Updated 18 Sep 1999
Transcribed from public records by Kieran and posted here with his kind permission.
Here is some info on the North Cork Militia.
My main interest in the North Corks is the fact that my Great Grandfather Denis Healy fought in the Boer War in this Battalion. As you can see a wonderful description emerges about their journey to South Africa.
Transcribed from Records of Disbanded Militia Regiments for transmission to the custody of the Master of The Rolls. FHL film No: 0917176. Volumes 306-310. Original Records from the Public Record Office, Kew, London. Transcribed By: KIERAN J. HEALY. 6th June 1996. Record of the North Cork Rifles from 1881. During the years 1881 and 1882 the battalion did not assemble for training. From 1883 to 1890 the battalion assembled for training in the Annabella Park, Mallow. In 1885 a new rifle range was opened at “Knockaroura” about a mile and a half from Mallow at which the battalion were exercised at musketry each year until 1895. On the 20th January 1891 the following letter was received: Osborne, Jany. 18th 1891. My Dear Colonel, As I believe your battn represents the old “North Cork Militia” which took part in the review at aldershot in 1859 when the Queen was present. I am commanded by her Majesty to send to you a Photogravure of the picture of the event which perhaps the officers may like to have in remembrance of it. Yours Truly, signed) Henry F. Ponsonby. Colonel Aldworth. To this letter the following reply was made by Colonel R.W. Aldworth. Newmarket Court, Newmarket, Co, Cork, Jany 21st 1891. Dear Sir Henry Ponsonby, I beg to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your letter of 18th inst informing me of the gift of Her Most Gracious Majesty The Queen of a Photogravure of a review at Aldershot in 1859 Her Majesty being present, to the 9th Battn King’s Royal Rifle Corps late the North Cork Rifles of which I am Honorary Colonel and lately Commanded. I beg on behalf of the Regiment to tender our most cordial and respectful thanks for the honour done to the Regiment by this gift which will ever be cherished by the Regiment in grateful remembrance. I remain, Yours Truly, (signed) R.W. Aldworth Colonel, Hon: Colonel 9th Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Gen: Sir Henry Ponsonby G.C.B. etc,etc, During the years 1896, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99. the recruits of the battalion assembled at Mallow for Pre, Drill and were billeted in the town,and proceeded to Kilworth camp for a recruits course of musketry, where they were joined by the old hands for the annual training. On 21st June 1899 Field Marshal Edward Roberts V.C. visited the camp and the battalion was ordered to parade in marching order in brigade with the 3rd and 4th King’s Royal Rifle Corps, but the day being very inclement the parade could not take place. His Lordship on leaving camp that evening expressed his deep regret at being unable to see the battalion of which he had heard such good reports. With deep regret the news was received of the death of Colonel R.W. Aldworth Hon: Colonel to the battalion which took place at his residence Newmarket Court, Newmarket. The Permanent Staff of the battalion attended the funeral on 7th February and carried their late chief to his last resting place in the family resting place. Sir R.U.P. Fitzgerald Bart:M.P.D.L.J.P. was appointed to the Hon: Colonelcy of the battalion on 8th March 1899. By special Army Order of 10th May 1899, Authority was given for a new section to be formed in the Militia and to be styled the “ Special Services Section “ the enrollment for this branch of the service took place at Kilworth camp during the training 1899 when the following numbers were enrolled. Sergeants 4. Corporals 5. Privates 94. At Kilworth camp on 29th June 1899 the battalion was inspected by Major General H. McCalmont C.B. Commanding the District, the battalion took part in the field operations at Moor Park the same day and brigaded with the 3rd and 4th battalions King’s Royal Rifles. The following is an extract from battalion orders dated: 22nd December 1899: “The Commanding Officer has much pleasure in notifying to the battalion the very satisfactory result of this mornings parade He had every confidence in the men of all ranks, upholding their good name and he assures them that no trouble will be spared to watch their interests and to attend to their comforts whilst they behave in a soldierlike and proper manner”. Colonel Cooke-Collis at once wired to the War Office notifying the wish of the men to share the fortunes of their comrades in the