London Irish Rifles Association

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

As we draw towards the end of the year, I would like to draw your attention to two excellent events, one in London and the other in Belfast.

On 2nd December, we shall be hosting a social occasion at the Freemasons Arms near Covent Garden to commemorate the 158th anniversary of the formation of the London Irish Rifles. Come along and join us at 1130am for a fun-filled few hours of chat and the partaking of a glass or two of the black stuff... or alternatively you could head out for some more Christmas shopping with the rest of the family. The choice, of course, is entirely yours.

Over the following weekend, on Sunday 10th December at Belfast City Hall, Anthony Maher and our Northern Ireland branch will be leading the commemorations of the Battle of Stormberg that took place during December 1899. Of course, the Boer War saw the first battle honour awarded to the Regiment as several hundred London Irishmen would serve in South Africa. I attended last year's event and spent a very enjoyable couple of days in a most hospitable city. Highly recommended.

As we draw towards the end of 2017, we also continue to track the movements of men of the London Irish Rifles during the Great War. At the end of November 1917, the 1st Battalion moved from near Arras to the Cambrai area, where they would take part in the bitterly fought defence of Bourlon Wood. Meanwhile, the 2nd Battalion would continue its fighting advance towards Jerusalem.

Find out details of how to apply for Membership of the Association and receive the Emerald by following this link.

Major Peter Lough TD,

Chairman of the London Irish Rifles Association.

QUIS SEPARABIT.


Find a Full Calendar of Association events here.

 


QUICK LINKS.

Recent Events. News ArticlesRegimental History. Museum. Pipes and Drums.

 


ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP.

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, members receive the journal of the London Irish Rifles, the 'Emerald', which has been published annually since 1949.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 


THE LONDON IRISH RIFLES TODAY.

The London Irish Rifles now form D Company (London Irish Rifles), The London Regiment.

You can find an MoD link for D Company 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.

The London Irish Rifles would gain over 60 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.

See some photographs from our Regimental history here.

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

Read a selection of First World War stories here.

Read a selection of Second World War stories here.

 


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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


REGIMENTAL MUSEUM.

We have a Regimental Museum at Connaught House, which contains many interesting artefacts, 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 more about our Museum here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 Freemason's Arms in Covent Garden near to 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 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'.

Find what items you can buy at the PRI Shop here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


CADET DETACHMENTS.

The London Irish Rifles has Army Cadet Force detachments at locations in the South East sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.

You can find 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.