… to the web site of the LONDON IRISH RIFLES ASSOCIATION.
We recently held a very successful AGM and Annual Lunch and we now look forward to an eventful second half of the year.
We have also now sent out the 2018 Emerald to all subscribing members and it is a very interesting read indeed including an article on the London Irish Rifles role during the last year of the First World War, a feature on the activities of our Northern Ireland branch and some focus on the remarkable endurance running exploits of Sammy Kilpatrick.
Lastly, I would also like to draw your attention to a commemorative event taking place in Sicily on Sunday 9th September in Piedimonte Etneo, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the Loos Sunday parade that took place in the town during September 1943 and which was attended by our 1st Battalion with the parade salute taken by their commanding officer, Lt-Colonel Ian Good. Members including myself, attending the commemorations, are sure to receive some wonderful Sicilian hospitality, very similar to that gratefully accepted by our regimental forebears when they came into Piedimonte on 8th September 1943.
I look forward to seeing you at an Association event in the near future.
Peter Lough, Major (ret’d).
Chairman of the London Irish Rifles Association.
It is our sad duty to report that the President of the London Irish Rifles Association, Major General Corran Purdon CBE MC CPM, died peacefully in the early hours of 27th June 2018.
The whole of the London Irish Rifles’ family around the world would like to send our deepest condolences to the Purdon family.
Find details of how to apply for Membership of the Association and receive the Emerald by following this link.
We have a thriving Regimental Association and our members take part in regular events as well as occasional battlefield tours. Our Welfare Team provides support to former and current London Irish Riflemen, liaising with external organisations, including SSAFA, on matters that require further investigation. Each year, subscribing 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.
We also have a Northern Ireland Branch, which meets every three months in Newtownabbey, under the stewardship of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Maher. Read more about the activities of the Northern Ireland branch here.
The London Irish Rifles now form D Company (London Irish Rifles), The London Regiment.
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 course of its history, the London Irish Rifles has gained 66 battle honours, during the Boer War and in both 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.
THE PIPES AND DRUMS.
The Regimental Pipes and Drums was founded in 1906, and has been active within the umbrella of the Regimental Association since 1969.
Today, the Band takes part in many events including the various Regimental ones at Connaught House as well as joining in the ‘The Lord Mayor’s Show’ parade 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 artefacts, including the original Loos Football, which has recently been re-conditioned.
The Museum Curator, Alex Shooter, is available at all Regimental Association events and he 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: order a pint of the black stuff and enjoy the craic.
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’.
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, 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’.
RESOURCES AND USEFUL 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.
Connaught House is located in Camberwell, South London, and is easily accessible by car, bus, train and tube.