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A collection of historical articles relating to Waterford history
Table Of Contents
1. Introduction
2. The Royal Irish Regiment
3. The Connaught Rangers
4. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers
5. The Royal Munster Fusiliers
6. The Leinster Regiment
Related Articles :
Cap Badges of the Irish Regiments 1914-1918
Sgt. Michael Healy
Private Maurice Duggan Royal Irish Regiment
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Irish Regiments in World War 1
4. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
The Royal Dublin Fusiliers - formerly 102nd Regiment of Foot and 103rd Regiment of Foot ( View The Cap Badge Of The Royal Dublin Fusiliers )

102nd regiment of Foot

There have been five infantry regiments that have been ranked as the 102nd of the British Line. The fourth was raised in 1789 as the New South Wales Corps. After a long and demoralising service in that settlement, it was brought into the Line as the 102nd Foot and was ordered home soon after. Under the command of General Sir Charles Napier, this regiment served in Guernsey, Bermuda and North America. The latter included the affairs at Craney's Island and elsewhere during the American War of 1812-14.

When the Rifle Brigade was taken out of the Line after Waterloo in 1815, the 102nd, by virtue of its seniority, was renumbered the 100th Foot. Under this number the regiment was disbanded at Chatham in 1818. The number remained in abeyance until 1860.

That 102nd Regiment of Foot is descended from the Madras European Regiment, formed as part of the establishment of the Honourable East India Company and manned by British and other European volunteers serving in India. It served throughout its history in India and south-east Asia. In 1843, the 1st Madras European Regiment was made a fusilier corps and renamed the 1st Madra European Fusiliers.

After the transfer of the Honourable East India Company's forces to the Crown in 1860 in the aftermath of the Indian Mutiny, the 1st Madras European Regiment became the 102nd Regiment of Foot (Royal Madras Fusiliers). In 1868, after 233 years of Indian service, it was brought to England for the first time.

In 1881, as part of the Cardwell territorial reforms of the British Army, the 102nd became 1st Battalion the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The 103rd (Royal Bombay Fusiliers) another regiment descended from the HEIC's infantry, became the 2nd Battalion. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers maintained its place in British Army organisation.

103rd Regiment of Foot

There have been several corps numbered 103 in the British infantry of the line. The first was formed at Bury St Edmunds during the Seven Years War in 1761. It was known as the 103rs "Volunteer Hunters" Regiment of Foot and was modelled on a German Jaeger corps. After service in Bellisle it was brought home and disbanded in the peace of 1763.

The 103rd (King's Irish Infantry) was raised in 1781 and disbanded in 1783. The 103rd (Loyal Bristol Volunteers) Regiment of Foot raised in Bristol in 1794 was drafted into the 4th Regiment of Foot and the 7th Fusiliers before its numbers were complete.

In 1809, another 103rd appeared in the establishment. This regiment served on the Canadian frontier during the war of 1812 - 1813. After giving volunteers to other corps, the remaining six companies of this regiment were disbanded at Chelmsford, Essex on 24 October 1817.

The last 103rd Regiment of Foot was descended from the Indian European Regiment, first formed in 1661 as part of the establishment of the Honourable East India Company and manned by British and other European volunteers serving in India. It served throughout its history in India and south-east Asia. The regiment was known as the Bombay Europeans from the 1780s. In 1826, the regiment became styled The 1st Bombay European Regiment. In 1849 it was made a fusilier corps and renamed the 1st Bombay European Fusiliers.

After the Indian Mutiny, in which the regiment played a full and honourable part, the regiment was brought into the British Army line as The 103rd (Royal Bombay Fusiliers). The regiment was brought home in 1870, in the 209th year of its service. In 1881, as part of the Cardwell territorial reforms of the British Army, the 103rd (Royal Bombay Fusiliers) became the 2nd Battalion the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The 102nd (Royal Madras Fusiliers) became the 1st Battalion. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers maintained its place in British Army organisation for another forty-one years.

World War I

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers in World War I raised a total of 11 battalions from its peacetime complement of two regular and three reserve battalions. The regiment won 49 battle honours and three Victoria Crosses during the war, and lost a total of 4,780 casualties.

The 1st Battalion was in Madras at the outbreak of WWI and sailed from Bombay for the UK on 19 Nov 1914, arriving at Plymouth on 21 Dec and being put into billets in Torquay. In Jan 1915, it was moved to Nuneaton joining 86th Brigade in 29th Division. On 16 Mar 1915 it sailed from Avonmouth and landed at Alexandria, Egypt on 30 mar. On 9 Apr 1915 it was deployed in the Gallipoli operation moving at Mudros that day. On 25 Apr 1915 it landed at Helles Beach and on the 30 Apr, after suffering heavy casualties, was amalgamated with1st Royal Munster Fusiliers to form a composite battalion known locally as the "Dubsters" in 87th Brigade. On 19 May 1915, after casualty replacement, the regiment resumed its identity. On 1 Jan 1916 the battalion left Gallipoli for Mudros and arrived on 8 Jan in Egypt. On 13 Mar 1916 the battalion sailed from Alexandria for France, landing at Marseilles on 19 Mar. On 19 Oct 1917 it was transferred to 48th Brigade in 16th Division. On 10 Feb 1918 the battalion absorbed 10 officers and 200 men from the disbanded 8th and 9th Battalions. On 14 Apr 1918 the 1st and 2nd Battalions amalgamated at Clety, south of St Omer. On 19 Apr 1918 the 1st Battalion was reconstituted with personnel from the 2nd Battalion, which was reduced to a cadre. On 25 Apr 1918 the battalion was transferred to 86th Brigade in 29th Division from the 16th Division. The battalion ended WWI at St Genois, south-east of Courtrai, Belgium.