field. This application was graciously accepted and a telegram received to the effect that the battalion had been selected for service, orders then came to hand directing the embarkation to take place at Queenstown on 13th January 1900 for South Africa on board the transport No 82 the “R.M. SS. Nile”. The battalion left Templemore at 6.am. on 13th January arriving at Queenstown at 9.am. where the embarkation at once took place the following being the Officers who accompanied it. Colonel W. Cooke-Collis. Major W. Stopford. Major L.A. de V. Maunsell. Captain R.S. Brasier-Creagh. Captain A.W. Clerke. Captain G.G. de C. Harrison. Captain W.S. Clerke. Captain J.C.O. Aldworth. Captain J.E. Martin. Captain E.W.C. Dillon. Captain T.W.M. Fuge. Lieut’s: W.J.N. Cooke-Collis. J.S. Hunt. W.M. Percival-Maxwell. 2nd. Lieut’s: T.A. Montgomery. J. M. Mackenzie. W. M. Mandwell. S. Huthins. Captain and Adjutant: R. Byron. Captain and Quartermaster: W. Holmes. Surgeon Lt. Colonel: J. Creagh. Attached from Waterford Artillery: Lieut. E.D.F. Gee. The following were the numbers that embarked with the battalion: Permanent Staff 22 Staff Sergeants and 7 Buglers. Militia. Sergeants. Corporals. Privates Total. 14 32 547 593 Embarkation was completed by 12.00.noon in the presence of a great number of friends, relations, and well wishers of the Corps. The “Nile” left her moorings about 1.00pm and sailed out of the harbour accompanied as far as Camden Fort by Colonel R.U.P. Fitzgerald Bart, on board his own yacht with Major General Sir Hugh McCalmont and a number of guests on the bridge. Cape St. Vincent was reached on 20th January and after coaling we again left for Cape Town. Four days after leaving Cape St. Vincent the battalion suffered a very severe loss by the unexpected death of Major L.A. de V. Maunsell from Pneumonia, he was buried at sea on 25th January. The “Nile” arrived at Cape Town early on the morning of 1st February and the battalion disembarked and entrained for Nauwport at 9.00pm that same night. A detachment of 10 N.C.O.’s and men were left at the base depot where we were again unfortunate in loosing one stroke. The battalion arrived at Nauwport at 5.00pm and the next morning took over the defence of the Western Copjies. On the 8th February the Right half battalion under Major W. Stopford .......................................illegible. On 1st June “A. & C. Companies “ were sent to the Rail Head Lewespruit as escort to a convoy; that night information was received that the escort to the convoy was hard pressed by the enemy, when the remainder of the battalion went to its assistance and on joining the escort forced the enemy to retire. The battalion then moved as follows without anything of importance occurring: To Kromellingburg...............................2nd June. To Wolvehoek....................................5th June. To Steenpan.....................................6th June. and on to Taaibosch (rail head) on the same date.The battalion remained at the bridge guarding it for 8 days as it was being repaired and whilst there had charge of 87 Boer prisoners who had to be detained pending the repairs of a portion of the line down country which had been broken up by De Wet. When the prisoners were sent down country the battalion moved to Taaibosch Kop a very commanding position leaving two companies to guard the bridge, also sent two companies to Viljoens drift station. The Headquarters remained at Taaibosch Kop until 14th May 1901 having charge of the line: Verseniging to Wolvehoek a task of great importance and responsibility as the line had to be patrolled several times a night at uncertain hours, a distance of 11 miles. The Boers were very active in this district and made many attempts to wreck the line but in no case were they sucessful, the manner in which the line was guarded being referred to by the D.A.A.G. lines of communication Wolvehoek to Irene in a circular memo dated 22nd May 1901 in the following terms:- para 6. Officers are invited to use their ingenuity in devising means by which to suprise the enemy when endeavoring to interfere with the railway. That this can be successfully done is shown by the way a patrol of the 9th-Battn King’s Royal Rifles Corps supprised half a dozen Boers preparing to lay a mine south of Steen. The following is an extract from Army orders dated Pretoria, 28th June 1901: The following Sergeants have been specially brought to the notice of The Commander in Chief for gallantry in good leading in action:- No: 2041. Sergeant W. McQue. No: 2843. Sergeant W. Conner. On the 14th May 1901 the Headquarters moved to Verseniging still having charge of the line to Wolvehoek finding in addition a party for the outpost at Waldrift. After a short time orders were received to concentrate the battalion for home and Verseniging and the line were left in charge of The West Kent Regiment. The following order was published the day before leaving Verseniging : Morning Order. By Brigadier General G.G. Cunningham C.B. D.S.O. Commanding at Verseniging, Headquarters Verseniging, 12th June 1901. 