38 (Irish) Brigade captures Jebel al Mahdi, Tunisia.

Wednesday, 7 April, 1943

In April 1943, the First Army selected the 78th Division to begin the final thrust eastwards against Tunis. The Division first had to capture an area of high ground some 20 miles short of Tunis.

The capture of a 1,400 foot high feature, called Jebel al Mahdi, on the left of the Division's front, was tasked to 38 (Irish) Brigade. The approach included a difficult wadi as well as wire and mines. The 6th Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers moved by night to their start positions. The 6th Skins seized their objectives half way up the feature by a night attack in the early hours of the morning. The 1st Faughs passed through and by 1400 hours were on the summit. Before nightfall, the 1st Faughs had consolidated its position and succeeded in capturing or killing 120 enemy at a cost of 50 casualties. The CO of the Skins, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Allen, was killed during the fighting. He had moved forward to personally support one of his companies that had become pinned down by machine-gun fire when attempting to cross one of the wadis.

For their actions that day there were two Military Crosses, one Distinguished Conduct Medal and three Military Medals awarded to members of the two Battalions.

Lieutenant W J Chapman MC
Lieutenant C Clarke MC
Lance Corporal T Swain DCM
Sergeant J Morrissey MM
Fusilier J Murphy MM
Fusilier T Reaney MM