WELCOME to the web site of the LONDON IRISH RIFLES ASSOCIATION.
We held an excellent parade to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Battle of Loos and, as predicted, it was held in gloriously warm, sunny weather. A great day and we are now on the 365 day countdown to the 100th anniversary commemorations when we actually visit Loos next September. There is still time to book a place to join us on this trip and you can find full details by following this link.
Our next Regimental Association event is, of course, our Remembrance Sunday parade and service. We can't promise the warm weather but I have no doubt that it will be a most poignant day when we remember the 1,800 fallen London Irishmen from two World Wars.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Major Peter Lough TD
Chairman of the London Irish Rifles Association.
Thursday 6th November - Field of Remembrance, Westminster Abbey.
Sunday 9th November - Remembrance Sunday, Connaught House.
Saturday 6th December - Regimental Foundation Day, Freemason's Arms.
Sunday 7th December - Stormberg Day, Belfast City Hall.
We have a thriving Regimental Association and our members take part in regular events as well as occasional battlefield tours. 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 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 joining the Regimental Association here and you can 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. 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.
Here's a link to the Army Page for D Company, and you can go to the Army Jobs page here, and find a link to the Army Jobs Facebook page here.
You can also read about the government's plans for the future Army Reserve by following this link.
A short item showing the London Regiment, including D Company, at their annual 2013 camp in Suffolk can be found here.
The London Irish Rifles was formed 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 155 years, the London Irish Rifles has gained 65 battle honours with London Irishmen serving in the Boer War and throughout the First and Second World Wars - probably the Regiment's most famous battle honour was gained in September 1915 at the Battle of Loos, when 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 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 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 Rowlands. 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 two (soon to be three) 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.
There have been a number of books written about the London Irish Rifles' rich history with some available from the Regimental Museum while others can be purchased from reputable book sellers.
Connaught House is located in Camberwell, South London, and is easily accessible by car, bus, train and tube.