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IRISH CAVALRY REGIMENTS

Updated 6 Jan 2001

Transcribed from public records by Michael Cronin and posted here with his kind permission.

CAVALRY

This list represents the Irish cavalry regiments (or those with Irish connections) of the British army for the period 1881-1900 although it is possible that with some of these the Irish connection was more historic than real.

There are also regiments (not listed here) with less obvious connections. The 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers, an English regiment, served 86 years uninterrupted in Ireland (1717-1803); and the 12th (Prince Of Wales's Royal Lancers) 76 years (1718-1794).

THE 4TH (ROYAL IRISH) DRAGOON GUARDS

Originally an English regiment formed in 1685 as the 6th Horse (Arran's Cuirassiers) and recruited in both the north and London areas. It was based in Ireland during Marlborough's campaigns and in 1746, when the old Horse regiments were reorganised, it became the 1st (or Blue) Irish Horse. In 1788 the regiments were reorganised again and it became the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards. In 1922 it merged with the 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards.

THE 5TH (PRINCESS CHARLOTTE OF WALES'S) DRAGOON GUARDS

Also originally an English regiment formed in 1685 as the 7th Horse (Coy's Horse) and went to Ireland with William III. For Marlborough's campaigns three troops (half the regiment) were raised in Ireland and after those campaigns it returned to be based in Ireland from 1715. It became the 2nd (or Green) Irish Horse in 1746 and the 5th Dragoon Guards in 1788. The "Princess Charlotte of Wales" title was added in 1804. In 1922 it merged with the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. Kitzmiller list this regiment as recruiting mostly in Chester and Bristol.

THE 6TH DRAGOON GUARDS (CARABINIERS)

Like the 5th this regiment formed in 1685 as the 9th Horse, went to Ireland with William III, served with Marlborough, and returned to Ireland in 1715. It became the 3rd Irish Horse (or Kings Carabiners) in 1746 and the 6th Dragoon Guards in 1788. In 1922 it merged with the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards and finally in 1971 it became part of the Royal Scott's Dragoon Guards.

THE 7TH (PRINCESS ROYAL'S) DRAGOON GUARDS

Raised in England in 1688 as the 10th Horse (The Earl of Devonshire's), went to Ireland with William III, served with Marlborough, but did not return to Ireland until 1747 by which time it had become the 4th Irish (or Black) Horse. In 1788 it became the 7th Dragoon Guards. In 1922 it merged with the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards.

THE 5TH (ROYAL IRISH) LANCERS

Raised as the first of the two Innisikilling regiments of dragoons in support of William of Orange. Disbanded in 1799 after being infiltrated by Irish nationalists (there was an unsuccessful attempt to murder the officers!) but eventually restored in 1858 as a lancer regiment. Merged with the 16th (Queen's) Lancers in 1922.

THE 6TH (INNISKILLING) DRAGOONS

Second of two Innisikilling regiments of dragoons raised for the defence of Enniskillen in 1689. Merged with the 5th Dragoon Guards in 1922.

THE 8TH (KING'S ROYAL IRISH) HUSSARS

An Irish Protestant regiment formed in 1693 as the 8th Dragoons (or Cunningham's Dragoons). Changed to light dragoons in 1775 and the title "King's Own Royal Irish" was added 1777. Made into a hussar corps 1822. This was one of the regiments that took part in the charge of the Light Brigade. Retained its identity after 1922 but was eventually merged with the 4th Hussars in 1958 becoming the Queens Royal Irish Hussars.

INFANTRY OF THE LINE

In 1881 the infantry regiments were restructured, most of the single battalion regiments numbered above 25 were paired up to become two battalion regiments, most of the Irish regiments also had three militia regiments affiliated as the 3rd 4th and 5th battalions (the exception to this were the two rifle regiments). The system of numbering regiments was abandoned in favour of names.

ROYAL IRISH REGIMENT

Formerly the 18th (The Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot.
1st Bn: Raised in Ireland for the purposes of garrisoning during the time of the commonwealth and brought into the English establishment in 1689 as the 18th. A second battalion was formed in 1802 and disbanded in 1814. 2nd Bn: Raised in 1858 with volunteers from Irish militia regiments.
3rd Bn: Formerly the Wexford Militia. Staff HQ at Wexford.
4th Bn: Formerly the North Tipperary Light Infantry Militia. Staff HQ at Clonmel.
5th Bn: Formerly the Kilkenny Fusiliers Militia. Staff HQ at Kilkenny.
The regiment was disbanded in 1922.

ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS

1st Bn: Formerly the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot. In 1689 a large volunteer force of both horse and foot was formed for the defence of Enniskilling, after achieving victory over Lord Mountcashel on July 1, 1689 they were arranged into regiments of the British army, two of horse, three of foot. Of the foot, two were disbanded in 1694, but Colonel Tiffin's survived as the 27th. Much of the original regiment was lost in the West Indies in 1739, new recruitment was confined to Yorkshire from 1744. A second battalion was formed from Irish militia in 1800 but disbanded two years later. Another 2nd battalion was raised in Fermanagh, Armagh, and Down on the resumption of war and a 3rd in 1805, both were disbanded in 1815.
2nd Bn: Formerly the 108th (Madras Infantry) Regiment of Foot. Originally the East India Companies 3rd Madras European Regiment which was amalgamated into the regular army in 1861.
3rd Bn: Formerly the Fermanagh Light Infantry Militia.
4th Bn: Formerly the Royal Tyrone Fusiliers Militia.
5th Bn: Formerly the Donegal (Prince of Wales's Own) Militia. Staff HQ at Omagh.
Merged with the Royal Ulster Rifles (Formerly Royal Irish Rifles) in 1922 becoming the Royal Irish Rangers.

KINGS ROYAL RIFLE CORPS

This regiment was originally raised in New York and Philadelphia (1755) as the 62nd Royal American Regiment of Foot, it was renumbered 60th in 1757 (the regiment was in the West Indies during the American war of Independence). A special act of parliament was passed allowing it to commission foreign officers, it was referred to by some as the British Foreign Legion. From the beginning it consisted of four battalions although over the years this number varied as needs dictated peaking at eight during the Napoleonic period and reducing to two in 1815. In 1824 the remaining foreigners were drafted out of the regiment, one battalion was converted to rifles, the other light infantry (the uniform was changed from red to green as was the norm with rifle regiments). They were renamed the 60th Duke of York's Rifle corps and Light Infantry which was soon changed to the 60th Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps and changed again in 1830 to the 60th Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

1st Bn: Raised as the 2nd in 1755 and served all its time in either America or the West Indies until 1824 when it was brought to England (the remaining foreign soldiers were left behind in Canada) The number was changed to 1st in 1818 when the old 1st was disbanded.
2nd Bn: Raised in 1787 as the 3rd, renumbered 2nd in 1818. It was brought to England in 1830 and also left soldiers on the other side of the Atlantic.
3rd Bn: Raised in Dublin 1855.
4th Bn: Raised in Winchester 1857.
5th Bn: Formerly the Huntingdon Militia Rifles.
6th Bn: Formerly the Royal Flint Militia Rifles. Disbanded 1889.
7th Bn: Formerly the 2nd Middlesex Royal Edmonton Militia Rifles.
8th Bn: Formerly the Carlow Rifles Militia.
9th Bn: Formerly the North Cork Militia Rifles.
There were also 11 volunteer battalions all based in either London or the home counties.
In 1966 this regiment was merged with the Rifle Brigade and the Oxfordshire Light Infantry to become The Royal Green Jackets.

ROYAL IRISH RIFLES (Later Royal Ulster Rifles)

1st Bn: Formerly the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot. Raised in Dublin in 1793 but the county title was not adopted until 1859.
2nd Bn: Formerly the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot. Raised in Shropshire, Lancashire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire - 1793. They were later reinforced by the remnant of the 121st (County Clare) Regiment of Foot, which had been captured by the French while crossing the Irish Sea, and still later by a remnant of the 95th at Cape Town. The name Leinster Regiment was adopted in 1806 but this was changed to County Down in 1812.
3rd Bn: Formerly the Royal North Down Rifles Militia. Staff HQ at Newtownards.
4th Bn: Formerly the Antrim (Queens Royal Rifles) Militia. Staff HQ at Belfast.
5th Bn: Formerly the Royal South Down (Light Infantry) Militia. Staff HQ at Downpatrick.
6th Bn: Formerly the Louth (Rifles) Militia. Staff HQ at Dundalk.
Merged with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1922 becoming the Royal Irish Rangers.

THE PRINCESS VICTORIA'S (ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS)

1st Bn: Formerly the 87th (Prince of Wales Irish) Regiment of Foot. Raised in Ireland in 1793. A second battalion was raised in Ireland in 1804 and it was this battalion that distinguished itself at Barrosa, 5 May 1811, by capturing the eagle of the 8th French light infantry. In recognition of this they were named the Prince of Wales Own Irish Foot but this did not prevent them from being disbanded in 1817. In 1827 the remaining battalion became the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
2nd Bn: Formerly the 89th (Princess Victoria's) Regiment of Foot. Raised 1793-4 in Ireland. The then Princess Victoria, as her first public duty, presented new colours in 1833. It was in memory of this that the regiment was named Princess Victoria's.
3rd Bn: Formerly the Armagh Light Infantry Militia. Staff HQ at Armagh.
4th Bn: Formerly the Cavan Militia. Staff HQ at Cavan.
5th Bn: Formerly the Monaghan Militia. Staff HQ at Monaghan.

