The Royal Irish Regiment

Battalions of the Regular Army

1st Battalion
August 1914 : in Nasiribad. Returned to UK and landed at Devonport on 18 November 1914, then came under orders of 82nd Brigade, 27th Division.
20 December 1914 : landed at Le Havre.
28 November 1915 : sailed from Marseilles for Salonika.
3 November 1916 : transferred to 30th Brigade, 10th (Irish) Division.

2nd Battalion
August 1914 : in Devonport, part of 8th Brigade, 3rd Division.
14 August 1914 : landed at Boulogne.
Virtually destroyed as a battalion near Le Pilly during the Battle of La Bassée. Many taken as POWs.
24 October 1914 : transferred as Army Troops to Lines of Communication.
14 March 1915 : transferred to 12th Brigade, 4th Division.
26 July 1915 : transferred to 11th Brigade in same Division.
22 May 1916 : transferred to 22nd Brigade, 7th Division.
14 October 1916 : transferred to 49th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division.
23 April 1918 : transferred to 188th Brigade, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Clonmel. A training unit, it remained in UK throughout the war. Moved within a few days of declaration of war to Dublin. In September 1916 moved to Templemore (Co. Tipperary) but by the end of 1917 was back at Dublin. In April 1918 the bn moved to England and joined Irish Reserve Brigade at Larkhill.

4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Kilkenny. A training unit, it moved within a few days of declaration of war to Queenstown. In May 1915, moved to England, based at Gosport. Returned to Ireland September 1915 and moved to Fermoy. May 1916 moved back to Queenstown. In April 1918 the bn moved to England and joined Irish Reserve Brigade at Larkhill.

Battalions of the Territorial Force

As the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907 did not call for the creation of TF units in Ireland, the regiment had no TF battalions.

Battalions of the New Armies

5th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)
Formed at Clonmel in August 1914 as part of K1 and came under orders of 29th Brigade, 10th (Irish) Division.
About June 1915, converted to Pioneer Bn of the same Division.
7 July 1915: embarked at Liverpool and sailed to Gallipoli via Mudros. Landed Suvla Bay 7 August 1915.
30 September 1915 : moved via Mudros to Salonika.
1 April 1918 : transferred to 52nd (Lowland) Division. Moved soon afterwards with Division to France.
31 May 1918 : transferred to Lines of Communication.
14 July 1918 : transferred to 50th (Northumbrian) Division as Pioneer Bn.

6th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Clonmel on 6 September 1914 as part of K2 and came under orders of 47th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division.
March 1915 : joined by one Company from the Guernsey Militia.
December 1915 : landed at le Havre.
6 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion
Formed in France, 1 September 1917, from the dismounted 1st and 2nd South Irish Horse.
14 October 1917 : came under orders of 49th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division.
18 April 1918 : reduced to cadre strength; reformed 26 June 1918.
4 July 1918 : transferred to 21st Brigade, 30th Division.

8th (Service) Battalion
Formerly the 2nd Garrison Guard Bn (see below), which became the 8th Garrison Bn on 25 May 1918.
13 July 1918 : became the 8th (Service) Bn.

Other Battalions

1st Garrison Battalion
Formed in Dublin, 2 August 1915.
24 September 1915 : landed at Mudros, having sailed from Devonport on 6 September. Working parties were sent into Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, during October 1915. After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the Bn was sent to Egypt, where it landed on 5 February 1916 and then remained throughout the war.

2nd (Home Service) Garrison Battalion
Formed at Dublin, March 1916. Remained there until April 1918 when it became the 2nd Garrison Guard Bn.
April 1918 : landed in France.
18 April 1918 : came under orders of 178th Brigade, 59th (2nd North Midland) Division.
25 May 1918 : became the 8th Garrison Bn.
20 June 1918 : transferred to 121st Brigade, 40th Division.
13 July 1918 : became the 8th (Service) Bn.

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Related information

Men of the 1st Royal Irish Regiment marching along the Seres Road into the Struma Valley on Salonika, June 1916. Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

The badge of the regiment as depicted on a CWGC grave headstone. Image courtesy of the excellent PaulHP collection at, with thanks.


See more regimental titles here


In remembrance
This page is dedicated to the memory of men like

Thomas Power, Michael Fitzgerald and John Reilly, all 2nd Battalion men who were taken prisoner at Le Pilly in 1914;
Samuel Goddard, enlisted in september 1914 and served with 5th Battalion until being discharged in August 1918;
Victor Yarnell , who joined the South Irish Horse only to find himself converted into an infantryman of 7th Battalion. Victor was killed in action on 27 March 1918; and
James Landrum, originally of the 4th Battalion of the King's (Liverpool Regiment) before being transferred to 2nd Battalion and eventual service with the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

All of these men were researched in detail by Chris Baker at fourteeneighteen|research

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