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Thursday, 31 August, 1972

Army Order Number 54/1972 directed that 'Killaloe' became the Regimental Quick March of The Royal Irish Rangers. It replaced the previous Regimental Quick March which was a musical arrangement of 'Rory O'Moore', 'St Patrick's Day' and 'Garryowen'.

The Royal Irish Rangers Regimental Orders Serial Number 13, dated 9 October 1972, referred to Army Order Number 54/1972 and promulgated 'Killaloe' as the new Regimental Quick March. The order was signed by the Colonel of The Royal Irish Rangers, Lieutenant General Sir Ian C Harris KBE CB DSO.


[This tribute was written by the late Major General H E N (Bala) Bredin and published in our Regimental Magazine, 'The Blackthorn', in 1978.]

Monday, 21 February, 1814

Napoleon David(Right; Napoleon by David, 1813 Wiki CC)

The following letter was received by the Admiral commanding the Royal Navy ships stationed in the Downs:

To the Honourable J. Foley, Port Admiral, Deal, &c. &c. &c.

Dover, One o’Clock, A.M.
February 21, 1814


Tuesday, 17 October, 1939

In late 1937 the British Army was awakening to the threat of aggression from another power and, as such, was re-equipping with new or modernised arms and equipment. It was at this time that the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle was introduced into service. After the preliminary checks, an officer of the Faughs* was heard to enquire, 'Who will carry the Boys Rifles, Sergeant Major?' A brief puzzled pause was followed by the reply 'Sure the boys will carry their own rifles, sir!'

Faugh = a battalion of The Royal Irish Fusiliers or a Royal Irish Fusilier of any rank.

Thursday, 15 November, 1951

The 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers arrived in Port Said on 15 November and moved to Geneifa where they were complete by 17 November 1951. Operations included guarding key facilities, patrolling and sweep (search) operations. Several operations targeted the Egyptian Police including the fortress post at Geneifa. It was there that Major G F Maxwell approached the fort's gate in a carrier and persuaded its occupants to surrender by rapping on the gate with his blackthorn stick and explaining the alternative from inside his carrier with only his steel helmet visible.

Thursday, 25 September, 1952

The 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers embarked in HMT New Australia and departed Egypt on 25 September, bound for England. After disembarking they arrived in Castle Barracks, Dover on 3 October 1952. After the Battalion returned from a long leave in January 1953, it was deployed on flood relief at Southwold and Sea Palling near Norwich, Norfolk, from February to March. The next operational deployment in October 1953 would be to Kenya where a State of Emergency had been declared in October 1952.

Sunday, 4 November, 1951

The 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers had been placed at 28 days notice to move on 17 October 1951 due to the emergency in Egypt and the Suez Canal Zone. The Battalion departed Connaught Barracks and, led by the Drums and Pipes, marched to the railway station in Dover where it entrained for Southampton. With the Regimental band playing on the dockside the Battalion embarked in HMS Triumph* and sailed on 4 November 1951, bound for Port Said via Cyprus.

Saturday, 23 February, 1952

The 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers completed the move from Geneifa to Tel el Kebir by 23 February 1952. There the Battalion was under canvas in its own encampment inside the Base Depot. This depot held all the British stores in Egypt and was protected by wire and mines. As some of the dumps contained very attractive items, many locals were inclined to attempt breaching the defences to improve their lot. The Drums and Pipes were formed into a specialist ambush platoon to assist with defence and deterrence.

Thursday, 27 August, 1942

The 1st Battalion The London Irish Rifles (1LIR) embarked on the troopship HMT Orduna* on 27 August 1942 and sailed from Liverpool, via Cape Town, South Africa where, after some shore rest they embarked on the HMT California , eventually arriving in Bombay on 17 October. From there they sailed aboard a Dutch vessel for the Persian Gulf and Iraq where they disembarked near Basra at Ma'qil. From there the Battalion moved by road transport to Al Zubair where it conducted training before, on 15 November, moving by train via Baghdad to the oil-field city of Kirkuk.

Thursday, 1 April, 1943

The 1st Battalion The London Irish Rifles departed Kirkuk on 1 April 1943 and moved by road through Jordan and Palestine, arriving at the Suez Canal nine days later. There the Battalion undertook training at the Combined Training Centre Middle East (HMS Saunders), Kabrit in the Bitter Lakes area. This was followed by land training at Gaza and then a period of local leave.

Below: Army assault troops landing from invasion craft at HMS Saunders, Kabrit on the Bitter Lakes.