THE CONNAUGHT RANGERS

1st Bn: Formerly the 88th (Connaught Rangers) Regiment of Foot. Raised in Connaught in 1793. A second battalion was raised 1802-5 but disbanded at Co. Clare 1n 1816.
2nd Bn: Formerly the 94th Regiment of Foot. Raised from the half pay list of the then disbanded Scotch Brigade at Glasgow in 1824. Although soldiers were recruited from all over Britain they came principally from Edinburgh and Co. Cork.
3rd Bn: A combination of the former South Mayo Rifle Militia and the North Mayo Militia. Staff HQ at Castlebar.
4th Bn: Formerly the Galway Militia. Staff HQ at Galway.
5th Bn: Formerly the Roscommon Militia. Staff HQ at Boyle.
The regiment was disbanded in 1922.

THE PRINCE OF WALES'S LEINSTER REGIMENT (ROYAL CANADIANS)

1st Bn: Formerly the 100th (Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot. Raised in Canada as a volunteer regiment, 1857-8, for service in India following the mutiny. As it happened the mutiny was over before they even got as far as England.
2nd Bn: Formerly the 109th Bombay Infantry. Raised by the East India Company as the 3rd Bombay European Infantry in 1853 and absorbed into the army as the 109th in 1861.
3rd Bn: Formerly the King's County Militia.
4th Bn: Formerly the Queen's County Militia.
5th Bn: Formerly the Royal Meath Militia.
The regiment was disbanded in 1922.

ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS

1st Bn: Formerly the 101st Royal Bengal Fusiliers. This battalion was formed as one of the old East India Company regiments and was raised by Clive himself in 1759 as the Bengal European Regiment. It went through many incarnations and spawned many other battalions before emerging as the 1st Bengal Fusiliers after the first Sikh war. On amalgamation with the regular army in 1861 it became the 101st.
2nd Bn: Formerly the 104th Bengal Fusiliers. Raised during the first Afghan war (1839) as the 2nd Bengal European regiment, an offspring of the Bengal European Regiment. On amalgamation with the regular army in 1861 it became the 104th.
3rd Bn: Formerly the South Cork Light Infantry Militia. Staff HQ at Kinsale.
4th Bn: Formerly the Kerry Militia. Staff HQ at Tralee.
5th Bn: Formerly the Royal Limerick Militia (Fusiliers). Staff HQ at Limerick.
The regiment was disbanded in 1922.

ROYAL DUBLIN FUSILIERS

1st Bn: Formerly the 102nd Royal Madras Fusiliers. This battalion can be considered to be the oldest of the East India Company regiments being formed in 1748 from even older independent companies as the Madras European Regiment. It had a similar history to the Bengal European Regiment and was amalgamated with the regular army in 1868.
2nd Bn: Formerly the 103rd Royal Bombay Fusiliers. As a battalion the Bombay Europeans can trace their lineage back to 1661, they later became the 1st Bombay European Regiment and were amalgamated with the regular army in 1861.
3rd Bn: Formerly the Kildare Militia Rifles. Staff HQ at Nass.
4th Bn: Formerly the Royal Dublin City Militia (Queen's Own Royal Regiment). Staff HQ at Dublin.
5th Bn: Formerly the Dublin County light Infantry Militia. Staff HQ at Dublin.
The regiment was disbanded in 1922.

THE RIFLE BRIGADE (THE PRINCE CONSORT'S OWN)

Formed in 1800 as an independent corps with the men being drawn from 14 other regiments. Brought into the line as the single battalion 95th in 1802 but expanded to three battalions for the peninsular war (the 3rd was disbanded in 1819). The regiment was withdrawn from the line after Waterloo in 1815 and the 95th designation dropped, it was then reclassified as an independent corps. Two more battalions were raised for the Crimean war.
1st Bn: Formed at Blatchington 1800.
2nd Bn: Formed at Canterbury 1805.
3rd Bn: Formed at Portsmouth 1855.
4th Bn: Formed at Winchester 1857.
5th Bn: Formerly the 2nd Royal Tower Hamlets (Queen's Own Light Infantry) Militia.
6th Bn: Formerly the Prince of Wales's Royal Regiment of Longford Rifles Militia.
7th Bn: Formerly the 1st Royal Tower Hamlets (King's Own Light Infantry) Militia.
8th Bn: Formerly the Leitrim Rifles Militia. Disbanded 1890.
9th Bn: Formerly the Westmeath (Rifles) Militia.
There were also nine volunteer battalions.
In 1966 this regiment was merged with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps and the Oxfordshire Light Infantry to become The Royal Green Jackets.


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