hosier 23/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman V Staines 23/01/1944 Minturno Italy 1 LIR.

2 Lt ER Henderson 24/01/1944 Naples Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman EH Pile 27/01/1944 Caserta Italy 1 LIR.


Read The London Irish At War – January 1944.

Read February 1944 here.