This website is dedicated to the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the famous Royal Irish Rifles, their reserve battalions and the men whofought with the 6th Rifles of the 10th (Irish) Division in Gallipoli, Salonika and the Middle East plus the soldiers of the 7th Battalion who served with distinction in the 16th (Irish) Division during the Great War.
Through time, as more information and images become available, it is hoped this site will become a fitting tribute to those men from all corners of Ireland and the ‘honorary Irishmen’ who wore the Harp and Crown.
This is a new kind of battalion history that brings to life many of the personalities involved with all of their human strengths and weaknesses, ignoring the Dulce et Decorum approach. Having fraternized with the Germans during the Christmas truce of 1914, the 1st Royal Irish Rifles fought (as part of the 8th Division) at Neuve Chapelle, Fromelles, Somme, Pilkem Ridge, Langemarck and Passchendaele. Then came the controversial move to the 36th (Ulster) Division in January 1918. They suffered heavily during the retreat of March 1918 and then were part of the final advance through Flanders until the war ended.
The book is innovative in its approach due to the wealth of detail given in the many appendices. Apart from the awards and casualty lists, there are details of the 301 men who were court-martialled including a transcript of the trial of the only member to be executed. Biographical information on nearly 300 officers who served with the unit at various times, including the medical officers and chaplains is supplied. All available files, only recently released in the Public Records Office at Kew, were fully researched to give a fascinating glimpse into the make-up of officers in a typical Irish Regular formation.
Following his acclaimed The 1st Royal Irish Rifles in the Great War, James Taylor now completes his study of the regiment’s Regular battalions. Having been part of the 3rd Division in the original British Expeditionary Force, they fought at places such as Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne, La Bassée, Somme, Messines and Bellewaarde, ending the war as part of the 36th (Ulster) Division. They suffered in excess of 1,400 fatalities, including men from every county in Ireland.
Read about rifleman,
14 Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, who was awarded the