In the spirit of highlighting the continuing slog on the Italian front during the autumn of 1944. In a period when 78th Division were under 5th Army command, on the evening of 19th October 1944, the 1st Bttn Royal Irish Fusiliers (1 RIrF) were ordered to assault the Monte Spaduro massif, just to the north of Castel del Rio, in support of a putative (!) American advance on Bologna. The assault on Spaduro initially seemed to be going well but the Faughs ran into a determined German defensive force and both their leading rifle companies were reduced to a handful of men with a third one forced to retreat under heavy fire…two of their Company Commanders became casualties, including Major Maurice Crehan, an officer attached to the Faughs under CanLoan. The CO of 1 RIrF, Lt Colonel John Horsfall recalled: “Four days later, the whole of the battlefield was in our possession and, as we searched for them, Maurice Crehan, Sergeant Elliott and eight others of A Company were found there – dead behind their weapons with upwards of fifteen jagers around them.” The Faughs’ regimental historian noted: “It was believed that Maurice Crehan’s stand against the German counter-attack was worthy of the VC but, with no living witnesses, nothing could be done. John Horsfall, Brian Clark (Adjutant) et al spoke of him with great respect…” The Irish Brigade’s commander, Pat Scott, described the action as: “The fag end of an offensive and they will never learn until such things happen.” As well as the 23 Irish Fusiliers killed on 19th/20th October, another 183 men are listed on the CWGC data as having been killed on those two days in Italy….there would be another 194 days of hard slog ahead in Italy. I attach two MM citations awarded during that period of bitter fighting – one for Fusilier Birch, a stretcher bearer, and the other for Fusilier White, part of the mule team.. You can read John Horsfall’s full account of the battle at Monte Spaduro here… http://www.irishbrigade.co.uk/pages/eyewitness-accounts/john-horsfall-excerpts/monte-spaduro-19th-october-1944.php Faugh a Ballagh !