The Royal Dublin Fusiliers website promotes the memory of the Irish soldiers who served with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the 16th Irish Division in the First World War, and features military medals won by them and the campaigns in which they fought.
The Royal Dublin Fusiliers was an infantry regiment of the British Army. The regiment was created on 1 July 1881 by the amalgamation of the 102nd Regiment of Foot (Royal Madras Fusiliers) and the 103rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Bombay Fusiliers) to form the 1st and 2nd Battalions, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
Before Irish independance in 1922, it was decided that the six southern Irish regiments (out of a total of thirteen Irish regiments) would be disbanded, including the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
The letters of Lieutenant Colonel R. G. B. Jeffreys are a rare and important primary source. This book contains the First World War experiences of an officer of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Few accounts such as this were written by men of the regiment and even fewer have survived. Although the letters must be looked at objectively and with an understanding that they are from the point of view of an upper class officer, they do give an excellent insight not only into the major battles of the Great War, which tends to be the focus of most publications, but also everyday life in the trenches and billets of the Western Front. These letters, written to his wife during his period at the front between 1916 and 1918, have much information contained within them that will give a better understanding of not only the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the Great War but also of most other regiments which were involved in the conflict. With the passing of Great War veterans, it is important that accounts such as this are preserved, as these are the only way in which the history of the war can be told properly through the words of the men who were there and experienced the futility of the war.
Richard Griffith Bassett Jeffreys was born in 1876 at Dunmore, Co. Galway. It was 1916 before he was sent to France, just a month before the first day of the Somme offensive. He and his battalion played major roles in battles at Messines and Passachaendaele. He remained with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers until they were disbanded in 1922.
This is an unusual book in that it is the record of a company, a company of the 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers (RDF) - ‘D’ Company - at Gallipoli. The battalion was raised in August 1914 and allocated to 30th Brigade, 10th Irish Division. At the request of a Mr. Browning, President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, the CO of the new battalion agreed to keep open a special company, ‘D’ Company, as it was subsequently known, for ‘Pals’ from the Irish Rugby Union volunteers. It was a remarkable mix of volunteers - barristers, doctors, solicitors, stockbrokers, bankers, civil servants and the like, nearly all well known in Dublin’s public and social life. They trained in Ireland until the end of April, 1915 and then sailed to England. At the end of June they sailed to the Dardanelles.
They landed at Suvla Bay on the morning of 7th August and there follows a comprehensive account of the fighting over the next few weeks. The story ends on the last day of September 1915 when the battalion was taken off the peninsula and brought to Lemnos. There is a final chapter on the work of the chaplains with the wounded.
In an appendix there is a list of men of the battalion mentioned in despatches and the complete roll of the company showing five officers and 281 men and a further 23 transferred to ‘B’ Company for the machine gun section. There is also a list of the 79 NCO’s and men who survived to leave Suvla. Finally there is a remarkable photographic section at the end depicting some 250 officers and men with brief biographical details and similar details for another 58 for whom there are no photos. This is certainly a very rare book.
A history of the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers from 1911 to 1922, the year of disbandment, with a full description of the disbandment ceremonies.
This volume is concerned principally with the battalion’s service in the Great War during which it fought on the Western Front in the 10th Brigade, 4th Division till the end of 1916 when it was transferred to the 48th Brigade of the 16th (Irish) Division. 269 officers and 4508 Wos, NCOs and men of the Regiment died during the war and an appendix lists the names of the officers showing which battalion they were serving in.