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, departure for home. The G.o.C. cannot let the 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps leave the command, on their departure for home, without placing on record the good they have done. The first Irish Militia Battalion to respond to the call to arms and volunteer for active service in South Africa, the 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps landed at Capetown on 1st February 1900 and at once proceeded to the front, joining the force in the Colesburg District, and being engaged in the action on 14th February 1900. When the general advance took place the battalion was employed in guarding the railway, and at Rail head in the beginning of May when they were visited by Field Marshall Lord Roberts when the Commander in Chief expressed his satisfaction with the battalion. From the month of June onwards the guarding of the railway from the Vaal to Wolvehoek fell to the lot of the 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps and the battles fought as the Boers unsuccessfully tried to wreck the railway in the Orange River Colony during this period are remembered. A Mounted Infantry Company was formed which has rendered good service, the state in which the horses are being left behind reflects great credit on all concerned. The G.o.C. wishes Colonel Cooke-Collis and all ranks of the 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps a safe and prosperous journey home, and that the welcome may be warm as it is well deserved. By Order, (signed) N.R.M. McMahon Captain. D.A.A.G. Lines of communication, Wolvehoek to Irene. The battalion entrained for down country on 13th June arriving at De Aar on 16th idiem.. Here the usual return to stores of all field equipment took place and on 4th July the train was again taken for Capetown which was reached on 6th July. the usual bustle consignment on an embarkation being over, the “ Pinemore “ steamed for home at 4.30pm that same evening. After an uneventful voyage touching at Las Palmas en route the “ Pinemore “ reached Queenstown at 5.00am on 31st July 1901. She anchored just within the harbour and by 10.00am the tug came alongside and the transport was towed under charge of the pilot to the deep water quay, where preparations on a most elaborate scale had been made to receive the battalion. At 12.30 the disembarkation was complete and the battalion was drawn up in line and inspected by H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, K.G. etc who subsequently presented the South African Medals to the Officers, N.C.O’s and men and in addressing the battalion referred at length to their praiseworthy conduct and to the excellent manner in which they had answered to the call to arms, and upheld the high standard of the “ North Corks “. The Lord Lieutenant of the County ( The Right Honorable James Francis Earl of Bandon K.P. ) presented on behalf of the Citizens of Cork an illuminated address, after suitable replies by Colonel Cooke-Collis the battalion entrained for Mallow where the disembodiment took place that evening, all leaving in a quiet and orderly manner. Numbers embarked for South Africa. Permanent Staff. Militia. Officers. Sergeants. Buglers. Sergeants. Corporals. Privates. 23. 22. 7. 14. 32. 547. Commanding Officer. Colonel William Cooke-Collis. Arrived at Cape Town 1st February 1900. Left Cape Town 6th July 1901. Died. Major L.A. de V. Maunsell. at sea 24th January 1900. Captain E.W.C. Dillon. at Cape Town 7th February 1900. Surgeon Lt. Col: J. Creagh. at Honning Spruit 8th July 1900. N.C.O’s and Men ( died ). 19. Drowned. 1. Killed. 2. Names of Officers, N.C.O’s and Men receiving Special Honours:- Colonel W. Cooke-Collis C.M.G. Capt. & Adjt. R. Byron D.S.C. Captain A.W. Clerke D.S.C. No: 5077. Sergeant Major D. Connell Distinguished Conduct Medal. No: 1261. Q.M. Sergeant T.Hogan Distinguished Conduct Medal. Medals and Clasps received by the Battalion. Queens South Africa, Clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901. Mentioned in Dispatches. Capt. & Adjt. R. Byron 27th September 1901. Captain A. W. Clerke 27th September 1901. Captain W. H. Nichols 23rd June 1902. Major & Q.M. W. Holmes 23rd June 1902. No: 5077 Sgt. Major D. Connell 27th September 1901. No: 1261 Q.M. Sgt. T. Hogan 27th September 1901. No: 369 Colour Sgt. T. Wallace 27th September 1901. No: 1757 Colour Sgt W. Callaghan 23rd June 1902. No: 2843 Sergeant W. Conner 23rd June 1902. 