WELCOME to the web site of the LONDON IRISH RIFLES ASSOCIATION.
We recently held a most enjoyable Annual Reunion Lunch, with a very good turn out of Association members enjoying conviviality and excellent catering in the Officers' Mess at our home in Connaught House. A particular pleasure was the attendance at the lunch of our principal guest, Lt-Col Pim, Commanding Officer of the London Regiment.
I would like to draw your attention to two items of special interest:
We have recently been informed that the London Irish Rifles will be accepting the honour of having the Freedom of the Borough of Southwark conferred on the Regiment on Sunday 30th June, with a major parade being planned for that day. We shall be confirming exact details of this event here over the coming few weeks.
We have sent out details for our planned 70th anniversary visit to Italy during May 2014, when we shall be commemorating the Regiment's involvement in the defining battles of Anzio and Cassino during 1944. You can read about our current plans for this trip by clicking here. We are now starting to refine the exact details of this tour, and we do need responses confirming your interest in joining us next year within the next few weeks, and most definitely by 31st July.
You can find up to date details of all upcoming Regimental Association events by clicking here.
Peter Lough, Chairman of the London Irish Rifles Association.
Sunday 16th June: Combined Irish Regiments' Parade, Whitehall.
Sunday 30th June - Freedom of the Borough of Southwark.
Sunday 22nd September: Loos Sunday Parade at Connaught House.
We have a thriving Regimental Association, and our members take part in regular events each year, 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, Tony Robinson.
We also have a Northern Ireland Branch, which meets every 3 months in Newtownabbey, under the chairmanship of Lt Col Ant Maher, who has taken over after John Robinson's 10 years of stalwart service.
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. A platoon of 'D' Company has also been recently established at Iverna Gardens, Kensington High Street with a most successful recruitment event being held there in October.
We would also like to draw your attention to the recent TA LIVE campaign, which included broadcasts from Afghanistan by mobilised TA soldiers to demonstrate how they are trained and then deployed alongside their Regular Army colleagues.
As you know, we have got some LIR lads out on Operation Herrick 17 at the moment. To find out more information about the campaign, 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.
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'.
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 fascinating Regimental Museum at Connaught House, which contains many interesting artifacts, including the original Loos Football, which has been re-conditioned.
Our Curator, Alex Shooter, and Assistant Curator, Nigel Wilkinson, are available at Regimental Association events when they can provide you with further information on the history of the Regiment.
The Regimental Association holds four major commemorative events each year at Connaught House, and takes part in a variety of other activities, including regular Battlefield Tours, and overseas commemorative ceremonies and pilgrimages, when we pay our fullest respects to more than 1700 London Irishmen, who are buried in the war cemeteries of France, Belgium, Greece, Palestine, Tunisia, and Italy.
The Association has now started to make plans for trips to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Regiment's actions at Loos, and the 70th anniversary of their part in the defining events at Anzio and near to Monte Cassino.
Click here for stories and photographs from recent Regimental Association events, including the Remembrance Sunday and Loos Sunday parades and the re-signage event at The Rifleman in Twickenham.
LONDON IRISH RIFLES SHOP.
We have a variety of items for sale directly from Connaught House, including a fantastic limited edition print commemorating our 150th anniversary, which was painted by renowned war artist, David Rowland, and several books about the Regiment, including the history of the Pipes and Drums, and 'The Footballers of Loos'.
We also now have new design Greeting Cards available, which are a real bargain at 25p each - see the design on the left - and we have just been stocked up with very snazzy scarves and umbrellas in the regimental colours. A must for those cold winter nights and soon coming wet spring days.
The London Irish Rifles has an active Army Cadet Force, based at two 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 with pride.
Connaught House is located in Camberwell, South London, and is easily accessible by car, bus, train and tube.
RESOURCES / LINKS.
There have been many books written about the London Irish Rifles and its rich history.
Some are available from the museum, while others, although out of print, are readily available from book vendors.