Home » Second World War » Month by Month » September 1944

September 1944

At the start of September 1944, the 2nd Battalion (2 LIR) started its move back from Egypt to Italy, arriving at Taranto on 15th September before journeying northwards to the 78th Division’s Concentration Area at Fano where they arrived on the 27th. Here, it was expected that the Irish Brigade would soon be re-joining the 8th Army as it continued its assault on the Gothic Line, but these plans would be changed in October.

Meanwhile, the 1st Battalion (1 LIR) were ready to enter the fighting along with the other two battalions of 168th Brigade, 1 London Scottish and 1 Welch Regiment, on the road to Croce near a hill called Germano. On the night of 10th/11th September, and after a week of bitter fighting and suffering heavy casualties, the brigade was relieved and moved back to Morchiano for much needed rest.

During this period, Lieut Colonel Baucher was wounded along with two company commanders, and command of the battalion was temporarily handed over to Major DAT Brett.

On 16th September, 168th Brigade was brought back into the line to join a bridgehead force over the Marano river and spent four days there, where they encountered most stubborn defences as they advanced northwards towards the Ausa river. By this time, 1 LIR were now down to two weak companies in strength but 56th (London) Division were eventually able to move forward and the battaliion were able to take a much needed rest.

Lieut Colonel JA Sperling took over command of 1 LIR on 21st September and, by the end of the month, the division was able to move forward at last onto the plains of Northern Italy. Further offensive operations were then delayed by heavy rainfall and early in October, the battalion moved back to rest near to Ancona.

During the previous four weeks of bitter fighting, 1 LIR had suffered over 80 deaths, and nearly 250 men had been wounded, including the Commanding Officer. A number of men were subsequently decorated for bravery during the actions at the Gothic Line.

The year had continued to be a continuing series of costly battles for the 1st Battalion along with the other units within the Division, and 168th Brigade was now to be dissolved and 1 LIR moved to 167th Brigade to join up again with the London Scottish along with 9th Bttn, Royal Fusiliers.


Key Dates:

5th September: 1 LIR commence attack on German positions near Croce.

6th September: Lieut Colonel Baucher wounded.

9th September: 2 LIR leaves Sidi Bishr.

10th/11th September: 1 LIR relieved from line.

11th September: 2 LIR sail from Alexandria.

15th September: 2 LIR arrive in Taranto.

16th September: 1 LIR recommences offensive activity.

21st September: Lieut Colonel Sperling takes over command of 1 LIR.


Roll of Honour: September 1944.

Cpl T Boylan 05/09/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman J Cooper 05/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Lt J Kitcher 05/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman S McCullough 05/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman R Morrison 05/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman AA Newman 05/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Major TJ Sweeney 05/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman EH Middleton 06/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman T Robinson 06/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Cpl JM Cooper 07/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman JR Lipman 07/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman F Street 07/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman F Bernard 08/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman WJ Casey 08/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman A Clegg 08/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman D Price 08/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

CSM P Keenan 09/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman DF Montgomery 09/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman RW Ward 09/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman LV Wood 09/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Cpl J Lawless 10/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman SL McNabb 10/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman H Thomson 10/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Lt AW Soutar 11/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman WW Thompson 13/09/1944 Montecheccio Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman G Proudlove 15/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman SJ Blake 16/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Lt PA Moran 16/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

L/Cpl AW Bradley 17/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman E Hunt 17/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman CJ Legg 17/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman W Matthews 17/09/1944 Cassino Memorial Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman S Neilson 17/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman SA Bauerfield 18/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman AH Eaton 18/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman JJ Maginn 18/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman ST Smith 18/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Sgt AJ Turnbull 18/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman E Bellaers 19/09/1944 Cariano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Sgt D Buscall 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman C Exhenry 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman PB Hughes 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman PH Latter 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman J Lee 19/09/1944 Suez Egypt 1 LIR.

Rifleman DM Lowrey 19/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

L/Cpl TP Morrissey 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman MJ O’Brien 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Sgt GH Perry 19/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman FJ Phillips 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman P Phillips 19/09/1944 Coriano Ridge Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman DJ Walker 19/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman S McMullan 20/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.

Cpl ETO McDonald 24/09/1944 Ancona Italy 1 LIR.

Rifleman LV Crawford 26/09/1944 Gradara Italy 1 LIR.


Read the London Irish at War – September 1944.

Read October 1944 here.