WELCOME to the web site of the LONDON IRISH RIFLES ASSOCIATION.
As usual, our first major event of the year will be the St Patrick's Day parade on 16th March at Connaught House.. We would love to see you on parade, meeting up with friends and comrades, and enjoying the Regimental Association's Pipes And Drums.
This year, our Annual Reunion Lunch is being held on Saturday 31st May and details will be sent out with the 2014 'Emerald'. Along with the upcoming commemorations of the events of the First and Second World Wars, this will be an excellent opportunity for you to reconnect with the London Irish Rifles' family.
One of the highlights for the Association this year will be the visit to Italy during May for the 70th anniversary of the London Irish Rifles' historic engagements at Anzio and near to Monte Cassino.
Look out too for outline details of the Regiment's planned visit to the Loos battlefield in September 2015 - an application form will be sent out shortly along with the 'Emerald'.
In parallel with these future events, on this website, we shall continue to record the Regiment's involvement in the First World War, and during the Second World War as we add historical narratives and first hand accounts from both World Wars. You can access all of these by following the relevant links.
We look forward to seeing you soon as we enter an exciting period for the Regimental Association.
Major Peter Lough TD
Chairman of the London Irish Rifles Association.
Sunday 16th March - St Patrick's Day parade, Connaught House.
Saturday 31st May - Annual Reunion Lunch.
Sunday 15th June - Combined Irish Regiments' Parade, Whitehall.
There have been a number of books written about the London Irish Rifles' rich history. Some are available from the Regimental museum while others are available from reputable book sellers. You can find a link to relevant web sites and further reading here by clicking here.
We have a thriving Regimental Association, and our members take part in regular events, as well as occasional special events, including battlefield visits. Each year members receive the journal of the London Irish Rifles, the 'Emerald', which has been published annually since 1949.
If you or a member of your family has served with either the 1st or 2nd Battalions, the war time raised (Young Soldiers) 70th Battalion or more recently with 'D' Company, we would most certainly like to welcome you as an Association member.
Learn more about the Regimental Association and find details of how to contact the membership secretary here.
We also have a Northern Ireland Branch, which meets every 3 months in Newtownabbey, under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Colonel Ant Maher, who has taken over as chairman after John Robinson's 10 years of stalwart service. You can read more about the activities of the Northern Ireland branch here.
THE LONDON IRISH RIFLES TODAY.
The London Irish Rifles now form 'D' Company (London Irish) The London Regiment, and is based at Connaught House in Flodden Road, Camberwell. Read here about the current activities of 'D' Company here.
You can go to the Army Jobs page by clicking here, and you can find a link to the Army Jobs Facebook page by clicking here.
You can also read about the government's plans for the future Army Reserve by clicking on this link here, and a link to the House of Commons' Select Committee review of the plans for Army Reserve 2020 here.
A short item showing the London Regiment, including 'D' Company, at their annual 2013 camp can be found here by clicking here.
The London Irish Rifles was created in 1859 and at that time was known as the 28th Middlesex (London Irish) Rifle Volunteer Corps. Numbered among the ranks of its first members were the Marquesses of Donegall and Conyngham, the Earls of Arran and Belmore, and also former Prime Minster, Lord Palmerston, who, at the age of 76, joined as a private soldier.
Over the past 150 years, the London Irish Rifles has been involved in many momentous events, and gained 65 battle honours over that period during the Boer War and the First and Second World Wars - the Regiment's most famous battle honour was gained in September 1915 at the Battle of Loos, when the men of the London Irish Rifles kicked a football into German trenches, thereafter entering immortality as 'The Footballers of Loos'. This event is commemorated by the Regimental Association every year on Loos Sunday at Connaught House.
Read about some of the Regiment's most famous events, including the story of the 'Footballers of Loos'.
THE PIPES AND DRUMS.
The Regimental Pipes and Drums was founded in 1906, and has been affiliated with the Regimental Association since 1969. Today, they take part in many events, including ones at Connaught House and also major public events including 'Beating the Retreat' at Horseguards' Parade in June, and 'The Lord Mayor's Show' in the City of London in November.
Read more about the activities of the Regimental Pipes and Drums and to find out how you could join the Band.
We have a Regimental Museum at Connaught House, which contains many interesting artifacts, including the original Loos Football, which has recently been re-conditioned.
Alex Shooter and Nigel Wilkinson are available at all Regimental Association events and they can provide you with further information on the history of the Regiment.
OUR SOCIAL LINKS.
The London Irish Rifles has a well deserved reputation as a fighting Regiment...at the same time, we are equally well known as being an extremely friendly bunch. Even during the midst of battle, it was even reported that one of our riflemen walked into a bar in Loos on September 25th 1915, asked for a cafe au lait, drank it slowly and then picked up his rifle and returned to the fight.
So it is no surprise to learn that we have excellent connections with three very fine hostelries:
The Sportsman at Seasalter in Kent, where our 1st Battalion took German prisoners after the Battle of Graveney Marsh in September 1940.
The Rifleman in Whitton which has recently been re-signed in honour of local resident Rifleman Frank Edwards and his comrades, the Footballers of Loos.
Order a pint of the black stuff and enjoy the craic.
LONDON IRISH RIFLES SHOP.
We have a variety of items for sale, including a fantastic limited edition print of four eras of the London Irish Rifles (left), which was painted by renowned war artist, David Rowland. There are also several books about the Regiment, including the history of the Pipes and Drums and 'The Footballers of Loos'.
The London Irish Rifles has twp Army Cadet Force detachments, based at locations in the South East sector.
Find details about how you can join the London Irish Rifles' Cadets, and be able to wear the Regiment's caubeen and hackle.
Connaught House is located in Camberwell, South London, and is easily accessible by car, bus, train and tube.