The Leinster Regiment was formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the then 100th Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales, Royal Canadians) and the 109th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Infantry).
Following the creation of the then ‘Irish Free State’ in 1922, the original Association formed by the officers and men of the Regiment continued strongly for over seventy years following the disbandment of the Leinster Regiment. Inevitably time brought its impact and the Association’s numbers dwindled as the last soldiers who served with the regiment passed away. Thus the Leinster Regiment became one of only two Irish infantry regiments that were disbanded in 1922 not to maintain a Regimental Association. (The other is the Royal Irish Regiment). However the soul of a regiment is not permitted to die because if it did the honour due to the soldiers who served, and their descendants, would no longer be recognised.
Therefore after a few interval years, and after the funds of the original Association had been distributed to charity, the Association was re-formed on 15 February 2003 with an Inaugural meeting held on 12 April 2003 in London. Membership was initially derived from ex-servicemen of the British and Irish armies as well as a few who had relatives serve with the regiment. Membership continues to grow with more members having family links with the Leinster Regiment, and as the Association continues its work we also encourage any person who has the interests of our Association at heart to join us.The Association is the sum of its members and together we will maintain the spiritus intus of the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians).
Some samples of their half-yearly Journal, 40/10, can also be found on the Internet.
These contain some excellent information.
The letters of John ‘Max’ Staniforth are amongst the most perceptive, graphic and evocative personal records of a soldiers life to have come down to us from the Great War.They cover his entire wartime career with the 16th (Irish) division, from his enlistment in 1914 till the armistice, and they have never been published before. From his first days in the army, Staniforth wrote fluent, descriptive weekly letters to his parents and, in doing so, he created a fascinating record of his experiences and those of the men around him.
When the division arrived on the Western Front in 1915, he related his impressions in detail, and went on to give an unflinching account of the drama and the cruelty - and the gruelling routine - of trench warfare. After he was gassed in 1918, he wrote about his feelings and the treatment he received just as thoroughly as he did about every other aspect of the conflict.
A striking aspect of the letters is that Staniforth enlisted as a private soldier and went through the training of the ordinary recruit before rising through the ranks. The letters also show how the Irish division was influenced by the turmoil of contemporary politics in Ireland.
Although Staniforth enlisted in 1914 in the Connaught Rangers, in the 16th Irish Division, he was soon commissioned and transferred to the 7th Leinsters in the same division. With them, and briefly the 2nd Leinsters, he served until he was gassed in May 1918.
This is a two-volume history.
Vol. 1. The Old Army is devoted to the regiments doings before the Great War. It begins with the regiments origins as the 100th Prince Regents County of Dublin Regiment of Foot, which was raised to fight in the War of 1812-14 against the young United States. Becoming the 100th Royal Canadian regiment, the unit was stationed in Montreal and Quebec, and then brought to Britain where it trained at Aldershot and Shorncliffe before being stationed in Malta and Gibraltar, and then in India and Ireland. It saw service during the Indian Mutiny at the storming of Jhansi, and continued on colonial service in Aden, the Mediterranean, India and Ireland - as well as its native Canada and the West Indies - for the rest of the 19th century. This volume is accompanied by four maps and four illustrations.
Vol. 2. The Great War and the disbandment of the regiment is a substantial record of service in the many theatres of the war, in which the regiments battalions saw service from the wars outbreak in 1914- taking part in the first battle of the Aisne and the race to the Sea - through 1915 when it was in the Ypres Salient, and also participated in the ill-fated Gallipoli expedition and in Macedonia. In 1916 it took part in the Battle of the Somme - but was also employed in suppressing the Irish Republican Easter Rising in Dublin. 1917 saw the regiment in action in Egypt and in the Palestine Campaign, as well as Canada’s famous capture of Vimy Ridge on the Western Front. The end of the year brought the gruelling battles of Passchendaele and Cambrai. In 1918 the regiment withstood the German Spring offensives, before taking part in the victorious allied advance which led to the armistice. Prior to its disbanding in 1922, the regiment was stationed in the occupied Rhineland, in India and was on peacekeeping duties in Silesia, disputed between Germany and Poland. This is a meaty history, which will interest anyone curious about Canada’s colonial regiments, and their role in the Great War. Volume 2 has eight illustrations and fourteen maps. Both volumes come with an index.
This is one of the classic memoirs of the Great War, written by an officer of the 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment, who joined his battalion in the trenches in May 1915 and served with them to the end of the war.
It is a truly memorable account and a great tribute to the soldiers of the Leinster Regiment who were one of five infantry regiments from Southern Ireland that formed part of the British Army. They were disbanded in July 1922.
It is a vivid account, supported by some wonderful sketches and examples of the spirit and humour of the Irish soldier. This is one of the best of its kind that I have read.