WELCOME to the web site of the LONDON IRISH RIFLES ASSOCIATION.
With spring weather in the air (yes, really), we are now entering an exciting few months for the Association.
Our immediate, major focus will be our visit to Loos in September, which should prove to be a truly memorable commemorative occasion for the Regiment. We shall be finalising our detailed plans for the visit during a recce to France in the middle of March and then be able to confirm these in turn with our members.
From March 9th onwards, we shall start to provide updates on this website to coincide with the 100th anniversaries of the actions of the two battalions of the London Irish Rifles during the Great War when the Regiment was awarded twenty five Battle Honours for their periods of service in France, Belgium, Greece and the Middle East.
Also, we should not forget that 2015 marks the 70th Anniversary of the final campaigns of the Second World War and we shall be recalling the time when our 1st and 2nd Battalions met on the battlefield in northern Italy during April 1945.....it had truly been a long road from Kirkuk and Algiers.
We look forward to seeing you at Connaught House in the near future - the St Patrick's Day parade in March will be the next chance for us all to catch up....
....And watch out for our special commemorative edition of the Emerald, which should be with you during March.
Major Peter Lough TD
Chairman of the London Irish Rifles Association.
Sunday 15th March 2015 - St Patrick's Day Parade, Connaught House.
Saturday 13th June 2015 - AGM/Annual Reunion Lunch, Connaught House.
Sunday 14th June 2015 - Combined Irish Regiments' Parade,Whitehall.
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.
You can read about the government's plans for the future Army Reserve by following this link.
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 'The Lord Mayor's Show' through 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 not surprising 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 at the museum and at Mulqueens, 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 available about the Regiment, including the 'History of the Pipes and Drums' and 'The Footballers of Loos'.
The London Irish Rifles has three Army Cadet Force detachments, based at locations in the South East and North West sector.
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.