The 2nd Battalion was at Gravesend, Essex on 4 Aug 1914 in 10th Brigade within the 4th Division. After some days billeted at Harrow, Middlesex, the battalion was sent to France as part of the original British Expeditionary Force, landing in Boulogne on 22 Aug 1918. On 15 Nov 1916 it was transferred to 48th Brigade, 16th Division. On 10 Feb 1918, the battalion absorbed 10 officers and 200 men from the disbanded 8th and 9th Battalions. On 14 Apr 1918 the 1st and 2nd Battalions amalgamated at Clety, south of St Omer. On 19 Apr 1918 the 2nd battalion was reduced to a cadre with surplus personnel transferred to the 1st battalion. On 1 Jun 1918, the cadre was transferred to 94th Brigade in 31st Division. On 6 Jun 1918 the battalion absorbed surplus personnel from the 7th Battalion, which was then reduced to a cadre. On 15 Jun 1918, the battalion was transferred to the Lines of Communication and on 15 Jul 1918 it was transferred to 149th Brigade in 50th Division at Martin Eglise. The 2nd Battalion ended the war at Doulers, north of Avesnes, France.

The 3rd (Reserve), 4th (Extra Reserve) and 5th (Extra Reserve) Battalions were mobilised on 4 Aug 1914 at Naas and Dublin. These battalions served variously in Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland until in May 1918 they were amalgamated into the 3rd Battalion which completed its service in Nov 1918 as part of the Humber Garrison.

The 6th (Service) Battalion was formed at Naas in Aug 1914 as part of Kitchener's First New Army and was assigned to 30th Brigade in 10th Division at the Curragh. In May 1915 it was transferred to Basingstoke, Hampshire. On 11 Jul 1915 it sailed from Devonport to Mitylene and on 7 Aug 1915 landed at Gallipoli at Suvla Bay. On October 1915 it was transferred to Salonika. In Sep 1917 the battalion was redeployed to Egypt and Palestine. On 27 May 1918 it left 10th Division for France, sailing from Alexandria on 3 Jul and landing at Taranto, Italy on 8 Jul. On 21 Jul 1918 it was reassigned to 197th Brigade in 66th Division. It ended the war in that formation near Avesnes, France.

The 7th (Service) Battalion was formed at Naas in Aug 1914 as part of Kitchener's First New Army and was assigned to 30th Brigade in the 10th Division at the Curragh. In May 1915 it was transferred to Basingstoke, Hampshire. On 11 Jul 1915 it sailed from Devonport to Mitylene and on 7 Aug 1915 landed at Gallipoli at Suvla bay. On Oct 1915 it was transferred to Salonika. In Sep 1917 the battalion was redeployed to Egypt and Palestine. On 11 Jul 1915 it sailed from Devonport to Mitylene and on 7 Aug 1915 landed at Gallipoli at Suvla Bay. On Oct 1915 it was transferred to Salonika. In Sep 1917 the battalion was redeployed to Egypt and Palestine. On 27 May 1918 it left 10th Division for France, sailing from Alexandria on 3 Jul and landing at Taranto, Italy on 8 Jul. On 21 Jul 1918 it was reassigned to 197th Brigade in 66th Division. It ended the war in that formation near Avesnes, France.

The 8th (Service) Battalion was formed in Sep 1914 as part of Kitchener's Second New Army and was assigned to 48th Brigade in the 16th Division at Buttevant. After serving at Ballyhooly it was moved to England in Sep 1915, being based at Blackdown, Hampshire. In Dec 1915 it landed in France at Le Havre. On 24 Oct 1917 it was amalgamated with the 9th Battalion to form the 8th/9th Battalion within 48th Brigade. On 10 Feb 1918 it was disbanded in France; the remaining personnel being transferred to the 1st and 2nd Battalions.

The 9th (Service) Battalion was formed in Sep 1914 as part of Kitchener's Second New Army and was assigned to 48th Brigade in the 16th Division at Buttevant. After serving at Ballyhooly it was moved to England in Sep 1915, being based at Blackdown, Hampshire. In Dec 1915 it landed in France at Le Havre. On 24 Oct 1917 it was amalgamated with the 8th Battalion to form the 8th/9th Battalion within 48th Brigade.

The 10th (Service) Battalion was formed at Dublin at the end of 1915.It was moved to England in Aug 1916, being based at Pirbright, Surrey. On 19 Aug Dec 1916 it landed in France at Le Havre and was assigned to 190th Brigade in 63rd Division. On 24 Oct 1917 it absorbed surplus personnel from the amalgamated of the 8th and 9th Battalions. On 15 Feb 1918 it was disbanded in France.

The 11th (Reserve) Battalion was formed at Dublin in July 1916. By Jan 1918 it was located in Aldershot and in May 1918 it was absorbed into the 3rd Battalion in Plymouth.

Disbandment

In 1922, with the creation of the Irish Free State, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in common with five other Irish infantry regiments, was disbanded.

Text on this page © Iain Kerr. The Society would like to thank Iain Kerr, Phil Curme and James F. O' Sullivan for their invaluable help with this project.

Author : Willie Whelan   Published Online : 26 July 2001
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