6th (Deynze) Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland

2nd July 2019

The last of the Belgian Army units to train in Northern Ireland were 6th (Deynze) Infantry Brigade who arrived in 1945 and set up bases in rural Co. Down.

6th (Deynze) Infantry Brigade of the Belgian Army arrived in Northern Ireland to begin training between 23rd-25th June 1945. This brigade, raised on 10th June 1945, consisted of men from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Fusilier Battalion of the existing Belgian Army.

In Northern Ireland, Brigade Headquarters operated from Lisburn, Co. Antrim. 1st Battalion set up camp at Crumlin, Co. Antrim, 2nd Battalion in the town of Antrim itself, and 3rd Battalion in Lurgan, Co. Armagh. Their commanding officer during this time was Colonel Van den Abeele until 14th October 1945. His replacement Colonel de Pauw took over on 20th October 1945.

The brigade remained in Northern Ireland until the winter of 1945. Between 22nd November 1945 and 1st December 1945, they left for Britain, where they trained until January 1946. By 28th January 1946, 6th (Deynze) Infantry Brigade was back in Belgium. From there, they went on to serve in occupied Germany.

A small Chaplain Detachment of the Roman Catholic Chaplain Services of the Belgian Army travelled from Northern Ireland with 6th (Deynze) Infantry Brigade. They had provided spiritual support to all Belgian troops in Ulster, conducted masses, and also presided over several funerals. This detachment arrived in Ulster at the beginning of the stay of the Belgian troops with 2nd (Yser) Infantry Brigade.

Incidents involving 6th (Deynze) Infantry Brigade

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