2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
William George Lavelle was the son of Moses and Martha Lavelle. He was born on 8th June 1911. He was one of eight children, all born in the Clogher area. By 1944, Sergeant William George Lavelle was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Italy. The 2nd Inniskillings took part in the Battle of Garigliano which began on 17th January 1944. Sergeant Lavelle was killed in action on 17th January 1944 in this engagement.
William George Lavelle was the son of Moses and Martha Lavelle. Moses Lavelle and Martha Burton were married on 10th November 1903 in the district of Omagh.
The 1911 census lists the family at house 12 in Cullenbrone, Favor Royal, County Tyrone. Moses Lavelle was a general labourer.
William George Lavelle was born on 8th June 1911. He was one of eight children, all born in the Clogher area.
Known family: Moses Lavelle, Martha Lavelle, Edna Elizabeth Lavelle (born 18th March 1907), Frances Charlotte Lavelle (born 25th November 1908), Robert Alexander Lavelle (born 2nd April 1910), William George Lavelle (born 8th June 1911), Thomas Lavelle (born 22nd October 1912), Caroline Lavelle (born 19th February 1914, died 13th December 1915, age 1), Caroline Lavelle (born 10th December 1917), Johnston Lavelle (born 22nd July 1919)
By 1944, Sergeant William George Lavelle was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Italy.
The 2nd Inniskillings took part in the Battle of Garigliano which began on 17th January 1944. Their task was to cross the river using boats, clear the bridgehead of enemy posts, and then, having waited for an artillery barrage, assault Massia Rossi farm and a German held feature on the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. Despite the care in preparing for the battle, several mishaps which might have led to disaster were rectified by skilful improvisation as the battle developed. The main problem at first was that the unit responsible failed to produce the boats for the Inniskillings by the correct time. A Company eventually crossed and, with very heavy casualties, attacked the farm which it captured at bayonet point. By 0530 on 18th January 1944 when the battalion was deployed for the next phase of the attack, an enemy shell struck Battalion Headquarters and caused many casualties. The attack, covered by a massive barrage, continued. By noon C Company had captured its objective on the Gustav line. The success of the Inniskillings attack resulted in an 800-metre breach in the enemy's defences. Various enemy counter attacks occurred in the early hours of 19 January, but, with heavy losses on both sides, the Inniskillings repulsed the Germans and secured their newly won positions.
Sergeant Lavelle was killed in action on 17th January 1944 in this engagement.
Sergeant Lavelle is buried in Minturno War Cemetery. His inscription reads UNTIL THE DAY BREAK AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY.
Sergeant Lavelle is commemorated locally on Clogher War Memorial.
Sergeant William Lavelle is also commemorated on the Garigliano Memorial in the Inniskillings Museum in Enniskillen.
The CWGC record Sergeant William George Lavelle as the son of Moses and Martha Lavelle, of Augher, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.