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231 (Malta) Brigade

Royal Hampshire Regiment - 1st Battalion - 231 Brigade arrived in Malta 21st February 1941 & made up (along with 1st Dorsets & 2nd Devons) the 1st Malta Brigade.
Later on this became 231 Infantry Brigade.
Duties on Malta included repairs to airfield (filling in bomb craters) & unloading ships.
Moved to Alexandria on 3rd April 1942 along with 1st Battalion. Then on to Cairo & Suez to train as an independant assault brigade.
Took part in Operation Husky - the Sicilian Landings & landed at Marzamemi on 10th July as part of the first wave. Landings went well until they reached Vizzini where they encountered stiff resistance from the Herman Goring Parachute Panzer Division. On July 22nd another hard engagement to take Agria (later to fall on the 29th July). The final battle on Sicily which they took part in was the capture of Regalbuto Ridge. The town still has the painted emblem of the Brigade on some walls (see the Battlefield History link below). In all 18 Officers & 286 other ranks were either killed or wounded in Sicily.
On the 8th September 1943 the Brigade took part in the landings at Potro San Venere near Pizzo, Italian mainland.
Following these landings they were returned to Sicily on 23rd September 1943 for transport back to the UK in readiness for the D-Day landings.
In March 1944 they were moved to Inverary, Scotland & later to Beaulieu where they trained for amphibious landings in Studland Bay, Dorset.
Took part as a spearhead Brigade on Gold beach in the Normandy landings.

The emblem of the brigade was a white Maltese cross on a red square (shield). This was painted on walls at Regalbuto.

Assault Pioneer Platoon, 231 Brigade, Malta
Back Row; House, Dickson, Topper Brown, Cecil Simmonds (Rommel) Bill Wright.

Middle row; Vine, Young, Wort, Hind, Hill, Hind (2) Bampton.
Front row; Frederick James Holmes, Tom Scragg, Sgt Handley, WO2 Southcott, Brooks, ?, Tug Wilson.
Photo courtesy of Glyn Howell. Frederick James Holmes (in front row) assisted with names.

Pioneer platoon at Ameria, close to Alexandria, waiting to move to Malta
Back row, from the left. Tom Scragg, Bert Attrill, Laurie Wilson, "Nipper" Hinde,
Front row, from the left, Cecil Simmons (or Simons) "Topper" Brown, Jim "Kyber" Young.

Photo courtesy of Glyn Howell

Fred and Blanco white (Fred to right) with a board painted to be used at Battalioin concerts
Photo courtesy of Glyn Howell

Bert Atrill Pioneer Platoon, at Ameria
Photo courtesy of Glyn Howell

Jim Young Pioneer Platoon
Photo courtesy of Glyn Howell

References Battlefield History TV. Contains a small video on Regalbuto, Italy. 2nd Devons. Wikipedia