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History of the Royal Irish Rifles



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History of the Royal Irish Rifles by Lieut Col George Brenton Laurie
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In 1881 the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot was linked to the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot thus forming the 1st and 2nd Battalions of a new regiment - the Royal Irish Rifles. In 1921 the designation was changed to the Royal Ulster Rifles. This regimental history extends over a period of 120 years, beginning with the raising of the 83rd and 86th in 1793 and ending in 1912. The author has done a thorough job with this book, so I was more than a bit surprised to read in the Foreword by the Colonel of the Regiment (in his 98th year) his reference to "this little book that I have before me....." when you could do with a porter to carry it for you. This is a goldmine for the genealogist or medallist, for not only does the detail of the text abound with the names of personnel but also there is the complete list of officers who served in the 83rd, 86th and, after 1881, the Royal Irish Rifles. The information against each name gives date of commission or date of transferring from another regiment, dates of subsequent promotions and the date he left the regiment and the reason, such as retired, resigned, half pay, died, transferred to Indian Army or to another regiment etc. Another list gives the names of other ranks awarded the DCM showing campaign and reason for the award, and yet another names the officers who received the Military General Service Medal for service in the Peninsular War and which clasps were awarded. Another appendix lists the succession of Colonels (83rd, 86th and Royal Irish Rifles) with details of their military careers.This is a very good history which begins with the raising of the regiments and continues with each chapter devoted to one or the other regiments for a specific period. Thus, for example, Chapter III is headed 'Eighty-sixth Regiment (1793-1799)' and Chapter VIII 'Eighty-third Regiment (1805-1817).' Most of the 83rd's Battle Honours were won in the Peninsular War where it took part in the campaign from 1809 to 1814, both regiments were in India during the same period, 1842-1859. The narrative not only describes in great detail the actions, battles and skirmishes with casualties but also all other events in the life of the regiments: - moves, rations, clothing, equipment, strength returns, correspondence and so on. The maps are very good and finally, there is a chapter on dress, the Colours and medals. It is the story of a regiment.
Release date NZ
June 30th, 2003
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Naval & Military Press Ltd
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