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September 1943

The start of September 1943 found both battalions of the London Irish Rifles at rest in Sicily after the exertions of extremely tough fighting during July and August.

The 1st Battalion spent the first eight days of the month at Fiumefreddo near to the east coast, north of Catania, but found the area prone to malaria, so they soon moved 10 miles inland to Piedimonte at 1100 feet high on the lower slopes of Etna. On 25th September 1943 to commemorate the Battle of Loos, the battalion was inspected by Lt- Col Good, who referred to the fact that it was also the 150th anniversary of the raising of the Royal Ulster (Irish) Rifles.

At the start of September, the 2nd Battalion were recuperating at Patti on the north coast of Sicily, but by the middle of the month they received orders for an imminent move to mainland Italy, and on the same day as the 1st Battalion were commemorating Loos, they arrived at the port of Taranto. By the end of the month, they had moved by train to Barletta.

Both battalions were readying themselves for action again.

Key Dates:

8th September – 1 LIR move from Fiumefreddo to Piedimonte.

13th September – 50th Division Commander speaks to 1 LIR at Taormina.

18th September – First movement of 2 LIR vehicles to Italy.

24th September – the main body of 2 LIR embark from Milazzo to Taranto.

30th September – 2 LIR arrive by train at Barletta.

Roll of Honour, September 1943:

Rifleman R Lowe 05/09/1943 Catania Italy 1 LIR

Read The London Irish At War – August/September 1943.

Read October 1943 here.