London Irish Rifles Association

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WELCOME to the web site of the LONDON IRISH RIFLES ASSOCIATION.

A fantastic commemorative event was held in Piedimonte Etneo on Sunday 27th July to remember all the men of the Regiment who served in Sicily during July to September 1943. The Association was especially honoured that the municipality of Piedimonte conferred honorary citizenship on our President, Major General Purdon, and myself. We shall be shortly adding photographs of the event here.

Our recent pilgrimage to Italy in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the actions of the two battalions of the London Irish Rifles during the Second World War proved an extremely moving week with three Remembrance ceremonies conducted at the CWGC and US cemeteries in Anzio and Cassino. You can find some photographs of the trip here.

Now, we are starting to look forward in earnest towards our next major overseas trip, which will be the 100th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Loos during September 2015 - you can find details and a booking form by following the link.

In parallel with our future plans, we continue to record the Regiment's involvement during the First World War and the Second World War as we add historical narratives and first hand accounts from both World Wars.

We look forward to seeing you at the Regimental Association events later in the year - next one is Loos on 28th September.

QUIS SEPARABIT.

Major Peter Lough TD

Chairman of the London Irish Rifles Association.


 



UPCOMING EVENTS.

Sunday 28th September - Loos Sunday, Connaught House.

Find the full calendar of Association events here.



LATEST NEWS/ARTICLES.

Read the latest news and articles here.

You can view photographs from recent Association events here.



ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP.

We have a thriving Regimental Association and our members take part in regular events as well as occasional special events, including regular 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.

You can read the Chairman's message for 2014 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.

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 about the current activities of D Company here.

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.

 


REGIMENTAL HISTORY.

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 - 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.

See some photographs from our Regimental history here.

Read a detailed account of the history of the London Irish Rifles.

Read about some of the Regiment's most famous events, including the story of the 'Footballers of Loos'.

Read a selection of First World War stories.

Read a selection of Second World War stories.


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.

 

 

 

 


REGIMENTAL MUSEUM.

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.

Read here about our recent acquisitions, and how you can visit the Museum.

 

 



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 Freemason's Arms in Covent Garden where our Regiment was founded in December 1859.

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'.

See what else you can buy at Connaught House.

 

 

 



CADET DETACHMENTS.

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.

 

 

 

 


RESOURCES/LINKS.

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.

You can find a link to relevant web sites and further reading by following this link.


FINDING US.

Connaught House is located in Camberwell, South London, and is easily accessible by car, bus, train and tube.

Find a full guide on how to visit us.