1902. Under War Office letter No: A/Militia/9161(A.G.I.) dated 21st February 1902. the assembly of the battalion was dispensed with. The recruits of the battalion assembled at Mallow on 7th June and proceeded to Salisbury via Waterford and Milford the same date and were attached to the 8th Battalion King’s Royal Rifles whilst at Salisbury, they returned to Mallow on 3rd July and were dismissed to their homes the same day. 1st January 1903. QuarterMaster and Hon: Captain W. Holmes granted the Hon: rank of Major. dated 1.1.03. The recruits of the battalion assembled for preliminary drill on 30th March and were billeted in various houses in the town of Mallow. The recruits and Headquarters proceeded to Kilworth on 14th May for Musketry, the old hands of the battalion assembled at Kilworth on 1st June for the annual training, the whole battalion was inspected in field marching order on 23rd June 1903 by Colonel S.H. Harrison Commanding 101st Regimental District. The annual training of the battalion terminated on 27th June when the men were dismissed to their homes, the permanent staff proceeding to Mallow the Headquarters of the battalion. 1904. The recruits of the battalion assembled at Mallow on 4th April 1904. and were billeted in the town as usual, on 13th April they were inspected in drill order by Colonel S.H. Harrison Commanding 101st Regimental District and on the 25th by Colonel W. Cooke-Collis. C.M.G. On 19th May the troops proceeded to Kilworth for Musketry where they were joined by the men who had drilled on enlistment 23rd May.On 6th June the battalion assembled for the annual training and were inspected by Colonel S.H. Harrison Commanding 101st Regimental District, in marching and review order on 28th and 29th June respectively. The annual training of the battalion terminated on 2nd July when the men were dismissed to their homes, the permanent staff proceeding to Mallow the Headquarters of the battalion. Capt. & Adjutant R. Byron. K.R.R.C. having completed his term of Adjutantcy to the battalion on 16th August 1904. Captain W.H.L. Allgood. K.R.R.C. arrived and took over the duties from that date. 1905. The recruits of the battalion assembled at Mallow on 3rd April 1905. and were billeted as usual, until 1st May when they moved into camp at Ballyellis, Mallow about one and a half miles from barracks. On 28th April the recruits were inspected by Colonel S.H. Harrison Commanding 101st Regimental District. On 22nd May all the men drilled on enlistment joined for musketry, returning on completion 2nd June. On 5th June the battalion assembled for training at Mallow and on 9th June the right half battalion and band proceeded to Kilworth for musketry, returning on 16th and the left half battalion proceeded to Kilworth for the same purpose returning on 23rd June. On 29th June the battalion was inspected by Brigadier Lionel Brooke Commanding South Irish Grouped Regimental District, Companies on kit inspection, B.& F. Companies in marching order after which the whole battalion paraded in drill order. The annual training of the battalion terminated on 19th July when all the men were dismissed to their homes. The following Officers were granted leave from the annual training:- Major & Hon: Lt. Col. W. Stopford. Capt & Hon: Major J.C.O. Aldworth. Extract from the London Gazette dated: 27th June 1905. The King has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of the undermentioned Officer as Aide-de-Camps to His Majesty and to confer on him the rank of Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel and Honourary Colonel William Cooke-Collis C.M.G. Commanding 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps. ------------------------------ From “ The Regimental Records of The British Army “ by John S. Farmer, published by Grant Richards, London 1901. The King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Comprising 1st to 4th Battalions. ( formerly ) The 60th (The King’s Royal Rifle Corps) ; with Militia Battalions. 5th Battalion. The Huntingdon Militia. 7th Battalion. The 2nd Royal Middlesex Militia 8th Battalion. The Carlow Militia. 9th Battalion. The North Cork Militia. The Regimental Motto, “ Celer et Audax “ : Swift and Bold. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------